Rockwall Lou – V3 Chapter 3

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟑

(3)

Next to the enormous castle gate, there was a small door. After ringing the bell hanging beside it and waiting for a while, a woman in her thirties wearing a navy-blue dress appeared. Luo felt relieved. He had thought a ghost might come out.

“Who might you be?”

According to Crozet, first impressions are crucial. Luo stood up straight and greeted her.

“Hello, I come from the city of Arche, I am a fourth-grade wizard named Luo, also known as “rockwall”.”

The woman gave Luo a suspicious look from head to toe.

“I don’t recall inviting any dubious person claiming to be a wizard.”

Luo was taken aback immediately.

“I came to clean the castle, as instructed by Knox.”

“Knox?”

“Um, the scary person from the Bureau of Magic.”

“Bureau of Magic?”

Luo hastily presented the request form given by Knox. After verifying the contents, the woman finally seemed convinced.

“Indeed, I did put in such a request. Instead of providing funds, they sent a worker. They should’ve informed in advance.”

“I apologize.”

“It’s not your fault. Now we have to prepare a room and adjust meals for you. Come this way.”

The rain started pouring harder.

Entering the premises, the sound of the wind vanished, replaced by the loud patter of rain hitting the plant leaves and cobblestones.

The castle wasn’t just surrounded by walls, its interiors were also dilapidated. Only the pathway leading to the gate seemed to be cleaned, but elsewhere, trees and weeds grew wild. It wouldn’t be surprising if rabbits or foxes emerged.

Inside the premises were two large buildings and a small one. Luo was led to the smaller building, meant for guests. Entering what appeared to be a lobby, the woman introduced herself as Rayza.

“I work here as a maid.”

“Ah, I come from the city of Arche, a fourth-grade wizard—”

“I heard that earlier.”

Seeing the overwhelmed Luo, Rayza’s expression softened slightly.

“I’ve always heard wizards are crude and vulgar, but it seems there are young ones like you too. You do seem to fit our requirements.”

Rayza, seemingly convinced on her own, explained the job to Luo.

This castle, after being renovated as a villa, had been standing for about two hundred years. In that time, it had never been used, resulting in its current state. Rayza managed the living spaces inside, but couldn’t maintain the outside.

“That’s why I requested funds. Initially, I intended to ask the residents of Mido Village for help, but I never imagined the Bureau of Magic would step in. I wonder what negotiations took place.”

Rayza sought confirmation from the absent-minded Luo standing there.

“So, you’re a wizard and also a cleaner, right?”

“Y, Yes!”

“Welcome to Akkare Castle.”

 ㅤ

Luo thought the person was not his type. They reminded him of that Knox.

Rayza handed Luo an umbrella and gave him a tour of the grounds.

The largest building, which Rayza called the residence, was where Rayza lived. A tall tower jutted out from the residence.

“My room is on the first floor. If you need anything, come call me. However, the tower is off-limits. It’s the room of the young princess.”

“The young princess?”

“Don’t pry, wizard Luo.”

“Y, Yes!”

Next to the residence was a dome-shaped building that resembled a crystal. It seemed to be a chapel, but the entrance door wouldn’t open, so no one could enter.

“This is the garden.”

The open cobblestone space was covered in ivy and moss, with flower beds, benches, and sculptures. The cobblestones were cracked and uplifted, with tree roots and weeds poking through. It would be difficult to walk on.

“That concludes the tour.”

Luo was to stay for ten days. Even though it wasn’t a very large old castle, cleaning it alone seemed tough.

That evening, after eating a simple dinner prepared by Rayza, Luo slept soundly.

The rain continued the next day.

Now, what to do?

The place was so neglected; Luo didn’t know where to start. After much contemplation and finding no answer, he decided to start from his favorite spot.

In the rain, he climbed the castle walls.

Observing closely, Luo was impressed. Dark ivy had crept into the cracks of the castle walls and was breaking them. Plants might not be as hard as rocks, but they’re strong. Luo knew this from the Grand Canyon, where white pine roots broke the rockwalls, and their trunks and branches grew robustly.

The intricately intertwined ivy was as sturdy as tree roots, seemingly impossible to tear off.

Luo decided to repair the stone wall. His magic, which reconstructed soil and rocks, was strongly influenced by the material. The walls of Akkare Castle seemed to be made of high-quality stone, so they regained their beautiful, shiny white surface. Simultaneously, the clinging ivy and moss that covered the surface peeled off.

Both repair and cleaning were done in one go.

Luo was pleased with this.

When cleaning, start from the top. Luo remembered this cleaning tip he learned from his mother. Carefully, so as not to slip, he used his magic while moving along the wall. The ivy and moss that fell to the ground were loaded onto a wheelbarrow and taken out. Apart from sleep and meals, Luo dedicated all his time to these tasks.

On the second and third day, the rain kept falling.

On the fourth morning, the rain finally stopped.

Under the cloudless blue sky, the sunlit white walls shone brilliantly.

As Luo looked on with satisfaction, Rayza, who had silently approached, stood behind him.

“I have. . . . . .”

Still looking at the castle walls, Rayza murmured in astonishment.

“I’ve decided to change my perception of wizards. I never expected such a transformation.”

Then, with a hint of excitement and a blush on her face, Rayza placed her hands on both of Luo’s shoulders.

“Wizard Luo, please continue your work.”

“Yes!”

 ㅤ

Next, we’ll start with the work on the premises.

We’ll begin with the stone-paved path. Fixing the cracks and collecting the rubble to fill in the missing parts. These are truly fine stones. It’s a waste that they have become so dirty.

Before he knew it, Luo had become engrossed in the work, forgetting it was his job.

There were various stone structures in the garden, but all were in terrible condition. A bench covered in black mold, moss-covered flower beds, cracked stone statues; imagining their state from two hundred years ago, he aimed to restore them to that condition.

“Wow, amazing! Wizard Luo!”

Luo couldn’t hide his joy at Rayza’s emotional praise. He mustered the courage to convey the feelings that welled up inside him.

“I’m glad Rayza-san is pleased. It makes me happy too.”

“Really?!”

From that night, for some reason, the meals became more lavish.

The work was progressing well, but there was something that bothered him.

Every so often, he felt someone’s gaze.

When he checked, a shadow quickly hid behind the curtains. It was from a room on the third floor of a tower jutting out from the main building.

Thinking it wouldn’t be good to startle them too much, Luo decided to focus on his work.

Luo was close to the chapel wall.

It’s a dome-shaped building that looks like crystal. The work is the same as the castle walls. Using magic to reconstruct the stone walls. The only difference is that each side has windows made of colorful glass, much like paintings. Glass is expensive, so he has to work very carefully.

There was one place where the glass was broken. Luo peered inside the chapel from there. In the dim darkness, the colorful glass windows shone beautifully, each seemingly depicting a scene from a story.

Luo thought it looked like a picture book.

The first window, immediately to his right, depicted a castle towering above the clouds. Just below the clouds, there was a vertical yellow streak, and a man with red hair was shown upside down. It looked like he was being struck by lightning and falling.

Next to it, the second one depicted a jumble of strange creatures. They were beasts, birds, and insects. With their red eyes, Luo thought they must be demon beasts.

The third showed many people praying to the sky. Above the clouds, there was a silver-haired woman with one hand extended. Something like blood dripped from her wrist, pouring onto a baby below.

The fourth depicted a child praying at what looked like an altar. On the altar was a blue beast with wings and a wide-open mouth.

The fifth was a picture of a spring. The same child from before was sitting on its bank. In the center of the spring was a floating island with a tall silver tree.

And the sixth was the window Luo had entered. He didn’t know what was depicted on it.

Fragments of purplish-red glass on the window’s edge fell and shattered with a hard sound.

There were many wooden chairs lined up on the chapel’s floor, but most were broken and had turned to wood chips. The place was so devastated that there was barely any space to step on. According to Rayza, the entrance door was locked, and the key had been lost. Opposite the entrance, there was a raised area where a statue of a woman with her hand extended stood.

He decided to descend following the inner walls.

Luo’s shining red eyes pierced the darkness, clearly capturing the statue of the woman.

From her shape and gesture, Luo surmised she was likely the silver-haired woman from the third stained-glass picture.

For a while, Luo stared at the statue of the woman in amazement, but then he snapped back to reality.

I shouldn’t be doing this, I’m at work right now. There are still many things that need to be done. Luo went out through the broken window and resumed his work.

Although surrounded by walls, it’s windy at the top of the building. It’s dangerous if you don’t concentrate, and it also drains your energy. After finishing his work at a good point, Luo decided to take a break on the dome-shaped roof.

He felt someone’s gaze on him again.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *