The former owner and the saint’s revival
The wavy-haired girl looked at me with her heterochromatic eyes. I could see them clearly even in the dusk’s light: one was golden, the other was blue.
Only spirits were supposed to have golden eyes.
“This mansion was once yours…? How many years ago are we talking about?”
“About ten years ago. Have you ever heard of the Stollen family?”
The Kingdom of Albein’s three major noble families: Vinceburg, Orlanz and Stollen.
Of course, I knew about them.
When I bought the mansion, only the last two owners were included in the records.
It was normal for the Kingdom to not keep track of all the past buyers.
Still, if this was once propriety of a noble family, why wasn’t I notified? Perhaps, even the estate agent didn’t know about it?
“I bought this mansion recently. My name is Dick Silver… even though my guests call me Sebas.”
“I know. I know everything that happens within these walls. I apologize, but I was granted this power by one of the former owners. I do not intend to misuse it.”
Well, since spells specialized in the gathering of information existed, it was plenty possible.
I thought about a couple of ways to create an effect like that. One was to write runes within the building, while the other was to create a huge magic field all around it. I didn’t notice anything of the sort when I investigated the structure, so I guessed they were hidden by some superior concealment technique.
“Why did the Stollen leave this mansion? Who are you?”
“I am Beatrice Stollen, a member of that noble family. Sorry, but I cannot say anymore.”
“…You seem to know what you’re talking about. Still, you have not replied to my question. Can the Stollen family enter this mansion freely?”
“No… I never entered this mansion.”
“That’s impossible. I examined every nook and cranny of this building in the morning. Maybe you mean that your hiding place is somewhere else?”
“I was here from the very beginning. Not here precisely, but everywhere in this mansion.”
A shiver ran down my spine.
She never entered the building, but was everywhere and knew whatever happened in it?
If that wasn’t nonsense, she would’ve been…
“I have to watch over this mansion… Even though my family left it, I cannot neglect my duties.”
Before asking what that was about, I finally noticed.
Her figure was slightly see-through… she wasn’t a normal human.
“Are you… the ghost that has been seen in this mansion?”
“…Yes. You also brought along a priestess to exorcise me, did you not? But I cannot depart from this place.”
“She said that there was a harmless soul that couldn’t ascend. Beatrice… if she finds you, she will force you to heaven.”
“…The power she wields is indeed astonishing. I am sure that if she was to unleash it on me, the road to heaven would unfold in front of my eyes. But despite that, I still cannot go.”
“Might you… tell me what you know? Is it true that ghosts appear in here?”
Her figure was fading. It seemed like she couldn’t maintain her body only by will.
“I want this place to be as it is, so that my family can come back here any time.”
With those words, Beatrice vanished.
Thanks to that encounter, I confirmed why the mansion was perfectly maintained.
She kept it clean for her family’s return.
That “also” made me guess that every owner of this mansion after her, me included, tried to make her leave.
But would the Stollen, who once left this place, return?
I had to meet Beatrice again. First, I needed to explain everything to Mylarka and Aileen, then I would have made them discuss it with Yuma.
Dinner was ready, so I woke the girls up and led them to the dining room.
The sun sank below the horizon, and the room was illuminated with magic. Mylarka and Yuma sat nearby at the long table that could accommodate even ten people, and Aileen took place in front of them.
It didn’t look like Beatrice was already trying to chase us out of the mansion, given that I had no problems preparing dinner.
“Yuma, you said there’s a harmless spirit here, right? Can you feel its presence even now?”
“Yes, it is watching us this very moment.”
“This is not a good feeling… Can we do something about it?”
I told Mylarka about Beatrice, but even though she understood the situation, she couldn’t relax.
Aileen wasn’t minding her presence in the slightest, and was happily carrying the roasted lamb with sauce to her mouth.
“Yum… Mmh~! Delicious! First, a relaxing massage, then great food and drinks. Now I only need to take a bath~!”
“…Are you sure? You’re really defenseless in those moments… If we’re suddenly attacked, I might use a bit too much magic power.”
“We’ll be fine if we go together. I’ll watch over you. Still, don’tcha ever feel like someone’s staring at your back when you wash your hair~?”
“O-Of course not, there’s no one behind me… S-Stop bringing such things up.”
Even though Mylarka had no reason to worry, she looked behind her. After confirming that nothing was there, she brought some vegetable soup to her mouth. She wasn’t eating much meat or bread, but was instead drinking a good amount of wine, just like Aileen.
“My ladies, given the number of rumors surrounding this mansion, I strongly suggest you to be careful at night when you leave your room.”
“Gh… I-If that was deliberate, I’ll acknowledge your bravery. But did you have to say it right now?!”
“Mylarka, your hand is shaking… Are you scared?”
“W-What made you jump to that conclusion?! Also, it doesn’t matter what might appear as long as Yuma is with us!”
She passed the buck to Yuma, who didn’t reply. The priestess’ lips were quivering while she was holding a glass of water with both hands.
“Should do it… but it is harmless… It will not bother us, but… I need to… I want to… guide it to Heaven…!”
“Err… Yuma, is there something you wanna do? Do you need, like, Dick’s help?”
“…What? Did I say something?”
Her gaze was becoming dangerous, but she wasn’t aware of it.
“This is really bad… If we don’t do something, your heart will break.”
“Eh? M-My heart? What do you mean?”
“Hmm… ya’ see, you’re bottling everything up. Usually, you’d be nervous, but you’re really introverted… You need to vent your feelings.”
“I-I see… I guess I keep everything to myself. What should I do to vent?”
“That’s obvious. Quell Sebas’s soul and send it to heaven.”
“M-My lady… Did I misbehave so much that you ended up wishing for my early ascension to the Kingdom of God…?”
“N-No, the one I want to guide to Heaven is… n-nothing, do not mind me…”
So, she really wanted to send my – I mean, Dick’s, not Sebas’s – soul to heaven.
It was scandalous to hear it directly from a priestess. I wondered if imagining her doing it would have made me a worthless person.
“Yuma, saving souls looks quite pleasant, right? I had that feeling when you exorcised the undead.”
“Gh…! Cough, cough! What was that, Aileen?! Do you mean you understand what they felt?!”
“Hahaha, no, I didn’t. Still, I thought they were glad when I saw them. Anyway, why are you choking, Mylarka?”
“B-Because you said something weird…”
“That wasn’t strange. It is exactly as she said.”
Her eyes returned stagnant… like when she tried to force my soul to heaven in the chapel. That topic was too much for her right now.
“Saving souls means detaching and setting them free from this transient world. My doctrine calls that event ‘rapture’, and the priest feels a part of that feeling when the act is in progress. Still, its peak is reached when both souls depart for their journey. Only once I have felt the attraction of a soul…”
“Y-Yuma, calm down. I understand, but now take a deep breath.”
“Aaah… W-What? Mylarka, was I doing something strange…?”
“Well duh, even I could notice that! Yuma’s at her limit!”
“A-Aileen…? Is that so? Sebas, do I look like I am at my limit?”
“P-Preposterous! I warmly thank you for the hard explanation.”
I wondered how the rapture would feel like.
But looking at Yuma’s arousal, I thought that it was better not to know about it.
After that stormy dinner ended and I finished cleaning, I peered into the courtyard from the first floor’s hallway.
Even though it was night, the magic pillars did their job, granting me a clear vision.
Still, I couldn’t see any spirit.
I wondered if Beatrice would have reappeared if we left her alone, but that wasn’t a great idea.
The girls were now taking a bath on the east side of the first floor, while I was standing not far from there, so that I could support them if anything was to happen.
Why did she have to make every former owner leave in a short time?
If I could hear Beatrice’s reason…
As I was lost in thought, something happened in front of my eyes.
I still couldn’t sense them, but I saw many human-like figures in the garden… they were spirits.
Some were human-shaped and transparent, ghosts, while others were simply a mass of dark mist, ghasts.
There were also wraiths, which Mylarka couldn’t handle… and their number was growing.
A piercing scream from the bathroom… It was an emergency, so I had no choice but to enter.
“Ladies, are you… in danger…?!”
“W-Why did they have to appear nowww?!”
Mylarka was running away naked. Or rather, she had some soap foam covering her body, so the important parts were kind of covered.
“Friiiggin’ cooold! You won’t get away only ’cause I can’t touch ya!”
Aileen, hidden by steam, was kicking the ghosts one after the other. Still, since she didn’t have her magical weapons with her, she couldn’t inflict any damage, and her blows just cut through the air. She didn’t bring the name of Goddess of wrath for nothing.
Then I saw Yuma, who had only a towel around her waist.
She was absent-mindedly sitting on the ground, even though it was now her moment to act.
Witnessing that spectacle, as the pro I was, my heart didn’t falter.
“Ladies, it’s dangerous! Escape from here and prepare for…”
“Nhh… wait, Sebas! Yuma will do something ’bout this!”
“Yes… Yuma, use your power! You always saved us in this kind of situations, didn’t you?! On your feet!”
The girls screamed while the ghosts drew closer to the priestess…
If something tries to touch her, I’ll make it disappear.
That was my decision, and as a ghost was about to lay its hands on her, I purified it and made it vanish without a sound.
“There are… so many lost souls that gather here… they all need to be quelled, but… why did I notice it only now…?”
May it be a ghast or a wraith, it didn’t matter to her.
Her body was covered with purification light. A common priest, no matter their ability level, should chant a mantra to purify undead… but that didn’t apply to Yuma.
She was called “Voiceless requiem” exactly because she didn’t need to do that.
Still, her power was aberrant. Even when we were in a cave filled with undead, she ended up purifying the entire place.
That’s why she had an adventurer score of 101180 points. She achieved the SSS rank thanks to her ability to purify undead alone.
“I will now grant you peace… No matter the regret, neither the anguish, I will listen to your grief. Let me return you to your original state, like newborns, and bring you to the land promised by our God…”
She only joined her hands and prayed, and her boundless power spread and got through any obstacle.
“B-Boundless purification…?! L-Lady Yuphila, if it touches our bodies…!”
She smiled at me and then answered.
“It is as Aileen said. Guiding souls to Heaven is really pleasant. I have forgotten about this… Why did I hold back? I need this to live… Ahh… But what I would really want to quell is…”
At that moment, her power touched me. Maybe I experienced the same thing of the other two girls.
Her power wasn’t only for exorcising undead and sending them to Heaven.
It also affected the living. It was like she caressed my soul with her very hands.
It wasn’t frightening, but pleasant. As she said, both the departing and the remaining souls shared the same feeling.
Before I noticed, the ghosts stopped coming, and those left behind vanished by sinking into the floor. Silence fell in the room. On the priestess’ flushed cheeks were drops of sweat, but she looked lively rather than exhausted.
“Now… I must talk to Beatrice and quell her soul. Sebas, let us go to the attic, she is waiting there.”
Said Yuma, and I averted my eyes from her.
Maybe it was inelegant to tell her how she looked right now directly, so I promised to myself to not look in her direction for a while. She would have remembered, eventually.