TL note: sorry, I mistook (again) a couple of things in the past chapters, but they are now fixed.
Chapter 15: Standing in front of it was a little girl <— was actually “Standing in front of it was a young lady”.
Chapter 16: The silky-haired girl with a braided hairstyle <— was actually “The wavy-haired girl”.
The wraith queen’s bare skin and the endless night
“…Let me introduce ourselves again. The three of us are members of the party that defeated the Demon Lord. If you want, we can bring him here in secrecy and free you from your oath.”
“I see… You are Sweet disaster, Voiceless requiem and the Charming goddess of wrath, huh?”
“Hahaha~! We’re well known!”
Hearing her title, Aileen blushed. Indeed, she was charming even in her battle attire, but it seemed like she didn’t think the same.
Mylarka didn’t mention my name to preserve my fake identity. Beatrice might have seen that I visited this mansion as Dick Silver to prepare lodgings… but since undead are weaker during daytime, maybe that wasn’t the case.
“If you let Yuma create one of her barriers, she can seal your power so that you won’t attract any ghosts. That way, even though the Stollen don’t live here anymore, you can live with someone… Sebas also wants this.”
“It is as Lady Mylarka says. If you allow us, we would like to use this mansion as lodging for customers.”
Beatrice looked surprised and didn’t reply for a while.
Tears welled in her eyes and fell down silently. Despite her incorporeal nature, they were real.
She had to keep waiting for those who abandoned her forever.
I couldn’t even imagine how she was feeling or how lonely she was.
“Do you… really want to do this for someone who only caused troubles to people?”
Yuma stepped forward and stood in front of her. A purifying aura enveloped her body any time, but the wraith queen wasn’t going to be in danger.
“I understood how much you craved to see your master again. It is still not time for your soul to be called to Heaven.”
Beatrice fell on her knees, hands hiding her face, as the raging feelings she suppressed for so long assaulted her. The other girl kneeled and hugged her.
A bishop comforting a wraith queen… Seeing such a rare scene made me believe that bringing here Yuma had been the right choice.
How could I’ve known that within these walls was hidden such a secret?
Even the reason behind the presence of ghosts was beyond my expectations.
Beatrice cried for a while, and after she managed to calm down, she stood on her feet again.
“Forgive me for showing you such a shameful appearance. It was not my intention to cry in front of you…”
“Crying consumes your magical power, doesn’t it? Are you okay? Ya look paler.”
“I know that I am in no position to ask you this, but might you lend me some energy? I am afraid that next dawn will be my last.”
Mylarka hated that feeling, Aileen said it was friggin’ cold, and draining Yuma’s holy power directly might have been fatal for her.
I was the only choice… or rather, Aileen could do it too, but she was already looking at me with her thumb up.
“Sebas can even use Healing Magic, he has a lotta energy. I guess it wouldn’t hurt him to lend you some.”
“As fellow girls, I’d love to lend you mine but… sorry, I hate that cold feeling.”
“I appreciate the thought. May I have some of Mister Sebas’s energy, if he agrees?”
It meant that she would have just touched me, right?
That wasn’t a problem, I could recover that small amount in a single day.
“Yes, feel free to help yourself.”
“…I will see you later, then. I shall prepare.”
Her figure started to fade as I was wondering what she meant.
“Great, case closed. I’ll go to bed.”
“Girls, wanna chat in our room? Now that Yuma is better and all…”
“Yes, I would love to. Sebas, take care of Beatrice.”
They left the attic and headed back to their lodgings.
I looked around and saw only a desk, bookshelves and a lantern.
I guessed that undead didn’t need to sleep. I then closed the door and started to follow the girls.
After I removed my mask and took a bath, I relaxed in my room.
This long day was finally over. The only thing left to do was to let Beatrice take some of my energy.
She would have shown up once she was prepared, but what did she mean? I drank some wine while thinking about it, then threw myself on the bed.
I couldn’t sense anyone else nearby.
Since the door was closed, I wondered if Beatrice would have entered from a wall, so I raised my body.
Then, my mind went blank.
Lit by the dim light of the lantern, Beatrice was standing in front of me while hugging her body shily.
She wasn’t wearing her black dress anymore.
Even though her headdress was the same, her negligée was even thinner than Mylarka’s.
“L-Lady Beatrice, what is with your clothes? If you don’t wear something over them…!”
She smiled and squinted her eyes. Even though she could probably float, she stepped closer, and the moment she moved her arms away from her chest, I managed to see her body beneath the thin fabric. It had the same color as a human’s.
“This is the first time I do this with a man, so… since you are a gentleman, Sebas… No, Guild Master, I thought that I, as a wraith queen, should be prepared properly.”
She knew my real identity… I could stop pretending to be a butler, so I prepared for the worst and returned to my normal self.
“So, you watched me from the start… and played along with that?”
She smiled again and blushed at my change of tone. She was an undead, but seeing her warm gestures made me think that there was still a lot we didn’t know about them.
“I knew that you did not want the girls… or rather, Yuma, know about your real identity. The other two knew already who you are.”
“…I am the Guild Master of Silver Mug. Yuma wasn’t feeling well, so I wanted to help her from shadows.”
“I think she will find you out eventually. Do you not think she will be happy to know it?”
“I don’t want to… but you’re right. I want this place to serve as a recreation facility for my guild, and I want to invite Yuma again in the future… It would be weird to act as a butler when she is around, so I’ll have to tell her the truth sooner or later.”
“It would be a waste to never see you as a masked butler again. It suits you very much.”
As she said that, she picked up the mask I put on the bedside table and tried to wear it…
It was like she toying with me.
After she returned it to its place, she walked toward me, and then held out her hand.
“Still… I will not get tired to see you without it.”
“I don’t think so. My comrades are way prettier than me.”
“Everyone is interested in someone. For example, I like your face, Dick.”
“I was thinking about how you will drain my energy… You won’t act like a succubus, right?”
She didn’t reply as she got closer, then her hands descended on my nightclothes and started to unfasten the buttons.
“…Mind to answer my question?”
“I will only touch you for today. You will not feel any pain, but… if I use only my palms, it will take quite a long time…”
“I-I mean, there’s a lot of things you can touch, but… are you sure? We just met.”
I was starting to imagine what she was going to do.
She was already at my third button when she touched the ribbon on her chest.
If she pulled it, I would have probably seen her naked.
“Even though I am a wraith queen, spending each night of the last ten years alone in a mansion where ghosts gather made me feel lonely…”
“…I see. I have no choice, then.”
At that moment, I understood my stupid error.
I thought that since she hadn’t a tangible body, she wouldn’t have wanted to sleep with me, but I was soon proven wrong.
Now it was too late.
I already gave her permission to help herself, and I couldn’t take it back.
She untied the ribbon with a smooth movement. Her negligee opened and revealed her white, almost transparent body, which was now almost completely bare.
“I would like you to share your energy with me all night. Since we do not have a hidden agenda, the others will not think badly of this.”
She said nonchalantly and then raised her hands to remove her headdress.
“Y-You don’t have to take that off now. Let’s do it later, in case.”
“…Alright. If this is what you want, Master Dick…”
How could she call me with such respect after I had just told her that in such a pleading tone?
When a man feels that the other party will listen to everything he says, there’s no way to stop him. I was no exception, but thinking about the three girls who were sleeping under this same roof allowed me to barely keep my sense of duty.
“We’re just going to sleep together, right? And you’ll just drain my energy, right?”
“Yes. I only need to touch you a little, but another step might be necessary…”
“…Are we really gonna do it? Just kidding. It’s not like I can’t…!”
The moment I tried to joke to regain some composure, she slid her fingers behind my neck.
“Did you just do that?”
She nodded and brought her fingers to her mouth.
“Mhhh… Sweet. But this will not be enough to sustain my body…”
“I see… we can’t help it. Take as much as you need.”
“Do not worry, we still have plenty of time before dawn.”
“B-Before dawn…? Isn’t that a bit too much?”
She didn’t reply, even though it was an important matter.
This time, her hands moved from my neck to my collarbone and started to unfasten more buttons.
“I knew it from the start, even if you hid it under your clothes… You have the most polished body among your comrades…”
“I’m just a drunkard, I neglect my health, and I even stopped training.”
Even if I enjoyed the pleasant feeling of being tipsy, I always eliminated the alcohol toxins, so I didn’t have a beer belly, but my daily work wasn’t enough to forge my body like this.
Usually, I cast Support Magic on myself so that my muscles could always be in good conditions, even when I was sitting idly at the counter. For someone like me who tended to find everything bothersome, taking the chance to learn Support Magic when I was still a child was a gift from heaven.
“…Do I have to strip naked?”
“The more our body touch, the less it will take…”
Since saying ‘For real?!’ might have been rude, I decided to say no more.
She bent over and climbed over me.
Even though she could pass through objects, I could clearly feel her touch… It was warm. Maybe it felt cold only when undead drained energy by force.
I could almost feel her heartbeat, and something soft, pretty much the size of a hand, pressed onto my chest. She almost looked human.
“So, wraith queens have tangible bodies… there’s a lot to know about you.”
“When I recharge my magic power, I can keep this form. I am sure you think the undead do not have warm bodies, but it is possible to tune our temperature like this… Master Dick, you are so warm…”
“Couldn’t you say that to Mylarka? She hates that cold feeling.”
“…What is your relationship with her? You should have deepened your bond as fellow party members but… you did not look very close.”
“I’ll get mad if you stick your nose where it doesn’t belong. And well, we’re just friends… w-why do you look so happy?”
“Eheh… that is a private matter, so I will keep it a secret.”
I wanted to help the young lady who didn’t wish to be summoned, the one who was bound to this mansion and was now covering me with her body, but I wondered how things turned that way.
While I rummaged my mind in search of an answer, I prayed for the distant dawn to break that endless night soon.