Chapter 28- Lava Mansion (Part 5)
Since he was young, Rin was not someone to feel scared that easily. Whether it was a horror movie or a stupid prank by his friends, he didn't feel anything at all. He didn't understand why but he found the thought that people could feel scared of a movie or of people they know is stupid.
That's why, when he was sent to this mansion, the feeling of his heart beating loudly and his breathing becoming erratic was new to him. The feeling of wanting to leave as soon as possible was foreign to him.
But, all of that was just thrown into the bin when he saw the creature in front of him. The only thing left in his mind was one single word.
The creature seemed to be a female… The reason why identified it as such was because of the face this creature had. It looked somehow human. However, the fact the head was twisted beyond recognition made it look like that of a demon rather than a human.
The more eye-catching part of its body was the neck which looked like a squeezed lemon. It was as if someone grabbed the head and started turning it around while keeping the neck fixed making it twist around and get squeezed harder and harder.
He could only imagine the pain of something like that happening to him. The woman's body was terrifyingly thin, covered in flames and lava from head to toe. The flames kept eating her flesh away but somehow couldn't reach her bones.
"H-Honey…." The creature spoke again.
'I'm not your honey!' He almost blurted out.
[When is the marriage, host?]
'Please, just shut up!!'
The fact that this scary encounter turned into a funny one because of the system made Rin confused. He didn't if he had to laugh or cry because of it.
"Honey… why are you not speaking?" The woman asked.
'Ugh! Fuck it!! I will try to play along for now!'
"What is it… d-darling?"
'Goddddammmmitt! This is so cringy to say!'
[I applaud your acting, host.]
"Ah! So it was you after all." The woman's twisted face contorted to form some kind of smile.
Looking at her even more closely, Rin could finally notice something crucial. The place where her eyes should be wasn't there. There were no eye sockets at all in fact. It looked more like the skin was melted and then it closed the place where her eyes were.
'She's…blind?' He thought with a surprised look.
While he was like that, the woman approached him and said in her spine-chilling voice.
"I was looking for you! Come here, let's drink some tea. I know you love to drink it every evening with me."
"A-Ah… he was then grabbed by his arm and was made to sit on whatever was left of the couch after the lava seeped into the room.
The woman then sat in front of him. In her hand was a plate with two broken cups on it. Rin didn't know where she even got those cups from but he couldn't ask.
"Here, I made it with your favorite tea leaves. Enjoy!"
Looking a the cup, Rin could see that it was empty. But, for the sake of the act, he picked up the cup and made a gesture of sipping.
"Mmm, t-this is delicious!"
"Really! Thank god! I wanted you to enjoy the tea, honey. Sigh, I really do miss these times when we just next to each other and drink tea while enjoying each other's presence. Don't you miss it too, honey?"
"It feels as if it had been forever since we did this. We can't lose the spark of our love, can we? We can't let time destroy our bond." The woman's voice changed slightly from happiness to sadness and regret for a split second.
"So, honey. How was work today?"
"... Not bad…"
"You looked stressed in the last few days so I wanted to help you relax a little. Since the time you sent that letter to Nile, you didn't look normal at all."
lightsnοvεl'Wait, letter? Don't tell me…'
"I knew how hard it was for you to contact him after all these years. But, I know for a fact that you made the right choice. I don't want you to regret it."
'So it was indeed the case… She's talking about the letter that the man sent to his brother. That means this woman is his wife… 'Lina' was it?'
"We were inseparable our whole lives yet a misunderstanding ruined our friendship," Lina muttered as she looked to the side.
Rin understood that she was trying to gaze at the window that didn't exist in the first place. Besides, she was blind with no eyes so she should not be able to see anything at all.
Then, as if she had enough of the nostalgia, she looked back at Rin and smiled.
"I shouldn't burden your mind with the past. The only important thing is that we have each other. We can face the whole world if we stay together."
"A-Ah… Thank you, Lina."
"Don't worry about it, honey. Know that I love you with all my heart. I will never leave your side."
'This would've moved my heart if the person who said it was a human. SIgh, but somehow, I feel like there is something behind all of this mess that I can't quite grasp. It feels as if there is a whole story behind this woman, her husband, and the brother.'
While his mind was wandering somewhere else, something weird caught his attention. The woman that was clearly sitting in front of him started turning more and more invisible. Her body started vanishing out of nowhere with no plausible explanation.
In a few seconds, she vanished and Rin was left alone in the room again.
*Clack* *Clack* *Clack*
The same sound he heard before the lava started appearing inside the room echoed in his head. Rin wanted to stay there and see where the woman went but since his life was in danger now, he ran quickly to the door and opened it.
The lava had already started approaching him so he left and closed the door shut.
'What the hell is this chaotic mess?! I don't get what the fuck is going on!'
First the letter, then the Lava, and the woman who he recognized as the wife of the owner of this house.
'Is this even a dungeon?!!!' He scratched his head in frustration.
[There are still other rooms we can discover, host. Maybe that will clear things up.]
Nodding his head, Rin started walking toward the next room on the second floor of the mansion.
The next room he stumbled upon was…. the library.
'Oh great! This room will definitely not be something straight out of hell.'
He hesitated whether he should really enter this room or not. The lava and that woman were his biggest problem. He could somehow deal with the lava, but the woman was a different matter. She could discover his identity at any second and he frankly didn't want to fight her for one simple reason. She was way stronger than him.
If he faced her head-on, the chances that he will beat her were very slim.
[You have no other choice, host.]
'I know! Just let me prepare myself.'
After taking a couple of deep breaths, Rin slowly opened the door and made his way inside. Much to his surprise, this library was massive to the point where he could hardly believe it was merely one of the rooms inside the mansion.
'It's bigger than the main library in the city back in my old world. Damn!'
Rows and Rows of shelves filled the room and obstructed many angles of view. Rin didn't feel comfortable seeing that he was about to look around this clearly not-friendly room.
[Knowledge is a weapon so if a monster appears, I suggest you use a book to protect yourself, host.]
'When I meet Lili again, I will make sure she turns you into a human form so that I can beat the living hell out of you.'
The system didn't speak after that as it felt how honest and raw Rin's emotions were. He was pulsing with a desire to beat the fuck out of the system. But, even with that, he didn't really hate this annoying companion of his. Without the system, this place would've been ten times scarier but because he keeps distracting him with silly jokes and sarcastic remarks.
(A//N: Taking this arc slightly slow to flesh out the story of the dungeon. Do tell me if the pacing or the speed is not to your liking. I will do my best to fix any mistakes or plot holes in case there are any.)
Thanks for reading. Any support you give me is always appreciated no matter how small it is. Let's all keep it up :)