I walked for awhile and found a path through the woods. It wasn’t a paved path, only gravel, and it had a gentle slope to it, but regardless, with how noisy every step was, I’m sure the boy could tell when I’m approaching. It’s too exhausting to leave this path and go through the woods, where the footing is unsteady, and there’s still the slope, so I just continued on the gravel road.
Who cares about that boy anyway? There should be other people here too, and I’m sure asking them for help would prove more fruitful than that uncaring kid.
After walking for a while, I got out of the woods and found myself on level ground where I could see something that resembled a building in the distance.
“Yeah, that’s a building alright,” I wiped the sweat off my forehead. “I should be able find to someone there.”
My heart raced as I approached the building, and when I could finally see it clearly, I let out a voice of admiration.
It was a massive three-story western-style mansion, and I was looking up at it from a well-maintained garden with a fountain. Strangely enough, there wasn’t any fence, so I just stepped into the property without thinking. I wonder if the residents would get mad if they saw me.
…Oh, but in the first place, I’m looking for someone I could ask help from. If a resident does happen to spot me, that should be exactly what I want.
Looks like the mansion overwhelmed me there for a moment. I actually forgot that I’d just survived a shipwreck. That’s just how beautiful and captivating the mansion is. It was such an exotic sight that it almost felt as though I’d washed up into a foreign country.
Anyhow, I decided to look around the mansion again. The contrast between the white exterior walls, built with straight lines, and the indigo roof was exquisite. The roof of the entrance protruded upwards like in a church’s steeple, engendering a dignified and serene atmosphere. Windows were abundant throughout the mansion, and bay windows could be seen on the slanted roof. Yet despite all the windows, it never felt like there was anyone looking at me. To the side was a veranda, and thick pillars connected the ceiling and the floor. But there was no one there either.
“Excuse me!” So I tried yelling. “Is anyone home!?”
But no response came.
I walked up to the entrance of the mansion and knocked on the door, but the door showed no signs of opening. I tried knocking again, and as expected, the door did not open.
“Guess no one’s home?”
Nervously, I reached out for the door knob and tried opening the door myself, and surprisingly, it easily turned. It was such an unexpected result that I stopped midway through.
“No one’s home, but the door is unlocked?”
I peeked through the gap between the door to check and failed to see anyone.
“Excuse me, is anyone home?”
But no one responded.
After some hesitation, I decided to enter the mansion. This would count as trespassing, but I’m a castaway, so it can’t be helped, or at least that’s how I convinced myself.
Inside the mansion were sofas and tables, much like the lounge of a hotel. But the lights were off, and the place was dimly lit at best, causing the light pouring in through the windows to be particularly bright.
“No lights. I guess they really must be out then.”
There was no one around, and I couldn’t hear any sound of people even when I strained my ears.
“Sorry to intrude, but is anyone home!?” I called out loudly. “I’m no one suspicious, I just want to get some help!”
It was dead quiet, and my voice echoed in vain. Not a sound of the response I was hoping for came.
Clicking my tongue, I proceeded deeper into the mansion. In the next room were several billiard tables and dart machines. It was probably a recreation room and was tastefully designed to fit the atmosphere of a billiards place or a darts bar.
“Hello! There’s a castaway here!”
What a surprise. No one answered. Not that I was expecting a response in the first place. As I sighed in resignation, I started looking for any signs of life in the first floor. There were rooms too other than the lounge and the recreation room, some large, some small, including a Japanese-styled room, but there were no beddings in any of them. Apparently, there were no private rooms or guest rooms on the first floor.
Before long, I found myself in a spacious dining room and made my way for the kitchen at the back. There were a lot less windows here compared to the others and was quite dark.
Standing by the door, I squinted my eyes in search of a light. I found a switch and flicked it, but nothing happened. I tried the other switches too but the result was the same.
“Light’s don’t work?” I tilted my head. “Or there’s no electricity?”
Confused, I approached the sink and turned the faucet on. Water came out. Well, at least the water works.
“Finally, some water.”
I washed my face and drank some water, and at last, I could quench my parched throat. It felt so good for my sea-beaten body.
After finally getting some much needed refreshments, I proceeded to the second floor of the mansion, where I found a private room with a bed. There was a package there that seemed to belong to the occupant of the room, proving that someone had indeed been here.
“The question is… Where did they go?”
I went around to some of the other private rooms, and every one of them also had belongings, but not a soul in sight. There were traces of people having been here, but those people were nowhere to be found. It was almost as if they’d vanished into thin air.
“They all just poofed into thin air?”
Anyhow, I’m going to feel like a thief if I keep searching these private rooms, so I’m going to stop. I’m looking for people so I can get help, you know, not to ransack the place.
I walked around while excusing myself, and eventually, stumbled into a room bigger than the private rooms, and as expected, there was no one there either, so I went ahead to the third floor and opened the first door I saw.
It turned out to be a private room, and there was a bed inside on which lay a young woman.
“Excuse me,” I called out to her, but there was no response.
I hesitated at first, but in the end, I decided to enter the room. I approached the bed and called out again, but the woman remained unresponsive. I shook her by the shoulders next but still to no avail. It was then that I noticed that the woman’s body was unusually cold. Finding that odd, I held my hand up over her face.
“She’s not breathing… Don’t tell me!”
Immediately, I reached out for her wrist, and true enough, there was no pulse.
“…No way! She’s dead!”
A wave of panic swept over me, and I ran out of the room in a half-crazed state, screaming as I ran down the halls.
“Help! A person died!”
But as I reached the end of the hallway, I suddenly stopped in my tracks.
Because a man drenched in blood was lying right there in front of me.