There, in a dark corridor where a single, ominous green candlelight flickered.
A man, whose whole body was covered in blood and sweat, coughed severely, his breaths heaving.
The man’s hand trembled as he grabbed his sword.
He was at his limit now.
[ Oh my.
I thought you wouldn’t be able to pass this floor, but you did, hm? ]
Charlotte regrettably murmured under her breath as she watched the blood-soaked Dietrich struggle.
She wished for him to die.
Charlotte descended the stairs, tucking a lock of her splendid golden hair behind one ear.
Her black skirt fluttered up ever so slightly, revealing a glimpse of the woman’s bare feet.
For an unknown reason, the blood on the floor followed the woman’s footsteps.
[ But it doesn’t seem like you’re going to last long now.
What are we to do about this? ]
[ …… ]
[ Alright, I know.
To acknowledge how difficult it has been for you, shall I bestow upon you a special act of ‘grace’? ]
The single utterance of such a word compelled Dietrich’s expression to distort horribly.
As if what he heard just now was a truly horrific word.
It was natural for him to react this way.
Charlotte never wished to see Dietrich unharmed.
That’s why, if Dietrich were to leave a room safe and sound, she never failed to put him on the spot right away.
Among all the hardships she had thrown at him, what Dietrich found especially difficult was the loss of his vision.
Because of that, he had to struggle each and every time he entered a room, relying only on his remaining senses.
[ I thought a little about what could best help you.
[ …… ]
[ I know.
Should I return your sight? ]
Dietrich’s unseeing eyes went wide for a moment, not at all expecting Charlotte’s words.
But he knew all too well that it would be foolish to trust her.
With the kind of personality that Charlotte had, there’s always a catch.
[ Of course, it’s not going to be free.
Everything has a price, right? ]
His initial thoughts proved to be correct.
[ As a special offer, I will let you choose this time.
Pick one option.
One, you will give up an arm or a leg to get your eyesight back.
Or two, you will continue living like this for the rest of your life.
Which is it?! ]
After saying such a thing, Charlotte cackled.
She was looking forward to Dietrich’s choice.
Any choice would be interesting enough for her.
Charlotte’s red eyes glistened unnervingly.
* * *
‘It’s a dismal, bleak game where no hopes and dreams remain, honestly.’
And the title of this game was 〈 Lindbergh’s Mansion 〉.
Some time ago, there was a big sale at a holiday event, and I got so excited that I went on a wild shopping spree.
Among the things I bought, 〈 Lindbergh’s Mansion 〉 was one of my many impulse buys.
Did I really buy a game like this? I bought it without thinking it through, but I could only guess that I chose it by mistake.
I tried to return it and get a refund right away, but when I saw the cover and how spooky its vibe was, I ended up getting tempted to play it.
However, it wasn’t long after that I quit entirely.
The game’s difficulty was set to hardcore, and all I got from playing the thing was stress.
…But if I knew I’d end up like this, I wouldn’t have quit.
“I apologize for opening the front door without knocking first.
I came here to avoid the rain, and I didn’t realize that it was an inhabited mansion.”
Seeing the man standing right in front of me, I felt an incredulous smirk tugging on the corners of my lips.
The man was still standing outside the front door, unable to enter the mansion.
He was utterly drenched from being at the rain’s mercy for a long time.
Pitch black hair that was as dark as an abyss, and purple eyes that glimmered brightly even deep into the night.
His alabaster complexion accentuated his distinct features, and it’s undeniable that he was a beautiful man.
As if in a trance, I just gawked at him for a moment before I spoke unknowingly.
“…You know who I am?”
I didn’t get it wrong.
‘It’s really happening, huh.’
I knew exactly who this man was.
Because he was the protagonist of the game that gave me nothing but stress.
Once upon a time, I fell into the game called, 〈 Lindbergh’s Mansion 〉.
I lived in peace without even feeling the flow of time…
Then, I heard the crackle of a lightning strike, and the creaking of an old, dilapidated door.
Surprised, I immediately went out to the foyer, and there I saw the game’s protagonist.
‘This is driving me nuts.’
“…Pardon me, but how do you know who I am? I have not told you my name, Your Ladyship.”
I know you because you’re the protagonist.
While mulling over what I could answer him with, I suddenly felt myself freezing up.
Right after, my tongue hardened, and my eyes increasingly felt hot.
And soon, my mouth moved on its own against my will.
“Please, do come in.”
“Welcome to Lindbergh’s Mansion, dear guest.”
What the heck?
What I said just now were the opening lines of the game—the ones that were said during the prologue.
Perhaps because the game had started, but I couldn’t move however I wanted anymore.
It seemed like the only things I could say were the lines of the game.
“Milord is a merciful man.
That said, he actually dislikes it very much if he could not have any guests.”
“I’m sure that he wishes very much to welcome you in now, dear guest.
Come inside, if you please?”
My body was moving on its own.
As he was standing in front of the door, hovering only at the entrance and unable to take a step inside, I offered a hand towards Dietrich.
〈 Lindbergh’s Mansion 〉 would begin as soon as Dietrich enters the mansion.
In other words, now was his chance to back out.
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