Question Rose and Melancholy Rose Devourer - Chapter 4
Translator: MadHatter Editor: MadHatter
“If you are boarding this train, then your destination is the royal city, Alba, right? For sightseeing?”
“It is for relocation. My master passed away last March… and as I mentioned earlier, I’m going to be staying with one of my master’s old friends, Beatrice.”
“That’s a lot of work at this halfway point in the year.”
“Actually, the plan was to wait until the weather warmed up, but the snow… was far worse than I had anticipated, leading my house to be… half-destroyed…”
“After Beatrice found that out, she advised me to move in immediately away…”
“I think that would be a sensible decision for you as well.”
While neither of them would introduce themselves, they enjoyed conversing with each other.
The other party in crimson was a craftsman living in Alba. Since it had been a long time for him to have such a conversation with someone, the topic of conversation spontaneously flowed from Seth’s mouth.
As Seth had been living alone with the person he regarded as his mentor deep in the mountains, he rarely had the chance to get involved with anyone. His master was fond of traveling, which inevitably led Seth to accompany them ― Then, as a backlash, Seth became a hermit and secluded himself in the mountain for a few years, leaving him with no option but to stay deep in the mountain.
Even though his days with his self-serving master, who had poor walking habits, were not without complaints, that did not entice him to leave his master. On the contrary, the days with his master were very cherished by Seth.
“Thank you. It was a joy to speak with you, and I am a lot more relaxed now.”
“It’s the same for me… I can’t believe that you would forgive me just by speaking with you…”
“Everyone makes mistakes. If you say that, I was the one who was disrespectful.”
“That was self-defense… It would be perilous if I really were a thief… It is wiser to be vigilant.”
As Seth replied emphatically, the other party smiled, covering his mouth with a feminine gesture.
He was mysterious, and Seth’s gaze was drawn to the gallant crimson.
He had always assumed that first-class passengers often wore a proud demeanor due to their status. In fact, the passengers so far had deliberately averted their eyes, frowned, or whispered in hushed tones to one another when they had Seth in their sights. Even some complained to the crew, but fortunately, the crew was kind enough to treat all passengers equally, regardless of their looks or family backgrounds.
Those passengers who took for granted themselves to be in the deluxe of a first-class compartment were, in Seth’s opinion, from a world that was incompatible with his own. As Seth himself had no inclination to become intimately engaged with others, this attitude of them did not bother him, as it was expedient in a sense.
Therefore, he perceived this moment of interacting with the other party to be very mysterious.
This type of encounter might be one of the best appealing aspects of traveling. While Seth knew that it was only a social encounter on the train and they would separate afterward, he felt a little happy and joyful.
At that instant, the train’s structure vibrated furiously with a metallic sound that could have been mistaken for a high-pitched scream.
Seth, like his seatmate opposite him, strained his body against the terrific turbulence before realizing the train had braked.
The other party took a quizzical glance around, balancing himself on the table with his hands on the table. His azure eyes were nonchalantly yet swiftly ascertaining the safety of his luggage.
The train has ceased altogether.
Instead of the sound of the train in motion, the murmur of people began to dominate the place.
“Did an accident happen…?” Seth swiftly caught an alba glass candy bowl that was ready to fall and placed it back on the table, remarked. “Are you alright? Can you get it out…?”
“The contents in your body… can you get it out?”
Seth turned his hands over in front of his chest.
“Weren’t you so inebriated earlier that you ran out of the passenger cabin without locking the door…?”
Seth asked Crimson as he recalled the information he had obtained during their chat.
The train sickness rendered the other party to lose his discretion in locking the passenger cabin despite the presence of his valuable luggage. It made him feel so ill that he simply went straight to the washroom. Seth watched the other person to ensure that his stomach wouldn’t be upset again and blurt out the contents that were inside his stomach.
“Do you want me to look after your luggage? You can go to the washroom…?”
“Thanks for your concern. I’m fine. Well, I can’t say that I feel really good, but my stomach was emptied earlier, so that makes things a little easier.”
The other party flashed back a smile at Seth.
It was true that compared to the first time they met ― when he came back to the passenger room from the washroom, his complexion was much better.
“Are you sure you don’t want to go check on your luggage?”
“…I think mine is fine…”
Seth’s luggage was simple. It consisted of a long winter cloak that had become wrinkled and dirty from their long journey together and a worn leather bag. He had a cane as well, but it was too short for him. That was all. Even the luggage rack in the cabin was not used, and he put it on a chair.
Seth lifted his hips, imagining that it had tumbled to the floor.
“Your cabin is right next to mine, right?”
With a nod to Crimson, Seth stepped to the door of the passenger room. As he stood in front of the door, the murmur on the other side of the door was more audible.
“I’m going to go take a look just in case…”
Seth told the person following behind him briefly and opened the door.
“It has been a long trip alone… so it was nice to talk to someone for the first time in a while…”
“Me too. I’m sober now and will be able to get a good night’s sleep with it. Thank you. May the radiant colors show you guidance.”
“May grace be upon you from the noble twilight.”
Seth also offered a passage from the sacred book, which he had heard more often since boarding the train to Alba, and enunciated the words he had inherited from his master.
Seth then headed for his room, which was right next door. After double-checking the door plate to make sure it was the right one this time, he reached for the door knob.
“You forgot something.”
Seth’s consciousness was once more affected by the voice and sweet aroma.
“Isn’t the white rose priceless to you?” It’ll be a hassle if you forgot to take it.”
As Crimson opened the door and walked out into the corridor, he held a desolate bouquet of flowers in his hand, practically all of the roses had gone.
Seth alternated his gaze between his dominant hand grasping the knob and at Crimson. After a verbal reality check, “I don’t have my bouquet…” he returned to Crimson with swift steps.
“Sorry for the inconvenience…”
“It was a gift, wasn’t it? I’m glad you noticed.”
Seth then remembered that he had been caught in the midst of eating this rose after receiving it from the other party. This would normally be an eccentric behavior, but Seth kept his lips quiet when the other party did not ask him about it. Seth was glad that he was not confronted with the question. He must refrain from saying unnecessary things again.
He bowed politely to the other party.
Seth’s ears were flooded with screams a split second later.
“What is it this time?”
Crimson came to a halt, a mixture of alarm and bewilderment on his face. Seth also vigorously raised his body.
The buzz was reverberating from the second-class compartment. The yells and inflections of people’s voices were enough to convey a sense of the chaotic state of shock and stress, even though it was difficult to clearly distinguish the words people were uttering.
Perhaps out of curiosity, the other passengers who had been relaxing in the first-class compartment opened the door to observe what was going on outside. The well-dressed ones all asked in unison, “What’s going on?”
The wave of noise grew louder and louder until ― “…It’s coming.”
Seth’s eyes narrowed a second later.
The gangway connection of the first-class compartment, which had been the sole focus of the people’s attention, flew open.
Screams could be heard from the train’s interior.
In the midst of the screams, someone exclaimed.
―It’s a wolf!
The curiosity of the people shifted to astonishment and fear, and all at once, they retreated to the passenger cabin, which can be locked from the inside.
The wolf, which had leaped into the first-class compartment after bursting through the gangway connection, was covered with a tablecloth, as though it had been running amok in the other compartments. Someone must have been harmed by the wolf. There was a bloodstain on the fabric as well.
“Go into your room…!”
Crimson was frozen in place, so Seth shoved him into the passenger cabin and dashed forward. Almost as soon as the wobbly Crimson’s tall body entered the guest room, Seth was knocked to the floor.
Crimson’s urgent voice sounded.
The beast rushed along the corridor, thrashing its head, its eyesight obscured by the cloth.
It collided with Seth while breaking the installed objects. Having rushed on all fours, the beast laid on him and slammed him to the floor. His back, as well as his chest, became excruciatingly agonizing and Seth struggled for breathing momentarily.
The impact caused Seth to clench his teeth.
An intense, savory aroma, rather than an animal scent, lingered in Seth’s nostrils.
Seth gasped as he peered directly down at the full extent of what was hidden by the cloth.
His mouth quivered midway through as he was stunned and speechless.
In what way could “this” resemble a wolf?
The thing that had just lunged at Seth,
And what was wrapped in the cloth was,
“Can… nibal… Bouquet…!”
It was a reddish-black, distorted being whose head was reminiscent of a bouquet of roses.
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