a stormy beach
Seagulls, which used to cause small waves at each flap, disappeared.
The experienced sailors saw the shape of the clouds and kicked the ship up to the harbor with their tongues.
Avon, who was writing a story using the white sand as a manuscript, also stared at the sky with an anxious expression.
"What a lovely day today!"
"There's going to be a storm.”
Unlike Elizabeth, who was so upset that she couldn't go out of the mansion because the place where the sky and the sea met was so dazzling, Leonhardt said in a simple way, turning over the dampened paper after eating moisture.
"Storms are the calmest before they come.”
Elizabeth tilted her head, saying, "That can't be the case."
The empress had a hard time smelling anything from the sea.
The maidens checked and checked the foods on her table, and cooked ingredients that were not possible seafood.
"I came home for the first time in a while… You know how delicious it is to sprinkle lemon juice over freshly picked oysters, right?”
"I know, but the condition of the empress shows that I'm worried if I can eat it even if I bring grilled abalone butter, not oysters."
"Phew... can you come again before you die?”
"What an ominous thing to say. Let's come back next year and the year after next. Just in case, the quality of seafood will improve in the meantime."
"…you have to be full of prey to gain weight, like shrimp, shellfish and chubby….”
The emperor realized his slip of the tongue a beat later and looked awkward.
"By the way, it looks like a storm is coming."
"If you look at the shape of the cloud, you can tell. I hope there won't be much damage....”
"Huh... I heard that tomorrow is a theatrical festival....”
Lying on the bed, patting her hand by the Empress looking out of the window, the Emperor looked worried.
A small raindrop fell over the vast sea.
The raindrops, which melted away in seawater without leaving a round line, quickly turned into needle-like sharp and dense downpours.
"I did, didn't I?"
"How did you know?”
"I can tell by the shape of the clouds. And all the seagulls are gone, right?”
"It's raining, you'd better close the curtains just in case.”
"To the curtain?"
Leonhardt closed the glass terrace door and meticulously lined the curtains.
At first glance, the sea was raging.
A poster announcing the theatrical festival was caught by the collar in the rough wind and flew through the air.
"If I'm unlucky, I might say good morning to the fish on the terrace tomorrow....”
If you were really unlucky, it would be difficult to return to the Imperial Palace, let alone the theatrical festival.
The news of the postponement of the festival reached Elizabeth and Leonhardt's ears before afternoon tea time.
People said it was an unprecedented storm, and Mananan, the god of the sea, seemed to welcome the Emperor in his own way.
It seems to be pouring water from the top of the roof, Elizabeth thought, looking at the rain knocking on the thick window.
"Come to think of it, if it's a rainy beach house like this… I have a story that comes to mind....”
Leonhardt shook the teacup with a teaspoon and raised his eyes only.
"…you want to hear it?”
Rumbling, thunder and lightning flashed behind his back.
Elizabeth shrugged her shoulders and nodded.
A corner of my heart began to pound.
The story told by Leonhardt was a secret story hidden in a mansion.
"Once upon a time... there was a big mansion on a cliff along the coast that was prone to stranded ships....”A large mansion located on a cliff along the coast that is prone to stranded ships due to many reefs.
The lights in the mansion never went out to serve as a lighthouse.
The owner of the mansion, who ran outside for rescue before anyone else when the ship ran aground due to the storm, was a well-mannered man who deserved to be praised, but the inside of the mansion was strangely gloomy and bleak.
"And a lady came to that mansion. As the hostess of the mansion."
Elizabeth was completely focused on Leonhardt's story, wrapped tightly in a blanket.
"But the owners of the mansion acted as if she were invisible. As the hostess of the mansion, she should be loyal and serving... They were cold as if they were dealing with dolls and trying to ignore her existence. In particular, the maid stops walking and opens her eyes just by looking at her passing through the hallway, and only after she feels uncomfortable and coughs in vain, she greets her belatedly.”
"Why…why? She didn't do anything wrong.”
Leonhardt mimicked a maid in the story, opening her eyelids up and down.
"But the truth is, the owners and users of the mansion and the kind house had a very scary secret!"
As Leonhardt raised his body with his arms wide open, Elizabeth was surprised and pulled the blanket over her eyes.
"What the hell is that secret…?”
Elizabeth quivered and courageously asked, with her blue eyes barely sticking out of the blanket.
Leonhardt leaned slowly toward Elizabeth, carrying a sky full of dark clouds and a steady stream of thunder and lightning as if he had spilled black ink.
And whispered in her ear in a very low and small voice.
When Leonhardt tried to tell the secret of the mansion in a playful voice, the door burst open.
Elizabeth, who was holding Leonhardt's arm tightly and squeezing his liver, was completely confused by the wind and hung on Leonhardt's neck.
The empress, who was just trying to surprise her a little, but was given the grudging stare of Leonhardt, who was threatened with life in return, alternately blushed at the two children on the bed.
"…are you interrupting a good time?”
"Oh, my God, are you feeling well?"
Leonhardt turned the subject, opening the pile of blankets more thoroughly over Elizabeth's face.
The Empress nodded her head. There were still symptoms of nausea, but her theory was that the body should move at times like this.
"What were you having so much fun talking about?”
"Your Highness told me about a mansion full of secrets.”
"Huh? Is that story... That's good to know! I brought something fun because I was afraid I'd be bored by the storm."
At the hand of the empress, Elizabeth and Leonhardt came out of bed and sat at the table.
"There are quite a few secrets left in this mansion. Things that my brothers and I secretly hid from our servants and servants as children. Before I went to the imperial family, I found some and organized them. I couldn't find the last one... Can you find it for me if you don't mind?”
"Do you have any leads?
"This whole mansion is a clue. Come to think of it, I hid it when I was growing up just like Elizabeth, so I might be able to find it soon!"The empress clapped her hands and rejoiced.
Elisabeth, who had escaped from the quilt, was concentrating on the empress' words with an exciting look on her face.
Leonhardt smiled inwardly, looking up at the empress, half a hand taller than a man.
Elisabeth and Leonhardt began exploring all over the mansion with only one lamp.
As the empress said, there were traces of this and that in places like Elizabeth that were difficult to find unless they were still low-level people.
"Look, Leon. I thought it was a wallpaper, but I drew a torn wallpaper in the shape of a wallpaper!"
"Mama's painting skills must have been great since then."
At first glance, it was a sophisticated wallpaper pattern that could not be recognized as a painting, but when I looked closely, the color was exceptionally different there.
Leonhardt, admiring Elizabeth's powers of observation, headed to the next room.
"Is it a man's room?"
"That's what it looks like. Navy... if you were alive, it would be like your uncle's room to me.”
"You don't have any relatives around Leon, do you?”
"Well, come to think of it, yes. I think there will be aristocrats here and there because it's the imperial family, but I don't think I remember meeting any relatives.”
"Then Leon too, I'm alone after my parents die."
"Why do you say that all of a sudden…?”
Elizabeth looked out of the window with a disturbed look at her recent dream.
It was a total darkness outside the window.
Leonhardt found Elizabeth trying to open the window and hurriedly blocked her.
"…it's easy to fall for the sea on a day like this. Be careful."
"Into the sea...wow…?”
"The sea is the eternal tomb of the sailors.”
"Moo, don't say scary things! Argh!"
Elizabeth quickly stepped away from the window when she heard the word grave. At the same time, the light flashed with a loud sound enough for the darkness to recede for a moment.
"Lizzy, Lizzy? Are you okay?"
Elizabeth was closing her eyes tightly and covering her ears.
Leonhardt, who was at a loss for help, raised his hand and overlapped his hand on the back of Elizabeth's.
"Can't you hear me anymore?"
Oh, I covered my ears more, so of course I can't hear you.
Leonhardt only waited for Elizabeth to open her eyes.
Fortunately, Elizabeth quickly noticed who she was sitting on and quickly stepped down.
"What shall we do, keep looking?"
"If you're scared, you don't mind quitting."
"Oh, I'm not scared!"
Elizabeth nodded her head. I didn't want to give up here.
Again this time Leonhardt respected her will.
Contrary to her saying that she was not scared, Elizabeth moved to the next room with trembling steps, holding Leonhardt's hand tightly.
"Yoo, it's a ghost!"
"Lizzy, don't strangle me!"
As soon as I opened the door, something fell from the ceiling.
Elizabeth clung to Leonhardt's tie again.
Leonhardt, who saw a lantern that fell to the floor, stepped back three steps without realizing it.
"I've read a story about a corpse coming back from the sea! I'm sure it is!"
"Lizzy, calm down. Calm down. The owner of this room is... That's not a very good hobby."
Leonhardt reached out and tapped the door.
"There was a skeleton... a skeleton..., the skeleton..."
Elizabeth was almost mumbling out of her mind.
"Yes, it's a skeleton. Although it's roughly drawn with paint on top of a doll made of black cloth. Maybe he was going to surprise anyone who came into this room to clean up.""…Doll?"
Leonhardt nodded and lifted the lantern over the black doll that fell at Elizabeth's feet.
Elizabeth approached it slowly, quivering, wondering if the skeleton was rattling on its own.
The doll I saw under the lamp was covered with dust.
"What a doll….”
Elizabeth said, casually hiding behind Leonhardt's back, fiddling with a doll with a skull painting.
"Rizzie, are you sure you're okay?”
Elizabeth only nodded behind Leonhardt's back.
Leonhardt's back, as it once stood behind his back, was wide and secure in her protection.