◈ Episode 261 Greed Meeting (2)
Casey Selmore looked around the ballroom.
A spacious hall filled with beautiful light like the stars in the night sky.
The sparkling lights from the dazzling chandelier scattered brilliantly, and sweet music drifted inside.
A lot of people were gathered, laughing and talking to each other.
Their colorful costumes clearly showed that they occupied a high position in society.
‘It’s so chaotic outside right now, but I can’t believe we’re drinking and laughing in a place like this.’
Casey, who was watching the scene from a corner of the banquet hall, grumbled inwardly as if she didn’t like it.
Outside, the atmosphere was disturbed by the crimes of James Moriarty.
Citizens protested with pickets one after another, and the police suppressed him with violence.
Every day, the newspapers ran only negative articles about James Moriarty.
Still, the people here are acting as if they have nothing to do with it.
As if the world they live in is different.
Casey suddenly had an idea.
‘Maybe among those people, there are people who are related to this incident mixed in?’
Wasn’t there a case where a high-ranking officer of the National Police Agency was dragged out right away?
I wasn’t sure if it wasn’t even here.
“Oh, Detective Casey Selmore. Nice to meet you. My name is Baron Gareth… … .”
“Sorry, but I want to be alone.”
What I didn’t like most of all was the people who came close to her and tried to make friends somehow.
In particular, the eyes of the young male aristocrats were burdensome, but all of them were fascinated by her appearance and reputation.
Amidst the discomfort, Casey felt annoyed.
‘At least that man didn’t do this.’
Casey, recalling the jokes exchanged in James Moriarty’s office, realized belatedly what she was thinking and clenched her fists.
‘Calm down, Casey Selmore. what are you going to do now That man is the criminal of the century. It’s an opponent I must capture.’
And that criminal might have sneaked into this banquet hall now.
Because his next target was here.
Just then, one side of the banquet hall became noisy.
Casey Selmore instinctively thought that something had come.
A gorgeously dressed young handsome man was coming down the stairs from the balcony on the second floor.
“everyone. Nice to meet you. My name is Ludwig Vencanto, the organizer of today’s banquet.”
Duke Ludwig Vencanto.
Having inherited the title of duke at a young age, he was one of the most famous people in the Delica Kingdom.
When he appeared, all the eyes of the people gathered in the banquet hall turned to him.
“everyone. Sadly, unfortunate things have happened in Delica Kingdom recently. The crime rate soared and the royal family lost trust.”
Ludwig raised the glass in his hand.
“But our Delica kingdom will never collapse in this ordeal! Because as steel gets stronger the more you strike it, so will we. everyone. We never give in to evil.”
Exclamation flowed from all over the banquet hall.
“I would like to express my gratitude once again to those who are here today to remember the sacrifices and to forget this sorrow, and I hope that you will enjoy the banquet I have prepared.”
The nobles clapped their hands at the words.
Only Casey glared at Ludwig with a sullen expression.
‘What is it that they drink and chat about to honor the dead?’
It would be better if they went to the tombstone as a group and bowed.
In the end, this place was only superficially a place to honor the dead, but in reality it was just a place to promote mutual friendship.
Of course, Casey’s gaze toward Ludwig, who was hosting this event, was not good.
Nevertheless, the reason Casey came to this place was to meet Ludwig.
Because he was targeting Ludwig Vencanto.
‘I haven’t seen James Moriarty yet.’
Of course, unless James Moriarty is an idiot, he wouldn’t be openly mixed in with people.
In the first place, that man had a strong presence wherever he went, so he wasn’t the kind of person who could hide just because he was hiding.
‘Even so, it’s clear that he’s looking for an opportunity somewhere.’
First of all, it seemed necessary to meet and talk with Ludwig.
“Would you like a drink?”
Casey walked over to Ludwig, ignoring the waiter’s words of champagne on a silver platter.
While conversing with the guests, Ludwig saw Casey approaching him and begged for their understanding.
“Have a seat.”
The quick-witted nobles immediately backed away when they heard that.
When the people in the way disappeared, Ludwig greeted Casey with a refreshing smile.
“Nice to meet you. Lady Selmore.”
“Call me Detective Casey. I’m not here as the daughter of the Selmore family. Duke Ludwig Vencanto.”
“I’m so sorry. I was unknowingly rude. Would you please give me a chance to rectify this mistake?”
Casey looked around instead of answering.
Even though they were far apart, there were too many people’s eyes on them.
“It’s a bit difficult to share here. Let’s talk separately in a quiet place.”
“Lady, if you wish, I will.”
Ludwig readily agreed.
Casey, who got out of the banquet hall and arrived at the drawing room, brought up the main topic.
“Your life is in danger.”
Hearing those words, Ludwig narrowed his eyes.
“Lady Selmore. If I’m not hearing something wrong, I’m dangerous… … .”
“You heard it right. I said your life is in danger.”
“Then it’s even weirder. my life is in danger Who the hell is that?”
“Professor James Moriarty. He’s after you.”
Ludwig smiled like he was having fun.
“It’s amazing. I’ve never seen James Moriarty, but he’s trying to kill me. Isn’t there a reason for that?”
“If you put it that way, it would mean that the generals who died had a close relationship with him.”
“Is there any reason you are so sure?”
Ludwig did not understand.
Why James Moriarty is targeting him, and how Casey Selmore knows and warns him.
“I just knew his next target based on his criminal behavior.”
“You mean that was me.”
“Duke Ludwig. It may fool other people’s eyes, but not mine. You had your own kinship with the dead generals.”
At Casey’s point, Ludwig shrugged as if he didn’t know why.
“I don’t know what you mean. As an aristocrat, I am related to the military, so I only ran into them a few times.”
“Don’t get caught. Do you think there is no one who doesn’t know that people just kept quiet?”
When Casey spoke without backing down, Ludwig leaned over and put a pod on his arm.
“great. Suppose Lady Selmore is right. So what do you think I should do now that James Moriarty is looking for my life?”
“Run away. To the safest place you can think of.”
“haha. You’re saying something interesting. Have you forgotten what this place is like?”
The place where the banquet is now being held is the mansion of Duke Bencanto.
Even though it’s far outside the city.
Rather, this place was full of troops to protect Duke Ludwig.
“I bet there is no safer place in this country than here. How many escorts do you think are here?”
“You look at the other person too lightly.”
“It doesn’t matter if you don’t look at it funny. Professor James Moriarty used magic, right? If that’s the case, it’s called a wizard, but what can only one wizard do?”
“So he’s not just a wizard.”
“I appreciate your concern for me, but those words alone will not cause me to leave this place.”
Even if he persuaded him, Ludwig had no intention of listening in the first place.
Above all, Ludwig has something to hide.
Casey sensed it, but she didn’t have enough clues to figure out exactly what it was.
“Still, I try not to take advice lightly. I’ll keep the escort by my side. Are you?”
“… … all right.”
Realizing that further argumentation would be futile, Casey stood up.
Her steps out of the drawing room and towards the banquet hall were filled with annoyance.
‘There’s something about Duke Ludwig. And he’s rather blatantly trying to exclude me. If that person doesn’t listen to me, he has no choice but to move individually.’
Casey was thinking of going back and changing clothes first.
It was a dress that had been deliberately tailored for the dress code, but the frills kept getting in the way of her steps.
If James Moriarty showed up, you couldn’t go after him in a suit like this.
“Mr. Lee. I’m already busy, but why is this skirt so intrusive and disturbing?”
Casey grumbled and walked down the hallway.
* * *
Left alone in the drawing room, Ludwig stared out the window with his hands behind his back.
The bluish moonlight poured over the twilight-covered garden.
In the meantime, I saw the family soldiers patrolling.
Ludwig was in a very different mood than when he met and talked to Casey Selmore.
His expression, which had sunk coldly, did not like the situation itself.
“It’s a pity that the ghetto lieutenant general’s faction is dead. Even old people with rotten brains didn’t live carelessly. I thought they would all be dead.”
Isn’t this a pretty painful loss from the point of view of secretly planning the project.
But it’s still fine.
There are plenty of parts in this country to replace empty seats.
“This is all as He wishes.”
As I muttered that, there was a knock on the drawing room door.
The one who opened the door was a waiter holding a silver tray in one hand.
“What is going on? I told you not to let anyone in here.”
The waiter didn’t answer the question.
Ludwig narrowed his eyes.
“You are not a waiter.”
“You are quick-witted.”
The waiter immediately grabbed his face with his hand and tore it apart.
At first, I wanted to take off my skin, but it wasn’t.
To be called a mask, it was artificially made skin that stretched like a tear.
Eventually, when the black hair hidden inside was revealed, Ludwig smiled with interest.
“That must have been Professor James Moriarty.”
“Nice to meet you. Duke Ludwig Vencanto.”
A black shadow shimmered on the floor and was overlaid on top of Rudger’s waiter’s uniform.
“I didn’t expect you to come so early.”
“Looking at the reaction, it seems that you know why I came.”
“So you came to kill me? Well, since I’ve killed everyone involved with the project so far, it’s time for my turn.”
“Then, is your resolution enough?”
At Ludger’s words, Ludwig laughed.
“Hey, Professor James Moriarty. I’ll admit you are a really great person. They blew up all my businesses and destroyed all the important chess pieces I was playing.”
Ludger waited to see what Ludwig had to say.
“But isn’t that too arrogant? To come into a place like this alone. Are you that confident in your skills?”
“Everyone else said the same thing and died.”
“Ask the other way around. Do you really think I was one of those idiots?”
Ludwig snapped his fingers, creating a translucent wall between them.
It was a barrier made of magic.
“Rather, I was waiting. I want him to come and cut my throat.”
Immediately after, the door to the parlor opened and the escorts belonging to Duke Bencanto appeared.
All made up of knights and wizards, they surrounded Ludger at once.
Ludger stared at Ludwig through the barrier and opened his mouth.
“Was it a trap?”
“Nothing. Unless I’m an idiot, there’s no way I wouldn’t know that they’re coming after me.”
The banquet being held now was nothing more than a trick to dazzle Ludger in the end.
It was a board laid out so that Rudger could easily hide.
“A quick-witted lady came over and offered to help, but honestly, it was funny. Without knowing that the person he really needs to catch is right in front of him.”
“… … .”
“Still, I was quite surprised. I can’t help but think that the laboratory that was working on the Steel Choir project hasn’t been abandoned yet.”
Rudger was the first to respond.
He twitched his eyebrows and stared at Ludwig with a gaze asking how he knew that.
“There are ways. So I was curious. Why did you bother to leave it there when everything else was erased without a trace?”
Ludwig stroked his chin with his finger and brought out the correct answer.
“They said they kidnapped children and used them as test subjects. Does that mean it still exists? An undead living specimen.”
“… … .”
“Oops. If you neglect management like that, write it. Don’t worry. Just in case you didn’t know, I sent someone there. I mean people who clean everything up.”
Ludwig had a smile on his face.
It was the smile of a victor who was sure he had won.
“I don’t know what your relationship is with the child I used as a test subject, but don’t be too sad. I’ll take care of you here and now and send you right after. Then you won’t be lonely.”
The knights who surrounded Ludger drew their swords.
Wizards are ready to unfold their magic while implementing the spell.
“Still, I want to listen to your will before I go to the end, but is there anything you want to say?”
At Ludwig’s provocation, Ludger opened his mouth.
“I want to tell you two things.”
“oh. two? It’s a lot for a will, but I’ll be generous and allow it.”
“first. The child’s name is Arte, not the test subject. He was a child who dreamed of becoming a famous scholar.”
“Is it? Well, it doesn’t matter what the child’s name is. So what is the second?”
“Second… … .”
Ludger’s blue eyes slowly turned red.
“I am very angry right now.”