Episode 444: The Fall of the Usher Family (4)
It was already midnight when Tudor and Bianca crawled ashore.
An atmosphere so cold that ice freezes. The wind that blows is fierce like a knife.
As he turned his head, he saw the Usher mansion cast a gloomy shadow over the marshland, where the spirits of the red death swarmed.
“… … huh.”
Tudor took Bianca’s outstretched hand.
The two ran down the mountain road holding each other’s hands.
I heard a bird flapping its wings behind me.
Tudor and Bianca ran frantically through the dead trees that grew bony like vertebrae left after a corpse was burned.
There were scars all over his face and body from being scratched by the tips of sharp branches and thorns, but he had no time to think about such things.
The red death that dances with phosphorus, sulfur fire, and water mist floating over the swamp.
Tudor and Bianca ran to their death in the dark, relying on one of the saint’s blessings, which was gradually fading.
The sound of birds flapping their wings came a little closer.
at that time.
Tudor stopped running and suddenly knelt on the ground.
Bianca is startled and supports Tudor.
“Tudor! are you okay?”
“… … Mmm.”
A red aura continued to spread across the side where Bianca’s arrow had passed.
No matter how much I brushed it, it was pretty serious.
After thinking for a while, Bianca said with a determined expression.
“… … .”
But Tudor shook his head.
“You never know when the devil will come after you. Bikir told me not to be on my guard until I crossed the ridge.”
“Does it look like I’m being careless?”
“uh. It looks like that.”
Tudor quietly pushed Bianca away.
“Go first. I’ll rest a little and follow you.”
“Don’t be mean.”
Bianca closes the distance that Tudor pushed away.
She said, grabbing Tudor by the collar.
“You know what you’re doing right now isn’t cool, right?”
“I’m not doing this to look cool. Do you still not know me?”
“So you know me?”
“… … .”
Tudor’s and Bianca’s gazes met for a while.
Tudor said in a low voice.
“That night. You saved me when I almost lost my life within the family. You risked your life too.”
“… … .”
“Now it is my turn. I can’t walk anymore anyway. Let me do something for you one last time.”
Tudor’s eyes, which had been dying from blood loss and hypothermia, lit up.
It was the last light that only beings who had intuited the end of life could radiate.
… … however.
“If you have the stamina to talk bullshit, go for a walk.”
Bianca’s gaze was even more overwhelming than Tudor’s.
“That night. I saved you, but you also saved me.”
“… … .”
“Do you know how lucky I was that you were alive? When I saw that you were still alive at the end of the place where my lungs burst and ran… … Do you know how relieved and grateful I was then?”
Bianca rolled Tudor’s collar and pulled him closer.
“So live. somehow As long as I live, you live too. After I die, then it’s up to you whether you want to search or not.”
“… … .”
Tudor didn’t say anything to Bianca’s non-threatening threats.
Soon after, the two started climbing the mountain path again.
The mana has been used up long ago, and the body is full of large and small wounds from breaking through the mansion’s traps.
Body heat continued to escape from the drenched body.
The sound of birds flapping their wings came from behind.
It was really not far away now.
“… … Bianca.”
Tudor, who was barely walking on the ledge, opened his mouth in a dying voice.
Bianca also raises her head.
“… … what the hell are you doing Greetings in this situation.”
“just. I don’t think I can do it now or not.”
The moment Bianca turns her head away.
Tudor fell to the floor.
“… … .”
Bianca looked at Tudor like that.
And she, too, sat quietly beside Tudor.
“… … okay. good job. That was great enough.”
There is no answer from the fallen Tudor.
Then, tears began to form in Bianca’s eyes as she looked at Tudor.
Bianca, who had been confident and aloof, quickly collapsed and took on the appearance of an ordinary woman of her age.
She bowed her head, hugging the dying Tudor tightly.
In the end, they couldn’t cross the ridge they had promised, but they succeeded in luring the devil and setting off black firecrackers.
It was a situation that was prepared as much as it was not a plan with the survival probability of the two used as bait in the first place.
“thank you. for being with me.”
She put her lips to Tudor’s mouth.
And the sound of a question that gets closer and closer.
Bianca raised her head with a determined expression.
Although there was no more strength left, it was the intention to gather up the last energy and resist.
“I’d rather die than lose myself to you!”
She stood in front of Tudor and raised her bow.
yet. On the other side of the thick darkness, I see two eyeballs burning red.
It gave off an eerie red light, and it was like seeing a dog of death in a grotesque legend come to life.
… … but.
The person who appeared in front of Bianca was not the devil, but a completely different being.
“You still look good. thank god.”
Bikir. The night hound emerged from the darkness.
Bianca’s eyes widened.
“Bikir? Hey, how are you here? The meeting place is over the ridge, right?”
“I came out to meet you. Well, I took a bit of a risk.”
After speaking, Bikir raised his hand.
Werewolves, ghouls, thick-shelled centipedes, mountain turtles, griffins, etc… … Besides that, several monsters were dripping blood with their heads cut off.
It was only then that Bianca realized that she and Tudor had come this far without being attacked by any monsters.
It was because Bikir had been silently cleaning the escape route.
When the plan was first made, it was said that they were abandoning the two, but in fact, Vikir cared about them more than anyone else.
“… … Bikir.”
Bianca opened her mouth with a trembling voice, but Bikir waved her hand as if it was nothing.
Vikir turned his head to see the trail of black firecrackers rising over the Usher mansion.
That firecracker means one thing.
Roderick Usher is dead. He or he was placed in a miserable situation, worse than death.
Bianca’s explanation continued.
“My father is alive. But due to the miasma of the red death encroaching on the entire mansion grounds… … .”
“I can understand the situation. From now on, save your stamina.”
Eventually, Bikir approached the fallen Tudor.
Bikir, who looked at his pulse, nodded.
“This is fine. If you eat some potions and get some divine power packs, you’ll wake up right away.”
“Uh, can you do that? Go over the ridge… … .”
“It’s possible if you just stay still.”
“huh? what is that… … ?”
Bianca didn’t even have time to ask.
Bikir picked up Tudor on the spot. And with Bianca on his side, I started running up the slope.
“Uh uh uh huh?”
Bianca was taken aback, but soon closed her eyes.
Bikir’s strength and speed were so great that, with Tudor and Bianca on his back, he was able to climb up steep cliffs in the blink of an eye.
It was as fast as a bird gliding.
‘… … That’s fortunate.’
Bikir was also relieved in his own way at the current situation.
In the original history, it was this place where Tudor died, and where Bianca went insane.
Usher’s Operation Restoration.
Originally, it should have happened much later than now, but the place was certain.
Before restoring the House of Usher, Tudor is seriously injured while trying to stop Bianca from being brainwashed by the devil.
In the end, Bianca goes crazy with the guilt of not being able to restore her family and harming her lifelong childhood friend and lover, Tudor, with her own hands.
… … But fate has changed.
Tudor survived and Bianca did not lose her mind either.
It was possible because Bianca was not brainwashed by Madeline at the crucial moment.
“… … You should thank Lovegood.”
Bikir peered at one of the brooches in Bianca’s hair.
A hairpin with a pink heart-shaped brooch attached.
Also known as ‘The Shield of Love’.
This was an artifact Bikir obtained when he participated in the University League in the past.
To be more precise, Bikir earned the Decarabia as an award for outstanding performance in the collegiate league.
At that time, there was a student named Merlini Lovegood who had better grades than Vikir, and what she was awarded as a prize was this artifact called ‘Love Shield’.
‘The artifact I got is ‘Love Shield’! It’s a hairpin with a heart-shaped brooch! If you wear it, it is said that it will block any kind of powerful brainwashing or mental magic at least once! However, they say that it only works if you have someone you truly love next to you!’
The effect of this artifact called the defense of love is to block any powerful brainwashing at once.
However, in order for this artifact to activate, there must be someone you truly love next to you.
<With love ♥>
<-PS. B*sa*mo Chairman Merlini Lovegood->
‘Perfume, skin lotion, shoes, belt, hat, sunglasses, shirt, bag, fountain pen, tie, wallet, sneakers, hairpin… … oh my god. Artifacts that were sold as prizes in the college league are also included. And what else is this? Isn’t that the wagon key?’
In the past, Lovegood sent this artifact he received by mail to Vikir as a fan, and Vikir kept it well and handed it to Bianca before infiltrating the Usher family’s mansion.
‘Take this with you.’
Hairpins for Bianca, red and black fireworks for Tudor.
Thanks to Bikir’s preparations just in case, Tudor and Bianca were able to escape from under the harsh wheel of fate.
“… … Is this the first time you’ve seen a face?”
Bikir, who was looking at his face reflected in the puddle on the floor, turned his head.
I could see the two hands of the stunned Tudor and Bianca staring at him were tightly interlocked.
* * *
Bikir found a makeshift camp on the ridge and took out the potion he had placed in the pit covered with leaves and fed it to Tudor.
“… … omg? Why am I still alive?”
Bianca bursts into tears as Tudor wakes up with a loud noise.
The sound of birds flapping their wings came from far behind.
Climbing up the ridge, Bikir stood in a commanding view of the Usher mansion.
just as expected.
[…] … chase! … … You must find it!]
I began to hear Madeline’s high-pitched voice and the sound of Usher’s knights moving.
To Tudor and Bianca, whose eyes suddenly become fierce.
Bikir opened his mouth.
“Now is the time to repay everything.”