Notes From a Certain Cook

* Release date: 11 2008

Notes from a certain cook.

–I Write it down to forget.
I wish I, and anyone, won’t read this.

Since they call it the Seven Islands of Izu, I used to think that the archipelago of Izu was comprised of no more than seven islands.

At first, I was told that Rokkenjima was a considerably small island
However, compared with the image I had of an island like a flat tatami mat, like the back of a whale where a single palm tree would be growing, pictured by my poor imagination, Rokkenjima seemed to be of a considerable vastness.

The coastline of the island is a little over 10Km. Its overall lenght would be around 3Km.
On a map, it’ll certainly look small, but when you take into account that it’s a private island, with only the mansion of the Ushiromiya family built there, its vastness becomes something unimaginable.

I oftenly remember how the presence of the imposing mansion on the other side of the beautiful rose garden greatly surprised me when I first arrived here.

Not even in my wildest dreams I imagined that my life as a cook would lead to being called out to be an exclusive cook for multi-millionares, like what happens in mangas or fairy-tales….

In the first place, I had no luck.
A well-established restaurant of a high class hotel was a wonderful workplace known by its pride and brimming tension, a place where wonderfully talented cooks competed over their skills.

But, the pride there was a custom above that, and it was also a fact that the bonds there were strong.
It all suffered an eruption when the head chef, who coordinated the cooks through his strong carisma, all of a sudden, decided to retire due to health problems.

To a cook of skills and pride above others, the only person they is able to respect is a cook who surpasses themselves.
That’s why, as long as head chef kept his authority, no matter how inflexible, impertinent or young we were, we all made our work as one.
So, maybe this was the inevitable consequence when the head chef decided to retire all of a sudden.

We were split into a few factions there.
The ones with most popularity in the kitchen were expected to become the head chef. Those were highly valued for their respectable achievements, skills and leadership over the enthusiastic juniors.
However, they were also strong willed people and it was hard to say they got along well with the hotel side in particular.

What the hotel side needed was a cook who would be able to show satisfactory results with suitable budgets and deadlines, and not a cook who would go against the deadlines and budgets in order to show satisfactory results. …… That discrepancy of priorities with the cooks became trouble.

The candidate the hotel side recommended was typical ‘sitting on the fence’. He gave a strong impression of being more interested in being toady to the big shots than polishing his skills as a cook. Instead of improving his cooking skills, until today, he seemed to spend more time only aiming at the position of the next head chef.

In the end, that man was installed as the head chef. The peson whe agreed to that position ended up being his assistant.
We could not agree with that result, but we started to put the kitchen to work under that set-up to see how things would turn out for a while.

However, the differences with the predecessor obviously appeared right away and the dissatisfaction among the cooks exploded.
There were many cooks who could not endorse his methods that disregarded their pride as cooks, and, obviously, I was among them.

Before long, we decided to forcibly bring the hotel side to the negotiation table by slapping our resignation letters at them, assistants and sympathizers, all together.
It was an atmosphere that seemed to say there was no other way besides that anymore.

At the time, I was the youngest one, but I’d not lose to anyone in terms of skills and pride.
Thinking back now, maybe I lacked self-consciousness that, at the same time I was a cook, I was also an employee of the hotel.
From the start, the assistants did not seem interested in those reckless methods.
Naturally, I’d only notice that later.
After all, being young at the time, we were enthusiastic about raising in revolt at last, with the assistants too, and scare the hell out of that damn irritating second head chef.

As a result, what we got at the end was an unexpected twist.
The assistants were dissuaded from resigning at the very end, and they did not join the coup d’etat. To tell the truth, the hotel side seemed to think it was a nice chance to purge the kitchen where the factional infighting aggravated and, in advance, dissuaded the talented ones that would be useful for them from resigning and even purposedly overlooked the outbreak of the coup d’etat.

I did not have that dissuassion.
……… In other words, it meant that, to the hotel side, it was a nice opportunity to fire me.
We, the young ones at the time, insulted the colleagues who did not take part and the assistants as traitors and showed them a plan for a strike, but…….

A cook is a cook because he makes food. And if he doesn’t make food, he cannot make a living.
Starting with the calmer ones, one by one, they quietly backed out from that uproar and disappeared after getting another job. …… Only after reaching that stage, I finally realized how inexperienced I was.

The title of a former cook of a well-established restaurant can be a weapon, but can also be a weight. To find another job is not an easy task.

I tried to find employment at restaurants and hotels of the same level, but, in this industry where they all have strong horizontal bonds, details of the troubles were already well-known and I heard that even a circular was distributed telling them that, if they hired the people involved with the troubles, they would have to reconsider their relation from there on.
There were absolutely no signs that a chance to call myself a cook again would arrive…….

In a certain day.
I received a call from a junior who sympathized and resigned together with me.
A certain multi-millionaire was looking for a live-in cook, he said.
When I heard the story, the pay was not bad at all, but I had the impression that the working conditions would be quite severe.
That junior brought up that subject to me to return a past favor he was indebted to me.

From what I heard, a multi-millionaire family is looking for an exclusive cook and they demand someone very skillful.
However, very skilled cooks are normally attached to somewhere and there’s no way they’re a free.
They also have bonds of gratitude to that and there’s no way they’d thoughtlessly resign just because they are shown a high salary.

In other words, it means it’s a perfect job offer for a person like me.
To work as an exclusive cook in an isolated island……. Not a bad situation.
Besides, my economical situation doesn’t allow me to be picky anymore.
And there’s also the status that can satisfy my youthful pride.
And then, I took part in the cook selection of the Ushiromiya family.

Besides me, there were more than 10 cooks gathered there.
To be honest, maybe I was the oldest one there. …… Being in the middle of a bunch of young ones, in its true meaning, in spite of thinking I’m still young, I end up feeling overly self-conscious.

But, the young cooks were inspired as well. If they had more experience, they’d probably become wonderful cooks.
In terms of experience, I really had the upper hand here.

Also, I was highly valued for my skills when serving the customers, which I learned with the previous head chef.
The difference between a cook who doesn’t leave the kitchen and a hotel cook who takes the food himself to the VIP customer and even has a pleasant talk is evident.
That’s why at first I felt a feedback that I’d get the job.

…… But, even so, it would also be possible that they’d prefer to hire a younger one reasoning something like “habits from other workplaces will cause trouble, instead”.
In the end, it was all in god’s hands.
That’s why later, when I knew Madam Natsuhi gave the final word that I’d get the job, I could see an aureola shining over her.

And thus, I became the exclusive cook who would serve the Ushiomiya family.
During my contract, I must absolutely not make food to no person except for people connected to the family, and it felt extremely executive level and stimulated my pride most of all.

My food won’t be offered to anyone but the relatives of the Ushiromiya family…!
Not bad. And thus, my second life started at the mansion of Rokkenjima……

My past troubles as a cook and as a servant are probably very tedious and uninteresting to write about.
Too uninteresting to write. That’s why I decided to write about interesting things, about my life working in Rokkenjima.

And the most interesting thing is probably the legend about Beatrice, the Golden Witch.

All over Japan, wherever you are, there are stories about curses, malediction and such. Of course, the hotel I used to work also had many of those stories.
So, I remember that, when I heard about such story in my new workplace, I put up a bitter smile and thought ‘Aah, those stories in this place as well?’

Even so, this one is different.
Most of japanese ghost stories are about ghosts or japanese youkais. (**note: if you don’t know what a youkai is, kill yourself)
This one is about Beatrice, the Golden Witch, so …… I got a quite uncomfotable feeling of it.

However, at this mansion of the Rokkenjima family, that even gives you a sensation of anachronism, even if a ghost like Oiwa-san (reference: Yotsuya Kaidan) with her head wrapped in a triangle bandage were to come out, you’d probably only snigger at her instead. Maybe it was a suitable ghost story for this mansion.

They say the Lady of the portrait, that is openly displayed at the reception hall, wanders about the mansion every night.
And that very Lady is the night ruler of this mansion and if you lack respect for her, you’ll face a cruel fate, things like that.

According to what I heard, a servant spoke ill of Beatrice-sama to make light of her, and it seems she had to retire because of a serious injury.

…… Well, something like that. If a misfortune takes place, they’ll say all of it is the curse of Beatrice-sama.
Meaning that, when the misfortune happened, it’s not unlikely that there’d be an atmosphere of pushing the blame into the person who didn’t show respect.
I understood that right away and made sure to not forget to show fear for Beatrice.
But, inside me, I’m sneering at her, there’s no way such absurd thing exists…….

This ghost story of Beatrice was blindly accepted by the senior servants.
‘Respect or you’ll be cursed’, by means of that, it was just as if there’s an atmosphere like, a real person dies an unnatural death and now
she is respected.
There’s a strong air telling us to, be really discreet about speaking ill about Beatrice-sama to make light of her, and even if it were to be on a tea chat, we could not speak carelessly about her.

Humans are interesting, when you live among that kind of people for so long, you really start to get such feelings.
I was starting to get frightened that, one day, when passing by in front of the huge portrait during the rounds late at night, her eyes would glare at me.

The night rounds are pretty hard because we have to check if all the doors and windows are closed inside this huge mansion.
However, since the people of the family are already asleep, as a servant, I can relax a bit.

In a certain night.
When I was passing by the reception hall, I saw a silhouette disappearing towards the grand stairscase. I heard footsteps too.
Since I had thought that Master and Madam were already sleeping and I was kind of slacking around, I got greatly flustered and tense.

Since that was a floating shadow, I somewhat had the impression of a female figure.
Among the servants, there’s no one with a silhouette like that, so I automaticaly thought it was Madam or Milady. Somehow, it looked like the silhouette of something like a negligee.

However, when I think carefully, that was quite a strange story.
Madam is an extremely severe person and always said that the corridors inside the mansion were the same as public roads.
In others words, she meant people should not walk around in the corridors in indecent clothings, such as pajamas.

Actually, even though the people of the Ushiromiya family were at home, they were always using formal garments.
Since they are at home, they should relax using more comfortable clothes, but such logic doesn’t apply to the Ushiromiya family.

Actually, I have already seen Milady being censured by Madam about her clothes being out of shape and receiving reprimands.

That’s why, when I think carefully, that silhouette was not supposed to be seen inside the mansion.
The more I remember about the shilouete, the more I can’t think that was someone from this mansion….

Who on earth, …… did I see?
Could it really be, ……… Beatrice-sama………?
The place where I saw that silhouette was the reception hall. In other words, in front of the portrait of Beatrice-sama.
Now that some time has passed, it got more eerie than that moment when I saw the silhouette.

‘Kanon-san. Do you have a minute now?’
‘……… When I wash the tools and tidy it up, I’m planning to the grand staicase. …… What is it?’

He is a servant boy who uses the alias Kanon and is allowed to have the one-winged eagle.
From the start, I thought I wouldn’t be able to to get along well with him, but now I don’t have that intention.
…… However, that moment was so unusual that made me want to talk to him.

He is serving here for more years than me, …… he knows details about Beatrice-sama’s ghost story.
…… And yet, I talk to him as though I’m in higher position.

I talked to him with that mood.
I wanted to talk to someone about the experience I had.

I didn’t care what would happen If I talked to him, but If didn’t talk about it to someone, I wouldn’t have calmed down.
I see, now I understand well the feelings of the barber who couldn’t help but to scream ‘The King Has Donkey Ears’….

‘ ……… I wonder if that would be Beatrice-sama. …… Did you have some similar experience, Kanon-san?’
‘ ……………………….’

He remains silent, motionless, and stares at me with eyes as though evaluating me.
…… It was as though he was a cat pondering about whether to stay or to run away.
When I thought he had plainly ignored me, Kanon-san answered me.

‘Once, when I was doing the round, during my shift, late at night. ……… I have seen a golden butterfly.’
‘Golden Butterfly……? …… Don’t they say that when Beatrice-sama appears, they fly around to announce her…?’

That’s how it went.
Butterflies shining gold are an omen of Beatrice-sama appearing, as they say.

That was like the mapping out a location, very similar to will-o’-the-wisps that appear before a ghost shows up.
However, differently from the will-o’-the-wisps, the golden butterflies don’t have an ominous image.
If pushed, I’d say that I feel a beauty I’d want to see at least once, if it really existed.

……… However, if I happened to meet them during a night round all alone, I’m sure they’d look really ominous.

…… Among the old servants, we are told that the golden butterflies are the announce that Beatrice-sama will appear, …… and if we follow after them, we’ll probably be able to meet Beatrice-sama, but we are also told to not follow after them.’

‘ So, Kanon-san, you didn’t follow after them……?’
‘ Yes. …… That would be the same as disrespect Beatrice-sama.’

‘ …… If I remember, a servant who followed after them had a serious injury and retired, right?’
‘I heard that. ;;;;;; Beatrice-sama is tolerant with those who respect her, but they say she’s cruel with those who lack respect.’

Kanon-san’s mood felt like even talking unnecessarily about Beatrice-sama was a blasphemy.
…… I felt something beyond only hatred for me.

‘Sorry for wasting your precious time. I probably saw it wrong.
…… Perhaps I saw Madam or Milady walking around in pajamas and misunderstood it.’

‘………………. …… Madam and Milady going out to the corridors in such clothings is something that would absolutely never happen.’
‘But I saw a figure. it was white…, it had an image like of a female wearing a negligee.’

‘ ……… I’ve never heard that Madam and Milady had pajamas like that.’
‘ …………………….’

Maybe that negative was the answer from the beginning.
It was neither Madam, not Milady, that female silhouette.
……… Could that one really be Beatrice-sama?

I cannot understand. I don’t want to recognize that the witch exists just because of that.
…… I wanted to clarify who that shadow was.
And, perhaps, that intention appeared on my face. Upon realizing that, Kanon-san, as though giving a warning, says this:

‘……… Gohda-san. You’re not to say bad things.
…… For your own good, I think you should be careful with acts that might profane Beatrice-sama.’
‘Haahaaha, … No, no. That’s not my intention at all.’

‘Me too, some time ago. … I already doubted about Beatrice-sama’s existence.’
‘Eh? Kanon-san, you did?’

‘ Yes. ……… I had the same expression Gohda-san is putting up now. I once felt doubt when on the existence of the enigmatic witch which the old servants insisted so much that I showed respect. …… I even thought about disclosing her true colours, should she have one.’

That was unexpected.
Here I was thinking he blindly believed Beatrice-sama, but he’s telling me he had doubts on her existence in the past.
…… Now I got even more uneasy.

‘And why do you believe her now, …… Kanon-san?’
‘………………. ………… Because I was shown, …… a miracle that only a witch could do.
‘ No, not a miracle. That was a warning. ………. Beatrice-sama gave me a warning for doubting her existence and profane her.’

‘ ……… About that. Could you tell me?’
‘……………………….’

Once again, he gets silent there.
However, I wanted to do something to clear that misty inside my chest, so I do not simply withdraw.
Before long, he’s beaten by my persistence and told me about the ‘case’ where he came to believe in the existence of the witch….

To put it in a simple way, it goes like this.
In a certain day, he restored the tools into the gardening storehouse and cleanly tidied it up.
He then forgot to return the key of the gardening storehouse to the keybox in the servants room and went to bed with it in his pocket, he said.

You can only open or close the storehouse shutter with one exclusive key. There’s no masterkey or spare key for it.
In other words, that night, nobody could have entered the gardening storehouse.

And then, in the next morning.
In order to do the maintenance in the rose garden, he opened the gardening storehouse to pick the tools and had a surprise.
The interior of the storehouse that was supposed to be thoroughly in order was a complete mess, …… moreover, there were an eerie drawing painted that looked like a magic circle, made with blood-like red paint on the floor, according to him.

‘ What an absurd. … If Kanon-san was with the key the whole time, would the gardening storehouse a secret room?
There’s no way anyone would make a mess out of the interior of the storehouse and be able to draw such weird figures.’

‘………… I could not believe it at the time, as well. …… Even now I can’t forget the shock of when I opened the shutter and there was the inner side of the storehouse looking like a tornado had passed through there and the eerie magic circle drawn.’

‘ Certainly, …… if that happened, there’s no way it’s not eerie. However, couldn’t we think like this? It’s also possible that it was an elaborate prank someone prepared to frighten you.’

‘……………………. …… Prank……?

‘Yeah, that’s right. You are young. To tease you, the other servants played that prank on you, huh?’

‘…… But, I had the key. At least during that night, there’s no way anyone could have entered the storehouse.’

‘Wouldn’t it also be possible that there is another spare key that Kanon-san doesn’t know about?’
‘……… No, there shouldn’t be.’

‘How can you declare that? Kanon-san believes there’s no spare key. However, you can’t prove that it ‘doesn’t exist’.
The truth is that a spare key might exist without Kanon-san’s knowledge, isn’t that so? If we think like that, that incomprehensible secret room case can be explained as someone’s prank.’

For a bit, I felt like I had become a great detective. Of course, there’s no refutation from him.
That’s why I improved my mood and ended up criticising Beatrice-sama.

There’s no way witches exist. I’m sure they are just seeing things wrong, many of the incomprehensible incidents the witch caused can be certainly explained through some sort of trick or fortuity.

………… At that time, the facial expression Kanon-san showed, eyes wide opened, I’ll never forget it.
It was as though his face said: ‘You’ll never get away unharmed after saying those dreadful things’, …… as though frightened at the vision of a fool daredevil, … a face like that.

That uncanny expression of his got stuck in my heart as a thorn while a was getting carried away, and remained there for a while….

And then, in a certain day, when I was starting to forget the pain of that thorn.
That day was a rare day when Oyakata-sama went out. …… And besides that, Master, Madam and even Milady would be absent because of a trip, meaning the whole Ushiromiya family would be gone from the island, a very rare day, indeed.

Because of that, the shift chart had a small number of people assigned, so, that day, only Genji and I were on duty.

It’s oftenly said that ‘when the cat’s away, the mice will whatever’. (**) I remember it was a really pleasant day.
Genji-san remained the whole time at the servants room and was very busy with paperwork.

(**when the cat’s away, the mice will play, or literally: refreshing oneself while the ogre is gone)

Because of that, I, secretly and carefreely, took a stroll through the rose garden and had a toast to the roses with a beer can and persimmons.
It was really pleasant, a wonderful day that made think it would be nice to have a day like this once every week.

Because of that, I only had to prepare meals enough for me and Genji-san, so I got through with it easily.
Since the food did not gave much trouble, the tidying up too was simple. Since it was a rare opportunity, I cleaned the kitchen more diligently than usual and wore a large smile at the sparkling sink.

Genji-san was in charge of the rounds, so I returned to the servants resting room when finished my stuff and then healed the fatigue of the day taking a shower carefreely. (I had lots of fatigue and everything else at the rose garden, though…)

Then, the phone rang.
To have a phone call at this hour, it must be something urgent, I think in surprised.
Genji-san is a person of the opinion that it’s not polite to make phone call in the middle of the night, so, even if something urgent happened in the middle of the night, he’d rather not use the phone and, if possible, go up to the room of the other party and knock at the door.

Since it’s Genji-san who is calling, what on earth could have happened, I thought, and, in a rush, I picked the receiver while covering myself with a bath towel.
Did something happen? The answer to that was really simple.

‘…… I want you to come to the kitchen as soon aspossible. Hurry.’

Considering it’s Genji-san, his voice sounded a bit nervous.
Just by the tone of voice, it made me recollect that certainly something weird had happened.

…… However, what on earth would have happened?
Speaking of the kitchen, to me, it’s the most important stronghold. If I take that some clumsiness happened there, that will be my responsability for sure. … However, in my particular case, would I make any clumsiness in the kitchen? At any rate, I changed clothes once again and rushed towards the kitchen.

And then, ……… what I saw there, I’ll probably will never forget.

‘…… Th-this, ………… what’s the meaning of this……….?’
‘I want you to help me. It’s too much for me to manage alone.’

Looking at this bizarre situation, now I’m more surprised at how Genji-san’s surprise was only expressed in the nervousness of his voice.
In any case, ……… my dear kitchen, that I had tidied up so well-organized, …… that should be perfect, …………… why is it like this…….

On the counter, ……… the pots and bowls that had been polished into silver colour, …… were piled up…, like a children buiding blocks toy.

And around it, the cookware, such as the ladles, were lined up radially….
……… Putting it better, at the first impression, it seemed like a totem pole made with the cookware by aborigines or something of the sort.

And then, ……… blood-like red paint, thick, kind of surrounding them.
An eerie magical circle-like thing were drawn.
Needless to say that shivers went up my spine….

And then, that thorn revives in my mind.
…… It’s this. What Kanon-san saw inside the gardening storehouse, I’m damn sure, …… is this here….

‘…… Gohda. We must not show this to the other servants. Let’s hurry and tidy it up this night.’
‘ Tha-tha-tha-that’s right…. Let’s tidy it up…. Wh-who would have done this……!’

That was a strange story to speak about.
Today, there’s only two people in Rokkenjima, Genji-san and I.

Seeing that I’d never do such absurd thing, …… the culprit is automaticaly Genji-san…….
No, however, …… would Genji-san do such an absurd…?!

What would he gain doing such a prank?! He wants to harass me?! But, Genji-san himself is tidying it up like this. Why would he scatter things around himself and the tidy it up himself, …… would he do such a pointless thing just out of mere will to scare me?! That’s unimaginable!

If I seek for the culprit behind this grotesque magic circle prank. …………… Besides Beatrice, the Golden Witch, I can’t think of anyone…….

‘Ge–Genji-san, when did you notice this……?’
‘When I finished my round and was about to return to the servants room, I noticed that the door of the kitchen had been left open.
When I took a peak, it was in this state.’

‘Could it be…… a burglar………?!’
‘ Everything is perfectly closed. Besides, there’s no way a burglar would take the trouble to come to Rokkenjima.’

‘ Then, ……… who would do this……!!’
‘…………………. …… There’s no need to investigate into that. Anyway, Gohda, you tidy up the pots. I’ll erase this.
At any rate, we must not let these scribbles reach the eyes of any other person.’

‘E-excuse-me, I, …… heard from Kanon-san, you know, that there was something like this before, at the gardening storehouse…….
Th-this kind of thing, I mean, … does it happen oftenly……?’

Maybe I should not have asked that.
Even though his mouth was moving, his hands didn’t stop moving, but now Genji-san stops his hands and raises his face with a seemingly grim face…….

‘……… Damn Kanon. And I told you to not reveal it.’
‘I’m-I’m sorry, please, don’t scold him! I was the one who insisted…!
More importantly, please tell me…! This kind of thing, I mean, …… did it happen oftenly before as well…?!’

‘…… Occasionally. It’s a prank that happens oftenly.’
‘A-a prank, you say, but who would…! After all, there’s only Genji-san and I here, you know?!
Who would be here besides us?! Of course it was not me! Then, did you do this, Genji-san?!
It doesn’t make any sense at all!! Then, what does it mean, who did this?!’

‘……… We should not try to think too much about it. Just be silent and tidy it up.
…… Do never reveal this to anyone. Of course it includes Oyakata-sama, Master, Madam and, naturally, Milady as well.
…… Kanon will be punished later.’

‘I’ll never ask again, so please, tell me…!
Then, Genji-san, will you tell me that this was done by Beatrice…?!’
‘Don’t speak of that name recklessly.’
‘… Wh-why?’
‘ ………… The servants who calls that name recklessly, for some reason, don’t last long here.
Gohda, your cooking skills are highly specially appreciated by Madam. …… It’d be troublesome if you were to quit.’

That sounded like a mild threat.
And at the same time, it seemed like he said that he half-understood that this was done by Beatrice-‘sama’.

…… These strange cases, …… perhaps, they are not limited to the case of the gardening storehouse.
And every time they happen, they are dealed with before they are noticed by the people of the family and are covered up, there’s no doubt…….

‘I-I won’t speak carelessly ever again……, so please tell me.
Is this, ……Beatrice, sama’s, …… doing……?’

‘ …………………………. …… I think it is.
…… In the previous cases, there were even more incomprehensible incidents. In a clearly impossible form for a human being.’
‘What …… kind of thing……………?’

‘…… A young servant who was doing the night round saw a golden butterfly and went after it.
Upon arriving at the back door she had already closed, she lost sight of it and gave up.’
‘If I’m not mistaken, when you see a golden butterfly, …… you’re not supposed to go after it, right……?’

” Hmm. …… And when she turned around.
…… A magic circle like this one had been drawn on that whole wall there.’
‘ Eh?! Then, then……, that young servant followed after the golden butterfly, gave up and….
… When she turned around, it was already drawn there, is that what you mean? In the gap of a mere few seconds when she was with the back turned to the wall?!’

‘……… She would not have overlooked the wall like that. She strongly asserts that nothing was drawn on the wall at first.
And she said it happened in the few seconds gap of when she checked that the back door was locked and turned around to go back.’
‘No-no-no-no way, you’re kidding me……. Wasn’t that a joke of the servants…?’

‘…… She contacted me and I came to help her to erase that. …… It had a complicated pattern. It’s definitely not something you’d be able to draw in a few seconds. And also, I definitely don’t think it’d be something you’d overlook. That servant had a high fever immediately after that, was hospitalized and had to retire. After that, it seems she returned to her home town. She doesn’t even make contact with us.’

‘………… What an absurd……. No-no, maybe even that was an advanced prank as well!
Or rather, that young servant must be the cuplrit behind the prank and, by doind that, she made fun of everybody, something like this…….’
‘…………… Indeed, that point of view might be valid. …… Now, let’s stop with the chattering.
…… But. I myself had a first hand experience, ……… with something definitely impossible for a human being.’
‘ Eh……… Wha-what was it…………?’
‘………………………….’

Genji-san stops talking there. ………… And after a long silence, he ignored me and resumed the cleaning…….

Genji-san, who is thoroughly severe regarding work and, in that sense, a very pragmatic person, keeps silence only when it comes to Beatrice-sama….
Genji-san’s silence tells me that the witch is real in a much more eloquent way than a billion words…….

We finish all the cleaning.
…… If we don’t tell anyone that such a weird totem pole and magic circle were in the kitchen, nobody would ever believe it.
Genji-san for the second time warned me to not tell about it to anyone…….

I tried to forcibly erase the events of that night from my mind by soaking my brains in strong alcohol.
And then, a long time passed, …… and I got to explain that as a bad taste joke from someone, possibly.

But, even now, sometimes, it’s dreadful.
First thing in the morning, after I wake up, I enter the kitchen to prepare the breakfast.
……… At that time, I get frightened if something like the cookware piled up in an eerie way won’t be there again.

I should not remember about it.
I want to forget about it by writting it down here.

At any rate, I’ll probably never have to go through such an eerie experience like that again…….

Toshiro.