1. A butterfly in a vase (Part 6)

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“That’s 90 and 60.”

 

“Look. You’ll feel better when you wake up.”

 

I don’t think this is good either. Ji-Won, who last night was surprised by the number of 80 to 45 showed on the blood pressure measurement for the first time in life and searched for information, was dissatisfied with the two numbers that narrowly crossed the border of low blood pressure. This is why they told him to check her blood pressure in the morning and evening. He thought they were making unnecessary fuss, but there was a reason.

 

“Was your bed comfortable?”

 

“Yes, I slept well.”

 

But you definitely look more pale than yesterday. It was dark under her eyes like a panda, but it somehow cleared up today.

 

“You look very tired, would you like to sleep more?”

 

“No, like Director Cha said, I would go to bed after arriving London to adjust to the time difference.”

 

Gaon, who had been sitting down all the way until they arrived in London after eating a bowl of ramen, became rapidly haggard enough to make everyone next to her nervous. And by the time they entered the hotel lobby, she was on the verge of collapse. Ji-Won couldn’t help but pity her, who looked so bad and dozed off while he was taking blood pressure. But after checking the results of a good night’s sleep with his eyes, Ji-Won felt more relieved.

 

“Do you need anything else?”

 

“No.”

 

“I’ll ask them to serve the meal in half an hour. Wash up slowly and come out.”

 

“Yes.”

 

When Gaon nodded and went into the bathroom, Ji-Won organised the clothes he had received in advance in the closet and immediately contacted the front desk to order some additional food. Garlic, peas, and carrots are good for low blood pressure. It’s hard to find small radishes and seaweed here. Dark chocolate also raises blood pressure, where is the place that sells handmade chocolate?

 

Ji-Won, who was checking the address of a couple of memorable chocolate restaurants, suddenly burst into laughter. What am I doing? Why is a three-day temporary secretary overreacting? She is the representative of a large company, and there are people who move like hands and feet for her and manage it well. Eating a meal of garlic doesn’t cure someone’s low blood pressure. I should have ordered a Gambas al Ajillo*. Sigh, I didn’t know that I was such a fussy person.

 

 

[T/N:. Gambas al Ajillo, pronounced gahm- bahs-ahl-ah- hee-yoh, simply translates to “shrimp with garlic shrimp” or “garlic shrimp” is a famous Spanish dish.]

 

A huge table was set up for breakfast because he added food to the already prepared diet, but fortunately Gaon ate almost all the food in front of her without hesitation.

 

She eats well, but….Where is all that going? Anyway, Mrs. Kwon is surprisingly slow-witted? It’s true that the Gaon really isn’t particularly picky, she doesn’t particularly like any dish either. Seeing her eating the meal he prepared made Ji-Won feel that he’s the one eating. But she seems to prefer salty taste to sweet taste, crunchy texture, especially noodle dishes. Carrot cake…, Should I order one more? It’s so obvious on her face that she likes it. How come the person who sees her every day doesn’t know that?

 

“CEO, would you like some tea?”

 

“Coffee. Can you order anything cold?”

 

Looking for cold coffee in the morning, I’m pretty sure she likes it.

 

“I’ll order cold coffee for you.”

 

After finishing the meal, there were about 20 minutes left until the employee was supposed to pick them up. It was a rare free time to relax, so the two took their teacups and moved to the terrace. With a clear view, the view of downtown London over the River Thames* was quite worth seeing.

 

 

[T/N: The River Thames (/tɛmz), known alternatively in parts as the River Isis, is a river that flows through southern England including London. At 215 miles (346 km), it is the longest river entirely in England and the second-longest in the United Kingdom, after the River Severn.]

 

“What kind of important job is this? Why the CEO has to come here herself?”

 

“There is an old family in Chester called Rosenvalov. The family was of noble origin but from some point on, most girls born in that family couldn’t live over 17. It has been a family where women are short-lived, but the frequency of death has increased since the 20th century. In particular, it is said that there was no girl born to the direct line of the Head.”

 

It’s a brutal family. If it was related to men who died early, something would have been done much sooner. If it had, it might have been easier to prevent things before they got this big. However, before modern times, it is true that the status of women was treated as insignificant as it could not be imagined now, so it took nearly 300 years for this incident to reach the ears of Jungcheon.

 

“They didn’t think it was such a serious problem at first. It was a time when a lot of girls died, people began to notice it was strange. They must have thought it was weird as time went by. There were many cases where the girls died suddenly in a strange way. Then this time, they found out that the daughter-in-law of the Head had a hard time giving birth to a baby girl. It was the first baby born in the family in 20 years, so the family was looking forward to it. But the house was turned upside down after the death of the baby girl*. That was two months ago.”

 

 

[T/N: I edited this sentence a bit since it wasn’t clearly written in the RAWS if the baby girl was dead or not.]

 

 

“The fact that the CEO came to solve such a problem herself means that it was the deceased who murdered the daughters of the family so far?”

 

“Probably. While the Head of the family was trying to find out the cause somehow, he eventually called in a guide. And one of them witnessed a completely blackened evil spirit in the house.”

 

The guide, who was first called, said he could not confirm the existence of the dead even though he could sense the existence of the dead. He couldn’t even step into the house at all because of the enormous existence that weighed down the entire mansion. All five senior guides in England rushed in, but rather than driving out the evil spirit, they were attacked and injured. After that, Baek, a veteran who came here from the Czech Republic, barely saw the face of the evil spirit after a long struggle.

 

“But the face was the same as one of the portraits hanging in the mansion.”

 

“If there is a portrait in the house, it means that it was a member of the family. But how come ancestors harm their descendants?”

 

“It’s not common, but…, You know.”

 

Ordinary ancestors try to care for or protect their descendants as much as possible, even if they do not have a very good personality. Therefore, it is highly likely that the deceased, who has committed murder only on their offspring for hundreds of years, has had a tremendous grudge against someone or is out of control.

 

“Anyway, the evil spirit that has endured hundreds of years while continuing to harm people cannot be solved by the ordinary guides. Ability is not necessarily proportional to time, but the difference in experience is large. Humans who have not lived for 100 years are not even considered an opponent to its eyes.”

 

“Then does the CEO take care of all those evil spirits?”

 

Gaon smiled and shook her head slowly at Ji-Won’s question. I wish I could, but….

 

“It is practically impossible. First of all, there are so many cases where it is not revealed if it is the work of the deceased. I try to deal with what I find out somehow as much as possible, but unfortunately I have one body.”

 

“I guess you go on business trips like this a lot.”

 

“No. It hasn’t been long since I started going on a business trip. Now I can move freely between continents because of the development of the transportation system, so I can go anywhere I want. But it took more than two months when I first came to England. Before that, I could only travel by land. It was also difficult to go around often at that time.”

 

I’ve never seen her talk this long since I got to know the CEO. Her voice is so nice. Ji-Won, who was briefly distracted by the voice that was nicer and more resonant than the content of the conversation, did not respond as quickly as usual even after hearing the words that reached his ears. The question came a little late.

 

“Two months… two months? What did you ride here?”

 

“Well. First I took a boat from Yokohama to San Francisco, then I took a train from there and moved East, and then I took a boat again from New York. It was the fastest way back then. And it was almost the only way. At that time, the Trans-Siberian Railway was under construction, so I had to walk to Europe by land, but I couldn’t waste that much time.”

 

Ji-Won’s eyes grew bigger and bigger as he listened to the astonishing journey of Gaon. The Trans-Siberian Railway…, It was under construction? Didn’t it start building around in the early 1900s? What year was “The Barber of Siberia”* set?

 

 

[T/N: The Barber of Siberia (Russian: Сибирский цирюльник, translit. Sibirskiy tsiryulnik) is a 1998 Russian film.]

 

“When was that?”

 

“In 1896. The season changed when I went back.”

 

Huh, 19th century…! At the moment, Ji-Won had to bite his molars to avoid spouting curses. Of course, he guessed that Gaon was much older than she looked. First of all, the aura that she revealed wasn’t common for women in their early twenties to show. She didn’t seem to have a rude personality, but the characteristics that came out when dealing with employees were so natural.

 

When they greeted a local employee who came to receive them at the airport yesterday, Ji-Won felt that Gaon was strangely using old-fashioned English. It wasn’t a long conversation, and all she asked was a few questions while listening to a simple situation report. But there was a word that Ji-Won, who lived in a country whose native language is English for more than 10 years, heard for the first time. Still, he didn’t know it was beyond the century.

 

Then how old is she? Is she even human?

 

“At that time, the situation in London was very serious. The air quality was so bad that it was hard to breathe. I had a sore throat for a long time after I went back. I think it was the time of the Great Smog of London*.”

 

 

[T/N: The Great Smog of London, or Great Smog of 1952, was a severe air pollution event that affected London, England, in December 1952. It lasted from Friday 5 December to Tuesday 9 December 1952, then dispersed quickly when the weather changed.]

 

 

“…what?”

 

Gaon, who was looking at the scenery with a faint look, slowly turned her head. For some reason, Ji-Won’s voice seemed to have changed completely along with his expression. But as she tried to look closely at his expression, the doorbell rang to announce the arrival of the visitor.

 

“CEO, get ready. It seems that Jayden is here.”

 

“…yes.”

 

Gaon was a little worried because the atmosphere suddenly seemed to have become serious, but she couldn’t afford to take care of Ji-Won’s mood. Gaon, who gently got up from her seat, tightened her loose tie neatly, opened the closet, and took out a neatly ironed jacket and put it on. It was time for her to start her mission as the CEO.

 

 

****

 

 

Gaon, who was resting in a comfortable posture, straightened her back and looked sharply when the old house, which preserved the appearance of the Middle Ages, came into view. As soon as the party entered Chester, the clear sky gradually darkened, and by the time it reached Rosenvalov Castle, it began to rain one or two drops. Ji-Won was familiar with the rainy weather in England, but this rain was somehow unusual.

 

Doesn’t it feel like winter rain? It’s so warm, but it’s so cold…. Ji-Won couldn’t quite describe weather events, but the rain was quite intimidating. As if it had its own will. I’ve definitely felt this similar sensation somewhere…. Ji-Won, who was watching the growing raindrops tapping the car window, suddenly realized something.

 

“This rain… Is the CEO making it?”

 

“Why do you think so?”

 

“Because it’s the same energy as when you summoned a sword in Jungcheon before.”

 

Gaon, who had been calm for a moment, raised her eyebrows with a look of great surprise. Among the senior guides she often contacts with, it was only a small part of them that could distinguish her energy.

 

“No one has ever noticed it at once.”

 

 

“I just guessed. It’s too coincidental that the timing of the rain starting to fall was a coincidence.”

 

“You’re smart.”

 

At Gaon’s pure admiration, Ji-Won closed his mouth and smiled vaguely. He was treated like a child again in just a day, but this time he couldn’t even complain. In her eyes, he, the Chief of Security, and Hae-Soo all are probably the same children anyway.

 

 

 

 

 

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