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Chapter: 16


Chapter 16

Like this, there has been a hidden contribution to Henry Jekyll Langham’s life. Jekyll and Hyde were inseparable like light and darkness or both sides of the same concept.

That’s why at the hands of Emily Carter, Henry’s biological father, the evil spirit Hyde, was defeated.

Yet Henry’s other self, Hyde, did not disappear.

"…Emily Carter." Hyde looked down and remembered her smile.

Her neck was thin enough to break with one hand. In contrast to her innocent beauty, which made her look pitiful like she was going to be carried away by the wind…

That woman who didn’t falter before evil spirits, who stayed calm even in a life-threatening situation was remarkable.

…It’s very tempting. Hyde unwittingly licked his lips. When he saw her, the desire buried deep in his heart was reignited. And there was an oddly dangerous scent.

Strong, destructive energy that even Henry’s biological father Edward couldn’t have. She didn’t seem to be aware of it, but only unknowing fools couldn’t feel it flowing from her. I want her, but…

A woman with a deadly secret shouldn’t be touched. Yet the more one desires the forbidden, the greater the desire to conquer, right?

"I’ll see you soon."

It wasn’t time yet. A little, little bit more time. Until she gave Henry her everything.

It was time to step up.

His reflection in the mirror was smiling like he was really happy.

"Well then, let’s go."

Ever since a few years ago, Hyde enjoyed his new hobby: pretending to be Jekyll and posing as Henry Langham.

Usually, he used Jekyll’s accent, but if he was slightly overbearing, most of the employees would tremble unknowingly. It can’t be that funny.

Still, it was an interesting sight to see the faces who ignored Jekyll actually look at him.

Hyde hummed as he left the room.

***

After I said my farewells to Henry, a welcoming face awaited me in the drawing room of my hotel room.

"Emily, are you all right?"

"Helena!" I rushed over and hugged her.

She tried to get out of my arms, but she smiled when I held her tighter and refused to let go.

"How long are you going to be like this whenever we meet? You’re not a kid."

"I’m going to do it until I die."

Helena laughed at my remark. "You look fine, although you must be joking. I’d like to have a nice chat with you, but… You sent me an SOS message. Did everything end well?"

As she was the one who connected me and Henry in the first place, no detailed explanation was needed. I talked about what I had seen at the hotel, the "dark secrets" I’ve heard from Mr. Graham, and the battle of ghosts I experienced.

Helena’s face darkened. "An employee was exposed to the book’s magic?"

I couldn’t help but nod worriedly.

Then, one of the hotel staff members delivered good news.

"Sally Melbourne is awake."

***

We immediately headed to the staff lounge where Miss Melbourne was resting. My heart thumped with every step.

"I’m a big fan of yours! I’ll look forward to it!"

If such a bright and cheerful young lady became insane because she got involved… Helena clasped my hand as if she noticed the guilt on my face. I entered the staff lounge, relying on the warmth of that soft hand for what was to come.

"At that moment, an evil spirit appeared!"

"Oh, really? How terrible!"

Contrary to the word "terrible", the staff burst into a fit of laughter. As soon as we stepped inside, Sally Melbourne, who was laying down, sat up.

"It’s Mrs. Carter! The author!"

Of course, she looked fine without any pain. I was at a loss for words when her response was so happy.

"…"

What the hell was going on here? As I stood in a daze, the other hotel employees left.

Helena, Sally, and I were the only ones remaining.

Sally opened her mouth first. "Mrs. Carter, thank you so much for coming all the way here even when you must be busy!"

"W-Well… Are you all right?"

"Yes, of course!"

Is she being controlled by the book’s consciousness? I thought about it for a moment, but I could see the look on her face.

"Did… you have something like a cold sweat, a nightmare… Or a headache that makes you want to rip your own head off…"

Those were common reactions when ordinary people encountered "the unknown". In that case, many who fell victim to evil sorcery end up in a mental hospital due to madness. Therefore, before coming here, I had brought a forgetting agent that could erase some memories of the target. If Sally’s condition was very serious, I thought it’d be better to secretly slip it into some tea and have her drink it.

"You may not understand it now, but in the future, seizures, phobias, or paranoia might…"

Sally Melbourne, who was listening all the while, smiled. "Hey, I’m not that weak!"

Staring at her, I thought it was a bit strange.

Giggling, Sally continued, "Actually, I’ve been through stuff like this since I was a kid."

"…Really?"

She confessed that when she was young, she believed her great-grandmother was a tarot card reader or into astrology.

"My great-grandmother always says that we have the power to attract special things with our blood. Well, I don’t think that has anything to do with me." Sally spoke in a carefree tone, but something was on my mind.

If a person was a descendant of a sorcerer, he or she was immune to evil magic. Listening to her chat excitedly, I knew I didn’t need to use the forgetting agent.

Not only that…

"Miss Melbourne, if you don’t mind." I made a suggestion rather impulsively. "Would you like to work as my personal maid or assistant?"

Considering the future, it wasn’t a bad decision. Sally’s eyes widened at the opportunity for a salary much higher than a hotel employee’s.

"Assistant?"

…Apparently, she was focused on other aspects and not the pay.

"Are you actually going to make me your assistant when you do research?" Sally’s eyes were shining as she said that.

"Well, that’s…"

"It’s like being a detective’s assistant. I’m so excited thinking about it!" Sally Melbourne jumped for joy at my offer.

I had to stop myself from pinching myself to ensure I wasn’t imagining things.

Looking at us, Helena smiled pleasantly.

"Mrs. Carter, I’m going to call you ma’am from now on! Feel free to call me Sally. You can talk to me casually."

We talked for a few more hours. Sally was a brighter, more energetic girl than I expected.

"Do you know how much I love novels?"

As it turned out, she was a big fan of my works and a horror novel enthusiast who read all the stories published every week. That was why she wasn’t mentally scarred after the incident.

Sally said she was surprised to see Eddie, the evil spirit from the rumors, but it was tolerable.

At first, she almost cried because she was scared…

"Looking back, it was an amazing experience, right? Where else would I see the supernatural?"

…I couldn’t tell you if after becoming my assistant, Sally would suffer or enjoy herself in the future.

***

Two weeks after the incident with the evil spirits at Langham Hotel. Thanks to the crackdown on chatty employees and diverting the attention of reporters elsewhere, the terrible things committed by the evil in Room 333 could be buried away.

Mr. Graham Langham, who was in charge of the situation from beginning to end, gave Henry a long vacation. Sitting alone in the executive room on the top floor of the Langham Hotel, Graham looked closely at the framed picture on his desk. In the picture, a pretty but fragile woman and a handsome man stood side by side. It was Graham’s sister Arya with her husband, Edward Hyde. He was a bastard; it was too good to call him a husband.

He was handsome, but there was a creepy, ominous aura around him. Edward lured the innocent Arya, told her sweet words, and persuaded her to marry him.

On the first day of their marriage, Edward said, "Oh, aren’t I a member of the Langham family now?"

Even if Arya wasn’t blinded by her love for him.

Had the child not been cared for by his dear sister.

Graham Langham would have probably killed Edward ten times over.

After all, Arya’s death… Her health deteriorated after giving birth, and she became depressed because of Edward who kept going outside for long periods of time. She eventually died two years later, suffering from anxiety.

Clenching his fists, Mr. Graham murmured, "…If it weren’t for Henry."

A lovely nephew who took after Arya through and through.

If it wasn’t for him.

Graham wouldn’t have given Edward Hyde a chance at a job.


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