Secrets at the Mansion
Chapter 15: Secrets at the Mansion
Some secrets are easy to keep, Some are easy to let slip, but all secrets come out eventually. You just have to be ready for when they do.
“(Brrr, what was that?),” I huffed, after drying off.
Don’t ask. I sort of dove into the water pitcher. I also forgot that I was a firebird with very short “arms”.
Luckily for me, the blond knew CPR.
“Yes, my Lord. That was Kenda’s special: red pepper blended rollups,” Tarsa eyed the redhead, “She must have used too few grapes again.”
“I, I, I’m s-sorry my Lord,” She bowed low enough and quick enough to bang her head on the table that I was standing on, “ow... Gah! It won’t happen again!”
She then bowed and banged her head, Again!
“(It’s okay stop panicking!),” I tried to calm her down, but the sound of my voice only seemed to make her more afraid.
“Kenda, it would be best if you leave,” Tarsa glared at her, “Please, go to your room. We will talk about this later.”
She said no more and left. As soon as, she was out of the room I could hear her crying.
“(She didn’t have to leave.),” I didn’t understand why, but I was beginning to like her.
“I understand my Lord, but we have much to discuss,” Tarsa signaled the others to leave. From under his arm, he pulled out a rather large book. I’m not sure when or where he got it. I didn’t remember him holding it when I woke up the first time. I didn’t want to question anything. I trusted him now. I’m not sure why I did at the time.
“This book contains the history of our clan. Our entire history is written here. If you look here you can see the Prophecy as it was originally written almost 50 years ago.”
I took a look at the page. I couldn’t read a single word of it. It all might as well have been written in chicken scratch. There were lines and curves and a few dots here and there. I mean they didn’t seem to be foreign, but I couldn’t recognize a single one.
There were a few pictures, but I’m not even sure what they meant. There was a picture of a Phoenix. Of all creatures!
“My Lord is there something wrong?”
...don’t tell him, don’t tell him...
“Tell me if there is.”
“(Yeah, I can’t read it.),” I just blurted out. Not even holding back.
... Idiot! Why did you tell him that?...
“Not a problem my Lord. I had figured as much,” he grinned as he started to read from it, “This was written by the death bed of Pseudo Fabulist. The head of our household now lies dying. His eyes remain closed, but he does not stop seeing. He speaks of a great tragedy to come.”
“My sons. My Daughters. My children! Hear me,” Lord Pseudo shouted, his hands grasped for the air above his head.
I tried to calm him. A wet towel seemed to settle his nerves, but only slightly.
“Lord Pseudo, please you need your rest.”
“Charlotte! Oh, dear Charlotte Ann! Where are my children?”
“They are not here, they fear to catch what you have My Lord.”
“Then you hear my words, write them down, if you must! HURRY!”
I grabbed a pen and wrote as quickly as I heard the words.
“Charlotte, Oh Charlotte! The pain that I see. My children, the world will not last. A great evil is coming that threatens the world! In fifty years, the gates of the Underworld shall open. You cannot stop it! Hear me! There will come a day that I will return! I shall be reborn for your sakes! For that day, prepare for me, three priestesses. This must be done! Prepare only for me dishes made from what is grown in our gardens. This is essential to the world’s survival that I only eat such meals. Do whatever it takes to make me happy. All must be present to perform the Sango Otanes Ritual.”
“But Lord Pseudo, How will they know that it is you.”
“I will be born an outcast! On the day of a full moon, send out the priestesses and they may find me. Have your son learn the language of the creature that I draw for you, for this will be the form that I come in!”
I handed him another paper and the pen. His hand moved marvelously across the page. With his eyes still closed he drew the picture with equally unbelievable detail.
“As you can see My Lord it is as exactly as you had written it all those years ago,” Tarsa finished as he fed me another one of those blocks.
Tarsa allowed me to take another look at the pictures that were drawn. The Phoenix was facing to its right. Just behind its eye, sat a dot. Behind the Yokai was another image. It was a human boy with a similar dot barely touching the end of his eyebrow. A dark blotch surrounded the back of the boy’s head but didn’t interfere with the image of the boy.
…No! God, it’s… not me… it can’t… be me……It’s not exactly what I’d call “unbelievable detail”……Though, he did do this with his eyes closed…… NO!… what are you thinking?… It’s not…
In all honesty, I didn’t believe a single word that this guy said. Even though everything seemed to match up, something didn’t feel right. I always had the innate ability to tell when someone was giving me crap, you know? His story was screaming, “I’m a Big Stinking Load of Bull Shit!” But even though I had that gut feeling, I couldn’t get myself to trust my bullshit sensing gut. I didn’t like this guy…
But the longer that he was around, the happier I got…
The happier I got, the more I liked him…
The more I liked him, the more I found myself believing him…
And the more I believed him, the more I let him fool me…
“You look tired, my Lord. You wish to retire for the night?”
“(That would be nice…),” I yawned before I finished the last of my food.
“(Hurry up, slowpokes!),” Leo stopped to wait for us to catch up, “(The scent’s freshest over here!)”
“Okay Leo, are you sure that this was where we needed to be?”
Leo gave me that cheerful bark, “(Of course, Aniki!)”
Leo led us to a large run down building in the middle of the abandoned woods. Just by looking at it, you can tell that it used to be part of an old plantation. The trees and other plants had grown rampant everywhere the eye could see. You couldn’t even tell where the plantation’s borders used to be. The bushes were so untrimmed that they looked as if they had been part of fallen trees. A single tree in specific stood in directly in front of the entrance. It must have been there for as long at the Mansion had been.
The mansion itself was old. The walls were covered with faded white paint that was peeling into tiny scrolls. All the windows were black, but not just because of there being no lights inside. Huge chunks were clawed out by both growing and falling trees. There were wild roses wrapped around tightly every column of the mansion’s front entrance. A faded emblem stood out within a circle above the doorframe. This emblem resembled that of a Nidhogg (wood dragon) encircled between two thick thorny vines. The Yokai was crouched low and it’s tree-like tail pointing directly above from behind its body.
“Where are we,” Karen asked after taking a look around.
“I think I know,” figures that Brandy would, “This must be Crazy Plant Mansion.”
“Seriously? This is Crazy Plant Mansion,” I couldn’t believe it.
“What’s Crazy Plant Mansion,” Karen picked up her Kitsune. Kiki just sighed.
“Crazy Plant Mansion is where this old eccentric guy went completely Nutzo and killed off his entire family,” I explained, “Men, Women, Children, and even their pet Yokai. Only a few servants survived.”
“What!?! Why?” Karen blurted.
“Don’t know,” Brandy shrugged, “I’m surprised that you knew that much Tyrone.”
“Yeah, um, we should probably put our fire Yokai away,” I laughed, as I pulled at Leo’s bell, “We don’t know”
“So why’s it called the Crazy Plant Mansion,” Karen asked before I could recall Leo.
“Well, that’s how he killed them. He asked for everyone to meet him in the main area in the middle of the mansion and then ordered for the family Yokai to grow a forest inside... well, you can guess the rest.”
“I don’t believe it,” Karen frowned.
“But it’s true! Every word of it,” I swore.
“How do you know that it is,” Karen scoffed, “For all we know, the servants made that story up to scare little kids.”
“Maybe...,” Brandy thought.
“But it isn’t!”
“Why do you know!?!”
“Because my grandad was there,” I blurted out. I covered my mouth. I didn’t want to say that.
“(Aniki, what’s wrong?),” Leo gave me a look of concern. He didn’t know what I was hiding from everyone else. Only one other person knew that.
“Your Granddad was there,” Brandy bluntly shouted out of surprise.
“Yeah...,” I admitted slowly, “he lost his leg, when... it happened…”
“I thought that you said the only ones that survived were servants.”
I stayed quiet.
…the answer is too obvious……so there no sense hiding it now…
“You’re Lower Class!”
“…no, just my grandfather.”
“You’re still a farm boy, aren’t you?”
“And yet you kept trashing on John,” Karen raised her fists in anger.
“…yes...,” I couldn’t defend myself as her fist fell down on me.
When I finally had the courage to open my eyes again, I could see why she stopped.
Brandy had caught her fists midair.
“Karen that’s not important right now,” Brandy stepped between me and Karen, “Tyler needs our help right now. We don’t have time for this.”
“Fine,” she sighed, slowly lowering her arms, “But don’t think I’m letting you off easy Tyrone.”
“Right,” I turned away from the both of them, “…Let’s go.”