Melin's Salvation Plan - Chapter 8
“It’s uncertain from now on..…”
I had a special memory, so I memorized almost all the compositions of my favorite novel, but I could not know the details of the setting beyond the type.
In addition, there is a ‘transformation’ of the scene in the novel.
The scene of Tepeo wandering the waterway passes through an uncertain description, and then the residence where Duke Hillderox from what I remember changes.
Fortunately, I had more time left than Melinia in the novel.
I made it possible for the candle to last longer and moved to the leftmost channel.
* * *
I don’t have much time to look for the other waterways so I just got out from the manhole.
I hurried back to my room because I thought I was late for lunch but I met Tepeo’s eyes as soon as I opened the door.
He got up from his seat as soon as he saw me.
“Where have you been since morning?”
Did he just look at the door all the time?
“Did you wait for me?”
Tepeo did not deny my question. He must have really waited.
That’s why he looks like a puppy.
That idea became reality when Tepeo began to sniff. Maybe he is a real puppy that turned into a human.
“….you know, Melin.”
“Did you go to the manhole?”
Those words reminded me of the fact that I had entered the waterways.
“Oh, does it smell?”
I picked up the hem of my dress and smelled it. The smell is fishy.
“Sorry, I’ll wash right away.”
“Why did you go alone?”
Tepeo’s expression seems angry.
“What if I walk in by myself without telling you? If anything happened inside….!”
Oh, so this is.
“Are you worried about me?”
Tepeo shut his mouth and I saw that he can’t deny it. I laughed a little at this sight.
You can’t afford to worry about me now if you know what’s waiting for you in the future.
“I made you worry for nothing. I’ll talk to you next time.”
“I’ll take a shower, so go ahead and have lunch.”
I packed clean clothes and left the room after that sentence.
Tepeo’s sunken face was seen through the closing door, but soon the door was completely closed and his face disappeared from my view.
I saw someone at the end of the corridor on the opposite side as I entered the entrance of the stairs to go down to the public bathroom on the second floor.
It was Karen that had not been seen all the time.
The atmosphere was not clear and I unknowingly stopped.
Karen said she was sick, but she looked so bad that I wondered if she was serious. Her eyes were swollen red as if she had been crying for a long time.
“I heard you were sick. Are you all right?”
She just looked at me and didn’t say anything. It was a moment when I was about to change my steps again, wondering if I would say anything.
The voice dropped sharply. Something…. strange.
Was her eyes naturally like that?
“I-I’m sick, I thought yo-you would come if I said I was sick. So I waited…..all night long.”
“But you didn’t come, Melin. Yo, you didn’t come….”
You didn’t come, you didn’t come, you didn’t come.
Karen testified the words over and over again as if she were possessed. Her strange appearance gave me goosebumps.
“Yo, you’ll…..regret it, Melin.”
Karen said her last words.
“I’m sure you’ll regret it.”
I asked back immediately because it sounded like a curse.
“What does that mean? What do I regret?”
“What do you mean?!”
I raised his voice but Karen didn’t answer me. Instead, she ignored me and went savagely into her room.
The back of her head was torn. I just thought it was a child’s word, and it was strange to just slip it over.
At lunch time that day, there were two empty seats at the table.
Karen was absent, and Hope did not show up because of Bishop Marchio’s visit in the morning.
It was the children who were excited.
It was because there was no one to point out manners during the meal, and Karen did not come, so her share would be given to the childrens.
I hid the bread from my plate as if I were eating it because the children were distracted by the food.
The other children were so excited that they didn’t even know what I was doing.
I go back to my room and give Tepeo bread after the meal.
“What is this?”
“Bread. It’ll be better than the lunch you had today.”
Tepeo hesitated for a moment.
“You’ve eaten enough?”
Tepeo accepted my bread without refusing. As expected, his lunch was poor.
“I’ll bring it sometimes like this. It’s easy to get sick if you had a bad meal.”
My escape will get ruined if you become sick.
“Well, we’re friends.”
I stared at the Tepeo while he was eating the bread.
I don’t know if I can say this, but I feel like I’m feeding and watching a stray dog.
Tepeo seemed to have felt a strange look, so he looked toward me instead of eating. Our eyes met.
“Why are you looking at me like that, Melin?”
“Just. You eat well.”
I smiled and said that without much thought, but Tepeo suddenly bowed his head.
He was eating, so I decided to leave from my seat because I was looking too obvious.
“Just finish eating here. I’ll be right back.”
“Where are you going?”
“In the manhole.”
In response, I took out the candles and matches that I had been taken out of the secret space on the floor.
I have plenty of time before dinner, so I can look around for quite a long time.
“If anyone finds out, tell them I’m out.”
His voice calling my name was so heavy, so I looked back at Tepeo without realizing it.
His low purple eyes were staring at me.
“The reason you keep walking under the manhole, is it related to the map you showed me last time?”
Tepeo was smart. I guessed that I was going to leave this nursery by the waterway.
“……I’ll hate you forever if you tell it to someone.”
Tepeo didn’t answer, but I knew he wouldn’t tell it to anyone.
There’s nothing that can beat ‘Melinia’ in current Tepeo.
Hope showed at the table this evening.
Karen’s seat was still empty. Perhaps she would not show up for a while.
Do as you please even if you starve or not.
I cut off my thoughts about her and watched Hope with my side eyes.
Hope looked unusual when he entered the dining room.
I feel like something’s going to happen.
“Jane, who’s holding the knife like that?”
The corrected child was surprised and held the tableware. I was right.
“Can’t you fix it right now?”
It was not the usual pretentious, tender tone, but a voice with a very sharp edge. The air on the table froze in an instant.
The children that were happy until lunch, were now pale and busy looking at Hope’s face.
Hope looked around at the quiet table.
Then our eyes met. I almost missed the tableware.
Eyes. Those eyes.
The eyes that were staring at me as if I were his prey, seemed to grip my neck.
Hope soon turned away from me and began to sharpen his knife on the plate.
The steak on the plate was cut into a miserable shape.
I couldn’t take my eyes off the meat on his plate for a while.
It’s as if he was slashing something other than the meat.
* * *
From the next day I stepped up my efforts to find a way into the waterway.
The blocked road was marked with stone on the wall and mapped whenever another manhole connected to the waterway was found.
The manhole I found this time was in the middle of the street and the sound of carriages passing by were loud.