Suspicious Guardian - Chapter 3
Translator and Editor: Effe and Yonnee
Chapter 3 – Strange Guests at the Funeral (2)
At a remote corner of the Pordbent estate.
The quiet family cemetery buzzed with activity for the first time in several years. It was usually quiet without people, but today, a morose procession of black mourning robes carrying a black coffin passed through.
The group, marching silently with the coffin, stopped in their tracks when they reached a solemn and quiet place.
While Alicia, the chief mourner, sobbed and embraced the black coffin, the butler and the other servants and maids hurried to comfort her. They waited for the priest’s signal as they approached the coffin pit that was a mixture of charcoal powder and ash.
The priest looked from a distance as everyone, no matter who it was, showed their clear unwillingness.
“Lower the coffin.”
As the priest in charge of the ceremony declared in a trembling voice the final farewell towards the deceased, the servants who were in charge of transporting the coffin began to lower it carefully.
The coffin, which was lowered to fit into the pre-dug pit, was safely encased between the coarse earthen walls.
“Now, the body that was born from dust returns to dust. But the soul belongs to heaven, and so the Lord who is in heaven bestows mercy upon his soul and takes him with love, guides him into the light and holds him from wandering in the endless night.”
The priest recited the prayer for the spirit in a voice that was barely audible. Reluctantly, he sprinkled holy water and shook the incense burner to make the smoke rise, and when he went silent, everyone at the funeral quietly followed him.
“Now the soul has passed away and has been led to the Lord. Say goodbye with a flower wreath.”
Overcome by grief, Alicia scrambled to the edge of the pit where the coffin lay.
“Here you go, Milady.”
When the butler handed over a white lily, Alicia held it in her thin, trembling hands. Then, with tears in her eyes, threw it helplessly onto the coffin.
As soon as the first wreath descended, a thick, ocher-colored earth covered the coffin.
After Alicia, the only survivor and blood relative, finished her part in the farewell ceremony, the servants of the Pordbent family proceeded to the coffin one by one.
“May you rest in peace….”
“Thank you, Master.”
After giving wreaths with melancholy faces, each of them murmured their own farewells and ended the farewell ceremony.
A marble headstone was then placed over the flat mound completely covered with earth.
According to his wishes while he was still alive, the tomb of the late Baron Leschel was placed alongside his wife, who had passed away first.
“The Lord who is in heaven has taken him back in His arms, and this poor, pitiful soul shall find eternal rest.”
The priest, dressed in a black robe, lowered his head and continued his oration.
“The dead resides in heaven, and the living on earth. One day we, too, shall ascend to heaven and become like him, and we shall have our reunion in the temple of the glorious and holy God, Aleph.”
As the priest declared the end of the farewell ceremony, everyone lowered their forlorn gazes.
The bereaved family and attendees concluded the ceremony with a solemn chant.
The sorrow they felt from this loss was immense.
As soon as the priest finished reluctantly presiding over the notorious mage’s funeral and left the cemetery after receiving a hefty tribute, Alicia sobbed bitterly when she realized that her only relative, her grandfather, was really gone for good.
“Young Lady. You must go home now.”
The butler and the maid supported the weeping Alicia and brought her to the Pordbent house.
“Even if it’s hard, please try to calm down.”
“Oh dear, our Young Lady…”
As Alicia cried profusely, everyone next to her each sighed tearfully as well.
Returning to Barony Pordbent in such a depressed mood, the parlor, which had been empty throughout the funeral, was now full of people.
Among them, an elderly man approached quickly.
“Oh, here you are!”
The old man in a black suit welcomed Alicia with a face full of joy.
“I was waiting for you to come back.”
As if he were the owner of the house, he held a confident demeanor while speaking with a smirk on his upturned lips.
Alicia quickly turned her head to look at the butler next to her.
“This is Baron Tomman P. Lawson.”
The bewildered butler carefully mentioned.
“And among the people behind him is Pezak Lawson, his youngest son.”
It didn’t take long for her to realize that they were her relatives, the ‘Lawsons’.
They were relatives of hers, but they only showed up after the funeral. Her eyes hardened.
Moreover, they had cheerful and bright expressions that didn’t match the grief of mourning the deceased. Alicia furrowed her brow distastefully.
“Oh my! Our Alicia!”
Without even having time to say a word, another man with a jovial face approached Alicia and made a fuss.
“It’s nice to meet you!”
The person who approached her was none other than Pezak. He was Alicia’s paternal cousin.
“I can’t believe you have grown up like this already. The years go by so quickly. When I first came here, you were a little kid who didn’t know anything about the world, but now you’ve grown up to become such a pretty lady!”
Alicia frowned as she looked at his glee, as if there was a big occasion.
Even though it had been a long time since she last met them, Alicia also had ears. Rumors of the Lawson family, her relatives, also reached her.
“Oho, even your breasts. You’ve grown really big.”
Pezak was notorious for spouting uncouth nonsense, especially when he couldn’t think of anything to say. She thought the rumors were a bit exaggerated, but apparently she was wrong.
‘B-Breasts? Did he just say breasts?”
Alicia was so startled by the extremely rude remark that she couldn’t believe her own ears.
“What… what are you talking about so rudely!”
As the bewildered Alicia staggered backward and protested indignantly, he hurried over and slapped her on the buttocks with his chunky palms.
“Hey! Rude between us? Don’t say things like that even as a joke. Even though a sad thing happened, you can’t even give a hug to your cousin after seeing each other for a long time. Let’s hug!”
Though the Leschel Barony had a thick wall to bar outsiders, the Lawson family, who had no friends except for sending desperate letters and begging people when they were in need of money, was still familiar.
Her head went blank when she saw Pezak who was about to hug her just because they were cousins.
Alicia hurriedly jumped behind the servants.
“Please watch your behavior, Mister Pezak.”
When the butler spoke with a hard tone while the servants blocked his way. Pezak, who stopped acting just then, smacked his lips as if he was disappointed.
“By the way, if you see an elder, shouldn’t you greet them? How dare you say I’m rude when you didn’t even greet us first? Don’t be rude!”
Pezak suddenly shouted harshly. For a moment, Alicia felt her mind go blank.
“Alicia? Shouldn’t you say hello to your cousin?”
Those fishy eyes stared at Alicia. The butler wanted to take Alicia’s side, but he seemed to be at loss for words.
Alicia, who barely raised her head between the shoulders of the servants, trembled and opened her mouth.
Alicia lowered curtseyed in a dignified manner.
“Yes. That’s right.”
While Alicia bent over her body to greet him, Pezak was staring intently at her tightly gathered breasts, and then revealed a yellow-toothed grin that expressed his satisfaction with her.
“Heh heh. You grew up very attractive.”
At that moment, she realized the connotation of his words. A cold sensation ran down Alicia’s spine as she heard Pezak’s lewd remarks.
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