Chapter 98 – My strict fiancee is adorable
(Rudnick’s Point of View)
The person who had a pensive face, and had her arm wrapped around mine, was my fiancee.
From the moment we entered the carriage and until now, Yulias has been clinging to my arm. I’m not sure what, but I think something is bothering her.
Yulias always has a dignified appearance and always try catching any business opportunity that comes her way without delay, but… Right now, she was just clinging to me.
I lightly stroke her head, which removed a bit of the anxiety from her face and made her meekly smile… She is way too cute. I swear I’ll protect her, no matter what.
“Young lady, what are you so worried about?” Michael tilted his head and asked that.
Yulias frowned at the question, “Don’t you think there was something wrong with the driver’s reaction when we asked him to drive us to the hotel?”
Even after hearing Yulias’ anxious statement, Michael and lady Vanette both seemed to be pretty calm.
“What do you think is the problem?” Lady Vanette asked.
“I’m not sure of the specifics, but…” Yulias closed her eyes and grabbed my arm tighter.
Could Yulias already have an idea of what the problem is? And could it be something that she isn’t good at solving?
A problem at a hotel… Maybe pests? Stuff like insects, mice and vermin?
I thought there was nothing that Yulias couldn’t handle, so finding out about something that she is bad with ended up being a bit refreshing to me.
After getting out of the carriage, we finally saw the hotel, and it was a bit too small, so it was definitely not aimed at the nobility.
At a glance, I could see that it didn’t have many rooms.
And the exterior looks dirty… Or rather, desolate.
Yulias grabbed my arm again, and I gently stroke her hand in return… Then, we started walking towards the hotel.
Before long, we saw two people standing in front of the hotel, which made Yulias jump in place. Seems like she was surprised to see people already here.
“Welcome, new owner.” Both people said and, with perfect synchronization, bowed down to us once we got close enough.
Maybe Yulias felt that it was a bit eerie, so she hid behind me and pressed her forehead against my back.
“Are you alright?” One of the two people, a man in a butler uniform, asked me with a worried stare.
His complexion was pale, and it was clear that he was exhausted.
“Ah… Don’t worry about it.” I told him.
My words made the man smile a bit, “My name is Maurice, and this is my sister, Hannah. Right now we’re the only employees here, but we’ll do our best to make you feel comfortable.”
Yulias, who was listening to Maurice from behind me, timidly poked her head out, tightly grabbed my arm, and said, “I’m sorry for my behavior just now. I am the new owner of this hotel. My name is Yulias, eldest daughter of Earl Nogger.”
Yulias then seemed to regain some of her usual composure back, for she took a step forward.
… She was still holding my arm though.
“First of all, I would like to get the financial information of the hotel, so could you please bring me the ledger?” Yulias asked.
Immediately after that, Maurice rushed inside the hotel to bring it, while Hannah, who was left behind, guided us to the hotel’s lounge with stiff movements.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Hannah.” Yulias smiled as she said that.
“S-s-s-s-s-sorry!” Hanna replied, tripped on a carpet and fell down…
“You don’t need to panic… It’s alright.” Yulias said as Hannah hastily got up.
Once we arrived at the lounge, Michael and lady Vanette left to take a look outside, while Yulias’ guards said they would look inside the hotel to check its security.
Then, Maurice arrived with the ledger, and Hannah made some tea.
While Yulias checked the ledger, I drank some of the very delicious tea, which had a refreshing aroma.
“The number of customers seems to have dropped drastically since five years ago. Do you know what could have caused it?” Yulias asked.
Both Maurice and Hanna looked downwards when hearing the question.
“If you know something, don’t hide it and tell me. I would like to know what I need to pay attention to when reforming this hotel.” Yulias told them.
The two looked up, as if they were moved by Yulias words, “Up until you bought this hotel, the owner has left everything to us, so we just didn’t know what we had to do…” Maurice told her. He seemed about to cry.
“And what happened five years ago?” Yulias asked.
Maurice seemed to be struggling to talk, but he forced the words out, “Five years ago… My parents passed away, and the owner of the hotel changed.”
Yulias went pale when hearing that, “Why did you parents die?”
Maurice gave her a sad smile, “Back then, we were so busy that my parents were never able to take any time off… They only realized that they were sick once they started vomiting blood, but… By then, it was too late.”
Such a painful story…
Yulias frowned heavily, then angrily exclaimed, “Your parents were overworked to death!? I cannot forgive that!”
Right after that, we suddenly heard a rumbling sound outside the room.
I thought it was just some wood creaking due to the building being old, but Yulias clung to my arm anyways.
Maurice and Hannah turned their eyes towards the rumbling.
“Are those noises frequent?” I asked.
Maurice panickily nodded, “Yes! It’s an old building!”
Besides Maurice who was saying that, Hannah hurriedly tried running in the direction of the earlier rumble, but she tripped and fell down again.
And then… Right in front of where Hannah fell… I saw a floating vase.
I tilted my head at the sight.
Meanwhile, Yulias shrieked.
As for the vase… It floated outside the room, then after a small while, returned, this time beautifully filled with flowers.
Then, the vase was settled back in its original spot, and Yulias pressed her head against my arm.
She was putting a bit too much strength in this, so it hurt a bit…
And Maurice just held his head with his hands when seeing all this happen.
“I really had a bad feeling about all this…” Yulias muttered with a crying voice, “I was deceived… I was sold a haunted hotel…” She was trembling.
“Yulias, are you afraid of ghosts?” I asked her.
“Are you not, your highness?” She asked me back.
Ghosts aren’t as scary as dragons, are they? Not to mention that we also know people with Banshee blood, who are ominous beings who predict the death of their master… Aren’t those much scarier than ghosts?
So, I just tilted my head at her question, which made Yulias frown at me.
“H-hey…” Hannah raised her hand, “You see, that was just… My father and mother, who are still working…” Hannah glanced at the corner of the room before continuing, “They tidy up the beds, clean, pick things up after they fall down, store any cleaning tools that I forgot to put away… They do the same things they did back when they were alive.
“All of a sudden, they both died, and they were worried if me and Maurice would be able to keep on managing the hotel properly, so they were unable to rest in peace, because they kept on working to help us out!”
So Hannah thinks they’re the ghosts of her parents… I guess she doesn’t want to hear people speaking ill of them then.
“Hannah, are you sure about what you’re saying…?” Yulias, who still looked as pale as a ghost, let go of me and grabbed Hannah’s shoulder, “Are they doing the same they did back when they were living? Are your parents’ ghosts just working?”
Hannah looked like she was about to cry when faced with Yulias questioning.
“Are you telling me that there are people who are being forced to work in unfair conditions and without even being paid wages!?” Yulias asked.
Maurice and Hannah both tilted their heads at that question, seemingly unable to understand what Yulias was getting at.
“There’s no way the labor standards union would allow this kind of thing! If there are people working, then they need wages and vacations! To have someone die from overwork is outrageous! Isn’t that a complete waste of human resources!?” Yulias exclaimed.
Then, ignoring the dumbfounded Maurice and Hannah, Yulias started writing down calculations on a paper sheet, “Twenty-four hours a day… Five years worth of days… Hourly wage at this hotel… For two people…” Yulias muttered as she wrote.
“Yulias, do ghosts even have salaries?” I asked her.
“Huh? Your highness, if you kept on working for five years and was told that you didn’t need to get paid nor get any vacations because you were a ghost, would you just accept it? What kind of devilish deal is that?” Yulias replied.
It’s hard to believe that she was terrified of the ghosts until just a small while ago.
“Well, I mean, I just thought ghosts would have no use for the money…” I muttered.
Yulias thought for a moment before turning to Maurice and Hannah, “Should I pay your parents salary, or would it be better to do something else? Maybe make their grave gorgeous, or perhaps ask a priest to offer them prayers?”
“If a priest prayed for them, wouldn’t they go to heaven?” I asked.
Yulias seemed to have become seriously worried about it after hearing my words.
“Wait, I mean, we can’t even be sure that it’s our parents who are haunting the hotel. Hannah is just assuming it, so why talk about salary in such vague circumstances…?” Maurice seemed to be panicking as he asked that to Yulias.
Yulias pointed her finger at him, “I am the owner of this hotel. You and your sister are employed here, and your parents are still working even after they died, understood?”
“Y-yes.” Maurice muttered.
“I hate situations where employees are put in an unfair work environment! Isn’t it natural that you need to take vacations to recover your energies? And to get paid for all the work you have done? Otherwise, you’ll get physically and mentally exhausted and eventually collapse! To work in my hotel and to not get paid or receive days off… It’s unacceptable!” Yulias stated.
Seems like she is completely convinced that Hannah and Maurice’s parents are the ghosts here, then.
And well, I’m not sure if what she is saying makes sense, but at least she is trying to make her workers happy, I suppose.
That said… “Yulias, weren’t you afraid of ghosts?” I couldn’t help asking her.
The cute Yulias who was so frightened and was clinging to me seemed to be gone now.
“I’ve lived up to this point in my life while being unsure about the existence of ghosts, and I thought that even if they existed, the only thing that they did was to surprise and frighten us.
“However, I have now learned that ghosts can work. Therefore, they deserve the same rights that humans have!” Yulias clenched her fist before continuing, “As the owner of this hotel, it is my duty to lead all my employees to a healthy work environment!”
The frightened Yulias was cute, but I feel more at ease when seeing Yulias cheerfully talk about the happiness of her employees.
“I can promise you a salary and vacations now that you’ll work for me, but… It’s a bit hard to discuss without being able to communicate with you.” Yulias muttered, probably towards the ghosts.
At that moment, some crackling sounds resounded within the room, and blood letters started appearing on the wall, “A pleasure to meet you, new owner.”
The moment she saw those letters, Yulias let out a scream.
Just when I thought she was scared of it, Yulias pointed at the wall and shouted, “Wait, you can’t write blood letters on the wall! What if we can’t erase them later!? I have paper sheets here, so please write in those!”
Perhaps the ghosts were surprised at Yulias anger, but the blood letters were swiftly cleaned up.
Then, after Yulias separated a sheet of paper from the rest, blood letters started appearing on the paper itself, “I am terribly sorry.”
Yulias nodded to that, seemingly satisfied.
However, due to Yulias scream, Michael came inside the room while carrying lady Vanette on his arms.
Right after that, Yulias’ two escorts also entered the room, with murderous intent.
What a chaotic situation…
“Yulias is safe. Don’t worry.” I told them.
“I never heard the young lady scream like that before! What happened!?” Michael asked, ignoring my words.
I couldn’t help giggling at how flustered he seemed to be.
“Did his highness do something to you? Should I kill him?” The escorts asked Yulias.
I would like to ask why they are assuming it is my fault, but I’ll overlook it since they are worried about Yulias.
“Ah, sorry. I screamed in anger, but nothing happened.” Yulias told them.
Hearing her words, the two guards unsheathed their swords and stared at me.
“I am not the one who made her angry.” I told them plainly.
They really should stop looking at me with such obvious suspicion…
At this moment, Michael lowered lady Vanette to the ground, stared at the wall, and said, “Eh? Aah, communication, is it? Alright, I can serve as the interpreter.
“Hannah can do that huh? Got it.” Michael then walked towards Hannah, “Hannah here can see her papa and mama.”
Hannah stiffened at those words, and suddenly seemed about to cry.
“Is that so, Hannah…?” Maurice asked her.
Hannah started crying, “If I told you that I could see father and mother, you would just think that I had gone crazy… You wouldn’t believe me, so I couldn’t tell you.”
Maurice hugged the crying Hannah and started soothing her.
Lady Vanette stared at the two with moist eyes, and the escort, Bariga, was covering his eyes with a handkerchief.
And in the middle of this tearful atmosphere, Yulias was grinning.
… She’s surely plotting something.
“Yulias, you’re scheming something, aren’t you?” I asked her.
“Please don’t read my mind.” Yulias replied.
I’m not reading anything though…
“Now, Maurice, shall we talk about money?” Yulias asked Maurice.
The moment he saw Yulias, Maurice, who was still hugging Hannah, jumped in place.
… Is Yulias unable to realize how terrifying her scheming face can be?
“Michael, what did you think after walking around the hotel’s surroundings?” Yulias asked him.
“Well, the garden is large, the private beach is nearby, and the sea is beautiful.
“This location is really good. It’s rich in nature, and you can get both seafood and mountain delicacies.
“Also, you can see both the port and the station from the hotel, and since the port is nearby, we can transport goods by sea with some ease.” Michael replied.
Lady Vanette then added, “The garden isn’t that well-maintained, but I still feel very comfortable in this place, because its Feng Shui is very good.”
Yulias took note of their comments and muttered, “So this hotel can even make dragons feel at ease…” then gave out a creepy laugh that made Maurice and Hanna tremble a bit.
“I-I’m sorry, new owner. This hotel is famous for being haunted around these parts… I apologize for staying silent until now.” Maurice bowed down to Yulias as he said that.
“Even if you decide on a new concept for the hotel, it already has a reputation of being haunted, so… What are you going to do, Yulias?” I asked her.
Yulias tilted her head at this question, “We’re going to run it as a haunted hotel, of course.”
Yulias was smiling right now… Everyone else in the room was dumbfounded, but Yulias was smiling.
“A hotel where ghosts appear! A must see for anyone who is a ghost enthusiast!
“For those who don’t like scary things, we can prepare a few rooms where ghosts never appear!
“We can also have a few events where we tell scary stories to create the right mood.
“Then, we can sell original ghost-related goods and talismans as well!
“We can even create a special room where you can directly interact with the spirits! Take commemorative photos with ghosts! This will surely be a success!” As Yulias finished showing off her ideas, she started laughing out loud.
It was the first time in a long while that she had laughed out loud, but… Right now, she looked like a total villainess.
“Yulias,” I called her out, “Maurice and Hanna seem to be about to cry! Please calm down.”
I’m not sure if she heard me or not though, because she continued laughing out loud for a while longer.
That said… I couldn’t help thinking that the rest of this trip was going to be fun.