I’m Troubled That My Fiance’s A Villain – Prenuptial Travel Logs – Episode 16

We went up the stone staircase that was worn and smooth, which was probably because many step on it everyday, while the jailer explained to us the tower’s structure as simple as possible.

“This tower has four floors, and prisoners with good conduct are imprisoned on the upper floor, making it relatively safe. As I had said about the prisoners earlier, it’s possible to have furniture brought in or to hire a chef to cook better meals when paying with gold. But on the other hand, the upper floor is colder than the ones below, so inadvertently, they can freeze to death.”

F-Freeze to death…

Compared to its name of the Island of Grief, the environment isn’t as rough as one would think it would be.

“A while back, there were no prisoners in the middle floor, but had staff housing, a kitchen, and a medical office. The visiting room from earlier was added after that.”

Wait, so the second floor earlier was the middle floor then? Which means that the first floor is below that, but are they normally divided like that?

“Upper floor, middle floor, which means there’s also a lower floor?”

I asked Bern who had been wondering the same thing, and the jailer said, “How attentive of you to listen,” and happily answered,

“Yes. This prison has a basement. Half the prisoners are in there.”

I see~

So it even has a basement. I’m really impressed.

Ah, but there’s a small cliff on the east side of the island, so the island itself might have a higher elevation than I thought it did.

I’m sure that the prison down in the basement is damp, and dark.

Damp, dark, and cold…

I felt cold, damp air brush against my cheek, and turned around.

Of course, the only thing that was there was the cold, stone corridor. Did the air come out of some hole?

“In the lowest part of the basement is a dark prison where the most dangerous prisoners are kept in.”

The lowest part, does that mean the basement has at least two floors?

Is it possible that this prison’s main are isn’t above, but below?

“No one is imprisoned there right now, but well, it’s a scary place. I wouldn’t even last a month there if it was me.”

The jailer continued talking, somehow pitying the prisoners, and I casually agreed with him while my mind leapt to that dark prison.

For some reason… I’m really interested in that basement.

My imagination went wild, as if I’ve actually seen that prison down in the basement.

I’m sure it’s damp, dark, and cold. A bed that seems about to break anytime soon, unhygienic, and above all–

“Passing the days chained up…”

“You know quite a lot about it!”

The jailer looked at me with wide eyes at the words I inadvertently spilled out.

“To prevent any prisoners from escaping, there are chains attached to shackles and pickets in each of the rooms. Well, this is just a forethought.”

“I-I see.”

Why did I imagine they were shackled in chains? It’s as if I completely knew about it…

But I managed to brace myself, or rather use my head, a whole lot when I talked to Viola earlier, but now, I couldn’t think at all. Even when I tried to think as much as I could, I would quickly forget about it after just having remembered. It was like trying to frantically gather up water in your hands.

I haven’t been sleeping much recently, but is it because I’m just not doing my best? No one can tell me except myself~ Sigh, I’m tired. This staircase is so bothersome.

When we climbed the long staircase, this time, the corridors twist and turned into many directions in the small corridor.

This seems like a place that you’d get lost in if you didn’t have a guide. Is this what a prison should be like?

Step, step, three people’s footsteps, and the jarring clinking of the jailer’s keys echoed, and it felt like it resounded throughout the whole building.

Will the prisoners listen to our footsteps because of how loud our footsteps echoed? And think that they were visitors?

When I began to think that, I surprisingly began to calm down. Maybe it’s cause of my overactive imagination earlier, or maybe I’m just on edge. Hmm…

I casually tried getting closer to Bern, but that feeling of helplessness still didn’t disappear.

Bern, knowing what I was feeling, slowed down his pace so I could walk closer to him. Always such a considerate guy. Wouldn’t this make your heart flutter?

“Okay, here we are. There are prisoners in the others aside from these three in front, so we can’t go to those.”

With no hesitation, the jailer picked one key from the key ring attached to his waist and opened the door of the first jail cell in front of us.

The door was bulky wood with the corners protected by iron, and near the base was a small window with bars that could open and close.

Urged by the jailer, I tried to timidly enter the jail cell.

As we were told, the inside of the jail cell was spacious, and there were three oblong-shaped windows lined up high on the ceiling whose width were just enough that a person’s arm could go through it. The light shining in made the stone wall that’s piled perfectly, no gaps in between, shine white.

I tried to look outside the window, but I could only see the gray sky and the thinly cut off dark sea. It didn’t seem real, like a painting.

After returning to her own jail cell, did Viola also look at this narrow outside?

With the furnished yet crude desk and bed, then this would be what she has if she didn’t bring in her own furniture.

It’s cleaner than a cheap inn, but there’s no helping that it’s terribly cold since it’s made out of stone and surrounded by the sea at a high elevation. Rather than saying it’s cold, it makes you think that even the air entering your lungs would freeze entirely as well.

If this is how bad it is, then no wonder they would freeze to death.

But I felt uncomfortable the very moment I stepped inside.

Even though this is different from what I knew.

A vague discomfort with no basis.

Moreover, when I looked at Bern absentmindedly brushing his fingers on the jail cell’s walls, the feeling worsened. Him being in here somehow made me uneasy and scared.

Why is that? I’ve never been inside a prison until now, I’ve only seen–

…Wait, that’s wrong.

I knew.

It was like a deep fog that’s been hiding my thoughts suddenly cleared away.

Didn’t I spend many, many days, enough that I started hating it, in a jail cell in that nightmare?

I wonder why I’ve forgotten about it until now.

Even though I saw the dream just a while ago!

That’s right, I’m pretty sure that was a jail cell.

It’s obviously different from this one, but I recognize the huge stone wall, and how it was built. Well, I don’t know what it’s technically called so I asked myself, ‘Is it really the same?‘ and wasn’t that confident about it, but even so, I could only feel that it’s exactly the same.

Come to think of it, the one in the dream was darker than this, damp— it was wet rather than damp. But less cold.

Maybe–

“E-Excuse me!”

When I called out to the jailer waiting by the entrance, he hastily fixed his posture from leaning against the wall.

“Is there anything I can help you with?”

“Do you have a dark prison here?”

“Yes. In the basement.”

“Can we take a look at it?”

The jailer made a face like he was wondering why I said that.

“It’s not like you can’t, but… to be honest, it’s not exactly a place a lady can go to–“

“I’ll be fine.”

“Huh, well–“

“Why do you wanna go see such a place, Lizzy?”

Uhhh, I was at a loss for words.

“U-Uhm… I mean! Seeing upstairs makes you wanna see what’s downstairs as well, right?”

“Not really. I don’t really think it’s any more exciting than this.”

Bern said, looking around like he was troubled.

But I have no plans on stopping here.

“If that’s the case, I’ll go look at it by myself. Just a tiny peek. Is that a no?”

Bern quickly resigned himself to it, and tried to request the jailer to do so

They both looked at each other with equally troubled faces, but because I wasn’t giving up in the slightest, we went to look at the dark prison.

Inside was a small, stone room.

A simple bed and desk.

Inside the jail cell at the lowest level of the basement, on its second floor, was an overhead, high, sorry-excuse of a skylight, making it extremely dark and cold.

The awful air, like something was rotting somewhere, was damp, containing excessive moisture, and is heavy enough it clung to it.

The sound of wind sometimes blew in, similar to a groan, like it came from below ground, making it feel extremely creepy.

I knew.

I knew this place.

I realized that my knees were trembling and burst into tears.

That’s right, it was around here. He was sitting on top of this cold stone floor when I first saw him.

When I looked at a corner, relying on my memories of the dream, over there was a picket to fasten chains with shackles to. I recalled the hateful sound of chains and stone rubbing together.

Many days after that, he planned his escape route, failed, and lied down around this area.

And refusing treatment after contracting a cold, he suffered on this creaking bed.

I knew.

I’ve always known for a long time.

When Bernhardt failed on his assassination attempt on Edwin, he was sentenced to life on an island prison after confessing everything.

Why did I forget this?!

I unsteadily entered the jail with my hand on the wall.

The stone wall I touched with my fingers was wet, and they slid slightly above it.

Even the stagnant air out in the underground tunnel felt like it solidified in my lungs, making it hard and painful to breathe.

Overwhelmed by various sensations of the things I couldn’t feel when I was in my incorporeal body, I lost my focus, and my legs lost their strength.

I was so terrified that my stomach felt heavy, but for some reason, I felt like crying, feeling nostalgic.

Come to think of it, I couldn’t hear that sporadic sound of dripping water. Did someone cover it up? Or was there no place for the water to drip from?

Ah, I can’t hear his breathing.

Bernhardt isn’t here.

He’s not here. Not here.

He, that Bernhardt–

At that moment, I suddenly felt someone’s presence behind me, and something touched my shoulder.

“…!”

The moment I jumped and turned around, my body violently surged forward.

With his hand on my shoulder, Bern quickly grabbed both of my shoulders to not scare me and pulled me back.

“Lizzy!”

“Th-Thanks.”

My breathing became heavy, just like the aftermath of a rigorous exercise. I repeatedly let out shallow breaths, Ha, ha, and somehow managed to take it enough oxygen.

“You’ve been weird since earlier. Your face also looks pale.”

“That’s–“

“We’re going back. The air’s bad here.”

He grabbed my hand, almost dragging me, and left towards the tunnel.

Just like that, Bern rapidly continued on, ignoring the jailer. He continued on with no hesitation, having already memorized the complicated tunnel’s route.

I feel like wanting to go back, I don’t want to go back again, I’m really relieved that Bernhardt wasn’t there, or maybe disappointed–

Before I realized it, I was sat on a chair in front of the fireplace in the room we first entered.

Despite the warmth of the fireplace, I was drenched in cold sweat.

I stared at Bern as he rubbed my ice-cold hands– it felt like waking up from a nightmare.

Though I never woke up since I’ve been in the real world this whole time.

Even though Bern was beside me, and was even rubbing my hands. Half of my mind had been inside that prison.

The jailer returned with warm tea in hand and said in a manner as if saying, ‘See, what did I tell you?

“It was probably a little too much for the lady. You have it hard, Sir.”

“No, it’s because I said something unusual as wanting to see it…”

The orange fire in the fireplace licked the firewood, and I stared at it going higher and higher as I tried my hardest to gather my scattered wits about me.

I thanked the jailer as he handed me the tea and took a sip. My stomach gradually warmed as I smelled the scent of tea leaves. I felt slightly at ease.

That’s right, let’s calm down.

Let’s calm down and think about this carefully.

There’s no doubt that Bernhardt was on the Island of Grief. The problem is whether he’s the Bernhardt I knew of. I have yet to play the secret route, so I don’t know the details of the Bernhardt route.

But well, maybe, possibly, it’s close to what I’m thinking already. Though it’s not exactly something to be happy about if it was.

“What do you wanna do?”

“Huh, with what?”

Ah, crap. I wasn’t listening to what he was saying. I mean, I didn’t even notice he was talking.

“Should we go back to town using the boat? Want to rest a bit longer?”

“Ah, hmm… That’s true.”

Not answering his question, Bern smiled wryly as if to say, ‘good grief.’

Wonder what I should do.

Should I investigate here a bit more? No, but I don’t think there’s anything else I can glean from here.

It felt like I didn’t want to leave earlier, but now that I’ve properly calmed down, I don’t want to go back to that dark prison again.

“Either way, we can also head on over to the monastery if we go back to the boat but… They’ll examine you over there if you’re not feeling good, and I heard it’s a nice place.”

I see.

“Isn’t the monastery about the same distance as the town? Besides, will the boatman even let us…”

“It’s not. The monastery’s farther. As for the boatman, as long as we have money, he’ll make it work.”

When we came here earlier, I was sleeping instead of getting seasick, so rather than saying I’m not feeling good, it’s just mentally.

“I’m fine. Let’s go to the monastery… I don’t want to stay here any longer.”

This one day felt much longer.

But there’s more yet to come after this.

I drew in a huge breath, and firmly clenched my jaw.

In the end, we were unable to head towards the monastery that day.

When we got to the town’s harbor where the monastery was, the sun was already setting, so Bern made me rest in the meantime.

There was no point arguing about it since we were already at the harbor, so upon throwing ourselves in a suitable inn, I realized that this had been his plan from the very beginning.

Man~ Why didn’t we just go to the monastery then~? I got hyped for nothing.

But I’m such a weak-willed person, so I’m the type to follow when semi-forced, and thinking, ‘I have no other choice but to rest today,’ strength left my body as I tossed my feet on top of the chair. By the way, I’m not on the bed because I’m scared of falling asleep.

“Go and rest properly.”

“No can do. I’m melting right now.”

“Melting…”

Bern surprisingly murmured in agreement, and folded the overcoat that was stiffer than usual with moisture from the sea.

Ah~ I also have to change my clothes.

I don’t want to change my clothes, eat, or sleep… I don’t want to sleep. Definitely not!

Ah~ But in the meantime, I have to change clothes…

It’s no use. I also feel my thoughts melting away.

“Come on, change your clothes.”

“Hmmm.”

It won’t be difficult for me to not get a wink of sleep tonight. There’s so much to think about, so there shouldn’t be a reason for me stay up all night if it’s just one night.

Just that, it wouldn’t be good if I’m sleepy and my brain isn’t working tomorrow when I meet up with Lila.

But man…

I lingered on the chair as I grumbled another low, Hmmm.

Bern looked at me like he was wondering what kind of creature I was.

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