"The most recent death was the owner of the Silversilk Castle from about 30 years ago. I am not sure which Antique of Tragedy it is, but I am trying to see just what’s going on there, and I might even find it if I’m lucky," Dale Quicksilver added, while Garen nodded his head.
Garen knew what an Antique of Tragedy was, and he thought his Bronze Cross was one of them. Although it could barely provide him with any potential, only about 1 point per week, it was better than nothing.
Garen had no idea why an Antique of Tragedy could provide him with potential, and he wanted to know where the name came from. Those were the main reasons why he decided to travel to the Silversilk Castle with Dale Quicksilver.
The carriage left the city before noon and arrived at a green and yellow slope in the afternoon. There was a small forest in front of them and the sun was beginning to set. The four got off the carriage and surveyed the forest.
By the end of the forest, they could see an old-looking graycastle built upon a hill. The surface of the castle had burn marks all over it, and it was completely devoid of plant life.
Outside the castle, the lawn was surrounded by fences and several trees, but they all looked gray and burned.The castle had three bartizans, and Garen could see many windows around it. However, everything looked black from a distance.
"This is Silversilk Castle. I heard it caught fire 30 years ago and the next owner had no money to fix it, so now it looks like this. It was pretty sad, since the castle was famous for its garden. The word silversilk came from its beautiful exterior. Before the accident, the facade looked like it was covered with silver silk." Dale Quicksilver said, pointing at the castle.
"I don’t think that’s possible Mr. Dale. If the accident happened thirty years ago, why does it still have this gray and black appearance. There should at least be some ivies or moss growing on it," Grace speculated.
"No one knows the reason. Some said the ash stopped the plants from growing, and some said plants just wouldn’t grow there. There were many strange rumors about the castle, but they were all hard to believe," Si Lan said.
"Did you ever ask the locals about it?" Grace scrunched her eyebrows and asked.
"No one lives around here. Farmers cannot grow anything on an area like this, and the closest towns are about 30 miles away," Si Lan answered.
"We will be staying in the castle tonight, right? Do we have enough supplies?" Garen touched his fake beard and asked.
"We have more than enough. Me and Si Lan have stayed here for days, and the only problem was that we had to travel a long way to get back to the city. The environment here was good, and it was nice to stay in the castle. Let’s go. We still have a long way to walk, maybe half an hour," Dale Quicksilver said as he nodded his head.
"What about the carriages?" Garen asked.
"Just leave them here and someone will drive them back. I have everything planned. We took the carriages to get here, but we will have to walk back after we visit. It’s about a four hour walk from here to Canoe Town, the nearest settlement," Dale Quicksilver explained.
"We will have to stay here for several days I think," he continued.
"That’s fine. I will enjoy my vacation I guess. Grace, can you go back to the city and tell my family not to worry about me? Just tell them I am staying at my friend’s home and I will be back after several days," Garen said with a light tone.
"How about letting me drive the carriage back and I’ll leave it in town?" Grace suggested. She knew Garen wanted her to hide the truth from his family. He was still a high school student and did not want his family to be worried about him.
"Sure," Dale Quicksilver nodded.
The three watched Grace and the carriage disappear at the end of the road.
"Let’s go. It’s better if we can get there before the evening,
" Dale Quicksilver said, shaking the long bag in his hand.
"I brought my rifle and we can hunt some wild animals for a barbeque," he added.
"Sounds great! You’re really well prepared." Garen smiled.
"I brought some spices, tea, and coffee beans. There is a river nearby and we can get some water from there." Si Lan smiled and showed Garen the red pouch in her hand.
"Let’s see if you can make some good coffee," Garen said.
"I have some secret techniques!" Si Lan had a mysterious smile on her face.
"I assume Mr. Kelly rarely goes camping. Unlike us detectives, sometimes we even have to camp in forests when chasing criminals, so we have to be prepared," she explained.
"You are right." Garen shrugged his shoulders.
"I only brought some emergency tools, some clothes, and some daily supplies. I am not as prepared as you," he replied.
"Well, let’s get moving before it gets dark. We need to clean up a room for you. From here on out we’ll have to rely on the oil lamps I brought," Dale Quicksilver said lightly as he looked at the setting sun.
"Sure, let’s go." The three started to walk towards the Silversilk Castle.
Inside the Castle’s iron gate, Garen could see white ashes on the charred ground. It looked like the road was covered with a layer of soot.
There were two small triangular fire towers on either side of the road, and there were two braziers on top of them. A metal railing separated the castle from the trees on the outside, but Garen had no idea out of what type of metal it was made from.
Outside the railings, Garen could see fresh, dark green bushes. Beyond that, everything looked dead. The dying trees and withered lawn made Garen feel a bit depressed.
The three people entered the gate holding their bags in hand. They followed the dusty road to the door of the castle. The wooden door had a metal frame around its perimeter, and there was a white keyhole in the middle. Dale Quicksilver took out the key and unlocked the door.
The door opened and Garen followed Si Lan into the empty main hall. He checked around but there were no decorations, no furniture, not even a carpet. It was also dark since the wall lamps were also gone .
The sunlight entered the hall through the dormer on the side, opposite to the door, and it made the hall just slightly more peaceful.
"Which room you want? You can pick one and then we need to start preparing dinner." Dale Quicksilver closed the door and put the key back to his belt.
"Cooking for myself in a castle in the middle of nowhere, this feels so novel to me," Garen said and smiled.
Si Lan brought him to a room on the right side of the castle and made the bed for him. Garen put a blanket on the bed and was good to go.
After dinner, Garen could barely see anything in the dark and they did not have enough oil to keep the lamps going, so they decided to go to bed early and explore the castle tomorrow.
Garen went back to his room and sat on the bed.
The room was extremely quiet. There was a door sized window on one side, the floor was made from light red hexagonal tiles. There was only a large bed in the room, surrounded by metal racks upon which mosquito traps used to be placed.
Garen could barely move on the bed as he did not want the rust to flake off the metal bedframe. There was an oil lamp on a chair beside the bed, the only thing that was keeping the room in light. He walked towards the window in his underwear and looked down. He could see nothing but darkness.
He couldn’t see anything on the lawn; the whole castle was dead still. Dale Quicksilver and Si Lan were sleeping in two different rooms, so Garen was the only one awake in the castle.
Garen opened the window, and a chilling wind gusted into the room. Garen could hear owls hooting from the forest, barely illuminated by the shining moon in the sky.
"I should go to bed. I will see what Dale Quicksilver can find here tomorrow. I am not sure if he knows I am undercover. I don’t know if he is a genius or not, but I know he’s observant," Garen thought. He practiced some Fist Arts in the room, before closing the door, and laying down on the bed.
After a while, Garen turned over on the bed. Strangely, he heard the sound of the door being opened; it sounded like someone had opened it from the outside. Surprised, he sat up and looked at the door. The door was ajar, but otherwise not moving. He got up and closed the door carefully.
"It was the wind,"’ he thought.
Garen lay down on the bed and began fell asleep, but the sound of the door opening stopped him again.
Garen woke up one more time and he grabbed the oil lamp by the side. He stared at the door carefully, but nothing was there.
"Are you playing with me?" Garen yelled.
"Dale?" he yelled again.
His voice echoed in the room, down the grand hall across the castle, and finally back to him. But no one answered. It was still quiet outside.
Garen put on his slippers and walked towards the door with the lamp in his hand. He closed the door again and locked it. He fastened the door with the latches so that no one would be able to open it again. Garen took a deep breath and returned to the bed. However instead of sleeping, he just sat there and tried to figure out what was going on.
Suddenly, he heard the sound of someone putting a key into the keyhole of his door.
Garen stood up immediately and forcefully swung the door open. The noise stopped. No one was outside. He was really confused.
"I... thought I locked it?" Garen looked at the latches, and was surprised again.
"I locked the door and fastened all the latches!" he yelled. He was sure he had locked the door, but the door had just opened without any resistance.
"What the hell?!" Garen yelled. He slammed the door closed and stepped back. His scalp tingled and he stumbled on the corner of the bed.
"If I find whoever it is that’s pulling this prank, you’re dead!" Garen yelled with anger.