Volume 2 – Chapter 7: Albert Castle
A brilliant doctor who could cure the plague appeared in Odia Town. This information wasn’t only spread throughout Odia, it also propagated to the other small towns nearby in just a few days. In those past few days, there were, in fact, patients from out of town who came over to seek medical treatment.
After the truth of the breakout was revealed by Odia Town, the townspeople were shocked to discover that the amount of people infected by the plague was far more than everyone had imagined.
Excluding the villages next to them, of the approximately seven hundred residents, there were thirty to forty people infected with the plague. Among the infected were both men and women, old and young.
Perhaps just looking at the number, thirty to forty people of seven hundred residents didn’t seem big. But if you thought about how Qin Lun used to be located on the Earth Federation where some populations of major cities reached millions, if some news media appeared and reported that dozens of people were infected with a fatal plague, then perhaps all several million residents of the city would feel endangered and anxious.
Although the people in this world were not as fearful of death as the modern people of Qin Lun’s old world, the scale of this kind of infection was still enough to break people’s psyche. No wonder there would be a mysterious power in town that tried to conceal the truth at all cost. It was because they were afraid that things would turn chaotic which would make the situation even more unmanageable.
“Although Baron Albert’s fiefdom does not comprise Odia Town, he is still this area’s real ruler. The town chief of Odia Town is also his person.” Catherine helped straighten Qin Lun’s collar as she chattered on and on to the youth, “You can’t have this kind of arrogant appearance in front of him. You need to be more modest!”
Qin Lun twitched his lips. Although Catherine’s words were right during normal times, it was of no use now. With how things were now, Baron Albert was no longer this land’s ruler. Rather, it was him, the doctor who could cure the plague. However, the youth did not retort to the middle-aged beauty’s words. Instead, he narrowed his eyes, experiencing this strange feeling he had never experienced before.
Rumble. Rumble. As he listened to the sound of the carriage’s axles turning, Qin Lun pulled aside the white curtain over the carriage’s small window and looked at the scenery outside.
The carriage had already left Odia Town, driving down the mud road outside. Tall and lush trees lined the sides of the roads with sunshine passing through the dense treetops. Between the trees were dead leaves that dotted the ground along with light and shadow.
Qin Lun looked at it for a while, then drew the curtain back and closed his eyes to rest. His mind was arranging some of the information Catherine provided to him.
Albert Castle was on the tallest hill of this woodland. Behind the castle was a tall and steep cliff; below the cliff was the largest river of the region that had a horseshoe twist with racing currents, the Crest River.
The currents of the Crest River were rapid. The narrowest crossing of the river was still at least thirty meters wide. That night when Qin Lun first arrived in this world, the stream he ran across was one of the tributaries of the Crest River. As a matter of fact, the surrounding towns, with Odia Town as the center, were all located along the curve of the river, the south bank, forming a chain of human settlements.
Across the river was the largest primitive forest of the Maize Duchy—the Great Maize Forest. In its long history, there was a local legend that an evil witch resided in the Great Maize Forest, as well as evil organisms controlled by the witch.
Because this place was right next to the Crest River, the Great Maize Forest and the human’s residences were separated in half. If you had a bird’s-eye view, the Crest River looked like the white crook of an arm, hugging human settlements in its embrace. Albert Castle was in the very foremost of the crook, in charge of standing guard. Behind it was the central town of the human settlements—Odia Town.
Of Odia’s legends, besides the one of the witch that felt unfathomable, there was one other relevant rumor.
It was said that the Albert family’s first generation baron received the Maize Duchy’s dispatch and especially defended this mountain woodland, guarding against the evil organisms within the Great Maize Forest.
Legends say that three hundred years ago, this area had even had a war, the humans against the evil organisms. In the end, Baron Albert led his cavalry troops and beat back the witch and her evil accomplices. It also restored peace to the area of Odia.
Recalling this information, Qin Lun understood clearly. Odia Town had this kind of legend in their history. It was no wonder that when the plague appeared, the townspeople associated it to the Great Maize Forest’s witch and black magic.
To tell the truth, Qin Lun objected to some of the information regarding the witch. He did not really believe in those three-hundred-year-old ancient legends. Although he had experienced space-time teleportation and experienced Shattered Starry Sky’s magnificent landscapes that defied nature, in his heart, he still had some innate resistance against supernatural phenomenons.
Qin Lun’s way of thinking wasn’t strange at all. When he had just been sent into the mental hospital, his mind had also created a lot of hallucinations. If it weren’t for these mental illusions that appeared over the years, how would he walk upon the path of doom?
On the small path within the woods, the horse-drawn carriage finally exited the forest and followed along a smooth mountain road, advancing quickly. Before it got dark, they arrived in front of an ancient castle.
Stepping off the carriage, Qin Lun looked at the ancient castle in front of his eyes, his eyebrows slowly rising more and more. His hunchbacked servant behind him also widened his triangular, mismatched eyes. His mouth behind the mask probably already entered the state of being unable to close it due to shock.
It was unlike common aristocratic castles. This ancient castle was grand and magnificent, a large building made of stone and over thirty meters tall. Four secondary castles that were over a dozen meters tall were also connected to it. They were like devoted guards surrounding and protecting their master. Looking at the castle from the front, it appeared to make a strange, triangular shape.
The most amazing thing was that the location of the castle and the cliff was not a whole segment. Between them was a fifty-meter-wide and hundreds of meters deep moat. Albert Castle was unexpectedly situated on top of a steep cliff that was only connected to the other side by a huge stone bridge.
Looking at the thick castle door, Qin Lun’s eyes flickered. Perhaps those legends that Catherine talked about had some truths to them. Since the first generation of Albert Barons, they should still have the mission of defending the Maize Duchy.
This castle, rather than calling it a Lord’s Castle, was best regarded as a Military Stronghold!
The stone bridge appeared neat and serious; every set distance on the bridge was a crouching gargoyle.
The beasts all had different poses and expressions: some had long bat wings, some with sinister demon heads. Qin Lun took note of all of them. It was because they did not resemble beasts. They look like the stone statues of the monsters told in the legends.
It didn’t take long to reach the end of the fifty-meter-long stone bridge. The baron had sent a coachman and valet to bring Qin Lun to the door, after which they turned and retreated.
At this time, the castle’s massive gates were already open. An old butler with graying hair brought a group of servants to represent their master in welcoming Qin Lun.
“Respected Dr. Stein, I’m this castle’s butler, Jason. The baron already knows of your arrival and is waiting for you in the lounge. Please, follow me.” The old butler put one hand across his chest, and bowed respectfully.
Qin Lun tipped his top hat, returning the greeting, then followed the old butler through the castle.
The inside of Albert Castle didn’t look as solemn as the outside. It may have been a stronghold for the army several hundred years ago, but now it had become a typical castle for a noble.
A cobblestone road passed through the gate and extended towards the main castle. On both sides of the path was a well-kept lawn. In the middle of each sat an exquisite, small fountain with a statue of a little stone angel. It was much more pleasing to the eye than the sinister beasts by the stone bridge.
“Welcome, young Dr. Stein!” Walking into the castle’s lounge, a well-dressed, lively old gentleman nodded courteously at Qin Lun.
Qin Lun knew this old gentleman was probably the master of this castle—Baron Thomas Albert, and immediately removed his hat and bowed respectfully while at the same time examining the current generation’s Baron Albert.
Thomas Albert appeared to be to be over fifty years old. He had a rosy complexion which made him look quite healthy. His two eyes were lively, and he had a handlebar mustache, as well as a bit of a paunch.
“Thank you for kindly inviting me. Wellington Stein gives his greetings! Sire may just call me Wellington!”
While the two of them chatted, the old butler took Qin Lun’s top hat and coat, draping the coat over his arm.
“Alright, Wellington. You’ve come all the way from Odia Town, so you must be tired. Please follow Jason to your room. I’ve also prepared a banquet for you so I’ll see you soon!” The old baron’s voice was loud. There was nothing noble about it.
After the brief conversation between the two of them, the old butler, Jason, guided Qin Lun through the lounge and toward the stairs of the main building and the guest room on the second floor. As for Qin Lun’s hunchbacked servant Frank, his class wasn’t high enough so he couldn’t enter the VIP guest room. He could only follow the other servants and stay in the common room.
Jason was guiding Qin Lun to the corridor where the guest room was when the two of them heard a sweet and pleasant female voice.
“Eh, is this the Dr. Stein from Odia Town who cured the patients infected with the plague?”
Qin Lun heard the sound and stopped short. Turning half around, he looked at the person behind.
Behind him was a slim noblewoman wearing a bone-white dress. The woman had a broad-brim western-style hat on her head along with white gauze covering her face. She looked as if she had just returned from outside. Although he couldn’t see her appearance, she should be a young woman judging from her voice.
Qin Lun’s heart raced. He bowed and did not speak.
“Miss Laura, this is Dr. Stein. We have just brought him over from Odia Town.” The old butler Jason timely introduced the two to each other. “Miss Laura is My Sire Baron’s most beloved daughter.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, beautiful Miss Laura.” A charming and gentle smile appeared on Qin Lun’s face. The serial killer had a feeling that this young lady who appeared as if she had just returned did not meet him in the corridor by chance. Rather, she waited here for him on purpose.
His luck was pretty good! Joy flashed across Qin Lun’s eyes. He really hadn’t expected that just when he entered Albert Castle, there would be a pure and ignorant little sheep who would take the initiative to come meet him!