The Sleepless Night of the Maid — Chapter 25
Translator: Eonnicorn / Editor: Scarlet
The horse halted by the door of Bale Castle, and they dismounted. It was bright, for the moonlight was radiant, and wall sconces hung in front of the door and along the wall. Because the Lord of the Castle hadn’t returned yet, the caretaker didn’t turn off the lights, waiting for him.
“It’s still the same. It’s exactly like the old times…”
Eva turned her head from side to side, unable to contain her emotion. The exterior of the castle that she could see in the light remained intact. Even after all this time, Bale Castle silently stood firm and had a welcoming atmosphere to its ex-owner. Eva felt a twinge in her eyes, at a loss for words as she placed her hand on her chest.
Ruth smiled softly and faced Eva as his lips parted. “Where is it? The place we need to see.”
“Ah! This way.” When Ruth reminded her of their original goal, Eva quickly pulled herself together and led him.
The two walked along the long colonnade, turning at the end of the building and moving to the back of the castle. As they walked up to the steps of a small hill past the trees, she heard a small sound of water flowing. It was the sound coming from the water fountain that was drawn from the watercourse in the mountain.
Her steps, filled with eagerness and impatience, quickened. The moment she finally walked into the arch-shaped iron gate, the place she always dreamed of was unveiled in front of her.
‘The moonlight streamed down, as if flowing from an angel’s hands.’
“This is it.” Eva murmured with a dazed look as she recalled one sentence from the past.
White marble was circling around to form a fountain reservoir. On one side of it, a statue of a lion roaring stood, as if on guard for any intruders. It was the symbol of the Massies family. On top of the marble, in the middle of the reservoir, settled an angel with its wings spread, both of its hands stretched out as it looked down at them. The water that filled angel’s hands poured down to the reservoir, creating splashes in the water underneath it. Although all the parts were grand, they matched well in harmony with their surroundings.
However, the highlight of the moonlight garden was a different thing. Silver white lights that beamed from all directions painted the area.
“The Thousand Moon stone. It’s about connecting love.“ Ruth spoke in a calm voice beside Eva, who was rendered silent, while he enjoyed the same view.
The fountain reservoir and stone statues, as well as the flagstone floor, were all created from marble of the very same stone and color. This was an incredibly rare stone that only came from the Ether region, radiating a fine white light on its own. It reflected the moonlight and scattered it all over the place, creating an ethereal image.
Legend has it that this stone was known as the light shed by an angel and the lamp of a fairy. As Ruth implied, when a man and a woman faced each other on this stone, it was said that they would fall in love under its light.
“That’s right. It’s beautiful, isn’t it?”
“It is.” With a smile, Ruth agreed at Eva’s question, which sounded more like a monologue to herself.
“My grandfather made this place for my grandmother. It was also where my father and mother first met. They fell in love at first sight, though I can’t quite understand it.”
It was built by her grandfather, the second Count of Massies, for his beloved wife. It was also the place where her father, the third Count of Massies, met with her mother.
Eva heard that he opened an outdoor garden for the locals and fell in love at first sight when he saw her mother who stopped by while traveling. Then, her mother stopped traveling and stayed here to marry her father. Before she gave birth to Eva and died, the two had a passionate love.
Every time Eva heard the story, she was puzzled and curious. What was that feeling when you saw only one person in the world? And was it truly possible to feel it from someone you just met?
Not only flooded with love stories, this place was filled with numerous other stories. The story of her father’s journeys that she heard from her father, Cecil’s stories about her old days and miscellaneous tales told by Lawrence and Matthew. It was a place where Eva could imagine another world outside of the world where she lived in.
“The room with the balcony over there was my room. My father moved it there on purpose because I really loved this place.”
“When I was young, I used to sit on that balcony railing and look down at this place every day. I was scolded a lot by my father and nanny when they caught me red-handed, though I’ve never fallen from there.”
Happy memories played before her eyes. As a child, she sat on that balcony, swinging her legs back and forth while singing. She looked like a girl who was happy and joyful every day without any worries in the world. She’d love to go in that room, but she knew that it was too greedy of her. Just being here now meant she has used all of this year’s luxury.