The Suspects of Necromancy Volume 1 Chapter 2.5 

Episode 1

The mansion was enormous, at least to young Luna.
 
Wide on both sides, it was built symmetrically with black stone walls that exuded an intimidating presence.
 
The entrance was guarded by a sturdy iron gate, and the mansion was surrounded by high brick walls that no adult could easily climb over.
 
Luna thought she might never be able to leave once she entered.
 
“There are plenty of kids your age in the mansion,”
 
said Mason, pointing to a group of children who appeared to be around Luna’s age.
 
The children were busy cleaning the mansion’s garden, but they seemed to be having fun, which made Luna feel relieved. It didn’t seem like such a bad place after all.
 
However, as soon as Molly saw this, she forcefully opened the gate and marched inside with a furious look on her face.
 
Mason gave a wry smile as he watched her go.
 
The children, upon seeing Molly, were so startled that they began cleaning at twice their previous speed.
 
“What do you think you’re doing?!”
 
Molly shouted.
 
“There’s no value in half-hearted cleaning! Listen up! Actions done just because someone is watching are worthless! That means you all are worthless too! Only when you act on your own will does it have meaning! How many times do I have to tell you that as long as you’re being forced, you’re only half-human! No one will value or buy you! Do you want to spend your whole life trapped here?”
 
The children, who had seemed happy moments ago, now had tears in their eyes.
 
Luna froze. She had thought Molly was a nice person and was shocked to see her angry.
 
Soon, a woman rushed out from the mansion and began scolding the children along with Molly.
 
Apparently, she was a servant who had been assigned to look after them while they were away. She was a middle-aged lady who seemed to have a good heart.
 
She was a middle-aged woman who seemed to have a good natured personality.
 
“It’s your spoiling that’s making these kids lazy!”
 
“But Madam, it’s too harsh to be so strict with such small children…”
 
The servant tried to defend the children, and Luna agreed wholeheartedly. She thought that if she were yelled at like that, she would cry too.
 
Luna silently cheered for the servant. Molly seemed like the bad person in this situation.
 
“How many times do I have to tell you that misguided sympathy is poison for these children? If you don’t train them when they’re young, they’ll turn out worthless. The older they get, the harder it becomes to instill good habits. These children are merchandise. High-priced goods are treated with care, but cheap goods are disposable. I’ve seen it happen countless times!”
 
Molly’s anger showed no signs of abating.
 
Unable to bear it any longer, Mason stepped in, bringing Luna with him.
 
“That’s enough, Molly.”
 
Mason grabbed Molly’s shoulder.
 
“Luna’s scared. This must be quite a shock for a newcomer. She might not sleep tonight because of this. So let’s stop here.”
 
Molly glanced at Luna and looked slightly embarrassed.
 
The servant and the children visibly relaxed at Mason’s intervention.
 
(Huh? Maybe Mason is the nice one?)
 
Luna hadn’t trusted Mason much due to his light-hearted manner, but stopping the frightening Molly made Luna see him in a more favorable light.
 
“Surprised, Luna? Of course you are,”
 
Mason said, to which Luna nodded repeatedly.
 
“But Molly’s right, you know. You all are merchandise. If we can’t sell you at a high price, it’s trouble for us, and you’ll end up in a bad place. So, the only way to ensure your happiness is to increase your value. And probably…”
 
Mason put his arm around Molly’s waist and drew her close.
 
“This one cares more about you than anyone in the world.”

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Luna thought she must be special. After all, she was worth a hundred gold coins. She believed she would be treated differently from the other children.
 
She expected not to be scolded or hit by Molly.
 
Before coming here, Luna had always been treated specially, so it was only natural for her to think this way.
 
However, Molly did not treat Luna specially.
 
As soon as they entered the mansion, Molly handed her an old vase.
 
“You must be tired today, so I’ll let you off with just polishing this vase.”
 
Luna was indeed tired, having spent a long time in the carriage.
 
She would have liked to rest, but the image of Molly’s earlier fury made her unable to voice this desire.
 
After giving her the vase, Molly left the room.
 
Luna reluctantly began polishing the vase with the cloth she was given, but Molly’s shouting from elsewhere in the mansion made her hands shake.
 
Not long after, Molly returned to the room.
 
Luna had managed to finish polishing the vase. She felt confident she had done a good job.
 
“What is this?”
 
Molly asked coldly, dashing Luna’s hopes.
 
“It’s no different from before. Your task was not just to wipe the vase with a cloth but to transform it. If you can’t do that, no one will value your work.”
 
Molly snatched the vase and cloth from Luna and began polishing the vase herself.
 
Her movements were quick and precise, unlike Luna’s broad and careless strokes. She meticulously wiped the intricate patterns, matching the cloth to the vase’s contours. After finishing, Molly used a nearby water jug to moisten the cloth and polished the stained areas again.
 
The vase transformed into something beautiful.
 
But Luna was reluctant to acknowledge this.
 
“If I’d known I could use the water jug, I could have done it better,”
 
she protested.
 
“If you thought using water would make it cleaner, you should have looked for water,”
 
Molly replied, rejecting Luna’s small protest.
 
“You could have asked someone. You should never expect everything you need to be provided from the start. Have the will to gather what you need yourself. Don’t be passive. People don’t value those who only do what they’re told. They recognize those who go beyond what’s asked of them.”
 
Molly placed the polished vase on a table by the window. In the sunlight, it gleamed brilliantly, looking like something of great value.
 
“Work with your own will, Luna. That’s the most important thing in life. You might be merchandise, but you’re also a person. Show your will in the tasks you’re given. Your future lies beyond that.”
 
Luna didn’t fully understand what Molly was saying. But seeing the shining vase, she realized that doing work like Molly’s would indeed increase her value.
 
She accepted this and resolved to improve herself.
 


 
“Molly is a devil. No doubt about it.”
 
Dorothy, a girl about Luna’s age, was already in the room assigned to Luna.
 
Dorothy had been bought by Mason shortly before Luna arrived.
 
Even though they shared a room, Luna and Dorothy rarely had time to talk because they were kept busy with work from morning till night.
 
They only chatted briefly before falling asleep, exhausted.
 
“She’s always angry, always making us work. I’ve never seen anyone as horrible as her.”
 
Dorothy often complained about Molly.
 
Luna, on the other hand, listened cheerfully to Dorothy’s complaints, thinking about how to avoid being scolded herself.
 
She pondered why they were scolded, how they should behave, and what was expected of them before falling asleep.
 
Luna considered Dorothy a friend but also saw her as a rival she must not lose to. It wasn’t just Dorothy; Luna was determined to outperform all the children in the mansion.
 
(After all, I’m worth a hundred gold coins.)
 
This was Luna’s pride and her anchor. She believed she was more valuable than anyone and aimed to increase her worth even further.
 
As a result, Luna approached her work with determination, studied hard, and learned proper manners.
 
The children who had been in the mansion before Luna wondered why she worked so hard, while those who arrived after admired her swift and graceful actions.
 
Thus, Luna steadily increased her value, but this had an unintended consequence: she became too expensive to sell easily.
 
Mason wanted to settle for a reasonable price, but Molly wouldn’t agree, making Luna the longest-staying child in the mansion.
 
However, Luna’s days at the mansion eventually came to an end.
 
A sorcerer bought her for the asking price.
 
Five hundred gold coins.
 
Thanks to Molly’s training, Luna had managed to quintuple her value.


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