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Professor Layton and the Rosenwald's Mirror

Chapter Text

London was one of the quietest cities on that day. The rain was pouring in and a pea purée was invading the capital. The streets were empty, only a few brave people struggled to find their way through the mist.

Not far away, in an apartment located in one of the most popular neighbourhoods, a young woman was pacing, seeming to be in a state of intense reflection.

Victoria Smith was one of the most ordinary people you could know: Indeed, she was unlike any other and had the quietest life. She just let time pass, without looking for anything. At least that's what her neighbors thought.

In reality, these "transient" states were very recurrent. And these were in no way random. She had no work and stayed at home most of the time. His daily life was therefore one of reflection and research.

"Research"? Let's get to the facts later, shall we?

She had a choice to make (hence the paces). Was that really a good idea? After all, she wasn't thinking about just anyone. One of London's most renowned teachers... Who else but the famous Hershel Layton might be able to solve a mystery as enticing as this one?

She decided to sit on her desk for a moment and review all the information she had gathered about this strange character. An unnamed mess, one could nevertheless distinguish between a pile of newspaper clippings (from the London Times), sketches but also much (too much) notes. But why?

Victoria closed her eyes, a sign of intense concentration, and put her chin on her fists.

A few minutes later, she took a pen and a piece of writing paper, inspired, and began to write.

After five drafts, she had finally found the perfect form for her story. After signing it, with her most beautiful signature, she put the mail in a very simple envelope and closed it with a flaming wax seal.

"It's a very big risk I'm taking here," she thought.

But she had no choice. She could not go on the adventure alone and she did not know who else to call upon. Professor Layton, in her eyes, was the perfect person to help her: she had heard about her discoveries, especially that of the Azran Legacy, one of the most recent. She had a certain admiration for him, but the feeling of danger began to overwhelm her. Thanks to word of mouth, she learned that this famous Professor could solve any mystery and that his unparalleled ability to solve riddles was second to none.


Any riddle?

She drove away these evil thoughts. Prohibition to be negative! Victoria hated misfortune and all those harmful emotions. She lived only for happiness and joy. The opposite was not true. She stretched and looked out the window: The rain was gone, but the fog was still visible. It doesn't matter. She had to post this letter as soon as possible.

She was running through the streets of London. No one knew why a young woman like her was in such a hurry, so undressed (she had failed to wear proper clothing at daytime temperatures. Indeed a simple pilgrim was much too light for a weather as cold as this one).

Once her letter was mailed (in registered form, it had to arrive urgently to its recipient), she went home and made herself a nice cup of tea. She did not know if she should go to the destination she had given to the archaeologist. Who knows, maybe he'd stand her up? But she remembered that he was a true and perfect Gentleman. His hypothesis was immediately cancelled.

His departure was scheduled in two days. Her bag was ready and she had mentally prepared for any potential inconveniences or risks that could affect her "plan".

She had a very specific example in mind when she thought of that....

Chapter Text

The University of Gressenheller. Who didn't know this one of the most famous and famous establishments in London? This is where our dear Professor Layton taught archaeology. He also spent most of his time in his office with his apprentice Luke Triton.

His former assistant, Emmeline Altava, who was actually a TARGENT mole, had decided to fly on her own. It was difficult for them to get used to this sudden departure, but it was time to turn the page.

The Professor was sitting at his desk, sipping his tea while preparing his future lessons. How long had it been since he had done that? Indeed, since all these adventures, rich in twists and turns and revelations, he did not have time to return to his monotonous and restful life.

As for Luke, he was, on the contrary, eager to solve a new mystery. No wonder for a child, you might say. Moreover, he had still not accepted the sudden disappearance of Aurora, the emissary of the Azran, who was more than that in his eyes. She was a friend..

Indeed, this latest discovery, the Azran Legacy, had been one of their most significant discoveries. How would you react if you learned that your enemy was in fact your older brother and that the leader of a very powerful paramilitary organization your father?

Isn't that upsetting?

The little boy was tired of looking at the landscape and decided to pick up the mail as he did every morning. It had become his little tradition. He quickly looked at the professor.

"-Always in the same place, at the same time," he thought, amused.

After the landing, he rushed down the stairs and rushed to his mentor's mailbox. He opened it with the greatest delicacy, his eyes shining.

Two letters.

Luke, having trouble hiding his excitement, had to refrain from opening these two letters in a row. After all, it wasn't his place to do it.

Neither one nor two, he hurried back to the office. Hershel Layton, was drawn from his thoughts when he heard the door open with a huge crash, followed by his apprentice proudly waving the mail.

"Well, Luke, may I ask what makes you so happy?
-Look at Professor! You received two letters! Maybe a new mystery that knows!"

Layton just smiled at him. The boy handed him the two envelopes.

The first envelope was of pale lavender. It was closed with a blood-red wax seal, which was unknown to him.

The second envelope, on the other hand, was a coffee-coloured one, similar to the dyeing of the scrolls of yesteryear. It was also sealed with a red seal, but it certainly seemed familiar to him.

He chose to open the envelope to the unknown bucket first. He inspected it in detail. After all, it could contain an enigma or even a clue, who knows. Not likely, you know that, but we're talking about Layton anyway....

He opened it without much difficulty (the seal was easy to remove) and unfolded the thick ivory paper. He took a sip of his tea and began his reading, with the greatest attention:

"Dearest Professor Layton,

You don't know me, but I can only count on you. Forgive me for forgetting to introduce myself: My name is Victoria Smith, a fervent and banal admirer of your findings. You are a remarkable person, and your many adventures have fascinated me.
Finally, let us get to the facts. Indeed, I am not writing to you in any way to convey my praise. I have a request that might interest you and your little apprentice: Tell me, have you heard of an object that could offer you what you wanted most?
I'm pretty sure I've aroused your curiosity. A rather vague description, certainly, but do you really think I was going to expose everything to you in this letter?
Attached, you will find a place. That's where I'd be waiting for you.

I thank you and look forward to hearing from you,

Victoria Smith"

Victoria Smith... That name didn't mean anything to him. It was common for him to receive such requests, but he had indeed heard of a relic described as the one in the letter. He had simply not yet focused his attention on it.

After all these adventures, it was understandable. But before deciding whether or not he would accept, he decided to read the second letter, which intrigued him just as much.

He did the same, opened the seal and unrolled the letter. Before reading the title, his gaze went directly to the signature. And what a surprise when he discovered who was the sender of this message...

 

Chapter Text

"-A problem, Professor?" Luke asked.

He did not answer. He simply read the title of the message with the greatest attention:

"Dear Professor Layton,

I am sure you were surprised when you read who was the sender of this letter. You're not dreaming, you saw it. It may seem strange to you, under the circumstances, but only you can clarify my doubt.
Indeed, a few days ago I received a very strange letter. Moreover, the message was anonymous, and it was very disturbing to me. You will understand, that I would like to avoid giving more details, we are never too careful.
Mr. Layton, I would like to discuss this situation one-on-one with you and, of course, your apprentice. It is therefore preferable to meet us at the attached address on the back of this letter.

My most sincere greetings,

Raymond."

Multiple thoughts jostled. Raymond....his brother's butler, Descole. Why this letter? Did his master know about it? What was that other mystery?

"-Professor...?"

He looked up, then turned to Luke, smiling at him:

"-Luke, could you bring me some letterhead, please?
-Right away, Professor!"

Once, this in his possession, he wrote with the greatest care a reply to the two letters received.

"Says Professor, who was the sender of this second letter?
-You'll find out soon enough, boy."

More mysteries... Luke had finally gotten used to them. He didn't flinch, knowing full well that he would get his answer sooner or later. So he waited until his mentor finished what he had to do. Once this is done, the young boy jumps out of his place:

"-What are we going to do now?
-Well Luke, new mysteries await us!
-Really?! So we're going to join Miss Smith? Do you trust her?
-Come on, Luke, a gentleman always has to help the ladies. But first of all, we have to get to the area around Misthallery....
-Hein? But why is that Pro-... Wait, are you referring to the second letter?"

The Professor nodded. Luke had a bad feeling about this. A multitude of theories began to sprout in his mind, but all of them cancelled each other out, because they either contradicted each other or had no basis.

During the rest of the week, Layton and Luke had sent the replies by registered mail. The archaeologist was beginning to investigate the famous object that Victoria had mentioned in her letter.

They left at the beginning of the following week.

Luke's thoughts were busy the whole way. When they arrived near the village where the little apprentice had lived, they recalled the tragic events that had struck this place. That was three years ago....

The Laytonmobile stopped. Layton went down, followed by Luke.

"It is better to continue on foot".

Luke nodded. They headed for a forest, which the boy didn't really like. He didn't understand anything. Or maybe he didn't want to understand...?

The further they went, the denser and darker the forest became. The atmosphere was particularly suffocating and heavy.

They arrived in front of a gloomy mansion, worthy of a haunted mansion. As the Professor knocked slowly at the door, his apprentice looked at him in panic. He seemed to have finally understood:

"-Professor, don't tell me..."

But Luke was interrupted by a squeaky squeaky door:

"-Gentlemen, I've been waiting for you."

 

Chapter Text

"So Descole is the mysterious sender?! Tell me it's a joke, Professor!"

Layton knew that. He did not want to reveal more to his apprentice because he could never support Descole, which was perfectly understandable in view of the atrocities he had been able to commit in recent years.

"Well, Luke, it wasn't Descole who sent me that letter.
-Huh?"

The two characters looked at the butler.

"-So come in, I'll explain everything. I'd just ask you to keep a low profile. You see, sir knows nothing about it."

Layton and his apprentice entered as quietly as possible. The entrance was only lit by candles. They recognized the particular style of the owner of the mansion.

Luke was still dizzy. Everything was going at an incredible speed, he didn't have time to calmly set his mind and summarize the situation.

"I'm sorry I can't welcome you in the most appropriate way, but I didn't really have a choice. Chased the old man.
-There's nothing wrong with that, Raymond, I understand the situation perfectly. Nevertheless, why doesn't Descole know about it?"

The butler sighed and slowly put his hand in his jacket pocket to come out....A letter. It was starting to make a lot of letters, indeed.

He handed it to the Professor.

"I received it a few days ago. I was very surprised to see that it was addressed to myself and not to him. It's better if you read it before I explain everything."

The archaeologist carefully examined the paper and then unfolded it. Barely had he begun to read that something obvious to him struck him, which his apprentice did not fail to notice. He preferred to keep quiet, because he knew that no matter what he said, the professor would not answer him.

Layton began to read the letter in a low voice:

"Dearest Raymond,

To be honest, I'm a little confused to write this message to you. You see, in this story, I'm just the messenger.
I come from an old acquaintance, or maybe a friend? I don't know. But enough chatter, I prefer to get to the point:

I received a letter a few weeks ago from my best friend, Meredith. She's the one who brought me to contact you. I was more than troubled by his message. Indeed, she had written to me about a certain organization in which she was "Prisoner"? Yes, that's the term she used.
She had also ordered me urgently to contact you to announce...Her death. Yes, you read these lines correctly. At first, I didn't take her seriously, but I haven't heard from her since. It's like she never existed.
After much research, I am now certain: Meredith is dead.

I carried out his last wishes. She wanted me to send you a letter about her death. All this is so sudden and incomprehensible to me....
I don't know what else to say, I'm sorry. I don't know what relationship you had with her.... So we might as well end this message now.

Goodbye.... "

There was no signature. An anonymous letter, then. He let a grin appear on his face. But he did not prefer to reveal his little theory.

"Well... I didn't really expect a message like that..." he said, looking at the butler and holding the letter to Luke, who rushed to read it.
-In any case, the sender is direct in her message. How can anyone be insensitive, especially when it's such bad news...? He continued, after finishing his reading."

Raymond sighed, before putting the mail away. He put his hands behind his back:

"Miss is a long-time friend. She was Sir's assistant until a few years ago.
-What-... You mean Descole had an assistant? Luke exclaimed.
-Professor Sycamore Luke, not Descole, replied his mentor.
-I am more and more lost..."

The old man continued, ignoring what the little boy had said:

"I couldn't give you too many details, it would take forever and the gentleman knows more about it than I do.
-But what happened to her? Luke asked.
-Come on, Luke, it's none of our business.
-She was forced to join TARGENT almost four years ago.
-Hum. I see... thought the archaeologist"

Luke swallows. He had only bad memories about this organization. It had caused too much misery in recent years. He and his mentor preferred not to ask for more.

The Gentleman was thinking. Something was not clear in that letter. And this writing....

He was taken from his dreams by his apprentice who asked a question that was interesting:

"Does Descole know about this death?"

Raymond nodded his head in a way negative. The two guests were surprised, it was not like him to hide such a thing from his master.

"-I just can't tell him. You see, Miss's departure affected him more than anything.
-But you could have tried to find her, before it was too late! Almost screamed Luke.
-I know full well that it was a lost cause with the gentleman. You're getting to know him, so you know how he is."

It is true that as Jean Descole, only despair still emanated in him. He had only had eyes for his revenge and nothing else.

"It is this death and the sender that confuses you so much, am I wrong? Layton asked, smiling.
-Well, yes. I can't believe Miss is dead, I know her well enough to know that she wouldn't die so easily. I'm convinced she's still alive.
-And what about the sender Raymond? continued the boy.
-Actually, I don't understand why this letter was sent to me. Moreover, it is anonymous, and I have no idea who it is....
-Don't worry, Raymond, I think I have an idea about this sender, Smile Layton.
-And who do you have in mind? Luke asked Luke.
-Lavre Luke, but you'll have to wait, I'd rather be sure, before you know anything."

He paused for a short while before resuming:

"-Raymond, if you want, I would be happy to help you clarify your doubt. After all, it is the duty of a Gentleman," he says, readjusting his top hat.
-If you don't mind."

The apprentice smiled a little smile on Raymond's face. He was also ready to help this poor man find his friend. And yet, it meant helping Descole, which he didn't like.

"Before everything else I would like to ask you one last favor," continued the archaeologist.
-What is that?
-Well, if you don't mind, I'd like to..."

He could not finish his sentence until he was interrupted by a monotonous voice, which Luke immediately recognized:

"-Raymond, may I ask who you're talking to...?" 

 

Chapter Text

The man slowly descended the steps. At each step, the echo of his steps was heard.

Luke felt the anger growing inside him. He hated that man. He had certainly saved his life, but that would never justify all the atrocities he had committed. His mentor could see his apprentice's reaction. He then put his hand on her shoulder and gave her a kind look, which made Luke a little less angry.

"Well, well, well, I didn't expect to have guests. Moreover, the man began by looking at Raymond.
-It's good to see you again... Descole," Professor Layton continued.

Descole looked at his brother, and just let out a sardonic smile.

"The pleasure is shared, Layton."

Luke just growled in silence. There was no question of retaliation, or he was going to get carried away and reframed by Descole.

"Sir, I apologize most sincerely, I should not have brought them here without your permission," Raymond added.
-And may I know the reason for his secrecy? Tiked the masked man."

The butler looked almost pitifully at Layton and his apprentice.

"-Raymond, it is better to be honest with him, if you ask me," continued the Archaeologist.

The old man nodded and pulled out that letter again.

"From whom does it come? Descole asked, annoyedly.
-Sir, you will understand when you read it."

So Descole took great care to read it. One, Five, Ten minutes passed, but the silence was still there for him. None of the protagonists dared to break the ice. They were patient, waiting for a comment from the person concerned.

"-Tss."

That's all he's saying. He returned the mail to his butler. He had strangely lost his smile.

"That's all you have to say?" Luke asked him.
-I suspected it anyway," he replied, taking off his usual smile, which Luke hated so much."

He lost his patience. How could he react in this way? He could no longer remain silent, he had to express the depth of his thoughts to her.

"How can you say such a thing?! She was your assistant!
-Navré, kid, but it was Professor Sycamore's, not mine," he replied in an irritated tone.
-But you are Professor Syc-
- Enough! He replied.
-Anyway, I'm sure it's because of you that she joined TARGENT!
-Tell me, you cheeky little thing, wouldn't your mentor have taught you to respect your elders? You don't even know what you're talking about!"

Well done Luke. He had managed to make Descole angry. But he did not regret his words at all. Layton and Raymond were obviously uncomfortable with the ambiguity of the situation. The silence returned for a few minutes. This time Layton broke it:

"Allow me to tell you that there are a few things that concern me in this letter.
-Well, I had missed your little "Laytonesque" intuitions, Descole continued ironically, obviously still angry. "

Layton ignored this remark and took out of his pocket the envelope he had received at the same time as that of the Butler.

"-Watch this envelope carefully.
-It is also lavender-coloured! Shouted Luke
-Tss... How amazing.
-Oh you when you have something interesting to say you can talk! said Luke
-Let's go calm down, let's see, Pursuit Layton"

The professor handed the letter to his brother and pretended to read it. Her interlocutor flinched and began to read it aloud. He then handed it over to his butler, who in turn read it.

"It's exactly the same handwriting.
-Indeed, Descole.
-It seems far too easy to me. The coincidence is too huge to be true.
-And that's one of the details she neglected.
-What do you mean, professor? Luke asked."

As usual, the archaeologist started pacing with his eyes closed:

"-Luke, I'm sure the anonymous sender is the same sender who asked us for help. It is enough to compare the two letters to detect two common points: The color of the paper as well as the writing style.
-But Professor, I must admit that at the time, I rather agree with Descole.... It's a pretty big coincidence...
-That's true. But she probably didn't know that we knew Raymond," he concludes with a smile.
-If you say so... I still have a hard time believing it."

That's his little deduction. But something tells me it didn't stop there....We'll see about that later, will we?

"-What are we going to do now? Raymond asked.
-I come back to my proposal mentioned earlier, Layton replied.
-And what is this proposal then? Descole continued.
-Have you ever heard of the artifact mentioned in the letter you read?"

He thinks for a moment. He had seen many of the artefacts during his various travels.

"-I vaguely heard about it indeed.
-I had a little bit of a feeling about that, actually. Well, can I suggest you-
-Accompany you?
-Professor, you don't think seriously? What are you thinking, he's going to use you again! "

Descole couldn't help but giggle. This boy was definitely determined to annoy him, for a yes or a no.

"Well Layton, it would be a pleasure to accompany you. I have to tell you, this relic is eye-catching. But tell me, why did you make me an offer as it is? After all, you know very well who I am and what actions I have taken?"

Still as Sarcastic as ever. Luke was wondering if he wasn't having fun provoking him:

"-We know very well who you are! You're a manipulator, a liar and an impostor! You're the worst person I've ever met!
-Well, the teenage crisis is starting to take effect. You won't stop shutting your mouth, will you?
-...
-Think what you want, you'll always be wrong. You don't know me. Oh yes, I'm awfully mean! So be it. But learn to hold your tongue, especially if it's to talk nonsense.
-...
-Thank you," he ended up saying in a detestable tone.
-I hate you, Luke whispered."

Layton breathed a sigh. He ignored the scene, it was no use adding anything else. He looked at Raymond.

"I'd like you to come with us, too.
-It goes without saying, Mr. Layton, I would always accompany Mr. Descole no matter what."

The archaeologist turned to Luke, sorry. He knew what he was doing and he had no choice. His brother had helped him a lot in the past, and he knew he still needed his help. Moreover, Raymond's call for help gave way to a new enigma to solve.....

 

Chapter Text

The silence was still there for a few minutes. It was finally Descole who spoke:

"And rather than just stand there, what are we waiting for to leave? He said, looking away at his brother."

Not surprisingly, his question was rhetorical. He just wanted to break that damn silence that he was beginning to hate more than anything.

Layton went on to bring up the young woman's letter:

"I suggest we go directly to the place indicated in her letter.
-Can I suggest to the gentleman that we use the Bostonius to get there? Raymond asked, to which his Master replied with a positive nod.
-Indeed, it seems like a good idea. Regarding mapping and documentation, Luke and I did the necessary work."

Luke nodded silently. He was obviously always uplifted by what Descole had told him just a few minutes ago.

"Well, in this case let's hurry, it would be unfortunate to keep Miss Smith waiting too long. Raymond, Descole, do you have something to do first?
-No, nothing at all we can leave Layton," he replied, readjusting his tricorn.
-Are you really planning on leaving like that? Luke asked coldly, looking at the masked man."

The answer was obvious to him. But he didn't know why, but the words had come out of his mouth.

"I mean... in the face of this story, isn't it better than...?
-It's useless.
-Well..."

There is no need to retort or it would again turn against him. This man was impossible to reason with no matter what he said. More and more annoying....

They rushed to board the Bostonius. The interior of the ship had not changed since their last trip. It was still as luxurious and spacious as ever.

Layton checked the destination again: Bavaria, a region in southern Germany. He had never been there before, it will be a first for him.

Raymond and Descole approached the archaeologist to find out more about this famous destination.

"Bavaria? That's the least... Moose, Descole began.
-We go to the village of Rosenberg. It is located in a valley, quite isolated from urban life, Layton continued.
-Perfect, I enter all these coordinates, and we can take off, Raymond asked."

The trip was pleasant, without any danger, which had been rare since past events. Layton, Luke and Descole studied the famous little village and the relic that had been at the heart of all the subjects for a few hours now. The tension was gradually dissipating.

At that moment, no one could have imagined that this adventure was not going to be easy...

 

* * *

 

Observing the place where she had been for a few days, her thoughts multiplied. She invented multiple scenarios, positive or catastrophic. She was worried. Very worried.

She closed her eyes and began to walk her usual hundred paces. The click of his footsteps sounded rather pleasant to him. She stopped and took out a notebook that seemed worn out by time. She landed and started scribbling in it.

"Get ready to play your part, the serious things are just beginning..."

 

Chapter Text

After long hours of travel, the small group arrived at their destination. Raymond had taken care to "put" the Bostonius as far away from the village as possible as a precaution.

They were a few hours from Rosenberg:

"Well, we'll have to keep walking," Layton began.
-Professor, are we really going to have to walk to the village? asked Luke.
-I think it's better to be careful, you never know," Descole continued.
-Prudent, cautious, I agree, but still, our destination is still behind these mountains, eventually completing Luke by pointing to the same mountains.
-Come on, kid, it's just a little hike, which I'm sure will do you the world of good. Unless you'd rather wait in Bostonius with Raymond? "

He ends up giggling. Luke didn't flinch and readjusted his cap, went up and started walking. It wasn't that complicated and tiring. All they had to do was follow the marked path. It goes without saying that they were not dressed appropriately for the situation despite everything.

After a two-hour walk, they arrived at their destination: Rosenberg.

Rosenberg was one of the small villages in Germany, where everyone knew each other. It was not very large and it was "scattered" over the entire landscape from the valley to the top of the mountains. Nature was dominant despite active civilization. Layton, Luke and Descole, stopped in the middle of a large square (it was supposed to be the center of Rosenberg).

The sun was hitting in the middle of a bronze statue that adorned the place. The ground was covered with sand-coloured paving stones. Many people, young and old, walked around this place.

The trio did not move and observed the surroundings. Where was Miss Smith? The Professor, looking at each passer-by, noticed that one of them was approaching the group:

"A city lady who asked me to give it to a "Layton". From the description she gave me, I'd say it's you, right?"

He was a young farmer. He was probably in his thirties. Did he have a certain accent... particular enough?

"Yes, it is me, can I help you?"

The villager said nothing and handed a pretty purple envelope to the archaeologist, who immediately recognized it. He thanked him and opened the letter:

"Dearest Professor Layton,

If you are reading these words, it is because Celian has perfectly fulfilled his mission. Did you think for a second that I would show myself to you so quickly and easily? Who doesn't tell me you're just a usurper?
My request is very simple: Let's play a little treasure hunt. But not just any one! You will have four puzzles to solve. Succeed and you will have proved to me that you are indeed the famous Professor Hershel Layton. Then I could show myself to you and your little apprentice.

In order to ensure that you respect this game to the letter, Celian will follow you and monitor you. Break these rules and I will be uncompromising."

"-A treasure hunt?"

Luke and Descole had read over the Professor's shoulder, far too impatient. The archaeologist lifted his head up towards this famous villager:

"I suppose you are...
-Celian, yes, that's me!"

He had a cheerful tone, followed by a big smile. He seemed to be one of those country people who didn't dwell on the misfortunes of the world.

"Well, are you ready for this little game? It would be annoying if we kept the lady waiting too long. Celian continued.
-Just a second, pal."

Descole cut him off and looked at him with firmness and mistrust.

"It seems very strange to me that this young lady gave such important instructions to the first villager who came. Moreover, I am convinced that he is withholding vital information from us.
-Think what you want, Mr. Masked Man, I'm just carrying out orders. "Keep your mouth shut" is what she told me.
-I am curious to know why you are obeying him with your finger and your eye, Layton added.
-You know I care about my life!
-Your life?
-You should meet her as soon as possible, you'll understand."

He shivered for a moment, which made Descole laugh.

"Are you afraid of her?
-And how! I've never seen a girl like this before. If you had seen that tone and look....
-Well, we'll see about that, tss.
-Let me guess, you think I'm the last of the idiots?
-Well done, hehe."

The clash was interrupted by gurgling. Luke apologized, red with shame:

"-Oh uh ! Sorry... It's just that I didn't really eat this morning...
-It's nothing, my boy, I must confess that I'm hungry too, Layton reassured him.
-In that case, Mr. Peasant, why don't you come with us...? You could be very useful to us, Retorqua Descole, smiling."

Celian stunned, but seeing that he had no choice, he led the small group to a traditional inn.

After settling in properly and ordering what was needed, Layton spoke:

"Tell me Celian, forgive me for being so direct, but have you ever heard of an artifact that would give you everything you want?"

The concerned cleared his throat, obviously uncomfortable:

"You know, relics, artifacts, all that, I don't know much about it. So never heard of it. But maybe the lady will enlighten you.
-Well, thank you all the same....
-Well, that's funny because I could have sworn you weren't the only one who asked that question."

Descole became involved in the dialogue:

"The famous lady, I suppose...?
-Yes, but there were also other people.
-Who was it?"

The peasant stretched out for a brief moment, then massaged his temple, his eyes wrinkled. He was thinking:

"Strangers too, for sure! And they didn't look comfortable at all. I tried to warn your young woman, but she was already gone.
-Hmm..."

Layton was thinking. So they weren't the only ones looking for this object... Obviously, it would have been too easy. He took a brief look at his brother, who was also in a dream.

"I don't know who it was, so I advise you to be careful, just in case...
-Professor, do you know who might be looking for this object?
-For the moment not Luke..."

The rest of the meal went smoothly. Celian gave a brief overview of the village, which was about culture and traditions.

But it was better not to drag on...

They returned to the main square a few minutes later:

"Well from now on, I follow the instructions so I prefer to warn you, that if you have a problem, you shouldn't complain to me.
-Of course, we understand perfectly," replied the archaeologist, readjusting his top hat."

The farmer handed them a Lavender-coloured paper.

The treasure hunt was about to begin....

 

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"It's up to you now. Of course I'll come with you, to make sure you're not cheating. I mean, not that I trust you, Mr. Top Hat, but he's mostly your masked friend here."

The villager took a quick, meaningful look towards Descole. As the person concerned was about to respond, Layton was quick to take the floor, to avoid any slippage:

"-Don't worry, he wouldn't be able to.
-If you say so'..."

Following this, the archaeologist carefully unfolded the lavender paper:

"Hello Professor! I'm glad you accepted my little game.

Let's not waste time on useless blablas, shall we? Although before I start, I would like to clarify a quick point. That would be more appropriate, indeed, since I have heard that you are subject to a lot of thought.

As I told you, you'll have four riddles to solve. Every time you solve one, Celian will lead you to the next one. You will surely think that the places chosen will be somehow linked, but this is not the case. Let's say I take advantage of this little game, to give you a little guided tour?

Enough chatter, here's the first riddle! It seems very simple to me, but let's consider it as a warm-up puzzle."

 

Layton, paused. This young woman, seemed well informed about him, well it is quite normal you will tell me no? He withdrew from his dreams and uttered the first enigma aloud, so that his comrades could hear it:

 

"It's all in nothing... What is it all about?"

 

The archaeologist and the masked man looked at each other, accomplices. They seemed to have already found the answer. Luke, on the other hand, was still thinking. He took out his little notebook and started scribbling all kinds of notes, thoughts, that would allow him to solve this little riddle.

"Professor, the answer would be the Universe?"

Layton replied with a kind smile. Luke cried out to him, happy:

"But of course! The universe is everything, and it is therefore inside of nothing!
-That's right, Luke.
-This puzzle is actually very easy!"

Descole ignored the exchange between his two "colleagues". After all, this so-called riddle was far too easy for him. He seemed impatient and seemed to want to get it over with as soon as possible:

"-Well, what are you waiting for to lead us to the next riddle?
-Calm, sir! It comes, it comes, !"

Celian then brought the small group to the place of the second puzzle. Their little walk was done in a golden silence, everyone preferring to observe the surroundings in order to better locate themselves.

Indeed, the valley was immense and Rosenberg was scattered up to very high in the mountains. How could you miss a landscape like this?

Celian stopped suddenly. Luke almost hit him.

"-And here we are, young people, I have arrived safely for the second puzzle.
-A...Lake?
-Beautiful, huh?"

The water of this lake was a beautiful turquoise blue. The Sun reflected on it, giving the impression that the water was strewn with glitter.

"-Well, it's a good thing, the riddle fits perfectly into the landscape!"

Celian proudly wields yet another paper towards Layton. The latter took it and opened it, thinking: 

 

"In a pond there is a water lily. Every night, the number of water lilies doubles. On the 1st day there is 1, on the 2nd day 2 and on the 3rd day 4.
After 30 nights, the pond is covered with water lilies. After how many days is the pond half covered with water lilies?"

 

"-Humpf, this puzzle seems more complex than the previous one..., says Luke.
-It seems to me to be very commonplace, so I'd rather leave it to you, Layton. Raised Descole."

Layton nodded and began to think about this second puzzle. It was then that his eyes lit up and turned to their guide:

"Well, it's very simple! Since it is said that the number of water lilies doubles every day and well the answer is 29 days!
-Waaaaaaa! Professor, you won't stop impressing me!
-Another Laytonesque deduction... How amazing. Retorqued the masked man, smiling.
-Well, Celian, is that correct?"

Celian took a small piece of paper out of his pocket and quickly read the contents, then continued:

"You're good at it! I understand why that woman called you. Finally, let's waste some time, except if you have something else to do here, let's go to the observation tower!"

Descole started the march first. He seemed way too busy from Luke's point of view. But it was better to keep some thought to himself.

During their journey to climb the first mountains, up to this famous tower, Layton approached Descole:

"Descole, I'd like to talk to you about something.
-About?
-From... Um, several things.
-I'm listening to you."

He always kept that proud look that seemed to serve as an invincible shield for all situations, however difficult they may be....

Layton began to speak in a low voice, while Luke and Celian commented on the landscape:

"I... I thought you were dead. When the sanctuary collapsed....
-Hahaha really? I don't admit to defeating myself so easily.
-Why? Why did you make yourself look dead?"

Layton looked at his brother with a sad look on his face. He wanted to understand, but the task would not be so easy. Descole when he was biting his lip. It seems that his proud look was dissipating...

"I had my reasons.
-Descole...
-That's all you need to know.
-...
-Anything else?
-Yes, Wh-
-Professor the observatory look at it !!"

Luke rushed to the "height" of the two brothers, proudly pointing at the said observatory. From where he was, he seemed imposing. There was nothing very special about it, it was a very common observatory.

The apprentice tried to open the door but it was locked. 

"Convicted, you risk in...
-Oh... That's too bad. Says Luke, displaying a disappointed look on his face."

Celian handed a paper not to Layton but this time to Descole:

"To me? 
-Yep, Mr. so-called genius. I want you to be the one to solve the puzzle.
-It will be child's play."

With these words, Descole took the piece of paper giggling and started reading it aloud:

 

"You have 9 metal balls indistinguishable by touch, one of which is heavier than the others. You have a traditional flail scale.
How to find the heavier in two comparative weighings?"

 

Descole looked up and saw a scale next to Celian with nine metal balls. He approached and carefully examined everything.

"Are you sure you can solve it...? Luke asked.
-Would you doubt my abilities, boy?
-N-no! It's just that this puzzle seems far too complicated for my little brain...
-Well, shut up and observe."

Descole then began to manipulate the balls in all directions. He seemed to be exploring all the possibilities. Layton, Celian and Luke watched him attentively and silently, as if captivated.

The scientist then started to make two groups of three balls. He then took the three balls from the first group one by one and put one aside. Then he did the same for the second group.

Once that was done, he took the two balls he had set aside. Luke deduced that these two were the heaviest. And finally, Descole placed the two balls on the ends of the scale. The said balance leaned to the left side and a "Clic!" was heard, followed by a sound similar to a drawer opening.

"-Won, hehe.
-Well, you're good too...
-It was far too easy."

Layton noticed the famous little drawer that had opened at the back of the scale. He took the object out of it inside it.

"-What is it, Professor?
-Well, it looks like it's a mirror. 
-He will undoubtedly be useful to us for this last enigma, Concluded Descole by readjusting his tricorn."

The archaeologist approached Celian:

"-I guess we're going to the cave over there, aren't we? He said, pointing to a specific place in the vast landscape.
-How do you know that?
-Well it's very simple, this cave seems very isolated to me and it hasn't been mentioned on any directional sign since we arrived in the village. If I were your "friend", it would probably be there that I would wait.
-You're right, there's no need to hide it from you any longer. Let's waste some time then!"

The gang headed towards this famous cave. Luke was thoughtful. He was wondering how this young woman, who organized this whole treasure hunt, could be. Would they find the much sought-after relic?

It didn't take them more than an hour to get to their destination. Where one last enigma would await them. They stood in front of the entrance, which was, without much surprise, closed.

"This is the last riddle! Solve it and you'll finally meet your lady.
-Well, I was starting to wait, let's see."

The three brains looked at this last puzzle.                                                                                                                                         

"-What strange symbols, I wonder what they mean... Luke asked himself.
-Luke, I think the pocket mirror we got earlier is going to be very useful!
-Do you really believe that, Professor? I don't really see how..."

Layton examined the symbols one by one. And suddenly, yet another flash of genius came to him.

"Well, it's very easy actually, look."

He placed the mirror next to the number seven.

"I see Professor, but how will that give us the answer...?"

Descole interfered.

"Didn't you notice that these so-called symbols were actually a number and its reflection...?"

Luke thought for a moment, and opened his eyes wide:

"But yes, of course! Then the missing symbol must use the same system!
-That's exactly what I mean, well done Luke!"

Layton smiled at him. He added the missing symbol. The riddle was solved once again!

The entrance to the cave trembled, then opened in a great noise. 

"-Well done to the three of you, you're amazing! When I tell that to the other hey!
-Thank you anyway, it was a pleasure to be able to spend some time with you, Celian. Greeted the Professor.
-We'll see each other again, I'm sure! In the meantime I have to turn back to the village, so let's have a look around!"

Followed by a last "goodbye", the group rushed into the cave.

It was time to meet this Victoria Smith.

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They had entered this cave. It was quite remarkable. The whole interior was strewn with crystals of a thousand colours. They covered the entire wall and shimmered at the three intruders.

Luke looked around him with wonder:

"Professor, this cave is beautiful!
-I agree, it's incredible..."

They continued to follow the long corridor in front of them. Descole continued to press on, still as impatient as ever.

"-Slow down, I can't keep up with the pace!
-Navré, but all these reflections are more than disturbing to me so I'd like to leave this place as soon as possible.
-But...
-You just have to run."

He was unbearable. Luke was content and tried to catch him as best he could. Descole had been unpleasant since they arrived here. Well, that doesn't usually change, you might say, but Luke felt that there was....a specific reason.

The end of the corridor was approaching. Layton knew that the long-awaited young lady would be waiting for them at the exit. He signalled to his two colleagues to be quiet, it was better to be careful.

Once out of this long and narrow corridor, the three of them lifted their heads. This part of the cave was immense, it was barely possible to see a ceiling. There were always these same crystals, which this time were scattered here and there. Layton looked straight ahead: A small, sky blue waterfall flowed freely. The sound of the water gushing out was most harmonious and pleasant.

He felt someone pulling his sleeve. It was Luke and he was pointing to something specific.

It was a silhouette. She was sitting on a rock with a notebook in her hand and watching the waterfall, looking both gloomy and thoughtful.

It was her.

Victoria Smith.

Descole had also noticed the silhouette. The archaeologist, began to move towards the latter, followed closely by Luke and his older brother. 

"-It seems we have succeeded in your treasure hunt. Layton began."

His voice echoed just as harmoniously.

The young woman turned her head towards the voice, surprised and jumped up:

"Professor Layton! What a pleasure to finally meet you!"

Her tone was both calm and joyful. She approached the small group, while storing her notebook in her bag.

"-The pleasure is all mine, Miss. Greeted the Professor
-Please call me Victoria, the formalities are useless with me."

She smiled at him with a kindly look. A young woman full of life. Layton readjusted his top hat and continued:

"-All right...Victoria.
-Oh, and I suppose you must be his apprentice? The Lady continued, looking at Luke.
-That's right, I'm Luke Triton and I'm his apprentice yes!"

She nodded, still smiling. She turned her eyes and noticed Descole. Her eyes rounded. She was rather surprised. Who was that man in that special outfit...? Layton took it back and apologized:

"Forgive me, Victoria, I didn't have the decency to warn you, I asked him.
-Ha Ha Ha, it's nothing! The more crazy we are, the more we laugh, that's kind of the saying, right?
-Well, I suppose so.
-So who am I dealing with? 
-Do you really want to know, Miss Victoria...? Broncha Luke, pouting
-Of course! Of course! Nothing more intriguing than a masked man in this... so special, huhuhu"

Descole, made a small curtsy, with his most beautiful grin in the direction of the beauty.

"My name is Descole. "Nice to meet you, dear."

The so-called "dear" let out a little laugh.

"-"Delighted" as well...Descole."

He looked at her for a moment. He found her overwhelmed with joy, but he didn't really know whether he should trust her or not. He preferred to remain on guard. Something was disturbing him, but he didn't know what...

"Well, we're not here to have tea, we're here to talk about this mirror!
-I see, it was a mirror then... thought Layton.
-Well informed as I see it," she smiled.
-More or less but some information would be welcome."

Victoria replaced a strand of her hair and took out her thick notebook. She cleared her throat and started again:

"-This famous mirror with several names: Rosenwald's mirror, Sparkling and the best for the end, Cursed mirror.
-Cursed mirror?! Luke exclaimed, taking notes at the same time.
-A long story, my boy," she replied.

She paused and continued:

"Whatever the case, it seems that the latter can fulfil the most cherished wishes, and this, for anyone..."

Descole interrupted her, stunned:

"-Really everything?
-This is what the old stories of this village affirm," Victoria replied.
-And what do they say?-First of all, miss, I'd like to know the reason for the how and why you chose this place?"

The Professor pointed to the crystals that were shining brightly. The young woman turned around and examined the crystals.

"-I chose this place because I wanted to be out of sight, the discretion you know... And about these crystals, I couldn't get any information. I only know their name: The Crystals of Truth.
-What a curious name... thought Descole.
-Didn't you get any information? Luke asked.
-The inhabitants of this valley are very difficult to get people to talk. Finally, you'll see for yourself."

Luke was thoughtful. He remembered when the professor had asked Celian for information about the mirror, and that he had turned on it. This whole thing was starting to get weird. It all seemed so difficult to understand....

"I propose to get out of here and start seriously, if you still agree, of course."

She began to head towards the exit. Luke could have sworn he saw his face getting darker.

"A gentleman must always help young women."

Descole sighed at his remark. There's no way we're giving up on this story. He would obtain this relic by any means possible.

"Should I take that as a yes? She smiled.
-If the Professor says so, then yes! Luke answered, readjusting his gavroche."

Victoria laughed. This child was definitely full of admiration for his mentor.

"Why is a person like you so interested in a relic like this mirror? I doubt you're an archaeologist, or anything like that... cut the masked man.
-Ha ha ha, you know how to ask the questions you... Indeed I am not an archaeologist, just a simple and ordinary person eager for adventure. About this mirror..."

She kept quiet and bit her lip, then shrugged her shoulders, an air of malice on her face:

"A lady must have her little secrets. I prefer to wait a while and then I'll see..."
-But...
-Can I know why a mask, "Mr." Descole?
-It is not "Miss", replied the concerned person, both proud and smiling.
-Well, here it is, it's the same, uh, uh."

With these words, she began to walk with a determined air. Descole followed her, then Layton and finally Luke.

Once out, they began to move towards Rosenberg's heart. Luke discreetly asked the Professor:

"-Professor, you don't intend to talk about the letter to this woman...? You know... the one Raymond showed us?
-Luke, I prefer to keep a low profile about this whole thing."

He looked at Descole in the corner.

"-I'm already starting to think about it, but I'm not sure of anything...
-Promise me you won't hide anything from me about this, please!"

Luke looked him right in the eye, his eyes both bright and begging. The archaeologist sighed and smiled at him:

"Don't worry, Luke, I assure you you'll be the first to know.
-Thank you, Professor!"

As they arrived at their destination, they were interrupted by several more than worrying cries...

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"-Cooperate and you won't be harmed!"

 

As she searched for the location of the voices, Victoria felt pulled to the right by Descole. The gang had hidden behind thick bushes so they could observe the situation. They were out of sight.

 

"-Where did these voices come from? Whispered Luke."

 

Layton held his finger to his lips, waving at his apprentice to shut up. He discreetly spread the branches of the bush and observed what was in front of him.

 

There were men in uniform who seemed to be moving back and forth. Others spoke, no, seemed to be threatening locals. The archaeologist couldn't make out their faces clearly because they were all wearing dark glasses, hiding their eyes.

 

Descole did the same and stiffened at the sight of the men.

 

"N-No! That's impossible...! he shouted almost."

 

Victoria quickly took her hands off the bush and motioned for him to shut up.

 

"-Speak out in silence for God's sake! Do you want us to be spotted?!"

 

The man ignored her remark and pulled her towards him so that she could see what he had observed.

 

"-Professor, you've got to be kidding me, it's impossible!

-I'd like to think it is, but unfortunately...

-Who--who are these people? Stammered the young woman, eyes wide open."

 

She spread the branches a little wider, with a trembling hand.

 

"-We'll explain later, in the meantime let's stay hidden until they leave, which shouldn't be long. Murmured Layton."

 

Luke and Victoria breathed a sigh of relief. The professor took one look at Descole. Descole was still watching the soldiers, bubbling with rage.

 

The minutes seemed like hours. It was getting darker and darker. The soldiers were gone, but for how long?

 

The young woman was the first to rise, followed by Luke and the two brothers.

 

"- Well...I feel like you know more about what just happened than I do."

 

Layton readjusted her top hat, worried:

 

"-These soldiers work for an organisation called TARGENT.

-TARGENT ?

-A paramilitary organisation, but also a very dangerous one. Descole, clenching his teeth.

-But I don't get it, Bronev is supposed to be in prison! I don't get it! We would have known if he escaped!

-I don't know, Luke... 

-So, if I followed you closely, I would assume that this, uh, Bronev was the head of this organization? 

-That's right. 

-Well, somebody just replaced him then. 

-So a new leader? 

-Exactly, Luke."

 

But who? Who could have taken this Bronev guy's place? None of them knew that...

 

Layton looked up at the sky. It was getting dark soon, so he suggested the others find a hotel. It took them a good ten minutes to go all the way down the valley to get to the heart of the little village.

 

They reached their destination. It was as immense as it was fascinating. It was embedded in the rock, which was magnificent to observe. They entered the immense hall in silence.

 

There wasn't a cat. The hall was rich in ornaments and works of art of all kinds. Layton approached the reception desk, where an old woman was reading the local newspaper despite the now late hour. The professor took care of the rental:

 

"-Three bedrooms, right?

-That's right, ma'am."

 

The hostess handed him the three keys.

 

"-Any passing travelers?

-Yes, we're only here for a few days. 

-Well, if you need any information about this whole valley, I'm all yours!"

 

As Layton handed out a set of keys to her fellow passengers, Luke inquired:

 

"-Oh, well, that's just it...

-It's lovely madam, but it's getting late, so we'll see tomorrow, Victoria cut in a gloomy tone.

-You are right, young lady, she smiled, but please call me Agnes!

-Well...Agnes, she replied, with rosy cheeks."

 

After a few last futile chats, everyone went to their respective rooms. It didn't take them long to fall asleep, because tomorrow was going to be a big day.

 

But Layton, on the other hand, couldn't sleep. His mind was working too hard, and he couldn't rest comfortably. So he scribbled in his logbook for several minutes. He couldn't leave out a single, tiny detail.

 

He was cut off by a noise from the corridor. He headed down there discreetly, it would be annoying to wake up Luke, who was sound asleep.

 

The Professor stuck his head in the gap in the door, but saw nothing unusual. As he was about to close the door, he noticed that the room next door, Descole's room, was lit. Caught in an unconscious impulse, he went to knock on the door.

 

He slowly opened the door. Descole was facing the window, sitting comfortably in a period armchair. Layton knew he heard him as he saw him hurriedly put away a piece of lavender paper.

 

"-Are you still standing, Layton?
-I could say the same thing about you."

The archaeologist walked over to his brother, who didn't move an inch and just watched the landscape now engulfed in darkness.

"-What about it? To what do I owe this little nocturnal visit?
-I actually have a lot of questions to ask you.
-Really ? "

Descole was dry in his words. Something was bothering him and Layton knew what it was.

"-TARGENT... I thought...
-Me too. Once again I was too naive to believe it was over.
-There's got to be an explanation. 
-Explanation or not, I'd do anything to make this organization go away, and this time for good! "

With those words, he turned his head towards his little brother and looked at him for a moment and then he looked up at the starry sky again.

"-Don't be surprised if I'm suspicious of everything. Starting with that Victoria.
-You distrust her? I'd like to think we just met her, but still...
-I find it very strange to bump into TARGENT just after meeting her."

Descole was not wrong. But Layton believed in coincidence. He didn't know what to think of the young woman yet, but he decided to trust her.

"-Then I intend to keep an eye on her. I wouldn't mind taking care of her for the world if I knew she was working for this organization."

He let slip a brief snigger.

"- Is there anything else you wanted to tell me about?
-Actually I do, but I doubt you'll like it. 
-And why is that? 
-It concerns Professor Sycamore..."

Chapter Text

 

Descole gritted his teeth and clenched his fists tightly in response to Layton's words. He hated talking about it more than anything, but knowing his brother, he knew he wouldn't cut it. 

"-I knew you wouldn't be happy about it.
-Why do you want to talk to me about that idiot? "

Layton looked at his caller, surprised. The way he spoke... it was as if Professor Sycamore and Descole were two completely separate people...

He lowered his gaze and readjusted his top hat, sighed and passed over:

"-I saw you put that letter away.
-This letter?
-This lavender letter, anonymous."

Descole just bit his lower lip, pricked.

"-Your butler, Raymond asked me to clear up this... affair.
-What's the point? She's dead. He said in a dry tone.
-You and I have read this letter. There's nothing clear in it.
-Layton."

He looked him straight in the eye, pissed off.

"-Either way, if Meredith were really alive, we'd never have seen each other again.
-Descole...Why not try to...Become Professor Sycamore again?"

His brother laughed.

"-I didn't know you had such a sense of humor, Layton. Do you really think I'm going to go back to being that Sycamore punk?
-But still...
-I'm not going to make the same mistake twice. The first one was awful. By being that man, I was only destroyed. I lost everything!
-...
-I only became Sycamore again to deceive you and achieve my ends, that's all."

He wasn't entirely wrong. But Layton was sure something could change his brother's mind. 

"- Either way, I would accept your choice.
-Gladly.
-But at least tell me about her please...
-Always so stubborn...Why do you want to know so much about her?
-I made a promise and you know very well that something is bothering me about this story."

Descole sighed and readjusted his tricorn with one hand...Trembling? That's what Layton could have sworn she saw.

"-I'd known her for a few years now. She was my... Well, Sycamore's assistant. She was brilliant and indescribably supportive. I know Raymond was very fond of her, too."

He spoke in a quiet, almost inaudible voice. His fingers were constantly tapping nervously on the armrest of the chair, where he hadn't moved yet.

"-What happened to her ? I understood she had some kind of connection to TARGENT.
-It was not intentional!"

He unintentionally raised his voice, which caused the Professor to take a step backwards. The masked man pulled himself together and continued.

"-TARGENT came back one day... to take Sycamore away. She offered herself in my...his place.
-Descole I... 
-I tried everything I could to stop her, but she was as stubborn as you, by the way.
-I see...
-I never saw her after that. 
-I'm sorry. I shouldn't have been so insistent."

Descole resumed that old habit, that shield that was nothing but sniggering and smirking.

"-Thank you anyway, your story was a great help to me.
-As much as that?
-You have to start somewhere and every clue is never to be overlooked. replied the Gentleman, raising his finger, confidently.
-I recognize you there, Layton."

He paused and changed the subject:

"-So, what are you going to start with tomorrow?
-Any investigation always starts with getting information. I suggest we interview the villagers, what do you say?
-Well, that's a good idea to start with. I've even got my own little idea, so it'll be quicker and more efficient."

He giggled for no real reason.

"-In that case, we'll see tomorrow, it's already late enough so I won't bother you any longer.
-See you tomorrow then."

Hershel slowly returned to his room and immediately went to bed. His night was short, he had had trouble falling into the arms of Morpheus. His mind did not want to rest, he preferred to think about the present situation. Too many questions emanated from his brain and it became almost unbearable.

Luke felt the warmth of the sun's rays caressing his cheeks. He woke up gently and let out a long yawn. He hadn't slept so well in a long time. He got up and saw the Professor, harnessed to the desk, taking notes.

"-Finally awake Luke?"

Layton looked at him, all smiles.

"-Well, you're still up early, Professor...
-Yes, I am! We've got a long day ahead of us, my boy. Descole and Victoria are waiting for us in the lobby.
-What are we going to do? 
-First of all we're going to ask the locals, to find out a little more about this village and the valley.
-Hmm, yes, after all, we have to start there.
-You've got it all figured out. Well, I'll join our two comrades, I'll wait for you in the hall."

With those words, Layton walked away, and neither did Luke jump out of bed. He was overexcited to begin this investigation. How was it going to end? It's true, after all. All the mysteries he'd gone through with his mentor always ended in a theatrical way. Each and every revelation was surprising without exception and the Professor had always had something to do with it. Luke never stopped admiring his mentor and dreamed of showing the best of himself, of making him proud.

He picked up his satchel and joined Layton and the others, his eyes filled with determination.

"-Well-Little Luke, you look great to me! Victoria said to him.
-And how! And I'm not little!
-Ha ha, I know I'm joking. She winked at him.
-Well, Layton, you said to go interview the locals. 
-That's right, Descole. Do you have an objection to that?
-No, not at all. 
-You told me you had an idea the day before, didn't you? "

Descole nodded and made a quick movement with his cape, making him look proud and confident.

"-In order to gather as much information as possible and thus be more efficient, I propose we split into two groups of two.
-That's a good idea, Mr Masked Man. It will also be more cautious and less suspicious, especially if TARGENT is still on the prowl.
-Then I'll stay with the Professor! Inquired Luke."

There's no way he's going to be with Descole! Besides, he and the archaeologist were to discuss their second investigation after all...

Victoria and Descole looked at each other and shrugged their shoulders.

"Well, then I guess I'll have to team up with the carnival buff. 
-You seem to be teasing me, Miss Violet. Would I bother you?
-Oh, but not at all, dear, take it as a kind of an emotional mark, huhu. And you, do you have a grudge against my dress for calling me a violet?"

Descole just giggled. Teaming up with her didn't bother him in any way, on the contrary, it pleased him. The woman was dubious and seemed to have a strong temperament. He might as well gain her trust, so he could use her as he pleased.

Luke sighed. He thought Victoria was naive. It's true that she knew nothing about Descole, but Luke didn't know anything about her either. So he just watched them take turns.

"-Let's not waste time and get to work. Luke, I suggest we go further up the valley.
-No problem, Professor. I'll follow you anywhere!
-In that case, Miss and I will stay in the center. Say Descole."

Then the group split up. Things were just getting serious!

 

***

 

"-Professor, you went to see Descole last night?
-Why do you ask?"

They walked quietly but cautiously towards the city heights.

"-Oh no, for nothing, it's surely none of my business, me and my curiosity...
-I asked him about Meredith. 
-He agreed to talk to you about it?!
-It was complicated, but yes. I was able to learn some useful information."

Professor Layton, recounted the nightly discussion between him and his brother to his apprentice.

"-But say, I don't understand, if he really cared about her, why didn't he try to find her?
-Well, I suppose it was too risky and he was too blinded by his revenge.
-It's sad, though...For his assistant, I mean.
-It's not entirely untrue. 
-Professor, I'm sure she's not dead! Descole is too pessimistic!
-I admire your hope, Luke...
-It's true after all! Look what happened with your friend Mr. Randall!
-Hmm...Indeed."

Luke wasn't wrong. Randall Ascott... the future archaeologist promised a great future, passed for dead for eighteen long years. This case, too, had been emotional.

They arrived at a small square crowded with people. Layton and Luke headed for the traditional shops... Information from the town elders was paramount... The two friends stopped at a stall selling handmade knickknacks. An old man sat and held on to an old wooden cane. Layton gave him a friendly greeting:

"-Oh, tourists, look at the way you're dressed, eh? Began the old man.
-English tourists to be exact, sir. You've got some remarkable trinkets here...
-That's too kind of you! But tell me, what brings you to our little village?
-We've heard about a relic, a mirror to be exact! exclaimed Luke."

The old man changed his expression... Was it fear?

"-Shhh! Not so loud, little one! Are you trying to get into trouble?!
-In trouble?! 
-Why exactly do you want information about this mirror? The man was panicked.
-Let's calm down, sir... Why does this mirror make you feel this way?"

The shopkeeper scratched his beard.

"-It's very bad form to talk about this object here, you know.
-Really? 
-And yet...we need some information!"

He looked at the two tourists. They didn't look bad after all.

"-Well, I'd rather tell you than his junk soldiers.
-That's too kind. Thank you very much.
-But before I do, I'd like you to do something in return... 
-Everything you want, sir! Inquired Luke.
-Well, I've had this puzzle bothering me for some time now... 
-No problem, I'll take care of it!"

"Complete the following:

2 = 6
3 = 36
4 = 436
5 = 5436
6 = ?"

Luke racked his brain. The principle itself didn't seem very complicated, after all, he'd already solved a lot worse. He thought for a few minutes and then jumped:

"-The answer is obvious, two equals six, then six equals two!
-I'm proud of you my boy, that's exactly what it is!
-Thank you young boy...It's true that it wasn't that complicated after all, but I'm not in my right mind anymore. Well, what's said is said."

Luke rushed out of his notebook to write down all the important information.

"-This mirror was created many years ago. The name of this village actually comes from the name of the creator of that relic.
-Who was that creator?"

The old man reflects for a brief moment.

"- His name was Isaac Rosenwald as I recall. He was a local jeweler, at a time when Rosenberg was just a cluster of old houses.
-Rosenwald! Professor, Miss Victoria had told us that this mirror was called the Rosenwald mirror, hadn't she?
-Effectively, Luke, that doesn't really surprise me, actually. Where is this mirror now, sir?
-Fortunate! Don't go near that mirror, or you'll be damned!
-Damned ?
-What do you mean, "Damned ?"

The man was beginning to ramble.

"-This cursed object has driven everyone here crazy! Anyone who dares to speak of it will meet with terrible misfortune!"

Layton, closed his eyes and began to think.

"-Hmm, it seems that this Mirror is frowned upon here.
-And how! 
-Let's leave it at that for now, sir. Thank you for your help. Said Layton as he readjusted his top hat.
-All I can tell you is to stay away from that mirror. 
-We'll make a note of that. Come on, Luke, let's go get some more information..."

 

***

 

"-Well, we asked Mrs Agnes but she gave us little information..."

Victoria sighed. It was going to be a difficult task.

"-I'm sure you frightened her with your manners and your attire!
-I would have said it was because we asked her about the relic."

His colleague sighed, exasperated.

"-I'm not the first one, by the way.
-What do you mean?
-I'd already tried to get information out of Celian's mouth, but without success...
-There's every reason to believe that this Mirror is something to be avoided here. 
-I'm not giving up hope! I'm sure Luke and Professor Layton have already gathered quite a bit of information!
-I wouldn't be surprised."

Descole sighed and let out a smile.

"-Do you think threatening the townspeople with your sword might help us gather information? Victoria asked innocently."

The masked man looked at the young woman with round eyes. She had...strangest ideas. But it amused him.

"-Don't tempt me. Besides, how do you know I have one?
-Your cape gesticulates so much because of your almost theatrical movements, that I could only see this sword. 
-Always so much teasing... 
-You just inspire me a lot, that's all. 
-Really?
-You have the strangest way of behaving and dressing, but's it's original. I'm repeating myself, but take it as a compliment."

He had to play the game. Besides, to alienate this woman would be more disadvantageous than anything else. She seemed the kind of woman who wouldn't let herself and stand up to anyone.

"-Oh!"

Victoria ran up to a resident without warning. Descole hastened to follow her.

"-Celian this for instance!
-Ah Miss Vic! What a pleasure to see you again!
-You're just in time, dear. Say Descole.
-M'ah yes? 
-Yes! We're looking for information about the relic I told you about!"

Celian cleared his throat, visibly uncomfortable.

"-I don't know anything about that mirror, I told you.
-Then how do you know it's a mirror?"

Trapped! Celian confessed defeat, especially as the lady used her charms to bend the peasant.

"-All right, you won.
-Great!
-But in that case help me with this riddle!"

Descole wasn't surprised. It was becoming commonplace as time went by.

"-Well, I'm in a gallant mood, so honor the ladies.
-You mean that I have to solve this riddle? .
-You've defied us, it's time to turn the tide."

Victoria was red. She didn't dare say it, but solving puzzles wasn't her forte. But her classmate had figured it out.

"-Okay... All right. But it's good because we need that information!"

"A scientist decides to measure the size of a circle with a compass and a very accurate meter.

To do this, he sets himself at any point on the circle to the southeast and heads north to another point on the circle. In this way, he travels 30 meters.

He then repeats this procedure from the point where he arrived, going west and travelling 40 meters.

What is the diameter of the circle in meters?"

The young woman turns pale. This riddle was far too complicated for those eyes!

"-A riddle about science, no, but are you kidding?
-Are you chickening out, my dear?"

She's not going to agree with this Narcissus! Victoria took out her thick notebook and started scribbling and making all sorts of sketches. Her neurons were thinking.

"-You'll see, if I chicken out... I'll figure it out!"

After long minutes, many attempts to give up, she raised her head in a flash:

"-The diameter of this circle is 50 meters!
-And what makes you say that?
-And then, dear "I proclaim myself god of riddles", the so-called riddle scientist made a right angle as he headed west. Returning to his starting point, he would have drawn a right-angled triangle.
-Yes, indeed... 
-And so if this right-angled triangle is inscribed within this circle, then the diameter of the circle is equal to the hypothenuse. Since the scientist has walked along the two smallest sides of the triangle, the Pythagorean theorem is applicable! Descole remind me, the magic formula of this theorem...
-The squared hypothenuse equals the sum of the other two squared sides. 
-Exactly! In that case it's enough to apply the formula to the letter to obtain a diameter of 50 meters!"

The two men looked at the young woman, stunned.

"-So...who's the best? She said proudly.
-I must admit I'm impressed. 
-You take the words right out of my mouth, Lady Victoria.
-Ha ha, on that note I thank the person who taught me the basics of mathematics and science.
-We deserve that information, don't we? 

-Well, I'll tell you, but at your own risk."

Victoria prepared to take notes. Celian sighed and took a deep breath:

"-All I know is that he has driven many people crazy.
-What do you mean?
-Well, you see, he has the particularity of offering everything we want. So you can imagine that it makes you knock knock.
-And just exactly how knock-knock...? 
-To the point that some people became hermits or killed themselves."

The young lady swallows. This mirror would have led to death...? Well, if she was expecting it.

"-Those men must have been very foolish and blinded, to achieve such ends.
-I don't know and I don't really want to know either. 
-Celian, where's the mirror now? 
-It's the Duke of Hohenhart keeping it for himself. 
-Is there any particular reason why he should have it? 
-I can tell you, I've told you all I know.
-Well, that's very, very much, thank you very much, Celian! 
-You're welcome. Still, it's a shame about you, though, isn't it? Saddle up, Vic?
-Why is that? 
-A pretty woman like you, wasting her time looking for a cursed bauble when she could... I don't know, have a husband or children?
-I don't...need such a life right now, so don't worry about me."

With those words, Celian greeted the two colleagues and left.

The two groups continued their interrogation for another hour before meeting in the center of the city to set the record straight...