Translator: AtlasStudios Editor: AtlasStudios
The exhausted Klein dispelled the sealed wall of spirituality, allowing the cool wind to blow onto his face. The scent of grass and trees that the wind carried revitalized him.
He rubbed the warm and classic Sealed Artifact 3-0782 with his hands and sighed to himself.
“Who would have thought that there would be a drop of god’s blood in this emblem? I have to assume that the experts from the Church of the Eternal Blazing Sun must have tried searching for this item in the past, but couldn’t find it…”
Klein stretched his neck. He didn’t dare try anything else, keeping the Mutated Sun Sacred Emblem in the inner pocket of his windbreaker.
His hand followed a chain and took out a silver vine-leaf pocket watch. He opened it to see that there was still about an hour before Corpse Collector Frye’s shift.
I need two matches to prop up my eyelids… This is a side effect of that near-death experience! Klein didn’t have any other ideas. All he could do was take out a small metal bottle from a tiny hidden pocket. He uncapped the bottle and brought it near his nose.
A pungent smell, a mix of mint and disinfectant, quickly entered his nose, giving Klein goosebumps. His senses were jolted, making him forget his fatigue temporarily.
He had learned the formula from Corpse Collector Frye. It was called Quelaag’s Oil, and it could help a person ignore the stench of rotting corpses, as well as refresh and clear the mind.
The next hour felt like torture. Klein paced around from time to time, and was bitten by the mosquitoes in the forest several times.
Finally, he saw the black-haired, blue-eyed Frye walking out of the town wearing a windbreaker and holding a cane.
Even though Frye still looked like a living corpse, Klein felt as though he was looking at his savior. He covered his mouth and let out a yawn, making his eyes teary. He made his way over and took out Sealed Artifact 3-0782 from his pocket.
“What happened?” Frye asked as he looked at his partner’s pale face.
Klein sighed and said, “I just did my shift at Chanis Gate the previous night and didn’t sleep too well in the morning, so I’m very tired.”
He didn’t elaborate further and changed the subject. “Shall I come for my next shift four hours from now?”
“Seven hours. The Captain doesn’t need sleep at night.” Frye took the Mutated Sun Sacred Emblem.
I’m glad someone enjoys staying up late… Klein ridiculed the Captain under his breath. He bade goodbye to Frye and walked towards the town.
On the way back to the inn, he took out his pocket watch again and checked the time.
Hmm, ten minutes earlier than we arranged… What a nice person… Klein laughed and walked faster. He returned to the inn and opened the half-closed door. The boss watched him as he made his way to the second floor before he entered his room.
He removed his coat and shoes after locking the door. He didn’t wash up, but instead fell directly onto the bed.
His breathing became heavy in just a few seconds, then long and peaceful.
In his dreams, Klein returned to Earth where he was playing a game he hadn’t beaten. A cup of soda and a plate of spicy chicken wings were on his left. To his right was a bowl of rice and bitter bamboo shoots meat soup.
He didn’t like bitter bamboo shoots, but he liked it in soup with meat slices. The refreshing taste and the little bit of fat from the meat were tantalizing, a perfect complement to the rice.
He could eat an extra bowl of rice if it was paired with some good sauce dip!
Just as Klein was about to enjoy his supper and continue playing his game, his dream changed again, presenting him with the internal layout of 2 Daffodil Street.
Klein suddenly became alert, aware that he was dreaming.
He saw himself seated at the side of the dining table, a copy of the Tingen Daily Tribune in his hand. In front of him was a bowl of tomato oxtail stew, pan-fried lamb chops, mashed potatoes, and wheat bread.
He subconsciously turned to look at the door, suddenly noticing a figure standing outside the window of the living room, silently staring inside the house!
Klein was shocked. He immediately recognized the gray-eyed Dunn. Half his face was clinging close to the window as he silently watched the people inside.
… Captain, can you not scare someone in their dreams? Is this your way of acting as an Nightmare? Klein thought, finding humor in his exasperation. He scooped up a mouthful of stew and put it into his mouth.
Ah, this is my cooking! He sighed to himself. He understood why he became suddenly became alert in his dream, why the scene of him on Earth vanished.
He would naturally become aware when someone barged into his dreams!
At this moment, Dunn left his spot by the oriel window and directly entered the house. In his black windbreaker, he came silently before Klein.
He took off his hat and nodded before sitting down. He didn’t stand on ceremony, picking up cutlery and quickly polishing off the stew, lamb chops, wheat bread on the table.
Klein looked on dumbfounded, unsure what the Captain was doing.
Phew. Dunn exhaled in satisfaction and gave Klein a thumbs up. He then took out his pipe and a matchstick before taking an intoxicated puff.
He exhaled a cloud of smoke and stood up. He then put on his hat and bowed before leaving the house and the dream.
“…” Klein looked at the Captain’s back, unable to collect himself for a long time.
He looked down at the empty plates and instinctively wanted to conjure up the food he had just now.
But this time, the oxtail stew, lamb chops, mashed potatoes didn’t appear in his dream.
It was completely eaten? A Nightmare can do that? Klein twitched his lips and thought in frustration. So the Captain’s goal was to prevent me from eating supper in my dream? That sure is a nightmare… This method of acting as a Nightmare sure is creative…
He let out a laugh and exited his dream, once again falling asleep.
At about half past five the morning the next day, Klein, who had no choice but to wake up early, drink his coffee and eat his toast and bacon. He hurried out of town to take over from Dunn.
At seven in the morning, they prepared to set off back to Tingen.
It wasn’t even ten when they arrived at 36 Zouteland Street. Fyre sat behind the typewriter after Dunn, the most energized of the lot, returned Sealed Artifact 3-0782 to the back of Chanis Gate. He took advantage of the fact that the clerks hadn’t arrived yet so that he could write a report on the mission and the claims of the related expenditures.
Klein looked on from the side, satisfied that the items he had expended were within the list—including the materials he used to drive the bugs and mosquitoes away.
He didn’t return home immediately, for he had arranged to meet the asylum’s Doctor Daxter at one in the afternoon at the agreed upon venue through a coded letter.
Then there’s still the Tarot Gathering at three… Why does the boss of a secret society have such a tiring life? Klein thought to himself. He took a two-hour nap in the Nighthawks break room to catch up on sleep.
He didn’t forget the information he had obtained the previous day. He wasn’t worried that he would forget, for the information could be recalled using divination. He was afraid that he would disregard the existence of this information and even lose the ability to divine the information. Thus, he recalled the pieces of information once again before he slept to reinforce them.
This was also the reason Klein insisted on doing a review every week and reorganize all the information he knew.
After lunch, he took a look at his pocket watch and left the Blackthorn Security Company for the Shooting Club at 3 Zouteland Street.
Klein entered the reception area after pushing open the door, but he didn’t head directly to the shooting range belonging to the Nighthawks. Instead, he found a seat in the hall as he waited patiently with his black cane in hand.
He had arranged to meet Daxter at the Zouteland Street Shooting Club!
He had arranged this through handwritten letters. Whenever Klein needed to meet him, he would write to Doctor Daxter Guderian in place of a patient’s family member and ask about a unique condition called “dissociative identity disorder.” In his letter, Klein would use various methods to mention the term Spectator, as well as a hidden mark of ink to authenticate his identity. The letter would also casually mention a time to meet.
As for the place to meet, they had already decided this the first time they met. If Klein felt that there was a need to change the location, he would mention it when they met in person.
When Daxter Guderian needed to meet for nonurgent matters, he could send a letter to the Hound Pub or the Shooting Club. The recipient would be marked as Mr. Hornacis which Klein would take at scheduled times.
In urgent situations, he could hand the letter directly to the boss of the Hound Pub, Wright, and mention his “search for mercenaries.” This way, Wright, who was an associate of the Nighthawks, would immediately hand the letter over to the Blackthorn Security Company.
After waiting for a while, Klein saw the refined Daxter enter the Shooting Club, a few minutes past one.
He was wearing a black hat and a fitted tuxedo. He had a cane inlaid with silver in his hands, as well as a pair of gold-framed spectacles on his face.
Daxter walked around the club without attracting attention and saw Klein, who nodded slightly. He then retracted his gaze and walked to the counter, expertly applying for a shooting range and renting a gun.
This was not his first visit.
“Small shooting range 7, 3 soli an hour. The fee for renting a revolver is one soli seven pence per hour and it contains six rounds,” the receptionist quickly settled the request.
After Daxter confirmed that he was renting the items for an hour and paid the fee of 10 soli, he took the revolver and extra bullets and was led into the respective shooting range by the facilitator.
Klein waited another five minutes before slowly standing up. He grabbed his cane before walking to the small shooting range 7 and knocked on the door.
The door opened a tiny crack with a creak. Daxter first looked around cautiously, then opened the door fully.
Klein immediately entered and locked the door.
“Good afternoon, Mr. Daxter,” he said as he took out a 10 soli bill. He handed the bill over to Daxter. “We wouldn’t let our associates bear any extra fees.”
Because I can claim compensation… He added in his heart.
Daxter didn’t decline. He took the cash and asked heavily, “Mr. Moretti, why did you ask to meet me?”