Translator: AtlasStudios Editor: AtlasStudios
Klein’s reply made Daly chuckle. The translucent face with only a mouth said, “Even though you found inspiration through the maxim of the Mystery Pryers and confirmed your theories through my experience and performance, it only took you a month to understand the ‘acting method’ and come up with your own Seer principle. That shows that you possess outstanding wisdom and an open mind.”
Klein didn’t engage in the topic which made him guilty, but instead asked in response, “Madam, do the higher-ups in the church know about this so-called ‘acting method?'”
“No doubt, they understand it very clearly. I once read through the historical information in the church and searched through stories of people ignoring the norms and advancing quickly. I realized that there were more than a few Nighthawks and bishops who have done so, I’m not the most unique one either. But their ending…” Daly intentionally paused, and she suddenly sounded heavy-hearted.
“What kind of ending did they have?” Klein asked, feeling a tug at his heartstrings.
Could it be that the Church of the Evernight Goddess views the “acting method” as the seduction of some devil or evil god?
The translucent face suddenly laughed. “Their endings were rather great. Besides the few who lost control or were sacrificed in Beyonder incidents, the rest of them have at least become archbishops or high-ranking deacons. Among them, there are also experts that have successfully become High-Sequence Beyonders. In the Church of the Goddess, Sequence 4’s and Sequence 3’s are called Saints, while Sequence 2’s and Sequence 1’s are called Grounded Angels. Of course, every angel was once a Saint.”
… Madam Daly, you deliberately tried to scare me earlier… the corner of Klein’s lips twitched before he asked, without hiding his suspicions, “Since the Church has mastered the ‘acting method,’ why didn’t they just tell every Nighthawk? Although it wouldn’t prevent every Nighthawk from losing control, it would definitely lower the probability and reduce unnecessary losses.”
A sense of loss appeared on the translucent face. “I have no idea why either. They told me that when I become an archbishop or high-ranking deacon, I’ll be able to know the secret. I came here today because I hope that you can tell Dunn about the ‘acting method’ more clearly before you hand in your special request.”
Klein wasn’t stupid enough to ask why she couldn’t do that herself; instead, he said thoughtfully, “Once noticed by the Church, one has to swear not to tell anyone about the ‘acting method?'”
“Yes, you must do it before the Goddess’s holy items and swear upon Her name. That holds enough binding force. Trust me, you definitely don’t want to know the outcome of a violation. I can only talk about it with people who have mastered the ‘acting method,’ like you. Your body language already gave me the answer before you replied; that’s why I dared to say the term.” Daly made the creepy face sigh.
She paused for a moment before saying, “I only faintly grasped the essence of ‘acting’ back then and digested the potion very quickly. Yes, among the higher-ups in the Church, using the term ‘digesting’ to describe the control of the potion is very aptly worded. Anyway, before I made the pledge and found out about the ‘acting method,’ I had no clear understanding of it, so I couldn’t accurately explain it to Dunn and the others.
“I gave up at first. I never thought that I would meet you, an eccentric wonder that could clearly understand the ‘acting method’ before handing in a special application—no, a genius.”
So that’s how you see me, Madam… the corner of Klein’s mouth twitched before he solemnly promised, “I originally intended to remind Captain about the existence of the ‘acting method’ through my special application. With your explanation, I don’t have to worry further.”
“Very well, you’re such a kind lad.” Daly sounded relaxed.
Madam, you’re only about two to three years older than me… Klein inwardly pointed out the error in her words.
Without him speaking any further, the translucent creepy face continued, “If you have any problems or anything that you require assistance with, you can write a letter to me. Wait for me, heh heh. When I become an Archbishop or a high-ranking deacon which allows me to understand why the Church hides the ‘acting method,’ I’ll give you a hint whether if it’s a good or bad thing.
Klein was suddenly energized, and he asked without hesitation, “Madam, what’s your address?”
To him, the more help he got, the merrier. Plus, she was a pretty strong Spirit Medium!
Seeing that Klein didn’t oppose the idea at all, Daly remained silent for a while before she laughed.
“Our communication shouldn’t go through the post office, as we would be using normal letters. That’s very dangerous.
“I’ll teach you a relatively easy ritualistic magic. You can use it to summon a special spirit, one that belongs to me. Pass the letter to it, and it’ll send it precisely to me. It wouldn’t be faster than a telegram, but it’s faster than a steam locomotive. If you were to send a message at noon, I would receive the message in Backlund that same night.”
Klein listened to her with his full attention. He nodded faintly. “A very pragmatic ritualistic magic.”
“The uniqueness of the ritualistic magic is to pray to yourself. Obtaining power from your own spirituality, without going through a god. Hence, it’s quite secretive, but it isn’t very powerful.
“… First, you select a herb and essential oil in the corresponding domain. This is no different than normal ritualistic magic. However, you only need the candle that represents yourself. Then, regarding the spell, there are three parts. The first part is ‘I.’ Shout ‘I’ in either ancient Hermes, Jotun, Dragonish, or Elvish. The second part is ‘I summon in my name.’ That part can be said in Hermes. The third part is the exact description of the summoning object. For instance, you would use this in the future: ‘the spirit that wanders about the unfounded, the higher-dimensional creature that a human orders, the messenger that belongs to Daly Simone.”
Higher-dimensional? In mysticism, this is normally referred to as the spirit world…Klein memorized as he analyzed the ritual procedure.
In that aspect, he could barely be considered an expert.
The benefit of this kind of ritualistic magic is that it avoids calling upon a god but relies purely on a person’s power. It achieves various magical effects without the constraints imposed by a god’s specialized domain. The problem lies in the strength of a person. A weak result for the weak, and a strong result for the strong… Klein felt that he had once again obtained new mysticism knowledge that he would’ve never come into contact with at his current Sequence.
Daly repeated the description a few times and emphasized solemnly, “Remember, don’t change the actual description of the summoning object, or the ritual could easily attract a terrifying monster.”
“Okay.” Klein nodded honestly.
At the same time, he suddenly thought of something.
If I were to change the description of the summoning object to “The Fool that doesn’t belong to this era, the mysterious ruler above the gray fog; the King of Yellow and Black who wields good luck,” what would be summoned?
Would it be utterly useless, or would the gray fog suddenly descend, or would I need to respond in that mysterious space?
Would this help me in stirring more power from the world above the gray fog?
Would it cause a terrifying chain effect?
Klein still felt traces of the fear after his experimentation with the Mutated Sun Sacred Emblem. In the end, he followed his intent and planned to divine above the gray fog before deciding whether he should make the attempt or not.
He contemplated and asked out of interest, “Madam, if one were to strictly practice the ‘acting method,’ how long does it take to go from Sequence 8 to Sequence 7, and how long from Sequence 7 to Sequence 6?”
“According to the information that I’ve read, it varies from three months to two years for Sequence 8 to Sequence 7. It depends on whether you can grasp the core spirit and corresponding principle during the ‘acting’ process. From Sequence 7 to Sequence 6, it varies from half a year to three years; likewise for Sequence 6 to Sequence 5. As for Sequence 5 to Sequence 4, three to twenty years…” Daly described roughly.
Klein suddenly smiled.
“So Madam, are you already at Sequence 6?”
He heard from Dunn that Daly used a year’s time from Sequence 9 Corpse Collector to Sequence 8 Gravedigger. Then, from Gravedigger to Sequence 7 Spirit Medium, she used another year. She had been a Beyonder for five years. In other words, Daly was at the Spirit Medium stage for about three years.
“Yes, that’s the reason why I was transferred to Backlund diocese,” the creepy translucent face answered frankly. “My current occupation is a Spirit Guide. However, I prefer the name Spirit Medium. Alright, this little guy is getting tired. I have to go. Under such circumstances, I won’t be saying ‘may the Goddess bless you.'”
“Sweet dreams.” Klein pressed his chest, smiled, and bowed.
“No, there won’t be any sweet dreams tonight. I have to rush back to Backlund. This isn’t a happy experience, it’s like having a relationship with someone you don’t like…” Daly’s voice grew softer, and the translucent face with no eyes or nose slowly shrank back into the wall without leaving behind any traces.
The gas lamp light suddenly became bright and the gloominess vanished into thin air.
Klein, who had his Spirit Vision activated the entire time, watched the changes in a daze. It took him a while to snap back to reality.
“Spirit Medium—no, Spirit Guide is very impressive. It can actually conjure a ‘messenger.’ I wonder what’s the specialty of my Sequence 7 and Sequence 6?” he muttered to himself. Then, he quickly dispelled the spiritual wall, switched off the gas lamp in his bedroom, and silently lay down in the darkness.
He didn’t plan to head to the world above the gray fog that night, just in case Daly suddenly returned and said Dunn Smith’s classic words, “Oh yeah, I forgot one thing.”
When that happens, I wouldn’t even be able to silence her with death!
On the second day, Klein arrived at the Blackthorn Security Company three minutes early.
“Good morning, Klein. The new clerk is here!” Rozanne greeted with a splendid smile.
Klein felt sincerely happy for her.
“Congratulations, Rozanne. The Goddess heard your prayers.”
“My skin shall be back to perfect condition!” Rozanne nodded, her eyes beaming with joy.
After they chatted for a while, Klein walked through the partition and knocked on the door to the Captain’s office.
“Please come in.” Dunn’s mellow voice sounded.
Klein pushed open the door to enter. He saw his Captain sit up instinctively as his gray eyes turned dark. It was as though he was prepared for trouble.
Ahem. Klein cleared his throat, set aside his hat and cane, then sat down. “Captain, I have something that I’d like to report.”
“What is it?” Dunn asked in a deep voice, his arms crossed.