Translator: AtlasStudios Editor: AtlasStudios
A wave of tumultuous emotions rose up in Klein’s heart after he heard Dunn. Instinctively, he uttered, “Why?”
The Beyonders have serious hidden dangers? So much so that the Church’s internal Judiciary and the Beyonders, who dealt with bizarre phenomenon, are also prone to problems?
Dunn stepped into the carriage and sat back in his seat. His expression and tone remained the same.
“This is not something that you need to understand. Neither is it something you can understand, unless you become one of us.”
Klein was struck dumb for a moment, after which he sat down and questioned in a tone that was half dubious and half-joking.
“If I don’t come to understand, how is it possible for me to make a decision to join?”
And not joining would mean Klein could not understand. This would end in a deadlock…
Dunn Smith took out the pipe once again, placed it against his nose, and took a whiff.
“You probably misunderstood; a civilian staff member is also one of us.”
“In other words, as long as I become one of your civilian staff members, I will be able to understand the relevant secrets, figure out the hidden dangers that plague Beyonders, and the dangers that may be encountered, as well as consider whether I want to become a Beyonder later?” Klein reorganized his thoughts and paraphrased what Dunn had shared.
Dunn smiled and said, “Yes, that is the case, except for one point. You cannot simply become a Beyonder just because you want to because every church will be equally strict in this aspect.”
It would be odd if the churches were not strict… Klein lampooned silently, as he added with a more intense tone coupled with stronger body language, “What about civilian staff members? This should be quite strict as well, right?”
“There shouldn’t be any problems if it’s you,” said Dunn with half-closed eyelids as he whiffed the pipe with partially relaxed countenance. However, he did not ignite it.
“Why?” Klein asked as he was once again grappled by doubt.
At the same time, he jested inwardly.
So my uniqueness and halo as a transmigrator are akin to the fireflies in the night, ever so bright and outstanding?
Dunn opened his half-closed eyelids, his silver-colored eyes reflecting the same tranquility as before.
“First, you managed to survive without our help in such a situation. Certain exceptional qualities are not present in others. For instance, luck. Lucky people are often welcomed.”
Seeing that Klein’s expression had turned blank, Dunn smiled slightly.
“All right, just treat this as a humorous statement. Second, you’re a graduate of the history department from Khoy University; this is something we urgently need. Although a believer of the Lord of the Storms, Leumi, perceives women in a way that is loathsome, his views regarding society, humanities, economics, and politics remain incisive. He said before that talents are key to maintaining a competitive advantage and positive development, a point that I very much agree with.
Noticing that Klein was slightly furrowing his eyebrows, Dunn casually explained, “You should be able to imagine that we often encounter documents and objects from the Fourth Epoch or earlier. Many cults and heretics have tried to gain power from these things. Sometimes, they themselves can lead to strange and terrible things.
“Except for the Beyonders in special fields, most of us are not good with our studies, or have passed that age.” Having said that, Dunn Smith pointed to his own head, and the corner of his mouth turned up slightly as if he was mocking himself.
He then said, “Those dry, boring knowledge always puts us to sleep. Even the Sleepless can’t help it. In the past, we would cooperate with historians or archaeologists, but this posed the risk of exposing secrets, and mishaps might befall on these otherwise uninvolved professors and associate professors. Thus, the addition of a professional in our ranks is hard to refuse.”
Klein nodded lightly and accepted Dunn’s explanation. With his thoughts all over the place, he asked, “Then why don’t you directly, um, groom one?”
Dunn continued, “This brings me to the third point, which is also the final and most important point. You’ve already been through a similar ordeal, so inviting you doesn’t violate the confidentiality clause.
“With regard to developing others, I will bear the responsibility of exposure if it fails. Most of our team members, our civilian staff members, come from within the Church.”
After Klein finished listening silently, he asked curiously, “Why are you so strict about maintaining confidentiality? Wouldn’t spreading the news publicly to more people and increasing awareness lessen the chances of a similar mistake from happening again? The greatest fear stems from the fear of the unknown; we can make the unknown become known.”
“No, humanity’s stupidity is beyond your imagination. It actually leads to more people emulating these acts, creating more chaos and more severe incidents,” Dunn Smith shook his head and replied.
Klein acknowledged as he replied in enlightenment, “The only lesson that humans can learn from history is that humans do not gain any lessons from history, and they’re always repeating the same tragedies.”
“That famous quote from Emperor Roselle is indeed filled with much philosophical meaning,” agreed Dunn.
…Emperor Roselle said that? This transmigrator senior really did not give the ‘latecomers’ any chance to posture… Klein did not know how to follow up on Dunn’s words.
Dunn turned his head and gazed out of the horse carriage. The dim yellowish light of the street lamps intertwined to display the splendor of civilization.
“…There is a similar discourse within the judiciary of the major churches. This may be the main reason for the strict confidentiality and the prohibition of ordinary people from knowing.”
“What is it?” Klein asked as his interest was piqued, pleasured that he seemed to be spying on secrets.
Dunn turned his head; his facial muscles pulled themselves so slightly that it was hardly visible.
“Faith and fear bring troubles. More faith and more fear bring more troubles, until everything is destroyed.”
After he said that, Dunn signed, “Besides praying for the blessings and help from gods, humans can’t solve their real major problems.
“Faith and fear bring troubles. More faith and more fear bring more troubles…” Klein recited silently, but he could not fully understand it.
What followed next was the fear of uncertainty that came from the unknown. It was like the dark shadows formed by the street lights outside. In the darkness without light, it appeared as though there were pairs of callous-looking eyes and wide-opened mouths.
As the horse galloped vigorously and nimbly while the wheels of the horse carriage reeled on ahead with Iron Cross Street in sight, Dunn broke the silence suddenly and formally invited Klein.
“Would you like to join us as a civilian staff member?”
In Klein’s mind, multiple thoughts surfaced, making him indecisive. He contemplated and asked, “Can I have some time to consider?”
Since this matter had serious implications, he could not hastily and recklessly make the decision.
“No problem, just give me a reply before Sunday,” Dunn nodded and added. “Of course, remember to keep this a secret and don’t disclose the information regarding Welch to anyone, including your brother and sister. Once this is violated, it’ll not only bring them trouble, but you might also have to attend a special court.”
“Okay,” Klein answered gravely.
The carriage was once again plunged into silence.
Seeing that they were nearing Iron Cross Street and that he was almost reaching home, Klein suddenly thought of a question. He hesitated for a few seconds before asking, “Mr Smith, what kind of salary and benefits do civilian staff get?”
This was a serious question…
Taken aback momentarily, Dunn smiled instantly and answered, “There’s no need for you to worry about this issue. Our funds are guaranteed by the Church and the police department. For newly registered civilian staffs, the weekly salaries are placed at two pounds and ten soli. There is an additional ten soli as compensation for the risk and confidentiality. All of this will add up to a total of three pounds. This is hardly worse than a confirmed university lecturer.
“Afterwhich, your salary will gradually rise according to your experience and contributions.
“As for civilian staff members, the contract is generally five years. After five years, you can quit normally if you’re no longer willing to stay. You only have to sign a lifetime confidentiality agreement and you’re not allowed to leave Tingen until permission is given. If you want to move to another city, the first thing you must do is register with the local Nighthawk.
“By the way, there are no weekends and you can only work in shifts. At any point in time, there should be three civilian staffs on duty and if you wish to go to the South or Desi Bay for a vacation, you’ll need to arrange it with your colleagues.”
Just as Dunn finished speaking, the horse carriage pulled to a stop and the apartment building where Klein and his siblings resided in appeared on the side.
“I get it now,” Klein turned around and walked down the horse carriage. He stopped at the side and asked, “By the way Mr. Smith, where do I find you after I’ve come to my decision?”
Dunn gave a deep and low throaty laugh before saying, “Go to the ‘Hound Pub’ at Besik Street and find their boss, Wright. Tell him that you want to hire a small mercenary squad for a mission.”
“Huh?” Klein asked confusedly.
“Our location is confidential too. Before you agree to become one of us, I can’t tell you directly. Alright Mr. Klein Moretti, I wish you a good dream tonight as well,” Dunn smiled as he said.
Klein took off his hat and saluted, watching as the pace of the departing horse carriage gradually sped up.
He took out his pocket watch.
“Click,” he pressed it open and saw that it was only a little past four in the morning. The street was filled with a relaxing, cool breeze. A dim yellowish light from the street lamps illuminated the surroundings.
Klein drew a deep breath and took in the deep silence of the night around him.
The busiest and noisiest district in the day could be so lifeless and quiet at night. This was in stark contrast to the silent observations and medium’s seance in Welch’s residence.
It was only then that Klein realized that the back of his linen shirt was unknowingly drenched in sweat, cold and clammy.