Translator: AtlasStudios Editor: AtlasStudios
The chirping of insects and the hooting of owls reverberated along the path back to the small town. Azik looked ahead and said after a few seconds of silence, “Even though I’m not entirely sure what happened to me, I do have a rough idea.
“Perhaps—perhaps I’m someone who has lived for a very, very long time.”
Mr. Azik, you have to seriously consider if you still fit the definition of “someone”…Klein thought to himself, but he didn’t dare to say it out loud.
“This wilderness, this silence, often makes one weak…
“I should’ve paid some sort of price in exchange for this long life. I’ve lived since the end of the Fourth Epoch, like a wandering spirit across the continent…” Azik’s voice deepened, as if he was trying to suppress his emotions. “I don’t remember the past. I’ve forgotten about the people and things that I’ve sworn to remember…”
Klein poked at the weeds in front of him and said, in thought, “Mr. Azik, I have a theory regarding your situation.”
“What theory?” Azik looked to the side.
“I think that there’s a cycle to your memory loss. Perhaps you ‘die’ once every few decades, and your memories of the events before that vanishes. Then, after some time, you wake up from the darkness of your slumber and begin on a new phase of life. This way, we can explain why you would have such varied dreams. Those are events that you came across over your several lives,” Klein described his theory.
Azik slowed down his pace, as if the darkness had grabbed onto his sleeve. He looked ahead with a turbid look before saying after a while, “That is consistent with the memories that were jolted awake just now.”
Memories that were jolted awake? Klein had an idea as he said immediately, “Mr. Azik, you might not have to leave Tingen to search for your lost past. You’ll regain your memories slowly!”
“Why?” Azik turned his head in surprise.
Klein smiled and said, “Your memories aren’t completely gone. The parts of your memory that jolted awake just now are proof of that.
“Furthermore, do you remember the moment you woke up in Backlund and discovered that you had forgotten all about the past?”
Azik nodded. “That’s a nightmare that bothers me till this day.”
Klein tapped downwards with his black cane and explained in detail, “Before today, I didn’t think that there was a problem with that. But your description just now, together with my own conjecture, makes it feel a little weird. You had a document of identification and enough money when you woke up from your dream. You also appeared in a way that didn’t startle anyone… All of that seems like it was arranged for you, allowing you to fit into society with little effort.
“Then, who made the arrangements?
“There is only one answer; the you from the past!
“The past you regained his memories and knew that you would have to usher in a new life. Thus, he prepared everything for you, trying his best to not let you attract suspicion from anyone else.”
Azik stopped walking. He looked at the specks of light coming from the town, once again slipped into silence.
“Perhaps the ‘parents’ that I’ve been searching for were the past me all along…” He sighed, admitting that Klein’s deduction was very plausible.
“Thus, you don’t need to do anything. All you have to do is patiently wait for your memories to come back to you,” Klein concluded and consoled Mr. Azik.
Azik subconsciously waved his cane before he turned still, like a sculpture carved out of marble.
After a long time, he looked into the distance and answered, “Perhaps—perhaps I’ll only fully regain my memory when this life is nearing its end. I don’t want to wait that long. I want to have plenty of time to understand and free myself from this destiny. So I have to be more proactive in searching for my past, to trigger my memories a little at a time. I have to get back my memories back before the time you hypothesized. Waiting would only make me repeat the cycle.”
“Indeed that’s the choice worth looking forward to the most.” Klein didn’t advise against it. Instead, he asked, “Mr. Azik, may I ask for your help in something trivial, other than finding the criminal that took the skull of your child and made my fate disharmonious?”
Azik nodded slightly.
“What do you need me to do?”
Klein organized his words and said, “I hope that you can head to a town between two and five hours away from Tingen by carriage next week, or the week after. I need you to cause a paranormal incident, something that wouldn’t harm anyone. Judging from how you tried to search for the criminal using your bloodline’s connection, I would think that you are fairly adept in the field of dead souls.”
“No problem,” Azik promised without any hesitation. He didn’t ask Klein why he wanted him to do something like that.
At the same time, he had tacitly confirmed Klein’s conjecture about his powers.
“Thank you. This is very important to me. Also, you can only choose a follower of the Evernight Goddess when you are picking a target. Also, don’t leave any clues behind,” Klein instructed.
Only through this method could the incident be relayed to the Tingen Nighthawks. Only then could he join the team on the mission and suggest using Sealed Artifact 3-0782. Only then could he extract the divine blood from the Sealed Artifact to create Flaring Sun Charms!
That was the most powerful item he could obtain at the moment.
Under the assumption that the culprit living in the house with the red chimney hasn’t left Tingen, and that Klein was going to continue investigating, he had to try his best to become more powerful!
Yes, according to the information I obtained, stealing a little of its powers wouldn’t damage 3-0782. At the very most, it would only lessen the amount of time it takes to purify… This is for the safety and stability of Tingen City! Klein inwardly tried to justify his actions.
Azik didn’t care about his motives. He nodded.
“I will tell you the name of the town and the estimated time beforehand so you can prepare yourself.”
Phew… Klein heaved a sigh of relief. He felt that this trip to Lamud Town wasn’t a wasted trip.
Even though they only managed to peel back the outermost layer of the mysteries surrounding Mr. Azik and had much more to find out, he had at least managed to gain the friendship of Azik, a reliable ally in his search for the culprit behind the scenes!
At half past eleven that night, Klein returned to 2 Daffodil Street, hungry and tired.
“To think that Mr. Azik didn’t treat me to dinner… Sigh. He wouldn’t have been in the mood to enjoy dinner anyway,” Klein muttered as he opened the door.
The house wasn’t as dark as he had anticipated. An elegant gas lamp was silently emitting its light, warmly illuminating the living room. Benson was sitting alone on the sofa with a book, draped under a bright “coat.”
When he saw the door open, Benson was just about to speak when he yawned. He had no choice but to cover his mouth.
Klein closed the door and smiled, quipping, “I went to Lamud Town with Mr. Azik. There’s an abandoned castle with a long history over there.”
Benson was immediately enlightened as he laughed.
“A moonless night, a castle abandoned for a millennia, a cold and creepy environment, coupled with a two-man archaeological team… This is the perfect recipe for the opening of a paranormal novel.”
What happened today could be classified as paranormal… Klein suddenly recalled the strange door Mr. Azik conjured and the cries of a baby. He said, a lingering fear still gripping onto him, “It did feel a bit like that back there.”
Benson yawned again before shutting his book and said, “I need sleep. Ever since I began studying and reading classical literature, the quality of my sleep has become especially good.”
Klein laughed to himself, suddenly recalling something Miss Justice had mentioned. He said, lowering his voice, “Benson, you know that my company has connections with the Awwa County Police. I recently heard news from Backlund that the King, Prime Minister, other ministers and Members of Parliament are all sick of an inefficient government. They want to push for a reform and select talents to take on positions in the government based on an open examination, just like the entrance examinations of universities.”
Benson was at a loss at first, then his eyes sparkled as he asked, “An open examination?”
“Yes. As long as you pass the examination, you could become a civil servant in one of the branches of the government. My guess, yes—my guess is that the contents of the examination will be modeled after the entrance exams of the universities: literature, the classics, math and logic, as well as a basic understanding of the law…” Klein used this opportunity to include his opinion. He continued, “Benson, this must be kept confidential, and don’t put too much hope on this. No one knows if this will be passed by the House of Lords and House of Commons or not.”
“I’ll keep it in mind. I understand that all I need to do is study hard.” Benson smiled, then said, “I’d study hard whether this change happens or not. I’ll try my best to free myself from my current circumstance and find a better job. Learning—that’s the greatest difference between a human and a curly-haired baboon.”
No, research suggests that baboons have decent IQ levels, and a certain level of learning abilities… Klein lampooned silently and looked on as Benson headed to the second floor.
After that, he smiled and rubbed his stomach as he walked toward the kitchen.
He found the leftovers and the chicken Benson and Melissa left him especially. Klein relaxed as he started preparing his late dinner.
It was deep into the night now, and most people had already gone to bed. He was the only one still awake, breathing in the cool air with mixed aromas and making slight movements.
Everything was peaceful and serene.
After he was satiated, he washed the dishes and took a bath. Finally, Klein returned to his room and locked the door.
He yawned but kept himself awake. He took out the silver dagger used for rituals and sealed the room with a wall of spirituality.
He wanted to divine above the gray fog whether summoning “The Fool that doesn’t belong to this era” was dangerous or not!