Translator: AtlasStudios Editor: AtlasStudios
Most of the buildings in Morse Town adhered to a style that was popular a hundred years ago. The most eye-catching building in the town was the black cathedral spire.
After settling the carriage, Klein and the others quickly finished their lunch of bread, toast, bacon, butter, and coffee.
“We can still tolerate about two hours and thirty-five minutes of Sealed Artifact 3-0782’s purification.” Kenley stood at the door of the church and took out a pocket watch from his suit’s pocket. “I suggest dealing with the suspected haunting incidents first to prevent the situation from getting worse. Then we can return to the church and take turns watching over the Sealed Artifact to recover.”
Under normal circumstances, Sequence 9, 8, and 7 Beyonders had to stay far away from the Mutated Sun Sacred Emblem for two hours to recover completely, or at least an hour if they were to make a partial recovery.
“I have no objections.”
Klein and Leonard spoke in unison.
“Then which case should we deal with first?” Kenley asked.
Leonard wiped away his frivolous attitude and said, “Let’s start with the old man living alone who heard heavy footsteps in his house.”
“Why?” Kenley asked instinctively. Klein was also interested to hear an explanation.
Could this be the intuition of a poet? He mocked Leonard secretly.
Leonard shifted his gaze from Kenley’s face to Klein’s, then looked at Kenley again. He smiled.
“Because it’s the closest to the church.”
“How did you know that? It’s not written in the records…” Klein asked.
Leonard snickered. “Didn’t I go to the bathroom during our meal? I came across a trainee priest on my way back and had a conversation. He told me that Noah’s house was close to the church—Oh yeah, the old man’s name is Noah.”
He sure lives up to his name as an experienced Nighthawk when it comes to performing missions… Klein gave a dry laugh. He turned to Kenley and said, “Then let’s go to Noah’s house first.”
“Alright.” Kenley didn’t have any objections.
They arrived at Noah’s house a mere minute later…
Noah was an old man with thinning white hair. He had lost his left hand in a war when he was younger and had no choice but to leave the army. He returned to his hometown after he received his compensation.
At that moment, he opened the door and looked at the three strangers in front of him before looking at Siur who was rushing over from the cathedral. He said with a raspy voice, “Come in, I hope that you can solve my problem. I heard that you brought Holy Water, Sacred Emblems, a silver dagger, and garlic? This is great, my worries have eased greatly. Please forgive my blabbering, you have to understand the condition of an old man after not being able to sleep peacefully for two nights, Oh my Goddess, I’ve been so scared all this time that my head feels like it’s in a cloud.”
Leonard suddenly straightened his back when he entered the house, his eyes surveying the surroundings.
After that, Klein felt a cold aura within the room. Those were traces of activity left behind by a ghost.
“There really was an impure being here.” Kenley was the last one to notice as he suppressed his voice.
“Very weak.” Leonard said with a relaxed tone as he retracted his gaze.
The Midnight Poet was a job with a relatively high spiritual sensitivity when compared to all the other Sequence 8’s in the Church’s records.
“Yes.” Klein could feel the warmth and purifying energy of Sealed Artifact 3-0782 quickly dispelling the sinister aura in the room without any trouble.
At this moment, the people of the town had all gathered at Noah’s house, all looking curiously at Klein, Leonard, and Kenley.
Cough! Leonard cleared his throat and recited, “We have the blessings of the Goddess, those impure beings will vanish quickly and won’t bring about any more trouble.”
After that, he shot a look at Klein for him to perform a “purification ritual” for everyone to see.
Why me? Klein shot a look back.
Of course, he didn’t know if Leonard understood what his gaze meant.
But clearly, Leonard understood. He said softly, “You’re the expert in rituals.”
Alright, blame me for being the one who volunteered for this mission. Klein tidied his clothes and took out the Holy Water, Sacred Emblems, a silver dagger, and garlic from Leonard.
He first placed the Dark Sacred Emblem in front of his chest, then peeled the garlic and tossed its cloves one by one to every corner of the house.
“Hmm, this is how garlic is used to dispel ghosts?”
“It’s different from the descriptions in the newspapers…”
“Will this work?”
The townsfolk looking at them broke into discussion, curious and excited, as if they were watching a circus.
It’s useless! I’m just acting! Klein suddenly felt that he had become a clown. He closed his eyes and splashed the holy water onto the ground with the silver dagger.
He splashed the water as he walked around the house, reciting an incantation, “The Evernight Goddess…
“The Mother of Secrets… The Lady of Crimson…
“Empress of Disaster and Horror…
“Mistress of Calm and Silence…”
These typical acts of a charlatan shocked everyone present as the townsfolk fell silent.
And once people turned silent, it was easy for them to notice something they missed.
“What a warm feeling.”
“It feels like I’m sunbathing…”
“No, I feel like I’m looking at a pure sky…”
“How magical… Is this the effect of the Holy Water?”
“They sure live up to their names as priests from Saint Selena Cathedral!”
“Praise the Lady!”
The townsfolk discussed in whispers. The looks they gave Klein, Leonard, and Kenley slowly became that of respect. Noah also visibly relaxed, not doubting that the problem had been solved.
Sealed Artifact 3-0782 is doing all the real work here… We don’t actually need to do anything to chase the ghosts away, all we need to do is stay here for a minute. It’s not tiring or troublesome at all… After Klein purified the sinister aura off every corner of the house, he opened his eyes and put away his silver dagger, drawing the shape of the crimson moon in front of his chest with a serious expression. “Praise the Lady!”
“Praise the Lady!” the townsfolk replied devoutly.
“We still have things to deal with, but we need absolute silence.” Leonard smiled as he looked around.
The townsfolk, after witnessing something so professional, didn’t stay. They receded from Noah’s house like a tide following Priest Siur’s lead. Even the master of the house had to leave temporarily.
“I actually wanted to take a nap…” Noah pouted as he walked toward the cathedral.
Leonard took a step forward and closed the door, then turned towards Klein.
“Do a divination on the cause of this incident.”
“No problem.” Klein also wanted to find out what he could divine.
I know Mr. Azik did this, but he seems to be of a rather superior nature. Haha, a person that can live for 1300 years must be of a superior nature… So my divinations should definitely be affected. Under such circumstances, without the help of the mysterious space above the gray fog, even I’m not sure what revelations I would receive… Klein took out the pen and paper he brought along with him and wrote down a divination statement:
“The cause of the haunting at Noah’s house.”
He held the piece of paper and walked to a round table. He then took a seat, closed his eyes, and leaned back.
Klein suddenly saw a black mausoleum in his blurred, hazy dream world.
It was similar to a pyramid, but stood inverted and was almost fully buried.
A black fog obscured everything within the ancient mausoleum.
Klein snapped awake and opened his eyes.
“Did you find anything?” Kenley asked in concern.
Klein thought for a moment and described the revelation he received in his dream without hiding anything. He ended it by saying, “The mausoleum was definitely not in the style of the Northern Continent, I mean the Fifth Epoch. I’m somewhat of an expert in this field.”
Leonard nodded, seemingly in thought.
“That’s an Inverted Pyramid from the Southern Continent. It represents the entering of the nether realm from the living world. It’s a mausoleum that only the so-called Descendants of Death can erect for themselves, be it in the Balam Empire of the past, or its satellite states such as the Highlands Kingdom.
“In some sense, it’s the symbol of Death.
“Well, the ghosts are definitely related to Death. The results of the divination are undoubtedly correct!”
Ignoring Leonard’s mockery, Klein suddenly had an interesting thought.
Could Mr. Azik be the descendant of Death, or could he have made a transaction with Death to obtain such a long life?
According to a chapter from The Revelation of Evernight, as well as the internal records of the Nighthawks, Death was a malevolent god, once causing a catastrophe in the Northern Continent at the end of the Fourth Epoch. Those times were now referred to as the Pale Era.
Hmm, it’s said that Death fell to the combined efforts of the Seven Gods… It’s impossible to determine when Lamud Castle was built — but it couldn’t have been built before the Pale Era.
If there was a connection, then there would be something to investigate regarding the person working behind the scenes, lives in the house with the red-chimney, and stole the skull of Mr. Azik’s child…
Of course, this could be an excuse for the Northern Continent to colonize the Southern Continent. After all, most of the inhabitants of the Southern Continent believes in Death…
The three Nighthawks didn’t stay for long since they didn’t discover anything. They soon left Noah’s house and started dealing with the two other haunting incidents.
The same process, the same results. They quickly rid the town of the auras of dead spirits, but didn’t manage to find the cause of all the trouble.
Along the way, Leonard asked the townsfolk if any strangers had entered the town in the past few days, but received a negative answer.
Mr. Azik didn’t come? He must’ve come and left in secret without anyone noticing him. He sure is cautious… When he said that he would be returning to Tingen by Wednesday, did he mean that these spirits would vanish on their own accord today, even if we weren’t here to deal with it? Klein thought about it as he returned to the entrance of Morse Cathedral with Leonard and Kenley.
They could still last another hour and forty-five minutes with the Mutated Sun Sacred Emblem.
“We’ll take one hour shifts looking after the Sealed Artifact.” Klein suppressed the excitement in his heart. He looked at the color of the sky and said, “Let’s try to head back to Tingen City for dinner.”
“No problem.” Leonard glanced at Klein and laughed. “But for safety’s sake, I suggest that two people look after the Sealed Artifact while one rests.”
Klein froze for a moment, his mind churning quickly. He smiled in reply.
“Sure, but this way, we have to calculate the most logical rotation. Who gets to rest first? Who’s next? And who will be last? How much time do we need to recover? And by how much? Well—I think that we have to establish an algorithm with an unknown value in order to establish the best way, then compare it with the effectiveness of having one person look over it at a time… It’s even better if we can compare the efficiencies too. Let’s first assume that the unknown value is…”
“Wait!” Leonard’s green eyes were filled with blankness and fear. “If that’s the case, let’s look after it one at a time. The person looking after it will stay in the cathedral during his shift, as it has a sufficiently large radius. Of course, we’ll have to get Priest Siur and the rest to stay somewhere else. The other two will stand guard outside the church and prevent others from coming close.”
“I share the same opinion.” Kenley had felt a headache coming on as Klein spoke about the mathematical problem.
“Alright.” Klein nodded, looking as though he was forced to do so.
If he hadn’t been able to convince his partners, then he would have to make a deal with Leonard in secret, giving away some information about himself to get him to leave.
But the problem was solved now!