Translator: AtlasStudios Editor: AtlasStudios
There was a cold breeze blowing from the basement, providing a hint of relief for Klein’s tense emotions.
It’s finally here.
Once I pass this stage, I won’t have to worry about being examined like this for at least half a year…
Once I advance to Sequence 8 and become a so-called “Clown,” I’ll possess actual combat strength. With the aid of divination and my Flaring Sun Charms for backup, I’ll have a chance of surviving even more relatively dangerous situations…
Since I was waiting for the Holy Cathedral’s examination, I haven’t even dared to withdraw the three hundred pounds that Miss Justice transferred to the anonymous account. Just in case they audit my financial situation and find out that I’m in possession of a large sum of money from an unknown source…
Just as Klein’s thoughts flashed through his mind uncontrollably, Dunn Smith smoothed his sleeve and said in a low voice, “The person in charge of the examination is one of the nine high-ranking deacons of the Nighthawks, Crestet Cesimir. The Holy Cathedral attaches great importance to you.”
“A high-ranking deacon?” Klein blurted in surprise.
In general terms, the thirteen archbishops and nine high-ranking deacons made up the upper echelons of the church. It was said that there was no lack of High-Sequence Beyonders among them!
The twenty-two ladies and gentlemen were all equal in terms of their rankings. They only followed the orders of the Evernight Goddess, and they were only answerable to the Pope.
Dunn took a whiff of the cold wind from the basement before nodding faintly.
“Yes, he’s a high-ranking deacon. But you don’t have to be nervous. Crestet is only a Sequence 5, and has yet to enter a demigod state. So, you don’t have to be too afraid or reverent.
“Oh, his title in the Beyonder world is the ‘Goddess’s Sword.’ As he possesses a holy item, his combat strength is similar to a newly advanced Sequence 4 Beyonder.
“I just chatted with him. He was very friendly.”
If I read between the lines, Captain is telling me that he only said what was necessary. He doesn’t want me to be nervous and go according to the plan… Klein nodded thoughtfully and asked, “Where should I met the high-ranking deacon?”
“The alchemy room where we concoct potions,” Dunn replied simply, as a hint of gloominess flashed across his face.
The alchemy room where we concoct potions? The laboratory where Old Neil made my Seer potion? Klein slowly let out a breath and returned to the Nighthawks recreation room and took his outerwear from the clothes rack.
He put on the black windbreaker, placed his hands into his pockets, and walked down the winding stairs that connected to the basement. Then, he took a left turn at the cross junction.
Very quickly, Klein saw a secret door under the light of the elegant gas lamps that lined the walls. He saw that the long tables in the room had been moved aside to open up a large space in the center of the room.
There were two classic high back chairs facing each other with less than a meter in-between them.
There was a man in his thirties wearing a black windbreaker and a white shirt seated on the chair that was facing the door.
His golden-brown hair was cut very short, and his blackish-green eyes were as dark as a forest on a moonless night. The collars of his shirt and windbreaker were put up, and his entire chin was hidden within the shadows.
“Hello, Your Grace.” Klein bowed.
Crestet Cesimir had his right leg crossed over his left as he leisurely leaned back into his chair. He smiled and replied, “Hello, Klein. You may sit over there.”
He pointed at the high back chair opposite him.
By the side of his leg was a suitcase made of silver. It was about the size of a violin case.
It can carry a sword with an appropriate length… Klein walked forward and sat at his appointed seat.
Crestet rested his right index finger on his upper lip as he thought for a few seconds.
“I plan to first examine how well you’ve mastered your potion. That’s not a problem, right?”
“Not at all.” Klein shook his head with utmost confidence.
“Very confident.” Crestet smiled, but maintained his previous posture. All he did was intently watch Klein.
Klein suddenly felt the light from the surrounding gas lamps vanish, as though they were swallowed by the rich darkness.
He suddenly became exhausted, as though his biological clock had struck the time for sleep.
But, his mind was extremely tense, making it impossible to relax. It was just like when he was unable to sleep peacefully due to over-exhaustion.
The silent “night” filled his surroundings as Klein heard the noise of dripping water from a tap that wasn’t closed properly. Then, he heard the conversations in the Blackthorn Security Company and the movement of the wind blowing through the stairway.
Besides that, he didn’t see anything that he shouldn’t see, nor did he hear any noises that he shouldn’t be able to hear.
“Excellent.” Crestet’s hypnotic voice dispersed the darkness, and the light from the gas lamps inside and outside the alchemy room came into Klein’s sight again.
Klein suddenly shook off his exhaustion and returned to his previous energetic self.
He affected me without me realizing it… Is that what a Sequence 5 Beyonder is capable of? This is the horror of a high-ranking deacon? He recalled what had happened and felt a little frightened.
Crestet Cesimir clasped his hands and put them on his knees. He bent down slightly, and his lips were blocked by his collar.
“You passed the test. You achieved a level beyond outstanding in your mastery of your potion.
“I’ll need to observe to see if there are any hidden dangers in your mind, to make sure that the potion’s remaining spirit hasn’t changed your character subconsciously or left some problems behind.
“You have three minutes to prepare.”
Klein immediately nodded and said, “Alright.”
He secretly took a breath and allowed himself to enter Cogitation to remove various negative thoughts.
Crestet didn’t speak again. He took out a silver pocket watch from the inner pocket of his black windbreaker and flipped it open.
Then, he attentively watched the second hand move.
Three minutes later, Crestet closed his pocket watch and said with a smile, “I’ll begin singing.”
Singing? Klein wore a look of confusion.
Before Klein could reply, Crestet started humming a lovely melody.
The melody reverberated in the alchemy room and gradually lost its harmony and went out of tune.
Squeak! Scratch! Zing! Klein heard the noise akin to the scratching of blackboards with nails, the sound of bubble wrap rubbing against each other, electric drills drilling, and various other annoying noises.
The noises intensified and turned more and more chaotic. They made him want to vent his frustrations and cause destruction.
But Klein, who frequently experienced the mad ravings and terrifying screams, restrained his urges very quickly.
He displayed annoyance, tension, frustration, and insecurity at appropriate times.
Being in too perfect of a state would end up being a problem!
It was unknown when Crestet Cesimir had stopped singing. The noises in the alchemy room disappeared and room the was awash with tranquility and silence.
Silence sure is great! Klein exclaimed in his head.
“Very good, excellent. There are no latent problems in your soul. Of course, if you wanted to beat me up or stuff my mouth with something, that’s only normal.” Crestet’s mouth was blocked by his collar so Klein could only determine his emotions through his tone.
“No, I wouldn’t dare,” Klein admitted honestly.
Crestet smiled and said, “Congratulations, you have passed all the tests. Now it’s time for the question and answer session.”
His green eyes suddenly darkened. His gaze was deep, as though he could see through flesh, and looked directly at the spirit.
“Go ahead,” Klein replied, sitting straight.
Crestet maintained his earlier posture and casually asked, “You said that your experience in the Divination Club allowed you to quickly master the potion?”
“Yes,” Klein answered frankly but didn’t describe further.
Crestet nodded slightly and said, “And you said that your inspiration came from the maxim of the Mystery Pryers and also Daly’s example?”
“Yes.” Klein confirmed this first before explaining in detail, “I found out from one of my teammates who was a Mystery Pryer that those who abide by the maxim of the Mystery Pryers have a lower probability of losing control than normal. After that, I heard that Madam Daly once said that she wanted to be a real Spirit Medium, and that she is a genius that leveled up to Sequence 7 within two years.
“After noticing both situations, I thought I could give it a try, I attempted to be a real Seer and outlined some principles for a Seer. The outcome was better than I expected. I mastered the potion very quickly. Your Grace, I’m not sure if you have had a similar experience. When I fully mastered the potion, there was a very special, very magical feeling…” Klein described his experience as if he only vaguely understood the “acting method.”
The man he had been when he was on earth would’ve been nervous and embarrassed to speak so many half-lies before such a powerful Nighthawk. But ever since he transmigrated to the current world, he had lied so much that he was used to it. He could do it flawlessly.
The darkness in Crestet’s eyes disappeared, and his gaze returned to normal. He smiled and said, “Don’t worry, it’s not an illusion.”
From his answer, Klein couldn’t see any doubt or scrutiny, so he felt at ease.
“Dunn endorsed your experience. I believe that you really are a genius, with a logical mind and sharp senses,” Crestet complimented. He then asked, “Did you share your experience with your teammates?”
“Of course,” Klein admitted frankly. “I hope that I can help them lower the risk of losing control. We’re teammates, comrades that face danger together. I don’t have any reason to hide the truth. But for the same reason, I didn’t tell the clerks.”
Crestet uncrossed his right leg and sat up straight. His thin lips were exposed from the shadow of his collar.
He lifted the corner of his lips and said, “Although you haven’t even been with the Nighthawks for two months, I believe your understanding towards partners is much better than many others.
“Hmm, I plan to share more information with you, but according to the Holy Cathedral’s rules, you have to swear to the Goddess that you won’t reveal the contents of our conversation to anyone that doesn’t know about this.
“That should be fine, right?”
I passed the test? Klein was delighted. He nodded without hesitation.
Although I won’t be able to teach others the “acting method,” I can let Miss Justice and Mr. Hanged Man do so indirectly!