Translator: AtlasStudios Editor: AtlasStudios
Klein turned towards the Captain’s office and saw that the door was wide open. Dunn Smith was leaning back in his chair, sniffing at his pipe.
When Dunn swept his gray eyes at him, he changed his seating posture.
“You seem to be in good shape, nothing like someone who had just consumed a potion.”
“This might be the advantage of fully digesting a potion before leveling up.” Klein closed the door behind him and took a seat.
He and Dunn both knew about the “acting method,” so their oath didn’t keep them from talking about the “acting method” with each other. They could exchange their thoughts about it, but the two of them didn’t bring it up with a tacit understanding. They fell silent at the same time after the exchange.
Klein thought and asked, “Has His Grace left?”
“Yes, as a high-ranking deacon, he has other matters to take care of.” Dunn thought for a moment. “Oh, he took the pair of red eyeballs that remained after Old Neil died.”
Klein was shocked and confused.
Dunn picked up his coffee and took a sip. He answered after a long silence, “We shouldn’t lie to ourselves. A Rampager is in fact already a monster, and as I told you before, monsters leave behind things that are rich with Beyonder powers after they die. When these relics can’t be controlled, they have to be sealed. Yes, that is one of the most common origins of Sealed Artifacts. According to the Nighthawks’ internal rules, the items left behind by Rampagers need to be stored elsewhere, so that they won’t trigger their partners.”
“A logical rule.” Klein nodded heavily.
Suddenly, he sharply noticed that the Captain had missed out something. So, he asked curiously, “What if the item left behind is controllable?”
Dunn looked at him, his gray eyes were deep like a quiet night.
He sighed and said, “You wouldn’t want to know the answer.”
Klein was taken aback before he suddenly realized a possibility.
Normal monsters left behind Beyonder ingredients which could be used to make potions.
But what of a Rampager who turned into a monster?
If they left behind controllable items, would those things be used as Beyonder ingredients?
Upon realizing that, Klein suddenly felt a strong sense of disgust. He couldn’t help but turn his head to retch. Even his sight suddenly grew blurry.
This is such a terrifying theory… But it’s an answer that’s highly likely of being closer to the truth! In that instant, he had a deeper understanding of sayings like “To fight against the abyss, we have to endure the corruption of the abyss,” and “We are guardians, but also a bunch of miserable wretches that are constantly fighting against threats and madness.”
Would this be one of the reasons why the Church hides the “acting method”? So that they can recycle a certain number of their own members for spare parts? But this will make members of the upper echelons reject the Church… Klein’s face clearly reflected his changing expressions.
Upon seeing his response, Dunn suddenly laughed. There was a twinkling light in his gray eyes.
“Think about it on the brighter side of things, you can think of it as our teammates watching over us in a different form. They will be with us forever.”
After saying that, Dunn lowered his head, picked up his coffee, and brought it to his mouth.
After nearly twenty seconds of silence, he lifted his head and said, “And you don’t have to worry. As long as we can find sources of Beyonder ingredients, we wouldn’t do what you were thinking about.
“Alright, according to the rules, you’ll receive a day off since you just advanced. You can decide whether or not you want to go to your combat training this afternoon, but you have to inform Gawain either way.”
Klein gently nodded. Taking a deep breath, he straightened his back and said, “Captain, I have finished my lessons on mysticism. I’d like to use my mornings to learn techniques such as tracking and monitoring.”
He paused and added with a serious expression, “I’d like to fulfill my full duty as a Nighthawk soon.”
Dunn gave him a piercing look and sighed.
“You’re tougher than I imagined. As you wish.”
“Yes, Captain!” Klein suddenly stood up and drew a crimson moon on his chest.
After leaving the Blackthorn Security Company, Klein didn’t return home to rest, but instead, took the opportunity to take a trackless carriage to Azik’s place.
Ding dong, ding dong.
As the doorbell rang clearly, Azik opened the door in a white shirt and black vest.
There was a gold watch chain hanging from his vest pocket.
“Don’t you need to work?” Azik took a glance at the sky and realized that the sun had yet to climb to its peak.
“I actually have most of the day off due to some special circumstances,” Klein explained vaguely.
Azik looked at him and appeared to notice something as he nodded and made way for Klein’s entry.
At the hallway, Klein set his cane aside, took off his hat, and followed Azik to the living room.
The living room was comfortably furnished with a fireplace, rocking chair, couches, and a coffee table. Klein sat at his usual spot.
Azik sat down opposite Klein and pointed at the cigars on the coffee table.
“Do you want one?”
“No.” Klein shook his head firmly.
Azik didn’t attempt to persuade him as he struck a match and lit one of the cigars. At the same time, he asked casually, “Have you taken care of the matter at Morse Town?”
“I have to thank you for that,” Klein replied sincerely.
At the same time, he secretly lampooned, Mr. Azik, before you lost your memories, you definitely must’ve left behind quite a sizable wealth for yourself. Otherwise, how could a teacher who isn’t even an associate professor be able to enjoy cigars so frequently?
As Azik was fiddling with his cigar, Klein brought up a matter.
“Mr. Azik, I have something to ask you.”
“What is it?” Azik replied without lifting his head.
Klein paused and organized his words.
“One of my colleagues lost control and became a monster. I’d like to know if his spirit was contaminated?”
He wasn’t certain if Mr. Azik knew the meaning of “losing control,” so he prepared an explanation, just in case.
Azik stopped what he was doing and lifted his head to look at Klein. He nodded heavily and said, “No doubt. You have to be very careful in a situation like that. If he lost control due to the temptation of an evil god or devil, try to avoid contacting his spirit. It might very likely lead to life-threatening danger.”
“I understand.” Klein let out a breath of disappointment.
When he was at Old Neil’s place, he was too emotional and had forgotten to contact Old Neil’s spirit. Neither did Dunn Smith remind him at all. Hence, he missed the opportunity entirely.
Now that I think of it, Captain didn’t forget but intentionally avoided bringing it up…Klein was silent in thought.
He didn’t dwell on the topic and instead mentioned his previous encounter.
“Mr. Azik, I tried to divine the origins of Morse Town’s paranormal incidents. I ended up seeing an upside-down pyramid that extended underground. My teammate told me that it’s a symbol of Death. Only His descendants would receive such an honor.”
Azik put down the match and took up the cigar cutter when he suddenly fell into a daze. He was motionless for quite a while.
He leaned back into his seat and wore an unusually gloomy expression.
After a while, he said in a deep voice, “This gives me a very familiar feeling, but I don’t seem to be recalling anything.”
“I’m very sorry.” Klein sighed sincerely.
He had imagined that he could use the revelation obtained from his divination to further jolt Mr. Azik’s memories.
Azik cut off the cigar cap, shook his head, and smiled bitterly.
“If it was something that could be recalled easily, I think I would’ve long found a way to escape my fate. Of course, I have to thank you for your kindness. Thank you for remembering about me this entire time.”
He thought for a moment before adding, “Oh, and I’ll be leaving Tingen in the near future.”
“Why?” Klein asked in surprise.
Didn’t we say that we were going to find the manipulator behind the scenes, the person who affected my fate, and stole your child’s skull?
Azik held his cigar and sighed before explaining, “The target might’ve noticed my attention and investigation. He hasn’t been taking any action recently, leaving me with no clues. Thus, I’m thinking of leaving Tingen for the time being and going to Backlund. On one hand, I can take the opportunity to search for traces that I left behind before I lost my memories. On the other hand, my absence might let the target lower his guard.”
That’s right. Mr. Azik’s last memory loss was around Backlund University. It’s a pity that you can’t take my place, searching for the red chimney house… Klein nodded solemnly and said,
“I’ll pay close attention to this. Once the target takes action and exposes himself, I’ll inform you immediately.
“Hmm. Mr. Azik, how will I inform you of things in a timely manner?”
Klein had the idea that if Azik was Death’s descendant, or if he was linked to Death in a certain way, his powers would have been something similar to the Corpse Collector Sequence. He definitely had a way to call something like Daly’s messenger.
In other words, this could confirm if Azik was actually related to Death or a descendant of Death.
Azik took a puff of his cigar and thought for nearly twenty seconds. He took out an ornament from his left sleeve.
It was an intricate but old copper whistle. There were many unique patterns that filled it with a mysterious aura.
“This is something that I had with me when I woke up in Backlund. When you blow it, you’ll summon a messenger that belongs to me.” Azik held the copper whistle as he explained in detail.
After so many years, this copper whistle can still be used? This should be a magical item, right? Klein was surprised and delighted that he had indirectly proved that Mr. Azik was related to Death.
Azik gave Klein a glance, then he put the copper whistle to his mouth and demonstrated.
His cheeks puffed up as he blew with all his might.
Nothing was heard, but Klein felt a sudden gloominess and coldness.
He quickly tapped his left molar and saw that there were blurry white bones being thrown up from the ground, one after another, forming a strange fountain.
After a few seconds, there was an illusory monster in the living room.
Its body was made of white bones, and there were dark flames glowing in its eye sockets. It was almost four meters tall, and it towered over Klein, who wasn’t even 175cm tall.
As he watched its head nearly tear through the ceiling, Klein suddenly had a thought, Mr. Azik, isn’t your messenger a little… too exaggerated?
Azik didn’t share those thoughts at all. He smiled and said, “After you pass the letter to it, blow the whistle again to end the summoning. Then, it’ll send the letter to me very quickly, in a secretive manner.”
After that, Azik shook his wrist and threw the old copper whistle across the room.
Klein extended his right hand and accurately caught it. He found it cold but mild.
Thank you Clown potion… He breathed a sigh of relief. He wiped the whistle and blew it hard.
Silently, the huge messenger fell apart as blurry white bones sank underground.
The Tussock River ran through Backlund and harbors that dotted around the area.
Alger Wilson wore the long priest robes of the Church of the Lord of Storms as he walked down from the passenger ship slowly.
He saw people walking to and fro around the harbor with countless port workers sweating under the sun. It was a bustling yet noisy scene.
“It’s been a while, Backlund,” Alger muttered to himself.