Translator: AtlasStudios Editor: AtlasStudios
“Call the police?” Fors Wall repeated in surprise.
To Beyonders, lodging a police report seemed to be something of another world.
Xio paced back and forth as she tugged her coarse blonde hair.
“The scene of Darkholme’s death is harrowing and creepy. As long as the police aren’t blind, they would definitely pass the case on to the Mandated Punishers, the Nighthawks, the Machinery Hivemind, or the special department of the military. When that happens, we can leak some more information and let them know that the murderer is Qilangos. At that point, the entire city will be chasing after him.
“Our goal is only to look for Qilangos, not to capture him. With the ‘help’ of so many Beyonders, things would become much simpler and safer. Once Qilangos panics and makes a mistake, it would be our chance to claim our bounty. Heh heh, I’m referring to the discovery of his whereabouts.”
Xio laughed dryly and looked at the appalled Fors.
“Do you think that the only way I know to deal with problems is by charging into them headfirst? The difference between us and Qilangos is as vast as the Desi Bay.”
Fors nodded slowly and said, “Your understanding of yourself is absolutely right. You’ve done too many things of a similar nature. Hence, the losses that you’ve suffered is sufficient for you to advance to Sequence 8.
“Luckily, you’re still rational enough regarding this matter.”
Xio lowered her head to look at her bayonet. She thought for a moment and said, “… I have to be honest. I clearly sensed the approach of Death earlier. Qilangos was no doubt nearby. That was an aura evil enough to destroy us at any time. That triggered an instinctual response in me.”
Fors wore her silver bracelet that had two stones left and thought seriously.
“I agree with your idea. Let’s inform Miss Audrey first and lodge the police report after.”
“Yes, regardless if it was Darkholme or his underlings who found Qilangos’s traces, we could continue to investigate with that approach and find out Qilangos activity range and the location of his residence.”
Xio creased her slim blonde eyebrows and said, “But Qilangos would definitely not remain in the same place.”
Even as one of the Seven Pirate Admirals, even if he had the assistance of a mystical artifact, Qilangos had to be extremely careful in Backlund.
Even Nast, the King of the Five Seas, had once encountered disaster here and was nearly caught.
“No, what I meant was, to surmise or confirm the purpose of Qilangos’s visit to Backlund based on the clues. Once we know what he’s trying to do, no matter how he disguises himself or what tricks he pulls, he’ll be exposed to us in the end. Then, our mission would be accomplished,” Fors explained in detail. “Two years of novel-writing experience tells me that things would become simple once we grasp the crux of the matter.”
Xio looked at her best friend in shock. She couldn’t believe the woman had just made such a logical statement.
“I’m different from you. I’m merely too lazy to think, while you think with your muscles.” Fors pursed her lips, leaned her head sideways, and smiled.
“Teasing me doesn’t make you smarter…” Xio tried to smooth out her few strands of blonde hair that was sticking out. “Alright, let’s head over to Empress Borough and tell Miss Audrey about this.”
Fors nodded faintly and said, “So, what’s our emergency contact method with Miss Audrey?”
Xio was momentarily put at a loss. She looked afar at the tombstone as she said, “She told me that pet dog of hers we saw earlier walks herself at least five times a day. Well, the next walk should be after lunch.”
“In other words, we have to loiter around suspiciously outside Count Hall’s luxurious manor?” The corner of Fors’s lips twitched.
Xio suddenly looked sideways and revealed an obsequious smile, “Fors, or would you prefer to just sneak in?
“I don’t think that would be difficult for you. It’s what you’re good at.”
“A hereditary count for centuries, one of the most influential parliament members in the House of Lords, the largest shareholder of Varvat Bank, the fourth largest shareholder of Backlund Bank, the special consultant of the Royal Bank of Loen, the third largest shareholder of Suchit Bank in the Intis Republic, the second largest shareholder of Constant Coal and Steel Consortium, and so on. These are the titles of Miss Audrey’s father. Xio, use your brain; how could a man like that not employ any Beyonders? Would he not have any prized collections? This is different from those destitute viscounts and barons!” Fors replied in exasperation. “I swear in the name of God, if I were to sneak in, I would be discovered and caught within five minutes.”
Xio nodded continuously in agreement.
“Let’s wait for the golden retriever then…”
With that said, she led the way. After she took a few steps forward, she spoke with her back facing Fors, “Uh, well, I will compensate you for your losses and the damages in the future. I’m referring to the stone, of course.”
Listening to that, the corner of Fors’s lips lifted and she said, “I was saving myself.
“And, Xio, you’re going the wrong way!
“God, if you were an Apprentice and ended up becoming a Traveler in the future, it would be a disaster!”
Outside Count Hall’s luxurious manor.
Xio and Fors hid behind an Intis parasol tree and secretly observed their target building in silence, watching the people walking to and fro.
After God knows how long, they finally saw the golden retriever come out from a hidden hole under the wall. It pricked up its ears and looked to its left and right, appearing very cautious.
Just as Susie started taking its walk happily, a black male dog popped up from nowhere. It fawned on Susie and started running around in circles.
“This is the first time I’m seeing a dog show such a humanlike reaction. Just how much does it hate that black dog?” Xio sighed.
She could tell from Susie’s gaze and facial expression that there was obvious detest.
Fors smiled and said, “It’s just like encountering a rash, disgusting, and persistent lecher.”
Seeing Susie attempt to speed up to escape the black dog’s pursuit, Xio stood up do administer “Justice.”
“My ruling is for you to leave her alone!” Xio shouted with a mask of solemnity.
The black dog was taken aback and immediately scampered away with its tail between its legs.
Susie let out a breath of relief and slowed down. It barked politely and wagged its tail.
That was close, I nearly said “Thank you” to them… The golden retriever thought in joy.
That would’ve been a very awkward situation…
A melodic tune slowly came to a halt as Audrey picked up the latest intelligence Xio and Fors had delivered and read it with knitted brows.
She closed the piano cover and stood up elegantly. She paced back and forth in her piano room and considered her next course of action.
Qilangos is a very dangerous man… If Xio and Fors continued investigating, they might end up in danger… It might even expose me… Yes, I should just proceed according to their suggestion. Oh yeah, it’s another two hours until the Tarot Club. I wonder what Mr. Fool would suggest? If he’s still not interested, I’ll discuss it with The Hanged Man carefully… Audrey gradually calmed herself down.
This was the first time she had encountered, or perhaps was described as being placed in such a perilous situation. There was already one death!
Three in the afternoon.
Audrey’s vision recovered from a crimson and blurry state before seeing the boundless gray fog that didn’t belong to reality, the lofty palace that looked like the home of a giant, the long ancient mottled bronze table, and The Fool who was always engulfed by a thick layer of fog. Lastly, she saw The Hanged Man and The Sun.
At that moment, Audrey’s tense and anxious emotions seemed to relax—she felt so safe, so calm.
I’m participating in the Tarot Club that doesn’t belong in the material world, and I’m dealing with Mr. Fool who’s nearly a god. Qilangos and I are on different levels…Audrey sat in an upright position proudly. She lifted her chin slightly and greeted cheerfully, “Good afternoon, Mr. Fool! Good afternoon, Mr. Hanged Man! Good afternoon, Mr. Sun!”
After they greeted one another, Klein saw that Miss Justice was indicating her desire to speak; therefore, he nodded faintly to express his permission.
“Honorable Mr. Fool, I wonder if your adorer has received the compensation of 300 pounds?” Audrey asked, holding back her urge to talk about Qilangos while she showed concern over her leader’s adorer.
Klein smiled and said, “I didn’t pay close attention to this matter. But as my adorer didn’t request for additional help, I suppose he has already received it.”
Yes, I’ve checked multiple times. There are 300 pounds lying in my anonymous bank account… Klein added in his head happily.
“That’s great!” Audrey relaxed and looked across her. “Mr. Hanged Man, there’s been progress regarding Qilangos.”
Alger suddenly sat up straight. He couldn’t hide his excitement as he asked, “Where is he?”
“Unfortunately, he noticed our investigations just after we discovered his tracks. He killed one of the personnel involved.” Audrey repeated the highlights of Xio’s and Fors’s story and explained their follow-up plan in detail.
Alger nodded faintly and said, “I’ll pay close attention.”
Then, he turned to the side and looked towards the seat of honor at the long bronze table. Under the vacant gaze of The Sun, Derrick, who listened but didn’t understand anything, he said, “Honorable Mr. Fool, if I were to find out Qilangos’ true intention and the very important and magical item that he intends to obtain, please allow me to recite your name and inform you through the ritual.”
He didn’t repeat his request for The Fool’s adorer to provide him assistance. As he brought it up before and The Fool had given his answer, there was no need to harp on the topic. Otherwise, it might provoke the god.
Hence, Alger made it clear that his intention was only to report his findings.
If the final temptation was sufficient, he believed that Mr. Fool’s adorer would definitely appear.
That works? Audrey widened her eyes.
I should’ve asked for the right to report as well. I might be able to gain Mr. Fool’s guidance occasionally… She thought with regret.
Under everyone’s gaze, Klein leaned back into his chair and nodded faintly. He replied slowly, “You may.”