Translator: AtlasStudios Editor: AtlasStudios
So Ince Zangwill has gone to Backlund… I wonder how long he’ll stay there… Yes… I should confirm this every now and then… Klein leaned forward as he thought. He erased the contents on the goatskin and wrote a new divination statement:
“Lanevus’s current location.”
From his point of view, the person that caused the Captain and him to nearly die was undoubtedly Ince Zangwill, but the lunatic Lanevus was definitely an accomplice who cannot shirk from the responsibility. He had to pay the price in blood!
After reciting the statement seven times, Klein once again entered the dream. But the scene that appeared after the foggy world shattered was the same as the one he had seen before!
A wide, slightly murky river, countless piers and buildings. The buildings were primarily in the present Loen architectural style, some a little more Gothic. There were crowded streets, flourishing sights, chimneys that continually spewed smoke. There were opulent castles standing tall with the trademark Gothic clock towers…
Lanevus was also in the “Land of Hope,” the “City of Cities,” Backlund!
Klein opened his eyes, a little confused. He had divined for Lanevus’s specific location, but the results were still a very general, vague region.
This tells me that Lanevus’s Sequence must be much higher than I imagined… No, it could also be that he’s received a large benefit from helping the son of the True Creator descend upon this world. For example, a little godhood characteristics, or some object similar to the placenta left behind by Megose’s baby? Hmm… The latter would most likely have been taken away by Ince Zangwill. Thoughts ran through Klein’s mind as he muttered to himself whilst he made initial assumptions.
After confirming the rough area where both his enemies were, he thought about another problem. He still didn’t have the ability to exact revenge!
Even if Lanevus is only a Sequence 7, or even 8, it wouldn’t be easy to deal with him if he did indeed receive a large benefit. Lanevus is also obviously very crafty, he could outwit and defeat Beyonders more powerful than himself… Ince Zangwill is even more terrifying. He’s a Sequence 4 Demigod, and he wields a powerful Grade 0 Sealed Artifact… Although there were some secrets surrounding my transmigration, it’s clear that I can’t convert those secrets into combat strength. It’s likely that it’s not possible for a very long period of time… The only means that I have are to continue raising my Sequence, or I could collect even more powerful mystical items. I have to use both the methods at the same time…
In between his thoughts, Klein decided to add another divination.
He deliberated on the statement before writing solemnly, “My opportunities of becoming powerful.”
He gently placed the pen on the table and leaned back, then he closed his eyes.
He recited the statement silently and fell into a deep sleep with the help of Cogitation.
In the foggy world, he once again saw the scene that he had previously seen. The river, piers, chimneys, crowds, castles, various machinery, and Gothic clock towers. He had once again seen the capital of the Loen Kingdom, Backlund!
Immediately following that, the scene changed. He saw a magnificent peak piercing through the clouds, and, on it, he saw a majestic, ancient palace. He saw the giant throne carved from stone, adorned with dull gems and gold. He saw a strange vertical pupil formed from countless mysterious symbols.
The scene shattered silently without warning. Klein slowly sat up and tapped on the edge of the table with his fingers.
Backlund contains the opportunities for me to become powerful…
Does the second scene refer to the main peak of the Hornacis mountain range, the treasures left behind by the Antigonus family? The strange vertical pupil formed by countless mysterious symbols which the Misfortune Cloth Puppet conveyed to me through the corruption from the Antigonus family’s notebook is the key to beginning all of this…
Many thoughts flashed through his mind. Klein decided that he was in no rush to visit the Hornacis mountain range. Even a Sequence 4 Demigod might not be able to deal with the dangers that resided there.
I guess I’ll head to Backlund first… Klein sighed and made a decision. He enveloped himself with spirituality and stimulated a descent, exiting the mysterious space above the gray fog.
When he returned to the material world, he slowly walked out of his hiding spot towards Dunn Smith’s grave.
He stared deeply at the picture and epitaph. Klein slowly drew a crimson moon on his chest and walked out of the cemetery.
As a former Nighthawk, a Nighthawk who had to regularly patrol Raphael Cemetery, he was quite familiar with the routes of the guards, as well its surroundings. He managed to leave the cemetery easily, without causing any alarm. He followed the gravel road into Tingen, using the shade of the trees as cover.
The night was peaceful and the moon was ever-so dreamy. Klein walked alone, his thoughts running wild and unbridled. He sometimes considered his plan for revenge, sometimes thinking back to the times he spent with the Captain, sometimes recalling Old Neil’s hidden grief beneath his humorous facade…
Unknowingly, Klein had entered the nearest street like a wandering ghost, making his way past turn after turn.
It was two hours later when he freed himself from that state and regained complete control of his thoughts.
He realized that he was standing on Daffodil Street. Opposite him was the house he shared with his brother and sister.
Instinctively, Klein had returned here.
He took a step forward with clear joy, but suddenly paused. He let out a bitter smile and muttered with a self-deprecating tone, “If I went up and knocked on the door, Melissa might faint from shock… Benson would be so nervous his hair would start to drop. He would then try his best to calmly convince me, in the name of a curly-haired baboon…”
Shaking his head, Klein stared at the familiar door for a while before heading towards Iron Cross Street.
This is fine too, this is fine too… The things that I do in the future will not implicate them. The compensation given to them by the Nighthawks team and the police department will be enough for them to live a stable middle-class life, even if Melissa fails to find a job and Benson loses his job…
Klein walked silently for a moment before starting to feel fatigue. But, as someone who was “dead,” he didn’t have any other belongings on him except for the clothes he was wearing, his topaz pendulum, and Azik’s copper whistle. He didn’t have pounds, nor soli, nor pennies.
Should I give the whistle a blow to send a letter to Mr. Azik and get him to help me?Klein laughed optimistically. Forget it, I shouldn’t contact him for the time being. Perhaps Ince Zangwill is still keeping him under surveillance. I’ll look for him when the time is right… To an old monster who has lived countless lives for thousands of year, he should be able to understand resurrection… At least it’s not too cold tonight. I’ll make do by finding a place to sleep for the time being and head to the Tingen branch of the Backlund Bank tomorrow morning to retrieve the money in the anonymous account.
As there had been too many things to do lately. Klein hadn’t had the time to start on the experiments involving the sacrificial ritual. He hadn’t touched the 300 pounds in the anonymous account either.
That should be enough to support my expenses for quite a while. I’ll buy a newspaper tomorrow to confirm what day it is… Miss Justice and the others didn’t make any new prayers, which means that I didn’t miss a gathering… Klein thought as he found a spot that had no wind. He sat down and took off his jacket. He used it as a blanket and leaned on the wall to sleep.
It wasn’t long into his sleep when he was suddenly woken by someone. He saw a policeman wielding a baton.
He only had a single chevron on his epaulet, the lowest-ranking police constable… Klein glanced at him to ascertain his identity.
The policeman said fiercely, “You can’t sleep here!
“The streets and parks aren’t for you lazy, jobless vagrants to sleep in!
“Those are the terms in the Poor Law!”
Is that so? Klein froze. Given his sensitive identity, he didn’t argue with the policeman.
He grabbed his jacket and continued walking until daybreak.
Soon after, he lowered his head and entered the Tingen branch of the Backlund Bank. He took out 200 pounds with the password he had set, leaving behind a third of the money as “savings,” in case of any emergencies.
Without a doubt, Klein heard “prayers” when he wrote the password in ancient Hermes.
Klein then spent 38 pounds on two sets of formal wear, two shirts, two trousers, two pairs of leather boots, two bow ties, four pairs of socks, as well as two thick double-breasted jackets, two solid colored fur coats, and two pairs of thick trousers in preparation for the winter. He also bought a cane, a wallet, and a leather luggage bag.
After completing his purchase, Klein found a hotel to wash up and change in. He rented a private carriage directly to the train station in Tingen in order to avoid meeting anyone familiar. Along the way, he purchased a newspaper and discovered that it was Sunday.
It took about four hours to get from Tingen to Backlund by train. A luxurious first-class seat cost about three-quarters of a pound, or 15 soli. A second-class seat cost 10 soli, or half a pound.
The packed, poorly-maintained third-class seats were rather cheap at only 5 soli.
Klein thought for a moment before buying a seat for the two o’clock train, a second-class seat.
Klein found a random spot to sit in the waiting area with his ticket and luggage in hand. It was only slightly after nine in the morning.
He was happy that the Loen Kingdom didn’t have a strict census. He could prove his identity just by using the water and gas bills, as well as his rent for the past three months. Purchasing a train ticket was even easier, as all he needed was money.
Klein suddenly had an empty feeling in his heart as he was sitting there, thinking about how he was about to leave for Backlund from Tingen in the afternoon.
He thought about his sister who always gave him a motherly vibe. He thought about his brother who liked to crack cold jokes. He thought about how they would fill their stomachs up so much that they wouldn’t feel like moving…
Recalling these scenes, Klein suddenly laughed. He laughed bitterly, for he thought about the tortoise that Melissa called a “puppet,” as well as Benson’s pitiful hairline.
He suddenly had a strong urge. He wanted to see his siblings again.
At this moment, Klein suddenly realized why he hadn’t picked an earlier train but instead bought a ticket for the two o’clock train.
He carried his luggage and left the waiting area quickly, taking a rented carriage back to Daffodil Street.
He then hid in a shady area on the opposite side and looked at the door to his house. There were many times when he felt like heading over, but he couldn’t bring himself to cross the wide street.
Klein looked across the road in a daze, suddenly having a feeling of homelessness. He’d had a similar feeling when he had just transmigrated.
Suddenly, he saw the door to the house open as Melissa and Benson came out.
Melissa was wearing a black dress and black veiled hat. Benson was in a shirt, vest, trousers, coat, and hat, all in black. They both had numb, sullen expressions.
Melissa has become skinnier… Why is Benson so haggard… Klein’s heart winced in pain. He opened his mouth but couldn’t shout out their names.
Without realizing it, he followed Benson and Melissa to the nearest municipal square. He saw that tents had been erected there again. A new circus troupe was in town for a performance.
Benson took out some money and purchased the entrance tickets and led Melissa into the circus. He forced a smile.
“This circus troupe is very famous.”
Melissa nodded without expression.
Suddenly, she slipped and almost fell.
Klein, who was also buying a ticket, opened his mouth. He wanted to help his sister, but he could only retract the hand he had instinctively extended and stood helplessly in the busy crowd.
Benson jumped in fright, but he was too late to help. However, Melissa quickly steadied herself. She puckered her lips and said nothing.
At this moment, clowns swarmed forward, some performing balancing acts on wheels or large rubber balls, others tossing countless tennis balls into the air, then ridiculously catching every one of them.
Melissa seemed to disregard the clowns as she looked at the performance. Benson tried to lift his sister’s spirits by cheering, but he didn’t succeed. He slowly turned sullen too.
Klein puckered his lips tightly as he watched this scene from afar. He wanted to approach them, but he didn’t dare to.
Suddenly, he touched the wallet in his jacket and had an idea.
Benson and Melissa continued walking forward, silently watching the various performances.
Some time later, they saw a clown running towards them. His face was painted in colorful pastels. At first, he threw a tennis ball into the air, and, while the attention of the surrounding people was drawn to the air, he conjured a flower out of thin air. It was a Seville Chrysanthemum.
The clown brought the flower before Melissa and Benson. The flower was golden in color and symbolized happiness.
Melissa and Benson looked at the clown in a daze. All they saw was a wide smile plastered over the pastel face. It was a happy smile, an exaggerated smile, a ridiculous smile.
(End of the First Volume)