Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Klein started his first morning in Backlund under cold and humid weather conditions, with a light fog that provided very little visibility. For breakfast, he had one liter worth of cheap tea, costing one penny, and two pieces of toast with inferior butter in the center.
He was busy the entire morning, but he first went to the Cherwood Borough’s Backlund Bulletin to post a tiny advertisement for a month at the cost of thirty pounds.
From Tuesday, the Backlund Bulletin’s loyal readers would see a tiny advertisement along the seams of its seventh and eighth page.
Sherlock Moriarty. Good at various types of private investigations. Reasonable prices and strictly adheres to the principles of confidentiality. Resides at Cherwood Borough’s 15 Minsk Street.
The reason why Klein didn’t choose major newspapers like the Tussock Times or the Backlund Daily Tribune, that had a readership all across the entirety of the Loen Kingdom, was due to the fact that his business was temporarily limited to Backlund. Furthermore, he didn’t wish for a sterling reputation.
Therefore, the Backlund Bulletin, which was well-received locally and had low advertisement fees, became his first choice.
After leaving the Backlund Bulletin’s headquarters, Klein took out a map and followed it to purchase various herb powders and silver slices from various herbal stores, flower stores, jewelry stores, and accessory stores. He did it in preparation for holding a ritual. When items that didn’t have any spirituality were involved, most of the materials in mysticism could be purchased from ordinary stores. However, they weren’t all under one roof, requiring him to visit many stores to collect them.
To do so, Klein spent another 5 pounds. The humongous sum of 200 pounds that he withdrew broke below the 100 pound mark, leaving him only with 92 pounds.
“Spending money is as easy as drinking water…” Klein found a small cafeteria nearby and ordered a black pepper steak worth 8 pence.
He returned to 15 Minsk Street at one in the afternoon, and without rest, he spent his time using Slumber flower, dragon blood grass, dark red sandalwood, and mint powders to create Holy Night Powder, a key ingredient needed to create a wall of spirituality.
He could only make do with this method until he bought a real silver ritual dagger.
Klein speculated that he would have to advance to Sequence 7 before he could do away with this restriction.
Phew, Miss Justice, Mr. Hanged Man, and The Sun haven’t requested for leave yet. The gathering will be held on time today… I wonder what surprises Mr. Hanged Man will bring me, and how many pages of Roselle’s diary he can provide… Klein laid back on his bed in the bedroom and thought about all sorts of things.
To him, a private detective was a career that took into account both money and action. It allowed him to get in touch with people from all walks of life and slowly discover the Beyonder circle in Backlund. From there, he could slowly find clues regarding the Secret Order.
Of course, if he was lucky, he would even be able to figure out the Sequence 7 which corresponded to the Clown through a particular circle of Beyonders and buy the corresponding potion formula and main ingredients.
As for Ince Zangwill’s whereabouts, Klein temporarily chose not to take the initiative to seek him out. He might even avoid him a little. However, if he were to accidentally discover this enemy of his, without exposing himself, he wouldn’t mind doing a good deed and sending an anonymous letter to the Church of the Evernight Goddess.
A private detective’s income can, at most, support a middle-class standard of living. If I want enough money to buy the potion formula and Beyonder materials, It will either depend on Miss Justice, or it will be through investments with the remaining 100 pounds that I have left in my anonymous account… Yes, I can’t touch the 92 pounds that I have for the time being. Perhaps, I wouldn’t be having any income for some time… With this in mind, Klein suddenly sat up. He came to the first floor and began reading the various newspapers he bought in passing.
These newspapers often carried news about what had been invented and required investments, or how someone wished to form a joint venture with others to do a particular business.
Klein relied on his knowledge from Earth and his understanding of this era to carefully sift through the projects. Unfortunately, none of the ones on the papers today were reliable.
At fifteen minutes to three, he returned to his bedroom, locked the door, drew the curtains, and used Holy Night Powder to create a wall of spirituality.
Klein took four steps counterclockwise and arrived above the gray fog. He sat in the high-back chair belonging to The Fool before extending his spirituality and touching the crimson star that symbolized The Sun as if he was responding to a prayer.
This is one of the few things in my new life that hasn’t changed… he suddenly sighed.
In an area outside of the City of Silver, in a grayish-black tower that was half-collapsed.
Nine members of a patrol squad were gathered around a blazing bonfire, chatting about their experiences in the past few days.
There were also a few other team members guarding the perimeter, prepared for any possible attacks that might break out from the darkness.
Many of the City of Silver’s Beyonders had used their blood to teach them a lesson:
“At all times, never let your guard down. The monsters in the darkness could very well be right behind you!”
On a night when the frequency of lightning was very low, it was necessary to keep the flames burning and the light shining. Once they were completely enveloped in darkness, it wasn’t impossible for them to all disappear—no one could say for sure just what terrible things would happen in total darkness, because reality had broken the limits of their imagination time and time again.
Derrick Berg remained reserved and silent as he quietly listened to his companions reminiscing about the monster they had encountered before. It was a humanoid monster with eyes covering its entire body.
In order to finish off the monster, their patrolling team suffered a heavy price with five injured, and two of them severely injured.
Suddenly, Derrick’s vision blurred, and he felt himself being enveloped in a thick gray mist.
In an inexplicably faraway place, in the depths of the gray fog, a blurry figure sat on an ancient high-back chair, looking down at him.
“Prepare for the gathering.”
The Fool’s voice echoed in Derrick’s ears, but none of his teammates were aware of it.
After withdrawing his gaze and observing the area for more than ten seconds, Derrick moved to the very edge of the fire, leaned against the broken wall, and pretended to be asleep.
Ever since he found out that the members of the six-member council and Elder Lovia were unable to discover the existence of Mr. Fool, he gradually believed that as long as he didn’t carelessly reveal any clues, he would be able to quietly attend the Tarot Club’s gathering above the gray fog even under the gaze of others.
Backlund, Empress Borough.
Using the excuse that she was tired, Audrey returned to her bedroom.
She curbed her excitement and didn’t pace back and forth; instead, she sat quietly on the bed, waiting for Mr. Fool’s summoning.
Father was busy communicating with the other Members of Parliament about the proposed bill, and the Beyonder guard isn’t tailing me constantly. Thank you Goddess; my life has finally returned to normal! Two weeks have passed, Mr. Hanged Man must’ve prepared the pituitary gland of a mature Rainbow Salamander… I’m about to advance to Sequence 8! Audrey thought with sparkling eyes.
To her, this was even more exciting and worth looking forward to than the thirty thousand pound bounty and the large plantation worth at least 8,000 pounds!
Finally, she saw the familiar illusory crimson surge towards her like a tidal wave, drowning her.
On an ancient-looking sailboat.
Alger Wilson locked the door to the captain’s cabin and sat behind a sextant and the ship logs. He kept memorizing the contents of the thick stack of sheets in front of him.
After the investigations, he left the bustle of Backlund without any qualms after being rewarded by the upper echelons and returned to the sea, carrying a batch of secretly copied Roselle diary pages.
After digesting the Seafarer potion, I’ll be able to advance normally. My contributions are enough for me to trade for the formula and ingredients… However, this will expose the fact that I know the “acting method.” There are advantages and disadvantages… Alger shook his head, suddenly distracted.
At that moment, he felt the summoning of The Fool. His mind suddenly recalled the face of Rear Admiral Hurricane Qilangos whose flesh and blood quickly rotted as pieces of his face peeled off.
Alger instinctively lowered his head, allowing the crimson tide to engulf him.
Above the gray fog, inside the palace that looked like a giant’s residence.
Having activated his Spirit Vision, Klein examined Justice, The Hanged Man, and The Sun to confirm their current states.
Audrey was about to happily greet everyone when she suddenly saw The Hanged Man gesturing to her before rushing to speak before her.
“Mr. Fool, I’ve obtained nineteen pages of Roselle’s diary this time.
“Here, I must thank you for sending your adorer to help me get rid of Qilangos. These diary pages will be the compensation I should pay!”
19 pages? Not bad… Klein didn’t talk much about the adorer as he smiled faintly.
“That is the principle of equivalent exchange.”
As expected of Mr. Fool… A Pirate Admiral with a mystical item was nothing to “Him”… From the looks of it, I don’t have to mention my claiming of the bounty… I wonder how many High-Sequence Beyonders Mr. Fool has as “His” adorers…Audrey had begun to use the word “He,” “Him,” or “His” to refer to The Fool without realizing it.
Upon hearing The Fool’s answer, Alger said humbly, “The limit of my current memory is six pages. Please allow me to give them to you over separate occasions.”
“No problem.” Klein, who was surrounded by thick gray fog, nodded gently.
The Sun Derrick looked at the pages that appeared before The Hanged Man and was very curious about the contents of the diary.
With his previous experiences, he believed that the items that Mr. Fool was interested in definitely contained many mysteries.
He looked at Miss Justice and when he saw that she didn’t have the impulse to ask, he cautiously maintained his silence.
Soon, the six pages of the diary were complete and came into Klein’s hands.
Audrey and the others began to wait quietly. They were already used to such things.
Klein looked down and read the first page:
“16th December. I managed to contact the pathetic fellow who’s trapped in the storm and was lost in the darkness.”
Finally, there’s a follow-up to one of the previous pages of the diary… Klein was delighted, and he became more focused:
“He called himself Mr. Door and tried to teach me a complicated and difficult ritual. He wanted me to help him return to the real world and promised to fulfill three of my requests.
“Does he think I’m stupid? I’ve lived for more than sixty years over my two lives. Does he think I can’t tell that this is the usual manipulation done by evil gods and devils?
“But the history of the Fourth Epoch that he described was truly interesting.”