Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Ding! Dong! A rope was being tugged, causing the doorbell and the sound it made to constantly tinkle and send its sound echoing throughout the spacious but relatively empty living room.
Klein, who was seated on the sofa reading a newspaper to study the various investment opportunities, stood up. He was wearing a white shirt and a black vest without a bow tie, just like what one would wear at home.
The first job in my career as a detective? But I can’t always be at home, waiting for a mission to arrive. Yes… I need to hang a notice on the door, along with a fountain pen, so that clients can write down the time of their next visit and allow me to prepare in advance… However, for a new detective in this profession, without any fame, doing so would basically be the same as not having a “next time”… Sigh, I can only go through the trouble of performing a divination in the morning to see if I would receive any jobs for the day. And if so, what time so as to make plans… Of course, it’s also possible that I would miss out on missions from powerful Beyonders. Well, so be it, it might be a good thing after all…
He walked to the door, and without looking through the peephole, the image of the visitors outside appeared in his mind:
One of them was an old lady in a black plush hat. Her back was slightly hunched, and her face was deeply wrinkled. Her skin was shriveled and sallow, but her dark dress was very formal and neat.
Her temples were completely white, but her blue eyes were quite lively. She was looking at the young man beside her, gesturing for him to pull the doorbell again.
The young man was in his twenties, with eyes similar to those of the old lady’s. In the progressively cold weather, he wore a black double-breasted coat, a half top hat, and a bow tie like he was about to attend a banquet, it was as if he wouldn’t relax his demands of himself at any moment.
With the help of a Clown’s premonition, Klein turned the handle, opened the door, and greeted his visitors with a smile before the bell could ring again.
“Good morning, Madam, Sir. What a wonderful day it is, at least up to this point for I have already seen the sun for five minutes.”
He spoke of the weather in a slightly exaggerated manner, small talk that had been popular in Backlund for more than a century.
“Yes, it’s always shy and doesn’t come out from behind the fog and the dark clouds.” The old lady nodded in agreement.
By her side, the lad asked, “Are you Detective Sherlock Moriarty?”
“Yes, and what may I help you with? I’m sorry, please come in. Let’s sit down and talk.” Klein turned his body to the side, making way for his guests as he pointed to the guest area.
“No, there’s no need. I don’t want to waste any time. My poor Brody is still waiting for me to save it!” the old lady said with a rather sharp voice.
“It?” Klein noticed the most important pronoun and suddenly had a bad feeling.
The very formally dressed young man nodded and said, “Brody is a cat owned by my grandmother, Madam Doris. He went missing last night, and I hope you can help us find him. We live at the end of this street, and I’m willing to pay you 5 soli for it. Of course, if you can prove that you’ve spent more time and effort than that, I’ll make it up to you.”
Find a cat? The reason why you’re entrusting me with this job is simply because of the convenience stemming from how we live on the same street… Klein felt that this wasn’t the detective career that he had imagined.
It makes me look like a clown… Well, I can’t turn down my first business deal. This is a seer’s point of view… He pondered for a few seconds and asked, “Can you describe it in detail?”
Granny Doris spoke out before the young man could open his mouth.
“Brody is a lovely, lively black cat. It’s very healthy, has beautiful green eyes, and loves to eat cooked chicken breast. Goddess, last night, he ran off just like that. No, it must’ve gotten lost. I’ve placed lots of chicken breast in its bowl, but it refuses to return to take a look.
… Klein’s lips curved up and said, “I’m very satisfied with your description, Mrs. Doris.”
“I accept this request. Alright, let’s go to your home now. I need to search for clues and find traces. You should be clear that the basis of my reasoning lies in the details.” Mrs. Doris didn’t consult her grandson as she nodded and said, “You’re the most proactive detective I’ve ever seen. It’s a deal!”
Klein put on his coat and hat, picked up his cane, and followed Madam Doris and her grandson out onto the street.
Unlike Tingen, roads in many parts of Backlund had been rebuilt with cement or asphalt. Even during a downpour, the roads were less muddy.
While the old lady was leading the way, his grandson came close to Klein and said in a low voice, “I hope you’ll do your best to find Brody. It’s been one of the pillars of my grandmother’s life ever since my grandfather and parents passed away.”
“After Brody went missing, something went wrong with my grandmother’s mind, so much so that she’s started hearing things. She keeps telling me that she hears poor Brody mewing miserably.”
Klein immediately nodded and said, “I’ll do my best. Right, I still haven’t gotten your name.”
“Jurgen, Jurgen Cooper, a senior solicitor,” the young man replied.
Soon, they reached 58 Minsk Street and entered the dark house.
“This is Brody’s bowl. This is his favorite box. He always sleeps here.” Doris’s wrinkled face was filled with worry and expectation.
Klein squatted down and found several strands of black cat fur in the box.
He straightened up and gripped his silver-inlaid cane with the hand that held the cat’s fur.
Klein’s gaze turned deep as he pretended to observe his surroundings as he silently recited a divination sentence.
His hand secretly slipped from the end of the cane but didn’t leave it completely. It just made it difficult for Jurgen or Doris to notice that the cane was standing on its own.
Soon after, the black silver-inlaid cane tilted to the side. It fell very slowly, with very little movement.
Klein gripped the cane again, looked in that direction, and observed it for more than ten seconds.
Then, he strode over to an old cupboard.
“Any signs of Brody running away?” Jurgen asked with concern. The old lady, Doris, was also waiting for an answer.
Without answering, Klein kneeled and pulled open the door at the bottom of the cupboard.
A black cat darted out, tail high, and ran for its bowl.
“Brody… When did you get into the cupboard? How did you get locked in there?” Mrs. Doris cried, surprised and confused.
Jurgen turned his head in surprise and looked at Klein.
“How did you know it was in the cupboard?”
Klein smiled, and replied in a deep voice, “Inference, my good man.”
After obtaining the 5 soli reward from Mrs. Doris and Jurgen, as well as their friendship, Klein returned to 15 Minsk Street under the gloomy weather.
Before he even got close, he saw a figure loitering in front of his door.
More business? When Klein looked over, he saw that the visitor was a boy of fifteen or sixteen, dressed in an old coat and a round hat that didn’t fit his age.
It’s him? Klein immediately recognized him as the boy he had met on the steam train the day he had arrived in Backlund. Back then, he was being pursued, but his maturity and calmness at the time had left quite a deep impression on Klein.
What would he want to entrust me with… As he wondered, Klein walked over and smiled.
“Excuse me, are you looking for me?”
The teenage boy was startled as he quickly turned around, his bright red eyes filled with unconcealable fear.
He composed himself and asked hesitantly, “Are you Detective Sherlock Moriarty?”
“Yes.” Klein looked around and said, “Let’s talk inside.”
“Alright.” The teenage boy didn’t refuse.
Inside, Klein didn’t take off his coat, but he did take off his hat and put his cane away.
He led the teenage boy to the guest area, pointed at the long sofa and said, “Please, have a seat. How might I address you? What job do you have for me?”
“You can call me Ian,” the teenage boy surveyed his surroundings and fell silent for a few seconds. “I was previously hired by another detective, Mr. Zreal Viktor Lee, who helped me gather some news and information.”
Klein sat down, clasped his hands, and said, “Does the job have anything to do with your former employer?”
“Yes,” Ian nodded solemnly. “A few days ago I suddenly found myself being followed, by someone with ill intentions; therefore, I thought of a way to lose their tail… Uh… I believe you saw this scene yourself, Mr. Moriarty. I recognized you as the man who was sizing me up on the metro that day as soon as I saw you.”
… This level of observational skills isn’t any worse than a Spectator’s… Could it be that he was born with a special ability? Or is he a Beyonder? Klein activated his Spirit Vision and looked at Ian, but he didn’t find anything strange.
He nodded and calmly replied, “Your response left an impression on me.”
Ian didn’t harp on the topic and continued, “I suspect that my encounter has something to do with Mr. Zreal, so I went to visit him at his place. I found the place seemingly normal, but there were many hints that indicated that someone had infiltrated and triggered all the tiny mechanisms.
“I haven’t seen Mr. Zreal since that day. I suspect that something has happened to him.
“I tried to call the police, but his disappearance period has yet to reach the required number of days to make the request. I tried to get help from other detectives that I knew, but all of them turned me down, on the grounds that they had just met Mr. Zreal at a fellow detective’s party.
“That surprised me because I didn’t receive any response from Mr. Zreal when I contacted him using the agreed upon method.
“I still stood by my judgment and intended to ask for the help of a detective whom Mr. Zreal doesn’t know. Well, as such, that meant it would be someone I don’t know either. I had no idea who to look for as well. Therefore, I could only search through the newspapers and ended up finding you, Mr. Sherlock Moriarty.”