Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Meursault’s body lay there, his eyes wide open, as if he still had a murderous look in them.
The wound that had severed half his throat was originally thin, but with the condensation of the Beyonder characteristic, it had expanded by quite a bit and became much more mangled.
At the same time, the phenomenon of incontinence after death made his lower body reek of a stench.
Klein held onto the crimson jelly-like object, feeling troubled about what he should do next.
He had three general choices. The first was to clean up the scene, deal with his wounds, and to report it to the police in the name of legitimate self-defense. The second was to wait deep into night, throw the corpse into some sewer, and pretend that nothing had happened. The third was to immediately give up his current identity, flee to another borough, and change his name again.
The problem with the first option was that Klein was still an illegal resident with skeletons in his closet. Reporting it to the police could easily lead to discovering a problem with his identity. As for the second option, other than being constantly worried that the corpse would be found and that the police would come knocking on his door, there was another hidden danger.
When the ambassador behind Meursault confirms the disappearance or death of his subordinate, he would definitely send someone else to 15 Minsk Street again. When that happens, Klein would be facing perhaps a Sequence 7 and/or Sequence 6 enemy. He was facing a faction that might very well be a country, a powerful country.
The third option seemed to be the wisest and safest option that allowed him to avoid all the risks, but there was also a downside, and that was that the portrait of Klein was likely to be posted, making him wanted. Furthermore, it would be a portrait of his undisguised self which Mrs. Sammer next door, his neighbor Lawyer Jurgen, and others would describe. Once the wanted notice was published in the corresponding newspapers, even if it was limited to the greater Backlund area, Klein would very likely be recognized by Daly and the other Nighthawks. That would make the problem become even more troublesome.
As this matter involved Ince Zengwell and Sealed Artifact 0-08, it was highly likely that he would be pursued by an expert at the level of a high-ranking deacon.
Of course, the third option had a separate branch which was, of course, to hide the body and dump the evidence into the sewers, and then try to escape. However, there was also the risk of becoming wanted when the ambassador couldn’t find Klein. He could order the members of the Zmanger gang to call the police and use the official forces of Backlund to search—and if he could track Klein down, that would be the same as the second option.
After thinking about it, Klein quickly came to a decision: Divination…
Of course, he was inclined towards a particular option already, the lesser of two evils. The first option was relatively less risky, and it allowed him to take the initiative to a certain extent. Through exposure, he could attract the attention of the official factions and suppress the Ambassador’s subsequent actions from being too maniacal.
He took out a piece of paper and wrote a divination statement. After that, Klein took out a spirit pendulum from his left wrist, causing the topaz pendant to naturally hang down over the surface of the paper.
“I should make a police report.
“I should make a police report.”
After he finished his silent incantation, he saw the spirit pendulum rotating clockwise with weak amplitudes and a relatively high frequency.
This indicated a positive response!
After divining the other two choices in turn and obtaining a negative answer from both of them, Klein no longer hesitated and began to deal with the scene.
He put on a pair of black gloves and began to search the corpse. He found a sharp dagger, a small stack of cash, a pack of cigarettes, a lighter, and some miscellaneous items.
Klein put the rest of the items back in place, took off his gloves, held the dagger in his hand, and stabbed it into Meursault’s throat wound, destroying its original shape.
Then, he wore his gloves and let Meursault grab the dagger.
After doing all of this, Klein gathered together the Meursault’s Beyonder characteristic, the self-made charms, the tarot cards, the blood-stained contract, the paper on which the divination was written, and the various materials he carried around with him, and put them in a paper bag.
Then, he summoned himself in a ritual and transformed into a special spirit.
Carrying Azik’s copper whistle, he felt himself become stronger and more corporeal. Klein picked up the paper bag, ended the summoning, and returned to the world above the gray fog.
He placed the items from reality behind The Fool’s high back chair for the time being, leaving Azik’s copper whistle as well. Then he relaxed himself as he stimulated the sensation of descending rapidly and re-entered his own body.
The reason why Klein didn’t burn the blood-stained contract and the piece of paper on which he had written the divination statement was because he was afraid that after the report was sent to the police, the matter would be transferred to a special department, and a powerful Beyonder would engage in divination pertaining to the situation.
However, with the gray fog’s interference, even if the Eternal Blazing Sun were to personally descend, “He” wouldn’t be able to obtain a productive answer.
This was also the reason why Klein placed his weekly review and summary above the gray fog after his spirituality was greatly enhanced after advancing to Sequence 8.
Right now, he couldn’t afford to take on more suspicion and deeper investigations!
After removing the wall of spirituality, the wind that suddenly stirred blew away the remaining smell of the ritualistic materials. The items related to the domain of mysticism and Beyonders that were left behind on Klein’s body and in the entire house were the candles that were silently burning in front of him.
But this time, he chose ordinary candles. Since he was praying and summoning himself, there was no need to be so meticulous.
And in a family, having candles was a very normal thing that matched the era, even if he was the only bachelor in the family.
After extinguishing the candles and returning them to their original spot, Klein took out his golden pocket watch, snapped it open, and estimated the number of minutes since Meursault’s death and added the minimum amount of time it would take for the police to send people to investigate and report back.
He wanted to ensure that even if a Beyonder came to investigate, an hour would have passed since Meursault’s death.
In mysticism and in the domain of spirit-channeling, this was an important time point. Beyond it, the information available was very limited and vague. For example, one could discover, through mediumship, that the person who killed Meursault was Sherlock Moriarty; however, they couldn’t get the specifics of the death.
As for whether or not his opponents could divine if Beyonders were involved, Klein wasn’t worried at all, because the main factors involved (the bloodied template contract) were above the gray fog.
Even his premonition and combat abilities would also be obscured as the opponent’s divination would definitely point towards the mysterious space above the gray fog, and would certainly suffer from interference.
Fortunately, I’m also a professional… It feels like I’ve really become Moriarty… Klein re-examined the scene, making sure that there were no problems, and began to walk with his eyes fixed on his pocket watch.
After the estimated time, he put on his gold-rimmed glasses and waited for a few minutes before he opened the door and went out.
The sky in Backlund had already gone dark, and the gas lamps on the street lit up the rain.
As a middle-class neighborhood, Minsk Street was often patrolled by the police. Klein waited for a while, then spotted the target and went up to meet them.
They were two low-ranking constables with only one chevron on their Paulette. They held guns, batons, and were holding up an umbrella while looking around.
“Officers! A criminal attacked me! ” Klein shouted with great skill.
His unkempt appearance made the two constables place importance on the matter. They each took out their batons and looked warily to the side.
“Where’s the criminal?” the round-faced, brown-eyed cop asked in a deep voice.
Klein pointed to his house.
“He sneaked into my home and tried to kill me!
“In the fight, I accidentally stabbed him to death!”
Stabbed him to death… The two constables exchanged looks and looked at Klein with scrutiny.
“Take us there.”
“Alright!” Klein acted like he had just survived a disaster as he led the two officers to 15 Minsk Street, took out his key, and opened the door.
The two police constables first saw the chaotic scene before noticing the corpse laying on the ground. They noticed the hideous wound on the deceased’s throat, and noticed a bloody dagger.
“Watch the scene, I’ll return to the station and report it to the inspector,” another constable said to his round-faced, brown-eyed colleague.
“Alright.” The round-faced, brown-eyed constable cast his gaze on at Klein, his face and body language revealing his wariness and caution.
After a while, a sergeant dressed in black-and-white checkered uniform with three chevrons on his epaulet arrived with the constable from before and two other subordinates.
The constables investigated the scene and while searching for clues, the sergeant with a short brownish-yellow beard under his chin brought Klein to the side and began asking some preliminary questions.
“Sherlock Moriarty. This is my rental receipt for half a year.” Klein had long prepared all of this.
The sergeant gave him a casual look and continued asking, “What’s your occupation?”
“Private detective,” answered Klein frankly.
The sergeant frowned and said, “Do you know the deceased? Do you know why he attacked you?”
“I know him. His name is Meursault, and he’s the executioner of the Zmanger gang.” Klein didn’t wait for the sergeant to ask any further questions as he continued, “I had previously accepted a job from Ian Wright who asked me to investigate his former employer, Detective Zreal Victor Lee. This matter happened to be related to the Zmanger gang and Meursault.
“I tailed him and found out that he was secretly meeting a gentleman who appeared to be of significant standing. Meursault addressed him as Mr. Ambassador.” After saying that, Klein was unsurprised to see the sergeant’s expression change.
“Ambassador… Do you know his name?” the sergeant asked in a deep voice.
“I don’t know, but if I saw his picture, I’d definitely recognize him,” Klein told the truth. “This morning, Meursault came to me and asked me to seek Ian Wright. On the basis of my professional ethics as a private detective, I refused him, and when I got home in the evening, I was attacked and almost killed by him. Thankfully, I’m still quite skilled at combat and was sufficiently quick to react.”
The sergeant thought for a moment and asked for details of the fight. Klein recounted the fight from beginning to end nearly in its entirety, changing his premonition to a reaction, then changing the contract template he had thrown in the fight into a dagger that Meursault had dropped.
“Yea… Follow us back to the police station and wait for the autopsy results, the results of the on-site investigation, and inquiries from the relevant parties involved.” The sergeant’s thoughts wasn’t on the case anymore, clearly acting rather perfunctory.
Right now, he only had one thought in his mind:
This was an important case involving foreign ambassadors!
He had to report it immediately!
In his daze, he suddenly thought of a question and quickly added, “What’s your faith?”
“God of Steam and Machinery,” Klein replied without hesitation.
The Backlund headquarters of the Church of the Lord of Storms was in the Cherwood Borough, so cases involving Beyonders were often referred to them, with one exception—the people involved had to be believers of the Lord of Storms.
In order to not encounter the Nighthawks, Klein had no choice but to let the Goddess down.