Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Klein met Jurgen Cooper in an office at the Rice Police Station. This young senior solicitor was still dressed formally as though he was always ready to go to a posh dinner party.
He wore a black double-breasted attire, a white shirt with a stiff collar, a huge bow tie, and bright leather boots, which made the policemen act very polite to him.
Jurgen held his half top hat and looked at Klein with his blue eyes while saying, “The formalities are over. You can leave if you pay the bail of ten pounds.”
“Thank you.” Klein didn’t say anything more, but followed the good-looking but seemingly old-fashioned Jurgen to the police station’s financial affairs office that was nearby, where he fished out his wallet and pulled out two five-pound notes.
He was grateful that he had all his cash—95 pounds—on him, or else he might’ve had to borrow it from his good neighbor, Jurgen.
Of course, the worst-case scenario would be if he had left the money at home. Klein wasn’t certain how much of that would be left after the police searched the scene. Yet, he couldn’t put it in the world above the gray fog, because it was possible that he needed to offer bribes to free himself.
At present, many newspapers and magazines were discrediting the police as being unsupervised, violent, corrupt, extortionary, and vicious. Klein didn’t dare to believe it fully, but neither did he dare to doubt it. After all, Meursault’s money could very well end up in the pockets of someone in the police station.
After paying the bail, Klein followed Jurgen out of the police station and shivered when hit by the humid, cold wind.
“After the case is closed, your bail will be returned to you. Of course, you can’t expect them to voluntarily notify you. Yes… In a week, if no one notifies you that your presence is required back at the station, you can come here and ask for your bail to be returned. In theory, you could still get appropriate compensation, if any, from the other party’s estate.” Jurgen walked over to a carriage parked nearby.
The rain that had poured down during the entire day had finally come to a stop, but the crimson moon remained hidden by the dark clouds. The only light that could be seen on the street was from the gas lamps.
“Alright.” Klein almost believed that he would have to part with the ten pounds forever.
He couldn’t help but calculate how much it cost him to take up Ian’s job. He had been paid five pounds, but many pieces of furniture and tea sets were destroyed at his home. He either had to buy new ones or get someone to repair them for him. With the materials used, the cost of the carriage, and the cost of mending his clothes, the math seemed to imply that he would be losing money…
If I don’t manage to get back the ten pounds worth of bail money, this would be a great loss! Well… the Beyonder characteristic left behind by Meursault is actually worth quite a bit of money… Klein got into the carriage and frowned slightly.
He had always thought that the private detectives who used their own residences as offices would, at most, not be entrusted with anything and wouldn’t suffer any losses, but in the end…
Klein turned his head to look at Jurgen, who was sitting up straight, and he said with sincerity, “Thank you. Thank you for coming to bail me out. How much should I pay you?”
Jurgen nodded very formally and said, “This one’s pro bono.
“I heard from Sergeant Faxine that you were involved in an incident. I believe that we’ll have many opportunities to work together in the future.”
There will be many opportunities to work together in the future… Klein couldn’t help but laugh as he said, “Lawyer Jurgen, are you cursing me?”
Jurgen shook his head solemnly and said, “No, it’s not what you think. It’s very common for a private detective to have a fixed lawyer he works with.”
Sir, you sure lack a sense of humor… even though you look rather young… Klein lampooned before saying with a smile, “Coincidentally, I’m in need of a lawyer to help me draw up an investment contract.”
“Investment contract?” Jurgen asked in a slightly stunned tone.
“I know that this isn’t part of the work of a private detective, but I happened to chance upon a good investment opportunity,” Klein explained simply. “Lawyer Jurgen, how much would a contract cost according to your usual fees?”
“Generally, it’s based on the total amount of the contract and the level of ease,” Jurgen answered seriously.
“The total amount is one hundred pounds, the terms needed are…” Klein described his needs in detail, including a preemptive right, veto rights, and so on.
Jurgen thought hard for a few minutes before saying, “Two pounds. I’ll give it to you Monday morning.”
“Alright,” Klein said no more regarding the matter. Instead, he began asking Jurgen information about the case that night.
On the way back to Minsk Street, Klein took the initiative to pay the carriage’s fare of 3 soli. After bidding farewell to the young but serious lawyer, he walked back to his house.
He opened the door and when he saw the messy scene, his heart winced.
He never expected that he would start his detective business with a loss.
Just as Klein took off his coat and began working on cleaning up the mess, the doorbell rang.
He opened the door in puzzlement and saw Julianne, the maid from next door in a black-and-white skirt.
“Good evening, Mr. Moriarty. Mr. and Mrs. Sammer wish to invite you over to discuss something,” Julianne said with a tone that had traces of fear.
Here it comes… the problem regarding compensation… Klein revealed a smile and said, “Alright.”
He changed into a clean coat and followed the maidservant next door. Luke Sammer and his wife, Stelyn Sammer were sitting on a sofa in the living room.
The stout Luke, with a pencil-thin mustache, stood up and extended his hand as he said with a chuckle, “Good evening, Mr. Moriarty. I only just learned that you were a private detective. That’s quite unbecoming as a neighbor.”
“No, it was my fault. I didn’t know if I was suited for this career and might find other jobs at any moment,” Klein said as he shook the hand of the male master. “I’m very sorry for what happened tonight. I’ll compensate you.”
“It’s just an accident,” Luke said reassuringly.
The blonde, blue-eyed, and pretty Stelyn asked out of curiosity, “Did you really kill the intruder? Heh, you must want black tea, right?”
“Perhaps he was just a thief.”
He didn’t mention that the problem stemmed due to one of his jobs, in order to prevent the Sammer couple from having any unpleasant feelings.
Since the police didn’t inform them, there’s no need for me to do anything unnecessary… Klein silently added.
Luke Sammer laughed and said, “You must possess excellent combat skills. As a neighbor, I feel very safe. Perhaps we will have matters to entrust you in the future.”
Klein seemingly gave a self-deprecating laugh.
“Actually, I was almost killed.”
“Regardless, you were the ultimate victor,” Luke said.
After chatting about this topic for a while, Stelyn picked up a porcelain teacup and took a sip.
“I’m very curious about how many commissions a private detective receives a week, and how much can they earn?”
Klein didn’t try to hide anything as he laughed.
“It depends on the situation. Just like when there are good and bad harvests in the farms. I earned five pounds and five soli last week. But after last night’s incident, I might have made a loss.”
As if she didn’t hear the latter half of his words, she continued, “If you can maintain this income, you’ll get a pretty good life in Backlund’s Cherwood district at 5 pounds a week. There’s no need to sublet another room, and you can hire a maid to do odd jobs, listen to a symphony every other week, or go to the theatrical opera once. Once a week, you can play tennis or squash, join a reading salon, and go to a nice restaurant. Of course, if you’re already preparing for marriage, you need to save a little money. A weekly salary of five pounds is still a little short of being truly decent.”
“Then, what is the required weekly salary to be truly decent?” Klein asked.
“Seven pounds, at least.” Stelyn lifted her chin slightly.
Klein turned to Luke and said casually, “I heard from your wife that you work at Coim, but I’m not sure what its main business is.”
“Anthracite and charcoal,” Luke answered with a smile.
It’s no wonder you became a member of the Soot Reduction Association… Klein pondered for a moment and said, “In Backlund, how big of a salary does a manager receive? It’s seldom mentioned in the newspapers and magazines.”
“Haha, it depends on the industry, as well as the actual position’s job scope. Backlund Bank’s best manager earns 5000 pounds a year, but for me, it’s about 430 to 440 pounds including bonuses,” Luke said casually.
That’s about eight pounds a week… No wonder… Before Klein could open his mouth, Stelyn Samuel grumbled, “Actually, we could’ve lived in the suburbs, and I’ll have a garden and a lawn. Luke would then be able to have a stable and buy a new carriage and the two foals he’s been eyeing all this time, but he would waste too much time on his commute to work. That would be even more valuable.”
A new carriage including horses costs about a hundred pounds… Eight pounds a week is indeed impressive; unfortunately, it hasn’t been long since I had a pay rise when… Klein could only smile in response.
After exchanging a few more pleasantries, he bade farewell and left, sighing to himself in his heart.
Mr. and Mrs. Sammer are still considered nice. If I had a mean landlord, I’d have had my deposit deducted and refunded and be asked to get lost after what happened tonight…
After returning home, Klein began laboring. He wasn’t in a hurry to go above the gray fog to examine the warm current on the back of his hand, nor was he in a hurry to do divination because he was afraid that the military’s special department was still keeping tabs on him.
He decided to go to the bar which Ian had described tomorrow night to buy a gun so as to deal with people who might assault him recklessly in desperation.
Klein even planned to find the means to hire a bodyguard, a powerful Beyonder bodyguard. This was so that first, he could take advantage of the opportunity to contact Beyonder circles without exposing himself, and second, it was because he was also afraid that the ambassador’s next assailant would have the ability to hide from the military’s special department.
Although it was a slightly comical thing for a Sequence 8 Beyonder—a vengeful evil spirit in hiding—to need a bodyguard, as safety was of paramount importance to Klein.
If the price is too high, I’ll blow the copper whistle for Mr. Azik, which, of course, might be more dangerous… I don’t know much about Sealed Artifact 0-08… After cleaning up the house, Klein silently muttered.
After the purification ceremony ended, the man in the white mask said to Xio and Fors,”No matter what kind of sinister spirit it is, it has already been exorcised by me. Heh, if it has reached the level of an evil spirit that I’m unable to exorcise, it should’ve given a response. However, there was none.”
As he spoke, he poured the water which had condensed on the emblem of the Sun into a small metal bottle and handed it to Xio.
“Sprinkle it in your room to ward off any remnants.”
“Thank you.” Xio paid him while feeling the pinch, but she felt a lot more relaxed.
Moments after she returned to the living room with Fors, the attendant delivered a note to them.
“Miss Arbiter, who has just bought the Sheriff formula, would you mind having a chat in the study? I might have what you need.”