Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Who? How did that person know that I purchased the Sheriff recipe? Xio’s dark green pupils contracted as she surveyed her surroundings in astonishment, but she didn’t see anyone suspiciously watching her.
According to Mr. A, the transactions here should be very safe and confidential here…Finally, Xio couldn’t help but look at the single sofa where Mr. A, whose face was covered by a hood, sat. He was still quietly sizing people up without revealing anything odd.
She nudged Fors with her elbow and whispered, “Should I go?”
Fors took the piece of paper, glanced at it, and replied without hesitation, “Go, at least you still have Mr. A watching. No one would dare to do anything to you, so you can take the opportunity to find out what the other party’s goal is. Who knows? You might actually obtain the potion materials you want as a result?”
“That makes sense…” Xio, who was a very proactive person, immediately nodded to the attendant, followed him to the study, and finally, put on a hooded robe.
This hood can cover my entire face, so much so that I can’t see the path in front of me… Having worn the hood, Xio opened the door and saw a man dressed in a tuxedo sitting behind a desk.
The man wore a golden mask that revealed his eyes, nostrils, mouth, and cheeks, but it was impossible to identify him.
The light brown eyes behind the golden mask shifted as the man pointed to the chair opposite the desk and said, “Have a seat.”
His voice was deliberately hoarse; otherwise, there was nothing special about it.
Xio closed the door to the study, stuck her chest out and raised her head, and sat down in the designated position without feeling intimidated. She then asked, “Do you have the main ingredients for the Sheriff potion?”
The masked man chuckled and said, “Yes, I have the eyes of a Terror Demon Worm and the right palm of a Silver War Bear.
“In fact, that Sheriff potion formula you bought was sold on my behalf…”
No wonder… Xio was often mocked as a brainless person by her good friends, but to survive in the circle of Beyonders, in the gangs of the East Borough, and among the poor, she wasn’t a completely reckless person. She had the intuition for danger that was akin to a wild beast.
She asked in a deep voice, “Why are you doing this?”
“To select suitable helpers.” The masked man chuckled. “With your financial situation, it’ll be difficult for you to gather the money needed for these two Beyonder ingredients in a short period of time. Of course, you can sell the formula at other Beyonder gatherings, but please, believe me, this will bring you unnecessary danger. Our circles might not overlap, but I’m not the only person.”
Xio frowned and said, “Since you have such a massive organization and possess the formulas to the Sheriff and Arbiter potions, why do you need my help?”
“There are certain matters we do not wish to deal with ourselves. There are many reasons, but there’s no need for me to tell you that. And every Arbiter that embarks on the journey as a Beyonder by themselves has, more or less, some connection with the aristocracy. This is something we need,” the masked man explained, simply.
It seems like he doesn’t know about my origins, nor is he aware of my reputation in the East Borough… Xio relaxed a little.
The masked man continued, “Just treat it as additional missions beyond the Beyonder gatherings. I will give you some missions and pay you with the corresponding rewards. If you feel that it’s dangerous, you can reject them. This is a fair and free trade. Once you save up enough money, you can purchase the ingredients from me.”
This… Xio, who was still struggling with her financial situation, suddenly had her heart stir. She continued acting reserved for nine seconds before she said, “As long as I have the right to reject missions, I can consider it.”
“No problem.” The masked man laughed. “We can agree on where and how we’ll meet in the future. To make you feel at ease, we’ll concede the right to decide the details to you.”
“Alright.” Although Xio was still baffled and didn’t understand why the other party was offering her missions to perform, she still agreed.
At the very least, she couldn’t identify any obvious dangers at the moment.
Klein busied himself with buying chairs and tea sets and mending his clothes the whole of Sunday. He spent a total of 6 pounds 9 soli to restore the living room, the dining room, and himself to their original states.
What a loss. I hope that the police department compensates me for my losses from Meursault’s estate. Sigh, the chances are slim since it’s, at best, just a portion. Klein placed the invoices and receipts neatly in place, waiting for them to be used in the future.
Of course, in terms of income alone, he had made quite a killing. Meursault’s Beyonder characteristic was worth at least 300 pounds, or more.
The premise of all of this was that Klein had access to a circle of Beyonders.
After dinner, dressed in a turtleneck sweater, a solid-colored sweater, a grayish-blue worker’s coat, and a cap, Klein went out, once again, and made two transfers before arriving at Iron Gate Street in the area of the Backlund Bridge.
He saw Bravehearts Bar after taking a few steps. He saw a seemingly heavy black wooden door and a nearly two-meter-tall brawny man with his arms folded.
The brawny man sized up Klein, but he didn’t stop him from pushing open the door, but his throat moved when he heard the cheers inside.
This was when the bar was experiencing its peak business. Before Klein even entered, he felt a heat wave engulf him. He could smell the strong aroma of malt beer and hear a din.
Unsurprisingly, he saw two stages in the middle of the bar. One of them was having a rat-baiting with dogs competition, and the other stage had two boxers patiently waiting for the fight to begin.
The aroma of alcohol mixed with the smell of sweat emanated. Klein lifted his gold-rimmed glasses and pinched his nose. While protecting his belongings, he squeezed his way to the bar counter.
Before the bartender could say anything, he said, “One glass of Southville beer.”
This was the best beer that the Loen Kingdom produced.
“Five pence,” the bartender replied like clockwork.
Klein took out a handful of coins and counted out five pence before handing them over in exchange for a large wooden cup of golden beer. The aroma of the beer was alluring.
“In front of it, many beers can’t even be called alcohol and can only be considered as beverages.” The bartender chuckled.
Klein lifted up the cup and took a swig. It was cool and refreshing, first bitter and fragrant, but later, the flavor of malt burst out. It had a slightly sweet aftertaste.
After putting down the cup, he looked at the tiny white bubbles and took the opportunity to ask, “Where’s Kaspars Kalinin?”
The bartender stopped wiping the glass in his hand as he looked up and observed Klein for a few seconds before pointing to the side.
“Billiard room 3.”
In the spirit of not wasting anything, Klein carried the cup and walked to the third billiard room.
With just a light tap, he allowed the door to creak open.
The two men inside stopped and looked towards the door.
“I’m looking for Kaspars Kalinin.” Amidst the silence, Klein hurriedly added, “Old Geezer introduced me.”
Upon hearing this, a fifty-year-old man with a big nose and a linen shirt said in a deep voice, “Come in.”
He had a huge, twisted scar running from the corner of his right eye to the side of his mouth, and his nose was a typical brandy nose, one that almost completely red.
Klein slowly walked in with the cup in his hand and saw that Kaspars’s billiard opponent had put aside his cue stick like clockwork and left the room before closing the door behind him.
Kaspars Kalinin hobbled over and asked, “What do you want?”
“A powerful custom revolver and fifty rounds.” Klein took another sip of his Southville beer.
“3 pounds 10 soli.” Kaspars gave the price. “This will definitely be more expensive than a regular weapons store. The price includes the risks I have to undertake.”
“Deal.” Klein took five one-pound notes he prepared from his trouser pocket and counted them.
Kaspars checked for the notes’ authenticity before nodding.
“You’re more straightforward than you look. Give me five minutes.”
He put the notes on the billiard table, leaned against a crutch, and limped to the door.
After watching Kaspars leave, Klein glanced back at the currently trendy billiards and found it to be very similar to snooker on Earth.
It must be you, Emperor Roselle… He nearly lost his composure and laughed while shaking his head.
After a short wait, Kaspars pushed the door open and entered, carrying a package wrapped in brown paper and two five-soli notes.
Klein took the money and the item and opened it on the spot. His eyes caught the long, silvery barrel of a revolver. The grip seemed to be made of walnut wood.
In addition to that, there were fifty glistening rounds neatly placed in the box.
Klein tried the empty gun, loaded five rounds, stuffed the revolver into his armpit holster he bought some time back. Then, he gathered up the remaining bullets and looked up at Kaspars. He deliberated and asked, “If I wish to hire a good bodyguard, who should I look for?
“A very good one, the kind that exceeds human limitations.”
Kaspars rubbed his red nose and his eyes turned cold.
He carefully examined Klein for two minutes, using his silence to create a terrible sense of oppression.
“I can make the query for you, but there’s no guarantee that someone will accept this mission.”
He seems to know more than one Beyonder… Klein smiled and said, “No matter what the result is, please allow me to express my gratitude in advance.”
Kaspars put away the bills on the billiard table and walked out again. It was a full ten minutes before he returned to his room. And by then, Klein had already finished his huge cup of Southville beer out of boredom.
“He wants to meet you before making a decision,” Kaspars said in a deep voice.
“No problem. I would also determine the difficulty of the mission if it were me.” Klein smiled and nodded.
He followed behind Kaspars who hobbled past the crowded boxing ring and into the kitchen of the bar.
Kaspars suddenly stopped and lightly knocked on a door. After gaining permission, he pushed it open and entered with Klein in tow.
It was a card room where more than ten people were playing Texas poker.
A man wearing a black vest and a white shirt slowly stood up after seeing Kaspars and Klein enter the room. The others who were playing cards stopped in their tracks and didn’t make a sound.
With a single glance, Klein frowned indiscernibly.
Apart from the man that had stood up, he noticed that all the other players had an indescribable sense of strangeness to them. Their faces were pale, and their eyes were like those of wild beasts.
Tapping his left molar twice, Klein secretly activated his Spirit Vision.
His muscles tensed up abruptly, and he almost couldn’t control his expression because the auras of those players were dark black!
That meant that, apart from the man who stood up, the ten plus people playing cards were all dead!
No, they weren’t just dead, as the dead had no aura colors
These were all zombies!
The feeling of rotting came over him, and the man in the white shirt and black vest walked in front of Klein.
His face was equally pale, and there seemed to be deep malice in his eyes.