Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Aaron and Talim left the Quelaag Club after they separately completed the nomination form. It wasn’t a weekend; the former had two more operations in the afternoon, and the latter had to teach Viscount Conrad’s youngest son horse-riding. The teenager needed to ensure that he didn’t embarrass himself during the Backlund social events in the second half of the year.
Klein watched the manservant dressed in a red vest and a maid in a beautiful dress come and go a few times before finally delivering him his own proof of membership and a badge with the symbol of the Frost constellation engraved on it.
“An entry fee of 50 pounds. There are still three and a half months left this year, with an annual fee of 4 pounds a year.” The manservant in the red vest pushed the two objects to Klein.
Klein took out the 57 pounds which Mary Gale had given him and handed him 54 pounds.
The amount beyond the entry fee and annual fee was Mary’s first payment. She was very pleased with how quickly Klein obtained information on Doragu Gale’s mistress, as well as her photo.
50 pounds membership… Madam Mary is such a generous lady! While Klein watched the manservant and the maid verify the money and confirm the exact amount, he recalled Stelyn Sammer’s private introduction.
Mary’s father was a co-founder of the Coim Company and had a 20 percent stake. It was originally just a small company that barely made money, but as Backlund’s pollution worsened and the demand for anthracite and charcoal increased, the company rapidly expanded to become one of the top ten companies in the capital’s industry. As such, Mary’s net worth skyrocketed.
The only problem was that when she was married to Doragu Gale, the company was still quite an unknown company. Her father hadn’t paid much attention to using the shares as her dowry and didn’t proceed with any protection of estate gifting and had instead used the more popular “willing of gifts.”
The former referred to the dowry as an independent and separate estate of the woman and not subjected to her husband’s control. Even the right-of-use depended on the woman, while the latter assigned the dowry’s ownership to the entire family. However, the husband had to immediately make a valid will to promise that if he passed away before his partner, the split of the estate would be two to four times the rights and interests of the dowry received. After which, the rest would proceed according to the normal inheritance laws which could effectively guarantee the livelihood of the widow.
If Mary initiated a divorce before she could get evidence of Doragu’s adultery, the Coim Company shares would be divided equally between both parties.
Klein remembered Stelyn saying enviously, “The current value of those shares is currently close to 20,000 gold pounds. Adding the other property in their name, Mary is a truly wealthy lady. Once she’s divorced, she will definitely become the target of many men in Backlund, including some nobles.”
That’s only enough money for Miss Justice to assassinate Ambassador Bakerland twice… Klein suddenly thought about that when he saw the red-vested manservant and the good-looking maid bow at him.
“Mr. Moriarty, welcome to the Quelaag Club.”
Upon hearing this, Klein picked up the proof of membership and the Frost badge.
The former was made of elastic paper which looked like a card with Klein’s name and his membership start date on it.
After applying an imprint of his index finger, the proof of membership was officially ready for use.
The latter was the Quelaag Club’s distinctive badge, named for its founding in early November, which corresponded to the month of the Frost constellation. The symbol and the number 192 were printed on the front, followed by “Sherlock Moriarty” imprinted on the back.
“The club now has 192 members?” Klein asked casually.
“Yes, our club doesn’t accept people without a recommendation.” The red-vested manservant beamed and introduced, “On the first floor, there’s a buffet cafeteria, bar, library, squash room, conference room, and card room. You can use them all for free. The food and wine are free for your sampling as well. There are 16 lounge rooms and two small conference rooms on the second floor. They are also free, and can be used as long as they aren’t occupied…”
The good-looking maid pointed to the rear and said, “There are two tennis courts on the lawn, totally free of charge. There are two shooting ranges underground, and you only need to pay the corresponding rental fee of the equipment.
“If you aren’t satisfied with the simple buffet, you can order ala-carte. We have an exclusive chef, and you just need to pay for the ingredients.”
Board, lodging, and entertainment are all provided for… As expected of a high-end club… Klein sincerely thanked Mrs. Mary.
He smiled warmly and said, “Send someone to show me around so that I can familiarize myself with the environment. Afterward, give me a lounge to take an afternoon nap.”
“Alright.” The red manservant made an inviting gesture.
After familiarizing himself with the Quelaag Club’s environment, Klein entered a lounge and carefully studied the layout of the place. He discovered it was similar to a hotel room of the later generation. It was said to be decorated in the Intis-style.
I have to consider how to obtain evidence of Doragu’s affair tomorrow. It’s simply impossible to hide the flash of the camera… In other words, I only have one shot at taking a picture… And if I do that, I’ll definitely be kicked out of the club… I have to think of a safe way… I’ll read through the papers later and try to determine the progress regarding Ian’s case through the news. From there, I can determine which three days I should be guarded… Klein paced back and forth, lost in thought.
At that moment, his heart suddenly palpitated as he tensed up.
Is this the premonition of a Clown? However, there are no scenes in my mind… Klein felt the air around him turn still like it was the calm before the storm.
Soon, this feeling disappeared, as if nothing had happened.
Could it be that danger is approaching? But nothing like this happened when I was attacked by Meursault… Puzzled, Klein pulled out a coin and divined if he would be attacked in the next few days.
The answer was negative.
After thinking for a few seconds, Klein drew the curtains and pretended to take an afternoon nap. He took four steps counterclockwise and went above the gray fog.
He sat down and pondered for a long time before muttering to himself, “I will be in grave danger in the next few days.”
After repeating the statement, he flicked the coin again and saw the copper-colored object tumble down and land in his open palm.
This time, the portrait of the king was facing up!
It meant a positive result!
My reaction just now really was an omen that danger is coming… Klein narrowed his eyes and leaned back in his chair.
He was rather puzzled by this matter.
Whether it was as a Seer or Clown, they had never displayed such abilities before. Even if they could predict danger, it was because the target was right in front of him or beside him!
There was nobody around me… From the fact that my divination was misled, it must have involved a relatively higher Sequencer, most likely Bakerland’s assistant… In the end, it actually gave me a premonition? This isn’t scientific, uh—this isn’t mystic… There must be something else behind it, but I can’t be certain why yet…Klein looked around and saw the boundless fog, crimson and still, the palace standing as it had always stood.
He reined in his doubts and temporarily stopped thinking about the reason. Instead, he focused his attention on the attack that was about to occur…
After several more divinations, Klein found that he could only confirm that there would be great danger in the next few days. It couldn’t be shortened to three days, two days, or even five hours.
In other words, he could only obtain a somewhat vague revelation.
And in a dream divination, he saw Ian dressed in his old coat, standing in the street with the elegant gas lamps and the blurry crimson moon behind him.
Other than this image, there was nothing else.
“How should I interpret this?” Klein thought for a moment. He could only assume that this was the prelude to danger.
Without further delay, he returned to the real world, left the Quelaag Club, and went to the nearby Hillston branch of the Backlund Bank to withdraw the remaining hundred pounds from his account—the sum of 1000 pounds from Justice hasn’t been cleared yet and reconciled. Without the corresponding information sent to the branches, the account wasn’t synchronized, and, theoretically speaking, there was a loophole. Klein could withdraw 100 pounds from another branch and seize the opportunity when all the accounts were out of sync.
However, this was only in theory. In order to avoid similar acts, the banks had many rules on anonymous accounts. First, it was to enhance the transmission of similar information in the same city; second, it was to limit a single withdrawal to no more than 500 pounds, and third, if the last withdrawal wasn’t done locally, a telegram was needed to inquire about it, and today, Klein encountered the third situation.
Putting away the money, he took a horse carriage to the Backlund Bridge area and entered the Bravehearts Bar.
Under Kaspars’s guidance, he saw Maric sitting in the card room. He wasn’t surrounded by zombies.
Klein discarded the idea of using his spirituality to wrap Azik’s copper whistle, slapped a 100 pounds on the table, and said to the pale Maric, “I agree to the deal.
“I’ll pay an advance of 100 pounds. I’ll pay another 300 pounds every additional day I’m protected.
“The protection begins now!”
Maric’s gaze fell past him and landed somewhere behind him. He nodded and said, “Alright, she has agreed.”
Ah? Klein turned back in surprise only to see the wall and nothing but air.
He secretly activated his Spirit Vision, he but failed to discover anything.
Maric stuffed the 100 pounds into his pocket and said indifferently, “You can return now. She has begun protecting you, in a hidden way.”
If I hadn’t divined this beforehand, I would definitely think of all of you as cheats…Klein surveyed his surroundings and deliberately acted as though he left with clenched teeth.
Along the way, he would occasionally activate and deactivate his Spirit Vision, constantly observing the outside through the carriage windows, but he didn’t find his so-called bodyguard.
Back at 15 Minsk Street, Klein closed the door, went into the bathroom, turned on the tap, and washed his hands.
The sound of water splashing disappeared as he shook off the water droplets and wiped his palms with a towel. Then, he raised his head to look at himself in the mirror to inspect his appearance.
At this moment, he saw himself phasing away in the mirror before transforming into a woman wearing a black regal dress.
The woman had light golden hair and blue eyes. She looked very delicate but her face was abnormally pale.
She wore a small black bonnet, lifted her skirt, and bowed at Klein.
This… Without hiding his surprise, Klein took a few steps back and leaned against the wall.
Only then did he realize that this might be the bodyguard he had hired for 1000 pounds.
The image in the mirror quickly dimmed and Klein saw himself again. Everything had been restored back to normal.