Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
The figure in the mirror was clear, but it was as though the woman in the black regal dress had never appeared.
Klein secretly activated his Spirit Vision, but didn’t find anything.
Did I just hire a female ghost as my bodyguard? She’s even stranger than a female ghost… At the very least, one can see ghosts with Spirit Vision… Klein thoughtfully touched Azik’s copper whistle in his pocket, feeling nothing but its cold chill. Like before, it didn’t have any additional changes.
She’s unaffected by the copper whistle… Seems like she isn’t an undead creature… However, I can’t be sure. Back then, the copper whistle was buried with me, but the corpses surrounding me didn’t act abnormally… Was it because those buried in the cemetery have experienced a send off by the priests and bishops? When does it work and when doesn’t it… When this business with the ambassador is over, and if I’m still alive, I’ll go to the cemetery and try to figure out the scope of its effect and its limits. I can’t always carry a time bomb like this… Klein washed his face and walked out of the bathroom.
Just as he picked up the newspaper in the living room and was going to read it in the living room or bedroom, he heard the doorbell ring.
Klein’s mind tensed up when he heard the tinkling sounds. He put on his coat, with all kinds of materials in it, and walked towards the door gingerly.
He clearly knew that danger was approaching in the next few days!
After standing behind the door and waiting for a moment, the scene outside naturally surfaced in Klein’s mind.
The crimson moon was faintly discernible in the sky. The elegant gas lamps on both sides of the street lit up the wet road. A boy wearing an old coat stood there. His bright red eyes were deep and adrift.
Ian Wright? Why did he appear? Isn’t this what I saw in my dream divination? Is this the prelude to danger? Klein opened the door and took two cautious steps back.
“Detective Moriarty,” Ian took off his brown top hat, bowed, and said in a low voice, “I came to apologize. I’m sorry to have involved you in such a dangerous matter.”
Klein creased his eyebrows and probed, “What you should’ve done is head to the police station.”
Ian looked around and bowed his head.
“I just came out from MI9.”
Ah? Is that the name of the military’s special department? Klein stepped aside, pointed at the living room and said, “Maybe we can have a chat.”
I have to at least know what placed me in this situation… He sighed inwardly.
Ian didn’t stand on ceremony as he followed Klein into the living room and sat in the same spot as he did the last time.
He was just about to open his mouth when Klein suddenly added, “If what you plan on saying will put me in greater danger, then there’s no need to tell me about it.”
“No, everything will soon be over.” Ian had a calmness that was beyond his age.
Klein was relieved and asked out of curiosity, “So, what exactly happened?”
Before he could finish his sentence, he saw a figure emerge from the panes of the oriel window across the room: a black regal dress, long hair tied in a bun, blue eyes, delicate features, and a pale face. It was the woman who had previously greeted Klein in the mirror.
This woman seemed to find an illusory high back chair and sat down. Her left palm supported her right elbow while her right hand supported her face, pretending to listen attentively while appearing expressionless.
For a moment, Klein was left at a loss.
Ian, who had been silent for a few seconds, said softly, “In fact, Detective Zreal is a spy for the Feysac Empire. He adopted several vagrant children and taught them how to gather intelligence. I am one of them.”
So that’s how it is… I was involved in a huge spy conspiracy… Klein suddenly felt enlightened.
Ian looked at the coffee table and continued, “We have the advantage of age, and are often ignored by others, allowing us to gather a lot of useful information. Two weeks ago, I stumbled upon clues regarding Helmosuin’s manuscript.”
“Helmosuin?” Klein found the name familiar.
Ian looked up at him and explained, “Turani von Helmosuin, the greatest scientist after Emperor Roselle, a mathematician, a mechanist, and the father of the second generation difference machine.”
So it’s him! Klein suddenly remembered the relevant information.
He wasn’t only a great scientist, but also a crazy scientist. He believed that the inherent flaw in the existence of humans could only be fixed through machines. He loved eating sugar as if it was his own energy source. He mysteriously disappeared while researching a third generation difference machine, and was an important figure that every country was trying to find.
“His manuscript? Does the manuscript involve third generation difference machines?” Klein asked probingly.
A difference machine was a mechanical device for computing. It could effectively improve the efficiency of scientific research and various projects. In Klein’s opinion, it was an alternative computer in the Age of Steam. Of course, it could only do computation at present.
Ian shook his head.
“I’m not sure. I didn’t actually see it. Perhaps, it had some related ideas.”
He paused for a moment, then went on to recount what had happened.
“When I reported this to Detective Zreal, he was very happy and told me to follow up on that lead while he immediately reported it to his superior.
“It took me some time to determine where the manuscript was, but I was afraid of the danger, so I didn’t steal it directly. I decided to return to Detective Zreal, and after that, it was as I told you. Detective Zreal’s house was infiltrated while many of the tiny traps were not restored, and he didn’t respond to my contact request. The Zmanger gang tried to capture me…
“With your help, I confirmed the death of Detective Zreal. I took a fake tooth from his corpse. Oh, that happened after we parted.
“Detective Zreal told me that, inscribed on the inside of the fake tooth, there was a method to urgently contact his superior. It was a method that even he didn’t know of and was something he would only remove if an accident occurred.”
Klein nodded slightly and said, “So you sent a telegram?”
A rare look of surprise flashed across Ian’s face as he asked, “Did the people from MI9 tell you that?”
“No, a friend of mine happened to see you on Bacardi Street.” Klein casually made up an excuse.
“I see.” Ian nodded in depression. “I got in touch with Detective Zreal’s superior in Backlund via telegram and arranged the time, place, and manner of meeting, but soon enough, I was found by the Zmanger gang. No, to be exact, it was an intelligence officer of the Intis Republic. That was what the people from MI9 people told me.
“Fortunately, MI9 arrived in time, and both sides engaged in a chaotic battle. I took this opportunity to escape.
“However, when I met with Detective Zreal’s superior this afternoon, I was once again ambushed by the Intis intelligence officers. Unfortunately, I was caught by them, and I was very afraid of dying, so I told them everything that I knew. However, they didn’t keep their promise and still wanted to kill me. At that moment, MI9 finally found me.”
It is only during such times when you look like a fifteen or sixteen year old teenager…Just as Klein was reflecting over this, he suddenly thought of a problem from what Ian had just said.
Back when he discovered that something important was left behind on Zreal’s corpse and that Ian had successfully taken it away, he had written the matter off, thinking that the Beyonder was lacking in skill, and that the Beyonder had missed out on something because the mediumship provided little useful information.
However, after confirming that the ambassador had a Mid-Sequence Beyonder of the Seer pathway, the situation became extremely peculiar. With powerful mediumship, it was impossible for the fake tooth to not be discovered.
Leaving the body in such a remote and hard to find place didn’t seem like a trap.
Combined with Ian’s description, the answer was obvious.
Klein nodded and said, “Have you ever thought of the possibility that Zreal’s superior has traitors around him, a traitor who has defected to the Intis intelligence services?
“That’s also why Zreal was exposed and killed when he obtained the clue to the manuscript, as well as why you were ambushed.”
It was because the Intis ambassador had information about Zreal’s superior which was why he didn’t pay much attention to the urgent communication method inscribed on the inside of the tooth!
Zreal’s report to his superior directly led to his demise!
Ian fell into a daze when he heard that. It took him quite a while before he clenched his fists in anger, trying hard to compose himself as he said, “I didn’t think of that. You really are an excellent detective…”
He quietly let out a breath of air and changed the topic.
“I have divulged the whereabouts of the manuscript to MI9 and everything else. They also mentioned your predicament in passing. Heh, they didn’t suspect me of lying, nor did they send anyone to watch me. All of them went to vie for the manuscript. However, with that kind of pressure, no one can lie.”
Having said that, Ian stood up and gave a deep bow.
“Please allow me to apologize again.
“Sorry to have involved you in this. Actually, you don’t need to hide anything for me.”
Having understood the entire situation, Klein smiled and said, “No, the main problem in this matter was because I made a mistake that made me end up in my current situation.”
As he was listening, he used Ian’s description of the entire situation and his reflections of the past few days and confirmed that he had made two mistakes.
When I discovered that Ian’s matter ran deeper than it appeared, I still accepted the request. That wasn’t a problem since I only felt that it involved gangs, and there would be, at most, one or two Beyonders who wouldn’t dare expose themselves. But the divination lacked enough information and ended with a failure… This was within the limits of what I could’ve resolved by myself, and typically speaking, there wouldn’t have been any trouble. I could even take the opportunity to come into contact with Backlund’s Beyonders.
After finding Zreal’s corpse and confirming that the matter ran deep, I should’ve considered the sensitivity of my identity and decisively extricated myself from this case. I should’ve let Ian deal with the subsequent matters himself. This wouldn’t be problematic and would be a rather careful choice.
One of the mistakes I made was that I didn’t flinch or reveal anything about Ian when Meursault came to me. I only thought that he was from a gang, and that there were some Beyonders behind that gang. Who would’ve guessed that it would involve a figure like the Intis ambassador; even more so, I never expected Meursault to be so rash. After failing his mission, he didn’t threaten, intimidate me or proceed with other options. Instead, he came straight to kill me so that mediumship could be performed. He didn’t even give me the chance to regret my decision. As a result, my situation worsened.
So, this isn’t too subjective or too serious a mistake.
The one mistake that really caused me to be in such a passive situation was a tiny mistake I made from the very beginning. I had rented the house and accepted the mission as Sherlock Moriarty without donning a disguise!
This resulted in me not being able to flee after my identity as a Beyonder was exposed to the ambassador. Even as I acted horrified and frantic, making MI9 and the police department believe that my taking flight would only be normal, I didn’t dare flee. I was afraid that when the ambassador failed to find a target for revenge, he would inform the officials about me. And according to my experience as a Nighthawk, most official enforcers like the Nighthawks, Machinery Hivemind, and Mandated Punishers harbor animosity towards uncontrolled Beyonders. They definitely wouldn’t ignore me just because I’m a Low-Sequence Beyonder and would begin an investigation.
In time, my looks will be clear evidence. I will then be pursued by High-Sequence Beyonders from the Church of the Goddess because I resurrected despite having been involved with a Grade 0 Sealed Artifact.
There’s no chance for such matters to be suddenly forgotten or thought of as nothing by others. I had to plan for the worst case scenario in advance, and if I only reacted when the ambassador took action, it would definitely be too late. Whether it’s an assassination, finding a bodyguard, or buying items, all of them will require time.
Only if the ambassador and his assistant dies or attention is diverted to the investigation of his death will I be able to resolve this latent danger. His assistant doesn’t have an official status, so he can’t interact with the officials. For a mere Sequence 9 or Sequence 8 at best, someone whose whereabouts are unknown, there’s no reason to go through the effort to report me.
Of course, his death is the best outcome, then there won’t be any latent danger.
Compared to finding Mr. Azik for help or having attention placed on me because of 0-08 again, as well as being pursued by High-Sequence Beyonders, assassinating the ambassador is the relatively simpler choice… Even it fails, I can only bear one of the two outcomes…
Sigh, everything originated from a small oversight at the beginning. I just imagined that in a metropolis with over 5 million people and few people knowing me while I deliberately avoided the Nighthawks, there was no need for me to don a disguise every day, since it would be easier for others to notice something amiss. Yet, for such a small mistake, I would have to pay over 10,000 gold pounds as the price without having any guarantee of resolving it…
I’m really like a Clown, with one mistake triggering a chain reaction, only to result in a desperate attempt to balance myself so as to please the audience…
This is all because of my lack of experience. This is the first time in my two lifetimes combined that I’ve ever been a fugitive.
Once this matter is completely resolved, exposing my identity as a Beyonder would no longer be that dangerous. They would only think that I obtained a potion while finding a bodyguard and not doubt my origins. Of course, I’ll have to get used to wearing glasses and a mustache in the future so that the people around me will gradually get used to my new image. In the future when they ask me about me, they will only think of this new image.
Having thought through the entire matter, Klein’s laugh became more pronounced, making Ian feel strange.
“It’s time for me to leave. I’ll need to disappear for a while; otherwise, I might be thrown into jail.” Ian put on his hat, bade farewell, and left.
Klein didn’t stop him, watching him disappear into the crimson moonlight, while the woman by the oriel window had disappeared without him realizing it.