Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Before leaving the house, Klein tossed a coin to inquire if it was beneficial for him to visit the Bravehearts Bar that day.
After receiving a negative result, he looked around before whispering into the air, “Is someone monitoring me today?”
After a few seconds of silence, Miss Bodyguard’s ethereal voice suddenly sounded from behind him.
Klein subconsciously looked back, but he failed to find Miss Bodyguard.
His attention quickly returned to the answer he received as he couldn’t help but let out a snicker in his heart.
MI9 isn’t even putting me on their suspect list at all!
After confirming that Rosago hadn’t sought me out, they completely put me aside.
Should I feel honored or insulted?
It’s true that a detective that busies himself looking for cats has no way of being associated with the assassination of an ambassador or getting rid of a Sequence 5 expert…
Furthermore, MI9 has been monitoring me for quite some time. My panic, my helplessness, and my struggle for self-preservation were laid out for them to see. It’s obvious that I can’t inflict any substantial harm to the ambassador…
With that in mind, Klein put on his half top hat, carried his black silver-inlaid cane, and walked out of 15 Minsk Street. He spent 2 soli for a rental carriage that brought him to Bravehearts Bar on Iron Gate Street in the Backlund Bridge area.
He entered like a regular, walked past the cheering drunkards around the boxing ring, and rapped the countertop when he came to the bar counter.
“One glass of Southville beer.”
The bartender looked up at him and mumbled, “Kaspars is in Card Room 3.”
Klein smiled and pushed five one-penny copper coins to the man.
Then, carrying the wooden cup and sipping a white, smooth, frothy Southville beer, he walked around two of the rowdiest, liveliest stages that stank the most and knocked on the door of Card Room 3.
Kaspars was playing Texas poker with unlimited stakes. Stacks of cash were piled high in front of him, as well as yellow coins that piled up in a dazzling heap.
Noticing Klein’s gaze, the black-market arms dealer with the huge scar on his face twitched his big red nose and casually said, “I don’t like using chips as they don’t feel real to me. It’s still the texture of cash and the weight of the coins that leaves me intoxicated. It the same as f**king women!”
After finishing that sentence, Kaspars frowned slightly.
“What are you doing here again?”
Klein didn’t answer directly, but he gestured with his mouth to speak outside.
“Damn it! I was going to clean them up with this hand! Bullshit, I’m folding!” Kaspars tossed the two cards in front of him into the middle of the table, then he limped to the door and said to Klein, “You’d better have a good reason!”
After leaving the card room and coming to the corner, Klein said in a suppressed voice, “I want to know when the most recent gathering will be, just like the last one.”
Kaspars looked at him suspiciously. “Haven’t you struck a deal with Maric?”
“It’s not about hiring bodyguards. Regarding that, heh heh, you know… I’ve become very interested in it.” Klein was telling the truth.
Kaspars hesitated and then said, “There will be a gathering tonight. The organizer is the same person as last time, but you’ll have to wait for more than half an hour. I’ll inform them first. You showed your reputation last time, so I don’t think there’ll be too much of a problem.”
“No problem, I’ll pay you.” Klein touched the bills in his pocket.
“You just need to pay 1 pound this time.” Kaspars acted like he was very generous.
“It’s worth it,” Klein said as the corners of his lips curled up.
After paying Kaspars, he found a seat and sat down, drinking the rich malt-scented Southville beer and enjoying the competition on the ring.
“I can beat and take them down at the same time…” Klein quickly came to this conclusion.
After about ten minutes, Kaspars returned to the bar, looked around, and said in a low voice, “They agreed.”
“We’ll head there after half an hour. Holy Lord of Storms, I hope you haven’t forgotten that mask.”
Klein gave a positive answer.
He slowed down his drinking as he began sipping, and he took half an hour to finish the 500 ml of Southville beer.
It was the same path they took as the previous time, and it was the same house without any light. Klein put on the iron mask that only covered half of his face, and he watched as Kaspars knocked on the door rhythmically.
The rhythm is different from last time. The knocking changes all the time… Klein listened carefully for a moment, then saw the small plank of the door open and a pair of eyes peer out.
After the indistinguishable process like before, he put on the hooded robe and hid his entire face in the shadows.
It was still the same living room, with a candle flickering in the dim light. Klein randomly found a seat and quietly sat down.
But unlike before, he no longer felt suppressed or tensed; instead, he leisurely looked around.
The cold wind that blew across the back of his neck made him certain that Miss Bodyguard had followed him in without anyone noticing.
As expected, there are no Sequence 5 experts in this gathering. There might not even be a Sequence 6… Klein thought.
After listening in on the conversation for a while, he saw the round-faced Apothecary change his posture as if he wanted to speak.
As expected, the Apothecary who had half his chubby face exposed quickly raised his hand and said, “Black Snake has apparently died in the sewers…
“Those beasts are still rampant.”
Black Snake died? Klein was surprised to hear the news.
Black Snake was the man who had sold him the remains of a Listener, allowing him to “successfully” create the Language of Foulness. It was suspected that he was from the Aurora Order.
His strength wasn’t low at all; yet, he actually died performing the simple mission of clearing the beasts in the sewers… Klein frowned suspiciously. He suddenly thought of something—
When he discovered Zreal’s corpse, he had heard thumping sounds deep in the sewers.
By the time he led Ian there, parts of Zreal’s body had been eaten by strange beasts.
That was at the bottom of Iron Carbon Street in the East Borough, quite far from the Backlund Bridge area, and I wonder if there’s a connection… Klein had no impulse to verify this.
News of Black Snake’s death quickly spread through the dark room, attracting the murmurs of many. A sense of fear spread through them, as though they had experienced it themselves.
The Apothecary clapped his hands and said, “So, what should I do?”
The whispers suddenly disappeared, and a frozen silence filled the room.
As the Apothecary had advised him without being afraid of offending him, Klein thought for a moment and said, “If I were you, I would give up on the rest of the herbs and never go there again.”
“Why? They’ll mature very soon, and those beasts that hide in the depths of the sewers usually won’t come out,” the Apothecary asked hesitantly.
Klein deliberately said in a hoarse voice, “Black Snake likely has an organization backing him. His death definitely would’ve caused an investigation. I believe you don’t want to interact with them, right?”
Having the remains of a Listener didn’t imply that Black Snake was an Aurora Order member, by referring to the True Creator as a “great being”, this was confirmed.
Moreover, he would rather believe that this was the case rather than hope for a fluke.
“Yeah.” The Apothecary nodded slightly, seemingly having made up his mind.
Klein added, “If I were you, I would even anonymously report this matter to the police.”
“What?” Many gathering members exclaimed.
Klein explained without a change in tone, “Since the beasts in the sewers can kill Black Snake, it means that they’re very dangerous. And since everyone lives in Backlund, if it really causes a major catastrophe, it’s hard to guarantee that we won’t be implicated.
“That’s why the best option is to attract the attention of the police and let the officials handle this matter.
“We can enjoy a good outcome without any risks. Isn’t that nice?”
Just as he finished his sentence, the old gentleman, Eye of Wisdom applauded.
“Such a great idea! We’re afraid of the official Beyonders, but similarly, we can make use of them. We don’t have to handle everything on our own.”
That’s because I was an official Beyonder, so my train of thought would definitely be different from pure savages like you… Klein smiled as he lampooned.
After speaking, he became a bystander again, listening to people peddling or requesting for items. As he watched the deals which succeeded or failed, he found nothing of interest.
He temporarily didn’t announce the Beyonder ingredients he needed, planning to observe the circle of Beyonders a few more times.
Seconds turned to minutes and finally, Eye of Wisdom arranged for people to leave every three minutes.
Klein was the first to leave the previous time, so he didn’t know what happened next. Now, he noticed that there were at least five exits. The attendants of the Eye of Wisdom would lead different people to different passages, trying their best to space them out and drag out time.
After more than half an hour, there were only three members of the gathering left. Apart from Eye of Wisdom, the other two were Klein and the suspected Apothecary.
Eye of Wisdom looked at Klein and laughed with his aged voice.
“Looks like you’re quite lucky.”
He recognized me as the man who had bought the ominous item from Black Snake… Klein smiled. “Yes, my bet paid off.”
Hearing their conversation, the Apothecary widened his eyes as he examined Klein. After a long time, he finally said, “Do you have another mystical charm that affects luck? I already regarded you as a dead person.”
You’re so direct… Klein tactfully answered, “Maybe I’m lucky enough myself.”
Actually, he did want such an item.
Eye of Wisdom sighed and said, “Young lad, don’t always bet on your luck, especially on matters such as this. Even if you’ve won many times in the past, just one loss would doom you for eternity.”
“I know. That’s why I’ve come to this gathering to see if I can buy any useful items. Heh, I can be considered the same as all of you now,” Klein said, seemingly casual.
“Same?” The Apothecary gave an exaggerated sigh. “I should’ve listened to my teacher!”
Teacher… He seems to be a suspected Apothecary… The Apothecary pathway is controlled by the Church of Mother Earth and the Life School of Thought… The Life School of Thought passes down their teachings through mentoring… Klein’s heart skipped a beat and asked curiously, “Why do you say that?”
The Apothecary sighed and said, “My teacher told me to choose a path that would make one sufficiently lucky, but in the end, I still became a medicine concocter. As a result, I haven’t been able to find the next batch of potion ingredients for this Sequence for a whole two years. I’m envious of your luck.”
Make one sufficiently lucky… This is very similar to the Sequence pathway for Monster… He really is from the Life School of Thought… Klein smiled and said, “What’s your reason for choosing it?”
The Apothecary suddenly straightened his back and said, “This is a man’s choice!
“After knowing that I can concoct medicine to enhance my ability in that field, I chose this path without hesitation!”