Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Under the dim crimson moonlight, Klein pulled back his blanket and got up.
For a Seer, putting weight on dreams was a basic requirement, and the dream he just had could never be dismissed as a simple nightmare.
Dressed in relatively comfortable clothes, he came before the full-body mirror and said in a low voice, “I dreamed of the blood-stained door in that room.”
Miss Bodyguard’s figure slowly outlined itself above the mirror. She replied expressionlessly, “The influence of the evil spirit’s aura.
“It will gradually weaken until it disappears.”
Is that so… Klein nodded slightly and returned to the side of the bed. He picked up the gold pocket watch and popped it open.
Seeing that it was still early, he lay back down to sleep. This time, he no longer encountered the same dream as before.
Sunday morning the next day, in high spirits, Klein made himself a soft-boiled egg to go with buttered bread.
In the Loen Kingdom, or rather in the countries of the Northern Continent, it was a must for gentlemen to read the newspapers at breakfast, and Klein was no exception. He opened up the newspapers he subscribed to—the Tussock Times, Backlund Morning Post, and Backlund Bulletin.
“The Civil Servant Unified Examination Bill has been officially passed by the House of Lords. The first examination will be held in early December, and the second examination will be held at the end of January next year. The final interview will be held two weeks after that… Within a week, the government will announce the positions and requirements involved in this exam and begin the registration process… Reporters surmise that most of it will be held in Backlund…” Klein scanned the contents, picked up his cup, and sipped his Sibe black tea.
He couldn’t help but think of Benson and thought to himself, The bill is passed at the end of September. The positions will be announced in the beginning of October, and registrations will be completed by early November. The examinations will start at the beginning of December… The timing is tight and very unreasonable. That implies how much of a rush the King and the Prime Minister is in to have this enacted.
But that’s advantageous for Benson. He prepared two months ahead of everyone else; even if he can’t compare to the elite graduates of the universities, he would definitely be able to beat most of his competition, and the positions the elites are aiming for wouldn’t clash with his.
He should be fine…
Klein wanted to tap his chest four times to draw out a crimson moon and say “May the Goddess bless him,” but then he remembered that Miss Bodyguard was nearby and resisted the urge. After all, he had claimed to be a believer of the God of Steam and Machinery.
After finishing his last mouthful of bread, he continued reading the papers.
“Both Houses have passed the National Atmospheric Pollution Council bill, allowing the government to set up such an organization… The coming month will be a critical period for the various parties to become a member of the council…”
“… An independent Alkali Industry Public Prosecutor has been approved with the goal of minimizing the pollution levels in acid and alkali factories.”
“… The fifth page doesn’t have an advertisement for the purchase of goods from the Ernst Firm. There’s no need to consider participating in the Beyonder gathering tomorrow night…”
Tingen City, 2 Daffodil Street.
Benson read and reread the news in the papers, forgetting the bread on his plate.
“The Civil Servant Unified Examination Bill was passed?” Dressed in a long, black dress, Melissa looked at her brother who was acting oddly.
The newspapers from the past few days had been playing up the bill that would be passed this time.
Benson finally put down the newspaper, wiped his black hair, and exhaled slowly.
At this moment, the two of them suddenly fell into silence. The room was completely silent, it even lacked the sound of knives and forks colliding with the dining plates.
The indescribable atmosphere was broken by Bella, the maid who came out of the kitchen. Benson smiled and said, “This is foreseeable. Actually, the most important thing is the previous piece of news.”
“Oh?” Melissa’s expression was unusually quiet.
Benson took a bite of his bread and smiled.
“The news that the Backlund Polytechnic will be restructured into a university.
“It’ll formally accept students next year. It won’t need tests on grammar and classical literature, but will instead focus on the technical aspects. It’s very suitable for graduates and students of technical schools everywhere.
“Melissa, I think you can try.”
“But…” Melissa subconsciously retorted.
Benson interrupted her with a smile.
“Its tuition will be half as cheap as the Tingen, Perth, Kboy, and Backlund and the other universities. It’s equivalent to the Constant Industry University in Midseashire, and there will be even more opportunities for scholarships. Melissa, don’t you like machinery, steam, and this stuff? This is the best opportunity for you to have access to much advanced and deeper knowledge.
“Give it a try, how about it? Don’t worry about wasting money. Although th-that money can allow us to maintain our present lives without working, we’re still young. We must not define our lives like this. As you can see, compared to a few months ago, my grammar has improved a lot.
“Eh… It might be better if we change environments.
“I know you can’t bear to part with Tingen and this place. Well, we’ll come back eventually, but not when we’re young.”
Melissa looked at the various components on the tea table as her lips moved a few times and she said, “What about Bella…”
After Klein’s death, she didn’t want to hire any more maidservants, but when she thought of how tragic Bella’s life would be after she lost her job, she gave up on the idea. After all, the extra expense of 5 soli a week was already nothing to the Moretti family, which had an annuity of at least three hundred pounds.
To this, Benson shook his head and laughed.
“There are still a few more months before that happens. We can let Bella find a new job ahead of time. Before that, we will continue to pay her and provide her with a bedroom. Furthermore, her cooking skills are much better than before, so she can apply to be a chef at someone’s home. It’s a pity… Heh heh. Of course, everything depends on the premise that you can pass the entrance exams at Backlund’s University of Technology.”
He had wanted to say that it was a pity that Bella didn’t have much time to learn how to cook, but after looking at Melissa’s gloomy expression, he forcefully changed the topic.
Before Melissa could say anything, Benson smiled and touched his hair.
“I’m planning on resigning tomorrow and will focus on preparing for the exam. Most of the positions are said to be in Backlund. That’s my goal. I hope we can go there together.”
Melissa was silent for a moment before she slowly nodded her head.
At the same time, she put down her fork and knife, wiped her mouth with a napkin, and said, “I’m going to the bathroom.”
“Alright.” Benson watched his sister leave the dining table, and the smile that had been plastered over his face rapidly vanished.
He took out the silver pocket watch with the vine-leaf patterns, took a close look at it, and sighed very quietly.
During the whole of Sunday, Klein busied himself with the public libraries in the Cherwood Borough in search of information related to Viscount Pound, but the viscount’s family didn’t have a single biography, nor did it arouse the interest of any historian to conduct a special study.
They were scattered across the annals of history, and Klein, who had no “search” function to use, felt a throbbing pain in his head as he faced the vast collection of books and essays.
He spent six hours browsing through a lot of information, but failed to find any useful information.
I have to find someone who has a deep knowledge of the history of the nobility. Or I have to bribe someone in the police department to get the address of Baronet Pound. He’s an aristocrat, and the police department must have a corresponding record, and there aren’t many aristocrats. When Klein got home, he stood in front of the mirror and talked to the air.
The surface of the mirror quickly outlined Miss Bodyguard’s Gothic regal dress and the black bonnet on her head.
She nodded slightly, as if agreeing with Klein.
She then suddenly spoke out in a dreamy voice, “The employment period is over.”
I know, the three days are up… Klein thought for a moment and asked, “If I can obtain some clues about the Pound family, would you like to know?”
Miss Bodyguard didn’t answer but gave a slight nod.
“Um… through Maric?” Klein asked.
After nodding her head again, Miss Bodyguard bent down, lifted up her skirt, and bowed.
Her figure quickly disappeared, and the reflection in the mirror was no longer anything special.
Klein looked around and didn’t relax as a result of that. He proceeded systematically to prepare dinner and fill his stomach.
He waited until it was late in the night before returning to his bedroom and drew back the curtains. Then, he took out the iron cigarette case and reached out to touch Rosago’s All-Black Eye.
A series of illusory roars immediately rampaged through his mind, seeming to tear apart his mind and destroy his thoughts.
With great difficulty, Klein resisted the pain which was making his head explode. Once again, he saw the black threads spreading out from different parts of his body.
They were densely packed and illusory, reaching out endlessly.
He quickly released his grip to escape from the negative influence. After nearly a minute, everything returned to normal.
Phew, I can finally go up to the gray fog and verify the spiritual perception I had before… Klein silently said to himself as he quickly set up the ritual, summoned himself, and responded to himself.
Then, in his spirit form, he carried Azik’s copper whistle, picked up the iron cigarette case, and returned above the gray fog.
Klein sat at seat of honor at the ancient long table, using his fingers to create spiritual flames and burning the bloodstained documents in the corner and any other items that were no longer needed.
When he was done, he opened the iron cigarette case and was surprised to find that the All-Black Eye had become silent, no longer showing any signs of madness, but that corruptive influence was still settling within. It just wasn’t active, as if it was in hibernation.
“As expected, it’s impossible to separate them directly…” Klein muttered. Following that, on the other side of the ancient table, a man in a hooded robe appeared.
Just like his previous attempt to create a clone, this man was stiff and lifeless. It was obvious that he wasn’t someone real at a glance. There was no way he could deceive the members of the Tarot Club.
However, Klein already had an idea regarding this.
He extended his hand and held the All-Black Eye. There was silence in his ears, and there were no longer any terrifying howls.
Using the amassed Beyonder characteristic, he could see that there were also black threads floating out from the fake body opposite him.
Soon after, Klein carefully let his spirituality spread out through the All-Black Eye, touching a few of the illusory threads.
All of a sudden, he felt like he was holding onto something.
With a thought from him, the fake person raised his hand.
It worked! I can use the ability of the Nimblewright Master to create a fake Tarot Club member! However, this is draining on me. I’m unable to maintain a second one… Hmm, the symbol on the back of the chair won’t change accordingly, but it’s not like Miss Justice and the rest can see it… Klein happily practiced, over and over again, even learning how to manipulate his clone’s throat and mouth to let him speak.
When his spirituality was almost exhausted, he smiled and said to the fake person in front of him, “Welcome, new member. Which tarot card do you wish to draw?”
After saying that, he closed his mouth. The fake person opposite him lifted his hand to stroke his chin as he laughed hoarsely, “World!
“I choose the card ‘The World.'”