Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
When the steam metro arrived at the southern bank of the Tussock River, Klein rented a carriage and headed to the Aston Cemetery on the outskirts of the South Borough, which was managed by the Church of the God of Steam and Machinery.
Under the darkness of dusk, the trees around the cemetery seemed to bare their fangs and brandish their claws, blocking out the light like monsters lurking in the darkness.
After the carriage driver took the 4 soli Klein paid, he looked at the cemetery and muttered, “Do you need me to wait here for you?”
“No, there’s no need. I’m here to visit a friend.” Klein came up with an excuse, and he immediately noticed the change in the driver’s face.
This is a cemetery… to visit a friend with the sky already dark… The driver could hear his own heart thumping.
Klein jolted to his senses, smiled, and added, “He’s the tomb keeper here.”
The carriage driver was immediately relieved, but he didn’t dare stay. He quickly drove the horses and left.
Klein circled the graveyard until the night truly set in.
After dark, the smoke and dust emissions decreased by a lot. In addition to the biting cold wind, the fog in the air thinned a lot. Although few stars could be seen, the crimson moon made a furtive appearance, covering the ground with a veil-like glow.
Klein tapped his chest four times clockwise, drawing out the crimson moon. Then, he put on his gloves, pushed himself over the iron fence, and entered the cemetery.
He looked around with a high degree of caution, randomly found a secluded corner, took out Azik’s copper whistle, and held it in his hand.
Not far in front of him was a tombstone. The photograph on it was dirty, and the epitaph appeared extremely blurry in the moonlight. Klein carefully read it for a few seconds before figuring out what they were.
“Friend, if you are passing by, help me up. Thanks!”
A very humorous gentleman… I choose you! Klein stopped, leaned back against the trees that sheltered the grave from the sun and rain, and waited patiently in the cold, chilly night.
He threw Azik’s copper whistle up before catching it firmly, repeating it several times to pass the time until twenty minutes later.
No signs of the dead coming back to life… Klein clicked his pocket watch shut, surveyed his surroundings, and confirmed the results.
I’ll come back here in two days to see if there are any additional changes. If there are none, it means that Mr. Azik’s copper whistle won’t be able to affect corpses that have been laid to rest through a priest’s ritual . Klein silently muttered to himself, and he put the ancient and exquisite copper whistle back into his pocket.
There were three kinds of burials in the Loen Kingdom. The first type had coffins and corpses, suitable for the middle and upper classes living in abundance. The second type was the ones without corpses, so a cremation was held. The remaining ashes were placed in urns. This was the choice of the lower middle class and technical workers who could pay for the cremation but found coffins to be too wasteful. But there were also times when religious and governmental factors had an impact, such as the believers of the Eternal Blazing Sun. The majority of them underwent cremation, and the poor people only needed to pay a small fee for the cremation due to the help they received from the government.
The third only belonged to the poor. They couldn’t afford coffins, and they didn’t wish for cremation, so they just wrapped the corpses up and buried them.
But Klein had already determined from the tombstones and tombs that the target of his experiment was the kind which involved a coffin and a corpse.
If Azik’s copper whistle really can cause the dead to rise, even if the target had rotted into a pile of bones, there shouldn’t be a complete lack of reaction. Even if the lid of the coffin cannot be opened, it should’ve at least created a dull thud.
As he walked towards the fence, Klein suddenly thought of a non-rigorous part of the experiment.
Yes, I need to categorize them. The corpses here have been buried for quite a while. I should find a target that was recently buried.
Only by doing so will I be able to arrive at the most accurate conclusion.
After that, Klein basically played a game of cat-and-mouse with the cemetery guardians before finding a grave that had completed a burial ceremony during the day.
This time, he waited for half an hour, but he still didn’t find anything abnormal.
Phew, I can basically determine that Mr. Azik’s copper whistle can’t affect a corpse that has undergone a ritual that puts the soul to rest. That’s quite weak, no—that’s not right. This copper whistle isn’t meant to cause the dead to come alive. It’s used to summon messengers, so affecting a corpse is a negative effect! Klein tightened his double-breasted coat and walked toward the iron fence.
He planned on heading home to have a change of clothes before trying out his second experiment.
The target of the second experiment group were the recently deceased corpses that haven’t been laid to rest via a ritual.
Such targets often existed in a hospital’s morgue!
Climbing over the fence, Klein made his way back to the South Borough on foot in the dreary, dark night. The surroundings were deathly still and quiet. Only the evergreen, dust covered trees lightly swayed.
It reminded him of the night he had been resurrected from the dead. Back then, he too had to walk from the cemetery to the city.
Sigh… Klein sighed and suddenly began to run, as if trying to get rid of the melancholy that filled him.
More than half an hour later, he rented a carriage in South Borough and headed for the nearest steam metro station.
There was still about an hour before the metro stopped running, and this could save him quite a bit of money.
In the wee hours of the morning, Klein changed into a grayish-blue worker’s uniform and wore a cap as he made his way to St. Estin’s Hospital in the Backlund Bridge area.
This was a charity hospital belonging to the Church of the God of Steam and Machinery.
Many of the poor died here due to illness, and since there was nowhere for them to place their bodies, they had to be kept in the hospital morgue. There, the corpses awaited cremation from the government or be donated to the medical schools. This phenomenon was very common in summer, but there weren’t many in the autumn or winter after it cooled down.
However, in an era without air-conditioning or equipment to keep the temperature cool, the hospital’s morgue couldn’t keep the corpses for too long. Donated bodies would be quickly embalmed and bodies to be buried the next day would be cleaned up. Of course, these were the rules enforced in summer. In autumn and winter, the rules were relatively relaxed; therefore, there were still many corpses left overnight in the morgue during this period.
The morgue at St. Estin was underground. It was relatively cool, even during the summer, and was biting cold during autumn and winter.
Based on what he had learned as a Nighthawk, Klein relied on a Clown’s agility and balance to sneak into the basement while avoiding the doctors and nurses that were on duty.
Before he even got close to the morgue, he felt a chill down his spine.
After quickly moving past the janitor’s room, Klein took out a piece of wire and lightly unlocked the door to the morgue.
This was one of the methods of infiltration and tracking!
He slowly and silently pushed open the door to the morgue with his black-gloved right hand. At the same time, he cloaked Azik’s copper whistle in his spirituality to determine if such a method could eliminate the negative effects.
The temperature in the morgue seemed to be lower than the corridor. Most of the corpses were bagged up and placed in different iron cabinets. Only a few were placed on the long table in the central open space, as if they were awaiting examination.
As a Sequence 8 Clown, Klein was no longer afraid of such scenes. He just instinctively felt uncomfortable.
Carefully, he closed the door and walked around the long tables.
After about ten minutes, Klein let out a breath of cold air and confirmed that none of the corpses had come to life.
It’s about time… He took out his gold pocket watch and opened it.
When he was ready, Klein withdrew his spirituality and stopped enveloping Azik’s copper whistle.
He wasn’t sure if it was a psychological effect, but he had a baffling feeling that the surroundings had become even more silent.
As a Seer, he fully believed in his instincts. He stopped pacing back and forth and retreated towards the door.
Time ticked by, and Klein determined that it took about two minutes.
At that moment, a corpse on a long table suddenly sat up!
Bang! Bang! Bang!
The surrounding iron cabinets emitted a series of banging noises, as though all hell was about to break loose!
Bang! Bang! Bang! Upon hearing such a commotion and seeing the corpses sit up, Klein suddenly said in a low voice, “Crimson!”
Immediately following that, he injected his spirituality into a Requiem Charm and threw it out.
Icy-blue flames burned quietly, and serene and gentle blackness spread out. The corpses lay down once again, and the banging sounds coming from the cabinets came to an abrupt halt.
Klein, who had experienced a similar situation, didn’t relax and used another Requiem Charm.
As there were many corpses around him, he used a third charm to be safe, using up everything that he had.
Not bad… Indeed, it only affects corpses that haven’t been put to rest via a ritual. This includes corpses that haven’t been dead for too long and zombies. Using my spirituality to shield the whistle can prevent such effects. Klein thought with a smile.
Seeing that none of the corpses were making any abnormal reactions, he prepared to open the door and leave.
At that moment, he suddenly heard footsteps coming from the outside and saw a faint light seeping in.
The elderly janitor had been attracted by the banging sound in the morgue. He was approaching with a lantern in hand!
Klein looked around, placing his hand on the door, he nimbly jumped up, stopping at the spot between the door and the ceiling.
His fingers dug into the bumps and cracks as he maintained perfect balance.
The elderly janitor opened the door with his key and entered the morgue.
He took a few steps forward, held up his lantern, and examined the iron cabinets and long tables, as well as the corpses.
Behind him, Klein nimbly jumped down and landed silently.
Seizing the opportunity, Klein quickly escaped from the morgue. He used the janitor’s room to hide for a few seconds before carefully returning to the upper floor.
After the elderly janitor surveyed the surroundings and didn’t find anything out of the ordinary, he mumbled a sentence, in fear of the corpses, and quickly left. He locked the door and didn’t stay any longer.
Returning to the guardroom, he wrapped a thin blanket around himself and took several minutes to calm his racing heart before mumbling to himself in a low voice, “Those old guys always tell me about the weird things that happen in the morgue, hoping to scare me. Those weird sounds just now should count as well. It doesn’t matter. Those corpses didn’t come back to life either!
“Pui, there are no such things as zombies and wraiths!”
At the same time, Klein was walking comfortably along the quiet, dark streets, happy to be free of a latent threat.
He looked at the elegant gas lamps that lined the sides of the street and looked forward to the future Beyonder gatherings.
As long as he obtained a weapon with a special effect, he would be able to obtain one of the main ingredients of a Magician!
Hmm… Although I don’t have much money right now, I still have a lot of assets that I can use to exchange. For example, the Telepathist potion formula, or the formulas for Bard and Light Suppliant. Furthermore, my Clown potion is digesting at a faster rate than I expected due to series of events and my discovery of the essence needed for “acting.” It’s close to being completely digested… Along the streets of Backlund at night, Klein left his mind wandering.