Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
On the outskirts of Empress Borough, in a wide, empty horse track.
Audrey Hall deliberately led a chestnut mare to a corner and pretended to discuss something with Viscount Glaint.
She was wearing white pants and knee-high black boots, adorned with a simple blouse and a black jacket that reached her waist. In addition, she donned a helmet of the same color. She looked especially valiant and beautiful, and Susie, her golden retriever, was obediently sitting by her feet. What seemed like a tiny leather satchel hung from her back.
Disguised as Viscount Glaint’s servant, Xio glanced enviously at Audrey’s long, straight legs, and unconsciously tiptoed.
“Just horse-riding is so blasé. Only when it is combined with hunting does it become imbued with life. Of course, I mean the equestrian skills for men. No matter what a beautiful lady does, it would still be a sight to behold,” Glaint sized up Audrey and said half-jokingly.
Audrey replied with a slight smile, “The next hunt is still months away.”
Every year, from June to the New Year, the aristocrats of the Loen Kingdom would come to Backlund to attend various banquets, dances, and salons, as per tradition. This was a very important event for them, and many things would be decided within a few months.
After the new year, the nobles would return to their fiefdom—their castles, country estates, and large plantations—and spend their leisure time there. In such times, the most popular sport was hunting.
The nobles would invite guests of similar status to enjoy the pleasure of horse-riding and chasing prey. As long as their financial situation allowed it, they weren’t stingy with buying hounds.
The most famous of the hounds was the foxhound.
“I already miss that life. Backlund is a place where people feel constrained, and its air is indescribably terrible. Of course, I still enjoy its extravagance.” Viscount Glaint wore his gloves and stepped back to make it easier for Audrey to talk to Xio and Fors.
“Honorable Miss Audrey, why have you called us here this time?” Xio initiated the question as she retracted her gaze.
Audrey took a large portion of most of her recent income. She was honest and generous, a rarely encountered good employer.
I seem to smell the ink of money again… Hopefully, the mission wouldn’t be too difficult… Miss Audrey is perfect in every way, except for one thing. Every mission is unexpected and very dangerous… Xio thought, feeling both anticipation and apprehension. She couldn’t help but glance sideways at Fors. She noticed that her companion, disguised as a maid, was looking right at her.
The expressions reflected in their eyes looked very similar.
Audrey held her gloves, smiled reservedly and elegantly before saying, “It’s a simple request this time.”
As she spoke, she motioned with her eyes for Xio and Fors to open the leather satchel on Susie.
Xio, who had always been known for her proactiveness, immediately took two steps forward and bent down to reach out with her hand.
During this short period of time, she had originally wanted to pat Susie’s head to show that she meant no harm. But just as she extended her right palm, Susie had already turned her head, turning her body half around, placing the small leather satchel in front of her.
I’m usually popular with animals… For example, mosquitoes… Xio kept her expression unchanged as she unzipped the satchel and took out a stack of papers from Susie’s leather pouch.
She stood up and took a look at the stack of papers. She saw that it depicted a young man with ordinary looks, but his neatly combed hair, round glasses, and mocking brown eyes all looked very familiar to her.
I must’ve seen him somewhere! Xio looked down and saw the corresponding description.
“Formerly used name: Lanevus, wanted swindler.”
I know where I’ve seen him before! Xio was suddenly enlightened and almost made an inelegant gesture of slapping her forehead.
Before she met Audrey, one of the main sources of her income was flipping through newspapers, researching wanted posters, and using her connections in many gangs in East Borough to seek out criminals who were worth fat bounties.
I had thought of finding this Lanevus, who has a bounty of 100 pounds. Besides, he swept away more than 10,000 pounds in cash! However, I’ve recently been too busy with Miss Audrey’s requests and had forgotten about this matter… Xio and Fors looked at each other and then asked frankly, “How much is this request worth?”
How much is the request worth? Audrey was startled for a moment.
She had completely forgotten the matter of payment, as from her point of view, it was a test from Mr. Fool.
When were examinees ever given money?
“Uh… 100 pounds?” Audrey deliberated and gave a number.
“Deal!” Xio and Fors answered in unison.
If we can catch him, not only would we receive a hundred pounds from Miss Audrey, but we can also obtain an equal amount from the bounty… What a great mission!Xio asked casually, her eyes shining,
“Why are you looking for this swindler? Did he swindle you of your money?”
I don’t even know who he is… It’s really a simple request. A hundred pounds was enough to complete the deal… There’s no need to tell Mr. Fool about this. It’s only a hundred pounds… Audrey, with a polite smile, ignored Xio’s question and instead mentioned, “I received word that he’s in Backlund.
“Ah yes, there are a dozen or so portraits here, different portraits. I took into account that Lanevus must have disguised himself, so I’m giving you pictures of him without glasses, with a beard, with a change of hairstyle. Uh… pictures based on conjectures.”
I’m also very good at drawing and painting! Audrey tilted her chin.
Xio immediately forgot her previous question and said in pleasant surprise, “This is really good news!”
She felt as though she could already see the bounty of two hundred pounds beckoning at her.
The mysterious person she had met at Mr. A’s gathering had yet to establish contact with her. Therefore, all she could do was continue with her business of earning money.
Audrey nodded indiscernibly. She muttered, “Do you have any leads on the matter regarding the Psychology Alchemists?”
Fors adjusted her long curly hair, looked at Viscount Glaint who was listening to the side, and said, “I recently joined a new Beyonder gathering. Rumor has it that the Spectator and Telepathist potion formulas have previously appeared there. I’m suspecting that one of the members from the gathering is from the Psychology Alchemists.
“I’ll apply to bring you with me the next gathering.”
“Alright.” Audrey deliberately didn’t hide her joy.
She had read their true state of mind from the colors, body language, and the subtle expressions of Xio and Fors, to judge their enthusiasm for the mission. They didn’t lie regarding the Psychology Alchemists either.
Viscount Glaint mumbled, “Audrey’s matters seems to be on the brink of success. Where’s my formula, Audrey?”
“There are really no clues as of yet. The Apothecary pathway is mostly in the south, where the Feynapotter Kingdom is.” Fors gestured with deep regret.
“Alright, I’m still young. I’m only in my early twenties. I still have time to wait,” Glaint replied in a humorous tone.
“Alright, thank you for your help. See you again next time.” Audrey bowed gracefully, wore her gloves, and mounted her horse as she rode down the track.
Susie happily followed, as if she had found new entertainment.
As he spent the night “experimenting,” it was already 9:34 of a Tuesday morning by the time Klein woke up.
Biting into a piece of bread slathered with butter, he wore his coat and hat, hurried out the door, and wrote on the message book hanging by the doorbell’s pull rope:
“Owner is out and will be back after five in the afternoon.”
Actually, he didn’t have much to do. It was purely to guard against a sudden visit from Millet Carter.
If the other party found out that the detective he hired for a full fifty pounds wasn’t out and about, searching for information or organizing people to confirm the layout of the structure, and was instead at home leisurely drinking tea and reading novels, he would surely revoke the commission and not pay the last forty pounds!
I really have nothing to do but wait for Miss Justice’s information… Klein stood at the end of the street and looked at the haze in the sky, while helplessly muttering to himself.
He had already decided last night where he would spend the day.
In the morning, I’ll practice shooting at the Quelaag Club, read the newspapers, enjoy a free lunch, take a nap in the afternoon, exercise through playing sports like squash. Once the Bravehearts Bar opens, I’ll take a carriage there and see if I can learn about more Beyonder gatherings from Kaspars.
Klein had no intention of looking for Maric. Although he was certain that he had more than one circle of Beyonders, he was afraid that Miss Bodyguard would also belong to those circles.
It wouldn’t be convenient for him to sell potion formulas, as it would arouse a high degree of suspicion.
Since the True Creator has given you the ability to divine and a strong body, would he still grant you potion formulas that you do not need? It’s impossible just thinking about it! Klein filled in the details with his imagination as he boarded the public carriage that headed for Hillston Borough.
Half an hour later, he entered the Quelaag Club and saw an acquaintance.
It was Talim Dumont, the equestrian teacher who had recommended him to the club. He was Mary Gale’s friend.
Dressed in a black tweed overcoat, the brown-haired Talim walked over. He sized up Klein and said with an odd smile, “Good morning. Mary and Doragu are getting a divorce.”
Are you suspecting the reason why I joined the club? Relying on the Clown’s ability, Klein easily made a surprised expression.
“Really? That is really surprising!”
Talim gave him a deeply suspicious look and suddenly laughed.
“I have a friend who’s been troubled about something recently. I want to know how good your marksmanship and fighting skills are.”
A commission? He only asked about my marksmanship and fighting skills, not reasoning. This is a request involving violence… Klein smiled and said, “I was planning on heading to the shooting range. You can take a look, but fighting requires an opponent to be able to see my standard.”
“I’ve learned how to fight before,” Talim eagerly replied.