Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Bang! Bang! Bang!
Holding onto a revolver that he rented from the Quelaag Club with one hand, Klein pulled the trigger repeatedly, hitting the bullseye accurately, with the worst shot hitting the 8 ring.
By feeding his practice with live bullets, along with the superhuman control that he had after becoming a Clown, his marksmanship was considered rather excellent.
If I continue practicing for a few months, I could even be considered a sharpshooter…Klein unloaded the revolver in satisfaction and cleared the empty shells. They fell to the ground noisily as he looked at Talim Dumont with a smile.
“Are you satisfied?”
“Very good.” The equestrian teacher, Talim, had already taken off his black tweed overcoat and light gray sweater and adopted a boxing stance. “Come on, let me see the standard of your fighting skills. I can tell you frankly that I’ve received training as a trainee knight since I was young, and I’ve never let it go to waste.”
As a Beyonder, if I can’t even beat an ordinary man who has only received training, then I might as well die! Klein cursed silently. Without taking off his double-breasted coat, he set down his revolver. Klein took two side steps and gestured to Talim that he could begin.
He originally wanted to wriggle his finger to add to the atmosphere, but when he thought of the other party’s strength, he couldn’t be bothered to waste his time.
Talim appeared to be a little excited as he began bounce-stepping a little. He suddenly pressed forward and threw out a punch to the right.
Klein blocked and grabbed with his left hand, bent low and twisted his waist before reaching out his right palm, and did a smooth backflip.
Thud. Talim flew out, landing on his back. Klein didn’t exert any strength towards the end, only throwing him off his feet through the use of inertia.
“Impressive!” Talim quickly stood up and gave a thumbs up. “As expected of a famous detective. Your marksmanship and fighting skills are excellent.”
I only beat a weak chicken like you, so how can you tell that my fighting skills are very high? Klein secretly lampooned and asked with a smile, “Now that you have a better picture, can you tell me what kind of request your friend has?”
“Heh heh, he will come to the club later. You can talk amongst yourselves.” Talim massaged his back as he said, “As for what the request exactly entails, I’m not sure either. Oh right, he’s a reporter at the Daily Observer, Mike Joseph. He’s probably hoping for some short-term protection.”
“Alright.” Klein didn’t ask any more questions. He continued practicing his shooting, but he didn’t limit himself to a revolver. He also practiced with a hunting rifle, a single-shot rifle, and a repeating rifle. He hoped that if he encountered any problems in the future, he would be able to use any of the firearms around him.
Shortly before twelve, noon, he returned to the first floor, went into the buffet cafeteria, and got a serving of roast chicken and a piece of pan-fried steak, as well as the club’s limited supply of cream cheese lobster
After placing his meal down, Klein got some Feynapotter seafood rice, fruit salad, oyster broth, and marquis black tea.
Facing this sumptuous lunch, he couldn’t help but swallow a mouthful of saliva as he praised the Goddess in his heart.
If this was eaten outside, it would probably cost 3 soli… Klein switched between using silver knives, forks, and spoons as he ate in contentment.
When he was almost done with the food on the table, Talim Dumont led a man, in a heavy overcoat and a half top hat, over.
“Detective Moriarty, this is the friend I was talking about, Mike Joseph. Mike, this is the famous detective, Mr. Sherlock Moriarty,” Talim smiled and introduced them.
“Nice to meet you.” Mike took off his hat and bowed.
He looked to be in his late twenties, with rather sparse eyebrows and rough skin. His pores were unusually prominent.
However, his facial features weren’t bad. His blue eyes were especially charming. The two thin lines from the meager mustache gave him a somewhat mature charm.
Klein couldn’t help but stroke the stubble that had become thicker around his lips. He got up and invited the other party to sit down, then he smiled and said, “Today’s cream cheese lobster is pretty good. You can give it a try.”
“Alright.” Mike Joseph didn’t refuse. He took a plate, made a circle, and picked up a lot of food.
“He came in a hurry, so he hasn’t had lunch yet,” Talim smiled as he explained for his friend and placed a stack of newspapers on the table.
“I can tell.” Klein set down his knife and fork, wiped his mouth with a napkin, and sipped his black tea leisurely.
He was very satisfied with the meal.
At that moment, Mike Joseph came back with two plates of food. He took a few quick bites to fill his stomach before looking up at Klein.
“Detective Moriarty, have you heard about the recent serial murders?”
“The ones which had organs removed?” Klein’s heart skipped a beat as he asked.
Talim nodded and said wistfully, “As expected, every detective is paying attention to this serial killer.”
Mike pulled out one of the papers and pushed it to Klein. “This is the latest story.”
Klein took it and discovered that it was the Daily Observer where Mike worked at. On the front page were the words:
“11! Another lady killed! Sivellaus Yard is helpless!”
The headquarters of the Backlund Police Department was located at Sivellaus Street at the edge of Empress Borough, so they were also known as Sivellaus Yard.
11? It’s already the eleventh case? Klein resisted the urge to frown and continued reading. He found that it was indeed the same as the case he had previously encountered. The victim was a woman dressed in a gorgeous long skirt and had her intestines removed from her stomach.
This is clearly a case with signs of devil worship all over it. The Sivellaus Yard must’ve handed the case to the Nighthawks, Mandated Punishers, or the Machinery Hivemind squads. They have people capable of divination, mediumship, and all sorts of magical and effective Beyonder methods. How is it that the case hasn’t been cracked. Why isn’t the criminal arrested yet? Does the criminal have rich ‘anti-investigation’ powers and is able to destroy the souls of the deceased? Or could it be that the deceased soul, along with her innards, were extracted to fulfill the requirements of the devil-worship ritual? Yes, he’s definitely capable of interfering with divination… Indeed, if the Devil pathway Beyonders lack such powers, how could they dare commit serial murders… Klein thought as he said to Mike Joseph, “You want to do a private investigation?
“I’m sorry, I can’t take this case. Without the invitation of the police, I cannot take it. I have to maintain a good relationship with them.”
The so-called good relationship is the kind where they invite me to the police station for coffee… Klein did some self-critical lampooning.
The real reason for his refusal was that it was easy to run into official Beyonders involved in the investigation of the serial killings, perhaps including the Backlund diocese’s Nighthawks.
“No, not an investigation. No, the precise description is that it’s not an investigation to seek the murderer. I just want to finish my report,” Mike Joseph swallowed some shrimp and explained.
“Report?” Klein put down his white enamel cup, crossed his hands, and leisurely asked Mike Joseph.
Mike Joseph said, “If you buy the Daily Observer tomorrow or the day after, you’ll see my in-depth coverage on the serial killings. The most important part is my reveal of what the victims have in common so as to alert people who fall into this group.”
“Oh, what do they have in common?” Klein asked curiously.
Mike took a sip of his coffee and said, “Besides being a woman and wearing a colorful dress, there’s one other important thing they have in common. I did a thorough investigation of the victim’s career and found an interesting tidbit.
“Some of them are maids, others textile workers, tailors, and even teachers. On the surface, there doesn’t seem to be any overlap, but in reality, they’ve all been street girls.”
“Street girl? A teacher?” Klein asked in surprise.
In the Loen Kingdom, teachers were part of the middle class and received at least two pounds a week. That was enough to make a woman lead quite a good life, so there was no need for her to be a street girl.
The corner of Mike’s mouth twitched as he sighed and said, “Yes, in the past. They may have had very difficult times before they found a job that could support them.
“I’ve done a survey before. In Backlund, one in six women 1 aged 15 to 55 is or has been a street girl. Heh, this is our country. Foreigners who come here are surprised that a very conservative country, a bustling metropolis, would actually be filled with street girls.”
Th-this number is a little exaggerated… If it were true, it could only be said that reality can be more exaggerated than fiction… This damned world… Klein was speechless. After some thought, he said deliberately, “One question, how does the murderer know that the victim had been a street girl? They don’t have labels on them, and even you needed a thorough investigation to discover this.”
“As expected of a great detective, this might be the clue,” Mike Joseph answered without feeling surprised.
No, if it was a Beyonder from the Devil path, then the standard he would choose from would be someone who appears to have sunken low but didn’t actually degenerate completely. Furthermore, they should have a keen intuition towards degeneration, and they might be able to see the corresponding “color” that runs deep. With the colorful dress as a trigger, the target will basically be locked onto…Klein answered himself and asked, “So, what else do you wish to investigate?”
Mike nodded and said, “From these 11 cases, ten of the ladies were once street girls, except one. She’s still a prostitute at present. Yes, she’s the youngest, sixteen-year-old Siber. This makes it very, very odd. I wish to visit Golden Rose, which is her, uh—the place where she works for further investigation. I want to see if I can discover anything.
“I’m worried that my questions will anger the people there, so I plan to ask you to protect me temporarily. You don’t need to teach them a lesson, and you just need to protect me at the most critical juncture and allow my escape.
“If nothing happens, I’ll pay you a pound, and if there’s a fight, it’ll be raised to five pounds. What do you think?”
Klein laughed and replied, “Let me wash my hands before replying you.”
He bowed politely and sauntered over to the bathroom where he tossed a coin and obtained a positive answer.