Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Three in the afternoon at the Dock Union in East Balam Dock.
Klein wore a thick sweater, a tan jacket, and a simple cap that brought him closer to the usual investigative reporters in style rather than the ones who attended banquets and interviewed people of status from time to time. Such a costume had cost him an extra 1 pound 10 soli.
At that moment, he was wearing gold-rimmed glasses, and his hair was neatly combed back, gleaming with the luster of hair oil. His face no longer had a messy beard, so he could only plaster a deep-black stubble around his lips. His height was at least five centimeters taller than before. He was trying his best to look different from the worker from last night, making it impossible for anyone who wasn’t particularly familiar with him to make any associations.
In the pockets of his clothes and trousers, there was no All-Black Eye, no charms or herbal essential oils. There was only a deck of tarot cards, a stack of notes, a fountain pen, a wallet, some change, a bunch of keys, and false reporter identification documents.
He didn’t know the Lanevus’s current condition, nor did he know where the powerful Beyonder lingering around him came from. Hence, out of precaution, he didn’t bring any suspicious items.
Looking at the two-story building ahead of him, Klein crossed the street, pretending to not rely on the Clown’s intuition to notice that several pairs of eyes were watching him.
He pushed open the door and saw that the Dock Union’s layout was rather simple. There were no female receptionist or spacious lobbies. The stairs to the second floor were in the middle, flanked by office corridors, and the floors weren’t lined with wooden planks, much less carpet. They were paved purely out of cement.
Klein turned his head to look at the man guarding by the door as he went over and said, “I’m a reporter from the Backlund Daily Tribune. I would like to interview the workers of your association and get to know your needs and desires.”
The man was wearing a very patched jacket which even had dirty cotton lining exposed and a linen shirt underneath.
After hearing the word “reporter,” he suddenly became vigilant and replied loudly, “No! We haven’t organized a strike lately, no!”
“I think you’ve misunderstood me. I’m someone who sympathizes with you. I’m planning on doing a special report on what the union does to help the workers and the actual difficulties they encountered. Trust me.” With the help of his Clown Beyonder powers, Klein made his eyes look abnormally sincere.
“Is that so… Go to Mr. Rand, our committee member in charge of publicity. Turn right, and it’s the second office on the right,” The man hesitated for a few seconds before replying.
“Thank you.” Klein bowed with feigned relief, and he felt the gaze observing him from a dark corner of the room vanish.
He turned to his right and, with his back perspiring in cold sweat, knocked on the office door.
The door creaked open. A middle-aged man with sparse hair looked at him and asked, “May I know who you are?”
“Mr. Rand? I’m Reporter Statham from the Backlund Daily Tribune. This is my reporter identification documents. I’d like to make a report with unions as the theme to help you acquire more attention.” Klein almost believed he was a journalist.
“That’s me.” The middle-aged man looked at the reporter’s identification documents and said hesitatingly, clearly unwillingly, “It’s hard for me to believe that you reporters are here to help us.”
“I was born in East Borough, and I know how miserable the lives of the workers are. If you don’t believe me, you can follow me the entire time and monitor my every question.” Klein suddenly smiled and added, “A report with actual interview data would be better than nothing, far better than news that’s written purely based on imagination. At least you can provide your views and hopefully guide things in the direction you want.”
Rand touched his scalp and replied hesitantly, “Alright then…
“I’ll follow you the entire time.”
“Thank you!” Klein almost lost control of his emotions.
Afterward, under Rand’s guidance, he entered one office after another, interviewing the members of the workers’ association according to his prepared questions.
Right corridor, nothing. Left corridor, nothing… Klein calmly went up the wooden stairs to the second floor.
This time, Rand led him into the office directly opposite the staircase and introduced the people inside, “This is a reporter from the Backlund Daily Tribune, Mr. Statham.
“He wants to interview the lot of you, but I have to remind you that there are some questions which you have the right to refuse to answer.”
Klein smiled, took two steps forward, and made a gesture to shake hands with each and every staff member in the room.
At that moment, he saw a slightly familiar figure.
Although the man’s skin had turned bronze, his ordinary round face had become angular, and his glasses had changed from a round frame to a gold-rimmed frame, Klein still found a trace of familiarity from his spirituality as a Seer.
Immediately afterward, his body trembled, and the smile on his face almost went out of control.
“I-I’m sorry. I suddenly have a stomachache. May I ask, where the washroom is?” Klein asked with an awkward smile, holding his stomach with the hand that didn’t hold a pen and paper.
Rand and the staff didn’t suspect anything. They all pointed to the door and said, “Go out, turn left. When you reach the end, you’ll see the sign.”
Klein smiled apologetically and walked out of the room, heading quickly for the washroom.
Inside, he selected the cubicle closest to the window, sat on the toilet, and locked the wooden door behind him.
He bent down, the corners of his mouth curving into a silent laugh. He laughed so hard he nearly couldn’t keep his body straight. A drop of sparkling liquid fell onto the ground from his laughter.
Klein had confirmed that it was Lanevus!
This wasn’t because of that small sense of familiarity, but because he felt another type of aura from the other party’s body, one that left an extremely deep impression on him!
This was also the main reason why he had nearly lost control on the spot.
The trembling of his body originated from his instinctive fear!
The collapse of his emotions came from the horror and sorrow deep within his memories!
That was, that was… That was the aura of the True Creator!
Klein washed his face and went on with the interview as if nothing had happened. Even while facing Lanevus, who had somehow changed so much, he continued to ask questions and record the answers.
After finishing all of this, he bade farewell to the workers’ association and walked out of the dimly lit building.
Outside, the sky was cloudy and misty, as if the evening had come early.
The True Creator’s aura can only come from “His” body or spawn, as well as things that extend from the two. For example, items bestowed by “Him,” or “His” godhood… This corroborates with what Lanevus said to Hood Eugen. In addition, there’s that tinge of familiarity. I didn’t even need to go above the gray fog for divination to confirm that it’s him… If it wasn’t for me having already interacted with the True Creator a few times and coming close to his mental corruption, there’s no way I could’ve recognized that aura to be “His” which didn’t contain any strength and of “His” nature… Klein felt heavy emotions, but he appeared very relaxed.
He stood on the street and purposely organized the interview notes.
In the process, he caught a glimpse of a slightly familiar figure among the vagabonds across him.
Miss Xio? Klein instantly made a guess with what he knew.
He didn’t stop, and he put away the notes before walking towards the tracked public carriage station.
At this moment, a horse carriage suddenly stopped in front of him.
“We meet again.” Sitting in the carriage was a thin, elegant, middle-aged gentleman with white hair at his temples. He was the great detective who was helping the police investigation, Isengard Stanton.
As for Klein, he didn’t look any different than usual. He was just a little taller and had changed into a new set of clothes.
“What a coincidence, I was just thinking about the last time I interviewed you,” Klein answered deliberately.
Isengard suddenly understood and changed the subject with a smile.
“I’m here to investigate a case. The death of Siber has been eliminated and I’m in charge of it. Her death is very close to East Balam Dock.”
“So it’s indeed a copycat crime?” Klein feigned ignorance.
After exchanging a few pleasantries, he got into the tracked public carriage. Instead of going straight home, he made a transfer and headed to the Quelaag Club in Hillston.
In the Club’s lounge, he quickly went above the gray fog to confirm that no one was following him.
Only at this step did Klein completely relax and feel some lingering fear.
The aura of the True Creator lingered in his mind like a nightmare, leaving the clothes on his back moist after they repeatedly dried.
To be sure, Klein conjured a yellowish-brown goatskin parchment and a dark red fountain pen before writing a divination statement he had already long thought of:
“The source of the inexplicable familiarity earlier.”
Putting down his fountain pen and leaning back into his chair, he began to mumble as he entered the dream.
In that gray and illusory world, he saw a figure.
This figure had ordinary facial features. He wore round glasses, and he had a condescending and taunting smile from beginning to end. He was none other than Lanevus!
I’ve finally found you! Klein no longer used his Clown ability to control his facial expressions as he muttered to himself through clenched teeth.
Then, he sat up straight and prepared to answer Miss Justice’s prayer.
Klein controlled his emotions and said in a deep but cold voice, “There’s no need for confirmation.
“That is Lanevus.
“You can inform the Church of the Evernight Goddess and tell them that Lanevus has the godhood of the Fallen Creator.”
Audrey, who was watching her father train the hunting hounds with Susie, froze when she heard Mr. Fool’s response.
Fallen Creator… Isn’t that the True Creator? That swindler actually has the godhood of the True Creator? Th-this, such a simple mission actually involves the godhood of the True Creator!? As expected, I knew Mr. Fool had other deeper motives… He was targeting the True Creator. As expected of Mr. Fool! Many thoughts flashed through Audrey’s mind.