Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
“What exactly happened?” Adol muttered this question softly and realized that he couldn’t remember what he had done the past few days.
He looked around dreamily, frightened, panicked, and confused.
“Who are you?
“Where is this place?”
“This is your washroom. Don’t you recognize it? I’m a private detective in charge of protecting you.” Klein looked at the teenage boy who hadn’t figured out the situation around him and chuckled in response.
“My house… Detective to protect me… What exactly happened…” Adol looked around in astonishment and murmured to himself.
Suddenly, he stopped; his already pale face filled with unconcealable fear.
“M-maybe there really are ghosts in this world! There really are ghosts!”
His voice was shaky, but Klein could hear two completely different feelings from his voice—fear and excitement—and these were perfectly depicted by the color of his emotions.
Excited? Did this boy end up provoking a wraith because of his thirst for excitement? It’s true that the young are bold and unafraid of death… Klein made a preliminary guess, but he asked in confusion, “Ghosts?”
After becoming a Magician, his Spirit Vision had been slightly enhanced, but not by much. He was still unable to see the Astral Projection surface deep in the Ether Body and, as such, unable to judge whether the target was a Beyonder or not.
Adol’s pale face suddenly flushed red.
He flailed his arms and added, “There exists a wider world beyond our senses! I’m serious! Death is not the end of everything!”
This line… He’s indeed an adolescent… However, I think I’ve seen similar words somewhere… Klein smiled and said, “I believe in another saying—in the face of time that is even more ancient than ancientness, even death itself will disappear.”
Without waiting for Adol to say anything, he took out his gold pocket watch, opened it and said, “So, how did you get yourself into the state you were in before? You were like a patient with a nervous breakdown.”
“I…” Adol turned his head and thought for a few seconds, then he said, “I joined a society; it’s not an ordinary society! We all believe that death is not the end. We can use mysticism to even sense death directly and understand that everything can be reversed. Yes, we believe that the dead can be resurrected!”
Klein, who had just climbed out of his grave more than a month ago chuckled dryly.
“You and the others were trying to revive the dead?”
Death is not the end… A world beyond the senses… Everything can be reversed. Mystic sensing… Aren’t these the teachings of the Numinous Episcopate? These were all created to revive Death… He muttered to himself silently in enlightenment.
“Yes!” Adol nodded, his eyes bright, but completely unable to hide his fear.
“Where did you get your corpses?” Klein pressed.
“W-we will secretly dig up graves, those that haven’t been buried for long, or buy them from the hospital…” Adol said as he recalled.
It’s indeed a crime that can get you thrown into jail… It’s no wonder that Rogo Colloman doesn’t want the police involved… You sure are bold to get your thrills…Klein maintained his genial smile and asked, “And did you succeed?”
“Not yet… The way they looked at me during the last gathering was l-like they were looking at a corpse—as if they were wondering where to place their corresponding mystics… And then we danced a Spirit Dance and communicated with the world beyond with our senses, and t-then, I lost all my memories since then…” Adol’s body began to tremble uncontrollably.
Spirit Dance? It really is the Numinous Episcopate… This fellow became a test subject for his companions? Klein frowned and asked, “Your memory is disconnected from that point until now?”
According to the internal records of the Nighthawks, “Spirit Dances” originated from the ancient sacrificial dances that were popular in the Southern Continent. It was the ritual method that Death loved.
A “Spirit Dance” was to use the beat, rhythm, and movements to harmonize one’s spirituality so that it could interact with the natural environment so as to establish an interaction with the target of the prayer. Then, combined with a simple altar arrangement and corresponding honorific name, it can achieve the effects of a more complex ritualistic magic.
“Yes,” Adol softly replied before he suddenly raised his head. “What day is it today? What time is it now?”
“Friday morning, 1:12 am,” Klein answered based on his memory.
Adol subconsciously took a deep breath and said, “I’ve missed the newest gathering…
“They conduct a resurrection ritual outside Grimm Cemetery every Friday at three in the morning.”
Grimm Cemetery got its name because it wasn’t far from Grimm Garden Street.
“You still wish to go? Have you forgotten what had happened to you? Oh, you don’t actually remember, but you should ask your father, your mother, and servants,” Klein reminded the young man in front of him.
And I might not be able to help you any further… He added silently in his heart.
After this incident, he discovered another weakness of a Magician, which was the lack of an ability to deal with wraiths and shadow-related creatures. Only the control of fire barely counted. But after those creatures possessed a human body, exorcism and purification became a problem, unless he wanted to kill both the ghost and the human.
Of course, Klein wasn’t completely helpless in this aspect. He could conduct ritualistic magic to do similar things, but that would be very troublesome. It would easily expose his identity and was unsuited for actual combat.
After some thought, he had finally chosen to use Azik’s copper whistle to lure the wraith out. Then, he controlled the flames to complete the purification.
However, the level of damage wasn’t high. If he were to encounter a slightly more powerful wraith, it was possible that he was unable to take care of it.
I still lack items or charms that deal with undead creatures. If only I had the Sealed Artifact 3-0782, Mutated Sun Sacred Emblem… Klein’s thoughts were momentarily distracted.
Adol suddenly remembered his missing memories, and his face turned pale again. He answered with a trembling voice, “No, I don’t want to go! I never want to go again!”
“Very good.” Klein smiled in support.
Adol looked at his face which didn’t contain the slightest bit of fear, and subconsciously asked, “Aren’t you afraid after I’ve said so much?”
Klein stopped leaning against the wall and slowly straightened his body. He replied in a relaxed tone, “For a detective, they would rather not believe something unless there’s concrete evidence.”
He opened the door and walked out, wondering if he should make contact with the Numinous Episcopate. After all, this might involve the mystery of Mr. Azik’s life.
Adol looked at the private detective’s back in a daze. It took him quite some time to realize that there was no one in the washroom other than himself. Furthermore, the moonlight outside was so gloomy that it left long shadows, making it seem as though something invisible was lurking and watching.
He shivered and hurriedly shouted, “Wait for me!”
As he spoke, Adol quickened his pace, rushed out of the washroom, and followed closely behind Klein.
He knows fear and is apprehensive. That means he’s still redeemable… Klein mumbled before inserting his hands into his pockets.
When he returned to his bedroom, Stuart didn’t notice that Adol had already turned for the better. He still wore a serious expression from the ghost story he imagined himself, so he didn’t dare to walk around recklessly.
After Adol fell asleep again, Klein took out a copper penny and let it move between his fingers.
When it was close to 2:50 am, he threw up the coin and caught it firmly before standing up and whispered to Stuart, “I’ll be heading to the balcony to smoke a cigarette.”
“Be quick,” Stuart urged with somewhat taut nerves.
Klein put on his long gown and walked slowly out the door to the balcony at the end of the corridor. Then, he hid in the shadows.
Then, he pulled out a rather crudely cut paper figurine.
Klein violently shook his wrist, causing the paper to make a crisp sound. The paper quickly expanded and turned into a human.
The person was about the same height as Klein, a wax statue intrinsically carved with the same exact facial features.
This was one of the uses of Paper Figurine Substitutes.
Soon, Klein focused his mind, clenched his right fist, and lightly tapped his body.
Without a sound, the figurine seemed to come alive. It even had a cigarette with a glowing red head in its mouth as the fragrance of tobacco wafted out.
“By delegating this figurine, this illusion can last half an hour… I’m really a magician!” Klein put on his gloves, reached out, and pushed himself over before sliding down the balcony stealthily, avoiding the patrolling security.
Outside Grimm Cemetery, in a secluded forest.
Klein stood among the treetops as he looked at the relatively open and flat area not too far away.
Around him were evergreen leaves and brown branches, but their surfaces were stained with gray dust.
From what Klein could see, there were about eight young men and women wearing long black robes dancing and twitching around a corpse.
The dance was full of rhythm, as though it had some sort of mysterious flavor to it.
The girl shook her long hair and the boy extended his hand while kneeling. This scene had a subtle connection to their surroundings. It was the rhythm of nature.
After they danced for three to four minutes, everything within a ten-meter radius was affected by a wild and confusing atmosphere. The atmosphere gradually turned sinister, and there was a hint of divinity mixed in it.
It really is a “Spirit Dance”… Ritualistic magic that even normal people can participate in… Klein cast his gaze away and looked at the man in black robes who was chanting an incantation beside the corpse.
Earlier, he was the one who was instructing those young boys and girls on how to perform the “Spirit Dance.”
He should be a member of the Numinous Episcopate, with a high probability of being a Beyonder… Klein nodded indiscernibly, intending to watch the resurrection ritual.
At this point, the dance reached its climax. The adult man in black lifted his head and took off his wig, revealing the strange tattoos engraved on his bald head.
He raised his hands and shouted, “Death!
“Is about to return!”
After he finished shouting, the dancing stopped. The seven to eight youths stood on either side. They appeared to be in a daze, filled with anticipation, excitement, and fear.
Next, the man bent down and opened the iron cage at his feet, taking out a black object.
Klein looked over and saw that it was a blue-eyed black cat.
Th-this works too? He was obviously stunned for a moment. Suddenly, he thought of the various folklore related to a black cat. For example, if a black cat which symbolized the evil emissary of hell jumped over a corpse, the corpse would be awakened.
This was the first time Klein was seeing someone use a similar method in a ritual.
The man stepped forward while restraining the black cat from struggling before throwing it at the corpse.
All the black cat’s hairs stood on end as it hissed and leaped over the corpse.
At that moment, Klein felt like he could understand cat language. He believed that the cat must have said one word, “Fuck!”