Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
The detective, who had been on leave, returned to Grimm Garden Street shortly after Klein and the others had finished their lunch. This also meant that his assignment was over.
Due to the visible improvement in Adol’s situation, Rogo Colloman was quite generous in the settlement of his pay, and he paid an additional fifty percent above the ten pounds which they had agreed upon.
As expected of a jewelry businessman to be this generous. However, compared to the other people in West Borough and Empress Borough, he isn’t considered that rich. Grimm Garden Street is close to the suburbs, and it’s not too far from the cemetery. I can reach it in ten minutes if I run at full speed… Eh, Miss Bodyguard, no—Miss Sharron, is highly likely of being a Sequence 5 Beyonder. She charges one thousand pounds for three days, while I, as a Sequence 7 Beyonder, am only worth fifteen pounds a day. There’s still a big difference…
Of course, if I were to take on such missions every day, my income would be over 5,400 pounds a year, putting me at the top of the middle class. Even the top manager of the Backlund Bank makes 5,000 pounds a year… Heh heh, this is just pure fantasy. For most detectives, business comes sporadically… And the amount of Beyonder ingredients I need to advance to Sequence 6 is definitely more than 3,000 pounds. Just thinking about it makes my head hurt. For normal people, this is a huge sum of money, enough to sustain a good life!
The good news is that even if I grasp the “acting method,” digesting the Sequence 7 potion will take me somewhere between six months to three years. Even if I can quickly conclude the rules of a Magician, I’ll only be able to push forward that lowest threshold by one to two months. I still have plenty of time to save up and search for clues to these ingredients…
Wait. Miss Justice still owes me, uh—my adorer 5,000 pounds…
However, her financial situation isn’t in good shape recently. It will be difficult for her to come up with a large sum of cash in the next few months…
Klein took the three five-pound notes and left West Borough with thoughts running through his mind.
After returning to Minsk Street, he quickly burned the used paper figurine and made another two more.
In the evening, he took the steam metro to the Backlund Bridge district, and according to the numbers provided in the newspapers, he knocked on the door of the house where the gathering would take place.
Similar to the past few times, he put on an iron mask that covered only the upper half of his face, wore a hooded black robe, and followed the attendant into the activity room, where only one candle burned quietly.
At first glance, Klein noticed that the number of Beyonders present at this gathering was less than half of what it used to be.
I came at the exact time. Are the others late? This time, Klein didn’t change his gait and picked a corner before sitting down slowly.
After a few minutes, the old Eye of Wisdom cleared his throat and said, “Let’s begin the gathering. The others shouldn’t be coming.”
After saying that, he gave a brief explanation.
“As the serial killer has yet to be found, the Nighthawks, Mandated Punishers, and the Machinery Hivemind, as well as a large number of MI9 Beyonders, are out doing large-scale investigations and searches.
“Under such a situation, it’s very normal and understandable for those friends to be unwilling to go out and participate in gatherings.
“Frankly, I’m surprised by the number of people that showed up today.”
Sure enough, a circle of Beyonders isn’t isolated; they would also be affected by current affairs… Klein looked around and saw that the fat Apothecary wasn’t absent. His heart immediately relaxed.
The Apothecary nudged the metal mask on his face, calling out without much hope, “Seeking to purchase the Spring of Elves marrow crystals. Price is negotiable.”
“I have it,” Klein said without hesitation.
He was worried that someone else might’ve found this Beyonder ingredient, thereby causing the price of his stock of goods to fall.
Although Beyonder ingredients were rare, and it was rare for items to reappear in independent circles, one could never be too careful.
“Seeking to purchase the Spring of Elves marrow crystals…” The Apothecary didn’t seem to hear the response.
He was halfway through the sentence when it suddenly struck him. He turned his head to look at Klein and blurted, “You do?”
“Yes.” Klein found his fiery gaze a little too overwhelming.
As he did so, he rolled up his black robe and took out an iron cigarette case.
Pa! Klein opened the cigarette case, revealing the faded, egg-shaped Spring of Elves marrow crystal.
“If you’re worried, you can let the Old Mister Eye of Wisdom appraise it,” Klein added in a low voice.
This wasn’t really necessary because it was obvious if something was a Beyonder ingredient or not. It was also quickly identified if something was contaminated or not.
However, if one was lacking in mysticism knowledge, a Beyonder ingredient could very easily be mixed up with similar-looking ingredients. When that happened, one needed an appraisal.
The Apothecary looked like he was looking at a beautiful lady he had been yearning for all this time. He looked at the Beyonder ingredient in Klein’s hands, mesmerized. After a few seconds, he shook his head and said, “No, there’s no need! That’s it! That’s it!”
Klein curved the corner of his lips into a smile and named his price.
“300 pounds and clues to the Apothecary formula.”
“Clues to the Apothecary formula… It’s you!” The Apothecary was stunned for a moment before he finally understood who the man was.
It was the guy who made him bring the sedative for nothing!
Soon after, his heart pained, his regret similarly reaching its limit as he sighed emotionally. “You really are a lucky guy!
“Why didn’t I choose that road of fortune…”
I’m the King of Yellow and Black who wields good luck after all… Klein lampooned himself.
The Apothecary sighed and changed his posture.
“That’s too expensive. 200 pounds and a clue to the formula.”
“The clue to the formula is only a bonus because I cannot confirm its veracity. Therefore, 300 pounds, not a penny less, I believe it’s needed elsewhere.” Klein smiled. “This price is actually very fair. If it were anyone else, they might’ve offered 400 or even 500 pounds, and you might’ve even accepted that price.”
“I’m not that foolish. I can still wait…” The apothecary grumbled before saying, “The clue can be verified by Old Man, uh—Old Mister Eye of Wisdom.”
“It must be something that exists objectively, something that has detailed information before I’m able to appraise it. Just a clue isn’t among these conditions,” Eye of Wisdom said.
Divination, on the other hand, can roughly determine whether the clue is effective as long as it doesn’t involve powers two or three Sequences above myself… Klein silently said to himself.
However, he wouldn’t reveal his expertise in divination at a Beyonder gathering.
“Alright then… 300 pounds plus the clue. You lucked out!” The Apothecary took a deep breath and pulled out a thick wad of cash. He then counted the corresponding amount and then asked the attendant to bring him a pen and paper before he started writing.
After he was done writing the clue, he crumpled the paper into a ball and handed it along with the cash and some items to the attendant.
Klein was suddenly stunned when he saw the attendant walk over.
In addition to the cash and clue, there were also four glass tubes filled with what seemed to be pure liquids.
“What are these?” Klein asked, perplexed.
“Have you forgotten? Your sedative, the sedative I specially concocted. It’s ten soli a bottle, two pounds for four, so the cash there is 298 pounds,” answered the Apothecary. “If you’re worried about my sedative, you can have it appraised.”
I really forgot… I did all of that to gain Miss Sharron’s trust, and now that she’s not here, well… It’s fine; maybe a sedative would be able to handle some unexpected situations… Klein stopped talking, took out the Spring of Elves marrow crystal, took the items, counted the cash in front of everyone, and determined their authenticity with the faint candlelight.
A total of 298 pounds… That’s right… Seeing that his wallet could no longer hold any more cash, Klein could only roll up the bills and slip them into his pocket.
After putting away the sedative, he unfolded the note and glanced at the clue.
“On the south side of the Bridge, on Rose Street, at the Harvest Church, find Bishop Utravsky. As long as you help him complete a mission, you’ll be able to get the Apothecary formula.”
Harvest Church. That’s one of the few cathedrals of the Church of Mother Earth in the kingdom. This Church also grasps two Beyonder pathways: “Planter” and “Apothecary”… The clues match well… Klein thought as he refolded the note.
As the gathering continued, it was unknown whether the female Beyonder with the Artisan backing her wasn’t present, or she just didn’t have any new Beyonder weapons to sell. There were no signs of her, leaving Klein disappointed. Now that he had 509 pounds in hand, he wanted to equip himself nicely.
After many transactions were aborted, a man sitting on a stool said in a low voice, “A friend of mine was unfortunately discovered in this investigation. He’s imprisoned in a particular Lord of Storms cathedral by the Mandated Punishers. I wish to hire a few helpers to rescue him.”
Eye of Wisdom immediately replied, “Stray Dog, give up that thought! A cathedral’s Mandated Punishers and Sealed Artifacts are enough to destroy all of us here.
“Your friend’s fate has already been decided. Don’t let yourself be trapped in the same situation.”
Stray Dog looked around and realized that no one responded to his request. He couldn’t help but thump his thigh, growling, “But, what did he do wrong?
“He’s an excellent physician. He’s saved a lot of patients and has never hurt anyone! Just because he consumed a potion and became a Beyonder, he’s to be imprisoned in a place where the sun never shines. He’ll even become an experimental subject for the Mandated Punishers?
Stray Dog’s agonized questions echoed in the room. Even the Apothecary, who couldn’t keep his mouth shut, remained silent.
Sigh… Klein, a former official Beyonder, could only sigh deeply in his heart.
Without the spread of the “acting method,” wild Beyonders are ticking time bombs…
But if the “acting method” is popularized, then the situation would become even more chaotic and bloody… After all, there are the Laws of Beyonder Characteristics Indestructibility and Conservation…
In this heavy atmosphere, the gathering came to an end. Klein, who had gotten nothing else, spoke again.
“Who has revolvers and bullets that come augmented with different Beyonder effects?
“For example, purification, demon-hunting, etc.”
He didn’t specifically fix the caliber of the bullets because he didn’t have a gun yet. He could simply wait until he bought the bullets before matching the corresponding gun.
In the midst of the silence, a female Beyonder sitting in the same corner replied in a low voice, “I can help you ask, and I’ll give you the answer at the next gathering.”
It seemed to be the lady with the Artisan backing her… Klein sighed.
After the gathering ended, he didn’t return to Minsk Street directly. Instead, he went to East Borough and changed his clothes, heading to the border between North Borough and Hillston Borough.
It was where the suspected member of the Numinous Episcopate, Kapusky Reid, lived.