Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Empress Borough, Count Hall’s home, dining room.
As per usual tradition, Audrey was saying grace with her father, mother, and elder brother before dinner.
“Praise the Goddess!” She tapped her chest in four spots in a clockwise manner to end the prayer.
However, before she finished speaking, her vision was covered by a thick gray fog. A distant figure that seemed to be looking down at everyone and everything opened his mouth with dominance.
“That was a Card of Blasphemy made by Roselle.”
Mr. Fool… Card of Blasphemy? Audrey, who finally received a response, was joyful at first, but then she fell into a daze. She couldn’t understand what the so-called Card of Blasphemy referred to.
However, she quickly made a guess. She had always known that Emperor Roselle had made a secret deck of cards representing some unknown force which had twenty-two cards in total. It was believed to have been referenced from tarot cards.
Furthermore, she had also heard from The Hanged Man that the secret to the deck of cards was that they hid the paths of the divine, the path to becoming a god!
So it’s called a Card of Blasphemy… It corresponds to the Blasphemy Slate… This is definitely a treasure of the highest level in the mysterious world!
The paths of the divine!
It’s no wonder that Mr. Fool’s adorer had to ask for help. He wanted to ensure that the card was the real one before taking action. It was to prevent a mistake from happening. Instead of getting the right target, it might end up informing the Church of the God of Steam and Machinery that a particular bookmark hides a Card of Blasphemy.
I wonder if he succeeded…
The Beyonders from the Church of the God of Steam and Machinery haven’t come to make any routine inquiries. Perhaps, he’s still making plans…
As her body trembled faintly, Audrey once again saw a figure praying inside the thick fog, an extremely blurry figure.
He was saying respectfully, “The Great Fool, please convey my gratitude to the authenticator. This allowed my operation to go smoothly.
“For that, I’m willing to raise the reward to 3,000 pounds which can be deducted from the 5,000 pounds that haven’t been paid yet. This is the share that the other party deserves.”
He succeeded? He succeeded just like that? But when I looked at the front pages of those newspapers, there was no news of the theft at the exhibition. It was all news of the twelfth victim of the serial murder… Raising the reward to 3,000 pounds implies that Mr. Fool’s adorer had indeed succeeded in retrieving the bookmark containing the Card of Blasphemy without anyone noticing! How cool! Although the term invented by Emperor Roselle may not be elegant, reserved, or in line with my identity as a noble identity, it’s the only impression that I feel right now!
Our Tarot Club now has a complete path of the divine in its control!
It should be a complete one, right?
I wonder which one it is.
But regardless, this represents the path to becoming a god!
Under the glory of Mr. Fool, we will one day become the most powerful hidden faction in the world!
I wonder if the other bookmarks hide Cards of Blasphemy…
Audrey controlled her excitement as she felt longing and pride. She allowed the dining maid to help her spread out a napkin before her gaze shifted to Count Hall, who habitually read the newspapers while having breakfast.
“Father, is there anything worth paying attention to today?”
Count Hall sighed and said, “That devil has killed another innocent person. It’s the 12th case. She’s a fashion designer who had just become famous. She had only been a street girl a few times due to her desperate need for money, but she ended up encountering such a terrible situation.
“Thankfully, there was an eyewitness. The person witnessed the devil at the crime scene. Heh, he was really scared out of his wits. He constantly shouted on the streets ‘murder’ and ‘save me.’ Heh heh. I have to say that his cries for help did bring acceptable results. The devil didn’t chase after him.
“As a result, the police have locked onto the suspect and are hunting him down.”
Audrey drew the crimson moon on her chest once again and said, “May their operation succeed.
“Father, from what you just said, it sure was a horrible but funny scene.
“I hope that eyewitness won’t have nightmares because of it.”
And on the same night, Mr. Fool’s adorer took one of the Cards of Blasphemy from the heavily protected museum without alerting anyone… Audrey added wistfully in her mind and filled in some of the details herself.
Royal Museum, in the restored study.
“Are you sure that only two bookmarks were stolen?” the Machinery Hivemind squad’s Captain Max Livermore asked his team members.
As he spoke, he stole a glance at the important figure standing in front of the desk with his back facing him.
It was an old man wearing a white clerical robe and a clerical cap. He was the head of the Church of the God of Steam and Machinery for the Backlund diocese. He was a member of the Divine Council, Archbishop Horamick Haydn.
This important figure wasn’t only a clergyman, but he was also a very famous scientist, a distinguished professor of physics at Backlund University.
“Yes, only two bookmarks were stolen,” The team member being questioned answered with certainty.
Max nodded slightly and looked at Horamick Hayden. After some thought, he deliberated and asked, “Your Excellency, after the closing of the museum yesterday evening, some aristocratic children came to visit. They had touched parts of the exhibited items, including one of the two bookmarks that were stolen. Do I need to get them to cooperate with the investigation?”
“I know about that.” Horamick’s hands naturally drooped down as he turned around and said in a calm tone, “I’ve already confirmed that those aristocratic children are not related to the thief who stole the bookmarks, so there’s no need to get them to cooperate with the investigation.”
“Yes, Your Excellency.” Max himself didn’t think there was anything wrong with the aristocratic children, not to mention that Archbishop Haydn had enough mysticism knowledge and Beyonder techniques to confirm it.
Horamick’s gentle and benevolent face didn’t show the slightest trace of anger. He looked around and said, “There was more than one person here last night, at least two of them. They were divided into two opposing groups.
“One of them might even be of a higher Sequence than me, while the other had somehow escaped mysteriously.
“Although I’m unable to reconstruct the entire scene, there are still some things that I can ‘see.’
“This matter is more complicated than we thought.”
At this point, he sighed.
“I also know why they wanted to steal the bookmarks.
“We’ve been tricked by Roselle for more than 150 years…”
Giving up 3,000 pounds sure does hurts. I’ve saved up for so long and yet, I have less than 1,000 pounds… However, the Card of Blasphemy is a priceless treasure that cannot be exchanged, even with money. The contribution Miss Justice had made in this matter is definitely worth the price…
Thankfully, I could deduct it from what she owes me, lightening my burden. If I ever meet Mr. Azik in the future, I’ll pay him the 15,000 pounds that belong to the “adorer” with a High-Sequence Beyonder formula… I wonder what the other Cards of Blasphemy were disguised to look like. According to the personality of the Emperor, they should all be rather surprising… After Klein finished his reply and looked out the palace at the sea of gray fog, he silently sighed.
As a precaution, he temporarily left his Dark Emperor card above the gray fog, on the surface of the long bronze table facing the seat of The Fool. He did so for Azik’s copper whistle as well.
When he returned to the real world, he held a ritual again and summoned himself to throw the Master Key, a Sealed Artifact which was an amalgamation of getting lost and having bad luck, above the gray fog. Although it didn’t seem to have huge negative effects, it was enough to cause one to encounter life-threatening situations. He planned not to use it unless necessary.
The Master Key is just a relic of an unlucky fellow who had just advanced to Sequence 9. Yet, it has a negative influence that even a Mid-Sequence Beyonder is unable to weaken… It seems like there’s an additional factor in the reason why the Apprentice lost control, which led to something abnormal…
Now that I think about it, my previous decision was correct. To explore 32 Verdi Street south of the bridge, I need to be careful and be prepared…. Yes, I need to be aware of something. A Sealed Artifact’s effects might not be completely related to the owner’s Sequence. I have to consider multiple factors, such as whether or not it has been contaminated by an evil god…
Klein took a bath with the water that had already turned cold before walking out of the bathroom, refreshed. He went downstairs to enjoy the corn pancakes he had bought on his way back. They were local delights of the Feynapotter Klein’s Highlands—crispy, fragrant, and sweet.
After he had eaten his fill, he went through his experiences from last night to see if he had left any clues behind.
Even with the Master Key, if I’m not a Beyonder, it’s impossible for me to escape from the hands of a Devil. Back then, the mysterious and powerful lady must’ve determined that I wasn’t an ordinary private detective. I also didn’t have any intention of hiding that point.
By not capturing me, this implies that she’s either an official Beyonder who is friendly to wild Beyonders, or she’s not a member of the three Churches or the military. Yes, I’m more inclined with the latter point. The former point would most likely have her confiscate the Master Key. Sigh, back then, I was almost on the brink of despair. I thought I would be detained in the underground prison of the Church of the God of Steam and Machinery like ordinary Beyonders. I even began considering my prison break. Who would’ve known that she would just leave.
Which organization is she from? Or is she wild? No, for wild Beyonders to reach her level of power, they must have an organization of their own.
That Devil dog would definitely use its Beyonder powers to erase clues related to itself, and that naturally includes me. In the field of mysticism, there is no way to separate them, and that lady probably can’t be exposed as well. From the looks of it, the clues that I left behind while escaping had most likely have been interfered with.
As for what happened in the museum, they will be searching for a special spirit body, a strange existence, and what has that got to do with me, Sherlock Moriarty? Klein mocked himself as his heart grew calmer.
Of course, he had dared to return home because he had divined it in advance. It was just like he was unafraid that the museum contained traps that he found completely unsolvable.
Phew, this matter has come to an end… What should I do today? Practice my Beyonder powers and go to the Quelaag Club to scrounge a meal in passing? Well, I don’t know if the Nighthawks and Mandated Punishers have identified the murderer or not. Why don’t I write another letter to Isengard Stanton and give myself a hint?As his thoughts raced, Klein heard someone from outside approach before leaving.
Another letter? He opened the door in puzzlement, and indeed, he saw a letter lying in his mailbox.
The letter was from Isengard Stanton.