Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Klein had wanted to ask if Aaron or his family had brought home anything which was relatively more unusual—such as a slightly dirty rag doll—before the unlucky events befell him.
But as soon as the words reached his mouth, he suddenly felt that it was too direct and could easily expose the fact that he knew a lot about mysticism. Although this could be explained away by the fact that he was experienced and knowledgeable, there was no need for him to take the risk.
Instead, he took a more roundabout approach and asked Dr. Aaron if his family had suffered the same ill luck.
Upon hearing his question, Aaron Ceres carefully recalled and said, “No, except for the steam locomotive accident that occurred to them as well, they were the same as before. Most of the time, they didn’t experience anything especially lucky or unlucky. The rest can be said to be of both types, so they can’t be considered especially unlucky.”
That’s not right… If it was an item that needs to be sealed like the Misfortune Cloth Puppet, it would definitely affect people within a certain range… Could it be that Aaron has dripped his blood on it, and the two of them have established a firm connection? In Klein’s Spirit Vision, Aaron’s aura and mood matched his physical and mental state, and there was nothing special about him.
He asked after some thought, “Is there any colleague at the hospital that is as unlucky as you?”
“No, so I think I must’ve been cursed by someone.” Aaron pulled at his bow tie, looking anxious and uneasy.
Under Talim’s curious gaze, Klein thought for a moment and said, “Before you became unlucky, did you encounter any relatively stranger matters, such as cutting yourself? In folklore, blood is the powerful medium through which curses can be formed.”
“After I suspected that I was cursed, I have confirmed this point. I have not lost any blood in the past three months,” Aaron replied with a heavy mood as he held his knife and fork.
That’s a little strange… I can’t perform a more complicated divination in front of them… Klein asked again, “Then, were there other strange matters?”
“Aaron, think back carefully. This kind of matter can’t happen without a reason. Have you offended anyone recently? Or have you become an obstacle towards others?” Talim echoed with concern.
Aaron looked down at the food on the plate and fell into deep thought. Klein didn’t stay idle either. He took care of his food before it turned cold and unpleasant.
By the time he started enjoying the dessert, Aaron finally raised his head and said, “I’m not a very sociable person. I don’t have a good relationship with my colleagues, but it’s hard to believe that they would come up with a way to curse me.
“Well… After your reminder, I do remember something. It might be related to mysticism.”
“What is it?” Klein and Talim’s spirits were lifted at the same time.
“Before my continuous bad luck streak, I was in charge of a patient, a child who wasn’t even ten years old. He was very pitiful. Due to some complications, I had to amputate his left leg.” Aaron nudged his glasses and recalled. “I just became a father not long ago, so I’m always filled with sympathy for the misfortune of a child. Every time I check the ward, I would chat with him, encourage him, and comfort him.”
After a pause, Aaron’s thoughts turned more fluid.
“I remember that it was the day before his surgery. I specially went to his ward to look for him, and he was really upset. He was playing tarot cards, which he had brought with him when he was admitted to the hospital. His family wasn’t even allowed to take them away.
“In order to calm him down, I began playing tarot cards with him.
“Back then, I drew a card. It was the reversed Wheel of Fortune.
“That child looked at me and said with a pure and innocent smile, ‘Doctor, your luck will get worse.’”
“Doctor, your luck will get worse…” Talim drew a breath and said, “Why do I feel that such a scene and such words make my body feel cold… Did the child die on the operating table?”
Aaron shook his head.
“That operation was a success. It didn’t take long for him to be discharged from the hospital. He even specially thanked me.
“So, I’ve never suspected this, but now that I think back, I find that this is the only time in the past two months that I have come into contact with something related to mysticism. No matter what, regardless of whether it is useful or not, tarot cards are still used for divination.”
At some point, a brass coin had appeared in Klein’s hand. It was bouncing and rolling at his fingertips, seemingly symbolizing the analysis process of a “famous detective.”
The coin was flicked up and fell into the palm of his hand. Klein glanced at it out of the corner of his eye and asked, having “ended” his thinking, “What’s that boy’s name? Where does he live?”
Aaron answered without hesitation, “His name is Will Auceptin. As for where he lives, I don’t remember.
“What is your suggestion, Mr. Detective?
“Do you know any experts in the field of mysticism?”
Klein took a sip of his black tea and said with a smile under the expectant gazes of Aaron and Talim, “My suggestion is to go to the cathedral of the deity you believe in, tell the bishop about your recent misfortune, and then ask him if he has a solution. Aaron, I remember you were a believer of, uh—the Evernight Goddess, right?”
He had almost said Goddess, but fortunately, he remembered his identity as a detective who believed in the God of Steam and Machinery.
“However, my prayers to the Goddess, my participation in Mass, and the donation of money and items were all useless. I think I should find some capable fortune-tellers.” Aaron didn’t agree with Detective Moriarty’s suggestion.
Talim echoed with a nod, “Yes, the deities wouldn’t care if you were lucky or not. Luck is a blessing, and misfortune is a test.”
Friend, your faith isn’t pious enough. Be careful, the Lord of the Storms might zap you with a lightning bolt… Klein looked at the two separately and laughed.
“This suggestion is based on very simple logic.
“If—and I mean if—there exists useful and effective mysticism in this world, then the ones who are best at it are definitely the seven Orthodox Churches. If not, they would’ve long been replaced by other forces who have mastered mysticism.
“If there isn’t such a thing as true mysticism, then finding a fortune-teller or witchdoctor won’t be of any help. It would be better to see if there’s a solution to this problem with the help of a relatively higher-ranking bishop.”
Aaron carefully analyzed the situation and finally nodded.
“That makes sense.
“Perhaps I will need the bishop’s help to pass on the message to the Goddess to protect me.”
No, accurately speaking, with the bishop passing on the message, the Nighthawks would be able to notice the abnormality on you… Klein retorted inwardly.
He had no intention of helping Aaron himself, because to solve the problem regarding luck, aside from finding the root cause of everything, he would have to set up particular rituals.
Ignoring the fact that Klein didn’t know any real luck enhancement rituals, and even if he did, he would be exposing his Beyonder powers to someone he was unfamiliar with, which would increase the risk for no reason.
Since I can get the Nighthawks to take up the role of helping you, there’s no need for me to do it myself… I just don’t know if the problem came from that boy or the tarot cards in his hands. If it’s the latter, then it might be a suitable Sealed Artifact for me…Klein shook his head, suppressing his greed and emotions.
At this moment, Aaron had already made up his mind. He looked at Klein and grinned.
“Thank you, Mr. Moriarty. Although you don’t know mysticism, you relied on strict logic to provide the best suggestion.”
Yes, I don’t know mysticism… Klein smiled.
“Just call me Sherlock, Aaron.”
Yes, ever since I’ve stopped being a Nighthawk, the composition of my mysticism knowledge has become stranger and stranger. On the one hand, I’ve grasped quite a few secrets which are related to High-Sequences and deities, and on the other hand, I only understand the more basic ritualistic magic. Among the more complicated ones, I only know the sacrificial rites and bestowment rituals. As for charms, all I know are those three… Klein sighed to himself, feeling an urgent need for a more comprehensive and in-depth book of mysticism.
As for the knowledge required to separate a Beyonder characteristic from the spiritual corruption of an evil god, he had no clues whatsoever at the moment.
After a short afternoon nap at the club, Klein rode in a public carriage to the Rice Circus near the Tussock River in Cherwood Borough.
Today wasn’t a holiday nor was it a weekend. There weren’t many visitors at the circus, and the clowns that were responsible for entertaining and amusing the visitors all seemed listless.
Passing between the Divination Lodge and the tents that sold pies, pancakes, fruit pies, and alcoholic beverages, Klein walked along the edge of the circus and found a small theater. On the blackboard at the entrance, it read: “Non-holiday and weekends: four performances a day, one hour per performance.”
The first performance in the afternoon was at two o’clock. It had just begun.
After buying his ticket, Klein entered the theater and heard cheers.
At this moment, a beast trainer was on stage, holding a whip and ordering a black bear to perform in a charmingly naive manner. Next to him lay a tiger, with criss-crossed yellow-black stripes, and a seated dark and curly-haired baboon.
The black bear rolled awkwardly as the trainer whipped it.
“I say, this guy wanted to give you a slap just a moment ago!” In the front row of the rows of seats, someone suddenly shouted loudly, which immediately attracted the laughter of a handful in the audience.
They thought it was a new way for the circus to amuse them.
However, Klein didn’t think so, for he noticed that the color of the trainer’s emotions leaned toward anger and annoyance.
He smiled and went to sit in the first row, watching the performance on the stage so as to not waste the price he paid for the tickets.
At that moment, the person who had just spoken shouted again, “That tiger wants to bite your neck off, that curly-haired baboon wants to use you as a cushion!”
Amidst the laughter of the audience, the beast trainer’s actions clearly stiffened.
This… Even though those words sound like they’re causing trouble, why do I detect a hint of a warning… Klein looked over his shoulder at the speaker in the same row and saw that he was a chubby-faced man in his thirties.
This tone, this way… It’s kind of familiar… Klein mumbled silently to himself.