Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
On a luxurious carriage on their way leaving Count Hall’s villa.
Luke was chatting with Ma’am Mary about the distinguished guests, such as the chairman of the National Atmospheric Pollution Council and chief of the National Weather Service, Sir Ders Shaw; or the council member of the National Atmospheric Pollution Council and president of the Royal Meteorological Society; House of Commons Member of Parliament, Mr. Cave; or Midseashire Medical Health’s director-in-charge and renowned doctor, Mr. Hawkesley.
They were all influential figures in the government, and the royal family or parliament. And the council’s final report would be the most important basis for the planned Anti-Pollution Act and Smoke Emission Act.
The Coim Company, which specialized in anthracite and charcoal, was trying to promote and expedite the development, disrupting older but larger competitors from handling the changes.
“They will certainly not be stingy with their money and will certainly lobby the heavyweight Members of Parliament to interfere with our investigation. We must have a clear solution, just like what Mr. Hibbert Hall said. We need to take hold of public opinion and let the newspapers and magazines repeat the horrors of smoke pollution…” Luke was a senior manager at Coim, a key assistant to Coim’s major shareholder and person in control, Mary, and he himself was quite capable.
As they chatted, Luke suddenly noticed that his wife was sitting next to him without saying a word, as if she had lost her soul.
“Stelyn, what happened?” Luke asked with concern.
Stelyn jolted back to her senses, forced a smile, and said, “Nothing, I’m just a little tired.”
“That’s right. You must be extremely tense seeing so many important figures. Now, you can finally relax. Exhaustion is a very normal thing. Actually, it’s the same for me.” Luke smiled.
Stelyn didn’t respond; instead, she looked out the window towards the park with a lake.
Her ears were still ringing with the casual words of the young noble girl from before.
“A trained hound is priced between 450 and 700 pounds.”
City of Silver, at the bottom of the spire.
Derrick Berg was locked in a small room, eating food and taking his medicine regularly. As a result, his mental state rapidly improved as his visual and auditory hallucinations were no longer present.
I’ll be able to leave in a day or two… It’s really hard to stay locked up in such an environment for long periods of time… The former captain of the exploration team in the next cell has been locked up for 42 years, yet he’s still very lucid and rational. If it were me, I definitely would’ve gone crazy… However, the explorations and strange monsters that he spoke of are rather attractive and even terrifying… Derrick sat on the edge of the bed, looking at the candle that had burned to the end.
Before the Keepers delivered his next round of food and medicine, he would be placed in true darkness.
At that moment, he saw a gray fog spread out as the deep voice of The Fool sounded.
“Prepare for the gathering.”
Such a change was fleeting. Derrick focused his attention and subconsciously counted his heartbeats.
However, he soon realized that this wasn’t necessary because his current state was one of solitude, and he didn’t need to avoid others.
Derrick, who was no longer counting his heartbeats, quickly thought of a question.
Would Mr. Fool’s subsequent actions of pulling me above the gray fog be discovered and detected when I’m within the confines of the seal of the mystical object at the bottom of the spire?
These were two mystical items that had prevented the complete destruction of the City of Silver in the face of several calamities!
In his nervousness and uneasiness, Derrick, who had been unable to come to a decision, saw endless dark red lights gushing out of the void and engulf him.
The small, enclosed room turned completely silent. Even the sound of his breathing had become extremely weak.
Suddenly, the metal wall between Derrick and the former exploration team’s captain produced a tapping sound.
This was the signal the two of them used if they wished to talk to each other.
The other person bent his finger and knocked again.
After that, what should’ve been a third tap, that followed in succession, didn’t happen.
After a long while, the tapping sound hesitantly rang out again. Following that, both rooms fell into silence, and not a single sound could be heard.
After finishing her luncheon, Audrey practiced on the piano before returning to her bedroom while keeping track of the time.
As she passed her father’s study, she saw that the door was ajar, and a thick stack of papers lay on the table.
Those weren’t there before… Curious, Audrey slowed down and winked at Susie.
As a Spectator, Susie often needed only a small hint to understand what her mistress wanted her to do. Of course, she would also occasionally pretend that she didn’t understand, only wishing to lie still.
Susie, who had received the signal, trotted silently into the study, then stretched out her front paws, placed them on the edge of the table, and stood upright.
She quickly glanced at the front page of the stack of documents, returned to Audrey’s side, and said in a low voice, “Survey of living conditions at all levels in East Borough, the dock area, and the factory district.
“Audrey, what do those words mean?”
Survey of living conditions at all levels in East Borough, the dock area, and the factory district? Why did Dad suddenly commission this survey? I don’t remember ever mentioning anything about this to him… Audrey was confused and didn’t bother to answer Susie’s question.
She looked around, and seeing that the servants were at their stations and not paying particular attention to her, she raised her head slightly and calmly turned to enter Count Hall’s study.
At the desk, Audrey looked down at the report and saw that the title was exactly as Susie had described it.
Hmm, it’s document typed by a typewriter. The investigator is a reporter named Mike Joseph. There’s the Goddess’s Sacred Emblem at the bottom… Was this commissioned by the Church of the Goddess? But why is Father given a copy? Oh, Father is a believer of the Goddess, and the Church wants him to provide some support on this matter? That’s a good thing… Audrey made a preliminary judgment.
She had originally thought of hiring others to do a similar investigation, but she felt that this was not in accordance with her intention of guiding others behind the scenes. It was very easy to be noticed and no longer be ignored by the other nobles; therefore, she had been hesitant.
Audrey reached for the file and flipped through it. She found that Mike Joseph wasn’t the only one reporting on East Borough, the dock area, and the factory district. There were also quite a few people who had made their own field investigations from different angles.
Some of them even mentioned the proliferation of cults, and how some Beyonders were colluding with the gangs.
Phew… Audrey looked at the clock in the study and saw that it was almost three. She quickly gave up on reading the report carefully and returned the document to its original state.
Before she left, she picked up a book and used it as a disguise for her purpose of entry.
At three o’clock sharp. While the chiming of the hanging clock was still reverberating through the air, Audrey had already appeared inside the majestic palace via the dark red, illusory light and found herself beside the ancient long table.
She smiled, stood up, and bowed in the direction of the seat of honor.
“Good afternoon, Mr. Fool~”
Having received a light nod in response, she then respectively greeted The Hanged Man, The World, and company. She keenly noticed that The Sun seemed to be a little uneasy.
“What are you worried about?” Audrey asked.
This spared Klein’s need to speak, having also noticed that Little Sun didn’t seem right.
Entering this mysterious space ahead of time, he tidied the items on the table, tossing them into a corner along with Azik’s copper whistle, the Biological Poison Bottle, Numinous Episcopate’s copper whistle, and other things. He had then covered them with a thick fog.
Presently, there was only the Dark Emperor card on the table before him.
This was an item that matched the identity of The Fool!
Derrick didn’t hide anything and immediately recounted his successful “malingering” and how he was sent to the bottom of the spire to be isolated for treatment. Finally, he asked, “Honorable Mr. Fool, will that mystical item detect my participation in the Tarot Club?”
How would I know… I don’t even know what it is… However, there are currently no strange or powerful forces attempting to invade… Hmm, even the Eternal Blazing Sun and the True Creator couldn’t find this place… Klein tapped his finger on the edge of the long bronze table and replied in a “relaxed” manner, “Generally speaking, it wouldn’t make any discoveries.
“But some mystical items possess special effects.”
Seeing that Mr. Fool had given an affirmative answer, Derrick was immediately relieved. He tersely gave acknowledgment and said, “I’m not sure of its special effects either.
“It’s one of the City of Silver’s top secrets.”
At this point, he suddenly thought of what the former captain of the exploration team had told him. He blurted out a question, “Have any of you heard of a person named Amon?”
Amon? After a moment’s thought, Klein remembered the source of the familiarity.
But he didn’t answer in a hurry. Instead, he looked at The Hanged Man, knowing full well that this middle-ranking member of the Church of the Lord of Storms also knew “Amon,” and perhaps he knew even more than he did. Similarly, Audrey also looked at The Hanged Man. She had also heard the name from him the last time.
Fors listened with a blank face, feeling that the things discussed here were always outside the scope of her knowledge.
Alger frowned and asked in confusion, “You ran into a man who called himself Amon while you were exploring the surrounding areas of the City of Silver?
“Or perhaps, you discovered related records?”
Derrick nodded seriously and said, “Yes, forty-two years ago, an exploratory team encountered a man claiming to be Amon in the depths of the darkness. After they returned to the City of Silver, they lost control one after another. Only one of them was left, and he was imprisoned at the bottom of the spire, in the cell next to me.”
“Maybe he went mad too and that was just a figment of his imagination…” Fors, with a wealth of novel creation experience, postulated a guess.
Alger glanced at Mr. Fool who sat at the end of the table. Seeing him appear staid and without expressing anything, he boldly said, “Imagination is a possibility, but one shouldn’t imagine the name ‘Amon’ for no reason.”
He turned his head to The Sun and said, “In the Fourth Epoch, uh—about 1500 years ago in the kingdom we live in, there was a family with strange powers. They belonged to the Tudor Dynasty, and their surname was Amon.
“Even in an era with numerous High-Sequence Beyonders, the surname of the clan was taboo.”