Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Tuesday morning, the weather remained as cold as it usually was this season.
Klein tightened the collar of his tweed coat, put on his hat, and pulled open the door.
He was heading to the end of the street, where the mailbox was, to post a letter to Detective Stuart. Since it wasn’t that far, there was no need to dress neatly or heavily, but Klein had just recovered from his cold, so he had wrapped himself up thickly just in case.
Perhaps it was because of the strong wind last night, but the air in Backlund was surprisingly good. Klein subconsciously slowed down his pace and enjoyed this rare morning.
As he passed Jurgen’s house, he heard the oriel window creak open and instinctively turned to look.
Standing at the window was Mrs. Doris, wearing a black plush hat and a thick grayish-blue scarf. She looked even worse than before, and her body was even more hunched.
“Good morning, Detective Moriarty. Thank you for taking care of Brody. He said you were a good man, didn’t you, Brody?” Old Granny Doris bent down and picked up the black cat with green eyes.
Brody used all four of his limbs and struggled in her embrace. Finally, he jumped down and lightly landed on the windowsill.
But instead of leaving, he circled around and around, nuzzling Mrs. Doris with its head on one side, without even looking at Klein.
Was he being friend-zoned by a cat? Klein gave a self-deprecating laugh and smiled sincerely.
“It’s a happy deed, and even more delightful news is that you’ve recovered and have been discharged from the hospital.”
After exchanging a few pleasantries, he said goodbye and continued to walk down the street with a smile on his face.
He had only taken a few steps when he heard Mrs. Doris call after him.
“When Jurgen comes back, I’ll have him pay you!”
… Do I look like I took this mission for the money? The smile on Klein’s face suddenly froze. He could only half turn around and wave his hand, indicating that he understood.
When he was far away from Jurgen’s house, his expression gradually turned serious, and he sighed faintly.
He had just activated his Spirit Vision to look at Mrs. Doris’s aura and found that her situation wasn’t too good. It wasn’t only because of her old age but also because of the cold weather and bad air in Backlund. All of these had a very bad effect on her lung disease.
Mrs. Doris should be able to make it through this late autumn and winter, but it will be hard to say for the next one, or the next, next one… If she wants to live for a few more years, she would have to move to the south, to the area around Desi Bay… It’s a pity that it’s likely that Lawyer Jurgen can’t afford to do so now… Even I haven’t been to Desi Bay… Klein mumbled, came to the mailbox, and stuffed the letter in.
This was the prelude to his performance.
And this evening, he would head to the Harvest Church as a detective and do the rest of the preparations.
After buying a Desi pie for breakfast, Klein returned via his original path and was quite at ease.
Before he got close to the house, he saw an elegantly-decorated carriage parked outside. Two ladies in black hats and a ribbon were anxiously pulling on his doorbell, while the maids and bodyguards were scattered around, as though they were on guard against something.
Mrs. Stelyn… Ma’am Mary… Do they have something to entrust me with? They look very anxious… With the paper bag containing the Desi pie in hand, Klein approached and said with a laugh, “Ladies, it should be time for breakfast.”
When they turned back to see Detective Sherlock Moriarty, Ma’am Mary was visibly relieved.
“Mister Detective, you have to help me.”
In Klein’s Spirit Vision, there was nothing fake about her anxiety, nervousness, and fear. Therefore, he nodded his head, pointed at the door and said, “Let’s talk inside.”
As he spoke, he glanced at his landlady, Stelyn, and he noticed that her condition was entirely different from the past two days. She had become very low and dejected, as though she wasn’t interested in anything at all.
What happened to her? Although his landlady liked to show off a little, she’s someone who loves life a lot… Klein took out his key and opened the door.
After entering, before she could sit still, Ma’am Mary impatiently said, “Detective Moriarty, I received a threatening letter!”
Threatening letter? Klein put down the Desi pie, clasped his hands and asked, “What does the letter say?”
Ma’am Mary glanced sideways at Mrs. Stelyn, and seeing that she wasn’t quite as active as usual, she said after some deliberation, “That letter asked me to handle the smoke of the factory impartially when I carry out the atmospheric pollution investigation and to acknowledge their contributions, or else I would end up like the doll that came with the letter…
“The doll’s head was ripped off, and its arms and legs were broken.”
Ma’am Mary seemed to recall the feeling when she opened the letter, and she said with a trembling voice, “This is the first time I’ve encountered something like this. I don’t know if it will become a reality or not. I didn’t know that I would have to experience such cases when I became a member of the investigation council. I didn’t know…”
Ma’am, perhaps Emperor Roselle once said that there are only two ultimate forms of hatred between people. One is to murder the other person’s parents, and the other is to destroy another person’s means of earning money… Klein solemnly nodded his head and said, “My suggestion is to report it to the police.”
From his point of view, Ma’am Mary was now a member of the National Atmospheric Pollution Council. Her status was completely different from before, and the police would certainly not take the threats she received lightly.
Moreover, this involved important the development of a governmental policy and wasn’t an ordinary matter, so there was a high probability that the police department would hand the case over to the Church’s Beyonder organization in order to solve this case as soon as possible.
Based on Ma’am Mary’s status as a follower of the Goddess, the Nighthawks was an inevitable choice.
This way, even if Klein wanted a share of the reward, he didn’t want to involve himself in it.
“I’ve already done so, but it doesn’t reassure me.” Ma’am Mary pursed her lips and said, “Do you know what they said? They said that threatening letters were formed by cutting the words from newspapers, and the doll could be bought from anywhere. It would be very difficult to find the sender in a short period of time! And they only sent one policeman to protect me! Goddess, is this how they treat a helpless citizen’s cry for help?”
Ma’am Mary paused, looked earnestly at Klein and said, “Detective Moriarty, I believe you can help me, not only because of your performance from that matter but also because of Mike’s approval, Aaron’s praise, and Talim’s extolment. And I know you made a great contribution in that serial murder case. Don’t worry, I will pay you well enough.”
Your words make me happy, but something doesn’t seem right…
Unless the police have already been bribed, they would probably transfer the case to the Nighthawks, and with Beyonder means such as divination available, it would be impossible for a letter made up of words from a newspaper to avoid detection. The sender would have either been caught already, or they would have means to interfere with divination… The latter would only lead to a formal and large-scale intervention by the Nighthawks…
No matter what the situation is, it will be different from how the situation is handled now…
Klein didn’t answer Ma’am Mary right away, but he carefully analyzed the abnormality of this matter.
The living room suddenly became unusually quiet. The feeling of silence made Ma’am Mary and Mrs. Stelyn somewhat uneasy for some unknown reason.
At some point in time, Klein had fished out a coin and made it bounce and roll between his fingers, as though it were a habit of his to focus his thoughts.
Suddenly, the coin flew up and then fell down steadily onto the palm of his hand, its back facing up.
Klein was surprised. He was divining whether this matter involved danger, but it turned out to have none.
If such a threat really exists, even if the sender doesn’t have considerable abilities, it would still result in a certain degree of danger. It’s impossible to have none… Is it just a simple threat? Or… Klein suddenly thought of another possibility as he smiled and said, “Ma’am Mary, don’t worry. You can go back home in peace. If someone comes to you in the next two days to discuss this issue so as to make it public, allowing the citizens to know the true intentions of those factory owners in order to incite anger among the public, then you will be fine.”
The possibility which Klein had just thought of was that the threat was a trap set up by the council so as to incite the public to use their anger, allowing the atmospheric pollution investigation to be carried out smoothly and lead to the subsequent bill which could benefit them.
This would explain why the police are responding in this manner.
“… Why do you say that?” Ma’am Mary asked, frowning.
Klein smiled and replied, “That’s what I’ve deduced.”
“And if what you claim doesn’t happen in two days?” Ma’am Mary pressed.
Klein said sincerely, “Then I will provide protection.”
In any case, there’s no danger… he added inwardly.
After comforting and sending off Ma’am Mary, he went above the gray fog to confirm the matter and received the same result as before.
By then, his Desi pie had turned cold…
Ma’am Mary returned home with some apprehension and uneasiness, wondering if she should invite Stelyn to stay with her for a few days.
At that moment, her housekeeper informed her that the eldest son of Count Hall, the chief secretary of the National Atmospheric Pollution Council, Mr. Hibbert Hall, had come.
After both of them entered the living room, before Ma’am Mary could even open her mouth to speak, the handsome, blond gentleman spoke first.
“Ma’am Mary, I’ve heard of what has happened to you. It’s a disgrace to Backlund, and even to the whole kingdom, and I’m deeply sorry for it.
“Don’t worry, everyone in the committee will stand with you!”
“Thank you for your concern,” Ma’am Mary responded gratefully.
After a moment of consideration, Hibbert Hall said, “Ma’am, I wish to get a reporter to interview you regarding this incident. I want to tell everyone about what happened to you and how despicable this act is. I want to let everyone see how outrageous those people who have contaminated Backlund’s air are! There’s no sign of repentance!
“Please agree to my request.”
This… It’s exactly as Detective Moriarty described… Ma’am Mary was momentarily at a loss for words.
After breakfast, Klein rested for a while. Since he had nothing better to do, he went above the gray fog in preparation to divine the origin of the Biological Poison Bottle.
This time, he didn’t delay it at all.