Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Cherwood Borough, in the house Xio and Fors rented.
Fors was just finishing the beginning of her new book and, in her good mood, prepared to reward herself with a cigarette, when Xio pushed open the door and entered the study.
“Smoking is harmful to your health.” Xio sniffed.
Fors didn’t argue with her when she saw her puzzled look. Instead, she asked, “Looks like something happened to you?”
Xio scratched her rough blonde hair and sat down on a nearby chair.
“That person from before contacted me—the person who sold the Sheriff formula to me through another person at Mr. A’s gathering.
“He gave me a relatively simple mission. The initial reward is thirty pounds. I don’t even know if there are any hidden dangers…”
Fors thought for a moment and then said, “That person… There should be an organization behind him, but why would they want to rope you in? Aren’t they afraid of being implicated by your intelligence; thus, causing the entire organization to be completely destroyed? There’s nothing they really need from you either. Your looks are barely passable, but you’re too short, so perhaps your life is relatively more valuable… Eh, what mission is it?”
Xio was used to her good friend’s snide remarks as she ignored what she said in the beginning. She directly answered the second question, “Investigate if there has been anyone keeping tabs on Capim recently.”
“Capim? The human trafficker who deserves to be hanged—no, burned to death?” Although Fors wasn’t a bounty hunter, it was her writer’s instinct to gather material, so she often asked Xio to tell her stories and news she had learned.
Xio nodded. “It’s him, but he’s already dead. He seems to have died rather miserably.”
“How did he die? Was he sliced to death by a knife, bit by bit?” Fors asked, pleased and curious.
“That person didn’t go into a detailed description. Perhaps it’ll be mentioned in the papers tomorrow.” Xio thought for two seconds before continuing, “He only mentioned a rather special situation at the scene of the death. He said that Capim’s corpse was covered in tarot cards. His face was covered with the ‘Judgment’ and ‘The Emperor’ cards.
“The ‘Judgment’ card probably meant that it was a judgment on Capim, and the verdict was death. But what does ‘The Emperor card’ represent? That murderer, no—that hero’s identity?” As a best-selling author, Fors instinctively began interpreting the unique layout of the scene of the crime.
Suddenly, she froze.
Tarot cards? The corpse was strewn with tarot cards? Fors suddenly thought of the secret organization she had just joined—Tarot Club!
It couldn’t be one of us, could it? However, none of the members has the code name of The Emperor… If it’s really the case, then this is the first time I’ve found traces of the Tarot Club in the real world… We’re not just a secret organization that only exists above the gray fog. As Fors’s emotions churned, she felt pleasantly surprised and also worried.
Under an attendant’s lead, Klein entered the familiar activity room.
There was only one candle in the room. The dim yellow light made the surroundings look like a scene from a ghost story. Coupled with the black robes and the iron masks worn by the mysterious people, the atmosphere turned even more intense.
The moment he stepped in, Klein suddenly had a baffling sensation.
He felt the flickering candle flame staring at him.
He felt that the flame would burst and ignite his hair and robe.
He felt that the curtain behind the oriel window would suddenly flare up, enveloping his body, and covering his nose and mouth, forcefully choking him to death.
What’s happening? Klein was stunned as he turned extremely tense.
It wasn’t a premonition for danger, but a feeling that was hard to avoid.
Klein carefully found a seat and sat down.
The moment his buttocks touched the surface of the chair, he felt as if the chair would explode and thick wooden thorns would end up piercing through his body.
This reminded him of the videos he had seen back on Earth—due to the explosion of a low-quality gas cylinder under a swivel chair, the steel pole, and the debris had stabbed into the seated owner’s buttocks, drilling into his abdomen. The whole scene was filled with badly mutilated blood and flesh, a ghastly sight.
Why am I always making such bad associations? Is it because of the damage done to my Spirit Body from the battle earlier? Klein looked around thoughtfully and saw that the fat Apothecary had still not attended.
What happened? Or has he already left Backlund? Klein murmured something to himself and heard Eye of Wisdom announce the beginning of the gathering.
In the course of the next few hours, Klein felt as if the chandelier on the ceiling was going to fall sideways and smash into his head. He thought that the coffee table in front of Eye of Wisdom would suddenly move sideways and stumble him over, and he suspected that the members of the gathering around him were full of malice and might cause him trouble at any moment.
It made him fidgety, alert, and puzzled, and he was too distracted to pay attention to deals that either ended in success or failure.
If one is to say that a premonition for danger is like an occasional vibration, reminding one that there’s news entering the room or an incoming phone call, then the feeling I have at this moment is akin to an electric drill boring constantly, causing me to be unable to relax or pay attention to anything else… Klein tried to rub his forehead, but it only touched the cold iron mask.
At this moment, he felt as if his iron mask would suddenly cave in and stick close to his face, embedding itself into his brain.
Is it really because my Spirit Body was damaged so it’s making me hallucinate?Klein frowned.
He originally wanted to make a request to buy the Thousand-faced Hunter’s blood and mutated pituitary gland at this meeting, but in such a situation, he could only give up out of caution.
Although the level of Eye of Wisdom’s gathering wasn’t high, and there was a high probability that it wouldn’t involve a high-level monster like the Thousand-faced Hunter, Klein believed that a lot of the members here also attended other gatherings and might be able to come into contact with the relevant information and clues.
Amidst his anxiety, Klein attended the gathering as a bystander.
Just after taking off his robe, removing his mask, and leaving the room, the feeling that everything in the room was going to harm him had instantly disappeared, disappearing in the oddest manner!
This… Klein’s pupils shrank, confirming that his previous experiences didn’t originate from the damage to his Spirit Body; otherwise, he wouldn’t have experienced two completely different states, inside and outside.
He suspected that there was a person or creature in the activity room of the gathering, one that was invisible, imperceptible, and extremely terrifying. That entity had stimulated his spiritual perception as a Seer and his sense of danger as a Clown, but because of the entity’s suppression or some other special reason, this stimulus appeared in the form of a rich association that failed to make him realize it.
Who could it be? This is too scary. Just the existence itself made me have a reaction similar to the symptoms of losing control… Without making a sound, Klein left Eye of Wisdom’s house and headed toward the nearest street.
All of a sudden, he had a guess.
The Bravehearts Bar is nearby, and it’s also the monitoring area of Wraith Steve, who was killed by Miss Sharron, Maric, and I…
Their deaths would definitely make the Rose School of Thought’s High-Sequence Beyonder angry, and he would cast his sights over here, towards the Beyonders living near the Bravehearts Bar…
Was that him?
Fortunately, I used the Biological Poison Bottle and the Sun Brooch tonight, and to prevent myself from being divined, I left them above the gray fog… Otherwise, the result would be unimaginable… The Magician who just completed an impossible performance would be killed directly here…
The Beyonder world is truly dangerous…
Inside the Holy Wind Cathedral, Cardinal Ace Snake looked at the captain of the Mandated Punisher team and asked emotionlessly, “Who is Capim?
“Why is there an underground dungeon in his villa?”
The captain of the Mandated Punisher team replied immediately, “He’s a tycoon, one who was rumored to be related to many cases of missing girls. He’s suspected of being a human trafficker, and that he is secretly engaged in the slave trade.
“That underground dungeon proves the rumors.”
“Why did a human trafficker receive the protection of so many Beyonders? And their Sequences aren’t low either,” Cardinal Snake pressed.
“Your Grace, this requires an investigation. We tried using Beyonder means to find clues, but all of them failed,” the captain of the Mandated Punisher team replied, somewhat trembling in fear.
“I’ve tried it too,” Cardinal Snake didn’t blame him.
This member of the Church of the Lord of Storms’s upper echelon paused for a moment before continuing, “Continue to investigate this matter. Also, find that Sequence 6 or 5 specter.”
After his subordinate had left, Cardinal Snake picked up his fountain pen and wrote down in his notebook a number of subjects to pay close attention to: “Capim, human trafficking, tarot card ritual, strange specter without a high Sequence, concealed plot.”
In Empress Borough, the opulent villa of Count Hall.
Audrey was waiting for the maid to cut up the food, when she heard her father, Count Hall, who was used to reading the newspapers at breakfast, laugh.
“Capim is dead.”
“Who is he?” Audrey asked with her eyes wide open.
In fact, she wasn’t the least bit curious about who Capim was. She was simply going along with her father, who obviously had the desire to share his thoughts.
This was both her specialty as a daughter and the innate nature of a Telepathist.
“He’s a tycoon who secretly might be a human trafficker. He has rather good ties with some people. Heh…” Count Hall chuckled. “He was killed last night. There were obvious signs of him being judged at the scene of the crime, so the newspapers are calling the murderer a Hero Bandit. The Hero Bandit Dark Emperor. Oh, they named him after the code name of the rulers of the ancient Solomon Empire.”
Hero Bandit? Hero Bandit Dark Emperor? Dark Emperor… Audrey immediately thought of the Card of Blasphemy belonging to Mr. Fool. This was the item of the highest level she had come into contact with so far.
She suddenly became interested in the Capim murder: “It sounds interesting. Although it’s illegal, I still want to say that the Hero Bandit did beautifully. Oh, dad, how did it go?”
“The police and relevant departments of the Church didn’t divulge any exact details. I haven’t met them either, but this is what’s said on the papers. The Hero Bandit was dressed in black armor and a black crown. He had a cape of the same color behind him. After he entered Capim’s villa, not only did he steal all the valuables in the safe, but he even stole the lives of Capim and his evil henchmen, rescuing girls who were locked up in the underground dungeon. He scattered tarot cards on Capim’s body, and the most prominent of all were the two cards that covered his face. One of them was ‘Judgment’ and the other was ‘The Emperor.’” Count Hall held the newspaper as he described it with a smile.
Tarot cards…”Judgment” card and “The Emperor” card… Audrey’s eyes suddenly lit up.