Translator: AtlasStudios Editor: AtlasStudios
A mission request… You probably came to the wrong place… This security company’s signboard is really nothing but a signboard…
Klein immediately held back his urge to lampoon when he heard the visitor. How he yearned for there to be a message board and a screen for him to share his thoughts.
But he soon realized that he had once asked a similar question. The captain’s answer was that they could take on jobs if they were free. The money earned could be used as funding for the team’s petty cash account and bonuses for the participants.
Rozanne’s eyes darted around as she thought for a moment before saying, “Our security personnel are all out on missions. The fastest it will take for them to return is an hour. If your matter isn’t urgent, you can consider our services.”
Among the six formal Nighthawk members, Captain Dunn Smith had been invited to the cathedral by the bishop for some unknown discussion. Leonard Mitchell was guarding Chanis Gate in his place.
Corpse Collector Frye and Sleepless Royale Reideen had already headed to the Golden Indus Borough to assist the police in the investigation of a robbery case with cultist inklings. Sleepless Kenley White was on leave, while Midnight Poet Seeka Tron had gone to Raphael Cemetery in the north suburb for a daily patrol.
As for the remaining two Beyonders, Old Neil was frail and too advanced in his years. He had not taken any missions in a long time. Klein was still a novice and was truly inadequate in various aspects.
“They are all out…” With one hand holding his umbrella, the lanky man’s expression turned gloomy as he took off his hat. He bowed and said, “Sorry for intruding. Goodbye.”
He turned around and walked out. He went down the stairs and left 36 Zouteland Street amid the spattering rain and howling winds.
“What a bloody pity.” Rozanne watched the man left and sighed regretfully.
Although she would not have gotten any share of the commission, she definitely would have been able to partake in a sumptuous meal.
“There’s nothing we can do about it. Chanis Gate needs someone watching it all the time.” Klein put down his cutlery in satisfaction. Even though he did not like the soup mixture of turnips and vegetables, he still drank it clean. “Don’t tell me you want Bredt to take the mission? Or yourself?”
Rozanne rolled her eyes and giggled.
“Bredt won’t do, but you can. Our Mister Seer…”
The moment she finished her sentence, she immediately realized what she had just said. She covered her mouth in shock because the door had not been fully closed. It someone walked past outside or heard anything about Beyonders, it would be considered a leak.
“Thankfully Captain isn’t around…” Rozanne looked out the door and secretly stuck her tongue out. “Or I’ll have to go for confession again!”
Bredt and Klein laughed out in unison as they exchanged looks before beginning to put away the cutlery.
After everything was done, Klein, who did not bring his umbrella, decided to stay at Blackthorn Security Company due to the ongoing rain.
He took out some newspapers and sat on the soft but bouncy sofa as he leisurely began his ‘afternoon break.’
“The airship route from Backlund to Desi Bay is now in service…”
“The complete anthology of the Great Detective Manseng is publishing soon…”
“An advertisement for Lagolas Weapons? A standard model revolver carrying six bullets costs three pounds and ten soli, a double barrel gun costs two pounds…”
Klein flipped through the Tingen City Honest Paper when a particular piece of news suddenly caught his attention.
“…the suspect responsible for killing Mr. Welch and Miss Naya has been caught. We believe it is a much-needed reprieve from the horror that has gripped North Borough, Golden Indus Borough, and East Borough… Welch’s father, Mr. McGovern, who is a banker, has escorted his youngest son’s corpse back to Constant City where a grand burial will be held…”
After reading it a few times, Klein suddenly sighed.
From the looks of it, Welch’s father had bought the police’s explanations and did not hire a private investigator to investigate the matter…
His grief from losing his youngest son can’t be any greater than that of my parents who lost their only son…
In a sullen mood, Klein sat there motionless for a long time.
He neither found it odd that he was not invited to Welch’s and Naya’s burials, nor did he feel depressed.
Once everything calms down, I’ll find a chance to offer a bouquet of flowers to their graves… Klein was about to take a nap in the break room when a knock came from the door of the reception hall again.
“Please come in.” Rozanne, who was nodding off, suddenly jolted awake.
The half-closed door was pushed open again. The lanky man from before walked in once again.
“Can I wait here? Your mercenaries, no— security personnel should be back soon, right?” He asked sincerely, trying his best to hide his anxious expression.
“Sure. Please have a seat.” Rozanne pointed at the sofa nearby.
Klein asked out of curiosity, “Where did you hear about our security company? Who introduced you here?”
He had made two trips despite the heavy afternoon storm while still willing to wait?
Yes. The Nighthawks must have easily resolved missions that might seem very difficult to others. They must have accrued quite a reputation…
The man left his umbrella outside the door and as he walked to the sofa, he replied with a rueful smile, “I have traveled the nearby streets and paid a visit to all the mercenaries, uh—security companies and private investigators. You are my only hope. The others do not have the manpower to take additional missions… To be frank, if not for the waiter that delivers meals, I really did not imagine that there was another security company here.”
…It’s completely different from what I imagined… Klein was stunned.
Rozanne interjected with a question, “They are very busy? Are there that many missions?”
The man sat down and sighed.
“You are a mercenary team, no—a security company. I believe you must have heard of the armed burglary murder at Howes Street?”
Howes Street… Armed burglary murder… Alright, unfortunately, I’m one of the people involved… Klein nodded with a slightly heavy heart.
“Due to the presence of a ferocious and cruel criminal, the rich men living in the neighboring streets, and even across all of Tingen City, are terrified. Apart from increasing the numbers of their security detail, they have also hired many more security personnel and private detectives. This resulted in a shortage of supply in your line of work,” the tall and skinny man explained clearly.
A standard chain-reaction… Klein and Rozanne exchanged looks and saw the self-deprecating smile from each other’s faces.
The security industry had entered a golden age. Yet, Blackthorn Security Company was not affected in any way. It was apparent how dismally the company was run.
Of course, to a certain extent, it also proved the success of the Nighthawks in hiding themselves.
After waiting for another twenty plus minutes, Klein prepared to leave since the rain was coming to a stop. He planned on practicing at the Shooting Club.
At that moment, the black-haired and green-eyed Leonard Mitchell walked out of the partition. He looked curiously at the sofa.
“A client. Is Captain back?” Rozanne asked delightfully.
“Back?” The lanky man was taken aback when he heard that.
He had been sitting there, staring at the door. How did he not discover someone’s return?
Rozanne’s expression immediately froze as she chuckled.
“As a security company, we don’t only use the front door.”
“Figures.” The lanky man nodded in enlightenment.
He was also not surprised by the term ‘Captain.’ Security companies were mercenary teams or small-scale mercenary guilds. It was normal for ‘Captain’ to be used.
Leonard did not tuck in his white shirt. His black vest was also casually draped on. He took a glance at the lanky man when he suddenly snapped his fingers and said, “I’m a member of the security personnel at Blackthorn. How might I address you? How may I help you?”
Perhaps it was because he had long heard about the unrestrained characters of mercenaries that he did not feel the anger of being humiliated. Instead, he let out a breath of relief.
He watched Leonard sit down, and organized his words.
“My name is Klee, a butler of Mr. Vickroy, a tobacco merchant. His only son, little Elliott, was kidnapped this morning. We have already informed the police and the matter has been given high priority. However, Mr. Vickroy remains uneasy. He wishes to go through the channels which mercenaries, uh—security personnel have, as well as your understanding of Tingen, to investigate the case from a different angle and ensure that little Elliott is rescued safely.”
“If you are able to find where the kidnappers are hiding, Mr. Vickroy will be willing to pay you 100 pounds. If you have the means to successfully save Young Master Elliott, he is willing to pay double. 200 pounds.”
Leonard Mitchell smiled leisurely.
“Mr. Vickroy seems to only wish for us to find the kidnappers’ hideout? If not, he will not think that his only son is worth a hundred pounds. A tobacco merchant who has close ties with the southern plantations will not just offer two hundred pounds.”
“No, Mr. Vickroy is only an ordinary merchant. He’s not considered wealthy. Besides, he believes the police will be more professional when it comes to rescuing his son,” Klee answered frankly.
“Alright. No problem.” Leonard snapped his fingers again.
His green eyes turned their gaze on Rozanne.
“My beautiful lady, please write up a contract.”
“Don’t always act like a poet. In fact, all you do is recite the works of others.” Having forgotten the presence of the client, Rozanne quipped. She was used to exchanging snipes with Leonard.
Of course, the Blackthorn Security Company did not really care about its clients. It was great to have them, but it was also fine not having them.
Rozanne left the reception counter and entered the staff office. Soon, there were sounds of typing coming out from the office.
The corners of Klein’s mouth twitched a little. He found them too unprofessional.
There was no standard template for a contract!
This sure is tragic…
And more saddening is the fact that I’m working at such an unprofessional company…
The moment these thoughts arose in him, Rozanne completed a simple contract that had only a few clauses. Then, Klee and Leonard Mitchell signed it.
After Klee stamped it, she took the contract and returned to the accounting room and got Mrs. Orianna to stamp it with the Blackthorn Security Company logo—something that was actually useless. Dunn typically handed it to Orianna for safekeeping. On Sunday, it would be passed to Rozanne and company.
“I’ll wait for your good news.” After receiving one copy of the contract, Klee stood up and bowed with his hat off.
Leonard did not respond. He seemed to be in deep thought.
He suddenly turned his head toward Klein and revealed a smile.
“I need your help.”
“Ah?” Klein was taken aback.
“I mean you and I can finish this mission together.” The corners of Leonard’s mouth curved up slightly as he explained, “I’m good at combat, shooting, climbing, sensing, and chanting, and taking on some support roles. But that does not include looking for people. You don’t expect Old Neil to go out in such weather, right?”
When he said ‘sensing,’ his voice was lowered to a mumble that Klein could barely hear.
“Alright.” Klein did have the urge to attempt his new ‘abilities,’ while also feeling a little wary toward Leonard Mitchell.
Phew. Let’s hope it will be completed successfully… I wonder how useful my Seer abilities will be… He wondered with some anticipation.