Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
West Borough, 6 Edward Street.
Ikanser Bernard pressed down on his black hat, pointed at the door behind the fountain, and said to Klein, Isengard, and Kaslana, “We have reverse-investigated the various information channels for any leaks of news or information. Combined with the outline of their side profile, as well—as well as getting the help of the magic mirror, we managed to have a preliminary suspect.”
You obviously paused for a moment when you mentioned the magic mirror. I wonder what price you paid to get the answer you wanted… Klein sensed the problem in Ikanser’s tone and felt a baffling hint of sympathy for him.
“It’s the owner of this house?” Kaslana returned with a question, sounding almost certain.
Isengard Stanton looked around and said, as if pondering, “You chose to inform us directly because you found another piece of evidence?”
“Yes, the portrait of the house’s owner proves some of it. Heh, he never takes photographs,” Ikanser answered frankly. “Besides, the people around here have seen a big black dog in the neighborhood many times in the past.”
“This can basically prove that the suspect is that Desire Apostle.” Having said this, Isengard couldn’t help but laugh. “Sorry, we were too anxious and didn’t give you a chance to introduce the suspect.”
As he walked around the fountain and toward the front door of the house, Ikanser quickly said, “The owner of this house is Patrick Jason, the principal shareholder of a small bank. According to the description from his neighbors, he’s a cheerful, enthusiastic, and optimistic middle-aged man who has remained a bachelor, but it is believed that he had several mistresses.
“At this level of wealth, the number of servants he hires is utterly inadequate. Every time a banquet or ball is held, he would need to hire a batch of temporary attendants from the City Family Servant Assistance Association. In regards to this, his explanation is due to a problem of insomnia. Too many servants will affect the silence he needs.”
“I can tell that he has many secrets which need hiding, so he doesn’t dare to hire too many servants,” Isengard said half-jokingly.
Klein, who didn’t hire a single servant, said somewhat guiltily, “Perhaps it’s simply because his finances aren’t as good as others think.”
“Yes, that’s a factor that cannot be ruled out.” Isengard stepped up to the porch and came in front of the main door.
Ikanser looked at Klein and said as if in enlightenment, “You don’t hire servants and only have your landlord’s maid do temporary cleaning twice a week. Is it to conceal the secret that you’re a Beyonder?”
Of all my secrets, that is the most trivial one… Klein deliberately smiled bitterly and said, “Yes.”
As they spoke, Ikanser pushed open the front door, and an indescribable stench drifted out.
“The smell of decay…” Isengard made a judgment in an instant.
Ikanser called over a Machinery Hivemind team member.
“Carlson, any discoveries?”
The Beyonder, Carlson, wore thick glasses and had a complicated expression on his face.
“We found a lot of bodies here.
“In the cement in the basement, in the thick walls, and in the places where the garden is overgrown with weeds, one hidden corpse after another was found. The earliest could be from more than a decade ago, and the latest are the servants who were still alive a few days ago.
“Some of them are just bones, some slightly rotten. Deacon, this place is like a human slaughterhouse!”
As he spoke, the Machinery Hivemind members and the carefully selected police officers behind him carried out one corpse after another.
Some of the corpses were dismembered. Tongues, fingers, stomach bags, eyes, etc. were all lying in disarray. Some of the corpses were only bones.
“It looks like many of Backlund’s disappearance cases will be solved because of this.” Isengard pinched his nose and sighed.
When Klein saw an intestine which was almost dragged across the ground, he exhaled and turned to look around the house.
Machinery Hivemind member, Carlson, muttered again, “Jason paid his servants very high wages and gave them a lot of holidays. The servants living around him were all very envious… Jason’s cook even promised his child that he would be home this week and take him to the circus to watch a performance…”
“A true devil…” Kaslana was slightly perturbed.
Looking around, Klein restrained his emotions and solemnly asked, “Why are the furnishings of the house so simple and crude?
“As a banker, even if the bank he owns isn’t big, Jason should’ve had expensive porcelain, excellent paintings, luxurious wall clocks, and all sorts of items made of high-quality silk. Why can’t we see any of that here? Well, the wood for his furniture is still pretty good.”
Carlson glanced at Deacon Ikanser, and after receiving an assenting nod, he said, “It’s clear that Jason had planned this revenge for a long time. He sold the valuable but inconspicuous items in the house, and he had even agreed to the Varvat Bank’s purchase of his estate.
“After killing his servants, he sped up his liquidation and sold the oil painting and other items. He appeared to be certain that he would definitely be found, and he didn’t have any thoughts of getting lucky.
“Before taking action, all he had left was his house, furniture, and identity. It’s unknown where he had moved large quantities of cash, precious metals, and jewelry to.”
After listening to Carlson’s description, Klein suddenly thought of a few adjectives: calm, rational, crazy!
“A true devil,” Isengard evaluated before sharing his deductions. “He is clear-headed and calm in his actions, but he has a strong crazy tendency and a spirit of adventure, which is characteristic of the past two deeds.”
“Therefore, we have to be wary of him taking risks?” Klein grasped the gist of Detective Stanton’s words.
“Yes.” Isengard gravely nodded.
Next, the few detectives searched the house and found a lot of evidence to prove that Patrick Jason was problematic. They also saw the portrait hanging in the activity room.
It depicted a middle-aged man with tall cheekbones, blue eyes with a tiny of gray, ordinary facial features, and neatly-combed hair. He didn’t have any special features.
At that moment, Ikanser came in and said to Klein and the others, “We found some items in a secret chamber that confirms that Jason Patrick had attempted to summon an even more powerful devil, but for some reason, he didn’t succeed. And those items have confirmed his identity. He’s a member of the Devil family known as Beria, so his real name should be Jason Beria.”
The Beria family? Klein nodded, unsurprised.
“In the ancient Fourth Epoch, the human faction that worshiped devils formed a scattered alliance known as the Blood Sanctify Sect. This organization was internally divided quite drastically. The three great Devil families of Nois, Andariel, and Beria were a tripartite balance of forces. Their ancestors once received the bestowment of the Abyss, and they worship an evil god by the name ‘Dark Side of the Universe.’ They believe that ‘He’ is the ruler of the Abyss and that ‘He’ is the devastator of the world who would corrupt and degenerate the real world’s entire universe,” Isengard introduced to the unaffiliated Beyonders, Kaslana and Klein.
Ikanser shook his head and added, “If a deeply divided organization doesn’t eventually split, integration and unification are inevitable trends. Various situations and rumors indicate that the Beria and Andariel families have gradually weakened since at least a thousand years ago, to the point of becoming vassals of the Nois family in recent decades. Well, the Beria family’s symbol is the abstract symbol combination of a pentagram and goat horns.”
Regardless, the Beria family is still an extremely ancient family with deep roots. It’s no wonder Jason was able to raise a Devil dog. Sigh, that’s just one of the reasons, another reason is that he owns a bank, even if it wasn’t big… In the Second Epoch, the ancient god that corresponds to the Dark Side of the Universe is Devil Monarch, Farbauti. Is there any connection between the two? Klein sighed while feeling curious.
After much searching, the three detectives and the Machinery Hivemind members could only confirm that Jason Patrick was the Desire Apostle, but they were unable to find the man’s current location.
On the pretext of getting help from others, Klein took a handkerchief that Jason had used during the Devil summoning ritual, with plans on finding a chance to divine above the gray fog. After all, Jason had dealt with the items he often came into contact with.
Shortly after, Ikanser came to them and said with a heavy expression, “The Nighthawks will be bringing that Sealed Artifact here. We will be making a move first.”
“Alright,” Isengard and Kaslana answered at the same time.
As for Klein, he had long since raised his hands and feet in approval inwardly.
After exiting Jason’s villa, which occupied a large area, Klein looked back and his expression gradually turned grim.
He said doubtfully, “I think there’s a problem.”
“What problem?” Kaslana hurriedly asked.
Klein deliberated and said, “He sold the bank, his business, and many valuable items ahead of time. That means that Jason is prepared to give up his current identity and life. If his motive is solely to seek revenge on the Devil dog, it’s not sufficient to initiate such a series of actions.”
“Maybe he had a very deep relationship with the Devil dog? Sherlock, you might not think so, but I’ve seen people who treat pets as family,” Kaslana said in disagreement.
Isengard, who was standing beside them, solemnly said, “No, Sherlock is quite right.
“Kaslana, do you know what the ancient name of the Devil pathway’s Sequence 8 is?”
Kaslana revealed a look of contemplation. She had apparently heard of it, but she couldn’t immediately recall it.
At that moment, Klein answered for her in a low voice, “Coldblooded.”
Coldblooded… As she mulled over the name, she suddenly understood why the two great detectives, Moriarty and Stanton, would say so.
Seeing her reaction, Klein pointed in another direction.
“Let’s split up and begin with our own information channels.”
After receiving an affirmative response from Isengard and Kaslana, he left in a hurry. However, he didn’t rush south of the bridge to find Emlyn White.
He wanted to head to the Chissak Police Station and retrieve the fifty pounds he posted as bail.
He has already been proven to be without problems. Both Isengard Stanton and the official Beyonders had given their respective testimonies.