Chapter 428: The Scapegoat

Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios

West Borough, 9 Hope Street, the Prime Minister’s residence.

Aguesid Negan stood behind a large table and looked at Earl Hall with a serious expression.

“Lord Hall, my secretary should’ve briefed you on what has happened. You’re the first noble that I’ve thought of at this moment.”

The important member of the Conservative Party, who was presently Prime Minister of the Cabinet, looked like he had aged considerably. His tall, thin figure leaned forward as if unable to bear the bad news, to the point of needing to prop himself up on the table with both hands.

But his eyes were still sharp and his attitude calm.

Earl Hall, who had a beautiful mustache, sighed and said, “I’m sorry to hear this piece of news. It has shocked me greatly. I was thinking of visiting His Grace in a few days to discuss the bill that we’re all very concerned about, but who would’ve known that he would be attacked…”

Having lost the handsome appearance of his youth due to his deep smile lines and the fattening state of his body, he first expressed his condolences, grief, and empathy, then he restrained his emotions and said, “His Grace is already dead. Compared to crying and being angry, we need to be more careful and calm. Only by doing this can we handle the aftermath and prevent this heavy steam train of the Kingdom from derailing.”

“This is also the reason why I came to you immediately. The other nobles will only call upon their gods, trembling in fear, and express how unacceptable this is. They will want the murderer to be severely punished and the mastermind found. From their point of view, even the Duke who was heavily protected could be assassinated, then what about them?” Prime Minister Aguesid said in a heavy voice. “It’s a perfectly natural and understandable reaction, but it’s not the reaction we need.” ( B oxnovel.c om )

Earl Hall nodded and asked, “Who’s the murderer? What was the motive?”

“A Devil who was disguised as a banker for more than a decade, a true Devil. By the way, your Varvat Bank just acquired his business,” Aguesid said, his tone unchanged.

“Patrick Jason?” Earl Hall immediately remembered the man’s name.

He was the one who approved the acquisition of the bank.

Without reprimanding him, Prime Minister Aguesid thoughtfully said, “He’s a Sequence 5, but he suddenly sold his business, abandoning an identity which he had used for more than a decade, and took an extreme risk in order to assassinate my brother. From this, we can make a compelling guess that he was instigated by a person or some faction. Unfortunately, he was killed while escaping. Even his Spirit Body was taken away. According to reports from the Nighthawks, it was done by the Hero Bandit Dark Emperor.

“It involves an extremely secretive organization, and we aren’t able to find out anything about it in a short period of time?” Earl Hall asked.

“Yes, that so-called Hero Bandit didn’t leave any traces behind. We can only start with the people who had come into contact with Jason in the past few months. This will take a lot of time, and there may not be any results.” Aguesid gave an affirmative answer.

Earl Hall took two steps forward and asked, “What’s His Majesty’s attitude regarding this?”

“Grief, but no specific thoughts,” Aguesid replied.

Earl Hall frowned and said after some thought, “In that case, the important thing isn’t about who’s the mastermind behind the scenes, but what goal they wish to achieve through this matter. If they want war, or to restart the conflict in the colonies, then we need to tell the masses that the one instigating Patrick Jason was the Feysac Empire, and we would fabricate a detailed process and provide seemingly convincing evidence. In the past several centuries, this northern neighbor of ours has always played a similar role, and I think everyone is already used to it. I don’t think there’s any doubt that it’s very, very, very normal for the barbarians to do this sort of thing.”

“And the masses will be afraid of them.” Prime Minister Aguesid curled the corners of his lips, without intending to smile. “But we’re making a series of changes that will take at least half of next year for us to stabilize before we have the ability to wage war.”

Earl Hall muttered to himself, “Then let’s find a target that everyone will find acceptable. Hero Bandit Dark Emperor is too mysterious and likewise for the secret organization behind him. If it’s made public just like that, it would definitely incur extreme panic. People are always afraid of the unknown.”

“Yes, what about the Aurora Order? They assassinated that pervert from Intis a few months ago. It wouldn’t surprise anyone if they do anything else.”

“Their reputation is bad enough. Their situation has already been repeated by the papers numerous times, to the point of becoming a horror element or classic antagonist in many novels. Besides, it will effectively reduce the suspicions that others have on us. There will always be people that believe the previous assassination was us commissioning the Aurora Order.

“Also, while we’re fighting against the illegal terrorist organization, let’s clean up Backlund. There are too many dangerous people hidden here.” Aguesid answered tersely in agreement.

“The Aurora Order isn’t a bad target…

“We shall first use them as a target. When the next year comes and we’re ready, then we’ll publish the results of the investigation, making an accusation that the one instigating the Aurora Order was the Feysac Empire. I believe that no one will care to defend a terrorist organization and the northern barbarians.”

Earl Hall was taken aback for a moment before saying, “This goes one step further than I thought.”

Without another word, Aguesid stood up and said, “I’m going to meet His Majesty now.”

Having said that, he looked at Earl Hall.

“You have to be careful of your safety too. We still haven’t figured out the motives of the people who assassinated my brother. Humph, the Church of the Lord of Storms has already agreed to replace the archbishop of Backlund diocese. Snake is always late at crucial moments! The believers of the Storm are always irritable, irascible, stubborn, conceited, and easily maneuvered by others!”

“Don’t be prejudiced. For example, Leumi is very intelligent.” Earl Hall let out a low laugh, and then he tapped his chest four times. “Thank you, the Goddess will protect me.”

The Twilight Hermit Order… sounds very imposing… Returning to the real world, Klein stood up and pressed the mechanical button for the toilet.

He walked out of the bathroom amidst the sound of running water and thought about the information he had just received from spirit channeling.

He suspected that Twilight Hermit Order was the ancient organization with the second Blasphemy Slate which Emperor Roselle had joined.

To choose to have someone assassinate Duke Negan for the sake of a so-called “historical process” sounds a little absurd, but it also seems to make sense… Their goal is to revive or awaken the original Creator? This is similar to the City of Silver’s belief. Little Sun and company have never believed that the Creator is dead. They can only accept that “He” has abandoned that piece of land and has been trying to get a response from “Him”… Klein paced back and forth, letting his thoughts wander.

After an unknown amount of time, he suddenly heard knocking on the door.

It wasn’t an attendant or maid from the Quelaag Club, but the bespectacled Carlson, one of the Machinery Hivemind members whom Klein had seen before.

“How did you get in?” Klein asked deliberately.

When Carlson saw that he was indeed in the room, he relaxed a little. Seeing that no one was around, he smiled.

“As a Beyonder, we often have all sorts of methods.”

He received news from Deacon Ikanser, learning of the Desire Apostle’s death, and came to confirm my situation. As for my performance, it’s rather successful. My “illusion of a living person” wasn’t exposed, and I successfully pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes… Klein’s hearted stirred and said, “Your expression tells me that there’s good news?”

“Yes, Patrick Jason Beria has been killed. You’re safe and no longer need to be protected by us,” Carlson said honestly.

Such feedback made Klein feel the potion inside his body to seemingly accelerate its digestion.

Surprised and delighted, he asked, “Are you sure?”

“Yes.” Carlson gave an affirmative answer.

“That’s great!” Klein said happily.

Carlson looked at him and complimented him wholeheartedly, “Your detective instincts and logical thinking have given us a great deal of help. The deacon wrote that after this matter is over, a reward will be given to you in secret. Probably about 1,000 pounds.”

1,000 pounds… Not bad, very generous! However, even if the bills in Jason’s suitcase were of five- or one-pound denominations, and even if his jewelry isn’t too expensive, it should still add up to about 50,000 pounds, right… Ma’am Mary of the National Atmospheric Pollution Council is probably worth that much if one counts her shares in the Coim Company.

Yes, Jason’s accomplice in luring Spellsinger of God away had probably taken some of the money. The remaining amount is probably around twenty to thirty thousand pounds, but that’s still nothing 1,000 pounds can compare with. What a pity… I can’t think of it that way. Maybe Jason’s accomplice took all the wealth ahead of time…Klein felt a wave of disappointment and joy.

And the reward from the Machinery Hivemind was even more proof of the success of his performance during this period of time. It made him feel like he was only one step away from completely digesting the potion.

“This is something I should do. After all, the person being threatened is me.” Klein smiled.

He wasn’t worried about retaliation from Jason’s accomplice, because revenge was only a ruse. More importantly, he would be a Sequence 6 by then.

Carlson nudged his glasses and said thoughtfully, “Sherlock, you’re also a believer of God. We hope to establish a good relationship with you. In the future, you can inform us of whatever you encounter and gather.”

This is them developing me into an informant of the Machinery Hivemind… I have another channel for reimbursement… Klein drew a triangular-shaped Sacred Emblem on his chest.

“No problem.”

No longer being protected by the Machinery Hivemind, Klein stayed at the Quelaag Club until dinner, then he slowly took a carriage back to 15 Minsk Street.

He opened the letterbox out of habit and saw a new letter with no postage stamp.

The letter was from Detective Isengard Stanton, who left it after an afternoon visit, had written: “… I heard from the Machinery Hivemind of the suggestion you offered. Your sharpness and caution is truly astounding. If you weren’t already a Beyonder, then I would even believe that being a Reader is the pathway that suits you best.

“You truly are the best young man at deduction that I’ve ever met!”

Klein stood in the living room, reading Isengard’s letter by the light of the gas lamp.

This time, there was nothing new to the performance. It was done step by step and conformed to the past performances. It didn’t even have much of an effect… But there were enough people in the audience, and all of them were by my side, which allowed me to get feedback directly… Klein held onto the letter as he reflected over the matter.

He half closed his eyes and felt something inside his body rapidly disintegrating and dissipating. Numerous illusory stars around him seemed to appear, and he could only feel a very weak attraction from the resplendent stars.

On the last month of 1349, his Magician potion was finally digested.