Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
The street lamps at night illuminated the wet ground, which was sent splashing by the occasional horse carriage that passed by.
Backlund was located in the middle of the kingdom, only dozens of kilometers from the Sonia Sea, and it rained frequently all year round. The highest temperature in July was only 28 degrees Celsius, and the lowest was around 2 degrees Celsius in winter. The weather seldom had a chance of dropping to zero or lower, but this didn’t stop people from feeling the cold here. Even the northerners from Feysac, who were used to living in ice and snow, sometimes couldn’t bear the humidity that penetrated through their clothing and flesh.
Klein stood behind the oriel window in a room which didn’t have its fireplace lit. He looked at the tranquil scene outside and felt relaxed in his body, heart, and soul.
As long as he gathered the ingredients and concocted the potion, he could immediately advance to Sequence 6, becoming a Faceless.
The Magician potion has been completely digested… The Desire Apostle was personally finished off by me and he failed to escape… The Aurora Order’s search of The Fool’s believers is still going in circles… Apart from Mr. Azik being pursued by an unknown faction and the problem of the potion ingredients, I’m temporarily not troubled by anything… Klein leaned his body forward and took in a breath of air. He then looked at the fog that had condensed on the windows.
The reason why he had risked his life to intercept the Desire Apostle was because he was afraid that the other party would have other plans and, thus, smoothly escape from the pursuit of the official Beyonders. At that time, he might be remembered for his crucial advice and be avenged afterwards—as a Coldblooded, a Devil was unlikely to take the risk of avenging his comrades, but that didn’t mean that they wouldn’t choose to vent their anger on someone who nearly caused their death.
This operation was definitely necessary. Perhaps someone from the Twilight Hermit Order is somewhere receiving him. Once the Desire Apostle escapes, and with me not having any relevant information, perhaps I’ll be prepared against a Sequence 5, believing that I would be pretty safe once I advance to Faceless, but the Desire Apostle might very well use the information provided by the Abyss card and the Twilight Hermit Order’s help to advance to become a High-Sequence Beyonder! Such a development is quite scary if I think about it… One is required to inflict the finishing blow of justice… Klein reflected over what had happened this afternoon and summarized his experiences and lessons.
After enjoying the night scenery for a while, he returned to the sofa and sat down to think about his future plans.
With the reward provided by the Machinery Hivemind, I’ll be able to afford the mutated pituitary gland and blood of a Thousand-faced Hunter. The Deep-sea Naga’s hair simply requires me to have money. Such an ingredient should be relatively easy to find on the sea. I can get Mr. Hanged Man to help. The only problem is the Human-skinned Shadow characteristic…
And even if there is a clue, I don’t have enough money…
With this in mind, Klein couldn’t help but give a self-deprecating chuckle.
I’m not a person who particularly loves money, it’s just a very average preference. When I was in Tingen, I always encouraged Melissa to spend and urged her and Benson to hire a maid. I felt that no matter what, I should try to not treat myself too badly, and every time I did a covert operation, I always placed safety first and made sure to be careful so that I wouldn’t be affected mentally because of the allure of wealth.
However, in order to take revenge, I have to advance, and advancing requires me to buy expensive Beyonder ingredients. I can only accumulate every single penny and save whatever I can…
He suddenly hunched his shoulders and felt that the coldness of the living room made a Magician like him, who didn’t have an excellent constitution, shudder.
Therefore, he decided to take a shower, crawl into bed, and read in bed.
There’s only another three or four hours left before it’s bedtime; there’s no need to ignite the fireplace again… With a sigh, Klein got up and walked to the second floor.
Under the Steam Cathedral.
After Ikanser finished reading all the recorded statements, he picked up his coffee and took a sip.
After a few seconds of silence, he pulled out the ancient silver mirror called Arrodes.
Carlson took a glance at it and asked curiously, “Deacon, if I ask the honorable Arrodes about an unsolved mathematical problem or a classical paradox, will it give me the correct answer?”
“Most of the time, it will directly reject you. If it thinks that you have ill intentions, it will even give you a lightning strike or make you suffer a curse that you would never want to face,” Ikanser said with a sigh. “It’s a living Sealed Artifact with extremely high intelligence, not a rigid, rule-abiding difference machine. When using it, it’s best not to think about trying to find loopholes.”
Carlson looked around at his teammates and kindly suggested, “Deacon, let me ask the question for you. I have nothing I need to hide.”
He straightened his back and assumed an open, honest posture.
Ikanser smiled bitterly and said, “There’s no need, I already know what I need to know. I’m no longer afraid of similar questions, and occasionally, the honorable Arrodes will ask very profound questions. With your body’s condition, the subsequent penalty won’t be easy to bear.”
With that said, he clenched his fists before spreading his fingers apart and gently stroked the surface of the mirror thrice.
In that subtle atmosphere, Ikanser asked in a deep voice, “Honorable Arrodes, my question is: ‘Who or what faction instigated the Desire Apostle to assassinate Duke Negan?’”
The silver mirror didn’t show any changes for a while. Only after a long time did the surface produce an aqueous light, forming a scene that looked like an oil painting.
It was a plain where the sun was about to set. The vast field was covered in a faint golden afterglow.
“What does that mean?” Carlson and the other members of the Machinery Hivemind looked at each other, unable to understand. Even though one of them was a Beyonder who had advanced from Mystery Pryer and was no stranger at reading revelations.
“Twilight? The symbol of the end of life? A sect that believes in Death, or lunatics that believe in the apocalypse?” a Mystery Pryer said after some deliberation.
Carlson nodded in agreement.
“I think it’s the latter.”
Ikanser ignored their discussion because Arrodes’s question had already appeared.
“What color of underwear do you like best?”
Ikanser’s face suddenly flushed red, and he felt as if smoke was rising from the top of his head.
With great difficulty, he spat out a word: “Red.”
The room suddenly became unusually quiet, and Carlson and the others pretended to look towards a corner.
Ikanser sat down wearily and scratched his fluffy hair, ready to ask the second question.
Carlson couldn’t bear it as he said, “Deacon, let me try.”
“… Try not to reach the punishment phase.” Ikanser finally nodded in agreement.
Carlson confidently mimicked the deacon’s actions, gently stroking the surface of the silver mirror three times while the other members gathered again.
“Honorable Arrodes, my question is ‘Who are the accomplices of the Desire Apostle?’”
The aqueous light stirred as the scene changed. It first presented a woman’s back, one with an outstanding figure.
Then, there was a person who was extremely blurry and could barely be identified as a man based on his attire.
“There is indeed another partner. This should be the person who sold the intelligence on Duke Negan! It’s a pity that the other party has already dealt with it…” Carlson looked around and said.
He felt that he had no secrets and didn’t need to care about the questions that followed.
This time, the choices that Arrodes offered was a question, a mission, or a penalty.
Without any hesitation, Carlson said, “Question!”
Words that looked like dripping blood quickly outlined the surface of the silver mirror: “Do you relieve yourself daily with your hand?”
Carlson’s lips quivered, and he felt his ears rapidly turn hot.
Although this was something he found very normal, giving an answer in front of so many teammates and his superior still gave him the urge to bury his head in the ground.
“Yes…” he answered very quietly.
Under Saint Samuel Cathedral.
Daly, with her blue eye shadow, tossed a stack of documents in front of Soul Assurer Soest.
“All the information you want on the tarot card case.”
“It’s smaller than I thought,” Soest said, slightly surprised.
“This is just an index.”
Upon seeing this, Leonard touched his lower lip with the palm of his red gloved-right hand.
“Captain Soest, why don’t we do a thorough investigation of the people who interacted with Jason Beria and compare it with the two previous cases? There might be clues to the organization that is symbolized by tarot cards.”
“Duke Negan is a devout believer of the Lord of Storms, and he represents the interests of the Church of the Lord of Storms in the political scene. The Mandated Punishers will definitely be frantically searching for the real culprit, so we don’t need to get involved; otherwise, we’ll easily be put at odds with them. Let’s investigate the cases involving the tarot cards, and who knows, we might find new clues. Of course, we’ll definitely end up running all over the place, but that’s part and parcel of a Red Glove’s duties,” Soest explained with a smile.
And deep in his mind, the elderly voice tsked and laughed.
“The Nighthawks have missed it just like that. That person has the smell of the Dark Emperor, the true Dark Emperor!”
Inside the Holy Wind Cathedral.
Wearing a black bonnet, Spellsinger of God, Ace Snake, swept his silver eyes and picked a Mandated Punisher elite.
“Although I’m about to leave Backlund, this is the decision of the Council of Cardinals.
“You only have one mission after this, and that is to investigate the assassination of Duke Negan.
“After applying, all of you have the right to use a Grade 1 Sealed Artifact. You must find out who is targeting us!”
Standing at the very front, a middle-aged man wearing a modified captain’s hat immediately led the group. He clenched his fist and lightly tapped his chest.
“As you command, Your Eminence!”
He was lean and had no particularly outstanding features, but there was an anchor tattoo on his neck.
In Empress Borough, the opulent villa of Earl Hall.
Audrey looked at Susie, who had opened the door herself, and said in a low voice, “What’s Father and the others talking about?”
When she found out that Earl Hall had returned late and that his expression was unusually grave, she immediately sent Susie in to listen.
“Duke Negan was assassinated.” Susie closed the door behind her with her feet.
“Ah?” Audrey froze, suspecting that she had misheard.
Although she had already experienced an assassination attempt on Duke Negan, she had never thought that this powerful noble would actually die.
“It’s true.” Susie gave an affirmative answer.
Audrey instantly felt a little blank, finding it a little surreal.
How could such a powerful noble, a person of flesh and blood, capable of speaking and laughing, the duke who had given her a piece of land, die just like that?
Suddenly, she felt the cruelty and coldness of the adult world.
“Who did it?” Audrey asked subconsciously.
“A Sequence 5 Devil,” Sequence answered quickly. “But he has already been silenced by the so-called Hero Bandit Dark Emperor.”
“Ah?” Audrey was stunned once again.
How could it be the Hero Bandit Dark Emperor? How could it be Mr. Fool’s adorer?
He helped me resolve the problem of Duke Negan’s previous assassination!
This is a complete contradiction!
Audrey immediately told Susie to eavesdrop again while she locked the door behind her and sat at the edge of her bed, praying to Mr. Fool.
After she had finished reciting his honorific name and had described the assassination of Duke Negan, she asked with great trust, “Was your adorer present there?”
After a while, she saw the endless gray fog and heard the voice of The Fool.
“He’s looking for the organization that directed the Desire Apostle.”
As expected, it wasn’t arranged by Mr. Fool! Was the reason why “He” had his adorer stop Qilangos last time also because of that organization that’s pulling the strings behind the scenes? Audrey relaxed and asked curiously, “What organization is that? For it to gain your attention.”
A second later, she heard Mr. Fool reply in an unperturbed manner, “Twilight Hermit Order.”