Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Dorian Gray’s question didn’t surprise Fors at all. She had been prepared after keeping in contact with him for the past month, and she had even asked the experienced Mr. Hanged Man at the Tarot Club to decide what kind of expression and reaction she should use when faced with the question.
“Are there really such Beyonders?” Fors asked in surprise.
Dorian gently nodded.
He looked around to make sure that there was no one around, then he walked up to a tree with fallen leaves and pressed his hand on it.
Dorian’s figure suddenly blurred, as if turning into a reflection in the water.
When it was clear, he had already appeared behind the tree, his posture unchanging.
“Oh god! That’s really, really amazing!” Remembering the teachings of Mr. Hanged Man and Miss Justice, her mouth opened in a semicircle as she exclaimed.
Dorian walked back, smiled, and asked, “Do you want to become such a Beyonder?”
Fors fell silent for a moment before she answered him “excitedly”, “… “Yes!”
Now that she was finally going to be a periphery member of the Abraham family, many things would be much easier for her in the future! Her heart was filled with genuine joy.
Dorian laughed before turning his expression grave, asking in all seriousness, “Are you willing to be my student?”
Dorian let out a sigh of relief and then made a self-deprecating comment.
“I’m not a good teacher, I even taught a… Heh, there’s no need to mention the past anymore. In short, don’t hold too high of an expectation.”
After considering it over this period of time, he had decided to learn from his previous experiences and lessons. He didn’t tell Fors the situation regarding the Abraham family and only treated their relationship as one of teacher and student. That way, he didn’t have to worry about the other party coveting his family’s few remaining mystical items.
“No, your explanations of mysticism are excellent, really, Mr. Gray. No, Teacher.” Fors quickly confirmed the relationship between them.
Dorian looked at the tombstone, shook his head, and exhaled.
“I wasn’t planning on taking in any more students, but your noble character infected me.
“If nothing unexpected happens, I can give you the corresponding potion today.”
“Today?” Fors asked, surprised.
Back when she went to Backlund Station to pick up Dorian Gray, she noticed that he was carrying only a very small suitcase, barely enough for a change of clothes. There was no evidence that he had any Beyonder ingredients on him.
Does he have his own resources and channels in Backlund, ones that belong to the Abraham family? Fors made a vague guess.
Her original plan was to rely on the inconvenience of the distance between them to sell off the Beyonder ingredients for the Apprentice potion, and then tell him that she had successfully advanced to become a Beyonder. This way, she was able to obtain a considerable amount of cash, as well as to avoid the tragic consequence of taking the Apprentice potion again and having to spend time to digest it.
“Yes.” Without explaining, Dorian pointed in the other direction. “Let’s go see Laubero and Aulisa first.”
Taking a turn, they left Grimm Cemetery and returned to the house in Cherwood Borough which Fors and Xio had rented.
For the past month or so, Xio, who had advanced to Sheriff, had been leaving early and returning late every day in order to pay off her heavy debts. She had been trying hard to get every bounty she could get, so there was no doubt that she was of the house around noon.
“Is there a quiet room?” Dorian looked around casually.
“Plenty.” Fors led her new teacher into the activity room on the first floor.
Dorian circled the room, checked the surroundings, and then asked Fors to light a candle mixed with a piece of dark red sandalwood.
He closed the door and drew the curtains.
He walked to the candle and took out two bottles of essential oil and some common herbal powders.
Holding a ritual? Shouldn’t there be three candles? Fors curiously watched from the side and didn’t rashly open her mouth, as if she was stunned by the atmosphere.
After finishing the first part of the ritual, Dorian took a step back and, with a serious expression, switched to the language of ancient Hermes.
“I summon in my name:
“Special Spirit Bodies roaming the upper realms, the void creature that loves music, Dorian Gray Abraham’s Contract Companion.”
There was a sudden gust of wind in the activity room, and with a sobbing voice, the flickering candle flames were tinged with a deep blue hue.
The rings of light quickly spread out, forming a door that was beyond the concept of normality.
A ball of semi-illusory and half-corporeal objects flew out from the bottom of the circle of light.
Its entire body was colored a milky white. There were no eyes, nose, arms, or legs around it. Only an opening which resembled a mouth cracked open over its surface.
Dorian grinned, opened his mouth, and began to hum a gentle folk lullaby.
The “ball” swayed left and right, appearing extremely satisfied.
After he finished humming, Dorian extended his hand.
“Malmouth, give me the items that I deposited with you the day before yesterday.”
The “ball” jumped up and down as its body suddenly swelled while it opened its “mouth” extremely wide.
Then, it spat out two Beyonder ingredients which had strange lusters to them.
To think that can be done… Fors stared in surprise.
Dorian caught the Apprentice potion’s main ingredients, canceled the summoning, and ended the ritual.
He turned his head and smiled at Fors.
“Even in the spirit world, void creatures like Malmouth are extremely rare. Under normal circumstances, summoning rituals will not point to them. An elder of a sufficiently high Sequence must enter the Spirit World and, after a long period of searching, make a contract with one of them. That way, it will allow subsequent descendants to complete a summoning ritual with their corresponding name.
“After the void creature arrives, a new contract can be made, making them closely connected to oneself and no longer summonable by others.”
“So that’s how it is… That sounds interesting!” Fors said from the bottom of her heart.
She couldn’t help but look forward to the future.
If I don’t consider the curse of the full moon, or how ordinary Beyonders are being suppressed and constantly facing danger, exploring this wonderful world would be the most delightful thing… I hope that one day I can truly roam the Spirit World…
Dorian responded with a chuckle, “Malmouth’s greatest ability is to swallow many items into its belly without causing them any harm. It’s the equivalent of a mobile, hidden warehouse that almost no one can find.
“Of course, it can’t store too much as its stomach has limited space. Also, it doesn’t like people without talent in music. It would reject signing a contract with such people.”
At least I can play the lyre… Just as Fors breathed a sigh of relief, Dorian instructed her to get him a black stew pot.
Realizing that he was about to concoct the potion right there and then, she maintained her expression, but her heart was frantically praying for an accident.
I don’t want to drink the Apprentice potion again! That would waste a lot of time! If I had known that this would happen, then I would’ve been more honest… It’s too late to tell the truth. Teacher Gray must’ve tried a divination attempt, but the outcome suffered interference. Confessing now would mean that there’s a powerful person backing me or instigating me… In the midst of her thoughts, she saw Dorian turn around and hand her a bottle of the bubbling potion.
“Drink it and you’ll become a Beyonder,” Dorian said in a flat but very seductive tone.
Then he reassured her, “Don’t worry. There won’t be any problems with me here.”
“Okay!” Fors gritted her teeth, received the Apprentice potion, and drank it all in one gulp.
At the same time, a thought flashed in her mind:
Honesty is the best policy…
The carriage stopped outside East Borough, and Klein, walking with a cane and a hat, entered the spacious slum in a relatively decent neighborhood.
As he walked forward, he saw two familiar figures emerge from the relatively clean apartment in front of him.
They were girls, one seventeen or eighteen years old, the other fifteen or sixteen years old—daughters of the laundry maid, Liv—Freja, and Daisy. The latter had once been kidnapped by Capim and was rescued by the Dark Emperor.
Daisy also spotted Klein and smiled brightly.
“Good afternoon, Detective Moriarty!”
Klein smiled and nodded before asking in puzzlement, “Daisy, don’t you have public elementary school to attend?”
At the behest of reporters like Mike Joseph and the push by the Church of the Evernight Goddess, the Backlund government established a charity fund with Capim’s estate, specifically to help women and families who had been hurt by Capim.
Daisy’s family took advantage of the opportunity to move from a shabby apartment in an environment with poor security to the outskirts of East Borough. They moved from one room to two, separating the “laundry area” from the place where they ate and slept.
In addition, Daisy received a bursary for attending a public elementary school, and she was delighted that the charity fund was responsible for her tuition and meals costing three pence a week.
What puzzled Klein was that the public elementary school only had breaks on Sundays, so Daisy wasn’t supposed to be here at this time.
“The school is very close, I took advantage of the afternoon break to return and help Freja bring the washed and dried laundry to a client. She and mother can’t handle the workload,” Daisy answered frankly.
The immediate effect of her going to school was that the amount of laundry which Liv and Freja could do every day decreased, obviously lowering their family income. If it wasn’t for Mike’s help applying for a grant from the charity, then they wouldn’t be able to maintain their present lives.
Therefore, there was no doubt that Freja wouldn’t be able to enter a public elementary school, and when Daisy and Klein talked about it, her eyes were filled with unconcealed envy and pain.
Despite not even being eighteen years old yet, all she could do was silently watch her sister attend school.
Klein noticed that detail and deliberately reminded Daisy, “You really should know that your mother and Freja are having a hard time. Treat them well.”
Daisy nodded seriously and said, “I’ve thought about it. When things settle down, I’ll teach Freja what I learned during the day at night and on Sundays. I’ll be her only tutor!”
Freja’s eyes suddenly blinked, and she couldn’t help lowering her head.
“Good, very good,” Klein praised her before bidding them farewell in a good mood, and he turned to another street.
He went to Black Palm Street to change out of his worker clothes, and just after he left the apartment where he was renting a room from, he saw an old middle-aged man walk over. He asked with a kind face, “Sir, have you heard of the original Creator?”