Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
The original Creator? Klein was stunned for a moment, and then he immediately thought of the intelligence that Old Kohler had previously given him.
Recently, there had been people preaching the faith of the original Creator in East Borough, the dock area, and the factory district. It pushed the belief that “He” hadn’t really passed away and that he existed in the body of every human being and every object. As long as one served “Him” wholeheartedly and praised “Him,” then not only would “His” believers be redeemed after death, but they would also enter “His” kingdom. They would also suffer tremendous improvements in their present life, for instance, having sizzling meat to eat every day.
This was very close to the Aurora Order’s theory of the mutated Creator, so Klein had decided that it was the secret organization which was behind it. He felt that they had begun to value the vast majority of the poor after the Lanevus incident.
They’ve already developed so arrogantly to even solicit people on the streets? Klein hesitated and replied, “I’ve heard of that.”
The well-dressed middle-aged man immediately revealed a smile.
“Then, do you know about the incoming apocalypse? Do you know that the original Creator will create a sanctuary to protect ‘His’ believers?”
For a moment, Klein thought of going with the flow and be inoculated so as to slowly infiltrate the Aurora Order’s periphery organization, so as to gather the appropriate evidence and clues to take revenge on them for seeking the believers of The Fool. But after careful consideration, he felt that it was too dangerous. It was something that was tiring and troublesome for him to do alone, without any certainty of success.
In the end, he decided to inform the Machinery Hivemind about the current situation and leave it to the official organizations to handle!
After thinking through the problem, Klein’s expression immediately darkened.
“I don’t know, and I don’t want to know!”
He strode forward, shaking off the middle-aged man and ignoring his shouts.
On the way out of East Borough, he watched carefully and found that the workers who had lost their jobs due to the off-season and the efficiency improvements from textile machines were grouped together. They were being comforted and were listening to the preaches from people of unknown identities.
The investigations of East Borough, the dock area, and factory district were completed two months ago. Why haven’t the three Churches and parliament produced any concrete measures yet? The importance that they’ve placed on this issue must’ve increased. It’s impossible for them to not notice the current situation… Is this a trap for bigger fish? That’s very risky and can easily get out of hand! As Klein lampooned, he pushed the cap on his head as he walked out of East Borough and went straight to the Backlund Bridge area.
At noon, the Bravehearts Bar had just opened, and there were almost no drunkards present. Only the nearby, busy workers would come in and grab a simple lunch.
Klein mingled with them and spent ten pence on wheat bread with pork sausages and a glass of Southville beer, making himself appear rather rich.
After leisurely filling his stomach and finishing his beer, he looked at the bartender.
“Is Kaspars Kalinin here?”
He planned on replenishing some of his ordinary ammunition while he was here.
The bartender glanced at him.
“It seems like you haven’t been here in a while?
“Kaspars is dead. It’s said that he was a little restless while sleeping at night, wrapping himself in a tight bundle and suffocating himself in the end. Heh heh, I don’t really believe that kind of thing would happen. I’ve only heard about such things in ghost stories, but that’s what those black-and-white dogs say.”
Black-and-white dogs were referring to the police who wore black-and-white checked uniforms.
Suffocating himself to death? That sounds like mysticism… Was it because the Rose School of Thought’s High-Sequence Beyonder was unable to find Miss Sharron and Maric, and thus, they chose to kill someone to vent their anger? Where’s the bearing of being a High-Sequence Beyonder? In that case, Kaspars wasn’t able to contact Miss Sharron… Perhaps they’ve already left Backlund
Kaspars wasn’t prepared for the dangers of the Beyonder world. If it were me, I wouldn’t have returned to the Bravehearts Bar. I would’ve taken all the money I saved up and go to another city for a change in environment… However, under normal circumstances, a High-Sequence Beyonder wouldn’t specially deal with such ordinary people. At most, they would force a mediumship ritual without considering the aftereffects… As expected of the self-indulgent Rose School of Thought. To think a High-Sequence Beyonder would actually do such a thing…
While feeling surprised, Klein also felt pity for the black-market arms dealer.
The bartender wiped a cup and continued, “If you wish to buy some stuff, there’s a new dealer.”
“Who?” Klein asked in passing.
“Old Man. He’s in Billiard room 3,” the bartender said without looking up.
Klein immediately stood up, slowly walked towards that familiar place, and knocked on the unlocked door.
“Come in.” A voice rang out.
This voice sounds a little familiar… Klein pushed open the door and looked inside.
Standing by the table was a boy that didn’t look too old. He was dressed in an old overcoat, a brown bowler hat, and had bright red eyes. It was Ian, whom Klein had met when he first arrived in Backlund. Back then, he was entrusted with the case of Detective Zreal’s disappearance and was ultimately involved in the conflict over the manuscripts of a third-generation difference machine. He had been forced to pay a high price to have Mr. A from the Aurora Order kill the Intis ambassador that was sent to the Loen Kingdom, Bakerland Jean Madan.
“It’s you, Detective Moriarty?” Ian was startled.
He had deliberately stuck two whiskers above his mouth to make himself look older.
Klein smiled as he entered the billiard room and closed the door in passing.
“Long time no see.”
He was initially surprised that Ian had appeared here and had become a black-market arms dealer, but then he thought of the details behind the matter and found that it made sense.
Klein being able to come to the Bravehearts Bar and find Kaspars Kalinin was all thanks to Ian’s introduction.
This teenage boy definitely had some connections around here!
“Yeah.” Ian wiped away his shocked expression and mumbled, “I went to Pritz Harbor for two months and found those guys to be so savage and cruel. They didn’t even have the slightest bit of modesty or love for children, so I had no choice but to return to Backlund and do what I was good at. When Kaspars died, I decided to switch careers.”
Before Klein could say anything, he added, “Mr. Detective, I’ve always kept in mind that I still owe you two requests.”
There’s no need to explain so much, nor do I care what you’ve done in the past. Although I’ve always thought that your escape from MI9 was suspicious, I didn’t care too much about it… Klein picked up a cue stick, gestured, and said, “Other than dealing in black-market weapons, you seem to be selling information?”
“Yes,” Ian answered very calmly. “What do you want to know? It’s free.”
Very straightforward… Feeling guilty about what happened to me previously? Klein pushed the cue stick forward and hit the ball, sending a red ball right into the middle pocket.
Without a trace of politeness, he straightened his body and said, “Recently, everyone has been looking for the believers of The Fool. There are many bounties available. What news do you have?”
Ian thought for a moment and said, “Nothing.
“I even suspect whether The Fool has any believers since no one can find any clues.”
… This is what you call blasting air with a cannon… Klein gave a silent, self-deprecating laugh before turning to ask, “In addition, there’s another bounty. People are looking for a lecturer named Azik Eggers. I wish to know who was the one behind the bounty, so as to determine if I should involve myself in it. Heh, searching for people is very time-consuming.”
Ian didn’t directly answer; he surveyed his surroundings and lowered his voice.
MI9? It’s not the Numinous Episcopate… It seems like it really was arranged by Ince Zangwill. He’s trying to create conflict between Mr. Azik and MI9? Perhaps he knows some secret that he shouldn’t be aware of? A series of thoughts flashed through Klein’s mind. Finally, he smiled and said, “Looks like I don’t have to worry about the bounty being false, but I’m afraid that the circumstances as to why Azik Eggers is being pursued by MI9 is because he knows some secret. That being the case, the day I obtain the bounty might be the last day of my life.”
Ian spread his hands.
“I’m not sure about that.
“But you can provide only clues.”
“Good suggestion.” Without asking any more questions, Klein spent five soli, replenished some of his ordinary ammunition, and left the Bravehearts Bar.
He got on the rental carriage and looked out the window at the gloomy weather. Suddenly, he felt a little wistful.
Kaspars Kalinin is dead which also means that Miss Sharron and Maric will give up this “base.” With me only being able to contact them unilaterally, it’ll be hard to find them…
Unless they encounter some difficulties that require my help, or they have reached the stage of dealing with the evil spirit buried in the ruins. Otherwise, I’ll likely not be meeting them again.
Although they can’t be considered friends, we’ve cooperated with each other twice. I could interact with them as a Beyonder without hiding my face. Now, there are two fewer people of such people.
If it wasn’t for the Desire Apostle, I would only have an oddity like the vampire, Emlyn White, who I can talk about mysticism with without any disguises.
As he was sighing silently, an ethereal voice suddenly sounded in his ears.
“Is there something?”
Klein instantly shuddered, and only when he saw who was sitting in front of him did he heave a sigh of relief. He laughed in exasperation and said, “Miss Sharron, do you always appear all of a sudden like this?”
Dressed in a Gothic regal dress and a matching soft black hat, Sharron was sitting quietly on the other side of the carriage, her face as pale as ever.
“I’ll knock on the window next time.” Sharron nodded without emotion.
She didn’t repeat the question, but she looked quietly at Klein in a reserved manner.
Knocking on the window all of a sudden? That’s equally scary… Klein was in no hurry to mention the matter about the Human-skinned Shadow, and instead he asked, “Has the High-Sequence Beyonder left?”
“Yes,” Sharron said tersely.
Klein was slightly relieved as he warned her, “It could also be a trap.”
As he said this, he remembered something and quickly added, “I’ve finished reading the Book of Secrets, and I’ve obtained the corresponding information from other sources that praying to the Primordial Moon is prone to problems. It’s best not to try.”
“Alright.” Sharron didn’t ask why.
She paused for a second and said in an ethereal voice, “The Primordial Moon and the Chained God seem to be archenemies.”
Because they can switch Sequences? Or could there be other reasons? Klein thought as he directed the conversation to what really mattered.
“Miss Sharron, do you know of any places with the characteristic of a Human-skinned Shadow?”
Like a puppet, Sharron listened quietly before nodding her head.