Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
This wasn’t the first time Klein had seen someone familiar die in front of him, but it was the most abrupt and unforeseen death. The expression on Talim Dumont’s face when he had asked about what it felt to really like someone was a vivid expression of hidden excitement and flaunting, but one which couldn’t be directly shared due to the need of being careful as a result of certain factors.
That was too fast… Normal diseases do not cause death so quickly! Klein’s expression was solemn as he lightly tapped his molars to activate his Spirit Vision.
He dropped to one knee and crouched down. He saw Talim Dumont’s aura and the colors of his emotions fading rapidly.
Furthermore, there were strands of black gas wrapped around his heart like a snake which were gradually dimming.
A Beyonder ability similar to a curse? Klein instantly made a preliminary conclusion.
At this moment, a nearby red-vested attendant and a servant girl in a black-and-white dress ran over. They looked at the dead body on the ground in horror—his eyes were wide and round, and the corners of his mouth still had remnant white foam.
Klein closed his eyes and instructed in a deep voice, “Go to the nearby police station and tell them someone died here.”
“Yes, Mr. Moriarty.” The red-vested attendant immediately turned around and ran out the door, so flustered that he even forgot to put on his coat.
Under the watchful gaze of the crowd, Klein didn’t check Talim’s belongings, nor did he try to pull out a few strands of hair for a divination attempt when he wasn’t around anyone.
His identity was already considered semi-official, so he could use the power of the Machinery Hivemind to conduct a follow-up investigation. There was no need for him to act as a lone hero.
Thinking of the many times he had played cards with Talim Dumont, and how he had introduced clients and investors, and the love story that had been hanging in his mind for so long, Klein couldn’t help but take a long, slow, deep breath.
Who’s Talim’s murderer?
Which Beyonder, who’s adept at curses, did Talim offend?
Judging from his attitude today, he should be in a very happy and calm state, completely unaware of the fact that he has provoked a terrifying character…
Questions flashed through Klein’s mind, but his lack of understanding about Talim Dumont resulted in a lack of soil to nurture any inspiration.
When the police arrived, he was questioned as a witness and that wasted quite a bit of his time.
It wasn’t until all of this was over that Klein had a chance to leave Hillston Borough and head back to Lucky Bar in the Backlund Bridge area.
Carlson was still there drinking; the only difference being that his drink had been exchanged from a strong distilled liquor made from pure malt to golden, frothy beer.
Klein raised his right hand, covered his mouth, and squeezed over. He lightly knocked on the table and said, “Is your job to drink here every day?”
Carlson jumped in fright as he turned his head, relaxing only when he saw that it was Sherlock Moriarty.
“You… What is it now?”
This reaction is very familiar… Klein sighed silently and said gravely, “There is a case involving Beyonders.”
Carlson looked around and saw that Lucky Bar already had quite a number of patrons. They were either hollering over their glasses or eager to fight in the ring.
“Follow me, let’s play a round of billiards.” Carlson nudged his thick glasses and carried his beer to an empty billiard room.
Klein followed, closing the door behind him.
“Your alcohol tolerance seems pretty good,” he said in passing.
“No, I just drink very slowly.” Carlson put down his glass and picked up the cue stick.
Then, he added inexplicably, “And I’d like some alone time lately.”
I don’t care about that… Klein pursed his lips and said, “I encountered a death at the Quelaag Club in Hillston Borough. That was a friend of mine, a noble descendant, and an equestrian teacher. He’s usually healthy and had recently been in a very good mental state, but just now, he suddenly died in front of me. It looked like a heart attack, but my Spirit Vision told me that he might’ve been cursed.”
“You’re adept at Spirit Vision?” Carlson asked subconsciously.
What sort of details did Mr. Stanton fabricate for me? After becoming a Machinery Hivemind informant, they never even asked me which pathway I was, or which Sequence I’m at, nor did they try to find out about my origins and background… Of course, letting an informant keep certain secrets of their own is also a common tactic used by official organizations… Klein frankly responded, “Yes, the chest of the deceased had some decaying, illusory black gas.”
“It does involve the possibility of a curse and a Beyonder.” Carlson didn’t ask further as he slowly nodded. “Hillston Borough… That’s the territory of our Machinery Hivemind.”
In the northwest of Backlund, which was the heart of the metropolis, Empress Borough and Cherwood Backlund came under the Mandated Punisher’s jurisdiction. The western and northern areas came under the Nighthawks, and Hillston Borough and Backlund Bridge area came under the Machinery Hivemind.
Having said this, Carlson looked at Klein and attempted to confirm the details.
“What deity does your friend believe in?”
After thinking carefully for a few seconds, Klein replied hesitantly, “The Lord of Storms.”
“A believer of the Lord of Storms… Is he the only deceased?” Carlson asked with a frown.
“Yes,” Klein gave an affirmative answer.
Carlson chalked the cue stick and sighed.
“We have no right to take the case. This is under the Mandated Punishers.
“But I will pass on your information to them.”
In the Loen Kingdom, the principle of jurisdiction over Beyonder events was first to divide them according to their beliefs. If they involved the followers of multiple deities, then it would be decided according to who held jurisdiction over the area.
Klein was no stranger to this. He had no intention of making things difficult for Carlson, so he earnestly said, “Thank you. I hope they can find the real killer as soon as possible.”
Carlson picked up the glass of beer beside him and took a sip.
“He’s a descendant of blue-blood. The Mandated Punishers will definitely take it seriously.”
Pausing for a second, he looked at Klein and said in a low voice, “I find it hard to believe that you’ve only been in Backlund for about three months.
“You seem to have established a wide range of social connections and possess lots of resources here.”
“Some people are naturally adept at this.” Klein shook his head with a self-deprecating laugh before bidding farewell.
By the time he got back to Minsk Street, it was completely dark and the gas lamps lining the streets were being lit by workers.
Although his relationship with Talim Dumont didn’t go deep, he was an acquaintance he met nearly every week. He was a friend he would play cards with every now and then, and Talim was rather warm and had always exalted him as a great detective. Furthermore, he had practiced what he preached by introducing clients and investors.
His passing also made Klein feel sad, making him fully aware of his helplessness towards fate.
Other than that, he was also very angry. He was angry at the murderer who had cursed Talim to death.
I hope that they can figure out what happened. I hope that the Mandated Punishers doesn’t run out of manpower because of Duke Negan’s assassination case… Klein sighed as he got off the carriage and walked towards the gate.
In the process, he discovered that there was no light at the Sammers house next door.
It looks like they’re on their way to Desi Bay… Is this the new year atmosphere in Backlund? Yet, I don’t feel anything at all… Klein momentarily felt melancholic.
With these emotions in mind, he went to bed early and woke up at seven in the morning.
In an attempt to change his mood, Klein decided to bake a homemade cake today.
“I’ll buy the ingredients after breakfast,” he whispered, drinking his milk and flipping through the newspapers.
Soon, he saw an “obituary” in the Tussock Times: “My beloved son, Talim Dumont, passed away on 18 December due to a sudden heart disease. His funeral will be held at the Crown Cemetery at exactly 9 a.m. on 21 December.”
In the Northern Continent, due to reanimations, it was already an ancient tradition to be buried as quickly as possible after one’s death. Of course, this was on the premise that there was no shortage of money for a funeral.
Sudden heart disease? Is this the final result of the investigation? Or could it be that the Mandated Punishers are trying to lull the culprit? Klein frowned, unable to make a judgment.
Perhaps I can go above the gray fog to see if it’s a trap set up by the Mandated Punishers, but there’s a high probability of failure. After all, I don’t have one of his items with me, nor was I targeted… He took a breath, calmed down, and methodically filled his stomach.
The subsequent attempt didn’t exceed Klein’s expectations. He could only leave Minsk Street and take a bus to Hillston Borough to visit Isengard Stanton.
The great detective walked in the warm room, pointed to the front, and said, “Sherlock, would you like some breakfast? My chef’s skills aren’t worse than mine.”
“No, I’ve already had breakfast,” Klein shook his head and declined.
Isengard stopped in his tracks and casually asked, “Where are you going to spend the new year’s? I’m planning on, no—returning to Lenburg.”
“I haven’t confirmed it yet. Perhaps Midseashire,” Klein said, perfunctorily.
“The scenery there was originally pretty good, but unfortunately, there’s an abundance in coal and iron resources, there was also a rather developed shipping industry.” Isengard straightened his collar and touched the pipe in his pocket. “You seem to be a little anxious?”
“Mr. Stanton, I have something to ask you.” Klein took the opportunity when asked the question to relate, in detail, Talim Dumont’s death, the results of his Spirit Vision, his advice to the Machinery Hivemind, and what he had seen in this morning’s obituary.
Of course, he had hidden the fact that he had become an informant for the Machinery Hivemind. He only said that for his friend, he had found an official Beyonder he got to know due to the Desire Apostle case.
“Do you think this is a trap by the Mandated Punishers?” he finally asked.
Holding the pipe, Isengard said thoughtfully, “I’ve been trying to avoid the Mandated Punishers, and I don’t know enough about the situation.
“I’ll get someone to find out. If there’s any news, then I’ll write to you.”
“Okay, thank you.” Klein bowed sincerely.
In the evening, he received a letter specially sent from Isengard. There was only one sentence in the letter: “This case isn’t handled by the Mandated Punishers. The royal family has taken the case by claiming that Talim Dumont is a noble.”