Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Outside Red Rose Manor, Klein walked out of the carriage whilst carrying his cane.
He closed his eyes and calmed himself as he looked at the red-uniformed soldiers standing guard at the door.
Since Sealed Artifact 0-08 has been making coincidences to stop the woman with the sapphire ring from meeting me, there shouldn’t be any exception today. There’s no need for me to worry about running into her. As long as I fool Prince Edessak with my acting, everything would be fine… Klein thought quickly and walked towards the entrance of the manor.
After being searched and handing in the gun holster and revolver, he followed a male servant’s lead and walked across the gray slate road, past a fountain spewing clear spring water, and entered the main house. They arrived at the second floor and arrived outside the room that was supposed to be a solarium according to the layout.
During this entire process, Klein had his heart in his mouth, worrying that something unexpected would happen. He was afraid that the situation would develop in the worst possible manner.
Knock. Knock. Knock. After knocking gently on the door, a male servant approached the door and whispered, “Detective Moriarty has arrived.”
After a full ten seconds of silence, a heavy voice came from inside the room.
“His Highness has invited him in.”
The door creaked open and warmth spread outwards, with a temperature that was warmer than the hallway.
Under the watchful gaze of the two tall guards, Klein stepped onto the thick, patterned yellow carpet.
He took a few steps forward, skirting the cabinet that separated the inside from the outside, and he saw Prince Edessak sitting by the full-length windows, enjoying the rare winter sun of Backlund.
The round, impressionable face didn’t have the slightest trace of a smile, and this naturally created a solemn and repressed atmosphere.
Because of the combination of the elegant fireplace and the metal pipes, the room was warmer than late spring. Prince Edessak wasn’t wearing a coat, and his upper body was covered with a white shirt with cuffs which resembled blooming flowers and a pale yellow vest.
Seeing this, Klein was actually secretly relieved, because the woman wearing the sapphire ring wasn’t accompanying the Prince.
Thus, he quickly stepped forward and bowed.
Edessak held a steaming cup of black tea in his hand and didn’t invite Klein to take a seat.
He maintained his previous expression and asked in a deep voice, “Any results from your investigation?”
“No, my divinations, my spirit channeling, my interviews, my investigations all tell me that Talim died of a heart attack,” Klein said with a heavy, painful expression with obvious signs of self-blame. “I’m just too weak in every aspect. Your Highness, you should hire a stronger and more powerful helper.”
Why don’t you get someone better… He added silently inwardly.
It was only then that Edessak seemed to clearly notice Detective Sherlock Moriarty’s face. He felt as if he had aged considerably, as though he had been unable to sleep at ease for a long time.
It wasn’t an illusion, because Klein had used his Faceless powers before he left to adjust the state of his face, making his skin look dry and lusterless. He made his beard appear messy and his eye bags bigger, darker, and more obvious.
Edessak was silent for a moment before he put down the white porcelain cup with a golden inlaid rim.
“I understand. It’s indeed like forcing a square peg in a round hole…
“I will have someone else follow up on the matter. Prepare an investigation report and don’t leave anything out.”
Alright! Klein inwardly clenched his fist and quickly took out a folded piece of paper from his pocket.
“Your Highness, there’s no need for you to wait, as I always have the habit of recording things in writing.”
After instructing the attendants to take the report, Prince Edessak casually flipped through it and put it aside.
“Is there anything else you need?”
“No, Your Royal Highness, please allow me to take my leave. Ah, right, I will be heading south for some time; I want to use the warm sunlight there to melt the pain in my heart.” Klein sighed in response.
“It’s a New Year’s custom of many in Loen.” Prince Edessak nodded slightly and turned to Funkel, the old butler. “Send Detective Moriarty out and get him a carriage.”
The nearest town to Red Rose Manor is a 15 to 20 minutes walk. I’ll have to hire a carriage when I get there.
“Yes, Your Highness,” the old butler bowed and said politely.
Klein didn’t let down his guard and quickly took his leave.
He followed the old butler all the way to the entrance of the manor and took back his underarm gun holster and his weapon.
Less than a minute later, he was seated in a Red Rose Manor carriage.
He leaned against the carriage wall and watched the manor turn smaller as the distance grew. Klein relaxed and let out a long breath, letting his hanging heart calm back down to its original position.
He knew that he had left the center of the stage.
After that, it’s time to bid farewell to Backlund and head south, a complete curtain call… After that, I’ll change my looks and sneak back in secret… He calmly considered his subsequent plans.
Suddenly, his spirituality stirred as his spirituality tensed up as he saw the door to the carriage quickly open and then silently close!
Before he could respond, he saw a figure quickly outline itself. It was wearing a heavy black dress and had a sapphire ring on its hand.
Sapphire ring! Upon seeing this scene, Klein, who was at the juncture of a flight or fight response, narrowed his eyes and sat back down, not daring to act rashly.
This was a terrifying person who possessed a Grade 0 Sealed Artifact or was a demigod of a similar level!
This… It’s really true that the more afraid you are of something happening, the higher the chances are of it happening… 0-08 or something else, what happened to the coincidences you create? Klein’s spirit and body instantly tensed up as he could only watch helplessly as the figure appeared in front of him.
The lady’s age was completely different from her dressing style. She looked about eighteen or nineteen, had a round face, slender eyes, and a gentle and refined temperament. Deep down, she was sweet and was an outstandingly gorgeous beauty.
She… Klein was surprised for a moment, before immediately recognizing her as he blurted out,
Isn’t this the fellow who had gone from being Instigator Tris to Witch Trissy?
How did she go from being wanted to becoming Prince Edessak’s woman?
How did she, a member of a the Demoness Sect, end up by Prince Edessak’s side?
And she even has a Grade 0 Sealed Artifact or a mystical item of a similar level!
When he looked again carefully, he saw that there was something different about Trissy. Her facial features, which weren’t outstanding alone, were softer and more delicate, but when placed together, they were stunning.
Hearing his surprise, Trissy became happy instead of being alarmed. She revealed a sweet smile and said, “You know me…
“I knew you know me!
“A detective with Beyonder powers definitely pays special attention to the wanted posters!”
He, eh—she looks very happy… Klein cautiously asked with doubt and caution, “What do you want?”
He clearly remembered that the person before him wasn’t a good person. Tris had single-handedly created the tragedy of Alfalfa via instigation, while Trissy had caused the deaths of many innocent civilians in Tingen City.
Trissy pursed her lips into a smile and said, “Very simple. Quickly report me to the Nighthawks, the Mandated Punishers, or the Machinery Hivemind! Get them to come here and capture me!”
Calling the cops on yourself? Th-this transvestite, eh—this woman must be insane!Klein was a bit at a loss.
He soon figured out the meaning behind her message: Trissy would rather be locked up behind Chanis Gate than stay at Red Rose Manor. She’s trying her hardest to get out of here!
Simply put, she believes that this place is more dangerous and more despair-inducing than being caught by the Nighthawks and Mandated Punishers… Klein tried his best to control his expression and asked in a deep voice, “What are you afraid of?”
Trissy stood dazed for a second before she widened her eyes and said with her unfocused eyes, “There’s someone manipulating my life. There are always coincidences that horrify me after they happen.
“And I’m becoming less and less like myself.”
Saying this, the corners of her mouth curled up as she said, “Can you imagine? Being someone who loves those shy and cute maids, can you imagine the pain when I wake up in the morning in the arms of a naked man?”
I can; that’s why it’s best to stay away from being an Assassin or Witch… Klein couldn’t help but imagine such a scene, and his heart palpitated for a moment.
Trissy continued with a self-deprecating smile, “I thought that by working hard to advance, to become ‘Pleasure,’ that I would be able to free myself from that weird state. Hence, I sought people to help me search for the corresponding Beyonder ingredients, but the outcome only turned worse.
“Sometimes, I forget a lot of things, but they end up really happening. I endured the disgust, seduced Talim, and tried to get him to help me escape. Who knew that I ended up killing him with a curse without me even realizing it… Do you believe that?
“Heh heh, they even changed my name. They wanted me to completely abandon my past self. No! Absolutely not!
“They thought I could only overcome the coincidences for a short period of time and that I would soon get back on track. Humph, it was just an impression I deliberately created for them, so I have managed to meet you, Mr. Detective!”
Pleasure… Demoness… Ingredients… Klein suddenly remembered that in the Beyonder gathering held by Old Mister Eye of Wisdom, Isengard Stanton, there had been a person who had requested to purchase the main ingredients of the Demoness of Pleasure potion. With him being aware of the formula, he instantly noticed it on the spot, but he had chosen to ignore it. He gradually forgot about the matter with time.
So that was Trissy’s helper! Was she already by Prince Edessak’s side back then? Why do I somehow feel that her present smile looks so miserable but beautiful… A Demoness of Pleasure is sick… Klein took a breath, his thoughts in a jumble.
As he was organizing his thoughts, he asked casually, “What did they change your name to?”
Trissy furrowed her beautiful brows as she answered with a somewhat blank look in her eyes, “Trissy Cheek.”
Trissy Cheek… Cheek… Cheek! Klein suddenly raised his head, his whole body turning numb once again, as stiff as a marble statue.
At this very moment, there was only one page of Roselle’s diary that was madly reverberating in his mind.
“5th June. I obtained an ancient book. It actually mentions the Primordial Demoness’s name…
“‘Her’ name is Cheek…”