Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
In the hall where the stone pillars had collapsed, a group of Nighthawks wearing black windbreakers and silk hats appeared around the altar. The person leading the team was the Archbishop of the Church of the Evernight Goddess, Saint Anthony Stevenson.
“It was disrupted by someone?” he muttered without stopping and directly walked to the stone door that led to the interior.
Rich darkness surfaced as the stone door silently opened. Saint Anthony led some of the Nighthawks in as they delved deeper.
Along the way, they didn’t discover a single guard or anything of value. It was as if this place had been forcefully swept clean.
Finally, they reached a room in the deepest recesses, but there was nothing there but walls and stone pillars. The blue door of light which was there when Klein left was long gone.
The lanterns in the Nighthawks’ hands suddenly lost their light, and darkness enveloped the room.
When everything returned to normal, they found that the surrounding walls had somehow melted away. However, there were no hidden doors or tunnels behind them. It was either a thick layer of mud and rocks or the corridor they came from.
Saint Anthony was silent for more than ten seconds before saying, “Try divination.
“Search the vicinity.”
Walking through the pathless cliffs and forest, Klein was saddened to realize that he had apparently really fallen sick.
The residual effects of Mr. A’s Beyonder powers, combined with the fact that he was drenched during winter, gave him the shameful cold.
However, he didn’t dare to stop to collect dry twigs to light a fire and dry his clothes and money. He was afraid that the Beyonders of the Church would find him.
Even though he had already gained the endorsement of Stanton Isengard from the Machinery Hivemind and obtained the status of a semi-official, this was a matter involving the Primordial Demoness’s awakening and the True Creator’s descent—two cases of the highest order. Therefore, he was bound to be subjected to rigorous investigations, have tea sessions with the Machinery Hivemind, Mandated Punishers, and Nighthawks to recount the whole process actively or passively.
There were two major pitfalls to this. One was that he knew people inside the Nighthawks, and although Detective Sherlock Moriarty looked quite different from the martyred Klein Moriarty, making it impossible to identify him via photographs, he had zero confidence if things were done face to face. Two, because of similar pathways, the Church of the Evernight Goddess wasn’t very friendly to people and things related to Death. Back in the Pale Era at the end of the Fourth Epoch, Death had fallen under the siege of the seven gods, and Sherlock Moriarty had “summoned” a powerful descendant of Death at the critical moment. This wasn’t a problem that could be explained away easily.
That high-level powerhouse was rushing to deal with Ince Zangwill and 0-08, so she didn’t have time to bother with a friendly small fry like me. However, I can’t be careless as a result. I should flee when it’s necessary!
Yes, I can write to the Machinery Hivemind when I have a chance, stating the second reason as to why I have to temporarily leave Backlund. This way, I might still have a chance to work with them in the future. Of course, I have to secretly observe to see if the Machinery Hivemind has any strong enmity towards any descendants of Death… I wonder how Mr. Azik is doing…
Heh heh, perhaps Sherlock Moriarty might be dead in the official announcement. He sure lived up to his name and identity…
As quickly as possible, Klein tried to find a small town and blend in with the crowd while enduring the alternating fever and cold.
Only in human society could the Faceless’s powers be fully expressed.
The woman who was working with Mr. A, uh—she should be a Demoness. She went to East Borough… From the looks of the ritual, there must’ve been a large number of deaths over there. I wonder… With the spiritual intuition of a Seer, Klein’s heart suddenly felt heavy.
At this moment, all the colors in front of his eyes turned saturated, as if they had been sprinkled with oil by a deity.
The feeling was over instantly, and Klein found himself far away from where he had been, with the bronze-skinned, soft-featured Azik Eggers appearing next to him.
“Mr. Azik, are you unhurt?” He couldn’t help but heave a sigh of relief.
“I am,” Azik replied frankly before smiling, “but to an Undying, this isn’t a big problem.”
Klein calmed down and asked, “What happened to Ince Zangwill and 0-08?”
“Ince Zangwill is still alive, and he still wields that Grade 0 Sealed Artifact,” Azik said as he walked.
Klein tried hard to follow him as he couldn’t help but sigh.
“What a pity.”
“Don’t worry about it; he was severely injured,” Azik solemnly said. “And most importantly, we know that he was secretly cooperating with the royal family, so we don’t have to worry about not being able to find him in the future. This way, you can focus on improving yourself, and I can also try to go to a few places that I’ve recalled, to awaken more memories. Heh heh, your luck isn’t bad. I’ve been secretly observing the people from MI9 and the royal family to confirm Ince Zangwill’s whereabouts. One of the most important places was Red Rose Manor, so I’ve always been wandering around the area. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to rush over to save you so quickly.”
Klein immediately felt a little awkward when this was mentioned.
“Mr. Azik, aren’t you puzzled as to why I didn’t die?”
“I often wake up after entering a coffin as well. This is something that I previously recalled,” Azik said with a smile, completely unfazed by the matter. “And in my incomplete memory, although it’s rare in others, it’s not without precedent.”
He often wakes up after entering a coffin… Often? Klein suddenly realized that the problems that he was worried about were nothing in the eyes of a real powerhouse.
As expected of an Undying of the Death pathway… Well, Mr. Azik had mentioned that he had been in this Sequence for a long time, which means that he has long advanced… Klein thought for a moment, then he asked with concern, “Mr. Azik, Would Ince Zangwill discover that I’m Klein Moretti?”
He was afraid that Ince Zangwill would take revenge on Benson and Melissa.
“Unlikely. At most, he would believe that we knew each other long ago, or that you’re my… informant, if we use the terms that the police uses.” Azik recalled and said, “But that Grade 0 Sealed Artifact might notice it, but you don’t have to worry.”
“Why?” Klein pressed.
It was unknown what Azik had remembered, but his expression suddenly turned strange. It was as if he wanted to laugh, but at the same time, he felt horrified.
“That Grade 0 Sealed Artifact will keep attempting to write down the death of its owner. This is likely to be intrinsic to it and cannot be changed. Therefore, I doubt it would actively divulge such important information that can put Ince Zangwill at a tremendous advantage during such a critical moment—unless it involves something that it cannot avoid or explain.”
Seeing that Mr. Azik was so sure about it while producing such strong justifications, Klein exhaled. It was as if he had recovered a little from the cold.
Seeing this, Azik added, “It’s best if you leave Backlund for the time being. Ince Zangwill might use that Grade 0 Sealed Artifact to seek revenge again, using your fake name.
“As long as you aren’t in Backlund, it should be fine. That Grade 0 Sealed Artifact’s sphere of influence doesn’t exceed a large city.”
Just as I had predicted, there’s a limit to its sphere of influence… Otherwise, Ince Zangwill could’ve easily hidden in a small town in the Southern Continent and leisurely arrange the fates of all his targets without having to worry about anyone finding him… Klein asked after some deliberation, “A short trip to Backlund for a day or half a day is fine, right? With the premise that I’ve changed my identity and looks.”
With that, he rubbed his face, instantly reverting back to his appearance back in Tingen.
Azik’s eyebrows twitched, and he nodded.
He turned his head and looked into the distance at the spot that he could no longer see.
“It seems like I’ve been targeted by a powerful existence of the Church of the Evernight Goddess. It’s best if you don’t stay by my side, or you might be implicated. Heh heh, they’re very interested in the Beyonder characteristics related to Death.”
“Yes, I plan on heading out to sea. While I digest my potion, I’ll be seeking mermaids. It’s a condition for my advancement,” Klein explained his plan.
Azik tilted his head.
“Mermaids? Could a mermaid in the form of a dead spirit work? I can find at least four.”
“Probably… not…” Klein reached out and wiped his forehead.
His intuition told him that it was definitely impossible, but he planned to divine it above the gray fog to confirm it.
Without mentioning the dead mermaid again, Azik said, “If there’s anything, then contact me through the messenger.”
Messenger… Klein suddenly felt guilt-ridden and ashamed.
“I-it died in my battle with Mr. A. It saved my life.”
Azik gave him a glance, shook his head, and laughed.
“Don’t worry about it. As long as it isn’t killed by a powerhouse at the level of an angel or via some special method, then as long as the Underworld still exists, it can slowly be reborn there.
“And before that, I have similar messengers numbering… Uh, I don’t know how many there are either.”
It sounds like there’s an army of such powerful and humongous messengers? Klein turned agape, unable to say a word.
His shame faded, and he asked curiously, “Mr. Azik, where is the Underworld, or in other words, hell?”
“The spirit world. To be precise, it’s a special place that the ancient Death created in the spirit world.” Azik didn’t hide the truth.
Ancient Death? That should be the ancient god, Phoenix Ancestor Gregrace… So the Underworld belongs to the spirit world. No wonder the basic structure in mysticism is the real world, the spirit world, and the astral world. It doesn’t contain the Underworld and the Abyss… Klein was about to ask a question when he suddenly remembered something and quickly said, “Mr. Azik, I obtained a Card of Blasphemy created by Emperor Roselle. It contains the secrets of High-Sequence Beyonders. I believe it can help you recall more things. However, you’ll have to wait a while. It’s hidden in Backlund.”
Klein didn’t mention the bounty, fearing that it would reveal the Tarot Club’s secret, the mysterious space above the gray fog, and Miss Justice; therefore, he could show his gratitude towards Mr. Azik for his help and sacrifice, in this tactful way.
Aziz looked at him in surprise, but he ultimately said nothing. He nodded and said, “When you get it back, have the messenger bring it to me. I’ll immediately return it to you after I study it. Or you can copy the contents and pass it to me.”
He paused for a moment as if he had thought of something. Then, he took out a glove that was so thin that it looked like it was made of human skin from his pocket and handed it to Klein.
“I’ve already awakened the relevant memories, so I no longer need it. Heh heh, it’s an item that that pirate rear admiral left behind. I’ve placed some seals on it so that it wouldn’t be hungry. However, every time it’s used it will require you to use a human’s flesh and soul to feed it; otherwise, it will devour you.”
… Creeping Hunger? The remains of a particular Shepherd? Klein immediately recalled what the glove represented.