Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
The sky was dark outside the window, but it wasn’t the dark fog which Klein was used to. The sea waves rolled in, blowing away all the smog and making the clouds line up in various shapes, reflecting the reddish-gold sunlight.
This was Pritz Harbor, the largest and busiest port in the Loen Kingdom.
Wearing a light vest and white shirt, Klein stood by the window and watched the outside world for a while until his pocket watch urged him to return to the mahogany table.
In the warmth of the fireplace, he picked up a black, round fountain pen, unfolded a letter, and slowly wrote:
Dear Mr. Azik,
Forgive me for not writing to you until today, but for the past few days, I’ve been wandering in Backlund, immersed in the devastation that has been inflicted on this great city by the events of the past few days. If we were ordinary people, perhaps we would’ve been covered with white cloth and carried to the crematorium, eventually settling in a tiny niche…
I’ve waited for quite a while and finally found an opportunity to retrieve what belongs to me. This includes the Card of Blasphemy I promised you. In addition, there’s another item which I will get the messenger to bring to you as well; it’s a copper whistle that can summon a messenger. It comes from a chance encounter of mine, regarding an elder who crawled out of his coffin. I’m sure you’re puzzled having read this, as the description I used similarly points to you. This is what puzzles me.
… This is exactly what happened. I suspect that the original owner of the copper whistle is a member of the Numinous Episcopate that tries to revive Death. Furthermore, his level isn’t low. Perhaps you’ll be able to tell something from this copper whistle…
Before leaving Backlund, I will write to the Machinery Hivemind to describe the massive underground ruin where you fought Ince Zangwill. I hope that they will be able to figure out the truth with the help of this information.
After going through a roundabout and indirect test, I’ve confirmed that they do not have any enmity towards you and me for the time being. If you’re in trouble, perhaps you can try seeking their help.
Finally, I have one more question. Is there any way to remove the residual mental corruption of a Beyonder characteristic that has already solidified?
… I am about to set sail. I wish you a smooth journey in finding your memories and a safe journey for myself as well.
Your student and friend,
Putting down the pen and reading it once more, Klein folded the letter and stuffed it into the envelope along with the Dark Emperor card and the copper whistle left behind by the suspected Numinous Episcopate member.
When he was done, he picked up the copper whistle Mr. Azik had given him and summoned the messenger by blowing into it.
The messenger was still nearly four meters tall, made purely of white bones, its eye sockets burning with black fire. However, Klein’s spiritual intuition told him that this was another messenger.
Sighing secretly, Klein raised his arm and placed the letter into the messenger’s lowered palm.
The messenger lowered his head to take a look, before quickly disintegrating into bones and drilled into the ground like a torrential downpour.
Seeing this, Klein lightly tapped his right molar and deactivated his Spirit Vision.
He returned his gaze to the table, where there was a pale yellow identification card. This was a necessary item required for official purchases of any voyage tickets.
For this, he had specially gone to Sharron and obtained a new identity through her circle.
This identity was that of a bounty hunter, a lunatic who was eager to go on an adventure at sea to get rich. In accordance with Klein’s wishes, his name was Gehrman Sparrow.
“A hunter of evil…” Klein whispered, putting away a series of documents for his new identity.
Shortly after, he drew the curtains, took four steps counterclockwise, and went above the fog.
There was still some time before the Tarot Gathering, so Klein quickly retrieved Creeping Hunger and wore it on his hand.
Closing his eyes, he tried to sense each and every twisted, illusory soul. He attempted to release the Faceless.
In the real world, Creeping Hunger would happily consume this gift and spit out the corresponding Beyonder characteristic, but above the fog, it didn’t dare to act rashly. It allowed the soul of the Faceless to leave the glove and appear to the side of the long bronze table.
It was a middle-aged man with a blurry face. His twisted and painful feelings seemed to dissipate quite a bit.
With difficulty, he bowed at Klein, who was leaning back in his chair. His figure gradually turned dim, almost plummeting beneath the gray fog at any moment.
In the majestic palace, Klein could directly “communicate” without any additional rituals prepared; thus, he extended his spirituality and stabilized the man before saying in a low voice, “Do you know where there are live mermaids?”
The man answered in an adrift manner, “Apart from those kept by the Church of the Evernight Goddess, they can only be found by sailing from the Gargas Archipelago towards the Sonia Sea for at least a week. That was my destination.”
So he’s also a Faceless seeking to advance… In order to seek out mermaids, he had taken the risk to go out to sea. However, he somehow died at the hands of Rear Admiral Hurricane Qilangos in the end… The Church of the Goddess rears quite a number of mermaids? Klein suddenly asked in realization, “Which organization did you belong to? Or should I say, where did your potion formula come from?”
The blurry-faced middle-aged man’s body suddenly trembled. It was only two seconds later that he spoke up.
“The Secret Order. I belong to the Secret Order.”
Secret Order? Doesn’t the Secret Order rear their own mermaids? Klein hesitated for a moment before asking, “Have you ever seen your leader, Zaratul?”
The illusory and transparent Faceless was silent at first, but then he shouted with a sharp voice, “I have!
“H-he’s abnormal! He’s an undying monster!”
As he spoke, his figure became increasingly thin, almost on the verge of dissipating.
As expected, Zaratul is still alive! Just what had happened for a Secret Order member to be so afraid of him? More accurately, I should use “Him”… Klein quickly asked about another key issue, “Apart from the treasures left behind by the Antigonus family and what your Secret Order has, is there anywhere I can get the High-Sequence Beyonder formulas for the Seer pathway?”
The Faceless turned increasingly transparent and more illusory. He finally left the words: “The Church of the Evernight Goddess… Cathedral of Serenity…”
The Holy Cathedral… Klein silently watched as the Faceless’s Spirit Body achieved complete liberation as he repeated the words. The Cathedral of Serenity was the headquarters of the Church of the Evernight Goddess, also known as the Holy Cathedral according to the Nighthawks.
There really are high Sequence potion formulas of the Seer pathway hidden there… I wonder how many secrets the various Churches have kept buried and hidden…Sighing, Klein let the dark green glue-like substance, that had formed on the surface of his glove, slide onto the surface of the long bronze table.
The Faceless Beyonder characteristic eventually formed a jelly-like translucent object. In the dark green background, from time to time, there were different faces emerging, like shadows hidden behind dark curtains.
Klein took a few looks before nodding indiscernibly. He muttered to himself, “I’ll use The World later to get Mr. Hanged Man to sell this Beyonder characteristic either to Artisans or Beyonders who need it.”
Although he had found a flaw in the official Beyonders’ surveillance of 15 Minsk Street by means of divination above the gray fog, he didn’t return there so as to not provoke them or expose the secrets of his Spirit Body. Instead, he spent extra money to buy a change of clothing and other daily necessities. All of that amounted to twelve pounds.
Together with the eight pounds paid for the documents of his new identity, his wallet was so empty that there was almost no need for it to exist.
As for the 10 percent stake in the bike company, Klein found an opportunity to meet with Isengard Stanton and signed a legal agreement to entrust the matter to him. After all, their relationship wasn’t a secret in the eyes of the Nighthawks or the Machinery Hivemind.
I still have five pounds in cash and five gold coins… It will cost four pounds to head for the Rorsted Archipelago, and that’s for a third-class ticket at the lower deck… It would take at least four pounds to go from the Rorsted Archipelago to the Gargas Archipelago… I have to quickly sell off the Faceless Beyonder characteristic… This way, I would be able to afford a second-class cabin and eat decent food… Thanks to Emlyn’s suitcase being placed above the gray fog all this time, I’ve had to buy another one… Klein silently went through his financial situation, feeling as if he had returned to the time when he had just transmigrated, relying on the salary of the Nighthawks before he could even buy a suit.
A Sequence 6 Beyonder characteristic varies between 3,000 to 4,000 pounds. If I encounter someone in desperate need for it, then it can be sold at a premium… But apart from maintaining my living expenses, I have to consider the cost of the Nimblewright Master’s supplementary ingredients. I also have to consider the cost of the ritual needed to eliminate the mental corruption. Klein sighed and took out his pocket watch to take a look at it.
Seeing that it was about time, he sent a message to Little Sun to prepare for the gathering.
Fors’s vision turned clear as she saw three figures sitting across the long, mottled table.
A new member? With a thought, she quickly settled down.
At this moment, she didn’t care if the Tarot Club had any new members. Her mind was filled with the incident of the smog and plague from last week.
She vividly remembered that The World had warned herself and Miss Justice at the last gathering that something huge was brewing in Backlund, which could likely bring about a tragedy. Mr. Fool had confirmed that conjecture, and he had further pointed out that the person at the heart of the problem was Prince Edessak.
She didn’t doubt Mr. Fool’s abilities and felt that the tragedy needed time to brew, giving her plenty of time to investigate. Who knew that it would come so quickly and so suddenly!
Prince Edessak was also reported to have been infected in the haze and unfortunately died… It really happened. It really happened… Thinking back to the contents of the newspapers from a few days ago, she seemed to understand something, but she wasn’t sure of it. For a moment, she felt terrified and uneasy.
As a Sequence 9, I seemed to have become involved with terrifying matters that involved a huge city, a prince, and tens of thousands of lives just because I’m a member of the Tarot Club! It was only at this moment that The Magician, Fors, realized the importance of being a member of the Tarot Club.
Then, she heard Miss Justice’s usual greeting that lacked her exuberance.
“Good afternoon, Mr. Fool.
“You saved Backlund again!”
Ah? What? When was I saved again? The Moon Emlyn listened blankly.