Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
As soon he stepped onto the deck and before he could enter the cabin, Klein saw a figure moving through the crowd towards him through the corner of his eye.
He looked over his shoulder with an air of indifference but hidden vigilance, and he saw a man in his thirties wearing a black half top hat and a windbreaker of the same color.
The other party had a weathered face, looking boorish but extremely masculine. His light blue eyes didn’t contain a smile, as if they were immersed in many past events.
He looks a little familiar… Right, he’s that guy I noticed at the ticket office yesterday. He seems to be an adventurer as well… He’s actually wearing a windbreaker at sea in January. He’s quite strong… While lifting his cane with ease and pointing diagonally downwards, Klein said with a smile, “Good morning, we meet again.”
It was like he was greeting an old friend.
The boorish man, however, wasn’t surprised. He stopped and nodded in a somewhat reserved manner, saying, “Cleves, a former adventurer.
“Mate, are you in the same trade?”
“I thought you knew yesterday. Gehrman Sparrow,” Klein responded with a smile.
He didn’t pass his cane to his left hand, because he didn’t intend to shake Cleves’s hand.
“I can tell.” Cleves maintained two seconds of silence and said, “Being an adventurer isn’t a beautiful profession. I’ve already switched careers and have become a bodyguard. This time, I’m accompanying my employer’s family to the capital of the Rorsted Archipelago.”
He half-turned and pointed to another spot on the deck.
Klein traced where he was pointing and saw nearly ten people gathered together. They were led by a plump middle-aged gentleman with ruddy cheeks and spirited eyes. On his double-breasted suit, Klein could see the gold chain from his pocket watch and a jeweled collar brooch.
Next to him was a lady in a wide-brimmed hat, her face completely hidden by the dark-blue muslin that hung down, and her figure wasn’t too bad.
Standing in front of the couple were two children. The younger one was a boy who wasn’t even ten years old. He was wearing a child’s version of a tailcoat. The older one was 15 or 16 years old and was a lively and energetic teenage girl. Her looks couldn’t be considered outstanding, but her pair of brown eyes were quite bright and intelligent. Her faint freckles and puffy dress added to her playfulness.
Around them were three people carrying suitcases and all sorts of items—a man and two women, all dressed as servants. One of the maids had brownish skin, clearly of Southern Continent heritage.
The bodyguards protecting the seven people were a man and a woman. They were dressed simply and neatly in white shirts, light sweaters, black coats, dark trousers, and sturdy leather boots.
The two bodyguards deliberately didn’t hide the outlines created made by the gun holsters by their waists. They didn’t relax as they inspected the approaching passersby. Their eyes were sharp and they were composed.
“Three servants and three bodyguards?” Klein asked casually.
This is quite an extravagant setup, which means that their employer is a rich person… Instinctively, he made his judgment.
“Yes.” Cleves nodded.
Without another word, he quickly turned around and walked towards his employer’s family.
Klein was stunned. He didn’t know why Cleves had specially come to greet him for.
After recalling the novels, movies, and television dramas he had seen in his previous life, he gradually understood what Cleves was implying.
He’s a little wary of me, or should I say of someone who claims to be an adventurer while not looking like someone to mess with, so he introduced himself in advance to indicate his identity and what his job is. It’s to tell me to not have any plans regarding his employer’s family. In short, “you do what you do, I do what I do, and we stay out of each other’s business”… Is this the tacit understanding between experienced adventurers and veteran bounty hunters? Interesting… Klein chuckled. He carried his suitcase and black cane as he went into the cabin. With the help of his ticket, he found his own room.
With a creak, he pushed open the wooden door and walked in.
The room wasn’t very spacious, just large enough to fit a bed, a table, and a cupboard. There weren’t even any chairs.
Its greatest advantage was that it came with windows, The wharf’s sunlight shone in, illuminating the table and bedside with pure golden spots.
A member of the crew mentioned that the washroom and bathroom are for public use, with about eight rooms sharing one. If someone urgently needs one, then they can provide a wooden toilet, but one must pay the cleaning fee of three pence each time… I have to be grateful that after the White Agate was renovated, it has many metal pipelines laid. Boilers are burning and hot water is being supplied, providing a relatively convenient way of life. Otherwise, my travels wouldn’t be a pleasant one…Klein silently sighed.
He quickly took out his necessities and placed them on the table for daily use.
When he was tidying up the place, he sat down on the edge of the bed which wasn’t too high, and he listened to the long whistle of the steam whistle. He felt the power that stemmed from steam and machinery contained within it.
When the ship began to set sail, Klein looked out the window at the sea and gradually withdrew his thoughts. He began to think about the most important thing that would happen next—the problem of how to act as a Faceless.
While facing the True Creator’s descent ritual and the powerful Mr. A, the decision to give up trying to escape and attempt a sabotage act had allowed his potion to be digested a little. Based on this feedback, he gained some new insights into the acting requirements of a Faceless.
“You can disguise yourself into anyone, but you are ultimately yourself.” This is the principle which Nimblewright Master Rosago was made to remember… I originally imagined that “yourself” refers to my original identity, but from the looks of it, that’s not the complete picture. What is considered as “yourself” requires serious thought…Klein leaned forward and bathed in the sunlight as though he was a thinking statue.
After a while, he came up with an idea.
Does this correspond to the spirit of one’s identity, to their true identity deep down?
Even back on Earth, Zhou Mingrui had worn a lot of facades, which formed a social persona. In a sense, this was a big part of what wasn’t real.
Yes… When I become someone else, I take over their identity. In order to not be discovered, I have to disguise myself socially, which is the same as wearing a different mask.
When all the masks are taken down, there will be none left. What kind of “yourself” does a Faceless see at the end of the day?
Is this the deeper meaning behind “yourself” in that principle?
When I face my inner thoughts, overcome my fear, and challenge the impossible without reasons stemming from society, am I really acting as myself?
This is to be explored and verified…
At this thought, Klein changed his position, trying to sit more comfortably.
Remembering everything that had happened before, he found another question regarding acting.
In the underground ruins, I disguised myself as Ince Zangwill and successfully escaped from my predicament, but why didn’t I feel any signs of digesting the potion at all?
Does this imply that to digest the Faceless potion, a superficial disguise such as that isn’t enough?
Yes, this is closer to the use of Beyonder powers and not acting!
What can stimulate the digestion of the potion is a disguise on a deeper level. Is it being a true substitute for a person, becoming that person on a social level? Only when his relatives and friends are unable to find him for a long period of time does it prove that his disguise was a success?
In that case, the reason why I feel harmony with the Faceless potion is because I had previously disguised myself as Klein Moretti?
The first principle of Faceless is that you can disguise yourself as anyone, but you are ultimately yourself… The second principle is to have a disguise on a deeper level that fools everyone?
But to replace a person and become that person in a societal sense is quite evil just thinking about it…
Don’t tell me that I have to find those kinds of people who have died in a foreign land but have a wish that has yet to be fulfilled?
Klein eased his baffling horror, and he drew up an initial direction for his acting attempts.
The higher the Sequence, the more difficult it is to act… He sighed, took out his pocket watch, and checked the time.
Since it was still too early for lunch and the room was too small and cramped, he decided to take a walk on the deck and enjoy the scenery amidst the sea breeze.
After the excitement of the first hour of the voyage, there weren’t many people left on deck. Klein walked along the side of the ship, arriving at a secluded area with large shadows.
It’s a warm, sunny day… Other than the strong winds which might steal my hat, there are no shortcomings… He pressed the half top hat on his head and leisurely surveyed the cabin, listening to the faint sounds of music coming from inside.
Suddenly, he saw the former adventurer, Cleves, busying himself around the corner. In front of him seemed to be a trident, a dagger, and a short knife.
Cleves sensed this and raised his head to look at him. Keeping a well-seasoned demeanor, he said in a taciturn manner, “We’re all old mates, and we have to maintain them frequently.”
At this point, he added, “There are children in the cabin.”
“Understood.” Klein smiled in response.
Cleves lowered his head and continued to busy himself. He casually asked, “You don’t seem to have these things with you?”
“I’m used to using weapons that keep abreast with the times,” Klein said vaguely. “And I frequently do maintenance.”
Cleves silently raised his dagger, looked at it against the sunlight, and said to himself, “At sea, guns alone aren’t enough.
“Pirates will board ships, and there will be a lot of people. After you finish shooting your bullets, you won’t have the opportunity to reload again. Although these guys no longer keep abreast with the times, they’re still useful enough.”
Very professional… As expected of a former adventurer… Klein leaned against the side of the boat and said half-jokingly, “If there really are pirates boarding the ship, I’m more likely to choose not to fight back.”
Cleves turned his head and stared at him for a good three seconds before retracting his gaze. Then, as he packed up his things, he said in a low voice, “It seems that you don’t need me to remind you. You’ve already understood the rules of the sea.
“The bounty hunters who travel the earth are often unable to be adventurers at sea.”
He skillfully hid the dagger, short knife, and trident under his clothes, which dazzled Klein.
“Thank you.” Klein smiled and nodded.
Without speaking any further, Cleves turned around and returned to the cabin, leaving behind only his broad and deep back.
Klein smirked, shook his head, and turned his gaze to the side of the ship.
Blue waves gently rose up and down, and silvery-white flying fish occasionally leaped out of the water and soared in the air.
This fish can “fly” and swim. They’re considered the family of the Lord of Storms by fishermen and sailors, so even if they were caught by nets, they’re returned to the sea… Klein was leisurely admiring the surface of the sea under the sunlight, as well as the flying fishes above the surface of the sea. An uncontrollable thought flashed through his mind.
Hmm, I wonder how good their meat is…