Translator: AtlasStudios Editor: AtlasStudios
“Stop thinking about the bloody IOU. Let’s discuss the ritualistic magic.” Old Neil put away the candles, cauldron, silver knife, and other items with a relaxed expression.
Klein really wanted to shrug his shoulders like the Americans in his previous life, but ultimately could not bring himself to do something that ungentlemanly.
He turned his focus toward the ritualistic magic and threw out detailed questions that puzzled him, receiving answers from them. For example, the incantations had a particular format. As long as they were satisfied and the key meaning was expressed in Hermes, the rest could be left to one’s creativity. Of course, blasphemy or disrespectful descriptions were absolutely forbidden.
The mysticism class lasted until noon before Old Neil coughed twice.
“We have to return to Zouteland Street.”
With that said, he grumbled in an indistinct manner, “To get these bloody materials, I missed my beloved breakfast.”
Klein looked around both amused and puzzled.
“Mr. Neil, do you have a chef? Or a maidservant in charge of cooking?”
A weekly salary of twelve pounds could hire several servants!
According to the newspapers, with board and lodging provided, hiring an ordinary chef cost anywhere between twelve to fifteen soli a week. It did not even need a pound. A maidservant to do miscellaneous chores was even cheaper. Their weekly salaries ranged between three soli six pence to six soli. Of course, one could not bear any hope of them having any culinary skills.
Uh, that’s not right. With Mr. Neil’s debt of thirty pounds, it’s only normal he doesn’t hire any chefs or servants…
It seems I’ve asked another question I should not have asked…
While Klein regretted his question, Old Neil shook his head without minding it.
“I often attempt ritualistic magic, research extraordinary items, and read corresponding documents at home, so I don’t nor is it possible that I hire ordinary people as chefs, butlers or maidservants. I only hire someone to clean up the place regularly. And if they are not ordinary people, do you think they will be willing to do such jobs?”
“I seem to have asked a silly question. It’s possibly because I will not do anything that involves mysticism at home,” explained Klein in a self-deprecating manner.
Old Neil had long stood up, wore his round felt hat, and while walking out the door, rambled on.
“I seem to smell pan-fried foie gras… Once the IOU is completely settled, I’ll definitely have one set! For lunch, I’ll definitely eat roasted pork glazed with apple juices. No, that’s not enough. I must have a sausage infused with mashed potatoes…”
You are making me hungry… Klein swallowed his saliva as he caught up to Old Neil and headed for the nearby public carriage stop.
After returning to Zouteland Street, Old Neil suddenly grunted after stepping down the carriage.
“What do I see? Goddess, what am I seeing?”
He was suddenly as nimble as a seventeen or eighteen-year-old lad. He quickly came to the roadside and picked up an item.
Klein leaned close out of curiosity and looked carefully. He realized it was a wallet with fine workmanship.
With his lack of experience, he could barely tell if the dark brown wallet was made of buffalo skin or sheepskin, but he noticed a small light-blue logo embroidered on the side of the wallet—a white dove spreading its wings as if ready to take off.
That was Klein’s first impression. The second thing he noticed was the stack of paper notes in the bulging wallet.
There were more than twenty gray notes imprinted with black ink—gold pounds!
Old Neil opened up the wallet and pulled out the notes. When he looked at it carefully, he immediately chuckled.
“Ten-pound notes. The honorable Founder and Protector, William I. Wow, Goddess, there’s a total of thirty notes. There’s also a few five-pound notes, one-pound and five-soli notes.”
More than three hundred pounds? That’s a huge amount of money in every meaning of the word! I might not even earn that much in ten years… Klein’s breathing turned heavy involuntarily.
As the amount of gold pounds was immense, picking up such a wallet was equivalent to picking up a briefcase of banknotes in his previous life.
“I wonder which gentleman dropped it… He can’t be someone ordinary,” analyzed Klein calmly.
Such a wallet was clearly not a woman’s.
“There’s no need to care who he is,” said Old Neil with a chuckle. “It’s not like we attempted to divine and take money that doesn’t belong to us. We should wait here for a moment. I believe the gentleman will soon be back searching for it. It’s not something that can be given up no matter who it is.”
Klein heaved a sigh of relief. He had a brand-new understanding of Old Neil’s morals.
He was rather worried that he would have used the Goddess’s bestowment as an excuse and paid off his debt. He was still wondering how to prevent it and persuade him otherwise.
Is this “do as you wish, but do no harm?” Klein suddenly learned something new.
The duo did not wait more than a minute by the streets when a luxurious four-wheeled carriage zoomed over. Its side had a light blue logo with a dove spreading its wings.
The carriage stopped, and a middle-aged man dressed in a black formal suit with a bow tie of the same color alighted. He looked at the wallet, took off his hat, and said politely, “Sirs, that should be my master’s wallet.”
“Your logo is proof of everything, but I need to make additional verifications. This is to be responsible for all parties. Might I ask how much money is there in the wallet?” replied Old Neil politely.
The middle-aged man was taken aback as he said in a self-deprecating manner almost immediately, “As a butler, I do not know how much money Master had in his wallet. Sorry. Please permit me to ask.”
“As you wish.” Old Neil gestured for him to do as he pleased.
The middle-aged man walked to the carriage’s side and through the window, conversed with the person within.
He approached Klein and Old Neil again and smiled.
“More than 300 pounds, but less than 350 pounds. My master does not remember the exact number.”
Does not remember… That’s really some filthy rich guy. If I had that much money on me, I would definitely be counting it again and again… Klein was filled with envy.
Old Neil nodded and handed the wallet back.
“With the Goddess as proof, this belongs to you.”
The middle-aged man took the wallet over and did an estimate before pulling out three ten-pound notes.
“My master is Sir Deweyville. He wishes to commend your morals. This is what an honest person should receive. Please do not reject it.”
Sir Deweyville? The one who established the Deweyville Trust? The Sir Deweyville who provided cheap rental apartments to the working class? Klein immediately remembered the name.
He was a knight that his brother respected but did not believe was grounded in reality.
“Thank you, Sir Deweyville. He is a kind and generous gentleman.” Old Neil did not stand on ceremony as he received the three notes.
After watching Sir Deweyville’s carriage depart, he turned to look at Klein when he saw that there was no one around. He flicked the notes and chuckled.
“Thirty pounds. The IOU is settled.
“I said it will be settled in a reasonable manner.
“This is the power of magic.”
…Holy f**king power of magic! That actually works!? Klein was once again flabbergasted.
A few minutes later, he entered the building’s stairwell and while heading to the security company, he asked puzzledly, “Mr. Neil, why didn’t you ask for more money?”
“Do not be greedy. One must take care not to be greedy when doing ritualistic magic. Temperance is a critical trait needed by every Mystery Pryer if they wish to live long,” explained Old Neil happily.
In a huge ballroom, candles were burning on a few chandeliers, emitting a fragrance that soothed the minds of people. By the sheer number of candles, they produced a light in no way inferior to that of gas lamps.
There were long tables with pan-fried foie gras, grilled steak, roasted chicken, fried tonguefish, Desi oysters, mutton stew, cream soup, and other delicacies. In addition, there were bottles of Mist Champagne, Aurmir grape wine, and Southville red wine. They were all glistening with a tempting glow under the light.
Servants in red vests carried trays with crystal cups and shuttled between the gentlemen and ladies dressed both elegantly or gorgeously.
Audrey Hall was wearing a collared, high-waisted, pale-white dress with engageantes. Her corset was tightly fitted, while her voluminous layers were puffed up perfectly with a cage crinoline.
Her long blond hair was coiled up in an elegant bun and the earrings, necklace, and rings she wore sparkled brightly. At her feet were a pair of white dancing shoes that were stitched with roses and diamonds.
How many petticoats am I even wearing? Five? Six? Wearing white-silk gloves, Audrey caressed her crinoline gently with her right hand.
Her left hand was holding a glass of clear champagne.
Audrey was nothing like her usual self, usually placing herself center-stage of banquets and making her the focus of attention. Instead, she avoided the bustle and quietly stood in the shadows of hanging curtains by the French windows.
She took a sip of champagne as she watched the crowd as though she did not belong.
Count Wolf’s youngest son is chatting with Viscount Conrad’s daughter. He likes to move his forearm to reinforce what he says. Hmm, the bigger the movement of his forearm, the more unbelievable his words. That is something gleaned from experience… He can’t stop trying to elevate himself by putting other people down. However, he can’t help but feel guilty. It can be seen by the way he talks and his body language…
Duchess Della has repeatedly covered her mouth while laughing with her left hand today. Ah, I see. She is showing off her pure ocean-blue sapphire…
Her husband, Duke Negan, is discussing the current situation with a few Conservative nobles. Since the banquet began, he has searched for Duchess Della once…
They almost never make eye contact. Maybe they aren’t as in love as they pretend to be…
Baron Larry has made Madam Parnes laugh seven times. That’s very normal, nothing strange about it, but why does she look at her husband with guilty eyes? Oh, they have gone their separate ways… That’s not right, the directions they are headed leads to the garden…
In the extravagant banquet, Audrey saw many details she never noticed in the past.
There was an instant where she nearly believed that she was watching an opera.
Everyone is a good opera actor… She sighed silently as her eyes remained limpid.
At that moment, she suddenly sensed something and turned her head. She cast her gaze onto a dark corner in the large balcony outside.
In the shadows was a huge golden retriever sitting there silently. She was looking inside at Audrey while half her body was hidden in the darkness.
Susie… The corners of Audrey’s mouth twitched as her expression instantly changed. She could no longer maintain her state as a Spectator.