Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
5 p.m., Olive Tree Avenue, Pam’s Divination Lodge.
Alger Wilson pushed open a brown wooden door with panes of glass situated above it, and he entered the cafe that had a mysticism theme.
He ordered a cup of Fermo coffee from the Paz Valley on the Star Highlands of the Southern Continent. He took out the tarot cards he had bought earlier and placed it beside him. The top card was The Hanged Man, depicting an angel hanging upside down with his hands tied behind his back.
Unlike this morning, he had changed into a dark, classical robe and wore a clergyman’s biretta, like a warlock or magician from folklore.
After taking in a silent breath, Alger slowly sipped his coffee. He didn’t show any anxiety from waiting.
After about five or six minutes, the thick brown wooden door opened again, and a young man in a black tweed coat and a half top hat came in.
The gentleman’s appearance wasn’t even thirty years of age. His face was thin and angular. He had both a mature and gloomy temperament. It was none other than Klein who had slightly modified his appearance and changed his persona.
He wasn’t wearing gold-rimmed glasses, but his eyesight was unaffected. With a casual sweep with his eyes, his gaze landed on Alger’s dark blue sideburns.
Klein looked down and saw The Hanged Man card placed face up on the deck.
Without a word, he walked over, took off his hat, and sat down opposite Alger. He said with a grim smile, “I’d like to have a divination.”
As he spoke, he had already taken in the appearance of the most senior member of the Tarot Club.
Deep facial features, rough outline, with a clear weathered look. It’s obvious he was a person adept at fighting and is often outdoors.
His skin is bronze in color, but it differs from that of the natives. He’s like the result of a pure Loenese being battered by the elements for years, but the dark blue hair is more peculiar, something that doesn’t belong to Loen. It’s closer to the colonists of Desi Bay who live in Berserk Sea region.
Mixed blood… Klein made his judgment.
Alger looked at the gentleman across him, slowly superimposing his image with that of The World. Then, he pushed out the tarot card and said in a low voice, “This requires you to shuffle and cut your own cards.”
Klein reached out and picked them up, spreading them fully to take them in. Following that, he gathered them together and did a reshuffle.
He cut the cards continuously, took out three cards, and placed them in an arrangement of past, present, and future.
Klein slowly leaned back, but he turned over the middle tarot card with his right hand. It showed a naked woman wearing only a purple silk scarf, surrounded by a green wreath like a door.
This was The World, numbered 21. Number 22 returned to 0, symbolizing The Fool.
“How should I interpret this?” Klein asked deliberately.
Although The Hanged Man hadn’t explicitly mentioned that The World was the adorer of The Fool, Klein didn’t think it was necessary to hope otherwise. He felt that being honest about it aided in establishing his image—if Alger hadn’t guessed it, then it was an act of being open and confident. If Alger already knew about the matter, it would make The World appear at ease, as if everything was within his grasp.
H-he knows I know? He already believes that I’ve guessed it before raising the topic above the gray fog? Impressive… Alger’s heart skipped a beat as he replied at a moderate pace, “It’s inverted. It means that things will fail due to a lack of preparation.”
“What kind of preparations are needed?” Klein thoughtfully nodded and asked.
Alger took back all the tarot cards apart from The World and skillfully reshuffled and cut the cards.
Then, he flipped open the top card.
It was The Hierophant!
Alger’s voice remained deep and low.
“You need advice. You need the help of faith and religion to avoid going down the wrong path.”
Without waiting for Klein to speak, he followed the sequence and turned over the second card. On it was The Moon which overlooked the land.
“You will be confused, you will be exhausted, and you will be wandering in your dreams, but this is only temporary.”
Next, Alger handed over a third tarot card; it was The Sun.
“Everything shall pass, and the light will shine upon the land,” he spoke like a charlatan.
Klein remained silent for a few seconds, then seemingly asked for confirmation, “Church, dream, sun?”
A hint of a smile spread across Alger’s face. He nodded slightly and said, “That’s right.”
He had hidden hints for the follow-up plan during the tarot divination.
In fact, in a situation where he had no skin in the matter and wasn’t even noticed, there was no need to be so tactful. He could’ve described things in detail directly, but Alger felt that he still needed to test out an adorer like The World. He wanted to know if he was smart enough, rather than relying on his strength.
If their intelligence were on the same level, Alger felt that they could cooperate more in the future. There was no need to talk too much between smart people; on the contrary, he would try to not involve The World in his own affairs. He would only ask for help when he needed a helper, unless Mr. Fool had other orders.
Now, The World’s response and previous performances had confirmed that he was sly, vicious, and experienced.
Heh, I’m a tarot card expert… On such matters, Mr. Hanged Man, you’re just a rookie… Klein secretly laughed, belittling him inwardly.
The message hidden in The Hanged Man’s interpretation was very simple. The Hierophant meant that he wanted to inform the Church of Storms about Blazing Danitz and Steel Maveti, and then use the power of the Mandated Punishers to divide the enemy and reap the benefits.
This was something Klein often used, so there was no difficulty in understanding.
The Moon and The Sun cards which followed were a reminder and warning from The Hanged Man.
Since the Mandated Punishers were involved, a certain amount of caution had to be taken. According to Alger’s experience, his colleagues in Bayam would definitely use a Sealed Artifact that could force many people within its range to fall into a dream, when dealing with similar issues. Maveti’s characteristic meant that there had to be a specific item in the Sun domain which targeted him.
I’m immune to dreams, so I’m not afraid of the Sun… Klein reached out his hand and half-turned the inverted The World card, turning it into its proper position, meaning that this plan was feasible and that he would make preparations.
Alger raised his head and took a deep breath.
“The master here specializes in aromatherapy. She can use the fragrances of different essential oils, extract, incense, and flower essence to treat corresponding emotional problems and pacify the restless mind. Do you want to try it?”
Using the contact point at Amyris Avenue? Klein smiled in response.
The two of them looked at each other as they remained motionless. They stopped talking about the aromatherapy anymore as both of them already had everything laid out.
Klein didn’t stay any longer than necessary. He took out his pocket watch, looked at it, and slowly stood up.
Alger wiped away his smile, pressed his hand to his chest, and slightly bowed.
“Let us praise God. All divination outcomes come from ‘His’ revelation.”
Oh, you even know how to express your loyalty… Klein tried to hold back his laughter as he replied seriously, imitating Alger, “Let us praise God.”
He took two steps away, then suddenly stopped and looked back at Alger, chuckling as he put on his hat.
“Frankly, you aren’t suitable for that type of attire.”
Ah? Alger couldn’t keep up with Mr. World’s train of thought.
When Klein had left the themed coffee shop, Alger retracted his gaze and looked at the mirror in the corner and took a good look at himself.
Initially, he didn’t think there was anything wrong wearing that. However, after The World’s remark, he found it more inconsistent the more he looked at himself. Finally, he understood why he had said that.
A fellow, who looked boorish and hardened, one appearing capable of summoning a hundred sailors at any time to beat up his opponent or bringing out an axe and chopping them into pieces, really shouldn’t be wearing such a mysterious classical warlock robe. It made his bearing somewhat abnormal.
Cathedral of Waves.
Alger, who had changed back into his original clothes, kept a low profile and followed the worshipers into the hall. He took advantage of the act of making a confession in order to meet the bishop, Chogo, through the priest in charge.
After saluting, he went straight to the point.
“I met Blazing Danitz, who claims that the key that Vice Admiral Iceberg possesses has nothing to do with Death’s treasure and that they are even willing to sell it.
“He entrusted me with a mission to take note of Steel Maveti’s whereabouts. Apparently, he was injured by this second mate of the Admiral of Blood, and is in a rush to escape from his pursuit.
“Your Excellency, I wish to leak this news, making Steel Maveti and his subordinates successful in cornering Blazing Danitz. And I wish to use this opportunity to capture them all or execute them on the spot.
“This will be able to effectively keep the arrogance of the pirates in check.”
Chogo revealed a look of approbation.
“Very good. The way you do things is better than I expected.”
Alger replied with a look of humility, “This all stems from the Lord’s guidance, and also from your teachings.
“In the evening, I’ll find a suitable target to leak this news to. If I come to pray again, it will indicate that Steel Maveti temporarily isn’t taking action. If I do not appear, it means that I might be restrained by him or his subordinates to prevent any news from leaking. This means that they have fallen for the trap.”
After giving details of the location and other matters, Alger returned to the confessional and left as usual.
7:15 p.m., Amyris Leaf Bar.
Alger, wearing a pair of baggy pants and a head towel wrapped around his dark blue hair, stood by a boxing ring and held a glass of Lanti Proof in his hand. With a mocking expression on his face, he looked at the two contestants with bruises all over.
Soon, he noticed his target had entered the room and was heading straight for the bar counter.
After a while, he sat down next to the thin man and said with a chuckle, “I heard that Steel has arrived in Bayam.”
The man tilted his head in alarm and replied with a fake smile, “Why don’t I know about it?”
“Is that so? It looks like Blazing fooled me!” Alger smacked the bar counter and drank a mouthful of alcohol.
“Blazing… Danitz?” the man’s eyes lit up as he asked hesitantly.
“Yes, that’s him!” Alger gritted his teeth. “I met him this morning at the Gold Coin Casino. This damned fellow claimed that Steel was in Bayam. Pui! How dare he lie to me!”
The swarthy, thin man’s eyes darted around without interrupting.
He finished listening quietly, stood up, and chuckled.
“I forgot that I have something to do. We should have a game of cards another time.”
He patted Alger on the shoulder and in a seemingly unhurried manner, left the bar in a hurry.
Alger held a glass of alcohol, half-turning to look at his back. His eyes appeared deep and gloomy, and there were no signs of a smile at the corners of his mouth.