Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
It was early in the morning, and the sky had just brightened up slightly. Most of the alleys were dark and quiet.
With the aid of Danitz’s cloak, Klein blended into the shadows and quickly moved about. He felt as if his surroundings were grayish-black and transparent, with reality being blurred. All sounds seemed to come from the depths of the starry sky, empty and distant.
After staying as far away from Amyris Avenue as possible, he acquired his bearings and “grew” out from the shadows. He appeared in an empty alley filled with broken stones.
Klein’s hands shook, throwing Steel Maveti’s peacock-blue Flying Carpet out in front of him. He wanted to finish the Grazing before Maveti’s Spirit Body began dissipating.
Throwing away the Flying Carpet, he took a step forward, stretched out his left hand, and extended his five fingers, aiming from above at the corpse that was still warm.
Creeping Hunger revealed its original appearance—a thin material that looked like it was made up of human skin.
Two eyes had split open in the middle of its palm. Its pupils were bright red, as though they were dyed in blood.
A bone-chilling breeze suddenly blew through the alley. It swirled around Steel Maveti’s corpse, twisting into an almost transparent human figure. One could vaguely see thick lips and curled hair that resembled steel beads.
Maveti’s Spirit Body wore an abnormally pained expression as he tried his best to resist the suction of the Creeping Hunger. As for the grayish-white and blackish-green dots of light, they were like a surging galaxy, quickly flying out from his body and merging into the transparent figure.
Maveti let out a soundless scream, already being too late to beg for mercy. All he could do was desperately slip into the human-skinned glove, becoming attached to an empty finger, and revealing his Beyonder characteristic that connected with the environment to a certain extent.
This connection determined what powers would be usable when Grazing Steel Maveti’s soul. Perhaps it would be one, two, but no more than three powers. Klein had no choice over the number and details before they became fixed, as it was purely random.
Creeping Hunger quickly blanketed its paleness and finally returned to its former disguised state: a plain black glove.
Klein closed his eyes and sensed the changes for a few seconds before letting out a profound sigh.
This time, his luck wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t too good either.
He had succeeded in acquiring three Beyonder powers belonging to Steel Maveti, but he didn’t receive the body as hard as steel; the tenacious vitality of being impervious to gunfire, flames, or a certain degree of explosives.
The first is the power of a Zombie, which allows me to unleash a critical attack, making up for my previous flaws of only having a nimble combat style. The second is mastery over ice. Although it’s impossible to condense an ice spear or create a blizzard like that of the Demoness pathway to inflict a direct attack, I can freeze the surrounding ground, lower the temperature of the air, and effectively affect the movement of my enemy. If there’s any physical contact, then I can even freeze the enemy’s body or stiffen his flesh and blood. It’s a perfect match for my combat ability. The third is the manipulation of zombies. Heh heh, I no longer need to be afraid of not being able to have partners for a round of cards… Klein thought for a moment, then he bent down to inspect the items on Steel Maveti’s person.
He quickly found 26 pounds, 11 soli, and 8 pence in cash, as well as a collection of strange things that seemed normal, such as candles, clips, a thorny whip, and so on.
Considering the fact that Steel Maveti was a member of the Rose School of Thought and belonged to the type of people who indulged in their desires, Klein vaguely understood what was going on. Spitting on the ground, he only took the cash.
Werewolf has supernatural healing powers. Zombie has a body like steel. There’s really no need for him to carry any healing related medicine or items… It’s as Danitz concluded, Maveti doesn’t have any mystical items… That’s right, mystical items are few in number to begin with. Many have clear flaws and negative effects. Not everyone can have one even if they want one. Previously, in the group consisting of a Wraith, Zombie, and Werewolf, there were only two mystical items—Scarlet Lunar Corona and Biological Poison Bottle… Klein nodded and took out a folded piece of paper.
He unfolded the yellowed piece of paper and placed it on the body of Steel Maveti, covering his face.
It was a bounty notice with a portrait of Maveti and the corresponding bounty reward: “6,000 pounds!”
Klein straightened up, took a step back, stepped on the peacock-blue carpet, and pulled out a paper figurine.
With a swing of his arm, his wrist shook, and the paper figurine was thrown out. It burst into flames before scattering into ashes.
Soon after, he phased into a shadow and disappeared into the alley along with the items.
Two or three minutes later, Cordoba Roye rushed over with a portion of the Mandated Punisher team, just in time to see a cool breeze blow up the bounty notice, revealing Steel Maveti’s dissolving flesh and blood dissolving, his eyes wide open.
Whoosh. The bounty notice fell to the side and remained facing up.
Having lost track of their target, Cordoba and the others silently brought Steel’s corpse back to the area where the battle had taken place.
Glancing at the team members who were inspecting the site, the deacon, Cordoba, restrained his emotions and asked in a deep voice, “A believer of the Sun?”
This was the most important question for him and his diocese.
The Mandated Punisher team member responsible for finding clues via supernatural means to recreate the truth wasn’t a Beyonder of the Storm pathway, but a Sequence 7 Knowledge Keeper corresponding to Reader, also known as Detective. He didn’t rush to answer, but instead came over and squatted down to examine Maveti’s corpse.
After a while, he looked up and said, “It’s not a believer of the Sun, probably a result of using the powers of a mystical item.”
“Reason?” Cordoba asked with a frown.
The Mandated Punisher said, “There’s an evil feeling within that stems from flesh and blood. One of the corpses was devoured in such a manner, leaving only a body’s traits and items. If it’s a Sun believer, they wouldn’t do something like that even if they relied on items. To them, things in the domain of the True Creator are sacrilegious and require immediate purification or sealing. They likely wouldn’t borrow its powers.”
After thinking for a few seconds, Cordoba agreed with this conclusion and asked, “Someone from the Aurora Order?”
“No, a real Rose Bishop or Shepherd wouldn’t act so crudely. They’ll definitely wrap the corpse within their body and deal with the scene after departing. There’s no reason to dismember the body on the spot. It’s a waste of time that also leaves a bunch of items that can be considered valuable. To devour him in such a rush, it resembles that of the negative effects of a mystical item,” the Knowledge Keeper said calmly.
“A mystical item that possesses powers in both the Sun and Secrets Suppliant domains? Perhaps it’s something with powers like that of a Shepherd? Berg, what’s your take?” As a deacon, Cordoba had the clearance to know of a Shepherd and their special abilities. As for the Knowledge Keeper knowing, it was a result of his position in the team. The other Mandated Punishers had no idea what they were talking about.
Knowledge Keeper Berg stood up.
“It’s all possible.”
“Any suspects?” Cordoba asked in a low voice.
Berg shook his head.
“There are no suspects for the time being.
“But one thing can be confirmed. Blood Brambles was killed by Blazing Danitz. The other person is his helper, a rather terrifying powerhouse that’s not weaker than a Pirate Admiral.”
“A terrifying powerhouse…” Cordoba’s expression turned grave as he muttered under his breath. Following that, his eyes lit up. “Could it be Edwina? She can simulate some Beyonder powers which she has seen before!”
Knowledge Keeper Berg pondered for a moment and then said, “We can’t rule out that possibility, but our intelligence shows that she was in the vicinity of Sonia Island a few days ago. Unless—unless she can simulate a corresponding ability and use the spirit world to travel here.”
Cordoba paced back and forth, looked around, and said, “Deal with the scene, and don’t bring this to the attention of the nearby residents.
“I’ll submit the mission report, and let’s hope that we’ll receive more effective information.”
This involved a powerhouse whose combat prowess was equivalent to at least a Sequence 5. He could only restrain his irascible mood and make the most rational decision.
Inside Old Quinn’s house, in the basement with the heavy stone door sealed shut.
Alger was sitting on the low bed, quietly looking at the candles on the table when his vision blurred. He saw the gray fog emanate, along with The Fool sitting on a high chair, overlooking everything.
A blurry silhouette appeared below, hands clasped before his face as he said in a pious tone, “Honorable Mr. Fool, the matter has come to a successful conclusion.”
The matter has come to a successful conclusion? This involves Steel Maveti and several other Beyonders… The World sure is efficient at handling matters. His strength is stronger than I expected. As expected of an adorer of Mr. Fool… Heh heh, he might be able to sell another Beyonder characteristic at the Tarot Club, maybe even more than one… How did he get around the effects of Sealed Artifact 2-37? The uniqueness of a god’s adorer? A thought flashed through Alger’s mind, and he instinctively thanked Mr. Fool.
Then, he took out a small metal bottle and smeared mint extract on the tip of his nose.
A strong, irritating odor seeped into his head, instantly making Alger become abnormally clear-headed.
At some point in time, a white gauze mask appeared in his hands, and he had poured the Full Moon Essence Oil onto it.
After methodically putting on his mask, Alger stood up and walked slowly to the heavy stone door.
With a staid series of movements, he retrieved a sealed metal jar from the inside of his clothes, twisted the mechanical switch, and pulled out a tube.
Then, he stuffed the tube into the crevice of the stone door and extended it out.
Without a sound, the gas inside the metal container started to emanate.
This was the Sanguine anesthetic gas provided by The Moon, Emlyn!
It can knock out strong commoners, Sequence 9 Beyonders with strong bodies, and even higher Sequences who were lacking in their constitution!
Even if Old Quinn can resist the gas, he would still be significantly affected. As for his helpers and friends, heh… Alger leaned against the stone door and waited patiently.
When nearly a third of the gas was dispersed from the jar, he pulled the tube back and closed the switch.
He turned around and listened attentively before receiving a satisfactory answer.
Alger revealed a faint smile. He rapidly converged his aura and compressed it inside him.
Suddenly, the muscles on his body bulged, and he threw a punch forward.
The iron lock of the heavy stone door directly shattered, and the door itself opened up.
Alger withdrew his fist and walked out, leaving only the sleeping figures outside.
Author’s Note: Creeping Hunger has two modes, Grazing and Devouring. The former targets the soul and Beyonder characteristic, while the latter targets the flesh and blood.