Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Second floor of the Sweet Lemon Bar, in the boss’s room.
Bilt Brando held a cigar as he stood by the window. He was looking out, and his eyes were out of focus as he wore a dark and terrifying expression.
At this moment, a bodyguard entered, bent his back slightly, and carefully said, “Sir, Sothoth has returned from the east.”
“Let him in.” Bilt tried hard to correct his expression.
Sothoth Yann was his assistant, an important member of the Adventurer Association.
In less than a minute, Sothoth, who was dressed in a linen shirt, brown jacket, and red headscarf, walked in. He looked to be in his thirties and had bronze skin. He had recessed eye sockets and a black mustache below and under his lips. He was obviously someone who spent most of his time at sea.
Sothoth bowed rather informally and sized up Bilt Brando.
“Boss, something happened?”
“Yes, something happened. From the looks of it, it will fail.” Bilt didn’t keep the matter from him as he sighed. “I have no idea how I’m going to answer that important figure.”
Without waiting for Sothoth to answer, he asked, “Have there been any changes at the eastern front?”
“Still the same as usual. The pirates are still after every ship they can plunder. They even target each other. The navy is only able to guard the various colonial posts, and they’re barely able to maintain smooth passage through the sea routes while protecting the relatively important ships. There are often sea battles with both sides obtaining victories at times,” Sothoth said as he shrugged his shoulders.
“The eastern front of the Sonia Sea is a pirate’s playground…” Bilt sighed in agreement.
Sothoth thought for a moment and added, “There has been some recent news from the islands on the eastern front. Apparently it first originated from the Black Death.”
“Vice Admiral Ailment? What news is it?” Bilt asked, his interest piqued.
Sothoth said with a solemn and excited tone, “Vice Admiral Ailment really encountered an assassination attempt and was seriously injured. And the person who attacked her was the adventurer, Gehrman Sparrow!”
“Gehrman Sparrow?” Bilt blurted out.
“Yes, it’s him! He really is a powerhouse at the level of a pirate admiral! Even if it was a sneak attack, it happened on the Black Death. There were so many infamous pirates around, but he managed to successfully escape after dealing a heavy blow to Vice Admiral Ailment. He later hunted Wormtongue Mithor,” Sothoth answered with affirmation while sighing.
Bilt staggered before sighing.
“That’s important news.
“There are very few powerhouses at the pirate admiral level among adventurers. To be able to deal a heavy blow to a pirate admiral on her flagship while alone—such an operation can only be done if one is absolutely confident in themselves or crazy enough. Only a madman will infiltrate a pirate admiral’s flagship in an attempt to assassinate her, instead of finding another spot!”
Having said that, his expression changed slightly.
“I met an adventurer named Gehrman Sparrow last night.”
“For real?” Sothoth’s pupils shrank as he asked solemnly.
“I can’t be sure since I’ve never met the real Gehrman Sparrow, or seen his photograph or portrait.” Bilt shook his head.
Sothoth thought for a moment and said, “You can search for the newspapers from the Rorsted Archipelago to confirm his identity. So many days have passed. There should be tourists that would’ve brought over the corresponding News Report and Sonia Morning Post. Yes, the government offices, police stations, churches, and charity organizations will subscribe to the important newspapers of the Rorsted Archipelago.”
The Rorsted Archipelago was the biggest colonial grounds of the Loen Kingdom in the Central Sonia Sea. Its influence radiated outward, so there was no doubt that Oravi Island, which was within a distance of three days of travel, was part of its domain of influence. The official organizations and churches all subscribed to the newspapers and magazines of the area, so any non-crucial news would be received in three to four days.
“Alright.” Bilt nodded as he probed deeper, “Do you have the exact details of Gehrman Sparrow’s assassination attempt on Vice Admiral Ailment?”
Sothoth thought for a moment and said, “It’s said that Gehrman Sparrow is able to change into anyone, just like Vice Admiral Hurricane Qilangos.
“It’s with that power that he successfully infiltrated the Black Death and found an opportunity to carry out the assassination.”
“He can change into anyone…” Bilt’s eyes lit up.
No, that won’t do. That’s a crazy guy who dares to infiltrate the Black Death to assassinate Vice Admiral Ailment. He causes one to instinctively fear him and distance themselves from him… The light in Bilt’s eyes dimmed.
Furthermore, I don’t even know if he’s the real one or not… He subconsciously shook his head.
I wonder when the Nighthawks and Machinery Hivemind will take action and deal with the abnormality at Williams Street. I hope they do it as soon as possible… Amidst his thoughts, Klein left the gray fog and returned to the real world.
After some consideration, he took out a piece of paper and laid it out on a brown desk.
He wrote with a dark red fountain pen, asking about Mr. Azik’s recent situation before mentioning how he had discovered that someone had a parasite in him while he was searching for a mystical item that could steal the Beyonder powers of others.
Following that, he seemingly asked in passing if there was a way to avoid the parasite and inform the host.
With this as a topic starter, he added how he learned from others about information regarding the Worm of Time that was related to High-Sequence Beyonders from the Marauder pathway. He also mentioned that he knew that such an item could be used as a sacrificial item in important rituals or as a material in high-level charms. However, he had no idea how to produce them.
Phew… Klein put down the fountain pen, folded the letter, and brought the copper whistle to his lips. He blew at it forcefully.
White bones spewed out like a fountain, forming a gigantic skeleton messenger. But this time, the messenger didn’t bore out from downstairs, and it instead tore through the ceiling like many times before, looking down at the summoner from above.
Klein knew that this wasn’t because the messenger had become impolite again, but because he was staying on the first floor of an inn…
He flicked his wrist and threw the letter like a dart, making it land accurately in the messenger’s huge bony hand.
The flames in the messenger’s eye sockets flickered as though it was observing Klein, but ultimately, nothing happened.
Its body disintegrated into a waterfall made of bones as they drilled into the ground.
After everything was done, Klein didn’t spread open the paper crane. He erased what had been written and wrote the same content to seek advice from the Snake of Mercury, Will Auceptin.
This was because he realized something terrible. The paper crane wasn’t a mystical item or Beyonder weapon. It was an ordinary piece of paper that had been folded. After repeatedly having its content erased by an eraser, it was beginning to show signs of its structural integrity failing. In a few more tries, it might directly tear.
I’ll leave extremely important matters that require contact before considering it. For example, only when Mr. Azik isn’t sure how to bypass the Grandpa to warn Leonard… Klein shook his head silently and rapidly packed up the items on his desk.
In addition, he didn’t dare to use the radio transceiver to contact Arrodes recently. This was because the powerhouse sent by the True Creator was likely still loitering around the area in search for the All-Black Eye’s aura. The “scent” of the gray fog was also equally able to attract the True Creator’s attention, allowing “Him” to inform his believers.
Today, I’ll continue being a tourist and relax. Tomorrow, I’ll begin searching for an opportunity to do real acting! Klein retracted his thoughts, draped on his coat, and took his top hat before walking out the inn.
He planned on heading to the mountains outside Oravi Harbor to watch the sunset!
This thought stemmed from a popular novel. Its author’s name was Leeann Mastaing. This gentleman was born in Odora and had decided to permanently reside in Backlund after the age of twenty. His books had introduced the sunset at Mt. Saint Draco with immense feelings, believing that it was the most beautiful scene he had ever seen.
Klein rode a carriage out the city and walked to the foot of Mt. Saint Draco. He took an hour before arriving at the peak of the not-so-tall mountain.
Time passed as the sun slowly set, making the blue sea situated to the left of the mountain peak appear like a sea of fire. As for the emerald-green forests and the vast fields on the right, they seemed to be gilded.
All the colors bloomed with the final touches of radiance in that instant before darkness gradually approached until it became dark.
Ships entered the harbor as carriages drove into the city. The busy people began returning home on the roads parallel to the wheat fields and fruit gardens.
When darkness enveloped the entire land, specks of warm light lit up one after another inside and outside the city. They were like resplendent gems that dotted the velvet night sky.
It’s really beautiful… Klein admired for a moment until all the lights from each family were reflected in his eyes.
He turned around in silence and walked down the mountain path. Accompanied by the dark trees, he returned to the foot of the mountain before walking for some distance until he hired a carriage along the periphery of the port city.
The carriage stably proceeded forward as the dim yellow halos from the iron-black elegant street lamps silently illuminated the ground, receding backwards into the distance.
After some time, Klein returned to his inn. He took out his key and opened his door.
There was a bed, a desk, and a chair in the room, silently sitting there in the rich darkness. They silently reflected some of the crimson luster.
Klein closed the door very gently and walked to the window. He stood in the shadows created by the curtains and remained motionless for quite some time.
The lights outside were still bright.
Early the next morning.
Klein turned on the tap and patted his face with ice-cold water, rejuvenating his entire body.
He had already thought of a way to engage in true acting.
It was still the hospital where death could occur at any moment!
In the past, Klein had only circled the area without much focus. Loitering around had made it hard for him to find any suitable targets. This time, he planned on using some time of volunteer work to stay in the hospital for prolonged periods of time. He could provide hospice to the dying patients who temporarily didn’t have their family beside them. By doing so, he could await the targets he needed.
After having breakfast, Klein arrived at 10 Blackforest Street and entered the Oravi Hospice Foundation.
This was a charity organization of the Church of the Evernight Goddess. One of its responsibilities was to provide the various hospitals with trained volunteers.
Klein came to the registration booth and saw the female employee reading the papers. Hence, he lightly tapped the table to attract her attention.
“Is there something I can help you with?” the lady lowered the papers and asked.
“I wish to do some volunteer work,” Klein said succinctly.
“Name?” The lady looked up at him.
Suddenly, her eyes froze as her right hand trembled. The fountain pen she had just picked up fell to the ground.
In the papers in front of her was a portrait that looked almost realistic.
The portrait’s owner was that of the crazy and dangerous adventurer, Gehrman Sparrow!