Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
The smell of canned wolf-fish is really pungent… Not only is it smelly, but it’s also disgusting… It’s practically a biological weapon! Klein crouched in the corner and took nearly a minute to recover.
Before that very instant, he had underestimated canned wolf-fish. He had failed to take the necessary actions to deal with the situation. He could’ve used Paper Figurine Substitutes or create an invisible air tube to pretend that he was using Underwater Breathing, but he had done none of that.
Now, he finally got a deep understanding of how wise it was to ban opening canned wolf-fish in public!
Phew… Klein exhaled as he slowly stood up. Carrying his suitcase, he slowly walked towards the harbor.
His first impression of the city named Nas was one of many white houses, with stone being a common material for the buildings. The second impression was that it wasn’t too far north, but the temperature was rather cold. Even though it was already April, it was still only a few degrees Celsius. The third impression was that there were many whaling houses. Gigantic beluga whales were being dismembered for their skin, flesh, fat, bones, and “gray amber.”
The latter two could be used to make pannier for banquet dresses or top-grade scented materials. Whether it was for incense or perfume, they were considered luxurious goods that only the wealthy and nobles could enjoy.
As for the skin, flesh, and fat of beluga whales, they also had their own uses. They were used separately to make clothes, food, or oil-related products. In Nas and the Gargas Archipelago, the culinary methods for preparing beluga whale had transformed into a unique culture. There were all sorts of techniques and famous restaurants.
Klein passed by the various whaling houses, seeing separated fat being carried out on cargo carriages towards nearby factories that spewed black smoke. They were oil refineries which were very unique to Gargas. Beluga whale fat could be refined into whale oil which could be bottled and made into outstanding incendiary material and the lifeblood of particular industries.
Very unique… Klein exhaled some mist as he stopped and watched for a while.
Out of the harbor and into the city district, a cacophony of Feysac inundated his ears.
Having mastered ancient Feysac—the source of the Northern Continent’s language—Klein was long familiar with the language of the Northern Continent barbarians. He turned his head upon hearing the din and saw the tall populace with slightly blonde hair raising horizontal banners as they protested on the streets.
The horizontal banner right at the front clearly wrote the reasons for their protest.
“Oppose the poaching of beluga whales! We need sustainable development!”
Pfft… Klein nearly lost his cool as he believed that the concept of “sustainable development” was highly likely to be “invented” by Emperor Roselle.
As he swept his gaze, he looked at the banners behind it and understood the goals of the protest.
“Whaling for survival, not entertainment!”
“Humans aren’t more important than beluga whales!”
“Greedy devils should leave Nas!”
At this moment, a policeman dressed in a gray uniform held a shield, riot fork, and baton to stop the protesters from advancing.
After a brief argument, the scene quickly turned violent.
Many protesting youths threw opened canned wolf-fish, as well as Molotov cocktails. The police didn’t show restraint as they forged forward, raising their shields and striking with their batons.
Klein pinched his nose as he watched the fire burning on the street. He realized that many passersby were completely unfazed. Apart from a small bunch of spectators, the rest continued proceeding to their destinations.
It appears that such things happen often in Nas… Do protests develop into riots? As expected of the Feysac Empire… Klein mumbled to himself, circled the street, and casually found an inn to stay.
He continued registering as Gehrman Sparrow, unworried that the news released by Vice Admiral Ailment Tracy would cause the Church of the Evernight Goddess to view him as a Faceless. This was because he had no plans on traveling through the whale fishing routes to find mermaids who were believers of the Goddess. He planned on heading to the dangerous region farthest east from the Sonia Sea.
As for the safety in the Gargas Archipelago, there was nothing he needed to worry about. This was a colony of the Feysac Empire. The only legal Church was the Church of the God of Combat. They were enemies with the Church of the Evernight Goddess.
Klein was originally worried that he would encounter many Faceless here, meeting seven or eight Faceless simply from going next door to enjoy some whale cuisine. However, after serious consideration, he rationally eliminated this possibility.
First, Beyonders from the Seer pathway were rare to begin with. Klein had only met three Beyonders who were beyond Sequence 8, and second, Sequence 6 Beyonders weren’t commonly seen. Even in a playground for pirates, those who had 5,000-pound bounties were considered rare creatures. Third, once a Faceless had many preparations, they would seek out mermaids on a whaling boat. They would either begin having faith in the Goddess, sink to the bottom of the ocean, or become research personnel. Otherwise, the extremely smart ones would seize the opportunity and successfully advance before leaving safely. It was very rare for them to stay on Gargas Archipelago for long.
In all of Nas, excluding myself, there wouldn’t be more than two Faceless… Klein straightened his clothes as he wasn’t in a rush to contact Admiral of Stars Cattleya. He came onto the streets in a good mood and began searching for delicacies according to what he heard on his travels.
Raw beluga whale slices, fried whale steak, whale oil with skin, roasted whale meat… Like a standard traveler, Klein restaurant hopped thrice and sampled different food.
Not bad. It’s pretty unique and it’s not very fishy. Instead, it’s very appetizing and alluring… Burp… Klein covered his mouth as he came onto the streets. He discovered that the street lamps were sparse, but the lights from the houses lining the streets were bright. To a certain extent, they reduced the darkness of the night.
Ice-cold winds passed through the ocean, causing Klein to raise his hand to prop up his collar. The blue cufflinks had their lusters restrained as they were deeply embedded at his wrists.
Compared to rings, items like cufflinks were more suited to Gehrman Sparrow’s persona. Therefore, Klein didn’t blame the Artisan for making changes without his permission.
As for the harmonica that had fixed the summoning ritual of a spirit world creature, it matched Klein’s inward intentions completely. It could be used for a year and a half. It was silver in color, exquisite and beautiful.
When he received the harmonica, Klein had imagined such a scene—a crazy and powerful adventurer playing a sad tune on the harmonica in a silent night under the dark moonlight by the side of a boat.
Unfortunately, the harmonica couldn’t produce any sound, and it could only be used to summon Reinette Tinekerr.
Shaking his head indiscernibly, Klein steadily walked down the empty and cold Nas streets before returning to his inn.
Using sleep to bring himself back to an optimal state, he went to Gray Amber Street the next morning and entered a sundry store named Hot Whale Dance.
Upon seeing the grizzled boss who was a head taller than him, Klein tapped the counter and said in Feysac, “Whale oil.”
The boss had wrinkles plastered across his face, but he only wore a coat made of beluga whale skin. The light-colored patterns had a strange beauty.
“How much?” The boss was drinking large mouthfuls of liquor, ignoring the messy placement of the goods.
“One and a quarter buckets,” Klein replied according to the predetermined secret password.
The boss’s drinking actions instantly slowed down as he placed the cup of brownish-green alcohol onto the bar counter.
“Do you want to try some? It’s many times purer than Nepos. It’s considered the mistress of all Feysac men.”
This was a distilled liquor that’s a specialty of Feysac. It’s brewed with potatoes or grain. The alcohol purity was high, as stimulating and famous as Blaze. Compared to Sonia blood wine, its price was rather low, and it was well-liked by ordinary Feysacians.
“There’s no need.” Klein shook his head.
The boss chuckled.
“What kind of man are you if you don’t drink Nepos?
“Are there only women in Loen?”
He mumbled before drinking another mouthful.
“Who introduced you here?”
“Ma’am Gehrmuses,” Klein said a name in the style of the local customs.
The boss exhaled, causing a strong scent of distilled liquor to linger in the air.
He staggered as he got up, like a polar bear performing at a circus.
After giving the store employee instructions, he brought Klein to a tiny room on the second story of the warehouse at the back.
“Let me search for it. Let’s see…” the boss mumbled as he crouched.
Klein controlled the twitching of his facial muscles as he recalled a widely-spread joke in the Loen Kingdom.
“When is a Feysac man not drunk? When he’s in his mother’s womb.”
After waiting for a moment, Klein saw the boss find a pure crystal ball from his rummaging.
Then, the tipsy “polar bear” had his back facing Klein as he rubbed his hands on it, softly chanting the tongue-twisting ancient Hermes.
The room gradually turned dark as all the corners without light sank like they were producing a strange attractive force.
The crystal ball quickly lit up, producing the figure of a woman wearing a black, classic robe.
She had an oval face and had very fair skin. Her eyes were deep black with a slight purple hue which was filled with mystery.
I’m seeing another Tarot Club member’s actual appearance again… Klein stepped forward and received the crystal ball.
On the opposite end of the crystal ball, The Hermit Cattleya could also clearly see The World. He had black hair and brown eyes, with a thin and angular face.
Her gaze paused for a moment before she hesitantly said, “Gehrman Sparrow?”
She discovered that the true strength and standards of the Tarot Club members were far stronger than she had expected. The World was actually the crazy hunter, Gehrman Sparrow, who was considered at the level of a pirate admiral!
My various assumptions of The World were problematic… Controlled, staid, experienced, and ruthless… Admiral of Stars didn’t feel overly surprised.
“Yes, Ma’am Cattleya.” Klein gestured for the boss to leave the room.
After it became extremely quiet, Admiral of Stars Cattleya asked once again, “I’m very curious. How did you recognize my identity? I’ve been very careful when participating in the gatherings.”
Of course, she had jumped in fright when The World, who had chosen to speak privately with her, immediately greeted her with “Admiral of Stars.”
And it was partly because of this that she chose to take on The World’s commission.
“A secret.” Klein smiled politely.
As he didn’t wish for her to make connections to Mr. Fool, he calmly added, “Your eyes are very special.”
“Can I understand that as a form of praise?” Cattleya smiled, feeling somewhat enlightened.
She believed that The World had previously only relied on her eyes and other details to suspect that she was Admiral of Stars, but she wasn’t certain. Hence, he had probed her with language, and her reaction told him the correct answer.
Klein didn’t respond as he switched to asking, “When can we set off?”