Translator: AtlasStudios Editor: AtlasStudios
At dusk, the setting sun cast long shadows of the carriages and horses.
Having informed Benson and Melissa that he was having dinner at the Blackthorn Security Company, Klein headed to the harbor with Old Neil on a public carriage.
He was dressed in cheap formal attire, afraid that conflict might break out in such a complicated location—if he damaged his tuxedo which he took painstaking care of, he would probably cry his heart out.
When the sunlight appeared to turn fiery, the carriage stopped. Old Neil, in his usual classic black robe and felt black hat with a rounded edge, ignored the gazes of others and walked diagonally to the Evil Dragon Bar in ahead of them.
Even though the bar was slightly far away and the heavy doors were tightly shut, Klein still heard wave after wave of rapturous shouts. They appeared to be cheering on a hero.
When he came close, he suddenly sensed something. He turned his head towards the warehouse opposite to the bar. He saw a stocky man dressed in a uniform standing at a hidden corner on the rooftop.
The man carried a huge grayish-white mechanical box and held a thick rifle in his hand.
The grayish-white mechanical box was obviously connected to the same-colored rifle via piping.
“Steam-pressured rifle?” Klein muttered in shock. He looked at Old Neil and said, “This bar can actually obtain such weapons?”
That was a military-controlled item!
Although it used extracted phlogiston 1 , the size and weight of the steam backpack were still shocking, something only a true warrior of blood and iron could withstand. The rifle had an extremely high muzzle velocity and shocking destructive power too.
Matched with a suitable scope, it was nearly equivalent to an inferior sniper rifle.
“What?” Old Neil squinted his eyes as he looked over, having a confused look too. “Did something happen here?”
Something happened? Klein surveyed his surroundings and discovered a few more men holding repeating rifles who were searching for something.
“What happened?” Old Neil approached the bar and asked the brawny man guarding its door outside.
The brawny man obviously knew Old Neil and smiled wryly.
“The bar was nearly destroyed earlier.
“Apparently a wanted man was here trying to buy materials and was recognized. And this was what resulted from it. Oh Lord, what did he do, and how dangerous was he to receive such treatment? My legs went limp seeing all those firearms, limper than after spending an entire night with Ginger Sunny!”
He did not know the identity of the wanted man, much less know that the people who came to buy materials had Beyonders mixed in.
“Wanted man? Do you know his name?” Old Neil asked in interest.
“I think it was Tris or something?” the brawny man answered uncertainly.
Instigator Tris? Klein nodded in enlightenment, having understood what was happening.
Tris did not know that Joyce Meyer had cast his suspicion on him; therefore, he had sauntered right into the market to purchase materials without heed. He was likely recognized by an informant of either the Machinery Hivemind or the Nighthawks, resulting in an intense clash.
“Was he caught?” Klein tapped his silver-inlaid black cane.
Based on the surrounding situation, likely not…
The brawny man shook his head slightly and gestured with his chin to the rooftop of the warehouse opposite him.
“He rushed out before those terrifying guys arrived. Bloody hell, I’ve never seen a man run faster than he did!”
You haven’t seen the true skills of an Assassin, or you might be taken away to some indescribable place for further reeducation… Klein thought.
“Is the market still open?” Old Neil changed subjects and asked.
“It just restored operations,” replied the brawny man affirmatively.
“That’s great.” Old Neil quickened his pace and extended his right hand, pushing open the heavy door.
Klein followed closely in tow and walked in. He nearly fainted at the stuffiness and smell of alcohol that inundated him.
In the middle of Evil Dragon Bar was a boxing ring. Two half-naked men were in an intense brawl and surrounding them were dozens of customers shouting and cheering on the side they supported with no lack of vulgarities.
Old Neil ignored them and led Klein around the boxing ring and walked into a billiard room at the back.
In the billiard room, there were two people holding cue sticks, having a casual conversation. When they saw Old Neil enter, they instantly fell silent for a few seconds.
After confirming the visitor’s identity, they moved aside and let Old Neil and Klein pass through the secret door behind them.
After passing through a few rooms, the sight before Klein’s eyes opened up. He saw a place that was about the size of a lecture hall from his previous life.
Some vendors had set up roadside stalls with bottles and cans all over. Passers-by strolled through them, either scrutinizing their goods, chatting, or comparing prices.
“They have to give five percent of their profits to Swain. Ah, he is the boss of Evil Dragon Bar, former captain of a Mandated Punisher squad and older than I am. He’s someone who wishes to drink himself to his death,” Old Neil explained in a garrulous manner.
Klein thought and gave an honest evaluation.
“A rather profitable business.”
After all, his only expense was providing the venue and protection.
“If any item catches your fancy but you lack the money, you can borrow from Swain. But of course, he charges a very high interest…” Old Neil trailed off as he gnashed his teeth.
As expected, it’s like running a casino, they would provide usuries… Klein held his walking stick and looked around as he asked curiously, “Mr. Swain is a Seafarer?”
The captain of a Mandated Punisher squad was likely a Sequence 7.
“No, he is only a Folk of Rage. Tingen is not a coastal city, so the Church of the Goddess is much more powerful than Lord of Storms here.” Old Neil scoffed. “Actually, Swain had the chance of becoming a Seafarer, but was afraid that he would lose control so he chose to give up.”
Just as Klein was about to ask if the boss of the bar had any experience of nearly losing control, he suddenly felt a strange phenomenon happen on his left.
There appeared to be something hidden there, muttering and recounting.
Klein turned his head and saw a pale young man. He was wearing an old linen shirt and blue jeans that the working class normally wore. His eyes looked demoralized with a hint of craziness, and he was constantly mumbling.
“His spiritual perception is very high… or perhaps, distorted?” Klein creased his eyebrows and muttered.
It was the young man’s spiritual perception that triggered his own spiritual perception!
Generally speaking, spiritual perception sensing something causes some interaction. It was nearly impossible to conceal it from others, but “others” referred to Spirit Mediums who had cast their abilities, as well as powerful figures with similar special traits. A Beyonder like Klein would actually find it hard to detect, only detecting if one’s spiritual perception reached a certain heightened level, or an abnormal distortion happened.
They made eye contact and the pale young man with messy black hair walked towards him with an expression looking as though he was half-sleepwalking and half-insane.
He stopped before Klein and stared at him.
Suddenly, he guffawed.
“Haha, it’s the smell of death, death… Ah!”
Before he was done talking, he suddenly screamed tragically. His eyes shut tightly as liquid with the color of blood flowed out.
“Ah! Darn it!” The young man covered his eyes and hugged his head. He struggled on the ground and only calmed down after a while. He then lay there panting.
During the entire process, not a single customer or stall vendor looked over.
Klein pressed down his halved top hat and looked at Old Neil. Klein’s mouth was hanging open in shock, using his actions to demonstrate his shock and to request for advice.
“Don’t mind him. He’s Ademisaul, an orphan, nicknamed ‘monster.’ He was born with high spiritual perception, and he has always been able to see things that he shouldn’t, hear voices that he shouldn’t. Hence, he is always raving and often getting hurt.” Old Neil shook his head as he explained.
He could tell that my body was once dead? Klein knitted his eyebrows and lowered his voice as he asked in doubt, “Haven’t the Nighthawks, Mandated Punishers, or the Machinery Hivemind ever thought of taking him in?”
“No, we do not have the Sequence potion that suits him,” said Old Neil with a sigh.
Right, he was born with the starting point of half a Sequence… Klein asked again curiously,
“What Sequence pathway suits him?”
“The Sequence 9 that suits him is called ‘Monster.’ His nickname came from there. It’s a pity that only the Life School of Thought has control over the Sequence pathway’s beginning,” Old Neil replied softly.
He tried to keep the conversation between him and Klein from the people around them to avoid leaking information to mysticism aficionados.
Life School of Thought? Klein recalled the information he had previously read.
The secret organization appeared in the beginning of the current epoch. Its actual origins were unknown, but it was mainly passed down via master and disciple.
Their theories and beliefs were hardly known. Klein only knew that they separated the world into three layers: the definite rational world, also known as the absolute truth world, the spirits’ world, and the material world.
Rumor had it that the secret organization had once produced a Soothsayer… Wasn’t that a Sequence pathway that corresponded to Seer? Confusing, really confusing…Klein shook his head and saw Ademisaul struggle to get up and then wander off to another corner.
He reorganized his thoughts and followed behind Old Neil. They walked past one stall after another. There were plants like moon flower, fingered citron, night vanilla, and mineral resources like silver, topaz, ruby and so on.
“It’s really very well equipped…” Klein muttered softly.
The mysticism aficionados of all ages and genders around him would be stopping, distinguishing, or talking at times. It gave the area a bustling vibe.
“Walk around on your own. I am going to settle my bill.” Old Neil pointed at one of the two rooms at the end.
“Alright.” Klein nodded without thought.
He strolled with his black cane and came before a stall which sold self-made amulets. He took a careful look at it for a while.
Just when Klein prepared to speak with the seller, he suddenly heard someone asking the stall behind him, “Is this powder ground from cow teeth paeonol?”
Cow teeth paeonol? Isn’t that one of the supplementary ingredients of the Spectator potion? Klein thought, then turned around to look at the inquirer.
Justice had repeated the formula for the potion several times, so Klein had been left with a remarkably clear impression of the ingredients.