Translator: AtlasStudios Editor: AtlasStudios
The horses widened their paces as the wheels began rolling in tow. Despite activating his Spirit Vision and turning around, hoping to observe the refined and sweet lady, Klein did not have his wishes fulfilled. All his eyes reflected were brown figures moving past him.
Meanwhile, the passengers from the stop had already boarded the carriage. The carriage door was closed tightly as it gradually departed.
Within the carriage, twenty to thirty people stood closely to each other, their energy fields overlapping and shielding each other. Hence, it was an explosion of colors in Klein’s vision, making it difficult for him to differentiate.
He shook his head quietly and raised his finger to tap his glabella to deactivate his Spirit Vision.
To him, it was simply help he could provide if he happened to chance upon it. However, if he were to miss it, and the situation was not especially clear, there was no point taking it to heart and delaying his own matters.
While bathing in the crimson moonlight, Klein strolled back home on the still bustling Daffodil Street. He returned to see Melissa sitting beside the dining table. She was busy doing her homework under a bright gas lamp.
She bit at the fountain pen and frowned, appearing deep in thought.
“Where’s Benson?” Klein asked casually.
“Ah…” Melissa looked up. She blanked out for a few seconds before saying, “He said he went around a few boroughs today and was covered in sweat. He’s taking a nice relaxing bath.”
“Alright.” Klein chuckled. Suddenly, he realized that she was wearing a dress he had never seen before.
It was entirely beige in color. It had fashionable engageantes. The collar and edges of her top had thin frills. Apart from that, it was a rather simple design, the type one wore as daily casual clothing. It fully accentuated the youth of a sixteen or seventeen-year-old.
“New dress?” Klein asked with a smile.
It was a purchase that he and Benson had insisted upon.
Melissa answered in the affirmative tersely.
“I just took it back from Mrs. Rochelle. I was thinking that since I had to wash it later, I might as well try it on first.”
Klein was rather puzzled when he heard that.
Wasn’t she our former neighbor?
Melissa nodded and explained in all seriousness, “Mrs. Rochelle is actually a seamstress, but she was quite unlucky. She had no choice but to sew and mend clothes for others at home. She leads a pretty tough life. I knew that she had pretty good skill and the price she quoted is cheaper than at a women’s clothing store. Furthermore, it’s very well-tailored to my figure, so I ordered a new skirt from her. It only cost nine soli and five pence and took only a few days. A dress of a similar style would cost three halves of a pound at Harrods Department Store!”
What a frugal girl… Sis, I know that at least half the reason is due to your pity of Mrs. Rochelle… Klein did not reproach Melissa for deciding things for herself. Instead, he said with a smile, “When did you go to Harrods?”
That was at Howes Street, near the Divination Club. It was somewhere where the middle-class shopped.
“…” Melissa was momentarily at a loss for words. It took her a long while before she said, “It was Selena and Elizabeth. They insisted I accompany them. Actually, well—I actually prefer gears more. I like places with steam and machinery. Yeah.”
“It’s quite, well—nice for a girl to occasionally shop at a department store.” Klein laughed as he comforted his sister.
After some idle talk, he briskly walked to the second floor, hoping to wash away the repulsive mixed smells from the bar.
Just as he was about to return to his bedroom to get a change of clothes, he suddenly heard sounds coming from the bathroom close to the balcony.
A few seconds later, Benson stepped out while drying his gradually receding hairline.
“How was it? Did you compliment Melissa’s new dress?” He shot a glance at Klein and asked with a smile.
“I guess I forgot. All I did was ask where it was done…” Klein thought for a moment as he said.
Benson immediately chortled and shook his head.
“How unbecoming of an elder brother. When Melissa received the dress, she couldn’t bear putting it down. After rushing to cook and wash the dishes, she immediately wore the dress and has refused to take it off ever since.”
…Wasn’t she planning on changing after showering? She can wash and starch the clothes while doing so… Klein subconsciously refuted with the explanation that Melissa had given.
“Tsk.” Benson sighed. “It’s been scorching the past few days. She was busy in the kitchen for a long time, so I believe she would feel much better doing her homework after a shower.”
That’s right… Klein was suddenly enlightened as he gave his brother a knowing smile.
So that’s what kind of person you are, Melissa… There’s nothing wrong with a girl caring for her appearance. There’s no need to find excuses… The corners of his mouth curved up as he shook his head gently before walking into his bedroom.
While he was showering, Klein faintly heard knocking downstairs. He immediately wondered.
Doesn’t the worker who’s in charge of collecting coins for the gas meter come only once every two weeks?
Could it be Mrs. Shaud from next door? That can’t be. It’s said that this lady strictly abides by the etiquette of middle-class society. She would not visit at an inappropriate time.
In his puzzlement, Klein wiped dry his body. Wearing old but comfortable shirt and trousers, he came down the stairs.
He surveyed the area but did not notice any strangers. He asked, “Was someone at the door just now?”
Benson, who was reading the newspapers casually, said with a smile, “It was Bitsch Mountbatten, one of the policemen in charge of Iron Cross Street. He asked if we met an eighteen or nineteen-year-old boy who has a rotund face. Heh, he even gave us a sketch to identify. Unfortunately, neither one of us have seen him, or we would have received a reward. What about you?”
“Nope.” Klein had a general idea what was happening.
Instigator Tris had successfully escaped the Evil Dragon Bar at the harbor. He had escaped somewhere close to Iron Cross Street and Daffodil Street; therefore, the police were making visits from door to door.
And to go this far made it clear that the operation of nabbing the Instigator had completely failed!
Klein did not bother himself with the situation. He had yet to begin combat training. He only had basic mastery of shooting, so to consider dealing with a natural ‘Assassin’ was simply using his life as a joke.
He did not sleep well that night. He kept worrying that the Instigator would infiltrate their house to hide, causing another massacre.
Thankfully, Daffodil Street was quiet the entire night, with the morning sun rays dispersing all the fog.
The relaxed Klein changed into formal attire, wore his top hat, held his cane, and went all the way to Zouteland Street. He greeted Rozanne at the reception hall.
“Good morning, Klein,” replied Rozanne happily. She suppressed her voice and said, “I heard the huge operation last night failed?”
“The operation to nab Instigator Tris?” Klein asked in curiosity.
“Yeah!” Rozanne nodded heavily. She shot a glance at the partition and said, “Apparently an informant of the Mandated Punishers discovered the Instigator at the harbor… They were planning on waiting for additional Beyonders and another Special Operations squad from the police to arrive before beginning the operation to do the deed instantly without alarming the commoners. Unfortunately, that Instigator was extremely sharp. He charged out of the encirclement when he noticed something amiss, successfully escaping as a result.”
“At such times, they need a Beyonder with tracking abilities, such as me.” Klein made a joke.
“There was no lack of trackers back then.” Dunn Smith’s voice suddenly sounded.
Rozanne turned her head abruptly and saw the captain wearing his black windbreaker. He was glaring right at her with his deep pair of gray eyes while leaning against the partition’s frame.
She hurriedly raised her hands to cover her mouth. Then, she shook her head incessantly, expressing her futile innocence.
Dunn turned his gaze to Klein and after some thought, he said, “There were a total of six Beyonders from the Mandated Punishers, the Machinery Hivemind, and us Nighthawks. We traced the injured Tris to Iron Cross Street’s Lower Street. We found his temporary residence, but the clues ended there. Be it Beyonder methods or ordinary investigations, nothing worked. It was as though he evaporated into thin air, disappearing completely.”
“Do you need my help with divination?” Klein asked probingly.
Dunn shook his head gently.
“The Machinery Hivemind had a Machinery Hivemind. He is a senior Beyonder as good as Old Neil. I even suspect that he’s already at Sequence 8. I’m just unaware what the name of the corresponding potion is.”
“The Theosophy Order’s heritage to this day must have something special about it,” consoled Klein.
For the rest of the morning, he continued his mysticism curriculum, read the historical information and documents, and practiced various techniques just like always.
With lunchtime almost approaching, Klein’s mind began to wander.
Another few minutes later, he put away the documents, having heard the summoning of his stomach.
At that moment, Dunn Smith came into the clerk office. He said in a deep but mild manner, “Klein, follow me to Chanis Gate. Sealed Artifact 2-049 has arrived. The subsequent operation might require your sensing of that notebook.”
“…Alright,” Klein got up and replied.
His thoughts became scrambled. He imagined how the sealed item would look or if the operation would be dangerous.
While in this rather tense silence, he followed Dunn down the stairs and into the tunnel.
After going straight at the intersection, Dunn suddenly stopped and turned his head, saying sternly, “Do this action together with me. Keep doing it and absolutely do not stop. Remember, absolutely do not stop. This is for your own safety!”
While speaking, Dunn bent his arm followed by extending it. He repeated this action without stopping.
Klein looked at the captain demonstrate in a befuddled manner. Suddenly enlightened, he asked, “Has this got to do with the uniqueness of the Sealed Artifact?”
“Yes.” Dunn nodded with abnormal seriousness. “Repeating such an action will allow us to discover if anything happens to you immediately. Saving you in time will not result in any life-threatening dangers.”
“Okay.” Klein did not hesitate further as he began the repeated action of bending and extending his arm.
“If your arm is sore, use the other one,” added Dunn.
Sealed Artifact “2-049” sure is odd… What meaning does this action have? It seems very dangerous… These thoughts flashed past Klein’s mind as he looked solemnly at the captain.
He had too many questions on his mind, but since Chanis Gate was in sight, he had no choice but to bear with it.
Besides, with my security clearance, I’ll probably not learn of the details. I can only do as I’m ordered… Klein exhaled as he followed Captain Dunn to the Keeper room outside Chanis Gate.