Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Turning his body to the side, Emlyn avoided a bulldozing drunkard. While swatting his clothes with a frown, he continued jostling towards the bar counter.
During this process, he didn’t seem to be doing anything, but the surrounding customers would always fail to touch him. Be it in terms of speed, agility, or his balance and coordination, he had reached a rather terrifying level.
Finally, Emlyn arrived at the bar counter as he rapped the wooden counter.
The bartender glanced at him. Without a word, he kept his head low and wiped his glass cups.
“…” Emlyn stood there in surprise, wondering if he had done something wrong that earned him nothing. This angered him a little as he wished to reach out and yank the bartender out.
However, he believed that such acts were lacking as a gentleman. He forcefully held down his emotions and looked around and discovered that everyone was drinking.
With a thought, Emlyn experimented by saying, “A cup of Aurmir red wine.”
The bartender’s actions paused as he looked up and gave the handsome, black-haired, red-eyed man an odd look.
“We don’t have that available.”
This was the finest red wine in the world. The price was staggering!
Emlyn wasn’t dumb, and he could tell from the bartender’s eyes that he had ordered something he shouldn’t have. On careful thought, he said, “One glass of Southville beer.”
“5 pence.” The bartender finally lowered the cup and cloth.
Emlyn took out a 1-soli note and said, “Keep the change.”
“Thank you.” The bartender pointed left and said, “Ian is in Card Room 1.”
Emlyn immediately smiled, feeling happy and proud that he had resolved an actual problem. He didn’t take the cup of Southville beer and, instead, turned around and walked straight to Card Room 1.
Knock! Knock! Knock! He politely knocked on the door.
“Please come on in.” A rather adolescent voice sounded.
Emlyn adjusted his collar and pushed open the door, only to realize that the scene inside was unlike what he had expected.
He believed that since it was a card room, there would be a bunch of people surrounding a long table, playing games like Texas, but to his surprise, there were indeed about eight people, but there weren’t any poker cards. A piece of paper was placed in front of every participant as they seemed to be recording something. Apart from that, there were only fountain pens and multi-faced dice on the table.
Emlyn instinctively cast his gaze on the youngest person inside. It was similarly a handsome boy with red eyes. He looked about sixteen.
“Ian?” Emlyn asked.
Ian nodded with a smile.
“That’s me. Sir, is there something I can help you with? Or do you wish to join our game?”
“Game?” Emlyn returned with a question.
“Yes, game. I don’t enjoy playing cards or billiards, but something needs to be done when spending the whole day here. I gained some inspiration from Emperor Roselle’s biography. It’s to organize a few people to sit down and attempt a tabletop adventure.
“In this game, as long as you abide by the rules, you can be anyone—a doctor, an adventurer who loves eating vegetables, a private detective who always carries a wrench and pipe, or an adventurer who enjoys radical ideas. Together, they can head to some ancient castle and seek out the history hidden within, battling all kinds of monsters along the way.
“Sounds a little interesting.” Emlyn had a feeling that this game suited him well.
“Haha, do you want to join? We’re currently embroiled in a ploy and are facing a powerful ancient vampire. He appears to have a handsome face, but beneath his skin are boils formed from his boiling blood,” Ian warmly invited him.
Sanguine, thank you very much! Emlyn’s expression twitched indiscernibly as he directly said, “I have a mission for you.”
“Alright… Let’s go to the room next door.” Ian took his round hat and old satchel and stood up.
The billiard room next door had no one in it. The boy closed the door with great familiarity as he surveyed the area before looking at Emlyn.
“Sir, I do not know you. Might I know who introduced you?”
Emlyn lifted his chin and smiled.
Just as he said that, he suddenly looked left and right as he raised his hand to pinch his nose.
“So it’s Detective Moriarty.” Ian heaved a sigh of relief without hiding it. “I’m assured then. By the way, didn’t he go on vacation to Desi Bay? When will he be back?”
Emlyn lowered his right hand as he said without a change in expression, “He isn’t back yet. I’ve been to his rented apartment.
“To be frank, a normal vacation should’ve ended by the end of January. It’s already April.”
“Could it be that something happened to him?” Ian asked worriedly.
Emlyn recalled the powers and mysteriousness which Sherlock Moriarty presented as he shook his head.
“Perhaps he’s caught up in a complicated case.”
Ian didn’t speak further as he asked, “How may I address you? What mission do you have?”
“You can call me Mr. White.” Emlyn took out a piece of paper that resembled a bounty notice. “Help me find these five people.”
Ian received it and carefully flipped through it for a while.
“20 pounds for an effective clue; 150 pounds for an exact location. Is that acceptable?”
“No problem.” Emlyn felt that the price was just too cheap.
Compared to this, the prices seen at the Tarot Club were way more exaggerated.
Ian folded the piece of paper and said, “Mr. White, how do I contact you if I have any clues?”
“South of the Bridge, Harvest Church.” Emlyn had already thought of the answer.
Upon hearing that, Ian gave him an odd look.
“You’re a believer of Mother Earth? That’s rare in Backlund.”
“I’m not!” Emlyn firmly shook his head. “I’m only doing volunteer work over there.”
Without waiting for Ian to speak, he asked, “How did you inherit those red eyes?”
This was something he had wished to ask when he first saw Ian. This was because red eyes were a trademark characteristic of Sanguine in ancient times. However, there was a long period of time when humans and Sanguine copulated in the Fourth Epoch. They were all residents of an Empire; hence, with the widespread fellowship, many descendants were produced. There was an increasing number of red-eyed mixed-bloods as they passed down their genes, becoming an uncommon eye color for humans.
To put it simply, every red-eyed human had a Sanguine ancestor.
Ian replied in surprise, “My father… I’ve no idea how much further up the family tree, as I was a vagabond.”
From the looks of it, he isn’t connected to the Sanguine… Emlyn handed over a twenty-pound deposit, feeling somewhat disappointed before turning to leave the billiard room.
After he left, Ian didn’t immediately return to the card room. Instead, he closed the door and said into the air, “Detective Moriarty hasn’t returned to Backlund. I’m a little worried about him.”
A figure suddenly appeared in the billiard room. She had a pale face with exquisite features while wearing a black bonnet. Dressed in a black Gothic regal dress, she was none other than Wraith Sharron.
“He’s doing fine,” Sharron replied without any perturbation in her tone. Her figure dematerialized before vanishing.
“You always says the same thing. Don’t tell me that you’ve always been in contact with Detective Moriarty…” Ian mumbled softly as he picked up a newspaper in the corner of the billiard room.
Placed on it was the Tussock Times, and beneath it was News at Sea. The latter was mainly used to report the situations of the different colonies of the Loen Kingdom and matters at sea, but due to technological restrictions, the News at Sea that reached Backlund was severely outdated. It wasn’t of much use to people who needed it, so subscription numbers were low, and the business was floundering.
Later, with a suggestion from a new chief editor, the newspaper’s style changed. It had more rumors out at sea, as well as all sorts of strange matters revolving pirates and adventurers. It appeared more like stories rather than actual news reports.
To people’s surprise, this change in style was welcomed. As it involved ghosts, specters, sea monsters, and treasures; it became the semi-literate people’s prime choice to flaunt their knowledge to the illiterate at the various bars. After all, although the stories seemed fake, they were sufficiently interesting.
Ian casually flipped through the newspapers without finding any content of interest. He only had a deep impression on one of the reports in News at Sea.
“According to our correspondent, on the night of the 25th March, the King of Immortality fleet attacked a ship heading from East Balam to Feysac and plundered all its goods and money. And living up to his title, Slaughterer Kircheis finished a bloody massacre…”
These pirates are really preposterous… Ian shook his head and lowered the newspapers. He returned to the card room and continued his game.
Outside the bar, Emlyn boarded a carriage and leaned onto the carriage wall as he watched the street lamps move past him.
He pinched his nose again and silently muttered, A Wraith?
This arms dealer sure is resourceful… Not bad!
Emlyn closed his eyes as he felt more hopeful about his entrusted mission.
The sunlight shone in from outside, dyeing the captain’s cabin golden.
Edwina sat on a chair with a book in hand as she looked opposite her.
“So, you also believe that the Solomon, Trunsoest, and Tudor Empires all coexisted?”
“This is a necessary condition for the War of the Four Emperors,” Klein simply replied.
He held a book titled “Book of the Three Worlds.” It originated from a Life School of Thought member before it landed in Vice Admiral Iceberg’s hands. It described the material world, the spirit world, and the world beyond rationality. It included some information on charms, with rather profound parts. Klein was seriously reading information on this in a bid to better use the Sea God Scepter and the Worm of Time.
Klein had actually discovered that the books collected by Vice Admiral Iceberg were various ancient texts that were rather unsystematic. This was quite different from the characteristics of the Church of the God of Knowledge and Wisdom which backed her. Therefore, he guessed that the internal, orthodox, systematic mysticism knowledge of the Church was not public.
Edwina was just about to ask again when she suddenly realized the Golden Dream’s cruising speed gradually drop. She looked out the window and after a few looks, said crisply, “We’ve arrived in Bayam.”