Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Under the crimson but gloomy moonlight, Emlyn took out a metal bottle, twisted its lid, and downed it.
Then, he seemed to transform into a shadow as he drifted over the surface of the wall, quickly and silently following Rus Báthory.
Sanguine were always known for their speed. The two Barons ran through the sides of the dark alleys and streets, one after another, spending more than half an hour to arrive at the messy and dirty East Borough where they stopped in front of an old apartment.
Seeing Rus Báthory choose to climb the pipe, and using the most stealthy approach to head for the third story, Emlyn slowed down his pace and didn’t rush to follow behind him, as he would be easily discovered.
After two seconds of serious consideration, he picked up a translucent perfume bottle, twisted it open, and pressed down on it, scattering the liquid inside it onto his body.
This potion only had one use—eliminate his smell to make it identical to his surroundings!
After putting down the bottle in his hand, Emlyn raised the brass bottle and downed the liquid inside.
A Potions Professor sure is troublesome… he mumbled, looking down as his hands became transparent. The brass bottle seemed to be floating in front of his sleeve.
After Emlyn stuffed the tiny bottle away, all that was left was a formal suit, a top hat, and a pair of leather shoes without any buttons or laces. They formed a human shape as they moved about.
Another completely transparent bottle resembling a perfume bottle flew over and floated in midair as it pressed itself, spurting the potion inside onto the clothes.
Following that, the suit, top hat, and shoes turned faint and completely disappeared.
After completing his “invisibility,” Emlyn glanced at the apartment where Rus Báthory had entered. He silently climbed a pipe, and he chased after him with extreme speed.
While the window was still ajar, he floated inside like a transparent cloud, without causing so much as a stir. He hid in the corner as he watched the thin-faced but charming Rus Báthory search for the target.
The latter slowly frowned since the place was empty. There wasn’t even a mosquito, much less a person, despite the former becoming active in the past week.
And this Sanguine Baron had already confirmed that the Moon Puppet was here.
Suddenly, a creaking sound broke the frozen silence.
The apartment’s main door opened as a woman in a black dress leisurely walked in. When she saw Rus Báthory, she asked with an ethereal voice, “Who are you looking for…”
Emlyn looked in the direction of the sound, and he saw a dark-skinned, long-browed face with soft outlines and a drooping mouth. It was none other than his target Windsor.
However, in Emlyn’s eyes, this Primordial Moon’s devout believer had certain differences from her portrait. He discovered that her eyes, eyebrows, and mouth were curved up, like they were mimicking the crimson moon.
And her forehead, cheeks, neck, and every layer of skin that she exposed had patches of withered grass and flowers.
… Man, what did Rus Báthory sell to her? Why would she become like this? Emlyn jumped in fright as he felt the hair on his back stand up.
Meanwhile, withered grass mixed with dried flowers grew from the floor, walls, door, and ceiling in swaths.
They began to isolate the room from the outside world, creating an extremely strange scene.
Once Rus Báthory caught the smell of danger, he didn’t attempt to converse with her. Without any hesitation, he took out a metal bottle and downed the liquid inside.
He threw the bottle as his body dragged out afterimages as he pounced towards the mutated Windsor. His fingernails extended as they swirled with black gases.
The withered grass and dry flowers that were embedded in Windsor’s face made her look like a huge doll. She met him at an equally fast speed, clawing at Rus Báthory without any aversion to being injured.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
After a series of collisions, Rus Báthory was sent flying back as he slammed into the wall.
His sleeves were ripped apart, revealing the bone-deep scratches on his skin.
And in the midst of his flesh, the withered grass and dried flowers slowly grew from the inside out!
What a monster… This was the first time Emlyn was encountering such an enemy. He huddled in a corner and nearly forgot to help his kinsman.
He didn’t rashly appear as all kinds of thoughts flashed through his mind. As he observed the battle between Rus Báthory and Windsor, he considered how he should deal with the situation.
The strangest of all is the withered grass and dried flowers… Withered grass and dried flowers… They’re likely afraid of fire! Emlyn’s heart stirred as he immediately abandoned his invisibility, took out another metal bottle, twisted its lid, and downed it.
He then spewed out all the liquid in his mouth.
The grayish-red liquid ignited upon contact with air, extending its scorching flames to the side.
The flames stacked upon each other as the fire extended. Instantly, they engulfed the room in a scarlet ocean of fire!
Amidst crackling sounds, the withered grass and flowers were ignited one after another as they rapidly spread the flames to their own kind.
In just a few seconds, the sealed environment was on the brink of destruction. As for the grass and flowers on Windsor’s body, they were also turning aflame.
At this moment, Rus Báthory had a gaping hole dug through his chest, making him lose a great portion of his combat strength. He was relying on the Sanguine’s extraordinary recovery ability to barely hold up.
Seeing his enemy as a flaming torch, Emlyn acutely noticed that her aura was weakening. He didn’t hesitate to lunge forward, circle around Windsor, and deliver several clawing swipes.
Beneath his feet, wisps of black gas rose and swirled around the Primordial Moon believer like chains that bound her vitality.
Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!
Intense and short bursts sounded as the two figures suddenly closed the distance.
All movement within the scene had vanished in the end as Emlyn’s grabbed Windsor’s throat with his left hand, raising her up.
After hesitating for a second, he saw her hideous appearance and snapped her neck.
A thin, miniature wooden puppet embedded with withered grass and dried flowers fell from Windsor’s body as the flames in the apartment gradually died out.
Emlyn yanked Windsor’s mutated head, turned around, and faced the heaving Rus Báthory. He then pressed his free right hand to his chest, and he bowed with a smile.
“Thank you for your help.”
Seeing Rus Báthory instantly turn furious and helpless, Emlyn added in great delight, “Remember to hand over the puppet and the Beyonder characteristic to Lord Nibbs. They might be problematic.”
After saying that, black gases coagulated behind him, turning into two illusory bat wings.
With a whoosh, Emlyn flapped these wings as he turned to fly out the window and land in the dark, nearby alley.
When he landed, he quickly converged the black gases and turned to look around.
Seeing that Rus Báthory hadn’t followed him, Emlyn heaved a sigh of relief as he pressed his fist to his mouth. As he coughed, he mumbled, “I hate fire. I hate smoke!”
He was just about to leave East Borough when he felt a chill run down his back.
Emlyn’s mind instantly tensed up as he held onto Windsor’s mutated head, slowly turned around, and looked at the shadows in the corner.
He first saw a very tiny figure before identifying it.
The body was thin and long, akin to a wooden pole. Its eyes and mouth were curved like a crescent, and its surface was embedded with plenty of withered grass and dried flowers. It was none other than the Moon Puppet from before!
It’s targeting me… What the hell is this… I’m still very far from where Lord Nibbs stays… It’s really dangerous outside… Thoughts surfaced in Emlyn’s mind as he felt his spine turn cold and his muscles turn tense.
As these thoughts flashed through his mind, he suddenly had an idea. He stared at the Moon Puppet, and he murmured in ancient Hermes, “The Fool that doesn’t belong to this era.
“The mysterious ruler above the gray fog.
“The King of Yellow and Black who wields good luck…”
“Can’t a man have some sleep in the middle of the night!?” Klein sat up as he rubbed his temples in fury.
He quickly left his bed, took four steps counterclockwise, and he entered the space above the gray fog. He then took his seat that belonged to The Fool.
It’s that fellow, Emlyn White? Klein gave a glance as he curiously emanated his spirituality, touching the crimson star that represented The Moon.
He then saw a stiffened Emlyn, and he saw the thin, strange puppet looking straight at him.
The puppet was cloaked in a rich but illusory crimson moonlight. They were undulating like a tidal wave, making a connection with something high in the sky.
At this moment, the crimson moonlight was spreading silently, enveloping Emlyn White within.
There’s a problem… There’s something wrong with this puppet… Klein, who could see more with the gray fog’s aid, didn’t hesitate to summon the Sea God Scepter from the junk pile into his hand.
The blue gems on the end of the bone scepter lit up one after another, emitting a blinding luster.
After chanting Mr. Fool’s honorific name and seeking “His” assistance, Emlyn felt his already cold blood turn colder. It felt like it would slowly freeze into ice.
This made his body rapidly turn stiff as he watched the Moon Puppet stumble and swagger towards him.
At this moment, a silver bolt streaked down into the alley, causing all the gloom and darkness to scatter.
The lightning bolts sizzled into a ball of lightning and landed on the Moon Puppet, drowning it in a swath of silver.
The burst of light dissipated immediately as the strange puppet was left charred black. It lost its decorations as it collapsed. As for Emlyn, his blood no longer froze as it resumed its flow.
With him quickly recovering from the stiffness, he knew that Mr. Fool was watching. He hurriedly asked softly, “Do you need, no—what can I sacrifice to you?”
He always believed that Mr. Fool adhered to the principle of equivalent exchange. Therefore, he believed that he needed to pay a corresponding price for requesting ‘His’ assistance.
After a brief silence, he saw the boundless gray fog and the faint figure behind it. He then heard a lofty and magnificent voice:
“Alright.” Emlyn took two steps forward, bent down to pick up the puppet and cleared up the scene before quickly leaving East Borough.
As for Klein, he cautiously used a Paper Angel to disrupt any divination before returning to the real world.
Just as he was planning to head back to bed, he suddenly discovered the moonlight brighten outside as it seemed stained with blood.
Eh… Klein walked to the window in puzzlement. When he looked out, he saw that the crescent had turned full at some point in time; it was scarlet red like blood.
Another Blood Moon.
Blood Moon? Alger Wilson looked up at the sky as he steadily walked into the Lightning Cathedral ahead of him. This was the place he would be giving his report tomorrow.
And in the middle of the island, at the peak of the towering mountain, there was another cathedral named the Chasm of Storm. It was the headquarters of the Church of Storms’s headquarters, the holiest of holy temples.