Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Ten at night. Backlund was drizzling again as a thin fog produced a blurry sense of beauty amidst the street lamps.
Isengard Stanton’s assistant, Bowen, surveyed the bottom level once before walking to the side of the oriel window and was prepared to shut the final window.
At that moment, a shadow scuttled in and landed firmly on the protruding wall.
It was a blue, short-furred stray cat!
Bowen saw the large pair of yellow eyes looking at him as he couldn’t help but chuckle.
“There’s no food here.”
As a detective’s work made him prone to revenge, and him having many secrets to hide, Isengard Stanton’s cook and servants were paid by the hour. There were a fixed number of hours a day, and they wouldn’t prepare too much food. This made it difficult for there to be any leftovers after dinner.
The blue cat opened its mouth but didn’t produce any meowing sounds. It began speaking like a human, “I’m Sherlock Moriarty. I’m here to meet Mr. Isengard Stanton.”
“…” Although Bowen was a Beyonder who was nurtured by the Church of the God of Knowledge and Wisdom, he was a Low-Sequence Beyonder and his horizons were stilted. This was the first time he was encountering a speaking cat, so he was momentarily shocked and dazed.
After a few seconds, he came to his senses and recalled what the cat had just said.
It said… It said it’s Sherlock Moriarty?
This great detective really isn’t simple!
He actually changed into a cat, no—controlled a cat!
Such powers are really strange and terrifying!
Bowen rapidly calmed down and didn’t directly answer the cat. He reached out to close the windows.
After doing all of this, he said with a suppressed voice, “Follow me”
The cat immediately leaped from the platform behind the oriel window as it agilely followed behind Bowen with its tail up. It followed him all the way to the second story and watched him knock on Isengard Stanton’s bedroom door.
“Is there something?” Isengard, who was dressed in pajamas with faint lines, opened the door and asked.
He was just enjoying his tobacco before sleeping.
Bowen cautiously pointed to the crouched blue cat beside him.
“Mr. Sherlock Moriarty is looking for you.”
Isengard, with his white sideburns and thin face raised his brows slightly and looked down. He took two steps back and allowed the blue cat to saunter into his bedroom.
“Return to your room and get some sleep. Wake up as per normal tomorrow. We still have a case awaiting us,” Isengard instructed Bowen as though nothing had happened.
After his assistant left him, he closed the door and turned to look at the blue cat who was sitting beside the reclining chair. He chuckled.
“I never expected you to have such Beyonder powers. I was worried you would directly come over.”
“I noticed your exclamation mark,” the cat said with a smile.
It had to be said that having such an expression show on a cat’s face was rather odd. It left anyone who witnessed it feel a chill run down their back.
Isengard didn’t react abnormally towards that as he sucked at his pipe, sat on a reclining chair, and slowly exhaled in comfort. He said with a smile, “I trust your intelligence.”
“Thank you for your compliments.” The cat politely reached out its paws and bowed.
Isengard observed it and rubbed its pipe while smiling.
“You should’ve understood what is happening.
“Those people don’t dare to monitor me too strictly, afraid that I would discover them and end up telling the Church of Evernight and the Church of Steam. Heh heh, so even though it will be quite troublesome for them if they get exposed, I believe that they have a demigod among them. This is a deduction and is also based on certain feedback. After all, I’ve lived on this street for years.
“Therefore, humans and animals wouldn’t be stopped from entering my house. I believe you’ve already figured that out. But when leaving, you’ll definitely be tailed and tracked. Do you have the means to evade their tracking? Hmm… the sum of money isn’t a small one. Bringing it out would be quite conspicuous.
“Let me think. Were you planning on conferring with me in order to get me to deposit the money into a particular bank account, and then you’ll find many people to withdraw them in different parts of Backlund?”
Upon saying that, Isengard said with a self-deprecating smile, “This is the best solution I can think of, but carrying it out would be extremely troublesome.”
The cat didn’t give a direct response as it gave a deep chuckle.
“I only need you to lend me an empty room and three candles.”
“No problem.” Isengard didn’t press the issue as he said, “The shares were sold for 12,000 pounds. The buyer is the daughter of Earl Hall, Audrey. Well, the hiring of lawyers and accountants, as well as the publishing of the advertisements cost a total of 600 pounds. In addition, there was a 0.5% stamp duty and 20% D-type taxes. So at the end of the day, there’s only 8,940 pounds left.”
D-type taxes were a tax on commercial, financial, and specialized income.
There’s tax… More than 2,000 pounds are gone just like that… The cat’s expression instantly froze.
Klein was formerly a Nighthawk, and his salary was tax-free. Later, as a private detective, his income was difficult to be monitored, so he never declared his income for tax purposes. Later, he became an adventurer, and since the bounties targeted at pirates enjoyed concessions, there was no need for him to pay taxes on them. Hence, he never realized that tax was something he needed to pay. Therefore, back when Isengard Stanton had mentioned taxes, he hadn’t taken it to heart, believing that it wouldn’t be much. However, reality had given him a heavy beating.
As for why there weren’t any taxes for the share transaction the previous time, taxes were waived by the Loen government for initial investments related to inventions, as a way to foster inventions.
After a brief silence, the cat’s whiskers moved as it said, “Alright, give me the cash. Eh, move it to the empty room.
“There’s no problems with the money, right?”
“I’ve already checked them. They wouldn’t do any cheap tricks on that, as it would be an insult to my intelligence.” Isengard stood up with his pipe. “Remember to send me a signed letter of confirmation by mail later.
“It’s already on its way,” the cat replied, prepared.
Isengard walked to the safe inside the master bedroom, using a passcode and key to open it. Then, he took out stacks of cash, and he stuffed them into different briefcases.
Following that, he left the master bedroom with these briefcases and entered a guest room diagonally opposite the master bedroom.
“Check it,” Isengard placed the briefcases filled with cash on the ground as he said to the cat that followed him in.
“I trust you,” the cat said after taking a few glances.
Isengard nodded and pointed to the cabinet.
“There are candles inside.”
With that said, he left the door, held the doorknob, and said with a smile, “I’m really curious how you would leave… I believe it will be a very exciting magic show.”
Isengard Stanton closed the door with a click, leaving the guest room silent and bleak.
At the cat’s side, a figure dressed in a dark red coat and an old triangular hat appeared. It was none other than Klein’s marionette, Wraith Senor.
He found the candles and quickly set up a simple altar. Skipping over many of the first few steps, he directly muttered in Elvish, “Blessed of the sea and spirit world, guardian of the Rorsted Archipelago, ruler of the undersea creatures, master of tsunamis and storms, the great Kalvetua.
“Your devoted servant prays for your attention;
“I pray for you to take his offerings.
“I pray for you to open the gates to your Kingdom.
The wind inside the wall of spirituality suddenly grew in intensity as Senor quickly sliced the back of his hand and threw out a few drops of blood.
As a Sequence 5 Wraith, everything on him was material that was rich in spirituality!
The strong winds sucked up the blood, howling as it drilled into the candle flame that symbolized Sea God Kalvetua. The flame burgeoned, forming an illusory door filled with magic labels and symbols.
After about ten seconds, the door let out a heavy creak as it slowly opened.
One by one, Senor lifted up the briefcases filled with money and threw them into the illusory door.
When there was almost none left, the gold coin he stored in his body flew out and landed on the altar.
The Wraith’s figure then disappeared, projecting onto the smooth side of the gold coin.
The gold coin trembled as it flew up, hitched a ride on the briefcase ahead of it, and entered the illusory door of sacrifice.
Silently, the mysterious door closed as the three candlelight were restored to normal.
At this moment, the blue, short-furred cat seemed to recover its senses. It looked around blankly as it meowed.
After a while, Isengard opened the door and entered, finding all the briefcases with the cash gone. There were only three candles burning silently as the blue short-furred cat was warily arching its back at him.
While he scrutinized this scene, a rental carriage slowly drove past on the fork on the other end of the street.
On the same night, in a building inside Cherwood Borough.
Xio returned home under the drizzle. As she wiped her hair with a towel, she said to Fors, “Your letter has been mailed.”
Fors tersely answered as she began to guess when her teacher would respond.
At this moment, Xio put down the towel and quipped, “There’s news about Mr. X’s gathering. It’ll still be at the same place on Friday night.”
Great. I can tell Mr. World! I wonder how much I’ll need to pay… Fors’s eyes lit up when she heard that.
Before she could ask about the details, Xio added, “Mr. X also gave a mission that’s said to have handsome rewards. Eh, it’s to inform him of people around them who have abnormal luck.”
“People with abnormal luck?” Fors muttered in puzzlement. “Is this man’s brain working? Who would divulge things around them at such a gathering? This will make it easy for others to discover their true identities.”
“Who knows? Perhaps he really is a lunatic.” Xio didn’t know anyone with abnormal luck, so she answered without much thought.
Fors carefully thought for a moment, but she failed to figure out the true intentions behind this mission. All she could do was throw it to the back of her mind. She planned on praying to Mr. Fool once Xio went to take a bath, passing the relevant information to The World Gehrman Sparrow.