Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
William Sikes… A land steward… Klein inwardly repeated the response he got before turning the topic of conversation towards the flag and the White Rose War.
After a short chat, he politely bade farewell and walked towards the other exhibits with Walter and Richardson. He continued his own tour of the exhibits, as though his encounter from before was completely trivial, a conversation that was purely coincidental.
When it was almost noon, Klein, who had returned to his high-end four-wheeled carriage, looked out at the passing bicycles when he suddenly said, “Walter, you seem to know Mr. William Sikes?”
Walter solemnly nodded and said, “I once knew him while I was working for Viscount Conrad’s household.
“He served a member of the royal family, the former Earl of Lastings, Prince Edessak.”
He didn’t conceal anything, and he described William Sikes’s background in detail.
He was once in service of Prince Edessak? He’s living quite a good life after the prince passed away because of the Great Smog of Backlund. I wonder what manor he’s the land steward of… Perhaps he knows some secrets? Klein gently nodded and didn’t probe further. He was wondering if he should find an opportunity to investigate William Sikes.
If William Sikes really knows something, the royal family’s faction wouldn’t leave him be. Or perhaps he is part of that faction. In short, investigating him will be a rather dangerous matter. There’s no way to entrust this matter to Miss Magician, Emlyn White, or Miss Xio… Miss Sharron has the ability to do so, but this might result in destroying her peaceful life… The best solution is still to use Hero Bandit Black Emperor. But the problem is that before stealing the Antigonus family’s notebook, my investigations of the Great Smog of Backlund should only be superficial. I shouldn’t alarm anyone or bring about any accidental changes… Klein appeared to admire the streets outside, but many thoughts were going through his mind.
Finally, he decided to hold back for the time being, being unwilling to affect the most pertinent matter he had at present.
After having lunch and taking a nap, Klein received classes in literary appreciation until it was almost evening.
After sending away his teacher, he was just about to head to the second story’s dining hall when he suddenly heard the doorbell ring.
Amidst the ringing, Klein saw Richardson immediately take a few steps forward to open the door.
Standing outside were two police officers in black-and-white checkered uniforms. From their epaulets, one of them was a high-ranking inspector, while the other was a sergeant.
“Officers, how may I help you?” Richardson asked on behalf of his employer.
The high-ranking inspector was a thin man and had his black hair hidden under his peak cap. His sideburns had a little color as he swept his gaze into the house before warmly saying with a smile, “I’m here for Mr. Dwayne Dantès. There’s a case that involves him and his butler.”
“What is it?” Klein slowly walked to the door. “I’m Dwayne Dantès.”
After introducing himself, he asked politely, “Officers, how may I address you?
“If the matter is a little more complicated and needs more time, why not come to my parlor. We can discuss it over tea.”
The other police officer, the sergeant, was an elegant lady. She was clearly interested in taking up the offer as she looked at the high-ranking inspector, awaiting the decision of her superior.
Due to the Church of the Evernight Goddess, the Loen police force had plenty of female officers, but due to the other faiths and the prevailing trends of society, they suffered some form of discrimination when it came to promotions and positions. They mostly did clerical work, and there was an invisible ceiling for their career development.
The high-ranking inspector smiled and said, “There’s no need for tea, but we need to question your servants.”
He paused before getting to the main point.
“Mr. Dwayne Dantès, do you know a person by the name of William Sikes?”
“I got to know him this morning at the Royal Museum.” Klein vaguely sensed that some sort of unexpected development had occurred as he asked, “Did something happen to him?”
The high-ranking inspector wiped away his smile and said, “He’s dead. He died at a hotel near the Royal Museum.”
“He’s dead?” Klein didn’t hide his puzzlement and shock.
I just met him, and he’s dead?
Had he already been targeted?
The inspector nodded solemnly and said, “Yes, the cause of death is rather complicated, and we aren’t ruling out the possibility of murder.”
“What about his female partner?” Klein frowned as he asked. “He had a female partner when I met him.”
“That lady was his mistress. When she left the hotel, William Sikes was still alive. This can be confirmed by the attendants at the hotel because they had later sent him red wine.” The inspector simply shared the situation and said, “After leaving the Royal Museum, where did you go?”
“I came back here directly. I had lunch, took a nap, and attended lessons. My servants, neighbors, and literary appreciation teacher can prove that,” Klein frankly replied.
He then turned his head to Richardson and said, “Bring Walter here.”
Soon, Walter walked down from the second story with a white glove and answered similar questions.
After receiving Dwayne Dantès’s permission, the two officers questioned the rest of his servants, but they failed to find any problems.
They didn’t stay for long, politely bidding him farewell and visiting the other neighbors.
Klein’s appetite wasn’t affected by this matter as he went to the second story to enjoy his dinner.
Time quickly flew by as he spent the rest of the time reading books and newspapers. Before sleeping, Klein took in the scenery outside the window as he awaited his valet, Richardson, to take away the fruits in the room.
Suddenly, he asked without turning his head, “What did Walter do in the afternoon?”
“He was busy handling various matters. He never left,” Richardson answered softly.
Klein nodded gently without asking further. He began suspecting if he had been overthinking matters.
Phew… He slowly exhaled before getting into bed.
In the middle of the night, Klein’s spirituality was triggered as he snapped awake.
He pricked up his brows, left the bed, and arrived by the window. He pulled back the curtains a little.
Under the dim moonlight, a figure carefully passed through the garden’s trail and arrived by the perimeter walls before flipping over it.
He had a broad forehead with raven-black hair and stern brown eyes. He was none other than Butler Walter.
“He’s agile and his motions are fluid. If he’s not trained, he’s a Low-Sequence Beyonder…” Klein observed the scene as he made a preliminary judgment.
He saw Walter’s shadows follow the streets until he arrived at the manhole which Hazel often used to enter the sewers. He removed the manhole cover, climbed down, and didn’t forget to close the cover.
Why is everyone so skilled at getting into the sewers? Mr. Butler likely hasn’t done it in the past; otherwise, my spirituality would’ve warned me. After all, he’s leaving from my “territory”… It means that before he became my butler, he had performed such actions quite frequently elsewhere… Klein curled his lips, returned to his bedside, and took out a the iron cigar case from under his pillow.
He controlled Wraith Senor to tail Walter, wanting to see what he was up to.
I hope it doesn’t exceed 100 meters; otherwise, I’ll need to enter the sewers as well… as Klein silently muttered to himself, he returned to the gap in the curtains.
His marionette, Senor, immediately used the mysterious connection between different mirrors to jump to the street lamp beside the manhole before passing the manhole to silently tail Walter.
Klein saw that Walter turned into a more secluded and dark passage after taking ten meters forward. On the wall were all kinds of moss and dirt.
Suddenly, the butler stopped and said to someone, “Why were you so rash?
“Why didn’t you wait for a better opportunity?”
Soon, a weak and slightly hoarse female’s voice replied to Walter’s inquiry.
“It was the best opportunity.
“Once he returns to that manor, there’s no knowing when he will come out again.”
“But why would you be so seriously injured?” Walter said with sighs of concern.
The female voice scoffed and said, “William Sikes is stronger than what you or I imagined. Perhaps only this way can he satisfy his secret identity.
“Regardless, I finally obtained clues from him. After so much time, I finally have a chance to approach the truth.”
“You didn’t need to be so rash.” Walter fell silent.
The weak female’s voice chuckled and said, “I’ve already sold my soul to an evil god. The only meaning to life is vengeance.”
In a rare instance, Walter sighed and said, “Continue hiding here. I’ll prepare food for you until you recover.
“If there aren’t any accidents, use the old method to contact me.”
The weak female voice remained silent for a while before saying, “When he was alive, he had many subordinates who claimed to be loyal. After his death, few still remember him or are willing to risk their lives for him. You are the one who has surprised me the most.”
“He is the first noble who treated me that way, and he is the person I’m truly loyal to,” Walter answered in a deep voice.
Having heard the conversation with his marionette, Klein vaguely understood the entire story.
After Prince Edessak passed away, a few of his loyal subordinates were investigating the truth of his suicide. Walter was one of them. However, he was mainly in charge of gathering any superficial intelligence, as well as using his identity to provide some help… This is probably the additional development that Arrodes mentioned…
Klein immediately made Senor go invisible as he infiltrated the secluded passageway and saw Walter conversing with someone while standing. His figure blocked a black-dressed woman who was seated on the ground against the wall. Her face was somewhat pale.
After the woman heard Walter’s words, she gave a throaty laugh and looked towards the entrance.
“It’s time you leave. Don’t be caught by others.”
She turned her head, allowing Klein to see her. She had a round face, slender eyes, and a gentle and refined temperament. Deep down, she was sweet and was an outstandingly gorgeous beauty who Klein was “familiar” with.