Translator: AtlasStudios Editor: AtlasStudios
Aiur Harson added, “Exactly, it is hard to imagine that the subsequent Sequence of Seer would be Clown. According to normal logic, no one would link them together.”
“Is that strange? I remember that quite a number of Sequence potions also seem to lack similarities between their different levels.” Lorotta covered her mouth as she yawned. It was obvious that her injuries were more severe. Not even Goddess’s Gaze could help her to maintain her vibrant energy.
“No, Lorotta. This is completely different. Even if the other Sequence potions are lacking a connection, we can also find common points if viewed from a different angle. However, I cannot comprehend it for Seer and Clown at all,” said Aiur Harson as he shook his head and sighed.
Klein listened to their discussion and laughed.
“No, there’s still a common point.”
“What?” Aiur asked curiously. Even Dunn’s arm exercises clearly slowed down.
Klein replied without hesitation, “Be it a Seer or a Clown, both of them can be found at the circus.”
“…” Aiur, Dunn, and Lorotta were stunned.
“Pfft… Quite a good answer. I like young man like you!” Lorotta was the first to return to her senses as she burst out laughing.
Aiur also smiled as he shook his head.
“In this era, the number of gentlemen who are equipped with the spirit of self-deprecation is decreasing. Thankfully, we have met one today.”
Do you think I like to engage in self-deprecation… It’s not like I figured out any commonality between the two… Klein complained internally as he replied with a wry smile, “I only wish that the potions of the Sequence pathway would not have names like Beast Tamer, Acrobat, or Magician. That would really form a circus.”
Furthermore, it’s a one-man circus…
“Haha.” Dunn and company were immediately amused. It filled the carriage with a joyous atmosphere.
The carriage proceeded straight for Zouteland Street. Klein, who was not injured, was the first to enter Blackthorn Security Company.
“Goddess! What happened to you? Why are you like that?” Rozanne exclaimed when she caught sight of him.
Klein looked down at his dirty and tattered suit. He replied with his heart aching, “There are always all kinds of accidents during a mission. Thankfully, the Goddess blessed us and it ended beautifully.”
“Praise the Lady!” Rozanne devoutly drew the crimson moon across her chest.
Before waiting for Klein to continue, she asked, “Do you need us to hide in the third floor again? Is the Sealed Artifact really that dangerous?”
“Trust me. It’s far more dangerous than you can imagine,” replied Klein with a lingering fear.
If not for his even more mysterious luck enhancement ritual, he would have perished under the proverbial hands of 2-049!
“Goddess…” Rozanne’s lips quivered as though she had still a million things to say or questions to ask, but in consideration of how the captain was waiting downstairs, she held back her compulsion. She informed Mrs. Orianna and company to head upstairs to the third floor. The neighbors of Blackthorn Security Company were either estates of the Church, or devout clergymen who vaguely knew of the situation.
When all the civilian staff dispersed, Klein did not rush to the entertainment room to inform the other Nighthawks. He immediately returned and helped the captain and the rest escort Sealed Artifact 2-049, Monster Bieber’s remnants, and the Antigonus family’s notebook to the second floor.
Through the partition, Dunn pushed open the entertainment room’s door and said to the two Nighthawks who were playing Gwent cards, “Frye, Royale, both of you are to immediately head to the harbor’s Tyrell Warehouse and aid Leonard in dealing with the aftermath.”
“Alright.” Royale with her raven-black hair and cold expression was the first to stand up.
Corpse Collector Frye, with his black hair, blue eyes, and pale skin stood up next.
They put down their Gwent cards and walked out the entertainment room and when they passed through the partition, they clearly paused.
“Wait,” Dunn shouted, not letting down their expectations.
“What else is there?” Sleepless Royale turned her head back and asked without an expression.
“Remember to inform the police. Let them seal off the road. Prevent anyone from coming close until you are done with the scene and move the corpse back,” Dunn said, smacking his forehead.
“Alright.” Royale turned around and took two steps before pausing once again.
She turned her head, blinked and confirmed coldly, “Captain, is there nothing else?”
“No,” Dunn answered categorically.
Royale nodded unnoticeably and walked towards the entrance.
As for Corpse Collector Frye who exuded coldness and darkness, he maintained his adequate pace.
At that moment, Dunn added, “Remember to tell Rozanna, Mrs. Orianna, and company that they can come down.”
“No problem.” Frye calmly replied as though no emotions stirred in him.
Klein watched as the two Nighthawks walked out the door and went upstairs before heaving a secret sigh of relief. He followed the captain and the rest underground. They proceeded straight to Chanis Gate.
As Dunn gestured for Sleepless Kenley to open Chanis Gate, he instructed Klein, “Go to the armory and get Old Neil here. We need his ritualistic magic to heal ourselves.”
As the effects of the medicine began to wear off, his mental state gradually waned.
“Alright.” Klein did not wait for the captain to continue, as he added, “I will watch the armory in Old Neil’s place. I will also request for at least twenty demon hunting bullets and also wait for the Holy Cathedral’s approval, curbing my curiosity about the Antigonus family’s notebook.”
“…” Dunn was instantly at a loss for words.
“Captain, is there anything else?” asked Klein with a smile after beating Dunn to it.
Dunn shook his head and remained speechless.
He pulled out his cane and turned around. After walking a certain distance, Klein turned into the armory and recounted the happenings generally to Old Neil who was drinking plain water.
“He became a monster that lost control… You even killed a Beyonder?” Old Neil quickly tidied up his desk. “It’s like I’m listening to the script of a play.”
He mumbled as he circled around the desk and walked straight towards the corridor without waiting for Klein’s answer.
Klein asked out of curiosity, “Mr. Neil, doesn’t the Church have real restorative medicine? Why would ritualistic magic be needed?”
“No medicine made with ordinary ingredients can provide the permanent restorative effects of a ritual. Extraordinary ingredients are very rare, and most of them are not suitable for restorative medicine,” Old Neil explained casually. “You should know about Goddess’s Gaze, right? When the medicine is first made via a ritual, it would be a standard, real restorative medicine. But every minute after its completion, its effect evaporates until little of its efficacy is left.”
“I see…” Klein nodded disappointedly.
As a former “keyboard warrior” and avid gamer, it was a habit to yearn for a medicine with magical healing properties.
He watched Old Neil leave and sat down, taking in the tranquility that he had not had in a very long time.
In the midst of his peace, he recalled the tragic death of the suited clown. He recalled himself shooting coldly, the gruesome wound and the spewing of fresh blood.
Klein’s body shivered as he felt discomfort. He first stood up, then sat down, then slowly repeated the process. He also did some pacing back and forth in between.
Phew… He let out a breath and decided to occupy himself with something so that he could stop thinking of those negative images.
Klein took off his silk hat and formal suit. He then took out a handkerchief and a brush to clean off the dirt and mud.
After an uncertain amount of time, he heard Old Neil’s familiar footsteps. Old Neil’s gait involved him walking on his heels, and it made a distinctive noise as he ambled down the hall.
“How tiring…” Old Neil complained as he walked into the room.
“Tell the rest that no one is to come here within the next hour. I need to rest,” he instructed casually, glancing towards Klein.
“Why don’t you rest upstairs, and I keep watch here?” Klein suggested out of kindness.
Old Neil shook his head.
“It’s too noisy upstairs. Rozanne is a lady who just can’t stop talking.”
“Alright.” Klein did not insist. He put on his coat and hat, picked up his cane, and returned to the corridor. Then, he pulled the armory’s door ajar.
Tap. Tap. Tap. He slowly walked on the empty path when he suddenly saw many rooms he had never seen previously by the side.
“There is a secret door here…” Klein stopped at a spot around a bend as he looked at the room.
He discovered that Corpse Collector Frye had already returned. He was carefully examining a completely dissected corpse.
Corpse? Klein’s heart stirred as he mustered his courage and approached the room. He knocked lightly on the opened door.
Knock! Knock! Knock!
Frye stopped his actions and turned around, looking over with his blue but ice-cold eyes.
“Sorry for disturbing you. I just wish to know if this is a corpse of a Beyonder,” asked Klein as he controlled his tone.
“Yes.” Frye’s lips opened and closed, but only spat out a single word.
Klein’s gaze reached beyond him and landed on the corpse. Indeed, he discovered the familiar gruesome wound on the forehead.
It’s that suited clown… Klein secretly exhaled and said, “Any discoveries?”
“No,” answered Frye in an abnormally simple manner.
The mood instantly turned awkward. Just as Klein was about to bade farewell, Frye took the initiative to say, “If you feel uncomfortable, you can come in to take a look. You will discover that it’s only a corpse.”
Afraid that I’ll be traumatized? Klein nodded in thought.
He entered the room and came in front of the long white-clothed table as he looked at the corpse.
The suited clown’s red, yellow, and white paint had been cleaned off, revealing an unfamiliar face that did not look anything special. He was in his thirties and had black hair and a high nose bridge.
At that moment, Frye went to a square table by the corner of the wall and picked up a pencil and piece of paper.
He returned to the corpse and placed the paper down and began drawing with the pencil.
Klein glanced at it in curiosity and found that Frye was sketching the suited clown’s head.
It did not take long before Frye stopped moving the pencil. On the piece of paper, there was a lifelike portrait. Compared to the corpse, the only difference was the lack of a wound with the addition of blue eyes.
What a talented genius… Klein marveled in surprise.
“I never expected you to be that good at sketching.”
“My dream was to become an artist before becoming a Nighthawk.” Frye’s tone was completely placid.
“Then why don’t you fulfill your dreams?” asked Klein curiously.
Frye put down his pencil and said with the suited clown’s portrait in hand, “My father was a priest of the Goddess. He wished that I become a priest. It’s a presentable job.”
“You became a priest?” Klein asked in surprise.
He found it unimaginable that Frye could become a priest with his personality and the vibes he exuded.
“Yeah, I did quite an okay job.” Frye wore a cold expression as the corners of his mouth curled up a little as he replied. “Later, I encountered and experienced some things and ended up a Nighthawk.”
Klein did not plan on infringing on his privacy, so he asked, “You were once a priest of the Goddess, so why not choose to be a Sleepless?”
“A personal reason,” answered Frye frankly. “Furthermore, Madam Daly is a good role model.”
Klein nodded and just as he was about to change the subject, he heard Frye say, “Help me watch this room. I have to immediately hand the sketch to Captain… Closing a secret door is very troublesome.”
“Alright.” Although Klein was a little afraid facing a corpse alone, he braved his fear in agreement.
With Frye gone, the room turned quiet. The corpse laid there as Klein’s heart turned heavy.
He took a few breaths and, in a bid to defeat his fears, approached the long table.
The suited clown lay there silently with his pale face. His eyes were tightly shut, and he had lost all signs of breathing. Apart from the gruesome wound, he emitted the unique coldness of a dead man.
Klein observed for a moment as his emotions gradually settled as he was calming down.
He swept his gaze and discovered a strange brand on the suited clown’s wrist. Gathering his courage, he extended his hand to touch it, hoping to turn it around to see it more clearly.
Just as the ice-cold touch reached from Klein’s fingertips to his brain, the pale palm that had lost all vibrancy shot up suddenly, grabbing him by the wrist.
It grabbed at his wrist tightly!