Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
As he sighed, Klein indulged himself by relaxing like an ordinary person enjoying a rare instance of serenity and comfort in his dream.
After about fifteen minutes, he finally waited to the point when the Church’s Beyonder that was sent to placate him had left.
Finally… I can sleep in peace… Klein planned on opening his eyes out of habit before falling asleep again, but he realized that once he wasn’t on high alert and on guard, the remnant sense of tranquility in his dream would allow him to directly fall into a deep slumber.
That night, the quality of his sleep was extremely good, and he only managed to wake up at daybreak. Outside, the sun had just peeked out over the horizon, while the moon remained shining in the sky, and there was a slight howl from the winds.
Klein lazily dazed in bed for nearly ten minutes before picking up the golden pocket watch by his bedside table and snapping it open.
It’s not even half-past six… Should I roll over and continue sleeping, or should I wake up? Klein observed his physical condition and found his mind clear and brimming with energy. He didn’t have any hint of feeling lethargic, so he decided to get out of bed to wash up before walking to his balcony to take a look at the orange vista.
In this season, due to the wind, Backlund didn’t have thick smog. Together with the environmental measures put into place over the past few months, the skies were often blue and the air fresh. The gardeners were already busy in the garden, and the parlor maid and handymen were heading to the market. Other than them, the surroundings were calm and peaceful. This invigorated Klein as he temporarily forgot all his troubles. He felt that the world belonged to him at that moment.
With a faint smile, he silently enjoyed the scenery. In the next fifteen minutes, servants would walk out from the surrounding houses in pairs or threes. They were either holding baskets or leading horses. The entire borough seemed to come to life as the sunlight grew brighter.
This is what life should be like… Klein silently sighed as he had the sudden urge to take a stroll. He turned around and left the balcony and walked to the door.
Outside the master bedroom, Richardson was already waiting outside. It was impossible to guess what time he had woken up.
This was the most difficult thing about a valet. He needed to sleep later than his employer but also wake up earlier than him.
“There’s another hour before breakfast. Sir, if you wish for it to be brought forward, the kitchen will be ready within fifteen minutes.” Richardson didn’t ask Dwayne Dantès why he had suddenly woken up so early.
Klein chortled and said, “There’s no need to bring it forward. I plan on taking a stroll first.”
“Very well, sir.” Richardson entered the bedroom, and based on his employer’s suggestion, he chose a coat and helped him wear it.
Finally, Klein wore a silk top hat and held a gold inlaid cane before walking down to the first floor. Leaving the residence, he strolled down the street that was lined with Intis parasol trees and black street lamps until he reached the other end.
Along the way, each residence’s garden emanated a faint fragrance as the green leaves of the trees created a sense of tranquility from high above. Pedestrians were in pairs or threes in what seemed like a sparse street. The occasional carriage that drove by would break the silence before quickly leaving.
Klein enjoyed the morning, taking in the pleasantness of waking up early. He felt that the negative emotions from yesterday were evaporating bit by bit and vanishing.
Hmm, Beyonders need to learn how to create conditions for themselves to regulate their moods… By taking this stroll, the bishops at Saint Samuel Cathedral will likely know that Dwayne Dantès has completely recovered. They won’t disturb my sleep in the middle of the night… As Klein’s thoughts wandered, his gaze swept past 39 Böklund Street.
It was Member of Parliament Macht’s residence.
Its external perimeter was in the form of sharp iron rods, allowing passersby to appreciate the beauty of the garden within through the gaps.
While moving his gaze away, Klein saw a familiar figure. It was Hazel with her long black-green hair and dark brown eyes. This beautiful and proud lady was strolling through the garden’s trails with her maid, looking around from time to time.
She woke up early as well? Her quality of sleep is excellent because she doesn’t need to head down the sewers in the middle of the night? Klein lampooned and retracted his gaze as he continued proceeding forward.
Glancing at Richardson who was silently following behind him, Klein suddenly thought of the news reports, magazine articles, and novels he had recently read about the Southern Continent.
He consciously kept up with the content of that region because that would flesh out his persona as Dwayne Dantès. After all, a lot of what he knew about the Southern Continent stemmed from the pirates, adventurers, and the Fog Sea’s Strongest Hunter, Anderson. He had no idea if they were exaggerated or fabricated.
The information I’ve read recently and in the past were about people who struck it rich in the Southern Continent before returning or had just decided to stay there. Heh, this makes Backlund residents believe that there’s gold everywhere in the Southern Continent, and that there are opportunities to strike it rich. Even common wood and sap can be used for many things, allowing one to exchange for plenty of pounds. That’s why the kingdom frequently goes to war with countries like Feysac and Intis to vie for the colonial lands… If not for the commoners’ inability to save up for the ferry tickets or dare to smuggle themselves there, I’m sure a large number of people would swarm it… As Klein’s thoughts whirred, he casually asked his valet, “What’s your impression of the Southern Continent?”
He remembered that Richardson was born in a manor over there. He had only been brought to Backlund when he was an adult.
Richardson paused for a few seconds and said, “Sir, I actually do not know much about the Southern Continent because I was spending most of my time in the manor. I had few opportunities to head out.”
“Just tell me of your impressions—your true impressions. You don’t have to hold back. I just want to have a general understanding. As you know, they all believe me to be an expert of the Southern Continent, but in fact, my experiences are only limited to a few places and merchants,” Klein said with a chuckle.
Richardson nodded and bowed his head as he looked at his toes that were walking forward.
“My impression of the Southern Continent is:
“Hunger, exhaustion, pain, as well as pining for the world after death…”
Hunger, exhaustion, pain… Klein repeated those three words as he walked into Böklund Street without making any further inquiry.
East Chester County, in a building beside Stoen University.
Audrey was looking at the collections obtained by the Relic Search and Preservation Foundation.
She had originally planned on coming on Tuesday afternoon, but Associate Professor Michele Deuth had participated in an academic conference in Backlund; therefore only returning today. As a result, she had no choice but to change her plans.
“This pair of boots was discovered by a farmer in a mountainous ruins in Stoen. Its shape and traits match the societal trends of the Fourth Epoch,” Michele introduced the item inside the glass cabinet to the beautiful aristocrat.
Audrey looked over with interest and discovered that the ends of the boots were curled like a clown’s.
The heights of the curled parts weren’t uniform. One was three centimeters, and the other was five centimeters. They didn’t look like a pair.
The Fourth Epoch’s asymmetrical style… I wonder what level it is for three on the left and five on the right… Audrey retracted her gaze and followed Associate Professor Michele to the next exhibit.
At the end of the tour, Michele pointed at the glass case diagonally ahead of them and said, “This coat of arms was delivered a few days ago. It involves the very ancient worship of dragons.”
Dragons… Audrey strode forward in a reserved manner and saw a grayish-white dragon with its wings spread out engraved on the coat of arms.
“Where does it come from?” Audrey asked just as she did before.
Michele answered, “It’s from a village named Hartlarkh. This Loenese word doesn’t have an archetype in ancient Feysac. Apparently, it was written like how it’s read.”
Hartlarkh… That’s the village which I previously visited that had the folk tradition of worshiping dragons. In the sea of collective subconscious of the people there, there’s a mind dragon in it… The Twenty Year War notebook which I previously obtained from Associate Professor Michele was from a local knight named Lindelira. He was suspected to have something to do with that mind dragon… Audrey nodded in thought as she deliberated over her words, wishing to ask about the person who had found the coat of arms.
At that moment, Associate Professor Michele’s expression turned abnormally heavy.
“Accompanying the discovery of this coat of arms was a tragedy.”
“A tragedy?” Audrey didn’t hide her surprise.
Associate Professor Michele sighed and said, “An archaeological team entered the village to study the folk tradition of worshiping dragons, but that night, one of the members went mad. And this mental illness was apparently contagious. The entire archaeological team later went mad, killing themselves or each other. In the end, none of them survived.
“This coat of arms was found among their remains. It was first taken away by the police, and after confirming that it’s without problems, only then did they donate it to us.”
An archaeological team entered the village, and the members went mad one after another… Audrey’s eyes dilated as she inwardly repeated Associate Professor Michele’s words.
Suddenly, an idea came to mind.
The members of the archaeological team were members of the Psychology Alchemists!