Translator: AtlasStudios Editor: AtlasStudios
Seeing the unconvinced look his sister’s face, Klein suddenly felt like it was a good opportunity. He sized her up and said with a solemn expression, “Melissa, I think you aren’t showing enough respect to today’s banquet as well.”
“What?” Melissa wore a puzzled look.
Klein pointed at her neck.
“As a lady, you are lacking a necklace that accentuates that area.”
Without waiting for his sister to say another word, he smiled as he fished out a silver amulet wrapped with angel wings from his pocket.
“Thankfully, I prepared one for you.”
“…” Melissa was taken aback at first before she asked, “How much was it?”
Sis, your concerns are really quite misplaced… Klein silently scoffed as he explained with a chuckle, “It’s actually not very expensive. Since it was in an incomplete state, I imitated an item that I’ve seen before and engraved blessing incantations and beautiful patterns on them.”
“You engraved them?” Melissa was indeed distracted.
“How is it? What do you think of my work?” Klein took the opportunity to hand over the amulet to his sister.
Melissa studied it before gently biting down on her lip.
“I like the surrounding angel feathers.”
If you think the incantations and symbols I engraved are ugly then just say so. There’s no need to mince your words… An amulet’s value is in its effects! The corner of Klein’s mouth twitched. Just as he was about to urge his sister to accept it, he saw Melissa put on the necklace with a forced expression on her face. She then carefully adjusted the positioning of the amulet.
“Perfect.” Klein sized her up and gave her exaggerated praise.
Melissa shot him a glance and looked down at her amulet. She said listlessly, “Klein, you were never like that before. Acting like that…”
“Perhaps it’s because of my good job. With a decent income, I’ve become more confident.” Klein interrupted his sister and gave a preemptive explanation.
Sigh, even though I received the original Klein’s memory fragments, making myself appear natural in most major aspects, certain fine details are still there. I’m still used to presenting my real personality… Especially when I’m getting closer and more familiar with Benson and Melissa… He sighed inwardly.
Melissa seemed to accept his explanation and pouted her lips.
“It’s great that you’re like that… really great…”
After the two engaged in a short conversation, Benson came down having changed his clothes. He wore a white shirt with a black vested tuxedo. His black bowtie and a pair of long, straight trousers made it seem like he had undergone a complete makeover. It was like he was a successful businessman after years of hard work.
Same for the receding hairline… Klein chuckled inwardly.
“Excellent, Benson. It suits you very well,” he said with a brilliant smile while throwing up his hands.
Melissa also nodded in agreement on the sideline.
“The facts show that my clothing is more important than me.” Benson gave a self-derisive comment.
Klein took the opportunity to fish out the remaining amulet and repeated his explanation from earlier before saying, “I also made one for you.”
“Not bad. I’ll bring it with me.” Benson accepted it without a fuss as he quipped, “Klein, I wouldn’t find it odd, even if you were to suddenly know how to style your hair, make clothes, fix watches, and feed curly-haired baboons.”
“Life is just so full of surprises,” Klein replied with a smile.
Following that, the siblings tidied themselves up before walking out the main door. They took a trackless public carriage and arrived at the North Borough’s Fania Street where Selena’s house was.
The Wood family lived in a terrace house as well, but unlike Klein’s place, they had a porch. They had a small lawn in the front which made it look very elegant.
When they rung the doorbell, Klein, Benson, and Melissa only had to wait for around ten seconds before they were able to see the star of the day, Selena Wood.
With a head covered in wine-red hair, the girl gave Melissa a delighted hug.
“I like this dress of yours. It makes you look exceptionally beautiful.”
Standing beside Selena Wood was her father, Mr. Wood, senior employee of Backlund Bank’s Tingen branch.
“Welcome, our honorable elder brother. Welcome, our young historian.” He deliberately addressed Benson and Klein in an exaggerated manner.
Young historian… Why doesn’t he add the description of me having a conscience?…Klein retorted as he took off his hat and replied with a smile, “Mr. Wood, you look much more spirited and younger than I imagined.”
His style of flattery had unknowingly inclined himself to the Foodaholic Empire.
Benson held out his hand and shook Wood’s hand.
“I know a lot of bank employees, but they’re all equally arrogant and stiff, as though they’re the latest machines. None of them are as civilized as you.”
“If you were to meet me at the bank, you might not say that about me.” Wood laughed cheerfully.
After exchanging pleasantries, Selena, who was wearing a new dress, led the siblings inside with a hop in her step. At times, she would mention in her usual tone that, “Elizabeth is already here,” and at other times, she would suppress her voice saying, “Melissa, your brothers are more handsome than I imagined.”
Hey, I have good hearing… Although you are flattering me… Klein helplessly looked at the two sixteen-year-old girls walking ahead of him.
This isn’t right. I’m still quite far from being considered handsome… Tsk, Miss Selena, how ugly did you imagine Benson and I to be? A balding, gloomy, fat man with a pale expression and lifeless eyes? Klein pinched his glabella in passing as he diligently practiced his Spirit Vision.
Miss Selena Wood is healthy. She’s excited and very happy… Mr. Wood’s lungs are a little problematic. Right, I see his pipe… Klein swept his gaze across the crowd while in a good mood.
“Elizabeth, Melissa is here.” At that moment, Selena introduced with a brisk tone.
A girl dressed in a blue frilly dress walked over. She had naturally curled brown hair and adorable baby fat.
Klein was stunned when he saw her because he knew the girl.
He had helped her choose an amulet back at the underground market!
Elizabeth greeted Melissa first before looking at Benson and Klein.
She was stunned and her brows knitted slightly, as though she was thinking about something.
Soon, Elizabeth smiled and politely greeted them as though nothing had happened.
Klein also pretended not to recognize her. Under Wood’s lead, they came to the sofa in the living room where they were introduced to Chris—Selena Wood’s brother—and the other guests.
As Klein watched Benson chat with Chris and the other solicitors happily over the topic of their neighbor, Mr. Shaud, he couldn’t help but feel envious.
I don’t have such socializing skills… He picked up a cocktail from a table in the corner of the room as he listened quietly. At times, he would nod and echo with a smile.
It didn’t take long before all the guests arrived and the banquet officially began.
As too many guests had been invited, the Wood family’s dining table could not accommodate everyone. Therefore, the banquet was done in a buffet manner. The maidservant served the steak dishes, roast chicken, fried fish, mashed potatoes, etc and placed them on different tables. The male servants were responsible for carving the meat, allowing for guests to take what they wanted.
Klein couldn’t help but click his tongue when he saw the elegant enamel plates and silver cutlery. He felt that the Woods were being too extravagant as a middle-class family.
Since they’re so rich, why would Chris need so many years to prepare for his wedding?” When he thought of what his sister had previously mentioned, he was puzzled. “Yeah, it was probably to save up money to buy this cutlery that would have taken them so many years to afford. To such families, they have to look respectable!
Amidst his mixed emotions, Klein picked up a plate and walked in front of a dining table. He forked a piece of honey-glazed roasted meat.
At that moment, Elizabeth with her adorable baby fat cheeks came over. As she looked at the food, she whispered, “So you are Melissa’s brother… Thank you. Selena likes the amulet I gave her a lot. She said that she felt healthier the moment she wore it.”
Selena… Amulet… Klein suddenly recalled the reason for selecting an amulet for the girl beside him.
It was to give to a friend who liked mysticism as a birthday gift!
That friend was Selena? Selena liked items related to mysticism? Klein frowned slightly as he smiled politely.
“It might just be akin to a placebo effect.”
After saying that, he began waiting for her to praise Emperor Roselle.
However, Elizabeth’s reaction was that of confusion.
“What’s a placebo effect?”
“It means it’s completely psychological. At times, we believe that we will turn for the better and end up really becoming better,” Klein explained crudely.
“No, she said it’s different from the amulets that she bought in the past. It feels different,” Elizabeth emphasized.
She cocked her head and shot a glance at Klein and said curiously, “I never expected Melissa’s brother to be an expert at mysticism.”
“As you know, I studied history, so it’s common to encounter similar matters.” Klein diverted the topic skillfully as he asked, “Are you also studying at the Tingen Technical School?”
“No, Selena and I were Melissa’s former schoolmates. Later, she went to a technical school. I study at the nearby Ivos Public School,” Elizabeth explained seriously.
A public school wasn’t established and maintained by the government. Instead, it was a school that accepted students from the public. It was an evolution of good grammar schools whose goal was to groom graduates so as to enter university. The schools were rather expensive and they would consider the students’ family background. It could even be out the of range of typical middle-class families.
She didn’t talk much. After choosing her food, she returned to Selena’s side.
After congratulating the star of the day on a happy birthday, the banquet gradually came to an end. Klein and Benson were invited to a game of Texas hold’em. The small blind was half a penny, and the big blind was a penny. As for Melissa, Elizabeth, Selena, and their friends, they went upstairs. It was unknown if they were chatting or playing games.
Klein’s luck was pretty bad. He played about twenty rounds, but didn’t receive a good hand at all. All he could do was fold and be a spectator.
When he flipped the ends of his cards again, he found a Two of Hearts and a Five of Spades.
“Shall I try a bluff once?” Klein considered for a moment, but did not manage to muster the courage. He also resisted the urge to use divination to cheat.
He covered his cards and rapped the table, indicating that he was not making a call. Then, he got up and left the table to head for the bathroom.
Roselle was also a person with a obsessive-compulsive disorder. He actually found an odd reason to name the play style Texas… Klein shook his head as he proceeded forward.
At that moment, he suddenly came to a halt as his pupils constricted.
His spiritual perception told him that there was a strange fluctuation upstairs!