Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Saint Samuel Cathedral, behind Chanis Gate.
Backlund Archbishop, Saint Anthony, stood at the staircase connecting the two different stories and watched as the Nighthawk deacons rushed about. Many of them wore red gloves.
As a spokesperson for the Church of Evernight in the kingdom’s capital, Saint Anthony had a clean-shaven face. His face didn’t betray his mood, and his deep black eyes similarly hid any upheavals he had. But everyone who passed by him would feel their souls tremble as an indescribable sense of horror arose in their hearts.
“Your Grace, an inventory count has been made. None of the mysticism ingredients are missing, including the potion main ingredients and Beyonder characteristics…”
“Your Grace, all the potion formulas are in their original locations. It can be preliminarily determined that no one had gone through them in the last eight hours…”
“Your Grace, all of the prisoners imprisoned on the first level are accounted for. None of them escaped, nor did anyone pass away…”
“Your Grace, none of the information or books suffered any damage or were moved…”
“Your Grace, the Grade 2 and Grade 3 Sealed Artifacts are all present. None of them have been taken away…”
“Your Grace, the three Grade 1 Sealed Artifacts remain in their sealed states. None of them show signs of having left their confines…”
“Your Grace, the core seal remains intact and didn’t suffer any damage…”
“Your Grace, it has been confirmed that there are no new items in here. There are no remnant setups that bring about danger…”
“Your Grace, we didn’t find the enemy who disguised himself as a Keeper. H-he seems to have evaporated into thin air…”
One deacon after another came over to make a report as the matter gradually turned somewhat odd.
They found it unimaginable that a scheming and powerful Beyonder would take such an immense risk and set up such a tight plan and use all kinds of means to pass through Chanis Gate. Yet, nothing was taken, and the perpetrator had left after circling the area once!
This made it seem like the person was only trying to prove themselves, or it was someone who had specially come to find flaws in the surveillance of Chanis Gate for the Church.
The deacon who led a Red Gloves team surveyed the area and deliberated as he came up with a theory.
“Your Grace, could it be the requirements of an advancement ritual of some Sequence?”
Having been on a mission to capture Devils, he was accustomed to making such guesses. And from Sequence 5, different pathways and different Sequences had different advancement rituals. The ones that the Church of Evernight was aware of wasn’t a large number.
If that were the case, Soest could already see the infiltrator’s mockery grin that said, “I’m free to go anywhere, even if it’s the Church of Evernight’s Chanis Gate. It’s no different from a department store. Those Nighthawks will only become raged after the matter, feeling useless.”
He has to be caught! Soest silently clenched his red-gloved hand.
Saint Anthony was just about to say something when Nighthawk deacon, Daly Simone, raised a second possibility.
“Perhaps the infiltrator had attempted to take some Sealed Artifact away and suffered the negative effects. He died on the spot and was cleanly devoured?”
Saint Anthony nodded in thought and said, “I’ll head to basement three to take a look.”
With that said, he steadily walked to basement two, and in a secret location, activated the path to basement three.
The other deacons were lacking in rank or clearance, so all they could do was wait in their spots.
Saint Anthony quickly arrived at basement three which didn’t span too big an area. He basically confirmed that Sealed Artifacts 1-29 and 1-80 hadn’t undergone any abnormal changes.
Following the strict protocols, he observed 1-80 with 1-29 and found 0-17 lying inside with eyes half-open, just like always.
During this process, Saint Anthony approached thrice and opened a distance from it thrice. Sometimes, he changed where he stood, and at other times, he cloaked himself in the darkness of the night. He didn’t dare skip the necessary steps.
Even as a saint, he didn’t dare belittle any of the items in here. Ignoring the powers that would break out of its vessel, temporary causing the seal on 0-17, even 1-29 and 1-80, which were rather dangerous items, to become ineffective. Saint Anthony didn’t wish to degenerate into an amnesiac who had to relearn how to eat and drink, much less become part of a dream that existed between reality and illusions.
There’s nothing wrong… Anthony heaved a silent sigh of relief. He began restoring the two Sealed Artifacts to their original states.
A few minutes later, the Nighthawk deacons saw the archbishop return.
“The infiltrator might have died from touching a Sealed Artifact,” Saint Anthony said, his pronunciation of “died” being somewhat muffled.
He didn’t give any additional explanations as he instructed, “Regardless, this matter needs to be investigated. The infiltrator might have a partner!
“To be able to infiltrate Saint Samuel Cathedral without causing a stir, it means that the target is very familiar with this place and is familiar with the recent duty shifts of the Keepers. He’s very familiar with how Nighthawks handle and take over matters, and has the ability or an item to change his appearance. In addition, he had obtained the help from a Beyonder with a sacred Evernight pathway item or has one himself.
“Putting all these conditions together, investigate the servants and priests to see if they have encountered any indistinct spirit channeling or enticement. Check if the bishops have betrayed the Goddess, as well as the believers who have recently come to the cathedral on a regular basis… At the same time, check on all the believers and the surroundings of their residences. Perhaps they had unexpectedly divulged something and had something stolen. I’ll carry out the investigations pertaining to you.
“Also, find the missing servant and see if there are any clues.”
“Yes, Your Grace,” Soest and the other Nighthawk deacons answered in unison.
In the office with a tense mood, Leonard Mitchell wasn’t having his feet up on the table like usual. He sat very properly and wore a rather solemn expression.
This was the second time he had encountered a matter that targeted items behind Chanis Gate. It invoked the memories that he buried deep inside his heart.
And more importantly, he had encountered the fake Keeper before without realizing the problem!
I-if I were a little stronger and had better observation skills, perhaps it might not have… Leonard Mitchell’s lips pursed tightly as he looked at the documents in front of him, but he wasn’t reading a single word. This continued until his teammates entered.
“That Keeper has awoken. He didn’t see the infiltrator and only knew that he encountered the possession ability of a Wraith,” the Red Glove that entered said to everyone in the room.
“How can a Wraith move about inside the cathedral?” Many Red Gloves raised the question, but no one had an answer.
Perhaps that Wraith believes in the Goddess… Leonard mumbled inwardly. While no one was paying attention to him in the corner, he suppressed his voice and seemed to mutter, “Old Man, didn’t you discover anything abnormal back then?”
The slightly aged voice sounded in his mind:
“It’s not like I’ll observe the outside world all the time, especially when I’m near Chanis Gate.”
Leonard didn’t dare ask further as he joined in the discussion with his teammates.
Before long, the Red Gloves team captain, Soest, entered the room and threw a stack of dossiers on the desk.
“These are the targets we need to investigate. The bishops have provided the names of the believers who have frequently come to the cathedral recently.”
Leonard glanced at it, and towards the back was a dossier with a familiar name: Dwayne Dantès!
This… this old fellow that survived from the Fourth Epoch came to a nearby street for less than two months, and Chanis Gate was infiltrated? Isn’t that too much of a coincidence? Besides, he has been frequently coming to Saint Samuel Cathedral. He might be observing the situation and figuring out the patterns… Old Man’s excuse wasn’t too convincing, but if the infiltrator was Dwayne Dantès, then everything makes sense. He’s afraid that he would expose himself and pretended not to discover anything abnormal… Leonard’s mind instantly filled with many ideas as he asked in deliberation, “Captain Soest, what did the infiltrator take? What clues did he leave behind?”
Soest surveyed the room and said, “Nothing was taken or left behind. It was like no one stepped inside. His Grace suspects that he died or was vaporized from contact with some Sealed Artifact. Our priority is to find his partner.”
No, Dwayne Dantès wouldn’t die that easily! He’s a monster who has lived since the Fourth Epoch… However, why did he carry out the infiltration? Leonard frowned slightly as he hesitated for a moment. Then, he proactively included Dwayne Dantès into the investigation targets for himself and two other teammates.
After the Red Gloves and local Nighthawks began taking action, Leonard found an excuse to head to the washroom first. He suppressed his voice and asked, “What are your thoughts about Dwayne Dantès?”
He didn’t expose his parasite’s lie.
The elderly voice chuckled and said, “Didn’t I tell you? I don’t know much about him. I only know that there’s something special about him. His aura has something ancient about it.
“However, the case you previously investigated gave me some inspiration. I suspect that Dwayne Dantès might be related to that matter. He might be a proxy of some existence.”
“What matter? Which existence?” Leonard muttered softly in surprise.
In his mind, the ancient voice replied with an odd tone, “The Fool that doesn’t belong to this era.”
160 Böklund Street.
Klein had his breakfast and returned to the balcony’s half-open room. He sat in his reclining chair and raised his hand to rub his temples.
After his tense mood subsided, Klein discovered that his mind had turned somewhat adrift. He would often see the hanging corpses in the ancient cathedral, as well as the cluster of translucent maggots that remained unclear in his deepest memories. Illusory voices would seem to constantly echo in his ears: “Hornacis… Flegrea…”
Although I had quickly cut the connection with my marionette, I had suffered some of the effects. My soul has been slightly corrupted… As expected of a real Mythical Creature… After the preliminary investigations are done, I’ll have to find a way to resolve the remnant problems… Klein slowly heaved a sigh of relief and used Cogitation to calm himself.