Translator: AtlasStudios Editor: AtlasStudios
“What is it?” Benson asked casually.
Melissa looked at her brother with a serious expression because she felt that Klein’s behavior tonight was strange as well. In fact, it only looked slightly more normal than Elizabeth’s behavior and, later, Selena’s.
Klein chuckled as he had long thought of an excuse and said, “There was a mistake in one of the document descriptions, and I already informed my colleagues that I would hand it over to them when I arrive early at the company tomorrow morning. So, I can either amend it now since it’s on the way or wake up at least half an hour earlier tomorrow morning. No doubt, I’ve chosen to do the former.”
“Ah, no wonder. I had a nagging feeling that your mind wasn’t in the game, so you were actually thinking about work.” Benson smiled, suddenly enlightened. “No, I apologize. I should say, the card game helped you think.”
“Alright, we shall wait for you.” Melissa looked away and smoothed out the ruffles of her engageantes.
As it was past the operation time for both track and trackless public carriages, the three siblings bid their hosts farewell before hiring a carriage nearby. It cost two soli for forty-five minutes.
“I’ve heard that every carriage driver that rents out their own carriage adds ridiculous fees,” Benson complained in a low voice. He had used most of the money that he won earlier to pay the driver.
Klein smiled and replied, “I think it’s very acceptable. After all, it is almost eleven o’clock.”
“I was just joking. I thought that we could actually share the carriage with other guests. Forty-five minutes can take us to many places.” Benson looked out of the window at the other people who were hiring carriages one after another.
I know, ride-sharing… Klein rubbed the top of his silver-inlaid cane and said, “We don’t have a problem with that, but the other customers might. Benson, did you notice that they care a lot about their image and at looking respectable? I think that might be common among the middle-class.”
“Hmm.” Benson nodded seriously and said, “The Wood family was much more extravagant than I imagined. However, Wood’s weekly salary is only four pounds per week… Heh, ‘looking respectable’ might be the biggest difference between the middle-class people and curly-haired baboons.”
Do you have something against curly-haired baboons… Klein almost burst out laughing.
Melissa didn’t join in on their discussion. She took a seat and sized up Klein from time to time. Her gaze was sending chills down his spine.
The two-wheeled horse carriage was traveling quickly in the dark, quiet street. They arrived at Zouteland Street in only twelve minutes.
“Wait for me here. Five minutes, it won’t be more than five minutes,” Klein emphasized. He put on his top hat, grabbed his cane, and got off the carriage.
As the carriage driver was charging based on time instead of distance, the driver didn’t mind waiting.
Going up the stairs, Klein arrived at the Blackthorn Security Company and knocked on the door.
Within ten seconds, the door was opened wide. Leonard Mitchell appeared before him in a vest and shirt.
“You’re not on duty tonight,” Leonard pointed out, looking surprised to see him.
Klein was only on guard duty once a week for the Chanis Gate. They maintained a regular work schedule for the rest of the time. As for emergencies that happened at night, they would be dealt with by the Sleepless who enjoyed the night.
However, only getting two to three hours of sleep a day can cause baldness and memory loss… Whenever he thought about this, Klein couldn’t help but ridicule Captain Dunn Smith in his mind.
“I have something to report,” he answered simply.
“There’s a mission?” Leonard asked casually, moving aside.
When Klein entered the reception hall, he saw Dunn coming out in his black windbreaker. His gray eyes were dark as usual.
“Captain, I came across an incident involving the supernatural.”
“Give me the details,” Dunn asked directly.
Klein recounted the whole story from earlier and reported the steps that he took to deal with it.
“…So, I think there’s a need to investigate Hanass Vincent.”
Back then he believed that since the evil entity that was invited by the magic mirror divination hadn’t caused a disaster, and there was no indication that he was in extreme danger. That meant that the entity probably still needed more time. It didn’t want to awaken or possess Selena ahead of time; therefore, as long as its goals were not exposed, the evil entity chose to observe the situation. Under such circumstances, it wasn’t hard for Elizabeth to trick Selena to head to the entrance of the bedroom.
“You’ve done well. You seized the opportunity before the evil spirit fully materialized to possess her body completely.” Dunn lifted his head lightly and said, “Let us take care of the follow-up investigations. You can return home to rest.”
Klein heaved a sigh of relief and chortled.
“I thought you would make this my initiation mission and make me complete it alone.”
From the incantation that Elizabeth provided him, Hanass Vincent was certainly dangerous…
“That’s because there’s already an initiation mission for you.” The desultory Leonard chuckled by the side.
“What?” Klein was shocked.
Dunn smirked and explained with his soothing voice, “At around seven tonight, the police station referred us to a case. From our initial assessments, there doesn’t seem to be any danger or urgency, so it was decided that you would complete it on your own tomorrow.”
“Alright, don’t ask about the case. Rest well tonight and move your day off to Tuesday or Wednesday.”
Captain, doing that only affects my sleep… Plus, Monday afternoon is when the Tarot Gathering takes place… Do I need to send a postponement notification to Justice and The Hanged Man? Klein shook his head and smiled bitterly. He then bade farewell and left.
Exiting the stairway, he suddenly sensed something. He lifted his head to look towards the carriage that they had hired. He only saw Melissa looking at him silently through the window.
When they made eye contact, Melissa suddenly looked away and sat properly.
The corner of Klein’s mouth twitched, and he got into the carriage, pretending nothing had happened.
Under the crimson moon and pure night sky, the carriage moved quickly down one street after the other.
When they returned home, Klein yielded the bathroom to Benson for his shower while he went to Melissa’s bedroom and knocked twice.
Melissa, who was planning to use the other bathroom, opened the door and looked at her brother suspiciously.
“Melissa, do you have any questions that you’d like to ask? I know you do,” Klein asked straightforwardly.
Don’t just observe me in silence…
Melissa lips trembled and creased her eyebrows as she spoke.
“Klein, what did you do to Elizabeth? She seemed a bit off.”
“And, later on, Selena started acting very strange too.”
Klein had prepared his reply.
“Do you know that Elizabeth and Selena are mysticism enthusiasts?”
“…Yeah, but I don’t like it. I don’t think there’s anything that can’t be explained in this world,” Melissa answered seriously after being momentarily taken aback. “Anything that seems unexplainable is due to the fact that the knowledge we have grasped is insufficient.”
“Yeah, I think so too,” Klein echoed her sentiments guiltily.
I once thought so too, until I successfully courted death…
He coughed lightly and continued, “Mysticism involves Hermes, the language used specifically for ancient worship ceremonies and prayers. Elizabeth knew that I am good at it. Heh, it is within a historian’s domain after all. So, she asked me about the pronunciation of corresponding words and their actual meanings.”
Melissa nodded lightly, signifying her acceptance of her brother’s explanation. It went according to her understanding of both parties.
“As for why Elizabeth and Selena became weird later on, I have no idea about the actual reasons.” Klein removed himself from the picture first, then he said, “But, I can make a guess.”
“You managed to guess it?” Melissa blurted out in shock.
Klein lifted his hand and patted his lips.
“I could guess from the contents of what Elizabeth asked. The few Hermes words were related to divination, as well as the worshiping of evil entities. Yes, when Selena did the magic mirror divination, did she recite in Hermes?”
He proactively brought that up in order to remind his sister to keep her guard up against similar situations. It would be even better if she could cut off contact with Selena and Elizabeth.
“Yes…” Melissa replied after a delay. “I think I understand why Elizabeth and Selena were acting strange…”
Then, Klein asked deliberately, “As Selena’s magic mirror divination involved a wicked, illegal belief, perhaps Elizabeth found an opportunity to criticize and correct Selena’s mistake after she clarified with me the actual meaning of the Hermes that Selena had used?”
“I think so,” Melissa didn’t doubt this conclusion because she had made the same deduction herself.
Klein let out a breath of relief upon seeing that he had successfully directed the flow of the conversation.
“In the future, it’s best if you advised Selena to put her beliefs in the orthodox.”
Then, he tapped four spots on his chest just like a priest.
“Yes, I will!” Melissa replied, sounding determined.
“And, don’t tell Elizabeth and Selena about our deduction or about the things that I’ve said. I actually promised Elizabeth not to tell you,” Klein emphasized.
“Okay.” Melissa nodded lightly.
On Monday morning at eight, in the Blackthorn Security Company.
Klein took off his hat and greeted Rozanne and Bredt. After exchanging a few words, he entered Captain Dunn Smith’s office.
He pushed the door open and looked around. He suddenly had a shock, because Dunn’s face was pretty pale and his gray eyes looked clouded, without their usual darkness.
“What happened? Hanass Vincent?” Klein asked in concern and shock.
Dunn rubbed his forehead, took a sip of coffee, and replied with a bitter smile, “Hanass Vincent is dead.”
“Who killed him ahead of time?” Klein sat before Dunn with his cane in hand.
Dunn didn’t answer immediately but sighed and said, “Leonard and I went to look for Hanass Vincent last night. As his usual behavior didn’t show any unusual signs and there was nothing odd about his house, I decided to enter his dreams to look for clues.”
“In his dream, in his dream…”
His eyes showed fear as Dunn repeated himself twice, that was when he said, “In his dream, I saw a cross, a huge cross, one that blotted out the sky. On the huge cross there was a naked man nailed to it with black nails. His arms and legs were pinned with his arms extended outwards. He was hung upside down, his head hung low like a chandelier. There was strips of blood stains on his body.”
“Upon seeing such a scene, I lost consciousness. I left Hanass Vincent’s dream, and when I woke up, Leonard told me that Hanass had died in his sleep.”
“Huge cross, hung upside down, the man covered in blood stains… It’s similar to some of the stories of the True Creator that some of the hidden organizations believe in, but there are considerable differences too…” Klein made a deduction in suspicion.
The few hidden organizations that believed in the True Creator had only appeared in the last two or three centuries, such as the Aurora Order and the Iron and Blood Cross Order. However, similar such depictions had never disappeared over the past thousand plus years.
Dunn rubbed his forehead again. “We’ll follow-up on this. As for you, go ahead and complete your initiation mission first.”