Translator: AtlasStudios Editor: AtlasStudios
“Mass hysteria?” Sir Deweyville, who had met many psychiatrists recently, ruminated over the term Klein had said.
Despite their curiosity, his butler, bodyguards, and servants didn’t make a single sound since they had not been given permission by him.
As for Sergeant Gate, he looked towards Klein doubtfully as if he had never heard of that concept.
Klein controlled his habit of tapping the armrest with his fingertips and calmly explained, “Humans can be fooled easily by their sensory organs. Mass hysteria is a kind of psychogenic illness that is a result of tense nerves and other factors amongst a group of individuals as they influence each other.”
The jargon he spewed out confused Sir Deweyville, Sergeant Gate, and the rest, causing them to subconsciously opt to believe him.
“Let me give a simple example of this; this was one of the cases that I previously dealt with, one man held a dinner banquet and invited 35 guests. Midway, he suddenly felt disgusted and puked. After that, he even had severe diarrhea. After a couple times, he began to believe that he had gotten food poisoning. He shared his speculation with the other guests on the way to the hospital.
“In the next two hours, there were more than 30 guests that had diarrhea amongst the 35 guests, with 26 of them experiencing nausea. They flooded the entire emergency room of the hospital.
“The doctors went through a detailed examination and performed cross checks, and they concluded that the very first man didn’t have food poisoning at all. Instead, it was a result of stomach inflammation caused by the change of weather and cold liquor.
“The most surprising fact was that none of the guests who went to the hospital had food poisoning. In fact, not a single one of them was sick.
“That is mass hysteria.”
Deweyville nodded slightly and marveled, “I understand now. Humans do lie to themselves easily. It’s no wonder that Emperor Roselle once said that a lie would become reality once it was repeated a hundred times.
“Officer, how may I address you? You are the most professional psychiatrist I have ever met.”
“Inspector Moretti.” Klein pointed at his epaulet and said, “Sir, your troubles have been resolved temporarily for now. You can try to sleep now while I determine if there are any other problems. If you are able to sleep well, please allow us to bid farewell ahead of time instead of waiting for you to wake up.”
“Alright.” Deweyville massaged his forehead, took his cane, and walked upstairs to his bedroom.
Half an hour later, a police carriage left the fountain at the door of Deweyville’s residence.
When Sergeant Gate got off on the way and returned to his police station, Inspector Tolle looked towards Klein. He complimented in jest, “Even I believed that you were a real psychological expert…”
Before he finished his sentence, he saw the young man in a black-and-white checkered uniform looking expressionless. His eyes were deep and serene as he forced a smirk on his face and said, “I only had some experience with it in the past.”
Inspector Tolle fell silent until the carriage arrived outside 36 Zouteland Street.
“Thank you for your assistance, allowing Sir Deweyville to be finally free from his problems and be able to find sleep again.” He extended his hand and shook Klein’s hand. “Thank Dunn on my behalf.”
Klein nodded slightly and said, “Alright.”
He went up the stairs and returned to the Blackthorn Security Company. He knocked and entered the captain’s office.
“Done?” Dunn was waiting for his lunch.
“Done.” Klein massaged his forehead, and kept his reply short and simple. “The root of the problem stemmed from the lead and porcelain factory under Sir Deweyville. From the moment they were established to this day, too many deaths have been caused by lead poisoning. And every accident left Sir Deweyville with some resentful spirituality.”
“Generally speaking, that wouldn’t bring too big of a problem. That might cause nightmares, at the most.” Dunn had experienced similar cases with his plethora of experience.
Klein nodded slightly and said, “Yes, that’s usually the case. But, unfortunately, Sir Deweyville encountered a female worker who died of lead poisoning on the streets. She collapsed by the side of the street and happened to catch a glimpse of the Deweyville’s family emblem. She also harbored intense indignation, worry, and desires. It was only when Sir Deweyville gave her parents, brother, and sister a compensation of three hundred pounds did her emotions dissipate.”
“This is a societal problem. It isn’t rare in the Age of Steam and Machinery.” Dunn took out his smoking pipe, smelled the tobacco, and sighed. “Workers that make linen work in damp environments, and are generally diagnosed with bronchitis and joint related ailments. As for factories with serious powder and dust issues, even if the dust isn’t poisonous, it can still accumulate into lung problems… Sigh… We don’t have to talk about this. As the kingdom develops, I believe these problems will be resolved. Klein, let’s find a restaurant tonight to celebrate you becoming an official member, alright?”
Klein thought for a moment before saying, “How about tomorrow… Captain, I have used Spirit Vision for an extended period of time today and also used dream divination to directly interact with those resentments. I’m feeling especially drained. I want to return home in the afternoon to get some rest. Would that be okay? Oh, then I’ll head over to the Divination Club at about four or five in the afternoon to see how the club members are reacting to news of Hanass Vincent’s sudden death.”
“No problem, that’s only necessary.” Dunn chuckled. “Tomorrow night it is. Let’s do it at Old Will’s Restaurant next door. I’ll get Rozanne to make a reservation.”
Klein took off his police peak cap and stood up to salute him.
“Thank you, Captain. See you tomorrow.”
Dunn lifted his hand and said, “Hold on, did you mention that Sir Deweyville gave the female worker’s parents a compensation of three hundred pounds?”
“Yes.” Klein nodded and immediately understood the reason why the captain had mentioned it. “You are worried that they will get into trouble because of their wealth?”
“I’ve seen many similar situations in the past. Pass me their address, I’ll ask Kenley to arrange for them to leave Tingen for another city, to start life anew.”
“Alright,” Klein replied in a deep voice.
With all of that done, he left Dunn’s office and entered the break room diagonally opposite. He changed into his original suit and left the police uniform in his locker.
Klein took the public carriage back to Daffodil Street in silence. He took off his coat and top hat. He then heated up the leftovers from last night and ate them with the last piece of wheat bread to fill his stomach.
Then, he went to the second floor, hung his clothes, and slumped into bed.
When he woke up, the pocket watch showed that it was already ten past two in the afternoon. The sun was hanging high up in the sky and the sunlight shone through the clouds.
Underneath the golden splendor, Klein stood next to his desk and looked out the oriel window. He watched the pedestrians in old ragged clothing as they entered or left Iron Cross Street.
Phew… He let out a breath slowly, finally overcoming his low spirits.
Every journey had to be taken one step at a time. Likewise, his Sequence needed to be advanced one level at a time. Everything worked like that.
He shook his head and sat down. He started concluding and reorganizing his encounter over the last week, so as to reinforce the important points in his mind to prevent himself from forgetting them.
Five minutes before three in the afternoon.
Above a blurry, boundless, grayish-white, silent gray fog stood a lofty palace. An ancient mottled bronze table sat there quietly.
On the seat of honor at the long table sat a man already engulfed by the thick gray fog.
Klein leaned against the back of the chair and contemplated. He suddenly extended his hand and tapped on the crimson stars that represented Justice and The Hanged Man.
Backlund, Empress Borough.
Audrey lifted her dress as she quickly walked towards her bedroom.
Suddenly, she felt something and looked sideways at the shadow sitting on the balcony. As expected, she saw her golden retriever, Susie, who was sitting there in silence, observing her as always.
Audrey sighed and drew a crimson moon on her chest. She then got closer and looked down at her golden retriever from a commanding position.
“Susie, that’s not right. This is peeping. A Spectator has to observe in an open manner.”
The golden retriever lifted its head to look at its owner and shook its tail.
After nagging her dog, Audrey didn’t delay any further and continued walking towards her bedroom again.
In the few seconds of opening and closing the door, she suddenly had a weird idea.
“I wonder if Mr. Fool would allow Susie to enter that mysterious space. Then, there would be four members in the Tarot Gathering! And all of them would be Beyonders!
“No way, Susie can’t talk. If they were to let her express her opinion and share her thoughts, what would she do? Woof woof woof? Howl howl? Eww, why am I mimicking a dog’s bark here…
“Just imagining such a scene feels really strange. A mysterious and solemn gathering with the sudden barking of a dog… Mr. Fool would definitely kick us out of the Tarot Gathering directly…”
Audrey locked the door and sat by the side of her bed. She took out a piece of old yellowish-brown paper from underneath her pillow.
She read it repeatedly and entered her Spectator state.
In a particular area of the Sonia Sea, an old sailboat which was in pursuit of the Listener had already left the Rorsted Archipelago.
Seafarer Alger Wilson was worried that the wall clock’s machinery would malfunction, so he entered the captain’s cabin about half an hour earlier in case he had misjudged the time which would cause his subordinates to see him getting pulled into the Tarot Gathering.
In front of him was a glass of nearly transparent liquor. The rich aroma swirled strand after strand into his nostrils.
Alger trembled once again when he thought of the impending Gathering, the boundless fog that presented itself in front of him in the hotel’s corridor, and the mysterious Fool who sat in the middle of the gray fog.
He lifted his glass and took a gulp, using the burning sensation in his throat to ease the emotions that had stirred within him.
Very soon, he restored his calm. He was as calm and stoic as he always was.