Translator: AtlasStudios Editor: AtlasStudios
Faced with his sister’s question, all Klein could do was reply with a regretful smile, “Sore muscles.”
He originally believed that by consuming the Sequence potion, his constitution would be enhanced as a Beyonder, but the harsh reality told him that a Seer’s stats points were all allocated to his spirituality, mind, intuition, and interpretation. It didn’t aid him in adjusting to combat training quickly.
As for the original Klein, he had focused on his studies early on and had suffered from malnutrition. That led him to possess a below-average physical condition. The fact that he was having ‘after effects’ from working out was to be expected.
“Sore muscles? I remember you returning after dinner last night and you didn’t do anything else… Does alcohol cause sore muscles?” Melissa inquired with an inquisitive look.
Does alcohol cause sore muscles… Sis, that question… can’t help but make me have inappropriate thoughts… Klein laughed dryly and said, “No, this has nothing to do with alcohol. It was from yesterday afternoon. I joined the company’s combat training.”
“Combat?” Melissa was even more astonished.
Klein organized his thoughts and said, “Well, this is what happened. I considered it and believe that as a historical and relic consultant of a security company, it’s impossible for me to stay in the office or port warehouse forever. Perhaps there will come a day when I have to accompany them to the villages or an ancient castle, to the site of some relic. That might require me to hike, to cross rivers, and to walk a lot. I’ll have to endure all sorts of tests posed by nature, so I have to possess a sufficiently healthy body.”
“So you joined combat training to enhance your stamina?” Melissa seemed to understand her brother’s intention.
“That’s right,” Klein answered with great affirmation.
Melissa said with a frown, “But that isn’t gentlemanly… Don’t you always keep yourself to the standards of a professor? A professor only requires the ability to read historical documents, ponder over difficult questions, and maintain a polite and gentlemanly demeanor.
“Of course, I’m not saying that those aren’t all good things. I prefer men who can solve problems on their own, regardless of whether that solution requires brawn or brain.”
Klein smiled and said, “No, no, no, Melissa. Your definition of a professor contains a misconception. A true professor can communicate with people gently and politely, but he can also educate the other person using the principles of physics by raising a cane to convince someone when there is an obstacle in communication.”
“Principles of physics…” Melissa was momentarily at a loss, but she quickly understood what her brother was saying. She was suddenly unable to retort him.
Klein didn’t say anything more but widened his pace with great difficulty as he headed for the bathroom.
Melissa stood there and looked for a few seconds. She suddenly shook her head and caught up to Klein.
“Do you need my help?”
She posed as if she was supporting someone.
“No, there’s no need to. I was hamming it up a bit earlier.” Klein felt humiliated. He suddenly stood straight and walked normally.
Watching her brother walk steadily to the washroom and close the door, Melissa pursed her lips and muttered, “Klein is getting more and more pretentious… I even believed that his muscle soreness was really that serious…”
In the bathroom, Klein stood behind the tightly shut door, his face suddenly contorting in pain.
Ouch, ouch, ouch… He held his breath, tensed his body, and stood there for a good seven or eight seconds.
When he finally went downstairs with great effort, had breakfast, and saw Benson and Melissa off, his soreness finally began to ease.
After resting for a little while, Klein took his cane, donned his top hat, and left the house, strolling towards the public carriage stop.
During the summer, Khoy University had trees with shade-providing foliage, flourishing with birds and luxuriant flowers. It was peaceful and calm.
Walking along the river, Klein took a turn towards the history department. Then, he found the three-story building which showed its age and located his mentor’s, Cohen Quentin’s, office.
He knocked and entered the room, but he was shocked to see that the man sitting at his mentor’s seat was the academic, Azik.
“Good morning, Mr. Azik, Where’s my mentor? We made an appointment by letter to meet here at ten,” Klein asked, puzzled.
Azik, who was Cohen Quentin’s best friend and often debated with his mentor regarding academic topics, smiled and said, “Cohen had a last minute meeting and went to Tingen University. He asked me to wait for you here.”
He had bronze skin, an average height and build, black hair, brown eyes, and gentle facial features. Being in his presence brought on an indescribable feeling, as though you could see in the man’s eyes that he had been through the vicissitudes of life. Under his right ear was a tiny mole that one wouldn’t notice unless closely examined.
Having said the reason, Azik suddenly frowned as he carefully observed Klein.
Feeling confused by the sudden scrutiny, Klein looked at his attire. “Have I committed some breach of etiquette?”
Tuxedo, black vest, white shirt, black bow tie, dark colored trousers, leather boots with no buttons… Everything seems normal…
Azik’s brows eased and he chuckled softly.
“Don’t mind me. I suddenly noticed that you are way more energetic than before. You look even more like a gentleman now.”
“Thank you for your compliment.” Klein accepted it calmly and asked, “Mr. Azik, did my mentor manage to find the book ‘Research of the Hornacis Main Peak’s Relics’ in the school library?”
“He found it with my assistance,” Azik said, smiling gently. He then pulled open the drawer and took out a gray-covered book. “You are no longer a Khoy University student anymore. You can read it here, but you cannot take it home.”
“Alright.” Klein delightfully took the academic monograph, and with a hint of fear.
The book’s design was fully in-line with the current trends; it used hard paper as a hardcover and it was printed with an image like an abstract version of the main peak of Hornacis mountain range.
Klein took a glance and found a seat. He flipped open the book and started reading carefully, line by line.
As he became engrossed in the book, he suddenly realized that there was a cup of rich and fragrant coffee by his side.
“Help yourself to the sugar and milk.” Azik put down the silver saucer and pointed at the milk jar and sugar container.
“Thank you.” Klein nodded with gratitude.
He added three cubes of sugar and a teaspoon of milk before continuing to read his book.
The book, Research of the Hornacis Main Peak’s Relics, was not a very thick book. Klein finished reading it when it was almost noon. He took note of a few noteworthy points.
First, the settlement on the main peak of Hornacis Mountain and its surrounding area was obviously an advanced civilization, which existed as part of an ancient nation.
Second, from their wall murals, their perspective on life appears similar to that of humans. I can assume for now that they were human.
Third, they revered yet feared the darkness of the night. Hence, they called their god the Ruler of the Evernight, Mother of the Sky.
Fourth, the weirdest part is that researchers haven’t found any graves in the entire area, which initially seems to indicate that the people didn’t need to be buried, because they didn’t die. However, that would be contradictory to the contents of the wall murals. In the wall murals, the people in the nation believed that death is not the end. They believed that their deceased family would protect them in the night. Hence, they would keep their deceased family members at home, on the bed, by their side, for a full three days.
There is nothing beyond that for the wall murals as it doesn’t involve burials.
Klein took another sip of coffee and continued to write down his ‘afterthoughts’ in his notebook.
Mother of the Sky, Skymother is such a grand title, while the Ruler of the Evernight obviously overlaps with the Evernight Goddess… Is this a contradiction at its roots?
In the ancient remains on the main peak of the Hornacis mountain range and its surrounding area, every arrangement and decoration was well-preserved. Even the wall murals didn’t have any signs of damage. Before it was discovered, there seemed to be no disturbance at all… The table was arranged with cutlery, and there were dried stains of rot on the dining plates… In some rooms, there were half-filled bottles of alcohol that had almost turned into plain water…
What happened to the nation’s people? They seemed to have left their homes in a hurry, without taking anything with them, and they never returned.
Considering how there are no burial grounds, this only makes it weirder.
The author, Mr. Joseph, also mentioned that when he first discovered the remains, he even had the belief that the people residing there had just vanished all of a sudden.
Klein stopped writing and cast his gaze at an illustration.
On John Joseph’s third visit to the main peak of the Hornacis mountain range, he had used a new camera model to shoot a monochrome photograph.
In the photo, the lofty palace had a collapsed wall and was overgrown with weeds. It followed a grandeur style for its design.
When he flipped to the photograph, Klein’s first thought was that of the palace he had seen in his dream.
The two styles were identical. The only difference was that the one he had dreamed of was on a peak and it was way more magnificent. It also had a huge chair—a seat of honor—that looked like it didn’t seat a human. Countless translucent maggots clustered together and squirmed slowly beneath the chair.
I can confirm that my dream is related to the ancient remains on the main peak of the Hornacis mountain range… That should be the Nation of the Evernight which was referenced in the Antigonus family’s notebook… Klein nodded slightly and closed the book.
At that moment, Azik, who was sitting opposite him touched the inconspicuous mole under his right ear and said, “How was it? Found anything?”
“Quite a bit. Take a look, I’ve written so many pages of notes.” Klein pointed at the table and smiled.
“I don’t understand why you’re suddenly so interested in this matter.” Azik sighed and said, “Klein, when I was studying at the Backlund University, I had dabbled with some divination and did quite a bit of research on that. Well, I discovered that there is disharmony… in your fate.”
What? Divination? Are you talking to me about divination? As a Seer, Klein looked at Azik the academic in amusement.
“How is it disharmonious?”
Azik thought for a moment.
“Have you encountered many strange coincidences in the past two months?”
“Coincidences?” As he was indebted to Mr. Azik, Klein didn’t dispute his question as he subconsciously began thinking.
If we are talking about coincidences, the most obvious matter was when we were after kidnappers. We actually managed to find clues of the Antigonus family’s notebook that was lost for days in the room opposite the kidnappers.
Also, Ray Bieber didn’t flee from Tingen in a hurry; instead, he found a place to digest the power bestowed by the notebook, allowing for Sealed Artifact 2-049 to track him down easily. That seemed to be against common sense. Although Aiur Harson gave a reasonable explanation, I always had a nagging feeling that it was somewhat coincidental…
Oh, Selena had stolen a glance at Hanass Vincent’s secret incantations, but she held back till her birthday dinner banquet to try it out, and I happened to discover it, which is quite a coincidence too. Otherwise, Hanass Vincent wouldn’t have been the only one to die so suddenly…
Klein thought about it seriously for a few minutes and said, “There are three. Neither too many, nor too frequent. Furthermore, there was nothing that indicated someone’s involvement and guidance.”
Azik nodded slightly.
“As Emperor Roselle once said, a single coincidence is encountered by anyone. Twice is still normal. Thrice is when one should consider what internal factors are influencing those coincidences.”
“Can you tell me anything else?” Klein probed.
Azik laughed and shook his head.
“I can only tell that there’s some disharmony, but nothing else. You have to understand that I’m not a real seer.”
Isn’t that basically equal to saying nothing… Mr. Azik is quite odd… He’s playing a charlatan in front of a charlatan like me… Klein let out a breath, seizing the moment when Azik stood up, he pinched his glabella and activated his Spirit Vision.
When he looked over, Azik’s aura fully appeared before his eyes and everything seemed fairly normal.
Unfortunately, I can only see the Ether Body and Astral Projection of a person above the gray fog… Klein thought carefreely as he tapped his glabella again whilst standing up.