Klein could not help but take a step back. For a moment he was unsure if he was awake or still in his dreams.
The silhouette took off his black top hat and bowed a little as he said with a smile, “Reintroducing myself, Nighthawk, Dunn Smith.”
Nighthawk? One of the codenames of the Church of the Evernight Goddess’ Beyonder teams which ‘Justice’ and ‘The Hanged Man’ mentioned before? Klein suddenly realised something, and exclaimed after making a connection, “You can control dreams? You just made me dream of that?”
Nighthawk Dunn Smith wore his black hat again, concealing his slightly high hairline. With deep gray eyes he said, “No, I only entered your dream and made the necessary guidance.”
His voice was deep and soothing; it reverberated through the dimly lit corridor without disturbing the sweet dreams of others, “In dreams, even though much of your usually suppressed emotions and various dark thoughts in you are amplified—making everything seem chaotic, absurd, and crazy—they are all rooted in reality since reality exists. For veterans like me, everything is crystal clear. Compared to a conscious you, I believe the you in your dreams more.”
This… What normal human being could control his dream? If I had dreamed of something on Earth, wouldn’t Dunn Smith have noticed? Klein was petrified by what had happened in the dream.
Yet he quickly found it bizarre. He remembered being very much sober and rational—knowing what to say and what not to say.
To put it simply, it did not feel like dreaming at all!
So, Dunn Smith only “saw” what I wanted him to see?
Klein’s mind whirled as he gained a glimmer of understanding.
This is a perk that resulted from transmigration? Like having a special body and soul? Or was it the effects of that luck enhancement ritual?
“So, Mr Smith, do you believe that I really lost my memory?” Klein organized his thoughts and asked in reply.
Dunn Smith did not answer him directly. Instead he looked at him keenly.
“You are actually not surprised by the course of events?”
“I’ve met people who wouldn’t believe in the power of the Beyonders, and they would rather believe that they haven’t really woken up.”
Klein tersely acknowledged as he said, “Perhaps, I have always been praying, hoping that there was such power to help me.”
“An interesting train of thought… Perhaps you survived not only because you were lucky.” Dunn nodded expressionlessly. “I can now confirm that you really lost parts of your memories due to the incident, especially those related to it.”
“So can I go back now?” Klein heaved a long sigh of relief in his heart as he probed.
Dunn placed a hand in his pocket and walked slowly towards Klein, the surrounding darkness becoming tranquil and gentle.
“No, you still have to come with me to see the expert,” he smiled politely and said.
“Why?” Klein blurted out, then added, “You don’t believe in the findings from my dream?”
You must be joking, if that “expert” specializes in hypnosis or mind-reading and stuff, then wouldn’t my biggest secret be exposed?
The consequences would be beyond imagination!
“I’m quite humble usually, but I’m still confident for things related to dreams.” Dunn calmly replied, “However, for important key matters, there is no harm in confirming them again. Plus, our specialties lie in different areas. Perhaps, she can help you recover some of your memories.”
Not waiting for Klein to reply, his voice turned deeper. “After all you’re connected to the whereabouts of that Antigonus family notebook.”
“What?” Klein froze.
Dunn stopped in front of him, locking his gray eyes on Klein’s eyes and said, “At the scene of the suicide, there was not a single trace of that notebook from the Fourth Epoch. Welch is dead, Naya is dead; you are our only lead.”
“…Alright then.” Klein went silent for a moment before exhaling.
A missing notebook… now this is really peculiar!
How did I not think about the whereabouts of that notebook from the Fourth Epoch!
Dunn nodded slightly, walking pass Klein and said, “Lock your door and come with me to Welch’s apartment, the expert is waiting for us there.”
Klein took in a silent breath. His heart was thumping wildly as he felt uneasy.
He wanted to decline and even had the intention to run. However, he believed that with what had happened in his dreams, Dunn Smith would have definitely heightened his level of guard. And with the difference in strength between a normal human and a Beyonder, there was little chance of success by using force.
He must have a revolver with him too… He must also have had practice using the revolver…
Many thoughts flashed past his mind, and eventually Klein chose to accept the reality.
Sigh, I can only take one step at a time and see how things unfold; maybe, that miraculous power in my dream will take effect again…
“Then let’s go,” Dunn said in an indifferent tone.
Klein turned and followed. After taking two steps, he suddenly stopped and said, “Mr. Smith, I… I would like to use the bathroom first.”
I came out originally for the bathroom…
Dunn did not stop him. Instead, he gave him a keen look and said, “No problem, Klein. Believe me, I am far more powerful than you can imagine in the dark night.”
In the dark night… Klein silently repeated this phrase.
He did not make any reckless attempt to escape and honestly relieved himself. He then washed his face with cold water, completely calming himself down.
Klein changed his outfit and closed the door to his apartment. With gentle steps, Klein followed Dunn down the stairs and walked towards the building’s entrance.
In such a tranquil setting, Dunn Smith opened his mouth and spoke suddenly, “At the end of the dream, why did you try to escape? What were you afraid of?”
Klein immediately thought of an answer as he said, “I do not remember what I did at Welch’s place, nor do I remember if I was directly involved in Welch’s and Naya’s deaths. I was afraid that if it was really proven to be my doing, I would rather gamble and escape. I can then start anew in the Southern Continent.”
“I would’ve done the same if I were you,” Dunn said as he pushed opened the door to the building, letting in the cool midnight breeze to disperse the sweltering heat inside.
He was not afraid of Klein running away as he got on the carriage. It was exactly the one Klein had dreamed of—a four-wheeled carriage drawn by a single horse and the carriage driver. There was also the police emblem of double-crossed swords that clustered a crown carved onto the side of the carriage.
Klein followed into the carriage. Inside, there was a thick carpet laid out and the place was filled with a soothing fragrance.
Having sat down, he looked for a topic to probe for more information.
“Mr. Smith, what if—and I mean if—the ‘expert’ confirms that I have really forgotten a part of my memories? And that there is no other evidence which points to me being the perpetrator or a victim, would this be over?”
“In theory, yes. We will try to search for the notebook through other means. As long as it exists, it can be found. Of course, before that, we will have to make sure you are not cursed or have any scent of cacodemons and that there are no related psychological problems lingering. We must ensure that you can embrace the rest of your life peacefully and healthily.” Dunn Smith had a smile on his face, a rather unusual smile.
Klein caught on to this point keenly, and promptly inquired, “In theory?”
“Yes, only in theory. In this field of work, there are always twisted, unorthodox, and inexplicable things happening.” Dunn looked Klein in the eye and said, “Their continuation or end are not what we can foresee or control at times.”
“For example?” Klein actually felt frightened for a moment.
The carriage sped through an almost empty street. Dunn took out his tobacco pipe and sniffed it, saying, “When we believe that things have come to an end, with everything going back to normal, it would resurface in a terrifying, chilling way.”
“A few years ago, we handled a case regarding an evil cult. They did live sacrifices to please an evil god by making followers commit suicide. When one of the followers was chosen, his survival instincts triumphed over his foolishness, twisted beliefs, and psychedelic drugs. He secretly escaped and reported to the police.
“The case was handed over to us. It was a very small mission, since there were no Beyonders in that cult. The deity they worshiped was actually randomly thought up by their leader merely for the sake of money and satisfaction. Humanity was lost there.
“We only used two members, coupled with the support from the police, to suppress this cult. No one was off the hook. For that whistleblower, we also confirmed that he had no lingering demonic scent left on him. He was not cursed and did not suffer any mental disorders. He didn’t have any personality problems or any other irregularities, nothing.
“Later, he got a decent advancement in his career, got married to a very good wife, had a son and a daughter. His dark past seemed far away from him. The horror and bloodshed seemed to have completely vanished.”
At this point, Dunn Smith gave out a laugh and said, “Yet in March this year, despite being in good financial health and having a loving wife and adorable kids… he strangled himself to death in his own office.”
The crimson moonlight outside the carriage window shone upon Dunn Smith.
At that instance, his seemingly self-derisive smile made Klein feel unspeakably horrified.
“Strangled himself to death…” Klein drew in a gasp of cool air silently, as if seeing his own tragic end.
Even if I escaped it once, it might just be temporary?
Is there any way to resolve this completely?
Become a Beyonder to fight it?
The carriage returned to silence. Countless thoughts welled in Klein’s mind.
Under an awkward silence, the carriage traveled for a long time at high speeds.
Just as Klein made up his mind to consult Dunn Smith for any solutions, the carriage came to a halt.
“Mr. Smith, we have reached Welch’s apartment.” The carriage driver’s voice was heard.
“Let’s get down.” Dunn straightened out his black coat that reached his knees.
“Oh, let me introduce beforehand, the official disguise of the ‘expert’ is the most renowned spirit medium of Awwa County.”
Klein suppressed his other thoughts and asked curiously, “Then what is her actual identity?”
Dunn half-turned his body and turned his head back, with his abstruse gray eyes he said, “A true Spirit Medium.”