In that instant, Klein even believed that he had transmigrated back. However, the elegant gas lamp surrounded by brass grids and the silver-inlaid tin, which Old Neil kept his handground coffee in, made him recognize the reality he was in.
The transmigrator, Emperor Roselle, is really a fellow countryman of mine? He was using Simplified Chinese—which doesn’t exist in this world—to record secrets? With the indescribable feeling of identifying an old friend in a different world, Klein quickly read through the three pages.
“18th November. Truly a fascinating matter. A blue-sky experimentation and a chance mistake made me discover the pathetic fellow lost and trapped in the deep darkness amid the storms. He can only approach the reality of this world on the day of the full moon every month; yet, he is unable to transmit his cries. He is lucky to have met me, the protagonist of this era.”
“After reading the paragraph I wrote above, I suddenly felt a little down. Even my Chinese is written like a translation. Four decades have passed in a finger snap. My past memories feel more like a dream.”
“1184, 1st January. At the grand New Year Gala, Lady Florena was truly splendid.”
“2nd January. My diplomats are all idiots!”
“3rd January. I made a hasty choice back then. In hindsight, I should have chosen the Apprentice, the Seer, or the Bandit. Unfortunately, there is no way of redoing it.”
“4th January. Why are my children so stupid? I’ve repeated myself so many times. Do not be fooled by those charlatans! The key thing about potions is not about grasping them, but digesting them! It’s nothing about tapping powers, but acting! And the name of a potion is not solely symbolic at its core, but a concrete imagery, and the ‘key’ to digestion!”
“9th September. An alliance opposing me has been established. Feysac from the north, Loen from the east, Feynapotter from the south. My enemies have finally joined forces, but I have no fear. I will use facts to teach them that the generations of weapons and knowledge cannot be compensated by mere numbers and low-grade Sequencers. Besides, it’s not as though I do not have subordinates. As for the higher-grades, heh heh. Have they forgotten who I am?”
“23rd September. I have lost communications with the ship seeking the Forsaken Land of the Gods. I should consider inventing wireless telegraphs. I hope it would not be affected by the storm.”
“24th September. Miss Ithaca is more mesmerizing than Lady Florena. Perhaps, I’m just being nostalgic about my youth.”
Due to the complexity of characters in Simplified Chinese, the font was slightly larger than normal, leading to less content on each page. Furthermore, for preservational and research purposes, the back of each page was left empty. But even so, Klein still felt an upheaval of emotions when he read the diary. In particular, Emperor Roselle’s description of the crux of potions made him feel like he found the path to the solution. He was thrilled at having learned a priceless secret.
Perhaps, this will be a beacon for my future path as a Beyonder! Well, the three pages belong to entries at different times. It seems Emperor Roselle only writes the year on the first entry of each year. It cannot be determined which year the two pages with September and November belong to… Who is the pathetic fellow he discovered?
What do “digesting” and “acting” actually mean?
Where is the Forsaken Land of the Gods? …
These questions bubbled in Klein’s head. It made him eager to immediately gather all of Emperor Roselle’s diary and read it from cover to cover!
“Klein?” At that moment, Old Neil asked puzzledly across him.
Klein jolted awake as he hurriedly covered it up with a laugh. “I thought I would be the most special one. I was trying to decipher and interpret it.”
“You are young indeed.” Old Neil nodded, laughing. “I once believed that I was the most special one as well.”
Klein flipped through the three pages in his hand and after confirming that he had not missed anything, he handed it over to Old Neil and thoughtlessly asked, “Do we only have these few pages?”
I want to see more of Emperor Roselle’s diary! “Did you think there would be many?” Old Neil caressed the scripts as his wrinkles deepened from his scoff. “There are not many incidents a year that involve Beyonders and mystery to begin with. Sigh, the major reason is the gradual extinction of extraordinary species in our Northern Continent. Without them, there won’t be a lot of potions, causing the number of Beyonders to reduce with time. Sigh, over the past few centuries, dragons, giants, and elves have become simply records in books. Even the seafolks are no longer seen near the coastal waters.”
Upon hearing this, Klein suddenly thought of a meme. He immediately said with a smile, “I think it’s time to establish a Dragons and Giants Protection Association.”
Old Neil looked confused when he heard that. It took him quite some time to figure out what it meant. After figuring out its meaning, he rapped the table and laughed quite heartily in a not-so-gentlemanly manner.
“Haha, Klein, you really are humorous. This is a tradition of our Loen Kingdom. It’s good that young people have a sense of humor. I believe we shouldn’t be overly narrow in scope. Why are we only protecting dragons and giants? It should be called Fantastic Beasts Protection Association.”
“No, no, no. How can we forget those poor plants?” Klein shook his head.
They exchanged looks and proclaimed in unison: “Fantastic Organisms Protection Association!”
Both of them laughed tacitly. The awkwardness and unfamiliarity of the atmosphere between them dissipated considerably.
“There are fewer interesting young people like you these days… Where was I?” Old Neil’s wrinkles suffused a smile as he said, “I remember. There are not many incidents a year that involve Beyonders and mystery to begin with. The retards who revere Emperor Roselle are the minority of the minority. It’s already pretty good that we can obtain three scripts… Well, the other larger cathedrals or dioceses might have some…”
After muttering a few words, he took the approval note which Klein had placed on the table earlier and took a look.
“Are they pistol bullets, rifle bullets, or steam-pressured bullets?”
“It’s a revolver,” answered Klein honestly.
“Alright. I’ll go get them. Ahem, do you have an armpit holster? As a gentleman, we can’t let you have something bulging below your waist in public.” Old Neil made a joke that all men understood.
“Heh, no. Do I need to get Captain to include it?” Klein smiled cooperatively.
Old Neil stood up and said, “There’s no need. I just need to make a record. It’s an accessory item. Repeat after me: accessory item.”
“Were you a teacher in the past?” joked Klein.
“I spent some time at the Church’s Sunday school and free schools.” Old Neil waved the note and took out a key from the drawer. He then opened the iron door that led into an inner chamber.
Beyonders do not seem much different from commoners… Klein murmured silently before casting his gaze on the table where the three pages of the diary were.
Emperor Roselle is indeed involved in the realm of mystery…
His diary is invaluable… To others, they are just pieces of scrap paper. It is unknown when they will be deciphered, but they are a valuable treasure to me! I wonder where the remaining parts of the diary are…
I have to think of ways to get more… Klein’s mind went through upheavals as he could hardly calm down. This continued until Old Neil came out and closed the iron door.
“Ten demon hunting bullets, thirty revolver bullets. An ox-hide armpit holster, and a Seventh Unit, Special Operations Department badge. Please count them and give them a try. Remember to sign the log book.” Old Neil placed the items down on the table.
The revolver bullets were arranged neatly in a paper box which was divided into three layers. The bullets shimmered with a yellow sheen just like the bullets back home, but they appeared narrower.
As for the demon hunting bullets, they were kept in a small iron box. The shape was identical to regular revolver bullets, but their surface was silver in color. Upon a more careful examination, there were complicated and dazzling patterns with tiny Sacred Emblems—a black background dotted with stars and a half crimson moon—engraved at the bottom.
The ox-hide holster felt solid and it came with a belt and buckle. Beside it was a badge half the size of a palm. It had a metallic background with “Awwa County Police Department and Seventh Unit, Special Operations Department” inscribed in silver text. They formed almost two sealed circles and surrounded the “two crossed swords and a crown” police emblem.
“Unfortunately, it’s not a Nighthawks badge,” Klein said half wistfully and half probingly.
Old Neil smiled and urged Klein to test the armpit holster.
After he took off his jacket, Klein took quite a bit of effort to buckle up the holster, which hung close to his left armpit.
“Not bad.” He put on his jacket again.
Old Neil sized him up and nodded in satisfaction.
“It suits you well. My judgment is as accurate as usual.”
After putting away the other items into his pockets and signing the log book, Klein had a short, casual conversation with Old Neil before leaving.
Halfway, he suddenly he slapped himself in the forehead.
“I forgot to learn more about the Sequences and potions. It’s all the fault of Emperor Roselle’s diary…”
At this point, he was still unaware of what the first Sequence of the complete pathway the Church of the Evernight Goddess possessed. All he knew was that it started with Sequence 9.
Rozanne had apparently mentioned something… The Sleepless? Just as Klein was slowly walking towards the stairs, a person came down.
He wore tight trousers which made movement easy. His white shirt was not tucked in, and he had a clear romantic temperament of a poet. He was none other than the black-haired, green-eyed police inspector who had previously came to search Klein’s place. They had met upstairs previously, but they had not exchanged words.
“Good afternoon,” greeted the young poet-like Nighthawk with a smile.
“Good afternoon. I believe I do not need to introduce myself?” answered Klein humorously.
“There’s no need. I have a deep impression of you.” The young Nighthawk extended his right hand and said, “Leonard Mitchell. Sequence 8’s Midnight Poet.”
Sequence 8… He’s really a poet… Klein smilingly shook his hand as he returned with a question, “You have a deep impression of me?”
Leonard Mitchell’s green eyes were deep as he replied with a very faint smile. “You have a special disposition.”
He feels and sounds so gay… The corners of Klein’s mouth moved slightly as he barely said with a smile, “I don’t think so myself.”
“After encountering an accident like that, you remained alive despite not receiving our protection immediately. That makes you special enough.” Leonard pointed ahead. “I have to replace Captain. See you tomorrow.”
“See you tomorrow.” Klein turned to make way for the Nighthawk.
As he walked to the ends of the stairwell, Leonard Mitchell suddenly turned around and stared at the stone-paved ground which was illuminated by the yellow sunset. He muttered into the air softly, “Did you manage to notice anything…”
“Indeed, there’s nothing special about him…”