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Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations

Editor: GaeaTiamat

 

Duan FeiZhou stumbled, and almost fell into a puddle on the side of the road. This…No need to look for it at all! The owner of the trading house is right in front of you!, he thought tearfully. Of course, he would never dare to say that.

Was Z letting out spider threads, hoping to catch him?

Duan FeiZhou thought he hadn’t revealed his identity, and even if Z had become suspicious of him, there was no evidence. Instead, he could use this opportunity to test Z and see how much he suspected him, so that in the future he would know how he should act.

“How do I find out?” he asked with false enthusiasm.

“Palmer was in Aberdeen for a while. Maybe the residents of Mire Street have heard something. You know the residents there well, can you ask for me?”

Duan FeiZhou breathed a long sigh of relief. He thought it was something else, but it was as simple as that. “No problem. I’ll write a letter to Ruth and ask her to help inquire.”

Z’s face lit up for a moment. The already exceptionally handsome features were even more radiant.

“Thanks.” This was probably the most sincere thing Z had said today.

“You’d better not get your hopes up. They probably don’t know anything either,” Duan FeiZhou said.

“It’s okay. A clue is better than nothing.”

They arrived in front of the Dodo Restaurant. The restaurant was closed, but the lights were still on and the waiter was cleaning the store. Duan FeiZhou stepped on the stairs, then looked back at Z, “Good night. Take care on your way.”

Z pulled the brim of his hat down to cover his scarlet eyes. “Good night.”

As soon as he got home, Duan FeiZhou immediately closed the door and locked it. He ran to the window, looked out through the gap in the curtains to make sure Z had left, then he sighed in relief and slid down on the carpet with his back against the wall. His legs were weak, his hands were trembling, and his heart was about to jump out of his throat. He had been kidnapped and stabbed in the back, but he wasn’t as nervous then as he was at that moment.

You’re finally back!” A lazy voice said. “When I saw you being taken away, I thought you had been exposed and would never return.”

Duan FeiZhou was startled, and then realized that it was the Sword in the Stone speaking. He glared at the thing and told it what had happened that day. After listening to his story, Sword in the Stone lamented, “You are too bold to go straight to Scotland Yard, the lair of the Nightmen! If you say one wrong word there, you’ll be stabbed to death on a skewer.

“Are you disappointed that I came back in one piece?” Duan FeiZhou sneered.

Alas, a little. I have not seen a human kebab.”

“I care more about that necklace of Mrs. Lynn’s than this.” Duan FeiZhou recalled the necklace. “I saw the necklace glowing which means it’s an occult item, right?”

Sword in the Stone said, “Isn’t it obvious? You’ve inherited Joseph’s gift. He could identify what kind of secret spell was attached to the item by its glow, and he even knew exactly what the owner had done before. But I guess you can’t do that at the moment.

“I am certain that Miss Lynn didn’t choke on her food, and that the necklace strangled her. But why?”

Who attached such terrible magic to the necklace? Who wanted the lives of Lynn’s family? Mrs. Lynn certainly wouldn’t murder her daughter, so it could only be the person who pledged the necklace to her – Mrs. Vilyuy. Could she be an occult practitioner who lost a poker game to Mrs. Lynn, and therefore added a secret offensive spell on the necklace in order to get back at her? Then Miss Lynn accidentally put on the necklace, and became a victim?

Sword in the Stone said, “Why not report it to the Nightmen? Isn’t that what the Nightmen specialize in?

Duan FeiZhou said glumly, “I’m not sure it’s Mrs. Vilyuy yet. What if there is a misunderstanding with a good person? Besides, then I would have to explain to the Nightmen why I could see the anomaly in the necklace.”

Sword in the Stone chuckled twice. “Don’t you want to stay out of the occult? So why bother with other people’s lives? Even if something goes wrong, there are Nightmen to deal with it. Should I watch from the sidelines?

Duan FeiZhou didn’t want to get himself into trouble, but he had a good feeling about the Lynn family. He couldn’t allow those close to him to be harmed. Alas, he had thought he could rest easy from now on, but instead he was forced to get involved in such strange and bizarre events.

On the one hand, he wanted to live a peaceful life, but on the other hand, he wasn’t born to do nothing about this kind of thing. It was so difficult…

Duan FeiZhou said to himself, Just this once! Afterwards, he’ll just mind his own business! When the dust settled, he’d go back to Frances Square and be a salted fish happily!

Finally he came up with a compromise. “I’ll go to Mrs. Vilyuy’s tomorrow and check it out. If she is really an occupult practitioner, and deliberately tried to murder Mrs. Lynn, then I will quietly report her name to the Nightmen and let them handle it.”

This method was the safest. Besides, he couldn’t think of another way to protect the Lynn family without revealing his identity.

The next day, Duan FeiZhou opened his eyes to the sound of a nagging and mocking song. When he sat up, he immediately noticed the source of the noise. Sword in the Stone was standing next to his bed. The jewel on the hilt of the sword glared at him like a dull eye.

“What are you doing?!” He exclaimed angrily.

Telling you to get up.” Sword in the Stone said gloatingly.

“Why are you singing?! What have I done wrong? Why do I have to suffer like this!”

Your mistake is laziness! It’s getting late! You need to hurry up if you want to visit Mrs. Vilyuy!”

Duan FeiZhou looked out the window. It wasn’t even quite light yet. He yawned, and got up, then buttoned his clothes incorrectly several times as he dressed.

Sword in the Stone insisted on visiting Mrs. Vilyuy with him. (“What would you have done without me, you poor thing?“) Duan FeiZhou thought it was too conspicuous and silly to walk down the street with a sword (with a stone stuck on it). That might have been fashionable five centuries ago, but in the late 19th century, he would only attract the police. And the last thing he wanted to do now was to face the police.

He went downstairs to the Dodo for a free breakfast, which, frankly, was a treasure trove of food compared to the disastrous dinner at Lynn’s last night. The owner of the restaurant saw Duan FeiZhou eating with such gusto that he called the chef to join him, as if he had seen something once in a century. It seemed to be an uncommon sight in their restaurant that customers swallowed their breakfast without chewing.

After the meal, he asked the owner, “Can you lend me a cloth bag? It’s about this long and this wide.” He gestured the size of Sword in the Stone.

The owner wondered, “What do you need this kind of bag for?”

“To carry golf clubs.” Duan FeiZhou said without changing his expression.

Duan FeiZhou stuffed Sword in the Stone into the bag and pretended it was a golf club, while Sword in the Stone kept making vomiting noises.

How dare you put me in a sack with onions in it! Do I look like a big onion?!

“If you really were an onion,” Duan FeiZhou said coldly. “It would be much easier for me.”

He put away Sword in the Stone and the spell paper from the Secret Trading House, called a hired carriage, and went straight to Mrs. Vilyuy’s tailor shop. In the old days, he wouldn’t have been able to take a cab, but now it was different. He had plenty of money. There was no need to save in such places.

Mrs. Vilyuy’s tailor shop was located in Shaftesbury Street. The store was so inconspicuous that Duan FeiZhou passed by it two or three times without noticing it, and only found it after he asked passers-by. The store was small and dark. There were a few wooden mannequins on one side of the store, with leather rulers that hung from their shoulders, and a row of ready-made clothes and accessories such as belts, cloaks, gloves and corsets hung on the other side.

There was only one teenager, who was 12 or 13 years old, in the store. When Duan FeiZhou walked into the store, the boy didn’t notice that a customer had come in. It was only when Duan FeiZhou coughed lightly that the boy suddenly became aware of him and hurriedly put down his book, came out from behind the counter, and bowed respectfully. “Welcome, sir.”

Duan FeiZhou looked at him closely. The young man had brown hair and blue eyes, some freckles on his face, and seemed to have not slept well for many days since his eyes were dark underneath.

“You’re not the shopkeeper, are you?” Duan FeiZhou asked in confusion.

“Of course not.” The teenager said sharply. “The owner is my mother. My name is Alfred.” He turned around and shouted, “Mom! A customer is here!”

A medium-sized woman lifted the curtain behind the counter and came out. She was dressed in black and wore a black veil, the dress of a widow in mourning. She had to be Mrs. Vilyuy.

“Please excuse me, sir. My husband passed away.” Mrs. Vilyuy said. “Do you want to have custom-made clothes or buy ready-made clothes?”

“Let’s purchase a ready-to-wear set for daily wear first, and then a custom-made suit.” Duan FeiZhou said casually. “Mr. and Mrs. Lynn recommended me here.”

He wanted to stay in the store for a while so that he could observe Mrs. Vilyuy more easily.

Mrs. Vilyuy smiled. “So you are a friend of Mr. and Mrs. Lynn. Then I must give you a discount.”

“You are very close to them?”

“Mrs. Lynn and Ms. Lynn are both regular customers of the store.” Mrs. Vilyuy turned to her son. “Al, you take this gentleman’s measurements.”

From her tone, there was no resentment toward the Lynn family, but rather some gratitude that they had introduced a customer.

Duan FeiZhou placed the cloth bag with Sword in the Stone across the counter. “Is it okay if I put my golf clubs here?” 

Mrs. Vilyuy nodded.

The teenager named Al asked Duan FeiZhou to stand on a low stool and took a leather ruler to measure him, while Mrs. Vilyuy pulled a coat from the rack and showed it to Duan FeiZhou. “What do you think of this coat? It’s a popular style this year, and I can help you change the size for free.”

Duan FeiZhou shook his head in a fussy way, and Mrs. Vilyuy hurriedly took out another one.

“All clothes in our store are handmade. If the measurements are taken once, the store will record your data for your future custom-made clothes. As long as the store is still in existence, you can bring in your clothes for alterations and mending.”

At that moment, the bell on the door tinkled. Another customer had arrived.

The Vilyuys, mother and son, looked at the door in unison. The new customer was a young lady, who was clutching a delicate lace cloak in her hand. She flung it on the counter as soon as she entered. She said aggressively, “Madame, I want to return this cloak!” 

Mrs. Vilyuy blushed furiously and hastily smiled. “Miss, are you not satisfied with the goods in our store?”

The lady rolled her eyes to the sky. “Your cloak is so evil! It always covers my head when the wind blows, and it has almost smothered me several times! My other cloaks don’t have this problem! Is there something wrong with the material? I don’t want it!”

Mrs. Vilyuy was apologetic. “I’m very sorry, Miss…Al, you get the money and return it to the lady.”

Her son looked reluctant and wanted to argue with the lady, but with a stern look from his mother, he went to the counter drawer and got the money.

Al turned to Duan FeiZhou and tried to defend the store’s reputation. “Sir, our clothes are made of the finest wool. There is nothing wrong with them! You can buy with confidence!”

Duan FeiZhou nodded, but his mind flew to the cloak that had been returned. There was nothing special about the cloak’s shape or material, but under his eyes, the fabric emitted a faint glow, exactly the same as Mrs. Lynn’s necklace.

 

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WangXian31
November 21, 2022 5:28 am

Ooooh, I wonder what or who, coyld be cursing their shop and its items? The deceased father, the son, an ex customer? It doesn’t feel like it could be the mother.
The sword passed off as golf clubs in a smelly bag; very funny 😆
Thanks for translating and editing.

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