Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
The other clothes in the store, as well as the clothing of the Vilyuys, mother and son, weren’t in question. If they were the ones who tampered with the cloak and necklace, what did they want? Do they want customers to return the goods? There was no such thing as another shop owner like Duan FeiZhou who wanted his store to close down soon, right?
Al took his measurements, and he chose the right style from the ready-to-wear. After paying the deposit, he was considering what excuse he should use to stay longer, when the door opened again.
The customer who entered was a stout man. He was dark-skinned, as if he had been on the road for years, and had a white scar at the corner of his eye. He stroked his mustache and looked at the store’s interior with interest. His eyes lingered on the small cloak that had been returned for a long time.
Duan FeiZhou noticed a certain triumph-like gleam was spilling out of his eyes.
“The honorable Mrs. Vilyuy.” He exaggeratedly kissed the back of the shopkeeper’s hand. “Are you considering the matter I mentioned to you last time?”
Mrs. Vilyuy drew back her hand. “You come to ask as many times as you like, Mr. Smith. If you want to buy other family heirlooms, then we can sit down and talk about the price, but I’m not selling that lamp. It doesn’t matter how much you offer.”
“Is that so?” The man named Smith raised his eyebrows. “I’m offering a very high price.”
“Our family is not that short of money.” Mrs. Vilyuy said proudly. “If you have nothing else to do, I’ll go and take care of my customers. You can look around the store.”
Smith looked at Duan FeiZhou, the only customer in the store, and sneered. “Your store is really doing a lot of business.”
Mrs. Vilyuy ignored him. She asked Duan FeiZhou to wait, and she then altered the garment to fit Duan FeiZhou’s size, since she only needed to shorten the cuffs and pant legs a few inches. Duan FeiZhou pretended to pay attention to Mrs. Vilyuy’s needlework, but kept a constant eye on Smith’s movements.
He wandered around the store, and took a keen interest in a belt. He picked up the belt, laid it in his hand, and examined it from side to side, like he was checking its toughness. His fingers wandered over the belt, as if he was drawing down some kind of pattern. His lips quirked, and he murmured something silently.
Finally he put down the belt, lost interest in it, and turned to view a silk scarf next to it.
However, Duan FeiZhou could see clearly that after he put down the belt, the otherwise plain belt emitted a faint light.
–Smith had cast magic on the belt!
Based on his conversation with Mrs. Vilyuy, Duan FeiZhou immediately understood his purpose for doing so. Smith coveted a treasure in Mrs. Vilyuy’s hands, but she didn’t want to sell it. Therefore, he wanted to use some tricks to make Mrs. Vilyuy’s tailor shop close down, so that Mrs. Vilyuy would be forced to succumb to his bullying.
Smith looked around the store with a bored look, shouted to Mrs. Vilyuy, “I’ll come back in a few days,” and left with a flourish.
Al made a face at his back, then turned back to clean up the merchandise Smith had messed up. As he was about to straighten the tampered belt, Duan FeiZhou shouted, “Don’t touch it!”
The teenager looked at him suspiciously. Duan FeiZhou picked up Sword in the Stone from the counter, and used it to pick up the belt then hung it away from the other items.
“What are you doing?” Mrs. Vilyuy came out with the resized clothing, and looked at Duan FeiZhou in astonishment.
“That gentleman just did something to it. You’d better not touch this belt, and certainly don’t sell it.” Duan FeiZhou said. “And the cloak too.”
“What do you mean by tampered…?” Mrs. Vilyuy stammered.
Duan FeiZhou asked, “Has this been happening a lot in your store lately? That customers buy something, it causes them harm, and so they have to return it?”
The Vilyuys looked at each other with horrified looks on their faces. Duan FeiZhou knew he had guessed correctly.
“You once gave a pearl necklace to Mrs. Lynn,” he said. “Was that necklace touched by Mr. Smith as well?”
Mrs. Vilyuy’s body swayed, and her son hastily assisted her.
“Yes…He originally said he wanted to buy it, so I gave it to him to look at. Who knows why he finally backtracked, so I gave the necklace to Mrs. Lynn.” Mrs. Vilyuy’s eyes suddenly widened in horror. “Could something have happened to Mrs. Lynn too?”
“Don’t you worry. I’ve taken care of it.” Duan FeiZhou said. “Who is that Mr. Smith?”
“He’s a stockbroker, and our family’s…acquaintance.” Mrs. Vilyuy looked pensive.
“Where does he live?”
“I only know the address of his office…” Mrs. Vilyuy pondered for a moment, and gave an address.
Duan FeiZhou nodded. “What that Mr. Smith has touched, you must not touch again.”
He left the tailor shop with Sword in the Stone in his hand. The mother and son, who were stunned, were left behind. Mr. Smith’s office was not far from there, and Duan FeiZhou, while he was striding towards it, whispered to Sword in the Stone, “Did you hear that? That Smith must be an occult practitioner.”
Sword in the Stone grunted, “I’m not deaf! What are you going to do? Report it to the Nightmen?“
“I need to get hard evidence.” Duan FeiZhou said. “The only evidence I have right now is that I saw a secret glow from something Smith touched, but I can’t say that directly to the Nightmen, can I? I need physical evidence.”
Sword in the Stone mused, “Since he’s an occult practitioner, he must have more or less a few occult books or occult items in his possession. That would be evidence, right?“
“Yes. So I was thinking, is there any way to sneak into Smith’s office and get the evidence?” Duan FeiZhou sighed. “It’s a shame I didn’t get to go to Hogwarts, or I would have had an invisibility cloak…”
“Speaking of invisibility,” Sword in the Stone said. “There really is something that can achieve a similar effect.”
Duan FeiZhou was surprised. “There’s such a good thing? So where can I buy it?”
“It’s in the Secret Trading House…“
Duan FeiZhou snuck into a dark alley, saw no one around, and quietly took out the Secret Trading House’s spell formation runic paper. He touched the talisman paper and in the next second he appeared in the trading house. The rotating display case in the center of the hall contained many rare items, among which was a potted plant with translucent leaves, the veins of which could be clearly seen.
“That’s it. Phantom Leaf.” Sword in the Stone said. “Take it in your mouth. Don’t spit it out and don’t swallow it. Others won’t see you unless you make too much noise or make exaggerated movements.“
“Will I really be invisible?” Duan FeiZhou’s tone was not so much amazed as horrified. Just how many more incredible things were there in this world?
“Of course not.” Sword in the Stone’s tone was full of compassion, as if he were a monkey of such low intelligence that he couldn’t understand human speech. “It just makes you invisible to others. It’s like…if there is a beautiful woman walking down the street, then the vulgar people next to her will naturally have no presence. That’s probably the principle.“
“Then Z can also have the same effect. Just stand next to him, and I will automatically become a vulgar woman.” Duan FeiZhou said sourly.
He was still upset about Louisa’s remark, ‘But you said he was a very handsome young man.’
He opened the display case, pulled off a Phantom Leaf and put it in his mouth. A taste of mothballs mixed with soapy water immediately filled his mouth. He almost spat it out, then remembered that his taste buds had been tested by ashes mixed with dark cuisine.
“Did Uncle use this a lot too?” He asked with tears in his eyes.
“Not very often. Because one Phantom Leaf is worth fifty pounds and he couldn’t part with it.”
Although Duan FeiZhou didn’t intend to run the trading house, when heard that he had casually grabbed fifty pounds, he still felt a little bit of fresh pain.
Meanwhile, in the real world, in the narrow and cramped dark alley, a twelve or thirteen-year-old boy was poking his head in. A young customer just came into the store, and told them not to touch what Mr. Smith touched. What did that mean?
Al had long felt that Mr. Smith had come along in a bad way. He had been pestering his mother in order to get that treasure from her hands. But who was that strange young customer? How could they do business if they weren’t allowed to touch the store’s merchandise?
Al was afraid that he was going to do something bad to his mom, so he decided to follow him quietly. However when he reached the alley, the young customer suddenly disappeared.
The alley was a dead end, surrounded by towering walls, so where could he have gone? There was nothing here except a white piece of paper on the ground.
Al picked up the piece of white paper and turned it over and over several times. He thought there was something written on the paper, but no matter how he looked at it, it was just an ordinary piece of paper.
The world was so bad that people were littering.
Al shook his head and threw the paper into a garbage bin on the side of the road as a commonplace activity. This place was quite close to Mr. Smith’s office. Could the young guest be an occult practitioner like Mr. Smith? This would explain his disappearance from the alley. Occult practitioners must have a way to get past those high walls around them.
It was also unusual for two occult practitioners to come to his store one after the other. He had to find out what they were really up to! After his father’s death, he was the only man in the family, and he had to protect his mother! The little man clenched his fists, puffed out his chest, and left the alley in a rage.
Duan FeiZhou stepped out of the Secret Trading House and…fell into the garbage bin.
He sat in the garbage bin, looked up at the sky and felt as if he had turned into a famous British dish.
“……Sword in the Stone, why am I here?” He asked in despair.
“You have to ask yourself that! Wherever you put the spell rune when you enter the trading house, that’s where you’ll appear when you leave.”
“But I clearly remember…” Duan FeiZhou scratched his head.
Maybe the rune was blown into the trash by the wind!
He climbed out of the trash bin and patted the dust off his body. Fortunately, there was nothing else in the bin but him, so he didn’t pick up any bad odors.
He sighed and vowed that when this was done, he would never again get involved in the conflicts between occult practitioners. He would go back to 49 Frances Square and be a happy salted fish who didn’t ask questions.
Yeah, yeah, let’s see if you stick to that, Duan FeiZhou.
Hope Al doesn’t get hurt interfering.
Thanks for translating and editing.
What happens if the runic paper is burned? Torn apart? Is it even possible to destroy magic paper?
I think that dream of his is still pretty far away from attaining it HAHA
It wasn’t Al! I’m glad, but I womder what the lamp can do if Smith is interested in it
Thank you for the chapter!
he’s so funny he sounds like cale rn