Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
The other guests gathered around curiously, as they pointed at the silver plate.
“What power do you think it has?”
“I don’t know. It’s a plate, so maybe some kind of special container?”
“I guess it’s a vessel used for some kind of ritual…Look, there’s a spell engraved on the edge of the plate…”
The young man with the white draw box glared at Pastor Knox in annoyance. “What are you talking about? Don’t you insult my honorable master!”
The Master of the Trading House squeezed the young man’s shoulder, and told him not to get upset. The Master of the Trading House pushed the shallow plate back to Knox. “I will not accept this item.”
“Why? Is it because you can’t see its true power?” Knox laughed out loud. “Ha, I thought the Master of the Trading House was great, but I didn’t expect him to be half as good as people like me!”
The young man was so angry that he didn’t even pay attention to the white draw box and swung his fist to teach Knox a lesson. If the Master of the Trading House hadn’t stopped him, he might have succeeded.
“The reason I didn’t take it,” the Master of the Trading House said in a long, lazy voice. “Is because there should be a pair of these. How can I take it if you only bring one?”
Knox choked. How did he know there was a pair of these?
“Really?” Eastwood asked, as he lowered his voice.
The Master of the Trading House said, “This silver plate is originally part of a pair. Two people each take one, and as long as the plate is filled with water, you can see each other’s face, and even talk to each other…That’s probably what it does. However, you only brought one silver plate, so how am I going to sell it?”
Other customers snickered.
“This guy can’t even figure out the function of the silver plate, so he seems to be the last descendant of one of the occult practitioners, right?”
“How pathetic, the occult philosophy has been lost to this generation.”
Knox was so angry that he was shaking. This silver plate was left to him by his mentor. When his mentor often had to go away, he carried this silver plate with him, so that he could communicate with Knox at any time. However, the mentor later died in a shipwreck. He and his silver plate were buried at the bottom of the sea.
Knox had tried to connect to the other silver plate through his own silver plate, to look for the location of the shipwreck. However, with his small amount of power, each attempt ended in failure. He had shown the silver plate to other occult practitioners, but they couldn’t guess what it was for. How did the Master of the Trading House discern that with just one glance? If it was the previous owner, it could be explained, because he was highly skilled in magic, but this new owner…There was no way he could have that kind of power!
After thinking about it, Pastor Knox decided that the Master of the Trading House had seen the use of the silver plate by mistake.
“Just…let’s say it has a pair,” Knox said, as the muscles in his neck strained with tension. “What about this thing?”
He pointed to the ceramic vase.
The Master of the Trading House picked up the ceramic vase and stared at it for a moment.
“This is a bit interesting. If you really want, I would like to take it.”
Knox couldn’t help but laugh again. “You’re wrong this time! That thing does not have any occult magic power! You think such a thing is a treasure!”
“Of course I know it’s an ordinary item.” The Master of the Trading House weighed the ceramic vase. “But the Secret Trading House also accepts ordinary items, as long as their origin is unique enough. This item comes from a distant land. I don’t know how you got it…”
He suddenly paused, and narrowed his eyes while he gazed at Knox.
“You, what are you looking at!” Knox took a step backwards.
“Have you been a soldier before?” The Master of the Trading House asked in one breath.
Under his gold-green stare, Knox suddenly felt like a rabbit being watched by a hawk.
“No, you weren’t a soldier,” said the Master of the Trading House. “Although you were surrounded by soldiers, you weren’t wearing a military uniform…You were with the army though. A doctor? Or a chaplain?”
Knox’s throat felt like something had caught in it. How did he know? In all the time he had been in and out of the Secret Trading House, he had never given away his identity. Even if someone had inferred from the tone of his voice or his words that he was a pastor, there was no way they could have known he had been a chaplain in the army!
The Master of the Trading House’s voice became softer and softer, then turned into a dreamy murmur, “Where did your army go? A distant and hot country with deserts everywhere…Well, was it Egypt?”
Knox was sweating like rain. How did he know everything? Under the stare of those gold-green eyes, Knox felt as if he was as naked as a newborn baby, and everything was seen through.
A cruel smile spread across the Master’s face. “This thing didn’t look like this originally, did it? It was a…kitten? No, it was the mummy of a cat. You stole it from a tomb and put it in this bottle, because you heard that mummy’s powder could cure diseases. You brought it back to England, and tried to sell it for a good price. However, I have to tell you with regret that the mummy’s powder can’t cure anything.”
Knox’s face turned red. Fortunately, with the mask’s concealment, he didn’t make a public spectacle of himself.
“I…I don’t know what you’re babbling about! I’ve never been to Egypt, and I’ve never seen any mummies!” He snatched back the silver plate and ceramic vase. “Since you are so illiterate, I don’t think I need to discuss business with you!”
The surrounding customers exchanged teasing glances. The Master of the Trading House and Knox. Who was right or wrong, each of them could see clearly.
The Master of the Trading House shrugged, and said teasingly, “It’s your right to sell or not. However I should remind you that the Egyptians worshiped cats as gods. Although the mummy doesn’t have secret powers, and can’t be used for healing, it has other things attached to it. Even if it was mummified by the sun, the spirits of the dead won’t leave.”
Knox stepped backward, as he held his babies. He yelled, “Dangerous talk!”
The Master of the Trading House said, “I advise you to either return that to where you found it, or burn it in a fire and be done with it.”
Knox laughed in fear. “Is that how you scare your customers? You think I’ll sell this thing cheap because I’m scared?”
“I don’t want this thing even if it costs me money.” The Master of the Trading House said coldly. “An undead will not easily spare those who desecrate its grave.”
“Don’t scare me!” Knox spat, then clutched his two treasures and fled.
As he rushed into the tapestry spell, he heard the sound of patrons laughing behind him.
Pastor Knox returned to his study, yanked off his mask and threw it hard at the table. He broke into curses, some radical words completely unbecoming of his position as pastor. “That hateful Master of the Trading House!”
Eastwood soon returned to the study as well. “Why did you have to provoke the Master of the Trading House?” he scolded. “If he didn’t have some real ability, how could he inherit the Secret Trading House? You actually suspected that he had no real talent just because he is young. Now, everyone has seen your trick.”
“You’re speaking up for him?” Pastor Knox gave a twisted shout.
At that moment, there was a knock on the door of the study.
“Who is it?”
“It’s me, Pastor.” The old maid shouted hoarsely. “There are two policemen who want to visit you.”
“Policemen?” Pastor Knox’s legs trembled. “What policemen?”
“They say they’re from Scotland Yard. Something called…Unusual Cases Something Section…”
Knox and Eastwood looked at each other.
Abnormal Case Investigation Unit Section…Nightmen! How did they find him? He thought he was hiding without a trace! Pasto Knox immediately dropped the silver plate and ceramic vase, turned and jumped out of the study window. As soon as he hit the ground, he saw a pair of shiny leather boots. The owner of the boots was a man clad in a black coat. He had a fancy gothic letter R tattooed on the back of his hand.
“You’re under arrest, Pastor.” The man grinned a shark-like grin.
The aged servant hobbled into the study. For a long time, Pastor Knox had believed she was an illiterate old woman and had therefore taken her lightly. She was allowed to come and go as she pleased, even into the most private study of an occult practitioner in order to clean and organize.
The old maid punched her waist and sighed. “Alas, I’m getting old. My hands and feet aren’t working well, but I still have to be out in the field all the time.”
With that, she tidied her hair. At the back of her neck, hidden by under her chignon, a small letter Q was tattooed. She looked at the ceramic bottle dropped by Pastor Knox with a loving smile.
“Good boy, good boy, little kitty.” She raised her hand, and stroked the air as if there was a kitten crouching there. “I caught the man who desecrated your grave and your master’s. Are you happy? Ah, you’re welcome, but I have to thank you for leading me here. Now you can finally rest in peace.”
Duan FeiZhou walked out of the Secret Trading House and returned to his residence in London, his apartment on the third floor of 49 Frances Square. Al was already waiting for him in the living room. He slumped on the sofa and Al immediately brought him a steaming cup of black tea and a plate of cookies. “Gee, it’s another productive day.”
Ever since he took in this little servant, Duan FeiZhou’s quality of life had improved by leaps and bounds. He didn’t need to do anything himself. The life of the upper class was so boring!
Al looked at him with admiration. “Master, you really have a business mind. If it were me, I never would have thought of such ideas as blind boxes or ten consecutive draws!”
I didn’t think of it either! Duan FeiZhou silently spat in his heart. These were all the ideas of the future merchants. Before he transmigrated, he didn’t know how much money he had wasted on card draws…Well, that kind of sad thing was not mentionable.
“By the way, Master, how did you know the function of those two items?”
“At a glance, I could see it.” Duan FeiZhou raised his head. “I could see the memories left on the items. When I looked at the silver plate, I saw a person talking, so I thought the silver plate was for communication purposes. And the cat mummy…” Duan FeiZhou frowned. “Although the undead didn’t appear before me, I could feel a cold aura, exactly the same as the one I felt in the Perlilla estate. So I presumed that the undead were attached to that mummy.”
“Is it true that mummy powder can’t cure diseases?” Al asked. “My mom believes in it. When my dad was sick, she wanted to buy some, but we didn’t have the money.”
Duan FeiZhou sighed, “It’s lucky you didn’t have any money. If you see any strange folk medicine recipes in the future, remember to ask me first.”
“So what can the mummy powder be used for?” Al asked again.
“I don’t know. If the mummy had some kind of supernatural power, only by eating the ashes can it be used to obtain such power.”
“Really?” Al was both surprised and disgusted, “No one really eats it for that, right?”
I did… Duan FeiZhou thought sadly. You Victorians are strange, eating mummy powder for healing is commonplace, but eating human ashes for psychic powers is disgusting?
A knock on the door interrupted his thoughts. Without waiting for Duan FeiZhou’s instruction, Al opened the door. Duan FeiZhou popped a small cookie into his mouth, and chewed it leisurely.
“Hello, hello!” Al called out nervously. “Are you looking for my master, Mr. Policeman?”
Duan FeiZhou jumped up like a carp, and almost choked to death.
Z stood in the doorway. He was still dressed in black, his silver hair draped over his shoulders, the ends of his hair damp. He was carrying a black umbrella, the tip of which was dripping with rain. Only then did Duan FeiZhou realize that it was raining outside.
“You…What can I do for you?” Duan FeiZhou asked as he coughed.
“I’m here to pick you up,” Z said calmly. “To go to Scotland Yard.”
This was Duan FeiZhou’s second visit to Scotland Yard.
He told Al to stay home, while he and Z boarded a hired carriage. Duan FeiZhou smiled at the teenager, and hoped to reassure him. However, he saw Al was standing in front of his window as he cast a worried look at him. When the carriage pulled away from Frances Square, his smile immediately disappeared.
His mood was much heavier than when he first traveled to Scotland Yard. On the one hand, it was because he had ventured deeper into the world of the occult than the last time, which made it easier to reveal his true identity. On the other hand, it was because this time it wasn’t Xenophon who came to pick him up, but Z.
Duan FeiZhou imagined that if it had been Xenophon who discovered his true identity as the Master of the Secret Trading House, he might have felt only fear. On the other hand, if it was Z who discovered him…if Z found out that he was in fact his most hated occult practitioner…
Duan FeiZhou was so nervous that he was about to vomit. It was almost the end of the afternoon, and Z had made a special trip to pick him up and take him to Scotland Yard, which was not good.
They couldn’t have detected that Sword in the Stone was a magical sword, right? If that was the case, Duan FeiZhou decided to take the plunge and deny his relationship with Sword in the Stone. Sorry, Brother Sword in the Stone!
The Abnormal Case Investigation Unit’s office was exactly the same as last time, and even Miss Acheson’s posture of typing with her head bowed hadn’t changed at all. When Z and Duan FeiZhou entered, she raised her head slightly to look, smiled politely, and then lowered her head to continue working. Duan FeiZhou immediately saw two photos on Z’s desk, and stopped dead in awe.
One of them Z had shown him. It was the sign, Mint Leaf, in front of the opium house, with the male “Miss” Melissa, supporting Hart. The other he was seeing for the first time. It looked like Melissa was drinking face-to-face with a man in a restaurant.
“Who is that? With Miss Melissa…The one that Mr. Melissa was drinking with?” Duan FeiZhou stared breathlessly at the photo.
“Have you heard of the Council for the Advancement of Science and Technology?” Z asked.
“No.” Duan FeiZhou shook his head.
Z picked up the photo, and handed it to Duan FeiZhou. “It’s a non-profit organization dedicated to the development of Ether crystals and dirigible technology. Many of the organization’s dignitaries are government officials, parliamentarians, or prestigious aristocrats. The man in the photo is a dignitary of the Council for the Advancement of Science and Technology.”
“This man knows Melissa.” Duan FeiZhou pondered. “Wait…The Ether crystals! Melissa lured in Lord Perlilla to sell the land containing the Ether crystals at a low price! And the Council for the Advancement of Science and Technology is dedicated to the development of Ether crystals…”
“Exactly.” Z stared at him like he was looking at a child. “We went to a lot of trouble to buy this photo from a freelance photographer. I suspect that the Council for the Advancement of Science and Technology is the mastermind behind Melissa. If they can control an Ether crystal mine in England, their power will be stronger than ever.”
“Why don’t you arrest this man?” Duan FeiZhou asked.
Z sneered, “Why can’t we? Of course, it’s because there’s no evidence. Melissa is convinced that he is the mastermind. How can you convict a key member of the Council for the Advancement of Science and Technology on the basis of just one photo?”
Duan FeiZhou’s fists clenched as he listened to Z’s description, “Is there any way to uncover their foxtails?” 1
Thanks for the chapter
Well, that Pastor won’t be causing any more trouble!
What’s with the tattoos? R and Q? Is Xenophon, R?
It seems the Perlilla case isn’t over yet. DFZ’s newly acquired powers should come in handy with investigating.
Thanks for translating and editing.
Oh R and Q! There’s 1 more nightman yet, if my count is right.
Thank you for the chapter!