Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Duan FeiZhou shook his head. Al could only let out a long sigh.
They took the distraught Lynn and his wife home, but Duan FeiZhou was concerned about the couple. He was afraid they would do something stupid. That night, Duan FeiZhou remained sleepless, until the day was almost dawn, and only managed a little nap. However, before he could really sleep, he had a nightmare – he dreamed that Louisa was covered in bright red lines, her eyes were bloodshot, and she was smiling and singing a song that no one could understand.
Duan FeiZhou awoke in shock. He looked at the clock, it was almost time to get up. He didn’t want to sleep again, so he simply got out of bed and washed up. While Duan FeiZhou was washing his face, he heard Sword in the Stone fuss, “Kid, you’re extra hard-working today.“
“I couldn’t sleep anyway.” Duan FeiZhou grunted.
“Worried about the lady?“
“I know what you’re going to say. ‘Oh my, do you have a crush on Miss Lynn? Hehe, what a lucky guy!'” Duan FeiZhou said, as he imitated Sword in the Stone’s cockney intonation.
“… How did you know what I was going to say?!” Sword in the Stone was shocked.
“After spending a lot of time with you, I already know your brain circuitry like the back of my hand.” Duan FeiZhou rolled his eyes. “By the way, since you worked with Uncle Joseph for so long, did you ever heard of any cure for Etheric Disease?”
“If I knew, wouldn’t I have used it to make a fortune? Why do I need to be here to take your shit?” Sword in the Stone said sarcastically.
“But you’re just a sword, how are you going to make a fortune?”
Duan FeiZhou rolled his eyes towards the sky again.
Al came soon. He brought freshly baked bread for Duan FeiZhou’s breakfast. Judging from the shadows under his eyes, he hadn’t slept well last night either. After everything he went through last night, and now having to go to work early in the morning, Duan FeiZhou’s face looked like death. He now understood why working people looked as pale as dirt at the end of the day. There was no way to look good at ‘work!’
Today he was the first one to arrive at the office besides Miss Acheson. He thought he was early enough, but as soon as he entered the office, he heard the sound of Miss Acheson tapping on the keyboard.
…That woman, she didn’t really live in the office, did she?
Duan FeiZhou stretched his neck to look behind Miss Acheson’s workstation, as he tried to see if she had hidden a sleeping bag somewhere, but found nothing. He sat down at his desk, and continued his work from yesterday. The Abnormal Case Investigation Unit section seemed to hold an endless supply of files.
Not long after, Z walked into the office. Z smiled and sat down opposite Duan FeiZhou. Duan FeiZhou thought he was supervising the work and hurried to speed up his typewriter, which clicked like a frenzy of bullets.
Mr. R and Mrs. Q didn’t come to the office that day. Duan FeiZhou guessed they were probably still busy with the secret mind control technique. Xenophon was still the last one to arrive. He scurried into the room as a raven, and transformed into a human form the moment he landed.
“Good morning, everyone.” He completely ignored the fact that it was now almost noon as he greeted his colleagues cheerfully. When his eyes fell on Duan FeiZhou, he exclaimed, “Oh my God, the dark circles under your eyes! Did you have insomnia last night?”
Duan FeiZhou touched his eyes. Was it that bad? He replied perfunctorily, “Sort of.”
“Are you that excited about your first day at work? I can’t believe you can’t even sleep!” Xenophon looked incredulous.
Duan FeiZhou thought that this guy’s brain circuits might have a chance to compete with Sword in the Stone’s. “No, something happened last night.”
“What happened?” Z asked.
Duan FeiZhou looked up at him, and stopped what he was doing, “Louisa she – that’s Miss Lynn, you know – she came down with an emergency illness last night and was hospitalized.”
“So you worked hard for her, and didn’t rest all night?” Z spoke with a sneer, as if he was very upset about it.
Duan FeiZhou didn’t understand why he was suddenly so clenched up. “It’s a very serious illness,” he said somberly. “Etheric disease, have you heard of it?”
Xenophon raised his hand eagerly. “I know, I know! I’ve read about it in the newspapers! But the medical experts say that it’s not correct to call the disease ‘Etheric Disease’…”
“Whatever, it’s a rare disease anyway,” Duan FeiZhou said. “My valet’s father also died of the disease. Doctors are completely helpless against this disease.” He looked around the office at the three people. “Have you heard of any hospitals that can treat Etheric disease?”
Miss Acheson said, “I don’t. I’m sorry.”
Only Z’s brow furrowed in contemplation. “Speaking of which,” he said after a while. “I’ve heard of a place for that.”
Duan FeiZhou shot up. “What place?”
Z said as he thought, “A few days ago, a group of rallyists were caught by the police patrol. They claimed to belong to an organization called Beautiful Gaia, and their purpose was to call on everyone to stop mining and using Ether crystals. They seemed to be convinced that the Ether crystals were the cause of the Etheric Disease. That organization of theirs has a sanatorium which I heard specializes in housing Etheric disease patients. Many Beautiful Gaia members work in the sanatorium.”
Duan FeiZhou was shocked. He knew that organization Beautiful Gaia! When he had gone to Paddington Station to meet Yeats, he had run into them in front of the station. Beautiful Gaia saved lives. At the time, he thought they were just fanatical lunatics, but he never imagined that one day they would be a lifesaver for Lynn’s family!
“Where is that sanatorium?”
Z turned to Xenophon. “Ask Sergeant White on the first floor. He should have kept the personal details of the rallyists. Just check their work addresses.”
“As ordered!” Xenophon strode out of the office with an exaggerated square step.
He soon came back with a piece of paper in his hand. “Here. I’ve copied down the address.”
Duan FeiZhou took the paper with gratitude. Xenophon’s handwriting was scrawled, but it was good enough for him. Maybe that flimsy piece of paper could save a life. He wanted to rush out of the office immediately, and give the Lynns the address. Unfortunately, it was still business hours, so he couldn’t leave his post. He had to stay at least until the end of the day.
Suddenly Z gave a soft laugh, his expression a little helpless.
“I’ll mark you down for a day off.” He waved his hand. “A day’s pay will be withheld. You can go.”
Joy and gratitude immediately filled Duan FeiZhou’s chest. He thought Z was a stickler for rules, so he hadn’t expected him to willingly be so flexible for him.
“Thank you!” Duan FeiZhou stuffed the piece of paper into his pocket, grabbed his jacket and rushed towards the door.
Once outside, he felt that the words “thank you” alone was not enough to express his gratitude, so he turned around and ran back to Z.
The white-haired Nightman just wanted to ask him why he was returning, but before he could react, he was caught in a hug.
Duan FeiZhou put his arm around Z’s shoulders. “You’re the best person in the world!”
After saying that, he pushed Z away and rushed for the door.
Xenophon looked at the place where Duan FeiZhou disappeared, and then looked at his own top boss.
“You know, Boss,” he said slowly. “You guys were just disgusting.”
Xenophon almost thought he had turned into a marble statue. However there was one significant difference between his boss and a statue. Statues didn’t usually blush.
“What? You say that Beautiful Gaia’s sanatorium can cure Etheric Disease?!”
Duan FeiZhou left Scotland Yard, went straight to Lynn’s house and handed the piece of paper with the address of the sanatorium to Mr. Lynn. The lawyer’s hands trembled uncontrollably as he held the piece of paper.
“I heard that they take in Etheric patients, as to whether they can cure them, I don’t know.” Duan FeiZhou answered honestly. He didn’t dare to pack his bags, in case he gave Mr. Lynn too much hope, but then eventually deprived him of it. That might be even more cruel than not giving any hope from the start.
“No matter what, we have to try!” Mr. Lynn was emotional. “I went to the hospital today to see Louisa, she’s in worse condition than yesterday, while another patient from the same ward as her went…”
The high mortality rate of Etheric Disease, and the bizarre appearance of the illness really shocked Mr. Lynn. In order to save his daughter, even if it was a just straw, he was willing to grab it with all his might.
“My boss has granted me leave for today, so let’s go to that sanatorium together,” Duan FeiZhou said.
The two set out without delay. The sanatorium was located in London’s Whitechapel district, which was the poorest and most backward of London’s major districts, and was known to be the slums. It was full of thieves, swindlers, villains and all kinds of poor people.
Five years ago, the Jack the Ripper case which shocked the whole country, took place in Whitechapel. That illustrated how bad the safety of this area was.
Duan FeiZhou’s heart was really shaken by the fact that Beautiful Gaia’s sanatorium was located in such a place. He remembered that the members of Beautiful Gaia seemed to be a group of fanatical believers, like in a pyramid scheme. Was a sanatorium run by such people reliable? The lure of treatment for Etheric Disease wasn’t just a way to cheat people out of their money, right? Similar to an internet rehabilitation center, or a certain school?
The cab driver refused to move forward when he was a block away from the sanatorium because the roads were so bad and the security was so bad that the possibility of being robbed was higher than finding more passengers. Even though Mr. Lynn was willing to pay the price, the driver was unwilling to budge.
Duan FeiZhou and Mr. Lynn had to get out of the cab and walk to the sanatorium. All the houses they saw on the way were in disrepair, as if they were not in the same era as the bright and shiny buildings of the Place de la Française.
This place reminded Duan FeiZhou of Mire Street in Aberdeen, but although the people in Mire Street were poor, they were at least vibrant. The Whitechapel area was dead. Perhaps the residents here were also thriving, but they only came out after nightfall.
However, as they walked down the block, the view opened up before them.
A beautiful building stood between a large group of low, ramshackle houses. The building resembled a manor house. It was surrounded by elegantly shaped iron railings, and the garden inside the railings was well-kept. In spring, there would be green grass and a hundred flowers in full bloom. Above the iron gate of the garden, there was a sign that read “Beautiful Gaia Retreat.” The gilded letters shone in the sunlight. Although not as noble as the Perlilla Estate, compared with the surrounding area, the sanatorium was a glorious palace.
A dozen men and women were gathered outside the iron gate. They were shouting and seemed ready to break into the sanatorium. A middle-aged man guarded the gate and wasn’t allowing them to enter. Duan FeiZhou and Mr. Lynn exchanged a confused look and stepped closer to hear what they were yelling about.
A woman shouted, “Isn’t this a sanatorium for Etheric Disease? My family has Etheric Disease, so why aren’t we allowed in?”
Others echoed, “Yes! Are you going to leave us to die?”
“Is it possible that the treatment of Etheric disease is a lie?”
The middle-aged man guarding the gate held his hand up towards the crowd and said in a loud voice, “Ladies and gentlemen. This is indeed a sanatorium run by Beautiful Gaia, but it is restricted to official members of Beautiful Gaia and their families. The retreat is not open to outsiders, so I’m sorry, please go back.”
“We would like to join Beautiful Gaia!” the woman said. “If we join, then we are members of Beautiful Gaia, aren’t we?”
The middle-aged man shook his head. “I’m sorry, madam, but it’s too late. First of all, there is a long vetting process to join Beautiful Gaia. You can’t apply today and be approved tomorrow. Secondly, isn’t the reason you want to join Beautiful Gaia now is because your family is suffering from Etheric Disease? You are desperate to take your chances with Beautiful Gaia, but do not truly share our philosophy. I don’t want to be rude to you, madam, but with your attitude, I’m afraid that even if you apply for membership in Beautiful Gaia, you won’t be able to pass.”
The woman was furious, “Don’t you just want money? I have money! How much do you want? I’ll pay for it!”
Others shouted, “Yes! We’re not members, so why not pay more? Are you going to have a problem with money?”
Some people even took out some gold pounds from their waist pockets, and shoved them into the middle-aged man’s hands, as they tried to bribe him.
The middle-aged man indifferently threw the gold pounds back to the bribers.
“Please do not insult my character!” he said sternly. “This is not a matter of money! We, Beautiful Gaia, are an organization that exists to protect this world! We opened the sanatorium only for the convenience of our members and their families, never for the purpose of collecting money! Even if you pay ten times or a hundred times the price, I will not break the rules for you!”
The crowd clamored, and several men rushed forward, grabbed the middle-aged man by his shirt, and tried to fight him. The two sides were at loggerheads. It looked like a conflict was about to break out, when the front door of the sanatorium building suddenly opened, and half a dozen men and women hurried over. They wore uniforms and seemed to be the staff of the sanatorium.
Once they saw that help had come for the middle-aged man, the few people who wanted to make a move immediately backed down. The woman who wanted to treat her family saw that breaking in would not work, so she simply played the emotion card.
“Please, it is my mother who is sick. She is a good and pious woman, with a lifetime of integrity and diligence, but in her old age has gotten Etheric Disease…” The woman wept. “I’m willing to pay. I’m willing to join Beautiful Gaia. As long as I can save my mother, I’m willing to do anything, please…”
The middle-aged man looked at her with pity. “I sympathize with you, madam, but rules are rules. You might try applying to join Beautiful Gaia now, and when you are officially one of us, you can send your mother to the sanatorium.”
“But…she’s already dying! Can’t we just hospitalize her first?”
The middle-aged man shook his head.
The woman burst into tears. A man who looked like her husband supported her and spat viciously, “I think this Beautiful Gaia is a fraud! If they can really cure the Etheric disease, why won’t they take in patients? I think they can’t cure it at all, that’s why they’re covering it up!”
The middle-aged man laughed coldly, “If you don’t believe in the Beautiful Gaia, why did you come to seek medical help? Beautiful Gaia will take your words and actions to heart. If your wife applies for membership in the future, what happened today will be an important criterion.”
The woman and her husband cursed and left. The others, seeing that there was no hope of seeking medical attention, also left with their heads hanging.
Duan FeiZhou and Mr. Lynn, who had watched the scene, looked at each other.
“What should I do? I’m not a member, they won’t take Louisa!” Mr. Lynn looked like he was on the verge of tears.
It was so hard to get here, Duan FeiZhou didn’t want to just retreat. “How can we know if we don’t try? Let’s go ask.” he said, then he walked briskly towards the iron gate.
The middle-aged man and the other members of Beautiful Gaia saw the crowd scatter and were about to go back when they saw another young man walking towards them. He must have come to seek medical help again.
“Sir, are you a member of Beautiful Gaia?” The middle-aged man asked as he sized up Duan FeiZhou.
“I am not.” Duan FeiZhou said honestly. “A friend of mine has an Etheric Disease and I heard that you can treat it here, so I thought I’d ask…”
The middle-aged man raised his hand in a gesture to stop. “Sorry, Sir. Our sanatorium is only open to members and their families. You can apply now…”
Mr. Lynn jumped up, and grabbed the middle-aged man’s hand. “It’s my daughter who is sick, please be merciful! Ask for money. Ask for something. I’ll give anything!”
“Sir, I sympathize with you, but…”
Duan FeiZhou had an idea and said, “This gentleman is a lawyer and may be able to provide you with some legal assistance. Members of your organization are often arrested by the patrol for rallying in the streets, aren’t they? I think they would be treated much better with the help of a professional lawyer.”
The middle-aged man smiled, “That’s an attractive offer, but unfortunately, Sir, Beautiful Gaia has its own full-time attorney. We appreciate your kindness.”
Duan FeiZhou’s cheeks puffed up in anger. Not even this? This Beautiful Gaia really wants wat to be in trouble!
Mr. Lynn, seeing his hopes dashed, couldn’t help but wail, and hurriedly turned his back while he covered his face with a handkerchief. He didn’t want others to see his tearful appearance. Seeing the always cheerful Mr. Lynn crying like that, Duan FeiZhou felt very bad.
Should they just give up? Or apply to join Beautiful Gaia now? Maybe Louisa could survive until they passed the audit and became full members?
Just as Duan FeiZhou hesitated, a woman on the staff suddenly called out in surprise, “Ooh, Sir! it’s you!”
DFZ, you made Z blush!
Poor Louisa, things weren’t looking good, but perhaps DFZ’s random act of kindness when he’d arrived in London, will now be returned to him. There has to be a moral there.
Thanks for translating and editing.
Z and DFZ’s interactions are so cute! Z getting jealous when DFZ lost sleep over Louisa, the impulsive hug, and the blushing. 🥰
Hope they can get Louisa in the strict sanatorium!
Thank you for the chapter!
Hugs! Is it Duncan?
Thank you for the chapter!