Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
“After the fall of the Great Lord of Light, he fell into the deepest part of the earth. The enormous energy He possessed could not be transferred, could not be transformed, and never faded away, so it became Etheric crystals. That’s the reason why the crystallization contains an incomparably powerful energy. It’s precisely because it once belonged to the Maharaja of Light that it allows a behemoth like the dirigible to soar through the heavens. From this you can imagine how powerful the Great Lord was at the height of his power. Had my ancestor not betrayed his secret, the other Forerunners wouldn’t have been able to defeat him even if they had joined forces. The world wouldn’t be the way it is now.”
Such a shocking story almost made Duan FeiZhou unsteady on his feet. He had to prop himself up with Sword in the Stone to keep from sitting down on the spot. His voice was hoarse, “So the Etheric disease is…”
“The cause of Etheric Disease is that the patient inhaled a harmful substance from the Etheric crystals. That substance…You can interpret it as the materialization of a curse or resentment.” Evangeline pressed a hand to her chest. “We, the Dark Ones, aren’t afraid of this substance, and can even slowly transform it into our own energy. But for ordinary people, it’s a toxin. The more people consume Ether crystals, the more people suffer from Etheric disease. That’s why I built Beautiful Gaia to try to convince people to stop using Etheric crystals. However, because our proposition is contrary to mainstream thought, we are instead met with the public’s resentment and hostility.”
She sighed helplessly.
So, Beautiful Gaia was actually an environmental organization after all? Although Duan FeiZhou also felt that the way they promoted their claims was very extreme, and similar to a pyramid scheme, there was no denying that their claims had some truth to them.
“So you built this sanatorium to treat people with Etheric diseases?” Duan FeiZhou asked. “But why do you only take in the families of Beautiful Gaia members? If you are willing to treat patients from the whole community and prove that you are capable of treating Etheric diseases, then naturally people will gradually accept your proposition, right?”
Evangeline looked gloomy. “I only dare to treat the families of Beautiful Gaia members because each member has gone through a strict examination process and will never reveal my information. However I can’t say the same for others. Don’t forget, I’m also an occult practitioner and a descendant of the Dark Ones clan. I am a thorn in the side of the Nightmen. If they find out that I exist, then I won’t live long.”
“The Nightmen are not that insensitive.” Duan FeiZhou couldn’t help but put in a good word for his colleagues. “If you can really heal people, they might even approve of you joining them.”
Evangeline couldn’t help but laugh as if she had heard a big joke. “You’re so funny. Have you ever heard of the Council for the Advancement of Science and Technology? They are dedicated to the development of the Ether crystals, and can be said to be the number one enemy of our Beautiful Gaia. And the Nightmen have been in cahoots with the Council for the Advancement of Science and Technology for a long time. They will never give Beautiful Gaia an honest look.”
A huge question mark popped up over Duan FeiZhou’s head. What was this? He knew about the Council for the Advancement of Science and Technology, but how could Evangeline think that the Nightmen were in cahoots with them? What a misunderstanding! Could it be because of Secretary Carter? He was a member of the Committee for the Advancement of Science and Technology and a contact for the Nightmen. Was it because of this that Evangeline mistook the Nightmen as lackeys for the Committee?
Z and Carter were obviously incompatible, but somehow the Nightmen had become a black pot. Duan FeiZhou wanted to straighten the issue out for them. However, he couldn’t defend the Nightmen, otherwise he would expose his own identity. He had never been in such a dilemma in his life.
“Okay, I understand what you mean.” Duan FeiZhou said feebly. “Since you didn’t endanger the patient, it was my misunderstanding. I sincerely apologize to you for my previous reckless actions.”
“You are also eager to protect your friend, I can well understand that.” Evangeline smiled, “As the saying goes, we don’t know each other without a fight. It’s an honor to know a good occult practitioner like you.”
The two shook hands amicably as if nothing had happened. It was a strange feeling – shaking hands with a vampire, and one of the Dark Ones. Evangeline’s palm was cold, as if she were a corpse, and Duan FeiZhou once again realized that he still knew too little about occult society.
“So when will Louisa recover?” he asked.
“I can’t say. Each patient has a different constitution and takes a different amount of time to recover.” Evangeline pondered. “The lady is young and in good health. If there were sufficient drugs, probably a month would be enough. However, we lack the raw materials to make the medicine, and each patient isn’t allocated enough medicine, so the treatment period will be longer…”
Duan FeiZhou asked, “What raw materials are missing? I might be able to help get them.”
Evangeline smiled and shook her head. “I appreciate your kindness, but those materials can only be found in the New World. You can’t just buy a ticket and sail across the ocean now, can you?”
“I can’t.” Duan FeiZhou said. “But the people of the New World can come to me.”
Evangeline stood in the middle of the Secret Trading House, looked at the display case that reached to the ceiling and her delicate face overflowed with shock.
“This is…It’s amazing!” She looked around in admiration. “I can’t believe there’s a place like this in the world! A trading house built in a different space that anyone can enter or leave as long as they have the key…”
After hearing that she needed raw materials, Duan FeiZhou drew a key to the trading house for her on the spot, and the two of them entered the trading house.
“You’ve never heard of the Secret Trading House?” Duan FeiZhou asked. He thought all of London’s occult practitioners had been developed into customers by Uncle Joseph.
“Because of my special status, I rarely come into contact with other occult practitioners and have become disconnected from occult society.” Evangeline said in shame.
A few of the raw materials she needed were readily available in the trading house. Duan FeiZhou sold them to her at the marked price. Once she heard the price, Evangeline’s amazement was even greater. She felt incredulous. “This price is lower than what we pay for Beautiful Gaia!”
“That’s because there is no middleman to make up the price difference.” Duan FeiZhou said easily.
“Every time I send my men to New World to buy raw materials, it’s not only a waste of time, but also a high cost. If I had known there was such a place in the world, I wouldn’t have had to go through all that trouble. Alas, it was not only a waste of time and money, but it also delayed the treatment of patients. I’ve really squandered my life.”
Since the woman of unknown age wasn’t short of money, she simply bought all the raw materials needed for the medicine in one go.
Duan FeiZhou also promised to put up a ‘long-term purchase’ sign in the trading house for her in the future. The customers of the trading house came from all over the world, including the New World. They would certainly be willing to do business.
Evangeline was grateful for the low price of the precious raw materials.
“You will always be the benefactor of Beautiful Gaia!” She couldn’t stop thanking Duan FeiZhou. “In the future, wherever you go, whenever you meet a member of Beautiful Gaia, they will be willing to go through fire and water for you if you give them the command!”
That wasn’t necessary. Most of the members of Beautiful Gaia were fanatics, so it wasn’t good to ask them to go through fire.
“By the way, I have one more thing to ask you.” Evangeline hesitated for a moment, then said shyly, “Actually, I’ve been worried about the future of Beautiful Gaia recently. Although we are committed to popularizing the evils of using Ether crystals to the general public, we have been having little success…”
Duan FeiZhou smiled reluctantly, “Have you ever considered that there is something wrong with Beautiful Gaia’s propaganda methods?”
That kind of fanatic marketing style propaganda could only promote hell!
“I thought so too!” Evangeline had an excited expression as if she were meeting her soulmate. “The target of our propaganda has always been the general public. After all, they are most vulnerable to Etheric disease. But after meeting you, I have changed my mind. The general public is after all less educated, and our ideas are too avant-garde for them to accept for a while. Therefore Beautiful Gaia should promote the idea to people with a higher level of culture.”
“Oh, you want to segment the audience group?”
“What?” Evangeline was bewildered.
“… Nothing. You go on.”
Although Evangeline was a bit puzzled, she continued, “I think that no one can accept the Beautiful Gaia concept more easily than the occult practitioners. All along, I seldom contacted occult practitioners because I was worried about my identity being exposed. After meeting you today, I suddenly had an idea. Since the customers of the trading house cannot reveal their identities to each other, can I use the trading house to preach the Beautiful Gaia concept to your customers? Of course, I will pay you fully.”
What a woman, wanting to place an advertisement in the Secret Trading House!
In modern times, it was normal business practice for trading platforms to accept advertisements, but Duan FeiZhou never thought that the Secret Trading House could be used for this purpose! He thought he was already a business genius, but he knew there was a mountain to climb, and Evangeline’s genius was far better than his!
However, Beautiful Gaia’s concept really was too avant-garde, and the publicity methods were also too intense. To just let them come to the trading house to engage in sales, wouldn’t it damage the reputation of the trading house?
…Wait. Hasn’t he always wanted the trading house to close down? Why was he thinking about the trading house at this moment? Has he gradually been corrupted by capitalism because he had made a lot of money from the trading house?
Ah, evil capitalism! Ah, evil money!
“I know it’s a bit much,” Evangeline thought she was getting ahead of herself when she saw Duan FeiZhou’s silence. “But don’t worry, I’ll pay you fully. All you have to do is say a number.”
…It really has become an advertisement!
Duan FeiZhou cleared his throat, and said cautiously, “It’s not that I don’t want to help you, but… I’ve seen Beautiful Gaia’s ‘preaching session’. If we do that kind of activity in the trading house, can we still do business?”
Evangeline looked puzzled “That’s true…What if I just hand out flyers to customers?”
“That also seems a bit…”
Evangeline thought about it again. “What if I put Beautiful Gaia’s special secret medicine on sale in the trading house? Originally, because of the lack of raw materials, the sanatorium only admitted members of Beautiful Gaia and their relatives, and the secret medicine was only for their use, but now that I don’t have to worry about raw materials, we also can make more secret medicine. I can even sell these medicines publicly -to occult practitioners, of course. Although only using the secret medicine can’t completely cure Etheric disease, it can more or less relieve the symptoms. Can you see if you can make it easier? The reward is naturally not less for you.”
The secret world trading house was full of strange goods no less than Beautiful Gaia’s secret medicine. If it really worked, Duan FeiZhou could help sell it on behalf of her. But…
“The secret medicine is different from the occult items or materials, and the general public doesn’t understand the effect of the medicine. I’m afraid it will not be easily bought.” Duan FeiZhou said while he thought.
Evangeline asked, “What if I introduce it to customers in person at the trading house?”
A light flashed through Duan FeiZhou’s mind.
“Maybe there is a way to do it.” He smiled the smile of a conniving businessman.
The next day wasn’t a day when the trading house should be open for regular business, but the trading house was open for a rare occasion. The customers initially complained that the old Master of the Trading House had always been open on Saturdays on a regular basis, then randomly at other times, but the new Master completely ignored the old rules and opened the door whenever he wanted.
However, the occult arts items trading was a seller’s market, so even if the customers complained slightly, they could only endure. Moreover, the random hours of operation also helped occult practitioners to hide their identity. If people found out that they disappeared every Saturday at a fixed time, wouldn’t it arouse suspicion?
Not to mention the new Master also from time to time came up with some refreshing sales tactics, so customers gradually accepted the new ‘unconventional’ Master.
On the day the trading house opened, they went in with great anticipation and eagerness to see what had never been seen before. Ah, the feeling of a racing heart. It was exactly like opening a blind box!
This day the customers entered the trading house and found that the layout of the hall had changed again.
There were many items in the place of the blind box, some of which were already available in the trading house, some of which had never been seen before and looked like some kind of black powder.
The Master of the Trading House sat behind the counter with his hands behind his back, while his assistant and a slender and delicate woman occupied the most prominent position in the hall. The woman wore a half-face mask decorated with peacock feathers. Although it was impossible to see what she really looked like, so they weren’t sure if she was really beautiful, but her pair of beautiful eyes was enough to make people think so. Not to mention the beautiful body curves outlined by the black dress…
Many male customers and a few female customers couldn’t move their eyes from the spot.
When Duan FeiZhou saw that there were already many customers in the trading house, he whispered to Evangeline, “Do you still remember what you were taught?”
She was a little nervous, but she was worthy of being the woman who created and led the organization Beautiful Gaia, as she quickly pulled herself together. “Customers. Today I will introduce to you a few unique products in the trading house.”
She showed a dazzling smile. Next to her, Al held a bottle of ink aloft and showed it to the crowd of customers, “Please observe. This is a special ink made from the blood of the invisible bird. When you write with it, the words will disappear after a period of time, they will only show up when another special colorless and odorless developing ink is applied to the paper. Very suitable for occult practitioners to hide important information! I’ll demonstrate it live for you now!”
She gave a wink to Al. The teenager immediately unscrewed the ink bottle, Evangeline took out a pen and paper, dipped the pen in the ink a few times, and wrote a few words on the spot. When the handwriting disappeared, she again wrote on the paper to apply the developing ink. The customers looked at the gradually revealed handwriting and let out a sigh of amazement.
“…If you buy it now, you will get a free bottle of developing ink, and an invisible bird feather pen! The ink is of course new and unopened. See the sealing wax on the bottle. See the special fire-paint stamp of the place of production? For only £199, you can take home a set of three items! Interested customers please pay at the counter!”
Duan FeiZhou could not help but feel amazed. It was the same person from Beautiful Gaia, why did those preachers look like fanatics, but Evangeline’s ability to bring in goods was out of sight? Was there something wrong with how they trained the preachers?
Next, Evangeline sold a few more items. Finally, she gestured to Al to hold up the secret medicine from Beautiful Gaia. This was her real purpose today. If they sold the secret medicine at the opening the customers might be wary and it would have been difficult to accept. However, now the atmosphere in the trading house had been heated up, so it was just the right time to push the secret medicine.
“Look, customers,” said Evangeline with extra enthusiasm. When it came to her own goods, her eyes shone. “This is a newly invented secret medicine, which can be used to alleviate the symptoms of Etheric disease!”
According to the script arranged by Duan FeiZhou, Al began to cooperate with Evangeline’s acting skills.
“But Miss,” Al said in an exaggerated tone. “The doctors say that the term Etheric disease is not accurate!”
Evangeline smiled lovingly. “But it is undeniable that such a new type of disease does exist, right? We might as well start with ‘Etheric disease’ as a substitute. As the saying goes, it never hurts to be prepared, so what’s the harm in having some medicine in the house?”
Al then said, “Some people may ask what to do if you don’t have the disease? Wouldn’t the money spent on medicine be wasted?”
“Even if you don’t suffer from the disease, this secret medicine is very good for your health. It is made from a variety of ingredients such as regal grass, fire lizard bone, Colombian sand scorpion juice, moose horn, etc. It can calm the mind and strengthen the body…” Evangeline deliberately lowered her voice, and said mysteriously, “If a man has a bad love life, this medicine also helps to enhance a man down there…”
As soon as the words fell, a group of people rushed to the counter and scrambled to buy the secret medicine. Duan FeiZhou couldn’t help but laugh sadly. Any item in the world that was rumored to have an aphrodisiac effect would immediately become a hot commodity. Ah, men, how sad!
The secret medicine quickly sold out. Slow-moving customers (mainly male) eagerly pulled Evangeline to ask when they would be restocked. Evangeline probably saw her secret medicine so popular for the first time, so her eyes were a bit complicated.
Duan FeiZhou duly put up a sign to buy raw materials for her. Those raw materials were quite common in the New World, and it didn’t take long for someone with raw materials to talk business with Evangeline. By the end of the day, Evangeline had met several New World suppliers. Duan FeiZhou intended to let them trade on their own without the trading house, so that even if the trading house closed one day, Evangeline could get the raw materials directly from the suppliers.
Duan FeiZhou took the day’s accounts, and gave Evangeline a quarter of the proceeds, “You deserve a lot of credit for being able to sell so many goods. This is your reward.”
Evangeline was surprised. “How can I take money from you? I should be the one to pay you.”
“No, no, no, no. I didn’t do anything, it’s your ability to carry the goods…”
“I just parroted the words you taught me. The reason the merchandise sold was because your ideas were so outstanding…”
Duan FeiZhou winked at Al, to ask him to help persuade Evangeline. However, he didn’t know if it was Evangeline’s beauty that captured Al, or if the boy had the idea that it was cheating his master, but Al, who had always obeyed his master, had a wandering eye. “Ah! Master! It’s late. My mother told me to go home early today! I’ll leave you now, Master!”
After he said that, he rushed into the customer aisle and disappeared.
Duan FeiZhou had to give up on the idea of letting Evangeline take the reward, and sent Beautiful Gaia’s Councilman off. She did not receive a penny and was still happy. Duan FeiZhou couldn’t help but wonder whether she was too desperate, or whether she was actually losing money…?
It was late at night when they left the trading house. After a busy day, Duan FeiZhou was also exhausted. He desperately wanted to get a good night’s rest and sleep until sunrise tomorrow. Fortunately, he didn’t have to work tomorrow, so he could get up whenever he wanted.
He went to the washroom to wash his face and was debating whether he should take a bath when there was a knock on his door. Who would come to visit at this late hour?
Duan FeiZhou’s first thought was that it was Al, but the teenager had entered the trading house directly from his own home today, and would return directly to his original location when he returned. Such a short period of time was definitely not enough for him to get from the tailor shop to Frances Square.
Could it be one of the Nightmen, Xenophon or Z, who had come uninvited? If the Nightmen had encountered any troublesome cases and needed manpower urgently, it would make sense to find the new people to work overtime.
Of course, Duan FeiZhou didn’t rule out the most dangerous possibility. A burglar breaking in. He grabbed Sword in the Stone that was in his locker and cautiously walked to the door.
“Who is it?” He questioned.
The person at the door didn’t say a word, just kept knocking.
“Who’s at the door? Speak up!”
The knocking suddenly stopped.
Duan FeiZhou became more and more convinced that the person outside the door was a burglar. Perhaps he heard someone inside the house and fled.
Just as Duan FeiZhou was about to put the Sword in the Stone back in place, the door lock “clicked” and opened on its own.
A red-haired young man stood in the doorway. He was covering his abdomen with one hand, and squeezing a wire with the other, as he smiled and gazed at Duan FeiZhou.
Well it was all going so well 🙄😕😬
Let’s hope he just wants medical attention. How did Duncan know where DFZ lived though? Has he been following him?!
With a controlled (for the time being) Jack the Ripper on his trail, things could get very unpleasant in DFZ’s own home. He doesn’t want Jack knowing his address either.
Thanks for translating and editing.
Is it duncan? Holding his abdomen, is he hurt?
Thanks for the chapter!!!