Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Duan FeiZhou curiously walked up to him and found that Joseph’s eyes were indeed fixed on the front, the middle of the hall, and would not turn with Duan FeiZhou’s actions. He boldly stretched out a finger and poked it toward Joseph’s face. The finger went straight through the man’s face.
“I hope you didn’t run over and poke me in the face or something.” Joseph suddenly said.
Duan FeiZhou retracted his hand like he was electrocuted.
Joseph burst out laughing. “I’m just guessing. I would do it if I were you. I think your personality should be more like mine than your old man, who was more stubborn than a donkey.”
It seems he didn’t know about his nephew being replaced by someone from another world.
“Speaking of your father, I’m sorry he left so early. Same with your mother. I thought you three were living a pleasant, idyllic life until I became seriously ill and entrusted Mr. Lynn with the task of finding your family. I didn’t expect him to bring back that kind of news…”
Joseph let out a long sigh.
“You must be blaming me, right? Why didn’t I go back to look after you after your father passed away? I’m sorry, but I didn’t even know about it, and no one contacted me…It’s been fifteen years since I broke with your father. You were very young at the time and probably don’t remember anything. We had an amazing fight, and then I ran away from home and came to London to make a living. Your father thought I had gone completely off the rails. Since then we both cut ourselves off completely, and pretended that we didn’t have a brother at all. You may be wondering why I would want to cut off my own bloodline relatives. That goes back to the source of it all.”
Joseph paused as if to leave his audience a little time to think. Duan FeiZhou realized that there must be a long story to follow, and simply sat on his butt to find a comfortable sitting position for himself.
“There are many incredible mysteries in our world. Some people call them magic and sorcery, others call them miracles and divine powers, and still, others call them world truths or cosmic laws. Many people do not believe in the existence of these strange things, thinking they are just fairy tales or fantasy legends, but I can tell you, responsibly, that they are all true, only hidden deep behind history and not known to the public. Those who learn about the mysteries are called mystery philosophers. Those who explore this learning then call themselves occult practitioners.
“In this era, many families of occult practitioners have gone into decline, and their estates have been sold off by their destitute descendants, or have been unceremoniously passed on to the general market as ordinary objects – and this is actually extremely dangerous. Imagine the horror of a weapon of immense power falling into the hands of an ignorant child.
“At the same time, many people who were not originally from the family of occult practitioners began to study this esoteric discipline. The knowledge of the occult is no longer a secret passed down from generation to generation within a family, but has become a subject that anyone can pursue and explore. Just as today’s new capitalists are challenging the old aristocracy, so too are the newcomers to the mystery world gradually taking their place alongside the long-established families. They need more documents on esoteric philosophy, or objects with strange powers.
“I spent some time in London and finally found the right job for me. That is, to become a merchant specializing in buying and selling occult items. For this reason, I established this place – this trading house.”
Joseph opened his arms, as if to take the whole space into his arms.
“This space was created by me with a secret technique, hidden in a place where ordinary people can never find it. Just walk into the teleportation spell and you will be transported to this place. I drew the spell formation on paper and sent it to occult practitioners around the world, so even if they are across the ocean and in a foreign country, they can still freely enter and exit this trading house.
“The reason for using such a stealthy means is that there is a group of secret detectives in the world who specialize in hunting occult practitioners called Nightmen. They will arrest you indiscriminately as long as you have studied occult philosophy. They have destroyed numerous occult practices, so I had to proceed with caution.
“All these years I have been leading a double life ostensibly as a mundane translator and typist in London, but in reality running a secret trading house. I visit people who are interested in selling occult items, acquire the goods from them and put them on sale in the trading house. Sometimes sellers would come to me and sell me things they no longer needed, or entrust me to sell them for them. Mr. Lynn probably wondered how a typist could be so rich, but he never doubted me. He is a good man, but he isn’t from our world.”
Joseph laughed, “This trading house, Leo, is the first legacy I’m leaving you.”
Joseph’s phantom paused, and waited for his audience to digest his speech.
Duan FeiZhou was struck by lightning. He felt he should say something, but no words came out of his mouth, so he swallowed them back. Yesterday, he was so excited to join Scotland Yard and fight against occult practitioners, and the next day he inherited the world’s largest underground nest of occult items! Shouldn’t he immediately run to Scotland Yard and turn himself in?
Z may spot it in an instant, a sword would stab him through the heart, and this time Xenophon might not save him.
He thought he had inherited a large fortune and could feel at ease and wait for death, but unexpectedly this fortune was hidden behind a big hole. There really was no free lunch in the world. He tasted all the sweetness and had to pay a greater price. What’s that saying? All the gifts of fate, in fact, have long been secretly marked with a price.
If he thought about it, he transmigrated to this world because he clicked on the fraudulent email called, “Congratulations on your million dollar inheritance”, and now he has really come into an inheritance. Could there be a connection between the two? Could he have been ‘summoned’ to this world by Joseph, not by chance?
Not waiting for Duan FeiZhou to think carefully about these questions, Joseph spoke again, “I hope you can inherit my business and continue to run the trading house. You may be worried about being discovered by the Nightmen. In fact, as long as you are usually careful with your words and actions, I think you should be safe and sound. All customers have invisibly concluded a secret contract that cannot reveal the method of entering the trading house, my identity, or the identity of other customers. Of course, this contract is a two-way street, and I cannot divulge the identity of my customers to others.”
Joseph pointed to a gold-plated wall clock on the wall behind the counter, with a long pendulum hanging below and the hands pointing to 12 o’clock sharp.
“Customers enter and exit the trading house through a special spell. This wall clock governs the opening and closing of customer access. When you turn the hand to 12 o’clock, customers can’t enter the trading house, and the clock will stop moving. If you want to open it again, place the hands to other times. You can try it. I don’t think it should be rusty yet.”
Duan FeiZhou crossed to Joseph, stood on tiptoe, and moved the hand to 12:05. The pendulum began to sway regularly from side to side as if the time frozen in this secret space had finally thawed.
Joseph continued, “My business hours are not very fixed, sometimes I sit here every day of the week, sometimes I have to go far away to do business, so I have to close for a while. But every Saturday is the day I’ll be open for sure. As for you, I suggest you take your time and learn the relevant knowledge first, and even if you only open one day a week, it does not matter. You do not have to worry about not being able to do the job because I have left you a second legacy.”
Duan FeiZhou was about to turn back the hands of the clock when he heard, ‘second legacy,’ and his movements involuntarily stopped.
“There is a small group of occult practitioners who have passed on special abilities from generation to generation. Our family is one of them. Although during the passing down to our generation the family has fallen, the blood full of power still flows in our veins. This special ability has always been passed down from parent to child, but not all children are born with this gift.
“I have this strange ability. I can see things that are invisible to ordinary people, from the special power attached to an object, to the life experiences of the owner of the object, all of which cannot escape my eyes. I am proud of this ability. However…my brother, your father, was an ordinary man. He did not inherit any unusual abilities from our ancestors. This is the source of our conflict,” Joseph said with a bitter smile. “He was very much against me going back to our ancestors’ business, and always thought I was doing something evil. I accused him of being simply jealous of my talent. The two of us just didn’t like each other. A parting was a parting of life and death.”
He sighed. “Leo, as his child, you actually did not inherit this gift. But I have a way to transfer my ability to you.”
Duan FeiZhou was instantly frozen. He really wasn’t interested in running the world’s largest underground trading den of occult practitioners, but he would love to have an unusual psychic ability. After all, who wouldn’t want superpowers?
“Mr. Lynn should have passed on my ashes to you, right? I purposely left a will for him to do so. The gifted supernatural ability exists in my flesh and blood, and even flames cannot erase it. As long as you eat my ashes, you can inherit this power.”
Duan FeiZhou blurted out, “You want me to mix your ashes with rice?”
This method of transferring power was too damn disgusting! He would not eat human ashes even if he was starving to death!
Joseph didn’t hear his inner cry (and stomach-churning) and said, “This is my legacy to you. Please make good use of our family’s hereditary endowment to carry on my business. From now on, you are the owner of the secret trading house. I have left you some books in the drawer of the counter that you will need to learn the philosophy of the occult for the first time. In addition, here are three pieces of advice.”
He held up three fingers.
“First, honesty comes first, and more important than honesty is telling only half the truth.”
“Second, keep the occult alive, and when you don’t know how to keep it alive, smile.”
“Third, if someone is looking for trouble, open that box behind the counter.”
“That’s all I have to say. I’ll leave the rest to you, young man. I’m sure you’ll make a great occult practitioner. So, goodbye forever.” The man’s figure disappeared like melting ice and snow, leaving a golden mask sitting alone in the center of the counter.
Duan FeiZhou stood in the middle of the hall, silent and experiencing what was called, ‘the ups and downs of fate.’ He had somehow transmigrated to this world and thought he could go to the top of his life. Who knew that he would spend three years of poverty directly in the trough? It wasn’t easy to inherit a fortune, and he thought the miserable days had finally come to an end, now, who had thought that what followed was an even more difficult situation.
He still hadn’t gone crazy, so Duan FeiZhou admired himself.
At this point, he suddenly remembered a vital event, more important than this admiration of his sanity. Today was Saturday, the day the trading house was regularly open for business. He happened to be in the secret trading house. He had forgotten to set the golden wall clock back to 12:00.
The path for customers was open.