Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
In the Secret Trading House, six people stared at each other with wide eyes.
“We all ducked in like you told us to, Mr. N.” Duan FeiZhou said as he crossed his arms. “Now comes the question. How do we get out?”
“That old demon woman will surely destroy our talisman paper.” Xenophon’s face was gloomy. When even he was so pessimistic, the mood of the others was evident.
Miss Acheson turned the Gatling gun back into typewriter form and slammed it on the counter with a bang. Everyone in the room cowered involuntarily.
Mr. N gave Duan FeiZhou a strange look. “You don’t know how to get out?”
Duan FeiZhou was speechless “…I thought you knew?”
There was an awkward silence.
Mr. N was calm and collected. “We are all occult practitioners and think in the same way. If I were the creator of the Trading House, I would have anticipated the destruction of the key when I created this space. I wouldn’t be so stupid as to not leave a way out for myself and the customers. I think there must be a second entrance and exit in the Trading House other than the rune papers. Let’s all look for it together.”
“The Trading House is so big, if there is a second entrance and exit, wouldn’t everyone see it?” Duan FeiZhou spat.
“The second exit must be set in a place where only the owner knows, and the guests can hardly find it.” Mr. N gazed at Duan FeiZhou with an unusual glint in his brown eyes. “Think carefully. Is there such a place?”
Duan FeiZhou’s first reaction was to check the counter. This was the only place in the Trading House that a customer couldn’t touch. After all, the counter held the books and money. He crawled under the counter and went through all the drawers again (when he opened the one with the money, Xenophon tsked and kept giving Z envious glances, as he mumbled, “Now I know what the boss sees in this kid”), but found nothing.
Everyone else started to help him look for it. Everyone checked every piece of glass in the display case, lifted carpets and tapestries, and didn’t even miss the cracks in the walls. But no one could find the second exit that Mr. N described.
If that thing really existed, how could it have escaped so many pairs of eyes?
However, Duan FeiZhou had to admit that Mr. N. had a point. How could Joseph Chester be such a man, and not have an exit for himself? If it were him, where would he place the second entrance and exit to the Trading House?
Only the Master of the Trading House could find the location…
Duan FeiZhou stared at the door of the Trading House. Outside the door was a small stairwell with a tapestry hanging on the wall that faced the door and a spiral staircase leading to the upper and lower floors on either side. However, there was only one floor of the Trading House, so whether you followed the stairs up or down, you would return to the door of the Trading House. It was a wonderful circular staircase.
After having run the Trading House for so long, Duan FeiZhou had wondered more than once why there was such a circular staircase. If it was to prevent customers from running around, there could just be no stairs at all. Wouldn’t building an enclosed room directly outside the door, and then hang the phalanx tapestry there wouldn’t do?
Would Joseph Chester do such a superfluous thing?
Duan FeiZhou walked to the circular staircase. He went down the stairs and came back to the original location. There was nothing on the stairs. Miss Acheson and Mrs. Q had just checked the place. Did he guess wrong? The second entrance wasn’t here?
Wait a minute. “Only the Master of the Trading House knew…”
This staircase was also readily available for guests to use, but basically only first-time visitors to the Trading House were curious about it. Once they found out that it was a circular staircase, they would immediately lose all interest, but was there something in the world that only the Master of the Trading House could see?
Only the Master of the Trading House – Joseph Chester himself – had psychic powers of sight.
Duan FeiZhou stood on the stairs, and turned on his psychic vision.
On the wall at the back of the stairs appeared a spell so large that it could never be ignored by anyone who wasn’t blind.
“…This is too obvious!”
The others heard his voice and ascended – or descended – the stairs.
“What did you find?” Xenophon asked at the top of his lungs.
“I think the second exit is right here.” Duan FeiZhou tried to press on the spell, as he drew on the energy in his body to put it into motion.
The stairs rumbled. The whole space began to distort. The original spiral-shaped staircase hardened and broke itself then extended into a straight line. At the end of the stairs stood a wooden door.
“I can’t believe it really exists!” Xenophon exclaimed.
Mr. N smiled faintly. The others suddenly sighed with relief. They thought they would be trapped there and eventually either die of hunger, or have to leave through the guest passage and fall into the hands of the Committee. The group was thankful that a second exit had appeared.
“Shall we go?” Mr. N said.
Duan FeiZhou hesitated for a moment. “I don’t know where the second exit leads,” he said. “Maybe we’ll find ourselves standing at the bottom of the Thames, wide-eyed with a school of fish.”
Xenophon was positive, “It’s still better than staring at the Committee. And I like to swim.”
“And what if it’s not the Thames out there, but a volcano?” Mrs. Q asked.
“Well, I like lava, too. As long as it doesn’t spray on me.”
Duan FeiZhou was helpless, “You guys stay put. I’ll go out and explore.”
In case the outside was really the bottom of the river or a volcano, he still had time to close the exit. He took three steps up the stairs, pushed open the door on the top floor and walked out. Xenophon could not wait. After the door opened, neither water nor lava poured in, so he also went out the door, and then ran head-on into the back of Duan FeiZhou.
Duan FeiZhou stood motionless, stunned by the sight before him. He was in a small bedroom. Directly in front of him was a single bed. A dresser and closet were placed next to the bed.
This was obviously a little girl’s bedroom.
He took a step back and kicked his heel into a square object. When he looked back, it turned out that there was a luxurious dollhouse on the carpet behind him. It was the kind that little girls often used to play house with.
Suddenly he understood what this place was.
Joseph Chester had given a dollhouse to a little girl as her birthday present. The little girl couldn’t get enough of the dollhouse, and even though she was out of her childish stage, she still treasured it and kept it with her.
–This was Miss Louisa Lynn’s boudoir. There was no safer place in the world. People couldn’t have thought, even if they thought out of their minds, that a second entrance to the Secret Trading House was located in a dollhouse.
Duan FeiZhou could already imagine the front page headline of tomorrow’s Times. “Four men break into a young girl’s boudoir! Is this a loss of humanity or morality?”
Lord Perlilla was in a surprisingly good mood that day.
He had just signed a major contract, making him one of the nation’s richest men. It was often said that money was good and love was bad, but His Lordship didn’t think that was necessarily the case. He had a strong feeling that his love life would soon be a success too.
Not long ago, he met a beautiful young girl. The girl was so delicate, that the chivalrous Lord couldn’t help but want to protect her, and pity her. These days, the Lord dreamed of the girl, and every day when the girl appeared in those dreams it touched his soul. The servants all said that the Lord had fallen in love again, and his Lordship also thought so.
The last time he fell in love, the result was so bad that he believed that he never wanted to fall in love again in his life. However, this girl was different from that unknown “Melissa.” She was a lawyer’s daughter and had a clean family history, so Lord Perlilla never had to worry about getting cheated.
Lord Perlilla thought that as long as the other party was honest and gentle in character, it was a good match. What’s more, Lord Perlilla was now one of the country’s leading wealthy men. Once, he still needed to rely on marriage to gain wealth for himself, but now he had a lot of money and could marry whoever he wanted. Now, he felt that the noble families had too many rules and weren’t as free as the commoners.
So he bought an expensive gift, and visited the Lynns’ house early in the morning. He didn’t intend to propose yet. It was too sudden to propose after just one meeting. He wanted to establish a good relationship with the Lynn family first, to become a familiar face in front of Miss Louisa. She was such a smart girl, she would be able to understand his feelings…
The dreaming Lord Perlilla took a carriage to the street where the Lynns’ house was located. He had asked the carriage, servants and many bodyguards to wait at the street corner while he visited the Lynns’ house alone. He was worried that if he brought too many people with him, the Lynn family would think he was showing off his wealth. He’d heard that commoners disliked the pomp and circumstance of nobility.
Lord Perlilla, was carrying a beautiful gift box as he got out of the carriage with the help of a servant. He walked towards the Lynns’ house with his head held high, full of fantasies about his future wedding to Miss Louisa.
A few dozen feet from the Lynns’ house, Lord Perlilla heard a commotion. When he looked up, he saw that there was trouble! His beloved’s father was being held by two men in black, left and right! The men in black were trying to shove him into a police carriage stopped in the street.
Mr. Lynn was furious and cursed, “What right do you have to arrest people? I tell you, I’m a lawyer! Even if you’re police, you have to play by the rules!”
Mrs. Lynn and Miss Lynn hugged each other, and cried and cried. The residents of the street were all middle class, similar to Mr. Lynn. The windows of the townhouses revealed a mixture of frightened and eager people, as they pointing at Mr. Lynn. When he witnessed the scene, the bomb called “chivalry” exploded in Lord Perlilla’s chest.
He rushed forward and shouted, “Stop it! What do you want?”
The men in black frowned and pushed him away.
Lord Perlilla stumbled, sat on his butt, and dropped the gift box in his hand, which caused an unpleasant noise from the gift placed in it. It was the first time that someone had been so rude to Lord at his age. He was stunned as a whole, and could do nothing but stare at the group of ungrateful men in black.
However, if he couldn’t do it, someone else would do it for him. His servants and bodyguards were waiting at the street corner, waiting for good news from their master. When they saw from afar that their master had gotten into an argument with someone and had been pushed to the ground, their faces turned pale. Attacking a nobleman, was this a rebellion?
Without a word, they swarmed in front of His Lordship and formed a wall. The bodyguard clutched a black clad man’s wrist, and with his superior arm strength, it wasn’t a surprise when he crushed his wrist bones.
“This is Lord Perlilla! Who are you people that dare to be rude to His Lordship?”
The leader of the men in black looked at the wretched Lord, then at the aggressive bodyguard, and was momentarily confused.
“Lord Perlilla?” he grunted. “The same Lord Perlilla who owns the Ether Crystal mine?”
The other men in black came up to the chief, and whispered something to him. Lord Perlilla heard only a few fragmentary words, something about “His Excellency” and “the Committee.” The chief’s face was getting worse and worse.
These guys at least know how to scare the nobility, Lord Perlilla thought to himself. With difficulty, he got up with the help of his servants and stared at the group of black-clad men. “Looks like I’ll have to talk to your superior! Perhaps, I should go over his head and talk directly to the Chief Inspector of Scotland Yard?”
The man in black pulled his hand back from the bodyguard and rubbed his sore wrist. “We just want to ask this Mr. Lynn to go back to Scotland Yard to cooperate with the investigation.”
With his noble status and bodyguard backing him up, Lord Perlilla suddenly had a sense of confidence. “This gentleman is a friend of mine. Didn’t you hear what he said? Even if you are police officers, you must follow the rules. Have you completed the formalities?”
In fact, Lord Perlilla had no idea what formalities were required to invite people to tea in Scotland. He just wanted to test the gang of black-clad men. What if they really didn’t have the necessary formalities?
The men in black looked at each other. The man in the lead squeezed out a smile that was worse than crying. “It seems that we have been negligent. Consider yourselves lucky.”
He gave a nod to his men. The group released Mr. Lynn, and boarded the police carriage on the side of the road.
Mr. Lynn breathed a huge sigh of relief. He shook Lord Perlilla’s hand. “Thank you for saving me, my Lord, or I might have been dragged away by them!”
Now that he was being thanked by his beloved’s father, Lord Perlilla felt he was in for a treat! He looked over at Miss Lynn. The lady had ignored him before, but now she was looking at him with shy eyes. When she found he was staring at her, Miss Lynn blushed and hid behind her mother.
Mr. Lynn invited him to come in and sit down, which was just what Lord Perlilla wanted. He immediately made it clear that he was a guest and had brought a gift. He held up the large gift box and followed Mr. Lynn into the house. His nerves were a little strained, and he was walking very fast. His servant was going to help him carry the gift box, but he turned him away with a glance. Now was the time for him to show his manhood!
“Why were those police officers pestering you?” After he set down the gift box, Lord Perlilla wiped the sweat from his forehead.
Mr. Lynn looked pale. “They burst into my house early in the morning, said Leo was involved in a case and asked me about his whereabouts. How could I possibly know? I’m just his lawyer, not his nanny. How can I follow his every move 24 hours a day? If it weren’t for you, I’d be looking through bars right now.”
“What nonsense!” Lord Perlilla followed his lead, and scolded the gang of black-clad men.
Mr. Lynn was distraught, but quickly calmed down. He saw through Lord Perlilla’s mind right away. The other party must be coming to see his daughter.
If his own family could climb up with this nobleman, it would be a huge step! However, Mr. Lynn was not a person who would sell his daughter for glory. Everything still depended on Louisa’s feelings. If she didn’t hate Lord Perlilla, then as parents they might as well give them the opportunity to make a beautiful thing. However, if she didn’t like His Lordship…His daughter was so good, naturally there were a lot of people to pursue that were short of a Lord.
“I have selected some things to give to your house. A little gift, and a token of respect,” Lord Perlilla said with a smile. “You and I are both friends of Mr. Chester – oh, Sir Chester – so rounding up, you and I are also friends. Friends should visit each other more often!”
He opened the gift box, but was dumbfounded. His gift was a set of fine oriental porcelain, but when he fell just now, the porcelain was all cracked, and only a pile of fragments remained in the box.
Lord Perlilla’s face first turned red, then white. How could he be so unlucky! On his first visit to his beloved’s home and to cause such a scene…He immediately closed the box lid, as he calculated what excuse to use to take the gift box back, replace a complete set of porcelain and send it back.
“I say, speaking of which,” he stammered. “What has happened to Sir Chester? Why are the police arresting him? He’s just been knighted by Her Majesty!”
Mr. Lynn shook his head. “I haven’t seen him for a few days. He often goes out without saying anything, so I don’t know where he’s gone…”
As soon as the words left his mouth, heavy footsteps suddenly sounded on the second floor.
Mr. Lynn jumped up in panic. All the people in his family were there, so who was on the second floor? Could there be a man in black hiding up there?
Lord Perlilla also looked to the second floor in panic. But his reason for panic was not quite the same as Mr. Lynn. For the man they had just mentioned – Sir Leopold Chester came out, stood on the second floor staircase landing, and looked at them with a ghostly expression on his face.
“I thought you said you hadn’t seen him in days!!!” Lord Perlilla asked pointedly.
“I…I don’t know why he’s here, either!” Mr. Lynn was confused.
Could it be…? Lord Perlilla looked at his beloved, and suddenly his heart broke. It occurred to him that Sir Chester was younger than himself, more handsome than himself, and an occult practitioner, so he must be more popular with women. If he were Miss Lynn, he was afraid he would have fallen for Sir Chester instead of him…
Lord Perlilla was so torn with pain that he wanted to go to a monastery and become a monk.
Immediately after that, a second man came out from the second floor. He was tall, with dark hair and yellow eyes, and looked at them with a smile. Lord Perlilla recognized him as one of the two Nightmen who had visited his estate. He vaguely remembered that the man had a rather Greek name, Xenophon?
… What was this situation again? One man was not enough, but two?
Then, a third man came out. It was a middle-aged man in his thirties or forties, with a pleasant appearance, and a leg that was obviously a mechanical prosthesis.
Lord Perlilla was completely dumbfounded. Was his sweetheart seeing so many people at once? No, no, no, no! Miss Lynn was never that kind of person!
A few seconds later, two women walked out, one an older woman and the other a younger woman. Lord Perlilla’s thoughts turned 180 degrees at once. Since there were men and women, that meant they were definitely not Miss Lynn’s secret lovers! But why would these five people of different ages and genders appear upstairs in the Lynns’ house?
Could they be…the tenants of Lynns’ house? Just as Holmes and Watson rented Mrs. Anderson’s house?
In the Scotland Yard dungeon, the cell door, which had been broken by the fireball spell, shook, shook again, and then fell. A pair of hands caught it in time, and let it lie gently on the floor without making a sound. A small, thin, rat-like figure of a man stumbled out of the cell. He tilted his head up, breathed in the foul but free air, then slowly exhaled with an expression of supreme joy on his face.
“I, Palmer, am free at last!”
Thanks for the chapter!
Palmer character is persistent. I think he has some role in the story.
DFZ is becoming more in tune with the Trading House and his powers, by the minute.
Will Mr Lynn be surprised about DFZ’s, and in turn in his Uncle’s, secret, or was he always a little curious, deep down.
Will Palmer be their next problem or an unlikely ally…
Thanks for translating and editing.
Wonder how Palmer is going to play into all this…
Lord Perlila’s thoughts are so entertaining! 🤣
Thank you for the chapter!
Congratulation, Palmer, for your release! Your persistence is finally be paid off!
Thanks for the chapter ♡♡♡♡♡