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Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations

Editor: GaeaTiamat


“Perlilla mine is about to start construction. The Queen is visiting the estate to cut the ribbon.” Xenophon read the headline of the newspaper out loud.

The Nightmen had crowded into Z’s room, and were using it as a makeshift conference room. Since Z had trouble moving around, they had to gather there. The bedroom, already small, was now packed like a sardine can. Z leaned on the bed, while the others found their own furniture. Duan FeiZhou sat on the edge of the bed, and leaned on Z’s shoulder, while Z clasped his fingers openly. The others wisely pretended not to see their intimacy.

According to the newspaper news reports, Lord Perlilla had signed a contract with the Royal Special Mining Company to be the company to mine the Ether crystals mine. Her Majesty, the Queen, would be in Shropshire to cut the ribbon on the mine.

Of course, the Queen couldn’t just cut the ribbon on one of her rare trips. She would also visit the noble families along the way to Shropshire before she arrived at the Perlilla estate a week later. Most importantly, the Queen would be accompanied by all the members of the Committee for the Advancement of Science. As they knew, the Committee was dedicated to the promotion of Ether crystal technology, so it made sense to accompany the Queen to inspect the new mine.

“They must have some kind of conspiracy!” Xenophon slapped the newspaper on Z’s knee.

“Carter and the Committee have worked extremely hard to plan this for so long, perhaps just for this day,” Duan FeiZhou mused. “They needed the Ether crystal mine, so they bribed Melissa to get close to Lord Perlilla. When Melissa failed, they hit on the idea of the Arctic Leviathan.”

“The Leviathan also has Ether crystals in its body,” Z said. When he first fell into the icy sea, and spoke to Leviathan through mental communication, he confirmed that.

“But Leviathan wasn’t tamed, so Carter and the others had to use the most primitive method – to buy it. Unfortunately, Lord Perlilla’s mother hated Carter and refused to do business with him, so Carter had to use the Queen’s name – the Royal Special Mining Company. His Lordship and his mother signed a contract with the company because they felt it was guaranteed by the Queen. But in reality the man behind the company is Carter and the Committee for the Advancement of Science.”

The crowd nodded as they listened. The Nightmen had long been investigating the Committee’s misdeeds, but only now did they realize that all the Committee’s actions were actually for the same purpose.

Duan FeiZhou thought for a while, and then said, “The Committee wanted to implement some kind of plan, but the Queen might not have agreed at first, but later changed her mind. Otherwise, the Committee could have used the Queen’s name to contact Lord Perlilla from the very beginning. The reason why they saved this solution for last is because they hadn’t been able to win the Queen’s consent until recently to bring her into the fold.”

“It’s an trick.” Z said in a hoarse voice. “Because foreign spies had infiltrated the Wellington, our largest and most advanced steam airship, then nearly hijacked it, the Queen is afraid. She wanted to strengthen our army, and the Committee had the means to do so. “

Xenophon clapped his hands, “Undying soldiers!”

Z nodded, “The Council needed the Ether crystals to make undying soldiers, and the Queen needed undying soldiers to defend her country. So they both hit it off immediately. But…” he paused. “Why would the Committee want to make undying soldiers? It makes sense that the Queen needs undying soldiers in order to strengthen her military power. But most of the members of the Committee are not actually soldiers. If they wanted to search for financial benefits they could have used other means, so why the soldiers?”

“Another thing that concerns me,” Duan FeiZhou said. “Is that the Committee sent people to attack the Beautiful Gaia Sanatorium. Why would they target Councilor Evangeline? She is simply dedicated to rescuing Etheric disease patients. The ideas in the Beautiful Gaia propaganda and the Committee for Scientific Progress run counter to each other, but the general public feels that Beautiful Gaia is a fanatic organization and doesn’t approve of their ideas. It could be said that in terms of public opinion, the Committee is dominant. Why did they want to kill Evangeline?”

The Nightmen looked at each other in befuddlement.

Suddenly, a beautiful voice rang out from the doorway, “I think I can answer that question.”

Councilor Evangeline pushed the door open.

This was the first time Z had met with the female director, and he immediately showed a wary expression, “You have been listening outside the door?”

Evangeline smiled. “I apologize, but I am also a victim of the Committee. I should have the right to know the truth, correct?”

A furrow appeared between Z’s eyebrows, but he didn’t continue to rebuke Evangeline. Now more than ever, they needed an ally. He asked, “Do you know why the Committee wanted to get rid of you?” 

“I hadn’t figured it out before. I thought it was the ideas of Beautiful Gaia that finally brought about the killing, but now I understand.” A few shadows appeared on Evangeline’s beautiful face. “They didn’t come for Beautiful Gaia, they came for me. Just me.”

“You’ve provoked the Committee?”

“My presence would spoil their plans, so they had to get rid of me in advance,” Evangeline said. “Because I am a member of the Dark Ones.”

Of all the people present, Duan FeiZhou had known about this for a long time. Z looked aghast, Ms. Q narrowed her eyes, Mr. N was intrigued, and the others looked bewildered. What were the Dark Ones?

“I thought,” Z said carefully. “That the Dark Ones were just a legend.”

“Of course it’s not a legend. I’m living proof.”

Xenophon held up his hand. “Excuse me. If I may interrupt, what are the Dark Ones?”

“The younger generation of occult practitioners don’t even know the legend.” The oldest, Mrs. Q, was a bit emotional, “It is said that the Dark Ones were once apostles who served the Forerunners, but were cursed to never live in the light because they betrayed them.”

“Vampires?” The first thing that came to Mr. R’s mind was folklore.

Evangeline shook her head. “Rather than saying that we are vampires, it should be that vampires are artistic images created based on the truth about my people. It is true that our ancestors were the apostles of the Second Forerunner, the Great Lord of Light. It is also true that we turned our backs on the Lord of Light and were subjected to a curse…”

She told the story that she had once told to Duan FeiZhou, word for word. From the expressions of the crowd, it was the first time the others had heard the legend of the Forerunners, and everyone’s expressions were colorful. Even for occult practitioners, the story of the Forerunners was too old and had long since fallen into the abyss of oblivion, not to mention ordinary people.

After that, Evangeline looked around at the crowd. “Although our Dark Ones clan was cursed by the Lord of Light, because of the blessing, we were no longer afraid of the power of the Lord of Light. I can cure Etheric disease because of this. In other words, to a certain extent the Dark Ones clan can weaken the power of the Lord of Light. That is what the Committee is afraid of.”

Duan FeiZhou was a little confused. “How did the Committee get involved with the Lord of Light again?”

“Why do you think the Committee is working to promote Ether crystal technology? Is it only for financial gain?” Evangeline was a bit agitated. “No. They are trying to consume Ether crystals! The Ether crystals are not only the energy left behind by the Lord, they also contain the Lord of Light’s intention. When the crystals themselves are consumed, that intention will be dispersed into the world. If that intention enters the human body, it will trigger the Etheric disease. So, what would happen if that intention is injected into inanimate objects?”

Like a serious teacher, she examined the crowd with a quizzing gaze and silently asked them the question.

A frightening and bizarre idea occurred to Duan FeiZhou. He thought about the wording and slowly said, “What happens is the inanimate objects become…alive?”

Evangeline nodded in a faintly noticeable way.

“The Council for Scientific Progress wants to resurrect the Archon of Light?” Duan FeiZhou was so astonished that he couldn’t close his mouth.

Evangeline was a little sad. “Who would want to resurrect a ‘god’ who wants to destroy the world unless they are faithful fanatics? And the Lord of Light no longer has faithful followers, we, the Dark Ones, have all turned our backs on the Forerunner.”

“Then what is the purpose of the Committee?”

The councilor didn’t answer immediately. her gaze drifted, as if remembering something from the distant past, “I think the truth may be just the opposite. When I heard you guys mention ‘undying soldiers’ just now, I finally understood. The Committee is planning to inject the intent of the Great Lord of Light into the undying mechanical soldiers, so that those soldiers will come to life and become immensely powerful puppets. Now that the Committee has obtained the Perlilla Manor mine, it means they can inject a large amount of intent into the undying soldiers at once.”

She refocused her eyes, scanned the room and said in a dark voice. “They don’t want to resurrect God, but to dominate God.”

For a time, the room was silent. No one answered.

Duan FeiZhou couldn’t say anything, he could only swallow a mouthful of saliva. What Evangeline said was so shocking that he didn’t know whether to accept or refute it. He needed time to properly ruminate on her words. He couldn’t help but clench his fists. Z squeezed his hand. His cold metal fingers probed into his palm, and clasped his five fingers as if to soothe him.

He didn’t even notice Z’s move, but couldn’t help but return Z’s hold, as he warmed Z’s fingers with the heat of his own palm.

The window darkened at some point. The first thunderstorm of the summer was about to sweep through the foggy city.

Finally, it was Z who broke the silence, “Madam Councilor, what you said is your speculation, right?”

“That’s right, it’s all my speculation, I can’t produce any evidence.” Evangeline smiled bitterly. “Maybe the Committee for Scientific Progress doesn’t want ‘divine dominion’, and is just pursuing mundane power. But I must be prepared for the worst.”

Z’s body leaned forward slightly, and his eyes caught Evangeline’s eyes, as if to guess the other party’s mind through his gaze. After a long moment, he shifted his red eyes and gazed over his people.

“Madam Councilor is right. We must be prepared for the worst. Whatever the Committee’s intentions really are, they have to be stopped.”

Mr. N. let out an unpleasant grunt. “Boss, you have to recognize the fact that the Committee and Her Majesty are in cahoots. By fighting against the Committee, you are fighting against the Queen. The Queen wanted an undying army, and the Committee got it for her. Now you want the Committee shut down. Do you think the Queen will look at you favorably? Maybe she knows all the shit the Committee is doing, will think you are meddling and give you the noose!”

“I’m going to go after the Committee even if it’s not for the Queen.” Z said indifferently. “I’m going to kill Madame Boyle, even if I have to go to the gallows afterwards. You don’t have to follow me.”

Xenophon smiled, “Oh, you should have said it was for revenge. I’ll go for revenge.” His smile gradually became cold.

Z looked at the others and asked for their opinion with his eyes.

The first to answer was Miss Acheson. “I’m a Nightmen and a detective of Scotland Yard, though fired for no reason.” She bristled unhappily. “It is my mission to maintain justice and order. I am willing to go with you.”

For a moment, Z’s expression was touched. “What about the rest of you?”

“I’m following you, of course, Boss.” Mr. R gave a thumbs up.

“I’m getting old.” Mrs. Q sighed.

Duan FeiZhou thought she wanted to say, ‘We old people will not be involved in your business,’ but Mrs. Q quickly raised the corners of her lips. Every wrinkle on her face was full of vivid color. “If the young people are so desperate, how can we old people lag behind?”

Yeats spoke quietly, “I was entrusted by Mr. John Clearwater to track down his sister’s killer. Even if it’s just to defeat Madame Boyle, I’m willing to go. And for the record,” the poet’s eyes twinkled. “I’d like to see the end of this with my own eyes.”

Duan FeiZhou certainly didn’t need to be asked. As Leopold Chester, he had a deep-seated vendetta against the Committee. As a Nightman, he was obliged to eliminate the evil in the world. As the Master of the Trading House, he sold the wrong goods to the wrong people, and he must right that wrong.

Finally only Mr. N. remained. He rubbed his brow as if he had a headache, “Got it. I’ll just go along.”

“But we’re a little short on numbers, aren’t we?” He counted the number of people in the room, plus himself. A total of nine people. The members of the Committee for Scientific Progress alone were several times as many as they were, not to mention the group of occult practitioners under the Committee, and the legions of undying mechanical soldiers. If you looked at the disparity in power, the outcome of the battle wasn’t in doubt. The nine of them going to stop the Committee was basically suicide.

“It’s not just us.” Z said. “We can also call in reinforcements.”

Xenophon’s eyes lit up. “You have reinforcements, Boss?”

“She may be able to help us hold back the occult practitioners under the Committee, as well as the undying legion.” Z didn’t say who the reinforcements were, but looked at his own broken limbs, “But before that, I must first repair my own body.”

Mr. N said, “I can introduce you to a reliable prosthetic mechanic.” He lifted his leg. One of his legs was also a prosthetic leg.

Duan FeiZhou raised his hand to express his objection. “Z’s body has been modified by Madame Boyle. As long as she is present, Z will lose the ability to fight. I’m afraid ordinary mechanics can’t solve this problem.”

Mr. N raised his eyebrows. “It sounds like you know a more than ordinary mechanic.”

Duan FeiZhou guffawed. “We befriended a pair of siblings in Switzerland before. They can also make mechanical prostheses. I think if it’s them, maybe they can help break Madame Boyle’s control spells while they also repair Z’s body.”

“I’m afraid it’s too late now. Whether we rush to Switzerland, or call them from Switzerland to England, right?”

Duan FeiZhou’s smile grew wider and wider. “No need to go that far. Just use the Trading House.”


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February 21, 2023 6:31 pm

I think this whole business will hopefully alter Z’s attitude to Occult Practitioners and he’ll acknowledge there are many good people amongst them.
The Trading House is proving invaluable.
They certainly have a formidable fight on their hands.
Thanks for translating and editing.

March 10, 2023 6:44 am

The trading center has become transportation lol

Thank you for the chapter!

March 14, 2023 5:13 am

I know but still couldn’t help but say Trading House is really handy

March 16, 2023 8:52 am

The Committee and Carter think they can actually control the Forerunner’s power?? So delusional!

Curious about Z’s reinforcements. Professor McGonagall? 😜

Thank you for the chapter!

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