Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
On the Wellington, Colonel Freeman looked grave. Reports of hull damage flew into the bridge one after another, and for a while he couldn’t even hear the attack reports from the gunner’s side. The airship once landed on the lake was far less agile than Leviathan in the air, and the flanking guns had extremely limited angles of fire. The cunning beast was obviously wounded, but still managed to find the dead ends of the guns and launch unexpected attacks from places they couldn’t defend.
“Report, Captain. The flank is damaged!”
“Report, Captain. The D-94 hull area is broken and water is starting to seep in! Should the entire area be closed off?”
Colonel Freeman’s expression was unperturbed, but the tightly clenched fist revealed his inner emotions. He had participated in many life-threatening battles, and even survived the Arctic journey. However, this was the first time he had seen such a difficult situation. If the Wellington could take off again, he was confident he could defeat the beast, but if the ship was destroyed for lack of fuel, he wouldn’t be able to die in peace.
“Captain!” The lookout’s voice interrupted Colonel Freeman’s thoughts. “There’s a group of people on the lake, and they seem to be trying to board the ship!”
“Oh?” Colonel took three steps to the window, took the binoculars from the lookout, and looked out to the lake. Sure enough there were a dozen people there waving at them, men and women, even an old woman with white hair. Were they civilians who wished to take refuge in the airship? Or…? One of the dark-haired men knew the semaphore language and began to make complex gestures. the colonel, of course, also knew the semaphore language. He silently read the man’s gestures, then turned to the crew. “Let them board the ship!”
“But Captain, we can’t use our rowboat either…”
“Use the paddle!”
“Oh my God, what are you doing? How can you do such a thing with the noble me! You’ll be struck by lightning!” Sword in the Stone filled Duan FeiZhou’s head with shouts, but he continued with his hands to draw spells on the dirt with Sword in the Stone.
The job should have been done with a hoe or a plow, but the closest thing Duan FeiZhou could find was Sword in the Stone. It had been a long time since he heard that guy talk, and he actually missed it a bit.
He was drawing the Secret Trading House’s seven-manifold spell on a flat area near the oak forest. Since the spell being drawn on paper could work, being drawn on the ground could also work, and was perhaps even more durable and solid than being drawn on paper.
Once the spell was completed, he would attract the strange sun in the sky – the Great Lord of Light – into the Trading House, then fly back to the real world and destroy the entrance. This would trap the Great Lord of Light forever in the other dimension where the Trading House was located.
As long as he never used the Trading House again, that Forerunner would never be able to return to the real world. Losing the goods in the Trading House was a pity, but on second thought, he hadn’t really wanted to inherit the Trading House in the first place. He had no love for those strange and mysterious items, so he didn’t feel much pain in losing them.
Some of the important books had already been taken out in advance for Yeats, Xenophon and others to learn, the rest…
Perhaps in the future, occult practitioners would no longer live in hiding, but would be able to walk in the sunlight with their heads held high. Various occult items will be able to be sold openly in the regular stores, with no need to sneak around and trade in the black market. There would always be more need, more precious items to be made.
Duan FeiZhou heard a commotion in the distance. The mechanical soldiers were coming straight for him. They were stained with blood, and Duan FeiZhou secretly prayed that it was the blood of the Committee, and not someone he knew.
At the same time, a group of people rushed out from the oak forest. Mr. R brandished a short sword and stopped in front of the mechanical soldiers, while Miss Acheson used the Gatling machine gun as a melee weapon and smashed the skull of a mechanical soldier with a single blow. The red guards under the Queen were a little overwhelmed, but followed suit and joined the fray. Those who had guns raised their guns to shoot, and those who were empty of bullets directly used the butt of their guns to beat the enemy.
Even Lord Perlilla joined the fray. He clumsily used a stone to throw the mechanical soldier’s head to lure the undying soldier into the oak forest. Once they entered the confines of the woods, countless pairs of white hands sprang from the trunks and the ground, and bound them in a death grip.
In the distance, a golden shadow rose into the air. Like a rising star, the Wellington fired its cannons at the pitch-black beast that hovered in the air. First there was a flash of fire, and only after a long time did the rumble of cannons and the miserable roar of Leviathan reach Duan FeiZhou.
Duan FeiZhou nodded at Evangeline.
The councilor shrugged off the black robe wrapped around her body to reveal her pale face. She raised her hands towards the strange sun in the sky, mouthed an ancient language that Duan FeiZhou couldn’t understand, and used an ancient occult technique that was believed to had been lost to weaken the Forerunner’s power. Her skin turned a transparent color under the light of the strange sun. The blood vessels, visible under the skin, were clearly broken, just like a person suffering from Etheric disease.
Duan FeiZhou looked at Z. The white-haired Nightmen held his hand. The grip was so tight, it was almost as if they would never be separated for life.
The two men leapt into the spell.
After the sky stopped spinning, they entered the Secret Trading House.
“I’ll destroy the entrance and exit.” Duan FeiZhou said. He carried Sword in the Stone and ran to the tapestry spell in the stairwell. This was the customer-only passage. Duan FeiZhou slashed his sword into the tapestry, cutting it in two, and then summoned a fire to burn it to ashes. From now on, no more guests could enter the Trading House.
Then, he ascended the spiral staircase, while he turned on his psychic vision. The spell for the second entrance and exit was carved into the wall at the back of the stairs. It led to the dollhouse, a place of absolute seclusion and safety, which Joseph Chester used as an emergency escape route.
Duan FeiZhou slashed the wall with the sword. The masonry crumbled and fell. Somewhere Duan FeiZhou couldn’t see, the dollhouse suddenly collapsed into a pile of tattered pieces of wood and cloth.
He returned, looked at the golden clock and couldn’t help but gulp.
After taking a deep breath, Duan FeiZhou put the Sword in the Stone on his back and turned to Z. Without waiting for him to say anything, Z took his hands in his.
Duan FeiZhou couldn’t help but open his mouth.
No more words were needed. He had never performed this occult art before, but he had to succeed or else the people he loved so much, the world he loved so much, would all go up in smoke before him.
How could he allow that to happen? He closed his eyes and stretched out the tentacles of his senses, probing into Z along the palm of his hand that was intertwined with Z’s.
Past the cold metal, the intricate and delicate parts, probing into the flesh and blood, straight to the deepest part of Z’s body. There was no heart in his chest cavity, instead there was a machine that pumped blood into all parts of his body. Driving this machinery was a small Ether crystal.
Duan FeiZhou grabbed the crystalline piece with his mental hand. It felt like grabbing a burning heart. The crystal was connected to something else. Some larger, deeper will. To fight against it was like hitting a stone with an egg or shaking a tree with a leaf.
However today, he, a small, insignificant human being, was going to challenge the closest thing to a god. What about the Forerunner? Wasn’t he also a human at the beginning?
He began to extract the energy from that huge will.
Outside the Secret Trading House, the fields of the Perlilla estate were in chaos.
The Wellington and Leviathan were tangled in the air. The blood of the behemoth splashed on the earth, while the occult practitioners gathered in the engine room. They were sweating, not used to powering engines. Evangeline faced the sky. As she recited the ancient occult language, her body became nearly transparent. Ten mechanical soldiers tried anew to approach her, but were stopped either by Mr. R using a knife to cut off their head, or by Miss Acheson with a gun barrel smashed them into pieces.
The strange sun in the sky suddenly melted and turned into countless golden threads that merged with the huge spell formation on the ground.
Inside the Secret Trading House, Duan FeiZhou could feel the raging surge of power like a wave that gushed out from the magic formation of the golden clock.
Was that power he could resist? For a moment, he mentally questioned himself. Maybe all his efforts were in vain, maybe the occult art wouldn’t succeed at all…
A majestic voice, neither male nor female, came from the air.
Duan FeiZhou thought to himself that this must be the voice of the Great Lord of Light.
“I don’t know you,” he replied in his head.
“Fourth Forerunner Blood Moon, why did you call me here?”
“I am not the Fourth Forerunner.”
“You have the power of God in you.”
Duan FeiZhou remembered what Hecate had said. A Forerunner’s definition of “alive” was different from that of mortals. As long as their power still existed in this world, he was still “alive.” Even if that power was in another person.
He only inherited part of the power of the Fourth Forerunner. But in the eyes of an incomplete Lord of Light, he is an incomplete Fourth Forerunner, right?
“Unfortunately, I’m going to seal you in here,” Duan FeiZhou continued to say with his mind even as he extracted energy moment by moment. He could feel the storm of energy that filled the Trading House getting stronger and stronger, as if he had shoved the eye of a typhoon into the hall.
“Why are you antagonizing me? Aren’t we allies? You and I, we can recreate a new world, a better world.”
“With all due respect. I like this world very much now.”
The Archon of Light was silent for a moment.
“You are not him,” the Forerunner said. “But you said the same thing. You are even a bit similar in character. Too much compassion.”
“Is that a compliment?”
“If I leave this world, all the Ether crystals will disappear. Mortals have gotten used to their existence, and losing them so suddenly would cause chaos in the world.”
“It doesn’t matter. they will find a new path,” Duan FeiZhou said easily. “Mortals can always find a way to adapt to their environment. Besides, I’ve seen multiple histories of another sub-world without Ether crystals, and mortals are doing just fine.”
The Great Lord of Light let out a snort. “The Forerunner is immortal, you can only seal me in here. Perhaps one day we will meet again. When the time comes, it is unknown who will win and who will lose.”
“My power will also be passed on, and perhaps a new Forerunner will appear in the future. Who knows? It is enough for me to do the best I can.” He opened his eyes, and his golden-green eyes bloomed with a different kind of brilliance.
The storm in that secret space tore at his body, and if Z hadn’t held on to his hands, he might have been unable to stand. Z’s silver hair danced in the fierce wind, and his scarlet eyes were as bright as the stars that pointed the way.
Duan FeiZhou could no longer draw energy. All the power of the Great Lord of Light had been channeled into this space.
“It’s done!” he yelled in the middle of the storm that kept roaring. “Let’s go!”
After he said that, he pulled Z and rushed towards the golden clock, and stumbled back into the real world.
The roar of the storm stopped, but his ears still buzzed. The sky spun around for a while, and he fell to the ground with a dizzy head, and even wanted to vomit a little.
Duan FeiZhou lay on the ground, gasping for air.
He suddenly realized that everything was not over yet. He had to destroy the last exit of the Trading House, the spell he had drawn on the ground. Otherwise, the Great Lord of Light would be able to escape the Trading House. Since the spell only recognized humans, not things other than humans, it would identify the Great Lord of Light as an object and thus let him pass through the spell, just as Duan FeiZhou could pull Z through the spell.
He sat up with difficulty and tried to destroy the ground spell with Sword in the Stone. However, just as he gripped the hilt of the sword, a mechanical soldier leapt from behind him with the speed of lightning and grabbed his wrist with a sharp twist.
Duan FeiZhou heard the sound of bones breaking and cried out in pain Sword in the Stone came out of his hand.
Sword in the Stone screamed, “Don’t throw me away! Quickly pick me up! Ahhhhh you idiot! Come on!”
The mechanical soldier threw Duan FeiZhou with a force impossible for a human to possess. He landed heavily and rolled several times before stopping.
Immediately, his self-healing ability began to work, his wrist bones automatically reattached, and the scrapes on his body continued to heal. He got up, then tried to rush back and grab Sword in the Stone, but the mechanical soldier was one step ahead of him and kicked Sword in the Stone away.
He was stymied.
Not far away, Evangeline rushed towards Sword in the Stone. She fell to the ground and crawled on all fours towards the sword. She screamed in agony.
A golden thread stretched out from the magic circle and wrapped around Duan FeiZhou’s leg. He opened his eyes wide, his pupils dilated in consternation.
It was the Great Lord of Light, and he was escaping!
Duan FeiZhou crawled on all fours toward the Sword in the Stone, but the golden threads were so firmly wrapped around his legs that he couldn’t advance even an inch! He looked frantically left and right, looking for someone who could help him.
The white-haired Nightman had collapsed not far from him, and lay unconscious on his side in the dirt. One hand clutched the shirt on his chest as if his heart was in extreme pain.
“Z!!!” Duan FeiZhou yelled at the top of his lungs.
Yes, he had channeled the power of the Great Lord of Light into the Trading House, and not only would all the Ether crystals in the world lose their effectiveness, but that included the one inside Z.
If he lost that crystal, Z’s heart would no longer beat.
Duan FeiZhou struggled to crawl forward. His fingers desperately reached in the direction of Sword in the Stone, but he couldn’t reach it. The golden thread kept dragging him backward, his nails sunk into the mud, and left five deep fingerprints.
Were all his efforts in vain?
Just at the moment when despair took hold of him, a hand suddenly reached out from the earth and grabbed Sword in the Stone.
Duan FeiZhou was dumbfounded. He saw a small, thin, thieving man emerge from the earth and raised Sword in the Stone in a gesture that resembled a mythical hero raising his sword to meet the enemy in a classical painting.
“Palmer?” Duan FeiZhou shouted out of breath.
The mouse-like man saw him and was stunned along with him. He held Sword in the Stone and looked to the right and left, not knowing who to give it to.
Sword in the Stone could only be effective in the hands of the real owner. Duan FeiZhou’s side was blocked by mechanical soldiers, so he couldn’t break through. If he broke through, he might get his wrist broken like the pretty lady.
Duan FeiZhou had no time to think about why Palmer hadn’t stayed in the Scotland Yard dungeon, but appeared here. He was now thinking about one thing: if he couldn’t get the Sword in the Stone, then who should he give the Sword in the Stone to?
In mythology, only a true king could pluck Sword in the Stone out of the rock.
Kings. They had exactly one here.
“Palmer!” he yelled. “Give the sword to the Queen!”
Palmer was stunned, caught completely unawares, but the tricky situation at hand made him instinctively obey the command he heard. He dug into the earth again, his best occult technique, and he could do it with his eyes closed.
A few seconds later, he appeared at the Queen’s feet. With half of his body still buried in the earth and only the upper half burrowed out of the ground, he presented the tattered and rusty sword to the queen with both hands.
“That gentleman told me to give it to you!” Palmer said in a sharp voice.
The Queen looked surprised, but still held the rusty sword.
The moment she touched the hilt, rampant laughter appeared in her brain.
“Ahhhhh! It’s the king I was destined for!” the voice screamed in ecstasy. “King Britannia who pulled me out of the rock! That means only the King of Britain can pluck me out of the rock!”
Victoria, the current King of Britain, stared at the sword in amazement. With a “pop” sound, the small stone on the tip of the sword shattered.
Immediately afterwards, the rust disappeared like evaporated dew, and the pitted blade flashed with a blinding light, turning into shiny, sharp silver steel. Even the guard hilt lit up with gold, a bright sapphire set in the center.
The Queen’s body involuntarily moved, as if manipulated by the sword. She raised the sword high, then slashed down with force.
A golden sword wind whistled out, and left a deep furrow in the ground. The sword wind cut through the piece of land where the spell was located. It set off a storm of dirt, and the spell was swallowed up in a flash, along with a mechanical soldier near the spell shattered.
The golden threads that wrapped around Duan FeiZhou’s calf dissipated away with the wind. He heard shrieks from afar and braced himself for the pain.
The golden airship and the black monster that were entangled in the sky had already split their victories. The Leviathan’s body was already riddled with holes under the cannon fire. The condition of the airship wasn’t much better, the shell was broken, smoke roiled, and it looked as if it would crash at any time.
Luckily in the end, the Wellington held steady. Instead, the giant beast lost its balance, and struggled as it fell into the lake. After the earth-shattering sound, monstrous waves rushed up to the shore of the lake, and nearly swallowed the villas on the lake.
A deep red color spread from the place where the beast fell, and stained the lake red. There was a moment of silence on the airship, and then the cheers rang out from every corner.
From the captain to the ordinary sailors, from the mechanics to the occult practitioners, everyone was screaming, stamping their feet and clapping. Old comrades who had fought side by side for years hugged each other. The detectives and Nightmen, who until recently had treated each other like enemies, shook hands with each other. The clamor was deafening.
On the ground, the mechanical soldiers fell down one by one. This time there was no power to bring them back to life. One by one, they broke apart and turned back to lifeless steel, their eyes, once bright as torches, were extinguished, leaving only two empty holes in their skulls.
Miss Acheson froze, threw away the Gatling in her hands, and embraced Mr. R in excitement. The Nightman even lifted the petite typist up and spun her in place.
Lord Perlilla howled like a little child as the royal guards slapped each other on the shoulder, celebrating that the nightmare had finally passed. Lady Edith stared hatefully at her son, thinking he had really lost his mind.
Behind them, white hands shrank back into the trunks of the trees. A ghostly figure of a woman in costume retreated into the shadows of the oak forest. The land had suffered a heavy blow, because of the battle the grass of the wilderness had turned into devastated mud and fire, but it didn’t matter. When the spring breezes came, the grass would still grow again.
The Queen used the reborn Sword in the Stone as a crutch to support her body.
“It’s amazing,” she murmured. “Is even this legend true?”
“It was never true, my destined king!” Sword in the Stone said in a singing voice. It was so disgusting when it was used as a crutch, but it didn’t complain because it was being held by the queen. “I didn’t think you would be the one to make the final call! But think about it, this is your land, it should be guarded by you!”
The queen didn’t say a word and looked at the young blond man in the distance. He rolled and crawled to the white-haired Nightman, then knelt next to the motionless body.
Duan FeiZhou rolled Z over and laid him on his back. Z was deathly pale and all but lifeless. He pressed Z’s chest, and the machinery that had replaced his heart had indeed ceased to function.
“Don’t die, Z, don’t die…!” He shuddered. Tears mixed with rain hit the pale skin of the Nightman.
What could replace the Ether crystal and re-energize Z’s mechanical heart?
Duan FeiZhou thought of the occult practitioners aboard the Wellington. If they could draw energy to feed the airship’s engines and get that behemoth up in the air, then surely he could do the same and power Z’s heart. He ripped open Z’s lapels, pressed his hands against the scarred chest, and poured all the energy he could reach into it.
The queen looked at his back and couldn’t help but clench Sword in the Stone. She wondered if she should order the Wellington to land immediately and call those occult practitioners back? At least one of them should know how to heal and save him, right?
However, she soon did not have to think about this problem. The young man withdrew his hands. Both shoulders drooped, and his arms hung weakly at his side. Then, the one lying on the ground turned over and embraced him in his arms. The two fell into the muddy water together.
They were like children, obviously rolling in the mud, but laughing uncontrollably.
“Be gentle, Your Majesty! You’re hurting me!” Sword in the Stone moaned.
…This sword is a bit annoying. Now the queen understood why people would stick it in the stone. However the Queen decided to forgive it because the rain had stopped. The sun shone down between the gaps in the layer of clouds, and spilled over the plundered earth. Not the strange sun of some Forerunner incarnation, but the real one high in the sky.
One week later, 49 Frances Square.
“With the simultaneous loss of effectiveness of Ether crystals around the world, the grounding of airships, and up to five thousand passengers stranded at Heathrow Airport, the Committee for Scientific Progress is being asked to explain… Twenty-three members of the Council for the Advancement of Science were arrested on murder charges… The legendary Sword in the Stone is on display in the British Museum… Buckingham Palace issued a proclamation that the country will activate ‘special talents’ to drive the airships to solve the difficulties of passengers as soon as possible…”
Duan FeiZhou put down the newspaper, a long sigh. “This is treating occult practitioners as coal shovelers!”
Z came out of the bathroom. Wet silver hair draped over his shoulders, like a waterfall of white silver. He tightened the buttons of his shirt to cover the scarred skin on his chest (as well as the red marks that would attract attention) and said, “Isn’t it great that the occult practitioners are finally able to move from the backstage to the front? And they won’t be hunted for no reason in the future, unless they break the law…”
A week has passed since the big fight at Perlilla Manor. It had only been seven days, but Duan FeiZhou felt as if the whole world had been transformed. Many things had changed, or were changing, or were about to change.
The Queen ordered the soldiers of the Wellington to seize the members of the Committee for the Advancement of Science, who were to be brought to court for murder. The Nightmen provided information about the murders of many occult practitioners. In addition, the spy on the Wellington was again investigated. The public was stunned by the sudden fall of the once prominent Committee, and speculated whether there was a shuffling of political power behind it.
The occult practitioners under the Committee finally saw evidence that the Committee had murdered their families. Some of them had a hard time accepting this fact, while others went from being loyal supporters of the Committee to being implacable enemies, and turned the tables faster than a book.
The Scotland Yard Abnormal Case Investigation Unit section they occupied was returned to the Nightmen. However, the function of the Abnormal Case Investigation Unit Section was also very different from before. According to the plan conceived by the Queen and Z, they would become the watchdog of the occult society, monitoring the criminal behavior of occult practitioners and regulating the order of the occult world. In the future, more occult practitioners would be absorbed to join. (Palmer’s dream of being recruited had finally come true, he was now a temporary worker in the Abnormal Case Investigation Unit section.)
Duan FeiZhou smiled and thought to himself, This time they have become Aurora…
The staffing of the Abnormal Case Investigation Unit had also changed, with Z stepping down from his position as Superintendent and being replaced by Miss Acheson. The typist finally got the promotion she wanted, and her deforming typewriter was placed in the center of the office, receiving the worship of countless newcomers.
The Queen was the liaison between the Nightmen and Z. Duan FeiZhou called this a promotion, while Z called it a retirement.
“Come to think of it, I’m not getting any younger.” Z said. “It’s almost time to retire. Scotland Yard should give me a big pension and let me retire to a beautiful island like Mr. Thales.”
But in the end, he stayed in London instead of the island, because ever since Duan FeiZhou officially joined Scotland Yard he had been living the life of a laborer, and Z had to stay by his side. Z’s mechanical heart was no longer powered by an Ether crystal, but by Duan FeiZhou, who supplied it with energy twenty-four hours a day. So…He couldn’t leave the bad little thing anymore.
Z wiped his hair half dry and approached Duan FeiZhou, who folded up the newspaper, snapped his fingers at Z and used an occult technique to blow dry his hair.
“It’s so convenient to have you around…” Z murmured. He lowered his head and kissed Duan FeiZhou’s lips.
Duan FeiZhou hooked his lover’s neck and pulled him towards him. The supply of energy into Z had become an unconscious act, just as he would unconsciously and readily store energy into the brass ring.
With the loss of the Ether crystal, Z’s body might keep aging from now on. One day, he would no longer be the beautiful young and handsome man with white hair forever. However, Duan FeiZhou thought that would be so bad. They could grow old together, confirming their love for each other over and over again as time passed.
Duan FeiZhou was almost out of breath.
“You want to do it here?” Z’s voice was smiling. “Or do you want to go to bed?”
“Mn…” Because of the lack of oxygen, Duan FeiZhou’s brain was a bit confused.
Before he could think of an answer, his body was lifted by Z.
“It’s better to be in the bedroom.” Z thoughtfully, “I like the way you wear nothing but that garland.”
At that moment, there was a sudden knock on the door and both of them cursed at the same time. Z put Duan FeiZhou down, hastily buttoned up his shirt and grabbed a coat to put on. Duan FeiZhou wiped the saliva from the corners of his mouth to make sure he didn’t have any traces of his own body, and then ran to the door, thumping his feet hard enough to stomp through the floorboards.
As soon as the door was opened, a large wave of people swarmed in.
“Good afternoon, Master!” The first to jump in was Al.
“Ah, good afternoon, Leo,” The Lynn family said, following close behind.
“I’m so glad to see you, Sir Leopold.” Lord Perlilla and his mother walked in with an aristocratic stride.
“It’s been a long time, Mr. Chester,” Yeats said, still courteous, and handed his bowler hat and cane to the young servant, Al.
“Forgive my rudeness, sir, but I really can’t take off this veil.” The constantly wrapped Evangeline floated in.
“Oh! Goodness! So this is Mr. Chester’s house!” For some reason, the Möllen siblings were behind them! How did they get to London from Switzerland when the airships were grounded?
“Oh, my good apprentice! I’ve brought you a Greek snack! No offense, but the food in England is awful…” He couldn’t believe even Mr. Thales was here! The old man was also carrying an immense and unbelievable box.
Al heard his words, and did not look very happy.
Duan FeiZhou received the uninvited guests with a forced smile. The only thing Duan FeiZhou was glad for was that he didn’t have that many chairs in his house, so the group decided to move downstairs to the Dodo restaurant.
Mr. N was still running the restaurant, poisoning the public with his dark cuisine. He had now officially resigned from the Abnormal Case Investigation Unit section and was living a happy life as a cook. The group of people took up all the seats in the restaurant, and since he couldn’t receive other customers, Mr. N simply put up a closed sign on the door.
If someone passed by 49 Frances Square at that time, they would be surprised to see the Dodo Restaurant full of people and guests, and the situation of the past was completely gone. Laughter flowed from the restaurant, in the leisurely and hot summer atmosphere.
“Oh my God, these are delicious! Are you from Greece, sir? I’m going back to hire a Greek chef!”
“Al, what are you doing now? Oh, you want to be a doctor? What a noble ambition! I suppose it must have been inspired by your master?”
“Now that the Etheric disease is gone, I plan to transform the Beautiful Gaia Sanatorium into a hospital. How wonderful it would be if you could come to us in the future and become a doctor.”
“There should be many great mechanics in England too, right? Ah, the truth and they communicate with each other!”
“M…Miss Lynn! I’ll pour your drink! What do you want to eat, I’ll get…get it for you!”
Everyone was talking and laughing, and Mr. N took the opportunity to sell his dark cuisine. Soon it was time for dinner, and although everyone had palpitations about his cooking, hunger prevailed and they had to order a table full.
Duan FeiZhou was a little helpless. He looked at the crowd chatting feverishly and thought it was okay if he left for a little while, so he said, “I’m going to the bathroom,” and got up and walked away.
But instead of going to the bathroom, he went to the kitchen and found Mr. N, “Can I talk to you for a minute?
Mr. N stopped cutting the meat in his hands, and looked up at him with a strange gleam in his eyes. He put down the knife, took off his apron, said “Go on,” to the staff and followed Duan FeiZhou out of the restaurant.
As night fell, the streetlights came on. Warm light streamed out of the windows of the houses on both sides of the street. Every now and then a carriage passed by on the street, and the crisp sound of the horse’s hooves seemed like a piece of music.
“What do you want to tell me?” Mr. N looked at the starry sky.
Duan FeiZhou put his hands in his pockets, and looked up at the sky with him. “This seems to be the first time we have looked at the stars together. Right, Uncle?”
Mr. N’s body shook, and he asked hoarsely, “When did you find out?”
“I suspected it a long time ago, but I didn’t confirm it until just now.” Duan FeiZhou smiled with arched eyebrows. “I fooled you, and you really admitted it?”
Mr. N – or Joseph Chester – was stunned. A palm went behind Duan FeiZhou, and slapped him on the back.
“How dare you swindle me?! You…You’ve learned badly!” Mr. N grunted in anger.
As a Nightmen, how could he have happened to rent a house, and open a restaurant underneath the Master of the Secret Trading House? That coincidence alone was enough to make Duan FeiZhou suspicious.
Not to mention that Mr. N knew all the mechanisms of the Trading House incomparably well, even better than he did, the second generation Master of the Trading House.
“Seriously. I really thought Joseph Chester was dead before,” Duan FeiZhou stopped laughing and put on a serious expression. “How in the world did you cheat death? I don’t think it’s difficult to fool Mr. Lynn. After all, you know the occult arts, so you could just pretend to be dead in front of him. But your ashes…I did inherit psychic powers from the ashes, so what the hell is going on?”
Mr. N lifted his mechanical prosthetic leg, “A slight price to pay.”
Duan FeiZhou was so surprised that he couldn’t keep his mouth shut, “So the ashes are your leg? You chopped off your own leg to fake your own death?”
“I didn’t cut it off of my own accord, I don’t have that much fortitude. I was wounded while on a mission and just about had to have my leg amputated, so I burned the amputated leg in a fire.”
When he thought of the ashes mixed with rice, Duan FeiZhou’s stomach began to flood with acid. “So, you’ve been both the Master of the Secret Trading House and a Nightman from the beginning?”
“Not really at the beginning.” Mr. N sighed long and hard. “I came to London and first opened the Secret Trading House. However, as the business gradually expanded, I discovered that the Nightmen were a big hindrance. The so-called most dangerous place is the safest place, so I simply mixed in with the Abnormal Case Investigation Unit section.”
What was the true family tradition? Double-sided undercover, or a supernatural ability? Duan Fei felt his abdominal area tighten. His uncle came to such a ruse, and he, as his nephew, did the same thig…
“You are better at hiding it than I am.” Duan FeiZhou smiled bitterly. “I didn’t take long to reveal my identity. Although I did it of my own accord.”
Mr. N patted him on the arm as in comfort. “It took me ten years to plan and infiltrate the Nightmen step by step. How long have you been in London? A few months? That’s good enough. Even I couldn’t stand the double life after ten years, so I had to wash my hands of it. That’s when I remembered I had a nephew. But when I asked Mr. Lynn to inquire, I learned that your parents had…” He looked gloomy.
“What are you going to do in the future?” Duan FeiZhou asked. “That space with the Secret Trading House has been sealed forever. Neither you nor I can go back in. But since it’s you, it’s not hard to create a new space, right? You could open another trading house. The Secret Trading House is a remarkable place. Even if it doesn’t sell things, it can become a platform for the exchange between occult practitioners around the world. Now Her Majesty intends to regulate the order of the Occult Society, such as opening a registration system for occult practitioners or something. If there was such a platform as a secret trading house, I think it will be easier to manage, right?”
Mr. N looked at the bright starry sky, and didn’t reply. A while later, he lowered his head and stared at the cobblestone pavement under his feet.
“It’s better for you young people to do that,” he said. “If you want to create a new trading house, I won’t object. I can teach you the methods. As for me…” His expression became a little sad. “At first, I left my family in order to pursue the occult arts, and eventually lost them forever. I occasionally wonder if your family, our family, would have ended differently if I hadn’t quarreled with my brother and run away from home.”
Duan FeiZhou couldn’t answer that question either. Perhaps only the Goddess of the Crossroads, who monitored every branch of the multiple histories, knew the answer.
“I’m not going to open this restaurant either,” Mr. N said. “I know what level of cooking I have. I opened the restaurant here purely to be close to you, to protect you. But you don’t need my protection anymore. You can protect yourself, and there are others around to protect you,” Mr. N smiled meaningfully. Both he and Duan FeiZhou knew who he was talking about. “Then I can retire with credit. I’m going to go back to Aberdeen and pay my respects to the graves of my big brother and sister-in-law. And then…”
He narrowed his eyes. “Maybe take a trip. I’ve lived in London too long. Everyone says London is the center of the world, but there’s a whole world outside of London. I’d like to go and see it.”
Duan FeiZhou nodded his head. Acknowledging his uncle’s wish.
Mr. T yelled drunkenly from the restaurant, “N! Serve us some wine!”
“Here we go! Old man!” Mr. N said back. He smiled at Duan FeiZhou and returned to the restaurant.
Duan FeiZhou wanted to stay a little longer in the night breeze to get rid of the smell of alcohol. The door of the restaurant behind him opened once again. He thought it was Mr. N who had returned, so he asked, “What is it again?”
“Can’t I come and see you?” he was answered by Z.
Duan FeiZhou couldn’t help but raise the corners of his lips. As long as Z was around him, he often seemed to smile unconsciously.
Z took him by the shoulders and let him lean on him. “What did you say to N?”
“Secrets.” Although the weather was getting hot, Duan FeiZhou still craved the warmth of Z’s body and burrowed into his arms.
“You have a lot of secrets,” Z snapped. “What are you trying to hide from me again?”
“Do you hate it so much when people hide and lie to you?”
“I hate it,” Z said, but lowered his head and kissed the top of his hair.
Duan FeiZhou tilted his head and kissed the corner of Z’s lips, then attached himself to the white haired man’s ear and said in a low, electric voice, “Actually, I have another secret to hide from you. This is a big secret, I’ve been keeping my mouth shut.”
Z’s arm around his waist tightened. He said in a commanding tone, “Say it.”
“In fact, I once lived in another world.” Duan FeiZhou said. “There, my name wasn’t ‘Leopold Chester’. I have another identity, another name.”
“What were you called?”
Duan FeiZhou softly said his name.
Z finally showed a heartfelt smile.
“Then I also have a secret.” He narrowed his scarlet eyes. “Z is my code name, and Zeno Xenia is my pseudonym. I also have a real name that I’ve never told you.”
“What’s is it?” Duan FeiZhou asked eagerly.
But Z laughed and didn’t answer. Duan FeiZhou punched him lightly. He had shared his secret, but Z was hiding it. It’s not fair. How dare you call him a bad thing all day long. It was obvious that he was the one who was completely bad-hearted.
When he finally became too anxious, Z came to his ear and said softly, “My real name is…”
This is the end of the main text! Thank you everyone for reading this! I’ve still got four extras for you to read, hope you enjoyed this novel!
So many twists. Brilliant story!
I have loved this novel! Very exciting and finale, ending with friendship, family and love.
Still feeling sorry for the Leviathan though ☺️
Looking forward to the extras.
Thanks so much for translating and editing.
WHAT IS HIS REAL NAME??? U CANT DO THIS TO MEEEEEEEE
That’s a really good ending. I’m so happy that Chester told Z about his past life or alternate reality! And his uncle is still alive yay!
Thank you for the chapter! I can’t wait to see where the extras go!
Thank you for a very interesting and exciting novel, I enjoy reading till the end what I like the most is the twist that turn MrN to be his uncle. That’s hilarious.🥰🥰🥰
Clap ! Clap ! Clap ! This novel ‘s plot is superb ! So many twist and wonderful characters! Thank you for the wonderful translation ❤️
Gah! Are we going to know Z’s real name?? Hopefully it’s in the extras!
This turned out to be such an exciting story with all these twists! Looking forward to the extras.
Thank you for the chapter!
That was epic. Cinematic. What an adventure. What a massive project, translating this tale. Props. Hurrahs. Bows. Thank you so much for all this.