Chapter 1003 Ritornello
After throwing everything other than his clothes, Ernes Boyar was stunned for a moment before he snapped to his senses.
What am I doing? What did I do? This Sanguine Viscount finally recalled the matters he had deliberately forgotten— those pair of emerald-green, limpid eyes.
A psychological cue, no—hypnosis… Ernes Boyar looked around in anger and irresistible horror, instinctively taking in the situation he was in.
His gaze then landed on the mountain-like figure. He saw Father Utravsky with his thin and sparse brows.
Instantly, Ernes Boyar had all sorts of thoughts run through his mind and collide with one another. He quickly came up with one intense thought.
He didn’t put up any resistance, and he immediately said, “I’ll come here to do a month of volunteer work!”
Emlyn’s predicament had long been spread amongst the Sanguine in Backlund. Ernes Boyar was well aware of Father Utravsky and knew that, even if he were to put up a fight, it was difficult for him to escape the fate of doing volunteer work. He might as well surrender and choose conditions that were more beneficial to him.
At the very least, I shouldn’t have any cues planted in my mind and end up converting my faith to Earth Mother… This thought flashed through Ernes’s mind. He discovered a lantern in Utravsky’s hand, and inside it was a strange candle that seemed to be covered in human skin with protruding lumps.
Under the candlelight’s faint illumination, Ernes’s pupils widened again. He only had one thought on his mind remaining as it kept resonating:
Another psychological cue…
At that moment, he felt the gloominess thicken in his heart.
“Alright,” Utravsky nodded and agreed to Ernes Boyar’s request.
Emlyn held back his smugness and pleased smile. He then looked at the items he had caught, looking like a farmer who had just reaped a bountiful harvest.
In a private room on the third story of a restaurant northwest of the square, the lights darkened as a huge shadow appeared.
Tiny bats flew out of the darkness and quickly clumped together.
Smoke rose up as the silver-haired, scarlet-eyed Earl Mistral appeared at the spot where the bats had appeared. Everything around him had been restored to normal.
His servant, a middle-aged man in a dark formal suit immediately stepped forward and asked with a bow, “My lord, are you having your meal now?”
He couldn’t tell if things had happened smoothly, or if something had gone wrong, much less about the success of the outcome from the earl’s face. However, he didn’t dare inquire.
Mistral nodded and said, “Yes.”
He walked to the table with a composed look, took off the ring with the ghostly-blue gem, and sat down without showing a chink in his disposition. It was as though he had headed out to feed the pigeons.
This rich smell is rather unique, but it’s not bad… In the private room neighboring Earl Mistral, Klein was wearing a very ordinary face as he commented on the Sivellaus cuisine delicacy—lamb tripe.
This punishment operation was an attempt by the few members of the Tarot Club—one that didn’t need The World or Mr. Fool’s interference—but considering how Miss Justice and The Moon Emlyn had zero experience in such matters and lacked experience in other matters, he had come to the area incognito as a final safeguard.
He had previously used his marionette to pray to The Fool while he entered the attached bathroom of his private room to head above the gray fog. Using the corresponding point of light, he had taken in the entire square and its surroundings.
He kept holding the Sea God Scepter the entire time, prepared to deliver a lightning strike to prevent any problems once he discovered anything amiss.
However, he ultimately didn’t do a thing. Everything happened more smoothly than he imagined.
There was no need for him to consider the experienced The Star Leonard, but Miss Justice, who was participating in such matters for the first time, had exceeded his expectations. She wasn’t nervous at all, not showing any signs of panic!
Indeed. A Sequence 6 of the Spectator pathway is far greater than Low- and Mid-Sequence Beyonders of the other pathways when it comes to controlling emotions. Even if she felt uneasy, she would’ve resolved it with her Beyonder powers before the operation… Klein nodded indiscernibly as he continued sampling the other delicacies.
Outside the window, on Saint Hierland Square, it became filled with lively music, an eclectic mix of the flute, violin, accordion, and seven-string guitar.
A rental carriage was slowly circling around the perimeter of Saint Hierland Square.
Leonard Mitchell, who was prepared to return to the north bank of the Backlund Bridge, took one look at the pigeons in the middle of the square before asking with a suppressed voice, “Old Man, what’s your take regarding the outcome of this operation?”
After he pulled Ernes Boyar into a dream, he flipped Leymano’s Travels and activated Angel’s Embrace. He then left the scene on carriage, unsure of the subsequent developments.
In his mind, Pallez Zoroast snapped back, “In the Fourth Epoch, there’s such a saying—believe in the might of deities.”
This means that this matter has received the tacit approval of Mr. Fool, so it’s bound to succeed? However, Old Man doesn’t know much about the Tarot Club. Mr. Fool is a witness most of the time, so there’s no so-called tacit approval… Leonard mumbled inwardly before diverting the topic:
“Why doesn’t this saying feel complete?”
He had never informed Pallez Zoroast of the exact situation of the Tarot Club. All he did was give mention of the general situation of the Tarot Club and inform “Him” of the matters that had been approved by Mr. Fool.
Pallez chuckled and said, “Indeed. There’s also a second half of the saying: Do not trust ‘Their’ benevolence.”
Believe in the might of deities, but do not trust “Their” benevolence… Leonard repeated in silence as he looked down at the notebook with a bronze hardcover.
He then muttered wistfully, “This is really akin to a Grade 1 Sealed Artifact. Furthermore, resolving its negative effects is relatively simple.”
Before this operation, consideration was given to the fact that Beyonders of the pathway involving the Moon domain, as well as the darkness, had relatively stronger resistance against Nightmare-related effects. Leonard had originally planned on borrowing Creeping Hunger from The World Klein Moretti. However, after some subsequent discussion, Miss Magician mentioned the traits of Leymano’s Travels, giving him a better option.
Hence, Klein, who was originally responsible for Angel’s Embrace, lent him Creeping Hunger for three hours. Various useful Beyonder powers were recorded, such as Bribe—Weaken.
“This is something from the Abraham family,” Pallez Zoroast said with a sigh.
Leonard had long known of this as he nodded indiscernibly. He then asked, “Old Man, do you have the means of weakening or controlling the negative effects of the mystical item I previously mentioned?”
“You call that a mystical item? That’s something that requires sealing!” Pallez first reprimanded Leonard. Then, he said, “Didn’t you say that it has a living characteristic? That makes it much easier to resolve.”
Leonard felt relieved as he cast his gaze out the window again, taking in the sight of Saint Hierland Cathedral, which had parts resembling factories.
In Phelps Street, North Borough, in the vicinity of Saint Samuel Cathedral, at the entrance of the Loen Charity Bursary Foundation.
After changing her clothes, Audrey got off a carriage like an ordinary girl.
She had already gotten rid of her paperboy attire at a hotel room that had been prepared ahead of time. And that room was reserved by someone under Emlyn’s instructions. It had nothing to do with her.
At this moment, there were people coming and going at the Loen Charity Bursary Foundation’s entrance, but Audrey walked over without any hesitation.
No one looked at her, as though she lived in another world.
Audrey briskly walked into the foyer, went up to the second story, and headed for the director’s office. And everyone who she walked past seemed to join her in playing a game, pretending as though they hadn’t seen her. They weren’t puzzled about why this unfamiliar girl was inside.
Audrey was just about to enter the office when she suddenly heard a familiar voice inside:
“Miss Audrey, this is the amount of donations we have gathered this week…”
Audrey couldn’t help but curl the ends of her lips as she gently nudged the ajar door and walked in.
Inside the office, a staff member was holding a stack of documents, showing it to the person behind the desk.
Sitting behind the desk was a golden retriever with a pair of gold-rimmed glasses hanging by her neck.
It sat at the director’s seat, casually flipping through the documents, and said, “That wouldn’t be an issue.”
The staff member then took back the document and smiled at the golden retriever.
Then, I’ll take my leave, Miss Audrey.”
Behind her, Audrey held back her laughter as she walked to the sofa. She silently watched the staff member leave without interrupting the golden retriever from reading the other documents.
Susie seriously read the different documents, afraid that something wrong would happen to her acting; thus, affecting Audrey’s matters.
After a while, she suddenly looked around in puzzlement.
“Audrey, are you back?”
How did you notice?” Audrey stood up from the sofa and appeared within Susie’s sights.
For this operation, she had specially spoken to Susie. She got the latter to replace her at work in the Loen Charity Bursary Foundation. Then, with the golden retriever in tow, she hypnotized all the staff members who would interact with her that day, making them treat Susie as Audrey.
As for any possible visitors, she told her staff that there would only be guests in the afternoon.
And the signal to snap out of the hypnosis was the cathedral bells at two in the afternoon.
Susie jumped off the chair after seeing Audrey, saying in exasperation, “It’s almost two.”
That’s right… Audrey inwardly made a silly face as she rushed into the small lounge and changed into her clothes. She then used Lie’s Flame Controlling powers to bum her previous disguise.
After returning to her office and sitting at her seat, she felt completely relaxed. She clasped her hands together and lightly pursed her lips.
To be frank, she had always been nervous. However, she had successfully cast Placate on herself before the operation, preventing any slip-ups.
It’s quite interesting now that I reminisce over it. We even discussed how we would compensate those who were affected… Audrey, well done! A smile beamed on the blonde, green-eyed beauty as it grew brighter.
After this operation, she realized that her Hypnotist potion had digested by a significant amount. Furthermore, she had also confirmed one thing: The mystical item, Hand of Horror, which came with Bribe—Charm worked perfectly with Hypnosis!
Yes, I also learned that Mr. Moon’s name is Emlyn White… He didn’t bother hiding the matter, because he had to tell me. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have achieved our goals… Yes, yes. Perhaps just giving the name of the cathedral was enough, but that will still expose his identity… I’m still feeling some anxiety. I was too stiff when hypnotizing. I actually used words that were too direct during the first level of hypnosis… Audrey cast Placate on her slightly agitated feelings as she reviewed the entire operation, hoping that she could draw from the experience and lessons of today.
Saint Samuel Cathedral’s bells chimed, indicating that it was two in the afternoon.
Many staff who were inside 22 Phelps Street at the Loen Charity Bursary Foundation had their bodies tremble after hearing it. Following that, they continued with their work as though nothing had happened.
Amidst the cathedral’s bells, Klein, who had transformed back into Dwayne Dantes, once again walked to 160 Boklund Street’s balcony and took in the situation of Macht’s house.
At this moment, a carriage passed by his residence’s entrance and drove to the end of the street. Suddenly, Klein felt his perception trigger as a scene surfaced in his mind.
A gray rat was leaning against the carriage’s window, leisurely watching the street scenery.