Empress Borough, by the side of Viscount Stratford’s mansion.
Fors and Xio, who were dressed in black dresses, hid in a dark corner. They stared intently at the tightly closed metal gates as they patiently waited for their target to appear.
It wasn’t raining tonight, so they didn’t have to face harsh weather conditions. The carriage that remained parked by the side of the street lamps made it clear to them that their patience would be rewarded. It was only a matter of time.
After an unknown period of time, the gates produced a heavy metal groan as they slowly opened.
A figure in a black cloak appeared with its head bowed. The figure walked to the side of the carriage and nimbly boarded the carriage.
“Is that her?” Fors lowered her voice and asked Xio.
She didn’t have Beyonder powers that could restore a target’s characteristics from a mere description, and she had never seen her before. Therefore, she couldn’t rely on her spiritual intuition or astromancy to make a judgment.
Xio nodded in affirmation and said, “Yes!”
As they quietly conversed, the rental carriage sped up and left the side gates.
Xio immediately left her hiding spot, prepared to use her Sheriffs Beyonder powers and the physical enhancement that being an Interrogator gave her to lock onto her target while jogging.
“What are you doing?” At that moment, Fors pressed down on her shoulder, foiling her plans.
“Track her!” Xio looked back at her friend in puzzlement.
Fors looked at the rental carriage that hadn’t completely pulled away from them and asked thoughtfully,
“Why are you tracking her for?
“Also, didn’t you say that the target has a rather powerful Beyonder protecting her once you enter the Backlund Bridge area?”
“That’s right.” Xio first answered the second question before saying, “Your question is very odd. The reason you track someone is to determine the target’s appearance, identity, and motives.”
Fors retracted her left hand from Xio’s shoulder and revealed a smile.
“Since the target is protected by a rather powerful Beyonder, it will be difficult for us to complete the tracking in the Backlund Bridge area. We won’t be able to find her residence and figure out her true identity. Do you wish to directly fight her guardian? Although you have me to help, are you certain about that person’s strength? How certain are you? Will it be very dangerous?
“Besides, once the battle begins, it will definitely alarm the target. This is the same as stopping the carriage midway and confronting her directly. It will foil your primary objective. It will alarm Viscount Stratford and prevent him from falling into a predicament that will offer you a chance to take action.”
“If we do it, then there’s a possibility of failure, but failure is certain if we do nothing,” Xio emphasized that she knew the situation well. All she wanted was to make an attempt and find an opportunity midway.
At this moment, the rental carriage had already turned into another street at the end of the road. Fors watched the back of it gradually disappear as she shook her head and smiled.
“No, no, no. We need to change our way of thinking!
“We should first attempt to figure out the target’s appearance. After daybreak, we can use her appearance to perform normal investigations in the Backlund Bridge area and then obtain information from other channels.”
“Your choice of words is very professional,” Xio said in thought.
“Of course. I’ve written detective novels before!” Fors answered without any sense of modesty.
“But how do I figure out what the target looks like without alerting her?” Xio raised the most critical question.
Prepared, Fors took out Leymano’s Travels and said with a smile, “Elementary. Using the Psychological Invisibility Miss Justice recorded!”
Although Audrey didn’t encounter any situations that required her to use Leymano’s Travels, she had rented it thrice out of curiosity. She studied the uses and traits of the Beyonder powers recorded, and she recorded her own Beyonder powers into it. This included the rather useful Psychological Invisibility.
As for her true identity, Xio and Fors were increasingly certain of it, but they didn’t directly ask or do any further investigations. That was the most basic form of respect towards other Tarot Club members.
After hearing her friend’s answer, Xio came to a realization and was instantly inspired.
Fors continued, “By using the Beyonder powers on this page, you will be placed in the sensory blind spots of all surrounding creatures. They wouldn’t be able to see you even if you were to jump around in front of them. That way, you can directly board the carriage and stand in front of the target, openly taking in her appearance and remember all her traits.
“Heh heh, I sometimes think that people who use Psychological Invisibility might end up being squashed to death by huge creatures that happen to walk past if they’re unlucky.
“Uh, don’t make too much noise later. Don’t speak to any nearby creatures, or else you will garner attention. Let Psychological Invisibility be dispelled automatically.”
Yeah!” Xio nodded, then she raised another issue: “How do I prevent the target from discovering the sudden opening of the carriage door while it’s driving?”
Without waiting for Fors’s reply, she immediately pressed, “Did you record the Door Opening Beyonder power?”
“Guess?” Fors smiled as she handed Leymano’s Travels to her friend, telling her which pages Psychological Invisibility and Door Opening were on.
With this in mind, Xio immediately ran amidst the shadows, chasing after the rental carriage.
Before long, she saw her target. Her right hand immediately trembled as she made the bronze-green notebook reveal a yellowish-brown goatskin page.
She slid her fingers gently, and Xio seemed to see countless rippling light appear on the surface of a deep lake spread outwards.
When her vision returned to normal, she sped up and rushed to the side of the carriage.
To ensure nothing went wrong, Xio didn’t immediately take action. With a few wide strides, she overtook the horse.
She then turned around as though she was crossing the road. However, the carriage driver didn’t notice her, nor did he shout out to her or rein in the horse.
After confirming the effects of Psychological Invisibility, she sped up and dodged the horse’s galloping and came to the side of the carriage.
After a brief observation, she flipped through Leymano’s Travels and revealed a white page covered with strange patterns and symbols. Then, she reached out her right hand and pressed it on the surface of the carriage.
Her figure instantly turned transparent as she appeared inside.
The woman in a black cloak was sitting diagonally opposite her as if she was in thought, staring at the glass window where Xio stood. However, she didn’t notice the bounty hunter who had suddenly infiltrated.
At such a close distance, even with her cloak lowered, Xio was able to see her face clearly. Furthermore, the woman wasn’t as careful as she was while walking outside. Her every action appeared rather casual as the hood was only at her eyes.
Instantly, her appearance was reflected in Xio’s eyes, overlapping with a face that still had some male characteristics. This was a Beyonder power of a Sheriff.
Xio’s eyes widened as she couldn’t help but shout, “Sherman?”
She could foresee that the woman who often entered Viscount Stratford’s residence was rather beautiful, but she never expected the woman to be her friend, Sherman. He was once a young man!
A man who wasn’t considered androgynous now looked beautiful. He had the charm of a woman!
At that moment, Xio couldn’t help but size up Sherman. She couldn’t associate her figure with the young man she used to know with each other.
If it wasn’t for her Sheriff Beyonder powers that allowed her to confirm that the person opposite her was Sherman, Xio definitely would’ve imagined that she had made a mistake. And even so, she still suspected whether the person wasn’t Sherman and was instead Sherman’s twin sister.
Upon hearing the surprised question, Sherman realized that there was another person in the carriage at some point in time—someone familiar.
Bounty hunter, Xio Derecha!
Having already changed her name to Shermane, she was first alarmed, but the words Trissy often mentioned instinctively appeared in her mind:
“You cannot meet people you used to know.
“Do you want your husband, your beloved to know of your former state?
“Only by completely severing your connections can you be reborn, doing so in order to save yourself!”
Such words quickly flashed across Shermane’s mind as a terrifying thought emerged in her thoughts:
This thought seemed to come from a demon in the abyss as it constantly whispered in Shermane’s ear as it resonated in her heart.
“Kill this person who recognized you!
“Only by doing so can you truly escape the past and not lose the present!
Shermane didn’t answer Xio.s question. Her left hand slowly clenched up while slightly trembling.
Xio sensed the intense emotions running through the person opposite her and confirmed that it was Sherman. Immediately, she asked in concern, “How did you become like this?
“Where have you been all this time? Did you encounter something? Were you hurt?”
Shermane’s lips quivered as her left fist relaxed a little. She said with a sobbing tone, “I’ve already begun a new life.
Don’t disturb me again, alright?
“I-I don’t want to lose everything I have now. I don’t want to see people that I knew in the past!”
The more she spoke, the faster it became. It became obvious that it was a plea.
Xio was taken aback for a few seconds before staring at Sherman. Pursing her lips, she said, “Okay…”
She didn’t stay any longer and reached out to open the carriage window and jumped out.
Shermane silently watched this entire process and finally exhaled before she slumped into her seat like she had lost all her strength.
It wasn’t easy for her to control the demon in her heart.
At this moment, she saw a figure rapidly outline itself out of thin air beside her.
The figure wore a black, old-fashioned dress, but it didn’t diminish her beauty and disposition. She sat there silently without a word, but it was impossible to not look at her.
“Why didn’t you kill her?” Trissy asked with a smile, not revealing any gloominess. It was as like an idle chat where she would ask what she had drunk the previous night.
“S-she’s one of the few people who didn’t ostracized me. She even helped me…” Shermane replied in shock before frowning. “Why are you here?”
Trissy smiled and said, “I’m protecting you.”
Without waiting for Shermane’s answer, she said, “You seemed to be in a good mood when you came out.”
Shermane recalled what had happened and bashfully said, “Maybe, perhaps, I have a chance of becoming a mother…” As she spoke, she touched her stomach with her right hand, the corner of her lips couldn’t help but curl.
“I feel him k-kicking me…” Shermane suddenly froze and blurted, “How could it be so fast?”
She wasn’t sure if she could get pregnant today!
Upon seeing her reaction, Trissy smiled even more charmingly.