Chapter 1226 Handing Out Mushrooms
Emlyn maintained his smile and calmed himself down before responding, “I can find helpers of a sufficient level.”
He didn’t wish to borrow the forces of the Sanguine too much on this matter, because if that happened, he would undoubtedly end up as a liaison, a bystander, and a messenger. He would not have any say in the eventual distribution of the spoils of war.
As for the Sanguine Dukes and Marquises, they had no lack of direct descendants who wished to advance to become a demigod and become an Earl.
At the very beginning, Emlyn believed in his identity as the Sanguine’s savior. He believed that the important figures would treat every single member fairly. However, as The Hanged Man analyzed the various high-level Sanguine orders from Marquis Nibbs and the other high-level Sanguine, Emlyn gradually became wary of them.
He frowned slightly and said, “Sherlock Moretti?”
Emlyn was puzzled as he shifted in his seat.
“Why do you think it’s him?”
If it was in the past, he would have directly said, “Why are you mentioning Sherlock Moretti? He has been away from Backlund for nearly two years.” But now, he could acutely grasp that there was some hidden information in Maric’s words. He subconsciously adjusted his question.
In the eyes of this Wraith, Sherlock Moretti isn’t simple? Yes, indeed, he isn’t simple… As he spoke, Emlyn made a guess.
Upon hearing Emlyn’s question, Maric’s expression immediately turned odd, as though it was his first time meeting this Sanguine Viscount.
He quickly restrained the abnormality on the surface and said without emotion, “We need to consider it.
“I hope you can come up with a more convincing plan the next time we meet.”
“No problem.” Emlyn secretly heaved a sigh of relief.
He immediately stood up and bowed gentlemanly.
After deciding on the means of communication, he put on his silk hat and walked out of the room.
As he returned to his residence, Emlyn couldn’t help but run through his initial plan.
As long as I complete a cooperative agreement with the demigod of the Rose School of Thought’s temperance faction, I can use it to apply for a Grade 1 Sealed Artifact from the Marquises and Dukes of the race…
Using the reason that it’s under the cooperating partner’s behest that they object to having demigods of the race be involved, I can stop them from directly interfering…
Yes, in order to make an agreement, I have to show enough strength to convince Maric and the others… I can only commission the mission at the Tarot Club to see if Ma’am Hermit, Miss Justice, and Mr. Hanged Man are willing to accept the commission. Miss Magician can also be considered. She can summon the projection of Gehrman Sparrow…
The biggest problem now is that I can’t provide enough compensation…
I can only try to make an advance or a promise. Once I become an Earl, I’ll return the payment one by one…
With this in mind, Emlyn suddenly felt thankful that he had joined the Tarot Club.
This was the only organization he knew that could use a future promise to exchange for current material goods.
And within the Sanguine, or in the orthodox Churches, one had to accumulate enough contributions until one reached the end of the line where the characteristics and advancement ritual was awarded. Sometimes, a Beyonder might not be able to accumulate enough contributions in their entire lives.
This is like a credit loan underwritten by Mr. Fool. It can be used to issue missions, and when the advancement succeeds, it can be paid in installments… Emlyn habitually leaned towards the things he was familiar with.
Although he had never borrowed money from the bank, some of the Sanguine had rich experience in such areas and would often talk within their own circles.
Most of them had a fixed, expensive hobby. The precious items might not be liquidated easily at times, so they had no choice but to borrow money from close friends or the bank to ensure the necessary cash flow.
Emlyn remembered that there was a Sanguine who wasn’t good at wealth management. He relied solely on his profession as a doctor to earn money. When he took a fancy to a precious piece of art, he bought it using a loan from the Backlund Bank.
After that, he couldn’t bear to pledge his property up for the mortgage. Exploiting his long life, he spent two hundred years repaying the debt. Of course, in name, his father had died, and the son took over the debt. When the son died, the grandson took over the debt.
Emlyn’s evaluation of this was: very honest.
North Borough in Backlund. Outside Saint Samuel Cathedral.
The citizens lined up in rows as they received the grilled bread, dried mushrooms, preserved fruits, and other food from the workers of the Loen Poverty Relief Foundation.
Their lines extended from the main entrance of the cathedral all the way to the square and circled it several times. At a glance, it was densely packed with people.
Audrey stood on the steps behind Melissa and took in everything.
She saw the pale faces of the citizens, their eyes filled with longing. Seeing a mother holding a baby in her arms, she anxiously coaxed the child while eagerly observing the line in front of her that didn’t seem to shorten. She saw many people dressed in bright clothes, formal suits, and long skirts. Some of them pressed down their hats and wore veils, as if they didn’t want the people around them to recognize them.
At times, some people didn’t want to keep order and were dragged out by the priests and policemen who were helping to maintain the order. They were thrown to the back of the lines.
As food was delivered, the cloth bags piled behind the long table slowly dwindled until there was none.
Finally, all the food had been distributed, but the long line had only been reduced by half.
The citizens who were unable to receive the help couldn’t resist revealing their disappointment, frustration, and reluctance. However, they didn’t make a scene or argue. They moved their feet mechanically towards other handout points.
They had experienced this many times in the past one or two months. They had long known that unnecessary emotions would only waste the energy they had little of. It would hamper their quick movements to other relief points or fair-price food outlets.
At this moment, their expressions were numb, their eyes vacant as they left the square like a bunch of zombies.
During this process, a woman carrying a child had her legs give way as she fell to the ground.
Her child started wailing loudly, his voice laced with pain.
As he cried, the child sobbed and said, “Mommy, I’m so hungry…”
“There’ll be food soon. There’ll be food soon. There’s food at Memorial Square…” The woman carried the child and patted his back. Tears streamed down her face as she spoke.
Upon seeing this scene, Audrey was just about to say something when she saw Melissa take out a plate of food from a wooden crate under a long table and run towards the mother and son.
“I didn’t see it just now. There’s still one more…” Melissa crouched down and handed the bread, dried mushrooms, and preserved fruit over. Then, she explained in a soft voice, afraid that it would cause a dispute among the citizens.
The rest of the food was actually prepared for the foundation staff who had been busy all this while. The portion that Melissa had given them was hers.
The woman took the food and handed it to the child as she said repeatedly, “Thank you, thank you…”
The child hugged the food tightly and mimicked his mother in his nascent voice, “Thank you, thank you…”
Audrey subconsciously looked around and noticed that the Church’s priests, most of the police, as well as the “Nighthawks” who were mixed among the people to secretly prevent any accidents, were all showing sympathy, pity, and sadness.
After the citizens had left, Audrey picked up her own set of food and handed it to Melissa.
“You deserve it.”
Melissa looked at Miss Hall before her and shook her head.
“I gave my own share.
“Miss Hall, don’t worry. I’ll have food when I get home. My brother is a civil servant…”
With a faint smile, Audrey stuffed the grilled bread, dried mushrooms, and preserved fruits into Melissa’s hands.
“You don’t have to worry about me. My family has prepared snacks for me when I’m out busying myself.”
As she spoke, she took a wooden box from her personal maidservant, Annie, and opened it for Melissa to see.
The wooden box contained exquisite cucumber sandwiches, cream muffins, and a small carrot cake.
A look of astonishment appeared on Melissa’s face. She stared at the snacks for a few seconds before looking up at Miss Audrey Hall.
She immediately lowered her head and, without saying a word, she ate the grilled bread and water that Saint Samuel Cathedral had prepared.
As if “petrified” by her gaze, Audrey held the wooden box and stood rooted to the ground. For a few seconds, she didn’t move and only pursed her lips tightly.
After the fifth batch of residents from Moon City received cleansing and treatment and enjoyed the magical mushrooms, this ancient city became a believer of The Fool without any resistance. It welcomed the saint and oracle, Gehrman Sparrow, into the city.
With that, Klein held a large Mass and used the Unshadowed Crucifix and the Life’s Cane to heal the remaining Moon City residents.
High Priest Nim, who had finished his quarantine, came out and respectfully asked at the end of the Mass, “Oracle, what is the complete honorific name of the mighty Lord?”
Klein looked around and said solemnly with his face tightened, “The Fool that doesn’t belong to this era…”
After giving out the honorific name, he specially emphasized, “Don’t chant the complete honorific name in normal times. Do so only when important matters arise.”
Otherwise, as Mr. Fool, he would suffer a mental breakdown from all the “phone calls from work.”
Nim wasn’t surprised at all, because the ancient sun god was the same.
After some thought, he asked, “What are the requirements for the ritual of the Lord?”
Klein said confidently like a charlatan, “God says: Eighth Commandment: Serve me with your heart, not with your offerings.
“The most important thing for a ritual is to be pious. There are no other requirements. It can be very simple.”
After all, the Lord does not care… After saying that, Klein silently added in his heart.
After explaining this, he raised his right hand and pointed at the pile of mushrooms in front of him.
“The Lord has bestowed these mushrooms to you because he wants you to enjoy a bumper harvest.
“These mushrooms are nourished by the flesh and blood of monsters. They can rapidly grow and accumulate all the toxins, corruption, and madness into those pure black mushrooms. This can be used as a medium for curses or to smear the heads of arrows…”
The Moon City residents listened in excitement as they clasped their hands and bowed their heads, shouting, “Praise be to The Fool!”
At that moment, it was as if Klein could hear countless illusory voices coming from the air. They were mixed with the real praises, circling him and anchoring him.
 Quote from The Dark Forest of the Three Body Problem trilogy.