Chapter 1280 Chance Meeting in the Tiny City
On a steam locomotive heading for Midseashire’s Constant City.
Klein, who was dressed as a wandering magician, looked at the young man and his parents across the narrow table with items placed on it.
“I have two types of magic tricks. The first is to let your wishes come true. The second is to use a mirror to answer your question. Of course, the first type of magic requires payment, and the second requires you to answer questions posed by the mirror. What kind of performance do you want to watch?”
The young man had black hair and brown eyes. He seemed to have received a good education. He looked at his parents sitting beside him and said with a smile, “My wish is too difficult, so I won’t trouble you.
“In comparison, I’m more curious about the mirror that can answer questions.”
Klein sighed as he shook his head. With a flip of his left hand, he revealed a silver mirror with a black gem on both sides.
“It seems to be an antique.” The young man opposite him commented with piqued interest before saying, “My question is, what is the purpose of my visit to Constant City?”
A commonly seen smile, one which was often seen on the faces of street magicians, appeared on Klein’s face as he stroked the surface of the mirror with his right hand and said in a serious tone:
“Mirror, Mirror, please tell me the answer to the question.”
After repeating it three times, he released his right hand and showed the surface of the mirror to the three passengers.
There were a few silver words on it:
“To get married.”
“…Amazing.” The young man and his parents looked at each other in disbelief.
After boarding the train, they had never mentioned anything related to the wedding, nor did they reveal anything that people could use to make the connection.
This was the first time they had seen a magic trick that didn’t rely on props or a fake audience.
“Alright, it’s time for the mirror to ask.” Klein smiled as he covered the surface of the mirror with his right hand.
“Alright.” The young man replied, feeling intrigued.
“Next, let’s see what question the magic mirror will raise.” Klein released his right hand in an exaggerated manner as though he was performing a formal magic trick.
The silver words on the surface of the mirror had already changed, extending into a complete sentence:
“You would prefer your bride to be a woman in her forties or above, right?”
The young man’s expression froze for a moment before turning pale and then completely red.
“How is that possible!” He immediately rebutted. He couldn’t help but turn his head to look at his parents and grumble, “What kind of strange question is that!”
“…It’s just kidding.” Klein smiled apologetically as he hurriedly pressed his right hand onto the surface of the mirror, as though he didn’t know that would happen.
Then, he released his right hand.
Indeed, the words on the mirror changed again.
“How old are you?”
“25 years old…” The young man replied carefully, afraid that he would fall into a trap.
He felt the gazes of his parents and the surrounding passengers on him change.
“Alright, that’s the end of the magic performance.” Klein smiled as he put away the mirror. “You can try another magic trick.”
Just as he finished speaking, the steam locomotive whistled. This was the sign that it was about to enter the station.
“Sorry, that’s my call.” Klein took out his golden pocket watch and checked the time.
He carried his luggage and left the steam locomotive along with a group of passengers. He arrived at the station platform that had yet to be lit up with the gas lamps.
This was Midseashire’s Belltaine City, a city that had both prospered and declined due to the coal mines.
To Klein, the greatest significance of this place was that it was a strategic node in the previous world war.
Feysac had taken three routes in its invasion. One attacked the border along the Amantha mountain range to break through the land defenses. Another involved setting off from Sonia Island, attacking the coastal harbors, and attempting a landing. The third was to follow the main railway as they marched towards Backlund for the invasion.
Among them, due to the existence of the Church of Storms and the combined might of the ironclad warships and high-level Arbiters, the naval forces of Feysac and Feynapotter failed to obtain the results they expected. They even failed to obtain naval superiority. And on the battlefields on the Amantha mountain range, the headquarters of the Church of Evernight blocked one wave after another. It didn’t fall throughout the war, thus preventing Winter County and East Chester County from going through the fiery crucible of war.
Of the three routes, the only successful one was the Midseashire troops. They did a joint naval-land operation and conquered Loen’s second biggest city—Constant City, the capital of Midseashire. Then, they made their way southeast, rendezvousing with the Intis troops in the greater area of Backlund.
Klein acted as a wandering magician. On the one hand, he had to accumulate wishes, display miracles, digest the potion, and increase his strength. On the other hand, he was planning on taking the path of the war, using his eyes, ears, and his soul to truly see the damage brought about by war.
After knowing the secrets of the cosmos and the underground, he could understand the Evernight Goddess’s plan and accept it to a certain extent. However, this didn’t mean that he was indifferent to the sacrifices.
At the same time, he confirmed one thing: even if he didn’t stop George III from becoming the Black Emperor, the world war would’ve still erupted. However, Loen would’ve had the upper hand. The Evernight Goddess and “Her” allies would face the God of Combat head-on, forcing “Him” to seek help from Earth Mother.
When that happened, the number of battles between the gods, the intensity, and scale would far surpass what had transpired.
Due to this reason, Klein followed Feysac’s invasion path and wandered forward.
After leaving the station that still had traces of gunpowder, he carried the worn suitcase with a set of clothes and made his way towards the area where hotels were located.
At night, he would stroll along the streets and alleys of the city and perform wishing magic for everyone.
After taking a few steps forward, Klein’s spiritual perception stirred as he cast his gaze to the end of the street.
There was a black-haired woman wearing a simple linen robe and a tree bark belt with no socks or shoes.
The leader of the Church of Evernight ascetics, the Grounded Angel, Arianna!
Why would “She” be here in Belltaine? Shouldn’t “She” have returned to the Evernight cloister at the Cathedral of Serenity? Or be sent to the Feysac capital, St. Millom to preside over the handing over of the God of Combat’s “estate”? It isn’t a simple matter if a Grounded Angel were to suddenly appear in such a small city… Klein was puzzled as he frowned slightly.
He hesitated for a moment before deciding to ask.
This wasn’t because he was a busybody; if anything happened while they were in the same city, no one could escape.
However, at this moment, Arianna had already vanished from the crowd. As a Servant of Concealment, Klein couldn’t track her down even if he wanted to. Similarly, when it came to the matter of “Concealment,” Arrodes was helpless.
Klein slowly took a deep breath and turned to enter the hotel in thought. He got a room and stowed his luggage away.
Then, he maintained his attire as a wandering magician and brought Arrodes along with him. Following his spiritual intuition as a Seer, he walked all the way to the municipal square of Belltaine City.
Erected near the municipal hall was a noticeboard that had many notices pasted over it.
Klein saw that several people surrounded it. There seemed to be a brand-new notice, so he approached them and stood in the periphery of the crowd, looking at the wooden signboard.
In the middle of the signboard, a slightly yellowed piece of paper covered over the other notices. On the surface were black ink and Loenese writing:
“Ladies and gentlemen, I am your new consul.
“Now, I will issue three new laws:
“First law: Without my permission, no living being can leave this place.
“Second law: All life is equal in front of the law. Even ordinary people can kill angels.
“Third law: Those who commit the crimes mentioned below will be punished severely. The highest penalty being the death sentence.
“3. Chanting the complete honorific name of a deity;
“4. Offering sacrifices to evil deities;
“6. Leaking secrets;
An announcement like this… Klein pricked up his brows when he saw this. Without using his spiritual intuition, he could sense that there was something wrong with the content.
He instinctively tried to make his Spirit Body return to Sefirah Castle.
But an invisible force blocked his “departure,” making it impossible for him to make contact with the grayish-white fog.
This… Klein narrowed his eyes as he took a few steps back to distance himself from the crowd.
From his point of view, an abnormality of this level had reached a near-deity level.
He had previously been in situations of not being able to return to Sefirah Castle, but the reason was that he didn’t have the time to take four steps counterclockwise, recite the incantations, or he had been obstructed and interfered by “himself.”
There was only one instance when he failed to leave the real world due to external forces:
It was a powerful seal personally created by the Evernight Goddess in the foggy town.
Apart from that instance, even Blasphemer Amon couldn’t do such a thing. Of course, at that time, Amon’s main goal was to force Klein to stir Sefirah Castle before “He” seized the opportunity to use a loophole to replace him as the “great ruler above the spirit world.” Otherwise, this Angel of Time could’ve used “His” ability to steal Klein’s thoughts to stop him from returning.
Who is this new consul of Belltaine City…? Is this the reason Ma’am Arianna came here? As his thoughts raced, Klein made the magic mirror slip from his wide sleeve into his left hand.
“What happened?” Klein asked softly.
The aqueous light on the silver mirror’s surface shook wildly as slightly pale silver words appeared:
“A few rules here have been replaced. As for who did it, there’s no way of knowing. Great Master, you can try finding the Servant of Concealment, Arianna, to learn the truth from ‘Her.’
“Are you satisfied with my answer?”
The rules have been replaced… Lawyer? Arbiter? Or a “bug”? Klein thought as he looked around. He realized that the citizens in the square were puzzled, perplexed as to why the new notice would mention angels. Why did they have to request permission to leave?
The war had already ended!