Chapter 678: Punishment
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
On the two sides of the ancient mottled bronze table, blurry figures extended outward from the embrace of deep red beams of light before turning corporeal. The surroundings remained as silent and empty as always, as though no living creature had ever set foot there for millions of years.
“Good afternoon, Mr. Fool~” Audrey’s brisk and cheerful voice soon resounded through the resplendent palace held up by stone columns.
Klein nodded his head with a smile, watching as the other members expressed their greetings under Miss Justice’s lead.
Here, there was no doubt that The Hermit Cattleya appeared rather reticent. Audrey’s read on her was that she had many things on her mind.
After the voices came to a stop and the members had taken their seats, The Fool Klein swept Miss Justice a glance, making the Psychiatrist instantly understand his intentions; hence, she didn’t raise her hand slightly and speak out. Following that, he looked at Cattleya and chuckled indifferently.
“Tell Bernadette that she can use certain items in exchange for some answers.”
Bernadette… After hearing this familiar name which was neither Queen Mystic, the owner of Dawn, nor the leader of the Element Dawn, Cattleya realized that Mr. Fool already knew everything. Her cheap tricks were laid bare in front of “Him!”
This made her heart sink as she couldn’t help but feel an intense sense of fear. She was temporarily at a loss in regard to the attitude or words that she needed to show in response.
To her, Mr. Fool’s words were clear. Pass on the message, but only that one message; nothing else. She wasn’t allowed to provide any other hints!
Cattleya believed she knew what “He” meant between the lines.
Bernadette? That’s a common name for Intis females. Who could it be? What is the answer she wishes to exchange for? What relationship does she have with Ma’am Hermit? Ma’am Hermit had privately made a request, and Mr. Fool’s answer is “yes?” No, that’s not it. Definitely not it. If it’s a private and reasonable request, Ma’am Hermit wouldn’t have mentioned it specially in front of us. He would’ve directly replied to her prayers… “He” is giving a warning? Audrey forgot to observe the other members as a series of questions flashed through her mind. Following that, with her acumen from the Spectator pathway, she grasped Mr. Fool’s true intentions.
Following that, she had a particular theory.
Ma’am Hermit had privately hinted about our Tarot Club to this Ma’am Bernadette because she hopes to acquire some answers… Mr. Fool is very displeased regarding this matter, so he pointed it out directly and gave this first-time offender a warning?
Seriously, why would you divulge matters of the Gathering to others? I haven’t even told Susie! This will bring danger to everyone! Thankfully, Mr. Fool is around!
Audrey nearly puffed up her cheeks, forgetting her image and etiquette. For the first time, she realized that not every Tarot Club member had a sense of belonging like she did, showing such reverence and faith in Mr. Fool.
The Hanged Man Alger, The Magician Fors, and The Moon Emlyn also had similar questions and theories, but their focus wasn’t the same.
As Alger anticipated what Mr. Fool would do, he began to wonder who this Bernadette—a commonly seen female Intis name—represented. He was curious as to why the reserved Hermit would risk divulging some information on the Tarot Club. While Fors was worried if the existence of the Tarot Club would be exposed, she also instantly imagined a spy and double spy story. Emlyn watched in schadenfreude, believing The Hermit to be truly foolish.
Heh, even our Sanguine’s Ancestor treats Mr. Fool equally and had sent me as an envoy to be nurtured. You aren’t even a demigod, but you attempted to try pulling off cheap tricks under Mr. Fool’s watch? Do you have a death wish? Indeed, I can’t understand the thoughts of short-lived creatures. Emperor Roselle once said that bugs that can only live in summer have no way of truly knowing what snow looks like… Emlyn sat back in a relaxed manner as he didn’t hide the shaking of his head.
The Sun Derrick didn’t have many thoughts on the matter; all he felt was that the mood wasn’t right. Out of curiosity and puzzlement, he asked, “Mr. Fool, who’s Bernadette?”
Well asked! I thought Miss Justice would be the one asking. Yes, she seems a little angry, which is why she doesn’t wish to speak… Klein silently commended him as he casually answered, “Roselle’s eldest daughter;
“Owner of the Dawn;
“The leader of the Element Dawn.”
He mentioned all of Bernadette’s identities, making her appear without any secrets before all the Tarot Club members.
And the reason why he had used “Owner of the Dawn” in place of Queen Mystic was that Klein didn’t believe that The Fool should address Bernadette as a queen.
The owner of the Dawn… Queen Mystic! She’s actually Emperor Roselle’s eldest daughter! Ha, The Hermit, I can confirm that you are Admiral of Stars Cattleya. So the rumors of you having a falling-out with Queen Mystic are fake… Alger felt excited. He felt that the restriction and pressure he had endured for the past three months had vanished at once.
This made his staid self mock The Hermit inwardly.
Emperor Roselle once said that those who play with fire will ultimately burn themselves. And you, Admiral of Stars, dared to challenge a god’s clairvoyance!
At that moment, Alger was rather thankful, thankful that although he had attempted to pull off some cheap tricks and attempted to figure out Mr. Fool’s identity, goals, and present state, he hadn’t involved any outsiders. He hadn’t divulged any information, so he hadn’t suffered any punishment.
As he had introduced the Four Kings and the Seven Pirate Admirals, Audrey and company just needed to recall in order to confirm that Bernadette was Queen Mystic, a demigod that reigned supreme over the Five Seas. They were also surprised that Emperor Roselle’s eldest daughter would still be alive and had become an important figure that was known throughout the world.
The answers that Queen Mystic wishes to obtain are hidden inside Roselle’s diary? Combining everything that had happened and the words that were said, Audrey vaguely guessed Bernadette’s goal, believing that the emperor’s daughter wished to figure out the truth behind her father’s assassination.
At this moment, Cattleya had already regained her ability to think. She turned her body to face the end of the long bronze table and said without any hopes that she could be let off, “Yes, I committed some mistakes. I will not defend myself. It was indeed wrong.
“Mr. Fool, no matter how much you punish me or even kill me, I’ll accept it.”
Hypocrite… If Mr. Fool really wishes to punish you, do you think you have any means of resistance? Mr. Hanged Man scoffed on the opposite side of the table. He could identify the problem with such a simple sentence.
Ma’am Hermit is still a little afraid… Audrey could notice the hidden fear from the minute actions and words Cattleya had used.
To her, people who deliberately emphasized their willingness to be executed were often afraid of dying right there and then.
Fors found her peace from The Fool’s calm attitude, believing that there weren’t any leaks about the Tarot Club; or that the leaks weren’t anything important. Hence, like Emlyn, she waited curiously and expectantly for the punishment Mr. Fool would mete out.
Derrick remained clueless about what had happened, uncertain why Ma’am Hermit would suddenly request to be punished.
At that moment, seeing Mr. Fool’s brief moment of silence, Cattleya resisted her unease and lifted her head slightly, observing the existence behind the thick gray fog without a trace, in an attempt to figure out “His” true intentions so as to give a better response. She didn’t wish to make another mistake again and provoke “Him,” making the situation irredeemable.
The dark purple hue in her black eyes produced a sense of mystery as her eyes penetrated through the gray fog and saw The Fool.
Suddenly, Cattleya’s eyes heated up as illusory blood bled from them.
A sinister, terrifying, and depraved language and an indescribable roar sounded in her ears. It instantly filled her senses with extreme pain as her body began to convulse and tremble uncontrollably.
Her face, hands, and the areas that weren’t concealed by her clothing had quickly cracked opened, revealing her flesh and blood. Inside, black worms and white moths squirmed before forming all kinds of indescribable eyes.
Cattleya’s cries and painful grunts resounded above the gray fog, causing Alger, Emlyn, Fors, and company to exchange looks as though they could sense the pain she was suffering.
Meanwhile, the blurry figure turned rather clear, allowing them to see The Hermit’s mutation.
The disgusting and nasty scene frightened Audrey enough for her to look away. She straightened her back and looked straight ahead without daring to move.
Although the others didn’t have such an exaggerated response, they also shared the same behavior.
The True Creator’s ravings are indeed useful… Klein, who was shrouded in the thick gray fog, reflected from the bottom of his heart.
The reason why he hadn’t immediately replied to Cattleya’s request for punishment, was because he wanted to confirm if there was anything special about her eyes, whether they could see beyond what he allowed!
For this, he had stirred some of the mysterious space’s powers to be hidden in the gray fog that shrouded him ahead of time. It was to connect anyone who used a Beyonder power to see through the obstacle to Tinder!
This was equivalent to the owner of the Beyonder power directly observing an item corrupted by the True Creator at a psyche level. Hence, with Klein not using the gray fog to deliberately suppress the influence, Cattleya naturally heard the True Creator’s ravings. Her “organ” which used the Beyonder power was first severely damaged before she was imbued with extreme pain, causing her mutation!
If Admiral of Stars hadn’t tried observing him, then the plan Klein had prepared was to get her to apologize to every Tarot Club member, and also to allow them to discuss a method of punishment in a democratic manner.
And regardless of how democratic it was, the major punishment would ultimately be to stir some of the mysterious space’s powers to connect Cattleya to Tinder!
After waiting two seconds, Klein knew it was enough. He gently lowered his palms, allowing the gray fog to silently repress the True Creator’s ravings and revert Cattleya’s mutation.
Admiral of Stars trembled as she calmed down at a discernible pace. The cracks in her skin gradually closed as her thoughts returned to her, allowing her to take in her surroundings once again.
At this moment, Alger said in a deep voice, as though he was warning himself, “Do not pry into the mystery of God…”