Chapter 831: Just Inches Away
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Upon seeing Leonard, Klein’s back muscles instantly stiffened. His nerves tensed up like a fully-drawn bow that could snap at any moment.
He remembered very clearly that Leonard had a Marauder pathway angel, Pallez Zoroast, parasitizing him. “He” could sense the uniqueness about his body and, from that, see through his disguise.
If that Grandpa were to inform Leonard of the problem with the Keeper in front of him, that would be troublesome. I’ll just have to hope that my dear poet is afraid that his secret will be exposed and that he would feign ignorance… Back in Tingen, although he often said that everyone has their secrets and that there’s no need to worry about it, that’s all regarding matters pertaining to the Church. Who knows if he suddenly feels the need to uphold justice and decides to be loyal and take the risk to expose me. After all, this matter is very similar with Ince Zangwill’s… At that moment, Klein’s forehead nearly broke out into a sweat.
To be frank, he never expected to encounter Leonard while heading to Chanis Gate because he was a Red Glove and not an ordinary Nighthawk. There was no need for him to be on duty, so there wasn’t a need for him to be here at that moment in time.
However, Klein immediately thought of a crucial point.
The one who could detect his uniqueness was Pallez Zoroast and not Leonard Mitchell. The former’s attitude was more important!
The Grandpa knows that I know of “His” existence. Once “He” exposes my disguise and pushes me into a corner, “He” has to be prepared to be exposed by me. When the time comes, we will definitely be trading blows with each other, benefiting no one. And for an angel from the Marauder pathway who doesn’t believe in the Goddess, there’s no need for that… If I were “Him,” I would pretend that nothing had happened. I wouldn’t even remind Leonard Mitchell, leaving my safety to be decided by my host… As he quickly cleared his train of thought, Klein composed himself and walked over towards the red-gloved Leonard Mitchell.
Leonard indifferently looked at the Keeper with grizzled sparse hair. He couldn’t help but raise his right hand to cover his mouth and yawn.
He has nothing better to do because he doesn’t sleep at night, so he’d gone to the duty room to play cards with the person on duty? What a perfect Sleepless… Klein roughly understood the reason for the Red Glove poet appearing.
He recalled the reactions of the Keepers when they met Nighthawks in Tingen. He silently nodded his head at Leonard and drew a moon with his right index and middle finger, tapping his chest four times in a clockwise manner.
Leonard used the same action in response as he passed by the Keeper without noticing anything.
Klein silently exhaled as he maintained his usual pace and gait until he reached his destination.
The iron-black double door was heavy and cold. Engraved on it were seven Sacred Emblems appearing as though nothing could stir it.
Klein turned his body to the side and took two steps to the side. He knocked on the Keeper’s door, and under the gaze of the Nighthawk on duty, he opened Chanis Gate.
The darkness deep inside immediately surged out. Even though there were silver candles with engraved patterns burning silently inside, they were unable to disperse such a feeling. And the ghostly-blue flame accentuated the deathly silence.
Meanwhile, Klein felt that something invisible in the darkness was grazing past his skin and entering deep into his body. It passed through the boundary of reality and illusions, connecting to Wraith Senor.
Suddenly, without even activating his Spirit Vision, he saw black threads covering the area behind Chanis Gate. They were gently swaying, either bundled or extended out as though a lady was spreading out her hair, or some monster was flailing its tentacles.
Klein walked forward with a deadpan expression. After entering the sealed land, he turned around and closed Chanis Gate.
At that moment, all the sounds outside were completely cut off. The silence inside was like a kingdom of the dead. It made him imagine and feel fear. Klein was reminded of himself occasionally watching the darkness in bed with his eyes open. He didn’t dare to sleep even though he hadn’t heard any ghost stories.
It’s no wonder the Goddess has the title of Empress of Horror… Klein cast his gaze to the side and raised the lantern in the corner, lighting it with great familiarity.
Dim yellow light immediately poured out before being tainted with a ghostly blue.
Klein, who was wearing a black clergyman’s robe, wasn’t in a rush to head for basement two to search for the Antigonus family’s notebook. Instead, he stayed behind the gate and patiently waited.
He was doing so in the event that the Nighthawks were in urgent need of something but could only wait until daybreak since they were unable to retrieve them at night.
Based on his experience, Keepers were most easily disturbed in the first five minutes of them entering Chanis Gate. As long as he survived that period, and as long as there weren’t any additional accidents, the normal retrieval process of materials would happen after eight. That was the standard working hours of the Nighthawks and civilian staff.
In other words, once Klein lasted the first five minutes, he wouldn’t be disturbed by the Nighthawks for the next two hours. Of course, he didn’t have that much time for his operation. The Church of Evernight opened at eight, and the servants would wake up an hour or an hour and a half ahead of time to get down to work. After half-past six, the other servants could realize that one of them was missing!
Time ticked by as Klein’s heartbeat couldn’t help but speed up. He found the five minutes excruciating.
Finally, his countdown finally ended as he cast his gaze towards the stone stairs in the darkness. it was the passage that led to the second floor.
At that moment in time, there was no one in here that could restrict him!
At this stage, Klein believed that he had overcome 70% of the difficulties. The remaining 30% consisted of how he would leave after obtaining the notebook.
Of course, there was always a certain chance for all kinds of accidents to happen. Klein didn’t wish to be careless as he raised a lantern and walked to the stone staircase.
To other Beyonders, the first level behind Chanis Gate was actually a lot more attractive than the Sealed Artifacts. There were all kinds of Beyonder ingredients, potion formulas, and secret knowledge here. There were even captured heretics that had been apprehended, as well as unaffiliated Beyonders. Be it trying to be rich, to advance, or to rescue their companions, an infiltrator just needed to search around this level.
However, Klein needed to head deeper inside where the dangerous items were sealed.
Passing through a few tightly locked stone chambers, he clearly sensed people inside. However, they weren’t making a fuss or roaring, nor were they pleading for mercy or shouting for help. They were silently lying there or sitting there. Their auras had already turned cold.
The lantern’s light flickered as it illuminated the staircase that led down. Klein focused again and steadily walked deeper underground.
He didn’t run, afraid that he would trigger a negative reaction from the core seal.
As it became darker, the ghostly-blue flames from the elegant candle stands on the two ends had weakened; they appeared as though they were about to be extinguished at any moment. And at that moment, the pure darkness might bring about unimaginable horrific changes. Klein repressed his instinctive fear as he finally walked down the stairs and came to basement two.
With a Wraith’s night vision, Klein discovered that there were strange walls made of steel, bricks, mud, and silver. They were sectioned off into different regions, with certain spots open and other rooms tightly shut. All of them had a Sealed Artifact.
With the lantern in hand, he turned left as the scene before Klein’s eyes lit up. He saw a burning flame and a glowing-red and black anthracite and charcoal.
The region was in a half-open state. Inside was a bathtub-like object made of steel. The area beneath it was dug open and was stuffed with anthracite, charcoal, and other flammable objects.
They kept burning, making the steel bathtub produce bubbling sounds, letting the steam emanate out, condensing on the ceiling and dripping down like rain.
An artifact that needs to be soaked in hot water for the seal… And the Keepers need to periodically add anthracite and charcoal to prevent the fire from extinguishing… Hmm, if there’s a Sealed Artifact that can constantly emit high temperatures, they can be placed together, making the seal easy… Klein glanced at the steel bathtub. Hoping that no accident spoiled his plans, he approached it and used a tool to add some anthracite into the fire pit.
When he looked up, he noticed something through the corner of his eye. Immersed under the hot water in the bathtub was a silver metallic object.
Together, they seemed to form a heavy full-body armor. And a part of it had unremovable dark red blood stains and splattered red spots.
1-42… An ancient god’s blood… So now it’s permanently stored in the Backlund diocese… Klein had seen this Sealed Artifact before as the corresponding information surfaced in his mind.
Just as he was about to retract his gaze, he saw the spartan silver helmet.
The helmet’s visor had been pulled down, making its interior appear dark. At that instant, Klein felt that a gaze was penetrating it and casting itself on him.
He trembled as he hurriedly took two steps back, his heartbeat racing erratically.
Not daring to observe it any further, Klein composed himself and cast his gaze forward as he steadily walked forward and left the area.
After passing through a few sealed areas, his spiritual perception was triggered. He felt that something on the right was summoning him. Furthermore, it was producing the beating sounds of an expanding and contracting heart!
Indeed, the Antigonus family’s notebook has been waiting for me all this time… Klein silently confirmed his earlier theory, and following the illusory summoning, he changed direction and approached it.
In just two or three minutes, he saw a room with an ajar stone door. It was dark inside without any source of light.
With the lantern’s illumination, an empty bookshelf formed from white bone appeared in Klein’s eyes. On it was an ancient notebook in a black hardcover.
It was the Antigonus family’s notebook!
“Hornacis… Flegrea… Hornacis… Flegrea…” Illusory voices drilled into Klein’s ears as he confirmed his target!
Things happened very smoothly, but Klein didn’t dare to be careless or rash. He carefully entered the room as he slowly approached, afraid that the mechanism that sealed the Antigonus family’s notebook would inflict harm to him.
Hence, when he closed in, a hand in a dark red sleeve suddenly reached out from his abdomen!
It was Wraith Senor’s hand.
One of the principles of a Marionettist: Use as a marionette as much as possible in situations that a marionette could be used. If anything were to happen, the marionette would bear the brunt!
At this moment, there was a slam from the direction of the door as though someone had walked in.
Klein’s pupils dilated as he lunged for the bone shelf without any thought, making the marionette’s hand by his abdomen grab the Antigonus family’s notebook. At the same time, his right hand reached into his clothes and opened the iron cigar case and wore Creeping Hunger. He was attempting to teleport directly outside before the core seal reacted!
During this process, a scene of the door naturally appeared in his mind.
A figure wearing a hooded classical robe was standing there. The figure had a pretty face that wore a lifeless expression. The deep black eyes lacked any spirituality!
That high-ranking member of the Church that directly wiped Mr. A out of existence and ended the Great Smog of Backlund? Why would she be hiding underground? That’s not logical! Just as a sense of horror emerged in Klein’s heart, he instinctively lowered his head to look at his body.
His body was rapidly being wiped away like an eraser erasing a pencil drawing. Before he could touch the Antigonus family’s notebook, he had completely vanished.