Chapter 940 A Story
After leaving the local Nighthawks’s base which was disguised as a private detective office, Leonard glanced at Daly Simone who had suggested to team up with him.
“Where do we begin? Any suggestions?”
Dressed in a Spirit Medium black robe with her hood pulled over her head, Daly Simone, with an uncanny beauty and mature air, shot Leonard Mitchell a glance.
“This is when a gentleman’s decisiveness and style should be showcased.”
Leonard looked at his left hand which was wearing a red glove. He deliberated and said, “If we begin by following Captain Soest’s arrangements, that might allow us to find some clues, but it’s not necessarily useful. I suspect that Her Excellency Goddess’s Eye knows that. She’s only giving us something to do in order to confuse Ince Zangwill.”
“Why do you say that?” Daly wasn’t joking as her expression wore a rare, solemn look.
Leonard glanced to his sides as he said in a heavy voice without realizing it, “Based on what I know, 0-08 has the characteristic of ‘once you know it, it will also know you.’ We shouldn’t be influenced while staying on the periphery of its perception since we aren’t sure of its real name or powers, and only use the code name we gave it. But as Red Gloves who are pursuing the Numinous Episcopate’s matters, and having discussed Ince Zangwill many times, I believe our situation has already been grasped by 0-08. This way, Ince Zangwill should know that his abnormal state has been exposed. From that, he will avoid us by creating coincidences.”
Daly recalled the information regarding Ince Zangwill and nodded.
“Soest had also mentioned this problem in the beginning. However, he didn’t verbalize it as clearly as you did. It’s still in the stage of backward inference from a result of failures.
“Therefore, Her Excellency Goddess’s Eye has gotten us to investigate the situation of the nearby district’s Hunter pathway Beyonders and ingredients, and pretending as though nothing is confirmed. In the meantime, Her Excellency is preparing the usage of some corresponding items to lay a trap for the moment when the evil spirit gains control over Ince Zangwill and thus appears?”
Leonard turned his body and spoke as he walked:
“That’s probably the case, but I suspect that it’s unlikely for 0-08 to not know of it…”
Daly followed diagonally behind as she said in thought, “I believe there’s still a chance for success. Don’t forget that one of the honorific names of the Goddess is the Mother of Concealment.”
“That can counter 0-08? The Church has a high-ranking member or Sealed Artifact that can counter 0-08? It’s no wonder 0-08 was once obtained by the Church and sealed under the Holy Cathedral…” Leonard’s eyes lit up as he came to a realization.
Daly nodded very slightly as her expression turned soft.
A few seconds later, her pupils contracted as she blurted out, “Do you think our discussion has caught the attention of 0-08?”.
Leonard’s expression fell, but he didn’t dare confirm anything nor shake his head. He and Daly looked at each other, looking back and forth as they fell silent for a moment.
In a particular room, a slightly pale hand flipped a notebook to its very first page, then it flipped one page after another:
“…After leaving Bansy Harbor, Sauron Einhorn Medici, who had obtained a certain object, was no longer only stubborn or only capable of instinctively conspiring. After repeated struggles and resisting, Ince Zangwill and he had obtained a truce and had even decided on having a limited cooperative effort so as to achieve each other’s goals.
“To an evil spirit of the Red Priest pathway, such a promise cannot be guaranteed to be effective, but Ince Zangwill no longer had any other choice.
“From his point of view, this series of matters had many coincidences, but fundamentally, this was inevitable. At the very least, Sauron Einhorn Medici was many times better at creating stories than him.
“…After confirming the destination to be the Southern Continent’s East Balam, Ince Zangwill boarded a ship to the Berserk Sea… Every time, he would enter the Intis colonial islands, irrationally provoking the official Beyonders and hunting Beyonders from the Hunter pathway. Then, before danger arrived, he would quickly regain lucidity, cover his tracks, and flee far away.
“This might seem like a coincidence, but the problem is when it’s the same coincidence every time, is it too much of a coincidence?
“From the perspective of logic and reason, too many coincidences imply that certain elements or rules were secretly in existence. The reason why Ince was able to do that was because he had written the words above. Using the Quill of Alzuhod, he naturally allowed himself to switch between the two states of ‘being possessed by an evil spirit’ and ‘self-autonomy.’ What a scheming fellow. This wasn’t only directed at Ince Zangwill, but also at Sauron Einhorn Medici. They were clearly already coexisting in peace, but they acted out to be in conflict as though they were relying on an external force to achieve some semblance of balance.
“…Ince Zangwill’s purchase of additional Bard and Warrior pathway Beyonder ingredients was very reasonable. This was because he was hiding the clues that the evil spirit was using him to seek out various items of the Hunter pathway, and to prevent others from realizing that all of this was under his tacit agreement, disguising it as his attempts to resist. In addition, the Bard and Warrior pathways had the ability to resist the dead and exorcise evil spirits. As long as a clever person were to think it over carefully, they would undoubtedly notice this and verify that Ince Zangwill was being possessed.
“…After numerous provocations, the Iron and Blood Cross Order’s Tony Down finally locked onto Ince Zangwill and began pursuing him. During this process, this War Bishop, who had made his goal to become a Conqueror, showed off his powers without any restraint. When a storm happened to stop his pursuit, he appeared on a ship filled with ordinary people in an eyecatching manner before pulling out the fellow disguised as Ince Zangwill.
“This was a little coincidental, but it was nothing surprising. This was because the Iron and Blood Cross Order’s belief is for the supernatural to be known to all, and to be placed above all ordinary people. And Tony Down’s unbridled arrogance often used his own strength to shatter the doubts of others and had extremely great confidence. Therefore, the way he acted was without a problem.
“Likewise, he was overly confident, causing him to neglect the possibility that Ince Zangwill was also on the ship. This didn’t match his intuition as a hunter, but in this world, anyone could make mistakes!
“When Ince Zangwill disembarked on Waypoint Island, he sensed someone observing him from a first-class cabin, but he didn’t mind it. This was exactly the effect he wanted. It was the best development if someone among the passengers happened to know him! Yes, happened to…
“… It was neither too early or too late. Before Soest’s Red Gloves took action, Ince Zangwill met with Hand of White Palenque Taciblius of the Numinous Episcopate’s Artificial Death faction, hoping to obtain their help in exorcising the evil spirit…”
Traces of words scribbled away.
“…The development of things became a little odd. Before having a sufficient amount of clues, Leonard Mitchell and Daly Simone of the Soest’s Red Gloves team seemed to come to a conclusion. It apparently came from a letter sent by Reinette Tinekerr…
“Where did the problem lie? Ince Zangwill was rather puzzled by this. From his point of view, unless one could directly capture Palenque Taciblius or other key personnel of the Numinous Episcopate, no one could come up with such a conclusion so quickly.
“This made his preparations a little hasty, but thankfully, this was an outcome he wanted.
“…The Red Gloves team led by Soest discovered Ince Zangwill’s abnormalities from the feedback from various telegrams. Daly Simone used this opportunity to mention the assumption of an evil spirit’s possession and had received a unanimous agreement.
“She claimed it to be a reasonable theory, but she was already in the know. She had learned it from Leonard Mitchell, who has a Parasite, and Leonard Mitchell’s information source came from a letter sent by Reinette Tinekerr. Who could be the one who mailed it?
“Meanwhile, Leonard Mitchell and Daly Simone had already suspected that the evil spirit possessing Ince Zangwill belongs to the Hunter pathway…
“But is this the truth to the matter? Will everything develop according to what Daly Simone, Leonard Mitchell, and Soest’s Red Gloves team have in mind?
“…After the discussion with that person in the Cathedral of Serenity, the Cathedral of Serenity’s high-ranking deacon, Ilya, believed Daly’s theory and decided to use a Grade 1 Hunter pathway Sealed Artifact as bait, so as to allow Ince Zangwill to fall into a trap while the evil spirit was possessing him.
“To conceal this goal, she got Soest’s Red Gloves team to continue investigating the relevant clues.
“Unfortunately, their premise was wrong. Although Ince Zangwill was possessed by an evil spirit, his actions had never been affected! All he had done before was an act. It was done in accordance with Sauron Einhorn Medici’s suggestions, with the aim to confuse the Church of Evernight and to make Ilya blindly attack. And a Red Angel evil spirit that was willing to help and cooperate was enough to change the battlefield’s situation.
“Ince Zangwill’s true motive for coming to the Southern Continent is:
“Hunt the high-ranking deacon, Ilya, of the Church of Evernight! It was for his advancement preparations by obtaining her Beyonder characteristic!
“He wanted to prove to everyone that the Church of Evernight had made a foolish mistake to abandon him back then!
“Of course, before beginning this operation, Ince Zangwill had to first satisfy Sauron Einhorn Medici’s thirst-a thirst for Mid- and High-Sequence Beyonder characteristics of the Hunter pathway. To keep it a secret, he didn’t plan on hunting locally, and he had prepared to do it further away.
“When the evil spirit’s undying nature, Red Angel’s level, and the uniqueness of a Gatekeeper combined, Ince Zangwill possessed the relatively High Sequence ability of ‘Spirit World Traversal’ of the Death pathway. He was able to head to remote areas and return in short periods of time. He had deliberately kept this under wraps before.
“After satisfying Sauron Einhorn Medici, Ince Zangwill decided to first kill Daly Simone and Leonard Mitchell and pretend to vaguely sense the Church of Evernight’s trap. He would forcefully counterattack, only to lose his rationality and head for the trap.
“He didn’t plan on leaving any unstable elements. All avengers that survived Tingen had to die!”
The notebook flipped to an empty spot as a pale-white hand grabbed a quill and added the words: “Today, everything will go smoothly.”
West Balam, Northern State, Cookawa City.
“You aren’t done with your investigations?” Anderson asked in boredom as he walked beside Danitz.
“Soon!” Danitz replied as he found it a little difficult to focus. “Do you have something to do?”
At this moment, Anderson took out a map and a stack of information. He said with a chuckle, “I’ve already figured out the rough location of an ancient mausoleum. Based on the traditions of East and West Balam, there’s definitely plenty of treasure in it. Here, death doesn’t mean an end but a new beginning. That’s why they have tons of burial items.”
Danitz was taken aback as he asked in surprise, “I thought you aren’t proficient in Dutanese?”
How did he gather the information?
Anderson chuckled and raised his black-gloved left palm. He spread his fingers and said, “I don’t, but I can temporarily steal their language until I finish finding the information.”
“…I knew a fellow like you will have some tricks up his sleeves!” Danitz said with gritted teeth as he pointed to the main street beside the square. “Goodbye!”
Anderson didn’t stop him as he smilingly watched him walk away with large strides.
At this moment, the two simultaneously noticed a figure walking over.
The figure held a classic quill and wore a black clergyman’s robe. He had dark blond hair with facial features akin to a classic sculpture. One of his eyes was so blue that it was nearly black, and the other was filled with small but obvious blood vessels. He was approaching Anderson and Danitz.
Anderson didn’t know the middle-aged man, but his body couldn’t help but tremble as though he was facing his nemesis.
Warning signs of danger flashed in his mind as his pupils rapidly dilated!
Suddenly, he heard a warm voice by his ears:
“Don’t be nervous.”
Who… Anderson blankly turned his head and saw a figure strangely appear beside him despite there not being anyone there in the first place.
This figure had apparently been there all this time, but he had always been ignored.
He wore a strangely simple white robe. He had a pale gold beard that covered half his face. His light-colored eyes were clear like a child’s. He had a genial and reserved look.
Looking at the quill in Ince Zangwill’s hand, this middle-aged man who was dressed like an ordinary priest half-closed his eyes, raised his right hand, and gestured four points before him.
Hanging there was a silver cross.