Translator: AtlasStudios Editor: AtlasStudios
Old Neil rubbed his temples and said, "I believe we have a general idea of why the three of you engaged in a mass suicide. That notebook is also now purportedly in Ray Bieber's hands. Furthermore, the matter has already been exposed. Regardless of whether you are alive or dead, it will hardly influence any subsequent developments. I think—I believe that the surreptitious existence or mysterious power that caused all of this will not pay you any special attention. It's just like how you would not pay attention to the ants on the ground. Heh heh, as long as you do not try to make Him recall you.
"And our arrest warrant for Ray Bieber will quickly reach the Secret Order. They will also be able to guess that it is related to the Antigonus family's notebook. Believe me, for a secret organization that has been in existence for more than a thousand years, it has many channels of information. Therefore, their focus will be diverted to Ray Bieber's whereabouts, in a bid to find the notebook before us. They will not, nor is it possible for them to harass, stalk, or deal with you.
"Lad, congratulations on stepping out from the shadows of the past. What follows will be a brand-new journey filled with sunlight."
Klein nodded when he heard that as he said in a happy and relieved manner, "I hope so."
Having transmigrated here, he had been enveloped in uncertainty. Now, it felt like it had finally dissipated…
However, Klein was still feeling uncertain because the notebook seemed to be tied to him in a certain manner. It went to the point of him bumping into remnant clues coincidentally from a normal mission of rescuing a hostage.
He was afraid that there would come a day when a delivery man would send him a parcel, only to realize that it was that Antigonus family notebook after opening it up!
Let's hope everything will go as Old Neil described… He silently prayed.
When Old Neil heard his reply, he immediately scoffed.
"You don't seem to be a devout believer of the Goddess. At this moment, shouldn't you be drawing the sign of the crimson moon at your chest and say—may Goddess bless us?"
"Mr. Neil, you don't seem like one either. A real devotee would not say 'what follows will be a brand-new journey filled with sunlight.'" Having been studying mysticism under Old Neil, Klein had established a decent friendship with him, so he did not stand on ceremony to return a sarcastic remark.
Both of them locked eyes and chuckled with great rapport. At the same time, they tapped their chests four times.
"Praise the Lady!"
At that moment, they heard the grinding sounds of machinery as the main door to Blackthorn Security Company opened.
The elegant Mrs. Orianna with her fashionably coiled hair stepped into the reception hall with a light-green dress.
"Good morning, Mr. Neil. Good morning, Klein." She held a small leather handbag as she greeted with a smile. "It's another fabulous day today. A pretty good day."
"Good morning, Orianna. You are still as beautiful as ten years ago," replied Old Neil with a chuckle.
Orianna's eyes turned to slits as she upturned her face.
"Mr. Neil, the way you praise is still as infuriating as ten years ago."
She enunciated the words 'ten years.'
"Is that so?" Old Neil looked at Klein, confused. He wore a perplexed look.
Never mention anything that will remind the ladies of their age… As a keyboard warrior that knew a little of everything, Klein instantly understood what had peeved Mrs. Orianna. He smiled lightly and said,
"Good morning, Mrs. Orianna. You are as beautiful as always."
"Thank you, our outstanding Khoy University graduate." Orianna smiled with a nod before saying, "That old butler has already paid the mission's commission. According to Captain's rules, half of it will be used as additional funds, while the other half will be split between you and Leonard. But since you aren't a formal member, you can only take ten percent of the half. Come over later to sign for it."
"How much did he pay?" Klein asked happily while also feeling the pinch.
"200 pounds. This was what he said back then—'Lord, the esteemed Storm! I never imagined or believed that this was resolved just like that! This is even harder than us having a dream! Why is your security company so unknown? It's an insult to the entire industry!'" Mrs. Orianna mimicked the old butler's southern accent.
Klein thought seriously for a few seconds before saying humorously, "This is just too unfair for those kidnappers."
Two Beyonders had resolved the problem quickly using methods that could be described as easy and pleasant… This is like an adult bullying a few kids while in full combat attire…
"They were just too unlucky. They must have lost the protection of the divine," said Orianna with a soft laugh. "I told the butler that we were only lucky. One of our informants happened to see the kidnappers bring the child into the hideout. Therefore, do not have too much hopes for us. We really are just a very ordinary security company."
Typically speaking, the more you emphasize something is ordinary, the more extraordinary it is… Klein lampooned with a smile. He watched Mrs. Orianna walk through the partition and enter the accounting room.
Old Neil puckered his lips by the side and said enviously, "You really are a lucky lad. You haven't joined us for long and you've encountered a job worth 200 pounds."
"Is that very rare?" Klein asked in puzzlement.
Prior to this, he was either studying history or mysticism, or wandering aimlessly outside, hoping to find clues with his spiritual perception.
"According to Orianna's accounts, we might not encounter a single job an entire week. And most jobs are worth less than twenty pounds." Old Neil rubbed the moonstone by his wrist and sighed.
Following that, he looked at Klein with anticipation.
"If you encounter any similar jobs in the future, remember to inform me."
Upon hearing Old Neil's words, Klein suddenly felt a strange feeling arise in him. Therefore, he asked directly, "Mr. Neil, you seem to be lacking in money. How much do you get paid a week? If you aren't comfortable telling me, just ignore my question."
Old Neil leaned back into the sofa and chuckled.
"This isn't something that needs hiding. I've been here for so many years. At present, I will obtain salaries from both the Church and the police department every week; a total of twelve pounds."
"A weekly salary of twelve pounds?" Klein blurted out in surprise.
A weekly salary of twelve pounds with fifty-two weeks a year, that meant more than 600 pounds a year!
Back when he read the Tingen Morning Post and Honest Paper, they had mentioned that high-profile lawyers only earned 800 to 1000 pounds a year. And those were the best lawyers!
As for the managers of Benson's trading company, they only earned six pounds a week. That was already quite a decent job.
"Yes, such a salary is actually quite generous, and we do not need to pay any taxes," added Old Neil with a smile.
Klein had heard from Benson that one had to pay E-type taxes when their weekly salaries exceeded one pound. In other words, the government and corporate employees had to pay 3% of taxes if they earned one to two pounds, 5% for two to five pounds, 10% for five to ten pounds, and 15% for ten to twenty pounds, capping at 20% for those above twenty pounds.
Other than that, he also read of four other kinds of taxes on the newspapers. A-type was related to land, housing, and other earnings from material items. It included property and rent. B-type was a tax paid by farmers. C-type was a tax on profits from bonds, funds, and equities. D-type was commercial, finance, or professional income.
"It's something admirable." Klein echoed Old Neil.
"However—" Old Neil shook his head. "Such a salary is insufficient for Beyonders like us who have to frequently study the hidden mysteries, practice and attempt rituals."
"Aren't materials obtainable via application?" asked Klein in puzzlement.
Old Neil scoffed.
"There's a limitation to it. At times, we have to give a sufficient legitimate reason. If you want to learn more and experiment in the field of mysticism, you can only spend your own dime to buy materials. It can be bought internally or at underground markets."
Klein jolted in surprise as he immediately asked, "There are Beyonder materials that are sold in underground markets? I thought the Churches would not permit their existence?"
He was lacking in means to obtain materials!
With him having a mysterious organization in its nascent stages, he could not always have them settled via the Nighthawks, right?
"There's no way to control such matters. Yeah, from the viewpoint of mysticism, all beings are sentient with their spirits and they stem from the same source. The materials we use are not limited to those extraordinary creatures. It also comes from ordinary animals, plants, and minerals. For example, the poison hemlock, gold mint leaves, and night vanilla in the bottle of Seer potion; they are items we can encounter frequently in our daily lives. They might not have any extraordinary characteristics, but they have special characteristics. Through concoction and blending, they will derive certain effects. Therefore, this is not a trade that the Church can ban," explained Old Neil in detail.
Without waiting for Klein to say a word, he continued, "Besides, it's not only the core of extraordinary beings that are of use. For example, the Lavos Squid. Apart from its blood, its eyeballs, skin, and tentacles are pretty good materials. Unless the Church captures it entirely with its own manpower, to completely corner and control any outflows would be a tremendous financial burden. The lower the grade of the extraordinary material, the more it is so. They can only do their best to prevent the more special materials from flowing out."
Old Neil suddenly laughed. "There's another important reason. It's better to know of an underground market than not knowing of it. Under the premise that secret organizations have not been fully eliminated, this is a pretty good strategy. Besides, it can help us obtain materials we are lacking. Of course, with the existence of such markets, contraband items will appear. As long as it's not something ridiculous or overly dangerous, we will turn a blind eye to it. At most, we would use them to enrich our vaults."
"Is it because the few large Churches put each other in place, so no one can take excessive action?" Klein guessed.
Old Neil acknowledged tersely but did not elaborate.
"I'm a Seer. In the future, I'll definitely need to practice and will need more materials. Mr. Neil, can you take me to the underground market to have a look?" Klein requested with a valid reason.
Old Neil appeared to be placed in a difficult position.
"In fact, those guys who are active in those places are mostly not Beyonders. Some of them might be aristocrats that like mystery or rich people who have inclinations towards mysticism… Uh, alright. I have a thirty pound bill that needs paying soon. It wouldn't be convenient for me to head over there for the time being."
"Alright…" Klein never expected the reason to be Old Neil's owing of money.
Moments later, he said with deliberation, "Mr. Neil, do you need me to lend you money? I just earned a commission of ten pounds."
"Haha, there's no need. I'll be able to settle it." Old Neil patted the sofa and slowly stood up. "Sigh, age is truly an enemy that biological creatures can't fight. I'm exhausted from last night's watch. Yeah, revise what I've taught you later this morning. Read more documents. Tomorrow, I'll teach you the foundations of ritualistic magic."
"Alright." Klein got up and bade him farewell by taking off his hat.
When Captain Dunn did not return at noon, Klein pretended that he was still searching for the notebook as he roamed the streets again.
Having earned ten pounds, he no longer needed to wait for the next disbursement of the funds. He could head directly to the Divination Club!
Cogitation and Spirit Vision have been occasionally producing murmurings and illusions. It made him eager to begin 'acting.'
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