414 Desire Apostle
While Stuart was raising his gun to aim, Klein, who had long been on guard, had already detected it. He lunged forward at the same time as Stuart performed his series of actions.
Stuart, who was clearly out of control, pulled the trigger, and the bullet grazed the side of a private detective's face as it hit the wall.
Instantly, the other detectives pulled out their revolvers as a result of the stress. It was as if they were looking at the enemy, turning the scene extremely chaotic.
Among them, Stuart and a private detective had flushed faces and bulging veins. Their eyes burned with a mixture of fear and anger, as though they had turned into so-called devils.
At this moment, Kaslana bellowed, "Stop!"
Her voice wasn't loud, but it was filled with awe. It made everyone's body tremble, and they subconsciously complied.
Although there was a brief moment of silence, everyone's mood didn't seem to improve. Klein had already rolled over to the other side and stood up with his revolver in his hand.
His mind raced, and he couldn't afford to hide his thoughts. He planned to rely on his hallucination ability to calm down the few visitors.
Suddenly, the doorbell rang.
Ding dong, ding dong!
A few of the private detectives suddenly became alert, and their eyes revealed a hint of lucidity.
The tinkling of the doorbell was like a bucket of cold water that poured over their heads.
Stuart looked at the revolver in his hand and mumbled in a daze, "What was I doing just now…"
The official Beyonders have made their move? Klein breathed a sigh of relief, approaching the door as he held his revolver.
The moment he held the handle, the image of the person outside appeared in his mind.
It was a man in a black coat and a hunter's hat. He had gray temples, and a thin face—Isengard Stanton.
The detective's face was somewhat pale, and his left arm was propped up near the shoulder.
He really is alright! Klein was delighted at first, but then he became cautious—he remembered the day when Nimblewright Master Rosago had transformed into a constable to knock at his door.
Klein placed his finger on the trigger, pulled the door open, and took two steps back.
Isengard Stanton smiled and nodded at him.
"Thank you for your visit this afternoon; otherwise, I might not have been able to continue playing hide-and-seek with that devil.
"You saved my life."
This… Could it be that the correct interpretation of "a suitable date for visiting Isengard Stanton" is that by visiting him this afternoon, I was able to help him out of trouble? What about the next few days of "suitable dates for visiting?" By skirting around the murder scene, I wouldn't be suspected? Klein didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
He didn't let his guard down as he made way.
"What exactly happened?"
"We'll talk later." Isengard suddenly lowered his voice and laughed. "Do you wish to discuss the subject of Beyonders in front of Stuart and the others?"
So here you are mentioning Beyonders to me so naturally? That's right, I was able to remain in a deadlock with the master of the Devil dog for more than ten minutes. That serves to prove that I'm no ordinary person… Besides, the suggestion I previously offered pointed straight at a Devil-turned animal… Klein quietly stayed behind Isengard Stanton by two steps.
Upon seeing this great detective, Kaslana and her assistant, Lydia, let out a sigh of relief. Stuart and the other private detectives also showed a look of relief.
"Are you alright, Mr. Stanton?" they asked.
Isengard slightly moved his left arm and said, "A little injured, but not too badly.
"Okay. Everyone, don't be nervous. This will be over soon. The police are waiting for that bastard in the darkness nearby."
"is it because of the serial murders?"
"Have you locked onto the suspect?"
"Will he hurt the innocent?"
The private detectives asked frantically.
Isengard pressed his right palm down.
"Don't worry, I'll tell you in detail in the time to come, but before that, I need to find out a few things from Sherlock and Kaslana. We'll head to the activity room for a few minutes."
His accumulated prestige made the detectives sit down without rebutting.
Although they were still worried, they no longer had the problem of fretting or suddenly losing control of their emotions.
After entering the activity room and closing the wooden door, Klein took a look at the enclosed room and suddenly thought of something.
This kind of environment is very suitable for using items like the Biological Poison Bottle!
Ahem… Klein cleared his throat, walked across the room, and opened the window.
He still didn't relax his wariness against Isengard Stanton, nor did he believe that Kaslana was absolutely trustworthy.
Isengard looked around, directly taking Klein's reclining chair before chuckling.
"Being old, I still like to sit like this."
Sitting on a single sofa, Klein asked again, "Mr. Stanton, what exactly happened?"
Isengard looked at Kaslana, who was standing behind a coffee table, and said, "We're all Beyonders, so I won't explain stuff pertaining to general knowledge."
"Beyonders?" Kaslana first looked at Klein, then at Isengard, slightly surprised but not all that shocked.
So it turns out that you're also a Beyonder… Why were you stumped by a weak ghost back then and unable to even discover the problem… Yes, perhaps she's from a Sequence that isn't good at dealing with shadows or wraiths… Klein responded to her gaze.
Isengard smiled and said, "I once went to the Lenburg for four years of studies, where I came into contact with the Beyonder world and became a believer of the God of Knowledge and Wisdom.
"After returning to Backlund, I gradually established a good relationship with the military, the Church of the Evernight Goddess, and the Church of the God of Steam and Machinery, but I didn't dare to reveal my true identity, because the Mandated Punishers would definitely eliminate me as a cult's heretic. On this matter, the other official organizations wouldn't help me directly, because that would be equivalent to starting a war with the Church of the Lord of Storms.
"As expected of the Tyrant's Church."
"Tyrant?" Klein asked in passing.
Isengard took out his pipe, but only sniffed the tobacco.
"This is what our Church internally calls the Lord of the Storms.
"Alright. Let me first return to what happened today. The person who attacked me and delivered threatening letters to you is the master of the serial murderer from before. Heh heh, you should know that the murderer is a black dog of the Devil Sequence, especially Sherlock. You were the first to point out that the Devil might be an animal."
Klein smiled, neither denying nor admitting it. Kaslana also just clasped her hands together, not saying a word.
Isengard shook his head and laughed.
"Don't worry, I'm not an enforcer, but as a believer of the God of Knowledge and Wisdom, I can't preach in Backlund or officially establish an organization. I can only rely on you and others like you for help."
In other words, you can help us take the blame? Klein mocked inwardly.
Isengard continued, seeing that they were still not making any admission.
"The Devil dog's master is a Sequence 5 expert. Yes, according to what I know, the Devil pathway's Sequence 5 is Desire Apostle. They can use and control everyone's emotions and desires, enticing them to be corrupted.
"When facing a Desire Apostle, one mustn't have feelings that are too intense. One mustn't make or exhibit overt desires; otherwise, they'll immediately be remotely controlled by him. Otherwise, a seed might be planted in them or have it catalyze immediately.
"This will make people exhibit many problems as they gradually become corrupted. They might also lose control of their emotions at a critical moment and be unable to put up any resistance… This is a portion of the Beyonder powers a Desire Apostle has. I have confirmed these aspects from my battle with him."
Upon hearing this, Klein suddenly understood one of the reasons why the culprit had sent out threatening letters and made such provocative actions.
He wanted to anger us, making our emotions experience violent changes so that he could bury a corruption seed or catalyze our emotions, making it erupt out of control!
This would make his follow-up attacks simpler and easier!
Fortunately, I'm a Beyonder who has experienced many things. At that time, all I had was vigilance and caution… When Stuart and the others saw the threatening letter, their emotions clearly changed, so the Desire Apostle had planted a seed in them…
If we hadn't been able to stabilize them in time, the situation would've become chaotic with the internal strife, giving the surrounding official Beyonders little time to react, and thus, giving the Desire Apostle ample opportunity…
Back when I was in Isengard Stanton's house, I felt that time moved slowly. Was it a result of the magnification of my sudden increase in vigilance, tension, wariness, and other emotions?
Klein thought back and felt lucky.
"So that's how it is…" Kaslana seemed to gain an understanding of many things.
Isengard rubbed his temples and said, "I was almost manipulated by him, which resulted in my injuries. Afterward, I used a mystical item to play hide and seek in the house. It was only when Sherlock visited and the three sides came to a stalemate did I get a chance to have a breather.
"My poor assistant was looking forward to returning to Lenburg for Mass on New Year's Day."
At this point, he sighed.
"When the police arrived, I took the opportunity to escape and then used the river to escape the pursuit," Isengard added. He then asked, "Sherlock, Kaslana, how do you plan on handling this issue?"
After a moment of silence, Kaslana said, "Mr. Stanton, do you have any suggestions?"
Isengard said, "First, take the protection of the official Beyonders, preventing the Desire Apostle from daring to take action. While this is happening, we should hope that he's quickly caught or killed.
"If our hopes aren't met, it's impossible that the official Beyonders would allocate people to constantly protect us. Then, we only have two choices. First, it's to change our identity, including our families' and move to a different place with their help. However, no one can guarantee that the Desire Apostle won't discover this. Second, we can directly join a corresponding official organization and become an external member. That way, our identity and place of residence will change as well, but it's much safer."
Join a corresponding official organization? The Machinery Hivemind? Or go to places like Lenburg or Masin to join the Church of the God of Knowledge and Wisdom? Wouldn't I then come to have three last names—no, a believer of three Churches? Klein felt an inexplicable sense of absurdity.
He thoughtfully asked for advice, "Are there no other solutions?"
At the same time, there was no change in Kaslana's expression. It was unknown what she was thinking.
Isengard Stanton rubbed his pipe and said, "Yes, that is that we join forces to create an opportunity so that we can quickly find and detain the Desire Apostle.
"Of course, the perfect outcome would be us killing him directly."