When Ernes left on a carriage, the few bounty hunters hiding in the vicinity immediately appeared. Without being stingy about the costs involved, they immediately stopped any rental carriages that passed by. Some memorized the target carriage's traits and attempted to take shortcuts through the cramped, isolated paths to catch up to it. Others rode on the bikes they had prepared ahead of time, swerving through the crowds and carriages with their bells ringing. It was very easy for them to keep pace.
Among them, only Xio was completely composed. She remained in her spot, watching Ernes and her peers leave.
This transportation tool known as a bicycle is more useful than I imagined. It's no wonder so many bounty hunters have saved up to buy one. This can save expenses from taking carriages and save time walking... If one often has such tracking missions, then the money saved is enough to buy a brand new bike... The only problem is that this mode of transportation tool has very few models available. All of them have high seats... Xio was enticed.
At this moment, a tracked carriage drove over from the crossroads and stopped in front of her.
Xio happened to be at a station.
Glancing at the double-decker that stopped on the iron tracks, Xio took out a few pennies, walked over, and sat down by the window.
Such public carriages could seat nearly fifty people with its double decks. It wasn't too crowded, allowing Xio to easily observe the scenery outside.
However, she didn't admire the scenery. Her mind was quickly outlining the exact appearance of her target: brown hair, red eyes, pronounced features, a nose bridge that was so high that it looked deformed, and an oil painting catalog in hand.
With her supernatural senses as a Sheriff, as well as the distance between them not being too great, Xio could vaguely grasp her target's current location and predetermined destination.
Therefore, she remained very calm and even took off her cap while using the glass windows to tidy up her coarse and stubborn blonde hair.
After several stations, Xio suddenly got up when the public carriage came to a stop as she alighted.
This was the Backlund Bridge area. She had sensed that the target had already changed direction and was preparing to head towards the bridge.
Xio immediately went on foot, planning to enter another street at the bend up ahead to board the public carriage that headed for the south bank of the Tussock River.
She had good luck, with a public carriage driving over just as she arrived at the stop.
Xio silently exhaled and took out another batch of pennies she had prepared, her urge to buy a bike strengthened.
This tracked carriage was very crowded, but with her domineering aura as an Arbiter, she was able to easily pass through the crowd, head up to the upper deck, and find a seat.
The carriage moved slowly as Xio casually looked out the window when her gaze suddenly froze.
She saw Sherman who she hadn't been able to find anywhere!
This young man who thought himself as a woman was carrying a paper bag with a few long loaves of bread and a stack of newspapers as he entered a narrow alley.
His brown shoulder-length hair had grown longer, and his gray-patterned trousers seemed tighter.
Although his figure disappeared almost as quickly as he appeared, making it impossible for the average person to notice, Xio, who was a Sheriff, easily made the necessary judgment.
Sherman stopped renting his place in East Borough and moved here? Seeing that Sherman was fine and that she was still tracking her target, she held back her urge to jump off the carriage to chase after him to ask him about his recent situation.
Sherman carried the paper bag with several long loaves of bread and a stack of papers as he passed through alleys and streets, making a huge detour before entering an apartment building. He followed the cramped stairs to the third story, took out a key, and opened the door to where he lived.
He seemed to possess some pretty good anti-tracking skills.
With a creak, the door opened as Sherman's eyes lit up. He saw a lady wearing a black dress in front of him.
This lady had a sweet, supple face and an impeccable figure. Even while standing at the window and blocking out the sunlight, making herself become cloaked in the shadows, she seemed to be gilded, making her appear holy and beautiful.
"Why are you here?" Sherman stared at her in surprise but couldn't help but size her up.
His unobvious Adam's apple bobbed up and down as he swallowed a mouthful of saliva.
The next second, he turned his head and looked to the side as though he didn't dare look at her head-on.
"Ma'am T-Trissy..." Sherman stammered a greeting.
Trissy slowly smiled as she allowed the poorly-lit room to appear to become brighter. Then, she asked with a teasing tone, "Why don't you dare to look at me?"
"I-I don't know. 1-1 like men. W-why do I still have odd thoughts when looking at you..." Sherman continued looking at the ground to his side as he stammered an answer.
Trissy's expression immediately turned mixed before smiling as though nothing had happened.
"Females can also appreciate the charm of beauty within their gender."
She paused for a moment before saying, "I came here today because I have a mission for you. Your original progress has been very fast, leaving me very satisfied. But it seems like it has recently stopped."
Sherman's face immediately wore a look of horror as he subconsciously took a step back.
"I-I don't think there's a need to do such things..."
Seeing Trissy silent, Sherman's gradually eloquently stringed his words.
"I really don't wish to instigate others into stealing, robbing, and murdering. That's too evil, too despicable!
"Even at the very beginning, those people you got me to assassinate seemed to be a little overboard. Although they had indeed cursed me, beat me, ostracized me, and spread bad rumors about me, using all kinds of means to harm me in exchange for joy, their actions didn't require them to pay with their lives."
Unsurprised, Trissy smiled and said, "That's not what you said back then. You hated them and had wicked feelings for them. Once you obtained Beyonder powers, you were so eager to seek revenge on them. I just made a tiny suggestion, and you planned several assassination missions. I always remember how you looked—stained with blood, trembling in excitement and fervor."
Sherman couldn't help but retreat as he heard that until he was stopped by the door which had closed at some point in time. He then covered his face with his hands, shouting, "No!
"I have nightmares every night, dreaming of them surrounding me, covered in blood. They chase after me, bite me..."
Pa! The paper bag fell to the ground as the long loaves of bread were scattered. The stack of newspapers happened to drop just beside them.
"This is very normal." Trissy cut off Sherman. "This is a necessary psychological change for an Assassin. Think about it. Didn't you wish to kill them when they were bullying you?"
"...Yes," Sherman answered hesitantly.
Trissy then chuckled.
"Just treat it as self-defense when being bullied; thus, killing them."
Her speech had a natural allure that made one wish to listen and believe. Sherman rapidly calmed down and nodded.
"From this point of view, it does seem much better..."
Upon hearing that, Trissy's dimples appeared as she teasingly added, "Besides, they weren't your match when they were alive, so what's there to be afraid of when they're dead?
"Even if they become ghosts or specters, it's nothing. You just need to seriously complete the ritual and consume one more potion, and then you'll be able to burn all those souls to oblivion!"
"B-but I can't bear seeing people turn ugly, crazy, and evil under my acts of instigation." Sherman still seemed rather unwilling.
Trissy indiscernibly curled the ends of her lips as she said with her smile maintained, "Those are evil thoughts they had to begin with. It has nothing to do with you. Even without you, those evil thoughts will erupt at specific moments and situations.
"Also, the missions I arranged for you are all related to the gangs. Aren't you most aware of what those people are like? Getting them to fracture and kill one another is mercy and kindness for people like you and the innocent people of East Borough."
Sherman subconsciously widened his mouth, swallowing the words he was just about to say.
He instantly fell silent.
Trissy's eyes swept past him and continued with a soothing voice, "You're just one step away from your target. As long as you complete the remaining ritual, you can drink the third potion to completely become a woman.
"When that happens, you can use the name Shermane that you've already picked for yourself. What a nice sounding name it is, isn't it? Then, you can leave Backlund as a woman, heading for Midseashire or Desi Bay where you can begin a brand new life. You will no longer have anything to do with this place. Yes, you will definitely be filled with charm. Many excellent men will court you, and you can choose the one you like the most and are most satisfied with, walking down the aisle in a cathedral. You will have bubbly kids, and you can bring them up to be healthy children. You can bring them to Winter County for skiing, Desi Bay for holidays, and to the hunting grounds which are pleasures that only nobles have...
"Didn't you say that you were willing to do anything to regain your true self?"
Sherman's lips quivered, and after pursing them tightly for a while, he separated them and said, "Ma'am Trissy, I understand. I-I will proceed according to your instructions."
After saying that, he seemed to lose all his strength as he stumbled to the ground. He subconsciously reached out to hold onto a coat rack beside him.
During this process, his gaze happened to sweep past the stack of newspapers.
It had already spread apart, revealing a particular report:
"...Tycoon from Desi, Mr. Dwayne Dantes, shows interest in purchasing the Larryway Steel Company, believing that it has excellent profitability and a promising future..."
"Sir, are you really planning on buying Larryway Steel Company?" Enuni asked while walking upstairs at 160 Boklund Street.
Dwayne Dantes shook his head and smiled.
"That news is just pure fabrication. I've only met the owner of the Larryway Steel Company, Mr. Phil La Rivie, at a ball last week and had a chat."
By the side, Butler Walter heaved a sigh of relief as he warned, "Sir, the Larryway Steel Company is indeed seeking a buyer. There are quite a number of people who are considering the option."
That also means that this piece of news was released by the reporters under Phil's instructions so that he can sell it at a better price? Klein nodded in thought. He entered the room with the half balcony and prepared to head up above the gray fog. He wanted to use Enuni's praying point of light to see any abnormalities at Hazel's place.
This was something that he had been doing daily for the past few days.