1202 The Tarot Club
The demigods and Beyonders present nodded at Leonard's demonstration, indicating that they understood what the Red Glove captain meant.
One of the Mandated Punishers raised his arm and took the opportunity to ask a question:
"In other words, whoever left a tarot card behind is the member executing the mission?"
"That should be the case." Leonard did not give a definite answer.
The same Mandated Punisher continued asking, "What do the tarot cards that were scattered all over Lanevus's corpse mean then? There's no specific direction."
Leonard immediately picked up a white chalk and wrote the name Lanevus on the blackboard behind him. Then, he drew a circle.
"I've just said that in the past two to three years, the matter involving tarot cards have really caught our attention because of the Lanevus case. This is very likely the beginning of everything.
"Therefore, without a specific direction, the casually scattered tarot cards might be referring to the whole. This means that the organization that uses the tarot cards as code names has officially stepped onto the stage of history. Heh heh, please forgive me for using poetic words."
"That makes a lot of sense." The few Mandated Punishers were convinced by Leonard.
Leonard looked around and continued, "Let me use the Aurora Order, which everyone is familiar with, as a comparison. We all know that there are twenty-two Oracles in the Aurora Order. Each of them will be in charge of a region's affairs. It's very possible that the organization with the tarot card code names is the same. The members of the likes of Judgment, The Emperor, and The Hermit should have their own factions. They will exert their influence in a particular region."
Upon hearing this, a member of the Machinery Hivemind pondered and said, "However, the three members corresponding to Judgment, The Emperor, and The Hermit have appeared consecutively in Backlund. According to what you just said, does this mean that the organization that uses tarot cards as code names are still lacking in scale, and that the members are all gathered in Loen, or perhaps just in the Backlund region? After all, Backlund's person-in-charge for the Aurora Order is only an Oracle. As for Saint Tenebrous, he's in charge of the entire Loen."
Leonard slowly nodded, indicating that he understood what he meant.
He organized his words and said, "This possibility cannot be ruled out. After all, this is an organization that has only appeared in the past two to three years.
"Of course, there might be other reasons. This organization might not be divided based on location demarcation. Instead, they are determined by whether or not they can handle an area alone. They will also work together depending on overlapping situations, such as the Capim case."
Seeing that the Beyonders of the three Churches and MI9 didn't raise any further questions, Leonard deliberated for a few seconds before saying, "Next up will be all my personal guesses. There are also some problems with it. This might be a direction of investigation for the future.
"The first question, what is the purpose of this organization?
"If they are like the Aurora Order, with the goal to spread the faith of an evil god, then why haven't we discovered people who believe in The Fool? Even if there are, they're all people who are scamming others in the name of The Fool.
"Second question, what do they have in common in the few operations? I haven't been able to find it yet.
"The third question I have is that high-level members who use tarot cards as their code names are not of low Sequences and have their own factions. However, they aren't famous in the Beyonder world at all. This is very abnormal. After all, although the twenty-two Oracles of the Aurora Order hide their identities, they have more or less crossed paths with us. They rose up from Low-Sequence Beyonders to Middle-Sequence Beyonders under our 'watch,' eventually taking over the spot as Oracle when their predecessor dies or advances. They are all already on our lists."
Having said that, Leonard paused and said, "If the organization that uses the tarot cards as its code name is really an organization that believes in The Fool, then there is someone who can answer my third question.
"He's the crazy adventurer, Gehrman Sparrow. Rumor has it that he believes in The Fool."
This name made all the Beyonders from the three Churches and MI9 fall into silence, as though they were quickly recalling the relevant information.
They had long heard that Gehrman Sparrow had a mysterious background. He believed in The Fool, and they had obtained quite a bit of information from him. However, they hadn't made any connections like Leonard to string everything together.
A few seconds later, the archbishop of the Church of Evernight, Saint Anthony, said in a deep voice, "…Gehrman Sparrow seems to be in close contact with the original Death Consul of Balam. That's an angel who's still active over the land."
This gave the Beyonders who weren't demigods a fright as they instinctively sat up straight.
They all knew about Admiral Hell, but due to the confidential restrictions, they didn't know that the Death Consul represented a Grounded Angel.
"…That Death Consul doesn't seem to belong to any faction of the Numinous Episcopate," said a Beyonder from MI9 hesitantly.
Leonard nodded solemnly.
"Perhaps 'He' is a member of the secret organization that uses the tarot cards as a code name.
There was another round of silence. All the demigods had to admit that this was possible.
The level of the secret organization that was represented by tarot cards suddenly rose, reaching a level that was equal to the Aurora Order.
"In short, Gehrman Sparrow is a clue." Leonard took a deep breath and slowly said, "Your Graces, ladies and gentlemen, I'm done."
Saint Anthony nodded slightly and stood up. He looked around and said, "Up to now, this secret organization that uses tarot cards as their code names hasn't targeted us yet. It has shown a certain level of friendliness. Now that the war situation is tense, we are severely lacking in manpower, so it's difficult for us to take any major actions. Therefore, I suggest that we try our best to avoid conflict with them and not attempt to eradicate them for the time being.
"Of course, we have to do what we need to do. A secret organization with the existence of a Grounded Angel itself represents danger. If we don't understand it or grasp enough information about it, we won't be able to react in time and stop any possible conspiracies."
Horamick and the other demigods thought for a moment before nodding in agreement.
Anthony Stevens looked around, his gaze landing on Leonard's face.
"This investigation will be led by you. Coordinate it well."
"…" Leonard agreed solemnly.
At this moment, Deep Blue Officiant Randall Valentinus spoke to Leonard impatiently, "Give them a name. We can't keep saying 'secret organization that uses tarot cards as a code name.' It's quite a mouthful.
"What suggestions do you have?"
Leonard considered carefully before saying, "Tarot Club?"
"That works." Randall stood up and said with a thunderous voice, "Let's call it the 'Tarot Club'!"
Late at night, in Empress Borough, in the Hall family's villa.
The exclusive dessert chef, Tim, suddenly woke up from his dream and stared at the ceiling in the darkness.
He had just dreamed that he was enjoying an ice-cream and had just eaten it when he woke up.
The more he thought about it, the more intense his cravings became. In the end, he overcame his feelings that it was trouble and got out of bed. Putting on a thick sleeping robe, he walked out of the room and came to a pantry not far away.
As a slightly famous dessert chef in the aristocratic circles, Tim was given special privileges by Earl Hall. He could enter the pantry at any time and use the ingredients here to test his new ideas.
Meanwhile, Tim had repeatedly returned Earl Hall's trust with high-quality desserts.
Of course, he often appeared in the pantry due to mid-night cravings for food, just like now.
After some serious and hard work, Tim used the remains and prepared ingredients to make a few cups of ice-cream and ate half of it.
Then, he patted his stomach, washed the cutlery, and left the pantry in satisfaction.
The remaining few cups of ice-cream were left in the corner, as if they had been completely forgotten.
In Cherwood Borough, by the Tussock River, in an uninhabited shallow flat.
Wearing a dark-colored cloak, Audrey first made use of Dream Traversal to arrive nearby before walking over on foot.
She skillfully set up the ritual and prayed to Mr. Fool.
Soon, a silver-black accessory box embedded with many gems tore through the illusory door and landed in front of Audrey.
Audrey tucked a wisp of blonde hair behind her ear and picked up the Box of the Great Old Ones, 0-61, without any delay. She aimed at a few rocks and pulled open the first layer.
Silently, numerous long tables and chairs appeared messily in the area. Several Beyonders that had used various means to conceal their faces appeared. One of them was the hooded Fors.
Their skin quickly changed from that of a toy's to that of a human's, and their eyes began to move.
Fors, who had the highest Sequence, recovered the fastest. Looking around, she was extremely surprised to find that she had unknowingly come to a flat by the side of the river from that apartment.
Furthermore, this change was only limited to her overall area. The situation around her was no different from before.
Where am I… What happened… Fors's gaze landed on the empty altar. After pondering for a second, she seemed to understand something as she asked in surprise, "Has the matter ended?"
"Yes," replied Audrey, who was using her Psychological Invisibility.
It's ended… It's ended… Fors followed up with a confused and dazed question.
"How's the target?"
"He's dead." Audrey was multitasking as she controlled the other six Beyonders. Her answer was very simple.
He's dead… Saint of Secrets Botis has died… I didn't participate in the battle. I didn't summon Gehrman Sparrow's Historical Void projection… Fors's mouth gaped slightly as she felt like she was dreaming.
She only felt that she had been terrified for a second and was in a daze for a moment, and the mission had already been completed…
At this moment, she saw the surrounding Beyonders come to "life," but they didn't show any surprise towards the change in environment. It was as if the gathering had been held here.
They skillfully destroyed the chairs and long tables and threw them into the Tussock River. Then, they left the flats one after another and returned home under the illumination of the street lamps.
…This is a Manipulator… How terrifying… Fors jumped in fright and completely snapped awake.
"Return first." Audrey didn't have time to explain. She turned around and used the altar from before, preparing to sacrifice the Box of the Great Old Ones above the gray fog.
Fors shot a look over, but she didn't ask or say anything. She made her body turn transparent as she vanished from where she was.
Author's Note: The title of this chapter originally should have been "Official Debut," but it was just not serious enough.