IRNDGL - Chapter 21: Melissa
A, P, D, S. Abnormal, Pandemonium, Destructive, Supreme... This is a Supreme rank!
Claude licked his lips and asked dryly, "Teacher, what exactly happened? That bookstore owner..."
"Is there anybody else beside you?" Joseph's stern voice sounded on the other end.
"Erm... uh, yes."
Claude glanced at the black cat that was already close to fainting from his tight grip. "Sorry Teacher, I was negligent!" replied Claude before he gave the black cat a quick chop to the nape, knocking it unconscious.
"If you know that you've been negligent, then why don't you shut up and carry out your job? Should I send you to the Northern Highlands to be a potato farmer?" growled Joseph.
"Please, no! I'll pass on your orders right away!" Claude shook his head. He knew that his teacher was pissed. But as his teacher's proud disciple, he had lots of experience dealing with this irascible old fogey.
His teacher had a sharp tongue but a tender heart. While he seemed fierce and had fists that could pulverize a person's skull at any moment, in reality, he was someone who would stop and feed strays on the side of the road and would even pretend to unintentionally pet their heads.
Joseph was terrifying when he got mad. But as long as his instructions were followed and things were done properly, everything would be fine. This was just a tactic Joseph employed to get things done quickly.
Claude informed the investigation staff members at 23rd Avenue to withdraw at once, and diverted them elsewhere.
Half were asked to be on standby while the other half were dispatched to monitor the hunters’ activity. Following that, he contacted personnel in charge of the intelligence branch's archives.
The most important job of Secret Rite Tower's intelligence branch was keeping tabs on the various powers and there were huge archives on each and every one of them.
The list announced by the Truth Union each year required the referencing of Secret Rite Tower's archives. Thus, each year, Secret Rite Tower would get an exorbitant amount of money from the Truth Union as compensation.
Generally speaking, in accordance with the regulations, establishing a new file required a thorough investigation by the higher levels and would take a longer time. But, Joseph had originally been one of the ten Great Radiant Knights.
Now, amongst the ten Great Radiant Knights, half of the current bunch were Joseph's juniors and besides the three older ones, all the others would give him face. Therefore, after this information was expedited to the higher ups, it was approved rather quickly.
"Teacher, the new S-rank file has already been established, you just have to fill in the details personally after you return," reported Claude.
The door was slammed open roughly. Claude turned around and saw the robust, white-haired old man in a suit striding in.
"Good," Joseph threw his receiver onto the sofa and removed his coat before asking, "Who was beside you just now? Remember to use the 'Forget' sigil."
Claude lifted the black cat up. "An investigation staff member of our branch. Morrison Greg of the squad four. He comes from an influential family of magicians and is especially talented at transformation technique. Uh, there's another thing that's slightly special. He's a fan of yours."
"Fan?" exclaimed Joseph with an odd look on his face. However, he quickly returned to his expressionless self before sitting down at his desk and turning on his computer. "I've got fans everywhere."
Claude replied, "Err, he is a member of 13 Indomitable Sacred Flame fan clubs and spends roughly 300 million a year on fan activities, including last year's 'turn Abraham Joseph's name on Truth Union's official list gold'. I guess he counts as a diehard fan."
Joseph stopped keying in the file's details and stared at the black cat in Claude's arms. He folded his arms and mulled for a moment. "It was him who did that?"
"Influential magician families are rich. Don't you think so, Claude?"
"Especially when it comes to spending money on such meaningless things. Why not just give that money straight to their idol. Consider it as a fee of up close interaction. He would surely be delighted... Hmm, let's just recruit him as a knight apprentice on probation. Transfer him from the investigation department over to here."
...The heck! How can there be such a vile and greedy Radiant Knight who even wants to cheat a kid's money! Claude swore silently to himself.
But he didn't show any of it on his face as he nodded. "Got it, I'll arrange for it right away."
"Good, we can save the cost of wiping his memory as well," Joseph said as he continued to key in the details of his file.
"0113 S-rank zone: Norzin Upper City District 23rd Avenue 412, Bookstore.
Danger status: Friendly (Contact not advised).
Confidentiality status: Top secret (Follow-up investigation in progress).
Report: Bookstore owner believed to have longevity, living in seclusion and operating this bookstore. Business includes loaning and selling of books. Books contain a mysterious and strong power..."
Joseph pressed the enter key.
The contents of this classified file would be sent to the top brass of Secret Rite Tower. Afterwards, this information might flow to the parties that cooperated with Secret Rite Tower or people that might need this information.
Something that was recorded down had no way of being truly confidential. Being labeled top secret meant that that would be no more than ten people who would know about it.
What Joseph wanted to do was warn them to keep their distance from this bookstore.
Even though the bookstore owner was a friendly entity, there was no guarantee nothing might happen in the future given the way he accepted all customers and his habit of lending out books...
Of course, if they wanted to court disaster after seeing this file, Joseph could only wish them all the best.
"I'm fine, I'm really fine... Damn it, didn't I send the file up? Are your eyeballs not working? Worried my ass. If I were to really die, there wouldn't be anyone else left for you all to infuriate!" Joseph cussed to the receiver as he changed into his sleeping clothes.
"Do you understand that I'm off work now? The Truth Union recently announced the new labor law two months ago. I want to demand more pay if you are doing this!"
"Alright, I'm done talking. I've something to attend to. That will be all."
Joseph turned off the receiver and exhaled. He picked up Seed Of The Abyss and browsed through it slightly, able to verify that the demon sword's conveyed mood was now serene and cheerful.
The fixed phone in the hall suddenly started ringing.
"Bullshit, who is it this time?" Joseph massaged his temple, placed down the book and strode out of the room. "Melissa, remember to drink your milk."
A tall slender lady with beautiful red curls stuck her head out from the adjacent room and said petulantly, "Got—It—Dad. I'm not a kid anymore."
Joseph's voice got more and more distant, "Really? My sweet daughter, having you drink milk isn't to make you grow taller. Very soon, you wouldn't be able to get married off anymore."
Melissa pouted. As she turned her head, she noticed the book on the table.
Eh? Since when did this musclehead learn to read books? wondered Melissa as she picked it up out of curiosity.
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