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As he pondered on Ciel's early morning warning of potential misfortune, Charlie was dumbstruck. The very afternoon he had lost the job prospect he'd been eagerly awaiting and even squandered a few verl d'or hosting a round of drinks. The thought of it all intensified the weight on his shoulders.

Ciel's smirk hit him, and Charlie's voice instinctively dropped to a hush.

"You can predict the future?"

His forecast had hit the mark with uncanny precision!

"Didn't I tell you? Just a wild guess," Lumian stated, his lie rolling smoothly off his tongue.

Yet, it wasn't entirely untruthful. It was more an educated guess, based on the luck patterns he'd perceived. It was akin to devising the method after having the final answer.

Charlie's expression reflected his disbelief, yet he didn't challenge the claim. Instead, he asked hopefully, "Has my run of bad luck ended?"

Lumian turned, his focus shifting, and his eyes growing stormy.

His face soon mirrored the seriousness of his thoughts.

Charlie, witnessing Ciel's shift in demeanor, felt his pulse quicken and his mouth go arid with anxiety.

"What, what's going on?"

Lumian pressed his lips together before stating, "You're in for a disaster."

Charlie's countenance faltered, his complexion turning pale, a stark contrast to its earlier flush.

Lumian chuckled.

"Just pulling your leg. You may not have the best luck for a while, but you won't be particularly ill-fated either."

It suggested that even if the issue with Susanna Mattise hadn't been entirely handled, it wouldn't escalate any time soon.

Charlie couldn't quite grasp Lumian's words. "Really?"

"It's a tall tale! Believe it if you wish. No skin off my back if you don't," Lumian remarked, ordering a glass of absinthe fennel with a dismissive smile.

Lumian's nonchalant demeanor helped Charlie breathe easy. He nestled onto the bar stool next to him, sipping his rye beer.

"I had thought the whole situation wasn't quite done yet."

That's not out of the question… Lumian made no effort to unnerve Charlie further.

Charlie's gaze fell on the bar top as he murmured, "You know, in that moment, I wished to be a lowly handyman and leave the market district ASAP."

Lumian glanced his way.

"If disaster is on its way, you won't be able to outrun it no matter where you relocate."

A raw bitterness bared itself on Charlie's face.

Lumian suggested further, "You might as well pay a visit to the nearest Eternal Blazing Sun cathedral and pray more.

"And by the way, I dined with our landlord, Monsieur Ive, today. He seemed a bit odd when Room 504 came up in our chat, almost as if he knows something about the previous tenant but isn't keen on sharing."

Charlie froze for a moment before comprehending Ciel's reference.

He lowered his voice again. "The one who hung that woman's portrait?"

Lumian confirmed with a slow, assertive nod.

Charlie stayed quiet for a beat before muttering, "Does that woman have any ties to Monsieur Ive? Does he suspect something off about the portrait? I-I should inform the authorities. I'll head to the nearest cathedral at dawn and speak to the priest…"

Not bad. A few days under my wing and you're much sharper than Louis from the Savoie Mob. You caught my hint right away… Lumian raised his glass, taking a sip of the visually appealing green liquid.

Lumian was not well versed in the details of Théâtre de l'Ancienne Cage à Pigeons, hence the severity of the problem was a mystery to him. Any self-led investigation would take at least a couple of weeks to gather any meaningful information. Even then, he might not possess the means to tackle it. As such, his best course of action was to alert the authorities from the get-go, allowing them to take the reins.

Once he'd reached a decision, Charlie shot a covert glance at Pavard Neeson, who was engrossed in the art of mixology. Confirming that he had the man's undivided attention, he leaned in and whispered to Lumian, "If they query the source of my information, what should I say?"

"Just tell them that it cropped up during our chat," Lumian responded candidly.

With Charlie previously singing his praises, the police in Le Marché du Quartier du Gentleman were aware that Auberge du Coq Doré had fallen under Ciel's jurisdiction. Thus, it was only a matter of time before Ciel and Monsieur Ive, the landlord, crossed paths over a meal and some idle chatter.

When the time came, the official Beyonders could make casual inquiries and ascertain that all was in order. They would have no reason to cast suspicion upon Lumian.

"Alright." Charlie's demeanor noticeably relaxed.

Lumian savored another sip of his La Fée Verte before posing a question, "Which of the leaders of the Poison Spur Mob do you know?"

Charlie had previously alluded to the leaders of the Savoie Mob, the Poison Spur Mob, and several other smaller gangs having a certain notoriety in Le Marché du Quartier du Gentleman—enough to frighten the youngsters.

"What are you scheming?" Charlie's countenance lit up with excitement.

"I intend to ask them a question or two," Lumian chose to frame it in the most courteous manner possible.

Charlie's enthusiasm dipped a notch, realizing he wouldn't be privy to any spectacle.

"Besides Margot, I know of two others. One's 'Hammer' Ait. He was a regular at Le Marché du Quartier du Gentleman, but he's been frequenting Rue Anarchie of late. Then there's Harman, sans any nickname. I've observed Margot in his company on multiple occasions, showing him considerable deference. He's bald, by the way.

"The head honcho of the Poison Spur Mob is 'Black Scorpion' Roger. He appears to reside somewhere on Avenue du Marché…"

Garnering Margot's respect implies Harman's status and power within the Poison Spur Mob superseded his… Perhaps "Hammer" Ait has taken control of Salle de Gristmill and Rue Anarchie, hence his regular appearances here? Lumian pondered, setting his sights on "Hammer" Ait.

His plan was to shadow the gang leader over the ensuing days, familiarizing himself with his routines and behaviors. Should he fail to locate Wilson in due course, he would contemplate making an example of Ait.

After emptying his glass of absinthe, Lumian and Charlie made their way upstairs.

Upon reaching Room 207, Lumian noticed a wooden crate, adorned with the black-painted emblem of the Savoie Mob—a bullet and a dirk—placed near the entrance.

Could it be the ingredients sent by Louis? Lumian stooped to pick up the crate, subsequently unlocking the door to the room.

As he flipped open the lid, the foul stench of bird droppings wafted up from a dark stone, accompanied a pair of eyeballs, bloodshot and haunting, and a poison sac, securely encased within a glass jar.

Avenue du Marché was bathed in a yellowish glow thanks to the gas lamps.

Ive, the landlord of Auberge du Coq Doré, was guiding someone towards a vagrant, slumbering soundly with eyes tightly shut.

"Here lies my silver coin!" he pronounced.

The person behind him threw a skeptical glance towards the sleeping tramp and queried, "Did he rob you?"

"Absolutely not," Ive replied with firm conviction. "The differences in height, physique, even clothing are too significant."

"A robber that tosses stolen loot to a tramp… this situation is undeniably peculiar." The figure, teetering on the edge of the lamp's glow, nodded in near imperceptibility. "We must remain vigilant, prepared for unforeseen complications or potential investigations."

Ive simply grunted his agreement, grumbling under his breath, "Had he not cast my silver coin to this vagrant, we could have traced him directly."

He possessed the unique capability to sense the location of his possessions, but only for a limited time.

The following morning found Lumian holed up in Auberge du Coq Doré, engrossed in Aurore's grimoire.

He needed to keep an eye on "Hammer" Ait and his cohorts, which meant altering his study routine to the morning. These gangsters only made their appearance in the afternoon, and their nightly escapades ended in the early morning hours.

Charlie had left at dawn for the closest Eternal Blazing Sun cathedral. Upon his return, his calm demeanor was underscored by a radiant smile; he seemed to have found a source of solace and received validation.

As the clock approached noon, Lumian stowed his grimoire and ambled over to Avenue du Marché. He positioned himself a short distance from Monsieur Ive's apartment and the Théâtre de l'Ancienne Cage à Pigeons, hoping to witness any activity from the official Beyonders.

The streets were bustling as usual, the shops brimming with activity, and carriages weaving in and out. Yet, none bore any hints of the recent events.

After observing for some time, Lumian was about to seek out a restaurant to satiate his hunger when he spotted Monsieur Ive in the distance.

Still clad in his faded formal suit and chestnut tweed trousers, donning a gray wide-brimmed hat, and grasping a black cane, he made his way towards his apartment.

The official Beyonders haven't made their move yet? Lumian contemplated briefly before crossing Avenue du Marché to intercept the landlord.

"Good afternoon, Monsieur Ive. Out on an errand?" he greeted, all smiles.

Monsieur Ive looked slightly disoriented before scrutinizing Lumian, a touch of trepidation in his gaze.

"I'd something to attend to at the police station."

So, the official Beyonders roped in Monsieur Ive through the police station, but delegated the interrogation to someone with the required abilities? Lumian surmised the situation, albeit with a lingering query: The officials didn't uncover that Monsieur Ive possessed Beyonder powers?

Lumian responded with a gentle nod and a reassuring smile.

"Is there something I could assist you with?"

"No need," Monsieur Ive responded, his tone veering between guarded and resistant.

He gestured towards the beige apartment.

"I need to get home."

In an effort to not arouse any suspicion, Lumian made no further attempts to detain or probe him.

As Monsieur Ive walked away, Lumian was left behind, a slight furrow marking his brow.

Looking back at their brief exchange, nothing seemed off. Yet, certain details felt out of place, leaving him with a peculiar sensation.

On impulse, Lumian shifted his focus to the retreating figure of Monsieur Ive, attempting to gauge his recent string of luck.

It seemed pretty ordinary; nothing too fortunate or adverse.

Nonetheless, Lumian found his suspicion intensifying rather than alleviating.

During their dinner the previous night, Lumian had instinctively assessed Monsieur Ive's luck.

It had leaned towards the unfortunate end of the spectrum!

And now, in a span of a day, his luck had taken a turn for the better. What could've transpired? Lost in thought, Lumian sauntered down Avenue du Marché, his hands nonchalantly tucked into his pockets.

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