Bardo climbed out the manhole and Smith followed him closely behind. He still didn't have a single clue as to how Mr. Secret had suddenly appeared. He had clearly spoken out both his and Smith's name. It seemed like he either had a supernatural power that allowed him to gleam that knowledge or he had been there with them from earlier. It didn't matter which option it was, the thought was still scary.
A person who could find out their identity could send trouble their way, all he had to do was tip off the authorities about them. The royal family and those on power didn't appreciate supernaturals who weren't under their control and those exposed had a difficult time getting by. As for being able to be present alongside others without being detected at all, such an entity could easily take their lives without them even realizing it.
'Are all strong supernaturals this scary? I wonder if Mr. Collector is as formidable. He might not be. He did back down on last gathering once Mr. Secret threatened him. I better skip today's gathering, I don't know how to face the others.'
Bardo put on a poker face and spoke to his companion, "Let's go. I will treat you to whatever you want."
"Tch tch.... Bardo. You seem pathetic right now. But I don't hate this side of you. I don't want to stay anywhere near that guy as well." Smith showed a helpless smile and continued. "There's a new place opening up today. Let's see what they have."
The two swiftly departed and Eagle who heard their conversation spat on the ground. "Those spineless cowards. They were probably waiting for us to tire each other out before making their move. Look at them running with their tails between their legs."
"Is your arm okay?" The woman accompanying Eagle questioned him. Her tone was still cold and her words sounded like formality rather than a genuine question asked out of worry or care.
"It's perfectly fine. Still, that bastard wasn't joking around when he said he was confident on fighting a grade 3 supernatural for a while. It felt like punching a cloud of cotton. He wasn't soft but all my strength was dissipated without me even realizing it." Eagle stared at his arm and replied. The earlier clash was very strange to him. Even when grabbed by Big Joe, it felt like there was no strength in the grip but he couldn't break free.
"Sounds like an interesting supernatural. I wonder what his abilities are."
"Oh.... how rare. For you to be interested in another supernatural's ability. I am more interested on Mr. Secret though. It was as if he appeared out of thin air. The guy Bardo had brought was a ghost and he saw through their camouflage instantly. He even spoke their names. They must be freaked out right now. I wonder if he learnt of their names because of his supernatural ability or he investigated the people in the gathering."
"Don't be ridiculous. If he had enough channels and resources to investigate everyone, he wouldn't be in such a small gathering. I think he is new to this city, or else he would be attending a gathering with higher grade supernaturals." The woman dismissed her companion's ridiculous theory and walked off. Eagle followed her and waited beside her. It would soon be midnight and they didn't plan on running away like the other two.
"Thank you for your help, Mr. Secret." Miss Mystique curtsied gently. She had calmed down considerably after the others had left. She had never even considered falling into such a perilous situation.
"It is no big deal. I was just passing by when I sensed the conflict. I believe you should be thanking Big Joe instead. He had come with the intention of selling protection to you all along." Vincent lied through his teeth about having been just passing by. Appearing bigger and stronger had its merits and he didn't want to pass up on this chance.
The young woman turned to the giant man. She looked up at him and memorized his face. He was the only one who didn't bother hiding his identity and she was curious about him. She thought that he had talked big last time but it looked like he wasn't bluffing. "Thank you Mr. Big Joe. I agree to your offer. Here's 500 pounds for today and the next nine gatherings. "
Big Joe was stunned. He had come here to take advantage of the situation and help the rich girl out. That way he could make some easy money but he had never expected to make it this big. He didn't really put the other supernaturals in his eyes. If they intended to get back at him, it would be far from easy. Even if they grouped up, he was confident that he could last until the authorities noticed the commotion. His abilities made him very difficult to deal with and he was confident in himself.
The notion of looting or robbing others put a bad taste in his mouth. He had been taught to earn his keep and he intended to do so without being led astray by greed. Pocketing the money, he looked at the girl interestedly and asked, "Aren't you afraid that I will run away with your money?"
"I don't think you will. You did come here with the intention to sell your service. If you do run away, I will think of it as a mistake on my part." Her answer put a smile on Big Joe's face. He was unsure if she was a good judge of character or a fool with too much money. Either way, he didn't mind.
Vincent took steps towards the manhole but was stopped by Miss Mystique. She collected herself and put forth her question. "Mr. Secret, I would like to consult you regarding something. The hairpin I bought last week showed me a dream. The spirit says that it was the events of the past and her words does make sense when I juxtapose it to what I know."
"That's impossible." It was Big Joe who answered instead. "The spirit is probably tricking you. I have never even heard of any supernatural or artifact being able to show the past. It's farfetched no matter how I look at it. The hairpin doesn't even seem that impressive to begin with. I might think it possible if it was a highly sophisticated artifact."
"Is that so?" Amelia began doubting her initial judgment. What Joe said made a lot of sense.
"It is a mirror spirit, am I correct?" Vincent asked and received a positive response. Giving it a little more thought, he asked once again. "What did the spirit say her name was?"
"Did she say that what she showed you was the past?"
"Yes, she did."
Vincent's curiosity was piqued. Spirits didn't lie and their name told a lot about them. That was what he had learned. If the spirit really said that it showed the past, then it must have been the truth. But the problem was that looking into the past was something far out of reach for even supernaturals of high grade.
"When did you see the dream?"
"Just last night?" Vincent asked to make sure.
The girl nodded. She would have remembered if her dream had been influenced any other time.
Vincent looked at the girl and spoke in a serious tone. "Her name is Luna and she showed you the dream last night, which just turns out to have been a full moon night. I can at least tell you that it isn't ordinary. Spirits don't lie, so it was indeed the past if she said so."
Amelia began feeling uneasy. Compared to Big Joe, she was inclined to believing in Mr. Secrets words. He appeared very strong and knowledgeable. The connection he showed to the spirit's name and the timing for the dream also made the matter more eerie while adding substance to his words.
Noticing the girl's uneasiness, he spoke in a gentler manner. "You should know that artifacts require energy to showcase their ability. The negative effects are the result of the remnant will or emotion of the creator. If Mr. Collector couldn't see through the hairpin, then it can only mean that its origin is far from simple. I would suggest you to not use it anymore unless you learn more about it. You can never know what price you will have to pay for using an artifact you don't know well. It's even scarier when the price is for looking into the past."
She was scared now. She had already seen the past once. Just hiding one's existence from the world cost one their memory about themselves when using the mask Mr. Secret was wearing. The price for looking into the past would be even more ridiculous. She knew that some artifacts had more negative effects than others but knowing that didn't help her settle her fears when even Mr. Collector had failed to see through the hairpin.
She made up her mind to go help some unfortunate people the next day. The brooch would help her get rid of anything bad if the hairpin had indeed left hidden effects on her.