Kalian arrived first at the exhibition ground. He had a sword bound to his waist like he had set out to a battlefield instead of an exhibition hall. Perhaps due to that, there were a lot of people glancing at Kalian.
Kalian was not the only one who was armed. The entire exhibition ground was under tight security.
The fact that nobles were there increased the intensity but even in places where the general public had access to, there were security guards all over the place.
That said, Kalian was still the only one who drew this much attention. Of course, there was the fact that the nobles knew Kalian’s face but to Genos, that was definitely not the only reason.
Genos walked up to Kalian while thinking that in a way, this was also a type of skill.
“How is the situation inside?”
“There’s nothing out of place yet.”
The inside of the exhibition hall was checked in its entirety before it received visitors. Of course, this was to anticipate any danger. Since such a large-scale event was being held at such a time, it was perfect to stimulate the minds of those disturbing elements.
Of course, that didn’t mean this event was held to bait for the culprit who caused the two previous explosions. That was definitely not the case. No matter what, this was the senile decision of the top elders in the Central Council. To sum it up, this was pretty much a show to say, ‘we will not cower because of the mere disturbance of lowly bastards!’
Yet seeing as the people concerned didn’t even show their noses at the exhibition ground, it was truly laughable. In the first place, if he wanted to throw out a bait to find the culprit, he wouldn’t use such a hopeless idea.
The people at the top raged from their armchairs while the people below were left to clean up everything so there was no way they’d come up with anything good.
“It’s time. I’ll take a look around, you stay here.”
After Kalian went to look around, Genos was left with other people. However, the constant glances at him grew uncomfortable so Genos soon moved away.
Although Genos had left the aristocratic circle for several years, many people still remembered his face. So even now, there were people who whispered among themselves after seeing Genos.
While feeling late regret for throwing away his bird-pooped wig, Genos changed his position just in case of an emergency or an evacuation.
His eyes were stiff, probably because he hadn’t been able to get proper sleep lately. He had never felt this tired even when he stayed up all night before so maybe he was getting older.
Or maybe he had gotten too used to the life of a rich, unemployed bum. Genos seriously considered if he should just completely resign after dealing with this case somehow. It wasn’t necessarily because he didn’t like to work.
The fact that Genos had returned was not yet officially announced to the public. Part of it was because he tended to dislike troublesome things but now in another way, he felt he had made the right choice.
‘Who knows, maybe my foresight has gotten weaker.’
The central council was also paying attention to Genos since he made a grand return but hadn’t been of much help.
His power was something that suddenly appeared one day, so he wouldn’t be surprised if it suddenly disappeared another day. Genos had been thinking this way for a long time now.
Of course, the ability to foresee allowed Genos, the abandoned illegitimate son, to become the heir of the Sheldon family, but Genos never wanted that in the first place.
Still, there were times when he was glad that he could be helpful to people and maybe there were also times when he was conceited like Damon sarcastically said.
But after learning that he was limited in what he could do even though he could see the future, he thought it would be better if he didn’t have this kind of power. But when it seemed like what he imagined was actually happening, he felt regretful and couldn’t help but think that a person’s heart was truly ironic.
When Damon, who couldn’t stand the sight of him, learned that the power which allowed him to succeed in the past was not as good as before, he would probably welcome him with open arms.
Then again, even without Damon, there were many people who would be happy to see Genos fall.
Besides, if the central council found out that his foresight was not as good as before, they probably wouldn’t be greatly opposed to his retirement…
‘That reminds me, I don’t know how that alchemist bastard is doing nowadays.’
Genos knew about the turbulent rumor that claimed the Salvatore family was involved in the incidents that happened in the East of late. When he heard things like that, it bothered him somehow. Maybe it was affection from hatred.
‘The rumors of the Salvatores are already bad but was I too hasty to tell Kalian?’
Genos felt uncomfortable inside as he recalled what happened last time at the crime scene.
“No! Mine’s prettier!”
Right then, Genos’ thoughts were broken by the sound of squabbling in front of him. They were children running through the hallway of the exhibition.
“You little punks! I’ve been looking for you. How could you just disappear without saying anything?”
Soon, a man who seemed to be the children’s guardian approached and scolded them.
“Hm? What are you guys holding?”
“They gave it to us in front.”
“They said it’s a gift for those who came to the exhibition today.”
In the children’s hands, was a small box and an object which seemed to have been taken out of the box. Judging from the look of the box, it was a souvenir which was handed out at the entrance of the exhibition. It looked like a small doll from a distance and it also looked like an ornament.
“What? This is what those lower-class are getting at the west entrance, isn’t it?”
The children’s guardian frowned.
“Come here. Hurry up and throw it away before other nobles see!”
Tsk, Genos clicked his tongue and walked past them.
Aristocratic supremacy was something that seemed to be everywhere but whenever he saw such a scene, his mouth felt like it was itching to open. However, he couldn’t interfere with other people’s family affairs every time.
‘Maybe I should go to the west for a bit.’
Suddenly, he wanted to go to the west building where the general public was to see if the security was being done properly.
Genos turned and headed to the place he just heard about.
* * *
Yuri could sight some armed guards after entering the exhibition hall. Seeing that, she wondered if the people were being guarded in a way, but she didn’t like the way they stood around half-heartedly like this was wasting their time.
Still, this was a place even nobles came to so there was no way they didn’t inspect everything thoroughly beforehand…
And so, her coming here to look around like some sort of security guard might just be a pointless venture. But just like before, she had a very bad feeling today for some reason.
She wasn’t the type to keep looking around while feeling uneasy but it was very crowded so she couldn’t spread out her threads to investigate her surroundings like she usually did.
“Tsk. I came to see how great this would be since you stingy eastern bastards were throwing away money to promote it but it’s all stupid imitations.”
Right then, Yuri heard someone clicking their tongue by the side. Their sharp criticism of today’s exhibition was like an additional freebie. For some reason, the voice caught her ears and Yuri turned her head in the direction of the voice.
At that, the image reflected in her eyes was that of an old lady with her grey hair gracefully tied up in a bun.
Her arms were folded and her green eyes, which were locked on a painting on the wall, were similar to Anne-Marie’s but they gave off a cold light.
She was obviously a noble lady, but she was wearing pants instead of a skirt like eastern nobles, so it gave a unique feeling. In her gloved hand was a cane similar to that of Bastian’s. Sure enough, it looked rough like a man’s instead of a lady’s. Overall, she was an old lady who felt like a lioness.
“Sorry, Madam? The showroom for someone of your stature is the other way, please.”
An exhibition guide nearby seemed to have heard the old lady’s words and hurriedly approached her while conscious of the gazes on them. Then they spoke with a slightly awkward smile.
“The west hall is for the general public so we prepared fake articles but all the exhibitions in the east hall are originals so you can see…”
“Child, you can only swindle those eastern idiots.”
However, the old lady scoffed like she was hearing all sorts of nonsense.
“The ones there are all fakes too, what are you calling original? Do my eyes look like decorations? I still have a long way to go before my eyesight worsens so don’t put me down because I’m old, child.”
The guide’s face flushed red.
Judging from what she said, it seemed she wasn’t an eastern noble. Well, whether the items in the exhibition were real or fake, or whether a noble from another region was stating their disgust for the east and finding fault or not, it was none of Yuri’s business.
Yuri simply walked past them.
However, a familiar voice suddenly rang out behind Yuri, seizing her feet.
While mixed within the crowds of people, Yuri glanced back and this time, the person reflected in her eyes was none other than Genos.
‘So Genos is here too.’
He was looking at the old lady with a bewildered expression on his face.
“Look who’s here. If it isn’t the Crawford mutt.”
The old lady raised a brow, seemingly recognizing Genos as well. Genos, who seemed to have put himself together in that short time, approached the old lady and greeted her first.
“It has been a long time. Have you been well?”
“Right, Selena was alive the last time I saw you, so it has been a long time, indeed.”
Genos’ expression grew a little strange at the old lady’s blunt words.
“What brings you this far to the East? Kalian is on the east side, do you want to meet him?”
“No. I’m heading to the Crawford’s this evening anyway. I’m tired of waiting for news of Bastian’s death so I came to see him myself.”
Names that Yuri knew flew from Genos and the old lady’s mouth.
It seemed the old lady was a noble from another region, and it turns out she was acquainted with Bastian.
“It appears that old man’s life is long so I’m going to see with my own eyes how much longer he’s going to struggle.”
After that, the old lady added.
“Besides, something troublesome happened in the north lately so I have to check a few things with Bastian too.”
 This is a weird phrase. She says she’s going to see for herself how much he keeps falling sick. The term for falling sick here can also mean struggle-like struggling with illness or old age.