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We’ve Moved! If you notice any missing, empty, or incorrect chapters, please leave a comment below, and we’ll fix it as soon as possible. Regular updates will resume on June 10th. Thank you for your patience!

The Whispering Verses :- Chapter 8: The Rhodos Phenomenon

“If this business goes smoothly, perhaps I can really try to stay here as a detective. Once life stabilizes, I can then reach out for the extraordinary, and see if I can find hope of returning home.”

  While monitoring the club’s entrance during his free time, the outsider thought of his distant homeland, and Shard couldn’t help but sigh.

  After estimating the time again, since Mr. Lawrence had also entered the club, it was impossible for both of them to come out within an hour.

  ”They have things to do, should I find a place to rest for a bit?”

  He thought to himself, looking around, and then successfully spotting a tavern named “Screaming Hound” at the street corner.

  Such taverns, opened on the main road and starting business in the daytime, usually wouldn’t be particularly chaotic, especially now that it was only two in the afternoon. Shard squeezed the ten pence bill in his pocket, licked his slightly chapped lips, checked the time again, hesitated for a moment, then stepped over.

  Pushing open the tavern door, the first thing he noticed was a row of gas lamps on the wall, illuminating the slightly dim interior. The air was filled with a mix of alcohol and fermented food smells, making him, who was still hungry, somewhat uncomfortable.

  Shard now knew that the lamps used in this epoch were all gas lamps. Besides gas pipelines, the walls usually also had steam pipelines. Gas pipelines were the thinner ones, while steam pipelines were wrapped in insulation.

  The round wooden tables in the tavern were all empty, not many people were around now; there were only three customers sitting around a wooden table far from the bar and near the wall, playing cards. There was also a landscape oil painting of snowy mountains hanging on the wall.

  The three men didn’t look particularly wealthy. Although their clothes had no patches, the dark attires were worn to the point of almost fading, and their hats on the table were evidently used for a long time, piled up in creases.

  Maybe they just wanted to rest in this leisurely summer afternoon. Shard didn’t disturb them and walked to the bar where the bartender stood, thinking to just buy a glass of ice water. However, he heard a cheer from one of the card players:

  ”I win again!”

  The middle-aged man with a messy beard stood up, smugly tossing the cards in his hand onto the table:

  ”See, exactly 21.”

  He proudly glanced around. Unfortunately, there were only him and his friends there. Seeing Shard just walked in, his eyes lit up:

  ”A round of rye beer for this gentleman!”

  The man, who had won but wasn’t wealthy, told the bartender. Shard turned around in surprise to look at him, nodded slightly after a moment of hesitation to express his thanks:

  ”Thanks, but I think a glass of ice water will do.”

  He wasn’t good at drinking, and he didn’t know the alcohol content of “rye beer”. Plus, he was currently on a detective mission, so there was no need to touch alcohol.

  Obviously, a glass of water was much cheaper than a glass of beer. The three men believed Shard was saving money for them, which made them have a good impression of him. Seeing Shard alone, they invited him to play cards with them.

  But Shard didn’t know how to play, so he could only watch them, while the men enthusiastically taught him the “Rhodes Cards” technique.

  The cards in this world were much like the poker cards from his previous life, also having four suits, totaling 54 cards. But the four suits were sun, moon, stars, and flowers.

  The mainstream way of playing cards followed the rules similar to “21”, called “Rhodes Cards”. Other rules like Solitaire, Old Maid, and Big Two also existed, but “Rhodes Cards” were popular worldwide. It was said that the inventor of this game was named Rhodes.

  Cards were generally made with pictures on the front, with suits and numbers marked at the upper left and upper right corners. Therefore, series of cards issued in special epochs with unique designs were particularly valuable.

  The latest set of “Rhodes Cards” was a limited edition of 1000 sets, named “Fairy Tale Series”.

  The three men playing cards weren’t rich and didn’t know much about special series of “Rhodes Cards”. They could only speak vaguely.

  All they knew was that some nobles were crazy about collecting those rare cards. Especially some cards with not only special designs but also special game rules.

  Those cards were priceless. There were rumors that last year, Biford Auction House sold a special card for twelve thousand pounds.

  Shard quietly calculated the cost of living, recalling the “Sun 3″ card clipped in his diary. He didn’t want to laugh but deeply doubted whether the card he inherited was authentic.

  But if the card with the woman sitting sideways, holding a silvery moon on the card face was genuine, his last worry about future life would be gone.

  After chatting with the three card-playing men for an hour at the tavern, Shard got up to leave. Upon returning to the newspaper office entrance, the spot beside the mailbox had been occupied by a young man wearing a brown vest and glasses.

  This was likely a real reporter, so the young detective moved to stand beside the black iron lamppost.

  The streetlamp was overall cylindrical, also using gas as energy. Shard originally stood idly beside it, but his eyes inadvertently caught sight of a plaque. The plaque clearly indicated that smoking under the lamppost was strictly prohibited, or consequences would be at one’s own risk.

  Imagining the possible events, Shard instinctively moved away from this dangerous spot.

  The sun gradually inclined westward; Shard waited patiently. The feeling of hunger reached its peak and then faded in the afternoon, making his body feel much better. He planned to wait until around five o’clock. If Mrs. Lassoia still didn’t show up, he would head to the [Church of War and Peace] to collect relief food.

  He could also check out what the church in this world was about and confirm whether the church had extraordinary powers.

  ”But, with that voice in my head, will I be captured as soon as I enter? Not to mention the secret of being an outsider.”

  He was a bit concerned about this, but with no understanding of the situation, Shard had limited choices.

  Perhaps noticing that Shard had thought of her again, the woman’s voice in his mind resounded:

  [Observe his ring.]

  This sentence had appeared at noon, except that time the pronoun was female, and this time it was male.

  Shard immediately looked towards the club entrance, indeed seeing a young man carrying a suitcase coming out, with a white oval stone ring on his right-hand finger, the same as the one seen on Mrs. Lassoia’s finger at noon.

  The design was too unique for Shard to mistake it.

  Both wore the ring on their right middle fingers, and the voice in his head gave no further instructions.

  ”Interesting, why did the ring’s owner change?”

  Shard thought to himself, watching the man with the ring leave the club, not looking for a cab, but blending into the evening crowd. He followed a chubby hurried man with a briefcase, walking along the street towards the east.

  The steam city’s fog obscured his figure; if Shard didn’t follow, he would soon lose track of him.

  ”Should I follow? The voice in my head surely isn’t speaking idly.”

  He thought, turning around to avoid the direction of the club entrance, unfolded an eighth of the notebook’s map, looking for the [Church of War and Peace]. The church distributing relief food was east of his current location, and it was almost five o’clock now.

We’ve Moved! If you notice any missing, empty, or incorrect chapters, please leave a comment below, and we’ll fix it as soon as possible. Regular updates will resume on June 10th. Thank you for your patience!
The Whispering Verses

The Whispering Verses

Status: Ongoing Author:
Arriving in a new world where the steam industry is thriving, you inherit a three-story apartment in the kingdom's capital square. Accompanied by someone else's cat and listening to the whispers in your ear, you witness this strange and mysterious era. The epic of the Sixth Age is about to begin. Behind the curtains, the chosen ones will step into legend. Old gods, relics, steam, witches, detectives, ancient mysteries, the radiance of epochs... "Do you want to play a round of Lord Cards?" Time engraves the years, and the silver moon illuminates the shadows. I write legends for you, and you whisper verses for me.



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