"What is Golden Manor?" Vivian frowned as she looked at the free detective. "Listen, we don't want to hurt you, but you'd better be honest. Other people, who may not be as diplomatic as we are, are keeping an eye on this place now. If you are honest with us now, maybe we can protect you."
The chilly air around Vivian made Pierre quivering. Seeing Pierre was about to get his third heart attack, Hao Ren patted Vivian on the shoulder. "Give him a break. We might not be able to revive him if he passes out again," he said.
Realizing that the place was not the right place to talk, Hao Ren took Pierre into a room, where there were only a rickety wooden table and a few dusty chairs. Vivian dusted it a bit so that they could barely sit down. Hao Ren held Pierre, whose face was pale, and let him sit down at the table. Pierre took an exquisite hanging lamp out of the carrying bag and fixed it on the wall next to him. Hao Ren had spotted a load of stuff inside the bag when Pierre opened it; all strange things such as grotesque iron bars, telescope-like lens sets, and weird devices that creaked. Hao Ren could not help but ask, "Looks like you're fully equipped. What are these for?"
Pierre sighed: "There is one thing I've never lied to you; I am a detective, but I investigate things that no other ordinary detectives do: ghost stories and myths, which belong to your world."
Hao Ren became very interested. "Ghostbuster? Spiritual detective? Vampire lover and the like?"
He could roughly guess the career of Pierre: an ordinary human being, with no special strength, relying on tools to work in the supernatural realm, a special element that danced at the very edge of the otherworldling society like the scavenger in the world of magic. There was no such survival space for people like Pierre during the Mythological era, but with the end of the Mythological period and the decline of the otherworldlings, a gray area, low-risk 'heritage field' had spawned people like Pierre. Hao Ren knew long ago that somewhere in this world there must be people who made a living in this field, but he had never seen one before.
After hearing what Hao Ren has said, Pierre felt a little awkward. "More or less, yeah. I thought you know our business very well, after all, you are the ones live in that 'world.'"
"Have you ever met other otherworldlings?" Vivian asked curiously.
"Rarely, but there were occasional contacts, which were all close calls. Thanks to those experiences, I could barely remain calm after seeing you." Pierre nodded.
Hao Ren waved his hand. "Tell me about the Golden Manor."
Pierre's eyes gleamed as he took out a crumpled notebook from his bag carefully. "Golden Manor is a lost ancient ruin. Not many spiritual detectives know about the manor, and those who believe in its existence are even fewer. It is said that thousands of years ago, a group of 'Tara' people from the deep space of the dark universe were exiled from their hometown and wandering in the cold space before landing on this planet during a strong wind at night. Although coming from the cold and dark space, these 'Tara' people were a civilization surrounded by light and wealth, so they built an incredible fortress when they landed on Earth. That is the Golden Manor."
When talking about the "Golden Manor," Pierre became energetic, no more timid and panicky like before when talking about the manor. He pointed Hao Ren and Vivian to the messy illustrations and notes on his notebook. "Legend has it that the ancient gods on Earth fought with Tara. After the battle, the two sides reached an agreement, which allowed Tara to build their camp around a hill in South America. The hill was composed of black stones and dark-brown soil, and there was a river running in parallel on each side. At some point during the summer solstice, the sunlight would shine from over the top of the hill, onto the entire plain in front of the hill. The Golden Manor was right on the hillside under the sun. I have been searching for years and finally found this location to be the dark hill."
Pierre's notebook was filled with hand-drawn illustrations, and notes next to the illustrations were written in strange shorthand symbols, which should be the secret codes that the spiritual detectives used. Hao Ren had no idea what those symbols meant nor did he interested in the records. He didn't have any interest in the maps. The Golden Manor was what caught his attention. "Is this manor built of gold?"
"This is the most crucial part of the story!" Pierre was so excited that his face turned red. "The Tara people practiced magic. They turned sunlight into gold, which ironically was the least valuable thing in their society. They purified gold to the extreme, made it into gold slates and laid them on the walls, as well as railings and benches, all of which were pure gold. The purity of the gold was a higher quality than all golds the human had ever produced and contained the power of the sun. Those who touch this gold would master the magic and understand the mysterious Letta runes."
Since these spiritual detectives knew what Letta Rune was, the legend of the Golden Manor was probably true. It was likely the distorted version of the saga of the Ancattero family in human society. Hao Ren turned his head around looked out the window; it was dark outside. "Where is the Gold Manor that you said?"
"The Tara people have sent it into exile," Pierre said with a serious face. "The planets in the solar system were affecting each other, the magical power on this planet was declining, and even the Tara people were slowly losing their strength, so they decided to leave the planet. To harness the necessary energy, they closed the Golden Manor and sealed it in the shades formed at the intersection between sunlight and darkness. Since the Golden Manor itself was built using the sun, it became untouchable just like a light once it was in exile. To enter the Golden Manor, you must change your vision and be able to see the path in the light."
Hao Ren quietly poked Vivian's arm. "This is the folk version of the ending of the Mythological era, eh?"
Meanwhile, Vivian's eyes fell on at the strange lens in Pierre's bag. "So you intend to use this gadget to change your 'vision' to find the entrance to the Golden Manor in the sunlight?"
"It's very effective. I used to find the entrance of many mysterious realms with this thing," Pierre said confidently, but he was quickly conscious of who they were and feeling embarrassed. "Of course, this prop is just for us who have little knowledge about magic. You don't need them at all."
Vivian picked up the kit lens and was surprised to see the lenses emitting blue light in the dark. Some lenses showed strange patterns when they overlapped each other. "Is it treated with potions? You do have genuine stuff, eh?"
"I inherited these lenses and the art of producing potions from my grandfather, who was--"
"Who was mostly the servant of the vampire or werewolf," Vivian cut in. "He learned these arts from his master. The descendants of the servants of the gods turned into spiritual detectives by relying on this incomplete inheritance. Now, these spiritual detectives have turned around to dig the secrets of the gods in the ruins of the Mythological era. Who could have thought that things would come full circle?"
While saying, she put the lens back into the bag. "I suggest you should stop, the potion was harmful to humans, and the lens lets your eyes see something that should not be seen, those things will invade your mind. If you don't want to spend the rest of your life in the psychiatric hospital, you'd better stay away from this field while you still can. Of course, it is entirely up to you; I'm merely giving a suggestion.
Pierre's response was ambiguous. As the atmosphere became awkward, Hao Ren reignited the Golden Manor conversation. "So you are going after the gold?"
There was a subtle change in Pierre's expression, but his answer surprised Hao Ren and Vivian. "Gold... It's one of the reasons, but I'm more hoping to see the legendary Sun Roulette that sealed the Shade of Wrath. My desire for wealth is far less than the yearning for knowledge. Seeing the Sun Roulette alone worth all the gold of the entire manor."