Stray Ch1

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/


Chapter 1: Grey Parrot

Nemo Light had never been so embarrassed.

He knelt on one knee on the ground, desperately grasping the creature’s limbs that were strangling him with both his hands. Unfortunately, the damn thing was too slippery, covered with blood and mucus of unknown origins. He couldn’t grasp it firmly and could only bear the sharp pain from the back of his neck in despair. That thing must have punctured a hole in the back of his neck and was desperately drilling in further.

He could clearly feel something sticking into his flesh and blood, entangling his spine. The person who had caused this situation was kneeling next to him, equally frantic, trying to tear the monster off as his face was riddled with panic and guilt.

The cause of this matter was very simple.

Roadside Town was adjacent to the Ash Mountain Range. It was regarded as the closest human town to the entrance of the Abyss. Subordinate demons were as common in small towns as voles. Occasionally, a few brainless intermediate demons would break into town, causing the guards to ring the alarm that would alert the townsfolk to hide while they dealt with them. When the garrison vanquished them, everyone would slowly come back out, resuming their daily lives. These attacks were occasional to the point that even an eight-year-old would try and grab more candy from the table under the premise that they were trying to hide as quickly as possible. Because of this, no one felt any tension when these things happened.

Since the death of Old Light six years ago, the Light Orphanage still stood, but only in name. The oldest, Nemo Light, gritted his teeth and raised the remaining cubs as he saw them being taken away one by one by passing mercenaries. Finally, this year, he was the only one left.

The moment he heard the alarm bell ringing, he didn’t need to notify anyone. The young man, Nemo Light, picked up his bag and a bird cage, then went out, heading leisurely towards the shelter near the forest.

Until he met this idiot who he didn’t know why he was running back.

The guy was running solemnly, completely unaware of what was chasing behind him… A highly decomposed human corpse that was on all fours. It was twisted into a ball and followed him silently like a spider.

Nemo’s scalp instantly exploded.

He wanted to warn the guy about what was chasing him, but before he could say anything, he saw something catapult out of its body and rush at the prey not far away.

At this moment, Nemo’s body moved before his brain had time to think. He instantly swooped over and pushed the man away. The other party was caught off guard and fell to the ground, while Nemo himself avoided the fate of landing on his face. However, he instinctively used his right hand to push himself up and found that he had sprained his wrist.

At this point, this small rescue has disgraced both sides. The man wasn’t small, but Nemo was able to knock him down easily. Nemo awkwardly got up and patted the mud off his pants and realized the increasing pain in his wrist.

“Something attacked you just now. It’s something you haven’t seen before.” He pointed to the corpse that was a few steps away with his left hand, which was sticky, and explained to the hapless man, who was still sitting on the ground. He couldn’t tell who the hapless man was as it was too dark. “You…”

Suddenly, something cold and sticky touched his neck, making him swallow the rest of what he was about to say. Then came a severe pain that went deep into his bones that almost made him cry.

He thought about how truly bad his luck was.

Growing up in such a dangerous place, Nemo thought that he was fully prepared for a “bad ending”, but he didn’t think death would come so soon. He didn’t even have time to feel fear. He opened his mouth to try and breathe, but could only make a strange sound. He could feel warm blood gushing from the back of his neck.

Perhaps his psychological preparation wasn’t as good as he thought. He struggled in a daze under this unknown attack, trying to hold onto a non-existent life-saving rope, like he was drowning while drunk.

“Spellcaster.”

However, the darkness of death did not come as scheduled, and the severe pain didn’t disappear. A thin and joyful voice penetrated Nemo’s ears.

“…You’re also a spellcaster!”

No, I’m really not. Not even close. He thought in a daze.

“Make a wish, spellcaster,” the voice said, every word smelling of command. The suffocating shackles finally loosened a bit, as Nemo struggled to take a breath of fresh air. “I’ll give you a minute to think about—”

“…Can you go back to where you came from?” In less than three seconds, Nemo struggled to squeeze his wish from his throat, speaking with absolute sincerity and urgency from the bottom of his heart.

The voice was silent for a long time.

“No,” it said bluntly.

“What about ‘don’t kill me’?” Nemo quickly found his next wish.

“No.” The voice sounded a little angry this time. “Either make a wish or I will kill you now.”

“Then how about waiting for me to die of old age before killing—”

This time the voice ignored him and instead added more force to the area around his throat.

“…Then I don’t have any other wishes,” he spat out words a little dully.

“Procrastinating is useless,” the voice said. “It’s impossible for humans to not have wishes.”

If it insisted on a wish, there was one, but it was destined to be unfulfilled. Unfortunately, “the dead cannot come back to life” was the iron clad rule of this world. Patrick Light had long since passed away. In terms of age, it was rare for someone to live that long in such a shithole like this. Besides that, all his former family members now had stable homes, so they could live comfortably until they reached adulthood.

Nemo Light had always believed that there was nothing wrong with living an ordinary life. He wasn’t young, so he hadn’t had any youthful dreams for a while now. When you don’t ask for them, you don’t have to worry about them. This kind of story full of blood and fire will always take place in some other world, but he could only hope to continue to be an insignificant ordinary person in a small town.

He suddenly wanted to laugh a little, seeing as death was imminent and he didn’t even have a serious wish to delay some time.

“Okay… Okay.” Finally, he sighed and stretched out his hand to catch the wrist of the original victim. The man was still trying to help peel off this slippery unknown creature while turning to look at him from time to time. From the way he was reacting, it seemed that this man hadn’t heard the words of the creature.

Now, Nemo could finally clearly see who this unlucky fellow was. It was Oliver Ramon, the son of the innkeeper. If he recalled, he was just a few years younger than him.

“Stop pulling it Ramon.” Nemo scratched his hair irritably, trying to ignore the weird bitter taste in his mouth. “Why are you running back into town?”

“My dad didn’t keep up.” Although he didn’t understand why Nemo had asked this suddenly, the young man answered honestly. “He clearly told me…”

“Okay, take us to this guy’s father,” Nemo said. “This is my wish.”

Oliver Ramon looked at him in confusion.

“Easy.” The voice replied, “You’re really stupid to waste such a precious opportunity— Ah!”

That thing—whatever it was, made a scream that only Nemo could hear, which sounded so loud that it could tear one’s eardrums. The severe pain in the back of his neck turned into a numb tingling sensation, and his suffocation disappeared. The cold and sticky feelings were suddenly replaced by warmth. Nemo touched his neck subconsciously and felt blood on his hand.

He lowered his neck and finally saw the identity of the culprit; a mass of bluish-purple flesh that was squirming on the ground, struggling to squeeze itself into the bird cage. It finally managed to break in and wrap itself around the half-dead grey parrot inside.

“What the hell is this?” Oliver said.

“I don’t know.” Nemo muttered in a low voice, hesitating whether he should save the bird.

It turned out that he thought too much, as in just a few seconds, the piece of flesh quickly penetrated into the gray parrot’s body, like water seeping into a dry sponge.

The piece of flesh was much larger than the poor bird, but at this moment, it disappeared out of thin air, leaving behind only a gray parrot that was still the same size as before. There wasn’t even a single missing feather on it. The bird was as old as a ragged feather duster, so it made no resistance during the entire process, only occasionally twitching symbolically.

Then it jumped up.

“What’s going on?!” The gray parrot let out a hearty complaint and no longer looked sickly at all. “The contract was established—”

Nemo and Oliver glanced at each other and were discouraged to find that there was only an unexpected blankness on their faces.

“In other words, my wish is still valid?” He didn’t know the reason, but Nemo felt that there was something weird spreading in his heart, regardless of everything just now. He didn’t know where he managed to scour up this courage. At this moment, he should probably scream and run away; as far away from this strange thing as possible, and have a final struggle.

But the people who acted like this in stories usually didn’t end up with good results. The corner of Nemo’s mouth twitched as he thought perhaps he was too used to giving up. Facing the current situation where only God knew what was going on, leaving it up to fate could also be regarded as a kind of solution.

“…Then lead the way,” he said calmly while wiping the blood away from the back of his neck.

The gray parrot clicked its tongue a few times and pondered for a while. “Fine,” it announced arrogantly, “but open the cage first.”

Nemo raised his eyebrows and began to wonder if this little monster who couldn’t even open a bird cage could really kill him. He opened the cage, and the gray parrot squeezed out with some unsightly movement and fell to the ground.

“Follow me.” The grey parrot version of the monster acted like nothing was wrong at all and got up quickly again.

…Then it took small, little steps, strolling towards the town.

Nemo suddenly struggled in his heart as his desire to survive kicked in. He didn’t want to be killed by such a thing. He at least still had some basic dignity as a human being.

Oliver Ramon, on the other hand, looked at the gray parrot trying to trot in front of him, then looked back at Nemo. At this moment, the only horror left on the young man’s face disappeared, and all that remained was blankness.

“Don’t ask. It will take us to your father… Probably,” Nemo said with a straight face. His wrist was aching, his neck was bleeding, and he had exhausted all his willpower just by holding back the cold air. “Don’t ask now, please.”

Oliver closed his just opened mouth and nodded empathetically. He felt a bit embarrassed and silly following such a bird. His steps were not firm at all, as if he was full of hesitation.

However, this weird atmosphere of embarrassment quickly disappeared from them.

Although they hadn’t yet reached the town, the distance was enough to see the fire reflected in the red night sky. A huge shadow that shouldn’t have appeared was slowly moving in the direction where they were.

Nemo subconsciously held his breath, and this time the fear really hit him. The familiar building was burning in front of him. It shouldn’t be like this. What about the guards? Where are the garrison units? Roadside Town wasn’t a safe place to live. After all, it was stained by the light of the Ash Mountain Range. The fact that it was unsafe only meant that the vigilance here was doubled.

He had never seen such a serious situation before.

The gray parrot was still running in front of him regardless of the situation, unmoved. Oliver stopped and his expression became serious.

“The situation is not good,” he quickly spoke in an anxious tone. “Do you want to wait here? I can go by myself.”

“Ramon…”

“I don’t know what happened just now, but you really don’t need to follow—”

“Ramon!” Nemo grabbed the collar of the young man who was still chattering. “That stupid parrot stopped!”

The young man widened his eyes and looked at him in puzzlement.

Nemo’s lips trembled a little. Oliver had his back towards the town, so he was unable to see what was going on. The shadow that had loomed over it finally got close enough that its appearance could be clearly illuminated by the fire. Unfortunately, this time, Nemo knew what it was.

A deadwood jellyfish should never appear in such a place.

Although the name sounds harmless, the deadwood jellyfish is a powerful monster. In terms of strength, it was even considered to be in the upper-tier class of demons. Nemo had never had a passion for studying demons, but this type was well-known; their weird habits are often joked about by adventurers.

They were equivalent to large sloths in the Abyss. They lack interest in other creatures and have little desire to attack. Docile deadwood jellyfish only did one thing, float back and forth in their habitat.

From the outward appearance, they look almost beautiful. The pale cap-shaped head had a circle of dark eyes neatly embedded on the edge. Its body was shrouded in flowing smoke, with only a few white bone spines stretching out from the smoke like dead branches. Even with the flames that were soaring into the sky at this moment, the milky white smoke still flashed with fascinating brilliance.

All they needed to do was float back and forth. The smoke would digest anything that once belonged to life that came into contact with it. This feature made them difficult to deal with, but as long as an adventurer had eyes, they could easily bypass it quietly by going around it when they encountered a deadwood jellyfish in the Abyss.

These things never left their habitat, and no one was stupid enough to summon this useless and dangerous monster.

However, there was another person who shouldn’t be here.

“Alright.” The gray parrot screamed not far away. “This is the person you are looking for—”

The deadwood jellyfish wasn’t advancing towards them, but it was being dragged over abruptly.

Golden thread-like mantras loomed from the smoke. Compared with the huge bodies of the monster, these were as slender and fragile as spider silk, but they were able to bind to the deadwood jellyfish. Those golden threads intertwined with each other and, at the end, were met with five human fingers.

The owner of the fingers, the unkempt innkeeper, raised his head and gave Oliver a big smile.

“Hi son, I’m sorry,” he said. “I have to trouble you to kill me.”


Kinky Thoughts:

A new project that I saw someone on Reddit highly recommended that’s a danmei set in a western fantasy, thus a lot of the characters have western names. I don’t see western fantasy in danmei that often, and fantasy is one of my favorite genres. I believe the only one I’ve read so far is The Reader and the Protagonist Have to be in True Love, which I highly recommend.

Though the real reason why I wanted to pick it up is because the artwork covers for volumes 1 and 2, which can be ordered here. Below is what the main characters looks like, to give you a better visual sense.

Nemo Light
Oliver Ramon

|| Table of Contents || >>>

9 thoughts on “Stray Ch1

  1. I love that we already have visuals on what they look like! Makes it easier to follow and imagine the story hehe also thanks for picking this up!

    Like

  2. plot, characters, writing, etc…: ❌
    pretty novel covers: ✅

    lmao, memes aside, thank you for picking this up! we need more western fantasy novels.

    Like

  3. Hiii!! I wanted to ask you if I can translate “The Wrong Way to a Demon Sect Leader” into Spanish?

    I will give all the corresponding credits. Thanks since now.

    Thanks for your translation.

    Like

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