Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 8: Noer’s City Wall
Ann did change her mind. Instead of bringing them immediately to Noer, she coldly asked Oliver to start training.
“It will be troublesome if you hurt others,” she pointed out mercilessly. “You must learn the method to control it. Please practice until you remember. I’ll take you in on the last day. There won’t be a backup plan, so I hope you can show some sincerity.”
‘She’s indeed being sincere,’ Nemo thought. When the female warrior first said this, the tip of her spear was still buzzing with sparks, ready to string them up at any time, but her attitude towards them did change. Although the coldness didn’t decrease, Nemo could feel a subtle sense of equality that did not exist before.
Ann spent a lot of time fighting against Oliver with a murderous aura. It could be said that her method was effective. Oliver was at first unsteady, but eventually he was able to put up some resistance after only half a day.
On the other hand, Nemo’s job was to sit next to the grey parrots and eat nuts.
It wasn’t like he didn’t try. The dark shadow barrier that day seemed to be like a dream. Before he could taste the joy of being able to cast spells, due to his panic, he had reverted back to the usual state where he couldn’t even cast a simple illumination spell. Nemo even asked Ann to give him a solid beating, which only resulted in him being pummeled to the point where he puked up all his lunch and was left only with abdominal pain and wounded self-esteem.
Nemo chewed on the nuts gloomily as he looked at Oliver, who was holding a wooden stick as he managed to hold on longer against the lightning, feeling that his last trace of confidence was about to be swept away by the wind.
“At least you’re very resilient when it comes to fighting.” The parrot swallowed the seeds in Nemo’s hand in one bite, then tried to say a few not-so-pleasant words. “If you were an ordinary person, you would probably be half disabled by now, seeing as how you were beaten to death by her so many times.”
Perhaps it was the influence of the contract, but Nemo found it difficult for him to hate this gray parrot from the bottom of his heart. Still, despite trying his best, he couldn’t squeeze out much goodwill for it either. It was just that in this current hot battlefield, as the only living things who were idle, it was hard for them not to make a sound to try and regain a little sense of existence.
“I tried my best,” Nemo said lightly, with a mouthful of nuts. “I have repeated it a thousand times that that spell will definitely appear in my nightmares.”
“What you did yesterday was quite similar.” The parrot squatted on a pile of shells. “Remember how it felt at that time!”
Nemo opened the palm of his right hand and stretched it out to the front with great care as he chanted the familiar mantra in his mouth. Unfortunately, even when his face turned purple from suffocation, the scenery in front of him was still clear, bright, and lovely. He took a big inhale and stood up with a sigh. Then he walked to the nearest cluster of icicles and broke off a piece and bit into it.
The two people who were fighting stopped and turned to look at Nemo. Their concentrated expressions and the glisten of the sweat on their faces made him feel guilty. Nemo quickly waved his hand. “You guys continue. It’s too hot, so I couldn’t resist trying…”
The maker of the icicles, Oliver, chuckled. He threw down the wooden stick in his hand and also broke off a small piece of ice, ignoring the bloodstains on his hand. “You’re right,” he said, with gasps in his voice, as if he had just been fished out of water. “That’s why I chose ice in the first place.”
Ann stared at them. The words that filled her eyes almost overflowed.
“Almost.” Not to be outdone, she also broke off a block of ice and took a few bites. “I’ll take you two over the wall after dark today. Registration for the black badge test will start tomorrow morning, so we have to get in tonight.”
“Can’t we follow you into the city normally?” Nemo was a little surprised.
“Noer’s soldiers will not give you trouble in principle.” Ann threw away the ice piece and wiped her mouth. “Most of our businesses have agreements with the gatekeepers. They don’t have the right to deal with you, but it’s another matter if they sell the news to others. That business is easy and profitable. Most bounty hunters will not catch strong prey. There’s no shortage of villains in this world, so I don’t bother wasting my time on it.”
The two of them had already changed into the clothes they had obtained previously. Combined with their sloppy appearance, created from spending two days in the forest, they looked like two Garland civilians. Oliver looked more haggard as the continuous high-intensity fighting had left him with countless wounds and bruises. Nemo wasn’t sure if he was trying to avoid certain emotional problems as there were heavy dark bags under his eyes. Most likely, he hadn’t slept properly after his fever had subsided.
Nemo licked the crushed nuts stuck between his teeth, and after recalling the smiling face of this person for a few seconds, he suddenly felt strange in his heart.
When Nemo stood under the city wall, he stopped all his superfluous thoughts. At that moment, the sun had just set, but the air was still warm and humid. The smell of food and cooking smoke wafted from the wall. Nemo looked up at the top of the city wall, causing his neck to become sore. Noer’s just a small town, but why is the city wall so high?
“How do we get up?” He subconsciously touched the stone tiles on the wall, hoping to trigger a secret switch from somewhere.
“We only have fifteen minutes while the gatekeepers change shifts,” Ann said. “I’ll go up first and throw down a rope so you guys can climb up. Any other questions?”
“No, but you—” Oliver obviously had the same question. He even tried to step against the wall with his feet, watching the soles of his shoes slide down the rough masonry.
A real smile appeared in Ann’s eyes. She didn’t say anything. She wrapped a few hemp ropes around her palm and then cracked her fingers. In the next second, she grabbed the wall dexterously, like a wild mountain goat, as if an invisible handle suddenly appeared on it. The female warrior’s physique and petite size were completely irrelative. At this moment, she quickly scaled the wall as if freed from gravity, taking less than a minute.
Ann turned her head for a while, then hung the rope down. “Come on, boys.” She lowered her voice and whistled happily.
Nemo swallowed hard, considering the height of the city wall.
“I’ll go first.” Sensing his fears, Oliver stepped forward, though his voice had a slight tremor. He tentatively tugged at the rope, stepped on the wall again with his feet, and climbed up a few steps.
However, at this moment, the wall didn’t show the friendly attitude it had just now, as if it had turned into butter. Oliver’s sole slipped again and his whole body swayed in mid-air, almost slamming himself against the wall head-on.
Ann wiped her face speechlessly.
Oliver let go of his hand decisively and slid back to the ground, leaving behind blood marks on the hemp rope. He looked at the swinging rope, picked up a thick branch casually from the ground, and swung it down in the direction of the wall. The training in the past few days had paid off, as there was a skewed ice mark on the wall that had an icicle protruding horizontally on the edge. Oliver took a deep breath, grabbed the hemp rope again, and cautiously stepped on the tip of the icicles and climbed up the wall.
Nemo’s eyes darkened. His new friend had just amicably helped him increase the difficulty. He had only climbed short ladders from the library before. In front of him now was a flat stone and brick wall with hideous icicles and a thin rope dangling between. This could be considered hell mode. He held his breath and grabbed the rope tremblingly, trying to imitate Oliver by stepping on the icicle while climbing up. As a result, as soon as he stepped on the second one, his wrist began to lose strength and he fell firmly from a height of more than a meter high.
Fortunately, his body was extremely durable now. Nemo gritted his teeth and grabbed the rope again.
“Such a pity.” The gray parrot flapped its wings proudly beside his head, not letting go of any opportunity to mock him. “If you had even a little talent like the size of a pea, you can just directly fly up!”
Nemo rolled his eyes and climbed up with difficulty again, leaving no strength to refute. He suspected that even if he stepped in the right place every step of the way, his physical strength would not be enough to complete the journey.
Ann gave a loud tsk. “Oliver, hold on to the rope,” she instructed in a low voice.
Oliver blinked his green eyes in confusion, and subconsciously obeyed. Immediately, Nemo watched as he was pulled to the other side of the wall by Ann, who had disappeared from the top of the wall. He was jerked up so fast that he almost hit a thick icicle.
The worst thing was that when he made it over the wall, he was dragged directly to the other side by the rope. As soon as he realized that he was free falling, he had already landed on his ass on top of a haystack. Oliver was sitting not far from him, in shock.
Ann landed gracefully in a neat semi-kneeling posture.
“Alright,” she said. “This yard belongs to my acquaintance. We can take a break here. Wait—”
She abruptly stopped the conversation and drew her hunting spear from behind.
“Jude.” Ann pulled out a fake smile. “Nice to meet you.”
She lengthened each syllable, turning the greeting into more of a curse. Nemo turned his head with difficulty and finally saw who she was greeting. It was a horse-faced man who looked to be in his 40’s or 50’s, wearing leather armor, similar to Ann’s style, with a dirty beard on his face and long curly hair that was tangled into a ball. At this moment, he grinned, showing a row of brown teeth.
What was most eye-catching was the thing on his shoulder. The size and color of the sack looked very uncomfortable, like a swollen corpse of some hairless animal. Its limbs were very similar to the feet of a gecko. Several of them couldn’t be seen as they firmly grasped the man. Nemo couldn’t tell where the head was. There were a few dark, eye-like things that were exposed on the man’s shoulders, which were opening and closing one by one.
“Miss Savage.” Nemo asked, at the lowest volume he could muster, “Would you care to introduce?”
“My colleague, your kind,” Ann sneered, “Jude Major, a demon worshiper. To be more precise, a hyena who comes to steal food.”
“Don’t be so mean,” the man said with a lax smile. “I’m just here to try my luck. If you want someone to blame, blame it on my dear Oni’s loose mouth. Coming from Roadside Town at this time, it’s not difficult to guess what your interests are… God, my luck is truly great.”
The things on his shoulders squirmed in response. Its eyes-like things open and close faster. Nemo suddenly felt that the grey parrot was very pleasing to his eyes now.
“Sorry, baby,” Jude contrived an air kiss, “I have been very short of money recently.”
He didn’t give Ann time to react and raised his hand as a black light hit Nemo’s chest. The gray parrot rushed out and swallowed the light in one bite.
“Bah!” it commented. “Inferior goods. I’m going to get diarrhea.”
Jude narrowed his eyes, but his hands did not slow at all. He drew out a machete to block Ann’s spear while the monster on his shoulder spewed out a large amount of yellow fog from the areas where it was opening and closing.
Now that Nemo could see clearly, those things weren’t eyes at all but a bunch of black holes that were opening and closing.
Ann quickly stepped back a few steps and then retreated to the two of them, avoiding touching the yellow mist.
“You should know that your fighting style has no advantage over me.” Jude himself seemed to be completely unaffected by the yellow mist. His tone was brisk and cheerful. “Let’s be sensible, beauty. It’s not too late to find a team of garbage to make up the numbers.”
“Nemo,” Ann said in a deep voice as her eyes remained fixated in Jude’s direction. “Can you cast that spell now? Just ten seconds. As long as we stop the fog, we have a chance of winning.”
“I… can’t.” Nemo looked at the monster. He had a strange feeling that the thing seemed to be watching him, even though he didn’t know where that thing’s eyes were.
Ann didn’t say a word. She glanced at Oliver and fell into contemplation while maintaining a defensive posture. Even though he acted unforgiving, Jude looked a bit scared. He paced up and down, standing near the edge of Ann’s attack range, like a mangy wolf considering how to deal with a hedgehog.
Nemo’s gaze moved to the monster on Jude’s shoulder. As long as this is dealt with, Ann had a way to deal with Jude. He thought all he needed to do was get rid of this…
The monster on Jude’s shoulder suddenly fell to the ground, as if it was a real sack. It remained motionless with all its black holes closed, looking like a corpse. Its master was bewildered.
“Tam!” Jude sent the machete forward, as he said in a flustered voice. “Get up for me!”
The monster, which Nemo didn’t know if it was a subordinate or intermediate level demon, was still lying on the ground, dutifully acting like a corpse.
Ann didn’t miss this opportunity. Before Jude finished speaking, she rushed out like a leopard. She cautiously kept her distance as she sent a ray of lightning towards her opponent while he was distracted.
It was aimed right towards his heart. The leather armor on Jude’s left shoulder was scorched by lightning, revealing bloodied red flesh. The man let out a hoarse and ugly wail, followed by a series of vague swears. He didn’t curse much as he responded when Ann was about to deliver her second blow. He decisively took out a piece of parchment and tore it up. Suddenly, he and the monster disappeared from sight.
“Short-distance teleportation. If you can’t beat them, run. It’s… very Jude,” Ann muttered in disgust. “Speaking of which, what happened to his demon just now?” She raised her voice as she arched an eyebrow towards Nemo and the gray parrot who was perched on his shoulder.
“I don’t know.” Nemo said honestly.
“It’s just pretending to be dead.” The gray parrot replied almost at the same time. “Just now, this kid was probably hostile to that piece of garbage, and it discovered this. Isn’t this a common situation to play dead?”
“That’s true. Noble demon warlocks can naturally suppress inferior demons. Is this what you’re trying to say?” Ann sighed. “Forget it. Just treat this as if he was unlucky. That guy’s luck has always been bad.”
Jude Major panted as he carried his demon back to the Dawn Tavern. When he entered, he slammed it on the table. “Vance! Vance!” he roared, “Come and take a look for me! Also, bring a bottle of medicine! Damn it. That bitch—”
“Brother, what’s the matter?” The man at the table next to him stretched out his head curiously, and a bunch of grape-like eyes floated over with his movements.
“Bad luck. Who knows what’s going on.” Jude sank into the chair, causing the wooden chair to make an unbearable creaking sound. “Can you imagine that my contract was broken? Damn, this kind of inferior good is really unreliable.”
“It’s not that your contract was broken.” The drinker at the next table shrugged and said, “…Man, your demon is really dead.”
The man called Vance finally arrived. He gently laid the bottle of medicine besides Jude.
“Yes, it’s dead. Probably was frightened to death,” he said in a gentle and elegant tone. “It’s common for this species to have the same courage as a hamster.”
Then he showed a very decent smile.
“…So, which demon warlock did you meet? Are you interested in exchanging information?”
Mountain goats can really scale heights.