Stray Ch31

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

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


Chapter 31: The Aftermath of the Battle

Nemo wished this was a continuation of that strange dream and that they were still lying in bed at the inn, and they had just experienced some wonderful illusion. Even he felt it was like a dream. He wasn’t controlled by some unknown will. In those short ten minutes, he really knew what he was doing and what he could do. It was like floating from the muddy bottom of the water to the surface. All the puzzles in his life were answered in an instant.

Then he woke up, leaving only vague fragments in his mind. This made him hold his chest, uneasy and angry, anxiously trying to hit the ground. What followed was panic and blankness. Nemo had read countless biographies of adventurers and countless legends about war and magic, but no book had recorded anything remotely close to the spatial magic he had just cast. If this was just a trick that wasn’t worth mentioning, he wouldn’t need to convince himself.

It was no longer a matter of “origin”. He couldn’t even be sure if he was still a human being. Nemo subconsciously touched his waist, only touching the damaged fabric. His wallet should still be in the room at the inn. The gold pendant wasn’t on him at this moment.

He needed it now more than ever before, as if it was his last lifeline that maintained his cognition that “he’s human”.

Oliver now had a good reason to leave. There was little hope of successfully completing the mission. The team would not last long. His companions didn’t even know what was going on with Nemo himself. It was estimated that only God would know what he was. Nemo sighed heavily. He knew very well that there was no point in entangling himself, so he hesitated for a moment and opened his mouth.

But Oliver’s answer was completely beyond his expectations. His attitude did not seem to be hypocritical, and his emerald eyes did not turn away. He even dared to reach out and touch him. The panic instantly faded, part of it turned into ecstasy, and Nemo only felt that his feet were grounded again.

So when Nemo waited for Oliver to withdraw his hand, he quickly stepped forward and gave him a strong hug. “I love you1 so much.” He was so excited that he referred to Oliver honorifically1. He couldn’t help but put his chin on Oliver’s shoulder and patted him on the back. “I promise I’ll never hurt you. Oh God, Ollie, I–”

1He’s using [nin] (您) which is the honorific form of [ni] (你)) which means you.

He had no words and didn’t know how to describe or express his mood at the moment. Oliver’s back seemed to stiffen, but Nemo didn’t care. He probably couldn’t get used to it right away.

“You wanted me to see this?” A somewhat low female voice suddenly sounded. “Bagelmaurus, I need an explanation.”

The female warrior crossed her arms and looked over where they were with great interest.

“It was indeed a superior demon! I would never mistake it,” the gray parrot yelled. It flew close to the two of them with a little hesitation. “Don’t you humans like to let corpses rot in places that no one cares about? I didn’t know they would still be alive. Hey, idiots. Where’s that black-armored guy just now?”

Good question. Nemo slowly loosened his hold on Oliver, who was as stiff as a stone statue, and carefully pulled on his nightgown to cover himself up so he wouldn’t look indecent in front of a lady.

“I am…” he pretended to cough a few times and decided not to care about how the gray parrot addressed him. “We defeated him, sort of. Bagelmaurus, why did you call her over? Didn’t I tell you to run away?”

“She wanted to come,” the gray parrot shouted, landing on Nemo’s shoulder. “I’m just following and taking a look.”

“It was serious enough this time for the two of you to die ten times over. Superior demons don’t have the habit of standing still and admiring corpses.” Ann approached and frowned at the scarlet icicles in the desert. “Even if I wanted to escape, I have to confirm the characteristics of my opponent. You know, your body can reveal many things.” She raised her hand and waved a teleportation parchment at them that was full of runes.

“It does look serious, but you’re not seriously injured.” After extinguishing the magic array, her sharp gaze swept across the two of them. “What happened?”

When she said this, it was unknown whether it was coincidental, but her eyes stopped on Nemo.

Nemo turned his gaze away, causing his head to ache. He didn’t mean to hide it, but he really didn’t know how to describe what had happened just now.

“He saved me. That’s all I’ll say,” Oliver spoke. He put his hand on Nemo’s shoulder, and his finger exerted a slight force. “It’s best for him to tell you the rest.”

Nemo instantly understood what the other party meant; this was to leave the decision on whether he wanted to reveal the truth up to him. Perhaps concealment would be more beneficial. Ann had a poor friendship with them and could leave at any time. Without the guidance of an experienced female warrior, the two of them could only bump into each other like headless flies.

“Well,” Nemo stood straight up, “Ann, I may not be human. This possibility is quite high. And it’s not the kind like a demon warlock either. I might—” he paused, struggling. It seemed like if he didn’t say it, it wouldn’t come true. “I may be a superior demon.”

The female warrior did not respond, but simply narrowed her eyes.

“I don’t want to keep it from you since it’s not fair to you.” Nemo licked his chapped lips and tasted the saltiness of blood on them. “I split a crack of space in the sky and then threw the superior demon in, assuming that it was a superior demon. I seem to know him.”

“It sounds like spatial magic.” Ann pondered for a moment. “And what does it mean that you seem to know him?”

“It’s not ordinary spatial magic. I knew what was over there. Ann, I threw him back into the Abyss.” Nemo shook his head. “When I did that, I knew who he was, but not now. I can’t remember very clearly.”

“Impossible.” The parrot flew off Nemo’s shoulder. “No one can connect to the Abyss from the surface. If you are a superior demon, I would be able to recognize you.”

“Do you know Witherspoon and Telaranea from the Gravity Maze?” Nemo asked.

“I know of the Gravity Maze,” the gray parrot said. “It’s close to the bottom of the Abyss. An annoying place. I’ve never met Witherspoon, so I don’t know him. I haven’t heard of any race called this. I know Telaranea. He’s quite famous in the Abyss.”

“I said that he’s a little guy with a personality problem.” Nemo smiled briefly. “I think only your kind can say that.”

The gray parrot looked at Nemo steadily and stopped making a sound.

“But you don’t remember it yourself,” Ann said. There was no emotion in her voice. “You don’t remember anything.”

“Yes.”

“I see.” Ann nodded. “Then when we go to the dungeon, you’ll still have to stay outside and watch the wind.”

Nemo raised his head abruptly.

“Thank you for your trust. Your choice is right. If I had noticed this by myself,” after a few seconds of icy pause, Ann continued quietly, “I’ll definitely kill you.”

Nemo shivered. Although he had prepared for the worst, he couldn’t help but look at the female warrior in shock.

“I’m not a believer in Zenni, but I am a human being. I hope you can understand this. Don’t look like that. I won’t turn you in, even though I really wanted to.” Ann shrugged.

“It’s just a guess,” Nemo quickly defended himself. “It’s just a possibility. Not 100%—”

“Enough.” Oliver patted him on the back. “Let’s go back first.”

“Maybe Cahill did a good thing.” Ann handed the slowly burning teleportation paper to the two of them, looking as she usually did. “The superior demon who took you away was very careful. The most common teleportation paper was used in your room. It seems that he wanted to kill us quietly.” As soon as she finished speaking, they returned to the familiar room at the inn. The parrot fell to the floor, its eyes wide open, as it stood dumbfounded in a strange posture.

“You guys rest first. We can talk about it in detail tomorrow morning. The other party is very cautious, so they won’t attack us again so soon.” Ann smiled reluctantly at them and then left the room, not forgetting to close the door.

The heavy wooden door closed behind her, and the corridor in front of her was dark. The female warrior leaned against the door and slowly slid to the ground. She buried her face in her hands, and her shoulders trembled slightly.

“He believes me,” she whispered to herself. “He believes in me, I know. Am I doing the right thing, brother?”

However, the darkness did not respond to her.

“Do you need to change rooms?” After there were only the two of them left in the room, Nemo spoke carefully. “I can understand. I won’t mind, really.”

“No.” Oliver simply refused. He pulled out the nightgown prepared by the inn from the cupboard, took off his blood-stained top, and exposed his muscular upper body. “You go wash, or should I go first?”

“You go first.” Oliver behaved so naturally that it left Nemo tongue-tied.

Oliver nodded and stepped into the bathroom first. After a while, the sound of water could be heard.

Nemo’s nightgown was full of blood and sand. He didn’t want to stain the clean sheets, so he sat down on the floor. Bagelmaurus was still lying on its side on the ground. If it hadn’t been for its breathing, Nemo would’ve thought it was dead.

He poked the stiff gray parrot with his hand. “You said you know Telaranea. Who is he?”

“We call him the Sage of the Abyss,” the gray parrot explained weakly. “No one knows how long he has lived. He’s the only polymer in the Abyss.”

“Polymer?”

“Our race has names, but we also have our own names, just like you humans, but he doesn’t. His name is the name of the race. There is only one Telaranea in the entire Abyss. He has been staying in the corners of the Abyss, so no one has ever seen his body. He only relies on his eyeballs to communicate with us. His eyeballs crawls everywhere in the Abyss, and he knows basically everything except the bottom of the Abyss. Rather than a sage, he’s more like a voyeur.”

“……”

“Being a polymer is why he’s famous. You see, even if the flesh is separated like mine, the soul can only be in one of them. He’s different. His eyeballs share a will, but they can act separately, so he can possess multiple targets at the same time. Damn, it’s really enviable.”

“Is he strong?”

“I don’t know. He usually doesn’t participate in fights. Almost the entire Abyss feels that there is a problem with his character. I don’t admit that you are my kind. If you really have another piece of flesh in your body, I’ll definitely find out. Besides, there’s no such thing as losing your memory. Our true consciousness is in the body, so it’s impossible to be affected by the flesh on the surface. My judgement is not wrong.”

“You previously stated that no one can connect the abyss to the surface.” Nemo looked unsteadily at the ceiling. “Perhaps it’s just that you don’t know.” Great. Even a superior demon doesn’t know what he is.

The candlelight cast a long shadow on the statue of Zenni in the room.

Nemo tried to grab the remaining fragments of consciousness, hoping to find more clues. The moment he split space, he knew exactly who he was, and he knew the answer, but now, he could only grasp a trace of the emotion at that time.

He didn’t mention it to anyone, because that emotion made him feel bad. He had envisioned many absurd possibilities, from a superior demon in the Abyss to some unknown monster, from a harmless ordinary person to a ghost. He could have been prominent, or he could have been born in nothingness, just like a meaningless speck of dust.

No matter what the answer was, he shouldn’t have that emotion…

It was like the joy of childlike simplicity that was close to happiness.


The author has something to say:

—Discovered that a teammate/self may be a superior demon—

Parrot: I’m not going to admit it!I’ll repeat it again. I won’t admit it!

Nemo: Who am I? Where am I? Friends, don’t leave me behind—

Oliver: (Being impacted by his own orientation)

Ann: Am I an accomplice in concealing the scourge? Is this a betrayal to mankind? I’ll never pick up teammates in strange places again!

…The whole team isn’t mistaken, except for the last point, which is really gratifying.


Kinky Thoughts:

Oliver reaching enlightenment. Who needs the church when you have Nemo?


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