Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 43: End and Beginning
The girl smiled. Her laughter became louder and more enjoyable. The way she looked at Cahill was like a child looking at a holiday gift package.
“Of course!” she happily agreed, “but you should know that you will die immediately. I am a reputable businessman. Half of the knowledge is used as a deposit and the rest will be taken after the contract. I can recover like you, and of course, I can repair the irreversible damage to your mother. Even if she already has one foot in the coffin, I can revitalize her. I will be your king for you and help the world through you. ‘Hope’? What a cunning and greedy wish. I like you very much, human.”
She took off her shoes and jumped into bed barefoot. She stepped onto the soft mattress and knelt down beside the young man. The demon moved its hand and the eyeball flew straight above Cahill’s chest, who was lying down.
“To be honest, this business is a little uneconomical,” she said softly, “but I’m very happy—so I’ll agree.”
Its eyeball went up and down but stopped just as it approached Cahill’s chest.
“Something’s in the way.” The girl curled her lips and grabbed the semi-melted amulet. The metal hissed and melted into a ball, completely losing its original appearance. She pulled the pendant off Cahill’s neck with a slight force. At the same time, the red eyeball stretched out countless squirming filaments of flesh, gradually burying into the young man’s body.
The girl with the braided hair got closer. She lowered her head and pressed her forehead against the young man’s forehead.
“Come, tell me,” she said in a tone like coaxing a baby to sleep. “What is the last regret in your life, Mr. Hope? Was it to become a healer and rush onto the battlefield? Or being loyal to this cruel country? Or believing in a false god?”
The filaments of flesh moved faster. Nemo touched the back of his neck. He knew how severe the pain was, but Cahill was motionless. He just lay quietly, as if he had lost all ability except tears.
Finally, he closed his eyes and slightly opened his chapped lips.
“I must walk the world with kindness and treat all those who are injured or sick.”
The smile on the corner of the girl’s mouth became more obvious.
“No hypocrisy, no greed, no distinction between the nobility or those inferior, and the temptation of demons must not be obeyed.”
The eyeball melted into a viscous blood color and was slowly injected into Cahill’s body along with the filaments of flesh.
“…May there be no more pain in the world.”
But it was not the young man in the hospital bed who said that last sentence, but a younger Cahill Edwards. The surrounding illusions turned into the living room of the Edwards family at night. The room was brightly lit, the floor was smooth and shiny, and everything was brand new and full of vitality.
Mrs. Edwards was collecting dinner tableware, and the teenage-looking Cahill Edwards was hooking his arm around another teenager’s neck.
“This shit is sloppy and hypocritical,” he muttered, summing it up. “What sane person would make a deal with a demon, right Adri?”
Adrian Cross, who was the other teenager, already had the old age of a knight. He was silent and frowned slightly.
“Don’t say that. Your coming-of-age ceremony hasn’t been completed yet.”
“Well then… ‘Witnessed by my close relatives and close friends. Please guide and help me. If I go astray and break my oath, please call me back’—okay? Why are you so serious.”
“I swear.” Adrian nodded solemnly.
“It’s done. Starting today, I’m a real healer!”
“…I shouldn’t have asked him to be a witness.” The older Cahill said softly. He was as weak as a dead leaf in the wind. “He won’t compromise. He has never compromised.”
He sighed softly.
The warm living room melted and disappeared. The red eyeball was now fully integrated into Cahill’s body. The laughter of children outside the window was still loud.
Nemo, who had been silent all this time, couldn’t help looking at Adrian. The knight’s face still had no expression, as if everything in front of him had nothing to do with him. He moved his gaze in the direction of the door, and Nemo followed it curiously but saw nothing there.
“What a pious liar.” The girl clapped her hands and jumped off the bed lightly. She straightened her skirt and lifted the fruit basket. The apple’s flesh that had just been peeled and put aside was now already a little rusty yellow. The demon shrugged, grabbed the apple, and bit it in her mouth while sluggishly rubbing her shoes on the floor with her feet, preparing to flee.
The door was knocked open.
Another Adrian Cross rushed in. He looked healthier than the Adrian they knew. His skin was wheat-colored, and the emblem of the Laddism Church was pinned on his chest.
The girl curled her lips, bent over, put on her shoes and knocked her heel on the floor.
“Adri?” Cahill, who was lying on the bed, slowly said. “Didn’t you just leave? Did you forget—”
A golden shield suddenly opened up. Countless sharp, spider-foot-like black limbs were blocked. Nemo gasped and carefully moved away. If the shield was even a second late, Adrian would have been a pile of ground meat by now.
“Oh, I’ve been found out.” The two voices spoke at the same time, with the same intonation and speed, which made the back of people’s hair crawl. “Is it because of that amulet? I’m truly not careful enough. What’s this? Haven’t you lost your strength? Let me see…”
The translucent limbs that filled the room instantly dissipated, and the girl knocked curiously on the shield. “Oh, what a rare toy. It’s from the bald man. Wise choice.” She showed a sweet smile. The room still echoed with an unpleasant harmony. “What are you going to do now, Adri?”
The girl’s voice stopped, and Cahill was already sitting up. There was a smile in his voice, “Are you going to turn me in, my dear friend? You can walk down the street—you know I can’t chase you—and pretend that none of this happened. We have known each other for more than twenty years. You know me. I don’t wish for much.”
Adrian did not answer. A look of blankness flashed across his face, and then quickly returned to calmness.
“Telaranea,” his tone strongly affirmative.
“Well, good afternoon.” The girl raised her skirt and curtsied with a smile. “What? Do you need some personal time to cry for a while, or shall we make a deal? I’m curious about what you did. No creature, as far as I know, has lost power in such a state as yours—you see, your limbs are intact, and you’re not insane.”
Adrian narrowed his eyes.
“I can tell you his last words,” the demon sincerely suggested. “Or I can do you a little favor in the future. Do you want merit? Hey, tell me—”
The Adrian in the illusion was silent for a long time. It was so long that Nemo suspected that Telaranea’s eyeball would not be able to last and would return to the Abyss.
He finally spoke.
“Yes,” he confirmed. “If I can have the opportunity to witness your failure… Then at that time,” he paused, “please stand behind me. This is my request.”
The illusion ended in an instant.
The sun turned into moonlight, and only a faint shadow of the scarlet eyeball in front of them was left. The four stood in silence as Nemo clutched his blood-soaked robe. No one spoke. The gray parrot was not drawn into the illusion. It was blinking desperately at them, trying to send out an aura full of doubt.
“The transaction is complete. We will meet again,” Telaranea sounded very happy. “Good night.”
Finally, the melodious voice gradually dissipated, and the demon returned to the Abyss. Only the quiet night was left in front of them.
“Thank you, Mr. Light.” Adrian saluted slightly. “To be precise, thank you—Miss Savage. Judging from the way you escaped just now, you didn’t have to take me with you.”
Ann moved her gaze away.
“If we continue to act together, I’ll only bring you trouble. Please allow me to say goodbye… If we have the opportunity to meet again in the future, I’ll try my best to help you within my ability.”
“Why didn’t you report Nemo?”
“Ann!” Nemo shouted loudly.
Adrian shook his head gently. “Survival itself is not a crime.” He replied pointedly. “He proved it himself, didn’t he?”
“Sorry,” the female warrior simply lowered her head. “…I apologize for my previous behavior. It was my prejudice.”
“You don’t need to apologize,” Adrian sighed slightly and inserted the sword in his scabbard that was on the ground, as if he didn’t intend to take it away. “Then, I…”
“Wait.” Oliver, who had been silent, suddenly spoke. He took a few steps forward and pulled out the sword. “Mr. Cross, would you mind working with us?”
“I don’t mind, but like I said, I’ll only bring you—”
“Nemo, Ann. What are your thoughts?”
Nemo shook his head quickly. Ann sighed, “Of course not.”
“I suggest we act together. After all, Mr. Cross no longer has powers. It would be difficult as he’s wanted by the Laddism Church. Besides, Nemo and I also need teammates. We can cooperate… After all, Ann, you’re not staying long.”
Ann turned her gaze away again and snorted softly.
“We need a mentor.” He concluded sincerely.
“Why don’t you ask me? I don’t agree—!” The screaming gray parrot was pressed onto a tree trunk by Nemo.
“He can’t become a Black Chapter,” Ann interrupted. “Even if the Mercenary Guild isn’t a dog of the Laddism Church, it will not unnecessarily anger them either. Cross will not be able to participate in the exam… But if the leader of the team agrees, he can also register as a non-staff consultant, but our danger level will most likely rise.”
“Then do you agree, Ann?”
“Is there something wrong with you? The leader of the team is not me. It’s the one who signed the task.” Ann crossed her arms and looked at him suspiciously.
Nemo let go of the gray parrot and patted Oliver on the shoulder with a deep expression. “Very good, Ollie. No, very good, captain… You can’t abandon your team members, captain.”
“Is this okay, Mr. Cross?” Oliver continued stiffly.
“You want me to teach you, don’t you?” Adrian didn’t leave. He turned around, but his expression showed no signs of ease. “I found out when I was in the sewer that you’ve been copying my movements.”
“Yes.” Oliver admitted calmly.
“Why?” Adrian asked in a deep voice. “You don’t seem to have any ambitions. Even without skills, your current strength should be enough to live.”
He stared at Oliver sharply. “I’m willing to walk with you and I’m happy to help, but if this is what you want, I need a reason.”
The author has something to say:
The above is the whole truth! It’s not easy to find a new teammate.
It’s a pity that the Knight Commander can actually only teach Oliver.
Oliver, a friend who’s full of skill points but hasn’t had time to add those points. It seems like he bought a game gift bag with the promotion of upgrading to Level 9999.
That’s not true, Adrian. His ambition now is Nemo.
This was such an emotional chapter.