Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 50: Deaf or Dumb
This time, Nemo reacted the fastest. He quickly took out the tattered book from the bag beside the goat and handed it to the figure with both hands, accompanied by a polite bow.
“We only have this book and this music score.” He asked solemnly, “Did you lose this?”
As soon as Ann’s hand touched the spear, Oliver’s sword was only half drawn out, and Adrian was already ready to fight. At this moment, their actions solidified, and the scene fell into an awkward silence for a while.
“I look much better than it!” the parrot exclaimed. “Why are you so polite to it?”
The deformed monster didn’t seem to expect this either. It wandered suspiciously a few steps away from Nemo, dragging its hands hard against the ground. Its eyes weren’t visible, not white like birds but closer to humans. If they ignored the twisted flesh, they looked like beautiful cyan eyes. It was a pity that its feathers were all sticky, and its skin was full of filth that exuded an unpleasant sour smell. The vague beauty immediately dissipated.
“…Thank you?” There was still a bit of doubt in its voice, and it didn’t get any closer.
“I’ll put it here.” Nemo picked a place with thicker grass and gently put the book on the ground. He felt a bit regretful. Even if it was a fairy tale with an old-fashioned ending, he had only read half of it in that short amount of time. “Come and get it yourself.”
As he retreated, the monster quickly swept back a few steps. It was extremely fast and seemed to be guarding against possible attacks, but nothing happened. It tilted its head, slowly moved to the grass, stretched out its twisted forelimbs, and carefully picked up the book. But those sharp and deformed fingers were not suitable for turning a book, so the tip of its finger almost pierced the already dilapidated book. Fortunately, the monster reacted quickly enough. It only scratched its palm by deflecting its finger. Blood gushed out along the wound, bright red, that was very similar to humans.
The monster lowered its head, as tears slowly gathered in its beautiful eyes. It let them drip on the pages of the book. It gave up flipping through the book and clumsily picked it up and held it between its wings and arms, as if it was embracing a fragile soap bubble.
Nemo scratched his head. Now he knew where the blood and water stains came from. He pulled out a spare cloth bag from the goat and handed it to the monster.
“Can I help you?” he asked gently. “You see, we can communicate. It’s just a book, and we don’t want to have any conflict with you.”
“…Thank you,” the monster finally spoke again. Its voice was hoarse, as if it had swallowed corrosive poison. It didn’t get close, nor did it take the cloth bag. It seemed to be completely discouraged, and the ferocity that it had just shown to them was gone, and it became very timid. “I won’t bother you. I didn’t mean it just now… But you’re Black Chapters, so I was a little scared.”
“We are just here to find someone,” Oliver said slowly. He took the cloth bag in Nemo’s hand, tore off a few strips of cloth from the mouth of the bag, and tied it into a sturdy small hanging bag, just enough for the monster to hang it on his chest. “Take it—use it to hold the book, otherwise it will be easy to lose it again.”
The monster was silent. It looked at the four people in front of it, and the tears in its eyes became more obvious under the light of the bonfire. After a while, it began to sob in a low voice—It looked like it wanted to leave, but it couldn’t make up its mind, like a person who was about to freeze to death who refused to leave the embers of a fire.
Ann pondered for a while, as if she had noticed something. She grabbed the cloth bag in Oliver’s hand, thrust the spear into the ground, and walked straight over, raising her hands and feet with some intimidation. The monster was stunned in place and did not avoid her—the female warrior grabbed the book, put it in the cloth bag, and then hung the cloth strip around the monster’s neck.
“All right,” she said. Nemo could still smell the sour smell a few steps away, but it didn’t make Ann frown once. “Although I don’t know why you speak a common language, or how you became so unlucky—in short, if you meet a blond man with a beautiful face who speaks sweet words, remember to stay away from him. He’s probably thinking about your body.”
“A Grace Bluebird?” Nemo stared at the monster in shock. “…It looks like this?”
“Not exactly.” Ann rolled her eyes. “But the skeleton is really similar. It should be the same race, but this one is cursed.”
“It’s a her.” Ann waved her hand impatiently. “Pay attention to your words.”
The monster’s sobbing became louder, and it—or rather, she held the cloth bag tightly to her chest and her hoarse voice trembled visibly. “I’m not a Grace Bluebird.” She squeezed the sentence out with great difficulty and shrank into a ball. “I’m really not… I’m human.”
Even the gray parrot was stunned and speechless. Ann turned her face slowly and looked at her incredulously.
“You don’t look like bad Black Chapters… You’re the only people who have been willing to talk to me in the past few weeks,” she said, shivering. She seemed to be more receptive to Ann’s approach than Nemo’s and Oliver’s. “You even have a monk. Mr. Monk, you must have seen a lot of curses. Do you know what’s wrong with me? Please…”
“It’s impossible to judge from appearance alone.” Adrian looked at her carefully by the light of the fire. “You need to tell me how this came about. Miss Savage, is it convenient to perform an illumination spell?”
“But there’s the smell of a curse on her body,” the gray parrot muttered, looking lost with interest. It flew onto the back of the fuller goat and began to steal nuts from the bag to eat. Everyone was so surprised by this moment that no one had time to take care of it.
Ann’s face was still in shock. She stretched out her hands numbly and the soft white light suddenly broke through the darkness. The appearance of the monster girl was captured more clearly and looked even more terrifying. She instinctively shrank into the dark shadows, as if she was afraid of light.
“I… I’m from Vincent Town.” She spoke tenatively after a half-minute pause. “My name is Melody Delaney.”
“…Why does this name sound a bit familiar?” Nemo turned to Oliver stiffly. “Am I hearing things right now?”
Oliver took out the contract parchment paper and confirmed it several times. “But the information…”
There was a very fine portrait attached to the parchment roll, and the girl in the painting was very beautiful. The missing Melody Delaney had fluffy black curly hair and was well-dressed. She held a lute in her arms, and her smile was pure and refined.
“Are you Melody Delaney?” Oliver tried to calm his voice. “The daughter of Isaac Delaney in Vincent Town?”
“You know me?” The monster, or Melody Delaney, immediately retreated into the darkness again.
“Your parents posted a search mission last night.” Ann hurriedly comforted it. “Don’t be afraid; we’re the Black Chapters who accepted the task. We can…” Halfway through speaking, her voice stopped awkwardly.
Nemo probably knew what Ann was thinking. How do they bring someone like Melody Delaney back in this kind of state? What was more…
“I’m not going back!” The unpleasant voice suddenly increased by several octaves, almost breaking the sound barrier. “I finally escaped. I will never go back—!”
“Let’s continue first.” The reasonable Knight Commander was the calmest at the moment. “How did you become like this?”
“I don’t know, I was fine when I escaped.” She stretched out her arms to her face, as if to cover it. Unfortunately, her sharp fingers and claws only added fresh new wounds to her face. “I just escaped. Is this really God’s punishment?”
Nemo immediately turned his gaze to Adrian. He hadn’t heard Adrian praise God before. The current scene was very suitable for the sentence “God is forgiving”, and he couldn’t help but speak for the Knight Commander.
“Although our beliefs may be different, I don’t think so,” Adrian said seriously, without the slightest intention of praising God in a recitational tone. “Don’t draw conclusions too quickly, Miss Delaney. If you don’t mind… Why did you run away from home?”
“Because I met someone who I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.” The muscles in her face twitched a few times. Nemo guessed it was a smile. “Then my parents, they… Thought I was crazy or suffering from something. But I love him with complete sobriety.”
Nemo and Oliver glanced at each other. Not knowing if he was seeing things, he felt Oliver’s eyes seemed a little flighty.
“He?” Ann interrupted in surprise. “Your parents’ reaction was so strong that I thought you were in love with someone who was a girl. Vincent Town is a small town, so it’s not so—”
The monster shook her head gently.
“My lover’s name is Pasototu.” There was a bit more softness in her hoarse voice. “He’s a Grace Bluebird.”
For a moment, Nemo saw a similar emotion on Ann’s face—for a few seconds, she obviously thought that the girl was crazy, but she soon suppressed her surprise. He and Oliver lived in a remote town for more than 20 years and had no idea what a Grace Bluebird was, so they had to look at Ann blankly and wait for her to continue.
“They can’t even talk.” Ann said in shock, stopping Adrian, who was just about to speak with a gesture. “They—uh, sorry—they don’t have the wisdom even close to humans. They are just… Bird monsters who can’t even chirp.”
“It seems you can’t hear them either.” She looked at Ann with sad blue eyes. “They don’t ‘have wisdom close to humans’, because they are smarter than humans. Yes, people have repeatedly told me that they are evil and stupid monsters who are unfit to live in this world.”
“But I heard it,” she said with difficulty. “I heard the most beautiful song in the world. They have been talking with music, and they are no different from us.”
“They’re not dumb. We’re just deaf.”