Stray Ch58

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

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


Chapter 58: Blood Blessing

The entire stone room was illuminated by a long-standing lamp on the stone wall. The blue flame was very faint, not much brighter than moonlight. The pale trunk of the tree stood among the white bones and remnant feathers and fused to the Bluebird at the top, which looked thin and lifeless. She could barely keep her eyelids open, and her breathing was almost undetectable. A few strands of large feathers fell to the ground, falling between two Bluebird skulls that were close to each other. In this patch of blue and white, only two things were particularly conscious; a neatly dressed human skeleton leaning on the tree trunk, in a posture as if it was taking a serene nap.

A particularly eye-catching thick leather book lay quietly near the hands of the skeleton. The spine of the book was embedded with lots of precious ores, shining with a warm and dark red luster in the dimness.

“…Lavinia.” Nemo moved his gaze away from the unusually dazzling book and repeated the name in a murmur. “Is this your own translation on a whim? Don’t make such a joke, Dylan.”

“Oh, of course not.” Jesse shouted. “How dare I? It’s not that you don’t know what this name means—yes, it’s the Lavinia you’re thinking of.”

The “God” of Vincent Town.

But she was obviously not a real God, as Nemo could vaguely perceive this. She was too weak, fragile, like a crystal statue full of cracks that could turn into small fragments once touched.

“Do you know how much these are worth?” Jesse raised his chin towards the bones that were scattered all over the ground. “I finally got to this place that day. To tell you the truth, I’d almost lost my life—and then she conjured a forest ballad. Oh, that emotion was really tragic. It was so miserable that I couldn’t stand it and offered my help.”

He rubbed the weird neck ornament on his chest with his slender and beautiful fingers. “This gadget allows me to understand their words. It’s a pity that she’s dying and there’s no way to use it to give each of you a ‘revelation’. Otherwise, I would have brought you to her early this morning.”

Nemo ignored Jesse, who sighed loudly. He exchanged glances with Oliver and cautiously approached the alienlike tree bird. His movements were so light that he didn’t step on even a single bone. Lavinia’s eyes had no pupils, and it was difficult to find her actual line of sight from just starlight.

“You… Hello.” Nemo stood about five to six steps away from the trunk so that the weak Bluebird wouldn’t bow her head too much. At this distance, the appearance of the skeleton became clearer. It wasn’t bones that belonged to a young man. A few strands of gray hair were scattered on the exquisite embroidery. The book became more eye-catching from this distance. Even though Nemo had not received any systematic magic education, he could still feel the warm waves it emitted.

Lavinia let out a difficult gasp and then made a sound. It didn’t seem like she had spoken for a long time. The sound was beautiful, a bit like the petals that have been deliberately dried by the sun; coarse and fragile, with a faint aura of death.

“Guests who can convey their thoughts…” she said softly. The iambic tone was slightly different from the Bluebird language that Nemo had heard. “Bless you.”

“…Best wishes to you too, Lavinia.” Nemo didn’t know what to say for a moment. The presence and breathing of the beautiful and strange creature in front of him was enough to make him forget his belly full of problems.

“I know your intention.” Lavinia took the lead in speaking. He didn’t know whether it was because of the current environment or not, but her voice was particularly ethereal. “This… Jesse Dylan is not lying. The residents of Vincent Town are indeed my compatriots.”

“Do you know what’s going on outside?”

“Yes, but I just woke up. In your words… It should be regarded as a terminal lucidity*.” She sounded calm, as if she didn’t seem to care about her imminent death.

*An unexpected return of mental clarity and memory, or suddenly regained consciousness, occurs in the time shortly before death in patients suffering from severe psychiatric or neurological disorders.

“You—”

“I am not a God. I am just an ordinary priest.” Those beautiful eyes turned to Nemo with aphasia*. “Perhaps it was the true God who wanted me to witness my own stupidity. I personally contributed to my prophecy.”

*Language disorder caused by damage in a specific area of the brain that controls language expression and comprehension. It leaves a person unable to communicate effectively with others.

“What is going on in Vincent Town? If you don’t mind…” Nemo hesitated for a bit, but still asked.

“That was the blood blessing I personally completed. They… They used to be the most fearless warriors, isolating us from dangerous humans.” She let out a soft sigh.

It was supposed to be a story of love and sacrifice.

More than two hundred years ago, the Grace Bluebirds were almost wiped out by humans due to overhunting. A team migrated to Willard and set up a smaller living space, as their numbers had dropped to almost one-third of the initial population. The priests at that time made a terrible prophecy; the tribe would be extinct within two hundred years.

No matter how they grew and struggled, there was no bright future for them. Grace Bluebirds were too rare, and their bodies could be used as material by many races. Under such a prophecy, the whole tribe fell into silent despair.

Then a warrior and his friends stood up.

They were once the most vulnerable of the tribe. They were born with defects and were unable to hear the language of their peers. Usually, they could only communicate with the priests using sacrificial language. At that moment, the most silent of them stepped forward, followed by some more able-bodied members. The Bluebirds, who loved their compatriots deeply, made a request to the priest.

They would be sacrifices as long as the people they love could live.

The priests were moved, and they jointly agreed to a rather extreme plan. The Bluebirds who stood up would become their enemies. They would learn everything about the outside world and use the enemy’s knowledge to protect the tribe. There was a powerful priest that could help them achieve this.

The blessing was implanted within their bloodline and was passed down from generation to generation, resulting in an extremely high price that was paid. The brave Bluebirds had to learn everything from scratch and stepped into the raging unknown. The priest named Lavinia was distorted by this blessing that defied natural law. She was destined to use her own life force to accomplish it, and then fell into a statuesque drowsiness and came to an end.

“That’s the last thing I remember… I was awakened by a song.” Her eyes were moist and desperate after narrating plainly. “It was so weak, but it was so noisy—the arrival of Mr. Dylan let me know the situation. In the end, we couldn’t escape the fate that was arranged by the Gods.”

The starry eyes were finally filled with tears.

“…And I am the culprit. So, I ask you—please assist Mr. Dylan, you can take anything from me.”

Nemo conveyed Lavinia’s meaning in a depressed mood. Even Ann couldn’t afford to joke. The unknown two hundred years in Vincent Town was like a poisonous cloud that blocked out all the sun. Oliver bowed to the lonely and weak Bluebird and agreed to her request.

“We promise Mr. Dylan, since he didn’t really lie…” Oliver paused for a moment, waiting for Nemo to convey the statement to Lavinia. “Then we will try our best to help.”

She closed her eyes full of tears wearily. At the same time, the incantations at the door spread obediently, giving way to a spacious passage. When the team left the darkness, Nemo finally looked back at the human skeleton. He wanted to ask questions about it, but it was inappropriate given the atmosphere, so he held back his tongue.

“Dylan can agree to the next three-day deadline, which means that he can stabilize the Bluebird for at least two days.” Oliver slowed down and walked side by side with Nemo. “I kind of want to go back to Vincent Town to have a look.”

“I agree.” Nemo rubbed his face fiercely, as if this would wipe away the anxiety and depression. “This situation is a bit inexplicable.”

“…You look like you’re in a bad mood.” Oliver said tentatively.

“I hate this.” Nemo shook his head. Both sides of the cold stone walls slid back and forth in his vision, looking more like a nightmare than ever before. “I can’t tell… But… Oh, don’t worry. It must be that that place was too depressing just now.”

He couldn’t express his exact feelings. Nemo had read enough books. The tragedies in those books would always have a clear attribution; there must be a person who was wantonly evil and caused countless sacrifices for their selfish desire. On the other hand, there would always be mistakes and there would always be steps that weren’t perfect. Only by mixing these things together could one get a reassuring “reasonable” tragedy.

But now, the attribution was vague.

“I’m taking this.” Jesse said casually, after confirming that Nemo was the last to walk out of the room. He picked up the book next to the human skeleton and waved it casually towards Lavinia. “Of course, I’ll give it back to you.”

“Why are you lying?” This meeting seemed to have exhausted her strength. Lavinia sucked in her breath with great difficulty. At this time, her volume wasn’t as good as an ordinary thrush. “You can obviously hear us… And you can understand what we’re saying.”

None of Jesse Dylan’s words were true.

She still remembered the scene when this man appeared in front of her. He didn’t make the slightest effort, but the flying incantation insects trembled all over the wall and tried to stay away from him. This strange human came in so directly and didn’t even bother looking at the scattered Bluebird bones.

“Beautiful lady.” His thoughts came into her mind clearly. “Is there anything I can do for you?”

Lavinia couldn’t tell the beauty or ugliness of human beings or their expression. She even forgot how to answer at that moment. She shrank back for a long time. This blond human felt like a highly poisonous reptile, or a thorn entangled in her internal organs.

“You look very troubled,” seeing that she didn’t answer, the young blond man added. “Oh, I’m really not malicious. You see, I’m your last chance.”

She finally compromised.

Lavinia was strong enough to recognize that even if she was weak to this point, she could tell this person was stronger than herself. She couldn’t estimate how strong he was. The former priest wasn’t desperate enough to trust a stranger so casually, but she definitely didn’t want to anger the person in front of her.

“…They won’t believe that truth.” Jesse flipped through the ancient book full of mana and answered her question mutteringly, even with a bit of complaint in his tone. “And it’s more interesting, isn’t it?”

The scaly, weird neck ornament reflected soft light on his neck. Lavinia knew it was only the “key to the door” here, but besides that, it was nothing special.

The so-called “revelation” that made people understand sacrificial text had never existed since the beginning.


Kinky Thoughts:

I have a hunch of Jesse could be…


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