Stray Ch60

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

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


Chapter 60: Prelude to War

“Lavinia is just a legend.” The mayor’s expression was calm, but his pale face and large beads of sweat on his forehead betrayed his emotions. “The past is the past, and you know it doesn’t make sense.” His hand slowly reached into his pocket. His fingers moved slightly, as if trying to draw a magic array. The next moment, they were entangled by small dark shadows and could no longer move.

Nemo put down the hand that was performing the operation and gently put the ancient book on the snow-white dining table.

“We just really want to talk to you,” he said sincerely. “Lavinia exists. She’s still alive. To be honest, the attitude of the Grace Bluebirds is not good, we…”

“Of course I know the attitude of the Bluebirds.” Seeing that his last resort was blocked, the mayor simply stopped trying to delay time. “I don’t want to fight them, but I can’t control everyone! Do you know how much a fresh corpse of an adult Bluebird is worth? I stopped… I stopped those kids. But to them, the Bluebirds are just monsters that will attack villages and humans, and they are valuable.”

“The holy scriptures require the execution of those who fall in love with the bluebird.” Adrian interjected in a low voice, “Mrs. Delaney mentioned it.”

“To protect them!” The mayor said sharply. “As long as one person changes back completely, then his relatives, lovers, and friends are at risk of being affected… It will spread like an infectious disease! If you really have any conscience, look at the people outside. They are different from the first generation, and they have no willpower to control their minds. They may never be able to become human again. Our knowledge, language, skills, everything will no longer exist. I don’t know what your purpose is, but if this is a trial—”

He raised his voice: “I don’t have anything to repent for.”

“I understand.” Adrian responded calmly. He walked to the table and picked up the ancient book. “So do you know the doomsday predicted by Lavinia?”

“What doomsday?” The mayor’s expression loosened for a moment. “There is no such prophecy.”

“No more questions, Mr. Ramon.” The former Knight Commander sighed. “The magic of the Bluebird tribe has grown enough to protect themselves, and they no longer need the protection of these people. And these people… Seem unwilling to return to a world where they are ‘flawed’. There’s only one possibility.”

Then he raised his eyes: “Which side will move their hand first?”

“They made the first mistake. They killed a poor kid that had just gone hunting for rock horned deer. They thought he was a poacher,” the mayor said, gritting his teeth. “Yes, they don’t need our protection anymore! Our mission was completed long ago, and our children are free.”

Nemo could probably guess the follow-up to this story.

The brave Bluebirds successfully integrated into the human race, and they guarded the tribe. It was not until more than decades later that the tribe successfully stabilized and no longer needed any protection from the outside.

Lavinia’s plan was successful.

After that, perhaps some Bluebirds may have returned to their homes, while some… As far as the current situation is concerned, most of them were deaf, so they were willing to continue to live as humans. They may have had true human friends, human lovers, and they had become truly human beings.

There was no earth-shattering conspiracy, and there were no vicious means. They just walked on different roads, drifting away, until that innocent hunter died.

“We protected them, but they’re guarded against us. It’s better if both sides break off,” the mayor said. “Now my townpeople are happy. They can go to other towns to visit relatives and friends on weekends, live carefree, and don’t need to worry about others coveting their bodies. I don’t want them to live in fear. Is this a mistake?”

“What about Melody Delaney’s fear?” Nemo murmured.

“What kind of ‘normal person’ would fall in love with monsters of another race? They made the wrong choice, and naturally must bear the consequences.”

“You haven’t given them a choice.”

“…This is my responsibility as a leader, and I need to judge which ones are ‘right’! Only a small number of people need to be sacrificed to allow more people to live peacefully.” The mayor’s face and neck flushed again. He wiped the sweat from his forehead with his sleeves, and then waved vigorously in the direction of the picture frames on the wall. “This is true for every generation. It’s a matter of natural justice!”

“I can see that you are living comfortably and peacefully now.” Ann wrinkled her nose, and her tone was full of sarcasm. “The heavily armed gentlemen outside may just be posing to entertain the girls.”

“I will convince my son that this has nothing to do with you. The worst that will happen will only be a small conflict, which has happened many times in recent months. Believe me, no one wants a real war—young people are hot-blooded, and the scene will eventually calm down.”

After that, he raised his head, as if he was about to become a martyr. “I have nothing else to say. If you have other purposes…”

“Father! I confirmed that it’s indeed—” A sullen cry interrupted all this. Mr. Bull, who had just gone on a rampage, stormed into the room. He was stunned for a few seconds. His eyes swept over Oliver’s hand that was on the hilt of his sword and the dark shadow that shook slightly between Nemo’s fingers.

“Guards!” The big, bull-like young man roared simply.

Ann rolled her eyes. Lightning suddenly appeared and she broke through the window. Glass shattered everywhere as lightning forced the soldiers in the courtyard back a few steps.

“It’s time to escape!” she shouted. “Let’s go, boys!”

Adrian propped his hand on the window frame and jumped out quickly. Oliver followed closely behind while Nemo climbed the half-human-tall windowsill in disgrace. If it weren’t for his special physique, his palms would’ve been covered in glass debris. A guard almost grabbed his robe, and Nemo had to send him flying in the dark shadows.

“Don’t chase!” The mayor grabbed the holy scriptures on the dining table and pressed them hard to his chest. He took a deep breath and gave clear instructions to the believers. “That swordsman is too powerful. Don’t aggravate them further.”

“What happened?” The youth was not in the mood to ask questions.

“They knew about it… The thing I just told you today.”

“Why aren’t we chasing them! In that case, they’ll just run away—”

“That swordsman’s power is stronger than the holy scriptures. No matter how many people go, they will die. If they really leave here, we can only be vigilant and pray to Lavinia—”

“Lavinia? Are you still treating me as a believer?” The young man’s voice was suddenly full of pain. “She’s just a false god that you fabricated to control everyone’s thoughts! I have always believed so firmly all these years…”

He couldn’t talk anymore; his face was as pale as the ashes of firewood. When he spoke again, the mayor’s son changed the subject.

“Father, I have confirmed that it is indeed the jade bone ores. We can use it to catch all those stupid birds. If we sell a large number of Bluebird corpses, even if the group of Black Chapters advertise that Vincent Town is full of Bluebirds, no one will believe it.”

“I told you, Tig! Return that thing! Don’t mention this again. I told you the truth to make you stop. You should grow up. This position will be yours in the future—”

“Now is a great opportunity; we always know where the lair of those stupid things are!” The big young man roared irritably, interrupting the mayor’s words. “Lavinia hates monsters. Isn’t this what you have been preaching? Why don’t you understand! Similar kind? They destroyed our houses, killed our livestock, and robbed our people—so what about the same kind? What good is it for us to protect those ungrateful beasts?”

“We’re already human,” he continued. “I don’t want to see my friends suffer from loss anymore. Fritz is my friend, and Mr. and Mrs. Delaney are your friends. Since you know about Melody’s situation, they must have confessed to you. How could you look them directly in the eye? Their pain stems from your stubborn ‘tradition’. I don’t want this.”

The young man clenched his fists: “This matter must end.”

The mayor blinked, and he suddenly felt dizzy. A dark blue aura bound him, and the familiar living room in front of him was shaking, as he started seeing doubles. “Tig, you…”

“You need to sleep, and when you get up, I will take care of everything.” Tig stated matter-of-factly.”I am different from you—I will bring you a rich life without hidden dangers.”

“They didn’t chase us.” After they ran far away, Ann was the first to slow down. “That old man still has eyes, knowing they wouldn’t stand a chance against Oliver.”

“But I don’t think he’ll let us go so easily.” Nemo gasped habitually. After taking a few deep breaths, he found that his lungs did not have the usual burning pain one would get after running wildly. He calmed down embarrassingly.

Oliver did not join the conversation. Without hesitation, he took out the communication crystal and directly contacted Jesse Dylan.

“How’s it going?” A pleasant but irritating voice came from the crystal. “Are you still having fun?”

“Their mayor knows the truth.” Oliver ignored him and got straight to the point. “But he has no plans to change his mind.”

“Lavinia is a powerful priest, or did you think her prophecies are on the same level as dreams? You thought you could change destiny by just talking… Oh, are you reading too many heroic stories? Darling—”

Oliver shivered at the other end of the line. He tried to maintain his composure. “What about your side?”

“Of course, Pasotalo would not be stupid enough to make the truth public. At this moment, they are planning to declare war on Vincent Town again. I guess he’s planning to suppress this matter and make up a separate identity for Miss Delaney.” This time Jesse’s answer was accompanied by a chewing sound. “Believe me, if those birds knew the truth, their hatred would grow stronger. Of course, you don’t have to be too nervous. It’s just a provocative group fight. Who knows how many times they have rubbed against each other in the past few months? Well, you happened to declare war and then ran off, which should keep them busy for a short time.”

“Why don’t you take him to meet Lavinia?” Nemo asked hurriedly. “She can persuade him. They can talk directly—”

“Do you think I haven’t tried it?” Jesse sneered. “He refused.”

“Why?!”

“Because Lavinia ‘can’t wake up’.”

“But she obviously—”

“Don’t you think it’s funny? No one could hear her cries, yet they were so close—they think it’s impossible for her to wake up, so they don’t even want to go to the Holy Land with me to take a look. Those stubborn guys said they didn’t want to disturb the bones of their loved ones. It’s a shame I can’t surprise them—no Bluebirds have died naturally in recent years.”

Nemo opened his mouth but did not succeed in squeezing out a suitable response. He sighed in a low voice and stepped aside.

“Thank you for your information.” Oliver terminated the call.

“What are your plans, captain?” Ann yawned. “We’re currently not very popular tourists.”

“Go and have a look.” Oliver thought for a moment. “Nemo is right, I don’t think they will let us go so easily… But they’re not doing anything right now. I have a bad feeling.”

“I also care about this a bit.” Adrian spoke suddenly. He adjusted the collar of his monk’s uniform. “I want to act alone for a while. Is that alright, Mr. Ramon?”

“I also think it’s better for us to spread out.” Ann took out a communication crystal from her pocket and shook it. “Bagelmaurus and I are going to visit Fritz. That young man has good character. We have to get our luggage back.”

“Why me?!” Bagelmaurus shouted discontentedly.

“You and Cross can work together then.”

“I… Can’t I stay with the garbage?” The gray parrot shrank its neck and grasped the fabric on Nemo’s shoulders tightly. Nemo glared coldly at it as he peeled off its claws one by one.

“Our combat power can’t be too concentrated. It’s a bit wasteful when dealing with just ordinary townspeople,” Ann said. “Then it’s settled! Cross will go do what he cares about. Oliver and Nemo have more than enough power to deal with the militia. They’re more suitable for spying on the negotiations—and I, I care more about our belongings. Bagelmaurus, you’re an important combat force, so I’m counting on you.”

The gray parrot suddenly spread its wings with vigor and flew to Ann’s shoulders. Ann turned her head; her expression had a distorted smirk.

“Contact each other through the communication crystal.” Oliver nodded. “…Everyone, be safe.”

The shadows of the three bluebirds passed over their heads.

The negotiation site was not difficult to find. The Bluebirds like to hover for a while before landing. Oliver and Nemo hid in the shadows, peering at the place that they had just escaped from. The Bluebirds landed in front of the mayor’s house. The broken glass and wood fragments in the yard hadn’t even been cleaned up yet.

The mayor didn’t go out.

The mayor’s son had a white pointed hat on his head and was wearing a religious robe with not a trace of wrinkles. He held his chest upright and pursed his lips tightly. A girl with the same numb expression stood by his side. Her face was unnaturally sallow in contrast to her white robe.

The bluebirds slowly moved forward, and the first one began to make gestures like war words.

“Tomorrow at twelve noon, we will come to fight. Your witch has confused the blood of our leader, and you have to pay the price.” The sallow-faced girl translated coldly.

“Oh.” The mayor’s son didn’t respond. He closed his eyes and exhaled. Then he waved his right hand.

The same red light film that attacked them last time lit up, firmly wrapping the three Bluebirds inside. Before the Bluebirds could react, countless pointed spears pierced in from the outside, poking two of them into a sieve. They fluttered their wings helplessly, slow-sliding down the inner walls of the light film; blood dripping all over the ground.

They twitched and their eyes were full of hatred. Cyan fire suddenly ignited, and they burned their bodies into ashes. The gray powder was scattered on the ground like snowflakes that were gradually dyed dark by their blood.

The leading Bluebird was only hit by a spear. He opened his mouth to let out a roar of grief and anger that could not be heard in human ears. Nemo immediately covered his ears to hear the depressing and heartbreaking melody.

“We welcome your crusade, messenger of evil,” the mayor’s son, Tig, said coldly. “If we can, we hope to completely destroy you all… Translate that.”


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