Stray Ch62

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

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


Chapter 62: Derailed Battle

“Oops.” Jesse raised his eyebrows at the dark communication crystal in his hand. “Has Mr. Ramon always been so rude?”

Jesse had no intention of resisting. Adrian grabbed his wrist and unceremoniously snatched the crystal out of Jesse’s hand. The beautiful blond young man turned his head with a sweet smile on his face. He was just about to speak…

“Why did you guide them?” Adrian neatly blocked those words that were about to be spoken.

The smile on Jesse’s face faded a bit. He dug into his ears with a finger and raised his voice. “What?”

“Don’t play dumb.” The former knight commander shook his head. His scorching eyes were glaring at Jesse. “When we were in the dungeon, I didn’t feel quite right. Although I can’t understand the sacrificial text… If the holy land is truly important to the Bluebird, you must inform them of outsiders in advance when you take them to ‘visit’. However, you just took us there directly. If I’m not mistaken, there’s only one possibility. Before you even spoke to Mr. Ramon, you had already applied for permission from Pasotalo using written text.”

Jesse’s eyebrows raised even higher, almost disappearing from behind his light golden bangs.

“You wanted them to see Lavinia. You deliberately let Light see that book. Am I wrong? Although I don’t know what your purpose is, you let us know the truth, and shortly after we connected with the mayor, the mayor’s son declared war… Although I don’t know if this is what the mayor wants, fear of us spreading rumors is just one of the reasons.”

“A man who’s too keen is unpopular,” Jesse said, giving a loud tut.

“There are not so many ‘coincidences’ in the world.” Adrian said coldly, staring sharply at the icy blue eyes opposite of him. “Even though I can’t guess your purpose… Your suggestion just now is very practical. You knew he would likely agree, as long as Mr. Light is vulnerable,” he paused for a moment, “or arrogant.”

“Can’t I have no purpose?” Jesse spread out his hands. “You’re such a blockhead.”

“I told you don’t play dumb. All this is too well prepared. You want us to get involved in this mess in Vincent Town, don’t you? This is simply too much for the purpose of poaching.”

Jesse Dylan smiled. It’s just that this time, his eyes held no laughter, and he didn’t bother to hide it.

“I need to know what kind of person Nemo Light is.” His tone was still frivolous. “Of course, it’s not a big deal, but I’m very curious.”

“Curious enough to cause a war?” Adrian snorted and gave a rare mocking laugh. “Even if there’s nothing wrong with Mr. Light, this war will likely distort him. He was just a civilian before, Dylan.”

“…That’s the most interesting part.” The smile on the corner of the blond young man’s mouth became more prominent. He murmured at a low volume, as if he was talking to himself. “A civilian.”

“Now I have one question left. What made you decide to teleport to me? …Is it because of this?” Adrian turned his head and looked at the magic array radiating ominous power not far away. It looked ordinary, and even the mantra was painted crookedly and twisted, full of traces of alteration. It was mixed in with the neat general defense array, like an ugly scar.

A dark red stone mixed with white dots lay quietly in the heart of the formation without any strange light or repressive powers. It was like a child accidently kicking an ordinary stone into a magic array. A fat flying insect staggered into the range of the magic array, and with a wisp of smoke, it turned into nothingness. There wasn’t even ash leftover.

“Supposed you really contributed to all this,” Adrian took a few steps back, turned around, and smoothly took off the bow on his back. Within the next second, the tip of the arrow had already locked onto Jesse Dylan’s head. “Then you couldn’t have expected his refusal.”

“What do you think I’m planning to do?” Jesse stared at the tip of the arrow with a grin. His eyes were now truly laughing. “Trigger the formation in advance to destroy the Bluebird race, or destroy the formation so it can blow up half the town? Oh, you’re too much.” He licked the corner of his mouth. “…Sure enough, you’re more suitable.”

“What?”

“The object of my love at first sight.”

The corners of Adrian’s mouth twitched, but the hand holding the bow remained motionless.

“I really can’t disarm this magic array, but if I’m not mistaken… The former ‘Luminous Morning Star’ could do it.”

“I used to be able to, but now I don’t have the power.”

“That’s not a big deal. I can solve this small problem.” Jesse happily leaned in closer, almost pricking his eyes on the tip of the arrow. “You should be able to tell if I’m lying, no? As long as you’re willing to beg me—”

“Okay,” Adrian was very straightforward and didn’t hesitate for even half a second. “I’m begging you.”

“…Don’t you have any self-esteem?”

“Is this self-esteem more important than other people’s lives?”

“You make people so unfulfilled like this1! It’s not fun at all. Bah, fine…” Jesse sighed loudly as he stood there angrily for a while. Then he took out a dagger and quickly cut the index finger of his right hand. “Don’t be nervous, baby. You should know this magic. Now pull down your collar. Don’t move around. The first time might hurt a bit1.”

1Note: He’s purposefully speaking like this as they’re innuendos and have double meanings.

Adrian took a deep breath. The blood vessels on his forehead bulged angrily. Jesse used his blood-stained fingers to draw a magic array on the back of his neck. Adrian’s expression had never turned serious this quickly when he felt the movements.

“You…” He didn’t use honorifics.

“Don’t look like that. I already said that you should know this magic.”

“The ‘Choir’s Spiritual Sacrifice’.” The knight commander turned around. His collar opened further, and his brows frowned. “Since time is limited, I won’t ask about anything else… Are you sure you can handle it? I have no mana left at all now, so it’ll directly draw your powers. If your mana isn’t enough, not only will you not be able to destroy the array, but you’ll also likely die from exhaustion.”

“I know. Did you suddenly think that I’m pretty kind and brave now?”

“No. You’re not the type to sacrifice yourself for this kind of thing, which means your strength is not much different from mine before,” Adrian said deeply. “Who the hell are you?”

“A civilian.” Jesse revealed a row of neat and beautiful teeth. “Go, my Morning Star.”

Adrian stretched out his hands and a dazzling white light shone again between his slender fingers. He was silent for a moment, then raised his head and gave a meaningful look to the grinning Jesse Dylan.

The next moment, a complicated magic array lit up directly under his feet. Adrian stepped on the magic array in the air and jumped higher and higher. The rotating white array made tiny air bursts under his feet. Eventually, he was suspended high above the ugly array. He drew his bow back to the furthest it could go, but there was no arrow on the bowstring. The bowstring trembled as a pure white light arrow blasted down to the magic array below.

The stone in the center of the formation finally reacted. It trembled like a living thing, and liquid bubbles appeared on the dry and cracked land. The lines of the magic array became like punctured blood vessels spewing out endless dark and vicious liquids. Rather than spreading out, the liquid shot into the sky, like a reversed rainstorm.

The bone jade stone was fighting back.

The former knight commander did not hesitate. The white light arrows continued to accurately hit the sharp and ominous black liquid shuttles. The warm and dazzling light pressed slowly and firmly towards the array, without missing a single spot. At the same time, Adrian continuously shot arrows as his hand kept moving. One after another, white arrows rained down, creating white arrays that bombarded the stone.

Finally, there was a soft sound. The stone seemed to have weathered and been scattered into dark red fine sand.

The roughly drawn array was completely destroyed.

Adrian didn’t delay for even a second. He stepped on the magic array, descending from the air, and knelt on the ground on his softened knees. He seemed to want to say something, but as soon as he opened his mouth, blood spurted out.

“I told you,” Jesse Dylan didn’t look any different, but his face was a little pale. “It will hurt for the first time. After all, with your former strength, you wouldn’t have to use the Choir’s Spiritual Sacrifice.”

“…Ah, fine.” Jesse took a step forward and hugged the other person. The object of his sigh did not answer back. Adrian lowered his head and slumped his body. It’s been too long since it carried magic that it fell into serious disarray. He then lost consciousness. “Don’t faint like this or I’ll be bored to death by myself.”

While muttering to himself, he took out a communication crystal from Adrian’s pocket. The transparent crystal was stained with blood at the moment.

“Darlings! …Hey, don’t cut off yet. I have important things to say.” Adrian’s head was resting on his shoulder. The young blond man remained motionless, allowing his high-end clothing to be soaked in blood. He glanced at the destroyed array. “You don’t have to worry about that stupid array.”

This time he didn’t wait for Oliver to respond before he cut off the call.

‘Sure enough, it’s more interesting to be rude,’  Jesse thought seriously. He put the unconscious Adrian on the edge of the formation and stretched his body.

“…What does he mean?” Nemo asked with a stern face.

“They should’ve taken care of it… Well, you know,” Oliver responded unsurely. “Mr. Cross won’t let him talk nonsense.”

“Are you still in the mood to discuss other things?” The mayor’s son said coldly as he clutched a small dark red stone. The translucent black shield was holding Oliver and Nemo inside.

“Well, let’s get back to the topic. I suggest you immediately retreat.” Oliver raised his hands, indicating that his attention had turned back to the present. “There’s still time to recover. Surrender before the Bluebird attacks. Neither side is rational right now—”

Although they had never participated in a war before, Nemo knew what would happen. If Jesse Dylan’s information was correct and the Bluebird had abandoned their creed, then the Bluebirds’ army may arrive at any moment. It was impossible to start a battle with one side scattered, but—

“Not rational?” The burly young man raised his voice. The townspeople surrounded them, listening in with some boredom and curiosity. They didn’t seem to be at all phased by the word “war” that came out of the youth’s mouth.

“The people around you don’t know yet, right?” Nemo muttered. “So it’s obvious that you’re not rational.”

“Tig, what are you doing? Where’s your father?” Their old acquaintance Fritz showed up. Behind the young hunter, a woman in a cloak was holding the fuller goat and quietly gestured to them. Nemo probed and found a squashed grey parrot in the gap between the big and small bags. Bagelmaurus was trying its best to hide.

“Father is not well.” Seeing his friend, Tig’s face loosened a little. “Fritz, my friend, we need your strength. Together, let’s kill those hateful monsters.”

“No!” Fritz shouted in surprise. “Why are you talking crazy all of a sudden? Didn’t you say a few days ago that it’s best to ease the tension?”

“I have set up a bone jade stone. I’ve already made up my mind.”

“But they didn’t!” Fritz waved to the crowd. “Stop it! I have to see the mayor. There’s only been a small fuss these past few months. The Bluebird’s punctuality has given us time to prepare, evacuate, and fight in a dignified manner! Are you really crazy enough to use the bone jade stone? What the hell are you thinking? God, I should have stopped you when you messed with that magic array… If the Bluebirds knew—”

Tig grabbed Fritz’s collar.

“You don’t understand anything at all. I don’t have time to convince everyone!” He roared. “I know you didn’t take the array seriously, no one did. I have suggested it to my father countless times, and he always refuses. I thought…” He gritted his teeth and swallowed the words that seemed to be stuck in his throat. “Now I understand… I’m protecting you, Fritz! Are you willing to let Melody be taken from you—”

“Melody is our friend. She’s not someone’s personal property.” The young hunter batted Tig’s hand away. “You know, don’t you? The mayor has told you? If you still have any respect for her, don’t shout here.”

The crowd seemed to realize something was wrong, and a slight commotion began to stir.

“…You’re still treating me like a fool. You all are.” Tig took two steps back. His voice was disappointed and sad. “Do you really think I’m doing this on a whim? We have known each other for many years, but you think of me like those evil Black Chapters… Did you think I didn’t expect the Bluebirds to attack in advance?”

“Do you know how long I have been preparing for this? It makes no difference if it’s one day earlier or one day later.” He gripped the holy scriptures tightly with one hand and made a gesture with the other. “Fritz, you’ll thank me. After talking so much, the time should almost be up. As for you…” He looked at Oliver and Nemo coldly. “Feel how it is to die by the hands of those monsters.”

Huge shadows approached silently. The Bluebird’s wings obscured the sky. The armor on their bodies flickered in the brilliance of the setting sun with a mysterious beauty, but no one was in the mood to appreciate it at this moment. The townspeople of Vincent Town gathered all in one place, which was quite conspicuous and everyone was keenly aware of it.

The crowd was in violent commotion as figures pushed each other, creating a chaotic mess like a pan full of hot oil that was splashed with cold water.

“Don’t panic! It’s all planned!” Tig’s voice was amplified by a magic array. “Retreat behind me. Hurry up!”

The Bluebirds began to dive, and the glow of their spell fell mercilessly.

Nemo took in a deep breath. He understood why there was no obvious damage during their months of fighting because the Bluebirds didn’t leave any traces in their wake. A blue beam of light enveloped a hut on the edge of town, turning it into ash in an instant, then was submerged by the crazy growth of vegetation all around. It looked like it had fallen into an invisible swamp and had never existed in the first place.

The Bluebirds rushed forward when suddenly—

Tig waved his holy scriptus and the four corners of the scripture burst into an overwhelming arc of light. This time, the light film was not as simple as covering a room. The entire huge army of Bluebirds was completely sealed inside. They angrily attacked the thick wall of light when…

“Sister!” a little boy inadvertently got trapped inside the light film. The wall only allowed things in but not out. The grass that he used to blow soap bubbles fell to the ground, and he looked a little dazed with his nose flattened on the light film. “Wait for me—”

The girl with long braids, who was a few steps away, covered her mouth and let out a suppressed scream.

It seemed that the panicked people weren’t as adaptive as the young leader had thought. About one-tenth of them didn’t react in time and were locked in the light film with the Bluebirds. At this point, Nemo had to admit that Tig’s plan did have merits. According to the Bluebird’s attack method, concentration could reduce damage more than dispersion. If people had calmly executed his orders, he could indeed control most of the Bluebird’s troops cleanly.

It was a shame that reality often didn’t obey a person’s imagination.

Tig himself looked momentarily flustered before he regained his previous composure—if one were to ignore his slightly trembling lower lip and the cold sweat on the corner of his forehead.

“Don’t panic. Those monsters are finished! They never split up!” He announced loudly, then ordered, “Help me translate. Don’t hurt the people inside so you can die decently. They have no way out. If they dare make a move, I’ll skin them alive.”

“Nemo,” Oliver’s expression became serious as he put one hand on the black barrier. “Get rid of this thing.”

The two of them had never been leaders, but they knew better than anyone what an ordinary person’s thoughts were. Some were stupid and rash, but some showed a little bravery…

The girl with long braids was the first to rush back.

She ran into the huge red prison like a sacrifice and passed through the thick film of light and hugged the little boy. She held him tightly in her arms, with her back facing the chaotic Bluebirds army. She was the first, then a second, and then a third.

Countless.

Within a few minutes, a third of the crowd had rushed back.

“Come back to me!” Tig roared, with a hint of panic in his voice for the first time. “Come to your senses. That’s an acceptable—”

That’s an acceptable sacrifice. Nemo helped him finish his sentence in his heart.

The young leader had made a small mistake—just a small, unplanned mistake. Everything he had planned had gone 90% correctly, but was now about to collapse. The Bluebirds struggled frantically in the cage. The glow of magic flashed like lightning. A beam of blue light passed across a man’s body, turning his limbs into ash that scattered in the wind. People’s screams were mixed with the wailing of the Bluebirds, giving them a common ground; they were all trying to squeeze out, regardless of the cost.

Some people found knives from nearby houses, and some were casting simple offensive spells. Two sides crowded together in the cage and maintained a state of confrontation. Nemo trembled and exhaled, and for the third time, slammed his black barrier against the cage, penetrating it.

The countless screams and wailing around instantly became clearer.

“Oliver, hurry.” Now, the battle between the two sides was still in a tentative stage, and there were no casualties yet, but if there was another trigger…

“—Tell those monsters, if they don’t stop, I’ll activate the Nightmare Praise—” Tig announced righteously. His voice no longer held the kind of cold confidence it once held as it was full of shakiness. He held the holy scriptures firmly, refusing to let go. A faint spark began to appear in the corner of the scripture.

The town wasn’t big. Half of its population had already rushed back, but if the cage was removed, the Bluebirds who had suffered a big loss, would disperse the crowd. There was no second chance. He still had the opportunity, as long as they could be deterred…

He could still win.

Unfortunately, this statement proved counterproductive. Once the principle was broken, no one would believe that the threat would stop at just a “threat”. The people may not know what Nightmare Praise meant, but the Bluebirds understood war language.

After a moment of silence, the Bluebird army, which barely maintained their formation, suddenly collapsed. Nemo caught sight of the commander’s position at a glance. The Bluebird, blind in its right eye, was standing there, chirping loudly. Pasotolu tried in vain to stabilize the chaotic army.

The next moment, ice layers rose from the soil. It no longer had the aggregation of sharp spikes but a regular smooth surface. It bypassed each pair of entangled humans and birds, completely separating them.

In the cage, a twisted and exquisite ice wall appeared.


<<< || Table of Contents || >>>

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s