Stray Ch64

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

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


Chapter 64: The Last Song

Oliver didn’t lie to him. There was really nothing more distracting than this.

Since those subtle cracks began to open, Nemo did not dare to move at will. It wasn’t because of fear of failure in casting his spell, but because the hostility was too strong. It didn’t matter. He could still handle it. It was the price he had personally chosen. Compared to the chill caused by the surging disgust, another thing was even more serious…

He knew this feeling well; being attacked, hated, and begged.

There was only a vague impression in his mind. The sky was getting a little darker than it was now, and the attack became more real. The quivering shadow was naked, and various armors emitted a faint halo in the dimmed light. Countless languages and spells converged in the dark, like a storm without stopping. Although the memory was vague, the instinctive reaction that it brought made Nemo feel a cold chill behind his back. He subconsciously wanted to attack the source of hostility, and the sense of attack seemed to originate from instinct as he felt accustomed to it.

He was frightened by this impulse and almost stopped everything in his hand unsteadily. The fear and hostility of the townspeople did not stop, so Nemo had to harden his resolve and reluctantly continue, while desperately trying to empty his mind.

“You bastard son of reptiles and demons, go to hell—” an elderly man with bad legs collapsed on the ground, cursing him angrily.

Perhaps he had come from there.

“Traitor to mankind. Despicable monster!” A voice that belonged to a woman screamed.

There were a handful of humans present.

“Mom, I’m scared. Make it stop—” This time it was the voice of a child crying.

I’m really sorry. Nemo cried and shook his arm slightly.

“…I like you.” His friend had suddenly appeared in front of him. Oliver’s tone was solemn. “Perhaps more than anyone in the world.”

“……Huh?” Nemo finally raised his head. This time, his mind was truly blank. They were in the midst of a battlefield full of smoke, but those noisy and annoying sounds seemed to disappear in an instant. With what he had just heard, he logically couldn’t comprehend that what was said was a word of comfort from a friend.

Nemo stared at him in shock. Oliver didn’t intend for it to be a joke at all. Rather, if Oliver were to make such a joke given the current situation, he would be the first to beat him to a pulp.

He raised his voice in confusion. “What?”

“Help distract you.” Oliver held his shoulders firmly, with a bit of relief in his tone. “Of course, this is the truth. You don’t need to answer me, at least not now or ever. Well, are you distracted?”

He was more than distracted. Nemo stared at those beautiful emerald eyes and almost forgot the next step of the plan. He tried to distinguish his mood. It wasn’t pure joy or the unique warmth of being loved. Too many things were mixed together, and he couldn’t figure any of them out.

This wasn’t the first time he’d heard a confession. There was no aristocracy in Roadside Town. No one would write hymns to their sweethearts. The words people used to confess were direct and few. His last confessor also said something similar, and at the time, she had a sweet smile, and her eyes were shining, and her face was flushed with tension.

Nemo readily agreed to her without any hesitation, because this was what he should do. As long as they didn’t hate each other or even appreciate them just a bit, people would naturally try. He was just one of many mortals, and he didn’t dislike the girl.

Now that he thought about it, the last relationship had ended so quickly. Perhaps she discovered something; for example, he didn’t really “understand”.

Nemo exhaled and finally pulled a thread out of the tumultuous emotions in his heart. It was the strongest and heaviest; he was panicking. He didn’t want to answer with a gentle “yes” anymore, and then watch as those beautiful emerald eyes slowly cooled down for the time that followed.

“I can’t really answer you now, Ollie,” he responded very carefully, as if a louder voice would scare Oliver away. “But I will give you an answer, okay?”

The cracks in the air were no longer closing. They had returned to their normal state, like a flower shattered in the wind. Countless clear icicles penetrated the houses around them and stretched out into the dark and depressing sky. The ashes and black shadows were still floating around, creating a scene that looked extremely close to a standard nightmare. The battlefield never left people with too much breathing room.

Oliver smiled. He didn’t show the slightest disappointment. There was even a trace of joy on his face. “Of course.”

“…You believe me?” Nemo gritted his teeth, but this time, he had to spend more effort concentrating on concentrating his energy back.

“I do,” Oliver repeated without hesitation.

“Then use your greatest power to attack me,” Nemo whispered. “There is only one step left. I can’t do it alone. Please, Ollie.”

Oliver’s hands let go of his shoulders. He silently drew out the silver sword, with the tip pointed obliquely to the ground, while keeping his expression calm.

“The reason?”

“We’re just outsiders. I can’t love these people or these birds. I can’t convey non-existent feelings, and I don’t think they will let go of the past. ‘Being able to hear pain’ can’t solve the fundamental problem.”

“You’re right.”

“But there’s someone who loves Vincent Town and the Bluebird Tribe at the same time.”

“…I understand.” Oliver nodded. The blade of the silver sword was particularly dazzling under the dim sky.

He didn’t say any more. He never seemed to be indecisive at such a moment. Oliver walked away without hesitation and stopped dozens of steps away from Nemo. Not far away, the Bluebirds whose wounds healed found that the dark shadows and cracks didn’t seem to contain hostility. They refocused their aim at the scattered crowd, and started chanting their spells, lighting up the sky.

“Do it.” Nemo opened his hands. His throat was tense and dry. He was still uncertain at first, but this was indeed the most reasonable thing to do. He had done countless things beyond the limitations of humans and felt uneasy and afraid of them, but some people didn’t care.

Oliver didn’t care.

Nemo suddenly realized what the other person’s feelings meant. His fear of his own strange power dissipated a little. Maybe it didn’t matter if he forgot human norms. Maybe he could push the limits even further, and that person might… There might be a little possibility that he really won’t run away.

After the panic, it was followed by a sad sense of security. Oliver raised his sword and he stretched out his hand. At this moment, he was full of thorny confidence. This reality would develop as he wished, at least in these few seconds, he didn’t need to bow his head to it anymore.

The sword gathered wind, sweeping ice debris around, causing the ground to shake and the soil to surge like waves. Nemo straightened his arms and folded his hands. The small cracks were connected end-to-end, forming a distinct cross in the air. They kept twisting and squirming and began to gather. Just as they were about to blend together, the wind from the sword arrived.

The cross-shaped crack instantly turned into a huge gap, making a tooth-aching shattering sound. The space was cut open then cracked around like broken glass. It seemed that there was a strong explosion and the wind squeezed around the gap at the center. The townspeople fell to the ground while the Bluebirds fell from the sky.

The scene on the other side of the crack was shockingly peaceful.

Gentle blue firelight illuminated the white bones of deformed birds. Lavinia raised her head extremely slowly, staring at the nightmare that was all too clear.

The movements of the Bluebirds completely froze.

Nemo breathed a sigh of relief, and he sat on the ground unobtrusively. The string that had been stretched out in his mind had finally relaxed. The screams of the townspeople and Tig’s shouting were mixed in his ears, but he didn’t bother to distinguish the contents any longer.

“Make yourself at home,” he said wearily to the “God” of Vincent Town.

Not far away, Tig Lorenzo stood in confusion. The Bluebirds had stopped attacking. The holy scriptures in his hand were burning and began to break free like a living creature. He looked at what was exposed in the crack in horror. Its eyes gave him the creeps.

There was no hatred in it; rather it was so gentle that people’s hearts started throbbing. With a powerful and coercive force, it swept the battlefield like a blizzard.

‘Everything is out of control,’ he thought. He trembled and took out his communication crystal. Although it was just a simple action, he almost dropped it.

“Nightmare Praise,” the burly young man murmured. “Start it quickly—”

The communication crystal lit up, which meant that the other party could hear his instructions. However, nothing happened. After a few seconds, the crystal went out again.

“Nemo Light is a bit tougher than I thought,” Jesse sighed as he stepped his boots on the fragile crystal, creating a cracking sound underneath his foot. “I underestimated him.”

Adrian Cross was still sleeping next to the array, and in front of the blond young man, several townspeople were firmly tied and strung up in the air by a light chain to a height where their feet couldn’t even touch the ground. The light chain also sealed their mouths, so they could only make angry muffled screams.

“I really can’t figure out why some people don’t take the easy road.” He walked up to one of the townspeople with his mouth curled. Apparently in a bad mood, he took out a dagger and threw it at random towards the horrified gaze of the group of townspeople. “My dear Morning Star is like this. Even that demon among demons is like this. If they didn’t do anything, no one would accuse them. It’s all their fault for being idiots anyway. Why worry about a group of fools who don’t understand anything?”

The dagger he tossed left a clear blood mark on the arm of one of the townspeople in front of him. Blood instantly spread along the folds of his clothes, causing the man to let out a restrained scream.

“Let’s talk.” The smile on Jesse Dylan’s face disappeared for a few seconds. “Let me tell you your original destiny. You were supposed to go on living in peace for a week. Of course this shit won’t be happening now. Melody Delaney was supposed to die in the wild as a deformed monster, and Pasotolu would still be imprisoned. The next Black Chapters will come and kill the Bluebirds, which will then retaliate and kill you… Ah, sorry, your wife and children will turn into ashes. Finally, Tig Lorenzo will activate the Nightmare Praise.”

“And you’re all destined to fight to the bitter end.” He then laughed maliciously again and threw out another dagger.

“In the end, you’ll all become a sad news story. Another town on the border, destroyed by monsters. In fact, I don’t think that’s a bad ending.”

He held a dagger to the throat of the man in front of him. “What do you think?”

The man’s eyes glazed over, and he screamed frantically.

“Well, I understand.” Jesse nodded as if he really understood and moved the dagger away. “Fools also have their helplessness. I’m not afraid that you will misunderstand… After all, I really don’t care about your life and death, but selling favors always makes me happy.”

The dark clouds began to fade, and the sun peered out again. A dazzling red light lit up in the direction of the center of town.

“Oh.” The blond young man put away his dagger and raised his arms. “The show has begun.”

Nemo thought Lavinia would give orders to the Bluebirds, or at least explain a few words, but she said nothing. She quietly closed her wings, causing a bundle of blue light to fall and rolled up the book before the human bones. The book emitted a red light similar to the light wall. It floated gently, passing through the broken space, and flew to the middle of the battlefield. The silk of light continued to extend in the air, catching the holy scripture that broke free from the arms of the burly young man. It gently dragged the books against the sparks, combining them together.

Then, the silk of light suddenly tightened, and in the red light, pages among pages scattered. The sacrificial text of the Bluebirds broke free from the book and turned into sporadic light and dust. She used her gentle mana to completely unfold the book—it wasn’t a shield nor a weapon.

Nemo now knew what was written in it.

The phantom appeared around everyone, gradually became clear and then began to move. They were a bit vague, but they had an unquestionable sense of authenticity.

It was countless pages of memories. Since one of them had been replaced, the initial scene started abruptly.

The phantoms showed Bluebirds gathered in the forest. One of them slowly stepped out of the team with hesitation. It turned around and faced its former compatriots face-to-face. Then two Bluebirds stepped out of their respective ranks. One of them didn’t have white eyes, but it was starry-eyed.

The townspeople may not understand the language of the Bluebirds, but they could see what was happening as shown by the phantoms. The Bluebird that was starry-eyed spread its wings, causing a dazzling white light to flash. Part of its body began to distort painfully. Its dark beak shrank inwards towards its head and turned into snow-white teeth. The blue feathers fell off in pieces, and in their place, dark hair appeared on the gradually smooth head. The bare wings were twisted, and a palm and five fingers appeared at the top.

They let out hoarse shrieks and twisted on the land, eventually turning into humans.

The one who stepped out first seemed to be the leader. He had transformed into a tall, young human. He pulled out the prepared linen and hastily covered his naked body. After the cloth was taken away, the cover of the “holy scriptures” was exposed on the ground.

He bowed deeply to the Bluebird who performed the operation.

Commotion rose throughout the townspeople. Nemo understood the reason for their confusion. He had seen this young man. And it was the portrait of the same young man that hung on the wall of the mayor’s house. He was the very first mayor of Vincent Town.

The long-dead phantom spoke slowly. His voice was dry, and his tone was slow and strange.

“Lavinia,” he said foppishly, as if he was desperately trying to recall vocabulary. “Lavinia… Goodbye.”

The burning ashes of the pages of the book slowly fell, entering the conclusion of the scene, exposing the bone mound in the crack in front of the sleeping deformed tree bird.

“A human businessman came into contact with us today and everyone performed well.”

“Those kids learn very quickly.”

“We tricked a group of hunters. They really believed us!”

“We’re now registered by Willard! Our town has a name…”

“……”

The youth had now become a middle-aged person.

“I have written a lot of songs for you. Human songs also have merits. I have already written a full book. It’s a pity that I can’t hear your voice. If…”

“Isn’t this a beautiful cover? I know you like things that are red. I didn’t finish it when I left. It’s better now than what you saw at the beginning. I wrote your name on it… Do you mind?”

“It’s a pity that I can’t sing well. Otherwise, I can sing it to you.”

The middle-aged person gradually turned old.

“Lavinia, the weather is nice outside today.”

“Lavinia, can you dream?”

“Lavinia, I’m too old… I don’t want to change back. If you can wake up one day, can you recognize me?”

“……”

This time, he was so weak he couldn’t leave.

“…Everyone is doing well. Vincent Town is a happy place, and there’s nothing for me to worry about.”

This was the last page of the diary.

In the gradually dissipating ashes, the God of Vincent Town raised her head and began to sing.

It wasn’t the Bluebird’s language because Nemo failed to hear any special meaning, but he noticed that a lot of the melodies had obvious human characteristics mixed in. Despite its nonsensicalness, it was truly beautiful…

And very, very gentle.


Kinky Thoughts:

I’m crying. Their holy scripture; it’s a tale as old as time between two lovers!


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