Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 65: The Dust Settles
Nemo sat firmly on the ground, allowing his robe to be covered with ashes and dust. The strong smell of blood and burnt flesh was still floating nearby. The dark shadow had slowly shrunk and melted in the sun. The edges of the space crack slowly squeezed against each other, gradually recovering under the constraints of the law and making an unpleasant clicking sound.
Oliver lowered his right hand and this time there was no terrible wound on his arm. The silver sword flickered with more dazzling light under the sun, then slowly turned into dust and drifted off in the wind. He looked at the metal dust in his palm in silence, sighed slightly, and moved his gaze to Lavinia on the other side of the crack.
The singing continued. The God of Vincent Town gradually dissipated in reality, and at the same time, the divine light faded in the shocked eyes of the townspeople. Their wholehearted faith had lost its direction. The God they believed in had stripped away their rigid dogma and fictional hatred. At that moment, they were weak, ordinary, and free.
People who always claimed to be loved by “God” were always hesitant in the face of that true love. They looked at the familiar scenery around them in confusion and subconsciously wanted to follow their leader. Tig Lorenzo stood silently in place, with a beautiful blue feather showing from one side of his sleeve.
In the endless emptiness and fear, the townspeople could no longer muster the strength to bear their arms again. The warm melody was like a strange visitor, with a happy smile on his face, of reunion after a long separation. He opened his arms to them calmly, unalert, and unprepared. They didn’t know this man, but he could insert a sharp blade straight into their beating hearts.
The icicles and ice walls that ran through countless buildings began to collapse.
Pasotolu crossed the ice wall and let out a loud cry. People turned their unaccustomed faces and listened blankly to the voice that had never appeared in their minds before.
The Bluebirds did not defy their young leader this time. They spread their wings in silence and flew away from the crowd. Even the hotblooded young Grace Bluebirds, who had lost faith in their God and envoy, could no longer attack in this gentle melody that seemed to sap all their fighting spirit.
The center of the former battlefield was suddenly emptied, and only a few figures remained.
Melody Delaney, one of those few remaining—the group’s original mission goal—was healed by Nemo’s Abyssal magic. She stood up staggeringly to the song at this moment. She didn’t look at her father, who was sitting dozens of steps away, or Fritz, who was quietly guarding her, nor her lover. She stood straight up, as if struggling with some invisible force, and then everything in the illusion reappeared again.
Her head and neck, her shoulders, her curly black hair, beautiful teeth, and blue eyes reappeared again. Most of Melody Delaney’s body was still a bird, but her head, neck, and shoulders had been restored to their human appearance. She looked like a beautiful enchantress from a mythological book.
There was no anger or sadness on her face. Her expression was closer to blankness. Those blue eyes were burning with terrible brilliance. Melody turned to the townspeople with difficulty and spread her wings.
“Look at me,” she said.
“You understand, don’t you? It’s okay. Don’t be afraid,” she repeated hoarsely. A pair of wings lost their feathers and turned into white arms. “…Don’t be afraid, okay?”
The Bluebird army had completely withdrawn from the battlefield. Pasotolu landed gently beside her. The tense atmosphere in the crowd gradually eased, and some people looked away, while others sat down dejectedly. Some began to embrace their families and sobbed in low voices. Some still stared at the familiar yet unfamiliar girl in front of them, who used to be the most beautiful girl in town. This time, there was no sword facing the daughter of the Delaney family.
She slowly put away her arms, bit her lips, and slowly buried her face in the thick blue plumage of her lover’s chest.
Since they met this girl in the wild, she would only cry quietly or sob in a low voice like her mother. At this moment, in the midst of countless gazes, she cried loudly without hesitation. The cry did not originate from sadness. It replaced the gradually weakening song of grievances but was full of relief.
It’s over, Nemo thought. This time it may really be over.
The cracks in the space were almost closed. The singing got weaker. Lavinia lowered her head and made a farewell gesture to the town that she saw for the first and last time.
Nemo struggled to get up and brushed off the dust on his body vigorously. He was about to open his mouth to greet Oliver when the confession slammed into his head and caused his throat to close up. While he was thinking about how to deal with this problem in the future, a blue belt of light wrapped around his waist.
The unnatural crack finally closed, and he and Oliver were pulled into the gap by the belt of light before it sealed shut. They were both pulled back to the side that belonged to the Bluebird’s holy land. The movement of the light belt gently put them on the ground.
To avoid an awkward confrontation with each other, Nemo quickly turned his attention to Lavinia. “You…”
Before he finished speaking, he knew the reason…
The luster on Lavinia’s feathers was fading, and her breathing became haggard. The song seemed to completely consume what little time she had left. She tried her best to open her eyes as she stared earnestly at the two humans in front of her.
“Thank you,” she said slowly. Her tone was relaxed and peaceful. “Mr. Dylan’s remuneration has been negotiated from the beginning, but you did not make any request… I don’t have much time, so make a wish. As long as I can grant it, it’ll be done.”
Nemo quickly translated these words to Oliver while he stared solemnly at the tip of his dirty boots.
“Do you have anything you want?” Oliver asked softly.
“No,” Nemo replied almost immediately. “There’s retribution to pay for selling the bones of someone’s family.”
“I can give you my strength.” Lavinia didn’t seem surprised to hear the two’s response. “Although there’s not much left, it may be able to help.”
“This is really unnecessary.” Nemo quickly waved his hand. “We… Don’t seem to be very short of it. You don’t have to bear that kind of pain.” He didn’t particularly want to know his future.
The dying Bluebird let out a soft chuckle. “Well then,” she closed her eyes, “if you don’t have a wish, I can only prepare a gift without your approval.”
The forged God solemnly gathered her winged arms while her wings behind her waist hung low, wrapping the bones belonging to the “human” under the tree. It was like she was embracing it and about to enter into her upcoming dream.
“May you… Keep moving forward and never get lost.”
She did not bid them farewell.
Blue flames began to ignite from the trunk of the tree. The giant Bluebird that was burning remained motionless, without the slightest painful struggle. The center of the flame was so bright that the outline of the tree bird was quickly overwhelmed by brilliance. Although they were inside a mountain, tiny flakes of snow flickered in the air. It wasn’t ashes but the gradually fading debris of light.
The flame grew larger and rose higher, but there was no sense of burning aggression. In just a few seconds, it reflected the dark space and made it seem as if it was day. Blue feathers swirled above the skeleton as if they had regained life. After it was extinguished, the tree bird and the human skeleton completely disappeared, leaving only a snow-white powder in their original place.
The “God” and her only believer left peacefully.
Something was lying quietly on top of the thick dust. Nemo took the lead in approaching it. He reached out his hand before he drew it back with uncertainty. This was a gift from Lavinia to Oliver.
A bone sword, with a simple shape and a clean line, was half buried in the delicate dust. Its blade was snow-white and dense, making it look very sharp. The hilt of the sword was slightly rough, without any decoration, so one couldn’t possibly call it “gorgeous”.
Lavinia had left behind a piece of her bone.
The two of them were silent for a moment. No one was in the mood to mind the subtle and awkward atmosphere between the two of them. Oliver took a few steps forward cautiously. Instead of grabbing the sword, he bowed and made a solemn salute. He then cautiously stretched out his hand, causing the bone sword to float out of the dust and gently roll into the palm of his hand.
It was slightly shorter than the silver sword from the church. Oliver waved it gently a few times before slowly putting it into the scabbard that originally belonged to the silver sword.
“Thank you very much,” he said clearly in the dim silence.
“…What do we do now?” Lavinia had died in front of them, but Nemo unexpectedly didn’t feel much sadness. At this time, the air in the holy land was clean and crisp, as if it had been purified. All this was more like the last note of a good song than a parting. She wasn’t sad, and he couldn’t feel pity for her without her authorization.
“Well, let’s go out and see what’s going on with the Bluebirds. Fortunately, you’re here, so at least we can communicate with them. Then we have to find Ann and Mr. Cross.” Oliver tried to relax his tone, but he failed miserably.
“Oh.” Nemo responded somewhat sheepishly. “Yes… Yes, good idea.”
Oliver looked at him helplessly. The latter’s gaze struggled for a while before finally ending up falling on the rough hilt of his bone sword. “Ollie, I think it needs a name. It deserves a name.”
Although he knew that Nemo was trying to change the subject, Oliver didn’t intend to point this out. “Yes, I think so too.”
“That mission… I mean, the tomb exploration mission that Horizon participated in. What was the name of that holy sword again…?” Nemo tried to come up with another topic but got awkwardly stuck.
“I don’t know.” Oliver responded lightly. With Lavinia’s departure, the floating insect incantations in the corridor of the holy land had disappeared. They skillfully followed the path they had traversed before to the exit. “But I have an idea of what I want to name this one.”
“…Rest in Peace,” Oliver said. “I want to call it ‘Rest in Peace’.”
Meanwhile, in Vincent Town…
Ann Savage saw that her companions were pulled into the crack and let go of the parrot discontentedly. The incident happened so quickly that she didn’t even have time to respond. The gray parrot let out a squawk and swooped towards the female warrior angrily, only to be met by the tip of her spear.
Unable to vent, it could only tear at the sheepskin bag behind the fuller goat with its claws. The latter paid no mind as it was too busy gnawing on grass by a crooked fence that probably belonged to someone’s garden.
What Ann was worried about at this moment wasn’t Bagelmaurus’ mental health, nor Oliver and Nemo; Lavinia shouldn’t treat them badly. Rather, something more dangerous was approaching at this very moment. Jesse Dylan was carrying the unconscious knight commander who was covered in blood on his back. He was marching towards them depressingly. His steps were weak, and his pretty face was extremely pale.
“What did you do to him?” Ann didn’t bother hiding her vigilance.
“How rude. We destroyed the Nightmare Praise, or rather the stone that activated it. You do realize that that’s a living nightmare in itself! It can’t just be destroyed by stepping on it with your shoes and rubbing it a few times with the soles of your boots,” Jesse Dylan cried with grief. “Anyways, when dear Adri wakes up, he can tell you himself. Then you can make up for the damage you have done to my heart—”
By their side, the people of Vincent Town were slowly dispersing. Most of the buildings were damaged by icicles, and the original warm town looked desolated. Fortunately, Nemo’s Abyssal healing magic worked well. At least there were only the ruins of buildings but no casualties or wounded.
The female warrior looked around, trying to ignore the beautiful man who was still talking in front of her.
“…Anyway,” she didn’t know how long he had been babbling for until Dylan finally began to make his closing statement, “It’s better for us to find Mr. Ramon soon. You see, as far as the result is concerned…”
“Vincent Town is considered ‘destroyed’.” He shrugged. “Believe me, it won’t go back to the way it was before.”
The author has something to say:
Oliver finally has a serious weapon—
And Nemo finally became the only member of the team without weapons.
Nemo: … (Picks up the grey parrot)
Who needs weapons when you’ve got the Bagelmaurus laser? Ann might abandon her spear…