Stray Ch66

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

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


Chapter 66: The Insider

“How’s the task going?”

“Which one? The one to gather the bones of the Bluebirds or the one that Nemo Light chose.”

“You know which one I’m talking about. Don’t talk nonsense.”

“How much ambition do you expect people from a small town to have? I don’t think Light will join you—oh sorry, sorry, join us. There’s something wrong with Light’s head, and his teammates are crazy enough to leave no doubt. Personally, I think they’re pretty good that way.”

“It’s been a long time since a demon warlock with an unknown power has appeared. If he’s really just an ordinary person, you can handle him. Dylan, you’ve never failed.”

The sun had set. Jesse Dylan was standing alone in the ruins of Vincent Town. This should’ve been the living room of some family. The exquisite vase shattered to pieces under his feet. The flowers and fruits crumbled to dust. Ants had already begun gathering on the broken peels. A small religious portrait fell not far away, and the frame that was decorated with gold powder was covered with sludge. The woman in the painting had her eyes closed tightly and the corners of her mouth were plastered with a compassionate smile. This was probably the god in the imagination of the townspeople of Vincent Town.

The young blond man casually kicked the fragments of the vase with the tips of his boots while the crystal glowed softly in the night.

“Who said I failed?” Jesse replied with a smile.

“Your task is to bring Nemo Light back. It’s okay to use force. However, I’m not seeing any signs of success, my deputy leader.” The other party’s tone was laced with sarcasm.

“Omen.” Jesse’s smile grew brighter. “Do you want to talk to me about ‘omens’? …Maybe you’re misunderstanding this. My mission isn’t to ‘bring Nemo Light back’.” He pushed back a strand of his long hair behind his ears. “And I don’t like being referred to as ‘yours*’.”

*Clarity: referring to the previous “my deputy leader”.

“…What do you mean?”

“Do you really think there is something wrong with my head? If it was just a demon warlock, I wouldn’t do such a bothersome thing. If I’m guessing correctly, you should be on the tenth floor of the elf tomb right now. Am I right, Mr. Leader?”

“Why are you divining this… Ugh—!” A scream came from the communication crystal. Even though it was distorted a bit under the influence of magic, the pain and panic remained undiminished. “……Motherfucker…… You have long……”

“Yes, you’ll all die there. Don’t bother struggling,” Jesse said happily. “For a sea scorpion team, this is a less annoying ending.”

“…Why did you…”

“I’m just your hired thug, not your guide. I said I don’t like doing bothersome things, and you are part of this bothersome thing. Alas, did you know? You have to sincerely prepare the ingredients before cooking. We could be regarded as having a good time together, but now it’s time to clean up the unwanted scraps.”

“…Dylan… I will never let this go…”

“Your voice is too low. I can’t hear it,” Jesse said sweetly. “By the way, I hope you don’t forget that you chose the task of the tomb yourself. This was the fate you chose.”  

There was another miserable wail that was desperate and agonizing, unlike a voice that a human could make. The communication crystal struggled, then flickered a few times before it finally darkened.

“Demon warlock?” Jesse shook his head before clenching his fingers, turning the crystal into powder between them. He blew on his palms and muttered in a low voice, “This title… Is a bit too much for Mr. Demon King.”  

In the tomb of the high elves, on the tenth floor underground.

A heavily armed warrior leaned down. His armor made a loud rubbing sound that made the white tin emblem on his chest reflect delicate light in the faint lighting in the tomb. The scene in front of him was extremely miserable. Human limbs with bite marks were scattered all over the ground, and the smell of blood in the air was so thick that it made people nauseous. Internal organs bathed the walls, exuding the unique smell of fresh viscera. The warrior almost stepped on a rolling eyeball with one of his feet. He couldn’t tell the number of people that made up all these warm remains.

The most complete corpse was leaning against the blood-stained black and red wall with eyes wide open. Anger was mixed with horror, and it completely solidified on half of the corpse’s face that was still intact. His hands were gnawed, leaving only bones left, and the communication crystal that had long been extinguished fell nearby. Except for the bumps and cracks, there were even scratches and toothmarks on the crystal.

“Heart-eating rats. I’m afraid it’s the kind that has lived for a long time.” The solider picked up the corpse and examined it carefully. He even took it close and sniffed it without frowning. “It’s a team of sea scorpion rank from the Black Chapter. Their combat effectiveness isn’t bad. Commander, let the mage open the way here.”

“Or we can go another way.” The young man known as the “commander” replied. His voice low and gentle. “According to the current structure of the tomb, the High Elves would not raise this kind of thing near the room where the relics are kept. Once a tomb with this kind of structure ages, the aura of the holy sword will overflow. That’s the sword that has cut off two generations of Demon Kings… If the heart-eating rats are scared away, they won’t be able to defend themselves.”

“So we…?”

“Don’t go this way yet,” the young man ordered decisively. His face was illuminated by magic stone lamps on both sides of the tomb.

Godwin Lopez, the captain of the Horizon Mercenary Group, was a very handsome young man. He fits all the people’s imaginations of what a hero should look like. Even in this dimly lit underground, his blond hair still had a clean and warm luster. Godwin’s eyes were emerald, giving him a firm and sharp gaze.

His gaze swept across the decimated bodies on the ground and stayed for a few seconds on the black badge with a sea scorpion imprinted on it that was covered in blood and pieces of flesh.

Horizon had once tried to recruit Ann Savage, but the female warrior politely declined and never met the captain of Horizon. If she did, when she first met the two most wanted criminals in Roadside Town, she would discover a certain fact…

Godwin Lopez bears an almost identical look to Oliver Ramon, especially those emerald eyes that were practically the same.

The owner of the other pair of emerald eyes, a snake-rank Black Chapter, was now surrounded by Bluebirds at the entrance to the holy land, advertising his newly acquired weapon.

Before Nemo could figure out how to explain the sword in Oliver’s hand, a figure rushed out. Melody Delaney didn’t stay in Vincent Town. At this moment, most of her body had turned back into a human with a pair of bird claws that were exposed under her skirt. She rushed up unsteadily and gave Nemo a big hug.

“Thank you,” she murmured. “Thank you very much.”

Like the townspeople of Vincent Town, the eyes of the Bluebirds weren’t so friendly. They turned their eyes away one after another, but at least they didn’t directly attack the excited black-haired girl. Pasotalo stood behind Pasototu, his eyes staring around the hilt of Oliver’s bone sword.

“This… Uh…” Nemo didn’t know how to explain it to him.

“No need to explain,” the leader of the Bluebird said solemnly. “That is our most powerful priest, and I can recognize her aura. There was no resentment in it, which meant she gave it to you voluntarily. On behalf of my tribe, I thank you. You gave her a chance to sleep peacefully. Even if we are temporarily unable to accept the group of… People in Vincent Town, Lavinia has saved the entire tribe, which is an indisputable fact.”

The girl finally let go of Nemo, who felt relieved. “Then Vincent Town…?”

“I don’t know,” Pasototu spoke up. Melody retreated to his side. “What happened in the past will not disappear, but… How can we put it? Not everyone is guilty. At least now we have the possibility of talking. Melody is still practicing. She has mastered a little of her transformation skills.” He lowered his head and gently rubbed his lover’s cheek with his beak. “She will be a great translator.”

They needed time, and fortunately, they still have that time.

“This is for you.” Melody took out the book that he was very familiar with. “I… I have nothing else to give. You should be a little interested in it since you took it in the first place.”

It was the fairy tale book, but it looked thoroughly cleaned. Although it was still a little dirty, at least it wouldn’t make people uncomfortable anymore. The bloodstains were gone, and all the uneven water stains on the paper had disappeared. The broken corners of the pages were carefully smoothed out, making it look like a completely ordinary book.

“Isn’t this something very important to you…” Nemo subconsciously picked it up. Truthfully, he didn’t care too much about the book, but he felt it was inappropriate to say it now.

“This is the song I wrote for Pasototu.” Melody smiled. “Most of them are… A little sad, but now we don’t need them anymore. He once tried to sing it, but when he did, we felt like we were being watched… Now we know where the source came from.”

She let out a soft sigh and looked in the direction of the holy land.

“It’s not that important. It’s just a small memorabilia. Music score has mana, so it might be able to help you. Don’t refuse, okay?”

Nemo took the fairytale book. He hadn’t had any intention of refusing since she took the words out of his mouth.

“Do you two need to spend the night here?” Pasotalo inquired, though his tone was unenthusiastic.

“No, thank you. If we can, we hope to get back to Vincent Town as soon as possible…” Nemo suddenly realized something and frowned. “Wait, why is Lavinia a ‘priest’ but Jesse Dylan is a ‘God’s envoy’?”

“The ‘priest’ prays to God, while the ‘envoy’ conveys God’s will,” the leader of the Bluebird was silent for a moment, before he slowly explained. “Clairvoyance is a terrible skill, and very few people have that talent. Legends have it that Lavinia sacrificed most of her clairvoyance to obtain such a prophecy. And your friend… He understands our sacrificial language and has a very terrible clairvoyant talent. According to our customs, we must recognize him.”

Nemo frowned and translated this passage to Oliver, who also fell into deep contemplation. Neither of them was in the mood to correct the wrong statement of “friend”. Due to Lavinia’s prophecy being overturned, Jesse Dylan’s joke at the beginning didn’t seem like much of a joke anymore…

“I told those little birds that you guys are destined to end this fucking situation.” That was what he said at the time, but none of them took it seriously.

“…I think,” Nemo swallowed. The feeling of being manipulated made him shudder. “We’d better get rid of him quickly.”

Unfortunately, reality always told them otherwise. Just like when they first brought them here, the Bluebirds grabbed them and transported them deep into the night and sent them back to a quieter town than before. Ann was not difficult to find. A small flicker of lightning sparked over a half-ruined home.

Adrian Cross was lying on the sofa that had collapsed, sleeping uneasily. His wounds seemed to have been simply treated. Ann lit an oil lamp and had her arms crossed, frowning tightly. The only good news was that Jesse Dylan was not at the scene.

“We…”

“I have something to say,” the female warrior took the lead. “Oliver, do you want to consider disbanding the team?”


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