Stray Ch84

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

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


Chapter 84: Cat and Goat

Nemo’s first reaction was to erect a shield. As soon as his thoughts moved, the translucent black shadow instantly covered the two of them.

It wasn’t dark enough outside that they couldn’t see their fingers if they reached out. The contours of the things in the dark were still clearly discernable. They wouldn’t miss a human-size figure, unless…

A round orange cat was trying to drill out of the gap in the garden fence. However, it was too fat and just stuck halfway through.

“Help me.” It repeated unskillfully in that terrible voice. “Help me.”

“…” Nemo was silent for a while before he removed the shadow shield. He pinched his arm a few times blankly, to make sure this wasn’t a ridiculous dream. “Ollie, did you hear that? I may be hallucinating again.”

“I heard it.” Oliver walked forward speechlessly and laboriously pulled the cat out, almost knocking down the fence with it. “This should be Ms. Nadine’s cat. It just…” He suspiciously raised the cat in the air and looked up at the cat’s round face. “Did it just speak?”

“Put me down.” The orange cat quickly proved its language skills.

Oliver shivered blankly, and instinctively let go of his hand. The cat slammed into the ground with all four of its feet, completely lacking the elegance unique to a cat. It calmly adjusted its posture and began to lick one of its front paws.

“Why did you say there’s still time?” Nemo thought he must be crazy as he asked… He was talking to a cat.

“Blight,” the cat said in an unpleasant voice, as if it was unable to pronounce long words. “I can provide… Blight spell. Do you want to help her?”

It stopped licking its paws and raised its head and looked at the two of them. “Do you want to help?”

“I don’t mind,” Nemo whispered. “Do you want to try it, Ollie?”

“Of course.” Oliver squatted down and petted the cat—or something—on the head. “Although we can’t guarantee success… Who are you?”

“Caramel,” the “cat” answered. “There is no other name.”

“Uh… Let me put it another way. What are you? Where does the blight spell come from—” Oliver was still asking when he was suddenly interrupted by the scene in front of him which caused Nemo to also take a step back.

The round cat’s pupils widened even larger, and almost the entire eye of the orange cat became pure black. Suddenly, two new eyes emerged from its face, which then flattened, and its body swelled rapidly like dough rising in an oven.

A huge arthropod lizard appeared in front of the two of them.

Unlike White II, who was half a person tall, this one’s carapace was faintly golden in the moonlight and its height was the same as Oliver’s. The intermediate demon in its original form blinked with four eyes and moved cautiously towards the stone road so as to stay away from the garden. When it began to restore its original shape, its claws touched a weed on the road, causing the original moist green grass to wither visibly to the naked eye.

“Demon,” it said. “You call us demons.”

The yellowish lizard flicked its tongue in Nemo’s direction and turned its face toward Oliver. “You’re very strong. You don’t hurt us. You named us,” it said, with difficulty. “You’re good.”

“Thank you?” Oliver said uncertainly. Listening to the lizard’s meaning, it seemed to know about White II, although he still couldn’t figure out what White II wanted…

And they still had so many other questions.

Adrian said that the arthropod lizards were very sensitive to magic. White II was so afraid of Nemo before, perhaps because it felt the aura of the superior demon. However, it still stuck close to him and even helped them along their journey to Caleb Village as they crossed the entire desert.

“You are waiting…” Oliver tentatively put his hand on the lizard’s bone shell and guessed, “…For someone to help her?”

Oliver thought that if White II had communicated with it and their purpose was the same, this kind of efficiency was too low. White II never spoke, and it was powerless to change their itinerary.

If the plan was to pick up powerful passersby, then awkwardly protect and follow them in the hopes that they would truly stop by Caleb Village so it could notify its companion in the village who could speak and find an opportunity to persuade them to help a dying witch; this may appear feasible at first glance, but the success rate for something like this was just too pitiful.

This didn’t even mention how dangerous it is for intermediate demons to appear in a human village. Even if the person it selected didn’t attack it, there was no reason for them to help the witch either. Oliver had already seen its poor eloquence. He didn’t think that a demon who could barely speak the lingua franca could understand Woodruff’s Theorem and know how to save Nadine.

They were just… waiting. Waiting for someone who may or may not ever appear.

“Yes.” The arthropod lizard’s answer was very clear. “There is nothing else I can do.”

The humid air seemed to make it uncomfortable. It shrank a few times unnaturally, then changed back to the appearance of an orange cat and began to lick the hair on its back frantically.

“What are we going to do?” Nemo learned from Oliver and patted the cat’s head, causing all its fur to explode instantly.

“You need a medium,” The orange cat seemed to be trying its best to curb its instinct to escape, which made its unpleasant voice hitch a bit. “You help her, I will give it.”

“Thank you,” it shivered and added, lowering its furry head. “Thank you.”

“We will do our best,” Nemo muttered, and took the opportunity to pet it again. The fat cat shook so much that it seemed as if its bones would fall apart. It struggled to stand up, then rushed into the garden again; this time, its fat body didn’t get stuck.

Nemo sighed and withdrew his hand awkwardly.

“Remember, Ollie, ‘they are on vacation since their king isn’t here’.” Nemo looked at the orange cat who had skillfully drilled into the house. “In terms of its powers, it’s likely to be—”

“The leader of that group of arthropod lizards,” Oliver finished Nemo’s sentence and lowered his head to lift the upper part of his indoor shoes. “But shouldn’t they and Nadine be natural enemies?”

However, they weren’t the only ones who were troubled by arthropod lizards.

Adrian Cross was leaning against the corridor, looking out the window. Although it was dark, most of the glass windows were stained with his shadow.

Too many things happened in one day. His common sense and reality were tearing away endlessly in his mind. He was indeed relieved for Oliver Ramon… or rather Oliver Lopez, but the former Chief Justice was still a little uneasy. It wasn’t an indecisive emotion but a vague premonition born from instinct.

Things couldn’t be that simple.

A superior demon born from the bottom of the abyss just happened to grow into a human? Adrian didn’t think that humans could fish out a complete “human” from the bottom of the sea. Besides, the biological appearance at the bottom of the Abyss was always more exaggerated than that at the bottom of the deep sea.

But he couldn’t find any known theory to explain it. Without solid evidence, he denied the other party with an “I think it’s impossible”, and Adrian asked himself if he couldn’t do this.

This made his head hurt even more.

And just when he was almost about to pinch the center between his eyebrows purple, a vague white shadow flashed by the window. Its speed was quite fast, but it wasn’t fast enough to be indistinguishable to the former knight commander. A fuller goat was running outside the village without a fixed leather rope tying luggage to it.

It was an intermediate demon with an unknown purpose. Adrian didn’t hesitate. He confirmed that there were enough arrows in his quiver and decisively chased after it.

Fifteen minutes later, he raised his arms, trying to suppress his urge to pinch his eyebrows again.

Adrian Cross was stepping on the gradually icy sand. White II stopped not far from the village, changed back to its original shape, and then began to dig sand intently. It wasn’t the only one who was doing it. A group of arthropod lizards bit at the ends of each other’s tails and created a familiar spine shape that appeared in front of him again. They spread out not far from White II, ploughing the sand like a groundhog and drilling into the depths of the desert.

White II’s speed was particularly fast. When Adrian began to wonder if it had penetrated the center of the earth, it returned to the surface again. Its tail was carefully wrapped around a small mass of wet sand. It shook the grains of sand on its body, rested in place for a few minutes, and then began to bury the hole it left behind.

Not every arthropod lizard was so lucky. Only two or three returned to the ground wrapped in sand ball. The successful tails pointed straight to the sky, while the losers curled their tails into balls, silently burying the traces of digging.

Adrian watched in silent wonder at the unknown actions of the arthropod lizards.

White II gathered the sand balls obtained by its companions, plowed a shallower pit, and threw the sand balls down one by one. When it got to the last one, a sinful hand grabbed the final sand ball.

Adrian frowned and squeezed it open, seeing a few small stones inside that were as heavy as metal. He pulled out a handkerchief, wrapped the suspicious small stone with it and put it in his pocket. Then he lowered his gaze. White II gave him a look full of grievances. As if knowing that the other party had no intention of returning it to it, it turned around with frustration and began to bury the sand again.

“Your interests are quite strange.” A frivolous voice came from behind. “Coming out in the middle of the night to watch demons playing with sand? Are the hobbies of the Knights of Judgement so unique?”

Adrian didn’t look back but sighed. “Your interest is also quite strange. Following your companions isn’t a commendable behavior.”

“Oh, I thought you were going on a date with a girl!” Jesse Dylan rubbed his hands. “If that were true, I would have to rudely interrupt, right?”

“Where’s Bagelmaurus?” Adrian didn’t have the energy to humor Jesse Dylan.

“It fell asleep and screamed, ‘don’t eat me’ in its dreams.” The blond young man shrugged. “Mr. Light may have left a serious psychological shadow on it.”

Adrian pondered for a moment, took out the handkerchief, and unfolded it again: “Don’t talk about that… Dylan, do you know what this thing is?”

No matter how unorthodox this person was, his strength and insight weren’t false.

“Seeds.” Jesse twisted one up and threw it up casually. “They are so old that they’re no different from dead ones.”

“Thank you.” The knight chief nodded. “I’ll go back first. You can enjoy slowly watching the night view.”

He had just shifted his attention for a bit, but the arthropod lizards had already run away. Even White II became a small dot in his field of vision that was running in the direction of the village. From the outline, it had changed back to its appearance of a fuller goat.

“What are you doing with these dead seeds?” Jesse asked suddenly.

“That demon is too purposeful. This thing may have something to do with its purpose,” Adrian replied quietly. “I am the consultant for this team, and I have an obligation to tell the leader this information.”

“Why be so bothersome? I think we will leave soon. The arthropod lizard doesn’t like humid climates, so it’s impossible for that demon to leave the desert with us.”

“Still.” The knight sighed. “I don’t think the captain will leave Caleb right now. Ms. Nadine’s affairs… He will intervene.”

“You believe that he will?”

“I believe in my own vision and ability to discern people.” Adrian’s voice became a little colder. “If Oliver Ramon chooses to ignore it at this time, I will reconsider my decision.”

If Mr. Ramon chose to run away in front of an opposing power, turning his back on the blood of the innocent, then his promise about Nemo could only be regarded as a declaration in the heat of passion or a cover-up for his love.

Adrian resolved to only trust him once.

“You see, this is why I wanted to join you.” Jesse’s tone was full of interest as he ignored Adrian’s cold voice. “You always do these kinds of stupid things that have no chance of success. This kind of excitement makes me very happy.”

“This is not a stupid thing.”

“Well, you certainly don’t think so, since you have done exactly the same thing.” Jesse stretched out an arm as if he was trying to hook it around Adrian’s shoulder, but it was quickly blocked. “You knew what those old men would do, but you still insist on exposing poor Cahill? He hadn’t done anything yet. Don’t be surprised. Do you think I believe the outside rumors… That an evil knight tempted his best friend to fall from grace for the sake of merit?”

“How they deal with it is their business.” Adrian accelerated his steps so that he could get rid of the person behind him. “What I do is my business. There’s no link between them.”

“Even if you know the ending?”

“I don’t know the ending,” the knight commander stopped. “For me, a miracle has happened once, then of course it can happen a second time.”

“You’re so innocent. It’s quite lovely. What if it doesn’t occur?”

“Then it didn’t happen,” Adrian shook his head. “You don’t understand at all, Mr. Dylan. The actions or possible outcomes of others are irrelevant. I think the same is true of Mr. Ramon. We just chose the path we firmly believed in.”

“That’s called being ‘stupid’.” Jesse raised his eyebrows.

“Think as you wish,” the knight commander replied nonchalantly, and began to move towards Caleb Village. “I don’t need your understanding.”

This time, Jesse didn’t keep up.

The blond young man was no longer throwing the seeds and catching them in his hands. He grabbed it and stared at Adrian Cross fading back.

Delicate green vines emerged from between his fingers and wrapped around them. They were slender and fragile but full of vitality. Jesse loosened his fist, revealing the gravel-like seed that was lying in his palm. The vines were rapidly retracting into it, like a frightened snail retracting into its shell.

“That’s stupidity,” he sighed. “Don’t you think so, Miss Miracle?”

Adrian Cross had returned to the inn. He wasn’t disappointed. Their leader seemed to have decided to intervene, but this also made his stomach hurt.

No one had packed their luggage. Oliver was holding onto his Rest in Peace with a serious expression on his face. The sword’s body was bright and clear as he was practicing his magic control. And the other…

“One more!” Ann threw out another magic array. Nemo nodded at a certain position of the array with a bitter face, causing it to suddenly collapse and disappear.

“Oh, Cross, have you calmed down?” The female warrior turned her head as she grabbed Nemo’s robe. “Regarding Nadine, these two boys thought of an idea which is somewhat feasible.”

“It’s very feasible,” Nemo corrected her in a low voice, sounding a little guilty. “But we have to practice…”

“And our demon seems to have remembered a lot of good things. I haven’t found a spell that he can’t solve yet.” She seemed to think of something and loosened Nemo’s robe a little stiffly. “But I can only make up to three arrays at the same time. What about you, Cross? Is there any way to give him some problems?”

“Maybe.” Adrian’s expression remained calm. “If I guessed correctly… You plan to start practicing node destruction, right, Mr. Light?”

“Yes.”

“You can see those roots.”

“Yes.”

“…Okay, but I have to explain a little in advance,” Adrian Cross said. “If you really intend to drill a loophole in Woodruff’s Theorem, as far as the current situation is concerned, you cannot succeed. I have seen similar attempts. Simulating death is a sophisticated operation.” The knight commander glanced at Oliver, who had already stopped nervously. “And you seem to plan to operate this with two people simultaneously.”

“But that’s the only way we can do it,” Nemo’s expression was blank. “After all, my powers are not homologous to Ms. Nadine’s, so it can’t be used as a medium.”

“I said, ‘As far as the current situation is concerned’.” Adrian spoke slowly. “But I don’t think this is too much of a problem for you and Mr. Ramon. I apologize in advance, but you may not have time to rest tonight.”

“It’s best for the two of you to practice how to cooperate from now on.”


The author has something to say:

How can they fall in love without synchronization when fighting side by side?


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