Stray Ch93

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

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


Chapter 93: The Weakly Team’s Name

Nadine didn’t open her eyes when she first woke up. She could feel the soft bed under her body. The friction of the fabric that was several times stronger than before caused her traces of pain. Her throat was dry and numb, and there was still the salty smell of blood on her tongue. A smell mixed with boiled peaches, sun-dried sheets, fresh juice from plant cuts, and unknown flower fragrances rushed through her nostrils.

She was still alive.

Nadine turned her eyes and finally managed to open them. The sunlight made her burst into tears. Lisa was sitting in a chair by the bed and looked at her with burning eyes.

“Nadine,” the innkeeper’s voice changed from its previous loudness to an extremely soft tone. “Don’t worry. You’re at my place… Do you want water?”

Nadine nodded. She tried to raise her hand and was startled by the sight of the young skin on it. The joy of surviving had never hit her heart so hard. She trembled as she painted the Eastern Witch’s magic array in the air… Nothing happened. There were no traces of the touch of being bound by an invisible root system left.

She was relieved.

Nadine half sat up, holding the cup of water handed over by Lisa. She swallowed the warm honey water in small sips and tasted the saltiness from her tears.

“Mr. Ramon, where are they?” After trying to calm her breath, she finally managed to squeeze out her first sentence.

“They left this morning. I wrapped a lot of thank you gifts for them.” Lisa wiped her face with a handkerchief soaked in hot water. Her eyes were still a little swollen. “Horizon also left early this morning. They told Howard that ‘the witch to be exterminated no longer exists’. That bastard thought he had to pay in full, so he almost peed his pants.”

Nadine smiled with difficulty. “I am indeed no longer a witch.”

“I don’t know much about these things,” Lisa’s voice was hoarse from crying, “but when they spoke, everyone thought Ms. Nadine… Uh, you, who has passed away.”

Nadine was still staring at her skinny hands. She slowly raised her right hand, touched her cheek, and touched her lips. Her lips were no longer shriveled like dried up fruit peels, and her teeth were healthy and strong.

She hadn’t felt this way for too long. Although she was still weak, everything was full of hope and vitality.

“…That’s right. There really won’t be a memory witch here any longer.” Nadine’s tone was slow. She wasn’t used to the overly clear scenery in front of her, and her head no longer felt groggy. “It’s time for us to bury ‘her’.”

“What are you going to do in the future?” Lisa picked up the bowl of soft-boiled sugar peaches. She carefully blew the heat from the bowl, scooped up a spoonful of pulp, and delivered it to Nadine’s mouth. “Come, have something to eat.”

“Continue to be a doctor.” Nadine chewed carefully. She was not used to a mouth full of teeth, so she almost bit her tongue. After swallowing the pulp, she smiled at her best friend, “…But I can only be an ordinary doctor who collects money for dispensing medicine.”

“…It feels really good to be cured,” she said softly, rubbing the wrinkle-free skin on the back of her hand.

“What about the Howard family?”

“I’ll charge them a little more in the future.” Nadine smiled and shook her head. She thought it was a pity that she couldn’t thank Lopez’s son, who had already left Caleb Village. Nadine sighed and turned her face in the direction of her friend. “I have to thank you, Li—”

Nadine suddenly saw the flowers in the vase at the head of the bed. Their sudden appearance startled Nadine, and her words got stuck in her throat.

“This.” Lisa obviously noticed the focus of her friend’s gaze. “This is the earthsea orchid you planted in the backyard. They suddenly bloomed… Really, they are blooming everywhere at this moment. Everyone believes that this was caused by the death of “Ms. Nadine”, but we all know that it’s not like that.”

“Why…?”

“I don’t know, and I’m not interested.” Lisa picked up the flower, causing the liquid golden petals to hang down beside the stamen. She compared the flower to her friend’s face. “I can’t explain miracles… You have to get better soon. These definitely match you.”

“I will.” Nadine stared at the earthsea orchid, and her eyes swelled again. However, for someone who had completely lost her powers, this wouldn’t bring much useful information. Nadine lowered her shoulders and decided to think of something else for the time being. “…Lisa?”

“Hm?”

“Have you seen my cat?”

In the desert.

“Are you sure about this?” Nemo said to the orange cat that was sitting on the back of White II who was still disguised as a fuller goat and was standing motionlessly in the desert. The real fuller goat was wheezing forward with several more packs of preserved fruit that Lisa had given them on its back. “Won’t you go and say goodbye to her?”

“She’s not alone anymore, so there’s no need,” the orange cat said in the same unpleasant voice as always. “I have to take care of my group.”

“Generally speaking, it may be that it’s afraid that it won’t be able to leave,” Ann said. “Just like Debby, didn’t she pretend to be chatting with you this morning without a care in the world? As a result, when you left, I saw her cry like a slime.”

The cat exploded at her. Nemo cautiously stopped touching the cat’s hand.

“You can go and see her occasionally,” Oliver said solemnly to the orange cat. “She will be happy.”

“I will consider it. Thank you.” The orange cat raised its head. “I will send you here. There is a transit station in front of you.”

It jumped off the back of the sheep neatly and returned to its original shape. The section of the bone spur that it had gnawed off was very dazzling. Nemo scratched his head and took out the bone from his pocket.

“Don’t move. I’ll connect it for you—”

“No need.” The yellowish arthropod lizard flicked its tongue. “A gift for you.”

“Uh, I understand your intention, but I can’t use it…”

“No. Your power purity is too high, so you may be targeted.” The huge arthropod lizard said this in a firm tone as it blinked with its four eyes. “You can use it as a medium to conceal your attributes.”

“…Then thank you.”

Nemo was stunned for a few seconds before thanking it. The leader of the arthropod lizard took the opportunity to run a few steps away and slipped out of his reach. Seeing this, White II hurriedly followed, and also changed back to its appearance of a lizard. It hesitated in place for a while, took two steps, and arched towards Oliver’s hand.

The restored White II was much shorter than Caramel. After rubbing Oliver, it grabbed the tail of the leader of its tribe and formed a forward formation unique to the arthropod lizard. However, it would always looked back from time to time and hissed at its leader, who was advancing in front of it.

“I kind of understand that cat’s mood.” Oliver looked a little lost. “I don’t like saying goodbye either.”

“We can also come and see them when we have time,” Nemo stuffed the bone spur back into his pocket and rubbed the back of Oliver’s head. “Besides, we’ll have plenty of time in the future.”

The branch of the Mercenary Guild was closer than they thought. Although it was small in scale, it was directly opposite of the teleportation array, so it was easy to find.

While Nemo’s own mood couldn’t be any lower, at this moment, there was a temporary member who seemed to be soaring.

“Mr. Ramon—” Jesse’s sweet smile successfully gave the other members a thick layer of goosebumps. “Mr. Ramon, look, now you know the identity of Mr. Light… and you’ve even became lovers! My prophecy was correct. I also didn’t cause any trouble either, so now it’s time to fulfill your promise!”

“I won’t break my promise,” Oliver said very bitterly. His face was full of regret. His hand on the reception desk trembled, as if his whole being was resisting this fact. “Hello… We want, um, to go through a transfer procedure.”

“Who’s the transfer procedure for?” The tone of the young man at the reception desk was polite and smooth and didn’t seem affected at all by the state of the captain of the Black Chapter that was in front of him.

“Me,” Jesse said beamingly as he threw the black badge with the sea scorpion onto the wooden platform. “Come now, dear sir.”

The young receptionist glanced at the sea scorpion on the black seal, and his smile froze for a second, but he managed to keep it together. The receptionist picked up the black badge with his white-gloved hand and carefully placed it on the magic array.

“Your… Original team…”

“Hmm?” Jesse raised his eyebrows.

“They… were all killed in the mission of the elf tomb some time ago. How sad. Then, according to the rules, all the money in their team’s account will go to you, Mr. Dylan,” the receptionist said cautiously. “Do you want to go through the formalities now?”

“Wait a bit for me to join the team first.” Jesse shrugged indifferently, not seeming to be affected by the news about his previous team. “We weren’t that close.”

When he said this, Nemo suddenly felt a prick in his heart while Ann frowned. She walked to Oliver’s side and lowered her voice. “That guy’s a prophet. Isn’t he like some kind of ‘black widow’ who… finds a team that’s about to die, then joins them to collect their inheritance? There have been such types in the Black Chapter before—”

“…We need to have money first,” Oliver responded in an equally low voice. “Speaking of this, Ann… Even though we didn’t earn much from the last task, can Nemo and I get some money…”

Nemo, who was standing beside him, immediately pricked up his ears.

“I’m sorry, captain. At least one thousand has to be saved for the team’s funds to withstand unexpected situations, and the deposit for the first task was only that much. The title of the Edwards estate has not been cleared yet and we’ve spent a lot afterwards… In short, we still have to save, so there’s no personal income to speak of.”

“But I just saw you stuffing money to Mr. Cross,” Oliver solemnly stated.

“That was for his application, and Mr. Cross claims to have some serious business to do.”

“Me too…” Nemo whispered.

“What kind of business? Buying gifts for your boyfriend? Young man, it’s not good to go into too much debt.”

“…Please treat it as if I didn’t say anything.” Nemo briefly thought about the possibility of doing odd jobs for a few seconds while Oliver showed the same thoughtful expression a few steps away.

“Mr. Ramon?” The receptionist raised his voice. “Please come over.”

“Sign? Wait a minute, I’ll—” Oliver raised his head.

“No.” The young receptionist shook his head. “After Mr. Dylan joined, your team is now five people. At present, it has met the minimum standard for a medium-sized team, so you will need an official name.”

Adrian Cross had disappeared with the money, and except for the happy new member, the other three fell into silence.

“…To be honest, I have never considered this,” Oliver said dryly. “Do you have any ideas?”

“No,” Nemo replied flatly. “I thought we wouldn’t be able to get this far—”

Within seconds, Ann was determined to ignore the identity of the black-haired young man. She slapped him on the back of the head with a loud pop. “Hey, pay attention to what you’re saying!”

“Do you want me to help?” Jesse leaned closer with a grin on his face and was pushed away by the expressionless Nemo.

“No.” Oliver smoothly rejected it. “Uh… Ann, can you provide any reference?”

“Well, the famous ones are… ‘Tin Soldiers’ and ‘Horizon’. We also met the ‘Steel Wolves’. It’s basically along these lines, so just make one up. I’ve been here before. Let me think… How about ‘Shadow Snake’, or ‘Burning Rune’…”

“…A little more ordinary?”

“No. The name is the face of the team, and everyone wants their team to sound strong.” Ann glanced at Nemo. “…Forget it, it doesn’t matter if we don’t have something with too much emphasis.”

“How about,” Nemo took an uneasy step back, “we draw lots or just throw something…”

“In case you hit a bald pedestrian,” Jesse shrewdly kept his distance, “is this team going to be called the ‘Bald’. If this is how you want to persuade me to leave, I have to say that I’m a little shaken.”

“……”

“I don’t really want a name that is too threatening… Considering our situation, the lower the sense of existence, the better.” Oliver scratched his head hard. “Let me think about it, uh—”

A small commotion sounded at the door.

A huge tumbleweed slammed into the door and blocked the entrance tightly. The staff at the door cursed and blasted it away with a fierce magic array. It seemed that this kind of thing was a common occurrence.

“How about this?” Oliver pointed to the mass outside the door. “Tumbleweed.”

“…If you look at it from the perspective of ‘although it’s still alive, it looks like it’s dead’, I think it’s pretty appropriate,” Nemo added solemnly.

“I have no issue,” Jesse straightforwardly said. “’Where it rolls is where it goes’ seems to be a very suitable line for this team at the moment.”

Then his voice became smaller under Oliver’s deep glare.

“Since everyone has no opinion, let’s just do this.” Oliver shook his head. “I don’t think Mr. Cross cares about this.”

He picked up the pen and casually filled in the name of the harmless team that would become the “most disastrous team” in the future. “Tumbleweed”. After filling out the form, he thought to himself, ‘Good. This looks pretty safe.’

The only Tumbleweed member who was missing during the naming ceremony was staring at a task window and pulling out his wallet.

“I know it’s not much,” Adrian sighed, “so I don’t have any special requirements.”

“I just need any information on Jesse Dylan.”


The author has something to say:

People: “The Tin Soldiers are here—!”

People: “Here comes Horizon—!”

People: “The Steel Wolf is coming—!”

People: “The Snake Shadows are here—!”

People: “Tumbleweed is coming… Errrrrrrrr, common!”

They already lost their momentum at the starting line (X


Kinky Thoughts:

God Nemo and Oliver are so cute. Oliver begging Mommy Ann for some money to buy his new boyfriend gifts, while Nemo is thinking of a side hustle to do the same.


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