Stray Ch102

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

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


Chapter 102: Imprisonment

The afternoon sun was warm and dazzling.

Virgil retracted his hand. He wasn’t wearing a mask, and his plain and hearty smile disappeared without a trace in that moment. The tall man lowered his head and looked coldly at what was struggling on the ground…

It was the demon warlock they ran into when they first entered the church. He had basically lost his human appearance and was closer to a large ball of tar. The deformation was so severe that only his human-like head was retained, while other parts were completely distorted into dark and viscous oil.

At that moment, he was dying, and his shrill screams were bound in a small space covered by a mute array.

“Exorcist!” he roared. His moist body was melting and oozing out blood that had a fishy smell. “How dare you… How can you use a corrosion spell! You filthy traitor!”

“Because it’s very easy to use,” Virgil’s tone was mixed with a sneer. “It’s also suitable for torture.”

“So you’re…!”

“Yes, but I’m not the same garbage as you who prey on children, ‘Pied Piper*’. Even human hunters know that hunting cubs is an unwise choice.”

*Based off the legend describing a Piper dressed in multicolored (“pied”) clothing, who was a rat catcher hire by the town to lure away rats with his magic pipe. When the citizens refuse to pay for this service, he retaliates by using his instrument’s magical power to lure away their children.

“You…” The demon warlock who fell to the ground couldn’t speak anymore. His deformed body had turned into pus and blood. The remaining head was like ice soaked in hot water. His mouth began to melt and deform, so he could only open his bloodshot eyes in vain.

Soon, the head disappeared completely, leaving only a dirty and greasy pool of blood behind.

Virgil slowly opened the vial and sprinkled some white powder on the blood. With a shrill hissing sound, the only trace that was left by the demon warlock disappeared from the world. He glanced at the position of the sun and briefly estimated the time. Shortly after noon, the inquiry went smoother than he thought.

Next, he just needed to find some small fries to confirm the information. Virgil put on his mask again and stroked the rough wall of the church.

“Colestoro,” he murmured. “Wait a bit longer for me, alright?”

In the third room of the library.

There was a small tea table and two chairs in the center of the room. Nemo pulled one of them away in silence and then pressed all his weight on it. He gripped the armrest and stared at the hanging lights on the walls around the room. Since they were located underground, this narrow room had no windows. In addition to the hanging lights, the roof had a concave circular structure, and its edges cast soft, warm light.

It wasn’t dim there, but Nemo only felt thick black shadows that submerged his knees and froze his calves.

“Bagelmaurus.” Nemo, who had been silent for a long time, finally spoke. His voice was low, as if he was talking to himself. “Since you have already run away before, why do you want to check on me? Is it because you’re unsure about my race?”

The grey parrot hesitated.

If it was like the past, it would spout its conjecture mercilessly, but now Nemo Light’s wasn’t in the right state. His tone had a strong negative intonation, as if he was aware of something close to an answer, and he didn’t like the sound of that answer.

Bagelmaurus racked its brain.

“Because of the aura,” it finally chose to speak truthfully while remaining cautious, unsure whether Nemo was testing it in bad taste. “You… Your aura doesn’t seem to have experience of battle… So what you said at Nadine’s side…” Doesn’t hold water, it answered the rest in its heart, daring not to say it aloud.

“So you think I might be lying?” A wry smile appeared on Nemo’s expressionless face. “Well, I can understand why you ran away.”

“But I didn’t lie,” he added with difficulty, as he stared at the wooden grain on the tea table.

Nemo scanned the books of the Abyssal Church. He thought that such a huge amount of information would take at least a few days to sort out. Unexpectedly, it was like a fine stone thrown into the lake; the collection of books in the three rooms did not add much burden to his brain. If the author of those books wasn’t spouting nonsense, then there could only be two answers about his “race”.

Either he was a humanoid wanderer who had never been recorded and ran contrary to all known laws of nature. There were records of all types of powerful demons in the Abyss, but only the wanderers at the bottom were still unknown. Maybe he just sealed his memory on his own so that he could climb out of the Abyss and look at the surface. This possibly wasn’t zero, but it was miraculously slim. It was like hoping to find creatures that exactly matched humans but came from the deepest depths of an unreachable trench.

Or maybe he was a creature they called the “Demon King” of this world.

He desperately looked for exceptions and counterexamples in those documents, trying to overturn this conjecture about the “Demon King”. He did unearth more details, and those details, without exception, proved the rationality of that absurd conjecture.

Nemo inserted his fingers into his black hair and held his elbows to the edge of the tea table. He had never really expected a miracle, but now he needed it badly for the very first time.

It was okay if he wasn’t human. It was okay if it was a superior demon that no one had ever seen before. Any kind of monster will do. In this way, his behavior could be chaotic, aimless, or even completely out of curiosity.

But if… If it’s the “Demon King”…

The arrival of Bagelmaurus, Oliver’s abnormally overwhelming power. Was this all truly “coincidental”? What if all their encounters had been arranged in advance?

Nemo stretched out his hand and grabbed the fabric of his robe tightly around his chest. He suddenly felt difficulty breathing. His body dutifully imitated humans, and his head became dizzy from all the blood that was rushing into his brain.

Assuming the “Demon King” was really “one” creature that continuously evolved and had existed for tens of thousands of years, he was still “Nemo Light” currently, but once his hidden memories surged up, would he still be “himself”?

He had never been able to truly fear death and could give up everything in front of him casually. If it was all because he subconsciously knew that he wouldn’t really die, ultimately, he would be “indifferent” to everything…

Nemo opened his hands and slapped himself fiercely, creating a loud “pop” sound. The gray parrot, who was engrossed in observing him, was so frightened that all its feathers exploded.

“It’s all assumptions—” Nemo said to himself sternly, forcing his mind to cut off such thoughts. “There’s no evidence.”

“Did you get what you wanted?” A sultry female voice sounded in the direction of the entrance of the room. Nemo raised his head abruptly. His contemplation had occupied all his attention so that he didn’t even notice the arrival of the Bishop Hagen Ingram of the Abyssal Church.

“Don’t be surprised.” Hagen pulled away a chair opposite Nemo, straightened her dress, and sat down neatly. “I just confirmed with Lord Telaranea that you’re not this servant.”

She didn’t come alone. Two strangely dressed knights stood silently on both sides of the small tea table. They were dressed in dark matte armor. He didn’t know what material their cloak was made out of, but there was thin black smoke rolling from the irregular ends.

The Bishop of the Abyss made a gesture to the two knights, who then took off the exquisite black veil.

Nemo blinked.

Her head was indeed multiple times larger than the average person’s, but her appearance was beautiful… If there was only one face on it. About five beautiful faces were squeezed together on her head, even occupying the space of her scalp. Five pairs of eyes stared at Nemo at the same time. If it had been at a normal time, Nemo’s tension level would have surely doubled.

However, currently, Nemo had completely lost his nervousness. He just stared straight at the other party with a wooden face.

“I’m not mistaken. You’re really an interesting person.” Hagen raised her hand, and a book that hadn’t had time to climb up the wall bumped into her palm. Tender white fingers with bright red nails pinched the flesh of the book. “These books have been… Who are you?”

Bagelmaurus quietly hid behind Nemo.

“Which one are you referring to?”

“If you can open these records related to the Demon King, you are most likely a demon warlock or higher.” She tilted her head. This could be seen as a flirtatious move, but given her appearance, it only exuded terror. “And your deformation is too small and your movement while holding the staff is too jerky. That’s not an issue that a powerful demon warlock will have. Lord Bagelmaurus’ reaction to seeing you was also very interesting. It’s not surprise, but fear.”

In the church that worships the Demon King, Nemo smiled bitterly in his heart as clouds of wistful thoughts rolled through his head. He hoped that the Demon King had some unique mark or characteristic so that he and the Abyssal Church could give each other a satisfying answer. Out of some strange state of mind, Nemo found he could never find his nervous state again. He even thought the current situation was quite humorous.

At this moment, Nemo only had one exact thought left in his mind—she had noticed him and he had to deal with it. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have a way to explain this to Mr. Virgil.

It may be that Nemo’s silence was misunderstood. Hagen paused for a moment and then said again, “Since you didn’t enter your name, can I presume… you’re not here to cooperate with us?”

“I’m just here to find some information,” Nemo responded cautiously. “I don’t want to attract extra attention.”

“Then you really chose a bad time.” Hagen put on her veil again and let out a sigh. “Can we talk?”

“Please,” Nemo replied quickly, while carefully observing the opponent’s reaction. Hagen should know that he’s a superior demon by now, but her attitude had not softened. Rather, she seemed even more at ease.

“I have received many weird-tempered adults before,” she said politely. “To be honest, I don’t want to interfere with your actions. Even if you don’t pay attention to us, you’re a noble messenger from the Abyss. However, the current situation is special… You may not know it yet, but Aurorae is coming, and you don’t want to meet him.”

Nemo rummaged through the name in his mind for a moment, and the first things that came out were “Superior Demon Slayer” and “The Guardian of Order”.

“He will only appear at your new moon sacrifice,” Nemo said slowly, “but that’s still two weeks away.”

“But, I don’t know why… He’s already moving in this direction. If our information is correct, he’ll arrive here in two days.”

“So you plan to sacrifice in advance?”

“To be precise, it’s not that ‘Aurorae will only appear during the new moon sacrifice’, but ‘because he will appear that there is a new moon sacrifice’. Now you know the situation.”

She crossed her fingers and placed it on the small tea table. “Would you like to help us repel him, dear Lord?”

“What if I refuse?” An idea suddenly crossed Nemo’s mind as he replied in a deep voice, carefully showing a little momentum.

“Then please leave at once.”

“Unfortunately, I don’t plan to obey a demon warlock.”

“Then there’s no other way.” Hagen stood up and took two steps back and saluted. “Pardon our rudeness.”

A complex magic array instantly appeared on the originally empty stone floor. The magic array was specifically used to restrain superior demons, something that was freshly acquired in today’s harvest as Nemo recognized it instantly. It could make any superior demon incapacitated for a short period of time. Nemo quietly moved his finger from an angle hidden from Hagen’s view. It obviously didn’t work on him.

But he pretended and didn’t move.

The two knights stood beside him as two pale bone swords crossed his chest in a cross shape. The small white array floated along with the bone sword.

“Erosion spell,” Hagen kindly explained. “Please don’t move. I think you know what this is… After all, it’s a once-in-three-hundred-year event. Even if you’re a distinguished guest, we don’t want you to cause any trouble.”

The gray parrot shivered and stood on Nemo’s shoulder consciously. Hagen glanced at it, and a few chuckles leaked from behind the black veil.

“I didn’t expect you to learn surface religion… You don’t have to pretend to be so polite,” Nemo said quietly, as he tugged at the corners of his mouth. “If I remember correctly, whenever Aurorae arrives, you will sacrifice a piece of flesh of a superior demon to the Demon King.”

“You’re going too far,” she replied, with a smile. “A demon warlock also has the flesh of a superior demon in his body, so naturally we won’t attack you. We’ve just wronged you temporarily. Please don’t mind.”

“Bring our guests into the dungeon,” she ordered. “Give him the best room.”


The author has something to say:

In fact, I know that at the beginning, Ollie and Nemo have similar personalities. In these two arcs, they are about to start to differentiate slowly. _(:D”∠)_

People grow up after going through tribulations (?)!

————————

Bishop of the Abyss: Lock up this friend.

Nemo: Ummmmmm


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