Stray Ch108

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

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


Chapter 108: Rescue and Kill

The library was on the ground floor, and on the next floor was the dungeon where the sacrifices were held. The room where Nemo was imprisoned was directly below the dungeon. Nemo tried to continue to dive down, but his perception began to be distorted by the cracks in the law. It was like a hazy black mist, or the air tumbling desperately at a high temperature. What he discovered began to distort and eventually disappeared into the darkness.

There was only a rough outline of the mountain nightmare leopard and a very weak life response.

Virgil walked in front to lead the way, followed by Oliver, disguised as the Knight of Silence, and Nemo. Things went smoothly along the way as they didn’t encounter anyone else. Occasionally they ran into a few wandering demon worshipers, but after seeing the “Knight of Silence” among them, they would lower their heads and speed up their steps and quickly leave.

However, Virgil, who usually joked and was talkative, remained silent the entire time. In the gradually dark passage, he lit a weird white torch, but he didn’t look back at Nemo and the Knight of Silence once as he walked with his head buried in his hands.

Virgil’s momentum changed. Nemo recalled it for a long time before he found a similar feeling in his memory. It was an old aura that was very inconsistent with Duran Virgil’s appearance.

Quiet and gloomy.

He took them to the end of a narrow dead end, bit his fingertips, and smeared a weird and complicated blood array on the stone wall. With the completion of the array, the bloodstains were sucked into the stone bricks. After the last touch of red disappeared, the wall slid away silently, and a strong smell of staleness blew on their faces, as if they were sniffing mold.

White firelight illuminated the things behind the wall; a circular space about twenty square meters with rough stone steps that didn’t have guardrails hanging across. Unknown reddish-brown water stains flowed on the stone steps, creating a slippery and precarious scene.

Virgil pursed his lips and nodded at Nemo with a complicated gaze that scraped across his face, as if to determine whether Nemo still wanted to move forward. Nemo answered him with action as he followed him without hesitation.

The stone wall closed automatically behind them, and the entire space became darker in an instant. Virgil threw his torch into the middle of the space. It stretched out several slender feet, like a ghost spider, grasping the side of the spiral stone steps and slowly descending, matching their speed.

Nemo didn’t dare communicate with Oliver secretly. Their footsteps echoed harshly in the silence, and every breath was like a hurricane, and every drop of water was like an explosion. The downward stone steps seemed endless, as if they led into the Abyss. How unnecessary, he thought. They could use a flying array. He didn’t even mind drawing one on everyone’s soles. It would be much quicker to jump directly into the hole in the middle than to advance using the steps.

As a demon warlock, Virgil must have thought of this, yet he continued walking down the steps as if it was the only possibility. Their client was turning everything into a rather odd ritual. What exactly was he planning?

“How much longer?” Nemo hesitated for a moment before he spoke. His voice echoed repeatedly in the narrow space.

“Half an hour.”

“We’ve been walking for a while now.” Nemo cleared his throat. “There’s no teleportation array in this church. Are you sure we can escape smoothly?” Although this wasn’t a problem for him, who could split space, he had to make sure Virgil wasn’t lying from the start.

“You and your captain are lovers, right?” Virgil didn’t answer his question, but instead threw back the question at him.

This question was so straightforward and unexpected that it made Oliver’s steps a bit heavier and caused the armor to make a loud clatter.

“Yes,” Nemo responded clearly, “but this has nothing to do with the current situation.”

“As I said, I will send you out no matter what,” Virgil said. There was no disdain or disgust in his tone; quite the opposite, it sounded sincere. “Trust me, I’ll be able to do it.”

Nemo doubted this. In terms of magic strength, Virgil’s wasn’t strong. As a demon warlock, he was about a grade away from Hagen. He himself should be the type who wins from skills and experience, but he doesn’t have the strength to wield spatial magic.

However, Nemo could only remain silent for now.

Just when Nemo wondered if they would really walk into the Abyss like this, Virgil stopped. The spiral stone steps eventually ended and plunged into a reddish-brown sewage. Virgil stepped out first. The water wasn’t deep, just past his calves.

Nemo struggled inwardly for a few seconds as he held back the urge to cast a spell before he stepped directly into the sewage. The sticky and cold sewage went straight into his boots, causing him to feel an unpleasant and greasy touch that wrapped around his toes. Thankfully, it didn’t have a strong smell; the rotten smell was unique, like something after a while of aging.

The torchlight stretched out from his slender feet and staggered in front of them. After advancing for about ten minutes, Virgil took out a thick chain and directly hit the first platform they encountered.

“We may need to fight next, so I’ll go first.” Virgil climbed up the iron cable skillfully, half kneeling on the high platform. “…The opponent is not strong, and you also have a Knight of Silence on your side, so there shouldn’t be a problem.”

“Isn’t it unwise to split up?” Nemo immediately asked.

“I’ll leave the torch with you. When I’m done there, it will take you to me,” Virgil sighed. “There’s a strong guard at the entrance and I’m very familiar with it. You don’t need to fight Mr. Light. It’s dangerous for you to be by my side.”

“Okay.” Nemo swallowed silently. “Then you go first.”

Virgil gave him a somewhat difficult smile and left the high platform, quickly disappearing into the darkness.

“He probably wants to hide his strength,” Oliver finally got the chance to speak. He took off his helmet and took a deep breath. “God, the field of vision of this thing is too narrow. I almost tripped over myself at least eight times.”

“Don’t be nervous. I’ll follow you.” Nemo breathed a sigh of relief. He ignored the chain and jumped directly onto the platform. He then took off his boots and began dumping all the sewage out of them. “It’s a good thing to be separated. At least we can talk now.”

“Yes. Speaking of which, I thought he planned to steal research materials on erosion spells.” Oliver jumped onto the high platform with the same ease, and the torch climbed up tremblingly at the same time. “…But now it seems that he’s not lying.”

“I care too,” Nemo murmured. “Mr. Virgil didn’t seem to be lying just now. He really doesn’t have any intention of dragging me down.”

“What do you think is in the catacombs?” Oliver’s emerald eyes gleamed under the light of the torch.

“According to the records of the Abyssal Church, the catacomb has two floors.” Nemo didn’t intend to hide the knowledge he had gained from him. “We should be on the upper level right now, which is theoretically used to store the bones of believers. There’ll be a miasma in a bit. Do you need my help?”

“I can hold on… But Nemo…” Oliver switched to holding his helmet in his left hand and drew out his Rest in Peace; it was inserted into the rough-fine hilt of the Knight of Silence armor. At first glance, there was nothing wrong with it. “Can you feel the presence of other superior demons? There seems to be a very powerful one sleeping here.”

Good question. Nemo scratched his nose. “Yes.”

“Can you feel where it is?”

“…Don’t you want to ask if the body is still a human that’s possessed by its flesh?”

“Is this a question that needs to be confirmed?” Oliver’s voice suddenly became a bit dry. “Shouldn’t it be…”

“Its body is half rotten. The Church of Silence is supported by its bones. This is the part I can feel,” Nemo also replied dryly. “Furthermore, its body is in the lower layer of the catacombs, which is recorded in the Abyssal Church literature.”

It took Oliver a full three minutes to digest this fact. The expression on his face changed for a while before finally fixating on blankness.

“Nemo…”

He knows. Nemo took a sharp inhale. He thought he knew what Ollie wanted to ask—how did he detect the demon, or how he was able to pry into the literature of the Abyssal Church. If Ollie really wanted to know the truthful answer, he might be able to tell him now…

“Should we increase the price?” Oliver said nervously. “Although Mr. Virgil is a good person, this situation is too much.”

“…” Nemo was silent for a few seconds. He wanted to take advantage of the situation to explain his conjecture, but now the atmosphere was lost. “Probably,” he replied blankly. “Don’t you have any other feelings?”

“Not really,” Oliver said abruptly, shaking his head and frowning. “No, I do have a question.”

It’s coming. It’s coming. Nemo mustered up his courage once again…

“Won’t it hurt?”

“…Huh?” Nemo didn’t react for a moment.

“It’s a bit unnatural.” Oliver weighed the helmet in his hand. “I got some information here. The Abyssal Church has been trying to awaken this demon so that it can become an important part of their military, but according to you, they built their important main church directly on its bones… Then I can only imagine what would happen once they awaken this demon.”

“It’s quite rude to build a house on someone else’s half-rotten body, right? It sounds like it’ll be pretty painful, so will it really cooperate with them when it awakens?”

“Yes, but I think I can explain.” Nemo tried hard to find the words in his head. “When they found it, its body was sleeping.”

“Then what?”

“They held a grand sacrifice and got ‘acquiescence’,” Nemo sighed. “Well, unilaterally determined ‘acquiescence’. After all, they decided that this demon was full of hatred for the surface, and it was already experiencing enough pain that it wouldn’t care if there was only a little more.”

“……”

“It was forcibly dragged up by the ‘Gatekeepers’ more than 700 years ago. Do you remember Pandorater from the Black Chapter’s test, Ollie?”

“Of course.”

“At that time, there should be a group of people studying the weaponization of superior demons.” During the test, the desperate plea for help from the baby demon came to his mind, and it felt as if a piece of lead had suddenly dropped into his stomach. “This should be… the product of a failed experiment. It barely managed to save its life, but…”

It was also relatively weak and docile. There was only one key difference between it and Pandorater. This mountain nightmare leopard was already an adult.

The Gatekeepers forcibly pulled part of its body to the surface, but they were unable to completely destroy its will, and they didn’t know the method of sending a superior demon back, so they had to destroy it. In other words, it unilaterally identified it for ‘elimination’. The vitality of the superior demon had always been strong, and the part that was pulled out of the surface didn’t have its heart, so it survived and could only be counted as “alive” for the time being.

Those who must die in despair survive.

“In short, no matter how weak it is, much of its body was exposed outside… Just like the original Pandorater, its magic will be stronger than most of the superior demons on the surface.” Nemo didn’t want to discuss this topic. “You should know about Aurorae. It’s normal for Aurorae to keep an eye on it.”

“They decided that it would take revenge,” Oliver thought for a moment, “so the Abyssal Church thinks it will ‘assuredly’ cooperate with them. But something’s still wrong. Even if they manage to stop Aurorae—”

Hagen said so not long ago.

Is the new moon sacrifice really just a simple killing to “pay tribute to the Demon King”?

It was too unnatural. More than 700 years have passed. Even if Nemo didn’t know the specifics at the beginning, in any case, a sleeping mountain nightmare leopard couldn’t last so long on its own. There had to be an external factor forcing it to hang on, in order to wait for its revenge after it “wakes up”.

Judging from Duran Virgil’s performance, he wasn’t the type who was looking forward to chaos in the world.

An exorcist who was very good at erosion spells…

“Ollie,” Nemo said softly as he looked at the soft white light from the torch. He realized for the first time that it looked dazzling. “I think… I know what Mr. Virgil’s purpose is, and he really won’t ‘take’ anything.”

“…He probably went to kill it.”


The author has something to say:

Nemo, who was very bad at climbing a city wall at the beginning, can now directly fly up.

————————

Gloomy catacombs.

Virgil: Let’s split up.

Nemo: … (If this is a horror story, we’re doomed.)


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