Stray Ch134

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

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


Chapter 134: Demon Cocoon

Ramon’s inn was still lively. After becoming a wanted criminal, Oliver was deprived of his identity as the owner. He didn’t know who in town took it over, but they didn’t convert it to another use and kept it running as it was.

Originally, the inn didn’t have a name, which saved the trouble of changing the signboard. Not to mention the cooks who usually came to help, not even the gardeners hired for the small garden had changed. If anything was different—the handsome and enthusiastic boss was buried in a public cemetery, next to his wife, who had been dead for many years. There was no young figure running back and forth in the inn, and no kind person playing the ukulele from time to time in the tavern in town.

That was it.

Fortunately, the new owner didn’t plan to deal with the giant fir in the backyard. Nemo shrank like a shadow on the top of the tree, looking at the huge demon cocoon not far away.

The dark red cocoon was ten meters high, like a small mountain peak. Countless strands of translucent fascia were wrapped around it, and the end was twisted into a meat rope that reached out in all directions. Their ends weren’t attached to the surface but penetrated the cracks in space suspended in the air and suddenly disappeared halfway. Ominous firelight was being projected through the small cracks.

Nemo could feel his own power pulsating in the cocoon. It was extremely unstable.

At the behest of the Preceptor Bishop, the Knights of Judgement never stopped persuading the civilians. People of all religions organized their own gatherings near the cocoon, trying to understand its true situation.

However, there was probably only one person in the world who knew the truth about it.

Nemo knew very well that that thing would blow up sooner or later, and it made no sense for people to evacuate or not. It should have been some confused intermediate demon that had swallowed the arm. There was only one reason why it hasn’t blown up yet. At the beginning, he fully believed that he was just an ordinary person, and he didn’t have any concept of the specific practice of “abandonment”, resulting in the loss of a piece of flesh that could only be regarded as a half-assed gift of power. It was both a miracle and a poison. The demons should have noticed this instinctively.

But one of them overcame the instinctive warning and swallowed it.

The instantaneous skyrocketing power caused it to form a cocoon immediately, and an extremely powerful superior demon was about to be born. Then it would go out of control and be quickly destroyed, but when it did blow up, dozens of nearby towns would not survive.

Nemo knew this very well, but he had no clue what to do. At present, he could only do his best to suppress the force and try to rely on it to understand the narrow starry sky in his mind. But the state of that thing was too dangerous, like a crumbling house of cards. He didn’t dare to push too hard, so he could only rack his brain to grasp the subtle boundaries.

For three days, there was no progress.

The miracle didn’t happen, and there was no light in the chaos. The world around him was moving rapidly, and only he stopped. Every minute and every second were like a jagged blade, constantly cutting his nerves. His progress shouldn’t be so slow. Oliver was likely to die while he was struggling for answers, and Nemo knew this.

First, next to the cocoon, then the edge of Roadside Town, and finally here. He watched himself quietly fall into despair, and finally extended his hand to the only relief—

The way to rescue Ollie did exist. It was literally in front of him.

Nemo hugged his knees, buried his face between them and said nothing. The backyard of the inn was extremely lively. The warm lights illuminated the night sky, but they couldn’t illuminate the top of the tree. People’s laughter and songs came from under it while the cocoon continued to be silent. Roadside Town had become livelier—the sounds seemed to come from another world.

When he was far away at the bottom of the Abyss, he firmly believed that these vague sounds could be pursued; he just stayed away from them. Those songs, those laughter, Oliver’s voice. As long as he kept moving forward, he would be able to reach them.

Nemo thought to himself how close he was now to them, but he had been completely separated from them.

And “his corpse”, the one who could restore all his memories, lay not far from him. Ulysses’ terrifying skull was still in place. Not far away lay a bunch of completely dried and decayed flowers. There was obvious damage to the skull. Nemo guessed that it was a bone fragment that had been cut away earlier. The half-person-sized skull just stared at him with empty eye sockets, which made the scene quite absurd.

Nemo knew that it had all the answers he wanted to know.

The solution to the current situation laid in the secrets of the starry sky and the long and dark memories. Yes, when he was still “normal”, he would experience various discomforts every time he approached here. He only thought it was a coincidence at the beginning, but now Nemo finally understood…

That was his subconscious resistance.

“Nemo Light” wasn’t a complete Demon King, but a brief illusion. This illusion rejected the entire memory and desired to exist in vain in order to escape the long darkness for a few short decades.

But since it was an illusion, “Nemo Light” was destined to disappear.

Nemo didn’t dare to look at it more. He sat a few steps away from the skull, accepting the ridicule of his own corpse. The incompetent and confused Demon King who wielded power was at a loss. His companions were running around for him, his hometown was about to be destroyed by his unintentional actions, and his lover… was suffering far away.

And here he was wasting time and didn’t successfully solve any problems. Every passing second screamed at his failure.

Restore your memory and master everything. His brain, tangled with anxiety and eagerness, was roaring. To rescue a human, one who has all the knowledge and memories can definitely do it.

Nemo gritted his teeth. He tasted a little blood in his mouth. The pain was real and deep, as he thought desperately. If he really restored all his memories, would he give a flash of mercy to the surface because of these pains? Or would he laugh at these weak feelings and bring real disaster to the surface?

Of course, nothing may happen when he restored his memory, or his recovery and awakening itself would bring a huge catastrophe that would lead to disasters. It may save everyone, but it was more likely to destroy everyone.

The power to save Oliver was within his reach.

Nemo raised his head and looked at the huge skull again.

He didn’t reach out his hand after all.

This gamble was too dangerous. He smiled weakly. Nemo Light of Roadside Town liked to escape, but this time he couldn’t escape before despair. They agreed never to leave each other behind. Oliver must still be alive, and he must firmly believe this.

Oliver won’t give up, so neither should he. He couldn’t deceive himself into ignoring risks, and he couldn’t give up on himself wishfully.

The lights went out and the voices disappeared. The black-haired young man sat motionless in the same place, blending with the deepening night. Keep thinking. Nemo held the staff tightly in his arms as he bit his lower lip unconsciously. He must continue to think.

Until a sound of flapping wings cut through the silence.

Something stopped on top of the huge skull. A black bird turned its head, looking at Nemo through the three pairs of eyes embedded in the bird’s beak, and then tilted its head at him. It jumped on the skull twice, with only one foot, made a rude retching sound, and spat out a cylindrical copper letter.

It was the spiny corpse bird. It must be news for Duran Virgil. Mr. Cross had specifically contacted the exorcist before, and Virgil’s news came much faster than they thought, as if they had been prepared.

Nemo hurriedly grabbed the letter in his hand. It shook slightly as he unfolded it.

[I’m very sorry. We can’t determine the specific location of the Withered Castle. It’s constantly moving.]

The first sentence made his heart drop. Nemo took a deep breath and continued reading.

[We can only be sure that it’s in Walden. I hope this can help you.]

[In addition, I got inside information about Mr. Ramon’s trial. Although he didn’t know the reason, he did pass the knight test of Knight’s Heart, but he wasn’t recorded on any knight roster. The Insular Court found that he was a Knight of Silence. At least at this point, there was nothing irregular in the process of the Insular Court. I suggest starting from those following points…]

Nemo stopped moving his eyes. Oliver may not have made an impression, but he remembered it very clearly. In Noer’s tavern, by the river, the joking canonization ceremony.

Nemo clenched the thin sheet of paper in his hand. What are the criteria for judging a knight’s oath?

A leader or king who was clearly defined by most cognitions, rituals, and trust in each other. The elements of the contract were indeed complete, but he didn’t know who he was at that time…

No, there was no excuse. He wasn’t completely ignorant. His cognition was just sleeping, not non-existent. The battle with Witherspoon was enough to prove this.

This wasn’t the time to question. The contract was established in theory, and was now obviously established as fact. Even if it was unintentional, in the end, he was the one who caused this. No wonder Oliver was able to blend into the Church of Silence smoothly. He thought the other party had used some method he didn’t know. Thinking about it this way, there was no need to specifically create a trading seal for the other party.

The contract between them had always existed.

Wait.

Nemo stopped breathing. If the contract between them had always existed, then Jesse Dylan’s words…

[You may not find the location of the Withered Castle, but you can find the star.]

He thought that those stars represented only demon worshippers, demon warlocks, and demons who had clearly used Abyssal magic and had a “demonic aura”, but if he could also detect Oliver, the reason could only be the knight’s oath. This wasn’t natural. Oliver himself should have had no idea about the contract, let alone taken the initiative to use its power. Strictly speaking, Oliver was still a pure human being, not even a demon worshipper.

He hadn’t used Abyssal magic, so he didn’t know about the contract. If this can be included in the “starry sky”…

Was it just because it had something to do with him? But it was impossible for him to have a contract with every demon, let alone those humans who were close to demons. If it was faith or something else… He could even feel the spider-dogs in the forest. He didn’t believe that they had religious beliefs.

[It’s not detection magic.]

If what he perceived wasn’t simply “demonic aura”, then what was it? Nemo looked at the cocoon again. The star belonging to the cocoon was dazzling. It was constantly flashing. It struggled under his careful control and continued to overflow with strength. Those powers drifted aimlessly next to his binding spell. Instead of attacking, they made his binding spell more stable.

No longer considering the “demonic aura”, leaving aside all established cognitions; after stripping away all the concepts, the scene was a bit untimely hilarious—there was a steady stream of drifting power, and Nemo only felt that he was shaving a sheep that kept growing wool.

Wrong.

Nemo frowned. He emptied his mind for the first time and used all his power on perception.

It wasn’t overflowing. Those forces were coming at him.

…It was returning power. After confirming the Demon King’s suppression of superior demons, he originally thought it was just an ordinary power overflow that was snatched by him, so he didn’t think too deeply about it. If this “star” was like this, what about others? Nemo quickly turned his attention to other creatures in the forest, especially the miniscule subordinates who had no intelligence and the demon worshippers who had not been infected by a demon’s flesh.

They were doing the same thing.

Although it was so weak that it was almost imperceptible, it required special exploration to discover, but they are indeed doing exactly the same thing. They were undoubtedly sending him a steady stream of power.

And they only had two things in common: they were all alive, and they could all use abyssal magic directly. Whether it was by virtue of their own talents or the contract they acquired.

It had nothing to do with race, strength, or ancestry. Only these two points were similar.

Nemo stood up slowly. A guess gradually took shape in his mind. It was crazy and absurd, but the last thing he lacked now was absurd realty, so everything made sense, whether it was Jesse Dylan’s ability or the Demon King’s unnatural power.

There was only verification left.

Nemo stepped on the branch and jumped quickly towards the demon cocoon. After his figure left, another figure jumped to where he originally was. Jesse Dylan patted Ulysses’ skull with a helpless expression on his face.

“I thought I could meet an old acquaintance,” he said regretfully, looking in the direction of Nemo’s departure. “…Alas, I really can’t guess what you’re thinking.”

As soon as his voice fell, there was a strong tremor on the ground. The sleeping cocoon suddenly struggled, and then simply burst—followed by a shrill howl.

At that moment, the deformed superior demon finally broke out of the cocoon.

“You really caught up. If you slow down for a few minutes, I’m afraid only the two of us can ‘survive’.”


The author has something to say:

Nemo won’t forcibly restore his memory to save Oliver_(:D”∠)_


Kinky Thoughts:

Everything is falling into place! I also now have a vague idea of what Jesse really is, but… I’ll discuss it in the discord server as not to potentially spoil the story.


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2 thoughts on “Stray Ch134

  1. I started reading this a little while ago and am enjoying it a lot, thanks for the frequent updates! The world building in this novel is really unique, I have my own theories about what the demon king is but I’ll keep them to myself for now~ It would be good if Nemo could save his knight now.

    Liked by 1 person

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