Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 154: Three Portraits
The chestnut cake tasted really good.
Until Nemo returned to his room, there was still a delicate sweetness in his mouth. Hayden didn’t keep up immediately. Like most students, he chose to take advantage of the free afternoon after the ceremony to wander around. A special faculty member would lead the new students on a free tour to get better acquainted with the overly large campus. Usually, this was the first time that students would meet their peers after admission.
The two briefly discussed for a while. Nemo’s situation was relatively special. He had attracted enough attention, and it was extremely easy in an informal social setting to attract unnecessary trouble. After all, the gathering included teachers who were masters of their class, so it was a bad idea to use spells before figuring out their specific situation.
The Demon King, who had never been one to socialize, happily decided to return to the dorm first and hand over the task of investigation to his lover.
The strange atmosphere that made people nervous greatly dissipated after entering his room again. The air here was clean and pure. Before entering the college, he completely sealed off his and the gray parrot’s aura. At this moment, the gray parrot exuded a very faint aura behind the bed curtains, almost as if it was truly a parrot.
Nemo closed the door, breathed a sigh of relief, and his ears began to redden slowly.
Ever since he knew the truth about his identity, out of some unknown feeling, he always wanted to behave more calmly and solemnly in front of Oliver. Unfortunately, although it was done successfully on the surface, it was the exact opposite of what he wanted. Nemo rubbed his ears. Yes, he finally learned what “love” was. Even not long ago, he was convinced that after so much experience, he would no longer be impressed by such trivial matters that felt like pricks of a needle.
It turned out that he was dead wrong.
Nemo turned to his desk and poured himself a glass of water, finally washing down the sweet taste that was in his mouth that made his heart beat faster. It was easy to lose his cool when he was alone, but it was also relatively faster to calm down.
Ann came exceptionally punctual.
“You found out that I’m here?” Nemo looked at the person’s round hat and apron, raising his eyebrows. He could feel that his ears were still burning slightly, but they were certainly not so red that they should be able to escape the female warrior’s too keen detection. “That outfit is very… Uh…”
“Shut up. Don’t force it. As for how I know… Where else can you go besides here?” Ann rolled her eyes. She didn’t make any over-the-top disguises. It was just a rare use of light makeup, and she got herself a pair of simple-style glasses.
The female warrior used some means to hide the ugly scar on her right eyebrow, and the simple makeup suppressed her heroic nature. She deliberately adjusted her posture, collapsing her shoulders and slightly bending her back. She really didn’t look like a warrior anymore from a glance. The regular long sleeves covered her muscles, and the cuffs were tied up. The long black dress without skirt support was simple and neat. Ann Savage disguised herself perfectly as a janitor.
“Don’t talk about me, look at yourself… Ugh, this waist is so tight,” Ann said sternly, pulling out a bulging cloth bag from the lower part of her cart. “Oliver went snooping around, right? You made a wise decision. In your present condition, in a place like Alban…”
She sneered and didn’t say much more and just threw the cloth bag to Nemo. “This is what we discussed before. Do you want my help?”
“No,” Nemo replied. “I can do it myself.”
“Alright.” Ann casually glanced at the interior decoration with a calm expression. “Then I’ll go first. Staying too long will cause suspicion. I’m usually responsible for cleaning the northwest corner of the campus. The library and information room are near there, so it won’t be suspicious if you go there.”
“Thanks for your hard work.” Nemo weighed the bag in his hand.
Ann pushed up her glasses skillfully, as if she had worn them for several years, and put on a numb expression again before leaving the room while dragging her cart.
It seemed that Ann’s side was also going well. Nemo picked up the bag and opened the thick bed curtains—
Then his entire body fell silent.
The soft and comfortable sheets were full of biscuit crumbs and peeled kernels. The gray parrot spread its wings and lay on its back in the center of the bed, squinting at Nemo. The latter almost threw a cleansing spell on impulse. After a few seconds of silence, Nemo took a deep breath and finally accepted his fate. He picked up a soft brush from the bed and began to clean it up by himself.
“Aha,” the gray parrot hummed in a low voice, and the feeling of power and prestige came back. “You really don’t dare use abyssal magic!”
“It’s called laying low. Besides, it’s not me, it’s us. You’re not allowed to make any moves, Bagelmaurus.” Nemo scowled as he swept the last piece of crumb into the small dustpan.
“Bah!” the gray parrot gave a loud burp, then spat. “Honestly, have you been brainwashed by humans? I… I was actually afraid of you. I really…”
“I have wanted to ask for a while now.” Nemo picked up the cloth bag, grabbed a book, and got into the bed. He kept his voice low, forcing back the anger of seeing his bed ruined. “What’s the matter with you recently?”
“I know that some races in the abyss will mate, and mating behavior determines the status. I also know that quite a few demons like to tease humans, but you! Didn’t you voluntarily allow yourself to be held down by that Ramon—”
Nemo didn’t hesitate to reach out and wrangle the bird’s neck.
“That has nothing to do with you,” he said solemnly. “If what you mean is this, then you can shut up.”
The gray parrot’s neck was trembling slightly when it was grabbed. Its golden bird’s eyes swept over secretly from time to time, but it continued to hum as a way to express its dissatisfaction.
“…But this is also good,” Nemo said. He untied the mouth of the cloth bag with his other hand. “I won’t feel too bad about what I’m about to do next.”
The gray parrot stared warily at the bottles and jars that were taken out of the cloth bag.
“Shut up,” Nemo gritted his teeth and squeezed out the words between his teeth. “Keep your voice down. If my roommate happens to come back—” Looking at Hayden’s situation, Nemo didn’t think the other party could last long in a social situation.
“I’m a superior demon! If I’m discovered, then so be it. It’s not a big deal to just kill a human who didn’t have eyes and bury him in the yard.” Bagelmaurus struggled mentally and began to peck at Nemo’s hand. “Anyways, it’s just some fragile…”
“How about I bury you?” Nemo threatened inexplicably as he unscrewed one of the bottles. However, a strange smell wasn’t emitted from it. It was better to say there was no smell coming from the bottle at all.
“Hey, what’s this?” The parrot asked as it trembled, kicking its leg as it softened its tone. “You… Are you really angry?”
“Dye.” Nemo stretched the attached small brush into the mouth of the bottle, and the pocket array on the brush handle worked smoothly. “The best dye. The cleaning ladies here can get a lot of it. After all, they have to repair all kinds of damage. Even if Godwin can’t touch Clementine’s students, everyone knows that Tumbleweed carries around a gray parrot, so we have to be cautious.”
“Liar!” the gray parrot shivered and screamed, glancing at the brush with its eyes. “This is definitely some kind of potion. If this was purely to disguise me, why didn’t you guys do it earlier—”
“The dye on the outside smells. It will fade and blend together. Magic tends to leave traces.” Nemo shrugged as he held the brush. “Look, didn’t I come back to prepare as soon as possible?”
The initiator of this tragedy patted the dust off her long skirt and opened the door in front of her. Ann knocked on the small bronze ball next to the door with her bronze medal, and the entire space was suddenly filled with light from magic lamps.
Countless portraits were embedded on the walls. Various trophies, armor, and even weapons were displayed at the center. The Hall of Fame at Clementine Academy held items of great people who had studied there. Some were donated, while others were relics taken by the academy.
Few people usually came here, and the cleaning women only needed to clean it once a week. Although the place was very large, the cleaning wasn’t complicated; just a few tricky areas, which was very suitable for newcomers who had just entered the job. Afraid to leave too strong traces of a cleaning array, Ann carefully wiped the dust on the glass. Compared to killing enemies on the battlefield, this amount of work was nothing.
She cleaned the space thoroughly, but her movements were getting slower and lighter.
“Ann, Clementine Academy is a great place.” A young man with a warm smile in her memory patted her on the head. “It’s much more interesting than here.”
“Can I go when I grow up? …Same as you, brother?”
“…Sorry, I’m afraid not.”
“I’m afraid I won’t be able to make it clear to you until you’re a little older,” the young man sighed. “Don’t ask now. Good girl. Come, let me tell you some other stories, okay?”
“I also want to study at Clementine in the future.” She did have this wish.
“Have I ever told you about Lopez? Uh, it’s not the very mean Lopez, but the other one, my classmate. Do you remember Flint?”
“That kid stole dye from the cleaning lady last month and dyed the professor’s guinea pig purple. As a result, he was punished and had to sweep the Hall of Fame for three months. Manually sweeping, with no magic allowed of any kind.”
“…Brother, is that guinea pig okay?”
“It’s still alive and kicking. In fact, many girls also started playing with that dye. After all, the dye effect was so good it’s quite scary. If not for the professor’s high magic power, the guinea pig would probably be purple for the rest of its life.”
“I want to see… The purple guinea pig…” She fell asleep quickly, and the conversation in her memory stopped abruptly.
Ann straightened her back and looked at the big portrait in front of her. When Flint Lopez was cleaning the Hall of Fame himself, he shouldn’t have thought that his portrait would appear here one day.
Unfortunately, the portrait didn’t depict Flint Lopez’s face, but the widely known appearance of the leader of the Tin Soldiers Mercenary Regiment, the Sword of Ruinous Fire, and the weird mask.
On the left of the portrait was his brother, Emanuel Lopez, who died prematurely. This Lopez depiction showed his face, and he was dressed as a Knight of Judgement. Emanuel was handsome and looked similar to her captain, but his temperament was much melancholier. Ann curled her lips. If she guessed correctly, Flint Lopez probably had a very similar appearance.
Emanuel was that “very mean Lopez”. A former knight commander of the Knights of Judgement, Godwin’s father. Ann took a look at those dim green eyes for a while, then turned her gaze to the right side of Flint’s portrait and froze for a few seconds.
Naturally, the right side of Flint’s portrait wasn’t empty.
Above was a young man, wearing an elegant robe. His long brown hair was tied up neatly. His appearance was soft, and the smile on his face was like a spring breeze; only this was all made of paint piled up and framed on a canvas.
His staff was in a glass case not far away, divided into the category of relics. There was a delicate metal plaque beside the portrait and staff, engraved with gorgeous text, which summarized the life of the deceased in a few simple sentences. It was a pity that most of the text was buried by curved decorative strokes, making it almost impossible to read. Only the large line at the very top of the metal plate was still clear…
[Abbas Alastair, Deputy Commander of the Tin Soldier Mercenary Regiment.]
Yes, she should have expected this. Ann breathed out tremblingly.
…She hadn’t seen his face for a long time.
The female warrior retracted her gaze as if she had been burned by flames and said nothing. She quickly cleaned the rest of the area and left the empty memorial hall. Without the light from the magic lamps, the thick curtains perfectly blocked the sunlight, and the portraits on the wall were immersed in darkness again.
The author has something to say:
The gray parrot is finally not a gray parrot! It turned into a colorful parrot—!
Tumbleweed is really expensive and chaotic√ It’s not a simple relationship between members. _(:””√)_
After all, only the knight commander is a straightforward and simple person! (Knight Commander: ……)
Oh… This is going to complicate things when Ann finds out the truth about Nemo…