Stray Ch165

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

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


Chapter 165: Wheel of Calamity

Aurorae?

Nemo stood up in shock and widened his eyes at the empty corridor in front of him.

Talbott Vance was the legendary superior demon slayer, and it sounds like his time was running out. This was completely beyond Nemo’s imagination. He thought Vance was just a collaborator with Telarenea. Originally, he was surprised by the vague subordinate atmosphere between the two of them. If Vance was Aurorae, this bizarre situation was easy to explain.

The conversation in the room continued.

“It’s not about persistence,” Vance— or rather superior demon Aurorae, answered the question nonchalantly. “Thank you for your gift, Telaranea.”

“Let’s be practical.” The Sage of the Abyss wasn’t half polite as she could have been. “Those little guys in Horizon aren’t very useful at all. They haven’t caught anyone yet.”

“I won’t interfere in human affairs.”

“But this matter has nothing to do with you.” Telaranea snapped her fingers good-naturedly. A cleaning spell brushed the weird metal machinery, cleaning up the liquid leaving not a single drop left. “About Tumbleweed, I found something very interesting… Oliver Ramon, the captain of Tumbleweed, is the son of your rebellious student.”

Vance raised his head slowly and his eyes narrowed.

“Things are getting more and more interesting!” Telarenea could barely contain her excitement. “Originally, I just suspected… Now I’m very sure that my memory loss was definitely related to Tumbleweed. If I hadn’t encountered something extremely unreasonable, I wouldn’t have open the research project on the Trent Plague.”

“There were only two victims over the years. Sonia Ramon and her unborn child. Horizon’s report was still a bit useful. They at least helped me confirmed the identity of Oliver Ramon. Now there’s only one question left— Who did it to me?”

Vance clenched his fists, looking a little disgusted at the topic.

“I have a guess. No matter who did this, the purpose may not be just simple punishment. That guy is consciously protecting someone.” Seeing that the other party didn’t intend to respond, Telaranea continued softly. “If this wasn’t the case, before erasing my memory, he… or she didn’t need to specifically cut off my information transmission. Hiding his or her face would’ve been enough. The other party obviously didn’t want me to reveal the identity of the person who destroyed the Withered Castle.”

“Are you sure it was done by two people?” Vance finally asked rhetorically.

“The power to destroy the castle is unprecedented. The usage was simple and crude, but the spell that was cast on me was extremely precise, so it was definitely done by two people.”

Nemo clenched his fist. His mouth became bitter. Indeed, that was the best way he could think of at that time. He had expected Telaranea to only back off a bit, but as a result the other party had retreated behind the scenes and pushed Godwin and Horizon to the forefront.

He underestimated Telaranea’s curiosity.

“No matter who it is, I think that it’s a serious warning.” Vance was silent. “Your body in the Withered Castle didn’t even spread any valuable information and the opponent could completely suppress a superior demon. I don’t think Horizon can handle such an opponent.”

“Yes, I think so too.” Hearing the words “Withered Castle”, the smile on Telarena’s face immediately faded a bit. “So I just asked them to collect information on my behalf. As for Godwin Lopez’s decision to deal with Oliver Ramon, that has nothing to do with me.”

“You’re pretty sure he’ll do it… According to Godwin Lopez’s character, after discovering Ramon’s power, he would definitely try to defeat Ramon and send him to the headquarters of the Mercenary Guild. You just want to stop by to collect more information about Ramon, so you and I don’t need to appear here.”

“You don’t care? That’s Flint’s son.”

“I don’t have the habit of asking the son to repay his father’s debts. I really have no interest in him.”

“Oh?” Telarenea inquired, “Not interested? Even if I can tell you with great certainty, after screening all possibilities, he’s most likely the one who destroyed the Withered Castle with his own hands?”

“I said that I won’t interfere in human affairs. His powers doesn’t belong to the Abyss. That’s enough.”

“How cold.” The Sage of the Abyss sighed expressionlessly, as if he was still unhappy about what happened at the Withered Castle. “What about Nemo Light who has the power of the Demon King?”

Nemo, who was spying, froze. The demon spider in the corner of the ceiling almost slipped off.

“Whether it’s Ann Savage or Adrian Cross, or even that parrot, I know their details very well.” The female professor lowered her head and patted the dust on her robe. She then sniffed the blood-stained cuffs and sprayed some perfume with a disgusted expression. “There are only two people who have always puzzled me— Mr. Light and Mr. Dylan.”

Vance looked at his compatriot in silence.

“If you don’t want to help me tussle with Tumbleweed, that’s fine.” Telarenea stuffed the perfume bottle into her pocket. “At least tell me one thing— You were at the scene of the demon cocoon incident in Roadside Town, weren’t you?”

“Nn.”

“Is Jesse Dylan really the black-clothed demon you met in the Abyssal Church that day?”

“I’m not sure. He doesn’t have the aura of the Abyss on him,” Vance replied quietly, “but I can’t see through him so I can’t rule the possibility that he used some other means or props.”

“Then there are no more than two possibilities. Either Jesse Dylan deceived the Laddism Church by some means and sneaked into the castle to save those people, or it was Nemo Light.”

“Light? If it’s just a fragment of the Demon King’s power…”

“No, I have another thought.” Telaranea touched her chin and smiled again. “Maybe he’s like me.”

“……”

“You see, since the Demon King can accidently create a ‘me’, why can’t he make a second one?”

“I promise you.” Vance frowned. “I will support you when necessary and investigate as you like, but don’t forget, Telaranea, our plans will always come first.”

“Alright, alright. I remember.” Telaranea curled her lips. “Ugh, what a pain in the ass.”

Ann had just secured the broom into her cart, grabbed a wet rag in her hand, and saw Nemo floating over from the end of the hallway.

Of course, their captain’s lover wasn’t literally floating, but he was walking as if he was a drunk pony and his face was as white as ghost.

“What happened to Oliver?” Ann asked cautiously as she subconsciously shook the rag.

“Oliver is fine,” Nemo said in a dreamlike voice. “I’m not well. Just ask me why.”

“…Why?” Ann reluctantly put down the rough cloth that was still dripping.

“First, Telaranea is here, and its identity is a female professor. Second, the professor decided to recruit me as her assistant. Third, Aurorae is also with her. Yes, Aurorae is also here. Regarding his information, we can talk about it in details later.” Fourth, Telaranea was probably created by him at some point in time, but Nemo didn’t dare say this.

The female warrior froze in place by the excessive amount of information and erupted internally several times.

“I’ve already told Ollie. You have to be careful too,” Nemo muttered in a low voice. “Telaranea must still remember us.”

“With all those nurses, why did she pick you as an assistant?” Ann perceptively spotted the problem.

“I… When I was taking the exam, I easily answered the sections on the Pathology of Abyssal Magic.”

Ann’s face immediately became gloomy. She moved her wrist, vaguely having the intention to press Nemo’s head into the rag.

“It’s not that my hands were itchy! I needed to get information about the Trent Plague!” Nemo hastily defended. Even if Ann’s combat power couldn’t pose a threat to him, he still instinctively shrank his neck and explained desperately. “…For Ollie.”

Ann raised her head and sighed to the ceiling.

“The information you give is not a trivial matter. We may need an in-team meeting.” Ann turned her neck, and her joints made a loud crack. “You’re obviously here yet you still encountered this kind of thing. Are you sure… you’re not carrying some strange curse?”

Nemo swallowed and lowered his head guiltily.

“It’s not like there’s nothing you can do.” After calming down, the female warrior grabbed the rag again and quickly wrung it out. “You two, try to delay this for a week.”

“But Horizon…”

“It’s fine. I’m suggesting to leave the Academy.” The female warrior gave a mischievous smile. “Cross and Dylan will enter Isamel Labyrinth today. I contacted them this morning.”

“So?”

“This weekend just happens to be the monthly labyrinth reset. Every time it resets, there would be a few unlucky people who didn’t listen and get trapped in it. You and Oliver might considered encountering some ‘trouble’ together. Until then, since dear Professor Telaranea has her eyes on you, you can find a way to avoid her and take the opportunity to get more information.”

“…Ann.”

“Hmm?”

“Why do you know so much about the internal affairs of Clementine Academy? You said before that you’re not familiar with Clementine.”

“Oh.” Ann lowered her head and most of the smile on her face dissipated. “I have people I know… who have studied here.”

On the other side.

Oliver waited patiently for a while, but Nemo didn’t show up at lunch. Seeing that lunch time was about to end, Oliver had to regretfully walk to the canteen, thinking about wrapping a few fresh sandwiches for Nemo.

As for the contemptuous gaze and boos along the way, he ignored them all with his heart of steel built up from years of experience in the service industry. Oliver understood. No one likes cowards and his decisive escape at the first training had spread throughout the entire school.

But most of the students were past the age of confrontation and picking a fight so aside from the unpleasant whispers and insulting gestures, there weren’t any real obstacles in his way to the canteen. He happily piled his plate with fresh food and the sandwich he saved for Nemo was ready…

“Oliver.” When Oliver was just about to start enjoying his lunch, his burly roommate pulled out a chair, put his plate down and sat opposite of him.

He didn’t expect anyone to come talk to him. Oliver was chewing on a piece of beef in his mouth and almost choked. “Elmer…?”

“Why did you do that?”

“Ah, uh… I was so scared at that time. I’m really sorry. I didn’t mean to…”

“No.” Elmer clasped his stout fingers and lowered his voice. Even though the canteen had stop offering food, somehow the entire dining hall was still filled with students. “You and White obviously saved everyone. Why did you deliberately cover it up?”

Oliver stared blankly for a moment while the corner of his mouth was still stained with brown sauce before he frowned slightly. There was no confusion in the other party’s face, so it seemed like Elmer was positive in what he was saying.

“…You saw it.” It didn’t make sense to hide it.

“Yes. I have to say, you guys did a perfect job.” His tall roommate dug into his own plate of stew. His voice was so low that he could hardly hear him. “But I’m a child of a hunter. I could see the state of animals. When the snake mongoose attacked the snake-maned lion, although it was only for a split second, the reaction it had was less like an attack but more like shock from being crushed.”

“Maybe you have your reasons. If you don’t want to say it, I can understand, but I really care Oliver. I can’t pretend it didn’t happen.”

Elmer chewed wordlessly for a moment before swallowing politely.

“So I still can’t help but ask… who are you guys?”

“Don’t want to say,” Oliver responded decisively.

Elmer’s chewing motion stagnated.

“Because I don’t want to lie to you.” Oliver shrugged, inserted the fork into the soft and juicy meat again, turned his head and glanced at the students talking loudly around him. “Although I know this request is a bit…Well, Elmer, maybe we can make a deal.”

Their friendship was still shallow, and their own situation was really suspicious, so it was a bit too much to directly ask the other party to keep it a secret. Elmer seemed like an honest person, so it was very likely he would just agree. Oliver didn’t want to take advantage of the other party’s tolerance, and it was not his style to put out “we saved you” so they needed to return the favor.

“You help us keep it a secret, and I’ll teach you swordsmanship.” Oliver wiped the sauce from the corner of his mouth. “Time is limited, I can only teach you the most basic things, but I have seen your movements in battle… You haven’t studied the basics seriously, have you?”

Elmer looked at him blankly, and then his eyes were flushed. “God, would you like—”

“Wait, wait, wait. Don’t be so excited.” Oliver almost lost his hold on his fork. “My swordsmanship is not special…”

Before he finished speaking, the wall in front of them cracked.

To be precise, it was divided into two halves and slowly receded to both ends. Numerous wheels— Rather disc-like things floated out from it and into the air. The students who were originally sitting in the dining room stood up, and a group of people poured in like a tide outside the door. Most of them were senior students, and some were their fellow classmates that was mixed in.

The big canteen right now was even busier than it was at mealtime.

“What is this?” Oliver stuffed the remaining pieces of beef into his mouth and asked with bulging cheeks. This was clearly not a suitable atmosphere for dining.

“I don’t know.” Elmer was much more honest. He moved to the wall obediently and decided to squat and enjoy his lunch.

Oliver leaned next to him, holding the sandwich for Nemo as he chewed like a hamster. He carefully let go of a little perception and listened to conversations of the students.

“It’s a pity, the previous team was destroyed in the tomb of the high elves, right? I have studied them for a long time.”

“The regiment was destroyed, and it seems the deputy leader has gone to another Black Chapter team. How much did you earn from them?”

“A dozen gold coins…”

“I bet on the ‘Shadow Snake’. The scope of activity… Well, if I’m not mistaken, it should be near Kenyatta in Garland. Based on their mission information last month, they are likely to choose a lower-key and safer missions this month. Fifty silver coins. That’s it.”

The wheel didn’t stop spinning and had no intention to stop.

“Then I bet—”

“I see.” Elmer bit down into his fork and poked Oliver’s shoulder with his right hand. “It’s the Wheel of Calamity. I’ve heard about it.”

“What is it?” Oliver looked at the wheel closest to them. It was similar to a roulette wheel in a casino, but these discs had three circles inside and outside, with mission danger level, impact size, and city name written on them. The city name kept flashing and changing. The three rounds of black balls kept rolling along the circular orbit, making a soft clicking sound.

There was a brass box with an opening embedded underneath the wheel marked with the danger level, team name, number of players, and amount. The students wrote down messages on the parchment strips one after another, signed their names, and put them into the opening of the box.

Within a few seconds of the note being put in, the number flickered, and the amount became a little larger.

The danger levels seemed a bit familiar. It was almost as if it was…

“Gambling?” Oliver swallowed the last of his food hard. “Gambling on the Black Chapter teams…?”

“That’s right.” Elmer put down his plate. “I’ve heard about it. It seems to be a fixed project by Clementine Academy. After all, the Mercenary Guild is unwilling to publish Black Chapter information to other organization. I’m guessing this is to train our intelligence collection and analysis skills. After all, it’s still hard to guess the exact movement and purpose of a Black Chapter team.”

“Let me guess. The more dangerous the Black Chapter, the fewer people would be willing to bet, and the higher the reward after the bet?”

“It seems so.”

Oliver stood up. He was holding the sandwiches in his arms. Looking around, he finally found his goal…

[Tumbleweed, Snake Level, 5 members.]

[Current bet: 0.00]


The author has something to say:

The vest is crumbling. The team is (finally) about to assemble and make trouble XD

Yes, Tela was created by Nemo, so that’s why there’s only one Tela in the entire abyss.

————

Telaranea: I know I was created by the Demon King, but I firmly believe that Demon King is a monster.

Aurorae: I know I was picked up by the Demon King, but… father.

——The dividing line of collapse——

Nemo: …Just let me act as if I have amnesia. Amnesia is very good! I don’t want to know anything!

Ollie: Ah, this sandwich looks good. I don’t know if he will like it.


Kinky Thoughts:

Looks like Tumbleweed is about to solve their money problems.


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