Stray Ch172

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

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


Chapter 172: Leonard’s Plan

A quarter of an hour later.

Nemo moved his hand away from his eyes. His expression became serious. Oliver was still looking at Jesse stiffly, whose eyebrows kept raising higher and higher.

“It seems that the problem in front of us is not just Horizon. The principal of Clementine has locked down the academy on the grounds of arresting the Black Chapter,” Nemo said dryly. “The school firmly believes that we kidnapped those four students, so we have to get out of here as soon as possible.”

They were only a snake-level Black Chapter. Even if the four students were really held hostage, it wouldn’t cause the entire Clementine Royal Military Academy to go into lockdown as a result. Quentin Leonard was indeed a nobleman, but the power of his family wasn’t so great that they could cover the sky with a single hand, so his status was at most moderate. Hayden was born to a wealthy businessman, and the remaining two were just civilians. There are many students in the college whose identity was much more important than them.

Originally, Clementine Academy did tend to prefer closed teaching, but a lockdown was another matter. The picture returned by the little spider shouldn’t be false. Principal Salter was going to cut off all communication with the outside world in the name of “severing the Black Chapter’s contacts from the outside”. If they were really dangerous people at the spider level or above, it would make sense.

The problem was that even if their members were actually more dangerous than any Black Chapters, the snake level was still a snake level. This kind of behavior could only be called putting the cart before the horse, as if to eliminate a mouse by burning down a barn full of grain.

They were definitely using it as an excuse, and now Nemo was very sure of this. The only thing he was not sure about was why Clementine’s principal did this, but now wasn’t a good time to analyze it. No matter what reason Principal Salter ordered this, they had already been recognized as real, dangerous kidnappers.

“Good. I have to talk to Leonard and the others… and uh, let them know what’s going on.” Oliver took his attention away from Jesse and replied without hesitation, without any curiosity.

Quentin Leonard’s mind was a mess.

For a short quarter of an hour, the students failed to come up with any useful conclusions. After a whispered discussion, they only had time to select a negotiator to conduct serious negotiations with the three Black Chapters, trying their best to figure out the current situation.

Leonard, who knew tumbleweed best, naturally took on this responsibility. Unfortunately, although Leonard initiated this discussion himself, his mind seemed to be floating in a certain corner of the sky, and his thinking was covered with clouds.

The young nobleman first noticed Tumbleweed because of the Bluebirds incident in Vincent Town. The old chef of his own house was a real talker, but his baked pies were unique. As a young warrior who exercised too much at every turn, he sometimes sneaked into the kitchen and asked the old man for some extra food.

Leonard learned about this team while stealing some pie.

“Ramon used a broken sword to directly split the air and release an incredible monster! The mage in their team is a demon worshipper. Have I told you that? That gloomy guy directly cursed everyone. A team of five ended a small war. Oh, when Old Rucker told me, he almost dropped the wine glass on the table.” The old chef beamed as he danced with his hands and feet in the hot aroma of the pie.

Knowing the tradition of Clementine Academy well, Leonard did a lot of homework in advance. He didn’t lack money, but he was going to make a fortune on the Wheel of Calamity. He was going to take a shot at the Wheel of Calamity as a way to prove to his family that he had a keen eye. At that time, he only thought Old Rucker, who the chef talked about, had just drunk too much and was talking nonsense.

But he still paid an extra gold coin and attention to the resume of the fledging Black Chapter team, Tumbleweed, when he was collecting information. After all, it wasn’t often that a demon worshipper would cooperate with ordinary people, and if Old Rucker didn’t outright lie, then the situation of this team might have some research value.

However, the facts shocked him.

The people who provided the information were an old couple from the town of Vincent. According to their description, the facts seemed to be almost the same as Old Rucker’s oral statement. A hero who was born recklessly, didn’t seek fame and fortune, and was hidden in darkness. He could even split space and make the demon worshipper surrender. These things were just hidden under an unnamed team, and Leonard’s interest instantly skyrocketed.

In addition to the mysterious leader and his abyssal mage, the other members of this fledgling team were also very interesting. The well-known lone ranger Ann Savage, the blood-stained “viper” Jesse Dylan, and even Adrian Cross, the former Chief Justice of the Laddism Church.

Leonard faintly felt the excitement of digging up a treasure that had never been discovered. The second time, he took out a whole bag of gold coins. Even regardless of the expenses and time, he went to Caleb Village to investigate himself. According to intelligence, Tumbleweed confronted the world-famous Horizon there once, but the people from Horizon were very tight-lipped, and few knew the details.

After listening to the local innkeeper’s passionate praise, Leonard decided to focus his research entirely on Tumbleweed. He had no resistance to this kind of hero born from darkness. Unfortunately, he completely lost Tumbleweed’s trail after they completed their last mission related to the Abyssal Church.

Leonard had imagined what Oliver Ramon looked like. It should be a tall and burly man with a stoic and restrained face, and perhaps a little taciturn. He probably had a cold side if he could calm down such teammates. In short, Ramon was definitely an absolute powerhouse who transcended worldly vision and scoffed at money and honor.

Instead of…

“Uh, Mr. Leonard,” Oliver coughed dryly. His voice was a little faint. He glanced at the positions of several students and quickly noticed their intentions. “I guess you want to understand the current situation. You… Uh, are you the representative? Excuse me.”

“No, after you… Borne, no, Mr. Ramon,” Leonard said in a dreamlike voice, staring at his peers who were not as tall as himself.

“No, no, please you first.” Oliver looked even more uncomfortable.

“…” Nemo took a few steps forward and pressed his hand on Oliver’s shoulder. “I’ll do it.”

Leonard turned his gaze to Nemo, and his entire body stiffened like a stone statue.

“We’ll send you to the center of the maze. Oliver mentioned that Miss Lawler might also know that there is a one-way teleportation array leading to the outside world.” Nemo tried to make himself sound softer.

“Yes, leading to the Clementine Cathedral,” Marilyn nodded, her voice still a little shrill.

“We will escort you there, but…”

“But?” Hayden said keenly. His face was still a little pale, but he looked much calmer than Leonard.

“Horizon is waiting there. For some reason that we don’t know, Horizon firmly believes that we have kidnapped you.” Nemo explained. “You will leave here with us. If possible, I hope you can help us clarify it.”

Oliver nodded. “That’s it, everyone. Please follow me.”

Except for Leonard, several students clearly observed the expressions of the two of them. After a while, as if confirming that those words were not lies, the students showed varying degrees of relaxed expressions.

“Horizon is chasing you?” Leonard’s face didn’t intend to relax at all.

Oliver, who had just turned around, stopped.

“The relationship between Clementine Academy and the Mercenary Guild is very general, and they wouldn’t allow a mercenary group of Horizon’s rank to come and go at will, unless they have clear evidence that the mission goal is in the academy,” Leonard spoke quickly, staring closely into Oliver’s eyes. His facial muscles twitched a little. “Even if you really did take us as hostages, Principal Salter won’t let them intervene so soon. At present, I can’t think of other possibilities.”

“Yes, Horizon is investigating us,” Oliver readily admitted. “You have also seen our ‘murderous’ mage, right? I don’t want to have too much contact with Horizon.”

“But it’s weird.” Leonard stubbornly didn’t move, his gaze still glued to Oliver’s face. “Anyone who was on the scene could tell that I fell first. You and Mr. Light followed after. This couldn’t be a premeditated hostage-taking situation. Would Horizon be so easily fooled?”

“It may be because the Black Chapter’s reputation isn’t very good, and we are quite used to this situation.” Although Oliver had thought of this, he didn’t put too much importance on it.

“No.” The noble warrior raised his chest with a bit of aristocratic momentum, and his tone became excited. “If you’re really the target of Horizon, Horizon will definitely ask the school for all useful information, not to mention such important details. Captain Lopez is not the kind of person who does things indiscriminately. They won’t miss this.”

Oliver frowned and thought about Principal Salter’s abnormal behavior. He and Nemo exchanged glances. “What do you mean?”

“My father and Godwin are acquaintances, and I know their style of doing things very well. Maybe, uh, just maybe. Anyway, logically speaking… Someone in the college may have deliberately concealed the truth and given him false information, but I can’t think of a reason. Whether it’s a Black Chapter or a mercenary, it obviously has nothing to do with the academy.” Leonard’s voice dropped again.

“Thank you very much for your information.” Oliver stepped back, and he solemnly saluted Leonard.

“Ah, oh.” Leonard’s aristocratic air broke to pieces. “Actually, I have a little suggestion.”

“Please speak.”

“Can you send the three of them back to Horizon? I’ll stay with you.”

“……Why?”

“If we all run to Horizon, they will have no qualms about attacking you. I really don’t want to see that.” Leonard looked away.

Oliver shook his head, amused. “Wouldn’t that mean you have really become a hostage, Mr. Leonard?”

“No, that’s not what I meant.” Leonard quickly waved his hand. “I believe Elmer and the others will definitely explain things clearly, but in case, erm, in case someone from the academy really intervened in this matter, their voices will likely be suppressed. Even if everyone explains clearly to Horizon now, as long as the people from the academy get a psychological evaluation and say that everyone was under your influence, your crime will still stand.”

He smiled a little reluctantly. “I’m an aristocrat… Ah, I hope to go out with you so I can contact my family. My family’s statement will be at least a bit more weighted. If you go with Horizon, according to the Articles of Association, in order to ensure that we’re not manipulated by you, Horizon must send us directly back to the academy for inspection.”

“You don’t seem to trust Clementine Academy very much.” Nemo couldn’t help but interject. “Generally speaking, students don’t directly suspect that someone in the academy is doing this kind of thing.”

“My father warned me that now is a sensitive time.” Leonard lowered his gaze. “These things should have nothing to do with you, but believe me, the academy has their own position.”

“I agree with this young man.” Jesse sauntered over slowly, patting Leonard’s sturdy arm casually while staring at Nemo. “There is nothing wrong with being careful.”

After thinking about Jesse’s identity, Oliver sighed like he had a toothache. “Okay. Thank you for thinking of us so much, Mr. Leonard. If there is anything we can do for you—”

“I hope you will remember the Leonard family.” Leonard stretched out a hand. Oliver shook it nervously and found that the other man’s palm was full of sweat. “And, and…”

“And?” Oliver thought that the other man must also have realized that his palms were sweaty as his voice became a little dry.

“…When we get out, can I get your autograph?”

“……”

“Leonard, are you sure you want to do this?” When Oliver stiffly returned to his original position and began to lead the way, Elmer asked Leonard in a low voice. “I’m not doubting Oliver, but if you claim that you went with them on your own accord, the academy is likely to punish you.”

“You don’t understand,” Leonard whispered. “Principal Salter actually allowed Horizon to enter the school quickly, so something must’ve happened. I can only say this much. Don’t put this account on Mr. Ramon. There are people above Horizon, not to mention…”

After that, he took a deep breath, clenched his fists, and his face began to blush slowly. “I can fight alongside Tumbleweed! Screw punishment! This makes me happy!”

At this moment, not far from the center of the labyrinth.

“How strange. I thought this was a ‘labyrinth’.” Bagelmaurus stopped on Ann’s shoulder. The female warrior was carrying a delicate golden lantern that had a blood-red flame burning quietly, flickering from time to time. Three small white magic arrays flew around the flame, like translucent moths, one of which was a bit dim.

They were walking down a long corridor.

The corridor was like a long crystal tube, or it was really a crystal tube, that led directly to their destination. Magic patterns flickered slowly on the transparent crystal surface, blocking out the distorted space. Five steps before the tube was a tropical green forest, while five steps after could be the bottom of the sea, a desert, or even smoke-filled ruins. Ann moved forward calmly, looking straight ahead as if she was uninterested in everything that lay beyond.

“This is the Great Isamel Labyrinth.” The female warrior raised her free hand and scratched the parrot’s neck. “It’s just a secret passage. Don’t make a fuss.”

“Secret passage? You just dripped blood into this lamp. It’s not a secret passage, but rather it appeared to your summons.” Bagelmaurus narrowed its eyes, but its mouth didn’t stop. “There is a powerful and ancient spell attached to this lamp. Don’t think I can’t see it.”

“Oh, you’re amazing.” Ann shrugged. “Such a great Lord Bagelmaurus could surely fly yourself. My shoulders are a bit sore.”

The gray parrot, which was dyed in various colors, snorted with dissatisfaction and flew straight up.

“That’s good.” Ann smiled and shook her head. The gray parrot’s attention was always easily distracted, making it very good for her deflection.

The space ahead was a bit dim, like the bottom of a deep sea. Ann raised the light a little bit—

Then she accidently dropped it to the ground.

The blood-red flame was still burning, but even under the red halo, the paleness on the female warrior’s face could still be seen clearly.

“Why did you stop?” The gray parrot stopped by the light and pecked it curiously. As if there was something different, Bagelmaurus tilted its head and quickly found the change.

The white magic array, which was three, had become one.

“Isn’t it just two decorations missing? ……Hey, hey, Savage. What’s wrong with you?”

“That’s not a decoration.” The tone of the female warrior was frighteningly cold. “I know Eldric is an asshole. I knew for a long time. Even if he and Ettram bite each other to death, I don’t care. But he—”

She picked up the golden lantern and squeezed the fragile light pole, causing it to make a creaking sound. Bagelmaurus had never heard the female warrior speak in this tone, so it instinctively took a step back.

“It’s just as well if he really did it to Ettram, but how could he be crazy enough to kill Annabelle,” Ann murmured with a trembling voice. “…How could he.”

Bagelmaurus listened in confusion. It had limited information from the corpses in Roadside Town. The gray parrot had no idea who the names of Eldric and Annabelle belonged to and could make Ann give a deadly look. The female warrior had never mentioned them before.

But it did know who Ettram was, as there is a very famous Ettram in Alban.

Ettram Alastair, the current emperor of Alban.


The author has something to say:

No need to remember these long names! They will have abbreviations soon _(:з”∠)_

Tumbleweed rolled itself into a big event~


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