Stray Ch178

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

Translator: Kinky ||

Chapter 178: The Nightingales of Alban

“What should we do?” Clementine’s four students walked at the end of Horizon and in front of Tumbleweed. While Leonard was happily showing off Oliver’s signature on his arm armor, Jesse Dylan was looking at the young people gathered in a group with interest.

“You said that your original plan was to steal the magic stone from the Ruinous Fire and have the Pope misunderstand that we’re just a bunch of thieves.” Adrian raised his voice so Oliver could hear it clearly. “Now Mr. Ramon has destroyed both the Ruinous Fire and the dragon breath stone orb that was at the center of the labyrinth. How are you going to answer His Holiness the Pope now?!”

Oliver touched his pocket embarrassedly. He did easily bring out the gem from the Sword of Ruinous Fire. The dark stone wrapped in silver trim was lying in his pocket. He didn’t have any ulterior motives as he purely felt this was a relic of his father’s and it was a pity to lose it.

What’s more, Oliver didn’t feel the presence of any power in it. If he hadn’t made a mistake in judgment, it was just an ordinary piece of flint. The Sword of Ruinous Fire was much like Nemo’s staff. They did have power, but that power was completely inconsistent with the rumors. Behind the mystery was something simple enough that it was laughable.

“Where’s Nemo’s staff?” Oliver suddenly discovered a problem and joined the ranks of the questioners, but his gaze drifted to Jesse.

“One at a time. Even I don’t have two mouths to feed.” Jesse yawned. “That staff is still in the Clementine Cathedral, and the group of suspicious guys probably won’t find anything. Concerning the Pope of the Laddism Church… Well, of course I have to go see him, but I won’t go alone. You have to come with me.”

Nemo, who was playing with the spider and listening with his ears pricked, shivered and almost squished the little spider. The gray parrot was leaning on Nemo’s shoulders. Its two small eyes turned with the movements of the little spider.

“We’re all going?” Nemo said with horror. As a librarian of a small town library, he didn’t know how to deal with such big shots. As the Demon King of the bottom of the Abyss who could freely control the lives of superior demons, he didn’t want this embarrassing experience from the bottom of his heart.

“Why, now you care? Why can’t you treat me like this? My hair is much thicker than that old bald man!” Jesse huffed in dissatisfaction.

Hearing this disrespectful name, the knight commander glared at Jesse coldly, and the latter averted his eyes, aggrieved.

“No, you know why. Ollie just finished explaining not long ago, right? Alban is going to be in chaos, and we shouldn’t stay here for long.” Nemo rubbed the little spider that was almost flattened, trying to calm its emotions.

“I don’t think the Pope is keen on keeping us for more than a few days. Alban is going to be in chaos, and in order to remain neutral and reduce trouble, he himself will return to the Holy Land soon. Your excuse is completely unconvincing. Seriously, don’t you want that staff? The bone ball above was given by that fake cat—if you go to Caleb again, the king of the arthropod lizards will be very sad.” Jesse spread out his hands.

“I… Of course I want the staff back, but Godwin himself said he wouldn’t cover up for Ollie. As Mr. Cross mentioned, the Pope will learn about what happened in the labyrinth soon, and there’s no way we can hide it. I’m very grateful that you met the Pope instead of me and helped me hide the matter of Roadside Town, but danger is danger. Ollie’s state is still—”

“I have recently divined the Laddism Church Pope, Dawn Quinn. Believe me, this trip will not cause us any substantial harm.” Jesse emphasized heavily on the word “I”.

Nemo said nothing.

Oliver looked at Nemo, looked at Jesse again, and finally looked back at Nemo. After glancing back and forth a few times, his voice had a dreamlike weakness. “Then we’ll accompany Mr. Dylan to meet the Pope and immediately leave after we get our appeal and remove my death row status. Do you have any objections?”

No one spoke.

Oliver took a breath. “If the appeal is successful, we may have to act separately for a while. I want to discuss this matter with everyone—when the news spreads, we are likely to be focused on by the Mercenary Guild and other organizations. It’s more appropriate to keep a low profile for a while.”

“It just so happens that Nemo and I have some personal matters to deal with. As for the monthly tasks that Tumbleweed needs to do, the two of us will complete them by ourselves, and the remuneration will be divided equally according to the old rules. You can take advantage of this time to find a calm place to rest. Bring your communication crystal, and I will contact you when we meet again… How about it?” The information obtained from Clementine Academy made the truth of the past even more confusing, but this was the entanglement between the Lopez family and the Demon King. They weren’t short of combat power, and Oliver didn’t want to involve his other companions.

“Jesse Dylan.” Ann, who had been pale and silent, finally spoke at this moment. “I want to see your divination.”

Except for Bagelmaurus, who was still staring at the little spider, the eyes of the remaining members gathered on the female warrior at the same time.

Jesse raised his eyebrows and straightened his spotless collar. “Huh?”

“You have been using the results of divination as an argument for your own suggestions, and I think everyone is also a little curious. It’s time to show your divination method.” Ann’s tone is very serious. “I have something I want you to divine, so make an offer. It doesn’t need to be specific. Just the level of ‘yes’ or ‘no’.”

“Oh—but you may not be able to afford it. However, yes, it’ll be free this time. After all, once you’ve seen it, you won’t have to make such silly requests again. Watching the divination process is no fun at all.” Jesse stretched and emphasized his words as he stepped onto the soft and gray inner wall of the space tunnel. “Ask your question, lovely Miss Savage.”

“Will Gallagher Salter win?” The female warrior asked straightforwardly.

Nemo looked at Ann in surprise. He never thought that Ann would ask such a question—it seemed to have nothing to do with her.

“Although I can give you the answer now, you can take a good look.” Jesse hooked the corners of his mouth, stretched out his slender fingers, and made a few random movements like a conductor.

Oliver and Adrian raised their heads at the same time. This was the first time they had seen Jesse Dylan use magic seriously.

However, the effect was very strange.

Countless golden characters that no one could recognize flickered quickly in the air, and weird graphics changed their shapes. Oliver could barely see the shape approaching Alban’s territory for a few seconds, and the rest was completely confusing. These characters and patterns were getting denser, flashing faster, gradually gathering together, condensing into a golden ball the size of a walnut, hovering over Jesse’s palm.

He crushed it to pieces, and tiny golden shavings of light splashed everywhere and quickly extinguished. Jesse didn’t even blink, and the smile on his face thickened a bit. “Gallagher Salter will indeed win, and then Alban will usher in its first queen in history. According to the current information, the result is correct.”

‘Jesse Dylan was right,’ Oliver thought numbly. They couldn’t understand the divination process of this “diviner” at all. He turned his gaze to Nemo for help, only to find that Nemo frowned and seemed to be lost in thought.

Ann’s face paled a little bit again. She clenched her teeth, and the muscles in her face twitched slightly. The female warrior stared at Jesse, as if trying to find traces of lies on that beautiful face. Unfortunately, from any perspective, Jesse Dylan doesn’t seem to be lying.

“I have to think about it,” the female warrior murmured. “Oliver, don’t make a decision too quickly, okay? After you guys meet with the Pope, we’ll vote on whether Tumbleweed should be separated temporarily.”

“’You guys’?” Oliver quickly grasped the point.

“I have something to investigate.” Ann’s gaze turned elsewhere. “Believe me, the Pope shouldn’t care about my absence alone. After all, I have been active as a Black Chapter for so long, and my strength is easy to confirm. With you hanging in front of him, he may not have time to take care of me.”

“Alright.” Despite her doubts, the female warrior looked sour and dazed. Seeing Ann’s expression like this for the first time, Oliver thoughtfully didn’t press the issue.

Ann nodded gratefully at him, then turned her face to Jesse. “Thank you to you too, Dylan. You have given me more information than I need, and I hope the price of this prophecy will not be too debilitating for you.”

Jesse let out an “ah” as if he had thought of something. Suddenly, the blond young man’s feet softened, and he leaned on the knight commander’s broad shoulder quite naturally. “Adri, I’m extremely dizzy! What should I do—”

Adrian stared at Jesse for a few seconds without saying a word. He then sighed, held him back, and simply lifted him up and carried him on his shoulders. Jesse’s figure wasn’t small, so it made the former knight commander look like a successful hunter who had returned home with a full load.

Jesse: “……”

Oliver thought for a moment about the identity of Jesse Dylan and decided to suffocate silently for a while. He moved to his lover. “Nemo, what Dylan did just now… Did you understand?”

“I understand.” There is still a bit of seriousness on Nemo’s face. “That can’t be called magic at all.”

“What do you mean?”

“That’s just a simple calculation. Put together the behavioral characteristics and past experiences of all the existing life in Alban, plus all the information related to the environment, and calculate all the possibilities. He calculated very carefully, leaving aside all irrelevant variables, to reach a final answer.”

“Oh,” Oliver responded, a little confused, “but you don’t look very good. Did you see any bad information?”

“If Gallagher Salter wins and wants to establish a new king, then he can only support the only remaining member of the royal family—Princess Delia, who is not yet an adult. You would think that the new queen of Alban will be Delia Alastair, right?

“Isn’t it?”

“No.” Nemo tightened his brows. “I should have read it right. The queen’s name is ‘Andrea Alastair’, but this is impossible—Princess Andrea died of illness when she was eleven years old.”

“I remember this. The bards always talked about it in those years. Annabelle and Andrea, twin princesses.” Oliver scratched his hair. “They said that Her Royal Highness Annabelle named her daughter ‘Delia’ in honor of her twin sister, who died prematurely. Her Royal Highness Andrea still alive? ……It’s been more than 20 years.”

“Yes, it’s a bit preposterous. The emperor at that time also held a funeral.” Nemo rubbed his chin. “I know about them because, uh, they were called the ‘Nightingales of Alban’ at the time, and many people have written poems on this subject, but if you know Dylan’s identity, he shouldn’t make such a low-level mistake in this kind of thing.”

“Is it possible that Marshal Gallagher is supporting a fake one? After all, the underage queen is really… Those old nobles will definitely not compromise, even if they die. Marshal Gallagher must have also taken this into account.”

“I don’t know, but we can’t intervene in this war. Ann’s state is not right. Let’s take a look at the situation from her side when the time comes.” Nemo put the little spider on Oliver’s shoulder to familiarize it with his aura. Dylan’s expression just now seemed to be a bit too lively, and Nemo instinctively wanted to stay away from the coming war…

[That spear… Oh, it’s Miss Savage. The rumors are true, you are as beautiful as a nightingale.]

Speaking of Jesse Dylan, when they first met Dylan, that guy seemed to have said something like this. At that time, Ann almost punched him.

Wait a minute.

Nemo’s movements paused. He turned his head and looked at Ann in horror. The female warrior was holding her arms; her face was cloudy, and her entire body still exuded a powerful aura.

……It’s not possible.

But just as he planned to diverge his thinking further, the end came.

Although the space tunnel was long, it was a neat and straight route. Horizon moved extremely fast, and within three hours, everyone saw the sunlight from the outside world again. The space in the Great Isamel’s Labyrinth had folded. The tunnel just opened into a grove outside the high walls of Clementine Academy, which was less than half an hour’s walk from their starting point.

It was already evening, and the air in the forest was cold. Even if the terrain in the woods was uneven. The mercenaries of Horizon gathered together as neatly as possible.

“It’s time for us to say goodbye,” Godwin said stiffly. “Now that it’s determined that there may be problems in the academy, according to the Articles of Association, we need to take the lead in ensuring the safety of hostages and our employers. Right now, Horizon needs to confirm the situation of the Clementine Royal Military Academy, and there is no time to take into account the investigation of Tumbleweed.”

“Thank you, brother,” Oliver’s answer was very sincere, and then he turned his face to Nemo. “Let me translate. What Godwin means is that he doesn’t plan to send us all to the headquarters of the Mercenary Guild for the time being, and he has suspended the plan to send Leonard and the others back to the academy.”

“Thank you, brother,” Nemo said equally sincerely, taking advantage of the situation to cover the abnormal-looking little spider on Oliver’s shoulder with his hand.

Godwin’s face twisted frighteningly a few times, as if he had eaten something too corrupt*. He snorted softly, turned around, and walked towards his team without any intention of saying goodbye.

*Note: this is significant because Nemo isn’t even related or close to Godwin but to call him [ge] () signifies that he considers Godwin a “relative”… (through marriage) or/and is someone he respects/on close to, so this is why Godwin reacted like this.

“Goodbye!” Even though he hadn’t gone far, Oliver still put his hands around his mouth and shouted vigorously.

Godwin stopped. The leader of Horizon didn’t turn around but raised a hand stiffly and waved it a few times like a fly.

“We should go too, but are you sure you are going to see the Pope now, Ollie? Are we… Uh, should we prepare…”

“It’s going to be a long night. We’d better leave Clementine quickly.” Oliver looked back at the Isamel Labyrinth behind him. His voice was a little emotional. “But it’s a pity.”

“What’s a pity?”

“We didn’t stay in the maze for long. With so many species here, I will definitely have the opportunity to meet a kind of monster that I have always been curious about… Alas, we probably won’t come back again. Have you heard of the ‘palulu weevil’, Nemo? Dad had told me dozens of stories about it that are especially true. I have been curious for many years, but unfortunately, I have never seen information about this kind of monster.”

Godwin, a few steps away, stopped again. This time he remained motionless for a long time.

Godwin lowered his gaze and looked at the moss and pea-sized white mushrooms under his feet. The brilliance of the setting sun poured down from between the tree trunks, and the distant past gradually mixed with the current scene. He was in a bit of a trance.

The leader of Horizon didn’t turn his head in the end. Oliver Ramon was still talking to his lover, but that didn’t matter anymore.

“It’s me who should say thank you… Oliver,” he whispered at a volume that couldn’t be heard by the other party.

Horizon still faithfully performed their task. After carefully confirming the situation at the academy, they finally sent the four students to the largest inn in the center of Clementine City and contacted their families. Everything was the same as usual.

It was just a little different now—This time when the mercenaries in Horizon were drinking around the firepit, their leader joined them for the first time and calmly ordered himself a caramel apple tart.

The author has something to say:

Retracted a long-standing flag. Very comfortable.

Yes! Ann’s real name is also very long… Ann cut it short, thoughtfully.

One word, Ann*, may be the best name to remember in this novel√

*Compared to the other names in this novel written in Chinese, Ann’s name is just [An] () vs her real name, Andrea (安德莉娅)

Kinky Thoughts:

Ahh, Godwin found out! I’m so glad he knew it was Oliver back then. My baby, Godwin, needs his own happiness too!

Holy cow, how many chapters ago was it that Jesse said that to Ann?

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