Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 188: Enmity and Vengeance
Oliver’s mind was blank.
Although he and Nemo did expect that Ann was related to the royal family and might have some knowledge of the hidden story, they didn’t expect that Ann would directly open up like this—or in such a capacity.
The Nightingales of Alban, the twin princesses; two weak and beautiful little girls. Andrea Alastair’s unfortunate and short life had always been a favorite subject of the bards. After listening to it for a long time, Oliver had subconsciously regarded the name as something from another world. On the other hand, except for attending the grand sacrifices of the Laddism Church, the princesses of Alban rarely appeared in front of the common people. When they do appear, they must always be weak and pure.
Ann didn’t have the slightest sense of “weak and pure” qualities from head to toe, but according to her statement just now, the tragic character Andrea Alastair was indeed still alive. The veteran Black Chapter Ann Savage of Tumbleweed was the princess who had died prematurely…
Oliver stood still in confusion, a little unable to grasp which thing he should be shocked about first. To be honest, with Nemo’s speculation, he had a premonition of the truth of his mother’s death. There had never been a trace of “mother” in his life, let alone any deep feelings he had for her. Because of the fact that Ann confided, Oliver would not lose his mind because of anger.
It was Ann herself who gave him the greater impact.
He thought there wouldn’t be a person like that in Tumbleweed. Although Ann had always laughed off some of his less-than-reasonable knowledge reserves, Oliver had a hunch that Ann wasn’t just a simple Black Chapter. However, the leader of Tumbleweed never thought that the female warrior who was more meticulous than anyone else and had been struggling in the Black Chapter industry for nearly 20 years would be born into the royal family.
Oliver swallowed, trying to drive his attention away from this terrible discovery. “About the death of my mother… How much do you know?”
From the bottom of his heart, he hoped that this was just another bad joke by the female warrior; a lame joke that tried to liven up the atmosphere.
“At that time, I was too young to get too much information.” Unfortunately, Ann’s face was flat, and her tone was serious. There was no intention of joking at all. “I only know one thing—the Emperor once made it clear that if your father was ‘stuck’ on an unknown wandering dancer, he wouldn’t mind letting your mother disappear. I have met your father, Oliver. He’s a very warm and kind person. I originally had the opportunity to tell him what the Emperor thought. I originally…”
Ann pulled the corners of her mouth rigidly, swallowing the second half of her sentence and looking at the tip of his boots. “I’ve paid attention to this matter since then. The emperor was in a good mood after he found out about your mother’s death, until someone told him ‘Flint found out about Miss Ramon and knew it was under your instigation’.”
Then she smiled weakly and raised her eyes again. “After that, Flint disappeared and rumors about him began to spread all over the palace. That’s all I could come into contact with at the time, but it was enough to explain a lot of things. Regardless of the reason, it’s true that the Emperor intended to kill your mother.”
“…My mother died from the Trent Plague.” Oliver was silent for a long time before he finally spoke.
Ann opened her eyes wide in surprise. “But you—”
After wheeling through the identities of the other members of Tumbleweed in his head, Oliver barely calmed down. He took his eyes off the top of the scar on Ann’s face and turned to Nemo. Unlike him, Nemo’s face wasn’t confused but sadder and more torn.
The great Demon King quickly felt his gaze and took over in a dry voice. “This is why I mentioned Balthazar Medes just now. Oliver and I just want to talk to you about this, Ann. Based on my findings, I’m very sure Oliver’s mother died of the Trent Plague, and about this matter, Mr. Medes must have known—he met Flint before her death.”
“In other words,” noticing Nemo’s condition wasn’t in a good state, Oliver took the opportunity to answer the question, “Regarding Delia’s situation, Mr. Medes may have a solution. After all, no matter what, I was supposed to be sick and I’m still alive.”
Ann stared at Oliver’s eyes tightly and spoke again after a while with a few more imperceptible tremors in her voice. “If I understand you correctly…”
“Your father may have killed my mother, but it was your father who did it. My enemy isn’t you, much less Delia… Sampson Alastair is dead, and I can’t rush off and dig him up now.” Oliver tugged harshly at the corners of his mouth. “Of course, I couldn’t possibly say I don’t care about this at all, but one size doesn’t fit all. Whoever you are, Ann, you are our benefactor and our friend. I’m certainly willing to help a friend.”
Nemo, who was next to him, seemed to fall into an unhappy contemplation. Oliver patted him on the shoulder.
“Speaking of which, Trent Plague is a disease that’s a curse of the Abyss. Do you have any thoughts on this?” Oliver interrupted Nemo’s thoughts with a question.
Those emerald eyes immediately looked over, and Nemo knew his subtext. He fished himself out of a certain cold fact and struggled to return to reality.
“Her physique is not as strong as yours, and her strength is far worse than yours,” Nemo explained obediently. “Although I don’t know the details, according to the theory of the Abyssal Church… If you want to remove the curse, you must first liberate the curse from your heart. Even if I have a way, she is likely to be killed by the curse before my power can suppress it.”
“So how about we go see Medes first?” Oliver didn’t take away the hand that patted Nemo on the shoulder, and even added a bit more force. “Ann, Nemo and I will go there first. With your identity… Uh, we need time to digest it.”
Ann nodded very understandingly.
“What’s wrong with you?” Oliver grabbed Nemo’s wrist and pulled his soulful lover between two lush clusters of yellow roses.
“I remember her brother.” Nemo’s voice was very low. He reached out a hand and held his forehead as he wilted. “Abbas Alastair, the deputy commander of the Tin Soldiers. A respectable person. If Ann is really… Ollie, I killed her brother with my own hands.”
“I remember it very clearly. I can’t forget it. The claws crossed his arteries, and the hot blood spurted out as it touched his flesh. I remember all the details, except why. I don’t remember why… Ollie, she confessed to you, but I’m still keeping this from her.”
Oliver fell silent. He opened his arms and gave the other man a solid hug. Nemo returned his hug and squeezed the lover in front of him tightly, so hard that Oliver could feel the crushing pain in his chest.
But he didn’t make a sound because of it.
“Have you thought about it, Nemo?” Feeling the rapid ups and downs of Nemo’s chest, Oliver’s voice was very soft.
“Nn. As she said, no matter what the reason is, the dead are gone. The murderer is me, and I’m equally sure of this.”
“I respect your decision. When this mission is over, let’s take time to talk to Ann, okay? The situation is messy enough now, and she needs to stay calm more than anyone else.” A soft kiss fell on his ear, causing Nemo’s heart to sink for a moment. The long-suppressed anxiety and worries swarmed over him, and he could barely breathe.
In case he really killed Abbas out of malice and destroyed the Tin Soldiers…
“…I know. When this matter is over, I’ll tell her the truth.” He heard himself reply.
“Hey, Nemo. Look at me.” Oliver held his lover’s face towards him. “I promise to bear it with you, and I promise that if something goes wrong, I will kill you. Don’t forget this. Medes must know something. He had contact with my father after the expedition, and perhaps he also knew the truth about the bottom of the Abyss. Don’t rush to deny yourself, okay?”
Nemo tightened his arms around his lover in despair as he breathed hard. The long-suppressed darkness spread to the bottom of his heart, and he almost began to feel exhausted by it.
“Of course, it’s normal for you to doubt yourself. I can fully understand, but you also have to remember, even if you don’t believe in yourself—before there’s conclusive evidence, before the facts are clear, I believe in you.”
The mood of half hope and half despair almost tore Nemo apart. He knew very well in his heart—whether it was screaming, roaring, or tears, nothing could change the past that had long been a foregone conclusion. It was like a relaxing time that couldn’t erase the dark icebergs under the sea. Their answer existed exactly somewhere, and he still owned such a piece of driftwood, and this was the only piece he had.
How fortunate he was.
“…” Nemo quietly buried his face in Oliver’s expensive silk scarf and took a deep breath. When he spoke again, his voice calmed down a lot. “Thank you. Sorry, Ollie. What Ann said… shouldn’t be good for you either.”
“It seems that there is a lot of bad blood between us and Ann.” Oliver smiled wearily. “And my dad cut off your head—first, let’s go to Medes and get more information.”
“Speaking of this, there’s something I have to tell you.”
“I left Cat Whiskers to Delia. She should be able to see things normally with it now, and she can also use it to contact us. Eldric won’t find out.”
“I know what you are worried about. It’s fine. Vance won’t notice me immediately. When the time comes, I can catch an ordinary, lower-level demon in an emergency. The question is how to explain its origin and ability to everyone—”
“I can explain its origin and ability to you, but why name it ‘Cat Whiskers’…?”
“…Uh, at least for me, when I see a cat, I usually don’t notice its whiskers at first glance,” Nemo whispered. “This name sounds lucky.”
After the knight commander and Jesse returned to the team, Oliver briefly introduced the status of the next task. Except for Jesse’s exaggerated salute and beginning to call Ann “Her Royal Highness” in a slick manner, nothing else had changed much. Nemo became more silent than before, but fortunately, no one had time to be suspicious of this…
Without unnecessary delay, Tumbleweed went to the barren mountains on the border of Alban, near the tomb dominated by Medes.
The sun was about to set. The wandering skeletons seemed to notice the smell of living creatures and approached unsteadily, but they didn’t attack. They just pushed them out with their teeth and claws. Even if they were broken with weapons, the dead bones still staggered and reformed again.
“Abyssal magic?” Oliver looked at Nemo.
“No.” Nemo shook his head firmly. “Surface magic.”
“It’s a puppetry spell,” Jesse said lightly. “These things are no different from those metal toys. They just use ready-made materials.”
Tumbleweed didn’t dare to use too destructive actions for fear that Medes would misinterpret their intentions. They just fought with these bones for a whole night, but Mr. Medes still didn’t intend to show up. Oliver could feel a life that wasn’t strong nor weak, that was motionless in the depths of the ancient tomb.
Since the owner didn’t want to come out, they could only choose to go in and visit.
“Are you ready?” Throwing aside a skull that clicked and closed its mouth, Oliver pressed his hand on the heavy stone gate of the tomb. “I’m going to open it.”
As soon as his voice fell, the two stone gates made a dull rubbing sound. The gate of the tomb, which seemed to have been dusty for a long time, was slowly pushed open, and the air with the smell of decay came to his face.
What awaited them was an endless darkness heading underground.
On the other side, Marshal Gallagher was in a good mood. He wasn’t distressed by the appearance of the “Emperor” in person at the capital ball.
“Our Royal Highness. Tsk, tsk. He could only play such tricks.” Gallagher inserted a silver fork into a small piece of fruit, then gracefully dipped it in the sugar dish. “He doesn’t know what the emperor has left us… Well, how is ‘that matter’ going?”
“Better hurry up.” The marshal put down his fork and wiped the corners of his mouth with a delicate handkerchief. “This is the third town we occupied. With such a big movement, there should be a lot of displaced people coming here to take advantage of the chaos—”
“Among them, there must be a woman who meets the requirement in appearance. It’s time for us to create a ‘Royal Highness’.”
The author has something to say:
The true source of inspiration for Cat Whiskers… I remember seeing the news that scientists used cat whiskers to make crystals (…)
Today, I found a slightly embarrassing rear-end accident. Godwin’s sword name collided with the sword name in another Demon King theme “Violet and the Bird of Thorns“._(:””∠)_
“Breaking Dawn” and “Breaking Dawn Blade” are just the names of the swords, and the sword masters are also older brothers of the gong. Although the story structure, setting, and origin of the sword are all completely different, I can’t pretend that I didn’t see it. Although it’s just a small detail, it’s just…uh.
[I have contacted the author, Tang Jiuqing, in a private message to explain the situation, who said she didn’t mind at all, so I would like to say thank you here.]
This name has nothing to do with the main plot, but it does have related echoes and designs, so it will not be modified for the time being. I’m here to tell you about it. _(:з”∠)_
Apparently, Godwin’s sword has the same name as a different work by Tang Jiuqing. I haven’t had the chance to read any of her works yet, but I believe one of her more well-known works is Qing Jin Jiu, which I have heard great things about.