Stray Ch218

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

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


Chapter 218: Knowledge Seeker

The only three people left in the house remained silent. Even if they knew that even if they waited longer, no answer would jump out of the extinguished phonetic crystal.

Nemo subconsciously spread out his palms and peeked at his hands. Pale skin, clear palm lines, like a human. He then closed his five fingers and clenched his fists.

For a rare moment, Telaranea fell into contemplation. He stared at the corpse thoughtfully for a moment, then walked to the window and looked out through the moldy window frame. “Interesting.”

Stay calm.

Nemo tried to organize the thoughts in his mind. Telaranea was on the scene, and he couldn’t sort out his thoughts by talking to Oliver as he used to. The failure to catch the mystery made him a little frustrated, but after these months of experience, he began to get used to the emotion of “frustration”, just like having bread for breakfast.

Stripping himself away, he analyzed the puzzle from a cold perspective.

Ulysses rescued Flint Lopez, who was lost at the bottom of the Abyss, and got the golden pendant as a token. It provided Flint with a “special hint on killing the Demon King”, but it didn’t show mercy to the expeditionary forces that followed.

It was impossible for Flint to know the Demon King’s thoughts. No matter what the erased information was, it was unlikely to be related to this, so he could put this question aside for now.

They were all very clear about what happened next. The most powerful Demon King in history killed the first four expedition forces and finally fell at the hands of the fifth expedition force, where Flint Lopez was. Flint Lopez carried the Demon King’s head and returned to the surface with another survivor, bringing back the bone jade.

As a result, Alban survived the most arduous war.

But Alban’s hero had no intention of fighting anymore, and the discovery of the bottom of the Abyss undoubtedly left a huge mental impact on the number one powerhouse on the surface. He lied to the outside world that it was Prince Abbas Alastair who beheaded the Demon King and pushed away the glorious title of “Hero”. He only wanted to live in seclusion with his lover.

The ruler of Alban at the time, the first emperor Sampson, ruined Flint’s last wish. In order to retrieve the former “Hero” and further revitalize Alban, he devised a conspiracy to kill Sonia, whom Flint deeply loved, which directly caused Flint to cut off his right arm and disappear from the public’s eye…

The timeline should be like this.

It was perfectly possible to connect to the newly discovered information.

Flint Lopez came into contact with the Demon King and got special information as a result. Before hiding Oliver, who luckily survived, he shared this information with the Butcher Shop in exchange for a spell that would help save Oliver, in addition to seven pounds of demon flesh to repair his arm.

The Butcher Shop introducer, a Gatekeeper under the Gatekeepers Organization, thought this information was too dangerous, so he erased it, but then he made an appalling move by transforming his body.

There was something wrong with this.

Nemo loosened Oliver’s wrist, trying to make himself think more coldly, but the warm palm grabbed his left backhand and pulled it back into his hands.

…This wasn’t so bad.

Nemo breathed a sigh of relief; his tight nerves relaxed a little. He smiled softly at Oliver, his eyes sweeping through the increasingly bright morning sky outside the window.

In a flash, he suddenly realized how unnatural this whole thing was.

Since Flint Lopez gave information about the bottom of the Abyss, why did this Gatekeeper try to observe on the surface… and succeeded?

Taking a step back, even if you were already on the surface at that time, Nemo didn’t think that just “feeling” his own power through some way would let people feel the emotion of “supreme honor”. What’s more, the Gatekeeper’s last words clearly said “see”.

What the deceased saw was something else, and it was related to the bottom of the Abyss… and the Demon King.

“Telaranea,” Nemo said decisively.

“Mm-hmm?” The demon responded with a smile, but the smile on his face was gradually thickening and looking a little twisted.

“You have been looking at this gentleman’s research materials just now. I assume you have found something. Are you willing to trade? Intelligence for intelligence.”

“Gladly. Even if you don’t mention it, I need to find someone to share it with. Ah, I feel sorry for the Gatekeepers from the bottom of my heart. The Void Castle has lost a great theorist.”

“Please.” Nemo didn’t move.

“I think we all know that the destroyed data cannot be restored. I’m very sad about this, but what’s broken is broken. At present, we can’t know what Mr. Lopez saw, but he provided a very interesting piece of evidence—the ‘corpse’ of the Demon King didn’t decay. It was communicating a message to something, and our Flint just accidently intervened in this process. This would make sense.”

Telaranea tapped the decayed window frame with his fingertips, and his gaze returned to the scene outside the window.

“Mr. Lopez is likely to find that the ‘Demon King’ wasn’t the ‘Demon King’ itself as they suspected. The ‘Demon King’ that the surface crusade against is most likely a decoy for some… collection of information. I was very curious about why the evolutionary direction of each Demon King was, well, strange. Unfortunately, there has been no evidence, but now I have it.”

He had nailed it. The name “The Sage of the Abyss” was worth its weight in gold. Nemo didn’t want to throw out information that couldn’t explain the source of intelligence, like “in fact, all the Demon Kings were really just one”.

“But I don’t think it will be a big blow to him.” Nemo took a breath and brushed aside the subject.

The Demon King was obtaining intelligence and information from the expedition force and was evolving using that data. He himself had experienced this cruel discovery, but from a certain point of view, he was living quite a positive life now. Flint Lopez wasn’t an arrogant person who had eyes on the top of his head, and he wouldn’t be devastated by this discovery.

“Yes, I don’t think so either, but as I said just now, there’s nothing we can do about the records that have been erased. This Gatekeeper can beautifully transform himself into this, so he won’t do such a thing as be sloppy when clearing data. Now let’s continue. If I didn’t interpret it wrong, this gentleman has a pretty… wonderful guess. I have to say that I’m quite moved.”

Oliver’s grip on his lover’s hand became a bit tight, but Nemo didn’t say a word.

“Inspired by Flint’s intelligence, he put forward a hypothesis.”

Telaranea twisted a piece of parchment.

“Surface creatures and abyssal creatures are homologous.”

“……”

“Yes, I know this sounds ridiculous, but there is no doubt that after contact with Flint, his first calculation was about the ‘upper limit of strength’ of all life. Oh, even if I don’t remember clearly, I think Mr. Ramon has experienced it firsthand in the Withered Castle.”

Oliver’s breathing became a little short, and he stared at Telaranea unhappily.

After looking up and down at the reactions of the two of them, the Sage of the Abyss continued calmly, “As we all know, the individual abilities of creatures under the abyssal magic system are generally stronger than those under the surface magic system. This is a fact. I will not be biased in my opinion because of my origin. If those lives are really fundamentally opposed to those spread by various religions, why do they have consistent ‘upper limits’?”

“Powerful demons and fragile humans have the same power ceiling. As long as humans obtain a little demon flesh or a contract as a guide, they can use abyssal magic. The demons have to get a complete human body to use surface magic…. How interesting.”

Nemo didn’t find it interesting at all. His throat was dry because of tension.

“This gentleman put so many pairs of eyes on himself and was able to make them work properly. In the past thirteen years, he has really dug deep into the problem of the magic circuit among various contradictions. Although I clearly know that there is an incomplete abyssal magic circuit in surface organisms, it is the first time I have seen such accurate and detailed research data that can be analyzed—”

“This gentleman guessed that a long time ago, there was no such thing as ‘surface magic’ in this world. Whether in the vast underground abyss or the bright and scorching surface, there should be only one source of magic. Its existence restricts the upper limits of the ability of all life.”

“The so-called ‘surface magic’ was a later ‘guest’. This guest wasn’t as powerful as the host and couldn’t influence too much. He could only break a little abyssal circuit and add another different magic circuit to some species.”

“It’s not opposition, it’s just different?” Oliver muttered in a low voice and rubbed his temples.

“I didn’t mean to target you, but you have to know that it has always been a bad habit of mankind to oppose different things,” Telaranea replied lightly.

“But both the dragon breath stones and the erosion spells can hurt the demons more effectively,” Nemo added, “Especially the erosion spells studied on the surface.”

“I suppose the Abyssal Origin has its reasons since it allows a relatively weak ‘guest’ to stay, Mr. Light.”

[Finding that he couldn’t beat the master, the weak bard had an idea. He proposed a deal to the host—”I’ll provide you with what you want. In exchange, you can give me some food. The ones that are farthest from the table, just the ones that you like the least”. How smart, right?]

In the center of The Great Isamel’s Labyrinth, the source of surface magic—The long-winded Mr. Dylan once said this.

“In short, not only is this Mr. Gatekeeper not crazy, but he was extremely clear-headed. Since the power of the later guests was relatively weak, depending on the distribution of surface species, the source of magic on the surface should be above the surface. It should be easier to observe and prove—­­In human terms, what he is trying to observe is ‘God’ itself.”

Unaware of Nemo’s contemplation, Telaranea continued with joy.

“Then he succeeded. What an amazing warrior.”

Wrong.

The Gatekeeper has been dead for about ten years, but the records of Jesse Dylan’s activities as a human could be traced back ten years ago. And purely from the point of view of strength, his and Jesse’s were at similar levels.

And according to the inference of the dead, their power should be very different…

“This is what I found, Mr. Light. What about your information?” Telaranea interrupted Nemo’s thoughts with a question.

“In human terms, the Great Isamel Labyrinth is a miracle. You should know it­. The strange maze near Clementine Academy. The creatures inside are relatively… special, and it is difficult to tell whether they belong to the Abyss or the surface.”

“Of course.”

“It is indeed a ‘miracle’.” Nemo didn’t intend to hide any of this information. Besides, the core of the Isamel Labyrinth collapsed in front of them, and no one had understood that thing before. He was perfectly capable of pushing the source of information to it.

Telaranea was silent for a long time.

After a few minutes, he burst into a series of extremely happy laughs. It was as if the happiness of the entire world was flooding in at the same time and couldn’t be dissipated.

“Very funny.” The superior demon turned around and left the window. He stayed in front of the mummified corpse and imprinted a light kiss on the corpse’s wrinkled forehead.

“Mr. Light, I have something to ask you.”

“…Speak.”

“Restrain me and trap my mind network.” There was a red light of joy on Telaranea’s face. “Just like you did at the Withered Castle.”

The dark shadow suddenly rose between Nemo’s fingers while Oliver drew his Rest in Peace at the same time.

“I was thinking before. Could it be you… It seems so.” Telaranea smiled and shook his head. “What? You thought I would come after you to settle accounts?”

“Don’t tell me you won’t.” Nemo’s voice was full of distrust.

“I went hunting for prey and the prey bit me back. These are all unexpected risks. What position do I have to hate you and Mr. Ramon? As unpleasant as it is, I understand the basics of cause and effect.”

“…What do you want?”

“I want the brain remnants of this corpse.” Telaranea eagerly pressed the head of the corpse. “I just pray and hope that the decay and dryness haven’t damaged the dying memory too much.”

“You’re crazy. Even if you can withstand the dying memories of this human—” You may become like this dead man because the answer you gain will make you fall in the end.

It was very dangerous to directly receive the dying memories of strangers. Emotions and memories before death will flood in instantly. Even if he knew he was powerful, Nemo wouldn’t dare try it willingly… What’s more, this memory was likely to be mixed with some crazed knowledge.

Just like the weakened version of Ulysses’ dying memories that didn’t have consciousness and emotion, was enough to make him suffer from the bottom of his heart.

“That’s why I want to ask you to cut off my mind network to prevent this ‘me’ from passing on the truth uncontrollably after I lose my mind. If I behave abnormally anywhere, please don’t hesitate to execute me. As long as I keep my head, it doesn’t matter what the rest of the world is like.”

Telaranea said briskly, sounding like he was teaching them how to peel apples.

“The other ‘me’s’ will take it away, cut it open, and study it more slowly and carefully. You know that if you leave it alone, the final clue will slowly decay with this corpse. Didn’t the two of you approach me just to get more clues?”

Nemo took a step back. The tone of the other party made him a little uncomfortable.

His own life and emotions seemed to be completely out of scope with this demon’s thinking. Telaranea wasn’t the same as those researchers of the Withered Castle. The latter didn’t just take the suffering of the weak seriously; the Sage of the Abyss didn’t even take his own suffering seriously.

“Come on,” Telaranea urged.

“…Then I will ask one last question.”

Nemo closed his eyes.

“What do you know about the phrase, ‘It’s a great honor to be born in this world’?”

“That’s part of the Gatekeepers’ oath.” Telaranea stroked the skull of the corpse, then snapped its neck bone and removed the head of the dead. “It’s not a big deal.”

“The Gatekeepers’ Oath? …Isn’t their creed ‘Beyond the truth’?”

“Most people only remember this because they understand it better. After all, their complete vows were written in ancient lingua franca, so many people didn’t bother to remember the complete meaning.”

The Sage of the Abyss let out a sneer, but when he spoke again, there was no contempt in his voice.

“‘You must respect first, and then surpass. The truth must be ruthless, and we keep it in mind. It’s a great honor to be born in this world.’”


The author has something to say:

Part of the truth of Jesse’s story (?


Kinky Thoughts:

Things are coming together. I think I know now but… I’ll propose my theory in the Discord channel to avoid spoilers.


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