Stray Ch225

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

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


Chapter 225: Deadly Illusion

It was clearly noon, but the darkness and lights turned the atmosphere into night.

Unlike the four members of Tumbleweed who behaved like tourists, Godwin and Debby stood very quietly in the shaded corner. No matter who the person who came to negotiate was, the escort had no position to participate.

Tumbleweed’s few members wouldn’t come forward to join in on the fun on such a serious occasion, but their curiosity was still very strong. Oliver, not far away, was the first to react. He quickly retracted his gaze above the town and turned it to the owner of the voice, then he gulped.

The creature that made the sound was extremely short, and Oliver almost didn’t see it at first glance. The creature was as tall as less than half an adult and wore a strangely decorated short robe. Its head was twice the size of a human, shaped like an overstuffed jellybean, with the back of its head bulging towards the ground. There were no hairs or scales on the scalp, just wrinkles.

There was only one giant solitary eye, and under it were two snake-like crevices, with only nostrils and no nose. The mouth of that thing was smaller than that of a human, and it was almost buried by an overly vigorous hard beard, which looked a little uncomfortable. Its body didn’t have much in common with humans—the creature’s upper body was very long, its spine was bent like a shrimp behind it, and its limbs almost touched the ground after two folds.

Oliver had seen this creature in a picture book before.

One-eyed dwarves who lived underground all year round. They were extremely repulsed by sunlight, and their IQ was generally higher than that of humans. Despite their dark nature, the one-eyed dwarves are a genuine surface race, and they are one of the intelligent races with their own brilliant civilization. When it came to which race on the surface was best for exploring the Abyss, the answer was definitely these paranoid and xenophobic guys.

They weren’t good at hand-to-hand combat, and at the same time they were dismissive of the human adventurer system. Oliver had never seen a real one-eyed dwarf in his inn. He clung to Nemo, who was still lying by the fence, and listened intently to the conversation in the center of the wooden platform.

“Praise Vulcan.” The Preceptor Bishop half-crouched down and made a weird salute. “Venerable Lord Rugo.”

“Praise Vulcan.” The dwarf snorted perfunctorily, half-narrowed his giant eyes, and tapped the ground with the weird cane in his hand. “The humans under the Mooney Sect will be arriving in the morning. I know very well that you and they don’t get along, but I don’t want to see any stupid conflicts—this is the Abyss, and I’m the only one in command.”

“Yes.” The Preceptor Bishop responded good-naturedly.

“I will leave you some time for supplies and find a place to eat and rest by yourself. At three in the afternoon, take a few men to investigate the first damage array.”

The tone of the one-eyed dwarf was blunt, and it didn’t sound pleasant.

“The first large teleportation array that was destroyed is in the Carrion Stone Forest, not far from here, and it’s relatively safe. Remember, at three in the afternoon, call the people you have chosen here. It doesn’t need to be too many. Three is enough. The dragon clan sent two dragons to participate in the investigation, and this time, they will take one.”

“Understood.” The Preceptor Felix sounded relieved.

“Nemo, we can see a dragon.” Oliver patted Nemo excitedly. Nemo’s body shook, almost throwing the gray parrot in a daze on his shoulder into the Abyss.

“Seriously.” Bagelmaurus’ voice was still crying. “What are you excited about, huh?”

“The dragon?” Nemo huffed, trying to conceal the excitement in his voice.

“…I hate you,” the gray parrot murmured melancholy.

“Then you want to stay here? I think Mr. Dylan will take good care of you.”

“I’ll go with you! I’ll just go with you!”

Similar to what Nemo guessed, Adrian and Jesse were obviously not very interested in dragons, and Jesse seemed to want to have an adventure in Return Town. He hugged the knight’s long arm affectionately, without the slightest intention of letting go.

There were two fewer competitors for the quota, and Oliver was very satisfied.

On the other side, after seeing the expectant and supplicating gazes of the two members of Tumbleweed, Godwin wiped his face fiercely. “…Don’t look at me like that. Both of you go. I’ll go with you.” There was a real dragon in the Horizon Mercenary Regiment. Godwin felt a bit relieved that he hadn’t revealed this.

“Commander!”

“Debby, this is just the first stop. You can’t lose your big brother.”

After confirming that they could watch the dragon together, the leader of Tumbleweed contentedly found the tavern, and together with Nemo, they swallowed a few plates of fried mushrooms. They didn’t even bother going shopping, so they started waiting on the wooden platform after eating.

Then it became clear why the Preceptor Bishop was relieved.

In addition to the three guards, the Laddism Church only sent three more people: a Knight of Judgement, a mage, and that weird choir member, while the Mooney Sect only sent one knight. After seeing the one-eyed dwarf command them, it was clear that it didn’t intend to let the two surface religions act equally.

The knights of the Mooney Sect were surrounded by a few one-eyed dwarves, and their expression showed a bit of bitterness…

The influence of the dragon was amazing, which brought great relief to the combat effectiveness. The three investigation teams, which weren’t small in scale, only drew out less than 20 people.

The railing on the edge of the wooden platform lowered, and the dark Abyss opened its arms. A hurricane rose, and a very huge reddish-brown flying dragon rose from the Abyss, turned around, and attached its tail to the wooden platform.

As he made his first step onto the dragon’s tail, Oliver trembled with excitement. “Although the dragon doesn’t seem to be as big as I thought, this—”

“They have shrunk their bodies. Otherwise, this passage will be completely clogged up.” Godwin calmly pointed out. “When acting with humans, they usually shrink about three meters.”

Nemo carefully sat down on the back of the dragon. The dragon hastily tied a few ropes to its body, which could be regarded as providing them with a temporary gripper. Godwin’s gaze always swept over him, intentionally or unintentionally, so he didn’t dare to say a word and could only desperately express his excitement with his eyes.

If it weren’t for Godwin, he would have wanted to high five Oliver.

Unfortunately, when the dragon flew up, this excitement suddenly disappeared.

The back of the dragon was more terrifying than they thought, and this dragon didn’t intend to be considerate of the travel experience of everyone on its back. It flew freely, swooping close to the rock formations covered with huge crevices. After swooping for less than ten minutes, it made a sharp turn in the broadest gap, drilled in flexibly, and then made an emergency stop.

Oliver, who couldn’t even adapt to the teleportation array, almost suffocated.

Considering that Godwin already knew about the relationship between the two, Oliver didn’t hesitate to put an arm on Nemo’s shoulder and leaned on it. He closed his mouth tightly, tried to regain his strength, and suppressed his churning stomach.

If it weren’t for Oliver Ramon’s true strength, Godwin would almost be completely misled by his useless performance. In fact, some people had indeed been misled.

“Bad luck.” The mage of the Laddism Church jumped off the back of the dragon and steadily passed the two people in Tumbleweed. He specifically lowered his voice. “Don’t insult Zenni’s glory, sinner.”

But when he turned to Godwin’s side, his attitude visibly eased a lot.

The Knight of Judgement, who was walking with him, slowed down embarrassedly, but he didn’t say anything. The young man in the choir sat close in his chair and nodded at the two of them apologetically.

“Well,” Nemo raised his eyebrows at the back figure, “You are right, Mr. Lopez, we are indeed unwelcome.”

The Black Chapter were notorious in and of itself, and having experienced so much, they didn’t care about such trivial matters.

Godwin frowned and didn’t say much. He looked at the back of the Laddist mage with interest for a while. “Keep up, the investigation is about to begin.”

The appearance of the Carrion Stone Forest wasn’t much different from its name. Black and red stalactites could be seen everywhere, sticking unevenly from the top and bottom, and blood and flesh filaments connected to the cracks. From a distance, it looked like a mouthful of blood-stained monster fangs.

But this place wasn’t dark.

The high peaks of the cave exposed large pieces of shimmering crystals, and artificially placed magic lights illuminated this vast space. It could be seen that the path showed signs of much use as the stones and passages were smoothed by the soles of all kinds of boots.

Godwin drew out the holy sword and walked cautiously in front of the team, while at the end of the team were the two members of Tumbleweed—The two looked around while occasionally glancing at the shiny dragon on the team from time to time.

“There’s no demon aura here,” Nemo muttered. His gaze was glued to the wings behind the dragon.

“Yes, I can only feel a little bit of insects and small animals.” Oliver stared at the tip of the dragon’s tail dragging on the ground. “There won’t be any danger.”

“Are you on vacation? Don’t mention remuneration, you two should be paying the Laddism Church a fee.” The gray parrot nervously plucked its feathers with its beak and reminded them coldly. “Don’t look at that dragon. The person in front has stopped!”

Oliver and Nemo quickly retracted their gaze.

At first, the two of them didn’t notice anything wrong with the scene in front of them.

A circle of spectacular stone pillars surrounded a huge teleportation array. The magic array was sleeping, the lines were dim, and there were rough traces of destruction in a certain corner. The ones outside the stone pillars were obviously small transmission arrays made by individuals, which were much rougher in comparison, but many still exude magic fluctuations, and they should have been functioning properly not long ago.

The one-eyed dwarves moved extremely fast. They neatly broke through the closure spell between the stone pillars, and like a swarm of bees, they gathered in the destroyed corner of the teleportation array. Their slender fingers rubbed the soil next to the magic array, making a strange sound from their messy beards. The mage of the Laddism Church took out a pair of glasses and straightened his sleeves. Making sure that the corners of his clothes would not be soiled by the dirt, he took off the small luggage bag he was carrying on his back and took out a complete set of non-functional tools next to the magic array.

The dragon yawned, letting out a little spark, and looked at the luminous crystals on the rock wall at the top of the cave.

As the dwarf in command said, the environment here was peaceful and extremely safe, but Nemo always felt that something was wrong. It wasn’t intuition, but some kind of weird aura that existed.

But he couldn’t tell what it was.

After patting Oliver beside him and making sure that his body wasn’t affected by the Abyss, Nemo closed his eyes.

The flowing trajectory of magic instantly unfolded in the darkness before his eyes. Thin spider-like silk and the disordered flow of magic came from the self-built teleportation array. They twisted into a ball and barely connected to a certain direction deep in the Abyss. The magic flow trajectory of the large teleportation array was much more regular; the circuit was smooth and clear, and it connected to an extremely distant point.

Something was wrong.

According to his understanding, in order to allow time for rest and replenishment, the large teleportation array wouldn’t teleport too far at once. In a sense, this magic array was indeed destroyed—its destination was changed to an unknown point deep in the Abyss.

On the other hand, the flow of magic power above the magic array was also very strange. It flowed back and forth quickly, as eye-catching as a firefly in the dark.

A certain spell was taking effect.

“Get out of there!” Nemo made a quick decision. “Now, immediately!”

The four one-eyed dwarves suddenly turned their heads to look at him. Although they had doubts, they undoubtedly cherished their lives even more. The four little men bounced up in place and rushed out of the stone pillars. The mage of the Laddism Church frowned, as if he had no intention of obeying.

The dragon outside the stone pillar circle yawned again.

Godwin, who was closest to the mage, reacted extremely quickly. He silently shot out a spell that blasted the mage directly out of the range of the teleportation array.

“My test is halfway done!” The mage roared angrily, barely protecting the test tube with a little liquid in his hand.

Nemo approached and pulled the test tube out of the mage’s hand. He shook the soil at the bottom of the test tube and handed it to Oliver beside him.

“The inspection of the soil properties on the surface of the formation is the first step in the safety investigation.”

“And it’s about to be completed.” The mage gritted his teeth and pointed to the yawning dragon. “I also didn’t find any danger nearby.”

“Ollie, you stand in the teleportation array and continue to heat it. If the liquid turns black, it means that it has recently been affected by abyssal magic, and the opaque white represents surface magic. If it has not been disturbed in any way, it should be a clear, bright purple color.”

“Nonsense it–”

Then the mage stuck his shell in horror, and the beards of the four one-eyed dwarves exploded in an instant and fluffed up in a large circle—

The test tube in Oliver’s hand was filled with a beautiful bright purple liquid.

“This…”

“Because Ollie trusts me wholeheartedly.” Nemo curled the corners of his mouth. “Now you know what’s hovering there. Ollie, you can come out.”

“What’s the matter?” Oliver shook the crystal test tube containing the bright purple liquid.

“I just lied. If there has been no interference, it should be in a clear and transparent colorless state.” Nemo tapped the test tube in Oliver’s hand with his fingertips, watching it become as transparent as water. “Wow, Ollie, you really trust me.”

“Advanced illusion.” The mage’s expression wasn’t very good-looking. “Overlaying reality with perception. Praise Zenni…”

“Translation.” Oliver was still pinching the test tube carefully when he hit Nemo with his elbow.

“The corner that has been physically destroyed is just a cover.” The relaxed expression on Nemo’s face gradually disappeared. “Someone has rewritten the destination of the teleportation array and covered it with advanced illusions. Ollie, what do you think will happen next if everyone simply repairs the teleportation array, and the experienced inspectors get all the ‘normal results’?”

“Activate the teleportation array and teleport to the vicinity of the next teleportation array. Verify the availability and continue to repair the next one.”

“Yes. Once the professionals are supported by a ‘clear conclusion’ and it is determined that there is no problem with the repaired teleportation array, just a few of us escorts will stop at the next teleportation. Which brings us back to the question at the beginning, I think the destination of this teleportation array has been changed.”

Godwin, who was standing a few steps away, shuddered behind him.

Before Nemo made a sound, even he didn’t notice anything unusual.

“What about the real result?” The leader of Horizon asked in a low voice.

The mage took the test tube back from Oliver. He frowned and drew a complex illusion isolation array, and then placed the test tube in the middle of the white light array.

The liquid in the test tube appeared as dark as the void.

The black represented that the magic array had recently been affected by abyssal magic. Although Nemo talked nonsense about the reaction of “not affected in any way”, this sentence was indeed true.

There was no doubt that the one who did this was a demon.


The author has something to say:

Ollie: It’s a dragon!!!

Grey parrot: ??? Look at that Jesse, look at this Nemo, and finally, look at itself. Are you serious…?

Nemo: It’s a dragon!!!

Grey parrot: Fuck, I want to withdraw from this team.


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