Stray Ch231

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

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


Chapter 231: Side by Side

Hamlin Elmer sat quietly in his floating chair.

Considering the inconvenience of his eyes, the control of the chair was in the hands of the other Laddism believers. The members of the choir had always been rare and precious. The Laddism Church had specially assigned a believer to guard him to ensure that their important backup personnel wouldn’t be injured by accident.

Although the team had been in the depths of the Abyss for a month, for Hamlin, who couldn’t see with both eyes, there wasn’t much difference between the surface and the Abyss.

As a non-combatant, Hamlin had limited information. At the moment, he could only speculate in his heart based on the content of his companions’ conversations, and at the same time, he was keenly aware of changes in temperature and humidity. So far, the mages of the Laddism Church hadn’t extracted his mana. That meant that the guard was still safe, and the mages didn’t need to fight for their lives.

The reconnaissance team was heading to its final destination. In the previous battle, he lost his hat embroidered with a tranquilizer array. The gradually falling temperature made his entire body cold, and fear was like a net made of thorns that tightly covered his internal organs.

It didn’t matter.

Hamlin kneaded his cuffs with his nails that were a little too long.

It didn’t matter as fear was part of this job.

The moment he stepped into the Laddism Church and handed in the application, Hamlin Elmer knew what he was going to face—pledging his eyesight to the Laddism Church for sixty years and unconditionally following the Laddism fighters to the battlefield, catacombs, and even the Abyss, ready to use Spiritual Sacrifice to provide magic to mages who had exhausted their own mana.

In exchange, he would receive extremely generous monetary treatment for civilians.

Usually, this money was used by the members of the choir on their families, and if they want to break the contract and leave in advance, they need to pay a lot of money to redeem their vision.

Even the Black Chapters or mercenaries who sold their lives at least still had their freedom to choose or give up work. Being born with talent that one didn’t know whether it was a curse or blessing, it was better to be born as a nobleman. Otherwise, living in an ordinary family, the choices for those physically disabled geniuses were very limited. If they chose to give up, most would only become burdens on their families.

And their magical talents would go to waste.

Being poor and being born with a physical handicap; these two factors were enough to deprive them of the opportunity to become top mages.

The church and nobility who wanted to cultivate power would mainly choose healthy civilian children. “Normal” geniuses were the most popular. Those in power didn’t need the best. The cost of cultivating a mage wasn’t low, and the handicap caused by the amazing talent couldn’t be cured. This meant that even if it took more time to train mages with poorer qualifications to follow their offspring, people were reluctant to bring back a troublesome character who needed to be taken care of from time to time.

The troublesome character, Hamlin, felt the dry and cold air blowing through his skin and lowered his head silently.

His self-esteem didn’t allow him to sit in the house alone, so he could only do some simple manual work to make ends meet and watched his brother, with excellent combat qualifications, go to the pier to move goods for a lifetime to support his disabled brother, who couldn’t go out.

He should feel satisfied, Hamlin thought to himself. At least he was lucky. Oliver Ramon brought huge wealth to his brother. He just needed to complete the final work, redeem his eyesight, and return to his brother.

As long as he could go back alive.

The number of the two teams that were divided up from the reconnaissance team wasn’t large, so the people were as cautious as possible. As the team ventured deeper into the Abyss, apart from vague whispered conversations and light footsteps, Hamlin could hardly hear anything from the outside world. His heartbeat was louder than those two sounds combined.

He only did a simple exchange with the person taking care of him to order his three meals a day and nothing more.

But as time passed, the endless fear was mixed with the impending freedom, which became particularly sharp and deadly. Hamlin opened his mouth slightly, breathing faster and faster. His head began to drift, and his thoughts gradually became confused.

How many days have passed? Where have they gone now?

Are the people around him really still there?

“Are you okay?” As if perceiving his uneasiness, a hand patted his forearm that was resting on the armchair.

“Lord Cross… uh, Mr. Cross,” Hamlin muttered in a low voice. “Thank you for your concern. I’m fine, just a little nervous. You—you’re an escort. According to the rules, we shouldn’t talk for too long. I will cause you trouble.”

“According to the map, we’re still half a day away.” The voice of the former Knight of Judgment was completely different from what he thought, low and gentle. “Don’t mind, if you want to say something, I can listen.”

“I… I have nothing to say. Thank you. Thank you very much.”

Praise Zenni. He was really stupid. As soon as the words were spoken, Hamlin felt regretful. What he needed most now was communication, but the other party was in a high position, like a Knight of Judgement…

“You’re welcome.” The gentle bass didn’t stop. “Then I’ll talk.”

Hamlin nodded subconsciously.

“Lord Quinn is considering abolishing the choir and is looking for a more reasonable way to reorganize. Although I have no position now, I still want to apologize to you.”

“There’s nothing to be sorry for. I also received a reward. After all, Laddism taught us the way, thus this is the grace of God.”

“The reward is in exchange for your strength, not your current pain.” Adrian Cross sounded very serious. “This is a fair trade, not alms. You don’t need to put yourself so low.”

“But…”

“The grace of God.” A smiling voice intervened. That voice was also nice, but it’s a pity that every word was soaked in frivolity. “Oh my, Mr. Elmer, did you know—the original choir didn’t need to mortgage their eyesight.”

Hamlin completely forgot that he was in the Abyss, and he shook his head in confusion.

“People like you are geniuses, and geniuses always learn things quickly. Of course, there will be people who can learn just by looking. I think you can guess what happened next. One of the choir members learned enough, terminated the contract, and leaked most of the secret spells taught by the Laddism Church. Well, how should I put this? At that time, the Pope adjusted the weight of the ‘grace of God’ at will. Perhaps he even calculated the number of pounds.”

“Dylan!”

Adrian started to have a headache again.

Under his comfort, the poor young man’s breathing just showed signs of slowing down, and he was frightened right back to how he was by Mr. Dylan’s disrespectful speech. The offensive conversation had already caused a number of fanatics to cast warning glances. As soon as Jesse Dylan’s words were uttered, the fanatic closest to them looked very much like he was going to draw a sword and cut something.

Jesse played with a strand of drooping blond hair with his fingers, grinning, trying to make his usual face. But this time he didn’t succeed.

The blond young man frowned, covered his mouth and nose with a handkerchief, and coughed a few times. When he took off the handkerchief, it was stained with dazzling blood.

After a few days, Jesse didn’t bother to lead the goat anymore. The grey parrot had a leash around its neck and was forced to take over the responsibility of taking care of the fuller goat. Now it glanced at the bright red on the handkerchief and was so shocked that it almost fell to the ground.

“Oh my,” Jesse sighed softly, casually casting a cleansing spell and putting it back in his pocket.

“What’s the matter with you?” The blood mark on the back of his neck was taking effect, and Adrian quietly drew a tranquilizer array on Hamlin’s arm, then he turned his face and frowned at Jesse beside him. “Don’t tell me you are okay.”

Jesse Dylan’s face was no longer peachy. In the dark, that beautiful face completely turned pale.

“My spirit is going to wither. How about healing me with kisses, my knight?” Mr. Dylan’s expression and behavior were as usual.

“Please don’t make such a joke now.”

“Don’t mind, I can’t die anyway.” Seeing that he couldn’t avoid the problem, the blond young man shrugged indifferently.

Adrian Cross was silent for a long time, then sighed. “Even Mr. Light knows what pain is like. This is not a matter of life and death. Let me ask another question, how do you feel?”

Jesse Dylan raised his eyebrows. “Do you feel it? It’s true that it hurts a little bit, but it’s not a big deal. Do you feel sorry for me, my love?”

Adrian shook his head helplessly. He stepped forward, stretched out his hands, held Jesse’s chin with one hand, cut the fingers of the other hand with magic, lifted Jesse’s hair, and drew a small but extremely delicate array on his forehead.

In a rare moment, Jesse didn’t move. Adrian could feel a subtle smile floating on the other party’s face close at hand, and his serious gaze was brushing his face inch by inch.

“You seem to have a poor tolerance to abyssal magic.” Skillfully ignoring the other party’s ambiguous actions, after drawing the formation, he explained patiently.

“I think so.” Jesse wiped the blood on his forehead with his fingertips, and his smile became more meaningful. “Your judgment is very accurate, Adri… It seems that I am not welcome here; very unwelcomed. Alas, the atmosphere just now was magnificent. You should have kissed me as well.”

“Get closer here, Mr. Dylan. Your position is too close to the edge, as far as your physical condition is concerned… It’s not suitable.” Adrian ignored him and continued solemnly.

Jesse Dylan crossed his arms, looking reluctant.

Although there was no problem with the formation, he didn’t look much better. Adrian hesitated for a few seconds, then stretched out a hand softly. “Please come here.”

“Adri, actually, I’ve been to the abyss before.” Jesse grabbed the hand. His palm was uncharacteristically cold. “It wasn’t that bad last time. Maybe this is what people say, ‘You’ll become allergic the second time.’”

“Maybe,” Adrian responded calmly, glancing at Jesse beside him.

Jesse Dylan smiled weakly and said nothing. He followed Adrian quietly, closed his mouth, and didn’t speak again, as everyone in Tumbleweed had always wanted.

They continued to move forward quietly.

It was too quiet, and an idea came out of the knight commander’s mind for no reason. He was obviously familiar with this lifeless silence. It had run through almost his entire life, but now he was unexpectedly unable to adapt to it again.

Adrian stopped instinctively.

As a battlefield-hardened warrior and a qualified leader, he was used to imagining all the bad possibilities, but he didn’t know why. He never thought that “Jesse Dylan might disappear from the world.” Perhaps it was because that proud guy always looked overconfident, or perhaps it was because of the opponent’s bottomless abnormal strength.

Maybe it was because the other party always had a casual and relaxed smile on his face.

With some kind of wonderful irritability, Adrian looked at the front of the team—the dark blue dragon was walking in front, and commander Rugo stood on the dragon’s head, looking like a small dot. They moved in the exact opposite direction with the other team, and after a few days, they were finally about to leave the land of Phantom Throat.

The hidden seventh set of magic arrays wasn’t far away.

They would guard the reconnaissance team to obtain the final information, and then the dragon would be equipped with expensive dragon breath stone flying props and fly back to the surface quickly with all of them to meet the other party at the entrance. They would first have to survive any possible battles, and then they need to deal with the fanatics who they didn’t know what they were planning.

This task was quite dangerous but wasn’t complicated.

He shouldn’t feel anxious because of a little accident.

But he still stopped, and when Jesse Dylan followed slowly, Adrian took another step, and the two walked side by side in silence. He stood firmly on the outer edge of the weakly defended team, clenched the metal bow in his hand, and firmly guarded the always annoying guy on the team.

Jesse continued to remain silent.

His internal organs were burning painfully, and Jesse, who had basically never suffered a loss on the surface, didn’t like this new and strange feeling at all. Nearly ten years ago, he had been to the bottom of the abyss—everything was under control at that time, and it went very smoothly as he didn’t encounter any opponents.

Almost nothing was found.

The situation had changed now, and something unreasonable had happened at the bottom of the Abyss. Even under the premise that he knew Nemo Light’s life well, Jesse still couldn’t be sure what was going on below.

And he must know.

Because this destructive sense of oppression was undoubtedly aimed at himself. The Nemo Light he knew, wouldn’t be hostile to him at this level, but except for Mr. Light, there was no other life in this world that could suppress him so much.

What exactly did Nemo Light plan before heading to the surface?

Even if “this part” of the body was used as a bargaining chip, he must at least determine the degree of danger at the bottom of the Abyss. It was just that if this body was lost here, all the information collected during this time will…

“Adri, are you protecting me?” Jesse glanced at the human walking side by side with him and skillfully injected a smile into his voice. “Then you have to protect me, I’m very fragile.”

“Okay,” After a silence of about half a minute, Adrian replied softly.


The author has something to say:

Hee Hee Hee Hee (?

Drumming up the flag has started!

Don’t lose Jesse’s flag. Take it out slowly to expose the Abyss. Maybe you can still live.

Knight commander: ……


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