Stray Ch238

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

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


Chapter 238: True Face

But it was just a human, he had thought before naming himself “Jesse Dylan.”

Jesse himself had no special interest in humans. It was just a young race that had appeared for less than 10,000 years. They were like ants or bees, and together they had the potential to make something surprising.

But that was all.

He watched everything, and on a whim would create a little natural disaster or harvest and adjust the distribution of various intelligent races. The larger intelligent races were the main sources of spellcasters. To ensure that there wasn’t a decrease in “rations”, he didn’t crowd them into piles. As for the fate of individuals, he never worried about it, let alone directly intervened.

After all, it was only for a moment.

Each intelligent race would create their own set of rules, virtues and vices, sacredness and filth. He watched coldly as those laws were changed and rewritten over time, only to find it interesting.

Those insignificant lives kept multiplying, fighting, loving, hating, and struggling to survive in the ruins. They founded countless religions, embraced powerful spells, and sacrificed food, fruits, prey, enemies, compatriots, and even themselves to the gods they imagined.

But he didn’t need that. He just needed those creatures that were like boiling water bubbles to do two things—continue to develop spells, use spells, and create a more brilliant civilization.

In this way, he wouldn’t feel hungry because of insufficient energy. Although it wasn’t a big deal to be hungry for a meal or two, the satisfaction of fullness made him even happier.

For some individuals, Jesse occasionally calculated their destiny, completely at random, as a pastime. Most of the results were unsurprisingly ordinary. The most special few, at best, were heroes or kings, and they died surrounded by wealth and power. In this perspective, the sleepy dragon was more interesting. Humans’ life span was extremely short, and a little accident was enough to make them lose their lives.

The first time he noticed Adrian Cross, Jesse didn’t expect much. A human cub, foolishly walking on the road of inevitable death. According to his own calculations, if he stayed in place, picked up the axe, and followed the example of his kind and sought cannibalism, he might have a chance to survive.

Such an idiot wasn’t rare to speak of.

But he calculated the seemingly short life of the human teenager at will, and his interest suddenly became a lot stronger.

Young Adrian Cross was destined to die on this snowy night without any solution, but he had a very high possibility of fundamentally affecting the fate of the entire surface; the kind of influence that wasn’t limited to just the “human world”, like becoming a hero of mankind to end wars or to unify all human countries, but the kind of influence that was limited to the “human world”.

A paradoxical and interesting result.

Jesse couldn’t help but pay a little attention and began to watch him seriously with interest.

The sky obscured by the blizzard was getting darker, and the possibility of human death was still 100%, while the possibility of affecting the surface was slowly decreasing. It seemed that it wouldn’t be a skeleton that would affect the fate of the surface, but it must be a surviving Adrian Cross.

Maybe he should let him die, Jesse thought, but the surface hadn’t changed significantly for thousands of years. That would arouse his interest, and the boredom was killing him, so he became a little curious.

That was just a fragile human being, and it stood to reason that it was completely under his own control. It shouldn’t be too much of a threat if he just allowed it to move out of his calculations.

Jesse didn’t hesitate for long before he got the answer that “it’s more important to have fun”. He separated a little bit of flesh from his body, threw it to the surface, turned it into a form acceptable to humans, and then put his consciousness into it.

This was the first time he rescued Adrian Cross.

This unscrupulous human gradually became stronger, and since it was no longer possible to calculate the fate of the other party, Jesse had to constantly keep a closer watch on him, so as to make sure the guy was still alive. Since he was alive, according to his own experience, the possibility of the other party changing the fate of the surface wouldn’t disappear so easily.

The discovery of Adrian Cross’s abnormality came after he rescued him for the first time.

Adrian Cross was amazingly talented. Jesse could sense those starry, unstoppable flashes of power returning from the surface, and Cross was a rather bright one among them. But he was in a very unnatural state—

The star would not twinkle.

The transaction request for magic was initiated by the spirit and was also influenced by it as well. No matter how devout a believer was, there would be a second when they would doubt the world and their faith would be shaken, causing a momentary flicker. From religious leaders to atheists, they would always falter—for the Gods, for themselves.

But the star belonging to Adrian Cross had never flickered since it became bright.

This wasn’t a human being he was familiar with, and Jesse suddenly found a goal for himself to relieve his boredom. He paid attention to the star in his mind with interest, eagerly waiting for it to flicker. With nothing else to do, he went to find out what Cross had been up to.

Cross became the commander of the Knights of Judgement.

Cross was named the “Shining Morning Star”.

Cross went to the border to participate in the battle for the dragon breath stone mine. In his flesh, Jesse was able to peep into Willard’s intention—to detonate the dragon breath stone mine and completely annihilate the elites of the Knights of Judgement.

This would not do. He had to wait for Cross to falter. Cross had to survive, but once Cross joined the battle, he would not have the ability to calculate everything with precision.

But he knew humans, and this would be just the thing to use as a means to trigger the flicker.

Jesse sat on the spire of the dragon breath stone mine, chewing a sweet grass root in his mouth briskly, and stopped responding to the star’s request.

Realizing that Adrian Cross had lost his strength, Willard became concerned about the upcoming detonation of the dragon breath stone mine, and immediately decided to fight for this precious resource again.

This was the second time he had pulled Cross away from the edge of death.

Restoring the opponent’s power immediately would make people suspicious, or perhaps internally, the Laddism Church would dispose of him. On the other hand, Jesse also wanted to see how the isolated star would react—

It still didn’t flicker.

Jesse wasn’t sure whether he should be satisfied or disappointed.

What happened next was even more interesting. Cross was locked up in Garland’s dungeon, and he hadn’t figured out how to get the other party out naturally, when Nemo Light took over the task of picking up the former knight commander.

The son of Flint Lopez, a royal descendant of Alban, and the will of “that one”.

It was like opening a magic candy box the size of a palm, and a torrent of snacks spewed out of it. Jesse almost immediately thought of the next course of action—Not only could he use their actions to rescue Adrian, but he could even find a chance to get into this interesting team, get up close and personal with his star, and take a look at the excitement along the way. After all, the opportunity was really rare, and it most definitely would have added a lot of fun.

Since the will of the “Demon King” had come to the surface, Jesse could basically guess what would happen next. Carpe diem had always been one of his guidelines.

This was the third time he used a slight technique to save Adrian from death.

He thought there would be a fourth time.

Adrian Cross didn’t falter for even half a second until his breathing stopped. People always said that religion and love were the easiest to drive people crazy, but he didn’t move. The knight didn’t fall in love, nor did he fall for lack of it. He longed for his fall, but he didn’t give up his faith because he didn’t get a response.

How ironic that he even died to protect “Jesse Dylan”.

He had lost. Jesse thought this should reasonably be the end of this story. Another small bubble had popped and disappeared, as humans always do.

But he was so peeved that he couldn’t even squeeze out a smirk.

Adrian Cross occasionally made him forget how fleeting humans were. Even if he knew his inhuman strength, the Knight of Judgment remained as he was. Cross didn’t despise, nor did he look up, but occasionally curled the corners of his mouth at him.

Foolish people, completely unaware of what exactly they were facing.

Standing at the entrance of the Abyss, Jesse Dylan, who had just awakened, grounded his teeth, and the more he thought about it, the more he felt suffocated. Fortunately, he had good objects on which to vent.

“…Please greet your gods properly.”

Originally, in order to let these fragile things relax their spirits and reproduce and develop more at ease, he made it a point to conceal his true form, but now he was in a bad mood.

Jesse lifted a strand of blond hair behind his ears and rubbed the blood stains on his fingertips. He stared at the fanatic in front of him coldly; his expression growing more blank.

At the moment when Jesse Dylan’s voice just fell, as always, no one was willing to buy the account of the notorious “Jesse the Viper”.

‘What an arrogant lunatic,’ the Laddist mage thought to himself. He opened his mouth instinctively, trying to throw out a few angry sentences, but then he couldn’t say anything…

It was a beautiful day, and just a second before, there was not a single cloud above the clear blue sky.

It should not have been so.

The sky disappeared, replaced by monsters that couldn’t be seen and couldn’t stop shifting and twisting.

He couldn’t describe it accurately in words. It completely covered the sky, and the margin extended to the other side of the horizon, as if wrapping around the world. The color of the monster that replaced the sky was dim, close to black, and every part was constantly twisting and surging. It was like a mixture of nightmares, pale corpses, and the whirlpool of the ocean.

But the sunshine was as usual, as if the world had made some kind of creepy mistake in the display. There was clearly darkness overhead, but the warm light eerily passed through the monster’s body and shone normally on the ground, as if the ground itself was glowing.

This wasn’t normal, it was too abnormal.

The mage took a half step back. His face was pale, and beads of sweat flowed down his cheeks.

“You just questioned God for about four seconds. Am I right?” The only remaining member of Tumbleweed whispered demonically.

The mage couldn’t answer. He opened his mouth slightly, and his mind couldn’t accept the scene in front of him for a while. He should scold the other party. He should kneel down and pray. But his muscles were tight, and he couldn’t move.

What was the “person” in front of him?

Countless strange thin limbs with flickering light hung down from the monsters that obscured the sky like aquatic plants in a stream that fluttered their leaves. They flickered with a white shimmer, especially around Jesse Dylan.

“It’s really sad. After all, you have always claimed to love me to death.” Jesse played with the thin limb closest to him with his fingers. “You should be honored that the god who provides you with magic is willing to be seen by you, and you’re still standing with your necks sticking out right now. How rude.”

Far above their heads, the approaching black behemoth twisted faster.

“Demon.” The mage struggled to squeeze a word out of his dry throat, and his whole body succumbed to the instinct of the creature, shaking almost unsteadily under the pressure of the heavy momentum.

Jesse raised his head and laughed loudly among the countless twisting and terrifying limbs.

“Sure enough, you never surprise me. Now I haven’t done anything, but you already gave me such a label—What would you use later when I make a move?”

He raised his chin eagerly. “It’s okay, it’s okay. After all, when eating cakes, I like to leave the strawberries for last. Well, let me think about it. Let’s start with you guys.”

After that, Jesse turned his head and casually flashed on the team of Mooney believers.

At this moment, the reconnaissance team had long been scattered. The Mooney believers stared at the sky in terror, shrinking their bodies in the malice that was almost suffocating, making their posture appear odd.

“It was the command of the Laddist fanatics who did this.” One of them, who still retained some sanity, emphasized loudly. “This is their internal conflict, isn’t it? We’re innocent! Innocent! Please…”

“When we rescued you all together down there, you didn’t seem to think it was an ‘internal matter of the Laddism Church’.” Jesse bared his teeth. “And just now, none of you even spoke up for him. Shhh, don’t lie to God. I’ve been watching you all.”

Jesse Dylan’s beautiful face was slightly distorted. “Of course, I understand. I get it. Because it’s the ‘right thing to do’ to protect you, right? As for the struggle afterwards, oh, that shit is on the Laddist fanatics. No one would blame you, at least not humans… But I think you got one thing wrong.”

The creepy smile returned to his face again. “What do human norms have to do with me?”

“No, no! If you do, our leader will respond—”

Beneath the massive monster, people desperately tried to hide from the thin limbs they could see but didn’t touch around them, as cries of fear mingled with nervous gasps.

“Relax. Like I said, I like to start with the least attractive part. It’s reasonable to save your lives. It’s only right to follow the rules of your game, and it’s also reasonable to use powerful surface magic through divine grace. A glory that belongs to God? It’s almost the same for you.”

Jesse snapped his fingers and his smile got more distorted.

“Everyone, say goodbye to your wonderful magic. You ignored my baby’s death, and I don’t want to deal with you anymore. What? Is this decision equally ‘justified’?”

The mage of the Laddism Church tried hard to suppress his fear and turned his neck with difficulty. The believers of the Mooney Sect were no less fanatical than themselves. No matter what Jesse Dylan did, they should scold the “demon”. The other party couldn’t be a God. He must have cut off God’s grace through some means…

There was silence.

Then there was a howl that made people’s hair stand upside down. The unique magic fluctuations of the strong disappeared in an instant. The faces of the believers of Mooney were ashen, and their heavy and rapid gasps were filled with despair.

No one made a sound.

“No.” The mage tried to move his gaze away from the terrifying monster on the top of his head.

It can’t be like this. There couldn’t be just one God, let alone…

“Then there’s you, our dear commander. You gave the order, right? If you agreed to wait for a while, even those brainless guys wouldn’t dare act so openly. Let’s see, let’s see… Well, because Adri is a human and humans don’t have many redeeming qualities. I can understand your contempt for them, because I can’t speak about liking them either.”

The dwarf commander shook his beard and his giant eyes rolled up, staring straight at the strange being in the sky. He waited for Jesse to approach and didn’t hesitate to cast the scroll that had already been ignited in his pocket.

Jesse caught it, and then the scroll that should have exploded instantly turned into dust.

“‘Vulcan Mansfield’s Aura’? Come on, my breath isn’t that fragile. Oh, I forgot, I actually don’t like breathing at all.”

“You can fool those idiots. They are a bunch of humans after all.” Rugo finally pulled his gaze back. “You can’t fool me. I don’t know what tricks you played, but I’ve been walking in the Abyss for many years, and I have long been prepared to sacrifice. As for losing power? Those groups of humans may care for your little trick, but we advocate wisdom and experience more! I’m not afraid of death, and even if I lose my sanity, my compatriots will not turn their backs on me!”

His voice was shrill and trembled with rage.

“Lord Mansfield, the Vulcan, will never forsake his people easily!”

“Well spoken.” Jesse whistled. “I’m going to forsake you—Oh, how I long wanted to try this. Take it easy. You’re so old that you should enjoy a happy life in your old age.”

For the first time, the leader of the Laddist fanatics let out a fearful whimper from his throat.

He could perceive that the magical aura was quickly leaving the body of the one-eyed dwarf. Unlike the “immediate disappearance” of the group of people following Mooney, a complete and slender magic circuit shook slightly in the air and was directly stripped out of the dwarf’s body.

There was no splashing of flesh and blood, but the dwarf screamed in disbelief. Under the gaze of other one-eyed dwarves, his body began to turn black, and clumps of bone spurs appeared at his joints. The yellow giant eye turned red, and the originally rickety spine twisted even more severely.

A faint demonic aura spread out.

“I will return you to your original master,” Jesse announced coldly, “but since you ordered Adri to be executed, as a companion, that one may not be willing to accept you, let alone help you repair the abyssal circuit.”

“Vulcan Mansfield hates demons. Well, let me think about it… In the face of a demon who’s familiar with the knowledge and hometown of the one-eyed dwarfs and has countless experience in exploring the Abyss, the believers of Vulcan will definitely give you the highest respect and let you enjoy your old age in peace.”

“You think it’s troublesome to meddle in human affairs and kill them. Then I won’t bother to destroy the circuit. It’s fair to take it back, right? Why, isn’t this a ‘miracle bestowed by Vulcan’? Pray, why don’t you pray?”

Jesse glanced at the other dwarves who were huddled in fear, and their eyes gradually became hostile.

The rest of the one-eyed dwarves received the same treatment as the Mooney Sect and were finally completely overwhelmed by fear. They screamed and prayed loudly, pounced on their former commander, and desperately tore the limbs of the “newborn demon”, as if intending to escape this desperate situation.

The scene in front of him was like the most desperate nightmare.

It shouldn’t be like this.

The Laddist mage wanted to escape, but he was as unable to move as his companions. It can’t be Zenni. That can’t be Zenni. His thoughts were chaotic and crazy, torn apart by fear.

Perhaps this was a scene between Mooney and Tumbleweed. In short, there must be something strange in all this. All the evidence was false. There must be an explanation behind it, including the oppressive evil creature above their heads.

An explanation that conforms to doctrines…

Yes, they must still be in the Abyss, caught in a certain demon’s terrible illusion. All this was false. Whether they die or wake up, this absurd nightmare must have an end. Their God was waiting and watching. In any case, the ideal paradise must be ahead.

“Congratulations, you’re the last batch.” Turning around with his back to the screams, wails, and gibberish, the expression on Jesse’s face could hardly be considered a “smile”.

He paced back to the mage and held his face with both hands.

“I can probably guess what you’re thinking,” he said sweetly, “and I’m pretty sure what you are about to think… Next, you’ll envy the ones who died in the beginning. Oh, you’re so shaken that God will be disappointed.”

‘Have to escape,’ The mage thought to himself. They were no match for this monster.

But he immediately discovered that he could not move. His feet, wrapped in boots, were deforming, piercing the thick leather boots, revealing a shapeless, rough stone surface.

“You… demon…”

His muscles were turning into clusters of stones, and the alienation spread rapidly from the soles of his feet, accompanied by severe pain that could almost make people faint. His arms clung to the side of his body uncontrollably, his jaw trembled and raised, and half of his torso was completely petrified…

In the horror of losing control, the mage gritted his teeth and directly slashed his throat with the dragon breath stone dagger in his hand.

Whether this was reality or an illusion, he recognized it. Instead of continuing to be tormented by this maddening unknown and fear, it was better to just return to Zenni’s side…

But he failed to succeed.

“’The believers of Zenni will not do such a cowardly thing as suicide. We will die with faith, in battle, in a fate we cannot foresee.” Jesse clenched the mage’s wrist mercilessly, held the dagger easily in his hand, and turned it into powder. “This is a black and white doctrine, Mr. Devotee. I’m afraid your behavior is not appropriate.”

“It must be… the Demon King’s conspiracy…”

The petrification continued to spread.

The mage’s hands were no longer able to move, his chin was forced to be raised, and his face was facing the sky. His throat gradually turned to stone, and in the unbearable pain, he could only let out a desperate and vague whine. He couldn’t close his eyes, but he wasn’t blind. His entire field of vision was occupied by the monster in the sky.

“’Don’t run away from your faults, just as you look directly at all the heart-wrenching truths.’” Jesse shrugged. “I talk to Mr. Demon King every day, so I’ll make an exception and lend you my vision. It’s not a bad idea to add some thoughts to your future.”

The blond young man spoke as he pointed his finger at the forehead of the mage that was still normal flesh.

The overly vast scene smashed into the brain, almost shattering what was left of the fanatic’s sanity. His brain and heart almost exploded from the horror of what was in his vision.

No.

The fanatic used his last strength to squeeze out a dissonant scream. His voice sounded almost outside of the human realm.

It can’t be like this.

“Do you like it? The truth you follow.” Jesse’s voice was getting softer. “Humans have always been like this. You count barnacles and algae scraps, order around small fish and shrimp, and give them names—this is a subordinate demon, that is an intermediate demon, and the stronger ones are superior demons.”

“But you have been ignoring the whale under your feet.”

But the mage had completely turned into a living statue and couldn’t respond. Just like him, the other Laddist fanatics were not far behind as they stood on the ground in silence and despair, looking at the sky together.

The stony eyelids couldn’t be closed and still have vision, forcing them to be wide open. A single tear rolled down the stone, unknowing whether it was out of fear or despair.

Jesse clapped his hands in satisfaction.

“To avoid you getting bored, your feelings are still there—hearing, touch, pain. The dryness of your eyes, hunger, or thirst will not disappear. Thanks to the Withered Castle, this was an inspiration from humankind.” Jesse Dylan gathered his blond hair together and snorted coldly. “But don’t worry, your God is equally considerate. Even if you can’t eat and become swarmed with the poisonous insects that will cause you trouble, I will ensure that each and every one of you will live here until you die of old age without ever having to worry about the Abyss again.”

“Believe it or not, feel free to do as you please next. Pray for a delusional god, or give up your faith—Oh, I’m willing to be watched by you all the time. I must say, my generosity is quite commendable.”

After that, he turned around and paid no attention to the group of stone statues moving strangely behind him.

The reconnaissance team, which originally wasn’t missing a single person, was now in pieces. Except for the blue dragon, who was still in a coma because of its loss in strength and knew nothing, there was only one sane member left, which was the blind Hamlin Elmer. The young man was shrinking in his chair, shivering and clutching his ears tightly.

Jesse glanced at the other one-eyed dwarves with bloodstain beards who were tearing up the commander’s corpse and the Mooney believers who had fallen into madness not far away and decided to let the young man stay in the dark for a while longer.

He had more important things to do.

In this world, there had never been a life that could return from death, and resurrection didn’t exist. There were mages who perfectly replicated the living body of the deceased before, but it was just demented flesh that wasn’t worthy of the deceased himself.

Jesse Dylan sighed, embraced the still warm corpse in his arms, then bent down gently and let his body lie on the ground. While relieving the time delay spell he had imposed, he looked at the emptiness in the other party’s chest.

“Ugh.” The blond young man slowly brushed the other’s cheek with his hand. “I left Hamlin Elmer behind. You have to praise me on that. And maybe we’ll have a bunch of questions to discuss. Changing the fate of the surface? Maybe this possibility has been realized already… and I’m part of the surface.”

He didn’t activate a healing spell. Jesse knew very well that even if he repaired the body, which had stopped most of its functions, he would only be able to get a body with an intact shape.

“This is something I learned from the Abyss. How to put it, not bad Mr. Light.”

Jesse retracted his right hand, stroking the other cheek, and chattered on in a relaxed and flat tone.

Then the hand broke into his ribs and plunged directly into his chest. The mimicry of a human body was ripped apart and blood kept gushing out. However, there was no distortion on Jesse Dylan’s face. After an unbearable agitation of the flesh, Jesse raised his brows at the beating flesh in his hand.

“I voluntarily give up this piece of flesh, this power,” he said simply, as white light glowed around his heart. “Now I’m willing to give it away, and this life span is shared with the contractor.”

Then he glanced at the hot organ in his hand with a complicated expression, sighed heavily again, and stuffed it into the hollow of Adrian Cross’ chest.

The living piece of meat squirmed quickly, instantly repairing the defect in the other party’s chest. His own broken ribs and wounds healed in an instant, and a cleansing spell cleaned up the blood on his hands. Jesse watched the human body in front of him tremble, and under the penetration and wrapping of the white light, signs of breathing reappeared.

“Oh, this is really the stupidest thing I’ve ever done. For the fourth time, Adrian Cross.” Jesse grabbed the other party’s mangled collar, and finally showed a flirtatious smile again. “You have to thank me for this.”

“…Speaking of which, according to human romance, should I kiss you now?”


Kinky Thought:

That was some serious face slapping. Don’t piss off your God. This chapter sent chills down my spine.


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