Stray Ch257

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

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


Chapter 257: Unknown Date

Old John had worked in the Mercenary Guild Registration Office for thirty years.

Strictly speaking, he wasn’t yet fifty years old yet, but he didn’t have much ambition and revealed a lazy aura comparable to that of an old man. The veteran mercenaries who usually came and went directly used “Old John”.

The Mercenary Guild had always been very friendly to old employees. With the ability to recite all the weird regulations, Old John could still sit in this small management room for more than a decade.

The treatment wasn’t much, but it was enough to feed a family.

He had no magical talents, and his body was too weak to do any work that required physical strength. Old John wasn’t very dissatisfied with the status quo. Even if he earned less, he could at least enjoy the leisure. He liked teaching youngsters and those under him could usually deal with most situations, while the more uncommon things required him to go out in person.

‘What a shame,’ he thought to himself, pushing an unopened thick envelope aside.

It was an invitation letter from the faculty of Clementine Academy.

To be honest, Old John was excited to go, but he simply couldn’t go. His waist problems worsened rapidly as he got older and couldn’t bear to spend a lot of money on continuous treatment. He couldn’t stand for more than two hours without the cushion embroidered with a magic array.

Not to mention being an ancient Elven language professor who needed to do fieldwork.

Old John adjusted the cushion behind his lower waist, changed to a more comfortable posture, and sighed regretfully.

It was just a mundane story.

There were few jobs that could be selected, and within a few years of entering this business, Old John settled down early. Since he had a lot of free time, he had developed his interests a little. This weak registration manager often had nothing to do, so he would go to the library of the headquarters of the Mercenary Guild. He would try to learn and translate some ancient elven language with his amazing memory.

Over the years, Old John had really made a name for himself.

In the past few years, he had even successfully cracked a few chapters of fragments that few people understood. Clementine Academy paid him a lot of gold coins for this, and he used them to give his family a bright house that wouldn’t leak on rainy days.

There was even a small garden where he could grow some mint that he liked.

That was enough. Even if he couldn’t be a professor, he could at least make a little more money doing this.

He originally planned to throw away the letter, but since the incident happened yesterday, he couldn’t help hesitating again.

Old John took a sip of his mint tea, squinted his eyes in the afternoon sun, and pondered the abnormality of yesterday afternoon…

At that time, as usual, he was writing a report while slowly pouring mint tea for himself. The daily reports were the same as always, so he hardly needed to use his brain and he almost fell asleep with a pen in his hand.

There was no precursor.

Like silk across the skin, a faint warm current suddenly flowed through his limbs and bones. It felt very wonderful, like he had hazily chosen something, but it wasn’t like he had made any great decision.

It was like seeing a beautiful sunset on the way home. Before the consciousness reacted, the body subconsciously raised its head to look. Comfortable and natural, almost instinctive.

The feeling only stayed for a few seconds. Immediately, he found that the pain in his waist was slowly disappearing.

The effect was very similar to the feeling of seeing a therapist before, but the duration was a bit subtle and long.

The therapists were very consistent in their views on his waist. The bones in his waist were naturally weak and could only be strengthened for a while with a strengthening spell, but it always had a time limit. While his disease wasn’t fatal, it also couldn’t be cured.

But this time, it stopped for a whole day. Old John sat on the magic cushion, anxiously waiting for the pain to hit. The anxiety made him upset that he hadn’t even read a single document.

Something was wrong.

Old John finally took a deep breath, saved up the courage to stand up, and took an action that he hadn’t dared to do for more than ten years.

He wriggled his ass.

This courage was accompanied by a knock on the door. Lena, who was supposed to be in charge of reception at the front desk, was stunned at the door, staring blankly at her boss, who was making indecent gestures.

Old John coughed embarrassedly. “…I have repeated it many times, Lena. Remember to knock.”

The young girl twisted her hands uncomfortably. “Sir, there’s a situation outside that needs you to deal with.”

“What’s the situation?” Old John put a kind smile on his face, pretending that nothing had happened a few minutes ago.

“A Black Chapter team that was broken up not long ago has come in for the replacement formalities. They’re asking to register a new member. Uh, that new member is a special situation and needs your signature. And, and…”

The receptionist swallowed and finally remembered the point of the matter. A fine sweat appeared on her forehead, and her face began to turn pale.

“The Queen of Alban is in that team.”

“……”

Old John suddenly forgot the issue of his waist. He jumped up like a rabbit and rushed out of the room.

Fortunately, the situation wasn’t as serious as he thought.

There were no groups of guards, maids on call, and naturally, there was no new queen dressed up.

There were only four young people in the private reception room of the Mercenary Guild headquarters, and another receptionist on duty who was talking to one of them. Old John nervously turned his gaze to the only female figure…

The Queen of Alban was dressed in a valiant manner, still wearing her old leather armor, and a thin scarf used to cover her appearance was pulled to her chin. A gray parrot was resting on her wrist armor, and she was talking to it.

Ann Savage.

No, it should be said that it was Andrea Alastair.

Old John wiped the sweat from his head. Since the other party didn’t visit with great fanfare, naturally she didn’t intend to attract too much attention. According to the process, it was indeed up to him if he wanted to receive them.

“Good afternoon, everyone.” With decades of experience, Old John pulled out a perfect smile. “Excuse me…”

“I was notified a week ago that Tumbleweed’s name was removed.”

The young man who was talking to the receptionist stood up, took the initiative to walk up to Old John, and stretched out a friendly hand.

“Oliver Ramon, the leader of Tumbleweed. Let’s do a new full registration this time—I want to get that name back. Sorry to trouble you. This requirement is not illegal, is it? “

“Of course, of course,” Old John said in a daze.

For some reason, he had an inexplicable intimacy with the young man in front of him. If it weren’t for knowing that the badge he was wearing was resistant to charm spells, he would’ve thought it was the effect of charm.

“Currently, there is no Black Chapter team that claims the name of Tumbleweed. As long as you go through the formalities, you can use it again immediately. But, um… Mr. Ramon, I noticed that Miss Savage is also on your team.”

Old John coughed dryly.

“You, do you really plan to continue to be a Black Chapter? Not to be rude, but you can…”

“Let me pardon them.” Ann took over the conversation with a big grin and narrowed her eyes. The gray parrot flew up from her wrist and rested on her shoulder.

Old John shook his hand and took out his handkerchief, wiping the sweat from his forehead.

“I originally planned to do that, but unfortunately, our leader doesn’t have this idea now. As a member of Tumbleweed, I decided to obey the instructions of our leader.” The queen, dressed as a female warrior, curled her lips, but there wasn’t much dissatisfaction on her face.

‘Damn,’ Old John muttered in his heart. This situation was really tricky—it was as incomprehensible as a beggar picking up a bag of gold, taking it back to use as a stool while he continued to eat stale bread.

“That’s it.” Oliver Ramon nodded.

“Uh, it’s not impossible… What about the new team member you want to register? You know, I have to understand the situation of the new member as it involves the new rating of Tumbleweed.”

Old John beat his waist habitually and took out a stack of information from the cupboard near the entrance.

“The signatures of you and the new member are necessary. If the new member has been in another team before—”

“The new member is here.” The blond young man who had been gnawing on fruit in the corner approached. He threw away the seed and grabbed the gray parrot that stopped on the shoulder of the female warrior. “It may not be able to sign well, but a pawprint is also valid, right?”

Caught in the hand of the beautiful young man, the parrot instantly became stiff and began to pretend to be dead.

“…” Old John didn’t know how to answer for a while.

If these people came to the headquarters of the Mercenary Guild to pick a fight, this gesture was too serious.

“If you want that name, as long as you spend a little money, we can keep it for you.”

Facing Ramon’s gentle emerald eyes, Old John found that he couldn’t even make his tone tougher. At the moment, his tone was more like an exhortation than an explanation.

“Registering pets is different. Although it’s not that no one has ever done this… But whether it’s a hazard rating, task assignment, or tax payment, the number of members is a very important indicator. You have to pay one more person, and you have to take more risks for nothing. To be honest, even if this parrot is a transformed dragon, I personally suggest that you continue to keep its pet status.”

“No, Bagelmaurus is our companion.” Oliver Ramon sounded very serious.

The gray parrot maintained a stiff posture and let out an excited untimely cry.

“If you insist.” The other party’s tone was very firm, and Old John didn’t plan to say anything more.

After preparing the documents and pen and paper, he glanced at Ann carefully again. “If you have other needs…”

“Don’t mind me. Please treat me as if I don’t exist.” Ann waved her hand quite casually.

“Thank you.” Oliver nodded solemnly and took the pen from Old John.

He didn’t hesitate and signed his name beautifully. The gray parrot inserted one foot into the ink bottle and trotted merrily over the parchment paper. Had Oliver not held it down in time, it looked like it wanted to run a few more pawprints excitedly.

“Then, then I will retire first. These materials only need to be stamped with a spell mark, and the procedures will be completed soon. It’s almost lunch time now. If you are hungry, there will be a reception to greet you later.”

“Is there anything else we need to do?” Oliver scratched his hair.

“No, but…”

“Then I won’t bother you.” Oliver Ramon smiled and shook his head.

“Okay, Mr. Ramon.” Old John felt a little bit of indescribable regret, but he could only put on a standard smile again. “If you are going on a mission next, we can also provide—”

Oliver paused for a few seconds as he straightened his sword.

“No, it’s just a personal matter,” he said softly. “I have an appointment to go to.”

“Ah, excuse me.”

“It’s okay, sir. By the way, I do have something to ask you.”

“Please speak.”

“In five days, a letter may be sent here. If it does appear, then please modify the relevant information of Tumbleweed according to the information.”

“Okay, please leave it to us. Is it just five days? If it doesn’t arrive…”

“It will come,” The leader of Tumbleweed said resolutely.

Oliver Ramon’s smile was a bit complicated and shouldn’t belong to someone of his age. Old John couldn’t help sighing, but he held back politely.

“…I believe it will come.” As he watched the group leave the room, he heard the young man repeat in a low voice.

Five days.

The members of Tumbleweed disappeared from view, and Old John squeezed his sweaty handkerchief and wiped the sweat from his face again.

It was pretty good. If his waist still didn’t hurt after five days, he would go to the therapist to check on it. If everything went well, then he could finish this matter and go to Clementine Academy and give it a try.

The bottom of the Abyss was trembling violently.

The young Pandorater had attached herself to a corpse and looked blearily at the humanoid Demon King in front of her.

[You… You are…]

“Be prepared. You, first find a safe place to hide for a while. The wind will become strong in a bit,” Nemo replied.

Pandorater silently shrank into the hard shell behind the corpse of a superior demon, poked out a little limb of mist, and continued to observe carefully.

After recovering from a period of weakness, the Lord Demon King’s behavior made her incomprehensible.

The Demon King first restored the illusion of a human town and then lay on the roof of one of them, smiling at the false sky above his head. He continued chatting with her about the surface and seemed to be in an unusually good mood.

Everything went smoothly.

She thought it would be the same today, but she didn’t expect that as soon as she circled around, the bottom of the Abyss would shake.

The slightly small human figure floated in the air, and countless dark shadows revolved around him at extreme speed. More and more dark shadows rose out of the Demon King’s grave at the bottom of the Abyss, gradually becoming viscous, like a liquid.

After the number of dark shadows was enough to cover half of the sky, countless shimmering white bones broke through the sand and flew towards the illusory blue sky, rushing towards the sun.

Following the Demon King’s gestures, they flew and reorganized in the illusory sun. The humanoid Demon King controlled them easily, as if he was conducting an orchestra.

Eventually, it took on a definite shape.

Under the head-on blow of the too powerful demon pressure, the little Pandorater shrank herself into a ball and squeezed back into the demon’s skeleton. She barely recognized the appearance of the newborn monster…

Humans called them “dragons”, but this was too different from the dragons she knew.

The dark scales flickered like obsidian, had three pairs of eyes as white as moonlight, and the Demon King’s unique cross-shaped pupils. A huge dragon-like creature took shape in the air, and just a little murderous aura leaked from that creature made her almost subconsciously cut off her limbs and flee for her life.

The movement of “Nemo Light” didn’t stop.

The appearance of the brand-new creature became clearer…

Two pairs of huge wings spread out in the air, covering the bright sunlight. The dark green feathers emitted fluorescence on the edges of the wings, as beautiful as the embedded dark blue stones. It hung down its neck gracefully, and the dark shadow brushed its scales like an electric current for a long time.

‘It’s not a dragon,’ she thought, but she didn’t know what it was.

“Black may be more appropriate,” the Demon King murmured, showing a smile.

The aura emitted by the huge creature at this moment was no different from that of the Demon King.

It was just that it didn’t seem to be conscious—after being created, it laid down around the fantasy town, with its long-forked tail surrounding it, and closed its eyes.

In this way, it fell asleep in a guarding position.

Pandorater tried hard to pull herself out of the demon’s skeleton and timidly leaned over again.

[What is this?] Although the aura had calmed down, she was still a little frightened.

“Sorry, the movement was a bit loud just now. Are you not hurt?” The Demon King patted her misty limbs.

“…This is a preventive measure,” he added after withdrawing his hand.

[Prevention? To prevent what?]

“Prevent me from being locked up and never coming back.” The Demon King’s smile made her even more confused. “There has to be a guard here. It’s clear to me now that only instinctive puppets work well.”

“In two days, the surface will try to summon my consciousness—if they don’t do it now. So whether it’s to negotiate or to kill me more safely, Oliver Ramon’s most logical next action will only be this.”

[That—isn’t that a bad thing? Why are you laughing? Don’t respond to them! If you have any information to bring to the surface, I can go to other superior demons—if they have flesh on the surface, I will ask them to spread the word.]

“Good girl.” The Demon King’s smile became more prominent. “But no need. There’s no point in having messages brought out by others. Rather, it would be more suspicious to entrust others with the message instead.”

[The surface is very dangerous. You clearly know that they might hurt you…] She held back for a long time and could only say this.

But it was useless. Pandorater was furious—the Demon King had undoubtedly thought about this for a long time. He even specifically created a powerful puppet to guard the bottom of the Abyss.

[Don’t go.] The young demon kept repeating.

“Don’t worry. It’s just that, in theory, I have to consider the worst possibility,” the humanoid Demon King said. “…But I know Ollie.”

He sat down near the claws of that strange and beautiful creature, leaned on the smooth scales, and continued to look at the sky.

“This is a date.”


The author has something to say:

Ollie: Will it be the cold Pillar of the World or Nemo?

Nemo: Is Ollie planning to simply kill me, or did he want to talk?

The date is thrilling and exciting (×


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