Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 259: Collapsed Chessboard
Oliver’s eyes were firmly locked on the phantom in front of him.
If the one on the opposite side was the “Nemo” he knew, he would definitely not be able to suppress the boiling feelings at this moment. The Nemo Light he was familiar with wasn’t very good at hiding his emotions, and even being “expressionless” he had to rely on the sandpoint plums for help.
This thought flashed through his mind, but in the next second, Oliver dismissed it.
Today’s self wasn’t much different from the Nemo in front of him.
Oliver pursed his lips and moved a few steps forward. The Rest in Peace in his left hand wasn’t lowered, and the tip of the sword was still pointed upwards vigilantly.
At that moment, the two of them were only one step away from each other.
Restlessness, panic, anxiety, as well as eagerness, desire, and longing. All kinds of turbulent feelings were forcibly pressed into his heart, and at first glance, the two of them were even calm.
Like the calm before the storm.
Nemo’s illusion sat on Ulysses’ huge skull, moving naturally without the slightest stiffness. Using the power of the magic array, the skull slowly floated up and down in the air, and the orange light jumped on the surface of the bones.
The floating skull made him two heads taller than Oliver. The Demon King lowered his gaze slightly. His non-human cruciform pupils contracted slightly, staring at the summoner in front of him.
“I hope to be able to make a deal with you,” Oliver repeated, without using honorifics.
Nemo didn’t answer; he just looked at Oliver seriously, without blinking.
“Can you tell, Dylan? Is that Nemo, or…” Ann carefully crossed the lines of the hot charcoal-burning magic formation and leaned beside the white behemoth.
“Can’t.” Jesse didn’t hesitate for a second. “If the Pillar of the World wants to pretend to be ‘Nemo Light’, I can’t tell the difference. This is a purely spiritual thing. Psychopathic humans pretending to be normal are hard to distinguish at first glance. It takes a long time through observation.”
The white behemoth shook one ear in the direction of Telaranea. “Not to mention the Pillar of the World, even if Telaranea pretends to be ‘in love’ with a person, normal humans can’t tell.”
Ann anxiously looked at the center of the formation while gripping the hunting spear in her hand.
The Pillar of the World knew everything about Nemo Light, and no matter what the “Nemo” in front of them did, they all had reasons to doubt him. There had never been a magic of “I know this is him” in the world, nor had anyone had 100% accurate intuition.
In this matter, Oliver couldn’t make any mistakes—not to mention mistakes, he couldn’t even make a small gaffe.
He was negotiating with the world itself.
The dark clouds in the sky tumbled and were illuminated by the light of the magic array. The woods behind him continued to make a loud noise of tree trunks cracking. There was no trace of that weird watery smell. The air was getting hotter and brighter, and it was difficult to tell whether it was the effect of the magic array or if flames were really burning.
Everything around him seemed to be the end of the world, and the aura of destruction in the air was so strong that he couldn’t breathe. The suffocating effect was exacerbated by sweat coming out of his pores and sticking his tight clothing to his skin.
Taking into account the identities of the two people at the center of the magic array and everyone present, this may be a major event that should be recorded in the annals of human history, but Ann didn’t have much realism. Excessive familiarity and companionship stripped away those unimportant parts, leaving only a pair of sad lovers.
Ann didn’t succeed in feeling fear; she was just a little faintly sad.
“…What is the content of the transaction?” Seeing that Oliver hadn’t continued for a long time, the phantom cooperated and accepted the conversation.
Just like the countless conversations they have had.
“There was a knight’s oath between us.” Oliver cleared his throat.
The array became brighter. There was a starry sky above their heads, but the surroundings were like day.
“Yes. Later, you went out of my sphere of influence, and it’s no longer effective.” The Demon King’s tone was peaceful, sounding like he was just stating the facts, without any emotions.
“I want to restore it in a more equal form.” There was an imperceptible tremor in Oliver’s tone.
Nemo opened his mouth and didn’t speak.
“I have introduced a new power system to this world. This new information, as well as the developments and changes it will bring, I believe they have certain value to you.”
Oliver’s voice was not drowned out by the huge wind in the surrounding forest, serious and calm.
He placed his clenched right hand in the position of his heart, lowered his head, and saluted earnestly.
“…I promise not to hurt you and do my best to protect you and stop any fatal injuries that come from this world at you,” he said clearly.
“In exchange, you have to promise me—don’t destroy the surface before it destroys itself.”
Nemo didn’t move. He just bent his eyes and showed a little smile at the corner of his mouth. There was no despair or sadness floating on the surface of those silver eyes. On the contrary, his gaze was so soft that Oliver couldn’t bear to doubt it.
But he must continue until the moment of certainty.
“To exchange one’s intelligence and loyalty for the smoothness of the world…… A very good proposal.”
Nemo’s voice was gentle and relaxed.
“…It’s just that I noticed that the surrounding array is not related to transactions. I’m a little curious, Ollie. If I refuse, what are you going to do?”
Oliver closed his eyes.
“I will use that magic array to trap you and close this place. I will stay by your side, as your jailer in this life, until the current surface civilization disappears. I know that destruction is your freedom… but I have my position and I’m really sorry.”
This time, Oliver couldn’t help smiling a little sad.
“If you don’t want to wait or sleep and still insist on choosing destruction… I promised you once. You should remember the answer,” he added softly, without concealing anything.
Nemo just looked at him.
He had given all the options and was just waiting for the other party to speak again.
Staring at the inhuman pupils, Oliver couldn’t help repeating in his heart, and finally couldn’t hold back his tears. His expression remained calm, and he didn’t tremble or choke, but tears kept sliding down his face. He didn’t intend to show any weakness at all. This was supposed to be a serious negotiation. He just…
The phantom didn’t answer immediately.
The Demon King’s illusion lowered his head slightly, leaned down, and printed a kiss on his forehead that wasn’t warm, but felt like a breeze.
“On one side is freedom and strength, on the other is a long wait without any benefit. I have no reason to refuse.”
The smile of “Nemo” in front of him was even more obvious.
The Demon King stretched out his immaterial right hand and stroked Oliver’s cheek vaguely. Countless dark formations suddenly piled up in the air. They instantly overflowed between heaven and earth, but they weren’t murderous in aura.
The person in front of him was filled with tears.
The filaments of gray mist then rose, entwined with black shadows, replicating the exact same magic formations. They split the darkness in droves, like fluorescent jellyfish floating in the night sky. The illusory and delicate beauty was unreal enough that it was breathtaking.
Although he couldn’t understand the meaning of those formations, Oliver could vaguely perceive their effects by instinct.
It was undoubtedly a contract, a promise, stronger and more stable than their nonsense knight’s oath at the beginning.
He lightly pressed the shadow of Nemo’s outstretched right hand with his left hand, holding the sword, and closed his eyes.
The wind stopped at that moment.
Within more than ten kilometers of the surrounding area, the broken leaves and branches that were swept into the sky by the wind fell back to the ground. The magic array that was dazzling enough to make people’s eyes tingle subsided slightly, and the surrounding scene was restored from the doomsday fire to a reversed desolate dusk.
The human he loved really struggled to the end.
Nemo didn’t withdraw the hand. He could feel Oliver’s body temperature.
The windows full of gray soil were wiped clean, and sunlight shot into the darkness. “Nemo Light” would no longer panic and be negative because of the unknown, and it was difficult to let his emotions get out of control, but he did feel that the moment the body temperature touched his fingertips, his body’s heartbeat in the distant Abyss was undoubtedly half a beat faster.
His lover really didn’t let him down.
He wanted to say believe me, I still love you now. He wanted to say that there was no need for a new power system, but “Oliver Ramon” himself was enough to bring too much new information that he couldn’t analyze.
But at the moment, anything said would easily arouse suspicion. He had to give his best, with the gentlest movements, and kissed the other on the forehead.
Just as if they had “really” met for the first time.
The deal proposed by Oliver, whether it was the rational Ulysses or himself, who loved Ollie deeply, was difficult to find a reason to refuse.
Then his Hero, after ensuring that the world would not be destroyed, would never give up…
“This is the first part of the contract.”
Sure enough, Oliver spoke again, with a hoarse tone in his voice.
“Now that you agree, please allow me to continue.”
Nemo retracted his right hand and looked at the familiar emerald eyes.
“The next thing I want to ask is a question that is so small to the world that it is not even worth mentioning. It itself cannot bring you any specific benefits. It is just very common among humans…”
Oliver’s voice really began to tremble this time because of tension, and he got tragically tongue-tied.
In the previous knight’s oath, the newborn God, his lover, had always straightened his back and performed appropriate etiquette to the utmost. Although Nemo could recognize the tension in that voice, he had to admit that Oliver had concealed it well.
But right now, Oliver in front of him was a little nervous that he couldn’t hide it.
Nemo pondered for a moment, jumped off the floating skull, stood in front of Oliver in a phantom state, and changed his gaze to meet his eye level.
‘Maybe this will make the other party feel better,’ Nemo thought to himself.
How did Oliver plan to confirm it?
During the days at the bottom of the Abyss, Nemo deduced the game between life and death over and over again, thinking about how the other party would restrain himself and how to deal with the current confusing situation, but he really hadn’t thought about this—with subtle expectations, intentionally or unintentionally, Nemo avoided thinking about it.
The serious and calm Oliver was gradually disappearing, replaced by his familiar appearance.
Through a bit of youthfulness and helplessness that belonged to young people alone, Oliver Ramon, the son of the innkeeper, was standing in front of him.
Surrounded by twisted trees, he was imprisoned in the formation with a chilling aura. Ulysses’ skull was tilted to one side, still exuding a faint aura of the Abyss, but Oliver’s eyes slipped to his companion, with a little emptiness and embarrassment.
Nemo couldn’t help raising his eyebrows.
As if doing a mental workout, his new knight thrust the Rest in Peace into the mud beside him and exhaled deeply—
Oliver knelt down a little awkwardly, and finally opened his right hand that he had been holding tightly.
Two rings were lying quietly in his sweaty palms because of tension.
“A… Just a simple question.”
His Hero’s voice changed a little bit because of tension, and his beautiful emerald eyes flickered slightly in the chilling light of the magic array, full of expectation and desire.
“Nemo,” Oliver called softly. His eyes fixed straight on his face, as if he didn’t intend to let go of any details.
“Are you willing to live with me and accompany me until the end of your life… Uh, I mean, will you be willing to ma—marry… me.”
Oliver’s voice got stuck again.
And Oliver’s companions, no, his own companions have expressed their opinions on this.
Nemo was pretty sure he heard the huge beast that had Jesse’s aura sputter, followed by a long snort of laughter.
Adrian Cross, for his part, gulped, only to remember to sigh a few seconds later.
“I have thought about 10,000 reasons why he didn’t take the initiative to tell us the plan,” Ann yelled loudly. “I never thought the reason would be so… personal.”
“Ramon is crazy—!!!” The gray parrot let out a scream directly and fell from the branch to the ground.
It was indeed a valid question.
The Pillar of the World had never been proposed before, and no expedition member would make such a dangerous move at the bottom of the Abyss. If it were Ulysses, he would not know how to react. And if it was him—even in denial—the first look would be enough to reveal everything.
Without bright sunshine, flowers or cheers, without warm hugs and kisses, naturally, there would be no blessings from the crowd.
He was a life completely different from any creature on the surface. He was once extremely cold and terrifying. There may be nothing more dangerous in this world than him—and in most cases, love didn’t mean eternity. Perhaps one day, he would turn back into a complete “deadly danger”. Oliver Ramon knew this well.
At present, he was unable to leave the bottom of the Abyss. The next expedition would come. The Demon King named Nemo Light, was still the “enemy” of the entire surface. Oliver Ramon should also know this well.
But his Hero still asked that question. Solemnly and firmly, with reckless courage.
What an ordinary and crazy question. Paying tribute to this crazy love, maybe he should give an equally crazy answer.
Nemo withdrew his attention from his surroundings and focused it all on Oliver.
In the hellish sight, his Mr. Hero was half kneeling in front of him, picking his lines carefully, trying to get rid of his stutters. Oliver seemed to have forgotten to observe his reaction for a few seconds and looked like he was almost going to pass out from shame.
“I can’t take this ring now. You’re absolutely right, it can’t bring me exact benefits by itself,” Nemo said softly. He no longer suppressed his emotions, showing a bright smile.
“…But I’m willing.”
Oliver was still half kneeling. His face was mixed with bewilderment and ecstasy, like a traveler about to die of thirst in the desert falling into a clear river. He seemed to try to stand up, but his soft ankles and knees were fixed to the ground.
“Nemo.” The depression between his brows was finally swept away, and Oliver’s voice no longer trembled but was full of joy and trance. This time he no longer stammered, and his words were extremely smooth.
“You don’t need to put it on now,” he said.
“…I’ll come and put it on for you myself.”
The author has something to say:
Oliver overtakes Jesse by a goal—
I won’t be a boyfriend in the future, but a fiancé!!!
Ollie didn’t say it for a reason and if he did, it might go something like this:
Everyone: It’s much easier to agree to the knight’s oath, and the world is safe. Next, you should test carefully, this way and that, and then this way and that… Through various details, determine whether it is Ulysses or Nemo who intends to observe you.
Ollie: I’m going to ask for a marriage.