Stray Ch261

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

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


Chapter 261: Top of the Giant Tree

“Where is Aurorae?” Telaranea’s voice was very calm, as if he was looking for a misplaced book.

Oliver looked at Nemo in surprise.

Before escorting the reconnaissance team, Oliver himself had no special opinion on the “Demon Slayer” Aurorae. In regard to recent events, he was responsible for seriously injuring Nemo and causing him to fall to the bottom of the Abyss, allowing him to regain his memory.

Right now, he didn’t have much affection for that ancient demon.

If he guessed it correctly, the magic formation trap encountered by Adrian Cross was probably perfected by Aurorae. The demon almost destroyed the entire reconnaissance team on his own.

He thought that the other party had already escaped under the cover of the destruction array. To be honest, this was the first time Oliver had started to think about it. Before tonight, his mind was full of cracked and shaken ground, screaming people, and the memory of Nemo’s face—doom, determination, and longing filled his heart. Not to mention Aurorae’s movements, he even occasionally forgot to add some forage for his horse.

However, Nemo’s image didn’t show anger or unhappiness. On the contrary, his Demon King looked a little sad.

Keenly capturing the hint, Telaranea’s brows curled slightly.

“He’s gone, Telaranea.”

Nemo picked a relatively conciliatory statement.

“Well, thank you. Now I can take back the body waiting at the entrance of the Abyss.” Telaranea nodded, not looking much surprised.

But he still looked at Nemo and asked one more question. “…Did you kill him?”

There was no hatred or anger. That tone sounded more like simple confirmation.

“No, he saved me.”

“Then he must’ve ran out of my flesh’s power and his life span was naturally exhausted. I understand. Thank you for the explanation.”

He didn’t ask for details nor for the cause and effect.

The Sage of the Abyss pushed up the glasses on the bridge of his nose, quickly calmed down from the joy of escaping a doomsday and didn’t show the excitement of meeting the Pillar of the World. As a collaborator of this summoning, Telaranea showed a rare calm expression and turned away, seemingly not intending to stay here for long.

The Demon King’s phantom stretched out his right hand. Soil and stone debris gathered above his palm, then twisted and melted, turning into a clear crystal. The dark shadow quickly circled it a few times and got in.

“He once mentioned you. This is my memory, and everything about his deathbed is recorded in it. As his partner, I think you are qualified to know the truth,” Nemo said, commanding the crystal to fly to the Sage of the Abyss who was facing him.

The latter didn’t look back but stretched out his hand and firmly caught the crystal the size of a peach’s core.

“The last moments of the Demon Slayer can be regarded as intelligence. Speaking of this, you paid for your real name to see Cahill Edwards’ last memories.” The Sage of the Abyss spoke in a lazy tone. “Do you want to make a deal? A way to get out of the bottom of the Abyss, or something else—”

“This is not a deal,” Nemo replied.

“I don’t understand.” Telaranea squeezed the crystal tightly. It felt a little warm, which was inexplicably annoying.

“If I have to give a reason, I don’t quite understand it myself. It’s just that I think it might be of some value to you.”

Still not turning back, Telaranea simply ignited the teleportation paper scroll and disappeared into the air.

It was very close to Garland, and when the Sage of the Abyss opened his eyes again, people had already appeared on the second floor of the Dawn Tavern. He owned a room here, and he would always own a room here.

To be honest, he didn’t want to leave. It was the short-lived phantom of the Demon King on the surface, the will of the world under his feet. As an important role that had made a lot of effort, he should have taken the opportunity to cultivate a good impression and enhance feelings with those people in Tumbleweed, whether it was sincere or hypocritical—as long as he succeeded, he could get one step closer to those amazing existences.

That would be unparalleled happiness.

But with the new information that was emerging now, he must sort it out as soon as possible to prevent more anomalies. After all, this time the change didn’t come from the outside, but from himself.

According to the normal life span of the lantern blind bugs, Aurorae should have died a long time ago. Death was a cost-effective thing for Aurorae—he had survived for too long, and every breath must be accompanied by severe pain and torture. The too stubborn lantern blind bug had no attachment to the surface but relied on a certain obsession to support it, forcing himself to live, as if he was completing a certain task.

Telaranea remembered very well. Not long ago, he proposed to this extremely aging demon that he wanted to personally give him a painless death.

Now, Aurorae no longer insisted on this pointless self-torture, nor did he continue to consume those precious eyeballs. He should be immersed in a complete sense of relief, Telaranea mused.

It should be so.

He slowly pressed his hands on the table.

No one had cleaned the place for a long time. A thin layer of dust fell on the table. The crystal that was usually used to communicate with Aurorae was still placed on the table, with flickering light. Telaranea started it habitually, and then realized that he had done a stupid thing without any logic.

It was strange that he obviously didn’t feel heartache, sadness, or resistance to reality.

Telaranea knew very well what he would have done. He would try to figure out the deathbed of the legendary demon and add this information to his memory with joy.

The Sage of the Abyss squeezed the crystal with his thumb and forefinger and brought it to his eyes. It was a translucent orange-red gemstone, like a solidified sunset. The color was slightly familiar.

Telaranea knew the usage of this thing very well. He only needed to break it, and the magic power in it would evaporate, turn into an illusion, and take him to the scene where Aurorae died.

He knocked the fragile crystal towards the corner of the table, but his hand stopped in mid-air. He didn’t know why, but he suddenly he didn’t feel like he was in the mood.

After watching it, everything was really over.

The Sage of the Abyss thought for a while, opened the drawer casually, took out a rough leather rope, put the crystal on it casually, and then hung it around his neck.

When he figured out his abnormal situation, it wouldn’t be too late to look at it. The body at the entrance of the Abyss could stay there and think with all its strength…

He had never collected this kind of reaction in human emotional patterns, and he couldn’t explain his mood. It was as plain as everything was normal, but there was a bit more weariness and emptiness in it. His behavior was out of his usual pattern, which was a terrible event.

There must be an explanation.

On this point, Telaranea was uncompromising.

He patted the dust off his hands, cast a cleansing spell on the room, and then gently put the still flashing communication crystal back in the drawer. Telaranea walked to the first floor of the tavern and cautiously confirmed the door lock.

His gaze stayed on the dark wooden platform of the tavern for a few seconds, then moved away quietly.

“Thorne!” Ten minutes later, a roar broke out in the stronghold of the Steel Wolf Mercenary Group.

The face of their leader, Fenrir Troy, was flushed with anger. “Asshole! Are you kidding me for leaving the team task at will? Do you still want to do it?”

“…Sorry, something happened at home. I’m afraid I will have to take two more days off next,” Telaranea responded smoothly.

“Tsk.” Fenrir scratched his hair irritably. “Okay, okay. Submit a description of the incident later. If the matter makes sense, I’ll spare you this time… If the situation is too serious, remember to apply for a subsidy from the team.”

Telaranea tugged at the corner of his mouth.

The leader of the Steel Wolf Mercenary Group sighed fiercely and carefully looked at his disobedient member up and down.

“Hurry up and write your report, asshole.” Fenrir’s voice was still a bit blunt. “Also, your new pendant isn’t bad.”

“Nn.” Telaranea weighed the cold crystal and the weird emotions that made him wary surged again.

“If possible, I want to wear it for a while,” he heard himself say.

The Border Forest.

After Telaranea left, the atmosphere eased slightly.

This time, Oliver didn’t hide his plan. From sunrise to sunset, this may be the longest full-time meeting in the history of Tumbleweed.

Oliver spent the whole morning talking about the next arrangements, and the afternoon was full of ridicule and nonsense from the other members. The conversation was scattered with a little central content, but except for Adrian and Nemo, almost everyone was looking at the boring topics with great interest. No one wanted to stand up and leave.

The skull could only temporarily retain the will of the Pillar of the World on the surface for a period of time, and it wasn’t appropriate to take Ulysses’ skull to the town. The members of Tumbleweed preferred to stay here and enjoy the joy of witnessing the end of the world disappear in the cradle for a while longer.

And when the sun was about to set, Ann had begun to chew the sweet grass roots, intentionally or unintentionally, trying to keep her stomach from screaming too loudly.

“Ann, if you are hungry…” Oliver was the first to remind.

“I’m sorry. Oh, I blame it on the fact that we ran out of wine.”

The female warrior stood up and stretched out relaxedly, and her voice regained its former vitality. “Since the surface will not explode, I have to make a trip back to the royal city and report to Delia and Mr. Mad Dog for peace of mind. It seems that my work will not end because of the end of the world, damn it.”

She glanced at Nemo and shrugged her shoulders. “Don’t forget what I said. Remember to send yourself to the door early so I can kick your ass.”

Nemo nodded solemnly.

“Let’s go, Dylan.” Seeing that the other party was serious, Ann turned her head a little stiffly and grabbed the fur from Jesse’s long mouth.

“……Hmm? Miss Savage, I didn’t hear you clearly just now.”

“Please take me back to the royal city. This is the Alban border, and it’s easy for me to be noticed by taking the teleportation gateways.” Ann lowered her voice. “It won’t take you an hour to travel back and forth—I won’t pray, but I can lend you the best dessert chef in the entire kingdom for a while. Think about it, yeah?”

“Adri, go to the inn of Noer and wait for me,” the surface god said solemnly, shaking his tail. “Let’s go Miss Savage.”

Ann glanced at Oliver, who was next to Nemo’s phantom, thought for a few seconds, then pulled the gray parrot from the ground and put it on her shoulder.

“What are you doing—?!”

“Don’t make a noise. Give them some space.” Ann pinched the grey parrot’s beak, “Come with me, besides…”

In the direction that everyone couldn’t see, the corner of her mouth raised a little arc. “Everyone is still there. You heard Ramon’s plan, and we will see each other soon.”

After the white figure of the behemoth disappeared from the horizon, Adrian Cross also stood up and nodded briefly to Oliver. “I’m going to Noer to wait for Jesse. The two of you may want to be alone for a while. I’ll send some supplies over at noon tomorrow.”

Then there were only two people left on the battlefield, with a tight atmosphere from the day before.

As the sun sank to the other end of the horizon, the starry sky became clear. The magic array burning like a fire was finally extinguished, and the sound of insects buzzed again. Birds flew over in the night sky, and there was a rustling sound in the grass in the distance again. As the abnormal sense of oppression dissipated, the nearby forest was rapidly resurrecting.

Oliver looked around and moved his arms. Then he carefully picked up the Demon King’s skull and tried his best to hold it in his arms.

“Ollie?” Nemo raised his eyebrows. His illusion was attached to this skull and could only move with it.

Oliver didn’t answer. He smiled, walked a few steps further, and selected the tallest tree nearby—It was so thick that it needed four people to hug it. It survived the spell hurricane not long ago, and it was particularly eye-catching among the ordinary trees.

In the next second, Oliver jumped directly to the top of the tree, sat still on the stoutest branch, and held the skull firmly by his side.

The air at a high altitude was slightly cooler, and at this height, a small half of the Border Forest could be seen. The Ash Mountains were continuous in the distance, and now the two of them wouldn’t be troubled by the darkness as the undulations of the mountains were still clear.

Oliver breathed a sigh of relief and leaned on the Demon King’s skull.

“Now, my Mr. White.” His voice was full of smiles. “Although this is not my backyard, it’s almost the same—”

In fact, the difference wasn’t that bad, Oliver thought to himself. At the beginning, he could lean his whole head on “Mr. White”, but now it couldn’t even support his shoulders.

It was just that this time he was no longer muttering to himself—his Demon King was by his side, smiling at him and shaking his head, sitting on top of his skull, looking up at the magnificent starry sky.

“Now we can just talk.”


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