Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 266: The Expedition Begins
Six in the morning.
At the end of the two-hour morning workout, Godwin walked out of the bathroom and wiped his blond hair with a bath towel. As soon as he changed his clothes and used magic to dry the last bit of moisture, there was a noise at the door.
“Captain. Breakfast, breakfast—” Debby held a small muffin in her mouth while holding two trays in her left and right hands at the same time, pushing the door open with her feet.
The secrets kept were too shocking. Not to mention the lively and outgoing Debby, even the steady Godwin Lopez needed to find a living thing to talk to. The relatives of the two members of Tumbleweed decided to support each other and took turns listening to each other for the sake of their mental health. Especially in the last two months, as the expedition approached, Godwin Lopez completely broke the habit of eating breakfast alone.
Unlike in the past few years, the content of breakfast now changes every day. The butter on the top of the muffin melted slightly, the vegetable soup with a little milk was steaming hot, the semi-solid omelet and bacon were fried just right, and the pear juice mixed with ice cubes was sweet and refreshing.
“Do you think, there really won’t be another team to make a move on Ollie and the others?” Debbie worriedly poked the broccoli in the soup with her fork. “It’s true that they’re still Black Chapters of the mercenary guild and that no one will be their opponent, but…”
“In this current atmosphere, except for the sensitive identity of Miss Savage, killing the members of Tumbleweed can gain a lot of notoriety. However, no one would do anything before the decisive battle against the Demon King and stupidly reduce the surface strength.”
“I’m afraid they really take ‘Tumbleweed privately maintains contact with the Abyss’ seriously and strike too early.”
“…That is indeed true.” Godwin chewed the bacon silently and pointed it out matter-of-factly.
Debby swallowed the broccoli on the fork in silence, choking for a long time before continuing. “If the conflict starts too early… Ugh, since he’s convinced you, why do you think Oliver can’t go to a few big names…”
“They’re not on the same power level at all. Even if hundreds of contracts are made, Oliver can break them at any time. Even I have to conduct countless spell verifications with Adrian Cross before I’m willing to be sure that he’s not lying—This is still under the premise that Horizon is investigating. If replaced me with those ‘big guys’ who are afraid of death, they wouldn’t trust Cross from the very beginning.”
After drinking half a glass of juice, Godwin pulled the corner of his mouth. “I am Oliver’s blood relative, and my investigation will not be taken into account. If he chooses to make the facts public, the uncontrollable power alone will make the expedition forces more than happy to deal with him first.”
“It’s the first time I’ve been involved in a plan, so… well, I don’t know how to describe it. Had I known it was so hard to see Nemo, I should have gone back to Roadside Town more often in previous years.”
Godwin choked on pear juice and coughed again.
“It’s been two years, captain. You should almost get used to Nemo. He’s—”
“No, stop… I need more time to adapt.”
“Alright, fine. It seems that we can only stick to the original plan.” Debby shook her head, the tips of her slightly cocked hair shaking with her movements. “Maybe if we’re a little more hostile, the others will be more than happy to wait and see what happens.”
As it turned out, Miss Light had a perfect fuse of hostility before the meeting began.
“Who is that young girl? Do you know each other, captain?” In a low shrill voice, Debby grabbed Godwin’s cloak and asked
“…” Godwin shook his head in silence.
He knew it, and Godwin grimaced helplessly. Oliver was definitely going to do his best to show how much of a jerk he was, but he really hadn’t thought of it that way.
As the leader of Tumbleweed and without a pre-registered assistant, Oliver was supposed to come to the meeting alone. Yet it was only when Horizon arrived early at the entrance to the venue, ready to enter on time, that the figure of the Tumbleweed leader appeared at the end of the street…
The knight in black armor rode his equally pure black horse, and the face under the skeleton helmet had no expression. The legendary “Knight of Ash” didn’t have a cloak behind him, but instead had a white ukulele.
He didn’t know if it was Oliver’s intention, but while it was obviously the height of summer, the air was suddenly a bit chillier.
Very unlike the season.
The horse was followed by a beautiful and lovely girl. She didn’t sit on the horse obediently but followed the black horse in a fast way. She looked no more than twenty years old, wearing a civilian-style dress, with two braids hanging from her chest, and little playful freckles sprinkled on her milk-white skin.
The girl’s expression was ugly, her face was drawn long, and anyone could see that she was reluctant.
She was obviously following Oliver Lopez, but…
“He didn’t even allow her to get on the horse. What a cold-blooded bastard.” There was a whisper a few steps away.
“That’s not a member of Tumbleweed. There’s only one woman in Tumbleweed. Ann Savage doesn’t look like this.”
“I want to take this girl in.” Oliver got off the horse, handed the reluctant black horse to the receptionist, and pointed to the braided girl not far behind him.
“Sorry, Mr. Lopez. Civilians are not allowed here—”
Oliver stopped talking and just looked at the man silently. The young man who received him didn’t know what he was thinking, and under that gaze, his face gradually turned pale.
“Sorry, sorry, Mr. Lopez. It was me who spoke too much, and you can certainly bring in your love, er, close friend.”
The face of the leader of Tumbleweed was slightly distorted, and the girl rolled her eyes wide. The reception simply said no more, shivering and getting out of the way.
Debby rolled up her sleeves and followed in aggressively, and Godwin had to hold on to her cloak and enter the door with her.
“This is the trick you’ve been playing, huh?” The girl’s tone was cold.
“Something like that.”
“It seems to be quite effective.” The girl’s tone was equal and casual. “But don’t get me wrong, Oliver Ramon. I don’t want Nemo Light to get the wrong idea, just because…”
“I know, it has nothing to do with Nemo. We’re just using each other for what we want. This is not a love affair of any kind.”
“It seems that we have the same view.” The girl with the twist braids played with the exquisite ornaments on her chest. The strong metal chain kept flashing, and the orange crystal pendant reflected warmly in the sun. “By the way, this chain is really good, I have to thank you.”
“It’s just a little sincerity. It’s more suitable for your appearance than a worn leather rope.”
“Calm down, Debby.” Godwin grabbed the back collar of the first-class mage. Debby was moving her fingers, breaking her joints. “Think about the identity of your eldest brother. Oliver, he won’t…”
“Old Patrick taught us, ‘always maintain a certain degree of suspicion, especially for those good-looking young men’,” Debby said solemnly, firmly pushing Godwin’s hand away.
“Anyway, Nemo is my eldest brother. He’s not here right now, so I have to help him figure it out—”
Before she finished speaking, Debby strode towards Oliver. Godwin got an exhortation that might not work for the rest of his life, and his hand stopped awkwardly in the air.
“He’s not here right now.” Listening to this, it was as if Mr. Light was just going on a business trip to the next town for a few days. Godwin wiped his face with a wry smile.
Today’s Debby had grown a lot, and she could pat Oliver on the shoulder relatively naturally. She swept a few glances at the other attendees who were surreptitiously casting glances at her, trying to watch the fun. Her face tensed and her tone was rather unpleasant.
“Long time no see,” she babbled word by word. “Is this a new member of Tumbleweed?”
“Oh, Miss Light.” Before Oliver could answer, the girl laughed first. “You should know the truth. Still thinking about your ‘brother’? This reaction is a bit interesting—”
“No, wait.” Oliver obviously noticed something. “I don’t think she meant it like that. Debby, she’s…”
Debby took out her short and delicate rod in her hand, raised her brows, and released a little murderous aura.
“This is Tela, you should have heard of her… Him, forget it, whatever.”
Oliver rubbed his temples.
“I don’t care if it’s Tela or Sarah, even if Nemo is separate from you… wait, Tela? Is it the Tela that I think it is?”
“I don’t like people calling me Tela,” the girl with the braided hair said lightly.
In a blind corner that no one else could see, she raised her head slightly, and one eye turned strangely blood red in an instant.
Debby coughed embarrassedly. She leaned forward two steps and gave Oliver a whisper.
“Sorry, Ollie. Your previous conversation was really a bit… When the meeting is over, I’ll buy you a drink,” she said.
“No, it’s okay. After all, with so many ears listening, we have a deliberate element.”
“…Sorry, you guys continue.” The female mage of Horizon raised her voice, took a few steps back blankly, and returned to Godwin. “Let’s go, captain.”
Godwin, who was very close, noticed the aura of Abyssal magic, and his gaze passed the girl with the braided hair. He frowned in the direction of the two of them, and finally no longer had to bother to disguise hostility.
The surrounding whispers become denser.
“I have to say, I have a feeling of being despised. Hearing the name, she didn’t even ask a few more questions.” After the two of them left, Telaranea shrugged her shoulders and muttered in a low voice.
“After all, the Sage of the Abyss has a reputation.”
“Having said that, Debby Light would actually worry about this kind of thing? Compared to you, who were born human, she obviously put Mr. Light first—that little girl really regards the Pillar of the World as her brother, and her thoughts were absolutely interesting.”
“Don’t get any ideas, Telaranea. As I said before, Nemo cherishes her.” Oliver’s tone held a hint of warning.
“Well, I’ll bear it,” the demon replied softly.
At noon, the meeting began.
However, during the entire expedition meeting, the notorious Oliver Lopez only made two demands.
“Since I have to come, I only have two things to say. First, this girl will go to the Abyss with Tumbleweed.”
His voice was indifferent and determined, full of impatience, leaving no room for refutation.
“…Second, Tumbleweed will not obey anyone’s command.”
Then he left, leaving the leaders in an uproar behind him, ignoring the “absurd” accusations that “you are asking her to die”.
What was too much was that he rudely pulled out the girl with braids who seemed to want to stay. The girl looked regretfully at the one-eyed dwarf who was presiding over the meeting, and then at the direction of Horizon, and finally let herself be pulled out.
That young girl definitely wanted to ask for help, and the human delegates let their imaginations fly, rapidly refining their own versions of the story.
The entire combat meeting lasted for several days, but Oliver Lopez never appeared again.
And when the meeting was over, seeing Oliver shrinking in plain clothing at the entrance of an alley with an apologetic face and the Sage of the Abyss with a mocking face on a human body, Godwin had been able to basically find his inner peace.
An hour later.
“Here’s the plan for the meeting.” Debbie took a small sip of her post-dinner iced juice while the leader of Horizon dipped his finger in the water on the outside of the glass and drew a trail of water on the dining room table. “Listen, I’m only going to say this once…”
“Once is enough,” the girl-looking demon said.
Godwin’s hand stopped moving, he narrowed his eyes, and the hostility in his body still didn’t dissipate.
“You’re still sitting here smoothly now because Oliver personally vouched for you.”
The leader of Horizon sank his voice. “Personally, I still care about your purpose—your body is in the abyss, and it stands to reason that you shouldn’t be so redundant.”
“I have never participated in a human expedition. How many intelligent races came to today’s meeting? Let me think about it, the elves of the Morpho Forest, the one-eyed dwarves who will never be absent from the expedition, a few dragons, and even the high-level Gatekeepers. How interesting, it’s worth experiencing.”
Godwin tapped on the table with his fingertips. “I’m afraid there’s more to it than that.”
“The rest is a little personal. Don’t look like that. Even I have personal problems.” Now, she was dressed as a boy who had to hide her ears, and her braids were hidden in her hat. The Sage of the Abyss held the glass of juice with both hands and responded while drinking.
“…Then let’s continue.” Godwin shook his head and made up a few strokes before the water stains were wiped out.
“This is the start of the meeting plan, Oliver, and the official start of your personal plan—”
There was no mistake in Godwin’s paraphrase. After just half a month, all the simple strokes turned into reality.
The semi-dry water marks schematically turned into pieces of an army, and the juice, with a little color, turned into an Abyss landscape.
The remote small restaurant and the somewhat dirty wooden tables were long gone, replaced by the dim lights of Roadside Town and the swarthy rocky cliffs.
An astonishing number of troops were gathering on a wide stone platform, waiting to set off towards the Carrion Stone Forest, where the first large teleportation array was set up. Powerful people from all races gathered together, as dense as flowing moss.
Staring at the scene in front of him, Oliver grabbed the reins in his hand and pulled his black horse, “Pope,” two steps back.
Tumbleweed was divided among the human ranks, and a few members stuck to the tail of the army. Horizon was surrounded in the first row, far apart. As the temporary leader of the human team, Godwin’s voice was enlarged by magic, calm and firm, with a slight soothing power…
“The expedition officially begins,” the leader of the number one mercenary regiment on the surface, Godwin Lopez, announced solemnly.
“In less than a month, you will face the most terrifying creature in the world. Thank you to Mr. Karapan of the Mooney Sect, and please keep in mind the valuable information he has brought.”
“The nineteenth generation Demon King, the ‘Lord of Illusion’, is by far the most powerful generation of Demon Kings. At present, we have only discovered one of its skills—imitating the aura of the past Demon Kings. According to this inference, perhaps it can also replicate the abilities of the previous Demon Kings. The geomorphological changes at the bottom of the Abyss have also been confirmed. Everyone is an elite, so please be vigilant at all times.”
Then his voice became cold, and Oliver seemed to be able to hear Godwin grinding his teeth.
“Finally, to a few people, I want to say… Put away the smiles on your faces. This is not a child’s game! No matter how powerful you are, you can still make just a small mistake. Don’t be too arrogant and don’t stop observing.”
It sounded like a name-calling irony to others, but when the words reached his target’s ears, the meaning completely changed.
“He’s caring about us. How sweet.” Jesse blew a kiss at the leader of the team.
“I’m afraid that’s not caring. I think Mr. Lopez meant ‘Please pay attention to the people around you and don’t let them die because of negligence’,” Adrian said very calmly.
“…Also, Mr. Ramon, maybe you really need to put away that smile on your face.”
The author has something to say:
Oliver: The expedition has begun, nervous! (The corners of his mouth rise frantically)
Debby: Captain, can you approve family leave?
Godwin: ……………… I don’t want to be the leader. (Takes stomach medicine)
The nineteenth generation Demon King, the “Lord of Illusion”, is by far the most powerful generation of Demon King. Now please look to the back as his fiancé is there.