Stray Ch267

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

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


Chapter 267: Deep in the Shadows

In the past two years, the seven sets of large teleportation arrays that had gradually deepened have been repaired by experienced experts. While repairing the two sets of arrays closest to the bottom of the Abyss, the cold, sweat-soaked mages were preparing to escape every second.

However, the nineteenth generation Demon King was unexpectedly quiet. Except for the occasional rumbling sound from a distance underground, no sense of oppression leaked out.

Although scholars couldn’t determine whether the rumble was the migration of the lantern blind bugs or originated from other things, the Demon King didn’t come near the teleportation array, as Karapan from the Mooney Sect said, which was considered to be a good sign.

[While they were gathering for dinner, I asked Bagelmaurus to change the coordinates of the teleportation array. The teleportation array would take the expeditionary force to a more suitable location. The underground stone city has a lot of sharp corners, and I don’t really want to see a bunch of people falling from the sky and skewering themselves bloody on them.]

In memory, Nemo’s voice came from the phonetic crystal extremely clear, with a little bit of helplessness.

[Humans are relatively disciplined. Remember to keep an eye on the elves, and don’t let the Gatekeepers run around.]

His lover instructed in a rambling manner, his voice a bit vague. His Majesty the Demon King’s words were mixed with whispered crisp chewing, as if he was gnawing on fresh fruit.

In the past two years, a lot of images, sounds, and photos have been exchanged, but no kind of magic could replace the body temperature that the other party couldn’t touch. The longing didn’t diminish as a result, but only became heavier.

Oliver took a melancholy bite of a raw carrot and stuffed the leftover part to the black horse. The black horse raised its lips, sprayed its nose on the carrot in disgust, and then turned its head resolutely.

Oliver had to throw the carrot into the wide stone crevice in the distance and watch a small group of abyssal insects carry it away with joy.

Unlike the escort mission two years ago, this expedition would inevitably include top knights of various religions, as well as powerful mounts that were connected to their hearts. Not to mention the black horse or the fuller goat, even if the notorious Tumbleweed led a goose down, the human team could only turn a blind eye and didn’t bother to argue with such gangsters.

At present, the expeditionary force had just passed through two large teleportation arrays and was resting in a calm, windless zone. Looking down from the protruding cliff, the armies of various forces even had regular meals.

Of course, it was natural to ignore Tumbleweed that slipped onto the cliff.

“How are you feeling?” Adrian Cross patiently broke open a piece of soft cake sprinkled with sugar and handed the larger piece to Jesse Dylan.

“Well, just like I said before—Our Pillar of the World is awake, but he doesn’t regard me as a hostile object now. I’m so comfortable that I can sleep.”

Jesse chewed the soft cake and looked into the bottomless Abyss. “Is that parrot ready?”

“Bagelmaurus will not make mistakes on this kind of thing.” Oliver still stared at the organized army below.

“Don’t look. They won’t take the opportunity to get lost quickly if you turn away for a few seconds.”

“Anything can happen in reality,” Oliver responded worriedly. “It’s not convenient for us to let go of our aura, in case we suddenly encounter a demon similar to Witherspoon…”

The girl with braids sat in the distance snorting coldly. She played with the bagel in her hand casually, without meaning to eat it. “I have checked. There are no powerful demons that would threaten the army within 30 kilometers. In the past few hundred years, the route of the expedition has been relatively fixed, which isn’t unreasonable.”

“By the way, Witherspoon has moved to the area farthest from the scope of human activities.” The slender fingers poked into the hole of the bagel and spun it in circles at will. “I guess he hasn’t figured out what the hell’s going on with that flat snake. Well, his muscle brain will barely be able to discover anything—don’t worry about him suddenly popping up.”

However, these words didn’t have a practical effect, and Oliver still looked nervous. The fierce leader of Tumbleweed carefully rubbed off the mud spots on his armor while checking the surrounding conditions.

“I think our Mr. Ramon is nervous for other reasons.” Jesse dragged his cheeks with one hand, still holding the soft cake in his mouth. “Leave him alone, lovely lady.”

Telaranea thought for a moment and decided to pretend that she hadn’t heard anything.

The cliff was full of the smell of a picnic, and in the tent under the cliff, Godwin mechanically stuffed soft-boiled jerky into his mouth, devouring lunch like he was chewing wax.

“This afternoon, we will advance to the vicinity of Phantom Throat. If there is no reaction from the Demon King when we get there, I suggest an immediate retreat.”

The leader of the elves tapped his finger at a certain point on the map of the Phantom Throat, and a golden fork was left on the paper.

“It’s impossible for the nineteenth generation to fail to perceive the activation of a large teleportation array near the bottom of the Abyss. It would be more prudent for the army to retreat, with some of the scouts bringing along mages who are good at illusions to take the lead in feint attacks.”

“It will waste a lot of supplies to retreat!” The representative of the one-eyed dwarf screamed against it, “Judging from the changes in the landscape at the bottom of the Abyss, this may be a prolonged battle. Even if the supplies are sufficient, we must consider—”

The male elf leader next to him didn’t look very good. “To gamble with the lives of expeditionary warriors for a little bit of supply?”

“Since we are all here, whether for fame or profit, there will be no shrinking wimps!” There was a hint of mockery in the voice of the one-eyed dwarf. “Excessive caution equals cowardice, and we can certainly consider other solutions. As soon as we’re here, we decide that everyone should retreat… Ha.”

Godwin sipped the hot jerky soup from the bowl in silence.

There were a lot of people in the huge tent. Just as there were several powerful humans from various countries and political backgrounds sitting behind him, whether elves, dwarves, dragons, or other intelligent races, behind the silk threads were countless forces involved.

Of course, no one would really be timid, but no one wanted to be this heroic bird of prey.

If he didn’t know the situation of the Demon King at the bottom of the Abyss and was still himself a few years ago, he would probably need to use all his strength to suppress the boiling hot blood and the excitement inside, however…

Godwin gulped down a mouthful of soup. The sound wasn’t loud, but it was particularly clear in the silent confrontation. Although this was a nominal lunch gathering, in fact, he was the only one who was eating politely.

Everyone swept their eyes over it in an instant. The elf who had just spoken narrowed his eyes and looked up and down at the power man on the human side with a boorish gaze.

“You seem quite sure of yourself.” The voice of the male elf was very pleasant to the ears.

In the eyes of most humans, elves were undoubtedly beautiful, although their appearance was far from that of humans.

This woodland race had finer and softer hair than humans, with a soft glow like fine satin. The elves’ limbs were longer and slimmer, their noses more protruding, their large, moist, beautiful eyes tilted to the sides of their heads, and their eyelashes long and thick, full of the fragile beauty unique to herbivores.

Although elves and humans were more similar in size than the one-eyed dwarves or dragons, they preferred flexible and strong enchanted leather armor that didn’t make a sound compared to the cold armor of humans.

As an omnivore, Godwin Lopez slowly swallowed the bacon in his mouth and coughed. “Yes, Phantom Throat is still some distance from the bottom of the Abyss. Since many arrangements have been made at the bottom of the Abyss, I don’t think the Demon King will act so early—but this is just my guess. I understand your love for your people very well.”

The male elf blinked, obviously not buying this conciliatory speech.

“Then we see eye to eye,” he said coldly. “As agreed at the beginning, the plan must be adjusted accordingly according to the situation underground. I think this is the right time to adjust the plan.”

 “Perhaps a portion of the delegates can take the lead and the rest of the troops will follow in a triangle formation.” The dragon, who had remained silent, finally joined the conversation.

“The triangular formation must require a head formation. This brings us back to the topic just now, doesn’t it? No one wants to suffer.” A swordsman behind Godwin spread out his hands and swept the spoon toward the commander of Horizon in dissatisfaction.

“Just screen it according to the proportion. It’s the fairest way.”

“…We can transport most of the expedition warriors. Rashly putting dragons in the position of scouting is a bit inappropriate. The one-eyed dwarves focus on intelligence reserves and spell responses, while elves and humans are the most flexible races.”

“We are good at long-range attacks and are accustomed to acting in groups. Individual soldiers are only used for surprise attacks.” The male elf took a sip of leaf tea. “If you are not willing to mobilize manpower…”

“I am willing to take Horizon to the forefront.” Godwin put down the spoon and sighed.

“Lopez!” The mercenaries of Horizon were calm, while the other powerful men from other mercenary groups and organizations raised their voices in opposition. “You have to think about—”

“It will be fine.” Godwin waved his left hand; his tone was flat and determined.

With a spoon in his right hand, he stirred the cold broth. The commander of Horizon suddenly felt a little tired facing the forces surging in the peaceful atmosphere in front of him.

Unfortunately, the people following behind didn’t think so. Everyone present was a smart person who was proficient in human affairs. It was impossible for them not to hear the confidence and certainty in that sentence. It wasn’t blind confidence in his own strength. Godwin Lopez was very sure he could handle everything.

Maybe this was the real strength gap. With a hint of awe for the stronger, the part of the human warriors with impure intentions began to readjust the proportion of the interests of all parties in their hearts and pressed a few weights to Horizon’s side.

When the expedition army arrived at Phantom Throat, this indescribable sense of awe reached its peak…

The magnificent white ground of Phantom Throat was completely buried by black gravel. Here, they could even see sharp stalagmites from the bottom of the Abyss emerging from the gap.

Godwin Lopez didn’t show half a worry, as his command was calm and steady. All the way to the final large teleportation array, they didn’t know if it was a coincidence or the blessing of God, but they didn’t encounter any demons that could be considered opponents.

Facing the large teleportation array leading to the unknown, the leader of Horizon didn’t hesitate to advance, and according to the agreement, he took the lead in stepping in.

“The Pope of the Laddism Church won’t admit it, but I think he’s probably the swordsman of the prophecy.”

“…At this time, no matter what you say, we should let the Lopez of Tumbleweed go in first.”

“If Tumbleweed really fornicates with the Abyss, the situation over there would be difficult to control. There’s no problem with Godwin’s decision. Moreover, he himself rushed ahead. If he needs Tumbleweed, they have no way to directly refuse him—Those bastards have indeed done a bunch of appalling things, but cowardice has never appeared.”

The mercenaries’ guess was quickly “fulfilled”.

After crossing the final teleportation array of Phantom Throat, the army finally reached the bottom of the Abyss. And the moment they stepped on the ground and saw the scene in front of them clearly, almost all creatures shuddered…

Contrary to the previous peaceful and abnormal atmosphere, the fighting spirit and sense of oppression here was so heavy that people couldn’t straighten up. Unlike any previous expedition record, this time there was light at the bottom of the Abyss.

The skulls of hundreds of superior demons were bloomed with silver light, hovering over the bottom of the Abyss. The dark stalagmites were facing straight towards the surface, and the top couldn’t be seen. The black stones formed a weird lair, and the teleported army was in the center of a deliberately enclosed open field.

This site was square, and it wasn’t naturally formed no matter how you looked at it. The sense of horror that fell into the net was too strong, and several visitors who were relatively mentally fragile and were more like commanders than warriors softened their knees and sat directly on the ground.

Although Godwin Lopez showed a bit of surprise, he didn’t even frown.

The black-toned lair in front of him had a weird beauty, like a bustling town had died and dried up into a dark corpse.

The high “city wall” surrounded everyone’s sight, and under the light of the wandering skull, the solemn atmosphere made people unable to breathe. Coupled with the magic pressure poured from the distance, the expedition army froze in place for more than ten seconds.

Godwin drew out the holy sword, and the blade lit up with a hazy, warm halo. The Hero stepped forward indifferently, observing the terrain.

And as soon as he stepped onto the ruins, the entire ground trembled violently.

An exceptionally huge serpentine demon raised its head from the corner of this weird dead city, spitting purple-black flames, and the blood-red sparks flashing between the scales were almost connected into a line…

It opened its mouth and let out a sharp and unpleasant roar. Accompanied by the gas explosion generated by the sound waves, the poisonous smoke swayed around it, and stone debris instantly crumbled, creating dust everywhere.

There were no other tiny creatures living naturally in this dead city, and no one would think that this superior demon just happened to pass by.

“Oliver Lopez.” Godwin took a breath and immediately ordered. “This thing is yours. Can you handle it?”

“I said that Tumbleweed wouldn’t accept commands.”

“I’ll allow you to choose reinforcements. If you can kill it, its body will be at Tumbleweed’s disposal.”

“Well…”

The villain, who was wandering at the end of the team, finally pulled the reins and approached closer on his black horse. His tone of arrogance was as offensive as possible. “It’s not impossible if everything goes to us.”

“I need a more definite answer.”

“Yes.” The leader of Tumbleweed tightened the skeleton helmet on his head and glanced at the turbulent expeditionary force behind him. “But I don’t need reinforcements. Cross, Dylan. I’ll leave that thing to you. Go early and return early. Remember to bring back the most valuable part.”

“Yes, captain.” Jessie the viper blew a kiss. His voice was sweet and greasy. “Let’s go, darling Adri.”

“Two people?! Even if it’s Tumbleweed—”

However, before the human team had time to raise objections, a greater crisis came.

Behind the ominous serpentine demon, a larger demon appeared in shadow. It was still far away from them, but it was extremely large, and people could see it quite clearly in the dim light.

The four alien wings were spread wide, and the edges shone with an icy glare. The black beast bent its neck and let out a series of low growls in the direction of the expeditionary army. A hurricane with cold wind instantly rolled over, and the lights, which weren’t bright to begin with, dulled by even more.

Like a sponge soaked in water, the fear engraved in instinct was wrenched out of all the living creatures present by this roar. Several younger soldiers even peed their pants.

Compared with that aura, the extremely powerful serpentine demon in front of them became like a decoration.

“It’s the nineteenth generation Demon King.”

Whispers passed between the gaps of the army.

“…It’s the Lord of Illusion.”

But most of the people present were strong men who had been tested by life and death. Even under the pressure of this mind-swelling horror, the soldiers still barely maintained their formation and clustered together vigilantly.

There was still some terrifying calm on Godwin Lopez’s face. He shook his head and whispered in the ear of the leader of Tumbleweed, looking a little tired, but without the slightest fear.

After saying that, Godwin neatly adjusted the direction of the march, avoiding the serpentine demon, and leading the army in another direction.

In the mouth of the bard decades later, that whisper was the last warning to Oliver Lopez, who was hopeless as a blood relative.

However, in fact, Godwin’s words were unexpectedly brief.

“Take care of your parrot,” he muttered dryly.


The author has something to say:

Godwin: I’m tired and don’t want to accompany the performance, but considering the peace on the surface… ugh. (dead eyes)

Expeditionary Force: Calm and composed, without fear! This is a real powerhouse.

Oliver on the other side: Cross, Dylan. That thing (Bagelmaurus) is up to you. Go early and return early. Remember to bring back the most valuable part (the flesh in the parrot). (We really can’t give that thing snacks and fruits in that size)

Battle of Legends (×


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