Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 32: Bad News
Oliver washed quickly. He didn’t seem to have any desire to chat as he climbed straight into bed and wrapped himself into a cocoon with the blanket and turned his back to Nemo.
Nemo had lost his only nightgown, so he had to wear his daytime clothes. He moved back to the bed, drenched. There was still a hole left by Witherspoon’s giant sword on his bed. As soon as he tried to lie down, it made a sharp, unpleasant creak.
The sharp noise echoed in the quiet room with an inexplicable sense of embarrassment. Nemo crossed his fingers, laid on his back like a corpse, not daring to move again. However, his endurance was limited. It didn’t feel good to lie on broken wood, so when he tried to turn over, the noise cut through the silence again.
“…Come here. We can squeeze in together,” Oliver said, with his back to him.
Nemo grabbed his pillow and turned over and sat up. He hesitantly said, “But you know, I…”
“We can’t sleep like this, or do you honestly think that I’m too scared to sleep?”
After that, he moved to the side of the bed, leaving a space barely enough for one person. Nemo put his pillow down and laid down carefully. He turned to the edge of the bed, and the extra soft mattress quickly occupied his mind.
“Are you really not afraid?” He turned his back to Oliver and muttered vaguely.
“Afraid,” Oliver replied simply. “I’m afraid you’ll keep thinking about it. Do you remember ‘Dirty Jack’?”
“The lunatic who hacked his wife and children to death?”
“That’s the kind of person that makes me really scared. Now, go to sleep.”
“You’re right.” Nemo yawned. “Compared to him, I’m very… Upstanding.”
His breathing became softer and he soon fell asleep.
Oliver rolled over carefully. One side of the mattress was sunken because of the other person’s weight, which was something that he wasn’t used to. He had never slept in the same bed with anyone since he could form memories. The other person also had some wet, black hair scattered on the pillow, revealing one side of his neck. He could touch it with his hand.
This person had just split the sky, but now he was sleeping in front of him in an ordinary manner, making a small snoring sound.
Oliver quietly stretched out his fingers and dried the other person’s hair. Nemo, who was no longer bothered by the humidity, smacked his lips with satisfaction, turned over, and arched into the soft pillow. Oliver slowed down his breathing for an instant, afraid that his breath would spray on Nemo’s face. His calmed heartbeat began to accelerate uncontrollably again. His gaze slid from Nemo’s eyes to his lips, and he couldn’t help but recall how he felt when they covered his wound for a few seconds.
He quietly propped up, approached carefully, and gently kissed Nemo’s forehead.
“Good night,” Oliver whispered.
Nemo slept well. In fact, he was counting on himself to have another dream. It was best if he could have an encyclopedia about his life in his dream, but when he opened his eyes again, it was already daytime and the light was shining brightly. Oliver had already changed his clothes and he was looking through the books in the room while sitting on a chair as he ate some fruit.
Nemo looked to the side expectantly. His bed still showed a miserable gap, and wood chips were scattered on the floor next to him.
“Don’t look. It wasn’t a dream.” Oliver mercilessly delivered the final blow. He raised his hand and threw a fruit to Nemo. Nemo hurriedly tried to catch it, but it still hit him directly in the nose.
“Are you trying to kill me?” He covered his nose and complained bitterly.
“Then I’ll throw the Zenni statue. Maybe that’ll be more effective,” Oliver said thoughtfully. “Okay, sorry. You better get up quickly. Ann had just tried to break in. “
As soon as he finished, a hurried knock on the door immediately sounded.
“We have business!” Ann roared angrily outside the door. “I don’t care what Nemo Light is. If he dares sleep until noon, I’ll fucking hang him on the ceiling—”
Nemo jumped from the bed, stumbled to the door, and quickly opened it. “I’m awake, sir!”
Ann bared her teeth at him.
“Bad news this morning.” She scratched her maroon hair that was shorter than Oliver’s, looking a bit agitated. “The sacrifice for the blessing festival has been set.”
“What is that?” Nemo asked cautiously.
“A holiday of the Laddism Church. They need to let the big wigs smoke a few unlucky people to ‘dedicate’ to God.” Ann didn’t bother to hide her sarcasm. “Guess who it is this time… Forget it. Guess my ass. That guy Cross was chosen as a sacrifice—hell, I should’ve known!”
“Is this why you were in a hurry before?” Oliver threw a fruit to Ann, who caught it without even looking.
“That’s right. The entire Heilem will become a festival. It’s a good opportunity this time of year. Now it looks like it’s not just us who’s considering this matter. The fake Cahill must’ve thought of this as well, so he’s trying to get rid of Cross. Things are getting troublesome. Let’s go and refund the deposit. Wait until the next quarter to retake the test…”
“So, they’re going to execute a person who’s innocent?” Oliver put down the book.
“Cross has the demon seal. Do you know how many people the old sect executed just for the word ‘blasphemy’?” Ann tugged at the corners of her mouth.
“But the deal may not be voluntary. Didn’t he lose his powers? We’re just quitting?” Nemo frowned.
“What else? The guards of the sacrifices of the inquisitions are a lot heavier. There will be a lot more trouble if we continue to go deeper. To say the least, even if we can bring him out, Mrs. Edwards still doesn’t know if he’s under the control of a demon. Adrian Cross is dead,” she concluded bitterly as she bit into her fruit.
“We may be one of the few people who know that he’s not lying,” Oliver said slowly. “I… I don’t really want to give up now. In my opinion, even if we don’t take the plunge, it’s still good to try and figure out the truth within the limits of our abilities.”
“I agree.” Nemo raised his hand. “I suggest asking Cross in person, that is, if it can be done.”
“I wanted to ask before, what’s wrong with you two?”
“He may be innocent. I don’t want to turn a blind eye… Besides, we have nothing else to do now. Ann, is there really nothing we can do?” Oliver’s voice was very sincere. “This isn’t a requirement. After all, you’re the most experienced of us. If there’s really no way, we won’t force it.”
“My opinion is very simple. The only person who knew the truth at the beginning didn’t turn a blind eye for fear of trouble.” Nemo stood up and pulled the folds of his robe tighter. “I think that’s a good feeling. If possible, I’d like to share it with Mr. Cross.”
The female warrior fell silent and began to pace the room repeatedly. Her expression was uncertain. When Nemo began to formally consider the lunch menu, she finally stopped.
“That’s it.” She took a deep breath. “I’m going to visit Mrs. Edwards to see if I can get more information. Oliver, Nemo, are you sure you want to go through this muddy water?”
“Well, there’s no way to approach the sacrifice.” She raised her eyes. “Unless you’re imprisoned in the depths of the dungeon. Going by yesterday’s script, Oliver, go and report Nemo.”
“…What?” Oliver blurted out.
“Cross has been imprisoned for less than a year. He’s a human who has lost his powers. They will not lock him in too deep. Originally, we could reach him by pretending to be guards, but the sacrifice is different. They are locked at the bottom. Places close to the bottom are generally reserved for things like demon warlocks and, if any, more powerful demon worshipers. Tell me now, do you still want to go through with it?”
“I… Well, is there a way to come out again?” Nemo pinched the fruit as he asked, almost turning it into jam.
“Yes, but it’ll be painful,” Ann said, “and Cross may not be willing to talk to you.”
“Sorry, I don’t have experience as a demon warlock or a superior demon, so I don’t know, but we can try it first. If you can stand it, we’ll talk about the next step.”
“Try it?” Nemo looked at Oliver with a little uncertainty. “There’s nothing wrong with me.”
“If Nemo agrees, then I have nothing to add.” Oliver stared at the stone in his hand. “After all, he seems to be the more unfortunate one.”
“Okay.” Ann nodded. “I thought I was crazy, but you two boys take the cake. Nemo, come here and take off your shirt.”
Nemo stopped in place awkwardly and blinked.
“…Or do you want to stay in the dungeon for the rest of your life? I need to create a unique refuge array from the Laddism Church. It’ll really hurt at first. After all, the magic of the holy church has always been aimed at the Abyss.”
“You… You’re a woman. This is a bit…”
“I’m only interested in older men.” Ann took out a pen for drawing magic arrays and then pulled out a small bottle of silver ink from her innermost pocket. “Cut the shy shit. Where did you come up with so much nonsense? Hurry up and take it off.”
“I’ll go talk to the people at the inn about compensation for the bed.” Oliver got up uneasily and left the room quickly.
Ann raised an eyebrow high as she looked at his back and let out a meaningful snort.
However, Nemo didn’t feel any pain. It was true he felt something, but it was only a little itch. In order to not make Ann’s doubts worse, he didn’t share this discovery. Ann drew an extremely complex magic array behind him, which took a full two hours. The slender lines were like molten silver. The magic array flowed on the skin of his back, like it was a living thing.
After drawing the final mantra, Ann put away her pen and sighed bitterly at the flowing brilliance, while Oliver watched with a wooden face. He took care of the issue with the innkeeper in less than fifteen minutes and went back to the room to watch. The rest of the time, his gaze changed from discomfort to amazement and finally to sympathy.
After all, the drawing of the magic array didn’t allow too much jitter. Nemo took root on the floor like a mushroom, looking numb for hours.
“When you enter the dungeon, they will wash you with holy water… Uh, it’ll be poured all over you. The mana inside should be enough to trigger it. You have one night, Nemo, then it’ll send you out at midnight. As a special magic array of the Laddism Church, it will not trigger the alarms in the dungeon.”
“Oliver, after you send Nemo over, meet me at Edward’s home. Remember to ask the bishop for a holy light talisman. If you’ve done a good job informing, he won’t be stingy. We must ensure that the Wall of Sighs is open at midnight. Nemo can’t get out with just the magic array alone.”
“Now go. If Adrian Cross is indeed guilty, your debt will be doubled.”
The author has something to say:
Ann is thirty-two years old, and the remaining two are twenty-three. Forget about the parrot. It’s destined to be a single parrot anyway.
Ann: There’s an urgent need for a steady friend of the same age to share the feeling of tiredness.
Adrian Cross: ……
Ann will not have any emotional entanglements with anyone on the team. She is their reliable companion, and her CP is still waiting for her in the future main plot…
Step 3: Return kiss. Check.
Oliver is so cute. I’m loving all this subtle action between the two of them.
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8 thoughts on “Stray Ch32”
Ann is like an exasperated eldest sister, the “no one can hit my brother’s but me” type of sister. She’s completely freaked out by these two’s ideas, but is still supportive.
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I thought Oliver was a few years younger than Nemo since it was mentioned in 1st chap
That was Nemo’s impression at that time. “If he recalled, he’s just a few years younger than him.” Before this Nemo and Oliver didn’t know each other that well at all so Nemo’s impression was Oliver was probably a few years younger than him.
Poor Bagel destined to be single forever
Bagelmaurus is in a parrot form but he will soon be eating a lot of dog food in the future… poor single parrot, LOL!!!!
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Home run next? ☺️
Typo: “Mrs. Edwards still doesn’t know if he’s under the control of a demon.”
-> “we still don’t know if Mrs. Edwards is under the control of the demon.”
OWO are they about to welcome a new family member? housekeeper Adrian Cross sounds good
mercenary mom Ann and her troublesome kids, Nemo and Oliver, with their trusty parrot Bagel!
super cute chapter