Stray Ch52

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

Translator: Kinky ||

Chapter 52: The Language of the Bluebird

Mr. Delany breathed a sigh of relief. He had calmed down after venting his anger. Oliver’s attitude seemed unexpected. Mr. Delaney cleared his throat towards the handsome face that was full of a harmless smile, and finally could only let out a cold disdainful snort.

“There’s information.”  He raised his chest and swept his eyes between their group. “Listen, I’ll double the money. You have to bring back the body. I know those evil things will turn themselves into ashes before they die, but there should be a way. Aren’t your black badges snake rank? I don’t want the corpse. You can keep it for yourself.”

“Thank you for your generosity,” Oliver responded quietly, “But that’s a bit difficult. We don’t know much about the Grace Bluebirds in this area.”

“Go and ask her. Melody told her more about it than me.” Mr. Delaney waved his hand at Mrs. Delaney, who was still sobbing. “Don’t try to fool me. I want my daughter to see the body with her own eyes and I want her to go back to the way she was.”

“How do you know she will definitely change back?” Nemo pushed Oliver’s hand away from him and asked unhappily.

“I said, go and talk to my wife. Don’t you understand words, boy?” Mr. Delaney had an air of reluctance to speak any more. He stood up, turned the corner of his mouth rigidly downward, and quickly left the living room. After he left, Mrs. Delaney shrank more nervously. She tried to sweep the wet porcelain pieces with trembling hands, trying to suppress her sobs gathering in her throat, as if it was any louder, it would eat her raw.

Nemo grimaced in the direction of Mr. Delaney’s departure. He didn’t have a good impression of this person. Listening to his tone, Melody didn’t seem to be like a living person but more of an ornament in the house.

“You… What do you want to know?” Mrs. Delaney rolled up her apron and stared uneasily at the ground without looking at them. “You… Oh, do sit down first. Isaac’s temper is actually not so bad. He’s just heartbroken.”

Oliver sat down on the small sofa obediently while Nemo leaned against it with his elbow, not meaning to sit down honestly. Ann and Adrian didn’t move and instead  stood quietly in place.

“I actually care a little. According to your husband, Melody didn’t seem to be the first person to fall in love with a Bluebird,” Oliver’s tone softened a bit. “You didn’t react much to the news of her deformation. You knew that it would happen?”

“…That’s right. She’s not the first. Someone has been deformed before.” Mrs. Delaney still hung her head as she spoke in a rambling manner. “There are only six that I’ve heard of. God, what were they thinking?”

“In other words, falling in love with the Bluebird may lead to deformation? …Didn’t you tell her?”

“Melody is a good girl.” Mrs. Delaney covered her face with her hands. “Don’t look at Isaac like that. He dotes on her. We’ve always given her the best education, the best food, the best clothing… Although it may seem arrogant to say so as her mother, she is really the smartest and most beautiful girl in this town. She couldn’t have those kinds of crazy thoughts, so why tell her such a dirty thing?”

“So you didn’t tell her.” Oliver frowned slightly.

“My Melody is loved by God, and the songs she writes have a soul. If she’s willing to marry Fritz, it would be the happiest life I could imagine for her. Lavinia arranged such a bright life for her, so how could she betray her like this…”

“Fritz?” Nemo noticed the name just now and couldn’t help but interrupt. “Is he from this town as well?”

“Yes, a very good young man. They have grown up together since they were young, and I can see that the child loves Melody deeply. My husband and I both thought they could… But she rejected him!” Mrs. Delaney sniffled. “Fritz is the most perfect child I have ever seen. They’re made for each other… They deserve to be together.”

“But she told you that she fell in love with a Bluebird.”

“When she told me, it was like the sky had collapsed.” Mrs. Delaney hugged her thin shoulders. “However, there were no signs of deformation on her body, so we could still save her. We just… Just let her stay at home and reflect. The beast that bewitched her dared to come to the door, and Isaac shot it and blinded its right eye. This is useful to you, right? Its right eye is blind, and the wound should be new.”

“Then she ran away?”

“Well… Melody had lived a lavish life. We all thought she couldn’t bear the pain and would come back by herself.”

Ann punched the wall, causing Mrs. Delaney to quickly shrink into the sofa.

“Sorry,” Ann said with a dull face. “Please continue.”

“…But she never came back, and we couldn’t find any traces, so we thought… She might have been deformed.”

“A few weeks,” Ann stated flatly.”She said she had been wandering like that for a few weeks and you only posted the task a few days ago?”

“We had no other choice!” Mrs. Delaney twisted her fingers nervously. “We love her. According to the scriptures, we should’ve burned her to death in the first place, but we couldn’t do it. She must be just confused…”

“That Bluebird’s right eye is blind. What else?” Oliver interrupted her babbling.

“I saw it that day. It was very tall and had an uncommon white pattern on its chest. Melody called it ‘Pasototu’. As for the location of the tribe, Fritz can take you there. He’s the best hunter in our town, so he knows better than anyone else.” Mrs. Delaney stood up. Her eyes were flushed. “That kid knows about Melody and the Bluebird and has been helping us find her. There’s no need to keep it a secret from him.”

“You must kill it.” Her voice was louder and soaked in hatred. “There have been successful examples before. As long as you kill it, she’ll definitely be able to change back. Melody’s life cannot be ruined like this. Please…”

“I see. Please tell me where Fritz lives.” Oliver also stood up.

“I can probably guess what you’re thinking.” After leaving the Delaney’s, Nemo poked Oliver. “You want to find Pasototu and find a way to reunite him with Melody, right?”

“More than that.” The overly standard smile on Oliver’s face had disappeared. He rubbed his stiff facial muscles. “Melody’s father has a strange attitude.”

“I can only see that he’s mad.” Nemo muttered.

“He hates Black Chapters.” Oliver surmised. “Generally speaking, will you entrust a group of criminals to find your missing daughter? Even if his original intention was to kill Pasototu… Pasototu isn’t human. Regular mercenaries can take this job. I don’t think he chose us just because we’re cheaper. If I’m not mistaken, the situation between them and the Bluebirds should be very tense, so tense that we’re likely to die on this job.”

“Well, it seems that he doesn’t want to sacrifice ‘innocent’ mercenaries.” Nemo scratched his head. “If we refuse the mission now, he’ll definitely find another Black Chapter, and the new one would likely kill Pasototu. Good idea, Ollie. Anyway, the task is doomed to fail. Let’s meet them before it fails and try our best. If we can’t succeed, we’ll just run away.”

“I agree to continue. Maybe we can find the reason for Miss Delaney’s deformation,” Adrian straightened his collar. “I still don’t think it’s a curse. If something very similar has happened before, then disease can almost be ruled out. It should be an enchantment.”

Ann, who had always been extremely concerned about the task, didn’t participate in the discussion this time. She made a long face and silently untied the rope of the fuller goat.

The gray parrot didn’t enter the house. It stayed on the back of the fuller goat to guard the luggage and was now bouncing around leisurely. The scenery outside the house was still warm and lovely. It may be due to psychological factors, but Nemo felt that the home looked a little less welcoming now.

“Oh, you’re back.” The parrot fluttered its wings. “Someone was sneaking around just now—”

An arrow flew over its head and struck the wooden post by the shed. The gray parrot almost shrank its head into its body. Nemo could see that it wanted to chant a few abyssal spells to teach the culprit a lesson, but he didn’t have to wait for it to open its mouth—

“Stop it!” a young voice shouted.

“But it’s a demon!” another voice complained. “Fritz, you obviously heard it too!”

More than a dozen young people walked in their direction. They were dressed in leaf fragments and grass stems that were covered in blood. The leader was young and handsome, with short, neat honey-colored hair.

“You guys go back first,” the leading young man said to the others, but there was no command in his tone. “Thank you, but just me alone is enough. You can divide up my share of prey. Just treat it as a treat for everyone.”

“But they are snake-level, and there are four people…”

“They went into Uncle Delaney’s home, so they aren’t here to cause trouble. I’m taking them to search the forest.” The young man strode up to them with a refreshing smile. “Hello. I’m Fritz Berman. I’ve just received a summons from the Delaney family. Who’s your leader?”

Oliver stretched out his hand politely, and Fritz grabbed it and shook it vigorously.

“I’ll take you there,” he said with a smile, showing his sharp tiger teeth. His friends looked at them for a while, muttered for a bit, and then dispersed, not forgetting to look back when they were more than a dozen steps away.

“Oliver Ramon.” Oliver nodded.

After confirming that his companions had left, the smile on Fritz’s face gradually disappeared and was replaced by worry. “You… Are you going to kill that Bluebird? Also, I’m really sorry about the arrow just now.” He turned in the direction of Bagelmaurus. The gray parrot turned its head unceremoniously.

There was unexpectedly no hatred or disgust in Fritz Berman’s voice, causing Nemo to raise his eyebrows.

“Yes,” Oliver replied decisively, as if he had no intention of telling the truth.

“I can take you to the vicinity of the tribe,” Fritz said, “but I don’t suggest you do that. Pasototu has a high status in the tribe. If you kill him…”

He didn’t use “it”. Nemo’s eyebrows raised even higher.

“Mr. Delaney will push all this on us, so it will not start a war.” Oliver’s voice wasn’t very enthusiastic. “Please rest assured.”

There were traces of sadness in Fritz’s face.

“Aren’t you worried about Melody?” Nemo asked curiously.

“Of course I’m worried about her. I’m worried about her mental state.” Fritz shook his head and began leading the way. “I have taught her a lot of survival skills. She’s a strong girl and will definitely survive in the wild. But in case she is deformed…”

“Do you also know about deformation?”

“The one who was executed recently for falling in love with a Bluebird was from the Pagan family. I think you should already know. That person used to be my friend. They didn’t plan to burn him to death, but he began to grow blue feathers, and the Pagan family’s faith is very…” Fritz tugged bitterly at the corner of his mouth, “…firm.”

“Melody and Pasototu have been together for more than three months, but she has only recently begun to deform. If love is the reason—”

The young man’s eyes lit up suddenly. His whole body became a little more energetic in an instant. “She only recently begun to deform? Have you seen her?” He leaned in front of Nemo and spoke quickly. “She… Is she okay?”

Nemo was startled. “Not so good, but she’s still alive.”

The brilliance in Fritz’s eyes went out a bit. He lowered his head and wiped the dagger with oiled animal skin as he walked.

“…If falling in love is really the reason,” Nemo continued to ask dryly, “why does it take so long?”

“I don’t know. Lavinia may curse based on her mood.” Fritz’s voice was muffled. “My friend… It only took a month from falling in love with a Bluebird to become deformed. When Melody rejected me, I knew about her falling in love with Pasototu. Then she was locked up.”

The buildings got smaller as they reached the edge of the forest.

“You didn’t go see her? …You still like her?” Oliver asked suddenly as he waved his sword to cut off the vines that were in his way.

“I love her, but before that, we were friends.” Fritz stopped wiping the dagger. “Melody rejected me very clearly, and I respect her will. It’s a pity that her parents seem unable to accept this. I don’t want her to misunderstand… For example, her thinking I’m taking this opportunity to become entangled with her.”

“How far is it from the Bluebird tribe?” Ann, who had been silent all this time, suddenly spoke.

“It will take most of the day, but you should be there before dark. I can only send you to the surrounding area. They know that I’m from Vincent Town. Once they see me, they’ll definitely—”

“Then you’d better hide,” the female warrior said in a deep voice, “because they’re already here.”

Fritz’s movements were quick. He didn’t ask any questions. His fingers drew a simple spell in the air, and after camouflaging his breath, he slid into the shrub next to him like a snake. He made no sound during the entire process.

Four huge blue figures descended from the sky, blowing fallen leaves everywhere. Melody’s appearance was indeed far from a true Grace Bluebird. The heads of the Grace Bluebirds were slightly similar to those of humans, but their eyes weren’t on the sides of their heads like ordinary birds. However, they did possess hard black beaks. Their physique looked stronger than humans, and their whole bodies were covered with beautiful blue feathers.

Their arms were like long wings, and at the end of their legs were sharply scaly claws. On their backs were another pair of even larger wings. It was completely different from Nemo’s previous imagination—they were a very strange and beautiful creature.

One of them crossed its arms in front of him and closed its wings behind its waist. A rough piece of paper floated in front of Oliver with fancy handwriting that didn’t match the texture of the paper. There was only one sentence written on it.

[We’re about to meet again in the Bluebird’s tribe. Follow them, darlings. The new envoy of the Bluebirds.]

There was also a “hot” crossed-out between “new” and “envoy”.

Oliver’s and Nemo’s expressions sank at the same time. In the great spirit of sharing pain, Nemo solemnly handed the note to Ann, whose face instantly wrinkled, as if she had bit into an unripe plum. Only Adrian, who finally read the note, was unmoved and calmly handed the note back.

“Can they understand?” The bluebird who took the note back said to the others. “These people seem to be the scum of mankind. I can’t understand the thoughts of the envoy at all.”

Nemo was shocked and nailed in place. He could understand their words, but he didn’t have time to care about it at this moment.

It was the first time he had heard of such a language.

The melody of their words was pure and beautiful. He had never heard such a tune. It was as if he had lived in the silent underground for the past 23 years, and he had just crawled out of the soil and heard “sound” for the very first time. All the music he had heard before lost its meaning at that moment. They became noisy and thin, and quickly faded from his memory.

“You… The envoy you just mentioned,” after the shock, he instinctively said. “Is it a blond man?”

“Are you talking to them…?” Oliver looked at Nemo in shock. “But they didn’t say anything just now?”

The bluebirds also focused their attention. They exchanged whispers in their beautiful voices and stared suspiciously at the black-haired youth in front of them.

“Can you hear us?” The bluebird closest to them asked tentatively. “How do you know our language? This can’t be. This is pure telepathy… What are you?”

“I’m human.” Nemo gestured in vain. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Nemo, you…” Oliver grabbed one of his wrists. “You’re talking to them, aren’t you?”

“Yes.” Nemo took a deep breath. His expression was solemn. “Ollie, I have to say… There’s nothing wrong with Melody Delaney’s mind. What she said is true.”

“They really aren’t dumb.”

The author has something to say:

Yes, Jesse is here again. Jesse, never give up!

Oliver ushered in the true enlightenment of love (?) His parents were too hard-core… It’s better to be of the same age.

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4 thoughts on “Stray Ch52

  1. In case peeps didn’t know, or have forgotten; “Dumb” originally means unable to speak, just like “Deaf” means unable to hear and “Blind” means unable to see.
    Famously, Hellen Keller was Deaf, Dumb and Blind until her teacher, Ms. Sullivan, gave her a voice through sign language.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This part sounds a bit awkward:
    “She tried to shovel the wet porcelain pieces tremblingly, trying to suppress the choking in her throat, as if it was any louder, it would eat her raw.”

    I would rewrite as “She tried to sweep the wet porcelain pieces with trembling hands, trying to suppress the choking sobs gathering in her throat– any louder, and it would eat her raw.”

    Also rather than using “weird” in certain instances such as “Melody’s father has a weird attitude”, it’d be more fitting to use “strange”.

    Thank you for your translation!


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