Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 55: Nirvana
The tunnel was hidden in the shadow of the giant tree. After staying in the muddy air of the tunnel for a while, the various smells in the breeze from outside became more intense. Water droplets dripped on the edge of the red mushroom umbrella cover, rolled along like snails, then dissipated before falling to the ground, leaving a strong smell of fresh fungi. All kinds of greenery were mixed in one place, covering up the rotting dead leaves, insect shells, and tree trunks scattered across the ground.
Under the greenery, their footsteps made fine and crisp moist sounds.
The attitude of the Bluebirds behind him was still alienated. Jesse Dylan’s status as an envoy may not really be that useful, or the Bluebirds didn’t want to end the status quo.
Nemo ignored the bad attitude of the Bluebirds. He walked forward in great strides, even if he didn’t know where he was going. He needed to find something for himself to do in order to relieve the anxiety that was rolling around as if there was a needle stabbing inside his heart. Nemo didn’t look at Ann, nor did he look at the Knight Commander. He stared at his steps and refused to look at any living thing.
Reality frustrated him. After getting the answer from Telaranea, he just wanted to believe that he was just a human with strange abilities. He could have attributed all the many mysteries to talent. Perhaps it was because the stars were aligned when he was born, or Zenni had accidentally sneezed at his mother and spattered stars on her, which comically gave him the ability to become immune to all damage from the Abyss, leaving behind just the good. Even if he was out of control in the face of Witherspoon, he could push the reason to Bagelmaurus. It may have forgotten Witherspoon, or its memory could’ve flowed into him.
However, talent could explain his physique, strength, and even his ears, but it couldn’t bring him real knowledge. Nemo wished from the bottom of his heart that he could only hear the birdsong but couldn’t understand the meaning behind those melodies.
Unfortunately, he could understand that Bagelmaurus and these birds were not related in any way, so he could no longer deceive himself.
Nemo stopped and fell into a flutter of confusion. Was this question really that important? He thought to himself that he could even face death calmly. In contrast, whether he was human or not wasn’t a big problem. He wasn’t the only toy of fate. If Dylan didn’t lie, then the people of Vincent Town would face a more serious situation.
What was he so anxious about?
He thought for a while, but didn’t get an answer that could convince him. At this moment, the Bluebird behind him finally couldn’t help but speak.
“Where did you learn our language?” His tone wasn’t friendly, and his dark eyes were as cold as stone.
“I don’t know,” Nemo shrugged. “Believe it or not, I really don’t have a clue.”
“In just a few weeks, three humans have been involved in our affairs. One could write our text, one could speak and understand our language, and one had fascinated Pasototu to the point where he lost all his senses,” he complained bitterly. “Are betrayal and theft no longer satisfactory to your kind anymore?”
“…Are you really going to attack Vincent Town?” Nemo ignored the hostility in his tone as he asked in a deep voice.
“Attack? This time they went too far. Usually, they kill our compatriots, steal our bodies in the Holy Land, and cut them into pieces to sell as commodities. We consider these small grievances, but this time, they are eyeing Pasototu, our future chief. This is so they can catch us all—”
“They may really love each other.” The fairytale stained with blood and tears flashed in Nemo’s mind, and he couldn’t help closing his eyes.
“Pasototu is the strongest and most beautiful one in our tribe. How could he fall in love with a monster?” The Bluebird sneered. The dark cyan ore covered with beeswax that was wire-wrapped around its neck swayed. “His brain isn’t broken. They must’ve cast a curse on him. The humans must hand over the witch. Otherwise, there’s no need to talk.”
“Did Jesse Dylan tell you…”
“Only those old antiques believe in the ‘divine envoy’. My sister’s head was cut off and thrown into the mud. Just because the skull and brain were not used, they’re afraid of the gaze of the dead, who will leave a curse. Those cowards dare not attack adults. She was still so young, and her bones had not hardened. If there is a God, where was he at that time?”
The magic array pointing at Nemo’s head accelerated and turned, trembling precariously.
“Someone has to pay the price.”
“…I’m sorry,” Nemo said softly.
“No, you’re just saying it,” the Bluebird responded indifferently. “You’re not sorry at all.”
They stopped in front of the giant tree. Oliver and the out-of-place envoy hadn’t caught up yet. It was approaching evening, and the sun had softened. A relaxing light rose color oozed from the edge of the sky, accompanied by the sound of music and the friction of shrubs. It was like a caressing hand or a lover’s breath that could make the hair stand up.
It was a pity that most of the eyes that fell on them were cold.
“Don’t mind what happened just now, Mr. Light.” Adrian broke the sticky silence. His tone was firm and serious. “I think it may have something to do with your missing memory. According to the current clues, I can’t get an exact conclusion… Thinking too much will only make you feel worse.”
“Thank you.” The corner of Nemo’s mouth tugged slightly. “When this task is over, I have to find a therapist to take a good look at my head.”
They stood in front of the giant tree as Bluebirds stared at them from all directions, like some kind of huge lifeform with countless eyes. This time, without Adrian even speaking, even Nemo could feel the increasing hostility in the air. If this was how they acted under the divine envoy, he didn’t want to imagine what their usual attitude towards ordinary humans was.
“Let’s get out of here.” Oliver finally got out from behind the giant tree, moving very carefully for fear of tripping over the clumps of vine under his inattentive feet. “Let’s find Melody first. If Jesse Dylan didn’t lie, then she should be able to give us part of the answer.” He sounded as if he was in a strange mood.
Nemo glanced behind Oliver but didn’t see Jesse following him.
“But how do we find her?” Nemo murmured. He subconsciously leaned closer to Oliver. The unreserved smile on the other party’s face reassured him.
“Ann,” Oliver said, turning to face the female warrior. His momentum had calmed down. “Share it.”
“…Wow, how terrible,” Ann whispered, pulling out a piece of paper from her goatskin waist bag. She unfolded it skillfully with one hand, and orange characters floated over the parchment, showing what looked like coordinates.
“She put a spell on the food bag. I happened to see it at that time.” Oliver patted Nemo on the shoulder. “How could our Miss Savage easily let go of the mission target?”
“Fuck you. I’m worried about her.” Ann rolled her eyes.
The orange coordinates flickered slightly. It was ethereal and distorted like steam, and the content was constantly changing. Melody was obviously still active normally. Nemo couldn’t help breathing a sigh of relief.
It wasn’t difficult to find Melody Delaney. She wasn’t far from the Bluebirds tribe. In fact, she has been wandering around the illusion, staggering towards the right direction. When they met again, she was running desperately in the woods like an ugly whirlwind or scarlet lightning. She found them one step ahead and stopped timidly a few steps away from them. There was caution and a little joy in her eyes.
The monster girl was thinner than before. Even if she didn’t look like a human, Nemo was sure of this. Melody was still carrying the two bags on her body. Her eyes looked terribly bright. Now that she didn’t need to steal food from human territory, she smelled much better. At least Nemo couldn’t smell that pungent sourness.
The sun was about to set, and the light blue of the night softened the ugly appearance of the monster.
“It’s you guys.” Her voice was still strangely hoarse and not pleasant to listen to. “You… Have you met my parents?”
Her claws plucked at the mud, and she looked nervous like a criminal awaiting their verdict, but the tension was mixed with a little cautious expectation.
“Yes,” Oliver said. “…We also saw Pasototu.”
Melody’s body froze. She opened her mouth and seemed to forget how to make a sound. “Where is he? Is he okay? He… Does he…”
“Pasototu is jailed by the tribe, as you have guessed,” Nemo said solemnly. “He has always wanted to see you.”
Tears rolled down the monster’s cheeks and penetrated into the unpleasant looking folds of flesh. “I know,” she said. “…But the way I am now…”
“There are now three theories about your deformation.” Adrian said to the monster while staring at it with his blue eyes. “Generally, this situation stems from a demon’s curse, but you call it God’s punishment. Now there’s a third scenario… Do you want to know it? I have to say, it’s a bit cruel.”
“Can it change this situation, Mr. Monk?” After a moment of contemplation, Melody asked seriously.
“Then tell me.”
“This is an enchantment,” Adrian said. “Your love has lifted it. After the process of being lifted… You’ll become a Bluebird, Miss Delaney. The people of Vincent Town may all be within the scope of this enchantment.”
Melody Delaney was so shocked by this absurd statement that she stopped breathing.
“I just can’t figure it out at all.” The voice of the former Knight Commander was low and soft. “About the time difference between the enchantment lifting…”
“If this is true…” She shivered violently, and her breathing became short. “If this is true… I can explain.”
“Love is not that simple. I gradually and uncontrollably fell in love with him. I struggled for a long time, Mr. Monk. I knew that it was wrong, and my parents would not agree with me. I knew that I would break their hearts… But…” Her voice became lighter. “But only when I’m by his side, can I feel that the world is full of beauty and hope.”
“The night I escaped, I made up my mind. I couldn’t fool myself any longer.”
“Now tell me, kind lady… What did my parents say? Did they give up on me or… Are they sad?” There were traces of remorse in her voice.
“They want us to kill Pasototu.” Ann moved her eyes away. Her tone was flat; almost cruel.
Melody was silent for a long time. She was still trembling slightly, as if she was going to freeze to death in the summer night.
“Oh,” she sighed, her face flushed.”…I know.”
“I never expected that there would be a miracle in this world until I met him and fell in love with him on my own accord. This was the first.” Her voice began to become light and gentle. “Desperate and selfish, the love that I didn’t expect him to respond… You seen him, how beautiful he is.”
“Yet he returned his love to me. This was the second. I shouldn’t be so greedy… Expecting my parents to agree with me.” Her voice became lighter, like thin ice about to melt in warm water.
“Thank you for bringing me the third miracle.”
A blue glow flickered around her body. The rotten skin fell off, replaced by blue feathers. Huge wings grew from behind her waist and stretched out awkwardly. Her twisted arms became straight and gradually covered with scales and fine feathers. An obsidian-carved bird’s beak appeared on her face, and the cyan color of her iris faded and turned into darkness like the late night.
A beautiful and elegant Bluebird spread its wings.
She opened her mouth, but Nemo only heard meaningless chirps. She obviously didn’t understand the language of the Bluebird tribe. Melody herself realized this. She stretched out her forearm that turned into wings and slowly gestured in the air. Nemo was familiar with this array. It was the one Oliver used against the scorpion-tailed wolves in the woods.
The magic array of the Forest Ballad was gradually completed.
A torrent of complex emotions overwhelmed them. It was wrapped in gratitude, sadness, and despair, and eventually turned into great happiness.
Hm, Melody’s and Pasototu’s love seems to mirror something here…
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One thought on “Stray Ch55”
No comments, I’m just happy about Melody and Pasototu :3