Stray Ch63

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

Translator: Kinky ||

Chapter 63: Curse from the Abyss

Tig Lorenzo was in an erratic state at the moment, and it wasn’t the good kind.

It was difficult to assess his current mood. His heart seemed to stop beating and the warm blood in his veins turned into scorching molten iron. Cold sweat had completely soaked his clothing, wetting his entire back as it continued to seep out of his pores. There was no expression on the burly young man’s face, as he had even forgotten how to move the muscles on it.

The cage was perfectly finished. It was strong enough to overdraw all the magic in the holy scriptures and encircled as few houses as possible. He had considered its shape, position, and even the curvature of the dome carefully and had practiced it countless times in his mind.

He had wanted to do this long ago.

Tig was sure that when he took his father’s place, it would be the first thing he would do; eradicate the scourge next to Vincent Town and completely get rid of the unpredictable curse of deformation. He honestly couldn’t comprehend why a group of monsters who didn’t seem to have a good brain could live freely near them for so many generations.

Perhaps it was a common problem of the older generation. Old people were always too cautious, holding every chip in their hands tightly and dreading taking the slightest risk. And the townspeople were too stupid. They were indifferent to the living environment of their children and only wanted to keep their lives unchanged. They religiously believed in their gods, but in the face of monsters, most could only insult and spurn, but few dared grab a sword.

Some even forgot their hatred.

They had hunted many things, from things as small as ordinary hares, as large as steel-thorn porcupines, or as odd as scorpion-tailed wolves. Those were completely normal, but among those countless prey, only the Bluebirds continued to haunt them. Not only did they bite back when they were hunted, but they even counterattacked afterwards. Although it was an inflexible attack that didn’t know how to adapt on behalf of the stupid “pride” that he despised, Vincent Town still suffered from the loss of property and the lives of several innocent people.

In recent years, they had become more difficult to capture. The money they got was completely disproportionate to the price they paid. Then the terrifying curse of deformation began to appear. Why did they continue to let that group of dangerous things live?

When Tig Lorenzo planned all this, he even had some kind of heroic tragedy set in his heart. It didn’t matter if people didn’t understand as long as the results were achieved. His care and sacrifice would be seen. He didn’t need to announce the plan in advance and faced endless debate and persuasion from the town. Doing it like this may cause a little confusion at first, but he only needed to guide the townspeople reasonably, leading to a great and beautiful battle.

But everything right now was more like a farce than a “great and beautiful battle”.

On both sides of the ice wall, the screams of pain, cries for help, and shrieks of agony didn’t disappear. The separated sides began to huddle together. The Bluebirds stubbornly attacked the red wall of light, leaving behind patches of blood while the ordinary townspeople hugged their loved ones trembling in fear. They seemed to finally react to their current predicament. The wounded man who was injured by the Bluebird covered his wounds dully and made a low groan. There was no bleeding from the wound. Rather, the area was completely disintegrated, and his limbs had already turned into ashes that no healer in the world could possibly regenerate.

The Black Chapter that had just suspended the scuffle climbed to the top of the ice wall. His short light brown hair was slightly blowing in the wind, and he turned his face to Tig, shouting clearly.

“Remove this thing!” Oliver shouted loudly. “Stabilize the townspeople and then remove it! You have an opportunity. There’s still a chance to talk—”

“What do you want?” Tig roared back with some collapse. “Why do you want to intervene in our war? We’re about to win! You two god damn bastards! We could’ve won!”

The burly young man gasped violently. His eyes gradually brightened, as if he was convinced by his own words. He ignored Oliver’s request and turned his head to the townspeople outside the cage.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!” he shouted in a hoarse voice. “Take up arms and protect your compatriots! The spells from those monsters can’t attack the outside, but we can still attack—”

These words ignited the hope of the people in the cage. They let go of their voices and began to shout for help from the townspeople. Nothing could make people more nervous than the cry of a child. Under the blood and ashes, people had no time to consider reason. With a sudden sense of mission, the townspeople who were still free quickly dispersed. When they returned to the area, they had a variety of weapons in their hands, from sturdy bows and spears to dulled blades and rusty swords.

They began to gather on the side of the Bluebirds army.

Nemo had not climbed the ice wall yet. He was in the midst of the Bluebird army at that moment. The appearance of a human caused him a lot of trouble as he had to parry off many Bluebirds with the shadow before he finally squeezed in front of Pasotolu.

“Why are you here?” He asked anxiously. “Where’s Melody?”

“She… She’s fine.” Pasotolu’s tone had hints of sadness. “I had to prove to the tribe that I haven’t ‘mutinied’. I tried my best. We talked about it beforehand, and they were committed to following the old rules. It’s just that this time they planned to destroy all the buildings so the group of humans would be expelled.”

He looked at Nemo sadly with only his left eye. “This is a trap, isn’t it? In fact, they had insisted on spreading out and attacking indiscriminately at the beginning if it wasn’t for me…”

The Bluebird lowered his head and didn’t continue. He realized what this barrier meant when he saw the people holding weapons approaching from the other side. Once everything was completely turned to ash on their side of the cage by the Bluebirds magic, despair began to spread.

The Bluebirds abandoned the sturdy wall of light and began to attack the ice wall. 

Oliver reinforced the broken layers, trying to keep the townspeople on the other side from being exposed to direct attacks. Nemo could see his hesitation. They could indeed destroy the ice wall, but what would happen after?

They weren’t idealists. No one knew if the Bluebirds would start to retaliate frantically. They couldn’t predict what kind of position they would take to exact their vengeance, and everything at present proved that most of the Bluebirds’ views were from the war faction. Nemo nervously sucked in the muddy air filled with ashes, and the beating of his heart began to make his chest ache. Can this really be stopped?

Whether Tig successfully wiped out the Bluebirds or Pasotolu successfully escaped, the next step would only lead to crazier revenge.

Are they really preventing the prophecy or just facilitating it?

The townspeople outside the cage hesitated, and finally someone began to attack. An arrow that was shot into the cage and was intercepted by the black shadow. Unfortunately, the black shadow moved too fast and cut the arrow in half, so the front end still pierced the Bluebird’s wing. Nemo looked at the source of the arrow; Isaac Delaney took out another arrow and put it firmly on the bowstring.

With a successful example, the crowd seemed to be greatly encouraged. Spells and sharp blades began to pour into the cage. Nemo quickly commanded the shadow and stopped most of the attacks, but he couldn’t defend against magic and blades at the same time.

“It’s abyssal magic. That’s a demon worshiper who deserves to die!” Tig commanded the crowd. “He’s with them. There’s no need to give him mercy—”

The crowd finally began to boil. The weather was clear and the buildings in Vincent Town still had that lovely tone that made people happy. The air was as warm and humid as it had always been, but it was now splintered by countless murderous intentions.

Perhaps it’s time, Nemo thought blankly. They’ve reached the point of “no other solution”. These people weren’t strong. He and Oliver could defeat everyone and forcibly suppress them. They could forcibly stop this small war that was about to get out of control, but as for the aftermath…

It shouldn’t be like this. He raised his head with an increasingly murderous intent and looked at Oliver’s back. The other party was still trying to reinforce the ice wall to protect the people on the other side. Oliver was still insistent, believing that they could find a better solution than the one Jesse Dylan suggested.

Think. Nemo bit his lip fiercely. He should know the answer.

A few steps away from Nemo, Fritz was holding a bow and arrow. Nemo could clearly see his hands shaking from a distance. The young hunter avoided Nemo’s eyes. Amidst the wails for help and crying of his compatriots, he finally raised his bow when suddenly a blue figure crossed through the crowd from above and stumbled towards the cage.

The Bluebird made intermittent and meaningless chirps. While Nemo couldn’t tell by its appearance, he recognized the clumsy posture and meaningless cries.

Unfortunately, Melody didn’t rush into the cage as successfully as the girl with long braids. A few arrows had pierced deeply into her back. She fell a few steps away from the cage as blood began to seep into the soil. Isaac Delaney’s eyes were firm, and he didn’t intend to stop attacking.

She gasped with difficulty. She hadn’t had time to learn the funeral rites of the Bluebird and could only stretch her forelimbs to the cage like a human, making a weak “silent” chirp with her mouth. After finding that she could not drag this strange and heavy body, she raised her head and looked imploringly at her former compatriots around her.

And her compatriots responded by raising their swords to her, with only one exception.

“……Melody?” Fritz’s voice trembled, and he stared into her eyes. “Melody?”

“What nonsense are you talking about—” Isaac roared angrily, and then his voice choked. The dying bluebird nodded very slowly.

Fritz half knelt down and gently placed his weapon on the blood-soaked ground.

“I was right,” he said softly, showing a stiff and ugly smile. “It is you.”

He was as abnormal as she was. This cognition had never been so clear—he also fell in love with a Bluebird.

Huge wings began to spread out behind the hunter, causing the crowd to scream in fear and disperse around him as if they were avoiding a corpse that died from a plague. Fritz Berman’s transformation was much faster than Melody’s. After a while, there were no traces of a human appearance left.

He stayed quietly where he was, guarding his beloved.

The young people who rushed forward; there were a few familiar faces that Nemo guessed were Fritz’s friends, also began to show blue feathers on their arms.

“Calm down!” After a long silence, Tig’s voice sounded again. This time there was a noticeable cry in his voice. “The curse is spreading! As long as these things are still alive, we will all be infected—”

[We will always love our relatives, our friends, and our lovers.]

“A war cannot be without sacrifices!” He roared as he quietly hid his left arm, which was almost completely transformed into a wing.

With fear of monsters, the people were no longer cautious. Everything was now beyond common sense. It plunged the townspeople into madness.

At this moment, the red wall of light suddenly turned into a spot of light that Nemo completely destroyed, shattering the light film. He stood up and made up his mind. He was just about to turn to greet Oliver, who was already staring at him.

But he wasn’t met with an overwhelming attack.

“You have a way, right?” Countless icicles rose and stirred the battlefield into a pot of porridge. Oliver jumped over sharply from the top of the wall, giving Nemo a wink while activating the communication crystal.

“I need a little time. Just a little is enough,” Nemo said quickly.

“I know—Ms. Savage, it’s time to join us,” he shouted loudly while erecting a solid ice wall near Pasotolu. “Let’s make some trouble!”

The freed Bluebirds didn’t fly away immediately. They tried to attack the crowd angrily, but their action was interrupted by icicles that poked out from various angles, so they couldn’t complete their spellcasting. Ann tore off her cloak and jumped on top of the fuller goat. This time, she didn’t use her lightning spell. She grabbed Bagelmaurus and squeezed its neck, causing the latter to spew out a dark beam of light from its mouth.

“Abyssal magic.” She stood next to Tig Lorenzo and whistled at the attacking Bluebirds. “I’m not guaranteeing what will happen after being hit by it…”

“You demon…” the gray parrot scolded weakly, but before it could finish, its neck was squeezed again. The beam of light with a strong evil aura broke through the air, giving off another demonstration.

“I’m honored to be praised by a demon.” Ann smiled. “Don’t be capricious. This is teamwork.”

Since both leaders on either side were well protected, both sides could only start attacking each other. Their attempts didn’t last long though. Just as the Bluebirds and the townspeople were about to become entangled, strange dense dark clouds obscured the sky. Day seemed to transform into night in an instant, and the unnatural change slowed down the rhythm of the fighting as everyone’s attention was diverted.

Countless small cracks appeared in the air like solidified marks left after chopping something.

There was a chilling firelight in them as dark shadows continued to gush out from the cracks. They crawled along the ground like living creatures, flowing past the dying Melody Delaney and those who were wounded; entangling every life that possessed a beating heart.

Nemo stretched out his right arm firmly, trying to empty his mind. Countless fragments of memories poured through them, from Melody’s war gestures to the wailing of the Bluebird messengers, and finally fixated on the half-finished fairytale.

Love could indeed lift Lavinia’s “curse”, but the real story that had developed to the present was missing a vital part.

He pulled the corners of his mouth up, showing a difficult but heartfelt smile. If they wanted to deny their human identity, there was nothing better to divert their attention than a “real ‘curse’ brought on by an evil mage”.

Dark shadows surged, and fear and murderous intent entangled with each other, creating a scene like hell on earth.

“I ‘curse’ you,” he whispered. “I ‘curse’ you… You can hear me.”

Oliver recognized the abyssal magic in front of him. It had pulled him back from the edge of death in the battle against Witherspoon, and on the way to Vincent, those dark shadows had crept timidly around his bloody blisters on the soles of his feet.

Nemo was treating them, but perhaps it wasn’t a simple treatment. The dark shadow had also entangled Oliver himself, but he remained unscathed.

Oliver suddenly realized something. He turned his head to look at the black-haired young man in the middle of the shadow vortex. Nemo’s face was pale, and his eyes looked distracted. The golden-red cracks started spreading out slowly.

Then he heard it.

The melody that hovered over the battlefield was full of anger, sadness, and despair and brought painful stimulation like a dagger stabbing into one’s skull. The brain trembled against the impact and the nerves ached numbly, like being immersed in ice water. Then the sad and beautiful, graceful tune almost suffocated him. He was not the only one who was shocked. The townspeople of Vincent Town stopped moving almost at the same time. The Bluebirds, whose wounds had healed, all flew up, instinctively staying away from the cracks.

“Make it stop—!” A scream cried out from a woman who was tearing at her hair. The knife in her hand slipped away. “Make it stop, please!”

“You demon—”

People began to wail. They seemed to be unable to bear the emotion caused by these “emotionless monsters” and quickly lost the strength to attack their hostile target. They desperately swarmed in the opposite direction of Nemo, fleeing staggeringly, as if that would weaken the knife-like melody.

Nemo stood motionless among the ashes, like a statue. He pursed his lips tightly, with no expression on his face covered with sweat, letting the despair and murderous intent of the townspeople pour out. It was so thick at the moment that even Oliver felt his hair stand up. Countless small cracks still floated around Nemo, but they trembled slightly at the moment, showing no signs of closing.

Oliver pondered for a moment and took a deep breath. He straightened his dusty lapel and stepped over the shadows and ashes.

“Well done.” He stood still in front of Nemo, staring closely at his face. “Is this what you keep hearing?”

“Yes,” Nemo replied perfunctorily, as he stared at the ground. “Don’t talk to me yet. I’m trying to keep myself distracted…”

They didn’t need Adrian’s combat experience to feel the thick hostility. The cracks began to shake more…

This wasn’t an imitation of humans at all. Nemo Light would really suffer because of this great hostility, but a soul that suffers couldn’t be a piece of nothingness. He really liked this person standing in front of him—or whatever he may be. It didn’t matter anymore, because Oliver stood in the swirling shadows, but could no longer feel the slightest bit of instinctive fear of the unknown.

If the other party needed a little fire now, then he might be able to say it. Oliver thought that this feeling was different from the “deep love” he had imagined. It was too soft, too quiet, and not qualified to become a shield against the world. But even if it was just a subtle and wavering light full of many questions, at least it had always been real and had never been extinguished since the day it was ignited. It may be able to create a bit of breathing room in this airtight malice.

“Then this may help.” Oliver stretched out his hands and put them directly on Nemo’s shoulders. “Listen, although I don’t know if this is qualified to be called love, and I still have many questions that I haven’t thought about clearly, you have to know—”

“I like you very much, perhaps more than anyone in the world.”

Kinky Thoughts:


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