Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 74: In the Dark
Nemo re-examined his memory; the memory he thought was lost or destroyed…
It was pitch black and extremely silent. He crawled forward on the rough sand like a lizard or snake. His movements were completely instinctive, and he wasn’t even as coordinated as a newborn human baby. He couldn’t see his limbs; to be precise, he couldn’t see almost anything.
At that time, his head was empty, like a plant that would only move with the wind.
As soon as he moved, Nemo found that he had touched something smooth. He liked the delicate touch or its rare temperature, so he thought for a moment and swallowed it. The smell of metal spread on his tongue.
That should be his gold pendant.
[I remembered hearing someone talking.]
Vague music and laughter came from a certain direction. People were talking, but the distance was too far, and the laughter seemed to be separated by a layer of water. That was probably the only thing in the thick darkness that aroused his interest, so he quickly decided on the direction to move forward.
But those sounds were looming and intermittent. Although the environment was silent, occasionally there would be unknown sounds rustling through the darkness. When everything fell silent again, he didn’t know which way to go.
[There were stars in the sky.]
That could be the only light in the darkness, and there were stars, like white spots of light in the distant sky, but they appeared strangely, moved occasionally, and blink one by one.
…That wasn’t a star.
[I rushed over and saw you.]
When he heard sounds, he would move towards the sound of music and laughter. When there was no sound, he would wander aimlessly. He soon discovered the trick of moving. He no longer crawled on the ground but stood up and walked forward stumblingly. As a result, his speed became much faster. Unfortunately, the darkness was too vast, and he could only move forward indiscriminately with a consciousness that was so thin that it basically didn’t exist.
Except for the pale eyeballs flashing from a distant height, there was no light in that memory. There wasn’t even hunger and thirst, no cold or heat. The only thing he did was breathe and move forward, as if floating in the dark of nothingness. Most of the time, his skin touched rough grains of sand, and occasionally it became wet and slippery to the touch. He didn’t mind this, as he simply just climbed over and crossed it.
It may have been a long time, or it may have only been a moment, when he heard a clear voice for the first time.
The voice was very soft, but to him at the time, it was like thunder in his ears. He didn’t know the meaning of those syllables at the time, but now Nemo Light understood.
“I decided to call you ‘Mr. White’.” That extremely clear voice said solemnly. “Mr. White, my name is Oliver Ramon—you can call me Ollie.”
There was a pause for a few seconds.
“Well, I know you can’t talk. I just want to talk to you.”
Then the voice never left again. It was just that sometimes it seemed to be in front, and sometimes it was as vague as other sounds. He listened carefully to every strange syllable. Even if he didn’t understand the content at the time, it was enough to become a wonderful light; a little bit of light as fragile as spider silk in the darkness of nothingness.
“I was scolded by my dad again,” the voice said angrily. “It was Hansen that made fun of me first for being abandoned by my mother! I just… Well, I just hit him a little harder. Who told dad not to tell me about my mother? He always said that he would tell me when he has the opportunity in the future… How long will it be ‘in the future’, Mr. White?”
He moved step by step in the direction of the voice.
“A bard came to the hotel today! He told the story of the brave Alastair. God, I want to be such a powerful person too, but Dad didn’t look very happy. He has never liked bards.”
His steps were getting faster and faster.
“Hansen moved away, and so did Jeremy. Everyone always leaves here quickly. It feels bad that I don’t have anyone to play with. Haa, I want a friend who won’t leave… You won’t leave, will you?”
“I switched the salt and sugar in the kitchen today. Guess how long it will take for Dad to find out?”
“I was almost seen climbing today. My dad never allows me to climb trees. It’s all because the snow is too thick, it’s so cold here… I hate winter, Mr. White.”
How long has it been? His fingers touched something like a pimple. The low growls and footsteps of other creatures began to appear around him. Although none of them intended to approach, the darkness began to become particularly noisy, but he didn’t consider changing his direction, not even for a second.
Nemo now remembered every detail. The end of that long “night”. He easily inserted his fingers into the rock wall and began to climb upward. Time had long lost its concept; Nemo couldn’t figure out how long he had been climbing. He only had a clear impression…
The surroundings were getting hotter and hotter.
Then he saw the sun for the first time.
It was hot and dazzling, and for a moment he thought he had been attacked. Then there was color, boundless color. In fact, in the late stages of climbing, many things could be vaguely seen in the dim light, but they were all gray and single-scenes. Now those colors smashed into his eyes fiercely that he even forgot the unbearable heat in the air. Nemo remembered turning his neck carefully and looking greedily at everything around him, as if they would all melt in the strong light in the next second. At sunrise and sunset, he stood in the distance like a statue. All the colors made him dizzy…
And that familiar voice came back again. A child groaned angrily in the forest. The little boy moved himself behind a stout trunk and looked out of the forest with an unhappy face.
In his memory, he finally lowered his head and looked at his hands. Those hands were full of dirt, but pale skin was exposed in the filth. His palms were wide, and his fingers were slender and powerful. They were a pair of hands belonging to young humans.
He didn’t have any special thoughts at that time, but instinct told him vaguely that this wouldn’t work. If he wanted to leave, he needed to integrate, to imitate, to become them.
Blend in, imitate, get closer to the music and laughter, and get closer to his light.
And the source of intelligence was right in front of him. He didn’t need more information. His bones made cracking sounds as they twist and shorten. His slender fingers became rounded. His field of vision was narrowing, and his viewing angle was getting lower. He walked instinctively towards the other and extended his hand, just as he had always done…
Six-year-old Oliver Ramon found him, and then he burst into tears without hesitation and cried loudly. Something familiar came to him with the cry. It was the pure fear of the other party. It caused Nemo to quickly shrink and stop moving.
Immediately, they were carried back one by one by Piper Ramon, who came.
The young Oliver cried so much that Old Ramon had to send this “child” of unknown origin to Old Patrick first. The orphanage director at the time adopted him very happily.
“This little guy is really lucky.” Patrick Light nodded at Old Ramon in a pleasant tone.
That was the beginning of everything. He first learned to forget, then fear, and then more knowledge and “feelings”. With the improvement of common sense, those memories that exceed common sense naturally turn into “fog”. He was successful. He had indeed fully integrated into a corner of human society, like a cuckoo’s egg, lying quietly in a nest called Roadside Town.
‘He wasn’t human,’ Nemo thought. He couldn’t be. No human being could survive in that kind of environment, and he may have survived for more than the so-called six years.
The only hope left in his heart was completely extinguished, and all that remained was an unexpected calm. The details of his memory were still gradually returning into place; every minute and second from waking up in the dark, but that was no longer important. He clenched his fists so that his hands would no longer tremble. ‘This was the answer,’ he thought, ‘This is…’
An old fairytale flashed through his mind…
And many more.
He stood in the swirling memories, and his heart twitched suddenly. If this was all he had experienced since he was born, and if he had really never “forgotten” any details now, why could he understand the Bluebird’s language? That couldn’t be the effect of ability. Pure knowledge must be obtained from the outside world, and he…
The corrosive pain interrupted his thinking. The witch’s magic power was strangling his arms fiercely. Nemo blinked slowly, finally regaining the focus of his gaze.
He was still sitting in that spacious, sunny room with brightly colored knitted cushions stuffed under his ass. The glass with iced lemonade in front of him was empty, and only condensed drops of water slid down the outer wall of the glass.
“Your memory has been sorted out.” Nadine withdrew her hand tremblingly. It might have been Nemo’s illusion, but the witch seemed a little younger. “I’ll take the price as well. You need to rest for a while now.” She stood up and picked up her cane, leaning on one side.
“Depending on your reaction, you may have something to say to your companion.” The old lady knocked on the wooden floor with her cane. “I’ll go to the yard for a cup of tea first, so I won’t bother you. But remember, you have to stay here. I have a guest room here, so you can stay the night. Although I don’t know what you are…” she paused for a moment, “You’re still my patient. I have to observe you and make sure you take your medication.”
Nemo opened his mouth and failed to make a sound, so he could only nod his head and show a reluctant smile.
The old woman bowed her head and waved her hand at him. The orange cat followed the witch step by step, but the original high-cocked tail was now drooping behind its ass.
The atmosphere suddenly became tense after the witch left. Nemo was still staring at the empty glass in front of him, and the earlier restless sense of resistance was gone at this time. The answer in his mind made him feel unreal, so he took a deep breath for half a minute and took the lead in asking the question.
“Do you know the structure of the Abyss?” Nemo turned his face and asked solemnly.
Oliver didn’t have a special expression. He scratched his hair and turned his gaze to Adrian. The knight’s brows were so furrowed they could clamp mosquitoes. Ann was a few steps away. He gave a glance at Jesse Dylan, who was sticking out his fingers to poke at the gray parrot who was playing dead on the workbench.
“Why do you want to ask this?” Adrian didn’t directly answer his question. He stared into Nemo’s eyes tightly, and his voice had a bit of wariness.
“…I need to confirm where I came from,” Nemo replied slowly. He pursed his lips, and then went on. To his own surprise, his voice was not trembling, but was extremely calm. “If I remember correctly, I am indeed a superior demon.”
“This is not big news.” Ann crossed her arms and leaned against the wall. Her tone was a little stiff. “At least you told me about this. It seems you are finally sure?”
“It’s not what you think, Ann.” Nemo shook his head. “It’s not the kind of ‘flesh and blood’ of Bagelmaurus and Telaranea. I should be a complete superior demon.”
“Amazing,” Ann commented sincerely, with a numb expression.
“Impossible,” the knight commander said categorically. “A complete superior demon can’t come to the surface. This is the iron-clad rule. Moreover, there has never been a record of humanoid superior demons. Their bodies are all huge and alien-like. There aren’t even records of ordinary humanoid demons.”
“Then I don’t know. Maybe there’s a wrench in the law. I…”
“Wait… He’s not lying.” The gray parrot lay half-dead on the long table. Its outstretched feet twitched a few times. “He… The aura he exuded just now will not lie. That is definitely a genuine superior. It’s not at the same level as flesh and blood.”
There was a terrible sense of familiarity in that aura, as if it had been touched somewhere. Nemo just now had no hostility; it could only recognize the tip of the imposing iceberg. It must all be an illusion, Bagelmaurus thought tremblingly as it curled up its claws. If Nemo Light was born like this, even if he crawled out of the Abyss… It should be impossible for it to have seen it. Otherwise it would have an impression of him.
“But one thing!” It raised its voice, turned over, and jumped up. Jesse Dylan, who was poking it in the belly, finally stopped. “The fraud is right; it’s impossible for a demon to become a human being. This must be mimicry! Have you ever seen someone who looks exactly like an ant?”
“But I don’t know mimicry. At least not now,” Nemo said dryly. He lowered his head again, and the appearance of his hands gradually merged with the dirty hands in his memory. “I looked like this from the beginning.”
“There is no such demon!” the gray parrot shouted in a hoarse voice. It plucked up the courage to look at Nemo, and then took a small step to hide behind Jesse. “There can be no such demon—”
“Describe the environment you remember, Mr. Light,” Adrian interrupted the gray parrot’s howls blankly.
“It was very dark. There was hardly any light. Most of it was sandy. Judging from the temperature difference with the surface, the temperature should be very low.” Nemo remembered the feel on his skin. “Occasionally I touched something sticky, but I couldn’t see it.”
“It sounds like a description of my life,” Ann interjected dryly, looking up at the ceiling.
“What else?” the knight commander thought for a moment and continued to ask questions.
“I didn’t encounter any living things. There were some white eyes like stars in the sky, moving in pieces, and the speed wasn’t fast.”
Adrian moved his arm, as if subconsciously trying to grab the bow and arrow on his back, but he held back.
“The bottom of the abyss,” the knight commander whispered. “At least as far as I know, this is the only place that fits the description.”
“It’s a wanderer! It’s definitely a wanderer—” The gray parrot fluttered its wings vigorously. “If it’s really the bottom of the abyss, it can only be those freaks! But even if it’s those freaks, it’s impossible to defy the law…”
“What law?” The female warrior returned to her senses and raised her eyebrows. “Let’s hear it.”
“We have known since birth. What to do, what you want to do, and what you can do,” Bagelmaurus said nervously. “Creatures all have instincts, right? If they have cognition, they will be bound by the law. Even the so-called ‘Demon King’ must obey the law. If they can escape this… First, they have to be incapable of using powers. Second, they must have no instinctive desires, even the most basic ones like hunger and thirst. That’s the bottom of the Abyss! Even if there is such a demon, it will either starve to death, or be eaten by other demons in its aimless wandering.”
Not only was Nemo Light’s problem not solved, one answer had brought out more questions, but at least one fact was clear, a complete superior demon had left the Abyss.
In contrast, those questions weren’t so important at this moment.
“Are you going to inform the Holy Church, Adri?” The blond young man spoke carelessly. “This is a big event.”
Adrian Cross moved his lips but said nothing. He took a few deep breaths and turned his gaze to Oliver.
“Oh.” Their leader was very calm, as if Nemo had just declared which town he came from in Alban. “I don’t think it’s… Can the Holy Church even beat a complete superior demon?”
“There is no relevant record,” the knight commander said dryly, “but I don’t think so.”
“If Nemo was malicious, he could have caused great damage before.” Oliver shrugged. “This fact has not changed much now… I am more inclined to continue to get along amicably than to fight in advance. But Mr. Cross, it seems that for that promise, I have to train harder.”
Nemo finally turned his head and looked at Oliver seriously. The other party was standing in the sun, with a smile on his face… Even though he now knew the truth.
“Are you okay?” Oliver asked a completely different question. “That bottle of stuff just now… Uh, do you feel uncomfortable?”
This time he still didn’t run away.
Nemo stood up. Sorting out his memory had left him with a hangover. He shook his head a few times before standing up firmly, using the table as support. He then took a step and walked towards his light, stretching out his arms again.
“No,” he muttered, and gave Oliver a hug. Oliver’s body didn’t stiffen or tremble.
Oliver seemed a little surprised. He hesitated for a moment, and then patted Nemo on the back. “What’s the matter?”
“Mr. White…” Nemo whispered, “What does Mr. White look like, Ollie?”
“A very big skull, on the top of a giant fir tree in my backyard. I don’t know what species it belongs to.” Oliver answered his question suspiciously. “It should have been put there by someone, and sometimes fresh flowers were placed next to it.”
Nemo let out a tiny sigh.
Another question. His original life, which was unobstructed in black and white, was filled with questions at this moment, but now he had no time to think about it.
“Listen up, Ollie,” Nemo said, in a very serious tone. “Hansen moved away, and so did Jeremy, but I will not leave.”
“As long as you’re not afraid, as long as you need it, I will not leave you.”
The author has something to say:
Everyone is lvl 1, so there is no difference between being beaten by a lvl 999 or being beaten by a lvl 999,999. Oliver’s mentality is stable.
Jesse, who saw through everything, was in a stable state of mind.
Ann has long been unworthy of the world.jpg so her mentality is stable.
The knight commander and the gray parrot exploded in mentality and even wanted to call the police.
And this is why they are the same age! Nemo copied Ollie’s age…
Oliver is Nemo’s light!!! Kyaaaa~~
Are we all putting the clues together?
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6 thoughts on “Stray Ch74”
Thank you so much for the chapter!!!
LikeLiked by 1 person
Mr. White is back! Doesn’t that make his name White Light bahahahhahaha
LikeLiked by 3 people
So Ollie’s dad was the hero who got lost in the abyss and brought the demon kings skull out of the abyss?
LikeLiked by 4 people
Aaaaaaahh just so intresting and cute!
“That is definitely a fake superior.”
fake -> real
如假包换 means genuine, the real deal