Stray Ch86

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

Translator: Kinky ||

Chapter 86: The Last Night

The soft red-orange light was particularly dazzling after the darkness. Nemo squinted his eyes, and then immediately turned his gaze in Oliver’s direction. They were entangled with the rune balls non-stop all night. While he had no problems himself, Oliver’s condition looked a lot worse.

The light brown hair of their leader was soaked in sweat and stuck softly to the skin. The moment when the black barrier disappeared, the brilliance of the setting sun poured down, causing Oliver to subconsciously raise his hand to block his eyes. “What time is it?” he said nervously.

“Less than a whole day, faster than I thought.” The female warrior was no longer in the same place, and Adrian Cross had moved a stool over and sat nearby. At this moment, he closed the book in his hand, stood up, and threw Oliver a water bag. “At least you can rest for a while.”

Oliver took the water bag. His lips became dry and cracked due to the loss of a lot of water, and his Adam’s apple bobbed up and down eagerly. Just as he was about to untie the water bag, he stopped halfway. Without the slightest hesitation, he threw it to Nemo as if it was a natural action.

“I need to confirm the specific time, Mr. Cross.” Oliver’s gaze stopped on Adrian. “We need time to communicate… Ms. Nadine may not be willing to cooperate. I think you know this better than me.”

“Indeed, but you need rest now.” Adrian raised his brows at the water bag in Nemo’s hand. “Even if you pass the training, considering this is your first practice, the success rate will be about 30%. If you’re in poor condition, this value will be even lower.”

“I’ll take him to rest,” Nemo said dryly. Instead of opening the water bag, he grabbed Oliver’s sweat-soaked shirt.

“But I’m not particularly tired…”

“I haven’t eaten or drunk anything for more than ten hours. Ollie, you’re human. I can see you’re in bad shape.” Nemo tugged at him firmly. “Anyway, Horizon won’t break their promise on the agreement… right?”

“No,” Adrian answered his question. “At least on this point, Godwin Lopez can be trusted.”

“Okay,” Nemo nodded. “To deal with Ms. Nadine… They won’t go full force. There won’t be a long preparation time in advance.”

“Then we can go before midnight.” Oliver was a little surprised by Nemo’s initiative, but he subconsciously continued the topic. “I can still sleep for two or three hours. Nemo, you can let me go—I won’t run away.”

“Good,” Nemo said, but the hand holding the shirt had no intention of letting go. He kept dragging Oliver into the room.

“What’s the matter with you?” Oliver adjusted his shirt. The rough fabric stuck tightly to his body, and the sticky touch made him a little uncomfortable. Unlike his current situation, Nemo looked no different from before the battle. The black-haired young man looked clean and fresh, but his attitude had become a little strange.

Nemo stared at Oliver with complicated eyes, as if he had a long nose on his face. The gaze was so focused, as if it was scrapping every inch of his face, that Oliver couldn’t help but raise his hand to confirm whether his facial features were still in place.

“Is there anything on my face?” Oliver asked after being stared at by Nemo for over half a minute as he wiped his face fiercely.

“…I have something to talk to you about, but not now.” Nemo’s tone was very solemn. “What you need most now is rest, Ollie.”

When Oliver quickly washed away the unbearable sweat stains on his body and walked out of the bathroom, Nemo was no longer in the room.

He sighed, trying to suppress his emotions. Oliver had never seen Nemo show such a serious expression. Even when he claimed to be a superior demon, he didn’t stretch his face so tightly.

He wasn’t sure if he had said something wrong. Oliver laid his head on the pillow and stared at the crack in the ceiling and found in despair that he wasn’t sleepy. Their cooperation was smooth, so Nemo had no reason to be anxious or unhappy about it. Questions churned in his mind and almost all his attention was focused on the ceiling. Suddenly, a hand patted his abdomen, causing him to almost bounce up like a live fish on a cutting board.

“Drink this, Ollie.” He wasn’t sure when Nemo had entered the room. Nemo handed him a glass of milk, but his face was still expressionless and his tone was as stiff as his expression. “You can’t go to the battlefield on an empty stomach.”

When Oliver took the cup, his internal organs slightly twitched. If he wasn’t familiar with Nemo’s character, based on the other party’s expression, he would have thought that there was something that shouldn’t be put in this drink. “Uh… Nemo, if you have any troubles…”

“No worries. I’m fine and very sober.” Nemo replied mechanically, continuing to stare at his face intently.

Oliver turned his attention to the glass of milk with difficulty and gulped it down his throat in one go. The temperature was just right and there was honey added that made it smooth and not greasy at all. The hot milk made Oliver drowsy for a moment, but when he put the cup by the head of the bed, his eyes met Nemo’s gaze again, and that strong gaze instantly drove away all his drowsiness.

Oliver put his head back on the pillow, swearing that he had definitely had a little arrhythmia at the moment. “Actually, I… I’m not too sleepy.”

In fact, his brain was a bit numb and every muscle in his body was faintly sore, but the prickly worry and tension rolled frantically in his mind, causing him to be unable to close his eyes. Nemo’s light gaze had increased this tension several folds.

“Can I help you?” Nemo asked seriously. “You want to sleep, don’t you?”

“Of course,” Oliver smiled reluctantly. “Why? Are you going to sing a lullaby or…”

Before he could finish speaking, Nemo had gently placed his hand above his eyes. Oliver only felt as if a hammer slammed away his nerves, leaving behind no pain or other unpleasant feelings. Rather, he felt an irresistible heavy drowsiness that instantly grabbed his mind, as if he was sinking into a sticky black shadow. His vision was swallowed by darkness for an instant, and then he could no longer think about anything.

Oliver then fell into a truly peaceful sleep within a few seconds.

Nemo withdrew his hand in silence.

He knew that his performance was terrible. Maybe he should tell Oliver what he thought. He stared at the empty glass sadly. He didn’t think it was a good idea to create too many emotional ups and downs before the start of a battle. His own mood swings had made the atmosphere stiff and awkward enough. If he chose this time to make a confession, God knows what kind of impact it would have on their cooperation.

The afterglow of the setting sun gradually dissipated, and the unique clear blue of the night began to spread outside the window. Nemo didn’t turn on the lights in the room. He sat by the bed and let the gradually dimming sky engulf him in darkness.

Oliver had fallen asleep, and his chest was slowly rising and falling.

His soft light brown hair exuded a faint, refreshing smell, indicating that he had dried it ahead of time. Nemo hesitated for a moment, then stretched out his hand again and brushed the hair on Oliver’s forehead.

Unlike when he was locked in the dark barrier, this time he took the initiative to touch Oliver’s forehead with his hand. A human temperature, he mused uncomfortably. So far, he hadn’t gotten used to the fact that they were “not the same kind”—or that Oliver didn’t plan to get him used to it at all.

Nemo sighed very lightly. He leaned down slightly and kissed Oliver’s forehead.

This wasn’t the first time he had done this. When Oliver was seriously injured by Witherspoon, “he” had done the exact same thing when he was caught in that wondrous state…


At that time, “his” heartbeat was steady, as if he was kissing the trees, the land, or the wind; but now, his heart was heavily colliding against his ribs, as if it was about to break through his chest and jump out. This feeling was novel to him but reassuring. Nemo hesitated for a few seconds before he tried to kiss the tip of Oliver’s nose.

His heartbeat was speeding up and the temperature of his blood seemed to have risen by several degrees, as if it had been mixed with some sour liquid that was surging through his blood and nibbling at his blood vessels. However, he felt no pain, but rather a slight tingling sensation that made him a little dizzy and numb.

“…It seems I should knock before entering,” a slightly embarrassed female voice sounded. “Uh… How long do you need? Half an hour? An hour?”

Although the sun had set, the night had not completely fallen, so everything in the room was still visibly clear. Ann leaned against the door frame as she cast a deep gaze at them.

“Remember to close the door next time,” she added dryly.

Nemo stood up stiffly and rushed to the door with great strides. “Ollie’s resting,” he said in a blunt voice. “We can talk in the hallway.”

“I just have two things to report. It seems that I am one step late.” There was a hint of teasing in Ann’s voice. “Let’s start with small things. When you weren’t there yesterday, White II ran out. It and other arthropod lizards were rummaging for this seed outside.” She stretched out her hand, and the familiar “small piece of gravel” lay quietly in the center of the calloused palm of the female warrior.

“They dug it out from the bottom of the desert and buried it in a shallow layer,” she muttered. “I can’t figure out what they want to do. Arthropod lizards can’t grow plants. This thing is also very strange… Cross said it’s a seed, but how can there be such a heavy seed?”

“It’s the seed of an Earthsea Orchid,” Nemo quickly confirmed.

“…How do you know?” Ann raised her eyebrows. “What kind of memory have you recovered? I’m getting more and more curious—”

“No, it’s not that,” Nemo hurriedly denied. “Ollie and I saw this thing at Ms. Nadine’s.”

“It seems that you can also ask her about this.” Ann stuffed the seeds into his pocket. “During the time when you two were falling in love while wiping out the rune balls, I had to run around trying to get more information about this thing, but no one recognized it. I even managed to dig out a little bit of news about Horizon.”

There was a soft noise from the corner of the corridor not far away, like the sound of the soles of an indoor shoe slamming across the wooden floor.

“News about Horizon? Could it be Debby…” Nemo most likely knew the identity of the person on the other side of the corridor but decided not to pay attention to it for the time being.

“Of course, I won’t make things awkward between the two of you,” Ann shrugged. “I just eavesdropped on them. With Nadine’s state like that and the time for her arrest wasn’t some kind of secret information, there were several mercenaries from Horizon guarding Howard’s home—you know, in case someone wanted to stir up trouble—after all, he’s not a very amiable client. However, those people looked bored to death, and all they could do was chat.”

She snorted mockingly.

“I originally wanted to tell Oliver, but it shouldn’t make any difference if I tell you… Horizon is planning to execute in the morning, and it’ll be Godwin Lopez who’ll be doing it alone. You know the whole ‘to express our condolences and respect’ shtick.” Ann imitated the tone of one of the mercenaries from Horizon. “Anyway, if you want to help Ms. Nadine, this is the time limit.”

“You want to help her?” a hoarse voice joined the conversation.

This time, the voice came from a human, and the hoarseness only came from an overused vocal cord. Lisa stood up from the corner with her indoor shoes in tow, carrying the shoes Oliver had lent her last night. The shoes seemed to have been thoroughly cleaned, and the soles seemed to have an extra layer of wear-resistant leather on them.

“I didn’t mean to listen in. Sorry,” the female innkeeper said. She still had a listless look and her swollen eyes hadn’t compressed yet. There were heavy bags hanging under them that frighteningly made her entire body look pale and haggard. “It’s Horizon… How can you help her?”

“We don’t plan to fight directly against Horizon,” Nemo said carefully. “We just… have an idea that may help her, but the success rate isn’t high, so you’d better not—”

“Could she survive?”

“…There’s a possibility…”

The word “possibility” was like a trace of moisture in the desert, a little light in the darkness. She begged and scolded. She thought she couldn’t do anything, and it was hopeless. The why’s and how’s of these Black Chapters were no longer important. There was only one thought left in Lisa’s head—she only had one thing she could do and only she could do it.

“Then take me with you,” she said hoarsely. “Please take me with you.”

“But didn’t you say…”

“Nadine may survive.” The innkeeper raised her face, and her eyes frighteningly lit up. “I can’t do anything… If I could, I really want to spend five years of my life trying to shut the old bastard Howard up. And you—you now say that she may still survive!”

Her pale face flushed again, but not from the angry purple with raging blood vessels, but from sheer excitement.

“It’s not forbidden to see your friends, right?” Her voice became louder. “That’s right, so take me there. As long as it’s possible, as long as there’s a way, I don’t believe…”

She took a breath.

“…I don’t believe she can bear to die in front of me.”

The author has something to say:

Nemo: ! I like him. Let me take a good look.

Oliver: ??? What’s the matter with his expression? Does he want to quit the team?

The tacit understanding between the two is not well developed enough.

Kinky Thoughts:

Oliver stealing forehead kisses when he first likes Nemo, and now Nemo’s doing the same. Can these two get any cuter?!?!?!

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