Stray Ch104

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

Translator: Kinky ||

Chapter 104: The Atheist

At this moment, Nemo seemed to have swallowed a sharp piece of ice. Its edges and corners scratched his esophagus, leaving behind an icy temperature that triggered a series of uncontrollable convulsions. Nemo felt nauseous, but he stabilized and forced himself to continue peeping.

No, there was still a difference. This demon didn’t struggle as painfully as Pandorater. It remained motionless, and the cross section bound by the law revealed dry and rotten flesh. However, because the law wasn’t a thing that existed in a physical sense, the scent of rancidity smelt only a bit and wasn’t very strong.

Except for an extremely weak multiple heartbeat, it was no different from a corpse.

Nemo could estimate the strength of this demon and its vigor wasn’t strong. At most it was a little stronger than Pandorater. It now seemed to be exhausted and had even stopped breathing.

He recognized this thing now.

This was a dying mountain nightmare leopard. They lived in the upper and middle layers of the Abyss where the hunting area was very narrow. They sleep most of the time, so they spend more of their lives in dreams than in reality. The racial strength belonged to a miserable category of superior demons, but these lazy and evasive creatures didn’t care. The racial characteristics of the mountain nightmare leopard were similar to Pandorater. They disliked disputes and were relatively pacifist in the Abyss.

Nemo carefully explored its physical condition. The reality in front of him aggravated the cold feeling in his stomach. It was hopeless. Even now, he couldn’t save it. Its organs had withered and most of them had long been lost. It could have been saved hundreds of years earlier, but now death had onset and it couldn’t be reversed.

It would continue to survive this terrifying pain for decades, and then die completely. This mountain nightmare leopard was most likely aware of this, as its consciousness wasn’t in its noumenon. It was like…

Wait a minute.

If he changed himself… Nemo subconscious thought. Since it had to endure this kind of torture when it was awake, if he was the mountain nightmare leopard, there was only one best choice. If it couldn’t die quickly, then it would separate its consciousness from the body and rely on external forces to make the consciousness fall into deep sleep.

“…Bagelmaurus. Let’s go,” Nemo murmured. He prayed slightly bitterly, hoping that the reality was not as he had guessed.

“What?” The gray parrot stopped pecking at the cookies. “Go?”

“First, we have to find a way to let go of those sacrifices.” Nemo’s voice was a little unstable. “Second… It seems that I really do need to go to the catacombs.”

“What are you talking about? Are you dreaming—uh, excuse me. As you can see, the magic array in this room is very strong. It didn’t even respond to my attack at all. Even if you’re a complete…”

“No.” Nemo raised his hand with a solemn expression. “All ‘impossibilities’ have a ‘limit’ as a prerequisite.”

He stretched out his slender fingers and drew a few imaginary lines in the air. Oliver’s assistance wasn’t needed this time as the empty space cracked open, revealing a gap large enough for one person to pass through. There was a simple room on the other side of the gap, with all kinds of debris piled on the neatly placed wooden frame.

“I’ll steal some clothes first.” Nemo spoke quickly. “Magic can trigger their attention. Since I’m not very skilled—can you camouflage yourself with magic?”

“…If I meet a demon warlock, I’ll definitely be seen through!”

Nemo looked around the room and finally found a cookie tin on top of the cabinet. He stood on tiptoe, hooked it with his staff, and then poured all the cookies inside out onto the tea table.

“Go in,” he said solemnly, pointing to the empty tin. “I’ll cover—at least I can hide your aura.”

The gray parrot looked at him angrily for a few seconds, then sighed before mentally giving up. It squeezed into the tin honestly. Nemo took the tin into his arms and crawled into the hole made by the crack in space.

The messy decoration on the gray parrot’s body clattered against the wall of the tin, which really made it sound like a tin of cookies.

On the other end of the crack was a small warehouse with various items. There was no security. The robes of the believers in the church were stacked into neat squares, and the masks with uniform styles were buckled into a tightly sewn pile, all neatly stacked on a wooden frame against the wall. Nemo took off his black robe and quickly changed into a believer’s robe. After carefully smoothing out the unnatural wrinkles on the robe, he tied his hair into a short ponytail again and took the mask and put it on his face.

After repeatedly confirming that there weren’t any exposed places in the outfit, Nemo wrapped the staff with his old robe and hugged it in his arms with the cookie tin.

The small warehouse was above ground. When he walked out, he saw that it was a bright afternoon.

Nemo was aware that Virgil had returned to his room, and that no one had followed him. It seemed that his speculation was correct. Virgil was currently regarded as a ‘demon worshiper who serves a superior demon’ by the Abyssal Church. However, the actions of a superior demon had always been willful, so it was common for them to disappear for days, even weeks, for no reason, so there was no need to deal with its believers who served them particularly.

It was still early, so he could still gather information first. When the next sunrise came, he would ask Oliver for support. At the very least, he couldn’t get the sacrifices out “inconspicuously” and “foolproof” by himself. The space gap he created was too rough, and only those with high enough magic could pass through alive. Nemo didn’t think those human sacrifices had this qualification.

Nemo tightened his arms around the staff and cookie tin.

He didn’t know why, but at this moment, he especially wanted to say a few words to Oliver—any words would do.

He wanted to hug him and vent furiously. After this was over, he probably needed to increase the frequency of their practices… When the time came that he got enough conclusive evidence, he would be the first to tell Oliver.

[If one day I find out that everything is a lie and he really intends to harm innocent people, I will personally kill him—even if I die. Before that, I will stand by his side and move forward with him.]

Oliver once promised Adrian Cross this.

I will not lie to you. Never. Nemo glanced in the direction of the sun, but his eyes didn’t feel a slight tinge of pain from the strong light.

…I hope you will still move forward with me.

Nemo took a long breath, lowered his head, and continued to walk towards the central area of the church.

It just so happened that his support was there.

“We have to find a weakly guarded place.” Adrian looked at the stone steps covered with corpses on both sides. At this moment, his monk uniform was full of holes and black spots from bloodstains. His face was covered in grime, making him look quite pitiful. “First, think of a way to get in—”

“Why?” Jesse asked rhetorically. He looked no better than Adrian, as his long blond hair was a mess. “Just enter directly from the entrance.”

The knight commander glared at Jesse from head to toe, giving him a look that said “are you crazy” before silently pointing to the two rows of corpses and then pointing to the monk’s uniform on his body.

“But we’ve already met tons of guardian demons along the way!” Jesse shouted. “I don’t want to move anymore!”

“So you’d rather commit suicide?” Adrian calmly concluded.

“Don’t underestimate me too much, baby.” Jesse shook his fingers while he used his other hand to dig deep into his pocket. “I got a lot of good things from my old employer. These two rows… Uh, of things, mainly identifies by smell.”

“You can’t just get a demon’s flesh on your body.” Adrian frowned. “They only judge two things—a demon’s flesh that’s integrated into the body or a demon’s contract, and we have neither.”

When he said this, his eyes stared straight at the beautiful blond young man, but the other party didn’t show any unnatural mood.

“Oh, I found it!” Jesse held up a sealed black vial like it was a treasure. “A good thing for disguising your aura—er, don’t look at me like that. You don’t want to know what it’s made of.”

Adrian narrowed his dark brown eyes. He had never heard of such a thing on the market.

“It’s just an unorthodox gadget.” Jesse seemed to read his thoughts and  shrugged generously. “After all, the noble Knights of Judgment have always rushed head-on and wouldn’t dabble with this kind of stuff.”

Having said that, he bit open the stopper and poured the contents of the vial directly into his mouth.

The knight commander looked at the small bottle’s opening that was currently stuffed into Jesse’s mouth with disgust. He took a step closer and reached out to grab it from Jesse.

However, Jesse didn’t hand him the bottle.

Instead, the blond young man directly grabbed the front lapel of the monk’s uniform and kissed Adrian on the lips. Adrian’s first reaction was to break free and punch his opponent unceremoniously at the same time, but Jesse raised his free hand and had unknowingly grabbed his wrist. The strength was amazing. He had a strong physique as a Chief Justice of the Knights of Judgment, which he had trained for many years, yet he couldn’t break away from Jesse’s grip.

At the same time, an indescribable liquid passed over into his mouth from Jesse’s tongue.

Adrian frowned tightly. After swallowing a mouthful of the astringent and sweet liquid, he bit down hard with his teeth as Jesse released him at the same time, took a step back, and successfully kept his tongue.

“Don’t be angry,” the blond young man said lightly as he wiped his lips. “This thing deteriorates very easily and isn’t suitable for exposure. I can’t help it. You see, now we’re even. This thing is worth a lot of money, so count it as my contribution to the team.” He stuffed the empty bottle back into his pocket and repeatedly sighed. “Its time limit is very short. How about we move forward first, Mr. Consultant?”

Adrian took a deep breath. He glared at Jesse Dylan coldly before he raised his foot and stepped onto the stone pavement.

The two rows of corpses hung quietly, without the slightest reaction, like they were real corpses. Strangely, he hesitated for a few seconds. In his impression, even if they disguised their aura, these things shouldn’t react like this…

The former knight commander glanced at the blond young man behind him and decided not to worry about this detail for the time being.

Jesse Dylan, on the other hand, was thinking about something else…

Cheap gooseberry wine didn’t taste very good. Jesse shoved the empty black vial back into his pocket with dissatisfaction. If he had known, he would have chosen something that tasted better. He glanced at the corpses on both sides again. They seemed very aware of the current affairs and remained motionless.

They soon reached the entrance of the Abyssal Church.

“Do you want to cover your face, love?” Jesse said sweetly. “You’re very famous, aren’t you?”

Adrian ignored him. The spiritual sacrifice was still in effect, so he simply drew a few magic arrays to completely hide himself. In an instant, the blond young man was left in place by himself.

“You’re using a high-level illusion spell that has high magic consumption? ……I see, you’re quite angry.” Jesse hung his head pitifully, while his hand was unceremonious. He pushed open the door full of eyes and entered the nave of the Church of Silence in a dignified manner.

Adrian hesitated for a moment before he whispered, “It’s you who needs to cover your face. Only demon warlocks and superior demons can show their faces here.”

“I think my face is pretty good,” Jesse whispered back confidently. “It would be a pity to cover it up, right?”

Adrian didn’t respond to him.

There was only a demon warlock who had only a mouth on his face and was still standing in front of the stage. It was afternoon, and there were no audience members, but he still spoke to the air, in a gentle tone and full of emotions, as if the place was full of believers.

“That’s a demon warlock. It’s best not to attract his attention,” Adrian whispered coldly. “Let’s go find Mr. Light.”

“How? Knock on each door one by one and ask? You’re so direct that it’s cute.” Jesse inserted a finger in his ears, then waved his arms and greeted the demon warlock that was onstage. “It’s Light who needs to reduce his sense of presence—why don’t we go ahead and wait for him to come to us.”

“How will he notice…”

“Oh,” Jesse said, showing a bright smile “he’ll notice.”

The demon warlock who was preaching on stage politely returned Jesse’s greeting. Jesse picked a chair casually and sat without any formalities with his legs crossed.

“What is the origin of magic? We have reason to believe that the Abyss is the origin of magic. The superior demon provides flesh, and the demon warlock can use both surface magic and abyssal magic. However, the experimental records of the ‘Gatekeepers’ have proved that the reverse is not feasible.” He paused and turned his face that only had a mouth towards Jesse’s direction. The blond young man was resting his elbows on his knees, holding his cheek with his right hand and had a cynical expression.

This new visitor looked calm and didn’t seem to be surprised by the content of his sermon.

“This is not a gap in strength,” the demon warlock continued. “It’s enough to prove that there are remnants of circuits of abyssal magic inside the human body, but they abandoned it and took refuge in a brand-new magic system. Of course, it’s a choice of free will, but what did they do next? They returned to the bottom of the Abyss, plundered our original Gods and suppressed our former brothers. Why? So, they can monopolize this power.”

Jesse still maintained his original sitting posture, but he raised his left hand high.

“Just a little question, my dear friend.” He raised his unblemished face.

“Why do you humans… Oh, sorry, your type and humans, like to take yourselves so seriously?”

The author has something to say:

…I like to put a disclaimer that this has nothing to do with any religion that actually exists!…


Knight Commander: …Sure enough, I’d better find a chance to fight Dylan.

Jesse, as the only evil camp of the team (?) I really tried hard (X

Kinky Thoughts:

Very interesting development between Adrian and Jesse…

<<< || Table of Contents || >>>


5 thoughts on “Stray Ch104

  1. The atheist: one who doesn’t believe in gods.
    Who needs to believe when you know? Or possibly even…. are.


  2. I’m not sure what to feel about this second pairing…? maybe my reservations come from Jesse being too much of an enigma at the moment… we’ll see 🫡


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s