Stray Ch117

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

Translator: Kinky ||

Chapter 117: The Final Mission

Oliver sat on the cold slate. Impossible, he thought. He absolutely shot down every piece of metal without omission.

However, the scorched trees disappeared from his field of vision, and the smell of vegetation on the edge of the forest became the stale taste unique to a confined space. His sword was still in the scabbard, but his helmet was taken off when he arrived at his destination. He should still be at the campsite. Oliver touched his face subconsciously. He was still breathing, and his heart was beating fiercely.

This was a small room, and the surroundings of the room were densely painted with magic arrays. Oliver didn’t hesitate, and directly raised his hand to pound on the door.

Then the overwhelming sharp pain flooded him.

Before his power was successfully activated, his sword instantly fell to the ground. Oliver half knelt on the slate, gasping for air. If a person felt pain when they died, then this pain was roughly the same. It was like his flesh was being stuffed into a meat grinder and crushed or thrown into hot lead water. His brain boiled almost instantly, and if he did it again, he wasn’t sure if he could successfully stay awake.

His line of sight became blurred, and cold sweat dripped to the ground. He didn’t know how long it would take before the pain slowly dissipated. Oliver swallowed laboriously and carefully leaned his hand towards his neck.

A narrow and thin metal clung to the skin around his neck, as light as nothing, and the surface was uneven, like a weird decoration…

Or a collar.

Calm down. Oliver clenched the Rest in Peace and leaned his back into the corner. Calm down, Oliver Ramon. Previously, an unknown demon worshiper also experienced this. Except for Alban, the treatment of demon worshipers had always been more lenient. In other words, this wasn’t close to death row, but a place closer to a “detention place for suspicious people”.

He wasn’t even a demon worshiper, and the Black Chapter’s resume was verifiable, so there should be room for improvement.

Oliver wasn’t sure about the definition of “crime of not fighting”, but if his consideration wasn’t wrong, the knights only knew that Virgil was a demon warlock and didn’t confirm his identity. He was wearing a helmet when he was fighting, and he wasn’t teleported away in front of the knights.

The other party’s evidence was untenable.

There were countless religions on the surface, and the Mooney Sect was only second to the Laddism Church in scale. However, no matter which of the two, there was currently no power to directly execute people beyond the law. Even if the Bishop of the Abyss was apprehended, it stood to reason that they would be tried in their home country and dealt with in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations.

He had an unfinished contract in hand. As long as he claimed he just happened to be disguised as a Knight of Silence to perform his task, it should make sense. After all, he didn’t actually create any chaos during this incident. The only thing to worry about was Alban’s strict laws on relationships with demons. He may suffer a little during the trial, and it may not be easy to solve that matter.

But in any case, sin did not end in death.

He must return as soon as possible to Nemo’s side. Oliver thought for a moment, retracted the sword into its scabbard, and shrank into the corner. He would try to cooperate and behave as harmlessly as possible. This should be beneficial.

He didn’t wait long. Less than half an hour later, a man as thin as a mummified corpse walked into the room. The man’s face looked as if he was dead, his voice was broken, and his tone was terrible. He looked at Oliver like he was a mouse with a skin disease.

“Come with me, boy.” He rolled his eyes impatiently.

After going out, Oliver discovered the source of that impatience. He wasn’t the only “sinner”. Thin metal collars gleamed on dozens of necks. Among the sinners were men, women, and children, all dressed differently. The only thing they had in common was their deteriorated spirits. Oliver stood there in the armor of a Knight of Silence, causing many people to straighten their necks in horror and retreat to the side.

The mummified body-like thin man clicked his tongue. He made a casual gesture, and the people who stood to the side stepped back suddenly and let out a bitter howl. They covered their necks and stood back in their original position.

“I am not a Knight of Silence,” Oliver hurriedly said, carefully breaking off the long thorns on the armor before standing in the line. “This is just a disguise for a mission…”

A numb tingling exploded in his neck, and Oliver gasped for air.

“It’s too early to defend yourself.” The thin man’s tone was still cold and impatient. “Be quiet.”

“How awesome, brother. Tsk, tsk. This outfit.” A small man standing in front of him turned his head around. His voice was extremely low, and his face was full of smirks. His hair was short and thinning, and his stature was small and fat. His small eyes were bright, and his entire body was like a mole with shiny fur. “Don’t worry about those bastards in charge. Their mouths always stink like dung pits. Is this your first time? Oh, I have a lot of experience in this place—”

Oliver sighed and caught the other’s stubby wrist that was touching the side pocket of his armor. “Sir, I don’t have anything valuable on me.”

Mr. Mole’s smiling face suddenly collapsed. He let out a cold snort and turned his head back.

‘Good,’ Oliver thought. Depending on this guy’s relaxed attitude, the situation should be similar to what he had guessed. He thought for a moment and patted Mr. Mole on the shoulder lightly.

“But I do still have a little money,” he said softly. Yes, he did still have it. This wasn’t his armor, and a true Knight of Silence wouldn’t have jingling coins in his pocket. Fortunately, he did have that gold coin that Mr. Virgil had just given him. “You said you’re experienced here?”

Hearing the word “money”, Mr. Mole’s ears twitched, and he finally turned his head again. “Mm-hmm.”

“If you can provide useful information, I can give you a certain reward.”

“How much?”

“If you can… I’ll pay you a gold coin after the trial.”

Mr. Mole swallowed the spit in his mouth. “Deal, what do you want to know?”

Since the other party didn’t raise any objections, it seemed that the trial wouldn’t take long, and the matter wasn’t too complicated. Oliver felt a little relieved.

“This is indeed my first time here.” In order to prove that he didn’t mean to be a white wolf with empty hands*, Oliver quietly pulled out the gold coin and shook it. Mr. Mole’s eyes instantly gleamed. “Where are we going? What process will follow next?”

*(空手套白狼) Derogatory term today referring to the deception used by liars who don’t make any investments and cheats other.

“Hey, it’s no big deal. You see this? They don’t dare treat felons like this. The people here are all guys who have been in touch with two or more demons. We’ll go to the Insular Court—what did you do?”

He had been involved with more than two. Oliver was speechless for a while. “Uh… The crime of not fighting?”

“Ow, ow. How terrible.” The short mole-like man clasped his cheeks and widened his mouth into an O. “I’ve been mixed up for so long, but I haven’t seen a demon warlock! You actually protected one? Which demon warlock? As far as I know, there are only a few famous ones now.”

“It’s not convenient to say,” Oliver replied vaguely. “His name is not known, and he shouldn’t have hurt anyone.” Aside from causing harm to others, other religions regarded Duran Virgil as a hero.

“Oh,” Mr. Mole suddenly sounded unenthusiastic. He scratched his thinning scalp. “Don’t worry. No one will die for the crime of not fighting—unless you help a lunatic commit a serious crime with conclusive evidence. If it’s just a little help that was justifiable, and the other party didn’t do much harm… At most, it’ll be a sentence of ten years.”

He couldn’t wait for more than ten years. Oliver rubbed his temples.

“I’m Albanian myself, a Black Chapter,” Oliver added some more information. “They shouldn’t have evidence that I helped him.”

“That’s hard to say! Do you have an ongoing task?” Mr. Mole deliberately lowered his tone. “It’s best to explain your circumstances.”

Oliver hesitated for a moment and nodded.

“I have seen a lot of this situation. You just have to put all the blame on the client. Even if the task isn’t recorded, as long as you say that it’s the client’s instructions and you had no clue about it, then everything will be fine!” The chunky man rubbed his hands. “There’s no evidence anyway. According to the rules, they have to arrest your client to confront him—believe me, things without evidence are very troublesome. Almost 80% of people are impossible to catch. At most, the wanted order will affect your client for a while, and after a few days, they will have to let you go.”

“No,” Oliver replied categorically. Mr. Virgil’s current situation was delicate. As a demon warlock with exhausted power with a superior demon, the last thing he needed was extra attention. “Is there no other way?”

“Then you can only insist that you ‘suddenly want to do good’ and know nothing about the object of your assistance.” Mr. Mole’s face twitched a few times. “I say, dear sir, why should you have to trouble yourself? Aren’t you a Black Chapter? Don’t be so hypocritical.”

Oliver said weakly, “No, thank you for your advice. I’ll insist that I don’t know.”

“Alright, but you have to think about it. This situation will be bad for you. If you’re a good boy, things are easier… A Black Chapter is not a likable identity.”

“In other words… There is no immediate way to get rid of the crime.”

“Unless you can guarantee to catch that demon warlock and make it worth their while.” Mr. Mole shrugged.

“Is there a difference in the handling of different crimes?” Oliver decided to find other ways to solve the problem, and he pointed to the metal collar around his neck. “We have to carry this thing all the time?”

“Of course not!” Mr. Mole muttered in a low voice. “What are you thinking? When your verdict is handed down, they will definitely take this thing back. This is something that death row inmates will keep… And it’s reserved for the kinds of death row inmates who are especially powerful. What? Do you think it’s very cheap and can be made everywhere?”

It seemed that the Mooney Sect had paid a lot of money this time. When the knights clean up the battlefield, they would probably have to pick up the pieces of metal he deflected one by one. He thought what a painstakingly tedious task that was.

That was fine. As long as he could take off this thing, he would have a means of escape. Oliver rubbed his chin. All he had to do was minimize his crime so that the impact of his escape wouldn’t be too bad. “Thank you, uh, you are…”

“Micah,” Mr. Mole—Micah said as he rubbed his nose. “And you?”

“Oliver Ramon.” Oliver stretched out a hand politely.

“Fuck, are you Ramon of the Black Chapter?” Micah widened his eyes and increased his voice subconsciously. A thin man glanced at him gloomily, which made him hurriedly shrink his neck and sharply drop his volume. “Are you the guy who rescued Adrian Cross?”

“…” It may be that Nemo gave him too much impact. Oliver had completely forgotten the influence of the former knight commander. “Yes.”

“You’re really courageous.” Micah rolled his small eyes and huffed. “Honestly, your trial is not looking so good. Didn’t that Cross hook up with a superior demon and betray his religion? This is a very typical pro-demon tendency… You have to pay the money early before they take you away.”

Oliver laughed dryly.

The line moved forward slowly, with no end in sight. Oliver clenched his fists as anxiety gnawed at his nerves. Hurry, he prayed quickly in his heart. Time had better pass faster. Nemo should have already dealt with the Church of Silence. He must be waiting for him, and they agreed to talk about it at the end of this matter.

He couldn’t leave him at a time like this.

Near the ruins of the Church of Silence.

Nemo’s fingernails were deeply embedded into his arm. The intense pain barely calmed him down. He pulled out his fingernails and stared at the bright red blood on them. At the same time, he could feel the holes left by his nails on the muscles of his upper arm squirming as they healed, and the pain he felt dissipated like an illusion.

He smiled weakly, grabbed the staff that rolled aside, and tried his best to lean on it. Nemo gathered all of his body’s aura and sealed them inside. If only looking at the strength of his momentum, he wasn’t even as good as an ordinary person in this moment. He was like an empty shell or a corpse. Several surveillance bugs finally dared to stagger closer, and the next second they were crucified in the air by abyssal magic.

This time, Nemo didn’t immediately create a rift.

Nemo recognized the holy emblem of the Laddism Church in the distance. The Knights of Judgement and the Knights of Silence were killing each other fiercely. After the fall of the church, the front lines of the Knights of Silence were shaken. They were retreating, and their movements became hesitant. The well-trained onslaught eventually turned into desperate madness. Aurorae was at the eye of the storm, slashing his big sword mercilessly, dyeing his armor red and with thick blood.

Roars were mixed with screams, sawing through the air and drilling into his ears.

Nemo could guess that Aurorae had no reason to leave. There was a lot of movement when Colestoro’s body returned to the Abyss. The superior demon killer was probably aware of what he had done and decided to determine the danger level of the culprit.

The whole world suddenly became distant. Nemo’s nose felt a little sour. He subconsciously touched the small bag around his waist, but it was empty. He froze for a while before he remembered that the sour sandpoint plums had sunk into the Abyss with the broken alter.

‘When he sees Oliver again, he should ask for another bag,’ he thought to himself.

Nemo clenched the staff, took a deep breath, and pressed the end of the staff against the black soil. The black rot was inhaled into the yellowish-white bone ball, turning it into a hollow pitch black. The surrounding land began to fade, revealing its original tan appearance. After the toxins were condensed, Nemo held the staff in both hands, trying to sense the life of every fighter on the battlefield. He could only sense the strength of the soldiers’ combat power. He couldn’t pinpoint the campsite, but it didn’t matter…

He carefully filtered out the magic through the transformed bone ball, allowing it to blend with the decay and withered qualities. He then locked all the people engaged in battle and let go of his momentum suddenly.

For an instant, the battlefield was silent.

It wasn’t out of self-righteous goodwill or blind shelter, but he had smelled enough blood for today. ‘If Oliver was here,’ Nemo thought… ‘If Oliver was here, he wouldn’t turn a blind eye to it. They always maintained an amazing tacit understanding of these “stupid” things.

He had no intention of intervening with the grievances of the Abyssal Church and other surface religions, but Aurorae was here for him, so at least he would take care of that matter.

A simple question—he had read enough books and he knew the answer in advance.

When will people stop warring?

…When a more terrifying common enemy appears.

All the people on the battlefield stopped their movements at the same time. Their waving blades froze midair, and the condensed magic array instantly dissipated. The aura was too heavy, too powerful to be real. In comparison, the strong killing intent in the air was like a lazy warmth in a bed. If Aurorae at the center of the battlefield was “dangerous”, the suddenly suppressed aura could only be described in one word. Whether it was the believers of the Abyssal Church or the Knights of Judgement, the reaction was unexpectedly consistent…

That was a “monster”.

Everyone was unprepared. Even the bravest warriors were also solidified in place by the sudden aura, as if time in space was completely frozen. The surveillance bugs circling back and forth in the sky cracked and fell into the mud. The eyeballs on their abdomen exploded, and their six insect legs twitched weakly.

Only Aurorae raised his head suddenly.

A few steps away from the blood-soaked superior demon, a hideous rift opened in space. A figure in a black robe appeared beside him. The smell of decay and withering became entangled in a chaotic mass. Aurorae couldn’t even distinguish the essence of that power empirically. The other party wrapped his appearance in a black phantom while deliberately concealing his magical characteristics.

Except for the fact that it was unreasonably strong.

“I have no intention of destroying the surface.” The voice, processed by magic, whispered with a flat tone. “Please go back… Please.”

The figure in the black robe didn’t look at the people who were comically frozen in place. It simply split a crack in space and disappeared at the other end of the crack. Aurorae inserted his big sword into the mud. The face behind his helmet was extremely ugly.

It wasn’t his illusion. The other party didn’t rely on some kind of prop or unique ability to send Colestoro back into the Abyss, but pure brute force. If so, even with these thousands of years of experience, he wasn’t a match for the black-robed demon.

When did such a dangerous thing appear on the surface?

Seeing his goal disappear, Aurorae put the large sword on his back. He ignored those who were still frozen and left the battlefield.

After dealing with Aurorae’s affairs in the shortest time possible, Nemo quickly moved towards his destination. He didn’t even need to sense it. Ann didn’t mention the gathering place, so it must be a place he knew. He walked through the cracks in space towards the vibrant forest in front of him.

Something’s happened to Oliver, he thought blankly. Although Oliver wasn’t as strong as himself, Oliver was still a powerful man. He had a clear mind and would never let his guard down. What could happen to him?

Nemo wanted to rush over in the next second, but he didn’t dare step forward. In the end, he gritted his teeth, accelerated his steps, and ran to the place where his aura was most concentrated.

He had thought about many situations in advance. Oliver was injured—or worse, seriously injured. Or he had suffered from some kind of mental attack, lost his will, or even been poisoned. Countless thoughts flashed through his mind, and he seriously anticipated a myriad of miserable scenes. But it was still fine, Nemo thought. He could cure him. As long as Oliver still had a living breath, he could save him.

But he had never envisioned this scenario.

Ann stood leaning against the trunk of a tree with her eyes cast downwards. Virgil’s face was ashen while Colestoro was still asleep. Adrian Cross frowned tightly, with undyed sweat on his face, while Jesse Dylan stood beside the knight commander with a rare expressionless face. The gray parrot had shrunk into a ball on his shoulder.

Nemo looked around but didn’t find the familiar figure. He took a closer look without giving up and even probed with his magic.

Oliver wasn’t here.

“Where is he?” he asked in confusion, speaking very slowly, as if he was trying to recover something.

Ann threw out a few surveillance bugs, which were electrocuted by lightning, exuding a disgusting burnt smell. “We had successfully rendezvoused. These things seem to have put something on Oliver. He…” She retracted her previous careless attitude and glanced at Nemo cautiously. “He just disappeared.”

Nemo didn’t say a word. He stood still. His eyes had returned to their human appearance. The black robe on his body was covered with mud and blood, and his hair was scattered on his shoulders, with a slight smell of despair. The black-haired young man clenched the staff in his hand and looked straight at Ann, as if waiting for her to continue explaining.

“I don’t know.” Ann turned away with a forlorn look. “Sorry, I really—”

“Describe it.” Adrian Cross spoke this time. His tone was as calm as ever. He walked forward and pressed his left hand on Nemo’s shoulder. “Mr. Light, calm down. Don’t think about things too badly yet.”

“Nn,” Nemo responded obediently, looking a little at a loss.

“A blue arc. I saw a little reflection of metal.” Ann scratched her scalp fiercely. “That’s it. Then he’s gone.”

“We ran into people from the Mooney Sect,” Virgil quickly added. “They used that thing to capture a demon worshiper. It looks like a thin piece of metal, about the size of a playing card.” He stretched out his hand and gestured.

Adrian Cross frowned, and then he slowly breathed a sigh of relief. Nemo immediately cast his gaze on the knight’s face, as if the answer would be written on it within the next second.

“It’s not a big issue for the time being. I remember that thing,” Adrian said. “You encountered the Knights of Oath of the Mooney Sect. They like to call that thing a deed of sin. They will teleport people to one place.” Nemo’s state looked terrible, so he temporarily omitted its other function.

“Where?” Nemo asked immediately.

“The Insular Court,” Adrian replied, while Ann let out an “Ah.”

“Give me the place.” Nemo continued decisively. “I’ll pick him up.”

“You can’t.” It wasn’t Adrian who spoke this time, but Jesse Dylan. He stared at Nemo’s reaction with interest as he spoke with a somewhat indisputable meaning. “The defense of the Insular Court is impenetrable. I can probably guess what you want to do. Believe me, if you really do that, the entire Tumbleweed will become a public enemy on the surface, and what awaits us will be every day of constant shit.”

“I won’t hurt anyone,” Nemo said slowly, walking up to Jesse.

“It’s enough to ‘easily break through the defenses and take a person away’.” Jesse didn’t avoid Nemo’s gaze. “The Insular Court is not like Hailam’s dungeon. Your trick won’t work a second time.”

“…We know what you can do Nemo,” Ann’s tone was soothing. “Cross is right. There’s no big issue for the time being. Oliver’s not injured, and with his temperament, he won’t get himself into trouble.”

Nemo closed his eyes. He grasped the cloth on his chest and squeezed his lungs hard, trying to breath.

“I’m sorry.” He lowered his head slightly, as if his voice wasn’t his own. “I wasn’t very calm just now… Mr. Cross, you seem to know more about the Insular Court?”

“Somewhat.” Adrian Cross nodded. “According to my guess, Mr. Ramon is likely to be convicted of the crime of not fighting.”

“The crime of not fighting?”

“Being close to a demon and sheltering a demon warlock.” The former knight commander glanced at the bony hands behind Virgil. “The more times, the heavier the punishment. In my opinion, Mr. Ramon’s crime is not punishable by death—whether it was to take me in, or to assist Mr. Virgil, it’s still within the allowable scope of the surface agreement. Except there’s one tricky thing.”

Adrian glanced at Nemo, “The original incident in Roadside Town… Now that I know it was Flint Lopez, I believe his death has nothing to do with the two of you, but the crime has been recorded and if it’s used by someone with intentions, there can indeed be other variables, in theory.”

No, it mattered. That was done by the people from the Abyssal Church. It was done by his believers.

“As long as it’s not a capital crime, I think Oliver can escape by himself,” Ann quickly interjected. “Judging from his usual performance, his strength will definitely be underestimated. Although he’s a fool who follows the rules, he’s not really stupid enough to go to jail for a few years.”

“What if the crime disappears?” Nemo licked his chapped lips and spoke with some difficulty. “If that crime disappears, will he be absolutely safe?”

“…What are you going to do?” Ann’s tone was a little worried. “I understand your mood, but…”

“It was done by the Abyssal Church,” Nemo said slowly, and didn’t sound very comfortable. “…I just need to know who. If the real culprit is caught, it should be enough to overturn his conviction.”

“Mr. Light, how do you know this?” Adrian was direct. “This kind of thing can only be understood by the head of the church.”

Nemo pulled out a wry smile. “I know it may sound crazy, but I…”

Before he finished speaking, his collar was firmly held, and Jesse dragged him away from the group.

“Don’t do anything stupid.” After adding a mute array, the blond young man showed a meaningful smile on his face. “Have you forgotten who Cross is? ……And Savage. Believe me, you don’t want to know her reaction.”

Nemo looked at him sadly. “Should I thank you for not running away?”

“You are indeed stronger than me, but the pursuit of excitement is the greatest pleasure in my life.” Jesse licked the corners of his mouth, revealing an ill-intentioned smile. “You don’t want to confess now.”

“I’ll treat you as a diviner, Dylan.” Nemo stared into the other’s happy blue eyes. “Tell me, will Ollie die?”


“…Will he be safe?”

“No.” Jesse’s smile looked a little gloomy under this answer. “To tell you the truth, your idea is very good. I strongly suggest you start quickly.”

Nemo turned around and directly raised his hand to destroy the mute array. That’s it, he thought. He would return to Roadside Town as quickly as possible, look for clues to find the real culprit, and then hand them over to the Insular Court himself. The sooner, the better.

“Mr. Cross, if it’s the worst-case scenario,” he looked at Adrian and spoke in an inexplicably calm voice, “how long does the process take from trial to a formal conviction?”

“If it’s a capital crime, three weeks.”

“Okay,” Nemo said, “I will find the real culprit within three weeks. As for my method of obtaining information… I don’t want to lie to you. I can only guarantee that the answer isn’t obtained by harming others.”

The former Knight of Judgment watched him quietly.

Yes. He would remove all possible hidden dangers, meet Oliver as soon as possible, and confess everything to him. Regardless of whether Oliver escaped or not, this would be Nemo Light’s last mission with Tumbleweed.

Until he was sure that his “true self” was no longer a threat to his companions.

On a remote island.

Oliver clenched the gold coin tightly, not sure if this small transaction could be successfully completed. It wasn’t because he wanted to die, but because the condition of his trading partner wasn’t very good.

“Capital punishment?” Micah screamed. His voice was frightened and desperate. “I just stole a bottle of perfume from that bastard! Just a bottle of perfume!”

“That ‘bastard’ you’re referring to happened to be the Duke of Helms.”

“I didn’t know he was a duke, damn it! Would a duke get drunk in a country tavern?”

“It doesn’t matter. The facts are very clear. As a refugee, you have stolen the legal property of a duke.”

“I’ll give it back to him… I can give it back to him. Please, please—”

“It doesn’t matter.” The elderly judge looked tired, and his tone was a little more impatient. Thick books were piled into towers on both sides of him, and the only place where books weren’t placed was a delicate bell.

“Please, my lord, I am a refugee. You know what will happen to me! Have mercy. I’m just trivial trash, and I will never come in handy on the battlefield—”

“The evidence is conclusive, and everyone has been caught. Send him to the Withered Castle.” The old man knocked on the bell on the table. “Next.”

Micah let out a high-pitched, sharp scream. His fat face was as white as a sheet of paper and was covered with beads of sweat mixed with snot and tears. Those little eyes turned wildly, as if a lifeline would suddenly stretch out in the surrounding air, but the floor under his feet cracked mercilessly, and he only had time to let out another broken wail before the door closed. Oliver stood in place where Micah was standing, with cold hands and feet.

“Oliver Ramon. Hm, Albanian… Alban’s law. Let’s see, let’s see.” The judge put on a pair of gold wire glasses and waved his hand. A book thick enough to kill a person flew out of the tower of books and spread out in front of him. “Oh, trouble.”

He glanced at Oliver from above his glasses. “Snake-level Black Chapter, huh?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Do you have anything to defend yourself?”

“What is my crime, sir?”

“Hmph, cunning boy. This is indeed most interesting.” The judge’s five fingers gently tapped the wooden tabletop. “Your deed of sin is marked. It was sent by the Knights of Oath of the Mooney Sect near the Abyssal Church, but we have not received any corresponding reports of allegations until now.”

Oliver cautiously remained silent.

“You can stay here for a few more days.” The judge moved his shoulders and picked up the small hammer that knocked on the bell. “Go back to your containment room, next—”

The bell rang frantically, and a letter appeared from the table in front of the judge. The old man’s voice stopped abruptly. He twisted the letter from the magic array, slowly opened it with a letter opener, and started reading it.

Then his brows tightened.

“…Take this upstairs.” The judge’s gaze became sharp, as if he had just woken up from a nap. “The Gatekeepers have a request to give him a full guilt test, and they will bear the cost.”

The “full guilt test” didn’t sound like a good thing. Oliver’s heartbeat stopped for a moment, and an ominous premonition strangled his heart tightly. He subconsciously wanted to resist, but with this thought, the metal collar on his neck began to ache faintly.

But right now, no one would let him inquire about what was to come.

It turned out that his intuition was correct. The full guilt test was like digging malice into every crevice of his bones. Oliver really couldn’t figure out when he had offended the so-called “Gatekeepers”, causing them to want him to be charged with such a felony.

But he carried out those strange tests.

He had a clear conscience about all his decisions in this life—no hatred, no remorse. There was no uncontrollable anger, no deliberate violence. He stood in a dim room for four hours, and except for the “known fact” that he “killed his father with his own hands”, the tester didn’t pick out any flaws.

“If you force it, using this to convict again would meet the requirements over there… It just takes too long.” The test inspector looked more tired than Oliver and kept mumbling incessantly. “More than three weeks… haa.”

The test went on flatly until the last item.

A shriveled human heart floated in a crystal container, pulsating slowly with an unpleasant sticky dark red color. It was placed in front of Oliver, who didn’t know if he was imagining things, but he felt as if the heart was looking at him.

“Do you have an allegiance?” The test inspector asked tirelessly.

“No.” Oliver lowered his head and stared at the chain on his wrist.

The beating of the dry heart suddenly became violent.

“Lies!” The sleepy test inspector immediately came to his senses.

“I really don’t.” Oliver frowned. “I am only loyal to myself.”

“…Are you saying you made an oath to a great being unknowingly, and you didn’t know anything about it?” The test inspector raised his eyebrows. “Do I look like a fool? Well, you’re not like a slave or a servant… Let’s start with the basics. Are you a knight?”

“No, I have never met any king.”

That weird heart was beating so violently that it looked like it was about to smash the crystal container.

“Lies! Another lie!” The test inspector squeezed the quill pen tightly and quickly made a record on the board. “Great, it seems that you’re a knight. Now let’s take a look at your status, your love, and loyalty—”

The chain pulled Oliver’s hand towards the crystal container. Unexpectedly, the touch of the container was very warm.

It seemed to be wrapped in liquid gold, and the disgusting dry heart gradually turned into gold. It pulsated steadily and powerfully, exuding vigorous vitality.

“It seems that you love your king deeply and have deep loyalty to him.” There was more sarcasm in the test inspector’s tone. “Finally can’t hide it, huh? Listen, kid. This test costs a lot of money. If you want to tease an innocent person, no one will spend this much to make such a joke.”

“…Is there really nothing wrong with this thing? I have never participated in any knighting ceremony,” Oliver murmured. He rummaged through all his memories that could be traced back but found no clues.

“There is no problem. This is a treasure that is rarely used. As long as the conditions are met, nothing can escape its perception. You must be loyal to a certain king, or someone of the same status as a king, and the other party recognizes your knight status and has performed a knighting ceremony.”

“So now, I’m going to start checking your identity, Mr. Ramon.” The tester turned around and took out a beautifully bound, thick booklet from the bookshelf. “If you’re not in the knight records of any country or religion on the surface, you’ll be in big trouble.”

He glanced at Oliver’s Knight of Silence armor. “A knight loyal to the Abyss… Do you know? With this alone, we can skip all the forensics processes.”

“In the laws of all countries, that is an unquestionable capital crime.”

The author has something to say:

Oliver: ……??? I’m really just an ordinary townsperson. Don’t be like this!

Nemo: Shit, that actually counted?!

It’s a really strict, cherished prop. Don’t challenge it.

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


5 thoughts on “Stray Ch117

  1. Maybe rather than the “crime of not fighting”, expressing it as the crime of “aiding and abetting” would be more appropriate?


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