Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 130: The Stars
The streets at midnight in the central city weren’t quiet. The curfew time here was late, and the drunk men were still singing songs on the side of the road, while other men were hurriedly delivering goods in small wooden carts. The aftermath of the warning spell had calmed down. There weren’t any screams or shouts from nowhere, and the Knights of Judgment gradually withdrew from the public areas where people were concentrated.
After all, this was still Garland. Unsure whether it was out of concern for the relationship between Garland and Alban or if he couldn’t bear to sacrifice the people of Kenyatta for a prop, Alban’s Preceptor Bishop finally gave up resistance.
Aurorae’s living armor squirmed and crawled down his body, forming a slightly trembling ball of meat. Aurorae—or rather, Vance Talbott at this moment was gently pulling his long gray hair. He hung the armor mass on his big sword at random, and then waved the big sword. The twisted weapon immediately disappeared into the cool air.
Now that he was empty-handed, he looked extremely harmless.
Vance took out a waiter’s white gloves from his pocket, carefully slid his fingers into the soft fabric, and then took out the crystal ball he had just gotten. After leaving the gorgeous silk cushion, the lone crystal ball looked like an ordinary ornament in a jewelry shop’s window.
He stared at the bone jade embedded in it for a while before he lowered his eyes…
Sure enough, this thing was still unfinished, and it could only monitor magic that had been activated. If the dangerous black figure deliberately didn’t use magic, he couldn’t use it to find him.
Vance shook his head, clutched the small crystal ball in his palm, and finally paid attention to the flashing communication crystal.
“Telaranea,” he wasn’t wordy in his speech, “I need your support.”
“…Okay, okay. Although I’m looking for you for something else, you can speak first.”
“I remember you have a body on the Gatekeepers’ side. I need their technology to transform the exploration crystal made by the Laddism Church.”
“You finally want to open up! I said a long time ago, if you’re willing to use bone jade, your efficiency will be…”
“Tsk! I’m just trying to help. Are you in Kenyatta? My nearest body to you is in Roadside Town, the Steel Wolf Mercenary Group. We can meet in Noer and you can just give me the thing.”
“Now my side… Do you remember that strange demon warlock, Nemo Light? You asked me to keep an eye on him.”
“Did he do anything that needs to be eliminated?”
“No, but their leader seems to have fallen into the hands of the Gatekeepers.” The voice on the other side of the crystal sounded a bit emotional. “I checked the mission records. What a coincidence. At that time, their team was active near the Abyssal Church.”
Vance was silent.
“Well, I know you don’t like humans, but that kid still has the power of a Demon King. Have you forgotten? I don’t think it’s a coincidence that they appeared there. If he plans to defect to the Abyssal Church—”
“I said we don’t need to get him back specifically. Haven’t you learned your lesson in Hailem?”
Telaranea gave a loud tsk on the other side. “Seriously. What is your obsession with the ‘Demon King’? Even a kid that carries a little power has to be taken care of… Vance, have you been hiding any information from me?”
The man with the long white hair coldly terminated the communication. He put the communication crystal into the deepest part of his pocket and walked out of a dilapidated alley. The Laddism Church exploration crystal ball was still tightly squeezed in his right hand, and the warm touch seeped through the fabric and penetrated the demon’s cold skin.
‘There’s no obsession,’ the demon thought. What he embraced wasn’t so much an obsession but rather a sense of guilt he couldn’t get rid of. Vance gave a rare wry smile, raised his head, and looked back at the clock tower in disrepair in front of him. The mottled stone bricks looked blurry in the night, like a silt-filled riverbed under dirty water.
Vance Talbott pressed the crystal against his chest. He could feel the bone jade continuously emitting heat into the crystal.
After the Demon King was “killed”, his body would be swallowed by the Abyss almost at the same time. The huge corpse will turn into a dark, thick liquid and gradually dissipate at the bottom of the Abyss. After that, the crusading army was free to search for overgrown bone jade in the Demon King’s lair. Humans didn’t know why it appeared, but they could always find such a small flowing mineral deposit.
It was like a gift.
Vance knew that it was the bones of the Demon King spitting out from the bottom of the Abyss.
The same was true for the previous generation, with only one difference. Flint Lopez cut off the Demon King’s head. He didn’t know how, but he saved it from being swallowed by the Abyss and even took it out to the surface. Humans haven’t discovered the relationship between that skull and the bone jade. This only proved one thing. The Demon King was unwilling to give power to his bones at that time.
I’m an idiot. Vance held the crystal close to his chest and could feel the dark anger rushing straight to his brain. He was so trusting and optimistic about that kid at the beginning. He didn’t even hesitate to become Lopez’s mentor and teach him in person, hoping to make the Demon King sleep longer. However, in the end, Lopez was no different from most humans. In conclusion, he was just another greedy and vain pile of waste.
That human must not know how much trouble he had caused just for meaningless “spoils”. Flint Lopez pushed the surface and the Abyss to the edge of destruction at the same time.
After adjusting his breathing for a while, Vance quickly stabilized his emotions and took a step towards the corner of the city. How ironic. It was a warrior that was carefully cultivated by him and sent to the Demon King to put him to sleep with his own hands, but he did that kind of unforgivable idiotic thing.
In the end, the student he had personally taught had destroyed the Demon King in the cruelest way.
……And ruined his father.
It was a pity that Flint Lopez was very low-key after the expedition. Before he had time to find the bastard, Lopez was one step ahead and had disappeared from the public’s view.
To this day, he still inquired about Lopez’s news. If he could still kill the human with his own hands…
Vance Talbott continued to move forward without blinking as he passed by a group of pedestrians wearing cloaks and leading a fuller goat. The moment he passed the goat, Vance noticed a trace of magic fluctuation, as if the aura of a superior demon came from the team.
But the aura was fleeting and only a bird’s hair fell to the ground.
Logically, no superior demon could hide their aura in front of him. Perhaps it was his imagination, he thought to himself, and once again turned his gaze in the direction of his original goal.
Less than half an hour ago.
Ann stared at the blood-seeping tooth mark on the knight’s long neck in disbelief. Although the monk’s uniform had a high collar that had been buttoned up, part of the tooth mark and the edges of a hickey were still exposed. She looked at Adrian up and down, then glanced at Jesse with horror in her eyes.
But when she spoke, it was all about business.
“Recently, the Insular Court had skipped part of their procedure.” The female warrior’s expression became serious. “First, they’ll sell people and then go through the formalities. Because no one paid attention, this news has been suppressed all this time. If Oliver is unfortunate…”
Nemo stared at Ann’s mouth intently, as if intending to forcefully drag out the next words from her mouth with his eyes.
“We just heard some news,” the knight commander interrupted Ann’s words, as if he didn’t care about the marks on his neck. “The Mooney Sect captured a Knight of Silence from Alban alive and was bought by the Gatekeepers.”
Ann kicked the broken wooden boxes that were piled up in the alley.
“Do they even ignore evidence now? The Knight of Silence cannot be captured alive! They can’t commit perjury even in the Insular Court—” she screamed angrily. Her breathing became short. “Hell, chances are it’s most likely Oliver.”
“Maybe it was the Gatekeepers who got in the way. There’s also the possibility of it being a coincidence.” Adrian frowned. “We better make preparations.”
“Let’s go to the Noer branch right away. I have to ask that old bastard,” Ann murmured, clutching her arms tightly.
“What will happen to him?” Nemo asked as calmly as possible, trying to restrain the trembling in his voice. “Listening to your tone, this shouldn’t be the first time this kind of thing has happened.”
“According to what I heard, he should be sent to the mobile barracks after passing the screening and then to the Death Row Legion,” Ann said bitterly. “That makes sense. Oliver’s really powerful… If he’s really brainwashed into becoming a Death Row soldier, the price could be increased tenfold. And…”
She couldn’t talk anymore, and the sudden self-blame stuck in her throat.
“They screen soldiers by killing. Either kill or be killed.” Adrian’s face didn’t look good either. “If Mr. Ramon is really taken away by the Gatekeepers, things will get troublesome. No one knows where the mobile barracks are.”
“It seems their process hasn’t changed much,” Nemo heard himself say in a calm voice. He didn’t know how he managed to maintain his calm. His legs were cold and numb, but the blood suddenly became hot, burning his blood vessels and heart. “So if Ollie didn’t kill anyone, would he be sent to the Withered Castle? I have seen the information from the Abyssal Church, but it was recorded long ago.”
“…” The female warrior and the knight looked at each other for a long time, while Jesse crossed his arms. The expression on his face was unexpectedly blank.
“Yes,” Ann said hoarsely. “But Nemo, it’s for those who are eliminated. Oliver’s a smart man, and the people he’s fighting against are death row inmates. He won’t be stupid enough… I think he’s in the mobile barracks.”
“The Withered Castle is even more difficult to find than the mobile barracks. We don’t have time to spare to look for two places at the same time in what time we currently have,” Adrian sighed lightly. “Ms. Savage is right.”
“I know.” Nemo’s tone was still calm. His expression was blank, but his internal organs had already begun to turn upside down, as if a pair of invisible hands were tearing his lungs apart. “Ollie will definitely figure out his current situation. He will make the most reasonable choice, but I don’t think he will kill for himself.”
“Ollie will never do that. Our goal is the Withered Castle, not the mobile barracks,” Nemo said clearly.
Adrian looked at him quietly, while the female warrior pursed her lips bitterly.
“Nemo, I know you believe in him, but a place like the Withered Castle…”
“There are only two kinds of people who can leave the Withered Castle—the dead and the murderous,” Nemo said softly. He showed signs of being lost, but his tone was hard. “I know, but I believe he’ll hold on.”
“He must be in the Withered Castle and will not leave,” Nemo repeated.
“Nemo…” Ann tried to interrupt his words.
She wasn’t sure if she should support Nemo’s idea. Although Oliver studied under Adrian for a while, his willpower wasn’t as good as that of a soldier who had lived in the army for a long time. After all, it had been just a few months, and he was originally just an ordinary small town resident.
Although she didn’t know much about the Withered Castle, the information she did know was enough for her to make a judgment. Even if Nemo was a fake superior demon, he still lacked experience. Although he and Oliver have gone through a lot, truthfully, they haven’t encountered such a cruel situation like this before.
It was too easy to destroy a person.
People tended to choose kindness in a relatively stable condition, and once that stability was broken, there were few who could persevere. Take away strength, take away dignity, take away hope—what remained may be the essence of what was considered “human”.
How much of Oliver’s previous goodwill was based on his own powerful strength?
Ann didn’t dare give a definite answer. This answer may only be known to Oliver himself. She wanted to stand up for Nemo from the bottom of her heart, but once he found that Oliver wasn’t in the Withered Castle, Nemo…
“Take a step back. If Ollie is really in the mobile barracks, then with his strength, he could afford to wait.” As if seeing Ann’s concerns, Nemo’s face paled and his tone became crueler. “But the Withered Castle is different. I must find him as soon as possible. Is this good enough of a reason?”
Ann trembled and exhaled, closing her eyes.
Nemo turned to Jesse Dylan, who hadn’t said a word. “Dylan, where is the Withered Castle?”
“I do not know.” Jesse shrugged, not smiling.
“You’re a diviner.”
“The essence of prophesizing is intelligence-based predictions.” The blond young man spread out his hands. “I can evaluate a person’s value and tell you what things are extremely likely to happen, but simple information is too random… Sorry, I can’t do it.”
“Then I’ll find it.” Nemo didn’t hesitate. He didn’t have time to be disappointed.
“I’ll contact Virgil,” Adrian nodded without saying much. “He has some connections and should be able to help. Did you gain anything tonight?”
“I already know who summoned that Deadwood Jellyfish, but I may not have time to go back… Those charges… If you can, can I please ask you to handle it?” There wasn’t much time now. Not to mention anything else, at least Jesse Dylan should be able to cope with the changes in Roadside Town.
His stomach felt like a burning piece of charcoal was stuffed into it. He didn’t want to waste a single second any longer.
“You have to go back, Light. It will only have the opposite effect on that ‘mutation’.” This time, Jesse’s frivolous tone completely disappeared. He looked at Nemo with incomprehensible eyes. He thought for a moment and finally knocked on his head as if he couldn’t help it. “Although I don’t know the location of the Withered Castle, I have one thing to tell you.”
“You may not find where the Withered Castle is, but you can find the star that belongs to Ramon.” The beautiful blond young man spoke without using honorifics*. “You know what I’m talking about.”
*Clarity: Often times, they speak using the polite form of “you”. There’s no direct translation for this kind of thing in English, so just note that when honorifics are being mentioned, it’s referring to this.
“But Ollie is a pure human being.” Nemo stared at him. “I can’t detect him.”
“Alright, listen to me. You have to figure this out yourself.” Jesse curled his lips. “The demon cocoon in Roadside Town can help. If you figure out its situation, you can find your little pet. It’s not that I don’t want to tell you, but this thing is like muscle memory. I can’t teach you how to do it.”
“And a small reminder… That’s not detection magic. Think about the reason why you couldn’t use spells in the first place. Just think about it.”
The author has something to say:
Nemo just has a hobby of raising small animals. Such as little demons, such as little humans. (Debby: …)
Oliver: My boyfriend is the father of my father’s mentor— (broken voice)
Nemo: I’m not, I’m not! I don’t know anything! (Broken sound)
So many bombshells being dropped in this arc, it’s like a warzone and more is yet to come!
To clarify, the Demon King is Aurorae’s father. Aurorae was Oliver’s dad’s mentor, who trained him in hopes that he would slay the Demon King in a way that could make him sleep longer.
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5 thoughts on “Stray Ch130”
Thank for the explanation 😅 had to read the author’s note twice so my brain understood
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thank you so much for the chapters!! :3
Nemo: I’M NOT I DIDN’T, OLIVER LISTEN TO THE EXPLANATION–
LikeLiked by 3 people
Go get your man Nemo!
AURORAE, I AM YOUR FATHER ✋🏼😭
damn thank god we have that author’s note because family relations are always so confusing