Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 140: Reunion
An hour ago.
Through the maze-like cloister, two figures were running silently. The dim and pale firelight projected their shadows on the ground. The more petite shadow jumped from time to time. Whenever it returned to the ground again, there would inevitably be black and red blood splattered on the wall.
The guards who were cut instantly became piles of decomposing flesh that wriggled and aggregated, but before they could melt together, the exposed core was crushed by a man…
Randy Panther was in a bad mood.
Just as they planned, Mora made all the preparations and finally got the key to unlock his collar. As long as they were alive, the plan would continue.
Looking at it now, they were indeed alive, and at the same time, they once again ushered in an unexpected failure. It seemed that the demon of the Withered Castle had no compassion to sway, but it didn’t succeed in harming Mora. Whether that was a blessing because of the dragon breath stone dagger or not, this was the best situation he could think of.
It was really him who death had passed on. Randy held back his bitter sigh.
The two assassins rushed to the wall that seemed to be a dead end without hesitation. The illusion was broken, and they successfully returned to the starry night sky. Several years of investigation weren’t wasted, and almost all the variables were in their expectations.
Now, they were only one step away.
The patrolling puppets came by, and the two squeezed into a long-calculated recess of the building. That curse came in handy at this moment. They didn’t need to account for space to hold two people.
“This distance should be enough. We have to activate those magic stones,” Mora muttered. Her face paled with a sign of depression. She seemed to want a hug, but in the end, she only stretched out one arm and pressed the upper arm of the other person. “I really want to get out of this shithole quickly… Randy?”
The tall assassin hung his head and didn’t answer.
“Are you blaming yourself for killing Ramon? It’s not like you,” Mora said dryly. “Ramon is a nice person, but in a place like this…”
“I didn’t kill him.” Looking at the distant team of puppets, Randy lowered his voice. “In fact, he could have killed me.”
Mora frowned, stopped the movement of her hands, and pursed her lips tightly. She stared at her lover’s red and swollen wrist. She could only do some emergency healing spells to make it barely move normally.
“Then he… admitted defeat himself.” Randy moved his wrist. “How stupid.”
The female assassin looked away. “…How stupid.”
They walked in the dark. They had long since stopped trying to count the number of lives on their hands. No one knew better than a killer how worthless life was. A blade across the throat, a precise stab, a curse, poison, and even ill-intentioned words—they were as fragile as a church-stained glass window.
When that moment came, there was no dying confession, no decent memories. There was only crying, unbelievable and animal-like struggles, and then those lives came to an abrupt end.
Taking away the lives of compatriots was numbing, even if they had screened the targets in advance and knew most of them deserved it. It was as if there was a thick film that separated them from the world, and many things gradually became irrelevant…
Including their own lives.
Randy thought they knew very well. They knew very well that they could no longer fall in love with any other and could no longer leave this nightmare. Everyday when he woke up, breathing and heartbeat had become like a task. The love was still there, but they themselves were becoming less like humans. As this situation deteriorated, they gradually became the only people who could understand each other.
A vicious spiral.
They tried to retain the only remaining sense of morality and help people who wouldn’t harm their own interest. With this approach, it gave them a little warmth and the illusion that they were still living a normal life.
And once the other party touches their own interest…
Randy looked down at his scarred fingers. “Do you have a clue about the next target…?”
“There’s always something,” Mora said.
“…Since we’re not in a hurry, let’s play the ‘dangerous game’ again, okay?”
“Are you crazy? In a place like this? We’re not stupid young people anymore. Increasing the difficulty out of thin air will only… Only… I know. You don’t want to activate the magic stone inside and trigger the martial law alert.”
“Ramon was thrown into the furnace. It’s only a matter of time before he dies.”
“Don’t do meaningless things,” Mora reminded dryly.
“If a person is pierced through the heart, he will die, right?”
“But Ramon didn’t die.” Randy pulled out a wry smile. “I even think he’s still breathing now—in that furnace. Mora, you know what will happen to the furnace after martial law. The Gatekeepers will temporarily cut off all control and completely close it, and the inside will get out of control. Ramon was thrown in there alive. Maybe the Gatekeepers have other plans.”
“Anyway, the furnace will eventually devour everything,” Mora’s tone was flat. “Martial law must be triggered to lead away those damn puppets. Otherwise, with the puppets and guards, although we can deal with it… That’s definitely not the best solution.”
“I will protect you. You won’t get hurt.”
“Of course I know, but you will—your… Stupid decision can keep Ramon alive for a few more minutes at most.” The petite female assassin raised her head. “It’s just a few minutes. Is there a difference? It really doesn’t make sense—”
“Yes.” He stretched out his hand, gently stroking Mora’s hand… that passed through in vain as if it was a phantom. “Haven’t we been doing ‘meaningless’ things all this time?”
It would just be one more thing that wouldn’t add to their problems; maybe just a few more additional wounds.
The female assassin suddenly smiled.
It wasn’t a wry smile, but it wasn’t big either. It was a strange, even childish smile. “Your words don’t match your dead expression at all, stupid stake,” she murmured. “You… are a bit like you were before.”
Yes. Now that they thought about it, their lives were like a joke, but their destination had long been set by the demon, and they could only run straight in that direction. She had forgotten the feeling of slowing down and taking detours and even wanted to rush towards that impossible goal.
In a sense, they were the same as that young fool in the furnace.
“Let’s go.” The female assassin turned out of the recess of the building and stretched out her right hand, like an invitation to dance. “You have to protect me!”
The puppets arrived at the same time they had speculated, and as calculated, spotted them. A tide of humanoid monsters surged up and was met with a heavy shield that flung their way, occasionally splashing bits of blood belonging to humans.
“I really hate this!” Mora panted as she cut off the arm of a puppet. “When this is over, you have to buy me cake from Trev’s! If it wasn’t for Ramon, we’d probably be lying in an inn by now—how much longer? God, these things are tough.”
“Come behind me,” Randy said calmly. The shield crushed the metal puppet on the ground. “Bear with it. As long as there were more than half of them…”
Their vision was suddenly black.
The metal puppets fell to the ground, and their metal parts quickly decayed. With a harsh hissing sound, they quickly turned into a pile of debris. A black figure suddenly emerged from the ground. A pale young man raised his head. His hands were empty, and his dark gray robe almost melted into the night.
“Ramon.” The stranger held the last puppet and watched as it turned into ash. “Do you know Oliver Ramon?”
“Where is he?”
Nemo didn’t know if he could still think clearly.
Now he didn’t have the ability to forget. He wouldn’t forget the place where the star lit up. He knew where the Withered Castle was at this moment, but the star that represented Oliver kept dimming. When he tore through the sky and finally reached the mountain-like castle, the star was… No longer shining.
It went out.
Suffocation and blankness overwhelmed him for a moment. Nemo stopped over the castle as if he was nailed in place, and time had suddenly frozen. It can’t be like this, he thought slowly.
It can’t be like this.
The air was still warm, and the dark blue sky was sprinkled with diamond-like stars. The quaint castle that slept inside a mountain created a beautiful scene, but he found it particularly annoying, like an exquisite dessert covered in mold.
Has Oliver disappeared?
Because he was one step late, will they never be able to meet again? Was that meeting at the Church of Silence their final farewell?
It shouldn’t be like this.
Panic and despair gnawed at his nerves. He almost failed to control his strength so that his whole body fell from the sky. Nemo knew he should be calm. He knew. But even this time, when he tried to pinch his palm, using the pain to calm himself down, the chaos of despair seemed to have possessed his bones and was completely impossible to shake off.
Until someone mentioned that name.
Nemo didn’t hesitate. Without thinking whether it was a trap, or whether the people were friend or foe, he rushed to them.
Everything that followed was like a broken and hazy dream.
The strange man and woman hesitated for a moment, and finally chose to show him the way. They took him to his destination. He didn’t bother to guess what their motives were or whether they were lying. He needed to grab any straw, whatever he could grasp.
After all, nothing could hurt him, but his lover may have died in despair…
“Are you Nemo Light of Tumbleweed?” Just as he quietly broke through the barriers, the man opened his mouth.
“Mr. Ramon has something to say to you.” The man hesitated for a while. “You’d better… Control your strength. Considering your current state, I think you need to listen first.”
Nemo stopped moving instantly. He even stopped breathing. It was like someone had cast a petrification spell on him.
He listened very seriously.
[I didn’t give up on my principles for him, and I hope he’ll not do the same.]
But “he who used to be the Demon King” no longer knew how many people he had killed. Was he really qualified to talk about “principles” now?
[He’ll always find the most suitable solution, and I’ll always believe in him.]
But he hadn’t had time to tell Oliver that “Nemo Light” wasn’t to be believed… He couldn’t even believe in himself.
How dare that bastard just die with trust in him like this.
If a miracle really happened, if they could really meet again, he would definitely beat that fool up, but when the furnace disappeared and that figure appeared again, he couldn’t hold in his emotions…
The world responded to his wishes just like that.
The gray mist dissipated, and with a harsh warning sound, a shadow stood quietly on the empty flat ground. There wasn’t even a piece of wreckage left in the furnace. The head was still wearing that strange skeleton helmet; the bloodstained white bone covered the upper half of his face. The armor was vaguely in the style of a Knight of Silence, but it was holed and full of scratches.
And that sword… Nemo had once witnessed its birth with his very own eyes.
Even if the aura became illegible, even if the power fluctuated erratically and strangely, he would never make this mistake.
At the junction of despair and ecstasy, his heart almost burst. To his world, to this Demon King. Nemo walked towards the figure at a calm pace at first, followed by a frenzied run.
Now he couldn’t find him in that starry sky. He didn’t know the reason why the knight’s oath was broken, but those questions were no longer important right now. Nemo hugged the armored figure hard. He could hear the familiar heartbeat from the armor.
“Ollie,” he whispered. “I’m here to pick you up.”
After ecstasy was followed by anger and grief.
“…I’ll treat you now,” he said tremblingly, not daring to confirm the other party’s physical condition again. “Don’t move yet, I…”
At that moment, the person he was hugging finally moved.
Oliver held the hilt of the Rest in Peace tightly in his right hand, and lightly grabbed Nemo’s wrists with his left. Under the dry blood marks, the engraved scars were still eye-catching.
“Nemo.” His voice was hoarse and soft. “I love you. I never mentioned this to you, right?”
“I don’t want to erase these wounds… If you’re a hallucination, this is really the best illusion. If you’re not—”
Oliver raised his eyes and looked at the Withered Castle in the night. “Then can you wait for me for a bit?”
“After this place disappears, let’s talk.”
The author has something to say:
Finally reunited _(:з”∠)_
The pain of translating their separation was severe, but it was all worth it for this. AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
Note: When Oliver says “I love you” he’s saying [wo ai ni] (我爱你), so it’s not as simple as “I like you” from before.
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7 thoughts on “Stray Ch140”
T^T T^T T^T (༎ຶ ෴ ༎ຶ)(╥﹏╥)( ≧Д≦)(ᗒᗩᗕ)(个_个).·´¯`(>▂<)´¯`·.( ≧Д≦)( ≧Д≦)( ≧Д≦)
Ugh this is really suffocating, adding on with kdrama ost. I just hope after this would be sprinkled with same amount of sugar as the pain of both Ollie and Nemo.