Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 152: Three Chapters of the Covenant
The waiting room of Clementine Cathedral had excellent lighting. The afternoon sun illuminated the white and smooth statues inside, and the gilded brilliance rolled across the gleaming floor. The breeze blowing in from the window seemed to be stained with champagne gold, warm and soft. From a human point of view, the aesthetics of the Laddism Church were good—They weren’t sure if it was at the Pope’s behest, but the waiting room didn’t exude much luxury or religious intimidation but had a rather sense of warmth and comfort.
Jesse leaned his neck back, and his long, soft golden hair rubbed against the back cushion of the armchair. He raised his eyebrows high and looked directly into the dark brown eyes above him.
Adrian Cross rarely smiled. Except for the occasional frown, he rarely showed other expressions. If one insisted on finding emotions that belong to normal humans, one could only chisel a little bit from the depths of those eyes.
But Jesse knew that the other party was serious this time.
So he also withdrew his joking intention and made a “go ahead” expression. “Hm?”
Adrian Cross, indeed, wasn’t happy. Dylan had always acted absurdly, and he himself had no reputation at all. To be honest, Adrian didn’t really care about reputation, so he could acquiesce to Dylan’s nonsense in front of the Knights of Judgement.
But the Pope was different.
Even if he looked at it from his own perspective, Pope Dawn Quinn was a very respectable elder. Lord Quinn was old, and Dylan was prone to making a few blasphemous remarks; to say he was unconcerned was an understatement. In case this thing in exquisite human skin made the Pope angry, he really would have no face to face with his faith.
He was determined to talk to the other party. After all, from another perspective…
“I don’t hate you, Mr. Dylan.”
Those frozen lake-like blue eyes widened slightly, and Jesse Dylan maintained his posture of raising his head with an expression that was half polite doubt and half “this was long overdue”. “To be honest, I’m a little surprise—”
Although I’m not sure why you behave like this,” Adrian ignored the other party’s sticky tone and continued bluntly, “haven’t you been secretly assisting Mr. Ramon and the others since we first met?”
“If you hadn’t forcibly involved Mr. Ramon in the incident in Vincent Town at that time, it’s estimated that they wouldn’t have been able to save the Bluebirds and the townspeople. Including the matter of guiding them to the forbidden land… If I’m not mistaken, you have planned everything in advance.”
“Caleb Village was also the information you gave, and if we were even a day late, Ms. Nadine would be dead. It was you who made the earthsea orchid bloom again, wasn’t it?”
And when you were in the Abyssal Church, you purposefully threw the sacrifices to the wrong sects, causing the Preceptor Bishop to detour to Kenyatta— As a result, they were unable to pursue Mr. Virgil and Colestoro in time, and we happened to hear information about Mr. Ramon’s whereabouts from them. Isn’t this a bit too coincidental?”
Adrian’s well-knotted hands were pressed on both sides of the armchair. His wheat-colored skin didn’t match the red velvet. There was still no expression on his face, and his eyes were equally calm, and his tone was steady, as if he was praying.
“…And this time. You did it very obviously. Your plan allowed Mr. Light to leave in time, and even took the fall for him—of course, if this is counted as a crime.”
“You can obviously get along more amicably with other people, so why deliberately behave like this?”
The blond young man grinned. His tone was so gentle that it was creepy, “Mr. Ramon and Ms. Savage are both simple and straightforward types. I don’t want them to fall into chaos. Is it that hard to understand?”
It was another vague answer. Adrian couldn’t help but frown again. Jesse Dylan shrank slightly in the armchair, looking almost innocent. “…You didn’t deny the part of helping.”
“You are complimenting me, so how can I deny it?”
“Then I’ll change my question.” Adrian stared at the beautiful face tightly, trying to find traces of lies. “Why do you want my faith to be shaken so much? My faith should have nothing to do with you.”
“You’re taking this too seriously.” Those clear blue eyes suddenly narrowed. “It’s not as serious as I want it to waver, but I just hope you think a little more about it.”
“Why?” Adrian lowered his body and moved his face closer.
“Do you need a reason to care?” Jesse leaned forward cooperatively, and the tips of their noses almost collided. He took a deliberate breath, and their breathing became ambiguously intertwined. “After all, I’ve never seen someone like you. It’s very interesting.”
“If all your actions are to sway me,” Adrian said softly, “I suggest you stop. I said that my love for Zenni is not such a superficial thing—and you don’t ‘love’ me. That’s also equally clear.”
The arc of the corner of Jesse’s mouth instantly widened, and he raised his hand and put it directly on the neck of the former knight. “Oh, your stubborn look is so cute… Then tell me, what exactly is ‘love’?”
“I don’t think you want to hear me recite the dogma,” Adrian snorted softly. “In simple terms, I think it is one of the most precious feelings in the world. I don’t understand the love of others, but as far as I feel—I believe that God does exist in the world and yes, I don’t think he has an obligation to save anyone.”
Adrian only felt that his throat was a little dry, “But there were so many moments when the world was like a snow-covered swamp. It was destined to become muddy and messy, but the moment the snow stopped, it was clean. I… Love that kind of world.”
The moment the snow stopped, it was a miraculous moment in the chaos. In that piece of pure whiteness, after a series of coincidences, there was always an unlikely salvation of people who were thus saved. Perhaps it was just wishful thinking on his part, but these coincidences and devotion to the light did support him, so that his heart would not dry up so quickly. From the bottom of his heart, he wanted to believe that a miraculous creature existed in the world and watched it. Although indifferent, at least they were watching.
And occasionally they would stretch out their hands.
Adrian didn’t know if he was the beneficiary of this hand. Perhaps he shouldn’t have seen things too clearly. All kinds of helplessness and anger in the world have long turned into numbness. He couldn’t do anything else but keep moving forward. This little faith and persistence, perhaps, was his last treasure.
He was willing to call it “love”.
And his only listener was silent for a moment. His expression blanked for a few seconds.
“Now that you understand… Not so long ago, you said to me, ‘Don’t reject the love of others’.” After a few minutes of silence, the beautiful face got closer, and the cheeks of the two almost rubbed together. Adrian stood still while the blond young man rubbed forward, his mouth pressed to the other man’s ear, spouting hot and humid breath. “You’re really a better liar than me.”
After that, he let go of his hand and leaned back on the soft and comfortable armchair again.
“Thank you for your attention to me. I’m really flattered—and I’m also watching you.” Jesse Dylan played with his long blond hair with his fingertips. “Never eat more or less what you can eat, regardless of the taste of the food. All decisions are always rational first, not showing a hint of weakness… or rather, not showing any bit of humanity. Even if you take your own life, even if the object is a companion who you get along with day and night. Mr. Light should be grateful that you have enough brains. If you were a little more stupid, it’s estimated that he would have been sent to the gallows a long time ago.”
“At this point, I’m more human than you.” The blond young man chuckled a few times. “Being such a person, you have the audacity to say ‘falling in love with others’ from that mouth of yours. Oh god, this is hilarious… Have you ever thought about it?”
“What?” Adrian’s expression was unreadable. He just frowned, and his dark brown eyes looked like two deep wells.
“To fall passionately in love with another person, to feel enthusiasm, sweetness, and satisfaction… As well as inferiority, jealousy, and exclusivity. Love is not such a pure thing, darling Adri. Don’t get hooked on books.” Jesse approached again, with his blue eyes shining brightly. “For me, interest is enough to be called “love. For you, ‘love’ is nothing more than awe.”
“I’m not trying to nitpick words with you here. What I’m trying to say is—”
“Have you ever thought about spending your life with someone? Have you ever experienced the feeling of skin-on-skin contact with another? …Even in a dream, in the most unconscious moments?”
Adrian was silent.
“You have no intention of falling in love with anyone at all. I recognize these eyes. You just want to atone for your sins.” Jesse stretched out his hands and held the knight’s cheeks. “When did this idea start? Let me think… Dear Sir Knight, was it when you executed your first old man? Or when you executed the first child?”
“Enough,” Adrian sank his voice, and for the first time, there was some anger in his tone.
“Alright, alright.” Jesse rubbed his face. “I know what you want to say. Behave yourself in front of the Pope… and behave like a naïve law-abiding citizen. I can do it. Of course, I can. And then, what reward will you give me?”
Adrian was momentarily caught up in the question. He hadn’t thought the other side would agree so readily.
Jesse laughed outright this time.
“I changed my mind,” he said in a soft tone that sounded nasally. “Don’t worry. Since we’re both a little interested in each other, I’ll be a good gentleman. How about I court you in a dignified manner. What do you think? I really want to see this face show a human expression. Please.”
“You’re free to do as you wish.” Adrian let out a long sigh.
“Then let’s start by getting along amicably—”
“…If you insist on ‘getting along amicably’, I think we’d better have an agreement first, gentleman,” the former knight commander added stiffly.
“Let’s hear it,” Jesse retracted his hands and coughed.
“First, don’t mention anything about faith in front of me anymore.” Adrian stared at the person calmly. “Second, at least when we communicate, I hope you will be more straightforward and not say things half-assed. Third…”
He hesitated for a few seconds, “…Please stop calling me ‘darling Adri’.”
“Pfft,” Jesse laughed shamelessly. “Okay, no problem. I promise you… But it’s not fair for you to make a request one-sidedly, right? Do I also get three opportunities as well?”
Adrian narrowed his eyes. He intuitively felt that the party didn’t have good intentions, but for the sake of fairness, he nodded hesitantly.
“I know our Knight Commander occasionally lies.” Jesse’s expression was rarely serious. “How about not lying to me?”
“I’m not sure about the third, but I’m thinking about the second—Just to be clear, you can say no. I don’t like to make things difficult for people in this regard.”
“Do you want to spend a night with me?” Jesse stretched out his fingers. His fingertips slid down Adrian’s lower lip and brushed against his chin, then stayed at his throat, which was wrapped in the tight collar of his uniform. “You have such contempt for lust. I’m very curious…” he said in a meaningful, drawn-out voice. “You see, we’re both adults and we happen to be concerned about each other. If you’re willing—”
“I’m not interested in you.” The knight’s expression remained motionless.
“…You’re really hurtful. Why not give it a try? How about withdrawing a request from your side as well? I think the third one is quite unnecessary—”
“But I accept it.”
The smile on Jesse’s face froze for a moment, then instead of deepening, it faded a bit. He stared intently into the other person’s eyes and raised his eyebrows higher. “I’m going to take it seriously.”
“I just promised you so I wouldn’t break my promise so soon.”
“Oh.” Jesse stood up from the armchair. This time, he didn’t have a half-hearted tease on his face. As the other party suddenly got up, Adrian subconsciously took a few steps back. Jesse was very close to him in size, and this time his gaze, instead of looking down, was on an equal level.
“If this is one of your self-destructive manifestations,” Jesse’s voice was soft, “You’ll absolutely… regret it, very, very much.”
The author has something to say:
Yes, the side-CP will roll in bed first before falling in love.
There is indeed a deliberate factor in Jesse’s annoyance XD
I think some little cuties have already guessed who he is (?)
Oh god. I need more of this. Taking bets; who’s the gong and who’s the shou? I prefer Adrian to be the shou, but if they vers that’s a’okay with me!
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3 thoughts on “Stray Ch152”
Ahhhhhhhh what is happening?!?!?!? Adrian accepted????? Ahhhhhhhhh
Thank you so much for the chapter!!! ^^
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Adrian: The Serious Devout Believer
Jesse Dylan: The Very Not Serious Playful God
I bet Jesse Dylan is the gong! Author likes to surprise us~
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oh my goodness who would’ve thought HAHAHAHA
the spark is such a stark contrast from our other couple *cough* the demon king and his .. mist?