Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 159: Confession
The confinement room was completely different from what the two imagined.
Speaking of confinement, the cell in the Withered Castle unexpectedly appeared in Oliver’s mind, and he calmly stuffed it back into the depths of his thoughts while Nemo’s mind was full of the cobweb-covered storage room of the Light Orphanage. After creating trouble, Old Patrick would drag them by their collar and toss them in, and they wouldn’t be allowed to come out until they had peeled all the potatoes.
The layout here was interesting. Except for the wall at the entrance, which was covered with portraits, the other three walls were full of books. The wall facing the door protruded inwards, forming a perfect arc. They quickly figured out the purpose of this thing. As long as the brass level next to it is pulled to the position engraved with a specific major, the curved book wall would slowly rotate, showing all the books related to the major.
The remaining two book walls were a bit special. One side was pure black, like charcoal powder, and the other side was pristine white. There was only one name on the monotonous spine of the book, followed by a line of fine print.
Nemo happened to be leaning on the white side. He took the book casually, and then found that there was no paper between the cover books, but a liquid, like mercury. He looked at it suspiciously for a while and finally decided to open it.
The mercury-like liquid seemed to regain its gravity in an instant and slammed into the smooth floor with a bang. A silver-gleaming mist rose into the air, and a “person” appeared in front of Nemo. His face was very clear, but he didn’t reveal the lightest breath unique to life. The outline of the man shook occasionally, overflowing with colored mist.
It was an illusion.
The bearded man formed by the illusion was flushed. His gorgeous clothes seemed to bulge from his stomach, and the buttons were stretched out in the next second. His gaze passed through Nemo and was cast into the void not far away with an enthusiastic smile all over his face. Nemo looked at the man up and down for a while. When the man’s illusion took a deep breath and looked like it was about to speak, Nemo snapped the book cover in his hand shut.
The illusion instantly disappeared. A silvery mist whooshed into the book cover and once again condensed into a quivering, metallic shimmering liquid.
“Glory records.” Oliver leaned over and read the words on the bronze plate not far away. “This is what it says—’Listen to the teachings of those who have succeeded and immerse yourself in the joy that comes from piety and justice. These memories and emotions are voluntarily disclosed by their owners. May Zenni’s glory last forever’.”
As he spoke, he also took out a book and opened it. This time, it was a short old man with a white beard and hair who appeared. Unlike Nemo, Oliver gave the illusion time to speak, but there were no surprises. The old man was like a real professor, gently talking about his understanding of life. Oliver shrugged and was about to close the book when the old man reached out his hand and touched the back of Oliver’s hand.
Oliver took a step back and shuddered.
“What’s the matter?” Nemo was busy stuffing the white book back into the bookshelf as he tried to turn his head.
“Memory fragments, the kind with feelings.” Oliver touched the goose bumps on his arm. “I clearly know that it doesn’t belong to me, but I can feel the attachments of others. I think it’s for educational purposes.” His tongue felt a bit knotted. “But it’s really weird. Do you want to try it?”
Nemo shook his head quickly. Even fragments of his own memories were enough for him. He didn’t want to stuff other people’s memories into his mind to experience it.
“Overall, they are all positive feelings.” Oliver breathed slowly. “It’s Clementine, after all. This thing is really more useful than preaching from one’s mouth.”
“I guess that wall is negative.” Nemo pointed to the black book. “Since there are positive cases, there must be negative ones.”
“Confession record.” Oliver stretched out his neck and glanced, wisely not touching it. “Congratulations, your answer is correct.”
After figuring out all the mechanisms in the room, the two quickly lost interest in the confinement room.
“Let’s finish what we have to write first.” Nemo pulled out a long roll of parchment paper and dipped the tip of his pen in ink. “Well, at least there’s a couch here. It won’t be too difficult tonight.”
The ease on Oliver’s face finally disappeared. He frowned and took down a stack of thick books from the curved wall and moved to his seat. When Oliver first put the book down, Nemo had already written a large paragraph. And when he finished reading the book and was about to write, he found that his lover had already finished writing a whole piece of paper and was blowing the dry ink with his mouth.
He was just about to open his mouth to make a few ridiculing remarks, but his gaze was attracted again by the wall full of white books behind Nemo. He wasn’t sure if he was hallucinating, but a white book on the top of the bookshelf kept flashing. It quickly switched between black and white, which made it look quite conspicuous.
“What’s going on with that book?” Oliver pointed a quill pen in the direction behind Nemo.
“Oh, that one.” Nemo raised his head slightly and wrinkled his nose. “That should be in the confession record. Maybe someone misplaced it.”
“…” Oliver was stunned for a few seconds. “It looks black to you?”
“Isn’t it?” Nemo responded blankly.
Oliver pulled aside his chair and decided to escape from the report for a few minutes. He returned to the wall stuffed with white books, ignored the ladder next to him, and kicked up step by step, accurately removing the strange book at the top. Striding to Nemo’s side, Oliver braced one hand on the round table while the other naturally opened the book. His gaze swept towards the name on the spine.
Then his body suddenly stiffened.
Seeing Oliver’s strange reaction, Nemo ignored the report he had just written and stuck his head over. To his eyes, there was nothing special about this black book, with the same names and brief descriptions embroidered in gold thread on the spine—until he read the words.
[Emanuel Lopez, the 368th Chief Justice of the Knights of Judgment.]
“…If I remember correctly, this is Godwin Lopez’s father? Your…”
“Yes.” Oliver narrowed his eyes and tried desperately to empty his mind. The flashing book in his hand finally stayed white. After taking a deep breath, Oliver carefully opened the book cover.
The figure of a Knight of Judgement appeared in the air. It had dark golden hair and emerald eyes that were very similar to Oliver. Emanuel’s phantom had no smile on his face, and his entire temperament was cold and melancholy.
In fact, his eyebrows were indeed very similar to the Flint they knew well, but they were so very different in temperament that it almost overshadowed the similarities. The funny thing was that Oliver’s temperament at this moment was closer to the phantom in front of him than Flint.
Flint Lopez—the “Piper Ramon” they knew—was a little too enthusiastic, more talkative than Oliver, and gave people a more burning and sharp feeling. Oliver’s temperament was much softer, and the person in front of him was at the other extreme. Emanuel looked like a blood-stained dagger.
The two stared at Emanuel Lopez’s phantom in silence. Oliver’s breathing was a little short. The dead with the same blood were standing in front of him, and this was the first time he truly realized the existence of this relative.
His father’s younger brother.
Emanuel’s image opened his mouth and spat out a dry sermon. The phantom’s face still lacked the feelings that humans should have, and his voice was lower than Flint’s. Oliver pursed his lips and snapped the book shut, dispelling the phantom.
He thought for a moment and handed the book to his lover. “Nemo, what do you see is black, right? You should try it.”
Nemo didn’t ask much. He simply took the book and opened it neatly. He moved so fast that he almost overturned the ink bottle with the edge of his sleeve.
The figure appeared again. Emanuel Lopez looked no different from just now. Oliver scratched his head and was about to study the book again when Emanuel’s phantom spoke.
The words exported this time were not preaching.
“You’re very strong,” the phantom said gloomily. Like the previous phantom, his gaze penetrated directly into the two people in front of him, and he cast his gaze into the void. “You saw through its disguise, didn’t you?”
Oliver and Nemo glanced at each other quickly.
“Compared to those useless empty words, I would rather use my own memory to warn you—No matter who you are, young man in this confinement room, I pray here, please don’t follow the same path as me. If you’re concerned about your power, if you’re unhappy in this arena of a world…”
“Please remember that some things are irreparable, and once you start, you can’t look back. Allow me to tell you this.”
The phantom stretched out his right hand and stayed in the air. It was a cold gesture of invitation.
Oliver stared at the hand tightly and wiped his face. He recalled for a moment what Elmer told him, those things about the Lopez brothers. To be honest, he wasn’t obsessed with the past, but at this moment, the past had found him.
Nemo let out a soft sigh, stretched out his hand to grab Oliver’s wrist, and took advantage of the situation to kiss his fingers.
“Let’s go together,” Nemo whispered. “We have an appointment to find out more about your father. Maybe there will be clues here.”
Oliver nodded in silence, brushed his fingers across the other’s warm and soft lips, and then touched the smoke-composed, armor-covered right hand with Nemo.
They were right to bet that these memories were indeed related to Oliver’s father. It was better to say that most of those memories were about Flint Lopez. The pain Emanuel injected into the book was very real, and Nemo’s eyes were almost blackened by the sharpness of the pain. It wasn’t a one-time occurrence, but a long-term, suffocating depression.
Flint Lopez had been a very lucky person since he was a child, as if he was loved by God. Even if he tripped over a stone, he could find a little crushed ore in the crevices of that stone. With this terrifying good fortune, after losing their parents in the war, he and his younger brother successfully escaped from the war-torn village and survived in a small town near Clementine.
He took on all the burdens and brought up Emanuel when he was still a young boy. He was warm; loved by all and was a wonderful older brother.
The young Emanuel admired such a brother purely. In principle, Alban prohibited the employment of child labor, and his personality was too introverted to get a short-term job that could subsidize the family with a talkative mouth like his brother.
So he had to redouble his efforts, absorbing all the knowledge around him like a sponge. Emanuel sharpened a wooden sword himself and practiced day and night. The blood blister broke and scabbed, and sweat seeped into it, causing pain like sandpaper friction, but he insisted—as long as he could gain the local bishop’s attention and get funding, his brother would not continue to work so hard.
His efforts have paid off, but he wasn’t the only one who has received funding.
“Hey, Eman, we can go to school together!” Flint, who was still a teenager, screamed, hugged his younger brother and swung him in a circle. “I didn’t expect to meet such a generous noble lord. Let me tell you…”
His older brother was a genius.
Despite being torn by a poor life, his brother still laughed fearlessly. Without expending much effort, Flint easily caught up with Emanuel’s progress of several years of hard training in just a few days.
A genius loved by fate.
He loved his brother deeply, and this love had not become weak as a result, but something else sneaked in, sour and desperate—this was jealousy. Emanuel, who was also a teenager, thought to himself, undoubtedly jealousy and this thought suffocated him.
His brother could have been a hero. If he had left him as a burden in the first place, it was estimated that he would have been discovered by a discerning noble or bishop earlier, while he had benefitted from such sacrifice was shamelessly jealous of the other…
What followed was a deeper sense of guilt, which he kept in his heart. He continued to practice hard day and night, afraid to stop, for fear that his strength would be left behind by his brother. His desperate efforts did pay off—Emanuel’s fighting power was closely chasing Flint, but there was always a subtle gap that could not be crossed.
But he didn’t have time to feel desperate.
After the unexpected death of the bishop who funded them, Emanuel even felt a dark relief. Perhaps he could get out of this desperate chase and become the one who supports his brother in turn. His sun-like brother was finally able to gain true freedom.
“Keep studying. I’ll be a mercenary. Anyways, this was going to happen sooner or later,” was what Flint said. “Eman, I’m not fit to be… Uh, a guard. I’m confident! Even if the noble lord pays only part of the commission, it should be enough for you to keep studying!”
Flint was a person who liked to take action and then talk about it later. He had even completed the final withdrawal formalities.
“You can certainly become a great man, Eman.” His brother patted him on the shoulder. “Your sense of responsibility is much stronger than mine. I…”
Emanuel didn’t listen to the next words. The long chase was finally over, and he was in a daze. His older brother stopped, and he would continue to move forward. The jealousy that had been restraining him dissipated a little bit, but the guilt accumulated more. He couldn’t say anything, so he could only give Flint a tight hug.
“You have to be careful.” He squeezed a sentence from his throat with difficulty.
But Flint’s strong luck did not end as a result.
The Tin Soldier Mercenary Group was developing at a speed that could be called abnormal, and its members included all the strong races. Instead of stopping, his brother was like a phoenix rushing out of a cage, leaving behind burning flames that almost dyed the entire sky red.
Flint Lopez became a legend. Emanuel successfully graduated and became the youngest Chief Justice of the Knights of Judgement in history.
It seems to be a perfect development from the outside world.
But that subtle sense of jealousy and despair couldn’t be eliminated. From time to time, his brother would send happy letters with rare stones or flowers while he slaughtered a foreign tribe or when he had thrust his sword into the chest of a child.
He shouldn’t feel jealous. It was wrong. Emanuel couldn’t stop repeating it to himself.
At least he hoped for his brother’s happiness from the bottom of his heart, and he should not be filthy under that light. He must become a dignified person and take on his own responsibilities. If he couldn’t eliminate such ugly thoughts…
Emanuel Lopez hated those letters from the bottom of his heart, but he couldn’t help but smile when he read them, enjoying the last bright color in his life. Perhaps his world would continue to exist so contradictorily until he found the answer that could free him.
Thus, Emanuel followed the “most perfect” life trajectory, engaged in an emotionless political marriage with the nobles, and had powerful offspring as planned. He pressed all his love, obsession, and dark thoughts into the deepest part of his soul, living like a walking codex.
But when the young Knight of Judgment was about to accept reality, his sun went out—the Tin Soldier Mercenary Group was almost wiped out in the Abyss expedition.
At the same time, the prophecy that symbolized the end was born.
It didn’t matter, Emanuel believed so firmly at first. His brother would definitely come out of this suffering and make a comeback. His older brother’s wife was already pregnant, and the child was probably inseparable from the prophecy.
After all, it was Flint Lopez.
But this time, Emanuel guessed wrong.
Flint Lopez’s wife died suddenly of an acute illness, leaving one corpse but two deaths. His brother retired quietly, stopped sending him letters, disappeared completely, and his fate was unknown. It didn’t take long for the rumors about the head of the Tin Soldier Mercenary Regiment “not having the strength, was only fishing for fame” to spread all over Alban.
This time, the chase between the brothers was finally over, in the way he least wanted to see. Something absolutely happened at the bottom of the abyss, and no matter what, it completely destroyed his brother.
With cold hatred in his arms, Emanuel Lopez fell into a long-term numbness, and a sense of guilt entangled his heart like poison ivy. Even in his wife’s room, when he heard the first cry of his son after he was born, he still couldn’t squeeze out any warmth-related feelings from his heart.
Then he felt the power. Extremely powerful, pure power.
He possessed a miracle; a baby with amazing strength and no physical defects at the same time. He was holding his son in his arms, and the baby was still stained with blood…
“My lord, my lord!” the healer called anxiously. “You have to lend me a little strength. Madame’s situation is very bad. Lord Lopez—”
[Born of death and betrayal.]
The prophetic content that surfaced in his mind made Emanuel stretch out half of his hand and stop in the air. His wife was gasping violently, and her consciousness was close to disappearing. Her lips were a terrible blue and pale, and her body twitched uncontrollably.
He may or may not be able to save her, but if…
Emanuel’s hand trembled a little, and the guilt that had gathered for several years finally erupted at this moment, tearing his soul in half.
His older brother’s child has died, and his older brother loved his wife so deeply that he would never marry again. If this is…
It was as if another self was whispering in his ear, and the darkness almost overwhelmed his vision. Emanuel looked down at the blood-stained baby in his arms, suddenly showing a stiff smile.
Instead of reaching out, he turned his face toward the healer.
“My wife died suddenly after giving birth.” The eyes of the Chief Justice exuded the golden color unique to the charm spell. “Only this child survived.”
The woman on the bed twitched a few times at last, but did not move again. Emanuel pressed a hand on the baby’s forehead and lowered his gaze…
The prophecy had started to come true. In the frenzied thoughts, he gently closed his eyes.
“Listen,” he whispered to the baby. “You must destroy the Abyss, Godwin.”
The author has something to say:
Godwin is indeed a traditional brave man. The reason why… is here. _(:з”∠)_
Ah, poor Godwin. I’m surprised he didn’t turn out TOO fucked up because of such a father. Jealousy is the root of all evil.
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3 thoughts on “Stray Ch159”
Aw damn, if only he found someone who could understand him i’m sure he wouldn’t have ended up like that…
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Emanuel chose the path himself and then he even was jealous of his older brother…. Such a twisted person
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Hah, since Flint Lopez worked with Nemo to bring out his bones, he could be said to have betrayed the surface, right? Then, Oliver was born out of death (of his mother) and betrayal (of his father)…
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