Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 190: Definition of Truth
For a while, no one said a word. Only the sound of water droplets dripping down the stalactites was left in the empty cave.
Ann unbearably extinguished most of the ball of light, letting the exaggerated double doors plunge into darkness in order to maintain the mental health of her teammates. Unfortunately, after knowing what the darkness covered up, the faces of most of the people present didn’t look much better.
“I want to rest for a while,” Nemo said gloomily, moving away from the door extremely firmly. “This thing… I just touched it with the dark shadow several times, I need to collect myself.”
“Mr. Dylan.” Oliver opened his mouth politely. Even under the weak lighting, his face was still alarmingly blue. “Can you please take care of this thing?”
“Why me!” Jesse shouted immediately, taking a step back towards Adrian.
“You look the most composed.”
“No, this is what I look like when I’m scared out of my mind,” Jesse replied immediately.
“I remember when you introduced yourself, you said you were a ‘thief’.” Oliver stared at Jesse’s face, determined not to look at the mass of corpses melting behind him. “Now it’s time for you to do your job.”
“…I have to say that your reasoning surprises me. Regiment leader, you can obviously do it yourself as well!”
“I can’t control my strength. I hope we can push the door in politely rather than completely destroy it. Mr. Cross cannot use magic, and Ann can be regarded as our employer. You are the only one left.”
Jesse instantly turned his gaze to Bagelmaurus, who was standing on Ann’s shoulder. The gray parrot suddenly raised its head valiantly. “In the end, it’s up to me. It’s just a pool of rotten meat. Tsk, tsk. You’re all so fragile—”
The gray parrot fluttered its wings, opened its mouth wide, and spewed a dark flame into the pile of corpses glued to the door.
But the flame didn’t have any effect. Not even a black beetle was burned. A scorching golden light suddenly lit up from the cave—a beam of golden light projected from the crack of the door, knocked the gray parrot into the air, and blasted it onto the rock wall opposite of the gate.
Half of the gray parrot’s feathers were gone as it slid out of the pothole created by the blast of light and fell softly to the ground.
“It’s a resistance spell to abyssal magic.” Nemo glanced at the gory door with reluctance, “The exact principle…Uh, I don’t want to probe, but it looks like a conversion and rebound.”
“It seems that this gentleman not only doesn’t welcome surface visitors, but he’s also unwelcoming to all living things.” Ann approached Bagelmaurus and picked up the dizzy demon in her hand. The poor parrot didn’t seem to have recovered yet. It hummed weakly, and the feathers on its body began to recover on its own.
“Mr. Dylan?” Oliver’s expression twitched a few times, and he asked politely again.
“Oh, there is really nothing I can do about you guys. “I didn’t want to use this trick,” sighed Jesse, raising his right hand…
Oliver and Nemo looked at the hand nervously.
However, there was no complicated magic array or spectacular mantra that lit up. The pale hand just leaned into his collar and took out two high-level charm scrolls in a thin copper tube.
“What with your expression? These two little things cost me ten gold coins! That’s all my private money.”
“I… I thought you…”
“Why should I work hard for things that can be solved with money?” Jesse curled his lips and unscrewed one of them gracefully. After the paper roll was ignited by magic, it quietly floated like a feather over the mass of corpses and stuck to it unmoving.
In the next second, black vines with a scarlet shimmer ejected from the center of the paper roll. They quickly covered the entire mass of corpses, forming a huge net that tightly bound them. The dark vines were lined with white and dark red, causing the atmosphere of the cave to suddenly become eerie.
When the vines were no longer active, Jesse unscrewed the second copper tube.
This was followed by a blazing fire.
The white flames burned rapidly along the vines, and the sparks of the fire sputtered as if they were shards of gold. The dark vine network turned into a burning web of fire, and the corpses quickly became scorched black before they fragmented into crumbs that fell loosely to the ground. The outside of the flame wasn’t scorching and didn’t give off a lot of heat to the user and his companions. The temperature outside of the fire net was warm and pleasant.
But the smell in the air was another matter.
The special smell of burnt meat instantly filled the cave. Except for Jesse and the dazed gray parrot, the faces of everyone in Tumbleweed began to turn green.
“You did it on purpose,” Nemo complained weakly, and simply stopped breathing. The others didn’t feel much better. Ann directly pulled off a piece of cloth linen from her leather armor, drenched it with liquor, and tightly covered her nose with it.
“I remember you’re not afraid of the smell, Your Highness.” Jesse put away the copper tube with a smile. Before his voice fell, the large corpses glued to the door collapsed with the remnants of the vines, turning into black residues on the ground.
“I’m not afraid of the smell.” Ann didn’t bother to care about how she was addressed. The drenched fabric muffled her voice. “…But I still want to eat more barbeque in this life.”
Nemo moved quickly at this moment. After commanding the black shadow to pull the door open, he quickly put another black shadow on top of the small mound of corpse residue so that everyone wouldn’t step on the filth as they entered the passage.
The world inside the door was much better than the outside; it was dry and clean, without the slightest sign of cobwebs, moss, or dust. Someone was cleaning up here from time to time, as Nemo could find traces of living people in the dark tomb.
As long as there wasn’t any exaggerated design of revulsion, the rest of the way was considered good. After entering the relatively wide tomb, they were even able to stop and rest freely for a while. Except for Jesse, no one wanted to touch the food that was originally intended for barbeque.
In this way, the five of them nestled in the corner of the tomb, looking at the stone carvings reflected by the ball of light while gnawing on dried cakes stained with water. Although Ann used dozens of cleansing spells, the unbearable smell seemed to stick to her nasal cavity.
It wasn’t someone who broke the silence this time.
As soon as Nemo took a bite of the dry cake, the black badge on his chest trembled like crazy. He unluckily almost choked on the piece of cake, and after coughing frantically, Nemo took off the black badge on his chest.
It wasn’t just his badge but everyone else’s as well.
“What’s going on?” Nemo suspiciously summoned the light screen but failed to find any notice.
“The problem is with the Black Chapter itself.” Jesse carefully buttered the dry cake. Apart from the knight commander, who only had a ring, he was the only one who didn’t take off his black badge. “Look at the front of it, dear Mr. Light.”
Nemo gulped, easily swallowing the food stuck in his throat. Unlike humans, if he really wanted to observe something carefully, he didn’t need too much light.
The snake head on the black badge disappeared without a trace, replaced by a strange five-eyed creature.
Nemo wiped his face fiercely, Oliver, who was sitting next to him, sighed, and a wail-like grunt escaped from Ann’s throat.
“Sea Scorpion level.” Adrian didn’t seem so surprised. “It seems we’ve been upgraded.”
“Adri, you see, they still fantasize about hiding. How cute.” Jesse scratched his chin. “Your Royal Highness, do you still have liquor? Would you like everyone to make a toast for this glorious upgrade?”
Ann decisively flipped him off.
“Is it because of the task of meeting Delia?” There was some tension in Oliver’s voice. “If the Alban royal family and a high-level member of the guild exchange information, they may be eyeing us. Do we have to make some preparations early—”
“No, no, I signed the most advanced confidentiality agreement,” The female warrior quickly denied. “As long as you pay enough money, no one will know who took on the task except for you and me. Such tasks will not be included in the scope of the investigation, I promise.”
“It should be Godwin Lopez’s report on it,” Adrian said calmly. “According to the Pope’s handling method, it’s normal for us to become sea scorpions. It’s good. If Mr. Ramon’s true behavior had been noticed by the guild, we would have risen all the way to the top at once.”
Mr. Ramon squeezed the cake in his hand melancholically. His eyes were blank, while his lover leaned his head on his shoulder in a daze.
Probably sensing the relief of the group, a dried-up snake leapt out of some corner and bounced straight at Jesse’s face. Adrian flipped his hand casually and caught the daring snake, flinging it unceremoniously to another corner.
“I’m so touched.” Jesse emotionally picked up the buttered cake that had a few bites on it and stuffed it under the knight’s nose. “Please accept my love, Adri.”
The knight commander indifferently pushed Jesse and his buttery “love” aside.
“Admit it, you like me a little.” While the other three were still worried about the sea scorpion rank, Jesse was extremely generous to provoke other topics. “How does that poem go… ‘My charming knight, you will shield me from all storms and hardships.’”
“No,” Adrian replied softly.
“…I’m going to cry,” Jesse sighed sadly while licking the butter on the cake.
“Speaking of hardships… Dylan, I have something to ask you.” Nemo raised his head from Oliver’s shoulders. His tone suddenly hardened a lot.
“What? Do you want to stand in my way? That’s not good. My heart is set on Adri now—”
“No, about what happened back then.” Nemo gritted his teeth. “Medes’ possible testimony is one thing. Mr. Magical Diviner, maybe you can deduce a thing or two?”
He heavily emphasized the words “Magical Diviner”. Ann raised her eyebrows curiously, and Oliver’s body suddenly tightened.
“I don’t know what’s going on in the Abyss.” Jesse put away his laughing expression and stared straight at Nemo with his beautiful blue eyes. “Don’t talk about the bottom of the Abyss, even in the shallows, I don’t know anything about it. Those are not in my… calculation range.”
The two looked at each other in silence for a few seconds.
“As for what happened back then…” Finding that Nemo had no intention of speaking, the blond young man stretched out his waist and continued blandly, “I think it’s better for you to ask Medes.”
“It’s very simple, I can tell you who ate what at what time, what they did, and even who they killed. These are simple enough that even unintentional civilians passing by could access this level of information—if you only want to define ‘facts’ and ‘actions’.”
Nemo pursed his lips tightly.
“Just like the fact that Ulysses wiped out the entire generation of the expedition force.” Jesse’s voice was still smiling, but his icy-blue eyes showed a little coldness in the dark. “But I think what you want is motivation, emotion, and reason. Just like the snake just now, or a little earlier, those crawling beetles. Everyone knows what they did, but do you know what they were thinking at that time?”
“Mm-hmm, me too.”
Jesse showed a big smile.
“But I can tell you—as a bonus piece of information—what Medes knows should be enough to satisfy your curiosity.”