Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 204: Before the Decisive Battle
Prince Eldric hardly dreams.
The prince’s bed would only have soft pillows, just the right amount of incense, and the warm body of a lover. There wouldn’t be any fragments in his dreams. His day ended when he closed his eyes and began when he opened them. During this period, there was only a dark nothingness left.
He used to dream when he hadn’t seen the world clearly, like an ordinary person. Unfortunately, his head really woke up, and he suddenly realized that he already had everything, and he lost the ability to dream.
In all fairness, Prince Eldric really had the “best” childhood humans could have.
There was no such thing as begging in the world of Eldric Alastair. He wasn’t stupid enough to propose that he wanted the moon in the sky. As for other things, as long as he spoke, he could always get it.
As long as he did it seriously, he could always “succeed”.
Everyone had unparalleled patience, gentleness, and kindness. It was like pampering a precious cat who would never step out of the room. He enjoyed education and the most meticulous care, and his world was full of love and order.
However, over time, Eldric began to feel bored. No matter whether he was serious or unreasonable, the smiling faces always remained motionless. He seemed to be talking to a deep well. No matter whether it was a bouquet or a sharp knife, the scenery in front of him had never changed.
Sad and helpless, he wouldn’t mind, just as he wouldn’t mind the indifference of his brothers and sisters…
Because Eldric Alastair was a pure person, happy and undistorted. Everything that was right and wrong was firmly imprinted in his mind. He knew he could never inherit the throne “reasonably” and knew that this luxurious life was his father’s love and compensation, and he knew it all too well.
Eldric had never been confused. He just had to follow his own ideas. The most fertile soil could always give birth to the most luxuriant plants, and his judgement had never been wrong.
It should be like this.
However, today, he did wake up from a nightmare—the crumpled battle report was still scattered on the floor, and it took a full ten minutes for the prince to realize that he had a nightmare.
Maybe he was still in a nightmare.
His arrangements were smart and organized. Gallagher’s army should’ve been annihilated. The “emperor” who cooperated with the Demon King would lose the hearts and support of his people. He would take the lead in beheading the rebel generals. At the same time, he would take care of his brother, who was “starting to have something wrong with his mind” and ascend the throne in a logical manner.
Both father and brother were too obsessed with their own desires. They always couldn’t see the larger territory and indulged in an unnecessary sense of victory. He was different. He was perfect. He didn’t need extra material to prove anything. He would bring true prosperity to Alban.
But instead of destroying the army of the Mad Dog of the Wasteland, it was getting closer to the king. Before he could use the bone jade bomb to blow it up, Marshal Gallagher had already announced a fake heir, making it impossible for him to act honestly and openly*.
*Clarity: In the sense that he can do shady things (like use the bombs) without any scrutiny.
Things shouldn’t be like this, and there should be no mistakes or omissions in his calculations.
Eldric glanced at the unlit sky outside the window, took a deep breath, and called for the servant to help him change his clothes. It was still early and he was already in a bad mood. Often at this time, he had a fixed good place to go…
His niece, the well-behaved Delia, had always been up early. Today was no exception. When he walked into the reception room, Delia was already neatly dressed and was sitting quietly in an armchair.
The young princess’ eyes were tightly covered with a mask, and her beautiful pearl hair accessories decorated her long soft hair, making her gorgeous like a doll. The dead emperor was placed on a couch not far away. Although his body was stiff, magic ensured that his body wouldn’t rot, let alone emit a strange smell.
Ignoring his brother’s body, the prince glanced at the hair accessories on the little princess’ head. It looked a bit familiar; it may have belonged to her mother, Annabelle.
“Delia,” he called softly.
“Uncle.” His dull niece responded in a submissive voice. “You sound like you’re in a bad mood.”
The comfort of his loved ones always made him feel a little better.
“Because there are too many people in this world who can’t see reality clearly.” The prince sighed, found an armchair for himself, and knocked on the armrest of the armchair. “Those useless bastards have all failed. An army of tens of thousands of troops was defeated by four people? It’s better to make up stories like this—I should’ve known that my dear brother has been sick for too long that the people below would have such thoughts.”
“Yes,” Delia continued to echo with her calm and gentle voice.
“Obviously he was extremely weak, and there were no descendants who could succeed the throne, but the eldest insisted on dying in that chair. This will only hurt Alban. People say I want the throne, but you know, Delia, I don’t want it all.”
The prince continued, emotionally, “This is just what I was destined for. Waiting for my eldest brother’s recovery would be a long process. The longer it drags on, the more variables there will be from the nobles below, and Alban couldn’t afford a long decay like this.”
Delia sat quietly, pursed her lips, and smiled.
“It would be great if everyone was as sensible as our Delia.”
The prince sighed heavily. “They are too stupid to change their minds. Did you know, Delia? After Willard’s king succeeded the throne, he will execute all his siblings of his own generation? In Alban, doing so would be condemned. In fact, it saves a lot of trouble. Willard is getting stronger, but what about me? I even gave them the opportunity to obey.”
In the vision given to the little princess by Cat Whiskers, the prince glanced at the emperor’s corpse melancholically.
“Stupid and stubborn,” he added.
“Including my mother?” Delia asked softly.
“No, Annabelle was very obedient, but like I said, her death was necessary. She was very unhappy, and it was better for her to die than to live and be used by others—” Prince Eldric spoke naturally. “You think it’s better to die than to live like that, right? She also accepted this and didn’t resist.”
“Yes,” Delia answered briefly.
“I sacrificed my relatives to try to ensure the stability of this country. But why are things so bad? It seems that God is against me.”
There was a little more sadness in the prince’s tone.
“Has there been any change in Alban under the governance of the eldest brother? Only positive change and war can bring new breakthroughs to Alban. Why don’t they just understand? Did I do something wrong?”
“You’re not wrong.” Delia’s voice was cold and crisp, like thin ice floating in a winter’s cup. “You just lost.”
“You’re right, my dear little girl.” The prince’s voice relaxed a little. “It’s just a setback. Since I’m on the right path, I’ll always succeed.”
“Yes, uncle. You can talk about it as you like. I’m willing to share the burden with you.”
The little princess twisted her lips again, and a weird smile hung on the corners of her lips. Cat Whiskers was slowly crawling between the beautiful and complicated hair accessories, conveying their message word by word.
“There’s no right or wrong,” she repeated. As she guessed, the prince was too immersed in himself that he ignored the nuances of her words. “…It’s just that you lost.”
Even if her mother was still alive, she would never ask her such a simple question again. To this day, her uncle was still struggling with these unnecessary issues. Her grandfather, the emperor of Alban, hadn’t made a mistake in his judgement. Eldric Alastair was indeed not qualified to become king.
Not one bit.
On the other side of the battlefield, it was much livelier.
Bagelmaurus let out a sigh and spit out the feather in its mouth onto the ground. At that moment, its feathers were thick and beautiful, shining with a healthy luster. The man in front of it passed out, foaming at the mouth, and his head was nearly as bald as the gray parrot’s.
“How many is this?” Ann frowned at the hair stained with the demon’s saliva. “My dear brother is really anxious.”
As she spoke, she easily picked up the unconscious assassin and dragged him out of the camp.
Marshal Gallagher closed his eyes and covered his face with both hands.
Since the battle reports from the front line came back, he had begun to enter a strange state of emptiness. If it weren’t for the emblem on Ann Savage’s left arm, he would even be willing to believe that it was just a huge prank or an extremely bad joke. This should have been a bloody and cruel war, which would have determined the fate and future of this country…
But seeing that they were about to reach the capital, the long-standing marshal had now lost his sense of reality.
His reinforcements had been completely useless since the two armies left with the two teams of Tumbleweed members. According to war reports on both sides, the former knight commander’s partner, Jesse Dylan, would use the “curse of bad luck”, and the superior demon and his lover were so strong that they had no boundaries, officially turning the battlefield route into a teaching and training trip.
There was too much disparity in strength. Nemo Light’s strength alone may still arouse a desperate struggle on the opposite side, but after another army was kicked away by a stampede of a large group of migrating wild goats in front of Jesse Dylan, even their enemies no longer wanted to take it seriously.
The emperor’s order couldn’t be violated, but it was obvious whether the enemy’s morale was still positive or not.
The situation of the “emperor” was getting worse, and many neutral nobles who had received the news fell on Gallagher’s side, who was holding the evidence of a royal decree. For the first time in his life, the marshal found himself with a surplus of troops at his hands.
The marshal took out a perfume bottle irritably, stared at it for a few seconds, then glanced at the gray parrot who was looking at him with a tilted head. After sighing several times, Gallagher put it back in his pocket bitterly.
Ironically, Gallagher himself didn’t even have the opportunity to set foot on the battlefield in person, let alone protect the princess. During these days, he firmly believed that he needed to protect his mental health from the princess.
“There are not many hard battles left.” After throwing the poor assassin into the cage, Ann returned to the tent carelessly.
“Yes, it’s almost over.” The marshal sniffed his sleeve unhappily. “Now that the matter is almost over, anyone who has a brain should know what’s going on. If I’m not mistaken, those who support the prince will gather in the capital, and those who support us—”
“You don’t have to guess.” Ann shook her fingers. “Delia already gave me the news.”
“Oh.” The marshal responded numbly. “It’s time for you to recall your companions. If they can show their strength in the royal capital, you can win the throne.”
“No.” Ann shrugged.
Marshal Gallagher narrowed his eyes.
“I don’t want it to end with fear. Fear is a temporary means and wouldn’t last long.”
“In war, deterrence is always the most effective.” The marshal’s voice rose higher. “Do you think that giving a moving speech can offset Eldric’s death throes?”
“Who is going to give a speech? Well, let me put it another way. I don’t want to end it with fear of something inhuman.”
“Even I have to admit that after they started, there were almost no casualties in this war. If you don’t rely on their power, my soldiers have died for nothing for your caprice.”
“You haven’t been on the battlefield so far,” Ann said.
“Neither have I.”
“Then what makes you think that it can’t be me who deters them?”
The author has something to say:
Tumbleweed is about to gather again…
In fact, the little princess may be the blackest one in the entire royal family…
Ann retained some conscience for her (.
Preorders for Vol. 3 and 4 of Stray are out with the official artwork of Adrian and Jesse. Order them here (Vol. 1 and 2 are also available for order there). Here are instructions on how to order in English. Please buy to support the author, or you can just buy the raws at jjwxc.
Translations of the profiles are here. Credits to GRain.
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7 thoughts on “Stray Ch204”
The picture of Nemo and Oliver is beautiful!
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the art is beautiful ♥
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Ahh the art is really good but going by the descriptions Adrian is more tan in my imagination. I guess he took a break from going outside
I’m so sorry Adrian, even though I knew you were only 30 years old I thought you looked like a brawny oji-san 😭
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Wow Adri’s name is really long in chinese, no wonder author wanted to give him a nickname
FUDGE Now that we finally have visual on Adri, I can imagine how sexy he would be when ehem *cough hackk cough* I was imagining he’s level Dwayne Johnson with hair and less muscly :’)
I want to see Annnnnnnn
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