Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 276: Ten Years Later — Part 4
“Baked meatloaf? Leave me one.” Jesse’s voice arrived faster than everyone else’s.
Taking off his iconic long blue coat, the blond young man changed into a free monk’s uniform, but the neckline that should have been tied up was greatly opened, revealing the clavicle and a few muscle lines. The long blond hair was scattered in a black monk’s uniform, and there were delicate sapphire earrings on his earlobes. Coupled with the beautiful and exaggerated face, Mr. Dylan didn’t have the slightest taste of a simple monk.
Adrian Cross was next to him carrying a large bag of snacks, and he also replaced his uniform that had the holy emblem torn off. The style of his monk’s uniform was exactly the same as Jesse’s.
“My, Dylan, your uniform… Is this sarcasm?” Ann picked up a piece of baked meatloaf and stuffed it in her mouth. It was so hot that she puffed out smoke and her voice was muffled.
“It’s better to get into the city this way. After all, we’re people living in the shadows. “Jesse performed a ritual hypocritically, wiping away his non-existent tears.
“No, because we just came from Hatfield.” Adrian carefully put the snack bag on the table and spit out the truth mercilessly. “For the first six months, we have been active near the Holy Land. This kind of uniform is more convenient to take action.”
The former Knight of Judgement had long eyebrows and old eyes, and his short dark brown hair had grown a little bit. Unlike the stiffness and coldness of more than ten years ago, his brows were softened a little by a smile.
Adrian didn’t continue to use the metal longbow, but instead was equipped with a simple standard silver sword along with his standard monk uniform. Noticing Nemo’s gaze, he nodded politely.
“Hatfield. Is Old Man Quinn in good health?” Ann chewed the meatloaf in her mouth.
“So good that he can outlive the next Pope candidate.” Jesse walked to the table and snatched a piece of meatloaf from the table.
Regardless of the identity of the other party, the female warrior swallowed the meatloaf in her mouth, smoothed her sleeves, and shot up.
When Ann picked up the hunting spear and jokingly poked Jesse’s heel, Gallagher, who had already learned a lot of the truth, buried his face in his hands, looking uninterested.
Until the sound of a plate knocking on the wooden table sounded in front of him.
The red wine beef stew and side dishes he ordered were steadily put down, but the movements weren’t gentle and polite. Those hands clearly didn’t belong to a man. Gallagher looked up along the other party’s wrist and saw the face of a girl—a girl with braided hair with an impatient expression, wiping the water stains on her hands.
“That’s it for today, I have other things to do. Mr. Light, today’s reward.” Telaranea stretched out her hand to Nemo.
As soon as the new Chief Justice of the Knight of Judgment entered the door, the Sage of the Abyss sat down in the corner by the door, as quiet as if she didn’t exist. The former Chief Justice didn’t seem to have such a deterrent, as Telaranea’s gaze swept lightly over Adrian and merely wrinkled her nose.
Then the demon began to observe Jesse Dylan eagerly, wanting to pull a blond hair off him to study while the other party wasn’t paying attention.
“Thank you for your hard work. These last two days have been a bit too busy, and it’s not good for us to ask outsiders for help.” Nemo walked back to the wooden platform, took down a wooden box on the upper floor of the wine cabinet on tiptoe, and counted out a few record crystals. “This is about the analysis of the magic circuit structure of the klebato salamander.”
Telaranea carefully put the crystal in her pocket and looked quite satisfied. “I can help you take care of the shop for another week, as long as you are willing to help me analyze the results of my research.”
Nemo patted the dust off his hand and stuffed the wooden box back on the upper shelf. Ann glanced at Telaranea’s waitress uniform with interest and then swept her gaze towards the wine cabinet. A little fire flashed across her vision.
“Huh?” The female warrior approached curiously and probed to see. “…What is this thing?”
The wooden table was hollowed out, and a wicker basket filled with balls of thread was placed on the dark table near the wine cabinet. In the middle of the threads rolling around, squeezed a red dragon doll that had not yet been completely sewn. It wasn’t very playful and kept moving, whipping its long, half-sewn tail around and spraying sparks at the crammed thread.
“Olivia will have her birthday next week. This is a gift.” Nemo brought the wicker basket closer.
“…Very considerate, Nemo, but usually people don’t make toys for children so, uh, lifelike.” Ann poked at the almost real dragon doll in the basket, choosing the wording carefully.
The reduced version of the red dragon, which was completely inseparable from its cuteness, opened its mouth and spewed out a string of warm sparks that weren’t threatening. Then it coughed because it sprayed too hard and spit out a round of smoke rings.
“There shouldn’t be much of a problem? Debby especially liked it. I made a blue dragon at first, and she took it away directly. This is the second one.”
Nemo grabbed a thread on the dragon’s tail and carefully tied a knot to prevent the little thing that was on a rampage in the wicker basket from tearing itself apart.
“Don’t worry, they are safe.”
Pinching the red dragon doll’s mouth with his fingers, Nemo solemnly assured.
“This is the inspiration I got from Mr. Medes. Do you remember his pile of living skeletons? Like those skeletons, this thing is not alive, it is just acting in accordance with the spell I set in advance and will not do dangerous things.”
“Oh, about this.” Oliver leaned over and put his arms around Nemo’s waist naturally. “Debby put the blue dragon in the bedroom.”
“What’s the matter, Ollie?” Nemo turned his head sideways.
“It always secretly burns Godwin’s socks when there’s no one around during the day, and it especially burns only one pair. When we had dinner together last week, Godwin also asked me about it. Nemo, you wouldn’t…”
“Maybe there is a problem with the charm.” Nemo coughed dryly and looked at the ceiling. “Occasionally… Well, occasionally this kind of thing happens. “
“Oh—occasionally.” Ann stretched out her words.
“I see, Your Majesty. Tonight I will buy a dozen pairs of good wool socks to make amends and make up for the trauma of my big brother.” Oliver smiled and shook his head. “Speaking of this… Bagelmaurus, it’s time to walk the goat!”
The gray parrot fluttered its round body out of the back kitchen window, still holding a bunch of grapes in its mouth.
“Got it, got it! It’s so noisy. Aren’t you afraid that others will hear it?” The gray parrot swallowed the grape and muttered in a dissatisfied voice.
It staggered on the floor, deliberately stepping on Oliver’s feet without deterrence.
“As a result, I still didn’t have a chance to eat goat.” Ann glanced at the gray parrot and sighed with emotion. “At first I thought that that goat wouldn’t survive for half a year, but it even survived the expedition.”
“A few days ago, I saw it trying to ram Ollie’s horse and it went straight through the horse’s chest.” Nemo patted Oliver’s hand around his waist. “Actually, that fuller goat is quite clever, but it’s really—”
“Don’t worry, I thought you two might not survive three months at first.” Ann quietly sighed.
“What are your plans for the next few days? Why don’t we go to Doru for a day for fun. Delia brought a lot of spare teleportation charms. There’s been a trade rally in Doru recently, and Dylan and the others certainly won’t have a problem with it.”
“Speaking of this, we’ll likely… be there tomorrow night.”
As soon as Oliver was about to pick up the cavity, the black crystal by the wooden platform began to flicker. Nemo quickly kissed his lover on the cheek, got out of the hug, and activated the communication crystal.
“Brother, have you started dinner over there?”
“Well, Jesse and Ann are here.”
“The old lady who was poisoned isn’t in serious condition, but she had to drink herbal medicine for a few days to clean up the remaining demon toxin. I don’t have any poisonous bellwort here at home. Do you have any in stock? And the demon worshipper who escaped…”
“He was taken away by Roderick, don’t worry.” Nemo’s voice was smiling. “His luck is really not very good.”
“Roderick… ‘Eclipse’ Roderick?! How could the Knight of Judgment come to your shop. Could it be—”
“Dawn Tavern is fine, Debby. And there is no need for poisonous bellwort. I can go and have a look tonight and treat it easily.”
“Speaking of this, I finally persuaded Godwin. That guy is stubborn to death.”
Debby’s tone became beaming, and she raised her voice.
“We don’t have to go to the tavern to celebrate Olivia’s birthday. It just so happens that everyone is here. Come to Ramon’s Tavern! We decided to have a birthday party in the backyard to make it lively. If it’s convenient, would you like to come and help arrange it tonight? …As a reward, I can provide you with free accommodation.”
At the end, there was a smile in Debby’s voice.
“Adri and I will take a double bed in your inn, the best one.” Jesse licked the crushed sesame seeds from his fingertips and immediately made a request. “It has to have a big bathtub.”
“I can give you the second best. I have to leave the best to my eldest brother,” Debby responded very resolutely.
“…Well, I can barely accept it.”
“And before everyone is ready, I will ask Ollie to freeze the bathtub first.” After a pause, she added another sentence.
“Come here as soon as you finish eating. I happen to be baking the banquet cookies for tomorrow. I think I baked quite a few extras.”
In the next few hours, Nemo saw Oliver close the store extremely skillfully for the first time.
For ten years, even if they travelled abroad, they would come on time to spend various festivals with their loved ones. He was very familiar with the spatial coordinates of the Roadside Town, and Nemo could quickly rush back from any corner of the world.
However, most of them celebrated in taverns outside, and even once held a bonfire party by the Border Forest. Godwin was still a little strangely wary of Nemo, but after the children were born, the situation eased a little. Although Godwin wouldn’t deliberately take his child away from Nemo’s arms, he stubbornly refused to allow Nemo to step into his and Debby’s home.
“Well, I have to admit, there is something awkward about him in this matter.”
At one of her eldest son’s birthday parties, Debby shook her head at Nemo.
“Don’t worry, brother. You see, after all, we rejected the ‘whole truth’. As far as we know now, the fact that ‘you are the Demon King’ is undoubtedly true… And considering the special circumstances of you two, Godwin must be afraid that the children will grow up and find something wrong and leak it to people who shouldn’t know.”
“I understand. He has helped us a lot before, and I won’t take it to heart.” Nemo rubbed Debby’s hair with a smile. “But one size fits all. If ‘he married you’, then he would be able to digest the matter in a few years.”
“…Brother!” Debby couldn’t laugh or cry.
It seemed that Mr. Lopez had finally given in this year.
Under Debby’s plan, Jesse failed to get a lazy opportunity to take a five-hour hot bath this time.
This time, Jesse was even the one who contributed the most—except that the various objects flew too fast, which was a bit dazzling, and the backyard was quickly organized in an orderly manner. The magic string of lights was hung up, and the ribbons and flowers used for decoration were placed just right. In order to get rid of the sultry summer heat, animal ice sculptures that would not melt were placed in the corner of the backyard, flashing like crystals under the light.
“Those two guys are aesthetically challenged,” Mr. Dylan declared so.
The next night, the tables and chairs were also neatly placed. The bonfire had been lit, and many children in the town had arrived before their parents and were running around screaming in the backyard.
The parents were clearly at ease with Godwin Lopez, the former Hero.
However, Mr. Lopez fully interpreted the meaning of the word “frazzled”. Right now, he was panting and dragging two little boys who were trying to steal a cake from the kitchen, each one with pockets stuffed with cookies. Not to mentioned that just a few steps away, the three young Lopez were running around the backyard screaming and trying to pull the string of lights that Jesse had cast a glow spell on.
The Hero tried his best to ignore Nemo, who was sitting under the giant fir and seemed to be desperately suppressing his desire to help.
Looking from under the tree to the hotel kitchen, he could see Debby preparing cakes in the kitchen. The other two shadows should belong to Adrian and Jesse. After arranging the tables, chairs, and dishes, they went back to the kitchen with Debby to help.
When it came to preparing food, not to mention Debby, who was the chief mage of Horizon, a Zenni was surely enough. Compared to fighting, Mr. Cross’s true purpose was probably to keep an eye on Jesse so that he wouldn’t steal food in advance.
But soon after they entered, Bagelmaurus and Ann also sneaked in. At that moment, Marshal Gallagher happened to go outside the hotel to replenish cleaning tools, and he didn’t have time to keep an eye on his lover. Counting Jesse, the former knight commander may have to bear three times the pressure.
Nemo thought seriously while sealing the fluttering red dragon doll into the gift box.
Not far from him, Oliver carefully put the gift he had prepared into the gift chest made of colored paper, and finally checked the sharp corners of the edges of the tables and chairs to make sure they were all wrapped.
After finishing the final preparations, he took the gift box wrapped by Nemo and put it together with the gift he had prepared. Then he made a grimace and drove away the little kids who rushed over trying to steal the gifts.
Nemo stared at the figure of his lover.
Considering that there were too many children coming to the banquet, Oliver left the Rest in Peace in the inn, only bringing the white ukulele. As if perceiving Nemo’s sight, his knight turned his face and squeezed his eyes at him.
When Oliver noticed the three little Lopez gnawing cookies and candy with the other children, he returned to Nemo and pointed to the top of the tree.
“Are you going to have a look, Your Majesty?”
Oliver curled his eyes with a smile. “There will be too many people in a while, so we can’t go up quickly.”
Nemo raised his hand casually, and a string of soft green-blue spots of light floated in the middle of the backyard, flying like fireflies. The children all gathered around and used their hands to tease the beautiful light. No one cared about the two boring adults who suddenly disappeared up the giant fir.
After stepping onto the top of the tree, Oliver took a long breath.
There was no Ulysses’ skull on the top of the giant tree, no dry flowers and bouncing tits. Lacking his former “Mr. White”, in the hazy night, this old tree was no longer different from the rest of the other giant firs.
No matter. Oliver raised his gaze slightly—
Nemo stood where the skull was originally located, staring at the scene under the tree.
Under the giant fir, the townspeople finally began to enter. Someone played music, laughter and singing sounded noisily, steaming upward like hot air. The music of the lyre, clarinet, and accordion was mixed unruly, but it wasn’t harsh at all, but subtle and beautiful. Looking down from above, the flickering firelight leaped around people, and the ice sculptures in the corners shone brightly.
“Good evening, Your Majesty.”
In the distant singing and laughter under the tree, Oliver spoke softly. He leaned on the nearest branch and held the ukulele in front of him.
“I have played all the songs you taught me for you. Now I’m attempting to write a new one on my own… Do you want me to play a song for you?”
“Please.” Instead of assuming a listening posture, Nemo stepped forward. “But before that—”
“Dad, dad!” Half a minute later, Eddie Lopez screamed at Godwin. “Uncle Ollie and Uncle Nemo are sneaking kisses in the tree!”
“Those two assholes. How could they do that in front of so many children—Wait, you said in the tree? Which tree?”
Godwin looked around, grabbed an indoor shoe, waved it skillfully in the air twice, and raised his voice.
“Don’t climb the tree in the backyard. I’ve said it 10,000 times, Eddie Lopez! …Brat, don’t run, stop for me!”
At the same time, the beautiful sound of a ukulele came from the top of the tree, and it was quickly swallowed up by the lively music at the birthday party.
The stars flickered in the night sky, and everything was as usual.
The author has something to say:
Here, the main story of this novel is officially over. There will be five more extras after this~
Thank you everyone for reading this! After going around for so many years, two simple townspeople (?) finally managed to escape from Roadside Town to the neighboring city of Noer, set up a small business, and settle down XD
What was cold at the beginning of this novel was really a polar kind of cold. Without everyone’s support, I might not be able to persevere. I sincerely thank every little angel who enthusiastically supports me!!! (; ω;)
The new novel is still a strong pairing similar to this one, with the flavor of a drama. ·*·:≡( ε:)
Genius scientist, Ruan Xian was in a coma for several years. Once he opened his eyes, his waist no longer felt pain, his legs had healed, and he could jump around. Unfortunately, the artificial intelligence outside ran out of control and ushered in the end of mankind.
Fortunately, his luck was still strong, and he successfully captured a partner with great survival skills.
Tang Yibu: Our models are old and especially easy to scrap.
Tang Yibu: Remember, the first principle of safety, never get too close to humans.
Ruan Xian: ……What?
This is a story about a dumb AI x a blindly optimistic scientist.
I’m so sad that this is the end of the main story. I hope everyone enjoyed Stray. It’s one of the best novels I’ve read in quite some time. I love all the characters and the side characters. The story was gripping, sad, funny, exciting, and gave me a wealth of emotions. I truly can say that it’s one of the best novels I’ve had the pleasure to read and translate. Please do recommend this story so it gets more visibility as I really think it’s a great novel that deserves to be read.
If you did enjoy it, please consider supporting the author by buying the raws. This is a seriously underrated book on jjwxc and could use your support for more visibility. I used Google Chrome with their auto translate and this guide on how to buy novels on jjwxc. Remember, only with your (financial) support can artists continue to produce more great works.
The author’s notes also include the summary of her next work, Happy Doomsday, which I’m currently translating as well. After Stray, I became a huge fan, and so I decided to pick it up. You can read it now and follow along with the releases to get your Nian Zhong fix if you really like this author.
I like to thank everyone for your comments, encouragement, help with my translations, and ko-fi donations. It in part fuels my motivation to release so frequently and try to finish this novel as soon as possible, which was certainly quite a feat as this novel has 281 chapters and over 1.2+ million Chinese characters.
Finally, in consideration for my next project, I’m looking for someone who can read Chinese and is well versed in the xianxia setting (understand terminology, technique, ect.) to help me with my translation. I’ll be mainly needing your help on things that I get stuck on and need a second translation opinion on, mainly because of the xianxia setting, and also guidance on xianxia things in general that I might not understand. If you’re willing, please contact me. I promise I’ll try my best not to bother you too much with my inquiries.
The last two volumes of Stray has also been released. Their covers are beautiful. Please order if you can to support the author.
There are still a few extras left before Stray is over. Below is the final arc summary.
With Oliver back on the surface and Nemo trapped at the bottom of the Abyss, Oliver hatched a plan to deal with the current crisis that could literally end the world. First though, he must confess everything to his teammates. After the shocking revelation in which all members of Tumbleweed were now filled in on everything, the plan commenced.
First, before anything could happen, they must confirm the identity of who was actually at the bottom of the Abyss, whether it was still Nemo or the Pillar of the World. Using Ulysses’ skull as the tether and Telaranea’s help, they perform a ritual to summon Nemo’s/The Pillar of the World’s consciousness into Ulysses’ skull and Oliver and Nemo have a final showdown. Oliver managed to confirm that Nemo was truly Nemo and proposed to him.
With Nemo’s identity confirmed, they sent out their plan to rescue him and take him out of the Abyss. 2 years have passed since then, where Tumbleweed built up their notoriety so they could enact Nemo’s rescue plan. Using the next expedition as an excuse and with the help of Godwin, who was leading the current expedition, Tumbleweed headed down towards the Abyss to rescue Nemo.
Oliver had devised a plan that would break the “law” and allow Nemo to pass through to the surface again, despite him regaining his full memories and was currently bound. Similar to what they did during the witch arc, Oliver would induce a near-death state in Nemo so that the “law” recognizes that Nemo is dead and allows him to pass through and leave the bottom of the Abyss.
The expedition fought against the “Demon King” who was then dealt the last blow by Oliver causing the bottom of the Abyss to collapse. Everyone escaped except for Tumbleweed, which marked the conclusion of Oliver’s plan. To the outside world, Tumbleweed was buried underneath the Abyss and was no longer alive.
Oliver plan was a success as Nemo was pulled to the surface and finally physically reunited with Oliver. Oliver was finally able to put the ring on Nemo’s finger and they consummate their relationship in broad daylight in the woods. While Ann had mixed feelings about Nemo’s history, given what happened to her older brother, she exiled Oliver and Nemo from Alban but granted them citizenship in Noer (the city where they first escaped to). They then settled down and got married, living happily ever after.
Ten years then passed as we caught up with everyone:
Ollie and Nemo had taken over the Dawn Tavern and turned it into their home. They live an immortal life of comfort and relaxation.
Adrian and Jesse continue their journey doing IDK what, but they are still together.
Ann has now gotten together with Marshal Gallagher.
Bagelmaurus is living its life to the fullest as it gets to eat all the food it wants as well as do goat watching duty.
Godwin married Debby and had three children.
Delia got together with Wilhelm.
#1 Tumbleweed fanboy Leonard was set to become the next Marshal of Alban and continued his campaign by white-washing Tumbleweed.
Medes’ adopted student grew up to become the next Chief Justice of the Knight of Judgement and is now pursuing Medes.
And finally, Tumbleweed continued to take on unwanted tasks to help out the world as a “ghost”.
All in all, it’s a happily ever after. That’s the summary. See everyone in the extras!
<<< || Table of Contents || >>>
12 thoughts on “Stray Ch276”
This has truly been a fantastic experience. Thank you so much for bringing it to us in English.
It’s such a good novel. I’ve been spreading it around on NU forums, but haven’t gotten much interest.
Ugh, it’s too good to let it languish in obscurity!!!
I look forward to the extras >w<.
I've been waiting for Happy Doomsday to accumulate some chapters, so I'll need to start reading that, hehe.
Thanks for your translation of Stray!
Beautiful end. Beautiful story. Thank you for bringing this gem to us non Chinese speakers!
Thank you for translating this novel! ♥
This truly is one of the better novels I’ve read in a while and I’m saddened to see it end, but at the same time I’m very satisfied with the ending. I’m also glad the author mentioned the fact that they will stay young while the others will grow older, it’s a bit bittersweet, but I like that that problem didn’t just get glossed over.
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Thank you for translating the beautiful novel. You did an amazing job! I look forward to reading your next translation, but please remember to take breaks 😊
I am SCREAMING CACKLING AND LAUGHING!!! This story was such a ride and your translations are so amazing, I can’t thank you enough!! I’m extremely excited that it’s completely finished now and this novel will forever hold a place in my heart. Thank you so much for introducing it to us, we wouldn’t have been there without you!!!
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So sad it’s over. Waah. Thank you so much for the translation! It was a delightful read ^^
I’ll save my final thanks for the last chapter, but I love these ending bits, it’s such a great and well written story, so thank you!
Thank you for picking up the novel. All the laughter and tears I shed for this novel is really worth it. I am someone who has gotten bored of expected storyline and same old plot; this novel shows how much the author had calculated the setting, pacing, character designs etc, thus created such a creative plot with interesting world building. There are so many novels I’ve read, but the only title I rmb is MDZS. Now Stray will be up in that unforgettable list.
This novel is beautiful. One of the if not the best novel I’ve read. Thank you author and to the translator for bringing this work to light (｡ﾉω＼｡)
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it’s seriously underrated! idk why it doesn’t get a lot of hype when it has a really good story, likable characters, and 11/10 cp! I’m sad that it’s over, but happy that I know all the characters will be going on with their lives, enjoying it as best as they can with their companions
the translations were also really good, once again thank u so much 😭💗
Thank you so much for your translation! I’m so glad I got the chance to read such a wonderful novel!