Chapter 184: Eyes Closed
The female warrior, who had always been frugal, paid the price this time.
Nemo twisted the fabric on his clothes and decided not to estimate its cost. He had more important things to do at the moment…
"Don’t move, Ollie." Nemo muttered nervously. The slender silky shadow holding a delicate peridot earring was gesticulating on Oliver’s earlobe. The long needles behind the earrings have been removed and replaced by vine glue that could easily stick to the skin.
Although they could just pierce their ear temporarily for the ear piercing and could later heal it using magic, Nemo decided to choose a relatively painless way.
Oliver didn’t dare to move, and even stopped breathing. Nemo was so close that Oliver could even see his eyelashes clearly. The earring studs stained with vine glue brought a touch of coolness to his earlobes, but Oliver’s focus was completely elsewhere.
Taking into account Nemo’s relatively introverted personality and the identity of a "superior demon", Ann prepared a long uniform with black as the main tone for the color. His short ponytail was draped down, and there weren’t too many complicated accessories on the outfit. At the moment, Nemo was expressionless because of tension, and had an aloof temperament— The female warrior had many years of experience in the Black Chapter business, so the match was just right. If Oliver didn’t know who Nemo was beforehand, he probably wouldn’t recognize him.
What was truly ridiculous was that this dress really gave Nemo a bit more of the legendary "Demon King" aura.
"It’s done. It’s sticking very firmly," Nemo said, blowing the earlobes in front of him. The warm breath instantly wrapped Oliver’s ear. "It matches your eyes very well, Ollie. It just looks a bit…uh."
Nemo smiled indifferently, and the cold feeling disappeared in an instant. He leaned forward and pecked the tip of Oliver’s nose. "Take a look for yourself."
Oliver twisted his neck uncomfortably. The soft scarf and clusters of lace made his neck itchy.
Then he was silent in front of the mirror.
Unlike Nemo’s relatively simple style, what he had on was a flashy grayish-green uniform. The long, loose cuffs covered the scars on his wrist, and probably because of the shape, his originally strong and sturdy body looked a bit thin. The bangs that were scattered on is forehead were combed up and fixed with fragrant hairspray that gave off a smoky aroma. In addition to the complicated decorations on his cuffs and necklines, as well as the peridot earrings shimmering on his ears, Oliver at this moment looked a bit like… a frivolous guy.
"It looks good, really. Trust me. Except…" Nemo commented in a low voice.
"…Except it doesn’t look like a good thing," Oliver added bitterly, posing in a few exaggerated aristocratic poses. "I think I can go directly to the streets now and easily play the role of an asshole who robs a flower girl."
"Isn’t Jesse more suitable for that kind of thing?" Nemo fiddled with the jeweled collar of Oliver’s neckline a little dissatisfied and corrected its position.
"Maybe his face is too unconvincing. That guy… Ahem, he doesn’t look like a tough type." Oliver picked up the thin gloves and put them on carefully, using them to cover the thick calluses and small scars on his hands.
After thinking about Jesse’s identity for a few seconds, Oliver smiled bitterly and shook his head. He sprayed himself with perfume jerkily causing him to spray too much unsuspectingly. The greasy sweet fragrance exploded making the two sneezed loudly together.
"Too bad you can’t bring weapons to the ball." Nemo held his breath and pinched the bridge of his nose. "I’ll let Bagelmaurus bring everyone’s weapons and stand near the castle. We found a place to board the goat, so we shouldn’t have to come back here again… Don’t forget to bring anything."
"Are you okay with it?"
"Expression management." Oliver cocked the corner of his mouth, stretched out his gloved fingers, and brushed the smile from the corner of Nemo’s mouth. "We have run out of sandpoint plums. Do you want to buy something else instead?"
"If you mean be ‘expressionless’, then no problem." As long as he recalled the Withered Castle, Nemo could instantly erase all the smiles on his face— But this he won’t say aloud. Even though the Withered Castle had been destroyed, its shadow had not dissipated.
Nemo didn’t deliberately ask about Oliver’s recovery. He didn’t want to make the other party anxious about it. He could only set aside as much time as possible to stay with his lover so that the darkness could fade faster.
They were uncharacteristically silent on the subject. Tacitly and unspoken.
"Then there’s no problem, my icy majesty." Oliver stood up and joked. He put down the brightly colored perfume bottle in his hand, and the thick glass bottle collided gently with the wooden table. Then he made a clumsy aristocratic salute.
"Fuck you." Nemo smiled helplessly. "By that account, should I take you captive?"
"Then I have to leave a note and tell them not to let the hero come to save me."
The two joked as they walked to the entrance of the agreed-upon restaurant, waiting for the carriage that they had arranged in advance to meet with the rest of their companions.
Jesse was one step ahead. The gray parrot, who could not participate in the ball, was grumbling as it parked itself on an iron pole where a sign was hung.
Jesse’s style had not changed much. Nemo seriously suspected that Ann didn’t even bother to care about him. The blond young man was still the same, except for carefully braiding his long hair in a relatively casual style and there was a sapphire-studded hairband that he used to tie up his hair, he didn’t look much different from before. The slightly higher-grade outfit made him look a little less sleek and a little more innocent.
"Where is Mr. Cross and Ann?" Nemo wasn’t used to having his hair loose.
"They’re still preparing." Jesse looked up and down Nemo’s outfit then swept his gaze to Oliver. "My, my— These outfits really suit you two. I don’t know how many ladies will have their hearts broken by you tonight."
As soon as Nemo was about to leave, two strange figures leaned over.
Ann didn’t put on too much strange makeup. The female warrior’s maroon hair was originally a bit shorter than Oliver’s. She carelessly exposed the scar above her eyebrow, tucked her chest, and covered her overly feminine waist with a dark red robe. Coupled with boots that had a high heel to them— except for the slightly delicate facial features, she undoubtedly looked like a valiant young man.
Even the height wasn’t much different from that of Nemo’s, who was 1.8 meters tall.
"Don’t look. This isn’t the first time I have done this. There have been such situations before. Many tasks are in places where it’s difficult for women to mix in." Ann raised her eyebrows. Originally, her voice was neutral, but now that she lowered it a bit, it was difficult for others to recognize whether the owner of the voice was a man or woman. "Remember, start calling me Andre now."
"Wow." Oliver didn’t skimp on his admiration. "Wait, then behind you…"
That wasn’t the Adrian Cross they knew.
To be precise, it was "not quite" the knight commander they knew. The Mr. Cross they were used to was a calm man in his thirties, while the person who followed Ann looked to be in his twenties. But even if his face was a little more youthful and his head shrank a bit, the young man’s facial features still bear the shadow of Adrian Cross.
"Age-reduction potion?" Nemo was the first to react.
Adrian, who was a lot younger, nodded quietly. The former knight commander’s original 1.85 meter height became 1.8 meters, and his physique shrank a little.
The age-reduction potion sounded magical, but in fact it had no exact medical use and its effects was extremely limited. The price was outrageously expensive, and it had been popular among the nobles for a long time, such that ordinary people usually couldn’t touch it.
It could make the user’s appearance ten years younger, but the effect would only last for a day and night and the user’s physical strength and physique would not return to their former appearance. There were also many restrictions on this luxury potion. Only people over 30 could use it. If they wanted to rely on this potion to restore their appearance to a teenager, it would create a larger physique gap that would often cause irreversible damage to their body.
Such tragedy had happened before in the high society of Alban. A sixteen-year-old boy stole his mother’s potion out of curiosity and wanted to play a prank. However, the physical gap between a sixteen-year-old and a six-year-old was too great that his bones were directly shattered to pieces, and he almost died.
"I’m about to turn thirty-one soon." As if seeing Nemo’s worries, Adrian replied lightly. "This thing can’t hurt me."
"Our Lord William likes young men between the ages of eighteen and twenty, but considering the quality of your faces, this hurdle could be muddled through. But to take into account Cross’ appearance and physique, this aesthetic span is a bit too suspicious." Ann spread out her hands. "And there are many nobles who can recognize Cross’ face, so we have to be careful."
"Well done, Miss Savage." Jesse rubbed his hands. "Adri, why don’t we—"
"We should get going." To dilute the solemn temperament of the knight commander, he was dressed similarly to Ann. It could be said that he was the most complicated of the five present. Adrian ignored Jesse and lifted his finger in a certain direction. "It’s that carriage, right?"
There weren’t many obstacles to admission. After stepping off the carriage modestly, Ann shugged off the invitation with a flourish. She puffed her chest, raised her chin slightly, and calmly led the four of them into the main entrance.
Then at the gate, they met an Albanian nobleman who came forward to talk.
"William’s nephew? It’s a pleasure to meet you. William never comes to such occasion before. So he’s finally willing to change his mind?"
"Yes, uncle has been traveling abroad. As for coming here… this is an important ball, isn’t it? After all, it is rare to see your lordship come as well. Of course, there’s also another reason." Ann took a glass of wine from the tray held by an attendant and shook the glass very standardly. "Uncle’s pets are too lonely, so I just took them for an outing. You know, my uncle also hopes to connect more with Alban."
The implication was to give the give these tired lovers to interested noblemen and pull some strings. The Alban nobleman on the opposite side nodded knowingly.
"Time flies so fast," he sighed. "It’s been more than 20 years, when William was still here…"
"Are you referring to the fact that uncle stole three lace aprons from the maid?" Ann blinked her eyes and naturally took over the conversation. "My mother still tease him to this day for that matter."
"Oh, how is her health?"
"Very good. Thank you for your concern… You four, although I promised my uncle to help take care of you, it doesn’t mean I need to teach you how to walk. You are free to move."
Ann winked her left eye and made a "dismiss" gesture with her hand behind her back. She herself stood casually and politely talking to the nobles one after another.
"Then follow the plan. Let’s split up first. We must find the ‘mobile alarm’ Rosa." Nemo strained his face very hard and lowered his voice. "The members of the royal family will appear in a while, and Delia will only return to the lounge until it’s over. We’ll have to draw someone to meet up with Ann then, and the sooner we can determine Rosa’s movements, the better."
"Okay, you be careful too." Oliver nodded. "There will definitely be people from Laddism Church here."
"I know… Shhh, it’s starting."
The dead emperor appeared on a high platform on the side of the wide hall, under a gorgeous chandelier. The bright warm lights filled the air casting it upon the emperor’s face which looked a little pale, but his actions were natural. The goal of Tumbleweed’s trip— The young princess Delia followed him quietly, while Prince Eldric stood very close to her.
The emperor didn’t look like a dead man at all.
"Thank you all for coming here." The corpse opened his mouth. His voice was steady and clear. "Recently, there have been some ridiculous rumors circulating outside. I think it’s time for me to come out and meet everyone again—"
"Notice it?" During the emperor’s incessant speech, Nemo pressed his lips vaguely close to Oliver’s ears, and his eyes scanned the surroundings cautiously. "He has no heartbeat."
"I smell the smell of a corpse." Oliver was also flirtatiously close. His voice so low that others couldn’t hear. "Ann’s information is correct, but what I care more about is something else…"
"It’s said that Delia Alastair has always been healthy."
"That’s right, her heartbeat is quite normal."
"I know. I’m just curious, why she hasn’t opened her eyes for so long— It must be five or six minutes by now."
The author has something to say：
Running the main line makes me happy XD This chapter is the home of the Tumbleweed Cowherd Group (×
Oh no. They’re leaving the goat behind?! It’s an honorary member!!!