Chapter 200: Indifference
"At lunch, I heard Peter mention it. Hey, guess what? The marshal lost to the princess."
"It must have been intentional. After all, it’s the blood of the Alastair family. Also wasn’t it a woman. Even if it wasn’t Her Royal Highness, it’s still a woman at the end of the day. Didn’t she also insert two of her own pretty boys into the team? Probably she wants to give her own people some merits."
"Well… Tumbleweed has been in the news a lot recently. Those two boys may really be capable."
"Forget it. There must be someone behind them. When have you ever seen a sea scorpion level with such a soft attitude?"
Oliver and Nemo, who had a soft attitude, sat in the tent slightly embarrassedly and was forced to listen to the soldiers outside the tent talking in low voices. After their senses had become keener, this kind of embarrassing thing became more prevalent.
"To be honest, I prefer to go to the battlefield in the west." The conversation outside the tent continued. One of the voices became a little depressed. "There are many demon worshippers among the enemies here. If the rumors are true, we might even run into a demon warlock. Recently, Alban’s side has become more outrageous… actually putting those evil things on the battlefield!"
Oliver looked at Nemo in silence— The evil Demon King was right next to him looking at him inexplicably. He stretched out his arms understandingly, circled Nemo’s shoulder, and patted it soothingly.
"If the first emperor was still there, he wouldn’t allow such a ridiculous thing to happen," another voice sighed.
"Yes, to put it bluntly, the prince isn’t fit to be emperor."
The guard lowered his voice, "When the old emperor was still alive, he was favored, and he was in charge of the land in my old hometown. Haa, you don’t know, he’s always spouting messy policies all day long and our governor was going crazy with all the things he piled on. The rule changes once every three months or so. Before you even remember the changes, it will change again next month. The prince changes his mind all the time and makes it look like it’s a joke."
The other one cooperated with a toothachingly huff.
"Compared with the first emperor, although His Majesty hasn’t done much, things have been stable for many years. As far as the prince’s temperament is concerned, it’s estimated that he has long been dissatisfied with his brother. You see, His Majesty’s death has not spread yet, and demon worshippers could openly participate in the battlefield. It’ll really be like a living hell."
"There must be 20,000 or 30,000 on the opposite side this time, right? It’s fine if they’re all people, but in case there’s a demon warlock…"
"What else can we do? We can only trust the marshal. The marshal always has a way."
"I thought his lordship would get us some dragon breath stone weapons, but only two Black Chapters were sent. I don’t think they are any use and would only get in the way. Man, could it be that the princess is making trouble for the marshal? I hope the marshal doesn’t get wound up by her. How can a woman manage the affairs of a battlefield? Where do you think the princess has been all these years? It’s not like a dragon really kidnapped her, right?"
"…Kidnapped by a dragon," Oliver repeated in a low voice. "I think Ann is more likely to become drinking buddies with a dragon."
"Yeah… but speaking of this, I have to pay attention to the method of casting spells. If the identity of a superior demon is completely exposed, Ann won’t forgive me even if she wants to." Nemo pressed his forehead. "Since it has spread among the soldiers, it seems that Marshal Gallagher isn’t an alarmist. The news that there’s a demon warlock on the opposite side is most likely true."
The soldiers continued to chat. The treatment given to them wasn’t all that bad.
There was hot pea-ham soup, the bread on the plate was still soft though it was cold, and there was large pieces of grilled chicken drenched in sauce lying next to the bread, but Nemo couldn’t afford his appetite right now.
When they left the camp and move forward a bit, the two armies were likely to meet. Even if he had part of Ulysses’ memories before his death, Nemo still had a lot of resistance to war.
Although during their adventure, similar thoughts occasionally swept through his heart, this time, the feeling was particularly strong…
Unlike those described in epics or biographies, there was no war that looked "tragic" on the surface. There would only be madness, ugliness, blood and despair on the battlefield. People died for their beliefs, or worse— They had already lost their lives before they knew what exactly they were fighting for.
There would be no overcast clouds in the sky on the battlefield, there will be no lighting or thunder to accompany it, and the weather could very well be perfect. Blood would seep into the land silently, and the killing continued in a different pattern, but the poets could always make it like it was the most compelling thing in the world.
Perhaps from a human point of view, this was indeed the case, but for Nemo, it would only bring him back to Ulysses’ perspective.
He didn’t like that feeling. It was like standing on the edge of the cliff and stepping out into the void in front of him.
Even if he didn’t have much memory, Nemo could still feel what the war was like in Ulysses’ eyes. It was like sweeping away the dust from a bookshelf or shooting a hornet’s nest with a burning arrow soaked in oil.
Small, trivial, perhaps occupying a corner of memory, but it was still an ordinary day. Thinking about it, humans probably didn’t think it was such a great battle if it was sprinkling pesticides on a garden to kill insects.
For a long time, in his subconscious, the Demon King was regraded as the most dangerous "enemy" of the surface. The relationship between himself and the surface couldn’t be separated from the scope of love and hate.
But as the battlefield approached, Ulysses’ memories became more vivid. Nemo began to become uncertain about what he had thought— As the vague feelings in his memories became clear, his heart rolled not with hostility, killing intent, or hatred.
Only calm indifference.
If you could think like humans, then for insects in the garden, humans were probably also a "Demon King"— Destroying everything regardless of age, destroying their nest, and crushing their corpses. And their "evil deeds" were nothing more than following their instinct to eat, reproduce, and survive, while the humans just wanted to make their flowers bloom better.
Nemo even wanted to become flustered, brutal— it was much better than this dead silence. If his forgotten feelings were truly hate, then when he regained his memories, maybe he could use his love for Ollie to neutralize part of that darkness.
Love and hate from the heart were born of subconscious equality, and equality meant that reconciliation was possible.
But if the truth was "indifference", if the relationship between the "Demon King" and the surface really had nothing to do with love or hate, things may become… more desperate.
"What are you worried about?" Oliver used a fork to lift up a piece of chicken of the right size and held it to Nemo’s mouth. "Nemo, you’re so pale. Would you like something to eat?"
Nemo subconsciously bit the chicken, but his reaction was still a bit slow.
"I guess you are worried about something else," Oliver said softly, "Do you want to rest for a while? Even if there is a demon warlock, I am enough alone— If I just defend, I can still control that power."
"No." Before the mind could react, Nemo’s mouth gave the answer by itself. He grabbed Oliver’s arm. "I’ll go with you… Ann will forgive us later. This time I don’t have to hide too much power. To deal with the demon warlock, I am more suitable."
"Okay." Oliver kissed the tip of his lover’s nose. "Whatever you’re worried about, Nemo, I believe this war won’t be a problem."
The once sentimental young man was making promises before him that they once couldn’t imagine.
"To be honest, I’m still a little nervous… but I think we can repel them without killing anyone on the battlefield."
Nemo looked at Oliver’s soothing smile and took a deep breath.
"Yes," he repeated in a low voice. "…At least this time, no one needs to die on the battlefield."
"Have you two finished eating?" A guard who was just talking about the sky opened the tent curtain, "It’s time for us to move forward."
Nemo patted his grayish-black robe and picked up the light pole staff on one side.
"We are ready." he whispered, then paused for a moment and raised his voice slightly.
At the same time, Marshal Gallagher was sitting in the room of the base camp, holding his forehead with both hands, without saying a word. His whole person was exuding a faintly lifeless aura, and the guards who came to deliver the refreshments didn’t dare say a word.
After the battle with the princess, the marshal solemnly ordered all the guards to withdraw, and talked back and forth with Tumbleweed several times.
As the number of negotiations increased, the guards watched their boss’s face gradually turn blue, and the "Mad Dog of the Wasteland", who had always been at ease with everything, was like a frost-beaten eggplant* at this moment.
*Withered eggplant. Metaphor to describe someone as listless or shriveled up due to loss of energy. It comes from how eggplant are susceptible to frost and if they freeze, they become withered.
And the culprit was also in this room.
The female warrior was still wearing her leather armor, half leaning against the sofa in the room, eating grapes very happily, and feeding the parrot while eating. Intimidated by Her Royal Highness’s too grandiose sitting posture, the guards didn’t dare to stay long, put down the refreshment and quickly left the room.
"Can you share some with me? Seriously, Salter, the lunch you provide here is no different from what cats eat and I’m still a little hungry." Ann pointed to the plate of snacks hopefully.
"Your lunch is the highest standard here."
"For a plate that size, I got a mouthful of meat, a small few pieces of broccoli and a little sauce… I haven’t tasted its flavor yet when it’s already gone! Your soldiers are eating baked meatloaf. I saw it." Ann pointed out solemnly. "If it weren’t for your insistence on some bullshit image, I’d go and grab a piece of it to eat. Seriously, is there still anymore in the back kitchen? I mean the baked meatloaf."
"Although it’s not bad meat, it’s made from cheap scraps!" Marshal Gallagher murmured in a broken voice. "I can’t give the princess that kind of food."
"Yes, because when I was a Black Chapter, a palace chef fell from the sky every day when I was hungry," Ann angrily spit out the grape seeds on the dish. "You can’t let a warrior starve."
Having said that, she seemed to have thought of something, pulled a confident smile from the corner of her mouth, and rushed out of the room quickly. Within a few minutes, the slightly greasy scent of roasted meatloaf overwhelmed the elegant aroma in the marshal’s room.
"It’s so delicious, I’m going to cry."
Ann mumbled as she chewed on the cold meatloaf, her voice really choking up a bit: "Not bad, Mr. Mad Dog. You’re pretty good to your soldiers— It’s tasty and filling."
"The cook just gave it to you?!"
"I said I was going to use it to feed my magical beast. I can’t live without it and it would go crazy when it’s hungry."
"…Where did you get such magical beast?" Gallagher subconsciously looked at the gray parrot who was frantically stealing grapes.
"My stomach," Ann said dryly. "It really eat like this."
Marshal Gallagher strained his face in silence for a moment and let out a crumbling groan, while Ann happily ate the meatloaf and hummed contentedly.
"Give me a break, Your Highness." The marshal returned to his position. "At least don’t make such a joke. If the identity of that mage is also…"
"That’s not a joke. You heard what he said." Ann shrugged. "You have to thank Nemo, Mr. Mad Dog. He told you to allow you to better arrange your troops."
Gallagher would rather have amnesia…
Time reversed back to the formal meeting with Tumbleweed.
"A group of two people? That’s your army? There are likely to be demon warlocks on the battlefield to the east! This is not the time for jokes, Your Highness. I know you want to help your companions, but this is not a good opportunity. My soldiers are ready to sacrifice. Your people…"
"Oh, demon warlock," Ann quietly repeated. "That’s a real nostalgic word."
"I disagree," Marshal Gallagher said coldly. "There’s no negotiation on this."
"What if we can minimize casualties?" The black-haired mage of Tumbleweed suddenly opened his mouth. "Ann, Mr. Salter should be a trustworthy person. Since he’s an ally, I think he needs to know something."
"He’s a trustworthy nuisance." The Princess of Alban shrugged. "It has nothing to do with loyalty. The Salter family has completely torn their faces from the prince. As long as we’re willing to help him, he won’t be stupid enough to throw himself on the prince’s side at a time like this."
"Mr. Salter, uh, your faith…?"
"Laddism." Marshal Gallagher grunted. "But not fanatic, if that’s what you’re implying."
The black-haired mage and the head of the Tumbleweed exchanged glances.
"I can deal with any demon warlocks." He raised his beautiful silver eyes.
"As far as I know, Mr. Cross is the only Knight of Judgment in your team. If it’s Mr. Cross at his peak, I can believe this— With all due respect, young man, I don’t feel any powerful aura in you…"
Gallagher suddenly felt something was wrong.
Not to mention the powerful aura, this young man had no aura at all. He was like a phantom that didn’t actually exist, and this was the first time he really noticed him.
"We have two superior demons," the young man said. "That should be enough."
"People from the Abyssal Church?" Gallagher’s expression darkened.
"No." Nemo shook his head.
"If not, where do you plan to find the superior demon?"
"It’s me," the black-haired mage sighed. His pupils split into the inhuman crosses.
…It wasn’t a good memory at all.
Gallagher stroked his long blond hair sadly, feeling that he had a tendency he’ll lose it in just one day.
"Yo, still thinking about Nemo?" Ann quickly finished the meatloaf and licked her fingers enthusiastically. "How high did you jump at that time? You don’t know how relieve I was when I saw you jump directly on the table. Finally, someone else could understand my trouble with those little bastards."
Gallagher hummed weakly.
"Nemo Light really doesn’t have a bad record. Since there is Mr. Cross’ guarantee, I can bear him for the time being, but your other demon, to be honest, I’m a little worried."
He rubbed his temples hard. "Jesse Dylan… His character is closer to people’s description of a superior demon. If he suddenly reverses his stance…"
Ann fell back on the sofa and laughed until she was out of breath.
"Why didn’t I record this sentence in the crystal! I really want to show it to Dylan." She rubbed her stomach. "Wrong, he’s not a superior demon. Although I don’t know what he is, Cross has always taken him seriously."
"Oliver Ramon is obviously not, and Cross can’t be either. You are more…"
"This." Ann grabbed the gray parrot who was devouring grapes. "Bagelmaurus, say a few words."
"My heart is hurt. Don’t talk to me," the gray parrot grunted. "Wait until my feathers grows back! Nemo refused to treat me. He forgot about me, and doesn’t even hold me in his eyes— Let me go, Savage, I haven’t eaten enough yet."
Gallagher stared at the parrot. In Ann’s lively gaze, sweat began to ooze from his forehead.
"You’re not saying…"
"Yes, this is it."
"I’m the great Lord Bagelmaurus," the gray parrot emphasized. "Are there any more grapes?"
"So even if an army falls from the sky now, don’t worry too much."
"No, I’m starting to worry." Marshal Gallagher’s face paled. "Can Mr. Dylan and Mr. Cross really handle it? It was my error of judgment, I must immediately—"
"Oh. Don’t worry. Although Dylan is unreliable, he hasn’t had a problem with major events." Ann let go of the parrot she was holding in her hand.
"Are you sure? This is what he asked me for. It’s all written on it. I made a copy." Gallagher stood up angrily, handed a roll of parchment paper in both hands, and tried to avoid Ann’s oily hands.
Ann unfolded the paper roll indifferently, and as her gaze moved, her brows frowned tighter and tighter.
"…Well, now I’m starting to worry too," she said dryly. "Let’s pray together, Salter."
The author has something to say:
Jesse: I don’t want to pay for things by myself. Let me get a wool (……
Chapter 200… Wow this is a long novel, and another huge milestone has been crossed.