Chapter 206: New clues
The black shaggy horse, almost submerged by the night, looked at Oliver deeply, and Oliver looked back at it deeply— Nemo had just stepped out of the rift in space with one foot, and what he saw was such a scene.
Something felt off. Nemo clenched the small cloth bag in his hand and became alert in an instant. He didn’t remember the last time Oliver had showed such an expression.
The great Demon King opened his senses very cautiously but didn’t find knives on waists or any other threat that was staring at them in the dark.
"How’d it go?" Oliver said nervously.
"According to Delia, someone checks the storage room every day. I couldn’t destroy them directly, but I casted a spell to tamper with them. Those bone jade bombs won’t blow up, don’t worry— Given more time, I might be able to find a way to de-weaponize them and turn them back into pure energy."
Knowing that there wouldn’t be a problem with his perception, Nemo couldn’t help but stetched his neck to confirm whether Oliver was hiding from some unknown creature behind him.
"Well done." Oliver responded quickly, pushing the approaching horse’s face aside.
"How about you?" Nemo leaned forward and kissed the other cheek briskly.
"I found a little information." Oliver cleared his throat. After the kiss, he seemed to be a little relieved from the unknown tension. "About my dad."
It seemed there wasn’t any potential threats, so Nemo let out a sigh of relief. Seeing that Oliver didn’t intend to go back to the barracks, he skillfully used the dark shadow to clear out a clearing and grab some wood. A small bonfire was started in a blink of an eye, spitting out orange sparks in the dim night.
"I got some food in an abandoned market in the city." Nemo shook the cloth bag in his hand, his voice relaxed a little. "It’s still a bit far from the camp, and the dry food for the march wasn’t good. I guess you might want a different change in taste. Let’s talk while eating."
"Okay." Oliver looked equally relieved and changed back to the Ollie that Nemo knew well. "Need help? I’m an honorary logistics of Clementine Academy."
"Fuck you. It’s just a simple snack, and it’s quick to make. Just talk about the information seriously." Nemo smiled and shook his head.
The black shadow wrapped the small potatoes and rolled into the flames, while he peeled off the bark of the branches and put on a piece of goat cheese and baked it carefully on the fire.
"I know the origin of your gold pendant." In the sweet fragrance that gradually diffused, Oliver spoke calmly.
Nemo’s movements paused.
"My father had it made at Tristan’s, a shop in the capital." Oliver stood up, stretched out his hand, slid his fingers down Nemo’s neck, and gently pulled out the golden pendant. "For various reasons… I just met a shopkeeper from there and chatted for a while."
"Nn." Nemo’s voice is a bit muffled.
"This pendant he took away when the expedition set off, saying that he wanted it for good luck, and when he came back, he would give it to my mother as a charm. You know that superstition— The keepsake of the survivors of the expedition can protect people’s lives."
"So the signature is ‘Your Flint’, but inside is a portrait of your mother?"
"Yes, I think he originally wanted to give her a blank pendant. He just… used it as his charm first."
"He shouldn’t have given it to me so easily." Nemo let out a very light sigh, spun the branches, and turned the goat cheese over.
"This should be the most precious thing on him. Father must have a good reason to do so at that time."
"But the pendant isn’t with you. How did you talk to people about it?" Nemo picked up the cheese from the fire, dragged out the baked potato with the shadow, and cut it in the middle with a shadow blade.
"That’s what I was going to talk about." Oliver watched the dark shadow change into the shape of a blade, and began to cut the melted cheese into the groove of the potato. He couldn’t help but sniffled. "His original order with the shopkeeper was like this… If he failed to return it from the abyss, after a while, Tristan’s would make another one for my mother."
Nemo threaded the roasted cheese potatoes with branches and handed it to Oliver. "Then what?"
"As Mr. Medes told us, my father’s mental state after returning from the bottom of the Abyss was very bad. He left the capital directly with my mother in a low-key manner— I guess he was too depressed to pay any more attention to it. However, when he returned to the capital later… you know."
Carefully wrapped by the dark shadow, the potatoes were handled very cleanly. Seeing Nemo’s uncomfortable expression, Oliver blew a few times and took a big bite. "Awesome! Nemo, you never said that you could do this."
"Do you want more snacks that I used to coax my younger brothers and sisters?" Nemo’s attention was deflected.
"Uh-huh." Oliver chewed on the baked potatoes. "Don’t mind it. I’m not trying to pull you back to the past. When my father cancelled the order, he was carrying a coffin— The shopkeeper remembered it very well because of this."
"This was what Mr. Medes also mentioned." Nemo began to bake the small piece of goat cheese again.
"But Mr. Medes didn’t know, he wasn’t alone at that time." Oliver pulled the hot cheese and blew a few puffs of air on it. "There was a very weird person with my father. The man’s entire face was covered with white bandages and looked very scary. The shopkeeper described it to me for a long time— Does this outfit sound familiar?"
"The Gatekeepers?" Nemo almost dropped the cheese into the fire.
"I thought so too, so I asked a few more questions, but after all, it was more than 20 years ago, and the shopkeeper didn’t remember too many details. He only remembered hearing them mentioning the ‘Butcher Shop’ by accident."
"In Mr. Medes’s memory, your father mentioned this to Mr. Medes. I remember that Mr. Cross also talked about it once."
Looking at the dazed look of his lover, Nemo thoughtfully reminded: "The Abyssal Church has relevant records, similar to the place associated with superior demons and the surface— You know that superior demons can’t be summoned directly. They are all pieces of flesh, and they are smuggled to the surface by riding on subordinate and intermediate demons that are summoned."
With that, Nemo made another baked potato, and he carefully fixed it in the air with a dark shadow.
"The people in the Butcher Shop will first help both sides reach an agreement. They’ll introduce a superior demon to a mage who has the right qualification and is suffering from desires, and they’ll tell the mage the superior demon’s race and ability. If both sides are satisfied, then the superior demon will possess the flesh of a subordinate demon and the mage will summon that subordinate demon."
Nemo picked up the branch where there wasn’t much cheese left and licked the remaining grilled cheese. "It’s basically a matchmaking. The ‘Butcher Shop’ shouldn’t be a secret with the upper echelons of any major religion, so it’s normal for Mr. Cross to know about it."
"It itself will evaluate and monitor both the demon and the mage, and in a sense, it can be regarded as a less honorable control method. In addition, the location of its headquarters is a mystery, and it’s very likely to be related to Aurorae, thus the general forces have all turned a blind eye for it."
"What about the situation with Bagelmaurus? No one should have reached any agreement with it." Oliver moved his gaze away from the moist tip of Nemo’s tongue.
"Most likely an accident," Nemo explained. "If there’s no Butcher Shop, the superior demon will try blindly and force qualified people to make a wish after getting lucky on the surface. Now that there’s a Butcher Shop and Arourae’s deterrence, generally superior demons with brains won’t take such risks."
"That’s it." Oliver lowered his gaze.
"Medes’ memory should not be falsified. My father’s arm was restored by the Butcher Shop."
Oliver stuffed the remaining baked potatoes into his mouth causing his speech to become mumbled.
"The reason why the owner remembers the ‘Butcher Shop’ is because he met my father near the shop. He heard this when he came forward to greet him— The ‘terrifying and weird person’ asked my father to ‘send a copy of his memory to the Butcher Shop as soon as possible’. After discovering him, they didn’t talk about this topic anymore."
He spoke as he glared at the branch that was holding the potato. "Nemo, what do you think the Butcher Shop wants with my father’s memory?"
"I don’t know much about the Butcher Shop, but it has always been close to the Abyss. Since they are interested in what your father knows, I think it has something to do with the truth at the bottom of the Abyss. That’s reasonable. Even if your father is a great hero, the Butcher Shop will not be kind enough to provide compulsory medical care… This part of your father’s ‘knowledge’ should be the bargaining chip in the transaction."
"What a coincidence, I think so too." Throwing away the bare branches in his hand, Oliver took the baked potatoes that the shadow handed over. "But since its location is a mystery…"
"Aurorae is Vance," Nemo said suddenly.
"If Aurorae has always been related to the Butcher Shop, this matter is also related to the ‘knowledge’ at the bottom of the Abyss. I think we have a breakthrough. When the matter of Ann’s side is over, we have to find Telaranea."
"It has always been very interested in you, well, your situation." Oliver spoke quickly. "Nemo, I do want to know the truth, but don’t forget, you may be at risk of exposure… Telaranea is not like the kind of good-tempered demon who’s willing to keep secrets."
"I know. I don’t want to leave you." Nemo gently flicked his lover’s forehead, showing an imperative smile.
"It’s okay, Ollie. Whether things will go well depends on which ‘Telaranea’ we’re looking for. To tell you the truth, since the Black Chapter test started, I have always wanted to go to the headquarters of the Mercenary Guild."
Early the next morning.
"Your Highness, there’s a trend of disorder in your behavior. Please reconsider," Marshal Gallagher said politely.
At this moment they had arrived outside the city walls of the capital Doru. The huge city gates were closed. The leader of Tumbleweed was waiting outside the city with his lover, guarding the civilians and maintaining order— The princess of Alban seemed determined not to let her companions get involved in the final battle.
She even just gave an absurd proposal.
"I’m very sober— By the way, you are the first person I have ever seen to say ‘you’re crazy’ for so long." Ann tightened the buckle of her leather armor. She loosened the thin copper tube containing the spell paper roll and arrange it neatly on the belt around her waist. She stroked the hunting spear in her hand, as gentle as if she was stroking her lover’s skin.
"I’ll go alone."
"Okay, you are crazy," Marshal Gallagher said. "Listen, we must put our troops—"
"Not all civilians have been evacuated," Ann said calmly. "Believe me, the people in the lower city are reluctant to leave now. Many elderly people will not leave, and there’s at least one-third of the population in the royal capital. Are you going to bring the army in? …My good brother is crazy, and he definitely doesn’t mind using these human lives to add a stink to your reputation, dear Mr. Mad Dog."
She waved her hunting spear a few times.
"If I’m alone, whether it’s the army or a large-scale magic attack, these will become meaningless. As long as they attack me personally, they are rebellious to the blood of the Alastair family. This can minimize the damage."
"The premise is that you can survive. It’s full of troops sent by the prince—!"
"If I survive and enter the palace and beat my dear brother to the floor, then this is the plan with the least loss. You have to admit it."
Ann tugged the corner of his mouth. "And if I die— Bah, although this is unlikely— You’ll have the best reason."
"What are you talking about?!"
"Anyways, you didn’t need a real heir, right? They had no idea that I was still alive and would not destroy the body immediately. Maybe they were waiting to use it to add an additional charge to you for ‘raising a false heir and slighting the royal family’. But you’re confident of the royal family, and naturally you know how to prove that it’s the blood of the Alastair family."
The female warrior spread her hands calmly.
"Killing your own blood relative on the streets of the royal city. You can use this against the prince. All you have to do is promise me to ensure Delia can survive and live well. This is a perfect plan."
Marshal Gallagher stared at Ann in silence, as if he had seen her for the first time.
"Hold the communication crystal and wait for my news— Anyway, I will keep communication on the whole time. No matter what the situation is, you will know. When I enter the palace, I will find a way to prove the emperor’s death. The prince has not yet mastered real power in the true sense, and the nobles of Alban will definitely be in chaos for a while. Just show up at the right time and don’t let me die in the panic of a group of idiots."
"I see…" The marshal patted the dust on his front lapel and sighed.
"…I mean, I’ll go with you and watch it for myself."
"Are you an idiot?"
"The Salter family will always be loyal to the emperor, and I’m not the only descendant of the Salter’s. If I see the princess die in front of me; one person is better than two. It’s not bad to make the ‘crime’ of His Royal Highness more focused."
"As you said, it’s unlikely that you will die, but I prefer the saying ‘there’s a zero possibility’. If you don’t mind, please go out for a while— I need to change into my battle armor."
The author has something to say：
Tela’s last body can’t be kept anymore! (X
Nemo has a deep obsession with feeding Ollie, but I think Ollie would prefer other feeding methods more (?
Nemo: Oh my god, Ollie is nervous, maybe there is danger nearby!
Ollie: Oh my god, I just finished getting the wedding rings, and I can’t look directly at Nemo (……
Horse: Staring deeply