Chapter 34: Disrupted Plans
It seems that Mr. Cross had no intention of confiding from the bottom of his heart before his death. Nemo coughed lightly, searching for words that could lead to a breakthrough. As a result, before he could determine where the particular illusory breakthrough was, the former Knight Commander opened his mouth again and sealed said breakthrough tightly.
"I also have a question to ask. Which one are you in the Abyss?" Adrian Cross’ tone was still damn calm, like he was talking about the weather.
Nemo shuddered. The person in the cell wasn’t clearly visible, but his momentum was already suppressed. The sense of oppression didn’t come from power, but the bloody spirit of war on the battlefield.
"What?" he laughed dryly.
"You’re also a superior demon, aren’t you?"
Besides the fact that he wasn’t sure, even if he was, he didn’t have a fluorescent sign hanging above him. Wasn’t superior demons suppose to be difficult to distinguished? Nemo moved back and began to contemplate about the possibility that Adrian Cross himself was also a superior demon.
"I’m not your kind." As if he was reading Nemo’s thoughts, the man in the cell added.
For a moment, the atmosphere was even more awkward.
"The demon I know will never expose his identity to humans, and you yourself can get out of the deep cell. You don’t sound like a demon warlock."
Nemo wiped his face hard. Just great. He hadn’t even said a word, yet the other party had already turned him upside down. Thinking from another perspective, if he were to be executed, and his nemesis came to greet him in person… The fact that Cross didn’t spit on him showed that he was extremely self-restrained.
It was impossible to talk like this.
Nemo sigh and crouched down, hugging his head, trying to come up with a few solutions before time ran out. The two cells behind him were restless. The rag-like thing continued to shout passages that he didn’t know whether they were verses or scriptures, while the woman scratched the stone slab with her six hands. Her long nails made harsh squeaking noises as it scratched across the surface. Then there was Adrian Cross, who kept quiet in front of him, seemingly to have lost interest in him.
Time passed mercilessly and the magic array behind him became hotter, but he still had no idea how to proceed. In such a quiet environment— wait, quiet?
The shouting and noise had suddenly stopped, giving Nemo a bad premonition. In the next second, his premonition came true. A large hand as thin as a mummified corpse leaned out of the darkness above his head and went straight to Nemo casting an unpleasant silver light on him. Nemo crawled up and stuck to the steep stone wall. It was so close that the hand got caught leaving deep scratches on the stone wall.
"What the hell is this?!" Nemo exclaimed subconsciously.
"It’s to prevent someone from using Garland’s biggest dungeon like their own backyard," the commander explained indifferently.
Seeing that the hand was about to grab him again, Nemo was hastily acted. He rushed to Adrian Cross’ cell, pulled the railing and quickly squeezed in. Then he turned around and quickly straightened the curved railing again.
His actions soon paid off. The hand seemed to have lost its target. It groped around for a moment before slowly retracting into the darkness. Fortunately, the cell for sacrifices was big enough to hold them both. Nemo sat down slowly against the wall and let out a sigh of relief.
"Is this interesting to you?" Adrian asked, his tone had become colder. "Please go back. You won’t get anything from me."
Although his tone was still polite, there was no doubt that his attitude was as if he was facing an enemy. At this moment, the formation on Nemo’s back became increasingly hot, indicating that there wasn’t much time left.
Nemo took a deep breath. He had an idea that might be a little bad, or rather, particularly bad.
He stood up slowly and dusted off the dirt on his body, then walked straight to Adrian Cross. In the darkness, he could only faintly see the outline of the other party. The knight was taller than him, and although he had been imprisoned in the dark dungeon for nearly half a year, his physique still looked quite good. The chains on his body reflected a little white light of the emblem that was enough to bind him.
Nemo grabbed Adrian Cross by the collar and almost lifted him up.
"Okay, let’s stop playing around." Nemo desperately recalled Ann’s tone when they first met, trying to make himself sound colder. "If I killed the sacrifices, guess what they would think?"
Adrian did not answer. Nemo was sure he could speak, but the former commander was like a closed mussel shell that refuse to open up.
"I really don’t like that guy. He even made Witherspoon trouble me just because I stepped into his territory and he thought it would be more interesting." Nemo apologized desperately in his heart, trying to keep his voice steady. The darkness really helped him cover his horse’s feet*. "Can’t you cooperate and have some fun with me? Do you really think that ridiculous seal can save your life?"
*Reference to bare the horse’s feet (露出马脚 ) It’s a metaphor for revealing the hidden truth/inadvertently leaking out information. || In this context, he’s saying it’s helping him cover it up, so it won’t reveal that’s he’s putting on an act.
"Save my life?" The person being pulled on finally opened his mouth, showing a sneer. "That’s probably the only thing your rotten head can think of."
"Actually, I’m quite interested— seeing the person who’s so desperate and worthless that he made a deal with a bastard from the holy church."
"As I said, you can’t get anything from me," Adrian said quietly. "Do you want to do it? Go ahead." There was even a smile in his voice.
"…I have a clear conscience."
This is it.
The white light on the magic array suddenly lit up and the scenery in front of him quickly changed from a dungeon where he couldn’t even see his fingers to an abandoned house. Nemo felt like he was stepping on air with one foot, which directly caused him to land hard on his ass. He let out a hiss. Oliver was standing in front of him holding an amulet in his hand that was still emitting a warm white light and Ann was leaning against the wall, crossing her arms, looking relieved.
"Ow. Ollie, lend me a hand." Nemo collapsed on the ground and didn’t want to stand up by himself. "That Adrian Cross is too difficult to deal with, but I can be sure that he’s really innocent. We have to find a way to help him… Hand?"
Oliver didn’t pull him up but looked behind him stiffly. Ann ran her hands through her hair, pulling it back hard.
"Tell me." There was a trace of despair in her calm tone. "The one behind you is not what who I’m thinking it is."
Nemo gulped with difficulty and slowly turned his head. The moonlight in the abandoned house was bright and this time he could clearly see the figure.
A strange young man was standing behind him. Perhaps because he was prepared to be a sacrifice, he didn’t have long hair or a messy beard. Adrian Cross looked about thirty years old, with short dark brown hair, cleanshaven, had deep facial features, and a bit of a melancholic temperament. His good appearance immediately would make people think of the word "knight". He was still wearing the high-necked monk’s uniform of the Laddism Church, but there was a hole on his chest where the holy emblem should be. It seemed to have been roughly torn off.
He did have some shortcomings; he felt too cold, especially in this moment. Adrian’s dark brown eyes were firmly attached to Nemo. Nemo turned his head numbly and stood up, feeling that winter had arrived early. If there was substance in his gaze, his back would be full of marks left by ice skates by now.
"…I’m very sorry for just now." He exhausted his last remaining courage for the day and stepped forward to help the other party tidy up his messy collar, desperately trying to confirm there was no hard feelings. "M… Mr. Cross."
After that, he took three steps back and slipped behind Oliver.
"You’re up pure humans," he muttered while pushing against Oliver’s back. "The evil demon has been slained."
Oliver pointed to Ann wordlessly. The female warrior was facing the wall at this moment, punching it weakly with her fist.
"The task at the beginning was very simple," she said blankly to the wall. "Forge a document, take advantage of the festival to sneak him out for a walk, a meet and greet, and then complete the task! Why do you always make things difficult? …What went wrong with my life?"
"Ann, I’m sorry. I’m not—" As soon as Nemo wanted to apologized, he was stopped by a weak gesture from the female warrior.
"It’s not your fault." She stared stubbornly at the broken brick on the wall, refusing to turn her gaze away. "Abyssal magic can’t interfere with the magic array from the Laddism Church. It’s my fault… What’s wrong with the magic array I drew. Fuck, it never had a problem before!"
"If you look at it optimistically, at least we got him out." Oliver tried to adjust the atmosphere.
"You know what? If we had followed the normal process to break him out then bring him back, it would have been a trivial matter if we were found out, like breadcrumbs sticking to their clothes. They would easily just brush it off wouldn’t bother with us. But now… now we’re shit stuck on their pants—"
"We’re not going to send him back, are we?" Nemo whispered.
"Well, ideally no. If we can get a hold of Cahill and gather sufficient evidence— capture the target, find the evidence, and buy some time, everyone will be happy in the end."
"That sounds good."
"There’s still a week left before the festival, and we can’t even get ahold of our own asses, and you expect to pull the wool directly under their eyes?!" Ann tugged her hair. "They’ll kill us! This is equivalent to slapping the Laddism Church in the face in front of everyone my friends…"
"What should we do now?" Oliver asked cautiously.
"I don’t know. Don’t ask me." Ann replied whimsically.
"Allow me to interrupt." Nemo cleared his throat. "The movement outside shouldn’t be something, uh… like a special evening clock?"
"It’s an alarm." Adrian spoke coldly causing the three of them to turn to him at the same time.
"The highest alarm. It means that a sacrifice has escaped from the dungeon."
On the belltower of the Church of Penitence, the giant golden bell made a dull and rapid sound. The scarlet array representing the warning signal turned slowly, reddening the night sky above the church. The angel statue at the top of the church showed a strange ferocity under the red light, and a figure was mingling on it. The blonde young man who looked overly beautiful put his legs on a pair of marbled wings and leaned his head on the cold arms of another statue.
He hummed a minor tune, stuffed the jam-coated dessert into his mouth, and then dipped his fingertips on the remaining jam, using them to put a set of pupils onto the statue’s blank eyes. The young blond man was amused by his own work for a few seconds, and finally put down his other hand. The somewhat distorted miniature magic array slowly faded in the night sky; its style was exactly the same as the one Ann had drawn.
"The sky will fall, and the Abyss will rise." He tried to hum, then raised his eyes to look at the jam pupils on the statue with a serious conversational posture. "That’s a good description. I like the word fall, baby. The sky is falling, so where did the Morning Star go?"
With that, he titled his eyes at the knights who were leaving the Church of Penitence in an orderly manner. He stretched, revealing a black badge on his chest…
There was a five-eyed sea scorpion carved on it.
The author has something to say：
The five people in the team has finally shown their faces! Although the last one will not officially appear in the next story…
In fact, the security of the dungeon is very tight. Even if Ann has the internal spells of the Laddism Church, it was theoretically impossible to take Adrian out. Her original plan was to go the normal way and use deception and fake documents to get the Knight Commander out.
So it’s not that the dungeon security is too weak, it’s just that the last friend is too strong…
It will be mentioned later, but in order to explain everyone’s (possible) doubts, I want to mention it first~
—Useless little knowledge—
The Opabinia sea scorpion really has five eyes, and it is a Cambrian creature that did exist.
……The appearance of ancient creatures and underwater creatures is really cool and very in line with my personal imagination of demons. XD