No Hero Volume 1: Vampire Butler
Original novel in Chinese by: 御 我 (Yu Wo)
Diary of a Butler Chapter 3: Practicing Conversation with the Master – translated by Raylight
I seem to be able to understand a few of the teachings that you once taught. You had said before, that for a genuinely good employer, the reason that would make his or her subordinates wholeheartedly devoted to them is definitely not money. Regarding the portrait that the young master gave me, I could not find any place safe enough to store it. In the end, I could only put it in the metal cabinet that I sleep in.
May you bless me from the heavens, that I will be able to receive more rewards transcending monetary gain.
In the evening, while I was waiting upon the young master’s meal, he ate very slowly. So slowly, in fact, that it was just like a normal person’s eating pace. Just when I was finding it strange, the young master put down his cutlery and looked deeply worried as he lifted his head to ask me, “Charles, what do I have to do to be able to converse with my classmates?”
I looked at the young master’s worried expression and understood that he must have run into a difficult problem of interpersonal relationships in school again. After giving it much thought, I picked an answer that was the least likely to go wrong and replied, “As long as you talk naturally about each other’s affairs, that will be fine.”
The young master made a pained face and said, “But I don’t understand the things my classmates talk about at all. Yet if I were to say something first, my classmates would all stare at me blankly, and nobody would reply.”
“May I ask Young Master to give an example of something that you have said before?”
After he gave a nod of his head, the young master replied, “There was a time when I saw everyone discussing how difficult the report that the teacher gave was and how the time span given to do it was too short. They said things like they definitely wouldn’t be able to complete it and such. Then I butted in to say, not really, this time the report topic is ‘Modern weapon trends – energy weapons,’ and I have chosen the discussion topic of ‘How to improve the overly short battery life of energy weapons.’ One can start from the aspect of the expenditure of energy. As long as one can achieve the most effective balance between the expended amount of energy and the killing power of the weapon, it would be extremely beneficial in battles. Of course, one can also discuss the various types of weapons. The bladed type energy weapon is more durable than the firearms type, and moreover, an energy blade can even cut through reinforced concrete. Though blades have a weak point of having a limited range, if one is able to use a mix of bladed weapons and firearms…”
I completely understood the distress of the young master’s classmates now.
I gently called out, “Young Master.”
He halted his words and looked at me, still having a miserable look on his face.
I tried my best to explain clearly. “Your classmates actually only wanted to grumble to each other a little that the assignment the teacher gave was too tough and were not really intending to discuss the contents of the report. Therefore, next time you can also follow along and grumble a little, and then you will be able to join your classmates’ conversation.”
“But what’s the use of grumbling?” The young master frowned and seemed not to understand in the least bit as he said, “After grumbling, you still have to do your assignment! Moreover, grumbling would not only waste your time, it also doesn’t help with the contents of the report. Why not discuss the details of the assignment then?”
What truly valuable advice… What a pity it is not the correct answer.
I couldn’t help but recall Mr. Kyle’s words. He had said that the young master was extremely cultured but was extremely lacking in common knowledge with regard to normal human relationships. He could not have been more accurate with his description. The lifestyle and behavior of the young master was just like the idealized lifestyle of a teenager out of a textbook… yet a far cry from that of an actual teenager.
I explained to the young master in detail, “It is because they feel that it is very painful to do the assignment, so they would grumble about it to each other first. This would let everyone be able to vent their emotions, and then they would be more willing to do their assignment.”
“I don’t find it painful!” The young master replied in a small voice, “The assignment is very simple. Compared to talking to my classmates, it is much simpler…”
I inwardly gave a wry smile. An ordinary person would usually rather talk to others than do their assignment, right?
After giving it some thought, I suggested, “Young Master, after you have finished your dinner and also talked to Master, let us go watch the news. Following that, we can talk to each other about the contents of the news. We can practice a little first, and then tomorrow, you will be able to talk with your classmates about the events reported in the news.”
“Sure!” The young master agreed enthusiastically while looking at me with an expression as if I had saved him.
After dinner, the young master ended his conversation with the master early and sat in the living room waiting for me. Seeing this, I too hurriedly put down the cleaning that I had been doing. I rushed over to the living room and turned on the television.
At that moment, the television was broadcasting various deeds of heroes. For the most popular news story today, nothing could surpass the deed done by the hero named “Dark Sun.” At noon today, he dealt with an incident regarding a bus being seized by terrorists.
Once I saw that, I happily commented, “Ah, this is really wonderful. Dark Sun is a very good conversation topic.”
The young master’s eyes widened, and then he asked me in astonishment, “Why is that so?”
I smiled. “Asking people why” is indeed a pretty good conversation starter. I started to “chat” with the young master with the intention of making use of this chance to also conveniently build up his common knowledge.
“Young Master, due to the advancement of science and technology in the area of technological modification in the recent years, there are a lot of people who have gained a large amount of strength from modifying their body. The immense power obtained resulted in strong villains but, at the same time, also brought up countless heroes. Regarding all this, you should have already known about it, right?”
The young master hesitated for a moment, but he still gave a nod of his head.
Thankfully, the young master was not as lacking in common knowledge as I had imagined so, though I was a little nervous about his hesitation. If he did not even know about “heroes,” then I would really have to “start teaching him from the very beginning.”
I continued, “Though there are a lot of heroes, a majority of them are short-lived. After all, if heroes can modify themselves to become stronger, the evildoers can modify themselves to become even stronger. There are quite a few heroes who are either dead or were defeated at the hands of the villains and do not dare show themselves ever again.
“However, there are always a few exceptions among them. One of them is ‘Dark Sun.’ He is a hero who suddenly emerged five years ago. Up to now, none have heard of his defeat, though within the current heroes, there are a few more people who have managed this feat. For example, the hero that has been named by others as the most violent hero, Dragon Peace, the most dashing hero, First Wind, and the only female hero, Solitary Butterfly.”
The young master seemed to blank out upon hearing this, and he blankly said, “I didn’t even know that there were this many heroes.”
I felt a little weak as I gave a smile. Heroes have been the most popular topic in the recent few years. Even a ten-year-old would probably be able to mention the names of at least five heroes off the top of their head and even be eager to say which hero was the one they idolized.
“Then, Dark Sun shouldn’t be a rather famous hero, right? Just now when you mentioned the most violent, the most dashing and the like, Dark Sun was not included!” The young master asked, full of curiosity.
I gave a smile and then shook my head saying, “Just the opposite, Young Master. That is because Dark Sun is always wearing silver-colored goggles, and one cannot see what his true appearance is. Most importantly, he always comes and goes without a trace and has been named as the most mysterious hero. Mysterious and strong heroes are exactly the kind of people that teenagers like to idolize the most, and hence, naturally, he is a good conversation topic.”
The young master seemed to be a little hesitant as he pondered, as if he did not know how to reply as per usual.
I attempted to give the young master a helping hand. “Young Master, what are your feelings regarding Dark Sun?”
“I don’t feel anything!” The young master exclaimed with a little helplessness, and then he boldly replied, “I don’t know him, so what could I possibly feel toward him?”
Smiling, I replied, “Young Master, you won’t be able to converse with your classmates this way. You could try saying instead that you don’t really know and then ask the other party about what they think.”
“Then what are your feelings regarding Dark Sun?” The young master stared at me with curiosity.
The young master certainly learns fast…
I gave it some thought and then chose to reply in a way that would never offend anyone, “I feel that with the existence of heroes, it would at least make those people who are planning to do evil have some apprehensions. This would also benefit the average civilian. Moreover, the existence of a hero would always be able to ignite hope in the people. Also, I think that the fact that Dark Sun does not show his true appearance and does not seek any reward for doing good deeds is something that makes people admire him. “
“His true appearance, huh?” The young master pondered over it for a moment and then inquisitively asked, “Charles, what do you think Dark Sun would look like?”
It appears that the young master has already grasped that the essence of conversation is ‘questioning.’
“I have not thought about it before.” Smiling, I replied, “I believe that everyone would like to know a hero’s true appearance! However, if possible, I would on the contrary hope that I would not run into him.”
“Why?” The young master’s eyes turned wide, and he exclaimed, “Didn’t you say that everyone would hope to see the heroes?”
“Yes, I did. However, Young Master, the mentioned ‘everyone’ is referring to the human population while Charles is a vampire.” I gave a forced smile as I continued, “To heroes, a vampire who sucks the blood of humans is probably their natural enemy, right? If a hero were to scream bloody murder and attempt to kill me, I would be very distressed.”
The young master tilted his head again, seeming to be thinking it over. Then he looked at me and asked, “Charles, where does all the blood you drink come from?”
As expected. This question is something that every employer of mine has asked. After all, they would not wish for my food to be sucked out of their necks.
I respectfully answered, “All of the blood is bought from the hospital.”
“I know that you buy it from the hospital! The name of the hospital is on top of all the blood packs.” The young master seemed not to mind in the least as he continued to ask, “What I meant was, Charles, you don’t like to go out during the daytime, but I haven’t seen you go out at night either. Also, by the time I go to sleep, it’s already ten, and the hospital should be closed by then?”
So he was actually asking about that. I smiled as I replied, “There is someone who specially helps send it over to me by express delivery, so I do not need to go out to buy it.”
The young master looked at me for quite a while. Just as I was feeling puzzled and about to take the initiative to ask him what he wished to know, he gave a smile as he said, “Charles, don’t tell me that you haven’t bitten anyone with your teeth before?”
Once I heard this question, my whole body froze. I was extremely uncomfortable regarding this topic. However, I still answered truthfully, “Yes, I have.”
“Oh!” The young master’s eyes widened a little, and as though he was in disbelief, he said, “I completely couldn’t tell that was the case. It feels like Charles is a lot gentler than humans. It’s so hard to imagine that you would bite someone!”
No matter how gentle I am, I am still a vampire! I gave a wry smile as I told him, “Young Master, didn’t you already see me reveal my fangs and claws on the first night?”
“I did!” The young master seemed a little excited as he replied, “It was very cool! Suddenly turning from a Mr. Nice Guy into a vampire, and moreover, you seemed very strong!”
Young Master… A normal person should feel that it is very scary instead of very cool, right?
“Do all vampires have fangs and sharp fingernails?” The young master asked inquisitively.
“Yes, that is a basic ability,” I answered honestly. Tonight, the young master seemed to be especially interested in vampires.
He appeared to be in thought again and then asked even more excitedly, “Then are there vampires that can fly?”
The young master seems to be especially interested in flight? I thought for a moment and then replied, “I only know of vampires that can float for a short duration. However, as for those that can truly take flight, I have yet to see any. Then again, I think that it is possible that they exist, just that majority of vampires are not willing to reveal their true strength.”
After my answer, the young master started thinking deeply over it, though from my point of view, he looked more like he was in a daze. After he was lost in thought for a long while, he abruptly opened his mouth to ask, “Charles, do you know a place with a lot of vampires?”
Hearing this question, I almost became hostile. Almost hostile, but not quite, for I knew that I should still continue to maintain an expression befitting that of a butler. I politely and respectfully gave a bow as I apologized, “Young Master, please forgive Charles for not being able to tell you.”
I kept my back bent, waiting for the young master to tell me that it was okay, or to unhappily complain of me being a killjoy and the like. However, the young master instead asked in a timid voice, “Charles, are you angry?”
I was a little astonished. Have I shown any trace of anger?
“Charles does not dare to be.”
The young master fell silent for a while and then said, “I’m sorry. I was only… Anyway, I won’t ask about matters regarding vampires anymore in the future. Don’t be angry. I’ll leave to remodel the guns. You can go do your own business.”
I was stunned and straightened my back. I saw the young master turn off the television, open the door to the workroom, and walk away without even looking back. He sat down in front of the table and started to remodel firearms.
I poured a cup of milk for the young master, and the young master gave me a word of thanks in return. I too did not inquire as to whether the “conversation” practice was to be continued some other day and only silently watched the young master remodel firearms.
Thinking back on it, I was indeed a little bit angry. In the past few days, the young master had never seemed to mind that I was a vampire. Hence, my expectations toward him had apparently risen, and I always thought that the young master had never viewed me as someone from a different kind. However, he had asked so many things regarding vampires this night, causing me to feel a little disappointed.
Though, I was still rather mystified. How did the young master manage to see through my feelings?
The next morning, when I saw the young master out of the house, he seemed a little downcast.
This did not make me feel like sleeping at all when I lay down in my metal cabinet. I only felt upset. Why did I have to become angry at the young master because of such a small problem? No matter who it is, they would definitely be interested in things that they don’t understand. Moreover, the young master is a young man. If young men are not curious, then can they still be called young men?
It was just a conversation, and the young master had not forced me to answer.
Sigh… Though my current age is already much greater than that of my deceased, honorable father, I still do not have the cool-headedness he had while he was serving as a butler. As expected, I still have a lot of areas where I need to improve.
Tonight, after the young master returns, I should go apologize to him and then continue our conversation practice.
After thinking it through, I finally felt sleepier.
I woke up from a state of being half sleep. Opening my eyes, I immediately knew that it was the doorbell.
After leaving the metal cabinet that I slept in, I walked to the living room. The sunlight shone in through the window curtains that were drawn apart, and it was extremely blinding. I avoided the sunlight that was shining in and then took a glance at the clock on the wall in passing. It was currently midday. No wonder I felt this uncomfortable.
Walking to the front door, I pressed the button to show the incoming visitors on the screen at the doorbell. Three people were shown clearly on the screen, but I did not recognize a single one of them. Perhaps they were acquaintances of the young master … Though I did not think in the least bit that someone as cultured as the young master would know these three people who were dressed like small fry gangsters.
Even if the visitors looked like they did not even know how to spell the word “etiquette,” I still asked them courteously, “May I ask who this is?”
Outside, the person standing in the center roared rudely, “Charles Endelis! We are from the Falcon Group!”
Hearing this name, my mood immediately soured. So they do not simply look like small fry gangsters but really are gangsters. I said indifferently, “I am sorry, but you are not welcome here.”
I did not want to bother with them. Even if it was currently midday, they did not have the guts to provoke me. The only reason why I had not turned off the monitor and gone back to sleep in my metal cabinet was because I was worried that these people would break the front door. This was the young master’s residence after all.
“Do you not care about your young master anymore?”
My expression rapidly changed, and I instantly pulled open the front door. With my tone lowered, I said, “What did you say? What did you all do to the young master?”
When the three people saw the door swing open and me standing right in front of their eyes, they all received a terrible fright and retreated several steps. Each of them took out a different kind of firearm and aimed at me, roaring, “Stop! Take another step and your young master is definitely going to die!”
I frowned and partially revealed my fangs as I growled, “You all should be well aware of my identity. Guns are useless against me. So what is the situation with the young master, tell me now!”
Unexpectedly, the three instantly turned tail and fled. They actually did not even have the courage to fire at me. Only the footsteps of one faltered a little as he dropped a wad of paper and then clumsily ran down the stairs without looking back .
I did not chase after them. Having served a mob boss more than once, I knew that these small fries would not know much. Thus, I only walked forward and picked up the slip of paper. There was only a string of telephone digits written on it. Other than that, there was no message at all.
Could it be that the young master has really been captured…? Calm down! I need to calm down. There are many hidden bodyguards by the young master’s side. It is impossible that something would happen.
I returned to my room and picked up the cell phone that the young master had given to me. I first dialed the young master’s number; however, there was instead a ringing sound coming from his room. When I entered and took a look, his cell phone was left right beside his bed. It looked like the young master had forgotten to bring it with him.
I could only open the contacts inside my cell phone. Inside of it were the contact numbers of quite a few squads of bodyguards. I called the person who was in charge of all the bodyguards. Once the phone was picked up, I instantly questioned, “May I inquire as to the current whereabouts of the young master?”
The person on the other end of the phone also replied in simple terms as though he was highly trained in this matter, “We lost him.”
I was stunned and then hurriedly asked again, “When did you lose him?”
“In the morning, ever since the young master left the house. He didn’t go to school either, and his whereabouts are unknown. We’re still in the midst of tracking him down.”
Hearing that, my blood ran cold. Could it be that the young master has really been captured by the Falcon Group?
From the phone, the voice of the other person transmitted again. “Please don’t be overly worried. The young master does this often.”
“Is that so?” I gave a forced smile. Within his tone, he seemed to be complaining a little. It seemed like the young master really makes these bodyguards distressed rather often.
However, this time it was very probable that it could be different than usual.
I ended the call and dialed the phone number listed on the slip of paper.
Once the call connected, the other party spoke my name in a voice of hatred, as though he hated me so much that his teeth itched. I was extremely familiar with this voice, for I had been employed under him for two months as a butler… No! I should say employed under him for two months as a hitman.
I coldly replied, “Mr. Burt, if you have any problems, please direct them at me. You should be well aware of my price tag, and for someone to be able to employ me as a butler, they would surely not be an ordinary person. You would not want to provoke the young master’s family!”
The other man started laughing madly, and then he coldly replied, “Do you take me as a fool? I have thoroughly investigated that person An Xiang Ye. He is but a wastrel who is squandering money from the insurance of both his parents’ death!”
I was shocked. But, this was impossible. Though I had not properly heard the young master talk about family matters, I knew that the young master still had a father and an elder brother at least. Moreover, by the young master’s words, the elder brother who was the one with power in this household was definitely no ordinary person.
The young master was most definitely not a wastrel. He did not have any splurging habits at all. Even for midnight snacks, he would always go to a regular barbeque shop. Though it was true that the items inside the house were all very expensive, I believed that none of them were bought by the young master. Most probably, it was the master who had bought them. That was because ever since I became the young master’s butler, I had never seen the young master buy any luxury goods.
Because I could not understand him, I stayed silent. However, the other side obviously thought that it was a sign of my guilty conscience. After he gave a cold laugh, he said, “If you want your young master to be perfectly unharmed, then go to the indicated place within thirty minutes. If you’re late by a minute, I’ll chop off one of your young master’s limbs. If you’re late by five minutes, then be prepared to receive his corpse!”
Following that, he gave me a location. I knew the place. It was an abandoned garbage dump. The surroundings were extremely open, and there was no shelter at all. I would be completely exposed to the light of the noon sun, and this was clearly the other’s aim.
After the other person had finished his harsh words, he immediately hung up.
I frowned. That location was a little far, so there was not much time for me to hesitate. No matter what, I would have to go over and take a look.
I hastily put on my full traditional suit. This suit was extremely thick and was completely black. Lastly, I put on a black cape. This layer upon layer of black clothing would be able to absorb a large amount of ultraviolet rays and not let them shine directly onto my body.
Finally, I put on a black western-styled man’s hat and black sunglasses. Then I opened the full-length window and walked to the balcony. Even though I had this much protection, the sunlight still made me feel extremely uncomfortable as per usual, as though I was being roasted.
I jumped onto the railing of the balcony. Then, with a leap, I crossed two buildings and landed on the roof of a third. When I landed, not a single sound was made. With a running start, I made another jump… Just like this, again and again, I jumped from one building to another and proceeded toward my destination soundlessly yet rapidly.