Eclipse Hunter Volume 2: Having Friends, Having Feelings
Original novel in Chinese by: 御我 (Yu Wo)
Chapter One: A Demon Incarnate—translated by Trespasserby (proofread by Arcedemius & EvlNabiki; C/E edited by lucathia)
Although a small number of elites in the world had their diaries dictated by conspiracies and schemes every day, most of the populace’s lives were fortunately still peaceful.
At the very least, the morning streets of the city were still tranquil.
Two ordinary youths walked along these city streets. If one had to say what might be strange about them, it would be that these two people had unusual hair colors, one silver and one orange.
The silver-haired boy looked especially proper. His hair was parted neatly and his school uniform was ironed straight. In this day and age, even if you combed through the most famous schools, it would be difficult to find such a classic example of a student.
The orange-haired youth had a laidback appearance. Although he looked that way, his tall and sturdily built figure along with his muscled arms exposed by his short-sleeved shirt warned other people that he wasn’t someone to mess with.
Aside from his muscles, his head of orange hair that wildly spiked up toward the sky looked exactly like an angry hedgehog. Not to mention the clothes he was wearing were wrinkled and tattered and torn. Such a classic example of a delinquent was also hard to find.
A rigidly by-the-book student and a delinquent walking together would draw some strange looks from people, but this was still within the scope of ordinary life, nothing too strange. At least, so far it was still within expectations.
“Ezart, Ezart…. Ezart…”
“What do you want?! Calling me over and over. Are you trying to lure my spirit out?!” Ezart replied back, extremely irritated.
When he looked back, an idiotic youth had his entire body plastered against the transparent glass of a display window that had been polished sparkly clean. Fortunately, there was an eighty percent chance that the shop clerk inside was still yawning because it was so early, and hadn’t discovered this yet. Otherwise, he probably would have already rushed out to scold them.
This teenager had recently become Ezart’s classmate. And because he was stupid, so stupid he couldn’t tell how dangerous this orange hedgehog-haired and muscle-bound classmate was, he kept walking together with Ezart. As a result, the two of them had a strange relationship where they weren’t as indifferent to each other as regular classmates, but also definitely couldn’t be called friends in the end.
Ezart continued to maintain that it was the sort of fundamental compassion any person would have upon seeing a stupid dog lying in the middle of a busy road and having no choice but to kick it aside to avoid having the cars squish it into a meat patty. Therefore, he walked with Ri Xiang Ye.
Without him, the obedient-looking Ri Xiang Ye would have been beaten up and extorted by his schoolmates an unknown number of times already.
“Look!” Ri Xiang Ye turned his head, his face full of excitement. He pointed straight at the thing in the display window, urgently asking, “What is it? What is that?”
Ezart frowned and looked at the display window. Displayed inside was one of the currently most popular handheld virtual lover consoles. The entire console case was designed as a heart. The color was even an exclusively feminine pink. What the heck, hasn’t this been popular for a long time already? Even three year old kids know what this toy is!
“What is it?” Ri Xiang Ye was anxiously awaiting his answer.
Baffled, Ezart looked him over for a moment. Did this brat grow up in a cave?
“It’s a toy! A dating game.”
“A toy?” Ri Xiang Ye turned to look again at the pink, heart-shaped device, thinking of the toys his brother had bought for him when he was little. There were small balls, storybooks, markers…
Ezart impatiently pulled him away by the arm and urged, “Come on. If you don’t get going, you’ll be late to class!”
After he finished speaking, he turned around to leave. Who would have guessed that behind him, Ri Xiang Ye would point at the display window to succinctly and resolutely shout, “I want that!”
Someone nearly slipped…
“That’s for kids!” Ezart whirled around to roar.
Although it really wasn’t like that, since plenty of adults were captivated by this sort of thing as well, from Ezart’s point of view, this sort of thing was no different from the toys kids played with.
Ri Xiang Ye immediately turned his head to look at Ezart, his gaze full of disappointment, his eyes watery. It was like he was silently asking, I can’t buy it? I really can’t? But I really want to buy it. Let me buy it!
He looks just like a puppy begging for a bone! Ezart buried his face in his large hand, and with no other choice, sighed, “Do what you want!”
Following that, he indifferently watched Ri Xiang Ye rush into the store in high spirits. Then under the shop clerk’s strange looks, Ri Xiang Ye refused other options and stubbornly picked the pink, heart-shaped simulator in the display window. His eyes were sparkling when he looked at Ezart off to the side.
“Ezart, you should get one too, so we can play together,” Ri Xiang Ye happily called out. He felt that toys had to be played together with other people to be fun. His brother had always played with him in the past.
Ezart coldly huffed, “I’m not interested in that kind of thing.”
Ri Xiang Ye disappointedly went, “Oh,” but then decided to pick up his new toy. At this moment, the shop clerk reminded him with an ugly expression, “My apologies. Please pay first. Your total is twenty-five thousand yuan.”
“What? Twenty-five thousand yuan?” Hearing the price, Ezart immediately shouted, “You’re ripping him off!”
Seeing the mountains of muscle on Ezart, the shop clerk was a bit scared. However, he remembered that public security on this street was excellent! If he pressed the alarm button, the police were sure to arrive within three minutes. His courage was bolstered once again.
If he had known that Ezart was the famed Yelan Academy combat department’s god of destruction, and wouldn’t even need thirty seconds to send him to the hospital, his response would probably have been very different.
The shop clerk rudely extended his hand with newfound courage. “It is indeed twenty-five thousand yuan. If you can’t pay up, then please leave. Otherwise, I’ll be calling security.” The shop keeper’s hand was already on the alarm. He believed that there was no way these two students could pull out twenty-five thousand.
Ezart coldly laughed and was about to drag Ri Xiang Ye away from this shady store…
“Can I use this? Ri Xiang Ye pulled out a credit card and passed it over to the shop clerk.
The shop clerk coolly glanced at the credit card, slowly pulling it over. He even said, “Are you certain this credit card has enough on it…”
Ri Xiang Ye honestly replied, “I don’t know either. Gēge gave it to me. He said I can use it to buy things. Can I?”
Ri Xiang Ye hadn’t even finished speaking when the shop clerk suddenly broke out in the world’s most brilliant smile. The frosty look in his eyes earlier was now the look of someone who had spotted the lover of their dreams, a passion that could almost melt an iceberg. He fervently nodded his head and said, “Of course you may! Please wait a moment. I will immediately process this. May I ask if you would like to peruse our other products? Would you like me to recommend some of our newest simulator models?”
Ezart gave the shop clerk a strange look. Is this guy insane?
Ri Xiang Ye shook his head. He clutched the pink, heart-shaped simulator to his chest, saying, “I just want this!”
“Very well. Thank you for your purchase. Please grace us with your presence again.” The shop clerk proffered Ri Xiang Ye’s credit card, his smile like the one the madam of a brothel would have while inviting in a customer.
Ri Xiang Ye excitedly began to play with the pink, heart-shaped device.
Type in your name. Pick a name for your lover. Select an appearance… As he did so, he asked, “Ezart, what name do you think would be good for my lover?”
“Call her Xiao Ai.” Ezart offhandedly picked one of the two words from “liàn ài” (romance) and replied.
“Oh. O.K. Xiao Ai…” Ri Xiang Ye entered in the name with seriousness. Then, he asked, “What about hair color?”
“Pink,” Ezart irresponsibly threw out again.
Ri Xiang Ye input the settings, when suddenly, the microchip in his brain sent out a warning… He abruptly stopped playing, crying out as he looked up. “Oh no! I’m going to be late!”
“You’ve just realized? I even thought an airheaded stickler for the rules like you was actually going to play until you forgot to go to class.”
Ri Xiang Ye looked at his watch. There weren’t even ten minutes left until class. However, the school was at least a twenty minute walk from his current location. It looked like it was already certain that he would be late.
Seeing the brat was really going into a panic, Ezart rolled his eyes. “Please. You’re just going to be late. What’s there to be worked up about? Everyone in Yelan Academy has been late before.”
Ri Xiang Ye interrupted his words. “Sorry, Ezart. I’ll be going first.” After he finished, he didn’t wait around and took off like a gust of wind.
The brat is actually pretty fast! Ezart scratched his face. Does he not want to be late that badly? But it’s rush hour right now. Even if he’s planning to hail a taxi, he won’t make it.
“If you don’t want to be late, you’d better fly,” Ezart joked. Then he continued to lazily walk to school.
Ri Xiang Ye clearly understood that he’d only be on time if he flew. Generally speaking, most people had no way to fly. But that didn’t apply to him.
Ri Xiang Ye wasn’t most people. It could be said that half his body wasn’t human anymore.
After he’d left Ezart’s line of sight and darted into an alley off to the side, he speedily messed up his hair and took off his uniform, revealing the red skintight shirt underneath. Finally, he pulled out and put on a silver visor from his backpack.
Steel wings, activate!
A large part of Ri Xiang Ye’s cyborg body was “liquid metal.” This kind of metal structure was extremely fluid and extraordinarily strong. As a consequence, he weighed a full ninety-three kilograms, but it also contributed to his strong physical form.
To control the part of him that wasn’t human, Ri Xiang Ye’s brain had microchip that similarly wasn’t human. When Ri Xiang Ye suddenly became aware that he was about to be late just earlier, it was also because of a warning sent by the microchip.
The microchip precisely redirected the liquid metal from his four limbs to flow toward his back and out the skin on both sides. Two perfectly symmetrical feathers finished forming. But while real feathers would be soft, these two synthetic feathers were indestructible.
Following that, like a movie on fast forward, more metal feathers continued to take shape. Row by row, they layered on top of each other. Finally, two enormous metal wings had emerged out from this slender teenager.
The person who had sprouted wings was about to spread his wings and soar, but suddenly remembered something. “Right, my expression…”
He smacked his cheeks. As he removed his hands, the perpetual expression of a curious bookworm disappeared. The obedient Ri Xiang Ye no longer existed, replaced by an icy, expressionless cyborg who always prioritized his master. Even if he had to turn into a demon to do so, he would complete his orders…
His name was now—Dark Sun!
What the cyborg Dark Sun planned to do next was to follow his master’s order—Take school seriously! Don’t be late!
Although his ability to fly would allow him to complete this order, there was another order from the master he had to follow—Don’t let any inhuman abilities get discovered!
If he flew in front of Ezart, he would violate the command to not expose his abilities. However, the microchip in his brain had calculated the time he would need to take to arrive at school based on his ability to fly, and issued a warning according to that time restriction. As a result, aside from flying, there was no other way for him to arrive to school on time.
Since he had no other option than to fly, he could only approach this from the angle of not exposing his inhuman abilities.
Luckily, his master had only wanted “Ri Xiang Ye’s” inhuman abilities to not be uncovered. But when it came to “Dark Sun”… This was a sneaky kind of makeshift solution.
He slowly flapped his wings a few times, testing his steel wings and confirming that they were still functioning well. Dark Sun took a deep breath. Then his slender figure rocketed into the azure sky.
Dark Sun flew up very high, with only blue sky and white clouds around him. The buildings and cars on the ground looked as small as matchboxes.
Although he’d already disguised himself so that other people wouldn’t be able to tell his actual identity, anyone would be shocked to see a person with wings flying around in the sky. Flying up a bit higher would keep him out of view from most people.
Another reason was that Ri Xiang Ye also loved the sensation of flying in a blue sky like this.
Dark Sun didn’t mind indulging… his other self a little while obeying his master’s orders.
Unfortunately, he was pressed for time today. Dark Sun only flew for a little bit before he slowly landed in a small alleyway near the school.
Thankfully it was still morning and the streets didn’t have a lot of passersby. Otherwise, he likely would have had to stop somewhere farther away. If that had happened, he probably wouldn’t have had enough time left to reach school.
Dark Sun removed his visor, retracted his huge wings, and put his uniform back on. He expressionlessly straightened out his clothing… Someone is approaching!
Another one of Dark Sun’s abilities was suddenly put to use. The fingernails on his right hand abruptly extended three centimeters. Even in this dim alley, it was still visible that these fingernails were different from a human’s. No human’s fingernails glinted with a cold, metallic, deadly light.
A student wearing Chinese style clothes froze after seeing him, and switched to an expression of contempt to say, “Ah, it’s you. Ezart’s lackey.”
It was Bai Lian Xing, Ri Xiang Ye’s classmate. After his assessment, Dark Sun immediately retracted his fingernails and switched to Ri Xiang Ye’s somewhat dorky expression. He timidly said, “Bai Lian Xing? It’s me. What is it?”
“Nothing!” Bai Lian Xing didn’t seem to want to bother paying attention to him. He only glanced all around. When he really didn’t see anyone else there, he had no other option than to ask the nerd in front of him, “Did you see a winged… A person’s shadow?”
After speaking partway, he suddenly changed his words. Although what he saw did really look like the silhouette of a person with wings descending here, he didn’t want to rashly say it to avoid being treated like a crazy person.
Ri Xiang Ye put on a foolish expression. “I didn’t see any birds.”
“It wasn’t a bird!” Bai Lian Xing impatiently rejected.
“Young Master, where are you?”
A few shouts of “Young Master” drifted over, followed by the sound of hurried footsteps. After that, three more people showed up in the alley, two males and a female. In addition, these three weren’t strangers. Dark Sun knew they were Bai Lian Xing’s attendants. They had come to study at Yelan Academy with Bai Lian Xing in order to serve and protect him.
Bai Lian Xing waved a hand. “I’m fine.”
Then, his eyes swept over Ri Xiang Ye’s body in suspicion. When he had charged into the alleyway just now, hadn’t the expression on this coward’s face seemed a bit… Merciless? Or maybe he’d been mistaken from the darkness of the alleyway?
Whatever! People would typically be expressionless when there wasn’t anyone around them, and that had led to me thinking it was a merciless expression…
“Hmph!” Bai Lian Xing coldly snorted, thinking to himself that this sort of lackey, who only knew how to toady up to the strong, couldn’t be related at all to the word “merciless.”
Bai Lian Xing’s attitude was haughty. After looking at Ri Xiang Ye from the corner of his eyes, he tossed out a sentence as though he were throwing money to the poor, “Tell Ezart that I’ll be waiting inside for him to come lose during today’s practicals!”
“Oh. Sure. I’ll tell him.” Dark Sun only nodded, not in the least resentful about the other person’s contempt.
Dark Sun never took things like feelings into account in his thought processes. Even as Ri Xiang Ye, he had also never learned to feel something as complex as being angry in response to being looked down upon.
Bai Lian Xing left the alleyway. He felt something was a little strange. Was that shadow just now really just a bird?
If he were anyone else, he would have already assumed that. But he knew that there truly was a winged person in this world. His eyes dangerously narrowed.
That guy who saved the Sun Emperor…
He didn’t doubt his own eyes. He had definitely seen the shadow of a winged person. Only, was there any link between that shadow and the guy who saved the Sun Emperor? Or maybe…
As he was pondering, a gust of wind suddenly swept by. He looked up in shock, unexpectedly seeing Ezart’s lackey running through the school gates at high speed and coincidentally stepping through the school gates a second before the bell sounded!
What speed! Bai Lian Xing was stupefied. The speed Ri Xiang Ye had used just then… Even someone like himself who focused on speed wouldn’t be able to say with full confidence that he could reach that.
The mysterious person who had saved the Sun Emperor, the winged shadow that had landed in the alleyway, and Ezart’s nerdy lackey… Could the three of them be connected?
No matter what their connection is, I’ll find out! Bai Lian Xing silently resolved.