Eclipse Hunter Volume 2: Having Friends, Having Feelings
Original novel in Chinese by: 御我(Yu Wo)
Chapter Six: Friends, All Together Now—translated by Trespasserby (proofread by JTao & Faren; C/E edited by Simone)
As usual, Ezart lazily sauntered into the classroom shortly after the bell had rung. Everyone, loud enough to raise hell, immediately fell quiet for a few seconds as they saw him come in. After concluding that the god of destruction’s expression was no different from usual, they continued raising hell.
He slowly walked over to his seat, offhandedly tossed aside his backpack, and prepared to do what he was compelled to do in class every day: sleep.
But today, Ri Xiang Ye had already been sitting in his own seat for a long time, waiting. He suddenly stood up and forcefully slammed his hands down on Ezart’s desk, keeping Ezart from sleeping.
Seeing this, Ezart coldly raised his head and glared at him.
The class fell silent once again. It was as though they had seen a ghost in broad daylight. Every student had their mouth wide open and stopped whatever they were doing.
“If you don’t get your hands off my desk, you’d better be ready to head to the hospital,” Ezart said with a frosty tone.
But the ice in his voice didn’t scare off Ri Xiang Ye. Rather, he said with absolute determination, “Ezart, come with me for a moment. I have something to ask you and something to tell you!”
What the hell is this idiot doing? Ezart doubtfully looked Ri Xiang Ye up and down. Does he really think I won’t clobber him?
And yet, Ri Xiang Ye seemed to know what Ezart was thinking. He even proposed on his own, “Let’s go to the roof. After you’ve heard what I have to say, if you still want to beat me up, you can beat me up all you want over there!”
Oh, he’s already prepared himself for a beating? That kind of bravery was worth wasting his time listening to a pile of bullsh*t. Ezart stood up and frankly said, “All right. To the roof.”
Once Ri Xiang Ye heard him say this, he inwardly let out a huge sigh of relief. He had been really worried Ezart would be unwilling to come with him at all! Afraid that Ezart would go back on his word, Ri Xiang Ye quickly picked up his backpack and hurriedly led the way.
Ezart followed him with the same lax, gangster-like walk. Just as he stepped out of the classroom, though, he turned back to glance at the class and lazily threw out a warning. “If anyone dares to eavesdrop, they’d better have steeled themselves to head to the hospital like him!”
And so, the two of them left the classroom. One led, the other followed. One was hurrying and the other was laidback.
It took a long time for the people in the classroom to recover from their shock. A person blankly said, “I didn’t think that nerd had those guts…”
There wasn’t a single soul on the roof. Then again, class was going on at the moment, and moreover, students weren’t even allowed up here in the first place.
Ezart had followed Ri Xiang Ye the whole way there, but once they arrived, all Ri Xiang Ye did was set down his backpack. He didn’t even turn around to face Ezart. He just stood there without moving.
Just as Ezart was about to lose patience, Ri Xiang Ye finally spoke up. “Ezart, I don’t know what taboo of yours I’ve violated.
I also don’t know why you’re angry, why you don’t want to go to school together with me anymore, or why you won’t let me talk to you.”
Ri Xiang Ye suddenly turned around. With determination in his eyes, he shouted, “But I don’t want things to be this way! I don’t want to part ways with you like this. I want to be friends with you — best friends, who go to school together, eat together, talk together, and have midnight snacks together!”
Hearing these words, Ezart was speechless. After a moment, he cursed, “Are you an idiot? You sound like a little kid. How old do you think you are…”
That moment, Ri Xiang Ye’s expression began gradually changing. The determined look in his eyes, along with his childlike expression, faded away completely, leaving behind a face without a trace of humanity in it. With just a change in expression, Ri Xiang Ye’s baby-faced innocence suddenly morphed into Dark Sun’s cold indifference with a face that caused people’s hearts to tremble in fear. Though his appearance was still delicate and cute, it was thoroughly overtaken by an inhuman coldness.
“Hey! Ah Ye, what’s going on?” Ezart asked, somewhat shocked.
With a single motion, Dark Sun tore off the school uniform he was wearing, exposing the red shirt and tight-fitting jeans underneath. Next, he bent down to pick up his backpack, pulling out rubbery boots and that silver visor…
After he donned the boots and the visor, he said to Ezart with a monotonous voice, “Haven’t you always wanted to fight me? Then, we can fight now.”
That nerd Ah Ye… was really Dark Sun?!
F***! What kind of situation is this? Ezart was left completely unable to react. He simply stared blankly at Ah Ye. He had been so childlike a moment ago and now transformed into the mysterious savant, Dark Sun!
But at that moment, Dark Sun took initiative and opened with a punch. It wasn’t very fast, meant only to remind Ezart that the fight had started.
Because he was stunned, Ezart barely managed to dodge sideways, only snapping out of it once Dark Sun’s fist was right in front of his eyes.
“My name is Dark Sun. Current age: nine years.”
What? Ezart dodged again, avoiding a kick from Dark Sun.
“When Ri Xiang Ye was seven years old, he was shut away in a laboratory by his father and reborn as a modified human.”
Ri Xiang Ye…? Shouldn’t it be An Xiang Ye? As Dark Sun spoke, Ezart dodged several more punches and lateral kicks. He was already getting more and more confused. Are Ah Ye and Dark Sun the same person or not? Why does it sound like they’re two different people?
“Specializing in combat, Dark Sun is the ultimate bodyguard. He only obeys orders from his master, who is, in fact, Ri Xiang Ye’s older brother.” Dark Sun’s tone was utterly toneless, as though he were simply making a report, rather than retelling his own life.
Finally, Ezart couldn’t hold back anymore. He counterattacked with a strong punch, while shouting, “Then what about Ah Ye? What is Ah Ye?”
“Ri Xiang Ye is… An ordinary boy. After he was locked away by his father at age seven, he was finally rescued by his brother. He doesn’t understand anything. He only wants to do as his brother said: be an ordinary boy, properly attend school, make good friends, live happily…”
Just then, Dark Sun’s fist hit the ground hard, creating a huge crater …
“But he doesn’t enjoy going to school at all.”
“The only enjoyable part of attending school was walking to and from school with Ezart, eating lunch and talking together, and also eating midnight snacks together! .”
Ezart hadn’t even finished processing those words when he was hit with the full brunt of one of Dark Sun’s heavy punches. Ezart’s body was rather sturdy, but surprisingly, even he couldn’t just shrug off the punch. He doubled over in pain, simply unable to dodge Dark Sun’s next action.
“What exactly is your taboo? Tell me, or I’ll kill you.”
His metal fingernails suddenly extended. Dark Sun’s eyes, black as night, held no emotion. Ezart only had to refuse, and Dark Sun really would kill the person before him, since he had made Ri Xiang Ye suffer and made him violate his master’s order to “be happy”…
What the hell is up with those nails? Ezart clutched his stomach, one knee on the ground, his mind full of doubt. Where does the strength in Ah Ye’s twiggy arms come from?
But those questions could be discussed later. Right now, the most pressing issue was that Dark Sun was walking over, and it was clear that he really would kill Ezart!
Ah Ye really wasn’t trying to bribe me into protecting him. By now, this point was very clear to Ezart. With that kind of strength, who’d have the capability to protect him?!
“You won’t say?” Dark Sun lowered his head to look at Ezart and lifted his right hand. The metal fingernails flashed with a cold light. Dispassionately, he said, “Then I’ll kill you.”
“Ah Ye, you’re such an idiot!” Ezart growled.
Dark Sun paused.
Ezart unhurriedly stood up as though he couldn’t see those deadly fingernails. He only spat a mouthful of bloody phlegm to the side and shouted at Dark Sun, “Who gives their friends money?! Friends don’t talk about money. Get it yet?!”
“I don’t…” Dark Sun’s icy expression crumbled in an instant. Ri Xiang Ye took off the visor, revealing his foolish expression, as though he were completely lost.
“Ah Ye? It’s you, right?” Ezart asked a little uncertainly. Going by his expression, it looked like Ah Ye the idiot was back?
What a relief! He would much rather see Ah Ye’s foolish expression than ever see Dark Sun’s lifeless look again.
Ri Xiang Ye nodded. Aggrieved, he explained, “Ezart, were you mad because I wanted to give you money for your tuition? B-But I only wanted to help you. If you had money, you wouldn’t need to fight in that arena you don’t like, right? Why’d you get mad instead?”
Ezart helplessly buried his face in his hands. This guy really crawled out from a cave… Wait, didn’t Dark Sun just say that Ah Ye was locked up by his father since he was seven or eight?
“When did your brother rescue you?” Ezart couldn’t help but ask.
Ri Xiang Ye tilted his head to count and replied, “One month, eighteen days ago.”
Locked up since he was seven or eight, and not let out until a month ago? Ezart finally realized why this guy had no common sense and seemed so childlike… No! Not childlike, this guy really was a little kid!
Well, sh*t! I’ve been arguing with someone who might not even be mentally ten years old?
With that thought, Ezart had the urge to slam his head against a wall.
“Why’d your dad want to shut you away? And, what’s with your nails? What the hell is Dark Sun? Are you two the same person?”
He sat on the ground, somewhat exhausted. He might as well hurl out all his questions at once and get them cleared up to avoid making another mess out of a misunderstanding later.
Ri Xiang Ye cautiously examined Ezart’s expression. Could he be… Forgiving me?
But Ezart’s expression was merely laidback, and he couldn’t read Ezart’s face at all. He could only ask directly, “Ezart, you aren’t mad anymore?”
Be mad at a ten year old kid? A slightly bizarre expression appeared on Ezart’s face. Then he embarrassedly replied, “I wasn’t angry! In the future, don’t talk about giving me money. I hate when people pay me off the most.”
“Oh! Then I won’t ever give you money.”
Ri Xiang Ye cheered up, but he was still a bit worried. Even if Ezart wasn’t angry, he still hadn’t said he wanted to be friends…
“Ezart, then, in the future, can we walk to and from school together?”
“And I can talk to you?”
“And, and we can eat midnight snacks together?”
“Then are we best friends?”
Ezart suddenly sat up. He wanted to teach this chatterbox a lesson, but as soon as he got up, he was faced with Ri Xiang Ye’s terribly hopeful eyes…
This brat really is a child… Ezart could only helplessly reply, “Yes, yes, yes! Are we good now? You’re really a pain! Answer my questions already, will you?”
Ri Xiang Ye was so happy he wanted to leap up and cheer. This is the best! Eloise was right. As long as you tell your friend everything, you’ll be best friends! Ezart’s my best friend now!
He was thinking about where he wanted to go eat midnight snacks that night with Ezart when he was suddenly smacked on the head. It was followed by Ezart grinding his teeth and saying, “Are you going to tell me or not?”
Ah! Ah! Oh no! Ezart’s about to get angry! Ri Xiang Ye hastily began to explain his past, “B-Bàba hated me because Māmā died giving birth to me…”
Ezart used his hands to prop up his head and lay down as he listened to Ri Xiang Ye describe a past that sounded like it had come from a storybook…
“… Finally, Gēge saved me. Now, I live with Gēge and An Te Qi-bàba, at home.”
It feels like this is actually a huge secret… Whatever, it doesn’t matter! Ezart was quiet for a while before asking, “Your brother really loves you? Has he not treated you like a robot bodyguard?”
Ri Xiang Ye replied as though it were a matter of course. “Gēge loves me the most, and he hates me being Dark Sun most of all. Last time, when I went to save him, he even got angry!”
“Oh,” Ezart said. “That’s good, then…”
“Ah Ye! Where are you? That bastard Ezart isn’t bullying you, is he, my Ah Ye?!~~”
Strange expressions simultaneously crossed the faces of the two on the roof. Only Eloise had a voice that could reach their ears while she was still several hundred meters away.
Ezart glanced at Ri Xiang Ye before warning, “Your clothes!”
Ri Xiang Ye lowered his head to look. He was wearing a red, tight-fitting shirt… Oh no!
At that moment, the sound of Eloise’s forceful and rapid footsteps already seemed to be drawing close to the rooftop. Ri Xiang Ye hurriedly grabbed the clothes from the ground, but he didn’t have enough time to put them on. He could only grab his backpack too and hide behind the water tank.
Ri Xiang Ye had only just ducked behind the water tank when he remembered Eli’s ability to read minds, so he hastily switched to Dark Sun’s emotionless way of thinking.
With a bang, Eloise slammed open the rooftop’s steel door and rushed in with the ferocity of a demon. Then she roared in fury, “Ezart! I won’t let you bully Ah Ye!~~”
Ezart lazily sat up. “Why the hell would I be bullying him?”
Only then did Eloise really take a good look at her surroundings. She was baffled. Strange! Why is Ezart the only one here? She had clearly heard the people in Class D say that Ezart and Ri Xiang Ye were having a talk on the roof! She thought of how cute, how delicate, and how naïve and guileless Ah Ye was. How could he win in an argument with that violent bastard Ezart? Wahhh! What if Ah Ye’s adorable face has been pummeled into a lump of meat…
“Where’s Ah Ye?” Eloise pointedly asked.
At that moment, two other people entered the rooftop. Elian and Eli went to stand next to Eloise, to show their support as well as their opposition towards Ezart.
“Eloise, I don’t think Ezart would hurt Ah Ye. Don’t be so aggressive,” Elian advised, smiling.
But on the inside, you’re even more furious than Eloise… Eli silently thought, off to the side.
“He went home,” Ezart offhandedly said.
“You liar!” Eloise reflexively shot back and forcefully interrogated, “Your classmates clearly said you and he were having a talk. How could he have gone home… No way! You threw him off the roof already?! Oh heavens, my sweet Ah Ye!”
After she finished speaking, she immediately rushed to the side, climbing up onto the chain link fence. She looked down, searching for the smashed and broken Ah Ye she imagined.
“Then, if you would, please tell us where Ah Ye is. Is that alright?”
The smile on Elian’s face grew wider, and his question to Ezart was exceedingly gentle and polite. But at the same time, Eli, who was next to him, backed up several steps, as though he couldn’t bear standing too close to Elian.
Ezart waved his hand and replied impatiently, “I said he went home. Didn’t you hear?!”
Elian’s hands slowly clenched. He asked slowly, one word at a time, “Where. Is. Ah Ye?!”
It was a pity that Ezart wasn’t someone who could be intimidated. He sneered and repeated what he said before, “He went home.”
“He went home?” Elian asked with a slight smile. “Are you sure?”
“Lian, he…” Eloise was a little scared. Apparently, she had never seen Elian in such a state before. Isn’t he supposed to be the coolly rational and level-headed one?
Eli once again put several paces between him and Elian. Then he explained to Eloise, “Earlier, he was very worried about Ah Ye. Now, he’s extremely angry, no, outraged!”
Outraged?! Eloise turned her head to look at Elian. The smile on his face was so wide it was terrifying… Unconsciously, she took several steps back. She continued until she was next to Eli, just shy of actually hiding behind his back.
“Elian looks so scary. I’ll leave Ezart to him. It’s better if I go look for Ah Ye.”
After Eloise reached her decision, she immediately turned to leave… Ah!
“What are you doing, Eli? Let go of my collar. I have to go find Ah Ye…”
“You aren’t trying to run away, are you?”
After using both hands to grab Eloise’s collar, Eli slowly turned his head. Half his face was in shadow as he coldly asked, “You want to leave me alone to deal with a rampaging Elian?”
“…” Eloise actually really wanted to say “Yes.”
“Don’t forget, we’re combat partners. Would you want me to give you false information during a fight in the future?”
Eloise’s expression crumbled. She wailed wretchedly, as though the world was about to end. “Wahhh! Eli, let go of me! A rampaging Lian is so horrifyingly strong, I don’t want to stay! Spare me!”
A rampaging Lian is horrifyingly strong?
Dark Sun was hiding behind the water tank. He had originally planned on jumping straight down from the building and leaving. After all, Ezart had even lied to cover for him, stubbornly saying he had gone home. So, he had intended to act accordingly with what Ezart had said and actually go home, but Eloise’s words made him stop.
So strong, is he…?
The instinct to seek out and duel strong opponents awakened in Dark Sun’s mind… Or rather, in the microchip. Unconsciously, he took a step out from behind the water tank. No! Ezart lied for me. I can’t let him down! Ri Xiang Ye shouted in his heart.
Dark Sun’s foot slowly drew back…
At that moment, Eli suddenly shouted, “Eloise, the water tank! Someone’s hiding behind it!”
Due to her tacit understanding with Eli, Eloise immediately sent a flying kick at the water tank, almost exactly as Eli finished speaking. She put an extraordinary amount of power behind that kick, even kicking a hole in the water tank. A large amount of water rushed out, and the water tank toppled over, falling to the ground with a loud crash.
Elian shouted in a panic, “Damn, what if it’s Ah Ye…”
Eli cut Elian’s words off, eyes looking straight past the water tank. “I can barely hear his thoughts… I’ve only met one person like this.”
The stream of water gradually dwindled, and the dust from the water tank’s fall to the ground slowly settled. A slender, fit figure appeared before them. He had silver hair, a matching visor, a red shirt and tight-fitting pants and boots…
Elian smiled coldly upon seeing this person. He turned to Ezart and said, “Interesting! So you do know Dark Sun, you were just pretending to be stupid.”
Ha! I only just found out that I knew Dark Sun too… Ezart scratched his head without saying anything in his defense. But Ah Ye, you brat, why did you stick around instead of leaving? You wasted my hard work to hide your identity.
“Hey! Ah Ye really did go home. You’ll see that he’s all in one piece tomorrow.” Ezart really didn’t want to get any more caught up in this mess.
“Why would he go home?” Elian sneered as he said, “Class is still going on. Ah Ye’s such a good student, he wouldn’t skip class for no reason.”
Ezart was at a loss for words. He really couldn’t find an excuse for why a model student like Ah Ye would go home early.
“The young master went home at the master’s request.”
Everyone was stunned and looked at the person who had spoken. It was Dark Sun.
“Who is this young master you mention?” Elian asked hesitantly.
“Young Master An Xiang Ye,” Dark Sun coolly replied.
Of course, this wasn’t the truth; it was just a lie to get Ezart out of trouble. Although the mind-reading Eli was present, Dark Sun had discovered that, based on his previous few encounters with Eli, mind reading abilities could not be used on Dark Sun, perhaps since there was only a microchip analyzing the optimal way to proceed instead of thoughts.
“Ah Ye is your young master?” Eloise cried, “In that case, you’re not a student but coming to Yelan Academy to protect Ah Ye? You’re Ah Ye’s bodyguard?”
Dark Sun ruthlessly replied, “I have no obligation to explain the details of my work to you.”
With a bodyguard as strong as Dark Sun, even Ezart wouldn’t be able to touch Ri Xiang Ye? Elian was only then able to relax. With the matter of Ah Ye resolved, he could now face Dark Sun head on!
We’ve been searching for him for so long—Dark Sun has finally shown up!
“Eloise, Eli, surround him!” Elian recovered his wits and ordered his teammates to flank Dark Sun.
The two of them responded immediately after receiving the command. Each stood at the corner of a triangle centered on Dark Sun.
Dark Sun didn’t move at all, allowing them to encircle him. He had planned on fighting Elian, in any case.
The circumstances were just right. There were no other people around, which lowered the chances of blowing his cover.
Ezart scratched his head on the sidelines. He hadn’t thought it would come to this. Was he supposed to help Ah Ye or not? Elian, who he had personally fought before, was really strong. But compared to Ah Ye… Ezart didn’t know, since he had never fought Ah Ye before.
I’ve definitely got to fight Ah Ye more in the future… Ha! Ah Ye being Dark Sun really isn’t too bad!
Besides, seeing that Ah Ye is standing there without moving, it must mean he actually wants to battle Elian! Realizing this, Ezart simply stopped worrying. This is such a rare chance, I may as well just stay on the sidelines and be a spectator!
Having reached a decision, Ezart walked to the side of the roof and leaned against the chain link fence, watching calmly as it all unfolded.
By then, Elian had taken out his energy swords. Once he assumed a stance that could adapt to any combat situation that might arise, he passed on the principal’s message, “Dark Sun, the principal of Yelan Academy would very much like to meet you. If you agree to accompany us and go meet him, this battle can be avoided. If you are unwilling… We can only resort to force!”
After his speech, Elian sincerely hoped that Dark Sun would peacefully come with them to see the Principal. Now that he knew Dark Sun was Ah Ye’s bodyguard, he didn’t really want to fight him. After all, it would be like hurting someone Ah Ye knew, and he felt that really wouldn’t be right.
Dark Sun fell silent for a while, then asked, “Why is he looking for me?”
Elian honestly replied, “The Principal didn’t give a reason… But by the look of it, he probably wants to ask you to join the Elite Combat Class to do some work for him.”
“Tell him I only follow my master’s orders.”
Hearing this, Elian sighed and confirmed one last time, “In that case, you’re unwilling to come with us to see the Principal?”
“I won’t,” Dark Sun bluntly answered.
“Then, it looks like our fight today was inevitable.” Elian also didn’t plan on wasting any more words. Even though Dark Sun was Ah Ye’s acquaintance, Elian had already warned that if they truly couldn’t reach an agreement, they’d have to settle things through combat.
“Indeed,” Dark Sun replied honestly and bluntly.
Even if he were willing to see the Principal, this battle between him and Elian was unavoidable. His instincts were urging him to battle strong opponents and even surpass their strength, in order to remain the strongest of all. Then he could complete any order issued by the master… Although Ri Xiang Yan’s orders up until now had nothing to do with combat.
“In that case, let’s make a deal.” Elian put on his usual warm and handsome smile. “If I win, you’ll come with me to see the Principal. If I lose, I’ll give up on the mission. If you agree to these terms, I’ll tell Eloise and Eli not to interfere in our battle, and we’ll fight one on one. But in return, you have to promise that you won’t run halfway through.”
“I won’t run. One on one or three on one is fine.” Dark Sun truly didn’t care. Either way, his goal was to fight and grow stronger. Being surrounded might even be better for him.
And losing… He never considered that he might lose.
Elian might be extremely strong, but he could only be strong by human standards!
As for Dark Sun… Half his body had already surpassed human limitations.
But Dark Sun didn’t take Elian lightly. He could see how graceful and natural Elian’s posture was when holding his energy swords, as though they were extensions of his arms.
He was definitely an expert with those weapons.
Although Dark Sun had his own weapon of expertise, the Death Scythe, he wasn’t planning to kill Elian, so he didn’t need to use it as long as he had…
His fingernails extended, gleaming with a cold metallic light.
Everyone was stunned upon seeing the fingernails, approximately ten centimeters long, especially since they had realized the nails shone like knife blades. They couldn’t help but gulp.
“A very unique weapon.” Elian was the most cool-headed person there, merely taking a moment to praise them.
Dark Sun didn’t say anything unnecessary and simply raised a hand to his chest. The other was left hanging downward. This simple hand positioning allowed him to quickly adapt, whether it was to initiate an attack or passively block a blow.
Elian obviously had his own preferred hand positioning. His right wrist was held in front of his waist and his left above his head. The two blades were positioned so one pointed straight up in front of his chest, while the other was ready to slash down from overhead.
“Left-handed?” Dark Sun lightly said.
Noticed it that fast? Elian used a faint, handsome smile to reply, “Yes.”
Dark Sun easily understood that Elian’s right hand, in front of his chest, was better for defending than attacking. The left hand, raised above his head and looking like it would chop down at any moment, was naturally for attacking. The strength of a person’s dominant hand was greater than the other, so the hand with the greater strength was bound to be used for attacking.
It was different for Dark Sun. His left and right hands were equal in strength, since his arms had been modified until there was no difference in power.
The two people faced off. They were equally calm, so much so that they seemed a little relaxed. Obviously, both knew that allowing their muscles to stay tense had no benefit.
In an instant, it was silent on the roof, aside from the sound of the wind.
“Are they going to fight or not?” Eloise quietly asked Eli next to her. She really didn’t have the patience to wait.
Eli also replied quietly, “They’re looking for the moment the other shows a weak point… At least, Elian is.”
Ezart scornfully said, “Looking for what weakness? The two of them are so strong, how could their battle stances have weak point?”
These words seemed to affect the people facing off. But Elian still didn’t move. His fighting style was more suited to counterattacks, rather than preemptive strikes.
“I’ll go first.”
Dark Sun lightly said. As he finished saying the final syllable, the red figure shot forward like lightning. Elian concentrated on Dark Sun. The silver lights from the fingernails kept flashing in his eyes. A meter before the two of them would meet, Elian moved.
He used the energy sword in front of his chest to block Dark Sun’s sharp claws. Since it was crucial to avoid touching the energy blades, Dark Sun was forced to break off his attack halfway through and dodge, to prevent the blade from hitting him. But Elian’s other sword was lying in wait, like a tiger ready to strike. As Dark Sun swept to the left, planning to attack from that direction, Elian took the opportunity to hack down viciously.
With Dark Sun’s physical strength, and the strength of his fingernails, his original technique of grabbing a blade from above would have been easy. But Elian used energy swords. The entire blade was made of searing energy, so it couldn’t be touched at all.
Dark Sun could only dodge, using his speed and skill to change his posture in midair, twisting his body to evade the energy swords’ pincer attack.
Elian was clearly a student of the Elite Combat Class. Even faced with Dark Sun’s impossible dodge away from his attacks, he didn’t pause at all, simply using the energy blades in his hands to continue his pursuit.
Suddenly, the bystanders could only see cold, blue light being brandished at high speed, as though Elian were holding two blue circles instead of faintly curved energy swords.
But Dark Sun’s movements were even more extraordinary and harder to predict. Not only could he avoid contact with all parts of the energy blades while being attacked from both sides, he also didn’t have a long weapon to put distance between them. Dark Sun was at a complete disadvantage in this situation, but he still remained uninjured.
Although there was a stretch of time when he couldn’t find a chance to counterattack, Dark Sun wasn’t worried. He knew that if they continued their stalemate, Elian would exhaust himself completely, while Dark Sun would only have used twenty percent of his stamina. Furthermore, exhaustion would affect Elian’s movements. Dark Sun’s movements could only be affected by injury, so as long as he was uninjured, he could ignore any fatigue or hunger to continue fighting until death.
Humans and cyborgs couldn’t be compared at all, but if given the choice, most humans wouldn’t be willing to fight to the death, right?
“Dark Sun’s movements seem kind of like the way that brat, Bai Lian Xing, moves,” Ezart muttered to himself, off to the side, wondering if he was imagining things. This was in fact the case. After Dark Sun fought faced off against Bai Lian Xing, he had completely recorded Bai Lian Xing’s skills into his microchip and trained himself to integrate them into his own movements. It made his skills even more perfect than they had been a month earlier. Dark Sun’s strength wasn’t the fact he was “currently” very powerful, it lay in the fact that he was an excellent study. The more he fought, the stronger he became; the more he fought, the more perfect he became.
“I feel like my eyes are blurring. Everything’s in circles.” Eloise could only see those two circles spinning intensely, making her dizzy. Even when she closed her eyes to rest them, there were two blue spirals spinning erratically in her head.
Eli sighed in admiration. “It’s so fast. Now this is a true expert. Even if I can read Elian’s mind, I still can’t read his mind quickly enough. He’d already have defeated me. When experts fight, it’s really almost reflexive.”
Although Elian’s hands were moving at high speeds, his thoughts weren’t any slower. It wasn’t long before he realized that if this continued, he would definitely collapse before Dark Sun would. Admitting defeat because he ran out of stamina wasn’t the way he wanted to lose.
So he immediately changed tactics. He couldn’t keep defending himself—He had to go on the offensive!
On the other hand, Dark Sun didn’t care about how he won, so he was neither in a hurry, nor did he try to prolong the fight. He just wanted to fight with a strong opponent and take their best traits to achieve his own goal of fighting to become stronger. If the fight dragged on, that wouldn’t be such a bad thing.
But just then, the tempo of Elian’s fighting suddenly quickened. Dark Sun immediately analyzed that Elian intended to change tactics, and it seemed he wanted to assume a proactive stance.
Then how should he respond?
The microchip gave him the most optimal tactic: break away from the enemy and attack by throwing objects from a distance. Since he lacked the Death Scythe, this was the simplest way to win.
If Dark Sun hadn’t switched on his emotion switch, perhaps he really would have done this.
However, the current Dark Sun knew this wasn’t a method he should use. He shouldn’t deal with Elian this way, since was both a friend and an enemy.
What should he do?
While he thought, Elian’s energy swords formed a cross and attacked. Dark Sun couldn’t escape. He could only sacrifice an arm to block the attack, while jumping back at the same time, so the injury would be as light as possible. The attack was impossible to avoid, and two burn marks immediately appeared on his arm. Elian didn’t congratulate himself yet. He simply pressed his advantage further. Pushing off the ground, he flipped in front of Dark Sun. The two energy blades directly thrust toward Dark Sun’s face…
If this attack hit home, it would be fatal!
Elian’s eyes were trained on Dark Sun, a thousand words flashing through them as though he were asking, Dark Sun, will you die like this? You won’t, right? But if you die just like this, you weren’t worth having me specially bring you in to see the Principal anyway.
Since there’s no way to dodge, then…
Plasma hair strands, activate!
Because of the visor in the way, Elian didn’t notice the numbers scrolling across Dark Sun’s black eyes.
“Energy weapons” were the latest in weapons technology and were said to be the future of weaponry. Compared to traditional guns and blades, energy guns didn’t need bullets, just recharging. Firepower could also be adjusted. As for metal obstacles like steel doors, energy blades could melt right through or even burst them.
There was one flaw that was yet to be resolved: the energy consumption of energy guns was too high. One energy cartridge was only enough to shoot six bullets. Compared to the current bullet-type guns which easily had a capacity of fifty to a hundred bullets, it was really too few.
However, blade-type weapons didn’t have that kind of problem. An energy blade was simply used for battling and cutting and could last three to six hours without issue.
The two light swords in Elian’s hands were high quality equipment. Under normal conditions, they could last for ten hours straight.
Among regular humans, few could fight for over ten hours straight. Therefore blade-type energy weapons had actually developed much further than gun-type weapons, but they had one minor flaw. They were currently too expensive for the average person to afford, so they were rarely encountered.
Half of Dark Sun’s body was constructed by the world’s best scientists, how would they forget to equip him with this weapon of the future?
Obviously, it had been impossible for the scientists who had originally designed Dark Sun to overlook this trend regarding weaponry of the future. They had hidden the energy weapon… In Dark Sun’s hair!
Dark Sun’s short, silver hair suddenly grew, the silver strands fluttering like snakes. Then, in an instant, they aggregated in front of him, winding tightly around the energy swords that were about to strike his face, and entangled them so they couldn’t move.
Elian’s blades had been grabbed by Dark Sun’s hair. Suddenly, he was incapable of moving, while the silver hair in front of him danced about wildly, like that of a demon! His pupils abruptly shrunk. Regardless of how cool-headed he still was, this instant there wasn’t enough time to react.
At that moment, Dark Sun’s hands latched onto Elian’s shoulders. The approximately five centimeter, metal fingernails were buried entirely in Elian’s flesh, causing him to stifle several groans as his face abruptly turned white.
Next, Dark Sun pulled his hands back as he slammed his foot into Elian’s stomach and sent him flying several meters away.
Dark Sun had put enough strength into this kick that even Elian would only be able to lie on the ground, unable to crawl up even half a day later.
“Elian!” Eloise and Eli rushed forward to help him sit up. At the same time, they kept their guard up against Dark Sun in case he suddenly attacked.
“You really are too strong.” Elian had to recover his breath for a while before he was able to smile bitterly and say, “It looks like I was unable to convince you.”
“You’re strong too. Tremendously strong.”
Dark Sun said with complete sincerity. At the same time, he retracted his strands of plasma hair. The head of long, untamed silver hair returned to a normal person’s short hairstyle.
For a human like Elian who had never undergone any modifications, being able to fight against the cyborg Dark Sun in single combat for so long, even forcing him to use his high energy consumption plasma hair, meant no other word besides “strong” could be used to describe him.
When Dark Sun called him strong, Elian smiled. Even without Eli’s mind reading ability, he knew that Dark Sun’s praise was sincere.
“Are there students stronger than you in the Elite Combat Class?” This was Dark Sun’s most pressing question.
“You still want to fight against other people? Just your technique with your hair is scary enough. I really don’t know what kind of special ability that is.” He smiled even more bitterly but still replied, “It depends on your definition of strong. From one perspective, Eli’s ability is in higher demand than my two blades.”
“A combat perspective,” Dark Sun simply said.
After muttering to himself, Elian said, “There is a person… But if your combat abilities are just your fingernails and speed, you won’t be able to beat him.”
“Seth. No one knows his name, but the Principal calls him Seth.”
At this moment, next to him, Eli interrupted, “You’re wrong, Elian. The Principal doesn’t call him ‘Seth’ but ‘Death!’”1
Elian froze. So it was “Death,” huh? Though that’s really not suitable to use as a name, it fits the person quite well…
Dark Sun still wanted to ask where he could find this “Death” person when the sound of a ringtone burst out. He recognized it as his cell phone’s ringtone. There were currently only two people in the world who had his number: Ri Xiang Yan and An Te Qi.
Furthermore, these two people were more important than anything else. So, without the slightest hesitation, Dark Sun tossed this “Death” person to the back of his mind and answered the phone…
Upon hearing Ri Xiang Yan’s voice, Dark Sun almost went back to being Ri Xiang Ye but immediately recalled that the mind-reading Eli was present. So he maintained Dark Sun’s lack of emotion and walked over to the side to explain his current situation to Gēge.
Once Elian saw his opponent receive a call and leave, he finally slumped onto the ground in exhaustion. He wondered if the Principal would really send “Death” out to capture Dark Sun. What would happen then? It wouldn’t go like this, right? The Principal must know that if he sends “Death,” the mission will end with a corpse being dragged back to him.
In the Elite Combat Class, Death was sent out only for well-known and important missions. Whenever he was dispatched, it was to take a life. Therefore, despite his formidable strength, he still hadn’t graduated even after a long time. There weren’t enough missions the Principal dared give him, unless it was a commission for an assassination…
“That was a great match! I really want to fight you again!”
At this moment, Ezart came up next to Elian and slapped him on the back. The slap made Elian smile in pain. That really hurt. I’m actually seriously injured, you know…
“If you want to fight Elian, you’ll have to beat me first!” Eloise couldn’t stand this Ezart guy. Not only did he bully Ah Ye, but he also had a fighting style exactly like her own. As always, she couldn’t help but wonder who would be stronger.
“Then let’s fight a round right now.” Ezart was raring to go. After seeing Ah Ye and Elian’s fantastic match, his blood was boiling. He wanted nothing more than to have a good fight.
“Alright!” Eloise couldn’t resist accepting. Even though she couldn’t stand Ezart, in many ways, his blunt way of speaking was really to her liking.
The two of them were just about to start, but even as they spoke, several figures suddenly climbed over the rooftop’s chain link fence. Without a word, they promptly launched attacks at Dark Sun. In their hands, they had guns with heavy firepower.
Just like that, the entire rooftop was filled with the unceasing roar of machine guns, interspersed with the occasional explosion.
This ruthless attack caught even Dark Sun off guard. Although he was the first to react and leapt away, he still couldn’t avoid sustaining some damage from the guns. Several bullets were lodged in his four limbs. By luck, he had managed to dodge all the explosive rounds, so he hadn’t received any heavy injuries, but he was unable to counterattack for a moment. He could only calculate the positions of the enemies’ gun barrels and use his incredible speed to dodge the bullets.
Elian yelled through the whistling gunshots. So many people had been hiding in the vicinity, but Eli, who was supposed keep watch with his mind reading ability, had issued no warning at all. He was definitely slacking off!
Eli was even more shocked than Elian. He stammered an explanation, “T-They’re… Like Dark Sun. I can’t read their minds at all!”
Elian immediately stood up. Although his injuries weren’t trivial, in the face of real danger, he wasn’t about to obediently lie down and die.
That moment, he realized the people were only attacking Dark Sun. Is Dark Sun their target?
At that moment, Dark Sun was so besieged he had almost no opportunity to ward off all attacks. The heavy fire from the guns had left him only able to dodge without pause. In addition, the enemies weren’t much slower than him. Combined with their superior strength in numbers and excellent teamwork… No! It definitely wasn’t teamwork. Their battle formations and movements seemed computer calculated. He feared they didn’t just seem computer calculated but actually were.
By now, Dark Sun had noticed that each of these people had over half of their bodies modified, just like him… But they were clearly much more crudely made. Their modified limbs were exposed, hardly covered at all, and the backs of their heads were comprised of just half a metal sphere!
“Are these people… Robots?” Eloise gasped, voicing the shock everyone else was feeling.
At the same time, Ezart suddenly charged, taking down one of the robots. He shouted, “Who cares what they are?! They’re Dark Sun’s enemies!”
They’re Dark Sun’s enemies… But bro, we’re not even Dark Sun’s friends in the first place. Elian smiled bitterly.
“What’s with that face? Dark Sun’s enemies are Ah Ye’s enemies, right?”
Ezart yelled at Elian and the others. He had realized that although these robots weren’t as strong as Dark Sun, it wasn’t a favorable matchup. It would be much better if he could get those three to help.
Right! Dark Sun is Ah Ye’s bodyguard… Elian and the others finally recalled. At the same time, they inferred that perhaps these people weren’t truly aiming for Dark Sun. Rather, were they aiming for his charge, Ah Ye?
Once she realized this, Eloise had no more objections and joined Ezart in beating up the robots! As her partner in battle, Eli could only follow her into combat. Otherwise, if the guns turned Eloise into a honeycomb, he wouldn’t have a partner anymore.
Elian still had reserves of cool-headedness. He cautiously analyzed the situation with the robots. He realized that, as things were, he could probably deal with one of them, Ezart could handle one, and although Eloise and Eli had lost the advantage of mind reading, the two of them together should be able to take care of another easily. Taking on two would be a bit more difficult.
There are a total of six enemies … Can Dark Sun take down three of them on his own?
Elian was a little worried as he glanced at Dark Sun. Dark Sun’s injuries from the battle earlier weren’t serious, but the robots’ sudden attack just now had caused him to take a lot of bullets…
At the moment, Dark Sun was dodging… And talking on the phone!
Elian suddenly didn’t feel too much like chopping up these robots anymore. I’d rather chop up Dark Sun instead! He’s really ticking me off! But maybe his being so relaxed just shows that he doesn’t take these robots seriously? Elian had no choice but to force himself to calm down.
Whatever. Since it has to do with Ah Ye, I’ll still help! Elian shook his head, lifted his energy swords, leapt for a robot and began fighting him.
Although Dark Sun was talking on the phone, he wasn’t relaxed in the slightest!
His brother on the other end was ready to explode!
“Who? Just who dares send people to attack you?! I’ll crush them. I’ll give them death by a thousand cuts. Once they’re dead, I’ll send them to An Te Qi’s laboratory so they’ll never be able to reincarnate!”
Being sent to An Te Qi-bàba’s laboratory means not being able to reincarnate? Now that I think about it, those fragments of corpses, steeped in various chemicals, really might not be able to reincarnate. Ri Xiang Ye didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
“Gēge, these people should be from the same batch as the modified humans from last time, only they seem a bit more crudely made.”
As he spoke, Ri Xiang Ye noticed that the others had also joined the battle. Seeing him still on the phone, Ezart rolled his eyes. The group of four entering the fray really lessened Ri Xiang Ye’s burden a lot —not just his physical burden, but even the one on his spirit, too. He suddenly began to feel that he had four more friends fighting alongside him!
“Is that so? Excellent. I’ve almost finished investigating which faction those people were from. Hehehe. Daring to challenge me, you won’t even have a proper burial and your name forgotten!” The person on the other end of the phone already seemed to be deep in thought, concocting plans for the most horrifying and bloodiest vengeance in history…
But no vengeance plot was more important than Ah Ye’s safety. As he fully understood who they were dealing with, Ri Xiang Yan asked with utmost solemnity, “Ah Ye, are you finished dealing with those people yet?”
“Yes, not a problem.” Hearing an inquiry from the master, Dark Sun immediately resurfaced, replying without hesitation as he dodged a row of bullets shot by the enemy.
Ri Xiang Yan could naturally hear the hair-raising sounds of gunfire. But he knew that if he dispatched people to aid Ah Ye, they would most likely not be able to get there in time to help. Moreover, they would expose the fact that Dark Sun was one of the Sun Emperor’s associates, increasing the probability that more incidents would occur in the future.
After much deliberation and despite his worries, Ri Xiang Yan could only repeatedly express, “Ah Ye, be careful. Avoid getting injured at all costs!”
“Oh!” Ri Xiang Ye glanced down to look at the bullet holes in his legs and arms. He didn’t know how to reply to his brother. Already too late…
“You’re hurt? You’re hurt, aren’t you?”
Judging by Ri Xiang Yan’s tone, the older brother seemed like he was about to go crazy. Ri Xiang Ye even pulled the cell phone away from his ear to avoid going deaf from the voice of his enraged brother.
“Gēge, I have to fight now or I’ll get even more injured. I’ll find An Te Qi-bàba when I’m back home to treat me. Good luck with your work!”
Ri Xiang Ye hung up as soon as he finished speaking to keep his brother from hearing another series of gunshots. He was afraid Ri Xiang Yan would personally come over, gun in hand, to blast away the punks who dared to shoot at his little brother.
In addition, he had also seen Elian give him the evil eye several times already. He really felt terrible for having the others deal with the enemies while he was chatting away on the phone.
Having put his phone away, Dark Sun began to unleash his full strength. The blade-like fingernails extended and his skills were entirely on display as he zigzagged quickly through the enemies’ bullets as swiftly as a hurricane. He rushed in front of one person, then ducked and leapt behind the enemy in an instant. His fingernails ruthlessly stabbed into the enemy’s spine from both sides. Finally, he clenched his hands, and the bone snapped accordingly.
Seeing this, everyone’s blood suddenly ran cold, especially Elian’s, since he had just been fighting Dark Sun. He felt a chill run down his spine…
Right. An Te Qi-bàba said something about wanting a few modified human corpses… If I bring them back alive, won’t he be even happier? Ri Xiang Ye’s thoughts trickled out faintly.
“An Te Qi, modified humans?”
Eli just happened to be paying attention to Dark Sun and unconsciously read those few words, immediately blurting them out loud.
Dark Sun swiveled his head to look at Eli.
Oh shoot! Did I just read something I shouldn’t have? Even worse, Dark Sun knows about it! Eli backed up several steps toward Elian, scared that Dark Sun would permanently silence him.
However, regardless of whether Dark Sun really was planning to silence Eli, for the moment, Dark Sun was clearly more focused on the robots. He simply shot him a look before returning to the fight. He constantly flew in and out of the enemies’ midst, leaving them unable to predict his movements. Again and again, he broke the enemies’ limbs, avoiding any mortal wounds.
“Isn’t… Isn’t he being a bit cruel?”
Eloise gulped. Although she had sent plenty of people to the infirmary with broken bones, it hadn’t been like this. He clearly could have finished off his opponents in an instant, but he seemed to be toying with them instead, breaking their limbs so they couldn’t move any more. They could only writhe on the ground, trying to continue their attack.
Seeing this, Eli moved even closer to Elian…
“What are you doing?” Confused, Elian watched Eli retreat behind him.
“I accidentally read Dark Sun’s thoughts and said them aloud. He heard,” Eli explained simply.
“… Got it.”
Elian grimaced for a moment. It wasn’t the first time Eli had discovered someone’s secrets and almost been silenced for it. Elian and Eloise had gotten rid of quite a few threats for him. But this time, even with Elian and Eloise present, they might not be able to stop Dark Sun.
“Eloise, fall back!” Elian yelled anxiously.
Elian had the urge to flee, but as luck would have it, Dark Sun was blocking the exit. If they tried to make a run for it, it might provoke him instead…
“What’s the matter?” Eloise was in the middle of fighting. She had knocked the enemy to the ground after quite a bit of difficulty, but after being startled by Elian’s shout, she could only put her opponent down and hurry back.
“Eli’s in danger of being silenced again,” Elian explained simply.
“What?” Eloise shouted, “Don’t tell me the one who wants to silence you is Dark Sun!”
Beside them, Eli was silent for a while. “Sorry.”
Elian smiled bitterly. “We’re the ones who should be apologizing. This time, we might not be able to protect you…”
Just then, Dark Sun used his claws to slit the throat of the last enemy, the same one Eloise had let go of midway through battle. Not caring that the ground was littered with writhing enemies, he slowly turned his head to look at Eli. He gave off an air of hostility, as though he had just marked Eli as the final person standing in his way.
Seeing this, Elian and Eloise immediately blocked Eli off behind them in an unyielding, “You’ll have to get past us first if you want to touch him” sort of way.
Ezart was the only one who didn’t really understand what was going on. They had just been cooperating to fight some people. How did they suddenly end up on two sides, opposing each other?
“What are you doing? Why are you protecting that guy? Dark Sun would never do anything to him!” Ezart blurted. Because Dark Sun is actually Ah Ye and Ah Ye wouldn’t kill Eli. He turned his head to call out to Dark Sun, “Right, Dark Sun?”
Dark Sun was silent for a long time, so long that even Ezart, who had asked, was beginning to suspect that he actually was planning to kill Eli. He finally answered, “Young Master An Xiang Ye wouldn’t permit me to kill you. But keep in mind, no matter what you read, whether it’s from me or the thoughts of Young Master An Xiang Ye, you can never tell anyone. Otherwise, no matter what the young master says, I will kill you.”
“I won’t say a word. Thank you for sparing me.” On the outside, Eli still looked calm, but his heart was pounding violently. He knew he had just been delivered from death’s door.
“In return for sparing me, I’ll give you a piece of information.”
Dark Sun quietly waited for him to speak.
“There was someone watching from the door just now, up until those people were defeated. Then, he was in an annoyed state of mind as he left.”
“Who?” Dark Sun expressionlessly asked.
“The other person who fought with Elian in the battle simulator. I don’t know his name.”
“Bai Lian Xing,” Dark Sun said the name coldly.
He had already recalled that it was only after hearing Bai Lian Xing’s words last time that he found out the master had been attacked. Bai Lian Xing’s father was the leader of the Purple Moon Alliance. Was the Purple Moon Alliance behind these modified humans?
They had acted out against Ri Xiang Yan multiple times now. Dark Sun’s instinct had already been activated…
Hunt down all of Ri Xiang Yan’s enemies!