Eclipse Hunter Volume 2: Having Friends, Having Feelings
Original novel in Chinese by: 御我(Yu Wo)
Chapter Eight: Hunting and Being Hunted—translated by Trespasserby (proofread by Mangomochi & J Tao; C/E edited by Simone & lucathia)
“An Te Qi-bàba, I’m going to go play with my classmates. I might come home late.”
Ri Xiang Ye was holding a cell phone and had called home to report he was fine.
On the other end of the phone, An Te Qi was silent for a long time before he asked with difficulty, “Ah Ye… Does eating dinner involve using the Death Scythe? Are you going to cut steak with it or what?”
“Ah…” Ri Xiang Ye replied in an embarrassed tone, “An Te Qi-bàba, you found out I took the Death Scythe?”
“Mhm. Earlier, Ri Xiang Yan called home and ranted for a while about some modified humans showing up again and said they even went to attack you and stuff like that. So I figured maybe you’d use the Death Scythe sometime soon and was just thinking about doing maintenance on it. But it was missing.”
“Don’t tell Gēge, O.K.?” Ri Xiang Ye pleaded.
“Where are you going?”
After his previous lie had been seen through, Ri Xiang Ye didn’t dare lie to An Te Qi again. He could only honestly say, “I’m going to demolish the lab that the modified humans come from.”
“Your brother will be livid. No, he’ll explode…”
Ri Xiang Ye also knew that if his brother found out about this, he would definitely be very, very, very angry. But Dark Sun was unable to disobey his instinct to hunt down enemies, and Ri Xiang Ye also didn’t want to disobey that instinct. He wanted to protect his brother.
“Just don’t let him know, and it’ll be fine.”
Ri Xiang Yan’s going to know. He’s definitely going to know. Even the tiniest injury wouldn’t escape that bro-con’s notice, An Te Qi muttered to himself. But he also knew that Ri Xiang Ye wouldn’t give up just because he was told to.
It’s because Ah Ye and Ri Xiang Yan are brothers, one hundred percent. One’s a little brother bro-con and the other’s an older brother bro-con. And when it comes to things that have to do with the other, they both become equally stubborn! Besides, protecting his master is Dark Sun’s reason for existing. He could never go against that.
“Fine. I’ll help cover for you…” I just hope Ri Xiang Yan won’t see through the lie on the spot, then shoot me dead.
“Thank you so much, An Te Qi-bàba,” Ri Xiang Ye replied extremely cheerfully.
“You’re welcome… If you really want to thank me, then bring back a few modified human cadavers in good condition for me to do research on!”
“Hehe. An Te Qi-bàba, I sent you a present! It should arrive soon.” Ri Xiang Ye couldn’t stop giggling as he thought about how An Te Qi-bàba would definitely love his present.
“Oh?” An Te Qi blankly replied. He was about to remind Ah Ye to call his older brother and tell him the lie about going out for dinner with his classmates and such, but the cell phone already went beep beep.
“Hello? Hello? Seriously! Hanging up like that. How am I going to explain things to Ri Xiang Yan while still preserving my life…?”
That’s… the doorbell? An Te Qi was stunned for a while before he finally reacted. There was no way he could have reacted differently. The three people who lived in the house all had keys, so they wouldn’t ring the doorbell. In addition, the three of them didn’t have any friends, so no one would be visiting them. Even the delivery person had never come up to the door before.
An Te Qi walked up to the door and pressed the button for the security camera screen. Standing outside were several youngsters he had never seen before. Wait! He had seen one of them before… Or he should say, he had seen that head of red-orange hedgehog hair before, which was so distinctive it was impossible to forget.
Ah Ye’s friends?
An Te Qi was baffled. Ah Ye isn’t at home. So what are they here for?
On the screen, the girl threw the modified human she had been carrying on her shoulder to the ground and shouted unhappily, “What the heck? Ah Ye’s so strange. How could there be someone who likes this sort of present?”
One of the others, a brilliantly smiling man, said with some reproach, “Quiet down. The one who likes ‘this sort of present’ is Ah Ye’s dad. You have to show respect to your elders, Eloise.”
“What do you mean show respect?!” The girl called Eloise incredulously questioned back. “The way I see it, the only people who would like this kind of present are probably weirdos!”
“You guys are really noisy!” The tall, well-built, red-orange hedgehog-haired man said with irritation, “Anyway, Dark Sun said Ah Ye wanted us to give these people to his An Te Qi-bàba. Let’s just do what he said. Who cares if his dad’s a weirdo?!”
Eloise muttered resentfully, “It would be fine if we were giving them to his big brother. Ah Ye’s so cute, his big brother has to be super handsome. A dad… Just from that, I’m sure he must be an old geezer.”
Finally, a grim-faced youth said with a cold voice: “Even if he’s not an old man, he’s a dad already. Not even dads are safe from you?”
Just as Eloise was ready to propose “let’s just dump the presents and leave,” the door was pulled open. An extraordinarily refined-looking and handsome man appeared. He was wearing small glasses and had the air of a scholar. The man with this refined appearance said extremely irritably, “I’m so sorry! Weirdos like me just love this sort of present!”
Eloise first looked him up and down for a long time, swallowing the drool in her mouth again and again. She looked at him so much An Te Qi’s hair stood on end. He was just thinking of slamming the door when she violently shrieked, “So handsome! A refined hottie!”
Her eyes had almost turned into hearts as she said with extreme admiration, “You must be the big brother Ah Ye always talks about!”
An Te Qi looked at the girl before him. She had just called him a weirdo and an old geezer, but now her attitude had made a 180-degree turn! After raising his eyebrows, he corrected with the air of a spectator, “No, his older brother isn’t back yet. I am the An Te Qi-bàba Ah Ye spoke of.”
Eloise’s jaw almost dropped and she cried, “What? You’re the weird old geezer?”
“…” An Te Qi icily replied, “You can say I’m a weirdo, but I won’t let you call me an old geezer.”
Elian hastily pushed aside the petrified Eloise and then politely stepped forward to clarify, “S-Sir, are you Ah Ye’s father? Greetings. We are Ah Ye’s classmates. These things… These ‘people’ were what Ah Ye asked us to deliver.”
After he finished speaking, Elian felt a little uneasy. Will Ah Ye’s father be angry?
After all, these “things” that didn’t look quite human were still writhing on the ground with all their might, despite their broken arms and legs. In addition, the expressions on their faces were ferocious. It was certain that these people really weren’t things that made for a good gift.
An Te Qi knelt down. He looked at the six modified humans on the ground. Their bodies were a little contorted but they were definitely still alive. Then, instead of exploding with fury like Elian expected, he smiled in a way that terrified the four young adults.
He pushed his glasses back, and as he tenderly caressed the wriggling “things” on the ground, he said gratefully, “Ah Ye, you really are my angel!”
At that precise moment, Dark Sun was standing in front of an abandoned factory. He was already dressed in suitable clothes and wearing his silver visor. He lowered his head to look at the map Kyle had given him to ascertain that this was the right place.
Now all he had to do was wait for the stealth force…
As the Sun Emperor’s secretary, Kyle’s efficiency was clearly better than imagined. Dark Sun had gone straight to the laboratory after leaving him and hadn’t made any delays other than to call An Te Qi along the way.
Yet, he only had to wait a short ten minutes before the aforementioned stealth force appeared.
A total of just three people had come. They all carried heavy weaponry with them. After taking out and showing him their Sun Emperor insignias, they asked, “Dark Sun?”
Dark Sun nodded. He didn’t have any insignia to show them, so he merely showed a special key with an especially long key blade, ending in a graceful sun-shape. That key wasn’t just a simple notched piece of metal. It even had the most technologically advanced microchip inside it. Even if the key was stolen, it could be virtually accessed to immediately render it useless.
As soon as those three people saw the key, they immediately gasped. This was the Sun Emperor’s personal key.
The Sun Emperor hated any sort of troublesome thing, and a large bunch of keys was clearly among those troublesome things. As long as it was a place the Sun Emperor needed to use a key, from his bedroom to his front door to his car to his safe and so on, the lock would be specially crafted so the only thing that could unlock it was that unique key.
But that key wasn’t unique anymore. There were now two of them. One was in the Sun Emperor’s hands, and the other was in Dark Sun’s hands.
After confirming the key was genuine, the three people were immediately certain the person in front of them was Dark Sun and promptly saluted with respect, “’Right hand of the Sun Emperor,’ allow us to use all our abilities to aid you and to protect you with our lives.”
Right hand of the Sun Emperor? Shouldn’t that be Kyle-gē? He really is like Gēge’s right hand. Without him, it probably would be just like Gēge had lost a hand, Ri Xiang Ye secretly thought.
Kyle truly was very capable. He had only dispatched three people. This number suited Dark Sun’s personality well. He wasn’t an expert in giving commands. If an entire troop had been dispatched, he might have simply abandoned the troop and relied on himself.
Furthermore, the three people were all carrying heavy artillery, an area Dark Sun was somewhat lacking in, that would be of great help in breaking down heavily defended areas.
“How do you want us to coordinate with you?”
Dark Sun tilted his head back. “Behind me. Blast what I tell you to blast.”
The three people were well-trained and had no objections at all to following behind Dark Sun. Dark Sun pressed his hand on a black box. Four silver lines began to spread from where his palm was. With a pop, the box opened along the silver lines. The contents of the box was split into three parts—a bright silver shaft that had been divided into two and the main part of a sickle that was gripped by deep red skeletal claws.
The Death Scythe, Dark Sun’s fearsome weapon.
The three people frozenly stared at Dark Sun kneeling before the box. Dark Sun nimbly assembled the scythe and finally stood up. The smile on his face let off a faint chill as he held the Death Scythe, which stood taller than a human, in his right hand. The sight was truly terrifying.
The three people unconsciously shuddered.
They all thought, could this be the grim reaper?
“Go. The time for Dark Sun to hunt has come.”
Dark Sun spoke, then took the lead to walk into the abandoned factory.
“Understood.” The three people hurriedly followed close behind.
Once he reached the factory doors, Dark Sun took a moment to observe. The steel doors before him looked like they were about to fall off. However, he noticed the steel doors didn’t make any noise when the wind blew. They were evidently sturdier than their appearance let on. They were probably sturdier than most doors used to protect restricted areas.
“Blast the doors.” Dark Sun lightly said.
The thunderous sound of a shotgun rang out. At the same time, a small dent appeared in the dilapidated door, but that was all.
Unexpectedly, the Sun Alliance’s specially modified shotgun left nothing more than a small dent in the door.
It looked like they were right. This place was indeed the Purple Moon Alliance’s secret base.
Dark Sun didn’t move. The three people were well-trained. Upon seeing the situation, they immediately switched to using a weapon with higher firepower. One of the people among them raised a miniature rocket launcher. After loading a small rocket, he knelt down and aimed at the steel door.
“Dark Sun… Sir, please back up a little,” one of them warned Dark Sun, seemingly unsure of how to address him.
Dark Sun retreated to the side a few steps, then the person holding the miniature rocket launcher fired. The sound of the explosion seemed to come from hell.
A plume of smoke from the explosion rose from the steel doors. As the smoke slowly dispersed, a hole as tall as a person came into view. The explosion left the doors looking a bit sorry, but the scene behind them was of a brightly lit, white corridor. It looked extremely clean and tidy, and not in the slightest like an abandoned factory.
Dark Sun quietly called out and dashed in himself.
“Has the fish been hooked?”
Bai Lian Yue was lying idly on the dragon-shaped chaise longue again. Bai Lian Xing was sitting on a somewhat smaller chair. Several attendants stood at their side. Some helped massage Bai Lian Yue’s legs, while others stood by the huge 3D screen. They operated the security camera images to ensure Dark Sun’s figure was always shown on screen.
“I was initially worried Ri Xiang Yan wouldn’t be willing to risk his younger brother.” Bai Lian Yue elegantly muttered. He was a little vexed as he thought aloud to himself, “Could it be he doesn’t love his younger brother as much as I thought? Or is there another reason?”
“Perhaps he came and concealed it from the Sun Emperor.” Bai Lian Xing’s eyes were fixedly staring at the screen. Even though he had already seen Dark Sun’s skill some time ago, Dark Sun’s astonishing skill at the time had greatly inspired him, and he still wanted to see it a few more times. No one would grow sick of watching a battle between experts again and again.
“Xing Er, you truly are brilliant. That’s very likely.” Bai Lian Yue’s spirits soared. Ri Xiang Yan not knowing meant Bai Lian Yue had a much higher chance of capturing Dark Sun. And capturing Dark Sun was… Teehee. No different from capturing Ri Xiang Yan.
Bai Lian Xing took no notice of his father’s praise because, on screen, Dark Sun had just encountered the outermost wave of modified humans. Those modified humans were stronger than the failed products he had secretly taken. Dark Sun wouldn’t be able to defeat them so easily…?
His eyes widened as he saw how Dark Sun’s naturally movements flowed. They appeared to be very slow, but in reality, they were too fast for the eyes to follow. As he was still admiring Dark Sun’s smooth motions, sprays of blood had already filled the air in the blink of an eye. It was only then that he noticed that the fearsome, massive scythe had already beheaded the enemies. It was merely because Dark Sun was so quick that their necks would only start to spurt blood after he jumped clear of them.
Bai Lian Xing was shaking as he watched. He knew modifying humans could increase their strength greatly, but it also had a major flaw. It was a balancing issue. Modified bodies would have extreme strength and speed, but they had a different, fatal weakness.
Modifying one’s arms into mechanical arms gave them tremendous power, but they weren’t nimble enough. So they were unable to use advanced martial arts techniques.
Even though Bai Lian Xing devoted everything to becoming faster, he was absolutely unwilling to modify his body. That was because he knew it might increase his speed to the point it was so fast his own brain wouldn’t be able to respond. There would be no use in that. Superficially, it would look like he had grown faster and had become stronger, but in reality, he would have sacrificed the possibility of changing his action. As soon as he committed to an action, he would have no leeway to change it, since by the time his brain received the command to change his stance, the action would already be past the point where he could retract it.
It was clear from the heavy scythe Dark Sun expertly wielded that his strength was undoubtedly great. The speed he wielded the scythe with was also very high. It was even clearer that whether it be his strength or speed, Dark Sun was above the modified humans. But Bai Lian Xing couldn’t see any of the flaws of a modified human, such as being unable to respond in time, or the inability to perform advanced martial arts techniques.
Dark Sun quickly leapt through the corridor. He wasn’t just stepping on the ground, but also on the walls to either side and even a few times on the ceiling. He used the energy from the rebound to appear before his enemies in an instant.
The only thing that could be seen in the entire corridor was a figure, sometimes dashing back and forth like lightning, sometimes whirling through the air with a curve as graceful as a woman’s hair. The only thing that remained the same was that wherever he passed through would spray with scarlet blood.
His footsteps would pass by. With each step, blossoms of blood bloomed. With each slash, lives were reaped.
Are such graceful, flowing movements that seem more like dancing than battling truly made by a modified human?
As Bai Lian Xing sat spellbound and his brain was about to stop working, Bai Lian Yue no longer had a languid expression. He went from reclining to sitting upright, and his expression was completely stormy.
The last time people had been dispatched to abduct Ri Xiang Yan, he had obtained a glimpse of Dark Sun fighting through the surveillance cameras. But because the modified humans had died too quickly, there hadn’t been enough time to clearly see how Dark Sun wielded the scythe. This time, it was crystal clear!
Horrifying! Absolutely horrifying!
Even if the finest modified humans Bai Lian Yue owned besieged Dark Sun, would they be able to stop him?
The answer was obvious. They would not!
A trace of sinister intent crept into Bai Lian Yue’s perpetually elegant expression.
He contemplated whether or not he wanted to blow up the entire base and use it as a pretext to exterminate Dark Sun. If he weren’t exterminated, he would undoubtedly become the Sun Emperor’s strongest weapon… If Ri Xiang Yan were willing to use his younger brother as a weapon, that is.
But memories of the past suddenly flooded his mind…
Those ruby-like eyes that had captivated Bai Lian Yue for many years were filled with pain beyond compare, and on top of that was that voice choked with emotion. “I’m begging you. Help me find my little brother. My father hates him too much. If we’re too late, I might never see him again. I’m afraid I’ll never get to see Ah Ye again, my Ah Ye…”
Ri Xiang Yan wouldn’t. He wouldn’t use his younger brother as a weapon. Because he sees no one in his eyes but his younger brother.
Bai Lian Yue calmed down. I cannot kill Dark Sun. Only as long as Dark Sun exists does the Sun Emperor, who disdainfully looks down upon commoners, have a weakness.
He couldn’t help but hesitate and wonder for a moment. If Dark Sun—the Sun Emperor’s sole vulnerability—died, what would be the consequences?
If the god-like demon with the world in his grasp were to lose the only source of his emotions, perhaps the entire world would descend into hell…
I cannot kill Dark Sun. Killing him would only serve to draw Ri Xiang Yan’s wrath… And even drive him insane in his furor. Only capturing Dark Sun is tantamount to having Ri Xiang Yan in the palm of my hand—thus, having the god of this world under my control!
“Father, it appears the modified humans are unable to detain Dark Sun.”
Although Bai Lian Xing was awestruck by Dark Sun’s skill, he still remembered to warn his father to prevent his father venting his anger on anyone in the vicinity after realizing the modified humans had all been wiped out.
“Let him kill. Treat it as an offering to a demon.”
Bai Lian Yue lay back down and replied with disinterest.
I was too careless this time. Next time, next time I will have the brothers yield to me.
One a demon like a god.
The other a demon like a grim reaper.
What a pity. The two demons allowed me, a human, to discover their fatal flaw—each other!
Bai Lian Yue couldn’t hold back his laughter, regardless of the alarmed expressions of his son and subordinates beside him.
Bai Lian Yue shouted, “Ri Xiang Yan! Dark Sun! Even if you are dreadful demons, I have already discovered your weakness! Next time, there will be two demons kneeling before me, an ordinary human! Hahaha…”
Dark Sun had just cut off a modified human’s head when there was a vibration on his chest from his cell phone. Under the amazed gazes of the three people behind him, he picked up the phone.
“Where are you?” Ri Xiang Yan’s abnormally level voice sounded from the phone.
Dark Sun chopped off a modified human’s neck as he used Ri Xiang Ye’s innocent tones to say, “Gēge? I’m eating with my classmates!”
Absolutely no emotion could be heard in Ri Xiang Yan’s voice as he asked, “Oh? Which classmates?”
“It’s… Ezart! The one you always call hedgehog head.”
Reaper’s claws, detach. Dark Sun commanded the massive scythe blade to fly out, pinning two enemies who had been intending to flee to the wall.
“Oh, wait a moment.” Ri Xiang Yan’s voice suddenly sounded far away. Then a different deep voice came over the phone, “Ah Ye…”
Hearing that voice, Dark Sun had a sudden change in expression. This time he wasn’t pretending anymore, but actually turned back into Ri Xiang Ye. “… Ezart?”
“Mm. It’s me. Elian and the rest are here, too.”
Flustered, Ri Xiang Ye held the cell phone as he retreated behind the three stealth force members and gestured for them to hold off the enemy.
The three of them immediately moved forward to block the few remaining modified humans. At that moment, the phone once again transmitted the sound of someone else’s voice. Elian said in an extremely helpless voice, “Ah Ye, your brother is holding a derringer to your An Te Qi-bàba’s head. The look in your bro’s eyes seems to be saying that if you don’t come back home, he’s going to kill your dad.”
“No! El-gē, you have to hurry and stop my brother! I’m heading home right now.” Ri Xiang Ye grew anxious and repeated over and over, “You absolutely can’t let my brother kill An Te Qi-bàba.”
“I’ll do my best. But your bro looks like he’s about to explode. And he’s ‘that person’ too. Who can stop him…” Elian couldn’t help but mutter these words, entirely unsure about his task.
Go home, I have to go home now!
“Retreat!” Ri Xiang Ye commanded the three people.
The three people were baffled at why they were retreating just as they were on the cusp of an overwhelming victory, but their excellent training didn’t allow them to disobey a superior. They only replied, “Understood.”
Then they hastily retreated with Dark Sun…
Going back in time to when Ezart and Elian’s trio had arrived at Ri Xiang Ye’s house and An Te Qi had gone out to receive his present…
At that time, Eloise was very much thinking about being a bother. Her expression said that she wanted to rush inside their house and shamelessly stay until it was time to eat breakfast the next day, but Elian obviously wouldn’t let her do as she pleased. With a terrible complexion, he apologized to An Te Qi as he planned to take his leave.
An Te Qi originally was going to say “good riddance” with a wooden expression, but at that moment, a different male voice suddenly came from behind him…
“Where’s Ah Ye?”
After that, An Te Qi had an expression like he had just heard a demon calling out. He took several deep breaths before he was able to turn around to reply to that man, “He went out to play with his classmates.”
Then Eloise said a sentence that made everyone present at the scene want to throttle her.
“Eh? Ah Ye went out to play? Didn’t he say he was out eating dinner with his big brother?”
After that, the four people were “invited” inside Ri Xiang Ye’s home by Ah Ye’s big brother. The moment Eloise laid eyes on Ri Xiang Ye, she shrieked “ULTRA HOT BISHIE!” to the point where she almost fainted.
But it turned out the one who really fainted was Eli.
Based on his later recollections, he fainted because he had read Ri Xiang Yan’s mind… He had never encountered a mind like that before, with thoughts like massive spiraling whirlpools and layers stacked over ten times deeper than a normal human’s. As soon as Eli had read that complex, treacherous mind, he had experienced a pain like a hundred encyclopedias smashing into his skull.
“The Sun Emperor!”
Then with a deathly white face, Elian blurted out the name that the entire world knew.
Under the Sun Emperor’s terrifying glare, An Te Qi immediately surrendered. He divulged everything about Ah Ye’s whereabouts. Next was the pitiful secretary, Kyle, who also suffered the Sun Emperor’s bombardment and interrogation on the other end of the telephone screen.
Finally, everyone involved was sitting in a row on the sofa, looking exactly like obedient schoolchildren, as they watched Ri Xiang Yan call Ri Xiang Ye and ask him to come home immediately.
After Ri Xiang Ye promised to come home, the Sun Emperor sat before the obedient schoolchildren like a monarch. He looked at them condescendingly and said as if it were an inevitable fact, “If Ah Ye’s identity is leaked, your lives are forfeit.”
Everyone nodded like they were pounding garlic, except for Ezart. He only coldly huffed, “I won’t leak Ah Ye’s identity, but it’s not because of you. It’s because of Ah Ye.”
A glimmer of admiration flashed in Ri Xiang Yan’s eyes as he heard that. He’s worthy of being Ah Ye’s chosen friend… But I’m definitely not going to praise this hedgehog head! What does he think he’s doing, having such strange hair? What if Ah Ye copies him and ends up with a hairstyle like that too?
“An Te Qi, you too! You colluded with Ah Ye to deceive me…” Ri Xiang Yan viciously glared at the person before him.
To preserve his insignificant life, An Te Qi immediately deployed a diversionary tactic and said, “Ah Ye and his classmates haven’t eaten anything yet. I’m sure they must be hungry. If you help order some delicious food for them, Ah Ye will definitely be overjoyed when he comes home!” After living together for a few months, An Te Qi already clearly understood how he could divert the Sun Emperor’s attention: in short, tell him how to make Ah Ye happy!
Hearing those words, Ri Xiang Yan blanked out. The thought of Ah Ye seeing an entire table full of dishes surrounded by his gēge, bàba, and friends floated into his mind. How happy would the smile on his face be?
It would definitely be an absolutely extremely brilliant and adorable smile!
Ri Xiang Yan immediately took out his phone and commanded Kyle to order an entire table’s worth of food. “Ah, Kyle. Have the most high-class restaurant send their best dishes right now. Right, Ah Ye likes fried chicken. There has to be fried chicken. French fries, too. Order some braised chicken wings and barbeque while you’re at it…”
Sun Emperor, are you sure what you want is a five-star restaurant? Or is it KFC? As Kyle did as he was instructed, he couldn’t help but complain in his mind.
Seeing that Ri Xiang Yan was busy ordering food, An Te Qi finally heaved a sigh of relief. Based on the phone call earlier, Ah Ye shouldn’t have run into any danger, and as a result, the Sun Emperor was still in a mood where he could order food to be delivered.
He was about to console the people who had just encountered the Sun Emperor for the first time. Don’t worry. It’s normal for the Sun Emperor to hold a gun to other people’s heads. He won’t necessarily fire. Although it’s also normal for him to open fire…
But as he turned his head, he instead saw a row of people looking at him with admiring gazes. Elian even deferentially said, “Mr. An Te Qi truly is fearless, actually daring to speak back to the Sun Emperor.”
“Hehehe. It’s nothing. You just have to get used to it.” An Te Qi couldn’t help but think to himself self-deprecatingly, Yup, you just have to get used to having a gun held to your head.
Not long later, the secret entrance to the house opened. Kyle was the first to step out. After clapping his hands, an entire row of butlers walked out, wearing Western-style suits, each carrying a porcelain or silver platter that looked better suited for a museum exhibition of an imperial palace than for carrying fried chicken.
Everyone stared wide eyed at the line of butlers elegantly arranging a long table and spreading out a pure-white tablecloth. Cooking utensils were also displayed to the side. A head chef stood before the cookware with an extremely solemn and proper expression while wearing a completely white chef’s uniform. In a five-star restaurant, this person would be diligently pacing back and forth and instructing subordinates to make the food, but this time, he was responsible for making everything himself.
Kyle explained to the Sun Emperor, “When it comes to fried chicken and French fries, they are more delicious freshly fried. Therefore, I had the chef come.”
“Excellent.” Ri Xiang Yan nodded in satisfaction. Then he instructed, “Ah Ye should almost be back home. Have them start now. I want him to be able to smell the food as soon as he steps through the door.”
Kyle nodded and gave the head chef a look. The chef, trembling with fear, began making the most harrowing meal of his life: a meal consisting of fried chicken and French fries.
As everyone was swallowing their drool from the delicious smell of the fried chicken and French fries, the front door burst open.
In a complete panic, Ri Xiang Ye rushed inside. He didn’t take in the current circumstances at all and darted in front of An Te Qi to shield him behind his back. He loudly implored his brother, “Gēge, you’re absolutely not allowed to kill An Te Qi-bàba!”
Ah Ye! You really are an angel! Seeing Ri Xiang Ye’s actions, An Te Qi was so moved he was about to cry. Both of them were made by the Ri family, but why’s one of them so cute and the other one’s so despicable?
“Gēge, why do you always want to kill An Te Qi-bàba?” Ri Xiang Ye’s eyes lowered in dejection and he said sadly, “Unless Gēge really doesn’t like An Te Qi-bàba…”
Seeing that his little brother was dejected, Ri Xiang Yan hastily pacified him, saying, “No! I don’t dislike An Te Qi at all. I ‘really like’ your An Te Qi-bàba.”
The words “really like” are really scary… This went through everyone’s minds.
“Really? That’s great… Ezart, Elian, Eloise, and Eli, it’s great to see that Gēge didn’t kill any of you.” Ri Xiang Ye finally noticed the other people there. He was overjoyed that everyone was still alive and well.
“…We’re alive, but almost got scared to death,” Eloise muttered.
“I never expected you to be the Sun Emperor’s little brother.” Elian bitterly laughed.
“And that you’re Dark Sun,” Eli said as he stared at Ri Xiang Ye’s clothes.
Ri Xiang Ye apologetically lowered his head, “Sorry, I didn’t mean to deceive you.”
“N-No worries…” The three of them said in unison because a certain ruler who controlled everything under the sky was currently coldly glaring at them off to the side.
“Ah Ye, are you hungry?” Ri Xiang Yan asked in concern.
“Yeah. Starving.” Ri Xiang Ye nodded honestly. As a result of the huge battle earlier, his stomach was growling. Such intensive exercise naturally required a similarly enormous amount of calories as sustenance.
“Smells good… Is it fried chicken?”
Reassured that An Te Qi and his classmates were safe, the starving Ri Xiang Ye finally noticed the delicious scent of food, and it was even his favorite food—fried chicken, both delicious and high in calories.
“Yes. It’s your favorite fried chicken and French fries.” Ri Xiang Yan suggested with a warm smile on his face, “Ask your classmates if they’d like to eat together.”
Ri Xiang Ye froze. Afterward, he jumped with joy and pulled on Ezart and Elian’s hands as he said, “Ezart, Elian, Eloise, and Eli! Come on, come on! Let’s eat midnight snacks together!”
Hearing Ri Xiang Ye say this, Ezart sat beside the table without further ado. Then, he took a few pieces of fried chicken. After he passed one to Ri Xiang Ye, he began taking huge bites.
Ri Xiang Ye happily took the fried chicken and then began eating heartily with Ezart.
Seeing this, everyone glanced at each other. Their eyes were filled with helplessness, but also indulgence and love for Ah Ye, this adorable kid.
Each of them sat down, one after another. The atmosphere was like that of a large family around the hearth.
But no one was happier than Ri Xiang Ye. One moment, he was picking up fried chicken for Ri Xiang Yan and An Te Qi, and the next, he was putting French fries in Ezart and Elian’s bowls. In addition to filling up his own stomach, he simply didn’t have a moment to spare.
“Ah Ye, I didn’t get anything…” Eloise said aggrieved.
Ri Xiang Ye rushed to apologize, “Sorry, Eloise and Eli. These are for you!”
Once he finished speaking, he dumped an entire plate of the fried chicken the chef had just finished frying onto their two plates. The fried chicken piles were about as high as a small mountain.
Seeing this, Eloise squeezed Ri Xiang Ye with all her might and forcefully planted a few kisses on his face, squealing, “Ah Ye, I love you to pieces!”
Ri Xiang Ye sheepishly laughed and said, “I like you too, Eloise. Although you’re kind of scary sometimes…”
Luckily Eloise had ascended to fried chicken heaven and hadn’t heard the word “scary” at all.
“Ah Ye, are you happy?” Ri Xiang Yan warmly looked at his brother’s brilliant smile.
“I’m happy! Really happy! This is the first time I’ve eaten together with so many people! And they’re even all my friends, Gēge.” An elated, beaming smile appeared on Ri Xiang Ye’s face.
Seeing his little brother so happy, Ri Xiang Yan laughed and nodded. “Just so long as you’re happy.”
Then, he suddenly turned his head to face Ezart and the others. As he turned his head, his expression went from smiling to ice cold, and he said in a commanding tone, “From now on, you all must eat together with Ah Ye at least once a week!”
“Nuh-No pwoblem. I’ve nevurr eaten such good fwied chikun befur! I’m defunitely going tuh find Ah Ye tuh eat wif oftun now,” Eloise replied with her mouth full of food. At the same time, she snatched away other people’s fried chicken as if her life depended on it.
Ezart only shrugged and didn’t reply.
But Elian resolutely said, “I’ll come to eat with Ah Ye, but it’s not because of you. It’s because of Ah Ye!”
Hearing this, Ri Xiang Yan lightly smiled. His eyes never left Ah Ye’s brilliant smile.
Doing something for Ah Ye was the same as doing it for him. Because Ah Ye was his everything.