Eclipse Hunter Volume 3: Angel, Slaughter
Original novel in Chinese by: 御我(Yu Wo)
Chapter One: Memories of Yue Ya’er in the Evening—translated by Trespasserby (proofread by elisa & J Tao; C/E edited by Simone)
Ri Xiang Yan picked up his cup and drank some black coffee. The coffee had been steeped for too long. It was so bitter that even despite being used to drinking black coffee, he couldn’t help scowling. The coffee made his mood even worse. He lifted his head, looked at the screen of the video call and impatiently said, “I don’t care what others are saying. It doesn’t matter what kind of forceful or underhanded tactics you have to use. I need Bai Lian Yue ousted.”
The face on the screen of the video call was that of the extremely capable secretary who was also known as the Sun Emperor’s right hand—Kyle.
“Sun Emperor, the Purple Moon Alliance has been cleverly manipulating public opinion by exaggerating our use of certain punishments and secret methods to generate a considerable amount of unfavorable opinion toward us. It is to the extent that even other economic alliances believe the Sun Alliance intends to annex all alliances, and that the destruction of the Purple Moon Alliance would only be the first step. At the moment, it seems if we really do eliminate the Purple Moon Alliance, it will cause the other alliances to take action.”
“Hmph! Looks like Bai Lian Yue also realized the pitiful Purple Moon Alliance can’t withstand my wrath.”
Ri Xiang Yan was unsurprised by Kyle’s report. After all, their opponent had also been navigating the business world for many years, and the Purple Moon Alliance was considered one of the largest alliances in the world. It would have been strange if Bai Lian Yue hadn’t taken any measures to guard against Ri Xiang Yan’s vengeance.
As he plotted, Ri Xiang Yan asked for information he needed. “Earlier, during that incident when the headquarters were blown up, what were opinions on that?”
Kyle dutifully reported, “Following your previous orders, we announced all of our suspicions on the matter and attempted to seamlessly inform all relevant parties of the truth. However, many of the alliance leaders seem to have reservations about the loose ends.”
Ri Xiang Yan frowned as he thought for a moment, quickly realizing what the reason was.
“I would have had reservations as well. Although everyone wants to usurp the Sun Alliance’s position, assassinating me is the absolute worst tactic. The whole economy would collapse, and bringing it back would probably take a few years. Even if they really wanted to replace the Sun Alliance this way, their profits wouldn’t necessarily be higher than what they already have.”
Kyle nodded. Indeed, it was the reason why assassination wasn’t often used as a tactic in the business world… Though it wasn’t that rare either.
Ri Xiang Yan muttered, “And Bai Lian Yue has always been an expert in the business world. There probably isn’t anyone who’d think he’d be stupid enough to use a method that would shoot himself in the foot.
“And the grudge between him and me… Even I don’t remember what it was, never mind anyone else.”
He couldn’t help but massage his temples. I don’t get it. I really don’t get it! His capacity for recollection was better than most, and although his ability to remember people was a little worse, that was in part because he knew far too many people. But how could he not recognize someone who had pursued him for eight years?
No matter how much he thought about it, he didn’t have the vaguest recollection of Bai Lian Yue wooing him. There had been several men who had chased after him before, but none of them had persistently pursued him for eight years.
“Kyle, you’ve been with me for seven or eight years now?” Ri Xiang Yan returned his attention to his personal secretary, asking, “Don’t tell me that you don’t remember Bai Lian Yue chasing me either?”
Kyle honestly replied, “Sun Emperor, although I’ve handled many things for you, when it comes to personal matters—forgive my bluntness—you have always disliked interference from others.”
“That’s right. When you’re young, you hate letting others manage your relationships. I regret it now!” Ri Xiang Yan frowned and issued a command, “In the future, establish digital records to categorize anyone who pursues me or sends me love letters, gifts, or things like that. If one of them is too fanatic, report it. It’s better that I deal with her… Or him early.”
“Yes, Sun Emperor.” Kyle slightly inclined his head. Another task had been added to his daily routine.
“In addition, as we were talking about public opinion earlier…”
Ri Xiang Ye peeked his head out from behind the door, cautiously asking, “Are you busy?”
A gentle smile stretched across Ri Xiang Yan’s face. He replied to his little brother, “Busy? How could I be? It’s not work hours right now.” As he spoke, he sneakily reached out to turn off the video call. He completely disregarded the Kyle waiting on the other end of the line for his boss’s orders.
Ri Xiang Ye cheerfully ran into the room. In his hands was an exquisite black box inlaid with rubies. He put the box on top of his brother’s office desk, excitedly asking, “Gēge, I found this box in your room. What is it? Can I look?”
Ri Xiang Yan smiled at the sight of his little brother’s smiling face, and hadn’t even properly looked at the box before answering, “Of course you can. If you like it, you can even have it.”
After he obtained permission, Ri Xiang Ye impatiently opened the box, just like a child. There were many trinkets in the box, but the first thing that caught his eye was a silver pistol. The gun’s design and appearance were already extremely outdated. It was clear that it was a gun with some years to it.
After playing around with it for a little bit, he lost interest. After all, it was nothing compared to the various firearms in his room, and too old-fashioned.
Ri Xiang Ye picked up another item in the box. It was a necklace in the shape of a crescent moon, made of a clear and sparkling material and prettier than anything he had seen before. Extremely curious, he asked, “Is this Gēge’s necklace?”
It was only then that Ri Xiang Yan finally took in the appearance of the box. It turned out that it was the box he used to hold several items of sentimental value. It was only because he hadn’t taken out the box in two or three years that he hadn’t been able to recognize it at first glance.
He couldn’t help but feel a little melancholic. When he was ten, his father had given him that box as a birthday present. It was said that the box was a priceless antique that had been handed down through many generations of the family. His father had originally been unwilling to give him a treasure with such special significance when he had been so young, but he still couldn’t help repeatedly asking for it…
Hearing that call, Ri Xiang Yan abruptly returned to reality. He turned his head to see his little brother looking at him confusedly, and he hastily looked at the necklace. After shaking his head, he said, “No, that’s not mine.”
He looked at the crescent necklace with a frown, then said, “As for whose it is, I’ve forgotten… When I was young, I would always put in random stuff. It’s probably not important. Wait, a crescent shape? Then maybe it’s Yue Ya’er’s necklace.”
“Who’s Yue Ya’er?”
“It’s a long story…”
Ri Xiang Yan frowned. But when he raised his head, he saw his little brother’s wide eyes. He was like a well-behaved child waiting to hear a story…
He’s so cute I’m going to die! Ah Ye! How can you be so adorable?! Ri Xiang Yan couldn’t help but squeal in his heart.
Thus, the good older brother obediently began narrating the story to his little brother. “It started when I was in middle school and decided I didn’t want to continue studying at home. Instead, I brought up going to school.
“At that time, I was a foolish youngster who didn’t like having a bunch of bodyguards trailing behind me. So, on the first day I was to go to school, I stubbornly went through a lot of trouble to throw off all the bodyguards and the chauffeur, and walk to school on my own.
“Who could have known that before even walking two blocks, I’d have caught the eye of the ruffians by the roadside and be forced into a dark alley…”
“A little baby from a posh school like you should have a couple thousand on you, right? Us bros are in need of a little cash. Why don’t you lend us a few big bills to spend, great young master? Haha.”
Several gangsters kept shooting glances at Ri Xiang Yan’s finely made clothes, their eyes full of envy.
“I don’t have any cash.” Ri Xiang Yan lightly replied. He was also telling the truth. He never carried money on him, only a Sun credit card.
Several of the gangsters immediately began getting riled up and jeered, “Impossible! Quit lying. Anyone can see that you’re a rich family’s brat loaded with money.”
Ri Xiang Yan shrugged and asked, “I have money, but I didn’t bring any cash. Do you accept credit card?”
“… You playing us?”
Ri Xiang Yan frowned, and replied somewhat impatiently, “No, I never play with anyone. If you accept credit card, then hurry up. I’m about to be late to class.”
“You little punk…”
Seeing the fist fly toward his face, Ri Xiang Yan raised an eyebrow and said indifferently, “You want to hit me? Fine. I’ve never been hit before. I might as well experience it firsthand.”
As Ri Xiang Yan said those words, the person about to punch him nearly vomited blood in anger. As his fist descended, he screamed, “Good! Then today’s the day you die.”
As the fist was about to hit his face, Ri Xiang Yan noticed another figure rushing toward him out of the corner of his eye. His eyebrows remained raised and he said nothing, just stayed calm and unruffled as he watched the person rush over… who turned out to be a girl? She was wearing a cheongsam in an antiquated style, but kicked and brandished a whip until several of the gangsters were tripping over themselves trying to run out of the alley, crying for their mommies.
What a swift and fierce girl! Ri Xiang Yan lightly smiled. He clapped as though he had seen a thrilling show and said, “Your fighting style is a delight to see. It’s like a dance.”
The girl laughed sincerely and said, “You’re quite interesting. Do you truly want to experience being hit?”
“Don’t tell me that I can’t?” Ri Xiang Yan chuckled, “I’ll try anything once!”
“Of course you can. Do you want a taste of my whip?”
“Alright,” Ri Xiang Yan replied, smiling faintly. Then, relaxed, he waited for the other person to hit him.
Serious, the girl raised her whip. But even after a long time had passed, she didn’t lash out. Finally, after spluttering out a laugh, she giggled and said, “Never mind, forget it. When you smile at me with your pretty face and those eyes, how can I possibly hit you?”
Ri Xiang Yan laughed, “You’re also very beautiful, Yue Ya’er.”
“Why did you call me Yue Ya’er?” The girl seemed a little startled.
Ri Xiang Yan pointed at the girl’s clothes and the pattern on her chest. “Because there’s a crescent moon on your clothes.”
Yue Ya’er murmured, “Is that so? And I had thought you knew my name…”
“It’s nothing. I can’t bear to hit you, so do you want to watch other people being beaten? A fighting competition is holding preliminary matches nearby at this very moment.”
Today is the first day I’m supposed to go to middle school… Ri Xiang Yan shrugged and said indifferently, “Alright. Let’s go.”
“And that’s how I met Yue Ya’er. After that, she would send me flowers every day. If I wanted to hang out with her, then I would place the flowers by my window, wait until nightfall, and she would be by the back entrance waiting for me.”
Ri Xiang Yan smiled faintly. Those had really been some crazy times. He had often stayed out all night, but still had to go to class during the day and spend time with his father to learn how to handle all sorts of business matters and other things. Without the vigor of youth, he probably would have collapsed.
“I’d like to meet Yue Ya’er-jiějie,” Ri Xiang Ye requested somewhat enthusiastically.
Ri Xiang Yan shook his head and said, “That’s impossible. One day, Yue Ya’er disappeared. She no longer sent me flowers, and even when I bought my own flowers to place in the window, she never showed up… It was so strange!”
He lowered his head and murmured, “But the whole time, I don’t remember her giving me this necklace. Maybe it’s not her necklace after all?”
Then haven’t I just told that story for nothing?
“Sun Emperor, allow me to speak.”
Hearing that sentence, Ri Xiang Yan froze, but next to him, Ri Xiang Ye speedily reacted and pressed the button for the screen of the video phone. He cheerfully greeted, “Kyle-gē, good evening.”
“Good evening, Young Master Ri Xiang Ye,” Kyle deferentially greeted.
At this moment, Ri Xiang Yan looked at the switch for the phone and then realized that just now he had only turned off the screen, not severed the connection for the call. And Kyle had probably thought there were still matters he wanted to issue commands for, so Kyle had been waiting on the phone the whole time.
“What is it?”
Kyle respectfully asked, “Would you allow me to see the necklace in question?”
Not waiting for Ri Xiang Yan’s reply, Ri Xiang Ye immediately lifted up the necklace in his hand and said, “I’ll let you look, Kyle-gē.”
Kyle only glanced at it for a moment before determining, “Sun Emperor, that necklace is the family heirloom Bai Lian Yue brought when he publicly confessed to you.”
“Huh?” Ri Xiang Yan frowned and looked at the necklace. So it was Bai Lian Yue who had actually given me the necklace?
“If I could have your attention again, Sun Emperor. Would you say that Yue Ya’er’s antique styled skirt resembled this type of clothing?”
After Kyle finished speaking, an ancient Chinese-styled chang pao that was even covered with a duan gua appeared on the screen of the phone.
“That’s right. Yue Ya’er was wearing that kind of skirt!” Ri Xiang Yan couldn’t help sighing with nostalgia.
“Sun Emperor, this is not a skirt. This is called a chang pao ma gua and is worn by men. Furthermore, it is the traditional clothing worn by Bai Lian Yue’s family.”
“What?” Ri Xiang Yan instantly stiffened.
Kyle still remained respectful and polite as he explained, “As your subordinate, my theory is that your first love, Yue Ya’er, was actually Bai Lian Yue. But because he was wearing a traditional ma gua, which in the eyes of a modern person, looks like a cheongsam that a girl would wear, in addition to his somewhat beautiful and feminine looks…”
“Wait a moment!” Ri Xiang Yan shouted in alarm, “If he’s Yue Ya’er, then when he confessed to me, how could I not have realized it was him?!”
“My humble guess is that perhaps he was following local customs that day, or because he was going to confess to you, he wore a formal Western-style suit and perhaps tied up or cut his hair short. Forgive my bluntness, but in addition to the fact that your ability to recognize people has always been somewhat lacking, you were also preoccupied with the matter of Young Master Ri Xiang Ye’s disappearance at the time. As a result, you were unable to recognize that the man confessing to you was Yue Ya’er.”
Ri Xiang Yan frowned, deep in thought. He commanded, “Give me a picture of Bai Lian Yue wearing that… Whatever gua!”
On screen, Kyle clicked the mouse incessantly. Shortly after, a photo appeared on the screen of an extraordinarily beautiful creature wearing a gorgeous chang pao ma gua. Although this person had a beautiful face, it was still possible to look at their figure and tell they were male.
Although the person was bulkier than the Yue Ya’er he remembered and gave off a more masculine air, as soon as Ri Xiang Yan saw that photo, he could see similarities between their faces. He couldn’t help covering his mouth with his hand to keep from shouting out in surprise.
Bai Lian Yue is actually… Yue Ya’er!