Eclipse Hunter Volume 3: Angel, Slaughter
Original novel in Chinese by: 御我(Yu Wo)
Chapter Five: Disobeying Out of Love—translated by Trespasserby (proofread by Arcedemius; C/E edited by lucathia)
Once Ri Xiang Yan had rushed home, he saw his beloved little brother kneeling by the side of the bed where Ezart was lying. Ezart’s eyes were shut tight, and his skin was abnormally flushed.
As soon as he took another step closer, Ri Xiang Ye was immediately alert. He sat up and turned to look at Ri Xiang Yan, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. He mournfully called out, “Gēge.”
“How is Ezart?” Ri Xiang Yan walked up and lovingly rubbed his little brother’s head.
“The doctor said Ezart’s condition is similar to if he had orally taken a stimulant.” Ri Xiang Ye turned to look at the unconscious Ezart, sighed, and continued to say, “The doctor also said that because he doesn’t know what Ezart ate, he doesn’t dare to recklessly prescribe anything. He was scared it would make things worse. They can only move onto a treatment after they analyze the liquid in the cup. Right now all we can do let Ezart sleep.”
“Then you shouldn’t worry, Ah Ye. Based on Gēge’s experience, if they don’t die on the spot, they usually won’t die.” Ri Xiang Ye glanced at the person on the bed and muttered, “Especially a guy like him. He’s so strong that he’s like an indestructible cockroach.”
“Really?” Ri Xiang Ye lifted his head, asking full of hope.
“Of course!” After Ri Xiang Yan nodded with complete seriousness to his little brother, he reluctantly urged, “You should go to sleep too. Your eyes are all red. I’ll have those three other people come over tomorrow to keep you company, El or whatever he’s called. How’s that?”
“Could you?” Ri Xiang Ye asked in amazement.
“Of course we can.” Ri Xiang Yan smiled indulgently, “Otherwise, wouldn’t it be very boring being alone at home?”
“Yeah yeah!” Ri Xiang Ye energetically nodded his head. The he said quietly, “Gēge doesn’t come home. An Te Qi-bàba also isn’t here… Ah! An Te Qi-bàba! How is Bàba right now? Gēge, have you rescued Bàba yet?”
Ri Xiang Yan said a little awkwardly, “Not yet.”
“Ah… Really? Then you need to keep trying, Gēge.”
Ri Xiang Ye’s head drooped, and his face was full of disappointment. He reached out to straighten Ezart’s blanket, then with a despondent expression, walked past his brother.
Ri Xiang Yan reached out, wanting to pat his little brother’s shoulder. But whether by chance or design, Ri Xiang Ye turned to the side a little and the hand missed. Then he continued to walk on.
A-Ah Ye… Ri Xiang Yan was frozen with his hand outstretched. His little brother’s disappointment was a heavy blow that left him stunned where he stood.
But as Ri Xiang Ye approached the door, he suddenly stopped and remained motionless.
“Ah Ye, what’s wrong?” Ri Xiang Yan couldn’t help asking oddly.
Ri Xiang Ye hadn’t even finished speaking when the door to the study slammed open. Ri Xiang Ye’s nails extended immediately. In the instant the person who slammed the door open rushed inside, his hand shot toward their throat like a flash of lightning. Just as he brushed against skin, he realized who the person was and didn’t pierce any further. But he didn’t move his nails away, either.
The person who had rushed inside was originally planning on speaking. However, opening his mouth to speak meant his throat also invariably moved. It was only at that moment he noticed the sensation of metal against his neck. The stinging pain from his skin left him with no doubt that that thing could slit his throat and kill him.
He stared with wide eyes at the delicate boy in front of him. Ri Xiang Ye’s previous behavior had always been like a kid who had yet to grow up, but now he was completely different! His attack just now had been even more fluid than that of an elite soldier.
“One of the bodyguards…” Ri Xiang Ye muttered. He hesitated, but still moved his hand away.
“What’s going on?” Only now did Ri Xiang Yan snap out of it. Faced with the fact that his little brother had nearly killed a person again, his irritation suddenly flared.
Hearing Ri Xiang Yan’s sharp question, the bodyguard immediately stood at attention and promptly said, “Reporting: The enemy has invaded. We advise the Sun Emperor to withdraw to the hidden room.”
After hearing the report, Ri Xiang Yan fell silent for a moment. He nodded to the bodyguard and turned his head to address his little brother, “Ah Ye, pick up Ezart and come with me.”
Ri Xiang Ye was originally going to argue with his older brother to let him go out to help, but after hearing Ezart mentioned, he turned his head to look at the unconscious person on the bed. Then he quietly picked him up and stood next to his older brother.
Ri Xiang Yan peeked at his little brother out of the corner of his eye. In his mind, he let out a sigh of relief. Luckily that Ezart guy couldn’t be woken up and had to be carried by someone. Otherwise, Ri Xiang Yan wouldn’t have had any reason to convince Ah Ye not to join the battle.
However, that the enemy was actually able to find this house only confirmed that the information from the past few days’ investigation was correct.
An Te Qi… Have you… Betrayed us?
If Ah Ye knew, he would definitely be heartbroken, right?
Thinking this, Ri Xiang Yan felt a burst of unhappiness in his heart. But he didn’t continue thinking about it for the time being. The most important thing at the moment was to retreat to the hidden room so Ah Ye wouldn’t be forced to hurt people again.
He walked over to a stretch of wall and lifted up a small painting that hung there. There was a small keypad behind the painting. Then without a pause, he typed in a twelve digit password. Afterward, the wall suddenly turned into a door which opened into an entranceway narrower than the door itself.
“Ah Ye, come over here.”
Ri Xiang Ye obediently did as his brother said and went into the entranceway carrying Ezart. This wasn’t an easy task. Ezart had a sturdy build, and this entranceway was narrower than an ordinary door. He just stopped short of shoving Ezart through the doorway.
After Ri Xiang Ye went into the secret passageway, he kept going down and down the descending stairway. He finally reached the end of the stairs after walking for several minutes.
Finally, he walked into a room filled with high tech instruments. One of the room’s walls was entirely taken up by a huge screen. In front of the screen was a control board covered with buttons. The only thing in the room that wasn’t an intricate machine was a bed big enough for a single person. On the other end of the room was another door, presumably to a passageway that led outside.
After he placed Ezart on the bed, Ri Xiang Ye turned his head and saw that his older brother and the bodyguard had already entered the tiny room. Ri Xiang Yan was currently manipulating the buttons in front of the screen. After a few button presses, faint noises came from above. When Ri Xiang Ye looked up, the door had already closed.
Seeing the door close, Ri Xiang Ye anxiously said, “Gēge, I can…”
“No!” Ri Xiang Yan didn’t even turn his head as he said it.
Hearing his older brother’s response, Ri Xiang Ye only let out an “oh,” and didn’t dare to ask further.
Ri Xiang Yan turned on the screen. The screen was split into eight smaller images, each image showing the situation in every corner of the house. The battle was taking place in the image displaying the hallway.
The bodyguards on screen were wielding weapons of varying firepower and organized in a well-trained formation, like an unyielding fortification holding off the enemy. From the whistling of the weapons in their hands and the storm-like deluge of gunfire, even if the enemy were a special force troop, they should have been half eradicated.
However, the enemy was only two people, and they didn’t seem to be damaged in the slightest.
Their motions were so fast they didn’t seem humanly possible. Also, their feet weren’t only in contact with the floor. They landed on the two walls to the sides and even the ceiling several times, as though gravity simply didn’t have an effect on them. They continued on moving up, down, left, and right.
Even the highly trained bodyguards couldn’t help but mutter, “They’re not human at all…”
Ri Xiang Yan frowned. Even though he didn’t have a deep understanding of combat, even he could see that the enemy’s movements were extremely familiar.
The more Ri Xiang Ye watched the screen, the stranger he felt. Finally, he couldn’t help blurting out, “Their movements are a lot like mine.”
After Ri Xiang Yan heard that, his face stiffened. His brother had realized it after all.
The bodyguard next to them looked slightly taken aback, as though he didn’t really believe those words. Although he had already heard that his young master’s skills were exceptional, he had never thought it would be this superhuman.
“Why are their movements so similar to mine? They clearly weren’t like this before.” Ri Xiang Ye stared at the screen. He had the microchip in his brain run an analysis to determine the degree of similarity they shared.
“Ah Ye!” Ri Xiang Yan calmly called out to draw his little brother’s attention away. Hearing his older brother calling, Ri Xiang Ye had no choice but to stop the analysis and turn his head to look at his brother. Ri Xiang Yan’s expression didn’t even change as he lied to his little brother. “I think I just heard Ezart groaning that he wanted water. Do you want to pour some for him?”
Although Ri Xiang Ye hadn’t heard anything, he still worriedly turned around and walked over to the bed. He carefully checked on Ezart’s condition, but Ezart was still unconscious. He hadn’t even changed positions.
As Ri Xiang Ye was doing so, Ri Xiang Yan immediately hit the switch to turn off the screen. Then he feigned annoyance and said, “Damn it, looks like the screen stopped working!”
Ri Xiang Ye cocked his head and visually examined Ezart. After he determined Ezart hadn’t moved at all and then heard what his brother had said, he couldn’t help looking back at the screen. The screen really was completely dark.
“Tell the others outside to notify me immediately should the situation change,” Ri Xiang Yan commanded the bodyguard next to them.
“Understood.” As soon as the bodyguard finished replying, he immediately lifted up his walkie-talkie to notify his comrades outside.
Ri Xiang Yan walked over to the bed, rubbed his little brother’s head, and said consolingly, “Don’t worry, Ah Ye. This room is very secure. Even if those two people really do have godly skills and take out all the bodyguards, they can’t get in here.”
Especially because An Te Qi doesn’t know the code to this room, Ri Xiang Yan lightly added in his mind.
“Mm.” Ri Xiang Ye nodded.
“Reporting: the situation has changed,” the bodyguard suddenly cried out.
Hearing this, Ri Xiang Yan frowned and succinctly ordered, “Speak!”
“The enemy was unable to break through the blockade and have begun retreating.”
Ri Xiang Yan’s eyes lit up. The enemy is already retreating? Excellent. We’ve finally avoided a crisis that could have forced Ah Ye to battle.
He commanded the bodyguard, “Send reinforcements for the watch tonight. Escort us back to headquarters tomorrow morning.”
Ri Xiang Yan reached out to lovingly rub his little brother’s head. With a tone so determined that it even bordered on sinister, he said, “Ah Ye, Gēge will absolutely protect you.”
Hearing that, Ri Xiang Ye just obediently nodded, but he was inwardly a bit exasperated, because…
I want to protect you too, Gēge.
The room was completely dark. One person lay on the bed, so deeply asleep he didn’t even turn.
At this moment, a figure quietly, stealthily entered the room. They stood by the bed watching for a long time. The person on the bed still remained asleep, without the slightest reaction. The figure softly asked, “Ezart, when are you going to wake up?”
Of course, the sleeping person couldn’t reply. The figure could only silently leave the bed side to accomplish the real objective they came to complete.
They walked to a small picture and lifted up the frame, where a keypad was hidden. They typed in a series of numbers while murmuring, “The twelve numbers Gēge typed in earlier were 5874…”
Once the numbers were all typed, the door opened again. Behind the door was the descending spiral staircase. The figure didn’t pause while going down the stairs, and continued down to the hidden room. As soon as they stepped inside, the room automatically brightened, and the figure was fully revealed: silvery hair, pure black irises, and a child-like innocent expression on their face. It was Ri Xiang Ye.
He guiltily said to himself, “If Gēge finds out what I plan to do, he’d definitely be furious, right?”
Thinking about that, he couldn’t help but hesitate over whether or not he should carry it out, completely going against his big brother’s wish for him to be an ordinary boy…
But I’ve never been an ordinary boy.
Besides, I want to protect Gēge. This was what he had originally resolved already.
Ri Xiang Ye tossed aside all hesitation. He looked at the huge screen in the room. Earlier, his older brother had said the screen was broken… He bitterly smiled. Did Gēge really think I’d believe him?
Even if Ri Xiang Ye would have been fooled, “Dark Sun” couldn’t be so easily deceived. As the ultimate bodyguard, how could he not have the ability to analyze things?
Almost in the instant that Ri Xiang Yan lied, Dark Sun had determined it wasn’t true.
Gēge claiming the screen was broken definitely had to be because he didn’t want me to see something, so he turned off the screen. And what Gēge doesn’t want me to see always has to do with battling or something that would make me sad. But right now, what would make me sad or have to go fight and involves modified humans are things related to Gēge or An Te Qi-bàba.
So how could he not find out more!
Even if he would feel hurt, even if he would feel sad, even if he would go against his brother’s wishes and fight, if it had something to do with his brother’s safety, there was no way he could turn a blind eye. This was because of Ri Xiang Ye’s wish to protect his brother, and Dark Sun’s instinct to protect his master.
He lowered his head to look at the control panel covered with buttons and spent a few minutes to familiarize himself with the controls. Then he searched up the video of the modified humans’ intrusion. Ri Xiang Ye fixedly watched the screen.
The battle was intense but didn’t last very long, only about ten or so minutes. The clip was soon over. After the film of the two modified humans was finished, Ri Xiang Ye shut his eyes and concentrated on letting the microchip in his brain determine what areas had problems.
Soon after, the microchip’s analysis concluded.
The two modified human’s movements were ninety percent similar to Dark Sun’s basic movements. Because the sole surviving member of Dark Sun’s development team was “An Te Qi,” the probability that these two modified humans were made and improved by “An Te Qi” was ninety-nine percent.
Ninety-nine percent… Ri Xiang Ye opened his eyes. A calculation of ninety-nine percent by the microchip was basically the same as one hundred percent because there was always some degree of error in everything.
“So that’s how it is? An Te Qi-bàba went over to the enemy’s side?”
Ri Xiang Ye’s head drooped. But it wasn’t because he was disappointed or hurt like Ri Xiang Yan would have guessed. In fact, he wasn’t surprised by An Te Qi’s betrayal.
After all, he had known An Te Qi for eight years already. It really wasn’t any shorter than his interactions with his own brother. Although it hadn’t been through the usual kind of interactions, it was enough for him to understand the doctor’s personality.
An Te Qi wasn’t the kind of person who would sacrifice himself for someone else. Otherwise, during that eight year span, An Te Qi would have thought of a way to save him early on, rather than repeatedly subjecting him to life threatening surgeries.
An Te Qi had sympathized with him, comforted him, and had been sad and reluctant to part with him, but An Te Qi had never thought of trying to save him, not even once.
But Ri Xiang Ye still liked An Te Qi-bàba because An Te Qi-bàba had smiled at him from the beginning and never begrudged him a smile. Without that smile, he might not have held on until his brother came. Instead, from the start, he would already have …
I still like you, An Te Qi-bàba. But you betrayed Gēge, and Gēge definitely won’t forgive you.
“Gēge really had been planning on saving you because of me, but after discovering An Te Qi-bàba’s betrayal, he’ll definitely change the order from ‘saving’ to ‘killing’ you.”
Ri Xiang Ye closed his eyes sadly. If An Te Qi-bàba really had betrayed them, which would also endanger his brother, then to protect his brother, even he would choose to kill An Te Qi!
Maybe… Bàba is just pretending to betray us and the two modified humans aren’t really that strong?
Ri Xiang Ye couldn’t help thinking along those lines and holding onto hope. He pressed the button to play the battle clip again and let the microchip determine if these two modified humans were strong enough to possibly be a threat to him.
Ri Xiang Ye had watched half of the clip when he suddenly noticed that the movements of one of the modified humans were somewhat odd. Its movements didn’t seem to be fluid enough, and it was grazed by bullets several times. But looking at the bullets’ trajectories, the modified human should have been able to dodge them.
For most people, errors were highly possible. But for a modified human, making those mistakes would have already been enough for it to be declared “defective”…
Ri Xiang Ye frowned and watched the scene. He felt that the modified human’s footsteps seemed to be off. Tap. Tap tap…
He immediately reached out and went back to the beginning of the clip, watching it from the start. He stared at the screen, unwilling to miss even a single footstep, analyzing in detail what the code was trying to say.
“I am. An Te Qi. Three days later. 2 AM…”
Then came a long address. Ri Xiang Ye continued deciphering the code while using the microchip in his brain to search it up. He discovered the address was fairly far away from his home.
“… Save me.”
After decoding this, the two modified humans began to cover for each other as they retreated. Their footsteps no longer had anything to do with Morse code.
“An Te Qi-bàba…”
Ri Xiang Ye lowered his head to think. What should I do? Tell Gēge? But if it’s a trap… Ah! If even I think it’s a trap, then Gēge will definitely think so too, right? Will he go save An Te Qi-bàba?
Ri Xiang Ye frowned. The logical, Dark Sun part of his brain was sending out warnings nonstop, saying, “It’s a trap. Do not proceed.” But his emotional side didn’t want to listen to these warnings because if he did, he might never see Bàba again. One of his favorite people would soon be gone.
In the end, Ri Xiang Ye lifted his head and resolutely declared, “I still like Bàba. I’m going to save Bàba!”
But how do I actually do it?
If he waited until tomorrow, the bodyguards would then send him and his brother to the headquarters. It wasn’t that he couldn’t defeat the bodyguards, but if his brother were next to him, he definitely couldn’t disobey his brother. And his brother wouldn’t let him go save An Te Qi-bàba.
Once they reached headquarters, there might be even more people watching him, and his brother might make him stay by his side. It would be even more impossible to leave.
If I really want to go save An Te Qi-bàba, then there’s only… He turned his head to look toward the room’s other exit. He could only leave now. Tomorrow morning, there would be nothing more he could do to save Bàba.
Once he thought this, he made his decision to leave immediately. But he remembered the Death Scythe had already been taken by the enemy and that the three most important nails on his left hand had snapped off. It could be said that he was missing his main weapon and that his second best was half unusable. His combat strength had already taken a huge hit.
“I’ll have to use firepower to make up for it.”
Ri Xiang Ye frowned and turned around. He returned to the room upstairs. Glancing at Ezart on the bed again just hardened his resolve to save An Te Qi. After all, Ezart ended up like this because he drank An Te Qi-bàba’s drug. So An Te Qi-bàba should definitely have a way to wake Ezart up!
He was walking in the hallway, where many bodyguards were standing to both sides. But none of them showed any misgivings about his movements or tried to stop him. After all, in this day and age, a young adult staying up in the middle of the night wasn’t anything noteworthy.
If Ri Xiang Yan or An Te Qi had been there, they definitely would have realized something wasn’t right. For good little boy Ah Ye, who always went to bed at ten every day, loitering around the hallway in the middle of the night was extremely out of character.
But his bàba and older brother weren’t present, so Ri Xiang Ye went about unobstructed. First, he went back down to the basement to pick up a duffel backpack, packing heavy firearms, light handguns, time bombs, hand grenades, and other dangerous objects into it.
Then, carrying his bag on his back, Ri Xiang Ye returned to the living room, planning to use the hidden room to leave.
But this time, he caught the attention of the head bodyguard. It was normal not to be asleep in the middle of the night, but not sleeping in the middle of the night and running around while lugging a backpack clearly filled with firearms was just a bit strange.
The bodyguard hesitantly asked, “Young Master, may I ask what you are carrying those guns for?”
“We’re leaving home tomorrow, so I’m packing my luggage,” Ri Xiang Ye innocently replied to the bodyguard.
Why would youngsters nowadays have luggage entirely filled with ammunition? Even using such an innocent expression to reply… Although he wanted to shout this, the bodyguard still conscientiously reminded him, “Young Master, we can help you carry it.”
“No! They’re my precious.” Ri Xiang Ye didn’t panic but said authoritatively, “I’m taking them with me tomorrow.”
The bodyguard could only nod and silently pray that the young master’s skill with firearms really was as great as the rumors said. If that ammunition misfired, the word “terrible” would be an understatement.
Ri Xiang Ye carried the entire bag of firearms into the room. Then he opened the door to the hidden room. He was about to step down the stairs when he suddenly stopped and turned his head to look at Ezart on the bed. With absolute determination, he declared.
“Ezart, wait for me. I’ll bring An Te Qi-bàba back to save you!”
Once he finished speaking, he no longer hesitated and turned around to enter the secret tunnel. But he didn’t notice the person on the bed clench his right hand into a fist and then relax so it was flat on the bed before returning to his seeming slumber.