Eclipse Hunter Volume 4: Truth and Lies, Separate Worlds
Original novel in Chinese by: 御我(Yu Wo)
Chapter Two: Cherish; Neglect—translated by Trespasserby (proofread by Arcedemius; C/E edited by lucathia)
“How is Ah Ye’s condition?”
An Te Qi asked as he applied electrodes for monitoring Ezart’s body.
Ezart lazily lay there on the chair and replied, “The same. The tantrum the brat’s throwing this time isn’t a small one.”
“It isn’t just a tantrum this time,” An Te Qi sighed.
Ezart impatiently said, “Why do you guys keep saying it isn’t? The way I see it, he’s just angry. If you treat him nice, then it’ll all be fine after a while!”
An Te Qi bitterly laughed. It’d be great if it were that simple.
“As for what you’re doing, it can’t be good having this thing that looks so much like Ah Ye around the house, right?” Ezart sized up DSII. This thing looks just like Ah Ye.
An Te Qi offhandedly replied, “It isn’t a problem. There’s no way we’d confuse it with Dark Sun. DSII is a clone. He doesn’t have a brain. There’s only a microchip in his skull, so he’s different from Dark Sun, who uses a human base. Even if DSII crashed one day and said he was Dark Sun, we’d figure out who’s who as soon as we did an X-ray.”
“That isn’t the problem…”
Ezart scratched his head. He couldn’t put his finger on exactly what the problem was, but he felt that this was really bizarre. As soon as he saw two of Ah Ye, he felt it was strange. But for Ah Ye to see himself standing in front of him, that strange feeling had to be through the roof!
DSII called out. He just happened to be next to the phone, so he conveniently picked up the call. He beamed as he said, “Hello, this is the Ri household. I’m DSII.”
Ri Xiang Yan’s face appeared on the phone screen. When he saw Ah Ye’s adorable face, his heart leapt and he almost went wild with joy, believing that An Te Qi had finally succeeded in bringing Ah Ye back… But with the next sentence, he heard that it was DSII instead. His joy instantly vanished without a trace.
His feelings were a rollercoaster. For a moment, his heart was gripped in pain.
“Gēge, are you O.K.?” DSII stared with wide eyes and an expression of worry as he asked.
Hearing the word “Gēge,” Ri Xiang Yan only felt more pain in his heart. He reached out to press the button to turn off the telephone screen, leaving only audio. A shout of “Sun Emperor” suddenly came from the phone. It was Kyle’s voice, and he sounded extremely nervous.
“Gēge, Gēge. Are you O.K.?” DSII’s eyes immediately grew red and he asked worriedly.
As Ri Xiang Yan replied, he turned on the screen again. Although his face was white, his expression was still as arrogant as ever. He gave a look out of the corner of his eye and icily said, “I don’t need medicine. Continue with your work, Bill.”
“Gēge, are you fine?” DSII tilted his head and asked, his eyes red and expression pitiful.
Ri Xiang Yan gazed intently at that face. He sighed and said, “DSII, leave for a bit. Let me talk to An Te Qi.”
Hearing those words, An Te Qi braced himself for the worst and walked over to the phone.
Ri Xiang Yan cut straight to the point and asked, “How is Ah Ye’s condition?”
“Still the same.” After An Te Qi finished speaking, he almost didn’t dare to look at the screen to see just how unsightly Ri Xiang Yan’s expression was.
Ri Xiang Yan stayed silent. His stark white face was clearly growing stormier.
“Do you want me to connect you with Ah Ye?” At the moment, An Te Qi was looking for any way to avoid looking at the Sun Emperor any longer.
Ri Xiang Yan raised his head and opened his mouth…
“Sun Emperor, it is time for your meeting.”
Ri Xiang Yan went silent. He opened his mouth to say, “You don’t need to connect me. Anyway, I’ll be coming back later. Is Ezart there? Have him stay longer and go to class with Ah Ye again tomorrow.”
“No way. I’m fighting in the arena tonight,” Ezart replied with no trace of politeness.
Hearing that, Ri Xiang Yan immediately roared, “You are not allowed to bring Ah Ye to an arena! It’s too dangerous!”
Ezart coldly huffed. “Even if I wanted to bring him now, you think he’d be willing to go?”
“Ezart!” An Te Qi anxiously cut him off. Don’t remind the Sun Emperor of Ah Ye’s current condition!
Ri Xiang Yan was silent for a while. In the end, he dully said, “Meeting time.” Then, he hung up just like that.
“Can’t you hold your tongue?”
An Te Qi wailed in agony, almost exactly like Eloise. He bitterly laughed as he said, “Even if you aren’t afraid of him, I’m absolutely terrified.”
Ezart rolled his eyes at the doctor. He tore off the electrodes on his body as he said, “Are you done with your examination? I’ve told you I’m doing great, but you insist on having me come in for a checkup every three days. Tch! I’m in a rush today, so I’m heading out.”
“Wait a moment!” An Te Qi wailed, “Let me experiment a bit more!”
“I said, ‘examine’ a bit.” An Te Qi used his most innocent expression as he corrected himself.
I better say good bye to that brat Ah Ye! Otherwise it’ll be a pain if his tantrum gets worse.
Ezart walked up to Dark Sun’s room on the second floor. Dark Sun hadn’t closed the door. With a glance, Ezart could see Dark Sun was currently sitting at the workbench. A half-finished gun was on the desk along with a huge pile of parts. However, Dark Sun wasn’t modifying the gun.
He was staring at the telephone on the wall.
Ezart scratched his head and said, “Your bro’s busy with a meeting. He said he’d be coming back later so he didn’t ask for the call to be connected upstairs.”
Dark Sun turned around, nodded, and then lowered his head to continue modifying the gun.
“Then I’m headed off to the arena.”
Dark Sun raised his head, said the sentence, “See you tomorrow,” and then lowered his head again to modify his gun.
Ezart looked up and down at Dark Sun. What’s wrong with the brat? He’s been off recently, but right now he seems even more off?
He studied Dark Sun for a while, but wasn’t able to figure out the reason. Seeing that it was getting late, he rubbed his nose and hastily left.
Not long after Ezart had left and Dark Sun had been quiet for some time, An Te Qi suddenly ran upstairs in a rush.
“Where’s Ezart? Is he gone?”
Dark Sun’s head shifted. Then he turned around to face An Te Qi and said, “He left.”
An Te Qi hoisted up the object in his hand and said with a trace of helplessness, “He forgot to take his backpack.”
“I will take it to him.” Dark Sun stood up.
An Te Qi handed the backpack to him and said, “Help me buy dinner slash midnight snack while you’re at it.”
Dark Sun accepted the backpack and then walked out.
An Te Qi was originally going to leave to continue his experiments, but he suddenly saw something glinting on the workbench.
He paused for a moment. Once he saw Dark Sun jump down all the way to the living room below, he sneakily stepped into the room and walked over to the workbench. He looked at where the reflected light had come from, only to find that it was just a few drops of water.
Drops of water?
98.2% water. 1.8% solids comprised of sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chlorine, and other electrolytes as well as many trace molecules… Analysis is human tears.
An Te Qi was shocked. Although he had brought the drops of water back to his lab, it had only been out of boredom. He had just thought that it wasn’t like he knew how to return Ah Ye to normal, so he would try with even the smallest suspicions.
He hadn’t thought he would hit the nail on the head.
Dark Sun couldn’t shed tears unless Ri Xiang Yan gave the command for him to cry.
Then, why were there tears on Dark Sun’s desk?
Dark Sun can’t cry. So doesn’t that mean that the emotion suppressing switch was turned off? Dark Sun reverted back to being Ah Ye?
But how is that possible? Nothing had happened earlier. Aside from us, no one else had come over. No one had been with Dark Sun. No one… An Te Qi suddenly recalled Ezart’s words.
Ah Ye was just throwing a tantrum.
An Te Qi froze as he thought. Perhaps…
“An Te Qi, where’s Ah Ye? Why isn’t he at home? Where did he go?” Ri Xiang Yan’s voice suddenly came over the phone.
An Te Qi looked at the phone. Surprisingly, the phone was showing that the call came from the phone upstairs. He asked in shock, “Sun Emperor? W-Why are you back so soon? Didn’t you have a meeting?”
Ri Xiang Yan immediately roared, “I was worried about Ah Ye so much that my heart was in pain, my stomach hurt, and my head hurt even more! There’s no way I could hold a meeting! I couldn’t think of doing anything but hurrying back to see him! Where is Ah Ye?”
“Ezart forgot his backpack earlier so Ah Ye left to give it to him. He should be back in a bit.”
“Oh.” Ri Xiang Yan gloomily nodded.
“Maybe you should take an analgesic?” An Te Qi sincerely recommended.
“I haven’t eaten anything. If I take a painkiller, my stomach will be a wreck!”
“I’ll have DSII make you some noodles.”
Ri Xiang Yan leapt up agitatedly. Faced with An Te Qi’s shocked expression, he could only exhaustedly explain, “I don’t want to treat DSII like Ah Ye anymore.”
“But I want you to treat him just like Ah Ye.”
Ri Xiang Yan was taken aback. He raised his head and looked at An Te Qi skeptically.
A faint smile curled on An Te Qi’s face. An Te Qi slowly said, “I have a way to bring back Ah Ye…”
Dark Sun speedily walked back home. He was coming back a bit late because Ezart hadn’t been at the usual arena, but at a different place. So he had spent some time searching.
He opened the front door and walked in. He was planning on delivering the food he was carrying to Dr. An Te Qi…
“The noodles Ah Ye makes are the best!”
“Really? Then Gēge should eat some more.”
Dark Sun’s footsteps stopped. As soon as he walked into the living room, he saw Ri Xiang Yan and a smiling, absolutely adorable DSII. The two of them were each holding a huge bowl and were currently eating steaming hot noodle soup. Ri Xiang Yan even carefully helped wipe some soup from the corner of DSII’s mouth.
But Ri Xiang Yan looked back and saw Dark Sun. He froze for a moment and as though he were startled, said, “Ah Ye, you’re back.”
“Do you want something to eat?” He smiled lightly and said, “I’ll have Ah… DSII cook something for you. Is that O.K., DSII?” Ri Xiang Yan turned his head to look at DSII as he said the last sentence.
He added with a smile, “DSII makes delicious noodles.”
Hearing that, DSII beamed and said, “Then in the future, I’ll have to make noodles for Gēge more often.”
Ri Xiang Yan rubbed DSII’s hair dotingly, just like how he used to rub Ah Ye’s hair.
Dark Sun was silent for some time before saying, “Master, I will bring this late night snack to Dr. An Te Qi.”
Ri Xiang Yan wasn’t paying much attention as he replied, “Sure.” Then he lowered his head to eat the noodles again, occasionally raising his head to smile at DSII and say a few things.
Dark Sun sat on the sofa, pressed the button for basement two, and headed for An Te Qi’s laboratory.
After the sofa had descended, Ri Xiang Yan turned his head to look at the spot Dark Sun had left from.
“Gēge?” DSII showed a puzzled expression.
“Bring me the painkillers.” Ri Xiang Yan coldly said. He didn’t even turn his head to look at DSII.
“O.K., Gēge.” DSII was still beaming as he said that. Then, he put down the bowl in his hands and went to fetch Ri Xiang Yan’s painkillers.
“Ah Ye… Ah, ah! You really went to buy midnight snacks?”
An Te Qi was currently holding a bowl of noodles and gorging himself on it. He apologetically smiled, “I’m really sorry. DSII already made some noodles for me. It’s a good thing we had him, or I really would have been starving. Just put your stuff over there! If I’m hungry later, I’ll see if I want to eat it or not.”
Dark Sun followed his words and set down the box of food in his hand.
“That’s all. Go modify your guns!”
An Te Qi waved him off and then lowered his head to continue eating his noodles while looking at his experimental data. He paid no attention to Dark Sun.
Dark Sun nodded, turned, and sat back on the sofa to return upstairs.
An Te Qi put down his noodles. He raised his head to watch the underside of the ascending sofa, his expression one of concern.
In the depths of the night, two habitual night owls were awake as usual. But what was strange was that one wasn’t in his study, giving orders to his secretary, while the other wasn’t in his laboratory fanatically destroying corpses to conduct experiments. Instead, both of them were in the laboratory chattering away.
“How goes it?”
“My heart hurts even more.”
“I wasn’t asking about you. I’m asking, how is Ah Ye?”
“It seems to be working. Today, he didn’t greet me before going back to his room. It’s just that…”
“It’s just that?”
“It’s really hard for me to treat him like this!”
“Just take a few more analgesics! The most important thing is that this works and we can bring Ah Ye back. Don’t you think the pain is worth that?”
“Of course. But I’m warning you, if your stupid idea doesn’t bring back Ah Ye, I’m going to…”
“Blow out my brains, right? I know, I know. I believe this really will work, as long as you don’t let the cat out of the bag by sobbing to Ah Ye, ‘Gēge is so sorry,’ in the middle of acting or something like that.”
A skeptical look was given.
It was the usual time to head to school in the morning. However, Ezart was late and was nowhere to be seen. Dark Sun waited twenty minutes until he was unable to wait any longer. He assumed that perhaps Ezart had been fighting late in the arena and wasn’t intending on coming to class. He headed to school on his own.
As soon as he walked into the classroom, Dark Sun automatically looked toward his seat… Next to his seat, Ezart was already sitting at his own seat and snoring up a symphony.
Dark Sun’s footsteps slowed for a moment, but he still walked to his seat and didn’t disturb Ezart’s slumber. He simply opened his backpack and arranged the materials he needed for class on his desk.
The classroom today was extremely quiet. The students were just as well-behaved as they were the day before. But with a careful look, it could be seen that they kept looking toward the window out of the corner of their eyes. However, today it was just as quiet at the window as it was within the classroom.
Not long later, the bell for class rang. The teacher stood outside the door and stuck his head in, surveying the situation and trying to determine if there should be class or not today. The students today were just as obedient, but there wasn’t a wailing girl at the window.
Once the teacher had walked over to the podium and stared at the students, he cautiously suggested, “Let’s have class first. And depending on the situation, we’ll decide whether or not class should be dismissed. Is that all right?”
The students nodded their heads in unison. In their whole lives, they probably had never obeyed authority as much as they were doing right then.
The teacher took a textbook out from his briefcase and said, “In that case, w-we’re going to have combat history now. First, let’s read a paragraph aloud. A-Actually, I’ll just read it aloud myself. In 2007…”
Since Eloise still hadn’t appeared, it wasn’t long before the students lost patience. They probably had never used the word “obedient” in their lifetimes. If their lives weren’t immediately in danger, how could they stay obedient for an entire class period?
It was like the students all had bugs crawling on them. Each of them began squirming. At first they didn’t dare to make any large movements and just chatted with the people next to them or sneakily took out firearm catalogs to pass to the people at a neighboring desk.
Three minutes later…
“Screw you. Twenty percent off? You think there’re discounts for buying guns? You might as well say I should give you free bullets for buying a gun, and if I buy ten of them, I’ll get another for free!”
“You have the guts to say that? What the hell’s with your prices? It’s a ripoff! You might as well use your own guns to commit the robbery!”
“You’re right… Hey! This is a robbery, gimme your wallet!”
“… Bastard, you think you’re the only one with a gun?”
The teacher hid behind the podium and said in a tiny voice, “Students, gunfights are prohibited during class.”
Maybe because they had been too pent up yesterday, but it didn’t take long before the classroom was even more chaotic than it had been previously. The teacher was even hiding under the podium, not daring to budge from his hiding spot to avoid being hit by a stray bullet.
The entire classroom was a sea of chaos except for Ezart and An Xiang Ye’s desks, which were unusually clear. They were clean to the point that even stray bullets seemed to curve out of the way to avoid this danger zone.
The teacher was no longer holding class, so Ri Xiang Ye waited a while before he put down his pen and pulled out his virtual lover console. However, he was completely expressionless as he played, making it seem like it was just part of a routine and was no different from taking notes in class.
Ri Xiang Ye used to get jeered at by his classmates for playing his virtual lover game in front of them, but now none of them dared to bully Ri Xiang Ye. Not only was there the god of destruction, Ezart, protecting him, Eloise occasionally came by the classroom to wail and was already enough to scare anyone.
Even though the god of destruction was such a scary title, Eloise was much scarier than Ezart to this class of students. At the very least, Ezart had never clearly stated that Ri Xiang Ye was under his protection. Besides, Ezart was too lazy to care about any mocking.
However, Eloise had jumped on the podium and declared that if even a single hair on little Ah Ye’s head was harmed, they would all pay the price!
Based on Eloise’s actions the past few days, no one doubted the truth behind those words. Her face was practically screaming, “I’m itching to beat someone up.”
“Pardon the interruption. This is an announcement from the Principal’s office. Student Dark Sun, student Dark Sun. Immediately report to the Principal’s office.”
At that moment, the entire class fell silent. Coincidentally, the corners of everyone’s mouths were twitching as they thought, Dark Sun? When did Dark Sun become a student? Isn’t he someone unaffiliated with the school?
Ri Xiang Ye heard the broadcast and slowly raised his head as he pressed the switch to turn Xiao Ai off. After he put Xiao Ai in his backpack, he stood up with his backpack and walked out of the classroom. Despite that, he didn’t raise any suspicions.
This was a class where class being in session or not wasn’t any different. Everyone had always come and gone as they wanted.
Even along the path Ri Xiang Ye was moving through, despite no one noticing him, the bullets seemed to all turn away, not daring to come close.
As soon as he walked out of the classroom, Ezart slowly lifted his head and watched Ri Xiang Ye’s departing figure. He also happened to see Elian and the others stealthily stick their heads out after Ri Xiang Ye.
After Ri Xiang Ye left, and Elian and the others also noticed Ezart was awake, they walked into the classroom.
The students who belonged to that class all ran out of the classroom in under a second, not daring to come within ten meters of the classroom to avoid being dragged into what was going to be the school’s most terrifying battle.
“Did you also receive the Sun Emperor’s instructions?” Elian asked right off the bat.
Ezart shrugged and said, “Yeah. Around seven or eight last night, Ah Ye’s big bro sent someone to tell me not to go to school together with Ah Ye, not to speak to him, not to do this and not to do that—basically just to ignore him! His bro’s super long winded!”
“But it’s so hard!”
Eloise was the first one to wail, “Ah Ye is so cute! How can I ignore him? I want to talk to him. I want to hug him. I want to squish his face. I want to…”
Eli was covering his ears far away to avoid being bombarded by both Eloise’s thoughts and her equally loud wails.
Elian and Ezart completely ignored the wailing. Elian said slightly concerned, “I’m worried if the plan really will succeed. If it doesn’t work, won’t Ah Ye become even colder? Then what?”
“What’s the point of thinking so much!” Ezart rolled his eyes and grumpily said, “Just test it out! If Ah Ye explodes in anger and wants to beat me up, that’s still better than him acting more dead than alive!”
Hearing that, Elian bitterly laughed. “I’m not worried if he wants to hit us. I’m just worried that if we give him the silent treatment, he’ll decide that we’re not friends anymore and won’t even be willing to greet us.”
Ezart snorted and coldly said, “In that case, then I’ll give him a beating instead. I doubt the brat would treat us as enemies.”
Elian bitterly smiled. If Ah Ye really is stuck as Dark Sun, then I don’t have Ezart’s confidence that Ah Ye definitely won’t come to blows with us. Since Dark Sun doesn’t have emotions, if he does treat us as enemies, then it wouldn’t be strange for him to go as far as killing us.
At least, that was what Dr. An Te Qi had warned us.
“I’m still going to go over to look.” Elian frowned. Although the Principal’s announcement was for Dark Sun to go, Elian probably wouldn’t be banned from listening off to the side?
Eloise stopped wailing and wholeheartedly nodded. “Let’s go look! Let’s go look!”
“Go over?” Ezart mockingly said, “Just how low do you think Dark Sun’s perception is? You’ll get found out! If you ruin Ah Ye’s bro’s plan, then we’ll see if you’ll still be alive!”
Elian frowned. After a while, he sighed and turned his head to say, “Eli, hold on tight to Eloise. Don’t let her run off to see Ah Ye.”
Eli put down his hands that were covering his ears. After he walked over to the others, he used both hands to grab onto Eloise’s clothes.
“Let me go! Stupid Eli!”
But Eli had no intention of letting go. Eloise glared at him, pointedly asking, “Are you my teammate or Lian’s?
Eli coldly replied, “Even though I would like to say Elian is my teammate, unfortunately, it had to be you.”
Off to the side, Elian directly faced Ezart and sincerely urged, “You’re in the same class as Ah Ye, so you can keep a close eye on him. If something really doesn’t seem right with him, then to hell with the plan! After all, actually hurting Ah Ye isn’t good either.”
“You’re just as long winded as Ah Ye’s bro!”
After he finished roaring, Ezart was too lazy to even bother listening to Elian anymore. He sprawled out on the desk and continued to sleep.
Off to the side, Eloise burst into laughter. “Haha! No wonder Ah Ye said at the beginning that Elian’s like his big brother! It really is true!”
Hearing that, Elian blushed. He growled, “Eloise!”
Eloise clutched her head and shrieked, “Ah ah ah! Eli, Lian wants to hit me!”
“He won’t hit you.”
Eli expressionlessly said, “Actually, he likes it a lot when Ah Ye calls him Gēge. His current thoughts are that you almost realized that, so he is now very embarrassed and wants to use something like being worried about the Sun Emperor’s wrath as an excuse to explain it away.”
“… Eli, I feel like the one Lian wants to hit right now is you.”