No Hero Volume 7: The End, the Beginning, Part One
Original novel in Chinese by: 御我(Yu Wo)
The Eighth Step Toward the End: Pandora, Box of—translated by Raylight (proofread by Trespasserby; C/E edited by Taffygirl13 & lucathia)
Three hours? I wish to stay here for three years!
“You might as well stay here your whole life, and then bury yourself here!” Ezart roared, “Three hours! Not a single second more. By the way, time was ticking away during our conversation, so you already wasted fifteen seconds!”
Damn! What exactly should I look for?
There are so many things here, and each and every one of them appears to be precious research material. How could I possibly make a choice between all these—
“Ah Shou, Ah Shou! I’m calling you!”
I glanced left and right, but I did not see any trace of Ezart.
When I looked up, I saw Ezart standing above me, waving his hand. I was flabbergasted and asked, “How did you get up there?”
“By pressing random buttons.”
That answer would make anyone vomit blood. Aren’t you scared of pressing something that will cause the whole laboratory to instantly self-destruct?
“I only pressed the buttons on the counter and the wall. Who would put the self-destruction button outside? Wouldn’t they be worried that they would press it by accident?”
That is true. Doesn’t science always develop in the direction of intuition and simplicity? It appears that this held true for this laboratory, too.
It seems that even though I have studied to the point of becoming a professor, I still cannot match up to Ezart.
The hotel door abruptly opened without warning, and the visitor invited himself in without reservation.
Nitewalker jumped up from the sofa, and the mineral water on the table suddenly exploded out of the bottle. The water split into two portions and then wrapped around Nitewalker’s hands, forming two short tridents—So you were a ninja turtle?
No, now is not the time to be reminiscing about old hero films.
The leader merely looked at him coldly, but the people beside him had a huge reaction. The extremely destructive-looking weapons in their hands all pointed toward Nitewalker, and it seemed as though they were about to fire!
I immediately shouted, “Nitewalker, quickly put down your weapons! This is the master, the young master’s brother.”
Nitewalker shot a look at me before stowing away his tridents. Evidently, he too knew that if he did not move quickly, a fight could possibly break out.
The master looked at me as he spoke, though he was not addressing me. “Other than the adjudication squad, everyone else needs to get out of the room. That includes you, too!” As he said the last line, he glared at Nitewalker.
I nodded my head at Nitewalker for him to leave. After all of them left, the only ones remaining in the room were just me and the master, along with five masked adjudication squad members. According to what I had previously discovered, they were merely modified humans and did not seem as human-like as DSII.
I waited for the master to speak while secretly observing him. The master was wearing his usual dark-colored, long trench coat. His hair seemed to be slightly longer than before, though it was somewhat messy, as though he did not have the time to style it properly. Since the moment he stepped in, his face had been very cold—I meant, even cooler than usual.
It did not appear to be a serious issue, but it had upset him to the point where he did not have the heart to take care of his appearance. What I found more peculiar was that Elian, the bodyguard who was always by the master’s side with a constant smiling face, the one called El-gē by the young master, had not come.
Is it a matter related to the young master, yet something he does not want the young master to know?
The master asked, “Where is he?”
“The young master has gone to the film location.”
The master growled, “I am not talking about Ah Ye, but ‘that person!’”
“He has gone with the young master to the filming location.” I calmly advised, “Master, if you make a move against Mr. Luo Ye, the young master will be very upset.”
My original intent was to dissuade the master a little, but unexpectedly, these words caused him to erupt into a violent rage. “Ah Ye will always be upset! Everything I do is wrong. He’s just completely lost all hope in me. Otherwise, why would he leave the house, leave me? Even after graduating, he refused to return and stay!”
“The young master likes Sunset City very much.” I could only comfort him in such a way, unable to say the true reason since it would anger the master.
The master collapsed on the single seat sofa, and dryly laughed. “I’m a bad person. Ah Ye has grown up and understands that. But how could I possibly… ‘turn over a new leaf,’ ha! Once I lose my power, I will lose everything! ‘They’ will pounce and chew me up to the point where even no bones remain!”
Striking a person painfully while they are down, taking all they have left and dividing it up until practically nothing remained—this was the unchanging law of the business world, especially when it came to the Sun Emperor. How many of those people smiling at him were actually burning with hatred and fury toward him in their hearts—or perhaps the question was actually the inverse. How many people did not hate him?
The master looked at me, and coldly laughed as he said, “The Elysees aren’t any cleaner, either! Sadina’s a vicious one, and her grandson was taught well.”
“I am aware, Master.” I maintained my calm as I said, “Though it was something that happened a long time ago, I was the head of the Elysees for ten years. Moreover, in the late stages of his life, my honorable father was unable to work for long periods of time due to his growing age, and had to pass much of his work onto me. So, in actuality, I controlled the family for about twenty years.”
That period of time had been the hardest to endure.
Thinking back now, I actually could not remember anything important from those twenty years. All I remembered was the worrying for my father’s health and the matters between Sadina and me. There was only—suffering.
The master gave me a look. “I couldn’t tell at all. Moreover, you actually managed to walk away. You sure are carefree, and even luckier to have the protection of a Sadina.”
I sincerely said, “I am not carefree. It is precisely because there is a Sadina that I was able to leave. Master, you are actually also the young master’s ‘Sadina.’ The young master can only live the way he wants to because you are there.”
The master fell silent. His expression seemed to soften slightly.
Despite my previous attempt ending in utter failure and, as a butler, I really ought not to speak any further, I could not refrain from trying once more as I recalled how troubled the young master had looked. “Master, Mr. Luo Ye does not appear to have the capability to fight you for the inheritance. Is there a need to mind him, and even strain your relationship with the young master?”
“Inheritance?” The master’s expression seemed a little odd. Had I incorrectly guessed his reasons?
“If it is not the inheritance, then why—”
The master coldly interrupted me, “You are prying too much!”
“Understood.” I lowered my head and apologized. Due to the fact that the young master was the type to prefer having the butler help think matters over, I had forgotten as time passed that the majority of masters would prefer their butler to be invisible.
“Trick that guy out and bring him to me.” The master indifferently mentioned, “You can tell Ah Ye that he escaped, and it is fine even if Ah Ye suspects that I have captured him. I guarantee that he will never appear again.”
Finally understanding what the master had come here for, a cold chill suddenly struck me. The only thing I could do was immediately refuse him, “I deeply apologize, Master, but I am the butler of the young master.”
“I pay your wages.” The master’s face turned cold again.
I remained silent for a long time, and did my best to suppress the negative emotions brewing inside me as I calmly said, “Master, would you feel at ease letting someone who has betrayed the young master stay by his side? Even if the reason for the betrayal is your own order?”
The master seemed to interfere with the young master fairly often, but looking at the people currently staying at the young master’s side up until now, their loyalties seemed to lie with the young master and not the master.
The master roared in rage, “Don’t presume things on your own! Even if I sent him those people, he was the one who chose to keep them. That child just never listens! Hand over ‘that person,’ or else he will definitely harm Ah Ye!”
Harm the young master? I was a little puzzled, and said, “I do not believe that Mr. Luo Ye has the ability to harm the young master.”
“That’s right, Ah Ye is really strong! But how many times have you seen him injured?”
The master grabbed the armrest of the sofa, his breathing seeming to quicken. He raised his head and glared at me with reddened eyes. He asked, “Tell me, if Ah Ye is so strong, why does he always suffer heavier injuries than others? Why is it that the stronger he gets, the more injured he gets instead!”
Because the more powerful you are, the more you are unable to hide behind others. Moreover, the young master would never be willing to hide behind someone else.
“Whatever he wants to get, or whoever he wants to kill, can’t he tell me? Isn’t everything that I have gained so far all to protect him and make him happy? But in the end, Ah Ye always charges into danger himself, and gets himself hurt from day to night. He is always sad more than he is happy. Why—
I can kill off all the people who make him sad! Destroy everything that could possibly hurt him! But Ah Ye would only become unhappier if I did so!”
Eyes red from crying or eyes mad from killing, only at this point did I discover that it could be so hard to tell apart the two different types of red eyes.
The master buried his face in his left hand. There were no sounds of crying to be heard, and I did not believe that he would truly start crying in front of me. As expected, in less than a minute, his mood stabilized, and he returned to his usual cold and proud demeanor. Even his eyes were not red anymore, and of course, there was not a single tear to be seen.
The master calmly judged, “Ah Ye is too naive, and always gets deceived. He holds no caution toward others.”
Prior to this, Lieder seemed to have reprimanded me using the same words.
“Ah Ye likes to fight, likes to pursue criminals. That is all fine. I did promise him that he can do what he likes. However, everything that can possibly make him sad yet can’t be killed as a solution will all be destroyed by me!”
Why would there be a possibility of Mr. Luo Ye making the young master sad? Is it because he is not the young master’s father? But the young master has known about this, and he was not saddened by it. Rather, he was worried that Mr. Luo Ye would be upset by it.
The master gave a smile with no friendliness behind it as he said, “Charles Elysees, if you do not hand that fellow over, I will hand over information regarding E.X to the Church.”
My heart skipped a beat. I kept my calm as I politely answered, “My name is Charles Endelis. Master, please do not lie to me. You do not have such information.”
“I do.” The master slowly said, “There’s too much contact between him, you, and Ah Ye. I have never brought what I don’t have to the negotiation table, since such a practice is too unreliable.”
The master is merely deceiving me with something that he does not possess—I am unable to convince myself of that!
Although I only had his email address, and X was the one with the young master’s and my cell phone numbers, he would only make an occasional call through the internet. Moreover, he said that he had his ways to not be tracked, and there simply were not many leads on him. The Church had been chasing him for so long to no avail. However, the one currently tracking him down was the master, and both the young master and I were far too careless.
Would the master really do so? No, of course he would truly do so. He is—the Sun Emperor!
The endless doting he gave the young master and the little trifles I heard about him between him and the secretaries seemed to have so much emotion, which made me gradually think that the Sun Emperor was not so cold and callous, and that the rumors were greatly exaggerated…
At the moment, the Sun Emperor sat on the sofa, appearing like a monarch even though it was not a throne. He had the corners of his mouth raised slightly, knowing that his victory was at hand, taunting his opponent!
I could not suppress the blazing rage that ignited in my heart any longer, and glared at him as I growled, “Sun Emperor! If you touch X, there will be no room for negotiation!”
“Who are you to speak?” The Sun Emperor said with extreme disdain, “If it weren’t for Ah Ye, I would have killed you long ago! Don’t think that I would be scared of the Elysees’s revenge. Sadina might still make others afraid, but now it is Curtis. He doesn’t have Sadina’s ruthlessness and would not drag the whole family to their graves just to avenge a dead person!
“You are nothing!” He stood up and eyed me arrogantly, “I will give you one week. Deceive that guy and get him to the location I specify, and then you will have nothing further to do with this incident. However, if Ah Ye finds out about this, I will hand both you and X over to the Church!”
“Stop it!” I said with disbelief, “What do you think you are doing? You are forcing me to betray the young master!”
The Sun Emperor’s expression darkened for a moment, but soon returned to normal. He gave a cold snort, “Think as you wish.”
The other turned to leave, yet I was unable to think of any way defy his threat. If I wanted to protect X, then I had to betray the young master? If I did not betray the young master, then X would fall into the hands of the Church—Why have things turned out this way? How could I possibly make a decision, and why must I have to face such a multiple-choice question?
“Young Master is a hero!” I could not control myself and shouted, “You were the one who forced him to the point where he had no choice but to leave. Otherwise, the person he would have to fight in the end would probably end up being you!”
The Sun Emperor stopped in his tracks, and turned his head slightly as he said, “You are very bold. Do you think Curtis will protect you? Playing your butler game and dealing with the Church is one thing. Opposing me is an entirely different matter. Or do you think that Ah Ye will protect you? If I killed you, the two of them would probably fight against me for a few years. But, that’s just about it.”
“Watch your tone, Ri Xiang Yan!”
I absolutely cannot let him threaten me as he pleases. I attempted to revert back to the attitude of a “Family Head” and rebuked, “When I was doing business, your father, Ri Ji Yan, was but a mere child!”
The Sun Emperor finally turned around and looked at me with piqued interest. “All right, then, ‘Senior.’ Since you have already been in the battlefield of the business world, then you should know that abandoning one’s authority means that you no longer have any power to protect the people you wish to protect!”
My lips curled into a smile as I indifferently said, “You stand at the peak of the world. Yet when it comes to something like protecting, I believe you would most likely get a failing score.”
The other’s smile finally faded, and he stared coldly at me. Being able to make the Sun Emperor change expression could be considered a type of achievement, although this was not something to be proud of. I just happened to know that the young master would always be the biggest chink in his armor.
“You have one week’s time.”
Without any intention of continuing a verbal battle with me, he turned to leave. This time, I could not find any words to stop him with. It had been sixty years; I certainly had not been the “Family Head” for a long time. Other than being able to gain an advantage in a verbal fight with a single line, I could not do anything else!
The room door closed. It opened once more, and Nitewalker walked in. He looked at me seriously and asked, “What’s wrong?”
Betray X, or betray the young master…
Even if I claimed that I would never pray again, I had previously still internally prayed to the young master in the end. However, who can I pray to this time?
Heroes must always be impartial. That was how it was always portrayed in movies. Those heroes would never let personal feelings get in the way, and were ready to punish one’s own family if justice demanded it. At the end, they always found that the greatest evildoer was one of their most trusted loved ones. There were quite a few movies with such a plot. However, the heroes would always be able to make the correct choice.
—I can’t not go! That’s my only gēge! Furthermore, it is engraved into the microchip in my head that the only reason I exist is to protect Gēge, no matter the cost. Even if it’s my own life!
“How could it possibly be done?”
When the doorbell rang, I followed the same routine as the past few days and went to receive the young master. When he walked in, his face looked a little fatigued, and he visibly heaved a sigh of relief the moment he saw me.
“Shūshu went over to Nitewalker’s place,” the young master explained, most likely having noticed my glance behind him.
As of now, Nitewalker had moved to stay in the room over, with Mr. Luo Ye staying together in the same room. However, the young master would bring him along whenever leaving to film—leaving Nitewalker to stay behind. Moreover, Nitewalker spent most of his time in this room. It was very clear that his mission was to guard me.
On one hand, the young master was worried that Mr. Luo Ye would be killed by the master; on the other hand, he was concerned that I might be captured by the Church. At the same time, he had to rush to work and act in the film. These few days, Secretary Bai had also sent him information about some criminals. DSII would also send him some troublesome cases from time-to-time, inquiring as to how to handle those. As a result of all these, the young master had not slept much for a period of time now.
“Young Master, you have returned.” I smiled as I said, “There is a visitor for you!”
“Visitor?” The young master’s expression stiffened as he asked, “Don’t tell me it’s Gēge…”
Before he completed his sentence, he saw the visitor and froze for a moment. Then, he immediately dashed up to him frantically, and in the end, even directly jumped onto the other person to hug him tightly without letting go.
Ezart lazily said, “What are you doing? You’re so excited. It hasn’t been that long since we last met, right?”
The young master shouted, “I really missed you! You never even called!”
“How do I call when there’s no signal?” Ezart managed to move normally even while carrying another person, walking to the refrigerator to get a cola. Following that, he flopped backwards on the sofa, conveniently tossing the young master onto the seat beside him.
“Besides, isn’t there still El and Eli? It’s just Eloise who ran off to who knows where. It’s too ridiculous, actually; how many years has it been since she contacted us?” He brought up a few names that I had yet to hear of before.
The young master muttered, “But El-gē and Eli are at Gēge’s place…”
“So what? What’s with that look on your face? Threw another temper tantrum at your brother?”
Ezart truly knew the young master too well.
“It’s Gēge who is throwing a tantrum at me!” The young master immediately refuted.
Ezart rolled his eyes at the young master and said, “Isn’t it the same thing? You two brothers really are cut out of the same mold! Here, your souvenir this time.”
The young master had frowned, about to justify himself, but all was forgotten once he saw the present. He quickly took it and asked, “What is it?”
It was a box slightly larger than one’s palm. From its appearance, there did not appear to be anything special about it; it was just a normal box with some years to it.
“I don’t know. Anyways, it’s like the stuff from before, things found while adventuring. But I can’t open it, so you think of a way to pry it open yourself!”
The young master gave an “oh” and did not seem very interested in this extremely ordinary souvenir. He handed it over to me casually. “Since it’s a box, then I’ll give it to Charles. You can use it to store stuff!”
“As you wish.” I took the box from him. It did not look antique, so perhaps it really could be used for storage. I briefly attempted to open the box, but as expected, it stayed shut. There was a keyhole on its side with a very unique shape. Moreover, the shape looked a little familiar. However, since we did not have the key and had no idea of its value, it seemed like it could only be placed in the climate controlled display cabinet.
“Ezart, are you still going adventuring?” The young master pleaded, “If you haven’t accepted your next expedition offer, could you please hold off accepting any for a while and help me protect someone?”
“Who…” At this point, he seemed to have abruptly recalled something, and blankly asked, “Didn’t he kick the bucket?”
So Mr. Ezart also knows Mr. Luo Ye?
“No, he said he had gone into hiding. He came to find me because he saw my advertisement.”
Ezart responded with an “oh” and asked, “Don’t tell me that’s why you had a quarrel with your brother?”
“Yeah, Gēge said he would ‘deal with’ him.” The young master’s expression seemed to sink a little.
Instantly, Ezart’s expression became somewhat odd. He did not speak for a long time, and ultimately scratched his head as he said, “You can’t possibly protect him forever, right? Just go speak to your brother face-to-face. All you have to do is pout and sulk at him, and he’ll directly surrender!”
“This time it’s different. Gēge seems to really hate him. I called him to ask him to at least meet Shūshu once, but he refused, and also would not tell me where exactly he was. I can’t find him at all!”
“He doesn’t want to see you pout, so he decided to simply hide from you!” Ezart huffed twice before saying, “What kind of bizarre situation is this? You’re protecting Luo Ye, but the person who wants to kill him is your brother?”
The young master said softly, “Gēge said that he will hurt me, but Shūshu has been very nice to me and has absolutely no intention of harming me.”
“Does he know that you’re not his son?” I did not expect that Ezart would know about this, too.
“He doesn’t know,” the young master responded melancholically.
“Why don’t you tell him?”
The young master seemed discouraged as he said, “I just can’t say it. H-He kept calling me son, and he seems really happy. If I told him the truth, I feel like he would become very pitiful!”
“To be able to create such a messed-up situation despite how few family members you have, all I got to say to all you rich people is, you win!” Ezart grumbled unhappily, but then immediately agreed, “Fine! I’ll help you protect that guy ‘til your brother is willing to see you. Anyways, as long as you keep saying to him that you want to see him, it shouldn’t take long before your brother surrenders!”
Hearing that, the young master empathically answered, “Okay.” Then, as if suddenly remembering something, he added, “Oh yeah, help me protect Charles as well.”
“Are you kidding me?” Ezart growled and asked, “Didn’t you say he’s stronger than me?”
“He is stronger than you!” The young master nodded as he answered, “As long as he fights seriously.”
“Holy shit! Already having to rely on others for protection but still not fighting seriously? Then when is he going to be serious?”
Normally, I would dismiss his words with a smile. However, under the current circumstances, I really could not laugh at all. The young master even defended me on my behalf, “Charles only seems like Charles when he isn’t that strong! That one time from before when he became stronger, he really gave me a shock!”
“Became stronger?” Ezart asked in curiosity, “How did he become stronger only once? How did he change?”
“By being injected with tranquilizers!” The young master answered earnestly.
“Hey, aren’t tranquilizers supposed to make people weaker?”
“Charles is different. That time it was…”
The young master excitedly talked about the incident that happened not too long ago. He had not been this happy for quite a period of time, so it was really great that Ezart had decided to drop by at this time.
“And then… the Bible was taken away… Thankfully the cross was still there. Father Yue had even said that the cross could make vampires stronger—”
“It’s the cross!” Those words escaped my mouth.
The young master and Ezart both turned to me.
“Charles, what’s wrong with the cross?” The young master nervously asked, “Could it be that you lost it, too?”
“That is not the case.” I pulled the necklace out from under my clothes and said, “There was a keyhole in the box just now, and I had thought that the shape of it was unique yet familiar. Thanks to your words just now, I realized that it is the shape of the bottom of the cross.”
I lowered my head to take a look at it. Indeed, my guess was right.
“Speaking of which,” Ezart asked, “Ah Ye, you just said that Lieder is a professor? The name of my employer this time is Jiao Shou.”1
“…” That sounded like something lacking in taste that Lieder would do.
“Do you have his phone number?” The young master immediately asked.
Ezart shrugged and said, “I do. He said that if the box was opened, I had to give him a call.”
The young master was hesitant. “Would it be dangerous if we open it?”
“I doubt it! ‘That kind of place’ definitely couldn’t have been a trap that he set up. We were nearly goners at least three times, and he gave me the box on the spot and didn’t take it back with him.”
The cross can make a vampire stronger… I took off the necklace and inserted it straight into the keyhole of the box. It was a perfect fit, and it could even turn. This “necklace” was indeed a key!
“Charles! Why did you just open it like that?” The young master yelled in shock. “We don’t know if it’s dangerous!”
“You sound like your brother!” Ezart interrupted the young master while rolling his eyes.
I stared blankly at the item in the box. No matter how I thought about it, I would not have imagined the item that could increase a vampire’s strength would be this. Bewildered, I raised my head and asked, “Ezart, if I recall correctly, the place that you went on an expedition was an ancient tomb?”
Then… I looked down once more at the item in the box in astonishment. The young master also squeezed over to take a look out of curiosity, only to become equally stunned.
It was a glass test tube, and the fluid inside that filled up about eighty percent of the tube appeared to be a dark red to black color. It would not be strange at all if this appeared in Mr. An Te Qi’s laboratory, but the box had appeared in an ancient tomb, had to be opened with a cross, and was related to vampires?
I had an odd feeling as though I had suddenly jumped from a period drama to a sci-fi film.
“Hey!” I did not know when Ezart had made a call. He said into his phone, “What the heck are you planning? Ah Shou…no, ‘Lieder’?”
Following that, he changed it to speakerphone so that we would all be able to hear.
“Hehe, discovered so quickly?” As expected, it was Lieder’s voice.
Ezart shot a glance at the item in my hand and asked, “What’s in the box? Poison?”
Lieder unhappily said, “Would I risk high danger, to the point of nearly dying three times, just to find a tube of poison?”
I inquired, “Lieder, is the item in the box capable of making vampires stronger?”
“Hehe, so as expected, you know about it, too? I found various pictures of genes from the bible, as well as a hidden ‘treasure map,’ so I got Ezart and went on an adventure.”
“Did you look for Ezart on purpose?” The young master said extremely furiously.
“Hehe, it wasn’t something I purposely went out of my way for. I inquired around for expedition teams that had the best reputation among the people, one of which was the expedition team that Ezart was in. I’m not sure why, but I get the impression that those around you are no ordinary people. To make sure I stayed alive, it’s only natural that I would seek him out.
“Right, to answer Charles’s question: I’m not sure about the item on your side, but mine isn’t limited to vampires.”
“You have one, too?” The young master keenly discovered and pointed out the hidden information within his words.
Ezart took the initiative to say, “There were three boxes in total, and Lieder only gave me one.”
“Giving you one is already being nice! Who knew you would actually give it away to someone else in the blink of an eye? Weren’t you going to sell it?” From his tone, it sounded like Lieder was on pretty friendly terms with Ezart.
“I’m not lacking in money right now. What would I sell it for?”
“For equipment! Have you already forgotten that we nearly died three times? Yet you’re still not buying some better adventuring gear!”
Ezart snorted and said, “If the person you hired wasn’t me, it wouldn’t take three times; you would’ve died the first time! Also, equipment that you can buy from elsewhere is nowhere as good as what Ah Ye makes. Are your eyes just for show? Have you seen the weapons that I use on the market before?”
There was a long period of silence from the other end of the phone, before there was mumbling, “So I see. If that’s the case, then I really owe him my life… Charles? Are you listening?”
“Your voice is different. I can hear it. How interesting. Didn’t we just talk over the phone a few days ago? That time, you were just like usual. But now, your tone sounds… thirsty for strength.”
“How could Charles possibly want strength!” The young master turned to look at me, and seeing that I did not refute his words, he seemed to freeze a little. He asked, perplexed, “Charles, why do you suddenly wish for strength?”
I looked down as I said, “I only wish to be of help to you.”
Is that all?
The young master grabbed my shoulders and said, “What nonsense are you saying? You are my butler, not my bodyguard or hitman. You don’t need to fight!”
“If I am a little stronger, at least you need not worry about my safety.”
Is it truly only for that reason?
“I’m not that worried about you. The person I’m more worried about is Shūshu!”
I asked back calmly, “Then, why do you leave Nitewalker behind? Wouldn’t it be better to have another person watching Mr. Luo Ye while you are filming?”
The young master froze, unable to say a reason.
“Ever since the conversation with Curtis about whether the Church would make a move against me in Daystar City, you have had me stay in the hotel. Was it because you did not wish for the priests to come and stir trouble for me? Despite such an arrangement, you were still worried that something might happen. That was the reason you had Nitewalker watch over me, which also decreased the number of people by your side. My words are correct, are they not, Young Master?”
My string of questions rendered the young master speechless. His head hung low. He did not dare to look at me. He had clearly only had my safety in mind, yet seemed apologetic upon being exposed. Young Master, you are truly…
“Young Master, as a butler, becoming the master’s burden is the greatest possible shame!”
Liar, going so far as to deceive the master—this is not the reason at all!
Closing my eyes, I broke the seal on the test tube and drank it down in one shot.
“Charles—” The young master dashed forward to take the test tube away from me, but I had already finished the fluid inside. He was so angry that he immediately began to angrily rebuke, “You are even stronger than Bramble-shū and the others! They are the ones who are bodyguards, and you are a butler. How much stronger do you want to be? Do all the people around me really have to be strong? What about Briar then? You idiot, just drinking it without even knowing what exactly it is—Ah! That’s right, hurry and throw it up. You’ll be fine!”
Saying that, the young master actually punched me in the stomach with so much force that I fell to my knees on the ground, my head a little dazed.
From the side, I heard Ezart’s voice commenting, “Why is it that you have always liked punching people in the stomach?”
I had merely drunk a mouthful of the liquid. I could not throw it up, nor was I willing to.
Seeing that the young master looked ready to punch me a few more times, I quickly said, “No, Young Master, I do not wish to throw it up!”
The young master’s fist hung in mid-air. As he looked at me hesitantly, I could only do my best to return his gaze with a determined gaze of my own. The young master had always been soft on those by his side, excessively so…
Thus, you made use of that, and drank something that belongs to the young master, vainly attempting to get more strength to resist… the person that the young master would protect with his life!
I turned my head to the side, unwilling to look at the young master any longer, unworthy to look anymore.
The young master lowered his fists and snatched Ezart’s phone to yell, “It’s all your fault! Making Charles drink some mysterious fluid! What do we do now? If anything happens to Charles, I’ll definitely kill you!”
“Hehe, but you originally already wanted to kill me, right? Don’t worry though. I have tested it on myself, so you don’t get to come and kill me twice over.” Lieder changed the topic and asked me, “Charles, do you feel anything?”
I focused on how I felt, but there was no difference other than my hurting stomach—which I believed to be due to the young master rather than the medicine. I was a little disappointed as I replied, “I do not feel anythi—”
“Charles?” The young master asked nervously, “Why did you suddenly stop speaking?”
I was abruptly assaulted by an intense wave of sleepiness. I had never felt my eyelids to be so heavy before, for it was even faster and more intense than the time Lieder had injected me with a large dose of tranquilizers!
No, I absolutely must not sleep! The Sun Emperor only gave me a week’s deadline. I cannot sleep at this time, for I do not know how long it may take to wake up again. If I wake up and find out that X is in the hands of the Church…
I used my blood ability to forge two short spikes and exerted strength to stab down onto my thighs. The intense pain temporarily chased away my drowsiness, but it did not last long. As I felt the sleepiness grow, I could only pluck out the spikes, intending to stab myself once more—
The young master grabbed both of my hands, but he could not hold the spikes formed from my blood ability. As my hands let go, the thorn still dropped and pierced into my thighs. The young master cried out while sobbing, “Charles, what are you doing! Stop stabbing yourself!”
With the drowsiness and pain, my consciousness was slowly fading away. Even the young master’s face started to blur. If this continued, I probably would not even be able to gather my blood ability anymore. I held on desperately as I said, “Y-Young Master, I really want to sleep, but absolutely must not. Please, don’t let me fall asleep. I am begging you…”
“Why do you refuse to sleep?”
“When you drink it, it will cause you to sleep for a few days. It’s no big deal, just sleep!”
“But Charles doesn’t want to sleep!”
“Sleeping a few days won’t kill him.”
I could not tell who was saying what. My drowsiness grew stronger, and I had already lost the concentration required to gather blood for inducing pain onto myself. If this continued, I would truly fall asleep… Once I fell asleep, exactly what kind of situation would I face upon waking up?