No Hero Volume 8: The End, the Beginning, Part Two
Original novel in Chinese by: 御我(Yu Wo)
The Beginning NO.10: King’s Game—translated by TaffyGirl13 (proofread by Mangomochi & Faren; C/E edited by lucathia)
“Where is Charles?”
Ah Ye’s hands were pressed against Ezart’s abdomen, restraining him against the wall. In addition, I had just personally caught sight of Ah Ye extending his metal fingernails.
He fiercely threatened, “If you don’t say it, I’ll tear your intestines out!”
Ezart grimaced in pain and ground out through clenched teeth, “I’ll say—say that the worst thing I’ve ever done in my life was getting to know a bastard like you!”
He dared to talk like that to Ah Ye?! I quickly glanced at Ah Ye, whose expression was as cold and unfeeling as before. However, his eyes had widened significantly, as if he was making a supreme effort to endure the pain…
“Ah Ye!” I hurriedly shouted, “I think he really doesn’t know. There’s no need to press him further.”
Ah Ye remained indifferent.
I gritted my teeth and commanded, “Dark Sun, I order you to release him!”
Ah Ye went rigid. I was starting to worry that he would choose to continue extorting him for a confession because of the supreme doctrine of “hunting down all my enemies.” This was not a part of my prepared plans. Ezart could not get pulled into this matter. He is the final insurance and cannot become involved!
Fortunately, Ah Ye chose to let go. As soon as Ezart was freed, he let out a cold snort and turned to leave with his arm clutching at his bleeding stomach.
“Where are you going?” Ah Ye asked.
Ezart viciously replied, “Going down to see if your bodyguards are all dead!”
Ah Ye stared at Ezart’s back. After a moment of silence, he said, “If you think knowing me is terrible, you can actually leave, Ezart.”
Ezart stopped in his tracks for a brief moment before continuing forward, not even turning his head as he huffed angrily, “Want me to get lost? Too late! Don’t even dream about it! You owe me so much, I’ll never let you weasel your way out!”
Ah Ye watched Ezart leave. Only when he could no longer see the other person’s figure did he turn to face me. “Gē, what exactly do you want to do?”
It’s here! I calmly answered, “Mainly eliminate Luo Ye, while using the chance to also force out the hidden strength of the Church and Elysees, particularly the latter. That butler’s family is too skilled at concealing themselves. I originally hadn’t paid them much attention, until I recently discovered that they were actually quite complicated.”
“Is that so?”
As I saw Ah Ye’s probing gaze, I suddenly felt my scalp go slightly numb. I immediately answered, “Of course! The fact that I have the adjudication squad was made public ages ago. How could I let them continue hiding their forces!”
Ah Ye calmly asked, “That’s not it, Gē. I meant to say, ‘Is that it?’”
I started, then showed an injured expression as I helplessly replied, “What else should I be doing? Are you suspecting me? Do you think I’d harm you?”
Ah Ye shook his head and stated, “Gē obviously wouldn’t harm me.”
“It’s good that you know that.” I’m always doing what’s good for you. Everything is for your sake, Ah Ye…
But right now, “letting Ah Ye trust me” was not a part of my plans either.
“That damn butler actually tried to kill me. Stay by my side for the time being. If he appears again—”
“I’ll kill him!” Ah Ye’s tone was so cold that I felt goosebumps form on my skin, and I once again wondered if I was truly gambling on too much this time.
An Te Qi, you’d better be successful. If you fail and let Ah Ye… I’ll seriously make sure you know what wishing for death means!
“You killed Luo Ye?”
I stared at Melody as I felt a pain in my heart. Protecting Luo Ye for the sake of the young master or killing Luo Ye for the sake of protecting themselves. The situation was just like the choice I was faced with, of being forced to either betray the young master or betray X.
Seeing as they were all still alive and Luo Ye had disappeared, I thought it likely that they had chosen to protect themselves. While the young master might not truly blame them, could he truly be without grudge toward Melody, Bramble, and the others?
First, it was forcing me to choose between X and the young master. Now, it was forcing Melody and the others to choose between the Sun Emperor’s orders and the young master’s orders. Why does the Sun Emperor feel the need to go as far as trapping us all in this dilemma?
“No.” Melody’s expression was somewhat peculiar. “Before we could even make a decision, Ezart came back.”
“Did the young master return?” As soon as I spoke these words, I sensed something was wrong. Did Melody not just say Ezart had returned?
If the young master had also returned, Melody definitely would not have said that Ezart had returned. Even if Ezart had been walking in front of the young master, their focus would always be the young master, not Ezart.
I watched Melody grin with a smile that did not reach her eyes. What does that reaction mean? I truly cannot understand.
“You called him ‘Young Master’ again.”
I started, then hurriedly explained, “It was a mistake due to habit.”
“Why force yourself?” Melody sighed and said, “I really don’t know what would’ve happened for you to fall out with the young master. Whatever, forget it. Just listen to me finish, then quickly tell me what happened.”
“Hey—You guys aren’t dead yet, are you?”
Melody and the others blankly stared at the doorway. They could recognize Ezart’s voice, but really did not know how to react this time.
Ezart dashed over and instantly spotted DSII. He froze and said, “Ah Ye, how were you faster than me… No! Who are you?”
“DSII.” This time, DSII openly admitted it.
“Ezart, where is the young master?” With the young master still nowhere to be seen, Melody was starting to feel like crying. Right now, the only person that could save them still had not appeared.
Ezart frowned at the Death Scythe in DSII’s hands as he replied, “Don’t know. Right when we arrived at the hotel entrance, he suddenly shouted that he ‘needs to go save his gē’ and then ran off.”
The Sun Emperor was attacked as well? Melody was stunned. She truly had no idea what the current situation was. Could it be that the adjudication squad hadn’t attacked them on the Sun Emperor’s orders at all, but rather, that the Sun Emperor had been forced to issue that document?
The more she thought, the more confused she got. In the end, she decided to stop caring. If the Sun Emperor did not want to kill them, then everyone would be fine. If he really did want to kill them, then they could only see if the young master could protect them. If he couldn’t, she could only go and see her beloved.
“DSII, did Ah Ye tell you to come protect them?” Ezart began walking over toward Melody and the others as he said, “You came so quickly. Ah Ye didn’t mention you had arrived.”
DSII stopped him and declared, “Ezart, there’s no need to go over.”
Ezart shot him a sideways look and asked in discontent, “What is that supposed to mean?”
“You do not need to make a choice.” DSII raised his scythe and pointed it at Melody and the others. “But they need to choose!”
Choose? Melody was starting to sense something was not quite right. DSII was essentially no different from the adjudication squad. He could not act on his own initiative; he could only obey commands. If he had received the order to kill Luo Ye, he would have directly done so. Yet he was currently demanding for them to make a choice… Don’t tell me the Sun Emperor is testing us to see whose words we would listen to?
Then, whose orders should we choose to follow as the correct choice? The Sun Emperor’s? Or the young master’s?
“What choice?” Ezart stood between DSII and Melody’s group.
DSII grinned. “If they kill Luo Ye, I won’t kill them. If they refuse, I’ll kill them. This is their choice!”
“Oh.” Ezart nodded in comprehension, then suddenly smashed a fist at DSII while roaring, “Then I choose ‘get rid of you’!”
Melody felt a surge of joy in her heart, to the point where she almost wanted to run up and kiss Ezart. She quickly dashed forward to support Ezart, attacking with great force and not holding back in the slightest against DSII. She had seen the young master behead DSII before, only for it to get reconnected! So rather than getting her head cut off, she would rather DSII’s head get cut off. His could be reattached, while hers could not.
As gunshots boomed, Bramble and the others also made their decision. They had originally still been conflicted over what to do, but the choice that Ezart had brought up wasn’t bad at all. Melody did not hesitate in the slightest as she charged forth. They refused to believe they could not defeat a single DSII if they all combined their strength together!
“So, you won?”
I really wanted to know what had happened afterwards, since Melody standing here now indicated that they had indeed won. If that was the case, then there was no need to hear about the course of the battle; I did not particularly want to hear about how they had beheaded DSII. In the current circumstances, that would just remind me that my final ending might not be much different from DSII’s.
“Yes, we won. DSII is still far inferior to the young master. It might have been different if he had brought an energy weapon, but he was only carrying the young master’s Death Scythe, which was completely useless! That’s why he wasn’t too hard to defeat. Poseidynne used a stream of water to make it impossible for DSII to stand, Nitewalker slashed at his body who knows how many times, and in the end, Ezart broke his neck.”
At this point, everything had been explained; however, there was still one thing that had not been answered—What about Luo Ye?
I looked at Melody. She seemed to know what I wanted to ask as well and directly stated, “We also thought everything had come to an end, but then the adjudication squad appeared again. They still wanted to kill Luo Ye but didn’t ask us for our choice again. Even though we could defeat each one, there was no end to them, so the fight wouldn’t end.”
“The injuries on your bodies are from that moment?”
“Mostly, yes.” Melody nodded and simply answered, “Their firepower was too great, and their weapons were extremely diverse, impossible to effectively defend against. Fortunately, they didn’t want to kill us. They just wanted to kill Luo Ye. As a result, nothing too extreme appeared.”
Such as missiles? It was a pity that they were unaware that the reason a missile had not been used to blow up the hotel was because the Sun Emperor had been on the level above them.
“The hotel staff did not do anything?” Considering how both sides had come to blows like this, even Sunset City’s police would have made an appearance. Is it possible that Daystar City’s public security falls short of Sunset City’s?
Melody clicked her tongue. “At the time, many of the floors above and below were all sealed off. They said to the hotel staff that they were ‘filming a movie,’ and since there weren’t rocket launchers and such, nobody paid any mind.”
A production cast and crew claiming to film a movie is truly a flawless excuse…
“When the battle was at the point where we were starting to think twice, Ezart actually answered a call and said, ‘I need to go save Ah Ye,’ and ran off. We nearly spat blood. Fortunately, Poseidynne and Nitewalker didn’t run off with him, or else we might as well have slit our own throats.”
“Save the young master?” I urgently asked, “When I left, the young master was not in any danger. Is he all right? Is he injured—”
My words abruptly came to a stop. Why did I…
Fortunately, Melody did not notice this. She merely continued, “Don’t panic, let me finish. Someone then appeared right after we had disposed of a wave of adjudication squad members all at once.”
Melody took a deep breath and said, “The instant he arrived, he shouted, ‘Don’t move,’ and then we really could not move. I think he’s probably the person that controlled the young master before…”
I furrowed my brows and shot down this conjecture. “No! It is not Josh. I believe that was Lieder. He obtained an unusual ability that allows him to copy others’ special abilities. Was he wearing a cream-colored windbreaker and a pair of glasses?”
However, why would Lieder want to take Luo Ye away? He should not have had crossed paths with Luo Ye at any point.
Melody shook her head and answered, “He wore a large, dark jacket and a mask… Oh right, there was also an inverted cross symbol on the forehead.”
It was indeed Lieder.
“That bastard commanded for us to hold the adjudication squad off as he grabbed Luo Ye and used the opportunity to escape. Soon after he left, we discovered we were free of control, so we did not continue attacking the adjudication squad. Since they did not see Luo Ye there, they did not continue fighting either. While we were still hesitating about whether to run away or not, Ezart returned with a wound on his stomach.”
Melody raised her head and smiled grimly. “Although Ezart wasn’t willing to say much, he did mention that the young master was fine.”
She did notice after all. I was slightly embarrassed.
“Now it’s your turn.” Melody calmly asked, “What exactly happened that caused you to have a falling out with the young master? I’d sooner believe that the apocalypse was tomorrow than believe that you and the young master became enemies.”
“We indeed did not become enemies.” I could not help but refute this first.
Melody simply gazed at me without a question, quietly waiting for me to speak.
I took a deep breath and said, “It was the Sun Emperor. He used X’s whereabouts to pressure me to kill Luo Ye. The alternative would have been him revealing X’s tracks to the Church.”
“Another choice?” Melody frowned as she muttered this to herself. She then asked, “What did you choose?”
“Before I could even make a decision, the Sun Emperor had already exposed X’s location to the Church.”
Melody cried out in shock, “X was found by the Church?”
“No.” I shook my head and answered, “Fortunately, X did not listen to me. He did not stay under Curtis’s protection—”
“Wait a minute! What’s wrong with staying by Curtis’s side?” Melody said in confusion. “Aside from the Sun Emperor, the only person I can think of that could protect X from the Church is your nephew.”
I smiled dully and replied, “My nephew deliberately pretended to be in trouble to lure me to where the Sun Emperor was.”
Melody murmured, “X and then Curtis too… No wonder you’re angry enough to refuse to call him ‘Young Master’…” She lifted her head to ask, “So when the young master told Ezart he was going to rescue his brother, it was from your hands? You really wanted to kill the Sun Emperor?”
Had I really wanted to kill the Sun Emperor? I had undoubtedly been furious. The Sun Emperor had set up such a difficult dilemma, joined hands with Curtis to plot against me, and even endangered X. I had indeed lost my mind in anger and had actually made a move. However, would I have personally killed the Sun Emperor? Murdered the young master’s most important Gēge…?
I tossed aside the unnecessary thoughts and continued, “In short, I did not successfully harm the Sun Emperor. The young master suddenly appeared, preventing me from continuing my attack, and then I fled.”
Melody continued to mutter to herself in a low voice, as if contemplating something. I quietly said, “I should leave, but I will not say we will ‘meet again.’ We may be enemies the next time we meet—”
“Wait! Don’t you think the Sun Emperor is scheming something? Rather than saying he wants to kill Luo Ye, the more important objective seems to be ‘wanting us to make a choice.’ And this time, the Sun Emperor doesn’t seem to care at all if the young master will be broken-hearted or not—”
At this point, Melody’s expression suddenly changed. She urgently stated, “Go, now!”
I had also sensed it. I immediately turned around to see a figure standing at the end of the alley that could not be more familiar. Even with his back facing the light, only revealing his silhouette, I could still instantly recognize him.
How long has he been there? How much did he hear? Will he understand that I was forced with no alternative? I softly called out, “Young Master, I truly did not…”
Before I could even finish speaking, I received my answer. The metal fingernails that could tear through flesh were silently extended outwards. Without a single change in expression, he stated, “Melody, leave.”
Melody hesitated for a moment, then sighed as she walked over to the young master. At the same time, she turned her head to silently say to me, “Hurry up and run.”
I touched the ring on my thumb, debating whether to inject myself with the tranquilizer. However, even if I did, would I really be able to fight the young master? No matter how much I tried to correct myself, “Ri Xiang Ye” would never leave my lips as naturally as “Young Master.” If I could not even change how I addressed him, how could I possibly be able to intentionally injure him?
I slowly backed up, deciding to leave in the end. My foot stepped onto the surface of the wall. As long as I used x-speed, the young master would not be able to catch up.
“Freeze!” The young master let out a low growl. “If you dare try to flee, I’ll execute you.”
Execute me? I froze and watched the young master reach out to grab a suitcase next to the wall. When he pressed a button on it, several silver threads shot out from inside and swung outwards. The Death Scythe’s immense blade lay horizontally at the bottom of the suitcase, with multiple sections of the scythe covering the top lid.
This was a clever variation of Dong Fang Lei’s briefcase. Simply putting something inside the case would prevent others from noticing it, thus allowing one to carry it around however one pleased, no matter how dangerous the item inside was.
The young master truly did plan to kill me. Despite having realized this to an extent earlier, in this precise moment, I still could not bear the grief. I could not help but ask, “Even though the young master knows that this stage has been set by the Sun Emperor, you still plan on killing me according to his plans?”
The young master did not answer. Because of the glare of the light, his face was hidden in the darkness—I suppose that is for the better. Regardless of whether the young master’s expression is cold or, even worse, indifferent, I would rather not see it.
I pleaded, “If you will not let me escape, can you at least let X go? He has absolutely no relation to any of this!”
The young master was silent for a while. Finally, he said in a low voice, “I will try my best.”
I let out a sigh of relief. Despite the young master being unable to give an absolute answer, merely saying he would “try his best,” he always kept his promises. “Trying his best” was already enough.
Since I had already procured X’s safety in exchange for not running away, I merely stood motionless in place. Despite having waited for death for so many years, I was unable to keep myself from trembling now that the day had finally arrived.
If this was before I met the young master, before we signed the Endless contract, perhaps I might be able to face death more calmly. But all I feel right now is slight regret…
The Death Scythe swung down toward me. I shut my eyes, waiting for the conceivable pain. With the young master’s strength, perhaps it could end with a single strike. That would probably be less painful, would it not?
Even though I had shut my eyes, my pureborn vampire instincts could still sense the relative position of the blade. I felt my heart clench. It is here—
…There is actually no pain. Have I died? Amidst my confusion, a roar of unrestrained fury rang by my ear.
“Charles, why did you refuse to listen? I told you to leave Daystar City. Why didn’t you leave?! Why did you have to stay here?!”
My eyes snapped open. The young master stood before me, the massive blade by my side, embedded deeply into the wall instead of me. At this moment, I was finally able to clearly see the young master’s expression. His appearance was one of incomparable sorrow, streams of tears flowing down his cheeks… It really was the young master, not Dark Sun.
The slight regret in my heart suddenly vanished without a trace.
He wailed out, “Why did you have to make a move against my brother?! You already know I cannot disobey the fundamental reason for my existence. I have to protect Gēge, I have to—kill you!”
The young master pulled his Death Scythe out, his actions the complete opposite of his words. He urged in a low voice, “Run! Charles, run into that building. I can’t send my blade out in places that are too narrow, and I can’t catch up to your speed. Run, now!”
I have to run first! I did not want to die anymore, at least, not by the young master’s hand.
Before I could even move, the Death Scythe’s hilt swept into my stomach. The burst of pain made my vision black out, and I instinctively rolled off to the side as the blade slammed down ruthlessly with so much power that it pierced halfway through the ground. If I had stayed still, I might have been the thing being pierced instead.
The young master was inconceivably strong when using the Death Scythe. The enormous blade cycled through the air without stopping, blocking off all escape routes. I could not even grasp any opportunity to use x-speed, afraid that the instant before I did, I would instead be sliced in half.
The only thing I could do was dodge for my life. However, there had already been several times where I had just barely evaded the blade. Can I actually keep this up—
The hilt struck the corner of my forehead with so much force that I collapsed on the ground, my head hurting so much it felt as if it would explode.
“Charles, hurry up and dodge—”
I lifted my head only to see a silver glint flash—
“Neither of you move!”
I felt my entire body abruptly lock in place. The darkness gradually faded from my vision, and I finally saw that the tip of the blade with its silver glint was stopped right in front of my face, only a few centimeters away, so close I could not even breathe.
Behind the scythe, the young master did not move either. His face was deathly pale.
I wanted to stand up and flee but discovered that I could not move a single step. It was at this moment that I suddenly realized something was wrong. Who shouted “don’t move” just now?
“Looks like I arrived just in time. I was almost too late.”
A figure walked up next to me. I tried my best to shift my eyes, an action I had never imagined would be so difficult. Finally, he crouched down next to me, and I could clearly see his face.
“I won’t waste my breath chatting.” Lieder carefully pushed aside the blade right in front of my eyes and then lifted me up to carry me across his shoulders. He sighed and said, “Thank God you’re even lighter than you look. How interesting, are vampires all lighter than humans?”
Not at all.
Lieder walked past the young master, deliberately shifting away as he said, “Your young master has successfully disobeyed before, so it’s best we don’t linger around here any longer. Your young master is really inconceivably strong. If he actually frees himself, we might become souls reaped by that scythe. As always, if everything else fails, one must retreat.”
Although Lieder spoke as if he was joking, his actions were extremely swift. He charged out from the small alley, stopping in front of a black car and tossing me into the front seat.
“Lieder!” The young master roared from the distance. “Just wait and see what happens if you dare hurt Charles! I’ll kill you and completely dismember your body!”
“You nearly killed him, yet you still care if I hurt him or not?” Lieder sat in the driver’s seat and softly said, “Tsk, tsk, Charles, you and your young master are honestly a bit like partners in a love-hate relationship—Ah, that isn’t true, is it?”
I glared at him and finally ground out two words through my teeth, “What nonsense…”
Lieder let out a snort with a look of disappointment, and then the car raced out. However, there was something extremely strange: With a target as large as a car, how did he evade the surveillance cameras?
“Charles, oh Charles, I have been completely defeated by you. You and your young master were first played with by the Church, then you were used as a prop by Ri Xiang Yan.”
Lieder let out a deep sigh as he said, “No matter if you’re a thousand-year old vampire or even the head of an influential family of butlers, Ri Xiang Yan doesn’t care at all. He only uses you as a tool to achieve his objective. Have you finally understood his true face?”
I could only glare at him, unable to respond.
“What do you want to say? Just say it.” Lieder asked curiously.
I immediately blurted out, “How is that any different from you approaching me in the beginning only to use me?”
Lieder’s face stiffened, then relaxed again as he replied, “You always surprise me, Charles. You’re right, I’m not any different. Everyone is the same.”
I can speak now? Upon discovering this, I immediately asked, “Lieder, what do you want to use me for this time?”
“Ah, I’m truly sorry this time.” Lieder looked remorseful as he said, “I was being chased everywhere by the Sun Emperor, so I really had no alternative but to seek for shelter by cooperating with the Church. My task was to wait for an opportunity to hand either E.X. or you to them as soon as I had the chance.”
My heart nearly froze over. I wanted to run away, yet I could not even move. I did not even have the ability to commit suicide…
“Charles, I honestly really like you. If it were any other situation, we probably could have been friends.”
Lieder wore a look of regret as he softly stated, “Once I hand you over, I’ll try to find a way to kill you if I get the chance, I swear.”
“That won’t do.”
I started. The “that won’t do” was not spoken by Lieder, and naturally had not been spoken by me—There is someone sitting in the back?
I glanced at the rearview mirror, but the back seat was much too dark. The car windows on both sides had blackout curtains drawn. However, despite being unable to clearly see the other person, I could see a pair of legs, suit pants, and leather shoes. Who could it be? That voice just now… is admittedly a bit familiar.
Lieder stretched a hand out and the lights in the back suddenly lit up. The face that appeared in the rearview mirror rendered me completely speechless.
Lieder chuckled softly. “Do you know why I called you all foolish now?”
I ignored him, instead shouting at the person in the back seat with matchless fury. “Why? The young master is your son! Moreover, he has been protecting you the whole time!”
“Is that so?” Luo Ye’s gaze was indifferent, his smile insincere. His expression made him look… like the Sun Emperor.
He knows! I realized with a start. In actuality, Luo Ye had known the young master was not his child at all!
“Why?” My thoughts were in chaos, and I could only ask this single word.
“Without anyone’s protection, I can’t leave P29.” Luo Ye calmly stated, “From beginning to end, I’ve lost over twenty years of my life already. I would even use my real child, let alone someone that isn’t my child.”
P29? I was suddenly somewhat confused as to why P29 had been brought up.
Lieder laughed out loud. “You still can’t remember? This Mr. Luo is the Church’s wanted criminal, the one you guys have been searching hard for. In the past, he had been locked up by P29. In order to come out, he could only seek the Church for protection, just like I had. However, he was much more useful than I was. I only had to stay nearby to act at the slightest chance, while he was sent to stay by your side.”
Luo Ye’s expression darkened as he said, “I wasn’t locked up by P29. I hid in there myself.”
Lieder sneered, “You couldn’t leave either way, so what’s the difference between hiding and being locked up? How is the current situation of being controlled by others any better than being locked up either?”
Luo Ye is actually that criminal? I did not know what to think. In the end, the Sun Emperor had been right. Luo Ye had indeed harbored malicious intentions.
“It’s much better.” Luo Ye murmured in a low voice, “Wait until you can only stay inside a room for over twenty years, then you’ll understand. It’s really much better. Even though I’m being restricted, it’s worth sacrificing everything for!”
He looked up at me and smiled. “Perhaps you will understand after this.”