No Hero Volume 8: The End, the Beginning, Part Two
Original novel in Chinese by: 御我(Yu Wo)
Prologue: Vampire Assassin—translated by Taffygirl13 (proofread by Trespasserby & Minthe; C/E edited by lucathia)
I quietly walked through the darkness without a sound, making it impossible for anyone to detect my presence. This was an innate ability of a vampire, a naturally-born race of the night—being able to tread silently while retreating under the cover of the dark.
However, I was not currently wearing an old-fashioned suit and cloak, the traditional clothing of a vampire. Compared to that type of complicated style of dress, black, skin-tight clothing was more appropriate for my current task.
The young master had once said I was very strong, but my strength was a different type compared to his or X’s. If they were warriors, then I was an assassin.
If this had been spoken by any other person, perhaps it would be purely words of flattery, or even a joke. However, the one who had stated this was the young master. Since he had already said it in such a way, I was more confident that I could be a successful assassin.
I have to be!
Aside from assassination, the main type of work an assassin performed was stealth investigation. I currently needed to do the latter. However, if absolutely necessary, I would not reject the idea of executing the former either.
There were many distressing matters at the moment, the greatest one being the master…the Sun Emperor. However, the choices he had presented were extremely simple: betray the young master or betray X. There was nothing that needed to be scouted out, and there was also no room for negotiation—
A vibration suddenly came from my chest pocket. It was my cell phone that had been changed to silent mode. Perhaps I should have completely turned the power off before formally starting. Although it was a quiet, subtle vibration, I was certain that there were many humans or non-humans that could sense the faint sound.
I answered the phone. “Ezart, is something the matter?”
“Hey, you have to promise me! If you plan on coming to blows with someone, you have to contact me! Otherwise, I’ll tell on you to Ah Ye!”
“I do not want to make any move. I am simply investigating under cover.” If I truly do make a move, I would kill, not fight.
“Investigate… Hmph! So boring!” Ezart evidently had no interest in a task like scouting, which relieved me. “Did the painkillers’ effects wear off?”
I thought this over. It was actually not an easy determination, similar to how a drunk person would not believe they were drunk. I did not believe I could necessarily differentiate between the conditions of being or not being under the influence of the painkillers, but since a great amount of time had passed, there was likely not much of an impact left even if there was any remaining.
“I believe it has worn off.”
“And you still want to do this?”
“Pfft! You have more guts than I thought!”
“…Thank you for your praise.” I abruptly thought of another matter and quickly reminded him, “Ezart, please do not mention me to the young master. The young master’s ‘ability to detect changes in expression’ is extremely powerful. He will recognize if you are lying.”
“Hahaha—” Ezart burst out into laughter for a long time. “Relax! If anyone could deceive Ah Ye, it’s definitely me! I’ve tricked him to the point where he has no idea what parts of my words are lies! As a reward for how gutsy you’re being, let me teach you how to deceive him. Do you want to learn?”
I should not be lying to the young master, but currently…
“Then, you have to fight ten rounds against me!”
“…Three rounds.” Haggling typically started from cutting seventy percent, with the final deal ending at thirty or fifty percent. This was common bargaining knowledge.
“Pfft, fine!” Ezart did not seem to be particularly skilled at haggling. How fortunate. “All you have to do is lie to him often. After a while, he’ll be desensitized to it.”
“I do not understand your words, and I am even more unwilling to lie to the young master ‘often.’ Moreover, you do not seem to lie to the young master frequently.”
Ezart snorted and replied, “I’m going to go skiing. There isn’t any danger. I’ll be back in a few days.”
…It turned out to be an extreme exploration that was highly dangerous, and he did not return for several months.
I understood. It was not truly lying, but rather exaggerating or concealing details. However, after enough occurrences, the young master would be unable to determine which words were exaggerations and which were actual lies.
“How about it, useful, isn’t it? You got away cheap for just three rounds!”
“In reality, I feel it is very bad.” I absolutely did not want to learn how to lie to the young master.
“But it’s very useful!”
“It is quite useful.” I could not help but admit that at this time, I indeed needed the skill of “deceiving the young master.”
“Butler,” Ezart suddenly called out.
“Seriously though, don’t accidentally die!”
“I will try my best.”
“Not just try, but guarantee it!” Ezart stressed emphatically, “If Ah Ye goes crazy, it’s no joke. He’s not all that different from his brother, and what makes him lose control the most is when those by his side get injured or killed!”
I understood this very well. When I had previously been captured by Madam Avexila and had gotten injured heavily to the point of near-death, the young master had been extremely furious. From then on, I was the only person left that possessed the surname of Endelis.
“I understand. I will be highly cautious. However, I must turn off my cell phone from now onwards, and will be unable to be contacted for a period of time.”
“Get in touch with me in at least three days. Otherwise, I can only tell Ah Ye that you might have been captured by somebody again!”
“That is fine.” If I could not be reached after one day, Curtis would likely start to rashly attack others, let alone after three days. Besides…I do not think I get captured often? Why use the word ‘again’?
“If the situation looks bad, use painkillers immediately. When you’re under painkillers, your strength fucking explodes! Even Ah Ye can’t catch you at that speed!”
I glanced down at my left thumb where I currently wore a ring with an outrageous style. Previously, Ezart had worn it on his middle finger. However, I could only wear it on my thumb in order to barely keep it in place.
“I will try not to use the painkillers.”
“Whatever, just don’t die!”
“I will try my best.”
Having lived for over a hundred years, the words “resting in peace” were constantly on my mind. When Sadina also passed, this intention had even reached its peak. Only now did I finally stop thinking about following after them. How could I bear to give up my current life?
I turned the cell phone’s power off and raised my head to look up. In the evening, the distant cross was especially conspicuous. Daystar City was unlike Sunset City, which had multicolored lights glowing at night, making it as bright as daytime, a rainbow-colored day. Still, Daystar City was not lacking in light either. The streets could be said to be very bright, which was disadvantageous for concealing one’s whereabouts. However, to a vampire, this difference was not a significant one.
Shadows always existed underneath light. Regardless of how many streetlamps were lit, the roads were filled with areas of darkness, which I traveled between. Despite walking among crowds of people, no one could sense that a vampire was currently brushing past them.
I walked up to the church, its doors securely closed. Fortunately, there were a few windows open. This was extremely lucky, as “open windows” were an extremely rare sight in Daystar City. That was likely a result of the stifling hot weather, which resulted in air conditioning being on for all hours of the day, naturally making the windows impossible to open.
After flashing through the window in the furthest corner, I stood in the left corner in the very back. The inside of the church was very bright. There were not many shadows for me to stand in and advance through without attracting the attention of others.
The fair-haired pastor was currently standing at the altar, giving a sermon. Despite being busy with filming a movie, he still discussed with the production team to leave his Sundays open for him to preach. Consequently, the young master would also use this time to search for the whereabouts of the criminals.
The seats below were filled with believers, a stark contrast from the scattered little groups of “believers” in Sunset City. They were brimming with piety, almost to the point of being somewhat…zealous.
As I followed their line of sight, all I saw was the blond priest: Alex Simon.
He stood there giving his sermon, with his bright gold hair shining brilliantly, his voice gentle, and his expression extremely friendly. There was probably nobody that could ever hate such a person unless they were intentionally trying to stir up trouble.
“The Lord said, If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
Alex adopted a tone of pity and distraught. This story was not unfamiliar, as it was related to the city of sin.
“Man asked, What if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? The Lord said, For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”
His sermon was extremely agreeable and moving. Every pastor had their own preaching style. In my younger days, I had often been curious about the contents of sermons—Obviously, I did not personally attend a church, but would ask for other family members to go and record, or occasionally find a family member that was a believer to ask them questions. Although, the family members that were of the faith were always panicked and at a complete loss as to how to act in my presence.
Father Alex’s style of preaching was undoubtedly the warm and gentle type. He did not reject questions of validity, and even accepted the fact that due to difference in time periods, some contents of the Bible were meant to be symbolic as opposed to literal.
What a truly amazing pastor. If I was a believer, I would very likely have chosen this church, too. It’s no wonder that the believers here look so devout, to the point of near fanaticism, as if the God they believed in was standing right in front of them—Maybe that was not exactly incorrect either. They seemed as if they would do anything Father Alex said.
After listening to a portion of Father Alex’s sermon, I was able to confirm his skillfulness in his field. Regardless of his objective or his true identity, there was no doubt that he did his job as a pastor very well.
Based on the reactions of the believers, it appeared that Father Alex had likely preached for a while now. However, that did not signify much, since sermons were mostly only on Sundays, which meant that he had plenty of time to do “other things.”
I shifted my feet and leapt out from the window once more. Then, I circled around and walked in through the back of the church. The door was actually unlocked, which was truly unexpected. Was it that their public security was just extremely good, or that they believed the church did not have any items of significant worth?
After entering from the back of the church, I located the pastor’s room with great ease. This church had a similar layout to Father Yue’s church, just larger in size. Considering Father Alex’s fame, this church’s scale was actually smaller than I had expected; it was simply a typical community church.
I was stunned upon walking into the room. The walls were completely covered with crosses of various designs, and even from different time periods. By rough approximation, there were likely over fifty of them in total. At first glance, it was truly extremely shocking—especially to a vampire.
Father Alex had stated before that he enjoyed collecting antiques, and had even asked me in the past if I would give him my cross necklace. It seemed that his fondness for ancient crosses was a true fact.
Up to this point, there did not seem to be anything suspicious. Even I felt as if I was being overly paranoid. However, since the matter involved both X and the young master, I truly needed to be extremely careful.
The person that concerned me the most in this matter was actually Alex Simon.
The Sun Emperor, the young master, the Church, and even Lieder, were all seeking something from recent events. Only Father Alex had seemed not to have any wishes. However, he had still appeared and gotten deeply involved, which meant that he undoubtedly had an objective.
I searched all over the room, but did not spot anything questionable. There were not even weapons to be found. Even Father Yue at least had a few ancient firearms collected, but Father Alex did not have anything related to a weapon.
Finally, I found an extremely simple-looking notebook in the drawer. The corner of the cover had the words “Alex Simon” written on it, so I concluded that it was likely his diary.
There should be quite a bit of information inside. However, I truly feel indisposed at the thought of secretly going through a private diary. Must I really do so? I had not found any suspicious evidence no matter how I searched. Could Father Alex truly be innocent?
While hesitating, the sound of footsteps came from outside before I could even make a decision. I hurriedly returned the notebook to its original place and flashed over to a dark corner to hide in.
The person who entered was Father Alex; it appeared that he had already finished his sermon. I had acted too slowly. Do I have to leave before thinking of or finding out anything? Perhaps I should take a minor risk and attempt to search other rooms while he is in this one?
After a moment’s hesitation, I decided to first see what he would do. If he did not do anything suspicious, I would then go and look around other rooms; there would still be plenty of opportunity to do so.
Father Alex walked up to his desk and retrieved the notebook that I had just returned to the drawer. He then sat down before the desk and lifted the book. Is he going to write in the diary?
After watching for a period of time and confirming that he had no intention to go off and do anything else, I decided to leave and scout around the other rooms. However, the moment I shifted my feet, Father Alex shut his notebook. He raised his head to look up at the crosses on the wall. Originally, I thought he was admiring his collection, but he unexpectedly spoke instead.
“You have been watching me for half a day now. If possible, could you show yourself so that we could talk face-to-face?”
I was silent for a long time, checking that nobody else was speaking up. This place truly did not have any other people present, which meant he was undoubtedly referring to me.
Alex warmly said, “Do you have any doubts you would like to ask me about? It is fine if you just come out.”
“You can see me?” I could not help but ask. Perhaps I was not as skilled at concealing myself as the young master had said.
“I cannot. I am merely able to ‘sense’ you.”
Sense? As in, similar to a sixth sense? I could not comprehend it at all.
Alex asked with interest, “Are you curious about the Lord, or are you curious about me?”
“I am not a believer.”
Alex let out a soft sigh and said, “So you are here for ‘me’ then? Although that is not at all surprising.”
Doubtful once again, I could not restrain myself from cutting straight to the point and asking, “Are you ‘Sin?’”
He smiled and replied with another question. “Are you E.X.?”
For a moment, I was stunned, unsure of the reason behind this assumption. Finally, I intentionally answered, “And if I said I was?”
“Then, I would be very regretful to say that I must question that statement.”
Alex stood up. “You are not E.X., and I am not Sin. If my guess is correct, I believe that you are ‘Dark Sun,’ and I would like to chat with you under the recommendation of a mutual friend. I hope that you can come out and see me in person.”
A mutual friend? What kind of mutual friend would Dark Sun and Alex share? The young master never mentioned such a matter before.
Father Alex glanced over at the door, which was then slowly pushed open by someone!
I could not help but feel somewhat anxious. Alex’s abilities were unknown, and all I had to rely on was my speed. Originally, I was sure that regardless of his ability, I would be able to flee as long as I made full use of x-speed. However, now with one more person, it would unfortunately be quite dangerous. Should I take this chance to run first… Run?
It seemed that the effects of the tranquilizers had indeed faded, as my first thought was not to “fight,” but to “run away.”
I glanced down at the ring on my hand, and after mustering a great amount of resolve, barely restrained myself from injecting the painkillers into my body.
Now that the door was open, all I could do was prepare myself as thoroughly as possible. Perhaps fleeing would be unavoidable. However, if confrontation was possible, that would be best. Moreover, I would absolutely not use the tranquilizers until the final moment!
Even when the young master had just undergone surgery and was in such great pain that he could not be himself, he remained unwilling to use painkillers. In that case, how could I use painkillers for an excuse as shallow as “not escaping as usual?”
I placed the ring-bearing hand behind my back and stopped my thoughts from running wild, instead concentrating my full attention on the person walking in. The door opened, and the person who walked in also wore priest garbs. To my surprise, it was—