No Hero Volume 9: Endless Days
Original novel in Chinese by: 御我(Yu Wo)
The End NO.6: Family Head—translated by taffygirl13 (proofread by J Tao; C/E edited by lucathia)
“I forbid you from saving that vampire. You cannot have others do it either. He wanted to kill me! Don’t tell me your butler is more important than I am?”
Highest priority master has asked a question. Initiating action: Reply.
What kind of question is Gēge asking?!
“Gē, Charles is not more important than you.”
But why is Charles’ score so high? 91.5? Since when did it become that high? If he surpasses Gēge, then what would—No, impossible!
The purpose of Dark Sun’s existence is to protect Gēge. No one can be more important than him.
“Charles did not really want to kill you. I know it was your scheme from the beginning. What exactly do you want to—”
“Ah Ye, if I want you to kill Charles Endelis, what will you do?”
Highest priority master has issued a command. Initiating action: Obey.
Kill Charles Endelis—No! Charles cannot be killed.
“Gē, don’t say that! Don’t! I can’t control it anymore, Charles is—”
Highest priority master’s command received. Initiating action: Obey.
“I will follow your order and kill Charles Endelis.”
Initiating action: Kill. Target: Charles Endelis. Immediately taking effect.
“Ah Ye, wait a minute!”
“Yes, Gēge.” Turning, awaiting orders…
“You are not allowed to die. No matter what, your life is the most important.”
Command received: Own life takes precedence over assassination task.
I quietly lay in bed with a slight hunger in my stomach. However, this amount of hunger was just enough to curb the pain in my limbs without burning off rational thought entirely. It was the most comfortable period, as well as the only time I could think things over.
Recently, it seemed that the pain was becoming more tolerable, though there was no knowing whether it was a result of getting accustomed to the pain after so long or if it was truly subsiding. My mental clarity had gradually increased, and I had significantly more time for my own thoughts.
I had a feeling and instinctively looked out the window to see a figure as expected. His back faced the brilliant sunlight as he gently pushed the window open and quietly stood in front of the French window to watch me. The sun’s rays spilling over his face were too blinding. It still did not suit him as much as the moonlight in the dark.
I slowly sat up and gazed at him. Perhaps this would be the last time I could see him.
“Charles, you look very terrible. I’ve never seen you so…” He tilted his head, seemingly uncertain of how to describe it. “Pale and weak. It’s like even Briar could easily kill you.”
I smiled and asked, “Did the Sun Emperor order you to stop chasing after my life?”
The young master nodded and replied, “Curtis is very formidable in negotiations. It was my first time seeing Gēge get so mad at a conference table.” After a moment’s thought, he added, “In the past, Gēge said that Curtis would not be as fierce as Madam Sadina and use the entire family to protect you. However, he was wrong.”
I had worried that the Sun Emperor had been wrong. The situation on the battlefield had truly been a terrible sight, one that a person would be unwilling to witness for a second time.
“Did you come all this way because you wanted to tell me something?
I went straight to the main topic without delay because the young master’s hands were trembling. It was certainly not due to pain; rather, it was caused by forceful suppression. His glinting metallic nails would extend and then retract without stopping. He did not even dare to move. Perhaps if he did, his sole action would be to pierce those silvery nails through my chest.
Even though the Sun Emperor had issued a command, it seemed that it had not been entirely effective. As expected of the raison d’être implanted in his brain’s microchip; anyone who dared to move against the Sun Emperor would instantly and unfailingly face punishment from the Death Scythe.
The young master was restraining himself, as was I. The difference was that he wanted to kill, while I wanted to die. I could only endeavor to recall Curtis’s expression as he had stood by my bed; otherwise, I might have crawled over of my own volition and pled to be freed from this world.
The young master remained silent.
I could only remind him, “Young Master, I cannot maintain a clear mind for long.”
It was extremely difficult to stay conscious. Restraining myself from seeking death was even harder.
Finally, he opened his mouth and asked, “Charles, if one day both X and I are in mortal danger, who would you save?”
I nearly laughed out loud when I heard this question, but then wondered why there was a need to keep it in and simply laughed out loud anyway.
“Young Master, you know, a very long time ago, the most impossible question to answer between lovers was ‘if your parents and lover simultaneously fell into the water, who would you save?’. I once thought Sadina would eventually ask me this question; after all, I yearned for my honorable father so much. However, she never asked me. Yet in the end, I hear it from the Young Master’s mouth instead…I truly do not know whether to laugh or cry.”
The young master quietly watched me laugh, though he did not have any trace of emotion on his face. He was both similar and dissimilar to Dark Sun; despite being expressionless, he did not give off the artificial feeling that Dark Sun did.
“Then, who would you save?” The young master was exceptionally fixated on knowing the answer.
I suddenly felt beyond furious. Even though I knew the young master was not to blame, he was currently right in front of me, demanding an answer as to who was more important and forcing me to decide between two important people. He could not comprehend that such comparisons could not be made!
I angrily stated, “Young Master, I can die for you, but I cannot let X die because of you. Similarly, I can die for X, but I absolutely cannot sacrifice you for X’s survival. This question should not exist at all!”
The young master asked again, “Then if it’s X and the Elysees family? Who would you save?”
This simply made me feel powerless. When someone assigned their entire world numerical values, how exactly could I explain to him that important people were simply important, with no one’s significance level higher than another’s?
I could only chuckle bitterly as I thought about the possibility of never meeting him again. I could not help but advise once more, “Young Master, you must fix your habit of looking at people using numbers.”
The young master was silent for a while before he flatly replied, “I can’t fix it. It’s imprinted in my brain’s microchip.”
“Even if your brain has numbers, your heart cannot have them! Think about the future; if you marry Briar and take her as your wife, you might even have children. When that time comes, will you compare the significance levels of your wife and children with the Sun Emperor’s? What if they nearly surpass the Sun Emperor’s value? Will you kill them too?”
I could not imagine how terrifying it would be for a frail mother and child to be threatened with the Death Scythe by the person who was the husband and father. That was why I had to make the young master understand!
The young master shook his head and replied. “Charles, the reason your score is so high is because ‘time’ is too superior of a variable. You can accompany me for a very, very long time. This is something that no one else can do.”
I was stunned. So is that what it was?
“So the others do not lose to me, but rather to time.”
I suddenly felt it was somewhat ironic. “Time” was why I had chosen to return to the young master’s side back then, yet time was also what had forced the young master to try and kill me.
After some contemplation, the young master suddenly smiled. “Hm, you’re right. It’s a pity that I cannot kill ‘time’; I can only kill you.”
“…Curtis would definitely loathe your current smile.”
The young master did not seem to mind. “He hates me so much as it is. Even with my smile, he couldn’t possibly hate me more! He even gave me a warning right in front of my brother, saying that if I ever dared to harm you again, he would throw me into a cremation furnace until I melted into metal pieces. It made my brother explode on the spot, and he nearly declared war right there and then.”
I laughed at this, completely able to imagine the situation. The Sun Emperor and Curtis had found each other disagreeable from the beginning. Every time they saw each other, they would make sure to go measure for measure. However, after today, there would be no further opportunities to witness such an amusing scene again.
I could not help but ask, “Young Master, you still want to kill me, is that not so?
The young master did not reply directly. “You already know the answer.”
I did indeed.
He said in amusement, “But Charles, you’ve become super strong. It’s hard to say who would kill who! I did say ages ago that you were very strong!”
“I am not strong in the slightest. This is the result of burning away my vitality to fight against you.” I smiled bitterly and raised a trembling hand as I sighed. “Only being able to attain victory by bringing myself to the point where I have no will to survive, yet remain unable to seek death cannot count as being formidable, can it?”
“Why can’t it?” The young master bluntly stated, “When I was in the lab, I also struggled between life and death for a full seven years. That’s how I became this strong.”
I was stunned for a moment and could only stare at the young master. An entire seven years was truly enough to leave one at a loss for words. I could not even endure for seven days, though I could no longer track the passing of time. Under the tortuous cycle of unending hunger and pain, time had lost all significance.
The young master consoled me. “Charles, you will become even more powerful. You just need to endure through this. It’s always like this; the operation hurts, and your recovery will hurt too. But once the pain subsides, you’ll become strong. Just hang in there for a bit.”
He hesitated for a moment before continuing, “But Charles, you shouldn’t eat that candy anymore. It’s only for you to use in emergencies. I didn’t think you would eat a bunch in one go. It’s too dangerous; the things that Bàba makes really cannot be eaten in large amounts. You’ll die!”
I smiled. As expected, it was something that the young master had asked Mr. An Te Qi to make. Even if it had been passed off under Aren’s name, it was ultimately the young master’s doing.
“I had no other option and was truly forced to do so, but I do not dare repeat it.” Next time, I would likely rather kill myself than eat that candy. The consequences were honestly unbearable.
The young master sadly replied, “There was indeed no other option. Honestly, Charles, you’ve done very well. If you hadn’t decided to eat that candy, the situation might have ended terribly. I didn’t think Gēge would dispatch the adjudication squad as well. If the three forces had really started fighting, it wouldn’t have been resolved even if everyone there had died. The aftermath might’ve been even more terrifying.”
I understood. “It would have caused a three-way war.”
The young master explained further, “That’s not all. With so many people lost from all three parties, there’s no way the matter could be left like that. The fight would continue on, and there might be many others apart from the three powers. Some might be allies joining the battles, some might be enemies taking advantage of the crisis to secretly attack. There might even be people just waiting to reap the profits afterwards. The entire world would fall into chaos.”
I was dumbstruck. I had not imagined the situation to be even more frightening than I had thought.
The young master dejectedly continued, “My brother might even have hoped for that to happen. I don’t understand what exactly he’s thinking. Gēge’s way of doing things is too complicated. I can only guess at a part of it.”
“What part?” I asked in confusion.
“The part about me.” The young master hesitated for a moment but still elaborated, “My guess is that he wanted to test everyone by my side, especially you and Melody, since you guys can stay with me for a very, very long time. But Melody-jiě’s situation is simpler. She has no concerns, so she easily passed the test.”
Meanwhile, I did not qualify because I was too complex, involved with both the Elysees and the Church?
“Sorry. You ended up like this because of my brother’s test.” The young master’s head fell as he quietly said, “I will make up for it.”
Make up for it? I smiled bitterly. Now that matters had reached this point, we could only go our separate ways. What is the point in discussing compensation?
Right then, my hunger began to intensify again. Although I felt that it was a pity since we might not meet again after this farewell, and I really did wish to interact with him for longer, I also was unwilling to let the young master see me starving to the point where my eyes turned red as I looked at him like food.
“Young Master, please leave. I am too hungry to control myself.”
The young master quietly stared at me. “I wonder whether you need candy once you’ve lost rationality from hunger. Would you become as strong as before?”
“Young Master, please leave!” I firmly requested, “You can see how poor my condition is at the moment. If I attacked you, how would that be any different from committing suicide? If you want to kill me, please do not use such a method. I do not wish for my final action before death to be attacking you!”
The young master was quiet for a moment. Finally, he turned to leave, standing outside the French window. The glare from the sun’s reflection on the glass covered most of his expression.
“Charles, what is the fundamental meaning of your existence?”
I was taken aback as the reflected light from the glass pierced my eyes. After I had blinked in pain, the young master had vanished without a trace.
Definite numbers and a definite meaning to one’s existence. How could a person’s life be so defined, with knowledge so thoroughly overriding feelings until they must use another personality to draw the distinction between reason and emotion? What exactly was this lifestyle like? It was truly unimaginable.
We can blame someone for being too impulsive, for doing things too emotionally. But how can we blame someone for being too rational? How can they be rebuked for following the fundamental meaning of existence?
How can I beseech him to overthrow the fundamental meaning of his existence?
I sat up at the edge of the bed. The hunger had not chased away all my processing ability. It appeared that my condition had indeed taken a turn for the better.
The door opened, and I shifted my line of sight. Dong Fang Lei was holding a tray of blood bags with Curtis standing right behind him. When they saw me, the two were dumbstruck for a moment, but then showed expressions of pleasant surprise.
Curtis even passed in front of Dong Fang Lei to walk straight to my bedside. He excitedly said, “Family Head, you appear significantly better.”
The young master just said I looked terrible, to the point where even Briar could easily kill me. So in the past few days, exactly how terrible had I looked for Curtis to say that my condition has improved?
Fortunately, I was not a butler during this time. Otherwise, I would have to deeply repent to my honorable father.
Dong Fang Lei was full of smiles as he placed the tray down on my bed and then retreated to the side. Compared to his initial politeness and disaffection, he was currently filled with goodwill and respect, which was extremely difficult to grow accustomed to.
I picked up a blood bag and did not suck it dry in a single breath. Rather, I slowly sipped it to make the hunger subside more slowly.
Curtis directly sat at the edge of my bed and said, “Can you listen to my report as you drink blood?”
“The Sun Emperor and I have reached an agreement. I witnessed him personally order Ri Xiang Ye not to kill you, so I have released your young master.”
“I know, the young master came by.”
Curtis’s expression shifted, and he twisted his head to glare furiously at Dong Fang Lei. The latter’s face fell too.
I voiced my support, “Don’t blame him. The young master is not a normal person.”
“Family Head, no one who is able to threaten the heads of the Elysees is a normal person!”
That makes sense. Thinking about it now, Lieder was able to smack the Sun Emperor on the head; how can that count as normal?
Curtis coldly stated, “Dong Fang, there cannot be a second time! You will await punishment later!”
Upon hearing this, I saw that Dong Fang Lei did not show any discontent, seemingly only full of shame instead. As a result, I did not try to stop it again. Operations within the family had to follow certain standards. While the young master breaking in to meet me this time was nothing major, what if an assassin broke into Curtis’s room?
Curtis took a few deep breaths to calm down before continuing his report. “The Sun Emperor and the Church have both agreed to provide compensation. This payment has been directly transferred to your personal assets. There is no need to receive it from the family’s trust funds management.”
I stared at Curtis in astonishment.
Curtis indifferently stated, “One party sent someone to kill you, the other party imprisoned you. Receiving compensation is already the minimum I can accept. It cannot be any less!”
No, the main point is, you managed to make the Sun Emperor and the Church pay money?
Curtis continued to coolly explain, “I have previously explained that because you have given support to many rising companies, the Elysees has a large number of business relations. This is still true today. I have many methods to legally make them pay an even greater amount as compensation! In reality, this matter had been in progress long before we attacked the Church’s Sin Elimination Committee. Their compensation is merely a stop-loss point.”
I did not have much interest in financial matters and was unwilling to waste the time that I remained clear-headed on this point. I reminded him, “These are all fine with you managing them. Is there anything else?”
I suddenly felt an uneasy premonition and hurriedly questioned, “What is wrong? Did something happen?”
“Can you promise me that no matter what has happened, you will not leave without permission?”
“I cannot!” I furiously answered. “If you do not speak, I will leave right this instant. Moreover, you will not even be able to tell whether I exit from the window or the door.”
Curtis was stunned for a moment. He looked towards Dong Fang Lei for confirmation, and the latter nodded.
He sighed and said, “The Church has captured E.X.”
I stared at him in a daze. Fear began to rise from the bottom of my heart; the last thing that I had wanted to happen had inevitably occurred in the end.
“When did this happen?”
I asked with difficulty, only hoping that this had happened not too long ago.
“The news was provided two days ago, but I cannot confirm when. I can only confirm that E.X. currently is indeed in their hands.”
It has already been two days! My heart clenched in pain. With how much the Church detested X, two days was enough to torture him until he was disfigured. However, the most important thing now was to calm down!
I took a deep breath and asked, “Did you look into what they want to do with X?”
Curtis nodded and replied, “The Sin Elimination Committee wants to kill him as quickly as possible. If it were not for a few researchers stopping them, he likely would have been eliminated on the spot.”
“They dare?!” I roared.
“I fear they truly do dare. I sent a warning, but they did not even send a response. It appears that with the extremist faction leading, they will not shrink back from any enemy when it comes to E.X. Therefore I require your orders to determine the next plan of action.”
“Naturally, that is…” To rescue X.
Before I could finish speaking, I saw Curtis’s earnest expression and my words fell silent. He was clearly just waiting for the family head to give him the command to actually carry out. Even if this order was for the sake of a vampire completely unaffiliated with the family, he would dispatch troops to fight head-on with an evenly matched opponent. Another several hundred, several thousand, or even several hundreds of thousands of elites from the family would die. Or perhaps, an unbreakable enmity would form as a result. There was no knowing how many more lives would be forfeited afterwards.
How could I voice this command? In the end, I can only go by myself after all…
Curtis frigidly declared, “Family Head, please allow me to clarify: I will not allow you to carry out a rescue mission by yourself. You have the entire family’s forces as support. The last action you should take is to act alone.”
I shook my head. “This matter has no relation to the Elysees.”
“It is related to you, and therefore it is related to the Elysees! Even if you needed to start a war, the Elysees would never fear it!”
At the mention of the previous campaign, I recalled the family members lying on the battlefield and I could not suppress my anger as I roared, “Never fear it? How many family members died in the fight against the Church?”
“One hundred and eighty-two people.”
I was dumbstruck. It was evident that Curtis was not actually unaffected by those lives if he remembered the number so clearly.
“Were they all Extraordinaries?”
Curtis shook his head. “No, the majority of them were not. This type of battle does not require Extraordinaries. Equipment is more important.”
“Were they the family’s elites?”
Curtis was silent for a while before answering, “They were the elite troops.”
“Was it worth it?”
Curtis indignantly responded, “They were soldiers. The Elysees raised them as important members to protect the family. Now they have died for the sake of the family head. Do you think it was worth it?”
I only grew angrier as I shot back. “If the Elysees family head you are speaking of referred to yourself, then it would be worth it. However, I am merely the family head in name only.”
Curtis’s complexion turned ashen. He gazed at me in fury and forcefully emphasized every one of his words. “‘Family Head,’ please allow me to remind you once again: Charles Endelis is the true head of the Elysees family. If you have any doubts about this point, please immediately return and personally take charge of the family. I can become your general manager and assist you with handling the family’s affairs, or you can simply expel me and choose someone you prefer to be your manager!”
He was serious; I could tell. Even if I used my speed to escape this place and rescue X alone, it would likely take only a second for Curtis to gather the family’s army and enter the battlefield once more.
Thus, the current question was now who was more important between X and the Elysees.
I had no way of scoring people in my mind as the young master did. It was impossible to know the answer. I…Wait.
Charles, if both X and I are in mortal danger, who would you save?
What if it were X and the Elysees?
I will make up for it.
I suddenly understood and could not help but murmur, “He had also heard this news, and he is about to go rescue X!”
Curtis stared at me in confusion and asked, “Who?”
I had known long ago that the young master was not someone who would ask meaningless questions. There was a concrete purpose to everything he did. If he had numbers assigned to score people’s significance levels, how could he possibly ask a question as pointless as “who would you save if your mother and wife fell into the water”?!
If X and I are in mortal danger, who would you save?
If I had responded “Young Master,” he would not have gone to rescue X, because he was more important.
What if it were X and the Elysees?
If I had responded “X,” he also would not have gone to rescue X, because the Elysees family would do it.
However, I had refused to give him a single answer!
“Family Head, are you all right?”
I could not continue staying in bed any longer. I took a deep breath and directly set foot off the bed. A wave of pain immediately came from my knees, and my legs could barely stay upright. However, I eventually stabilized myself. My condition had undoubtedly improved, though moving freely would require a while. Moreover, I needed my condition to be better than being able to simply “move freely.”
I picked up the blood bags on the tray and began to consume them.
“Family Head!” Curtis stubbornly declared, “I will never allow you to abandon the family’s resources and run off to clash with the Church on your own. You are the family head! You should not be the one charging in at the very front!”
Resources… Ah yes, the Elysees are more than one individual person.
As I drank blood, I asked, “Curtis, how much money do you have?”
Curtis was taken aback for a moment, but he inquired back, “Are you referring to my money, or are you actually referring to your money?”
“It may require at least three days’ time to verify all of your cash, movable and immovable properties, company equity shares, foundations, patent rights, creditor’s rights, and the like. There are a few property rights that are very difficult to accurately appraise as they have not yet officially been sold.”
“These should be the Elysees family’s resources, are they not?” I furrowed my brows and stated, “I do not wish to touch the family’s assets.”
Curtis’s brows knit together even more deeply than my own as he continued, “With just your personal assets, I would still require a day to verify them all.”
This response indicated that the amount of money in my possession was vast enough for even Curtis to be uncertain of its size. Rather, I am personally uncertain; when did I suddenly become so wealthy? My only assets, as far as I was aware, were several ancient castles, as well as a few bank accounts. Perhaps I had some private treasuries as well, but since Sadina had specialized managers handling them, I never paid any attention to them.
If I survive this, I should find some time to look into those places. I hope Sadina did not leave the family in debt to make up for my allowance.
“Hand your cell phone to me.”
Curtis stared blankly for a moment. However, it appeared that he would comply with anything as long as I did not flee, as he directly handed his cell phone to me.
I dialed a number and immediately cut to the main point. “Aren, this is Charles. Is Lieder beside you? I would like to speak with him.”
The other end gave an affirmative response, and another person answered the phone.
“Lieder, how much money are you and your doctor worth?”