No Hero Volume 9: Endless Days
Original novel in Chinese by: 御我(Yu Wo)
Prologue: E.X.—translated by TaffyGirl13 (proofread by Trespasserby; C/E edited by lucathia)
Darkness had fallen outside the pulled open curtains. There was no moonlight tonight, though the sky was filled with bright stars. It seems that from today onwards, there should not be a need to specially draw the curtains closed. Originally, it had been so that Master would not feel uncomfortable from being struck by excessive sunlight while moving around during the daytime. As a result, I would always close the curtains before going to sleep and open them once again after waking at night.
However, Master never moved around during the daytime, so this action was unnecessary. Moreover, there were numerous windows in the ancient castle. Handling every single one was a fairly time-consuming task. It would be better to use that time to tidy up the surroundings.
After all, the ancient castle was severely lacking in staff at the moment, since Master truly detested people very much. Even with the rationale that Miss Tong required companions, he was only willing to let us hire one maid and one chef.
I opened the study door. The other person was already awake and was currently standing next to the window to look outside. “Master, your meal is ready.”
The other person turned around and coldly stated, “Call me X, Endelis. The next time you address me incorrectly, I won’t correct you. You can just leave.”
“My sincere apologies, Mas—X.”
I hurriedly changed my words halfway as I answered by habit, nearly breaking out into a cold sweat from fright. I would truly have to take note of the form of address. While directly calling Master by his name was quite a discourteous action that completely went against the principles of an Elysees butler, my honorable father once said that customs were dead, while the master was alive. There were several younger masters that certainly preferred their butlers to be more like friends, and openly calling them by name was not an uncommon situation.
Mas—E.X. only seemed like a young man in his twenties in terms of appearance, with blond hair and blue eyes. His movements held a graceful manner. Although his temper was rather violent, I had never heard any coarse language come from his mouth. X appeared to be similar to a young and impetuous prince. Despite having a bad temper, his poise was impossible to criticize.
Yet, this was very far from fact. X was neither young nor a prince. He was a vampire past a thousand years in age.
Out of curiosity, I had once asked him his exact age or which period he had been born in. However, I only received “don’t remember” in response.
X did not wish to say. I understood this.
After living for over a thousand years, perhaps one truly did not care about exact age anymore. However, who would forget the period they were born in?
X picked up a goblet of fresh blood yet was not in a rush to eat. He seemed to hold no interest in the blood, lightly swaying the goblet as he stared at the fresh, crimson blood and asked, “Is she…still well?”
“Miss Tong? She is as usual.”
I could not reply “she is well.” The young miss had never been well. There was undoubtedly an issue with her mental condition. She was very quiet, too quiet. I had almost never heard her speak. The reason it was “almost” was because she would sometimes scream, and some of the screams sounded like meaningful words, such as “Gēge,” “Sorry,” and “Ah Yi.”
She was always clutching a pocket watch. The strange part was that I would constantly pick up that watch from various places in the castle and return it back to her. Miss Tong would typically be screaming until she once again held that pocket watch.
I could not determine what sentiment X held toward Miss Tong. He asked about her daily, extremely concerned about her condition. Despite being someone that hated having people inside the ancient castle, he was willing to additionally employ a maid and chef for her sake.
Yet he never once went to see her.
X was active at night, while Miss Tong followed the pattern of sleeping and waking early. The two were like day and night, never meeting.
Upon hearing my response, X took a sip of the fresh blood. He did not have an expression of content. Rather, it was as if he was drinking poison. Could it be that the blood does not suit his taste?
When I worriedly inquired this, X chuckled instead and somewhat mockingly replied, “Charles Endelis, there will eventually come a day when you will drink blood as if it is poison. Then you will realize that fresh blood is even worse than poison, because you cannot be poisoned to death and can only continue living in torture.”
“Please do not worry my child so early about what will happen in a thousand years’ time.”
The corners of X’s lips tilted upwards, his tone now more taunting as he said, “Look at who’s arrived! It’s the perfect father, Kaius Elysees.”
I turned around to see my honorable father currently walking over. He was clearly responsible for tending to Miss Tong, yet would always come observe out of concern.
My honorable father smiled, as if unable to discern the ridicule in that tone, and sincerely thanked, “I express my gratitude for your praise and am humbled to receive it.”
A useless blow like punching cotton. If it had been someone else, perhaps they would have continued the mockery. However, X was not that kind of person. Rather than the roundabout method of using satire, he preferred bluntness.
“You cannot protect him forever.”
X had said these words before at least ten times. Every time would cause my honorable father to feel anxious for many days. While he would absolutely never show it on the spot, he would always turn around and inwardly worry.
X and my honorable father were simply incompatible by nature. The fact that they had been able to tolerate each other these past several years never ceased to astound me. Even with the daily ridiculing, X had still never dismissed my honorable father. My honorable father had never thrown him a resignation letter either.
They both had many other options. X could hire someone else, while my honorable father did not require this job at all. He was busy enough with the Elysees’ family affairs alone. This additional job only gave him more work.
However, because of my existence, they did not truly have other alternatives.
“Please do not quarrel,” I somewhat helplessly urged without any assurance. Neither my honorable father nor X were the type of person to listen to advice.
Contrary to my expectations, X turned around, evidently not planning on advancing the argument. He was typically the one who continued the fight. After all, my honorable father had the status of a butler, so while he might respond with piercing words, he would never take the initiative to provoke the master. As long as X stopped, my honorable father would not continue fighting either.
At this moment, my honorable father instead chose to speak first. This was somewhat unexpected, though upon closely observing his manner, he did not appear to desire a fight. Rather, it was likely regarding an official matter. I was finally put at ease.
X turned his head, clearly having also sensed this point. He quietly waited for my honorable father to speak.
“The other day, the Church’s general election ended.”
Hearing this, there was a flash through X’s eyes, but there was no other fluctuation in emotion.
“I am afraid that the result is not what you desired.” My honorable father’s tone did not change too much, maintaining the usual tranquility a butler should possess. However, I could see that this was not a result that he hoped for either.
It seemed that any organization was bound to split into a peaceful faction and an extremist faction. Previously, the leader of the Church had been part of the peaceful faction, unwilling to waste human lives and resources on the matter of hunting down X. That was the reason X could stop running and stay in this ancient castle without needing to hide all over the place anymore.
However, it was evident that the gentle, peaceful faction had lost its position. According to the results of my honorable father’s investigation, there was no small number of people within the extremist faction that detested E.X. They viewed him as the ultimate sin and had to eliminate him no matter what.
I could not tell what the relationship between the term “sin” and X was. Since the day I had started serving him, the number of instances X left the ancient castle could be counted on one’s fingers. I had never once heard of him inciting any disturbances either. If such a peaceful and solitary existence was sin, the term “sin” might never be negative ever again.
“I didn’t anticipate any result!” X coldly sneered before spinning back around. He gazed out the window, his figure as cold as ice.
This pattern again. Whenever the relationship between him and the Church was mentioned, X would refuse to say a single word.
My honorable father called out once more. He always used this form of address, which I felt was extremely ill-fitting. X’s appearance was truly too different from an old lord. However, X did not seem to mind my honorable father addressing him this way. He only required me to call him X.
My honorable father had said that the employer was X, who had more than enough years to spare. Thus, using the word “Milord” was not incorrect.
It was indeed not incorrect. It was merely that when meeting an illogical race such as vampires, everything appeared incorrect.
“Since the result fell short of expectation, I am afraid that the Church will take action. For the sake of protecting Miss Tong’s safety, I suggest that she be moved individually to another location.”
X whirled around sharply, his expression extremely cold and unsightly. However, my honorable father maintained a butler’s humble bearing, and even warmly stated, “This is merely a suggestion. My lord need not accept it.”
As long as there was no relation to me, my honorable father would always act according to a butler’s principles and would never clash with the employer.
X was silent for a while. He then said, “Xiao Ai will not leave me.”
Hearing this, my honorable father nodded to indicate his understanding.
Rather, it was I who was puzzled. This Miss Tong had never mentioned X, as if she did not know of his existence at all. Why would she not leave?
I never received an answer to my questions even afterwards.
The next day, the Church came knocking on our door.
My honorable father had not expected that the Church would arrive so quickly. In the suddenness of the situation, he chose to protect me, secretly sending someone to notify X.
I was very anxious. I did not at all desire to see X be taken away by the Church and could only hope that my honorable father would be willing to offer his aid.
My honorable father stood in front of me, his back to me and his face to the door as he softly instructed, “Regardless of what they say, you are not to open your mouth and say a single word. Can you promise me this?”
My honorable father declared more sternly, “Charles, I mean that you must not utter a single sound. Do you understand?”
I started in alarm and hurriedly replied, “Yessir!”
Following this, the doors were smashed open. Numerous people clothed in black charged in. Only when I looked closely did I discover that the clothes were priest robes. As the other party was holding various types of weapons, it was truly difficult to notice that the clothes were that of a priest.
They first noticed my honorable father. Then, several people looked in my direction. At first, they did not pay me any mind; however, they gradually grew suspicious. Finally, they were shocked by a sudden realization.
“He’s a vampire!”
“Is that the target?”
“Is he E.X.?”
Instantly, all the guns were pointed at me. My honorable father drew out a pistol from his waist, not the slightest bit intimidated by being heavily outnumbered as he fearlessly pointed the gun at the black-clothed priests. He angrily roared, “I am Kaius Elysees. This is my son. The Elysees family will fight to death anyone that dares to touch a single hair on his head!”
A priest sternly replied, “Nobody can obstruct the elimination of sin! You are foolish to recognize a vampire as your son. In his eyes, you are merely food, not the same race at all, let alone a father!”
My honorable father announced with a tremendous amount of pride, “Keeping this obedient son was the smartest and best decision that I have ever made in my life.”
Honorable father… In reality, I was constantly bringing endless trouble to Father. How could this count as a smart decision? Without me, he would not need to face this kind of situation at all. Even the Elysees would possibly find it challenging to face an opponent like the Church. I was truly unwilling to see the two sides clash yet was also concerned about X being captured.
It was evident that the priest strongly disapproved of my honorable father’s words. However, he did not have the intention to start a dispute. He simply raised his gun and threatened, “Immediately hand over E.X. If you continue hindering us, we will kill you without hesitation!”
My honorable father merely smiled, not saying a word. I suddenly noticed that from beginning to end, he had never denied that I was X. Could it be that he was fighting for X to have enough time to leave?
I maintained my silence and let my expression fall, hoping that this might help give the impression of a thousand-year-old vampire.
Facing against the numerous pointed guns, my honorable father slightly moved the hand that was not holding the pistol. Ever since entering to present tea, the maid had quietly stood still in the corner of the room so that it was nearly impossible to sense her presence. Even the priests had not paid her any attention. However, at this moment, she flipped over her tray and pulled out two short pistols.
The window was suddenly shattered and the gardener jumped in from outside with a large caliber firearm in hand.
“You had better think this through. The result of provoking the Elysees is not a responsibility that a few mere priests can bear. Would you like to make a call to ask?”
A dangerous light flashed in my honorable father’s eyes. Every time someone from the family questioned my existence, he would always wear this expression, and without even saying a word, the family members would retreat on their own.
The priest chuckled and mockingly replied, “Do you really believe two people will be any use? In contrast, that E.X. behind you is much more frightening. He does not need your protection at all…”
Before he could finish speaking, the sound of uniform footsteps came from the door behind him. The priests’ expressions all changed. Half of the priests turned around to face the door.
The number of people that arrived was nowhere inferior to the priests’ numbers, and the troops were even more organized. They seemed to follow the same conventions as the priests. All of them wore identical uniforms, the standard butler’s clothing of the Elysees family. However, like the opposing priests, these butlers were carrying weapons, which did not follow the standards of a butler.
Priests that were unlike priests. Butlers that were unlike butlers. The scene of both sides standing opposite each other felt slightly absurd to me, and even made me somewhat flustered. It was exactly like a scene from a film. While I adored watching films, I definitely did not desire to see a movie-like plot play out in real life. If these guns opened fire, how many of the family members present would lose their lives?
“No, I do not believe three people are enough.” My honorable father smiled. As if abruptly remembering something, he added, “As a side note, my son’s name is Charles Andelis. If you wanted to abbreviate his name, it would be C.A., not E.X.”
It should be C.E. My honorable father, why do you keep mistaking my mother’s family name? Do not tell me this is the reason you two have split up?
Against these circumstances and my honorable father’s words, the face of the priest shifted drastically and he was finally willing to make a call asking for confirmation.
I stared at my honorable father, who was steadfast and fearless. He pulled me by the hand as he had when I was younger. It had been quite a long time since he had done so, as it was no longer appropriate after I had grown up, after all. Yet now he was tightly gripping my hand as we walked past the priests holding guns.
“Stop!” The priest furiously objected. “You must not leave. You can only go once we’ve finished our confirmation!”
My honorable father glanced over and flatly replied, “If you have your Pope come and tell me to stop, perhaps I might pause.”
Enraged, the priest lifted his gun, but was blocked by another person.
A different priest walked up and said, “We have been discourteous, Elysees Family Head. You may leave, though we must search this place.”
My honorable father coldly snorted, though he did not voice any opposition. He pulled me along to leave the premise under the protection of the uniformed family members.
After that, the priests practically dug up the entire place, but X had long since left. There was not even any trace of Miss Tong left behind. I also never encountered that young miss ever again.