No Hero Volume 4: The Ancient Vampire Castle
Original novel in Chinese by: 御我(Yu Wo)
The Lost Files of the Ancient Castle Chapter 5: N/H, the Farce of Rejecting Humans yet Acting Human—translated by clrfction (proofread by Arcedemius & Lala Su; C/E edited by lucathia)
An Xiang Ye is weird himself, so of course the people around him are weirdos, too!
What kind of souvenir is a bug?
Well, I’ll let that one slide. Ah Ye seems like the type to be excited even if he receives a cockroach.
I was dead beat and had thought that I only had to go get the bug before I could go back home to sleep. Except, when we got to the lab, we were told that the bug had been stolen, and the people who had stolen it were likely from an enemy lab who wanted to use it to develop bioweapons. Now we had a mission—to find the bug from the enemy lab and bring it back, or destroy it on the spot… That sounds like a third-rate movie’s plot no matter how you spin it!
The three of us, plus a little girl, ended up being forced to start the mission. When we were about halfway through, that Ezart had the nerve to say an adventurer team asked him to join them on a tomb raid that was leaving soon, so he needed to leave.
And then he really left! What about the bug? The mission? Didn’t the lab say that the enemy would destroy the world if we don’t destroy the bug?
How can you say “I’m busy, gotta go!” halfway through saving the world? Even third-rate movies don’t play out like that!
I want to sleep! I want to leave, too! Ah Ye, let go of me!
Just as the whirlpool was about to swallow me, I heard my name.
That voice… I turned to look and saw the young master. He stood in the doorway, but was hit by stray drops of water from the whirlpool. He lost his balance and fell backwards, and behind him was a long stretch of stairs…
I cried out in shock, “Young Master!”
Then, I remembered that the young master was Dark Sun, so he would be fine. That thought slowed me from rushing to save the young master, but someone else rushed over more quickly than I did.
The water demon grabbed the falling young master but did not pull him up. Instead, he continued holding the young master by the waist and stared at his face dreamily. The two of them looked like a couple frozen in the finishing stance of a dance, with the woman being dipped by the man, gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes.
I looked around. The magnificent whirlpool just now had disappeared without a trace. Even all the water had returned to the plumbing on the ceiling. Although all the pipes were still broken, no water leaked out.
“My waist is getting tired. Can I get up?” The young master broke the silence.
The water demon started, as if waking from a trance. He pulled the young master up and asked hurriedly, “Are you okay? Were you injured from the fall?”
The young master blinked in confusion and replied, “No, I didn’t fall at all! Who are you, though?”
The water demon smiled seductively, “Call me Poseidin, dear Angel.”
“Are you a girl? I thought you were a boy…” The young master found me at that point and waved, “Charles!”
I hesitated briefly, but still withdrew all the blood ability. Just as I was about to walk over, the young master ran over to me. He asked angrily, “How, how could you run off without saying anything? You didn’t pick up your phone either. I thought you decided to quit being my butler and ran away secretly! I was looking for you everywhere!”
For some reason, Poseidin joined in too. “Hear! Hear! How could you run off without saying anything? Is that what servants do? Such impudence! You should fire this lousy butler!”
Did I not run off because you were holding Yue Gang captive?
“Who are you?” The young master suddenly turned to ask Poseidin.
“Angel, did you forget? I just told you, I am…”
The young master interrupted him quite bluntly, “I don’t care who you are. You can’t tell my butler off!”
Poseidin froze for a second, but then stared at the young master dreamily again, even though the young master did not pay him any more attention. He turned back to look at me, and he still looked very angry.
The young master is angry at me?
Even though leaving without permission during work hours does tend to anger employers, this was not the first time I had done so. Back when I had just begun to work as the young master’s butler, I had left when I thought he had been kidnapped, but he had not gotten angry at all then… The young master has rarely… no, has never gotten angry at me before.
Then, why does he look so angry right now? I tried to explain, “Young Master, they captured Yue Gang, so I had to come save him.”
“I know. I watched the surveillance camera footage of the room and heard Yue Gang’s call.”
If that is the case, why is the young master so angry? I was even more confused, but I could only apologize. “I am very sorry. I should not have left without permission, and angering you is my…”
“Not that!” He interrupted me, and continued heatedly, “Why didn’t you tell Bramble and the others? They could’ve contacted me. Why didn’t you ask me for help? Because we are only master and servant, so the servant must not ask the master for help?”
“That is not the case, Young Master. This was a trap designed for me. How could I trouble you…?”
I stopped, because I suddenly realized that this was exactly what the young master had just been talking about. Because we are only master and servant, how could the servant bother the master? When the young master had said so, I wanted to refute him, but in truth, I had truly been thinking that way.
At that point, I did not know how to continue. Change my stance? But the young master already heard me.
The young master suddenly spoke. “It’s so dark. Why is it so dark in here? I hate darkness… Lights!”
The lights still did not turn on, but the next second, Poseidin also shouted, “Lights!”
The lights turned on immediately, and in that instance, my eyes met the young master’s. I saw that he was both angry and sad. What does he see on my face? The next second, he turned to face Poseidin quickly.
I noticed that there were many non-humans around us, but I also saw something unexpected. Although the walls around us were made of glass, there were supporting pillars that were not transparent. These pillars were covered with posters of the young master.
“Let Yue Gang go,” the young master said brusquely to Poseidin.
Considering the number of posters on the walls, which seemed like every single advertisement the young master had done, I expected Poseidin to agree. He really seemed to be infatuated with the young master, which surprised me greatly. I never thought even non-humans would like the young master’s Angel appearance.
“That wouldn’t do!” Poseidin was all smiles, but refused him anyway. “I am N/H’s owner after all. If an outsider takes the non-humans of Sunset City lightly, I can’t just sit and watch. How can I stop without a reason, especially since I have made a move already? Don’t you agree, Angel?”
The young master looked at Poseidin, as if he were observing his mood. Just as I was getting worried that the young master would decide to fight no matter what, he smiled and said sweetly, “Then, Poseidin, can you let Charles and Yue Gang go for me? Please?”
My worries were extraneous. The young master has always been the most rational when dealing with serious matters.
Poseidin kept smiling and looked like he would not acquiesce. The young master stopped smiling and gradually began to look more and more disappointed. His lips pressed together and his eyes began to water… No human has been able to resist the young master’s disappointed face, but I did not know if non-humans could.
“Oh! Angel, you’re really… Fine! But I have a condition!”
Poseidin moved a few steps closer to the young master and whispered, “I want your name. Your real name. And a kiss, in exchange for those two.”
My face fell, and I hurried to say, “Young Master, you do not need to…”
“Quiet!” The young master whipped around and retorted, “Servants have no right to tell the master what to do, right?”
True. I had no comeback. Looks like the young master is at peak anger, so anything I say would probably lead to the opposite effect. But no matter what, I must not let the young master kiss a stranger for my sake.
I was debating between who would make a better argument, the master or Briar, when the young master took two steps forward and held Poseidin’s face between his hands. Then, he kissed him…
Not on the cheek or forehead, but straight on the lips. He did not pull away immediately, either. I was frozen in shock for quite a few seconds, and the young master was still kissing him.
Obviously, Poseidin did not expect the young master to be so frank, either. His eyes widened, and he looked much more flustered than the young master did.
The young master continued the kiss for at least twenty seconds before pulling away. He let go of Poseidin, and spoke with no sign of discomfort to the person he had just kissed, “My name is Ri Xiang Ye. You can call me Ah Ye.”
Young Master, you even gave your real last name… Is it because Poseidin asked for your “real name?”
“Ah Ye, Ah Ye…” Poseidin muttered under his breath before raising his head and staring tenderly at the young master. “You are even more charming than I imagined. I thought I would lose my infatuation upon actually meeting you, but I think I like you even more now! Really, what should I do now?”
“Where is Yue Gang?” The young master asked flatly. He did not care whether Poseidin’s infatuation persisted or not.
“If you are so straightforward, I suppose I must be like that too,” Poseidin said with a smile. He clapped, and two waiters carried out from behind the bar an unconscious human. It was Yue Gang.
Even though he was unconscious, he snored loudly and seemed to be sleeping comfortably. He did not look injured. The worst was probably getting a little blood drawn for me. I really should have drunk that glass of blood from earlier, to prevent it from going to waste.
The young master looked at Yue Gang, then turned to ask me, “Charles, do you know where Yue Gang lives?”
I paused, and replied, “No.”
“Ok, then you go carry him. Let’s take him to our place.”
I nodded and stepped forward to take Yue Gang. I was still worried that Poseidin did not really mean to let us go, so I kept alert. But he did not make any moves. He only gazed at the young master lovingly.
The young master turned to leave, and I hurried to catch up. Just as we reached the door, Poseidin called out from behind, “Wait a minute!”
The young master stopped walking but did not turn to look. I stood behind him, so I could not see his expression, but I did see him clench his fists. I was worried. The young master seems to be in a very bad mood today.
The young master still did not turn. He simply asked, “Is there anything else you need?”
Poseidin scurried over and stuffed something into the young master’s hand, then said. “This is an N/H membership card. You’re welcome to come by any time!”
The young master froze and looked down at the membership card in his hand. The card’s surface was a matte black, and the front had a glossy “N/H” inscribed. Since the letters had no color, they only showed up when there was light shining on them.
The young master turned violently, and shouted as if it were a declaration, “I’m a human!”
Snap! The young master actually snapped the card.
Poseidin obviously heard that, but he smiled and said, “You’re an angel!”
The young master froze again.
“Sorry for making you mad,” Poseidin said as he took the snapped card from the young master’s hand and replaced it with a new one. “Even though you are very cute when you’re angry too, you really are no different from an angel when you aren’t mad! Here, smile!”
The young master looked at the card thoughtfully, and the anger left him. He put the card away as well and said a little embarrassedly, “I’m not an angel. That’s just an advertisement.” He finished, then paused, and glanced at Poseidin a few times before finally asking, “Poseidin, does your name end with ‘-in’ or ‘-ynne?’”
I think the young master means to ask for Poseidin’s gender.
“You can treat me as either gender.” Poseidin shrugged. “Our kind is hermaphroditic.”
I was very surprised. Hermaphroditic. That is rare even among non-humans.
“Oh! So that’s why! No wonder I couldn’t tell if you were a boy or a girl.” The young master nodded and did not look shocked at all.
In contrast, Poseidin was more surprised. “You don’t find that weird? Everyone in this world is either male or female, but I am both. Doesn’t that weird you out?”
“It’s weirder to see you control water,” the young master replied truthfully. “How do you do that? It’s fascinating!”
Poseidin laughed out loud. “What’s weird about that? Your butler can even control blood, so why can’t I control water? I am a merperson!”
The young master stared wide-eyed, but countered quickly, “Liar! You don’t have a tail.”
“Your vampire butler doesn’t have fangs either right now. If your butler can conceal his fangs, then of course I can conceal my tail too… You really don’t believe me?” Perhaps the disbelief in the young master’s eyes was too obvious. Poseidin smiled and said, “How about this: if you come visit N/H again, I’ll show you.”
“Really?” The young master’s eyes lit up, and he hurried to continue as if he were afraid Poseidin would change his mind, “We have a deal then! The next time I come over, you’ll show me!”
This time, Poseidin thought a bit and added a new condition. “If you wear the angel outfit you wore in that ad, I’ll show you.”
“No problem!” The young master agreed at once, then turned to speak to me, “Charles, let’s go.”
“As you wish.”
This time, the young master and I successfully walked out of N/H without being stopped.
After walking out of N/H, the young master suddenly gestured toward an obscure alley and said, “This way.”
He walked into the alley, and I followed. As soon as I walked in, I saw two armed robbers standing in front of the young master, ordering him to surrender his wallet. Security in the southern district really is terrible.
The young master swiped the robber’s gun and knocked him out with the base of it, then fired a shot to force the other robber to drop his gun. He shot that robber’s knee as well and knocked him out with a kick before he could even scream.
The young master crushed the gun, and after scattering its remains, motioned upward to me. “We’ll take the route above.”
I walked onto the wall, and the young master followed, except he used his hands and feet to climb instead of walking up directly. I was a little surprised. If the young master can even slide step, why does he not walk upwards like I am doing?
The young master looked at me and seemed confused. “I just can’t learn this, how strange… ah! No, I can’t learn to use blood ability either.”
Learn? I spoke without thinking, “Where did the young master learn to slide step?” How is that possible? I have never heard of people learning the vampires’ slide step.
The young master nodded and said, “I learned from watching you. It was really a little difficult, because you need really strong legs and explosive power. Took me a while to learn, but I really don’t know how to learn the blood ability.”
A little difficult… I could only smile. Ever since ancient times, the slide step has always been a specialty of vampires. To have another kind learn it is unheard of, but it was only a little difficult to learn for the young master?
“We’re here.” The young master jumped onto the roof.
When I followed the young master and jumped onto the roof, I immediately saw an unexpected figure and blurted, “Mr. White Stone!”
A gigantic eagle-headed dragon body was curled up in the darkness and looked very much like a stone statue upon first glance, but as soon as I called out to him, the eagle head rose. A pair of eagle eyes stared at me, and as the eagle beak moved, a slightly piercing voice sounded, “Oh, did that kid Poseidin tell you?”
“Yes,” I replied quickly as I moved Yue Gang from my shoulders to the ground.
The young master walked over to Mr. White Stone’s side and began to stroke his scales and feathers as he said, “When I was looking around aimlessly outside, I met Mr. Stone. He was the one who brought me to N/H, or else I wouldn’t have had any idea where to find you.”
I observed Mr. White Stone’s expression closely, originally a little worried that the young master’s actions might anger him, but he did not look angry… Well, I could not really tell the eagle’s expression, but if Mr. White Stone was not waving the young master away with his wings, he should not be angry.
“Mr. Stone also said that the non-humans who lured you over didn’t have any malicious intentions. They were just unhappy about the recent circumstances but couldn’t find E.X, and didn’t really want to antagonize the heroes, so they could only take it out on you.”
So, this whole incident was another “accidentally involved” type of occurrence. I could only smile.
The young master patted me on the shoulder and said, “Next time I visit Poseidin, I’ll tell him not to hate you.”
Mr. White Stone laughed resonantly and said, “You misunderstand. Poseidin does not think that at all. He is the non-human most well adjusted to human life. He opened a bar, made many friends, and even became acquainted with many humans, so he actually quite likes your vampire butler.”
Likes me? I phrased it euphemistically, “But, he said that if I stayed in contact with E.X, he would kill me.”
“He’d only actually kill you if you abandoned your friend to live,” Mr. White Stone said, unperturbed. “He was testing you. Oh, and luring your young master over, I’m guessing. You should know why now?”
I smiled wryly and nodded. Poseidin is very infatuated with the young master. If one put it in human terms, he can be called a fangirl? Except he did not chase after the star, but lured the “star” over to his bar instead.
“Seeing as Poseidin has let you out of N/H, he shouldn’t bother you in the future. Since you also passed his test, the non-humans who know him will respect him and shouldn’t bother you, either.”
After that, Mr. White Stone spread his bat-like wings and waved them a few times, as if he were about to leave.
So, that was the case. That is why Mr. White Stone only watched from here instead of stopping me from going to N/H beforehand. I said sincerely, “Thank you very much.”
“No need to thank me. Thank Madam Sadina.”
Mr. White Stone waved his wings powerfully, and his feet left the ground…
The young master called out, then hesitated before asking, “Can I call you Stone-gē? Stone-gē is a boy right?”
Young Master, you address the forty to fifty-year-old Mr. Bramble Bramble-shū, “uncle,” but plan to call an at-least-six-hundred-year-old Mr. White Stone gēge, “big brother”? How are you categorizing your titles?
Mr. White Stone folded his wings and landed back on the ground. He looked at the young master. “I am indeed male, but going by my age, it still wouldn’t be enough even if you add ten ‘greats’ before ’grandfather.’ Even converted into human age, you should call me yéyé, ‘grandfather.’”
“Huh?” The young master paused, but immediately became noticeably excited. “Really? That’s great! I’ve never had a grandfather before! Now I finally have one, Stone-yéyé!”
Young Master, normal people usually only have one yéyé, one paternal grandfather, do they not? No, usual or not, human or not, people only have one paternal grandfather.
Mr. White Stone laughed. “All right. Seeing as you have a pair of wings too, I’ll be your grandfather. So, great-grandchild dear, what did you stop me for?”
The young master showed an unutterably longing gaze and asked, “Stone-yéyé, can you and I fly together some time?”
“Just that?” White Stone laughed again, “You can fly with me right now. Even though the direction is different, we can fly together for a little bit.”
The young master immediately nodded vigorously, ecstatically, but hesitated soon after. He turned and glanced at me, then refused with some regret, “I can’t. Charles can’t fly, so he can’t fly back with us.”
I hurried to say, “Young Master, I can walk home myself…”
The young master suddenly turned to glare at me, so I stopped talking abruptly. He turned back and apologized to Mr. White Stone, “Sorry, Stone-yéyé. I’ll fly with you next time!”
“As long as you don’t come find me during the daytime.”
As Mr. White Stone finished, he spread his wings, took a few steps, and jumped right off the building, then rose again with the air currents. Speaking of that, it was quite strange. His volume was actually really large, but when he flew higher than us, I could not see him anymore. It was as if the night swallowed him whole.
The young master looked at the sky… Perhaps he still wanted to fly with Mr. White Stone? If so, why would he not allow me to walk home alone?
At this time, the young master suddenly reached into his pocket and pulled out the membership card for N/H. He studied the card with his head lowered and asked somewhat hesitantly, “Charles, N/H…means non-human, right? Is it a bar for non-humans?”
“Yes.” As I answered, I realized that the young master was still bothered by whether he was human or not, which was why he was so upset with Poseidin when he handed him this card.
“But, do humans really not go there at all?”
The young master raised his head to look at me, as if he hoped to hear me refute him, but I could not lie to him, so I still answered, “No, not from what I have seen.”
The young master replied with an “oh” and silently put the card back in his pocket.
I could not help but say, “Young Master, seeing as Mr. White Stone knows you are Dark Sun, Poseidin should know as well. Since you used the vampires’ trademark slide step at the plaza last time, he might think you are a vampire…”
“Ha!” The young master laughed out loud and shook his head. “Charles, vampires don’t show up on film. If I were a vampire, how could I be in advertisements?”
Ah… I tried another explanation, “Young Master, perhaps Dark Sun exhibits prowess that surpasses the usual human standards by too much, so people misunderstand.”
“Sure.” The young master smiled and walked past me, then said, “Let’s go. Time to go home.”
I turned around and saw the young master’s back. He always stands up straight and looks very resilient, which is very praiseworthy compared to the typical slouch of nowadays’ youngsters. Yet at the moment, this resilient aura seems incredibly lonely.
“Young Master, you have promised me before that if I told you about Madam Avexila, you would cry when you feel like it without any excuses.”
He paused in his steps. I did not continue either but waited instead.
“I don’t want to cry.”
The young master turned to look at me, and his eyes really were not tearful, but sadness leaked out. He was hesitant, but spoke after all. “I pulled up the security footage in the apartment to find where you went. Even though I couldn’t see you, I could hear you. I heard you talk to Yue Gang on the phone, and, and I heard what Melody said to you.”
What Melody said to me… so that was it!
…It was the massacre that truly turned me into a non-human. You can only understand the difference between humans and non-humans after you have personally done so.
Speaking of which… When our young master flies into a rage, he can really kill humans as if they’re pigs.
“Melody was drunk.” This time, I chose to say what I did not believe. “She did not know what she was talking about.”
The young master shook his head in response. “I don’t blame her. Melody was only speaking the truth. If I went berserk, I could slaughter an entire village the way she did, as if they were pigs… No, if someone killed my brother, I wouldn’t care how many people died. That wouldn’t be important!”
Both spoke of slaughter, but Melody had worn an expression of disgust, while the young master was completely apathetic. The former at least had emotion, at least looked human, but the latter gave me the impression that he was not even alive. However, that was not an unfamiliar look. It is Dark Sun’s look.
Dark Sun always wore a visor, so others rarely saw his expressions. But I saw them often, since I am the one to welcome Dark Sun home when he returns early in the morning.
At first, I often could not recognize the young master when Dark Sun took off his visor.
The kind, lovable young master, compared to the lifeless Dark Sun… There is another one treading the line as well—the young master.
The young master suddenly yelled, and his apathy melted away. He stared wide-eyed at his feet…Yue Gang grabbed the young master’s leg to crawl up as he complained, “Ouch—! My neck is killing me! Eh? Xiǎodì, whatcha doin’ here… where is this? Dang, a rooftop?”
Then he saw me, and the whining turned into shouting, “Charles, why didn’t you come save me? What kind of bro are you?”
“I did not come save you?” I huffed, “What do you think I am doing here? You were left here by someone. Ah Ye and I went through much difficulty to find you.”
Yue Gang paused and scratched his head. “Ah? Is that it? Hahaha! Forget I said anything, forget it. You are a great bro, a great friend! Nothing to pick on! The epitome of, what, taking a gun in the back for a friend!”
I sighed, and corrected him, “It is taking a knife.”
“Knife?” Yue Gang was not convinced at all. “I’m just saying, Charles, but you’re really behind the times! Who still uses knives these days? Of course it’s guns!”
“Yes, yes. If I have any troubles in the future, I will remember to insert two guns into your back, but if you could please remember to avoid buying guns like those rocket cannons again, or else I really would not know how to fit them in your back without you snapping in half.”
“Uh, then maybe it’s better to stick to the knives!”
The young master would not stop laughing upon hearing my conversation with Yue Gang, and the earlier sadness was all but gone. However, I did not think it was a good thing because he was simply burying the emotions deeper and enduring them by himself.
The young master tugged on my sleeve and said with a frown, “Charles…gē! I’m so very, extremely hungry!”
I looked at the sky and was surprised to see dawn breaking in the distance. The young master had spent the night running around to find me, so he probably had not eaten anything yet. He must have been hungry for a while.
Honorable father, I have been behaving worse than a novice butler. I feel ashamed to even pray to you.
“We shall go eat at once!” I hurried to inform the young master, “I shall provide… buy Young… you whatever you want.”
“Charles-gē, you’re the best!” The young master emphasized the word “gē” and tried to control his expression, but the corners of his mouth kept rising.
“Xiǎodì’s hungry?” Yue Gang patted his chest and said, “I’ll treat you to a midnight snack!”
I looked at the sun rising in the distance and corrected him, “More like breakfast? And do you really have money to pay?”
“Don’t worry! Stop blabbering and just follow me!”
Yue Gang walked over to the only door on the roof, pushed the handle down, but couldn’t open it. “Why isn’t it opening?”
I quickly walked over and forced the handle down. The sound of something snapping came from behind the door, but thankfully it was not loud.
“Maybe it was rusty. Let’s go! Ah Ye really looks hungry.”
Yue Gang shrugged and turned to call the young master, “Xiǎodì, we’re going,” before turning to walk through the door. Luckily, this building seemed to be a regular apartment building. If it were a business building, the security system would have sounded as soon as I snapped the handle.
“Okay! I’m coming,” the young master replied. When he walked over to me, he said in a quiet voice, “Charles, don’t tell Melody that I heard what she said. Just pretend nothing happened.”
I replied quietly as well, “Of course, Young Master.”