No Hero Volume 5: Fallen Angel
Original novel in Chinese by: 御我(Yu Wo)
The Angel Falls Chapter Five: Friendly Act; Merciless Deception—translated by clrfction (proofread by Arcedemius & Trespasserby; C/E edited by lucathia)
“Whooooo! Singing is so much fun! Melody, can you accept singing jobs for me?”
…What? You want to be a singer on top of modeling?
Ah Ye, have you forgotten that you still have a role as a hero? You’d be stretching yourself too thin if you’re a singer too!
“Can’t you?” Ah Ye’s head drooped, and he looked terribly disappointed.
Well, yes, of course! You can always count on your double DSII and the amazing ability to only sleep two hours every day, so it’ll work… Ah!
Dammit. Why can’t I deny Ah Ye anything when he makes that face… I wouldn’t even complain if it’s a younger sister, but younger brothers being this cute is cheating!
I think I’m beginning to understand why the Sun Emperor heeds Ah Ye’s every whim.
Thank goodness Luo Lun isn’t this cute, or else I’d be wrapped around his finger. Bless… yet I feel a little like I’m missing out, dammit!
I was in the kitchen preparing ingredients for dinner when Mr. Bramble walked in suddenly. This was truly a rare occurrence because usually only Dell came to the kitchen. He would always want to rush in first to see what there was to eat later.
I was just about to inquire when Mr. Bramble asked bluntly, “Did something happen at the club last night?”
I was a little surprised and answered quickly, “Nothing happened. The mood was great at the club, and the young master had a wonderful time.”
This time it was Mr. Bramble’s turn to look confused. He seemed like he had not expected such an answer, and he asked again dubiously to confirm, “Nothing at all?”
“Yes, nothing at all.” I went on to ask him instead, “Has something happened?”
Mr. Bramble said with a frown, “There was a case last night, so we notified the young master as usual, yet he told us, ‘Tell DSII to go.’”
“Is that a problem?” I was a little lost as I asked, “The young master was having fun for once, so perhaps he did not want to be interrupted. If the case was not too severe, it is not too strange for DSII to go in the young master’s place, is it?”
“It is strange!” Mr. Bramble said while shaking his head, “The young master rarely lets DSII go out as Dark Sun, so DSII usually only does modeling. If something happened in the middle of a shoot, Ji Luo Chu is one of our own anyway, so they would even stop and take care of the case together.”
“The young master insists on being Dark Sun himself?” That is hardly surprising.
Mr. Bramble shook his head. “No, it’s just DSII doesn’t react too well in changeable events, so the decisions he makes can be bad… or good.”
Is there anything wrong with making good decisions? I was confused.
Mr. Bramble explained further, “DSII makes decisions that would benefit Dark Sun the most. For example, in the case where the young master became known as the Grim Reaper, if DSII had been in that situation, he would never have killed the criminal as a threat, because that would be negative for Dark Sun’s reputation.”
So that is the case. Most beneficial for Dark Sun, but not necessarily for the people?
“But nothing happened at all last night. Perhaps the young master was having too much fun.”
“Really? I even called Briar over…” Mr. Bramble muttered to himself, but stopped when he noticed me looking. He cleared his throat and explained, “Her school’s summer tutoring just ended, so I let her come over to play for a few days. She’s in middle school now, so she needs to spend more time on studies, right?”
“Of course,” I replied with a smile, “but Briar is not a child one needs to worry too much about. She is a good child.”
Mr. Bramble retorted as soon as I finished my sentence, “She has a long way to go!” Although he said that, his face was full of pride.
At this time, the doorbell suddenly rang, so I hurried to open the door. A stranger stood outside with a slip and said, “Please sign to receive.”
Is he a delivery man? But I have not ordered anything, and he is not the person who usually delivers blood. Is he mistaken? I hurriedly asked, “May I ask what is being delivered?”
The man looked at me bemusedly and said, “I’m from the instrument emporium, and I’m here to deliver a piano. I’ve also brought a tuner to tune the piano for you.”
Piano? I quickly replied, “Could there be a mistake? I have not ordered a piano.”
“I don’t think so? The person who ordered it is…” he checked the sheet, “An Xiang Ye. Is that correct?”
The young master actually ordered a piano?
“Is there a mistake?” The emporium employee began to get nervous too and fired off a string of questions, “This is the right address, isn’t it? The piano’s already paid for, so it’s not like there’s more money to pay… You’re not going to return it, are you?”
I quickly answered, “No, that is not the case. I was mistaken. Please bring the piano in.”
I had some trouble on deciding where to even put the piano, but fortunately, there was some space in the living room, where the piano could be placed while leaving just enough room for walking. The room just looked a little crowded with the new addition.
The workers peeled away layers of packaging outside before the appearance of the piano was finally revealed. It was black, but a certain glint seemed to shine in the black. It almost looked like a…
“Night Sky,” a worker said proudly. “There are only ninety nine Night Sky pianos in the world. Even our store only managed to procure two. The other one was sold off long ago! If you had visited maybe two days later, you probably would never have seen it. Isn’t it beautiful?”
It is indeed beautiful. I opened the lid and slid my fingers across the keys, and a string of melodic notes bounced off. Even though it did need some tuning, the tone was exceptional. This piano probably cost a pretty penny. Does the young master want to learn how to play the piano?
A worker said, “We will tune the piano now.”
“No need. Do you have the tuning instruments?”
From a large, cardboard box to the side, he hurried to take out two wooden boxes of the same style as the piano, one large and one small, and said, “Yes. Night Sky comes with a complete set of tools for tuning and maintenance. They are all right here, but the tuning process must be left to tuning specialists, and customers who have bought Night Sky receive two free tuning sessions every year for the first two years!”
I smiled and said, “I have a license for tuning pianos.”
Even though the license was procured one hundred years ago and has probably long expired, my technique should still be intact.
The worker from the instrument emporium understood and nodded. “I see. In that case, I won’t take up any more of your time. If there are any problems with the piano, please feel free to call.”
After seeing them out, I turned to see Mr. Bramble standing before the piano. He said, “Briar can play the piano too, so we have one at home. If you know how to tune it, you should tune ours someday!”
“I’ll go back up now to the rooftop.”
“Please take your time.”
After finishing up preparations for dinner, I began to work on tuning the piano. The young master might want to play it after he returns home, so I must tune it as soon as possible. However, I had not done tuning in quite a while, so the steps felt unfamiliar. Fortunately I still remembered the steps clearly, so proceeding step by step did not leave much room for error.
Even though there were many electrical devices that could accelerate the tuning process, I rarely used them. They might tune the pitch more accurately, but there is always something missing…How to put it? According to Sadina, the pianos I tune always produce a heavier tone, and feel warm and steady to play on.
Just like you as a person, always making people feel reassured…You strangely reassuring vampire!
After completing the tuning, I sat down in front of the piano and pressed down on individual keys to confirm the accuracy of the pitch. It sounds about right, so the first rough tuning is complete. A few days later, the wires will loosen a little, and I will tune it again then.
I pressed the keys. Once. Twice. This clear tone is Sadina’s voice, a younger her. I pressed the keys again. Once. Twice. The pitch became lower, just like how Sadina aged from young to old…I placed my hands on the piano, and my fingers flew over the keys. The notes were quick and rushed, pouring out like water.
A rushed prelude ended, the tune slowed down, and I opened my mouth to sing lightly,
“Under the sun, you come to me while smiling brightly,
In the heat, I raise my hand inevitably,
Between the fingers, I see your face clearly,
Tell me please, how can I resist loving thee?
To step forward and touch your face, no matter how the sun may scorch me,
To hold out my hands and feel your pity, time and age reveal our differences,
I part my lips to declare my love, even though I know there is no future.
Between the fingers, I see your face clearly,
Tell me please, how can I resist loving thee?
To step forward into a doomed future, streaks of blood hint at imminent darkness,
To embrace sunshine despite the burning, an unchanging face recounts eternity,
I wished once possessing could deceive sorrow, even though I know there is no future.
Between the fingers, I see your face clearly,
Tell me please, how can I resist loving thee?
Took a step forward then took a step back,
hoping someone could bring you happiness.”
Sadina, were you happy?
After I left, after you finally married him, after you had children…
I turned around. “Sadina? Is that you?” Yet as soon as I said that, I realized it could not possibly be Sadina. Has the young master returned?
The person walked into the living room, but she was a stranger. She was… Right! The drummer from Aurora! She was not wearing her heavy snow kingdom makeup, so I did not recognize her sooner. Fortunately, she had distinct features, with a heart-shaped face and phoenix eyes, giving her a classical feel, so I was able to remember.
She looked straight at me, so I stood up quickly and said with a smile, “Please excuse my nonsense. Is there anything I can help you with?” How did she get in? Did I forget to close the door?
She smiled and said, “If that was nonsense, then I’ll really need to hide and refuse visitors.”
As she was talking, she reached up to her head and pulled, yanking off her head of white hair. It was actually a wig, and her real hair turned out to be the complete opposite: short and black.
“Sorry, the wig was getting itchy.”
I shook my head to indicate that I did not mind, and she asked curiously, “The emotion you’ve put into the song makes me think the lyrics are based off of past experience. Am I right?”
I nodded and asked the more important question, “I am sorry to be blunt, but how did you come in?”
“Ah Ye gave me the keys and told me to come up first. He went to give someone else a ride.”
As she said so, she even shook the keys in her hand. They were indeed the young master’s keys. There was even the key for DSII as a motorcycle, though the young master rarely used it, as DSII would often start himself up before the young master could even insert the key into the ignition.
“He also told me to tell you that there will be a lot of people over for dinner tonight! Poseidynne and Briar are both coming, so he said to please prepare extra food.”
She said all that with a smile, and the smile looked familiar to me for some reason. I could not remember where I might have seen it before though.
“I see. Looks like I have much food to prepare.”
I just hope we do not shock this lady too much. This family’s consumption is not exactly easy to process for normal people. I prayed that Poseidynne’s appetite was not too big. Should I prepare a triple serving or quintic serving for her? I do not know if merpeople have normal appetites… perhaps I should not make fish?
She suddenly asked, “Why not take a step forward? Because you’re a vampire? Everyone knows they exist now, so it’s not that important anymore, right?”
Actually, people in the family then already knew I am a vampire. However, knowing they exist and marrying one are two completely different matters. There were too many factors to consider…
“Mr. Vampire?” She called my attention back.
“It is too late. She has passed away already.” I did not explain further.
She paused, then quickly said, “I’m sorry.” In an effort to change the subject, she introduced, “I’m Lin Ding.”
I asked suspiciously, “‘Ling Ding’ as in gukulingding, solitary suffering?”
She smiled and explained, “‘Lin’ as in forest, ‘Ding’ from the ‘dingdong’ of a bell.”
I did not know what to do after she finished introducing herself. It was about time to start cooking dinner, but I could not let Lin Ding stay in the living room by herself. There were too many temptations, and I simply could not allow a recently acquainted person to be here where everything was worth upwards of one million.
Should I ask Melody to come over? Is she even home?
Fortunately, Aren walked in. He looked at Lin Ding with some surprise and turned to ask me, “Charles-gē, is this your friend?”
“No. She is Aurora’s drummer. Ah Ye brought her over.”
“Mm? Drummer?” Aren asked suspiciously, “Ah Ye brought you? What does he want with you?”
That was decidedly a little blunt to ask, but I would like to know too. Why did the young master buy a piano upon heading out and bring a drummer back? Does he want to form a band?
Lin Ding smiled and explained, “He heard that I wrote all the songs for Aurora, so he wants me to write a song for him.”
“Write a song?” Aren was shocked and muttered, “He really wants to become a singer? Luo Chu-gē will definitely cry… Dammit! I think I want to cry, too.”
Looking at the clock on the wall, I quickly said, “Aren, can you keep Lin Ding company for a bit? I must go cook dinner now.”
Aren shrugged and said, “Sure. I wanted to watch the news here anyway while waiting for dinner. Dell-gē and his bunch should be coming down soon, too.”
I really am running short on time to cook! I told Lin Ding hurriedly, “I must cook now, so please help yourself. You can watch TV, or if you are interested in books, please take whatever you would like to read.”
“Don’t mind me,” Lin Ding said brightly, “though can I use your piano?”
“That’s Ah Ye’s piano.”
Lin Ding uttered a “huh” and said, “But Ah Ye said he bought this piano for you.”
…The young master bought the piano for me? Does he want accompaniment for when he sings? Either way, my priority right now is to cook.
“If that is the case, please use it as you please. I shall go cook now.”
To think I am so busy that I must use x-speed to cook. If X saw me using my powers from becoming an adult vampire like this, he would probably get rid of me in the name of all vampires.
Moving to the living room with x-speed, I brought out black tea and sweets before being able to breathe a sigh of relief. Cooking this meal has been as exciting as fighting a battle.
“Ding Ding said she’s gonna write an entire album of vampire songs for me!”
The young master brought both Briar and Poseidynne over, but he spent the whole evening talking to Lin Ding about songwriting and barely talked to anyone else.
Mr. Bramble, May, Dell, and Aren did not care at all. They ate their food diligently and did not care much for conversation. However, Briar and Poseidynne were here as well, and their motive for coming over was definitely not dinner.
Briar would occasionally send a questioning look to the young master, then bring her attention back to her food to eat, but Poseidynne blatantly showed an unhappy expression.
May and Dell both realized the unnatural situation and kept tabs on the progression of things out of the corner of their eyes. Aren even went as far as to mutter under his breath, “Your first and second wives are both here, yet there you are chatting away with another woman. Such… skill!”
However, the young master noticed nothing at all and kept talking to Lin Ding. Lin Ding did not come across as the oblivious type and should not have not noticed anything, but her eyes lit up whenever she talked about music. Putting the strange atmosphere aside, she did not even notice how unnaturally large the appetites of these people were, or things like how Poseidynne’s hair was beginning to float.
After dinner ended, and after the tables were already cleared, the young master was still only talking to Lin Ding. The table was covered with lyrics and scores, and there was some occasional singing. Sounds like there is some vocal coaching going on. Nevertheless, no matter what they were talking about, as long as they sounded happy, the first wife and the second wife… Um, Briar and Poseidynne, would be extremely displeased, especially when the young master kept calling Lin Ding “Ding Ding.”
The young master has always decided on fiancées casually. He had decided to become engaged with Briar just because he saved her. Now he is having such a good talk with Lin Ding… No wonder Briar and Poseidynne do not look too well.
With everyone giving me meaningful looks, I could only go up to the young master and ask, “Ah Ye, it is getting late. Should we call a car for Miss Lin Ding?”
I should actually ask the young master if he would like to give Lin Ding a ride out of courtesy, but Poseidynne’s eyes are as stormy as the ocean. If I say anything about letting the young master give Lin Ding a ride home, I might be sunk into an ocean somewhere as soon as the young master steps out of the door. Vampires can drown too.
“Hmm? Is it late already?” The young master turned to look at the clock and asked, “It’s only nine?”
“Ah Ye, there might be safety issues if Miss Lin Ding goes home too late.”
If Lin Ding leaves any later, the young master might have safety issues himself. Poseidynne’s true strength is unclear, but she can control water, and that is a troublesome power. If she douses the apartment, no matter how strong the young master is, he would still only have the choice to fly away.
“It’s nine?” Instead, Lin Ding was shocked as she exclaimed, “Oh no! There’s a show at Seaside at ten. I need to go!”
“I will call for a car at once.” I rushed to dial Nitewalker’s number.
The young master nodded too as he said to Lin Ding, “I’ll walk you downstairs, then.”
“It’s okay!” Lin Ding waved him off coolly as she hurriedly stuffed the sheet music on the table into her bag. She said a quick “Thanks for having me” to everyone and sprinted out the door. The young master followed.
However, it seemed like Lin Ding did not leave at once but lingered at the door to talk to the young master. At last, the young master’s voice came from near the door, “I’ll see you tomorrow then, Ding Ding. Bye!”
Hearing this, Poseidynne stood up abruptly, but was stopped by Briar when she grabbed the hem of her clothes. Poseidynne looked down at her, appearing very unhappy, but Briar shook her head. Poseidynne hesitated, but sat down after all.
I began to understand who the first wife was and who the second wife was. Even though this conclusion is quite unreasonable, as the first wife is the older one in most cases, the young master’s case seems to be the complete opposite. The first wife Briar probably is not even as old as the second wife Poseidynne’s age’s end digits.
At this time, the young master walked back in. He did not at all notice Briar and Poseidynne’s foul mood, but said to me, “Charles, Yue Gang’s outside. He said he wants to see you, but wouldn’t come in. Why don’t you go check it out?”
I paused and quickly replied, “of course,” then proceeded to walk to the door, but unexpectedly, Yue Gang was not standing by the door. Instead, he was standing a distance away near the elevator.
I walked over as I said, “Yue Gang? Can I help you with anything?”
“You jerk!” Yue Gang rushed up without any more words, and just as I was confused, he punched me out of nowhere. The punch was actually very slow to me, perfectly avoidable… had I not frozen.
I took the punch solidly, but the shock was much greater than the pain…Yue Gang actually punched me?
He shook his hand as he swore, “Damn, vampires have hard faces!”
I paused, and before I could say anything, Yue Gang was yelling already, “That’s right! I know you’re a vampire. How dare you fucking lie to me!”
That’s right, I was revealed to be a vampire at the filming studio, yet I had forgotten that the news would eventually reach Yue Gang. I was silent for a while, yet I could not come up with anything. I could only say, “I am sorry.”
Yue Gang humphed coldly and growled, “You’d better not create any problems. I’ll arrest you just the same if you do!”
With that, he turned and left with no hesitation, as if he did not want to hear any explanation. And the truth was, I did not have anything to explain. The lie had been exposed, and that was all there was to it, so I did not say anything to stop him, except, “Yue Gang, do not buy too many weapons in the future.”
In the future, he will likely not borrow money from me anymore, so he had better not be too poor to buy food and even annoy his father into not giving him food.
Yue Gang’s footsteps paused. Then, he walked into the elevator.
Staring at the closed elevator doors, I regretted losing this friend. But there is no surprise here. The outcome was determined the moment I lied to him.
I turned to walk back home, but did not expect to hear furious yelling as soon as I stepped in.
“You jerk! Have you forgotten what you have promised me? I can wait for you to be single again, but I won’t allow anyone else! You can only be with Briar-mèimei before you get together with me!”
The person yelling was Poseidynne. She bellowed at the young master lividly while Briar hung onto her hands with all her might, looking like she wanted to tell Poseidynne to stop, yet she had tears glistening in her own eyes.
The young master had a bright red palm print on his face. Poseidynne obviously hit much harder than Yue Gang, but the young master only touched his face stupefied and asked confusedly, “Why did you hit me?”
Hearing this, Poseidynne glared at the young master angrily and screamed, “Don’t play dumb! Where did that Lin Ding come from?”
Everyone, including Briar’s father Mr. Bramble, lowered their heads. The one reading the paper kept reading, and the ones watching the news kept watching. The one who could not find anything to do could only pretend to exercise.
“Ding Ding?” The young master admitted very honestly, “I met Ding Ding at a club…”
“A CLUB?!” Poseidynne sounded even angrier. Her roar sounded even scarier than the Hollow Roar of vampires. It was as if the sentences were echoing in a valley. “Ding Ding? Ding my foot! Don’t you DARE go hang out with her again!”
“I can’t do that!” The young master’s eyes widened as he said, “I need her to write songs for me!”
Hearing a refusal, Poseidynne’s anger flared… No, it flooded. I heard explosions and ensuing sounds of gushing water in both the kitchen and bathroom. It appears that we will need a plumber.
“Poseidynne! Don’t be like this!” Briar held onto Poseidynne tightly for dear life.
Poseidynne spat the syllables out one by one, “An. Xiang. Ye. Are you really going to meet her again?”
The young master did not appear to give it much thought and nodded.
Poseidynne humphed loudly, grabbed Briar, and said, “Briar, let’s go.” Then she really turned to leave, slamming the door behind her.
“Young Master, do you not need to follow after her… them?” I glanced at Mr. Bramble, but he showed no reaction, as if his daughter had not been taken away by an angry merperson, just by an auntie for a walk.
“Follow?” The young master blanked for a second, then yelled angrily all of a sudden, “No! Why did Poseidynne hit me for no reason?”
Aren muttered, “I wouldn’t really call that for no reason? Ah Ye, you really have been kinda weird lately. Get your dad to come give you a check-up!”
I have had the same sneaking notion. As a matter of fact, the others should have noticed too, but no one could bring it up to the young master, since we are after all his employees. The young master has also not done anything terribly out of ordinary either.
He just goes to clubs, slacks off on his hero duties, wants to be a singer, and has a good time chatting with other females. None of these seem extraordinarily serious, just, like Aren said, “kinda weird.”
Fortunately, we still have Aren to bring up the suggestion, but will the young master listen?
Surprisingly, the young master only replied confusingly, “Have I really been acting weird?”
Aren answered with no hesitation, “You’ve been weird.”
“Well then. Charles, call Bàba for me.” The young master finished, then mumbled to himself worryingly, “Don’t tell me it’s something that strange prisoner from that other time did…”
The young master was troubled about that himself, too? I quickly responded, “Of course,” and dialed Mr. An Te Qi’s number… and that of the plumber.
The water had flooded out here to the living room.