No Hero Volume 5: Fallen Angel
Original novel in Chinese by: 御我(Yu Wo)
Prologue—translated by Ever (proofread by Lala Su & Arcedemius; C/E edited by lucathia)
I pulled the curtains of the French windows open. As the sunlight spilled in, I noticed that the curtains seem to have been changed. Where they had originally been silver-white, now they were purple. Could Melody have bought these curtains?
I had returned here just last night. Though the number of people living here had not changed, there were some slight changes in everyone. Mr. Bramble seemed to have more white hair; May had changed his hairstyle; Dell pierced three holes in his left ear and even wore earrings that glowed and changed colors, claiming it to be the latest fashion.
The changes in everyone reminded me that a whole year had truly passed, and that the young master’s lifestyle seemed to have changed drastically during that time.
I must admit that this really made me feel worried and uneasy. A fitting butler should always know his master’s schedule and lifestyle in order to serve him well, but I had been gone for a whole year. I could not help but worry about not being attentive enough in my service.
“Yes! Young Master.”
On hearing the young master’s call, I turned around hastily. The young master stood in front of me, wearing a sports outfit. He looked like he was about to go exercising. I felt slightly relieved since it seemed that the young master’s usual routine of going exercising in the morning had not changed, although the sports outfit he wore was a different one, and even its style was different. The young master used to wear plainer exercising outfits, but the one he wore now was obviously a designer outfit, and it even had X-Killer’s logo on it.
The young master held a hair ribbon in his left hand and a comb in his right. He extended both hands to me and said, “Charles, tie my hair up for me.”
“As you wish.” I hurriedly took the hair accessory and comb from his hands and walked behind him to do his hair.
In the past, the young master had never tied his hair up. However, he only had shoulder-length hair at that time, while his hair was now long enough to reach his waist, so it would be inconvenient for him to move around with loose hair. I considered my options and braided the young master’s hair into a sturdy braid. This way, it would be easier for him to move around and he would not be troubled by floating strands of hair.
I looked at the braid after making a bow with the ribbon, and then suddenly realized that a braid and bow did not suit the young master… Actually, it was not that they did not suit him. It was just that they made him appear even more like a girl.
Just then, the young master took out a pair of huge purple sunglasses and put them on. The sunglasses covered up half of his face, and the design seemed to be a more feminine design, making the young master look just like an athletic girl. Could it be that Melody also bought these feminine sunglasses?
I hurriedly said, “Young Master, this hairstyle seems a bit too feminine. Would you allow me try another kind of hairstyle for you?”
Yet the young master reached out his hand and touched the braid, and then said in satisfaction, “It’s okay. Tying it into a braid is convenient. There’s no need to retie it, and it’s also nice to be mistaken for a girl! That way, people won’t recognize me as easily.”
Recognize? I was a bit puzzled, but things were fine as long as the young master was satisfied with his hairstyle.
“Excuse me, Young Master, is there any kind of breakfast that you would particularly like to eat today?”
The young master immediately said, “The same as always is fine. I really miss the breakfasts that you make! Aren only makes fried rice every morning for everyone’s breakfast. He says that since I have a large appetite and that the others are also eating, making fried rice is the most convenient option. All he has to do is put a bunch of rice, meat, and vegetables in a pan and stir-fry them… Oh! Right.”
After he gave a yelp, the young master said with a pained face, “Charles, I don’t want to eat fried rice!”
“Yes, there definitely will be no fried rice,” I replied with a smile.
The young master was very satisfied and went exercising. He looked like he was looking forward to eating breakfast.
Therefore, as soon as he left, I immediately went into the kitchen to prepare breakfast. Today, I will make the six kinds of breakfast that the young master likes the most.
As I was busy washing the vegetables, stir-frying the meat, and making soup, a “Huh?” sound came from the doorway.
Turning my head, I saw a tall, young man standing in the doorway of the kitchen with a blank look on his face.
I smiled and said, “Good morning, Aren.”
This tall, young man was Aren. He still lived in the apartment next door. The young master had said last night that during the past year, it was Aren who cooked their meals and made everyone clean the house, which was why the apartment had not gotten so dirty that no one could live in it.
Last night, when I saw Aren for the first time, I could not recognize him at all. I think he has grown at least twenty centimeters and is about a hundred and ninety centimeters tall now. Standing in the doorway of the kitchen, his head almost hit the doorframe.
Growing twenty centimeters in a year, according to Mr. An Te Qi, was because the drug that suppresses the craziness of a werewolf has the side effect of changing one’s body. I heard that aside from the height change, there were also other side effects such as having great strength even without transforming… This made me deeply suspect whether this was truly a “side effect” and not the “main effect.”
Perhaps Mr. An Te Qi still secretly used experimental drugs on Aren?
Aren had gone blank for a moment and only now returned to his senses, saying, “Oh, it’s Charles-gē. I almost forgot that you’re back.”
“Thank you for your hard work substituting for me this year.”
He scratched his head and said, “It wasn’t much. Since I live here but don’t pay rent, I feel like I have to do something in return. And I only know how to make fried rice, noodle soup, and hot pot. Even I can’t bear to eat them any longer. Though I’ve thought of making other things, they all turned out really bad… but the meals that Dell and May make taste even worse! Melody-jiě can’t even distinguish dish soap from canola oil! It’s so great that you’re back, Charles-dàgē!”
I smiled. I could tell that Aren was truly happy to have me back. This eased up a lot of my worried and uneasy feelings from before. With a light heart, I washed the vegetables as I spoke to him, saying, “Wait just a bit more and breakfast will be ready.”
Aren asked, “Do you need help? Nah, I think I’ll only make things busier for you. A lot of ingredients look unfamiliar to me… Is that jar of red stuff chili?”
I shook my head and said, “No, that’s saffron.”
“Saffron?” Aren said with a confused expression, “I’ll be out there watching TV.”
I walked out to the living room to set the table and saw that Dell was lying on the sofa like he always did; May was doing yoga, and this time, he had both feet up around his neck, which looked like an even more uncomfortable position than the ones he did before; Mr. Bramble was buried in his newspaper like always, only lifting his head up to spare me a look when I approached the dining table; Aren was seated beside the dining table, randomly pressing the remote, changing between the various TV programs.
Right when I set down the first plate onto the table, both Dell and May turned at the same time to look at me, and then both of them froze together.
I hurriedly asked, “Is something wrong?”
“Ah!” Dell suddenly jumped up from the sofa, screaming, “I almost forgot! The butler’s back! We finally don’t have to eat fried rice today!”
Even though I can understand Dell’s excitement, with Aren sitting right there, is it not rather rude to say that?
Aren turned his head and glared at Dell, saying coldly, “Having something to eat is already good enough, yet you dare to complain?”
But Dell cried out arrogantly, “I’m not afraid of you anymore! You always threatened me before with: if you don’t want to eat, then don’t! But now the butler’s cooking! I’m not afraid of you!”
Aren scoffed but did not pay any more attention to Dell. His eyes had gone back to the TV again.
“Young Master, Young Master come back quickly!” Dell cried out loudly, “I want breakfast, breakfast made by the butler! Hey butler, you did make some more today, didn’t you? I wanna eat double… no, triple the usual amount!”
“You can eat as much as you want. If there is not enough, I can always go back to the kitchen to make some more,” I told Dell with a smile. Then, I turned my head around to ask May, “Will you be eating the usual boiled vegetables, fruit, and poached egg today?”
May immediately shook his head and said, “I’ll have the same breakfast as everyone else.”
I was a bit surprised but still nodded and said, “Of course.”
With a “Ha,” Dell said, “After eating a whole year of fried rice, even someone like May who eats grass for food can’t stand it anymore!”
“Who eats grass?” May said in a cross tone, “It’s healthy eating!”
Dell looked like he still wanted to argue, but just then, an “I’m back” came from the doorway. This made everyone blank out for a moment before looking toward the front door, and in came the young master… The young master is actually back already?
Whenever the young master returns, I should always greet him at the doorway. Could it be that I miscalculated the time? I hurriedly set down the bowls and chopsticks and walked hastily toward the doorway. As I gave the young master the towel that was draped over my arm, I apologized to him, saying, “Young Master, I am very sorry that Charles did not greet you at the doorway.”
“Charles, don’t feel nervous! It’s because I came back early,” the young master said in a small tone as if feeling guilty, “because I was in a hurry to eat breakfast… Charles, what did you make?”
I immediately replied, “Beef flavored pepper pastry, boiled udon, sandwiches, fried chicken nuggets, barbecued pork buns, and fried salmon rice balls. There are also fries and mashed potatoes as side dishes, and the dessert is banana-chocolate mini tarts.”
The usual breakfasts actually did not have side dishes and desserts to go with them. However, since it was the first meal that I had made after being separated for a year, I could not refrain myself from making some more of the foods that the young master likes.
The young master said “Oh, oh” and both of his eyes shone with delight. The others were the same. Even Mr. Bramble put down the newspaper in his hands, and Dell even made a gesture as if he were about to faint. Everyone looked like they had not had breakfast in a year.
The young master could not help himself from saying, “Let’s eat first! I’ll shower later.”
Due to the young master’s early return and his decision to eat before taking a shower, the preparation time was reduced, and I was a bit rushed when it came to serving the dishes. But it was fortunate that the kinds of foods served today were very diverse, so I could take some pre-made dishes and serve them as appetizers at the last minute. This way, I would have enough time to prepare the foods that needed to be cooked.
Unexpectedly, even though I had made a lot more food than the usual amount, there still was not enough for everyone, so I had to re-enter the kitchen many times. It was only until very few ingredients were left in the refrigerator, and I had started to worry about not being able to serve any more dishes, that everyone put their hands on their stomachs and said that they were full.
The young master had eaten ten servings; Dell had eaten three servings; Mr. Bramble and May had both eaten two servings; but Aren had eaten twelve servings all alone!
Perhaps I should buy another refrigerator. The refrigerator right now might not even be able to hold a day’s worth of ingredients, and I needed to prepare extra ingredients in case the young master wanted to eat after a lot of exercising.
Even though they were holding their stomachs and saying that they were full, when I presented the banana-chocolate mini tarts and various kinds of drinks, they still fought over the food as if their lives were on the line, like they would not get any of it if they were one step slower. However, I had made eighty mini tarts, so everyone should be able to get more than ten with no need to fight over them… Uh! If everyone continued to eliminate one mini tart every three seconds, then maybe they would have to fight for them.
Should I use the rest of the ingredients to make one or two more dishes?
I was a bit hesitant about the idea, seeing that they were all full but still continued to fight over the food… Just then, a ringing sound came from the pocket in front of my chest. After picking up the call, Melody’s voice came in, “Hey butler, remember this, the young master’s only appointment today is to record at the studio at one in the afternoon, and that’s it. You accompany the young master to work! I’m going to sleep.”
Record at the studio?
“Please wait for a bit…” Though I wanted to ask questions, there was only a beeping sound left over the phone, so I had to put the phone away reluctantly and report back to the young master without leaving anything out.
The young master stopped fighting for the mini tarts and exclaimed, “We’re going recording today?”
I asked confusedly, “But Young Master, are you not a model? Why do you have to go recording?”
The young master answered happily, “Oh! Because an advertisement needed background music, First Wind-gē asked me if I wanted to sing the song myself. I said that I wanted to sing the song ‘Vampire’! And so Melody bought the rights to the song for me.”
After he finished, he “Ahhed” and then hurriedly said, “Oh yeah, Charles, you don’t know this yet, right? Melody is my manager right now.”
Melody as the young master’s manager? I said in concern, “Young Master, letting a vampire make contacts for your work might be bad for your reputation. Even though most people cannot recognize vampires, there are still a lot of people who have the ability to do so.”
Dell said loudly, “Make what contacts? Isn’t Melody in charge of turning down work?”
Turning down work? I was a little confused. A manager’s job should be acquiring job requests and not turning them down, right?
“Charles, can you go to the recording with me?” The young master said hesitantly, “I know that morning is your resting time, but this is my first time going recording…”
“No problem,” I answered immediately and then said in a playful tone, “Young Master, I have slept for a whole year! It would be difficult for me to fall asleep for several more days.”
The young master laughed aloud.
I suggested, “Young Master, there is still some time left before one P.M. Would you like to practice in front of us first?”
On hearing that, the young master immediately turned a bit nervous.
Dell was ranting loudly and even whistled from time to time, making May tell him to “stop being so noisy,” but it was exactly that silly behavior of his that made the young master relax.
I hurriedly poured a cup of warm water and said, “Young Master, drink some water to soothe your throat first.”
The young master took the cup and had two or three sips. When he handed the cup back to me, he realized that everyone was staring at him, which made him feel nervous again.
“Young Master,” I called out. When the young master turned to look at me, I smiled and said, “This reminds me of the first time the young master went to karaoke. Young Master sang Vampire about ten times that night, correct? You really like this song!”
“Yup,” he said and nodded his head eagerly.
“May Charles discourteously ask the young master to sing for me again?”
The young master looked at me, and I also looked back at him with a smile. The smile seemed to put him at ease because he could then even smile and say, “Sure! Then I’ll start singing?”
I smiled and nodded my head.
The young master took a deep breath and opened his mouth, singing out in a clear voice:
The ancient clock chimes twelve times
A shabby coffin lid opens
The charming sunlight of day
has been slain by the black shroud
Night is only the haunt of darkness gone mad
Just sleep tight
No blood-sucking monsters wander in daylight
Vampires stalk the streets; Strangers don’t come near; Fresh blood is my favorite drink
Don’t cry Hallelujah; God’s on vacation; Maria is also asleep
I coolly fling my cape aside; Bare my fangs at you; Don’t struggle, I’ll be gentle
When you meet vampires, hurry and scream
God Bless You!