No Hero Volume 6: Heaven or Hell
Original Novel written by: 御我 (Yu Wo)
Heaven or Hell, Sixth Level: Television, the Overlooked Truth—translated by Ever (proofread by Trespasserby & Lala Su; C/E edited by Lucathia)
“Solitary Butterfly, Dark Sun finally finished repairing your legs.”
Finally? The spare ones really aren’t as powerful. Is your whip also finished?”
“Not only is it finished, it’s fantastic! Its energy efficiency increased greatly, its destructive power is greater and its battery life also increased significantly. The most unbelievable thing is that not only is it a whip, but it can also switch modes into a sword or dagger and can even fire bullets and be used as an energy gun! I don’t even know if it counts as a whip anymore, haha!”
Give me my legs first.
“Oh, oh! By the way, Dark Sun also wrote you an instruction manual.”
They’re my legs and yet I need to read an instruction manual he wrote?
“Of course! Look at my whip. If it weren’t for the instructions, I wouldn’t even know that there were so many added features!”
Oh well, just bring me everything there is!
“Hurry up, tell me what features were added to your legs.”
Hmm… Both thighs can be opened by pressing the silver decorative button. The left thigh contains grenades and the right leg has flash bangs; the knees can fire energy bullets; the sides of the calves and the toe tips all have extendable blades; the feet have wheels that can be extended when needed for gliding with a max gliding speed of sixty kilometers per hour.
“Wow, your legs are as good as cars now.”
“Are you satisfied with them?”
“Do you like them?”
“Just what do you think?”
I’m satisfied and I like them! I’m running out of time so I’ll be going first.
“Do you know the difference between man and man?”
I looked at Lieder in confusion and said hesitantly, “There are many differences. I am not sure of which you are referring to.”
“I study anthropology, which focuses on studying the differences between humans. Do you know what my conclusion is?” Lieder said as he waved a fork around. I shook my head and he smiled and said, “My conclusion is—there’s no difference at all!”
“Is that so?” I replied as my gaze drifted downwards. He gave me a confused look and shifted his gaze down too, and our eyes both focused on his plate. I said, “There is also no difference between your lunch from earlier when it was carried over and now.”
I shook my head and continued, “You must eat your three meals normally in order to benefit your body.”
“As a vampire, can you not care about my health so much?” Lieder said as if he were amused, “It feels very peculiar since I have no family, and therefore no one who cares about my health. In contrast, a vampire whom I’ve just met recently worries about my health. This feels very odd indeed.”
“My apologies, I may have developed a habit,” I replied embarrassedly. “Someone at home also forgets to eat, so I have to remind him quite often.”
On some level, Mr. An Te Qi and Lieder act alike. The only difference is that Mr. An Te Qi does not really like to lecture someone and would rather give them a scalpel right away, while Lieder is very enthusiastic about lecturing and even forgets his food when he starts talking.
Lieder looked at me and laughed, “I mean, I get it. Do you have class this afternoon?”
“I have two classes.”
“Where do you plan on going afterwards?” Lieder asked and then added, “It’s not every day that I get to chat with a vampire. You don’t mind me asking this much, do you?”
I shook my head as I laughed, “Of course not, having someone I know at school makes me feel much more reassured. After attending my classes, I am going to the market.”
“Huh?” Lieder stopped and then said understandingly, “Oh, you mean the human blood market?”
“No, I meant the market that sells poultry and vegetables.”
“… Has anyone ever told you that you don’t act much like a vampire?”
“I hear that quite often,” I admitted honestly.
“Haha… Excuse me,” Lieder said when his cell phone suddenly rang. After having excused himself, he answered the call right where he was.
I lowered my head as I drank blood, acting as if I did not care, but it was still not possible to keep their conversation away from my ears.
“Oh? It succeeded? How many? Two? A bit worse than what I’d imagined. I thought that there would be at least three… Mmhmm, that’s fine. Buy the necessary stuff and transfer the rest of the funding to the place we agreed to.”
After finishing that conversation, Lieder ended the call and said with a smile, “There seems to be some hits and misses in my investment! Some succeeded and some failed, but at least I still profited a lot in the end.”
“Really? What did you invest in?”
I replied in astonishment, “Banks? That sounds like a very large investment.” It does not sound like something a professor would invest in, but come to think of it, Lieder is also a part-time assassin, and assassins are usually quite rich?
Lieder smiled and said, “It’s not too big. It did take some money to start off, but the payoff is quite good.”
“Is that so?”
Suddenly, Lieder’s expression froze as if something had caught his attention. I spaced out for a bit and then followed his gaze to discover that he was watching the televised news.
It was evident that the camera had to zoom in to shoot the scene since the picture was very blurry. The video showed a group of people in black suits. Only the blond man at the center of the group was wearing a long, dark-colored windbreaker. The group walked very quickly, and the blond man glanced at the camera with irritation as they passed by.
To be frank, the video was not very clear. It was only a bit better than the blurry videos from security cameras. But the two large news headings and the fact that I had seen this blond man before made him easy to recognize. He was the Sun Emperor.
The Sun Emperor rarely appeared on the news. There were not even many secret photos of him, not to mention interviews. It was surprising that the media could record such a video. Though it was only for an instant, that instant was already a very rare occurrence.
“Ri Xiang Yan…” Lieder suddenly turned to me and asked, “What is your opinion on Ri Xiang Yan?”
“My opinion?” I was caught off guard and did not know how to answer him, so I gave him an ambiguous reply, “I do not have a specific opinion, since the Sun Emperor seems too distant for a commoner.”
“True,” Lieder said with a vague smile, “but do you see yourself as a commoner?”
“Even for vampires, the Sun Emperor is still very distant.” I mean, for vampires aside from me.
“You’re right, Ri Xiang Yan is practically the only emperor in the world.” Lieder said emotionlessly, “Though monarchy has vanished for a long time, is it really gone?”
I was caught off guard, confused about how the topic suddenly changed to monarchy.
Lieder then said in a mocking tone, “Or maybe it’s just that the name changed but it has continued to exist, so that the people in slavery won’t think that they’re slaves? How different are those business heads from ancient emperors?”
Were I not the young master’s butler, I might have discussed this topic in further depth with Lieder. But since I served the young master, then it would be inappropriate of me to discuss the master, so I answered, “Even if the Sun Emperor really were an emperor, how would that affect the common masses?”
“That’s the brilliant thing!” Lieder threw something with great force and said, “No one thinks that that has anything to do with them, and no one cares about it! But do you know how many businesses the Sun Alliance has?”
I lowered my head to look at the item that was cast on the table and realized that it was a fountain pen. “Um, many, but I do not know exactly how many… Lieder, throwing this fountain pen around does not seem like a good idea?”
“Don’t worry, this pen is made of stainless steel. It’s my smashing pen.”
Is, is that so?
“Walking down a street, half of the shops that people walk past belong to the Sun Alliance or partner companies, and they have no idea! They’re ignorant to the fact that Ri Xiang Yan can cause inflation whenever he wants to. No one can say a thing even if he raised the prices of everyday necessities, because a lot of industries have been monopolized by him.
“Life or death, eat or starve, everything has fallen into the hands of this guy. You still think he’s not an emperor? Ya think people aren’t ignorant of their slavery? People even call him the Sun Emperor. They won’t call him by his name!”
I did not think that Lieder would have such a strong opinion on the Sun Emperor. This made me quite worried, but I could not pinpoint why I was worried. Even though Lieder is a part-time assassin, he would not be able to assassinate the Sun Emperor, would he?
I frowned at Lieder, wondering what kind of advice I could offer him, but he smiled and reminded me with a carefree attitude, “The bell’s about to ring. Given your personality, you’re not the type who likes to be late for class, right?”
I lowered my head to check my watch. It really was time for class, so I hurriedly said, “Excuse me, I have to go.”
I stopped in the middle of my hurried tracks and turned around to check on Lieder. He was eating his food, and when he saw me, he forked up a big portion of food and put it into his mouth, as if telling me that he was eating his food like a good boy.
I smiled at him before hurrying to class.
Maybe I was worrying too much. Many people become passionate when they are discussing a social or political topic. Lieder should be one of them. There is nothing special about this, nor is there anything that I should worry about.
I scurried into the classroom just as the bell rang. The classroom was very quiet. Well, students in the faculty of medicine do study hard… No! They are looking at me! The entire class is looking at me!
I looked at the classroom full of students, stumped, thinking, What is going on here?
“It really is him!” A student gasped.
Some people were looking at the TVs that were hanging from the walls of the classroom, so I turned my head toward them. The news was on and there really was not much to show since there was only a hospital wall and some reporters.
“I saw you on the news last night and you were still visible then! And then you disappeared today. That’s so weird. According to my theory, vampires might emit some kind of electromagnetic radiation that stops an image from being recorded on film…”
“That was so cool! You walked onto a wall just like that, totally defying gravity!”
A lot more people asked out of concern, “The Angel is still alive, right? The manager didn’t lie, did she? Is his life in danger? How severe is his coma?”
I nodded and said, “Yes, his life is not in danger and he has regained consciousness, though he has many wounds and needs to rest for a while. He is fine.”
“Great!” The students cheered in joy, “That’s the Angel who graduated from combat. If he didn’t grab onto a whole lot of stuff to slow down his fall, he would have really died!”
I was glad to see how happy they were. The young master really did have many fans who cared for him.
“Student, go take a seat.”
I was caught off guard. Turning around, I saw a young man standing behind me. He was wearing a black leather coat and high black boots. His expression was cold, and he had an earring that had a faint, white glow on his left ear. He looked like one of the young people on the streets, but if I was not wrong, all the books he held in his hand were professional medical books.
He is making me sit down? Is he the professor? He looks too young to be one, even younger than Lieder, and even, even more like an assassin than Lieder.
“Yes,” I replied hurriedly and rushed to find a seat.
The classmate sitting beside me asked me in a low voice, “Do you know who this professor is?”
I shook my head as I took out my textbook.
“Ni Cai! The doctor that was awarded for his thesis on modifying brains!” The classmate said excitedly, “The school specially hired him. I heard that if it weren’t for an anthropology prof who knew him and especially asked him to, he would never have come!”
Anthropology… Could it be Lieder? So he knows Ni Cai. Well, he did say that if the professor would not let me into his class, then he would help me out. So it was because he knew the professor.
“Oh yeah, why are you starting from third year?” The classmate on my other side asked confusedly.
That made me a bit nervous. Should I say that I have taken first and second year courses?
He started talking before I could reply, “First and second years all feel horrible! They know that you’re a third year and that you’re taking classes that they can’t take yet so they’re almost crying.”
Crying? I asked in surprise, “Why?”
“Oh!” The classmate laughed. “A lot of reasons! Some like the Angel, some are into vampires, and some people became your fans after watching the news, like my assigned junior! You should become a celebrity like your brother!”
I smiled slightly, not feeling odd about it. Falling for vampires was not uncommon.
“My junior said that if I don’t get her an autograph, she won’t speak with me anymore. So lend me a hand?”
My classmate said very earnestly and even took out a very formal autograph board and signing pen.
“… My brother’s autograph?”
I was speechless. I could only take the pen and sign my name. Well, I of course left out my surname.
“Thanks! She actually wanted an autographed photo, but the cameras can’t capture you. I even made fun of her…” The classmate put away the board and started writing something on a piece of note paper, saying, “Here’s my number. Feel free to call me if you have any questions!”
After receiving the piece of paper and hearing the three words: “have any questions,” I immediately remembered that I did have a lot of questions, so I hurriedly asked, “Have you taken a dissecting class?”
“Yep.” The classmate nodded and said quietly, “I’ve seen it a lot of times! Because my family owns a hospital, so I help out sometimes… Cough! You know! But it really isn’t just me saying this, my skills totally match up to my father!”
“Can I call you, sir, when I have questions about dissecting?” I asked earnestly and saved the number into my phone immediately. Perhaps I will have to call this classmate tonight, asking him questions while I dissect.
“… Sure,” The classmate said helplessly, “But can you leave out the ‘sir?’ You’re scaring me!”
I apologized and he laughed, introducing himself, “I’m Shuu Kahl, just call me Ah Shuu.”
“Then, please call me Charles as well.”
As soon as we finished introducing ourselves, he averted his gaze and stopped looking at me. Just when I started to feel confused, he reminded me in a low voice without turning around, “Charles, look at the blackboard. The prof is glaring at us.”
Hearing that, I hurriedly looked toward the blackboard. Professor Ni Cai was in fact glaring at us. Actually, the glare was more like a few cold glances in our direction, but those glances were so cold that I felt like I was in an underground freezer, as if my heart were frozen by one single glance. Compared to Lieder, I felt Professor Ni Cai was more suited to be an assassin.
I did not know what to do under the professor’s gaze. Fortunately, his gaze only swept across us a few times before he started the lecture, and he did not pay any particular attention to me during class, allowing me to sigh in relief.
Professor Ni Cai had started talking about the structure of the human body. I appreciated this greatly as I felt that I could go home today with more courage to face Mr. An Te Qi’s practical lab class.
“Weird… Didn’t the prof already start on brain structures?” Ash frowned and then muttered to himself, “Midterm’s coming up, so maybe he’s reviewing!”
Hearing this, I hurriedly turned around to ask him, “When is the midterm?”
“In two weeks… Umm, I can lend you my notes, so don’t look like the sky’s gonna fall…”
The midterm is in two weeks, yet I need to practice operating under Mr. An Te Qi’s supervision every night, and I also have to serve the young master… Fortunately, we live in a hospital right now so not much cleaning is required, and we cannot cook in the hospital so Dell and May are in charge of buying food. This must be the silver lining amidst all this misfortune.
“Oh, and Professor Ni Cai is really strict. He said that he’ll only test us on reasonable stuff, so those who fail the midterm won’t have to come to class anymore… But, but you just joined this class so he might go easy on you? I mean might. Prof Ni Cai really is very strict!”
Just what should I do about the midterm? I worried as I stared out the car window.
“After applying the discount, that will be a total of a hundred and sixty-seven yuan saved. Thank you for your patronage.” Nitewalker’s toneless voice came from the front seat.
“Please, wait for me here. I will be back very soon.”
I exited the car and was a bit worried about how the merchants would react when they saw me, but I had to pick up the chicken I ordered since Li Qi had already chopped them for me. I could not let him take the loss.
No one in the market noticed me at first as I walked over to Li Qi’s stall, but as I walked further into the market, people started noticing me and even started to follow me.
I was bewildered and turned my head to check what was happening. The housewives all stopped in their tracks and then scattered in a hurry, pretending they were shopping. Seeing this, I turned around and kept on walking until I reached Li Qi’s chicken stall and said, “Li Qi, I am here to pick up the chicken.”
Li Qi lifted his head and stared at me with a blank expression. He said after a few moments, “Charles, my wife and I saw you on TV.”
“That many people watched the live news?” I asked in astonishment.
“A lot!” Li Qi immediately said with a nod of his head. “Do you know how many people care about the Angel? Everyone was waiting in front of the television, waiting to see how things would turn out, so of course they’d see you! Charles, is your brother really okay? The media says that he didn’t die and his wounds weren’t deadly… But you know the media, they’d make a great impression if half of what they said were true!”
I chuckled. “Please, do not worry, Ah Ye is really all right. If he were not, I would not be here casually picking up chicken meat, would I?”
Li Qi said with difficulty, “I sold your chicken for half the price! I was afraid that it was going to go bad and your brother got into that accident, so I thought that you wouldn’t have the time to pick it up.”
Hearing this, I hurriedly said, “That was a very wise decision. Please, let me pay for the half of the price you lost…”
“What the hell are you talking about?” Li Qi raised his voice awkwardly, “You saved my life! I should be the one paying you! If my wife found out that I actually took your money, then she’d definitely run off with the child in her belly! Also, my wife said that I should give you half price from now on whenever you come, or else she’s going to divorce me!”
Half price! And it is from here on out!
“Charles, are you really a vampire?” Li Qi asked, scratching his face. “I’ve heard a lot of stories about vampires, but I’ve never heard any about a vampire whose eyes would shine just by hearing that he could buy chicken at half price!”
I said with a smile, “I have already shown you my vampire form, and you still doubt that?”
“Hm?” Li Qi stopped for a split second and then said, as if everything suddenly became clear to him, “You mean that growl that you did? It’s pretty unique, but that’s what a vampire looks like?”
Pretty unique… I am not quite sure how to respond to that.
“By the way, my wife told me to ask you for an autograph, or else…”
“She will divorce you?”
“Yes!” Li Qi pulled out a board from his stall and said, “For the sake of my happy marriage, please autograph this thing!”
Because Ah Shuu had already asked me for one, it was not my first time and I knew exactly what to do. After signing my name and giving the board back to Li Qi, he pointed at something behind me.
I turned my head and jumped at the sight of tens of housewives looking at me hopefully. They were all either holding pens and paper or were looking for pens and paper. I hurriedly said, “Excuse me, but I should go!”
If I continued signing then there would probably be no end to it. I really cannot sign…
Behind me, Li Qi yelled loudly, “Hey hey, why should he give an autograph if there aren’t any discounts?”
Then, a set of pen and paper was given to me and a vendor told me with a very earnest expression, saying, “Thirty percent off your fish.”
After a moment of silence, I took the pen and paper…
“Thirty percent off produce!”
“Twenty percent off hotpot ingredients!”
“Ten percent off coffins… Don’t glare at me! I’m not trying to curse him. He’s a vampire! Doesn’t he sleep in coffins?”
“Oh,” Everyone then said understandingly.
“Help me slice this piece of brain into sixths and then drop the stuff in these six test tubes on each of them.”
“Understood. Do we need to record the results? How long should I wait between each recording?”
Mr. An Te Qi looked at me and suddenly sighed, saying, “Having an assistant is still nice. At least you can do these small tasks for me quite well… Wait, I had assistants before too. Why did they make me so angry? Say, if I asked Ah Ye to lend you to me for a few years, would he agree?”
“Of course not!”
I lifted my head to see the young master come in, speaking to Mr. An Te Qi in a cross tone, “Bàba, I finally found a good butler like Charles. I won’t let you take him away from me! Didn’t Kyle-gē find you a lot of assistants already?”
“Tsk! I already fired all those idiots!” Mr. An Te Qi said in a displeased tone, “Not one of them had persistence. They even said that I treated them like errand boys…”
The young master laughed and said, “But Bàba, you do treat them like errand boys!”
“True… All I did was make them cook, clean, and record experiments! Quitting just because of that, don’t they even know how to handle pressure?”
The young master explained to me, saying, “The assistants Kyle-gē hired were all professionals. Many of them had more than three degrees. They’re respected doctors and they’ve perhaps won some very famous awards!”
And then Mr. An Te Qi makes them cook and clean. I guess I understand.
So I suggested, “I can ask my family to send Mr. An Te Qi a butler. If he only needs help with things such as recording experiments, then many butlers can handle the job well since they have served many scholars before.”
“Charles!” Mr. An Te Qi called out to me in a very serious voice as soon as I finished stating my suggestion.
“I want someone who can cook!”
“… Please do not worry. Every butler from the Elysees Family must learn how to cook before they can officially become a butler.”
“Great!” Mr. An Te Qi nodded his head and then turned around to ask, “Ah Ye, when will you have the knee joint ligament surgery? I’ve finished all preparations. We can start right away.”
The young master said hesitantly, “Sunset City is pretty quiet these days… Charles, did you notice anything at school?”
“No, nothing troubling has happened at school these days.” Aside from the troubling midterm, but that is not something that the young master can solve for me, so it will not affect the surgery… But if the young master’s surgery was postponed because of me, then perhaps even Father would glare at me furiously!
The young master nodded and said to Mr. An Te Qi, “Then let’s change it now!”
“You sure?” Mr. An Te Qi asked again, “This time it’ll be a big operation. It won’t just be a few days of pain like before. You probably won’t even be able to move your legs for a week after the surgery.”
Hearing this, the young master looked hesitant, but then shook his head immediately and said, “There won’t be a better time than now, even if we keep on waiting. I’m ‘seriously injured’ right now so I don’t have to go modeling. This is the best time for the surgery!”
Mr. An Te Qi nodded and said, “Then let’s do it tonight. I’ve got everything ready anyways. We just need DSII to prepare the instruments.” He turned around to me after finishing and said, “Charles, stop doing the biopsy and come look.”
Hearing this, I asked anxiously, “I, I will not be asked to operate, will I?”
“Of course not!” Mr. An Te Qi refuted at once, saying, “We’ll let you operate on anything, even DSII, just not Ah Ye.”
I was very relieved. Thankfully, Mr. An Te Qi still had boundaries.
“Don’t feel bad. I’m not saying you can’t,” Mr. An Te Qi suddenly said in an attempt to comfort me, but I did not feel bad at all. All I had felt was relief. Mr. An Te Qi then explained, “It’s easy to maintain and change DSII’s parts, but Dark Sun is different.”
“Are they different?” I had always thought that DSII and Dark Sun’s bodies were exactly the same.
“The composition is pretty much the same, but of course they’re still different!” Mr. An Te Qi scratched his head and continued, “Anyways, if Dark Sun is the official version, then DSII would be the lite version. No matter if you compare their sturdiness or fighting abilities, DSII isn’t a match for Dark Sun!”
The young master explained a bit more, saying, “If we’re up against normal criminals, then there wouldn’t be much of a difference between us. If we’re fighting an opponent like X, there would be a tie if I fought against him, but DSII would lose in five minutes.”
There is such a big difference? I was quite shocked.
“Oh, and, DSII broke a lot of bones when he fell from twenty floors up. He was concerned about the media noticing something abnormal so he purposely fell straight down, but if it were me, I wouldn’t have broken any bones.”
“I understand now.”
At the same moment, DSII pushed the door open and said, “Ah Ye, the operation room is ready!”
Hmm? When did… Oh, the young master can give DSII direct orders in his head.
We then entered the operating room. The doctor was of course Mr. An Te Qi and the only assistant was DSII. I was merely an observer.
DSII said in a robotic voice, “Now operating on the thigh muscles of both legs, knee caps, and anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments. The patient is Dark Sun, estimated operating time…”
The young master lay on the bed, covered in separation cloth, showing only his knees.
After DSII’s robotic voice ended, Mr. An Te Qi walked forward and… And I do not want to describe the details of the operation.
I can only say that, the rule about doctors not operating on their relatives is very well-founded. Just knowing that the person lying on the table was the young master made me unable to view the operation calmly. From the first cut of the knife, all I could think of was, Why did he cut open such a wide wound? Then I saw the young master’s skin being peeled off, his flesh and blood… No! I should stop thinking.
“Are you okay?”
The operation continued for eight full hours. Mr. An Te Qi only went to the bathroom once during this period.
After the operation, DSII pushed the young master back to his room. Mr. An Te Qi asked me whether I was all right or not as he took off his mask, cap, and gloves.
Though I really wanted to say “I am fine” out of politeness, I found myself unable to say so. So I admitted with a bitter smile, “I am not all right.”
“That’s normal!” An Te Qi comforted me as he patted my shoulder, “Practice makes perfect.”
Practice… I forced a smile and asked, “About when will the young master wake up?” If I could, I would really like to see the young master open his eyes, just to make sure that the operation was completely successful.
“About?” Mr. An Te Qi said as he pushed his glasses into place, “I can tell you the exact time. He has already woken up.”
My expression probably looked too shocked, causing him to explain with a smile, “Ah Ye’s body is more unique, so we must use a very large dose of anesthetic to sedate him. But using that much anesthetic can harm the body, so I rarely do that. Instead, I have him shut himself off and DSII powers him on after the operation.”
“Let’s go see how Ah Ye’s doing.” Mr. An Te Qi said as he took off his blood splattered robe and threw it into the garbage.
The young master was indeed awake inside the patient room. As soon as we walked in, the young master turned around to face us, looking as if nothing had happened. He looked nothing like someone who had just undergone an operation and had casts on both legs.
“Ah Ye, do you want some pain killers?” Mr. An Te Qi asked. “You’ve never needed them before, but it’s going to hurt a lot more this time.”
The young master simply shook his head.
I could not help but ask, “Young Master, does it hurt a lot?”
The young master shook his head with a smile, but still did not reply.
Seeing his reaction made me worry. Just as I was about to ask him about this again, the door suddenly banged open and Aren shouted, “Ah Ye, is the surgery over?”
“Hey, he really did just go through an operation and needs time to rest… Oh well,” Mr. An Te Qi gave up in the middle of his sentence.
Aren dashed to the bed and stared down at the young master’s legs, but they were under the blanket and nothing could be seen, so the young master pulled the blanket away for him to look.
Because of the plaster on the young master’s legs, Aren could not see how bad it was, so he asked, “Does it hurt?”
The young master shook his head.
But Aren growled, “You’re holding it in, aren’t you?”
The young master asked in confusion, “How…”
“Who the hell doesn’t feel pain after a surgery!” Aren said undeniably, “You’re lying!”
The young master rolled his eyes at Aren and said with an annoyed tone, “You asked me if it hurts, and then said that it’ll definitely hurt. Who does that?”
Aren shouted angrily, “Of course people do!”
“No one…” The young master suddenly stopped in the middle of his sentence.
“Why did you leave your sentence half finished…” But Aren also stopped in the middle of what he was saying and asked nervously, “Is something wrong?”
“Nothing.” Though that was what the young master had said, I realized that as soon as he answered, he held his lips shut in a tight line.
“I told you he needed rest,” Mr. An Te Qi said as if he were not a part of this. “He just underwent an operation, and isn’t on any pain killers, so he’s probably in a lot of pain right now.”
“A lot of pain?” Aren growled, “Didn’t you promise me that you’d tell us if it was painful? What are you holding it in for right now? I howled horribly after I drank that medicine the other day. What are you scared of?”
After hearing Aren’s words, the young master did not look that calm anymore. His face fell, his brows were knitted, and his lips were tightly held in a line, but he still did not wail. He only said softly, “It really hurts a lot more than before. My legs hurt as if…” He tilted his head but did not say what it felt like.
“Take some pain killers!” Mr. An Te Qi said with a frown, “You’ve always held it in, and I know you had no choice, but now you don’t have to. These people are all your friends and no one wants to see you endure the pain in silence.”
I hurriedly added to his words, “Young Master, please listen to Mr. An Te Qi’s advice and use pain killers.”
The young master frowned and said, “But pain killers have a lot of side effects and are addictive…”
Mr. An Te Qi shrugged and said, “You can use it today and tomorrow. You won’t get addicted in two days! If it’s that easy to get addicted to them, wouldn’t everyone who had surgery before be addicts?”
The young master hesitated for a bit and finally nodded his head.
“I’ll go get the pain killers,” Mr. An Te Qi mumbled as he walked out, saying, “His bàba’s words aren’t effective but the butler’s are. Tsk tsk! I told Ri Xiang Yan that having a butler take care of Ah Ye would bring more pros than cons!”
After he had disappeared behind the door, Mr. An Te Qi stuck his head back through the doorway and called out, “Charles.”
“Someone just told me that a person named Yue Gang is here for you.”
Hearing that, I hurriedly turned around to ask, “Young Master, would you excuse me for a moment?”
The young master nodded.
Right after I exited the patient room, I did notice someone waiting for me, but Mr. An Te Qi waved me over to him. With a confused expression, I walked with him until we reached somewhere a bit farther from the patient room. He turned around and said, “Charles, after using the pain killers, Ah Ye’s consciousness might be a bit hazy these few days, so he might be…”
Saying so, Mr. An Te Qi continued to make a few gestures with his hands, yet I still did not understand what he meant.
“Anyways! No matter what happens to him these few days, it’s all because of the pain killers, so everything will be fine when the medicine’s effect fades. Don’t worry!”
“Yes, I understand,” I nodded but was still very concerned, so I asked, “This pain killer really is non-addictive, is it?”
“Don’t worry!” Mr. An Te Qi rolled his eyes at me and said, “It’s Ah Ye we’re talking about! Not to mention pain killers, even if I gave him strong drugs, he’d still be able to quit! There’s no need to worry!
“Hurry up and go find that something Gang. Ah Ye’s been talking about him. Make up with him and bring him to visit Ah Ye so that Ah Ye has something else to focus on. That’ll help ease the pain.”
I smiled bitterly but was unable to say “yes.” No matter what Yue Gang was here for, I was sure that he was not here to resolve our conflict, so I probably would not be able to do that.
I was led to a meeting room. When the door opened, there were only Melody and Father Yue. Yue Gang was nowhere to be found.
Melody had propped her legs up on the conference table. She was wearing short shorts and her white legs on the sand-colored conference table stood out quite a bit. She was doing her toenails. There was even a bottle of bright red nail polish next to her. Furthermore, the one sitting beside her was a priest with some years on him. The scene was peculiar no matter how one looked at it.
She glanced up at me and said, “I saw them outside so I brought them in,” and then went back to filing her toenails.
I heard that wherever she went these days, such as to adjust the young master’s original schedule, she was always followed closely by reporters. It annoyed her so much that she even said that she would bite a few of them for dinner, yet even that did not seem to deter them.
Father Yue laughed as he said, “Thank you very much Ms. Melody, or else we wouldn’t have been able to get in! There were just too many reporters and fans outside! They’re taking security very seriously. Yue Gang’s police ID didn’t work either.”
“Yue Gang really came?” I asked confusedly since he was not in the room.
“He did, but he just left. I couldn’t stop him no matter what,” Father Yue said helplessly, and then considerately asked, “Is little Ah Ye okay?”
I nodded and said, “The young master is fine.”
Father Yue nodded and replied, “As I thought,” and then lowered his voice to say, “I actually used visiting your brother as an excuse to drag Yue Gang here, but I think he realized that Ah Ye isn’t your brother… Though he still came along, he left angrily just now.”
“Well, I accidentally said, ‘You kept saying that you won’t come, but still tagged along anyways,’ and then he ran off angrily.” Father Yue said with his hand on his forehead, “Why is this kid so shy? Come to think of it, that’s really similar to his mom. He really is her kid.”
“I understand now.”
“Come, these are all for you!” Father Yue said, but took out a pendant of the holy cross. Even Melody was distracted from painting her nails and gazed at the pendant with a slight smile.
Father Yue gave me the cross sincerely and said, “Because I didn’t know what to bring.”
Why not a fruit basket?
I took the cross and realized that all of it, from the cross to the chain, was made from pure silver. While I did not know how to respond, Melody went from slightly smiling to laughing uncontrollably. She laughed so hard that she could not even continue to put on nail polish.
Amidst the laughter, Father Yue said sincerely, “When Ah Ye saw you wearing a cross, he laughed very happily, so I thought I’d bring a cross. Plus, it’s made from pure silver so Ah Ye might laugh even more happily?”
Hearing that and then recalling Mr. An Te Qi’s words that distracting the young master could decrease his pain… I silently put on the silver cross.
Father Yue gave me a thumbs up and then took out a petite bible that was the size of a palm.
Melody laughed with a “pfft” sound.
Something did not seem quite right as soon as I felt the weight of the bible in my hands. Lowering my gaze, I realized that the cover was not made of paper, but of some kind of metal… No, it is silver!
The entire silver frame was covered with fancy engravings and a cross lay in the middle. The entire book looked very classy and expensive. This made me think of something and I hurriedly picked up the cross from earlier. Though silver crosses do not have a very high market value, the necklace had some parts that were yellowed with age and blackened with tarnish, giving it an antique feeling. From an antique trader’s point of view, this might also be an expensive item.
I asked in astonishment, “Are this cross and bible really for me? Or are you just lending them to me? These two objects look quite expensive, much like antiques.”
“These are indeed antiques.” Father Yue smiled. “No matter if you believe me or not, these were once in the hands of a vampire. They were his collection. Giving these back to a vampire who’ll take good care of them should count as a type of compensation!”
I asked confusedly, “Why not return them to their owner?”
“Oh….” Father Yue smiled. “Because I blasted him to ash with a shotgun full of silver bullets?”
“To ash? Hm?” Melody said with a smile as luscious as a rose, “How brave of you!”
Father Yue replied with a kind and gentle smile, “No, not at all. I was a bit braver when I was young, so against those vampires who bite people without any hesitation, I’d also shoot without any hesitation!”
“Oh, cute little foolish boy, when your unhesitant Melody-jiějie started biting people, your grandfather was still in his mother’s womb!” Melody laughed charmingly, “If you want to fire a shotgun at me, you probably won’t succeed! So just stay put and let your Melody-jiějie bite you!”
“Oh?” Father Yue replied slowly, “Since you’re older than my grandfather’s generation, then I should probably refer to you as great-grandaunt Melody?”
The atmosphere just then did not seem quite right. I quickly slide-stepped between them since it would be bad if they did get into an argument…
A panicked roar sounded after the door crashed open. I hurriedly turned around and saw a very anxious Aren yelling, “Ah Ye looks really weird! He, he’s been screaming that it hurts and he wants you there!”