No Hero Volume 6: Heaven or Hell
Original Novel written by: 御我 (Yu Wo)
Heaven or Hell, Ninth Level: Safe Room, Safety or Freedom—translated by ever4493 (proofread by Trespasserby; C/E edited by lucathia)
First Wind, Dark Sun just phoned me. The situation doesn’t seem good. The signal was severely distorted so I couldn’t make out what he was saying. Can you contact him?
“Hold on a sec!”
“Solitary Butterfly, he’s really gone!”
So you do know Dark Sun’s true identity?
Oh well, that’s not important. We should find Dark Sun first!
“Mhm! I’ll tell the police to look for places with bad signals. We’ll find him faster with more people.”
Wait, there’s another call. It’s from the police.
“Attention to all heroes, there are groups of armed criminals randomly attacking civilians in the business district. Their intentions are unknown.”
“Yue Gang?” First Wind said, “This is First Wind. We also have a problem. Dark Sun seems to be stuck in a place with almost no signal. Can you find out where he is?”
“… It must be the sewer! Definitely! I’ll send someone over. I’ll go over myself too!”
First Wind, I’ll go to the business district. You go look for Dark Sun with the police!
“No, I’ll go to the business district with you. One extra person looking for him won’t make a difference. Armed criminals roaming the business district doesn’t sound good. It feels a bit like the bank robbery last time. If we don’t know what their intentions are, it’s too dangerous for you to go alone. I’ll get Dragon Peace to come along!”
Aren’t you worried about Dark Sun?
“Of course I am! But someone’s with him. If they’re together, then there won’t be much of a problem.”
As I ran, I phoned Nitewalker to ask where he was. Unexpectedly, he was nearby, so asking him to give me and the young master a ride would be much faster than just running or contacting Melody and the others.
I carefully put the young master in the cab and said, “To the business district.”
“The business area’s blocked right now, so I can only give you twenty percent off.” Nitewalker turned his head and said, “If you pay me full price, I can drive you somewhere near your destination. You’re going to the building that’s being broadcasted right now, right?”
I asked in surprise, “Are you sure? Did you not say that that area was blocked?”
Nitewalker said emotionlessly, “Human blockades aren’t really useful against nightwalkers.”
I climbed into the car and said, “I will pay you double the price. Please get there as fast as you can!”
Hearing this, Nitewalker stretched out his hand and pressed a button. The car shook slightly as the car body lowered and the car hood changed into a rather streamlined shape, a spoiler was added to the back and even the circular steering wheel turned into one with handles on the side… The taxi had turned into a race car.
The young master’s eyes widened and he gasped, “That was so cool!”
The car started. I did not know how fast it was going. All I noticed was that the moment it started, my entire back pressed against the car seat.
“This mode uses a lot of gas.” Nitewalker said, “If you’re willing to pay five times the price, I can use another kind of method that uses even more gas but can get us there even faster.”
“For sure!” The young master shouted immediately.
And then the car climbed onto the side of a building.
I looked out the car window and could see that the tires were splashing up quite a bit of water. The car seems to be driving on water… As expected from a race from the ocean. So nightwalkers also have the ability to control water?
With high speed and the ability to go straight ahead no matter what obstacles there might be on the road, it did not take long before the car arrived in the business district.
The entire business district was full of office buildings. This place was usually as quiet as a ghost town at night. Aside from the commercials playing from some of the TV walls of the buildings, there were usually no other noises.
But tonight was a bit different. The roads were crowded with armed people. Judging from their clothing, there seemed to be guerrilla warfare going on between two groups. For some reason, they held their fire and continued to look for better hiding places. Direct combat was rare.
Since we entered the business district, Nitewalker had been driving on the buildings instead of the roads, which was why we were able to proceed smoothly.
The young master pointed at a few armed teams that were hiding and said, “That team, that team, and this team might have been sent by Kyle-gē. The others might be Lieder’s. The other side might not only have Lieder, Josh, and Ni Cai, as you said, because it’s not possible to control the situation with only three people.”
“I understand now. The people that Secretary Kyle sent do not seem to be part of the adjudication squad?” I thought the strongest team under the Sun Emperor’s control was the adjudication squad. Why did he not send them?
“The adjudication squad is useful for killing, but not for rescuing. Their ability to react under different circumstances is much lower than DSII’s.”
So that is why.
The young master thought silently for a while and said, “The other side’s equipment looks similar to the equipment the bank robbers who separated themselves into five groups had. They might be the same group of people. Speaking of which, the bank robberies just might have been directed by Lieder! To start one of these plans requires a lot of money. Just the equipment needed to hack into the security cameras costs a lot, and the security cameras in the business district are mostly dead right now.”
I spaced out for a brief while, and just then, the taxi suddenly zoomed above the building, as if hovering in mid-air, and then landed on the roof. Even while making such large movements, the car remained steady. Five times the price was definitely worth it!
Nitewalker turned around and said, “We’re here. The next building is your destination. I think you’ll want to get up there without any sound, right?”
“Thank you,” I stepped out of the car first before carrying the young master out.
Nitewalker peered out of the car window and said lightly, “I’ll wait for you around here. I can also pick you up inside the building, but that would be ten times the price, and if the car gets damaged, you’ll need to take full responsibility.”
I laughed and said, “I appreciate it.”
With the young master on my back, I jumped over to the next building, landing soundlessly on the wall, parallel to the ground and walked upwards.
As I walked, the young master took out his phone to make a call, asking, “Kyle-gē, how’s Gēge?”
“… I thought you went to the hospital?”
“I’m not going to the hospital!”
Secretary Kyle sighed and said, “Do you have a television near you? You can see the Sun Emperor’s condition on TV.”
Hearing that, the young master sliced open the building window with his plasma hair strands, and we stepped inside. The room we were in was a small meeting room with a television hanging from the left corner of the ceiling. I stepped forward to turn on the television. There was no need to change channels as the television was already broadcasting relevant news.
The Sun Emperor has been abducted. The business district is now completely under lockdown!
We ask civilians not to enter the business district under any circumstance. People may only exit but not enter the business district right now. Exiting also requires a full security scan. Our reporters are negotiating, hoping to be able to interview inside, but have not been granted permission yet… Wait, the criminals have turned on their camera again. We’ll be switching over now.
The television’s view switched, and the Sun Emperor appeared on screen. The black office chair he was sitting in and his dark colored windbreaker made his golden hair and red eyes appear even brighter, but beneath the bright colors, his expression was extremely cold. He did not resemble someone who had been abducted, but a chairman who was looking at an employee who had made a mistake… No, probably more like an emperor looking at his officials.
Regarding this, Lieder might be right. The Sun Emperor is an emperor.
Another person appeared on screen. The person wore a unique looking mask. It was completely white with only a red reversed-cross on the forehead.
The person held a gun to the Sun Emperor’s head and said toward the camera, “Have those who are here to rescue him leave the business district in half an hour, or else…”
Having said this, the person suddenly smashed the gunstock against the Sun Emperor’s temple. Blood trickled down the side of the Sun Emperor’s forehead, but he merely glanced sideways at the person. His glance was emotionless, as if he had simply seen an ant crawl by, as though the event did not even raise a single thought in his mind.
Would this kind of attitude anger Lieder? I felt a bit worried.
“How dare they hit my brother! Damn it, I’ll kill all of you!” The young master hollered angrily, his silver hair dancing out of control as if it wanted to tear someone to pieces.
Thank goodness the conference room we are in is nicely soundproofed. I glanced at the young master who was covered in injuries but was completely unaware of them. Compared to those, the scratch on the side of the Sun Emperor’s forehead was…
“Young Master!” Secretary Kyle’s voice sounded from the phone, “Since you’ve decided to participate in the rescue mission, please coordinate with the special squad’s actions.”
“Understood.” The young master nodded.
“Please enter the safe room through the third hidden door. Door number three is located under the main seat in the conference room. This is the door that is least likely to startle the criminals. Also, please switch your cell phone to vibrate. About ten minutes from now, I’ll have people draw the criminals’ attention away and then phone you. Please enter the room as soon as the phone vibrates…”
The young master looked at me as Secretary Kyle gave instructions. I nodded to let him know that I had understood them.
Carrying the young master on my back, we left this room and headed toward the conference room.
We would sometimes hear footsteps. During those times, I would backflip onto the ceiling, stepping through one of the ceiling panels and then quietly vanishing inside, waiting until they passed us before dropping down to the floor and continuing onwards.
The young master said quietly, “Charles, when you’re serious, you’re really hard to fight! You’re super fast and silent. Your only weakness is probably just that you don’t have enough strength.”
“You and X are both far stronger than I am.”
“But we’re not as fast as you, and if hidden, you’re harder to find. If we’re warriors, then you’re probably an assassin!”
I said softly, “Young Master, I am neither a warrior nor an assassin. I am your butler.”
The young master laughed. “Right, but I’ll need to ask you to be an assassin this time.”
As he said the last sentence, the young master sounded a bit downhearted, so I changed the subject hurriedly, “Young Master, do your knees still hurt?”
“The painkillers are still effective, so it doesn’t hurt much as long as I don’t move my knees.”
I asked, “Please do not fight later. If you do, use only your hair. Would that be all right?”
The young master did not answer.
I asked in a different way, “Young Master, if I have the upper hand during battle, would you stay by the master’s side and not fight?”
Behind me, the young master replied after a while, “Charles, you’re really weird. The painkillers’ effect on you seems to be more like the effect of stimulants? You hate fighting, and when you had to, you would think a lot about the after-effects. But when we were in the sewer, you didn’t hesitate to kill anyone, were super fast, and made all critical hits…”
That does seem to be the case. But I did not mind at all, since given the circumstances right now, the stronger I was then the better it was for us. I needed to be strong enough that the young master would not need to fight.
The young master said weakly, “I feel like I’m taking advantage of you. You’re only agreeing to fight because you took painkillers, right?”
I hurriedly explained, “Perhaps the painkillers raised my fighting skills, but being willing to fight has nothing to do with them. All I want is for Young Master to stop pushing yourself and not get hurt anymore!”
“The painkillers also made you meaner…”
“Young Master, changing the subject will not make me forget the favor I just asked.” I stopped walking, turned my head and said, “Please promise that if I have the upper hand during battle, you will stay by the master’s side and not fight voluntarily.”
The young master looked stunned and asked, “Don’t tell me that you won’t keep walking until I agree?”
“Yes!” I said strongly.
“… O.K.,” The young master agreed helplessly.
After acquiring the young master’s promise, I continued to walk. The young master grumbled behind me, “I’m definitely warning Bàba not to let you use any painkillers from now on.”
We arrived at the meeting room, but after a while, we still did not get Secretary Kyle’s phone call signal.
After waiting for three minutes, instead of receiving a phone call from Secretary Kyle, we were greeted with a sudden boom. The building shook violently, and the young master immediately shouted, “Call Kyle-gē.”
“Young Master, the call will not go through.”
“Try someone else!”
I tried dialing a few numbers but none of them went through. After checking the screen closely, I realized that there was no reception. But we are in the business district, so how can the reception be worse than down in the sewer?
“The signal’s been jammed!” The young master said decisively, “We’ll go in now!”
As soon as the door was opened, we were greeted with a gunshot. Fortunately, I had my blood shield open, so the bullet did not hit us.
I dodged a few times yet the bullets followed me closely like a shadow. If it were not for my blood shield, I would probably have a dozen bullets in me by now. As I dodged, I carefully looked for a place where someone might be shooting from and quickly found it. The person was standing in a shadowed corner and was firing at us continuously with a handgun.
I used x-speed to rush up to that person, and as my hand formed a sharp cone that aimed to pierce the person’s throat…
The young master yelped, “Charles, stop! That’s Gēge!”
I quickly forced my hand to slide off track and sunk it into the wall, but I was too slow and the nail on my pinky finger still scratched the Sun Emperor’s neck. Thankfully, there was only a red scratch and no blood.
I felt cold sweat dripping down my face.
At that moment, the gun was pressed to my forehead and I spaced out in shock…
The gun fired. I looked to my side and saw that smoke was rising from the dark muzzle… If the young master had not pushed the gun aside in time, there probably would have been a hole in my forehead right now.
I dodged behind the master, and the young master emerged from where I was and jumped onto the master, knocking him to the floor while shouting, “Gēge! It’s me, Ah Ye!”
The master was caught off-guard and his hands let go, dropping his gun. And then, all he did was stare at the young master dumbly without any reaction.
“Gē!” The young master was also shocked. He had fallen to the ground just now so his knees should be hurting a lot, yet he did not react to them at all. He just grabbed the master’s shoulders and shouted, “Gē, I’m Ah Ye. I’m your brother Ah Ye! Do you recognize me?”
The master said in a hoarse voice, “Ah…Ye…?”
“Gē!” The young master was on the verge of tears.
There appears to be some other noise? I turned around, made a blood shield to protect the young master and the master, then made a rapier and stood on guard. Just then, a door in a corner opened and in rushed four people. They were… Dark Sun, Dragon Peace, First Wind, and Solitary Butterfly!
The four heroes were all here, but the young master was still here with me, so Dark Sun should be played by DSII.
As soon as DSII saw the situation in here, he ran over to break something… A video camera! Oh no, did what just happened get recorded?
“Charles and An Xiang Ye?” First Wind said in a weird tone.
“What the hell is going on?” Solitary Butterfly said as she looked at the young master and the master with wide eyes.
I am even more confused than you are. I asked in confusion, “How did you come in?”
DSII simply said, “The Sun Emperor’s secretary couldn’t contact you. He was very anxious, so he contacted me. He was the one who opened the door. Where’s the criminal? Have you finished him off?”
I shook my head and said, “When we came in, we only saw the master… the Sun Emperor by himself. He seems to have been hypnotized by Josh, so he fired at us.”
Solitary Butterfly asked warily, “What’s your relationship to the Sun Emperor?”
How should we answer this? Just as I started to think of an explanation, a soft noise came from the side. I turned around and saw that the two doors that had been open were now closed.
DSII hurried to one of the doors. It seemed that he was pushing buttons of some sort, but the doors did not show any sign of opening. He took out his phone and said after a quick glance, “We’re out of range.”
“We’re locked in?” First Wind frowned. “Did the criminals do this? Why did they lock us up?”
Something suddenly lit up in a corner. It was a television. The scene that was playing…
“Gē, I’m Ah Ye. I’m your brother Ah Ye! Do you recognize me?”
The television was showing a scene with the young master and the master in it. To make things worse, it seemed to be a news channel!
As soon as the video ended, the host jumped out and said excitedly, “This is the latest news that we have just received. An Xiang Ye claims that he’s the Sun Emperor’s younger brother! Unbelievable!”
I looked toward the young master. Actually, everyone was looking at the young master, but the young master simply glanced at the television, and then focused his attention back on the master. The young master’s expression was filled with worry. His attention was fully on the master, not leaving any room for other things.
“Look at the TV!” Dragon Peace growled.
Everyone’s attention moved back to the television. This time, there was neither a host nor the master and the young master, but a man in a mask—the person who hit the master with his gunstock!
On the screen, the masked man’s lips quirked a smile, as he said, “Attention to all you kind citizens. All of the heroes have gone to save the Sun Emperor and have now been locked in the safe room by us. Please take a look.”
The screen switched from the masked man to a very familiar scene. The master, the young master, the four heroes, and I were all on there… Are there more cameras in this room?
DSII rushed to a corner, and using the wall as a stepping stone, jumped onto the ceiling and tore off a video camera.
The news returned to the man as he smiled and said, “As you can all see, Dark Sun just destroyed the camera, so we’re back to me. My apologies. We can’t let everyone see how helpless the heroes are.”
This man in the mask must be Lieder!
Lieder chuckled. “It’s not safe outside right now, since our people are robbing places all over. If you don’t have anything to do, then please don’t go outside, just so you don’t get blasted by bombs.
“I hope that everyone can understand that from now on, you mustn’t rely on heroes anymore. They’re too moronic to deserve your trust.”
Having heard that, First Wind could not help himself and finally shouted, “Dragon Peace! Destroy this place.”
Dragon Peace roared and jumped in front of a door, smashing down his large fist. From what I could tell, this fist could send any door I knew flying… Aside from the doors here. This door did not even shake.
DSII stopped Dragon Peace from continuing his attacks and said, “This is the Sun Emperor’s safe room. Even if you bomb the entire building, this room won’t be destroyed. Even if I use my plasma hair strands, my energy would be depleted before cutting through the walls.”
“Don’t tell me we’ll be stuck here forever?” Solitary Butterfly gasped.
“No.” DSII shook his head and said, “The Sun Emperor’s secretary will sense that things aren’t right very soon. He’ll get people to open the door.”
First Wind frowned and said, “How long?”
“That depends on how strong the enemy’s hacker is.” DSII said in Dark Sun’s cool manner of speaking, “From the look of things right now, they have a strong hacker. It might take a few hours to open this door at least.”
“Damn it!” First Wind could not help swearing.
Although we knew that the outside world was probably in chaos by now, there was nothing we could do. This safe room was just too sturdy. No matter what the heroes tried, the walls and the doors showed no signs of being broken. After some time…
Everyone paused for a bit before realizing that the exclamation came from the master. He stumbled across his words in shock, “Why are you here? You…”
The master seemed to be completely awake now.
The master’s words were cut short when he caught sight of Dark Sun. He looked confused when he lowered his head to look again at the young master, but that confusion quickly vanished. The master lowered his head and asked in a quiet voice, “Ah Ye?”
The young master nodded his head unseeingly.
“Why did you get all hurt again?” The master, who was not moved at all when he was threatened as a hostage or even beaten, immediately flew into a rage and roared, “Who dared to hurt you? I’ll kill his entire family!
“Where are those who were supposed to protect you?” The master turned his head around to look at me with eyes that seemed as if he wanted to crush me.
The young master said hurriedly, “Charles is a butler. He’s not in charge of protecting me!”
“Then where are those who are responsible for protecting you? I’m going to slice them alive and feed them to the dogs!”
I suddenly considered calling Mr. Bramble, Melody, and the others, and telling them to run as far as they could… Wait, cell phones do not even work here.
The young master stopped talking and then suddenly started crying, stuttering as he said, “Gēge is going to kill the people I like again.”
The master immediately panicked and said in a hurry, “I won’t kill them, I won’t! Please don’t cry…”
Even though the young master was crying, and his tears gushed down like an open faucet, I did not think that he was very sad… These are fake tears, are they not? As the emperor of the business world, can the master really not tell that the young master is acting?
I turned to look at the others. Aside from DSII, First Wind and Solitary Butterfly were both so shocked that even their masks could not hide their surprised expressions. Even Dragon Peace’s eyes were wide. Although he already knew there was a master, I did not think that anyone had ever told him that the master was the Sun Emperor, and more importantly… That the Sun Emperor was crazy about his brother.
“Ah Ye… An Xiang Ye really is the Sun Emperor’s brother?” First Wind asked hesitantly.
“And didn’t he fall from a building?” Solitary Butterfly said coldly. She glared at the young master, and said crossly, “I couldn’t grab his hand in time back then, and I worried and blamed myself for a long time just because of that!”
“Please do not be rude toward the young master,” Or else the master might be rude toward you…
Solitary Butterfly glared at me. She seemed to be unhappy, but First Wind patted her shoulder in time and stopped her from talking.
“Charles!” The master growled.
I blanked out a little and turned to face the master, feeling honored yet also scared. I did not think that the master would remember my name.
He shouted with an anger that reached the heavens, “Why did you let Ah Ye get hurt? Why didn’t you protect him?”
“Gē! Charles has nothing to do with this!” The young master could not stand up, so he hurriedly grabbed the master’s hand to stop him from shooting me to death.
“He can’t even protect you! He’s useless! He’s better off dead!”
“Gē!” The young master shouted loudly, “Stop always thinking about killing!”
“You’re already hurt this badly, covered in burns and can’t even stand up. Do I not have the right to kill this thing that couldn’t protect its master?”
Hearing the Sun Emperor’s words, First Wind and Dragon Peace stepped in between us, shielding me behind them.
“Gē, the reason I can’t stand up isn’t because I’m hurt. It’s because…”
The young master stopped short since Solitary Butterfly was still here and we were not sure if Lieder had set up another camera somewhere else, so he could not say that he could not stand up due to modifications. The young master’s only identity that had not yet been revealed was that of Dark Sun.
“Sun Emperor, your attention toward our family head has made the Elysees very honored.”
That voice did not belong to anyone in the room, yet to me, it could not be any more familiar.
I turned around and saw that the door had opened without us noticing. A man stood beside the door in form-fitting clothes and with about a dozen armed security guards behind him.
“Curtis!” I said reflexively.