Illusions, Lies, Truth Side Story: Book Writer
Original novel in Chinese by: 御 我 (Yu Wo)
Chapter 2: The Temple of Light—translated by lucathia (proofread by elisa & Trespasserby)
A woman wearing a cleric’s white robes walked about in a place that looked like interior of a cathedral.
The corridors were relatively wide and majestic, with golden paint applied in many places and various ornate designs as decoration. However, upon closer inspection, hints of aging could be seen around the place. Who knew how many years the place had already withstood, or how many times it had gone through renovations? It was as if the mismatch of old and new told of an ancient tale.
The female cleric greedily drank in everything she saw before her. She didn’t let a single detail escape. It was a pity that there was no one else there except for her. In comparison to buildings, she would much rather see people.
It shouldn’t be so quiet and vacant. Normally, this place should have many people coming and going; some busy, some lazing about. Most of them would be knights wearing armor, but since this was, in the end, a peaceful temple, they would at most wear light armor. A lightweight knight’s outfit would be even more common.
The female cleric closed both eyes, imagining the scene that should have been present. It shouldn’t be overly lively, since the knights were neither children who would play around, nor were they aunties who would gossip loudly at marketplaces. Still, there should be sounds of laughter and chatter.
They would come and go. Those who knew each other would stop, chat about recent events, and glance at each other, while those who had never spoken to each other would just nod as a greeting.
A person suddenly walked toward the female cleric from the other side, looking at her with some shock. However, no questions were asked. Only a nod was given as a greeting.
More than ten people walked by in succession. Some chatted as they walked, while some walked in a more hurried manner, as if they had something important they needed to do. However, after they finished walking along the corridor, it was like they had walked to the end of their existence. With a mere turn around the corner, they disappeared without a trace.
People walked by continuously, only to disappear at the end of the corridor. However, upon closer inspection, it would have been revealed that none of their appearances and features differed much.
The female cleric didn’t find it strange. Unfazed, she watched them come and go, all the way until she saw a splash of gold in the distance.
It was a brilliant gold that could be seen at a glance even from a great distance. Found on top of a certain person’s head, neatly combed, with the tips of the hair drifting lightly in the wind, it was a head of golden hair that didn’t look like it belonged in the real world.
“I finally lured you out.” The female cleric smiled deviously.
That person walked over like the others. He greeted the people passing by, but he soon realized that they were actually completely ignoring him. He was surprised for a moment, but he immediately recovered his composure. He continued walking toward the female cleric like everyone else. The only difference was that he no longer nodded in greeting.
The female cleric looked straight at the golden-haired man. The man was very handsome, but that was to be expected. It was just that he seemed to be a little different from the image she had in mind. His smile held a trace of… How should she put it? Insolence?
How strange. The appearance I came up with shouldn’t be like this. Why are there differences? The female cleric pondered in confusion.
As she was thinking this, the golden-haired man finally walked by the female cleric’s side. He didn’t stop, as if he hadn’t seen her, and continued to walk past her, until he heard the following words.
“Do you plan on staying in this desolate place?”
The man momentarily stilled in his steps, but then he continued to walk on nonchalantly. He only said, “I belong here.”
The female cleric was startled. The other person was actually capable of saying words like those. Compared to the fellow at home who was nearly an illusion, this guy had much more of a reaction.
“I’m called Yu Shu. What about you?” After giving her own name, Yu Shu asked him very despicably.
Having heard the question, the golden-haired man finally stopped walking. He turned, and with a faint smile, said in a relaxed manner, “You obviously know who I am, so why bother asking?”
Yu Shu was amazed. Something r-really isn’t quite right! She knew that this guy was very popular among the readers. With their help, it was possible that his speed and extent of becoming an “illusion” could be assisted. However, the guy before her didn’t feel like an illusion anymore, but rather something even more advanced…
The other person suddenly asked casually, “Come to think of it, what exactly is my name?”
“Of course, it’s Gri—ah!” Yu Shu answered off-handedly but immediately clamped her mouth shut. She stared at him, eyes open wide in disbelief.
Seeing that she had stopped in time, the golden-haired man tsked.
Although she had almost been tricked into revealing his name, Yu Shu relaxed. She was right. This guy was as despicable and shameless as always. She hadn’t gotten the wrong person! As for the differences in his appearance, it was probably because something that had been imagined then appearing in reality should always result in some discrepancies, right? Even though the other fellow who was almost an illusion didn’t have such discrepancies.
Using ruses against this guy would definitely be useless. For the first time, Yu Shu hated herself for writing him as someone who was so despicable and shameless. See?! Now she was reaping what she had sown!
After she gave it some thought, Yu Shu decided to explain it clearly. If she played any tricks with him, it might come back to bite her.
“I will tell you your name, but you must swear an oath to me to become an illusory familiar who serves me. I will take you away from here—”
The golden-haired man actually rebuked her. “What importance is there in a name? If you don’t plan on telling me, I’ll just come up with a new one. Besides, I don’t want to leave this place. Serving you is even more impossible! After all, I’m the—”
After speaking thus far, he abruptly stopped, a bit bewildered. I’m what?
This guy is truly much more difficult to deal with than the butler. Yu Shu could only continue to bribe him, “Do you really want to continue to stay in this place that has nothing? It must be lonely here, right? Come with me. The world outside is very fun. There’s also lots of delicious food!”
When he heard that, the golden-haired man’s face fell. But then he flippantly said, “It’s starting to become different now. Haven’t you seen the people around us? There will definitely be more in the future.”
Yu Shu shook her head. “They are phantoms that I created on the spot. The moment I leave, they will immediately disappear.”
The golden-haired man froze. He panicked as he said, “They’ll disappear?”
Yu Shu nodded, pleasantly surprised that she could see him so flustered. However, he was only flustered for a moment and immediately cooled down. Although, it seemed as though he had cooled down way too much. More than being cool-headed, he seemed cold…
“Then, in order for them not to disappear, you should stay!”
The golden-haired man raised his hand high, producing a strong, radiant ray of light. A gigantic, golden sword broke out of the sky, hanging suspended a few centimeters above the golden-haired man’s raised hand.
Yu Shu’s eyes widened. It was true that she had written about a divine sword, and it was indeed the golden-haired man’s weapon, but she had never detailed that the sword would be this huge! Moreover, this place was clearly her barrier dimension. She was the dictator! Yet, now she was about to be slain by someone else. This went against all logic!
The golden-haired man’s expression was bitter cold. He asked icily, “Stay, or die?”
Shit! This old mother of yours never designed you, her son, to be so imposing!
“Ye Luo? Ye Luo?”
Ye Luo opened both her eyes but couldn’t focus immediately. She wasn’t quite sure of the situation, but as her eyes slowly adjusted, and she was able to recognize the person in front of her, she immediately woke up.
“Yu Shu, give me your manuscript… Ah, no, that’s not right. Yu Shu, did you know that there’s a ghost in your—”
Halfway through her words, Ye Luo saw the confused expression on Yu Shu’s face. She paused, unsure of the situation as she peered around. She discovered that she was actually sprawled on the sofa, and little Gabi was reclining against her hand. There were no half transparent shadows around at all.
“I fell asleep?” Ye Luo was stunned. Had I been dreaming?
Yu Shu said in exasperation, “Yeah. When I got home, I saw you on the sofa, so deeply asleep that you didn’t even notice it when I opened the door to enter. It’s fine if you want to sleep in my home, but why’d you grab my Gabi to nap together? It’s so tiny. You might have accidentally squashed it to death just by turning your body!”
When she heard this, Ye Luo was alarmed. She hurriedly looked down at the little fellow, just in time to see it tuck its head into its belly and use its little claws to hug its head. It seemed to feel that they were being too noisy.
Seeing that it was fine, Ye Luo relaxed. She coldly retorted, “If you turned in your manuscript obediently, none of this would have happened!”
When she heard “turn in your manuscript,” Yu Shu immediately felt guilty.
Normally, Ye Luo would definitely keep on pressuring her. She would never leave before receiving a manuscript. However, she was a little uncertain this time. The things that had just occurred felt too real, not at all like a dream. But seeing Yu Shu’s reactions… No, she had to have been dreaming. It was broad daylight. How could there be ghosts?
Ye Luo glanced at her and bluntly asked, “Just when exactly can you turn in the manuscript?”
Yu Shu replied in a small voice, “Um… give me three more days.”
“Three days, three days, three more days. Just how many ‘three days’ do you need!”
“I’m a little busy r-recently…”
“Busy with what? As an author, shouldn’t you be busy with writing your manuscript?”
When you eat the food of others, you can’t disagree with them. When you get something from others, you can’t act against them. When you owe them a manuscript, then you really can’t do anything against them at all. Yu Shu’s head drooped. She obediently listened to the lecture, not daring to speak a single word of retort.
“I’m busy, so I’ll let you off this time and won’t stay behind to watch you write.” Ye Luo knitted her brows together as she said, “I’ll give you ten more days. On the tenth day, you have to turn your manuscript in. Got that?”
Yu Shu hurriedly nodded hard.
Ye Luo put away her laptop, pulled over her suitcase, and got ready to leave. The suitcase contained a few changes of clothes and some toiletries. She had indeed originally been planning on staying and watching until the manuscript was completed. However, what had happened just now had truly been too strange. If she stayed, she would have her hands full being overly paranoid every day.
After she walked out the door, Ye Luo turned like she normally would to pressure and threaten Yu Shu once more to hurry up with the manuscript, but she saw Yu Shu standing by the door, holding a cup of coffee in her hand. The coffee’s aroma made Ye Luo wish she had a cup too, and the aroma seemed to be stronger than the coffee Yu Shu normally made. It smelled just like the cup of coffee made by the shadow in the dream…
Ye Luo furrowed her brows and gave a quick warning, “Remember, ten days!”
Yu Shu answered helplessly, “Got it.”
It wasn’t until Ye Luo dragged her suitcase away and was so far that even her footsteps could no longer be heard that Yu Shu finally relaxed. When she had seen Ye Luo lying on the sofa earlier, she had truly received a shock, afraid that she had been exposed. She hadn’t known how she could explain it away, but thankfully she had been able to deceive Ye Luo into thinking it was a dream. She just wasn’t sure if Ye Luo had truly believed it or not.
However, since she hadn’t exposed her on the spot, then things were probably okay. Once more time passed, Ye Luo would likely forget altogether, or she would treat the memories of what had happened like a movie she had seen.
“Although it was risky, it was truly worth it. I even got to see Ye Luo flee in panic! Heh!”
Yu Shu laughed so much that her eyes closed. To be able to see her stern editor panic, it was worth it even though she had almost been exposed!
“Did you find the other person?”
Yu Shu turned her head to look. Behind her was a shadow. No, he couldn’t really be called a shadow any longer. Even though he was still semitransparent, he was rather distinct. His facial features were already clearly visible. He was a handsome, young man.
“I did find him, but I can’t bring him out yet.” Yu Shu asked suspiciously, “You’ve become so much clearer. I didn’t go ‘inside’ for very long, did I? How did you suddenly—” She paused and asked uncertainly, “Is it because Ye Luo saw you?”
The shadow smiled faintly and said, “She explained many things to me.”
When she heard what the shadow said, Yu Shu felt even more surprised. Previously, the way he spoke made him sound like a naïve child, but he seemed to have matured greatly.
She began calculating whether she could simply delay turning in her manuscript, forcing Ye Luo to come over several more times. Perhaps then, this child could truly take shape?
However, the moment she had this idea, she immediately snuffed it out. Even if he could take shape quicker, Yu Shu wouldn’t want to explain everything to Ye Luo. Truthfully, she probably wouldn’t be able to explain it very well…
“Why can’t you bring him out?” The shadow asked curiously.
When she heard the question, Yu Shu’s face fell. She said dully, “Help me apply medicine first. My back hurts like crazy. I’ll explain it to you as the medicine is being applied. You…”
Yu Shu glanced at him. Previously, he was just a shadow. Before even that, he was a black blob and couldn’t be distinguished, let alone be called a pet. Now that he even had facial features, she couldn’t keep calling him “you, you, you.”
“How about I give you a name?”
The shadow was a bit confused and said, “I have a name.”
“You can’t use that one,” Yu Shu firmly said.
The shadow fell silent.
Even though she knew that what the shadow wanted was his real name, Yu Shu could not grant him his wish. Although “calling a name” wasn’t something easy, constantly calling the name wouldn’t yield any good results—unless she wanted him to continue leveling up.
“Since we’re in Taiwan, I might as well give you a Chinese name. Hm… How about Chen Yin?”
“Then, Chen Xuan?”
Yu Shu grew a bit angry. The throbbing pain from her back wasn’t helping matters. She growled, “I already told you that you can’t use your real name. Fine! I won’t give you a name then. I’ll just call you the butler!”
A name that couldn’t be considered a name was actually so easily accepted. At first, Yu Shu was taken aback, but she smiled right afterwards. She was truly an idiot. To this child, other than his name, he was most often called “Butler” by other people, so of course he would accept this name.
“Since you have a name now, can you help me apply medicine already?”
Confused, the butler asked, “Apply medicine?”
Yu Shu was about to explain, but she abruptly tilted her head and asked in return, “Why don’t you know what ‘apply medicine’ means? Since you are beginning to take form, then you should also begin to understand the basic knowledge I originally gave you?”
The butler thought about it for a moment and nodded. “Yes, I understand what ‘apply medicine’ means. Do you wish for me to apply ointment for you?”
When she heard that, Yu Shu’s eyes shone. She happily said, “You’re becoming more and more like Char… like a butler!”
“I am a butler,” he said, puzzled.
“You’re not wrong, but what I mean by butler is… Sigh, forget it. Come and help me apply the medicine already. My back is killing me.”
The butler stood in his original spot and thought for a moment. Then, he turned and was able to find the medicine box from the book cabinet’s lower shelf without any problems.
Seeing that, Yu Shu relaxed. The butler’s common sense and basic knowledge all came from her, so theoretically, he should be very familiar with the place. Luckily, she had guessed right. But even if he weren’t familiar with the place, she could teach him again. Of course, if she could spare the effort, that was always best—come to think of it, she didn’t even know that that’s where the medicine box was!
The butler took out the medicine box and saw that there was a lot of dust on the surface. He couldn’t refrain from muttering, “It is too messy here.”
Yu Shu pretended that she hadn’t heard him. In any case, he was muttering under his breath, so who would have been able to hear that? She sat on the sofa and hesitated for a moment. Still, she turned and took off her shirt. After all, he was her child. There was no reason to be embarrassed.
When the butler saw how serious the injury was—there was a large, purple bruise over the left shoulder, and it was speckled with red—he stilled, but immediately recovered his unperturbed expression.
“Help me apply some cream to reduce the bruise, and then rub it a bit. Otherwise, I probably won’t even have the energy to type tomorrow.”
The butler followed her orders. However, the moment he began, he heard an intake of breath. He made sure to be gentler as he rubbed and asked, “How did you get injured?”
Yu Shu was silent for a moment. Then, she muttered, “The other child is too disobedient. Although I knew from the start that it wouldn’t be easy, since bringing you out was fairly simple, I thought the other one could be just as easy. I was careless for a moment.”
When he heard the word “child,” the butler asked in slight puzzlement, “Are you really my mother?”
Yu Shu stilled but then burst out laughing, laughing so much that she couldn’t breathe. “What a riot! How would I have given birth to such a big child like you—” She abruptly froze and turned her head to ask, “Don’t tell me that you’ve been treating me as your mom this entire time?”
The butler nodded. As he rubbed on the cream, he said, “You call me your child.”
Yu Shu had a funny expression on her face. No wonder the butler stopped paying attention to her after she brought him out. Other than being willing to make coffee for her, she couldn’t get much of a response out of him when she asked him anything… The butler’s mom isn’t anywhere close to a nice character. She’s a villain who angers her husband and mistreats her child!
“If you are not my mother, then who are you?”
Yu Shu scratched her face. Truthfully, she would rather be his mother, but the butler’s mother wasn’t a good person. If she were to claim to be his mother, she might even end up with no coffee the next day.
“To sum it up, I’m your… master?” Yu Shu wasn’t very comfortable saying it. She didn’t really want to be his master, but she couldn’t think of any other reasonable relationship.
“Master?” The butler quietly tried it out. “Master, Master.”
When she saw the butler show a gentle smile, no longer as indifferent as before, Yu Shu suddenly felt that she was the tiniest bit despicable. The butler in the story did indeed have a master, and the two of them had an excellent relationship. Therefore, the moment the butler heard that she was his “master,” his attitude immediately changed. However, that master wasn’t her.
Yu Shu felt a sense of guilt, like pretending to be someone’s mother to kidnap the child, except she was pretending to be the master, and the target of her kidnapping was a butler.
“Why did the person you wish to seek injure you?”
He has even become so polite to me… Yu Shu was a bit overwhelmed.
“Because he doesn’t want to come out, and he didn’t want me to leave!” Speaking of the other guy, Yu Shu couldn’t help complaining, “It really is completely illogical. I was the one who created that world. Why is he mightier than me? Isn’t that strange?”
Then again, this was the first time Yu Shu had done anything like this. What was strange or not, she really didn’t know.
“Compared to him, Butler, you sure were easy to settle. Even though I know that your personality is like that, when I was able to bring you out with just your name, I started hoping that the other guy would be just as easy to settle!”
Regarding the conclusion that he was easy to settle, the butler had absolutely no response. He merely continued to diligently rub on the cream, listening to his master mutter under her breath, her face pained like she had a headache.
“Perhaps you should propose conditions.” The butler explained calmly, “I wished to know my name. Perhaps there is also something he wants?”
When she heard that, she developed even more of a headache. If I had to say what that guy liked… Money? But where would I get enough money to lure him out!
Desserts? If I were to use a blueberry cake to lure him out, even I would think of myself as an idiot. Like that would ever succeed!
What he wants might be… After mulling over it, Yu Shu had to admit that she could roughly guess what he wanted. Just from how he had refused to come out and wanted to stay there, and how he had even fought her, wanting her to remain for the sake of keeping up the pretense of having a bunch of people coming and going in the temple, she understood what he wanted.
Discouraged, she admitted, “I can’t afford what he wants.”
“Then, are you giving up?”
“What a joke!” Yu Shu nearly jumped right up. She yelled, “For the sake of bringing you guys out, I spent so many years and so much effort! In order to construct that barrier dimension, from nearly ten years ago, I already—”
Seeing the butler’s silent gaze, Yu Shu hesitated. She changed the topic and stubbornly said, “In any case, I won’t give up!”
The butler nodded and said, “Can I go inside as well?”
“What?” Yu Shu was taken aback.
“Next time you enter, would it be possible to bring me with you?” The butler made his request with a smile as he rubbed the cream on the bruised shoulder.
“You can go inside.” Yu Shu asked, puzzled, “But why do you want to?”
“I am merely curious about the other child you speak of.” The butler had on a faint smile.
Yu Shu hesitated for a moment. The butler’s tranquil and unchanging expression didn’t look the least bit like he was curious, but if he were willing to go with her, then she was quite happy to bring him. After all, the results this time around weren’t very good, and she couldn’t think of any methods to bring him out. If she brought another fighter with her, then at least she wouldn’t end up beaten to the point where her shoulder almost got sliced off, right?
Yu Shu pulled a face. She wanted to drink another sip of coffee, but when she raised her cup to drink from it, she unexpectedly saw the bottom of the cup.
“Butler, make me another cup of coffee.”
“As you wish.”
When she turned, Yu Shu saw the butler head into the kitchen. His figure was tall and straight. He carried himself with a gracefulness that was rare in modern times. No matter where he went, anyone could tell at a glance that he was out of the ordinary.
Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if this man became true? Later, the thought appeared as Yu Shu drank her rich coffee.