Illusions, Lies, Truth Side Story: Book Writer
Original novel in Chinese by: 御 我 (Yu Wo)
Chapter 3: The Second Child—translated by lucathia (proofread by elisa & Trespasserby)
Nearly ten days had passed. Even though Yu Shu was as impatient as the wind, wanting to bring the other guy out right away as well, she didn’t have a single way to accomplish it. The injury on her shoulder was even more serious than she had originally thought. The mere act of raising her hand would cause her to wince and clench her teeth. If she headed inside like this, she would definitely meet her doom.
Yu Shu had no other choice but to recuperate while she wrote her manuscript. Even though she was unable to type, she was fortunate in that she could dictate and let the butler handle the manuscript. Using this time, she had completed the manuscript, so she could turn it in and prevent Ye Luo from coming to her door again.
After she finished drinking the coffee made by the butler, Yu Shu gestured at the wall above the television and said, “Butler, help me bring down that sword.”
The butler did as she asked. Before he handed it over, he looked at it curiously. It was a plain katana, its form quite simple and undecorated. He drew it out to look at the blade, handing the sword over to her with some bewilderment. At the same time, he said cautiously, “It seems that this katana has not been sharpened.”
Yu Shu shrugged and said, “Of course not. If it were sharpened, that would be against the law. I’m such a law-abiding, good citizen. There’s no way I would do something illegal!”
A peculiar feeling seized him, but he didn’t understand what it meant. He only felt that bringing an unsharpened katana didn’t seem to be of much use. Still, when he handed the katana over, he didn’t voice any further concerns.
Picking up a wide belt, Yu Shu fastened the katana to her waist and walked in front of a black cardboard box. Intrigued, the butler approached to watch. Even though he had seen it once before already, at the time, he hadn’t given much thought to his surroundings, while now, he was filled with… curiosity? This feeling should be called curiosity, right?
Yu Shu opened the box in an almost reverent manner, pulling the flaps open to the left and the right. It was as if the box had a set of doors that could swing open. After opening them, what was revealed inside was a stack of books. She caressed the pile of books and began reciting the content from the stories.
“That was a world filled with gods…”
The gods fought against each other, religions were built, and the knights guarded the sacred Temple of Light. As the chief knight, he possessed a head of blond hair as resplendent as the sun, a full smile that was always on his face, an affectionate personality, a radiant…
Along with the unhurried narration, the pages of the books suddenly began flipping on their own. Densely packed black spots wiggled on the surfaces. If one looked closely, it would be revealed that those were all words!
Thousands, no, millions of black words flew whirling out from the pages. At this point, the pages of the books were flipped through crazily, as if attacked by a strong wind. With each page turned, more small words were flipped out. Those words increased at an alarming speed. It didn’t take long for the entire cardboard box to be filled with them.
As the box was being filled, the black words actually pushed the box wider and taller. Slowly, a large door that was wide open took shape. The door led to a darkness that could not be seen through, but it wasn’t a pure black either. The darkness inside kept swirling. The surface undulated, as if it were alive and extremely unstable.
Last time, the butler had watched Yu Shu walk into this seemingly sentient darkness. When he thought of that instance, he suddenly had a peculiar feeling again. Apparently, this time, he was going to follow Yu Shu inside.
“Let’s go.” Yu Shu called out, and then she walked into the darkness without further preamble. The darkness seemed as if it couldn’t wait. It scrambled to pounce on and bury her. It looked just like she had been swallowed!
A peculiar feeling arose from within the butler again. He looked for an answer among his “general knowledge.” This feeling might be… disgust? He really was not very willing to walk inside that mass of darkness.
“Butler?” A call for him came from within the darkness.
Hearing this summon, the butler snapped to his senses and quickly strode forward.
Entering the splendid temple once more, Yu Shu dared not create any people this time. Only she and the butler were in the spacious corridor.
“How do you feel?” Yu Shu asked nervously.
The butler was of the vampire race and should be considered a creature of darkness. This was the Temple of Light. Logically speaking, he shouldn’t feel very comfortable walking around here.
However, the entire time the butler had been walking about, he hadn’t looked the least bit uncomfortable. Rather, from time to time, he had even admired the engravings on the pillars and the paintings hanging on the walls.
When he heard Yu Shu’s question, the butler smiled faintly and answered, “This is truly an amazing place.”
That’s not what I was asking about…But it seems like there are no problems. Yu Shu scratched her face. It seems that the rules of different barrier dimensions might not be carried over. This relieved her a lot. When it came to creatures of darkness, there probably wasn’t anyone stronger at dealing with them than the golden-haired man. If the butler were to be destroyed by him, then she would really cry to death.
“Are we continuing forward?” The butler inquired.
“Yeah, let’s check his room. He should be there.”
After leaving the corridor, the two of them passed through two more small halls before they finally arrived at the room Yu Shu mentioned. However, the place didn’t just consist of one room. It was a long hallway, just like the others, with more than ten rooms.
The butler asked in puzzlement, “This place seems to be much larger than where I used to reside.”
“That’s because his world is much larger than yours. You’re a butler. You’re only responsible for a single home, whereas he is the chief knight of an entire church.”
Knight? The butler didn’t ask this out loud and instead searched his memory, easily finding an answer. It was a battle profession from the Middle Ages that wore armor. “I recall that the place I lived in was a city much, much larger than this.”
Yu Shu rolled her eyes dramatically and snapped, “If you want to make comparisons like that, there’s a city outside of this area, too. All I’m trying to do is to bring the two of you out. I have no plans to create a new city.”
When he heard that, the butler had a new question. “In order to bring us out, is it necessary to create our residence? My ‘general knowledge’ does not include an explanation to this question.”
Yu Shu’s eyes were shining. This child, the butler, had more and more questions. It was a really good sign! Although she would be troubled by having to answer all these various questions, especially since there were some questions she really couldn’t answer, having questions meant that he was becoming more and more like a real person!
“You have no way of learning the method of your birth. Just like your name. Even if you flip through the books I’ve written a hundred times, you won’t be able to see your name clearly. It will appear obscured.”
Yu Shu pointed this out purposely. In these past ten days, even though she hadn’t personally seen the butler flip through any of her books, she often noticed the butler’s attention being drawn to the books on the bookcases. He must have secretly flipped through them before, just having done so carefully, so that she had not discovered him.
When she heard those words, even though the butler’s expression was unperturbed, Yu Shu grew uneasy. She knew very well just how much he wanted his name. A mere name had been enough to lure him out. Didn’t that signify how important it was to him?
“You aren’t angry, are you?” Yu Shu laughed drily, but she didn’t know how to assuage his fears. Even though, in recent years, she had pretty much read through everything she could of other people’s experiences with raising illusions—the Internet actually had specialized forums for it—no one had previously raised any illusions while treating them like their children as she was doing!
“I am not angry.” The butler asked with a smile, “Is it this room? I will knock on the door.” They had stopped in front of one of the doors halfway down the hallway.
Eh, it’s not strange that he isn’t angry. This fellow’s personality is exactly like that. He has never been someone who grows angry easily. Even if he does become angry, he would cover it up very well. He would look calm and unruffled. But what is going on? Why does he appear as if he is in a very good mood?
“Birth,” not “creation.” The butler didn’t need to go out of his way to search his “general knowledge” to know that the strange feeling he currently felt was called delight.
He politely knocked on the door. Not unexpectedly, they received no response.
“Kick the door open!” Yu Shu firmly commanded.
The butler blinked. He reached a hand out to turn the doorknob. Then, he easily pushed the door open.
The room wasn’t large. A mere half turn was enough for them to see the room in its entirety. There wasn’t a single person there.
The butler felt his heart sink. He felt a little disappointed. Only then did he realize that he had actually somewhat looked forward to meeting “the other child.” He turned his head to look at Yu Shu, wishing to know where they should search next.
Yu Shu handed the katana over to the butler to hold. Then, she kneeled down by the floor, moving about slowly. Suddenly, after a delighted exclamation, she actually lifted a piece of carpet, revealing a hidden door below it.
The butler was a little surprised, but his expression remained calm.
Yu Shu lifted the hidden door. At the same time, she spoke in a serious manner, “Give me the katana.”
The butler passed the katana over. In that moment—even he didn’t know why—he intentionally jumped down before Yu Shu could.
Yu Shu froze for a moment. She yelled, “Wait, that guy is very dangerous—”
Just as she said that, she heard an alarmed cry of “creature of darkness” from below, and then a violent flash of light exploded from beneath the hidden door. It nearly blinded Yu Shu. She was dazed for several seconds before she managed to return to her senses.
The moment her sight recovered, Yu Shu hurriedly jumped down with her katana. She landed nimbly and was about to straighten up and draw her sword when she discovered that the battle before her did not seem like one she could participate in.
What the hell? I was only dazed for a few seconds, yet the two of you are already fighting so intensely. You have only just met for the first time. Is it that other people fall in love at first sight, while the two of you fell into a deep grudge at first sight?
The butler’s race was that of a vampire. He usually appeared like a normal human, but once engaged in a fight, his movements were not quite so ordinary. It was as if there were wheels under his feet as he glided forward. Also, his speed was so fast that the in-between movements could not be seen. His figure could only be seen during the instances he changed direction. It was like he was teleporting nonstop.
Although the golden-haired man was a knight, he did not have such great agility that he was unable to be seen. However, ten or so orbs of light hovered by his body. The orbs of light revolved around him unceasingly, protecting him.
The butler seemed to be rather afraid of these orbs of light. He did not dare to touch them. However, the orbs of light were firmly protecting the golden-haired man, so the butler had no choice but to keep moving and look for an opportunity to attack.
Seeing this kind of battle that was past human limits, Yu Shu couldn’t help muttering, “Even though you two can use your true powers in this barrier dimension, is there a need to show off so much?”
This great battle between vampire and holy knight was making Yu Shu feel rather powerless. Even though she had drawn her katana, she didn’t know if she should intervene. She didn’t have the means to interfere with a battle on that kind of level. In addition, if she activated her only power, the two across from her would probably both immediately get flattened.
Seeing that they seemed to be momentarily at a stalemate, Yu Shu decided to give up her responsibility and just watch the commotion at the side. She even treated it as research, thinking she could write it into her books.
The butler’s speed seemed to daze the golden-haired man. Other than using the orbs of light to protect himself, he wasn’t able to do much else. Even though there were times when he’d wanted to attack the other person with the orbs of light, he wasn’t able to succeed even once. This was, of course, inevitable. The other person couldn’t even be seen clearly. How could he be hit?
Unable to retaliate despite being attacked from all sides, the golden-haired man grew increasingly vexed. He growled, “As an undead creature, you actually dared to trespass the Temple of Light, and are even audacious enough to attack me… Bah! I’m going to cut to the chase. Basically, you better die a thorough death!”
After his shout, the same kind of intense light as before exploded from the golden-haired man’s body, causing him to be as bright as the sun.
The intense light from earlier had passed in a moment’s time. This time, it did not dissipate for a much longer duration. Even though the light only made Yu Shu feel blinded— it was so bright that she couldn’t clearly see what was happening before her eyes—it made the butler scream out in pain.
Although she couldn’t see what was happening, the cries from the butler caused Yu Shu to jump up and shout, “Bastard, you actually dared to hit my son!”
When he heard her, the golden-haired man tilted his head. After muttering to himself for a bit, he smiled and said, “He is your son? Then, if his life is used as the bargaining chip, would you be willing to stay?”
…I really shouldn’t have written him to be so despicable. But come to think of it, did I really write him to be shameless to the point that he would even use someone’s son to threaten the mother?
I think, this illusion has deviated severely. Should I start over and try again…
Yu Shu clenched her teeth and said, “You’re my son as well! In fact, you are brothers. Hurry and dispel the light. You’re not allowed to hurt your older brother!”
The golden-haired man hesitated for a moment. The word gave him a sense of familiarity. He couldn’t help but dim the brightness, wishing to see the other person’s appearance in more detail.
When this person had entered earlier, he had immediately felt that he was filled with darkness. His intuition screamed “undead creature,” even though he actually didn’t really understand what an undead creature was. However, he knew that he should attack, and so they began fighting for an incomprehensible reason. In actuality, he hadn’t even had enough time to clearly see the other person’s appearance.
At this time, the butler half knelt on the floor, both hands covering his face. As much as possible, he needed to lessen the light shining on his face. Because of that, the golden-haired man could not see his full appearance. All that he saw was a head of black hair. However, that was enough to greatly sway his heart. In his memories, it seemed…
“Black hair. It’s black?” The golden-haired man mumbled, his face full of doubt.
When she saw this, Yu Shu grew even more worried. Theoretically, this illusion should not possess knowledge of precise “plot points,” but he seemed to vaguely remember that there was a character in the book with black hair. Something is definitely wrong!
Struck with familiarity, the golden-haired man dispelled the remaining light. He slowly walked up to the butler. His steps were very slow, his heart filled with emotions akin to homesickness.
Before he could even finish, the butler raised his head. His face was so fierce, it was inhuman, and his mouth was so large, it was beyond human possibilities as well. His entire jaw had lengthened as a result, two fangs extending out of his mouth. When he lifted his hand, the long fingernails of all ten fingers were as sharp as blades.
The butler pounced forward, using both hands to grab the golden-haired man’s shoulders. His long, sharp fingernails pierced directly into him. The pain caused the golden-haired man’s mind to blank out. However, that wasn’t the end. The fangs ruthlessly punctured his neck, causing him to immediately lose all mobility. The moment his legs weakened, the butler pushed him to the ground.
His neck, bitten by the fangs, began to feel numb, and the pain from his shoulder began to decrease. However, this felt wrong. His injuries should be very severe, and he was continuously losing blood. How could there be no pain? There’s something wrong with these fangs…
The person littered with injuries hadn’t screamed. Rather, the butler suddenly started shrieking. He grabbed his own neck. It was as if he had swallowed poison, his expression filled with incomparable pain.
The golden-haired man was lying on the floor. Having lost too much blood, his face was pale, a stark contrast with the bright red blood that completely covered the floor, making him appear just like a corpse. However, he smiled and guffawed. “To an undead creature, my blood is extremely toxic!”
In the mere blink of an eye, both had become seriously hurt. Yu Shu’s face lost all color. She looked back and forth, back and forth, but she really didn’t know which person she should save first.
She clenched her teeth and told the golden-haired man, “Quickly heal yourself!” Then, she turned to take care of the butler.
It wasn’t that she was biased. It was just that, while it was debilitating, this amount of blood loss wasn’t fatal to the golden-haired man. On the other hand, the butler’s condition was very worrisome. By now, he couldn’t even shriek anymore. He could only clutch at his neck, large amounts of blood gushing out from his mouth.
The butler’s face had already returned to its original appearance and was no longer the fierce appearance from earlier, but large burnt marks were appearing on the butler’s neck and around his mouth. The ten fingers clutching at his neck were also a burnt black. They were like ten sticks of charcoal. His entire face was too appalling to look at.
Yu Shu was so anxious, she was like an ant on a frying pan. As she examined his injuries, she couldn’t help but berate him, “You idiot. You shouldn’t have fought with him. He is pretty much your worst nemesis! You’re at a complete disadvantage! Hurry, drink my blood.”
Because his throat was heavily damaged, the butler could no longer speak. He could only raise his head to stare at her in shock.
“Hurry and drink. What are you hesitating for?” Yu Shu raised her head and revealed her neck. When she saw that he still wasn’t taking any action, and was even furrowing his brows in hesitation, she hurriedly explained, “You are a vampire. Blood can heal you. Hurry! Do you want to die? Drink my blood right now to tide you over. Then, return immediately to your barrier dimension to rest. After that, I will go to the black market to buy some blood for you to bathe in.”
Finally, the butler got over his hesitation. With one bite, he took hold of Yu Shu’s neck. The latter gasped. As a dutiful shut in, she always stayed at home, which was the safest and most secure. She certainly had never experienced anything as dangerous as getting bitten by a vampire.
However, the pain in her neck rapidly disappeared. She understood what was happening very well. At the same time as a vampire drank blood, the fangs would release a liquid similar to modern day anesthetics to paralyze the “food.” This would take away their ability to struggle. She was the one who had written it that way, so she understood it well. However, this set up was really doing her a disfavor at the moment…
“Butler, enough. Stop drinking.” Yu Shu began to feel a bit lightheaded. She had planned to let the butler drink blood to heal his injuries. She had no intentions to become a dried corpse as a result.
However, the butler did not stop. Yu Shu struggled for a moment, only for him to grab on even tighter. With difficulty, she turned her head. The other person’s eyes were actually gleaming red, and his facial features were growing fiercer and fiercer.
Yu Shu shoved him several times, but a vampire’s strength wasn’t something she could struggle free of. She coldly harrumphed and raised the katana, smashing the hilt on the butler’s stomach. He nearly spat out all the blood he had just drank. Hugging his stomach, he fell back by several steps. He raised his head, wanting to scream in displeasure, but with his throat heavily damaged, he could only manage a mangled wail.
“Charles! Return to your senses!” Yu Shu growled.
The butler was startled. His fierce appearance slowly softened. He stared at her blankly and kept repeating the name she had spoken to himself. He savored it over and over, for it was going to take no longer than a moment for him to forget the name.
Yu Shu observed the butler’s condition. After he drank her blood, even though the lower half of his face was still a mess of black, his appearance was much better than the mangled monstrosity from before. She breathed a sigh of relief and said, “Return to your place to rest. Wait until I call you out to take a bath.”
The butler turned his head to look toward the golden-haired man, who had already recovered enough to sit up. That person worried him.
Seeing that he had glanced toward the golden-haired man and then shook his head at her, Yu Shu frowned. If the golden-haired man were to attack the butler again… or if the butler were to attack the golden-haired man, then she really wouldn’t know which one she should cut down.
The butler had probably realized that he had been too impulsive just now. He stood up and silently moved behind Yu Shu, using his actions to show that he wouldn’t mess around anymore.
Seeing that, Yu Shu let him off. If the butler didn’t want to fight, with his speed, no one would be able to catch up with him.
Yu Shu looked toward the golden-haired man. She asked in concern, “You okay?”
The golden-haired man remained sitting on the floor. When he heard this question, his only reaction was a slight curl in his lips. He said indifferently, “This won’t kill me.”
Yu Shu carefully observed the golden-haired man. The fellow’s pale skin, plus having just lost too much blood, made his complexion terrible. He looked even more like a corpse than the butler, who was a vampire. However, other than that, he didn’t seem to be in any danger.
Thank goodness the butler and the golden-haired man are both people who can take a beating. Otherwise, they might’ve become goners from this random bout of carnage.
Yu Shu walked up to the golden-haired man. She first smelled the thick stench of blood, but laced along the metallic smell unique to blood was another kind of smell… the smell of alcohol.
The golden-haired man was practically reeking with blood at the moment. To think that a strong stench of alcohol could stand out from the overwhelming odor of blood, just how much wine had he drunk?
She stayed silent. He was indeed fond of wine and even knew how to ferment it. In fact, this cellar was used for fermenting wine. They were surrounded by sealed wine barrels. However, he definitely would never drink excessively!
“Come with me. You don’t actually want to stay here by yourself. Don’t deny it.” Yu Shu could guess why he had drunk so much wine.
The golden-haired man was like a cat that just had his tail stepped on. He jumped straight up and hollered, “I want to stay here!”
“What you want isn’t this place. It is companions,” Yu Shu told him calmly.
“What are… companions?” The golden-haired man didn’t understand that word very well, but it gave him a sense of familiarity. Indeed, this place was lacking in many important things. “Why isn’t there anything here? This place should have a lot of people!”
Before, when the golden-haired man had been by himself, he had been unable to think of what there should be a lot of. It was just that he had felt that this place was too big and empty, like it was missing something. On the day that Yu Shu arrived, filling the temple’s corridors with many people, his heart in turn filled with ecstasy. This was how it should be. This place should be filled with those people coming and going, those people wearing light armor!
Those people are companions?! The golden-haired man finally understood. He glared at Yu Shu, his eyes bloodshot. His expression was terrifying as he growled, “Make those people appear again! If you don’t do it, I’ll, I’ll—” He stepped closer and closer, his expression crazed.
The butler also stepped forward. When Yu Shu realized this, she immediately used the katana in her hand to block him so as to prevent them from mutually slaughtering each other. If that were to happen, she would really follow them in death by crying herself dry.
She really didn’t know what had gotten into the butler, either. He used to be much more indifferent. Even though he always had on a smile, it wasn’t like he was truly happy. Even though he followed her orders, he never took the initiative to do anything. But after meeting Ye Luo ten days ago, he began to become a little strange.
Maybe Ye Luo is more suited than I am to teach the butler and the golden-haired man? Yu Shu was a little bummed. They were her children, yet she needed someone else to educate them… Sigh. Oh well. Everyone’s children are sent to school to have teachers teach them!
With how things were progressing, Yu Shu had a general idea about how to lure the golden-haired man out. The butler wanted his name, while the golden-haired man wanted his companions. Still, she didn’t have the means to give him his companions. After all, she had no intentions on making an “illusions zoo” yet.
She once again formally proposed “conditions.”
“If you are willing to swear an oath to me and become my illusion, to answer to my summons, then I will help make this world more complete. You can sleep here at night, and if you would like to stroll about my place during the day, you can. If you don’t want to, you don’t have to. How about it?”
The golden-haired man didn’t understand this illusion business very well, but he didn’t care about it. All he heard was the sentence “make this world more complete.”
“What do you mean by ‘make this world more complete’?” Wary, he wanted more details.
Yu Shu answered a bit guiltily, “It means that whatever should be here, will be here.”
“Will that include ‘companions’?” The golden-haired man wasn’t someone who could be easily deceived.
As expected, nothing gets by him. If I don’t explain things, I might not be able to bring him out. Yu Shu frowned and said, “Truthfully, I don’t know if I can create the companions you want.”
She gestured at the butler who was behind her and said, “Just you and him took me a lot of time to create. I am not an expert in this matter. If I really were to attempt to create all of your companions, it would probably take a long time, and even then, I might not succeed.”
The golden-haired man was silent. He scrutinized Yu Shu for a long time, as if he wanted to determine the truth of her words from her face. However, Yu Shu was filled with bravado. She stood tall and lifted her face. Look all you want!
“If you swear that no matter how long it takes or how many failures you meet, you will always continue to attempt to create my companions and complete this world, then I will promise you.”
He didn’t even care about what he would have to do as her “illusion.” As long as he could find the companions that were missing from this place, he was willing to do anything.
Just earlier, he only said that he wanted companions, yet now, he has even added in the complete world I mentioned myself. As expected of someone who never lets anyone gain any advantage! If she had known that she would eventually have to agree to create his companions, she would never have suggested the condition of a complete world. Now, if she were to remove that, the golden-haired man would probably be unwilling to accept the conditions.
Completing this world and giving birth to all of the people within was a huge task that could never be completed even after spending her entire life on it…
At that moment, an absurd thought flashed across Yu Shu’s mind. If I continue to create this world, will this world one day truly become real?
And the real world that I live in, could it actually be…
Yu Shu shook her head, feeling that she was being ridiculous. No matter what, she only had a few decades to construct the world. If that was enough to create an entire world, then things like “worlds” would be all over the street already.
As opposed to thinking about impossible things like that, she should hurry up and bring the golden-haired man out.
Yu Shu proposed her conditions again.
“During my living years, I will help you complete this world and create your companions. In return for this, you will become my illusion and listen to my summons. Do you consent?”
Without any hesitation, the golden-haired man answered, “I consent.”
After hearing those two words, Yu Shu finally relaxed. She turned her head and pointed the butler out. “He is also my illusion. He’s called butler. From now on, you are companions.”
Companions… The golden-haired man snorted and turned his head away. “I’m not companions with despicable bastards who sneak attacks on others!” He hadn’t forgotten how he had been violently bitten back when he had walked forward earlier with the intent to check whether he was his companion.
The butler raised his eyebrows lightly, and in spite of his throat injuries, used his raspy voice to say, “When I entered, it was you who used light to attack me without any warning. If we’re speaking of sneak attacks, you are a step ahead of me.”
“That’s because you’re a creature of darkness. Attacking creatures of darkness is instinctual for me!”
“I think you are drunk.” The butler said indifferently, “You smell like a drunkard.”
“I am not drunk!” The golden-haired man immediately refuted, “This amount of wine would never make me drunk. It’s your dark element that is too strong, causing me to retaliate instinctually.”
“People who are drunk always say that they aren’t…”
Seeing them arguing despite their heavy injuries, Yu Shu unexpectedly laughed and said, “You two brothers get along so well. Good, good, Mommy is so pleased!”
The two of them turned their heads to stare at her in disbelief.
“Come, call me Mom?” Her face was full of affection.
“Your mom!” The golden-haired man growled.