No Hero Volume 2: The Hero Grim Reaper
Original novel in Chinese by: 御 我 (Yu Wo)
Legend of a Hero Chapter 2: Late at Night, the Busy Hero – translated by Evangeline
Charles really is a great butler!
Not only can he cook a delicious variety of breakfasts, he took me to buy new clothes and even taught me how to sing.
Then, I went to karaoke with my classmates in my new clothes, and everyone said that my clothes looked nice and that I sang well!
I must be becoming more and more like a normal boy now, right?
I heard the door opening twenty minutes later than the time the young master usually came home. I walked toward the front door and saw the young master coming in with five of his classmates. With a warm smile, I welcomed them. “Welcome home, Ah Ye, and a good day to your fellow classmates.”
The young master turned, and his eyes widened when he saw me, as if he could not believe that the person in front of him was I. He looked at my face, then at my attire…
I was wearing casual clothing. I had purposely woken up early this afternoon to buy clothes for the sake of acting as a “big brother.”
After all, dress shirts, vests, red bow ties, and dress pants were too formal for someone who was currently staying at home.
One of the male students spoke first, turning to the young master in surprise. “Ah Ye, your brother is really handsome! But you were joking when you said that he is ten years older than you, right? He doesn’t look like he’s over thirty!”
As a matter of fact, I am over one hundred and fifty years old.
“Hello, Charles-gēge. Sorry to intrude.”
One of the female students greeted me politely. She had good manners, was humble, but not submissive. She was good looking as well and almost as tall as the young master; of course, the high heels on her feet might have helped as well. She did not count as a beauty, but she was definitely pretty.
She seemed like a good girl.
I smiled and answered, “Hello, come in and make yourselves at home.”
The five of them immediately threw off their shoes and came in without holding back. The girls were somewhat more reserved, since at least there were no overturned shoes, but only the girl who greeted me placed her shoes neatly like the young master.
“I will go get something to drink for you. How about cola and black tea?”
The five students nodded.
“Charles… Charles-gē!” the young master stuttered, “I want…um…”
I completed his sentence while smiling. “Milk, right? Really, how can I not know what you like to drink?”
The young master looked surprised and said, “Oh.”
When I came out with the drinks, the young master and the students were seated around the table doing homework. After I poured drinks for everyone and took out some ice cream, the five of them cheered and started to eat some. The rather nice girl started to converse with me. “It must be hard for big brother to look after this house alone, right?”
I smiled. “It is all right. Ah Ye is a good kid, so I do not have to worry about him.”
“Ah Ye, your brother is amazing. He’s good looking, and he can make ice cream!” A male student grinned.
The young master fell silent for a moment and replied honestly, “My gēge is really amazing.”
I noticed that he did not use “Charles-gē,” so I assumed that he was talking about his real brother. It looks like the young master really respects his elder brother.
Even though a few days ago this house was full of cameras set up by the master… It is hard to believe, but how did the young master manage to live under constant surveillance? Even if the person who monitored him is the elder brother he respects and loves, there should still be some discontentment concerning privacy.
Even though I was still apprehensive about the relationship between the young master and the master, it was not something a butler should interfere with. All I have to do is the required duties of a butler.
At this time, the girl smiled cutely and said, “Oh right, big brother doesn’t know my name yet, right? I am Leanna1, but you can call me Anna or Nana.”
“Hello, student Anna.” I smiled and nodded.
The other four students saw her introducing herself, so they all told me their names as well. The two male students were named Abner2 and Aren.3 Abner was the one who had yelled that I did not look like a thirty year old, while Aren had not yet spoken this entire time. His capability of silence was even greater than the young master’s.
In comparison to the chatting classmates, the young master was doing his homework seriously and not talking much. It worried me a little. However, the others did not seem to mind the young master’s lack of participation and kept on talking among themselves, absentmindedly writing a few strokes on their papers once in a while.
It seems that they are already used to the young master’s personality.
Also, Aren was as silent as the young master. Leanna sometimes talked to them, mostly about homework, so the young master answered happily as Leanna always listened to him with a serious expression on her face.
However, I noticed that Leanna’s hand was always touching the seat cushion.
She caressed the cashmere wool cushion in a way that suggested that it was not by accident. Her hands went over the entire cushion, paying a lot of attention to the gold and silver embroidery as well as the decorative orbs on the four corners; she even took them in her hands as if she were determining their weight.
This Leanna was truly rather remarkable. She had probably already felt that something was off about this house.
She was likely not the only one. Aren still had not spoken, but he had already peeked at me more than once out of the corner of his eyes. However, he was not looking at my entire person but rather at my feet whenever I moved… A vampire’s footsteps are always silent.
Abner kept on joking about Aren being an ice block and that Aren and Ah Ye will make the perfect ice block duo. While he was joking, his eyes always wandered over to the bookcase. If I remembered correctly, there were a couple of archaic, out-of-print tomes right where he was secretly glancing at.
Ingrid and Judy acted the most normally. They giggled and gossiped about the hottest celebrities. However, their hands were always on either the crystal wineglasses or the spoons used for eating ice cream, and when I turned for a second, one of the spoons on the table disappeared, a platinum spoon.
Was it just me underestimating the university students now, or are the young master’s friends all not very normal?
Whatever the truth was, the fact that the young master is very rich probably cannot be hidden from his five classmates.
When I poured some drinks for Judy, I exclaimed, “Ah… Why is there a spoon on the ground? That is very dangerous. It would not be good if someone steps on it and slips.”
While I was talking, I silently took out the spoon from Judy’s pocket and placed it back on the table, and then I carried on cleaning up the fruit bowl and ice cream cups on the table. There was almost no fruit left, while the ice cream was completely gone.
Judy tried to smile in response, but her expression was rather forced.
I took the plates and said to everyone, “I will go back inside. Enjoy yourselves.”
All five of the students looked at me. Except for Leanna whose smile was impeccable, the expressions of the others had already turned strange. Abner was eyeing the bookcase in regret, Aren was looking at me with an extremely guarded expression, while Judy and Ingrid looked a little embarrassed.
As for the young master, he was writing his report the whole time. The paper stack was thickening at his normal fast rate.
I walked into the kitchen and started to tidy the fruit plates, the ice cream cups, and the spoons while thinking about how pretending to be the young master’s brother tonight was most likely rather unnecessary. Even if they came to know that the young master had a butler, those five students probably would not mind much… For them, it is likely that they thought this house should have a butler.
I wonder if the young master knows of his fellow students’ abnormal behavior?
When I returned to the living room, it was already time for his classmates to leave. They did not seem to have the intention to stay for dinner.
I quickly scanned the living room, made sure that nothing was missing, and followed the students out with the young master. The five of them waved good-bye.
I lightly closed the door, turned, and prepared to change back into a butler outfit.
However, the young master stopped me. “Charles.”
“Yes, Young Master.” I stopped to await the young master’s directions.
The young master stared at me for a long time and suddenly sighed heavily. “As expected, Charles is better as a butler. Having Charles as an older brother really felt weird!”
“Is Young Master not pleased with Charles’s acting skills?” I asked, worried.
The young master cocked his head and thought about it. “Your acting skills are good, but big brothers don’t seem to be like that.”
I still could not understand the young master’s meaning. Had not the young master’s classmates all said that I was a great big brother? I curiously asked, “Then, how does Young Master think a big brother should be like?”
The young master thought about it and answered matter-of-factly, “A big brother should be very elegant, very proud, and pay no attention to anyone besides his little brother!”
Umm…. Young Master, I think that description is limited to only your elder brother.
The young master smiled. “But no worries, Charles is not Gēge anyway. He is the best butler!”
“Thank you, Young Master.” I accepted the praise humbly and reminded, “Young Master, Charles needs to tell you something. Your classmates do not seem to be completely ignorant, and they all seem to be somewhat strange.”
“Really?” The young master was not surprised, and he even shrugged. “Maybe they are a little strange! But I’m strange too, so I don’t think I have the right to say anything, yeah?”
That is true. No matter how strange those students are, I doubt they would be stranger than the young master. Actually, I believe it is impossible to find someone who is stranger than the young master and who carries more secrets than him… Not even among “non-humans.”
Even though I thought those students were strange, they probably thought the young master to be a fairly mysterious person, right? I sighed. This was not good for the young master’s social life. I have to think of a way to close the distance between the young master and his classmates.
“Then, Young Master, I will go change and prepare dinner for you. You must be very hungry?” I looked at the clock with worry. It was almost one hour later than the time the young master usually had dinner.
As I expected, the young master nodded. “I’m hungry, Charles. Cook dinner fast!”
Because the young master had told me to cook faster, I prepared a big pot of soup noodles with a lot of high caloric seasoning, of course.
The young master immediately slurped two mouthfuls of noodles, but he soon spat the noodles out, and then his eating speed slowed down to the speed of normal humans.
I was ashamed of myself for not warning the young master ahead of time, but I was also secretly glad that “the young master was still afraid of the heat.” If the young master had eaten the entire bowl of hot noodles at his normal fast pace without any change in expression, then I would probably worry about who the real non-human was here, the young master or me.
After a good while, I saw that the young master was almost finished. Only then did I ask, “Young Master, is it all right for me to take a break after midnight for the next two weeks? I will still be back before your morning run to make breakfast.”
“A break?” The young master looked up, surprised. “Why do you need a break?”
I hesitated but still answered the young master truthfully, “A friend of mine asked me to help him find someone.”
“Finding someone after midnight? Are you looking for a mafia boss again?” The young master laughed.
I looked at the young master and shook my head, but I did not answer.
The young master cocked his head and said, “Something you can’t tell me? Then I won’t ask.”
“No, that is not it.” I hesitated. “The one I am looking for cannot be found during the day.”
The young master blurted out, “A ‘non-human?’”
I answered, “Yes.”
“Oh,” The young master said and asked, “What kind of non-human are you looking for? You know that I often go out during the night. I can keep an eye out for you.”
“Young Master, the one I am looking for is, is a werewolf,” I said the truth with slight frustration.
However, how can I ask the young master to look for a werewolf? The young master is a hero, while werewolves are definitely not anyone a hero would want to protect. Even among the non-humans, werewolves are not very welcome.
“Werewolves… According to European folk legends, a werewolf is a shape-shifting human — he can shape shift willingly or unwillingly into a wolf. After shifting, he will crave human or animal meat and will howl at the moon.”
The young master explained this in a flat voice and suddenly stated in a worried tone, “The encyclopedia doesn’t have enough information. We can’t find him like this.”
Young Master, you seem to have been standing in your original spot and have not gone to flip through an encyclopedia…
The young master looked at me directly and asked with a serious expression, “Charles, what does the werewolf you are searching for look like?”
“Well…” I hesitated. Should I tell the young master?
The young master stared at me like he was waiting for an answer. This troubled me, but then he laughed. “I say Charles, you are not worried that ‘some hero’ would kill your werewolf friend, right?”
That is indeed the case. I looked warily at the young master. Werewolves are a strong combat race, but I did not think a werewolf could stand up to the young master. Morever, X is my old friend, and he rarely comes to me for help. Even if I cannot find the one he is looking for, I cannot let that werewolf get killed, especially by the young master.
I never want to see conflict arise between my good friend and the young master.
The young master giggled. “Charles, don’t you forget, you are the butler who stays by my side every day. Even if you are so dense you don’t seem like one… you are sill a vampire, right?”
I was speechless, suddenly feeling as dense as the young master had claimed. If the young master could accept a vampire as his butler, then what was strange about searching for a werewolf?
I could not help but sigh. I really am dense, using standards meant for normal humans to look at the young master.
I stopped concealing the matter and said, “Young Master, the werewolf is named Cornell,6 but he is not my friend. I do not actually know him, but my friend asked me to help find the werewolf because I think they have some important things to discuss.”
“How do I identify a werewolf? What do they look like?”
I explained carefully, “Werewolves can shift only when there is moonlight, or else they look just like normal humans. Before shifting, werewolves cannot even recognize one another.”
“So that is why you are searching during the night?” The young master nodded and said, frustrated, “But if he doesn’t shift, we can’t find him then either, right?”
“Werewolves cannot hold back their nature to shift for too long, especially during a full moon when the moonlight is plentiful.” I said lightly, “It is just like vampires needing blood, a werewolf cannot hold back their bloodlust.”
“Oh, that makes things easier.” The young master nodded. “Charles, you don’t need to take a break; I will go with you to…”
The young master stopped in the middle of his sentence. I asked, puzzled, “Young Master?”
The young master frowned and muttered half to himself, half to me, “Something happened on the streets. Strange, that place is within the sphere of influence of Dragon Peace and First Wind. Why haven’t either appeared? Is it because of the overlapping areas of influence, so they are waiting for each other to make the first move?”
“Do heroes have spheres of influence?” I was surprised. I thought only the mafia divided the cities up like that.
The young master smiled and shook his head. “No! It’s just implicitly agreed upon, or else, since Sunset City is so big, it would take me an hour to get from the east side to the west side even on DSII. If something happens, and I don’t get there until an hour later, I won’t be in time to stop anything from happening.”
I gained a sudden realization. I had never thought about the problem of time. In those hero movies, the hero always gets there on time, but it looks like it is not that easy in real life.
Implicit recognition among heroes… I suddenly remembered something and held back a grin. “Young Master, you told me before that you did not even know there were so many heroes.”
The young master hesitated before answering with a guilty expression, “I lied to you then, but everything else I said besides the heroes part is true!”
I shook my head to indicate that I did not mind. “I was not very familiar with Young Master at that time, so it is only right for Young Master not to tell me.”
The young master smiled and continued explaining, “Solitary Butterfly probably lives on the northern side of Sunset City, Dragon Peace in the south, First Wind in the west, and I am in the east. However, Dragon Peace never appears during the day, so First Wind also looks over the southwest and I look over southeast during the day.”
So the cooperation between heroes is already that deep? I was a little surprised. I never thought that heroes divided their work in such detail.
But when I thought about it, it was not strange at all. If there were no clear spheres of influence, then, when two or more events occur, the heroes who did not know one another would not know which side they should help.
“The north’s Solitary Butterfly hasn’t appeared either… Weird.” The young master was somewhat helpless as he said, “No choice then. Even if I’m the farthest, I will go take a look. Luckily, it is not on the far eastern side, or else there is no way I can make it.”
Seeing the situation, I could not help but ask, “How did Young Master know something has happened?”
The young master gestured at his head and said, “All the surveillance cameras in Sunset City are connected. I just need to be connected to any camera to receive an image. I can also get into the police force’s network, so when someone reports an incident, I will know too. I think the other three use the same kind of methods, but they probably watch on their computers, not in their heads!”
The young master stuck out his tongue and said, “Let’s go, Charles!”
Go? Go where? I looked at the young master in puzzlement.
“You can come with me!” The young master grinned happily. “After we take care of this case, we can go search for the werewolf, take a stroll in the night market, and get some late night snacks!”
Young Master, your tone was especially excited when you said late night snacks… I chuckled.
The young master giggled as he said, “No matter how hard you look, you can’t perform a more detailed search than me; there are 67,826 surveillance cameras in the network in Sunset City! I can even find a stray dog if you tell me its characteristics, so don’t even mention a werewolf after shifting.”
“Young Master can view sixty thousand cameras at once?” I was astonished.
“Of course not.”
The young master shrugged. “Before, DSII used to help me control and filter through most of the surveillance cameras and police cases, but sixty thousand was a bit too much, so DSII’s management unit almost burned up a couple of times. But now Bramble-shū, Melody, and the others are all helping with watching, so DSII can even sneak out and go joyriding.
The young master laughed and asked, “Charles, you didn’t really think that Bramble-shū, Dell-gē, and May-gē were having a tea party on the rooftop, right?”
“I thought they were on guard to determine whether or not there were ‘non-humans’ approaching,” I answered tactfully.
“Then you must have thought that I was getting a facial next door?”
I turned around, surprised to see a radiant beauty standing lazily at the door, and this time she was not clad only in undergarments.
“Not at all,” I answered with a professional butler smile.
Melody’s stilettos made a rhythmic beat, and when it ended, she was one step away from me. Then she leaned in with a blazing smile, and I could feel her breath on my face.
“Mr. Butler, I thought you were a rare, honest vampire!”
With my professional smile still on my face, I answered, “Yes, however, for the sake of not hurting others, I sometimes am not that truthful.”
Melody humphed coldly and turned to the young master. She pouted and whined, “Young Master, look at him! He said that I was slacking off when I was working so hard!”
The young master scratched his face and said with confusion written all over his face, “Melody, Charles never said that!”
Hearing that, Melody stomped her foot hard. The clicking of her heels made me worried… Worried that her heels would snap. The floors in the apartment were made of an unknown material, but although unknown, it was definitely more durable than any other flooring material and is heat and scratch resistant.
Melody used a whining voice to complain, “I get it, Young Master, you care more about the butler than you care about me, so you rather seek the butler out than me when going out on your cases!”
The young master laughed. “Oh, so, Melody, you want to come too! That’s great because late night snacks taste better with more people around! But DSII can only take two people… Right! Melody, can you drive a heavy bike? What about you take Charles over, and I will fly instead.”
“No problem.” Melody smiled at the young master, and then she turned and spoke to me in a sickeningly sweet voice, “Don’t you worry, butler, my motorcycle skills are very, very good!”
“Then, I shall have to trouble you.”
Even though Melody obviously had some ill intentions, I did not believe that her biking skills were “better” than the young master’s, so there was nothing to be worried about.
The young master seemed to have suddenly remembered something. “Ah! Right, remember to hold tightly onto DSII. He is not very obedient lately, so he might go a little fast!”
…Maybe DSII is even “better.”
“I am not afraid of a little speed, but maybe the butler is?” Melody looked at me with scorn evident in her eyes.
I stared at Melody, and a smile rose onto my face. The smile must have been a little odd because Melody looked surprised.
Unexpectedly, when DSII snaked between traffic and passed five or six cars in an instant, Melody screamed… and then she laughed.
She slapped the motorcycle. “That was thrilling, DSII! Go a bit faster!”
“Okay! Okay!” DSII sounded as excited as Melody, and he yelled happily, “I will go as fast as Melody-jiějie wants me to!”
Then, before you accelerate, can you please let me get off?
Unfortunately, before I could voice my request, DSII had already started to accelerate. I could only hold onto Melody’s waist tighter, close my eyes, and try to hypnotize myself that since I am a vampire, even if there were a car crash, I would be okay, so speeding and snaking through traffic was not scary at all. All the while, I listened to Melody and DSII shriek with laughter.
Afterward, I should go get a motorcycle license… And buy a heavy bike!
Then, DSII emitted a little “Ah.”
What is wrong? Are we going to crash? I quickly opened my eyes just in time to see a tree brush by my face… We are actually riding on the sidewalk!
“What’s wrong?” I heard Melody question from up front.
“Ah Ye said that we don’t need to hurry over anymore!” DSII sounded disappointed. “He said that another hero showed up, so we’re not needed anymore. He also said that there is another case nearby, a small case, so he needs to go and take care of it.”
“Which hero?” Melody sounded unhappy. “Why didn’t they show up earlier, making us coming all this way for nothing.”
DSII fell silent for a little bit. Meanwhile, he drove from the sidewalk to the overpass, drove up it and down, and then answered, “It was just Solitary Butterfly up until now, but now other heroes have arrived too…”
Do not tell me… I blurted out, “Could it be that Dragon Peace and First Wind are there too?”
“Yeah, yeah!” DSII suddenly turned all excited. “It was only First Wind arriving just then, but now Dragon Peace is there too! Alright, I’m accelerating!”
“Wait a minute, DSII,” I said, surprised. “Why are you speeding up? The young master said that we are not needed anymore, right?”
“No!” DSII suddenly yelled, “I am going! Because I love Dragon Peace the best. I want his autograph!”
I felt deeply inside my heart that Dragon Peace was not going to be happy when a motorcycle asked for his autograph.
Melody turned and looked at me. She shrugged. “If you don’t want to see everybody scream, then when the time comes, you can go ask for an autograph for DSII!”
I frowned and looked down at my heavy, old style suit. It did not look like something one should wear to ask for an autograph.
“Don’t ask me to go.” Before I could say anything, Melody interrupted, “Because when the time comes, I’ll be too busy asking for First Wind’s autograph!”
I was speechless for a while, and then I smoothly said, “I do not think that Dark Sun is less popular than Dragon Peace or First Wind. You can ask for the young master’s autograph, so you do not necessarily need the autographs of other heroes.”
“Why would I ask for the autograph of a person I see everyday?” Melody rolled her pretty eyes at me. “If I want, I can even kiss the young master, and he won’t get mad. Why would I stare at his autograph all day?”
“Right, right!” DSII copied Melody’s words. “If DSII wanted to, DSII can even migrate to the microchip in Ah Ye’s brain to control his body to write words! He wouldn’t get mad either! Why would I need Ah Ye’s autograph?”
…This really was an argument where I had to admit defeat.
“Okay! Melody-jiějie, Charles-gē, hold on tight! DSII is going to charge!”
Melody immediately screamed in reply, “Charge! Charge! For First Wind and Dragon Peace, let’s charge!”
“May I ask, may I please get off?”
Even though I had managed to voice my request this time, it was obvious that no one had heard me, or they had just simply ignored my request.
In the end, through the roaring wind and the darkness of my tightly closed eyelids, I managed to crack open an eye once and dimly saw the number two hundred and fifty on the meter… Then I quickly closed my eyes again and decided not to open my eyes until the motorcycle stopped.