No Hero Volume 2: The Hero Grim Reaper
Original novel in Chinese by: 御 我 (Yu Wo)
Legend of a Hero Chapter 4: Under the Wailing, the Hated Hero – translated by Raylight
… When I’m being a hero, ought I let Charles come and help me?
No way! Definitely no way!
I have already made a promise with him.
Charles is my butler and is not in charge of fighting!
I continued searching until around four o’clock in the morning before I returned home. At first, I had thought that the young master should not have gone out yet, for the young master would always step out of the front door at five o’clock sharp. However, right now it was only 4:40, yet there was already no one at home.
Regarding this, I was simply a bit astonished. The young master would rarely step out of his regular pattern of life. However, it was also possible that something had suddenly popped up and hence he had gone out.
I walked into the kitchen and started to prepare breakfast.
At 6:45, Mr. Bramble, Dell, and May came down to wait for breakfast, proving my previous guess wrong.
“An incident?” May shook his head and said, “There has been no need to monitor for the young master since yesterday night. He doesn’t want to go out.”
I was a little astonished. Probably because he had seen my expression, Dell shrugged his shoulders and said, “Don’t be nervous, butler. This isn’t anything strange. It’s not like the young master will go out and help every time there is an incident.”
Mr. Bramble gave a smile as he explained, “There are too many incidents in Sunset City, so the young master couldn’t possibly go and intervene every time something happens. Generally speaking, if it was an ordinary brawl, then even if it resulted in someone dying, the young master would not go and help.”
“Butler, don’t tell me you don’t know?” Dell suddenly shouted excitedly.
Of course I did not know what he was referring to, so I shook my head.
He immediately gave a grin, and then as though he were singing a limerick, he said, “In Sunset City, miscreants have to know the rules. At Solitary Butterfly’s, one must never bully women; in Dragon Peace’s sphere of influence, one must love and protect animals; under First Wind’s watchful eye, don’t ever sell drugs or collect debts forcefully; if you’re walking in Dark Sun’s territory, you can’t lay a hand on any elderly, weak, women, or children.”
Elderly, weak, women, and children… Last night’s pair of mother and daughter fits that category perfectly.
Mr. Bramble went into further explanation. “This rule just makes clear that the heroes have a target that they are especially fond of rescuing. If something like a bank robbery happens, the heroes will still go and help.”
May abruptly cut in, “The young master is probably feeling very upset! He didn’t manage to save that pair of mother and daughter… The target that he has never given up on saving is exactly a mother with a child.”
I see. Because the young master is very upset, he did not want to go out again and help last night, and moreover, went out ahead of schedule this morning? I nodded my head and questioned the three, “Last night, what exactly happened on the rooftop?”
Dell gave a shrug of his shoulders and said, “The surveillance cameras on the rooftop were destroyed by the criminal beforehand. We could only watch from another building’s surveillance cameras and don’t know any more than you do.”
“Those are all not the main point, butler!” Dell’s face suddenly became serious, which made me follow suit and become solemn…
“The main point is, have you cooked breakfast yet?”
So it was about breakfast. I was unhappy but found it funny as I said, “What ought to be prepared is already all done. Wait until the young master gets home, and in the time while he is bathing, I will then start to make the food, so as to prevent the food from going cold.”
Dell gave an “oh,” and then as usual, sprawled onto the sofa, complaining that he was hungry as he waited for breakfast to be served.
I glanced at the clock. It was only two minutes until seven, so I hurriedly went to grab a towel and stand by the side of the front door.
“6:59… Ten seconds, nine seconds… It’s seven!”
Dell jumped up, and then shouted at the door, “Young Master, welcome home!”
I stood at the door, my posture slightly bowed. In my hands was the towel for the young master to wipe off his sweat, and on my face I had on a butler’s perfect faint smile. The line “Welcome back” was held in my mouth, ready to come out at any moment.
Everyone looked at the front door, but the door showed no indication of being opened. The living room fell into silence. Time ticked on, minute by minute, second by second. I still continued standing by the door, my hands holding the towel, and my smile… Perhaps it was a little stiff.
May’s voice drifted over. “It’s 7:10.”
The door still remained tightly shut.
After a while, Dell seemed to have difficulty getting by as he said, “It’s 7:20. I’m so hungry…”
I straightened my back. My waist and face both felt a little stiff. I turned around to face the others and said, “I will give a call to the young master.”
“The young master’s cell phone is over there.” Mr. Bramble interrupted my words, pointing at a cell phone on the sofa.
I was a little speechless. Looks like we can only continue to wait.
“Sorry, I’m late.”
I was stunned. When I turned around, I saw the young master walking in from the front door. He was covered in sweat all over, and even his hair appeared to be a little damp. I had never seen the young master sweat so much before, but though I was shocked, I still hurried forward and presented the towel, saying, “Young Master, please go and shower first. Your change of clothes has already been placed in the shower room.”
“Okay.” The young master received the towel, and as he wiped his hair, said, “Charles, help me prepare a little more breakfast. I’m starving.”
I was startled for a moment but quickly answered, “Understood.”
The young master walked by the living room and greeted the others. “Morning, Bramble-shū, Dell-gē, and May-gē.”
Must prepare a bit more breakfast… Before I started swiftly walking into the kitchen, I even heard Dell give a mutter under his breath, “Did the young master go out and fight with a monster?”
In my heart, I could not help but secretly agree.
Under the situation where I did not know the extent of the young master’s hunger, I could only cook ten servings of breakfast and hope that it would be enough to fill up the ”starving” belly of the young master.
Just as I finished carrying all of the breakfast onto the table, the young master walked into the living room. Moreover, he was actually not dressed in his outdoor clothes but rather his ordinary home clothes.
I was a little astonished as I inquired, “Young Master, are you not going to school today?”
“Yeah, I’m not going to school today!” The young master straightforwardly answered and then said, “Let’s eat” to everyone. Following that, he sat down and started wolfing down breakfast.
Seeing the situation, everyone could only lower their heads and work hard at eating breakfast. Though it was not much different from usual, the atmosphere was a little stifling. Even Dell, who usually loved to speak nonsense, did not open his mouth much, and everyone just tried to eat their share of breakfast.
At this moment, Mr. Bramble picked up the television remote control out of habit and turned to the news channel.
At first, I did not really pay attention to it. However, I immediately remembered… Yesterday’s incident was so serious, it would definitely end up on the morning news!
I looked at Mr. Bramble, and then realized that Dell and May were both staring at him. The former’s face changed, and just as he was about to press the button on the remote control, the young master abruptly said, “Don’t turn it off!”
Mr. Bramble could only put down the remote control. The young master stopped his action of eating and concentrated on watching the television, as did the others.
Yesterday night, around ten o’clock, a major case of a criminal threatening a pair of mother and daughter occurred.
According to police investigations, the aim of the criminal was actually to divert the police’s attention and take the opportunity to rob the jewelry store two blocks away.
Though there were three heroes and the police were all standing guard at the scene, there were unknown figures who were brawling on-the-spot mid-way. In the midst of the fighting, the mother and daughter unfortunately fell off the building, and an explosion occurred. According to witnesses at the scene, the hero Dark Sun was on the rooftop at the time…
Now, we will switch the scene to the information meeting that the police are holding.
The image on the television screen changed, and instead of the news reporter, there appeared a man wearing a police uniform. He was standing on a platform filled with microphones. Though his face was full of stubble, I believe that he should only be twenty years old or so. His expression and manner of speaking was as expected, as rash as someone of that age.
He was scowling and looked agitated as he roared, “… Dark Sun, no matter whether you are a hero or anything else, this is the result of taking action before going through careful evaluation and judgment. If it wasn’t for your recklessness, that pair of mother and daughter originally would not have died at all! You hear that? You caused them to die!”
Hearing such severe words from the police, I almost gasped. Following that, I looked at the others from the corner of my eyes. Everyone’s expressions had changed. Their brows were furrowed tight, but instead they intentionally lowered their heads to eat, not looking at the young master.
When I think about it, it was likely they were worried that the young master would feel awkward, and hence they did not look at him. However, I did not have that kind of concern. A butler’s duty has always been looking at their employer, and of course there was no exception this time either.
The young master looked blank for a moment, and then turned to me and said, “Charles, use your cell phone to help me call Kyle-gē.”
“Understood.” I immediately did so and handed the cell phone over to the young master. However, I felt a little uneasy. The young master could not be thinking of using the master’s strength to punish that policeman, could he?
The young master took the cell phone and said, “Kyle-gē? I’m Ah Ye. You tell Gēge not to take action against that policeman on TV, and also not to do anything against any media who is speaking against Dark Sun, and also not to… Ah! In short, tell Gēge that I don’t mind, and tell him not to go about killing people just because of this!”
… Go about killing people?
Including me, everyone here had looked at the young master with wide eyes by this point, the problem of awkwardness long disregarded.
Following that, the young master quietly listened on the cell phone. However, roughly a dozen or more seconds later, he suddenly stood up agitatedly and roared at the cell phone, “Retaliation that does not involve killing is not allowed either! Basically, don’t let Gēge discipline anyone just because of me! Tell him, if he dares to do that, then— then… Then in the future, even if it’s vacation, I won’t go back and see him!”
So, a simple thing like “going back to see your brother during vacation” could actually save human lives? I sighed. This is sure simpler than being a hero.
After that roar, the young master became quiet again as he listened. After a few minutes, he rejected what the person said in one go as he stubbornly said, “No! I won’t go back during summer vacation either. I have already said, before I finish university, I’m going to continue living away from home… Boring? It’s not! There’s Charles, Melody, Bramble-shū, and the others to accompany me. Moreover, I have already decided that during summer vacation, I’m going to go work and earn some money.”
Work and earn some money? Including me, everyone’s faces were filled with shock.
Though I could not see Mr. Kyle’s face, I think that he too must be extremely confused. He probably asked a question, something along the lines of “why,” and hence the young master gave him a reply with a tone as though it was to be expected, “Because I asked my classmates what they are doing over summer vacation, and they all said that they are going to work and earn some money. So, I am also going to go work and earn some money. Okay, okay, you don’t have to help me look for a job. I will go and find one myself… Okay! My stomach’s growling! I’m going to eat breakfast. Basically, Kyle-gē, help me tell Gēge to be more obedient, and don’t do a single thing. Then tonight, I’ll give him a call.”
The young master ended the call, and then started to put a lot of effort into eating breakfast again. He looked like he was really extremely hungry, for his eating speed was even faster than usual.
When breakfast was done, I handed the young master a napkin to wipe his mouth. After simply dabbing at his mouth, he lifted his head to look at me and asked, “So, what kind of work should I do?”
“Young Master, I have not done any part-time work before,” I gave a wry smile as I answered.
Once I finished answering, the young master’s gaze shifted onto Dell and May. The two of them had an odd expression on their faces, and nobody opened their mouths to say anything. However, the young master kept on staring at the two, awaiting an answer.
It was silent for a while before May opened his mouth with difficulty, and tried suggesting, “Young Master, you could… could… be a hacker?”
“I know! A firearms dealer!” Dell punched his palm, looking proud of himself, as though he thought that it was a good suggestion.
Mr. Bramble shook his head and then continued to drink his tea and read the newspaper.
At this moment, the young master looked at me and asked, “Charles, what do you think?”
In such a short time, I actually could not think of any answer better than “hacker” or “firearms dealer.” Thus, I could only inquire, “That would have to depend on the nature of the work that Young Master is looking for.”
After the young master had tilted his head to one side to consider, he said, “As long as it’s a job that a normal person would work as.”
A hacker and firearms dealer, no matter what, they do not seem like a job that a normal person would work as. All of the people present fell silent again.
A normal job… Carrying plates? Selling drinks? Distributing flyers?
Actually, the young master should be competent in an overwhelming number of jobs. After all, the young master is both a master of the pen and the sword. No matter what the work involves, be it brains or physical strength, there is no problem. However, it was simply hard to imagine a young master who has a butler of an annual salary of twenty million working the jobs of a part-timing student.
“In short, I must find a job within the next few days! Otherwise it’ll become harder and harder to find one!” After the young master said that loudly, he turned to face us and said, “This was what Abner told me… Ah! Actually I didn’t have to ask you guys. It’ll be fine if I go and ask Abner tomorrow.”
It seems that the young master still does not intend on going to school today. I quickly said, “Young Master, since you are not going to school today, then I am not going to sleep either. Please let me…”
The young master interrupted my words and shook his head as he said, “No, go and sleep. Wake up at around the same time you usually do. At night time, accompany me to X-Killer to look at the photos!”
“Young Master, vampires are fine even if they do not sleep for several days. For these two weeks, you have already let me take leave after midnight. This is already extremely generous of you, so today please let me wait upon you…”
The young master abruptly called out to me. “Charles.”
“Go and sleep obediently.”
I answered a little helplessly. Suddenly, Dell burst into laughter. I turned my head, wanting to give him a grudging look. However, I discovered that even May and Mr. Bramble had a smile forming at the corners of their mouths.
As per usual, I would always brew a pot of tea and deliver it to the rooftop before returning to my metal cabinet to sleep. Today was no exception. Just as I had delivered the tea and was about to go down the floors, Dell called out to me.
I turned back and saw an odd expression on Dell’s face as he asked, “Butler. How much is your annual salary?”
Hearing this question, I froze for a moment, but I still honestly replied, “Twenty million.”
“Tsk, tsk, that’s not a small amount at all!” Dell gave me an envious look and continued, “Bramble-shū, May, and my salary add up to more or less six or seven million. Based on how the company pays, Melody should be receiving more than ten million.”
He used his fingers to count, and count… Suddenly he gave a loud shout. “The salary of the employees under the young master is already over forty million combined together, and he actually wants to work and earn money? Even if he worked for two months, I don’t even know if he would get forty thousand yuan!”
Indeed so. However, I actually approve of the young master’s idea to work. Money is not the issue. Working will help the young master in the aspects of interpersonal relationships, how to treat people, and how to conduct oneself in society. Therefore, there was no harm in giving it a try.
“Mr. Charles,” May called out.
He looked at me, and with worry in his eyes, asked, “Say, just now, what the policeman said on the news… Does he really not mind?”
“I too do not know,” I honestly admitted.
“You three youngsters, don’t think about doing anything!” As Mr. Bramble poured the tea, he slowly said, “The young master doesn’t like to show sadness, so don’t force him. Though the young master is easy to get along with, you all should never forget that we are only his subordinates!”
Three youngsters… Does that include me?
I fell silent for a while, but I still did not refute Mr. Bramble. After all, among vampires, having an age of a hundred and fifty two years old is indeed considered a “youngster.”
The metal cabinet is designed to completely brighten at four o’clock in order to wake me. The moment it brightened, I immediately opened my eyes.
The young master should be in the workshop modifying guns? Then, I should pour him a glass of milk. After I freshened up in a simple fashion, I immediately took the milk jug and a glass, and then I headed to the living room. However, when I approached the living room, I heard laughter, so I slowed my steps down.
This voice did not seem like the young master’s voice. It sounded more like… a girl’s laughter?
Feeling puzzled, I reached the living room. In a single glance, I saw that the young master was currently chatting and laughing with a girl. The girl was very young, likely around ten to twelve years old. On the table, she had out a booklet that looked like schoolwork, and before the young master was a sheet of drawing paper and a box of crayons. In his hand, he even held a crayon.
“Charles, you’re awake!” The young master noticed my presence and smiled as he introduced, “This is Briar, Bramble-shū’s daughter.”
The girl had a hairstyle of two buns. Both of her cheeks were pink and her chin was slightly sharp, making the shape of her face look like a peach. Accompanied with a set of large eyes, she looked extremely cute. I remembered now. This was indeed the little girl who had been abducted by the criminals, and afterwards saved by the young master.
She laughed as she said, “Is this the butler that Ah Ye-gēge spoke of, Charles-gēge?”
“Yes indeed. Nice to meet you, Briar!” I smiled in return.
Briar blinked her eyes and then said, “Charles-gēge can just call me Bri.”
The young master explained, “Bramble-shū said that for some reason, the school mysteriously had a vacation, and he didn’t feel at ease leaving Bri at home by herself. He also didn’t know anyone who he can entrust her to, so he brought Bri over.”
The school has a vacation on Thursday? I said, “So I see,” but in my heart I did not quite think so. Especially since after the young master had finished explaining, Bri revealed a smile and secretly winked at me.
The young master seemed a little puzzled as he asked, “Usually, what do you do at this time?”
I truthfully replied, “Usually, I will go out and buy groceries.”
“Oh! Then you can go out and buy groceries now too.” The young master looked at me with serious eyes and said, “Don’t act differently from usual just because I’m at home!”
“Understood.” I inquired, “Then, may I ask if there is anything in particular that you wish to eat?”
The young master shrugged his shoulders, obviously not minding what he would have for dinner. This was not out of my expectations, for the young master eats “anything.” Except for liking fried meat and milk, he did not have any other special preferences.
“How about Briar?” I turned around and questioned our guest with a smile.
“Can I ask for anything?” Briar asked with sparkling eyes.
“Anything is fine.”
If the person in front of me were a grown-up, I would perhaps not dare to say this line. However, Briar was only a little girl, and she was not a rich lady. Therefore, she likely would not ask for something that I am unable to make.
“Then I want to eat curry rice!” Briar happily stood up and shouted, “It has to be a curry rice kids’ meal!”
A curry rice kids’ meal? I went blank for a moment. Curry rice was naturally not a problem, but what is a curry rice kids’ meal? My honorable father, is it because you have never served an employer who is very young, hence you could not teach me how to cook a curry rice kids’ meal?
At this moment, Briar used her finger to indicate for me to come closer. I leaned in, and she whispered, “Just make the rice into a half circular shape, and stick a small flag on top. Also, there are bunny shaped carrots and cauliflowers carved into the shape of small flowers. Sprinkle a lot of powdered sugar on top, and put colorful mashed potatoes… Ah Ye-gē will definitely like it a lot!”
So this is a curry rice kids’ meal? It seemed to sound a little childish, but I could not deny that the young master perhaps would really like it.
“What are you two saying?” The young master leaned closer and asked in curiosity, “What is a curry rice kids’ meal?”
“It’s. A. Secret!” Briar jumped onto the young master’s leg and used her two hands to cover the young master’s ears. But then, she yelled, “Ah Ye-gēge can’t know about it yet, so you’re not allowed to ask Charles-gēge!”
The young master tilted his head to one side, and though the curiosity on his face did not fade one bit, he did not question me either. He only smiled as he said, “Bri, you covered my ears but also yelled at me. So do you want me to hear or not?”
“Of course I want you to hear!” Briar turned her head, and then she started exclaiming, “Charles-gēge, hurry and go buy the groceries. Hurry, hurry!”
I smiled at her, but my eyes drifted to the young master. After seeing the young master nod his head at me, only then did I say, “All right, then I will be going out to buy the groceries.”
The young master nodded his head. Thus, after helping pour both the young master and Briar a glass of milk, I went out to buy groceries. Though I could not serve the young master, my worries were much lighter than before I had gone to sleep. Briar seemed much more mature than her actual age, and the young master seemed to be very fond of her too. With her around, the young master should not have any problems.
The moment I stepped out of the door, the cell phone on my body started ringing. The name shown on the display was “Bodyguard Captain.” I answered the call, and immediately Mr. Bramble’s voice came through. “Young Master… No! How’s Briar?”
I told him the truth, “Bri is currently chatting with the young master while doing her homework.”
“Then… how is it? Happy?”
I smiled, and intentionally inquired, “Are you asking about Bri? Yes, she looks very happy.”
“Then is the young master happy… Cough! The young master doesn’t dislike Bri, right?”
“Nothing of the sort. The young master seems to like Bri very much.”
“That’s good. That’s all I wanted to ask. You can go and be busy with your own stuff!”
After hearing Bramble murmur, “I just knew that Bri, that child, wouldn’t let me down,” the connection was cut. At this point, my mood suddenly turned extremely good.
Only the young master’s subordinates?
Mr. Bramble, your words are really not convincing at all.
The most troublesome aspect of curry is the spices used for seasoning.
That is because everybody has different likes, and hence different spices would be used for seasoning. Therefore, my honorable father only taught me the most basic ingredients at that time. Then, he told me that I have to mix the seasoning according to the master’s tastes.
The young master likes food that is heavy and leaning towards sweet, and Briar is also still a child. Therefore, I intended to make honey apple curry. Both of them should like it.
After buying the various spices around the supermarket, I walked to the market.
Among the people coming and going, some looked at me with wide eyes. These were mostly people who caught sight of me for the first time. There were also people who smiled and nodded at me, and I naturally returned a smile to them. Following that were the various vendors that I was extremely familiar with.
Ever since I had become the young master’s butler, I had always bought from this market. When I had first started, everyone had looked at me with strange looks. Probably it was because of the fact that I was wearing splendid clothes. However, after I had bought five catties of pork from the pork stall, everyone became completely relaxed.
It was even at the point where, after I had come here to buy ingredients several times, several stall-keepers came to chat with me out of curiosity.
I walked to the stall selling chicken and asked with a smile, “May I ask if there is any good chicken today?”
The chicken vendor was a tall and strong young man who had just taken over his father’s stall not long ago. However, he had a good eye for chicken, and he was outspoken and honest while doing business—a very decent young man. While he was chopping the chicken, he raised his head up and exclaimed, “Oh! Charles, you’re here! You’re pretty late today!”
“Yes, I was delayed for a bit.”
“Today’s chickens are not big, and seeing that huge appetite of your family, you’ll probably need five chickens or there won’t be enough.” His eyes narrowed, and then he whispered to me, “If you introduce your family’s little sister to me, then these five chickens can be treated as a welcome gift!”
“That would not do. My older brother would scold me to no end.” I rejected his offer naturally. That is because at home, I absolutely did not have any sisters to introduce to him.
For a man to go to the market often and buy so much food at once while always wearing splendid clothes, it is inevitable that it would attract a lot of attention. Thus, under everyone’s endless, curious inquiries, I too spun a lot of stories to answer them. For example, there were twelve children at home, and due to our mother’s early demise, as the second brother, I had to cook for the children at home when my father and older brother were out working.
Ever since I had offhandedly fabricated the lies of having a younger fifth sister who is currently twenty years old and looks very cute, having an eighteen years old younger brother who looks very much like me, and having an older brother who had just obtained his civil service qualification and is much better looking than me, I could always get an extremely cheap price.
The reason being that every stall vendor would want me to introduce my older brother, my younger brother, or my younger sister to them. As to which one the chicken vendor wanted to get the most acquainted with, that was the “twenty years old, cute younger fifth sister” of mine.
“Please give me five chickens.” After saying that, I added on, “My little sister likes to eat chicken the most. She loves fresh and tender chicken meat, so…”
“No problem!” The chicken vendor straightforwardly said, “I’ll definitely give you the best and most tender chicken! When you have time, introduce your younger sister to me!”
“Thank you.” I avoided as the topic by saying, “Today I am making curry, so please help me cut—“
“You there, don’t move!”
There came a shout from behind me. I stilled. Originally, I did not think the shout was directed at me. However, the shocked expression on the chicken vendor told me… that it was indeed directed at me. Moreover, it probably was not anything good.
“Put down everything in your hands! Then slowly turn around.”
I did as he said and put all of the plastic bags in my hands onto the stall of the chicken vendor. Following that, I turned around. What appeared in front of me was a man wearing a police uniform and who was pointing his gun at me. Moreover, his face… He was the policeman who had appeared on today’s morning news, scolding Dark Sun!
“May I ask—” I was extremely puzzled as I opened my mouth.
“Shut up!” The policeman roared, “You vampire, there is no place for you to speak here!”
I was startled. How did he know that I am a vampire?
The policeman glanced at the stall selling chicken and was full of confidence as he said, “You’re buying chicken so that you can go back and suck on its blood?”
“It is for making curry rice.” I gave a forced smile as I said, “Mr. Policeman, to kill a chicken, you have to bleed it first. Whether I am a vampire or not, it is impossible for the chickens being sold here to have any blood for me to suck.”
Hearing that, the policeman looked dumbfounded. The surrounding vendors and spectators started laughing under their breath one-by-one.
“Mr. Policeman, I am not a vampire.” I tried saying, “You can ask the vendors around here. I come here every day to buy ingredients. If I am a vampire, then it is not quite possible that I would do that, right? What I am saying is, do not vampires drink blood for survival? But, there is no blood being sold in the market.”
The surrounding vendors started clamoring.
“Charles has been coming here to buy groceries for a long time already!”
“You gave me such a fright. What vampire, it’s still broad daylight right now!”
“Mr. Policeman, don’t malign the wrong person!”
Hearing that, the policeman’s confidence seemed to waver, but he still put up a bold face as he said, “Who said there isn’t? Isn’t there still chicken’s blood, duck’s blood, and pig’s blood cake?1”
I started laughing, and all of the surrounding vendors started roaring in laughter too. If vampires could eat their fill on chicken’s blood, duck’s blood, and pig’s blood cake, then probably humans would not be that afraid of us anymore, would they?
The policeman’s face flushed red, and he growled, “Why are you all laughing? Y-You, take off your hat and your coat. Wearing such thick layers, you definitely have to be a vampire who is scared of the light.”
Before I even had the chance to speak up, the chicken vendor behind me had already shouted in a loud voice, “Mr. Policeman, you can’t do that! Charles is allergic to light. If he removes them, he will die!”
As for being allergic to light, of course it was also one of the lies that I had fabricated. However, the truth was that quite a long time ago, patients who were allergic to light had really been thought of and treated as vampires. Of course, in this age where medical technology is so advanced, there is no such matter anymore.
I looked at the policeman with an apologetic look.
Actually, it would be fine even if I took off my hat and my clothes. The sunlight would indeed make me feel uncomfortable. However, not showing any peculiar symptoms for a short period of time is not hard at all, especially since it was evening at the moment and the sunlight was not strong. However, due to the lie that I fabricated about being “allergic to light,” I could not obey the policeman’s orders.
The policeman frowned, and then his left hand, which was not holding the gun, dug into his chest pockets, taking out an antique cross.
“As you wish.” I raised both of my hands up, expressing that I had no evil intentions.
He walked over cautiously, the gun in his hands still pointing at me. When he was about a step’s distance away from me, he stuck the cross onto my face, and he had even used quite a bit of strength to press it onto my face. I could only give a forced smile at him.
Thankfully, this policeman only had a superficial knowledge of vampires. The cross that he held was made of silver, and vampires were indeed afraid of silver. However, he did not seem to know that silver has to come into contact with a vampire’s blood for it to have any effect.
Moreover, we are actually not afraid of the cross.
The cross was just like a police’s badge. It does not have any practical use. If a vampire really were afraid of the cross, he would be afraid of the “Church” that the cross represents and not the cross itself.
“Are you really not a vampire?” The policeman hesitated for a moment, and then put away both the cross and the gun. He muttered, “It doesn’t make sense. What you’re wearing is obviously the same as what the vampire wore last night.”
So the source of the problem was the clothes. I had a sudden glimpse of realization, and felt that I was simply too careless.
The policeman looked at me with suspicion, sizing me up. He asked, “What is your name?”
“Charles, Charles Endelis.”
“Charles, is it? Take me to your house!” The policeman looked immensely pleased with himself as he concluded, “As long as I go to your house, I would definitely know whether or not you are a vampire!”
Follow a vampire back home?
This was simply not a good idea. If I were not a butler and was merely a vampire, I would perhaps consider bringing this policeman back home and biting him to death. This way, not only would I be able to get rid of someone who was suspicious of me, I could also eat my fill as well.
It is a pity that I am a butler, and I do not want to dirty the young master’s home either; thus, I cannot execute this plan that is so attractive to vampires.
“Then, may I inquire if I may pick up these groceries and also buy some chicken?” I gave a wry smile as I said, “My younger siblings at home are still waiting for me to go home and cook!”
The policeman waved his hand impatiently. “Hurry up!”
I helplessly told the chicken vendor, “Please help me chop the chicken, and please be quick.”
“Cooking curry rice, right? I got it!” The chicken vendor found it funny as he chopped the chicken while speaking, and he even joked, “Do you want to conveniently buy some chicken blood to take home to drink, Mr. Vampire?” I could only smile wryly at him.
Not too long later, I carried a few bags of vegetables and two bags of chopped chicken and started to walk back home alongside the policeman.
“A grown man, yet you’re buying groceries?” The policeman said to me in disapproval and then snatched the two bags of chicken from my hands.
“Thank you, Mr. Policeman.” I was a little surprised, for I did not think that he would help me carry my items.
“Sigh! What Mr. Policeman. I’m called Yue Gang.2 Hey! You still haven’t answered me!”
Yue Gang glanced at the plastic bags in my hands, and then asked me in doubt, “Why is a grown man like you buying so many groceries?”
“It is like this.”
I could only talk once again about my mother’s early demise, my father and big brother who are out at work, along with my younger siblings who are waiting to be fed with cries of hunger…
Once Yue Gang finished listening to my story, he immediately scratched his head furiously, and with a face that implied “what a pity,” he said, “Tch! The eldest girl is only twenty years old. That’s a bit too young. I’m already twenty eight.”
I broke into a smile. This policeman called Yue Gang might unexpectedly be someone who the young master would say is “interesting.”
When I returned home, though I had the key, I intentionally rang the doorbell.
After waiting for a moment, the door was pulled open and the young master poked his head out. He looked at me, a little confused, and started to say, “Char—”
I immediately interrupted the young master’s words and smiled as I said, “I am back. Ah Ye, did you obediently help me look after the place? Did you look after your sister without letting her run around wildly? Has both Father and Dàgē3 not returned yet?”
The young master paused for only an extremely short moment before he switched his tone, and his voice became slightly child-like as he said, “Charles-gē, you’re back! I’m so hungry. Hurry and cook curry rice for me!”
Briar had also walked over. I was just worrying whether she would be unable to coordinate with us, or if she would let this whole ruse fall apart, when her set of large eyes darted around to look at the situation. Then, she threw herself at me, shouting, “Gēge! Bri is also really hungry. Curry! Curry!”
I turned around, and with a faint smile, said, “Mr. Yue Gang, please come in and have a seat?”
“No!” Yue Gang was a little embarrassed as he said, “There’s no need. I misunderstood! However…”
He suddenly lowered his voice to a whisper, “Is your younger fifth sister home?”
It seems that everyone is extremely interested in that cute ”younger fifth sister” of mine… I gave a forced smile as I said, “She is in university at the moment and will only be back on the weekends.”
“Is that so… Then I’m heading off!”
He looked extremely disappointed. Once he finished speaking, he instantly turned around to leave. However, following that, he stopped in his tracks and looked behind me with a skeptical look… When I turned my head, I saw that Mr. Bramble, Dell, and May were walking over. The three of them were looking at Yue Gang with a bewildered and alert look.
“Father, you sure got off work today early. Did you climb up the stairs again?” I quickly called to Mr. Bramble in a loud voice and then turned around to introduce to Yue Gang, “That is my father, my younger third brother, and my younger fourth brother.”
Yue Gang gave a sigh, “What a big family! It’s really rare to see one nowadays.”
“Yes, it is very rare indeed.”
He looked suspiciously at Dell and May, and then looked at me again. He asked, “But, why do your two younger brothers look older than you?”
I was speechless. I had completely forgotten that though Dell’s and May’s ages are much younger than mine, appearance-wise, they perhaps might look older than me. However, I was not able to confirm this for I rarely had any chance to see my own appearance.
Since the lie had already been spoken, I could only forcefully say, “They just happen to look a bit more mature.”
The young master and Briar started laughing quietly.
“Is there a guest?” Mr. Bramble walked over, not batting an eyelid as he asked, “Why didn’t you invite him in to sit down? What a lack of manners!”
“Yes, my humble apologies.”
“You lad, did you get addicted to being a waiter?!” Bramble knocked my head, and then reprimanded, “Do you speak to your father like this?”
“Ah… I am sorry, my honorable fathe—Father!” I hurriedly changed my words, for I had nearly made another mistake.
Mr. Bramble looked at Yue Gang, and then courteously said, “Are you Charles’s friend? Please come in and take a seat.”
“No, no!” Yue Gang hurriedly waved his hand and shouted, “I really have to go! My apologies for mistaking you as a vampire! Goodbye!”
“It is okay.” I answered with a smile, and at the same time felt the gaze of everyone looking at me through the corner of their eyes… as though they were asking me, “Mistaking?”
Yue Gang walked over to the elevator. I was about to heave a sigh of relief, thinking that this whole farce was finally ending, when the elevator doors opened. Another person walked out from the elevator… It was Head Butler Kyle!
As always, Mr. Kyle carried his computer case. He walked out of the elevator, and just happened to brush past Yue Gang as he walked by. Yue Gang did not step into the elevator, but instead turned around and gazed at Mr. Kyle in doubt.
Mr. Kyle looked straight at the young master and started to say, “Yo—”
Once his words were out, everyone’s faces changed. Other than Mr. Bramble, all of the others shouted together, “Dàgē! You’re finally back!”
Mr. Kyle froze.
“Dàgē.” The young master dashed up to him and snatched Mr. Kyle’s computer case, even trying to curry favor with him as he said, “You have worked hard today!”
Mr. Kyle looked at everyone and pushed his glasses. Then, his tone became gentler as he asked, “What’s wrong? Why is everyone gathered at the door? Oh, Father, you have gotten off work too? That’s early. Also, Charles, have you started cooking yet?”
He had looked at Mr. Bramble and me while saying the last few lines. What a powerful person, to be able to understand the situation in such a short period of time, and even the “family relations?” No wonder he is the head butler.
“Y-Yes! There wasn’t overtime today.” Mr. Bramble’s answer was a little forced. I assume that it was obviously not an easy task for him to treat this “higher-higher-higher-higher-up” as a son.
At this moment, Yue Gang stepped into the elevator and shouted loudly, “I’ll be leaving first! If I have time, I’ll come and find you to drink some tea together! Charles-xiǎodì!4”
Little brother? I waved goodbye to him while giving a forced smile. First, it was youngster. Now, it is little brother, but my age is obviously much older than everyone else at the scene by a hundred years and more. This really makes me not know whether to correct them or to accept it silently.
Once the elevator doors shut completely, I immediately bowed and apologized to Mr. Kyle. “My sincere apologies, Head Butler Kyle.”
Mr. Kyle returned to his expressionless face, and in a formal and flat tone, replied, “I’m a secretary, not a butler. Please remember this, ‘Charles-dìdi.5‘”
I froze and then put on an expression as though I had received good advice as I answered, “Yes, Secretary Kyle. My apologies for making you lie along with us.”
A sudden burst of laughter was heard, and this laugh was…the young master’s voice. Following that was a burst of laughter that sounded like silver bells. Among all the people at the scene, only Briar would have a laugh like that. My waist was still bent, and hence I could only use the corner of my eyes to look. I saw both the young master and Briar currently hugging each other, and they were laughing very hard and loudly.
In the end, both Dell, May, and even Mr. Bramble started laughing.
Within the sound of everyone’s laughter, Mr. Kyle too showed a faint smile. He pushed his glasses up his nose, and then naturally said, “It’s no problem, as long as the young master is happy.”
Hearing that, I straightened my back, and looked at the young master.
The young master was really laughing very happily. He was giggling with Briar and looked just like an overgrown child. The oppressive atmosphere from this morning was already completely gone.
The young master roared in laughter, clutching his stomach. When his laughter ceased for a moment, he looked at me, and promptly burst into an even bigger laughing fit. As he laughed, he said, “C-Charles, you really are very interesting! Dell, May, why aren’t you all calling your Charles-gē?”
May glanced at Mr. Kyle and then obediently called me “Charles-gē.” Dell did not look at Mr. Kyle at all but immediately said in a wheedling tone, “Charles-gēge! There’s only half an hour to dinner time, are you still not going to cook?”
Though I felt very helpless about always being addressed as youngster and little brother, to be truly addressed as big brother made me feel even more helpless.
The young master abruptly said, “Bramble-shū, you have to call him too!”
“What?” Mr. Bramble received a huge shock and said in disbelief, “I have to call him brother too?”
This really was something that made me feel extremely horrified too, even though my age was enough for me to be Mr. Bramble’s grandfather or the like.
“Of course not!” The young master replied as though it was to be expected, “You should call him son!”
Mr. Bramble was speechless for a while. After Mr. Kyle coughed twice, he stroked my head and said sincerely, “My good son, hurry and go cook.”
The young master gave a “Pffft” and then started laughing again. He and Briar took turns to laugh and call each other “Gēge” and “Mèimei.6”
At this moment, I saw the same message appear on everyone’s faces:
As long as the young master is happy.
1 Pig’s cake blood: As the name suggests, it really has pig’s blood inside it! It’s made of pig blood and sticky rice, and is fried or steamed as a snack or cooked in a hot pot. It’s a popular snack at local night markets in Taiwan.
5 dìdi: Dìdi (弟弟) also means younger brother. It is the most common way of saying younger brother. Many Chinese terms of address can be formed by doubling the word, such as dìdi for younger brother, bàba for father, etc.