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Jul 10, 2011

Eclipse Hunter v02c03

Credits
Translator: Aoi
Proofreaders: Blah, Wolfjackle, Wryn, Noobzilla, Doomsdayvic

Third Hunt

They say when there’s no god
The Devil smiles,
They say when there’s no demon
God sneers.

Daren Solaris rushed into the cafeteria and was about to join the lunch queue when...

"Idiot, over here!" Daren turned and saw Ezart nonchalantly chewing on a piece of bread.

As usual he was sitting by himself. Ezart had long since discovered that Daren was no where in the cafeteria and so had already purchased two large plates of food for him.

Shoot... thought Daren as he, somewhat anxiously, went over to sit with Ezart.

“What were you doing?!” As expected, he got scolded the moment he sat down.

“I tell you to get lunch first, and instead you get here later than me!”

Even though Ezart sounded angry, his expression said otherwise. In fact, he looked as if he was in a pretty good mood. Strange. Daren had overheard that Ezart and Shain Baylian had lost their battle against Elian from the ECS, two to one.

Thereafter, Dark Sun had been unable to find him since Ezart had already been killed and thus ejected from the simulator. Once the game time had expired, Dark Sun had hastily put on Daren’s uniform and dashed over to the cafeteria.

“Are you in a good mood?” Daren asked cautiously.

“Of course!” Ezart exclaimed as he slapped the table with an exhilarated smile on his face, “Guess who I met in the simulator? A student from the ECS!”

“Was he good?” This question was asked by Dark Sun, whose cold demeanor remained hidden by the thick glasses.

“Good? Let me tell you, there is only one word that can describe him: Strong! Super strong!” Ezart laughed loudly.

A strong fighter! Dark Sun began to develop a desire to fight Elian. He then remembered that Eli and Eloise were also considered strong fighters, but their abilities had been of no use to him. Frowning, he asked, “How does he fight?”

“Since when were you so interested in fights?” Ezart asked, but he was in too good a mood to question Daren any further. Besides, he was more interested in explaining Elian’s greatness. "He wields sabres, twin sabres, and is so fast that he weaves a net of steel around himself. Even Shain Baylian couldn't find an opening."

“Oh...” Dar replied, deep in thought. It appeared that Dark Sun had to re-enter the Battle Simulator but that might blow his cover. He had put on his horrible glasses again just so he could prevent this from happening. Although he was told they were not fashionable, they did help create a good disguise. After all, style was the least of his worries.

“Eat up, Dar! My treat!” Ezart declared, heartily clapping Daren on the back. He had to be in an incredibly good mood to speak the words “my treat” since Daren had an insatiable appetite that could not be fully supported by his meagre budget.

Daren replied with a small “thanks” before he began devouring the two large plates of food. Beside him Ezart started to daydream, while chewing on his bread.

At that moment, three most unexpected individuals walked into the noisy cafeteria. They seemed to be searching for someone. While they were looking around, the surrounding students began to recognise them. These three were the very same people who had fought Ezart, Shain, and Dark Sun in the battle simulator: Elian, Eloise, and Eli.

Silence swept through the cafeteria. As if petrified, nobody moved an inch. There was even someone who had paused while eating noodles. His chopsticks were poised in one hand while noodles dangled from his lips. He seemed to be frozen as he stared blankly at the new arrivals.

It did not take long for the trio to find what they had been looking for. They swiftly walked towards their overly obvious target, Ezart, whose table stood out in the overcrowded cafeteria mostly because of its size and lack of people.

Elian grinned widely at Ezart and said, “Yo.”

“It’s you! That was an awesome fight!” Ezart exclaimed, hardly containing his excitement.

“Indeed, it’s a shame that you and Baylian are not part of the ECS” said Elian as he revealed his usual expression of exaggerated regret.

Ezart raised his eyebrows. He was about to ask when Elian wanted to battle next but was interrupted by a rather rude girl.

“You’re Ezart, right?” Eloise asked bluntly.

“That’s me.” Ezart plainly replied.

“Are you acquainted with Dark Sun?” Eli asked. Usually, he never spoke much, but this time he was anxious to discover Dark Sun’s identity.

“Dark Sun?” Ezart asked, puzzled. “I’ve only seen him once in the battle simulator. It was Baylian who fought him before.”

“Did you truly see him only once?” A sliver of doubt briefly clouded Elian’s face only to be replaced by an expression of innocence, “but he told me that he was close to you! He even said that we should come find you if we were looking for him.”

At this point, Daren looked up, his eyes hidden behind thick lenses. He was well aware that he had never met him as Dark Sun, let alone told Elian how to find him.

“Huh?” Ezart replied, frowning. “I’ve never even spoken to him, how can I be close to the guy?”

“Oh, I see.” Elian glanced at Eli from the corner of his eye and apologised to Ezart, “Maybe it was someone else, I probably heard the name wrong... This sucks! Now I don’t know where to find Dark Sun.”

Elian’s actions and Eli’s embarrassed expression did not escape Daren’s observant eyes. He knew about Eli’s ability to read minds, so he was being extremely careful in order to avoid being read, otherwise his secret identity would easily be exposed.

“Eh? Haven’t I seen you before?”

Eloise had finally noticed Daren, who had been quietly sitting on the opposite side of the table. Even if they were all focused on their mission it should not have taken them this long to realize he was there. His neat, clean appearance was difficult to ignore.

However, Eloise was unable to recognise him, even though she had met him only a little while ago. Are my black framed glasses really that ugly? Daren wondered. He hesitated, not knowing whether he should admit he was the one she had stopped in the plaza or continue eating and play dumb.

In truth, even though the glasses had a terrible effect on his appearance, it was not so bad that he would be unrecognisable by someone he had just met. The real reason Eloise could not recognise him was that his mouth, now stuffed with food, heavily altered his appearance. With the help of the glasses, he could not be more unrecognisable.

Therefore, the moment Daren swallowed his food, Eloise screamed. She immediately grabbed his glasses, tossed them onto the floor and started grinding them with her foot.

As expected from Eloise, who could easily wield a giant mace, the floor beneath her foot was dented and scratched. The unfortunate glasses were reduced to a pile of dust that was soon blown away by a passing breeze.

“M-my glasses...” Daren stared blankly at the spot where his glasses had once been.

Everyone was gaping, all wondering what this poor boy could have done to earn a grudge such as this.

“You’re not allowed to wear ugly glasses like these ever again!” Eloise declared.

“Ah, you’re the boy from the plaza.” Elian said, finally recognising Daren.

Daren was speechless. He knew he did not have to listen to what she said. He was not afraid of her freakish strength. But at that instant, every fiber of his being warned him that ignoring her demands would be incredibly foolish.

After a moments hesitation, he replied simply with a noncommittal “Oh”. This was how he answered when he did not know what else to say.

“You can’t just say ‘oh’, you need to promise me you’ll never wear glasses again.” Eloise refused to let him off the hook.

“Um... but I’m short-sighted...” She had him cornered. All he could do was try to reason with her.

“So what if you’re near sighted! You can wear contacts! I would even pay for you to get an eye operation. I’ll do whatever it takes to keep you from wearing glasses!”

It was as if Eloise had morphed into a Rakshasi1. Her terrifying expression made Daren want to cry. She then screamed with a voice that was an octave higher than usual, “You’re just. Not. allowed. To wear. Glasses!”

S-so scary! I think I’m about to cry, gege...

“My, why are your eyes so red? Oh well, you’re even cuter this way...”

Suddenly, Rakshasi turned into ‘a loving big sister’, with a gentle face that seemed to be saying that she wanted to give him a ‘sisterly hug’. She then proceeded to comfort Daren who was shivering with fear, “Don’t be scared, jiejie2 will protect you!”

Daren was trapped in Eloise’s tight embrace. He would not have been able to break free even if he had wanted to. Although, Eloise seemed warm and gentle, she was the one who had caused him to cry with her Rakshasi-like expression in the first place. But what was even scarier was the drastic change in her attitude. With tears in his eyes, Daren looked at Ezart helplessly, wishing he would come to his rescue.

Unfortunately, Ezart was not interested in being a hero to save the ‘damsel’ in distress. Therefore, he turned away and continued to eat his bread.

Elian, on the other hand, was laughing so hard that he could hardly stand. He had to use Eli’s shoulder to support himself.

“Goodness, Eloise, shouldn’t you at least find out their names before you hug them?” Elian teased, “What if someone wants to know the name of the pretty boy you forcefully fondled?”

“What do you mean ‘forcefully fondled’? How is this fondling?” snapped Eloise, “We are equally attracted to each other. This is mutual affection!”

“Are you blind? Can’t you see you made him cry? You call this mutual affection?” Elian muttered.

“What did you say?” Eloise replied sharply, daring him to answer.

“Say, kid, what’s your name?” asked Elian, a huge smile stretching across his face as he tried to change the topic.

“Daren Avery,” he said timidly, using his pseudonym.

“Oh, Dar, nice name.”

Elian grinned at Daren and patted him on the head. He was starting to treat him like a little brother.

Daren looked up at him, feeling pleasantly surprised. Elian had actually called him Dar without having to be told!

“You’re like my gege!” exclaimed Daren.

“Eh? I’m like your gege?” asked Elian, slightly surprised by this statement. What an odd coincidence! Dar has a brother that’s just like me.

“Yup!” Daren nodded vigorously.

“Then come here didi, let gege give you a hug!” With another dramatic expression, he pulled Daren close. He then gave Eloise a smug look that seemed to say: See?This is mutual affection!

Eloise was fuming. She was about to separate them but changed her mind once she saw how happy Daren was. “Just because you resemble his brother.” she muttered bitterly.

In truth, Elian and Daren’s brother were nothing alike. They had completely different personalities. Daren just had a naive tendency to believe that any man who smiled at him was gege.

“Great! From now on, I have a little brother to love!” Elian looked at Daren with tears in his eyes and asked, “Is it okay for me to come back and visit you Dar?”

“Yes! Of course Elian-gege, you must come visit!” Daren was overjoyed. Not only had he gained a new brother but he had also made two new friends: Eloise and Eli.

Elian’s smile faltered for a moment when he heard Daren say “Elian-gege”. But still he patted Daren’s head lovingly and said, “Of course, I promise I’ll come.”

“You promised!” Daren smiled brightly.

***

Once they left the cafeteria, Elian, Eloise, and Eli walked in silence towards the central part of the school. Their destination, the headmaster’s main office building, was not accessible to normal students. The ECS’s ‘classroom’ was inside this building, though for the students of ECS there was no such thing as ‘going to class’.

“Elian!” Eloise exclaimed suddenly. The trio came to a halt as Elian turned around, now showing a face completely void of emotions.

In a reprimanding tone, Eloise continued, “If it was just to get close to Ezart, you didn't have to use Dar, right?”

Elian’s exaggerated cheerfulness had been replaced by a mirthless veneer. “I had my reasons. Didn’t you guy’s notice? Dark Sun’s hair is silver and so is Daren’s; they even have a similar build.”

“You suspect that Dar is Dark Sun?” Eloise asked, dumbfounded.

Elian did not answer her, instead he turned to his other companion and asked, “Eli, did you catch anything?”

“I could only read fragments, but there was nothing about Dark Sun.” Eli replied frankly.

Elian nodded. He knew Eli’s mind reading ability was not a hundred percent correct because the brain’s thought process was incredibly complex. More often than not, thoughts were read as intertwining layers and Eli was only able to decipher the few fragments that had broken away. During combat, an opponent’s thoughts are focused on the battle at hand, which makes thoughts and intentions easier to read than during normal conversations.

“Pick up anything?” Elian asked tentatively.

It was not the first time he had relied on Eli’s mind reading ability in order to complete a mission. Even though Eli could not control what information he received, Elian knew that seemingly useless information could in fact lead to something useful.

“Glasses, ugly, master, game console, command... There were also some thoughts about us towards the end. They were mostly about you.” Eli hesitated for a second before continuing, “Elian...liar, smile, Dar and gege.”

“He thought I was a liar?” Elian asked, perceptively.

Eli shook his head, “I’m not sure, maybe there was someone else’s name in between that I didn’t catch. Maybe he wasn’t even talking about you because he was sincerely happy when he called you ‘Elian-gege’.”

Elian’s expression hardened when he heard this, but was quickly replaced by his former, serious look.

“Impossible!” Eloise suddenly shouted, “There is no way Dar is Dark Sun. You must have been mistaken, Elian. They’re completely different people! Dar is so cute and innocent, while Dark Sun is so...so scary!”

This time, Elian’s expression really changed. He looked at Eloise with a sinister smile, “Eloise, even after working with me for so long, you still do not realise just how many hypocrites there are in this world? It wouldn’t be that surprising if your little Dar were to turn into a demon while your back was turned.”

“I’d find it very strange.” Eloise was still thinking of a good comeback when Eli spoke up in a low voice.

“As a mind reader, I might not be able to always acquire useful information, but I have no problem using my ability to discover a person’s true nature.”

Eli turned to Elian, “Your thought process is fast. You have many complex thoughts that are constantly intertwined with one another. People like you are often cunning and crafty schemers.”

Elian stared blankly at Eli for a second, but did not deny it.

“Daren is quite the opposite. His thought processes are very slow and they’re fewer than the average person. His thoughts are all organised in one simple line.”

"Wait, what do you mean by that? What kind of a person is he?" Eloise began panicking, afraid that Daren's cuteness and innocence could all be a charade.

Eli paused for a few seconds before saying, " I've only seen thoughts like his in the mind of a child. He’s like a little kid."

Eloise was pleased when she heard that. She then looked smugly at Elian. Giving him a look that said “See?”

Elian simply ignored her and continued asking more questions, "Have you ever misjudged someone?"

Eli glanced at Elian and explained, "I've misinterpreted direct thoughts, but I've never been wrong about a person’s nature." He paused, then added, “Never truly been wrong, anyways."

"Never 'truly' been wrong?" Elian emphasized.

"Dual personality disorders. I read such a person once." Eli clarified, “Actually, I should say, I first read one of his personalities and decided that the person was a simple-minded, innocent, and gentle guy. However, when I turned around, he put a knife in my back. When he had tried to stab me, his entire thought process had changed... It wasn’t until after the incident that I found out he had dual personalities.”

“Then, is it possible that Daren is the same?” Elian asked after a moment of hesitation. He knew dual personality disorders were uncommon and Dar seemed more normal than someone suffering from this disorder.

“Elian! You won’t be satisfied until you’ve hurt Dar?” Eloise asked furiously, “He even cheerfully called you ‘Elian-gege’!”

“So? Eloise, don’t forget that this is a mission assigned by the headmaster! We must bring him Dark Sun. If we fail, we have to do three times the amount of graduation missions we have now.”

“But...” Eloise reluctantly gave up after hearing this.

Eli ignored the little fight between his two companions and continued his explanation, “I can’t confirm whether Daren has dual personalities or not until his second personality is exposed. But based on my past experiences, there is a high possibility of him having dual personalities.”

“What?!” Both Eloise and Elian stared at him in shock. Even Elian had little hope for this dual personality theory.

“He’s too innocent for his age. In fact, it’s very abnormal.” Eli said, before adding a final explanation, “The guy I met was like that. One personality was more magnanimous than the average human being, while the other was extremely violent.”

Eloise started panicking upon hearing this. Elian, on the other hand, was now more certain than ever that Daren was related to Dark Sun. They must not lose track of this piece of evidence!

***

“Bye Ezart! See you tomorrow!” Daren called out as he cheerfully waved goodbye.

Nowadays, they often walked home together because they both lived in the same direction... In truth, they had been walking home together from the beginning. The only difference now was that they walked side by side instead of Ezart walking ahead and Daren following behind.

“Tomorrow?” Ezart asked, remembering something, “Oh! Go to school on your own tomorrow. I might skip it.”

“Eh? Why?” Daren’s cheerful demeanor vanished instantly.

“I’m busy tonight, so I don’t know if I’ll go tomorrow,” Ezart explained with a shrug.

“But...” Daren said, wanting to make him change his mind,

“‘Students are supposed to go to school every day’, right?” Ezart rolled his eyes and snapped, “I can even tell what you’re going to say.”

“Then you should go to school...” Daren’s tiny voice trailed off.

“I don’t have time! I need to make money! Did you think I was some rich kid like you who can casually buy a game console worth more than 20,000 dollars?!” Ezart humphed with disdain.

Daren asked dejectedly, “So you’re going to work?”

“Something like that. I’ll be fighting in an underground arena.” Ezart checked his watch, “I don’t have the time to explain, if I’m late, you’ll be paying for the money I lose!”

With that final threat, he turned and walked away. A wave was the only goodbye Daren got.

“Oh... Bye then, Ezart!” Understanding the situation, Daren quickly said his farewell.

Ezart left without looking back.

Daren waited until he could no longer see Ezart’s silhouette before heading home himself. As he walked, he pondered, “What’s an underground arena? Did he say “fight” an underground arena...Hm... Is ‘underground arena’ a person, and is it Ezart’s job to fight him?”

"Should I help Ezart fight?"

Daren was lost in thought for the rest of the way home. Before he knew it, he had arrived at the mansion.

Daren retrieved his keys from around his neck and opened the door. The entire house was pitch black but it did not bother him.

He knew that gege was still working. Papa Avery, on the other hand... was supposed to pick him up. However, he usually ended up losing track of time while conducting his experiments and often failed to show up.

Every time he had failed to pick up Daren, papa Avery had had to face gege's wrath. There had even been times when Daren had to rush home just to stop his brother from killing papa. After Theodore’s many near-death experiences, Daren insisted that he would be walking home with a friend and did not need papa to escort him anymore.

That was when the daily patricide attempt came to a rest.

The entire living room lit up when Daren flicked on the light switch. The room had a simple layout. It had light green walls, forest green couches, a long glass tea table, and two large book shelves. These were filled with all sorts of story books. Of course, all of them were for Daren.

The house was divided according to function. The first floor had the kitchen and the living room, while the second floor consisted of the bedrooms.

Daren walked up to the second floor where three separate doors greeted him. He entered the middle one without hesitation. This was his room.

He turned on the lights to get a better look at his surroundings.

There was a large and cozy bed in the middle of the room with many stuffed animals on it. There were even a few story books on the pillows. It seemed like a child’s room.

However, there were objects lying on a large work desk that would never be present in a child’s room.

There were a few dismantled guns, several cases of bullets, all kinds of daggers, and a few seemingly unfinished bombs. There were power tools which seemed to be in good condition and even a drill with a diamond tip.

The room seemed completely out of balance. One side was filled innocent looking toys, while the other side had objects that would usually be found in the possession of a murderer.

Daren stepped into his room, set his school bag on his chair and paused for a moment of thought before opening his bag. In it were school supplies such as notebooks, a pencil case, and also something resembling a lunch box. He opened the latter to reveal a bunch of snacks and candies.

Daren tossed a few candies into his mouth and twisted a particular star shaped candy a couple of times. Then, with a crack, a rectangular hole appeared on the side of the box. He reached into it and pulled out silver goggles and a globular rubber-like substance.

Daren stretched the blob of black rubber and it turned into long boots.

He then took off his uniform to reveal the clothes underneath: a fitting red t-shirt and jeans.

This combination of clothing was Dark Sun’s typical outfit!

Dark Sun wondered if he should take a shower first or read his story books... But when his eyes glimpsed the dismantled guns on his desk, the look of innocence in his eyes instantly disappeared, and the thought of reading vanished...

I should finish working on these first! Having decided, Dark Sun finally sat down and began assembling his guns.

He had hardly begun when a beep from the front of his desk interrupted him. This indicated an incoming call, so Dark Sun looked up from his work and pressed the answer button.

The seemingly ordinary cement wall in front of his desk revealed a flat, rectangular screen. With a flash a handsome, red eyed, charismatic man appeared onscreen.

Seeing Daren, the caller’s face softened and in a loving voice, he said, “Dar...”

Upon, hearing his name a smile appeared on Dark Sun’s face, changing him back to Daren, who cheerfully replied, “Gege!”

The blond man on the screen was Devon Solaris, the brother Daren had been talking about all day.

“Dar, you’re so adorable today!”

The moment he heard the word ‘gege’, Devon’s intimidating and authoritative appearance completely disappeared, as if it had only been an illusion. A mesmerized expression now spread across his perfect features. It was as if the word ‘gege’ could melt even the hottest sun.

Daren smiled, “Gege, are you coming home soon?”

“Yes! Yes! I’m coming home immediately, wait for me...”

“Solaris Emperor, you called home to inform him that you have to work overtime and will not be able to go home.” A dutiful voice reminded him from the side.

Devon froze, then waved as if he was swatting flies, “Bill, cancel the appointment.”

“My name is Kyle.” He customarily corrected. The sound of rapid typing could be heard from Kyle’s direction. When it stopped, Kyle began his report.

“It’s been a month since your last meeting with your alliance partners. Letters urging you to start a meeting have accumulated to two hundred and thirty six letters. There were twelve thousand two hundred and fifty five calls pleading for this meeting and twenty six gossip magazines are wondering if the Solaris Emperor had suffered serious injuries from the incident and had never recovered. Five newspaper companies are speculating whether you even survived the incident. In a few days, there will be people believing that you are already died and the current Devon Solaris is your doppelganger.”

Devon stiffened upon hearing the report. He knew this meeting was important, but every time he saw didi’s adorable smile nothing else seemed to matter.

“Gege has a meeting? You’re not coming home?” There was a hint of disappointment in Daren’s voice.

“No...”

Devon struggled for a while, but then with a loud bang Kyle dumped a mountainous pile of papers in front of his boss. The corner of Devon’s mouth twitched and he finally gave in, “Yeah, I’m going to... a meeting.”

*Sob* I wanna go home and see didi...

“Oh, do your best, gege.” replied Daren. Even though he was slightly disappointed, he knew he was going to see his brother tomorrow and did not feel quite as upset.

“Okay.” Devon was so moved that the urge to hug his little brother almost made him forget about the screen.

“And good luck to you too, Kyle!” Daren grinned.

A crashing sound came out of the telephone as if something or someone had fallen. That someone murmured, “He actually remembered my name.” He briefly glared at Devon then turned back to the telephone and said, “Yes, I’ll do my best.”

“Dar, remember to tell Theodore to take you out to dinner. If you want to go anywhere to play, tell him to take you there. Also, remember to tell him to drop you off at school... Oh wait, you’re going to school with your classmate now. Then, tell him to buy you breakfast. Oh..oh and remind him to do the laundry. He’ll need to wake you up tomorrow morning as well. He must also put a handkerchief and some napkins in your bag...”

Devon was exactly like a nagging mother, already giving plenty of orders to the absent Theodore.

“Okay, I’ll tell papa Avery.” Daren nodded seriously.

“Solaris Emperor, it’s time for the meeting.”

“Alright!” Devon yelled at Kyle. Turning back to the screen, he spoke to Daren in a gentle voice, “Dar, gege loves you very much!”

“Dar really loves gege too.” replied Daren cheerfully.

“*Sob* Dar said he loves me, I’m so touched...”

“Solaris Emperor, you should go to the meeting now!”

“No! I’m going home to see Dar...”

“Meeting!”

“Bye, gege.”

Daren waved cheerfully and hung up without further delay.

As the screen went pitch black, Daren’s innocent smile disappeared and, on the other end, so did Devon’s veneer of a perfect older brother. His gentleness was reserved only for didi. His face was now absent of all warmth and his speech was as cold as ice.

“Has everyone arrived?”

“A few have taken the day off, but everyone else is here.” Even Kyle reassumed his business-like appearance. Using his computer he effortlessly determined who had or had not already arrived at the meeting room.

“Taken the day off?” The Solaris Emperor’s voice was frigid.

“This time ten of them have taken the day off. It’s a tad abnormal.” Kyle reported frankly. “It would appear that this behavior is a result of the explosion at the headquarters the other day as well as the fact that you have not issued any significant orders this past month.”

“Oh?” The corner of Devon’s lips curled into a smirk. “They doubt my authority? Interesting.”

“It’s probably because you’ve been a little lenient lately.” Kyle replied honestly.

“Lenient?” Devon rubbed his chin softly before he looked up with a brilliant smile, “All of my leniency is given to Dar. No one else will ever receive even a fraction of it.”

This period of compassion... was nothing more than a facade.

The plan was to feign injury, then swiftly pounce on anyone that dared offend him. This would ensure that none would ever dare rebel against him, no matter the situation.

“I never want to see those people again” Devon calmly ordered.

All Kyle had to do was type the word ‘delete’ into the database and the fates of those in question would be sealed.

“Start the meeting.”

Devon Solaris, the Solaris Emperor, was the ruler of the all powerful Solaris Federation. He was also referred to as the Sun God, his word was absolute.

***

Daren took a break from assembling his guns and decided to go find Theodore as his brother had instructed. Even though he had not seen the doctor since he arrived, Daren knew exactly where to find him.

He left his room, jumped down to the living room below and sat on a single sofa among a set of others.

He placed a hand on each armrest and declared, “Second floor basement”. Instantly, the sofa sunk into the floor. As it disappeared into the floor, an identical one rose to take its place. The only difference was that this one had no trace of Daren.

After continuing down for several floors, Daren's sofa finally came to a stop. In front of him was an extremely thick metal door. Behind the door was a basement specially designed by Devon. It was abnormally durable so that a sudden explosion, would not affect the house above.

The precaution was required since this was Theodore’s laboratory and he never took safety into consideration when it involved his experiments.

Daren politely pushed the button on the intercom. As usual, there was no answer, so he simply let himself in.

As soon as he pushed the door open, the strong odor of formalin rushed over him. The instant he saw what was going on in the lab he understood why the smell of preservatives was so strong. On three separate operation tables lay dissected and mutilated bodies.

The rest of the lab was just as macabre. An unidentifiable liquid was bubbling on a table to the side. On the shelves sat countless jars containing human organs. Some of these organs were unknown even to a cyborg such as Daren himself.

Such a repulsive environment was enough to make anyone throw up. However, Theodore could spend days cooped up in this mentally, visually and nasally traumatising place. He would stay in there until his boss forcefully dragged him to the surface, afraid that Theodore might become a part of his own corpse collection.

“Papa Avery.” Daren called out, completely ignoring the horrifying scenes in the lab. His eyes were focused on something that was virtually indistinguishable from the corpses. It could only be identified as a living human being because it was still standing and holding an operation knife, speedily cutting away at the corpses.

At that moment, the live “corpse” slowly raised its head, revealing bloodshot eyes. Theodore’s surgical mask made it impossible to read his emotions.

“Gege asked me to remind you to take me out to dinner, take me out to play, buy me breakfast in the morning, do the laundry, wake me up in the morning, put my handkerchief and some tissues in my back pack...”

Daren recited the orders his brother had left for papa Avery word for word.

After hearing all that, the live “corpse” paused for a second and then resumed the dissection of the corpse on the table. It was as if he had never heard any of the orders.

Daren was used to this lack of reaction. He simply asked again, “Papa Avery, will you take me to dinner?”

Nothing.

“Then I’ll go buy something for you to eat.”

Still no response.

Daren absently took down the dirty surgeon gowns hanging on the clothes stand and murmured as if talking to himself, “I’m taking your clothes to launder. Tomorrow morning I’ll come down again to knock you out so you can get some sleep. I’ll also change you into some clean clothes. And don’t forget to eat the bread I’ll be bringing you for breakfast!”

Again, no response.

“Bye-bye papa Avery.” Daren said before leaving.

The live “corpse” heard at least those two words: ‘bye-bye’. He mechanically replied with a raspy voice, which sounded as if he had not spoken for many years. It sounded something like ‘bah-bye’.

The metal door closed, once again isolating the stench and the zombie-like human from the rest of the world. Daren returned to his room, put on his visor, picked up a black backpack, and left to buy dinner as Dark Sun.

Even though gege did not like him appearing as Dark Sun in public, every time he went out as Daren, he always ran into delinquents and robbers due to his child-like appearance. Gege’s orders to hide Dark Sun’s abilities, meant Daren had to take the beatings and have his possessions snatched away.

After many such incidents, Daren learned his lesson: if he was to go out alone, he must do so as Dark Sun.

Even when he went out as Dark Sun, he would use the secret tunnel connecting his house to the abandoned factory across the street where nobody was ever around.

Soon, Daren reached a noisy and crowded street. He might have changed his outfit but he was still the innocent Daren, meaning anything remotely interesting would instantly capture his attention. As he walked along the streets, his main thought was about finding an interesting restaurant for dinner.

However, he ended up walking back and forth between two restaurants, uncertain which to choose.

“Come, come! Today there are three rounds of battle in the underground arena! Guaranteed entertainment!”

Underground arena? Didn’t Ezart say something about that? Daren spun around to look at the guy who had been yelling.

A few young men, with heavily painted face and bodies, were laughing while carelessly tossing leaflets around. Most of the pedestrians jumped away to avoid them, but Daren saw a few interested ones going up to ask the multi-colored men about the competitors in tonight’s arena.

“Don’t miss it! The most anticipated round tonight is the round where the King of Might challenges the King of the Arena! It’s guaranteed to be exciting! It’s guaranteed to be awesome!”

Daren walked into the rain of leaflets and picked one up. The heading claimed it would be the world’s most violent and bloody battle: King of the Arena VS. King of Might. King against king! As usual, there was an address included at the bottom.

The underground arena is actually a place to fight?

Daren was quite surprised. This meant Ezart was not satisfied with simply fighting in the simulator during the day. He was even going off to fight at night!

Would there be strong fighters there? Dark Sun’s thoughts surfaced.

No! Daren quickly shook his head. He still had to buy dinner for papa Avery.

His mind was set. He would buy dinner and return home immediately!

“The Kings of tonight's battle are evenly matched! It’s a fight between equals! It wouldn’t be surprising if one of them gets killed!” The advertisers yelled. Even though it was frightening to hear that someone could get killed, Daren was sure most people would attend in the hopes of seeing one of the contestants meet this unfortunate fate.

As expected, the people who had been asking about the contestants now held a frightened look, which also betrayed a hint of anticipation.

Daren, however, froze upon hearing this and looked at the advert again. What if the King of Might is Ezart? Ezart wouldn’t get killed, would he?

Daren came to a halt in front of a restaurant, looked up at it, then back down at the leaflet, unsure of what to do.

“Hey you! Are you going to eat or what? If not, don’t just stand in the way!” yelled the waiter, impatiently.

Daren did not respond. The enraged waiter came back with a coworker ready to beat up the brat. When they approached Daren...

“Three super sushi set. Take out,” Daren ordered calmly, handing over a first-class Solaris credit card from the world’s largest Solaris bank. This card was so rare that not even a hundred of them existed.

The waiter’s raised fist dropped limply to his side. With great respect, he bowed and spoke as politely as he possibly could, “...We’ll bring it to you immediately.”

Papa Avery did not care if he ate his meals on time anyway, so Daren would buy dinner for three. He would bring Ezart his share first, and then bring papa Avery’s home later.

That was what Daren decided.


******************** EH v02c03 END********************

Notes
1Rakshasi: A female, man-eating monster
2Jiejie: Older sister
Dual personality: was previously interpreted as bipolar.

38 comments:

  1. Another really long chapter. Decided not to split this one.

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  2. YAYAYYAYAYAYYAYAYYAAYYA THANKS!!!!!!!!!

    Yipppeee

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  3. ^_^ THANKYOU! :D

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  4. Awsomeness love you all just wish I had more :'(

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  5. Thank you, Thank you!!!

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  6. As always, this is awesome.

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  7. Thank you very much...

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  8. Was bipolar supposed to be schizophrenic? My cousin is bipolar and she just has severe mood swings,not a split personality.

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  9. I hope Devon will appear more often. That Avery seems to be neglecting Daren. He is now getting close to being discovered ...

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  10. naa, it wouldn't be bipolar or schizophrenic, more akin to like Multiple Personality Disorder cause bipolar is extreme high's and low's, and Schizophrenic usually has ppl paranoid and seeing things dat arnt really there. thx for the chapter btw.

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  11. lol dar dunt cry XDD your much more scarier then her o3o

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  12. "...even a drill with a diamond trip." should be "tip" right?

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  13. Bipolar is just severe mood swings, not split personalities. Schizophrenic is where they see/hear things that are not there which as a result be coupled with mood swings

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  14. THANK YOU!!! this chapter is great XD

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  15. Bipolar is the one mentioned here, most likely because split personalities involve two SEPARATE personalities and memories, and one is not aware of the other. Daren and Dark Sun are the same person shares he same thoughts, one is violent one is innocent, depending on the situation Daren gets into a killer mood... or a innocent boy mood. But given that he does all this at will - i personally don't think split personality nor bipolar suits him. More like he's a great actor.

    Maybe more appropriate to say that he is possessed by the microchip. He has that problem where patients might claim "the voices told me to do so."

    http://www.blurtit.com/q530765.html < reference

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  16. Thanks for the new release!
    btw another typo "she had meet him only a little while ago"
    -> meet to met

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  17. Awesome!! cant wait to read about the underground arena =D

    Thx!

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  18. Wow! Awesome! Another great chapter! Thanks!!!
    I wonder if ppl would find out Daren's abnormal when touchig him ? After all, his heartbeat-rate is extremely high right? Shouldn't that make him hotter than a normal human?
    Can't wait to see the fight in the underground arena!!!

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  19. Please note - I'm changing bipolar to dual personality disorder

    After some discussion its been decided that dual personality fits this better. Sorry for the confusion.

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  20. Yay!!! Thank you so much! I've been F5-ing continuously XD
    Oh, btw
    “I can’t confirm whether Daren is had dual personalities or not until his other personality is exposed [...]" should be
    “I can’t confirm whether Daren has dual personalities or not until his other personality is exposed"

    :) Thank you guys for your hard work!

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  21. Dual personalities could be both meaning split and bipolar in this story it feels more like dar has a split personality than bipolar issues sure his emotions change quickly but so does a split persona

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  22. Thank you so much for the chapter!!! I loved how it was super long<3333 It's so funny and cute how the cold emperor adores his baby brother. The whole mind reading thing is interesting too. If Dar hangs out with Eli.. he's sure to get caught eventually. I'm curious to find out in the next chapters if Dar actually picked up on the fact Eli was lying to him. Thank you again for the chapter<333!

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  23. Eloise and Elian must be my favourite characters at this point. They're all good, though. :D

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  24. THANK YOU,THANK YOU,THANK YOU,THANK YOU,THANK YOU,THANK YOU

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  25. "Eloise had finally noticed Daren, who had been quietly sitting on the opposite side of the table. Even if they were all focused on their mission it should not have taken them this long to realize he was there. His neat, clean appearance was difficult to ignore"

    It appears to be missing a period at the end.

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  26. Elian, Eloise and Eli are three different people. I hope no one is confused, that's just how their names are.

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  27. in the very first line: it's queque, not queue

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  28. LOL What?? QQ? I hope that's a joke.

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  29. I had Elian, Eloise and Eli confused at first and had to read again >3< .
    Im excited to see how Dar will keep his identity secret.

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  30. [Eli ignored the little fight between his two companions and continued his explanation, “I can’t confirm whether Daren is had dual personalities or not until his other personality is exposed.]

    I suggest: [...whether Daren has Dual personalities...]

    That's all for this chapter.

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  31. Awsum posum thank youuuuuu :3

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  32. "Daren had an insatiable appetite that could not be fully supported by his meagre budget." in this part shouldn't meagre be meager?

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  33. Meager is to meagre; as soccer is to football.

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  34. Thank you for the chapter!

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  35. New Eclipse Hunter Fangirl :3July 31, 2011 at 10:47 PM

    Ah! I love this chapter! Thanks for posting it! Daren is so cute :) I hope he does something interesting at the arena :3 I can't wait for the next chapter. Thanks! XD

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  36. Hahaha if devons the sun god then hes the boss of the 12 holy knights including poor sun XD

    ~nes

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