Translator: LilsxD, Yihn
Proofreader: Arc, Catchkatch
The moon hid behind drifting clouds. The quiet of the dark, sleeping city was broken only by the occasional phantom bark or whisper, and the noise of vehicles zooming by.
A garbage truck was parked in the narrow alley between two buildings. Papers littered the ground, blown about by the wind, and on both sides of the building were old, dilapidated iron doors that looked as if they had stood untouched for a long time.
In this seemingly impenetrable darkness, one of the metal doors silently opened. Amazingly, such an ancient, rusty door made not a sound as it swung ajar.
Anyone watching might fear one of the city’s wandering spirits was opening it... However, the next second a person in red tights and a silver visor walked out, carrying a huge bag with slight bulges outlining the shape of firearms.
Although this person was obviously not a spectre, his movements were so nimble and silent that he moved like a ghost.
The man slowly closed the iron door. With a slight turn of his head to observe his surroundings, he began calculating.
From Theodore’s morse code message, the time was set for three days from now. So, where should he go for now?
He would have to find a place where his brother wouldn’t find him. He couldn’t use Gege’s credit card for anything like a hotel room, but sleeping in the park wouldn’t work either, even if he didn’t use the card. As long as it was in a public place, his brother would definitely find him immediately.
Despite that, he hadn’t been to many places before, outside of home, the Solaris Headquarters, and the school. Since the first two were off the list, what was left was… the school, then?
“The school... Principal…” he mumbled. “The Principal’s office!”
At the thought of the Principal’s office, no longer undecided, he immediately started running. But this alley had only one exit and his only way out should have been to turn left.
However, he didn’t go either left or right but—upwards!
He took two running steps forward, before he kicked off from the wall and landed, perching, on top of the second storey window. With a flip, he landed on the second storey window sill and, in a twisting motion, he swung down to hang from the overhang by his hands, before, with a kick to the wall, he propelled himself up to the third storey window. He used this complicated series of moves to climb higher and higher up the building.
He stopped at the fifth story, just below the top floor, and leapt onto the opposite building. Using a combination of jumping, running, climbing and crawling, he advanced forwards along the buildings’ walls. As he ran, he avoided the top and bottom floors where he could, because he knew that surveillance cameras would be installed there, allowing Gege to track him easily. The cameras’ blind spots were only between the top and bottom storeys, so as long as his shadow was not captured on film his brother would never be able to trace him.
Apart from these surveillance cameras, he had also left the mobile phone his brother had given him at home. Even though he had not checked the phone, he guessed that it would definitely have some sort of tracking device attached.
After travelling in the gravity-defying way for a short while, he could see the school’s campus in the distance. He quickened his pace, and before long Dark Sun was already on a rooftop garden of a building next to the school. Then, after carefully scrutinising the surroundings, and locating the surveillance cameras, he easily avoided detection as he jumped down onto the darkened school grounds.
Because of the Principal’s promise to remove the surveillance cameras on campus, Dark Sun crossed straight through the centre of the campus and headed directly for the Principal’s office.
Arriving at the Principal’s office—or, rather, the ‘Principal’s building’—he turned and rummaged in his backpack, pulling out a card. It was the card he’d received when he agreed to accept the Principal’s missions, and doubled as Dark Sun’s ECS identity card.
He fought the urge to laugh as he thought about how he was only one person but had two Yelan Academy student ID cards.
At a swipe of his card, the huge doors beeped and swung open and he entered the building. Amazingly, even though it was deep into the night, a couple of people were still there, patrolling or sitting in front of a computer monitoring missions. Neither of them paid any attention to the other, and neither of them turned to take a look even when the door opened.
It made him, who was originally tense at the sight of other people, relieved. Unobserved, he then went to one of the computers in the lounge with the intention of arbitrarily searching for information to kill some time until the Principal arrived.
Casually opening a web browser, he saw the daily news alerts. The top headline was The Stormy Battle Between the Solaris Group and the Lunaris Group.
Daren couldn’t help but click on the link to read. Once the page loaded, it showed both Devon Solaris and Yue Baylian’s photograph. In Devon’s photo, there was even a cigarette dangling from his hand and his head was tilted upwards slightly, with a lofty expression that made him look like he was looking down on the whole world. The image of Yue Baylian stood to attention, revealing a slightly thoughtful smile and there was even the word ‘VS’ in the middle of the photos.
“Gege…” Daren looked at the picture. His heart ached a little as he imagined his brother finding out he was gone. What would his reaction be?
At the thought that he would be unable to see his brother for several days, Daren felt a bit lonely. Without thinking, he automatically pressed the button to print. After printing out Devon’s photo, he carefully looked at it for a moment before folding it a few times and putting it in the pocket close to his heart.
Wait for me, Gege! Once Dar has rescued Papa Avery, our home can go back to the way it was!
“Don’t, Gege! Dar doesn’t want to go to school! I don’t want to leave you!”
“Don’t be afraid, Dar. Your big brother will protect you.”
“Of course. If Gege lies to you, I’ll eat a dozen bitter gourds.”
“Father! Where is Dar?”
“I was thinking of giving him to you as a present for your 25th birthday…”
“Congratulations for your success of having modified a teenager into the ultimate bodyguard—Dark Sun.”
“Dar, you’re still my brother and I swore to protect you. Always.”
“Please let me protect you, too, Gege… It’s not only Gege who wants to protect Dar; I want to protect Gege, too.”
“Dar, why can’t you be like a normal teenager?”
A head of blond hair rested on the black leather chair, making the bright gold colour look even more dazzling. Just like that, Devon slept while leaning back in his office chair, without even shutting down the computer. His brow was furrowed. He seemed to have something bothering him even as he slept. After a few quirks, his eyes suddenly opened, revealing the beautiful ruby-coloured irises.
Blinking twice, Devon was already wide awake. Massaging his face with one hand, he sighed softly.
Glancing at the clock, he saw that the hands pointed at almost exactly 3 o’clock. Dar would be in bed asleep already. It was simply a nightmare of the past causing him to be flustered for no reason, but...
Should I check on Dar? he thought, hesitant.
However, thinking it over some more, he rejected the idea. Absolutely not! Dar wasn’t a normal teenager. No matter how gentle his movements, the youth would surely wake up. Devon didn’t want to disturb his brother’s good night’s sleep at three in the morning for no reason.
But why? Why is it that my heart feels so uneasy?
As Devon wavered back and forth he grew more and more worried. Finally, he couldn’t take it anymore, and marched to his brother’s room. He paced outside for a few minutes before pushing into the room.
The instant he entered, his gaze went straight to the bed, only to find no sign of Dar. Striding further into the room, he opened the door to check the empty bathroom, then he walked over to the bed. Standing in front of the neatly made bed, he reached out a hand, touching it for a moment. The blankets and sheets were neat and cold, which could only mean that the bed hadn’t been slept in tonight… Dar hadn’t even come back!
Devon’s mind blanked for a minute, before finally remembering that the last time he had seen Dar the boy had still been in the guest room where Ezart was resting.
“Could he still be in Ezart’s room?”
With that thought, Devon dashed out again. He didn’t care even if he appeared out of sorts as he passed by a whole row of bodyguards on the way.
Rushing to the guest room, Devon abruptly pushed open the door.
“Dar?!” he shouted.
There was only one person quietly lying on the bed, but he was not the one Devon was looking for.
Where exactly has Dar gone?
Flustered, Devon yelled, “Captain of the Guards!”
The door swung open instantly, revealing the figure of the head bodyguard.
“Here,” he answered.
The Bodyguard Captain’s respectful and controlled actions made Devon notice his own loss of composure. He took a deep breath to settle his rampaging emotions, using the time to sort out his thoughts, thinking of all the things his little brother could be up to.
“Where is Dar?” he asked with a frown, after calming himself.
“Young Master hasn’t left this room,” the Captain reported.
But the man had a terrifying discovery—the room held no traces of the young master.
“Are you certain that Dar has been in this room all along, never leaving once?” Devon continued questioning.
“No, Young Master did go down to the basement once and brought a bag of firearms up. He said they were supplies he needed to keep with him for protection. Then he returned to the room and has not left it since.”
Once the man had finished speaking Devon lost his cool once again. “Yet you didn’t bother reporting that to me?” he roared furiously.
“That is correct,” the Bodyguard Captain replied, bracing himself.
The Captain knew his outcome wouldn’t be good. He had been too careless. But that was because he had treated the young master as his employer and not as a captive, so he had not thought that the boy would escape so stealthily. Also, who would have guessed that the young master from a rich family could carry such a heavy backpack—a bag that an average person would have struggled with—to run away from home?
Although he had just calmed his emotions, Devon was so agitated even his breathing was ragged. That made the Captain at his side stare in disbelief, eyes wide. Having followed the Solaris Emperor until now, he had never seen his emotions get so out of control before.
Basically, the Solaris Emperor wouldn’t have cared even if the criminals threatened him with the lives of thousands of employees, and would have still calmly ordered his dinner with a menu on his own… The Solaris Emperor was that much of a cold-blooded person.
Devon had probably noticed the surprise on the Bodyguard Captain’s face. He walked to the wall, flicked up the small drawing on it, and pushed a series of buttons on the numberpad to open the secret door.
“Go down and see whether he’s in there,” he ordered.
“Got it.” Receiving the command, the bodyguard immediately set off into the secret room.
The moment the bodyguard left, Devon’s strong façade disappeared. He deflated like a balloon and slumped down to sit on the bed.
“Dar, do you want to save Avery that much? But he’s a traitor!” he muttered.
All traitors had to be eliminated in order for everyone to understand that the consequence of betraying the Solaris Emperor was much more terrifying than being killed by the enemy. Besides the traitors’ eradication, the Solaris Emperor would also vent his fury on their family and friends. Instead of betraying him, it would be better to heroically sacrifice their lives. After all, if they were to do that, then their families would at least receive an enormous sum of money in compensation, allowing them to live a good life even without them.
This system had fortified the operations of the Solaris Federation. That was why the moment Avery chose to betray him Devon hadn’t hesitated to order his death. It was just... that for a long time Avery had been a solitary man with no one important to him. Don’t even talk about family; he hadn’t even had a single friend. Naturally, his actions wouldn’t have affected anyone else before. That may also have been one of the reasons why he’d dared to betray them.
Has Dar realised that I decided not to rescue Avery, and that’s why he chose to save Avery himself?
“Idiot!” Devon couldn’t help but furiously reprimand himself.
I have been too careless! Always thinking that Dar wouldn’t go against my wishes, I didn’t even tell the bodyguards to watch Dar closely.
At this moment, the bodyguard returned to the surface. “Report: the young master isn’t in the hidden room.”
Devon wasn’t surprised. He had already guessed that this would be the answer.
“Continue to be on alert,” he ordered listlessly.
Devon walked back to his study. The second he sat down, he immediately dialled his secretary’s phone number, not caring that it was 3 o’clock in the morning.
If these were normal circumstances, Kyle would have picked up the phone before the second ring. However it was before dawn right now, so this time the phone rang for a while longer. Devon drummed his fingers on the black surface of the table lightly as he continued to wait on the line. His face held no expression.
The phone rang five times before it was picked up. A tired voice that evidently tried to remain professional answered the phone. “Good morning, Solaris Emperor. This is Kyle.”
“Morning, Bill.” Devon simply and quickly explained the situation. “Dar ran away. He took a huge bag of guns with him, so he’s probably trying to save Avery.”
The phone was silent for a while. Kyle had heard everything, so he wasn’t waiting for a further explanation of the situation, but rather the Solaris Emperor’s orders.
“He escaped through the hidden room. Dispatch the tracking squad and find him immediately.”
Although Devon didn’t issue any other commands, he also didn’t press the end call button. He paused for a moment, still holding the phone.
“Should I cancel the order to eliminate Avery?” Kyle asked carefully.
Although it wasn’t his place to ask questions, the fact that the Solaris Emperor had issued an order to kill the person that Young Master Daren ran away from home to save... No matter what, it just didn’t seem right. On top of that, the Solaris Emperor’s delay in ending the call may also have been for this reason.
The Solaris Emperor wants to pardon of the person Young Master Daren desires to save, but he isn’t able to speak up and call off the elimination order of a known traitor.
That’s why Kyle dared to ask this question: it was to give the Solaris Emperor a way out of his dilemma. But, contrary to his expectations, although the Solaris Emperor’s face tensed up and he was silent for a while, in the end he still icily said, “No, kill him. I won’t allow the existence of any traitors.”
Afterwards, Devon pressed the end call button. On the surface he had kept his usual demeanor of not softening his heart under any circumstance. But this time his heart had really hesitated. It was because of his only weak point.
If Avery died Dar would be sad, right? But if I don’t have Avery killed and if, by chance, we really were able to rescue him, then that wouldn’t necessarily be a good thing, either. Avery greatly influences Dar, and Dar is my only weakness. I don’t want to see Dar be hurt or manipulated if my enemy tried to use Avery to threaten me in a indirect way.
If Avery were like me and saw Dar as precious family that he would never abandon, then I might have thought about rescuing him. However, his betrayal has shown me that he has never thought of Dar like that. Or maybe I should I say that he did treat Dar like family, but, evidently, that family isn’t as important to him as his life or his experiments?
A person like that, who influences Dar yet doesn’t care about him, is much too dangerous!
Devon held his head in one hand. His ruby red eyes, hidden within the shadows of his palm, revealed a mercilessly bloodthirsty expression.
“Avery must be eradicated!”
This is definitely the right course of action. I must take it. But the best choice means that Dar will be sad...
Why? Why is it that I am at the pinnacle of power and authority, yet I am still unable to prevent my little brother from being hurt? It is such a simple wish, but why am I unable to fulfil it?
How can I be called the Solaris Emperor? I am only a weak older brother that can’t even make his little brother happy. Even when choosing which path to take, I don’t even know if what I’m doing is right or wrong.
It was an identical experiment lab, filled with the best equipment. It was still as messy, and the same figure, standing as still as death while he worked, was still there.
There didn’t seem to be any change in anything. The only thing that was missing was a silver-haired youth that would always barge in and rush about, grumbling and muttering as he reported his older brother’s detailed and lengthy orders. Then he would tidy up some of the things lying around, saying that he would bring him dinner afterwards.
Normally, the moment I heard those overly long and tiring commands, I would think that it was annoying and loud, making me unable to concentrate on my experiments. However, right now, I can’t help but think that this experiment lab feels much too quiet. It’s so deathly quiet that it is impossible for me to do my experiments peacefully.
It wasn’t like this in the past. Before, I would have given everything I had for a quiet and undisturbed lab. But now… has something changed?
Avery’s mind kept going over the same things. Although he wanted to analyse what the problem was exactly, he also knew that the general problem lay with the loud youth. It’s just that he could not—would not—admit that. In this situation, where he had betrayed that youth, what was the point in admitting it?
“I heard that Devon has already relayed the order to kill you.”
A man’s soft voice brought his attention back. He didn’t turn his head and he only replied faintly, “Oh, really?” As he spoke, the scalpel moved quickly in his hands.
“You don’t care?”
Yue Baylian’s beautiful, slender figure came out from the shadows. His expression revealed a charming smile as he used his long fingers to curl around a lock of hair. Almost as if he were acting coyly, he purred. “In the past, not a single person the Solaris Emperor has ordered to be killed has survived, you know?”
“I know. I’ve read the Solaris Federation’s employee handbooks. It’s written there clearly.”
Avery lightly pushed his glasses up his nose and recalled the rules written in the handbook. The line detailing the consequences of being a traitor was written out quite obviously. It was just missing the specifics of how each of the punishments was executed.
Yue Baylian strode along lightly, shifting to the side of the doctor. He moved his face right next to his ear, and as he breathed lightly against him he tenderly said, “Oooh, so you’ve prepared yourself to fall. Down. Into. Hell... Already? Dear Dr. Avery.”
“Instead of me, why don’t you worry more about yourself,” Avery replied flatly, not shifting his concentration from the work at hand. “The pressure from the Solaris Emperor’s side must be hard to handle.”
Hearing this, Yue Baylian’s voice suddenly became cold. “That is not for you to worry about.”
Avery’s heart couldn’t help but feel a slight twinge of pleasure. Devon really hasn’t let this guy have it easy.
Possibly because he could tell what Avery was thinking, Yue Baylian stopped acting sweet and delicate. He huffed coldly and then continued on in a brusque tone. “The Solaris Emperor has issued the order to have you killed. That man won’t waste any time in attacking us with full force. We can’t stay here anymore. Hurry up and pack up everything and be ready to leave.”
“Okay.” Avery nodded his head.
“Have you created a modified human capable of using the Reaper’s Scythe yet?”
“No,” Avery said blatantly.
Crack! Yue Baylian slapped him hard in the face. “Avery! I’m warning you. I don’t have much patience!” he bellowed.
Avery slowly turned his head back. Half of his face was red and swollen, but he didn’t flinch or seem to care at all. He remained apathetic towards the whole situation as he replied emotionlessly.
“I can see that you have no patience, and I already told you in the beginning that the Reaper’s Scythe requires the compatibility of one that has both extremely high speed and power. It is not something just any modified human can control. Even if they don’t need to utilise the full capabilities of the Reaper’s Scythe, merely being able to control it at all is something that requires at least three months of constant alterations, tests, and experiments.”
Yue Baylian’s complexion became terrible. He knew that it needed three months. Avery had said so from the start, so of course he knew. But how could the Solaris Emperor possibly give him three months?
Previously, he had relied on the fact that Devon didn’t want to kill Avery, which prevented him from acting rashly in order to protect Avery’s safety. However, now that Devon had issued the order to kill Avery, his subordinates wouldn’t need to worry about hostage safety, allowing them to move much more freely.
Have I been too reckless? Yue Baylian couldn’t help biting the nail on his index finger, thinking. Maybe leaving that morse code message may have really…
No. No matter what, Devon wouldn’t allow Avery to stay in enemy hands for three months. At most, it would only go on for six weeks. If he still couldn’t save Avery, then he would definitely issue the order to kill him.
If it’s like that, then I’ll bet on this. First, I’ll lure out Dark Sun and then think about the rest.
“Forget it. Cease the plan for creating a modified human that can control the Reaper’s Scythe. How many modified humans have you altered?”
“Three. If you hadn’t disturbed me just now then there may have been four,” Avery couldn’t help but reply cynically.
“Don’t mock me. After you finish packing, leave,” Yue Baylian ordered, voice icy.
Avery turned his head back. “Yes,” he responded blandly.
Yue Baylian snorted once more and then turned and left.
After Yue Baylian was gone, Avery once again began using his scalpel. “How funny. Between having a gun pointed at my head and being slapped, I actually prefer the former,” he muttered sarcastically. “At least as long as the trigger isn’t pulled, it wouldn’t hurt. But then again, if the trigger were really to be pulled, I probably wouldn’t feel the pain either.”
In addition, at least Dar would bother him to make sure he ate dinner and breakfast. Unlike here! Even if I were to starve to death, no one would care.
But what am I doing right now? Altering several powerful corpses to destroy the person that always nags at me to eat! Avery stopped moving his surgical knife and laughed bitterly at his own actions.
But it should be okay. Devon, who has a brother complex, will definitely protect him properly. No matter how strong these modified humans are, they wouldn’t be able to hurt the Solaris Emperor’s beloved little brother when he is aware of, and vigilant against, the enemy.
That guy that always does things to the extreme would most likely have a whole bunch of Delta Force soldiers equipped with heavy artillery acting as a human shield, blocking any threats from getting past. He would make sure his beloved Dar was surrounded by layer upon layer of armed guards. The perimeter might look like a normal house, but it would really be a fortress-like building that could even easily withstand missiles.
With these kinds of fortifications, even if a bomber aircraft was sent—let alone just a few modified humans—Dar wouldn’t be in any danger of being hurt.
That’s right! Even if there were four or five modified humans Dar would definitely not be hurt.
Once more, the scalpel in his hands moved swiftly.
******************** Eclipse Hunter v03c06 END ********************