Volume 3 Chapter 10
Translator: Fly, Yihn
Proofreader: Arc, Catchkatch, Wryn
“Dar... Dar…” Devon cried out. His heart ached as though it were breaking.
Turning around, he glared at Yue Baylian with his bloodshot eyes and bellowed, “What exactly have you done to Dar? All you wanted was to see me suffer in pain, wasn’t it? You didn’t really kill him, did you?”
Yue Baylian could no longer grasp the situation. He had originally thought that the mastermind behind the explosion was Devon. However, the Solaris Emperor had practically fainted in fright when he realised the explosion came from the Dome which housed his little brother. That was followed by a heartbreaking cry for his brother. It was impossible for him to feign that. Impossible!
Devon stumbled towards the Dome, the place where Daren had been.
Yue Baylian hastily pulled him back. “What are you doing? The drawbridge has already been destroyed in the explosion. It is impossible for you to cross!”
“Don’t hold me back. I am going to look for Dar!” Devon flailed wildly in an attempt to escape Yue Baylian’s grip. His strength was so great that even Yue, who had been trained in martial arts for years, almost failed to keep his grip. In desperation, he knocked Devon unconscious with a blow to the back of the head using the hilt of his knife.
Yue laid Devon down on the couch before turning to face what was left of the Dome. “Dark Sun, what exactly are you up to?” he muttered in bewilderment. “But even if you did manage to survive the explosion you would have lost your mobility. Not to mention the fact that you were already seriously wounded beforehand.”
Yet he was unable to relax just yet. Dark Sun was definitely behind the explosion. Although he was unclear on the other’s motives, he was sure that Dark Sun would not leave Devon in the lurch and escape by himself. Therefore, all he needed to do was to stand guard at Devon’s side.
After ordering the cyborgs to keep a watch on their surroundings, Yue slowly lowered himself onto the couch. He looked down at Devon who was still unconscious, reaching out to caress his silky blonde hair. Entranced, he whispered, “Dev, I will never let you go. Never.”
“Dev, never let you go... never...”
Eli leapt up onto a thick tree branch murmuring what he had just overheard, a confused look on his face.
Sin stared at him, unsure what was going on.
A faint, ambiguous smile grew on Elian’s face. “... Seems like the Solaris Emperor and Yue Baylian are inside, alright. Is anyone else there?”
Eli shook his head. “I didn’t hear anyone else. But there might be cyborgs around. I can’t hear a cyborg’s innermost thoughts.”
“Is that so?”
Elian was pretty vexed. According to Avery, Yue Baylian was extremely skilled in the martial arts. If they had to face him and a hoard of cyborgs, it would be impossible for a surprise attack to succeed. The Solaris Emperor might even be harmed in the process if things did not go according to plan, landing them in more trouble than they could handle.
“All we can do now is to wait for an opportunity. Eli, pay utmost attention to the situation inside. The moment an opportunity appears, we will immediately...”
“Hey—” Sin abruptly voiced in warning.
Before he could finish his sentence, something crashed through one of the windows. A humanoid object shot out of it, narrowly avoiding them, and fell down below, breaking numerous branches along the way and sending leaves flying into the air.
The trio stared at the hole in the glass created by the figure, speechless. Elian glanced at Eli, and a seldom shown awkward expression grew on the latter’s face.
“It isn’t that I didn’t hear him! It must be one of those emotionless cyborgs. If not, then it must have been Dark Sun’s doing.”
Elian sighed.“I miss the old days when only humans would commit murder,” he lamented.
Just then, a bellow came from within the building. “Dark Sun! I will never let you take Dev away!”
It was Dar!
Elian was about to call on Eli and Sin to go give Dar a hand when Eli cried out. “Elian!” He pointed to the right.
Elian’s gaze followed the direction of his finger and he noticed a group of cyborgs running towards the Central Building. He could not help but gasp at the sight. Making a prompt decision, he barked, “Get to the drawbridge. We will make use of the narrow space to block their way.”
The three of them, together with the two accompanying cyborgs, immediately leapt onto the drawbridge, cordoning off the bridge deck. Elian made use of the time before the cyborgs reached them to take a glance in the direction of the Central Building. He almost cried out in alarm at the sight that met his eyes. Dark Sun, heavily scarred and seriously wounded, stood before Yue Baylian, blocking his path. Devon Solaris lay unconscious on the couch behind him.
Although Elian wanted to aid Dar, he also knew how important it was to keep the approaching cyborgs out of the Central Building. It would be the end for all of them if that happened.
“Be sure to defend well, Sin, Eli.”
“Do you need to say that?” Sin snapped, starting to feel that ten battles as his compensation was far too few.
In the Central Building, Daren continued eluding Yue Baylian and the cyborgs’ attacks, breathless. Yet Baylian’s whip was like a deceitful viper, continuously pressing in on him. And, with numerous cyborgs lurking around ready to attack, he had no choice choice but to merely dodge. Even though his chip had deduced that he could gain the offensive via a retreat, he could not do so without leaving the couch open to the enemies’ attack.
“I didn’t expect you to be able to escape, given the circumstances.” A tender smile grew on Yue Baylian’s lips. “What exactly can you do in your current state?”
Indeed, he had been caught off guard by Dark Sun’s sudden attack that forced him to leave Devon’s side. However, when he calmed down and took a closer look at the situation, he saw that Dark Sun was covered in injuries. Although the arm that had been dislocated before had been popped back into place, the angle was still wrong. That probably explained why Dark Sun had yet to start attacking with his hands and had only dodged up to this point.
“Cyborgs, attack the person lying on the couch!” Yue Baylian ordered disdainfully.
The moment the order was given, the cyborgs’ weapons changed direction, slashing toward the unconscious Devon. All Daren could do was abruptly turn back to shield and protect his brother. At that moment, Yue Baylian’s whip coiled around his ankle and with a tug he laid sprawled on the ground.
“Stop! Now suppress the enemy on the ground.”
All the weapons closing in on Devon stopped immediately, only inches from his head, and whirled back towards Daren instead.
Held down by the cyborgs, Daren was devastated. I’m sorry, Gege, Dar has failed to rescue you.
“You sure are mischievous.” Taking a few steps forward, Yue nudged Daren’s head with his foot. “Look at you. I wonder how your brother’s heart would ache if he were to see you in your current state? This usually adorable face is in such a filthy state.
“However...” Sneering, Yue calmly turned his attention to the trio, who were still in combat with a group of cyborgs outside. “The three of you outside! If you don’t stop I’m afraid that Dark Sun’s head and body will be going separate ways!” he shouted.
Elian and the others stiffened for a moment, but kept fighting. Even though they wanted to do as Yue Baylian ordered, the cyborgs were not showing any signs of stopping! How were they supposed to stop in this situation?
Of course, Yue knew the dilemma they were facing. He just did not bother ordering the cyborgs to stop. He enjoyed making things difficult for others.
“Still not stopping? Then I guess I will...” with a vicious smile, Yue’s whip rained down harshly on Daren’s back.
When the first lick of the whip slashed his back Daren gave a stifled cry, but that was the only sound he made. As the whipping continued, he remained silent, even when the force of the whips increased. Enraged, Yue Baylian increased the speed and strength of his blows. “How dare you disregard my presence!”
Panic overwhelmed Elian as he heard the constant lashes of the whip. Worried, he turned around, hoping to take a look at Daren’s situation.
“You want to die?!” Sin bellowed as he blocked a blade meant for Elian. The blade would have beheaded him if he hadn’t.
Although Elian glimpsed the terrible scene of Daren being beaten, he couldn’t help but murmur the words “Amazing. He is here...”
Just then a gigantic fist swung at the side of Yue Baylian’s face. Yue noticed it at the last moment, and barely managed to dodge. Though he did manage to avoid its direct attack, a tiny cut on his cheek was left by its wake.
“Who are you?” Yue Baylian turned around in astonishment.
The man pounded his fists together, the metal wrapped around them giving a deafening clang. He roared as he fists collided. “Haha! I am your father!” he sneered.
Yue Baylian fumed upon hearing this. Brandishing his whip, he lunged into battle with the man.
Meanwhile, a cyborg was sent flying with a punch from Eloise as she joined the drawbridge fight with the remaining cyborgs. Daren stared at the new arrivals blankly. “E—Ezart! You’ve woken up?” he called out in disbelief.
Ezart did not stop his fists, even as he heard his friend’s call. Instead, he rolled his eyes at Daren and snapped, “Idiot! How did you end up looking like a piece of charcoal?”
“You... you really are finally awake.” Daren’s eyes filled with tears, almost brimming over.
“No shit!” Ezhart snapped. “If I weren’t awake, does that mean I’m sleepwalking right now?”
“I—I...” Daren no longer had the ability to reply. The last of his energy drained away as he lay on the ground. His body was already well past its limits, being heavily wounded. Yet he had continuously forced himself to do many dangerous things. First it had been using of his last bit of energy to cut open the capsule. Then he threw the bomb imbedded in his body out of the capsule on the sly, in an attempt to destroy the four cyborgs standing guard outside with the explosion.
Despite having the capsule to protect him and minimise his own damage, it was inevitable that he suffered injuries from the explosion, adding to his already battered body.
Following that, he had used the moment when Yue Baylian was distracted by Devon to smash a window and throw a cyborg out as well. Then had come the battle with Yue Baylian and the remaining four cyborgs.
Numerous wounds covered his body. More than 25% was covered in burns from the explosion, which was why Ezart had compared him to a piece of charcoal.
“Dar, sit still and don’t move. I will heal you.”
This voice is... Stunned for a second, Daren blurted out, “Papa Avery!”
“Mm-hm,” Avery acknowledged, inspecting his injuries with a grave look on his face. The muscles on his left arm were thoroughly destroyed. His right elbow joint was slightly crooked, as if it had been dislocated but then forced back into position. There were no fractures in his leg but it was covered in bruises and lacerations.
“Luckily there are no broken bones. You would have been in real trouble then.”
Avery grabbed hold of Daren’s right hand, placing it into a cylindrical apparatus. “I will first help you to adjust the angle of the bone, and then spray some hemostatic agent on it. We will leave the rest till when we return to the laboratory.”
“Okay, but please don’t apply any anesthetics,” Daren hastened to say. “If you do, I won’t be able to move my right hand.”
“Then you will have to bear with the pain.” Avery nodded, pushing a few buttons on the apparatus.
Leaving it to work on its own, he picked up the hemostatic agent and began looking for wounds on Daren Solaris’s body to spray. It was then that he realised he could not find an inch of skin that was unwounded. In the end, he simply sprayed Daren from head to toe, covering him entirely with the agent.
To one side, the battle was still going on. “I will be your opponent!” Ezhart bellowed, waving his fists. He charged at Yue Baylian. The latter, having noticed that his strength was overwhelming, knew that he would take serious internal damage if he were hit with one of those fists. Thus he took a defensive approach, trying to dodge most of the time.
Yue Baylian’s moves were far more agile and extraordinary when compared with Shain Baylian. However, Ezart was no longer the Ezart of the past, either. His speed had increased and his punches were infinitely more powerful. Often, his fists merely grazed past Yue Baylian. Yet, it was enough for the air rushing in its wake to cut his robes, which were now in shreds. Each punch was like a mighty tornado.
“Ezart has become so strong!” marvelled Dar. He fixed his gaze on the duel as Avery patched him up.
Avery busied himself with tending to Daren. “I heard he survived drinking my concoction. That guy’s definitely hardy. Even though my compound is capable of stimulating a human’s potential, greatly enhancing its power and speed... in all the test cases I’ve carried out, the test subjects died not long after consuming it.”
By this time, Elian, Sin, Eli and Avery’s pair of cyborgs had already eliminated all the enemy cyborgs outside and immediately turned back to help Eloise with the rest.
Realizing that the tide was no longer in his favour, Yue Baylian shattered the window at his side with a flying kick, jumping through the hole and fleeing. Ezart followed quickly behind, shouting for him to stop.
Elian, worried that Ezart could not beat Yue Baylian, hurriedly said to Sin, “Could you catch up to them and help Ezart neutralise the enemy before bringing him back?”
Sin rolled his eyes. “This is the last order, right?” he asked.
“That’s right. This would be the last one.” Elian nodded.
Satisfied, Sin bobbed his head and dashed away in the direction Yue Baylian and Ezart had last been seen.
“Dar, are you alright?” asked Elian in concern.
“My cute Dar, you were actually tortured to such...” Eloise broke off with a sob. “This is so awful!” The sight of Daren’s covered with burns pained her greatly.
“Eloise, I’m alright.” Daren assured Eloise, jumping to his feet.
With that one jump, the bandages that were only still half wrapped around his chest began to unravel, prompting Avery to roll his eyes. But never mind! Most of the bleeding had stopped, and the rest of the boy’s injuries could be looked at when they were back at the lab.
“It’s fine as long as you’re alright.” Elian smiled in relief. Although Daren’s appearance was a ghastly sight, seeing that he could already jump around so enthusiastically to console her, and without the least bit of worry from Avery, reassured her that it couldn't be that serious.
At this time, Devon, who had been lying on the couch, slowly opened his eyes. Sitting up, he immediately caught a glimpse of Dar smiling and conversing with Elian and the others. His heart, which had felt unbearably constricted, finally relaxed. He let out a big whoosh of breath and his mind was filled only by the thought ‘Dar is alive’.
Devon abruptly caught sight of Avery and his eyes turned hard and ruthless. He would never allow anyone who endangered Dar to live. He never, ever again wanted to feel the heartbreaking pain of his Didi almost dying. He walked over to a drawer in the study, unnoticed, where he knew Yue kept his handgun. Taking out the silver BHP09, he took aim at Avery.
“This is for Dar. Die,” he sneered.
With a shout, Daren dove in front of Avery and took the bullet in his arm.
“No...!” Devon gasped as he watched it happen. A shock of cold wind seemed to freeze his heart, and the gun clattered to the floor. He’d hurt Dar, he had actually hurt Dar...
But Daren, who felt his anger rising, didn’t care about the bullet hole in his arm. “Gege, why must you kill Papa Avery?!” he yelled.
Devon slapped his brother fiercely across the face. Daren touched his cheek with a lost look on his face. Gege... actually slapped me?
“I only wanted to protect you!” Devon bellowed. “Do you know how much I have sacrificed up to now just to protect you? And yet you—you continuously let yourself to get hurt and refuse to take care of yourself in the slightest!”
Daren looked blankly at his brother. But—but he got injured because he also wanted to protect Gege...
“Why can’t you be obedient and just listen to me? Just stay under my protection and be an ordinary, obedient teenage boy?”
Devon woefully fell to his knees after voicing his pent-up emotions, and buried his face in his hands. He was tired. How many times had he been injured, from the day he rescued his brother until now? Why is it that even though he’s under my wing, he still gets hurt?
This time, it was even he himself who opened fire and wounded Dar!
“Gege...” Daren called out timidly, looking at him with the same dumbfounded expression.
“I—I promise to be good from now on. Can you let Papa Avery live?”
Devon had actually started to cave a little when he heard Dar’s voice, but his subsequent request made him explode, and he couldn’t help but rave at his brother.
“No! He has too much influence over you. He doesn’t truly care about you and could betray you anytime, anywhere. By keeping him by your side you are just waiting for him to betray you again and break your heart.”
Avery ducked behind Elian and Eloise, the three of them frozen awkwardly, unsure whether to intervene in the brothers' quarrel.
Daren started panicking as he realised his brother was so determined. “Gege, Dar will be good!” he pleaded. “Can you please not kill Papa Avery?”
Devon nearly gave in, but his wits pulled him back at the last moment. If he didn’t kill that traitor Avery how could he keep everyone on their guard? If Avery were spared, and should he betray them once again, Dar would definitely be heartbroken again!
He wanted to reject his brother’s request, but on second thought Avery’s experiments were full of danger after all. Who knows if one day he might just die in the lab, right?
“Very well. I’m not going to kill Avery okay, Dar?” placated Devon with a smile.
Daren, however, did not relax immediately, but instead he stared with huge unblinking eyes at his brother, making the latter feel a shiver of uneasiness pass through him.
Elian and the others at the side glanced askance at Devon. Even they did not believe that Devon would truly let Avery off the hook.
“Gege, you’re lying to me again, aren't you?”
Having been found out, as expected, Devon smiled bitterly.
“Gege always lies.” Daren hung his head.
“What? I didn’t...” Devon stared. If it weren’t due to these circumstances, how could he have lied to Dar?
“Gege said that he would protect me when Father was taking me away, but Dar waited for so long and Gege never came! At that time, only—only Papa Avery would smile at me. I don’t want Papa Avery to die, but no matter what I say, Gege still wants to kill Papa Avery.”
This... Devon was completely unable to refute his brother and could only direct his anger at Avery.
“It’s all because of you! Why did you betray us?!”
“If I didn’t help Yue Baylian modify humans, would I still be alive right now?” Avery replied coldly. “Moreover, I thought that with your protection there would be no chance of Dar getting hurt by them. So I agreed to his request without hesitation. How was I to know you would let Daren leave the house during that time?”
“I...” Devon was speechless. That was definitely his fault. It was because Dar had realised that Devon was never going to rescue Avery or would more likely have killed him. That was why Dar had left the house. Thus if he had genuinely promised that he wouldn't kill Avery at that time, Dar would never have run away.
Avery was silent for a moment, before speaking in an indifferent tone. “You and your brother—one has the protection of your Gege, and one has the protection of your Didi. While I have only myself. I only wished to live; was that wrong?”
“Papa Avery...” Daren called out hesitantly.
Avery turned to look at Daren and sighed. “Dar, look at our past together. Could you stall your brother for a minute or two while I leave? After this you should stop caring about me, too. And, please, don’t ever run away from home again.”
“Wait! Don’t go, Papa Avery!” Shocked, Daren cried out. “Don’t go! I’ll persuade Gege to spare you.”
“No...” Avery smiled bitterly. He did not think that Devon would ever forgive him, should he continue staying with the Solaris family. Someday he could easily drop dead without even knowing why.
“Gege...” pleaded Daren as he turned around to look at Devon.
Devon’s face was stiff as he thought things through. If he were to refuse Dar’s request, then wouldn’t he be going back on his word about giving Dar anything he wanted? But if he let Avery off, what would become of Dar’s safety, and the punishment for a traitor?
A sudden wretched shout came from the door just as he was going through this dilemma. “Devon!”
He turned to the direction of the voice, and stood stunned for a few moments. “Baylian...” he mumbled.
Yue Baylian was holding up a pistol, aimed at Devon. Without a care that half of his body was covered in wounds, he shouted hysterically, "if I can’t have you, I’ll just kill you! Kill you!”
Devon’s expression darkened but just as he was about to give a cold reply, he saw Yue’s pleading gaze, without the slightest murderous intent, and a tear silently sliding down his cheek...
If he really wanted to kill me, why hasn’t he fired?
Since the beginning, Yue Baylian had many opportunities to kill him. However, he had never hit him, not even had he once raised his whip against him.
… How could I hit you when you look at me with a smile on your pretty face?
Devon suddenly understood. No matter what, Yue Baylian would never harm him. Even if he was pointing a gun at him, all he asking for was to be noticed.
He sighed. “It’s okay; put down your gun. From this day onward, you shall stay by my side and be my secretary, like Bill,” he said.
Yue was shocked when he heard those words. How was this possible? Normally, Devon would kill any traitors, not to mention enemies.
Seeing the disbelief in his face, Devon added, “I swear to you, on the name of the Solaris Emperor, I am not going to kill you.”
I’m serious about letting Yue Baylian go, thought Devon. Since he couldn’t kill Avery, who had an even more likely chance of betraying him, what reason could he have to justify killing Yue Baylian, who would never in the slightest chance betray him?
Yue Baylian could hardly believe he was hearing those words, and the pistol in his hand slowly lowered without him realising.
Devon nodded, smiling, as he looked at Yue Baylian, making the latter feel like was in a dream.
Since he had decided on making him his secretary, naturally, he should treat him better so that he would work hard for him like Bill. After all, Yue Baylian had controlled Lunaris Alliance for so long: without doubt, he was most certainly incredibly talented!
He was a little worried that Bill would collapse due to over-exerting himself, with there being no one to help him with his huge workload.
Yue’s gun clattered to the floor, with tears streaming down his face. He was unable to believe that things had come to this. He could actually still have Devon’s forgiveness and attention, and even stay by Devon’s side in the future...
“Dar, stop it...” hollered Avery suddenly, but everything happened so fast. Daren picked up the silver BHP09 that was on the floor in a fluid motion and Yue Baylian’s body swayed as a gunshot rang out.
“D—Dev, you lied...” he muttered mournfully.
But as he turned to face Devon, he saw the dazed look on his face. It seemed he could not truly comprehend what had just happened.
Seeing this, Yue Baylian smiled lightly. "It seems that it wasn’t you who wanted to kill me! However, even if you really did, I won’t resent you one bit because at the very least, you would still have that dismayed expression..."
A stream of blood dripped down his temple. Soon after, his eyes closed shut and his body slowly tumbled to the ground. All movement ceased.
With not a hint of emotion in his eyes, Daren walked towards him and stopped a few feet away. He lifted his gun, intending to pump a few more bullets into the body to ensure that he was really dead.
“Dar, what are you doing?!” Devon jolted out of his daze. Rushing over to his brother’s side, he knocked the BHP09 out of his hand with one hit.
Stunned for a second, an innocent look replaced Daren’s expressionless face. He replied timidly, “I—I am protecting Gege!”
“Didn’t I promise Yue Baylian I wouldn’t kill him?” Devon bellowed furiously. “Why did you still kill him? Do you really like bloodshed this much?”
Daren knew he had made a grave mistake. Eyes wide, he tried to explain in a flurry. “B-but... Gege also promised you wouldn’t kill Papa Avery, but that was a lie. I thought—thought that you were just lying to Yue Baylian to make him put the gun down…”
He faltered, tears rolling down his face as he shook his head. “I don’t know! I don’t know when Gege is speaking the truth or telling a lie. I don’t know!”
With that, he turned and ran towards the door.
Devon’s expression stiffened. “Dar come back here!” he bellowed.
Hearing his brother’s yell, Daren paused briefly before he continued bolting out the door.
Witnessing a repeat of Dar’s defiance and the fact that he had just run away from him again, Devon stood rooted to the ground, dumbfounded. Only after Daren was out of sight did he wake up from the daze. Taking a few urgent steps towards the exit, he stumbled over Yue Baylian’s body. Halting abruptly, he stared blankly at the body lying motionless on the floor.
He tried to kill Avery to protect Dar, and Dar had killed Yue Baylian to protect him.
“I only wanted to protect you, Dar, just like how you wanted to protect me.”
Devon broke out in peals of maniacal laughter. They were brothers indeed! So much so that their motives and actions seemed to completely mirror each other. All they wanted was to protect each other. To protect each other...
“Hahaha... But—but why do we end up hurting each other? Why? Ha! Isn’t this ironic? Ahahaha...” His laughter took on a gut-wrenching tone.
“Solaris Emperor…” Elian called out hesitantly.
Hearing him, Devon dried his eyes. How can a ruler cry?
Even if the world were to collapse, a ruler could only face it with a smile. Even if his laughter sounded like cries of despair.
Avery slowly made his way to Devon’s side. He hesitated for a moment, looking at the door Daren had left through, but did not gave chase. Instead, he unclipped the radio intercom attached to his waist and spoke into it.
“Ezart, Dar ran off. Something’s not quite right about him. Follow after him and take a look.”
Ezart chased after Daren. Luckily, he had not used his full speed while running away. It would have been impossible for Ezart to catch up with him otherwise.
Hearing Ezart’s shout, Daren stumbled a few steps and finally came to a stop.
“Dar, why are you running away?” Ezart snapped at him the moment he caught up.
Daren turned to face him, eyes brimming with tears. His voice quivered. “Is Dar Devil’s spawn?”
“Huh?” Ezart stared blankly at him. What nonsense is this? Why are all his questions ridiculously bizarre? Before it was about his looks, and now it’s this ‘devil’ situation. It’s impossible to figure out this kid’s thought process.
“Why? Mother died. So did Father. Ezart, you almost died, too. Then it was Papa Avery, and Dar almost caused Gege’s death. Now, I killed someone whom Gege didn’t want dead...” Daren continued absentmindedly. “Will everyone involved with me die?”
“What are you talking about? I didn’t die! Your Papa Avery didn’t die. And your brother is alive enough to quarrel with you!” Ezart snapped. “Also, it was my own carelessness that almost led to my early departure. What has that got to do with you?”
However, Daren seemed to have drifted off into thought. As though he had not heard anything Ezart had said, he continued. “Gege wanted to kill Papa Avery because he was a traitor... but Papa Avery was just trying to survive. Gege was not in the wrong, but neither was Papa. So whose fault was it?”
“...How would I know?” Ezart scratched his cheek. He hadn’t been able to make heads or tails of the situation since the beginning. All he knew was that Dar and his brother had both been captured, and he had come to rescue them.
“It’s my fault!” Daren muttered to himself. Yes. Obviously I am at fault. If it wasn’t for me, how could Mother have died like she did? If I had never been born, Gege would never have hurt the father who loved him dearly, right?
Back then, if I had followed the microchip’s judgement and had not insisted on meeting the Principal, Papa Avery would not have delivered the Scythe. He would not have then been captured in the process. If I hadn’t run away from home and been captured by Yue Baylian, Gege would not have been captured.
It was my fault. All my fault...
Ezart furrowed his brows. Something wrong is going on with this guy. He shook Daren’s shoulders, trying to get his attention. “Dar?”
Would it be better if I had never existed? Was it just like what father had said? Bad luck will fall upon whomever comes into contact with the Devil’s spawn?
“That is why I will seal the Devil’s spawn within Dark Sun’s body. Only then will you not hurt your brother, my beloved child, my great Sun King.”
“Dar, what’s the point of thinking so much? Let’s go back to your brother and Elian first.” Ezart patted Daren’s shoulder vigorously.
Go back... Dazed for a second, Daren recalled that his brother did call out to him when he dashed out.
Master’s order is to go back.
No! I don’t want... I don’t want to go back. Gege said that I can do whatever I want to do. If I were to return, I would end up hurting him... But it was Gege who cried out for me to come back. But he refused to forgive Papa Avery. Which command am I supposed to follow?
I have no idea...
Master’s order must not be defied!
Daren Solaris stood rooted to the ground, his body trembling. Watching him, Ezart frowned.
“Hey! What’s wrong with you? It’s just a quarrel with your brother. Just apologise and everything will be fine. It’s not like the Solaris Emperor will eat you or something. Is there any need to tremble in fear?”
Return to Master’s side; Master ordered you to return. Obey the order...
But Dar is the Devil’s spawn. If I return, sooner or later Gege will be hurt.
“... I will seal you, the Devil’s spawn, within Dark Sun’s body...”
Nobody will get hurt as long as I am sealed?
Daren’s body stopped trembling abruptly. The emotions faded from his eyes, his face gradually becoming expressionless.
Ezart felt increasingly uneasy as he looked at him. He felt something untoward had happened the moment Daren stopped trembling. Something is definitely wrong with this kid!
He forcefully whirled Daren around to face him, but Daren pushed his hands away immediately.
Ezart was taken aback for a moment before he suddenly noticed Daren’s cold gaze.
...No, this isn’t Dar!
“Dark Sun?!” he gasped in alarm. Why did Dark Sun resurface suddenly?
“Master’s order were to go back,” Dark Sun replied monotonously, tilting his head slightly, stiff as a robot.
“Dar? What are you up to?” Ezart stared at him.
“Return and protect Master. Return, protect…”
Repeating the words over and over again like a broken record, Dark Sun mechanically staggered past Ezart’s side, as though he was not in complete control of his limbs.
Ezart pulled him back by the arm. Even a blind man could tell that something was wrong with him. Dark Sun’s entire body unexpectedly collapsed backwards. Caught off guard, Ezart managed to grab hold of him just inches from the ground.
Re-adjusting his grip, Ezart slowly lowered Daren’s 90 kilogram body onto the ground. It was only then he managed to take a good look at him.
Daren’s eyes were shut firmly, his brows furrowed as his body twitched intermittently.
“What the hell is going on?” Ezart stared, completely flabbergasted.
Gradually, Daren calmed down, and the twitching abated. Yet, his eyes remained closed.
“Dar?” Ezart shook him, but he remained unresponsive. He muttered under his breath, “This is bad! Don’t tell me he’s carked it?”
He swept Daren up into his arms. Although Dar was not a light load, it was still manageable with his current strength.
Ezart strode back in the direction of Devon’s room. He had just reached the doorway when he saw Devon still sitting with his face buried in his palms. Avery was fiddling with the corpse at the door and Elian seemed at a loss about what to do.
“Hey! Dar’s brother and father! Something’s not quite right with him,” Ezart shouted.
“What’s wrong with Dar?” Devon covertly rearranged his expression as he quickly stood up. He hastened towards Ezart, a scowl appearing on his face as he looked at Daren who was lying in Ezart’s arms. Yet, before he could reach them, Daren opened his eyes.
“He has woken up,” Devon sighed with relief.
Ezart stared down at the person in his arms. Vaguely, he could tell that something was not right. Was Dar’s expression always this cold? Is it because he’s angry?
No! This isn’t Dar! No matter how I look at him, he is lacking his characteristic innocent foolishness. Even when Daren was angry, he could not conceal the natural sense of nerdiness which oozed out of him. With only a couple more glances, Ezart said assuredly, “You are Dark Sun.”
Daren—or, rather, Dark Sun—leapt out of Ezart’s arms and landed on the floor, agile as a cat. He then walked behind his master and stood at attention.
“Dar?” Ezart and Devon called out simultaneously.
Just then, Avery, who was squatting next to the corpse, still fiddling with it, looked up and frowned as he surveyed Daren.
“What is going on?” Devon promptly spun around, anxiously grabbing his brother’s shoulders as he tried to catch the faintest hint of a human expression on his face. Even if it was a tearful expression.
Dark Sun, hearing Master’s question, started an introspection and reported. “Body is partially damaged. Repairs recommended, no abnormalities observed on the chip.”
Hearing his answer, Devon was utterly stunned.
Avery moved closer. “Tell him to switch on his emotions,” he suggested.
“Yes, that’s right. Is the emotion switch turned off? I order you to switch it on! Do you hear me? Switch it on immediately!”
Silent for a while, a series of programs flashed through his eyes. “Reporting: Emotion switch cannot be turned on.” he finally stated. “As Daren Solaris’ emotions were obstructing him from obeying Master’s orders earlier, he decided to switch it off of his own accord and refuses to switch it back on. Override failed.”
Devon was shaken. What is going on? Dar refused to switch on his emotions? Hasn’t he always wanted to have emotions?
“Avery!” Turning around to face the doctor standing beside him, he roared in panic. “Think of a solution to save Dar now! I swear, I swear with everything that I have, that no matter what happens in the future, in any situation, under any circumstances, I will not kill you.”
“Even with your word, I am clueless about Dar’s current situation. All I can do is return to the laboratory before making any further conjectures.”
However, as the chip’s original machinations were very complex, coupled with the current idiosyncratic complication, Avery feared that even as Dar’s primary physician, he might not have any solutions with which to counter the problem.
Noticing Avery’s total lack of confidence, Devon’s heart sank. He turned to look at his brother whom he loved so dearly. Though he hated to see Daren in tears, he was even more unwilling to see him expressionless like a robot!
“Did it hurt that much? So much that you willingly gave up your emotions? Dar…”
Was the Dark Sun standing before him still the Dar he knew?
No! Of course this emotionless robot is not Dar. Where has Dar gone, then? He refused to turn on the emotion switch... Don’t tell me that this means Dar will never come back again?
Has Dar been destroyed... by his own hands?
******************** Eclipse Hunter v03c10 END********************