I walked under the moonlight.
It was midnight, but the streets were far from peaceful. Colorful neon lights flashed so brightly that they hurt my eyes, and although the crowds were not necessarily less than the crowds during the day, they were definitely more lively. They did not seem to understand why the night was supposed be used for sleep.
The night turns terror into violence.
The bodies of people in the crowd were not completely whole. Some had a robotic prosthetic arm; some had mechanical legs; some had a clear cover on the top of their head, inside of which was not the brain, but control cords; and some had an entire upper body that was robotic.
But, their faces did not carry any hint of regret or shame. Instead, they proudly showed off their prosthetics to each other.
Along the way, I had already passed five fights, but I only quietly left each. They did not notice me, and I had no interest in getting into any unnecessary trouble.
Brawls were not unusual. In this cybernetic enhancement-obsessed world, those who installed combat prosthetics naturally wouldn’t want to put them to waste.
As usual, I walked alone.
From the front, a young man walked towards me. I paid attention to him especially because he had a very calm aura, and in the middle of the violent and chaotic atmosphere, he was especially unique.
Also, he suited the moonlight very well.
I couldn’t help but admire his appearance. He did not have any sign of prosthetics. Silver hair glowing in the moonlight fell to his shoulders, and he had dark, pitch-black eyes in a beautiful, fair face. Although he looked about twenty years old, he had a childish, innocent smile.
He wore simple clothing, only a white shirt and jeans. It did not look like he was from a wealthy family--which was probably why he had not had any modifications. No matter if it were buying prosthetics or paying for the surgery, you needed money. And the better the prosthetics or the better the doctor, the more money was needed.
I walked past him and glanced at him again, but he also seemed to have noticed that I was watching him. This made me slightly worried; in these streets, many fights had started with only a glance.
But, he returned a warm smile.
I reflexively returned a warm smile as well.
As we passed each other, I realized that my mood had lightened.. It has been so long since I have had such a good exchange with another person! Even if it were only an exchange of smiles.
Just as my mood improved, I heard the sound of an argument coming from behind. Someone was yelling crudely, “What’re you being so arrogant about?”
“I’m sorry, it wasn’t on purpose. If I offended you, I truly apologize.”
After I heard the other person’s reply, I was immediately certain that the speaker was the young man earlier. Of the people nearby, only his aura matched such a polite manner of speaking.
However, his politeness could not solve his problem. The others continued their belligerence, conjuring up a long list of excuses that could have been simply reduced to the favorite reason for picking a fight of teenagers nowadays—simple dislike.
The young man didn’t say anything. Most likely, he knew that the others were not going to listen to reason.
When I heard one of the assailants said that they were going to teach him a lesson, I finally stopped. I sighed. Why are humans never willing to treat each other nicely?
Turning around, I saw the young man being pushed by one of the aggressors into an alley, and I briskly strode forward: since I had already decided to help, there was no need to let the him experience more pain than necessary.
I walked into the alley. The young man was currently pushed against the wall, but he appeared very calm. His eyes were only slightly widened in an expression of…uncertainty?
Perhaps it was just my mistake. No matter what, an uncertain expression was out of place in this situation.
“Please stop,” I said softly.
The assailant turned his attention to me, but his expression was not anger at being interrupted, but excitement that there was going to be an extra punching bag.
They quickly surrounded me. They seemed to be more interested in me than in the earlier young man, probably because I looked older, taller, and more muscular, and the western suit I wore made me appear more mature and dignified. Perhaps they thought that fighting me would have more meaning?
Approximately ten people walked towards me, and if it weren't for their strange clothing and even stranger ways of wearing their clothing, they might even have looked quite imposing.
"Stop!" the young man yelled. He looked even more worried than he had when he had been about to be hit. This made me very pleased; at least I didn't save the wrong person.
"Please don't worry. I will be fine." I politely stopped the young man from running forward and "saving" me.
The young man revealed an uncertain expression identical to the one he had earlier.
I loosened my jaws slightly and opened my arms, almost as if I were about to kiss a lover......
Then, I opened my mouth and bared a pair of pure white fangs. Blue veins appeared on my palms, and long, sharp nails lengthened from my fingertips...... The ten people in front of me only stared at me, stunned. The teenagers these days really react so slowly!
I snatched over the nearest person's weapon and bent the long pole into a knot before tossing it to the ground by its owner's feet. I opened my mouth to bare my long fangs, then hissed.
Finally, one of them began to shriek.
I was relieved. Thankfully, the teenagers these days still know about vampires. I had worried that they would think that I was a modified human who had altered their teeth and nails.
That's right, I am a vampire. So please hurry and run away screaming.
The people in front of me screamed and ran from the alley, which made me even more relieved. I had also worried that the teenagers nowadays would not be afraid of vampires.
Even though they had run out yelling and screaming that there was a vampire, I was not too worried. Did the number of people screaming on the streets count as few? No one would believe them regardless; teenagers that did drugs often said things even more ridiculous than meeting a vampire.
I retracted my fangs and nails and looked at the young man gently. The latter looked at me with the same slightly wide eyes as earlier, and I said as warmly as possible, "I won't hurt you."
Saying this was probably useless. Who would believe that a vampire would not hurt humans?
I waited for him to panic and run away, but I had a feeling that such a polite young man would not scream at the one who saved him. To me, that was enough.
The young man looked at me and cocked his head to the side. "Vampire? You drink human blood?"
"Yes. I drink human blood." I nodded.
"That's really unfortunate," the young man said a bit worriedly.
Definitely unfortunate. Especially since I was currently looking at him.
The young man said a bit helplessly, “Then that means I can’t treat you to a meal as thanks.”
That’s right, because I do not need to eat….Ah?
I was dumbfounded. His reaction strayed too far from my expectations.
He asked expectantly, “Perhaps there is something you need?”
“Of course there is.” I nodded.
“Then please tell me. Perhaps I can help somehow,” he said earnestly.
I looked at him, admiring this young man’s courage and sincerity. Being so sincere and trusting to a vampire was a very difficult thing to do.
But, there is no way he could help me. I said tactfully, “It would probably be too difficult.”
The young man smiled slightly. “It wouldn’t hurt to say it.”
True. I said honestly, “I am currently looking for employment.”
“Employment?” This time, the young man finally looked stunned.
I straightened and said with elegance and pride, “I am a butler.”
The young man was astounded, then he stared at me as if searching my face for a sign that I was joking. But, I used a completely serious expression in return. At the end, he only laughed softly…….Again, this went against my expectations. He’s really a unique young man.
Smiling, he asked, “Then, vampire butler, what is your name?”
He actually accepted that I am a butler. I was touched. Every time I told someone my profession, vampire or human, no one would believe me. Vampires would only burst out laughing; humans would only start screaming.
This young man really made me have a desire to become friends, a desire that I haven’t had for many years. With this feeling in mind, I told him my name.
“I am Charles Andres. I am a vampire butler currently looking for employment.”
The young man smiled brightly and said, “Mr. Charles, I am Daren Avery. You can call me Dari. I am a student currently studying in university.”
After that, Daren invited me to go to his home. In actuality, even if I went I would not have be able to do anything……He had come out to buy a midnight snack, and I did not eat human food: to a vampire, anything other than blood tastes bland and was not nourishing.
“Are you in a hurry to look for a job?” Daren asked curiously.
“No, I’m not really in a hurry,” I said honestly. “To a vampire, finding a job as a butler is not easy.”
“Then how about you be my butler?” Daren cocked his head. “As it is, I live alone and it’s also a bit boring.”
I gave him a small smile. Even though Daren looks so responsible, it seems like he’s still just a child! Amused, I said, “My salary is very high.”
“How much salary do you want?” he was still curious.
It looks like if I do not tell him, Daren won't give up on that impossible idea.
I said softly, “My yearly salary is ten million, not including the money needed to take care of my master’s daily needs.”
For a butler, this price was not considered expensive: only in the middle-high range. I am definitely better than those expensive butlers, but I cannot ask for such a high price. Although I do feel a bit bitter, because I am a vampire I cannot ask for too much.
But, even though I lowered my price, there has still been no one who wants to hire me as a real butler: at the most, they would treat me as a fighter or a killer.
I cannot tolerate that type of situation. I am a butler, not a fighter. So as a result, I am always unemployed.
Unexpectedly, Daren was not intimidated by the price. He cocked his head to the side again and asked. “Charles, you look dissatisfied.”
I could only admit, “I am, somewhat.”
He laughed. “You didn’t hear my question clearly. What I asked is how much you want?”
I fell into silence for a moment. Then I said hopelessly, “Twenty million, with a minimum contract of two years. And the money that is to spent for the master's sake will depend on how much he wants to give.”
Daren didn’t say anything, only looked at me with a smile and gave me an address, arranging for us to meet again the next day.
- - -
The next day, as usual I was still unemployed. Since I had nothing to do, I brought a pouch of blood and a bucket of fried chicken to find my rare human friend for a midnight snack.
Daren lived in an apartment building that was neither particularly new nor old, and the area was fairly nice. It looks like he was not as poor as I had thought.
I knocked on the door. As expected, he was the one who opened, and he happily accepted the bucket of fried chicken; I was very glad that he had liked this type of food.
“Please come in,” he said as he led me inside.
We sat casually on the couch. The table already had a pile of snacks, and Daren put the bucket of fried chicken on the table before he hurriedly started eating.
He really is brave. Even seeing me pour my pouch of blood into a goblet and start drinking, he doesn’t have any strange expression……If it weren’t for the fact that I knew that he wasn’t a vampire, I might have thought that he were the same as me.
His reaction let me feel very relaxed and content. We ate and chatted, and Daren did not ask me much about my being a vampire, though he did ask many questions about being a butler. This made me feel even more relieved; too many things about vampires were unsuited for a barely twenty years old human to know, no matter how much I liked him.
“How many times have you been a butler?”
“Five times,” After I finished, I thought about it for a while longer then said discontentedly, “In actuality, never once.”
Daren didn’t continue asking, but he widened his eyes and looked at me curiously.
Ever since my father died, there really had been no one I could talk to about these things; vampires would only laugh at my profession as a butler, and humans just completely cannot accept my being a vampire.
Not to mention, Daren's expression was so curious that I'm afraid that even a coldhearted assassin couldn't have resisted answering his question.
Not to mention, Daren's expression was so curious that I'm afraid that even a coldhearted assassin couldn't have resisted answering his question.
I couldn’t help but start to explain, “I was born in a family of butlers. Ever since I was small I had gone through the training, and my childhood dream has always been to be a butler in a castle.”
“Ever since I finished my training, every night I’ve always looked for employment, and I had found five masters who each also had a castle. Originally, I had thought that I had reached my dream, but…”
I laughed bitterly. “When I was serving those masters, the time spent threatening, stealing, or killing was more than the time spent on the duties of a butler. At the end, I could not accept being considered a killer, so I would resign time after time.”
What I did not mention was that one of my previous masters had also then pursued me, believing that I knew too many secrets so he had to kill me. But, he didn’t know that his secret was really just a trivial matter. Not to mention, my inheritance from my father and mother was most likely much greater than all of his properties combined, so I completely had no need to sell those “secrets” to his enemy.
“Your master sent you to kill?” Daren widened his eyes.
I said honestly, “Because he was mafia.”
Daren thought for a moment, but, rather than an expression of sympathy, he started laughing loudly. He laughed until his tears leaked out and said, “Charles, I don’t want to put you down, but, if you go out searching for a master with a castle in the middle of the night, other than someone in the mafia who do you think you’ll find?”
I was actually relieved that he wasn’t sympathetic. I said in a wronged tone, “But I dislike sunlight.”
“Dislike?” Daren cocked his head and asked curiously. “Isn’t it that you can’t be under sunlight?”
I explained, “Weak sunlight is no problem: as long as I wear black clothing, a hat, and sunglasses I can walk on the streets during daytime. But, I still don’t like the daytime. Actually, no vampire would like daytime, especially during in the summer. If the temperature is thirty degrees Celsius, to me it feels like sixty degrees. Do you understand? It is very, very hot and uncomfortable.”
Daren was stunned for a moment and said uncertainly, “For the most part.”
He didn’t continue asking about me but started talking about university. He even took out a girl’s love letter and helplessly showed it to me.
This time, it was my turn to laugh. “Isn’t this good? You definitely look very handsome, so being welcomed by women is normal.”
“But, I’m not used to dealing with things like this.” He really looked troubled. Then he looked at me and laughed. “I think Charles is also probably very well liked by vampire women? And you don’t look like you’re used to dealing with this type of thing as well.”
My smile immediately froze on my face. That was true.
We had lost track of time, and we talked until I had happened to glance at the clock and realized that it was already past two in the morning. I asked Daren if he had class the next day, and it was only when he nodded that I hurriedly said my good byes.
“Can you come again tomorrow?” Daren asked while he sent me off.
I considered. The next day I would probably not have anything to do; an unemployed vampire was especially free. I nodded. “I can.”
The next day, I went to look for him with another bucket of fried chicken.
I gave the fried chicken to him, and he gave me a small notebook.
Curiously, I accepted it. I then realized that it was a bank account book……a bank account book that had my name on it. I opened it. The account had forty million dollars, and there was also a Solaris Corporation credit card with endless credit.
I raised my head to look at Daren. He was gnawing on a piece of fried chicken. Smiling, he asked, “Charles, do you want to try being my butler?”
It seems like he really is not as poor as I had thought. Humans said that the truly wealthy were low-key, and today I had experienced this for myself.
I looked at the not big, and not new apartment, then looked at Daren’s plain white shirt and jeans……Really too low-key!
It was the first time receiving the salary I wanted, so I was obviously happy. But, I still had some concerns. I said carefully, “Before you hire me, I need you to understand. I am a butler who can take care of all household matters, but I am definitely not a fighter and most definitely not a killer. If someone is threatening the master’s life, I will of course act, but—but……”
I was worried that this high of a salary wasn’t for just a butler.
Daren smiled. “I know what a butler does. My home also has a butler.”
“Your home?” I looked around the apartment, and I realized that there was another big problem: in actuality, this small of a place doesn’t need a butler……
“Oh,” Seeing that I was looking around, Daren explained. “This is a place I rented. It’s near my university and the commute is convenient.”
“But, this apartment really doesn’t need a butler,” I smiled faintly. I would not stay at a place that did not need me. What I needed was the job of being a butler, not the salary; the salary was just a confirmation of my abilities.
Daren picked up the touchscreen television remote and pressed his thumb on the sun symbol for three seconds. The remote screen changed completely.
Daren pressed the “Work Room” selection.
The wall behind the television opened soundlessly. Inside was a space that was larger than the entire apartment and had a very science fiction feeling to it; the walls were completely metal, on which hung various types of weapons, and there was a long table in the center of the room. On top of the table was a messy pile of parts, either side of which was a pile of large weapons that even I could not name.
I even saw two off-road motorcycles and a shooting range…….
I looked at Daren.
He stuck out a tongue and asked guiltily, “Very messy right?”
No, messy is not where the problem lies.
He spread his hands and said helplessly. “Actually, I’ve always had trouble cleaning. And every time I’m looking for something I have to ask brother Kyle, which is also very troublesome. If there’s someone who can help me it would be better.”
“My brother’s secretary,” He thought for a moment then added. “Secretary and butler.”
That definitely sounds like a difficult profession.
“I have a lot of things you can help me with,” he said firmly. “But, I will definitely not make you be a fighter or killer. And really, honestly, Charles if I needed a fighter or a killer I wouldn’t need to ask you. I can……My house has plenty.”
I believed him. Someone whose walls were covered with different types of startling weapons definitely had a family with many fighters and killers.
“Is your family mafia?” My affinity for the mafia seems to run very deep.
Daren looked at me, then laughed. He really did like to laugh. Still laughing, he said, “Charles, you’re really interesting.”
I feel like the one who is interesting is not me.
“No, my house is not mafia,” Daren patted my shoulder as if in reassurance.
I did not hesitate for long before I agreed. As I had said before, a vampire could not ask for too much.
Thus, I found a job.