Please watch over your only child from the skies so that I may sooner become a true butler without any change in expression……Not even a zero point zero zero something centimeter change!
Once the young master went to sleep, I also concluded my simple cleaning and began the truly important work: in order to meet the young master's needs, I often used time at night to search for information about weapon modification on the internet because the textbooks were already not enough.
Recently, the weapon the young master was modifying was a very unique item. He was currently modifying a backpack. No mistake, it was a backpack. Accurately speaking, it was a side backpack made of coffee-colored leather in a very traditional style. Nowadays almost no teenagers would use this type of backpack––apart from my young master.
Regardless if you were looking at it from the side, looking at it from above, picking it up to look at it, or even opening it and looking inside every pocket, the backpack the young master was modifying appeared no different from any traditional backpack. But, as someone who had personally seen the young master modify it, I could not be more clear of the fact that this backpack had absolutely nothing in common with a traditional backpack……apart from the outer appearance being the same.
The biggest difference was that the young master's modified backpack had at least ten different types of weapons inside.
The backpack strap was a long flexible blade that had been wrapped with cloth; the outer buttons were actually two miniature bombs; the side threading on the two sides can be pulled out into two long stakes; from the back a row of thin knives can be pulled out; and on the bottom was a very small handgun.
Opening the backpack, it looked no different from a normal backpack. But, I was very clear that if the black divider inside were opened, it would become a multi-sectioned whip.
The front-most pocket had three different colored pens clipped outside, something all normal students would often do……But, they would not have added two different types of chemicals inside the pen interior so that, if the three liquids were mixed, it would cause a big explosion.
After seeing the young master modify this backpack, I could not help but sigh in admiration. If this backpack went on the market, in this type of unsafe era every parent would probably want to buy one to give to their own child for safety!
But, the young master did not seem to have any intention of putting it on the market. After he had finished modifying it, he put his own textbooks inside, obviously intending to wear it to school the next day……Perhaps the young master's university is much more dangerous than I had thought.
The topic had strayed somewhat far. In summary, the young master had demonstrated his talent for turning everyday items into weapons, and because of this, even if I had read all of the weapons textbooks in the bookstores, my theoretical knowledge was still not enough to meet the young master's needs.
For example, just now, when the young master had gazed expectantly at me while telling me that he needed fire resistant paint, I had not been able to provide it, and the young master had revealed a very disappointed expression that made me deeply feel my professional failure.
I was a butler, yet I had not been able to provide what the master needed; it truly was irresponsible.
Although, I also somewhat believe that even if I were to learn all there is about weapon modification, I'm afraid that even at that time I would still have no way of providing fire resistant paint. When modifying weapons, this type of thing was really very rarely used.
About this, I was slightly troubled.
Dear father, when the master's needs is as deep and expansive as the seas, what should I do? Even if I prepared everything I could think of in advance, they still would not fit in the young master's house…….
Just as I was deep in troubled thought, the cell phone in my pocket suddenly rang. I was slightly surprised. The young master is in the house, so he would probably not call me. Perhaps it was Mr. Kyle calling?
The cell phone screen showed the caller ID as the bodyguard captain.
After I picked up the phone, I heard the familiar voice of the bodyguard. He swiftly asked, "Butler, may I ask if the young master is inside the house?"
"Yes, he has already gone to sleep."
But the bodyguard did not hang up. He said stiffly, "Please confirm whether or not he is inside his room."
I was stunned. "Yes," I replied. Then I walked in front of the young master's room and knocked on the door. There was no response. I knocked again, but there was still no reply.
"Young master, I am coming in."
I opened the door. There was not any sign of any person on the bed, and the room's restroom was also unlit. There was only a cellphone lying on the bed, and it was vibrating unendingly.
The young master often seems to forget to bring his cell phone out with him……
I could only call back the bodyguard and report. "The young master is not inside his room. I do not know where he has gone."
Nor even how or where he had left. I was always in the parlor, and if he were to leave from the front door he would have needed to pass by.
"I understand," the bodyguard's voice sounded as if he were not surprised. He fell silent for a moment, then asked politely. "May I ask for you to come up to the roof? It is about something unrelated to work."
"Roof……Yes." I said softly.
There was no elevator up to the roof, so I could only walk up from the emergency stairs. When I arrived, the door was not closed, only propped open, and I directly pushed open the door then walked inside.
This rooftop was not as dark as I had imagined. In reality, in the center was a circle illuminated by light, but apart from this circle everywhere else was especially pitch black.
One man stood in the center of the illuminated area. He was especially tall and well built, and from my guess he may have been about two hundred centimeters tall. He wasn't bulging with muscles, yet he was far from slim; his face also seemed old, and he had deep wrinkles and a laborer's bronzed skin. He should be about forty or fifty years old.
I automatically greeted. "Hello, I am Charles Andres, the young master's butler. May I ask how I should address you?"
Perhaps it was my politeness, but the bodyguard's deeply furrowed brows relaxed slightly. He nodded. "You can call me Tencha . It isn't my real name, but please don't take it to heart. In this type of profession, we all use a fake name."
"Yes, Mr. Tencha. Just calling me Charles would do as well."
Tencha nodded. He fell silent for a moment, and I waited patiently. I believe that him calling me up here personally was absolutely not only so that I could report my name.
He was not silent for long before he spoke again. "The young master has disappeared again. At noon, you had also worried about this before, correct?"
"Yes," I had clearly heard that Tencha had stressed the word "again" very heavily. It looks like the young master often disappears.
"In the afternoon, I had told you that you did not need to worry too much about the young master's disappearance because he disappears at least once every day. At the longest, he had once disappeared for thirty six hours without a trace."
"The young master is young. Most likely, he only just dislikes other people following him."
The bodyguard's tone had been becoming more and more reproachful, and I could not help but help speak up for the young master.
From my observation, the young master was living in a house full of surveillance devices with a roof full of bodyguards, and when he went out he would also be followed––wanting to run away was very normal.
Tencha said coldly, "The young master is someone that we have to protect with our lives. At that time, if he had been gone for one more day, then us bodyguards would have all needed to commit suicide."
I could not help but smile slightly. Someone that humans needed to protect to their deaths were always themselves. Even if they were bodyguards, it wasn't possible that they would protect their master to death.
Seeing my smile, his gaze sharpened like knives, and he said frostily, "At that time all three hundred and seventy-two bodyguards had received orders. If we did not find the young master within twenty-four hours, then our "protect until death" mission would have failed. Apart from waiting from the Solaris Emperor's adjudication squad, the only other choice would have been a mass suicide."
Hearing this name, I finally truly considered Tencha's words.
In the year of 2112, the countries had already been disbanded. The world's power has already been divided into hundreds of economic organizations, and these economic organizations have also formed coalitions under similar interests.
Presently, the most powerful economic coalition is the Solaris Corporation. They control almost thirty percent of the world economy, and since the highest ranking leader of the coalition has a family name of "Solaris" he has been called the Solaris Emperor by the people of the world––a genuine uncrowned emperor.
Everyone knew that the Solaris Emperor's methods were always cold and ruthless. His most famous policy is, "Betrayers must die".
The Solaris Corporation had several protection agencies under its control. The most prominent is the Solaris Protection Agency, and the reason why it was so famous is for its highest level mission, "protect to the death." During the mission, if the master were to die or disappear, the bodyguards who had accepted the mission would all need to die––and the method of dying was heard to be far from merciful.
"I had not heard that there has been a recent protect to the death mission."
I furrowed my brows. Every time that a protect to the death mission was initiated, it would always cause a frenzy of publicity. Even I, a vampire, could not help but to know of the Solaris Emperor because of the continuous publicity, which is why I would know about the Solaris Protection Agency's protect to the death mission.
But, this also showed how famous the protect to death mission was. After all, it was rare and expensive, not to mention that anyone would want someone to protect themselves to death.
Tencha said cleanly, "The mission is a secret. The young master's identity is a secret. You don't need to ask me because I also don't know. All you need to know is that as long as something happens to the young master, three hundred and seventy two of my brothers, including me, would all need to die!"
And the young master disappears at least once every day……Now I can truly understand Tencha's anger. I'm afraid that perhaps every time the young master disappears, these people would have had to worry over their lives once!
"Three hundred and seventy two brothers. Butler, do you know what this number means?"
Tencha's gaze was fixed on me, and I shook my head. He continued, "The protect to death mission that had sent out the most people was to protect the most famous singer, Leyings , when he went on a tour. Do you know how many were sent out that time?"
I shook my head. That time's protect to death mission had been especially famous, and although every channel had been reporting in a frenzy, everyone had reported a different number: from twenty to a hundred, those numbers were definitely unreliable.
He gave the answer cleanly, "One hundred and ninety seven people."
And the young master has three hundred and seventy two protect to the death body guards.
I was a bit shocked. What kind of identity would need two hundred more bodyguards than the most famous singer Leyings?
Tencha said coldly, "This number means one thing, butler. If anything happens to the young master, you would not be spared. Even if you are a practically immortal vampire, the Solaris Emperor would still make you turn into dust!"
Hearing this, I looked at Tencha, and I suddenly understood why he would call me up and tell me so much. I asked with certainty, "You want me to help watch the young master?"
"You are a smart person, butler," Tencha nodded.
Not sure whether to laugh or cry, I said, "I am a butler, not a bodyguard. Why don't you send some people inside the house to watch the young master?"
"The young master wouldn't allow it," Tencha said stiffly. "We were ordered to listen to the young master's commands. Even if he wanted all three hundred and seventy two of us to shoot ourselves, we would still have to obey."
Hearing this, I was suddenly sympathetic to these bodyguards: they needed to listen to the young master, yet they also needed to protect him. And the young master obviously disliked having bodyguards following and protecting him.
I sighed, and I said sincerely, "I'm afraid that it won't be possible. I don't even know how many secret passageways are in the house. Just now, the young master had left in a passageway in his room, but I had never known that there was one inside……"
Tencha cut me off, reporting. "The young master's room does not have any secret passageways. Only the secret room behind the television wall has them, and there are so many that even we aren't clear of."
"Then how did the young master leave?"
Tencha said coldly, "If you knew, I would have wanted to ask you to tell us."
I considered for a moment, then furrowed my brows. "The young master's room has a window that can be opened."
"Unless the young master had jumped down, otherwise we would have noticed for sure."
Jump down? I shook my head. That is impossible. The young master's room was on the twenty-fifth floor. Even if their body had been modified, no human could jump from the twenty-fifth floor unharmed.
I suddenly realized, "Aren't there surveillance devices inside the house?"
"The surveillance devices inside are not ours. Only the ones outside the door and on the stairs are our surveillance devices."
Right, Mr. Kyle had once said that those had been installed by the young master's older brother. Older brother? Unless the one I call master is……
"Does the Solaris Emperor have a younger brother?" the question slipped out.
Tencha looked at me strangely and replied matter-of-factly, "No."
I smiled bitterly. It was no wonder that Tencha had looked at me strangely. If the Solaris Emperor had a younger brother, just by this identity alone he would probably be a world famous person!
Only, apart from someone related to the uncrowned emperor, I really could not think of any other identity that would allow the Solaris Protection Agency send out three hundred and seventy two protect to death bodyguards for the young master.
"You don't need to guess the young master's identity. Even if you really did guess it, you would need to pretend not to know, so it would be better to truly not know!"
I nodded. Tencha was an experienced bodyguard after all. What he said was identical with what my dear father had once told me: if the master had things that he did not want his butler to know, then even if you had guessed it by accident, you must immediately forget.
"What is important is the young master's safety," Tencha furrowed his brows, and his voice dropped into a deep bass. "I think that the young master may possibly be in the heat of playing a hero game."
I suddenly understood. I see. The young master would often disappear in order to run off to become a hero is it? This was really possible. After all, the young master is a teenager, and he is also a combat student. He is not weak either, so he has the ability to become a hero.
Could the young master be the most handsome hero, Wind Origin? From the young master's unique aura, this was really possible……Oh no, I should not guess the young master's identity. Hurry and forget!
"Heroes. They're really a stupid thing!" Tencha made no secret of his disgust.
"That is also too biased. Heroes have saved many people."
But, I also believed that most were playing a hero game. For example, I really could not consider the "hero-in-training" I had met in the afternoon as a true hero, but on the other hand Solitary Butterfly was a hero worth admiring.
Tencha looked at me and asked coldly, "Butler, if it were you would you give your life to us bodyguards or watch the skies and expect for a hero to come save you?"
Well……Actually, I really want to answer him that I would expectantly watch the skies.
But, this was because I was a vampire. If there was no way for me to save myself, I believed that these bodyguards would not be able to save me. Expectantly waiting for a hero would likely have more hope to be saved……Though, it was far more possible that the bodyguards and hero would all be buried with me.
"Of course you all would be more reliable," I wisely decided not to say anything to make Tencha angry.
To this, he said proudly, "My brothers are the elite of the elite. They have all completed a 'protect to death' mission. Even if they have been shot one hundred times, they would still stand in front of the master. Everyone is very clear that even if they themselves were to die, the other bodyguards can continue to live. They would use their own lives to protect their own family!"
"The feelings amongst you are truly deserving of respect," This time, I said it sincerely.
"Only the weak would expect a thing like a hero," Tencha said harshly. "To live on, you have to use all of your own ability, using all different type of methods to beat down all obstacles to your living on."
I smiled softly, not giving out any opinion.
"The topic has strayed somewhat far," Tencha furrowed his brows. He used a strange expression to look me over and asked curiously. "This is really strange. When talking to you, the topic would always stray. As a vampire you couldn't have some strange ability right?"
"Of course I don't have such an ability," I said, smiling. "It is only because I am a butler, so I often listen to the master speak."
Tencha only nodded casually then continued back onto the original topic. He admitted, "The young master is definitely not impulsive like modern teenagers."
When speaking, he had furrowed his brows slightly. I believe that he was also very clear about the young master's regular living habits, and anyone who had seen how the young master lived would say that he was a good child.
"But, the young master is still young. There are many things that someone like him would not know."
Tencha turned and looked faraway, his brows furrowing deeply. He said worriedly, "You should also be very clear, vampire, what kind of place this rooftop is."
I followed his line of sight. The rooftop of the skyscrapers was all the same: apart from darkness, there was not a sign of anything else. Because the buildings were all too close, all of the rooftops were practically connected in an uneven land of darkness.
This was an abandoned place mostly forgotten by the humans.
Opposite of the colorful lights on the bottom of the building, this black land on top was concentrated with darkness, and many types of "creatures of darkness" would gather on top, all trying to gain one rooftop or another as part of their territory.
Of course, I was very clear of this, but to me there was nothing to be afraid of; after all, I was also considered a creature of darkness, and a fifth generation vampire could also probably be considered as one of their leaders. Even if I stepped on top of a rooftop with a long established resident, they would still not dare to provoke me.
Creatures of darkness were very clear on distinguishing between the strong and the weak. This was an ability that they had practiced and learned in order to survive: stealing things necessary for living from the weak, and keeping as far away as possible from the strong.
Humans who knew of it or non-humans would all call this spread of rooftops……
"A land of darkness belonging to non-humans," I replied quietly.
Tencha turned around to look at me and said. "As expected, you know."
I nodded. After considering for a moment, I said sincerely, "I can tell the young master about the dangers of the land of darkness, but I cannot move the young master about anything. That is not something that I should do."
Hearing this, an expression of anger flashed through his features, and Tencha growled, "Butler! I and my brothers are all the elite––the best bodyguards! Every one of them would use their lives to protect the young master, but look, now we can only sit here and rely on damn luck that when the young master disappears, he would not step on a rooftop that he should not and be disposed of like trash."
I looked around, and although it was extremely dark I could still hear the sound of many people breathing, very soft and quiet breathing sounds that showed that this place had a large number of bodyguards.
After considering for a moment, I said as sincerely as I could, "Sir bodyguards, I completely admire you and believe that you are the best bodyguards, with the responsibility and conviction to protect the young master to the death. However, may you please also understand; I am a butler. My duty is to meet the young master's needs, not to dissuade him about what he should or should not do."
Hearing this, Tencha turned away and did not speak for a long time. Finally, he turned back again and said expressionlessly, "You are a good butler. We're done here. You can go back and clean the house, waiting for the young master to come home before servicing him."
Although his words seemed to be praise at first glance, from his cold expression and his choice of words I could discern that he was extremely angry, so angry that he was using words to attack me, only, he was forcefully restraining his anger.
"I am very regretful that I am not able to help."
Tencha did not reply, but at the end he still stiffly nodded.
At this point, I thought that I should probably leave. Although I could not see the surrounding bodyguards, from Tencha's reaction they would probably not be too friendly towards me.
After saying my goodbyes to Tencha, I turned to leave. At the same time, I carefully took in the surroundings, and under careful study I discovered that this rooftop was not necessarily empty. Actually, many large items had been placed on top, and there were several silhouettes of people that were mostly unmoving. Although I could not see their faces clearly––and even their figures were unclear––I could still feel that they were currently "watching" me leave.
I was suddenly grateful for the rooftop's darkness, which kept me from seeing their expressions.
"Captain! There is something flying over."
Hearing this yell, I hesitated for a moment but still stopped walking.
"Send him a warning," Tencha's sound came from behind me.
The lights around the rooftop flashed twice.
"Flash again," Tencha roared.
Another two flashes of light.
"It didn't work. It's still approaching. It's not use! Captain."
I finally turned around to look, and there really was a black silhouette that was flying directly towards the skyscraper. At first glance, it looked like a bird, but it was much larger. I looked again to Tencha, but the latter had furrowed his brows deeply, obviously in the midst of considering a solution.
Although I had refused their request to persuade the young master, I was actually very sympathetic to these bodyguards who had been put in such a difficult position. Since that was the case, I wouldn't mind helping them somewhat.
I took a deep breath, and then I used a vampire’s empty howl and screamed at the sky.
"This is my territory. Leave!"
Most creatures of darkness were not willing to provoke vampires. Although not every vampire was necessarily strong, not being easy to kill is a general characteristic of vampires recognized by all.
Tencha glanced at me, but said nothing.
But, that black silhouette still continued to approach, and it had already come very close. If it were not because of the darkness of the knight, perhaps even the other's appearance would be easily seen.
At this time, Tencha simply ordered, "Aim then fire."
I felt that this was not a good idea. This rooftop was not anywhere important, so he did not have any reason to face the danger to snatch it; it was likely that he had some business so he had come over.
From the darkness suddenly came someone else's voice. "Butler, shouldn't you go back and do your work, what was it again?…….Right! Clearing the toilets?"
Stifled laughter came from around, but what I really cared about was that black silhouette. It had already flown so close that we could see it very carefully: that was a winged humanoid creature.
Among non-humans, a humanoid creature that can fly using wings……Is there such a creature?
I still had not had time to think carefully when the bodyguards already fired. They used energy guns, and the entire rooftop became completely illuminated from the bright flurry of beams.
 天茶 (tian1 cha2): Literal translation of his name is "day/sky tea". I wasn't sure how to translate his name so I made do… Suggestions welcome. :'D
雷因斯 (lei2 yin1 si1)