Chapter 26: Monster or Animal
Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Illican wanted to see Sovili, and the prison would certainly allow it. Myka and Sylar stayed in the reception room while the Lord and priest were waiting for the ‘arraignment’ of the prisoners.
Myka told Sylar about what he found yesterday, with a special emphasis on the description of the beast-like human in the dungeon, especially its strange appearance in animal form.
“I’ve never seen anything like that. It doesn’t look like an animal…” Myka was worried that he didn’t speak clearly enough and tried to think of adjectives. “The prison guards thought he was weird too. It was like… It’s like a mermaid or something, but he’s not like a human being. If only I could draw…”
Sylar sat next to him, staring straight at him. At first, he didn’t say a word, but then he began to groan. When Myka saw his reaction, he thought he recognized the monster. But Sylar said, “I haven’t seen you for days but you didn’t think of me.”
Myka was speechless, and goosebumps immediately climbed up on his back and arms. Seeing him like this, Sylar hurriedly added, “Don’t worry, I just want to express myself like this. I don’t blame you. I just want to express my feelings…”
As if to avoid embarrassment, Sylar immediately changed back to the formal topic, “About that monster, draw whatever you like, and I’ll see if I can recognize it. Or…” He lowered his voice. “I can sneak in at night.”
Myka dipped his finger in the water and drew the shape of the creature on the wooden table.
Sylar looked left and right. The water stain was almost dry. He frowned and said, “It looks like… Like a banana that’s been peeled and crushed?”
“It’s not a banana!” Myka knew that what he drew was really indescribable. His fingers could make all kinds of gestures when casting. He didn’t know why, but he couldn’t draw the image in his mind. “If there’s a way to mix in, you’d better see to it yourself. I was thinking, maybe you can recognize what that is.”
Sylar began to stare at him again, so Myka had to pretend to wipe the table. In fact, strictly speaking, Myka had thought of Sylar countless times these days and had been expecting him to bring back the priest. However, Myka felt that if he told the truth, Sylar would tilt his head and say, ‘It’s actually the priest you’re thinking of, not me.’ Myka believed that Sylar could definitely say it.
Sylander met Sovili. It was not the first time the priest had treated the disease. According to him, the longer the infection lasted, the harder it would be to treat it. Divinity could remove the beast curse, but it had to be combined with the full moon. Even so, it wouldn’t necessarily be successful and Sylander might have to try again and again.
It had already been many days since the full moon this month. They had to plan about it for the next month and Lord Illican figured out a reason. He would find a torture room, and behind closed doors, pretend to do something. Then they could try to remove the curse for three consecutive days.
Before Sovili was taken back to prison, Sylar and the priest whispered in the corridor, while Myka heard the Lord talking to Sovili across the wall of the reception room.
It seemed that, although Illican sometimes seemed very offensive, his nature was quite interesting. He said, “You see, the priest is really here, and you have hope to be cured. I didn’t lie to you at the beginning, but I didn’t have a chance and no contacts…”
“Thank you so much.” Sovili said coldly.
“Are you angry?”
“Is anger useful?”
“You are just angry. I did disappoint you before, but now I’m here. Of course, I deliberately spread rumors about what you are… Indeed, you must feel very unhappy…”
“It’s no use being unhappy.”
Sovili, of course, was quite unhappy. Myka knew that he had a lot of responsibility.
“Well,” Illican said, “you see, we have shaped you into a painful, innocent, forced image. No matter how crazy you went that night, it can also be counted as my responsibility. Consul Silvana has a strict mouth, and he can’t say anything. No one in Todd’s territory will accuse you. They will only say that you were dressed like a beast. Isn’t that good?”
“That’s your business, too.” Sovili didn’t seem to want to talk to him at all.
The Lord, the priest and Sylar all left the prison before lunch. One day later, at night, the prison strengthened its guards; the guards set up sentries at each door. It was obvious that yesterday’s events frightened them.
Today, when delivering food to the ‘monster’ in the dungeon, the guards had a fierce attitude and even deliberately knocked over his food. They didn’t like the prisoner at all, and were even more disgusted and frightened at the thought that he almost escaped.
After dark, perhaps because of the lack of food, the guards with long sticks poked several times through the low door, and the prisoner in the dungeon sobbed and howled again.
Myka felt a little guilty. It was all due to his negligence. However, even if the prison did not strengthen the guard, it seemed that the day the beast had was very bad. Towards midnight, a little grey rat climbed into Myka’s room through a crack in the window. Myka was sitting at a simple wooden table and had been waiting for a long time.
For the first time, he was not frightened by Sylar’s animal form. He knew what small animals Sylar would be.
“I went to see the prisoner in the dungeon just now,” Sylar replied, sitting on the edge of the bed. “He seems to like to roll back and forth after being turned into a beast.”
“Mn. At the same time, I found that he cannot be treated… He’s a natural animal. I’ve checked his pupils. They’re different from those infected. Moreover, it seems difficult to talk to him. He is not very good at answering questions.”
“Wait a minute. You were in your human form?” Myka asked, “You… I know you must have a way to open the door. When you came out, did you lock the door again?”
Sylar smiled shyly, “I didn’t go in through the door. I opened a hole in the stone wall outside and covered it up when I came out.”
Ah, Sylar was a powerful mage. He did have another way. Myka asked again, “Did you see that he was brutalized? What did he become?”
“Yes, I saw it.” With that, Sylar took out a rather old book filled with straw paper from his backpack.
It was quite old. The paper and the handwriting on it were slightly decolorized. Sylar turned a page. Some of the words in it were common language and elvish language, some circled characters of creatures were in completely strange words. There were many illustrations drawn by hand in ink, mostly beasts and plants.
Sylar opened the book to one of the pages. Myka didn’t know the text, but anyone could understand the pictures.
“Myka, is that what you saw?” Sylar pointed to the picture.
“That’s it!” Myka had drawn it himself before, but Sylar said that it looked like a banana that had been peeled and crushed… The picture on this old book was very vivid. It was the monster Myka saw.
Sylar laughed again with a very happy smile, not the shy smile he used to have. Myka looked at him strangely, and Sylar said, “Myka, how lovely… I’m sorry.”
“What?” Myka found that he was losing track of Sylar’s logic.
Sylar always liked to say things that made people blush, but what was with the expression of “sorry” after that?
“I mean, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t laugh at you,” said Sylar, trembling with laughter and beginning to cry. “But you’re so cute, I can’t help laughing. Don’t be angry. Although you don’t know this creature, it doesn’t affect that I’ll always like you.”
“Tell me what kind of monster it is!” Myka was a little upset with him. In the middle of the night, the two people chatted about ‘cute’ and ‘like’ in a small room, which really made other people not know how to parry, especially when the other party had followed him for nine years.
Sylar replied, “This is not a monster. Myka, this animal is called a grey seal.”
“Grey seals, not mermaids, are big animals,” explained Sylar. “They live in the cold sea, like swimming, and are big compared to all seal species. So that day he got stuck in the low door…”
Myka looked at the pictures in the old guidebook — the creature’s face was like a middle-aged man, with a jazz beard, bald head, no ears, fat neck, painful expression, body like a huge spindle, like a fish or a person… It was hard to imagine, and this was a kind of animal!
“You mean, it’s an animal?” Myka asked, “Like a cow or a cat, an ordinary animal that is not ferocious at all?”
“Yes,” said Sylar, looking at Myka with a smile, “But this animal is also ferocious, like bears or lions.”
Myka’s shoulders slumped in frustration, “I’ve never been to the seaside, not to mention the frigid zone… It turns out that there are still such strange animals.”
Sylar continued to help Myka look through the old guidebook with strange illustrations every few pages.
“In fact, there is no difference between monsters and animals in the forest, wilderness and water,” he said, “except for the non-natural products caused by magic, or the exotic monsters called by a black mage, the necromancers. Ah, I’m sorry, I’m not accusing mages. I hope you don’t get angry.”
Myka was not so interested in strange creatures. What he cared about now was that he increasingly found it hard to communicate with Sylar.
There was something very contradictory about Sylar. He had followed Myka for nine years, and like to have a section of sliced white every few words, but he was very careful. He always stressed repeatedly: I will never affect your life, I will never make you angry…
Do I look angry? ——Myka didn’t know how to express it so that Sylar could understand that his attitude was not normal for ordinary people.
“Sylar, why should I be angry?” Myka said, “When you talk, you can’t… Well, you can’t just assume something is the norm.”
Sylar showed the little animal-like expression with his head askew, “Because, after all, I have followed you for so long, and I often appear suddenly and scare you. Now I’m not following you, appearing suddenly and I thought you would be very concerned. It will be difficult to accept my presence by your side. So…”
In the middle of the conversation, he suddenly stood up, grabbed Myka by the shoulder and pulled him up, then gave him a brief but strong hug.
Myka’s reflexes were not so good, and Sylar had already retreated before he could react.
Sylar rubbed the edge of Myka’s robe with one hand, took a little flower off the straw crown with the other hand, and placed it into Myka’s hair.
“I will leave first because there are other things to deal with. You have a good rest. I promise not to peep at you.” He said with his head bowed as he twirled the little flower in an ambiguous way.
Myka’s hair was a little shorter than his, and it was not too crooked so it couldn’t hold the flower. So Sylar put it on Myka’s ear instead. “I can’t go on, it’s embarrassing…”
After that, he didn’t give Myka time to answer. He quickly became a little bat and flew out of the window with the iron bars.
When he put the flower in Myka’s ear, Myka felt that the brush of Sylar’s finger pad was hot, and he didn’t know if it was because his ears were cold. Moreover, before flying away, although Sylar slightly lowered his head and covered his face with his red hair, Myka could still see his face clearly because he was much taller than Myka.
Sylar’s face was red, just like when he introduced himself. And he bit his lips and looked like a shy girl.
Myka took down the little wild flower beside his ear. Today’s flower was an orange daisy with a little shriveled branch and incomplete petals.
Sylar once said that while walking down a path, if he saw branches or flowers that had been broken or had fallen off due to the strong wind, he would pick them up and use them elsewhere. Because they had left the embrace of the earth, rather than being trampled by pedestrians or crushed, he wanted to let them play a role in other places and let their beauty last for some time.
Myka had been staring at the flower for a long time, and Sylar’s behavior couldn’t be predicted by conventional means.
“What a shame…” The mage looked out of the window at the night sky and whispered to himself, “I wanted to see what you just looked like… When you’re so embarrassed that you want to pass out. “