Chapter 12: Impact (Part 2)
What tragedy, wouldn’t you agree?
Tears were shed, but life goes on. After the conclusion of his three-day holiday, Feisha quickly discarded the remnants of his depression and picked himself back up.
On that day, the first words out of his mouth as he barged into the hallway were: “Which one of you assholes took my listening device? Hand it over immediately or there will. Be. Consequences. If I ever catch you…heh.”
He could only end it with a “heh,” because at that moment three things happened: Isefel’s elegant figure flew down from above, and a beige suit walked by below by itself at the same time. The building gave a tremor, followed by Asa’s hulking silhouette appearing by the staircase.
Feisha decided to keep a low profile from now on.
Low profile aside, the investigation would not be discontinued. After much consideration, Feisha decided to interrogate the prime suspect first – Antonio.
“Hey, Antonio…” Feisha sidled up to the person in question. “Three days ago, when we were trapped in that pomegranate-loving trap, did you by any chance see a tube that looked kind of like a kaleidoscope? It’s a cylinder about this long.”
Antonio waved about the spatula in his hand, not even looking back as he replied: “I did.”
Feisha perked up. He could see his one hundred and fifty gold coins flying back on wings. “Where?”
Antonio found the spare second to give him a look reserved for idiots. “In your hand.”
“Uh, I meant after you knocked me out.”
“It probably fell onto the ground.”
“You didn’t pick it up?”
“Why would I pick it up? It was annoying enough to pick you up.”
“…Then don’t knock me out in the first place.” If he didn’t get knocked out, then he wouldn’t have dropped the device and this whole mess could’ve been avoided. In the end, it was all the pomegranate’s fault.
“I knocked you out because you were being annoying,” Antonio grumbled impatiently.
Just as Feisha was about to launch into his tirade, he remembered that the person in front of him was a madness-prone werewolf. The kind of madness that made him eat human flesh and drink human blood.
Feisha silently drifted out of the kitchen and into the warehouse, spotting Dea.
“Hey Dea, fancy seeing you here!”
Dea just gave him a look. “Did you not come to find me?”
“You caught me, hehe,” Feisha laughed sheepishly, then schooled his expression into one of seriousness. “Three days ago in the trap, did you happen to see a kaleidoscope-like thing in my hands? It’s a long cylinder that looks like this.”
Having experienced firsthand this exact conversation earlier, Feisha didn’t dare to get his hopes up too high. “Don’t tell me you didn’t pick it up either.”
“Why would I pick up your belongings?”
…Does the thought of swiping something not even come to mind? Are all faeries as much of a stickler for rules as you? A look of resentment was directed at Dea.
“Was it something important?”
Feisha nodded. A hundred and fifty gold coins, man- you tell me.
“Well, you’re going to have to pick the chosen fruit or vegetable today.”
…He’d never won a lottery, even back at home.
Don’t say ‘or else’, it gives me heartache, thought Feisha as he looked at Dea in despair.
“…You’d have to find Isefel for help.”
Feisha’s despairful eyes immediately gained a layer of hope.
“He can enter and leave the room at will,” explained Dea.
At that, Feisha jumped up in joy then looked at Dea in suspicion. “Why are you helping me?”
“Because I feel happy watching you flail around helplessly.”
No wonder faeries were vegan; even their standards for messing with people were low.
Feisha lamented this fact as he went to find Isefel.
Feisha collapsed at the water’s edge, having finally made it up the stairs. Panting heavily, he spotted Isefel, who seemed to be having an awful lot of fun in the pool.
“Have- have you maybe, considered, getting some elevators. Oh god, I’m dying.”
Isefel swam slowly towards the grounded figure. “I do not need it.”
Feisha desperately pointed to himself.
“Out of everyone, you are the most in need of stairs.”
Feisha thought about how Isefel had called him fat before, and promptly interrupted: “I need your help with something.”
“Reading guest profiles?” asked Isefel, climbing out of the pool.
“No, I need you to open the hidden trap in the warehouse.”
“I left something in there.”
“That’s your problem,” Isefel said lightly.
“We may not be family, but we are co-workers. C’mon, show some love.”
Isefel merely looked at him, black eyes seemingly looking through his soul itself. Feisha unconsciously took a few steps back.
“Uh, can you show your love in another way? We’re progressing a bit too fast here; I don’t think our relationship is quite ready for this yet.”
Isefel took a few seconds to answer: “I don’t have love.”
No shit. It’d be weirder if he was loved by a fallen angel than if he wasn’t. “I know, I know. I was just joking. Anyway, can you please lend me a hand or something with this?”
“What did you lose?”
“A thing that looks kind of like a kaleidoscope. It’s about this long, and this thick…” Feisha gestured with his hands. “It’s called the Domino Listening Device, Layton lent it to me.”
Isefel extended an unhurried hand, slender fingers closing on thin air. Immediately, the DLD materialised as if Isefel had taken it out of an invisible bag.
Despite being in a near constant state of shock since arriving here, Feisha’s baseline for weird shit had once again been raised.
“Have you maybe thought about becoming a magician?” asked Feisha as he lovingly inspected the device in his hand. The actual thing he wanted to lovingly inspect was, in fact, Isefel’s magical hand. “Or maybe a soccer player. Goalie. You’d never let anyone score a goal, ever.” The more he thought about it, the more excited he became.
“I cannot leave Noah’s Ark.”
…Oh, right. This was Noah’s Ark. Feisha’s excitement vapourised in an instant. “Uh, I meant, maybe one day you’ll be transferred! Does Hell have anything similar to career pathways? Like promotions and stuff. Taking into account Lord Lucifer’s intelligence, there would be, right?”
“I do not fully belong to Hell.”
“…” Feisha shuffled in closer, saying softly, “Is this what they call a…double agent?
“Why are you so close to me?”
“An important part of telling secrets is the atmosphere, you know?”
Domino Listening Device in hand, Feisha walked down to Layton’s room with swagger and proudly presented it to him. Seeing his invention, Layton immediately brightened.
“Does it work well? Are there any problems?”
“There is a very big problem, actually.”
“Tell me about it,” Layton hastily asked.
“Ever since I got it back, I feel like its volume became a lot softer than it was before.”
“Oh, that’s because it has an output adjuster, maybe you accidently touched it.”
Layton fiddled with something on the device and raised it to his ear before Feisha snatched it out of his hands. “Why don’t you go over there so I can test if it works or not?”
“Good idea,” Layton said, walking to the end of the hallway. From where he was standing, Feisha’s movement could only be made out.
“Can you hear me?”
Feisha remained still. Displeased, Layton walked over and took the device, fiddling with it again.
“I opened the volume as far as it can go, let’s try again.”
Layton walked away. “Can you hear me?”
Feisha waved him over. “I can hear it, but it’s really soft. Like you’re mumbling or something.”
“Why is it doing that…?” Layton muttered to himself, frowning deeply.
“We could swap places, maybe you’ll notice something that I didn’t.”
Taking in Layton’s affirmative grunt, Feisha walked to where Layton stood just a minute before, turned around and put every effort into screaming his next words: “THE GIRL FROM ALI MOUNTAIN-”
Layton crumpled onto the ground in slow motion. Playing with the tissue earplugs he had just taken out of his ear, Feisha skipped away with a tune.
Secrets are a strange thing. On one hand, people are deathly afraid of being found out; on the other, they are also desperate for a person to share their feelings with. Ever since Feisha found out about Gin and Dea, Gin’s been getting closer to him. Sometimes Feisha even gets invited for a drink.
Of course, that’s only when Hughes is busy and shoos him away.
“This drink is called Laceration.” Gin gave the bottles a few skilful shakes, then poured the rich red liquid into a tall wine glass.
Feisha sniffed it. “Whoa, that smells like acid. Are you sure it’s not lacquer thinner?”
Gin started rubbing his sharp teeth on his bottom lip.
After a slight pause, Feisha let out a resigned sigh. “This won’t kill me, right?” He picked up the cup.
“Hmph, I wouldn’t bother with poison if I wanted you gone. I’d just suck you dry.”
“Oi, remember your professional ethics.” The cup was raised to his lips.
Gin reached out and lifted the bottom of the cup.
The drink instantly gushed out, right into Feisha’s half-open mouth.
Feisha hacked and gurgled into the space immediately before him, but Gin raised the tray that seemed to have been placed there purposely and blocked the onslaught of liquid.
Holding his throat, Feisha gasped out, “What, kind of, Laceration is this!? Don’t you mean, pepper water?”
“This is the fine art of bartending. To use a plethora of ingredients that have nothing to do with pepper, and combine them to simulate the taste of pepper water-” Gin broke off, sighing, and shook his head. “As expected, you humans are a bunch of fools with no artistic sense.”
…Using a plethora of ingredients to simulate the taste of pepper water?
“Then what’s pepper meant for for the rest of its life?” rasped Feisha.
“I can blend it with other things to create the taste of tree roots.”
“Then what are tree roots meant to do?”
“Stay in the soil and produce nutrients, of course.”
“No, I meant…” Feisha’s expression twisted oddly. “Who’d want to eat something that tastes like tree root?”
Gin sighed again. “See, this is the tragedy of humans. Destroying art for the sake of marketability.”
Feisha dug out a glass of water from the counter, knocking his head back and taking a huge swing. “That kind of art deserves to be destroyed.”
Translator’s note (there’s only one today :D)
“Is this what they call a…double agent?”
Chinese, Chinese, Chinese: 身在曹营心在汉shēn zài cáo yíng xīn zài hàn (lit. Body is in Cao but heart is in Han). The ‘Cao’ used here is referring to Cao Cao’s army (Cao Cao is a warlord back in ancient china: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cao_Cao), and the ‘Han’ refers to the kingdom Cao Cao’s fighting against, Shu Han (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shu_Han). This phrase was used to describe the situation of an advisor to the Hans, blackmailed to aid Cao Cao’s campaign. Basically, it means to physically be on one side of a conflict, but long to be on the other.