Translated by Tracy of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Feisha stared at the twisting pattern of the doors for a full three seconds before letting out a relieved breath.
These guys were legends of legends, walking right before his very own eyes – granted, all he saw were two balls of light, but those were legendary lights.
Feisha walked with reverence in his heart and lightness in his feet.
In the lobby, Lanka stood in the center. He wore a new set of clothes, waist-length golden hair pleated and tied with a golden ribbon that fell at the equally golden stitching around his rich, purple robes. His waistline was adorned with rubies of distinct sizes and shape, shining royally under the light. He looked even more elegant and extravagant than before.
As if expecting his arrival, Lanka turned slowly to Feisha with a vexed expression. “I’m lost,” he said.
Perhaps it was because Gin said that Lanka had special feelings for Hughes, but Feisha immediately found himself liking this new arrival. “Where do you want to go?”
“The kitchen, please.” Lanka’s gentle features held a soft tone of politeness as he smiled. “I’d like to cook a few dishes myself.”
“Hm, are you sure you wouldn’t like to ask Shamal – he’s the faerie prince – to take a look at the syndrome business first?” Technically speaking Lunacy Syndrome shouldn’t be infectious, but the fact that its symptoms have surfaced on a member of the invisible folk already took this situation out of the fields of technicality.
Oh god, there was going to be another Lunacy Syndrome patient in the kitchen.
Lanka smiled tightly. “Are you worried that it will be infectious?”
“I am,” Feisha replied honestly.
Lanka paused, taken aback at the honesty, and let his lips curve into a small smile. “Don’t worry, I guarantee you it’s not infectious.”
“I’m sorry but the fact that you’re a patient as you say this kind of ruins your credibility.”
“I’m not a patient.”
“…” Why some people are so adverse to accepting genuine medical help, Feisha will never understand. He sighed deeply and shook his head.
“I haven’t actually contracted Lunacy Syndrome.”
Cogs turned in Feisha’s brain as he processed this. “…You mean,” he concluded, “you faked being sick to go on holidays here?”
“Am I not allowed to do so?” Lanka asked amusedly.
“…You are absolutely allowed to do so.” Was this guy of the public official or the private rich kid category?
“Well then, might you be able to lead me to the kitchens?”
Feisha bowed with a smile. “Right this way, sir.”
It was not yet lunchtime, leaving the dining hall empty of people. The only sounds were faint ones of movement from the kitchen.
“The kitchen is under the command of our head chef – if you wouldn’t mind, please allow me to obtain his permission,” Feisha said.
Lanka halted in his steps. “Of course.”
Antonio was scrubbing a pan with fervour as Feisha arrived. “A guest wants to borrow the kitchen,” Feisha informed him.
“He’s the heir to the Genesis throne.”
“He’s Hughes’ cousin.”
Antonio turned around. “You think I should lend my kitchen to him?”
Feisha shrugged. “You were the one who told me that the kitchen’s under your command and that I have no say in anything. I’m just giving you all the information so you can make your choice.”
Antonio thought about this. “What does he want to make?”
“Er… That is a great question,” Feisha conceded with a clap. “I will go ask him that right now.”
He exited the kitchen briskly and made a beeline to Lanka, who was walking aimlessly around. “Would you mind telling me what you plan on making? Just so we can prepare everything for you.”
“Lemon chocolate steak,” Lanka said, eyes glazed with a film of gentle adoration, “Hughes’ favourite.”
Lemon, chocolate, steak? Lemon and steak Feisha understood, but chocolate?
He managed a confused smile at Hughes’ supposed favourite dish before wordlessly returning to the kitchen. “He uh, he wants to make…”
“I heard,” Antonio interrupted as he placed the dried pan back into its shelf. “Let him in.”
Feisha was mildly shocked. “Is lemon chocolate steak actually a famous dish?” It must be, to gain the approval of Antonio of all people.
“I just want to see how Hughes reacts after eating it,” Antonio clarified.
“…I’ll go find some lemons in the storeroom.” Ever since Dea left Antonio had found himself out of a good fruit-searching friend.
Antonio waved a hand dismissively. “No need.”
“Shamal will bring some over.”
“Were you planning to make something with lemons as well?” Looks like Shamal was smarter than he gave him credit for, filling himself in the role that Dea left.
“No, I just thought he was annoying,” Antonio said. “His pacing was getting on my nerves, so I made him bring back a kilo of every fruit and vegetable from the storeroom.”
Feisha gave him a thumbs-up of approval. “Your actions astound me.” Just getting one of every fruit and vegetable was already hard enough, but having to weigh out a kilo of each?
Antonio gave him a sidelong glance. “You think I’m in the wrong?”
“Nah, that was genuine.” At this, he suddenly remembered the embarrassing night he had spent in Isefel’s room after being stripped naked. “I’ve been wanting to ask – how did you get Isefel out of his room that time?”
“Is this really important?”
“No, I’m just curious.” And interested in using it if the method was good enough. Come to think of it, Isefel’s room was entirely monotone, which quite frankly speaking was terrible for cultivating any improvements in their relationship. It’d be great if there was somewhere else they could hand around.
“I asked to talk to him about Lunacy Syndrome.”
“Lunacy Syndrome?” There was a common phrase if he ever heard one.
“We werewolves just call it psychosis but to the outside it’s Lunacy Syndrome to avoid confusion,” Antonio explained, misinterpreting Feisha’s response as one of confusion.
“Is there a problem with Lunacy Syndrome though?”
“It is the problem,” Antonio replied gruffly.
“No, I mean… What about it was so important for you to discuss with Isefel?”
“Because it’s spreading.”
Feisha’s chest restricted sharply at Antonio’s news. That wasn’t good – no matter where and what the situation was, the spreading of diseases was by far the worst thing that could happen.
“Hey, have you finished talking?” asked Lanka, who had suddenly materialised at the doorway without either of the room’s occupants realising. “May I enter the kitchen?”
Seeing that both Lanka and Antonio have claimed a half of the kitchen to conduct their own scrubby tasks, Feisha fervently hoped that Lunacy Syndrome didn’t transmit through food. In any case, standing around the kitchen wasn’t going to do him much good – out of sight, out of mind. There was no way of seeing the moon from Noah’s Ark anyway, so the symptoms shouldn’t show.
Or so Feisha told himself, but it was rather hard to quell the anxiety nonetheless. He heaved out a sigh as he made his way upstairs, bumping into Isefel coming out of the conference along the way. He perked up, all but skipping his way over. “The conference’s over?”
“How’d it go? Any progress?”
Isefel’s steps slowed to a stop as he glanced at Feisha.
An awkward smile. “I mean, only if you want to talk about it. I’m willing to listen anytime. You know me, my mouth is more secure than any safe – just set a password and no one will be able to access the information other than you!”
Isefel retracted his glance and continued forward. Behind him, the brightness in Feisha’s gaze dimmed almost immediately.
Isefel stopped after a meager two steps, turning back to Feisha. “Are you coming?”
Where there once was a brightness now exploded into brilliance a hundred times brighter than before. With a dazzling smile, Feisha trotted after Isefel.
The best way to close the distance between two individuals was to communicate and understand, and thus Feisha placed great expectations upon this conversation. Not only did he make three cups of coffee to chase away the fatigue, he also brought his own pen and paper to take notes.
“Alright, you may begin,” Feisha said, excitement plain as day.
“There were no results.”
“…” His pen paused on the paper. “And?”
“There will be another meeting.”
So it wasn’t only the humans that sucked at efficiency in meetings.
“So you didn’t come to any conclusions, but surely there’s some plans in place for the next meeting?” A problem big enough to summon leaders of such high power should at least be a category five hurricane or something.
“Lunacy Syndrome is spreading,” Isefel said.
Feisha raised his eyebrows. “But Lanka just told me that his symptoms were faked and that he’s just here for a holiday.”
“He is getting married next week.”
“…So he’s trying to escape from his own wedding.”
“He has not been granted permission to enter any worlds thus far. The only place other than Genesis he could go to was Noah’s Ark.”
Feisha considered this. “I’m kind of confused. Has he contracted the syndrome or not?”
“Is that important?”
“Erm.” Technically no, since the moon can’t be seen from Noah’s Ark. Lanka can maul as many people as he wants back at Genesis and it wouldn’t bother Feisha.
Huh. Guess it wasn’t too important after all. “I was just curious,” Feisha continued. “You said earlier that Lunacy Syndrome has spread. Why?”
“We think it may be because of the Liberation Resistance,” Isefel replied.
“I’ve been wondering about this for a while, but what exactly is the Liberation Resistance? Some sort of criminal syndicate? A terrorist group? A civilian organisation?”
“The Liberation Resistance was founded when the nine worlds first split apart.” Isefel began his history lesson with a laid-back tone. “Before the leaders of the nine worlds first emerged, information on the borders between these worlds were unclear. It was not until God personally separated the nine worlds after bouts of warfare that the borders were solidified – because the nine worlds were separate entities to begin with, space rifts formed between the worlds as they separated.”
Feisha gulped down his first cup of coffee and drew nine circles onto the paper.
“As each of the nine worlds developed, each found their own skills to be lacking compared to the skills of the other worlds, and thus have attempted to utilise others’ knowledge to make up for their own weaknesses. However, the magnetic fields within the space rifts will generate violent storms periodically, barring anyone but those equal to or above the Seraphim’s power from crossing the borders freely.”
Feisha finished his second cup of coffee and drew a few crosses.
“In response to the wish expressed by many to learn and communicate, God created Noah’s Ark. Humans at the time could not cross the borders even with Noah’s Ark acting as a transfer hub, so to protect them God temporarily sealed the way to the human world, which is open only on the first of April every year.”
The third cup was empty. Feisha was slumped on the table, trying his best to stay awake.
“Unfortunately, communication between the worlds did not go as smoothly as planned. Compared to the faeries with their abundance fresh produce, the dwarves who could create tools previously unimagined and Hell with their overflowing possession of minerals and magical artefacts, the titans and those residing in Genesis had little to contribute. This created a divide between living conditions, with many raising their objections as they believe that it is those who are rich in produce that have stolen their rightful wealth. Their primary goal is for Noah’s Ark to be destroyed and all communication and trade between worlds to cease.
“That is how the Liberation Resistance was formed,” Isefel finished, giving the sleeping Feisha an exasperated look.
The blanket on the bed floated, light as the clouds themselves, and draped itself over Feisha’s shoulders.
The light was warm, but Isefel’s eyes were warmer.
It was hunger that finally woke Feisha. He opened his eyes to the sight of a huge slice of seafood pizza.
“You’re awake?” Isefel was still sitting as he had before Feisha’s impromptu nap, though he gained a few things in his hands.
“What time is it?”
“Oh,” Feisha said with an apologetic smile. No wonder he was so hungry – he had slept past lunch. His preparations for the history lesson evidently hadn’t worked.
All of Isefel’s attention was concentrated on a book. If it wasn’t for the (now crumpled) notepad littered with crude diagrams of circles and crosses, Feisha may be tempted to dismiss the entire lesson as a vague dream.
“Um, hey,” Feisha rapped his fingers on the table, eyes darting between Isefel and the pizza, “I was listening just then, but…”
An urgent knock interrupted his sentence.
Isefel’s fingers twitched.
The door slammed open to reveal Layton, sweating waterfalls as he yelled, “Gin and Lanka are fighting each other!”
“What?” Was it the awfulness of Lanka’s cooking that drove Gin to madness? Feisha pushed himself up immediately and made his way outside.
Isefel frowned slightly. “Wait.”
Oh, he hasn’t said goodbye yet. Feisha turned around immediately with an apologetic smile, but stopped short when Isefel pointed at the pizza. “Eat first,” Isefel demanded.
“They won’t die,” Isefel said emotionlessly.
“…” Yes, but he might miss the good parts, Feisha thought anxiously as he wolfed down the pizza.
Hey, Tracy here. Y’all may have heard about a translator for SH leaving, and I’ll confirm: it’s me.
I actually considered leaving a while ago and eventually decided not to, which is right around when the chapters that I translated started declining in both frequency and quality. I’ve since realised that this is unfair to both the readers for subjecting them to terrible translation and to me, selfish as it is, for forcing myself to do something I really didn’t enjoy in my time off. I’m being a completely unreasonable team member for abandoning a group project like I am, and an even more unreasonable translator for deciding to leave a series of which I am the main translator halfway – for that, I’m deeply sorry.
Ultimately, however, I’ve decided to translate something stylistically different to SH as SH really doesn’t suit my translation style and I hope everyone will understand this choice. Thank you to everyone who’s read SH, whether you’ve been here from the beginning, picked it up a few days ago, left a comment, lurked around silently, groaned at some terrible puns – I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You didn’t hear it from me, but coming up with the puns was actually some of the most fun I’ve had this past year.
Over to you, Ella.