translator: baumkuchen editors: glitterypanda, serefina
061 hesitated for a moment.
He hadn’t told anyone, but during the time he was summoned by the Lord God, other than telling him that there was a project that the Lord God needed him to take part in, the Lord God also brought up how he’d broken the rules by using his own original form in a task world, a clear warning in his words.
As he was acknowledging his mistake, the event itself made 061 feel rather bewildered.
Since the Lord God created the “Scum Gong Reconditioning System”, the serial number of system employees under him had already reached the 2000s. Other than those who had already completed their tasks and the systems that had been blocked or scrapped for some reason, the ones that could operate normally, including the guard unit, the supervisor unit, and the field operation unit 061 was in, were altogether about 500 in number.
As the Lord God, he really had to attend to too many matters simultaneously, so why would he be paying special attention to what was happening to a new host in his task world?
Chi Xiaochi asked, “What, is there a problem?”
“Do you want to see it now?”
Chi Xiaochi joked with him, “If we wait till after we get back I may no longer be interested.”
061 thought for a moment, “Three seconds.” Projection required energy, but changes in energy lasting less than three seconds would be difficult for the main system to notice and track.
Chi Xiaochi asked, “So mysterious? That’s not even enough time for a kiss.”
061 laughed, “Then do you or do you not want to see it?”
Chi Xiaochi, “Still want to, still want to.”
061 began to check the surroundings.
Chi Xiaochi was currently with Cheng Jian, a person suddenly appearing out of thin air and jumping out in front of him obviously wouldn’t work, and there were many employees coming in and out of Yundu……
Chi Xiaochi entered the elevator after Cheng Jian.
Seeing that 061 had yet to make any movements, Chi Xiaochi said, “If it’s too troublesome, then never mind.”
061 paused for a moment, “……I’m done. Look outside.”
At this very moment, the steel doors of the elevator were slowly inching closed.
Chi Xiaochi looked outside.
From behind a marble pillar on the first floor walked out a young man clad in a suit and leather shoes. His head was lowered, currently engaged in a phone call. From his profile, it could be seen that his facial features were extraordinarily handsome, but a pair of gold-rimmed glasses and a gentle temperament offset some of his natural frivolity and gorgeousness.
It was unknown what the person on the other end of the phone had said, but it made him turn his face up, and the corners of his mouth raise slightly, exposing most of his face to Chi Xiaochi.
The elevator doors closed.
Chi Xiaochi was stunned stiff.
The next second, his eyes reddened, and he madly threw himself forward to jam all the the elevator floor buttons.
The floor buttons lit up with a ring of blue one after another, adding a hint of craziness to his tear-filled eyes.
He muttered, “Don’t go, don’t go, wait for me, just wait for me.”
Cheng Jian was confused, “Xiao Yuan?”
Upon reaching the second floor, the elevator stopped, and slowly opened its steel maw.
Cheng Jian, seeing he didn’t seem quite right, reached for his wrist, “Xiao Yuan, you——”
Before he could finish, his vision blurred.
Without a word, Cheng Yuan had actually grabbed Cheng Jian’s hand, turned it over, and forcefully twisted it, locking his arm behind his back and ruthlessly shoving it forward.
Cheng Jian felt his body go numb, almost hitting his head against the elevator wall.
Chi Xiaochi pushed him aside, and rushed out.
Probably because his parents were both teachers, Lou Ying had quite the elegant, gentlemanly manner of someone who tended to flowers.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
Even when later on, when his parents had died getting into a car accident while taking their students to summer camp, and Lou Ying moved to the tube-shaped apartments where his aunt and uncle lived, his temperament was entirely different from the rest of the little brats living in the tube-shaped apartments.
Chi Xiaochi had fantasized countless times that, if Lou Ying hadn’t died, being a news anchor or a university professor would really have suited him.
……Just like what he’d seen from the elevator a moment ago.
Surrounded by surprised stares from the people around him, Chi Xiaochi rushed straight down the stairs, all the while thinking of the innumerable things he wanted to say to him.
But amongst the crowd milling around in the hall, he was nowhere to be seen.
061 had also been shocked by Chi Xiaochi’s actions, “Xiaochi? What’s wrong?”
061’s voice which had promptly sounded made Chi Xiaochi think of a kind of terrifying possibility.
Chi Xiaochi’s Adam’s apple bobbed in his throat. He asked aloud, “……Just now, was……”
For a time, he actually reached the extent of losing his voice, having to clear his throat before regaining the ability to force out words, his voice terrifyingly hoarse, “……Was it you?”
061 didn’t understand, “En?”
Chi Xiaochi did his best to stabilise his mood, “Just now, that…… was that you? The person who walked over outside the elevator……”
061 frowned slightly, “It wasn’t me.”
He’d been standing on the escalator from the first floor to the second floor just now, waving at Chi Xiaochi, but it seemed that Chi Xiaochi hadn’t been able to spot him.
Chi Xiaochi slowly walked over to the marble pillar near the side of the elevator, and gently stroked it.
……He’d walked out from here just now.
He leaned back against the pillar, and let out a trembling gasp.
……Was I wrong yet again?
061 had never thought that this kind of small reward game would result in such a violent emotional fluctuation in Chi Xiaochi. He couldn’t help but ask, “What did you see just now?”
061 suffered from program restrictions. When he materialised a body, he’d momentarily left Chi Xiaochi’s body, and as such, hadn’t been able to see the person Chi Xiaochi had caught sight of in the elevator.
Chi Xiaochi didn’t answer his question, merely remaining blank.
Cheng Jian had practically been following on Chi Xiaochi’s heels the entire time, following him downstairs.
Seeing his younger brother’s dazed, anxious countenance, he came to a stop far away. As he watched Cheng Yuan, a strange sense of unfamiliarity arose in his heart.
——Since he was young, his younger brother had been quiet, timid and precocious. He was protected too well by his family. Other than Yang Baihua, there was practically nobody who could hurt him.
How was it that Cheng Yuan could experience this kind of emotion?
That kind of overwhelming, suffocating grief, that made any kind of inquiry or comfort seem empty.
In the end, Chi Xiaochi was the first to notice him, “Ge.”
Only then did Cheng Jian walk over, “Xiao Yuan.”
“Sorry,” Chi Xiaochi lowered his head, gradually returning to Cheng Yuan’s state of mind, “……I’m sorry.”
How could Cheng Jian still have the heart to rebuke him? He reached out a hand to his forehead, “Your face is so white, do you feel unwell? How about we don’t record today?”
Without a change in expression, Chi Xiaochi ducked down to avoid it, “How could we not record? We already told the company we would.”
Cheng Jian said, “If you’re in a bad state, how can you record?!”
Chi Xiaochi said, “It’s nothing, I’ll be fine after a bit of adjusting.”
After confirming that he still wanted to continue with recording, Cheng Jian fixed up Chi Xiaochi’s shirt collar, and brought him back to the elevator.
As they were waiting for the next elevator to arrive, Cheng Jian asked him, “Who was it that you saw just now?”
Cheng Jian had always been blunt and plainspoken, with a personality where he couldn’t stand having a single grain of sand in his eyes. For him to be able to hold back for two minutes like this could already be considered restrained for him.
Chi Xiaochi looked down and stared at his shoes, saying “I saw someone who looked a lot like a friend of mine.”
Cheng Jian’s first reaction was: Fuck, it couldn’t be Yang Baihua, right?
Chi Xiaochi, sensing Cheng Jian’s displeasure, explained a step further, “It’s a childhood friend.”
Cheng Jian, “……Which one?”
Chi Xiaochi looked up, and cocked his mouth in a smile, “Ge, you can recognise my friends?”
Cheng Jian was at a loss for words.
……What he said was true.
He was older than Cheng Yuan by slightly more than five years. When Cheng Yuan was still young, he had just entered the rebellious period of “I’m the centre of the universe”, and was not at all willing to play with him. Firstly, it was because Cheng Yuan was young and didn’t know shit. Secondly, it was because he was only interested in music, which Cheng Jian couldn’t care less about.
As for what kinds of friends he’d had, Cheng Jian had cared even less.
Thinking of this, Cheng Jian thought of his role as an “older brother”, and couldn’t help but feel ashamed.
He asked tentatively, “He was your first love?”
Chi Xiaochi’s ears were tinged red, “……We were just friends.”
Seeing his hot, bright-red earlobes, Cheng Jian immediately understood the situation. He coughed and thought, so he already thought about such things from a young age, sure enough, what the data said was true: some people’s sexualities were innate.
He then asked, “You saw him just now?”
“Possibly,” Chi Xiaochi said, “It looked a lot like him. We haven’t talked for many years already.”
The elevator arrived. Cheng Jian and Chi Xiaochi stepped inside once more.
Cheng Jian asked, “What does he look like?”
Chi Xiaochi was astounded, “Ge, what are you asking this for?”
Cheng Jian, “It doesn’t matter. Tell me what he looks like.”
Chi Xiaochi began to describe the “Lou Ying” he’d seen, and at the same time, turned his gaze to the outside of the elevator in anticipation for the illusion that might have a chance of reappearing.
But up until the elevator doors closed, he didn’t manage to see him again.
Sitting in the studio, Chi Xiaochi’s state of mind had already returned to normal.
Cheng Yuan was originally studying music and had a good understanding of the various functions of all the equipment in the recording studio. Su Xiulun just needed to give him two sentences of instruction before walking out of the studio, leaving Chi Xiaochi on his own, telling him to first warm up his throat and find the right mood.
Cheng Jian, who was waiting outside, gave Su Xiulun a brief account of what he’d just seen and said, “Is there such a person in your Xingyun?”
“If he was wearing gold-rimmed glasses, it might have been President Song,” Su Xiulun thought for a moment, then continued, “Of course, it could also have been a client. If it’s important, I can call the monitoring room, and get someone to check?”
Cheng Jian nodded, “Alright, many thanks.”
The moment he turned around, he took a sharp breath of cold air. He raised a hand to rub his shoulder, his expression changing slightly.
……What a good brat, normally gentle and quiet, but when he makes a move, he’s really very fierce.
In the recording studio, Chi Xiaochi tested out his voice. Finding that his voice was in a good condition, he was finally relieved.
061, feeling like the atmosphere was a little awkward, could only try to ease the tension, “Was Lou Ying your first love? I always thought he was your friend.”
Chi Xiaochi laughed, “Of course we’re just friends. When Lou-ge died, he was sixteen, I was fourteen. How could a little kid of that age understand what like is?”
But by the time he understood, it was already too late.
061 comforted him, “Nevermind, don’t think too much about it. It’s possible he just looked alike.”
Chi Xiaochi, “It was him.”
061, “How can you be so sure?”
Chi Xiaochi said, certain, “I can recognise him.”
061 fell silent.
……The situation he was most worried about had occurred: Chi Xiaochi had found something to bind him to a mission world, just like all his previous hosts.
Chi Xiaochi continued, “Do you remember? When I went to go look for Lou-ge’s grave, I couldn’t find it. In this world, he might still be alive.”
061 sighed, “……Do you want to look for him?”
Chi Xiaochi pushed up his earphones and said, “I just want to see him again.”
“And after you see him again, what are you going to do?”
“Prove he’s not an illusion. Prove that he’s doing well here.”
061 couldn’t quite identify his current mood. His sour and bitter heart, couldn’t help but burn with rage.
He thought, this is probably the helplessness of having to watch with wide eyes as yet another person starts to tread the same, disastrous path, “And after you’ve proven that? Are you going to stay here for him?”
Chi Xiaochi was startled. He raised his eyebrows slightly, “Ah? Why should I stay?”
061, hearing the clear question in Chi Xiaochi’s tone, also couldn’t help but become startled, “You’re not planning on staying?”
Chi Xiaochi said, “He’s a person from this world, he has his own life. And it’s not like he’s the real Lou-ge.”
“But the real one……”
No sooner than the words had been spoken, 061 felt like he’d overstepped his boundaries, but before he could apologise, he heard Chi Xiaochi say, “To me, only the Lou-ge from the world I came from is real. I won’t go to a world without him.”
061’s heart skipped a beat. He didn’t say another word.
After the farce that had just occurred, Chi Xiaochi hadn’t since brought up wanting to see what he looked like. Given how the situation had evolved into what it was now, bringing it up again was utterly unnecessary.
061 suppressed his inexplicably agitated mood. He eased his tone, and said, “If you do well, tonight after we get back we’ll watch a movie together.”
Chi Xiaochi cheered up, “I want to watch a horror movie.”
Seeing that Chi Xiaochi had on the whole returned to normal, 061’s mood settled, “Alright, I’ll listen to you.”
At the same time, in the “Space Between Moments” in the system headquarters, the dark red brain squirmed with liveliness.
On the digital board before the Lord God was the serial number 1198 belonging to Chi Xiaochi. The curve representing the level of disorder in his emotional state, the entropy level, changing in real time, was continuously rising, and was approaching a dark line.
——This was the average entropy level that the Lord God had come up with after thousands of tests.
Only after passing this value would he reach the standard.
The mechanical, androgynous voice of the system AI sounded, “Congratulations master, your test was successful. Energy source no. 1198 responded to the projected model based on 061’s appearance.”
The Lord God was in a good enough mood to correct his system’s erroneous usage of words, “I don’t like that form of address.”
The system immediately corrected itself, “…….Host no. 1198 responded to the projected model based on 061’s appearance.”
The Lord God let out a low, contemptuous laugh, “Ha.”
Human beings were indeed just human beings. Wanting to seize control of the changes of their emotional states was simply as easy as the wave of a hand.
He just needed to use a little energy, and the Lord God could, without a sign, block 061’s projection system, making it impossible for him to appear before Chi Xiaochi, then put down a hook bait using 061’s appearance to create a model and make it stroll past Chi Xiaochi. This was not only to test Chi Xiaochi’s weak spot, but also to directly lead Chi Xiaochi’s real time entropy level to increase dramatically. Soon, it was going to reach a regular level.
But just a few seconds later, a change occurred in the data shown on the digital board.
Chi Xiaochi’s entropy level curve had actually fallen back down!
The curve that was just an inch away from brushing the line representing the average entropy level gradually decreased, finally stabilising at a low level and ceasing its decline.
The Lord God fell silent for a long time. When he next spoke, the anger in his voice was undisguisable. “……How could this be?”
The author has something to say:
061: Suddenly it feels like my heart is being choked.jpg
sere: I was SO EXCITED until 061 said it seemed cxc didn’t see him then i suspected a conspiracy and then the conspiracy was confirmed. What a cockblock i hate this giant pig brain.
baum: I was reading all your comments from last chapter lmao~ At least you guys got to see what you were asking for: CXC’s reaction to seeing (a) Lou-ge XP
Thank you to Nyurr for the ko-fi!