translator: baumkuchen editors: serefina, glitterypanda
061, “……Just a moment, Mister Chi.”
He sent an error report request to the Lord God.
Ever since the elevator incident where he had blurted out “Xiaochi”, this was the first time 061 had returned to calling him Mister Chi again. The severity of the situation could thus be seen.
Chi Xiaochi also realised something wasn’t right, “What’s wrong?”
061 said, “This is only your second task, you shouldn’t have been matched to a world with an A-grade difficulty. It might be that the random assignment system malfunctioned. Don’t panic, just lie down. I’ll always be here for you.”
Chi Xiaochi was slightly startled.
He’d been fine on his own for many years, so he felt that a promise like “I’ll always be here for you” was simply so banal, it couldn’t be any more banal.
——He, Chi Xiaochi, could live perfectly well on his own, he didn’t need anyone else at all. Chi Xiaochi had been in the circle for many years and his position was so high, yet no one had overestimated their own capabilities and tried to run over to him to act cute like this.
……He never thought that it would actually turn out that truly, the more banal the words, the nicer it was to listen to.
Chi Xiaochi obediently lay down and waited for a reply with 061.
Soon, the reply to his request returned. It stated that after inspection, it was found that the random assignment system 089 had not malfunctioned. His host being matched to a world of A-grade difficulty only depended on probability. Please quickly receive the world information.
The implication was too bad, so sad. Deal with it.
061 explained to Chi Xiaochi, “……Such a precedent has never been set before. Most of the second worlds of other hosts are C-grade and at most B-grade.”
Chi Xiaochi, “So I’m the first?”
061, “……” You sound very proud of yourself.
Out of helplessness, he sent the world settings over to Chi Xiaochi.
Some of the settings of this world was a little different from the one Chi Xiaochi was familiar with. Although it was still set in modern times, homosexual marriage was already allowed. Luckily, the general value system and world views of this world were pretty similar.
His host, Shen Changqing, was born to a middle-class family, and had a gentle personality. In the past, he was an advertisement model signed to an international modelling company. Later, he had a chance encounter at an event with Chairman Zhou Kai, who took a fancy to him at first sight.
Soon after, Zhou Kai began his enthusiastic pursuit.
Zhou Kai couldn’t be considered young, but a businessman like him, who managed to expand his business all around the world before the age of 45, was already considered to be the youngest in his circle.
He had a strong preference for Asian males. His first marriage was to Su Wenyi, a Chinese man, to whom he had been married for 12 years.
The relationship between the two was rather low-key. The occasional news that broke out were all about the conjugal bliss and harmony between the two and the holidays they took, with ten fingers intertwined, to such-and-such country.
After Su Wenyi left the world, he remained single for more than four years before meeting Shen Changqing.
From the point of view of an outsider, Shen Changqing’s luck didn’t just call for his ancestral graves to emit blue smoke, it called for his ancestral graves to catch fire.
With him at the age of 22, young and handsome, if no accidents occurred, Zhou Kai would definitely go before him.
Zhou Kai had no children. When the time came, even if he only got half of his inheritance, it would be enough for him to buy a house, buy land, support a pretty boy, and play around until he turned eighty.
Not only that, but Zhou Kai wasn’t bad-looking and was an extravagant spender.
As such, in the eyes of the public, despite his few little flaws, such as his irritable nature, his big mouth, and his unwillingness to control himself in public, he was still considered a good match in general.
But this good match had an unspeakable secret.
……He was born without sexual function.
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.
Pc Jtl Wljbmtl’r bqlclbc, atlr wluta yf atf bcis qlas atlr oemxlcu kbgiv tjv ajxfc bc tlw.
Unfortunately, being a natural castrate, as expected, Zhou Kai was a pervert.
Cmaejiis, Itbe Bjl kjr ragjlutafg atjc j afifqtbcf qbif. Lf vlvc’a ilxf wfc ja jii, yea lo tf wjgglfv j kbwjc, tf kbeiv yf ilwlafv ys atf oecmalbcr bo tlr bkc ybvs jcv kbeiv tjnf ab ojmf glvlmeif obg “tjnlcu cb mtlivgfc”.
Even if he could push the blame of being infertile on the woman, the proud Zhou Kai couldn’t bear having outsiders speculate about his abilities and male dignity.
So he simply married a man and cut off any talk once and for all.
But this choice conversely played a terrible role in his long-term married life, constantly reminding him of the fact that he couldn’t properly have sex.
After the death of his first partner, he became more cautious about choosing the next.
After much investigation, he judged that Shen Changqing was good-looking, easy to control, and qualified as a passable “ornament”.
As a result, on the wedding night, Shen Changqing, who knew nothing, was directly covered by a plastic bag and almost toyed into the morgue.
From then on, it had been a three-year-long neverending nightmare.
Shen Changqing had thought about divorce countless times, but his family background was at best, from the lower middle class. The trifling twenty thousand yuan his parents earned every month was a mere fart to Zhou Kai.
And once Shen Changqing entered his door, unless he left in a bodybag, he couldn’t think of leaving his control knowing his secret.
Shen Changqing’s nature tended towards gentleness. To put it nicely, he was steady and took the big picture into consideration. To put it frankly, he was resigned to his fate.
From the first time he had woken up in a hospital bed, he had already resigned himself.
After weighing the pros and cons, he recognised that he, this little calf hair, was absolutely incapable of dealing with Zhou Kai, this big thigh.
He didn’t jump up and make a fuss about wanting a divorce, didn’t try making contact with the outside world, and didn’t complain. He was, instead, completely docile and obedient to Zhou Kai. So although he was still taken to task at every turn, at least Zhou Kai thought that Shen Changqing was obedient and didn’t think of causing trouble all the time like Su Wenyi, so he didn’t vent his moody temper on Shen Changqing as much.
About how his predecessor Su Wenyi had died, whether he had been toyed to death by Zhou Kai or couldn’t stand the humiliation and had chosen suicide, Shen Changqing already couldn’t care less.
Every day, he just thought about how he was going to live on.
Every time Zhou Kai went out on business trips for anywhere from ten days to a half a month, he was as happy as if it were Chinese New Year.
When he ate at home, even if Zhou Kai just placed his chopsticks down a little louder than usual, Shen Changqing’s legs would cramp up uncontrollably. But no matter how painful his legs were, he still didn’t dare let out any expression.
Despite this, he would still get beaten up every few days. If he talked too much, he would get beaten, but if he talked too little, he would still get beaten. His eyes swelling up like ping pong balls was even more common.
Zhou Kai seemed to really like seeing Shen Changqing with a bruised nose and swollen face. He was especially kind and considerate to the beaten man. Up until the next unpredictable outburst began, everything would stay very peaceful and calm.
Shen Changqing knew he was raising a little girlfriend outside. This little girlfriend was also a model who accepted her identity as a mistress well, was open-minded, and had a tight mouth, all very much to Zhou Kai’s taste.
Shen Changqing had long since become numb to such trifles.
Zhou Kai appreciated Shen Changqing’s “obedience” and “understanding”. Sometimes, he would even be haunted by his thin conscience and would be extremely tender to Shen Changqing in the one or two days where he hadn’t beaten him.
It was just that to Shen Changqing, this kind of “tenderness” was all the more bloodcurdling.
During one of those “sweet days”, Zhou Kai gave Shen Changqing a little purebred Labrador puppy.
This was Shen Changqing’s only comfort in this long, dark marriage.
He gave all his remaining love and kindness to the little pupper, and named it Help. Bathing and feeding it, were all personally done by him.
About half a year later, Shen Changqing once again offended Zhou Kai for some strange reason.
Zhou Kai’s buttons were very strange. They could probably be collectively called “Schrodinger’s Buttons”. On some days, he could brush off some words with an “it doesn’t matter”, but a few days later, the same words would result in a round of beatings.
In short, for some trivial reason, Shen Changqing received a loud slap to the back of his head from Zhou Kai. It made a loud sound, but wasn’t very painful, just making him terribly dizzy, and he would be fine after a moment.
Shen Changqing had already grown used to this kind of beating, but he had forgotten: This was the first time Zhou Kai had hit him in front of Help.
Help lunged over and sank his teeth into Zhou Kai’s leg, even breaking the skin.
Zhou Kai glared and let out a “fuck”. He raised his leg and aimed a kick at Help.
The series of senseless beatings that followed badly injured Help, and Shen Changqing, who fought desperately to protect Help, had his ribs kicked in.
After that instance, Zhou Kai seemed to realise that he had gone too far. After getting himself vaccinated, and softly placating Shen Changqing for a bit, he took the initiative to take Help to the best pet hospital for treatment, claiming that the dog had been kicked and beaten by a madman while out on a walk and had gotten injured.
On a certain level, his words were true.
Two months later, Help came home. He snuggled into Shen Changqing’s arms whining, his big eyes shining with tears.
Hugging him to his chest, Shen Changqing burst into tears, “Help.”
Zhou Kai even patted Shen Changqing’s hair, “It’s alright. See, he’s back.”
Zhou Kai’s fits of irritability broke out in stages. For instance, at this time, he was astonishingly tender, not at all like that madman who beat up his partner and dog into an unrecognisable pulp.
On the second day of Help’s return, Zhou Kai let Shen Changqing go out shopping, letting him buy whatever he wanted.
Shen Changqing knew that he wasn’t afraid of him running for several reasons: First, he had been obedient for three years, which would have won him a little trust no matter what; second, he was accompanied by a housekeeper; and third, Help was still at home.
Shen Changqing was already very happy to be away from Zhou Kai.
He was away from home for half a day, running around to many pet shops before finally being able to buy Help’s favourite dental chews and jerky treats.
Knowing that Zhou Kai might just flare up again if he stayed out any longer, Shen Changqing reluctantly returned home.
When he returned, Help, who would always greet him with his slippers in his mouth, was nowhere to be seen.
He called out a few times, “Help? Help, where are you?”
Zhou Kai walked out of the kitchen, “You’re back?”
Shen Changqing suddenly had a bad feeling. He stared at Zhou Kai, “……Have you seen Help?”
“Didn’t you see?” He uncovered the copper cloche on the dining table to reveal a dog leg that had been roasted until it was crisp, and laughed, “He’s right here.”
Shen Changqing stood there for a long time, stunned, before clutching at his hair, and letting out a heart-wrenching scream. He then turned and rushed back to his room.
Zhou Kai went up and knocked on his door, asking maliciously, “You haven’t had dog meat before? It’s delicious. If you’re not willing to eat, I’ll save it for you.”
That night, Shen Changqing tied a noose that was made from his bedsheets around his doorknob and hung himself, committing suicide.
After watching everything, Chi Xiaochi and 061 fell into deep thought together.
Chi Xiaochi said, “This is A-grade. What are your S-grade worlds like? I would like to learn a little in advance.”
061 said, “S-grade generally refers to the difficulty of the world itself. For instance, in an apocalypse or war, there’s a chance of dying and being logged out from the very moment you enter. It’s unlikely one will come across them.”
Chi Xiaochi’s tone was a little strange, “That’s not necessarily true.”
Chi Xiaochi didn’t continue the topic.
Currently, it seemed that Chi Xiaochi had transmigrated over some time after Shen Changqing had his ribs kicked in when protecting his dog.
He said, “In comparison, this is still pretty good. At least right now I still have a bed, and Help and I still have at best two months of safety.”
As he looked at those two broken ribs, 061 couldn’t see what was good about this.
Chi Xiaochi comforted him, “I’m not scared of Zhou Kai. Let’s put it this way, I’m the kind of person who is generally relatively resilient. So if he dares to hit me, I’ll dare to castrate him. When the time comes, I don’t believe he’ll still be able to treat it at home. When that happens and the situation is revealed, I won’t need to worry about the media not coming to interview me.”
Chi Xiaochi, with a look on his face as if he were asserting a truth, calmly declared, “Any problem that can be solved with a kitchen knife, can’t be called a problem.”
Chi Xiaochi, “If you think about it that way, don’t you feel so much more relaxed?”
061, “……” Don’t say it, it’s actually true.
Chi Xiaochi laid down on the bed, “Murder and arson is always the last resort. If by any case my inferences from the last world were true, if I just slap my ass and leave, the one who has to face the sentencing is Shen Changqing.”
As he said this, he rubbed his chest and said to himself, “……I know, you reckon that I should go all out, even if I have to go to prison, to get rid of that guy. But you need to understand, I haven’t been hired specifically for the purpose of taking him down with me. If someone has to die, he’ll be dying alone. Or else, in the underworld, you might still end up being harassed by him.”
061 was unable to restrain his smile.
He was so serious, as if Shen Changqing was really still here in this body.
But he still went along with Chi Xiaochi, saying, “Shen Changqing, you can rest assured. Believe him, he has a plan.”
Having said what he needed to say to Shen Changqing, Chi Xiaochi checked the current goodwill and regret levels.
Goodwill level of 45, regret level of 0.
Seeing such a pitiful number, 061 was left momentarily speechless.
But Chi Xiaochi was optimistic, “Ha, the power of the proletariat is infinite.”
Chi Xiaochi then checked his card storage.
In the previous world, he had used Yang Baihua’s goodwill level as an ATM, taking advantage of its rises and falls to dredge up quite a few gains. After falling out with him, he’d even promptly used up the mere remnants of goodwill points by exchanging them for two low-grade hypnosis cards. It could be said that he had completely cleaned out the bone marrow.
Now, other than the eight complementary trial cards, Chi Xiaochi still had two hypnosis cards, one vertigo card, one strength enhancement card, one displacement card, and one invisibility card, of which the effects were all easy to understand from their names. Although they were all low-grade cards with a limited duration, it had been the most optimal exchange plan that Chi Xiaochi had come up with after much deliberation.
Chi Xiaochi said, “Liu-laoshi, send me a copy of Zhou Kai’s schedule for the next two months starting today.”
That plate of dog meat had truly disgusted 061. He asked, “There are only two months of safety left, are you sure you can handle this?”
Chi Xiaochi had been minding his own business, pulling out the needle of the already-empty IV drip. He smiled widely, “Whether or not I pass this course at the end of the term will be dependent on the resources and key points Liu-laoshi gives me.”
The author has something to say:
To tell the truth, in《Don’t Respond to Strangers》, the one I’m most afraid of isn’t An Jiahe, it’s the housekeeper who watched the female protagonist the entire time but never told her to run.
I don’t know if there are any readers who remember that expressionless, indifferent face.
Moreover, when it comes to domestic violence, there are only zero or countless instances.
It was because he couldn’t run that little Changqing met such an end. If any readers meet someone like that (an abuser), if you can run, you should run, just leave them to their end.
sere: word, author, word. Please please find help. You do not deserve to be hurt, no matter who you are.
ALSO WHO TF MAKES A FUCKING PLATE OF DOG MEAT FROM A PET WTFFFFFFFFF BAUM WARNED ME BUT I STILL DIDN’T EXPECT SUCH A MURDER
baum: Agreed. Also, domestic violence isn’t the only thing to look out for. If your partner starts trying to isolate you from your friends and family, or is anything like Yang Baihua with the gaslighting, you should leave them and find help.
and oof, poor Help TT~TT