translator: baumkuchen editor: serefina
After 40 minutes, Chi Xiaochi arrived at his destination.
Just outside the car, three big words “Beimang Public Cemetery” were clearly visible. As the system took a second look around at the dark, windy surroundings in the moonless night, Chi Xiaochi turned off the headlights, plunging the surroundings into darkness.
He asked warily, “What are you planning?”
Chi Xiaochi pulled up the handbrake and killed the engine. He looked over at the sleeping form of Yang Baihua reflected in the rearview mirror and laughed menacingly, “Hehehe.”
The system: “……”
Chi Xiaochi asked, “Excuse me, how much for a razor blade?”
The system was expressionless, “A police report is free.”
Chi Xiaochi continued, “If there aren’t any razor blades, wires are also fine.”
The system: “……?”
Chi Xiaochi glanced at the entrance of the cemetery, “Never mind, it’s not necessary anyways.”
Chi Xiaochi didn’t actually do anything to Yang Baihua.
He got off the car and stood out in the harsh cold wind, facing the cemetery for some time, as if lost in thought.
Of course, this place wasn’t the famous “born in Suhang, buried in Beimang” precious feng shui burial ground, it was just an instance of hanging a similar sheep head to sell dog meat. Hung on the gates was a giant, rusty copper lock. Weeds grew abundantly in thick, overgrown patches. Half of the huge copper character “邙” had fallen off, leaving behind a single, lonely right ear.
Chi Xiaochi stripped off his down jacket, placing it on the hood of the car. Then he took several large steps back from the gates. After he’d made enough space for acceleration, he rushed straight towards the iron gates.
He seemed very familiar with the act of scaling walls. When he was about three steps away from the iron gates, he jumped. One foot landed precisely on the rusty iron flower carved between the iron gate railings. Using his right hand, he smoothly grabbed hold of the copper “北” character to steady himself. He quickly followed up with his other foot, stepping onto the bar just above the iron gate. With a deft leap, he successfully sent himself over to the ground on the other side of the iron gates.
After landing, Chi Xiaochi shook out his ankles.
The system asked “Are you alright?”
Chi Xiaochi furrowed his eyebrows, “It’s a little numb.”
The system didn’t say anything. He connected Chi Xiaochi’s neurons, silently reconnecting his tendons and muscles to smooth out the numbness from the impact, relieving the soreness and numbness in an instant.
Chi Xiaochi let out an “yi” of surprise. He tested his weight on his foot, thinking it recovered very quickly.
He didn’t think any more of it. After he recovered, he stepped into the weeds that were as high as the tombstones.
The system asked, “Why have you come here?”
He was extremely scared that Chi Xiaochi would say, “I’m here to pick a spot for Yang Baihua’s grave”.
Thankfully, Chi Xiaochi’s answer could still be considered normal, “I’m looking for someone.”
The system was curious, “Who?”
Chi Xiaochi didn’t reply, simply stepping onto a weed that had grown out between a crack in the bricks.
In the winter, the grass was very dry. When stepped on it would crack, the sound abnormally loud in the silence of the cemetery.
He used his phone flashlight to light the way. Ignoring the rows of gravestones packed tightly together like honeycombs, he directly made his way towards his destination.
Very quickly, he stopped.
The light from his phone fell on a cheap stone tombstone. The name on the tombstone was Wang Jianguo. He was born in 1949 and died in 1989 at the age of 40.
Chi Xiaochi pushed aside the grass and dust clinging to the tombstone, made a quick bow of respect towards it, and then turned to leave the same way he came.
The system tentatively asked, “Who was he to you?”
Chi Xiaochi replied, “I don’t know him.”
The system: “……”
Chi Xiaochi then said, “Thankfully I don’t know him.”
The system: “??”
In order to make scaling the gate easier, Chi Xiaochi had taken off his down jacket. His form-fitting black sweater outlined the beautiful lines of his slender waist and abdomen.
His hands were shoved into his pant pockets for warmth, and as he spoke his breath left his mouth as a white cloud, “……You mentioned before, in order to facilitate the completion of the task, the first world will be similar to the world I lived in.”
……The system seemed to have realized something.
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.
Lf gfwfwyfgfv atja ktfc tf kjr ibbxlcu bnfg atf lcobgwjalbc bo atf cfk tbra, tf rjk atja Jtl Wljbmtl’r qijmf bo ylgat tjv atf rjwf cjwf jr atlr mlas.
Jtl Wljbmtl mbcalcefv, “……Ktfs’gf ybat mjiifv Dflwjcu Ueyilm Jfwfafgs, jcv atf ijsbea lr jirb fzjmais atf rjwf. Qtja j mblcmlvfcmf.”
……But the person buried there wasn’t the person he was looking for.
Chi Xiaochi drew out a cigarette from his pocket, and fumbled out his lighter. He analysed, “In this world, Lou-ge might still be alive.”
The system didn’t know who “Lou-ge” was, but considerately didn’t ask further, “Do you want to go look for him?”
The system was a little worried about whether Chi Xiaochi would let his personal affairs distract him from his main task.
After all, only in the tutorial would the main system assign the host a world similar to their own for practice.
After the tutorial, there would be all kinds of strange worlds in their future. If one wanted to find someone, after this village there wouldn’t be a shop anymore.
“No.” Chi Xiaochi’s mind could still be considered clear, replying, “He’s living a good life and he wouldn’t know me, why would I go look for him?”
Having said this, Chi Xiaochi didn’t elaborate further. The system also didn’t ask.
Chi Xiaochi raised a hand to block the wind as he tried to light the cigarette. But just as the cigarette was about to light, he put his lighter away.
The system asked, “Not smoking?”
Chi Xiaochi said, “Cheng Yuan has protected his voice for so long. I can’t be the one to destroy it.”
The system didn’t speak, simply dialing the warming mode he’d just opened up by another half a notch.
When Chi Xiaochi returned to the car, still holding the unlighted cigarette in his mouth. His body hadn’t been frozen by the cold wind and was still warm.
He thought, this little young master’s body wasn’t bad, it had a really high cold resistance.
As he thought this, Chi Xiaochi bit down on the cigarette filter and started the car. He left the cemetery, slowly driving home.
When they passed a soymilk shop, Chi Xiaochi stopped the car and hid the cigarette back in his pocket.
Before he drove off to fetch Yang Baihua, Chi Xiaochi had intentionally taken a look at Cheng Yuan’s schedule for today. In particular, he had noted that he needed to stop by the Sun Ji soymilk shop to buy soy milk for his Old Yang.
This shop’s handmade soymilk was made by grindstone, giving it a refined taste. Yang Baihua really liked it.
After Cheng Yuan and Yang Baihua had become a couple, he’d accompanied him through many breakfast shops and determined his favourite taste of soy milk, gradually forgetting that he himself originally didn’t like drinking soy milk.
Chi Xiaochi also didn’t like to drink soy milk and naturally wouldn’t force himself.
He bought himself a serving of mungbean porridge, and bought two cups of soymilk for Yang Baihua.
As he waited for his order to be packed up, Chi Xiaochi asked the system with a voice full of expectation, “When he drinks these two cups of soymilk, how many goodwill points will I get?”
The system: “……”
This tone was simply as if he was investigating how to raise pigs scientifically.
However, Chi Xiaochi had adjusted his mood quite well, so it seemed like what had happened in the cemetery hadn’t had too big of an impact on him.
By the time Chi Xiaochi returned to the car, the effect of the Hypnosis card had worn off and Yang Baihua had woken up. He was sitting in the backseat fiddling with his phone.
Cheng Yuan smiled widely, waving the two cups of soymilk in his hands, “I was scared you’d be hungry after waking up so I bought both these cups for you. In a bit, I’ll go buy some steamed buns for you so you can eat your fill.”
Whilst Yang Baihua had been sleeping, they’d redeemed 13 of his goodwill points, so originally his attitude towards Cheng Yuan was rather cool, but smelling the fragrance of soy milk, his heart grew warm. When he saw Cheng Yuan’s pure smile, his goodwill value increased by three points, “Good.”
Chi Xiaochi said to the system, “See, 62 points. I passed.”
The system, “……As a person you should be more ambitious.”
He felt like he was an old father, painstakingly advising his idiot son who was already incredibly self-satisfied with his barely passing grades.
Chi Xiaochi said, “Let’s set off another firework to celebrate.”
The system said, “Don’t fuss.”
Chi Xiaochi said, “Fine. Add a little sugar to my mungbean porridge, would you? I forgot to add some just now.”
The system despaired slightly, “Mister Chi, what are you taking the target’s goodwill value as?”
Chi Xiaochi replied confidently, “As points, of course. I’m cashing them in only because you said I could.”
The system: “……”
He suddenly felt a little regretful about letting Chi Xiaochi know about the existence of the system shop.
The system exchanged 1 goodwill point for half a spoonful of sugar. He placed the spoon into the flexible packaging containing the hot porridge, and even dutifully stirred the sugar in.
In the backseat, Yang Baihua was watching Cheng Yuan in the rear-view mirror. He started to speak, before stopping himself, then tried to speak again, before once again stopping himself.
Chi Xiaochi let him stew for a while, before putting up a concerned facade. “Old Yang, what’s wrong? Carsick?”
Yang Baihua made up his mind.
He leaned forward, asking, “Have you been busy lately?”
“Yup, I’ve been busy. Very busy.”
As he said this, Cheng Yuan’s voice was brimming with vitality, and full of coquettish charm.
Yang Baihua asked him, “How’s your song-writing been going?”
Originally Cheng Yuan had no shortage of words to say on the subject, but knowing that Yang Baihua was a staunch man of science and technology, who didn’t have much interest in his field, he clamped down on his enthusiasm, “I’m writing lyrics now.”
Yang Baihua said, “Xiao Cheng, I’ve been meaning to discuss something with you.”
Yang Baihua said, “My mom, dad and third sister will be visiting next week. You’re currently busy composing, and my third sister might even be bringing her kid along, so it won’t be good if they disturb you.”
In high spirits, Chi Xiaochi shared his analysis with the system, “See that? He’s trying to chase me away.”
The system didn’t reply.
Chi Xiaochi’s words weren’t unreasonable. At this time, Yang Baihua hadn’t yet come out to his family.
To be precise, even up to when he married a beautiful lady of mixed-blood, except for Yang Baihua’s parents and his cousin Xiaoyan, no one would ever know that Yang Baihua was once gay.
In the original timeline, even the big-hearted original host knew that this was just a shallow excuse.
They had previously argued because of Cheng Yuan’s older brother sending over a car, so they hadn’t been in the best of moods. Cheng Yuan had complained “Am I that shameful to you?”, leading into a back-and-forth, which then escalated into a fierce argument. That night, Yang Baihua even slept on the sofa.
Fortunately (for Yang Baihua), Cheng Yuan was both big hearted and didn’t hold grudges. Early the next morning, he rolled up onto the sofa wrapped in a quilt and took the initiative to make peace with Yang Baihua.
Holding his phone, he snuggled up against Yang Baihua’s chest and said, “Look, I can go stay at my classmate’s house next week. So don’t be angry anymore, okay?”
After Chi Xiaochi received this world’s information and read over this part, he’d thought, little friend, aren’t you being a little too naive?
If you felt dissatisfied, of course you can express it. But expressing it, required careful execution.
Cheng Yuan stilled and didn’t respond immediately.
Uneasy, Yang Baihua checked Cheng Yuan’s expression in the rearview mirror.
Very quickly, Cheng Yuan opened his mouth in a smile, revealing a row of small white teeth. “Alright.”
His pinky lightly stroked the leather steering wheel cover. “Mom and dad definitely won’t be willing to stay in a hotel since it’d be too expensive. The guest house near our home is also pretty lousy. After having them travel so far in their old age, making them use a public restroom, which can’t even guarantee 24 hours of hot water, really wouldn’t be very good.”
After saying so much at once, he looked up and gave Yang Baihua a slight, reassuring smile in the rearview mirror.
Then he lowered his long lashes, warm, yellow streetlight from outside the window sliding across his cheek.
“But our home is only a bedroom and a living room, so when the time comes, mom and dad will sleep in the bedroom and you on the sofa. You probably also want to prepare two air mattresses for third sister and her children, right?”
Having finished his spiel, he looked up once more, giving Yang Baihua in the the rearview mirror a questioning look.
But with that one sentence, the rims of Cheng Yuan’s eyes had turned faintly red. His eyes were misty and shockingly bright in the light of the streetlamps.
Discovering he’d lost his composure, Cheng Yuan immediately turned away and coughed, as if trying to hide something.
Yang Baihua’s heart skipped a beat. “……Xiao Cheng.”
Realising he’d been found out, Cheng Yuan helplessly looked up at Yang Baihua once more. He curled his eyes in a gentle smile, trying to show that he was okay.
Upon being stared at by such a pair of eyes, Yang Baihua’s heart melted.
……Cheng Yuan understood his own difficulties, and knew he wasn’t ready to come out to his parents. Even though he was clearly upset, he still tried his best to accommodate him.
A thread of guilt wrapped around Yang Baihua’s heart.
Yang Baihua said, “Xiao Cheng, I’ll find you a hotel to stay in.”
Cheng Yuan didn’t refuse, coquettishly replying with a slightly choked-up voice, “En. I want to stay in a good one, it must be five stars.”
Yang Baihua was amused, and went along with him, saying, “Yes, yes, yes, five stars.”
The system was amazed.
This performance was absolutely perfect.
Chi Xiaochi’s every microexpression was amazingly coordinated, and even the changes of in the lights and shadows from outside the window had been used to their fullest effect.
If this had been in a movie studio, no matter what angle was used to capture it, his expressions would all be perfect.
The system had hastily skimmed through Chi Xiaochi’s information before and knew that before he’d transmigrated, he’d been a model-turned-actor with an endless amount of black powder.
26 years old, started out as a model, and deep in the quagmire of both fans and anti-fans. According to various data analyses, Chi Xiaochi should have been a star that depended on his face to attract fans and not an actor with talent.
But that didn’t seem to be the case.
The system decided to free up some time to do a thorough check of Chi Xiaochi’s background to get through the adjustment period as soon as possible and improve the efficiency of task completion.
Compared to his fellow systems, number 061 had always highly valued efficiency when completing tasks.
Chi Xiaochi’s performance this time was incredibly rewarding.
Gratified, he said, “System, system, his goodwill level went up by 15 points, and the regret level went up by 6 points.”
The system had also received this string of notifications. “En, good work.”
Chi Xiaochi, “As per the usual, let’s redeem a card.”
The system: “……” Since when did this become the usual.
Chi Xiaochi, “What cards can I get with 15 points? ……Nevermind, tonight when we get back just send me the shop information and I’ll flip through it myself.”
The system, “……En.”
Chi Xiaochi then asked, “Can I bring unused cards along with me to the next world?”
The system, “……You can.”
Chi Xiaochi was even happier now, “That’s great. How many cards are available in the shop? If I collect a complete set, will there be a reward?”
The system couldn’t help but remind him, “Mister Chi, we are serious systems, not a card collecting game.”
Chi Xiaochi said, “I like card collecting games. I had a card collecting game on my phone called ‘Summoning Gods and Devils’. Out of the 513 heroes, I just needed 6 more to complete the entire set.”
Having said this, Chi Xiaochi then continued bitterly, “……But now that this has happened, I don’t know how much longer it’ll take for that to happen.”
To a collector like him, this truly was too cruel.
The system ignored him. Chi Xiaochi also shrugged indifferently.
They were almost at their destination.
There were no free parking spaces in the neighbourhood, so Chi Xiaochi parked the car by the side of the road outside the neighbourhood.
When taking out the car keys, Chi Xiaochi turned his head, his gaze falling on Cheng Yuan’s reflection in the car window.
The corners of his mouth were naturally tilted slightly upwards, just like a lively little sprout nourished by love.
No one would’ve thought that in three years, such a happy and simple youth would commit suicide due to a moderate case of depression, slitting his wrists in a little overseas town facing the water.
The author has something to say:
Let’s all have a moment of silence for the gong, who turned into a lootbox the moment he spawned qwq
I think I can start updates three times a week next week! (crosses fingers) We’ll see~ Rn I’m thinking Fri, Sat, Sun updates.
Also please don’t spoil in the comments guys!