translator: baumkuchen editors: glitterypanda, serefina
After reminding him to “pay attention to the rating”, Chi Xiaochi went back to watching his literary film.
The video he’d saved of the old man’s fancy play really burnt the eyes. Just listening to it made 061’s face heat up, but the task Chi Xiaochi had given to him needed to be done, so he just had to force down his embarrassment and turn on mute and the automatic mosaic function. Amongst the heaps and heaps of different mosaics, he carefully picked out a segment where the male protagonist, Zhou Kai, had his face visible to the camera from start to finish to make clear in high-definition.
As for the lover’s face and body, it was then all covered by 061 with heaps of mosaics.
By the time he was done and successfully uploaded it to the internet, there had been no sound from Chi Xiaochi for a while, just the voices of the male and female protagonists from his film confiding to each other.
Chi Xiaochi’s eyes were closed. He remained silent.
061 turned off the film.
But when the sound was cut off, Chi Xiaochi woke up instantly, “En? I was still watching.”
061 laughed, “How were you still watching?”
Chi Xiaochi refused to give in, “I just saw them kiss just now.”
061 had the urge to poke his forehead. He simply said, “I’m turning off the lights, sleep.”
After that, the little nightlight in the room went out, the warm, dry and soft blanket pulling up on its own and wrapping Chi Xiaochi’s entire person.
Chi Xiaochi, lying on the bed, was still unwilling to give in. “I haven’t finished watching. Did the male protagonist die in the end?”
061 pressed his fingers to his temple, and sped through the film at x24 speed. He answered, “He enlisted in the army and ended up winning the war. He came back in a tank and ran into the female protagonist in the street, jumped out of the tank, took the female protagonist in his arms and carried her up onto the tank turret.”
In truth, the male protagonist had died in the war, dying on a cold mat in a foreign country.
Chi Xiaochi let out a reassured expression and burrowed into the blanket, “That’s good.”
“Sleep,” 061 took out the collection of poems, “Yesterday we read up to page 65……”
……In truth, that film also existed in his world. He had seen it before.
But Chi Xiaochi liked the ending 061 had come up with, just like how he liked the fake ending Lou Ying had come up with for Sirius.
That night, Yi Song had forgotten to close the bedroom curtains.
Outside the window was the good weather of early autumn. Despite the darkness of the night, the thick, soft and fluffy clouds were still visible to the naked eye, looking like a high quality quilt. Chi Xiaochi imagined them covering his own body while 061’s voice floated over out of the distant, indistinct clouds.
He thought, when the task was over and when he went back, he wouldn’t be able to hear this voice anymore.
He then thought, no matter, he would eventually get used to not having it. And if that didn’t work, there were always sleeping pills.
As he thought this, Chi Xiaochi drifted off to sleep.
A few blocks away, Zhou Kai had yet to find out about what was about to happen to him.
After he recovered some of his energy, he opened up the two bottles of red wine he’d used as props earlier and had a romantic candlelit dinner with his lover.
After drinking till their ears were red, they went to sleep in each other’s arms.
At 6:30 the next morning, he woke up as usual and, in a good mood, kissed the person in his arms. The person in his arms reciprocated the kiss and got up to prepare breakfast. Meanwhile, he dressed himself and washed up, preparing to go to the company.
Only when two golden-brown slices of toast popped out of the toaster, did the freshly-shaven Zhou Kai remember to turn on his cell phone to see if there were any urgent matters that needed to be dealt with.
But as soon as his cell phone was turned on, it was promptly crashed by a sea of emails, text messages and unanswered calls.
“……What the hell?”
Zhou Kai casually clicked on an email. It had been sent two minutes ago by Secretary Frank. Its tone was strange, asking him, after he’d gotten up and seen this email, to absolutely not go to the company.
He then inspected the subject titles of the other unread emails one by one and found that the senders were all different. Some were department managers, some were former business partners and some were familiar names. Thinking about it, they seemed to be from models under his company, including the currently really popular black model, Fiona.
……What was going on with all of them?
Before Zhou Kai could click on any of the emails to see what exactly had happened, Sam called.
Zhou Kai, confused, picked up. “What’s going on?”
Sam was currently on the road to Zhou Kai’s house, about to go crazy with panic. He hadn’t even had the time to comb his golden hair, so it was piled messily atop his head.
Up hearing Zhou Kai’s voice, he nearly choked with emotion as he started to speak, “Mister Zhou, you finally picked up. Please don’t come over to the company. The reporters have already surrounded the company. Frank and consultants from the legal department are currently dealing with it. I’m already almost at your house, let’s continue this in a moment.”
Zhou Kai was utterly baffled, “What happened?”
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.
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On the other end, Chi Xiaochi had also woken up.
However, because of his fractured ribs, he had been allotted an extra hour of sleep. Since Yi Song hadn’t called for him, he just laid in bed like a corpse.
After uploading the video to YouTube, 061 had taken a look at it when it had only about 15, 16 hits, and then just left it to ferment on its own, not paying it any more attention.
He spent the night scrolling through interviews of Chi Xiaochi, and even supplemented that with historical videos of his past as a model. In a blink of an eye, it was already morning.
After Chi Xiaochi woke up, he helpfully switched tabs to take a look at the video.
Upon seeing the number of views and comments, 061 was rendered speechless for a long time. He dragged out his voice in a sigh, “……Ah.”
Chi Xiaochi, his arms wrapped indolently around his pillow, asked, “Are you planning on reciting a poem?”
He turned the screen to face Chi Xiaochi.
Chi Xiaochi placed a hand on his chin as he gave it an indifferent glance, “This isn’t anything. Just wait and see, his good days are behind him.”
After that, he then turned his attention to the video itself with great interest, “Which section of the video did you pick, let me see.”
At the same time, Zhou Kai had also clicked on the URL sent over in his emails, and, with a mix of fear and fury, clicked play.
The video started off as a black screen, indicating in a standard format that this video was rated adult, youths under the age of 18 were by no means allowed to watch the following content.
And following that, Zhou Kai’s own big face appeared, giving Zhou Kai himself a shock.
In his hands was the dildo he often used, smiling as he approached a lump of mosaic on the bed which one could tell was female.
Zhou Kai immediately closed the video, face flushed and ears scarlet, panting roughly like a buffalo.
He didn’t even want to see what the other video was.
He paced anxiously around the room a few times before picking up his phone, and trying to contact his department head of the public relations department.
But the phone showed “line busy”. When he called again, it was still occupied.
Zhou Kai dialled the vice department head. This time, it went through.
He opened his mouth and said immediately, “Simon, tell them to delete that damn thing from the video platform for me! Issue a statement, this is a violation of my personal privacy, I——”
Simon, on the other end of the line, cut him off.
Simon, who in Zhou Kai’s memories, had always been gentle to others, sneered, saying, “I’m black. Go fuck yourself.”
The call was hung up.
Zhou Kai, phone in his hands, was left stunned.
A few seconds later, he finally guessed what terrible thing might have happened.
He lunged straight at the computer, scrambling to play the second video.
The number of views for this video was clearly less than that of the steamy video, but the comments below were more than double in number.
After watching the video, Chi Xiaochi gave his conclusion, “The deceased Mister Zhou was a dignified man before he died. Everyone should honour him with a spit before leaving.”
061 pursed his lips in a laugh.
After that, Chi Xiaochi then gave a professional comment, “Everything else notwithstanding, his technique is very professional. At a glance I can tell he has practice.”
061, “……How can you tell.”
Chi Xiaochi said, “It’s really simple. I’ve played around like this too.”
061 was shocked.
Chi Xiaochi raised an eyebrow at 061’s response, “……What, do I look in any way like a Boy Scout? Or like a monk who practices asceticism all year round?”
061, “……” Indeed, you really don’t.
“But they were all things I bought myself and used on myself. If you want something done right, do it yourself.” Proletarian Chi Xiaochi gave Zhou Kai his disdain, “Not like the bourgeoisie, who only know how to exploit the labourers. If you have the ability, just go fuck yourself.”
That mouth of Chi Xiaochi’s really made 061’s head hurt.
Not long after his words fell, the person and the system both heard the sound of a car from outside.
061, “Zhou Kai’s back?”
Just as he said that, the original silence from outside exploded into noise. Waves and waves of camera shutter clicks overlapped with each other in a never-ending stream of sound.
By the sound of it, there was at least a row of reporters crouching outside.
The faint sound of Sam’s voice drifted in from outside, “I’m not…… No comment…… Please make way, make way!!”
Chi Xiaochi said, “Pull up a few cat videos for me to watch. It’ll take him at least ten minutes to get out of that entanglement and come inside.”
Sure enough, nearly a quarter of an hour later, Sam, all his energy spent, managed to squeeze his way into the villa.
Yi Song, who let him in, had a face full of confusion, totally unaware of what had happened. He asked Sam a few questions in Spanish, but Sam was in no mood to answer them.
He asked, “Where is Mister Zhou?”
Just as Yi Song was about to respond, the door to the bedroom upstairs opened with a click.
Shen Changqing, a brace around his chest, leaned over the handrail of the second-floor staircase, looking over at him, his gaze at a loss yet gentle and soft, “Mister Sam?”
Sam, seeing the brace around his chest, was given a sudden start.
He had heard from Zhou Kai’s own mouth that Shen Changqing had caught a serious cold, so he wouldn’t see him around the company for this period of time. But seeing how Sheng Changqing looked, it was clearly……
Yi Song’s expression twisted, “Mister Shen, go back inside now.”
Shen Changqing pointed at the clock, a face full of innocence, “It’s already time to get up.”
Sam quickly came back from his shock. He bowed to Shen Changqing, “Mister Shen, is Mister Zhou home?”
Shen Changqing shook his head. “He’s not here. Yesterday he worked overtime and didn’t come back for the entire night,”
Sam immediately thought of that unbearable video, as well as that woman who’d been dragged into the storm along with Zhou Kai.
He originally felt some sympathy for the man before him, but after noticing that brace, a terrible suspicion slowly started growing in his mind.
However, Shen Changqing had an unconcerned look on his face. The smile on his face hadn’t faltered in the slightest, “Is he not at the company?”
Sam looked into his eyes, “I haven’t yet been to the company.”
Shen Changqing said, “Is there any urgent matter? Does it have something to do with the company?”
Sam, “It’s nothing all that urgent, you don’t need to worry.”
Shen Changqing said, “That’s fine, then.”
That rather strange-sounding “fine” unexpectedly made Sam break out into goosebumps.
Just as Shen Changqing was about to head back into his room, he paused as if having suddenly thought of something and said to Yi Song downstairs, “I want to eat pudding.”
Yi Song replied as per protocol, “Now isn’t time for dessert, you……”
Shen Changqing directly cut him off. A pair of dark, serene eyes bored straight into him, “Or else, you can make a phone call, and ask Mister Zhou?”
……Ask him, if he still has any time to care about this kind of thing right now.
This time, unlike the incident where Zhou Kai took a nap during the runway show, the situation directly became an earthquake, not to mention that the heat from the former incident had yet to dissipate. The netizens pulled out pictures of the runway show and examined them one by one, only to find that in this runway show, there were quite a few black models who had participated.
Netizens from all over the world all shared a particular characteristic, that is, their strong ability to jump to conclusions very quickly. Many people directly asserted that Zhou Kai sleeping during the runway show was definitely him indirectly expressing his dislike of black people.
There were also cautious people who raised their doubts, since the people in the audio hadn’t shown their faces, how could they confirm that the person expressing his racist views was Zhou Kai.
Immediately, there were professionals who jumped in. They did a rigorous comparison of the audio tracks in the video and the audio recording, and high degree of matching frequencies helped verify that it was indeed Zhou Kai.
The public opinion on social media exploded.
Black people were solemnly protesting; white people were watching the fuss, claiming that this racial discrimination against black people was by an Asian and had nothing to do with white people; while the Asians were firmly denying Zhou Kai’s identity as one of them, asserting that since he had been granted Canadian citizenship for more than twenty years, he was a stock-standard example of a banana, with yellow skin and a white core, they refused to accept this kind of scum.
But the only thing that was rather harmonious was that all three sides agreed that Zhou Kai was a big fucking idiot.
At around 7 in the morning, the model Fiona posted her response on her Instagram: “I made it to where I am today on my own two legs, not through stealing.” This pushed public opinion to its climax.
The moment the stock market opened in the morning, Zhou Kai’s company’s share price fell all the way down to the bottom. Its market value continuously evaporated, directly making Zhou Kai’s eyes turn red.
He didn’t dare go to the company, or even leave his lover’s villa.
After all, the power of the Internet was infinite. Almost immediately after the video was released, there were some people who managed to recognise the voice of the female lead who had been turned into a lump of mosaics. Her voice sounded a lot like the female model Lily, who was from the same agency as Fiona and had recently devoted herself to charity.
Zhou Kai paced around Lily’s villa like a caged beast. He was unable to imagine just how many hidden cameras were right outside this villa.
Meanwhile, inside the house, Lily was weeping in silence intermittently.
Zhou Kai was incredibly irritated by her crying and roared out, “What the fuck are you crying about?”
Lily, who had been beaten until one of her eyes swelled up, immediately choked back her tears and stopped crying.
This was the first time she’d had to face and endure Zhou Kai’s wrath and she was already close to collapsing. She dared not even imagine what Shen Changqing had endured for all these years.
Another call from Sam came. Zhou Kai snatched up the phone, forced back the gritty anger that was rising from the back of his throat, and answered in a hoarse voice, “……Hello.”
Sam’s voice sounded utterly exhausted, “Mister Zhou, please stay where you are. I just left your house. Mister Shen and the rest don’t seem to know about this yet……”
Where did Zhou Kai still have the mind to care about Shen Changqing? He raged, “Who is it?! Who’s trying to mess with me?”
He had forced down his agitation and watched the entire video.
The audio had clearly been recorded from last night, but the video hadn’t been. It was from more than a week ago.
How could he not tell that this was a deliberately planned plot!
He’d been put under surveillance!
But he’d searched the villa’s bedroom, and hadn’t found this supposed listening device or hidden camera. This had upset him, and resulted in the entire bedroom being smashed into unrecognisable pieces by him.
Sam said, “I asked the technology department to check. The same person uploaded the audio and the video, but their IP address apparently doesn’t exist……”
As he spoke, Sam thought of that strange email he’d received whose sender he couldn’t find the IP address of. His heart skipped a beat.
Zhou Kai raged, “Contact the public relations department, no matter how much money it takes, have those two things deleted!”
“Negotiations are already underway.” Sam pulled at his wrinkled tie, “But I’m afraid that after we delete one, ten more might pop up. The video contains disturbing content so there’s reason to delete it, but that audio recording……”
Zhou Kai stuck out his neck and roared, “What about that?! That’s my freedom of speech!”
At the same time, Chi Xiaochi was still listening and watching Zhou Kai’s every move.
Holding a pudding, he heard this and sneered.
To this day, a lot of people all thought free speech was absolutely free, it was their right to blindly force their views on others and others were absolutely not allowed to refute them.
As 061 looked at the regret level that still remained at “0”, he heaved a sigh, “Could it be he still doesn’t know he’s wrong?”
Chi Xiaochi said, “Of course he doesn’t know. For someone as obstinate and opinionated as him, even if he has as many handles as a sieve, he would definitely think that everything was someone else’s fault.”
He scooped out a spoonful of pudding, then said, “……I said it before, this is just the beginning for him.”
The author has something to say,
Driver Chi who casually starts the car is actually just at driving school level, he has no real road experience whatsoever [spreads hands]
sere: as a breather from this terrible man i recommend this short story its really cute: The Aphrodisiac-carrying Man
baum: or you guys could check out the other novel I’m translating, Fantasy Farm (#shameless shill)
jkjk for another, short, cute, story, I recommend the short story xiin picked up: Knight, the Dragon Snatched a Princess Again!