translator: baumkuchen editors: serefina, verywronganswer, aroma
A few days later, Chi Xiaochi started packing up in preparation to move into Cheng Jian’s spare apartment.
He specifically invited a moving company over to move his beloved piano out of Yang Baihua’s home, using the excuse of “not making Yang Baihua’s parents suspicious”.
With the piano gone, the living room looked much more empty.
Although they had put pads under the piano legs, the area where the piano had been still retained white marks that stood out from the floorboards around it.
Chi Xiaochi prepared a bucket of clean water and started humming as he scrubbed the floor.
Yang Baihua was also busy cleaning up in preparation for his parents’ visit.
Cheng Yuan was humming the song he played for him that day, shaking his head around, looking incredibly cheerful.
Seeing how cheerful he looked made Yang Baihua a little irritated.
When Cheng Yuan was still in university, he was fanatically obsessed with something called “Instrument Mimicry”, a pioneering type of music. It was an incredibly neglected branch of the arts and demanded a high professional standard, so Cheng Yuan’s little orchestra had never had more than five members in the four years since it had been founded.
Yang Baihua once visited Cheng Yuan’s university to watch them perform. The few university students played the tambourine and violin, singing and dancing in that tiny music room. There were no lyrics, just singing spontaneously, each picking up the melody one after another and harmonizing.
After they finished singing, Cheng Yuan ran over to Yang Baihua with pattering steps, guitar in his arms.
Yang Baihua twisted the cap off a bottle of water and passed it over to him, “Are you guys going to perform somewhere?”
Cheng Yuan hugged the water bottle, “No. We’re just playing around.”
He gulped down two mouthfuls of water, “Do you like it?”
Yang Baihua laughed, then flipped the question back at him, “Are you happy?”
Cheng Yuan smiled, showing off a row of small white teeth, “Happy.”
Yang Baihua helped him comb through his hair, “If it makes you happy, then I like it.”
At that time, Cheng Yuan was still a young second-year university student who had grown up soaking in a honeypot, so what did he know? His only knowing to play around was only natural.
……But why has he still not grown up even now?
Throughout his four years of university, he was only concerned with “playing”. Even now, he didn’t have any skills to support himself with, still hoping to support himself through music. Could it be he was planning on just “playing” for a lifetime?
Chi Xiaochi was too lazy to try to guess Yang Baihua’s current complex thoughts, and simply focused on his humming.
Yang Baihua placed the clean broom out on the balcony to dry, wiped his hands, and ruffled Chi Xiaochi’s hair. As though helplessly coaxing a child, he said, “Why do I feel like you’re actually very happy about moving out?”
Chi Xiaochi was indeed very happy. He even wanted to celebrate with 3 points worth of fireworks.
After all, he didn’t want to waste 4 extra points every day protecting his integrity and safety from Yang Baihua.
Chi Xiaochi’s mouth ran like a train, “No, no. I haven’t seen my friend in a long time, and since I’m going to stay with him, we can finally have a good chat.”
Yang Baihua’s brows furrowed imperceptibly, “What friend?”
Chi Xiaochi said, “He’s a childhood friend.”
“……What’s his name?”
Chi Xiaochi answered lightly, “Lou Ying.”
He didn’t know if it was his own misconception, but the instant he mentioned the two words “Lou Ying”, Yang Baihua found that “Cheng Yuan”’s expression and tone turned shockingly gentle, as if to him, those two words were a treasure carefully hidden in the tip of his heart, which couldn’t lightly reveal to others, only willing to occasionally bring it out, carefully clasped in both hands, to clean and polish.
Yang Baihua became alert, “Why haven’t I ever heard you mention him before?”
Chi Xiaochi rinsed the washcloth in the bucket, then wrung it out with his hands, “He left the country very early on.”
Yang Baihua only then realized that he hadn’t yet cleared up a very important question, “You only told me you found a place to stay, not where you’ll be staying.”
Chi Xiaochi announced the name of a district, then sat back and enjoyed how Yang Baihua’s expression changed.
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.
——Ktja vlraglma’r wbcatis qgbqfgas off kjr jc fcalgf ifnfi tlutfg atjc Tjcu Djltej’r rjijgs.
Ktf rsrafw rjlv, “Prc’a atja Jtfcu Aljc’r……”
Jtl Wljbmtl rjlv, “Vtt, vbc’a ajix. Aera obmer bc atlr fzqfglfcmf.”
Ktf rsrafw, “……Qtja fzqfglfcmf?”
Chi Xiaochi, “The pleasure of stringing someone up and beating them as a rmb warrior.”
Ktf rsrafw, “……”
Tjcu Djltej’r mbcrmlbercfrr gfaegcfv, jcv tf jrxfv, “Ktja Obe Tlcu…… Qtja xlcv bo qfgrbc lr tf?”
Chi Xiaochi answered, “He’s a really good person. He was my best friend when I was younger.”
Yang Baihua’s thin lips flattened, “Xiao Cheng, how long has it been since you two last met?”
Chi Xiaochi didn’t have to think before answering, “It’s been more than 12 years now.”
Hearing this, Yang Baihua breathed a sigh of relief. He said in a low, tender voice, “12 years, it’s been so long. He’s definitely not the same as he was before.”
Chi Xiaochi shrugged, and said, unperturbed, “Probably.”
“There’s no telling what’s in a man’s heart. He invited you over to stay with him. Do you have any idea what his intentions are?”
Chi Xiaochi looked back with Cheng Yuan’s innocent, rabbit-like eyes, as if he had no idea what Yang Baihua was talking about.
There were some people who could spend every moment together with another yet still not understand their heart.
Seeing Cheng Yuan not take his indirect advice to heart, Yang Baihua’s mood became even more turbulent.
Even though Cheng Yuan had a gentle and soft personality, Yang Baihua would never be on the same level as those in his friend circle.
Every time Cheng Yuan’s friends appeared, it would constantly remind Yang Baihua that Cheng Yuan wasn’t someone from the same world as him.
Yang Baihua needed to pull him into his own circle.
Therefore, through meticulous planning and persuasion, he’d already helped Cheng Yuan draw a clear line between him and many people in his friend circle that he deemed unworthy of knowing.
But who knew that now, this Lou Ying would appear?
This conversation made the atmosphere between the two people become rather unpleasant.
To be exact, it was only Yang Baihua who was feeling unhappy.
That night, he texted Cheng Yuan to let him know that his manager had assigned him some last-minute overtime, so he wouldn’t be coming home to sleep tonight.
Soon, Cheng Yuan sent a text in reply, “Jiayou.” He even followed it with three hearts.
Yang Baihua, “……”
After responding to Yang Baihua’s text, Chi Xiaochi laid back down on the big, soft bed in Cheng Jian’s apartment and spoke to the system, “I wonder what kind of face he’ll make when he comes home and finds out that I’ve already moved out.”
The system thought, it’ll probably be a face of “-20 goodwill points”.
Chi Xiaochi stretched languidly, “His parents will be here the day after tomorrow. When they’re not here yet, he wants me gone, but after I’ve left, he’s still not happy. Men are all big pig trotters. (tn: liars)”
The system admired Chi Xiaochi’s calm but still couldn’t resist reminding him, “Mister Chi, please pay attention to the task progression.”
For the past few days, Chi Xiaochi had been constantly sounding out the exact passing mark of Yang Baihua’s goodwill level. As for the regret level, the only requirement for completing the task, it had been completely ignored by Chi Xiaochi.
Chi Xiaochi asked a question in reply, “Aren’t you tired?”
The system, “……En?”
Chi Xiaochi said, “You’ve been constantly calling me Mister Chi. It’s been a good few days already, are we still so unfamiliar with each other?”
The system didn’t respond.
He wasn’t like this in the past, and had always built a good relationship with his previous hosts.
He’d continued with that attitude until he was reported by his eighth host.
From his ninth host onwards, he began calling his hosts “Mister X”.
“If that’s the case, so be it,” Chi Xiaochi quickly discerned the system’s misgivings from his silence and said magnanimously, “It’s best if there’s less feelings between us, otherwise, when I have eventually to leave, I’m afraid that you’ll be sad enough to cry.”
The system, “……”
Chi Xiaochi, “Because you won’t ever be able to find another amazing host like me, who lets you watch movies in my head in the middle of the night.”
The system, “…………”
Chi Xiaochi said, “Next time remember to not use broadcasting.”
The system said, “……Sorry.”
Chi Xiaochi said, “It’s nothing, I haven’t watched those movies in a long time, so it was nice being able to rewatch them along with you.”
Other than guilt, the system still harboured some doubts, “Mister Chi, weren’t you using the Hypnosis card?”
All the goodwill points he’d earned over the past few days had all been spent on Hypnosis cards. He would first “drug” Yang Baihua unconscious, then “drug” himself, making the system feel like he’d been downgraded from a proper system to a shady drug dealer.
“I’m a light sleeper,” Chi Xiaochi said, “Also, it’s a Hypnosis card, not a Dead Pig card.”
The system apologised again, “Sorry.”
Chi Xiaochi asked, “Aren’t my movies good?”
The system, “……They’re good.”
Chi Xiaochi said, “Very good. Since you can download my movies, in the future after I’ve finished all the tasks and returned, maybe you’ll still be able to see me.”
Hearing Chi Xiaochi say this, the system asked, “Do you want to go back to your original world?”
Chi Xiaochi raised an eyebrow, “Of course.”
The system laughed bitterly to itself.
System 061 served as a “Scum Gong Reconditioning System”, which was just one branch out of many world systems. The hosts carrying out these missions, without exception, had all had a life-threatening accident in their respective worlds.
Just as their brain waves were on the verge of dissipating, they were captured by the main system. Then, surveying systems that had extended radio waves to every parallel world would escort them over.
The main system would sign a contract with the hosts, assign them to systems, and have them execute certain tasks.
After successfully going through ten worlds, the hosts could make one wish. After fulfilling that wish, the contract would automatically be terminated.
As for their physical bodies in their original world, the system could only guarantee that their most basic survival needs were fulfilled.
From the private chats between systems, 061 knew that almost all their hosts had the desire to “go home” when they first entered.
However, the flow of time in the task worlds was the same as that in the host’s reality.
What it meant for a person to spend months or even years lying in bed like a corpse didn’t need to be said.
This point was enough to make every previous host 061 had accepted change their wish in the later half of their mission.
Half of the reason why 061 pursued efficiency like he did, was to send hosts home as fast as possible, but to this day, he had not yet accomplished this even once.
——Without fail, they all chose to stay in one of their task worlds, and left their original bodies behind to die.
The reason why he was urging Chi Xiaochi to act quickly was out of the fear that he would stay too long in the task worlds and forget where he came from.
In these past few days, 061 had read up on quite a bit about Chi Xiaochi. He’d also seen Chi Xiaochi’s original appearance in his movies.
His appearance was even more striking than he had imagined.
The expression in his eyes were faint. His face perpetually carried the languidness of having his desires satisfied. A head of thick, mid-length black hair was gathered back in a simple ponytail, making his neck look especially long and slender. His body was strong and lean, with a fine, delicate bone structure and distinct back dimples, yet not lacking muscles.
Even when he was just acting as a youth from a fishing village, he brought with him a noble temperament that made him stand out, giving life to the teenager with a heart higher than heaven but an absolutely miserable fate.
Unlike what his noble appearance would imply, however, Chi Xiaochi was of a surprisingly mediocre origin.
His father was a worker in a toothbrush factory, and his mother was a working woman in a small, local workshop that made foodstuff. His ancestral home was a small, broken-down apartment in a tube-shaped apartment building. He wasn’t on good terms with his parents, and after entering the entertainment circle, he didn’t have any particularly close friends. His relationship experience was zero. However, he was very popular with the elders and the big-shots in the circle, especially with genius scriptwriter Sun Guangren.
Considering all the information and data, 061 reckoned that to Chi Xiaochi, his career was probably the most important thing to him in his original world and the main thing he couldn’t bear to part with.
It was for this reason that his reminder to Chi Xiaochi was filled with hidden meaning, “You were so successful in your original world, so if you don’t go back, it would be such a pity.”
Unexpectedly, Chi Xiaochi said, “That’s not a pity.
“I need to go back. Because other than me, there’s no one left to sweep his grave.”
The system, “……”
He thought of Beimang cemetery, then thought of the “Lou Ying” that Chi Xiaochi had brought up to Yang Baihua, and turned pensive.
“Is ‘Lou Ying’ a friend of yours?”
Chi Xiaochi didn’t answer. He reached towards the bedside cabinet.
That was where he’d put the sleeping pills he’d bought today.
This weekend, he was unable to reach Yang Baihua and was unable to grind many goodwill points, so he didn’t want to use up the barely passing goodwill points that he had worked so hard to earn.
The key events hadn’t yet been triggered, and if the goodwill level dropped too low, it would be difficult to keep any unexpected events from happening. So he decided to conserve his points, and use sleeping pills like the average person.
He tapped out a pill, thought about it, then took another, and without any water, simply swallowed them dry.
After taking his pills, only then did Chi Xiaochi answer the system’s question, “He’s my best friend.”
……It was the exact same answer that he’d given Yang Baihua.
061 wanted to ask, “Does your inability to sleep have anything to do with him”, but restrained himself just as the words were about to leave his mouth.
This wasn’t something a system should be worrying about. Just like he’d said, one of them was a person and the other was a system, so there was no need for them to get too close to one another. Eventually, there would come a time for them to part.
The system decided to be a cold, emotionless system.
He should urge him to think more about the task.
The sleeping pills gradually started to kick in.
After listening to the system’s urging, Chi Xiaochi tightened his grip on the blankets and yawned lazily, “I have three plans on how to break the plot, plan A, plan B and a contingency plan, C.”
Chi Xiaochi stretched out his hands and put them behind his head, “Do you remember what I asked you to do when we first got here?”
061 obviously did remember, but he didn’t really understand the purpose behind Chi Xiaochi’s instructions.
He’d asked 061 to play the original events three times over, and for some events, he’d watched them more than three times.
He’d requested to personally experience the despair Cheng Yuan had felt before committing suicide, and even asked 061 for quite a few details.
After that, he played around with Cheng Yuan’s phone for a while.
Chi Xiaochi closed his eyes, “……9 regret points can be considered his starting price. We can take it slow, there’s no rush.”
A fanart of Chi Xiaochi’s true appearance I found on Weibo:
sere: finally ML (?) appears or at least his name(?) i hope but damn this man is savage
baum: ikr? I love CXC so much lmao anyways let’s all welcome our new editors, verywronganswer and aroma!