translator: baumkuchen (unedited)
Since that day, Song Chunyang and Yuan Benshan were in the same boat.
After calming down from his shock, Song Chunyang went to Zhengxin street in reality, and lit some incense and burnt some paper money for the vase women.
Yuan Benshan, who was accompanying Song Chunyang, didn’t really understand why he was doing this. He said, “They’re malicious ghosts.”
Song Chunyang carefully drew circles in chalk at a crossroads on Zhengxin street. “They’re people.”
Yuan Benshan sighed, “On one hand, they’re malicious ghosts, yet on the other, they’re still people. This what human nature is, huh.”
Song Chunyang burnt some paper money in the chalk circle. As he watched the ashes of the paper money spiral up into the sky, he made a sincere wish in his heart, that those little ghosts could buy some fitting, pretty clothes that they liked.
As long as the girls were able to buy some beautiful clothes, their resentment would probably lessen slightly, and maybe they wouldn’t want to eat people anymore.
Unsurprisingly, Yuan Benshan went on to pursue his postgraduate studies.
He was from a pretty good family background, so he rented a house nearby the school, and started living there together with his heterochromatic little kitten who had already started interning as a nurse.
One day, after coming back from work and buying groceries, Song Chunyang unexpectedly saw Miss Guan, carrying fruit, standing outside their door.
Song Chunyang had a very good impression of their kind-hearted miss. As he enthusiastically invited her in, he asked, curious, “How do you know where I live?”
Miss Guan said, smiling, “You gave me your real name when we were doing the task together.”
Song Chunyang rubbed his head and laughed dumbly.
Miss Guan sat down on the sofa and said, “Actually, I didn’t deliberately search you out. I’m a local here, and my rental period on my house just ended, so I was looking for a new place to live. When I was searching up houses, I found your advertisement. When I saw the name of the advertiser, I thought that there was no way such a coincidence could happen, who knew, it actually was you.”
Yuan Benshan had rented quite a large house, with two rooms and two halls. Just having two people living there was really a bit of a waste. The idea of renting out a room was Yuan Benshan’s. After getting the landlord’s permission, Yuan Benshan had left finding a renter entirely up to Song Chunyang.
The person who came to rent the room just so happening to be Miss Guan was just like being sent a pillow when you felt sleepy.
Song Chunyang was very happy, but he didn’t forget about Yuan Benshan. He said that he needed to discuss this matter about their home with him, but there was a ninety percent chance that the room would be rented to her, so she should prepare to move in.
During their conversation, Miss Guan told Song Chunyang her real name.
She was called Guan Qiaoqiao. She was 24 years old, and was a freelance designer.
After sending Guan Qiaoqiao off, Song Chunyang was bouncing with happiness. He found a piece of paper, lay down by the edge of the bed, and began to write down all the things Guan Qiaoqiao would need to know if she were to move in, from the WiFi passwords to where they put the keys, from his and Yuan Benshan’s phone numbers to the rules about how they were splitting the utility costs, explaining everything in detail, leaving nothing out.
By the time he began drawing a cartoon Persian cat at the bottom of the paper, Xi Lou couldn’t quite take it anymore. “……Are you a little kid?”
Song Chunyang carefully outlined the Persian cat’s eyes. “No. Qiaoqiao helped me a lot in my first task. Besides, she can be considered my and Old Yuan’s senior. If I can get along with her, she might be able to give Old Yuan and I a little more guidance.”
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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Ktja Ufgrljc mja tjv ylu, gbecv fsfr, oieoos qjkr, jcv jmaejiis ibbxfv j ilaaif ilxf Vbcu Jtecsjcu lc Wl Obe’r fsfr.
Coafg Xejc Hljbdljb wbnfv lc, Vbcu Jtecsjcu jcv Tejc Dfcrtjc kfca bc atflg olgra ajrx abufatfg, jcv ecvfg Xejc Hljbdljb’r uelvjcmf, ifjgcfv wbgf jybea atf ajrxr.
The first four tasks would be pretty much the same level of difficulty, so the system would randomly select one of the first four tasks for the task-takers.
So Song Chunyang being able to bump into Guan Qiaoqiao who was on her third task on his first task wasn’t anything unusual.
At the same time, the main system encouraged the task-takers to form alliances. After all, what it absorbed was fear energy, not death energy. The formation of alliances would effectively reduce casualties and ensure the survival of living energy.
So Song Chunyang’s group formed another alliance with Guan Qiaoqiao.
Guan Qiaoqiao had been through two more tasks than Song Chunyang’s group. After completing her fourth task with Song Chunyang and Yuan Benshan, her system didn’t issue her any tasks for a very long time. Only until Song Chunyang’s group also successfully passed their fourth task, did she and Song Chunyang’s group receive their next task together.
Starting from the fifth task, the difficulty level jumped significantly.
There was no way for new people to enter, so as they could only carry out the task together with people who had gone through the same number of tasks as them, the task time became longer, and the difficulty level and death rate shot up.
Song Chunyang was as his surname implied, he wasn’t at all brave. He was afraid of ghosts and afraid of death. Every time he came out, he would break down, so terrified that he would just collapse into Yuan Benshan’s embrace and cry.
Yuan Benshan was both annoyed yet amused by his crying. “We all lived, what are you crying for?”
Song Chunyang “yingyingying”-ed. “I’m afraid of dying, and afraid of you dying.”
Yuan Benshan kissed him. “We’re both fine, no one’s going to die.”
In private, Song Chunyang had once asked Xi Lou, “Loulou, if I die, will Old Yuan forget me?”
Xi Lou mercilessly replied, “Yes.”
Song Chuyang hugged his knees. “I don’t want to be forgotten.”
Xi Lou was silent for a moment. “I’ll remember you.”
……He remembered every single one of his past hosts.
In the very beginning, Xi Lou’s personality hadn’t been like this. He had been willing to talk more, encourage the task-takers to live on more, however, after seeing too much of his hosts going through nervous breakdowns, their humanity shattering, even madly cursing at himself, all because he couldn’t help them.
Slowly, Xi Lou stopped wanting to talk.
No kind words could sway those damned ghosts. Those people could love what they wanted to love, he was just an ordinary system, he couldn’t save their lives.
By all logic, being remembered by someone who was already dead was nothing to be happy over, but Song Chunyang looked deeply moved. He said seriously, “Loulou, you’re such a good person. Thank you for being with me.”
Xi Lou, who had inexplicably been handed a “good person” card, “……”
With the passage of time, Xi Lou found, that Song Chunyang was indeed unlike any of his past thirteen hosts.
He was afraid, but would never sink into depression, his entire person was very enthusiastic and positive.
Song Chunyang noted down every detail of how he and Yuan Benshan had met and fallen in love, deeply afraid of if something happened to him or Yuan Benshan, all over their beautiful memories together would be erased.
He made a handmade calendar. For every ordinary day they got through, he would draw a big circle on it, and write down what they had done that day, whether it was that they’d had steak for dinner, or had fed a stray cat. It would always be a good memory that would serve to lift their spirits.
Song Chunyang’s life gradually became full. After graduating, due to his good grades, with the help of his tutor, he started working at one of the top three hospitals as a nurse. Every day, he would have to deal with many patients with nasty tempers due to pain, and was often cursed at, but he stayed happy all day long. He never raged at the world because he could die at any moment. Rather, he thought that since every day he could spend alive was a lucky one, he should spend every day happy.
Song Chunyang bought an oven, and every day, as long as he had time, he would back cakes for Yuan Benshan and Guan Qiaoqiao. He wouldn’t even forget to leave a piece for Xi Lou.
He would light up the gas stove, write down Xi Lou’s Eight Characters on the cake, and then burn the cake for him.
Propping up his chin with his hands, he asked with intent eyes, “Xi Lou, does it taste good?”
Song Chunyang really knew how to burn things for the already-deceased.
The cake reached Xi Lou’s hands, perfectly whole and in shape. He took a bite, then said, “It’s too sweet.”
Then, he ate the entire cake, not leaving a single crumb.
Song Chunyang, who was utterly unaware of what he had done, smiled and said, “Alright, next time, I’ll bake you a sugar-free one.”
On his fifth time entering the task worlds, Song Chunyang arrived in a world where the shadows were inhabited by ghosts. When bringing up the rear for Yuan Benshan and Guan Qiaoqiao, Song Chunyang’s leg was caught by a shadow monster, and was almost dragged into the wall. If not for the fact that time had run out, he might have already become one of the photos hanging on the wall.
Because of this, Xi Lou, who had always been calm and steady, lost his temper, and scolded Song Chunyang the entire journey back on the car from the task location to the city.
Song Chunyang was scolded until he started tearing up, but he didn’t forget to bow his head and admit his wrongs, “I’m sorry.”
Xi Lou raged, “What do you have to be sorry to me for?”
The moment those words left his mouth, Xi Lou himself felt like there was something wrong with him.
Right, even if Song Chunyang died, what he would lose was his own life, what did it have to do with Xi Lou?
“You’re my friend,” Song Chunyang said, however, “I promised you that I’d get you back your body. From now on, unless it’s for Old Yuan, I won’t put myself into any more danger. When you get your body back, come find me, I’ll bake you a cake to eat.”
For a time, Xi Lou didn’t know what to say. “You… aren’t you afraid of dying? Afraid of being forgotten?”
Song Chunyang said in a tiny voice, “……I’d rather myself be forgotten than forget him.”
Xi Lou’s heart twitched, filling with the taste of something that could be bitterness.
But in the next moment, he felt like he’d gone crazy. Feeling his forehead and face, he found that his body temperature was a little high. Probably because his CPU was running on overdrive, his brain had started malfunctioning from the heat. So, he simply decided to stop talking.
After Song Chunyang got through his sixth task, he could be considered a bigshot, gradually becoming famous in the circle.
The task-takers had their own circle, and their main activities were focused in an online forum.
And what it meant to have a team member with Yin-Yang Eyes in those task worlds which were like the Hyakki Yagyo, everyone knew.
Threads looking for Song Chunyang started popping up in the forum, but because Song Chunyang had wisened up, and started using a fake name, opened up a side account, and, in order to hide himself, often acted as a blind person, putting on dark sunglasses and spending all day clinging onto Guan Qiaoqiao or Yuan Benshan, seeming weak, helpless, and aggrieved, so people couldn’t even recognise him by his iconic heterochromatic eyes. Even if they wanted to find him, they had nowhere to start.
In the middle of a big winter, Song Chunyang hugged a handwarmer to himself, scrolling happily through the forum.
Yuan Benshan had also come to observe. He praised him, saying, “You really are a treasure.”
Song Chunyang said happily, “I think so too. I really am a big treasure.”
Then, like an orange cat, Song Chunyang slid his hands up Yuan Benshan’s shirt, settling them on his chest. “You need to spoil me well.”
Yuan Benshan rubbed his nose against his. He smiled and said, “What if I don’t?”
Song Chunyang covered his eyes. “Then I won’t use my eyes for you anymore. I’ll find other people to team up with.”
As he said this, he peeped through the gaps between his fingers, but caught a flash of stiffness on Yuan Benshan’s face.
Song Chunyang placed his hands around his neck. “What’s wrong? I was joking, don’t be angry.”
Yuan Benshan quickly smiled again. “I know. Of course I know you’re joking.”
But he quickly added, “In the end, we’ll still be separated. ——I saw a thread saying, for the tenth task, everyone will have to get through it separately.”
Song Chunyang blinked. “They’re probably lying. I heard that the number of people who have been able to pass through the tenth task are incredibly few, how can they reach the conclusion that ‘everyone will be separated’. Maybe only the person who posted had a tenth task like that.”
Then, he curled up in Yuan Benshan’s arms and said, “I won’t leave you. Don’t worry.”
Yuan Benshan didn’t speak, merely lowering his head and kissing Song Chunyang’s eyes.
baum: ……I really hate this scum. On a lighter note, I found some fanart of Song Chunyang on Weibo~