Chapter 17 - Genius Cannonfodder’s Counterattack Record (17)
translator: baumkuchen editors: serefina, glitterypanda
After working hard for an entire morning, Cheng Jian decided to take a break once his younger brother sent him his lunchbox from downstairs. As he ate, he casually took the opportunity to browse his brother’s Weibo.
But with this glance, he found a problem.
He tried to call Cheng Yuan.
His first phone call wasn’t picked up, so he contacted Su Xiulun to find out the whole story. After confirming that his younger brother had just gotten involved out of bad luck, he let out a slight sigh of relief.
He hurriedly finished off the meal his younger brother had sent him, and tried calling him again after half an hour. This time, Cheng Yuan picked up.
His voice held a hint of exhaustion as he told him he was okay.
Cheng Jian said, “Okay my ass. You’re at home?”
Cheng Yuan said, “On the way home.”
Cheng Jian said, “Go straight home, don’t go anywhere else. Wait for ge to get home.”
Cheng Jian knew that his younger brother wasn’t the type who could bear burdens.
He went downstairs. When he was just about to leave, the front desk receptionist told him that a man surnamed Yang had come by looking for him.
Cheng Jian asked, “When was this?”
The receptionist thought for a moment, “An hour ago, just when your younger brother came by to send you your meal.”
Cheng Jian, “……” Fuck.
Upon reaching home, Chi Xiaochi shut himself in his room, acting dejected.
Cheng Jian arrived home almost right on his heels. The moment he entered the house, he ran right up to Cheng Yuan’s room.
Chi Xiaochi recounted Yang Baihua’s shameless demand and selectively skipped over his own response. It could be said to be appropriately concise.
Before Cheng Jian even heard the whole story, he started rolling up his sleeves, planning to have a little ‘chat’ with Yang Baihua.
Chi Xiaochi pulled him back, “Ge, don’t.”
Cheng Jian gave him a look, “Don’t? What don’t? Do you seriously still want to stay with him……”
Chi Xiaochi lowered his head, “With the way the two of us are now, there’s no longer any point in us being together.”
As his little brother officially announced his breakup, Cheng Jian was stunned.
But he decisively seized this opportunity and began a thousand word rant, launching a personal attack on Yang Baihua. He systematically dissected every way Yang Baihua wasn’t worthy of Cheng Yuan, yet even as he finished his scolding, he was still thinking indignantly, How dare you break up with my younger brother, you foolish piece of shit who’s never seen the world.
……From this, it could be seen that Mister Cheng was really contradictory and had extreme double standards.
Concerned Cheng Jian would talk his mouth dry, Chi Xiaochi worriedly handed him a cup of water and said, especially amiably, “Ge. I’ve made you worry.”
As if petting a golden retriever, Cheng Jian pressed down on his younger brother’s head and shook it. He was full of words he wanted to say to him, but in the end, he only spoke a single sentence.
“Idiot. Just focus on your singing.”
The situation developed just as Chi Xiaochi had expected.
By the deadline of their bet, an hour before dinner, Chi Xiaochi’s Weibo post clarifying the situation had been forwarded more than 30 thousand times, and the comments had passed 10 thousand.
As for Tang Huan’s studio’s Weibo post, the comments section below were even more lively.
Right after the studio’s statement was released, it was met with a powerful slap to the face. Their so-called “audio source leak” became an utter joke.
……In one breath, their audio source leaked into works that had been released several years ago. Tang Huan, are you a plagiarist or did you transmigrate? Pick one.
As for the marketing account that had been plagiarized from, Yundu had to spend such a huge sum of money on ‘public relations’ that this time the person had always been on top of hot topics like these, often playing the part of Tang Huan’s white knight, putting on a suit of shining armour and charging headfirst into enemy lines, was as quiet as a chicken.
Netizens watching the excitement were eager to see the situation blow up, and would continuously @ said marketing account, calling for him to speak out.
It was not until Yundu’s new statement was released that everyone happily shifted their attentions.
In the new statement, the studio apologised to the public by saying that these two songs that were suspected of plagiarism had been bought and posting screenshots of the relevant contracts. They then solemnly expressed that they would make sure to hold the seller accountable and safeguard the creative rights of the original artist. Tang Huan would also be holding a conference for a public apology, inviting all fans to watch, and so on.
Minutes after the new statement was released, the plagiarised party followed by releasing a very official-sounding, seemingly carefully doctored statement, thanking Yundu for clarifying this misunderstanding in a timely manner, and at the same time, expressing the need for the plagiarist to be held responsible for their wrongs, so as to open up a new sky for original music.
The fifth anniversary of Tang Huan’s debut was turned into a complete warzone, resulting in an utter mess.
In response to this kind of explanation, some were completely convinced, while others scoffed disdainfully.
Chi Xiaochi also threw in his two cents: “Sacrificing the pawns to save the queen.”
061 said, “I can imagine.”
Chi Xiaochi held up his phone as he made his analysis.
Although the screenshots provided by Tang Huan’s office had blacked out the name of the seller, it was still entirely possible to make out the two words under the shadow.
In order to save the backbone of their company, Tang Huan, what Yundu would have Yang Xiaoyan sacrifice, Yang Xiaoyan herself probably couldn’t even imagine.
Those netizens who had been waiting for the two to rip into each other collectively expressed their lack of excitement, and then moved on to begin speculating about which of Tang Huan’s previous songs had been bought.
As a result, Tang Huan’s fans couldn’t stay silent any longer. Passersby and fans formed groups to tear into one another, making it extremely lively.
The second half of this play had nothing to do with Chi Xiaochi, so he was finally able to pull himself out of that mess and just happily watch the ruckus.
As he scrolled through the comments, he sighed regretfully, “Look, who doesn’t have at least a few placentas among their fans. I think that they’re looking forward to the end of their idol.”
061 expressed his agreement, then said, “A lot of those watching the ruckus also aren’t fuel-efficient lamps either. They don’t actually care about the truth of the matter. When they’re done eating their melons, they’ll just find a place to spit out the seeds from time to time. This is what the oh-so-classy ‘entertainment gossip’ really is. Even though the studio cleared up the plagiarism accusations, when Tang Huan releases new songs in the future, there’ll definitely be people in the comments below scolding her for plagiarising, don’t you agree?”
Chi Xiaochi laughed, “You’ve really thought a lot about this.”
061 said gently, “It’s because of you that I’ve thought about this.”
Chi Xiaochi, “……Ah?”
061 had recently finished watching every single variety show Chi Xiaochi had appeared in.
In Chi Xiaochi’s original world, one particular stain on his career was being “illiterate”.
On one of his variety show interviews, the host asked him what his favourite book was.
Chi Xiaochi answered, “《Harry Potter》.”
The host laughed and said in the past when he’d asked other guests before, all the guests would say that they liked reading 《Dream of the Red Chamber》, 《Jane Eyre》and other such famous works of literature. Chi Xiaochi was the first person who made known that they liked this kind of non-serious literature.
Chi Xiaochi wasn’t in the least concerned, “Is it so unspeakable?”
The host, “Then who’s your favourite character?”
Chi Xiaochi, “Sirius Black.”
The host, “Ah, a popular character. Can you tell us a bit about why you like him?”
Chi Xiaochi spoke in a confident and composed manner, “During his 13 years in Azkaban, Black survived for the sake of taking revenge for his friends. With his indomitable spirit and love for his friends, he was able to hold on, even able to eat rats in order to survive. ……I like his ending, he accomplished his dream, and as his godfather, was able to stay together forever with Harry, giving Harry a home, together, the two of them……”
The more the host listened, the more he found that there was something wrong. He interrupted Chi Xiaochi, saying, “But Sirius died in the end.”
Chi Xiaochi was clearly stunned, “……Died?”
The host laughed, “You don’t even know his ultimate ending?”
This mistake seemed to have hit Chi Xiaochi quite hard. For the rest of the interview, he seemed to be rather dazed when asking and answering questions, quite unlike himself.
After this program was broadcasted, he received a lot of mockery for while, saying that Chi Xiaochi wanted to establish himself as a well-read literati, but this was beyond him, as his true character really was, after all, a good-for-nothing who couldn’t even get into university.
This black material was made into a set of screenshots by elitists and was often brought out to be presented when people started listing illiterate stars.
061 felt like Chi Xiaochi had been given an injustice.
He said frankly, “I don’t think anyone would try to use 《Harry Potter》to establish themselves as an erudite person, and I don’t think that your three consecutive years of winning scholarships was fake. You probably just remembered some details of the story wrong and didn’t deserve to be criticised like that.”
Chi Xiaochi was unusually silent.
After quite a while, he finally spoke, “I’m a public figure. No matter whether it’s positive or negative, dealing with public opinion is required coursework.”
061 said, “If I had been around back then……”
Before he finished his sentence, 061 abruptly stopped speaking.
Chi Xiaochi laughed, “It would’ve been nice if you could have been there, you could helped me delete the posts. Every year, my PR fees are upwards of a million yuan. Lucas has almost worried himself to death.”
Lucas was Chi Xiaochi’s manager.
Hearing this, 061 chuckled, “It’s because you’re always making trouble.”
Actually, what 061 had wanted to say just then was, if I had been there back then, at least you would have a friend to accompany and comfort you.
As far as he knew, Chi Xiaochi had few friends in the circle. On the one hand, he had a high starting point, an independent personality, and didn’t like to make friends with people within the circle. On the other, as an actor, he had an unrestrained temperament, constantly making trouble and causing everyone in the circle to simply respect him from a distance.
As for why he didn’t say it, it was because 061 thought of how he had been reformatted by the Lord God before.
After being reformatted, every one of 061’s system friends had advised him to not get too close to mere acquaintances, and although it was true that building a good relationship with his host would make it easier to carry out tasks, it was too easy to cause unknown problems.
Thinking this way, although he really admired Chi Xiaochi, it would still be best if he intentionally kept his distance.
As the human and system were chatting, Su Xiulun called, asking him to come over to the Xingyun music department if he had any time the next day as they had completed preparation of their preliminary work and could start recording the master copies of the songs.
Chi Xiaochi was still on the phone when he suddenly heard 061 make a sound of “yi”.
He didn’t at all react, and waited until he hung up before asking, “What’s up?”
061, “The Lord God told me to return to the ‘Space Between Moments’ 3 hours after receiving this notification.”
Chi Xiaochi, “‘Lord God? ‘Space Between Moments’?”
061 gave an easy-to-understand explanation, “The Lord God is my immediate superior. The ‘Space Between Moments’ is his office.”
Chi Xiaochi understood, and waved a hand, saying, “Then go. There’s nothing important going on here.”
061 said, “The Lord God made the rule that systems can only return to the space when the host’s brainwaves have entered a stable state —— that is, after falling asleep. In the case of such abrupt summons, we need to have another system help fill in for us, ensuring that the rights of the hosts are not affected.
Chi Xiaochi asked, “Fill in? Who is it?”
061 couldn’t help but laugh, “You know him. 009.”
Chi Xiaochi thought back for a moment.
Oh, that description writer with dreams of becoming a gourmet.
061 said, “009 is a good kid, he’s just a little noisy.”
After explaining the situation to Chi Xiaochi, 061 accepted the summons, and all the noise coming from him immediately stopped.
Chi Xiaochi’s mind was silent for a moment, before a young AI voice full of vigour sounded, “Host number 1198, I am system number 009, wholeheartedly at your service.”
Chi Xiaochi, “Hello.”
009, “Hello. May I ask if you’ve eaten? May I ask if I can scrounge a meal from you?”
Chi Xiaochi, “……” Aren’t you being a little too straightforward?
009 said with quite a bit of embarrassment, “I’ve heard 061 say that Chi Xiaochi’s cooking is delicious many, many times and I’ve always wanted to try it.”
Chi Xiaochi, “He’s said it many many times?”
After a minute of subtle silence, 009 directly skipped over the question.
He pleaded, “I had to promise 089 that I would take ten night shifts before I could walk through the back door to get this opportunity.”
Chi Xiaochi asked, “Who’s 089?”
009 answered, “Our random assignment system.”
Chi Xiaochi, “……”
Chi Xiaochi felt like he should give him a chance.
Seeing how this child had been craving it to this extent.
Cheng Yuan’s parents weren’t at home, and after Cheng Jian had comforted his younger brother, he also ran back to the office to deal with company affairs, so only Auntie Chen was left in the house.
009’s original body was a youth clad in a white shirt and black pants, looking around 18 years old. He wasn’t tall, but he had the benefit of having long, slender limbs, and with a pair of black-rimmed spectacles perched on his face, he looked like a good, diligent student of the Arts.
Upon seeing 009, Auntie Chen asked, “Xiao Yuan, this is?”
Chi Xiaochi replied naturally, “He’s a junior from school, he’s come over to play and especially to taste my cooking. Auntie Chen, don’t work too hard, you should go take a break.”
As he spoke, Chi Xiaochi pulled out a chair, wanting to let 009 sit down at the dining table, but 009 stuck closely behind Chi Xiaochi like a little tail, “I want to watch you cook.”
Auntie Chen had heard Cheng Jian mention it, so she knew what had happened on the internet today. She assumed that 009 had come to comfort Cheng Yuan and let out a gratified smile.
She was neither the best at talking, nor did she understand music. Now that a kind-looking and diligent young man had come to accompany Xiao Yuan, Xiao Yuan’s mood would become a little better.
After sending Auntie Chen away with an excuse, as Chi Xiaochi stood in front of a chopping board, dicing up vegetables with smooth, sharp movements, he said, “I remember 061 telling me before that it was against the rules for systems to manifest their physical body in reality.”
009 asked cautiously, “Are you going to report me?”
Chi Xiaochi raised an eyebrow, “What if I did?”
009 pondered over it for a while, his face full of frowns. He rubbed his stomach before finally making up his mind, “Then…… then let’s eat first before talking.”
Chi Xiaochi sighed, he really was a gourmand with dreams and a sense of responsibility.
Probably due to his fear of being reported, the moment the dishes were placed on the table, 009 started shovelling them down in large mouthfuls, as if wanting to eat enough to make up for having to die.
Chi Xiaochi was curious, “Won’t there be any problems with you systems eating?”
009 drank down a piping hot mouthful of ham and bamboo shoot soup, delicious enough to make him smack his lips, “When we eat them, they just become data. A stomach full of 0s and 1s, heh heh.”
Chi Xiaochi, “……” We’re running a high-end operation here, a high-end operation.
Using his chopsticks, he picked up a piece of black pepper beef for 009, “I heard 061 say that you’re a first-generation AI who started out as data.”
Chopsticks in hand, 009 nodded enthusiastically in agreement.
“Then you should know a lot about the Lord God’s matters?”
009, “I only write descriptions. I don’t really know a lot about the Lord God’s matters.”
Chi Xiaochi said, “If you don’t know a lot about the Lord God, then you should at least be pretty well-informed. You’ve spent time in every department, right?”
009 was shaken. His pair of almond eyes widened, “How’d you know?”
Chi Xiaochi said, “I see how skilled you are at bribing people. You’ve probably helped out a lot of people to be able to fight for the chance to run out for a meal.”
009 rubbed his head, two dimples dancing at the corners of his smile, sweet and delicious, like a tangerine-flavoured gummy candy, “If you’re talking about the most well-informed system, it’ll definitely be 023. But I’m not bad either.”
Chi Xiaochi leaned closer to him, saying, “I have a few questions. I’ve really wanted to ask them ever since I entered, but I haven’t yet had the chance to talk to the Lord God. 061 didn’t start out as a system, so I think he might not be clear on some matters, so asking you might be a little faster.”
Since 009 had eaten his food, and liked chatting with people anyway, he said magnanimously, “Just ask. As long as I know it and it doesn’t go against my confidentiality agreement, I’ll tell you.”
“I feel like this superior of yours, the Lord God, is very interesting,” Chi Xiaochi asked, “As his subsystems, are you obliged to work for him?”
009 bit off a piece of sweet and sour ribs, not quite understanding what Chi Xiaochi meant, “Ah?”
Chi Xiaochi simplified his next question, “Do you get any benefits from your jobs?”
009 laughed merrily, “I’m a first-generation AI and started out as a system, so it’s my duty to serve the people. But those like 061-ge all have a designated number of tasks they need to complete; their task quota. I remember 061-ge telling me before that his task quota was 200. The current world you’re in is his 101st task.
“What happens after they’ve successfully completed all their missions?”
009 shook their head, “This I don’t know. But when I helped cover a shift in the logistics department, I found out that the people who became systems like 061 have all made a contract with the Lord God. Oh, in your words, it would be a labour contract.”
Chi Xiaochi was intrigued, “What are the contents of the contract?”
009 munched on the spare ribs with relish, “I’m also curious about that, and even secretly checked it before, but I don’t have the rights to access such high-level information.”
Chi Xiaochi said, “I still have a few questions.”
009 stuck out his thin and weak chest, “Go ahead.”
Chi Xiaochi asked, “As you guys travel through each and every world, what’s used to power you guys? Why is the Lord God doing this?”
He asked, “How do you guys choose targets? Are there any qualifications? Why choose me? And why choose Cheng Yuan?”
He then asked, “Also, after I complete the task and leave, what happens to the target?”
009 was dumbfounded. From his slackened jaw, dropped a piece of half-chewed red braised spare ribs.
The author has something to say:
This chapter is about the main plot, including the story of Sirius and the secrets of the Lord God.
009 who’d been interrogated to tears: There really must be something wrong with the brains of people looking for reality in a virtual world……
Xiaochi: Laozi is indeed looking for reality in a virtual world.
sere: for some reason im randomly expecting 061 to pop back out and be jelly that CXC made food for 009
baum: nahh I’m sure our 061 is more classy than that <3 also, can I just say, I love Cheng Jian’s double standards lmaoo
anyways, it’s serefina’s birthday!! Please wish her a happy birthday~~