Chapter 19 - Genius Cannonfodder’s Counterattack Record (19)
translator: baumkuchen editors: serefina, glitterypanda
061 returned to the meeting point, towards the meet-up signal sent out by 009.
The very moment 009’s figure came into view, he was like a little chick that had spotted its mother hen, throwing himself headfirst into 061’s arms and causing him to stagger back a few steps.
061 patted him on the head, “……What’s wrong?”
009 trembled, “061-ge, Chi Xiaochi was telling me horror stories.”
The time given to meet up and switch places was short, so before he could ask 009 exactly what had happened, 061 was forcibly sent back.
The sound of that gentle “en” mixed with a slight hint of doubt entered Chi Xiaochi’s ears, making them tingle.
After dinner, Chi Xiaochi retired to his bedroom early.
He put down his cup of black tea, “You’re back?”
061 asked, “How was working with 009?”
“I don’t know about work, but we had a nice dinner together,” Chi Xiaochi said, “I made four dishes and one soup, which he single-handedly devoured. He didn’t leave even a single drop of soup.”
061’s tone was rather helpless, “……En, he has a pretty good appetite. Every Chinese New Year, when we make dumplings, he can eat a hundred and sixty of them.”
Chi Xiaochi, “……”
He thought, it was probably because it was 009’s and his first time meeting that he was rather shy and didn’t exhibit his full abilities.
Poor hospitality on his part, poor hospitality.
061 asked him, “I heard from 009 that you were telling him ghost stories.”
Chi Xiaochi replied calmly, “I didn’t. I just asked him a few questions, that’s all.”
After mulling over it for a bit, 061 figured he was telling the truth.
Chi Xiaochi himself was clearly also scared of ghosts.
Chi Xiaochi wanted to reach for his cup of black tea, but just as his fingers brushed the cup, the entire cup dissipated into bytes of data.
His fingers closed around nothing, his expression slightly dismayed.
061 especially liked it when Chi Xiaochi, this kind of sensible, clear-headed person, would unconsciously let out some childishness. A little laughter leaked into his voice, “It’s almost time to sleep. Don’t drink this.”
Chi Xiaochi tried to haggle with him, “I want to see whether Tang Huan’s office will release Yang Xiaoyan’s name tonight.”
061 said, “You are recording tomorrow, so you’ll have to be at your best.”
Chi Xiaochi remained unresigned. He was all smiles as he continued to act shamelessly, “I can nap in the car on the way.”
061 said, “I can turn off your electricity and internet.”
Chi Xiaochi said, “……Fine, dormitory teacher, you win.”
061 laughed, “This student, please quickly wash up and get ready for bed.”
As Chi Xiaochi prepared to get up, he asked offhandedly, “What story is the dorm teacher going to read tonight?”
061 answered, “《Harry Potter》.”
Chi Xiaochi suddenly fell silent.
Maintaining his half-upright position, he said, “Let’s change it.”
Chi Xiaochi’s expression gave 061 the feeling that he might have gone slightly too far this time.
However, since he knew what the problem was, he didn’t need to ask any questions.
061 nodded, simply taking it in stride, and corrected himself, “……Then we’ll continue reading 《The Straw House》.”
After getting Chi Xiaochi to sleep, 061 flipped open 《Harry Potter》. Searching with keywords, he looked up the storyline related to Sirius Black.
At about two in the morning, Chi Xiaochi shakily climbed out of bed.
061 thought he was just getting up to go to the bathroom, but he made a beeline to the small sofa and nestled himself in it.
061 had been absorbed in reading the book and hadn’t noticed Chi Xiaochi’s condition. It was only now that he realised that Chi Xiaochi’s pajamas had been completely soaked through with sweat, sticking to his body and clearly tracing out the lines of the thin ribs of Cheng Yuan’s body.
He hadn’t closed the window before going to sleep. There was a strong wind blowing from outside, filling the curtains and causing them to flutter up and down.
Chi Xiaochi watched the silhouette of the wind fill the curtains. Momentarily dazed, he said softly, “Lou-ge, it’s windy outside.”
Just as he said that, the window slowly closed.
061’s voice sounded, “Don’t be scared. I closed them. You’ve been sweating too much, so you can’t take the cold right now.”
Chi Xiaochi said, “I know it’s you.”
061 asked lightly, “Had a nightmare?”
Chi Xiaochi answered him, “It was a good dream.”
It was indeed a good dream.
The clacking noises of mahjong tiles drifted up from the first floor. Chi, Peng, Ting, the women shouted out in a sharp voices, as if doing this would make them luckier. The men enjoyed the cool breeze with their arms bare. In their mouths, were topics like oil prices and wars and how it affected their lives. They waved their palm-leaf fans and cracked open their melon seeds, each of them absorbed in their own fantasy getaways.
A floor above, Chi Xiaochi lay sprawled on the bed, him and Lou Ying each occupying one end.
A hot wind rose from outside, causing the windows to squeak.
The wind brought with it the damp smell of earth and blew over a cover of dark clouds. It was about to rain.
Chi Xiaochi said, “Lou-ge, it’s windy outside.”
Lou Ying looked up from his book and took a look outside the window, “It’s about to rain.”
Chi Xiaochi couldn’t care less about whether it was going to rain or not, deliberately raising a leg to poke at the spine of the book in Lou Ying’s hands, impatiently demanding he continue reading, “What happens next? What happened to Black in the end?”
The book was torn and tattered, but it had been carefully wrapped in a snow white book cover by Lou Ying. As Lou Ying’s long, slender, and neat fingers brushed across it, they looked incredibly well-matched.
He moved his gaze back to the book, his expression slightly complicated.
A moment later, he closed the book and sat up from the bed, “It’s too late today, I need to head back. I’ll start reading it to you again tomorrow.”
Chi Xiaochi said, “Just leave the book with me, I’ll read it myself.”
Lou Ying smiled. When he smiled, his eyes lit up.
“If I leave the book with you, will you sleep at all tonight? Don’t fuss.”
Chi Xiaochi was anxious now. He followed in getting up from the bed, “Do Harry and him get to stay together?”
“……What do you think?”
Chi Xiaochi furrowed his brows, “Of course they should get to stay together, they definitely have to stay together. He needs Harry, and Harry also needs him. But I somehow have the feeling that he’s going to die.”
Lou Ying placed the book back into his bag, “Don’t worry, he won’t die.”
Chi Xiaochi, “Really?”
Lou Ying said, “Really. I’ve read till the end. He doesn’t die, he’s perfectly fine.”
In the story, Sirius indeed didn’t die.He even appeared again later on in the series, just as witty and charming as before and just as considerate as before.
Even though Lou Ying fell to his death before the next installment of 《Harry Potter》came out, in the many years following, the Sirius in Chi Xiaochi’s mind remained the young man who, despite being battered by the many storms of life, was still bright-eyed.
He believed that up until the interview on the variety show where he was told that Black had died.
Before Harry’s very eyes, he’d fallen into the Veil and disappeared without a trace, not even leaving a corpse behind.
That companionship, where they stayed together through thick and thin, and that perfect, happy ending had been penned by Lou Ying in the style of the translator. It was a story he had written just for him.
……“Not everyone you like can live.”
This lesson was something Lou Ying hadn’t wanted Chi Xiaochi to learn so early on, but in the end, Chi Xiaochi had still learned.
Returning to the present.
061 didn’t say anything, leaving him sufficient time for silence.
Chi Xiaochi held a toothpick in his mouth as he mulled over something that was weighing on his mind.
As 061 watched Chi Xiaochi’s movements, his thoughts shifted slightly.
From what he knew about Chi Xiaochi, Chi Xiaochi had the habit of smoking.
Even though it couldn’t be considered an addiction, when he was thinking over things, he liked to hold a cigarette in his mouth.
Of course, the Cheng home wasn’t short of good cigarettes to entertain guests, but since Chi Xiaochi took over Cheng Yuan’s body, in order to protect his throat, he hadn’t touched a single one, other than the two times he smoked while testing Yang Baihua.
Having thought of this, 061’s heart softened considerably.
Chi Xiaochi was this patient and restrained, but when he was upset, he had no friends who could stay by his side to support him.
Absorbed in thought, Chi Xiaochi didn’t at all notice the slight fluctuation of data next to him.
061’s figure materialised, standing next to Chi Xiaochi.
That lonely soul curled up in Cheng Yuan’s body, quiet except for the soft, incessant sound of the toothpick being crushed between his teeth.
He extended a searching hand over to Chi Xiaochi’s shoulder, wanting to comfort him using the position of a new friend.
But his hand only made it halfway there before retracting it, only leaving some remnant traces of data that quietly flowed into Chi Xiaochi’s shoulder and disappeared.
……Fortunately, he remembered Chi Xiaochi’s intense aversion to touch in time and avoided some possible trouble.
Chi Xiaochi felt as if he’d sensed something and turned his head to look around, but was only met with an empty room shrouded in darkness.
Before he turned back around, the toothpick in his mouth unexpectedly disappeared and was replaced with a hint of strawberry-flavoured sweetness.
Chi Xiaochi let out a “wu”, and spat out the thing in his mouth.
Chi Xiaochi didn’t even need to think to know whose trick this was. He couldn’t help but laugh, “I’m not a child.”
061 said, “Isn’t it all the same no matter what you’re holding in your mouth?”
Thinking about it, Chi Xiaochi found it reasonable.He shoved the lollipop back into his mouth and started to slowly lick it.
He asked, “Where did this candy come from?”
061 said, “I got it in exchange for some of Yang Baihua’s goodwill points.”
Chi Xiaochi licked the lollipop as he criticised 061, “Liu-laoshi is setting an example in breaking rules. Where are your ethics as a teacher?”
061 coughed lightly, and went along with his little drama, saying, “My teacherly ethics are for when I’m dealing with students. Only you are my student, so I don’t care about others.”
Chi Xiaochi was extremely moved. Just as he was about to express his feelings, he heard his respected Liu-laoshi say, “After you finish that lollipop, go brush your teeth and take the opportunity to get some more sleep.”
Chi Xiaochi didn’t really feel like sleeping. He continued to slowly lick at his lollipop.
As 061 watched him eat the lollipop, unexpectedly, his face slowly heated up.
It seemed like Chi Xiaochi actually didn’t know how to eat lollipops properly. He held the lollipop up as he licked and bit at it. Especially with those eyes of his, which had once again been set on the “indifferent” setting. Paired with his movements, he let off an indescribably sensual aura.
In Chi Xiaochi’s hands, this proper lollipop could be said to have suffered all kinds of humiliation.
061 felt a little as if he couldn’t watch any longer, “……Eat properly.”
But Chi Xiaochi was rather unaware of how his actions seemed. He pulled the lollipop, its surface now glistening with saliva, out of his mouth, “En?”
Ah nevermind, nevermind. As long as he remembered to brush his teeth, it was fine.
Only when Chi Xiaochi got up the next morning, all refreshed, did he turn on his phone to realise that he’d missed out on some big drama last night.
……The plagiarist’s identity had been dug out.
As for why she had been exposed so quickly, Yang Xiaoyan was the one to blame.
On the internet, Yang Xiaoyan could also be considered a slightly famous composer, and adding on her vanity, the news about her songs being bought by Yundu was enough for her to brag about for an entire year.
“The new songs have been sold. This time, I finally have the money to buy the skirt I’ve wanted for so long [heart][heart][heart].”
——This post had been made on the same date shown in the contract provided by Yundu.
“Still creating~ I don’t know when I’ll finally be able to hear the finished product, await-ing.”
——On that same day, Tang Huan had sent out a Weibo, posting a photo of her in the recording studio.
Other than these, she forwarded Tang Huan’s giveaway as a celebration for her fifth anniversary and even added a comment under Tang Huan’s post about the release of her new songs, “Hahaha, finally heard it!”
Even though she hadn’t named whom she’d sold her new songs to, with the given timeline, all the clues pointed towards her.
There was no lack of idle people in this world. Furthermore, Tang Huan’s fans were frantically searching for the culprit who had made their idol carry the bad reputation of being a plagiarist, and were on the crusade, let alone Tang Huan’s employer, Yundu, who naturally wanted to shift the people’s attention onto another subject.
Just like this, Yang Xiaoyan was dragged out into the spotlight.
Since her full name had already been exposed, Tang Huan’s office simply struck the iron while it was still hot and updated their post on Weibo, releasing the letter of demand that had been drawn up by their lawyers that very night.
The defendant’s name was, astonishingly, Yang Xiaoyan.
Seeing the screenshots of the “hammer of truth” flying about everywhere, Chi Xiaochi expressed, without even a hint of sincerity, “Congratulations, you’ve become an instant hit, a center stage debut.”
He knew all too well that amongst the critics, those who were truly outraged by the plagiarism were very few.
What the netizens wanted was the drama, and what the company wanted were benefits, so Yang Xiaoyan needed to be sacrificed.
Of course, she’d brought it all on herself and couldn’t blame other people.
Chi Xiaochi’s plan had actually left her a way out.
——As long as she didn’t reach out a hand to steal, she wouldn’t have fallen into his trap no matter how elaborate Chi Xiaochi’s plans were.
Early in the morning, Yang Xiaoyan’s phone rang.
Last night, she had been tossing about in turmoil late into the night before she finally managed to fall asleep, and had yet to find out about how she’d already been stripped of a layer of skin on the internet.
Still in a groggy stupor, she picked up the phone, “……Hello?”
From the other end of the line came a courteous male voice, “May I ask if this is Miss Yang, Yang Xiaoyan?”
Yang Xiaoyan took a look at her phone, and finding that it was an unfamiliar number, thought it was the express delivery package she’d ordered the other day, muttered to herself why was it sent so early.
“Leave it at the door.”
“Miss Yang, this is the Dingshan People’s Court of Yunjing City,” the caller said, “I have here a civil case involving you that will be held on January 10th. Please come to the Dingshan People’s Court without delay to receive your summons for the hearing……”
Without waiting for him to finish, Yang Xiaoyan immediately hung up.
A moment later, the phone began to ring once more.
She hung up again and frantically blocked the number.
Summons? What summons?
Yundu’s summons? They were really suing her?
Her hands shook. She opened up Weibo, wanting to check out Yundu’s stance, but who would have thought that the moment she entered Weibo, a tidal wave of messages and comments directly crashed her phone.
“Hello plagiarising dog, have you gotten up yet? Have you suffered from a guilty conscience at all?”
“Music thief! Rat dung like yours is what stinks in this industry!”
After just seeing two messages, Yang Xiaoyan just exited Weibo, panicked to the point of trembling.
How did they find out it was her?
And that summons……
No, she wouldn’t accept it! She couldn’t accept it!
As long as she didn’t accept it, wouldn’t it be fine!? If she didn’t go, they wouldn’t be able to start the hearing and she could just get away with this situation……
It had been like that since she was young. When she went to someone else’s house to play and broke someone else’s things, she just needed to sneakily take it away or simply hide it and there wouldn’t be any problems……
Yang Xiaoyan didn’t dare to disturb her roommates who were still in bed, asleep. Tears ran down her face as she slid out of bed, squatted down in the bathroom, and dialed Yang Baihua’s number.
The moment she opened her mouth, she started sobbing bitter tears.
“Ge, what did Xiao Cheng-ge say…… Have you found him yet? Has he agreed to help me? Quickly come save me——”
sere: i love angst but i hate idiots. Also thanks everyone for the birthday wishes~~
baum: some advice lol, if you fail to show up to your hearing, i’m pretty sure they’ll just pass a judgement in your absence