Chapter 23 - Genius Cannonfodder’s Counterattack Record (End)
translator: baumkuchen editors: glitterypanda, serefina
Fortunately, Yang Baihua’s mother didn’t have any heart problems, or else there was an eighty percent chance hearing his remarks would make her fall over in a dead faint.
She practically roared in a sharp voice, “You little brat! How can you be this shameless!”
Chi Xiaochi replied modestly, “I don’t dare, I don’t dare, in this respect, you, madam, are my senior.”
Yang Baihua’s mother was angered to the point of gasping for breath.
She was also well known for being a shrew in her village. When she was young and pregnant with her second daughter, even while carrying around her big belly, she could still squabble with the neighbours across the street for an entire afternoon. If she got angry, she would just start pelting her rage down on everyone. She didn’t believe in holding back her anger.
Yang Baihua knew his mother all too well. Once she got angry, her next move would definitely be to go on the attack. When the security guards rushed in, it would be obvious at first glance who they would apprehend.
He held his mother back. As he was anxiously persuading her, he was dying to just shrink his head back into his neck, “Ma, leave it, just leave it.”
“Leave it my ass!”
Just as Yang Baihua’s mother was going to flare up, she heard Chi Xiaochi slowly say from across them, “Madam, it’d be best if you took it easy. If I were to disclose your son’s matters, the one thing I can say for sure is that for the next half of your life, you won’t be able to win any argument you get into in your village.”
061, who had been watching the entire time, currently only had one thought: This mouth of Chi Xiaochi’s had probably been blessed by an improper arhat.
In the end, Yang Baihua retreated in total defeat, dragging along his mother, who was angry beyond words, narrowly bumping into a waiter who had been attracted by the noise. He was met with an audience of contemptuous and disgusted gazes from all the diners in the restaurant.
Meanwhile, Chi Xiaochi, staying in the private room, had his face blocked by the bamboo curtain, perfectly avoiding all repercussions.
He gained 11 regret points and a dinner no one but him had touched.
The waiter entered the private room and asked Chi Xiaochi if he needed anything else.
Chi Xiaochi said, “I’d like a martini. Also, remove these two sets of cutlery.”
Since the troublemakers had left, the waiter did as he was told and collected the cutlery and left.
061, “They’ve all left, these dishes……”
Chi Xiaochi, “I’ll eat them. Anyways, all the dishes I ordered were the ones I like.”
061, “……” Okay.
After a while, 061 then asked, “What if she had lost her temper and started a fight out of shame and frustration?”
Chi Xiaochi answered instantaneously, “First, smash this sweet and sour pork into her face, then call the police.”
Chi Xiaochi, “What, at that point, would I still need to reason with her? I’d placed my hand under the plate long in advance. If she had dared to make a move, I would have dared to make a mess of her face.”
061 joked, “Warrior Chi, please accept my bow.”
Chi Xiaochi, “You may rise.”
061, “……” Something seems wrong here.
Now that the hindrances were gone, the private room immediately fell into an oppressive silence.
Chi Xiaochi was very used to this kind of silence.
When he was alone, his movements were very elegant. After undergoing strict training as a model, even when relaxed, his body would automatically make poses that would make for a good photograph from all angles.
Like a tourist, he looked down at the city’s nightscape from its highest point.
……This was a very good place, but it couldn’t be his final destination, merely a pitstop on his journey.
Chi Xiaochi said, “It’s really good like this now.”
061 looked at the progress bar that transitioned from a light blue to a dark blue, showing a regret level of 94. It was hard to hide his gratification, “Yes. This is really good.”
Chi Xiaochi continued, “The Yang family and Yang Baihua won’t bother you anymore. Su Xiulun really approves of how you are using livestreams to gain popularity. This form of public performance that doesn’t require you to directly face an audience is really suited to you, you can adapt slowly.”
At first, 061 had still thought he was talking to himself, but as he listened, he found it a little strange, “Who are you talking to?”
Chi Xiaochi asked, “Is there not a practice of seniors guiding juniors amongst you systems? I’m currently guiding him.”
061, “Guiding who?”
Chi Xiaochi, “Cheng Yuan.”
This time, 061 was really stunned, “……Say what? Cheng Yuan, he’s already……”
Chi Xiaochi said, “Liu-laoshi, let me ask you a question. If Cheng Yuan really is already dead, why is it that I can use his musical talent even without using skill cards?”
061 still couldn’t quite accept it, “Thisk2026;k2026;”
“I asked 009 another question,” Chi Xiaochi said, “Why did the Lord God choose me, and why did he choose Cheng Yuan. 009 said he didn’t know.”
He said, “Even to this day, I still haven’t found the answer to this question. However, since the Lord God can extend his power to all worlds, disregarding what energy is used to support its operation, for Cheng Yuan to be able to choose rebirth and return to the past, there’s no way that he wouldn’t have to pay a price. Just like how I had to sign a contract and have to complete ten tasks before I can go back.”
“In light of these two questions, may I make a hypothesis?” Chi Xiaochi said, “Cheng Yuan is like me, he’s signed a contract with the Lord God. But the contract he signed is about renting out his own body. During the lease period, he cannot express any opinions, only maintain his consciousness and stay hidden within the body. Only when his talent is needed, would he be allowed to appear.”
He suddenly understood now, why, when 009 switched places with him, he had cried to him about how Chi Xiaochi had told him a horror story.
If Chi Xiaochi’s hypothesis was true, then didn’t it mean that before, the moment a host chose the death route……
Chi Xiaochi said to 061, “009 had the same reaction when I said this to him. ……So none of you have ever thought of this before?”
061 was silent.
He’d been reformatted before, and had long since forgotten if he’d ever thought of this question before. He could only vaguely remember that his experience had been passed on by his senior systems.
All the systems he knew abided by this unwritten rule, namely, that one must follow the original course of events, not deviate from the norm, not break any pre-existing character settings, remain stable, and end it off with death.
061 could already be considered one of the more tolerant systems in his generation of systems.
If it had been any other system, the moment Chi Xiaochi said to Yang Baihua “Does it cost you” they would have stopped him and made him stop playing around like that, as the risk was too high.
The more 061 thought about it, the more alarmed he became.
If the original host really had signed some contract and stayed in this body, watching as the people who were supposed to help them fulfill their last wishes once again suffer humiliation at the hands of the scum gongs, unable to say anything no matter how much they wanted to, unable to voice their complaints no matter what grievances they suffered, and in the end still dying in the arms of the scum gongs……
061’s silence fell within Chi Xiaochi’s expectations.
He held up his martini, looking at the faraway lights of tens of thousands of houses. He thought meaningfully, this Lord God who schemed about all of this behind everyone’s back, was really very interesting.
Soon after, 061 asked, “Do you want to test your hypothesis?”
“How would we test it?”
“Every time the host dies, we require the target’s regret level to reach its maximum to drive the extraction process so we can extract the host’s consciousness. This time, when the regret level is full, I’ll immediately pull you out of his body. I want to see the follow-up, to see if without you, whether Cheng Yuan will die, or……”
Chi Xiaochi said, “Of course, that’s fine with me.”
He then said, “As for Cheng Yuan, I can’t guarantee whether he will live or die. But I feel, the heavens sent me here, probably because they also hope that he’ll be able to live a good life.”
Upon hearing this, many details sprung to 061’s mind.
Chi Xiaochi wasn’t willing to smoke or eat spicy foods, saying that he was afraid of ruining Cheng Yuan’s voice.
Apart from when acting as Cheng Yuan was necessary, Chi Xiaochi never privately regarded himself as Cheng Yuan.
When Chi Xiaochi was dealing with Yang Baihua, he cleanly removed Cheng Yuan from the situation.
Even when he was livestreaming, or having a meal with Su Xiulun, he was considerably restrained, remaining quiet and of few words, his manner just like that of Cheng Yuan’s.
The more 061 thought about it, the more alarmed he became.
Perhaps from the very beginning, Chi Xiaochi’s thinking had never been limited by a narrow mindset. Every step of the way, he’d pushed the situation in the direction he hoped for, all for the sake of a mere guess.
——Cheng Yuan might still be living in some corner of this body. Maybe he still had another chance to start over.
As Chi Xiaochi looked out at the scenery beyond the window, 061 looked at him.
Previously, 061 had thought he was a rational person, with a hint of childishness, and at times even a little roguish. But now, the Chi Xiaochi who was enjoying the night view all alone, was gentle enough to make his heart turn soft.
Over the next few days, Yang Baihua’s regret level stayed above the nineties, steadily rising.
The day Yang Xiaoyan received her sentence, the regret level reached 100.
Yundu had invested too much into publicising the fifth anniversary of Tang Huan’s debut. Now it had become a common joke inside and outside the industry, someone had to compensate for the loss.
After all, what had been hurt, was Yundu’s number one huadan, their money basket, their star performer.
According to the contract, the party in breach of contract was to compensate the other party for all losses incurred by said breach of contract. With Tang Huan’s commercial value, the damaged reputation of the brokerage company, as well as the plagiarised songs, all together, Yang Xiaoyan needed to compensate Tang Huan’s side for their total losses amounting to 9.215 million yuan.
The moment the result of the trial came out, Yang Xiaoyan burst into tears on the spot, collapsing onto the defendant’s stand, and pulled out her last resort, saying that she couldn’t afford to compensate the losses, and would commit suicide because she didn’t want to live anymore, and was slapped by her father.
The court of law turned into a mess, leaving only a haggard Yang Baihua, who had only a little bit of knowledge of law, to express that they wanted to appeal.
Based on Chi Xiaochi’s prediction, Yundu just wanted the first instance decision to redeem the company’s and Tang Huan’s reputation. As for the follow-up, if Yang Xiaoyan truly couldn’t afford the compensation, the sum of money might still be able to be reduced a little.
But as things stood, no matter the outcome of the second trial, that sum of compensation would let Yang Baihua shine till he burned out, devoting his entire life to his most beloved, utterly inseparable family.
That night, after ending a livestream, Chi Xiaochi received his transmission.
Before leaving, he lay on the bed, and spoke to Cheng Yuan, whose fate was still uncertain.
“If you can still live on after I’ve left, that would be the best outcome. I’ve done everything I could to pave the way for you.
“At the stage you’re at, livestreaming is the most acceptable method for you. You need to slowly get used to interacting with people and being able to play and sing in front of others. Maybe in the future, you’ll even be able to hold concerts.
“I definitely won’t be able to see your future concerts. If you can live on, every time you hold a concert, just leave me a front-row ticket, that’ll be sufficient thanks.”
After that, he was extracted from the world by 061.
As his consciousness gradually faded, Chi Xiaochi felt a little regret.
To this day, he hadn’t been able to find the “Lou Ying” that he had caught a glimpse of in Xingyun’s main hall that day.
But no matter whether it was an illusion or was real, as long as it was Lou Ying, he was bound to have a good life in that world.
About half an hour after he left, Auntie Chen made her way upstairs, carrying a platter of fruit. Upon knocking on the door and finding no response, she pushed it open, only to find Cheng Yuan boiling hot, shivering with his quilt in his arms.
Shocked, she immediately called for Cheng Jian, “Quickly come and see, how did Xiao Cheng get such a bad fever?”
After a long period of dizzy feverishness, Cheng Yuan opened his eyes to see Auntie Chen and Cheng Jian keeping watch by his headboard.
His voice was full of the hoarseness of a sick person, “Auntie Chen.”
Auntie Chen knocked some ice out of an ice tray, wrapped it in a towel, and placed it on Cheng Yuan’s forehead, “Young master, don’t speak. Look at your voice, it’s become so hoarse.”
Cheng Yuan burst into tears, “……Auntie Chen, I want to eat Sichuan fish.”
Auntie Chen was distressed by his crying, taking a clean towel to wipe at his tears, “Fish are contain a lot of heat, it wouldn’t be good for you to eat it now. When Xiao Yuan is better, Auntie Cheng will make you a big pot, all just for you to eat.”
Cheng Jian, standing off to the side, said, “How old are you already, still crying? Isn’t it embarrassing?”
Cheng Yuan turned his head towards him, calling out softly, “……Ge.”
Cheng Jian was a little uncomfortable, “En.”
Cheng Yuan reached out and grabbed his hand, his palm dripping with cold sweat, “Ge, I was wrong. I shouldn’t have quarrelled with you for Yang Baihua’s sake, I……”
Cheng Jian took the towel from Auntie Chen’s hand, and wiped off his palm.
“……It’s alright,” he said, “It’s all already in the past. As long as you’ve come home, everything will be alright.”
At the same time, in the Lord God’s “Space Between Moments”, the digital board sent back the notice of the completion of Chi Xiaochi’s task.
Host number: No. 1198
Host name: Chi Xiaochi
World Difficulty Level Assessment: C-Grade (Novice level)
Degree of world completion: 100
Host status assessment: All functions are fine and stable, can be transmitted at any time.
Total entropy level: 489 (Below average of 3250)
The Lord God didn’t like this terrifyingly low number.
But after waiting for half a day, he found that there was a missing value.
He questioned in a heavy voice, “What about contractor 2396’s entropy points?”
His exclusive AI responded, “Contractor 2396, Cheng Yuan. Resulting entropy points are zero.”
The Lord God laughed, utterly enraged, “Do you still have any worse news?”
The AI continued, “If the host leaves the contractor’s body while the body is still in living condition, as per the regulations, the contract between us and the contractor will be automatically terminated.”
In other words, the enormous amount of energy that had been used to push back the timeline, was completely in vain.
This news finally made the Lord God erupt in anger, “……How did this happen?!”
To the Lord God, the contractors, just like hosts, were an indispensable source of energy.
They were found by systems, extracted to the Lord God’s space at the point of their demise. When signing the contract, they were often filled with immense hatred.
And in the Lord God’s contract, the terms were exceedingly attractive.
“Select a specialist to serve you, and help you relive your life.”
Yet exactly because of this, they had to stay in their body, and look on helplessly as they watched the host walk down a path exceedingly similar to their own, even spreading their legs for the person they hated most in their life……
This kind of unresolvable hatred could even make their accumulated entropy level several or even tens of times higher than that of the host, completely offsetting the entropy points consumed by the system while adjusting the timeline.
But now, the Lord God had spent tens of thousands of entropy points, but only obtained a pitiful 489 entropy points from this world.
This business transaction had been too costly. If the Lord God had underwear, he would probably have already had to pull them off and sell them to compensate for his losses.
The AI felt the enormous energy fluctuations emitted by the Lord God, “……Is Master angry?”
The Lord God didn’t say a word.
The AI continued to speak, “If you’re angry, you can reset contractor Cheng Yuan’s timeline. But I need to remind you, if you reset it, you need to reverse the timeline back to before Chi Xiaochi came, so you’ll lose double the entropy points; from the first time, and from resetting. Furthermore, you can only reformat the system, you’ll have no way of wiping the contractor or the host’s memories —— this means, if you blindly reverse it, the contractor has an 87.5% chance of choosing to cancel the contract.”
The Lord God, “Shut up.”
He was truly enraged. His tone was heavy, exactly like the low roar of a beast before it attacked.
The Lord God’s entropy stock was huge, but he couldn’t tolerate loss, and especially couldn’t tolerate his authority being challenged.
——No. 1198, Chi Xiaochi, was the very first person to challenge the rules he’d set .
At that moment, the AI said, “061 sent back a message, saying he’s already made the preparations for transmission.”
The enraged Lord God gradually suppressed his anger.
He didn’t plan on wasting any more energy on Cheng Yuan. He was an astute brain, and wouldn’t allow further losses to occur.
……But Chi Xiaochi was still within his grasp, wasn’t he.
The Lord God let out a low, triumphant laugh.
Not wasting a moment, he completed Chi Xiaochi’s transmission into the next world.
Chi Xiaochi was shocked awake by a sharp burst of pain.
After closing his eyes and carefully feeling with his senses, Chi Xiaochi deduced that this body currently had at least two broken ribs.
He wasn’t in a hospital, but lying on a bed in a bedroom.
By the texture of the mattress beneath him, this bed should be the extremely expensive, each inch of land worth an inch of gold, type.
But his surroundings were extremely dark, with almost no light whatsoever. The curtains were drawn and it was as quiet as a grave. The only thing in the room that could make a decent amount of noise was the IV drip bottle by his bed.
Chi Xiaochi struggled out, “Liu-laoshi, let’s put an end to our teacher-student relationship.”
061 also didn’t know what was going on. The first thing he did was to help Chi Xiaochi block the pain. He then opened up the information board in preparation to receive the plot of this world.
Then, he saw something unbelievable.
World Difficulty Assessment…… A-grade?
The author has something to say:
Successfully ended the first world √
The next world is about the fickle, violent, An Jiahe-level business big shot x weak, timid, punching bag young bride
sere: shook yall we are done with this arc!! Sudden revelation there at the end was very !!!-feeling.
baum: did anyone see that twist coming? there were clues scattered throughout this arc~ I’m so glad Cheng Yuan has another chance at life TT~TT Also, despite how scheming and badass CXC is, he’s really a very kind person <3 (i love him so much omg)
Anyways, that’s it for Arc 1! See you guys next week for the new arc~