Chapter Ch22.1 - Genius Cannonfodder’s Counterattack Record (22.1)
Of course Chi Xiaochi wouldn’t know about the Lord God’s anger.
In only one morning, he finished recording all three songs.
To Cheng Yuan, this kind of person with an impeccable music foundation, the only possible concern was that they wouldn’t be able to perfectly showcase the quality of his voice with the restrictions of a CD.
Lunch was on Cheng Jian that day. Su Xiulun and several staff members attended. Chi Xiaochi accompanied them the entire time, eating gracefully with his chopsticks.
He spoke little and was quiet, greatly contrasting his excellent technical skills.
Su Xiulun became more and more appreciative of this junior of his. Throughout the meal, he was constantly taking care of him and even gave him a few tips.
His tips had little to do with music itself, but rather involved interpersonal relationships, business contacts and such matters, all about work.
Chi Xiaochi listened seriously, silently noting them down.
Cheng Jian saw all of it.
After bidding Su Xiulun goodbye, Cheng Jian drove Chi Xiaochi home, chatting with him along the way.
“You’ve never shown an interest in matters like interpersonal relationships before.”
Chi Xiaochi opened the window slightly, preventing the heating in the car from becoming too warm and the water vapour from forming on the windscreen. “Mister Su is really enthusiastic, I should learn a bit from him too.”
Cheng Jian, “He even agreed to help you check the CCTV. This kind of thing usually wouldn’t be his responsibility.”
Chi Xiaochi asked, “Did they manage to find him?”
Cheng Jian, who had his conversation topic derailed, was a little uncomfortable, “……They checked, but they didn’t find the person you were talking about.”
061 also affirmed this statement, “I also checked. There really wasn’t.”
Chi Xiaochi was not at all surprised. He leaned back against his seat, thinking, sure enough, I was wrong again.
Cheng Jian saw the tired expression on his younger brother’s face. He knew that recording was tiring work. His heart softened quite a bit, but his mouth remained as unyielding as ever. He ordered, “Close your eyes, rest.”
Chi Xiaochi closed his eyes obediently. He pulled over the blanket on the backseat, spread it flat, then rolled, wrapping himself up like a sushi roll.
Cheng Jian’s heart shook from the cuteness of his younger brother’s actions. Thinking back to all the things he had experienced over the past few days, he felt that it had all been so sudden but also was glad.
……Fortunately, his younger brother woke up from his infatuated pipe dream in time.
People like Yang Baihua looked gentle and harmless, but in reality were extremely selfish. Obviously, he didn’t not like Cheng Yuan, but the person he loved the most was himself.
He wanted to make Cheng Yuan stay, not by actively participating in a life with Cheng Yuan, but by using inciting words, peeling Cheng Yuan out of his original friend circle and reducing him to someone utterly dependent on himself.
He protected his younger cousin Yang Xiaoyan, not because of their deep sibling relationship, but because “if she got into trouble, it would be hard for him to defend himself”, and Yang Xiaoyan knew of his shameful secret.
And he himself was an incompetent older brother. He’d obviously noticed so many indicators beforehand, but didn’t think to find his younger brother and have a good talk with him, only trying to tear the two lovers apart, which naturally resulted in just the opposite effect, giving him no other choice but to look on helplessly as they became closer and closer.
If not for that housing incident causing a conflict between Yang Baihua and Cheng Yuan, Cheng Jian could hardly imagine what would’ve happened.
The entire way home, Cheng Jian thought a lot.
The sushi roll in the backseat had his eyes closed while resting, but was not in the least sleepy.
The afternoon sun was shining strongly. Upon closing one’s eyes, one could only see a swath of bright red; veins illuminated by the light shining through their translucent eyelids.
But after a moment, the swath of annoying red gradually faded away.
Chi Xiaochi had a feeling, “k2026;k2026;Liu-laoshi.”
“Like this, you can rest a little more comfortably,” Next to his ear sounded 061’s low voice. “For now, don’t think about other things.”
Chi Xiaochi said, “I was focused on soaking in the sun.”
061, “k2026;k2026;But you’re frowning.”
Chi Xiaochi shut his eyes. Like a huckster, he spoke calmly, “I’m experiencing the slow process of becoming cured meat.”
Chi Xiaochi, “If you want to laugh, just laugh. No need to hold back.”
061 let out a laugh. His pleasant laughter also made the corners of Chi Xiaochi’s mouth rise slightly.
After returning home, Chi Xiaochi, as usual, played the piano for two hours, then went downstairs and popped some popcorn in preparation to eat while watching the movie tonight.
But compared to Chi Xiaochi’s leisure, some people’s lives were not as good.
Yang Xiaoyan had her head lowered as she entered the canteen from the southeast door, which had the least traffic.
She asked for a serving of small wonton and picked a quiet corner to sit down. Before she could even have two mouthfuls, she heard snippets of hushed, eager discussions spring up from all around her.
“……her, it’s her.”
“You can’t see her face though?”
“You need to see her face, it’s on Weibo. She deleted the photo album herself, but it seems someone was a step ahead of her and took a screenshot.”
“……It really is her, I even shared a class with her on Marxism last year.”
“Tang Huan’s fans are also quite crazy though. A whole crowd of people came to our school and overloaded the school website’s bandwidth, showering it in abuse, one after another. I tried to put in a few good words for our school and got more than a dozen private messages cursing me.”
“Whose fault is it, a pile of rat shit……”
After a few bites, Yang Xiaoyan couldn’t eat any more. Just as she was about to get up and leave, she saw a girl from her dorm enter the canteen and coincidentally make eye contact with her.
That girl walked over, “Yang Xiaoyan, the counselor is looking for you. He wants you to visit his office.”
Yang Xiaoyan’s legs turned to jelly. She instinctively took to her heels and ran.
The girl shouted after her from behind, “Where are you going? ……Hey! I passed on the message like I was told to, so I’m done, okay?!”
Yang Xiaoyan didn’t dare listen further, directly rushing out of the canteen.
She didn’t dare to return to the dorm, and especially not the counselor’s office. In her nineteen years of life, this was Yang Xiaoyan’s first time feeling sincere panic, suffering, despair, and regret. The many emotions suffocated her, making her unable to breathe.
Finally, Yang Xiaoyan squatted by the door of the sports field equipment storehouse, sobbing as she dialled her father’s number, “Papa, papa, come quickly…… I’m in trouble, I’m begging you, please come quickly——”
That night, Chi Xiaochi deliberately only ate till he was half-full, saving room in his stomach for popcorn.
061 didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at Chi Xiaochi’s carefree attitude, “Is there really no problem with not paying attention to that matter?”
Chi Xiaochi shot back, “What problem could happen?”
That afternoon, the blue bar representing regret level rose sharply by 10 points. Following that, Yang Baihua called him quite a few times, which Chi Xiaochi ignored.
At the time, Chi Xiaochi thought that Yang Baihua, this face-loving person, had just had a fight with him that morning and needed a period of buffer time. There was no reason to believe that he turned over a new leaf so quickly. Something must definitely have happened.
Sure enough, a message from Yang Baihua confirmed Chi Xiaochi’s suspicions, “My parents know about us now.”
Chi Xiaochi said to 061, “Ha, I knew it.”
Immediately after, he responded to Yang Baihua in a friendly manner, “Congratulations on successfully coming out of the closet.”
Yang Baihua didn’t respond for a long time. Chi Xiaochi could even imagine the look on his face. He must look like he’d eaten a fly.
His next text came a few minutes later. “They’re really angry.”
Chi Xiaochi, “Oh.”
Yang Baihua became angry, “Back then, you were the one who bent me.”
Chi Xiaochi threw a report from the American Psychological Association on the impossibility of trying to change someone’s sexual orientation at him, and rationally discussed with him, “I could have bent you, but I couldn’t have made you hard.”
Yang Baihua once again fell silent for quite a while. He must have suffered a big fright this time.
Compared to Chi Xiaochi, who was enthusiastically playing Yang Baihua, 061 actually wasn’t feeling very optimistic.
From Cheng Yuan’s original memories, it seemed that the old Yang couple, especially the mother, were by no means fuel-efficient lamps.
To 061’s uneasiness, Chi Xiaochi expressed his understanding, “I know. After all, someone who can come up with the idea of letting their son serve as a free duck for a few years just so their entire family can immigrate over is really a talented person.”
061 said, “But you’ve just entered a career growth period.”
Chi Xiaochi rubbed his chin, talking to himself, “En. To Cheng Yuan, this is indeed a problem.”
061 continued his analysis, “The situation has changed, and their attitudes have naturally changed as well: When Cheng Yuan was in dire straits, it was the Cheng family who came to beg for their help and the Yang family also planned to exploit that. Both families could be considered to have benefited equally. But now, the Yang family is at a disadvantage; for Yang Xiaoyan’s sake, they might try to threaten you with the love affair you had with Yang Baihua.”
061 said, “You’ve just entered a career growth period and still need to consider your public image. The barefoot aren’t afraid of those wearing shoes, who knows what they’ll do.”
This world was very similar to Chi Xiaochi’s original world. Rainbow flags were waving all over the internet, but in real life, the acceptance of homosexuality wasn’t very high. Of the stars who openly admitted their sexual orientation, many suffered from being buried by their companies.
After a moment of contemplation, Chi Xiaochi said something very meaningful, “Who’s barefoot, and who’s wearing shoes, has yet to be decided.”
After that, he made a call to Cheng Jian and told him the whole story.
Cheng Jian wasn’t very surprised to hear this but still let out a few curses on the inside, “I understand. Ge will help you……”
“Ge, this matter isn’t insignificant, so I don’t want to hide it from you,” Chi Xiaochi said, “But…… This time, I want to deal with it myself.”
Cheng Jian was left a little stunned. He answered with a few “en”s and “ah”s, hung up the phone, and stared at the French windows for a long time in a daze.
……How did his family’s Xiao Yuan grow up so quickly.
It was really very fast, almost as if it happened overnight.
Seeing Chi Xiaochi hang up the call, 061 was very curious, “Since you plan on dealing with it yourself, why did you need to go out of your way to tell Cheng Jian?”
“Many people feel that family members’ hearts are connected, so there are many people teaching all kinds of tricks for communicating with bosses, classmates, colleagues and friends, but very few people teaching how to get along with family members. In fact, in the process of getting along with family, communication is very important,” Chi Xiaochi said, “Speaking up is only the first step.”
This sudden mouthful of chicken soup for the soul made 061 a little confused, but in retrospect, he found it somewhat strange.
These words of Chi Xiaochi’s weren’t for himself to hear, rather, it seemed like he was specially explaining something to someone.
However, Chi Xiaochi didn’t speak on his thoughts again, so 061 didn’t ask further.
Just like this, a human and a system waited until the dead of night before pulling up the curtains, turning off the lights, and settling down with popcorn to watch a horror movie.
From the last time they’d watched horror movies together, 061 had accumulated some experience. As soon as the ghost came out, he would take the initiative to turn down the volume.
After he did this twice, Chi Xiaochi said, “What are you doing? You’re looking down on me, aren’t you.”
061, “Aren’t you afraid of……”
Chi Xiaochi said, “If you want to mute it, just mute it. You don’t think these kinds of vague scares are actually scary, do you?”
061 turned the volume back to a normal level.
At that moment, the little girl ghost suddenly scuttled out from underneath the car and grabbed the protagonist’s leg.
Chi Xiaochi cried out at the top of his lungs, his scream even more wretched than the protagonist’s.
He said sadly, “Liu-laoshi, I never thought you were this kind of teacher. Where are your teacherly ethics?”
061 hadn’t actually expected the previous scare and the next one to come so close together, but he was also used to roleplaying with Chi Xiaochi. He went along with it, saying, “This teacher has looked after so many students, yet this is the first time anyone has said that I lack teacherly ethics.”
Chi Xiaochi said, “You don’t have teacherly ethics.”
061 raised the volume.
Chi Xiaochi immediately said, “Teacher, I was wrong. Please give me another chance to be a proper person.”
061 and Chi Xiaochi chatted back and forth for more than an hour. The horror movies ended with happy chatter and laughter.
After washing up and going back to bed, Chi Xiaochi checked up on Yang Baihua’s regret level and found that the amount was already reaching 80.
Chi Xiaochi wasn’t at all surprised by this result.
Hatred was clearly more effective than love in promoting a negative emotion like “regret”.
Seeming to think of something, he asked 061, “Has no one ever played it like I have before?”
061 said, “From what I know, no one has.”
Chi Xiaochi was curious, “Why?”
061 said, “Fear of the situation spiralling out of control, fear of collapsing the character setting, fear of regret level not being calculated like this, and as such, waste their effort and just barely fall short of success.”
But Chi Xiaochi asked, “Exactly that. Don’t you think there’s something wrong with that?”
“…….This kind of mentality should be normal.”
“I’m not talking about mentality. I’m talking about quantity,” Chi Xiaochi propped himself up with a hand behind his head, “Humans have a thousand different facets: Impulsive, calm, not caring about consequences, overcautious, adrenaline junkies, safe and self-abiding, fierce, mild, decisive, hesitant…… There are all kinds of people. But why is it that I feel like all these hosts’ overcautious personalities are all carved out of the same mold?”
sere: im shook what a conspiracy. Also that foreshadowing tho…
baum: I love how this author actually foreshadows stuff. I’m pretty sure every twist is hinted at beforehand (hint hint for the readers who like theorising )
also, the lovely seinonono from the CG discord group (please join us~) made some fanart <3