translator: baumkuchen editors: serefina, verywronganswer, aroma
Taking advantage of his precious time away from Yang Baihua, Chi Xiaochi finished arranging the official demos of 《Innermost Feelings》, 《Love You》, and《Autumn Thoughts》one by one.
Cheng Yuan had come up with the song names after much careful deliberation. If he were to distribute them, they had to have, and could only have, these three names.
Cheng Yuan’s golden finger was incredibly useful. As long as Chi Xiaochi thought of creating music, innumerable melodies would surface in his mind, thus, such work wasn’t very difficult for him.
After he finished recording the last song, Chi Xiaochi laid down in bed and expressed in his user review, “It makes me feel as if I’m an artist.”
061 laughed, “Weren’t you already one before?”
Due to the suspension bridge effect after spending a night watching horror movies together, the bond between the two “brothers-in-arms” was strengthened, so their conversations went much smoother.
Chi Xiaochi said, “Before, I was a slag student with only high school qualifications, but now in the blink of an eye, I’ve gotten a bachelor’s degree.”
061 said, “... ...So a student who was awarded year-long scholarships for three years in a row can be called a slag student.”
Chi Xiaochi said faintly, “So you even know my grades. Which one of my interviews did you learn that from?”
061, “... ...” It’s become routine.
Chi Xiaochi sighed, “Watching my movies and now even searching up my interviews. Brainless fans are really scary.”
061, “... ...” I’m not, I didn’t, really, I’m a proper system.
In a deathbed struggle, 061 argued, “I just wanted to understand you, to optimise task efficiency.”
Chi Xiaochi rolled over onto his back so that he faced the ceiling and didn’t reply.
His silence made 061 suddenly feel a little flustered. He realised that he hadn’t phrased his previous words very nicely, and tried to correct himself, “......You’re not just a task to me.”
These were words from his heart.
Chi Xiaochi was his eleventh host.
But to the hosts, in these unfamiliar worlds where they were utterly lost and alone, their system was the only thing they could rely on.
Even though he had been reformatted once before, 061 still had a lingering feeling. He knew that every time he had to part from a host was never a very pleasant experience.
061 had wanted to be a cold, unfeeling system, exactly because he didn’t want to feel the sadness of parting anymore.
But it seemed like he still couldn’t do it.
Chi Xiaochi said, “You don’t need to explain anymore.”
Chi Xiaochi said faintly, “I actually lost your love and affection so quickly.”
Chi Xiaochi sighed, “I’m no longer that Mister Chi whom you loved so much.”
061, “......” I shouldn’t have bothered worrying about you.
However, he also breathed a sigh of relief.
Chi Xiaochi wasn’t quite the same as the rest of hosts he’d taken on before. Even though he spoke childishly, he acted independently and calmly.
As this kind of person, even though he came up with a lot of weird ideas, he was very capable of understanding the pros and cons of his actions.
His will to return to his original world was very strong. Even if they had to say goodbye in the future, it wouldn’t be too hard on them.
After fulfilling his desire for drama, Chi Xiaochi fell back into his “silent sage mode”.
He reached out a hand and groped around the head of the bed for his sleeping pills before realising that the bottle was empty.
Chi Xiaochi got up, preparing to change his clothes.
061, “Where are you going? All the pharmacies are closed by now.”
Chi Xiaochi said, “Then I’ll find a club to dance at. Dance until the pharmacies open again.”
Cheng Yuan’s body wasn’t made of iron. In order to finish the demos, he hadn’t slept for three consecutive days. Now he was going out to play. What if he danced himself to death? If that happened, how was he going to fill in his work report? “The host died from playing too hard”?
061 felt helpless. He said, “Lie down.”
Chi Xiaochi said delightedly, “Liuliu, are you going to give me a free Hypnosis card?”
061, “......” Who’s Liuliu.
Chi Xiaochi guessed what 061 was thinking, “I’ve been mulling it over for a while, calling you Zero or One wouldn’t be very good since it would cause misunderstandings.”
Chi Xiaochi, “So in the end Liuliu sounds the best.”
061 let out a deep sigh.
Fine, Liuliu it is then.
He said, “You’re very dependent on pills, and it’s not good for your body. How about this, every night before you sleep, I’ll read to you. Who knows, it might help a bit. Even if you can’t fall asleep, listening to me read won’t be boring.”
This time, Chi Xiaochi was truly silent.
061 asked, “Is this okay?”
Chi Xiaochi placed the coat he picked up back into the wardrobe and sat back down on the bed. “This is some really good service. Have all your previous hosts enjoyed this kind of treatment?”
061 answered mildly, “You’re the only one I’ve met who can’t fall asleep.”
Chi Xiaochi lay down on the bed, one hand behind his head. He said, “......Alright.”
“What book do you want to listen to? I’ll go back to the system lobby to download it and be back in five minutes.”
“《Harry Potter》.” After saying the title of the book, Chi Xiaochi hesitated, “No, not 《Harry Potter》.”
The system patiently waited for his response.
Soon, Chi Xiaochi confidently articulated his book of choice, “People’s Education Press’ Senior Ideology and Politics for Students of China.”
061, “......Wait a moment.”
The system left for five minutes, before returning on time.
He opened up the book, lightly coughed twice, and started reading out loud.
061’s voice was originally a very pleasant, youthful voice. His carefully softened voice was more like fresh vines coiled around a tree, its leaves and branches, lightly warmed by the light of the sun, forming a gentle embrace, wrapping up Chi Xiaochi’s consciousness.
Chi Xiaochi closed his eyes, curling up into the blanket, “Teacher, which high school do you work at? If you teach me politics, I promise I won’t fall asleep.”
061 smiled softly, “You really won’t sleep?” Chi Xiaochi didn’t look at all like a well-behaved student.
Chi Xiaochi smiled along with him, “Only if you can control me.”
“How can I control you?”
Chi Xiaochi said, “You just need to be good-looking.”
061 gently smiled.
He himself didn’t know what he looked like. Systems’ self-perception abilities were shut off all year round. Even if he looked into a mirror, he would only be able to see a sheet of mosaic.
Furthermore, he didn’t want to control Chi Xiaochi. As long as he was happy and the task was completed quickly, the progress on his side would also be accelerated.
——After completing 200 tasks, he would be able to terminate his contract with the main system.
When that time came, he could finally catch that appointment.
But it seemed like he was already late, many years late, late to the point that he had an accident and had his memories reformatted.
However, it didn’t matter. As long as he returned to his original world, he would probably be able to remember.
061 connected to the indoor lighting system, dimmed the lights in the room, and corrected Chi Xiaochi’s sleeping posture, “Close your eyes and put your hand down, if you keep propping yourself up, you won’t be able to sleep well.”
Chi Xiaochi closed his eyes, but his hand still stayed behind his head under the pillow.
In a small voice, he said, “If it’s Lou Ying, that also works.”
——If someone wanted to control him, they needed to be good-looking or be Lou Ying, nothing else.
061 didn’t quite hear him and asked, “What?”
Chi Xiaochi didn’t speak any further, and 061 just continued reading until Chi Xiaochi’s breathing slowly evened out and a slight flush returned to his pale, bloodless face.
061 didn’t disturb him. By checking his body data, he confirmed that Chi Xiaochi was indeed asleep.
Gratified, 061 thought, seems like it works.
Three seconds later, the lights went out.
The next day, the well-rested Chi Xiaochi placed the master demos he’d recorded into a paper bag, prepared a meal, and brought them to Cheng Jian’s office.
Seeing Chi Xiaochi with an apron tied neatly around his waist, expertly beating eggs in a bowl and pouring them into a pan, 061 was shocked.
......He really did know how to cook.
Cheng Jian, after seeing his secretary lead his younger brother who was carrying a lunchbox into his office, was just as shocked as 061.
Hearing that the egg fried rice had been made by Cheng Yuan, he was even more shocked.
Today’s weather was the lowest it had been since winter began. Cheng Yuan’s nose was red from the cold. The moment he entered, he pulled out a thermos of water and eagerly gulped it down.
Cheng Jian opened up the lunchbox. Inside was rice and soup, pork trotter soybean soup and egg fried rice. Each grain of the fried rice was coated in golden yellow egg, and the ham was chopped into fine, even pieces. The pig trotters were stewed to perfection, soft and delicate, and with a gentle poke of the chopsticks, the meat would easily slide off the bone, piping hot and fresh, the fragrance of meat filling his nostrils.
Cheng Yuan breathed on his hands, “Ge, it’s for you. It’s hot. This insulated lunchbox I bought is really good at retaining heat.”
......A simple look at the substantial portion size showed that it wasn’t takeout from a restaurant.
Cheng Jian said sourly, “You make such a good wife and loving mother. You took such good care of your precious, piano-playing fingers for so many years, was it just for you to use them for stir-frying?”
Cheng Yuan smiled widely, “Stir-frying food for my brother makes me happy. Ge, aren’t you happy?”
Cheng Jian, “......Hmph.”
Then he ate the lunchbox clean in one go.
After waiting for him to finish his food, Cheng Yuan clearly let him know his intentions in coming.
Cheng Jian pushed the lunchbox away, “You’re planning on sending out your songs?”
Cheng Yuan hugged the paper bag to himself, his face full of anticipation, “Does ge know where I can send them?”
“I have a few classmates working in entertainment companies, I’ll help you ask,” Cheng Jian didn’t know much about this field and naturally wouldn’t make any promises, “What are your own goals?”
Cheng Yuan obediently shook his head.
Cheng Jian hated iron for not becoming steel, “......You’re like a stupid deer, not aware of anything.”
Cheng Yuan smiled foolishly.
“Still smiling,” Cheng Jian’s expression changed, “I have two friends who heard you sing before and asked me to ask you if you had any intentions of debuting as a singer but you refused. Right now one of them is working in Yundu Entertainment, and the other is in Xingyun Entertainment, which one do you want to try out? Or are both alright?”
Cheng Yuan thought over it seriously, “Xingyun.”
Cheng Jian, “......You’re just choosing blindly, aren’t you?”
Cheng Yuan, “The name Xingyun sounds nice.”
Cheng Jian, “......” He’s actually a stupid deer.
Cheng Jian got up, took the paper bag from him, and opened it up to take a look inside, “Is this urgent?”
Cheng Yuan lowered his head in embarrassment, “It’s a little urgent...... We need to pay the rent for Old Yang’s apartment soon.” 𝘪𝙣𝓃𝒓𝗲𝒶𝗱. 𝐜o𝗺
Cheng Jian, “......”
He telegraphed a kick towards the butt of this younger brother of his who had basically become the Yang family maid.
Cheng Yuan immediately wrapped his arms around Cheng Jian’s arm, an anxious look in his eyes as he whined, “Ge.”
Cheng Jian was confused, having never thought that his younger brother, who was always beaten down even faster than a rabbit, would actually take initiative to get close to him. When he finally reacted, his face was a little hot, “What are you doing rubbing up against me, your face is so thick.”
After Cheng Yuan ambled out of the office with the lunchbox, Cheng Jian took out the CD and inserted it into his computer.
He didn’t know anything about music, but just as the song started up, a proud smile appeared on his face.
......This was written by Cheng Yuan.
However, when the melody moved forward a little and the chorus began, Cheng Jian was stunned.
He hadn’t majored in music and couldn’t carry even a simple rhythm, but at least he knew what sounded good.
After they left Cheng Jian’s office, 061 asked him, “Why did you choose Xingyun?”
Chi Xiaochi answered, “Because I don’t want to enter Yundu.”
Unlike Cheng Yuan, when Chi Xiaochi wanted to do something, he would definitely do some prior research.
Giving Cheng Yuan’s songs to a little company to produce was really too much of a waste. But in his last life, he’d had no experience. In addition, given his older brother Cheng Jian’s widespread connections, including many contacts among the higher-ups of many big entertainment companies, if he sent his songs to those companies, his older brother would definitely hear about it.
He was young and inexperienced, and under Yang Baihua’s encouragement he had drawn a clear line between him and his family. He thought that it would be inappropriate to, after having just broken ties with his family, come back and depend on the care of his family to make money.
This time, Chi Xiaochi directly found Cheng Jian and unabashedly walked through the backdoor.
He planned on entering a big entertainment company, but had no plans on entering Yundu Entertainment.
Yundu was Tang Huan’s company, so entering it would be inconvenient for his plans.
061 still wanted to say something, but suddenly stopped, “......He’s coming.”
061 said, “Yang Baihua.”
Chi Xiaochi, “......En?”
061 said, “I connected to your new car’s inbuilt GPS. Just now, someone entered your new address into the GPS. It should be Yang Baihua coming to find you.”
“His parents are here for the week. He’s not spending time with them?”
061 said, “It’s noon.” His parents might be taking a noon nap.
......After giving him the cold shoulder for so many days, finally, he couldn’t sit still any longer?
In these few days, Yang Baihua’s goodwill level had been constantly fluctuating, completely unstable. It was clear that his emotions were in utter turmoil and that he was quite concerned about that childhood friend “Lou Ying” that “Cheng Yuan” had told him about.
Chi Xiaochi shrugged, “I’m not at home, he’ll just be wasting his time.”
After that, he then added regretfully, “But it’d be great if there was really a Lou-ge at home. He’s so concerned about Lou-ge that he even made a trip over specifically to take a look. Letting him go back empty-handed would be such a pity.”
061, “......That’s possible.”
Chi XIaochi raised an eyebrow, “Ha?”
061 said, “I can make a copy of a physical body which will look exactly the same as any other person and can be tangible for a short period of time. Even though the main system bans us from using a physical body to interact with the outside world, but as long as hosts don’t report it to the main system, there’ll be no problem. ......I can pretend to be Lou Ying.”
Chi Xiaochi thought for a moment, “Alright.”
Chi Xiaochi, “Make it a little more handsome.”
061 thought of if he should make an image based of a movie star, but firstly, it would be troublesome, and secondly, his original appearance had been constantly praised as handsome by a system co-worker.
He thought for a moment, before deciding on using his own appearance after all.
Soon, a 061 appeared in the apartment.
He quietly sat on the bed. He looked at his hands and feet, then looked into the mirror, but all he could see was a big sheet of mosaic.
Since he had nothing to do, he busied himself by neatly folding the clothes Chi Xiaochi had just tossed on the bed, and arranged them back into the wardrobe.
After about half an hour, the door phone rang. It was the security guard, saying that there was a visitor here for Mister Cheng.
061 answered, “Here. Is it a Mister Yang? Let him in, please.”
After five minutes, the doorbell rang. He got up and opened the door.
Standing in the doorway was unmistakably Yang Baihua. 061 smiled and nodded at the stunned Yang Baihua, “Mister Yang? Xiao Yuan told me you’d be coming.”
However, Yang Baihua, who had always been considerate when handling matters, just stood there stunned for quite a while after seeing 061’s face, and even ignored 061’s greeting.
He had no idea what Yang Baihua was seeing.
The person in front of him was dressed in a white shirt and black pants, had an upright posture, and was taller than him by several centimeters. However, his clean temperament, especially his facial features, were actually not much different from Yang Baihua’s!
The author has something to say:
I edited some of the earlier chapters qwq
Chi Xiaochi, who’s messed around in the entertainment industry for so long and seen all kinds of handsome men, was stunned when he first saw Yang Baihua√
Scum Yang immediately entered the self-doubt of “I’m a fucking replacement?”
sere: yeet YBH gets upped
baum: yaas it’s so nice to see him suffer for once. also, i think it’s cool that the author does foreshadowing, even if the foreshadowing is added after the fact haha
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