translator: baumkuchen editors: serefina, glitterypanda
Like your usual model, Chi Xiaochi had an incredibly thin waist and a perky butt . When he lay face down lazily, the lines of his abdomen and waist became even clearer . Every casual movement of his scratched at one’s heart, making it itch .
He stayed curled around his bolster in a daze for a while, before shakily getting up to wash up .
There was a lock of hair sticking up from his head . As he brushed his teeth, he tried to smooth it down . Finding that it couldn’t be smoothed down, he was going to wet his hand slightly before trying again, when he saw that lock of hair slowly being smoothed down by an invisible force .
……He didn’t even have to think about it to know who’d done it .
Chi Xiaochi stretched his neck comfortably, his movements just like those of a contented cat .
After helping smooth Chi Xiaochi’s hair, 061 urged, “Get yourself something to eat first before eating the mangosteens . Otherwise you’ll get a stomachache . ”
The Chi Xiaochi who had yet to fully wake up was very easy to coax, obediently replying, “Got it . ”
That bleary voice made 061’s heart melt .
After washing up, Chi Xiaochi went to check out the kitchen . Finding that, sure enough, there was a cold pot and cold stove, he casually made himself a cup of oatmeal, and drank it while it was still steaming hot .
As the hot food flowed down into his stomach, Chi Xiaochi gradually woke up, the radars in his brain gradually calibrating, and beginning to flare to life .
He said, “Liu-laoshi, since you got up so early, why didn’t you make breakfast as well?”
061 actually had wanted to, and had indeed done so .
But after returning to the space this time, the Lord God had increased the binding on him by several times .
After he finished cooking breakfast, he had, just in case, taste-tested it .
The result was unexpected . He’d clearly used the cooking style he used the most often, but the taste of the food he’d made had completely changed .
061 could only dismiss this food, in order to avoid Chi Xiaochi tasting this wrong-tasting food and getting the wrong idea again .
However, he also had no way of telling this to Chi Xiaochi . He could only smile and say, “Alright, I’ll do that next time . ”
As he drank his oatmeal, Chi Xiaochi placed his feet on the edge of the chair, swaying them around .
He asked, “Liu-laoshi, you were there with me the entire time in the last world, right?”
The moment 061 heard him bring up the last world, his heart skipped a beat .
He asked a question with a double meaning, so 061’s answer was one with a double meaning as well . “En, I was there . ”
Chi Xiaochi said, “Speaking of which, the last world gave me a thought . ”
061, “En? What?”
Chi Xiaochi stirred the oatmeal with a little spoon . “Do you think that Gan Yu and Gan Tang were one person . ”
061’s heart began to pound wildly .
He could only do his best to keep his calm, picking words that wouldn’t be blocked as he echoed, “En, their senses seemed to have been linked . Even if they were twins, this kind of thing is too rare . ”
Chi Xiaochi added, “Also, Tang-jie’s cooking tasted very similar to Lou-ge’s . ”
061 couldn’t help but smile . “Is that so?”
“So I thought of a possibility……” Chi Xiaochi said, “Just like Song Chunyang’s Lord God, who wants to absorb fear energy to maintain the barrier between the other world and the real world, does your Lord God, through me, want to absorb some specific type of negative energy for his own use?”
061 started .
The reason for his shock, was that when he heard Chi Xiaochi’s speculation, he didn’t feel any surprise, as if it were a question that he had already worked out the answer to, and now, hearing someone else say it, he felt a kind of “that’s how it is” calm .
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Chi Xiaochi didn’t seem to grasp 061’s thoughts, continuing on his own, “Before, in Ji Zuoshan’s world, I remember mentioning to you how I felt like Lou-ge was always by my side . Especially in the last world, Song Chunyang’s world, that feeling was particularly strong . ”
061 coughed lightly . There was already a smile that he couldn’t hide in his voice . “So?”
Chi Xiaochi said, “I think, my feeling this way, is due to your Lord God deliberately manipulating it to be so . ”
Chi Xiaochi said, “In the beginning, when I signed the contract, it was stated very clearly: As long as they complete ten worlds of tasks, the Lord God will fulfill one of the host’s wishes . You also said before that at the end of the tenth task, when they made their wishes to the Lord God, not a single one of your previous hosts chose to return to their original world, all choosing to stay in their favourite world . ”
061, “……En . ”
Chi Xiaochi said, “However, whether in written or spoken form, the hosts have never been explicitly made aware that the original owner is still in their body . So when the hosts chose to leave the original owner’s bodies, they all chose to escape through death . That is to say, in that world, the real owner of the body has already died, and no longer exists .
“If the host comes back to that world in an identity that ‘doesn’t exist’, realises that the situation isn’t as good as they had thought, and wants to back out, but finds that nothing can be undone, they would definitely generate a huge amount of negative emotions . At that time, the hosts themselves would become a huge energy source . As for the original owners of the body, when the hosts use their bodies however they wish, doing everything they can to please the person they hate the most, they would definitely produce a huge amount of negative emotions, or at least not just a little .
“……However, as you, Liu-laoshi, have said before, my choices, all don’t seem to be quite the same as those of the rest of your hosts . ”
As he spoke, Chi Xiaochi cocked his head to the side . “Because I make different choices, my tasks are different from the others as well . What host would run into a world with an A-rank difficulty in their second world, and one with a S-rank difficulty in their fifth?
“Considering all these factors, I think, that this Lord God of yours is probably also very anxious . ”
Looking like a little fox, he blinked . He didn’t seem to care about the mastermind behind the scenes possibly hearing his conjectures .
“……Hence, he made ‘Lou-ge’ appear . He constantly creates false Lou-ges in the mission worlds, including Dong Feihong, Gan Yu, Gan Tang, possibly even Blue……”
At the end of his meticulously detailed argument above, Chi Xiaochi concluded firmly, “He wants to make me feel reluctant to leave, and in the end, choose to stay in one of the worlds, so he can harvest my wool . ”
061, “……Tch . ”
……He kind of wanted to harvest this little fox’s fur right now .
Chi Xiaochi scooped up his oatmeal and took a sip . “What’s wrong? Liu-laoshi, is there a problem with my thinking?”
061 took a few deep breaths . “……”
Actually, he was overall absolutely correct, and his logic was very sound, including his thoughts on the Lord God’s scheme, which coincided with 061’s own thoughts on the matter .
But hearing that slightly derailed ending, 061 really wanted to press Chi Xiaochi down and twist his ear .
Having explained his suspicions, Chi Xiaochi began his happy vacation life .
But he kept feeling like there was something a little wrong with 061’s mood, like he was sulking or something .
A few days earlier, Chi Xiaochi had said he wanted to play mahjong, but was unfortunately three players short . 061 then offered to connect him with 089 and 023, and play a round of online mahjong .
089 was someone Chi Xiaochi had met before . Having a rather good impression of him, he readily agreed .
The moment 089 heard that he had an excuse to slack off on the job, he excitedly came over, pulling 023 along with him .
This was Chi Xiaochi’s first time coming into contact with 023 .
From his voice alone, 023 sounded like a very cold young man, but according to his self-introduction, adding the years he’d aged after his death, in total, he was already 27 years old this year .
089 said cheerily, “He likes to act young . ”
As soon as those words fell, the sound of a stool being flipped over sounded from over the sound system .
023 said cold, “Let’s deal, don’t pay him any attention . ”
Not long afterwards, 089, who’d almost broken his tailbone from falling on his ass, sprung back into the call, full of vigor .
He suggested enthusiastically, “Just playing normally is so boring . Let’s play strip mahjong . Every time you lose, you lose a piece of clothing . How about it?”
Everyone there was of the same gender . Chi Xiaochi and 061 said that they had no issues with that . After rolling his eyes at him, 023 also didn’t express any objections .
089 clapped his hands together . “Then it’s decided . I and 023 will monitor each other, and 61, you monitor Xiaochi . ”
Chi Xiaochi felt like these rules were a little strange . “How am I supposed to monitor him?”
089 said, “You don’t need to . Because 061 has never once lost in mahjong . ”
Chi Xiaochi didn’t quite believe him, saying with a smile, “Liu-laoshi, if you’re so strong, then you have to help cover me . ”
061 smiled too . “En . ”
Chi Xiaochi was 061’s shangjia . , Hhe felt like his hand this time was pretty good, and thus felt a lot more at ease .
089 seemed to also be quite confident in his hand, rubbing his hands together and saying, “You all just wait for Daddy . ”
In Chi Xiaochi’s point of view, 089’s raging daddy complex was really novel, so he asked why he liked calling himself Daddy all the time .
“His father was the head of an orphanage . “ As 023 threw out a five dot tile, he answered for 089, “Since he was young he liked playing house with those little kids, always playing the father . He played this even until he’d grown up, growing from a little father to a big father, and still didn’t get sick of it . In the end, he ended up developing this nasty complex, and it can’t be fixed even if you try . ”
Even though 023’s tone was one of disdain, there were a few hints of inexplicable pride in it .
089 laughed shamelessly and said, “Fathers are in charge of putting food on the table, caring for their family, and looking after people . The children didn’t have one, so I helped make that up for them, it wasn’t anything hard . ”
As Chi Xiaochi laughed along with them, he threw out another tile .
061 said politely, “Mahjong . ”
Chi Xiaochi, “……”
He flipped over his tiles for everyone to look at .
It really was game, Hidden Treasure .
Chi Xiaochi was his shangjia, so the only person he was aiming for was just Chi Xiaochi . Thus, out of everyone at the table, only Chi Xiaochi had to take off his jacket .
Twenty minutes later, Chi Xiaochi lost a second time, and his shirt along with it .
Ten minutes later, his pants were gone too, leaving him with only a pair of underpants .
Chi Xiaochi was losing so badly even 089 couldn’t bear to keep watching .
089 said hurriedly, “061, take it a little easier, let me win a few, I still haven’t seen 023 strip yet . ”
Before he could finish speaking, he was held down by 023 and given a round of beatings .
Chi Xiaochi was a little aggrieved, privately discussing with 061, “Liu-laoshi, am I still your most beloved student . ”
061 said gently, “En, you are . ”
Chi Xiaochi said sadly, “……Your most beloved student only has his underwear left . ”
061’s tone was as breezy as the spring wind . “Don’t you still have your underwear . ”
Chi Xiaochi, “……” Teachers nowadays really don’t have any teacherly ethics .
He tried to bargain with 061, “At least let me put on a shirt, it’s really cold in here . ”
061 helped him turn up the temperature .
Chi Xiaochi had nothing to live for anymore .
061 encouraged him, saying, “You’re so smart, you can count tiles . I believe in you . ”
Chi Xiaochi felt like 061’s words were very profound, seeming to point to something, but he didn’t really understand what he was trying to point to .
In order to avoid being stripped naked, Chi Xiaochi, with much self-awareness, stopped the game .
In the end, just before they left, no matter how 023 tried to hold back, he couldn’t hold it in any longer, asking, “061, what happened last time?”
He was referring to the matter of him losing a leg last time .
After that incident, he kept waiting for 061 to come find him and tell him what had happened, but 061 never showed . It was because he had been so anxious waiting, as well as worried for his friend’s situation, that he agreed to come play mahjong today .
061 mood rose .
He’d specifically asked these two to come play mahjong, just for this question from 023 .
The confidentiality system made it so that he had no way of exposing what happened in the task world, but if 023 asked on his own initiative, he would be able to expose the matter of him once breaking a leg, and coming to them for help without speaking a word .
Even though Chi Xiaochi’s thinking had gone off-track, he was still sufficiently smart, so even if he just casually hinted……
However, 023 no longer responded . Even 089’s side showed “offline” .
Upon noticing that their icons had both gone gray, Chi Xiaochi “yi”-ed . “Why did they suddenly go offline? Bad signal?”
061’s heart sank .
……Sure enough, the Lord God was watching his and Chi Xiaochi’s every move .
He took the initiative to materialise some clothes and place them on Chi Xiaochi’s body . He thought, given that the Lord God was paying so much attention to them, could he have heard Chi Xiaochi conjecture a few days ago?
If so, would the Lord God try to do something to Chi Xiaochi?
The facts proved, his fears turned out to be true .
In the “Space Between Moments”, the Lord God sneered .
A few days ago, when it heard Chi Xiaochi’s conjecture, which was infinitely close to the truth, it really wanted to completely reformat Chi Xiaochi’s spiritual body .
But after calming down, thinking about it, it realised that it actually couldn’t do anything to Chi Xiaochi .
……Chi Xiaochi was threatening it .
Those words had been specifically spoken for it to hear .
At present, everything it was doing was already the maximum it could do within its scope of authority . If in order to silence him, it did something even more outrageous, even more beyond its authority, it would definitely leave conspicuous evidence in the form of data .
And once he had clear evidence, 061 would have the right to actively report him to the higher supervisory body . Once they started checking, it would be completely over .
At present, the only thing it could control, was the difficulty of the task world .
As long as he let Chi Xiaochi die once, and destroyed the stability of his spirit……
Seeing the Lord God become completely silent, the AI let out an inconspicuous sigh . “……What plan does sir have now . ”
After a while, the Lord God let out an angry laugh .
It said, “For the next task, let Chi Xiaochi go to a world where data won’t be of any help . ”