Translated by Eve
Edited by Wuxian
Although Ning Ze did not want to surrender the beauty he had finally gotten ahold of, no matter which angle he looked at this from, he could not defeat Zhao Xihe, whether it be in terms of martial arts, cunningness, nor in determination to win over Sui Yuan.
Ning Ze’s possessiveness over Sui Yuan had a limit, and that limit was his own safety. If having Sui Yuan threatened his life, then he would absolutely choose to abandon him. In contrast, even if he had to risk his life, Zhao Xihe would never give up.
Ultimately, Ning Ze had no choice but to regretfully compromise. Under the circumstances of having enemies closing in on him from the front and a wall blocking his retreat from the back, Ning Ze gave Zhao Xihe a glance full of hatred and soon after, pushed Sui Yuan to him. Naturally, Zhao Xihe was not at all careless. The second he grabbed hold of Sui Yuan, he forcibly changed directions, and did not enter the jungle. Before Nan Gongyi could react, he disappeared without a trace.
Nan Gongyi with his Er Kang hand：“………………QAQ”
Although his animosity towards Zhao Xihe rose to an all new high, simply vaulting over Ning Ze to the top of his list, Nan Gongyi did not let anger cloud his head. He knew that he could not chase after Zhao Xihe under these kind of circumstances and forcibly take back his family’s Shixiong. And, if he was left on his own, with his current level of martial arts, he would probably not have a good end.
To approach those who could benefit you and shun those who would harm you was an instinct of all humans. Even though Nan Gongyi thought Ning Ze was unpleasing to the eye no matter how he looked at him, at this time, he had no choice but to force himself to chase him from behind.
——As long as the green hills were there, one need not worry about firewood. If he wanted to see Da Shixiong again, he first needed to survive!
Ning Ze and Nan Gongyi, this pair of bitter protagonists, were forcibly pushed back onto the right track in such a crude way and escaped together. Thus, Sui Yuan and Zhao Xihe were evidently much more relaxed.
After they ended up far apart from Ning Ze and Nan Gongyi, Zhao Xihe immediately cheated and used a prop to eliminate their tracks, and concealed him and Sui Yuan, thereby throwing off their pursuers. He and Sui Yuan leisurely sat on a tree branch, relaxing their weary minds after having been tense all night because of the plot.
When the pursuers lost them, they were unwilling to give up and kept searching the area over and over again. Ultimately, they had no choice but to leave in regret. Only then did Zhao Xihe remove the concealing prop and watched Sui Yuan, who was happy because he had successfully gotten the plot back on track, with discontent, “Why didn’t you resist when Ning Ze grabbed you and ran?”
Sui Yuan turned his head to look at Zhao Xihe, his expression particularly clear and innocent, “According to my settings, my martial arts can’t compare with Ning Ze’s, ah? Moreover, it was a time of crisis. If I struggled and caused one of the protagonists to die, what would we do then?”
Zhao Xihe, who was being viewed as a child deliberately trying to stir up trouble by his own lover, unexpectedly had no way to retort at this time：“………………”
——To always have to strive for favour against the plot simply made one feel too sick at heart! What made his heart hurt even more was that eight to nine times out of ten, he lost!
Since the plot followed the protagonists’ POV, during this blank space, Sui Yuan and Zhao Xihe did not have any scenes and had free time. Of course, the condition was that they didn’t make significant movements and subsequently affected the plot’s development.
In order to appease Zhao Xihe, who was feeling crushed over the fact that he had to strive for favour and still lost most of the time, Sui Yuan had no choice but to agree to his proposal of disguising themselves and tour the Jianghu—simply put, a date— and give up on his original idea of tailing the protagonist couple to supervise the plot’s development.
The wuxia world’s ‘disguising technique’ was indeed mystical. Sui Yuan watched as Zhao Xihe kneaded his face in various places, transforming his original pure, handsome Da Shixiong face into that of a common man. He couldn’t help but feel rather interested. Furthermore, what made him even more dumbstruck was that after Zhao Xihe made his own face gentle and elegant (?), all the bones in his body went ‘ge la ge la’, stiffly shrinking his originally tall male stature so that it would fit his new face. Astonishingly, he looked like a female hero who dressed as a man. It was just that his chest was too flat.
5237 & 0007：“……………………”
After a moment of silence, Sui Yuan swallowed his saliva down his dry throat, “You…What do you want to do?”
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
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Sui Yuan: “What PDAing anytime, anywhere? Where are you morals, ne?!”
Zhao Xihe raised a hand to grab Sui Yuan’s nape. His unquestionable strength forced him to lower his head. He then bit his lips and laughed gently, “Hubby, hasn’t this servant’s morals already been eaten up by you?”
——Save me! Someone come take this fellow away! He can’t bear it anymore, having such a crazy lover, ah! What’s more, this kind of aggressive posture with that kind of gentle and beautiful appearance, Zhao Xihe, don’t you think that this is extremely inappropriate?!
Sui Yuan knew that Zhao Xihe was an unknown but a more senior and higher grade Actor than he was, but he never expected that he would unexpectedly feel no pressure even when playing a girl! However, regardless of this kind of circumstance, he still had to consider if he, the only one who knew the truth, could bear with this, ah!
——It seems that after taking on the challenge of acting as Hua Xinlei, that flat-chested, little white-faced seductive shou in the last world, Zhao Xihe had become more and more askew…Sui Yuan, who was made to take a wife, didn’t resist at all and simply cried silently.
After getting what he wished for, Zhao Xihe, who intimately coiled around Sui Yuan’s arm, sneered at Nan Gongyi who had run off to who knows where, in his heart.
Zhao Xihe, who had always been alert against his rivals in love naturally knew about Nan Gongyi’s delusion about travelling across the Jianghu and being so intimately close with his Shixiong that nothing could come between them. That’s right, it could only be a delusion! Sui Yuan’s ‘firsts’ ought to be his. All of his life’s experiences must also have his shadow over it. Nan Gongyi should take a hike and get far, far away from here!
Moreover, even if they traversed the Jianghu together, could he intimately wrap around Sui Yuan as he did now, as two men? Could he act like a spoiled child and ask to be spoiled under the public eye, and even ask for a kiss? Could he share a room with him under the envious, admiring, and hating gaze of others? Or even, in case Sui Yuan could not bear his nagging, and treated him coldly, could he bear to suffer the dissatisfied and criticizing stares of other people and then brace himself to turn around and coax him? Zhao Xihe secretly thought that being a girl wasn’t so terrible after all.
——Of course, if one doesn’t seek death, one won’t die. Each time Zhao Xihe sought death, there would always be a period of time where he wasn’t allowed to crawl into their bed. That truly made him both pained and happy.
The whole way, aside from initiating PDA or receiving PDA, they concentrated on collecting information related to the protagonist gong and shou. For example, the rumour that the treasured ashes were snatched away by the Demonic Cult Leader was widely spread within the Jianghu. Another example was that it was said that the ashes in the Demonic Cult Leader’s hands were fake, and that the real goods had long been snatched by an early bird….
When Sui Yuan and Zhao Xihe heard this news, the two couldn’t help but raise their eyebrows.
Sui Yuan carefully read through the plot in his hands and discovered that it did not mention anything regarding counterfeit goods, and his heart involuntarily went ‘ba-dump’. “Say, do you think the news that it’s counterfeit goods is true or false? Is it true or is this just Ning Ze’s □□ for the sake of freeing himself from pursuit?”
“The plot never mentioned Ning Ze releasing this kind of false information,” The plot that Zhao Xihe had described each one of Ning Ze’s actions in greater detail, but he couldn’t find any useful clues, “In the worst case scenario, the ashes in Ning Ze’s hands are truly fake.”
“If it’s like that, what should we do? Where did the real ashes go? Who took them?!” Sui Yuan turned around in circles with worry. They had just guided the protagonist gong’s and shou’s feelings back to the right track. In the end, he was told that the plot’s main thread had already collapsed. He felt cheated, alright?!
Zhao Xihe, who felt dizzy seeing Sui Yuan spiral around, reached out to pull his arm, trapping him against his chest. His tone and expression were both extremely calm. Compared to Sui Yuan, who was encountering such a situation for the first time, Zhao Xihe’s experience was obviously much more abundant, “You don’t need to feel anxious. We should first determine whether the news is true or not. If it’s false, then everyone will be satisfied and happy—”
“And if it’s true?” Sui Yuan promptly got to the heart of the matter, looking at Zhao Xihe with great trust. He felt his original panicked heart suddenly calm down.
“If it’s true…” Zhao Xihe paused. Soon after, he glanced at Sui Yuan, “You really didn’t leak the matter of the rare treasure?”
“How could I make such a rudimentary mistake!” Sui Yuan was rather discontented.
“That’s right. You didn’t do it, nor did I. But for the plot to crumble this badly…that would mean…” Zhao Xihe’s tone became profound.
“It would mean…that there’s a third person?” Sui Yuan’s eyes gleamed. He immediately followed Zhao Xihe’s train of thought, “It already isn’t easy to stick the two of us into one world. Can there also be a third person?”
“Why can’t there be?” Zhao Xihe was unperturbed as he shrugged his shoulders.
“But 5237…” Sui Yuan shifted his gaze to his own system who wanted to hide itself. Without the slightest hesitation it sold its pig teammate, “It said that the probability of meeting another Actor in one of the tens of thousands of words was already very small—”
“That’s right. So when I met you in the first world, it meant that it was certainly fate that had brought us together,” Zhao Xihe raised Sui Yuan’s hand in his and slightly kissed his fingers—making the most of every and all chances to confess his feelings. Zhao Xihe had already raised this skill to its highest level.
Sui Yuan’s face involuntarily flushed but very soon, he, whose resistance was tempered by Zhao Xihe until it was particularly high, immediately refocused the topic that had almost been turned askew, impolitely pulled his hand back and asked, “What’s the important point?”
Zhao Xihe revealed a rather regretful smile, “The reason why I could follow after you into each world was because I used my authority to cheat the system. As an analogy, if this world was an exam room, and the roles within it were the exam candidates, then you are a real exam candidate with an admission ticket whereas I am an exam candidate who relied on committing fraud, and assumed the original candidate’s name and took his place, thereby sneaking into the exam room.”
Sui Yuan seemed to understand a bit, “All the worlds I entered were chosen by 5237. And the characters who I played were missing because of a bug, which was why they required an actor to fill in. Meanwhile, you…you forcefully occupied the roles that originally did not require an Actor?”
“That’s right. Otherwise, what did you think was happening?” Zhao Xihe slightly raised the corner of his lips, “Did you think that each world coincidentally needed two Actors?”
“Then, the identity that was forcefully occupied by you, the character that was originally supposed to exist, what happened to them?” Sui Yuan frowned slightly, feeling uneasiness in his heart.
Zhao Xihe’s eyes firmly latched onto Sui Yuan. He raised his head to stroke his head and sighed in his heart. Originally, he didn’t plan on telling him about this so early because of his fear that the too soft-hearted Sui Yuan wouldn’t be able to accept this. However, there were some things that he indeed should know.
Zhao Xihe’s tone was calm, practically without any emotions, “They were all erased by me.”
Sui Yuan’s pupils shrank. This kind of cold tone made him suddenly think of another existence—the one who had created him in the original world.
Zhao Xihe, who stood before him at this moment, felt somewhat unfamiliar to him. Sui Yuan couldn’t help but take a step back, heart beating like a drum.
It wasn’t because Zhao Xihe had personally erased the characters. Since Sui Yuan had been created and made into an Actor, he knew that he and the characters in the stories were not the same. By nature, his feelings were lesser. Aside from himself, 5237, and Zhao Xihe, the other people in the stories were NPCs who could not cause any emotional ripples in Sui Yuan’s heart. He could laugh, jeer, get angry, and swear with them, but he would never place them in his heart. Once the story ended, he could unhesitatingly withdraw himself and absolutely not feel any reluctance to leave.
Just like how players of an online game could easily kill NPCs, to Sui Yuan, although Zhao Xihe’s actions were too overbearing, it wasn’t unforgivable. What made him a bit terrified was that the Zhao Xihe in front of him clearly looked as he always had, but a seemingly bone-deep fear, reverence, even compliance, seemed to spring forth unbidden from him.
These fleeting emotions were naturally noticed by Zhao Xihe. There was a berserk maelstrom tightly locked within his dark pupils. He was barely able to soften his tone and extend a hand to Sui Yuan, “What’s wrong? Are you afraid of me? Do you think that I shouldn’t have done that?”
“N…No…” Sui Yuan subconsciously shook his head. There was a sense of priority regarding matters. The peculiar emotions that had suddenly appeared had already completely pressed down his disapproval over Zhao Xihe’s conduct. Sui Yuan clutched Zhao Xihe’s hand and tightly hugged him soon after, letting his warm body gradually disperse the inexplicable mood from earlier. Sui Yuan’s body slightly relaxed, but his brain still remained rather muddled.
Sui Yuan’s reaction left Zhao Xihe baffled. It was not at all like what Zhao Xihe had imagined — a reaction of resistance and reprimands. Zhao Xihe felt a bit panicked as the situation felt rather out of his control, and he wrapped his arms around Sui Yuan’s back, tightly embedding him into his embrace, trying to pacify his beloved whose emotions had suddenly become chaotic.
A long time later, Sui Yuan finally went back to normal and slightly loosened his tight hold of Zhao Xihe’s arms.
Zhao Xihe stroked his hair, somewhat nervous, “Just now, what happened?”
“…I also don’t know,” Sui Yuan was also very perplexed. Everything that had happened just now was like a daydream, and now it was like he had awoken from said dream. However, he couldn’t remember it.
Zhao Xihe examined him with rapt attention for a moment, ascertaining that Sui Yuan was indeed not trying to conceal the truth. In the end, he could only put the matter to the side for the time being. Sui Yuan was evidently rather absent-minded and easily let off Zhao Xihe’s matter of erasing characters without permission. In any case, even if he did oppose, Zhao Xihe would not change. And he also did not want to be apart from Zhao Xihe and return to his solitary life.
Zhao Xihe was Sui Yuan’s sole, selfish desire. Since Zhao Xihe would not change, Sui Yuan also did not want him to change. Furthermore, any more sympathy, pity, self-blame, and disputing would only serve to satisfy his conscience’s ego—it holds no meaning whatsoever. As an Actor, Sui Yuan, who could handle with ease complicated roles of both upright and villainous characters, obviously did not have such a thing as a ‘conscience’.
“Before…what were you saying?” Focusing his attention, Sui Yuan finally recalled the unfinished matter from earlier, “The probability of there being three Actors in one world is small to the point of being disregardable, but you had cheated the system and should not be here. So, it isn’t impossible for us to meet another Actor, right?”
“That’s right,” Zhao Xihe nodded.
“Then why does he want to so substantially change the plot? This is completely against his raison d’être, isn’t he afraid of being penalized?” Sui Yuan could not understand.
“Perhaps it is due to some selfish motives, something he’s not resigned to, or perhaps some other random reason. People all wish to attain happiness. And in every world, the number of supporting roles is greater than that of the protagonists, so the majority of Actors are either supporting characters or cannon fodders. The experience and endings of these kind of roles are for the most part, not good. After playing these kind of roles for a long time, it can cause people to accumulate a heap of negative feelings. From then on, they begin to desire ridding themselves of such circumstances. This is the so-called counterattack, bringing about a change of one’s fortunes, the supporting lead becoming the lead, etc. This kind of person, we call them Destroyers. The matter of supporting roles and cannon fodders becoming Destroyers is a common occurrence.”
Zhao Xihe slowly disclosed this matter to Sui Yuan, who had never known about this, and had never thought about this kind of insider story. “If we were to say that Actors are a computer program that mends the holes, then Destroyers are the viruses that roam all around. Actors maintain the stability of the worlds, allowing stable worlds to send energy to the Original World, and preserving its existence. Meanwhile, Destroyers devote their efforts in collapsing worlds. They have a method that allows them to take the energy from the worlds and convert it for their own personal use, making themselves stronger, in order to break away from the Original World’s limitations. This even includes removing and replacing it.”
Sui Yuan opened his eyes wide in astonishment. He felt that a gate to a whole new world was slowly being pushed open, “Then…when I didn’t complete my missions, did that count as collapsing the worlds? And there’s also your practice of erasing characters without permission….”
“How could it be so easy to collapse a world? Although the result was not ideal, in any case, you could barely be considered as to having had put in effort. Meanwhile, Destroyers don’t do such mild things. They will do their best to collapse the plot and control the world, forcing it to separate itself from the Original World’s control,” Zhao Xihe raised his lips into a smile, “For example, the central theme of this world is wuxia and martial arts. A Destroyer could gain the most formidable influence, govern the entirety of the Wulin, or cultivate their martial arts until they’re the most powerful existence and massacre in all directions. Of course, what’s even more likely is that they would do both. In summary, the more chaotic a world is, the better it is for them.”
This kind of cruel development made Sui Yuan somewhat flabbergasted.
“If Destroyers are discovered by the Original World, they will be erased. Thus, they must obliterate their systems that monitor them for the Original World. Without the help of the systems, the Destroyers can only utilize the things in the world they’re in to raise their strength. In simple terms, they must plunder the fortuitous encounters that originally belong to the protagonists,” Zhao Xihe spread out his hands, “Like the ashes.”
“So…aside from maintaining the plot, we also have to block the Destroyer?” Sui Yuan frowned. Only having to maintain the plot was already enough to make him mentally and physically exhausted. Now, there was a cruel Destroyer in addition…hehe, Sui Yuan simply wanted to kneel!
“If there truly is a Destroyer in this world, our systems will alert the Original World. Then, the assignment will change. The task to annihilate is prioritized over maintaining the plot. So long as we can exterminate the Destroyer, the plot does not matter. After all, the destroyer could cause the whole world to collapse. Meanwhile, if the plot is off, then the world will only become unstable,” Zhao Xihe patted Sui Yuan’s head, “The pros and cons are obvious at a glance.”
Sui Yuan let out a breath of relief. Although being able to set aside the plot felt like he had ridden himself of a huge burden, to meet with a Destroyer for the first time still made him especially nervous.
“Relax. As long as I’m here, everything will be fine,” Zhao Xihe slowed down his voice, making it soft and placating.
“…You always say that, but what about the result, ne?” Sui Yuan turned his head, not wanting to admit that he always subconsciously relied on Zhao Xihe. However, the fact was that he was indeed consoled.
Zhao Xihe: “…You still have the face to say that. Who’s the one who’s always dragging us down?”
Sui Yuan: “…Life is hard enough as it is, don’t burst my bubble. QAQ”
5237 & 0007: “The Destroyer has appeared, you guys shouldn’t be so occupied with your flirting, alright?!”
Eve: Ohohoho, the plot thickens. SY and ZXH are honestly so cute at times. And then poor systems. Getting fed dog food when sh*t is supposedly hitting the fan.
Wuxian: That revelation from ZXH was such a bomb. Let me tell you, it wasn’t just SY who had his jaw on the floor. Also, it’s always such a joy to see SY and ZXH being cute. I’ll be lighting candles for 5237 and 0007, poor souls.