The Scum Villain’s Self-Saving System (人渣反派自救系统 by 墨香铜臭) is one of my favorite Chinese webnovels. The story is hilarious and the main character is a strong-willed hardworking person. By the way, it’s BL.
When Shen Yuan died he was transmigrated into the world of the harem Xianxia novel he was reading. From an ordinary person in the modern world he became Shen Qingqui, the lord of Quiet Peak of the Cang Qiong Mountain Sect. This might seem like a good thing because Shen Qingqui basically has it all – good looks, power, fighting skills, a prestigious position, and so forth.
There’s just one little problem. Shen Qingqiu was a villain that the protagonist of the novel, Luo Binghe, tortured and killed. Obviously the reasonable thing to do would be to either befriend or avoid the main character but Shen Yuan is not free to do what he wants. He transmigrated with a System that forces him to follow the story. He cannot act out of character and he can’t stop participating in important events. This includes the one in which Shen Qingqui betrays Binghe, thus causing his character’s downfall.
In short, Shen Yuan must do his best to do all the things that the villain did in the story while trying to avert his eventual bad fate.
The Scum Villain’s Self-Saving System moves at a fast pace which is nice. Luo Binghe is the disciple of Shen Qingqui whom the latter liked to bully. The first thing Shen Qingqui does it to stop the bullying and try to become a better mentor to the protagonist of the story.
One of the best things about Scum Villain is that it remains true to the usual Xianxia story elements while at the same time using these common tropes in a fresh way. For example, the protagonist of a Xianxia story won’t die (because if he did, then the story would end). Shen manages to weaponize this in very funny way.
The humor in the story mostly stems from the fact that Shen is very self-aware and knows (roughly) what is going to happen next. Or does he?
It seems that Shen’s presence in the story has had some ripple effects and certain events don’t turn out the same way as in the story he read before he died.
There’s also quite a bit of black humor when he is forced to act in a certain way even when he knows that it will just lead to pain or disaster but overall the tone of Scum Villain is comedic.
Luo Binghe as a character is actually pretty much the standard Xianxia hero. He’s the strongest one around, is extremely handsome, intelligent, and ruthless. It’s only at the end that he shows what he really feels inside.
The romance is good. Sadly, it took a very long time to develop but once the two characters became an item it was very believable and cute.
This is a good read if you enjoy Bl Xianxia. There aren’t that many of those kinds of stories around.