Chapter 37 – Labyrinth Water Prison
This story arc in Jinlan City was a new addition. According to the timeline of the original book, Luo Binghe was still leveling up underground at this time and never appeared at all. Shen Qingqiu was not able to take advantage of his omniscient perspective. But Airplane Shooting Towards the Sky had signed off on one thing: After Luo Binghe finished leveling up and returned to the surface, all the slaughters and conspiracies that followed were inextricably tied to him. No matter how one looked at it, the biggest suspect was Luo Binghe.
Luo Binghe’s face was gloomy. His hands behind his back, he paced back and forth a few times. Suddenly, he turned back and harshly said: “May I ask Shizun, are all the murders and crimes committed by demons in this world entirely my fault?”
Shen Qingqiu’s brows tightened.
Seeing that he did not answer, Luo Binghe slowly clenched his fists and said: “You once clearly trusted me to such an extent, but now at every turn you doubt my motives to be unfathomable. Are the differences between races really so significant as to completely change your attitude towards a person?”
Shen Qingqiu couldn’t help himself any longer, and mustered up his courage: “In that case, I have something to ask you.”
Luo Binghe inclined his head: “This disciple is listening respectfully.”
Shen Qingqiu said: “You deny having any unfathomable motives for assimilating into Huan Hua Palace, but then what, exactly, are your true motives for doing so?”
Why did the male protagonist himself actually not follow the original story? After suffering enough coercion from both the System and the plot, Shen Qingqiu had to ask the question on his mind.
Upon hearing this, Luo Binghe was startled. His lips moved and he seemed to want to say something, but he ultimately hesitated and didn’t speak.
Shen Qingqiu was actually a little surprised: “You can’t answer?”
What happened to the original work’s persuasiveness that could single-handedly take on Cang Qiong Mountain with his sheer eloquence? Could this be the price he paid for going through the Infinite Abyss instance1 too fast and neglecting to practice his cheats? Perhaps he didn’t raise his “Persuasion” skill enough…
Luo Binghe said: “Shizun will not believe me anyhow. What difference does it make if I answer or not?”
The glow off the water and the light of the torches quivered together in the dim dungeon. Shen Qingqiu’s heart seemed to tremble with them.
Both of them remained silent for a long while. Luo Binghe suddenly said: “But I hope that Shizun can sincerely answer one question of mine.”
He pursed his lips and stiffly added: “Just one question.”
Shen Qingqiu said: “Speak.”
Luo Binghe softly inhaled.
He whispered: “Do you regret it?”
Shen Qingqiu sealed his lips and did not speak. His eyes turned to evaluate Luo Binghe from head to toe.
The full meaning of this “Do you regret it” was not spelled out, but it should be referring to whether he regrets kicking Luo Binghe into the Infinite Abyss.
You don’t say. Of course, he regrets it, he regrets it to death2. But what is the meaning of Luo Binghe asking this question in the first place?
Shen Qingqiu’s temples pulsed, when suddenly an enormous pop-up window jumped out in front of him.
System: [Please choose an answer from this multiple choice question:
Option A: I regret it. This teacher has long since regretted it. The last few years, I have spent every moment uselessly repenting.
Option B: (sneer) Seeing what you’ve become today, you know there’s no reason for me to regret it!
Option C: Keep silent.]
What the hell, your upgrade was originally for this sort of thing?——
What’s this bullshit inside the bracket?! Even the tone and expression are pre-set for me. Do you think this is a GALGAME3?——
This isn’t even as good as the original low-level version. Someone hurry and give me an installation package for the System 1.0—I’ll thank him and his whole family!
Shen Qingqiu had a face full of black lines4: “A is way too fake! If I was Luo Binghe, I wouldn’t believe it, and would even find it disgusting. And what’s with B? Do you resent that he didn’t choke me to death last time?”
System: [Please make a selection.]
Shen Qingqiu: “CCC!”
System: [Literary and philosophical depth +10.]
Shen Qingqiu: “Can anyone tell me how exactly this ‘literary and philosophical depth’ is calculated?”
Just like that, he looked steadily forward and kept his silence.
Luo Binghe didn’t receive any answer, and his clenched fist slowly loosened. He self-deprecatingly said: “I already clearly knew the answer, yet I still asked Shizun this question. I really am stupid.”
If he didn’t know Luo Binghe was the total power source of all this world’s Systems, Shen Qingqiu would have definitely suspected he had transmigrated too.
If he didn’t have an omniscient perspective that gave him insight into the plot, Shen Qingqiu would have definitely suspected that… Luo Binghe probably truly was… a little sad.
Silence is golden. The more you talk, the more mistakes you make. Shen Qingqiu closed his eyes and sat cross-legged in quiet meditation.
All was still and silent for a while. Then Luo Binghe’s cold and soft voice came again.
“Shizun, you have always been reticent and taciturn. Before, you would at least speak a few more sentences to me—Now you are not willing to do even that.”
After a pause, his tone unexpectedly changed. He grinned maliciously: “Well, it doesn’t matter. I have plenty of ways to make you speak.”
After he finished the last sentence, Shen Qingqiu suddenly opened his eyes.
A wave of slight stabbing pain came from deep in his lower abdomen.
You’re not happy when I speak, you’re not happy when I don’t speak. Why are you bothering with this, what did I do wrong?!
After a moment, the stabbing pain disappeared. In its place came the uncanny sensation of something crawling in his blood vessels.
After hibernating for many days, the Heavenly Demon blood had already fully adapted to the environment of the host body. At this time, called by its original master, it condensed into insect form and began to probe all over the internal organs of the body.
Luo Binghe leisurely said: “Spleen, kidney, liver, lungs.”
Every time he named an area, there came an extremely bizarre itchy pain in that area. It truly was both itchy and painful, like dense rows of tiny teeth gnawing and biting, accompanied by a burning sensation.
Although the pain could not be considered excruciating, it was hitting the limits of his tolerance.
Shen Qingqiu could no longer sit still. He couldn’t help but bend over, resisting the urge to curl up into a ball. Following the not yet dried water droplets on his jaw, his cold sweat trickled and fell.
Luo Binghe’s style was finally correct, but now it was his turn to suffer. Damn, my stomach really fucking hurts. Is this how girls feel when going through period pain?
Luo Binghe warmly said: “Shizun, where do you want it to exit?”
I don’t want it anywhere!
Speaking of that, it hasn’t exited yet?! Then what would the sensation of it exiting be like?!!!
Shen Qingqiu slapped the System box: “Think of a solution, will you? Don’t I still count as your client?!”
System: [Do you wish to enable the key item: Fake Jade Guanyin? Friendly Tip: This item can only be used once.]
Shen Qingqiu: “What is Luo Binghe’s anger level right now?”
System: [30 points.]
Shen Qingqiu: “Why so low? Are you sure you didn’t calculate wrong?! This is completely unscientific!”
Using a magic artifact that can eliminate 5000 points to deal with 30 points, he absolutely can’t!
Shen Qingqiu: “Are there any other options? What is the second highest rated program in the industry?”
System: [Do you wish to use the “Small Scenario Pusher”?]
…This name doesn’t sound too high-grade. But since it is the second highest rated program in the industry, might as well use it. Shen Qingqiu decisively pressed the button!
Luo Binghe sneered: “Refusing to look at me or talk with me, do you think I’m filthy?” Saying so, he abruptly stepped forward and humphed: “In that case, I’ll do the opposite of your wish!” He stretched his hand out to grab Shen Qingqiu’s shoulder.
Seeing his movement, Shen Qingqiu subconsciously dodged aside. Luo Binghe grasped empty air, only catching a piece of clothing.
This robe had originally been shredded into a hideous mess by the little palace mistress’s whip wind. Now with this tear, most of his robe was directly ripped off his shoulder.
This kind of development was beyond everyone’s expectations. Both of them stared blankly, petrified.
Shen Qingqiu’s face and head had recently been splashed with ice water, and up till now, his dripping wet clothes and hair still stuck to his lily-white flesh. The Immortal-Binding Cables wrapped and bound his body, as thin as a red string. Even though the expression on his face could not be any more honestly dumbfounded, his entire person looked extremely… undignified.
Luo Binghe’s eyes suddenly widened.
After a while, he abruptly broke out of his daze. Reacting like he was just burned by a soldering iron, Luo Binghe immediately flung his hand off and turned around!
With this evasive movement, the blood insects originally ready for action in Shen Qingqiu’s internal organs seemed to startle. They scattered like frightened beasts and fowl, and the sensation of blockage in his blood vessels immediately dissipated.
Shen Qingqiu breathed a sigh of relief and shed tears of joy in his heart: finally fucking gone!
So how does this “Small Scenario Pusher” operate after all? Is it just making his clothing burst apart? Might as well call it “Small Clothing Burster.” What principle is it based on? Using Luo Binghe’s physiological revulsion at seeing a half-naked man?!
For a while, Luo Binghe stood stiffly with his back to him, as if he didn’t know where to put his limbs. All of a sudden, he took off his robe at lightning speed and tossed it backward.
The robe was plastered onto Shen Qingqiu’s face.
Shen Qingqiu: “…”
What’s this supposed to mean?
This scene, this action… Why does it inexplicably make him uneasy? He couldn’t help but think of the classic vulgar scene: “After the devastated girl is rescued from her suffering, her boyfriend drapes his warm coat over her”…
Shen Qingqiu’s blood ran cold and his hair stood on end at the thought. With a tip of his arm, he let the ink-colored robe slide off his shoulder.
The soft-textured and exquisite robe fell to the ground, a silver halo following the thin streamlined dusky patterns. Luo Binghe heard the rustling sound and looked back to see the robe cast aside on the ground. Shen Qingqiu even cautiously pushed it back towards him twice.
In actuality, Shen Qingqiu was just considering whether to fold it for Luo Binghe. He was in the midst of considering it and had yet to act, when he raised his head to see Luo Binghe had already turned back towards him. Harsh flames were reflected in Luo Binghe’s eyes, and it seemed like his fury had swelled. The blue veins on the back of his hand popped and he flexed his knuckles a few times. As if venting his rage, he ferociously let out a few violent strikes.
These few strikes were actually a combination of attacks, not aimed accurately at all. A few of the blows hit the lake surface, bursting into huge splashes in the distance. Another one exploded against the wall of the cave, creating a large hole. Pieces of stone tumbled down. The torches shuddered and trembled, falling into the lake. They actually did not go out, but instead floated on the water’s surface, continuing to blaze and burn. The firelight made Luo Binghe’s face rapidly flicker light and dark, his ghastly aura filling the air.
He slowly withdrew his hand and said: “I almost forgot—Shizun surely hates anything tainted by the touch of Demons.”
A dignified and formidable male protagonist, actually throwing a messy and unreasonable tantrum with complete disregard for his image. What difference is there between this and a dissatisfied child angrily kicking his toy building blocks? This is cheapening out, truly cheapening out.
A perfectly good cave had to be smashed full of holes and pits before Luo Binghe finally let out enough of his anger.
When Luo Binghe turned around, Shen Qingqiu still had the casual attitude of an onlooker, as if nothing had just happened. Luo Binghe’s temple seemed to throb a few times. He grit his teeth: “… I want to see with my own eyes how in one month, you will be completely disgraced and your reputation ruined!”
Throwing down this last sentence, he stormed out. When he left the cave, he brutally smashed the mechanism. After a booming rumble, the water curtain flowed down once again. Shen Qingqiu sat in his original place, looking up in complete puzzlement. He had already been reduced to a prisoner in Luo Binghe’s grasp, so where did Luo Binghe’s anger come from?
- This chapter is by Attica.
- Argh! I’m sooo angry at Binghe for torturing Shizun!
- “Small Scenario Pusher” is clearly a fujoshi device that activates BL plot developments, hahaha! (Just my idea, don’t take it seriously.)
- I made a fanart page for this chapter. For obvious reasons, it’s one of the fan artists’ favorite scenes. The fanart page has no spoilers and it’s SFW, of course.
- Thanks for reading.
- “Instance” is an MMO term for a special area that generates a new copy of the location for each group of players that enter the area. Dungeons and Raids are both instances.
- 肠子悔青 lit. “regrets something until one’s intestines turn green”
- Galgame = Japanese video novel genre centered on dating attractive girls, complete with lots of multiple choice questions
- 满脸黑线 lit. “Face of black lines” is shorthand for saying someone is sweating in sheer frustration and disbelief (like you just saw your friend do something extremely stupid)