Chapter 49 – True Disposition
Shen Qingqiu had always kept himself at a respectful distance when it came to the tussles and catfights between the female characters. But when he saw what was happening, he felt the gap between his expectations and reality was too great, so he hurriedly followed to continue spectating.
Qin Wanyue held back her tears: “I’m sorry, I neglected my duty and did not stop the Little Palace Mistress…”
Sha Hualing immediately interrupted her: “It was your fault in the first place! I heard that women of the human realm are particularly modest and moral, but how many times have you failed to seduce the lord yet still refuse to leave? If you don’t leave that’s fine, but you’re incapable of looking after even a single person. Her cultivation isn’t even as high as yours. You’re her senior martial sister. You didn’t stop her early and didn’t stop her late. All you did was to let her make this unreasonable scene in front of the lord. Who are you putting on this pitiful and wronged appearance for?”
Hearing Sha Hualing point out all her weaknesses in front of her face, Qin Wanyue was so ashamed she wanted to die. Back in the original novel, Sha Hualing held an extreme hatred for Qin Wanyue and always found ways to quarrel with her. It seemed that although the two had not entered the harem together this time, their relationship had not improved by the slightest. Sha Hualing turned away and changed the expression on her face, now looking at the Little Palace Mistress with a face full of smiles: “The Little Palace Mistress has been living a life of luxury all these years just like before. Aside from being occasionally grounded, it seems you have never suffered any mistreatment, right? Why are you now so aggrieved?”
The Little Palace Mistress ferociously replied: “And what the hell are you? A seductive wild fox of a demon who came from who-knows-where, actually daring to talk to me like this in the Huan Hua Palace?! What’s the difference between how he treats me and how he’d raise a pig?!”
Sha Hualing stuck out her lip: “Then why doesn’t the Little Palace Mistress tell us: besides eating and sleeping like the animal you mentioned, what else can you do?”
Qin Wanyue wept: “Little Palace Mistress, let’s hurry and leave. Everything… has long since changed…”
The Little Palace Mistress became completely hysterical: “Why should I leave?! This is my Huan Hua Palace, mine! All of you, get lost! Everything’s reversed from how it should be!”
The scene was one of utter turmoil and warfare. Shen Qingqiu had discovered an incredibly shocking fact. He used his fingers to carefully calculate:
Sha Hualing: Not received as a wife, but as a subordinate instead. Slaving away, working herself to death with all the overtime. Her salary and working conditions were also inhumane. The boss’s attitude suggests that he does not want to engage in office romance ×
Liu Mingyan: Even the love token sword tassels were not exchanged ×
Ning Yingying: After puberty, no longer shows the same passionate love for the male protagonist like she did when she was young and ignorant. Lovesick brain seems to have been cured ×
Little Palace Mistress: Aggrieved woman confined at home. Even said herself that Luo Binghe only treats her like a pig to raise ×
Qin Wanyue: Aggrieved woman confined at home #2. Numerous attempts at devoting her life and body have all failed. Now a part-time nursemaid for the Little Palace Mistress ×
Qiu Haitang: Didn’t we already establish that after dragging Shen Qingqiu down, she would happily go NTRing with Luo Binghe? How come she’s still wandering around outside, travel-worn? ×
Three Taoist nuns: Cameos as short-lived as the night-blooming cactus, hello goodbye ×××
Looking at it from this perspective, Luo Binghe really… is doing quite miserably!
Dignified Stallion novel male protagonist, are you still okay in that department?
A perfectly good harem, tormented by him into complete pandemonium. If this was a novel, how could coolness points even be in the conversation without having received even a single wife?! Shen Qingqiu hurriedly knocked on the System to check all the various values. But he suddenly discovered: the B points and coolness value had not only not been reduced, but instead had actually shot up to more than 900!
Since many of these values were added during the sleep and offline states, he had not received any notifications for them. Shen Qingqiu poked open all the narrow windows that he didn’t know when he had received. Lined up inside was a pile of historical records.
[Ning Yingying: Reversed the female character’s brainless pursuit. B points +100]
[Ming Fan: Reversed the supporting character’s illogical mental retardation. B points +50]
[Liu Mingyan: Reversed the female character’s inexplicable pursuit. B points +150]
The ubiquitous pursuing female characters and mentally retarded cannon fodder—these two constituted the classic elements of Stallion novels and the like. Now the female characters did not pursue the male protagonist and the supporting characters’ IQ seemed to have improved, so the B points naturally increased. This Shen Qingqiu understood just fine.
But even though Luo Binghe had not hooked up with a single girl, the system did not deduct any of his coolness points—this was unscientific!
Could it be that the male protagonist’s coolness level was now no longer tied to him? Or in other words, was the male protagonist’s “coolness” no longer here?
This… Shen Qingqiu couldn’t help but look up at the gloomy Luo Binghe, and suddenly felt like he couldn’t stare straight.
Oh no, could it be that he has committed a sin by raising a perfectly good Stallion novel protagonist… into an asexual?!
With a complicated mood, Shen Qingqiu closed the window. He suddenly realized his location wasn’t quite right.
He had clearly just been curiously onlooking in the Huan Hua Palace. How did he unknowingly walk into a bamboo forest? And no matter how he looked at it, it was a quite familiar bamboo forest….
The bamboo forest rustled in the gentle serene wind.
Shen Qingqiu did not have any doubt. Even if he could see only a small corner of this place, he would be able to tell where this was.
Cang Qiong Mountain, Qing Jing Peak.
This place where he had lived in for so long… how could he be unfamiliar with it?
System: [Your current location: Luo Binghe’s dreamscape.]
When Luo Binghe’s consciousness was unstable and wildly fluctuating, bystanders would often be affected. They would be sucked into this dreamscape as immense as a deep-sea whirlpool. In other words, they would get screwed by falling into his immeasurably vast “brain hole.”1 See the beginning of the original Dream Demon encounter transcript for details.
Shen Qingqiu had previously walked with Luo Binghe through the Dream Demon encounter. This was the so-called “acquired taste.”2 It was the same as how, after connecting to a WiFi network once, you don’t need to enter the password again when connecting the second time.
Shen Qingqiu quickly touched his face and found he had been restored to his original appearance in the dreamscape. His face was no longer bearded, leaving him with no sense of security at all. He was just about to look for a place to hide and wait for Luo Binghe to wake on his own when some disciples came walking along the road in twos and threes. Shen Qingqiu froze in place, and even forget where he had been going to hide.
Even though these passersby disciples had slightly wooden and slow expressions, they really did have noses and eyes, their facial features complete. Many of them Shen Qingqiu could even name.
Even Dream Demon had no way to support such a huge enchantment while also ensuring the facial features of the creatures inside. Yet Luo Binghe was actually already able to do so and had even shaped their features in such refined detail. Even though he had long since known that Luo Binghe had the talent to cover the heavens and earth, Shen Qingqiu couldn’t help but let out a sigh of awe.
Outside of the small bamboo forest was the Qing Jing bamboo house. Spring water flowed between the staggered bamboo eaves, reflecting the sunlight into seven colors, jingling peacefully and orderly. Shen Qingqiu worried that Luo Binghe was inside, so he stopped his steps and did not go forward. He had passed through this bamboo forest who knows how many times to pass the time, so he routinely found a concealed spot in the shadows to rest.
Suddenly, light footsteps sounded on the fallen leaves. From the alternately hidden and visible bamboo emerged a fifteen-year-old white-clothed teenager.
This young boy’s complexion was fair, and he seemed to have run all the way over here. His forehead was covered with a thin layer of sweat and his cheeks were flushed red, overall appearing very cute. The lines of his eyes and brows were clear yet not sharp, giving the air of inexperienced freshness.
Shen Qingqiu couldn’t help but lament: It’s been a long time since he last saw such a little fresh sunshine youth Luo Binghe.
During his time cultivating at Qing Jing Peak, he liked to wear white clothes. Then after rebelling, the devil king in human form Luo Binghe only wore black clothes, almost completely reversed from before. This kind of fresh and tender appearance, in particular, could no longer be seen at all.
As he strode over, Luo Binghe called out in high spirits: “Shizun!”
Shen Qingqiu was hidden in the dark, so this was naturally not directed at him. He turned his gaze and indeed saw someone wearing a green robe standing at the end of the stone-paved road.
The “Shen Qingqiu” derived from the dreamscape memories stood amidst the lush green bamboo. His figure was lean and thin, resembling a spiritual bamboo himself. His expression was calm, suffused with the cold and clear air of an immortal. Just looking like this, he really did possess some bearing of gracefulness and unworldliness. As a bystander, the current Shen Qingqiu tried to nit-pick himself and still could not help but be convinced.
This acting cool had actually acted all the way to this level, it was truly too tasteful!
In the meantime, Luo Binghe was truly worthy of being Dream Demon’s direct heir, to be able to restore every detail to such perfection!
That other Shen Qingqiu in the bamboo forest seemed to be in a trance, but then tilted his head: “Finished running?”
Luo Binghe nodded his head: “Ten laps… all finished.”
Shen Qingqiu finally remembered what event this was.
The “ten laps” mentioned by Luo Binghe referred to running ten laps around the fence boundary of Qing Jing Peak. Shen Qingqiu had personally given him this task.
This wasn’t because he had the sick sense of humor to punish the great male protagonist, but because he couldn’t take it anymore. Ever since he took over Luo Binghe’s education, he had mulled it over: as the teacher figure, Shen Qingqiu had to somehow teach something real so that when the two of them had their falling-out, he could at least bring up the phrase “affection between teacher and apprentice, grace for bequeathing teachings” without first blushing from shame. According to the general teaching outline, the first step was to correct Luo Binghe’s messy walking position and body technique.
As for the results of these teachings… they were mentioned earlier. The biggest achievement was that Luo Binghe rammed into his arms for half a month.
Shen Qingqiu said: “Again. If you don’t get it right this time, it won’t be just ten laps.”
Luo Binghe obediently tried again. As a result, this time Luo Binghe did not ram into him. Instead, with a slip of his feet, he directly hugged Shen Qingqiu’s waist.
Shen Qingqiu: “……”
Luo Binghe bashfully said: “Shizun, this disciple is useless. After running ten laps, my feet are too soft.”
Shen Qingqiu sighed.
Luo Binghe self-consciously said: “This disciple knows. Twenty laps.”
Shen Qingqiu said: “What do you mean, more laps? Go back to your room and rest.” He didn’t have any hobby of child abuse. At that time he had truly given up on himself, doing whatever he felt like doing.
He’s not gonna teach anymore, he didn’t get any sense of accomplishment at all, he’s throwing away the textbooks!
Luo Binghe totally did not feel he was being avoided, and even became elated: “Thank you, Shizun! This disciple will definitely make up the twenty laps tomorrow. What do you want to eat tonight?”
On the side, Shen Qingqiu rubbed his forehead.
Luo Binghe back then…….was really too silly, sweet, and naive.
Enduring labor, resentment, beatings, scoldings; getting taken advantage of, getting kicked, and getting sentenced to making food….. cough cough, of course, Shen Qingqiu had not done most of these things.
He watched this artificial master-apprentice pair leave, one tall and one short, the two of them still chatting. Shen Qingqiu then left his hiding place and began to wonder.
In the dreamscape enchantment that Luo Binghe created for himself, he would certainly only choose memories he felt were the most beautiful. If the memories of Qing Jing Peak could occupy a place here, they should be related to Ning Yingying. Why would there be this section?
Dreamscapes were the most direct reflection of the truest side of a person’s heart, and would not have any false disguises. A thought was spontaneously born in Shen Qingqiu’s mind, one that he had never considered before.
Thinking like this seemed a little vain, but…… probably… perhaps… just maybe… this section of master-disciple affection was placed a bit higher in Luo Binghe’s heart than Shen Qingqiu had imagined?
At the very least, he had still given Luo Binghe some moments that could be reminisced upon. Those times weren’t so bad as to be completely ignored out of disgust.
Although… was Luo Binghe a little masochistic? It wasn’t that Shen Qingqiu wanted to badmouth him, but… In general, the memory of getting punished to run ten laps and twenty laps didn’t have any connection to the word “beautiful” no matter how you looked at it, right?!
Suddenly, a thread of chilly air crept up Shen Qingqiu’s neck, as if there was a both cold and hot line of sight climbing up along his spine.
He subconsciously turned his head back. A black-clothed Luo Binghe leaned against a green bamboo, arms crossed and eyes looking directly at him.
The two faced each other without words.
……the man himself?
The man himself!
Shen Qingqiu’s first reaction wasn’t to take to his heels and start sprinting for it, but to stay in place and adjust his facial expression to his most natural.
It wasn’t that he had been scared stupid to the point where his legs turned soft and he couldn’t run. Instead, it was because he had long since made the psychological preparations for this kind of situation. “Running” could not solve the problem at all. This enchantment was Luo Binghe’s home court, so no matter how fast Shen Qingqiu ran it would be useless.
That both cold and hot line of sight just now wasn’t an illusion or a mistake in his description. Luo Binghe’s gaze was truly like ice and fire, with both gloomy frigidity and blazing heat. These two temperatures were bizarrely mixed and condensed in his eyes, and firmly locked onto Shen Qingqiu’s body.
Shen Qingqiu braced himself and met his gaze.
After a long while, it was Luo Binghe who first sighed.
He murmured: “Being able to dream… is still nice.”
Hearing this sentence, Shen Qingqiu knew his desperate move had succeeded—he had successfully passed himself off.
He had mustered up his courage and actually won the gamble. At this moment, the entranced and absent-minded Luo Binghe thought he was a creation in his own dreamscape.
Seeing him leaning against the bamboo and staring blankly, Shen Qingqiu remembered his dazed appearance on the head seat during the day, all alone. Then upon comparing this version of him with the impressive commanding splendor of the original work, Shen Qingqiu couldn’t help but feel a little sad.
Luo Binghe didn’t have a single wife by his side to treat his injuries and care for his well-being. As his teacher, how could Shen Qingqiu not feel sad for him? A dignified Stallion novel protagonist had actually fallen to this point. What man could bear to see this?
Luo Binghe said: “I wonder if Shizun could have a word with me.”
Shen Qingqiu’s heart was currently filled with sympathy for Luo Binghe, so he pleasantly and amiably replied: “Okay. What do you want to talk about?”
He didn’t expect that after he spoke up, Luo Binghe instead froze. He instantly stood up straight and left the bamboo, a trace of disbelief showing on his face.
Oops. Shen Qingqiu thought: Does he think this reaction isn’t right?
But since the performance had already started, he had to play it to the end—he absolutely could not abandon it halfway. Awkwardness was just a small matter, but giving the game away was a big deal. Shen Qingqiu smiled slightly and said: “Didn’t you let this teacher talk with you?”
His tone of voice was the same that he had always used when living with Luo Binghe in the past. The corner of Luo Binghe’s mouth twitched, and he slowly walked on over. Shen Qingqiu did not change expression. He slowly opened and closed the folding fan in his hands, using these light and small movements to ease his tension.
After remaining silent for a while, Luo Binghe spoke up: “In the past, Shizun never even bothered to look at me, just walked off on his own, don’t even mention talking with me. Perhaps my imagination today is a little too beautiful.”
Shen Qingqiu’s heart stirred.
Even though he felt there was something a little strange about this, these words truly did sound a bit pitiful. Could it be that Luo Binghe had always previously imagined “Shen Qingqiu” as treating him with this aloof, elegant, and noble indifference?
He probably does actually have some masochistic tendencies…
As Shen Qingqiu was thinking this, in his distraction his hand subconsciously moved on its own, systematically patting Luo Binghe’s head. He had performed this action countless times before: people always said you shouldn’t touch the head of a man or the waist of a woman, but on the contrary, this action being forbidden made one even more tempted. Shen Qingqiu especially loved to pat people’s heads, but regrettably, as an adult, he couldn’t act so impolitely and hadn’t had anyone willing to let him touch. Fortunately, Luo Binghe previously did not mind having Shen Qingqiu’s hand placed on his head at all. Shen Qingqiu had patted him when bored to the point where he’d actually made a habit out of it, and he did the same action now.
He had barely patted twice when all of a sudden, Luo Binghe raised his arm, his left hand gripping Shen Qingqiu’s left wrist.
Shen Qingqiu’s expression solidified as he thought: Isn’t this a bit too close?
Immediately afterward, his right wrist was also firmly grasped. Suddenly looking up, Shen Qingqiu felt his vision blur.
As if gently touched by feathers, his cheeks were swept. A strange sensation came from his lips, both soft and slightly cool.
His eyes opened wide, meeting Luo Binghe’s dark pupils. His throat bobbed with difficulty.
He wanted to speak but had no way to open his mouth. Because his mouth was bitten.
Luo Binghe closed his eyes, his long black eyelashes casting curved shadows on his cheeks. He looked very well-behaved, but his mouth and hands were the exact opposite. He bit Shen Qingqiu’s lips with a hint of resentment and indignation, carrying a little childlike hatred. His right hand loosened the hold on Shen Qingqiu’s stiff arm, instead supporting his waist and pressing him into his arms. Their two figures clearly weren’t much different in stature, but his embracing posture took Shen Qingqiu into his arms.
Shen Qingqiu’s worldview blitzed through a continuous cycle of destruction and reconstruction at the speed of light.
What ultimately breached his state of complete breakdown was a system reminder accompanied by its own celebratory BGM: [Coolness Points +500! Congratulations! Congratulations! Congratulations! Important things must be said three times! ]
Shen Qingqiu: “What. The. F***——————?!?!”
He finally understood why Luo Binghe had not pushed down a single girl to the point where not a single shadow of the 3000 harem beauties had been seen, yet the coolness points had never decreased.
Because he had used Shen Qingqiu to make up for the coolness points aaaaaaahhhhh!!!
- This chapter is by Attica.
- (づ￣ ³￣)づ What a great chapter! I’m sure this one is a fan favorite.
- Happy New Year, everyone!
- This entire sentence is kind of a pun. 脑洞 lit. “brain hole” refers to someone’s overactive imagination, while 坑 lit. “fall into a hole” can also mean “getting screwed over.”
- 一回生二回熟 lit. “first time raw, second time familiar”