Note: Our male lead Luo Binghe shows up in this chapter! Still a lot of footnotes but less than in Chapter 1.
Shen Yuan has never been able to understand why this extreme scum villain, Shen Qingqiu, has this kind of do-or-die attitude. For what?
The original Shen Qingqiu’s family was well-off and he could at least be considered a small wealthy second generation offspring. He has two older brothers who will inherit the family business in the future and a younger sister that he loves. Their feelings are very good.
He already knew that even if he didn’t amount to much in life, he wouldn’t lack a mouthful of rice.1 But perhaps it’s because his growing environment was so easy and lacking in competition that as long as the competitors number more than ten, getting ranked within the first ten is considered a good result to him.
Thus, he has never shared a common language with those who wanted to dominate the world.
This original Shen Qingqiu has some skill and qualifications. He also pretends to have more than he has. No shortage of reputation, no need to worry about money as a member of the world’s number one sect; why does he have to keep picking a fight with the grassroots protagonist, his brain working all day to calculate how to insult the protagonist and incite others to join in?
Even if Luo Binghe is a heaven-sent genius and incredibly powerful, to compare himself to…… there’s no need to be jealous to this degree, right?
Still, you can’t blame this scum villain for being so crummy. In the novel, this kind of crummy scum villain is like carp in the river, proliferating everywhere. He is only one of many.
What is there to do? This novel’s biggest BOSS is the protagonist himself. How can a firefly’s light shine like the sun and the moon?
He won respect in the cultivation world because of his ‘Xiu Ya Sword,’ so his natural talent can’t be considered too bad.
For now, Shen Qingqiu looks left and right, pleased even though his complexion is like the color of porridge in the bronze mirror.
This person’s appearance is neat with two black eyebrows and thin lips, born to look like a scholar. Plus his trim and long legs, he can be considered a good-looking man. Though his actual age doesn’t bear thinking of2, this is a cultivation novel; Shen Qingqiu cultivated his inner strength and so he has perfectly maintained the looks of a youth. When he is reading books to fill his mind, the quality of his looks multiplies.3
Though there’s no way to compare to Luo Binghe.
Once he thought of Luo Binghe, Shen Qingqiu’s brain felt extreme pain.
He wants to take a look right now at the Luo Binghe who’s currently shut up in the woodshed, but before he can take a step, another alarm sounded in his mind.
【Warning! OOC warning! ‘Shen Qingqiu’ would not take the initiative to see Luo Binghe. 】
Shen Qingqiu angrily said: ‘Fine. Then I’ll send someone to bring him over, this much should be okay.’
He thought for a moment, then called out: “Ming Fan!”
From outside the door a boy of around sixteen years of age darted in, tall and thin, and said: “This disciple is here. What is shifu’s command?”
Shen Qingqiu couldn’t help taking another look at him. He can be counted as decent-looking, just has a bit of a wretched appearance.4 In his heart he laments: Turns out he’s a piece of cannon fodder.5
This is the original Shen Qingqiu’s top disciple, Luo Binghe’s senior apprentice-brother Ming Fan.
This is the legendary lowest level of cannon fodder!
Needless to say about shutting Luo Binghe out of the dorms overnight or deliberately giving him the wrong entry passwords, these kinds of things he all has a hand in. Whenever Shen Qingqiu feels a deep grudge and wants to torture Luo Binghe, the most trustworthy and eager assistant is Ming Fan.
Knowing this person’s final ending, Shen Qingqiu looks at this child and feels quite a bit of empathy with him since they’re in the same boat: “Go bring Binghe here.”
Ming Fan’s heart thought: Why is shifu calling him Luo Binghe, he always calls him ‘that small beast,’ ‘bastard,’ ‘mixed blood,’ ‘sprout,’6 and uses these names quite often. How come he’s suddenly calling him so intimately?
But naturally he doesn’t dare to question his shifu’s commands, so he promptly jogs to the woodshed and kicks the door, yelling: “Come out! Shizun7 is calling you!”
Shen Qingqiu paces in the room, fully examining the system in his mind.
The system diligently answers him.
【Points are the grading method used. The higher your points are, the better the work is. 】
Then, how would I raise points?
【1. Change the weak plot and fix the errors of the scum villain and other supporting characters; 2. Avoid mines; 3. Ensure the protagonist’s coolness; 4. Unravel secret scenarios. 】
Shen Qingqiu analyzed everything deeply, one by one.
That is to say: He not only has to whip the ass of the rotten piece of work that is the original Shen Qingqiu into shape, but also make sure the other characters don’t make a mess either;
He doesn’t even know if he can keep his own precious little life, but he still must ensure that the coolness points for the protagonist and his girls aren’t lacking;
Not only are the plot holes made by the author unfilled, he must personally shovel and top off those holes himself.
As Airplane Towards The Sky said, this novel “Proud Immortal Demon Way” has a very clear goal. Every word that is written is for one purpose, and that is coolness.
Perhaps it’s after the male protagonist was blackened that he started playing innocent, pretending to be the pig to eat the tiger,8 guarding against machinations of bitches, and becoming cool enough to overturn the heavens. That’s why the work became popular, increasingly long to the point the book was longer than its binding.
So Shen Qingqiu thinks, but his task to clean up the plot makes the pressure on him very great. Mines are buried all over, he cannot be certain that he’ll be able to avoid every single one!
Shen Qingqiu: ‘What kind of plot is considered not bad?’
【There is no standard, it depends upon the subjective feelings of the reader. 】
‘This poor piece of writing still has a reader.’ Shen Qingqiu snorted, completely forgetting that he himself was someone who’d spent V real money on the novel and finished reading while pinching the bridge of his nose, that he was that kind of ‘faithful’ reader……
Pausing, Shen Qingqiu then asked: ‘Then how many points needed to be collected for the beginning stage to start?’
System: 【It will be dictated by the specific circumstances. When the requirements have been met, you will automatically be notified. 】
Going through the problem and its analysis is truly applying balm.9
Shen Qingqiu sneered. Hearing the door, he stepped back and saw a boy walk through.
Despite being uneasy, he still managed to stand straight and say: “Shizun.”
Shen Qingqiu formed three-quarters of a smile before he stiffened.
Going to die! Towards this person who will meet and harm an eighty-something years old woman holding a girl-child, as the person who so greatly damaged the male protagonist’s face like this, he’s totally going to die!
But, though he’s gone through such abuse, that damaged face of the protagonist proves that he is still worthy of being called the protagonist!
Luo Binghe’s pair of eyes are bright like morning stars. A good, fresh and tender little handsome embryo;
That firm and humble look, showing his noble and unyielding character;
That straight and tall stature, that would rather break than bend!
Suddenly met with this sight, Shen Qingqiu’s heart broke up the words he was going to say, scrambled all his rhetoric and caused countless words to fall over each other in his mind, so much that he almost blurted them all out!
Thankfully, Shen Qingqiu was at the precipice but his mind cried out at the sheer drop. This protagonist is too excellent, he almost could not hold it in!
He watched Luo Binghe slowly limp through the door, struggling to kneel. The corner of Sheng Qingqiu’s mouth twitched. Inside, he thought that this old lady can’t afford to accept your bow10. If you bow to me today, some day in the future my kneecaps are going to be finished off by you! So he immediately stopped him and said: “No need.”
He withdrew his hand and brought out a small bottle: “This is medicine.” He ended his words with a sarcastic tone: “Don’t let others see and think that my Qing Jing Peak abuses disciples.”
Shen Qingqiu enters his role very quickly. He had great guts to attempt the action of giving the medicine to him, but made sure he chose to use a nasty attitude in line with the original Shen Qingqiu’s hypocritical character.
As expected, the system didn’t let out an OOC notification. Shen Qingqiu let out a breath in relief.
Luo Binghe thought that shizun had called him over to follow up with more ‘teaching.’ He didn’t think it was to give him medicine. Surprised for a moment, he then held up his hands in a gesture of respect, sincerely grateful: “Thank you for the medicine, shizun.”
Luo Binghe’s was filled with childishness, his smile full of sincerity, just like the warm sun breaking over the horizon.
Shen Qingqiu stared for a moment, then turned his face away.
This male protagonist before being blackened is truly the model of a good boy, brilliant like the sun. He’s the kind of person who if you give him one point he’ll guarantee to return you ten points. It wouldn’t be wrong to say he’s a small sheep.
Luo Binghe happily said: “This disciple will redouble his efforts in the future, won’t let shizun be disappointed.”
Eh, but, if you redouble your efforts then your original shizun will be the one truly disappointed……
If Shen Qingqiu hadn’t read “Proud Immortal Demon Way” and seen this scene, his heart would ache for Luo Binghe and he’d shed sympathetic tears.
However, he has read the novel from beginning to end and was privy to all of Luo Binghe’s mental activities after his blackening. On the surface his face is that of a modest gentleman but deep inside he is thinking about how to pull off his skin and bones to expose reality.
【Luo Binghe smiled a little and said: ‘What shame this disciple suffered in the past, he will return to you now eight times greater. For hurting my hand, I will grind your four limbs into dust. 】
↑ <<Proud Immortal Demon Way>> Selected paragraph, the 2nd.
Afterwards, he really cut Shen Qingqiu into a human stick.11
Say he wants to do something to you, he’ll do it. Cannot plead for life, cannot plead for death. This kind of character is like the domineering and cool king he became in later years. The essence of it can be summed up in a few words: “Hehe, you stupid sucker.”
That’s why even though Luo Binghe’s current situation is sympathetic, Shen Qingqiu can only think more about his own future fate.
To sum it up, no matter how sad Luo Binghe is right now, he is also the one in the future whose foot is stepping on his head and laughing ferociously.
Shen Qingqiu sat in the sandalwood chair, choosing to speak in a careless tone: “Binghe, how is your progress in cultivation?”
Hearing “Binghe” coming out of his mouth gives even him goosebumps. Luo Binghe’s back also noticeably shook, but he still showed a shy smile: “This disciple is stupid, and…… missed the point.”
Shen Qingqiu hates him; heaven knows he wants to take a loudspeaker and roar next to Luo Binghe’s ear: You false-hearted person, it’s already pretty good if you don’t go crazy.12 Being able to do the basics is already not bad! Are you messing with me, kid! Let this teacher point you in the right direction!
That demonic alert sounded again. Shen Qingqiu inwardly shouted to the system: ‘I’m just thinking, can’t I do even that?! Of course I know this is a violation!’
He casually said: “Today I punished you because I was anxious. Time flies. Come to think of it, you’ve been apprenticed under me for quite some time. How old are you this year?”
Luo Binghe obediently said: “This disciple is fourteen.”
Shen Qingqiu’s ‘help.’
That is to say, all this time that Shen Qingqiu has been mentoring Luo Binghe, he has already experienced the punished to kneel at the gate incident, Qing Jing disciples brawl incident, being ‘contrary’ to shizun incident, breaking the device and sentenced to hard work incident…… and so on, on this kind of glorious track.
—End Chapter 2—
1Mouthful of rice: Meaning he won’t starve.
2Actual age: All immortals will look the same age as when they reached immortality, barring taking pills or some other factor. Shen Qingqiu cultivated into an Immortal fairly early so he looks like a young man. His actual age… is probably quite a bit older than what he looks like.
3Quality of his looks multiplies: Basically, Shen Qingqiu is one of those people who looks extra cool doing scholarly things compared to whatever he normally does.
4Wretched appearance (尖嘴猴腮): Literally saying he’s got a mouth that sticks out and a chin like an ape’s, but the meaning is the one I used.
5Cannon fodder: If you’re familiar with the kind of ‘protagonist dominates the world’ genre in wuxia/xuanhuan/xianxia novels then you know what this means. You’ll also know what this means if you read novels based on otome games. ‘Cannon fodder’ characters are collateral damage and often used as stepping stones for the protagonist to level up or proceed along their way.
6Small beast, bastard, mixed blood, sprout (「那小畜生」、「孽障」、「混小子」、「豎子」): All insulting names. The direct translations are a bit awkward to translate to English so I’m using what MTL’s given. It’s close enough. In Chinese calling someone by name, especially their ‘first name’ (which would be Binghe in our ML’s case) is something only those close to you would do. In the case of a normal master-disciple relationship, it wouldn’t be unusual to use a first name so casually.
7Shizun (師尊): Used the same way as shifu and also means ‘master’ or ‘teacher.’ I think it’s more formal though, more like ‘respected master.’ Luo Binghe will use this a lot so remember this!
8Pretending to be the pig to eat the tiger: Pretend to be weak to win over a stronger person.
9Balm: Original words are wan jin you (萬金油) which refer to a traditional Chinese balm called Tiger Balm. It’s used for a variety of ailments.
10This old lady…: Shen Qingqiu is making fun of himself. In those old palace historical dramas full of schemes, old ladies with high status are terrifying and generally have scores of people bowing down/kowtowing to them.
11Human stick: Just a reminder that this is a form of torture. The person’s four limbs are removed, leaving only the head and torso.
12Go crazy: The actual Chinese words used (pinyin: zhou huo ru mo) tends to apply to people ‘going crazy’ by cultivating incorrectly. It’s probably referring to the unusual Demon cultivation path that Luo Binghe is going follow in the future.