Don’t Be a Kept Man
Chapter 112: Please Don’t Slander the System
Feng-shu’s niece had average cooking skills, so it was no wonder that the business wasn’t doing so well.
If Wen Chuo had known, he would have gone to the restaurant across the street.
Wen Chuo’s mood was turning sour, and it affected his appetite.
After a few bites, he couldn’t stuff any more of it down his throat.
Bai Yang wasn’t a picky eater, and he cleaned up all the rice in his bowl very well.
The only thing was, he wouldn’t grab any food from the dishes on the table.
“Puh, eat some of the dishes.
How could you be full just from eating rice? No wonder why you’re as skinny as a stick.”
Wen Chuo furrowed his eyebrows and picked up his chopsticks to put some food into Bai Yang’s bowl until it was half full.
Then he filled it up with rice again until the little bowl was stacked like a mountain.
Bai Yang paused before continuing to eat, silently and seriously.
Although Wen Chuo didn’t take any more bites, he was too lazy to leave.
Purely here for the air conditioning, he leaned against the wall and began to play a game on his phone.
Feng-shu gave him a look, knowing full well what Wen Chuo was up to, but he purposefully asked anyway,
“Hoh, are you that bored with lots of money? Haven’t touched a single dish.”
Wen Chuo’s eyes were glued to his phone as he sat with his back against the wall and one leg on Bai Yang’s knees.
He lazily replied,
So terrible to eat, I can’t stomach any of it at all.”
The restaurant was very small which meant the distance between here and the kitchen was only about a few steps away.
The moment Wen Chuo’s words were spoken, a thick browed, large-eyed female wearing a chef’s hat appeared loudly from behind the plastic curtain doorway,
“Who said my food was terrible? Who said so?!”
Wen Chuo lazily raised his hand up, very openly claiming that he was the one,
That girl also had her wok raised up very high when she stepped out, but the moment she saw that the person who spoke was Wen Chuo, she suddenly brought her hands down, looking very embarrassed.
Then with overly elegant and light hands, she put the wok back onto the stove and then took off her chef’s hat.
Letting down her two little black braids, she stood in front of where Wen Chuo was sitting,
“It’s you little hooligan again.
This is the first time I’ve cooked, okay.
I’ve already worked so hard just for this one table, can’t you compliment me?”
Liu Meng Meng had a crush on Wen Chuo and everyone with eyes could see that.
But it wasn’t such a strange nor curious thing, as there were waves of girls on this street alone who had a crush on him; she wasn’t the only one.
Although Wen Chuo had always been yelled at for being a young thug, it cannot be helped that girls loved these kinds of bad boys.
Even looking at him for more than a few seconds would make them blush red.
But, like was like; no one really wanted to marry him.
Not to speak of whether their family would agree or not, just looking at him and his jobless, aimless life, it would mean to be poor for the rest of your life if they married him.
Lin Xian was very small, and those who lived here are very realistic.
The days gone by, sowed with hard and gruelling work just for food and shelter, within a few years, it could turn a wealthy man’s wife into a crazed, swearing shrew, and it could teach a well raised wealthy descendent into a thuggish hooligan.
Just like the late Liu Ruo Qing, and just like the Wen Chuo of today.
“Hey, look at you.
I’m eating because I spent the money, so it’s not even eating without paying.
Just because it’s the first time you made food shouldn’t be the reason for me to be punished.
But since I’m so generous, I won’t start a fight with a beautiful lady.”
Wen Chuo threw a peanut into his mouth, looking so shameless and like he was up to no good.
Paired with his fierce eyebrows, it framed him in a way that made him look very handsome, so much so he could hook souls out of bodies.
Seeing him compliment her, Liu Meng Meng’s ears started to burn, and she twirled her braid around and around, looking quite like a shy youthful girl,
“Only you have so many words to say.
Hasn’t Bai Yang been eating so well?”
Since the beginning, Bai Yang had only been silently eating his meal; his presence was almost down to zero.
Liu Meng Meng looked over at him and met up with his very distinct black and white eyes, and her heart suddenly felt like it had skipped a beat from the fear that erupted from the deep depths of those eyes, hidden without a single light reflecting.
“Who? Bai Yang?”
Wen Chuo didn’t have any sense of what just happened, and he chuckled in response to her question.
Resting his arm on Bai Yang’s shoulders and squeezing his clean white cheeks, he said,
“He loves to not waste food.
Whatever you give he can eat it all.
Isn’t that right, Bai Yang?”
Bai Yang didn’t speak, only silently looking at Wen Chuo.
His face didn’t have much of an expression, and Wen Chuo suddenly got the same feeling as Liu Meng Meng.
His heart suddenly froze, and he chuckled mockingly before letting go of him.
Bai Yang silently stood up and then went to the kitchen to wash the dishes.
There was still about more than half of the food left on the dishes as the both of them had not moved their chopsticks much.
Liu Meng Meng turned her head around towards the back,
“Ah, since there aren’t many customers around, sit down and eat some more.
How can you stand it when you only eat steamed buns everyday?”
A faint sound of clinks and clangs of dishes lightly knocking against each other came out of the kitchen along with the noise of flowing water, but no one responded.
Wen Chuo slightly paused before looking at the food left in Bai Yang’s bowl and then towards the kitchen covered by those plastic curtains.
He threw down the peanut shells and dusted his hands before saying to Liu Meng Meng,
“Look at how terrible your cooking is.
Bai Yang couldn’t even eat it anymore.”
Wen Chuo laughed,
“You can try it yourself if you don’t believe it.”
When the temperature was humid and hot, it was all too easy to become drowsy, and Feng-shu was just napping on the counter.
Meanwhile in the kitchen, Bai Yang was holding a sponge and cleaning up the oily plates.
Hearing the laughter outside, he gave no reaction and only continued to work with his head lowered.
But in the next second, his fingers felt a sudden sharp pain and blood red droplets started to leak out.
The last dish being washed was a light blue porcelain serving plate which a customer had been very careless with and broke a tiny piece off the edge.
The shards were sharp, and Bai Yang took a look before putting aside the clean dishes and washing off the oil from his hands.
The wound was quite long and the injured area was still bleeding, but it could be momentarily cleaned off by the water.
It was at this time that the plastic curtains in the kitchen doorway rustled, and following that, Bai Yang’s waist was grabbed, being embraced by the person behind.
By his ear came the sound of Wen Chuo’s voice with a smile,
“Ah, why didn’t you finish the food? Has your stomach shrunk from just eating steamed buns everyday?”
He was taller than Bai Yang by about half a head, and when he smiled, his pair of peach blossom eyes looked quite devilish and up to no good.
It was no wonder why so many girls had their souls siphoned away by him.
Bai Yang still had his skinny and lean youthful look, and he stared at the blood stain on the side of the sink.
Flailing, he struggled to get out of his hold, trying to push aside this hard to get rid of person.
Wen Chuo raised his eyebrow,
“Ah, are you mad?”
He really couldn’t stand Bai Yang getting mad.
When Bai Yang did, his entire self would become downtrodden, depressed and not saying a word, just like a log of wood.
Even if he was not dumb before, he would have really become an idiot given how he acted.
The longest time Bai Yang had been angry was when he ignored Wen Chuo for two months.
Truly, his cold silent treatment was indeed very scary.
Wen Chuo wrapped himself around Bai Yang again and, holding onto his chin, he kissed him hard.
Bai Yang struggled to push him away again, but he was pressed down against the countertop.
As Wen Chuo kept kissing, he became more wild and unrestrained and intertwined their tongues.
All of a sudden, in the midst of all this, Bai Yang’s heart was overwhelmed and swallowed up into nothingness.
They kissed and kissed until Wen Chuo finally spotted the bloody wound on Bai Yang’s hands.
The cut wasn’t too deep, but quite a lot of blood was dripping out.
Wen Chuo stopped his movements and grabbed onto Bai Yang’s hand, asking,
Thinking that Bai Yang would probably just ignore him, he grabbed a tissue from his pant pocket.
Just at this time, Liu Meng Meng’s voice sounded out from outside,
“How is this food horrible, Wen Chuo? Wen Chuo? Did you go into my kitchen to add poison?”
Pitter-pattering into the kitchen in a haste and brushing aside the plastic curtains roughly, she was greeted by Bai Yang’s wound the moment she stepped in.
Most girls would be a bit afraid at seeing fresh blood and Liu Meng Meng was no exception.
She backed up a step in fear,
“Ah! What happened? Does it hurt?”
Wen Chuo ‘tsk’ed,
“Your place doesn’t even give gloves to wash the dishes.
How could you be so cheap?”
Liu Meng Meng glared at him,
“Don’t sprout things that aren’t true.
The gloves ripped yesterday, and we didn’t have time to buy new ones.
Wait a second.
I’ll go find the first aid box upstairs.”
And then she brazenly ran off, not noticing at all that the faint red on Bai Yang’s lips wasn’t quite normal and that there were even faint teeth marks.
When Liu Meng Meng left and there were only the two of them in the kitchen, silence reigned for a moment.
Wen Chuo lowered his eyes and grabbed onto Bai Yang’s injured hand.
He stared at his lips, looking and thinking about how beautiful the rich red color on it was.
Bai Yang’s face and eyes twitched and his eyelashes created a shadow, giving off a sense of beauty that didn’t seem to belong in this time period.
Like a premature fruit, sour but sweet.
Bai Yang turned his head to avoid Wen Chuo’s gaze, but he was caught and held by his chin.
Wen Chuo only said two words before leaning down to kiss Bai Yang.
So close that Bai Yang could smell the faint scent of lavender carried by his clothes.
Bai Yang subconsciously closed his eyes, and when he opened them again, Wen Chuo had already moved away.
With a first aid box in hand, Liu Meng Meng came down the stairs and helped wrap up Bai Yang’s injury.
When she was sanitizing his wound, Wen Chuo looked at him,
“Does it hurt?”
Bai Yang shook his head.
A happiness erupted in Wen Chuo.
Although Bai Yang still wasn’t speaking, at least he was not ignoring him.
Liu Meng Meng wrapped the bandage around his injury well and then said,
“Wounds shouldn’t touch water.
Leave the bowls there.
I’ll come and wash them later.
Bai Yang, you can just clean up the kitchen area.”
And then said to Wen Chuo,
“Come out and pay your bill.
Don’t even think about dine and dashing!”
And then lifted up the curtains to leave.
Wen Chuo looked at Bai Yang before smiling and following along,
“Beautiful lady, don’t make it too expensive.
Give me a discount, and I’ll keep coming back to eat.”
“Who would believe you? Not a single honest word ever comes out of your mouth,”
Liu Meng Meng used a calculator to count up his bill, but then she thought that she wasn’t exactly great at cooking, so she didn’t really have the heart to ask for more.
Under Feng-shu’s sleepy eyes, she gave Wen Chuo a 30% discount.
A hundred or so for a meal, that wasn’t too expensive.
Wen Chuo counted out a hundred in bills for her, and when Liu Meng Meng saw that his pocket still had a few red bills, she asked curiously with surprise,
“Wow, how rare.
An old man like you actually has money.
You wouldn’t have scored a jackpot, would you?”
“If I did, would I even be here to eat your food?”
Wen Chuo shook the remaining coins in his hand and looked at her,
“See this? This is my entire savings.
Beautiful lady, if you want to pity, pity me, lend me some money and I’ll be grateful to you for the rest of my life.”
Liu Meng Meng rolled her eyes at him,
“You just blindly flirt and harass others everyday and then run away right after.
Who would believe your lies? No.
I won’t lend anything.
Wen Chuo raised an eyebrow and lit up a cigarette.
His mouth was tinged with a meaningful smile.
He knew that Liu Meng Meng liked him, but he also felt that this like of hers was too surface level, too shallow.
Other people liked him but that didn’t mean that they owed him anything.
To lend was a gesture of kindness, and to not lend was their choice.
But in the eyes of Wen Chuo who had grown up so twisted, to lend him money meant to really like him.
No money? Then that’s too fake of a like.
Wen Chuo could just twitch his finger and he’d be able to swindle Bai Yang out of all of his money.
To Liu Meng Meng, that kind of action may not even be able to get a penny out of her.
Where’s the difference you ask? Well, the reason is probably in Bai Yang’s heart, he was the most important, and yet in Liu Meng Meng’s, there were many other important things that ranked above Wen Chuo.
As the smoke from his cigarette wafted around them, a smile came to Wen Chuo’s eyes, and he asked Liu Meng Meng,
“Hey beautiful lady, you really won’t lend me some?”
Liu Meng Meng ‘hmph’ed and then walked back into the kitchen,
Wen Chuo raised his eyebrow, pridefully extinguishing his cigarette,
“If you won’t, then you won’t.”
Without a doubt, Bai Yang was always the best to him.
There were some times when he thought, perhaps he will never meet another person like this for the rest of his life.
Wen Chuo was walking towards the door when he saw Bai Yang cleaning up the leftovers from just now.
He couldn’t help but pause his steps and retraced them back, stuffing himself closer to Bai Yang to take a good look at him without speaking a word.
“Ah, come over.
I’ll tell you a secret.”
Behind the counter, Feng-shu saw Bai Yang slowly move his head over.
Then Wen Chuo covered his mouth and bent down to whisper something in his ear before walking to the door and leaving.
As he did so, the cloth Bai Yang was holding fell straight to the floor.
“What did he say to you?”
Wen Chuo hadn’t said anything; he had only, only kissed Bai Yang once.
When it was the afternoon, when the sun wasn’t shining as brightly as it had at noon, Wen Chuo walked out of the restaurant, bumping right into Shan Dian and his groupies who were bumming around on the streets.
“Hey, Wen Chuo, the cafe just got a new game.
Let’s go try it out.
I think it looks pretty good.”
Shan Dian has only ever shaved his hair down to a short length, yet he was still very stubborn about leaving that bit of hair in a dumb looking lightning symbol.
Wen Chuo jumped on the spot a few times as if to stretch and warm up his muscles, yet also looking as if he was contemplating something.
He finally tilted up his chin and said,
To the internet cafe.”
Since the beginning of middle school, Wen Chuo grew up in internet cafes.
Playing games everyday and playing games everyday.
He had in his hands a few high level gaming accounts, and when he needed money, he’d sell one.
Need some more money, sell some more.
All the way until now where he’s left with only one.
The internet cafe was filled with smoke and other scents.
One of the more crazy fellows in the bar has been here since half a month ago and hasn’t left for his home since.
Wen Chuo found an empty spot but upon finding that the keyboard was filled with dandruff and that the headphones were oily and greasy, he switched to a new spot with a disgusted face.
He put his leg on the other knee as he sat on the chair and then went to put his remaining high level account on the market, waiting for someone to contact him.
The owner was just selling instant noodles and seeing him in this stance, patted him and said,
“Hey hey hey, leg.”
The owner of the cafe looked down on Wen Chuo and the group.
Without fail, he’d always give them the stink eye whenever he saw them and there was a time where he upped the prices and sold them all expired food.
Wen Chuo lifted up his head and closed his eyes before putting down his leg.
The owner muttered,
“What pieces of shit.
Just looking at you lot and people would be afraid.
Must have been mortal enemies in the past life.”
Wen Chuo raised his eyebrow,
“A father and son aren’t really family if they didn’t have animosity towards each other.
Do you think I look like your dad huh?”1
The owner immediately slammed the instant noodles on the table and pointed at Wen Chuo,
“What did you say, you rat bastard? Say it again to my face if you dare!”
Shan Dian and the gang were all just sitting beside Wen Chuo and they all immediately stood up at the owner’s words.
They followed along each other to bang the keyboards and said,
“What hey, said you look like our son.
What? Didn’t hear it clearly huh?”
“What Wen Chuo said was right, fathers and sons aren’t really family if they didn’t have animosity towards each other.”
The owner became agitated and pointed at the lot,
“Go go go! I don’t want your business! All shitheads who have mothers but didn’t get taught!”
Wen Chuo had just sold his account and so at that, he pushed back his chair and emotionlessly pointed at the owner’s head.
Underneath the gaze of the other’s slightly fearful eyes, he walked out.
Shan Dian and them looked at each other, before reacting and chasing after him.
“Ah ah ah, Wen Chuo, where are you going? We’ve already paid the money.
If we don’t play, we’d have wasted it.”
Wen Chuo flipped over to sit on the railing, a bit irritated,
No matter what we play, we won’t be playing there.”
Shan Dian grabbed his hair, a bit downtrodden,
“I just started a game on << Jue Jing >>, and I’ll have to surrender before I even start.
A boy wearing glasses beside them said,
“Scared of what.
It’s not only you.
Quite a few people have been stuck on the first level.
Even Jiu Cang, that hero rank number 1 streamer, has only beaten the first level now.”
<< Jue Jing >> was a new FPS game with an extremely high difficulty.
The game company had some big backing and they contracted quite a few streamers to play it as a promotion.
Even though it just came out, it has already found itself in the eyes of the public, but unfortunately too many still haven’t understood the mechanics and so even just the first couple levels have blocked a lot of people from advancing.
The popularity of this game in his past life lasted for a very long time.
Wen Chuo had played it to death, and hearing Shan Dian and them talking their tongues off about it, a thought suddenly appeared at the bottom of his heart.
Other people couldn’t play << Jue Jing >> well, but he could.
If he led new players to win, with a new group every time, the amount he would earn wouldn’t be small……
The more Wen Chuo thought about it, the more he believed it could work.
But then he was stuck with another new problem — he didn’t own a computer.
Liu Xian was small, and there were only those two internet bars.
It wasn’t great to always sink his time everyday at one, so it was better to buy his own computer.
But what should he do if he doesn’t have enough money?
Wen Chuo couldn’t help but think of Bai Yang……
[ Ding! Please, my dear host, be more self conscious and follow the rules of being self-sufficient and self-reliant.
If you disobey, your life points will be deducted an appropriate amount ]
Every time Wen Chuo heard a “ding”, his head would hurt.
He raised his eyebrows and asked,
Borrowing money counts as being reliant?!”
[ …… Other people don’t count, but you count.
Wen Chuo: “Why?”
[ Because I think you won’t return it ]
Wen Chuo: “……”
Wen Chuo’s anger almost exploded out of him, but he really didn’t think about returning what he borrowed.
He took a deep breath and then laughed out coldly,
“Borrow a bit of money and my life points will be deducted.
You must have a lot of hosts who have died by your hands, right?”
Wen Chuo lit up a cigarette and said,
How many lives have been on your hands? Let me prepare myself mentally.”
[ …… My host, please don’t slander this system!!! ]
From the bottom of its heart, out of the goodness of its conscience, it has always only used this to scare-scare its host.
At most, shock them a few times, but it has never really deducted their life points.
The system thought, its generosity has been slandered.
TL Tidbit: The name of the troublemaker friend of Wen Chuo who is said to have a lightning bolt on his head also means “lightning bolt”.
*1 A father and son aren’t really family if they didn’t have animosity towards each other is a phrase that has been usually considered to be passed down orally, but it has been seen in some historical texts like folktales, and it usually has a second phrase that basically says a wife and husband can’t be really a wife and a husband if they didn’t have resentment towards each other.
There’s a few ways to interpret this, but one way to see this is in modern times, it’s mostly because of how children are raised, in particular the very strict standards and being rebellious against their fathers for enforcing such strict rules and growing hatred at the restrictions and certain ways you have to act in the culture.
As they say, filial piety is the basis…
In any case, this phrase has also been tied with religion such as buddhism with reincarnation, about cycles of life, and to have been mortal enemies in a past life means you have to “end” that animosity in this life somehow (reminds me of the phrases daughters are their father’s past lover / sons are their father’s past mortal enemies)
*2 Jue Jing: I’ve learned my lesson from golden money sword last volume haha, so you get the pinyin for these names now.
In any case, Jue Jing can mean like something like the apocalypse, where it’s basically a moment/place where it feels like there is no way out (stuck between a rock and a hard place, somewhere where you have no hope of escaping).
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