Don’t Be a Kept Man
Chapter 146: There is No Way to Live
Pei Ran had always thought that he wouldn’t have been transmigrated to this world for no rhyme or reason.
After all, this kind of thing was too fantastical; there must be some mysterious power controlling everything from the shadows.
And unbelievably that was the truth.
The mythical indication of a main character, the system huh……
For a split second Pei Ran thought he was hallucinating.
He stomped down the excitement threatening to burst out from his throat and stood up to walk to the bathroom.
There, he turned the lock on the door with a clack and rested his back against the tiled walls, desperately trying to control his breathing.
His gaze searched around the cramped space before cautiously asking,
“System? ……Is it you, system?”
This kind of “long time no see” tone drenched the system in silence.
It thought silently for a moment before confirming that it had never seen Pei Ran before, before appearing with a ding.
[ My dear host, hello, the galaxy’s self-sufficient, self-reliant system is happy to be at your service~ ]
A blue ball of light.
Compared to the dark and gloomy blood red light outside, its light was comforting in its silence, subconsciously causing all instincts to calm down.
Pei Ran’s heart began to race.
He held a hand over his heart, his pupils dilated,
“Do you have a dimensional space in you?”
[ Dear, no~ ]
Pei Ran was immediately hit with that feeling of “uh-oh” and the expression on his face became slightly off, but he continued to ask,
“Then…… can you give me an elemental ability?”
[ Dear, no~ ]
Pei Ran’s hand subconsciously gripped at his clothes,
“Then when I am about to die, would you save my life?”
[ Dear, so very sorry to say this system does not have that sort of ability~ ]
Pei Ran: “……”
Separated by the door, the atmosphere outside was the same kind of dark turmoil.
That mohawk delinquent was dead, leaving the redhead alone without any support.
He shrunk himself as much as possible in the corner, tightly grabbing onto his own food as his pair of eyes alertly wandered everywhere, his entire person looking a bit insane.
Every day Feng Tang would clean his weapons.
With a lowered head and hands full of calluses, he wiped his blade clean of blood stains, revealing that sharp cold gleam once more.
Narrowing his eyes, he thought about something before pausing momentarily, his gaze as sharp as an eagle’s locking onto Qu Yan beside him.
This sudden charged encounter came out of nowhere.
Feng Tang suddenly rose up, his muscular shape extremely intimidating in its size.
He walked in front of Qu Yan and grabbed his collar, easily lifting this skinny young man up and pressed him hard against the wall.
“It was your doing—-“
Feng Tang’s gaze was as sharp as a knife.
Lowering his voice, he repeated,
“It was your doing.”
The way that the mohawk delinquent died was too suspicious.
When the zombie horde came to attack, Qu Yan was the last one in the group yet the zombies specifically avoided the closest option and chose to attack that mohawk delinquent.
That did not seem right.
At the time, it was a matter of life and death so Feng Tang could not have spotted it in the heat of the moment.
But his sharp instincts made him realize that the situation could not have been that simple and when he came back, calmed down, he found a problem.
Hearing this, Qu Yan’s eyebrows raised up slightly as if shocked that there was a fairly intelligent human amongst a bunch of stupid monkeys.
He bonelessly leaned against the wall, relaxed, and slowly revealed a wicked smile.
With such pale skin, it seemed like his eyes went deeper and deeper, shining like the bottomless abyss.
Feng Tang did not care whether the mohawk delinquent lived or died; he only wanted to know why the zombies did not attack Qu Yan.
Seeing how the other did not speak, his expression darkened and a fist ruthlessly came down on Qu Yan’s stomach.
The latter let out a sound, looking in extreme pain as his head lowered.
“Will you say it or not?”
Feng Tang roughly forced him to lift his head, the veins in his tanned muscular arm popping.
Qu Yan had a complicated expression of pain and laughter on his face as his thin lips hooked up into a weird angle.
Slanting his head to look at Feng Tang, he squinted his eyes slightly but did not say anything, silently challenging the explosive anger in the other’s mind.
Faced against those eyes, Feng Tang’s brain suddenly buzzed and his mind somehow blanked out, slowing down his movements.
He forcibly shook his head before finally getting some resemblance of clarity back.
He was just about to say something when there was a “ka-cha” and the bathroom door opened.
Whatever happened inside, it made Pei Ran look like a silent volcano ready to explode.
His face was cloudy and dark; with one look, anyone could tell he was not in the happiest of moods, as if he was trying very hard to stamp down on his anger, his jaw tight.
When Pei Ran pushed the door open, he saw Feng Tang with a vicious expression on his face holding Qu Yan against the wall.
He paused in his footsteps, slowly letting out a breath before untying the tie around his neck.
Slouching against the wall, he looked at Feng Tang with no emotion on his face,
“What do you want to do?
His voice was light and could be considered warm, but somehow it made others feel as if it was the calm before the storm.
Hearing him, Feng Tang’s hands subconsciously loosened their grip and Qu Yan’s body slowly fell down onto the floor.
He held onto his neck, hoarsely coughing twice.
His head was lowered towards the ground so his expression couldn’t be seen, but his movements were very frantic and scared, as if grabbing onto a lifeline.
He half rolled, half crawled in a run over to Pei Ran, his pair of weak skinny heads helplessly grabbing onto his pants.
Perhaps because he was afraid, his entire body was trembling slightly.
But Feng Tang could see very clearly, in those dark eyes of Qu Yan, there was a quick flash of a mocking smile.
The beloved treasure of his mother and father, he lived life so blessedly.
Truly, same setting but different ending*this is an idiom that means those who have around the same “starting line” or like same family background/status/wealth/etc.
leads completely different lives (usually the complete opposite) where one lives lavishly/blessedly vs one who is tied up by a lot of rules and/or live a worse life/die terribly.
The attitude of a young master was still ingrained in his bones and no one had really ticked him off these past couple days.
But after being poked in the wrong spot by that aggravating system, and then this, Pei Ran was like a human volcano.
He narrowed his eyes, pulling out a cigarette from his breast pocket but he didn’t light it up.
Instead he tore it piece by piece, its beige slivers falling onto the floor.
Pei Ran stared at Feng Tang, flicking the last bit of the cigarette at his feet.
With a calm voice that hid all the darkening turmoil in him, he said,
“I hope there won’t be a next time.”
After so many years of their job relationship, it made Feng Tang habitually step down and listen.
Besides, there was still another master in the military above him in the Pei family.
So, weighing the cost and benefits, Feng Tang gave him a look over before returning back to his seat.
Zhou Cang Ming’s face flashed in disappointment, probably feeling that it was a shame that Feng Tang did not fight with Pei Ran and also wondering why, as with his skills and strength, Pei Ran would either die or lose a limb.
Pei Ran’s head was filled with the words, “self-reliant, self-sufficient” spouted by the system just now and his thinking ability was a bit out of sorts, as otherwise, he would normally never have chosen to face Feng Tang in a head-on clash.
Pei Ran was prepared to return to his own spot when he found that Qu Yan was still kneeling by his feet.
With one hand, he pulled the other up.
The other’s school uniform was quite baggy and with his pull, it revealed a very skinny waist, clearly showing off a big bruise.
This was a world that could eat people alive so courtesy and decency was just about to collapse.
Pei Ran had nowhere to release his emotions so he pulled his wine red tie, tossing it harshly onto the floor and stomping on it.
Then he walked over to his bag to grab a bottle of medicine.
Just as he was about to flip open Qu Yan’s clothes to examine his injury, the latter subconsciously shrunk back a step.
He wasn’t even a girl, so what was he embarrassed for?
Pei Ran thought that it was hard being a good person.
And seeing Zhou Cang Ming staring at them, he tsked unhappily, giving him the middle finger.
Just as the other hadn’t reacted, he dragged Qu Yan with him to the bathroom.
“Pei Ran I x your mom!”
Zhou Cang Ming angrily kicked the door, the glass window clanging from the strength.
Seeing this, Qu Yan’s dark eyes flashed with a playful smile.
But Pei Ran did not sense any of that, and half leaning against the washing basin, he unscrewed the cap of the medicinal bottle, turned towards Qu Yan, and said,
“Take off your clothes.”
Perhaps it was because he wasn’t in a good mood, there was a coldness in his voice.
Looking at him in embarrassment, Qu Yan slowly lifted his hands, pulling apart his school uniform, lifting the blouse inside, and revealing a very skinny body.
He didn’t even need to breathe for his ribs to be visible.
Pei Ran poured some oil out into his palm, pressing against the bruise on the other’s stomach.
As he massaged it in, he felt that this young man was truly too skinny, no fat for him to chub.
With one hand lighting up a cigarette, he squinted his eyes and said,
“How did your parents raise you, making you so skinny.”
Qu Yan said with his head lowered,
“I have no parents.”
Pei Ran spit up a smoke ring which landed right on the other’s head,
“You think you are the monkey king, birthed right out from rocks?”1
But he didn’t continue asking.
Pei Ran took the cigarette from his mouth and flicked off the ashes,
“The next time he hits you, just run.
If you can’t run, yell for me.
I’ll run with you.”
My golden ticket, no matter how far we go, we will live and die together.
Hearing this, Qu Yan slowly lifted his eyes.
There was not a single emotion to be seen, only emotionless examination, yet there was a layer of moving tears being covered up,
“Why do you treat me so well……”
Pei Ran was a bit weirded out, thinking, are you that easily moved just from me applying medicine onto you? If that is called treating you well, then if he took the meticulousness and gentleness he used to hook up with girls, would Qu Yan be so deeply moved he would cry uncontrollably?
Seeing him not speak, Qu Yan changed his expression and smiled as he asked,
“Then do you want to fuck me?”
He still had the appearance of a clean student, yet he said such filthy words with his voice so cold, like ice floating on ice, cold from the inside out.
When he spoke these words, his face even held a smile, yet the closer you looked, the more piercing it was.
Pei Ran was not someone that was very sensitive to emotions so he did not sense the strange atmosphere.
With an empty hand, he squished the cigarette onto the cement and with the other, he hung it around Qu Yan’s shoulders, dragging him in front of the mirror.
“I quite rather like those who are good looking, so you can relax.
Before the wound on your face heals, I can’t get it up for you.
Besides, I think Zhou Cang Ming probably wouldn’t even have that mindset now either.”
There was a spider web-like crack in the mirror, reflecting the same disfigured face in each fracture.
Half of it was a beauty out of this world, bordering on a gentle beauty while the other was covered in jagged gouges, thickening into deep red scars of blood, like a devil that crawled out from hell.
Qu Yan quietly stared, his eyes tumultuous in the darkness.
Pei Ran never thought before he spoke, so seeing him like this, he realized only then that his words were a bit hurtful.
He wanted to apologize but felt awkward so he only reached out to zip up Qu Yan’s school uniform coat and carefully patted down the collar.
“Men, it doesn’t matter if we’re ugly.
Only girls need to like being beautiful.”
And then opened the door, grabbing the medicinal bottle with him.
Qu Yan stared at his back, his right hand slowly touching the side of his face, feeling that uneven, ridged surface.
He didn’t even need to look to know how ugly his wounds were.
A low mocking laugh came out of his lips suddenly, but this time it was to himself.
Feng Tang had retired from the military, so that punch was full of power.
Even though it wouldn’t take away his life, the pain still must have been immeasurable.
Qu Yan held onto his stomach as he walked out, his body in such pain that it looked evidently hunched, and even his footsteps were slow and faltering.
Pei Ran was still trying to fight the system in his head, trying to kick away a useless thing.
Pei Ran: “Leave.
We aren’t suitable together.”
[ Dear, if you don’t try how do you know~ ]
Impatience was all over Pei Ran and he buried his face deep into his palms,
“Don’t need to.
Just leave as soon as possible.
You can’t do anything to help me, so what are you useful for? I’ve never seen such a useless system.”
[…… if you’re like this, it can hurt someone’s feelings ]
“After you cry, leave immediately.”
Pei Ran was annoyed to death, and he stuffed a cookie into his mouth.
The next second he almost spit it out from the electric shock, yet with his eyes just about bulging and the veins on his forehead popping, he gambled it in with a viciousness to endure that zap and forcibly swallow that cookie with a terribly pinched expression on his face.
He actually successfully ate it???
The system went into a deep silent contemplation.
Pei Ran’s hand was in so much pain that it wouldn’t stop trembling.
With veiny red eyes, he used his sleeve to wipe away the cold sweat on his forehead, his face deathly pale.
Ate a cookie, HP + 1
Suffer electric shock, HP – 10.
There was no way to live……
Just a quick note on the release schedule: the next chapter will most likely be released around the first couple of weeks in November (giving some time to Plum to readjust back to civilization >: ) as being such a valuable member of this team, they shall graciously receive some time after their merry adventure hahahaha, but no really, mostly to have a bit of a time for Plum after they get back and also for the both of us to settle back into the routine after everything these past months : )) and then we plan to release a chapter every other week (so basically easing back into the schedule we had before).
And with all that said, hope you all Galactic Judges have a wonderful and safe October.
See you in November!
*1 monkey king, of course referring to Sun Wukong (Journey to the West).
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