Don’t Be a Kept Man
Chapter 1: Rebirth
On a dark and rainy night, where pale streetlights cast shadows from the roadside greenery into an eerie atmosphere, sits a man in his tiny and narrow rented apartment.
He has his eyes closed, so deep in thought that even the racket that is happening outside could not affect him.
“Lu Qi! You bastard! You’d better open this door up! You think you can just run after borrowing money? There is nothing in this world that would be that easy – the money that was borrowed and the additional interest must be returned! Fifty thousand yuan – not a penny less!”
How could it turn out like this……
The man finally opened his eyes and turned on his phone, staring at the screen for a very long time.
His finger forcefully swiped on the date display, and he finally believed that he returned to the past, five years ago.
From a small town to the big city, once again penniless, and saddled with debt as a mere university student – it looked like the situation was very bad, but compared to five years later when he had tried to deceive Huo Ming Chen for his wealth and being counterattacked into death together, this was a way better situation.
With the constant yelling outside, Lu Qi finally moved to the doorway.
Through the padded door, his voice clearly reached the ears of the person outside.
“3 months later, as per the contract, I will return the borrowed money and interest of thirty five thousand yuan.”
“You can make a big fuss, with the worst outcome of calling the police.
We can both go to the station, but you have to think carefully, as being a loan shark is against the law.
You’ll have nothing in the end.”
The person outside the door was stunned, and after huffing and puffing for some time, he finally spat out —
“Fuck you! Fifty thousand yuan and no less!”
Lu Qi said,
“Forty thousand yuan, take it or leave it.
I can pay it back after working 3 part time jobs in a couple of months.
If you don’t want it, I can open this door, and you can just take my life.”
The loan shark was probably a novice, and could not understand complicated words.
He did not know how to deal with this kind of crafty street smarts, and was bluffed by Lu Qi.
If he had been more of a black hearted, cruel man, he would have just chopped off a leg or an arm for his money.
Time was ticking, and Lu Qi was not in a hurry.
He even took some time to light up a cigarette.
After a while, the pale faced loan shark finally relented.
“All of your identification is with me.
I know which school you go to.
Your written debt contact is legal, and I can take you to court.
At that time, I don’t think anyone would be happy.”
Lu Qi leaned against the door, narrowing his eyes, with the smoke from the cigarette surrounding him in darkness.
In his past life, he was deathly scared of being poor, studying as if his life was on the line to come to the capital.
His eyes were full of determination to be at the top, but who could have thought that the difference between a small town and the city was so large.
Someone’s one meal could have been your entire month’s expenses.
Someone’s watch could be so expensive that you still can’t pay for it even after saving for half a year by not eating or drinking.
This is the world that Lu Qi never could have imagined.
A world that he loathes but also longed for in his heart.
He was like a snail, working to climb upwards to a height he doesn’t belong to.
Until he met Huo Ming Chen……
He extinguishes his cigarette with brutal force, thinking of how much planning he had to do in the next five years.
There weren’t a lot of issues.
The only problem he had was being too hasty, too impatient, and forcing Huo Ming Chen to go crazy.
A crazy guy can do anything and isn’t afraid of anything.
Past Lu Qi had everything taken away, but it doesn’t matter.
With this life, he is going to take it slow, one step at a time, to get all the things he desired.
His phone suddenly rang, and Lu Qi snapped out of his thoughts.
He looked at his phone, and was shocked for one moment.
He answered his phone,
“Is this Lu Qi?”
The background of the caller was very noisy,
“I am Fang Qi.
Ming Chen is drunk and can’t drive.
Can you come pick him up?”
The caller quickly ended the call after letting him know the address.
Those with money and power will naturally look down on commoners, and those that are in the same circle of friends and status as Huo Ming Chen has never viewed him positively.
They believed him to be with Huo Ming Chen for his power and money.
Lu Qi laughed, thinking, wasn’t it for money? He thought that he hid it very well in his past life, but everyone saw through it already……
Perhaps this even included Huo Ming Chen.
He glanced at the heavy rain outside, and took an umbrella before leaving.
At this time Huo Ming Chen only saw Lu Qi as a plaything, and he never held any serious intentions towards their relationship.
To be honest, they’re not of the same status.
After playing around and getting what they wanted, it was time to return to their respective worlds.
But in the end, Huo Ming Chen played himself.
And Lu Qi did not want to return to his status before.
His heart had been touched by the colorfulness of this new world, and he never wanted to return to the grey bland tones of his own.
The bar was full of screams and echoes, as a group of drunk wealthy young men were singing into the microphones.
What language they were singing, only drunks could understand.
The tables in the room were filled with bottles of alcohol.
These men seem to want to party one last time before the new school term.
Lu Qi walked into the bar, and he felt a sense of familiarity as he looked at the pool of women and men dancing crazily in the middle.
He closed his eyes and took a deep breath.
Then he pulled his shirt collar up and covered his chin.
Amidst the gazes of women ogling him, he headed up the elevator.
As he went up, there was a beautiful woman beckoning him with her fingers, smiling loosely,
“Hey handsome, come down! Let’s get to know each other!”
With a narrow waist and a lean body, his entire aura was like a deathly sensual beacon not only to bottoms, but also to women.
A token to the legend of being sensual to both men and women.
There was a reason why Huo Ming Chen could hook up with Lu Qi, a poor young man with nothing in the city.
Lu Qi found the room and pushed the door open.
Inside, nothing was missing from the regular parties – playing games, singing songs, never ending alcohol being brought over and over.
All going through what wealthy people do day in and day out, in dreams or in reality.
Huo Ming Chen looked to be really drunk.
He was sleeping on the sofa, and the others did not dare wake him up.
The Huo family has strict rules, which meant Fang Qi and the others did not dare send him home.
If they were caught by his grandfather, with them drinking so heavily, they would definitely not be missing any sort of punishment.
Lu Qi patted Huo Ming Chen’s face.
In the dimmed room, Huo Ming Chen’s face was little unclear.
You could see a bit of adolescence that is usually hidden away.
In his sleep, you can see a bit of a gentle temperament, which was a direct contrast to Lu Qi’s memory of a fickle personality whose mood continuously changed between happiness and anger in the past.
He had not examined it before, but this was the face of a younger Huo Ming Chen.
Lu Qi stared a little bit longer, before leaning forward to grab Huo Ming Chen up.
Fang Qi just happened to go up on stage to change the song.
When he saw what was happening, he tossed his microphone to someone beside him, and went towards Lu Qi to ask,
“Are you sure you can do this? Do you need some help?”
When Huo Ming Chen is drunk, he is the devil.
“Thanks, but no.”
Lu Qi only needed to use one hand to make sure Huo Ming Chen does not fall, and Huo Ming Chen is unexpectedly very obedient in his arms, not making a fuss.
Fang Qi is straight, and he finds the sight of two men hugging weird.
In particular, when it’s his childhood friend, he just can’t see anything but awkwardness.
In his heart, he sighs a little, but also feels a bit mischievous and gleeful.
If Huo Ming Chen’s grandfather knows his baby grandson likes men, he will definitely cut off Huo Ming Chen’s legs.
It was still raining outside.
At the exit, Huo Ming Chen starts struggling out of Lu Qi’s arms, which was probably due to the cold wind blowing in the rain.
Lu Qi lightly slid his fingers over Huo Ming Chen’s waist, and once Huo Ming Chen weakened his body due to the sensitive touch, Lu Qi grabs his car keys out of his pockets.
It’s as if he has done this a million times.
The car was parked a little further away, and holding a drunkard means it’s hard to hold an umbrella at the same time.
Lu Qi takes off his jacket and wraps it around Huo Ming Chen.
Snuggling him into an embrace, Lu Qi lifts Huo Ming Chen up and walks into the rain.
Fang Qi was just heading out with an umbrella, and when he sees this scene, for an unknown reason, he remembers it for a very long time.
When Lu Qi sits inside the car, his entire body was already dripping wet.
Rain drops slowly sliding down his hair and dripping down, making his very structured face very cold and emotionless.
Someone else was laying in the passenger seat very comfortably which was due to Lu Qi’s jacket.
Besides a shirt corner with some water splatters, Huo Ming Chen was completely dry.
The car drove through the night, with the city lights and scenery passing by like lightning, as if the car was in a completely different world with its inside shrouded in darkness.
There was a split moment where someone opened his eyes with light flashing in it for a second, before sleep seemingly took over again.
Lu Qi sensed something, and he turned his head over to see Huo Ming Chen’s sleeping body has tilted.
He straightened up Huo Ming Chen again, before continuing to drive.
School had not officially started yet, so they cannot go back to the dormitory.
And they absolutely cannot go back to the Huo family estate.
Lu Qi could only open a room in a hotel for the night.
Thinking back to his previous life, he wanted to sleep with Huo Ming Chen to secure their relationship.
When Huo Ming Chen was drunk, he brought Huo Ming Chen to the hotel to do the unspeakable.
The very next day, he was almost beaten to death.
Lu Qi let Huo Ming Chen sleep one night in the hotel, and Huo Ming Chen let him sleep in the hospital for half a month.
At that time, Lu Qi had very angrily thought he would sleep with a dog before he would ever sleep with Huo Ming Chen again.
There are some things that filled you with hatred at the time, but when you think back many years later, you can only laugh at your childishness.
When you finish laughing, you feel a bit of emptiness.
Lu Qi used his own identity card to open the room.
After he paid all the fees, he only had five hundred yuan left.
He brought Huo Ming Chen to the room, and silently calculated how he would gain his money back.
Huo Ming Chen is always generous, but that’s only when he wants to give it to you.
If you try to go through a nefarious plan, it could always backfire.
Lu Liu started to take off Huo Ming Chen’s clothes and shoes.
When he was done, he dropped a blanket over Huo Ming Chen’s body, and then his finger started to twitch – this is a sign that he wanted to scheme.
In his previous life, their relationship was based on their sexual life.
Even though Lu Qi stayed at the hospital for half a month, Huo Ming Chen switched from his playful attitude to a more serious one.
Lu Qi had felt that Huo Ming Chen was trying to slowly accept him.
Maybe because they had slept together.
If they already did, why not try?
But what about this life? Is he going to walk the same path again?
Lu Qi was pondering before someone who was sleeping soundly on the bed suddenly wrinkled his face and started to mutter.
That someone turned over into a big star shape, with his limbs laying over Lu Qi’s body by the bedside.
If God made sex as a gift to humans and only when you are in love as a sign of the most intimate form of love, it is wrong to have sex any other time.2
Lu Qi lightly pushed Huo Ming Chen’s arms and legs off of him, thinking in his past life, he had already schemed too much off of Huo Ming Chen.
In this life……
Let’s let it go.
A wallet suddenly fell out of a jacket onto the ground.
Lu Qi bent over to pick it up, and he opened it to see a lot of multi colored credit cards.
He roughly glanced over them, and there are three cards he knows the password to.
Huo Ming Chen usually spends money like there’s no end to it, and he never knows how much.
If he’s missing a few five or six thousand, he probably won’t even find out……
Lu Qi nonchalantly started to take out the cards as he was thinking that.
However, as soon as he touched the cards, an electrical current flowed through his fingers and shocked him numb.
With a soft noise, the cards fell to the ground.
Lu Qi did not know how much strength he used to keep from shouting.
He just held his right hand carefully, with his eyes blown wide, suspecting he just saw a ghost.
[ DING! ]
At this moment, a mechanical voice rang through his head,
[ Hello my host! Your current action led to breaking the rules of this system.
This is your first warning, there will be a second warning with a more severe punishment.
The third time, you will start to lose your life points.
Please make sure to treasure your second chance at life! ]
[ This self reliant system has been officially opened, and our mission goal is to be self reliant, self sufficient, and to reject all help that is not earned! My dear host, the sweetest thing in the world can only be achieved through your own hard work! Let us become strong together!!! ]
The man who only lives by using others, and never by his own efforts and hard work: ……
*1 In this case a phoenix man is someone who had a very poor upbringing, goes through education and becoming successful.
However, it usually has negative connotations of the man marrying a woman of high status or wealth and then after using the woman and her wealth or status, dumps her as she has no more use.
In a lot of novels I read that is… You can find more information by searching phoenix man or “鳳凰男”.
>>Changed the volume title to match the direct translation (no point in saying it is technically otherwise)
*2 Probably understood, but just in case: that was Lu Qi trying to convince himself not to sleep with Huo Ming Chen.
>>Fixed some formatting to match what we have been doing in later chapters
As described in the summary and volume descriptions, this novel is about scumbag protagonists and their journey to be a better person assisted by a system : ) Each volume depicts a new protagonist! More information can be found in the previous pages
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