Extra: Airplane’s Fortuitous Encounter – Part Five
In the business hall of the underground palace, each hurried about their own business. Sha Hualing, while sewing up that giant net of Immortal-Binding Cables blown apart by Shen Qingqiu, stole looks at Luo Binghe, occasionally biting her lip in dissatisfaction. Mobei-Jun was taking a nap on the west end, eyes closed. Shang Qinghua shook his leg, idle to the point of agitation.
He really didn’t have anything to do and didn’t want to come to the business hall. But, this place was Demon Race territory. If he didn’t stay within a step of Mobei-Jun, who could say if he wouldn’t be swallowed whole by some other type of creature?
Just when he wanted to crawl over to Mobei-Jun and risk a beating to request his king move to a more tranquil place to nap, Luo Binghe suddenly said one word.
A hall full of demons all stuck up their ears.
Luo Binghe said, “If your heart is out of sync with a certain person, how can you make them understand your true feelings?”
Poor Ice Brother1!
This really is “the dying turning to any doctor he can find”!
Though his question was entirely indirect, who couldn’t tell that he was looking for romantic advice?
He really was going to start a serious discussion on this sort of thing in front of his subordinates. Sure enough, people (demons) should not speak of love━as soon as they did, their IQ only slid straight down.
Of course, no one would dare tear down his platform and expose him directly, but this question really was too… unsuited to the Demon Race’s style. After a while, not one had answered. In fact, the answer was this easy, even a normal person could reply. If you like someone, just tell them. Unfortunately, there was not a “normal” one on the scene, and other than Shang Qinghua, there also was not a “person”.
Mobei-Jun thought. With the roads his mind took, who knew what sort of understanding he had come to from the words “out of sync”? He said, “Beat them up three times every day?”
Luo Binghe made a “stop” gesture with one hand and said wisely, “You don’t need to answer.”
Of everyone on the scene, the only one with an advantage in sexual relations, the only one who could be an expert in this sort of question was Sha Hualing. So, the others all swept their gazes towards her. The Sha-meimei2 who was extremely popular in the original work, face full of “WTF3 why should this old lady provide this sort of advice to the man she wants to get for herself”, twitched her finely-shaped brows and lips, then finally drew out a dry “Why doesn’t my lord ask the Elder Dream Demon?”
Luo Binghe said, “I’ve already asked.”
What kind of shit answer the Dream Demon could give him, no one was clearer about this than Shang Qinghua. This one was the same as him, definitely of the “just do them first” type!
Shang Qinghua couldn’t resist letting out a “pu-ha”.
Sha Hualing was just brooding about her stomach full of stifled emotions and nowhere to vent them out. Latching on to this, she erupted, “How audacious! What sort of thing are you? You not only dare to sneak into the business hall but even make a disturbance while my lord is discussing important matters!”
This type of question… couldn’t be called important matters, could it? And he had just let out one sound, how did that count as a ‘disturbance’?
As this was not the first time Sha Hualing had picked on him, Shang Qinghua was already indifferent to this. He obediently sat in place, pretending he was a puff of air. As expected, Mobei-Jun was unconcerned. Sha Hualing saw that no one paid attention to her and indignantly wrung her long fingernails. “My lord, Mobei-Jun brings him around every day. He’s not subtle about it at all, bringing him into even the business hall. What is the meaning of this?”
Luo Binghe was also unconcerned. “You see him every day. Are you not used to it yet?”
Sha Hualing was going to faint.
This was the first time Bing-ge had expressed objections to his very existence in months! Immediately, Shang Qinghua started up an ecstatic internal chant of “my son noticed me, he noticed me, hahahaha”. Unexpectedly, Luo Binghe took a look at him, then said, “Since you laughed, does that mean you have something to say?”
“…” It’s hard to explain in a few words.
Sha Hualing let out a “Ha!” and said, “My lord asked well. Since he and Shen… and humans are so familiar, he must have some remarkable and clever insight. All of us will listen with respectful attention.”
Shang Qinghua turned back to look at Mobei-Jun sitting behind him. As expected, he had no intent to help him out of this situation, so he hardened his heart and said decisively, “… This… of course, I have something to say! The secret is in two words: ‘Be sticky’!”
“‘A fierce woman fears a sticky man, a brave hero fears a pampered woman. With enough labor, you can grind an iron bar into a needle. Even if he’s as straight as an embroidery needle, you can still bend him into a paper clip!”
Sha Hualing said, “What straight and bent? Don’t speak the Human Realm’s dialect. My lord, I think he’s simply making it unnecessarily complicated!”
But, Luo Binghe was completely immersed in the situation. He muttered, “I’m still not sticky enough? Still not enough?”
Shang Qinghua babbled nonstop. “Stickiness is the main tactic, but other than this true advice, there’s another very important point you must consider. Gentlemen, you must know that women’s love comes from admiration, and men’s love comes from pity. The situation with women we will not discuss for now. I am convinced no woman would not be subdued under my lord’s peerless godly power, elegant manner defying the heavens, and sincere affection, so we will only discuss the other situation. If you want a man to understand you, ah no, my lord, understand my lord’s true feelings4 and furthermore, respond in kind, then what should you do? It’s quite easy, no man does not like a weak, cute, and docile partner. Then, what do I mean by cute? Cute means some person or thing which can evoke a heart’s pity, so a partner definitely has to be very obedient, very…”
Bullshit and flattery flew in equal measure, and the crowd in the hall each peeped at Luo Binghe, sitting high above. His face gloomy, pupils glowing red, murderous aura darkly rushing forth, the most vivid depiction of untouchability (dissatisfaction). The distance between him and the words “weak, cute, docile, obedient”, was practically a heavenly moat.
Sha Hualing couldn’t resist letting out a scoffing sound.
Shang Qinghua hurriedly shut his mouth. Luo Binghe rubbed his temple. “Continue.”
Having been given official approval, Shang Qinghua continued to explain. He said mischievously, “I can take Shen Qingqiu as an example. This guy ah, he’s a straight man… what does a straight man mean? Oh, a straight man is a normal man… of course, I’m not saying you are not normal, my lord. He very much values his dignity as a master and teacher. Teachers, ah, all like students who do what they are told, so if you want him to like you, the first step would be to listen…”
A hall full of demons and beasts was practically scared stiff by his slip of the tongue.
Sha Hualing: “Impudent! You mean to have my lord p-p-pretend to be piteous and listen to him? My lord is a grand Demon Realm noble! How could he do this sort of shameless thing!!!”
That’s right, that’s precisely what I meant!
Shasha, turn around and take a look at the thoughtful expression on your lord’s face━does he look like he thinks this sort of thing is shameless?
Impassioned and vehement, mouth like a torrent from heaven down to earth, Shang Qinghua concluded his twenty-minute-long consultation on love. Sha Hualing had already throttled him to death with her eyes ten million times, and as soon as Luo Binghe left, Shang Qinghua hurriedly moved over by Mobei-Jun, pressing close to seek shelter.
Mobei-Jun looked askance at him. “So, if you want to be liked by a man, the best method is to act pathetic?”
Shang Qinghua thought. “In theory, that should be correct?”
Mobei-Jun reached out his hand.
Thinking he would be beaten up again, Shang Qinghua hurriedly put his hands over his head. But, the pain he expected never arrived. Mobei-Jun only lightly tapped the top of his head.
And afterward, seemingly in a bit of a good mood, he got up and started walking out of the business hall.
Though Shang Qinghua was confused, he couldn’t bear Sha Hualing staring at him from the side, with a spicy gaze like a tiger watching its prey, so he hurried to catch up, taking three steps in two.
In the end, it was still a big ruckus.
Maigu Ridge, like he had first planned in his outline, exploded into flying sand and countless loose stones, roiling smoke and dust.
And he performed a heroic feat on the way, saving Mobei-Jun, who didn’t know how to fly.
When he grabbed that hand of his in midair, Shang Qinghua could clearly see the astonished disbelief in his eyes. Understandable. Mobei-Jun definitely held the firm belief that Shang Qinghua was by his side solely to protect his little life, and his use was flattery, boasting, and venting anger or whatnot at most. If he met any real danger, he would definitely be the first to run to save his own ass. To be honest, Shang Qinghua himself also held this firm belief. He dared say he himself was even more astonished, even more in disbelief than Mobei-Jun.
Ever since then, perhaps because protecting one’s master was meritorious and he had demonstrated his good intentions, his wages, material benefits, treatment, and whatnot had all improved, and he was permitted to return to Cang Qiong Mountain and look around his old home.
Yue Qingyuan, the great philanthropist, disregarded all bygones to permit him to return to An Ding Peak and continue to be a reputable Peak Lord. These days in the Leisure House, Shang Qinghua was truly bored to agitation for the first time.
After cracking half a kilogram of melon seeds, he suddenly realized that the System had not made a sound in quite a while.
For once, Shang Qinghua took the initiative to poke the System. The System gave him an earth-shattering response.
System:【Objective accomplished. Downloading return home function.】
Shang Qinghua: “…”
After a moment, he began to furiously shake the System’s (completely nonexistent) shoulders. “Objective accomplished?! Return home function?! What return home function?! Is it the one I’m thinking of? Ah? System-dada5, this is the first time you’ve said this much, can you say a bit more, I’m begging you, quick!!!”
System: 【Basic accomplishment of《Proud Immortal Demon Way》’s original outline, slight deviation of romance plot, objective accomplished. Function to return to original world download complete. Activate return home sequence?】
Basic accomplishment of the original outline, that he agreed with, all the holes which needed to be filled were filled. But, this “slight deviation of romance plot” isn’t quite right. Bing-ge is gay no━how can you say this is a “slight deviation”? Ay okay, okay. In fact, in his original outline, Bing-ge didn’t have a romance plot; he was doomed to fade away, alone and unaging forever. If you insist on adding a plotline, that’s whatever, but he’s wasted this many words… you mean he can return to his original world?!?!
Shang Qinghua’s face streamed with tears.
He hadn’t written for so long. He reminisced on that user of Airplane Shooting Towards the Sky, fans and haters in equal numbers, reminisced on that crowd of trolls in the review sections, reminisced on fighting in the trenches for tips, reminisced on that laptop he had used since his first year of university, always crashing and screwing him over, and the giant video files in the hard drive, you understand. And there was the spectacular pile of boxes and boxes of instant noodles behind his rotating chair, the newest flavor he hadn’t gotten the chance to taste after buying it at wholesale price.
A dialog box popped up on the System. 【Function download complete. Activate?】Afterwards, two differently-colored buttons followed.
Shang Qinghua had a powerful urge to press that red button on the left.
But, something stopped his hand.
In fact, he didn’t really have any family on that side.
His parents had divorced early, each going their separate ways, and each had long made an all-new family. They would occasionally get together for a meal, but no matter on which side, he always felt his own presence was extremely conspicuous. Politely picking up food and politely giving a subservient smile, the meals were even more formal than eating with real strangers.
Even though his father was his legal guardian, when they weren’t face-to-face, other than a few phone calls on the new year and holidays, or asking him if he needed money, the two didn’t have any more contact. Sometimes, he would even forget to ask him if he was running short on money, and he would never go and remind him. No matter where, or towards whom, all he was used to doing was giving a subservient smile.
Since he was an adult, though there was no way around for them to not pay his university tuition, he still had to find some method to pay his own cost of living.
And it was when he was thinking of “methods” that he inadvertently registered for a user on Zhongdian and began to write.
In the beginning, it was purely to vent, and he wrote whatever and however he wanted. Though it was a spectacle too horrible to endure, and even getting on the shelves became a problem, he did manage to harvest a pinch of good reviews from a special crowd of people.
One time, he suddenly thought to change his style and see if he could rescue his subscriptions that editors had already lost interest in. Thus came about the instant hit《Proud Immortal Demon Way》.
Airplane Shooting Towards the Sky had achieved supreme enlightenment━he had found his “method”.
The more he wrote, the more of a shut-in he was; the more of a shut-in he was, the more he wrote. As a typical hikikomori, the people he had good relationships with and got along with were all on the internet, oceans and seas apart. He basically didn’t have any friends like Mobei-Jun, and it would likely be very hard to have them again in the future.
Mobei-Jun? A friend?
Since when did he start taking Mobei-Jun as a “friend”?!
Shang Qinghua had scared himself, and he hurriedly took another sack of Qian Cao Peak’s specially produced dragon bone melon seeds and binged another kilogram and a half to push down his fright, and went to sleep.
When Mobei-Jun dragged him off An Ding Peak, blankets and all, and dragged him into the northern border of the Demon Realm, he had just finished his melon seeds and was dreaming, mouth full of the flavor, devouring the one and a half kilograms he had agreed on at the start in his dream, warmly gliding. He was frozen awake.
Mobei-Jun tossed him on the ground, straight into the knife-like snowy winds of the northern border. His silhouette and expression were ever more severe.
Though he was quite handsome, very handsome, but Shang Qinghua was already frozen and didn’t have any spare feelings to carelessly enjoy his handsomeness. His tongue started frosting over as soon as he opened his mouth to grovel, so he obediently shut his mouth and shiveringly crawled up, wrapped in his blankets.
An ice blockhouse suddenly appeared from the ground ahead. Mobei-Jun set off without a word, and Shang Qinghua hurried to follow.
The doors laid from ice blocks rumbled open and closed. Through the deep and long flight of stairs, there was not a person on the way until close to a sleeping chamber, where a few guards and demon maids stood, not daring to let out a sound.
Shang Qinghua peeked at Mobei-Jun’s face. Though he was as haughty and aloof as usual, he looked somewhat more serene.
He couldn’t resist opening his mouth and asking, “Um, my king, how long will we be stationed here?”
Mobei-Jun didn’t move his head, but his eyes turned towards him. “Seven days.”
Shang Qinghua was going to die laughing.
Ah whatever, whatever, he could be right about to return and continue shooting his airplane. He might as well use these seven days to properly bid his farewell. After all, after he returned, no one would beat him up all the time and make him be the ox and the horse, wash clothes, fold blankets, serve tea, and carry water.
After standing for a while, he felt colder and colder.
The Mobei Clan’s territory really was not made for humans. Shang Qinghua continuously jumped up and down in place to avoid getting frozen alive into an ice statue. Mobei-Jun looked at him, a hint of amusement flashing through his eyes.
Mobei-Jun reached out his hand and pinched one of Shang Qinghua’s fingers. “Stop making a disturbance.”
It was like the chill was all sucked away through this one point of connection. Shang Qinghua felt that the cold was still cold, but it was no longer so unbearable.
It was inevitable that he felt more and more rueful about the upcoming separation. More and more begrudging.
Come to think of it, though Mobei-Jun had a bit of a bad temper, was a bit bad at life tasks, was a bit pampered and spoiled since childhood, liked to beat people up a bit, he wasn’t too bad to him.
Especially now, his benefits weren’t bad, his salary wasn’t bad. Though the beatings were a common occurrence, only he alone was allowed to beat him up, no one else was allowed. Besides, he hadn’t beat him up very much recently.
Shang Qinghua was deeply worried that he already seemed to have gotten used to the fortune of his twisted lifestyle.
If he really did return, and if Mobei-Jun suddenly wanted to find someone to beat up, but he was nowhere to be found, thinking of that scene, he even felt a bit of the sorrow of the actors leaving mid-play, things the same but the people changed.
Suddenly, the bone-deep chill returned to his body.
Mobei-Jun said icily, “Return where?”
Shang Qinghua finally realized that in his sorrow, he had spoken aloud his internal dialogue just like that. He really should be “sorrowful” now!
Mobei-Jun’s fingers tightened like he was about to snap his index finger in half. “You’re saying you want to leave now?”
Shang Qinghua’s face contracted in pain, saying hurriedly, “No, no, not right now!”
“Not right now?” Mobei-Jun said, “What did you say to me?”
Follow my king for the rest of my life. He had said it countless times like a catchphrase. But he thought, no one had taken it seriously?
After a stretch of silence, Mobei-Jun said, “If you want to leave, then leave right now. You don’t need to wait seven days.”
Shang Qinghua started, then said, “My king ah, if I really leave, we will never see each other again from now on.”
Mobei-Jun looked at him with the gaze of someone looking at an ant from nine million feet above, and asked in reply, “What makes you think I would care about that?”
Although Shang Qinghua had trained himself a face impervious to sword or spear over the years, his expression still contracted before these words.
He still wanted to explain a bit, but things had played out beyond his expectations.
Mobei-Jun: “Get out.”
His body suddenly flew to the back, crashing into the steel-like ice walls.
The stab of pain only lingered at his back for a split second, then immediately spread into his guts.
Mobei-Jun didn’t even lift a hand, didn’t even spare a glance in his direction. Shang Qinghua’s throat immediately filled with a gush of rust-flavored warm liquid.
Though Mobei-Jun beating him up was nearly a daily occurrence, and often told him to “get out”, and he should have been used to it, no other time had Shang Qinghua suffered this intense a loathing and fury.
Like countless times before, he crawled up from the ground, silently wiped clean the blood at the side of his mouth, and gave him an honorless subservient smile.
After standing for a while, he wanted to speak again, but Mobei-Jun yelled impatiently, “Get out of here!”
So, Shang Qinghua hurriedly got out.
Honestly speaking, though no one would know what he was thinking in his own mind, he still felt a bit embarrassed.
About that fleeting thought before, about “Mobei-Jun” and “a friend”.
Shang Qinghua ambled up the stairs. The guards and demon maids inside earlier had all been driven out, running away even faster than him, darting out of the ice stronghold like a swarm of bees. Between coming and going, the situation had already become much different.
At this time, a tilted silhouette approached down the stairs. Shang Qinghua turned his head, gaze briefly flitting across a pair of peach blossom eyes full of frosty light.
Though this pair of eyes didn’t take him in, Shang Qinghua was sent into a shudder, his heels sticking to the steps.
Furtively, he then turned right back.