Evil As Humans Ch34

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/


Chapter 34: Crossing

Monday.

Yin Ren looked at Lu Xiaohe in shock—after not seeing her for a weekend, she had dark circles under her eyes from lack of sleep and looked a bit like Minister Fu.

And for some reason, Professor Li Nian was also sitting in their office.

Professor Li had his arms crossed across his chest and was expressionless. He turned the thermos cup in his hand and lowered his gaze to the ground, not even bothering to look at them.

Were the big leaders of Shian so idle? After Fu Xingchuan tortured them physically yesterday, was his partner about to torture them mentally? Compared with Fu Xingchuan, who wasn’t a science post, Yin Ren didn’t know which person was more difficult to deal with.

“You guys are here.” Lu Xiaohe had two cans of energy drink in her hand. “Friends, I have good news and bad news. Which do you want to hear first?”

Yin Ren: “Bad news.”

Zhong Chengshuo: “Good news.”

The two looked at each other.

Yin Ren: “…Okay, let’s go with the good news first.”

Lu Xiaohe shook the remote control weakly. The original screens full of data were cut into a bunch of game screens.

The game screen was rough, and there was no modeling, like a pseudo-3D effect made with pixels. The game art was barely passable, belonging to the classic style of painting without experience or merit.

<The Legend of Resurrection> had a bit of cuteness despite the solemn title, unlike some bad games.

“The good news is that I know what happened to Wu Tao and Wu Pengpeng.”

Lu Xiaohe wiped her face and nodded to Li Nian.

“Look at this picture.”

She showed a screenshot of two cute female characters doing tasks. They seemed to be confronted by a certain heinous NPC, and in the dialogue box was the phrase: “Haha, bitch. You’re here now but want to go back?”

Lu Xiaohe zoomed in on the NPC’s smooth face—because it was a pixel-like 3D effect, there were no bumps on the NPC’s face; only drawn facial features.

“This is an NPC unrelated to the plot, and it’s a set of henchmen from the gangster boss.” Lu Xiaohe tugged at the corners of her mouth. “I checked the code. He only has this one line in the entire game. Does this sound familiar?”

“As for the marks on Wu Pengpeng’s body… <The Legend of Resurrection>, like other games, has a hatred system. The mark on his back is the symbol of a ‘combatable enemy’.”

Lu Xiaohe brought up the photos they took. The mark was exactly the same as the mark in the game.

In other words, If Wu Pengpeng hadn’t run fast enough that day, they would have found more than just one corpse pile.

Zhong Chengshuo sat upright. “Then Wu Tao?”

“Seeing this, my mother and I studied passionately yesterday. The way to die in this game is quite lazy.” Lu Xiaohe changed the picture to a video.

On the screen, two female characters were hacking, stabbing, fighting, and killing monsters in various ways. Defeated or destroyed items turned into regular little piles of pixels with drops scattered around them.

Item markers were marked on top of the pixel pile to indicate the nature of the pile.

Debris would be marked with a “stone” marker, while materials would be marked with a “leaf” marker. As for the defeated people and monsters… A white skull was used as their marker.

Extremely neat piles of particles, neatly surrounded by debris, and a skull on top of the minced meat.

The corpse pile in the early hours of that morning was only a pool of blood.

Zhong Chengshuo’s expression froze for a second. “Could it be that Wu Tao’s death scene—”

“Yes, that death scene wasn’t some cult ritual. I guess Wu Tao was just, uh, defeated.” Speaking of this bizarre guess, Lu Xiaohe’s own tone also became hesitant.

“In the game world, the defeated NPCs will appear again after resetting… but there’s no reset in the real world.”

Yin Ren nodded.

People could not come back from the dead. Even in the metaphysical world, this was still an unbreakable iron rule.

At most, the dead would become mindless corpses or, more rarely, ghosts. After that, the corpse would decay and break or the ghosts would weaken and disappear, and then there would be no “after”.

For thousands of years, people studied immortality and resurrection, but it was like chasing the moon in the water or the flower in the mirror*.

*Metaphor referring to something that can be seen but not touched. 

“In other words, someone is using the same methods as this game to influence others and even kill people.”

Zhong Chengshuo rubbed his lower lip. “I have heard of <The Legend of Resurrection>. Very few people have played it.”

“Yes, this game had a mediocre reputation, and its sales weren’t exactly skyrocketing. I know what you want to ask. The game itself is fine—its production team has been disbanded long ago, and the producer at the time switched to selling barbecue. This was even in the news.”

Lu Xiaohe drank the remaining half of the energy drink, and her eyes became a little straighter.

“When I came to work today, I had a comprehensive physical examination as soon as possible. The results were completely normal. All these materials were obtained from my game, so… the information… should be solid.”

The amount of information on the screen was huge. There were many rules that needed to be verified, one by one. It seemed that Lu Xiaohe spent the night organizing the report.

Yin Ren: “…What’s the bad news?”

Lu Xiaohe was yawning halfway when she froze on the spot. She closed her mouth, stopped talking, and looked at Professor Li, who had remained silent the entire time.

Professor Li cleared his throat. “Human cognitive abnormalities shouldn’t interfere with reality.”

Yin Ren: “?” This was too abstract, so he couldn’t understand it.

He slowly titled to Zhong Chengshuo, who understood and whispered, “Just like Gao Mengyu before, people with cognitive anomalies only have problems with their own perceptions, and it doesn’t affect the real world.”

“Cognitive abnormalities are very common. Most of them have nothing to do with ‘evil things’. Many patients in Haigu Mental Hospital have this symptom.”

Professor Li waited for the two of them to finish whispering before calmly continuing. “Even considering anomalies, there has been no precedent for ‘fantasy interfering with reality’ before. Humans shouldn’t have this level of power. This time, the confrontation will be tricky.”

“I see,” Yin Ren enthusiastically responded. “Do you want to transfer this to a more advanced investigation team?”

Professor Li glared at him coldly. “These are only inferences, and there is no clear evidence. The C-level investigation team needs to continue their follow ups. We’ll transfer a B-level personnel to assist.”

Yin Ren’s smile gradually disappeared. “I see.”

Since everything had to continue normally, what the hell was he doing here?! Trying to form a male and female host pair with Lu Xiaohe?

As if hearing his thoughts, Professor Li said, “Fu Xingchuan isn’t free, so he can’t come here in person. I’m here to help him confirm something—Yin Ren, you made contact with a ghost master outside of Shian last night. Why didn’t you report this?”

Professor Li pulled up his sleeve, revealing an electronic dial flashing with dense data. They were all conspicuously blood red, like some kind of modified detector.

Zhong Chengshuo looked inquisitively at Yin Ren. “You really ate luosifen mixed with 82-year-old evil spirits?”

Yin Ren: “…I did encounter a ghost. It was trying to force me to change jobs, and I finally escaped.”

Professor Li: “How did you escape?”

“Two days ago, I made contact with a ghost near my residence, and she helped me.”

Zhong Chengshuo was surprised. “Is there really a ghost in Ping’an Manor?”

Yes. Two days ago, Miss Hu Tao was passionately singing karaoke in our living room. Yin Ren gave a dry laugh and continued to answer Li Nian’s question. “In short, the ghost I found ate all those other ghosts. Isn’t this considered a done deal?”

“Don’t judge whether the matter is over without authorization. All abnormalities must be reported immediately.”

Professor Li raised his eyes, as if to judge the authenticity of Yin Ren’s words. After a while, he stood up and threw a copy of <Modern Unofficial Metaphysical Organization Yearbook> at the both of them.

“There will be unified training later.” He walked to the door and paused. “…Now it seems that some people are quite interested in you.”

Yin Ren: “Oh God, how terrible.”

Yin Ren dared to bet his lunch that Fu Xingchuan and Li Nian were hanging around them every day, probably not because they cared about their subordinates, but it seemed he wouldn’t be clear of the label of “suspected to be in contact with an Evil Spirit” in just a few weeks.

However, there was also good news today—in order to make them more familiar with <The Legend of Resurrection>, Li Nian ordered the two of them to play it well, and overtime would be calculated according to the length of the game.

For the first time in his life, Yin Ren felt that the word “overtime” wasn’t so bad.

As soon as it was time to get off work, Yin Ren took the initiative to carry the game console. He didn’t even plan to eat dinner in the cafeteria, wanting to rush home as soon as possible to start playing. Who would have thought the person who refused to cooperate with overtime work this time was Zhong Chengshuo.

“Is it okay if we start after 8?” Zhong Chengshuo asked apologetically.

“Why?” The excitement in Yin Ren’s steps dissipated instantly.

Zhong Chengshuo’s mood didn’t seem high either. “Blind date. I can’t push it off.”

Based on Yin Ren’s experience of watching dramas with Hu Tao, he could guess what a “blind date” was.

In the head of Lord Ghost King, a blind date was equal to the words of a matchmaker that was ordered by his parents, which meant he needed to get married soon, as marriage was a major event in life.

Yin Ren’s words gradually became calm. “These are things in life that can’t be helped. I wish you hundreds of years of harmony, early birth…”

Zhong Chengshuo: “I’m meeting with a man.”

Yin Ren: “?!”

“I don’t want to get married, but my parents arrange it too often. Last time I was a little too anxious, so I told them I like men.” Zhong Chengshuo had a vague look of despair on his face. “I didn’t expect them…”

Yin Ren was speechless. No wonder, last time he was at Zhong Chengshuo’s parents’ place, the two elders had such a strange attitude towards him.

Yin Ren rubbed his forehead. “So this is to say, you don’t want to go at all?”

“Nn.”

“That’s easy then. When the time comes, send me a message on WeChat, and I’ll call you to tell you that work has come up and you need to go.”

Yin Ren’s understanding wasn’t particularly in place, but he had seen this routine many times and was familiar with it. If it weren’t for how limited the conditions were, he would prefer the plan of “finding a child to rush in and hug Zhong Chengshuo and call him dad”.

Zhong Chengshuo exhaled with a solemn expression. “It’s okay. If it’s just a meal, I’ll probably get home by seven.”

“Where are you eating?” Yin Ren casually asked.

“Luofang House in Xizhao District.”

Yin Ren quickly searched for it and saw that the average bill was around four thousand and had a super high rating, causing his hand to tremble slightly.

HuaDiao drunken crab, roasted deer tendon in abalone sauce… It looked delicious.

“Why don’t I go with you? In case Shian suddenly has something for us. Don’t worry. I’ll sit at a different table.” Yin Ren sincerely suggested, as his eyes remained glued to all the pictures of the food. “So if the other party is difficult, I can still rush up and indicate that the situation is urgent.”

Zhong Chengshuo: “……” If he hadn’t heard the faint sound of swallowing, he would almost believe it.

In the evening, Luofang House.

This place was more private. The restaurant wasn’t too big, and its decoration was antique, showing how extravagant it was at a glance. The restaurant owner seemed to be associated with Shian, as Shian employees didn’t need to make reservations, which was quite convenient.

Yin Ren tied up his hair and went to the corner of the restaurant. At this angle, he could vaguely see the table where Zhong Chengshuo was sitting.

Zhong Chengshuo’s blind date looked to be about 30. He was decent to average-looking and was dressed in a suit that looked quite expensive. His leather shoes were shiny, without a single speck of dust. Roughly speaking, this seemed like a successful person.

Yin Ren suddenly felt some familiarity. Wasn’t this the standard look of CEOs in television and films?

In comparison, Zhong Chengshuo wore a shirt and sneakers that weren’t quite formal. Fortunately, Comrade Xiao Zhong had a tender face, and compared with Mr. President, he looked more like a college student who had just graduated.

Zhong Chengshuo abandoned <The Art of Communication> and got straight to the point. “I’m sorry, sir. I have no plans to fall in love for the time being. This time I really couldn’t push it off, and I took up your time… To make up for it, let me treat you to this meal.”

The “President” smiled, seemingly not offended by his words. “You didn’t even mention being friends? Why not try that at first?”

Zhong Chengshuo: “We’re not in the same circle, so we probably don’t have much in common.”

“How do you know if we don’t talk? Although my parents have arranged this, I do indeed have some interest in you.”

The “President” rolled up his sleeves slightly, revealing a watch on his wrist that was expensive looking.

“Ph.D. in Finance from B University. Graduated in x8.”

“Master Degree in Biology from A University. Graduated in x9,” Zhong Chengshuo replied as he eyed the menu.

“A University. I wanted to go there, but unfortunately I was a point or two short.”

The man didn’t seem to be impressed. His eyes stayed on Zhong Chengshuo’s facial features for a moment, then fell to his long cuffs.

“…Speaking of the Department of Biology at A University, did something happen to you when you were an undergraduate? There was a lot of buzz online when they opened the dorms.”

“There was.”

“It was said that there was prostitution going on. Everyone involved was arrested except for one person, and the entire dorm was completely destroyed. It’s rumored that the person who didn’t get arrested was the one who reported them. Ah, I don’t know what that person was thinking. I certainly wouldn’t do it. I’m jealous… What happened to that reporting dog later? Have you heard anything about him?”

“I heard that the whistleblower is me,” Zhong Chengshuo replied calmly. “Is there anything wrong?”

Mr. President: “……”

The man took a few sips of tea and laughed awkwardly. “So it’s you. You know, it’s not easy for people to get into A University. If it’s a big deal, it can cut off people’s futures. Even if you have the hobby of saving the world, you should pick a time when your classmates aren’t there…”

“Those women were victimized and deprived of their personal freedom. The youngest was still a minor. My roommates knew about it, but they used it as a bragging point.”

Zhong Chengshuo’s tone remained calm.

“I persuaded them to explain the situation to the police and turn themselves in as soon as possible, but they didn’t listen.”

“This… Hey, everyone must have thought you were joking and didn’t take you seriously. Young people are hot-blooded, and it’s not uncommon to play outside.”

When he was at B university, he heard that the “whistleblower dog” was severely outcast at A university. However, despite talking for so long, Zhong Chengshuo’s face remained calm and collected. Obviously, what he said didn’t have any effect, so he decided to change his angle.

“What did your parents say about this?”

“They said I ‘did a good job’ and took me out to a big dinner.”

“My judgment is correct.” Zhong Chengshuo raised his eyes. “It seems that we really don’t have anything in common.”

“…What do you mean?”

“Your suit is expensive, but the subtleties are badly worn. Your economic conditions are not as well-off as you appear. You first show up throwing your education, and after you couldn’t press me down, you decided to talk directly about the scandal at A University to try and preach to me. You don’t really want to communicate with me as ‘a person’… Rather, you’re more eager to prove your excellence.”

Zhong Chengshuo crossed his fingers and placed them on the edge of the table.

“There are hickeys on the lower part of your neck, and the traces are fresh, proving that you have had intimate contact or sex within the last few days, but you still came to meet me, claiming to be ‘interested in me’. This means there are only two possibilities: either your view of love is very open or you only plan to ‘play’ with me.”

“Are you sick?!”

The man’s face quickly flushed, and he tried to lower his voice.

“How brazen. A lowly worker like you trying to—”

“By the way, your watch is fake. You should find the seller and defend your rights,” Zhong Chengshuo continued as if he didn’t hear the other party. “Please order the food. I’m in a hurry.”

The man’s forehead snapped as blue veins started popping.

“In a hurry? Ah, what’s the big deal? I’ll be honest with you. An idiot like you only deserves to live with your right hand for generations—”

“Here you are.”

A hand pressed on the table.

The two of them raised their heads at the same time, seeing Yin Ren’s warm smile that was like a spring breeze blowing flower petals about.

The man’s eyes glossed over for a moment. “You are…?”

“I heard about your blind date, so I rushed over to find you.” Yin Ren grabbed Zhong Chengshuo’s hand. His voice was pillowy soft. “It was hard trying to find you.”

Zhong Chengshuo’s hair exploded all at once. “??????”

“I thought for a long time and finally figured it out.” Lord Ghost King tried to recall the emotional drama that he had just recently watched and made an effort to squeeze out tears, but unfortunately, he didn’t succeed. “Chengshuo, I don’t want you to be taken away by someone else. I like you. Come with me.”

Zhong Chengshuo was completely numb. He seemed to want to call for help for a moment.

“I…” He spat out this word with difficulty, trying to jerk his hand away but not actually pulling it.

“I’m going. I’m going! What the hell.” His blind date was embarrassed. He cursed as he quickly got up. “What fucking bad luck… Me, the third wheel. You two take it easy.”

After the man clicked his tongue several times, his figure quickly disappeared out of the restaurant. Before he left, he was still muttering something like “just wait and see”.

Zhong Chengshuo: “……”

Yin Ren: “……”

Zhong Chengshuo: “The said ‘work emergency’….”

Yin Ren quickly let go. “Hey, that bastard’s an eyesore. Besides, if you two really fight, it’ll cause trouble in the store—why are you in a daze? Let’s order food. It’s not easy to come here.”

“Ah.”

“Also, I think you’re doing a great job. Don’t listen to that kind of nonsense from that asshole.”

Yin Ren hummed as he looked at the menu—this restaurant’s menu was on a scroll, which had an old-fashioned feel to it.

“Nn.”

“If it’s hard to tell your parents, then just say you’re dating me. I don’t mind.”

“Not good.” Zhong Chengshuo thought about it for a moment and seemed to be a little shaken.

Yin Ren didn’t take it seriously. “What’s wrong? You don’t plan to talk about it anyway. Old people are worried about your lack of love. They’re afraid you’ll end up with no one to take care of you—we might have to be partners for eight or ten years. It’ll save us from all this trouble, and we can have more fun.”

Zhong Chengshuo’s home was so comfortable that Lord Ghost King didn’t want to move out at all.

“Oh, if you do fall in love one day, just let me know.” Considering that other people’s life events couldn’t be delayed, Yin Ren reluctantly added.

Zhong Chengshuo looked at him with complicated eyes for a while. “…Okay.”

Ten minutes later, the table returned to silence.

Yin Ren was happily chewing on his food slowly while letting out a soft, comfortable sigh from time to time. Zhong Chengshuo felt a bit restless and would just stare at his chopsticks.

“What, are you afraid your parents will find out? As long as we don’t spend the night at their place—”

“It’s not about this. I’m thinking about <The Legend of Resurrection>. Judging from Ge Tingting’s experience, she shouldn’t have access to this game. The person who uses cognition to influence reality is the ‘corpse splitter’.”

Zhong Chengshuo frowned.

“Yin Ren, what would you do if one day you suddenly had the ability to decide the life and death of others far beyond ordinary people?”

Good question,’ Yin Ren thought.

He casually took a piece of deer tendon. “Hide it and do nothing. It’s good to live like this.”

“Well, you are more of the ‘pacifist’ type. People like that just now will probably use this ability to show off or make profits… If it’s me, I would probably contact relevant people and report the situation.” Zhong Chengshuo pushed up his glasses. “Suddenly encountering such a situation, the behavior pattern of adults will be clearer.”

“You mean…”

“With such an ability, the purpose of the corpse splitter is very vague. Moreover, the main focus of <The Legend of Resurrection> is cooperative exploration, which isn’t the kind of game for adults.”

Zhong Chengshuo put down his chopsticks. It was rare that there was nervousness in his tone.

“It’s normal that Uncle Sun’s side hasn’t found a clue for so long… I have a bad guess.”

“Let me guess.”

Yin Ren swallowed the food in his mouth and similarly frowned.

“Are you trying to say the ‘corpse splitter’ may be a child?”

……

A boy sat by the window and looked at the sunset on the horizon.

He rested his arms on the windowsill of the wooden house. Outside, there were rolling mountains and strange and bright plants that were illuminated by the sunset. The river flowed leisurely, the lights of the lampposts swayed, and cute plush balls were bouncing among the grass.

Around him, the country tavern was bustling with square flowers on the table. The guests who came and went had different hair colors, dressed close to the Western Middle Ages, and spoke obscure languages. Some held small magic weapons in their hands that would flash with brilliance of magic from time to time.

There was a black-haired girl sitting beside him.

They came from the same “hometown”, and since he “put her in the team”, he had been able to understand what she said. Although the girl couldn’t directly talk to people in the other world either, she knew how to use their words well.

She said her name was Ge Tingting, and she was a powerful necromancer.

With this fellow countryman, his adventure would definitely go more smoothly, but at the moment, the boy encountered a little problem…

“We have no money,” he whispered.

Ge Tingting: “It’s okay. I can go to the restaurant and do odd jobs.”

“But those bad guys are looking for you…”

Ibby told him that the Knights of the garrison were searching for Ge Tingting, the “evil necromancer”.

“I can just say I lost my ID,” Ge Tingting whispered. “There’s not much to eat, so there’s nothing we can do. The problem is on your side. Are you sure the information is correct?”

“Yes. Ibby is never wrong. He’s the official game guide.”

The boy stroked the young dragon on his shoulder. The young dragon let out a soft cry and rubbed against the boy’s face. It had big eyes and a round body, looking adorable.

“Ibby said today that the next clue is still in Shanguang District. After completing the next task, I can upgrade to another level.”

“…I see.”

“It’s really great to meet you sister after crossing over. Don’t worry. We can definitely return to the original world.”

Under the hazy sunset, the boy’s eyes were wide open, reflecting the red haze outside the window.

“This is definitely the world of <The Legend of Resurrection>. I’m very familiar with this game, so I’ll be able to take you through it. When we pass the level, we can also make a wish to the court magician. When the time comes, sister, if you make a wish for us to go back, I will…”

He didn’t continue, but once again looked out the window.

“This world is so beautiful.”

The boy looked at the dreamlike scene and sighed repeatedly.

“Sister, don’t worry too much. You like to watch anime and read novels, right? There are many works on this theme. We’re the protagonists of this world, so absolutely nothing will happen.”

Ge Tingting nodded in silence.

“Amazing adventurers, it’s the end of the day again.” The young dragon on the boy’s shoulder opened its mouth. Its voice was clear and cute. “Rest well and have sweet dreams.”

The boy smiled at the little dragon, retracted his body, and spread out his clothes.

When the young dragon gathered by his side, the boy hugged it tightly and curled up again. “Ibby, good night. Sister, I’m going to sleep first.”

Ge Tingting sat crossed-legged with a worried expression. When the boy quickly fell asleep, Ge Tingting stood up and looked out the windows as well.

In her eyes, this was a dark internet café on the outskirts of town.

The old-fashioned computer illuminated a small area. The walls of the room were peeling, full of water marks, and there were many outdated posters from the last century.

There were only piles of garbage and grass outside the window, plus a smelly sewage river. The illuminated streetlights were broken in all directions, and shadows of mice would pass by from time to time.

The snoring around them fluctuated with a steady stream of yelling and cursing. The smell of smoke and feet mixed together, creating a nauseating stench.

Ge Tingting took a bite of her rice ball and looked at the boy silently.

The boy said that this was a “different world” and that they were on a magical adventure. The boy said that he has to hold “Ibby” to sleep every day, and today was no exception. However, at this moment, there was nothing between his virtual arms.

……She wasn’t sure now whether the boy was crazy or she herself was.


The author has something to say:

A terrible possibility of transmigration (×

——————

Xiao Yin, after you get married, you don’t have to move out!


Kinky Thoughts:

Whether you like men or not, you will be bent Zhong Chengshuo, and soon your right hand will get a break.


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