Today, the Foolish Scum Gong Screwed Me Over Again

Chapter 75 - New Toy

A shudder ran through Qiu Yanzhi’s body.

He looked up incredulously at Qin He, hugging the tablet even tighter to his chest until his nails were almost gouging its surface.

His throat was dry, but he tried his best to maintain his composure. "...I can't quite understand what you're saying."

Qin He steadily gazed into his eyes before suddenly smiling. “That’s fine too. There’s no need to take what I just said to heart.”

Qiu Yanzhi pursed his lips rather than responding.

Qin He asked again, "Are you sure you don't want to go to dinner with me?"

Qiu Yanzhi shook his head.

Qin He: "Okay, then I'll be leaving first."

With that, the man turned and walked away. Qiu Yanzhi stared at his departing figure until it disappeared around the corner.

Only then did he suddenly remember something and frantically look down at the tablet in his arms.

Instead of He Zhou’s face, the tablet screen showed the furnishing of their dining room.

"...He Zhou." Qiu Yanzhi called out the man’s name, his voice carrying an almost imperceptible tremor.

The screen shook for a moment like someone had pressed a button. Then He Zhou’s face showed up again.

In contrast, He Zhou seems to be much calmer than Qiu Yanzhi right now. He sat quietly in his chair, his dark eyes very calm and almost emotionless.

He Zhou looked up at Qiu Yanzhi and remarked as if nothing had happened, "Qiu Yanzhi, I just ordered a steak for dinner. We can probably eat together.”

Qiu Yanzhi bit his bottom lip somewhat nervously. “...Did you hear everything just now?”

He Zhou nodded.

Qiu Yanzhi’s words were a bit flustered, as if he desperately wanted to explain something, “He Zhou, you’re not a counterfeit, you’re you…”

"Qiu Yanzhi." He Zhou stated solemnly, “You don’t need to explain anything to me.”

He paused before continuing, "I know everything already."

Qiu Yanzhi: "...What exactly do you know?"

"I know I'm a counterfeit." He Zhou said.

Qiu Yanzhi's eyes widened. He seemed ready to immediately refute that assertion, but He Zhou interrupted him again just as he opened his mouth.

He Zhou: "Actually, I already had my suspicions ever since I found out someone in real life looked exactly like me. Qiu Yanzhi, I’m a NPC from a game. My appearance, my name, everything about me was designed by someone. Maybe I came from someone’s imagination, maybe I was based on a real person.”

"After you left today, I went online and learned about that...human He Zhou’s background. He started in the technology industry and has developed and invested in several different types of virtual reality games over the years. So as a NPC from the game ‘Devour Dream’, it’s not that surprising that I was created based on him.”

He Zhou paused for a moment before saying in a very gentle voice: "You’ve guessed it too haven’t you, Qiu Yanzhi? You just weren’t willing to admit it.”

Qiu Yanzhi stood frozen in place. He couldn’t say anything to the contrary. Every inch of his heart felt like it had been stung by bees until it was just a mass of pain.

"But so what?” He Zhou continued, “Even if my body was just copied from someone else, I became more than an NPC the moment I gained sentience. I became me. Do you agree, Qiu Yanzhi?”

Qiu Yanzhi nodded after a brief pause. He Zhou’s eyes curved as he smiled after successfully comforting him. “Then what are you doing standing around here? Quickly go downstairs to eat.”

The atmosphere finally calmed down for real during the meal. Both of them seemed to have put what just happened behind them.

The ambiance of the hotel's dining area was very beautiful. Qiu Yanzhi chose a spot on the second floor’s rooftop. Looking up from there, you could see the evening sunset and the distant scenery.

There was a gentle breeze blowing, bringing with it the fragrance of flowers from far away.

Qiu Yanzhi ate while chatting with He Zhou about everything that came to mind. The weather here, the people here, the drink that was especially delicious that he had on the flight over, the scary looking cat sitting down by the street with a scowl on its face...

After the meal, Qiu Yanzhi happened to glance down at his watch. Only then did he realize that it was already past midnight where He Zhou was. That was the only reason he reluctantly bid He Zhou farewell.

“You should go to bed soon.”

"En, good night." He Zhou said.

After the video call finished, the slight smile on He Zhou’s face gradually faded away.

He Zhou quietly stared at the screen until it turned off. Then he picked up his plate and went to clean it at the kitchen sink.

After tidying up, he slowly walked to the bedroom.

In the corner was a virtual reality game pod that had already accumulated a layer of dust.

He Zhou stood in front of it for a while before pressing the game pod’s power button.

The lights in the bedroom weren’t on. Only the dim moonlight outside faintly illuminated his surroundings.

The virtual reality pod rattled slightly. Then the lights lining the edges slowly pulsed, highlighting its smooth and beautiful exterior.

He Zhou stood silently in the darkness for a long time before slowly reaching out with one hand.

The way the cold blue light illuminated his hand was almost eerie in the dark of night.

His long fingers slowly touched the body of the virtual reality pod. Its blue lights made his fingers seem cold and white. From afar, it almost looked like ghostly fires in the dark.

Immediately after, the tip of his index finger in contact with the pod began to turn transparent. The blue light was able to pass almost unimpeded between his fingers. The effect soon spread to the entire index finger, followed by his middle finger, ring finger, thumb, and finally his entire right hand.

It was as if this virtual reality pod was trying to consume him.

In the moment before his entire hand was about to disappear, He Zhou finally removed his fingertip from the virtual reality pod. His right hand slowly reappeared, first as an outline and then in flesh and blood. From the wrist, to the back of the hand, to the fingers.

He Zhou looked down, his thick eyelashes concealing all the emotions in his dark irises. His mouth had pursed into a thin line under the cover of darkness.

The blue light made his face seem as cold as a corpse.

Then he reached out again and turned off the pod.

The blue lights flashed some more before going out, and the humming of the machine gradually went silent.

He Zhou slowly lowered his head. He reached for the piece of lamb-white jade around his neck. Its slight warmth passed into his fingertips like an electric current.

He Zhou tightly clutched the piece of jade.

Then he stood alone in that dark bedroom for a very long time.


The next morning, Qiu Yanzhi went with Qin He and his team to negotiate at the SC Company.

Qiu Yanzhi had worked at He Zhou's company for almost a month in the game so he was familiar with a lot of technical terms in the field of electronics. Thus, work went smoothly for him.

When Qin He and the other company’s president were about to seal the deal, he suddenly made another request.

--He asked the team working on the game project he was acquiring to help him with another game as well. The other president refused to oblige this request, since Qin He had brought it up out of nowhere.

In the online discussions preceding this meeting, Qin He had only expressed interest in acquiring their game. Once the team helped He Zhou transfer over and localize the game, their cooperation would end there.

There was no mention that their company's employees would need to perform other services for Qin He.

Qin He: "Don't get me wrong. I don't want all of your employees, just some of the programmers. I want to hire them to basically wipe the game’s data clean. Of course, there will be additional compensation for the inconvenience.”

Qiu Yanzhi frowned. Although he didn’t know what Qin He was up to, he still dutifully communicated everything to the other party. The other president was obviously also a bit curious. “May I ask what kind of complex game data Mr. He wants to delete?”

Qin He languidly leaned back somewhat and said, "I invested with a good friend of mine in a virtual reality game three--no, four years ago. However, that game ran into some problems and had to be shut down. I am hoping to hire some programmers from your company to completely wipe clean all the data in the game.”

Qiu Yanzhi froze. Qin He looked up at Qiu Yanzhi and gestured for him to translate.

Qiu Yanzhi stayed where he was, unable to move a muscle.

"Qiu Yanzhi." Qin He gently called out to him. Only then did Qiu Yanzhi suddenly snap out of it. He stumbled through his translation to the other president.

The other party said that this proposal was a bit sudden and that he needed some time for consideration. He would give Qin He an answer tomorrow.

Qiu Yanzhi was still a bit distracted even after returning to the hotel. When he was about to open the door to his room, Qiu Yanzhi suddenly closed it again and turned to look at Qin He on the other side of the corridor. “May I please ask you a question?”

Qin He smiled somewhat sadly. “Little Yan, it makes me sad to see you being so polite to me. I always thought we were the best of friends.”

...Little Yan.

Qiu Yanzhi frowned. He felt that nickname was very strange. Little Trash had never called him such an endearing term before.

But Qiu Yanzhi didn't have time to dwell on that. He looked up at Qin He and got straight to the point. "Then I won’t beat around the bush. What’s the name of the game you just mentioned needing a complete data wipe?”

Just as Qiu Yanzhi finished speaking, Qin He's executive assistant and lawyer happened to walk by, cautiously glancing at their boss and Qiu Yanzhi.

Qin He took a step forward. "This doesn’t seem like a good place for us to talk.”

Qiu Yanzhi opened the door to his room. "Then we’ll talk inside.”

Qin He walked in and went to sit on the loveseat. “It’s ‘Devour Dream’.”

Although he was expecting it, Qiu Yanzhi's heart still trembled when he heard those two words.

He closed the door and swallowed somewhat nervously before going to sit across from Qin He. “So why do you need to...erase that game’s data?”

Qin He gave Qiu Yanzhi a meaningful look. “You should already know why.”

Qiu Yanzhi pursed his mouth tightly and remained silent.

Qin He sighed. "You know an incident occured within ‘Devour Dream’, right?”

Qiu Yanzhi nodded. "...I heard that there was an investor who fell into a coma because of that game."

"He was a friend of mine," Qin He said "and also one of the investors at the time. After entering the game, he suddenly fell into a coma and died six months later.”

Qin He was silent for a while. "I thought this matter would never come up again as the game was shut down. However…” Qin He looked up at Qiu Yanzhi with his dark irises. “Some time ago, I discovered a disturbing phenomenon.”

"A NPC from the game actually came to our world.”

“Doesn’t the news send a shiver down your spine?”

"When I first found out about this, I almost felt like I had seen a ghost."

"Little Yan." Qin He smiled. "You seem to be much calmer than me when it comes to this matter.”

Qiu Yanzhi opened his mouth, but no words came out.

"I know you care a lot about that NPC, but after it and the game it came from are completely destroyed, I’ll create another NPC in my own likeness in the new game I acquired. It’ll have everything from my name to my personality, and it’ll be just for you to play with.” Qin He looked up at Qiu Yanzhi with what seemed like a very doting look in his eyes.

He reached out to ruffler Qiu Yanzhi’s hair with a light laugh. “Little Yan, I never would’ve thought you liked me this much. You even used a NPC as my substitute! I must admit I’m a bit jealous, but no matter. He’s just a new toy that’s piqued your interest. You can have as many of him as you like.”

Qiu Yanzhi was silent for a moment. Then he reached up and removed Qin He’s hand from his head.

He looked at Qin He, his voice slightly hoarse. "Qin He, why do you suddenly make me feel so sick?"

The smile on Qin He's face froze.


Qin He is just...ew. And poor He Zhou (again) QAQ. He just gets beat down over and over again in this novel.

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