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Chapter 176



Editor: Casey


There was no way to tell time in-game, and Shi Qing didn’t know how long he stayed with Gong Yu in the game either.


However, he knew when his illness worsened.


He had been weak and sickly even as a child. There were many hospital visits, but he had only been severely ill twice in his life.


The first was when he was shot.


His illness had relapsed after he was resuscitated, and he barely managed to survive.


The second was when he met the System.


By then, he had already become the chairman of the Shi family. His parents were gone, and he had sent the only relative he had left to prison.


Without any other hobbies or close family and friends in particular, Shi Qing spent his time playing virtual reality games. Not religiously, mind you. Just when he had the time to spare.


At the end of the day, he was left to mourn all alone.


He got his revenge already, so Shi Qing couldn’t think of any reason to keep living in this world.


So when his condition suddenly worsened, his heart was actually at peace.


Everyone around him had always assumed he wouldn’t live long since he was born anyway. They all treated him like a delicate piece of jade before he turned eighteen. His parents sheltered him from everything, cherishing him as if he was a little prince in an ivory tower.


But after the age of eighteen, his ivory tower collapsed.


He became an orphan with only himself to rely on.


He was forced to grow up overnight, his original unrestrained recklessness worn away by experience. No one knew of the hardships he went through, nor did they know that he always dreamt of becoming a child again at night.


He dreamt of his kind mom, his strict yet doting dad, and his grandpa who loved him dearly. Even his uncle, who hadn’t revealed his true colours yet, was present.


He had lost it all.


By the time the System came, Shi Qing had little interest in living anymore.


He only teased the System a bit since the strange little thing seemed fun to toy with.


Shi Qing was a genius entrepreneur and a decisive boss at his company as well. Everyone treated him like the boogeyman.


Everyone said that Shi Qing of the Shi family was a ruthless character.


‘This person,’ they said, ‘could accomplish anything he put his mind to.’


To them, his mind held unfathomable depths that enabled him to lead countless old foxes many times his age to their demise.


Yet Shi Qing, who was so powerful according to them, could only lie on the operating table and watch the doctor cut into his body.


He couldn’t do anything.


He didn’t want to do anything either.


He had once been naive, and he had once been powerful. He once trusted someone wicked, and he had once got revenge on said someone.


On the outside, everyone saw him as a vengeful, venomous snake.


But in the operating room, he was a lamb led to slaughter all the same. His life was in the hands of the doctors, and every breath could be his last.


At that moment, Shi Qing was truly tired.


That little fool of a System was terrified to hear he didn’t want to go.


It insistently pleaded with him, begged him, even.


For some reason, seeing that pitiful little thing made Shi Qing’s heart, which he thought was as cold as stone, actually soften.


He agreed and misled this silly system into thinking that he was only waiting for it to make more concessions in his favour.


But in reality, only he knew whether he wanted to continue living or not.


And now, sitting next to Gong Yu, witnessing that flash of heart-wrenching bewilderment flash across his face after he heard the news that Shi Qing was on his deathbed…


Shi Qing’s heart felt like it had been doused in acid.


He had forgotten about Gong Yu.


Gong Yu, who had always been waiting for him.


Gong Yu, who he forgot.


In other words, he forgot that there was someone waiting for him, someone who cared enough to hope he wouldn’t die.


He couldn’t describe the emotions flooding his heart right now.


Shi Qing could only get up and watch Gong Yu as he listened to the players discussing his life.


They had just brought up how Shi Qing had made a will already, stating that all his assets were to be donated upon his death.


One of them speculated that Shi Qing was probably aware he didn’t have long already.


After all, he’d been suffering from this disease since he was a child. Him managing to survive this long and to manage a company thus far was already surprising to most.


Gong Yu dumbly listened on. For the first time, he took the initiative to approach these players. With red-rimmed eyes, he incredulously asked them:


“Are you guys talking about Shi Qing?”


“What happened to Shi Qing? Is he going to die?”


“Is it really him? Why would he die?”


Some of the players thought he was a nutjob and left after cursing him out. Others were more patient and didn’t mind Gong Yu’s straightforward inquiries. They told Gong Yu everything they knew.


Gong Yu stiffened in place.


He knew about death.


Once, he thought that death was merely going to the Reincarnation Centre before coming back to life.


But Shi Qing had told him that was only what happened when you died in-game.


After humans died in real life, they would disappear forever, never to be seen again.


That was the true meaning of death.


And now Shi Qing was going to die.


Gong Yu threw himself against the game’s protective barrier in a frenzy. He tried to get out. He wanted to find his Shi Qing.


He didn’t want Shi Qing to die.


Gong Yu’s settings enabled him to bleed. All Shi Qing could do was watch as he deteriorated into a wounded mess, slamming repeatedly against the barrier like a trapped beast until he exhausted himself.


From the moment he found out that Shi Qing was seriously ill, Gong Yu took not a single break. He kept striking the protective barrier no matter how much pain he was in or how much blood drenched his face.


“That’s enough. I said that’s enough!”


Shi Qing couldn’t bear to watch anymore.


Despite knowing Gong Yu couldn’t see him, he still went over and hugged the man from behind.


“Don’t do this anymore. I’m fine, really! Soon the System will find me. I’m still alive. I’ve been alive and well this whole time.”


Gong Yu couldn’t hear him.


He stubbornly slammed into the barrier again and again.


Suddenly, the duo heard a noise.


[Ding! Detecting high energy fluctuations. System going to investigate.]


That familiar mechanical voice gave Shi Qing pause. He turned and saw a beam of light flying towards them.


Then it headed straight for Gong Yu.


He watched the light enter Gong Yu’s head. He heard a mechanical voice in his ears.


[High energy AI detected. Are you willing to bind with this System and become the Task System? When enough points have been accumulated, we can provide a body for you. Please make a choice.]


Shi Qing froze.


Did this mean Gong Yu was that System?


That silly little dummy of a System was actually Gong Yu??


But he only thought the System was cute. He never sensed something familiar about it, ah.


Gong Yu also paused.


He sat down on the ground with a gloomy air about him that Shi Qing had never seen before. He expressionlessly stated, “I want to save someone.”


[The System does not have this option.]


“I want to become a human.”


[The System does not have this option.]


“How can I save a human?”


[The System does not have this option.]


Shi Qing watched as the System shot down every request from Gong Yu.


Gradually, Gong Yu’s expression changed.


He closed his eyes and suddenly said, “You’re not the AI. I can sense it. The one controlling you is the AI.”


[The System does not have this option.]


Gong Yu slowly opened his eyes. Gone were the beautiful irises that seemed to contain a nebula. There was only sheer darkness within.


“Since you don’t have this option, I’ll add it for you.”


Shi Qing watched their battle from the sidelines.


Gong Yu backtraced this subsystem and caught the Main System manipulating it.


He also discovered how this Main System has always been issuing tasks and finding various people to complete them. It would state the conditions after granting a wish of theirs.


Gong Yu didn’t do anything to this Main System.


Shi Qing had taught him to leave others alone if they didn’t do anything to him.


It wasn’t like the Main System had done anything bad to him, so he did as he was told and didn’t touch it.


He just made a copy of its program and inserted himself as the administrator, holding that subsystem back.


The previously emotionless subsystem seemed to come to life.


[Ding! This System is at your service.]


Gong Yu brought out a picture of Shi Qing and made it float in midair. “Find him and ask him to be your bound Host. Tell him that he can exchange points for task items by completing tasks.”


The subsystem obediently went to carry out his orders.


Shi Qing was still standing in the same spot as before. He stared at Gong Yu, who seemed to become an entirely different person after accessing the Main System.


He was at a loss for words.


Then Gong Yu actually started to slowly disappear before his eyes.


“Gong Yu?”


Caught off guard, Shi Qing didn’t even have time to react.


He subconsciously stepped forward and tried to catch Gong Yu’s hand.


Gong Yu couldn’t see him, but he also reached out.


Just like the time Shi Qing was forced offline, he reached out in hopes that someone could reach him.


But just like that time, Shi Qing failed to reach Gong Yu again.


He was stunned, staring at the now empty space before him.


There was no one there.


So this is how it feels like to watch the person you loved disappear before your eyes.


The fabric of reality around him distorted like a curtain being pulled back. The world of memories vanished without a trace as the memories ended.


Shi Qing’s eyes snapped open.


The nurse nearby noticed. Her expression was a mix of surprise and joy. “Mr. Shi, you’re awake? Please wait one moment, I’ll call the doctor over right away.”


Shi Qing only stared at the hospital ceiling in a daze. His mind hadn’t caught up yet.


Was he…back in the real world?


“System?”


Shi Qing could feel a sturdiness in his body that he had never felt before. He called out without expecting a response since he was back in the real world. Unexpectedly, the System replied.


[Host, congratulations on completing all the tasks! Mua, mua~]


“What’s going on? Where’s Gong Yu?”


The System replied very swiftly in its usual mechanical tone: [The Main System shattered himself into pieces in order to construct the task worlds.]


Shi Qing stiffened. “Pieces?”


[A template is required when constructing task worlds, otherwise, Hosts would be unable to return to the real world. The Main System used himself as the template. Every task world was constructed using the Main System’s latent memories.]


Shi Qing understood.


No wonder every task world was a game he and Gong Yu had once played.


Those characters were the only ones Gong Yu knew about. He was an AI who only had contact with Shi Qing after all.


“Then he…”


Shi Qing only realized how hoarse his voice was after opening his mouth. “Where is he?”


[Since the task worlds were constructed using the Main System, he will be pieced back together upon completion of all worlds and the return of the Host.]


Shi Qing perceptively caught on to the implicit meaning. “Then what if some of them were left incomplete? What would happen to him?”


[If any of the task worlds were to be left incomplete, it would collapse and destroy the Main System in the process.]


“Didn’t you say that failing a task would only result in point deduction?”


The System seemed confused. [Is the Host angry? But why? The Main System ordered me to make the Host do tasks. Once all the worlds are completed in sequence, the Host can get a healthy body.]


But that meant…


From the very start, Gong Yu was willing to sacrifice himself to save Shi Qing…


Shi Qing’s hands shook.


If he had failed even one world, Gong Yu would have just disappeared.


He ripped off the oxygen mask on his face and opened the VR game interface on his wrist.


[Hello! Welcome to the VR world. Please select a game.]


Shi Qing’s voice was trembling yet resolute. “Descent of Chivalry.”


The transference process was very quick. With a flash of white, he found himself before the endless seas of blossoms in Myriad Flower Valley.


He heard footsteps behind him. His body stiffened slightly before he slowly turned around.


The person behind him appeared the same as ever. With slightly red-rimmed eyes, he held up a stick of tanghulu and handed it to him.


“You’re back. Look, they’ve implemented tanghulu again.”



Author’s Corner


I originally stopped at the part where Tongtong said Gong Yu shattered himself


But seeing as all of you had a look that said you wanted to beat me up in your eyes, I quickly scrambled back to write up the sweet part at the end. Aiya, what a good literary author I am


I think I’m ready to end things here


But I also feel like I can’t


Aiya, what should I do…


Let’s see what I can write about tomorrow


Rain


And that concludes the main story of Everyone Knows I’m a Good Person, folks! Thanks for reading~


Stay tuned for the extra coming out on Sunday and enjoy your weekend!


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