Shi Qing slowly closed his eyes, and quietly passed away. The last things he saw were his mountain-like father, his gentle mother, and the brother who grew up watching over him, even though he had always been so rude to him.
In the end, his heart was truly filled with deep regret and sadness. As a child, he was really an unfilial son. He broke his parents’ hearts, caused all of their dark black hair to turn white as snow, and he had even inflicted suffering on his brother who had lovingly cared for him…he was sorry, sorry to all who had loved him.
At the same time, he felt a strong sense of liberation in his selfish heart. The nightmare of the last two years was finally over. The long days of being tortured by a disease that left him unable to eat, writhing in excruciating pain, and wishing for a death that seemed it would never come, had finally reached their completion.
In the end, he could not defeat the cancer that had invaded his body. So, on a fair and sunny day, his frail, tired body finally gave up.
Finally. He did not have to hurt anymore.
What does it feel like to die?
Shi Qing sighed, he could finally feel it.
With his eyes closed, he waited quietly for death to come.
When Shi Qing suddenly opened his eyes, he was blinded by a glaring white light that was completely unfamiliar to him.
Although his body did not move, his heart dashed about wildly, rolling about in the strong winds of the unknown. He was almost unable to resist his rising panic.
What is this situation? I’m not dead? Did I only stop breathing for a moment in order to belch? Am I not free? Do I have to keep suffering from my stomach cancer?
After finally ending his long despair, how could he only die for half a day and then return? Would he have to continue with the chemotherapy, countless medications, eating only to vomit it all back up, and painful nights that left him contemplating suicide?
Who would play with him like this?
After a few seconds, Shi Qing was able to calm down. If he was truly alive, why should he wish to die? Although living was too painful, since he did not die, he would not commit any actions to make it happen. Even if it hurt, he would accompany his family as long as he was able. He also hoped to bring them some joy with whatever time remained as compensation for their burdened hearts.
With these thoughts, Shi Qing made up his mind to press the call-button that rested near his right hand to call a nurse. This moment was when he discovered…the situation was completely wrong!
Where was his hospital bed? What about his little desk, his notebooks, his bookshelf full of novels, his mountain of DVDs?
Wait a minute…what about his body?
Shi Qing looked to the left, and then to the right, and finally confirmed that he must be, indeed, dead. The only thing was, he did not seem very dead, so maybe he had just become a wandering soul…
Shi Qing’s brain began to flash through memories of many novels he had read. The transmigration to another world or rebirth of the protagonist–both of these options seemed like good possibilities. The hard part was determining whether this was the former or the latter.
Taking all the comments into consideration, I’d like a rebirth please1!
It would be best to return to his eleven-year-old self. Then he must pay attention to his diet, refrain from wantonly abusing his body, make every effort to support the stomach that troubled him so much, respect his parents properly, and show more care towards his brother.
Shi Qing was very positive and progressive as far as wandering souls were concerned, so he started looking for a ‘rebirth’ exit.
His hard work paid off. After wandering for an unknown amount of time, he finally saw the legendary ‘bright light’ and thought, this must be that ‘space-time tunnel entrance’ or ‘my eleven-year-old body entrance’.
Shi Qing thought everything was great, it was like he was a general about to mount a pure white steed and head into battle. However, as soon as he got closer he realized that he had been fooled, and only a grass mud horse awaited him2.
How could it be a book?
Taking a closer look, the bold title of the book practically jumped off the cover at Shi Qing, “The Quick Guide to Being a System.”
Is this the legendary golden finger given with rebirth? It was not necessary to be so polite, thought Shi Qing, as long as he was sent back to his life, it didn’t matter whether or not he had any golden finger.
However, since it had been given, he was not too embarrassed to keep it; he could only reluctantly accept it.
Fortunately, now that Shi Qing lacked a corporeal form, the wretched expression on his face would not draw the fists of those wishing for such luck of their own.
The pity of the matter was that he had happily imagined it to be a joy, but the soon to come cruel facts were like a slap in the face.
He browsed through the book with his consciousness, completely ignoring the 800 words of absolute nonsense that constituted the introduction. Shi Qing was shocked right from the beginning.
He had initially thought he was reborn, but he could not really call it that. Not only was he was definitely not a person, and not even a small shrimp, but he was an invisible number 89757.
He thought he had gained a gold finger, but never imagined he himself would directly become a gold finger.
In many of the novels that he read, the protagonists possessed a gold finger. However, he had yet to read where the protagonist was the gold finger. His time was too short, he did not get to experience it, ah!
While his heart was in turmoil, some flashy, glittering words on the first page captured his attention.
“For the new system bonus you have been awarded 1000 points, you may choose to buy a body with these.” Can you not make it sound like buying a body is as easy as buying some new clothes?
“Or you can buy low-level species vessels such as cockroaches, mites, earthworms…” Who would want to buy this kind of lineage!
“…can be redeemed to accomplish the final wishes of the departed, for the benefit of previous generation’s relatives, and so on!”
Shi Qing suddenly reacted, staring at the last line of words, afraid he was getting it wrong. He was afraid of what he understood with this sentence and its discrepancies.
Wish? Was that before his death as a human being?
Past life’s relatives; was this referring to his parents and family?
With his eyes fixed on this line, countless emotions crept up within his heart. Again, he was fortunate that he had no body, or he could not help but cry out loud, wailing like child at the top of his lungs.
Once again, he realized with great clarity that he was indeed dead. Shi Qing, the son to his mother and father and the younger brother to his only brother, had died.
There could be no rebirth for him, he could not go back; his delusions had been brought crashing down.
However, when Shi Qing looked at this line, he knew it was his last chance to do the something meaningful for his family.
So Shi Qing made his choice. He redeemed all 1,000 points he had started with on ‘Shi Qing’s Will’. In the guide-book, there were two options for this; wealth or health.
Without a second thought, he chose health.
In his heart, Shi Qing spoke a heartfelt and devout prayer: do not seek after infinite silver and gold, nor seek an unnaturally long lifespan. I hope you are all healthy, and that you live well.
I’m so in love with this novel, and I hope you will enjoy it as well. Holy guacamole does this author adore ellipses. I ended up removing a lot because it was just getting out of control. Sorry.
- He kinda makes a joke about what people think of the benefits of either ‘trope’ and referred to liking it (similar to how you would on Facebook) but it didn’t work nicely in the wording so I played with it a bit. ↩
- With a bit of digging. In Chinese, the term ‘grass mud horse,’ is a way for netizens to get around censorship online. It sounds very similar to “fxck your mother”. That made this line really hard to t/l nicely so I had to play around a little bit. For the record, if there’s ever profanity in the story I absolutely will not censor it out. ↩