Qin Mo agreed, and the contract was established.
Then, in a flash of silver, a person and a soul came into the system space together.
Qin Mo’s body was still weak, but he did not really give off a weak look. He was very tall, he had been cultivating for many years, and his level of physical fitness was far greater than that of ordinary people.
Qin Mo wore a black robe made of a very unique material. It flowed down his body like water, but at times it looked like clinging smoke because of its dark colour. This had the advantage of making his pale skin appear even more dazzling; if you paired that with his straight and upright bearing, he truly seemed to possess a strange, yet refined, charm.
Shi Qing let loose a sigh heavy with emotion. Here, indeed, was a man who followed the path to immortality for many years. Although he had later deviated to demonic cultivation, he still had the bearing of a righteous immortal. Compared to ordinary people, he was just too different.
Shi Qing did not wait for Qin Mo to speak, and immediately launched into a self-introduction, “I am System No. 89757, uh…you can also call me Shi Qing, and just think of me as your exclusive system. I will henceforth be responsible for issuing new tasks, providing support, and following up once the task is completed.”
These lines were basically the official slogans laid out in the quick guide, so in order to give a good speech Shi Qing only had to read them out well.
After he finished speaking, he pointed to the opposite wall, and with just a thought, a large screen appeared on the originally blank wall.
Qin Mo’s attention was drawn towards the screen, and he leaned his head over, revealing the strong, clean lines of his side profile. He had brooding, deep-set eyes, the bridge of his nose was high and regal, and his lips were on the narrow side; only serving to make him look even more cool. Because of these features, a manly aura permeated his somewhat feminine face—people absolutely would not treat him like a woman.
When Shi Qing realized that he had been inadvertently staring, he swallowed, and a few insignificant thoughts rolled around his brain…to give birth to a child like this, what a woman that Yue Niang must have been…cough……cough…Shi Qing finally managed to corral his diverging thoughts, and set them onto the correct path.
He cleared his throat, and went on to introduce the system, “This is your operating platform. After completing your assigned task, you will be awarded points that you can redeem in this space for various rewards. In general, the rewards can be divided into three basic categories: the first category will strengthen your physique, the second category is tools and equipment, and the third category is entertainment. Within these large categories, there are innumerable sub-categories—I cannot take the time to go through them all, but you can browse through them yourself as you wish.”
The system settings were very avant-garde, and possessed a very futuristic, high-tech feel, but what it contained was all-encompassing. Whether it was rare martial arts techniques, mysterious cultivation methods, or even something like special physiques, boosted intelligence, and even ancient bloodlines…of course, even high-tech weapons like a particle cannon—everything you might desire could be obtained.
When Shi Qing had skimmed through the rewards in advance, he was able to see more than Qin Mo. After all, Qin Mo’s current level was too low, so he could only see low tier rewards. Since Shi Qing is not limited by level in that regard, he could see everything. It was actually a little unfortunate; he could see something called the ‘deity physique’ that could truly defy the heavens, but he would need billions of points to exchange for it. Never mind being able to exchange so many points, he is completely worthless at math—just how many zeros was that…
After giving Qin Mo some time to grow familiar with things, Shi Qing saw that he did not ask anything about what he was seeing. Since he was not the type to live his life on hold1, and he was certainly not afraid to speak, he took the initiative to explain, “Right now, you’re only able to view about one percent of the rewards. The remainder are locked due to level and world experience restrictions, and waiting for you to complete your tasks. They will be made available according to the situation.”
Qin Mo, who had been silently listening, took this opportunity to finally open his mouth. He stared directly at Shi Qing, and succinctly asked. “What do I need to do?”
Shi Qing was not prepared for his sudden, penetrating gaze, and felt fortunate that he had no real shape. If he did have a physical body, and was stared at by Qin Mo, he would certainly go weak at the legs; his gaze was so intense he swore he could almost feel a physical force behind it.
“The system tasks are assigned at random, and you will be sent to another world once you accept the mission. Depending on the clues provided, one or more goals will be set, and after they are complete, you will be returned to this space to determine the number of points you can earn from the system based on your performance.”
“If my soul is here, where is my body?”
Surely enough, people who cultivate have strong minds as well; his questions focus directly on the most important issues.
Shi Qing could not allow himself to be careless, but he was a little more relaxed. Although Qin Mo was cold as ice, and he was not easy for people to get along with, he was definitely an efficient person. It was beneficial for him, as a system, to have contracted a host that could accomplish his tasks promptly and perfectly, because then he could receive more points.
“I believe you have felt that the space here exists independently, and although your soul is currently separated from your body, because it is in a different space, it is time-invariant. That means, when you perform your task, the time around your body does not move.”
Qin Mo nodded his head, then spit out only two words, “Let’s Start.”
When Shi Qing registered what he had said, his heart stuttered for a moment; let’s start? Brother, you have no other questions? Nothing to talk about? We were only here for five minutes, and four minutes and thirty seconds were spent reading the instruction manual…are you sure you do not want to talk about your feelings or something like that?
Since he finally had the chance to speak with someone after waiting for so long, he really did not want to waste the opportunity, so Shi Qing tentatively asked, “That…you don’t have anything else to ask?”
Qin Mo gave him no face, and bluntly replied “No.”
Shi Qing choked half to death, turned to the quick guide in his possession, and thought again that he really should have waited another five hundred years…the ‘Qin Mo being evil’ thing is small, the whole revenge thing is not a big problem. The key issue is—how is he supposed to talk with this expressionless guy who hardly says two words? They might as well be separated by Mount Everest!
Although Shi Qing had just a little resentment, he was the type of person who understood what had to be done. If the task was completed quickly, then they would soon have points to spend, and then he could begin to look for a suitable body for himself.
Leaving aside those thoughts, Shi Qing began walking Qin Mo through the steps to initiate the first task, “Please put your left hand on that large red button on the console.”
Qin Mo walked past, according to the instructions, and put his hand up, while Shi Qing quickly hurried over according to the quick guide instructions. A cloud of black mist enveloped Qin Mo’s slender and fair left hand as he began to push the button.
Then Shi Qing began to direct, “Harder, yes, a little harder, er, um, yes that’s it.”
The quick guide blushed, and Shi Qing thought, I absolutely do not want to be bent…
Through the cooperation between the two of them together, the red button was pushed in. The big screen went dark, then suddenly lit up once again, and it was now displaying all the details of their first task.
At first glance, Shi Qing thought that Qin Mo must have good luck; it seemed to be set in ancient time and space, so it should be easier for him to accept. Then he carefully read the included tips and hints.
The task took place in an ancient Imperial Dynasty—Daqing Dynasty. The mission was confined to the Imperial Palace.
The third generation emperor of the Daqing Dynasty was a defensive monarch, and although he had no great merits, he also lacked any great blemishes. However, in his later years, he has grown progressively more muddleheaded.
On the one hand, because of his older age, the Crown Prince had become increasingly more mature and steady. On the other hand, there was the Imperial Concubine who whispered lies on the Emperor’s pillow. The Emperor, more and more, felt that the Crown Prince was unprincipled, giving birth to the idea of setting up the Second Prince as his heir.
The Crown Prince was the son of the Empress, and a typical firstborn son. He was a known cut-sleeve2, and his biggest flaw was that he kept beautiful young boys for his own enjoyment. This did not mean he was effeminate; on the contrary, he was extremely fertile. Although he favoured very few women, and gave them little of his time, the 32-year-old had produced five sons and two daughters—he could be described as the Imperial Palace’s stud horse.
Looking at the old Emperor, who was now 60 years of age; he also had seven children at his knee, but only two sons.
The Empress gave birth to the eldest son and Crown Prince, Rongcheng, and Imperial Concubine Li gave birth to the Second Prince, Rongxiang.
Although the Crown Prince stood out early and was chosen as heir, Concubine Li was favoured for decades, taking over the Emperor’s heart. This, coupled with her son’s coming of age and royal wedding, had sparked her own ambition. Perhaps she could never be Empress, but she could aim for the position of Mother to the Emperor.
The battle for the throne had become increasingly volatile, it would just take one small spark to set it all ablaze.
In this task, Qin Mo would temporarily occupy the body of Crown Prince Rongcheng, and his task was to ascend the throne and become the Emperor.
Shi Qing looked at this huge first task… 囧 囧 God, ascend the throne to what…The hurdle for the first task is so high, Qin Mo, not sure if your luck is good or bad, ah!
While Shi Qing was busy sobbing to himself, a line of characters scrolled across the screen. Suddenly, he felt his chin hit the floor.
“Time limit: seven days.”
Does that mean what he thought it meant? Seven days to ascend the Imperial throne? You have got to be kidding!
It was definitely a bit shorter (about 500 words less than the average PUP chapter), but something about this chapter was nice and easy to translate. We will see how the next bit goes, but that does it for the intro arc folks, ancient era here we come!
- This was in English in the original, so I decided to bold it to denote that. I will continue to format it like that from now on if the same thing comes up, but will not be adding footnotes.
- If you’ve never seen this term, in ancient China it was slang for men who practice homosexuality. There is a back story that I won’t go into.