When Shi Qing recalled the task details mentioned before, to be honest, he thought that the task of having the Crown Prince ascend to Emperor was not too difficult.
Although the old emperor was not stupid, he was quite old, and he had been growing increasingly confused over the years. Although Concubine Li was still fairly young, she had still been in the palace for nearly 20 years. She was smart enough, and quite crafty; she was able to coax the Emperor by acting spoiled, but it was still not enough at this point.
Although she has aimed to support her own family, because of various issues, it almost ended up causing more trouble than it was worth. Because his size made him suitable, she reluctantly pulled strings to make her brother the Deputy Head of the Guards—but that position itself is a dead-end, and there was no way to step forward.
Then there was Second Prince Rongxiang, who just turned 20 years old this year, but was still wet behind the ears. Although he was not raised to be a playboy by his mother, he was still full of that impulsive and reckless nature that comes with youth. Under the frequent lecturing by the old Emperor and his mother, he was conscious that although he is young and promising, compared with the Crown Prince, he does not have much to show. However, if he can fight against the Crown Prince, chances are that he would really able to score a big treasure if he was to win.
In the face of such an opponent, as long as the Prince stands firm, does not make any big mistakes, and is not caught by the pigtails1; when the old Emperor finally passes away he will be smoothly promoted as the next Emperor.
So, just from this perspective, Shi Qing believed that this task was not too difficult for the novice Qin Mo. It could even be considered a good initial experience.
But! What what the fuck was up with that deadline, ah?
Seven days…a week…to ascend the throne?
Shi Qing laughed helplessly, who knew the Imperial Throne was really of such little value?
Compared to the uproar experienced by the system, Shi Qing, Qin Mo appeared calm and collected. Not only did he accept a task without any delay, but he seemed to have gained a quick comprehension of what was expected of him, and what the task specifically required.
That’s right…almost the instant after he finalized the contract, he had already accepted the first task.
Shi Qing just wanted to shout, that man’s impulses definitely came from the devil ah! If we cannot finish this task we will definitely be punished!
Unfortunately, his mouth was not as fast as Qin Mo’s hands; he did not shout anything, and the two of them passed into the first world…
After being tossed around until he was dizzy, Shi Qing felt like he heard a voice say, “The system will be provided a body free of charge.”
Shi Qing thought this was a fortune in the midst of misfortune. Even though the task itself ended up being so deceptive, it was attentive to the point that it sent a body? This was pretty good value!
When he thought of that, he woke up and collapsed.
Now into this damn body! Let’s see what a person can get for free, ah!
Wait, why did I become a jade pendant? Who wants to be a rock? Cannot do it!
Shi Qing wanted to let out a wail of despair, when he felt his body surrounded by a large, warm mass. He looked up, and he was right in front of a huge human face…
Crap, that scared this young master!
But immediately, he calmed down again; it was Prince Rongcheng, no…now it was Qin Mo.
Shi Qing looked carefully at Qin Mo. Although his magnificent appearance had been replaced by the face of the Crown Prince, those black eyes full of hostility could not be disguised.
Qin Mo stared at the jade pendant in his hands. He could feel Shi Qing’s life force, and he knew that the dark fog was currently hiding in this piece of white jade.
He carefully rubbed the jade pendant in his hand, sensitively aware of the steady breathing of someone behind him.
Because he stood up, the other man rose as well; his long, black hair slid down his shoulders and revealed a fair face, thin eyebrows and red lips—all of which gave the impression of a weak, delicate individual.
This was exactly what Shi Qing saw, and it knocked him down for a moment…
Crap! This is a man, man, it must be a man!
The jade pendant could not really move, but his vision was very broad—no matter how delicate the man was, Shi Qing could see that he had a good Adam’s apple! And his chest was also flat; even if it was a flat-chested woman, they would never be flat to this extent.
So, this was a man’s naked body covered with love bites. What would two men be doing together, naked, in bed? At that moment, Shi Qing suddenly remembered those few filler sentences in the task description: the Prince was a cut-sleeve, and kept beautiful young boys for his own enjoyment…
Then, as if to completely crush Shi Qing’s three views, the man laughed gently, pulled his dark hair behind his shoulder, and softly asked, “Your Highness? Would you like the servants to come attend to you?”
Qin Mo was still tracing the jade pendant in his hands, but he turned his head slightly, looked up, and then opened his thin lips to spit out an order, “Get out.”
His command was like a sharp arrow with a pressing momentum, straight into the man before him.
The man was startled for a moment, and then his face instantly went pale. He seemed to want to approach and smooth things over, but when those bottomless black eyes swept over him, the man froze; he then hastily retreated off the bed, all the while bowing his head and apologizing, until he could flee the room.
Shi Qing was shocked, what is going on? cough…Although he did not wish to see man-on-man erotica, could Qin Mo really just drive that guy out? Was that ok? Would that collapse the plot? Qin Mo was it really ok not to give any consideration to the Crown Prince’s man? The prince really prefers…cough cough…he is a homosexual.
Shi Qing did not dare even make a noise, and it was not like he could forbid Qin Mo from doing anything. He endured for half a day, and just when he was finally going to speak up, who could have known that Qin Mo would lie down again, and then cover himself with the quilt…
Shi Qing tried his best to wriggle his jade body, rubbing against Qin Mo, only to see his neatly closed eyelashes. How can you close your eyes?
Shi Qing did not give up staring half-heartedly, but finally he had to give up his self-deception.
Qin Mo really fell asleep…
Shi Qing was angry that Qin Mo could be so unprofessional. Seven days was very short, he needed to get up quickly to complete the task.
Shi Qing was then grasped tightly within Qin Mo’s palm so that he could not move. He could still make noise, but he did not dare to speak loudly because he did not know the specifics of their current situation. He said, “Don’t slack off, or you’ll fail your task. Then there will be penalties…”
The words had not finished leaving his mouth when the hand holding him tightened its grip, and Qin Mo’s voice filtered through forcefully, “Shut up.”
Shi Qing: …QAQ, his good intentions were met with a kick in the ass…
Qin Mo closed his eyes, held the jade pendant, and gave a direct command, “Sleep.”
Tightly clutched while in that jade body, he really did not have a way out. Before he knew it he could hear the steady rhythm of Qin Mo’s breathing.
At first Shi Qing was surprised, but then the light bulb came on and he suddenly came to an understanding. When he thought carefully, it seemed that Qin Mo had not slept for a long time. In the past, he had high cultivation to support himself, but since that was shattered, he had become an ordinary person. He could no longer go without sleep as he had in the past.
Although he had crossed to another world and changed his body, the fatigue of his spirit had remained; this was the limit of what he could presently handle.
After this epiphany, Shi Qing sighed, quit his struggling, and laid quietly in Qin Mo’s palm. Although he was held too tightly, and was somewhat dissatisfied; in the end he was a jade pendant and it seemed that his five senses were quite dull, and he couldn’t really feel pain. So, although this behaviour made him anxious for their outcome, Qin Mo really was pitiful. Shi Qing would not be held accountable if things did not go well.
Once he relaxed, he actually had a good night’s sleep as well.
When he woke up, he found himself, once again, in a new environment. When he looked around he saw an ornate, ancient looking bookshelf, an engraved jade screen, and an armchair was placed in front of a work table. Sitting on top of the table was an inkwell as well as an exquisite looking pen…it seemed he was in a study?
Shi Qing noticed some movement, and saw Qin Mo had gotten dressed in the Crown Prince’s clothing.
He was confused for a moment, and then suddenly recalled…the task—they need to do the task!
Fuck, they actually lost a whole day to sleep!
Shi Qing quickly felt his anxiety return. Qin Mo, on the other hand, was calmly flipping through a book on herbal medicine, which caused Shi Qing to suddenly go off like a firecracker, he exploded, “The task has a time limit of seven days! If you cannot complete the task, you will be punished!”
Qin Mo did not even take his eyes from the book, and only casually asked, “Will you also be punished?”
Shi Qing was surprised for a moment, and then instinctively replied, “No.”
“Then what are you worried about?”
Shi Qing: …….
When he saw Shi Qing was not saying anything, Qin Mo asked, “If I complete the task, do you gain some benefit?”
When Shi Qing regained his composure, he coughed, and then said, “That…there are some benefits.”
Qin Mo let out an indifferent “oh” sound.
Shi Qing really could not understand just how Qin Mo’s brain worked, but he, himself, was a stubborn person. He did not wish to think about how indifferent Qin Mo seemed to everything, so he thought it was best to explain, “If you cannot complete the task, the corresponding number of points will be deducted from your total. If you are in the negative more than 1000 points, you will be obliterated!”
When Shi Qing said these words, he was very serious, but Qin Mo just gave him a cursory glance and did not say anything. He merely continued to devote himself to the study of herbal medicine…
So Shi Qing could only continue, “If you successfully complete the task, I can also get 50% of the total points rewarded.”
Compared to his previous statement, this admission obviously aroused more interest in Qin Mo. He glanced at the jade and asked, “You also need to collect points?”
“What will you do with them?”
“I’ll buy a body!”
Qin Mo stared at jade pendant, and suddenly held it in the palm of his hand, gently stroking the smooth, white stone. Then he said softly, “This is very good.”
Because Shi Qing was now made of jade, his perception was a little bit slow, but he was still conscious of being touched all over, which caused him to twist in discomfort, “What’s so good about it? It’s too small and I can barely move.”
Qin Mo lifted the corners of his mouth in a rare smile, still stroking the jade, and only repeated softly, “Very good.” Small, round, passive, weak, fragile and harmless. How good.
He can crush it whenever he wants to.
Shi Qing did not want to think too much, although his heart was full of ridicule; he did not think Qin Mo would actually like the jade…perverts can also have their own preferences.
He saw that Qin Mo had returned his attention to the herbal medicine book, so he chose to no longer make any noise. Instead, he devoted all of his brain cells towards trying to think about how to ascend the throne within seven days.
When he saw Qin Mo’s unhurried manner, Shi Qing remembered what kind of psycho he was…he suddenly had a premonition, and asked in shock, “Qin Mo! You don’t want to kill the Emperor, right?”
As he asked this question, Shi Qing had the feeling that he had hit on the truth. If he killed the old Emperor, then could the Crown Prince just easily ascend to the throne?
However, that would not do!
Shi Qing did not wait for Qin Mo to say anything. He quickly and earnestly said, “You must not have such thoughts. Now that you have lost your cultivation, you are only an ordinary person. Although the old Emperor is confused, he has actually been guarding against the Crown Prince; his bodyguards are as numerous as the hairs on an ox. You cannot do it alone, if you do you will lose your own life!”
Then, Shi Qing solemnly added, “Although this is a different world, and only your soul has come here, if the body you are inhabiting dies, your soul will dissipate as well! You can’t be careless!”
Shi Qing was as anxious as ants on a hot pan, but Qin Mo had completely fixed his attention on him.
“If I die, what will you do?”
Shi Qing could not quite keep up with the pace of the conversation, but unfortunately a jade pendant could not show his confused look.
Qin Mo gently stroked him, “Will you die?”
I had some fun with this chapter. Shi Qing is so saucy! I just wanted to put a reminder here. I don’t have a specific schedule per se, but what I do is alternate between my two main projects. So as soon as I finish a chapter of this novel, I’ll start into the next chapter of PUP (you can get to that through the table of contents link in the top right). Depending on work/life and my kids, it can take anywhere from a few days to a week. So, unfortunately I’m not one of those amazing people who can pump out chapters so often. But I will do my best to keep up a steady pace. Thanks, as always, for reading!!
- Caught by the pigtails: means to be caught at a vulnerable point ↩