Chapter 19


Translated by boilpoil
Edited by boilpoil

Zhou Luoluo’s greatest regret – coming along, or walking out the door at all today. Why did he agree to go window shopping with those male ‘friends’ of his?

They legged it as soon as they realised something’s off; not because of the shemale Cheng Jin, but the slightly dangerous looking male Cheng Zhaoci.

They’re probably assuming that Zhou Luoluo is male and will therefore survive any encounter with the other male, no matter how angry he is.

Zhou Luoluo, like an unloved and abused little sapling, is sitting by himself next to Cheng Zhaoci, putting chunks of food in his mouth, without so much as being able to taste the food at all.

“So Mr Zhou, did you have grievances against a-Ci?” Cheng Jin is talking gently given the conversation target is a male, and his own son doesn’t look like he’s been duped or anything.

“Not really,” Zhou Luoluo quietly replies. This shouldn’t be. He’s a male! Why is he speaking so meekly to a lowly shemale?! He needs to get up and… and he sees Cheng Zhaoci’s rather deep smile looking at him. He gives up once more.

Cheng Zhaoci certainly is intrigued. He thought the male was another one of those typical unreasonable ones, but it looks a bit more like he’s just suffering from an overblown ego, “what’s with the face? Am I bullying you?”

Zhou Luoluo wants to nod, but he does not. He shakes his head slightly, only feeling even more like crying after that.

Then he opens his holodeck. He wants to pretend someone is calling for him and so he needs to leave; he can set his holodeck to public. Generally holodecks are always open to public view all around, but special accessory can be added to obfuscate the data for everyone besides the owner. Well, he needs the exact opposite right now, because ‘someone is calling for him.’

“Eh?” Cheng Zhaoci sounds surprised, “you’ve set the little zombie kind as your background?” And it’s the close-up of him he drew for a really long time at the end of the first chapter.

Zhou Luoluo quickly looks up and asks, “you know this?!” He thought someone like Cheng Zhaoci wouldn’t bother with comics. It’s more like, he should be sipping a glass of wine in some luxurious and unlit room. Yes, that’s how he imagines he should live.

“The artist has only uploaded two chapters right now, but I’m sure that strongest shemale definitely likes the little zombie king,” Zhou Luoluo starts excitedly blabbering about his discoveries, “I’m sure you never noticed that when he agreed to let the little zombie king follow him, he pats him on the shoulder. It is actually a deviation from the strongest shemale’s normal personality. I think it’s definitely because he’s conflicted that the little zombie king is entirely innocent, save for the crime of existing.”

Conflicted, is the perfect adjective to describe Cheng Jin. He looks at the young male, then at his good Ci-zai, and decides to say nothing. He’ll merely watch over them.

Clearly Zhou Luoluo is really passionate, his eyes are practically glowing.

“Woah, good on you for seeing that,” Cheng Zhaoci is pleasantly surprised. So he’s not just a reader, but even a reader who’s seen through the flags he’s planted.

Cheng Zhaoci leans forward and asks, “let me ask you, how many of you males have been reading the comic?”

“‘You males’? You’re not a male?” Zhou Luoluo looks confused.

“I mean your circle of friends.”

Zhou Luoluo goes ‘ho,’ looking at Cheng Zhaoci like he is the village bumpkin, “the artistic style, the colouring, they’re so distinct and unique. Don’t you know how greatly this background, with the little zombie king, has infiltrated the other circles?” He puts his wrist forward so Cheng Zhaoci can see clearly. Males always like things that look nice, especially if it’s eye-catchingly beautiful.

Cheng Zhaoci really has no idea about the drawing creeping its way into other circles, and shakes his head.

“You don’t?! Do you not surf the web at all?” Zhou Luoluo is in disbelief, “all my male friends know! And many shemales are following the updates, too! Everyone knows the author is probably a shemale who’s fantasising males, but his drawings are too brilliant! I’m sure there will be more sweet interactions to follow.”

It’s become that popular? Cheng Zhaoci has no idea. It’s true he hasn’t checked his account for a while, since he just moved and then dedicated himself to drawing. He hasn’t checked his account since confirming to meet with the editor back on the military spaceship, but…

“Fantasising males?” Cheng Zhaoci has latched onto the keyword, “how so?”

“With that weird user ID? No way he’s a male. No male would ever use such a crass name,” Zhou Luoluo explains, “and there are no males like the little zombie king in real life. It’s a beautiful fantasy, but I’ll be honest, I really like him that way.”

“So one last question. Remember the shemale you described as ‘disgusting’ the last time we met? Isn’t he really similar in appearance to the strongest shemale of the comic?”

“Huh?” Zhou Luoluo is the one surprised this time, “what do you mean?” He was too preoccupied with that scar on the eye the last time he saw that shemale, and didn’t think too deeply about who the shemale looked like.

Cheng Zhaoci knows what he’s thinking just from the way he looks, and sighs. Then he gets his own holodeck, and logs on to his account, “come closer. I’ll show you something,” then he lets Zhou Luoluo see the hologram fully.

Zhou Luoluo watches, slightly disinterested. User ID? Why? It’s just Bomb… BombIn, BombInMyPants?!

“EEEEAAAAAAH!” A male scream threatens to rupture eardrums.

The really girly face plus the whistle makes Cheng Zhaoci seriously question Zhou Luoluo’s gender once more. Is he really a male and not just a transmigrated girl?

But never mind that, because Cheng Zhaoci is satisfied with the rather lowbrow humour here. It’s cheap, and it’s basically boasting, but Cheng Zhaoci enjoys it.

Who wouldn’t like to show up all of a sudden in front of their own reader, especially when that reader is praising them, and then calmly reveal their true identity and enjoy their gazes of shock and disbelief? No one can refuse the temptation, at least, not someone as down-to-earth as Cheng Zhaoci.

When the screaming chicken that is Zhou Luoluo has finally calmed down, his eyes are visibly different looking at Cheng Zhaoci. He has turned from a scared kitten to having the eponymous ‘pie chart eyes’ of 20% shyness, 30% passion and 70% disbelief. The complexities and nuances of the eyes make even Cheng Zhaoci uneasy.

“Can I have your contacts?” Zhou Luoluo asks meekly, “I really like the little zombie king. I think the ID is really great. It’s not crass at all. It is the fault of those who cannot appreciate the senses.”

Says the one who just said the ID cannot possibly belong to a male. Look how quickly he gives in to temptation.

“Sure, but I’ll need a favour. I hope you can keep secrets well,” Cheng Zhaoci just had the bright idea of having an actual, genuine male insectoid help read the short comic. He wants to know the possible reaction. He has done the storyboarding and has a rough sketch of the entire story done after a few days’ hard, continuous labour. The plot is complete, though the drawing quality is rough.

He can just show him the comic by letting him see his holodeck in private, so he wouldn’t be too worried about leaks, but it’s better to have them promise to keep it a secret first.

“I can, I’ll do whatever you need me to,” Zhou Luoluo is clearly too young to have experienced the harshness of adult society, and agrees without a second thought. After a much more pleasant meal with Cheng Zhaoci and Cheng Jin, he follows after Cheng Zhaoci without even so much as a message to his family.

When he’s over at where Cheng Zhaoci is living, he asks about if he’s living alone. He thinks it’s amazing to live alone.

Normally, male insectoids would live under their fathers before they marry their first shemale. Since insectoids are polygamous, children are quite numerous, and often, they live in big family units.

Cheng Jin hasn’t said a word, but seeing the two males go up to Cheng Zhaoci’s room and close the door, he can’t shake off the ominous feeling that his Ci-zai might be trying to get back at him.

When Zhou Luoluo learns that his task is to review the story of a new short comic, he’s excited enough his eyes are positively glowing! Even if it’s just a rough storyboard sketch, it’s still amazing, “can I really see it? Really really?”

“Yes, I need feedback,” Cheng Zhaoci opens the file for his new comic. Just the cover and Zhou Luoluo is already taken in.

A male and a shemale, in a game of hide-and-seek? The palette is warm, and the lighting has coloured the two insectoids gently and warmly. Zhou Luoluo is very interested now, “is this a love story?”

Cheng Zhaoci just tells him to continue.

An excited Zhou Luoluo is a blabbering Zhou Luoluo,

“Are landfill planets really this messy? Hahaha! The protagonist is rubbing dust on his face to pretend to be a demi!”
“Oh man! It’s the shemale! The shemale lead! Wow… He’s super good-looking!”
“Hahahaha! What kind of dumb thinking led to that trick?! They seriously need their brains checked.”
“Though really, if I’m really crash landed on a landfill planet, I’d probably do worse than the male protagonist.”
“Oh man it’s here! The rescue is here! And honestly, I get the male’s still a minor, but it’s really a shame they aren’t together.”
“The shemale really is great. If only there are amazing shemales like him in real life.”
“Huh? He’s introducing him to a friend? This is silly! He should keep going after him until he wins his heart over!”

As Zhou Luoluo continues, though, an odd feeling starts to niggle at the back of his mind. Finally, when the male goes to invite the shemale to a new restaurant, and finds out the shemale has died, Zhou Luoluo is visibly shaken! He continues flipping through the rest of the comic rapidly.

But then his pace slows down more and more, just as his mood sinks lower and lower, until finally, on the very day the male is due to appear in court with his ‘friend,’ and Zhou Luoluo sees the panel showing the male recalling the shemale, contrasting the simpleminded but innocent past him with the poor, mangled, dead shemale on the bed, the emotions burst, and Zhou Luoluo bursts out crying.

“Wh- why?! You can’t, you can’t just kill him! I, that bastard, he’s a real bastard! Why could he do that to the little mute shemale, wah!” Zhou Luoluo continues flipping through the comic while crying, only for the crying to grow louder and louder.

Noting this reaction, Cheng Zhaoci is sure the comic is effective.

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