Chapter 6

Ugly Thing

Translated by boilpoil
Edited by boilpoil

Xiao Ji is honestly quite amused by the fuming little shemale. God knows what he’s thinking, but they’ve all been a rightful pile of grey in the past, and you can just barely make out their insectoid forms. Now, instead, they all look clean and tried to dress neat and proper. They’ve also combed their sparse strands of hair to their back.

No one is dumb enough to buy hair gel on a landfill planet, which is something even less useful than cupcakes. Nor does he think the brats’ dads would’ve given them any. So Xiao Ji suspects they actually used oil – by secretly pinching some from their kitchen.

It makes him all the more curious about what they’re on about. They were all quite self-righteous about Cheng Zhaoci, weren’t they? Suddenly, they all u-turned overnight.

Cheng Zhaoci, meanwhile, has a scary face on, “get out!”

He knows the brats have probably figured out his identity, but he doesn’t want it exposed in front of Xiao Ji – not that he’s untrustworthy, but just so it’s less trouble for all involved.

Besides, the little brat did break and enter into his home, and even his room. While Cheng Zhaoci isn’t that concerned about his privacy, and normally, he’s more lenient towards kids, but that would be talking about kids in his past world – and not this ‘kid’ who, besides being a bit shorter than he is, can easily overpower and pummel him into the dirt.

It’s far too dangerous a prospect and Cheng Zhaoci must refuse.

The little brat is widening his eyes in disbelief, before running away, sobbing, saddened. The silhouette… um, you know, like powerlessness when a girlfriend realises her boyfriend is cheating on her.

Pitiful enough to send shivers down Xiao Ji’s spine, “eek! What’s with the brat?! I get goosebumps just watching that,” he says, rubbing his arms.

After seeing the little insectoids have left them alone, Xiao Ji turns on his holodeck to type Cheng Zhaoci’s IP in.

This world has an Internet quite different from that of Cheng Zhaoci’s past world. On holodecks, there are no applications like the mobile phones. Instead, all the functions can be found and done online, from GPS navigation to watching funny videos. It’s all on the Internet, and all an insectoid has to do is to either find the site they want to browse, using either their voice or typing.

It’s that simple and barebones because the insectoids have a serious lack of entertainment media. Cheng Zhaoci once watched dramas the insectoid culture has produced, and can say that their characters are bland and monotonous, with clear good and evil sides. Even though they have a bandwidth that has made the concept of ‘loading’ obsolete, they do not even have short-form video digests.

Besides dramas are only shows featuring edited cuts of war footage. Then there are also the videos with compilations of males, edited in a far inferior manner to the excellent mix of handsome guys and pretty girls Cheng Zhaoci is used to in his past life. They can more accurately be described as ‘the daily vlogs of males,’ not that it seems to turn any of those shemales off, still screaming their lungs out about how they definitely can in the comments.

Cheng Zhaoci is mystified. How do the shemales actually manage to hold both ‘manly’ and ‘motherly’ qualities on them perfectly? Like his own shemale dad, for example. Cold, aloof, uncaring to anyone outside his circle, with an aura that’s like he can rip metal sheets apart, but to anyone in his care, he’s the perfect exemplar of the word ‘doting.’

Though his own good childhood friends don’t seem to suffer the same dissociative identity… Uh, or not. Xiao Ji is also a patient of that.

While the males… Apparently, some males grow bored enough to enter the celebrity circle – then, amazing. They go unhappy if the sun is too hot, if it’s drizzling, or if the air isn’t ‘up to standard,’ and require body doubles to act their parts.

These behaviour would result in an Internet call-to-action and have the celebrity vilified, but here, the insectoids seem happy with the arrangement. It’s like they can’t demand more now that the males are already sacrificing themselves letting themselves be seen.

Cheng Zhaoci really wants to sigh. They’re both males, but they can they be so different from him? Cheng Zhaoci really can’t settle down and not do a single thing like other males. Though it might really be a he-problem, since he makes a living drawing what companies want, while drawing what he likes as ‘downtime.’

Not drawing? Nope. Oppressed though he was by the work culture, he does find drawing happy.

He turns his holodeck and drawing tablet on to start work on the second chapter, leaving Xiao Ji to his own devices, since he’s quite positively absorbed in his holodeck adventures right now.

Although what follows next is a heaven-rending scream that almost threatened to shatter Cheng Zhaoci’s ears right where they were.

Cheng Zhaoci looks at the source of the noise——Xiao Ji, with his hand on his mouth, his face beet red, and his heart thumping. He’s probably on the last panel of his comic, the panel with the closeup of the Zombie King.

The reaction suggests he must have been quite successful in depicting the Zombie King.

‘Successful’ is too light a praise, it appears. It seems to have had a devastating effect on Xiao Ji’s language ability, completely hitting his strike zone, “thi-thi-this, you-you, you don’t feel shy when you draw?!”

“Not really,” Cheng Zhaoci says. He looks quite indifferent, but he’s definitely happy, happy that his friend likes what he poured effort into. Though he thinks it’s crass to show, unbefitting of an experienced comic artist with published work.

After Xiao Ji has come back to, he begins his barrage of questions. How did he get the idea? Why is the little Zombie King a male? Will he be killed by the strongest shemale? He can’t possibly imagine, etc. etc.

Cheng Zhaoci answers some of them, telling him that ‘zombies’ isn’t his original concept, but he doesn’t know who came up with it either. Xiao Ji seems more and more excited talking about this.

“Can I see the drafts when you’re finished with them?” Xiao Ji asks as a final question.

“Well, not that you can’t,” Cheng Zhaoci is quite familiar with the look Xiao Ji is having. He had a classmate in his past life that visited quite often after finding out he’s the artist of a comic that – he was a big fan of. He wanted to know the plot before anyone else. Ha, fans.

Xiao Ji is even poking his head forward to watch Cheng Zhaoci draw, but before he can see anything, the kids are making a ruckus outside again.

“Are they serious?” Xiao Ji appears furious. He’s probably thinking about giving them a good lashing until they promise to stop messing around.

But this time, they aren’t here to cause trouble to Cheng Zhaoci – they say, that the little shemale brat that came to Cheng Zhaoci’s room hasn’t returned yet, and they’ve become nervous waiting, and so wanted to come see if he’s still in Cheng Zhaoci’s house.

The youngest of the bunch is so scared he’s tearing up already, “he, he said he’ll be back right after, putting something at the door. We waited and waited, but he still isn’t back.”

Cheng Zhaoci furrows his brows. He and Xiao Ji share a look at each other, before he asks the kids if it’s possible he might just have wandered off elsewhere to play.

They all shake their heads, although they also seem slightly hesitant. They can’t say for sure that’s not what happened either.

Recalling how the little shemale ran outside, Cheng Zhaoci sighs and says, “let’s go search for him, then,” normally, Cheng Zhaoci wouldn’t have done a thing, but he remembers that a shemale just died a grisly death where Xiao Ji worked. It makes him concerned.

It probably wouldn’t take too much time either.

In an abandoned, old little shed about a kilometre away from Cheng Zhaoci’s home, a shemale with golden hair and golden irises is watching the light leak through the roof, smirking. Then he lights a cigarette and starts smoking, “say, how long do you think you can live for?”

Behind him are a bunch of tied up shemales, many of them old, frail, sick or crippled. The shemale with golden hair only takes one glance before looking away. They sure look dirty, what an eyesore.

Though there’s one single outlier among them. He’s clean, with his few hair washed and then oiled until they reflected light. He’s little but trying to dress big, what a joke.

As a shemale about to break through to grade S, he can easily smell the vegetable oil on that brat’s head. It’s actually kind of disgusting. He suspects the kid to have a screw loose in his head, but that wouldn’t matter to his plan.

He only made a few puffs before throwing the cigarette down. With two-thirds still left, it gets stomped on, hard by a leather shoe, and ground. It’s to project a fearsome aura.

And it works, with many of the tied up, weak insectoids shaking by reflex.

“If you could work well and make the military guys wary enough to let me go, you might get to live if I’m glad, though I’m normally unhappy. But what if, right?” The shemale then runs his finger through his hair, which is straight and really long, extending to his waste. He actually looks quite handsome, too, but his general demeanour just screams ‘pervert.’

The shemales appear to be trembling even greater, when the shemale continues, “and if it doesn’t, then the heartless military will probably kill all of you along with me. If death awaits you either way, I suggest cooperating for the best chance of survival.”

“Oh, and by the way, don’t even think about running away. A sooner death awaits,” says the shemale, now laughing, rather hysterically.

What in the?! Cheng Zhaoci, who split up with everyone to find the little brat, is shocked watching this play out. Holy, he’s never seen anything like this before in his two lifetimes. He can also see the little insectoid in there.

He quietly retreats. He has to get to Xiao Ji or He Huaijian, or at least, get to his dad to talk about it.

He knows exactly how good at fighting he is. If he rushed in to rescue, the next second he can get his head blown to smithereens by a well-placed fist.

Cheng Zhaoci would still prefer his head above his neck.

But when he’s sneaking away, the shemale suddenly says, “the little insectoid listening outside, have you heard enough?”

Cheng Zhaoci feels a chill rushing through him. He’s about to run, but the shemale is clearly even quicker, appearing in front of Cheng Zhaoci in the blink of an eye.

Cheng Zhaoci is shocked, but so is the shemale with the golden hair.

Anyone who comes face-to-face with a face with marks dense enough to trigger trypophobics would be quite stunned for the first time. This works even on someone powerful like that shemale, who’s so disgusted he just yells out, “holy fuck! What the hell is this?!”

It is even enough to cause him to trip and fall flat onto the ground. Cheng Zhaoci seizes the opportunity to run, but two steps later, he stops moving.

The ashamed shemale has his hand wrapped around Cheng Zhaoci’s neck, with a wrathful smile, “that’s a pretty unique look you’re sporting, huh——you ugly thing.”

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