Reborn as a Substitute Chapter 13

In a dark room, a black figure sat motionless on the bed.

From the silhouette, one could barely say that it was a woman. The light from the tablet in her hand flashed; the young man on the screen was very handsome, smiling at the camera like a spring breeze. The woman’s fingers trembled as she brushed them over the young man’s face, the dim light illuminating her bandaged face.

After the video ended, the system automatically jumped to associated videos.

“Can you play ‘Fruit Candy’?”

“Okay, I can play it.”

The young man in front of the camera lowered his head and the drumsticks flew in his hands, a heavy drumbeat matching the song as he went on a rampage in the small live broadcast room.

Ten seconds of wonderful editing passed, and subtitles appeared at the end of the video.

[Guest of the Double Twelve Light Gala, Drummer Ji Hui, stay tuned]

The smile of the woman holding the tablet disappeared little by little.

The corners of her lips twitched like terrifying scars, her eyes flashing with frenzied anger.

She dropped the tablet, lurched forward and grabbed the phone from the head of the bed.

【Are you going to the light party?】

She quickly typed the words on the screen and waited anxiously after sending them.

Seconds passed but there was no reply.

She gritted her teeth, opened her address book, dialled a number and pressed the phone to her ear.

“Answer the phone…” The screen light illuminated a jagged scar that went from her ear bone to her forehead. She clutched the phone and whispered like a demon, “Answer the phone…”

The call was not answered. She didn’t give up and called again…

“The number you have dialled is switched off…”

As soon as she heard the cold voice of rejection, the corners of her mouth that  twisted and trembled became stiff.

Two seconds later, the phone slammed into the wall fiercely and the shattering sound of the impact was drowned in hysterical screams.

The bandaged woman punched herself like a maniac, wetting the bandages with her tears and saliva.

“Damned ghost!” She screamed at the screen, her voice high-pitched to the point of squealing, “Why are you always haunting me, bitch! Slut! Go to hell! Go to hell!!! Go to hell!!!”

Villa area

Sitting on the small couch, Ji Sheng opened his mouth and yawned.

Xie Xuanming was lying on the bed next to the couch. This man who was often angry because of inexplicable things was particularly indifferent in some ways. For example, when in the afternoon Ji Sheng insinuated that he was sexually impaired, this insult that would have sent 90% of men into a frenzy did not shake Xie Xuanming one bit.

He only smiled coldly and said, “Do as much as you are paid to do”, and then stopped paying attention to Ji Sheng.

Ji Sheng thought that Xie Xuanming might also have a guilty conscience; after all, today he ruthlessly exposed the facts he was trying to conceal.

“You said you are valuable, prove it to me.”

That gloomy sentence in the bathroom had never been said casually.

”Ji Hui” was of course valuable, Xie Xuanming clearly saw that early on.

When Ji Sheng was thinking about using Xie Xuanming to find the cause of his death in the previous life, Xie Xuanming also silently included Ji Sheng in his plan.

The people who killed Ji Hui were hiding in the dark. If they had the courage to make a big living person disappear in broad daylight, they might do it again.

Outside the law people who ignored the rules of society.

No one would be unafraid of such people, not to mention that Xie Xuanming was likely to have a grudge with them.

Xie Xuanming decided to take the initiative.

He used ”Ji Hui“ as bait, using the only ”valuable” characteristic of this low-status boy—the face that looked exactly like the face of the deceased star—to constantly place him among people associated with Ji Sheng and use the generated chemical reactions to attract the attention of those people.

A method of setting a trap without batting an eyelid.

If it were the original Ji Hui, he would have been grateful for the resources that had fallen from the sky, not realising that Xie Xuanming had pushed him into the hunter’s net.

The moment the hunter showed up, it was very likely that the bait would die.

Was it not right to lament calling it inhumane and unscrupulous?

Ji Sheng smiled helplessly in the dark. Although cooperating with Xie Xuanming was tantamount to conspiring with a tiger, he did not intend to disrupt Xie Xuanming’s plan.

Xie Xuanming’s methods were vicious but they were indeed efficient. Ji Sheng was now passive and had no choice but to rely on Xie Xuanming.

Xie Xuanming’s steady breathing reached his ears. Ji Sheng turned his head and looked at his frowning eyebrows, their sharp lines barely allowing this face to overlap with the face in his memory .

“Really… he used to be cute.” Ji Sheng was unhappy, “Why did he become so annoying now…”

As if hearing his whispered complaint, Xie Xuanming frowned even more and his heavy curtain-like eyelashes trembled.

In the end, he must have been doing something wrong. No matter what winning combination he had during the day, he didn’t sleep well at night…

Ji Sheng sighed, and a bit of curiosity surged in his heart unconsciously.

What kind of nightmare did this guy have?

Xie Xuanming was indeed dreaming at the moment, but unlike Ji Sheng imagined, what was looming in his mind was not a nightmare, but reality.

He dreamed of the dirty, clogged streets, with thugs yelling at the corners, cigarette butts and spit on the uneven ground, stray dogs hovering around the garbage dump, trying to find today’s dinner from it. Behind the alley shops, children’s cries mingled with women’s violent curses… The young man in a cap bypassed the smokers, stray dogs and noise, quietly walked into the corner grocery store and stood still at the counter.

This shop was located at the end of an alley. The owner surnamed Ma said that as long as you had money, you could get everything you wanted from him.

“Sleeping pills.” The thin young man wearing a cap whispered, putting a red bill on the counter.

Lao Ma didn’t raise his head: “Not enough.”

A slightly muffled thud of something falling on the glass followed the end of the sentence. A roll of red banknotes was tied with a cheap rubber band and rolled twice on the glass counter. The young man withdrew his hand and said blankly: “Is that enough?”

Lao Ma finally looked up, glanced at the money, moved his gaze up and swept it over the young man.

The young man looked about fifteen or sixteen years old, tall, with a pale face hidden under the brim of the cap and an indifferent expression

Lao Ma grinned, showing a mouthful of dirty golden teeth: “Can’t sell you, this stuff is prescription medicine, you die from taking it and I’ll be in trouble when the police come to my door.”

The young man pursed his lips and said nothing.

Lao Ma tapped his foot and advised carelessly: “Young man, what’s a good time to be looking for death. You’re handsome, talk to a few girls and smoke a few cigarettes, what’s too much to handle…”

The young man picked up the roll of banknotes in silence, leaving the one he put down on the counter at the beginning.

“Hemp rope,” he said.

Xie Xuanming walked out of the grocery store, the hemp rope peeking out of the black plastic bag he was holding in his hand. He stuffed it in and left.

As Xie Xuanming walked out of the alley, he heard the sound of a female voice berating a child angrily.

“Are you trying to piss me off! How could I give birth to a trash like you!”

Xie Xuanming accelerated his steps, but he still couldn’t help but remember…

“You are not the bloodline of the Xie family, you bastard.” The woman cried, shaking and dishevelled.

“Mom…” Xie Xuanming hung his head and whispered, letting her beat him.

This “mom” infuriated the woman who was already on the verge of collapse. She pushed Xie Xuanming down fiercely and yelled hysterically: “Don’t call me mom, you don’t have a mom, you don’t have a dad, you are an orphan… I don’t have a son like you, get out, get out of my house, get out! Scram!!”

Xie Xuanming’s face twitched stoically; he pulled the door without saying a word and left the house.

It was his second-to-last meeting with the woman he called “mom”.

When he saw her for the last time, she was a corpse hanging in the centre of the room, with her hair loose and her tongue protruding from her mouth. Her face was purple and blue, her eyes rolled up.

She died so ugly that no one could tell that she was a beauty when alive.

Xie Xuanming wandered aimlessly in the streets and finally settled in a bar after dark. 

It was probably a black bar, so black that when Xie Xuanming walked in, looking obviously underage, no one stopped him.

There was a stage in the centre of the bar. An unknown band was performing on it. The lead singer had a very poor pitch. Xie Xuanming glanced at him and stopped paying attention.

He ordered a cocktail, and while waiting, he remembered something about the woman he used to call “mom”.

That woman was pathetic and hateful, Xie Xuanming thought, being tricked by a married man into giving birth to a child, hoping day and night that the man would take her with her son home to live a life of wealth and prosperity.

After waiting for seventeen years, the woman finally couldn’t bear it and planned to make a big fuss.

Who could imagine that the man would show a certificate and tell her that her own flesh and blood had died as soon as it was born. Xie Xuanming, the child she raised, had no blood relation with her or the man. 

The woman collapsed after hearing it. The dream of a wealthy life of many years was shattered in an instant. She couldn’t face reality and hanged herself at home.

When the cocktail was served, Xie Xuanming took a big sip and the bitterness burned from the tip of his tongue to his heart.

After her death, a strange man approached Xie Xuanming and said that he was his biological father.

The certificate was falsified, so that she would be more peaceful and stop ruining the face of the Xie family.

She was indeed “peaceful”.

Xie Xuanming looked indifferently at the “father” he had never seen before.

The man sincerely said that he owed him too much and hoped that he could return home and get corresponding compensation.

No need, Xie Xuanming said, no need.

Whether it was a mother who had never loved him or a father who had never met him.

He needed neither of them.

And he was not needed anymore.

Xie Xuanming raised his head and poured the cocktail into his stomach.

This was the first time he had drunk alcohol. As expected, it was not to his taste.

There should be no next attempt.

After the band on stage finished performing, there was an incident.

A beer-bellied man close to the stage suddenly grabbed one of the band members and said drunkenly:

“Your lips are so thin… have you heard of it? People with thin lips have thin blessings and thin lives… but it doesn’t matter.” The beer belly smiled lewdly, “Just give Uncle a kiss, Uncle is blessed, will share with you a little…”

Xie Xuanming couldn’t see clearly the face of the boy pulled by the man from a distance. He only saw his hand clenched in a fist.

But the boy didn’t do anything in the end,  just shrugged off the man, his expression dark, and took a different route to walk out.

The black bar paid less than one hundred for the performance, so it was obviously not a cost-effective option to ruin the proceeds of a night on the spur of the moment.

Xie Xuanming watched the boy get closer to him, and suddenly felt a little funny.

The poor people worked hard to survive, and the rich people were bent on death.

Xie Xuanming’s family was not short of money. His mother asked for a lot from the man and worked hard to train her son into a “rich young master”.

Naturally, there was no shortage of food and clothing. Xie Xuanming had to go to the interest classes where rich people’s children go. Xie Xuanming had to have luxury gifts that the man’s decent wife and children had…

The watch Xie Xuanming was wearing now was the one his mother heard the man bought as a valuable birthday gift for his son at home, so she went crazy and asked for one for Xie Xuanming, too…

Xie Xuanming only felt the heaviness on his wrist and the tingling in his bones.

The gift of vanity and comparison was more insulting than shackles.

When the boy passed by the table, Xie Xuanming stopped him.

“Are you short of money?”

“Huh?” The boy was taken aback.

“Give me your hand.”

Before the boy could react, he saw a teenager, younger than him, pull his wrist, take off his watch and put it in his palm.

“Pawn it or sell it on a second-hand website.” Xie Xuanming got up, put on his cap and said in a low voice, “Don’t think about the price below five digits.”

The boy looked at the watch in his hand in a daze, and when he reacted and wanted to return it, the teenager had already turned away and walked out, disappearing in the doorway.

The author has something to say:

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2 thoughts on “Reborn as a Substitute Chapter 13

  1. A batch release!!! Waaahhh thank you so much~ ❤️❤️❤️❤️ o(≧∇≦o)

    Uh-oh…a psycho antagonist…👀 I hope XX can protect his wifey this time~

    Player Ji Sheng:

    [Quest completed!] Sell adult products at live broadcast
    # Achievement unlocked: First live broadcast reaches 25 million views (+ reputation) #
    [Quest completed!] Sell electronic products at live broadcast
    [Quest completed!] Sell branded lipsticks at live broadcast

    [Current quest]
    Perform at Double December Light Gala

    1. Aww, thank you for reading and commenting!!! 🙂 Ji Sheng’s assorted achievements are quite a picture 🙂
      We’re going into a flashback now for several chapters. I’m not a fan of flashbacks but this one was okay, Xie Xuanming appears quite different in it 🙂

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