Chapter 1: I’m The Slag Gong’s Elder Brother
I’m Lu Zhen, and in every aspect, I would be considered a winner in life from other people’s perspective.
I’m not even thirty yet but I’m already the chairman of a famous listed company. I’m successful in business, and considered young and promising. I also have a gay lover named Wen Yu. He not only has looks I like, he’s also quite a famous movie star.
I’ve never needed to worry about money, nor do I face the ups and downs of life. I have everything others envy.
However, in reality—I’m just a support character in a romance.
One that could lose everything from a single mistake in this preposterous adventure.
So just who am I?
【Virtual reality loading—】
【Welcome to the ‘Affectionate Male’ role-playing game developed by the Fantasy Network Technology Corporation.】
Lin Ziran shut his eyes and contemplated for a moment. He recalled that he had received an express delivery yesterday. Inside was the latest virtual reality game helmet developed by the Fantasy Game Company. The Fantasy Game Company was well-known for consistently manufacturing games of superior quality. Their series of role-playing games were very popular among players and the best-selling worldwide. As for the ‘Affectionate Male’ series, it’s actually something he’s never heard of…guess it just came out.
Lin Ziran curiously entered the game. The game world would be randomly generated from their database of novel source materials. What he received just now was information on the role he would be playing.
The few starting sentences summarised the life and background of the character, Lu Zhen. But it really wasn’t something that could be explained in a few sentences.
Although Lu Zhen was the chairman of a company and never worried about money, he did not have a blissful childhood. When he was ten years old, his mother died of illness. Not long after, his father married a woman and brought back an illegitimate child. Luckily his stepmother never mistreated him. A woman as gentle and soft as water, she was on better terms with him than her own child. Gradually he harboured thoughts about accepting his new family, accepting the woman, and his new ‘younger brother’—Lu Sui.
However good things don’t last forever. A few years later he was unexpectedly kidnapped and his new stepmother died whilst saving him.
That year, Lu Sui was only twelve years old. He was unable to accept the suddenness of his mother’s death. As a result of his mother dying to rescue Lu Zhen, he took out his anger on his older stepbrother. Their father was completely indifferent about the incident. Not only did he barely care about his wife’s death, he even felt that the young Lu Sui was making trouble for no reason. When the young boy felt sad and helpless, he was indifferently sent to a boarding school.
Lu Zhen was unable to face Lu Sui because of his guilt over the matter. It took him an awfully long time to step out of the dreadful shadow left by his stepmother’s death. By the time he tried to salvage the feelings between him and his younger brother, it was already too late. Lu Sui had become estranged with him and his father. Moreover, he had chosen to go study abroad alone.
When Lu Zhen was twenty four years old, Father Lu passed away from illness. He was given the company before his father died. Lu Sui didn’t even show up at the funeral.
The brothers became even more estranged from each other.
After several years, Lu Zhen met Wen Yu at a charity banquet.
At the time, Wen Yu was already an untouchable, major celebrity within the entertainment circle. Since his debut many years ago, he’d always been unceasingly growing and flourishing. He was praised as having a face that everyone in the nation could fall in love with. In the split second Lu Zhen saw that man, he suddenly understood what it felt like to be emotionally affected. After probing around a bit, he began to pursue Wen Yu.
Fortunately, Wen Yu was also interested in him.
A few months later, things progressed steadily and the two became sweethearts. Lu Zhen was considerate and accommodating to Wen Yu in every way possible. Because Wen Yu was unwilling to have an open love affair, he acted as the other’s secret lover without complaint. With Wen Yu’s identity, he was destined to not have an ordinary romance, so he couldn’t treat it as a normal matter between two people. There were too many things to worry about and since he loved this person he would naturally respect his decision.
In Lu Zhen’s opinion, love doesn’t need to be passionate. More importantly, it’s something you worked on little by little, it’s the consistent outlook on life and perseverance that could support one another…He wants someone who can be by his side when he needs it. If that person is fond of him, then it couldn’t get better than that.
“Lu Zhen.” A light and beautiful voice interrupted Lin Ziran’s train of thought.
Lin Ziran lifted his head and looked towards the man sitting in front of him.
The man was in a loose, white knitted garment, on the outside was a light grey acket. Slightly languid eyes looked towards him. The gaze was clear and deep as the night sky, and his lips were slightly up-raised at the corner of his mouth. Even if he wasn’t smiling, it would seem like he was smiling at you. Soft, black hair fell on his forehead, the length was just right by the peak of his eyebrows, softening his appearance, yet not damaging his perfection.
Wen Yu propped his elbows onto the table and continued to smile at Lin Ziran. “What are you thinking about that’s making you so enthralled?”
Indeed a heavenly face, Lin Ziran lightly coughed into his hand. “I was wondering when you were gonna finish this shoot.”
Wen Yu’s eyes curled as he smiled and said, “Soon.”
Lin Ziran lowered his gaze somewhat uncomfortably, picked up a glass of water from the table and took a sip. He let out a soft sigh.
If the story ended here, it could be considered a pretty complete tale. Although it wasn’t a magnificent and unforgettable love, it had taken some time to become peaceful and settled. But the problem was—this turned out to be a dog blood novel!
And Lu Zhen really isn’t the novel’s leading role. The leading role is his younger brother, Lu Sui.
Very soon, Lu Sui will return from overseas to start this world’s true plot.
When the time comes, he’ll not only snatch away the company from Lu Zhen, he’ll also take away the people Lu Zhen loves. Leaving Lu Zhen with nothing at all!
Lu Zhen, who was keeping a heavy work routine, didn’t know. When the gong leading role, Lu Sui and the shou leading role, Wen Yu embark on their poignant, sadomasochistic love, Lu Zhen will be the one to comfort Wen Yu when he is hurt and sad or needs assistance. Lu Zhen’s just an affectionate male who has no regrets even when he gets cuckolded. His sole purpose for existing is to promote the feelings between the gong and shou, to make the slag gong, Lu Sui realize his true love for Wen Yu. He’ll also be providing Lu Sui with regret once Wen Yu leaves him.
This type of ‘melodramatic brothers fighting to the death for one person’ is indeed a classic romance story in an industry that has been flourishing for decades. And there is always an audience who loves to spectate.
It turned out that the man in front of Lin Ziran as he entered the role of Lu Zhen was the shou—Wen Yu.
Thinking this, Lin Ziran gave Wen Yu a quick and profound glance. With that being said, Wen Yu isn’t a traditional white lotus who’s also a Virgin Mary shou. On the contrary, he should be considered a ‘slag shou’. He’s been in the entertainment circle for many years, acting as Mr. Perfect for myriads of his fans. For many years he hasn’t made any mistakes in his behaviour. He’s either the perfect man, or extremely good at pretending.
Wen Yu was clearly the latter.
He selected Lu Zhen as his boyfriend, not because of how much he loved Lu Zhen, rather he thought that Lu Zhen was ‘befitting’.
Lu Zhen’s identity contributes to Wen Yu’s career behind the scenes. At the same time, Lu Zhen’s stability and consideration wouldn’t cause him any emotional complications. No matter how you look at things, Lu Zhen would be a qualified and mature companion… That’s why he chose Lu Zhen as his boyfriend. That was, until he met Lu Sui. Then he abandoned Lu Zhen for love.
But in the end, it’s not like he’s a ‘love is paramount’ person. So he could still see the situation clearly after finding out about Lu Sui’s deceit.
Lin Ziran somewhat admires Wen Yu for always being very concise about things. This man is always very clear about what he needs, not wanting anything unnecessary. He never puts himself in a terribly risky spot, even if it was love.
Lu Sui should be considered the only exception for him.
In short, Wen Yu will meet Lu Sui not long after he returns to the country. A love that is destined to unfold. Very soon after that, Lu Zhen will become an ex-boyfriend. Furthermore, he’ll still be a qualified spare tire after the break up, helping his little devil of a younger brother realize what true love is.
Great, indeed very great!
Lin Ziran picked up the glass of water and wanted to take another sip to suppress his eye roll. Suddenly there was a burst of warmth on the back of his fingers. Wen Yu had raised his hand to stop him. He sighed and said, “The water is cold.”
Lin Ziran, “…”
Wen Yu naturally took away the glass from his palm and poured him another glass of warm water, while speaking unhurriedly, “Is something happening with the company?”
Lin Ziran withdrew his fingers, the back of his hand still warm from the other’s touch. “No…”
Wen Yu raised his eyebrows, a pensive expression in his eyes. “Really? You seem absent-minded today. If you’ve come across a problem, then you can speak to me. Perhaps I can help you think about solutions.”
Lin Ziran’s expression became cold when he heard this. He sized up the man in front of him. So all the NPCs in this game are so keen to get started? If he lets his attention become lax for even a moment would that mean he would get a GAMEOVER at novice level? After all, there’s nothing wrong with the company at this point in the plot, so therefore it could be considered he’s OOC’ing—slipping out of character.
Lin Ziran didn’t dare act carelessly again. He gazed at the other lovingly, smiling as he said, “I was thinking of hosting a welcome dinner to wash away your fatigue after you leave the production.”
Wen Yu looked at Lin Ziran and noticed he didn’t want to speak further. Then he smiled and nodded his head whilst saying, “Okay.” Everyone has things they don’t wanna say, he also didn’t want to get to the heart of the matter.
As he stood up he said, “It’s getting late, I should return.”
Today, he took a temporary leave from the production. He and Lu Zhen have been in a relationship for a while but he’s been busy shooting back to back films, so they’ve gotten together less often. If it hadn’t been for Lu Zhen calling and saying he came here for business, he wouldn’t have come out specifically for this. Delaying his shooting for too long would not be good.
Lin Ziran also promptly stood up, saying, “I’ll send you back.”
Wen Yu waved his hand, took out his sunglasses and put them on. He raised a corner of his lips. “No need, you’d be tired after a day’s driving. I can go back by myself.”
This meant that he didn’t want to risk being seen with Lu Zhen. Lin Ziran was naturally tactful and did not make things difficult as he smiled and left.
Once he made his way to his restaurant reservation, he plopped down on a chair and looked at the countless delicacies sitting untouched on the table. He picked a piece to taste it—and oh! He didn’t expect it to be so good. This game even considered basic taste and smell, all the small details were perfect. To think he could enjoy food while playing a game and experience another life in game. It was very exciting! Who knows what other interesting surprises were waiting for him in the game?
After eating and drinking, Lin Ziran leaned against the sofa. Only then did he remember something and sighed as he raised his head. “Ah. So a gentle and considerate man like Lu Zhen, who will neither cling nor take advantage of someone. He’s not romantic and cunning enough. It really is the neverending life of a male support!”
He raised his hand to feel his hair, an exasperated expression showing on his face. It seemed that a green hat was already appearing on his head little by little…
【What are you touching?】
Lin Ziran quivered, immediately sitting upright. Who is speaking?!
【I’m this game’s Intelligent Operating Assistant System. You can refer to me simply as ‘System’. It seems that it’s something you humans are used to addressing this one as.】
Lin Ziran inquired within his mind—where the voice appeared to be coming from:【Why didn’t you appear a moment ago?】
System:【After analysing the situation, I didn’t believe it was beneficial to appear during your performance. It’s easy to arouse a plot character’s vigilance, so I didn’t appear.】
Lin Ziran stroked his chin. He didn’t expect this game to come with a system. Contrary to what one would expect, they were actually quite considerate. He wondered what kind of functions this system had.
Lin Ziran: 【Since you’re a system, what can you do? Be a golden finger? Be an add-on? Do item exchanges?】
System: 【The focus of this game is to play the role of a character in a novel and advance the plot whilst enjoying it. There is the additional chance of running into difficult situations. Therefore, I won’t be supplying any materials that don’t match up to the world’s logic. I’ll also not be supplying the player a golden finger and add-ons. I hope the player can make the most of their innate acting skills, and use their knowledge and strength to overcome difficult situations. Thus making the plot unfold according to the setting preferences. 】
Lin Ziran spoke disappointedly: 【Then what use are you…?】
System: 【I can suggest some references to the player when they want it.】
Lin Ziran: 【…】
System: 【If the player wants to try a game built around leveling up with golden fingers, I recommend another series of the company’s “Long Aotian: Contend for the World”.】
Lin Ziran: 【Well, that’s not necessary.】
So this is a useless system. Its greatest function is to accompany and to chat. But it still doesn’t matter, this game is a life-type role playing game. He didn’t come here in order to become a king. Rather he came here to experience life and to continue to develop his performing skills. He is an acting student, naturally he must study! As if an insignificant role can baffle him.
He had also heard that this role playing game series from the Fantasy Company was very popular among amateur players because of its first rate manufacturing, it was even incorporated into extracurricular practices among schools. Depending on how well the story develops within the main plot, players are able to get four ratings:A, B, C, or D. If you get an A rating within the game, you’ll be able to get extra credit at the end of the term exam. Even if you participate in an audition afterward, it’s also considered an achievement you can add to your resume.
He was a professional in acting!
Lin Ziran patted his trousers and stood up, pushing open the door of the private room. This place was a very high-end Japanese cuisine restaurant. A two person meal racked up a bill that was worth more than ¥20,000 ($2,875~). But Lin Ziran hardly cared at all as he boldly swiped his credit card with the poise of a tyrannical chairman and then drove away.
Lu Zhen was truly wealthy. Clothing, food, housing and transport were first rate. Lin Ziran was living happily as a chairman. After spending a day out meeting Wen Yu, he returned to his home in B city.
His home was located in the villa area of an upper class community. Ever since Father Lu passed away and Lu Sui left, he’s been the only one residing in the large home.
Lin Ziran dropped his luggage, then lay on the bed in the middle of the night and continued to read the summary of the plot.
The smart device would naturally not give him all of Lu Zhen’s memories. Accepting too many of another person’s life experiences at once might have a negative effect on the player’s self perception. For the safety of the players, only a summary of the plot is provided. As far as Lin Ziran is concerned, it’s almost like looking at a screenplay. The contents are quite thorough and detailed. But it’s been limited to the parts that are related to the main plot.
So Lin Ziran very quickly ran into his first difficult situation. Even though he was very familiar with the plot, as the second male lead who wasn’t in too many scenes, his life’s minor details were obviously not within the main contents of the script. In other words, outside of the script he needed to depend on his adaptability to survive through the plot. Even if he exposed too much to the cannon fodder around him, that were also not part of the main storyline, it might also make the plot fall apart. Which would affect the advancement of the story. The consequences of this are unimaginable.
For example, not longer after this Lin Ziran was sitting in his chairman office, looking at a pile of documents in front of him. They were awaiting his comments and were sent by his subordinate. He exposed a worried expression.
Lin Ziran: 【These documents…Can I just randomly approve them?】But if he does so, could the company go bankrupt before Lu Sui snatches it away?
System: 【If you want, I can offer you some suggestions.】
Lin Ziran swiftly sprung back to life, asking,【You’re still capable of offering this kind of service?】
System: 【That’s right, may I ask if you want it or not?】
Lin Ziran: 【Of course I want it!】
Based on the suggestions by the system, Lin Ziran very quickly finished his work without a hitch…
Mhm, the day before yesterday he called it a useless system, now it seems the shoe is on the other foot and he’s relied on it heavily.’
He finished today’s work and Lin Ziran was finally able to go home.
As far as players are concerned, their ‘alone time’ is classified as their leisure time. The time here flows at a ratio of 100:1 compared to the outside world. As a result, besides moving around outside of the main plot, he has plenty of free time that can be used for entertainment and studying, which is pretty good.
Lin Ziran thought about it and began searching for Wen Yu’s film and television works.
The reason for this was because Wen Yu’s outward appearance was very okay, leading to Lin Ziran becoming curious about the game’s celebrities. Lin Ziran looked on the Internet—he didn’t expect for Wen Yu to have so many works. He couldn’t help but sigh once more over the game’s meticulous design.
He watched Wen Yu’s movies for several days, and dark circles began appearing. It wasn’t that Lin Ziran was being hardworking and studying the plot characters. Rather, these television shows were just very good. He wasn’t careful of the time and it time passed by rather quickly.
Chasing after a game’s TV series’ is a pretty good novelty.
Lin Ziran unfolded both of his arms, then he very quickly looked at the calendar and saw it would be March the first pretty soon.
Today was the anniversary of Lu Sui’s mother’s death.
In fact, Lin Ziran was somewhat curious about what happened during those few days when Lu Zhen was kidnapped. But in the synopsis, this was but a small line of the background setting.
At that time, the two had a very good relationship despite being half-brothers. In the beginning, Lu Zhen couldn’t accept the sudden appearance of a younger brother. But his stepmother was very good to him, which made up for his previous deficiency in maternal love. Lu Sui was also a clever and obedient boy when he was a child, always tailing behind him. His brother was always short, making Lu Zhen feel very protective, thinking that having a younger brother was actually a good thing. Those days… were a very beautiful time in Lu Zhen’s memories.
But with Lu Sui’s mother’s death, everything had changed.
From Lin Ziran’s point of view, this matter couldn’t all be blamed on Lu Sui, and even less blame fell on Lu Zhen. Father Lu’s indifferent behaviour was the significant factor that led matters to the point where the brothers became estranged.
First of all, Father Lu didn’t love his wife and child that much, otherwise he wouldn’t have had a woman and illegitimate child outside. But regarding that woman and illegitimate child, he seems to have not cared about them either. After his new wife’s death, he was even more indifferent and estranged from Lu Sui, without any hint of fatherly love. An adolescent’s mental health is very susceptible. Once they encounter a blow and don’t solve it in time, it can easily become extreme!
If only Father Lu had a little more care about his children and carefully handled their relationship, their estrangement wouldn’t have gone as far as it had. Many of Father Lu’s actions seem too cold and ruthless to Lin Ziran. But, after all, this was just a character that existed inside of a script. Now no one can understand his true thoughts at that time, perhaps he only existed to ensure the direction of the plot later on?
In short, Lu Zhen felt guilty. He cares for his younger brother, is devoted to his lover, but his brother hates him to the bone, and his lover is also ruthless and abandons him. Finally he walks down the ‘scum gong abused me a thousand times, but I still treat them kindly no matter what’ road of no return.
Mhm, speaking of which, Lin Ziran almost forgot his daily routine of doing his task.
He proceeded to take out his phone and send a message to Wen Yu: Good night.
Two simple words. No more, no less, just right—Lu Zhen’s simple and profound love! Lin Ziran thought it was perfect!
On the first day of March, there was no wind and some light rain.
As Lin Sui stepped off the plane, he had just turned on his phone and a message had come in.
Kelly: You’re here?
Lu Sui: Yes.
Kelly: All of the information you asked for has already been sent. Have a nice trip and get what you’ve desired.
Lu Sui smiled as he pulled his suitcase out of the airport. Taking a seat in his reserved private car he then opened his phone, beginning to read the information he received. Looking at it, his lips couldn’t help but show a mocking smile.
An hour later, the car stopped in front of a cemetery’s gate.
Lu Sui closed his eyes, opened them and walked in slowly. For a whole five years he hadn’t returned, and it all felt somewhat strange. He walked for approximately a minute, finally stopping in front of the gravestone.
His mother was buried here.
Lu Sui bent down, lightly erasing the gravestone’s dust, exposing a photo on it. The woman’s appearance was clear as if it were put there yesterday.
Five years ago when he went abroad, he had made up his mind to leave everything behind. Because even if he stayed here, there wouldn’t be any people who would care about him anymore. Therefore, when Lu Zhen called him time and time again he still didn’t return. When that man that’s not suitable to be called ‘father’ had died, he also didn’t return. Since he had been seen as unnecessary by that person, why should he crawl back and ask for help? To beg for assistance just because he was shown a bit of kindness? That wasn’t something he could do.
All the familial love he felt in the past was an illusion, the fond memories from his childhood had long been shattered.
Lu Sui placed the bouquet in front of the gravestone.
The only thing that was real was your love for me. However, because I was cowardly, I escaped. And I didn’t return for a whole five years to visit you.
I’m sorry. Lu Sui’s mouth slightly opened and closed.
Lin Ziran sat in the car, watching through the windshield from afar. This was the first time he had seen Lu Sui.
The man wore a black suit from head to toe, tall and straight in stature. The silhouette of his face was sharp, and his thin lips held tightly. He didn’t carry an umbrella whilst standing in the rain and fog. It was like he was shrouded in a layer of haze and grief, cold and alone.
It indescribably made one feel a little pitiful for them.
But Lin Ziran won’t forget about the rest of the plot… Like hell this bastard was pitiful! He was the pitiful one!
Oh well, ridiculing is ridiculing. It’s time to come out and show his performance skills.
Lin Ziran tried his best to recollect the plot and lines he’d memorized for this period of time. Then he opened the door, unfolded the umbrella and walked forward.