LWS V4C82 Taking a Shortcut

Nie Chang glanced at his little darling and narrowed his eyes. Alright, he obviously couldn’t read this to him. So how to make it short without angering him?
His gaze fell onto the two bowls in front of Su Yan. Even the second one was almost empty by now. It seemed his little darling really wanted to go home as fast as possible. Nie Chang smiled and his brows raised a little. Come to think of it … That might be the best reason he could use for his problem.
He opened the novel and skimmed the first chapter before clearing his throat. “Darling, considering that you want to reach the next level as fast as possible and then have a look at your reward from before … How about we take a shortcut?”
“Shortcut?” Su Yan stopped eating his boyfriend’s noodles and looked up at him.
“Mn.” Nie Chang nodded while trying to look like an honest person. It definitely wasn’t that he had any ulterior motives. “You see, novels that follow tropes are largely the same. There will only be some slight variation somewhere in the middle. So since the system just wants you to learn about the trope, it should be enough to read the beginning and the end of the story. Actually, maybe the beginning would already be enough. After all, that’s where the story will be explained and since it’s a romance story it would have a happy end anyway.”
Su Yan rubbed his cheek and nodded. “It sounds logical if you explain it like that. Alright, let’s do that.” He turned back to the noodles and listened intently to what his boyfriend would read to him.
Nie Chang shook his head and started on the novel.
[When Qiu Ming Wen opened his eyes he was faced with a ground littered with stones that was rolling past him fast. He gave a groan, furrowed his brows and turned his head to the side. Seeing the person next to him, he groaned again.
“Awake?” Luan Xin Yi looked at him with slight reproach but his voice still sounded worried.
Qiu Ming Wen turned his head away and sighed. Hello, turning point 1! Or should he say hello, protagonist?]
“Eh? What protagonist? I thought that Qiu Ming Wen is the protagonist.” Su Yan stopped eating.
Nie Chang ruffled his hair. “That’s the point. Normally, this kind of novel starts with a reader that transmigrates into a book, is bound to a system but somehow ends up as a villain instead of the protagonist. Then they would often fall in love with the protagonist over the course of reliving the events of the novel and changing it bit by bit.”
“So that’s to say the protagonist he is talking about is the original protagonist of the novel he read and he is the protagonist of this novel?” Su Yan frowned. “That’s so strange! I’ve never seen anything like that when I read xianxia.”
Nie Chang chuckled. “Yeah, just like that. It’s pretty common. Although …”
“Although what?” Su Yan once again stopped with the chopsticks in the air. Somehow, he didn’t seem to be able to eat without having to stop every few minutes. How strange! Hadn’t he let Nie Chang read to him so that he wouldn’t have to split his attention?
Nie Chang waved with the phone. “I think I’ve heard of this novel before. It’s a little different than other novels of the trope. For example, it starts later when it has already been some time since Qiu Ming Wen’s transmigration. And as far as I know, he won’t end up with the protagonist but with somebody else instead.”
“Eh? Really? So who does he end up with?”
“Are you sure you already want to know now?” Nie Chang leaned over and kissed his cheek. “Wouldn’t that spoil the fun?”
Su Yan harrumphed. “Didn’t you say we only need to read the beginning anyway? What’s so bad about it?”
“Who knows? Maybe you’ll want to read it sometime in the future.”
Su Yan pouted but finally admitted defeat. Why was his boyfriend doing this just when he was in a hurry? “Alright, alright. Then just read the beginning. One chapter should be enough, right?”
Nie Chang grinned. “Certainly.” In fact, the things he had already said were probably enough to explain the trope.
Ah, he was really curious just how long Su Yan would manage to keep listening when he found out that he already knew what would be mentioned in the next few paragraphs. Then there really was no way he’d have to read the rest of the novel to him. With that thought, Nie Chang cleared his throat and continued to read.
[Ah, he should probably put this into context: Six months ago he had still been a normal white-collar worker that spent his leisure time with reading novels. Then one day, he had stumbled upon a hidden gem. A really deeply hidden gem.
The author had given himself the unassuming pen name ‘Simple Words’ and called the masterpiece he was uploading ‘Forever’. The author truly was too low-key! If Qiu Ming Wen hadn’t been utterly bored that day and not in the mood for any of the other novels he normally read, he certainly wouldn’t have honored it with a second glance.
In hindsight … he was grateful he had! Because ‘Forever’ turned out to be the novel he had waited for without even knowing it himself. It had everything: A strong protagonist with an equally strong set of morals that was still able to use brush or sword to finish his enemies off if there was the need. A beautiful and kind-hearted lover willing to do everything for the protagonist even if it would inconvenience himself. An intelligent villain that would stay around from the first chapter to the last, persistently hindering the protagonist on his path to glory and marital bliss.
The best thing probably was that —]
“Ah Chang!” Su Yan turned to his boyfriend with teary eyes. “Can we stop that? He’s just praising some novel that we haven’t even read! It’s so boring!”
Nie Chang nodded happily. “But of course! If you don’t like it, then I certainly wouldn’t want to force you to listen to it. So, have you finished the noodles already?” He motioned at the two bowls in front of Su Yan, not caring that he hadn’t gotten anything to eat. Ah, wouldn’t he be able to make something while Su Yan checked his reward at home? He shouldn’t worry about that.
Naturally, Su Yan nodded.
“Alright, then let’s go.” Nie Chang slipped the phone into his little darling’s pocket, took his hand and led him outside.
Ah, it really was great to take a shortcut!

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