Chapter 1: Prologue
As night fell, moonlight spilled through the immense French window and into the room. The alternating light and shadow made this place look increasingly more empty and desolate.
The sales intern Liu XiaoDai lay on top of his office desk. He felt bored to death as he fiddled with a glass bead, throwing it up and down. On the other hand, he was repeatedly checking his watch as he waited to get off of work.
Suddenly, a gust of wind blew in. A vibrant advertisement flier was blown high into the air as the sound of flapping paper filled the room, creating a scene that almost looked as if a flock of butterflies was flying upward.
A dazzling light abruptly burst out of the shadows at the end of the hallway. Liu XiaoDai’s eyes widened before he stood up in such a panic, he almost overturned his swivel chair.
The air began to ripple as if one had thrown a rock into a calm pond. Unexpectedly, a vague silhouette began emerging from the brilliant light. As the outline of this silhouette slowly became clearer, the light also began dimming.
Only now could Liu XiaoDai see that the silhouette was the figure of a grown man. He was quite tall and had a straight back, however, he was also rather thin.
He walked out step by step from the center of the light. His pace seemed to be in time with some kind of strange rhythm, and the distance between each step was exactly the same.
Finally, the man stood right in front of him. His appearance was very handsome, but his face looked completely apathetic.
Liu XiaoDai had seen many remarkable people. As a salesperson working in this company, he had seen luxurious yet dignified clients, talented and elegant people, distant and haughty nobles, quiet and cold immortals, and even the most extravagant yet alluring demons. Every kind of person imaginable, from the most devastating and charming types living in the light to the ultimate beauties born in the darkness, had all been here before.
However, he had never seen someone like this.
This man didn’t have an extremely magnificent appearance, but his eyes shone with the muted sunlight found on the ocean floor. An aura of indifference engulfed the man’s entire body, alienating everyone around him.
And although the stranger was right in front of Liu XiaoDai, it felt more like the man had become part of a different universe.
If the veteran of watching people act like pretentious pricks, Cheng XiaoBai, was here, he would surely give Liu XiaoDai a hard slap and yell, “Wake up XiaoDai! This guy is just an accomplished poser! Can’t you see the barrage of roasting comments currently rolling across his mental screen in his heart!?”
As if he had really been slapped awake, Liu XiaoDai immediately recovered from his awed state. Ah, this was probably the first business deal he would make in his career! Liu XiaoDai hurriedly extended his hand for a handshake and fumbled, “Hello, hello!”
Then, he remembered that his client was presently a soul and therefore couldn’t touch any living person. He really had no manners! Liu XiaoDai hastily withdrew his hand and pushed a swivel chair toward the other person.
“Please take a seat! Let me introduce myself, I’m called Liu XiaoDai. I’m a salesperson from the villain department of the ‘Rebirth Company’……no, wait, I ought to first introduce the company. Mister, you are a customer prompted here by fate. Our company slogan is ‘one single-mindedly devoted to rebirth. In thirty years, there would inevitably be a life suitable for you’! Here, take a look……”
Liu XiaoDai took out a multi-coloured pamphlet from his desk. After blowing off the dust, he handed it over politely.
The person in front of him slowly sat down, his gaze calm.
“Mister, how should I address you?”
Unexpectedly, the man’s voice was quite gentle. “I am a villain.”
Liu XiaoDai choked a bit, “I was asking for your……name?”
A trace of disappointment appeared on that man’s face. “For as long as I could remember, I’ve been transmigrating between different stories: school plays, dramas about aristocrats, ancient palace shows, trade war books, martial arts novels, and entertainment circle stories. Both my name and identity changed innumerable times. Contrary to what you may expect, my lines are almost virtually the same, and I don’t have many scenes. After I die, I’ll get the chance to see the script, only to realize that ‘‘minor characters only exist as canon fodder and stepping stools’. In short, I am a villain.”
He sat upright and proper and spoke with a pace that was neither fast nor too slow. It was evident that he had an excellent upbringing. However, Liu XiaoDai was stumped for words. In his internship period, he had always followed a senior as he accepted orders. Unfortunately, he had never met someone with this kind of situation before.
The boss left a single ‘door’ open in a sea of thousands. Under certain, coincidental circumstances, a soul would have the opportunity to pass through it and transmigrate. If they payed with a part of their soul, they would be able to obtain the things they desired.
However, there was a restrictive seal on that ‘door’, one that will automatically reject certain souls. For example, souls that were too powerful, too evil, or contained too much resentment would all be turned away. As the boss had once said, earning a fortune was good, but one still needed a life to enjoy it.
Originally, Liu XiaoDai thought this person was some kind of important figure. Only those surrounded with a heavy presence of fate would have such a compact soul. However, it seemed like this man’s soul only contained so much essence because for some unknown reason, he had been repeatedly transmigrating. This person must have worked hard for thousands of lives for his soul to become like this.
That person saw Liu XiaoDai staring blankly and asked, “Do you understand what I mean?”
He understood! How could Liu XiaoDai not understand?!
Wasn’t his life just, ‘xx thrust out his palm and immediately, xx slapped a crowd of disciples to death’?? More specifically, he was just one of the unlucky disciples in that crowd!
However, this sad story didn’t really matter as long as there was potential profit. Liu XiaoDai quickly adjusted his expression and plastered on the salesperson smile he had practiced more than ten thousand times before asking, “Mister Villain, what type of service do you require?”
The man lowered his gaze. A beautiful hand with distinct joints pointed to the flier. “Am I capable of getting anything on this?”
Liu XiaoDai suddenly felt extremely excited, like he had been shot with some chicken blood!
“Of course! Rebirth would be twenty-percent off, counter-attacking would be ten-percent off, rebirth plus counter-attacking would be eleven-percent off! And if you redeem another three points! You could even receive a custom made ‘Villain Counterattack Service Package’ and enter the Rebirth Company’s Luxury Streaming VIP list!!”
“I want to become the final BOSS, the greatest villain. Is that also possible?”
A big order ah! Liu XiaoDai was so excited, his words were becoming a bit jumpled. “Yes, it’s possible! We even have a ‘Fiend Halo’! Block gods, slaughter gods! Block Buddha, slaughter Buddha! Give anyone eight years or younger a single glance and they will weep!”
The man frowned faintly, looking unsatisfied, before he asked in a deep tone, “……Isn’t this the same as writing ‘I am a bad person’ on my face?”
With something like that, how was he supposed to embody how a villain had hidden depths, and how he had many sides to his character? This halo was so unprofessional.
Liu XiaoDai hastily explained, “No, no, no! You must plaster on a villain’s standard expression, like a ‘super cold smile’ or ‘gaze like a knife’ and say a villain’s standard line ‘I was never some kind of a good person’ before the halo can activate. Uh……of course, there’s also a possibility of it activating in certain situations……”
Liu XiaoDai’s eyes glistened with excitement as he marketed his product. “How is it, Mister? Do you want one?”
The man smiled faintly. “Hit me up!”
“Mister, you have fabulous taste! In addition, our company currently has a promotion going on, so I can gift you a Villain Counterattack Service Package completely free of charge!!”
However, the man shook his head. “No, I don’t wish to counterattack.”
In their current society, there was actually a villain who didn’t want to counterattack?
“Mister……this is really free of charge, we……”
Mister Villain interrupted him for the first time. “I know. Thank you for your kindness, but it really is unnecessary.”
Liu XiaoDai still wanted to persuade him a bit more, but he suddenly remembered that his senior had advised him to always ‘respect customer’s demands’. Thus, he could only nod his head and agree.
When he brought Mister Villain to the technological department, the sky outside the French window was dark. It was already time for the lanterns to be lit
The technician intern Wang Wei was already tidying up things before getting off work. Just when he was about to turn off his machine, Liu XiaoDai took a huge stride forward to block him. “My dear colleague, please wait a moment! I received an order!”
Wang Wei’s eyes suddenly brightened.
After a long-winded explanation, Wang Wei violently nodded his head. “For a villain, choosing the right protagonist is extremely important! Coincidentally, a few moments ago I had been a bit idle and bored. I started surfing channels and just so happened to see a protagonist who looked pretty good.”
When he finished speaking, he pulled the two of them to the front of a bright screen floating in the air.
The vast sky was clear and blue, while the lofty mountains extending into the horizon seemed to be carved from pure, transparent jade. Far away, a crane flew in the sky as mist billowed over the lands.
Within the shades of bluish green, the small dot of pure white was extremely dazzling.
A teenager walked on a path in the mountains, the hem of his robe dampened by the morning dew. Suddenly, a woman wearing a purple dress appeared in front of him. Her eyes were lowered and she seemed to be in a rush, and thus she inadvertently ran into that teenager’s shoulder. Stumbling two steps and looking as if she was about to fall, she was suddenly stabilized by a pair of steady and strong hands.
Then, she saw that teenager quickly back away to a proper distance. His appearance looked gentle as he smiled faintly, looking like jade that emitted light. It made the woman’s powdery face flush with the colours of spring as she became extremely shy. Lifting the hem of her dress, she walked down the mountain while looking back every other step.
“Look, look! This figure, this appearance, this temperament! It has to be the protagonist, you can’t mistake that!”
Liu XiaoDai sighed with feeling. “He’s not even afraid of meeting someone who would deliberately crash into him so they could demand compensation! He actually dares to support someone like that, such a genuine strong man!”
Wang Wei looked deeply touched. “Nowadays, eight out of ten protagonists blackened as they rush to get revenge. Another one is a yandere with no hopes of recovering. A humble, utterly sincere and righteous protagonist is harder to find compared to trying to find a three! Legged! Frog!”
The man attentively watched the bright screen and unconsciously approached two steps closer, as if he wanted to discover just where this white-clothed teenager looked similar to a frog. On the other hand, he silently criticized the author. Common ah! This melodramatic scene devised so the protagonist could hit on a girl, just saying it was something common should make the author feel honoured. When he thought this, he unexpectedly began reaching his hand toward that bright screen……
Suddenly, a dazzling and bright light exploded in front of his eyes!
“Shoot! I just linked this thing to the transmigration machine!”
Wang Wei jumped up to go and turn off the machine but it was already too late. The man’s figure was quickly becoming transparent.
“Wait Mister! Your halo——”
Liu XiaoDai reached out a hand and tossed the thing he was holding. A sparkling and shining white ring transformed into a stream of light before entering the man’s body. In just a breath’s time, the bright screened turned off as everything settled, the surroundings completely silent.
The remaining two people stared at each other in dismay. After quite a while, Wang Wei mumbled, “Does that mean this order is completed?”
Liu XiaoDai felt a bit guilty. “It……it should be?”
“I would never have expected us two interns to actually have a day where we participate in something big!”
Liu XiaoDai suddenly thought of something and said, “Hurry up and connect back to that world! Let’s see what happened!”
“Alright, alright…….uh, I can’t connect back……that ‘door’…closed……”