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Ghostwriting Exposed!

“Xue Er, I’ll be honest with you, you know that I love books, I just fell in love with Wen Qingyu’s literary work, recently! After all, I can’t disappoint a great book and a beauty, so don’t overreact about it! I’ve always treated you and the others equally; I’d never favor one more than another!” Shi Jingnian replied Lu Xue candidly; he would never lie to them.

It only made Lu Xue even angrier, “Quit the nonsense! I know that Wen Qingyu is the most popular character in the novel, her illustration went viral on the internet! She’s your own creation! Is this how you’re going to humor me? How lame!”

“Xue Er, you don’t understand. Wen Qingyu gave birth to her own soul; she comes to life right inside the pages, she’s gained her own will of doing things…”

“Scram!” Lu Xue used her ‘rich daughter’ status and cut him off, “I’ll give you another chance, break up with Lin Shiya within a month, or you’re gonna regret this!” Lu Xue then hung up the phone on him.

But Shi Jingnian did not heed the warning; maybe he thought that every rich lady in this world was as good-tempered as Zhao Youyue.

He resumed his indulgences in writing, but not because of Lin Shiya; he just wanted to see the masterpieces of Wen Qingyu.

Lu Xue had him pick up the pace unintentionally. He planned to publish it into two separate books when it reaches 400,000 words, and he had already written more than 200,000 words at that moment.

400,000 words were just too brief to be packaged as a web novel, but it was already a long story for an actual book. Plus, Shi Jingnian was an author who wrote simplified and straightforward stories. His concise writing already carried enough depth to match typical web novels which consisted of 2,000,000 to 3,000,000 words.

After all, web novels were filled with blank fillers, redundant sentences and ridiculous plotlines. Sometimes, protagonists could even rescue a beauty while out on a shopping trip for cup noodles…

Shi Jingnian was prepared to finish the remaining chapters in one month time, but if he wanted to publish it by installments on the magazine, it would be left serializing until July.

Among all his female friends, his actual girlfriend, Lin Shiya was ecstatic. Obviously, it was because of how Shi Jingnian had lost himself in writing. He had not flirted with other girls as he had been so busy writing, this had left her at ease.

She tolerated Shi Jingnian’s fickle heart due to various reasons, but there was no such thing as a girl without a jealous heart. If she did not love him at all, then it was all about money and other beneficial reasons. As long as she got what she deserves, she did not care whether he had another woman.

Shi Jingnian and Lin Shiya knew each other since middle school, and they had explored their romance as a couple of artistic teenagers, but the relationship they had was a fine line between friends and life partners.

Shi Jingnian started to travel around the world during his high school years. He walked tens of thousands of miles and read thousands of books. He felt that high school was meaningless, he believed that life had much more to offer.

Of course, he had been able to do this because his family was in charge of property business, his parents were wealthy, and he would get to spend their money as he wished. His parents were rather pleased, as their son was not wasting their money as other rich kids did.

Until now, his parents did not believe that their son had accomplished anything yet. They were certain that he would have no problems inheriting the family business as he had learned about business administration in a private university. That alone gave his parents a peace of mind.

Shi Jingnian was an extraordinary genius, he was talented in writing and musical instruments, but he did not desire for fame or acknowledgments. He would feel satisfied, as long as he pleased Lin Shiya.

He chose literature first, only because he intended to flirt with other girls. But now, he only needed one reader, and that was Lin Shiya.

As for the web novels that Shi Jingnian had left unfinished, they were merely his flings, just like those who played games to kill time. He would just write something to entertain himself during his leisure time and learn more about web novels as he was at it. They had all given him the experience and insight that led to the fruition of those interesting web novel authors characters in “Bakuman.”

Every half-written novel by Shi Jingnian had almost headed towards the harem route; every female character was so lively and vivid, and he never produced the same thing twice.

The moment he got bored of them, he would just drop it, even if it had turned out well and reputable. After all, it was heading towards the harem route, and every book that he had written in the past had the potential of becoming great…

It was without question, Shi Jingnian completely ignored his readers, or never treated his readers like his children. A parent might be able to provide some parental love, but he could not give two hoots about the emotions of his readers.

He was capricious but talented; his half-written web novels were better than those completed web novels containing millions of words. He did not stick to a single pen name. Whenever he created a new sockpuppet identity and wrote a new novel, his writing and content would inadvertently attract many readers.

Every time, many naive readers assumed that he was a talented amateur author, and they predicted that he would soon claim the prize title as the king among the amateurs. But he always vanished at critical moments, never bothering about the comment section of his book or even created a group for his fans. All this time, he never cared about his readers.

“If you love what you see, then help yourself, or else, scram,” He would not say such words too, he was simply an irresponsible author. Even he did not treat himself like an author; he was just fooling about.

However, when he was writing on Lin Shiya’s behalf, he became dead serious; he knew that Lin Shiya’s fame was far more important than his. He was fine with being treated as a useless child by his parents or getting bullied in school, as long as the girls and Lin Shiya were happy.

Zhao Youyue thought Shi Jingnian was strange, and she was right. She thought he was the type of main protagonist who hid his real potential, but actually, he had nothing to hide from her. To put it nicely, he was an indifferent, aloof individual, in fact, he did not possess any self-esteem whatsoever. He would not care if he received a slap or two; he only cared about girls like Zhao Youyue. If Zhao Youyue ever slapped his left face, he would gladly offer his right face for her to slap.

If such a wimpy character became the main protagonist of a harem novel, it would definitely infuriate the crap out of people.

Of course, these thoughts should stay with their originators; he only needed to enjoy himself.

Recently, Shi Jingnian had grown addicted to Wen Qingyu’s literary work in “Bakuman.” It had been a long time since he had been so eager to a certain literary work, but unfortunately, he could only experience it when he was in his “intoxicated state.” Although he could not finish reading the literary work of Wen Qingyu, he was satisfied with a smattering of knowledge regarding her work.

Some author could copy a quote, or even rip-off entire plotlines from other authors, even though they were fully aware that they would get scolded by the fans. This “Bakuman” was an excellent example of copying other authors’ stories and altered by Shi Jingnian, except for Wen Qingyu.

Whenever Shi Jingnian wrote stories about Wen Qingyu, it was always filled with unknown mysteries.

When Lin Shiya showed Shi Jingnian the illustration of Wen Qingyu as drawn by Su Li, he had praised the drawing. He liked it, because it had a spirituality of its own.

“There’s a rumor circulating on the internet that Su Li’s drawing has the power to bring misfortune to the characters she draws, or even bring misfortune upon the creator, what do you think of this?” Lin Shiya told this urban legend to Shi Jingnian with a lightness in her voice, as if it was a normal thing.

“I’m aware of it. My… No, I mean your ‘Bakuman’ has a character modeled after her, but she’s a guy in this novel. Besides, this was just a joke on the internet; I don’t actually believe that her drawings have such power, my head is made out of iron,[1] after all!” Shi Jingnian proclaimed.

First of all, the character he had created, Wen Qingyu; would never get into an accident because he desired to see her masterpiece in the grand finale. Besides that, as the real author of this book, he had always stayed hidden behind the scenes, how could this possibly affect him?

“Hmph, I don’t believe such things,” and so, he continued writing without fretting over it.

After one month, a huge headline took the internet by storm!

The author of “Bakuman,” Master Ya Jing, the beautiful genius, Lin Shiya was caught red-handed asking somebody else to write her novel on her behalf!

Translation note:

[1] Iron head – A Chinese slang used to describe a stubborn person.