So I was reading Mo Dao Zu Shi and was running out of translated chapters. But I didn’t want to pick up any random title. What I wanted to read was Heaven Official’s Blessing next but that was the third novel. My OC part wanted to read everything MXTX had written in chronological order. Thus, I decided to start reading the Scum Villain’s Self-Serving System.
The Scum Villain’s Self-Serving System
From Novel Updates:
Can’t I read stallion novels anymore?! [TN: genre with OP protag & harem]
Shen Yuan is reborn into a young man and scum villain destined to die, Shen Qingqiu.
But it must be known that the original Shen Qingqiu was sliced alive by his disciple, Luo Binghe, into a human stick! A human stick!
Shen Qingqiu’s heart is a full herd of grass mud horses running full tilt, yet:
“It’s not like I don’t want to hug this main character’s thighs, but who let this fucking man be so black. The revenge that needs to be taken is some thousands of deeds!
Why is all the romance that should be going to the women in the plot imposed on him?
Why as a scum villain, should he still have to block gun and knife for the protagonist and sacrifice himself?
Shen Qingqiu: “…… _(:□)∠)_I think I can still save him one more time.”
He wants to prove – even scum villains can live, and live coolly at that!
It’s also the story of a small white flower who later became a black flower attacking a scholarly, scum villain type.
This is the story of a master and disciple’s everyday unknowing, very strange, dog-blood process of falling in love.
It’s also a scum villain’s firsthand account of the male protagonist turning from a small white sheep into an overbearing black king, sort of story……
May contain spoilers so proceed with caution!
However, reading this was painful. Not because it was boring, but because I was so darn confused with the story. I read the summary and the first few chapters, but I still didn’t understand what it was about.
What I did was, I read one of the extras where the author of the stallion novel interviewed the two main characters, Shen Qingqiu (SQQ) and Luo Binghe (LBH). You can read it here. It was a fun interview! I totally enjoyed reading it since the seme (LBH) sounded like a big crybaby while the uke (SQQ) was the more level-headed one. The interviewer even mentioned that SQQ resembled a kindergarten teacher and LBH as the kindergartner and it couldn’t have been more spot on!
The plot was hilarious though there was some angst in the middle. A big factor for the story’s hilarity was SQQ’s inner comments. Also, the system was a big troll who loves…well, trolling SQQ.
The story started with the entire cast being one-dimensional characters. For example, the original SQQ was a plain villain, no rhyme or reason for his evilness. Yet when the story ended, everyone turned out to be a fleshed out character. And that’s what I loved the most in this novel.
Shen Yuan (SY)/Shen Qingqiu (SQQ) – plays the stoic master and the scum villain in the original novel. The original tormented the protagonist LBH since SQQ took him in, with the other disciples joining hands to bully poor chibi LBH. When LBH’s was blackened, he’s out for blood to anyone who made his life miserable. Number one on his list was SQQ. That was why when SY turned to SQQ, he did everything he could to avoid his death (and a lot of other deaths were avoided actually). One funny thing that happened when he first transmigrated was all the other peak masters had a meeting concerning about the recent changes in his personality. They even thought that maybe he was possessed. Like him, changing personality was a big matter to them to hold a sect meeting. 🤣
This novel’s SQQ, while still cold on the outside, inside he freaks out and tsukkomi a lot. It was fun reading his comments and reactions as he made fun of the trashy novel (yes, he found the original novel trashy lol) he got himself into. He was also diligent, despite maintaining the original powers of the original SQQ. He mastered his skills and cultivated more.
Now for Luo Binghe (LBH). In the original novel, he transformed from a pure, innocent disciple to a ruthless one thanks to the original SQQ. The LBH in this one, though, is just pure white little bun! The first half of the story focused on him being the loyal disciple of SQQ, going ‘Shizun!’ every moment he could. Even if he was talking to other people, there’s always ‘Shizun’ in his every sentence. He’s super adorable like that! No wonder SQQ doted on him a lot. Because, hello, maji adorbs! 😘
He turned borderline yandere after a certain important plot point. But comparing him to the others I’ve read now, he’s such an angel. There’s just too much misunderstanding between him and SQQ that made him lean towards the violent side.
But before you get the idea that SQQ was a pedo, no he wasn’t. While the story started out with a fourteen-year-old LBH, it wasn’t until he was much older (the twenties, I think?) when he did *coughadultthingscough*. And at the start of the story and until pretty much, 3/4 of it, SQQ was very much down on the idea of building LBH’s harem just like in the novel. And SQQ considered himself to be straight until in the much later part of the story.
Scum Villain has also a wide variety of characters. I love most of them even the cannon fodder ones (Gongyi Xiao, I’m eyeing you.). My favorites were Liu Qingge – the known war god and Yue Qingyuan – the sect leader. They’re the best bros SQQ could ever have. Yue Qingyuan’s extra story made my heartache. I’ll never look at him the same again. On the other hand, Liu Qingge gave me mixed feelings. He gave off that second male lead vibe but I didn’t want him to be that. Mainly because there’s only LBH in SQQ’s eyes. But LQH was the bestest friend SQQ have aside from YQY (though YQY was more of the big brother type). LQH would be always at SQQ’s side, giving him sword rides and returning his fan every single time. WITHOUT FAIL.
While I loved SQQ and LBH to bits, I had another pairing that I loved. Mobei Jun and Shang Qinghua. Mobei Jun was LBH’s general and was the Ice King of the North. Meanwhile, Shang Qinghua was the transmigrated author of the original story. At the same time, he turned out to be one of the peak leaders a.k.a cannon fodders like SQQ. These two had their own extras. And no, you can’t convince me that they are ‘just friends’. (besides MXTX pretty much admitted that there’s something going on with them)
The thing that I loved about this pairing was that SQH was a shameless guy who’d act like a damsel-in-distress just to get MBJ to spoil him. MBJ being the kuudere that he was, he was more of a man of action than words.
Scum Villain’s Self-Serving System leaned more on the humor and fluff with a tinge of drama and angst. It fitted the stallion novel trope, but also broke down and made fun of it. It had an array of interesting characters with rich backstories that made me tear up more than once.
And let me share to you my favorite line from the novel (mind you, a rough translation I got from MTL):
The story of the world has ended. The story between you and me has just begun.
If you think of SQQ saying that to LBH, now wouldn’t that be sweet?
After reading the heavy drama on Mo Dao Zu Shi and Tian Guan Ci Fu, the comedy here is like a breath of fresh air. I so missed reading about Cang Qiong Mountain’s (mis) adventures! This made me realized that Scum Villain will always have a special place in my <3 for many reasons such as being my first cultivation novel, the first novel I MTL-ed, and being the lightest among Mo Xiang Tong Xiu’s works.
A certain chapter never fails to make me cry. It’s not just for Binghe or SQQ, but mostly for the disciples of Qing Jing Peak. I had the image of the disciples as the sheltered kids who depended on their Shifu. But at that moment, Mingfan, Ning Yingying, and all the others looked reliable students of SQQ. They’re not just the kids I met at the beginning of the story. It was fun watching them grow alongside the rest of the characters in this novel.
As for the extras, the one that made the most impact was the Bing-ge vs Bing-mei one.
It’s so nice to see Bing-ge. But it’s also so sad. He sees ‘himself’ who has everything he wished to have. Bing-ge may appear to have everything but Bing-mei has the only thing Bing-ge wanted but could never have. I almost shipped him with Shizun but what he needs is not Bing-mei’s Shizun. Oh if he could only mend his relationship with his Shizun.
Summary of arcs [spoiler thread] (from Jin Lan City arc to the ending):