Extra, extra, read all about it! The Scum Villain’s extras are here, eleven stories taking place in the xianxia world of Scum Villain’s Self Saving System. Many Chinese danmei authors, when the book is finished, add in a few extras here and there, stories that either didn’t work within the structure of the story they wanted to tell, stories of side characters or moments of world building, and — of course — the sex scenes. This final volume gives us the bittersweet story of Luo Binghe’s parents, the heavenly demon Tianglung-jun and mysterious cultivator Su Xiyan, as well as the mournful and tragic life and death of Zhuzhi-lang. We also have the first meeting of Shang Qinghua and Mobei Jun, as well as moments of silliness and sweetness between Shen Qingqui and Luo Binghe.
Of all of them, three stories stand out most, for me. The first is the silly road trip adventure between Shen Qingqiu and his most ardent defender and unlikely friend, Liu Qingge: Recalling an Experience of Fighting Succubi with Great Master Liu. Taking place during a time when Luo Binghe was still a young man and away on an adventure, Qingqiu and Qingge encounter a collection of, well, succubi. Rather than being out for bloodshed — that’s Liu Qingge’s job — Shen Qingqiu decides to have his fortune read, leading to comical misunderstandings and a shocking ending. Definitely a must read.
The second, and perhaps the darkest, is the mournful Yue Qingyuan and Shen Qinqiu, a seven-part story that shows the life of the two peak lords when they were children, the unhappiness of their lives, and the friendship between them. It also gives a clearer look at what happened to Shen Jiu — the original person replaced by Shen Yuan — during his time in the manor, and his conflicted relationship with everyone in the sect. Shen Jiu was never a kind person, and seeing a shadow of what his life would have been like in the original Proud Immortal Demon Way (the ending of the infamous book that Shen Yuan, now Shen Qingqiu obsessed over) is somewhat heartbreaking.
And then there’s Airplane’s Fortuitous Encounter, the story of how Airplane Shooting Towards The Sky, author of the beloved and much hated Proud Immortal Demon Way ended up being a side character in his own book! Unlike Shen Qingqiu who fell in love with the beautiful and delicate Luo Binghe — a character created to appeal to as many people as possible — Shen Qingqiu ends up with his thoughts and feelings consumed by Mobei Jun, a side character no one cared about … a side character he made to satisfy his own authorial idea of the perfect character. But the reality of Mobei Jun is nothing like Shang Qinghua expected … and he ends up in over his head.
As much as I loved this series, these characters and this world, I have to say, the author is not very good at sex scenes. This isn’t a western novel; this is a story written in Chinese for a Chinese audience that has been translated and, as such, uses a different style and different tropes. I do find it amusing that Luo Binghe, perfect hero, the main character of what was, originally, a book of erotic porn is … bad at sex. It seems there are downsides to having an enormous endowment, and one of those downsides is Shen Qingqiu wanting very little to do with it.
This book is a wonderful addition to the Scum Villain Self Saving series, though it’s not necessary to read it. But, if like me, you have a hard time letting books go, this is a wonderful little collection of funny and cute moments. Scum Villain has always been about not taking someone else’s word, about not believing what you’re told, but instead looking and learning for yourself. So, don’t take my word for it. Give these books a try. If you do, I honestly hope you enjoy them half as much as I have.