The story goes like this: after his death, Shen Yuan finds himself in the world of a stallion novel that he likened to trash shortly before he died. As per the genre, one would expect him to reincarnate as the protagonist, right?
Wrong. Instead, he transmigrated into the body of Shen Qingqiu, the titular "scum villain" who, in the novel's canon, eventually gets killed by the actual protagonist Luo Binghe for being a Sadist Teacher (which is putting it very mildly). Determined to avoid the same fate, Shen Yuan uses his knowledge of the novel's plot and tropes to endear himself to the characters (especially to the protagonist), which would ensure that he keeps his life.
Unfortunately for him, he's accompanied by a video game-like "system" that monitors and grades his actions, keeping him from taking too many liberties with how his character acts and how the story progresses. And if he ignores its warnings, the consequences will be deadly. Thus his foray into the world of cultivation begins...
An English translation of the novel is available and currently ongoing at BC Novels.
An Animated Adaptation of the novel, titled Chuan Shu Zi Jiu Zhi Nan (穿书自救指南) or "Using the Self-Saving Guide Book", was announced; and is set to air at 2020.
This work contains the following tropes:
- Affectionate Parody
- All There in the Manual: The novel has several extras which tell stories about side characters, missing scenes, and post-novel events. Many of those extras are necessary to understanding side characters' backstories (Shen Jiu, Yue Qingyuan, etc.), and were originally released only in the printed novels.
- Beta Couple: Shang Qinghua and Mobei Jun. Their relationship is explored in more detail in the extras.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall
- But Thou Must!: Despite all his attempts to establish a positove relationship with Luo Binghe, Shen Yuan is notified by the System that the scene where he pushes Luo Binghe into the Endless Abyss is absolutely unavoidable.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: What happened to the original Shen Qingqiu (Shen Jiu) after Luo Binghe got his hands on him (includes: having all of his limbs ripped off, his eye ripped out and tongue as well, and in the meantime - as a cherry on top - Luo Binghe killed the only person Shen Jiu actually cared about.) It definitely wasn't pretty. Shen Yuan himself gets to experience what Shen Jiu went through during the punishment protocol sequence - having his arm and leg ripped off by the original Luo Binghe was definitely terrifying.
- Cruel and Unusual Death
- Deconstructor Fleet: Of the harem and the isekai/transmigration genre.
- Gone Horribly Right
- Isekai: Or as referred to in China, a transmigration novel.
- Long Title
- Loophole Abuse
- Official Couple:
- Shen Yuan and Luo Binghe.
- The author confirmed that Shang Qinghua and Mobei Jun are also an item.
- Out-of-Character Alert: This was one of the first problems Shen Yuan had to overcome by winning enough points by completing certin plot flags. Luckily, it doesn't take long in the story for the restriction to be removed.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni
- Rescue Arc: Mausoleum arc
- Start of Darkness: For original Luo Binghe it was from the beginning he became the apprentice of Shen Jiu/Shen Qingqiu, and cemented after being thrown into the Endless Abyss, but for new Luo Binghe, because he was under Shen Yuan/Shen Qingqiu, the start was after the mandatory push into the Endless Abyss, as Shen Yuan really had no other choice.
- Teacher/Student Romance: Shen Yuan (as Shen Qingqiu) and Luo Binghe.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: In-Universe; this is how Shen Yuan feels about how 《Airplane Towards the Sky》 handled the story of "Proud Immortal Demon Way".
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Shen Yuan and Shang Qinghua have this relationship. Well, sort of; their "friendship" is very complicated.
- Who Writes This Crap?!: Shen Yuan's reaction to "Proud Immortal Demon Way" in a nutshell.