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Literature / The Scum Villain's Self-Saving System: Ren Zha Fanpai Zijiu Xitong

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"Half-demon Luo Binghe rose from humble beginnings and a tortured past to become unrivaled in strength and beauty. With his dominion over both the Human and Demon Realms and his hundreds-strong harem, he is truly the most powerful protagonist… in a trashy webnovel series!"
Seven Seas Entertainment Summary

The Scum Villain's Self-Saving System: Ren Zha Fanpai Zijiu Xitong (Chinese: 人渣反派自救系统 Ren Zha Fan Pai Zi Jiu Xi Tong), is a Web Novel under the danmei and xianxia genres, written by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu.

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. 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...

The novel is 81 chapters long, with several chapters that take place either before or after the main story. It's been translated in various languages, with an English translation by Seven Seas Entertainment that began in December 2021 and runs over four volumes.

It received a donghua adaptation called "Scumbag System" (Chinese: 穿书自救指南 Chuan Shu Zi Jiu Zhi Nan, translates to "Using the Self-Saving Guide Book"), with Season 1 airing from September 2020 to November 2020. A second season has been confirmed (although a specific release date is still up in the air), and a Japanese dub for Season 1 was released in October 2023. A manhua adaptation also began in August 2019, but has been taken down after three chapters for undisclosed reasons.

Note: Names, terminology and quotes are based on the official English novel translation by Seven Seas Entertainment whenever possible.

The Scum Villain's Self-Saving System: Ren Zha Fanpai Zijiu Xitong contains examples of:

  • Aborted Declaration of Love: Implied. As Luo Binghe holds Shen Qingqiu's dead body, he seems close to confessing his feelings but is too broken over what had happened to truly say it.
  • Acquitted Too Late: Shen Qingqiu gets accused of several crimes performed by the original, and is framed for others. It's only after his death via self-detonation of his core that he gets acquitted for said crimes off-page.
  • Act of True Love: Shen Qingqiu and a berserk Luo Binghe have some very physically painful sex to keep Luo Binghe's mind from being consumed by Xin Mo, finally convincing Luo Binghe that Shen Qingqiu truly does want him in his life.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: When Su Xiyan runs into Tianlang-Jun and Zhuzhi-Lang again, she tells the former that he still owes her twenty silver from last time they met. Tianlang-Jun flirts and says that he can repay her by offering a service which she declines, stating that he clearly has no idea how to function and do normal tasks. But when he asks if his face alone wasn't worth twenty silver, she actually pauses before seemingly trying to hide a smile as she agrees.
  • Affectionate Parody: The story pokes fun at the transmigration and harem genres, but it's all light-hearted.
  • 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 the backstories of some of the side characters (Shen Jiu, Yue Qingyuan, etc.), and were originally released only in the printed novels.
  • An Arm and a Leg:
    • The original Shen Qingqiu was turned into a human stick by Luo Binghe, losing his arms and legs.
    • In the main story, the Old Palace Master ends up sharing the original Shen Qingqiu's fate of becoming a human stick.
  • Back from the Dead: After self-detonating his golden core and transferring his soul to a Sun and Moon Dew Flower Seed he had cultivated with the help of Shang Qinghua, it takes Shen Qingqiu five years before he's able to quite literally claw his way out of the dirt and return to the living world.
  • Batman Gambit: In Chapter 53, Luo Binghe he declares that he will take his time in razing the entire Cang Qiong Mountain Sect — sans Qing Jing Peak — to the ground, in hopes that during said time, Shen Qingqiu would be forced to show himself to stop that from happening. It works, since Shen Qingqiu intervenes just as Luo Binghe and Liu Qingge are about to clash, and Luo Binghe exposes him on the spot.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Shen Qingqiu believes that Luo Binghe is coming to kill him as revenge for pushing him into the Abyss. In order to avoid this fate, he grows a backup body and self-detonates his own golden core.
  • Benched Hero: Luo Binghe is in the Endless Abyss for three years before he returns to the scene.
  • BFS: In the donghua, Liu Qingge can transform his weapon, Cheng Luan, into ten times its normal size.
  • Bitch Slap: The Little Palace Mistress and Ning Yingying get into an argument over Shen Qingqiu's alleged crimes. It escalates to a physical fight, during which, Ning Yingying holds back upon seeing the Little Palace Mistress lose her whip. The Little Palace Mistress takes advantage of her hesitation to give her a hard slap to the face. Shen Qingqiu more than happily helps Ning Yingying slap her back—twice.
  • Bland-Name Product: Proud Immortal Demon Way is serialized on a website called Zhongdian Literature. This is a spoof of Qidian, one of China's major Web Serial Novel hosts. For those who are not familiar with Chinese, "Qidian" means "starting point," and "Zhongdian" means "finishing point."
  • Blood from the Mouth:
    • Liu Qingge coughs up blood during his qi deviation, surviving what would have been his death in the original Proud Immortal Demon Way with Shen Qingqiu's help. He coughs up blood afterwards too, having jostled his badly injured internal organs by sitting up too abruptly.
    • Shen Qingqiu spits out blood after self-detonating his golden core, dying moments later.
    • After having extremely violent sex with Luo Binghe at Mai Gu Ridge and taking his demonic qi into himself to save him from Xin Mo, Shen Qingqiu coughs up blood, frightening them both. He survives through the System's interference.
  • Body Horror: Ties That Bind is a demonic plant that's attracted to living beings and spiritual energy, its seeds embedding itself in flesh before bursting through the skin as it sprouts. It doesn't help that the only way to get rid of it is to burn it off with hot coal four times a day, which is another unpleasant experience in of itself.
  • Broken Tears:
    • In the donghua, Qin Wanyue's visibly broken over her sister's death and breaks down crying once the group is far enough away from the lake.
    • After Shen Qingqiu self-detonates his golden core to stop Luo Binghe from completely blackening, Luo Binghe is brought back to sanity and tearfully cradles Shen Qingqiu's now lifeless body as he says he never wanted to kill him.
  • But I Read a Book About It: When he starts to fall for Su Xiyan, Tianlang-Jun asked Zhuzhi-Lang why she wasn't acting the same way as the blushing maidens in the books he read or the plays he saw, wondering if he didn't look handsome enough for her to act in that way.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Subverted with Luo Binghe's jade pendant which Shen Qingqiu finds and keeps after Ming Fan and the other bullies throw it away. The system informs him that it can be used to greatly reduce Luo Binghe's anger points. He tries to use it at Mai Gu Ridge to calm him down, but it takes too long loading, only appearing after Shen Qingqiu has already 'appeased' Luo Binghe in a different way.
    • Played straight with the Small Scenario Pusher Luxury Edition Package which Shen Qingqiu had bought and then refused to use after learning what Small Scenario Pushers do—push him into sexy scenarios with Luo Binghe. The System reminds him of his earlier purchase when the jade pendant key item he wanted to use to calm Luo Binghe down is taking too long to load, and he finally activates it here, leading to him sleeping with Luo Binghe in order to save him.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Ning Yingying is Luo Binghe's only friend amongst the Qing Jing Peak disciples. In the original Proud Immortal Demon Way, their friendship develops into a romance and Ning Yingying joins Luo Binghe's harem. In the main story, however, they seem to drift apart after Luo Binghe grows attached to Shen Qingqiu, and Luo Binghe's romantic affections end up falling solely on Shen Qingqiu.
  • Clothing Damage: Shen Qingqiu uses a Small Scenario Pusher in the Water Prison without knowing what it does. It causes Luo Binghe to accidentally tear over half of Shen Qingqiu's robe off his shoulder while reaching out to grab him.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture:
    • After Luo Binghe got his hands on the original Shen Qingqiu (Shen Jiu), the latter's punishments included having all of his limbs ripped off, his tongue and one of his eyes ripped out as well, and having the only person Shen Jiu actually cared about killed by Luo Binghe.
    • Shen Qingqiu gets to experience a taste of the original Shen Qingqiu's fate through the punishment protocol sequence, though Luo Binghe only gets through tearing an arm and a leg off before it ends.
    • After Shen Qingqiu self-detonates, the Old Palace Master is the one who gets turned into a human stick by Luo Binghe.
  • Cooldown Hug: Shen Qingqiu provides plenty of hugs to help calm Luo Binghe down, especially once Xin Mo starts to corrupt him.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: Shen Qingqiu realizes towards the end that he made several mistakes throughout the course of the story, and that he could have found another way around pushing Luo Binghe into the Abyss by simply talking with him about it, which would have saved both of them a lot of emotional pain.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death:
    • In the original Proud Immortal Demon Way, all during Luo Binghe's Roaring Rampage of Revenge:
      • Shen Qingqiu gets all four of his limbs cut off and his tongue torn out, eventually dying of his injuries.
      • Ming Fan gets thrown into a pit of ants and eaten alive.
      • Yue Qingyuan is delivered Shen Qingqiu's legs and a letter written in his blood and walks straight into Luo Binghe's trap in hopes of saving him. He gets pierced with tens of thousands of poisoned arrows until not even his bones remained.
    • In the changed timeline:
  • Cruel to Be Kind: He attempts to be cruel after he comes back to life in order to not hurt Luo Binghe like before. This ends up having the opposite effect which he soon remedies once he starts to realize the full extent of his disciple's feelings
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Even when Shen Qingqiu's fairly new to the world, he's still an incredibly powerful cultivator, managing to beat up one of Sha Hualing's best soldiers with both arms behind his back and not breaking a sweat.
    • Given he is the protagonist's father, it's no surprise that Tianlang-Jun doesn't even exert himself when he beats Liu Qingge or Luo Binghe. It's this reason that Airplane had axed him from the original story line.
  • Dance Battler: Parodied. When Liu Mingyan fights against Sha Hualing in the donghua, the watching disciples are confused as to why they've started dancing. Ming Fan goes on a lengthy explanation about how while an amateur would only see dancing, they're really evaluating one another's abilities, fighting a battle without bloodshed, so on and so forth. Shen Qingqiu isn't convinced.
  • Death by a Thousand Cuts: In the "Bing-mei and Bing-ge’s Ultimate Showdown" extra, Shen Qingqiu infuses his qi into the leaves and petals surrounding him to attack the original Luo Binghe and he's become powerful enough where he could almost overpower the original protagonist as well inflict some damage.
  • Death Is Cheap: He died once when transmigrating into Proud Immortal Demon Way, a second time when he self destructs his golden core to keep Luo Binghe from losing control of Xin Mo and a third time when his soul is forcibly ripped out of his plant body to be resurrected into his old one by Zhuzhi-Lang and Tianlang-Jun. But since he is the protagonist for the story, he comes back from all of them.
  • Destroy the Abusive Home: The original Shen Qingqiu spent years as a child slave for the Qiu household. He razes it to the ground after reaching his mental breaking point under Qiu Jianluo's abuse.
  • Did You Actually Believe...?: After Luo Binghe exchanges Xin Mo for Shen Qingqiu, Tianlang-Jun laughs at him, asking if he really believed him. When Shen Qingqiu criticizes him for this, he tells him that the demon race has never cared about keeping promises and takes him away by having Zhuzhi-Lang swallow him.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight:
    • After he self-destructs his golden core, Shen Qingqiu's lifeless body is held by a tearful Luo Binghe. He does come back though.
    • After coming back into his plant body after five years, Shen Qingqiu dies again as his soul is dragged out of his body while Luo Binghe desperately holds him. This death is only momentary as his soul is only being summoned back to his original body.
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation: In the novel, Shen Yuan dies of food poisoning. His death in the donghua is still related to food, but he dies by choking on a bun.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: In the Water Prison, Luo Binghe accidentally tears off Shen Qingqiu's robe and exposes his chest. He immediately forgets all of his anger as he turns away and quickly tosses his robe onto Shen Qingqiu out of embarrassment.
  • Don't Look At Me: In the "Deep Dream" extra, when Shen Qingqiu tends to his wounds, Luo Binghe gets so flustered at the amount of physical contact that he's unable to control his body's "reactions". He ends up dashing out of the bamboo cottage while screaming at Shen Qingqiu not to come near and even plunges himself neck-deep in a cold lake, despite it being winter at the time.
    Luo Binghe: "I can’t! Shizun, I can’t see you right now! Don’t come near me—absolutely don’t come near!"
  • Don't Make Me Destroy You: After Liu Qingge finally manages to retrieve Shen Qingqiu's corpse, Luo Binghe warns the former that it was only for Shen Qingqiu's sake that he didn't kill him each time he defeated him, and he might change this mind this time around.
  • Dying Curse: Shen Yuan uses his last breath to cuss out Airplane and his writing right before he dies.
    "Dumb-fuck author, dumb-fuck novel!!"
  • Eating the Eye Candy: In the donghua, during the Skinner Arc, Luo Binghe is noticeably eyeing Shen Qingqiu's exposed shoulder.
  • Enemy Mine: Though he doesn't have a positive relationship with any of them, Luo Binghe teams up with the other cultivation sects to defeat Tianlang-Jun.
  • Entertainingly Wrong:
    • When Shen Qingqiu wonders why Luo Binghe has not yet romanced any of the women who were originally meant to be his wives, he wonders if his tinkering with the plot had made Luo Binghe asexual. A few chapters later, he finds out that his changes to the story had actually made him the object of Luo Binghe's affections.
    • Gongyi Xiao immediately believes Luo Binghe is taking advantage of his former shizun when he sees the state of dress Shen Qingqiu is in the Water Prison. Shen Qingqiu gets the feeling that there's been some kind of misunderstanding, but doesn't bother to figure it out.
    • After Shen Qingqiu comes back to life, Liu Qingge assumes that when he gave himself over to Luo Binghe so he'd leave the other sects alone he was doing it by giving up his virginity. Shen Qingqiu is touched at Liu Qingge's protectiveness, but also confused at why he thinks that.
  • Evil Gloating: The Skinner Demon explains their entire plan to Shen Qingqiu, leaving the other to sigh at their predictability as a villain and gives him enough time to figure out how to defeat them. Justified as Shen Qingqiu had activated Easy Mode, which lowers the villain's IQ.
  • Evil Weapon: The sword Xin Mo. It's extremely powerful, but it also corrupts the mind of its wielder and constantly fights against them for complete control. Having had hundreds of owners over the years, all of them eventually died to it as they are unable to suppress its evil nature, at least until it falls into Luo Binghe's hands. But even the overpowered protagonist has trouble using it. Shen Qingqiu ends up sacrificing himself twice to keep Luo Binghe from completely losing control, and after the second time, Luo Binghe ends up destroying it for good.
  • Faint in Shock: Shen Qingqiu faints in the donghua upon transmigrating into Shen Qingqiu's body and realizing that at the point of his transmigration, Luo Binghe has already suffered a heaping of abuse from the body's owner.
  • Fake Faint: If there's no way Shang Qinghua can avoid a situation or hide behind someone powerful, his next go-to action is to pretend to faint on the spot.
    • When Mobei-Jun shows up at the opening of the Endless Abyss, he immediately flings Shang Qinghua into a tree, appearing to knock him out. Shen Qingqiu knows he's faking it as Shang Qinghua is actually a spy working for Mobei-Jun.
    • As a disciple, he pretended to faint in front of Wei Qingwei to avoid having to come up with an excuse on the spot for what he'd been doing for the past few days and why he hadn't been slaughtered by Mobei-Jun like many of his fellow disciples.
  • Fan Disservice: It’s the romantic climax of the novel and Official Couple Shen Qingqiu and Luo Binghe are finally having sex in-universe! Except that the magically-crazed Luo Binghe is out of his mind, and the sex is awful and very physically painful for Shen Qingqiu, which is described in graphic and gory detail.
  • Finger in the Mail: In the original Proud Immortal Demon Way, Luo Binghe sends Yue Qingyuan Shen Qingqiu's legs and a letter written in his blood. Though it's an obvious trap, Yue Qingyuan comes anyways in hopes of saving him and is pierced by tens of thousands of poisoned arrows until not even a body remains.
  • First-Episode Resurrection: The first chapter begins with fervent anti-fan Shen Yuan cursing the poorly written web novel Proud Immortal Demon Way with his last breath. He then wakes up as a character of said novel, tasked by the System to improve the events of the story.
  • First Law of Resurrection: Shen Qingqiu is the worst offender of this trope, managing to die and get somehow revived no less than three times throughout the course of the novel.
  • Forceful Kiss: Luo Binghe gives plenty of forceful kisses to Shen Qingqiu after the other accidentally enters his dreams and Luo Binghe makes his romantic feelings more known. Shen Qingqiu does internally gripe that most of the time, it's more biting than actual kissing.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • When the Little Palace Mistress asks Luo Binghe where her father is, Luo Binghe casually replies that he disappeared and no one has found any sign of him. Shen Qingqiu mentally notes that anyone who gives that answer is usually responsible for the person going missing. Fifteen chapters or so chapters later, Shen Qingqiu is proven to be correct: the Old Palace Master was mutilated and kept imprisoned in the Holy Mausoleum.
    • At the beginning of the donghua, the system mentions that Shen Qingqiu's transmigration code is UV002, hinting at another user who transmigrated into the story before him, who turns out to be the author himself.
    • During the Immortal Alliance Conference, the Old Palace Master quietly mutters to himself how "they" look so much alike as he watches Luo Binghe. It's later revealed that he had an obsession with Luo Binghe's mother, Su Xiyan, who was his head disciple. He's responsible for Luo Binghe's father, Tianlang-Jun, being sealed under a mountain and is indirectly responsible for Su Xiyan's death as well, having forced her to drink poison in an attempt to kill her unborn child.
  • Fountain of Youth: in the Return to Childhood Extra, Luo Binghe qi deviates and is temporarily turned into a child. Shenangians are had when people mistake the now young Luo Binghe as Luo Binghe and Shen Qingqiu's love child or when Luo Binghe tries to go on his usual activities.
  • Frame-Up: Shen Qingqiu's framed for causing the spread of the disease in Jin Lan by sower demons who claim they had been following his orders. It turns out that those demons had framed him on the orders of Zhuzhi-Lang, who wanted to sever Shen Qingqiu's ties to Cang Qiong Mountain and the Human Realm so that he could be saved when Tianlang-Jun came to wipe out the four major sects.
  • Friend Versus Lover: Luo Binghe is Shen Qingqiu's Love Interest and Liu Qingge is Shen Qingqiu's trusted friend. The two fight for five years over ownership of Shen Qingqiu's corpse. Even after he comes back to life, the two never warm up to one another, despite Shen Qingqiu chiding them both for their behaviour.
    Shen Qingqiu: That ‘shishu’ of yours was much too insincere. You’re not allowed to use that tone again in the future.
    Luo Binghe: Well, when he lectures me, he calls me ‘little beast’ or ‘ingrate. He’s plenty sincere then.
  • Futile Hand Reach: Happens twice in the Animated Adaptation.
    • When Qin Wanrong is pulled into the water by a demon, Qin Wanyue still has her hand outstretched as she cries her sister's name.
    • After Shen Qingqiu pushes Luo Binghe into the Endless Abyss, he immediately reaches out to him as though he's trying to pull him back.
  • Genre Shift: In-Universe: After the transmigrators realize that Luo Binghe has no interest in women or a harem, only his shizun, they also realize that this is no longer a stallion novel but a Danmei. Amusingly, the original novel was supposed to be a Danmei anyways.
  • Getting Eaten Is Harmless: Shen Qingqiu gets swallowed by Zhuzhi-Lang (in his giant serpent form) and passes out. When he wakes up, he's on top of the snake and in no way worse for the wear.
  • Gift-Giving Gaffe: Liu Qingge gifts Shen Qingqiu short-haired beasts on more than one occasion, intending for them to be eaten. Shen Qingqiu is not keen on doing so. His disciples on Qing Jing Peak can't bring themselves to kill the creatures and instead raise them as pets.
  • A Girl in Every Port: Much of the original Proud Immortal Demon Way revolves around Luo Binghe seducing women wherever he goes, usually adding them to his harem afterwards.
  • The Glomp: Luo Binghe's fond of glomping Shen Qingqiu as a teen, to which the other believes is due to him tripping.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Shen Qingqiu tries to avoid his canonical fate by being a kind and diligent teacher... which causes Luo Binghe to fall for him instead of any of his wives.
  • Green Around the Gills: In the donghua, he gets queasy after riding on his sword for a while.
  • Halfbreed Angst: Luo Binghe, mentioned to be in Proud Immortal Demon Way, and after Shen Qingqiu appears to reject him for his heritage.
  • Harem Genre: The original novel is a "trashy" harem story. The revised canon is far from one, however.
  • Homosexual Reproduction: In the Return to Childhood extra, this is widely assumed when Shen Qingqiu is seen holding a de-aged Luo Binghe.
  • Hypocritical Humor: When Shen Qingqiu gets his palm read for his a peek at his love life in the future, Liu Qingge crosses his arms and claims he wasn't interested in listening as it was all clearly a waste of time. But when all of the characteristics of Shen Qingqiu's future soulmate seem to point to Liu Qingge, he suddenly gets invested and asks what other traits Shen Qingqiu's future partner had to see if they aligned with his.
  • I Got Bigger: After Luo Binghe returns from the Endless Abyss, Shen Qingqiu realizes that their eyes had been level with one another when he last saw him, but now he has to lift his head slightly to meet his gaze. In the donghua, after he leaves to do some training away from the Cang Qiong Mountain Sect, Luo Binghe has grown noticeably on his return and is now slightly taller than his shizun.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Discussed. After the timeskip, there are rumors that Luo Binghe imprisoned Shen Qingqiu in the water prison in order to have his way with him.
    Lu Liu: Luo Binghe thought of every possible method to shut Shen Qingqiu in the Water Prison of Huan Hua Palace. What do you think his goal was with this? His wicked ambitions were as clear as day.
  • I Have Your Wife: Tianlang-Jun holds Shen Qingqiu hostage with his blood mites, threatening to destroy his body from the inside. He tells Luo Binghe to give him his mystical sword Xin Mo, and to Shen Qingqiu's shock and dismay, Luo Binghe hands it over almost immediately. Tianlang-Jun proceeds to mock his son for believing him and takes Shen Qingqiu away by having Zhuzhi-Lang swallow him up.
  • In Spite of a Nail: While Shen Qingqiu's actions drastically alter the plot, someone still gets turned into a human stick. Except that instead of Shen Qingqiu, it's the Old Palace Master who suffers this fate instead.
  • Intimate Healing:
    • When Luo Binghe's a teen and experiencing troubles with his qi circulation, Shen Qingqiu offers to help him — which comprises him holding Luo Binghe close while helping to circulate his qi. This flusters the teen so much he ends up shoving his shizun aside, running away and jumping into the nearest cold spring, during winter. During this time, Shen Qingqiu has no idea what's wrong with his disciple.
    • In the original canon, Qin Wanyue was inflicted with poisoning and Luo Binghe tried to cure her with a flower, unsuccessfully. However, she found herself cured of the poisoning after having sex with him.
    • Shen Qingqiu has sex with Luo Binghe at Mai Gu Ridge to stop Xin Mo from consuming his mind.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Played for laughs. In the "Airplane" extra, when Luo Binghe calls a meeting with his most powerful generals (and Shang Qinghua) to ask how he can seduce his shizun, he immediately tells Mobei-Jun that he shouldn't answer. Despite his rude way of saying it, he's right to avoid taking any advice from Mobei-Jun, given how the latter treats Shang Qinghua.
  • Just Toying with Them: After he drags an unwitting Shen Qingqiu into the dreamscape, Luo Binghe merely chases his shizun around and makes the other constantly fall into his arms. It doesn't take long for Shen Qingqiu to realize Luo Binghe is just playing with him.
  • Kidnapped Doctor: After Shen Qingqiu's death, Luo Binghe kidnaps Mu Qingfang, the peak lord of the medical peak, trying to force him to find a way to revive him. He tells him that he will not be returned to Cang Qiong Mountain until he does so. Eventually, Mu Qingfang is rescued by Liu Qingge, at which point Luo Binghe already seems to have given up on using him due to his unwavering insistence that it'd be impossible to bring someone back to life.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: As soon as the original Luo Binghe realizes that he has no chance of getting Shen Qingqiu to come with him to his universe, he stops fighting the main duo and leaves.
  • Laughing Mad: As the Old Palace Master starts getting covered in Ties That Bind plants, he lays on the ground abandoned by Qiu Haitang and starts laughing as Shen Qingqiu runs with an unconscious Luo Binghe in his arms.
  • Lighter and Softer: The donghua censors some aspects of the novel. The fate for the original Shen Qingqiu was turned to living in a jar for the rest of his life instead of being turned into a human stick (though it's implied that his limbs were still chopped off for him to even fit into the jar), while Shen Yuan's death was changed from food poisoning to choking.
  • Loophole Abuse: Early on, Shen Qingqiu has to frequently find loopholes in order to help Luo Binghe without triggering the System's "no OOC" punishment. For example, he waits until Ning Yingying complains about Luo Binghe being forced to travel on foot (while everyone else is on horseback or in a carriage) before inviting the boy into his carriage. It's out-of-character for Shen Qingqiu to be kind to Luo Binghe, but it's in-character for him to indulge Ning Yingying.
  • Lost in Translation: The Proud Immortal Demon Way author's pen name literally translates to "Airplane Shooting Towards the Sky" in English. What most readers who aren't familiar with Mandarin might not notice, however, is that the "Airplane" in the name really translates to "beating an airplane", which is a euphemism for masturbation in China. Hence, the contextual meaning of his pen name would actually be "masturbating towards the sky".
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: In the original Proud Immortal Demon Way, any male character that could be a possible threat due to their looks or abilities always manages to get killed off.
  • Mirror Match: In one of the extras, the original Luo Binghe crosses over into the main story's version of Proud Immortal Demon Way and clashes with that version of Luo Binghe.
  • Misery Poker: After Shen Qingqiu realizes that Shang Qinghua is actually Airplane Shooting Towards the Sky, both of them get into a brief argument about who's having it worse in their transmigration adventures.
  • Mystical Plague: The plague that sweeps through Jin Lan City causes the victim's flesh to rot down to the bones, eventually leaving nothing but a skeleton. The disease's progression can be slowed by wrapping oneself in black cloth and avoiding exposure to light and the elements, but straying too far from the city causes the disease to accelerate dramatically. It turns out that the plague was intentionally spread by demons known as sowers, who can infect any non-demon with their touch.
  • Never Got to Say Goodbye: When Shen Yuan transmigrates into Shen Qingqiu's body, it means the original Shen Qingqiu is gone, having either died of a qi deviation or perhaps having been transported to another world as well. Yue Qingyuan is never even able to realize that the Shen Qingqiu he knows now is not the one he had grown up with. When a heavily injured Yue Qingyuan finally tries to tell the truth about why he hadn't come back for him, Shen Yuan can only lament to himself that the intended recipient of those words is already gone.
  • Next Life as a Fictional Character:
    • Anti-fan Shen Yuan dies from food poisoning after intensely ranting about the terrible end of the web novel he loved to hate-read. He then awakes as a character in said novel... as its Starter Villain Shen Qingqiu, who dies as a human stick at the hands of Wish-Fulfillment Luo Binghe. The plot revolves around Shen Yuan's attempts to avoid this fate by endearing himself to young and innocent Luo Binghe and the resulting consequences.
    • Later it's revealed that after accidentally electrocuting himself, the author reincarnated as minor character Shang Qinghua.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Without a Cure is a poison that does, in fact, have a cure—sex with a heavenly demon.
  • Not Me This Time: While Luo Binghe does act oddly after his return from the Endless Abyss, subject Shen Qingqiu to a game of cat-and-mouse, and allows him to be trapped in the Water Prison, he's not responsible for the demon sowers, Shen Qingqiu's defamation via Qiu Haitang, or Gongyi Xiao's death.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Whenever Shen Qingqiu is with someone else, Luo Binghe immediately takes it the wrong way and gets even more jealous. Whether that's Shen Qingqiu waiting for Liu Qingge in a room alone, or Zhuzhi-Lang sounding like he's making advances onto Shen Qingqiu.
  • Oblivious to Love: Shen Qingqiu is the only person in the cast who hasn't noticed that Luo Binghe is in love with him.
  • Official Couple:
    • Shen Qingqiu and Luo Binghe are each other's love interests and eventually get together.
    • The author confirmed that Shang Qinghua and Mobei Jun are an item, with the extras showing how they get there.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Ji Jue doesn't react well when Shen Qingqiu politely expresses he doesn't understand a fighting move, since Liu Qingge enjoys picking his disciples and thoroughly trash them as a demonstration.
    • Shen Qingqiu panics after Luo Binghe comes back from the Endless Abyss and he believes his former disciple is trying to kill him like in the original canon.
    • Sha Hualing looks horrified when she realizes she made a mistake in bringing Luo Binghe someone who looks eerily similar to his shizun. She gets held by the throat for her insolence.
  • One True Love: In the extra "Recalling an Experience of Fighting Succubi with Great Master Liu", Shen Qingqiu meets the succubus Madam Meiyin, whose divinations regarding predestined love and marriages are undoubtedly accurate (per Proud Immortal Demon Way canon). The fated partner she describes is implied to be Luo Binghe, but the description she gives also fits Liu Qingge, who gets increasingly flustered as she continues. Shen Qingqiu, meanwhile, is completely confused, unable to think of a woman he knows who fits said description.
  • Padding: Shen Qingqiu is of the opinion that the Holy Mausoleum subplot felt like sucky filler in the original novel since it went on for at least a hundred chapters just to explain in vivid detail how Luo Binghe was able to bypass every single death trap in the place. In the revised canon, all the traps are taken care of in two (in-universe) chapters, and Shen Qingqiu even receives points for "skipping through filler".
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Shen Qingqiu's idea of a disguise? Put on a thin layer of makeup and slap on a beard. Once he starts assisting his disciples in a fight between the Huan Hua Palace disciples, his cover is blown very easily.
  • Perception Filter: It's strongly implied that the other characters can't see or hear whenever Shen Qingqiu is interacting with the System. Otherwise, someone might have eventually asked him why he's acting strangely, why he's talking to thin air, and what he's talking about.
  • Platonic Prostitution: When he was still alive, it was rumored that the original Shen Qingqiu slept around a lot at brothels. However, due to the abuse he suffered in the past under the Qiu household, he could only get an actual night's rest around women, which is revealed in an extra where he just paid to have a woman sleep next to him. Unfortunately, no on else knew about this, leading rumors to pile up under his already high list of other alleged crimes.
  • Playing Possum: If Shang Qinghua can't outrun a situation, he'll either faint or immediately play dead.
  • Please, Don't Leave Me:
    • Played for laughs with Ji Jue. He asks Shang Qinghua to stay longer because he doesn't want to return back to his shizun and get beat up again, as Shen Qingqiu was slyly getting pay back at the Bai Zhan Peak disciples for bullying his disciples.
    • The Old Palace Master's last words as Qiu Haitang goes mad and flees. As he starts getting covered in the Ties That Bind plants, he starts hallucinating that Luo Binghe is Su Xiyan and begs her to stay with him.
  • Plot Armor:
    • Parodied and exploited. Shen Qingqiu convinces a demon to attack Luo Binghe, having the system's guarantee that the protagonist cannot die. Consequently, a ceiling column implausibly drops onto the demon, which frees the protagonist and distracts the demon long enough for Shen Qingqiu to free and re-arm himself.
      Even if Shen Qingqiu died one hundred times—ah, one hundred times—Luo Binghe, the protagonist with impervious plot armor, would go on living in perfect health.
    • Subverted with Qin Wanrong. Shen Qingqiu is confident that she could never die, being a member of Luo Binghe's harem in the original novel. He's shocked when she's killed by a Nu Yuan Chan shortly after her introduction.
  • Poor Communication Kills:
    • Had Shen Qingqiu and Luo Binghe talked it out, many misunderstandings would have been avoided. The latter firmly believes that his shizun hates him due to his Heavenly Demon heritage. The former is still stuck on the idea that the Luo Binghe must be just like his original counterpart post-Abyss. Both end up misinterpreting the other's actions due to these assumptions and never talk about how they actually feel.
    • Yue Qingyuan and Shen Jiu's relationship never recovers because the former can't bring himself to explain why he never came back for him and the latter assumes the worst. Shen Qingqiu even makes a parallel between their relationship and his relationship with Luo Binghe, and thinking that their tragic and unfortunate conclusion could have been how he and Luo Binghe ended up being if they didn't resolve their misunderstandings.
  • The Power of Blood:
    • Luo Binghe is one-half Heavenly Demon on his father's side, and as such his blood has special properties. For example, he can manipulate it within other people's bodies. His cousin Zhuzhi-Lang can do the same.
      In the original work, Luo Binghe had mastered control of his blood and used it for a wide range of purposes, including poison; he could even fashion it into parasitic mite-like creatures that he could then use to destroy a target from within. He’d also deployed it as a location tracker, a physical means of brainwashing, a sex tool…etc.
    • As a pure Heavenly Demon, Tianlang-Jun has the ability to control and manipulate those who drink his blood. He can also use his blood to conjure several kinds of monsters.
  • Pretty Boy: Luo Binghe
  • Profane Last Words: Shen Yuan curses out Proud Immortal Demon Way with "Dumbfuck author, dumbfuck novel!" before expiring at the beginning of the story.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: A lot of Shen Qingqiu's speech in the novel has plenty of pauses when he's angry or trying to emphasize something.
    Towards the Sky-bro, Airplane-bro, "Great Master": Can we have a discussion? Fill! In! Plot holes! Okay?!
  • Psychic Dreams for Everyone: Justified and invoked.
    • Thanks to the Dream Demon teaching Luo Binghe his art, Luo Binghe gives every single cultivator above a certain development-level dream warning them of Tianlang-Jun's return.
    • The dream demon does a consensual version for Shen Qingqiu, showing him 'his' lost memories. This allows Shen Qingqiu to learn of the original Shen Qingqiu's Dark and Troubled Past.
    • On a few occasions, the System punishes Shen Qingqiu for point loss or rule violations by giving him nightmares or meaningful dreams.
    • Shen Qingqiu wanders into Luo Binghe's dreamscape on several occasions after the timeskip.
  • Psychosexual Horror: Scum Villains Self Savimg System takes the idea of a Teacher-Student romance with an obsessive traumatized love interest and runs with it.
    • Luo Binghe chases and forces Shen Qingqiu to drink his blood, which is described as having an effect like menstration on Shen Qingqiu when it is used
    • Shen Qingqiu is Luo Binghes teacher, compared to his adoptive mother, Binghe says that he is his father, and marries him.
    • At the Immortal Alliance Contest, in the original novel Luo Binghe comes across Qiu Wanyue, who coerces him to have sex with her as a dying wish. She also is described as eating the Thousand-Leaves Fresh Snow Lotus raw as well. Luo Binghe is described as a white lotus at this stage of his life, right before his "blackening". In the current timeline, the Thousand-Leaves Fresh Snow Lotus is described as wilting due to demonic energy associated with the event that caused his blackening, the exposure of his demonic heritage and being thrown into the Endless Abyss.
  • Railroading: Despite all his attempts to establish a positive relationship with Luo Binghe, Shen Qingqiu is notified by the System that the scene where he pushes Luo Binghe into the Endless Abyss is absolutely unavoidable.
  • "Reborn as Villainess" Story: The Scum Villain's Self-Saving System is a Chinese Gender Inverted take of the genre. Modern man Shen Yuan found himself incarnated into the body of Shen Qingqiu, the villain of the "trashy" xianxia harem Web Serial Novel Proud Immortal Demon Way who was eventually killed owing to him being a Sadist Teacher to the hero, Luo Binghe. Shen Qingqiu's attempt to prevent his doom made the canon turn into a danmei harem centered around him.
  • Resurrection Gambit: Shen Qingqiu decides that rather than faking his death to escape Luo Binghe, he should just actually die, and prepares a backup body for himself grown from the Sun and Moon Dew Flower Seed. He ends up self destructing his golden core in order to keep Luo Binghe from losing control of Xin Mo and wakes up in the plant body... five years later.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge:
    • After suffering too much under the Qiu household, the original Shen Qingqiu goes on a rampage and kills every man he can find in the house, sparing only the women and children. As Shen Qingqiu watches this, he notices Shen Jiu almost taking something akin to cruel delight in his rampage.
    • After the original Luo Binghe returns from the Endless Abyss, he seeks revenge on his old enemies, all of whom die horrible deaths by his hand. This includes the entirety of Cang Qiong Mountain Sect—in particular, it's mentioned that he razes Qing Jing Peak to the ground, turns his Sadist Teacher Shen Qingqiu into a human stick, and throws his childhood bully Ming Fan into a pit of ants to be bitten to death. Eventually, he destroys each and every one of the Human Realm's cultivation sects.
  • Royal Harem: The original Luo Binghe becomes a tyrant who reigns over the three realms, and his harem contains almost a hundred women. According to Shen Qingqiu, he never refuses anyone from his harem, accepting "even the most troublesome of women." The harem is also said to be full of intrigue, to the point where Shen Qingqiu likens it to the harem drama The Legend of Zhen Huan.
  • Running Gag:
    • Shen Qingqiu's right hand continuously causes him misfortune — from being the hand that gets pierced by Elder Sky Hammer's armor (which is laced with the Without a Cure Poison), the hand that gets infected by sowers (twice), and the hand that is infected by the Ties That Bind roots. Shen Qingqiu even lampshades it multiple times in frustration, and also notes that this was the hand that first clicked on the Proud Immortal Demon Way web novel.
    • Shen Qingqiu repeatedly tries to politely get a peek under Liu Mingyan's veil, to no avail. When Sha Hualing takes it off and is momentarily stunned, he internally whines and tries to crane his neck for a peek as well. Shen Qingqiu also fanboys every time Liu Mingyan appears and calls her the "main heroine".
    • In the novel, whenever Shen Qingqiu mentions a mishap or annoyance he ran into, Mu Qingfang takes that as Shen Qingqiu not taking his medicine and then immediately asks the peak lord if he did. Shen Qingqiu huffs in annoyance and assures the doctor he's following his instructions.
  • Sadist Teacher: The original Shen Qingqiu poured hot tea over Luo Binghe's head during their first meeting, subjected Luo Binghe to multiple beatings, and also encouraged his other disciples to bully the young disciple, among other abuses.
  • Satire: The novel pokes fun at itself for using and subverting Yaoi conventions such as Shen Yuan being at the very least five years older than Luo Binghe while in the body of a much older guy. It also deconstructs the Harem Genre by having the female characters that aren't connected to the protagonist in a romantic sense.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: At the beginning of the donghua, Shen Qingqiu attempts to leave the new world he's in, in order to escape his role as the villain of the story. However, he is convinced to stay by the System that tells him he can obtain points in order to change the story's ending.
  • Shout-Out: As Shen Qingqiu is from the modern day world, he occasionally drops a reference to pop culture in his internal monologue.
    • He jokingly asks the System if it had worked on a video game for Harry Potter.
    • One of the many descriptions Shen Qingqiu uses when he sees Luo Binghe again is the ice-bucket challenge, which went viral in 2016.
    • Once Luo Binghe (instead of Liu Qingge) walks into the room of the inn he's staying at, Shen Qingqiu says it was like The Ring playing out live in front of him.
    • He complains about how much scheming there is in the original Luo Binghe's harem, likening it to The Legend of Zhen Huan.
  • Shrouded in Myth: Despite only five years passing, after the timeskip, there are two wildly inaccurate stories about the events pre-timeskip.
    • One holds that Luo Binghe and Shen Qingqiu were Star-Crossed Lovers. This version is mostly used by the in-universe fanfiction and ballads sung about them... and tends to be quite horny. This is the version Tianlang-Jun is familiar with.
    • The story shared by Lu Liu holds Shen Qingqiu up as an honorable and just Peak Lord and Luo Binghe as his depraved Stalker with a Crush.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: In the donghua he gets into a snarky fight with Airplane and some of his followers, and once he transmigrates, he constantly snarks against the System.
  • Spirit Cultivation Genre: Proud Immortal Demon Way is set in a world where there are cultivators who train to ascend to immortality, though Shen Qingqiu has some complaints about the way the setting is written. For example, he questions why cultivators still eat and sleep despite having achieved inedia or why they need to travel via carriage despite being able to fly on their swords.
  • Spotting the Thread: In the "Face Off" extra, Shen Qingqiu realizes that the Luo Binghe he's with isn't his Binghe when he notices that this one doesn't have the scar he gave him from stabbing him in the chest.
  • Squish the Cheeks: Shen Qingqiu often pinches Luo Binghe's cheeks after the latter regresses into his child form in the "Return to Childhood" extra.
  • Start of Darkness:
    • Although his entire childhood is full of trauma and suffering that shapes his future personality, the original Luo Binghe truly becomes blackened after he's thrown into the Endless Abyss by the original Shen Qingqiu. In the Abyss, he obtains the legendary sword Xin Mo, uses it to unseal his demonic blood, and heads down a bloody path of vengeance and conquest.
    • Subverted in the main story where Shen Qingqiu is convinced that his own Luo Binghe will become blackened like the original after he's forced to throw him into the Endless Abyss, when in actuality, Luo Binghe is much more interested in Shen Qingqiu's love and affection than seeking revenge. This leads to many misunderstandings between them.
  • Suicidal Sadistic Choice: If Shen Qingqiu doesn’t ensure that Luo Binghe takes the fall into the Endless Abyss and kick off Luo Binghe’s Start of Darkness, the resulting loss of System points will kill him. Years later, Shen Qingqiu wonders if he could have gotten the same results by asking Luo Binghe to go into the Endless Abyss instead of pushing him in as an act of betrayal.
  • Swallowed Whole: Zhuzhi-Lang, in his giant serpent form, swallows Shen Qingqiu whole in order to kidnap him.
  • Tamer and Chaster: In the donghua, rather than being completely shirtless after getting captured by the Skinner Demon, Shen Qingqiu is left in an undershirt that's in slight disarray, sliding down to reveal some of his chest and shoulder.
  • Tantrum Throwing: After her imprisonment, the Little Palace Mistress throws a lot of tantrums towards Luo Binghe, who just ignores her complaints.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Shen Yuan transmigrates into Shen Qingqiu, the Sadist Teacher of Luo Binghe. The story focuses on the two's eventual romance.
  • There Is No Cure: Subverted. There's a big deal made of Shen Qinqqiu being infected with Without a Cure due to it supposedly being a poison without a cure. In the original story, Luo Binghe's love interest Qin Wanrong is poisoned with it as well, and they go on a quest for a legendary flower in hopes of curing it, only for it to fail. However, Luo Binghe and Qin Wanrong have sex as her final wish and she finds herself cured afterwards. The only cure for the poison is sex with a heavenly demon. Shen Qingqiu knows this but doesn't consider it an option, so he expects to die anyways. But his sect then reveals that he can keep the poison in check by simply taking medicine on a regular basis.
  • Together in Death: Discussed. When he thinks his shizun is going to sacrifice himself again, Luo Binghe tearfully lets him know that if he dies again, he would soon follow as he doesn't see a point in living if his shizun isn't there.
    "Dying together" also meant being "together."
  • Trauma Conga Line:
    • Luo Binghe experiences misery after misery during his childhood. As a newborn, he's found floating down the Luo River in a wooden basin on the coldest days of the year. He spends his early years on the streets before being adopted by a kind washerwoman, but he and his mother are poor and suffer humiliation at the hands of their rich employers. His mother dies and Luo Binghe is accepted into a prestigious cultivation sect, only to be bullied and abused by his master and his fellow disciples. And regardless of whether or not Shen Yuan transmigrates into Shen Qingqiu and treats him more kindly, it's a fixed plot point that Shen Qingqiu must push Luo Binghe into the Endless Abyss.
    • Not a single thing goes well for Qiu Haitang after the mess of Jin Lan City. She fails at taking her revenge against Shen Qingqiu, and instead of getting a comfortable life as one of Luo Binghe's brides like in the original canon, she's forgotten about and later captured by Sha Hualing to have her qi drained. She later discovers that Shen Qingqiu survived, escapes imprisonment, and finds the Old Palace Master for a second shot at revenge, only for both to end up trapped in the Holy Mausoleum, their revenge plans foiled. On top of that, Qiu Haitang ends up driven mad from guilt after being forced to see Shen Jiu's past, and likely dies to one of the Mausoleum's traps afterwards.
  • Twin Threesome Fantasy: In this case, triplets. The original Luo Binghe had three identical triplet nuns in his harem he would sleep with in order to settle his demonic qi. Shen Qingqiu is quite dismayed when his actions accidentally lead to the nuns escaping from capture before they even meet Luo Binghe.
  • Undignified Death: Shen Yuan died of food poisoning... because he unknowingly ate expired food after he got outraged with reading Proud Immortal Demon Way. In the donghua this is changed to him choking to death while mid-rant.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Absolutely nobody is fussed about the Huan Hua disciples and Cang Qiong disciples starting an all-out fight inside a restaurant. Everyone just calmly gets up, pays their bills, and leaves.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back!: Downplayed. The "Airplane" extras show Yue Qingyuan as the only Peak Lord to be worried about Shen Qingqiu's complete personality change and express a desire for him to regain his memories. His martial siblings immediately shoot him down as they feel Shen Qingqiu is much more likeable now.
  • Wham Line: Chapter 28 reveals that Shen Qingqiu is actually the second person to transmigrate into the world of Proud Immortal Demon Way. What's even more surprising is who's the first.
    Shen Qingqiu: (to Shang Qinghua) 《Airplane Shooting Towards the Sky》?
    Shang Qinghua: You... how do you know this ID of mine?
  • What Could Have Been: In-Universe. Tianlang-Jun was going to be part of the original version of Proud Immortal Demon Way but was written out, because 1) the author feared he would overshadow Luo Binghe, and 2) most of the files that contained the plans he wrote for the character got accidentally deleted.
  • Who Writes This Crap?!: Shen Qingqiu's reaction to Proud Immortal Demon Way in a nutshell. According to him, the writing is grade-school level, the cultivation setting is poorly thought out, the villains have no intelligence to speak of, so on and so forth. When Shen Qingqiu realizes that the author of the book has transmigrated into the story as well, he has a lot to say to him.
    "Digging plot holes and not filling them!" Shen Qingqiu finally burst out. "Foreshadowing gone to waste! Landmines all over the place! The writing style of an elementary schooler! If you’re going to write a stallion novel, then write a proper stallion novel—don’t fool around writing whump!"
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Luo Binghe's sword, Xin Mo, is known to devour the minds of its users. This greatly contributes to Luo Binghe's already severe insecurities towards his relationship with Shen Qingqiu.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: To be fair to Shen Qingqiu, the original Proud Immortal Demon Way was a stallion novel, and he has no way of knowing his actions would change it to a Danmei.
  • You Do Not Want To Know: Meng Mo insists that Shen Qingqiu's better off not knowing when the latter asks to see Shen Jiu's past memories.
  • You Never Did That for Me: Luo Binghe laments that Shen Qingqiu always seems so much happier around everyone else besides him, even outright asking Shen Qingqiu if he really hated him that much. Shen Qingqiu soon explains that he never disliked Luo Binghe and that the other was just digging into his insecurities about his feelings towards the other.
  • You're Not My Father: Luo Binghe publicly refuses to recognize either Su Xiyan or Tianlang-Jun towards the end of the novel, saying that his only parent is the old washerwoman who raised him in his childhood.

Alternative Title(s): Ren Zha Fan Pai Zi Jiu Xi Tong