73 3.27

A week later and Jia Hyson was napping out of boredom. Sefu had gotten exponentially busier as the days pass and couldn't visit him often in the daytime anymore. It was incredibly unsatisfying.

Jia Hyson: 'Wuwuwu I miss my hubby, I miss being hand fed cookies and getting massages after sex!'

Bebe: '...' You spoilt fucking brat.

You can really see the difference between this world's main lead and Sefu ah. Zheng Jinhai could get amnesia and be unable to go to work for literal months or push off important meetings in favor of brushing up affection with Song Chuntao, and his company would never be too negatively affected. In fact, stocks may even rise due to the aftermath of various faceslapping events the pair will inevitably run into. In comparison, Sefu couldn't even have half a day off unless he wants his power and authority in the group to be completely usurped.

Ah, even Jia Hyson who had been a popular writer, could not afford to slack off for too long lest his editor scold him and his fans throw rocks at his window while sending him letters in blood. He too inevitably felt some envy as well. _(:3」∠)_ The gap between man and protagonist was really too big, it was upsetting just thinking about it.

While waiting for Sefu, Bebe and he have mainly passed the time either reading, looking through BeBay and watching various reality television shows- a terribly crippling secret addiction they both have developed in the safe space.

"Fuck, that Susan bitch did not!" Jia Hyson gasps as on screen Susan totally does.

"Boo!" Bebe calls out, "Honestly why haven't they kicked her out yet?! She's so goddamn useless!"

"Ugh probably for ratings, I mean look at her," Jia Hyson scoffs before screaming, "No! NO! Fuck! Turn off the motherfucking heat! It's going to boil over!"

"Fuck her! Where's Ray?! Bebe hasn't seen Bebe's male god for ages!"

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"Bebe, if your male god hasn't shown up thirty minutes in, your male god probably did mediocre in this round." Jia Hyson points out cruelly, "Whereas my male god Kaleb is as strong as ever hehe!"

"You shut your whore mouth!"

"Fucking make me!"

One might think that these reactions were a little excessive given what they were watching was this world's equivalent of the Great British B*ke-Off mixed with Hell's K*tchen. But if one considers that this was their few forms of entertainment, and they had each initially bet on three contestants as the winners by the tenth episode with the winner getting to choose what Bebe's physical form will be....

"Bebe'll kill you!"

"Hah! I've already died thrice! And I'm not fucking afraid to do it again! Go ahead! Do it! No matter what it's better than watching your male God failing to make a deconstructed lemon meringue tart!"

"YOU FUCKING BI-"

No it was still rather excessive ah.

By the time the marathon finished, it was late into the afternoon. The results were that Bebe's male god only made it to the top three but Jia Hyson's didn't even make top five. The ensuing argument about Bebe winning by default and Jia Hyson adamantly defending that the bet is invalid since no one they picked actually won, took an extra half an hour. Jia Hyson, who was panting heavily took a long and angry drink of hot tea he boiled between yelling.

"Bebe," he sighs, "let's compromise. Why don't we both agree that you're correct and in return… you let me choose your final form."

Bebe: '...' Bebe really wants to know how stupid host thinks Bebe is.

"No." It coldly declines.

"Bebe..." Jia Hyson's voice was like of a disappointed father's. However Bebe who has no personal concept of parents is completely unmoved.

"Bebe will rather die than live in such an unsightly physical form," Bebe spat, even without a face the disdain was so apparent it was dripping off each word. It was a top of the line, super rare Beta system now okay? It must have pride!

Jia Hyson felt his aesthetic senses being disdained and got angrier. "How is it unsightly? Teacup pigs are so cute!"

Just thinking about it makes his eyes shine. Imagine, holding a small baby piggy that will never grow big like in reality! Not to mention since it's a system body he wouldn't worry about a truck damaging it much less himself, he can pinch and squeeze all he wants without fear! (╯✧∇✧)╯ Plus, Bebe is always such a grumpy system, wouldn't seeing a sassy, angry teacup pig soothe the soul better?

"Bebe. Will. Rather. Die."

Teacup pig. Peh.

Bebe will remember this insult.

Bebe will remember it well.

However no matter how adamant Jia Hyson sounds right now, most of his stubbornness and irritation was just a build up of his unease and unhappiness toward Sefu's situation. He has always been fickle, lazy and flighty by nature. Even though he really does think a teacup pig system would be great, on a normal day he would not argue so fiercely for it. But lately Jia Hyson has felt on edge, his whole body feeling anxious and uncomfortable as if it subconsciously knew his happy ricebug life was ending.

His intuition was soon proved correct.

At the sound of the door unlocking and opening, Jia Hyson instinctively drops everything and jumps onto the bed, lying down with his phone in hand in a manner that still showed off his assets nicely but in a lazy nonchalant way. Most protagonists don't know this but normal people generally are incapable of making actions that are accidentally or naturally sexy unless the person watching them has a specific fetish, sexually repressed, in love with the model in question or has a particularly large brain hole. Ya gots to work for that shit ah.

Unfortunately all his posing was for naught as it was Symon that entered the room.

Well, mostly for naught. Symon at least seemed to enjoy the view. "Y-your highness," he stutters.

Jia Hyson sharply looks up at the man in surprise. He didn't expect Symon and whoever is backing him behind the scenes to work so fast. A large part of him felt even more uneasy. "Symon?"

At the sound of his name Symon quickly snaps out of his daze, "Quickly your highness, it's time to leave,"

Jia Hyson hesitates. If he left now he wouldn't even get to give Sefu a goodbye.

But given his character settings... as a person who has been betrayed and captured by the person he trusts and loves, who had been put under house arrest and blackmailed into sex, it wouldn't make sense to stay.

Even so, he can't help but feel a bad taste in his mouth at his choice. "En," he nods stiffly with a complicated expression, "give a moment to change."

Two days prior Sefu had added a relatively conservative and plain nightgown to the assortment of clothing. Even though it was clearly a woman's nightgown it wasn't too shameful to go out it and it had pockets, which was always a nice addition.

Slipping it on, Jia Hyson hesitates again before snatching the Tiffany brand Princess collar that Sefu likes so much on him. It's not much of a sign but hopefully Sefu will understand a little that his feelings weren't entirely one-sided. Even then he still felt a little reluctant to just leave in his heart, looking around the room and worrying his lower lip indecisively. If he leaves it would bring a lot of trouble to Sefu, it may even bring calamity onto the remaining royal family who were still imprisoned here.

Walking out of the closet he sees Symon nervously tapping at his phone. Symon looks up at him and nods satisfactorily, "Good, okay we have to leave now your highness, our leader has confirmed there are people distracting the guards right now and a horse with another member of group is waiting for you once we leave the palace. From there they'll show you where to go after."

Jia Hyson put on a face filled with trepidation and nods solemnly, "Your leader..." he begins cautiously, "who are they? Is it my big brother?" Prince Jaleel is the only one still running wild and he was previously working in Samotrelis' somewhat more primitive equivalent of the CIA. He's craftier than the second prince and has more powerful men then the first prince, if anyone can cobble together a force to fight against the rebels it's him ah.

Symon blinks and frowns a little, "To be honest, I'm not considered trustworthy enough to know given my, ah, father," Well, fair enough there. "But it should be. However we mainly we communicate through burner phones and online on a small microblog, so I can't say if it's the Third Prince or someone else. I heard our backing is foreign and the Third Prince mainly focused on the inner conflicts of Samotrelis so."

So the Third Prince Jaleel didn't have connections strong enough to get outside help, especially given the fact that most of the countries have taken a wait and see approach. Samotrelis only had recently established mainly business allies in the last decade and hadn't joined any big groups like the United Nations because the politics between leaders during this time was rather fierce and as individuals coming from a bountiful yet rather uneducated land they didn't wish to fall into any schemes and get duped into anything.

It wasn't a completely fair assessment but the xenophobic mindset has been engraved into their bones for a while now, and the younger generation who are more flexible are currently not old enough to have a strong say in such matters leading to this rather unique situation. And Jia Hyson, this spicy chicken transmigrator, didn't know shit about politics and so he never bothered to try convince his father and his advisors otherwise.

Bebe: 'Tell Bebe the truth, you don't vote do you?'

Jia Hyson: 'As an upstanding and law abiding citizen, of course I do!' Of course whether he knows who he voted for is a completely different matter. (/ω\)

Bebe: '…Are you the type who just picks the best sounding name out of the group?'눈_눈

Jia Hyson: 'No, ah. First I pick the party that I sort of recognise that goes with my views, then I pick the best sounding name. If I forget what the party values are then I pick a small party to vote for and hope my part in the grand scheme of things was negligible.'

Bebe: '…' Very good. Will ask Overseer to blacklist any stories that are too political in the future for fear of host's ignorance.

Anyway this meant the chance of Jaleel being the big leader behind this was somewhat lowered. Jia Hyson bites the inside of his cheek anxiously, he already didn't want to leave Sefu and now knowing he didn't know the anti-rebel leader's identity made him want to leave even less. What if it's all a big trap? Symon is smart but he's still fairly inexperienced, it isn't hard to believe he got duped in a big scheme to faceslap Sefu.

After all, unlike his other family members also imprisoned in the palace, Prince Farrell was physically weaker, was a little rusty in his combat skills and had a very recognisable appearance that was currently quite hated. Objectively speaking, isn't he both the worst person to rescue and most affordable person to let escape?

If it is a big scheme then him leaving will not only make Sefu's previous insistences of maintaining house arrest for the royal family a huge joke, it will lower his prestige and trust with the rebels as well as incite them to possibly do something quick, drastic and fatal to the royalty. Worst case scenario, Jia Hyson ends up being recaptured and killed. The Abioye family is also killed. Sefu is deemed a traitor and killed. Symon.. possibly also killed as well, it depends on if his father is willing to save him.

Unfortunately the cracked pot was already smashed. Symon was already here with the getaway horse and a diversion. The castle will probably realise something is afoot quickly. If he backed out now it would also only serve to just be detrimental to everyone all around.

…Ah, really want to go back to arguing about the teacup pig thing and watching people cook and suffer for no money. Such simpler times.

With an ugly expression Jia Hyson let's himself be smuggled out of the castle and is led by another anti-rebel to a helicopter. As they begin to ascend he could see the castle in the distance as the sky quickly darkens into night. Jia Hyson has no idea what sort of distraction they used but from the dark smoke coming out behind the palace, he could safely assume fire was somewhat involved.

Jia Hyson watches silently as the castle, and then the island itself slowly shrinks away. Feeling suddenly quite exhausted he closes his eyes to sleep, hoping that the uneasy guilty feeling in his chest could subside once he wakes up.

It didn't. But it was temporarily pushed aside in favor of pleasant surprise as he wakes up in a somewhat familiar room and smells the much more familiar scent of fried rice in the air. 'Bebe where am I?'

'Host is currently in one of the male lead's apartments.' Bebe replies, 'It seems the big backer to your breakout was Song Chuntao and her boyfriend.'

Jia Hyson raises an eyebrow and takes a look around again. He had almost forgot the number one rule of protagonists- if something big's happening, the main characters must be related to it in some manner. He had subconsciously ignored them since this wasn't a part of their plot but now that he's associated closely with Song Chuntao he must've caught some of her halo.

Bebe: 'Can you, can you not make the all powerful protagonist halo sound like some STD?'

All of a sudden it clicks and he remembers why he faintly recognises this place. "Aiyah that's right! Didn't I sleep with someone here?"

Bebe: '...' Given how much host is such a slag it's statistically probable. 눈_눈

After going through it's memory banks Bebe also recalled the event, it's tone becomes incredibly disgusted as he reminds Jia Hyson of the details, 'You were interested in buying this apartment around seventeen months ago but ended up fucking not only the real estate agent but also the security guard, the maintenance guy, one of the maids and another interested buyer. In the end you didn't buy the apartment. Coincidentally the male lead took interest in it afterwards.'

Jia Hyson: '...' Ah now he remembers hehe. (∩❛ڡ❛∩)

"Farrell!" Song Chuntao who had entered the room with a tray of food in hand immediately drops the tray to a nearby table and rushes toward him.

"Chu Chu?" Jia Hyson stares at her in a daze, acting completely unaware of his newfound knowledge, "What are you-"

"Oh Farrell! Why the hell didn't you- is it true Sefu- are you okay?" Her eyes are wide and filled with worry and complexity, moving Jia Hyson.

With a faint smile, he gently touches her head, "En, I..." however he had to pause, unable to say what he was going to say in good conscience. Both as Farrell and as himself, he really couldn't just say he was alright right now. Deftly he changes the subject. "How did you manage to get in contact with Samotrelis?"

Song Chuntao's eyes flicker, a flash of distress through his face before she swiftly puts back on a smile. Silently she curses those rebel dogs. Clearly her best friend must have suffered unspeakable things! Ah, ah, never mind, best not bring it up again until Farrell wishes to talk about it lest she hurt him even more.

"Honestly, it wasn't me nor Zheng Jinhai," She confesses, "Not for lack of trying of course," She adds, because damn did she try, "but Samotrelis was really reclusive during these times and usually you're the direct link between the outside world and the heart of the island. If we hadn't gotten an anonymous message..."

Jia Hyson blinks, "You mean you aren't a leader behind the anti-rebellion?" Once he realised they were backing the operation he had more or less assumed that, given they were protagonists, would have an active role in it. Thinking about their qualifications and the fact they were main characters… it wouldn't be so out of the realm of possibility to think they managed to use their connections, intelligence and money to contact Prince Jaleel and plan out the rescue.

Song Chuntao blinks back at him, evidently a little confused herself, "Dammit Farrell, I'm a businesswoman, not a politician." She huffs, "Even the Zheng group can't casually bring out soldiers and mercenaries to help prevent the end of some other country's monarchy, honestly how hardcore do you think I am?"

Jia Hyson, who had already imagined 80-90% of the story of Song Chuntao and Zheng Jinhai plans to stop the rebellion in his head: '…Oh. A little embarrassed.'

"In fairness," Jia Hyson laughs awkwardly, "Given you honeypotted your ex while running your own company, you're pretty hardcore ah," After a moment of self-reflection, he thinks of another thing and squints doubtfully at her. "Wait, then you just gave a complete strange a helicopter and financial aid?"

Song Chuntao stares unimpressed by him. "…Farrell, you're complaining an awful lot given that it all worked out."

Jia Hyson raises his hands in a posture of surrender which appeases Song Chuntao somewhat.

"So," he says mildly, "What happens next?"

Song Chuntao's faux angry expression softens into sympathy and determination, "Right now a big counterattack online will occur while the rebels are still trying to get over the blow of losing a prince right under their noses. The anti-rebel leader has told us to focus predominantly on that for now while he focuses on attacking on his side while the rebels are currently suspicious and vulnerable. You don't need to do anything currently until your public image has been sufficiently washed white enough."

Jia Hyson takes in the information seriously and silently asks if Bebe could figure out who this leader it. It had to be someone he knew, even as a familiar acquaintance, the third prince is still the most likely suspect but the fact he's keeping his identity hidden doesn't make sense since he's one, already on the run anyway so it's not like telling people who they are could make him any less wanted by the rebels, and two, it would be much easier to bring in allies.

Of course, being anonymous has it's advantages too but he personally thinks they wouldn't necessarily outweigh the limitations given.

However Bebe could only shamefully admit that it didn't know. Whoever is the leader was very cautious and off the grid. The phones he used for communication were old, and the computer he used has the camera function disabled and covered with duck tape. Bebe couldn't take a peek through the technology being used and triangulating the area it came from didn't really help narrow things down either. Basically it all boils down to Bebe not being rich enough to afford the more OP system functions and that fucking goddamn laser cannon.

Haha. (ꐦ´͈ᗨ `͈ ) It always boils down to that in the end somehow.

Bebe: '…' Sensing danger from host, may reconsider the teacup pig situation.

Jia Hyson smiles warmly at Song Chuntao, trying to convey both exhaustion and hope, "Thank you Chu Chu, I really, really cannot tell you how much I appreciate you helping me right now."

Song Chuntao blushes, "You- don't be a fool, we're friends. And you've helped me so much. How can I just sit around while you're being pushed as a scapegoat among other things." She blusters, suddenly feeling quite coy under such genuine and heartfelt appreciation from such a handsome man. Song Chuntao hadn't seen Farrell for a while now so her resistance to his natural sex appeal had weakened slightly. Also… she also vaguely felt that Farrell had strangely gotten even more erotic since they had last met.

A little moved by her, Jia Hyson leans in to hug Song Chuntao however the door to the room slams open and the distinct smell of vinegar filled the room. Zheng Jinhai strides up and domineeringly and overbearingly pushes Jia Hyson back down onto the bed before possessively slinging an arm over Song Chuntao.

Jia Hyson: '…' Fucking CEO male leads.

"Zheng Jinhai," Jia Hyson greets politely but it's much less friendly than when he was talking to Song Chuntao. It wasn't because he didn't like Zheng Jinhai or that he still had feelings for Song Chuntao or whatever but just due to the fact that he wasn't exactly close to the man.

When the pair got together Song Chuntao had explained everything and formally introduced Jia Hyson to Zheng Jinhai as something equivalent to an ex-boyfriend turned gay best friend, then proceeded to try get the two to buddy up. Unfortunately Zheng Jinhai was written to be a typical male lead who is a cold and ruthless asshole to everyone except for the female lead and only knew how to talk business. Jia Hyson as Farrell was generally very unrestrained and free and knew shit about business but was totally on top of all the popular series' on Netfl*x. They had eventually reached an understanding but they weren't exactly the most compatible people.

Also, Zheng Jinhai like most male leads and gongs, loves to guzzle the unique taste of vinegar and as the only other person who has done various sexual things to Song Chuntao, Jia Hyson is constantly being assaulted by various shows of possessiveness and unwillingly being stuffed with dog food every time he's around the new couple. It's funny reading it but Jia Hyson soon discovers as the recipient, it's super annoying.

"Prince Farrell," Zheng Jinhai nods respectfully, "We're glad to see you're well. Song Song was really worried about you when we realized that we couldn't contact you after you left to Samotrelis."

Jia Hyson's mouth twitches. Even though the words are full of concern there's still a faint but unmistakably distinctive taste of dog food. What 'we', what 'Song Song'? Peh!

Still, Zheng Jinhai was one of his benefactors so he swallowed it down. "Thank you so much."

Zheng Jinhai hesitates before awkwardly comforting him, "Rest for now, there isn't much you can do. Later on we need you to stand up and do a public interview to clarify the situation but the worst of the public blackening should be over by then." He coughs, "You will be staying here for the time being with my older brother in order to minimize suspicions, Song Song and I will be temporarily staying for a while as well with the excuse of meeting my family."

Jia Hyson: ???

Song Chuntao: ???

"This, this apartment isn't yours?" Song Chuntao tentatively asks, evidently also unaware of this.

"It is but my brother uses it more for convenience." Zheng Jinhai simply answers but his voice is much warmer when he looks at her. Then offhandedly he adds to Jia Hyson, "I'll introduce you to him later, he's coming back overseas this afternoon."

Song Chuntao looks at Jia Hyson's blank face helplessly. After all, both of them knew that Zheng Xin didn't need any introductions to Prince Farrell.

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