86 4.4

Now objectively there are three main factors that lead to his death in the story. 

The first and possibly most important one is the protagonist Tang Muxin only meeting him when she's at the point of the story where she is starving to death. 

Because of her unfamiliarity with the world and the original story's Tang Muxin being such an unlikeable spoilt bitch, she had not been fully prepared on her adventure, leading to a dire state of affairs. The story and her memories gave her no concept of money and her current physical strength was barely a tenth of her original body's carefully trained one for obvious reasons. Logically it isn't surprising she suffered. 

Jia Hyson personally likes this beginning premise since it's surprisingly quite a realistic outlook on the transmigration trope. If he himself was the protagonist, he would definitely die without a golden thigh. He wouldn't be able to remember all the old fashioned etiquette, he dislikes the stricter social standards of ancient times and he wouldn't be able to do anything amazing like know how to make soap or makeup from raw materials to give himself a leg up financially. Essentially a big fat spicy chicken. 

Most likely he would end up without an intact corpse with thousands booing his name because he distributed taboo gay erotica with the dragon emperor as the shou due to boredom and a need to make a quick buck. 

Bebe: '…Weirdly specific but not totally implausible to be honest.'(・―・)

Anyways as someone who has suffered a similar, if a less severe case of starving in the first world as Adrian, Jia Hyson is somewhat understanding to her situation of desperately eating any fresh carcass by the road she can find. He isn't happy that the 'fresh carcass' happens to be his own current body. But he's very understanding about it. Somewhat. Somewhat understanding. 

The second point that contributed to his death is the fact he himself was so weak from his own starvation he could only die helplessly. Jia Hyson isn't completely sure if he died before Tang Muxin came or was still alive albeit near his last breath, but either way, the little dragon didn't have the ability to fight back or run away to save his life.

And finally, the last problem was his current dirty and small appearance really just looked like a slightly longer than usual common garden skink lizard. Sure he had ears similarly shaped to a deers but that could be easily passed off as a strange mutation, maybe a reason why the 'lizard' had died so easily in the wild. 

This sort of strange looking lizard, with ears and an oddly bright golden tinge that you can see past the dirt and broken scales... what animal wanted to eat that? Unless they themselves were desperate and willing to risk eating a new and possibly poisonous thing, only the bugs and maybe the rats will take its corpse. 

In a rather depressing way, at least the little dragon got to be sort of cremated by Tang Muxin. Jia Hyson doesn't have the highest standards for his death anymore but if he could he would prefer a cannibalistic-esque death over getting eaten by bugs anytime. He still has a bit of a phobia for fire, he can't afford one for insects either. 

In order to survive and avoid becoming a passerby a la carte dinner, he should find and befriend her or even the original character beforehand before she reaches the point of wanting to eat even mosquito meat. To get to this point he must find his way to the Tang house. But before that, he needs the energy to search in the first place.

In short. All of this can be solved with food. 

...Of course life, unlike Jia Hyson, was not ever going to be easy.

Jia Hyson had been chomping ravenously on a roof tile of the life-sized gingerbread house he had bought in a Bebay bundle deal. However, despite being so small and the roof tile being bigger than himself he had already eaten over half of it. His little scaly stomach was almost unnaturally distended like he was pregnant but Jia Hyson was still utterly starved. 

Physically he was stuffed with food, his body literally unable to stomach anymore but spiritually and mentally Jia Hyson felt hollowed out and weak. It was getting a little terrifying to be honest. 

'Bebe?' Jia Hyson asks urgently in his mind as his mouth kept chewing furiously.

"Wait, I'm buying [World History]." Bebe also sounds panicked. Like it's host, it had also assumed the solution would be simple- eating food- who knew that they would be having such trouble with that? Luckily, Jia Hyson wasn't the only one who had saved up a lot of points, and Bebe didn't spend any until now so he could afford a few basic system skills if needed.

[World History] is a moderately pricey skill that gives a system access to the current world's overarching history. The true history. With all the details and where the various stories fit into them. As long as it's in the past, Bebe will have a general idea on who did what and why and where. Of course to get better details and access to hidden secrets one had to level up the skill. 

Bebe who was familiar with the skill immediately levelled it up to level three, even though it cost nearly half it's points [World History] upgraded into [World Encyclopaedia]. With that, it can unlock everything about dragons which was considered one of the biggest hidden secrets this world had to offer. 

Bebe who read the information: '…Fuck, this character is so unnecessarily complicated.'

Because this story was not only unfinished but had a throwaway inside joke character with a fantasy background, the world's consciousness obviously had to fill in the blanks in order to allow the story to become reality. Meaning it had to incorporate fantasy elements like dragons into its' world order but make it so that in the present day there were no dragons on earth save the one stray baby dragon that somehow is capable of dying so easily despite being a fucking dragon. 

In retrospect, the hardest workers are not the hosts or the systems who strive to maintain and improve, but the worlds and the heavens who have to do the foundational work and logistics. 

In order to accomplish this specific setting, the world's consciousness used a folklore story to help stabilize this world and allow history to flow coherently enough that if one was aware of the whole truth will understand how it's possible for a real baby dragon to be present in a typical ancient china setting. However no matter what it was still going to be slightly ridiculous but who fucking asked this poor world to have to rely on such a spicy chicken author to live? 

The folklore was of course about dragons. 

In times of legends, dragons would roam the earth, making rivers, blessing lands and granting riches and prosperity to those they see fit and deserving. At that time spiritual energy was rich and brimming with vitality across the lands and the world was akin to a low level cultivation world. However over time, humans became greedy, they wished to hunt the dragons down, take their scales, drink their blood and steal their souls. 

Understandably disgusted and disappointed, the dragons left and made a home elsewhere, using their powers to create a space in the sky to live in instead. Good people with strong hearts and relatively pure souls will be naturally attracted there and granted a good life before entering reincarnation. Later on this was considered the Heavens. 

Time passed and without the dragons to sustain the world and protect the land the spiritual energy dwindled to its current state, aka, the normal ancient Chinese setting we all are familiar with. Droughts, famine, disease... there was no trace of the blessed lands of dragons anymore. Dragons became legends and gods that people believed, revered and prayed to, and the emperor was known as the dragon king, the closest to divinity. 

This is how the world is now explained.

As for how Jia Hyson's little dragon body ended up on earth instead of happily living it up in heaven, that was another story entirely. 

Once the dragons entered heaven they established their lives there nicely. However, because they no longer had many humans to serve them they had to suddenly establish a new societal system. 

Dragons had a great amount of pride and none of them wished to bow down to the other. Because of their slow reproduction cycle they didn't have a lot of numbers in their species so on earth there wasn't much contention for land or resources. Heaven was different and a leader was needed in order to get things sorted.

In the end, the golden dragons that specialized in fortune, blessings and riches were considered as leaders. This was simply because they had a great insight to luck, and amazing foresight, able to see karma and to an extent control the heavenly path. With the literal gods of luck as leaders the dragons would definitely prosper. And for thousands of years they certainly did.

However greed isn't just a human emotion and there were some dragon groups that were no longer satisfied and wanted to change the status quo. Earth was originally their world to rule over, they cherished and took care of the lands until it was a perfect living space for them, filled with funny spiritual beasts and subservient adoring humans. 

The fact that it was they who had to retreat because of these humans who they had personally blessed and taken under their protection was something that many thought was humiliating and unfair. After all, they were better than humans in every way, and they were also the ones who were betrayed and wronged by them. Why did they have to give up on their previous lands? 

Still, these thoughts, while common were not very strong either. Though dragons may not appreciate humanity too much anymore it had also been a long time since this clash had happened and most dragons were either too lazy or satisfied with their current situation to wish to change anything. If they really objected to leaving then it wasn't like they couldn't have been stopped ah, at that time it had just been too much trouble. 

Humans, even the blessed ones, may not be even a quarter as strong as them but they were many and reproduced quickly like ants. For dragons whose overall population was only in the thousands at most and took a long time to produce offspring, each loss of a single dragon was more substantial than the destruction of a human city. The arrogant black dragons and the aggressive red dragons who were vilified by the humans were the ones who bore the brunt of a lot of damage and were the groups most unable to accept the loss. 

Over time they had forgotten why they left, leaving only resentment and unwillingness. So they hatched a plan to get the usually peace-loving gold dragons to start a war with the humans by scheming to kidnap their newly hatched baby and dropping it down onto earth. However, none of the dragons realised that human lands, without the dragons nourishing the earth, were nearly completely devoid of the spiritual energy they needed to consume to survive. 

Dragons were the top of every food chain and even if the hatchlings were a little vulnerable they were still more resistant than your average baby animal. At the very least a golden dragon hatchling would be favoured by lady luck and good fortune to escape most problems. So in all fairness, the dragons genuinely did not expect the baby dragon to die so quickly before they rescued it, much less get roasted by a human. 

From there you can more or less figure out that the moment where the The Amazing Transmigrated Journey of the Mesmerisingly Divine Good For Nothing Village Girl finally abruptly stops due to its unfinished status chaos probably occurred in the form of angry dragons descending from the heavens as the reality and consequences leading up to the establishment of the story finally catches up. In fact, even if the story had been finished, the dragons would have probably appeared either way since no matter what, a dragon had been killed on earth and eaten by a human. 

Seriously, if the world's consciousness was a person, it would be crying. 

Jia Hyson who listened to the information relayed by Bebe: '…Fuck, this character is so unnecessarily complicated.'

In short, because Jia Hyson the dragon did not have the necessary spiritual energy for nourishment he would die from starvation. The earth had barely any spiritual energy. Sure there was some but it was like the nutritional equivalent of a potato chip- mostly starch and not at all filling. 

The food that he bought from Bebay had some spiritual energy since they were top quality goods but Jia Hyson was currently a hungry baby dragon. A normal baby already ate and drank so much in order to grow up well, they were essentially money pits for parents. A baby dragon is the same but times a hundred. 

Buying the Kiddie Meal Bundle on Bebay, other than the gingerbread houses which were delicious but was the lowest in spiritual energy, there was also 50 boxes of Goldilocks's Special Oatmeal, 3 of Jack's Magic Beans and a Golden Goose Egg. Bebe quickly scanned the oatmeal, magic beans and egg and un-hesitantly brought out a magic bean. "Eat this, it should tide you over for a little bit."

The egg actually had the strongest concentration of spiritual energy but once cracked open the energy will slowly dissipate from the egg unless the system storage space was either gold or diamond level quality. Which Bebe's was not. It was therefore best to eat it all at once and currently Jia Hyson was too small and too full of gingerbread to be able to finish it all off. Right now a bean should be enough… for like a day or two.

….They were really screwed.

Jia Hyson was barely satisfied with the magic bean however it was enough to at least give him the strength to move for now. "Bebe, how on earth did the dragon originally survive in such a situation?" He groans. Wasn't this pit too big? Why was the situation so hard to deal with? Does he have to spend p in order to live? 

"Originally Tang Muxin's cooking will be enough to nourish the dragon as well as food from the imperial palace," Bebe explains after checking the information. "Tang Muxin as the main character and a transmigrator will obviously have natural golden fingers like her cooking naturally being able to retain spiritual energy that nourishes the soul, strengthens the body and calms the mind. You can also eat well in the imperial palace since the dragon emperor is indeed the closest to divinity. The dragons will occasionally check up on the leaders to confirm a general idea of the status of mortal world every once in a century. If they're satisfied with what they saw or felt some stirrings of compassion they would leave some blessings or do a few good deeds before leaving. This meant that the land where the palace is settled on has more spiritual energy than most and the imperial family would also have some benefits as well. This also indirectly explains why everyone in the imperial family is born so good looking. 

However, humans in this era can't absorb and use the spiritual energy like before, at most they can use it to strengthen the body a bit and improve their martial arts which is why the emperor in the story could still get so sick in the first place."

Jia Hyson listens and sighs in faint relief. Luckily this world was still a reward world, even with this massive pit given to him the system overseer will not make it impossible to live. As long as he meets with Tang Muxin and she doesn't eat him, he can live a nice smooth sailing life as a mini golden thigh pet. 

It seems that the reward worlds like to give a small challenge to the hosts before spoiling them. Jia Hyson couldn't say he appreciates it ah. 

"Okay, I can deal with that. Then tell me where are we in the timeline and how far away are we from the village where the Tang Family live."

"Currently we have been placed one week before Tang Muxin the main character transmigrates into Tang Muxin the cannonfodder maid." Bebe calculates, "Meaning it would be roughly six months before Tang Muxin leaves the Tang household and wanders around before nearly starving and meeting host. Between your position right now and the Tang family house there are at least 500 li (250 km)."

Jia Hyson: _(:3」∠)_ 'Hehe.' Fuck me ah. 

A car can go 100km per hour easily but can a person nay can a weak dragon the size of a common house gecko be able to traverse so far on their own? Forget a week, Jia Hyson would need a century to get there. 

"Can this get any worse?" He complains.

It got worse. 

Not twenty centimetres away from his original spot Jia Hyson was flat on his stomach panting like a dehydrated dog. 

It seems a dragon with no spiritual energy was biologically built like most lizards. As someone who used to major in zoology in his original life, Jia Hyson still remembered a few fun animal facts. One of them is a fascinating observation called Carrier's Constraint. This is the restriction of many air-breathing lizards who will find it very difficult to move and breath at the same time. 

Have you ever wondered why a lizard will run in short bursts, pause for a moment, then run again? This is because when they run they're essentially holding their breath. Pausing will allow them to literally give them a breather. 

It's really a truly interesting factoid but for Jia Hyson right now who had personally experienced the horrifying feeling of his lungs being forced to keep in stale air while at the same time be unable to introduce fresh air into his system during his short run it felt like a death sentence. 

For a moment Jia Hyson genuinely thought of killing himself and leaving this world. 

What pit? This was simply a crater! 

Bebe thought the same way. Right now it's host was a dragon, no matter how weak and small, the constitution is different to a human. The items needed to nourish the body needed to be at a higher level and quality to hold a good effect which meant more p that they currently can't afford.

After some thought Bebe hesitantly offered up a short term plan, "There's a small village not too far away, only 5 li. We can probably reach there quickly enough and find a cart or something to hitchhike." 

Jia Hyson who has been muddled by hunger, panic and exhaustion felt gratitude toward his system. Right now his brain is sluggish and he feels bad all over, even if his system was a big spicy chicken at times who was a little spendthrift that steals his p and hogs the universal wi-fi, Bebe was still a top-quality system who would pull its weight when it counts. 

Bebe: ...Bebe hears praise but somehow feels anger. 눈_눈

It takes a few minutes to get used to his lizard body. The uncomfortable feeling of suffocation from his lungs being suppressed when he crawls was still unpleasant but it was easier to ignore now. Once he adjusted, Jia Hyson finds his speed is actually pretty fast, not as good as a gecko but still it was just under a meter per second. 

If he wasn't worried about stamina and energy consumption he might have seriously considered using his tiny legs to get to the Tang house. Anyway, it didn't take him too long to reach the nearby village. However, there was another problem now.

"Fuck. Everything is so big." Jia Hyson spat out aghast as a passing horse cart nearly stepped on him. Even worse some young woman actually kicked him when he accidentally scuttled too close to her. Now he was forced to run and hide in the shadows, avoiding everything from people to large rats. 

Jia Hyson: '...Are we sure this is really a reward world? Laozi feels a little scammed here.' 

Bebe: '...Bebe will file an appropriate complaint to the Overseer.' 

Hey, nobody said the system was perfect. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ That's why there's a complaint box. And a System-Host Resources department.

Spending system points like water, they quickly bought and upgrading an eavesdropping function and their GPS function to find a merchant heading the direction they wanted to. Bebe was really working overtime here while Jia Hyson slowly nibbled on his second magic bean. 

"Host, there's a young man at your 10 o'clock who says he's from Little Leaf Village," Bebe pipes up with a cheer. "He will head back there tomorrow morning, as long as we hitch a ride we won't have to worry about transport anymore!"

Little Leaf Village is where the Tang family reside… There's not much thought into the name but hey, what you get is what you get. 

Jia Hyson was equally ecstatic with the news as Bebe. Finally some good news. And it seems the man was a farmer who had come here to trade his goods so it wouldn't be hard for a cute little dragon like himself to sneak in. He was so happy his thin body was wriggling in excitement like a joyful worm. "Amazing Bebe! You're so great! I love you! Muah! Muah!"

Bebe: 'Eww, who wants your fake praise hehe,' (/▽\*)。o○♡

Feeling relieved with his current big problem gone for now Jia Hyson does his best to follow his target closely. Unfortunately unlike a gecko, he didn't have the adhesive ability to naturally climb up walls nor did he have the arm strength to lift himself up with his claws which were brittle due to malnutrition so he mainly had to scuttle around the floor, dodging and crawling around all sorts of obstacles. 

It was really stressful ah. He almost got his tail eaten by a cat. 

As he followed the young village man, Jia Hyson noticed that he was quite handsome ah. Not amazingly so but he had a healthy strong looking body, wheat coloured skin, and a very energetic, sunny feeling to his appearance that made people feel comfortable looking at him. Unfortunately with Jia Hyson's limited field of vision he couldn't catch too many details of the man's face, like eye colour for example. 

All he can tell was that this man seemed to be selling vegetables in grass baskets and chickens. Or maybe he had bought the chickens. He had seen the man carry a cage of rather plump looking hens either way. Just looking at those fat birds made Jia Hyson drool enviously. 

Fuck, if he knew he would have been in such a bad situation beforehand he would have definitely gorged himself with some fried chicken. Southern fried chicken. Japanese style kaarage. Sweet chilli coated korean fried chicken. Mhnnn….

Distracted, Jia Hyson doesn't notice that his strange appearance has caught the attention of some village kids. Bebe also hadn't noticed, too busy messaging it's fellow systems and consulting about the cheapest and spiritually rich foods in the system shop.

To be fair, village children were pretty sneaky and fast, many used to herding chickens and catching insects and fishes. They had much better stealth and awareness than Jia Hyson this pretty boy city boy. The moment he realised something was wrong, they had him pretty much surrounded.

"Wow, you weren't kidding Ming Ming, that don't look like any lizard I've seen."

"It's really dirty, and it hasn't moved, do you think it's dead?"

"Are you sure it's even a lizard?"

"I mean, it's shaped like a lizard…"

"But it has ears!"

"And some sort of weird hair fluff on its tail.. ew…"

Jia Hyson glanced at his tail. There was indeed some hair at the end of his tail, originally it was still fluffy and cute but after being dragged into dirt and muck by the inexperienced Jia Hyson, it now resembled an old used toothbrush that had just experienced being used to singlehandedly wash an entire prison bathroom. Self-consciously he hid his tail underneath his little body, a little embarrassed. 

Due to his old social anxiety when he was younger he had always done his best to keep up a good personality and appearance in public never had he looked as dirty and bedraggled as this before. Even if he wasn't human, his thin face in public still remained all the same and he was very unhappy with the curious and faintly disgusted expressions on the children around him. Not to mention, his reptilian hindbrain was feeling very intimidated by being surrounded by humans so much larger than him, his body instinctively tensed up in response. 

"Hey! It moved!"

"Should we catch it?"

"Do you think it's good to eat?"

At the mention of being eaten, Jia Hyson could feel the remnant emotions from the original body go from intimidated to completely batshit crazy. It seems the little dragon had been still alive when Tang Muxin roasted it then ah. However right now it worked to his advantage, he still held the mindset of a human being and a rather lazy nonathletic one at that so he didn't really have the reaction speed or instincts of a wild animal right now. 

Relying on his turbulent emotions and sudden adrenaline rush contribute to heightened fear, Jia Hyson let his body do the work and rush quickly away from those dirty devil children.

Unfortunately, those devil children were very good at being devil children. Even though his body was small and swift, it was still weak and a little unbalanced, it didn't take that long before one of the more eagle-eyed and nimble boys in the group to grab him. The hand practically covered a third of his noodle like body and from the way it was crushing his ribs, there was clearly no consideration toward him.

Jia Hyson is pretty sure he had never killed a child under fifteen before as an evil ghost. But as a baby dragon, he was definitely considering lowering his standards. 

Jia Hyson: 'When I become a big dragon I'm going to come back to this village and squeeze those tiny bastards to death, see how they fucking like it!ψ(`∇´)ψ Hahaha!'

Bebe: '…Bebe didn't even know host could blacken further but it's nice to know the potential of Jia Hyson is limitless.'

Murderous thoughts inside Jia Hyson on the outside was totally helpless, twisting and contorting his body as he tried to escape from the boy's hands. It… it didn't work. 

"I caught it! I caught it!" The boy who had grabbed him exclaims excitedly, shaking Jia Hyson and showing him off to his friends, "Aren't you a slippery guy ah?"

"The lizard is harder to catch than a fish in the river!" One of the other boys complains. 

"You know, when you look closer it's kind of cute," A pretty little girl notes curiously, poking at Jia Hyson's head a little too hard for comfort. Jia Hyson growls warningly but out of his mouth, it sounded like a pathetic high pitched 'mrrrrrr' attracting the girls even more. The pretty girl giggles and pokes him again, "Awww, it likes me!��

Jia Hyson: 'Poke me again and I'll come find you in five years and destroy everything you ever loved.' (╬⓪益⓪)

She poked him again. This time her finger hit his eye. 

So he obviously had to bite her as hard as he possibly could.

Jia Hyson had killed a lot of people, maimed a lot of people and tortured both physically and mentally a lot of people but he can honestly say he had never heard anyone scream as shrill and loudly as this little village girl after getting her finger bitten. 

To be fair, he's pretty sure he had accidentally swallowed a chunk of her finger.

…In his defence, Jia Hyson did not realise his little milk teeth and tiny jaw surprisingly had so much power. 

.....Also, the blood that filled his mouth tasted surprisingly good.

Bebe: '...….....' Bebe just realised that there was a chance that certain humans whose ancestors were blessed by dragons would have quite a decent amount of spiritual energy inside them. 

Jia Hyson was a little tempted to open his mouth again and bite another one of her delicious little fingers but he was immediately thrown onto the ground and kicked by the horrified and angry children. Which is objectively very fair but still. Ow.

The hysterical devil children were not just satisfied with kicking him, but also trying to stomp on his body and throwing things at him. It seems they were really intent on killing him. Jia Hyson felt genuine fear that he may actually die here.

With his small body curled up and trembling under the onslaught, Jia Hyson begins to cry from pain. Who cares if he's a full-grown man inside? Right now he's a fucking baby! And this baby is hurt! 

Where is his fucking daddy?! Daddy! Daddy save this baby! QAQ

Suddenly there were the sounds of someone running toward them, the children begin to shriek and run away at whoever was rushing over. "Da Gong! It's Da Gong! Run!" They were shouting as their chubby legs take them further and further away, no longer interested in bullying the strange creature that hurt one of their own. 

As they escape Jia Hyson gives a sigh of relief before stiffening as he sees the ground darkening as a shadow covers where he lay. Trembling subconsciously from the pain Jia Hyson looks up, curious to see his saviour. At this point he was covered in bruises and was bleeding both externally and internally, he was beyond grateful to whoever stepped in to help him. Jia Hyson was willing to do anything for the other person.

(´▽`ʃƪ) Absolutely anything ah~♡

Bebe: 'You're a dragon the size of a gecko, don't act slutty it's even grosser than usual.' (¬_¬)

Jia Hyson: 'It's the thought that counts ah.' ╮(╯∀╰)╭

With a heart full of gratefulness and expectation, Jia Hyson blinks the blurriness out of his vision to fully appreciate his saviour.

There, standing in front of him, handsomely silhouetted by the blazing sun was a very intimidating and gorgeous figure of… a large black rooster.

A large black rooster with piercingly silver eyes.

Jia Hyson: '...'

Bebe: '...'

Jia Hyson: 'Bebe...'

Bebe: 'Please don't.'

Jia Hyson: 'That is one big black cock.'

Bebe: '...' He did.

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