Translated by Vivian of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Since Finch got bored during breaks between filming, he had brought an erotica to kill time, and it was a book about a sadomasochist relationship in ancient times.
It told of the love and hate between a tyrant and a hostage. If Finch remembered correctly, this scene was when Young Lord Xiao had been held captive in the palace, and because he couldn’t bear the king humiliating him, Young Lord Xiao had tried to escape. Although he got out of the palace, he hadn’t really wanted to escape, because he knew that if he did, then his nation would suffer.
But the king had thought that Young Lord Xiao wanted to leave him, so he had angrily come to take him back…
Ah, all in all, the book had all sorts of exaggerated sadomasochism and BDSM, and it was quite good for reading when one was bored.
But he couldn’t tell Cesar these things, that would be too embarrassing!
Cesar frowned slightly and asked, “What book? Have you read it before?”
Finch cleared his throat and nodded. “Yes, this is an epic masterpiece about the ups and downs of family and country! I read it to pass the time, so I happen to know some of the book’s characters and plot.”
“…And?” inquired Cesar.
Finch said seriously, “What happened just now was probably when Young Lord Xiao, a hostage, tried to leave the palace, and he was taken back by the king, who was furious. I reckon that those paper men see you as the book’s male lead, the emperor, and me as the hostage, Young Lord Xiao. Strictly speaking, we’ve replaced the main characters of the book.”
Cesar thought for a moment before saying, “Why does Young Lord Xiao want to escape from the palace?”
Finch said, “Because the king doesn’t respect him.” More specifically, it was because the king humiliated and molested him…
Cesar nodded, “It seems like the two protagonists are currently in opposition.”
Finch said, “Exactly!”
Cesar asked, “What happens next? From the current situation, it seems that we can’t stray from the plot, or else the NPCs in this world, those paper men, will try to eliminate us. On the other hand, if we follow the plot, there shouldn’t be any danger for now.”
Finch hesitated and said, “Tonight, as long as we stay together and don’t leave this room, nothing should happen…”
Cesar keenly caught the flaw in Finch’s words and said slowly, “Stay together? What kind of staying together will count as following the plot? Or is just staying like this enough?”
Finch was silent.
Of course, they slept together in the book. Because the king got angry and raped the hostage, but how could Finch say that out loud?
Finch looked around and said calmly, “It seems that if we want to leave this place, finding that book is crucial, but how did we enter this world? You’re the expert, do you have any ideas?”
Cesar took a deep look at Finch, but he didn’t inquire further and instead said, “This is a sealed, isolated world. It’s actually about the same as what you’ve experienced before, and it’s just that the energy that forms this world is stronger, so it’s not as simple as a fusion with a part of the real world. Instead, it completely constructed a new, fictitious world, as well as a new plane. It seems like the energy of that book is very powerful, or else it couldn’t have pulled us inside. It should be very famous. What’s its title? Perhaps I’ve read it before.”
Finch said, “…You misunderstand, the theme of that book is quite dark, so it’s not too famous.”
Finch thought, Everyone secretly looks at erotica, okay? And I don’t really understand some of what you just said… Is it not a ghost this time?
Cesar raised the corner of his mouth. “Is that so? Do you still remember where you put this book?”
Although Cesar’s expression was very relaxed, there was none of that calmness in the depths of his eyes. Everything was taking a turn for the worse, and Finch’s energy was getting more and more unstable. Finch’s influence on this world was already becoming more and more obvious.
After two years, not only had the world changed, so had he.
Last time, it had only been limited to Qi Zhen’s villa, and it had made all of Qi Zhen’s personalities manifest into reality, giving Qi Zhen an opportunity to kill his other personalities. This time, it had even directly caused the things in this book to emerge and speed up the fusion of the collided planes. This was also why it was easier for abnormalities to occur when Finch was near him.
If Cesar had guessed correctly…
The chairman was probably aware of all of this, which was why he had sent Finch to Cesar again. However, two years ago, Cesar had already decided to never let Finch get hurt by anyone, no matter what.
It was still the same, and it had never changed.
Cesar looked at Finch in his clueless state and frowned as he slowly concealed the worry in his eyes.
Suddenly, Finch punched his fist into his palm and said, “I put the book in the lounge, but… we won’t be able to find the lounge now…”
Finch felt that he had caught up on a trend by traversing into the book. However, in stories, people who entered books always had a fun, exciting adventure of their lifetimes, yet Finch had to follow the plot step by step. If he was careless for even just a moment, a horde of paper men would chase after him and try to kill him.
Finch felt that he had been scammed!
Just as Finch was feeling sour, Cesar suddenly walked over and opened the door!
Finch was shocked and wondered what Cesar was doing. He looked nervously at the paper guards at the door, scared that their eyes would turn red like before and attack them again. However, several seconds passed, and the paper men didn’t react at all.
Cesar pressed his lips together tightly, and his keen gaze swept over the paper men in front of him. After a while, he said lightly, “Go bring all of the books in the palace to me, I want to see them. Remember not to omit any.”
The paper guards said immediately, “Yes, Your Majesty!”
Cesar nodded slowly and closed the door, walked back, and looked at Finch’s slack expression.
He raised an eyebrow and chuckled lightly. “What is it? Were you scared?”
Finch forced a laugh.
Cesar said slowly, “Based on what you said, when we came to this world, the scene we were in was part of the book’s plot, so you knew how to respond. Once we stray from the plot, the NPCs will become aggressive and eliminate us like a virus. But from tonight to tomorrow, there are no other people in the plot besides the two of us, and the book might not have even described this in detail. So if the book didn’t describe it… or there are no other people in the plot, what can we do? I want to try.”
Finch suddenly realized that he had really been scared just then, so much so that he couldn’t react. Actually, it wasn’t that he couldn’t think of it, it was just that he was too cowardly and didn’t dare to try…
But Cesar’s fighting prowess was super powerful, and he wasn’t cowardly at all! It would be fine even if something went wrong.
Cesar glanced at Finch. “So far, it seems that when the book doesn’t talk about things, as long as we don’t deviate too much from the overall plot, we won’t cause a reaction from the NPCs.”
Finch looked at Cesar in admiration. “So you wanted to use your identity as the emperor to tell them to help us find the book. That’s naturally much easier than us looking for it ourselves.”
Cesar smiled faintly. “Yes. Let’s rest now, we still have to search for the book.”
When he mentioned resting, Finch’s face reddened a little. There was only one bed here, and of course, sleeping next to Cesar was ideal. However, Finch felt a little guilty and said, “I’m not tired, I’ll think about what we should do tomorrow.”
Cesar turned around to look at Finch. “Really?”
Finch nodded solemnly to show that he was serious and thought, If you offer for me to rest, I won’t decline…
However, Cesar said, “Okay, then you go ahead and think. I’m going to rest. If something happens, just wake me up.”
Finch was speechless and thought, No, you definitely can’t be the Cesar I met two years ago!
Finch watched as Cesar got onto the bed before saying, “I thought for a bit, but I can’t think of anything right now. I think it’d be better if I recharge my energy for tomorrow.”
Cesar opened his eyes and glanced at Finch indifferently, and then moved to one side of the bed before closing his eyes again.
Finch had originally been a little panicked, but seeing Cesar’s calmness, Finch decided that he was thinking too much and obediently laid down on the bed.
Early in the morning the next day, the guards had collected all of the books in the palace and piled them in two carts outside the palace.
Cesar ordered them to go away and stand guard before saying to Finch, “You look at that cart, I’ll look at this one.”
Finch looked at the pile of books that was practically like a small mountain and realized that it would be quite a lot of work. However, when he flipped open the first book, he was dumbfounded. Then, Finch quickly grabbed some more books and flipped through them before looking back at Cesar.
They made eye contact. “Are all of your books also blank?”
Although the two carts were filled with books, these books were all just blank white paper without any words. Finch was in disbelief as he flipped through them one by one.
The two of them looked for an entire morning and finally confirmed that these books were all blank.
Cesar said, “It seems that finding that book isn’t going to be that easy. However, this is also good news.”
Finch said, “What good news?”
Cesar replied, “This means that the book is indeed the key to leaving, and it’s special in this world, so we only need to find that book. However, continuing to blindly search like this won’t yield any results. Can you think of where that book might appear? Tell me whatever comes to your mind.”
Speaking of it, the two of them had already been in this world for a day and a night, and Finch was starting to get hungry. He was about to ask Cesar if he could tell the NPCs to make lunch, but suddenly, someone came in to tell them that the prime minister had requested to see the emperor and was currently waiting outside.
Finch came back to his senses at once and knew that the plot was starting to progress again. And the next part of the plot… was really hard to say out loud, and it wouldn’t be so easy to fool Cesar.
Cesar didn’t tell the prime minister to come in immediately; instead, he looked at Finch, using his eyes to ask what the next part of the plot was.
Finch was uneasy and didn’t want to reply, but when he recalled the overwhelming mass of red-eyed paper men from yesterday, he shivered.
He hesitated for a moment before saying, “Prime Minister Gongsun Jin has feelings for Young Lord Xiao, so when he heard that the emperor had caught Young Lord Xiao and brought him back to the palace yesterday, the prime minister was worried and found an excuse to come here to make sure that Young Lord Xiao was safe. And then…”
Cesar stared at him.
Finch averted his gaze and mustered up his courage. “The emperor picked up on Gongsun Jin’s feelings for Young Lord Xiao, so he misunderstood and thought that Young Lord Xiao and Gongsun Jin were together. Thus, the emperor purposely, um, flirted with Young Lord Xiao in front of Gongsun Jin…”
There was suddenly an unbearably awkward silence.
After a while, Cesar said breezily, “This is the epic masterpiece about family and country?”
Finch’s ears reddened and he felt ashamed, so he looked away and pretended he hadn’t heard anything.
Fortunately, Cesar didn’t inquire any further and instead ordered the guards, “Tell the prime minister to come in.”
The prime minister walked in and kneeled respectfully, pretending as if he didn’t see Finch at all.
The book had talked about all of this. Gongsun Jin had been worried about Young Lord Xiao’s safety and was scared that he had been harmed by the tyrant. Thus, he had hastily rushed over to see him, yet he didn’t dare to show it in the slightest and could only cautiously use his peripheral vision to look at Young Lord Xiao. However, the emperor still picked up on it, so he decided to flirt with Young Lord Xiao. It was partly out of jealousy, and partly to punish one to warn others.
Finch was absent-minded as he recalled the book’s plot. When he had read this part, he had felt quite good, and he quite liked the prime minister, who was a polite antagonist. However, he and Cesar had become characters in the book, and when he thought about what would happen next, Finch wasn’t in the mood to look at the supporting character. He felt terrible, so he only looked up and glanced at him briefly.
Finch froze at once.
Compared to Gongsun Jin, the other paper men in this world were crude!
The man in front of Finch looked gentle and had delicate features. He was dressed in white robes and was wearing a tall crown. His demeanor was elegant, his expression was realistic and he didn’t appear any different from a real person! Of course… the premise was that one had to look at him from the front.
From the front, he looked like a standard second male lead!
Ignoring the sad reality that he was just a piece of paper when looking from the side… Finch thought that he was definitely the best paper man Finch had ever seen, and if it was made into a game, just on the appearance of this paper man, Finch would definitely pay for it!
Gongsun Jin glanced at Finch sneakily, concealing the worry in his eyes. He seemed to be deeply in love and wanted to say something, but stopped himself.
Finch thought, His acting skills are superb. How tragic… I’m even worse than a paper person at acting. Finch got lost in thought… The next moment, a tall figure suddenly stepped over Finch and wrapped him into an embrace.
Finch was caught off guard, looked up in a panic, and saw Cesar, whose face was quite close to his.
Cesar looked down and said in a low voice so that only Finch could hear him, “How… should I flirt with you?”
Finch felt his warm breath by his ear, and when he heard Cesar use his deep, magnetic voice to slowly ask Finch how he should flirt with him, Finch suddenly felt his face heat up…
Before Finch could think of how he should reply, the corner of Cesar’s lips quirked upwards and he said with a hint of amusement, “If you don’t know… then shall I improvise?”
Wait, would that really work?
Finch widened his eyes and was just about to discuss it with Cesar when suddenly, Cesar lowered his head and kissed Finch on the lips.