Translated by Vivian of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Finch looked at the intact, undamaged book in his hand, and felt cold sweat drip from his forehead. He could see the paper guards rushing towards them, and Cesar raised his sword, cutting the two guards into pieces. Then, he grabbed Finch and ran!
The two of them quickly returned to the bedroom, and after Cesar closed the door, he frowned at the book in Finch’s hand.
Finch finally felt a little worried, and he wasn’t scared of getting embarrassed anymore, so he directly offered the book to Cesar, asking, “You try it?”
Cesar nodded and ripped up the book. This time, it worked, and the book came apart into two pieces.
Finch’s eyes lit up, but before he could rejoice for even just a few seconds, the torn-apart book slowly recovered and became whole again, without any traces of damage on it.
Cesar’s expression darkened a little.
His strength was unparalleled, but although he had forcefully destroyed the book, the book’s essence hadn’t been damaged, so the book could recover, thus keeping them trapped in this world.
Cesar pressed his lips together, put the book on the floor, and hacked at it with his sword. However, the sword that could cut iron like it was mud also couldn’t damage this thin book.
The two of them examined it for the entire night.
They used swords to cut it, fire to burn it, and water to drench it… They tried everything they could think of.
Finch didn’t sleep and instead stared at the intact book with wide eyes, exhausted and at a loss.
They had already gone through most of the book and were approaching the ending. Before, there hadn’t yet been a strong sense of urgency. After all, they had been safe. However, the next part of the plot… Finch couldn’t help but begin to worry.
Because following the plot wouldn’t work.
But if they didn’t follow the plot, then the paper people were bound to go into annihilation mode, and they would die all the same.
And this book clearly couldn’t be damaged by external forces.
Just as Finch was hesitating and lost in thought, Cesar looked at him, his expression solemn, and said slowly, “What’s tomorrow’s plot?”
Finch paused and said, “The prime minister, Gongsun Jin, has wanted to rebel for a long time, so during the Autumn Hunt tomorrow, he’s going to ambush the emperor. However, although Young Lord Xiao always rejected the emperor, he’s still less willing to see Gongsun Jin succeed, Young Lord Xiao still has some feelings for the emperor. Thus, during the Autumn Hunt, to save the emperor, Young Lord Xiao was severely injured.”
Cesar frowned deeply. “Injured?”
Finch nodded. “And…” He was silent for a moment before continuing, “And this book is a tragedy, so Young Lord Xiao dies soon after because of the injury…”
Cesar was speechless. The veins on his forehead bulged slightly as he thought, So you didn’t even think too much about such an important ending before?!
Cesar gently flicked Finch’s forehead and huffed coldly, “Sleep.”
Finch was dazed. “What do you mean, sleep?”
Cesar said, “Don’t we have to get up soon to continue the plot?”
“…I’m about to get injured and die soon, aren’t you distressed?” Finch put his hands over his heart and looked pitifully at Cesar.
Cesar’s eyes were dark as he looked at Finch. “You’re. Not. Going. To. Die.”
Finch ended up sleeping because he was exhausted from last night. However, it was already approaching dawn, so he didn’t get much sleep before he had to get up.
When he woke up, he saw that Cesar was sitting on the floor impassively, and it seemed that he had been sitting like that for a very long time already. Finch was surprised. “You didn’t sleep?”
Cesar didn’t reply to the question and only said indifferently, “We should get going now.”
Finch looked down and saw that Cesar was holding the book, and he felt his face heat up a little… So Cesar had still read it. However, Cesar was a very serious person, so he must have only been reading it to know about the plot. After all, when Finch had explained the plot, he had skimmed over the details.
And judging from Cesar’s serious expression, unaffected by reading this sort of book, Finch marveled at his composure.
When Finch realized that Cesar would be facing the assassin soon, he said, “Why don’t I keep the book with me?”
It was better to bring such an important thing with them at all times.
Cesar nodded and handed Finch the book. Finch stuffed the book into the fold of his clothes and was sufficiently prepared to go outside with Cesar.
After about half a day, they arrived at the royal hunting grounds. It was very lively here, and besides a large number of paper guards, there were also a lot of servants and courtiers, including Gongsun Jin.
Cesar’s cold gaze swept past Gongsun Jin unwaveringly. Then, Cesar put Finch onto his horse and mounted behind him, wrapping an arm around Finch’s waist as he spurred the horse into a gallop.
Finch felt the aura of the man behind him envelop him, and as he and Cesar rode the horse into the forest. Finch suddenly felt that everything was a little surreal. Speaking of it… the horses here weren’t made out of paper.
In fact, not only were the horses not made out of paper, everything here was exactly the same as if they were real except for the people.
Only he and Cesar were real people.
Just as Finch’s mind began to wander, he heard Cesar’s husky voice cut through the blustering wind. “Are you scared?”
Finch thought about it and nodded truthfully.
Cesar looked at Finch, paused, and then said grimly, “Don’t worry, I won’t leave you behind.”
When he said this, his voice was low, and he seemed to be implying something else that Finch didn’t understand, but what Finch was sure of was that Cesar’s tone was certain.
Finch didn’t really understand, but he was convinced that Cesar wouldn’t lie to him.
This put Finch’s mind at rest.
Suddenly, Cesar reined in the horse, grabbed an arrow from the quiver on his back, drew his bow, and released!
The arrow didn’t pierce any animals, but it pierced a human. The paper assassin that was dressed in all black was pinned to a tree by the arrow like a piece of paper that was glued to the tree, inexplicably absurd and comical.
Finch was stunned.
Then, he suddenly understood; Cesar hadn’t intended to wait for Gongsun Jin, the assassin, to do anything, and instead, he had directly killed the assassin first, nipping the danger in the bud. The assassin had already died, so naturally, the assassination that was supposed to follow wouldn’t occur, which meant that Finch safe and sound.
Sure enough, Cesar hadn’t lied to him.
But… since he had chosen to stray from the plot, they were now about to be surrounded and attacked by countless paper people.
The hairs on the back of Finch’s neck stood up, because the hunting ground they were in right now had thousands of paper people, and from this moment onwards, they became the only two prey! They were practically facing an endless, invincible army!
Cesar pulled the reins, his expression still calm and indifferent as he looked impassively at the overwhelming number of paper people running towards them. Their red eyes made them look like demons as they surged towards them like tidewater. The paper people had been dispatched the moment the assassin was killed.
Finch looked anxiously at Cesar, and although he was very moved by how Cesar had abandoned the plot directly for him, the only difference from before was that originally, only Finch would die, but now, it was likely that both of them would die.
No matter how powerful Cesar was, there would still be a time when he got exhausted, but the paper people wouldn’t.
Finch thought, When you killed the paper assassin, did you think of a way to face the paper people’s attacks that will inevitably come?
Cesar smirked faintly and squinted slightly at the paper people charging towards them. “This hunting ground is very large, and it’s close to a natural chasm. As long as we can get to the other side and cut the bridge, they won’t be able to catch up to us.”
Cesar was very casual about it, but the chasm was still the border of the hunting ground, and there were still a lot of paper guards there!
In reality, the paper army was now closing in on them from all sides, so no matter which direction they chose to break through, they would still have to clear a path for themselves.
Cesar glanced at Finch, and his expression seemed to be a little gentle as he said, “Sit tight.”
Then, he tapped the horse with a riding crop, and they set off at a gallop!
Finch lurched backward because of his inertia and crashed into Cesar’s arms. Finch looked up and saw Cesar’s clenched jaw and suddenly thought… the only thing he could do now was to do his best not to hinder Cesar.
At this moment, Finch finally understood some of what Cesar would do for him, but what Finch didn’t understand was…
Finch didn’t understand what part of himself was worthy enough for Cesar to do something to this degree for him. Clearly, Cesar had a safer way to buy some more time. After all, in the book, the emperor would live for many more years, so Cesar could’ve chosen to abandon Finch.
But he didn’t.
Perhaps it was because Cesar had enough confidence that he could face all of these difficulties, but if it wasn’t for Finch, then why would he bother to go as far as this?
And as for Finch? He couldn’t even cross such a tiny hurdle at the time.
And when they reunited, he didn’t even have enough courage to confess his feelings.
Finch didn’t dare to tell Cesar that actually, he hadn’t forgotten him.
Cesar didn’t look at Finch because there was no time. He spurred the horse along a small path in the woods and turned all of the paper people in their way into piles of paper shreds. Cesar constantly checked in all directions for signs of the paper people, and he also firmly protected Finch the entire time as he literally killed everything in his way.
The paper people realized that they had no way of getting close to Cesar, so some of them began to shoot arrows at them. To shield Finch, Cesar’s shoulder was grazed by an arrow, drawing some blood!
They approached the rope bridge.
Cesar abruptly spurred the horse across it and used his sword to cleanly slice through the rope, making it impossible for the paper people behind them to cross the chasm. However, they still surged forwards like relentless tidewater and fell down the cliff, yet they still kept running forwards, trapped in the chasm.
Cesar only glanced at them once before quickly bringing Finch away. They arrived at the back of a small hill, and when he was sure they were out of the lines of sight of any paper people, Cesar dismounted the horse and carried Finch off.
Finch was still immersed in Cesar’s invincibility just then, and when he thought about the thrilling chase, he praised admiringly, “If you act in a wuxia movie, you won’t even need special effects! How awesome!”
Finch tried to make light of the situation by cracking a joke, but he saw that Cesar, who had clearly just succeeded in bringing them both out of harm’s way, wasn’t joyful at all. On the contrary, Cesar was staring fixedly at Finch, and his expression even had a hint of panic in it.
Finch was confused and asked, “What is it…”
Suddenly, Finch felt a twinge at his abdomen, and when he looked down, he was speechless.
His abdomen was covered in blood, and it had already stained his clothes as it dripped down the hem of his shirt…
Finch looked up at Cesar, confused, and at a loss. Finch was a hundred percent sure that he hadn’t been injured just then, as it was impossible he could’ve gotten injured without him realizing it.
Yet he was still injured.
There was no arrow, only the wound as if it had appeared out of thin air. However, the pain and weakness he felt was real. Finch swayed and felt the dizziness of having lost too much blood. Just before he collapsed to the ground, Cesar reached out and caught him.
“How could this happen…” mumbled Finch.
Cesar also didn’t understand, but this was the worst possible predicament they could be in. Even if he changed the plot, the ending still wouldn’t be changed. Whether he had prevented the assassination from happening or not, the energy in this world would still follow its original track.
The paper people couldn’t catch up to them, so the energy made ‘Young Lord Xiao’ get injured anyways.
This was an ending in which he had to die!
A hint of red appeared in the depths of Cesar’s eyes as he looked fixedly at the person in his arms. A violent impulse arose in his heart, and he practically wanted to destroy everything!
He wouldn’t accept an ending like this!
Finch covered his abdomen. This was the first time he had been at death’s door, and to say that he wasn’t scared nor panicked was a lie. But even if he was scared and panicked, so what? Even things as absurd as going into a book and meeting paper people had happened, but Finch was only an ordinary person…
Even if the world needed to be saved, then it should be Cesar or the police officers, like Gong YaoYing, to save it. Finch seemed to just have the fate of a cannon fodder…
But as cannon fodder, he had even embroiled Cesar and made him spend all that effort in vain. Finch said unhappily, “If we knew this was going to happen earlier, then you should’ve just left me alone and follow the plot…”
Cesar snapped, “Shut up!”
Finch wasn’t scared anymore, as he was about to die. He fished out the book from the fold of his clothes with a trembling hand and stuffed it into Cesar’s hands, exhorting, “Later, just leave me alone. Maybe when I die, the plot will return to its normal track. Play your character well and don’t be so reckless anymore, and you can slowly think of a way to leave.”
Cesar’s hands were trembling slightly, and a hint of affliction finally appeared in his expression.
You idiot, thought Cesar, you’re still worried about me at a time like this? So this time, you’re going to make me leave by myself again? Do you know, my biggest regret is leaving you in the first place? If I had known things would end like this, then why go through so many twists and turns? Why let go?
Cesar gritted his teeth and enunciated, “It’s not over yet.”
They could still think of something.
This time, I’m not going to listen to you again and let go so easily.
Finch thought, Stop comforting me, you’ve already done everything you can. If I have to die even after all of that, then what other way can there be? This damned book can’t even be destroyed. Finch really regretted reading this erotica, especially one with a bad ending. Serves me right.
It was just a pity that Finch finally knew how much Cesar liked him. Actually, at the time, Finch hadn’t wanted to break up with him…
Right, and if Finch died and Cesar could escape, then he would have to help him tell his parents, sister, and brother-in-law that he had died…
Finch felt himself grow weaker and weaker, and he clutched Cesar’s sleeve, looking up at him with great difficulty. “I…”
However, before he could finish, Cesar suddenly grabbed Finch’s wrist, and his voice that was always indifferent was now filled with tension and uncertainty as he said hoarsely and shakily, “Your blood stained the book.”
Finch thought, What’s so special about that? He was bleeding profusely and had been carrying the book, so it was very normal for his blood to get onto the book… Wait! Finch’s eyes widened. That wasn’t normal!
Yesterday, they had tried everything, but couldn’t leave any marks on this book. However, the book had been stained with his blood.
Blood can leave marks on the book?
Could it be that blood was the key to getting out of this world? They had thought for the entire night yesterday, but neither had thought of this!
Finch naturally didn’t want to die, so he struggled to say, “Give the book to me.”
He opened the book and used his bloodstained finger to wipe the cover of the book. When Finch saw that the smears of blood stayed there and didn’t disappear, he looked at Cesar and said, “I might’ve thought of a way to change the ending!”
Finch directly flipped to the last page of the book and looked at the ‘The End’ written there. He felt extremely furious at the author who had written this erotica with a bad ending! He fiercely used his blood to blot out ‘The End!’
Then, he wrote two more sentences at the end.
[After Young Lord Xiao died, he discovered that everything had just been a dream. He successfully returned to reality and lived a happy life with the emperor.]
After he drew the last period, the scenery around them suddenly rippled.
Finch felt everything spin, and at the last moment, he firmly grabbed Cesar’s arm!
At this time, the only thing he could think was, My gamble paid off!