The moment he noticed the truck heading towards him his mind blanked. Given Shen Yuan's position at the speed the vehicle was going at, there was no way it would stop in time.
He was about to become kabab.
Unlike what he had thought previously, it felt like an eternity before everything went black. A hundred thoughts rushed inside his head.
This was like one of those scenes in manga. Was he about to be isekai -ed? God, that would be so cool, but wait, he can't. Shen Yuan has to pick up his sister from her school, he promised her he would take her to that cute little store she had been wanting to visit for ages! God, did he leave the stove on-?
He never expected to wake up again. He was glad, don't get him wrong, but he seriously hoped he wasn't going to spend the rest of his life confined to a hospital bed.
He would die .
Shen Yuan had a mini breakdown when he realized that not only was he in a fictional world now, he was in the RPG version of Proud Immortal Demon Way. The game had only been released a few days ago and Shen Yuan hadn't even had the time to make an account! He knew nothing of it! He had heard that the game went in a different direction from the book, and while Shen Yuan was excited, he hadn't wanted to spoil the fun and stayed away from spoilers.
He shouldn't have.
And now he had a little brother?
Did they not even bother to give him a System or something? A cheat!?
HE WANTED A FUCKING REFUND!!!!!
His baby brother was, unlike what his appearance suggested, a little shit. But he was his little shit now, so Shen Yuan learned to bite his tongue and bear it with a smile, surprisingly though, he wasn't very hard to love despite what one would think given his cold personality. Perhaps it was because Shen Jiu reminded him a little too much of his baby sister that Shen Yuan grew to care about him as fast as he did.
“Xiao-Jiu!” Ah, and there was him.
Shen Yuan and him were about the same age, though they couldn't really be sure since they were too young when they were abandoned and time was a difficult thing to keep track of. Shen Jiu on the other hand was a handful of years younger, but that didn't stop the puppy of a man to stick to him.
When Shen Yuan and Yue Qi were in their teens, the town they were living in suddenly got news that the castle was recruiting people. Yue Qi had been eager since it meant that there would be a chance of him becoming a knight, and thus, bettering their lives.
The Shen brother on their part, were excited too. However, the older Shen had been working at an apothecary near their home for some time now, and thanks to that income they had been able to live quite comfortably the past few months. All of them were reluctant to leave that; none of them were sure they would be able to find a job that would make them feel economically safe.
Shen Yuan had offered to stay behind and send them funds; he would move into a smaller place with lower rent and write letters bi-weekly.
Shen Jiu refused immediately. It would be the first time in his short 13 years that he would be away from his older brother, and was reluctant to separate from the person that had practically raised him. Yue Qi also seemed reluctant to leave him alone, yet both of them new that another chance like this would not come by easily.
It was with a heavy heart that Yue Qi packed his bags and left on a rainy day. Shen Jiu a few steps behind him, turning his head back to see Shen Yuan every few steps until they disappeared in the distance.
Weeks went by, and while Shen Yuan's life became lonely without his companions, he busied himself enough so that he wouldn't need to feel that way. Eventually, he received a letter from Yue Qi telling him enthusiastically that he had been selected to become a knight, and that his training would begin soon. He also wrote that Shen Jiu did not pass the examinations, but that the palace mage had offered to take him as an apprentice.
Shen Yuan was ecstatic for both of them, but a little sad that he wasn't there to hug them and congratulate them in person. Still, he knew it was for the better. His brothers were out there studying and making themselves a life of their own and he couldn’t be prouder. Recently, he had managed to expand the business’ relationship with the guilds in town, which had incremented his salary enough so that he could indulge a little bit in some extra pastries a day or two without feeling like he was cheating money out of his brother's share. He was also given the opportunity to officially become the store's apprentice.
All was good.
NOTHING WAS GOOD!
EVERYTHING WAS TERRIBLE!
REFUND! HE WANTED A REFUND!!!!
Shen Yuan screamed hysterically inside his head while maintaining a serene smile on his face.
Why you ask?
Because it turns out that the scum villain of this shitty story was his little brother.
Ex-fucking- cuse me?
A few months back it had been Yue Qi's knight ceremony where he was formally knighted and given the name of Qingyuan. Nothing had really popped in Shen Yuan's head at the name, but now that he was watching his brother being given the title of mage and his courtesy name, Shen Yuan felt like bawling.
Shen Qingqiu your grandma!
The fuck!? Are they trying to kill his baby brother?
Stuff that name wherever it fits, we don't want it. Dishonor to you! Dishonor to your family! Dishonor to you cow!
Leave us and go suck on a goat's tit!
No one, however, knew what he was actually thinking as his face showed absolutely nothing.
Wait a minute, Shen Jiu might had been cold and a little shit, but his brother was definitely not a scum, and his relationship with Yue Qingyuan was very different from the original story.
Did that meant he wasn't the main villain anymore?
The years went by and there was no sign that Shen Yuan's brother was planning on going rouge, if his disgustingly sweet actions with Yue Qi were anything to go by, so Shen Yuan let a sigh of relief leave his mouth. During that time he had inherited the business from the master after he retired and admitted neither of his children were very good at managing the store and had no plans of working there. Shen Yuan was a little reluctant since he didn't want to become the sudden target of assassination attempts for unwittingly stealing someone's inheritance. It took a lot of convincing and a long talk with the children of the store owner to finally agree.
Soon after taking ownership of the business, it was like a damp broke. Suddenly, letters from all over starting to arrive. Some wanted to congratulate them, others offered to become a business partners, while some others hinted at other kind of partnerships.
Shen Yuan did his best to let the meaning of those fly above his head.
In the meantime, he had to hire a couple of helping hands to help him manage the store and do deliveries. Which is why he took Ning YingYing, Ming Fan, and most recently Luo Binghe under his wing.
The names prickled at something in his memory, but when no concrete information came forward, he dismissed as them being simple NPCs or canon fodders. Shen Yuan promised himself he would love and take care of his cute little lambs
Nothing else mattered.
Someone come and shoot Shen Yuan. End this pitiful man right now.
He is now and forever the most unreliable person in the entire universe, universes, or whatever.
He forgot about the protagonist. He actually forgot about him. He forgot about his name and his appearance and his life and-
He fucked up!!!!!
When he had taken Luo Binghe he had done so with the intention of making him his apprentice, perhaps turning him into his heir. And when Shen Jiu had approached him and hinted at wanting to teach him, while he had been sad, he was also happy for his Binghe for Shen Yuan knew that he dreamed of working at the palace.
Watching Luo Binghe depart had been hard, much harder than he remembers departing with his brothers had been. The weeks following his departure were filled with an emptiness that made him feel never would be alright again, and he often dreamt of the time when Binghe was still at the store. YingYing and Ming Fan were quick to try to help him get out of his funk, but nothing seemed to help.
The next few years helped sooth his heart, and the letters from Yue Qi and Shen Jiu helped settles his worries. That was until he learned that the capital was suddenly in lockdown. No one could get in, no one could get out.
A rebellion had started.
Shen Yuan felt his like his heart was trying to leave his body via his throat.
He didn't think it was Shen Jiu who was the enemy, he couldn't be. Shen Yuan wouldn't believe until he saw it with his own eyes and received confirmation from his brother himself.
Still, with no news, Shen Yuan couldn't help but fear for the worst.
Perhaps it was due to the stress he was suffering at the current time, that his brain suddenly decided it was time to spit out some information that might have been useful like... YEARS AGO!?
Luo Binghe was the main character and he had raised him for a few years?
Ah... His blood pressure was through the roof...
The lockdown only lasted for a few days, but it felt like years. The doors of the capital were open again and things seemed to settle down once again. A new king was announced and the treachery of the former one announced to the people.
The news of this arrived alongside a letter from Yue Qi urging Shen Yuan to travel to the capital, as his presence was required. Shen Yuan froze in fear, thinking that his brother was terribly hurt, and he rushed as soon as he finished reading the paper. Two days later he arrived at the capital.
He was welcomed at the door by a smiling Yue Qi and a grumpy, but unhurt, Shen Jiu. The weight in his chest was finally lifted, but the unease did not disappear.
The hugged him and promised to explain further once they were back at the castle, so Shen Yuan nodded and followed behind them, distractedly taking notice that there was a horde of knights walking behind them.
His little brothers must be so important and loved by their peers!
As they walked and Shen Yuan listened Yue Qi's quiet chatter, he couldn’t help but notice the looks he was receiving from the people they walked pass. Most of them had curious looks on their faces, some even going as far as pointing at them. Women tittered behind their hands with smiles and blushes on their pretty faces, and children enthusiastically waved at them. Men were a little more discreen, but some of them were also smiling and blushing in their direction.
Weren't they looking at him a little too hard?
Shen Yuan frowned worriedly for a moment, a blush of shame covering his face. Did he look funny? Had be perhaps dressed inappropriately? He did rush out of his town so he might have dressed sloppily, but he didn't think so?
Oh! Perhaps they were looking at his brothers, Yue Qi and Shen Jiu were undoubtedly handsome, but they were also married to each other so...
Well, there was no reason why they couldn’t admire from afar.
Look but don't touch, his little brothers are taken and very much happy!
Soon enough they arrived at the castle, a long line of knights standing on each side of the red carpet that led directly to the doors of the magnificent building. A single person standing at the other end.
Shen Yuan had recognized him immediately, even after years, there was no was for him to forget his sticky apprentice. He ran forward, forgetting about where exactly he was at the moment and taking no notice of his little lamb's extravagant clothing, once when he was close enough, he flung himself towards the other male that swiftly caught him in is arm and even twirled him around before hugging him close to his chest.
The transmigrator allowed himself to cuddled for a moment, basking on the warmth and safety Binghe's arm provided, before someone cleared his throat.
Shen Jiu stood behind them with a deadpan look on his face. The older Shen froze for a moment before he realized his position and urged Binghe to left him down.
But he didn't.
Instead, his position was suddenly changed and Shen Yaun found himself being carried like a little princes!
“Your highness, I hope you haven't forgotten our agreement” Shen Jiu said, and Shen Yuan finally notice the little itty bitty crown resting on top of his Binghe's head.
Well, hello. I don't think I saw you there before.
“H-Highness?” A choked sound finally managed to wiggle itself out if his throat.
“Ah!” Binghe's blush would have lit a town on fire by itself. “A lot of things have happened in this last few years a-and... I know I am still not worthy of you, but...” The young man in front of him hesitated for a heartbeat. “I will work hard to become a man worthy of marrying A-Yuan!” He declared, and everyone around them broke in cheers.
You will WHAT!?