Work Header

The Author's Unfortunate Halo

Chapter Text

Shang Qinghua didn’t realize something was off until the third or fourth time it happened. Normally it wouldn’t have taken him that long to be clued in, but in his defense, there had been a lot going on in his life! He had been trying to survive the complexities (or stupidity, if you asked Shen Yuan) of xianxia life in Proud Immortal Demons Way, and then later trying to survive and derail his impending death at the hands of his king. Being an author turned character was kind of a nightmare, and he was making it work better than most people would in his humble opinion!

So yeah, he had been really busy, and it wasn’t like he was going to notice a few weird things here and there. There had been a lot of accidental plot holes that were filled in the absolute weirdest ways, not to mention his own private theories about how with Shen Qingqiu being the object of the protagonist's most ardent affections he might have accidentally assumed the different roles the harem would have had in the original plotline. Shen Yuan hardly noticed or cared that so many stupidly basic drama tropes were surrounding him when he was busy lazing around Qing Jing Peak and living it up in his honeymoon period with his clingy husband, and Shang Qinghua was pretty sure that if he brought it up to his buddy he’d get a verbal beating again. Just because Peerless Cucumber was kind of right about a lot of things didn’t mean he should keep saying them!

Really, Shang Qinghua wouldn’t have cared either, if it weren’t for the fact that some absolutely insane things were happening around him lately. The first time it seemed like it was the protagonists halo, it had to be, but the second… and the third… and the fourth…. Well.

One of the more recent oddities had featured Mobei Jun fighting a big ugly creature, with more mouths than it needed, and enough wings that it made him wonder how it even flew that fast. If Big Ugly, as he had unaffectionately named it in his head, lost 3 wings how many would it have left? Still too many. It was like a silly grade school math problem, if those math problems would also eat you as soon as they had the chance.

Either way, he was confident that his king could deal with it- and would hardly have been worried had the creature not somehow had backup that had made a lunge for the ice demon. Two Big Uglies probably meant there was a pack of them nearby actually, which would fall in line with his writing at the very least. That was fine though, it wasn’t like Mobei Jun couldn’t handle some stupid creatures, Shang Qinghua knew this. He really did. He might have just been a little protective of the guy who was currently guaranteeing his safety, and enabling his annoyingly hard-working but still cushy lifestyle, who also happened to look like his ideal man. Just a little bit.

It was only normal to put a little bit of your hot but extremely scary dream guy somewhere into your writing- that was just using his inspiration properly as an author!

Later he would feel silly for his momentary panic, but it didn’t eclipse the confusion he felt when he had let out a shrill “No!” as they lunged at his king, only for them to stop and just….. dissolve. He knew he hadn’t written something like that in his novels, mostly because it wouldn’t have sold well enough for him to have bothered. There was no point if it wasn’t an action packed scene, and peacefully dissolving into a weird sparkly mist was kind of cool, but did not make for a good paycheck for this hungry author.

Despite it being really weird, he’d decided to play it off as a fluke- maybe they were just weak to demonic ice abilities and it just took a little while to sink in? It would make more sense than whatever had just happened.

Except.... it kept happening. It didn’t have to keep escalating like this, but somehow he couldn't catch a break and found himself alone and in the middle of a skirmish against a giant, angry reptile that spit acid like it was free real estate. It was just another testament to how the demon realm was naturally dangerous for soft and squishy humans like him, and had more of a guaranteed mortality rate for those that were untrained and didn’t cultivate.

He was a peak lord though, so it should have been fine? He wasn’t weak by any means, he just wasn’t as OP as a bunch of the people he was surrounded by! That wasn’t his fault! Being above average still counts even if you’re stuck around unfairly godly talents! Even if he could probably handle it, he felt he was justified in getting panicked enough that he just desperately wished he had never written the Acid Tongue Lizard into his books and just left them as a slightly less impressive beast. Let him have his wishful thinking! 

It happened faster than he could blink, making him feel like he might be losing it- because the big lizard was easily a third of its original size, and was definitely not spitting acid anymore. It was just... drooling, which was kind of gross and dumb actually, but he'd take a gross drool covered lizard over puddles of acid any day.

If he hadn’t been gazing directly at, it he could have sworn it was a trick of the light, or his mind playing tricks on him, or literally- anything else. Because the idea taking root in his mind was beyond even him and terrifying if it was true. No man should have that much power, and he definitely didn’t even want it. It was one thing to carefully write and craft a world and the creatures in it and another entirely to just….. alter the fundamental basics of a world he was now living in because he wished it would be so. Not that he could do that, because that would be too much pressure for any man and was also entirely impossible.