87 4.5

The black rooster was big. Very big. Jia Hyson couldn't objectively say how large given his change in perspective but he had passed a few other chicken cages while following the villager from Little Leaf Village and he could almost immediately tell that this black rooster was much, much bigger than the other caged roosters. 

Even if his sense of size was somewhat distorted in his new form it was pretty easy to see that between a watermelon and a grapefruit, the watermelon is indeed the bigger one. 

Jia Hyson opened his mouth to give thanks to the rooster, but then he realises quickly something wasn't right. 

Was the black rooster looking at him... a little strangely.

The rooster had his head cocked to the side, assessingly. Silver eyes staring deeply at Jia Hyson before taking a step forward. Jia Hyson's eyes couldn't help but look downwards to note the sharp talons of the chicken and the even sharper and wicked-looking spurs on his feet. It wouldn't be hard to use those weapons to tear flesh much less his brittle scales protecting his thin body. The rooster's beak is also not something to ignore either. 

He recalls reading that while uncommon, rooster attacks do severely injure grown men and sometimes, albeit rarely, those injuries can lead to death. Of course, most deaths were usually due to succumbing to an infection from the wounds but still. The fact that death is still an option isn't great in general.

'Bebe... chickens and roosters.... ah, I forget, they don't eat meat right?' Jia Hyson stared back at the rooster warily and fearfully. Samotrelis was more primitive than most countries so he'd seen chickens and roosters running around but he never paid much attention to how they're raised. Still, he's pretty sure it's with grain and vegetables. At the very least, Jia Hyson felt he would know if they were feeding their chickens bacon.

'Chickens are omnivorous,' Bebe replies equally afraid. There has never been a better 'out of the pan, into the fire' situation like this ah. The children probably wouldn't have eaten it's scrawny little host but a rooster really would have no qualms. 'Mainly it's just worms and insects, but bigger and more aggressive roosters have been known to eat more meat such as small rodents or reptiles.'

Jia Hyson the small reptile: '...' The rooster was big and aggressive enough to scare off those devil children. No matter how it looked this bird definitely ticked the boxes for a chicken willing to eat meat.

Aiyah this world was really bullshit. 

Right now even though he's more than 77% sure the rooster in front of him should be a system shard belonging to the Bipolar Prince- though it's truly weird that he's a rooster in the first place and it's probably more likely it's some genetic mutation or something- Jia Hyson vaguely understands that unlike other quick transmigration male leads, these shard personas are not necessarily geniuses or masters in the world. They have to follow the world's rules and adhere to the logic of their setting and character. 

It's not like in some shitty QT where a male lead is previously a stone-cold stoic scum man who takes one look at the pretty main character and almost immediately melts into a doting love-struck fool that could spout sugar-sweet words and suddenly has the capability to be twice as rich and successful as his original self after being motivated by true love alone. If the shard piece was in a rooster the shard piece will think like a rooster and have the values of a rooster, albeit probably a more intelligent one. 

And what does any rooster think when they see a small helpless wriggling animal on the ground? 

It's not fucking thinking of charity Jia Hyson can tell you that. 

'Bebe, I'm going to be the first host to die in a reward world after getting eaten by a chicken aren't I?' He despairs. It's not like he desperately needs the points from this world and he's definitely going to get compensation for all the bullshit but it's still really mortifying okay?!

'Bebe heard there was a host who got fucked to death by his dog?' His system offers, understanding Jia Hyson's dismay, 'That's pretty embarrassing ah.'

'At least he had sex,' Jia Hyson wails internally, curling up and rolling on the dirty ground angrily in a sad attempt at rebellion toward the rooster. If he's going to die, he's going to die annoyingly.

He screams wordlessly at the large bird for lack of anything else, birds can be quite cautious creatures and the rooster may be put off by his yowls of pure rage. Unfortunately to him, his warcry filled with the desire to live came out more like a high pitched 'Eeeeep!' noise that was more inclined toward the sound of pitiful shrieking than verbal frustration.

Both Bebe and the rooster stared down at the little lizard-like creature. He was holding his tail with all four of his tiny claws, his stumpy little arms not long enough to hug the tail completely so occasionally while he was rolling around he would lose his grip and frantically try to re-grab his tail again as he made a constant, soft 'eep'-ing sounds like the world's smallest, angriest and cutest truck going in reverse. 

Bebe: '...Oh, Bebe has got to film this.'

If this wasn't gif worthy then nothing was. 

While a rooster would have no idea what 'gif-worthy' would mean, it was clear he found the sight interesting enough as well. Cocking his head one side and then to another curiously, it steps forward and plonks himself down in front of Jia Hyson, a small cloud of dust billowing upwards at the action. 

Jia Hyson freezes, evidently unsure what this response means for his life.

The rooster seemed to be unhappy with the lack of movement and clucks sternly at him. Jia Hyson didn't know one could cluck with any emotion, much less sternness but that was what he felt when he heard the rooster cluck. 

The black rooster clucked again staring impatiently at him before standing up and threateningly raising his wings up in an offensive posture. 

Jia Hyson 'mreep'ed out of surprise and fright, instinctively clutching his tail harder. The moment he did so, the rooster relaxed and stared at him expectantly. 

Still a little confused he let go of his own tail but at the motion the rooster immediately raised his wings and clucked irritatedly at him again.

Jia Hyson: '...' 

Jia Hyson was fairly smart both in IQ and EQ but he really felt like he had used all of it in order to understand the wants of a rooster. 

Did the bird really want to watch him... roll around and wail? 

Slowly he clutched at his tail again, then, hesitantly, he began to roll on the ground once more, making soft 'mrp's and 'eep's with his mouth. Sure enough, the large rooster sat back down, watching his rather debasing show like a domineering king being entertained by his subjects.

Jia Hyson: 'This bird has some pretty heavy tastes ah.'

But as long as it's taste is not for baby dragon meat he won't complain. Much. 

For at least five minutes Jia Hyson continued to roll around until his back grew sore and his stomach and arm muscles ached from his curled up posture. His throat was also dry and sore from constantly making noises. However the rooster was still not bored of Jia Hyson making a fool of himself, always raising his wings up the moment he stopped for too long. 

Unlike the rooster though, Jia Hyson had long grown tired of this. Not even the fear of being swallowed alive by the bird was going to make him continue for another second. Exhaustedly he let go of his tail, rolled onto his stomach, little limbs splayed out as he stopped moving. As expected, the rooster was unhappy. Standing up it raises it's wings aggressively, even flapping them a few times while clucking and crowing.

Jia Hyson doesn't react.

Seeing his intimidation tactics not working, the rooster lowered his wings in confusion. Walking circles around the motionless Jia Hyson he carefully observed the smaller figure. Hesitantly he bends his head down and gently nudged Jia Hyson's thin body with his beak, a silent question for him to move.

Jia Hyson stubbornly refuses. He didn't even like doing sit-ups for a passing grade in sports class okay? He certainly wasn't going to abuse his stomach muscles again for a creature he loves to consume deep-fried! 

The rooster clucks and nudges the body again looking a little dissatisfied by the lack of response. 

Jia Hyson doesn't respond to the nudges and proceeds to be a salted fish. He was seriously tired. Like, he would literally rather die than keep going.

Bebe: '...Your stamina is so bad. 눈_눈 It's only been five minutes.'

Jia Hyson: 'I have the soul of an un-athletic old scholar and the body of a hungry baby reptile. Five minutes is already pretty amazing okay?' 

Bebe: 'Well.. You could buy an intermediate stamina and muscle strengthening pill for 999p.'

Jia Hyson: 'Nah man, dying is way easier.'

Bebe: '...' Bebe knows this is really hard for you but could you try to act like you still care a little about this world?

Angrily, the rooster raises one of his feet over his small body, sharp talons glinting menacingly. He lowers it down and Jia Hyson who has given up on this terrible world closes his eyes tightly, awaiting the pain. It seems no matter what this poor dragon is destined to be eaten by mortals. Really... too pathetically sad. 

But he wasn't eaten. 

The rooster kept his foot hovering over Jia Hyson, casting a dark shadow that covered most of the small dragon but after a few seconds the foot was dropped back. "Tch," 

Jia Hyson raises his head a little incredulously. Why did he hear a rooster clicking his tongue at him? He can practically hear the 'Tch, how troublesome ah,' from that single sound. 

Jia Hyson: (・―・) 'What an expressive and domineering rooster.' 

Before Jia Hyson could even blink the rooster ran off, even though it was big and plump, it still somehow looked a little sleek and fierce as it ran. He couldn't help but admire it. Truly amazing.

Bebe: 'You're a dragon and yet you're amazed by the way a rooster can run.'

Jia Hyson: 'Let's be honest here, I'm not really much of a dragon. If a tortoise stood up on it's hind legs I would also be more shocked than this stupid dragon form.'

Bebe: 'A tortoise can't stand up on its hind legs.'

Jia Hyson: 'And yet dragons exist. The world is strange that way. Now shut up and let me crawl.' 

He was even more battered and exhausted from entertaining the damn rooster so his gait was not very fast and he had to stop to recover his breath for much longer periods of time. In fact even a snail would take one look at his pacing and would call it tragically slow. Jia Hyson knew this was a rather hopeless case and didn't bother to push himself, taking his sweet time while complaining to Bebe.

Even though they can speak telepathically Jia Hyson was used to speaking aloud to Bebe when they were alone, this soon became a habit that was a little difficult to shake after three lifetimes. So Jia Hyson began to talk. Unfortunately what came out of his mouth was the garbled and poorly vocalized words of a baby dragon. 

Fortunately, Bebe was a top of the line system and all systems have a built-in universal translator in order to communicate with a variety of hosts, from aliens to shadow people to pigs. As long as the host shows potential there was no boundaries between race. 

Still, the dissonance between the soft, chirpy and warbled voice and the words being spoken was... 

"Mrrp kreee!" (Motherfuck my fucking arms!) 

"Kraw, rawr, mrrrp, mrp, rrrrr, eeep. En, meerp, ma, rreeer! Mrrrrerrr, rerr, eerp, mrrrrp mreep ep, prrur. Nrrrerrmm rememmm? Mrrp." (Everything hurts, it's worse than the first time I did bondage with an amateur. My arms are numb, my lower back is sore, I have a headache, oh my god I have the biggest tension headache! I can't even fucking reach the acupuncture points to help relieve some of the pain because I have the arms of a tiny T-Rex. Do dragons have acupoints? They fucking better.)

"Merrrrkrrrrawaarrgnn, mngggnnnnrrreeem, mrp…. hah, ngnrrrrrp, rrrrrrrm, eep, meeeeerp kwar, quar, mrrreeee?" (This world sucks. There's no wifi, there's no international cuisine, and I can't fuck anyone... Hah, do you think anyone would be interested in getting fucked by a dragon or would that be considered blasphemy?)

Before Bebe and Jia Hyson could get into an in-depth discussion of whether the interracial sex between a dragon and a human in ancient times would be considered blasphemous taboo or a blessing, the rooster unexpectantly returned. Jia Hyson surprised, instantly stopped crawling, immediately dropping onto his back like a possum playing dead. 

Bebe: '...Do you think the rooster is a bear?'ಠ_ಠ

The rooster it turns out was indeed not a bear. As he strode up to the unmoving little dragon, the rooster nudged a claw at the soft scaly body, nodding satisfied as Jia Hyson instinctively flinched and twitched. Bending his head down he opened his beak and released a small ball like object out of his mouth before pushing it closer to the other. 

Seeing that the rooster was doing something that didn't seem to involve harassing him, Jia Hyson looked over curiously. The rooster clucked and nudged the ball even closer to the his face.

It was a grape. Plump and juicy. Despite being held between the rooster's sharp beak it was barely bruised or squished on the journey. 

Jia Hyson who was thirsty and tired couldn't help but feel incredibly moved at this simple gesture. He had been in the village for a short while now and had endured the disgust of many females, the annoyance of many merchants, the violent and cruel curiosity of children, cats and dogs, and overall, the overwhelming indifference of everyone else. There was no one who would be kind to a dirty small and abnormal-looking lizard. Even Jia Hyson would admit he would have done the same.

And yet… this rooster saw him. Sure, maybe the bird only saw him as an interesting toy but you didn't have to be nice to your toys.

Jia Hyson weakly cranes his neck and bites into the grape. His sharp milk teeth pierce into the thin skin and the cool, sweet juice of the fruit fills his small mouth, easily wetting his parched throat with sugary delight. Jia Hyson had eaten a lot of delicacies in the last world, desserts were no exception, but right now he felt this was the sweetest thing he had ever tasted. 

Suddenly the rooster became much more appealing to the eye. 

"Mrep mur," (Thank you.) Jia Hyson sincerely says.

Of course, the rooster couldn't understand it. Even so, the bird clucked and sat down, waiting patiently for him to finish gnawing on the grape with seemingly great interest. 

Jia Hyson drank his fill of the pulpy juice of the fruit greedily before offering the rest up to the rooster in an attempt to gain a few more favorability points. Thinking back on it, the rooster was recognized by those bear children so it's identity was probably like the village bully or mascot. Jia Hyson had seen a few animals in Samotrelis that were like this in some of the villages like the big and aggressive goat in the Swamp Snake village that acts as a guard that patrols the area or the large cat in Mermaid village that would harass people in the fish market for free fish. It wouldn't be a loss to keep the rooster's favour if it meant potentially a bit more protection from these wretched village people ah. 

Of course, a rooster was much more straightforward than any human with little concept of etiqquete and so he immediately took the offered leftovers with only a moment of hesitation.

Watching the rooster swallow the rest of the withered grape, Jia Hyson felt that this sort of stoic, considerate manner was really similar to Monroe and Tian Shun in some ways. While it wasn't very clear due to, ah, a difference in species, the resemblance was definitely there. 

Jia Hyson looked up at the rooster and suddenly noticed how glossy it's black feathers were, clean and healthy despite the poor environment. In fact he was quite a handsome rooster for a, well, rooster. Well built with muscle and meat, not scrawny and starved like some of the other chickens he's seen, the sickle-shaped tail feathers were long and well-groomed, and that domineeringly cool gaze from those sharp silver eyes... 

Jia Hyson: 'Oh no, did, did my heart just skip a beat for a rooster?'

Bebe: 'Host..... it's not even been a day.' 

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