Work Header

Protagonist Rehabilitation Programme

Chapter Text

[Peerless Cucumber posted at 3.32 am]

Replying to:

> gets pussy every night he’s living the dream, anyway he’s always kissing them and telling them he loves them, obviously he’s in love 


You’re telling me that he has romantic feelings for each and every one of his three thousand and something wives? Really? How many hearts does this man have that he can just give them out to every woman he pushes down? Obviously he gets something out of it but isn’t it too much like those playboys who sleep around because they’re too afraid of commitment?


And inb4 someone says “they’re all married”, yes and? There’s three thousand of them bro that’s less of a commitment and more of a calling card! 


Everyone scoffs at the more imaginative sisters on this board who write Luo Binghe as a softer, pained man, but what proof is there that he’s actually happy? Sure he smiles sardonically a lot and laughs at people and gets a lot of satisfaction out of chopping people’s limbs off but... does that really mean anything? Has he ever said in the narrative that he’s actually, genuinely happy? No! Just because you guys have simple tastes in life and would be content living a hollow existence where you get to bang chicks and fight people doesn’t mean that everyone else does too! 


Shen Yuan posted his response and laid his head on the desk with a soft thunk. Insomnia again. These hours were the prime time to post on the PIDW discussion boards and argue with idiots. Now he just had to wait for a response. 


Stupid book, stupid author. But what else could he do? Nothing was open, and leaving the house was a pain in the ass anyway. Insomnia was a bitch, but he was its humble servant. 

The desk wasn’t comfortable. He brought his arms up to pillow his head, even though he knew it would kill his muscles when he woke up later. But just a little nap wouldn’t hurt. Just a little nap..


As he drifted off to sleep, he had the strangest dream that a robotic Google translate voice was saying something like “Congratulations valued user...”, but he quickly forgot all about it, and dreamed of counting sheep instead. 


When he woke up, he mumbled slightly and winced, feeling his neck twinge. He started to turn it gently to avoid making it seize up, only to feel something cold and sharp press against his skin. 

His eyes flew open.

Looming over him was a handsome man wearing a terrifyingly blank expression. He was holding a knife to Shen Yuan’s throat. 

What the fuck. What the fuck! Wait a minute, how did he get in? Don’t tell me - I’m finally experiencing the plague of bored rich people’s sons, the infamous kidnap and ransom plot? 

“If you want money, we can pay,” Shen Yuan said instantly, because he was a coward and a baby of a man. “There’s a roll of money under the bed, I can walk you to an ATM outside, and my family will happily pay anything you want instantly without calling the police.”

He sounded like a professional kidnap victim. His mama would be proud. 

The man who had a knife to his throat listened intently. His eyes flickered over Shen Yuan’s face as if assessing him. He noticeably did not withdraw the knife. 

“Why did you bring me here,” he said in a dispassionate tone of voice, as if he wasn’t concerned at all with how much money Shen Yuan could dole out for him. And then Shen Yuan processed the question. 

“Bring you - this is my house! I didn’t bring you here!”

There was a series of musical bings from somewhere in Shen Yuan’s brain, and a smooth, robotic voice said:


[Canon link complete. Thank you, valued user, for accepting the Protagonist Rehabilitation Programme. Timer until protagonist returns to original setting: set to three months. Your time will start when this dialogue box closes.]


Wait, wait, what? Shen Yuan blinked, trying to make sense of everything. Protagonist Rehabilitation what? 


[Your task: ensure the protagonist’s happiness. Penalty of failure: the protagonist will return to original setting. Reward: one hundred years of happiness.]


Shen Yuan, notable NEET, experienced shut in and veteran of every kind of transmigration novel he could get his greasy hands on, wondered if he was still dreaming. After all, wasn’t this just like some shitty book where the main protagonist of a book gets brought into the real world? And weren’t these tips just a little too convenient and helpful? 

But... if this guy holding a knife to his throat was the protagonist... which book did he come from?

The dialogue box closed with a bing. The man came back into full view, handsome and terrifying, exuding a cold kind of aura that was sharper than the actual knife, which Shen Yuan hadn’t sharpened in a long time. 

“I don’t even know who you are,” Shen Yuan said quickly. “Who are you? What do you want?”

The man leaned forwards, his eyes lighting up with dark fire. “I want you to tell me how you dragged me here,” he said in a low voice. “And my name is Luo Binghe.”

Luo - Luo Binghe? Wait, Luo Binghe? 

Wait, Luo fucking Binghe?

Shen Yuan felt another wave of cold sweat break out down his back. Not the Gary Sue from Proud Immortal Demon Way. Not the cold blooded killer who would slaughter swathes of people without so much as a backwards glance. Oh fuck, this guy would absolutely slit Shen Yuan’s throat without any second thought and leave him bleeding like roadkill. 

The terror on Shen Yuan’s face must have been obvious, because Luo Binghe leaned in even further, his voice silky as his hair draped across Shen Yuan’s face. 

“You know who I am. You know what I can do. If you tell me everything of your own volition, I promise I will be kind to you.”

Oh, sure, well that was fine then - kind his ass! Shen Yuan didn’t dare say it, but he knew Luo Binghe like the back of his hand. That was a lie! A blatant lie! This wasn’t ending well for Shen Yuan no matter how he answered!

“I didn’t bring you here,” he said quickly, eyes staring down at the handle of the knife. “I don’t know why you’re here in my house. Why my house? Why me? Ask someone else!”

Luo Binghe let out one single laugh, more like the expulsion of air. And then, suddenly, he turned the knife, and dragged it down Shen Yuan’s collarbone. 

Shen Yuan screamed. It burned, it burned, it... didn’t hurt so bad, actually? He blinked and felt his skin. It wasn’t even broken. 


That was right. Shen Yuan hadn’t sharpened his knives once since moving in. He recognised that handle - it was from the knife he used to spread butter, because it couldn’t even cut tofu now. 

The protagonist and the unwilling NEET stared at each other in silence for a microsecond. And then, suddenly, Luo Binghe darted forward, his hand reaching out to - to what, strangle him? Gouge out his eyes?

But Shen Yuan slid off his chair like it was coated in oil and out of Luo Binghe’s grasp. He picked up the chair and yielded it like a weird battering ram, holding it between him and the crazed protagonist. 

“I’m telling you, I didn’t do this! No amount of torturing is going to get you a better answer!”

Luo Binghe paused, as if considering something. Then he turned around and walked out of Shen Yuan’s bedroom. 

Wait. Did that work? Did he really just... leave? Was the nightmare over?

Shen Yuan cautiously put the chair down, though he was too scared to actually move. Fuck, fuck, fuck, call him Ol’ Silver Tongue Shen, because he just smooth talked his way into safety-

Luo Binghe appeared again, and this time he was holding the entire wooden block full of knives. Shen Yuan realised he was going to test them all one by one for sharpness. 

He immediately grabbed the nearest hard object to his hand, wielding it like a club. 

“Don’t come near me! I’m armed!”

Luo Binghe smiled and walked forward anyway. He kicked the rolling office chair aside. 

“Shizun sure is going to great lengths to protect himself. It’s a pity that we both know they’re useless against me.”

Shizun? Shen Yuan had no time to process whatever the fuck that was about - Luo Binghe was right. This was the Demon King, the blackened OP lead male, the one who never got beaten at his own game. Hah, and Shen Yuan thought he could stand off against him? He would be ground beef in seconds. Call that a Shen Yuan Burger and Fries.

Silently, Shen Yuan straightened his spine out and sent off a prayer. He hadn’t expected to live this long anyway, but still, he thought he would get a few more years stuck on this miserable mortal coil. He lit a candle for himself in his mind. Sorry, mama, this son is about to be unfilial. 

Luo Binghe stepped forward, his hand grabbing a random knife from the block. 

Shen Yuan, in one last act of desperate self preservation, took his chances and raised his arm, before smashing what he was holding onto Luo Binghe’s head. 

He noticed two things at once. The first was that the hard thing he had grabbed was actually his rare extremely collectible figurine of his UR Nico Yazawa in her Little Devil costume, made up of very fragile and breakable parts, but containing an incredibly dense core. It had cost him a lot of money. He had stayed up all night to preorder it. It shattered on impact like a delicate vase, shards flying out like petals in the wind. 

The second was that when the incredibly dense core of the body collided with Luo Binghe’s head, there was a fat clunk. The protagonist’s eyes rolled up into his skull, and he fell like a ragdoll to the floor. 


Holy shit.

Shen Yuan had killed Luo Binghe in one shot.