Down The Rabbit Hole! @insy.
wabbit hunting season For tshirt. happy birthday to the one and only tshirt! I've been in a bit of a pickle with feeling inspired to write and this was a good kickstart back into it. thank you so much to allula who helped me proofread and edit! just learned about this website :3 twitter: (insyallula) until the end of the month probably as of feb 15, 2021 (insy_png) on a regular day

Just like any self respecting nerdy teen growing up on the internet, Shen Yuan had a lot of fantasies of being transported into the worlds of his favorite characters and teaming up to become best friends and heroes and sharing all the fame and glory that came along with being powerful.

Needless to say, Shen Yuan had a battle plan if -- like really what if! -- he had ever woken up and was somewhere else — kidnapping notwithstanding, that was a different plan — in a different universe. Space, xianxia, wuxia, xuanhuan, omegaverse that one time, infinite flow, middle earth, Minecraft, you could name it all.

However, waking up to having four paws and floppy ears just wasn’t one of the scenarios he had accounted for.


Cang Qiong Mountain Sect had new disciple. That wasn't an unusual occurrence, but what made it strange was that it was nearly an even amount of days since the last official selection and until the next.

According to Zhangmen Shixiong’s head disciple, he was cunning, loved the arts, and was in desperate need of a good home, like a small animal that was in need of adoption. The last bit was implied, but she could easily pick up the implication.

Cang Qiong Mountain Sect had new disciple. That wasn't an unusual occurrence, but what made it strange was that it was nearly an even amount of days since the last official selection and until the next.

According to Zhangmen Shixiong’s head disciple, he was cunning, loved the arts, and was in desperate need of a good home, like a small animal that was in need of adoption. The last bit was implied, but she could easily pick up the implication.

Shen Jiu had come to her on a sunny day. Fluffy clouds dotted the sky, close enough to almost touch the cotton, and best of all, the air was a crisp blue -- cool and bright.

Meanwhile, she glanced to her right, her new little disciple just discovered another layer of depths that gloom can cover in his own little world. She almost wanted to fan away the layer of smog he was mentally emitting.

At the time, she had thought that the cloud of emotion would eventually dissipate as he had acclimated to the mountain. After setting him down to confirm his acceptance, she had given him the direct resources he needed and had let him be free like young people should. Attending lessons, learning culture, understanding cultivation -- to mosey around with those of his age.

Instead, this dark blanket of his own aura acted like bug repellent, with his fellow age mates being the bugs — with no attempt to reconcile that issue. In the glimpses she had caught of him wandering around her peak, Shen Jiu had been actively chasing her other disciples away, a single-minded focus on his own activities in almost absolute seclusion.

It was almost upsetting. Shen Jiu was undoubtedly talented but was held back by the weight of his own inner turmoil and his… older age. If he had come to her younger, there was no doubt he would be an excellent cultivator excelling beyond his years, but that wasn’t the reality they lived in. Nothing can change the past, but the present can shape the future.

And the Qing Jing Peak Lord, Zhu Fanjing, had a great present.


Silence.

Shen Jiu sat in silence.

“And I know you’ve been struggling to make friends.”

Struggling to run them off the peak.

“So, I’ve come up with something to help!”

Huh?

And that is how Shen Jiu, aged 16, ended up with a pet rabbit. It was small enough to fit in his palm and fat and it had floppy ears that were too big for its body.

“His name is A-Yuan!” she smiled, lowering the bunny down into his open palms, he tensed subconsciously, “I’ll be checking in on you two regularly, but I’m sure he’ll be able to help you out.”

Shen Jiu’s eyes widened, heart pounding in his chest... Could this be...?

“Is this a spiritual pet?”

How could his shifu just give this little creature to him-!

“No.”

Of course.

He shouldn’t have thought this would be anything good. Nobody had been able to recognize his talent and work yet, so why would it happen now.

“But in a way, also, yes!”

What? What could that possibly mean...

Staring at the little creature in this hand, Shen Jiu wondered if this was a test.

He had heard of spiritual pets that seemed like regular animals but then manifested into all-powerful creatures after their masters had proven themselves... Maybe it was in this way that the thing was not and is something useful.

Brow crinkling, Shen Jiu looked at it with some amount of trepidation, “Thank you shifu for your generosity!”

Saluting with the little rabbit still in his hands, his shifu laughed in delight.

“I’m glad you like him! I’ll be on my way now Shen Jiu.”

With his master truly well and gone, Shen Jiu’s knees collapsed in on himself and he sat with his fat little bunny in his hands. Raising it to eye level, the little guy seemed to glare at him, slightly baring the tips of his teeth.


Fuck this gay Earth, fuck this stupid web novel, fuck Airplane Shooting Towards the Sky, FUCK.

Fuck this gay Earth, fuck this stupid web novel, fuck Airplane Shooting Towards the Sky, FUCK.

Shen Yuan was fuming, absolutely fuming

A little blue screen popped up in front of his rabbit face, chirping like an annoying discord notification.

“Congratulations, congratulations, congratulations! Good things must be said three times!” it whistled a little electronic note, “User has been accepted physically by [Tortured Orphan Turned Villain], make sure to treat him well and lead him on the right track! The fate of this universe rests in your little paws.”

“You’d think that would be easier if I had opposable thumbs.” Shen Yuan grumbled, shuffling into a little bun shape.

“???” the system twittered in a way that sounded particularly bubbly , “All scenarios have been tested, User! This form was found to be the best possible route. System will try to help within limits, so if User has any more queries, state them now.”

“Well… There’s one thing...”

“Accepting queries!”

Not moving from his bun, Shen Yuan asked, “Who even is this guy?”

“No more queries are being taken at this time.”

“Hey!”

The System’s fans whirred in a way that read like nervousness, “User is not privy to that information at this present moment. It is believed that it would ruin your object movement in this task.”

Shen Yuan jumped up from his comfortable bun position, baring teeth and ready to attack with as much fury as he could muster. And he was feeling furious.

“Hey!” A voice echoed through the room that Shen Yuan had been sitting in, destroying his train of thought and instinctively making him flinch out his fur. Shen Jiu stalked forward with food in his hands, seemingly upset about something before slamming it on the low table and picking Shen Yuan up by the scruff of his neck.

“Listen here rabbit. We are not going to be friends, but we will not be enemies. But to do that, you will not be getting up to any funny business, do you hear? Otherwise,” he said tapping the dishes he just angrily slammed on the table, “you’ll be in next week's soup.”

The shock of the encounter had slightly cowed Shen Yuan, making him hunch into himself and quelling his fire. A dying ember flickered, catching the fuel of Shen Yuan’s temper, and igniting with a furious bark.

“What the hell is wrong with you!! I am a RABBIT. Who taught you to treat innocent animals this way.” struggling furiously, Shen Yuan kicked his legs, smacking Shen Jiu in his face, prompting the teenage boy to drop him, “I’ll show you! I’ll fucking show you, just try me, you animal abuser!”

Unfortunately, he wasn’t granted the capability to speak human words by the System, so Shen Jiu had to face the frightening realization that rabbits barked. Nursing his scratched face, the teenager scooted back from the bouncing, barking bunny.

“Okay, okay! I’m sorry!”

A dark look struck over Shen Jiu’s face as the realization that he was submitted to a rabbit became clear. Letting out a growl of his own, he nearly strangled the wretched little thing.

“I can’t,” he said aloud with gritted teeth. It would be so easy to lean over and squeeze for a moment until it was over. But his shifu.

“I’ll be checking up on you two regularly!” Floated around in his head and he forced himself to unclench. It was so easy to run his fellow disciples off the mountain, but he could kill a measly prey animal. It sucked. If he killed it where would he possibly find a new spiritual pet that looked exactly like it.

Collapsing into a huff, Shen Jiu visibly gave up.

“You win for now,” he said, but for some reason, he got the feeling that his new annoying thorn in his side looked smug.


Shen Jiu didn't win the first time and several days later it looked like he wasn't going to win any other time soon.

From stealing his food to jumping on his chest when he was sleeping, to chewing on his manuals, to attacking him with razor-sharp teeth and thrashing back legs, Shen Jiu was slowly being driven insane.

“Why won’t you just stop…” He mourned, voice thick in his throat as he held the remains of a surprisingly decent fiction novel.

The rabbit merely blinked at him, a floppy ear twitching, an absolute picture of innocence. And then it jumped at him, flinching back Shen Jiu fell onto his bottom from his crouched position.

Shen Jiu tripped over his own hair while crab-walking backward, scuttling away from the little demon. This was no spiritual pet… it surely had evil intentions! This combined with what he was sure -- confirmed -- were bunny glares and bared teeth had him convinced in a second.

Did his shifu know? Was this another test of his strength? Did he need to tame a wild beast to pass? What could he possibly be missing?

It took another book being sent to hell for him to give in and talk to his Shifu. He must be missing something crucial.

Dragging his exhausted body up to where his Shifu was seen last according to his martial siblings, Shen Jiu struck gold. She was here!

“Shifu…” he called before his throat tightened involuntarily, the awareness of what he was doing finally set in… He was really going to have to stoop to begging once more. Taking a shaky breath he proceeded on, some sacrifices were going to have to be made.

“Oh,” his shifu heard the quiet call, turning to Shen Jiu with a regal smile and expectation on her face, “Shen Jiu! I was going to check up on you soon, how have you and A’Yuan been doing?”

Gulping with trepidation, he almost lost the grit he tried to assure himself with earlier, “About that…”

“Yes?”

“This animal… A’Yuan…” he began, clenching his fists and bowing his head to his embarrassment, clearing his throat he began again “Are you aware that it has demon heritage?”

“A’Yuan?” She tilted her head in confusion, “It’s a rabbit.”

Red exploded over Shen Jiu’s vision, how was that supposed to help his situation! He didn’t ask how to help him, but shouldn’t she just know that! It’s her own test of will…

“It has evil intentions! It attacked me, look at this scar!”

Despite his milieu of keeping tight composure, Shen Jiu blurted out the first thing he was thinking. Smacking himself immediately in his mind. His Shifu’s eyes widened a tiny fraction in surprise, but she hid it well.

“It’s just a bite,” she hummed, not sure how to deal with this, “I’m glad you and A’Yuan are having fun, but make sure to drop by Qian Cao to prevent it from getting infected.”

Shen Jiu let out a sound like a wounded animal, but his master cut him off before he had wailed anything more embarrassing out loud, “Shifu-!”

“I have to be on my way now.”

Scuttling- in her mind- away from the situation, the Qing Jing Peak Lord resolved to let Shen Jiu figure it out by himself, either by stew or by some other method of outlet, she had to plan a new way to make this boy less surly, she supposed. This one has failed clearly.

Maybe it wasn’t so foolproof if Shen Jiu couldn’t understand how to treat a simpleminded animal.


Shen Jiu lay defeated on the floor of his room.

Nobody believed him. Not his shifu, not his martial siblings, and none of the books in their peak’s massive library had any answers.

An intrusive thought wormed its way into his head… he hadn’t been able to tell everyone he knew in this sect. Jerking up from the floor, Shen Jiu dispelled the thought with a scowl.

No!

He was not going to stoop that low. Not at all.

‘A’Yuan’ sat on Shen Jiu’s bed, taking up all the space on it with his presence. Looking at it shedding fur and being cozy sure made it tempting to contact him to b-- No, no he couldn't be encouraging those thoughts.

But it made him want to.

Blinking away the bad thoughts, Shen Jiu stood up to assert dominance. The bun on the bed tensed, a rumbling beginning to rise up in its chest, Shen Jiu gulped.

He was going to have to give in.


Maybe the rabbit wasn’t a lost cause!

Zhu Fanjing, the Qing Jing Peak Lord, peered around a tree, had watched as Shen Jiu ran from disciple to disciple with that little rabbit in his hands. A fervent look on his face and a crazy look in his eyes.

Well, many would disagree, but good enough for her!

This may well start off a few new, beautiful companionships.


“Okay you little bastard, I give in. Did you hear me? I give in. I want a truce.”

Shen Yuan blinked up in shock, this was the first time in ages that Shen Jiu hadn’t threatened to roast him on a spit or string him up by his hind legs to be beaten in the shed. Now, that’s what he’d call progress. His pink nose twitched in amusement.

“Any chance I could get the ability to speak as a reward?”

“Silly User! Rabbits are not capable of human speech, this is an unattainable request.”

“...”

“Hey listen!” the command cut through the beginning of a new argument with the system, Shen Jiu looked down at him knowingly, “I know you were tuning me out. I could see it clearly.”

Shen Jiu cleared his throat awkwardly, “So, I have a proposal.”

“I treat you like a king and you help me, okay? Life as a rabbit must be boring, I could get you entertainment AND good food with my allowance. And, in return, you make me powerful.”

Five-star entertainment… Shen Yuan’s mouth started watering involuntarily, to be honest, he wouldn’t have kept on torturing Shen Jiu if he had anything better to do. The System wasn’t much company and disappeared constantly, and Shen Jiu kept him locked in his shabby little room all day… It was only reasonable that he resorted to being a spiteful dick during his confinement.

All in all, it was a tempting offer.

“So… what do you say, uh, A’Yuan?”

Holding his hand out, Shen Jiu looked at him with surprisingly earnest eyes -- Shen Yuan knew what he had to do.

Hopping with purpose, Shen Yuan put his paw in Shen Jiu’s hand, pleased when Shen Jiu gripped it gently to shake.

Deal.

“--CONGRATULATIONS, CONGRATULATIONS, CONGRATULATIONS!” the System interrupted a sweet moment, “User has unlocked a secret bonus!”

The rest of its words blended in a menagerie of mechanical and magical noises as the room was flooded with a colorful puff of smoke.

“I didn't expect for this to work so well…” Shen Jiu whispered in awe.

Then, at that moment Shen Yuan suddenly became aware that they were sharing an eyeline. If sharing an eyeline meant that one was looking down on the other. Mostly sharing the same eyeline.

Shen Jiu’s eyes kept flicking to the top of his head and to his sides, but Shen Yuan astutely decided to ignore this for now.

“Uh… True that.”

bonus scene that I couldn't fit anywhere into the fic: To be honest, Shen Yuan was bit apprehensive about being around this guy. In front of others -- especially his Shifu -- he was able to reign in his temper, but alone? Let's just say there are more than a few covered up spots on the wall, for good reason. Most of the time, though, his new 'owner' was frolicking out in the woods, presumably out to terrorize children for daring to be happy. Today was another staring contest. Shen Jiu had irritably opened his eyes after feeling the weight of a mere rabbit's stare on his body, so he decided to return the favor by glaring holes into the aforementioned rabbit. In a moment of involuntary weakness, Shen Yuan's little pink nose twitched, breaking Shen Jiu's glare into something more reminiscent of a sulk. "Hmph, I guess its time for dinner." he mumbled, getting up from his sitting position to disappear for a few moments. Shen Jiu didn't like to eat in the dining hall, there were too many other grimy children milling about, even a terrible little beast was better company. Cutting in line, he packed up and then picked up a little something extra for the Thing so it wouldn't die. Shen Yuan was already snoozing when his annoying teenage companion came back, the guy was super silent all the time, so it wasn't until he felt the hot breath of something icky seeping into his fur that he noticed Shen Jiu standing there. Like a sleep paralysis demon, the boy crinkled his lip in displeasure, but didn't bother to move until he maliciously dropped something on the bunny's head. "Dinner." Shen Yuan growled, furiously shaking off the bits that fell into his fur before pausing. Was this rabbit jerky?
1. wabbit hunting season 2825 1 0