Ji Bei felt very embarrassed.
Obviously, all he did was sneeze, but unexpectedly the humid environment made it a lot easier for the gun to accidentally go off. Fortunately, it didn’t go off in his direction, otherwise, he’d become the first policeman in Xi City to die from his own gun accidently going off.
The two big beasts were terrified, they froze in place, unable to react for a long time.
They obviously lived underground all year round, and were used to the quiet. After suddenly hearing such a harsh sound, they couldn’t adapt for a while.
Ji Bei felt a little apologetic, wrapped in the blanket, he moved forward a little.
The larger beast was probably older, so its hearing was relatively better. When Ji Bei approached, it happily lowered its body, obediently kneeling on the ground.
Ji Bei’s mood was complex. After the initial fear faded, he’d felt disgust and sympathetic curiosity towards the two strange beasts in front of him. He didn’t know what made them decide to live in such an environment for so many years.
While he was deep in his thoughts, there was the sound of hurried footsteps by the cave entrance. Ji Bei looked up and saw a flashlight approaching from a distance. Seeing the man who ran in, he was first delighted, but when he saw the thing in Luo Wen Xu’s hand, he was alarmed: “Ge, don’t—”
But it was too late, because of his anxiety, Luo Wen Xu spared no effort in firing the gun, aiming at the behemoth nearest to Ji Bei.
The bullet penetrated the thick scales and blasted a big bloody hole in the beast’s head. The creature apparently didn’t realize what had happened, it reflexively recoiled two steps, staring at Ji Bei, its cloudy eyes filled with tears.
The small beast leaped towards the big beast, seeing the latter already beyond help, it howled mournfully, then turned around, rushing towards Luo Wen Xu in anger.
Human beings were not this kind of big beast’s opponents. Although Luo Wen Xu’s fighting techniques could crush most people in Xi City, he was at a disadvantage. His phone was knocked to the side, and the cave fell into darkness. Immediately, the beast’s thick tail swept forward, and Luo Wen Xu was overwhelmed. The gun was sent flying and fell into the sewage.
”Ge!” Ji Bei, ignoring his high fever, staggered over to help Luo Wen Xu, the beast snarled at him, leaping up and rushing towards him.
At the critical moment, a fruit knife flew in, slamming into the middle of the beast’s forehead. Unfortunately, the blade was dull, so it just bounced off the beast’s head. Although it wasn’t pierced, the power behind the knife was high, the beast was obviously dazed for a while, its attacks pausing.
Bai Huo seized the chance to run forward, hugging the cub in one arm, he pulled the other two men: “Hurry up, there’s an exit outside.”
”What the f#ck is that!” Luo Wen Xu spit out a mouthful of blood, baring his fangs.
”Don’t worry about that right now,” Bai Huo shoved the little dragon into his arms. “Look after my son.”
”Hold on,” Luo Wen Xu angrily dragged him back. “Who the f#ck do you think you’re talking to, I’m the policeman here. Grab Xiao Bei and get out!”
Seeing the beast about to charge over again, Bai Huo clicked his tongue and grabbed the little cub, directly kicking Luo Wen Xu out of the cave.
Ji Bei stared at this scene in astonishment, then he staggered out: “Ge…”
The beast’s aura was very full, it crouched down, incessantly snarling. Bai Huo placed the little dragon down on a nearby high ledge. He patted his back and smiled: “Be good and stay still. Watch daddy beat up a monster for you.”
While he spoke, Bai Huo’s body shifted subtlety, white scales appearing on his neck. He reached back, slowly pulling out a wicked sharp bone sword from the back of his neck as the little baby dragon stared in amazement.
The bone sword was pure white, shaped like a spinal column, the joints were bumpy, the tip of the blade as sharp as a scalpel.
The beast snarled and bared its fangs, charging towards him.
Bai Huo’s expression was relaxed, almost at the same time the beast moved, he jumped, soaring through the air, accurately landing on the beast’s head. Without waiting for the latter to start attacking, he swung his bone sword, stabbing into the beast’s shoulders. The effect was completely different from the earlier fruit knife, it was almost like cutting into tofu, easily piercing the scales on the beast’s shoulder.
”Grrraahh–” The beast felt the sharp pain and madly tossed its head around, bellowing as it circled around the cave.
Bai Huo promptly jumped off, returning the bone sword, he tilted his head up and smiled at the little dragon: “Wasn’t daddy cool?”
The little dragon cub’s eyes were sparkling, almost turning into stars.
Bai Huo’s ego would easily get inflated from a slight compliment, forget about a look of worship from the little dragon cub. His heart was immediately overwhelmed, almost grinning from ear to ear.
”If you like it, dad will teach you how to do it when you get a little bigger.” Bai Huo was very satisfied by the praise, even his self-proclaimed title of “Dad” flowed more and more smoothly.
The little dragon cub seemed to think of something and curiously approached him, groping his back, apparently looking for the location of the sword.
”It’s not here, it’s inside. I’ll tell you later.” Bai Huo said mysteriously.
”Come, let’s go home and eat.” Bai Huo pinched his sore neck and got up to pick him up.
The incident happened within a heat beat. Just as the two were about to leave, in the darkness, the injured beast suddenly attacked again, and its target actually seemed to be the little dragon.
Bai Huo had reached out his hand to pick up the child, and when he saw the direction of the beast, he hurriedly turned sideways using his shoulders to block the impact. Although the beast was using the last of its strength, its bite was deadly, tearing out a scale from Bai Huo’s shoulder.
Bai Huo groaned, his face paling. The little dragon couldn’t clearly see Bai Huo’s movements, he just saw the beast’s head suddenly explode, impaled by the white bone sword. It flew back, nailed to the cave’s wall. The beast rolled up its tail in defiance, then it twitched a few times before letting out its last breath.
”I didn’t want to kill you, but trying to hurt your master was a mistake.” Bai Huo panted lightly, walking over with a solemn look, reaching out to pull out his bone sword.
The beast slid down the wall, stacking against the other dead beast.
Bai Huo massaged his shoulders. Then he bent over to pick up a glass bead on the ground, holding it in the palm of his hand.
The little dragon ran over to him. Bai Huo glanced at him and gave him the glass bead, somewhat apologetic: “I killed your guardian beast, will you be angry with me someday?”
The little dragon’s attention was completely grabbed by the glass bead. He didn’t respond, just bowing his head, rolling the glass bead between his little fingers.
The beast’s saliva had an anesthetic effect, Bai Huo felt a little dizzy. He sat on the ground for a moment, waiting for the dizziness to pass before getting up and hugging the little dragon, exiting the cave.
Outside, the also bitten Luo Wen Xu had already fainted, and Ji Bei anxiously tried to pick him up, but he was too weak to carry him back.
”I’ll do it, hold my child.” Bai Huo walked over and said. His complexion wasn’t very good, even the only rosy part of his face, the inside of his lips, was pale.
Ji Bei cast a glance at the tunnel entrance in surprise: “What about the mutant pangolin?”
”What mutant pangolin,” Bai Huo pulled Luo Wen Xu onto his shoulder and laboriously settled him on his back, sighing, “That was a Rock Wyrm.”
Bai Huo was very thin, carrying the hulky Luo Wen Xu, his back was barely visible.
”Bai Huo…” Ji Bei hesitated, picking up the child and following behind him.
For the first time, he’d called Bai Huo’s full name, it was strangely more intimate than the title “Director Bai.”
”I know what you want to ask.” Bai Huo sighed. He’d made too many mistakes during this journey, it wasn’t something a simple bottle of amnesia powder could solve. “We’ll talk later.”
Not long after Luo Wen Xu and Ji Bei came out, the support troops and police dogs arrived.
Ji Bei’s high fever had not retreated, after roughly explaining the situation, his body reached its limit, and he was carried into the ambulance on a stretcher together with Luo Wen Xu.
Lu Luo finally managed to report the situation surrounding her two captains to the superiors. When she turned around, she saw that the crowd was missing two people. She hurriedly stopped a passing officer and asked: “Hey, where did the handsome guy that carried out the captain go?”
The young policeman shook his head like a rattle: “I didn’t see.”
Xiao Shu was pushing through the crowd, wearing a mask and holding a leather-bound notebook. He crossed the cordon in front of the chaotic scene. In the hole, the two strange beasts that had just been carried out were lying quietly on the ground, and several forensic pathologists stood to the side, completely baffled.
”What is this, were these the things killing people?”
”I guess so, although I’ve never seen something like this before. Do we just drag them back and cut them open?”
”We’ll call an expert, just hope that they’re not endangered animals, that could be troublesome……”
“Hey! Little comrade, don’t disturb the crime scene!” An old forensic doctor shouted.
Xiao Shu said “Oh”, and smiled sheepishly, raising the notebook in his hand: “Sorry, I’m recording the scene.”
The old forensic doctor didn’t make a fuss, turning around to continue discussing the details with his colleagues.
Xiao Shu took off his gloves, and, when no one was looking, stealthily pulled out a faintly glowing white scale from the mouth of the smaller beast, wedging it into his notebook.
Bai Huo opened the front door, his face pale.
Sitting in the middle of the living room sofa was a woman in red, seeing him, she smiled and put down her tea cup.
The woman looked to be in her early thirties. Although it was the middle of winter, she only wore a red dress, her hair neat and short, delicate makeup and an excellent figure. She was sitting upright, her bearing very elegant, she would make a great CCTV anchor.
”I’ve been waiting for you for a long time.” Ding Ping smiled. “I’ve come to you today on behalf of the association.”
On the balcony, the fat bird was burying itself in a KFC family-size bucket. It’d heard Bai Huo coming home, but didn’t even lift its head. Obviously, this was a betrayal, bought over by the power of food.
The little dragon cub curiously poked his head out from Bai Huo’s embrace, and his gaze met the woman’s. He seemed to sense something and suddenly hugged Bai Huo’s neck.
Bai Huo’s complexion was very poor, he closed his eyes, placatingly rubbing the little dragon’s back before asking, “What’s the matter?”
”Is this the child?” Ding Ping smiled and looked at the little baby dragon. “He’s so cute.”
Bai Huo frowned, looking at her scornfully: “What do you want?”
”According to Article 13 of the Dragon Convention, if a dragon finds a newborn dragon cub, the discovery must be reported to the association, and the child should be handed over to be raised by the association.” Ding Ping said elegantly, “You’ve violated the rules, Bai Huo.”
Bai Huo smiled coldly: “You’d be right, if I was under your association’s management. Now you’ve come to my home expecting me to respect the association’s rules despite me being an independent entity, forgive my bluntness, but aren’t you overstepping your boundaries?”
Ding Ping maintained the smile: “What do you mean?”
“When I was expelled from the association, the old patriarch said something, have you forgotten already? As long as I don’t violate the first dragon convention, no one has the right to ask me to abide by your rules.” Bai Huo smiled like a rogue, “Over the years, I’ve done a fine job keeping my end of the bargain.”
Hostility quickly flashed across Ding Ping’s face: “The old patriarch is about to step down, he can’t protect you for much longer.”
Bai Huo’s pale face was slightly disdainful: “Looks like you’ve been doing well for yourself. Who’s the new patriarch? Zhuo Chen?”
Ding Ping looked at him, her expression somewhat complicated: “It’s Zhou Chong Wen.”
Bai Huo almost choked. That same kid that was bullied by their classmates and dismissed by their teachers, the low ranking, soft-spoken, awkward Zhou Chong Wen?
”I came here to inform you that we’ll be making a decision about this child very soon.” Ding Ping slowly smoothed out the wrinkles on her skirt and stood up to leave, her gaze trained on the little dragon, her eyes filled with ambition.
The little dragon glared at her, a fierce light in his eyes. If Bai Huo hadn’t covertly tightened his grip on him, the little cub would’ve already launched an attack.
Bai Huo has always been respectful to women. He politely opened the door for her and smiled: “Take care, I won’t see you off.”
After saying his goodbyes, Bai Huo closed the door and slowly leaned against it, unable to stop himself from cringing in pain. A dragon’s scale being removed was similar to a human’s fingernail being pulled out. Although it wasn’t fatal, the prolonged pain would cause strong discomfort. For the dragon race which had heightened senses, the pain was doubled.
Dragon scales grew slowly, a missing scale could take a year or two to grow back, this meant that the wound couldn’t heal during this time.
The little dragon cub looked worriedly at Bai Huo, his eyes red. A few moments later, he slowly brought his chin near Bai Huo’s shoulder and carefully blew.
Bai Huo was stunned. He rubbed the little dragon’s horns, suddenly feeling cheerful, smiling: “Such filial piety. Don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt a bit.”
Wyrm: Jiao, Wikipedia “a dragon in Chinese mythology, often defined as a “scaled dragon”, hornless according to certain scholars, and said to be aquatic or river-dwelling.” Wyrm is a lesser dragon, or sea serpent. I felt it best summarized a Jiao, although a common translation is flood dragon.