“A divine bone contract, once both sides agree, the contract won’t expire until one of them dies. Concluding the contract is equivalent to opening a special channel between the divine bones. Both the input value and output value of spiritual power can rise and fall with the willingness and spiritual strength of both parties.”
“A basic contract allows each party to sense the other’s approximate position, life-state, and other information. A junior contract allows sensing of precise position and spiritual-power state, and the highest-level contract allows life and spiritual-power sharing.” Squatting on Bai Huo’s head, the fat bird pulled his head out of his feathers after reading this paragraph in the “Dapeng Mark”, looking at Bai Huo in doubt.
If using the Wound Transferal spell could be called a unilateral investment of flesh, the divine bone contract was undoubtedly the highest sacrifice of the spirit.
Especially since the little dragon cub didn’t have much spiritual power, Bai Huo was basically making himself a fuel tank. The little dragon cub could draw spiritual power from his body whenever he needed it.
“He’s my only son,” Bai Huo’s face was flushed from alcohol, slurring, “Won’t everything I own be his in the future? What’s a little bit of spiritual power.”
The bold tone resembled an old rich man spoiling his son.
The little dragon cub nested in rich man Old Bai’s arms, glaring at the thin blanket by his feet, silently swiping his tail out, trying to push it under the sofa.
Recently, the days were blazing hot, and the little dragon cub had tender skin, so a heat rash had risen on his back. After Bai Huo realized that his quilt was too thick, he took the cub to the department store to buy a thin blanket. Who would’ve guessed that they were all out of stock, the only thing left was a discounted pink blanket, with a pattern of small, red, cartoon strawberries.
Bai Huo had glanced down at his son, then mischievously bought it.
“Are you sleepy? Go to bed, you have school tomorrow.” Bai Huo patted his son’s back, grabbing the blanket and covering him with it.
The little dragon cub awkwardly hid, but before he could escape, Bai Huo grabbed him and stuffed him into the pink blanket. With no choice, the little dragon cub grievously closed his eyes.
The fat bird flew to the tea table and pecked at the dragon cub’s half eaten watermelon, saying ambiguously, “Now that I think about it, don’t you dragons usually reserve the contract for spouses?”
“Some do,” Bai Huo was drunk, his smile slightly intoxicated. “It’s similar to authorizing someone else to use your credit card, plenty of parents do it for their children today.”
Strictly speaking, the dragon contract was a type of ritual. During the peak of the war era, spouses would establish the contract in order to improve coordination during combat. Later on, the dragon race started fading away, so in order to protect the offspring, the elders contracted with them. However, with society’s current development, the need for personal space had gradually increased. In order to protect their privacy, less and less dragons performed this ceremony.
“You aren’t afraid that you’ll regret this?” The fat bird snorted.
“He clings to me, what else can I do …” Bai Huo laughed proudly. “Besides, although the contract can’t be cancelled, the channels can be closed. When he grows up and falls for a little beauty, I’ll cooperate with him when he wants privacy on his dates.”
The fat bird looked at Bai Huo like he had a learning disability, wondering if this guy had completely forgotten that the little dragon cub could also spy on his privacy? Has he given up on looking for a wife?
Early the next morning, the little dragon cub put up his stool and brushed his teeth with Bai Huo.
“Gurgle, gurgle–puh!” One big and one small dragon simultaneously spit out water.
Bai Huo wiped the little dragon’s face with a towel and waved, “Okay, time for breakfast.”
The little dragon cub wagged his tail as he pitter-pattered to the dining table, he was happiest whenever he was eating!
The kindergarten served breakfast, but the amount wasn’t enough to full the little dragon cub’s belly. The cub had recently started growing like crazy, Bai Huo was afraid of starving him, so he gave him morning and evening meals, and got up to make cups of warm milk in the middle of the night. Even with so much food, the nutrition still couldn’t keep up with his growth rate. He even had occasional growing pains at night. Bai Huo had to hug the little dragon cub to sleep, so he could be there to calm him down whenever his legs started hurting.
After more than half a year’s grooming, the little dragon cub had now fully adapted to the daily life of humans, such as going out early and returning late, Bai Huo was very satisfied with this.
Today, the weather was bad and the sky was dark. Who knew whether it was because of poor sleep, but when he left the house in the morning, Bai Huo’s right eyelid twitched incessantly.
Bai Huo calculated on his fingers, feeling a bad premonition: “Fat chicken, what did the old yellow calendar say to abstain from today?”
The fat bird yawned, “Everything is inappropriate.”
“I knew it,” Bai Huo shook his head and sighed. “We have to go to a different mahjong parlor today.”
“I say, Director Bai, aren’t you ever going to reflect? The reason why you always lose money has nothing to do with the mahjong parlor’s Feng Shui.” The fat chicken said sincerely.
Bai Huo was indignant: “Nonsense! If it isn’t a problem with Feng Shui, then is it a problem with my skills?”
The little dragon cub and the fat chicken looked at each other, then nodded simultaneously.
Bai Huo stared in shock at the traitor little dragon cub: “…You heartless little boy.”
The little dragon cub grabbed his horns and ran away.
After sending his son off, Bai Huo left to play mahjong as usual. Unexpectedly, his skills were amazing today, he even won over a dozen games.
“Little Bai, your luck is pretty good today.” The uncle at the next table said bitterly.
But Bai Huo didn’t laugh, rather, he frowned at the tiles in front of him, muttering to himself for a long time: “You guys … no one cheated today?”
“Aiyo, what are you talking about? What, are you unhappy about winning money?”
“Yeah, would I cheat to help you win? I still have all my wits about me.”
Bai Huo didn’t speak, his expression tight, then he flipped his tiles and got up from the table: “I’m leaving.”
“Leaving? It ain’t kind to run away right after winning…”
Bai Huo pretended to be deaf, walking straight down the long hallway, rubbing his endlessly twitching right eye, a faint anxiety growing in his heart.
“What time is it?” Bai Huo pulled a passing waiter.
The kindergarten lets out at five o’clock, Bai Huo bluntly sat on the bench facing the street, planning to pick up his son as soon as possible.
The number of times Bai Huo has won at mahjong could be counted on his fingers.
The first time he won at mahjong, the dragon clan’s holy relic was stolen, and he was framed by the thief. After that, he’d resolutely left the dragon clan as an independent dragon.
The second time he won, he started his very first estrus, and almost died.
The third time he won, he got caught up in a gang war involving several major gangs in Jiang City. While on the battlefield, a bullet had torn through his leg, and he was almost forced to show his true form.
So, over the years, he dedicated himself to losing money at the mahjong table, and enjoyed it.
If he thought about it, he was now independent, so he wasn’t subject to the dragon clan, and he was already an adult, so he didn’t need to worry about a sudden estrus. On the human side, this was an era of peace, the chances of him stumbling into a gang war was low. Thinking like this, it really looked like he was anxious over nothing, unless …
The more Bai Huo thought, the more uncertain he felt, he couldn’t help but take out his phone and call Ji Bei: “Officer Ji, is there anything abnormal on your side?”
On the other end, Ji Bei seemed to be running, panting hard. Hearing this, he paused, “How did you know?”
Bai Huo’s nervousness shot up: “It’s true? Did you find those bastards trafficking children?”
“We’re tracking them now,” Ji Bei said. “I’ve never met such a crafty criminal. After we found his tracks this morning, we sent three experienced plainclothes to follow him, but he somehow slipped away.”
Ji Bei blamed himself: “This is my fault. Captain Luo originally wanted to directly arrest him and bring him in for questioning this morning, but a downtown nursery lost a child two days ago, and he hasn’t been located yet. I was worried that, if the child was still in their hands, and his associates get panicked form the arrest, the child would be put in danger–Right, is something wrong with Lin Xi? I arranged for someone to stay on duty at the school gate, if anyone but you try to pick him up, they’ll immediately send someone to follow. “
“It’s nothing,” Bai Huo stood up. “I’ll go pick him up now.”
The mahjong parlor nearby was open, as Bai Huo was preparing to leave, he suddenly sensed a familiar atmosphere and stiffened, turning his head slowly.
A low-key black car was parked by the curb, the window lowered, and the person in the back seat met Bai Huo’s eyes.
Bai Huo hung up the phone and asked in surprised: “Shige?”
Zhou Chong Wen nodded: “Yes, we meet again.”
Ding Ping was driving. She wore a low-cut red dress, her short hair pinned behind her ears. The moment she turned her head, almost all the men passing by rubbernecked.
“Come up, we can’t park here.” Ding Ping said impatiently.
Bai Huo didn’t move, looking directly at Zhou Chong Wen: “Has Shige come to Xi City for work?”
“Just about.” Zhou Chong Wen glanced at the giant-pearl bracelet on his wrist and smiled, “Have you gotten used to wearing the bracelet?”
Bai Huo’s skin was very white, so the blood-red bracelet on his wrist was very conspicuous, it was difficult to hide it. He smiled tightly: “Yeah.”
When Zhou Chong Wen first gave it to him, he didn’t take it seriously. It took a long time for him to feel the effects of this thing.
As the head of a clan, he called it a handy tool, but in fact, it wasn’t ordinary. The ancient giant clam was already rare, the giant blood clam was a treasure among treasures. The dragon clan’s treasure house held many precious treasures, but even if you raided it, a second blood pearl bracelet probably couldn’t be found.
Mate-less dragons were extremely prone to going berserk during estrus. In order to prevent injury, Bai Huo had dived to the bottom of a volcano and dug up scorching iron, then he’d searched out a craftsman to forge a scorching iron chain to wind around his wrist. The scorching iron wasn’t visible to the naked eye, and its high temperature could suppress the manic episodes during estrus, highly convenient. The only drawback was that its temperature was too high. As Zhou Chong Wen said, wearing it for too long would damage the body.
In comparison to Bai Huo’s ‘treat the symptoms but not the root cause’ physical binding tool, the blood pearls were obviously a better magical tool. It could soothe spiritual mania, and cultivate a calm heart and body, it really was a must-have tool for estrus. Even when not in estrus, wearing it every day brought a feeling of peace, perfect for those rough mahjong sessions.
Seeing him not moving, Ding Ping pressed the horn angrily: “Mr. Bai, you forget the rules as soon as you see the patriarch?”
Zhou Chong Wen quietly opened the door and stepped out, turning to instruct, “Go wait for me over there.”
Bai Huo actually bowed his head, as if he was admitting his mistakes: “Shige.”
Zhou Chong Wen smiled slightly, a hint of helplessness in his eyes: “You’re so unwilling to get close to me?”
He was taller than Bai Huo, wearing a light blue striped shirt, and pair of crisp trousers. Standing on the curb, he looked very amicable.
“It’s not you, I just …”
“I know, you have a tense relationship with the dragon clan, so you don’t want to get too close to any of their people, right?” Zhou Chong Wen smiled.
His thoughts exposed; Bai Huo scratched behind his ear. He glanced around, inadvertently glimpsing the mark that flashed across the space between Zhou Chong Wen’s eyebrows, staring blankly for a moment.
The Phoenix Mark, it seemed that the patriarch handover ceremony had already been completed, and the one currently standing in front of him was the supreme leader of the fire dragon clan. Except for the retired old patriarch, whoever saw him had to salute.
“I forgot my manners,” Bai Huo said awkwardly. “I should call you patriarch.”
“Others should call me patriarch, you can continue calling me Shige.” Zhou Chong Wen looked at him and raised his hand, seemingly wanting to pat his head, but he felt it was inappropriate, and changed his motion to fixing his cuffs.
“Did Shige come here this time for some important business?” Bai Huo didn’t hold back, since Zhou Chong Wen said that he didn’t need to change his address, he wouldn’t protest.
“Oh, there is something,” Zhou Chong Wen composed himself. “Have you heard of any dragons privately selling glamor mushrooms recently?”
“Glamor mushrooms?” Bai Huo hadn’t heard that word in many years, asking bewilderedly, “Isn’t that mushroom species extinct? I’ve only seen it in books.”
Glamor mushroom, a fluorescent mushroom that only grew in moonlight, and died in sunlight. Because of its harsh growth conditions, it has been extinct among the dragon race for many years.
Bai Huo had a very deep impression of this thing for two reasons. One, it had a very beautiful appearance. It was a completely transparent small mushroom, not a single trace of impurities. It glowed a faint blue under moonlight, which was very charming. But what really made Bai Huo remember it was its ability. Strictly speaking, the glamor mushroom was in defiance of heaven. Dragons had only one human form in their lifetime, but after eating a glamor mushroom, they could transform into someone else for a short period of time. In popular terms, it was indistinguishable from the ‘face change’ skill in human wuxia novels.
When Bai Huo saw this in the book, he’d joked with his fellow apprentices, saying that if he could eat this mushroom, he’d turn into an old lady and spy on the junior apprentice sisters bathing in the hot spring. Then he was almost flattened by one of the teachers.
Due to its special use, it was very easy for this mushroom to cause chaos. Later on, the three major dragon clans met collectively and classified this mushroom as a forbidden object. No organization or individual was allowed to plant it, and if it was found in the wild, it must be promptly reported and destroyed. The glamor mushroom was originally an endangered species, and after being treated so harshly, it disappeared within a few years, and was never seen again.
Bai Huo didn’t expect that after such a long time, he would suddenly hear this name again, he was quite amazed.
“It seems that you don’t know.” Zhou Chong Wen observed his change in expressions and smiled slightly, apparently relieved, “I heard that it had appeared in Xi City, I was worried that you would be involved.”
Bai Huo was slightly surprised.
“If it has nothing to do with you, then I can feel relieved to let them investigate.” Zhou Chong Wen explained.
“Shige … you traveled all this way, because you were worried I’d be involved?” Bai Huo was puzzled.
“It’s one reason,” Zhou Chong Wen heaved a sigh. “This kind of thing happened as soon as I took over, if I didn’t come here in person, I wouldn’t be able to relax.”
Bai Huo was a birdbrain, so he didn’t notice the hidden depth of Zhou Chong Wen’s tone when he said this. He was already absent-mindedly thinking about the snacks he should buy before picking up his son.
“Do you have somewhere to be?” Zhou Chong Wen asked sensitively.
Bai Huo snapped out of it and scratched his head, embarrassed: “My son leaves school at five o’clock, I have to pick him up.”
“That little dragon?” Zhou Chong Wen glanced down at his watch. “I’ll send you, it’s already passed time.”
Bai Huo wanted to refuse, but glancing at his mobile phone, it was surprisingly already 5:15, so, he didn’t make a fuss, casually sliding into Ding Ping’s car.
After school dismissal, the little dragon cub was holding his schoolbag and sitting obediently on the bench in the activity room, waiting for his Dad to come pick him up.
“Little Lin Xi.” The childcare worker walked up to him with a smile, “Your Dad is here.”
The little dragon cub turned, stars in his eyes, following behind the childcare worker, he trotted towards the door.
At the door, Bai Huo was leaning against the wall with his arms crossed, seeing him come out, he greeted him with a smile: “Let’s go home, little guy.”
The mahjong parlor nearby was open- 这家麻将馆临街开设, that’s what it says, I think. Idk why that sentence is there either.
scorching iron- literal translation. It doesn’t actually exist, it’s just something the author made up. If it keeps coming back, I’ll just make up a cooler word for it. Maybe something like, molten cores?