“Thanks man.” Bai Huo thanked the childcare worker and led the child out.
The little dragon cub heard the conversation between the two, and stared blankly for a moment, looking up at Bai Huo in hesitation.
“What’s wrong?” Bai Huo asked him from up above.
The little dragon cub frowned and suddenly reached out: “Hug.”
Bai Huo paused for a moment, then leaned over and hugged him up, muttering, “You’re so big and still want to be carried around, how annoying.”
Like a flexible cat, the little dragon cub quickly climbed up to Bai Huo’s collarbone and sniffed, then he looked down at his palm, his brows wrinkling.
After all, he’d just formed the contract, so he wasn’t familiar with its use of positioning, but Bai Huo and the childcare worker always looked at each other in hatred, when did he ever thank them? When did he ever complain about carrying him? Also, when did his Dad ever pick him up empty-handed? He didn’t bring dried fish, nor sea urchin snacks, and most importantly –
“You don’t smell nice!” The little dragon cub suddenly raised his head from the man’s shoulder, and said in a crisp voice, his expression grave.
“What—ouch!” Bai Huo had just spoken when he was firmly bitten on his shoulder, his expression sank. He raised his hands and clamped down on the child’s neck, forcibly dragging him away, suspending him in the air with one hand.
Although the little dragon cub’s teeth were already very solid, the tip of his teeth had been half submerged when it was forcibly pulled out. His gums were pulled, and the pain was almost unbearable. During his cub stage, for a brief spell, he’d gotten obsessed with biting things. Even when he was chewing on Bai Huo’s brand new expensive leather shoes, Bai Huo had never forcibly grabbed it from his mouth, he had just reached out with a smile and patted him on the head, patiently waiting for him to loosen his teeth and spit it out.
He’d never felt such an onslaught of pain invade his mouth before, the little cub was dazed from the pain, the tears filling his eyes as he covered his mouth.
…… This man was not his Dad. If he bit his Dad, he would never retaliate like that.
“Little bastard!” “Bai Huo” grimaced as he inspected his injured shoulder, lifting the little cub and shaking him vigorously.
“Who are you? I’ll bite you!” The little dragon cub was dizzy, wrathfully forcing back his tears, he opened his mouth wide, trying to bite the other man.
“Bai Huo” finally revealed his true colors, he smiled darkly and said, “Little thing, you’re pretty smart.”
After all, the little dragon cub was very small, before he could break free, he suddenly felt a sting on the back of his neck and fainted.
Bai Huo was sitting lazily in the car, chatting with Zhou Chong Wen, when his face suddenly changed, he sat upright and ordered: “Wrong, turn here.”
“What?” Ding Ping glanced back.
“Turn right at the intersection.” Bai Huo’s complexion paled.
“Isn’t the kindergarten to the left?” Ding Ping said, annoyed. “Don’t treat me as a chauffeur, if it wasn’t for the patriarch, I’d never…”
Noticing his strange look, Zhou Chong Wen softly interrupted: “Do as he says.”
Ding Ping stopped talking and turned the steering wheel right.
“What’s wrong?” Zhou Chong Wen turned to ask Bai Huo.
Bai Huo looked down at his palm and said nothing, a moment later, he explained, his voice tight: “His position changed.”
Zhou Chong Wen sized him up, then narrowed his eyes: “Did you form a contract?”
Bai Huo nodded, still pale.
Zhou Chong Wen fell silent, staring at Bai Huo’s profile for a long time, his expression incomprehensible.
After arriving at an alley’s entrance, the car couldn’t go in further. Bai Huo opened the door and got out, but Zhou Chong Wen stopped him: “I’ll go with you.”
“But …” Bai Huo subconsciously refused, but Zhou Chong Wen didn’t wait for him to say more, he turned around and ordered Ding Ping to wait here, following Bai Huo into the alley.
Bai Huo jogged ahead: “Here.”
Seeing his forehead drenched with sweat, Zhou Chong Wen comforted him: “Don’t worry, it’s normal for children to run around. Maybe he’s just playing with his classmates.”
Bai Huo shook his head, his tone quite confident: “Not my son, he’s very obedient.”
There were more reasons Bai Huo didn’t state. The little dragon cub had no interest in ordinary human children, with that child’s temperament, even if he was among dragons, he’d still snub them. He didn’t like playing with his peers, he wanted to stick to his Dad. In the little dragon cub’s opinion, fighting with the fat bird, jumping into the lake to catch fish, and watching his Dad play mahjong were all more interesting than playing with his peers. What the child looked forward to the most every day was his Dad picking him up. He would never run away like this; something must’ve happened.
Thinking about Ji Bei’s child trafficking case, Bai Huo felt anxious. Although his son was a dragon, he was still a child. If he really met malicious adults, he might not have the upper hand.
“It’s my fault, I’m too careless. I shouldn’t have gone to play mahjong.” Bai Huo blamed himself.
Zhou Chong Wen didn’t know what to say, so he merely patted him on the shoulder.
The two walked crossed a few alleys and met a dead end.
“Where next?” Zhou Chong Wen asked.
Bai Huo frowned deeply, closing his eyes for a few beats, when he opened them, his face even paler: “It should be near here, I can’t get a more accurate position, the child’s spiritual power is too weak.”
There was an ancient residential area nearby with numerous broken walls and ruins, utterly dilapidated, no one lived there anymore. Several rows of buildings were marked with the letter “D” for demolition in red paint.
“Look in those rows, I’ll start from here.” Zhou Chong Wen said.
Bai Huo was a little out of it, turning slowly, he started looking from the other end.
The little dragon cub didn’t pass out for long. When he woke up, he found himself in a strange cage, it looked a bit like something a circus lion would be in.
Close by, an elderly man and woman were arguing in whispers, holding a few bundles of banknotes in each hand.
A young woman was crouched in front of him, staring at him attentively, quite shocked to see him suddenly open his eyes.
“Whew, that scared me. Hey, this kid looks really good, white skin and big eyes, he’ll definitely be a lady-killer when he grows up.” The young woman braced her chin on her hand and smiled a bit flippantly.
“Xiao Yan, what do you think?” The young woman glanced back.
On the window sill, a young man in his early twenties was sitting by the window, aloof. He sat against the light, revealing only a tall silhouette, with half of his body hanging outside the window. When the little dragon cub saw him, he dashed forward in anger, but was blocked by the iron cage. He slammed against the iron cage, and it shook with a ‘clang’.
“Why is this child so strong?” The woman recoiled two steps, frightened by his abrupt movements.
“Quiet him down!” Nearby, a fat man glanced back impatiently, then continued negotiating with the old woman.
The woman rolled her eyes: “I’m not a mother.”
The young man never responded, dissatisfied, the woman asked: “Xiao Yan, why are you ignoring me?”
The young man turned his head and glanced at her coldly: “When will you return it to me?”
“What the hell, if you hate me so much, then why were you so desperate to sleep with me at that time.” The woman pouted.
The young man gritted his teeth, as if he was suffering from a great shame: “I’ve done everything you’ve asked me for, what else do you want?”
“It’s not so great when somebody likes you.” The woman winked at him, then ran up to the young man, smiling, “Look Xiao Yan, hasn’t our collaboration been very pleasant? What’s the point of just packing up and leaving? Let’s work together.”
When the young man heard this, his face immediately sank: “Are you breaking the contract?”
“Why do you always speak so harshly? Isn’t there a saying ‘Once a lover, always a lover’? You …”
“I’ve said it countless times, that was a mistake!” The young man couldn’t help but roar loudly.
The fat man roared back in annoyance: “What are you two doing?! Quiet down! Do you want to alert the police!”
“It’s none of your goddam business!” The woman turned back and yelled, her eyes quickly filling with tears as she sobbed.
The young man was simply bewildered, a long moment later, he approached her and kneeled in front of her, pulling his hair in suffering: “I’m sorry, please return it to me, I beg of you, let me go.”
“Okay, I’ll give it to you, loveless bastard!” The woman wept, pulling a white crescent-shaped ring from her jacket pocket and throwing it at him, “Take it.”
Seeing the ring, the young man’s eyes widened, he quickly grabbed it, wiped it on his clothes, and impatiently swallowed it.
“What are you …”
The woman was stunned, watching the young man roll out his muscles, his eyes changing dramatically in an instant. Something that could be called an aura quickly spread out after he swallowed the ring, in the blink of an eye, the entire abandoned building was enveloped.
Smelling a familiar dragon’s breath, the little dragon cub stopped hitting the iron cage and stared at the young man’s face.
The two looked at each other, astonished.
“You’re …” The young man’s eyes widened, his complexion gradually changing.
At that moment, the fat man finally reached an agreement with the other party. After counting the banknotes in his hand, he walked towards the cage in satisfaction, crouching down to unlock the cage lock, intending to grab the little dragon cub.
“Come here, come here.” The fat man reached in and grabbed.
No one would act cautiously around a less than four years old child, so when he was bitten on his arm, the fat man ignored it at first. When he finally sensed that the sharp pain was abnormal, it was already too late. The blood was practically gushing out of where he was bitten, terrified, he subconsciously threw the child away.
When a human’s desire for survival erupts, their strength increases exponentially. The little dragon cub rolled across the floor after being violently tossed away, because of the pain, his sharp claws flashed for two seconds, before he retracted it.
The young woman thought that she was seeing things, and rubbed her eyes.
The young man stepped back nervously for some reason, saying, “I urge you, let this child go …”
“Let him go?” The young woman’s face sank.
“Bah!” The fat man’s forehead veins bulged violently, he stepped forward, covering his wound, “I’ll teach you!”
The little dragon cub shook off his dizziness and stood up, swaying. Watching the human approaching him aggressively, his black pupils slowly contracted.
“Arrgggh-” A scream rang out from an abandoned building.
Bai Huo and Zhou Chong Wen looked back simultaneously.
“That way!” Bai Huo ran towards the sound’s source without hesitation, but before taking two steps, he suddenly felt weak, like his spiritual power was being sucked away by a vacuum, and fell forward.
Right behind him, Zhou Chong Wen quickly reached out to grab him, stopping Bai Huo from falling flat on the ground.
Bai Huo opened his mouth, but before he could speak, his complexion changed dramatically, and he leaned over, coughing up blood.
“Little Bai!” Zhou Chong Wen anxiously shook his shoulders.
“It’s … it’s okay.” Bai Huo felt like the sky was spinning, a bad premonition rising in his heart. He forced himself out of Zhou Chong Wen’s embrace and continued forward, half-staggering towards the destination.
“Lin Xi!” Bai Huo shouted as he ran.
The metal door on the second floor of the building was locked. Bai Huo kicked it off its hinges, the door slamming into the ground, raising dust.
“Cough … Lin …” Before Bai Huo could take in the surroundings, a dark shadow leapt out from the dust, fiercely biting into his right shoulder.
Bai Huo stumbled backwards, smelling the familiar breath, he stared blankly for a moment, then looked down, discovering that the one who was biting him was none other than his obedient baby boy. The little dragon cub was completely in his dragon form, fiercely biting into his flesh. Like a berserk wolf, his eyes were full of hostility, as if he simply didn’t recognize who he was.
This bite was different from the little dragon cub’s tantrums in the past, it was deadly, a sharp pain emitting from deep in his shoulder, causing Bai Huo to gasp in pain.
“Cub …” Bai Huo helplessly leaned against the wall, letting the little dragon bite him. He laboriously raised his left hand, lightly stroking the child’s back.
The little dragon cub froze, his grip loosening.
“Dad didn’t know, that your teeth were so powerful.” Bai Huo constantly smoothed his feathers, his complexion especially pale because of the pain. He smiled, coaxing, “Shhh, your Dad is here, don’t be scared.”
When Zhou Chong Wen rushed over, this was the scene he met: broken tables and chairs littering the worn out floor, one man and two women randomly lying in a heap, blood flowing out on the ground, and at the other end of the building, a young dragon was holding his injured leg, trying to jump through the window.
Bai Huo hugged the little dragon cub, who had fallen asleep, and staggered up, his voice tight: “Shige.”
Zhou Chong Wen nodded, striding over to the window, he nimbly grabbed the dragon youth and dragged him back, tossing him to the ground.
“P, patriarch …” The young dragon cried out in alarm, ignoring his leg injury, he climbed up and knelt in one breath.
Zhou Chong Wen ignored him, walking over to the humans with a solemn expression, testing the breath of each one.
It was the first time Bai Huo had seen Zhou Chong Wen with such a serious expression, he subconsciously hugged the dragon cub a little tighter, his lips thinning. The child wasn’t so much asleep as he was unconscious. His small head leaned weakly against Bai Huo’s chest, his back still occasionally spasming, making Bai Huo feel distressed.
“There’s still life left, but they need to be treated immediately.” Zhou Chong Wen turned to look at Bai Huo.
Bai Huo was obviously out of sorts, it took a few seconds for him to understand Zhou Chong Wen’s meaning.
According to Article 6 of the Dragon Convention, dragons must not injure human beings in their true form under any circumstances, violators shall be punished by three to three hundred years of hard labor.
“I’m coming.” Bai Huo ran over, planning to use the wound transferal spell.
Bai Huo had just brushed up his sleeve, when Zhou Chong Wen clamped down on his thin wrist, saying heavily: “You’ll die.”
The two looked at each other, Zhou Chong Wen’s eyes were very deep, making Bai Huo subconsciously gulp, his face deathly pale: “But Shige …”
Bai Huo turned to look at the man and two women. The three humans were almost bitten from head to toe, especially the fat man lying the furthest away, his arms were almost mutilated. The three people’s wounds would be doubled after being absorbed. If he wanted to use the wound transferal spell to save them, even two Bai Huos wouldn’t be enough.
“R-report it to the police.” The dragon youth to the side interjected in a quiet voice.
Zhou Chong Wen glanced back at him, and the young man immediately shut up, kneeling composedly.
Bai Huo woke up like from a dream, looking around, he ran towards the cage. The little dragon cub’s schoolbag was still there, Bai Huo quickly found the alarm and tracker, then pressed it.
Without saying a word, Zhou Chong Wen simply stopped the blood flow of the three humans. He scanned Bai Huo’s bloody shoulder and terrible complexion, saying in a heavy voice, “Hold out your hand.”
Bai Huo was afraid that he would absorb his wounds again, and hid his hands behind his back, backing up two steps: “Don’t, Shige, it’ll heal in two days.”
Zhou Chong Wen said helplessly: “I won’t do the spell, just show me your injuries. What happened outside?”
“I don’t know, my chest suddenly hurt, and I felt a wave of weakness.” Bai Huo hesitatingly stretched out his hand.
Zhou Chong Wen felt his pulse, after a moment, his eyes moved to the little dragon cub in Bai Huo’s arms, his brows furrowed.
“His.” Zhou Chong Wen said concisely.
Bai Huo was a bit reluctant, but Zhou Chong Wen’s gaze was too heavy, he had no choice but to stretch the little dragon cub’s paw out for Zhou Chong Wen to take a look.
Unexpectedly, Zhou Chong Wen didn’t take the hand, instead, he directly reached out and placed his hand on the little dragon cub’s nape, prying apart his feathers.
“Shige, don’t …” Bai Huo quickly moved to stop him, but suddenly hesitated, “What is that?”
A small crescent-shaped, bloody scar had appeared on the little dragon cub’s nape. The child’s skin was tender, so the wound was especially startling.
“His divine bone is damaged,” Zhou Chong Wen had a grave expression, “His dragon breath is weakening.”
Like he was struck by a bolt of lightning, Bai Huo’s brain instantly blanked.
Xiao Yan- lit. Little Flame. Idk if it’s his real name or a nickname/codename. Just found it interesting that that’s the Chinese name for Homura from Puella Magica
It’s not so great when somebody likes you- 不怎么样啊，人家喜欢你嘛. Think that’s what she’s saying, not sure why or to whom. I guess she’s saying that love isn’t all fun and games, and she’s saying it to LLX.
Once a lover, always a lover– A day together as husband and wife means endless devotion the rest of your life.