After all, the little dragon cub was still injured, after crying, he laid on Bai Huo’s shoulders and fell asleep, a snot bubble still in his nose. Bai Huo gently hugged him back to the bed, but when he tried to get up, he found that the little cub still had a death grip on his clothes. No matter how he shook and pulled, the child refused to let go, so Bai Huo had no choice but to sit back down.
His shoulders felt cool, Bai Huo reached out and touched them, they were soaked.
He didn’t know where this little cub stored so much tears. Bai Huo was amused and distressed. He reached out, wiping the child’s face with his sleeve.
The room quieted down. A few minutes later, a severing child carried a bowl of clean water in, together with Jing Lan, who was smiling slightly at Bai Huo.
The inner hall and the outer hall were separated by only a few bead curtains. The inside movements could clearly be heard outside. Even the patriarch of the water dragons, this immortal figure, couldn’t cover up his amusement.
Bai Huo sighed and said: “Don’t look at me like that, you’ll be the same when you have a son.”
“Ah …” Jing Lan was a little flabbergasted, thinking to himself, fortunately, he wasn’t married.
The serving child wrung out a cotton cloth to wash the little dragon cub’s face. Bai Huo looked on, and felt that he was somewhat clumsy, so he bluntly took away the cloth, wiping the little cub from head to toe.
The serving child was robbed of his job, and had no choice but to stand awkwardly to the side. Upon seeing this, Jing Lan asked him to go out and bring two sets of clothes for Bai Huo and the little dragon cub.
“Do you mind if I spray fire for warmth?” Bai Huo shivered from the ice-cold water used to wash his face.
The Water Dragon Palace was located at the bottom of the sea, the temperature was naturally low. The food was raw and the drinking water was cold, now even the face water was icy, it felt like Bai Huo was being punished.
Jing Lan glanced at the room full of precious Chinese medicinal materials and thought for a while before saying: “We can bring you a basin of hot water, but you might have to wait two hours.”
Bai Huo, the kitchen-destroyer, was shocked: “What? Does it take that long to boil water?”
“No, it’s just that everyone hates fire. Probably … the kitchen staff will need to decide by democratic election who will start the fire, and then another democratic election will decide who will boil the water.”
Bai Huo: “…”
The serving child brought in a bundle of clothing. Before opening it, Bai Huo was afraid that he would pull out a piece of kelp, but instead, he found an ash gray, large sleeved garment for himself, and a soft blue-green coat for the child. Although he wasn’t used to these clothes, it was warmer than wet clothes, so Bai Huo reluctantly changed into it. Surprisingly, except for his short hair, which was a bit disharmonious, the effect wasn’t bad.
Bai Huo squeezed his son’s small hand again and rubbed his mouth, which were pouted after he’d gotten up to change his clothes, then turned to smile at Jing Lan: “Look at how great my son is, he can adapt to any environment.”
Jing Lan observed the little dragon cub, who was holding onto Bai Huo as he slept on the crystal bed, for a long time, before pointing out: “I don’t think he looks like a water dragon.”
Bai Huo was baffled: “What do you mean?”
Jing Lan shook his head: “I also can’t say for sure. I took his pulse before, and felt that it was slightly different from a water dragon’s, but I’m not sure if it has anything to do with his damaged dragon bones.”
Bai Huo squeezed his son’s small paw, and didn’t respond.
Jing Lan didn’t dwell on this issue, saying gently: “The child is too young, his dragon bones aren’t fully developed, after being damaged, there might be some other unknown symptoms. It’s obvious that the child wants to stick to you, so keep an eye out. “
Bai Huo nodded; his expression resembling a distressed old father whose child has a broken leg.
Sunshine didn’t reach the Water Dragon Palace; it was illuminated by night pearls all year round. The time was measured by a large clock on the bell tower, it rang every six hours to divide day and night.
The little dragon cub slept all night. Bai Huo estimated the time he would wake up and slipped into the kitchen in advance to grab three or four plates of fish. When he walked out, he bumped into the chef, the two meeting each other uneventfully. Bai Huo felt a little awkward about taking their things for free, so he patted down his body, but could only come up with a bag of tea leaves gifted by the mahjong parlor, and a few rigged dice used for cheating. So, he cordially gave the chef the bag of tea leaves and five dice.
Back in the room, the little dragon cub had really woken up.
“Cub, come eat some fish.” Bai Huo walked over to get him dressed. “Hungry?”
The little dragon cub sat up, looking down at his own paws in doubt while he let Bai Huo fiddle with him.
The clothes weren’t difficult to put on, but the little dragon cub wasn’t in his human shape, so the pants couldn’t fit. Bai Huo simply left him without, either way, the coat was long enough, and besides, who hasn’t gone a few days pants-less when they were children.
After washing up, the little dragon cub finally felt alive, even his appetite woke up, swallowing big mouthfuls of fish. But it wasn’t enough to just sit and eat, he crawled into Bai Huo’s arms and insisted that Bai Huo feed him.
“Eat slowly, don’t choke, if it’s not enough, Dad will go get more for you.” Bai Huo combed the feathers on his head while feeding him, his expression full of tenderness.
After the father and son had a sickly-sweet breakfast, Jing Lan came in to check on them, informing Bai Huo that the little dragon cub could stay out of bed for a bit, but he couldn’t run too far. He had to lie back down on the crystal bed every two hours.
“Okay baby, greet Patriarch Jing.” Bai Huo picked the dragon cub up and straightened him out.
With a smile on his face, Jing Lan gently said to the little dragon cub, who was watching him guardingly: “I and your father were both taught by old Patriarch Zhuo, we can be regarded as pupils under the same master, please call me Shishu.”
The little dragon cub was clinging to Bai Huo’s shoulders, extending his head out to say in a crisp voice, “Jing Shishu.”
“Really not bashful.” Bai Huo pulled the little dragon cub’s tail.
The little dragon cub blushed and covered Bai Huo’s mouth to prevent him from laughing.
Jing Lan had permitted the little dragon cub to call him Shishu instead of patriarch, Bai Huo didn’t treat it conscientiously, but everyone else understood the difference. Because of that, they couldn’t help paying special attention to the little dragon cub’s hot water request. The original two hours were shortened to half an hour. Bai Huo speculated that the kitchen staff might’ve switched to fighting to decide who would boil the hot water.
The little dragon cub was just like Bai Huo, he also didn’t like to eat the grass, but he really loved the Water Dragon Palace’s fish. The fish here were all deep-sea fish, they were delicious and had very little bones. When he ate it, the little dragon cub’s tail wagged happily.
The more you eat, the better you recover, Bai Huo was very pleased to see this.
One day, Bai Huo slipped away to the kitchen to bring the little cub sea urchins for afternoon tea, there he met Mr. Chef lazily reclining on a chair with a water cup in his hand.
The two were just nodding acquaintances, not particularly friends, so Bai Huo just wanted to say hello and leave. Who would’ve guessed that as soon as Mr. Chef saw him, he was very eager, and stepped forward to hold his hand, speechless from overwhelming emotions.
“This, tasty, very tasty ah!”
After listening for a long time, Bai Huo realized that he was talking about the cup of tea in his hand. He stood dazed for a moment, then finally got it. The water dragons hated fire and heat, so the dragons here never drink hot water, hot tea or other such drinks.
Looking at Mr. Chef’s expressions, it felt like an ancient eating ice cream for the first time. The excitement and novelty were far stronger than the fear.
So happy about a cup of cheap tea, Bai Huo sighed lightly. It seems that the comrades in the Water Dragon Palace really lived in deep waters. As a passionate and generous young man from modern society, Bai Huo needed to help them. So, he stepped forward and gripped Mr. Chef’s hand, saying magnanimously, “What is a cup of tea? Do you still have the dice I gave you last time? Come, come, call your brothers over here …”
The little dragon cub didn’t see Bai Huo after waking up from his nap, he rubbed his eyes, planning to go find his father. But just as he slipped out of bed, he found a little blue dragon that was slightly older than him quietly hiding behind the bead curtain at the entrance, peeking at him.
“Who are you?” The little dragon cub asked alertly.
“Ah, I was found!” Exclaimed the little blue dragon, grabbing his tail and running away, but before he could run two steps, he tripped on his own feet, and fell face down, “Ahh-“
The little dragon cub: “…”
“Be careful.” Footsteps were heard, and an indigo silhouette lifted the child up, his voice gentle and pleasant.
The little blue dragon quickly climbed up with his help, bowing his head as he blushed: “Patriarch.”
It was strictly against the rules to enter the patriarch’s chambers without permission. The little blue dragon not only made a big blunder, he was even caught red-handed by the man himself, he almost peed his pants in panic.
But Jing Lan just rubbed his head amiably, smiling, “Ah Zhen, what are you running from?”
“I … I heard the adults say,” The little blue dragon stuttered nervously. “There’s a younger brother here, I just … just …”
Jing Lan smiled silently and opened the case on the table, handing the two children a piece of crab meat paste.
Crab meat paste was a rare snack in the Water Dragon Palace, children especially enjoyed it. Instead of being scolded, the little blue dragon actually got a piece of crab meat paste, he wagged his tail happily.
This was the little dragon cub’s first time eating this strange delicacy, he blinked and tasted the crab meat paste, licking while he glanced at the little blue dragon. He was born and raised among humans, and had only met a small number of adult dragons. This was the first time he’d met another dragon cub, especially a dragon cub similar to his age, he was very curious.
Jing Lan propped up his chin, a smile on his face as he watched the two children nibble on the snacks, his brain almost melting from the cuteness.
“Patriarch!” Ah Zhen shouted a few times before Jing Lan snapped back to reality, he coughed lightly, then asked, “What’s wrong?”
“Can I be friends with younger brother?” Ah Zhen asked in a whisper.
This question was asked at Jing Lan, but it was actually directed at the little dragon cub.
“Of course, you can, but Lin Xi is younger than you and a guest, you’re not allowed to bully him.” Jing Lan smiled and said.
Ah Zhen’s eyes lit up, he immediately turned around and bashfully introduced himself to the little dragon cub: “Your … your name is Lin Xi, right? My name is Ah Zhen.”
The little dragon cub nodded: “I’m Li Lin Xi.”
Ah Zhen got a response and flushed with excitement.
A guard walked in and whispered something, glancing at the little blue dragon. Jing Lan nodded and turned back, saying gently: “Ah Zhen, your granny is looking for you.”
Ah Zhen didn’t want to leave, after all, he’d just managed to say hello, but the patriarch had spoken, he had no choice but to reluctantly look at his new playmate and say bravely: “I’ll come play with you next time.”
Before leaving, he didn’t forget to share his crab meat paste in half and give it to Little Lin Xi: “For you, next time we’ll be friends.”
The little dragon cub had never experienced the start of a friendship, he stared blankly at the crab meat, forgetting to refuse.
As soon as Ah Zhen left, with the little dragon cub’s dislike of talking, the room quickly cooled down. Jing Lan looked at the little dragon cub who was still staring down at the unfinished crab meat paste, and asked worriedly: “Are you uncomfortable?”
The little dragon cub shook his head.
Jing Lan thought about it, then asked, “Should I take you to find your Dad?”
The little dragon cub immediately looked up: “Thank you, Jing Shishu.”
Jing Lan smiled slightly, taking the child’s hand, he led him out, the guards at the door dutifully following.
The kitchen at this time–
More than a dozen people were divided into two groups around a square table, staring at each other cautiously.
In the middle of the square table, a fair hand was covering an overturned porcelain bowl. The owner of the hand looked from side to side, and said loudly, “Are all bets settled? I’m lifting my hand.”
Both sides nodded energetically.
Bai Huo’s mouth twitched, then he suddenly lifted the porcelain bowl: “Start-!”
Jing Lan heard a commotion before he even approached the kitchen, baffled, he asked, “Is it a holiday today?”
The guard was also puzzled: “I don’t think so.”
The little dragon cub’s ears twitched, catching a familiar voice, he suddenly wanted to pretend to be deaf.
The patriarch visiting the kitchen was naturally a big event, but the workers were obviously immersed in their own world, nobody noticed the people at the door.
The group stepped into the kitchen, except for Jing Lan and the little dragon cub, the rest were stupefied, cold sweating.
My God, the workers were shouting energetically, encircling the square table, their sleeves brushed up to their elbows, and feet stomping on the stools. Their fists were raised, every face was flushed with anger or excitement. Where could the usual graceful disposition and polite behavior be seen?
“What are you doing?!” The guard couldn’t help but roar.
The crowd looked back impatiently, but when they saw Jing Lan, they immediately fell silent, the dice dropping to the floor.
Bai Huo emerged from the depths of the crowd, looking at Jing Lan and his son in the doorway, he cheerfully slapped the table and waved, “Ah, Jing Lan, we’re just one person short, you-umph.”
The little dragon cub shoved the crab meat into Bai Huo’s mouth, and conveniently climbed into his arms, saying: “Crab meat paste, for you.”
Bai Huo nodded while chewing, rubbing his son’s head to express his thanks.
Jing Lan withdrew his gaze from the scattered dice below the table, his expression was calm, there was even a faint smile, but his words made the workers tremble: “Go get your penalty.”
pants-less- Wikipedia “Open-crotch pants, also known as open-crotch trousers or split pants, are worn by toddlers throughout mainland China.”
Shishu- Martial Uncle
Bai Huo is a total card.