Above the cloud layer, the sky was blue.
“You regret it?” Zhou Chong Wen looked back and asked Bai Huo, who had just caught up.
Bai Huo’s amber eyes were still trained on the ground, his beautiful white scales almost fusing with the clouds, his long, white dragon whiskers rising and falling in the wind.
When the black dots on the snow completely disappeared from their field of vision, Bai Huo turned around and took the lead in front of Zhou Chong Wen, flying away as he said in a heavy voice, “Let’s go.”
Zhou Chong Wen spoke no more, turning around again. His tail flicked as he suddenly dived into the thick clouds.
In the distant horizon, the sun penetrated through the layers of blockage, a ray of golden light shining upon the snow-capped mountain ranges.
When we meet again, he should be a little more grown-up, Bai Huo closed his eyes against the wind.
Five years later.
A short hairy dragon ran up the mountain with a copy of an old newspaper. Because he was too excited, he tripped over his feet and fell flat onto his belly, “Ouch!”
Bai Huo picked his ears and turned around, biting a dry blade of grass, he sighed, “Jian Guo, this isn’t a New Year’s party.”
Liu Jian Guo spit out the sand in his mouth, giggled, then gave the newspaper to Bai Huo, like he was presenting a treasure: “Boss, a human expedition just passed by, I found this under their car!”
Bai Huo glanced at the wrinkled, yellowed newspaper, obviously uninterested, but looking at his little brother‘s eager and flattering face, he took it reluctantly.
A strange smell wafted up.
Bai Huo’s forehead wrinkled: “Jian Guo, be honest, where did you get this thing?”
There was desert all around them, except for the sandy soil on the desert mountains, there was no places for trees to dig their roots. Because it was so desolate, there were very few humans in the vicinity. It belonged to the Three No’s district; no people, no signals, no signs. To the dragon race, this was the legendary immortal mountain-Yao Mountain.
Five years ago, Bai Huo was sentenced to ten years of hard labor for disturbing the human world, and was sent to Yao Mountain to participate in the construction of the dragon clan’s underground palace. This year was his fifth year in this place where even birds didn’t shit.
“I didn’t get it from anywhere…” At a loss, Liu Jian Guo scratched his head for a while, “Oh right, I saw them picking up a dog’s shit with this!”
Bai Huo: “…”
Bai Huo heaved a sigh and amiably patted Liu Jian Guo’s barely functioning head, then he kicked him away.
Liu Jian Guo shrieked unevenly as he tumbled down the mountain like an empty oil drum.
Bai Huo pulled back his long leg and threw away the newspaper, rubbing his sore shoulder. With this movement, the ice-cold iron chains that were wrapped around him jingled, sounding especially loud in the desolate valley.
It was almost dusk, and a ray of residual sunshine shot through the clouds, sketching out long, slanted shadows on the yellow sand. The desert wind was strong, causing strange sounds to occasionally ring out from the depths of the empty valley, making the surroundings seem even more lonely.
Bai Huo leaned on a rock wall, exhausted, his bangs fluttering in the wind, his pale, haggard face almost bloodless. He raised his hand and touched the chain around his neck, tugging it impatiently.
This iron chain was as thick as a human’s wrist. It was made out of black iron, and was extremely hard. It was claw-shaped, one thick main chain dividing into five branches which respectively bind Bai Huo’s wrists, ankles, and neck.
It wasn’t others who’d tied Bai Huo in these chains, it was himself.
He’d just finished his month-long estrus, his condition was still unstable, so he didn’t dare rashly take it off. A month ago, in order to avoid hurting people, Bai Huo asked his little subordinate brother to find this chain, then he firmly tied himself up and hid in the back mountain valley, instructing to not let anyone approach.
Once male dragons entered estrus, their aggression levels would increase sharply. Without mates, even the gentlest dragons would become extremely violent. No one would dare provoke a spouseless male dragon in heat. This past month, only Liu Jian Guo, this silly boy, came to see him every day, servilely bringing him food and drink. Even Bai Huo’s aggressive and violent look during estrus couldn’t scare that fool away.
It was quickly getting dark, Bai Huo glanced at the newspaper he had thrown aside. In the end, he couldn’t hold back his curiosity, he hooked it over with his tail, and pinched his nose while reading through it.
Although Liu Jian Guo’s brains were no good, he made an excellent henchman. He knew that Bai Huo’s biggest enemy wasn’t the sandstorms or the bleak desert, but boredom.
Bai Huo flipped the newspaper with the tip of his tail, and incredibly, he saw a familiar face.
This was a newspaper called “Xi City Evening News”, published two years ago. On the front page was a large section dedicated to commendations. Except for the part that promoted positivity, its topic roughly introduced a young police officer. Because he’d participated in solving several large cases, he’d earned a series of honors and was successfully promoted. Among the cases, the editor focused on a child trafficking incident, describing how the policeman boldly and sensibly used his ingenuity to lure the criminals. At the crucial moment, he wiped them out, then he followed the trail of clues, rescuing dozens of missing children. Then it took nearly two years to find all their biological parents. The editor’s writing was very good, the process was vividly described, it was more thrilling to read than street fiction.
Bai Huo read it with great interest, looking at the delicate and thin face printed on the newspaper, he exclaimed in his heart, Ji Bei’s really awesome, he had to remember to extort him when he got the chance.
“Boss–” Liu Jian Guo actually hadn’t left yet, after being kicked down by Bai Huo, he’d painstakingly crawled up again. Afraid that Bai Huo would kick him again, he hid behind a stone and panted, “Boss …”
Bai Huo face palmed, thinking that this child was really foolish.
“What is it?” He asked helplessly.
“Boss, Boss, I have more good news, uh … a dragon sect is here, don’t you want to come out and see?”
“A dragon sect?” Bai Huo looked back. Wasn’t this the dragon clan’s headquarters, in other words, Zhou Chong Wen’s administrative center?
“Yes,” Liu Jian Guo scratched his head. “I also don’t know the specifics, but there are several people here, and they all look like immortals. All the dragons around Yao Mountain have run over to take a look …”
“Are they better looking than me?” Bai Huo brushed back his hair, asking shamelessly.
Liu Jian Guo looked at his ragged and blood-stained clothes, his messy hair that had not been taken cared of for a month, and his pale and weak looking face. The dishonest words were stuck in Liu Jian Guo’s throat for a long time before he forced them out: “No, they don’t look as good as you, boss! “
Bai Huo was perfectly content, lying back lazily: “That’s that, what’s so fun to look at.”
Liu Jian Guo: “…”
Liu Jian Guo was tongue-tied, saying no more, he gloomily ran to the front lines to check out the progress.
At first, the idea of staying within the dragon clan gave Bai Huo a headache. Ten years of hard labor was nothing to a dragon, the admonishment had a stronger meaning than the punishment. It was reasonable to say that this level of forced labor generally involved cleaning the dishes and sweeping the floors of the dragon sect’s kitchen, or taking care of and making copies of the books in the library, and so on. The offender wouldn’t normally be assigned to the remote Yao Mountain. A minimum sentence of a hundred years was required to go there. However, considering Bai Huo’s MLM boss-like skills in promoting mahjong, and the dragon clan’s internal atmosphere, Zhou Chong Wen sternly packed him up and shipped him off to Yao Mountain.
Because of this, many people secretly thought that the patriarch was too strict, and felt a little more dread and awe towards him. But contrarily, Bai Huo was happy, feeling that Zhou Chong Wen knew him too well. He’d grown up in the dragon sect, many of his unpleasant childhood experiences were related to this place. He also had a lot of old enemies here. Forget about serving a sentence, if Zhou Chong Wen just wanted to keep him there, he’d feel extremely reluctant.
In this lawless place, he did some random work during the day, and in the evening, he beckoned over some potential mahjong players, the long and exciting night life beginning. What’s not to love? Eventually, they became familiar, and his colleagues no longer allowed Bai Huo to work, suspecting that his clumsiness was only adding to the chaos, it would be better if he didn’t try to help.
At first, Bai Huo was resentful, thinking that everyone’s evaluation of him was unfair. Later, after accidentally causing an explosion in the kitchen platform where everyone gathered to eat, he fell silent. Towards this, all of Bai Huo’s insistence that this was an accident was met with a resounding “Get lost!”. Bai Huo didn’t take it to heart, and eventually invented and re-built a new kitchen platform, but to this day, he still wouldn’t admit that the explosion was a result of him getting drunk and running into the kitchen, stubbornly wanting to make braised fish for his son.
However, since then, everyone on Yao Mountain, from top to bottom, old to young, knew that he had a baby boy.
With a son, there must be a mate.
Therefore, when Bai Huo first showed signs of estrus, no one took it seriously. During forced labor, mates were allowed to visit, and laborers were allowed to take leave during estrus.
It wasn’t until Bai Huo came down with a high fever and started babbling crazily, that everyone heard from his mouth that he was spouse-less, and hurriedly sent him to the back mountain. Then, at Bai Huo’s request, Liu Jian Guo tied him up with a chain.
Now, the month-long estrus period was over, but because he’d suppressed himself by brutal means, the physical damage was great. Bai Huo couldn’t focus for long periods, plus his state was unstable. Just to be safe, Bai Huo refused to go out and see others.
In the middle of the night, Liu Jian Guo grunted up the mountain again and gave him an altar of liquor: “Boss, boss, wake up, it’s good stuff.”
Bai Huo was fast asleep, but was awakened by the fragrance of liquor. In a daze, he rolled the jar up with his tail and pulled it over, taking a sip, he immediately woke up.
“Old Tibetan Qingke beer, this isn’t easy to make, where did you get it?” Bai Huo fully transformed into his dragon self and wrapped his body around the jug.
When dragons entered estrus, their scales would relax and expand, the blood flowing under their skin accelerating. Bai Huo’s white scales were now almost transparent, the surface of his body revealing a kind of hazy pale pink. Under the moonlight, he looked very different from usual.
Liu Jian Guo scratched his head foolishly: “The dragon sect people brought it, I stole a jar for you.”
“Huh, so that’s it.” Bai Huo hadn’t drunk good liquor in a while, much less his favorite type. After drinking contentedly, he couldn’t stop, urging Liu Jian Guo to go steal two more altars.
Liu Jian Guo crawled down again without complaint.
Late into the night, Bai Huo was having a sweet dream pillowed on top of the liquor jar. He heard the sound of light footsteps approaching him, and, thinking that Liu Jian Guo had returned, he mumbled a few words and went back to sleep.
A young boy wearing black shorts flipped over the wall and jumped into the courtyard as lithely as a cat. He straightened his legs, about to let out a breath, when a gentle voice sounded from beside him.
“Did you see him?”
The young boy froze, then turned to see a long-haired man in a blue robe standing at the window, looking at him with a smile. The boy immediately bowed his head: “Jing Shishu.”
Jing Lan closed the book in his hand and spoke slowly, still smiling: “No wonder you wanted to leave from here, it turns out …”
“It’s just a coincidence.” Li Lin Xi rested his hands behind his back, tugging his clothes restlessly.
Jing Lan also didn’t expose him, just nodding thoughtfully: “Go rest, we have to meet the master of this palace together.”
Li Lin Xi nodded and bowed his head back to the room.
As he passed by, Jing Lan glanced at the back of his completely red ears and couldn’t help but chuckle.
little brother – Xiaodi, not necessarily blood related
I figured there’s no point to bulk translating an unfinished volume.