12 - So what's wrong?
Xiao Yao was calm and not frightened; but he felt that the old white dog seemed to have been scared for his life, and his palms, which were usually hot, were a little cold.
It would be a lie to say that he wasn't moved.
The calmness of the past few days had been knocked out of Baiju's fur.
Closing his eyes, Xiao Yao stretched out his hands and hugged Baiju viciously, then squeezed him and mutely replied, "Bai'ge, I'm fine."
The scared Baiju pulled the human young man into his arms, and ran his palms along the back of Xiao Yao's neck, shoulders, waist and legs. He was relieved to find that there were really no signs of injury.
Xiao Yao was touched all over such that he had no choice but to clench his fists and let him check with a blank expression.
Baiju didn't let go after checking him, he lifted the human onto his shoulders, and jumped into a clearing away from the billboard in twos bounds.
When he got to a safe place, the old white dog put Xiao Yao down in front of him. He didn't hug him again but held Xiao Yao's palm and asked worriedly, "What's the matter? Does anyone want to harm you?"
Xiao Yao shook his head and said softly, "It wasn't targeted at me."
But there was perhaps something at play...without investigation, he couldn’t give a precise answer for the time being.
Xiao Yao shook the palm in Baiju's hand and drew his attention back to the event itself, "We can talk about the cause after... for now everything is suspended in time. Does it affect you?"
Hearing this, Baiju looked up and looked around, frowning, "It's okay... it doesn't affect me." The range of his control was a bit large, which was good for him, but he may not be very good in comparison to the modern practitioners.
Xiao Yao nodded when he heard the words, and immediately said, "Bai'ge, please hold them still, I'll deal with the scene."
Baiju nodded, and then moved away to give Xiao Yao room to cast.
Xiao Yao took out a pocket watch-like thing from his pocket, and when he pressed a button on the side, it spread out into a compass.
The lines on the compass were quite complicated, studded with countless stars, it was a tiny astrolabe; countless small lines were intertwined among the stars, and the trails they left were ever-changing.
It was a magic astrolabe.
In the practitioning world, this kind of astrolabe was generally used for arithmetics, as well as for arranging illusions and dreams, but there were many ways to use it, if one was skilled enough. Among practitioners, apart from a few elders, Xiao Yao had these skills and it was also one of the reasons why Xiao Yao was able to be the head of the Demon Management Bureau.
Xiao Yao wanted to seize the time freeze to clean up the mess, so instead of explaining Baiju, he directly manipulated the astrolabe——tampering with memories!
There were many people present, and there was no way to change their memories one by one; fortunately, the astrolabe could affect people within a range, although its effectiveness would decrease with the number of people.
From what Xiao Yao could see, it was only the people and objects in the entire mall that were held by Baiju, so except for the fire brigade that had not yet arrived, all who were aware of the incident were within range.
Xiao Yao took a deep breath and concentrated his palm on the top of the astrolabe.
Numerous stars light up one after another in a specific order, illuminating the path of Youlan to weave lies; the strange star map silently rose into the air, then dissappeared and shrouded the mall.
Three girls appeared in the central square... They suddenly had an argument.
During the dispute, security guards and onlookers were attracted.
The safety rope and the fruit knife they would use to remove the poster fell out of one of the girl's backpack...someone called the police.
The police arrived. One of the three who happened to be part of the argument tripped, hit her head and fell unconscious.
Blurring the illogical parts of the scene as much as possible, Xiao Yao's lips gradually turned pale.
The illusion took effect.
Xiao Yao closed his hand, restoring the astrolabe to its pocket watch appearance, and performed some prestidgitations to restore and fix the billboard, and lift the two girls who were responsible for holding the safety rope from the roof to the ground. After hiding themselves in the corner, he let Baiju unfreeze them.
"Will this work?" Baiju hesitated.
The objects of Xiao Yao’s illusion were all under Baiju’s control. Although Baiju wasn't affected, he knew the content of Xiao Yao’s weaving and couldn’t help but worry, “Ordinary people are easy to decide, but what of those police officers and firefighters on the road?"
The police officers’ logic was fairly meticulous. When Xiao Yao altered the scene, he certainly wouldn't be able to erase all traces of the three girls' movements. As long as someone investigated carefully, he would always show his tail.
As for the fire brigade, they hadn’t yet witnessed the scene of the incident, so it was hard to say...
Xiao Yao calmly patted Baiju's hand, and shook his head, explaining quietly, "No problem. This is Luocheng, where the General Administration of the Demon Administration Bureau is located, and also one of the places where demons and spirits live. In a city like this, all the leaders of the police system are aware of our existence, and there's a special service team that specialises in criminal cases related to demons and ghosts... After a while, when those girls over there are sent away, I'll go and show my credentials to the police officers, so they knew that the matter should be handed over to the special service team."
These human systems were set up much more thoroughly than he imagined, but he still worried about it.
Xiao Yao clarified the situation and now had time to worry about Baiju's rash actions. When he turned around, he saw Baiju's heart falling back into the dog's belly, and for a while, he could only remind him helplessly, "You can relax now? Suddenly freezing such a large area may have had very bad consequences."
Baiju licked the tip of his teeth innocently, thinking that Xiao Yao was talking about the visual abnormality of freezing time in the area, "What consequences...the frozen space also projects an illusion of normality to those outside, and it also compels the outside world to ignore this place. It was only three minutes, no one will notice."
Xiao Yao really wanted to shake this silly yet sweet one-thousand-year-old single dog. Who was worried about being noticed by the outside world? What he was worried about was that the power of this old dog was too much, not at all within the scope of the Demon Management Bureau's original estimate, if it was exposed, it may cause Baiju's situation to worsen.
Even so, what he wanted to say was held down, as Xiao Yao finally sorted out a relatively simple way of expressing his concerns, "The power you showed off will make the Warlock Association and the Demon Management Bureau think that you are uncontrollable."
Freezing space and time was a kind of magic that could only be used by high-level practitioners, and for a top level practitioner like Xiao Yao to freeze time and space, first of all, took at least ten seconds of preparation, and secondly, was limited to approximately 50 metres in radius. In the case, the there are many people within this area, the range would also be greatly reduced.
In other words, Baiju, who had frozen the entire mall in an instant, and even remembered to arrange illusions on the periphery, was basically beyond the top of the pyramid and could completely crush the mortal practitioners.
This was definitely not something that an ordinary powerful demon could do.
Looking at Baiju's fresh and unperturbed appearance, he could also tell that this spell was at negligible cost to him; proving that the power Baiju had accumulated was extremely rich, and also proving that Baiju’s power had almost completely exceeded the scope of any demon.
In the modern age with the decline of animism beliefs, Baiju had still reached a realm that was only a hair's breadth from deification.
Baiju understood the concerns of his little ward this time, and suddenly smiled like a spring breeze, "It's okay, only you know."
After a pause, Baiju stared awkwardly at his bare feet. Still holding Xiao Yao's hand tightly within his palm, he said, "Yao Yao...I don't know what is going on, but, don't be awkward with me, okay?"
Xiao Yao was taken aback, "..."
Seeing that he didn't refuse, Baiju lowered his voice to be very quiet, shook Xiao Yao's arm lightly, and coaxed, "Come home early every day...I'll accompany you to handle official duties, and I'll also learn to cook."
The old white dog recalled the dark days of studying his liberal arts course, and hurriedly added, "I've learnt almost everything, and can go out with you in the future and handle the affairs of the Bureau with you, and I can also start to discipline the little demons..."
——Can you accompany me?
Was he just about to say it so bluntly?
God, who was it again that loved acting like a baby?
Xiao Yao shook his head in frustration, but he still happened to be very vulnerable to this trick—he nodded, and Baiju gave him an enthusiastic hug.
Xiao Yao felt that the distance that he had deliberately created in order to clarify his thoughts dissipated like a popped bubble the moment Baiju suddenly appeared.
If he were to use a metaphor, Xiao Yao felt that the little mermaid's tortured legs that had been walking on the tips of knives were finally relieved from being exposed to the sun and turned into bubbles.
Dissipating willingly, vividly, and extremely happily.
And Baiju was the sun, warm and deadly.
Xiao Yao had to admit that he didn't have much immunity to Baiju. Every trait of this old dog was a direct strike to his heart, and the feeling was just right.
Since he felt tempted, keeping a crush for a day felt profitable... He never expected to have a perfect love, what was more important was what Baiju wanted, he could always stop.
The matter resolved smoothly in the end.
Xiao Yao contacted the fire brigade in time to explain the situation, so the firetruck never appeared at the mall; while the police officer warned the legendary 'troll girl' and contacted the parents of three confused girls to have them pick their daughters up.
Regarding the girls, Baiju leaned in to Xiao Yao's ear with some doubts, "Why did they forget what they were here for? Logically speaking, their purpose for coming to the mall was very particular, they even have the rope and knife."
Xiao Yao also leaned to his ear and whispered back, "The origin of their idea was not originally theirs."
Xiao Yao pulled Baiju away a bit, and slowly explained to him, "The red fox, Qiu Ziran, has fans from a wide range of ages, which leads to a mixture of all kinds of people. Naturally, some girlfriend fans and brainless fans are among them. These types of fans, you don’t need to understand, but in short, they are prone to behaving out of line in the name of their idols and aren't a good thing for actors or the red fox."
"But even though Qiu Ziran is in the entertainment industry, he is still a descendant of the fox clan. In order to be able to excel in the entertainment industry, the red fox forcibly suppressed his natural charm, and fed the fans a little coercion through the camera every day to make them be sensible and reserved when chasing stars; as a result, Qiu Ziran's fans' reputation in the entertainment industry is quite good."
"These girls...were behaving abnormally." Xiao Yao said, "The thing they choose to do was extreme and dangerous, and they couldn't guarantee any results; even the brainless fans would rather gather their friends and shout nonsense on the Internet all day. They wouldn't take this kind of risk to get their opinion across."
Baiju was stunned after hearing the explanation, feeling like he was sitting in the county government hearing on a case, "You mean, they were instigated by someone?"
Xiao Yao nodded, "Yes. It's just that I don't know if it was a practitioner... I have to hand it over to the special service team to investigate. Bai'ge, you'll find out very quickly that humans now are much more cunning than before."
Xiao Yao let out a frustrated sigh and added, "A practitioner who uses sorcery in everything can't succeed in anything...usually, ordinary people's hands can be used better than their own. For example, to have someone else destroy the billboard brackets, or for example, to use hypnotism instead of illusions."
"Before the truth is confirmed," Xiao Yao nodded, looking out the corner of his eye, "We can't just believe what our eyes see."
Baiju listened for a while, and when he saw that Xiao Yao had finished speaking, he nodded in thought. Then he stretched out his hand and rubbed Xiao Yao's hair, and praised sincerely, "Yao Yao, you're so amazing."
Xiao Yao: "..."
Fuck off, my little brother is really amazing.
Sorry for no updates, I'm not dead, I was just wallowing in melancholy on Friday and forgot to update, then I went for a cut and colour and spent all of Saturday drowning in peroxide. If you check the little Twitter icon over there >>> somewhere I usually tweet something when I can't update.