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Baiju didn't know where to put his hands and feet for a while. He touched the tip of his nose, and then simply reached out and hugged Xiao Yao, eventually saying, "Yao Yao, I'm so happy."
Xiao Yao was so smothered by Baiju that he felt really hopeless.
Obviously, what attracted him first was Baiju’s appearance but later it became his gentle and caring nature. He felt that this silly dog's childish love was also something he was very fond of.
Raising his hands around Baiju's back, Xiao Yao patted him and teased, "Didn't you say that you used to play with the children in the villages? Why are you so happy?"
Baiju buried his head and rubbed Xiao Yao's ear, and whispered, "That's different."
In the past, the villagers' children grew up listening to the legends of the Dog God. They all grew up wild in the fields and mountains, so it was natural that they would get close to him....but now these children had never heard of him, and had never known his original form, instead facing his weird appearance. Baiju was always worried about frightening these children.
After all, they were children who had never been in contact with ghosts and gods.
And... and even before he fell asleep, the children hadn’t come near him for a long time; to be honest, even if the times hadn’t changed drastically when he woke up, he still might not have had the courage to touch these young humans.
Soft, warm, and fragile; all the things he liked and cherished, but was not necessarily qualified to touch.
Baiju buried his face in Xiao Yao's neck and rubbed back and forth, smelling the cold scent of the young man, sighing from the bottom of his heart, "Yao Yao, thank you."
Xiao Yao also discovered that Baiju seemed to be particularly sentimental today, possibly because of his love of nature, and the farmland and children he saw today evoked some memories in him.
People caught in memories were always vulnerable.
Xiao Yao lowered his eyes and patted Baiju's sturdy shoulders comfortingly, not intending to ask.
Who didn't have some past that they didn't want to talk about...especially this old dog who had lived for so long, even if he slept for over 90% of it, he would have outlived any normal human for several lifetimes.
If heaven had feelings, heaven would also age. Xiao Yao sometimes dared not imagine how Baiju's gentle, affectionate and caring temperament had persisted in the world for so long, and how much he had been subjected to.
Even a grain of sand in a thousand winds was enough to grind a soft heart into blood.
"...it’s nothing, I’m only doing what I should." Xiao Yao paused for a while before responding to Baiju. Then he patted his arm to beckon him to let go, "Let's go and give the kids their meal."
Baiju let go of him obediently. The old dog's emotions came and went quickly. As he picked up the plate, the desolation that permeated from the depths of his soul disappeared completely.
After lunch, a break was planned for the orphanage; some monks and Taoist priests were left on duty, and the red fox and a few volunteers went to clean the classrooms and canteen. The rest went with the children.
The monk Yuanchun was the dean of the orphanage. He gave the two guests two thermos cups with green tea in them, and then took them around the orphanage.
Yuanchun was now 80 years old, but he had a high level of cultivation and looked like he was only forty or fifty years old. There were still many little fans who called him the righteous father of the red fox Qiu Ziran.
Walking slowly, Yuanchun was wearing the white shirt and blue trouser uniform of the orphanage with a little flower rabbit printed on it. Holding a thermos cup in his hand, he introduced the demon king to the things around the orphanage.
"This is activity room 1...usually it’s not very busy, mainly younger children play with toys here." Yuanchun smiled and pointed to the furnishings in the room, "All the corners are covered with anti-collision padding, but unfortunately there are always a few that peel them off."
The monk shook his head with a helpless expression, but the gentle light in his eyes showed he was obviously not so.
The various activity rooms in Ping An Orphanage added up to five or six. Some were used by younger children and some were exclusive to the older children; some were equipped with indoor sports equipment, and some were vacant and hadn’t yet been opened. The largest had a lot of stuff going on in it and was sometimes used by program groups, charity organisations, school teachers, and the like, for activities.
There were a lot of odds and ends of furnishings and toys, and although it could be seen that most of them were old, they were well taken care of and kept clean and tidy.
Wandering into a classroom again, Yuanchun specially showed Baiju a blackboard with a drawing of a Sudoku, "Look at this, one of the children is really smart, almost a genius...it's a pity that she has autism. She is obviously cute and good-natured, but no one wants to adopt her."
Baiju listened very seriously. Yuanchun introduced the whole orphanage to him and from time to time, he would mention various children who were sent to the orphanage. Most of them were never adopted.
Some due to congenital reasons such as physical disability, mental defects, or major illnesses; others due to acquired reasons such as psychological disorders, and some of the children themselves rejected adoption. Although the little children didn't seem much different from each other, the first children to be taken away were always young, well-behaved, smart, and healthy children.
The children in the orphanage stayed there for a long time and learnt to be sensible as they slowly understood the rules. They would try to make themselves appear cleaner and cuter, and would actively cooperate with the psychologist to receive treatment, but in many cases, it was still useless.
They could get funding to help them, but may never get a home.
It was hard to say how much heavier the things they had to bear were at such young ages, much heavier than for children in a normal family.
Baiju felt very distressed.
Following Yuanchun, he walked through the rooms of the orphanage, and saw the lounge and classroom dedicated to the little demons. He held Xiao Yao's palm and didn't know what to say.
The orphanage run by the Demon Management Bureau was originally used as a guise for the little demons; as a result, when they opened it they soon received more and more orphans, but they never considered letting them go or handing them over to other places.
His little ward was very soft-hearted.
Baiju knew that Xiao Yao must have had a role in this, but he would never know how much effort and money he had spent in order to allow the little demons and human cubs to mix for such a long time.
Baiju didn't know for a moment whether he should feel sorry for those little children more, or whether he should feel sorry for his little ward who was only twenty-four years old but bore the great responsibility of running the Demon Management Bureau.
Listening to Yuanchun’s explanations, Baiju was so soft-hearted that he felt both sour and uplifted. He didn't know how the world had transpired for a long time, he only knew that he felt distressed about many things, and dejected that he couldn't help much.
After Yuanchun finished the tour, Baiju and Xiao Yao sat in a pavilion in a small playground. They talked to Yuanchun about recent events and after a while, the children finished their break and left the lounge to come out and play.
Upon seeing this, Yuanchun looked at the time, raised his hand and touched his bare forehead and said, "In half an hour, Chenxi is coming... I need to greet him, I'll go ahead."
Xiao Yao clasped his palms and nodded, "Master Yuanchun, you’re free to go, I’ll chat with the White King."
Yuanchun pressed his palms together, faced Baiju and bowed slightly, "The White King is kind."
Baiju wasn’t a Buddhist. If he was to say he followed any belief then he leaned towards Taoism, but he didn’t know how to respond to Buddhism and could only nod his head dryly.
Xiao Yao saw that he was uncomfortable and smiled and patted his arm, "It's okay, Master Yuanchun isn’t just being polite; you have great virtues, and Master Yuanchun can see it. If we have to think about it, then we are all your juniors, and our abilities cannot match yours, so it's normal to salute you."
Baiju leaned into his ear and whispered, "But I haven't done anything for him."
Xiao Yao shook his head slightly and looked at the back of the Monk Yuanchun and replied, "You have done a lot for the common people of the world, so you have done a lot for him."
This dog cultivated in the wild, and didn’t know much about the Zhenger Bajing Sect; Xiao Yao actually didn’t know much either, but he could explain a little, "He puts his heart in the living in the midst of suffering, and you have rescued many who have floated in the midst of suffering, so you have helped him."
Baiju moved his lips, looked down at the young man beside him, and touched the palm of his own hand.
He had saved people and killed people.
Causing the suffering of the living, or so-called saving the living from suffering, how easy it was.
Xiao Yao didn't wait for Baiju's reply. Everyone's understanding of the Dao was different. He only discussed it a little, but it may take a while for the old dog to process his thoughts.
So after a few simple words, Xiao Yao changed the subject and preached to Baiju, "After Chenxi comes over, you can see the therapy dogs."
Sure enough, Baiju was distracted at once, "Therapy dogs?"
Xiao Yao nodded,"Yes, therapy dogs. Chenxi is from a therapy dog training organisation, which has a variety of pet dogs and companion dogs, specially trained to be gentle, smart, considerate, and tolerant to children."
After a pause, Xiao Yao raised his hand and rubbed Baiju's fluffy head, joking with him, "Hey, just like you."
Baiju's expression brightened, "Then Yao Yao——"
Xiao Yao knew something was wrong when he heard his eager tone. Sure enough, the next half of the sentence was, "Can I also go as a therapy dog?"
Xiao Yao looked at him helplessly, "Okay, of course you can." He had never seen a better-tempered dog than this old white dog.
Baiju was immediately happy. When he was happy, he couldn't help but hug. He stretched out his hands, but didn't feel Xiao Yao beside him.
Baiju looked at Xiao Yao who had suddenly moved away with a puzzled face, "Yao Yao?"
Xiao Yao waved his hands and refused, "Bai’ge, you’re too clingy."
Baiju simply took a step forward, and before Xiao Yao could react, he rushed over and hugged him. He was super invincible and confident, "Yes, I'm clingy!"
Xiao Yao was hit by Baiju’s scent, and he braced his feet expressionlessly to prevent himself from falling as he thought, it was better not to avoid it.
After Baiju pounced, he breathed another two mouthfuls of Xiao Yao’s hair while holding the human, then let go satisfied. Then the whole dog blinked away, and the fluffy white pup ran towards the lawn where the children were playing.
Xiao Yao stood in the original place and sorted out his clothes, then walked behind Baiju's big tail with a smile. He was also a little worried that the children wouldn’t be able to find their "new big brother" who ate with them at noon and be unhappy.
However, his little worries didn't last long, as Xiao Yao stopped abruptly.
A faint click sounded not far away and when Xiao Yao turned his head, he saw Baiju, who had just been running with a little girl, had turned around and with a kick on his hind legs, the dog turned into a white shadow and jumped over the wall, plunging into the park next door. There was a coldness to his aura.
Xiao Yao unfastened the collar button he had just fastened, and ran over in two steps with a cold face, and with a slight pull, he jumped over the iron fence neatly.
They really picked a terrible time.
He’d finally coaxed the old white dog to be happy.
Sorry for the wait, work killed me and I take a long time to respawn from my phylactery. I'm so happy this book is so damned relaxing to read, they literally just walk around an orphanage this chapter but it doesn't feel cumbersome to read through.