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The things in the house were quickly taken care of by the little fluffy puppets. Even the small trinkets that the two had brought near the airport were also arranged neatly, adding a lot of warmth to the villa.
Baiju walked around the inside of the villa and gave some instructions to the little fluffs. He was about to go out with Xiao Yao, but saw his little ward wave his hand up at the attic.
"Yao Yao?" Baiju followed Xiao Yao and turned up the stairs, wondering, "Do you want to clean up the attic too?"
Xiao Yao turned around and smiled, then pointed to the attic and said, "It's not for cleaning...This villa is under the Demon Management Bureau, there is actually some security, the key to activate them is in the attic. We should still be mindful while we’re here. In addition to the locks on the doors, there also needs to be guards against other demons and ghosts."
Baiju nodded thoughtfully, and then asked, "If you place a ward against demons, won't the demons living inside be affected?"
Xiao Yao shook his head and opened the door to the attic, "They just suppress evil and exorcise demons. Normal activities of demons aren’t affected."
With that, Xiao Yao went to open the attic window, and asked, "Speaking of which, Bai’ge, will the wound next to your eye...be affected? After all, it was left by a demon. If you feel any discomfort, we don’t have to activate the ward." Either way, they were a top practitioner and a demon king, and they weren’t worried about any danger they couldn’t resolve.
Baiju was taken aback when he heard the words, and raised his hand to touch the red scar spreading from the end of his eye, just realising that he seemed to have completely forgotten about this scar.
"This..." Baiju hesitated for a moment, and said with some uncertainty, "There shouldn’t be a problem."
Xiao Yao rolled up his sleeves and stopped, "Shouldn't be?"
Baiju was a little helpless and honestly explained, "I don't know if it will be affected. I’ve had it for a long time. Although I can't get rid of it, it can't overwhelm me and I’ve had it for hundreds of years and its never changed...but I can't guarantee that it won't be triggered by something."
Xiao Yao frowned slightly and keenly caught the point in Baiju's words, "It hasn’t changed for hundreds of years. Bai’ge, when did you get hurt?" When this wound was inflicted, what did this demon do to Baiju?
Baiju looked at the ceiling, rubbed his chin and thought back hard, "Umm...how long ago was it, a thousand, three, or four hundred years? I forget."
Xiao Yao, "..."
Xiao Yao was a little distressed, but was rendered speechless by the appearance of the old dog.
This wound has tortured him for hundreds of years, maybe thousands of years. How can he just lose the memory of the event? Is it that this dog is too forgiving?
Xiao Yao felt suffocated in his chest. He paused and then asked, "When it was still active before...you, how did it affect you?"
Baiju looked down, and saw the slightly dodged gaze of his little ward, and saw the distress that he couldn't hide in his eyes.
So, the old white dog that wanted to talk about whatever random thing came to his mouth, swallowed back his words, and remembered it seriously.
"It... when it acts up," Baiju cleared his throat and slowly whispered, "I’ll have a headache."
It was as if thunder was crashing in his mind, from his nerves to his bones and even his soul, everything seemed to be torn apart and reorganised over and over again.
"I can't see clearly."
His vision would blur, like the sky was spinning around, and he couldn't distinguish distance or between what was real and unreal. Even his ears would be full of roars and dead silence. He didn't dare to leave the ground under his feet, afraid that he would fall into the abyss of a canyon and not have the energy to save himself.
"I’ll be very unhappy."
His emotions would fall into disarray, and tyrannical thoughts would spread. His body would be demonised uncontrollably, and the only shred of reason he had left he would use to stay away from crowds.
"People will bully me."
When his feral demonic aura couldn't be controlled, some ascetics would follow his trail to find him, trying to hunt a demon.
In the end, it was something that had tortured him for so long. How could Baiju not remember the feelings it brought him; the pain and despair engraved into his marrow could only be mentioned, because if he dwelled on it, he would find that he remembered it very clearly.
With a few understatements, Baiju briefly touched on what he had suffered, but his words still struck Xiao Yao's heart.
How could Xiao Yao fail to guess that the simple words the old dog said were in fact only a thousandth of a fraction of what he had experienced.
He regretted asking such a question.
The white old dog looked at his little ward’s eyes redden almost instantly, and he couldn’t help but chuckled lightly, and a warm arc was pulled on his lips, "Ah... I still remember, it would be nice if someone could give me a comforting pat."
Xiao Yao was taken aback, raised his head, and found that Baiju was looking at him with a light smil. His thin lips opened and closed, and his voice was low and mellow, "I hope that someone can be by my side, to accompany me, and touch my head, tell me it doesn't hurt and it will all pass." And I don't have to worry about hurting him.
Xiao Yao closed his eyes severely.
Baiju leaned forward slightly, wiped the corners of Xiao Yao's eyes with his fingertips, and said with a smile, "Yao Yao...you’re worried about me, I’m very happy."
The old dog white gently circled his little ward who was almost crying, rubbed his hair, and coaxed, "Really."
Xiao Yao raised his arms and hugged Baiju forcefully.
Why wasn’t he born hundreds of thousands of years earlier and could have spent the most difficult times with Baiju... However, human life was no more than a summer to a great demon like Baiju. He could accompany him for a hundred years, but there would still be so much left. For those hundreds of thousands of years, who would love him?
Xiao Yao buried his face in Baiju's chest and took a deep breath. Then let go of his hands and rubbed his face, gently pushing into Baiju, and said dumbly, "...then, let's try to start the wards first, if it's uncomfortable tell me."
Baiju nodded with a smile.
He knew what Xiao Yao meant. Now that the hidden danger had been revealed, it would be better to figure out what would affect him first than to be caught unaware by an enemy.
Xiao Yao turned around, walked to a set of copper compasses in the center of the attic, and blew off a thin layer of dust on it.
The bright copper compasses had simple black luster, luxurious but restrained; they were engraved with the patterns of a blue dragon, white tiger, vermillion bird, basalt turtle, and many other mysterious lines. Baiju had cultivated in the wild, and he didn't understand the formations of Taoism. On the contrary, he was more interested in the material of this copper compass, so he reached out and touched it.
Xiao Yao bent down to fetch the formation stones stored under the compass, and when he got up, he saw Baiju studying the compass, so he explained, "There were nine compasses of this kind at first, all of which were made into incense burners, and were left in a temple. After nine years of burning incense, they were re-melted into compasses, and the Dharma master enshrined and recited sutras over them for forty-nine days. Even if they weren’t engraved with patterns later, they themselves were nine artifacts."
Baiju rubbed the luscious surface of the compass, and curiously asked, "What happened then?"
Xiao Yao motioned to Baiju to step back a little, and put the stones into the compass one by one in order, "Later, three were damaged in the process of eliminating demons or suppressing ghosts. The Practitioners Association figured out a way to get some alchemy materials and made another one. Bronze furnaces were sent to temples to burn incense. However, as the ley lines declined, the followers of Buddhism lessened, and the eminent monks didn’t have the skills of those who came before them. After nine years of burning incense, the bronze furnace was re-melted and consecrated for eighty-one days, but the final product was only a fourth as good as the previous ones."
Xiao Yao said, patted the compass under his hand, and said, "This is the ninth one in the later batch of compasses. It is said that it almost cracked when it was formed, but was recovered by a high monk. It came back from the edge of desperation, it's a bit spiritual, a bit stronger, about one-third of the original batch."
Baiju looked at the compass thoughtfully and pondered for a while, blocking the last stone that Xiao Yao was about to embed.
"Is something wrong?" Xiao Yao took his hand back and asked with some confusion.
Baiju stretched out his hand and pointed to the last socket, thought for a moment and then asked, "It—does it have a name?"
Xiao Yao was taken aback, shook his head and said, "They by themselves have no name, but together they are called Sixiang Zhenxiepan."
Baiju spread out his palm, "I’ll put in the last stone."
Xiao Yao hesitated for a moment, "Then what if you become uncomfortable after it starts?"
Baiju raised the corners of his mouth, revealing bright white canines, "No, give me the last stone. I'll consecrate it, and by the way, I can give it a name, maybe I can enlighten it. Then I’ll be kind to it, so even if it isn’t compatible with me, it won’t hurt me.”
Xiao Yao raised his eyebrows and put the array stone in Baiju's palm, "Bai’ge, be careful."
Baiju nodded and took the stone. His eyes drooped slightly and they fell on the copper compass, looking as gentle as if he were looking at a newborn baby.
"You’re the ninth compass of the new era of monasticism," Baiju tapped the embedded array stones one by one with his fingertips in order, and the golden light of his merits turned into a fine dust that penetrated the stones little by little, "From your birth you met a disaster, but encountered a noble, you have rare good luck, and can be regarded to number among the nine."
"I will call you Chūjiǔ."
As his voice fell, the stone in Baiju's palm, which had been rendered as brilliant gold, was wrapped in a heavy glow and fell into the socket. Suddenly, a spiritual sound suddenly spread from the centre of the compass and invisible ripples swept across the small attic in an instant.
Xiao Yao only felt a sudden lightness in his mind, and a sense of clarity that he had never felt before rushed past him. After returning to his senses, he saw the old dog standing motionless beside the compass, his face was slightly lowered and he covered his eyes with one hand.
"Bai’ge!" Xiao Yao was anxious, his brain felt hot, and he immediately ran around the compass to grab Baiju's hand, "What's wrong? Let me see!"
Baiju stiffened his wrist, feeling a needle-like pain in his mind. He subconsciously avoided Xiao Yao's hand and took a step back.
Although it wasn’t as bad as he had experienced before, the uncomfortable physiological reaction made him instinctively retreat. His heart was screaming "danger", and Baiju didn't trust himself in this state at all.
How could Xiao Yao just let Baiju retreat like this. He stretched out his arm and pulled away the palm covering his eyes, then leaned forward suddenly, cast a spell on himself, and whispered, "Look up!"
Baiju's divine soul shook, but he subconsciously listened to Xiao Yao's instructions and raised his head, revealing a pale face.
The pupil of his right eye, which should have been pitch-black, was blood-red and twitching abnormally; while the left eye was stained by the golden light of his merits. The golden light filled his pupils, flowing out with a dim light.
Baiju opened his mouth, the pain in his mind wouldn’t erode his mental and physical strength, and the sudden flare up was quickly fading——but he didn't know what he looked like now, would it be scary, would it be a bit ugly...
However, before he could ask any questions, Xiao Yao's eyes were suddenly red.
His little ward, who was particularly distressed, violently grabbed Baiju's arm and pulled down the adult man of over 1.9 metres. Xiao Yao firmly hugged Baiju's fluffy head and his shaking hands stroked his long wavy hair.
"...don’t...don't hurt anymore." Xiao Yao's voice was a little numb, with a slight sob, "It will pass."
The author has something to say:
To be honest, the old white dog almost cried at this moment =。 =
But Yao Yao cried first ╮( ·ω· )╭
I lol'd when I read the 4th last paragraph, Baiju in pain/might go insane but mostly worried he might be ugly...