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"How is the effect of the array?" Xiao Yao leaned on the fence of the horse paddock and asked the old white dog who had been silent for a long time.
Baiju rubbed his eyes and muttered, "It's okay, better than I expected."
"Your eyes are uncomfortable?" Xiao Yao turned his head and saw Baiju rubbing his eyes. He couldn't help but grab his wrist with worry and move forward, "Let me see."
Baiju blinked hard and moved his eyeballs, "It's okay, it's just a little swollen, a little astringent."
Xiao Yao frowned. Baiju's eyes were dark and deep, but they were always clean and bright, just like a child. At this moment, the corners of his eyes were a little red, and slightly congested.
"What's the matter...don't rub it." Xiao Yao raised his hand to cover Baiju's eyes, and applied the cool spiritual power to his palm. "Is that better?"
Baiju bent his lips, took Xiao Yao's hand off and held it in his palm and kneaded it, "It's okay, don't worry; it's just that it takes a little effort to see the inheritance through the seal."
Xiao Yao was a little surprised, "Can you see through the seal?"
As far as he knew, the seal was very unique. At best, they could track and find the weak points of the seal, but they couldn't see into the contents without breaking the seal.
Baiju put a finger on his lips and hushed, "Shhh... I'll tell you a little secret."
Baiju mysteriously changed to telepathy to speak, "I couldn't see past the seal elsewhere, but this is a mountain. I can still find its secrets with some effort."
"A mountain is a mountain, no matter which, you have to pay attention to the structure, so placing an array on a mountain is much more restricted than on the plain. Conversely speaking, if you work with the topography of the mountain, the same formation you could array on a flat plain, will be much stronger on that mountain." Baiju explained, "I have been on the island for a few days now, so I have a general understanding of the structure of this mountain, plus...plus, my right eye is a bit special."
Baiju paused at this point, and the smile on the corner of his mouth faded, "...sometimes, if the power is too special, I don't have to work too hard, it will take the initiative to appear in front of my eyes."
Dancing and growing in his field of vision, with an undeniable sense of existence. It stirred up the restless remnants of his body, as if there was some delicacy in front of him.
This feeling couldn’t be called beautiful. When it got serious, it could even make Baiju ravenous, but after more than a thousand years of repeated tempering, the impact of this kind of reaction on the white old dog had been minimal.
Xiao Yao shook Baiju's hand in silence.
The old white dog spoke tactfully, but it was obvious that the special part of his right eye was that he had been injured and the cluster of scars that spread from the end of his eye to his cheek.
His reaction could only be explained by the fact that Baiju’s scars weren’t only a reminder that wasn’t easy to remove, but still retained considerable power and even autonomous consciousness. It was only because it couldn't overwhelm Baiju that it temporarily settled down.
Seeing that Xiao Yao's expression was a little dull, Baiju shook his arm, "Isn't it okay if you don't think about it?"
Xiao Yao couldn't help but glance at the scar on the old white dog.
At first, he thought the shape of the scar was very attractive, but now he was used to it, and gradually could only feel distressed.
Why...why was Baiju, such a good dog. To have such a mark on his body, causing him to suffer and insulate himself in the past years, low self-esteem, lack of self-confidence, and escaping from the crowds…
Finally, in modern time, he had picked up a bargain.
"Bai'ge, it really won't affect you like before...did it affect you?" Xiao Yao raised his hand and rubbed his fingertips lightly at the end of Baiju's eye.
Baiju turned his head slightly, rubbing against Xiao Yao's fingers, and replied, "Yeah, it hasn't acted up for a long time. At most, it hurts as little as it did when it was stimulated by Chujiu...but what’s left in it does give me some unusual abilities, and I can use it."
His voice dropped, and Baiju complained like a child, "But I never wanted it."
He didn't want this scar, and didn't want these abilities. If possible, he would rather nothing has happened, that he'd stayed on the mountain and listened to prayers day after day. If he thought he could help, he would grant a favour. It would be okay to dream, okay to make a few bonds and he could find a few brothers to play with...
Baiju had no desire to become a god. If he maintained that kind of life, he would have taken the burden of a mountain god when the animism fell, to run as both a dog and a deity, and be an idle demon king. Travel from time to time, accepts new things with the times, and then at some point, find a place with beautiful scenery, settle down in a beautiful place, draw talismans, catch ghosts, make a name for himself, and maybe still encounter some talents. The gifted little baby Xiao Yao could have been his apprentice, and he could have raised him from childhood to adulthood.
But he just thought about it.
He was reluctant to ask for such a thing, but he also couldn't not want it...the remnants of that demon were imprinted on him and couldn't be removed. If he couldn't suppress or even merged with it, Baiju himself would have been the one who was unlucky. His body was the battlefield, and there were no deserters in this battle, only life or death.
Now Baiju was alive, the remnant was almost dead, but it had also become carnage on the battlefield. It was absorbed and invaded little by little by Baiju, the victor, and became a strength in Baiju's body.
Xiao Yao only had the white dog's word on the approximate origin of this history.
The white old dog had been hurt by a demon, and the thing remaining on his body was also a part of that demon, so it was normal for it to react to yin qi. Also, as the old white dog had mentioned before, he was a lot stronger now than he was as a mountain god. It wasn’t difficult to guess that the old white dog had become stronger because of the power remaining in his wound.
Baiju's record according to the practitioners was disjointed after the fall of his temple. More than 600 years ago, Baiju reappeared and saved three children from the mountain rapids.
The record of the events of that year weren't clear, but it was certainly not a trivial matter for a demon to be able to injure Baiju. He was afraid that someone deliberately obscured this part of the history of Baiju's injury. Counting the period of time when Baiju "disappeared", there were many records of incidents that were very vague, and they might not be unrelated.
Xiao Yao rubbed his forehead.
For such things that happened 1,400 years ago, it was normal that the records were missing or incomplete. When he first saw the files, he didn’t think much about it. Now that he thought about it, it was clear that while major events were recorded in that hazy era, why would they record the disappearance of a small mountain god——it was very strange in itself.
...this is too much information.
The corners of Xiao Yao's lips were flattened, and he wanted to say a few soft words to comfort the old dog, but he was not in the mood for a while——what he knew now, if any great power in the cultivation world knew it, would have a bad effect on Baiju.
He admitted that he was an eccentric old white dog, and almost without thinking about it, believed that this period of history had no effect on the current Baiju. But now he had to admit that someone might have participated in all the turmoil of a certain era and the surviving demon bore a mark of his curse as a bright warning sign for the cultivation world.
The risk factor that the old white dog finally lowered would be elevated to the top in an instant.
He had to think of a way...it was impossible to tamper with the historical records, but at least, he must stabilise Baiju's position before anyone else found out.
Baiju was dull at this moment, looked at Xiao Yao carefully, and then started to cover the formation on the cliff.
He could guess what Xiao Yao was thinking about. His little boyfriend wasn't stupid. The clues he hasld revealed during this period was enough to allow Xiao Yao to deduce his situation.
With sour and sweet emotions in his heart, Baiju knew that Xiao Yao's reaction was completely considerate of himself.
His little boyfriend was so nice. As his Adam's apple rolled, Baiju restrained and closed his eyes, trying to divert his attention to the formation.
The formation that Qu Lang and Ling Yun spent most of the day arranging was a suppression and tracking formation arranged by Ji Yun. After being embedded in the cliff wall, the spiritual power communicated with the entire mountain range and the external environment through the cinnabar. It was triggered when the strength of the targeted unstable force reached a critical point, then suppressed the designated object in the array, and left dozens of tracking marks. There were common wards, used in part or in combination, even if they needed to be dealt with one by one it would very laborious but the delay was enough to allow Xiao Yao or others to do it, leaving a more stubborn tracking mark.
The effectiveness of this array was very strong, but its weakness was also obvious. An array that borrowed the power of a mountain fluctuated too much, and you could see that there was a trap from a long distance away. Their opponent wasn't a fool, and wouldn't just jump into the net like this... However, no one had the ability to cover these fluctuation, which had caused Ji Yun to fail to use the formation after creating it, and the results of his research had been left in the corner.
Fortunately, the old white dog could do it, so when Xiao Yao and Qu Lang had a meeting before, they decided to try this design. Now after Baiju checked the formation, he served as an assist for the Special Service team to help them cover the formation.
This work was his job as a mountain god. Ji Yun proposed this possibility when the meeting was held, based on the identity of the white old dog as a mountain god. It was not because the Secret Service had any particular information.
As the formation fluctuates, it disappears under the rock wall little by little. Gradually, the forty-nine cinnabar talismans disappeared from the cliff, and were stubbornly pressed into the mountain as if they had drilled in little by little.
When Baiju closed his hand, Xiao Yao had already sorted out his thoughts. He thought, instead of directly returning to Haiyin Fort with Baiju to join the others, he would first find a remote spot with Baiju and have a short meeting.
Baiju’s situation was too special. Xiao Yao didn’t know for sure that Baiju’s situation was okay. By now, he probably understood most of it, so he couldn't let Baiju hide everything. At least concerning how much Baiju’s current strength was, Xiao Yao felt that he had to have a number.
Baiju sat on the chair properly, holding his knees with both hands peacefully. Facing Xiao Yao's questions, he could only answer with a guilty conscience and honesty, "It's not too much..."
"Just...probably ten times stronger than when I was a mountain god...probably."
Xiao Yao, "..."
Xiao Yao stared at the old white dog, his heart hurt from the palpitations. Ten times? In other words, the power that the demon once infested the old dog's body with was ten times stronger than that of the old dog at that time? Then how did he suppress it and how much tortured would he have suffered?
Seeing Xiao Yao's face turned pale, Baiju looked lost, and couldn't help feeling nervous. He leaned forward a bit and tentatively pulled the corner of his clothes, "Yao Yao..."
Xiao Yao didn't move, just blinked his dry eyes, his voice hoarse, "...ten times?"
Baiju was a little flustered, and his not very bright mind got a little knotted when it encountered this, "I, I don't know how many times it is...I only know that there is a lot that I can use, and then there is still a part leftover. I can’t estimate the power I don’t want to use..."
His line of sight was blurred and then clear for a moment.
His tear duct seemed to suddenly open a valve, and the bean-sized beads of water filled his eyes without warning, and then rolled down instantly.
On Xiao Yao's cold white face, two tears reflected the little light.
He grasped Baiju's palm tightly, the meridians on the back of his hand stretched, and his strength was so strong that the whole person was trembling slightly.
"...Bai'ge," his crying voice was almost a little breathless, "what do I do, you've been hurt so much..."
The author has something to say:
Sorry, the author first cried for respect Q^Q
The old white dog has suffered a lot, but now Yao Yao loves him.
I wanted to upload this chapter on Saturday but translating gets really rough in the parts about how arrays work and Baiju's curse/scar history. I'm sorry if anything is confusing.
Also, thank you to Lewis for the ko-fi! Glad you are enjoying the novel.