Da Hei’s heart was full of happiness after deciding to help his new colleague solve their problem.
He spent the whole morning teaching Lin Mu step by step on how to go through basic work process and after lunch, he rubbed his hands together and shuffled over to Lin Mu’s side, “I’ll be skipping work this afternoon? I have a little something on.”
Lin Mu paused, then nodded, “sure, I should be able to handle it on my own.”
“Okay!” Da Hei let out a big grin and took a new white collared shirt and a new pair of jeans from the cupboard.
Looking at this set of clothing that Da Hei had taken out, Lin Mu knew why he was skipping work.
“Recently, that Old Turtle seemed to have encountered some sort of problem during his work, and it’s always been me here alone, so troublesome.” Da Hei said as he changed his clothes.
Lin Mu no longer expected this dog to have the sense of shame as humans.
He turned his head away in order not to look, and upon hearing what Da Hei said, he asked, “what kind of trouble?”
“It seems that it was that nine-tailed fox who came in before that asked him to cast a divination, and he managed to divine out some kind of serious matter,” Da Hei answered, “because of this thing, I’ve been running around, delaying things until I didn’t have any time to see the old lady.”
Lin Mu heard the Da Hei say so, and was slightly startled, “the old lady……”
Da Hei’s voice sounded calm, “I went to see her on the weekend, and it’s probably due to terminal lucidity, but she’s got a healthy glow and was full of energy. A lot of her relatives, friends, and former students came back to see her after hearing the news, and she seemed happy, so it’s quite good.”
The old lady always had been a gentle and quiet person, and no matter how fierce she got, she was still always the same warm and gentle person. She had suddenly become more active recently, and her son and daughter than rushed back from abroad also knew the truth in their hears.
People always knew when they reached the end of their natural lives.
Her time was coming, she had terminal lucidity, so she probably was going to leave soon.
“The old lady’s great-granddaughter is three years old,” Da Hei fell silent after speaking and his clothes rustled as he wore them. “I’ll come back when the workday ends, you continue working first.”
Lin Mu nodded, “okay.”
He watched as Da Hei left, and seeing that nobody else came, went to the reference room on the second floor.
After five days, Lin Mu could already see the shadow of the office’s second floor.
The entire area was made up of a large, dark and black building. The reason why an ‘area’ was used to describe it was because it almost covered the entire street’s sky.
Overall, it was a very distorted, irregular and unscientific shape, like it had been built up by a child who didn’t know anything, and simply stacked one block on top of another, with the occasional protruding piece.
Such a twisted shape, it wasn’t in accordance with architectural mechanics and aesthetics at all.
What was even more unscientific was the sunlight flowing down from the crooked and twisted gaps, and spreading over the entire street without any reasonable scientific principle. This resulted in a building that was clearly blocking out the sky, but didn’t actually block out the light shining down on the street.
On the outside, the building was made up of dark brick walls and dark golden tiles laid out in an orderly manner. Under the eaves hung bright lanterns of different colours that were quite different compared to the dark building. Even in broad daylight, one could see the red lights shining out from the lanterns.
There wasn’t a single window in the whole building, and all the lights were tightly shrouded.
This was Lin Mu’s first time on the second floor.
After walking up the stairs, he faced a circular space with a small platform in the middle that could fit about five people. If one stepped on the platform and raised their head, they would be able to vaguely see a dome that resembled a black dot.
The surrounding areas were full of densely packed books, which looked like they were from different eras. Some were so old they were even clay tablets, or something similar to that.
Although it was called a reference room, in actual face it was a huge library. With the number of books and references far exceeding any other known library in the world.
Apparently, there were about five such units within the country.
The main reason why its area was so wide and contained such a great amount of books was because the data collected had been recorded since ancient times, and until this day, even the Old Turtle who had been responsible for guarding the area for over 3000 years wasn’t sure what the earliest available data was.
In order to maintain the integrity of their history, all the monsters had collectively decided to keep their battles away from these give locations. As for human wars, they didn’t matter, simply because it wasn’t as if they could see or touch these references.
When one wanted to look up information, all they had to do was to step up onto the platform and say the relevant keyword, and they would be sent by the platform to the area where the relevant information were preserved.
Da Hei had emphasised this matter to Lin Mu before, since this reference room had been around for so long, it has long achieved spiritual awareness. Once, some evil monsters had entered and wanted to play some little tricks, but it wasn’t long before they were turned into corpses and thrown down the stairs.
Therefore, in order to go up, one had to have good intentions.
Although Lin Mu had heard from Da Hei on how to use the room, experiencing it for the first time was still a strange experience.
He marveled at the information he had received about the Great Wilderness and the Central Plains. Once the old materials had touched his hand, they turned to words that Lin Mu could read clearly, and flipping through it, there were also colourful illustrations kindly attached.
Lin Mu gave a small sound of exclamation then raised his head to look around the reference room he was in. He asked softly, “could I be allowed to take this down? I still have work to do.”
The platform under his feet shook slightly, and rumbled as it sent Lin Mu back to the entrance.
Lin Mu gave his thanks, and carefully brought the data down the stairs. He sat down and began to read.
Da Hei had told Lin Mu before, that the existence of the Great Wilderness was based on the existence of the Central Plains. Lin Mu hadn’t understood at first, but the book explained it clearly.
The Great Wilderness, the Heavens, the netherworlds, and all those other legendary places in myths and legends were all dependent on the Central Plains, just like projections.
Monsters, Gods and Ghosts, all of them lived in these projections. They were able to see what happened in the Central Plains, but to the normal humans in the Central Plains, they were illusions that did not exist.
In addition, the book also contained information about some of the main influences in these special regions. Their contents were extremely detailed, and even the personal interests of these high-level forces were arranged out in a clear manner.
And the ones listed at the forefront of the information was the country to the east of the Great Wilderness, Qingqiu Country, with her current head Yan Gui, and his successor Yan Xuanjing.
Lin Mu suspected that the monster in the reference room did this deliberately.
He looked seriously at all these materials, and after reading through the first few pages about Qingqiu Country, the personnel side had information about Yan Xuanjing and his father were clearly displayed, including pictures of their original body.
The huge snowy white foxes towered like a mountain, and as if they were aware of something, both nine-tailed foxes had used their nine furry tails to cover a good half of their body, not letting others see how they looked.
Lin Mu simply skipped the side mentioning Yan Xuanjing’s father and glanced at Yan Xuanjing’s information. He realised that there were some words he had never seen before in the column about Yan Xuanjing’s favourites.
However, there was an explanation below. Lin Mu read it and found out that this fox seemed to prefer eating birds.
Lin Mu had spent an entire afternoon reading this information. In the middle, he had stumbled through but still managed to complete a good portion of his work. When ti was time to get off work, Da Hei returned.
Lin Mu asked as he tidied up the information on the table, “how is the old lady?”
“Just some recent matters.” Da Hei unbuttoned several buttons on his shirt, “go, let’s get off work.”
Lin Mu nodded and took Da Hei back home, and dropped by the market on his way back. He bought two pigeons, and when he pass Uncle De’s place at the village entrance, he bought a live old hen from him.
Da Hei looked at the two pigeons and a chicken that he was helping Lin Mu carry, “why did you buy so much for?”
Lin Mu also didn’t know why he had bought all these all of a sudden, he thought about it, and felt that perhaps it might have been Yan Xuanjing’s love for the large variety of birds that aroused his appetite.
“Just suddenly felt like eating.” Lin Mu drove the small electric scooter and asked Da Hei who was sitting on the back seat and was was going over to his place to have dinner, “you don’t like it?”
Da Hei shook his head, “I’m fine with anything.”
Lin Mu was rest assured, and when he saw his yard’s door, he said again, “I’ll roast one pigeon and turn the other into soup, and how about fried chicken?”
Da Hei thought about it, and felt that raw food wasn’t bad either. Just as he wanted to open his mouth, he smelt an incredibly threatening and aggressive scent that was deliberately left behind to mark out a territory, alongside a strong and ferocious killing intent. It was full of warning signs. Da Hei was so shocked he jumped down from the back seat of Lin Mu’s scooter and looked suspiciously at the nearby yard.
Lin Mu was shocked by him and quickly pressed the brakes before turning around to look at him, “what are you doing?!”
Da Hei, carrying two pigeons and a chicken, was extremely cautious, “whose yard is that?”
Lin Mu followed his gaze, “mine.”
Da Hei: “……?”
Da Hei was stunned for quite a while, “did any monster recently come to your house?”
“Uh……” Lin Mu looked at Da Hei’s reaction, and simply replied, “a ginseng.”
“Yes, a ginseng.”
“……” Da Hei looked at Lin Mu with hesitation, then looked at the yard again, and once again confirmed, “ginseng?”
Lin Mu nodded, “yeah, a pretty cute little ginseng.”
“……” Da Hei frowned, “it didn’t hurt you?”
Lin Mu looked down at himself and said, “look at me, I’m fine.”
Da Hei looked at Lin Mu and thought about how he could help this ignorant little half-monster get rid of the threat. So, he placed the old chicken in his hand on the ground, sent a message to the Old Turtle just in case, and gave the other things in his hands back to Lin Mu before changing back to his own familiar and more powerful form. He said very seriously, “I suspect that a fierce monster came to your home.”
Lin Mu’s looked at Da Hei’s vigilant manner, and became nervous along with him. He slowly pushed the electric scooter into his house and said, “that might be the case. The little Ginseng in my house seems to be the type that attracts monster, but can’t the Morning Dusk prevent them from entering?”
Da Hei heard Lin Mu say so and felt that what he said was right, and felt somewhat relieved. He looked at the circle around Lin Mu’s small yard and paused, “why did you grow the Morning Dusk into a fried egg?”
Lin Mu paused, “…… I grew them into a sun.”
Da Hei fell silent for a while and dryly said, “…… oh.”
Lin Mu looked around his yard with hesitation, “it really looks like a fried egg?”
“No, no. It looks like the sun.” Da Hei hurriedly changed his words. Then he closed his mouth, and carefully approached the yard with extreme vigilance.
A person and a dog just entered into the yard, and a ball of white fluff came out from the side path, still holding a struggling sparrow in his mouth, and ran into the person and the dog who were planning to open the door.
Lin Mu didn’t notice anything. He placed the stand of his electric scooter down, then ran over and squatted down to coax his family’s Milky into letting go of the sparrow.
Lin Mu really couldn’t understand why, Milky was obviously a dog, but why was his posture and habits like a precious cat that had delicately raised.
The old father Lin Mu sighed sadly, “don’t eat these kind of unfamiliar and wild things. What if you get some sort of illness? You also don’t want to go to the hospital……”
At this point, Lin Mu realised that his dog’s eyes weren’t looking at him. Instead, they were staring at Da Hei, unblinking and unnaturally focused.
And Da Hei was crouched in his original spot, also looking at Milky, unmoving.
“This is Da Hei.” Lin Mu said.
Milky’s ears shook, and Da Hei trembled under his gaze, but didn’t dare to look away. He was afraid that a single movement would cause him to get ripped apart by the nine-tailed fox in front of him.
Lin Mu looked at Da Hei and then looked at Milky, and couldn’t really quite understand the eye contact between the two dogs.
He hesitated for a moment, and still said, “I’m planning to raise him.”
Milky heard those words, turned to look at Lin Mu, then his eyes fell back down onto Da Hei’s body, and looked the other party up and down.
What’s going on!
Da Hei felt that his whole entire dog was going crazy.
Dammit, you didn’t fucking tell me before we arrived that your Milky’s formal name was Yan Xuanjing!!
Lin Mu, you sabotaged me!!!
The author has this to say:
Da Hei: I’m coming! I’m leaving.
Lin Mu: ?
The translator has this to say:
I don’t know what’s funnier, the reference room shipping our little half-monster and the nine-tailed fox, or the many candles that Da Hei just received.