Lin Mu covered his head and rummaged for his hat.
He didn’t know if it was because the little Ginseng had returned, but the little seedling on top of his head would sneakily poke out not long after being pressed down. Lin Mu had given up on the idea of pushing it back, and simply decided to find a hat to press it down.
Yan Xuanjing held the new and large dog bed that Lin Mu had bought for him and dragged it to the yard and under the sun. He looked at the extremely pale sun essence that floated down from the sky and jumped into the dog bed, lazily lying on his side under the sun.
The light and golden sun essence floated like a dandelion seed, fluttering along the wind before they fell onto the nine-tailed fox’s whole body. It was too late for them to enter his body, so they just slipped along the smooth fur into the dog bed and piled up.
It was the first time the little Ginseng had seen these sort of things, and he crouched beside the dog bed and curiously reached out to poke a small ball. In a flash, the little light went into his hand and disappeared.
The little Ginseng looked at his hand in a trance, and after a while, he burped. The ginseng seeds that were on his head, which had been attracted by the sun, became brighter and redder.
His eyes lit up and he smacked his lips, and just as he was planning to reach out and take another of those small light balls, he received a tail-swipe from Milky who was in lying the dog bed. The pain made him shiver and he took his hand back.
The little Ginseng blew against his own meaty hand, made eye contact with Milky’s dignified stare, and pouted, feeling wronged, “okay, I won’t grab it.”
Yan Xuanjing took back his line of sight, lazily enjoyed the sun essence for a while, then looked around the yard.
The best way to nourish the land was to use the essence of the sun and the moon.
The spiritual medication was growing very well in the yard, the flowers and grass were flourishing, and if a slightly stronger monster came, they might even be able to catch a wisp of spiritual energy that condensed into a light mist.
An area like this was rare even in the Great Wilderness.
Yan Xuanjing blinked a little, and thought about what Lin Mu had said before; about the many little monsters that had came to the door. After thinking for a moment, he slightly hooked his tail and used his power to hide in yard from other monster’s perception.
All the monsters whom he didn’t recognise would not be able to the situation, and if they tried to get close, they would feel as if they were going in circles.1鬼打墙. lit. (ghost beating wall). It refers to a specific phenomenon where people walking in a large open space absent of visual landmarks often find themselves lost and circling back to where they started, as if a ghost had built a wall that kept them from walking straight. In supernatural stories, of course, a ghost really did build a wall.
Things like confusing minds, there’s nobody better at them than a nine-tailed fox.
As for the monsters who were capable of crossing this barrier, they wouldn’t be any regular being.
But that didn’t matter, there was still a circle of Morning Dusk outside the door blocking the way.
The problem wasn’t big.
Yan Xuanjing looked at what he’d achieved with satisfaction, yawned under the early morning sun, wrapped himself up in his tail and curled up into a ball in the dog bed.
Lin Mu had finally found a cap, placed it on his head and touched the little seedling that still stubbornly stuck the tip of a leaf out of the hat despite being pressed down. He didn’t care about it anymore as he took his phone and keys and was ready to go to work.
The little Ginseng ran over with his short legs and said to Lin Mu, “Lin Mu, what kind of house are we going to build?”
It was only then did Lin Mu remember about the little friends that the little Ginseng brought back, who knew how to build houses. He thought for a bit, then went back into the house to print a few completed greenhouses and handed them to the little Ginseng.
“I’ll be satisfied with something like this. You guys see which ones are easier to build. Once you guys have decided, tell me, and we’ll go but the materials tomorrow during the weekend.”
The little Ginseng shrunk his neck back, “I…… we don’t go to places where there’s a lot of humans.”
Lin Mu gave him a comforting pat on the head, “that’s fine, I can go by myself.”
The little Ginseng gave Lin Mu a sweet smile, rolled up the papers in his hand and ran out.
Lin Mu watched as he ran to a small corner of the yard, where two little girls and a teenager were crowding around and watching Lin Mu carefully.
Giving them a smile, Lin Mu pushed his electric scooter out of the door and decided to bring a big watermelon back to extract the juice today.
After all, all plants should like to drink. It would be nice to get some drinks for those little kiddos.
“I’m going to work!” Lin Mu shouted, “Milky’s lunch in the pot, little Ginseng, remember to feed him!”
The little Ginseng ran to the edge of the fence and shook his little head, “okay! Lin Mu, be careful on the road!”
Yan Xuanjing shook his ears lazily, then turned over and continued basking in the sun.
When Lin Mu had arrived at the office and was just about to open the door, Da Hei came out from the inside.
When he saw Lin Mu, he stretched his hand out and directly took Lin Mu away.
Lin Mu glanced into the office and found that Wu Gui was sitting down with another equally gray-haired old man.
All of a sudden, Wu Gui, whose expression always made him seem like a wandering spirit, was present in the moment, and the other old man wasn’t as hale and hearty as he was, and seemed to be fast approaching death.
Lin Mu followed Da Hei out asked doubtfully, “what’s wrong?”
“Steering clear. The Old Turtle’s son is here.” Da Hei said and pulled out two folders, “just in time for a field trip.”
“Son?” Lin Mu was stunned, “that old man?”
“Ah, that Old Turtle’s son is the same as you, a half-monster.” Da Hei said, “he was injured when young. Injured his base. He just over a thousand but already looks like half-dead.”
“Ah.” Lin Mu opened his mouth, “doesn’t Wu Gui not like humans?”
“Yeah, his wife has been dead for over a thousand years, and the only thing he cares about is his son. As a result, his son was made into this manner by a couple of human taoist priests.” Da Hei sighed, and warned Lin Mu. “After all, our sub-district office more or less keeps in contact with humans. If there’s more contact, there’s going to be more feelings. You’re still young and should pay more attention.”
Lin Mu wasn’t sure what Da Hei wanted him to pay attention to, but when he heard him say that, he still nodded.
“That Old Turtle is also quite unlucky. At that time, a monster that created some chaos in the Central Plains retaliated against him, and his wife was killed. His son wanted revenge, and met several toaist priests while doing so and almost lost his life.”
Da Hei said, smacked his lips and gave a deep sigh, “it’s almost 800 years, and that Old Turtle is still trying to find some spiritual medication that could cure his son.”
Lin Mu thought about the first time he had seen Yan Xuanjing, at that time, he had given Wu Gui some fresh looking spiritual medication.
“So it’s like this.” Lin Mu nodded his head and thought about the spiritual medication field in his yard and asked, “what type of spiritual medication does he need?”
“I’m not to sure.” Da Hei scratched his head, “how could I know? I’m just a dog who only gained spiritual awareness recently, I don’t even know that spiritual medication looks like.”
Lin Mu thought about it, and still didn’t say that he had a bunch of spiritual medication in his house.
He raised his hand to support the falling hat, and could feel that the little seedling was a bit uncomfortable.
Da Hei made a slight sound of exclamation, and only just discovered that there was something different about Lin Mu, “why are you wearing a hat?”
“Ah.” Lin Mu smacked his lips, “because I’m sprouting.”
Da Hei paused for two seconds, “sprouting?”
Lin Mu raised his hat slightly, and the seedling that was pressed down by the hat squeezed a little green tip from the gap. Lin Mu mercilessly stuffed it back, “sprouting.”
After deliberating for a long time, Da Hei said a little flatly, “…… pretty cute.”
Lin Mu also felt that little seedling was quite cute.
But so what if it’s cute? He couldn’t go out with a small green plant on his head.
Lin Mu adjusted the hat and followed Da Hei into the residential area. Then he was stuffed with a folder and a pen, “you record the ordinary people, I record the monsters.”
Taking the pen, Lin Mu looked down at the folder in his hand which had a stack of forms in it. On the first page was <Registration Form for the floating population under the Qingyao Subdistrict Office>.
“We mainly check the floating population, to see if there are any foreign monsters coming in with human tenants. ” Da Hei explained the work a little, “now, there’s many cat and dog monsters that turn into their original forms, disguising themselves as an ordinary pet, and follow those kind hearted people for food. Afterwards, they simply pat their butts and leave, causing those kind humans to receive a deep psychological shadow and mental blow. They’re very bad.”
Lin Mu: “……”
It was actually quite bad.
“How is this generally handled?”
Lin Mu: “?”
“We’re only responsible for registration.” Da Hei shook the folder in his hand, “not responsible for saving the unlucky ones.”
Lin Mu: “……”
“But there are also many monsters who really want to accompany human beings.” Da Hei made a ‘woof’ and said, “you know, dogs.”
Lin Mu followed Da Hei and went to three residential areas. When he came out of the last residential area, the sky was already dark.
Shaking his hand that had been writing for the whole day, Lin Mu flipped to the back of the folder, “there’s still one more……why is it so far away?”
“Because that place is a little special.” Da Hei closed the folder, “that place belongs to a large and hidden cultivator family. Their ancestors caught evil monsters and fierce ghosts. We’ve cooperated a few times, and although there hasn’t been any outstanding offspring in recent years, every time we go out in the field, we have to go to them to record it.”
Lin Mu was surprised to hear that, “there’s really such a thing like cultivator families.”
“Of course there is, there’s even several monsters under the service of this family, if not, why would we have to go and record?”
Da Hei continued to walk forward with Lin Mu, “this time, the situation is quite good. in the past, when I did fieldwork, I always met a few monsters that wanted to fight. After Yan Xuanjing came, there are rumours that the nine-tailed fox wanted to occupy this territory, so those restless monsters didn’t dare to come out.”
After hearing him mention Yan Xuanjing, Lin Mu remembered and turned to ask Da Hei, “do you know how to contact Yan Xuanjing?”
Da Hei opened his mouth, swallowed the words ‘isn’t Yan Xuanjing in your home?’ back, and shook his head, “I don’t know, Wu Gui should know.”
Lin Mu nodded, and thought that if he did not see Yan Xuanjing again, he would ask Wu Gui to contact him.
There was a pile of things in his house and he really didn’t know how to deal with it.
Da Hei carried the secret of knowing that Yan Xuanjing was Milky, looked at Lin Mu who had no idea, scratched the back of his head and asked tentatively, “how’s Milky?”
“Quite good. I saw him basking in the sun before I went out this morning.” Lin Mu said, then added with a look of slight distress, “but he’s never bark or wagged his tail at me before.”
Da Hei looked ahead and didn’t dare to speak.
“No, it seems that Milky had never made any sounds before.” Lin Mu realised that, and his eyebrows gradually furrowed, “doesn’t seem like he’s ill, it can’t be that he’s disabled?”
Da Hei was shocked and hurriedly said, “no, he’s probably more introverted.”
“Oh.” Lin Mu nodded, and smiled, “no problem. Even if there’s something wrong, I won’t abandon him.”
Da Hei choked for a bit, gave Lin Mu a couple of dry laughs, then abruptly stopped.
In the cool night wind, there was a slight smell of blood and decay.
The expression of the dog monster with a keen sense of smell darkened.
“Be careful,” he said, “there’s something wrong.”
Lin Mu followed Da Hei’s eyes, and could only see a black lacquered roof hidden between clusters of trees on the mountainside.
The sky was already dark, but there was no light under the black lacquered eaves.
Da Hei took Lin Mu to the foot of the mountain and his expression became worse and worse.
The mountain wind came from the top of the mountain, and the smell of blood and rot hit the faces of the two who stood at the bottom of the hill.
Lin Mu took a few steps back, turned to use the tree beside him as a support and almost vomited.
Da Hei took out his phone and made a phone call to Wu Gui. When he hung up and turned around, he saw Lin Mu covering his nose and mouth, not wanting to get close at all.
“What happened?” Lin Mu asked, his stomach churning.
“Some people died, and it’s not little.” Da Hei brows were wrinkled. He also couldn’t stand the smell, “let’s wait first, and retreat.”
Lin Mu nodded and followed Da Hei out of the forest. As a result, they met Yan Xuanjing who came with Wu Gui.
Yan Xuanjing was lying at home and sleeping very comfortably,
He was awakened by the aura of death that Lin Mu’s braided bracelet had encountered, and immediately got up and ran to in that direction. Just so happened, he met Wu Gui who was also heading in the same direction.
Yan Xuanjing’s gaze passed over Da Hei and landed on Lin Mu. Seeing that he wasn’t injured, other than his pale face and the fact that he was obviously frightened, Yan Xuanjin lowered his eyes and touched his sleeves, bringing out a bunch of pale golden balls of light. He lifted his feet and walked over to Lin Mu, and with a swish, threw them in Lin Mu’s face.
Lin Mu looked up towards Yan Xuanjing, and after discovering that the other party’s eyebrows were furrowed, he obediently didn’t move or talk.
Wu Gui looked at Lin Mu and Yan Xuanjing, and frowned as he looked up at the mansion on the mountainside.
“There’s no need to look.” Yan Xuanjing took all the sun essence that were still floating around and patted them into Lin Mu’s body and looked as Lin Mu’s face regained its healthy flush. Then, he looked up at the mansion above, “they’re all dead.”
Wu Gui heard his words, gave a heavy sigh, and took out several turtle shells.2Turtle Shell Divination is a style of divination rite where the practitioner usually carves questions into the plastron (flat bit of a turtle shell), then applies heat until the shells crack. Then, they’ll read the cracked lines to get the answers to the question they carved. The sounds caused by the cracking are usually seen as gods sending their will.
“Di Wu did it.”
Yan Xuanjing interrupted the preparation Wu Gui was taking to cast a divination, “take advantage of the fact that his aura hasn’t scattered yet and you should still be in time to divine where he is.”
As soon as Yan Xuanjing said those words, Lin Mu, whose face had just returned to his normal complexion, turned white again.
The translator has this to add:
Yan Xuanjing: My Lin Mu is in danger senses are tingling.