Lin Mu turned around with a little tomato in his mouth and looked at Yan Gui with some surprise.
“What…… portraits?” Lin Mu was a little curious, but when he looked at the calm Yan Xuanjing whose eyes were filled with a fierce light, he silently retracted his gaze.
To be honest, he wanted to see it.
But looking at Yan Xuanjing’s expression, he felt that it was better not to say anything.
Yan Xuanjing watched as Yan Gui casually caught the tea cup that he threw over, and felt that this wasn’t appropriate.
Yan Gui held the teacup and looked back at his son. His handsome face was full of triumph, and with his back facing the three sacred trees, he sent his son winks that were full of hints.
Yan Xuanjing received the hints with a calm face.
Yan Gui walked back to his son with a teacup, stared at his son as he deleted all of his dark history, and after repeatedly checking that no evidence remained, he patted his cub’s shoulders with satisfaction, “a wise man submits to his circumstances.”
Yan Xuanjing’s expression was cold as he knocked Yan Gui’s hand off his shoulder and said, “give me the portraits.”
Yan Gui was very generous and threw a large stack of portrait scrolls, and they fell all over the ground.
Seeing that he was still digging out some more, Yan Xuanjing’s expression became increasingly inscrutable.
“When did you get so many of my portraits?” Yan Xuanjing asked in a cold voice.
“What do you mean get, I drew them myself.” Yan Gui clicked his tongue, “your mother likes it, if she didn’t, why would I draw you?”
If it wasn’t because his wife liked it, where would he get the time to paint his silly son?
Wasn’t it enough to draw his wife?
Yan Xuanjing looked at those portrait scrolls, and pulled one to spread it out.
In the picture was a small, fluffy, and young nine-tailed fox, holding three of his tails with his head buried in them. His ears were dropping down, and his remaining tails were draped over him like a blanket as he curled into a perfect ball.
Several petals had floated in from the window, landed on the ball of fluff, quietly, without a sound.
Yan Xuanjing looked at the picture, and could hardly remember that he ever had such a time.
Yan Gui glanced at the picture and clicked his tongue, “you were so cute when you were young. So silly, no matter what was said you believed it, no matter what we shouted you did, and no matter where we pointed you went. With every word a sweet Dad, unlike now, annoying and obstinate.”
Yan Xuanjing expressionlessly collected all the portraits that Yan Gui had taken out, glanced at Yan Gui, took back his gaze as if nothing had happened, and looked towards Lin Mu.
Lin Mu looked at him with a sense of longing and curiosity, and even Di Wu, who had a glove puppet placed onto him by Qin Chuan was unable to attract his attention.
Yan Xuanjing met Lin Mu’s eyes in silence for a while, then lowered his eyes in defeat, and handed over the previous picture to Lin Mu.
Lin Mu sat cross-legged on the log, with half a tomato still in his mouth. He looked up at Yan Xuanjing, was stunned for a long time because of the portrait handed to him, quickly ate the little tomato and said, “if you don’t want to show it to someone else, it’s fine.”
As soon as Yan Xuanjing’s words fell, Lin Mu took away the portrait in his hand without any hesitation.
Lin Mu carefully unrolled the scroll, and went ‘wah’.
To be honest, no matter what kind of animal, they seemed the loveliest when they were young — especially when their fetal fur hadn’t been shed, and the nine-tailed fox, which already had very fluffy and smooth fur, was even more adorable.
Ay, why wasn’t Milky like this type of little baby fox?
A tiny little one, that could be held up with two hands. Fluffy and round. When he yawned, his mouth would open and you could see the pink tongue and a few white jade-like baby teeth, and when he ran, there would be nine large tails dangling behind him.
Oh, it’s so cute.
Lin Mu looked at the scroll in his hand, then looked at Yan Xuanjing with some regret.
Yan Xuanjing received his look, and felt some alertness rise in his heart.
“Milky’s so cute when he’s a kid.” Lin Mu praised.
Yan Xuanjing heard his words and his alertness dissipated. He straightened his back and gave a reserved nod.
That was obvious, Yan Xuanjing thought.
Nine-tailed foxes could never look bad.
“Are there others?” Lin Mu asked softly, “I want to see women’s……”
“None.” Yan Xuanjing said, flatly.
Lin Mu closed his mouth obediently. There was probably a portrait of him in women’s clothing, but Yan Xuanjing would probably never show it to him.
Lin Mu was well aware of his fact.
He looked down and rolled the picture in his hand carefully, then returned it to Yan Xuanjing.
With a glove puppet on each hand, Di Wu had a cigarette in his mouth as he listened to Qin Chuan shoot like a machine gun as he kept talking about what he had encountered in the past six months.
Most of the time, he was constantly on the run, and because his luck was very bad, he always ran into all kinds of accidents.
“I almost had to go to every police station everywhere I went, and get found out to be an unregistered person.” Qin Chuan sighed sadly.
With this trip, he had learnt all sorts of messy tricks and useless skills.
Such as faking identification, such as panicking without a red face or quickened heartbeat, such as quickly identifying where the cameras were and other anti-reconnaissance skills.
“Human technology is really scary right now, and even with the stealth technique I learned from you, I can’t hide from their machines.” Qin Chuan held a teddy bear half his height and spoke in a sullen tone.
Di Wu had some thoughts about this, when he had first ran out, he was also shocked by these earth-shaking changes.
But he was different from Qin Chuan. Qin Chuan, this silly little idiot, could only follow around that trace of aura and wander about, but when Di Wu first came out, he directly ended a couple of mountain tops, and integrated into today’s environment as quickly as possible.
Di Wu looked at the two glove puppets on his hand, with a cigarette in his mouth, and raised his head to Qin Chuan who still looked like a youth, and gave a soft snort.
Still a little brat.
He took the glove puppets off, gave them to Qin Chuan, put out the cigarette and said, “okay, I’ll go and find the other Dragon Veins first.”
After he said it, he turned to Yan Gui and shouted, “you returning to the Great Wilderness or?”
Yan Gui took a few little tomatoes and a box of small pineapples and held it as he ran over. As he ate a little tomato, he said, “I’ll help to the end.”
“Thanks.” Di Wu nodded, glanced tat Qin Chuan who was staring eagerly at him, thought for a bit, searched his pockets, found a candy box from below his cigarette case, and took it out.
Di Wu casually threw the candy box to Qin Chuan, then patted his butt and left with the nine-tailed fox.
Lin Mu glanced at the candy box, found the words ‘Quit Smoking Candy’, and choked.
Real perfunctory, Lin Mu thought.
He watched as Qin Chuan carefully treasured and kept the candy box, sighed, and couldn’t help but feel some sympathy.
But not long after this sympathy rose up, Lin Mu thought of the wood-like Yan Xuanjing, and felt that he should be the one sympathised with instead.
— This fox spirit really didn’t seem like a fox spirit at all.
Other than that face.
Oh, and the occasional straight ball was an exception.
Lin Mu was in a daze, ate the little tomatoes one by one and finished the whole plate, then stood up.
“I’m going to take a bath and rest! Dad, you should rest early too, weren’t you going to integrate your souls?”
Di Xiu nodded, watched his son run back to the yard, then turned his head to look at Yan Xuanjing with a puzzled look on his face.
Yan Xuanjing and Di Xiu faced each other, and after being silent for a long time, he opened his mouth and said, “Elder.”
Di Xiu responded gently, “what’s wrong?”
Yan Xuanjing asked, “did Lin Mu ever have an arranged marriage?”
As soon as he said this, both Di Xiu and Yan Xuanjing were stunned.
Di Xiu didn’t expect that Yan Xuanjing would ask him this directly, without taking any bends at all.
And Yan Xuanjing remembered that Lin Mu had seemed to ask him the same question before.
How did he respond then?
He didn’t seem to understand what Lin Mu meant, and also asked the blushing Lin Mu, “are you ill?”
Yan Xuanjing thought carefully, recalled about Lin Mu’s appearance at that time and his response, and then fell into a silence amongst silences.
It had turned out to be like that.
No wonder Lin Mu was so angry at the time.
The fox spirit finally realised.
Di Xiu looked at Yan Xuanjing for a long time, and after realising that his mind had wandered, he gave a cough to bring back Yan Xuanjing’s attention.
“There’s no arrangement. His mother and I both support the freedom to love, you want to……” Di Xiu looked Yan Xuanjing, opened his mouth, then stopped, and repeated his actions again, and in the end, he directly asked, “do you want to be with Mumu?”
Yan Xuanjing didn’t intend to hide anything at all.
He gave a clear nod, “he likes me, and my heart happened to be moved.”
Di Xiu heard the words and paused for a while, then couldn’t help but chuckle twice and said warmly, “then that’s really a great coincidence.”
Monster’s didn’t have as many rules and regulations as humans did.
Anyways, no matter whether it was Di Xiu, Yan Xuanjing, or Yan Gui, they didn’t think there was anything wrong with two men being together.
Let alone monsters, even amongst animals, many of them had same-gendered partners. Monsters, with the same animalistic nature, naturally didn’t think that there was anything wrong with it.
They usually only cared about the feelings and the level of strength between them.
And with Yan Xuanjing’s choice to inform Di Xiu, he had already taken into consideration Lin Mu who grew up as a human.
After all, the concept of family wasn’t as strong amongst monsters.
When the younger generations chose their own partner, not many would go out of their way to tell their elders.
Why would they need to tell their parents or elders? It wasn’t a matter of life and death.
This kind of behaviour was only done by monsters who hadn’t been weaned yet.
But in Lin Mu’s mind, this step would be very important.
Facing Di Xiu, Yan Xuanjing said calmly and solemnly, “I’m strong, and I’ll be stronger in the future.”
So he would have no problem with protecting Lin Mu.
At least, if something really happened to Lin Mu, it must be because Yan Xuanjing had crashed and burned or died, and there wouldn’t be another other accidental situations.
Di Xiu understood what Yan Xuanjing meant.
This was to tell him that he would protect Lin Mu, just like how Di Xiu protected Lin Xueji and Lin Mu.
Di Xiu didn’t doubt this fact.
Besides, his child would become stronger in the future.
His bloodline was there, and it was an unchangeable fact.
And if his partner was Yan Xuanjing, then Yan Xuanjing would never become Lin Mu’s weakness.
Because Yan Xuanjing was very strong.
Di Xiu said warmly, “this matter is between you and Mumu.”
With a reserved nod, the fox spirit turned and walked into the yard, went upstairs, and opened Lin Mu’s door.
Lin Mu hasn’t fallen asleep yet, but had already turned off the lights, and was lying in his bed wrapped in a blanket. His hair had been blown dried until it was soft and fluffy, and his face was buried in the blanket in his arms.
Yan Xuanjing walked to his bedside and looked at him, and the more he looked, the more he felt that it looked like that childhood portrait of his.
The fox spirit suddenly realised Lin Mu’s age, and his expression instantly became wonderful.
— Monsters really didn’t have any solid three views.1Refers to the 3 values of people, the worldview (beliefs/personal interpretation of the world), outlook on life (the meaning of life, that is decided by the worldview), values system. Also can refer to how a person views traditional things.
But it was really touching the bottom line to lay a hand on little whelps.
Lin Mu hid in the blanket and played with his mobile phone. After a while, he stuck out his head to breathe and as soon as he looked out, he saw Yan Xuanjing standing on the edge of his bed. His eyebrows were wrinkled, his face was full of nine parts of worry, one part sorrow, and ten parts of confusion.
Lin Mu didn’t know whether to jump up and kick out this man who had found his way to beside his bed in the middle of the night, or explore Yan Xuanjing’s mental activity.
Finally Lin Mu sat up, looked up at Yan Xuanjing, and asked, “you don’t look good. Did something happen?”
Lin Mu said, looked at the moon essence in the yard which had all been seized by his father, then looked at the small light clusters that fell into his room, and finally showed a look of sudden realisation. He moved to the side of the bed, then patted the vacant space next to him.
Yan Xuanjing watched his movement, sightly paused, and there was a hint of happiness in his eyes. He simply threw the confusion behind him, sat on the bed, and was about to move closer when he heard Lin Mu’s words.
“Here for the moon essence, right?”
Lin Mu’s face was full of understanding. He hugged the blanket, slightly tilted his head, looked the Yan Xuanjing in the form of a human and said, “I still prefer the original form. I want nine tails. If you can turn into one like the little one in the portrait, then that’s even better.”
Yan Xuanjing: “?”
Didn’t you invite me to applaud for love?
The author has this to say:
Don’t say that Milky is a fake fox spirit.
There are so many coquettish fox spirits, but look at our Milky, how rare he is.
The translator has this to add:
Milky, now for a taste of your own medicine.