Bai Xiaochun already felt a headache coming on. Over the years, he had repeatedly tried to correct his son’s incorrect view of life, but had never succeeded.
Xiaoxiao was a bit easier to deal with; Dabao was the true headache, and this huge snake was even more evidence of how gutsy he was. And Bai Xiaochun had heard many other stories of things Dabao had done, things that he would never have dared to do at that age….
For example, in recent years, ghosts and souls had gradually become more common, possibly because of the rise of the Arch-Emperor Dynasty. And yet Dabao had simply gone out and captured some for himself. He had even captured spies sent over by the Vile-Emperor Dynasty and the Saint-Emperor Dynasty.
And now he had gone and caught a gigantic snake. It was as if these two children actually loved ghosts, snakes, and the like….
They didn’t seem scared of anything in heaven and earth. And Dabao seemed to jump at the chance to beat up anyone who offended him. On more than one occasion, Bai Xiaochun had actually scanned him with divine sense to make sure he was really his own child….
Were it not for the fluctuations within his blood that confirmed he was, Bai Xiaochun would actually have suspected otherwise….
The enormous snake that Dabao had captured actually had a high cultivation base, and had developed intelligence many years ago. Because of some certain types of fruits that it had consumed, it also had particularly powerful divine sense. Seeing that the Arch-Emperor seemed to be speaking up for it, it nervously sent out some divine sense to try to beg for mercy.
However, as soon as it did, Dabao noticed.
“Hey!” he shouted. “How dare you interrupt the grownups when we're talking. Are you just looking to get a beating!?” Eyes shining with ferocious light, he punched and kicked the snake a handful of times.
The snake shrieked in terror and humiliation, but couldn’t do a single thing. Bai Xiaochun looked on, sighing.
“Dabao….” he said, feeling a bit sorry for the snake. Sincerely worried about the inappropriate behavior, he was just trying to think of what to say next, and whether or not he should start to act more strictly, when Xiaoxiao hurried over and pulled Dabao back.
“Dabao, you're supposed to cherish little creatures like that. You can’t hit it!” Xiaoxiao's voice was warm and soft, very pleasant to the ear.
However, that was what Dabao feared most in his sister. In fact, he often feared her more than his own mother. Therefore, he immediately backed down and stood there obediently.
Planting her hands on her hips, Xiaoxiao said, “And you shouldn't be talking to daddy like that, Dabao. He’s worked very hard to give us a happy and peaceful life. You apologize right this minute!”
When Bai Xiaochun saw all of this happening, his heart softened even further, and he felt more than ever that daughters were the best. He thought of how, even as a newborn, she would always laugh when he held her, and it caused warmth to rise up in his heart.
Even as that warmth appeared, Xiaoxiao continued to loudly scold Dabao.
“Dabao, you know that daddy has never been very brave. He was like that even when he was a kid! He’s scared of dying, and you went and brought in a gigantic snake to scare him!?”
Bai Xiaochun’s eyes went wide as he watched his daughter loudly scolding his son. He even started to get a bit dizzy. Just as he had been contemplating how to provide the proper life education for his children, Xiaoxiao accused Dabao of using the snake to try to scare him….
Bai Xiaochun was simply stunned.
“Xiaoxiao,” he said, “you--”
Before he could finish, Xiaoxiao turned to look at him, a charming, innocent smile on her face as she said, “Daddy, Grandpa Qinghou told me all about those snakes that scared you so much when you were a kid. It was from that moment on that you feared three things in life: death, ghosts, and snakes! Don’t be scared daddy, I’ll teach Dabao a lesson he won’t forget because of this!”
With that, she turned back to Dabao, who was standing there, head hung low.
“Dabao, this is very, very wrong. You listen to me. If you ever try to scare our daddy again, I’ll beat the crap out of you!”
Looking quite humiliated, Dabao pouted and quietly said, “I won’t scare daddy ever again, sis.”
Bai Xiaochun was now completely bowled over. It was like his daughter could instantly fill blue skies with dark thunderclouds. Off to the side, Lu Yuntao was having a hard time holding back from laughing out loud.
Wanting to cry, but finding no tears to shed, Bai Xiaochun decided that he really had to establish himself as a figure of fatherly authority. Trying to sound as somber as possible, he said, “Xiaoxiao, what you said now was completely incorrect.” Thumping himself on the chest, he continued, “Your daddy--”
But before he could say anything else, Xiaoxiao smiled sweetly and hugged his leg. Looking up at him, she spoke in a very comforting tone.
“Daddy, don't be scared. Dabao doesn’t understand these things, but I’ll teach him. Anyway, the two of us already decided a long time ago that before we even grow up, we’ll make sure to catch all of the snakes and ghosts in the Arch-Emperor Dynasty.
“By the time we’re grown up, we’ll have them all cleared out. That way, they won’t be able to scare you, daddy. Don’t worry, Dabao and I are here to keep you safe!” Xiaoxiao seemed to be perfectly sincere in everything she was saying, to the point that Bai Xiaochun’s heart twinged in response.
As for Dabao, it seemed to take a bit of effort, but he also nodded and said, “Daddy, I’m not sure why you’re afraid of snakes and ghosts, but sis is right. From now on, you don’t need to be scared. We two are here to keep you safe! We won't let any snakes or ghosts frighten you!”
What the two children were saying was actually the truth. Although they often snuck out of the palace because they thought it was fun, the real reason was the stories that Li Qinghou had told them of Bai Xiaochun’s past. After hearing about the things that scared him, they decided that it was their mission to keep him safe.
To hear the children speaking in such a heartfelt fashion caused Lu Yuntao’s smile to fade away, leaving her eyes glistening with emotion.
Bai Xiaochun was equally moved. Sighing at the realization of what was going on, he decided that now wasn’t the time to try to educate his children. Tousling their hair, he turned to leave. But before he did, he looked over his shoulder.
“Your Grandpa Qinghou is actually wrong. The truth is… your daddy isn’t scared of snakes, or ghosts. He’s actually very brave!” Even as the words left his mouth, he heard the sound of throats being cleared behind him. Turning, he found Song Junwan and Zhou Zimo approaching, enigmatic smiles on their faces as they looked at him. Suddenly feeling embarrassed, he came up with a quick excuse to get away.
After returning to his private meditation chamber, he sat down and thought back on the conversation. Although he was still moved, he was also worried, and wasn’t sure of what to do about the situation.
“I guess I can't force them to change their personalities. They need to walk their own path, and make their own future. The only thing I can do is try my best to protect them.” He smiled.
“It’s nice to have someone trying to keep you safe, especially when it's your own son and daughter.”
Taking a deep breath, he closed his eyes and began to perform more auguries regarding twenty-three-colored flame.
After all the years he had spent doing research and study, he had reached a state of roughly ninety percent enlightenment. Now, he only needed to make some minor adjustments and improvements. He was confident that it wouldn’t be long before he would perfect the formula for twenty-three-colored flame.
Another year passed, and the formula was finished. He opened his eyes excitedly and waved his right hand, causing a mass of souls to erupt from his bag of holding.
However, that was when he sensed something very strange from the direction of Gongsun Wan’er’s official residence!
“That aura…. Something’s wrong!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter