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Thank you to Magpie for the ko-fi~


Shu Shuishui fell silent, his heart in a peculiar state.
Although he had only just met the jiaolong, its playful demeanor kept flashing before his eyes.
The image of the somewhat silly jiaolong frolicking in the water remained vivid.
Yet now, it displayed an intense and fearsome determination.

“This precipitous cliff was once the dwelling place of the Qinglong, Lan Gu.
The mountain is unyielding, standing tall for nine thousand years.
Only the jiaolong can leave its mark here, and only this place can withstand the repeated strikes of its broken horn,” Da Bai stated calmly.

“You’re deliberate, aren’t you? Doing this to soften Brother Shu’s heart,” Gu Lanyi responded promptly, though he was still awed by the scene before him.

Shu Shuishui was well aware of Da Bai’s intentions, yet he couldn’t refuse.
His heart wavered, a mixture of tenderness and heartache.

At this moment, the jiaolong seemed to have lost its senses.
The dragon horn after a thousand years marked a critical point of evolution.
The process of becoming a dragon involved enduring the agony of transformation while retaining a trace of consciousness.
It required controlling instincts, defying the heavens, and repeatedly crashing into the perilous cliffs.

Amidst the earth-shaking commotion, the world remained eerily silent.
Even the peak where the Qinglong, Lan Gu, resided had long been devoid of flying birds.
No spiritual beasts roamed, and even the lush forest of pines and cypresses growing atop it seemed exceptionally extravagant.

“Brother Shu, is it really alright for this to continue?” Half an hour had passed, and the jiaolong’s head was bloodied and battered, yet its speed as it charged toward the precipice showed no signs of diminishing.
Although Gu Lanyi didn’t have much of a connection to the jiaolong, this brutal spectacle undeniably sent shivers down one’s spine.

Shu Shuishui’s gaze remained fixed on the jiaolong ahead.
If he were in his rodent form at this moment, one could observe his little ears alternately drooping against his head and then perking up with worry.

Finally, after a crisp cracking sound, the jiaolong executed two consecutive high-speed collisions.
Its nearly fully grown dragon horn broke with the sound, detached from the dragon’s head, and plummeted to the ground.

The jiaolong swiftly followed, diving downward, then clamped onto the recently shattered horn, happily returning to Shu Shuishui’s side.
Its large head gently nudged against Shu Shuishui’s shoulder, as if seeking praise.

Shu Shuishui extended his hand and, as usual, stroked the dragon’s head, only to touch warm blood instead.

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The jiaolong seemed completely unconcerned, and as it opened its mouth, the freshly broken, bloodied horn fell right by Shu Shuishui’s feet, the blood pooling into droplets that splattered onto the cover of Da Bai’s book-like spiritual tool.

Da Bai opened his mouth, but upon seeing the bloodied jiaolong, he ultimately refrained from uttering any disdainful words and merely let out a soft, disgruntled hum.

The unflappable jiaolong nudged the horn towards Shu Shuishui with a gesture reminiscent of before, causing Shu Shuishui’s heart to flutter.
He wanted to feel sorry for it, but the jiaolong appeared utterly nonchalant, even somewhat gleeful.
Its enormous orange vertical pupils brimmed with innocence and lightness.


Shu Shuishui gently tapped the spot where the dragon’s horn had previously been, where the jagged crack now remained.

The jiaolong’s eyes blinked in response, but it remained still, offering its head to Shu Shuishui once more.

“Idiot, didn’t it hurt? Couldn’t you have dodged?” Shu Shuishui sighed softly.

A gentle purring sound emanated from the jiaolong’s throat, a mix of coquettishness and explanation.

In that instant, Shu Shuishui seemed to truly perceive the presence of Gu Langu within the jiaolong.
His ring’s temperature slightly increased, and a familiar voice resounded in Shu Shuishui’s mind.

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“Shui Shui?” It was Gu Langu’s voice.
Shu Shuishui was momentarily stunned but quickly understood.
The ring on Gu Langu’s side had, for some reason, also activated.
Time and space were no longer barriers; as long as their thoughts connected, they could communicate.
“Gu Gu, it’s me.”

The voice in his mind fell silent for about a second.
“I knew it was you.
How are you?”

Shu Shuishui’s lips curled into a smile, and he reached out to pat the dragon’s nose.
“I’m fine.
And you?”

“I’m fine too.” Gu Langu’s voice was calm.

Shu Shuishui glanced at the obedient Jiaolong.
“Same old fool.
Is your head still hurting?”

The voice in his mind remained quiet, evidently caught in Shu Shuishui’s accurate assessment.
Gu Langu was clearly far from being right.
Simultaneously, this confirmed Shu Shuishui and Gu Langu’s identities.
Gu Langu was indeed Lan Gu, and Shu Shuishui was indeed Meng Mo Li.
Da Bai hadn’t mistaken anyone, and the Jiaolong hadn’t delivered the wrong gift.

“Shui Shui, my head hurts.
I want Shui Shui to touch and soothe it.” Although Gu Langu didn’t understand how Shu Shuishui had discovered him, now that he was exposed, it seemed better to forgo any pretense.
Moreover, this mysterious ring only required mental communication, so others couldn’t overhear their conversation.

Shu Shuishui’s speculation was finally confirmed, whether it added a bit more weight or relief to his heart.
“Gu Gu, you’re good.
I’ll find you soon.”

Gu Langu responded with a gentle “Mmm,” just as docile as the jiaolong before him.


Suddenly, Shu Shuishui’s eyes lit up.
“By the way, Gu Gu, when we meet in person, I have a massive surprise waiting for you.”

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“I’m looking forward to it.” Gu Langu didn’t sense anything amiss and completely trusted Shu Shuishui.
He had no idea that the so-called surprise was truly going to be a surprise.

Shu Shuishui’s conversation with Gu Langu didn’t last long.
After all, a massive, injured dragon still needed tending.

Upon activating the spiritual ring and forming a bond, Shu Shuishui and Gu Langu could sense each other’s general locations.
As the distance between them decreased, their perception became sharper.
This empathic ability was not limited by time or space; even if they were separated by galaxies, the ring would automatically guide them to each other.

After the conversation in his mind concluded, Shu Shuishui approached and gently touched the jiaolong’s nose with his dainty one.
The dragon’s tail started swaying uncontrollably in mid-air, completely ignoring its battered head, giving off an appearance of carefreeness.

“I only have adhesive bandages here, let me see…” Shu Shuishui searched his spiritual storage for wound care supplies, only to find his inventory to be quite meager.
After all, with his former size, a single adhesive bandage would have sufficed.

Shu Shuishui took out all the adhesive bandages and then retrieved a handkerchief, using it to wipe the pitiable state of the jiaolong’s head.
The dragon’s formidable bloodline had granted it the strength to break its own horn, a feat that wasn’t easy, yet it also facilitated the rapid healing of its wounds.

The wound where the horn had broken was already clotting and quickly regenerating.
“Hang in there, Xiao Jiao Jiao.
I’ll clean it up before applying the adhesive bandage.”

Da Bai, looking displeased, stood nearby.
“Truly living up to your name, so delicate.” After saying this, he sat cross-legged and turned his back to Shu Shuishui, adopting an ‘I don’t want to see’ attitude.

Shu Shuishui: “…” This bug didn’t seem easy to handle at all.
How could there be such a prideful bug? It seems cultured bugs are truly different, huh?

Gu Lanyi, having nothing better to do, had initially intended to help Shu Shuishui, but when he approached the jiaolong, its tendrils flicked out, swiftly sweeping him aside—its rejection could not have been clearer.

Gu Lanyi sweatdropped.
“Fine, fine, you have tendrils, you’re impressive!”

The jiaolong’s orange eyes glanced at Gu Lanyi with a trace of disdain, as if saying, “It’s good that you know.”

Gu Lanyi: “…” Sulking, Gu Lanyi settled beside Da Bai, also sitting cross-legged and gazing into the distance absentmindedly.


Da Bai gave Gu Lanyi a sidelong glance without speaking.

Gu Lanyi eventually couldn’t help but speak first.
“Brother, your flying apparatus is quite good.
Where does its power come from? Are the books in the study all organized by you? Do you understand everything written in the books? Hey, hey… I haven’t finished speaking…”

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Da Bai stood up, changed his position, and continued to sit cross-legged.

Gu Lanyi: “…”

Shu Shuishui shook his head.
It really was difficult to get along with this bug.
After a while, Shu Shuishui finally managed to attach all the adhesive bandages to the jiaolong’s head.
“Alright, Xiao Jiao Jiao, take a look.
How does it feel?”

The jiaolong’s eyes were almost crossed trying to see itself.
Shu Shuishui considerately pulled out a small round mirror from his spiritual storage – the kind that sellers would include as a gift in online purchases.

The Jiaolong leaned closer to the mirror, blinked its eyes, and found that it could indeed only see its own eyes, and even then, it couldn’t see them entirely.

Shu Shuishui directed the jiaolong to step back.
“Xiao Jiao Jiao, move back a bit, yes! A bit further back…”

Retreating about a dozen meters, the jiaolong finally used its exceptional eyesight to clearly observe itself in the small mirror.
Its head couldn’t help but shake, and then it suddenly stopped, as if afraid of shaking off the adhesive bandage.

Da Bai tilted his head slightly, seeing the Jiaolong’s appearance, and snorted.
“Ugly as sin.”

However, the Jiaolong was quite pleased.
It circled and flipped in the air, and even when one of the adhesive bandages began to loosen, it leaned its head closer, bumping against Shu Shuishui, signaling for him to reapply it securely.

Shu Shuishui rubbed and patted Jiaolong’s head with affection, both of them seemingly having a lot of fun.
Da Bai powered up his artifact.
“It’s getting late.
Let’s head back to the study.”

Shu Shuishui nodded.
“Listen to the little guy.”

With Da Bai carrying Shu Shuishui and Gu Lanyi, they returned to the dilapidated dead city.
The jiaolong followed along, occasionally flying out to collect things and then bringing them back to Shu Shuishui like a treasure offering.


Gu Lanyi had already recovered from the blow of being rejected and was curiously observing the items the jiaolong brought back.

Da Bai casually reminded them from the front.
“Nearly ten thousand years have passed.
Not to mention ordinary objects, even spiritual items have suffered from the ravages of the end of days and have been destroyed or lost.
Those that have survived until now are anything but ordinary.”

The implication of his words was clear.
After the catastrophe of ten thousand years, what the jiaolong found and presented to Shu Shuishui were rare treasures.

Gu Lanyi looked rather puzzled.
Not ordinary items? These bottles and jars, or even a piece of clothing? There were even stone ornaments…

Shu Shuishui carefully stored away the things the jiaolong had collected.
“All of these will be dowries for Gu Gu in the future!” That way, everything eventually came back to him, which was quite a bargain!

The Jiaolong happily somersaulted in the air, almost becoming round in shape, and became even more enthusiastic about searching for things.

The journey back was unhurried, and naturally, the return trip was slower.
By the time they arrived back at the study, the sky had already darkened slightly.

The group entered the house, and even the jiaolong automatically reduced its size, flying in and curling up inside a bowl with practiced ease.

Gu Lanyi pointed at the jiaolong in the bowl, which resembled a dish.
“What’s this…”

Da Bai raised an eyebrow slightly.
“My study.
It’s already good enough that it’s inside.
The bowl is just right.
That way, it won’t mess everything up!”

One could only wonder what this bug and dragon had experienced during the long nine thousand years to develop such living habits.

“Don’t go out after dark; it’s not safe outside,” Da Bai lit a lamp in the study, and the warm glow of the light dispelled the encroaching darkness.

Hearing this, Gu Lanyi muttered, “Saying that makes me anxious.”

Da Bai clearly paid no mind to Gu Lanyi, continuing to tidy up the study.
However, in a careless moment, his hand was scratched by the edge of a table.
His gaze shifted to the adhesive bandage on the jiaolong’s head in the bowl.
Sensing the gaze, the jiaolong buried its head deeper, only revealing its body.

Shu Shuishui: “…” This scene felt strangely familiar! Truly a child raised by Gu Gu.

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