Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Ivy’s voice was the only one in the room, and when he got to the last two words, his voice dropped even lower, and his fingertips were slightly white from the strength he put into squeezing his pen. It was inherently difficult to get someone who was not open and honest to say what was really on their mind.
Being honest took a lot of commitment on Ivy’s part. He was not a fan of lying, but was easily reluctant to reveal his inner self. The original source of this mentality may have been when he felt that God favored Celestials.
If one thought they couldn’t get something by talking about it, they could simply not talk about it.
Luci was more valued by God than Ivy was since he was given his name by God Himself. Since Ivy felt he was not valued, he did not have the right to open his mouth to make any demands that only the favored one could always express frankly.
Since Ivy had always thought this way, this ‘lack of candor’ became part of his personality. Even if he later believed that Jiang Ci also cared for him, his formed personality could not be changed.
Jiang Ci also knew that it was not easy for Ivy to say it, and after hearing his request, he did not have any intention of intentionally being misleading, but he moved a chair to sit not far from the other party, on the side of the desk.
“Is it okay to sit here?” Jiang Ci sat relaxed and natural and looked over his shoulder at him, “Does it bother you?”
Ivy reduced the strength of his grip on his pen and spoke softly, “As you wish.”
Ivy hadn’t had much to do with city business lately, and he’d been relatively free since the overflow of dark elements in the environment gradually returned to its original balance. Ordinary matters would be left to Arnold and the other council members, and Ivy was responsible for confirming the results.
“My office hours might be long.” Ivy lowered his eyes to the documents that didn’t actually require him to look at them in any detail, “There are books on the shelves that you can take if you are interested.”
Jiang Ci did as he was told and got up and walked over to the bookshelf where he looked over the general types of books there. Jiang Ci noticed a lot of books on music theory.
“Do you like music?” Jiang Ci was surprised.
Ivy replied, “I don’t really like it, but I just have too much time, and I’ve learned a little bit of everything.”
With a lifespan over 3,000 years, if one didn’t find something to pass the time, one may find it more and more boring as days went by. Unlike the Dragons who could sleep for tens or hundreds of years, other races had a normal perception of time.
Hearing the expression ‘too much time,’ Jiang Ci’s hand touched the book with a slight pause, “Do you feel burdened?”
A person with normal emotions was given an eternal life and had to manage a race constantly.
Ivy didn’t answer right away; he was silent for several seconds before he spoke, “No other administrator would find it a burden to work for your sake.” Then, after a pause of a few seconds, Ivy made a U-turn and referred to himself, “So I wouldn’t, either.”
Forcing a cause and effect relationship between these two words, Ivy finished his sentence without looking at the young man standing beside the bookshelf. But, of course, Jiang Ci understood what he was really saying.
Grabbing a book about musical instruments, Jiang Ci sat back down in his previous position.
Thanks to his status as a god, Jiang Ci understood the language of this side of the world completely by himself. Even with the words he didn’t know from the glyphs, it was as if there were an automatic translation when he read them.
When Ivy glanced at the book that Jiang Ci was holding, he said flatly, “If you are interested in this, I can play you any piece of music you want to hear later if you have the chance.”
Faced with Ivy’s rare initiative, Jiang Ci replied without thinking, “Then I’ll look forward to it.”
Ivy responded with a monotone hum.
Although he had just said that he had learned it casually, he could have become proficient at it in such a long period of time, no matter how casually he learned it. It was just that in the face of Jiang Ci, Ivy couldn’t say words that would make him look like he was bragging.
Jiang Ci was sitting on the side of the desk, and even though he was quite close, he did not disturb Ivy’s work the whole time, reading quietly.
The system was relieved that the two of them looked so peaceful, and it preferred that they stay like that – at least it wouldn’t have to worry. But in reality, it was hard for Ivy to take in the words on the document just by sitting next to Jiang Ci.
He recognized every word as well as the combinations of words, but at first glance, Ivy had no idea what the text said. Then he had to read it again, and his progress was very slow.
It didn’t really matter whether he read the document or not; it had already been approved by Arnold, and Ivy was just trying to extend his office hours. The room became brighter and more transparent with the afternoon sunlight streaming in through the huge windows.
Jiang Ci liked the sunny weather. Looking at the daylight streaming in, he closed his book, “Why don’t we do it today?”
Ivy looked up, “What do you mean?” He closed his book.
“You said you’d play.” Jiang Ci smiled at him, “Would there be a chance today as well?”
Ivy’s face did not change, and he nodded his head lightly and reservedly, “Yes.”
It took Ivy a few hours to finish his work, and at that point in time, he had someone prepare an afternoon tea for Jiang Ci as a matter of course. Despite his lack of candor, Ivy was still very attentive to Jiang Ci.
“Let’s eat together.” In the small garden, Jiang Ci poked his fork at one of the cakes on the table in front of him, and then looked up at Ivy, “I can’t eat so much by myself.”
There were several choices of cakes and desserts on the table, so Jiang Ci told Ivy that, chose one to the left, put the Black Dragonling lying on his shoulder over it, and then picked another cake to the right, waiting for Ivy to sit over it.
Arnold, who was in charge of preparing the food, was standing nearby. He heard Jiang Ci’s words and opened his mouth to say that Ivy did not like sweets – but Arnold didn’t have time to say anything, as Ivy had already gone to that seat and sat down.
Ivy did not reveal any displeasure and looked very calm.
Arnold, seeing this, silently swallowed the words that were about to come to his lips.
If one was willing to accept something they didn’t like for the sake of someone else, it usually meant that they liked the other person many times more than they hated that thing. This liking should carry considerable weight in order to sway one’s base choice.
It was easier for Arnold, the adjutant, to know that Ivy was, in fact, very… passionately fond of God than anyone else. He only did not reveal it easily due to an equally strong sense of pride.
“Which instrument would you like to hear?” Ivy dug up another piece of cake, “You can also choose the song.”
Jiang Ci replied, “Just choose what you are good at.”
Jiang Ci didn’t know much about the music of this side of the world. He had just read the book, and the instruments mentioned in the book were different from the ones he knew in the original world. There were similarities in appearance, but he was not sure about playing them.
Ivy didn’t say he was good at any instrument, he just gave a casual hum. He then took one look at the Black Dragon who was on the other side of the cake, finishing it in a few bites, then fluttered its wings and flew over the young man’s shoulder, grunting habitually.
The afternoon was quite relaxing – except for the unneeded presence of the Dragon.
Jiang Ci remained seated, and soon he saw Ivy bringing in a stringed instrument that resembled a violin.
Ivy had never played for anyone, mainly because no one could get him to do it, and he himself had no desire to show off to anyone. Ivy’s approach to the bow was very clean, bringing out the beauty and purity of the instrument’s sound in an impeccable way. The notes seemed to connect into a particularly melodious and romantic tune, and he thought it sounded very pleasant.
After listening to it, Jiang Ci was curious, “What kind of music is this?”
Ivy didn’t look at him, “‘Vernonia.’”
Jiang Ci smiled and said, “It’s beautiful.”
Hearing this compliment, Ivy turned his attention back to him, but did not speak. Vernonia, a piece composed by a musician for the one they admired. Ivy had never felt the longing in this song more than at this moment.
Seeing Ivy’s silence, Jiang Ci thought about it and said to him, “Actually, there are times when you can be more frank.”
Of course, Jiang Ci wasn’t accusing, he was just encouraging him, but when Ivy heard this, he couldn’t help thinking about it.
In fact, Ivy had wondered before if his inability to be frank would not have made Jiang Ci tired of dealing with the young man before him. There was no need for God to second guess him, for He could have simply ignored him.
Jiang Ci sensed something in Ivy’s quietness, and he immediately remedied it, “I didn’t mean to say that you are not good the way you are.”
The system became alert again, Please stop saying things like that.
And just as soon as the system thought that, it heard its host say again, “There’s something lovely about not being frank.”
Ivy was immobilized by this phrase; the Shadow Race’s pallid complexion could not hide the reddish tips of his ears.
The system lost its dream here.
The contrast between the reddened tips of Ivy’s ears and the more reserved and indifferent expression on Ivy’s face was all the more obvious, as he was probably unaware of the reaction of his own ear tips. He said in a tone that sounded rather cold, “If you think so, okay.”
In desperate need of finding something to change the subject, Ivy eyed the Black Dragon on Jiang Ci’s shoulder, “When are you going to pay back the money you owe Phantom?”
[After return.] The Dragon language conveyed by magic was short, but the meaning was quite clear. Returning should be referring to when he returned to Dragon Island.
Jiang Ci thought about it and made a decision, “When you go back, I’ll come along to take a look.”
The promise to go back to Arsène to see the beautified city would probably have to be postponed some more…
The Dragon Race was a race that could withstand part of the natural disasters with only their individual basic defense, so Jiang Ci was not worried about the survival of the Dragons, but it was still necessary to take a look.
After a brief introduction of the situation, Jiang Ci was ready to go to the race he was most worried about.
Humans – the race with the shortest lifespan, the weakest body, and the lowest magical talent.
In his original world, even Jiang Ci, who was only ‘human,’ could not imagine what humans had to rely on to withstand those severe natural disasters. After arriving to Phantom, Jiang Ci had the opportunity to ask Ivy if he knew about the situation of the humans, and the answer he heard was that it was quite stable.
“The human administrators were very capable,” Ivy admitted with a frown on his face.
It wasn’t that the other side possessed any great power; the humans were weak, and even the administrators were the weakest among them – but what mankind had managed to do with the best of their intelligence (something that was nothing more than a miracle from the point of view of other races) had made Ivy want to look at this weak race more closely.
There was arguably the starkest contrast between the Celestials, the first creation of God, and His last creation, Mankind. The Celestials, because they were strong, were born arrogant. Humans, on the other hand, were more humble and introspective than any other race because they were weak.
Ivy would not underestimate a race that would tighten its own noose and force itself to progress.
When Jiang Ci said he wanted to follow him to Dragon Island, the Black Dragonling on his shoulder chirped a few times, and you could hear the happiness in its voice.
The Black Dragon would have thought so, even if Jiang Ci hadn’t spoken first.
Dragons would want to take their treasures back to their lair, and would want to hide them here, guarding them from the eyes of others.
As a result, Jiang Ci heard the Black Dragon express to him that it wanted to move immediately.
Ivy now regretted that he had brought up the matter of compensation. He looked at the Black Dragon with indifference, which was always rude when directed at God, and he felt uneasy. “In that case, I will go and collect the compensation in person,” he said.
It was a good reason.
The environment in Phantom had been restored, and he could leave.
[Hmm.] The Black Dragon responded with a low monotone, which didn’t sound like an agreement, but it wasn’t a refusal, either. The Black Dragonling fluttered its wings to fly from Jiang Ci’s shoulders to the ground, and then began to gradually regain its size.
It reverted back to the Black Dragon that Jiang Ci had first seen, and at that moment, the Black Dragon lay down facing Jiang Ci and stared at him with its scarlet eyes.
This gesture and gaze both revealed docility, and Jiang Ci felt as if the Black Dragon was indicating something to him. He thought about it and asked tentatively, “Do you want me to get on your back?”
Noyce responded with a low sound from his throat.
Jiang Ci agreed, “Okay.”
Reaching the back of the giant Dragon, even if the Dragon was quiet and motionless, was not an easy task for an ordinary person. Fortunately, Jiang Ci’s control of his mind had improved a lot after he had treated the Shadow Races, and he easily used the wind element to send himself to the Dragon’s back.
Ivy watched, raised his eyebrows and immediately asked Arnold to prepare the floatation ship.
Except for God, it was impossible for this Black Dragon to carry any other creatures on its back, not even dead ones. A normal Dragon could already fly faster than a floatation ship, and Noyce’s flying ability was even better. He put a shield around Jiang Ci to stop the gale force winds, flew at full speed, and arrived at his destination within a day.
The scenery of Dragon Island was magnificent and beautiful, and the plants and animals growing here seem to be several times the size of those outside, so if people from other races come here, they may feel that the world was magnified.
The Dragons generally do not like to use human forms, so their city structure can be said to be very simple, some of the buildings that look like super-giant shells are the lair of one of the Dragons, and at a glance the city was full of such alien buildings.
The administrators came back, and their gigantic silhouettes were not hard to spot for other Dragons, but what made them all shrink their pupils like precious treasures was the young man on the back of the Black Dragon.
This was indeed the most precious treasure.
Noyce flew Jiang Ci straight back to his lair, a ‘cave’ so large that a full-grown Dragon could move around in it.
After landing on the ground, the Black Dragon continued to carry the young man on its back to the deepest part of the lair, the place where every Dragon collects its treasures, before setting Jiang Ci down.
Jiang Ci was almost blinded by the mountain of shiny treasures, countless gold coins and gems, countless expensive collectibles, just piled up everywhere on the floor, which he would step on at any moment.
“Let’s go out.” Jiang Ci thought outside was fine.
But the Black Dragon that stayed at the exit of this treasury didn’t move, its scarlet vertical pupil was staring at Jiang Ci. The Black Dragon that had brought the treasured treasure to its lair was satisfied, and it didn’t want to take its eyes off the youth now.
The Black Dragon felt that in its treasure trove, only this one treasure was enough and no other treasures were needed.
Without waiting for the Black Dragon’s response, Jiang Ci thought of raising his hand to touch the Black Dragon’s head, but as soon as he reached out his hand, it lay directly on the pile of treasures because of an accident similar to the previous one.
A little pressed, this was Jiang Ci’s first reaction.
The Black Dragon in human form was on top of him, and this time his pupils were constricted especially hard.
The combination of the satisfaction of bringing a treasured treasure to his lair and the youth, who looked especially beautiful against the other treasures, made it difficult for the Black Dragon to control himself and fall into fascination.
Noyce stared at the young man lying on the pile of treasures and said in a low voice, “This is for you.”
Jiang Ci was confused, “What?”
Noyce tilted his head, “All of it, and me.”
The Black Dragon was admitting to Jiang Ci the fact that he had been captured.