Chapter 95: Master – Bai Zhi Ao
Translated by Ying of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
The situation right now was terrible; actually, no—it was very, very terrible.
I was trapped in a narrow and suffocating room; the room had no windows, three of the walls were grey and lifeless while the last one was made up of metal railings. In the same small house as me, there were three humans. One was a middle aged forty-five year old with a tanned face and very thin, long eyes, who had a strong scent of old sweat. One was a youngster with his hair in a small ponytail; he tilted his head with a smile as he eyed me from head to toe. The last one sat to my side, leaning lazily against the wall, looking as though he was about to die of boredom.
It had been over two hours since I got caught and put here; the uncle in the police uniform had ferociously asked where I lived, where I went to school and even forced me to give him my home’s phone number.
Once it was over, he seemed to be full of regret as he sighed, “The kids nowadays just keep going down the wrong path.”
My feelings were conflicted. On one hand, I wanted Gu Ting Yu to come and pick me up, on the other hand… I was also very scared to see him.
At this moment, the uncle with the police uniform walked in, he pointed at me and said something to the guard before the guard walked over and opened the metal gate, telling me to go out.
I walked through the long and narrow corridor; the moment I saw Gu Ting Yu, I couldn’t care less about the unrest and fear in my heart, I just wanted to jump into arms and hold him tightly. But as I saw his dark expression, I chose to step backwards tentatively instead.
“Sor… Sorry,” I said.
Gu Ting Yu didn’t look at me. He respectfully bowed his thanks to the uncle in the uniform before taking me out of the police station.
The night sky outside was heavy, without the light of a single star. Gu Ting Yu continued to remain silent; I sneaked a glance at his profile. Under the streetlights I could see that his hair was a bit messy and his forehead carried a sheen from sweat; his eye bags were dark and deep. He wore a jacket over his pajamas but the corners of them peeked out, making him look quite silly.
Even so, I couldn’t smile; since I had come to this world, I had never once seen Gu Ting Yu so discomposed.
We arrived at the car park. He opened the car door, signalling for me to enter. Suddenly, there was a “thud” sound—I hit my head the top of the door. Gu Ting Yu finally turned to me, saying his first sentence all day.
“How come you’re so careless all the time?”
It was quite easy for me to hit myself when entering a car; sometimes the bump would be so extreme that my forehead would swell and hurt a lot. This time, though, I did it on purpose. This was good, he was finally giving me his attention.
Gu Ting Yu gave me a car mat and put a few blankets on me before saying softly, “You sleep for a bit first, we’ll be home soon.”
The car drove steadily back home. I buried my face in the blankets while the neon red lights flashed by, pair by pair. I turned my head to look at Gu Ting Yu. His black pupils seemed as though they were filled to the brim with shooting stars, I was mesmerised.
… It had been a year since we arrived in this world.
Here, Gu Ting Yu wasn’t a famous son of God. He said that he was a vet, his job was to provide the daily necessities to kittens and puppies. And we, once known as the Twelve Sacred Beasts, were mere humans in this world, without a shred of spiritual power.
Speaking of which, it was extremely hard to adjust to a completely unfamiliar environment, even if the people here were all completely ordinary and didn’t possess any strange powers. Gu Ting Yu said that in this world, many things were hidden under the surface. He also said that in this world, once the humans are capable of basic understanding, they are sent to school to receive an education. They would sit in the classroom while others took the fresh world, squeezed it into juice, and added in several other ingredients before they poured it into the children’s brains.
Gu Ting Yu never asked us to purposefully change anything; he said that he had the ability to support us, and that we could do what we liked to do, since he didn’t want this world to become a cage that trapped our original selves. He said that as long as we lived happily, then it was enough, so he really did do everything in his power to make us happy.
My only change was that I dyed my hair black; the other Sacred Beasts’ hair colors could be seen as cool and fashionable, but mine was white. Here, apparently only old people’s hair was white and I had already been teased about it many times, hmph.
The other beasts were like me, we were all trying our best to get used to this world. We couldn’t always be making Gu Ting Yu worry about us, after all. Even if it was hard, perplexing and a lot of times unsuccessful, it was alright.
This world had Gu Ting Yu, after all.
Once the car engine stopped, Gu Ting Yu pulled me out of the car. The time was currently eleven o’clock at night; my home’s window was visible from a mile away, shining in the darkness.
Once I got home, as expected, eleven people grabbed their chairs and surrounded me in a circle, starting a joint hearing.
Qian Lü: “XiaoYu! You need to discipline him, this child is going down the wrong path!”
Qing Que: “Ting Yu, don’t get angry, let me pour you a cup of tea.”
Zhuo Yin picked up a knife and chopped the cutting board. “You brought it on yourself.”
Gu Ting Yu didn’t make a sound, so everyone else continued to criticize me.
Xiu Er: “How could you steal something?!”
Lian Yue: “That’s right, and to steal something so valuable from the exhibition hall!”
Niang Xing: “You lack heart! Getting caught as soon as you hit a security mechanism… if it was me I wouldn’t have been caught…”
I pursed my lips and lowered my head, not knowing what to defend against. I disappointed Gu Ting Yu; he definitely won’t ever like me again. As my thoughts reached this point, tears began to drop from my eyes, making a ‘plip plop’ sound as they fell to the ground.
Nian Xing seemed to be even more fired up, “It’s no use even if you cry, I’ve used that trick so many times it’s useless!”
Tong Ying: “Mian, don’t talk too much, you’ve said more than enough already today.”
Ye Yin Ju: “How come I haven’t heard him say a word?”
Tong Ying: “I’m sitting right beside Mian, he’s been talking the whole time, but he’s so quiet that none of you heard anything.”
I looked towards Gu Ting Yu, and he looked back at me. His eyes carried a deep fatigue and seemed troubled, my heart ached, so I called out to him.
Gu Ting Yu froze for a moment.
It was almost a year since I last called him by this title; the other Sacred Beasts all found it to sound too old, they all said ‘what uncle, our Xiao Yu is as delicate as can be, especially in bed, when you twist his (silenced)…”
“Uncle…Uncle…” At this point I could only cry that word out, all I wanted was for him to come to my side, I wanted him to hug me, to scold me, or to do anything else other than ignore me. “Uncle… I was wrong, I’m sorry, I’m really sorry.”
As I finished speaking, Gu Ting Yu stood up; breathing out deeply, he asked me, “After all this trouble, are you hungry?”
“… Hng.” I nodded.
So, Gu Ting Yu went to the kitchen.
Once he left, everyone immediately looked as though they were ready to beat me up. Jue, who had not yet spoken, was so angry that his face had twisted out of shape. He scolded, “Do you know that your little stunt tonight almost drove Gu Ting Yu insane from worry?!”
“When you weren’t home for dinner, Gu Ting Yu wouldn’t eat at all, he just stubbornly waited for you. But then you didn’t show your face even after it was past nine. Gu Ting Yu was so worried, worried that you may have been in a road accident or that something had happened to you, his face was as white as paper!”
Huan Sheng gave Jue a look, signalling for him to stop yelling at me. He patted my shoulder, saying softly, “Later, when the police called, Gu Ting Yu didn’t even change his clothes before he ran out, he first went to the police station wanting to bail you out, but they wouldn’t allow it. He had to make who knows how many calls and begged who knows how many people before he could find connections willing to lend him a hand. I’ve never seen him grovel like that before.”
Qing Que sighed, “Why do you think Ting Yu is angry? It’s not the first time that you’ve been taken to the station. The problem is that you really scared him this time. He was so worried that something had happened to you that he’s still recovering.”
I could only let out a ‘waah’ and start sobbing.
“That… That day on the TV… I saw… The exhibition hall was displaying… wah…. A talisman that looked almost identical to… The one he gave me… sob… Sorry… When I came to this world, the talisman… Gone… sob… I wanted to take it to give it to him… Sorry… Sorry…”
No one else could understand just how important that talisman was to me. In that faraway Eucalyptus forest, the world where only the two of us existed, he had taken his own talisman off and hung it around my neck.
To me, that simple gesture was like a ceremony, it proved that Gu Ting Yu had accepted me. His heart had me in it, it really did. From then on, the only world that I would be able to live in was one with him in it.
The crowd quietened, the sitting room was momentarily filled with the sounds of my sobbing when suddenly a crashing sound could be heard—some tableware had just broken.
Gu Ting Yu walked out slowly; he didn’t say anything, he just reached out his arms and held me tightly.
His face was as cold as ice while his body trembled slightly. Only now did I discover that the Gu Ting Yu who always looked so stable and calm was actually the biggest scaredy cat.
I wiped away my tears and hugged him back.
“I’m sorry, I won’t make you worried again, I promise.”
He nodded, finally revealing a small smile.
The storm had finally blown over. At one AM, everyone had already washed up and gone to sleep. I was curled up on the sofa as I sneakily turned on the table lamp.
I used scissors to cut a small paper box, used glue to stick pieces of coloured paper on top then used a pen to messily write a few words on it.
If possible, I wanted to give him the world’s best talisman. Before that, I would just use this one for the moment; even if it was really, really ugly, I hoped that it would ensure that our family would always be safe and happy.
I turned off the table lamp and tiptoed into Gu Ting Yu’s bedroom. I put my handmade talisman under his pillow and quietly took in his sleeping face.
I licked my lips, then leaned forwards and placed a gentle kiss on his lips.
“Good night, master.”
(What Bai Zhi Ao felt towards the talisman is the same feeling that puppies have towards their collars.)