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    Asianovel

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    Chapter 94

    Wei Xi's disciple seemed to be in a bad mood, likely due to the rush and his discomfort. After reminding him to wear more clothes, Wei Xi hastily hung up the call.

    However, when they reached the airport, they realized that departure might not be possible anytime soon.

    The tempestuous storm caused by the Azure Dragon's descent into the sea was so severe that the Seaside City Airport was almost flooded. Several planes on the apron were blown into each other by the strong winds, causing severe damage to their wings. For safety reasons, all flights at the airport were grounded.

    Airport staff were urgently repairing the damaged facilities. At this point, even if the king himself were to request clearance, it would be useless. The stranded passengers, having experienced the terrifying storm, resigned themselves to their fate. Some rearranged their travel plans, while the rest checked into hotels arranged by the airport.

    Although there were no casualties in Seaside City, the economic losses were substantial. Mr. Gu couldn't help but sigh at the sight of the busy workers. Fortunately, the aftermath would be handled by the relevant government departments, sparing the public from bearing too much of the burden.

    The Azure Dragon, now shrunk in size, was carried by Xia Shouren. Along the way, he began to realize the consequences of his actions. His enormous dragon eyes shimmered with a guilty conscience. Unity Yi murmured, "Dragons are nothing like what I imagined. It would have been better if my master had just eaten you from the start."

    Wei Xi agreed wholeheartedly.

    What was even more terrifying was that, aside from the exceptionally devout Taoist priests, Mr. Gu's film crew also found some truth in Unity Yi's words...

    The Azure Dragon panicked. Xia Shouren seized the opportunity to quietly educate the young dragon, "The reason why dragons hold an exalted status and are considered auspicious is because of the faith that humans have placed in your ancestors for millions of years. But don't think that being a divine beast makes you invincible. If you continue to behave recklessly and stray from the right path, the day will come when you lose human admiration. Then, in the eyes of Heavenly Dao, you will amount to nothing."

    Wei Xi stood closer, allowing him to overhear their conversation. The Azure Dragon asked incredulously, "A human... Just a mere human, yet I, who can topple millions with a flick of my tail, am no match? How is that possible?"

    Xia Shouren chuckled. "Humans, though lacking in strength, are indeed remarkable."

    The Azure Dragon's expression changed, as if it had foreseen the consequences through Xia Shouren's words. One of the Taoist masters present suddenly recalled something and said, "Right, now that the Azure Dragon has appeared, we must remember to inform Black Tortoise when we return."

    As fellow members of the Four Divine Beasts, they inherited complete memories upon their ascension. Upon hearing the name of Black Tortoise, the Azure Dragon perked up. "What?! Has Black Tortoise also emerged? Where is he?!"

    Could he have already gone north to guard the land?

    However, the Taoist masters fell silent at its inquiry. After a long while, an elder Taoist, met with the dragon's puzzled gaze, spoke with a grim expression, "Black Tortoise... He's involved with a local cult and is currently being held in a detention center by the police department."

    Azure Dragon: "..................."

    Weakly hanging from Xia Shouren's hand, it took the Azure Dragon a long time before it could regain its voice. "You're right... Humans truly are remarkable."

    Xia Shouren: "......."

    Xia Shouren wanted to clarify that he didn't mean remarkable in this context, but after a moment's hesitation, he decided against explaining. "Forget it, just remember this lesson."

    The Azure Dragon finally put aside the inexplicable confidence it inherited, acknowledging that times had changed and humans were no longer as weak as their ancestors described.

    It felt wronged too. After a thousand years of devoted cultivation to finally become a dragon, it had expected to reign supreme and command the world. To its surprise, humanity had embraced socialism while it was away. Science flourished on Earth, and the divine beast industry faced a harsh winter. What was the point of being a dragon now?

    *****

    The airport was paralyzed, so after discussion, they decided to stay one more night in Haili City before catching the high-speed train back to the capital the next day.

    Sweeping vehicles rushed to clean the streets. The storm had left the city in disarray, with only a few hotels still open for business. Mr. Gu eventually had to call upon the local meteorological bureau, using his work ID to secure a room.

    As they checked in, a news channel on the hotel lobby's TV was analyzing the weather disaster in Haili City. The expert beside the anchor explained the natural factors behind the typhoon with clarity, while Little Zhao, listening to the familiar professional terms, appeared lost in thought.

    The Azure Dragon hung from Xia Shouren's hand, its claws retracted as per instruction, and its appearance slightly altered. It was in a sullen mood.

    The hotel staff kept casting glances at it. Little Zhao, noticing this, grew wary. The receptionist hesitantly spoke up, "Um, leaders, generally speaking, our hotel doesn't allow pets."

    Little Zhao: "..."

    The Azure Dragon abruptly lifted its head to stare at her. Then, under Shuo Zong's gaze, it meekly lowered it again.

    Pet...

    Mr. Gu apologized repeatedly, "I'm sorry for the inconvenience."

    Beside him, Little Zhao murmured, "Pet, don't you find this pet a little odd?"

    "Eh?" The receptionist was caught off guard by the question and began to examine Azure Dragon closely. After a moment of awkward silence, they said, "It's not too strange, I suppose. While not many people keep snakes as pets, it's not unheard of."

    Little Zhao's tone turned more wistful, "Don't you think it's a bit... unusual?"

    The receptionist responded with confusion, "Huh?"

    What was going on with this person?

    Mr. Gu gently pushed him away and smiled casually, "The weather changes in Hai City have been quite unusual lately. He's spent too much time online."

    "Oh!" The receptionist, who was clearly also internet-savvy, quickly caught on, "That makes sense. This snake is indeed quite unique; I initially thought it was a dragon."

    Everyone else: "..."

    The receptionist smiled and said, "But the news just reported that after investigating the photos of the dragon taken by several popular bloggers on the internet, the authorities found out that the 'Dragon Shadow' incident was actually caused by a large water snake. The government has debunked the rumors, so I doubt anyone would still believe in such nonsense."

    Little Zhao: "...."

    Mr. Gu smiled and said, "You're right. This is the very 'water snake' that sparked online discussions."

    The receptionist was startled and now examined Azure Dragon intently. Noticing this, Azure Dragon proudly straightened its body for her inspection. The girl then praised, "You know what? It does resemble a dragon quite a bit. No wonder there was confusion. Too bad it's a bit bald on top. If it had a pair of horns, it would probably look even more like one."

    Azure Dragon: "...."

    Everyone: "...."

    **********

    Wei Xi ignored the subtle gazes from others and returned to his room with the keycard. Ever since earlier, he had been feeling terrible all over. Now, with his coat off, he was still dizzy and overheated.

    Before parting, Tuanjie Yi asked him worriedly, "Master, are you alright? Are you feeling unwell?"

    Wei Xi paused in his steps, turned to look at him, and after a moment of hesitation, shook his head.

    Xia Shouren, after settling Chōmei and the grieving Azure Dragon with its broken horn, turned to see Shuo Zong still standing outside the room, holding the key card and frowning at the long-shut door.

    *****

    Wei Xi soon realized something was amiss. After his shower, the inexplicable heat within him didn't subside; instead, it intensified.

    His body felt as if it were about to burst from the heat, while his stomach was painfully empty. He rolled frantically on the bed, weak from hunger, feeling that death would be a better fate than this.

    The room was eerily silent. Moonlight seeped through the unclosed curtains, casting a glow upon Wei Xi's dazed mind. In his half-awake, half-asleep state, a chilling aura enveloped him, gently settling on his forehead.

    A familiar, aged sigh followed: "Wei Xi..."

    Loosening his grip on the pillow, Wei Xi's teeth parted slightly as he turned, confusion clouding his vision. "...Wei Dedao?"

    *****

    In another room where someone was documenting information about the Azure Dragon, an unexpected figure suddenly stood up.

    Startled, Xia Shouren glanced instinctively at his friend. "What are you doing?"

    His friend, however, ignored him and left with long strides, his face grim.

    Xia Shouren looked at his retreating back in confusion and couldn't help but complain to Chōmei, "What's going on? He looks as if he's been cheated on."

    *****

    The door to the closed room clicked open as it was pushed from the outside. The instant Shuo Zong stepped in, he saw Wei Xi lying on the bed with a pillow in his mouth, while the other person stood by the bedside.

    In that moment, a wave of green engulfed him, causing his scales to almost bristle. "You two?"

    Both people in the room turned to look at him abruptly, one half-asleep and the other with unfocused eyes.

    Wei Xi's mind wasn't quite clear at the moment. It took him a moment to shake his head and recognize him. "...Shuo Zong?"

    Wei Dedao had absorbed enough dragon blood to leave the jade pendant for a short time. Seeing his suffering disciple, his face was filled with concern. Just as he was about to greet his apprentice, he heard Shuo Zong's name, causing his brows to furrow. "It's you?"

    Only then did Shuo Zong see his appearance and recall some details Wei Xi had mentioned before. His gaze gradually regained composure. "...Wei Xi's master?"

    Wei Dedao fell silent for a moment before slowly replying, "Yes, it's me."

    "Hmm." Shuo Zong had already recognized him and his expression didn't regain any friendliness; instead, it became even more sharp. He enunciated each word slowly, "I didn't expect it to be you. You actually have the nerve to let him call you Master? Does he know what you did to him in the past?"

    Wei Dedao didn't answer this question. Instead, he lowered his gaze and said, "I recall that your relationship with my disciple wasn't exactly amicable back then."

    Shuo Zong's expression turned exceptionally grim.

    The atmosphere grew tense.

    Fortunately, Wei Xi, who was on the bed, finally couldn't endure the pain anymore and let out a pained cry, interrupting their conversation.

    Wei Xi was already suffering terribly. In a daze, he cried out, "Wei Dedao..."

    Upon hearing his name being called by the other person in the room, Wei Dedao's expression relaxed, and he asked guiltily in a hushed tone, "What's wrong?"

    Without looking at Shuo Zong, Wei Xi stared at his face. Wei Dedao's expression softened even further as he heard his beloved disciple mutter, "Wei Dedao... I want... my disciple here..."

    Wei Dedao: "..............."

    Wei Dedao quickly glanced in Shuo Zong's direction, his expression turning exceptionally sorrowful. His disciple had grown up...

    Amidst the silence, Shuo Zong indeed gave a cold snort, bypassing him to approach Wei Xi. He also softened his voice and deliberately brushed his lips against Wei Xi's mouth in an intimate gesture. "I'm here. Are you hungry again?"

    In the next second, there was a loud thud as a powerful punch, though lacking its usual force, still landed on his face.

    Shuo Zong: "............"

    Wei Dedao: "............"

    Wei Xi lay in bed, weakly pushing away the other's lips after the assault. "...Get lost, Wei Dedao. Go find Que'er for me."

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