The spells used to cure Shen Jia Han were powerful, and the steps were naturally cumbersome. It was necessary to arrange eight trigrams in the right positions of rest, birth, injury, death, prevention, sight, emotion and open.1The Eight Trigram (symbols) also known as Bagua, is used in Taoist cosmology. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bagua With Shen Jia Han as the centre, he’d have to use his demon power and forcibly change the eight energies. It would then allow luck to flow in and direct all the energy into Shen Jia Han, nourishing her.
Due to the different nature and properties of the energy, the drawing method and production materials of each talisman were also different. That evening, Bai Ruan used a ballpoint pen to practice spells on the draft paper late into the night. The next morning, he went to the largest local grocery wholesale market to buy various herbs, minerals, and pigments for the paintings. He also bought some rooster blood from the small restaurant downstairs.
It was the afternoon after everything was ready. Bai Ruan locked himself in the small study, frantically engaged in feudal superstition activities. He used the small grinding disc passed to him by Yun Qing, threw various herbs, animal bones, and minerals into the mortar and smashed them into powder. The pigments were blended to produce eight different inks.
Everything was ready, and Bai Ruan was about to start drawing symbols when the phone suddenly sounded a WeChat alert.
Lang Jing Feng: “Teacher Bai, we don’t need to have the Lei Feng activity today?”
Bai Ruan was startled, and then he remembered that he had arranged a day trip for Lang Jing Feng last week. However, Shen Jia Han’s incident disrupted his plans.
As soon as Bai Ruan thought of Lang Jing Feng, a thought flashed in his mind; saving the dead and healing the wounded was considered great merit. It was more useful to help Shen Jia Han recover from a serious illness than feed a thousand birds. Bai Ruan’s merits had long been far from the line of censure. It didn’t matter if it was more or less, but if this large amount of merit could be given to Lang Jing Feng, Bai Ruan would no longer have to drag the little wolf cub around to accumulate merit. It was simply a good way to kill two birds with one stone.
Thinking of this, Bai Ruan smiled and typed: “I have something going on this week. I’ll let you know next week if it’s needed or not.”
Lang Jing Feng: “What do you have going on?”
Bai Ruan was apprehensive: “Why are you asking?”
Lang Jing Feng: “No reason.”
Bai Ruan didn’t reply. He turned around, opened the bookshelf and pulled out two ancient books, digging through them for merit-related spells.
As an ordinary high school teacher, Bai Ruan usually didn’t have many chances to use manipulative techniques. The things he’d learnt many years ago were returned to his Master, so he had to use these books for reference now.
Bai Ruan immersed himself in flipping through the book. After a few minutes of silence, Lang Jing Feng couldn’t help but send another message: “Did Teacher Bai go out with someone else today?”
Bai Ruan was perplexed and replied in confusion: “No, I went to the wholesale market to buy things. What’s wrong?”
Lang Jing Feng: “I’m bored and have nothing to do, so I’m just asking.”
Bai Ruan’s lips pressed into a line, and he quickly typed out his words: “If you’re bored, go and do your homework. Once you finish those that you know how to do, continue to find other questions. If you still really don’t know what to do, you can also recite English vocabulary words and chemical reaction formulas. The mid-term exams start the day after tomorrow. You need to hurry and not waste any time.”
Lang Jing Feng replied within seconds: “I understand,Teacher Bai. I’ll do it now.”
Bai Ruan smiled reassuringly, put the phone aside, and continued to search for the merit-related spells.
A student questioning his teacher’s whereabouts on the weekend for no reason was not much of an issue for him. Bai Ruan’s personality was gentle and easy-going. He did not exclude students from thinking of themselves as friends. The only thing he was afraid of was when students treated him with a ‘not big or small’2Refers to speaking and doing things regardless of the respect of elders. attitude, they might get used to it and it’d be hard to control them in the future. So, if it were another student speaking to Bai Ruan like this, he may not have paid them much attention.
However, Lang Jing Feng was an exception. He had always treated Bai Ruan in such a ‘not big or small’ attitude ever since he transferred here, but this did not affect his righteous values. Moreover, Lang Jing Feng gave him face the other day when other students were present, so Bai Ruan treated him differently, and was more tolerant of Lang Jing Feng’s laxity. As long as he was willing to study hard, Bai Ruan would not be angry.
Soon, Bai Ruan flipped to the spell of merit dedication.
This was a small spell and didn’t require much effort. The only difficulty was that a guide item was needed. In short, one had to let the merit know who to look for. The guide item could be a bowl of blood and three taels worth of hair3(Actual words:毛发三钱) 钱 is a historical measurement. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_units_of_measurement of the person whose merit was turning black, or personal items that were covered with their demon energy or aura…
The first two were not easy to obtain. Getting blood was not a possibility. The difficulty of getting the strands of hair was about the same. Three taels was about 15 grams. The difficulty was relatively large. Only the third one was relatively easy. The school track team would organise training every Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon. It shouldn’t be difficult to go to the locker room to sneak a piece of clothing out.
It would depend on the situation tomorrow. If he wasn’t able to obtain it, then he’d have to confront the other. However, if he could avoid it, he would. Bai Ruan thought, as he slowly started to calm down, and continued to draw symbols.
In the self-study class on Monday afternoon, Lang Jing Feng went to the school track and field team training as usual. Bai Ruan looked out from the office window to observe.
After confirming that ten members of the sophomore group including Lang Jing Feng had assembled on the field, Bai Ruan secretly sneaked down to the first floor.
The door of the men’s locker room of the track team was closed, but it wasn’t locked. After all, except for the school uniform that was replaced by sports attire, there was nothing valuable, only their biological weapons were needed for security. As soon as Bai Ruan entered the locker room door, he was overwhelmed by the oncoming sour smell of sweat.
Bai Ruan wrinkled his face as he searched for Lang Jing Feng’s clothes in the gas chamber following the smell of the wolf demon. The lockers in this school had no doors, but open compartments separated by wooden boards. The upper level of the compartments were used to hang clothes while the lower level had a low cabinet where students could sit and wear their shoes.
Before being engulfed in the sea of scent, Bai Ruan smoothly found Lang Jing Feng’s compartment. On the upper level of the compartment, the young wolf’s school uniform shirt and trousers were hung. On top of the lower cabinet where people sat underneath, two track and field sports attire were randomly piled up. It was obvious that Lang Jing Feng had worn them before and had intended to bring the two dirty clothes home to wash.
Bai Ruan leaned over, putting the tip of his nose close to the sports attire to smell it. The sharp enchanting air of a demon immediately pierced Bai Ruan’s nerves like steel needles.
After confirming that it was the correct shirt, Bai Ruan pulled out the plastic bag and disposable gloves from his trouser pocket, chose a sports tank top soaked with demon aura, and put it into the plastic bag. He then tightened the mouth of the bag.
He looked very delicate and adorable…and very much like a creepy pervert.
After stealing the clothes, like the wind, Bai Ruan rushed back to the office. He stuffed the small bag into his briefcase, and placed it side by side with another folder containing the eight charms. He felt that he did this with perfect execution.
Forty minutes later, the self-study period had ended. Lang Jing Feng had also finished his training and went back to the locker room to change his clothes.
Lang Jing Feng had a keen sense of smell. His nose would usually hurt every time he entered the men’s locker room, and he did not even dare to breathe. But at this moment, he was uncharacteristically squatting in front of his locker, his nose twitching like a police dog.
As soon as he entered the locker room, he smelt something different. Although it was very faint, it was very different from the sour smell of sweat that filled the entire room, so Lang Jing Feng was immediately able to distinguish it. It was absolutely impossible for people with ordinary noses to understand this kind of sensitivity.
It was the kind of scent that hinted of warming up under the sun, clean and soft- a small animal’s scent.
Bai Ruan’s scent.
Lang Jing Feng squatted in front of the cabinet and smelt it, and then slowly walked to the door with his nose, bending around the door, sniffing the doorknob.
…What was he doing here?
Lang Jing Feng raised his eyebrows, but at the same time he was a little bit confused. He returned to the locker room, took off his sports attire, wiped off his sweat with a towel, and put on his school uniform.
After changing his clothes, Lang Jing Feng picked up the dirty sports attire that was worn today and last Friday, planning to take them home to wash them at night. However, the number of dirty clothes in his hands seemed to be wrong.
Lang Jing Feng’s movements became stagnant. He shook the three pieces of clothing in his hands and his pupils suddenly shrank.
One missing tank top.
It was obviously still here before training started.
… Teacher Bai! Fuck!
Lang Jing Feng was so restless that the roots of his teeth were itchy. He wanted to catch a teammate and bite him in his agitation.
They were all grown-ups, and they all knew what it meant to steal clothes worn by others.
He seemed to have seen the soft and bright fabric of the sports attire covering a small spirited being and Bai Ruan was grasping it tightly. In his imagination, it was the day where Bai Ruan and Lang Jing Feng met in the men’s bathroom, the next day after his transfer. The young teacher was exactly the same; having a pretty face, watery eyes, the rapid ups and downs of his chest- he looked shy but couldn’t hide his impatient desire…
Lang Jing Feng bit his lip fiercely, trying to curb his smile with pain, but he didn’t succeed. Finally he grinned and cursed, “Fuck!”
“Brother Feng, what’s the matter?” A teammate heard him and asked casually.
Lang Jing Feng’s expression was full of spring breeze. “I lost my sports attire.”
The teammate glanced at him with a perplexed look. “Oh.”
Why are you smiling like a loose firecracker at night when you lost something? Are you sick?
On the other side, Bai Ruan, who had no idea that the little wolf cub was on the verge of madness, had left school to go to the hospital. He was planning to rescue Shen Jia Han today.
Although it was not hopeless for Shen Jia Han’s disease to be treated by conventional means, first of all, even if a suitable bone marrow transplant could be found, the probability of recovery was not very high. Second, even if she could be 100% cured, Shen Jia Han would have to suffer all kinds of unimaginable pain and torture, and the treatment costs would bankrupt her family. Shen Jia Han, who had a promising future, may also be ruined. Therefore, Bai Ruan had no plans to rely on conventional medical methods.
When Bai Ruan arrived at the hospital, it was dinner time. Mother Shen was in the ward holding a bowl of hot porridge and blowing it, and Shen Jia Han’s expression was worse than last time. After Bai Ruan and Mother Shen exchanged a few words, he opened his briefcase and drew out a stack of papers and copies of class notes collected by Shen Jia Han’s deskmate this week. He placed them onto Shen Jia Han’s hands and said, “These are Ran Chen’s study notes. I’ve read it and it’s well done. Make sure you take the time to look over it, or you won’t be able to keep up with the progress when you go back to school.”
Shen Jia Han smiled bitterly, and softly replied, “I see. Thank you, Teacher Bai.”
Mother Shen still thought Bai Ruan was comforting Shen Jia Han, and gave the young teacher a bitter yet grateful glance.
Bai Ruan smiled at her and said, “I’m sorry to trouble you, but I’m a little thirsty, could you help me buy a bottle of water?”
Mother Shen hurriedly put down the bowl of porridge and went out to buy water.
Shen Jia Han lowered her eyes. Flipping through the pages of the class notes in her hands, her eyes became red.
She was staying in a multi-person ward. In addition to her, there were two other patients in the ward, both of whom were dying old folks. At this time, one was lying in bed and moaning, the other was unconscious. When no one was paying attention to him, Bai Ruan leaned over and took out the prepared folders and plastic bags from the briefcase at his feet, and quickly stuffed them under the bedside table.
Hearing the rustling sound, Shen Jia Han turned her head weakly, but Bai Ruan had already straightened his waist. His expression was gentle and calm, as if he hadn’t done anything just now.
The author has something to say:
Lang Jing Feng: Does my training suit smell good?
Bai Ruan Ruan: #￥! @#￥*&*)… (a hundred thousand words long explanation)
- 1The Eight Trigram (symbols) also known as Bagua, is used in Taoist cosmology. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bagua
- 2Refers to speaking and doing things regardless of the respect of elders.
- 3(Actual words:毛发三钱) 钱 is a historical measurement. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_units_of_measurement