Ji Shao petted his dog’s head and his smile deepened meaningfully when he saw the puppy practically shoving his head into Lin Rong’s chest in fear.
Ji Shao lightly patted the big black dog and said to Lin Rong, “Sorry, my dog sounds scary when he barks, but he doesn’t mean any harm. Your dog is so cute, what’s the name?”
Lin Rong’s gaze swept over the other man.
They weren’t familiar with each other. At most, they had attended some events together but they hadn’t ever spoken to each other.
But since his senior had asked, he naturally couldn’t refuse to answer.
Lin Rong nodded and said, “His name is Sese.”
“Sese…” Ji Shao covered his mouth and coughed lightly.
The name sounded a bit weird and he didn’t ask which “se” it was. He glanced at the big black dog out of the corner of his eye. The big black dog paced back and forth anxiously and then barked again at the little white dog.
Lin Rong frowned slightly and comforted the white puppy cowering in his arms and said, “Mr. Ji, if there’s nothing else, I’m going to head out.”
“Woof! Woof! Woof!” Upon seeing this, the big black dog put himself directly in front of Lin Rong’s path and kept barking at the little white puppy, sounding more and more fierce.
Ning Yan’s fur practically puffed up.
What do you want, dog who keeps barking at him!
He was both scared and angry and, when push came to shove, he turned around to bark at the big black dog, “Woof!”
But his voice was still babyish and definitely didn’t have any bite to it. If anything, it was very apparent that he was only pretending to be ferocious.
The big black dog’s face turned dark and he began a series of chiding barks ”woof, woof, woof, woof, woof, woof, woof”s.
Lin Rong’s expression turned chilly and he said to Ji Shao, “Goodbye, Mr. Ji.”
Since his path was blocked, he turned around.
Ji Shao had no other choice but to say, “Say little Rong, actually, the dog in your arms looks familiar. I think I’ve seen it before at Ning Yan’s.”
Lin Rong’s footsteps ground to a sudden halt.
Ning Yan was also shocked at hearing his own name.
When he realized what was happening, he immediately pawed at Lin Rong’s arm and stuck his head out to peek behind Lin Rong.
The black dog was still barking furiously at him, over and over, but now, it was as if the synapses in Ning Yan’s brain finally connected and he… suddenly understood.
The black dog continued, “Woof, woof, woof… Ning Yan! You idiot! Can you still not understand me? I’m calling you!!”
Ning Yan returned in stunned surprise, “Woof, woof, woof, woof!”
“Ning Yue it’s you?!”
That’s right, the big black dog was Ning Yue.
He could only narrow the area down to Elegant Scene Court using the baby hair; the rest he had to determine the old-fashioned way. In other words, he had to manually check each and every possible target.
If Ning Yan was staying with his Pactmate, then his Pactmate would have Ning Yan’s scent around him. As a fully mature demon, Ning Yue had the ability to sniff out the scent in his demon form—if he was lucky, he might even run into Ning Yan in his demon form in the neighborhood.
See, didn’t they run into each other?
What he hadn’t expected in a million years was that Lin Rong would be Ning Yan’s Pactmate.
—If he had only run into Lin Rong, Ning Yue would have questioned his conclusion just based on the scent he detected from Lin Rong. But now that they were both standing in front of him, the intertwining auras between them made it very obvious!
When Lin Rong placed the struggling Ning Yan on the ground, Ning Yue stared at Ning Yan and asked, “I thought you disliked Lin Rong? Why are you with him?”
The little brat had spent a very long time blabbering in his ear before. If it wasn’t complaining about Lin Rong’s expressionless face or claiming that Lin Rong wasn’t as good at music as he was, then it was to sneakily watch videos of Lin Rong and then shout that he wanted to battle the guy.
Ning Yue set aside the fact that Lin Rong was Ning Yan’s Pactmate. That was predestined between the two of them and no matter how much he thought about it, he wouldn’t get an answer.
But how did Ning Yan meet up with Lin Rong and why was he staying with Lin Rong?
Isn’t this guy supposed to be in seclusion?
Ning Yue was deeply suspicious that he had been tricked by his younger cousin’s constant declarations of “Lin Rong is my eternal rival!”
As soon as he asked the question, Ning Yan spilled everything about that day. And then he pouted and said, “I immediately went to find you at Dark Blue! But I got there just as you were driving off. He was the only one there and I couldn’t become a stray. At least being with him is better than being with a stranger!”
Ning Yue had nothing to say in response. The destiny between them was… damn it to hell.
But this did help him figure out that Ning Yan had already transformed into his demon form on the day Ning Yue left for City A.
Ning Yan had more questions and kept chattering away, “Cousin what’s going on? How come you also got turned into a dog? Why are you with Ji Shao? How did you know that I’m here?”
It was like he had a thousand questions.
Ning Yue retorted, “Shut up and let me explain things to you. Listen up.”
Lin Rong saw with his own eyes how the two dogs sat down across from each other and exchanged barks.
Ji Shao spread his hands and said with a smile, “See, they get along.”
“…” Lin Rong lifted his eyes to look at the man and said, “Mr. Ji, what you just said—”
“Ah, right.” Ji Shao continued, laughing, “This pup of yours looks remarkably similar to the one at Ning Yan’s place. What a coincidence, where’d you buy the dog?”
Lin Rong’s brows furrowed slightly, “… Found him.”
“You found him? How lucky that he’s so handsome.” Ji Shao chuckled but refused to elaborate on the topic of “Ning Yan’s dog.”
Lin Rong lowered his eyes and, after a moment of silence, had to ask quietly, “Yanyan… Ning Yan also has a dog?”
Naturally, Ji Shao didn’t miss the “Yanyan” that Lin Rong started his question with, and he smiled knowingly.
Every demon, when they first shift into their demon form, had their own way of finding their Pactmate and then staying with them every moment of the day. Usually, Pactmates ended up being family members.
But there was a chance… that a demon’s Pactmate would be an outsider.
And that Pactmate would, with very high probability, come to mean something special for the demon.
Either a lifelong best friend or a lover.
Ji Shao and Ning Yan weren’t blood relatives, so he had no way of detecting the aura between the man and dog. But judging from Ning Yue’s reaction, Lin Rong was, without a doubt, Ning Yan’s Pactmate, right?
So the question became, was the guy in front of him a “lifelong best friend” or a “lover”?
Tsk, tsk, tsk.
Who’d have thought?
Before this, Ji Shao had only met Ning Yan a few times and the kid probably wasn’t even aware that Ji Shao and Ning Yan knew each other.
But he had always known that the youngest Ning was special.
When he was born, the Nings had “felt” that, though the child was half-demon, he was very unlikely to transform into his demon shape.
Not only that, but when Ning Yan was young, he had fainted because his drunken father accidentally shifted into dog form. He developed a high fever for a few days and kept muttering “monster,” so the entire family was scared into never mentioning anything demon-related in front of him ever again, much less transforming in front of him.
And so the days passed until Ning Yan turned 25. Not only did Ning Yan forget about what happened in his childhood, but he also had no idea that his entire family, including him, were demons.
Who would have thought that at the “ripe old age” of 25 the kid would transform, have an outsider as his Pactmate, and have his Pactmate be his self-proclaimed eternal rival….
The more Ji Shao thought about it, the more he wanted to laugh. How would Ning Zhuangrong and his wife react to this news?
Upon thinking this, he didn’t answer Lin Rong’s question and only said meaningfully, “There must be something between you and Ning Yan.”
Lin Rong paused.
Ji Shao asked him with a laugh, “Do you like him?”
The question was so unexpected that Lin Rong tightened his fists at his side.
The two dogs suddenly stopped talking and turned their heads in unison to look at the humans.
The man looked away. Under the warm glow of the streetlamp, the tips of his ears turned pink. Coupled with his handsome face, he looked even more bashful.
The black dog, “….”
The white puppy demurely put a paw on the man’s pant leg.
Hold it in, you have to learn to control yourself!
Ning Yue took a deep breath and asked disapprovingly, “Did you understand what I just told you?”
Ning Yan hurriedly turned his attention back and answered seriously, “Understood!”
He still couldn’t believe it—
They’re all demons. The entire Ning family, except for his mom, are all demons. And there are a lot of other types of demons in the world!
Even Ji Shao, the award-winning actor, is a demon; a tiger demon!
This is too… much like something that would only happen in a novel!
And his parents don’t know about him transforming into his demon shape and being with Lin Rong. Ning Yue came here by himself.
“I’ll sort everything out with your parents, don’t you worry.” Ning Yue knew what Ning Yan was thinking.
Ning Yan paused and said in confusion, “Wait, cousin, you’re not taking me with you?”
Ning Yue stated after several moments of silence, “Did you not hear me just tell you that a newly transformed demon has to stay with his or her Pactmate at all times?”
“… I, h-heard,” Ning Yan ducked his head and responded uncertainly, “Wait no, but I’ve already been with Lin Rong for a week—isn’t, isn’t that enough?”
He was still a little confused about the whole Pactmate thing and it was so strange that Lin Rong was his Pactmate. Plus they’ve already been together for a week, isn’t that enough?
Ning Yue shook his head slowly.
“You have to stay with him until you can completely control your shapeshifting.”
“Demons and their Pactmates need to adjust and merge their auras together. Though we don’t know why, in this world his aura is the most compatible with yours. And only he can help you adjust your aura back to its optimal stage so that you can change form at will later.”
“If you hadn’t been in contact with him, we could delay things a bit. But from the moment you found him, your auras had begun merging.”
Ning Yue stated matter-of-factly, “If you leave him now, you’ll start experiencing pain in your entire body within 24 hours. The kind of pain that will make you pass out. Within 36 hours, you and Lin Rong will both die.”
Ning Yan, “????”
Wait, what kind of dogshit mechanism is this??
He will not accept that!!