Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
"Old man, are you fooling around with me?" Zhou Bai looked at the elder before him with discontent and then pointed at the shiba inu next to his feet and said, "This is Elsa?"
Seeing Zhou Bai point at her, the shiba inu stood up happily, wagging her tail. Her mouth widened into something resembling a smile.
The elder explained awkwardly, "She was infected by polluted Spark and showed signs of demonification. We've tried our best to suppress its level, and we were finally able to make her non-hazardous."
"Huh?!" Zhou Bai shouted, "I gave you guys a human, and you return a dog to me? And you say you tried your best?!"
The elder coughed. "She won't be a dog forever. If her will is strong enough, she might be able to turn back into a human."
At that moment, they saw the shiba inu stand up. She looked like she wanted to jump on Zhou Bai. After seeing him look at her with surprise, she opened her mouth and spoke in a raspy voice.
Zhou Bai looked at her in shock, responding, "It's me."
Zhou Bai went blank for a second and then crouched to rub Elsa's head. He said in a deep voice, "Don't be scared, Elsa. I'll take you to get food in a bit." He looked up at the elder and said, "You come along, too. Tell me about this demonification deal."
Half an hour later, as Zhou Bai walked back with Elsa, he was still going over what the elder had told him.
"Demonification is a special phenomenon that occurs after being infected by polluted Spark. Both the body and mind go through a mutation, and the person becomes a goblin without reason.
"Goblins like this almost never recover. Only one or two out of 10,000 will recover a certain degree of reason, but their personalities and cognition of the world have been completely distorted and they cannot be treated as humans.
"Of course, if they are saved in time, there's a 1 in 10,000 chance that the demonified human will continue living in a half-demonified condition, but if that's not successful, then they might become a full animal like Elsa.
"There are examples of those who are half-demonified who restored their human bodies after raising their level of practice.
"But for those who turn fully into animals like Elsa, even though they could theoretically restore their human bodies after they raise their level of practice, in reality, their intelligence is too low after turning into animals. So far, there have been no examples of creatures like these who have restored their human bodies."
Taking Elsa back to his room, Zhou Bai sat on the ground with furrowed brows. Elsa walked around him a few times and then laid herself on Zhou Bai's chest. She licked at his cheek while making a whining noise.
"Zhou Bai, maybe it's not as bad as you think," said Christina. "Do you remember when Professor Zhuang fought against that Mara? His body also had signs of demonification."
Zhou Bai's vision focused as he realized fully what Christina had said. "I watched Elsa's body get penetrated by the Mara. An ordinary child couldn't have survived in that situation."
"Exactly," Christina replied. "And besides, normal children don't have that big of an appetite. Remember Professor Zhuang's research goal? To practice without being affected by polluted Spark. Perhaps he's already succeeded?"
Zhou Bai looked at Elsa. "She looks smarter than ordinary dogs, but I don't see human wisdom in her at all."
Christina then reminded him, "Don't forget, it's the people from the Paradise Rescue Team who saved her. Perhaps their rescue interrupted Elsa's demonification, and that caused her to not be able to control the power of demonification like Professor Zhuang did."
"Then what do I do?" asked Zhou Bai. "Should I let Elsa come in contact with polluted Spark? Increase her degree of demonification? And if that doesn't work, she's been given the vaccine, so normal contact won't work. She has to stay outside for a couple weeks…"
"Don't be rash," said Christina. "We don't know much about demonification."
"And Professor Zhuang's research regarding practice and demonification might be the only existing research in the world. I think you should just raise her for now. Didn't Professor Zhuang leave coordinates with all the information? Perhaps he hid the results of his research there. If we find that information, we might be able to heal Elsa."
"That's right! You and I are thinking the same thing. I can only focus on taking care of Elsa for now…" Suddenly, Zhou Bai screamed, "Elsa! Come back!!!"
Christina watched Elsa raise her leg and pee on the bed. She snickered to herself and said, "That's the deep-rooted savagery of dogs: They pee on beds. I would never do something like that."
Zhou Bai told her, "Shut up, it's not like you need to eat or poop."
"If you're unhappy, you can think about it from another perspective. Although she looks like a dog, she's actually a beautiful maiden. Having a beautiful maiden pee on your bed like this… Isn't that exciting?"
Zhou Bai tossed Christina out of his mind with a swoosh and then grabbed her tail and flung her onto the ground.
"Wait a—" she protested, when her head hit the ground.
Looking at the dizzy cat in his hand, Zhou Bai pointed at the shiba inu before him and said, "From now on, you're responsible for raising the dog."
Christina responded, "But I'm a cat! You're humiliating me!"
Zhou Bai was adamant. "If you won't do it, I'm going to use you to wipe the pee."
Christina walked over to the shiba inu looking very unhappy. The dog and cat barked and meowed at each other for a while. Zhou Bai didn't understand what they were saying or whether or not they could understand each other at all.
Then he watched Christina getting louder and louder until she finally leapt up and slapped the shiba inu's head with her paw. Elsa whined and began nodding.
Zhou Bai looked at the messy bed and laid on the couch. He said to Christina, "Oh yeah, don't forget to change the sheets for me, and wash them, too, if you can."
A few minutes later, Christina cursed Zhou Bai in her mind while she scrubbed the sheets. "Cruel b*stard! You even exploit cats… Is that even human? Wash the sheets… I'm going to make you wash them to death in the future."
As Zhou Bai laid on the bed watching his 10-point increase in Laziness, he was very content.
"So that's how it works…"
He looked at Christina, who was helping him wash the sheets, and then at himself, lying on the couch and getting ready to sleep, when an idea popped into his head. "No wonder when I was given this system it also came with a cat. Is this how I'm supposed to use her?"
Christina shivered and said to no one, "Why do I feel like something's wrong? Does someone want to hurt me?"
Zhou Bai happily used his 10 points of Laziness, and his Primordial Spirit Value increased to 72 points.
The next morning, Zhou Bai went out to eat at the arranged time and then waited for the car headed to Donghua City.
Christina had already returned into Zhou Bai's mind, and Elsa followed at Zhou Bai's side, a dumb smile characteristic of a shiba inu on her face.
The vehicle headed to Donghua City was a massive two-story-tall flying car pulled by 12 bronze horses. Although it looked outdated, it could hover three feet off the ground and ran faster than even high-speed rail.
With the antipollution formation on the flying car, as well as the passengers' own primordial spirit adjustments and rune immunities, as long as they didn't leave cities or forts for more than seven days, they had an extremely low risk of infection.
Zhou Bai couldn't help exclaiming, "This world's Taoist technologies seem even more primitive than Zhou Bai's old world in some lifestyle aspects, but they're much more advanced than his old world in other fields."
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