Chapter 2: Placing an Advertisement


 

As the sky began to brighten, Yun Zhao gasped for breath and opened his eyes.
He felt a tightness in his chest and, upon lowering his head, he noticed the little dragon curled up on his chest, soundly asleep.
The silver scales glistened with a gentle radiance in the soft morning light.

 

No wonder he had been struggling to breathe in his sleep.

 

Yun Zhao couldn't resist reaching out and gently touching the dragon's head.
In an instant, the little dragon raised its head, flicking its tail across Yun Zhao's face.

 

“Ah…” Yun Zhao yelped in pain.

 

Ao Yu gave him a stern glare, as if to say it served him right.

 

The dragon got up and hopped onto the plush pillow, giving it a few taps to create a comfortable groove before curling up again.

 

Regretfully, Ao Yu covered his head with his tail.
The young man's body was infused with spiritual energy, making him exceptionally content.
That was how he ended up sleeping on him.

 

Yun Zhao sighed and decided to leave behind the incident from the previous night.
He pushed open the door, and a slight chill in the air sent shivers down his spine.

 

He rubbed his stomach, longing for something warm to eat!

 

The buildings within the Yuming Mountains were tranquil.
Yun Zhao strolled along the corridor, pushing open the doors of adjacent rooms until he finally reached the kitchen.

 

Inside, several bags of flour and a water jar with a few small fish swimming inside caught his attention.
Apart from that, there was nothing else.

 

Yun Zhao remained unperturbed as he still had some seasonings in his storage bag, enough to sustain him for a while.

 

He scooped a bowl of flour, added water to make dough, and kneaded it into a ball before placing it upside down in a wooden basin to allow it to rise.

 

Then he caught two fish and deftly cleaned them with a knife, frying them in a pan with sizzling hot oil.

 

Once both sides of the fish turned golden and a mouthwatering aroma filled the air, he poured a bowl of water into the pan.

 

With a sizzle, the water quickly boiled again, transforming into a thick, creamy white fish soup.

 

Yun Zhao cooked the risen dough into thin strips, boiling them until tender.
He then poured the prepared fish soup over them, and a white mist billowed from the bowl.
The dish was incredibly fresh and aromatic.

 

Cradling the bowl in his hands, Yun Zhao sipped the fish soup noodles, when he heard a pleasant voice behind him.

 

“It's still early.
Why not get a little more sleep?”

 

Yun Zhao hastily swallowed the noodles, turning to find a person standing beneath the eaves at the entrance.

 

Wearing a white robe, Bai Ze, the person who had conducted the ceremony the previous day, approached and initiated the conversation.
“I am Bai Ze, a friend of Ao Yu.”


 

Yun Zhao nodded in greeting as Bai Ze walked into the kitchen and stood by the stove for a while.
Then he glanced at the bowl in Yun Zhao's hands and said, “It looks so delicious.”

 

Yun Zhao found Bai Ze's eyes unsettlingly bright, resembling the way his former colleagues used to stare at his lunchbox during lunch breaks.
Bai Ze even uttered a familiar phrase, “Can I have a taste?”

 

And so, when Ao Yu followed the enticing aroma to the kitchen, he found Yun Zhao and Bai Ze both slurping loudly, savoring bowls of noodles.

 

“So delicious!” Bai Ze had never felt so satisfied while eating.
Just as he was admiring the flavor, he suddenly felt a chill on his back.

 

He turned his head and indeed saw Ao Yu glaring at him from the stove.

 

Yun Zhao followed his gaze and inwardly cursed—he had forgotten about the little dragon!

 

He quickly stood up and made another bowl of fish soup noodles, placing tender and golden fish meat on top of the noodles.

 

Yun Zhao handed the bowl to Ao Yu.
“Eat up, have some more.”

 

Ao Yu looked at the pointed pile of fish meat in the bowl, raised his head, and casually glanced at Yun Zhao's face.
“Thanks, stepmother.”

 

Yun Zhao felt a chill down his spine from the intense gaze and repeatedly apologized in a low voice.

 

Seeing his cheeks turn red, Ao Yu, out of mercy, shifted his gaze to the bowl of soup in front of him.

 

He didn't immediately start eating but instead lightly pawed at the broth with his claws a few times.

 

Bai Ze, who hadn't finished his own portion, looked up and saw Ao Yu's behavior, exclaiming, “If you're not eating it, give it to me.”

 

As he reached out to grab it…

 

With a sharp smack, Ao Yu flicked his long tail, leaving a red mark on the back of Bai Ze's hand.

 

Bai Ze blew on his scalded hand, realizing that he had forgotten that dragons are extremely protective of their food.

 

Ao Yu snorted coldly and buried his head proudly.

 

With just one bite, the little dragon's body froze for a moment before he started devouring the food, making loud purring sounds.

 

Yun Zhao watched with satisfaction, and the system's voice chimed in his mind again: [New mission activated: Please recruit new students within one month, Host!]

 

As soon as the words faded, an icon lit up in the system's inbox.
Yun Zhao opened it and found a long list of kindergarten setup details.

 

So many of them!

 


Yun Zhao felt overwhelmed for a moment.
The worst part was that he didn't know much about Yuming Mountain and had no idea how to attract customers throughout the Lingxu Realm.

 

Lost in thought, Yun Zhao unconsciously directed his gaze towards Bai Ze, who was holding a bowl and sipping soup.

 

Bai Ze seemed to sense the eager gaze from the opposite side, and he paused, placing the bowl down to wipe his mouth.
With politeness, he said, “Since the ceremony has concluded, I won't disturb your private time.
I bid you farewell.”

 

He didn't want to involve himself in the peculiar conversation between the stepmother and stepson on their wedding night.

 

As he prepared to depart, Yun Zhao swiftly caught hold of his sleeve and said, “Please stay, Immortal Bai.”

 

Ever since Yue Lao entrusted him with officiating Ao Yu's wedding with the Mountain Spirit Clan, Bai Ze had a lingering sense of unease.

 

Sure enough, the little mountain spirit spoke up, “I've heard that Immortal Bai possesses boundless divine power and can command a hundred beasts.”

 

“That is indeed true,” Bai Ze affirmed, his face solemn.
He cast a cautious glance at Yun Zhao and asked, “What do you have in mind?”

 

Ao Yu raised his head in curiosity, observing the interaction between the two.
With a swaying tail, he made no attempt to intervene.

 

Skipping the part about the system, Yun Zhao explained his plan to establish a divine beast kindergarten.
“With the waning spiritual energy on Yuming Mountain, it would be beneficial for the divine beasts to remain in the mountains for an extended period, aiding in the recovery of the spiritual aura.
Moreover, I have no wealth, and my dowry merely consists of clothing and utensils.
Assisting in the care of the immortals' divine beasts would provide me with a means to earn spirit stones.”

 

Bai Ze found it hard to believe.
“Are you truly in such dire straits?”

 

Their gaze shifted towards Ao Yu, and the little dragon tilted his head, spreading his front paws to indicate that he had none either.

 

Ao Yu left the Dragon Palace in a fit of anger, seemingly alone.
In the past, there were a few demon servants on Yuming Mountain, but now, they have vanished without a trace.

 

Bai Ze, feeling helpless, asked, “What do you wish for me to do?”

 

Yun Zhao replied, “Help me send messages to the Green Birds on behalf of the immortals.”

 

“Messages? What kind of messages?”

 

Yun Zhao smiled warmly, his eyes squinting.
“Enrollment advertisement letters.”

 

Bai Ze couldn't comprehend the concept and hesitated, “I'm afraid I must decline…”

 

Unexpectedly, Yun Zhao tapped the empty bowl that Bai Ze had finished, using his chopsticks, and said, “Naturally, Immortal Bai won't be doing it for nothing.
Roasted chicken, steamed fish, and fried pastries—whatever you prefer.”

 

Bai Ze couldn't resist the allure of Yun Zhao's menu, and the memory of the delicious fish soup caused his mouth to water.
He swallowed and agreed to the task.

 

However, after pondering for a moment, he delicately expressed his concerns, “Yun Zhao, I must caution you that Yuming Mountain is now a mere husk, and it's possible that no one would be willing to send their divine beasts here.”

 

Yun Zhao nodded.
“I understand, but we must give it a try.”


 

“Alright,” Bai Ze sighed as he noticed the resolute expression in Yun Zhao's eyes.
He couldn't help but marvel at the depth of his affection for Ao Yu.

 

Covering his chest, Bai Ze's face was filled with the unmistakable expression of love, as if he had just realized the true meaning of it.
He walked away and summoned the Green Birds to instruct them to deliver the letters.

 

Upon hearing Yun Zhao's words, Ao Yu, with his golden beast eyes, looked directly at the young man.
After a moment of scrutiny, he voluntarily climbed onto Yun Zhao's neck and coiled around it like a scarf.

 

Yun Zhao was surprised by the dragon's unexpected closeness and gently stroked his back with a soothing spiritual energy.

 

The lingering pain from an old injury gradually subsided, and Ao Yu closed his eyes, finding a rare sense of peace in Yun Zhao's presence.

 

Seeing the little dragon fall asleep once again, Yun Zhao couldn't afford to rest.
Without delay, he began organizing a courtyard in the mountains, following the checklist.

 

The courtyard felt empty, but after Yun Zhao finished cleaning, he brought in some furnishings and spent the entire day bustling around.

 

As he looked at the neatly arranged room, Yun Zhao wiped away his sweat, but a sense of unease lingered in his heart.

 

Was it too simple? Would there be any new students?

 

Ding! Suddenly, an electronic sound broke the silence.

 

System: [Yuming Mountain Divine Beast Kindergarten Shopping Mall System activated.
Host can use immortal stones for purchases! 10 spirit stones equal 1 immortal stone.
Accumulate 100,000 immortal stones in expenditure to become an esteemed VIP customer of the shopping mall and enjoy a 10% discount!]

 

Yun Zhao: “…”

 

A 10% discount? This shopping mall is even more cunning than I am.

 

Yun Zhao quickly browsed through the shopping mall.
It offered a wide variety of toys, bedding, and various types of food preferred by divine beasts.

 

The sight of swings and slides in the mall dazzled Yun Zhao, making him more and more fond of them.

 

Yun Zhao casually clicked on one of the products and glanced at the price tag.
Surprisingly, the Little Cloud Slide was priced at 3,500 immortal stones!

 

With a stern expression, Yun Zhao closed the shopping mall, overwhelmed by a sense of poverty.

 

Meanwhile, in a floating immortal mountain in the Southern Land, clouds and mist swirled around, and a clear and melodious crane cry pierced through the white fog.

 

The Immortal of the Clear Sky gracefully landed in front of a pavilion made of jade stones, riding on a white crane.

 

He stroked his long beard and hung his feather duster on his wrist, patiently awaiting the greetings from the young disciples.

 

Participating in the Queen Mother's banquet had considerably delayed him, and he was certain that the young disciples in the mountain were extremely worried about him.


 

However, despite standing at the entrance for quite some time, he only felt the chilly wind blowing, and no one came forward.

 

With a perplexed look, the Immortal of the Clear Sky opened his eyes and met the gaze of his immortal crane, creating a slightly awkward atmosphere.

 

“Where did everyone go? Where have they all run off to?” The Immortal of the Clear Sky wondered aloud.
Just then, a few young disciples came bounding from the mountain gate.

 

The disciples had toys in their hands, and they accidentally collided with the Immortal at the entrance.
In an instant, they quickly hid the toys behind their backs and greeted him with a respectful bow.
“Greetings, esteemed Immortal!”

 

“Oh, greetings my foot,” muttered the Immortal of the Clear Sky.

 

He was well aware that these mischievous little rascals had snuck out to play.
Ignoring the children, he made his way straight back to his main hall.

 

As soon as he entered, he noticed a rustling sound coming from a corner of the cabinet, catching his attention.

 

He turned around and discovered his pet spirit cat, curled up into a ball, looking at him with watery eyes.

 

“Oh no, I forgot about the cat!”

 

The Immortal of the Clear Sky sighed as he picked up the cat.
Last year, during his travels, he had come across a pair of black and white spirit cats.
The one in his hands was named Luoxue, a shy and introverted creature that often hid in corners, hesitant to move about freely.

 

Glancing around, he realized that while he was away from the mountain, the disciples had neglected their duty.

 

Summoning one of the disciples, the Immortal of the Clear Sky questioned, “Always running off the mountain to play, why didn't you take good care of Luoxue?”

 

The disciples glanced at the cat, who was now shedding tears, and retorted, “It doesn't transform and is too timid.
It hides on its own, making it impossible for us to find…
Besides, didn't you say we could let it roam freely…”

 

“Did…
Did I say that?” The Immortal of the Clear Sky dryly coughed, realizing that he had not taken into consideration the timid nature of the white cat when he brought it back.

 

As the Immortal worried, a few other disciples entered through the door and informed him, “Esteemed Immortal, this is a jade scroll sent by the Green Birds from Yuming Mountain.”

 

“Yuming Mountain?” The Immortal of the Clear Sky received the scroll with skepticism and casually tossed it aside, causing the jade scroll to shatter, revealing a large poster adorned with colorful text and slogans:

 

“Still troubled by mischievous divine beasts? Still frustrated with picky young offspring? Yuming Mountain Divine Beast Kindergarten Class One is now open! We sincerely solve the aforementioned troubles for all immortals.
The first three registered divine beast offspring will receive a 50% discount!”

 

The poster had a black background with bold yellow text, and in the center, large red characters on a golden background spelled out “Yuming Mountain.” With each flicker of the golden light, the impact grew stronger.

 

The young disciple had never seen a jade scroll with such effects.
He rubbed his swollen eyes and looked at the Immortal, asking, “Esteemed Immortal, what does this mean?”

 

“Yuming Mountain…
I believe Lord Ao Yu recently took a mountain spirit as his dao companion.
Perhaps this is the doing of that mountain spirit,” muttered the Immortal of the Clear Sky.

 

Having witnessed more of the world, the Immortal looked at the silent little white cat and a thought began to form in his mind.

 

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