Vivian, a self-proclaimed vampire, had a very regular but strange daily routine. During the day, she would be busy with her daily chores, and during the first half of the night, she would stroll around before coming home and sleep during the few hours when the shadow power was at its peak. These few hours of recharge was enough to power her through the next day. Hao Ren once talked to some real vampires back in the Athens Sanctuary out of curiosity; he learned that the daily routine of this bat demon stuck out like a sore thumb among the vampires; she was not afraid of the sun and would only sleep at night when the other vampires were at their most active hours.
With her weird daily routine, it was a wonder how she could insist that she was a vampire for the past 10,000 years. Probably her mind worked the same as Lily, who believed that she was a werewolf.
Lily waved her hand at Vivian once as if that was the way of saying hello. She did not even look at her. She then pointed to the moon above and said, "Can't sleep. Came out for moon bathing."
"Ahh, it's a full moon," Vivian replied, looking up and shrugging. "A husky is trying to be different. But what about you, Hao Ren?"
"Got a nightmare, so couldn't sleep too," Hao Ren said with a smile. He raised his finger and pointed at Lil Pea who was waving her little arms excitedly at Vivian. "This little guy badgered me to do stargazing, so I took her out to get some fresh air."
"Couldn't sleep?" Vivian mumbled with her arms akimbo. But she totally forgot the fact that she had just come back from mooching around in the middle of the night. Then she looked at Hao Ren curiously. "Nightmare? You're still having nightmares?"
"That's the problem. I suspect that it is not as simple as a dream." Hao Ren told of the strange footages in his dreams in detail. He had only scratched the surface when he shared it with Lily earlier because he did not think the simple-minded husky could be of help to interpret his dreams.
"You still have this kind of dream with the level of strength of your soul? This is odd." Vivian, who had been yawning big time earlier, was now bright-eyed and bushy-tailed upon hearing what Hao Ren said. She decided to summon a small swarm of bats to form a floating cushion before sitting down beside Hao Ren. "Obviously, the commonness of all these dreams is the First Born; the maddened First Born.
Staring marvelously at Vivian, who had turned bats into a floating cushion, Hao Ren said, "That's cool!"
"Oh, I could not afford to buy a chair at that time, and this is way more comfortable," Vivian said. "Could the sword have something to do with your dreams?"
"The last time I checked, that's unlikely," Hao Ren said. He apparently was not worried. "I've also asked the MDT to examine my brainwave during my dreams, and there was no external interference. So most likely it was my own dream of harbinger. I have stepped up the drone monitoring and exploration of the Plane of Dreams, and also enhanced the interference shield of CARS. It doesn't matter whether the dreams are real or not, you can't be too careful."
Vivian just looked at him with a half-smile all the time. Hao Ren broke out in goosebumps when he noticed Vivian's strange stare. Turning his face away, he asked, "Why are you staring at me like this? Is it something on my face?"
"You really changed a lot in the past two years." Now smiling faintly with a tranquil and reassuring face, Vivian said, "Two years ago, when you were just a greenhorn and facing such a situation, you wouldn't have behaved so calmly, let alone coming out gazing at the stars with your daughter while at the same time had already nicely arranged everything beforehand. You would have been panic and even coming to me for help. In just two years, you've made so much progress."
Scratching his head in embarrassment, Hao Ren said, "Have I? I didn't feel it though."
"Because your nature hasn't changed much, so you don't feel it," Vivian said with a smile. "The only thing that has changed is your ability. I have seen too many human beings—from heroes and generals to kings and emperors— but you are still a very good one. When I first met you two years ago, I thought that you were only a normal, good person. But now, I feel it more and more that you're going to be a great person."
Hao Ren was flattered. It was seldom to hear such compliment from Vivian. Though gentle and good-hearted, Vivian was somewhat reserved. As an ancient, she had a kind of self-pride. This self-pride was not obnoxious. It was just that she rarely gave others compliment. Even for the great achievements of Y'zaks, she only said 'not bad.'
Her generosity this time had totally caught Hao Ren off guard.
"I'll give credit where credit is due. What's more, it was you who took me into your sanctuary," Vivian said with a smile before casually glancing at Lily. "Since you wouldn't get any constructive reply from discussing with Lily, let me give you some confidence."
Listening quietly at the side, Vivian's remark irked Lily suddenly, as if an innocent bystander was caught in a crossfire. She jumped to her feet and said, "What's wrong with you, Battie? I've not said anything and please get off my back!"
Though they were no longer at loggerheads with each other like that used to be, they did still fight like cat and dog sometimes over some trivial matters. Perhaps they were used to this kind of interaction, or even turning it into a hobby.
To Hao Ren, this was a common sight. He used to get himself involved in their quarrels in the past, but since knowing the two were only NATO—no action, talk only—he let sleeping dogs lie ever since.
Lil Pea waved her hands and cheered the two elder sisters. Though she did not know what was happening between them, she thought it was awesome to join the fun.
After the bat and the husky went at it hammer and tongs for a while, Hao Ren could not help but muttered, "Looks like you two are on good terms now."
The two superwomen said unanimously, "Who's on good terms with her?"
"Fatal Attraction." Hao Ren guffawed and sighed. "If this isn't fatal attraction, I don't know what it is."
He looked at both of them, who used to be good friends 6,000 years ago. But because of the Godslayer, one of them died in the hand of the other. But fate had it that after 6,000 years, the reincarnated Lily met Vivian again and they both became foes.
"Fate is a b*tch," Hao Ren lamented as he held Lil Pea in his hands and gazed up at the stars.
Lily could hear the emotions hidden behind Hao Ren's words. She instinctively exchanged a look with Vivian and thought about her historical morass with Vivian. She did not rebut anymore, surprisingly.
"I'm making you some mind-soothing soup," Vivian suddenly said to Hao Ren. "It might not be able to solve your nightmare problem, but at least it could make you sleep well."
Lily chimed in enthusiastically. "Let me help you out!"
"No, you'd only ruin it. Just say it if you're hungry, it's not like I don't let you eat."
"Then I will help you eat. Please make me a pancake, and you're welcome."
"Look how cheeky you are!"
"A vegetarian pancake will do."
The two maidens turned around and headed back into the house while going at it hammer and tongs, leaving Hao Ren under the moon staring blankly at the night sky. After a long while, he smiled. "Living life like this is still the best, isn't it, Lil Pea?"
The little mermaid held his arm and nodded solemnly. "Perhaps, Lil Pea."
Quivering in the cold air, the little guy snuggled back under Hao Ren's jacket. "Daddyyy, it's cold, I want hot water."
Hao Ren smiled. Holding the baby fish under his jacket, he went back into the house. "Vivian, could you please boil some hot water… Err, wait a minute. Let's save the trouble. Why not just wait for the soup to boil and then throw Lil Pea inside."
Outside, the moon was glowing even brighter.