3. Long Lin
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“What is it, little one?” Lin Long asked out loud as he felt a pair of soft and fluffy paws lightly smack on his head, and pull his hair.

Raising his right hand, Lin Long grabbed the ball of fur from atop his head and brought it in front of his face. His eyes met with the pair of glowing purple eyes, while he also got to see the fluff-ball’s current appearance.

Although Lin Long had seen the fluff-ball before it awakened, he had not taken a look after that. He had thought that it would still look the same, but that wasn’t the case at all. It’s current appearance stunned Lin Long on the spot.

The ball of fur in his hand was far too adorable. Curious serpentine eyes glowing with a soothing purple light, snow-white fur as soft as silk… no, it was softer than silk, small and barely visible protrusions on the back that would probably grow into mighty wings, harmless paws that just asked to be played with, and a wagging fluffy tail.

The ball of fur that was no bigger than his hand gave Lin Long a strong desire to gobble it up in a single bite. It was nothing like the previous fur-ball that looked just a bit more adorable than a house cat; it had leveled up its cuteness. It somewhat resembled a cat, but it wasn’t a cat.

As Lin Long was looking at the little fur-ball with shiny eyes, the ball-of-fur tried to reach forward. Looking at the fur-ball’s paws that tried to touch his face, Lin Long brought it forward until it’s little paws could easily touch his right cheek.

Immediately, Lin Long felt something soft and wet lick his cheek. A shiver ran down his back, and his entire body relaxed. This treasure he dug out was too good. His effort to get it weren’t in vain.

A silly smile appeared on Lin Long’s face as he let the fur-ball pat and lick his cheek for a few moments. After all, it wasn’t good to prevent someone from showing their affection. And he was sure the little one already treated him as a parent figure since he was the first one it saw right after waking up.

“Alright, little one, let’s name you!” Feeling that they had showed enough affection for the time being, Lin Long brought the fur-ball back in front of him. He could see the fur-ball pause its action of reaching for his face as it looked at him with an excited expression, ‘This little one can understand me?’

Although Lin Long was a bit surprised by the little one’s reaction, he wasn’t too stunned by it. And after remembering where he ‘found’ the fluff-ball, expectation of the inevitable future replaced his surprise.

Looking at it for a few moments, Lin Long spoke up with a thoughtful expression, “Since you have the bloodline of a Dragon, and you also got the bloodline of the Fairy King who rules over this forest… Alright, it’s decided! Little one, you will be Long Lin from now on! That’s right, Long Lin!”

Immediately, Long Lin’s eyes started to glow even brighter as it released faint squeals full of happiness. It was apparent that Long Lin liked its name a lot.

With the name decided, Lin Long flipped over Long Lin, confusing it. Taking a look under the bright light of the crystal, Lin Long flipped the confused Long Lin back over, “From now on, you are Long Lin, and your nickname is LinLin! What do you say, LinLin?”

As Lin Long placed little LinLin back on his head, he felt her smack her paws on his head happily, as if to accept her new nickname. At the same time as his little treasure got her new name, Lin Long also decided to leave the cave since there was no way for him to take the “Pond of Eternity” with him.

He decided to visit this place once more in the future when he was strong enough. He would then take away this ancient pond as it seemed to have a lot of uses.

“Let’s leave this place, LinLin!” Lin Long said as he turned around. Just a few dozen steps ahead of him was the exit of the cave, a dark tunnel. Lin Long slowly walked towards the tunnel with little LinLin sprawled over his head.

………

“Did you feel that, Azera?” Inside a dark cave, a weak and ancient voice that seemed to have come from an era long gone echoed.

“But no matter how you look at him…” a crisp and melodious voice sounded in reply, but the ancient voice interrupted it before it finished.

“That’s the terror of them,” the ancient voice said in a stern tone, “They aren’t what we see!”

Once finished speaking, the ancient voice quietened down. For a while, neither of the two voices spoke up. It was only after a long while that the second, melodious voice echoed again in the cave.

“If he’s really one of them, then what will become of the Fairy King’s bloodline?!” The crisp and melodious voice sounded out again, but this time, there was an apparent sense of urgency in its tone.

“Only time will tell,” replied the ancient voice with a rueful tone, “If it’s meant to be, it will be. Their fate has nothing to do with us lingering souls!”

“Are we supposed to sit idle then, Xergzes?” the melodious voice questioned once more, but this time, it received no reply even after waiting for a prolonged time.

With a long and forlorn sigh, Azera, too, quietened down. Just like that, the dark cave plunged into a cold quiet.

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