The plaza was getting livelier. Many people engaged in different activities, jogging, square dancing, roller-skating…..
After confirming Jiu Feng got along well with other aunties in the dance group, Jiang Lan felt relieved and left for a stroll.
At this time, Suan Ni crawled out of the backpack and lied on Jiang Lan’s shoulder with his tail wagging back and forth.
The people nearby gawked at Suan Ni in curiosity. Jiang Lan heard them discussing whether the animal is a cat or a lion cub and debating whether they should call the Police to report the illegal possession of an endangered species.
Hearing this, Jiang Lan poked his brother and said.” Hurry, Meow to prove you are a cat.”
Obeying his brother’s instruction, Suan Ni meowed.
The sound he made was very convincing, proving beyond doubt that he was a cat.
His voice attracted more attention with someone inquiring.” Hi, what breed is this cat? He looked so much like a lion cub.”
Jiang Lan smiled.” I adopted him from my friend. I am not clear about his breed.”
After he was sure no one had the intention to report to the Police about his Suan Ni, Jiang Lan carried his brothers to a less crowded wooded area.
Few people were here except for a few strolling among the trees in this part of the plaza.
Jiang Lan sat down on a vacant bench and brought Jiao Tu out to breathe fresh air.
Jiao Tu cautiously stuck his head out to scan his surroundings. Confirming there were no strangers around, he mustered up his courage and stuck out his little horns as well.
Jiang Lan put him on his lap, letting him observe this wonderful world.
Meanwhile, Suan Ni had already scouted the area and climbed to the treetop, and started to meow.
Jiang Lan squinted his eyes, enjoying the soft breeze blowing through his hair. He felt even his soul was relaxed.
No wonder many people were fond of a stroll in the plaza after dinner.
Sitting in this wood, they could enjoy the peace and quiet while listening to the sound of merriment from the plaza.
Jiang Lan took out a bag of nuts and placed a paper napkin on his lap. After that, he began to crack nuts and put the nutmeat on the napkin. After he accumulated a pile of nutmeats, he started to feed his brothers. One for Jiao Tu, one for Suan Ni, then one for himself.
While they were enjoying themselves, Ying Qiao drove to the Yu Wan Plaza at high speed.
After he parked the car, it suddenly occurred to him that he forgot to tell Jiang Lan he would come here and drive his black Honda in a hurry to get here.
A few curious glances were thrown at his silver-grey Aston Martin parked beside the plaza.
Trying to calm down his anxious mind, Ying Qiao called Jiang Lan, asking his whereabouts and if he was bullied.
But the music from the plaza was so loud that he could barely hear what Jiang Lan was saying, only picking up the word wood.
He immediately turned to walk towards the wood with broad strides.
He furrowed his brow when passing through the lively plaza. The blaring music and the noisy crowd made him uncomfortable. He quickened his pace, walking directly for the little wood.
So he missed the scene where Jiu Feng was mingling with many middle-aged women, dancing merrily.
After five minutes, he found Jiang Lan in a quiet corner.
Contrary to his expectations, the Little Monster sat on a bench in one piece, unhurt. On the bench, shells and nutmeats were piled on a few pieces of paper napkins. The Little Monster’s brother and cousin occupied one end of the bench, cracking nuts.
This was not what he expected.
Closing his eyes briefly to calm himself, he walked over and scanned the Little Monster from the top down.” Did Jiu Feng hurt you?”
Ying Qiao thought he had misjudged the situation. Jiu Feng was, after all, an ancient high monster, while the Little Monster was a cub with low cultivation. Despite Jiu Feng’s quarrelsome reputation, she seemed to always pick a fight with other high monsters with equal power. She was not known to bully little monsters.
Jiang Lan watched him in surprise. If his face was cartoonized at this moment, many question marks would appear around his head.
“Why are you here?”
A moment ago, when he answered the call, the noise on the other end was so great that he could barely hear what Ying Qiao was saying. And now, his mind went blank at Ying Qiao’s sudden appearance.
A thought struck him.” Did you come here to watch Jiu Feng dance?”
As an ancient high monster, her dance was definitely worth watching. He just didn’t know Ying Qiao like rubbernecking.
Ying Qiao was surprised by his question.” Dance?”
Jiang Lan was even more surprised.” Did you see the video I sent you?”
Ying Qiao missed it. The moment he saw Jiang Lan mentioned Jiu Feng, he immediately left for the plaza.
“No, I didn’t have time.”
Pausing, he then added.” I thought you were bullied by Jiu Feng.”
Jiang Lan was surprised, not expecting Ying Qiao’s sudden appearance was prompted by his concern for him. Jiu Feng was an ancient high monster, but Ying Qiao was just an ordinary snake monster. With the full knowledge that he might get on the wrong side of Jiu Feng, Ying Qiao still chose to come.
He felt a warmth engulf his heart. But Jiang Lan didn’t dare to meet his eyes.” I am all right. Jiu Feng had a dispute with aunties over the use of a dance site, which I am supposed to mediate. It is settled now. They are dancing together on the plaza you just passed through.”
To put his mind at ease, Jiang Lan added.” Jiu Feng appeared very reasonable. She didn’t bully me.”
He said this to convince Ying Qiao that he was not bullied. But Ying Qiao’s thoughts had turned in another direction.” She appeared reasonable to you because you didn’t see her going mad. Legend has it that Jiu Feng was one of the famous maniacs in ancient times. If you dare to cross her, she would hold a grudge against you forever.”
Jiang Lan suddenly felt a chill in his horn. Without thinking, he touched his forehead and stammered.” Oh, She is this..this vindictive?”
Ying Qiao nodded.” She is famed for being foul-tempered and quarrelsome. In the one year since her last demerit points reset, she had managed to get 90 points.”
Jiang Lan nodded.” Yes, she mentioned she had only 10 points left to being denied the right to live in the city.”
Ying Qiao couldn’t help stroking his head.” That’s why you need to avoid her. It would be very annoying if you provoke her by chance. She is even more vindictive than Ya Zi. Do you know Ya Zi? The famous vindictive seventh brother in the Dragon Palace.”
Jiang Lan ????
We were talking about Jiu Feng. Why did you drag Ya Zi in the middle of this?
Suddenly Jiang Lan’s smile vanished. His eyebrow is tied to a knot.” I wouldn’t say Ya Zi is vindictive. He is just very protective.”
On the bench, Suan Ni meowed, and Jiao Tu knocked his conch to indicate their agreement with what Jiang Lan just said.
Ying Qiao didn’t expect the Little Monster would contradict his casual comments in such a serious manner.
His attitude suddenly called to mind the Little Monster’s standing up for Tao Tie. Ying Qiao probed him.” Do you like Ya Zi?”
Jiang Lan nodded.” Yes. He may be short-tempered, but he is definitely kindhearted.”
Ya Zi was the seventh of the nine sons in the Dragon Palace. But he never regarded himself as a junior brother. Instead, he always behaved like a senior brother. As the last Dragon’s son to return to the Dragon Palace, Jiang Lan was sometimes criticized by Ya Zi for his gluttony. But when the monsters who had been bitten by Jiang Lan came to the Dragon Palace to demand an explanation, Ya Zi was the first to stand up and chased them off.
Jiang Lan’s big brother had mentioned to him that when a monster badmouthed Jiang Lan, Ya Zi took it upon himself to teach him a lesson, chasing and beating that monster for a month until that monster admitted his mistake in tears.
Despite the abundance of negative rumors concerning Ya Zi, Ya Zi was just a very protective little brother in Jiang Lan’s mind.
So it was understandable that he couldn’t stand aside and let Ying Qiao slander his little brother.
Ying Qiao felt terrible after listening to what Jiang Lan said, but he didn’t dare voice his feelings.
While crying out aloud in his mind that Ya Zi doesn’t deserve your defending him, Ying Qiao said.”Is that so? Maybe I have a wrong impression of him?”
Jiang Lan nodded seriously.” Yes, I don’t believe those rumors concerning Ya Zi.”
Where did the Little Monster get those ideas about Ya Zi?
Ying Qiao was very upset about the Little Monster’s attitude toward Ya Zi. He just couldn’t figure out how the Little Monster formed such a strange opinion about Ya Zi. He wanted to ask him, but in doing so, he couldn’t avoid bringing up those black histories about Ya Zi.
Remembering that he had a brief falling-out with the Little Monster after he badmouthed Tao Tie the last time, he knew he couldn’t afford to be blunt this time.
Trying to be tactful, he said.” You seem to know a lot about Ya Zi? I heard Ya Zi vanished in the catastrophe after the link between God’s domain and the earth was severed.
Once upon a time, gods and humans lived together, and they could freely travel back and forth between Heaven and Earth. This period ended when King Zhuan Xu ordered Zhong Deity and Li Deity to destroy the path between two domains. But with the destruction of this path, the spiritual energy that used to be channeled through it was denied to countless witch gods stranded on earth. Being deprived of this energy, most of them simply vanished. From then on, they were no longer called witch gods. They were known henceforth as monsters.
Ya Zi was among those vanished witch gods.
This catastrophe brought about the destruction of many powerful witch gods with their names forgotten.
What was so special about Ya Zi that the Little Monster chose to remember him?
Ying Qiao waited for Jiang Lan’s answer in a gloomy mood.
But he didn’t expect Jiang Lan would answer his question with red-rimmed eyes and an angry look.” Ya Zi didn’t vanish, please don’t say that!”
After the link between Heaven and Earth was severed, the fall of witch gods didn’t come suddenly. Instead, it progressed at a slow pace.
In the thousands of years starting from the reign of King Zhuan xu and ending with the rise of the Qin Dynasty, those powerful witch gods lost their former glory. They began to disappear one by one.
This catastrophe also unwittingly weakened the power of the seal the Yellow Emperor used to imprison Jiang Lan. So he was able to break the seal and escaped. After roaming in the wild for many years, his big brother brought him back to the Dragon Palace to be reunited with his eight brothers.
But this reunion didn’t last long. The catastrophe finally spread to the Dragon Palace. The Second brother Chi Wen, the third brother Pu Lao, the sixth brother Gong Fu, the seventh brother Ya Zi, the eighth brother Suan Ni suddenly vanished in quick succession in one day.
That was how those fallen gods were gone. They all vanished without a trace on a certain day.
Their old brother dispatched countless people to look for them in the four corners of the earth. Deploying the mysterious power of the Dragon Palace, they finally managed to find a dragon egg on a desolate plain.
Suan Ni, who had regressed into a cub, was finally hatched from this dragon egg.
This strengthened the belief in the Dragon Palace that the other Dragon’s son would eventually return. The coming back of Suan Ni convinced them that, like Suan Ni, they had turned into dragon eggs and hid somewhere, waiting for the Dragon Palace to bring them back home.