Suan Ni’s meows earned him twelve million, and Bi An chose to round the number up to twenty million.
Jiang Lan heard the phone notification. The fourth brother just sent the transaction screenshot together with a message:
[From the most handsome person in the Dragon Palace: you are supposed to receive the sum the day after tomorrow, remember to confirm it. Please buy some quality food for you guys. If the money is not enough, ask big brother to send more. Don’t starve yourself trying to be frugal.]
“Thank you, fourth brother.”
This time Jiang Lan didn’t refuse the money offered by the fourth brother. He knew that his fourth brother’s teasing Suan Ni was just his way of making money more acceptable to them.
When Jiang Lan first stepped out of Dragon Palace, Bixi and his brothers were so worried that they chose to accompany him to report for duty in the Monster Bureau of Jiang City. Their appearance was so impressive that the news of a Taotie joining the Special Service Branch spread far and wide. At that time, Jiang Lan had no idea what a formidable presence the Dragon Palace and a Tao Tie were to ordinary monsters. He was determined to adapt to human society while cherishing the hope of making new friends and finding his true calling.
But in a few days, it dawned on him that he was much feared, and people always choose to distance themselves from him.
The other high monsters in the Special Service Branch rarely showed up. Most of Jiang Lan’s colleagues he had regularly met were ordinary monsters. Those ordinary monsters looked scared when talking to him, as if they were afraid of being swallowed whole if what they said displeases him.
Jiang Lan’s name had a close association with ancient powerful high monsters and signify the power of the Dragon Palace.
After the decline of monsters, most monster clans had formed alliances, which had a powerful influence. But these alliances paled in comparison with the power of the Dragon Palace.
From ancient times to these days, the nine sons of Dragon were a powerful clan. Today, only Bixi and Bi An made regular appearances in human society. However, these two high monsters were still a force to be reckoned with.
Ordinary monsters will try their best to steer clear of ancient powerful high monsters, not to mention the Dragon Palace.
With these two identities rolled into one, Jiang Lan had zero chance of making new friends.
Jiang Lan felt frustrated but knew there was only himself to blame. He regretted making such a grand entrance, broadcasting his name and his association with the Dragon Palace to everyone.
He learned a hard lesson that immense wealth and high status will intimidate ordinary people away.
With this lesson always on his mind, Jiang Lan weaned himself and Suan Ni off the financial support of the Dragon Palace. In the year after he left the Dragon Palace, he had pulled off the remarkable feat of living only on the salaries he earned.
He tried to live like an easy-going monster. Regrettably, every monster in the Monster Bureau knew his identity, and this knowledge couldn’t be kept from new colleagues for long. In the end, everyone gave him fearful looks.
In the end, Jiang Lan’s efforts at making new friends were all wasted.
The fourth brother often criticized his headstrong behavior.
Now Jiang Lan began to question his willfulness. Perhaps his behaviors in the past caused his old brothers’ unnecessary worries. Because of his insistence on self-reliance, Suan Ni couldn’t even have roasted pig feet.
So this time, he accepted the money from the fourth brother without raising any objections.
He had changed his mind. It’s pointless to refuse money and stick to self-reliance.
After all, isn’t it nice to have roasted pig feet whenever you want it?
Now, none of the colleagues in the Street Administration Office knew his real identity, and he had already made new friends. His wish to be an ordinary monster didn’t mean he should refuse the support from his caring brothers.
When the time is right, he would confess his real identity to Ying Qiao and his friends. At that time, they should already know him well, so this revelation shouldn’t cause much alarm.
Actually, Jiang Lan wasn’t very sure about the last part. But his natural optimism soon took over, convinced himself that it would indeed be the case.
Bi An didn’t expect Jiang Lan would change his mind this time. With eyebrow lifting, he shook his phone to Bixi, smiling.” Little Five finally comes around.”
Bixi said.” I have long said he would. There was no cause for worry.”
Bi AN thought to himself: Now you are all calm. It was you who not long ago ask Uncle Gui to send food and clothing to them every now and then, worrying sick that they would starve.
Of course, he didn’t dare to say it to Bixi’s face.
After a pause, Bixi said.” Now, Little Five finally comes around to accept family support. It’s time we turn his bank account over to him so he can learn to manage his wealth.”
The company in his charge belonged to the Dragon Palace. In modern terms, nine sons of the Dragon each owned a share in it. Regardless of their whereabouts, each son has a bank account, and a dividend payment was made to each account by the end of every year by Bixi.
Naturally, Jiang Lan has a bank account for this purpose. But he was not good at managing his wealth and considered the wealth too much for his personal use, so he asked Bixi to take care of the wealth on his behalf. Suan Ni and Jiao Tu followed suit.
These three brothers only received pocket money from big brother.
Now the situation was different. After all, Jiang Lan had learned to live on his own, and Bixi thought it was the time he should learn to be responsible for his wealth.
He sent a WeChat message to Jiang Lan:” After a few days, Uncle Gui will accompany Little Nine to your place and place your assets in your care. It is going to be your responsibility from then on.”
Jiang Lan’s face crumpled at the last part of the message. But in reflection, he thought as a grow-up Tao Tie, he can’t rely on his big brother for everything. In the end, he reluctantly sent back “OK.”
After he chatted with his two big brothers, Jiang Lan returned to the Hong Jing Apartment Complex. He was going to take a look at the manhole again.
Because there was no one around, Suan Ni crawled out of the backpack to perch on his brother’s shoulder. After managing to get a large sum of money from the fourth brother, he was in a good mood, wagging his tail happily.
Jiang Lan sneaked into the cordon line again, removed the manhole cover, and then peered into the manhole.
Suan Ni also stared into the manhole. But after a few seconds, he sneezed.
Hearing his brother’s sneeze, Jiang Lan was struck by a thought. He turned his focus to the red mushroom clinging to the manhole wall.
Dark, wet, and covered with mud, the manhole wall was full of moss and a kind of nameless mushroom. The mushroom was so ordinary-looking that it could be easily overlooked.
Jiang Lan managed to grab a piece of the red mushroom with a spell.
This mushroom was tiny, the stalk was very slim, and the cap was thin. The color of the whole mushroom was dark red. It looked so much like a little umbrella.
Jiang Lan had never seen a mushroom like this. Pinched it a little, small red particles began to come off the gills. It was the spores.
Suan Ni on his shoulders crumpled his nose and sneezed again.
“I am on to something.”
Jiang Lan moved the manhole cover back in place and declared excitedly.” I will go back to confirm with Xue Meng. If everything goes well, we will have another bonus.”
Suan Ni happily cheered for his brother.
Jiang Lan brought the freshly-picked mushroom back to the office.
He first checked the condition of Xue Meng. Apart from the change of voice and coughing, he didn’t appear to have a severe condition.
The moment Xue Meng caught sight of Jiang Lan, his eyes were full of enthusiasm, as if a dog found his long lost owner.” Hi, Boss, have you got any expert advice for me?”
“Yes, But I have to confirm something with you first.”
Then he dragged Xue Meng to the toilet.
Xue Meng opened his mouth embarrassingly with Jiang Lan holding a flashlight pointing to the inside of his mouth. Using disposable chopsticks to press down Xue Meng’s tongue, Jiang Lan began examining his throat with a solemn look.
After close examination, he finally detected little red mushrooms lodged on his throat. This mushroom appeared to be smaller than the mushroom found on the manhole walls. They tightly packed together and flourished, using people’s throat as soil, malicious words as fertilizer.
No wonder he cough, anyone with this stuff in the throat was bound to cough.
Recalling the middle-aged woman he encountered in the morning and the strange sound coming from her mouth when she spoke, he could finally pinpoint the origin of the peculiar sound. It must be caused by the friction of the throat with the mushrooms when talking,
“You found anything? Am I infected?”
Xue Meng saw his solemn looks while being examined, and his voice was trembling.
Jiang Lan decided to tell him the truth after a pause.” You have red mushrooms growing inside your throat.”
Xue Meng stared at him with a blank look.” What’s that?”
How come mushrooms suddenly decided to grow inside my throat?
Jiang Lan had no choice but to explain the connection between the death in Hong Jing Apartment Complex and this bizarre mushroom.” I highly suspect that the appearance of this red mushroom has something to do with the death of Chen Ruomei.”
Once a person talked about anything related to the Chen Ruomei, a spore would be lodged inside his throat, and the mushroom will start to grow inside. Eventually, that person will lose control of his speech. This mushroom probably has the function to enhance the malice inside a person’s heart, enticing them to say more malicious words, which in turn provide more nourishment to the mushroom.”
No one could be certain what the mushroom will eventually turn out to be. But it can’t be good.
What was even more dreadful was that the person influenced by the parasitical mushroom would usually remain ignorant of their condition.
Seeing the fearful looks on Xue Meng’s face, Jiang Lan reassured him.” Your case was very mild. After I get you some evil-dispelling FU water符水 A Taoist disease curing or evil-dispelling ceremony, in which a scroll written with spells is burned and the ashes are sprinkled in the water for the patient to drink to drink, you will be fine.”
These mushrooms were only a little bizarre but weren’t supposed to be very powerful. This explained his overlook in the first place.
Xue Meng took heart from his words.
A thought seemed to strike him. But before he was about to say something, he covered his mouth and typed something on his phone screen: [I will stay silent from now on, in case I speak something I didn’t mean.]
Jiang Lan patted his head.” I will get your cure after work.”
After he got off work, Jiang Lan went to the Monster Bureau.
He ran into Ying Qiao in front of the Bureau building.
They didn’t expect to find each other here, so their face was full of surprise.
Ying Qiao thought he was lucky that he brought Cheng Hua along. Getting out of his car, he flashed his flawless smile.” What brought you here? “
Jiang Lan tried to be calm.” I detected an evil thing making waves in Hong Jing Apartment Complex, so I come here to report it.”
“Couldn’t you do that over the phone? Why bother making a trip here?” Ying Qiao was a little puzzled.
Because I want to take charge of this case!
A monster with power over a population of this size couldn’t be a normal monster. The bonus for catching him must be very high.
Apparently, he couldn’t say his real reason.
After all, he was just a little monster with low-level cultivation, just transformed into a human form!
So Jiang Lan acted like one, dragging Xue Meng out as his defense.” Xue Meng was under that monster’s influence. I want to buy an evil-dispelling Fu for him.”
Ying Qiao’s expression softened.
This little monster was so kind-hearted.
He signed.” Luckily, my Boss is here. No need to report it to the Bureau. My Boss will take it from here.”
|↑1||符水 A Taoist disease curing or evil-dispelling ceremony, in which a scroll written with spells is burned and the ashes are sprinkled in the water for the patient to drink|