Ying Qiao made around six calls to Jiang Lan, but he didn’t answer.
Cheng Hua.” Perhaps he didn’t hear his phone ring?”
They were also in Qing Yang Lake Park. After they heard about a similar incident that occurred again in Qing Yang Lake, they came over. Jiang Lan happened to live nearby. So Ying Qiao called Jiang Lan, asking him to join them.
But several calls went unanswered.
“Let me try again.”
Furrowing his brow, Ying Qiao called him again while walking towards the nine arch bridge.
As he was waiting for Jiang Lan to pick up the call, he heard a familiar ringtone coming from somewhere nearby.
He moved the phone away from his ear and looked in the direction of the ringtone. Following the sound, he found the familiar backpack hiding behind a rock.
As he was thinking why the Little Monster’s backpack was here, a water splashing sound came from the lake, followed by the appearance of Jiang Lan, who suddenly emerged from the water and faced Ying Qiao with a blank expression.
Ying Qiao’s eyes stayed on his white skin.” What are you doing here?”
Jiang Lan watched him in silence. Finally, he found his voice and said calmly.” Trying to catch a water devil. I saw a water devil around here yesterday.”
He felt guilty again.
Of course, that thing wasn’t a water devil. But he couldn’t bring himself to tell Ying Qiao the truth: I was very brave. A thing had come looking for trouble at my home, so I get back at it by knocking out its teeth and ripping off its head. But I made a mistake and let it slip away.
But this stuff simply didn’t fit the profile of a simple little monster.
As expected, Ying Qiao again furrowed his brow and put on a stern face. But in the end, he said nothing. He picked up Jiang Lan’s backpack and found the clean clothing and dry towel.
His lips were so thin.” Come out first and put on the clothing.”
Jiang Lan obeyed him.
He still felt guilty and obeyed his instruction without question, drying his skin and wearing clean, dry clothing.
While Ying Qiao was here, he didn’t dare to cast a small spell to dry his skin in case he exposed himself. After putting on his clothing, he grabbed the dry towel to dry his hair.
Ying Qiao took over the dry towel and dried his hair for him.
His hair was again fluffy and soft. Silent Little Monster became even cuter. Looking at this silent Little Monster, Ying Qiao’s heart softened.
The Little Monster should realize his mistakes by now.
In a soft tone, he admonished him.” You shouldn’t dive into the lake alone. It is too dangerous.”
Jiang Lan put on a convincing show, mumbling in a low voice.”But it was just a water devil.”
“How can you be sure it was just a water devil?”
Ying Qiao contradicted him and asked.” First, describe what that water devil looked like.”
Jiang Lan obeyed and described the thing’s appearance. Then with an innocent look on his face, he asked.” If it isn’t a water devil, then what is it?”
Ying Qiao signed, feeling the weight of parenthood.
He pointed to Cheng Hua.” Do you know why my boss and I are here?”
Jiang Lan shook his head.
Ying Qiao continued.” A few days ago, several young men went missing around Xun Yang Lake. Their bodies were later recovered from the bottom of the lake. Their flesh had already been consumed by an unknown creature, and bones were all that were remained of them. This morning, my boss received a news alert, saying another devoured body was recovered this morning in Qing Yang Lake.”
Almost no one paid attention to this because the location where the body was found was very remote. The identity of the body recovered this morning was soon confirmed. The Police found out that he had been to Qing Yang Lake Park yesterday afternoon and almost drowned. He was later rescued and sent to the hospital.
But no one knew how he left the hospital and went back to become a corpse at the bottom of the lake.
“That’s why my boss brought me here to investigate.”
Jiang Lan gasped, but not out of fear. He said.” I was at the scene when that person fell into the water, and I saw that water devil on my way back.”
Looking at his face, Ying Qiao didn’t know whether to say he was brave or reckless.
He said with a look of helplessness on his face.” That thing you saw is not a water devil. It’s called Jin Po Original text is 禁婆, could be literally translated as the Forbidden Woman. An evil creature in Hainan Island folklore.”
Jin Po was an evil creature active only in the South Sea province. The economy of this province mainly depends on fishing and countless fishermen risking their lives braving the ocean. Because of the ocean’s mercurial nature, it was considered normal that not all the fishermen would come back from their fishing sorties. Those drowned fishermen sunk into the ocean’s bottom without a proper burial and were gathered together by the undercurrents. Gradually rotting fresh bred the essence of hatred and resentment The original text is 怨气, literally means the gas or air of resentment, and this essence attracted the big fishes that feed on decaying flesh. After consuming the essence of hatred together with the rotting flesh for gods know how long, those fishes were turned into evil creatures.
Those rotting flesh at the bottom of the ocean couldn’t provide a stable supply of food. After running out of food, these evil creatures turned their attention to the living.
Their bones have a strange fragrance, and creating illusion was their forte, which they used to disguise themselves as beautiful women to lure people. Their prey was not confined to humans. They would devour any living things they could lay their hands on. Monsters, animals, humans, they are not very picky.
And the young victim’s flesh high in energy was highly prized among them.
Most ordinary people and little monsters were easily seduced by them, thinking they just met the beautiful mermaids. In fact, they had fallen victim to the flesh-eating devils. It was already too late when they realized their mistakes.
That’s why Ying Qiao was very angry at Jiang Lan’s reckless behavior. He speculated that there must be more than one Jin Po in the inland lakes. If the Little Monster had the misfortune of meeting them, he would be in deep trouble.
“Doesn’t Jin Po usually roam in the ocean? How come they chose to go to freshwater lakes?
Jiang Lan thought what he had just witnessed was indeed illusions created by Jin Po. Next time, he would take care not to get fooled by it and let it escape.
While thinking about it, he put on a fearful look.” I thought it was a water devil I met in the water. But when I realized I couldn’t defeat it, I ran away.”
Ying Qiao was speechless.
Again he admonished him.” Don’t be this reckless next time!”
Jiang Lan kept nodding.
Seeing his reaction, Ying Qiao softened his face.” Now my boss is handling this case. You can join us now since you have already met Jin Po, and this experience is useful to us.”
A moment ago, Jiang Lan had thought his bonus was gone forever. Now, this offer lifted his spirit.”Ok, ok.”
Suddenly, it occurred to him that Cheng Hua was in charge, and he quickly turned to Cheng Hua for confirmation.
“May I join you?”
Under Ying Qiao’s menacing gaze, Cheng Hua faked a smile.”Of course, you can.”
I don’t dare to say no.
After confirming the identity of this thing, Jiang Lan proceeded to tell them what he had gone through from yesterday to this moment. Of course, he omitted the detail that he just ripped the head off a Jin Po.
When Ying Qiao heard that Jin Po had gone looking for him in the middle of the night at his home, his face grew grim.
Jiang Lan didn’t pay attention to his looks. Instead, he mumbled to himself.” Jin Po is a fish, after all? Can it walk on land?”
Cheng Hua.” No, they can’t. That’s why they are so good at creating illusions. Their beauty and strange fragrance are part of that illusion. The victim they discovered today must have been seduced and sneaked out of the hospital at night, thinking he would meet a beautiful woman by the lakeside. Next, he was turned into a skeleton.”
Jiang Lan.” That young man has been rescued and sent to the hospital, but he couldn’t escape the fate of becoming its victim. Does it mean the Jin Pos were selective about their prey?”
No matter their standard in choosing their victims, good-looking or the quality of the victim’s flesh, they were not as indiscriminate eaters as rumored to be.
But once Jin Pos set their sights on a target, nothing could discourage them from getting it.
Jiang Lan’s eyes brightened at this thought.” That Jin Po didn’t get me today. If they are not easily discouraged, it might try again soon.”
After all, he had ripped the head off that thing. These evil creatures were usually single-minded and would definitely try to get its revenge.
Looking at Ying Qiao’s grim face, Cheng Hua chuckled.” That’s why you can’t go into the water again recklessly.”
Then he brought out a gadget and gave it to Jiang Lan.” Carry it with you all the time, then Jin Po’s illusion wouldn’t affect you.”
Jiang Lan shook his hand.” You are too generous. This is too much.”
“No problem, it doesn’t worth much. Just take it.” Cheng Hua had a fake smile on his face and shoved it into Jiang Lan’s hands.
After all, I don’t have to pay for it.
Stealing a glance at Ying Qiao, Cheng Hua thought about how much he should be reimbursed by Boss Ying Qiao.
After exchanging what they knew about Jin Po, they established that Jin Po’s activities were mostly confined to Xun Yang and Qing Yang Lake.
These two lakes are the largest in the Jiang City area. They are connected with Xun Yang lake directly connected with the Yangtze River.
These Jin Pos most probably had gone upstream in the Yangtze River and reached Jiang City.
But Jiang City is dotted with numerous lakes and rivers. It was going to be very hard to track them down.
Jiang Lan suggested.” We can’t afford to wait for them to show themselves. I will act as bait to lure them out.”
Cheng Hua was negative.”No!”
Seeing the surprise on Jiang Lan’s face, he added.” I mean, it is too risky. Even though it is imperative to catch these Jin Pos, we must safeguard the lives of our comrades in arms. I can’t risk your life.”
As he was stealing glances at Ying Qiao from time to time, Cheng Hua said in a thoughtful voice.”But Ying Qiao was a member of the snake race and an outstanding swimmer. How about letting him search the lake? Maybe he could find their traces. Do you agree? Ying Qiao?”
He said the last sentence while fixing his eyes on Ying Qiao.
If they can’t risk the Little Monster, they had to send someone. Who was more suitable than Ying Qiao, who was full of parental love?
Cheng Hua felt so good when he saw Ying Qiao nodded with a grim face.
What an exhilarating feeling to command my boss to do something!