WE MONSTERS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO BE SINGLE CHAPTER 27.1

The bedroom was very quiet. Jiang Lan lay on his side while Jiao Tu and Suan Ni were sleeping on the pillow on his left side, undisturbed.

He got out of bed. Walking on his bare feet on the wood floor, he didn’t make a sound. Pulling the curtain slightly aside, he let more silver moonlight fall on the floor.

The windows in their bedroom directly face Qing Yang Lake. From his bedroom at the top of the building, he could see the silver moonlight reflected on the dark green lake surface. The whole Qing Yang Lake has a shape of an irregular polygon. On its north lies Xun Yang Lake. Further north is the majestic Yangtze River[1]TL’s note: The longest river in China, China’s mother river..

Jiang Lan went around the flat, but he couldn’t pick up the scent of that thing. The water sound and the cold fragrance seemed only to exist in a dream.

But the feeling of being submerged in the water and the touch of hairs on his bare skin was so real. Jiang Lan didn’t think it was just a dream.

He half-closed his eyes and looked a little unhappy. He didn’t expect that before he could go back to look for that thing, it would act first and look for trouble at his home.

He made a mental note of that mysterious being and returned to his sleep.

The rest of the night, he had an undisturbed sleep.

The next day was Sunday. Jiang Lan originally planned to investigate the Ying Yang Lake first thing in the morning. But it just so happened that Grandpa Yao’s legs had healed and invited him over to have lunch; Jiang Lan had to put off his plan until afternoon. In the morning, he could bring his brothers to Grandpa’s home.

Xiao Hei and Grandpa Yao had gone out in the early morning to the farmer’s market to buy raw food ingredients for their lunch. When Jiang Lan went over, the two of them were preparing the dishes in the kitchen. With the birdcage open on the balcony, the black myna Jiang Lan bought from the flower and bird market to take the place of Da Hei stood on the head of Xiao Hei, singing at the top of his voice.

He was singing a song out of tune. While preparing dishes, Grandpa Yao mocked him.” Our guest is here. Stop singing. It sounds terrible.”

The black myna, of course, didn’t understand. In the presence of strangers, he appeared to be more excited.

With an embarrassing look, Grandpa Yao greeted Jiang Lan.” You finally come. This is your brother? You two looked so much alike! This old bird suddenly decided to sing instead of reciting poems. The daily singing is so annoying.”

After wiping his hands, he went to the fridge to bring soft drinks to the two brothers.” Please sit and watch TV. Our lunch will be ready soon.”

Xiao Hei raised his head.” Grandpa, you can start cooking now. I will prepare the rest of the raw ingredients[2]TL’s note: Older generation like to buy vegetables from the farmer’s market, and they have to spend some a little time before cooking to remove the inedible pods or roots and clean themhere.”

Grandpa Yao agreed and went into the kitchen wearing an apron.

Jiang Lan said.” You two seem to get along well.”

The two of them now looked like a genuine pair of a grandpa and his grandson.

Xiao Hei smiled.” Grandpa treats me very well.”

Jiang Lan picked up a small bench and sat by his side to prepare the vegetables with him. While they were working on the vegetables, he asked how it was with Xiao Hei’s new job.

After Xiao Hei picked up his new identity card from the Monster Bureau, Grandpa lent him money to buy an electric bike. He applied to work as a delivery man. Today was the third day of his new job. But he was not qualified to work as a full-time delivery man yet, so his schedule was flexible. Because today Grandpa Yao invited Jiang Lan over for lunch, he cleared his schedule for the morning.

Working as a delivery man and being exposed to the elements were hard. But Xiao Hei didn’t mind. This life was so much better than his days cultivating alone in the mountains. And he had a plan for the future. After Grandpa finished further check-ups in the hospital, he would apply to work as a full-time delivery man, which will come with an increased income. He would first return the borrowed money to Grandpa Yao and start to save money for the future.

But the fact that Grandpa didn’t have long to live cast a pall over everything. But they chose not to mention it.

He had said he would make sure Grandpa lives out his remaining days in comfort, and he wouldn’t go back on his words.

He was obviously full of anticipation of his future. Jiang Lan couldn’t help but smile with him. Glancing at the black myna on his head, Jiang Lan said.” Did Grandpa become suspicious?”

The appearance-altering spell worked wonders, but the black myna liked to sing out of tune. This behavior was so unlike Da Hei.

Xiao Hei laughed.” Oh, he never doubts about the bird. The song he is singing was quite popular now on TV, and this bird picked it up really quickly. Grandpa just thought the bird had grown tired of reciting poems and was trying something new for a change.”  

***********

When they finished preparing vegetables, they sent them to Grandpa Yao to stir-fry in a wok. Grandpa lived alone and liked to cook for himself, so he was very practiced in cooking. With the extra help, he soon finished five dishes and one pot of soup.

Grandpa was in an excellent mood. He even brought out a bottle of wine for this occasion.

Jiang Lan mixed some sprite with a little wine for Jiao Tu. Suan Ni stayed on his lap to wait for Jiang Lan to feed him.

They had a perfect time. In the end, Jiang Lan’s cheek was a little flushed, but Jiao Tu was definitely a little drunk.

When Jiang Lan finished clearing the table, he saw Jiao Tu sitting on the sofa with Suan Ni in his arms. He was giggling while rubbing his face against Suan Ni, who lied belly up with a helpless look on his face.

When Grandpa came out of the kitchen with a plate of fruits and saw this, he laughed.” Ho, are you drunk with this little wine?”

Jiang Lan quickly came to Jiao Tu’s rescue, stroking his hair.” It is time to go home.”

Jiao Tu stood up with a blank look on his face. He looked at Jiang Lan without blinking as if waiting for his next instruction.

His behavior greatly amused Grandpa Yao. He filled a plastic bag with fruits. Together with some yogurt, he shoved these into Jiang Lan’s hand.” Let him drink some yogurt before sleep. It might ease his hangover ….”

After their bellies and hands were loaded with food, Jiang Lan led his drunken brother home.

The moment they got home, Jiao Tu returned to his original form. He fell asleep on the sofa without bothering to return to his aquarium.

His body was tinted with a little pinkish color, and his eyes were shut tight while the eyelashes gently shook with every breath he took. Suan Ni tickled him with his tail. Jiao Tu seemed to feel it, making a sound and trying to shrink back into his conch.

Jiang Lan moved him to the bedroom and asked Suan Ni to keep an eye on him.” You two stay home. I have some business to attend to.”

He was still thinking about that thing he glimpsed in Qing Yang Lake and wanted to find out what exactly that thing was. If that thing dared to intrude on his home, he had to teach it a lesson; otherwise, that thing might think he was easily intimidated.

He had an unpleasant thought that if they all saw that thing yesterday and that thing came to visit him last night, it was very possible that thing might also pay a visit to Jiao Tu or Suan Ni.

Even though he was confident that thing couldn’t hurt his brothers, he was worried Jiao Tu might feel scared, considering he was such a shy boy.

So he had to uncover that thing and drag it out.

After taking his backpack and asking Suan Ni to take care of Jiao Tu, he went directly to Qing Yang Lake Park.

On the weekend, the park was a little crowded. Jiang Lan chose a path less walked that led to the park’s inner part. First, he circled around the lake but didn’t see a trace of that thing. Then he went to a quiet corner of the park to undress and put his phone in the backpack, which he hid somewhere safe. After this was done, he secretly and quietly dived into the water.

Tao Tie wasn’t very good at swimming when compared with Jiao Tu. But he was a Dragon son and spent a long time in the Dragon Palace, so he was still a good swimmer. After he dived into the lake, he began his search.

Qing Yang Lake was well-protected without any pollution. The water was clear, and the visibility underwater was very high. This greatly helped his search.

He started from the nine arch stone bridge where Jiao Tu first saw that thing yesterday and slowly moved north.

There were a lot of currents at the bottom of the lake and many fishes and aquatic plants. Taking care to make as little sound as possible, he moved quickly in stealth mode. After an hour or two, he had reached the north side of the Qing Yang Lake. Further north was Xun Yang Lake.

Many lakes and rivers dot the landscape of Jiang City. It was impossible to comb them alone. Jiang Lan planned to circle back south from the other side of the lake. If he still failed to find that thing, he would have to wait for that thing to come looking for him.

Before he turned to the left, he saw in the direction of Xun Yang Lake a few strands of black hair, followed by a white figure, silently approaching his position at that moment.

That thing was also a master stealth swimmer.

And it was very cautious.

Pretending he didn’t see it, Jiang Lan maintained his previous speed and swan back.

He could sense the presence of that thing following behind. While moving forward, he tried to figure out the identity of that thing.

Even though the thing had the form of a woman, it was obviously not a human. By the look of it, it was an evil creature.

But he didn’t know what it was.

While he was thinking, that thing seemed to be sure Jiang Lan didn’t notice its approach and started to speed up, closing the distance between them.

The water wave reached him without a sound. Jiang Lan seemed not to notice.

The black hairs were slowly spreading in the water surrounding Jiang Lan. The shadow began to block the light coming from above. Jiang Lan felt there was something lightly attached to his back.

It was the touch of skin, cold, smooth and chilly.

Jiang Lan briefly halted his movement, then turned his head to face the woman on his back.

A pair of pitch-black eyes without whiteness was staring at him without blinking. Half the face was rotting meat, while the other half was the face of an incredibly gorgeous woman. Black hairs the length of the whole body were swaying followed the movement of water, slowly closing in…..

Jiang Lan widened his eyes as if this sight scared him.

That thing looked as if it enjoyed the scared look on his face and moved closer, its nose almost touching Jiang Lan’s nose. Those hairs were closing too as if trying to form a cocoon with him inside.

Jiang Lan suddenly smiled at the face close to him.

He moved his lips so that thing could lipread him: Caught you!

Before it could react, he quickly grabbed its hairs. The hairs were long, making them easy to handle. He used the hairs as ropes and wrapped them around its neck several times, so it couldn’t get away.

But in his hurry to catch it, he probably used too much strength and pulled its head off.

????

Jiang Lan stared at the head in his hand: Why this fragile??

The looks on its face suddenly became very vicious. It opened its mouth with saw-like teeth. The hairs behind its head were swaying like snakes.

Jiang Lan turned the head around and pushed it against a rock at the lake’s bottom, blocking its mouth.

The waving hair paused for a second, then turned even more frenzy. The clear water was tinted black by too many strands of hairs, making the whole scene extremely weird.

In the waving light, Jiang Lan twisted his body to change his position and paused his movement for a second.

But in this brief moment, the head suddenly broke free of Jiang Lan’s grip and returned to its body.

Jiang Lan started his pursuit. But in the next second, he found himself going through its body as if it was a mirage. And its body vanished, only to reappear a moment later in a place further away from him.

Illusion Spell?

Only stopping for a second, he resumed his pursuit. He couldn’t let the bonus slip away.

But that thing apparently knew this part of the lake well. It turned this or that way, soon out of his sight, vanished.

Jiang Lan was mad at himself for losing his bonus.

But there was nothing he could do about it now. So he left in disappointment.

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References

References
1 TL’s note: The longest river in China, China’s mother river.
2 TL’s note: Older generation like to buy vegetables from the farmer’s market, and they have to spend some a little time before cooking to remove the inedible pods or roots and clean them

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