The bedroom was extremely quiet, Jiang Lan looked sideways, Jiao Tu and Suan Ni were still sleeping peacefully on the pillows on his left side and were not woken up.
He touched the ground with his bare feet, and the wooden floor made no sound when he stepped on it. He opened the curtains a little, and the silver moonlight rushed in from outside.
The bay window of the master bedroom faced the direction of Qingyang Lake. Looking down from the upper floor, you could see the ink-colored lake sparkling in the moonlight. The entire Qingyang Lake presented an irregular polygon. To its north was the Xunyang Lake, and further north, Xunyang Lake merged into the flowing Yangtze River.
Jiang Lan searched around the room but couldn’t find the scent of that thing again. The sound of water and the cold fragrance just now seemed to be just an illusory dream.
But the feeling of his whole body being immersed in water and his floating hair gliding across his bare skin was so real that Jiang Lan didn’t think it was just a dream.
He half-squinted his eyes, looking a little unhappy. Unexpectedly, before he took the initiative to find the thing, the thing came to trouble him first.
He made a mental note about the unknown thing before going back to sleep.
And had a good night’s sleep.
The next day was Sunday. Jiang Lan originally wanted to go to Qingyang Lake Park to find out what was going on, but it happened that Uncle Yao’s leg injury had healed and he was invited to his home for a celebration lunch. Jiang Lan had no choice but to postpone going to the park until the afternoon and take his brothers to Uncle’s house for lunch in the morning.
Yao Xiaohei and Uncle Yao had gone out to buy the vegetables early in the morning. When Jiang Lan passed by, the two men were preparing vegetables together in the living room. While the birdcage on the balcony was open. The bird he bought back from the pet market was now acting as an imposter. The Da Hei starling was singing arrogantly on top of Xiao Hei’s head.
A “School Song” was being sung out of tune by it. While preparing the vegetables, Uncle Yao laughed and scolded: “The guests are here, stop singing, it will prick their ears!”
Of course, the starling didn’t understand it. It fluttered its chest feathers and sang even more enthusiastically when it saw a stranger.
Uncle Yao looked disgusted and greeted Jiang Lan with a smile: “Xiao Jiang is here? Is this your brother? The two brothers look so alike! This old bird, if he doesn’t recite poems, he sings every day, which makes my head hurt.”
After saying that, he stood up and wiped his hands, then he went to the refrigerator to get a drink and handed it to the two of them: “Sit down and have something to drink and watch TV for a while. The food will be ready soon.”
Yao Xiaohei on the side just raised his head and said: “Uncle, you go to the kitchen, I will take care of these vegetables.”
Uncle Yao said “Oh”, wiped his hands, put on an apron and entered the kitchen.
Jiang Lan said: “You and Uncle Yao get along very well.”
The old man and the young man look like a pair of real grandfather and grandson.
Hearing this, Yao Xiaohei became happy: “Uncle is very good to me.”
Jiang Lan moved over a small bench and sat down to help him prepare the vegetables, and casually asked Yao Xiaohei about his work.
After Yao Xiaohei got his ID card back from the Demon Management Bureau, he borrowed start-up capital from Uncle Yao, bought an electric car, and applied to become a takeaway rider. It had only been two or three days since he had officially started working. He was not a full-time rider yet, so he had a lot of free time. Because Uncle Yao wanted to treat Jiang Lan to lunch, he didn’t go out to take orders this morning.
Although delivery riders had a hard time in the sun and wind, Yao Xiaohei was very content. This kind of life was much better than when he was practicing alone in the mountains.
And he also had his own plan. After Uncle Yao went to the hospital for his last check-up, he would apply to be a special delivery rider. By then, his income would be higher. He would pay back the money he borrowed from the uncle first, and then save the money he earned in the future, in case of emergency.
Uncle Yao was not young, and he had cancer, so he did not have much time left. This had always been a knot in his heart. Although he didn’t say anything, he was always thinking about it in his heart.
He said he would provide for Uncle Yao until he died, and he would not break his promise.
Seeing the expectation for the future on his face, Jiang Lan couldn’t help but smile too. He glanced at the starling above his head and said, “Uncle Yao didn’t notice anything, did he?”
Although he used a little trick to fool around with his appearance, this starling’s singing was still out of tune every day, and it looked like he was not very good at it.
Xiao Hei chuckled and said in a low voice: “He didn’t realize it. This song was played on the TV at home for a few days, and Da Hei learned it. The old man thought it was because he got tired of memorizing poems and changed to something fresh.”
After the two finished preparing the vegetables, they brought them to the kitchen for Uncle Yao to fry. Uncle Yao lived alone and often cooked by himself. So, his hands and feet were very nimble. Now there were two more people helping him, and his movements were even faster. Five dishes and one soup were soon placed on the table.
The old man was in high spirits and even opened a bottle of red wine gifted to him by others.
The red wine was not intoxicating, so Jiang Lan mixed it with Sprite and poured Jiao Tu a small glass. Suan Ni sat on his lap. So, Jiang Lan took one sip and then fed him one.
After the meal, the guests and hosts seemed to have enjoyed themselves. Jiang Lan’s cheeks were just a little red, while Jiao Tu was already feeling dizzy and in a daze.
When Jiang Lan helped clear away the dishes, he saw Jiao Tu sitting blankly on the sofa, holding Suan Ni in his arms and rubbing his hands, still laughing, and he didn’t know what he was laughing at. Suan Ni’s belly was rubbed continuously and his face was full of despair.
Uncle Yao came out with the fruit and was very happy to see Jiao Tu like this: “Oh! Are you drunk now?”
Jiang Lan quickly stepped forward and rescued Suan Ni, then he rubbed Jiao Tu’s head and said, “Let’s go home.”
Jiao Tu said “Oh” blankly, stood up obediently, and looked directly at Jiang Lan, as if waiting for his next instruction.
He entertained Uncle Yao like this. So, he packed a bag of fruit and stuffed yogurt into Jiang Lan’s hands. Then he muttered, “Let him drink this to relieve the hangover, and then let him sleep again after going back…”
Jiang Lan brought his drunken brother home.
As soon as Jiao Tu returned home, he changed back to his original shape. He didn’t even have time to send him to the aquarium before he passed out drunk on the sofa.
The half of the body that was exposed from the shell was dyed a light pink. The big black eyes were tightly closed, and his eyelashes trembled slightly with each breath. Suan Ni tickled him with the tip of its tail. When Jiao Tu felt something, he hummed twice and shrank back into the shell.
Jiang Lan picked him up and put him into the room, asking Suan Ni to look after him: “You guys stay at home, I’ll go out.”
After all, he was still thinking about the thing he had seen in Qingyang Lake, and wanted to find out what it was. Since the other party dared to come to his door so openly, he had to show him some color, otherwise he would really think that he was a soft persimmon that was easy to bully.
Jiang Lan thought unhappily, they all saw something yesterday and that thing came to him in the evening. He might come looking for Jiao Tu or Suan Ni today.
Although he was confident that the other party could not hurt his brothers, Jiao Tu was so timid, what if he got scared?
He had to go and dig that thing out.
Jiang Lan put his bag on his back, told Suan Ni to keep an eye on Jiao Tu, and went straight to Qingyang Lake Park.
There were a lot of people in the park on weekends, but as Jiang Lan walked along the path, the further in he went, the fewer people he encountered. He first walked around the lake but found no trace of the thing. So, he found a remote place, put his mobile phone and other miscellaneous items in his bag and hid them, then he took off his coat and quietly dived into the water.
Although Taotie was not as good at controlling water as Jiao Tu, he was still a son of a dragon and had lived in the Dragon Palace for a long time, so his underwater skills were not bad. He dived into the water flexibly and began to explore around.
Qingyang Lake was well managed and protected, with clean and clear water quality and high visibility. This greatly facilitated Jiang Lan’s search.
He started looking for it from the Nine-hole Bridge where Jiao Tu met the thing yesterday and kept looking northward.
There were many undercurrents at the bottom of the lake, as well as various aquatic animals and plants. Jiang Lan was afraid that the thing would detect his aura, so he kept carefully restraining his aura before moving forward. He was very fast, and it only took him an hour or two to search to the north of Qingyang Lake. Going further, he was now heading to Xunyang Lake.
Jiangcheng had many lakes and criss-crossing waterways. It was impossible for him to search them all, so he prepared to turn back from the other side. In this way, if he couldn’t find the other party, he could only wait for the other party to come to him.
Jiang Lan turned around and was about to leave, but his sharp eyes spotted a few strands of long black hair floating in the water from the direction of Xunyang Lake, and a white shadow quietly sneaking towards his direction.
The other party turned out to be a master at hiding aura.
And also very cautious.
Jiang Lan pretended not to notice it and turned back at the same speed as before.
He felt the thing following behind him. As he moved forward, he wondered what it was.
Although it was in the form of a woman, it was obviously not a “human”. It looked more like some kind of monster.
But he still couldn’t figure out what it was.
While he was thinking about it, the thing had apparently determined that he hadn’t noticed him, so it sped up and got closer to him.
The lake water fluctuated silently, and Jiang Lan seemed unaware.
Strands of black hair spread out in the water, gradually surrounding him. The faint shadow above blocked the light cast by the water, and Jiang Lan felt something floating lightly on his back.
It was the contact of skin against skin, cold, smooth, and chilling to the touch.
Jiang Lan’s smooth movements paused for a moment, then he turned his neck stiffly, facing the woman lying on his back.
The dark eyes without whites stared at him unblinkingly, half carrion, half stunning beauty. The long ink-colored hair that reached his feet swayed along the water waves like seaweed, gradually closing in on him…
Jiang Lan’s eyes widened and his pupils dilated, as if he was frightened by this scene.
His fearful expression, which the other party seemed to like very much, made it come closer to him, almost touching the tip of his nose. Those long swaying hair were still closing together, almost forming a cocoon to wrap him inside.
Jiang Lan looked at the other person’s face moving so close and suddenly smiled.
He mouthed to the other party: Got you.
Then, taking advantage of the opportunity before it could react, he quickly grabbed its long hair. The hair was very long, which made it easier for him to move. He used the long hair as a rope and wrapped it around its neck several times, trying to strangle its neck so that it couldn’t break free.
He just didn’t expect that his hands were not strong enough to twist the head off of this thing.
Jiang Lan opened his eyes wide and looked at the head in his hand, thinking, was this too fragile?
The expression of the head held in his hand suddenly became extremely vicious. It opened its mouth, revealing a row of jagged teeth, and the long hair on the back of its head danced like a water snake.
Jiang Lan immediately lifted its head, turned it around, pressed it hard on the protruding rocks at the bottom of the lake, and blocked its mouth.
The dancing long hair stagnated, and soon became more frantic. The clear lake water was filled with black liquid, and the water waves at the bottom of the lake suddenly became weird.
In the swaying waves, Jiang Lan’s figure twisted slightly, and his movements suddenly stopped.
In this moment of stagnant space, it suddenly broke free from Jiang Lan’s shackles and returned to its body again.
Jiang Lan was about to pursue but found that his body passed through the opponent’s shadow. Its body seemed to have dissipated like water waves, and the next second, it appeared further away.
Jiang Lan was confused for a moment, and immediately chased after her. The bonus he would get did not allow him to let it run away!
But this thing was obviously very familiar with this water area. After circling two or three times, it quickly got rid of Jiang Lan and disappeared.
Jiang Lan was so angry that his bonus was lost because of his carelessness.
But he had lost track of it, so he could only turn back in frustration.
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