Everyone didn’t say anything as they swiftly picked up the oars and started rowing vigorously. They didn't even have time to put down the bag on their backs, and they don’t dare to look back at what is behind. Seeing that they are about to reach the shore of the lake, Qin Tan yelled, "Get off the boat and get ashore!"
Qin Tan’s voice is like a gunshot at a race. Everyone dropped the oars, jumped into the water, and started swimming to the shore. Lou Fan didn't hesitate at all. Qin Tan didn't say to stop so he continue to run into the village, and the people behind him soon followed. Lou Fan didn't stop until he entered the village. He didn't have time to catch his breath and looked back into the lake. He can see dense numbers of fish monsters popping up in the lake, but they didn't mean to go ashore at all, as if they are just enjoying the moisture of the rain. It’s like a carnival, and he could even feel their joy.
"Look at that!" Lin Man Man exclaimed shrilly, pointing to the village and became speechless.
Everyone looked over. The village square is full of people. They all knelt on the ground, facing the direction of the lake. The villagers keep bowing and paying respects while muttering something like a chant. The group couldn't hear what the villagers are talking about, but it seemed like they are begging for something.
"The villagers are begging the fish monsters not to come to harass the village. The sacrificial day will arrive in one day. I feel that the fish monsters can't wait!" Lou Fan said while looking at the fish monsters in the lake.
Lin Man Man came back to her senses and said, "I remember when they were talking about offering sacrifices, it is to those things in the lake and Lao Ye Temple’s general. Does that means the gods of Lao Ye Temple also accept human sacrifices?"
No one can answer this question. No one knows when fish monsters began to appear in this village, and when did the villagers start to offer sacrifices? Or how many people died for this sacrificial event?
"They won't go ashore, will they?" Chen Shuyang's heart is trembling, and his voice sounded a little trembling.
It seemed that the monsters would not go ashore. Hence, the group returned to the lakeside cottage. Lou Fan threw his backpack on the ground and sat down. The backpack is so heavy that it made his shoulder sore. The moment he threw it down, the bag opened up and scattered gems on the ground, making Lin Man Man and Gong Yi’s eyes bulge in shock.
"B, Brother Lou, did you go to rob a bank?" Gong Yi’s eyes are dazzled and he couldn't turn away.
Lou Fan hasn’t reply when the other 4 people threw their backpacks on the floor as well. Suddenly, the hut sparkled like a small cave full of treasures, and the gleaming light almost flipped the roof. Surrounded by jewels and jades, Lin Man Man and Gong Yi don't know what to say.
Wen Lang grinned and said, "This is just what we have taken back casually. If it is not because the load is too heavy, we can still take more back. Fortunately, I only took this much. If it is any heavier, I might not be able to come back. Those fish monsters will just swallow me whole without hesitation."
Chen Shuyang didn't feel much about the haul, and only sighed, "Finally, we have completed the task and can leave here."
Lou Fan also had a relaxed look on his face. He can finally return to Lazuli to take a good rest. Ever since he arrived here, except for the 2 nights at Lao Ye Temple, he hadn't slept a solid sleep, fighting with the monsters every day.
Sitting beside Lou Fan, Qin Tan runs his fingers through his own hair. Lou Fan looked sideways and got dazzled by the handsomeness. Qin Tan’s face is well-defined, it’s Lou Fan's favorite appearance. Oh, and also Qin Tan’s temperament and personality is his type too! Lou Fan turned away. He has to wait a bit more, what if Qin Tan is straight? That would be embarrassing!
Lou Fan got up and walked outside the hut. Watching the fish monster emerge from the water, there is an unprecedented peace. Their group can leave here and return to Lazuli early morning after tomorrow. The countdown for Lin Man Man and Gong Yi has ended in the early morning of the 10th day.
Someone came to stand beside him. Lou Fan knew who it is without turning his head. He asked, "Qin Tan, if you live in this world, would you feel despair?"
"No. No matter where is it, one has to have hope."
Lou Fan turned his head to the side, he didn't seem to expect Qin Tan to be such a positive person. He smiled and said, "I didn't expect you to be so optimistic and cheerful, and maintain a passion for life."
Qin Tan also smiled, "Indeed."
Feeling moved in his heart, Lou Fan blurted out, "Are you married?" After saying this, Lou Fan wanted to strangle himself to death. Didn’t he decide to wait a bit longer just now? Why did he suddenly ask the question?
Qin Tan looked at Lou Fan with deep eyes and paused for a while. Just as Lou Fan feels a little guilty and wanted to turn his head as if nothing had happened, Qin Tan replied, "No, I don't like women."
Lou Fan's eyes widened, "!!!"
What did he just hear? Qin Tan said he doesn't like women?! That is to say, he likes men too!! Lou Fan straightened his expression and tried to calm himself down so he doesn't look too happy. He is about to speak when Lin Man Man walked out of the cabin. He took back what he wanted to say and glanced at Qin Tan.
"Brother Lou, do you really let us choose some from the bag?" Lin Man Man pointed at the treasures in the hut with a dreamy expression.
Lou Fan nodded, "Just choose whatever you want. Remember to leave us some."
Although Lin Man Man is very happy, she still hesitated, "But you are the one who took the risk and brought them back."
"Going down is to complete the task and the loot is what we get by the way." Lou Fan said with a smile, "It’s alright. Go and pick the one you like."
The people still left in this group are well-mannered. Lou Fan didn't think Lin Man Man and Gong Yi would choose a lot, so he doesn’t mind giving them out as a souvenir. It is hard to say if there is a chance to meet again in the future. Lin Man Man and Gong Yi ran into the cabin with a cheer while Wen Lang, Chen Shuyang, and Zhang Xue sat down beside them. Chen Shuyang has put his glasses back on.
At this moment, the rain is getting smaller so there are a lot lesser fish monsters on the surface of the lake. Only some of them still soaking up the rain, reluctant to leave. The villagers have stood up but still stayed in place.
"Brother Qin, let's have some good food tonight?" Chen Shuyang is almost dying for good food. He has been eating dry food these days, and his throat is about to turn bland. This time, he finally completed the task and let go of the big worry in his heart. So, the glutton in him is going to riot soon.
Qin Tan smiled, "Okay, go and exchange for some ingredients. I will make it tonight."
Wen Lang also smiled, "I also lend a hand."
Lou Fan only knows to eat so he has no opinions at all. Zhang Xue felt a little embarrassed. She didn't do much cooking in real life, so she said she will take over the cleaning work. Lin Man Man and Gong Yi took the initiative to exchange for ingredients. Everyone divided the labor and cooperated so the atmosphere felt relaxed.
The dinner is quite hearty. The ingredients in the village are limited but they managed to get a chicken and some meat, as well as a lot of vegetables. Qin Tan made a large plate of a chicken dish while Wen Lang made braised pork. Everyone in the group gobbled up the food as if they have not eaten for days so soon the food is all gone. After the meal, each of them took a bottle of beer and sipped it.
Chen Shuyang took the beer bottle and looked at the label on it. After a while, he shouted, "Frck, this beer has expired."
But in such a village, it’s already good enough that they could find these things so who cares about the expiry date? They won’t die from that anyway!
It is almost 7.00 pm, and there is a gust of wind on the lake. Wen Lang turned his head and asked, "What should we do tonight? Are we still going to kill those fish monsters?" He only has a small pearl left in his hand, but Wen Lang still wants to collect a few more.
Lou Fan shook his head, "No, I want to sleep. I don't want to see those things anymore." He still has 30 little pearls in his hand, and he doesn't want to have any contact with those disgusting things again.
Qin Tan: "Go to sleep then, I will go with Wen Lang."
Lou Fan's eyes widened immediately, "You can’t!" It seemed that his reaction is a little big, so Lou Fan lowered his voice, "I still have 30 little pearls in hand. We can just divide it up."
Qin Tan's eyes are firm, "It’s better to be prepared so we need more."
When Lou Fan saw Qin Tan like this, Lou Fan couldn't refute it, knowing that Qin Tan won’t change his decision. Also, it made sense. This little pearl can definitely be exchanged for many things. Like this time, if they didn’t exchange for medicine in advance to treat the injury, Wen Lang's arm will definitely not be suitable for him to get into the water. If their flashlight is not waterproof, then they would only blindly search underwater. Lou Fan couldn’t imagine how terrible is that, let alone spending time to get any gems. Hence, the little pearl’s value must be more than gems.
Lou Fan sighed, "Okay, let's do it together. It’s only just for tonight anyway. Tomorrow night is the sacrificial event and it has nothing to do with us. We should be ready to run away."
Chen Shuyang gritted his teeth, "I will join too."
"Me too." Zhang Xue didn’t even flinch.
After several days of unfriendly interaction with the fish monsters, Chen Shuyang and Zhang Xue made rapid progress. They are now flexible in avoiding the attacks of the fish monsters. Even if they couldn't help much, they could still exercise themselves. Wen Lang uses the harpoon to disturb the fish monster and his movements are as slippery as a loach so the fish monster basically couldn't hurt him. Three people can kill a fish monster together, but it takes a long time.
After the first fish monster came ashore, the team of 5 people obviously felt that the fish monster is a little different and it can move faster. It rushed in front of them almost in a short time. Qin Tan lifted the sword without hesitation while Lou Fan drew the bow and let out the arrows.
This night's fierce battle is beyond the expectations of the team. The fish monsters moved faster, and their mental and physical strength is stronger. 2 days ago, Qin Tan and Lou Fan could work together to kill a monster in 2 minutes. However, it took them 5 minutes tonight. The fish monsters are getting stronger!
Lou Fan put away the last little pearl he collected. Watching the sun rising to the surface of the lake, he has a vague premonition.
Seeing Lou Fan in a daze, Qin Tan walked over and stood beside him. "What's the matter?"
Lou Fan frowned, "I don't know, I had a bad feeling. It felt like something is going to happen."
Qin Tan comforted Lou Fan, "We will leave early tomorrow morning."
Lou Fan shook his head, "Get everything packed and be ready to leave at any time. I have a hunch." In fact, he has always been instinctively accurate. Whenever he has a hunch, Lou Fan never doubts his own hunch and only proceeds with what he feels. It's the same this time.
Qin Tan nodded without the slightest doubt, "Okay, I will let them prepare."
"You believe me just like that? What if I’m wrong?" Lou Fan smiled, not knowing what’s there to be happy about.
Qin Tan raised his eyebrows, "If you got it wrong, it’s wrong. Even if something happens, there will be me."
Lou Fan showed a big smile, "En."
After resting for 2 hours, the village began to be lively. Every villager has a strange smile on their face, which becomes more and more horrifying as one looks at it.
Lou Fan pulled Lin Man Man and asked quietly, "How is Shan Hu’s side with their plan?"
Lin Man Man who went to find Shan Hu again in the morning answered, "They have already prepared for their plan. They are waiting quietly for the night to come to make the run."
Lou Fan patted Lin Man Man, "Okay, your mission is already complete so don't look for her again. Go and pack up your things."
Lin Man Man made a sound of acknowledgment and went to pack her things. In fact, there’s nothing much to pack. She only has her skipping rope and a small bag, which Shan Hu has given to her some time ago. Other than that, she only has 10 gems and 2 little pearls that are given by Lou Fan. Gong Yi received that much loot like her too. Lin Man Man put the skipping rope in the bag and hung the bag on her body. If only Xiao Yu could share these things with her…
Gong Yi knew what Lin Man Man is thinking when he saw her head hanging down. He pursed his lips in silence, and finally sighed without speaking. He saw Xiao Yu's clothes scattered outside a hut that day, and there were bloodstains on the ground. He didn't need to think about what Xiao Yu ended up with.
When it got dark, Lou Fan glanced at the time, it’s 7.00 pm. A commotion erupted in the village and shouting could be heard. The villagers looked flustered as if they had lost some important treasure, and their expressions are unspeakable horror.
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