In the early morning, the mist covered the entire mountain village, with trees and houses looming. Occasionally, the intertwined sound of two dogs barking and cocks crowing could be heard, which were ordinarily the only sounds in the village.
However, that day was totally unusual. A burst of festival drumbeats arose in the village when the sun had just come out. Later, a group of people in red wedding gowns moved from the east of the village to the west, with drums beating and cymbals crashing. In the very front was a tall, strong man, about the age of 20, riding an old horse. He wore a big red flower on his head and a red wedding gown as well, with a joyful smile on his face.
The horse was not tall and strong, but it was outstanding enough in this small mountain village. Thus, along with the way, it attracted each and every villager to look on, taking one hour to complete a journey of less than one kilometer.
As usual, Little Shiba was sitting on a small stool in open-crotch pants. But today, this small stool had been moved outside. Behind this small stool was a locked entrance door. This naughty boy smirked at those people with drums beating and cymbals crashing, sitting firmly on his small stool like Mount Tai.
With a sharp yell, the wedding group stopped. A gorgeously dressed matchmaker waved a fan and walked over to Little Shiba cheerfully.
"Oh, aren't you the Zhou's fourth son? Why are you here today? Are you learning from others to block the entrance door? Come on! Here are some candies. Leave the entrance door and enjoy them!" Saying this, she took three or four candies from nowhere and squeezed them into Little Shiba's hands. At the same time, pulling his sleeves, she tried to take Little Shiba off the stool, silently telling him that he should not block the way!
"How can it be such an easy thing, to just give some candies? Where are the red envelopes?"
Screaming, Little Shiba lifted his hands and threw the candies away, with one at the matchmaker's forehead, just right.
"My sister said that I can't leave without enough red envelopes!"
The people around guffawed, as well as Wang Tianlei on horseback. As he jumped off and walked over to Little Shiba, he pulled out a red envelope and squeezed it into Little Shiba's hands.
Little Shiba weighed the heavy envelope in his hands. As he opened it, there were about three or four copper coins. He immediately stood up with satisfaction and moved his small stool aside, watching the bridegroom knocking on the entrance door.
Blocking the entrance door was actually a trick. Three or four copper coins were a lot to people in the mountains. Moreover, he was a three-year-old boy with a 20 or 30-year-old soul. Continuing the trick would only have made him embarrassed, as he did not intend to create difficulties.
But behind the entrance door, Boxer, his brother, behaved the other way around. He enjoyably spared no efforts to block the door, so that those people spent more than half an hour there.
The next things were simple and people just followed the procedures.
Coming from another world, Little Shiba had never seen an ancient wedding. But obviously, the weddings in this small mountain village were not as complex as those in costume dramas during his previous life, let alone in novels. Instead, it was quite a simple thing here. All the people were reveling as the bride came in and they went to celebrate the wedding in the bridal chamber, which definitely was no longer his business.
What he anticipated most right now was the meal served at the wedding.
Except for the period of the Spring Festival, he really had not fully enjoyed even one meal since he was born.
In fact, the villagers barely tasted any meat in their diets this year, so this was such a rare chance to resume it.
The wedding was very lively and every available villager was there. Each of them took their families as well, with the same plan in mind as Little Shiba.
Food had not been served yet, but tea had already been on the dining tables, along with some must-have refreshments, such as melon seeds and peanuts. Thus, fellow villagers all sat around one dining table, chatting, cracking jokes, reprimanding their grandsons, or beating up their sons; nothing uncommon. Each and every face lit up with happiness as if the wedding was their own son's. A joyous atmosphere pervaded everywhere until a scream burst out from the door.
It was a loud and sonorous scream, and not delighted, but terrified.
Little Shiba's heart was suddenly lifted up into his throat when hearing that scream. That was because he knew it was his sister, Zhou Hua's.
He was more than 10 years younger than Zhou Hua, and he had been looked after and brought up by her from his birth until now. That was why she was very familiar to him. Similarly, Zhou Hua had a great fondness for her cute youngest brother, for he was much more obedient than that naughty Boxer. Thus, it was not strange that Little Shiba could recognize her voice at first scream.
Zhou Hua was still in the bridal sedan chair and had not yet moved into Wang Tianlei's house. Judging from the people's excitement around, she was nearly approaching the entrance door.
According to the custom, brides could not utter sounds in bridal sedan chairs, let alone leave them. There must be something unexpected that was happening to elicit this terrified scream.
Without thinking much, Little Shiba rushed out of Wang Tianlei's shabby courtyard. He came out with more than one person, as all people in the courtyard ran out. Seeing the circumstances, they were entirely shocked, so was he.
"A dog or a wolf?"
"I've never seen anything that big!"
The bridal sedan chair had fallen apart. Fortunately, Zhou Hua was fine, dropping only her red headscarf. On the ground was a puddle of a noticeable, scarlet bloodstain. Among eight sedan carriers, only one was injured, who had left that bloodstain. However, he did not escape but surrounded the initiator of the evil, still with the other sedan carriers in a half-circle.
Obviously, it was not aware of being besieged and still unhurriedly chewed its acquisition—a large piece of skin and flesh ripped from the left hand of that injured sedan carrier.
It was a wolf, a big one, whose appearance was the same as those from Little Shiba's previous life. The only distinction was its size. It was just as big as a Manchurian tiger.
He had never seen any wolf of this size.
The wolf was covered by oily, glossy black hair from head to feet, and its left eye was most striking. A big scar covered its left eye and extended to its forehead, which was quite noticeable.
"The One-eyed Wolf! The One-eyed Wolf in West Mountain has come down!"
The crowd fell into chaos just after that fearful cry.
The one-eyed wolf in West Mountain!
Hearing that, Little Shiba's heart was in his throat again.
For people in this mountain village, the One-eyed Wolf in West Mountain was legendary.
Legend has it that it was the most ferocious beast in West Mountain. The One-eyed Wolf was once the head wolf of a wolf pack. However, it was defeated in a fight and scratched blind by a last-gasp effort of the new head wolf. It was then discarded by the wolf pack and became a lone wolf that had to fend for itself.
Such a thing was nothing strange, for it happened occasionally in wolf packs. But it was mysterious that two years later, the One-eyed Wolf came back to that wolf pack again and killed that head wolf. And once defeating it, the One-eyed Wolf bit all the wolves in that pack to death within five years. At last, it truly had become a lone wolf.
It was just a legend of course, something that had circulated throughout this mountain village for nearly a hundred years.
Little Shiba didn't even spare a glance at it. "Back to the wolf pack two years later, and it spent another five years killing all the other wolves? Isn't that the description in the novels? How could you know that it was two years later? And how could you know that it spent five years? The guy who left this legend was following the One-eyed Wolf during those years, wasn't he?"
Moreover, the legend has circulated for almost 100 years. If it was true, the one-eyed wolf should be dead by now. After all, a wolf's life, only 20 years at most, isn't longer than a human's. 100 years have passed, and no matter how smart it was, it should be just bones. Could it be that it became a demon?
It's ridiculous that until now West Mountain is still considered taboo in this mountain village. Hunters dare not go to West Mountain for fear of breaking the taboo.
Now, how ridiculous was he being, for he just saw the One-eyed Wolf with his own eyes—a taboo legend that had been circulating in the mountain village for almost 100 years.