A vehicle came to a stop inside a residential area somewhere around Lilac Lake. The door opened and out came Uncle Jiang, who then ran hastily to the house.
He knocked first. After getting no reply, he took out his key and opened the door. The estate was also a spacious villa, which was right now pitch-dark inside—none of the lights were on.
Switching on the overhead light of the living room, he called out, "Hello, Qing Qing? Qing Qing, are you here?"
There was no reply.
Uncle Jiang grew suspicious at the strange atmosphere of the house, for doors to all the rooms were tightly shut, and so were the curtains. The entire villa felt like a huge sealed box, denying the light outside any access. A faint smell of spoiled food also filled the air.
To make it stranger, he saw that his wife's shoes were clearly in the shoe cabinet and her bag and car keys were lying on the top.
He walked further into the house and switched on the light of the bedroom, but found it empty. He then opened the door of the bathroom: still empty.
Taking out his phone, he was about to call his wife when he froze and turned his head towards the kitchen, for behind that closed door, he seemed to have caught the sound of some rustling sound—the noise one would make when opening plastic packages.
Uncle Jiang quickly approached the door and shoved it open. The scene inside make him jump.
The kitchen was also in darkness. By the light coming in from the other rooms, he could make out a figure sitting by the table burying its head eating something. After decades of marrying to the woman, he was sure by the feeling alone that it was Yang Qing.
"What's all this? Why didn't you turn on the light?"
Uncle Jiang walked in and clicked the light switch. When the room was lit up by the bright light, Uncle Jiang felt a chill running all the way up his spine, making his flesh creep.
The kitchen looked nothing it once was. Packagings and bits of food were scattered all over the kitchen platform and the table. Two large pots were on the stoves. He could not make out what was cooked inside, only that the liquid was splashed everywhere, dripping and flowing all over the stove.
The fridge door was wide open, which had probably broken down, for the light inside was not on. A few pieces of vegetable leaves and blood-stained bones had fallen out.
The top of the table was the messiest place, which was overflowing with things like bone shards, bits of meat, and fruit pits. Yang Qing was now sitting in this dump, burying her head in a roast chicken held between her hands.
Dazzled by the sudden light, she winced instinctively with a strange moan, then raised her head. The face looking at Uncle Jiang petrified him!
It reminded him of a melting candle. Her fair skin color was mostly gone, which was now covered by a hoary and lifeless sallowness, together with a layer of grease that would make one's stomach turn.
Huge dark circles covered her under-eye area and her eyes seemed out of focus. The look on her face was a mixture of utter fatigue and excitement, which was eerily terrifying beyond description.
She kept her gaze on Uncle Jiang while keeping tearing at the chicken, biting off bones together with the meat. In a hoarse voice, she said, "You're here."
"What's wrong with you?" Uncle Jiang asked in a shaky voice.
"I don't know. I'm just hungry. I have been eating for a day and a night, but I'm still so hungry!"
Yang Qing tore off another chunk of meat, the chewing motion contorting the muscles of her face. She was in the strangest state. She seemed to be in a confused state of mind, yet her head had remained partially clear, which was capable of one feeling only—hunger!
"You, you…" Being an experienced man of the world, Uncle Jiang now had some idea of what was going on. He urged, "Let's leave here now! You can't stay here any longer! Come!"
With that, he moved closer to grab her.
Yang Qing dodged backwards and yelled, "I want to eat, I want to eat… I want to eat!"
She said it repeatedly and her voice grew louder until she was almost in a state of mania. Tossing the remaining half of the roast chicken aside, she suddenly dashed to the fridge.
"Ho, hoho, I'm so hungry!"
She grabbed a handful of raw greens and stuffed into her mouth. The juice splashed out, covering half of her face together with other crumbs, giving her a ferocious and devilish look.
"Qing Qing, just leave it! Come with me now!"
Panic-stricken, Uncle Jiang ran up to her, snatched away the vegetable, and dragged her towards the door.
Yang Qing screamed frantically and yanked herself free right away. The look on her face turned grim as she yelled, "You don't let me eat! I'll eat you!"
Uncle Jiang was still in shock of his wife's sudden strength when Yang Qing brandished her arms and pounced at him like a beast. She was so fast that he had no time dodge. Her hands almost reached him when there came another scream. "Aaaaah!"
Yang Qing suddenly flew backwards and collapsed to the ground, motionless, apparently knocked unconscious.
Jaw slacking, Uncle Jiang only came to himself after quite a while. He fumbled out a pendant from under his shirt in a flurry, which was none other than the turtle shell amulet given by his daughter.
Everything had happened so fast.
He stood there dazed for some time and finally calmed down. He then phoned his older brother and checked all the rooms. Nothing seemed out of the place, only that his wife's turtle shell was on the night table, which he picked up and put away.
After that, he carried Yang Qing into the car and headed right for his older brother's.
Smacking his head, Gu Yu was speechless.
Xiaozhai also smacked her head, even more speechless.
Long Qiu, however, stood at their feet, biting her red lip with her bright white teeth, eyes flickering, as if waiting for a compliment. It was her very first mission on her own and she had brought back four pigs… that was some fat accomplishment!
After taking out the big boar, she asked the police force to help her with the transportation and the truck carried the boar all the way from Five Dragons Ridge to the foot of Phoenix Mountain. Despite all the trouble, the guys had nothing to complain about, for the reward was very generous, only that the form it came in was somewhat disturbing.
Just imagine this: a girl as beautiful as a movie star stuck her hand into the belly of the pig and came out with a bloody chunk of meat, telling you that it was a gift for you all...
How were they supposed to react to that!
Well, they should be more than content and stop whining. It was from a mutated beast! The insider knowledge going around was that the meat of mutated beasts contained a tiny amount of spiritual essence, which, when ingested, could improve physical strength and solve the duration issue.
Street-level civil servants would not begin to imagine such look luck on a normal day, which just happened to fall into their laps today.
10 kg of meat for five men. That was pretty generous!
"Hm, good job. You've thought through everything."
Gu Yu picked his praising words carefully after much consideration. Xiaozhai also rubbed the girl's head, "That was indeed very thoughtful. Keep at it."
"Teehee, I thought so too! I'm going to play with Jin Jin now!"
The adorable pet was delighted at the head-rubbing and the praise and ran happily away.
The couple exchanged a look and shrugged in unison.
The boar seemed so awesome—the enormous size, the long tusks, its pig-bursting technique of instant charge for 5-8 m and all. But let's ask another question: how on earth would any of those be useful to Phoenix Mountain?
Such novice-level skills were all among the cultivation-unrelated martial arts category—the moves that young mobsters would use hatching at one another on the streets. Even Little Soap would easily beat the pig in both the speed and the lethality. Wait a second, that comparison was a little insulting...
Had it been the couple who went there, they would have brought back the hogskin and the tusks back at most. Our Long Qiu was such a naive girl.
"It's here after all, so we might as well take care of the meat first—the pig must weigh a ton. Let's send some to your and Xiaojin's parents, Old Shui, Uncle and Aunt Fang, and Gao Mingde and the others each. The rest will go to the shop for whomever that wants to buy it," said Gu Yu.
"Let's keep the skin, the bones, and the teeth. We can at least give it a good look. It won't hurt if we can refine some equipment out of them."
Xiaozhai had no problem with the plan. None of the four ate much meat.
"As for the three little ones, well, just leave them on the mountain and confine them somewhere. Just make sure they wouldn't hurt others."
In a few words, the fate of the four pigs was set and the subject finished. Gu Yu was about to talk to Xiaozhai about black magic when they heard Little Soap's roaring voice.
"Is mum all right? F**k, how dare they touch my family! I'm gonna kill every single one of them!"