Chapter 376: Weird Children
It was late at night. The small village was quiet. Occasionally, the sound of dogs barking would pierce through the silence.
Yun Jiuge and Zi Shang sneaked into Official Liu's residence.
After using her consciousness to scan the whole residence, Yun Jiuge did not discover any supernatural creature nor the two children mentioned by the townsfolk.
Official Liu was snoring on his bed, sound asleep. He Hua, on the other hand, was lost in thought with her eyes wide open. Although she had been lying on the bed for a long time, she could not fall asleep.
At this time, she heard a thud from outside, followed by light knocks on the window.
He Hua was surprised. She raised her head to look at the window and saw the red string which she had seen that morning, jutting out of the window crack.
She hesitated for a moment before finally dressing herself. She walked out of the room and spotted the handsome young man sent by her mother standing under a tree waiting for her.
"Why have you come here again?" He Hua asked in a soft voice.
"Your mother asked me to return this to you. She said that when you got married to Official Liu, she could not prepare any dowry so she feels that she has failed you as a mother. She wants you to save some money for your own use and take care of yourself. If you miss your family, you're welcome to return home anytime." Yun Jiuge took out that silver lotus hairpin.
He Hua stared at that silver lotus hairpin, dazed by the revelation. Tears streamed down her thin face. She choked with emotion as she spoke, "I thought that my mother only had money on her mind, so she turned her back on me."
"Why would she? Your mother cried every day. She was worried that something untoward would happen to you if you remain here. She's been trying to bring you home but can't think of a way to do so yet. She came to see you a few times, but Official Liu chased her away. Didn't you know about this?" Yun Jiuge said, giving He Hua half-truths.
"Official Liu told me that my mother went to him to ask for money a few times. He even said that I am just a golden goose to her. Even if I left him, she would just sell me to another person." He Hua said with a quivering voice.
"Nonsense. After your mother brought your father to see a doctor, she had five silver taels left. She originally wanted to give Official Liu the money so that she could bring you home. However, a robber stole the money from her. Even though she's concerned about you, she needs to take care of your sick father. She's about to collapse from exhaustion." Yun Jiuge recounted what the middle-aged woman told her.
"Mother…" He Hua clasped her hands over her mouth. She wept sadly as her shoulders trembled.
"Your mother misses you very much. Why don't you return home with us?" If Official Liu was really a supernatural being, he would definitely transform into his true form to chase after He Hua once she left him.
"I can't leave with you." Unexpectedly, He Hua wiped her tears away with her sleeve and shook her head determinedly.
"Why? Don't you want to see your mother?" Yun Jiuge asked, baffled by her reaction.
"That's not it. My children need me." He Hua said with a troubled face.
"Children? Since when did you have children?" Yun Jiuge was confused. She thought to herself, "Didn't she marry Official Liu not long ago?"
"I have two clever and adorable children. I want to stay here so that I can look after them." A motherly smile appeared on He Hua's face.
Yun Jiuge recalled that the townsfolk told her that Official Liu had two children. However, no one had seen them outside of Official Liu's residence. Could they be the children that He Hua now spoke about?
"Ask her to take us to her two children." Zi Shang whispered in Yun Jiuge's ear.
Yun Jiuge nodded. After that, she smiled deviously at He Hua and said, "He Hua, your mother will be very happy to learn that you now have children of your own. Can you take me to see them? I'll be able to explain your situation to your mother once I've seen them."
He Hua hesitated for a moment before nodding reluctantly, "Alright, but my children are quite shy. They're very afraid of strangers. Please be quiet when you see them later, so that they won't be frightened."
"Sure. Rest assured that I'll stay quiet." Yun Jiuge nodded solemnly.
He Hua led Yun Jiuge to a secluded area in the residence and entered a man-made cave. They descended a long flight of stairs, before walking across a dark passageway.
Yun Jiuge followed He Hua silently. When they reached their destination, she saw a black pool.
"Dear children, Mother is here." He Hua seemed to be under a spell. She crouched near the pool and stirred the water with her hand.
Ripples began to form in the pool, almost as if awakening a monstrous being that would appear in the next moment.
The ripples turned into two separate waves and surged towards He Hua. After that, two black figures emerged from the water. One of the creatures was large, while the other was smaller in size.
The shape of their heads was similar to a human's head. They had blood-red eyes, sharp teeth, long tails, and no nose. Their lizard-like bodies were covered in scales.
The two monsters lunged at He Hua as soon as they climbed out of the pool. Standing on each side of her, they latched onto her arms and sank their teeth into her skin viciously. They started to suck her blood greedily.
"Eat slowly, my children. There's no need to rush." He Hua had a nurturing smile on her thin face. She gazed at the two monsters warmly, completely indifferent to the fact that she was slowly losing her life.
Yun Jiuge furrowed her brows. She could not stand the sight any longer, so she shouted, "He Hua!"
Her voice reverberated throughout the silent, eerie underground chamber.
He Hua was stunned. She snapped out of her trance immediately and lowered her eyes to find two monsters sucking her blood. She shrieked right away and threw them off her arms.
When the two little monsters discovered that their prey had come to her senses, they opened their mouths wide at once and leapt towards He Hua again.
Yun Jiuge brandished her Wicked Blade immediately. It transformed into five blades glowing with Bloody Light, and they flew towards the two monsters.
The larger monster was more cunning. It jumped behind the small monster and used it as a shield.
On the other hand, the small monster pounced at the first Wicked Blade recklessly and knocked it away with a swipe of its tail.
The blow caused the second Wicked Blade to drop on the ground.
The third Wicked Blade slashed the small monster's scales.
The fourth Wicked Blade made a deep, white cut on it.
The fifth Wicked Blade impaled its neck, pinning it down onto the ground firmly.
The small monster screeched woefully at once.
All five Wicked Blades rushed towards it and sucked its blood dry in a short time.
When the large monster saw that it was fighting a losing battle, it turned around and tried to flee into the pool.
The Wicked Blades pierced through it from the back of its head fervently with a whoosh, before slicing it into half through its waist.
After its blood gushed out from its wounds, the Wicked Blades absorbed every single drop of its blood.
"Who's killed my children?!" The water of the black pool seethed. A furious, startling voice boomed from within.
Official Liu surfaced from the water. When he saw the two dead monsters, his eyes glistened with hatred.
His teeth lengthened greatly, while black scales covered his body from head to toe. He instantly transformed into a large monster which was identical to the size of the two small monsters added up. As he roared, he lunged at Yun Jiuge.
Yun Jiuge made a hand gesture and directed the five Wicked Blades to attack Official Liu. However, they rebounded off the scales on Official Liu's body.
Official Liu swung his thick, black tail at Yun Jiuge.
Yun Jiuge activated the Bat Wings on her back and dodged to the side. She performed the hand gesture again to instruct the Wicked Blades to assault Official Liu.
While they exchanged blows, the water from the pool splashed everywhere. The underground chamber shook from the impact.
Confident that his scales would protect him from harm, Official Liu ignored the Wicked Blades' attacks.
Yun Jiuge used the Bat Wings to avoid Official Liu's countless attacks deftly.
On the surface, the fight seemed like a clash of equal forces. However, Official Liu was extremely aggressive. As the fight went on, he became more merciless in his attacks.
Since Yun Jiuge had expended a large amount of Spiritual Energy, she could not keep up with him.
"Don't fight him head-on. Find his weakness." Zi Shang could not stand watching idly any longer, so he advised her.
Yun Jiuge knew perfectly well that she had to find his weak spot. Even though she used the Wicked Blades to attack Official Liu in every place, she could not locate it at all.
She wished that she could activate her Spiritual Eye!
The moment Yun Jiuge became distracted, Official Liu swiped his tail at her. It caught her off guard, causing her to lose her balance and fall to the ground.