The middle-aged Taoist priest had done many bad things in his life, Mu Yi didn’t know what and how often exactly but the crowd’s reaction was extreme, they tortured him. When he died, he was already bathing in a pond of blood. They had even removed his eyes.
The same people who were kneeling down before had done that. Mu Yi could understand why they were furious but he had no compassion. He just thought of their children who had been raped and killed, or sold, for nothing.
Mu Yi and Nian Nuer weren’t interested in staying there and playing with them though.
“Nuer, do you harbor a grudge against them?” asked Mu Yi while walking. He was, as before, holding the umbrella in one hand, and Nian Nuer’s hand in the other.
“I don’t hate them.” said Nian Nuer in a low voice and shaking her head. She couldn’t realize what had just happened.
“Why? They wanted to offer you to the God of the Yellow River as a sacrifice.” asked Mu Yi.
“A monster was scaring them, they believed him.” said Nian Nuer hesitantly.
“You’re right. They’re just miserable and pathetic.” said Mu Yi sighing.
“Yes.” said Nian Nuer nodding. She looked all serious. Did she understand the whole situation though?
Mu Yi was worried about Nian Nuer but he was relieved when he heard her. She was a smart little girl.
“Master, you… you’re back.” said the man in charge of the boat. When he saw an adorable little girl holding Mu Yi’s hand, he was stupefied. He had clearly seen Mu Yi leave the boat alone, and now he was back with a little girl?!
It meant that that little girl was from the village.
That little girl was really too beautiful, too beautiful for a little girl. The man started letting his imagination roam… but it was so wrong, he was happy nobody could read his thoughts. (Translator’s note: pedophilia was a common problem in the Qing Dynasty, Puyi himself was thought to like very, very young girls, for more info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puyi , many high-officials also enjoyed having a very young lover, p115: https://zodml.org/sites/default/files/%5BD._E._Mungello%5D_The_Great_Encounter_of_China_and_.pdf )
He didn’t say what he was thinking of course, he had to forget those thoughts. He would never tell anyone. He had to continue and pretend he was a good man.
“Yes.” Mu Yi nodded and went back to the second floor with Nian Nuer. Even though the man looked strange, Mu Yi didn’t know what he was thinking, how would he have reacted if he knew?
“Eh? He seems a bit different.”
thought the man in charge of the boat frowning after Mu Yi went onto the boat. The man had a strange impression but he didn’t know why. And it seemed like things had happened too quickly.
“Let’s hurry and start the boat.” thought the manager shaking his head. He then told the staff to start the boat. He didn’t even glance at the harbor and the bank of the river, he was almost scared a group of people would come and attack them. Finally, when they were far enough from the bank, the manager sighed with relief.
Even though kidnapping a little girl wasn’t good, the one who had done it was the Evil Taoist Priest after all, he had also destroyed the Octagon Organization. In comparison, kidnapping a little girl was nothing.
That’s what the manager thought to cheer himself up.
Poor Mu Yi. He didn’t know he was now considered as a child molester…
Because of what had happened at the temple, nobody prevented boats from passing anymore. And when the boat passed nearby the place where the temple was, he even heard some people cry and shout.
Mu Yi knew those people were extremely sad, but it wouldn’t last long. The following year, someone would probably start a ceremony for the God of the Yellow River again. Someone new would become their god, they would worship a new priest.
Many people were like that, and some of them even prayed the God of the Yellow River. The middle-aged Taoist priest had fooled them but to them, it had nothing to do with the God of the Yellow River.
Were they ignorant? Maybe, but not that stupid. Intellectuals were wise. Small people could be sly.
Now that Nian Nuer had come out of the Bamboo Tree of Life, she didn’t feel like going back in. Everybody on the boat now knew that Mu Yi had kidnapped a little girl and taken her back onto the boat.
When Wang Tao learnt about that, he was extremely discontent. If the two bodyguards hadn’t stopped him, he would have gone and seen Mu Yi, then he would have taken the little girl back to her house.
Even though Mu Yi didn’t voluntarily listened to people’s conversations, he had still overheard some conversations, he now understood why the manager had looked so strange when he had come back to the boat.
Thinking about that, Mu Yi shook his head. He now understood.
He had taken Nian Nuer like that so he obviously didn’t intend to hide her identity, but the problem was that the staff of the boat were all ordinary people. They just knew that Mu Yi had left alone and had come back with a little girl.
Had he bought it? Or kidnapped her? He had most likely kidnapped her. And people called him the Evil Taoist Priest after all.
And evil people didn’t care about what was right and proper, their actions were not always justified.
At night, Mu Yi was meditating peacefully. The boat was stopped in the middle of the river. It was possible to sail at night but one just had to be careful, of course, the manager of the boat didn’t want to take that risk, what if he had an accident and collided with another boat? What if the boat ran aground? The owner would be furious. It’d be a serious mistake.
But at that moment, something awoke everybody, including Mu Yi.
It was as if something had collided with the towered ship, it started shaking.
Mu Yi stopped meditating and came back to his senses, he frowned and went out with the Bamboo Tree of Life.
“Master, are you alright?” asked the manager putting a shirt on. His face was deathly pale, he looked extremely worried.
“I’m fine.” said Mu Yi shaking his head. Then, he disappeared from there.
When the manager saw Mu Yi disappear suddenly, he almost fainted. However, at that moment, another collision took place, or what seemed like one. The boat swung even more fiercely. The manager fell down.
The manager ignored the pain and continued searching for the problem. The towered ship wasn’t very resistant, a few more collisions and a gigantic hole would appear, that’d be a serious problem. Maybe that they would even sink.
Thinking about that, his face became even paler.
Even though they were not exactly in the middle of the river, the water was deep there too, and if the ship sunk, not many of them would be able to survive, the manager would definitely drown and die.
The manager went down the stairs. He saw Mu Yi, Mu Yi was holding a pole.
“Be careful, Master.” said the manager. He was panicking. He had seemingly forgotten that Mu Yi was strong.
Wang Tao and the two bodyguards came out. The bodyguards were firmly holding daggers.
If those three showed up at night, it clearly meant there was a serious problem.
The manager shouted. The three people saw Mu Yi, they didn’t understand, suddenly, Mu Yi put the pole in the water and pushed.
At the same time, something collided with the boat again, it came from under the water. But this time, it collided with the boat with less force than the first time. Then, they saw waves and bubbles.
Now, even if they were not very smart, they understood that Mu Yi was attacking a creature in the water, a big fish? A river monster?
The manager hadn’t heard of such stories for a very long time.
“Hmph! Stupid plot! Bastard.” shouted Mu Yi icily and suddenly. He stroke the beast with the pole again. Bigger waves on the surface of the water. The boat swung again, it was six-seven zhang, it wasn’t small, but even that way, the waves made it swing. It was scary.
No matter how much it swung though, Mu Yi was standing there. It was as if he hadn’t noticed that the boat was swinging. And he was staring at the water. Then, he hit the water with the pole again, but this time, because he used too much strength, the pole broke and fell into the water.
Suddenly, a gigantic creature appeared under the water. It was so big that half of its body was enough to reach Mu Yi on the deck of the ship.
“Hurry and look, what is it?”
“It’s a monster, a gigantic monster.”
“It’s a river monster!”
people were panic-stricken on the boat. They were terrified because they couldn’t see it with their bare eyes, and people were afraid of what they could see or didn’t know.
That’s why people trusted fake Taoist priests, they felt safe with them.
And as soon as they had sensed collisions against the boat, they had already started thinking about monsters. And now, they could see a gigantic silhouette, the torches of the boat flickered, there were big waves on the surface of the water, the creature’s skin looked like an armor, its eyes were gigantic, they could also see big claws, a big mouth filled with shiny teeth.
That upper part of the creature’s body was already bigger than a cow, what if it stood up completely?
But nobody noticed one thing, there was a pole stuck in its back and blood was dripping.