Talking about those fish monsters, they can’t wait to hide from them after seeing them once. And now, Lou Fan’s team wants to take the initiative to attack them? When Lin Man Man and Gong Yi thought of the fish head monster with human limbs, they felt nauseous.
Lin Man Man stopped the mental image from repeating. Knowing that it must be related to their task, she solemnly said, "If it is related to your mission, then I need to tell you a bad news. According to our observations, the number of fish monsters going ashore is increasing every day. They are hovering around the village, giving me a feeling that they are about to rush in the village any minute now."
"In other words, the villagers offered sacrifices to fish monsters to guarantee that they would not be attacked by the fish monsters for a year. The 1-year deadline is about to come."
Lou Fan's gaze fell on the lake, "The protection circle is about to fail."
Wen Lang clapped his hands, "Hey, ain’t that's a good thing? This way, we can collect more small pearls, and then our underwater journey will be more secured."
Compared with Wen Lang's optimism, Qin Tan is more calm and cautious, "Go find some weapons. Your weapons are limited in terms of efficiency. They do not do much damage to the fish monsters. You still have to find some weapons to defend yourself."
All three agreed and planned to look for it later. Chen Shuyang’s small sword is too short, Wen Lang’s poker has limited quantity, and Zhang Xue’s doll has a limited range.
"I know where to get weapons." Gong Yi smiled. He has visited the whole village no less than 10 times in the past 2 days. Fortunately, he has a good memory, otherwise, it would be amazing that he doesn't get lost.
"Brother Lou, why do you need to kill the fish monsters for your mission?" Lin Man Man asked puzzledly. When the team talked about their mission before this, they didn't say anything about killing the fish monsters. Isn’t their mission is to look for the sunken ship?
Lou Fan took out a little pearl and handed it to Lin Man Man. The little round bead lay on her palm, which made people like it at first glance. Not to mention that girls naturally like such shiny little things.
"Wow, it's so beautiful!" Lin Man Man exclaimed.
Zhang Xue said the truth mercilessly, "It's from the fish monster's head."
Thinking of the fish monsters, Lin Man Man lost all her liking. She immediately returned the bead to Lou Fan and wiped her hands. As soon as she heard that the team had to swallow the beads... she only felt grateful that she don’t need to swallow it as well.
Sympathy appeared on Lou Fan’s face. There may be more disgusting things appearing in the future but he doesn't have to remind her of this cruel reality now.
"This thing may be useful in other tasks in the future. If there are more, I will give you two a few to prepare." Even if they don't want to use it, they can always exchange it for a lot of good things.
There are not many weapons available in the village, and the most practical one is the harpoon. The team collected several sharp-looking harpoons from the village. After they rested and recharged, the team waited for the night to come.
A few lanterns hung outside the quiet seaside hut, exuding a faint light. At 12.00 am, the team of 7 people stood outside the house. Watching the dense figures appearing on the lake, everyone looked a bit speechless for a while.
"Frick, people with Trypophobia will die from the view." Wen Lang cried out.
Chen Shuyang: "So, you are sick?"
"YOU are sick!" Wen Lang retorted.
When the first fish monster appeared on the shore, Lou Fan did not hesitate to shoot 2 arrows in succession. It hits the fish monster in each of its eyes, and it shrieked. With sufficient mental preparation this time, Lou Fan is very calm. His actions are not slow as arrows are directed at the fish monsters, and each one of the arrows could accurately hit the weak spot of the fish monster. Qin Tan is at the front because only his Tang sword can slash through the monsters. The other 3 members, Wen Lang, Zhang Xue, and Chen Shuyang cooperated to attack the same monster. There are a lot of fish monsters going ashore, but since Lou Fan blinded them first, it is much easier to handle.
Chen Shuyang looked at the arrows hitting the bullseye and muttered, "I finally know why Brother Lou is called Lou Fan."
Wen Lang: "Why?"
"Lou Fan is a sharpshooter during the Chu and Han dynasties (footnote 11 in wiki). Brother Lou's name is exactly the same as him!"
Wen Lang became silent. En, great people are born to be great. Maybe they are the offspring of some amazing marksman. He is not qualified to be jealous at all.
Even if the team’s actions are not slow and there are many fish monster carcasses piled up on the shore, they still couldn’t prevent more fish monsters from coming ashore. Gong Yi and Lin Man Man have retreated into the village, watching the battle on the shore anxiously. A huge fish monster climbed up from the lake and headed towards Qin Tan without any hesitation. Qin Tan rushed forward and slashed with his Tang sword but it was avoided by the fish monster. Not waiting for Qin Tan to attack again, it turned its head quickly and bite at Qin Tan. Qin Tan lowered his body and rolled to the side, then the fish monster chased after him.
Wen Lang took the harpoon and stabbed at the fish monster but only manage to leave a trace on the fish scale. The fish monster became furious and turned to bite at Wen Lang. Fortunately, Wen Lang evaded quickly, but his arm is still bitten. It left a big hole and is bleeding like a river.
Seeing that the situation is urgent, Lou Fan took 2 steps and jumped up. He shot 3 arrows at the fish monster in mid-air, hitting the fish's eye. Qin Tan jumped up and kicked the fish's head, then he slashed into the neck.
"Pull Wen Lang into the village." Lou Fan only had time to say this and started shooting arrows again.
Most of the fish monsters are killed, and the human-head fish monsters can be faintly seen in the lake, starting to come ashore. Qin Tan grabbed Lou Fan and said, "Retreat into the village. There’s too many of them."
At this moment, both Lou Fan and Qin Tain looked like they just got fished out of the water. Their bodies are soaked with sweat, and there are inevitably wounds on their bodies, so they really can’t afford to fight with the second wave. Lou Fan glanced at the pile of corpses and saw that there are quite a lot. So he nodded and followed Qin Tan back to the village.
Wen Lang is holding his arm and his face looked pale. The bandage wrapped on his arm had turned dark red, and the smell of blood is strong. Tears fell from Lin Man Man’s eyes as she helped to change the bandage. Chen Shuyang took out a hemostatic agent from his bag and gave Lin Man Man.
"Man Man, try this hemostatic agent. Brother Lou exchanged it from Lazuli."
Lin Man Man wiped away her tears, took the hemostatic agent, and poured it on Wen Lang's wound. Wen Lang hissed from the pain and gritted his teeth to hold back his scream. After wrapping the bandage in layers, Wen Lang closed his eyes cradling his arm.
Lou Fan: "How is it? Still okay?"
Wen Lang smiled miserably, "I’m okay, not dead yet."
Lin Man Man cried, "The wound looked deep and it bled a lot."
Qin Tan squatted beside Wen Lang and put down his Tang sword, "Show me the wound."
Wen Lang did not refuse, and stretched his arm in front of Qin Tan, "It feels much better than before. The hemostatic agent works well."
Unexpectedly, when Qin Tan opened the bandage, the wound had already stopped bleeding. It was only a matter of one minute.
Lin Man Man's tears are still shimmering in her eyes, and she said in a daze, "It was bleeding non-stop just now, why..."
Lou Fan laughed, "It seems that the products from Lazuli are all good things."
"This medicine is too powerful. Wen Lang, does your hand still hurt?" Chen Shuyang held the 3N product with the words 'hemostatic agent' written on it and examined the bottle over and over again.
3N product - No production date, No quality certificate, and No manufacturer name.
Wen Lang moved his arm with a look of surprise, "It seems, it really doesn't hurt anymore."
Lou Fan found the anti-inflammatory medicine from his bag and poured out a pill, "Take one, it’s an anti-inflammatory medicine."
Wen Lang knew that Lou Fan’s team have good things with them, so he took the pill and threw it into his mouth without hesitation, "You guys really blessed with a cheat." They are all beginners but how come the difference is so big? Lou Fan’s team can just take out some items and it’s the hemostatic agent and anti-inflammatory medicine from Lazuli. On the other hand, he doesn't even have a weapon in hand.
"Look!" Zhang Xue's voice pulled everyone's attention back and looked at the lake.
At this moment, the lake surface that could be seen clearly just now is covered by thick fog. Nothing could be seen clearly but the dense fish monsters on the shore made people tremble. There are too many of them. If Lou Fan’s group isn’t able to enter the village in time, it is conceivable that they would be chewed to the point that there are no bones left. If there is no protection, what will happen to the villagers of this small fishing village?
Lin Man Man clung tightly to Zhang Xue, her small face is as white as paper. Zhang Xue also looked pale and she patted Lin Man Man's hand lightly.
Lou Fan frowned. Thinking about the probability of them successfully diving into the water, he asked, "We won't be surrounded by fish monsters as soon as we enter the bottom of the lake, right?"
Qin Tan's face turned dark, "Let’s go down tomorrow."
At 1.00 am, the bell of Lao Ye Temple rang and the fish monster returned to the lake. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief. It is not so terrible when the fish monsters come out one by one, but it was a bit terrifying when they come in a group.
Qin Tan refused Lin Man Man’s offer to apply medicine on him. Lou Fan couldn't bear it anymore and walked to Qin Tan’s side. He grabbed the medicine and started to wipe it on Qin Tan bit by bit. Lou Fan’s head is lowered and his fingers are cold to touch. With the ointment in the hemostatic agent being applied to his wound little by little, Qin Tan felt a refreshing burst of coolness. Not only is there no discomfort, but also very comfortable. Qin Tan looked at the finger on his wound and unconsciously smiled. Next, his wound is lightly pressed and Qin Tan heard Lou Fan laugh, "You are injured, still smile? Also, you don't people to help you apply the medicine?" This man actually has the nerve to smile.
Qin Tan: "Will you help to apply medicine on me in the future?"
Lou Fan raised his eyebrows, "Does this means you are looking forward to getting hurt?"
Qin Tan chuckled lightly, not saying anything as he stared at Lou Fan.
Lou Fan: "..." Foul again! Don't smile!
After getting the wounds treated, they began to collect the spoils - little pearls. But the fish head is really difficult to open. Fortunately, Chen Shuyang's small sword can help a little bit. The dagger bought by Lou Fan is too short, it is not useful at all.
Lou Fan is responsible for picking out the small pearls from the dozens of fish monsters. The three collected the pearls for nearly 4 hours before finishing. When the sun appeared on the sea level, all the fish monster corpses on the lake bank disappeared. This cannot be explained by common sense at all, and the team doesn't care. After counting, there are 20 small pearls. Adding to the remaining pearls they have in hand, it is still not enough for their expected consumption. They must kill the fish monster one more round to enable all the members to dive down to the lake.
It is almost noon when Lou Fan gets awakened by Qin Tan. After breakfast and lunch, several people found the village chief who is still in the square, saying they wanted to borrow a boat.
"A boat? Do you want to boat at the lake? I can ask someone to give you a ride. You don't need to row by yourself. How can young people nowadays know how to row a boat?" The village chief sure keeps up with the current fashion trends. His service is in place and he didn’t even mention the matter of remuneration.
Gong Yi has already gotten familiar with the villagers so the team let him negotiate. Gong Yi smiled and said, "Village chief, no need. We just want to experience the pleasure of rowing by ourselves. If you let someone help us row, how to enjoy it? You see, the lake is so big. Won’t it delay the villagers’ preparations for sacrificial activities?”
The village chief thought for a while, still smiling weirdly, "Alright, I'll get someone to take you to the boat later."
Raw word count: 3000
 Banana: To save you guys from googling it, Trypophobia is an aversion to the sight of irregular patterns or clusters of small holes or bumps. It is not officially recognized as a mental disorder, but may be diagnosed as a specific phobia if excessive fear and distress occur.