Chapter (31): Under the lake

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[And for the third or fourth time... THIS NOVEL CONTAINS SPOILERSS!! And upcoming is the spoiler for TGCF chap 93 – 95]

That night, Xie Lian was once again dressed in fluttering soft women's clothes. Although he was no stranger to crossdressing by now, it was his first time pretending to be a pregnant woman. He put on makeup, then stuffed a pillow into his belly. He then laid on the bed in one of the chambers of the wealthy merchant's mansion. Although he knew he put himself in a ridiculous situation again, he was calm and composed. Lying on the bed, Xie Lian slowed his breathing; it didn't take long before he fell deeply asleep.

There was a plausible reason as to why he was sleeping like a pregnant woman in the merchant's mansion. Earlier that day, on investigation, he found out that there was a monster in the shape of a black smoke devouring the unborn child of the marchent's mistress. The wealthy merchant was frightened out of his wits. He still had another mistress who was also pregnant. Thus, he begged Xie Lian to slay the monster so that he could have his son in peace. And so, Xie Lian decided to help out.

An unknown amount of time passed before Xie Lian slowly opened his eyes. Before his vision was no longer the bedchamber of that wealthy merchant's mistress, but an exquisite pavilion. Xie Lian looked around a bit, and learnt that the exquisite room was a bedchamber of a woman probably from hundreds of years ago. She had drawers filled with children's toys and clothings. The room screamed out the essence of a loving mother. Although everything around looked exceedingly realistic, Xie Lian knew he was in the made-up dream of the black smoke monster and so, he stayed cautious all the time. Then suddenly he heard a series of teehee sniggles in the dead silence.

The whereabouts of that sniggles were obscure, but the more Xie Lian listened to it, the more familiar it became. Xie Lian raced his mind trying to remember where he had heard it before... Just where?

Then it hit him, and in his mind rang the voice of a small child:

"New bride. New bride, new bride in the red bridal sedan.

"Brimming tears, past the hills, smile not under the bridal veil..."

It was the voice of that child spirit he heard at Mount Yujun when he was in the marriage sedan! Back then it was only him who heard the voice of the child spirit, and now the child spirit was appearing before him again. Was this a coincidence? Or was it intentional?

Then the sniggles stopped abruptly. A chilling voice came from the child spirit that stopped laughing, "Mom."

Xie Lian still couldn't tell where the voice was coming from and after some silence, the voice of that child called out again, "Mom. Hug me."

This time, Xie Lian finally figured it out _ that voice came from his belly!

As soon as Xie Lian noticed it, the child spirit ran out of his belly. The spirit scrambled away and disappeared after it spewed out lumps of thread that were originally in the pillow Xie Lian had stuffed in his belly. The spirit wanted to devour the 'child' in Xie Lian's belly as it did with the pregnant woman's child. But it only ended up devouring the pillow's threads instead. For some reason, Xie Lian felt greatly irritated by it.

Taking out his sword, Fangxin, Xie Lian repeatedly attacked the spirit monster. The child spirit ran away swiftly. Xie Lian followed but his foot accidently stepped onto a sharp nail. The child spirit giggled as he saw Xie Lian falling for its trap. The nail pierced through Xie LIan's foot and the pain throbbed through the leg, but Xie Lian wasn't someone who would be fazed by something like this. Despite the throbbing pain, Xie Lian continued attacking with Fangxin. After a while, he had forgotten about the nail in his foot, and was already running like the wind.

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