The Record of Unusual Creatures

Chapter 12: The Village Far Away

Chapter 12: The Village Far Away

Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation

Hao Ren put the phone down, his expression was just as blank as his mind.

In the past, he would have considered a phone call from an unknown number as another misdial, brushed the whole thing off and continued on with his day. Yet at that moment he was in a very delicate situation.

Staring cautiously at his two uninvited guests secretly getting at each other whilst waiting for food in the living room, it dawned on him that his normal life was long gone. What used to be grandmothers’ stories and urban legends could be true. What used to be myths and imaginations could be true. What was previously thought to exist only in movies… could very well be true.

Hao Ren was already on edge, so much so that he would jump at Rollie the cat’s incessant purr, perceiving it as some sort of ill omen. The thought of that strange phone call he received just a moment ago sent chills down his spine, and most importantly—it just occurred to him that he had never submit his resume to import-and-export trading companies!

True, he had sent out tons of resumes to all kinds companies for all sorts of positions, including one for a male host and another for a pet psychiatrist (whatever that means!). Hao Ren was all too aware of his academic background and miscellaneous skills. He was the kind of oddball who had to use a calculator even when purchasing a celery! How would he have the gall to try out for a trading company? Was he just selling himself short?

As far as he was concerned, trading companies were more or less similar to the Hu Tong mini-market, at least that was how he sees it.

"Landlord? Landlord, sir, what’s gotten into you?" He could hear Lily’s tone of concern right next to him, and it was then that his soul snapped back to reality. He nodded at the two strange creatures, "Oh, a human resource unit scheduled an interview with me in the afternoon…"

"Oh, don’t you worry, landlord! I’ll take care of the house for you!" Lily raised her claws up high and shook it in excitement, as though she was met with an opportune moment. "That’s what I do best! I guarantee you won’t lose a thing!"

"A dog could do better," Vivian would never let go of an opportunity to drop a sarcastic comment, and each one so far had been a direct hit. But Hao Ren couldn’t help but think: Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. You’re homeless, and penniless, and you’re still keeping up with that attitude? Have you no shame in your bloodline!?

Lily glared at Vivian, and later decided to shake it off. Her stomach was growling again and this was the ground for the quick dispersion of her anger along with the gradual weakening of her fighting spirit. She motioned to Hao Ren as she helplessly laid on the table, "Landlord, please can you make us something to eat? After that I’ll definitely help you guard the house!"

Hao Ren was taken aback by how casual these two were with him. Did he just find himself two tenants, or were they actually two of his many ancestors? He had been a landlord for many years and yet this was the first time his tenants responded in the way long lost friends would!

Still, very swiftly, Hao Ren managed a smile, attributing all of the above to mere cultural differences between species and/or subspecies. If anything, he was definitely no match for these two outsiders. So, for the sake of his future livelihood, it would be wisest to maintain, if not improve, his two female guests’ appreciation for him. At least then if ever Lily and Vivian get on each other’s nerves again, he could confidently bark at them… the way a master would to his pets!

It took some effort for him to satisfy the two girls’ hunger, during which he made sure Vivian was really feeding on normal human food, and only then he finally felt relieved. After everything was done, it was already eleven. Obviously, he could do away with lunch and what’s left would be providing the vampire and werewolf with allowances to last until nightfall. Having considered that Vivian was unlucky enough to not have a penny to her name, and that Lily would certainly not offer up her share (canines are especially protective of their food), he had deliberately stocked up on biscuits for Vivian, leaving the latter so moved that tears were rolling in the corners of her eyes.

Due to the vampire’s habit, Vivian slept through most of the day. Not long after her meal, she went upstairs to wash up and prepared to rest. Lily, on the other hand, was extremely energetic when the sun’s out. She would be standing guard on the ground floor. The two of them managed to stay away from each other due to the differences in their lifestyle, and Hao Ren for the time being didn’t have to worry that they would bring the house down when he wasn’t around. He could go in peace to the venue the mysterious woman arranged.

That’s right, despite all the suspicions, Hao Ren eventually decided to go have a look. There’s no point running away from the inescapable. If somehow that woman was related to these "strange" creatures he had come across recently, then he had to get to the bottom of it. Vivian’s and Lily’s fighting abilities were evident—this was not the territory for the average Joe. He wasn’t even sure if he could make this work.

Of course, he contemplated taking Lily along. All things considered, she could come in handy. Eventually, he digressed. First off, they had only known each other for two days and as far as he could tell, the werewolf girl seemed quite innocent. Or rather, "naïve" would be a word more accurate, but that still wasn’t ground to take advantage of her. So, to simply use her as a shield on his adventures based on what little trust they had would most probably be regrettable (that one time she had to stay home to guard against the vampire was an entirely different matter). Secondly, Hao Ren himself was seven feet tall to say the least. For a man of his height and stature to go out with a female bodyguard just for an interview… what would people say? How could he live with himself?

So, he decided to check out the place on his own.

While waiting at the bus stop, he couldn’t stop thinking about Vivian’s and Lily’s abnormalities, and kept muttering to himself whether leaving them at home was a good idea.

Honestly, his career as a landlord (if it could be considered a career at all) had been going on for several years, and he had seen just about every kind of tenants. Even strays and gangsters and those with questionable backgrounds had lived under his roof. The most crucial skill a landlord would need was the ability to differentiate the ‘good’ tenants from the ‘bad’ ones, whether they be dangerous criminals or mere thieves and conmen—examples of landlords being robbed blind were more than he could count. Hao Ren wasn’t worried that his two guests belonged in the latter group, because he knew… these two girls with these mind-boggling skills were hundred times more dangerous than the common crooks!

Was it a mistake to leave them at home just like that? Would he come home to a wreckage? Would he find a SWAT team armed with two hundred explosives and grenades? Would vehicles and representatives from the Scientific Institute seal off the roads in Nan Xiao? Would he see two American men in black suits and sunglasses flashing neutralyzers at him?

All these unrealistic flights of fantasies haunted him as he got on the bus and began his journey from this remote place in Nan Xiao… to another not far away.

The address given by the mysterious lady on the phone was a place Hao Ren had heard of but never been to. It was really far, beyond the city’s radiation range, a village right outside the outskirt of the city. There wasn’t any public transportation in the city that could reach that place, and even from the most desolate region of Nan Xiao, only one lousy bus was available at the moment.

Such a place was queer indeed. Even its name was just as strange. Who would have figured it was called Bastard Barrio?

Hao Ren sat wobbling in the lousy bus for a good half an hour. He could feel the wind in his face as though the walls weren’t there. From what he could tell, it might only take a slightly wider ditch to take apart the bus for good. Along the journey, the number of passengers on board never exceeded three. He even suspected whether the driver, looking somewhat cynical was trying to match the annoying bus ride, but in the end he was delivered to his destination in one piece, in the middle of a barren land, no different than the ones he saw along the way.

The bus clunked off with a 4/4 beat of rickety clanging sound, which was pretty much mirroring Hao Ren’s thoughts and feelings at that moment: surging endlessly as he rolled his eyes upwards and sighed deeply—he was definitely tricked! The woman on the phone didn’t even need a script, did she!?

Once he got off the main road, all he had to do was follow the narrow trail and Bastard Barrio would be within walking distance. He could clearly see the village as he stood on the mound next to the road. It was primitive, with few residents and even fewer mud houses, and more than half of the mud houses were just a disaster away from crumbling. The village in the whole was built with poor architecture, with a landscape dating back to several decades ago. The largest building was a little brick tower at the centre, the size of which was comparable to Hao Ren’s house.

The woman on the phone had invited him here in the name of a ‘trading company’.

No sane person would have believed that!

And yet, he came.

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