Chapter 3 Monkeys
The girl named Xiao Ai felt a slightly cold touch after receiving the small palm-sized wooden medal.
This wooden medal was wrapped with a silver silk thread that could be hung around her neck.
She gently pulled it, and found that this silver silk thread was too tough to tear.
Raising her head, the girl looked at the giant white wolf in front of her, and once again heard the low voice of Lord Mountain God.
"Well, go now, go back to your family."
Although this voice was still low and serious, and there seemed to be a faint echo in it, the girl was not so afraid anymore.
She knelt down with understanding and kowtowed hard.
"Thank you, Lord Mountain God!"
The rainstorm outside the house had stopped by now, but the roads in the mountains were still muddy and difficult to navigate.
The girl wearing small red embroidered shoes did not go far, embroidered shoes had become muddy and wet, and even the skirt of the big red wedding dress was dirty.
But she was happy.
She thought she was going to die or be eaten by the mountain God, but instead of eating her, he let her go home, and this was a happy ending she could never have imagined.
After walking some distance away, the girl turned back to look in the direction of the mountain God temple.
In the gloomy light of day the mountain God temple surrounded by dense forest was slightly eerie, and the white wolf inside the temple had disappeared.
If she hadn't seen it with her own eyes, she simply couldn't imagine that there would be such a big wolf in this mountain.
"Is this the mountain God that everyone fears?" It did not seem to be the same as what the village elders say.
The girl was a little confused.
Growing up in Shuisheng Village, since she was young, the legends she heard about the mountain God were all rumors that the mountain God was very powerful, scary, and would even eat people.
But after meeting the real Lord Mountain God in person, she found that although he was indeed very majestic and intimidating looking, he was not at all cruel and horrible as rumored.
And even a little... friendly?
The girl hurriedly shook her head to shake this thought out of her mind.
How could Lord Mountain God be described as friendly? She should be in awe of such a majestic and powerful mountain God.
Thinking about this, the girl gripped the wooden medal in her hand again.
The small wooden sign was made of some kind of mysterious material and was cold to the touch, making her feel very light and refreshed when she held it. Even though she should have been very tired after walking so far up the muddy mountain road.
But now she did not feel tired, still feeling light on her feet.
And holding this wooden sign, her mind surprisingly knew which direction to go to return to the village - obviously she had never been to mountain God temple before and had no idea of the mountain path.
In the sky, the light gradually became gloomy and dull.
It was not a sign that heavy rain was coming, but that it would be late and dark.
Perceiving the change in the sky, the girl was a little anxious. If she couldn't get out of the mountains before dark, she wouldn't be able to walk in the dark without a lantern or torch when it got dark.
Although Cold Feather Mountain was not a famous mountain, there were some cliffs.
She was unfamiliar with the path. If she was walking in the dark, she would be dead if she accidentally fell off the cliff.
The sign given by the Lord of the Mountain could only protect her from being eaten by the beasts, but it did not mean that she would not fall to her death.
The girl walked more briskly at the thought.
Her skirt was already full of dried mud, which solidified on the skirt and made it heavy. And after walking inside the mountain for so long, she gradually began to get hungry.
Her stomach rumbled, incomparably harsh in the cold mountain forest.
The hungry girl walked for a long time on the muddy mountain path, and eventually couldn't hold out any longer and sat down on a rock to rest.
In the gradually dimming mountain, the girl covered her hungry and cramped stomach, and her eyes filled with tears.
"I am so hungry... so hungry..."
She could not walk anymore.
Although she would not get tired of walking in the mountain with the Mountain God sign, her stomach was so hungry that she was already weak in her feet.
The girl sitting on the rocks covered her stomach, teary-eyed haze looking at the increasingly dark sky, murmuring, "So hungry..."
She did not know how long she had to walk, but she really could not walk anymore.
If only there was something to eat now, the girl thought in her mind.
But since she grew up in the mountain village, she also understood that during this time of the year there weren't any ripe fruits and vegetables that she could find and eat in this mountain.
She had thought so.
But something suddenly fell on her head, hitting her head and causing some pain.
The girl picked it up and froze... walnuts? Why were walnuts here?
She tilted her head, and found a dozen monkeys squatting in the trees above her head.
These monkeys appeared at some point, all standing on the branches, looking down at her, as if they were watching something funny.
After the girl looking up, the monkeys threw out a dozen walnuts one after another, all still at the girl's feet.
Seeing these monkeys' actions, the girl was a little confused.
"You guys... are you giving walnuts to me to eat?"
She once heard the old people said that the monkeys in the mountains would collect dried fruits like walnuts in the summer and autumn to hide them for the winter.
But these monkeys offered to give her food? Were monkeys so kind?
The girl was confused, because these monkeys in the past days perched in the Cold Feather Mountain. Once the crops in the fields became ripe, they would come down in groups to steal fruits and vegetables, so the villagers hate them.
But now these thieving bandit-like monkeys were offering to feed her?
"Did Lord Mountain God send you here?" The girl asked cautiously.
But the monkeys left after throwing down some more walnuts and simply ignored her.
Watching the monkeys disappear into the woods, the girl couldn't help but sigh. Yeah, these monkeys could not even talk, so how could they possibly answer her questions.
But they suddenly came to deliver something to her to eat, must be sent by the Lord Mountain God. Otherwise, how could these monkeys be so kind?
The girl knelt down in the direction of the mountain God temple and kowtowed heavily before squatting down and picking up the walnuts on the ground, cracking them open one by one with a stone and eating the pulp inside.
Although the pulp in these walnuts was not much, after eating more than twenty walnuts in one breath, the girl's hunger finally eased to some degree.
At this time, the sky had been gray, almost out of the light of day. The mountain was so bleak that it was almost impossible to see the road in the distance.
With the hunger being relieved, the girl finally had the strength to continue walking.
She walked in the dark for a short time, and the vision of the mountain road gradually became familiar with her memory. The girl was a little excited, because she knew she was almost home.
She held the small wooden sign in her hand and quickened her pace, finally getting out of this strange mountain.
Dark clouds obscured the stars and the moon in the dark night sky, with occasional blazing white flashes of lightning breaking through and rumbles of thunder ringing through the heavens, as if another rainstorm was about to fall.
But the girl walking on the familiar mountain path was no longer afraid. Even though she was walking in the dark at night, she has not deviated from the right direction.
Finally, after walking for an unknown amount of time under such a dark night sky, she heard the crashing sound of the river flowing.
The girl excitedly held the wooden sign and ran quickly in the direction of the river.
Just step over this bridge and cross the river, it won't take long to get back to the village!
The girl was excited. Even though due to the darkness she could not see the outline of Shuisheng Village, her mood was still very good.
Soon, the girl found the stone bridge leading across the river and saw the lights of Shuisheng Village in the distance in the darkness.
Behind the girl in the mountain, monkeys who had followed her all the way to the village, at this time also turned around, and entered the densely forested Cold Feather Mountain, no longer following.
Half an hour later, Lu Heng received the news that the girl returned safely to the village.
And it was the group of monkeys who had been sent by Lu Heng to escort the girl who sent back this message.