It was midnight. Coals in the fireplace crackled. Holding a glass in one hand, an elegantly dressed merchant rested in a chair. He closed his eyes and tentatively listened to sounds other than the fire’s crackling. His room was dark and warm. The fire in the room not only illuminated his servants’ face, but also the countless bookshelves. Were they just decorations? Or did the merchant really read all those books? Only the merchant could say.
“Ding...Dong...” The clock struck midnight and the merchant sighed. He put down the glass as bright light lit up the entire study, forcing him to shield his eyes. Before he could adapt to the brightness, the fireplace had already extinguished. A symphony of rain and thunder played in the room; the merchant opened his eyes again and saw the door to the balcony flapping in the wind. The carpet was also drenched by the storm.
“Hey.” A silky female voice pierced the storm. The merchant turned around and saw a gigantic figure. As lightning occasionally struck, the merchant was only able to catch a few vague glimpses of the figure’s dragon head and tiger body. Silver Bullet, the female standing next to the figure, wore a black cloak and a bamboo hat. She patted the pixiu’s head and the gigantic beast lowered its body and leaped toward the merchant. Before the merchant could realize what was happening, it was already next to his waist with its mouth open. A slimy and almost-unrecognizable body slid from between its teeth and onto the cold carpet.
The merchant stepped back in fear but pretended to look calm as he ordered his servant to examine the body. The servant crouched down and observed the body next to the pixiu. He then nodded to the merchant, who heaved a sigh of relief: ‘Humph. This piece of scum is finally taken care of.’ He could not help but recall the night his daughter and this person eloped together. He also realized that it no longer bothered him.
The merchant exchanged a glance with his servant before the servant took out a book from a shelf — behind the book was a bag of coins. Silver Bullet took the bag and softly swung it beside her ear. She suddenly realized that there was a note attached to the bag.
“Kill him. You can do it, can’t you?”
Silver Bullet contemplated for a while and said, “You do know the price of assassinating a hunter, right?” The confident merchant firmly nodded: “Money is not a problem.” Upon hearing this, Silver Bullet smiled and put the note into her cloak. After coldly saying “thank you for your business”, she climbed onto the pixiu disappeared into the storm, leaving with only a series of thunder claps.
After days of heavy rain, the air was humid in the rural area, but the huts at the corner of a forest was an exception. Smoke lingered around the huts and at the center of which was the headquarters of this Hunterville, a secret society of hunters...
“If it weren’t for me, you wouldn’t have earned this much commission. Now that I want your help finding someone, you aren’t willing to return the favor...” With that said, Silver Bullet took out pigeons from a cage and closely examined the pieces of paper in their claws — reports about the hunter’s whereabouts. Beside her was the spokesperson of Hunterville. His lips were stained with dried blood and his lower body was being engulfed in the pixiu’s mouth from where squirming sounds emerged. “...How cold you are.” Silver Bullet broke another pigeon’s neck.
The spokesperson incessantly struggled, trying to squeeze himself out from the slimy cavity, but the vortex in the pixiu’s stomach was overwhelmingly powerful. In a mere while, only the spokesperson’s shoulders and head were visible. “Tell your monster to stop! I’ll just tell you!” The spokesperson had previously agreed with the hunter that he would not reveal his location, but the spokesperson was starting to regret it. He let out numerous screeches of fear, but Silver Bullet paid no attention to him. She kept searching until she suddenly saw a single-legged pigeon in the cage. She opened the note in its claw...
“I’ve finally found you, brother.”