Thursday, April 25, 2019

Hunters of the Forbidden Region ch 2.1 - Negotiation

Hearing Lin Shuo started talking, Anne smiled brightly.
“My name is Anne, I am in charge of the Asia branch of Global Lifeform Research Organization. Global Lifeform Research Organization is a national public service organization, our purpose is to research mysterious lifeforms worldwide and develop their applications thereof.”
My companion here is Wei Xingshan, head of the Asia Mobile Unit.”
When she finished the introduction, Wei Xingshan had finally recovered from the shock from the starling. Standing upright, he gave Lin Shuo a perfect military salute.

Lin Shuo nonchalantly gave the sturdy giant a glance and didn’t say anything.
“We apologize for visiting you unannounced, and this is the reason,” as she spoke, Anne reached into her purse and retrieved something wrapped in a piece of white cloth. She unwrapped the item slowly and showed it to Lin Shuo.
Lin Shuo was indifferent up to the point he saw the scale in front of him. His faced dropped slightly.
He sniffed a couple of times to get a better smell of it.
A familiar smell. Behind his spectacles, his eyes squinted. Reaching out, he took the scale from Anne.
He examined it carefully. The scale was the size of two palms. Under the sun inside the adobe house, the scale was completely black with a peculiar copper-like glow.
When he tilted it a bit, he could see a three-finger wild dark red line in the center.
A gut-wrenching feeling overtook him. Turning page, he thought to himself, “it’s it?”
The starling who resting on the desk fluttered it’s wings, flew over and landed on Lin Shuo’s shoulder. He joined Lin Shuo at examining the scale and said, “Shuo ge, how is this possible?”
“It was impossible before, it is possible now.” Lin Shuo held the scale closer to his nose and sniffed again, “It is it. And the smell is fresh, it had fallen off no more than a month ago.”
“it was still alive?” The starling fluttered it’s wings anxiously, “I thought it was…”
“No point in speculating,” Lin Shuo interrupted the starling and looked up at Anne, “Where did you find this?”
“Eastern federal district of Russia, northern part of Heilongjiang.” Replied Anne immediately. “Two weeks ago, 182 people disappeared from a village approximately 20 kilometers north of Heilongjiang. Seventy-three of them are Chinese citizens.”
During the Russian police investigation, they discovered what looked like crawl marks of a giant creature along with this scale.
Heilongjiang bothers both China and Russia so it hindered the Russian police’s ability to continue with the investigation. In addition, this entire incident was very bizarre so the Russian government contacted our organization and hope we will take over the investigation.
This incident was of high interest to our organization because…”
“Hold on!” With a raised hand, Lin Shuo interrupted Anne’s narration. Frowning, he asked, “You said, this scale appeared near Heilongjiang?”
“Yes,” confirmed Anne.
“That’s impossible!” The starling refused to believe what he heard.
It wasn’t just the starling, even Lin Shuo found it hard to believe.
He recognized this scale. Or to be more precise, the owner of the scale.
This is a snake scale.
If one scale is the size of two palms, then how big is the body?
Six years ago he entered Mount Kunlun with his father and seen the owner of the scale with his own eyes.
That was the largest bizarre creature that Lin Shuo had every seen.
At that time, it was bathing in thunderous rain, as if it was trying to transcend1!
From what he had witnessed first hand, the giant bizarre creature had died in the mysterious thunderous rainy night six years ago.
But the scale in front of him said so otherwise.
As it turned out, it was time to venture out after all.
It was quite inside the house when Lin Shuo was staring at the scale pondering.
Finally, Lin Shuo broke the silence, “So what was the purpose of your visit, Miss Anne?”
“To capture this mystical creature, of course.” Miss Anne answered eagerly, as though she had been anticipating his question all along. “Everybody knew that you are the best of the best in the circle of hunters.”
“Capture?” Squinted Lin Shuo again, “If you are just some amateurs, I can see why you’d use the term ‘capture’. But you being from the Global Lifeform Research Organization should be no amateurs. You should  know that when facing a creature like this, you’d be lucky to stay alive.”
1.       An update to my original footnote on transcending. Ancient Chinese believed that animals that lived a long time (over 500 or 1,000 years) will transcend. As the act of transcending is considered to be against nature, many a times thunders will strike down the creatures trying to transcend, so it’s risky business. Pardon me if this is not entirely accurate, these are concepts that one grows up with and never really questioned what “transcending” really means… It simple made so much sense when you hear it. J


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