CHAPTER 5: The Crocodile-Headed Man and The Seven Days Talk

 


At exactly nine o’clock, the enormous moon hung high in the sky, overlooking the entirety of the golden lake.
The clouds in the sky seemed to anticipate danger, retreating to places where people couldn’t see them.
Only a strangely large round moon remained in the celestial canopy, enveloped in a hazy mist, as if covered by a layer of frosted glass.

 

Zhuo Yu sat by the bonfire and instinctively looked up at the sky.

 

Somehow, a peculiar memory surged into his mind.

 

This massive moon, so large and close that one could almost see the craters, was locally known as the “hunter’s moon.” Some hidden hunters, lurking in unknown corners, would hold a hunting event today.

 

It seemed as if he had seen such a moon a long time ago.

 

Zhuo Yu frowned.
He didn’t like the feeling of being influenced by a character.
He was certain that his recent recollection originated from his “unknown character.”

 

He glanced at the veterans, but they seemed oblivious to any abnormality.
Not wanting to join Zhou Wu’s boastful gathering, he quietly reached into the side pocket of his wheelchair and pulled out a book.

 

Zhuo Yu had found this book, titled “Seven Days’ Talk,” on the bedside table.
However, it was not the famous French masterpiece but a work written by the locals.

 

Within this thin booklet were recorded the stories passed down in their land.

 

Before the Spanish colonizers discovered Florida, this place was the homeland of Native Americans.
Therefore, the stories carried a strong Inca style.
Rather than calling them stories, it resembled a religious textbook.

 

Zhuo Yu had already flipped through it on the first night but found little in terms of clues.
It mainly discussed the seven days of torment suffered by a deity who was relentlessly tortured by ignorant people, ultimately dying in a spring and transforming into a lake.

 

The foolish people, on the other hand, not only escaped punishment, but also discovered that drinking from the spring could grant them eternal youth and immortality.

 

This is the story of the Fountain of Youth.

 

Not only is it recorded in this book, but in reality, Florida is also widely renowned for the legend of the Fountain of Youth in its history.

 

In 1943, a man named “Juan Ponce de León” followed Columbus to the Americas and became the first Spaniard to set foot on the New World.
In the local region, he heard many fascinating legends from the indigenous people, and among these mysterious tribes, the story of the Fountain of Youth was widely circulated.
For de León, this tale held more enticing than  gold and silver.

 

In pursuit of the Fountain of Youth, he sought permission from the King of Spain and then drifted at sea for several years before eventually discovering the treasure land of Florida.

 

However, he was killed in clashes with the indigenous people before he could find the Fountain of Youth.
After that, Florida became a Spanish colony, sparking prolonged conflicts and wars.
Nobody cared about mythical legends any longer; instead, they fervently plundered this rich land.

 

As time passed, Florida became a part of the United States and gained fame as a “paradise on earth” due to its unique and beautiful scenery and climate.
Under the scorching heat, it became the capital of the Americas with the largest population, the most diverse ethnic groups, and the most chaotic law and order.


 

In this place, there were sizzling bikinis and intoxicating golden beaches, but the mythical Fountain of Youth that once flowed in the souls of the indigenous people seemed to have vanished without a trace.

 

Zhuo Yu put down the book “Seven Days’ Talk” and gazed at the shimmering lake.
Could it be that…

 

Before he could even utter the name of the Golden Lake in his heart, the system came online.

 

【Plot Development: Four young people in the town of Chunquan ignored the terrifying rumors surrounding the Golden Lake and organized a camping trip that appeared to be a journey to seek death.
The threat of the first night was right in front of them, but no one noticed anything out of the ordinary.
Jack still intended to spend his time here leisurely, unaware that on the second night, they would witness the most unforgettable scene of their lives, as the Golden Lake despises outsiders.]

 

The system’s mechanical and cold voice resounded, followed by issuing a command.

 

【Pre-task: Enjoy the delights of the Golden Lake scenic area.
Task completed.

 

【Main mission updated: Run, with all your might, Run! Please survive until dawn! 】

 

At the same time, the barrage in the entire viewing area was boiling.

 

【Here it comes!!! The second day of the Seven Days’ Tale!!!】

 

【The boss is coming! Boss!!】

 

【Damn it, can those upstairs who have seen it stop spoiling the plot? Can someone report them!】

 

【Hahaha, I can’t wait to see them being slaughtered!】

 

【Is this movie really scary for the ones watching it for the first time? 】

 

【Upstairs, this is an ultra-horrifying bloody and gory film.
I was lucky enough to see it once, and it made me throw up.
The Yin corpses were not so bad; it’s the boss that’s really brutal.
The way it kills is like violent aesthetics!】

 

[I’m laughing! The Golden Lake despises outsiders.
It didn’t take them seriously at first, sending only one Yin corpse, but it must be furious now.]

 

【So, why did Zhuo Yu survive? This guy must have hidden his character and skills! Damn, sneaky bastard!】

 

[Who gives a damn? Everyone has come to see the blood and gore.]

 


The heartless barrage continued to roll, just like the sudden waves in the Golden Lake.

 

The moment Zhou Wu saw the mission, he dropped the water bottle in his hand out of fear.
Other players also became alert and gathered together, back to back.
When the lake water surged and splashed, everyone dropped whatever they were holding.
Some fled to the camper, while others sought refuge in the wooden cabin, causing chaos.

 

Zhou Wu was the first to rush towards the camper, only to discover that it wouldn’t start.
As in all horror films, transportation always fails at crucial moments.

 

He gritted his teeth, turned, and ran towards the wooden house, pushing aside Li Mingfeng who was blocking the way, almost tripping over.
Zhou Wu couldn’t care about much at that moment.
He didn’t even glance at Mu Ying and rushed straight into the room.

 

The others followed closely and entered the house, leaving only Zhuo Yu outside.
He struggled to turn the wheels of his wheelchair, hindered by grass, wood, and stones.

 

With a bang, the door closed right in front of Zhuo Yu’s eyes.

 

The others looked at Fang Hao, their eyes showing disapproval, but no one stopped him.

 

“Forget about that cripple; our survival comes first.
That lake has to have monsters in it!!” Fang Hao’s nerves were like a stretched bow, and with a little more force, they would snap.

 

At this moment, Zhou Wu didn’t belittle the other person for having a low tolerance for psychological pressure, because if he were in their shoes, he might have done the same.

 

He felt around for his handgun, a very old-fashioned revolver with only six bullets.
He regretted not having time to grab the boxes of bullets from the RV during his hasty escape earlier.

 

He didn’t know if the handgun would actually prove to be effective against the creatures from the horror movie.

 

Everyone, including Zhou Wu, was gasping for breath, their scalps about to explode.
Their eyes widened like quails, too afraid to make a sound.

 

However, one minute passed… two minutes passed… and there was still no movement outside.

 

The actors, now calmer, looked at each other, none daring to go outside and check.

 

Thump, thump, thump! Three knocks startled Fang Hao, almost making him jump.
Before he could even think of running, Zhuo Yu’s voice came from outside.

 

“It’s me.
There’s nothing outside.
Let me in.”

 

The group hesitated for a moment, then reluctantly opened a narrow gap in the door, allowing Zhuo Yu to come in.

 

Zhou Wu breathed a sigh of relief.
He struggled to push two sofas towards the door, blocking it tightly.
This time, no matter who asked him to open the door, he wouldn’t do it.


 

Zhuo Yu’s face showed no expression, and there was no resentment for being abandoned.
He just shook his sore wrist and calmly said to Fang Hao, “Do you want to take a look? There really is nothing outside.”

 

Trembling, Fang Hao stood by the window.
Upon hearing Zhuo Yu’s words, he couldn’t resist looking outside.

 

As soon as he looked, his heart almost stopped.

 

Outside the window, there were dense, bloated, and pale humanoid figures.
Some had their chests split open with their innards scattered on the ground, while others were missing limbs, crawling on the floor.
The ghastly figures saw Fang Hao’s shocked face through the window crack, and they let out cries and howls.
Amidst their wails, there was excitement at the sight of their prey.
Distorted, they all crawled towards the wooden house.

 

“There are monsters! Monsters are coming!”

 

Before the words had even left Fang Hao’s mouth, all the monsters abruptly stopped their movements, as if a higher predator had scared a flock of sheep.
They frantically fled in all directions.

 

Just then, a massive crocodile suddenly appeared outside the window.
Its head emitted a tanned leather scent, indicating that it had been dead for a long time, leaving only its deep, lake-like eyes staring directly at Fang Hao.

 

The teammates’ shouts and the sound of breaking glass rang out together!

 

“Stay away from the window!” Zhou Wu’s eyes widened in fury.

 

But it was too late.

 

The crocodile abruptly stood up, revealing a robust man’s body under its animal head.
One muscular arm burst through the window, and glass shards flew everywhere.
Before Fang Hao could react, the crocodile man’s hand gripped his neck tightly.

 

The approaching entity was indeed the water ghost spoken of by the townspeople.

 

Upon seeing this, Zhou Wu yelled and pulled out his gun to shoot, but the bullets had no effect on the creature.
It didn’t even cause the slightest sway in its figure.
He quickly decided to put the gun away and dragged Mu Ying to flee towards the second floor.

 

A harsh sound followed, and Fang Hao’s flushed face turned purple as a large amount of blood gushed from his mouth.
The creature had crushed his throat.

 

On the stairs, Zhou Wu’s heart was about to leap out of his chest.
If he had some confidence moments ago, it was now completely shattered.
His pride in his size and strength became utterly ridiculous in comparison to this monstrous creature.

 

He stood at 1.85 meters tall, while the crocodile-headed man easily measured over 2 meters.
The creature’s monstrous and overpowering physique brought overwhelming shock.
Just a glance at it made one feel hopeless.

 

He wouldn’t last more than three seconds in the hands of that creature.

 


The monster loosened its grip, and Fang Hao immediately collapsed on the ground, convulsing uncontrollably.
Heavy footsteps approached the main door.

 

With one kick, the two overlapping sofas blocking the door were sent flying, and the cold wind rushed in through the open door.

 

“Run!”

 

Zhou Wu grabbed Mu Ying’s hand and continued towards the skylight, the extreme fear making him disregard the nearby Zhuo Yu.
He climbed the stairs as quickly as he could, feeling a hint of relief in his chest.

 

Zhou Wu knew that Zhuo Yu would likely be the next target.
Although he felt guilty, he hoped Zhuo Yu’s death could buy him a few more minutes.

 

The crocodile-headed man bent down as he entered the wooden house, blocking the howling wind at the doorway.
He carried a massive axe in his hand, and the cold light reflecting off it was chilling.

 

Fang Hao, still clutching his throat, seemed to experience a final burst of strength.
Whether it was a last-ditch effort or a genuine revival, he lost control of his bodily functions, but his will to survive surged.
With all his strength, he managed to stand up, and instead of running, his first action was to push Zhuo Yu towards the direction of the creature, hoping to buy some time.

 

Zhuo Yu was pushed with great force and fell to the ground, his wheelchair tumbling and its wheels spinning uselessly.
He was now just a few steps away from the monstrous being.

 

Fang Hao used up the last of his strength and now lay on the wooden floor as if drained, coughing up blood and writhing like a worm, desperately trying to escape.

 

“Just a bit further…

 

Just a bit further would be good…

 

Let someone else be killed, not him! He was just a college freshman, still very young.
He couldn’t die like this!

 

Fang Hao’s eyes were bloodshot, and he seemed to have gone mad.

 

In an instant, a sharp-tipped pitchfork pierced through his wrist, pinning him to the ground directly.

 

“——Hehe!!!”

 

Fang Hao wanted to scream, but his shattered throat couldn’t produce any sound, and he could only gasp for air like a broken bellow.
He struggled to lift his head and saw Zhuo Yu approaching him with a sinister smile.

 

“My dear, where do you think you’re going?”

 

The pitchfork handle was still tightly gripped in Zhuo Yu’s hand.

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