Xue'er could not believe that the five colored snake won.
Whatever happened to size doesn't matter?
Sure it was the largest when it came to everything else in the pit, but when it came to toxicity, it was only so-so.
How could it possibly have survived?
Xue'er took a deep breath, to calm her nerves from the failure in her logical thinking.
Maybe she had truly hypothesized wrongly.
She really didn't want to keep something so large, she would much rather prefer any one of the other creatures, but it had won that drop of blood, so she has to keep it.
Bending down, her hand reached to caress the five colored snake that was there. If she was going to be its owner, she should get closer to it.
Her pale hand came closer to the snake's scales, she felt that it was soft and without any structure. It felt as if a slight wind can cause the entire skeleton of it to collapse.
[Something's not right.]
She retracted her hand, focusing on the small shape that was crawling under the snake's scaly skin. The figure was small, but its movements were aggressive, with a lot of strength behind it.
Finally, the skin burst at seven inches below the snake's head, which was the heart. Against one's imaginings, it was not a bloody mess with organs spraying everywhere, instead, the snake no longer had a drop of blood in its body, it was nothing more than a hollow shell.
What popped out was a small little red worm, about the size of a thumb. It was different from before, its body was a lot stronger, even being able to penetrate the thickest of armor and skins. Its eyes had changed to a golden color, with its body a deep crimson color.
Xue'er blinked and looked at the cute little thing, then at the snake that had its organs eaten from the inside out. She knew that the snake must have been in deep agony, the feeling of one's organs getting eaten one by one with the heart still alive and pumping was a horrible feeling.
[My hypothesis was correct!]
Was the only thing Xue'er was thinking at the moment. All she felt was the relief that she hadn't been wrong.
She looked at the adorable little worm and reached her right hand down into the pit. The little worm, as if recognizing its owner, crawls out of the hollowed out snake, and into the jade-like hand. Once it reaches her palm, it curls up into a tiny little ball like a little cat.
Xue'er was amazed at how small the worm was able to make itself when it curled up. It now resembled nothing more than a large drop of blood on her palm.
She gently stroked the little droplet that was in her balm. It was very soft and smooth, just like a flower petal, no one would ever believe that this little creature had eaten the entire inside of a snake, leaving nothing but a hollow shell.
This little thing was all her's now.
Now, she had to find out what this little thing ate. The scriptures said that they fed on blood of the owner and poisons, with some people even allowing the creatures to live in their bodies.
She could give the little worm her blood and poisonous plants, as for living in her body, she was unsure if it could handle that.
She thought for a while, before taking out a porcelain bottle and placed the little worm into it, along with a few drops of her blood.
Looking at the ground's shadows, it was no longer early, she quickly made her way back to the cottage.
When she entered the cottage, she saw Gan Tian Chi dressed as a scholar, in pale ivory robes. He was fiddling around with a large drawing container, that would make him look like a painter.
Gan Tian Chi rolled up the serpent sword in a roll of cloth and inserted it into the painting container, that was lined with silks to keep painting paper crisp and free from damage.
"Xue'er, you're home." Gan Tian Chi greeted her with an amiable smile.
Xue'er nodded her head, and looked toward the things sprawled all over the table.
It was a mess again.
She sometimes wondered how the cottage was so free from clutter when she first cleaned it that day.
"Great, wear this." Gan Tian Chi said as he handed her some old children's clothing. The color had faded to a semi whitewash long ago, but one could tell that they were once the colors of pink and blue.
Xue'er looked hesitatingly at the robes, which were 'too colorful' in her opinion. If it was on her own decision, she would never choose to wear it on her own accord.
She looked down at her own gray robes, then at the clothes, he was handing off to her.
"Is there anything wrong with what I'm wearing?" She asked.
"Yes, your clothes would only look normal in a nunnery." He bluntly said.
"..." Xue'er was speechless, she examined her clothes once more, were they really that terrible?
She took the clothes from Gan Tian Chi's hands and went into her room.
Inside her room, she collected those coins, that were full of luster under the sun. She liked them a lot, each one had a different herb painted on it, in total making a set of fifty. They could not be used as real money, but they could possibly be used in trading.
She changed into the clothes, before taking a look at herself, she looked like a child from a poor village that was long forgotten by merchants in the outside world.
But still, the clothes were a little too big for her, making it look like her body was all skin and bones below the clothes.
There was a frailness to her when outsiders looked at the child that seemed weak and malnourished because of her pale skin that made her look sickly and almost like a ghost, they could not help but pity her.