TLDP: Ch22. Trapped and Stranded
Zhang Zixuan came over and said: “It’s as Brother Chen said, if Brother Xiaolong learned martial arts, your skill will greatly improve! My Zhang family has many rare martial arts books, if Brother Xiaolong has some free time you can visit us and I may send over several copies.”
“Why do you want to help me?” I was puzzled and immediately asked.
“I want to befriend you.” He replied shortly as he gave me a small vial of liquid: “This is a medicinal liquid, made with our secret recipe, if you wipe your wounds with this, it will take at most 24 hours for the wounds to recover.”
I thanked him and couldn’t help but wonder why Zhang Zixuan gave me this? He couldn’t be… gay right? I shivered when the thought crossed my mind and instantly threw it away as I didn’t dare to think about this thing and quickly wiped the medicinal liquid on my wounds.
Most of the team had entered the woman ghost’s chamber as I sat to wipe the medicinal liquid on my wounds. I took a glance at the bodyguard’s corpse who had died a tragic death, and pondered who were these bodyguards? They seemed to have no feelings at all, they had no fear as they absolutely knew perfectly well of what they were headed into but accepted the commands without demur. They didn’t even budge when seeing a companion die. They were rather cold-blooded, like killing machines.
Chen Haozhe did mention about the Eight Prominent Clan several times. Zhang Zixuan, Miss Jiang, and the Chen’s brothers were the direct descendants from these families. Even Chen Jianmin who had an honored and high status in the public’s eyes must listen to their words. These families were really powerful and mysterious.
I finished wiping my wounds with the medicine and entered the woman ghost’s chamber. Most people watched and observed the books as well as the paintings. There were three paintings. First, the painting of which Long Chen’s body was hit by three arrows, of which two arrows pierced his chest but he still gave off a heroic and imposing aura like a military general.
Second, a deathly pale Long Chen painting as he sat on the bed and gave some orders to the people around him.
Third, a painting portraying a tall and large tombstone in the stone chamber of which it had characters inscribed on it: General’s Tomb.
Judging from the evidence, this ancient tomb was clearly not Liu Bowen’s, but instead belonged to this unknown imperial general Long Chen. Miss Jiang carefully took down a hanging painting as if she wanted to collect it and bring it out.
As for the books, they were mostly poetry books, songs, and military tactics. There was nothing special here.
Chen Haozhe looked at his watch as he said: “It’s 3 pm, we will withdraw first and let the tomb’s chambers air flush with fresh air, and we will search again tomorrow.”
We climbed back to the ground. One bodyguard had skinned the dead black bear from last night and had cut its meat and then made a fire to grill it. Seeing the blood drip from the black bear meat made Miss Jiang lose her appetite as the blood reminded her about the dead bodyguard as she ran to the far side and started to vomit again. That night, several people chose to eat the packaged biscuits.
I didn’t care about those things though, I just sat with the bodyguards beside the fire and grilled some bear meat. I had been injured today and needed to eat some meat to help my recovery.
The next morning when I got up, I was surprised to find that all the wounds on my body had been perfectly healed! The medicinal liquid given by Zhang Zixuan was really wonderful! The swollen face that he got from being hit by that woman ghost had also subsided and healed. Even his skin color was back to its normal color! Damn, it was too amazing!
As of this morning, the bodyguards made a bear meat bouillon. It was very delicious and I took three bowls worth of it as I then filled my canteen and put it in my black backpack. I reorganized the lead bars and my Daoist charm stock, and prepared myself to continue to explore the tomb again.
Water was taken from a nearby creek and when the bodyguard who fetched some buckets of water in the early morning, he saw many wild animals around the creek. Though this was not that strange though, as these animals weren’t some kind of desert organisms and if they didn’t drink water for a long time, that would mean death for them.
After breakfast, I chatted with Chen Haozhe: “Second young master, I had almost used up my Yang qi yesterday, therefore I’m not in a good condition to extinguish my Yang fire again to enter the ‘Opening Eyes’ state, and unfortunately I have no cattle tears left. Thus, I suggest that Xia Chaoran take the lead to search for any ghosts or evil spirits today. However I will act if we encounter any ghosts.” I made up my excuses as I planned to have my small revenge on Xia Chaoran.
“Your Yang Qi was used up to that extent? Will it affect your power? Do you want to take a break for a day?” Chen Haozhe seemed very concerned as he replied. However I could guess that he feared that I would accidentally die and looking for someone who had abilities like me would be quite difficult. Moreover, it would also waste time.
I quickly replied: “Thank you for second young master’s concern, I don’t need any rest and it won’t affect my power either. I just temporarily can’t extinguish my Yang fire and as for my condition, it should fully recover by tomorrow.”
“Then, that’s alright.” Chen Haozhe continued: “I called Xia Chaoran for this, and it was originally his role after all, it’s time to do his part of the job.”
Zhang Zixuan was right, Xia Chaoran was simply this Chao Haozhe’s lap dog, he was absolutely obedient as he didn’t dare to face the young doctor anymore. And as he heard Chen Haozhe’s arrangement, he immediately complied without hesitation.
When everyone had finished their preparations, we entered the ancient tomb once again!
As we arrived at the bodyguard’s corpse who died yesterday, all the blood had dried already, as everyone crawled in one after another to enter the woman ghost’s chamber as some of us prepared to open the next tomb chamber’s door’s mechanism.
All the bodyguards took a flashlight and carried a gun for fear that there would be a monster coming out from behind that stone door.
The tomb’s chamber didn’t have any monsters, it didn’t even have any mechanism at all. There was only a two meter high stele that was engraved with four Chinese characters: ALL TRESPASSERS DIE!
Chen Haozhe looked at the characters in disdain as he said: “There is nothing in there but some traps mechanisms. As long as everybody carefully treads forward, we will not have anything to fear. Hey you! Go search and explore the chamber.” Chen Haozhe ordered two bodyguards.
A bodyguard carefully threw a stone as he imitated my actions from yesterday. I could see that he had prepared and brought a few blocks of stones today.
Under the probe, the stone door actually didn’t fall. The bodyguard continued to probe for a while longer before they determined that there were no traps within the chamber. We walked and entered the chamber with the stele in the middle. There was nothing else besides the stone door behind the stele. Chen Haozhe sent a few commands again: “Several of you, go, open the stone door.”
This chamber’s stele was very large and occupied most of the chamber. Therefore we fell back into the woman ghost chamber, and left four bodyguards in that chamber. I stood at the entrance and observed their movements. One of the bodyguard’s hands accidentally pressed the golden wheeled disk’s dial. A bang sound could be heard from behind me. Bang! The stone door immediately fell and closed the chamber!
They touched the trap’s trigger!
The entrance to the woman ghost’s chamber had tightly closed! 29 people gathered in the stele tomb chamber and the woman ghost’s chamber, were now stranded! One of the bodyguards tried to open the closest stone door but find out that the golden wheel disk was broken! The stone door didn’t even budge! Chen Haozhe’s complexion turned grim and blackened: “Shit… F**k!!!”
“You didn’t bring the anti-tank grenade? We must blast open this stone door! Otherwise we will be trapped and will die, you three will stay here and are responsible for blasting this stone door open. Now you wait until the rest of us move to the other chamber, after you can begin to blast this stone door. I hope when I get back here, this damned door will be opened!” Chen Haozhe turned around and spoke to everyone: “Everyone, you don’t need to worry about what happened. However, we cannot leave behind too many people, otherwise we cannot carry on the exploration. These trivial mechanisms cannot block us.”
Honestly, I really didn’t want to continue forward.
There were too many traps and unknown mechanisms here If we are not careful, it would cost us our life and this was not a joke. But Chen Haozhe had a gun in his hands, and if I suggested to not go, I suspect he would shoot me without any hesitation as I felt that he was like Xia Chaoran. The kinds of people that saw others as garbage because they came from an influential family. More so, this Chen Haozhe had a far bigger background…
The stone door had been opened, as a moist decayed smell passed through. One of the bodyguards said: “Second young master, it’s quite strange, there is no stone door in the back of the new chamber, but is instead a tunnel.”
A burst of humid air and decayed smell passed by as the girls covered their noses. Chen Haozhe finally gave his order: “Let’s go.”
Through several days of observing everyone’s conducts, I found out that the Chen brothers’ relations were not good as, as they seemed to avoid talking with each other. Moreover, Chen Haozhe took the lead to direct the team and seldomly conferred with Chen Haotian when making decisions. However, although Chen Haotian rarely spoke, I felt that this person was much more credible and was worth trusting in and befriending. But, the other’s status was far too high, and it seemed that I cannot become friends with him.
Three bodyguards took the lead as they scouted ahead and were then followed by Chen Haotian and myself as the rest including Chen Haozhe followed behind us.
The cave was quite large as three people could walk side by side easily, however since we were just entering, we carefully strode in slowly. After we found out that there were no traps and evil spirits we started to walk faster, as our speed gradually increased.
We had been advancing for about two kilometers as we could smell that the rotten odor and bad smell was getting denser. This made us feel suffocated, even Chen Haotian started to frown.
As we advanced for another tens meters, we arrived at a huge cavern! Apparently the tunnels connected the chambers with the cavern! This cavern was very big, and unbelievably wide and high.
But when the flashlight casted light over the top of the cave, we immediately discovered that something had gone terribly wrong! There were many green lights twinkling on the cave top! Miss Jian instantly screamed: “Ahh!!! Bats!!”
I really didn’t know whether it was her scream or the flashlight that frightened those things, but the countless green dots suddenly flew as the bats whipped their wings and rushed down at us! It was really bats! And countless of them!!! The size of each bat was about 30 cm with their wings opened! And they had attacked us at once!!! Everyone present had a large amount of bats surrounding and attacking them! Chen Haotian brandished his dagger in one of his hands and shouted: “Withdraw to the previous path! Be fast! Don’t shoot to avoid friendly fire!”
Chen Haozhe quickly took the lead to run into the tunnel, as his plaything, Shasha was too scared and instantly fainted. This chap seemed to not care and ran for his life aa he quickly disappeared from his previous spot without even turning his head once.
The woman who was with Zhang Zixuan was really a martial arts expert as she agilely drove the bats away and directly pulled Zhang Zixuan and ran into the tunnel.
Xia Chaoran, that bastard also ran away and quickly escaped as he followed behind Zhang Zixuan, he didn’t even pay attention to Zhou Huiqing who was also surrounded by the bats! I couldn’t help but curse him inside, this bastard really had no heart and would definitely die like a dog someday!
I was not some kind of noble and righteous person, I perhaps would not rescue Shasha who had fainted, but I could never leave Zhou Huiqing behind! I quickly wield my dagger in my hand and rushed toward her. I stroke down the bat that was on her body as I swiftly put off my sportswear and tied her body with rope and put her on my back as I ran like hell to the tunnel!
~~~~~~~~~~end of ch.22~~~~~~~~~~