At this time, the sky was already dark. Yang Dingtian raised his head and gazed towards the sky, but due to the cavern being too deep, it goes without saying that the cavern mouth was only as large as a palm, so Yang Dingtian could only see this palm-sized sky.
At this moment, the moon had ascended into the sky, passing through the sky on top of Yang Dingtian’s head. There, he clearly saw two moons.
In Su Dongpo’s1 words:
“May we all be blessed with longevity,”
Though thousands of miles apart, we are still able to share the beauty of the moon together”.
But right now, the moon Yang Dingtian and his parents were looking at were not the same; over here, there was two moons.
Sorrow and weariness invaded Yang Dingtian. He took a glance at the old man who wasn’t so far away. The old man was motionless and had his eyes closed like before.
Arriving at these circumstances, there was nothing to be afraid of. As a result, Yang Dingtian slowly closed his eyes and heavily went to sleep.
After he woke up once more, it was after another dozens of hours had passed.
Yang Dingtian wanted to get up and continue to seek a way out or look for an exit road in the cavern, only to find himself completely unable to stand up. Being hungry for several days and nights had already completely depleted his energy. The stockpile of decades of heat had been consumed clean in order to save the old man by melting the root of the icicle.
These past few days and nights, Yang Dingtian had only drank some melted ice water. He did not take in even a bite of food and in addition, he had also lost lots of blood. Wanting to stand up was impossible at this moment; he really didn’t even have a bit of strength.
At this time the sky outside was dark. There was no sun as layers of black clouds hiding it.
Shortly after, the sky started snowing and fist-sized snowballs started coming down from the sky. Not long after, the snow became a thick layer on the entire bottom of the cavern. The old man was still motionless with his eyes closed and his entire body was slowly being covered by the heavy snowfall. After about an hour, the old man’s whole body had already become hidden from sight and he had become a snowman.
And the snow on Yang Dingtian’s body also began to gradually accumulate, but at this time, his body heat was unable to melt the snow.
In order to avoid being buried in snow, Yang Dingtian used strength to shake around. But after a while, snow once again built up, so Yang Dingtian shook again.
One time, two times, three times…
At last, Yang Dingtian had no more energy to shake around, his body was thoroughly drained of the last trace of heat. He watched helplessly as the snow buried himself, as well as his own life being thoroughly buried.
Suddenly, the snow-covered old man’s body in the place not-so-far-away trembled and the old man moved. He reached out with his hand, felt his bosom, fished out a red colored thing, and threw it in Yang Dingtian’s direction.
It was a red colored pill.
The pill fell on top of the snow and the surrounding snow immediately started melting. On top of the pure-white snow, the pill was like a flame.
At this moment, Yang Dingtian’s survival instinct gathered and surged up the last bit of strength. His body suddenly threw itself towards the pill and he opened his mouth to bite it.
As for whether or not it was a poison? Whether eating it would have any consequences? Yang Dingtian completely ignored it.
When the spherical pill just entered his mouth, it immediately felt as if there was a fire burning in his mouth. It was like a liquid flame squeezed down his throat to his abdomen, then distributed heat into the bloodstream of his body.
Immediately, as if a warm spring sun shined upon the earth, Yang Dingtian’s stiff body recovered inch by inch.
Very quickly, his body changed back into a burning stove once again, fully restoring his vitality. Even so much that there was a powerful strength charging around violently within his body, wanting to burst forth at all costs. Yang Dingtian only felt that his body had useful strength that wasn’t used.
“What is this thing? Unexpectedly so mysterious?” Yang Dingtian was surprised and excited, then walked to the front of the old man and bowed: “Thank you, old gentleman!”
“But how can your body can resist the cold for so long, don’t you need to eat one?” Yang Dingtian asked.
The old man did not pay any attention to him and kept his eyes shut as before. He let the snow fall onto his body, once again turning himself into a snowman.
Following, no matter what Yang Dingtian said, the opposite party did not respond whatsoever.
Yang Dingtian, who had his whole body full of heat and was clueless with what to do with it, carelessly brandished his fist around because the cavern was so large, dancing in a disorderly manner.
The heavy snow kept falling and falling. It would pile up approximately ⅔ of a meter after a short while, almost completely burying the old man. Thus, after every half hour, Yang Dingtian went to clear up the snow around the old man once.
“This snowfall is very big, piling up so quickly. Perhaps this cavern would be filled by after a few years.” Yang Dingtian secretly thought.
He couldn’t help but have a burst of ecstasy. Afterwards, he rushed to the old man: “Old gentleman, old gentleman, I found the solution to get out, I found the solution to get out.”
But the old man still did not have any response like before.
Yang Dingtian had truly found the means to get out. He could use the snow to make steps and freeze them on the ice wall. This cavern was approximately several kilometers deep, so to make an ice stair on the wall would require roughly around a few thousand steps.
Acting after speaking, Yang Dingtian first used snow and pushed it into a ⅓ meter long, ⅙ meter wide, 3 inch thick snow brick. Then, he used this chunk of snow brick and pushed it against the wall of the cavern to stick it on. Using his body’s heat, he melted the snow brick a bit and stuck it against the wall. Then, the snow brick condensed into a small ice brick, becoming firmly attached to the wall.
After spending an hour, Yang Dingtian completed the achievement of making the first flight of stairs. It was an ice stairway half a meter above the ground and when Yang Dingtian stood on top of it, it really could support the weight of a person without breaking.
Therefore, Yang Dingtian began making the second flight of stairs. The second flight of stairs was above the first flight of stairs by 30 centimeters and was ahead of it in by 30 centimeters. The stairway slant upwards one by one and only in this way could one walk upwards. If the flight of stairs was vertical, it would be impossible to walk.
After a whole ten hours, Yang Dingtian went through great trials and tribulations. He made almost 10 ten flights of ice stairs and accumulated a lot of fatigue, so he first sat down and went to sleep, carrying it on after waking up
Ten days later, Yang Dingtian had already made 120 flights of ice stairs. The highest step being already above the cavern floor by 40 meters. These 10 days, the old man kept his eyes closed and didn’t move as before, in addition to not speaking a word. On the other hand, Yang Dingtian had spent every second of his waking time to make the flights of ice stairs. When he was extremely tired, he would lie down on the floor and sleep, then continue after waking up.
But, Yang Dingtian had no choice but to stop. Because the large snowfall only continued for one day, these 120 flights of ice stairs had already consumed all the snow within the cavern. If he wanted to make the flights of ice stairs again, he could only wait until the next snowfall.
Moreover, the energy of the flame pill from before had been consumed cleanly. Yang Dingtian’s body once again became becoming ice-cold, losing strength.
Yang Dingtian looked up hopefully at the sky. He had never before looked forward to seeing a black cloud then right now, awaiting the arrival of heavy snow. But the sky was devoid of clouds for thousands of miles, sunlight illuminating everything.
At this moment, the old man suddenly opened his eyes. This was the first time in ten days that he opened his eyes. He first took a glance at the flights of ice stairs that Yang Dingtian, then looked towards Yang Dingtian.
Yang Dingtian was immediately moved emotionally. He proud of the flights of ice stairs that he made and excitedly said: “Old gentleman look, these flight of stairs are what I made. We’ll be able to get out very quickly. Don’t worry, the flights of stairs I made are very firm. When the moment comes, I’ll carry you out.”
The old man’s face had no reaction whatsoever, nor was there praise within his eyes. He slowly closed his eyes again, as if there was nothing to see. However, he fished out a pill from his bosom and threw it over.
It was the fire-red pill from before. Yang Dingtian quickly picked it up and threw it into his mouth.
Immediately, his body began to burn and it was as if his whole body was full of boundless energy. It made him full of the desire to roar, but fearing that he would annoy the old man, he could only carelessly let out punches, venting the rampaging energy within him.
The pill was truly very mystical, there simply wasn’t such a mystical item on Earth. This thing should be precious, perhaps worth a great deal of gold. With this pill, Yang Dingtian could go several days without eating and his body would be full of strength.
It was just that even though this pill was so precious, although Yang Dingtian did not have the thought of appropriating it to himself, he also did not have any thoughts about desiring the pill for himself. When Yang Dingtian took the pill, he gained energy that his whole body was not able to vent, so he extremely looked forward to it snowing. As long as it snowed, he could make flights of ice steps and be able to leave this place as soon as possible.
Finally, it was as if heaven had heard Yang Dingtian’s prayer, but it could also be that winter was approaching. On the fifth day after Yang Dingtian took the second pill, snow fell down from the sky once again. Although it wasn’t as big as last time, it also wasn’t small.
Immediately, Yang Dingtian almost went mad from excitement and he howled as if his life depending on it.
Not even waiting for the snow to pile up a few inches, he anxiously began making the snow bricks.
Suddenly, the old man’s body moved and the snow on top of his body was shaken off. The old man opened his eyes, waved as he faced Yang Dingtian, and opened his mouth to say two characters. Although Yang Dingtian still did not understand like before, he understood that the meaning behind the old man’s words was to make him come over.
Yang Dingtian hurried went over and said: “Old gentleman look, it is snowing. We will be going out very soon.”
The old man showed a faint smile. For the whole half month, this was the old man’s first smile.
Then, the old man stretched and wrote a character on top of the snow, a character that Yang Dingtian did not know. Then, the old man read out the character. After reading it out, he pointed to himself.
Yang Dingtian restrained his excitement and asked: “Old gentleman, you want to teach me this world’s writing and language?”
The old man did not understand what Yang Dingtian was saying and still pointed at the character written on the snow before, then used his finger to point at himself.
Then, Yang Dingtian wrote the Chinese character for ‘I’ on the snow.
“The character that you wrote ought to be the meaning of ‘I’.” Yang Dingtian said: “The character I wrote on the snow means ‘I’. Slowly read it out and point to yourself.” 2
“I…” Even though the old man had only listened to it once, he unexpectedly accurately read it out. Then, he pointed at the ‘I’ character on the snow, afterwards pointed at himself and finally wrote the ‘I’ character on the snow.
Yang Dingtian was immediately surprised speechless, this old man was too awesome. Merely hearing and seeing it once, he was able to read and write. Yang Dingtian’s character was written very well, but he didn’t think that the old man’s first time writing the character for ‘I’ was as good as his. The old man had strong calligraphy, profundity in his bone.
After that, the old man wrote the word that he had written on the snow once again, then read it again, and pointed at himself.
Yang Dingtian hurriedly read the word, then wrote the word on the snow once. This character was this world’s “I” character.
Yang Dingtian’s pronunciation and writing became quite accurate. The old man faintly smiled and nodded, then wrote another word onto the snow. He read it out loud, then pointed at Yang Dingtian.
This time, it should be the ‘you’ character in this other world.