However, fatty and Xing Man Tian did not dig for long before they stopped.
“What happened?” Lu Yun, the boy that was wearing a spectacle asked. He had mysteriously moved to Xiao Bei’s side.
“Don’t know. All of you wait for me here, I’ll go check.” As he said taht, Xiao Bei strode forward and jumped onto the sacrificial platform. He saw fatty and Xing Man Tian squatting down as they were lost in thought.
Very quickly, he found out why.
On top of the sacrificial platform, fatty and Xing Man Tian managed to dig out a trapdoor that was buried shallowly beneath the surface. However, no matter what, they were unable to open it as the panel was too heavy.
Suddenly, as if he had caught onto something, Xiao Bei had any idea.
Xiao Bei patted fatty with excitement, and exclaimed, “I think I know how to open it!”
On hearing Xiao Bei’s words, Xing Man Tian abruptly lifted his head and his cold baby face relaxed. Xiao Bei continued, “Statue! Those two stone lions!”
Fatty also seemed to realize what Xiao Bei was referring. He turned and went down the sacrificial platform. Fatty waved his hand, indicating for the two to move away from the periphery of the trapdoor.
After the two moved away, fatty then walked to the stone lion’s side and pressed its eye. The tomb once again violently trembled.
About ten seconds later, Xiao Bei could clearly hear the mechanism below him making ka cha sounds.
The panel of a trapdoor slowly rose.
Xiao Bei was excited. Probably because he had never seen such a scene before, after all, this was his first adventure. And though humans tend to fear the unknown, they do still desire to venture out, to explore. This stimulating feeling allowed Xiao Bei to give rise to a momentary despondent.
The panel stopped rising after reaching a certain height and the mechanism plus the trembling of the tomb also came to a halt. Regarding that stone panel, it was stuck in mid-air which prevented people from seeing what was beneath it.
“The other lion eye!” Xiao Bei shouted.
Fatty heard it and quickly ran to the front of the other stone lion and pushed against the eye. The tomb once again trembled and this time, the trembling was more violent than before.
The heavy stone panel that was in mid-air produced “zhī gā, zhī gā” groans. It rose to two meters before sliding to the side. A massive, pitch black hole appeared on the sacrificial platform.
Xing Man Tian threw a stone inside and for a long time, there wasn’t any sound. Fatty, who once again stepped onto the sacrificial platform, had a pleasantly surprised expression but it gradually became cold and serious.
Nobody knew what was the situation below and they dared not rashly take action. Fatty took out two fire-sticks from his bag and threw it inside. They watched at the light gradually became fainter until it finally was swallowed by darkness. Fatty did not speak a word, but Xiao Bei could clearly feel that fatty was on the verge of doing something reckless.
In an instant, everyone was so quiet to the point that it was scary. None went to disturb fatty and Xing Man Tian.
“Miāo.” A meow of a cat broke the silence.
Xing Man Tian, fatty, and Xiao Bei together looked to the direction of the sound with surprise while Qiu Yu’s group had a look of panic. Lu Yun and Xiao Min unconsciously hid behind Qiu Yu’s back.
This small action caused Xiao Bei’s impression of Lu Yun, the weak spectacle boy, to be filled with even more disgust.
“It’s it! It’s still alive!” Xiao Bei exclaimed under his breath.
On the other side of the sacrificial platform, a black cat which seemed to come out of thin air was staring at Xiao Bei and the others. Its pair of green pupils shined in the shadow below the sacrificial platform.
Very quickly, Xiao Bei’s facial expression froze.
“We should quickly leave here! Quickly!” Xiao Bei shouted.
“No, there must be something below this altar! Maybe there would be secrets that would unlock the mysteries of this jade!” Fatty said it with resolution and decisiveness. Xiao Bei was aware that nobody’s words could move him but they could not wait and do nothing.
Since this cat was able to come out, it showed that that stone door was not able to totally seal the tunnel. That meant monsters could also come out! The cat might have led those here!
Xiao Bei’s scalp started to go numb. He could only look towards Xing Man Tian yet he helplessly found that Xing Man Tian’s cold baby face was also as resolute as fatty’s.
“If don’t leave now, you all will die here!”
Fatty and Xing Man Tian did not want to give up. If they were not able to find the secrets of the jade, they would not feel safe as every day they would be living in the shadows of fear.
“Your body may be holding some virus and you will be cursed. What would you choose?” Fatty’s words caused Xiao Bei to be silent.
“If not, you can leave with them. Don’t hesitate.” Fatty patted Xiao Bei’s shoulder and said, “Everyone’s aspect of life is different. Unless the truth is found, there won’t be any point in living. Though this view may be different from your’s, this is what I think.”
Xing Man Tian took out a rope from his bag and found a place to fix it. He tugged the rope twice with all his might to confirm that there wasn’t any problem before throwing the rope into the huge hole.
Looking at Xiao Bei who was motionless like a block of wood, fatty urged, “Why aren’t you going? If you don’t leaving now, you won’t be able to later.”
This time Xiao Bei jumped down from the altar but on his face, there was still hints of hesitation.
Though he treasured his little life, he was still curious of the jade’s secret.
In the end, Xiao Bei clenched his teeth, and together with Qiu Yu’s group, exited through the hole they came in from before.
Fatty ran in Xiao Bei’s direction and shouted, “Remember to take a rope with you all. Go along this direction and follow the tunnel you went in before to go back. You should be able to climb out from a hole and escape from this place there!”
The tunnel was still as dark as before. Though with the light shined from the torches in Qiu Yu and Lu Yun’s hands, the surrounding was still hazily dim and scarily quiet.
Xiao Bei heart felt as if he had toppled a five flavor cruet.
In fact, fatty and Xing Man Tian could stay behind and help Qiu Yu’s group but they didn’t. The black cat was following behind Qiu Yu’s group like it was monitoring their every action. This caused Lu Yun to repeatedly have thoughts of driving it away but it always tightly followed them.
Who knew whether fatty and Xing Man Tian this time would be able to escape the dangers involved, but Xiao Bei felt their odds were so small that it was even more difficult than finding a needle in the ocean as he knew how fierce those monsters were. They would recklessly and desperately rush forward to shred apart every creature.
Xiao Bei was slightly worried about fatty and Xing Man Tian.
The hole he fell into was up ahead, not too far away. Xiao Bei tied the rope to a stone and threw with all his strength but all his consecutive throws just limply fell back down.
After repeatedly throwing back and forth, the rope was finally fixed. Who knew which tree branch the rope was tangled to but it was able to at least withstand a person’s weight.
Xiao Bei let Xiao Min climbed up first, followed by Lu Yun and then Qiu Yu. When it was finally Xiao Bei’s turn, the rope above suddenly loosened and Xiao Bei once again fell back into the tomb.
In a flash, another mountaineering rope was thrown in from above.
“Quickly climb up, we will pull you up!” It was Qiu Yu who took out the rope from her bag and threw it down. She extended her head above the hole and looked down.
Xiao Bei turned his head and looked back at the long and deep tunnel. He sighed and held tightly to the rope. Fatty and Xing Man Tian should have already gone all the way down to the bottom of the altar, right? Xiao Bei thought in his heart.
As Xiao Bei’s body slowly rose up, both his legs were pushing against the wall as if he was walking.
Outside, the sky was already brightened and the golden sunlight shone down, dyeing everyone’s clothing.
What beautiful sunshine, ah. How long has it been since he last saw the sun? It was great. Would fatty and Xing Man Tian be able to see sunlight again? Xiao Bei wondered, full of melancholy.
And then something happened. Right at the bottom of the wall, he saw it. A mural.