Chapter 18: Diary (2)

“He killed an on-duty night watch who was dozing off, and also bit a few who were unprepared. Luckily, their lives were not in danger. As for the dead leader, he was finally burnt completely by us, only, his final sardonic laughter continued to linger in my mind. He laughed, ‘Those that were cursed will definitely come after your life!’ I believed what he said was not a joke. I suggested  everyone to immediately return that jade to where it belonged. Hence, we returned to the tomb but, everything inside was now beyond recognition, like the cornfield that suffered under a swarm of locusts. It was an utter mess inside.

“We were currently heading below the altar, leaving the main cause of the mess above. Compared to Zong Zi, they had more patience and were much more troublesome. Their bodies were as nimble as monkeys, their teeth and claws contained ptomaine. Once infected, the whole body would enter a paralysis and we would not be able to move. The shitty thing was, as we were in a hurry, we went the wrong way. Ye Mao was already extremely scared as he was afraid of dying here. So, he was dispirited and absent-minded.

“I counted the number of people we had left. From a hundred people in the beginning, there were only a total of twenty survivors and two heavily injured members left, ones of whom we were not able to give immediate treatment. The exit route was blocked and even if we headed that way, I believed we would not be able to easily avoid the curse. Also, I noticed a point that I dared not bring up, and that was, all the insiders, such as those in higher management, and the person in charge of planning this exploration, had died. I didn’t want to cause a panic to this current group of remaining survivors. Before, I didn’t know for what objective did those people start this project with, but now for the sake of surviving, I must find the answer. Since we couldn’t retreat, then we might as well go forward.”

The more Xiao Bei read, droplets of cold sweats started to cover his whole body. His heart was trembling in fear. Though this was not something from his own personal experience, from the looks of those hastily written words, he could tell that the owner of this diary had come across an extremely dangerous situation, and whatever sufferings the diary’s owner had met, he too might meet them. Those monkey like creatures, whose claws contained ptomaine, were those mutated monsters which he encountered previously.

So what did they meet below the altar? Why was he the only one that was trapped here to death? What was the thing outside that had caused fatty to be so frightened? The answer would soon be revealed.

“Today makes the fourth day we were trapped in here and we still could not find an exit. Panic began to spread among the group. The two seriously injured members, in the end, passed away due to the unfavorable environment and this intensified their fear. There were even some that began to hallucinate and quarrel over making their own decision which might end up leading them to their own doom. Our supplies were also running out, and the remainder could only sustain us for 3 more days! Three days, I had never imagined that this extremely short period would be my last remaining time alive. I am unwilling. I am really unwilling. Zong Zi was unable to kill me; countless mechanisms were unable to stop me; so how could I be knocked down by this little bit of difficulty? In here, there’s a depression and I don’t know what hidden dangers were submerged in the waters. Unless it was my final option, I didn’t want to take the risk and dive in, and I believed nobody would want to be the first to test the waters. Ye Mao, this fellow, was suffering from a high fever. My original purpose for bringing Ye Mao was to allow him to gain more experience through this exploration, but unexpectedly, I had ruined his future and this had become my only regret. How could I let Ye Mao’s father down? Even if I went down to hell, I still would not have the face to face him ah! No, I had to think of a way, a way, a way!  My mind was a mess. If there was no other choice, then I might as well cut us a bloody path out of this tomb!

“I suddenly thought of a plan. If we sacrificed a few people, we might be able to successfully escape from here.  I admit that I’m selfish, but even if I’m to sacrifice myself, I must get Ye Mao out of here. He still has a long life ahead for him. As for the others, they were unrelated to me, so why should I care about them? I began to carry out my plan.”

……

“A day had already passed and it became more difficult to bear the torture of awaiting their death. For the sake of surviving, I saw how disgusting a person’s nature would become. People started to fight for the sake of snatching away some other’s surviving chance. When food wasn’t enough to fill everyone, then killing a few people would help to give them a few more days to live. Ultimately, they might be inclined to even eat human flesh raw. I’m not in danger as now I was their pillar of support. Only I am that trace of hope to lead the survivors out of here. Hence, none dared to touch me. From this, I became more determined and assured to carry out my plan. However, I needed to wait for an opportunity, a suitable timing, but not now.

……

“Today I personally ended two lives. They dared not make a move on me but dared to have thoughts of attacking Ye Mao! The smell of blood stimulated everyone’s already weakened mental state, causing chaos to descend. People started to disregard their rationality and recklessly attacked any living creature around them. All their actions were very aggressive like they had injected drugs into their system. I brought Ye Mao to my side and drew a circle around us to isolate ourselves from the fight. Only when someone entered would I kill!

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“This situation lasted for a short while and when everyone’s energy was thoroughly depleted, I knew the time had come!

“’What’s the reason for this fight? What will we gain from this?’ I had asked, but none uttered a word. I sneered in my heart but I continued my speech, ‘Now, other than this depression* (talking about the pool of water that could lead to wherever), there’s nothing in here. We are also running out of supplies to sustain us. Hence our only hope to break out of here is to clear out those monsters above. I know everyone is worried about their own lives but for this to work, we need to be united.’ I looked at the surrounding people but none refuted. Very good, this was what I had anticipated, no, it was even better than what I had expected.

“Under my lead, everyone threw away all those unnecessary things. The canned foods which would increase our weight were thrown into the depression* nearby. Those things that were thrown into the depression* and causing numerous splashes were supplies for which they were previously fighting for to increase their remaining surviving days. I hinted to them from the side that if we did not manage to break out of here, then only death awaited. Under the drive of the desire to live, everyone’s eyes were all red. They completely sealed off any of their retreat and this caused me to remember a 4 characters chinese expression——破釜沉舟(to cut off one’s means of retreat).

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“I carried Ye Mao and together with the entire group, we quietly entered the tunnel and up the altar. The atmosphere was strangely quiet and I knew this was the tranquility before the storm. Sure enough, this state of silence did not last for even a minute and those monsters had already detected the smell of us. They were like cats that happened to catch a whiff of a fishy smell and they rapidly flooded in. They nimbly climbed the wall and created a concentrated amount of ‘shāshā’ sounds. This was caused by the movement of those monsters’ claws and their actions were very fast and swift.

“Gunfires immediately sounded, engulfing all the other noises, causing the scene to seem really spectacular. Shortly afterwards, someone threw out explosives that had the power to blow a hole in the mountain. The loud explosion caused my ears to only hear a buzzing sound, making me momentarily deaf. I saw that someone was at the edge and stealthily moved to his side. I suddenly pushed him out. In a flash, a bunch of monsters pounced on that person. That person, with all his might, frantically fought so as to live but it ended up attracting most of those monsters’ attention. I immediately gave out the order to abandon that man. Taking advantage of a weakened area where there were now lesser monsters, we instantly made our escape through there. Hence, under the gaze that was filled with anger and despair, he watched us opened up a path which seemed like the mouth of a devil, sardonically laughing in the darkness.

“I pushed Ye Mao to the front to take the lead. After handing him a pistol, I told him to always run forward and never turn back, in the future it would be best if he doesn’t ever get involved in this line of work. Afterward, I took out a small explosive which I had secretly hidden on me. Boom. The only exit was sealed. I smiled without the slightest scruple. I knew that there wasn’t any danger on the other side and Ye Mao would be able to safely escape from this den of monsters.

“The rest of the group had eyes that were filled with despair. They wanted to kill me but those monsters had already flooded into their vicinity as if it was now at high tide. In a blink of an eye, they were drowned in that flood. It was not known who shouted out but it caused the remaining survivors to turn back and head for the depression. Maybe there was an exit below. Nobody had dived into the depression before but this line of thinking was just an excuse to give themselves some hope. I suppose that would also be my only chance of escaping from here so I also hurriedly rushed back.

“Regarding the ability to adapt, nobody could stand shoulder to shoulder with me, so I was the first to reach the depression. The depression below the altar was still as calm as before. I clenched my teeth and was about to jump in when something beyond my expectation occurred……”


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