Chapter 2: Tomb

“It’s that cat,” Xiao Bei said. He had continued, talking of the peculiarity, wondering whether this cat followed Yang Chen back from overseas. Yang Chen was shocked as he saw Xiao Bei’s straight face as he spoke. Snapping out of it, he remembered that this morning, during their breakfast, Xiao Bei recounted that on the previous night, he had been frightened by a cat.

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“Idiot, with this, you can make out it was the same cat as last night? All cats act the same. Besides, it was so f**king dark, how are you able to recognize it?”

Xiao Bei patted his chest and solemnly swore that it was that same cat that climbed up his window. Otherwise, he would not happily agree to go along. Yang Chen knew this guy had always viewed his little life as the most important, excluding money.

Something was really fishy and it was a big one too, Xiao Bei has warned. The three felt cold sweat down their backs.

After looking at the task, Xiao Bei muttered, “YunNan, Li Jiang Ancient City. This place’s scenery seemed not bad, and it is also one of the well-known tourist destination within the country. Normally speaking, there shouldn’t be any dangers there but why is my heart beating so fast, like there would be a bad premonition?”

It was still late autumn,winter was approaching, but it had yet to arrive, but this awful weather was way worse than those from the previous winter itself. This caused many to find it unbearable.

According to brother Liu’s words, the Co-adjutant Union mainly release duties online. Hence, for more information, and to have a better understanding of the task, one has to rely on the internet. Furthermore, equipment preparation also had to be ordered online.

There was still two days before they needed to set out to their task; and Xiao Bei and Yang Chen arranged to meet at the train station before taking the train to Li Jiang and meeting up with the requestor. So, after arriving home, Xiao Bei went on his computer and went to a website he had been told about by brother Liu.

The website seemed to be of a forum that was divided into various sections. Xiao Bei was most interested in the story section, but he did not have the time. He could only move onto the equipment section to contact brother Liu’s acquaintance and purchase a batch of equipment. This was so that he was well prepared if an accident should happen.

In a blink of an eye, the agreed date arrived. Xiao Bei was panting heavily as he dragged his things to the train station. There, he met Yang Chen who was already carrying a huge travel bag but still also dragging along a luggage. When Xiao Bei looked at his own “light preparation for the coming battle”, he could not help but feel that he was making a huge fuss over nothing.

Yang Chen laughed as he waved his hand at Xiao Bei. He then handed over the train ticket to him.

“My goodness, why are you bringing so many things? We just only need to assist them. And there are things you can get when we’re at Li Jiang, ah!”

“Hēhē, we will not always stay at Li Jiang City. When it comes to it, you will know the meaning of being well prepared when we arrive. Anyway, by the looks of your luggage, it’s easy to tell that you are new, so best get to learning this point, rookie.” Yang Chen laughed as he dragged his luggage into the railway platform, leaving behind Xiao Bei who was blinking with embarrassment.

 

‘Hēi, rookie, I like this name,’ Xiao Bei said to himself as he smiled and shook his head, running to catch up.

Along the way, Xiao Bei seemed very excited. This caused Yang Chen to regret telling him that for this task, two beauties will be joining them, and that they had already arrived at Li Jiang le. Though bringing along a beauty was a joyful thing that can help to ease one’s mind, Xiao Bei had the appearance of a street gangster, and this caused Yang Chen to worry whether his association with Xiao Bei would only bring him shame. He secretly made up his mind to keep some distance from Xiao Bei should he be infected by his shamefulness.

*

Li Jiang Ancient City has a famous place known as Dayan Town. Till today, it is well preserved and is comparatively still intact as part of the Ancient City. Dayan Town is located at the center of Li Jiang and has a particularly beautiful scenery. As someone who had only lived in places bustling with activity, Xiao Bei’s eyes lit up. A clean, bluestone road, many small bridges across spanning rivers; everywhere seemed to be filled with an ancient mystique; it just lacked a grand and magnificent city wall. However, it gave an exquisite and lively impression. The ancient street by the Inn and the cultural atmosphere complemented each other.

“Aaah! Finally here!” Xiao Bei opened both his arms and took a deep breath. “It’s so stuffy and boring on the train. I will go crazy if I were to stay in there for one more second.”

Xiao Bei took out his notepad and looked at today’s itinerary. They were to go to the Li Jiang Inn and join up with the group. Who knows whether there would be something interesting that’s going to happen? Ever since Xiao Bei had accepted this task, he finally could sleep peacefully. It was weird. Those nightmares did not harass him again and this allowed him to be spiritually energized during the last two days.

The two dragged their luggage to their Inn and onto the second floor, room 201. Once they entered the room, Xiao Bei left his luggage on the ground and fell heavily onto the bed.

Yang Chen took out his laptop and linked it to the network cable. On the Co-adjutant website forum, he created a chat room, and this attracted Xiao Bei’s attention.

Online chats were usually done using QQ’s functions. So, this type of online chatting method was really rare; why must Yang Chen connect to others with this method?

As if answering his question, Yang Chen began, “This is our internal network special communicating method and it will not leave any records. This method has been strengthened so that it will protect our communication system from wiretapping, as in the past, we had encountered many cases of confidential information being leaked. Hence we opted for this. You will understand in the future.”

Yang Chen’s eyebrows suddenly knit as he was explaining.  When Xiao Bei saw this, he quickly asked what was happening.

“I’m not so clear on this, but it seems there will be a change in plans. Brother Liu said that the other members had already arrived early, but now it seems like they didn’t, and will be arriving late.  I’m worried something might have happened to them.”

 

“It can’t be, right? Perhaps their trip here might have just been delayed? You ask brother Liu whether he knows which rooms they are staying. Maybe we can find some useful clues?” Xiao Bei had never met such circumstances before. It was precisely because of this that he was calmer than Yang Chen. “Maybe they had really arrived early but had gone out for a stroll.”

Yang Chen could only helplessly nod his head, “I hope so.”

When Yang Chen was about to convey his guess to Liu Xin when a person suddenly joined the chat room and this was quickly followed by a line of shocking text.

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“Yang Chen, this Qiu Yu! There’s a change in plans! We are trapped! Stuck in a tomb, north of Shi Zi Shan. My laptop is running out of battery. Hurry!”

QiuYu is one of the beauties Yang Chen had said before. She once worked as an interpreter, but later, for who knows what reason, she was willing to join a risky adventurous job. In the beginning, they both guessed that the two girls were delayed, let alone expect that they were in critical situation. When the two saw those lines of text, they knew they were wrong.

Shi Zi Shan is located at the west of Li Jiang. It was originally where Mu Shi Tu Si stayed and it was also where they worshiped heaven, their ancestors, and nature itself. Though the locals still continued to practice burial customs, their graves were not like those normal ones. Their graves may have even been ancient tombs! From ancient times, as long as one had status, their grave would be special. Hence, those tombs were extremely dangerous. Even if they did not randomly move around, they do not have enough supplies and may anytime perish.

[TLN: more about MuShiTuSi, search: https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E4%B8%BD%E6%B1%9F%E5%9C%9F%E5%8F%B8]

“This…isn’t this joke a bit too big, ah…?” Xiao Bei murmured.

“What stupid joke?! We must hurry to save them!” Yang Chen struck a palm onto Xiao Bei’s head before he quickly packed his luggage. Xiao Bei now then sobered and followed Yang Chen to pack his things.


 


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