Chapter 20: Life

It’s that damned black cat again. That beast was simply like a ghost that would never leave ah! These were Xiao Bei’s thoughts which kept circling in his mind. It seemed like he was now trapped by a swarm of bats, who knew when they would disperse. However, Xiao Bei’s mind was constantly shrouded with dark clouds.

Fatty asked, “Have you finished reading?”

Xiao Bei nodded. Fatty put away the cigarette and asked, “Do you know what’s outside?”

“Bats.”

“Yes, but they aren’t any ordinary bats. I heard from my senior that they were called Ah Qi Ya Gui Ying Fu (阿齐亚鬼影蝠). They were extremely swift and the sounds they issued out do not go straight but echo back. When afar, it would sound like radio static which we just heard previously, but in fact, there is no such sound. At the start, I did not think that those sounds were created by those creatures. When those bats flap their wings, the frequency is as fast as 180 times per minute. Only when they are near would the radio static sound then quell.”

“That’s why we could hear those loud wēng wēng sound only now?”

Fatty nodded his head. He took a deep breath before he unhurriedly spoke, “If we aren’t going to die from being trapped in here, then we would be sucked into dried corpses by those bats. That should be what is written in the diary, right?”

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Without waiting for Xiao Bei to answer, he laughed, “I know this jade is related to these skeletal remains.”

Xiao Bei was surprised by fatty’s accurate guess and it caused a huge wave to roll in his heart. “This jade must have been brought out by a person written in the diary.  He was the one who jumped into the depression. There’s also the possibility that that person had died and this jade had followed the water current. It might have been washed out and was picked up by someone.” After saying so, Xiao Bei gave a summary of the contents written in the diary.

“Someone must have entered this tomb before.” Fatty’s words seemed to be unquestionable as his tone was resolute and decisive.

Xiao Bei had also faintly guessed as such because, when he came by himself, he did not find too much traces or ruins. Even if they were to rot, there should be traces of it. Also, the entrance into the altar should have collapsed from the explosion but those had disappeared. Could it be that those were artificially repaired?

So who was it that would do such a thing? Xiao Bei smelled a conspiracy but there weren’t enough clues. So, he wasn’t able to make any guesses. Hence, he could only leave these thoughts at the depths of his heart.

Xiao Bei proposed an idea. After those Gui Ying Fu dispersed, they would look for the secret door that was written in the diary. Xiao Bei was extremely curious about the contents of the secret chamber. The diary did not say much about this and Xiao Bei’s heart was itching to know.

“You stay here. I know those things are sensitive to the smell of blood so later I will draw them away and you will enter the depression!” Fatty was very determined as he knew that if it was not due to the tremble that was written in the diary, those fellows would definitely not leave. That was just a coincidence and such a thing would not happen to them.

“Sī.” Xiao Bei sucked in a breath of cold air. He quickly went to stop the fatty who was getting up.

“You will definitely lose your life! Let’s go together!” Xiao Bei loudly exclaimed and his eyes became moist.

“Hēhē, newbie, I’m really not a good person. Perhaps this is fate and I wouldn’t be able to avoid this disaster. Death is the only reliever.” Fatty had already made up his mind. Not waiting for Xiao Bei to respond, he pushed away Xiao Bei’s hands, moved the stone that sealed the exit away and went out.

Fatty’s silhouette seemed to express his distress, precisely like how the book Xiao Bei once read described. But, he had forgotten where he saw it.

He comes alone and leaves by himself, maybe he already has no regrets. This is a type of consciousness which mankind originally possesses. A dream.

“No!!” Xiao Bei jumped up but his head hit the stone ceiling, causing him to fall down. While rolling and crawling, he wanted to chase after fatty.

Outside, there was an intense amount of “zī zī” sounds. With a few flaps of their wings, large shadows from the surroundings began to quickly gather together, forming a mass of dark clouds, making it seem like the area was covered with haze. A clear outline of an obese figure who had his head covered with tattered clothes was visible and with both his arms wide open, he ran far away.

As Xiao Bei watched the large ghost-like dark clouds swiftly fly away with their screeches, his eyes were about to cry tears of blood. He had unconsciously bitten his lips till they had split. Xiao Bei heavily sat on the ground.

So, is this how it ends?

It could truly be said that Fatty had sacrificed himself ah! There’s also the possibility that he had lied and he actually had a way of escaping ah!

Xiao Bei cried.

Though people felt disdain towards grave robbers, fatty’s actions were much better than those lofty lunatic archaeologists. A person’s life is insignificant when compared to hundreds or thousands of lives. It is as tiny as a water droplet in a cup. But, aren’t there times when a person’s life is extremely significant?

Now, Xiao Bei would never forget this person’s back.

Fatty had used his life to announce to the dark and dirty world. Xiao Bei believed that fatty had nothing to complain as this was a situation where not a single person would be able to change. It would be like changing a person’s selfishness for the betterment of this crazy world where dark and light coexist together.

People that were living in the dark might not be detectable. Night does not loathe daybreak because light and dark are two sides of the same coin.

“As time passed, I felt that you, this fellow, is quite interesting. You can hold on to this toy as in any case, you are also pulled in. Who knows, perhaps you might be able to solve this mystery. Hā Hā, this Lao Zi this time has done a good deed! Finally, I won’t need to be tormented in hell! Come!” Fatty’s words and wild laughter were like a sharp dagger that continuously pierced Xiao Bei’s heart.

A lustrous jade that had been passed through many hands was thrown from afar and landed in front of Xiao Bei. The Jade did not shatter.

Xiao Bei, who was sitting down, was in a daze and both his eyes were blankly staring straight ahead.

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No, no, I can’t stay here! Fatty, not just for my own sake, but I will definitely solve this mystery! I will have that shitty curse thoroughly disappear! Must I surrender to this whirlpool filled with mysteries and death? No! Damn! This Lao Zi does not care whether they are ghouls or bogies, damn them all! To hell with them!

Xiao Bei felt as if his heart twisted. It was fatty that had used his life to light up Xiao Bei’s last flame of life but that gorgeous flame that could burn even more brilliantly was about to be extinguished.

The veins in Xiao Bei’s hands bulged as he firmly grasped the ground. With a single push, Xiao Bei stood up and ran to the depression. In this depression, there must be a way out. He knew that the time fatty exchanged using his life wasn’t a lot, hence he had to hurry.

Pūtōng. Xiao Bei jumped into the depression. The icy cold water stung his skin and the water was much more bone freezing than the cold jade in his hand.

Though the water in the depression entered his mouth, Xiao Bei endured the urge to cough and desperately dived downwards.

Both bitter and salty taste constantly lingered in his mouth, who knew whether it was due to the depression’s water or his tears.

He was like a green leaf, quietly and gracefully floating along the current to an unknown distant place. This situation could either be fate or the resistance by man but from this moment onwards, everything had completely opened up.

……

A little stream had been quietly flowing down the mountain for a long time. A young lady came along to pluck some fresh flowers. She was in the meadow and was humming her village’s song as she looked around, from the east to the west.

Just when she walked to the riverbank and was about to wash her face, her expression became heavy and shortly afterward, she screamed.

This was because, not far away, there was a person floating on the surface of the water.

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