Chapter 53: Xiezhi 
I meet you again
Li Shu probed with a flashlight, but he could not see a lead. It was very deep. There were gusts of cool wind coming up from inside; it was not a sealed space.
Zhang Qiu didn’t know if Qi Xi and second’s wife were here, but this broken-wall temple was apparent to the eye that it could not hide people. Yet the director said that they were running towards it. “Otherwise, go down first?”
Li Shu looked back at the people behind him. “Follow or stay up?”
The director cranked out his neck to look around at the hole. The eerie coldness made him retract his neck. The director had just gone through life and death; he didn’t really want to go down. It seemed quite dangerous, looking at the deep pitch-black. Who knew if he would climb out of the hole again, but it was also dangerous to stay where he was, and there were still the bodies of those monsters not far away.
“Well, maybe the people you’re looking for are not here. Let’s look around again?” The director whispered. He neither wanted to go down nor stayed up, nor did he want the strongest among all Li Shu to go down.
“I won’t go down. I’ll stay here and wait for Big Brother.” Aishan said.
The young girl at the side nodded as she listened. She was so distracted that she didn’t want any more twists and turns. She just wanted to go home early. The director looked at Aishan’s strong physique, although not as good as this long-haired, but also good to deal with those monsters, so he quickly said: “Then, I also won’t go, save from dragging your hind legs.”
Lu Feng and Hua Ting certainly wanted to do down. Zhang Qiu divided their food into several parts and left some for Aishan and the others. He and Hua Ting carried some on their backs. After everyone had jerky beef and water in their pockets, they went down.
The passage was narrow and long. Li Shu led and Zhang Qiu followed. The slope was very steep. They walked about ten meters, the slope became more smoother and eventually leveled off. The whole passage was paved with stone slabs. The polished passage was very smooth and glossy. There was no crack in it. It was wide and high. There was only one passage that went straight ahead; black and dark, nothing could be seen.
Who knew how long it took, but Zhang Qiu’s legs were sore and Hua Ting’s breath also seemed course.
“Take a break.” Li Shu said.
Zhang Qiu sat on the floor and thumped on his sore legs. “How do I feel like I’ve been walking for a long time?” He long ago didn’t know where he had lost his cell phone.
When Hua Ting heard it, he raised his sports wristwatch and looked at it. “We have been walking for two hours and forty minutes.”
It’s just over two hours. Zhang Qiu’s physical strength was better now than before; he wouldn’t be so tired after two hours journey, but he really felt that he had gone too long. After he thought about it, he said, “Do you think there will be any magnetic field disturbing his wristwatch like that at second’s wife’s tomb?”
Li Shu shook his head and sat beside Zhang Qiu. He reached out and kneaded Zhang Qiu’s legs. He said, “It’s in your mind. You can’t see in front of you and neither did we talk just now. We just were taking care of walking. Subconsciously, we would feel that time is going on for a long time.”
Lu Feng and Hua Ting also sat beside them to rest. Zhang Qiu took out the food. Everyone ate, drank and rested for a while. They supplemented their strength and went on.
This time on the way, Zhang Qiu and Hua Ting chatted and talked about today. Time passed quickly and they were not tired. Finally, Zhang Qiu was very excited to see that the front was no longer dark and beam of light was shining.
Everyone quickened their pace. Zhang Qiu came up and when he saw the situation ahead, his excited smiling face just now then froze.
“It’s a dead end.” Lu Feng spoke with deep disappointment.
The top stone wall was painted with murals, brightly colours, and there was gloomy light in the dark. The content of the painting was a woman, dressed up in the Western Regions, with a plump figure, wearing elegant clothes, seemingly dancing, and the expression of enjoy painted on her face. But Zhang Qiu totally felt weird and not knowing how to say a sense of violation.
“The eyes.” Li Shu said at the side.
Zhang Qiu’s subconsciously looked into the eyes of the picture and his head momentarily fuzzy.
【Do you think Li Shu really likes you?】
【He’s just using you, fool.】
【Kill him, kill him…】
Who was it? Who spoke in his ear?
【Quickly go! Take him away!】
【Li Shu, don’t——】
The image in his mind was frozen at the pair of thick dark red eyes, full of fierce staring at him, as if to gnaw him to the utmost.
Zhang Qiu’s head hurt like needles pinned on it; he covered his head. Reality and the image just now filled his head, and beside his ears was Li Shu’s resolute and cold voice.
“Song Bao, what’s wrong?”
Zhang Qiu looked up and happened to look at Li Shu in the eyes. He was stunned.
“What do you think about? You just looked to be in pain. Are you hurt?”
Li Shu’s eyes did not conceal his concern. Zhang Qiu suddenly was separated from the image of the fierce eyes, he shook his head, “When I looked into these eyes, my head felt dizzy, and there are people talking inside my head.”
“Then don’t look at it.” Li Shu said decisively.
Hua Ting also had a lingering fear and added at the side, “I also just found something wrong. The woman in this mural looks very enjoyable, but her eyes are full of indifference and strangled pain. When I looked at the eyes, my head is ——”
“What’s wrong?” Lu Feng saw Hua Ting’s expression was not right and comforted him by saying, “Whatever you are seeing, there’s something wrong with the things here. It’s alright, it’s all an illusion.”
Hua Ting held Lu Feng’s hand tightly. “I just saw you dead.”
“No, I’m still standing in front of you, alive.” Lu Feng said holding Hua Ting.
Li Shu heard Hua Ting’s words and looked at Zhang Qiu, who was out of his mind. He knew that Zhang Qiu might have seen something else just now.
“Remember in Pixian County’s tomb that you looked at the terrcotta figurines and then hallucinated. The murals should be painted the same way.” Li Shu patted Zhang Qiu’s back and said, “Don’t look at it.”
Zhang Qiu suppressed his uneasiness. The illusion he had just had was especially the cold and ruthlessness of Li Shu’s eyes at the end. These kinds of eyes were looking at him, and there was a voice saying that Li Shu just took advantage of him.
He shook his head, no way. He’s just an ordinary man. What could Li Shu use him for?
Perhaps Li Shu was right. There’s something wrong with the paint. Just now everything was just an illusion. Zhang Qiu straightened out his thoughts and not letting himself be entangled, he avoided the eyes of the woman in the painting. Diverting his attention, he said: “The director said they’re here, but we’ve only come to this wall now. We haven’t seen them. What can we do now? Or shall we go back first?”
Zhang Qiu’s legs weakened at the thought of returning to the original road, which they spent more than five hours. They had wasted time from going forward and back on the way, but still found no one.
Li Shu shook his head. “Don’t go back.” He moved around the door, finally ariived at the woman’s eyes in the mural.
Zhang Qiu was shocked and was afraid of Li Shu getting affected. “Don’t look at the eyes!”
“It’s okay. It doesn’t work for me.” Li Shu reached out and knocked on the wall twice. The knocking went “du du“, and it sounded empty. “It’s hollow. There’s room behind it.”
“How do we get in? Should it not be smashed?” Zhang Qiu scanned in a circle and found no buttons. The paintings were also flat and there was no bulge all around.
“We’re in the desert now. The passage is built with stone slabs. If there’s a collision, the sand falling from the broken slabs will bury us. We can’t use force.” Li Shu said and stepped gently along the stone wall. It was plainly slippery, but Li Shu’s feet stepped steadily.
His body was stuck in the triangle, and his one hand gently dug in into the two eyes painting. Then a click sounded, and the stone wall opened slowly.
The inside was a corridor and it was still dark inside, so Zhang Qiu shone a round of lights. There were brightly coloured paintings on the stone wall. Li Shu guarded Zhang Qiu and told Xiao Jiangshi not to run around. Lu Feng and Hua Ting walked behind them.
The murals were brightly coloured, vivid and life-like, depicting a prosperous country in the desert, where men were strong and tough, women were rich and beautiful, and children were lively and lovely, outlining the scene of prosperity and strength.
The magnificent momentum of urban architecture and the murals in front were all living and working in peace and contentment, praising the strength of the country.
At the back, the colour of the murals changed from gorgeous to gray, and the whole picture was particularly depressing. What a beautiful scene it had just been. At this moment, it was just like purgatory on earth; the skinny emaciated women; the big heads of children with slender limbs; the men bleeding into rivers; and the black fog hung over the city.
This country’s fate was within the end of its limits.
The people were not resigned to it. They wanted to make their country rich and powerful again. The Queen sacrificed herself to the True God. The Queen’s Mausoleum was built with the whole country’s efforts.
Zhang Qiu thought that offering sacrifices to the True God was dead accompanying burial, but the murals did not look like that. The Queen was a small young girl, be rigged out in her best, with fear in her eyes, and was sealed alive in a coffin and sent to the tomb.
Her people all gave out cheers and knelt down to the mausoleum, where the murals were stopped there.
“This is the Queen’s Mausoleum.” Zhang Qiu didn’t realize that it was a tomb again. His goose bumps were on the rise especially when he thought of the Queen being sealed up alive in the coffin.
Hua Ting recalled that the general’s tomb was also sealed alive. Although he had no memory, he could feel some despair and pain when translating the words on the coffin board.
The mural road was only five or six meters away, followed by a dome arch, bright red pillars, with three words inscribed on the stone tablets. Zhang Qiu could not recognize them. Hua Ting looked and shook his head. “It’s an archaic language, and I also don’t understand it.”
Although they couldn’t understand it, the period was long time ago when they saw it at first glance. They went on, this time the road became narrow and small, and the bricks on the soles of their feet were paved with white and sleek jade, until the end, but within ten meters of the distance, there was also a small door.
The door was white jade, with carving of the Queen, faintly looking at them with a pair of eyes.
Zhang Qiu shivered as he stared at her. “Did you notice that the temperature turned cold?”
The temperature gap in the desert was so wide. When they went down into the pit, they should be around 4:00 a.m. After calculating the time, at this time, it should be passed 11:00 a.m., but the temperature in the pit was getting colder and colder than when they first entered.
“I smelled big brother.”
From Zhang Qiu’s body suddenly came a voice. It suddenly appeared in this closed dark place, which frightened Zhang Qiu. Ling Dang, beside him, had already transform to an entity and stared at the small door in anxious. “Big brother is inside. I can smell him, really, Your Excellency.”
As Ling Dang finished saying, he pushed open the jade door impatiently. His figure disappeared quickly inside the door. A glorious light came through the crack of the door. Li Shu held a dagger in his hand and pulled Zhang Qiu in his other hand, to keep close behind him.
This was a huge tomb, with continuous light falling from the top of the head. The whole tomb was clearly visible. There was a golden coffin in the middle, facing the black pillar in the rear. The tied up Pei Qing was nailed on it, and the pillars on both sides were the Pixian Hui Wang and Qi Xi in his true form.
The blood stained the whole column red and gathered under the middle golden coffin through the pattern on the ground.
“I meet you again, Li Shu.”
THE END OF VOLUME 1
> Chapter 54