Even though the pair of snakes had good chemistry, they were at a loss facing Meng Fuyao's attacks that resembled that of a lunatic woman. Instinctively, their heads turned towards two opposite directions. Capitalizing on that opportunity, Meng Fuyao suddenly dropped her dagger and grabbed a head in each of her hands. With a strong kick, two porcelain pots flew towards them, and with a loud bang, the heads crashed into the respective pots. Meng Fuyao immediately stuck the pots in the lotus-shaped handrails.
The pots were stuck tightly in the handrail. The snakes struggled to wiggle out, and the other two heads continued to pounce on the ground, but they were to no avail.
Meng Fuyao picked up her dagger. Smiling wickedly, she walked up and said, "I know you aren't afraid of me chopping you up into two because the two segments will just transform into four snakes. That's too much for trouble for me. With your main heads trapped, there's no use for your vice heads to try to fight."
She was about to settle the remaining heads when a loud commotion rang behind her, with sounds of objects crashing and some rustling. Meng Fuyao looked back and saw that the bunch of porcelain pots had all fallen and were scattered across the ground. In some of the pots, black objects slowly crawled out.
As for the four terracotta warriors, the black porcelain pieces on their bodies started to crack and fall piece by piece, revealing a golden armor within it.
Meng Fuyao was stunned.
There was a cursed snake, and so be it but what was this? A mutated terracotta corpse?
Of course, the Gun Tribe was rumored to be a demonic clan that specializes in spells and curses. She should have expected that there would not have been any normal corpses in the tomb.
What a pity that Meng Fuyao was not a student of the craft of tomb raiding. Up until then, she had never seen a mutated corpse with her own eyes, much less developed a habit to fight this species.
Furthermore, the group of black objects was as big as a pet dog. The thin and weak limbs were on the floor, and its red face looked somewhat human and non-human at the same time. It seemed even more poisonous than the snakes, leaving behind curtains of black fog. The demonic atmosphere appeared, and Meng Fuyao was afraid that the phantoms would come again. If she could not remain conscious in such a place, only death would await her.
So, she fled.
Meng Fuyao smashed the snakeheads with strong kicks and ran far away. Behind her, the sound of cracks became louder and louder, while the temperature seemed to drop by a few degrees. The snakes were dead, but the fog became even thicker than ever. Meng Fuyao saw the black objects crawling towards her, blocking her path. Each one burst open and revealed a red body, highly resembling the flayed hedgehogs that they devoured a few days earlier.
The "hedgehogs" pounced on her, bringing along with them a fishy odor. Behind, the terracotta warriors finished shedding, and the golden-armored warriors raised their hands stiffly, seeming to follow the movements of the black objects. It lifted its hands and in each palm lay a bead.
It's "eyes" followed Meng Fuyao's figure, the bead in its palms continually adjusting their position, like a sniper aiming towards its target.
Meng Fuyao was forced to the state whereby she could no longer retreat.
The places that the "hedgehogs" passed by were contaminated with a sticky red juice that simmered with smoke. There was a booby trap below the tomb, and the "hedgehogs" were wickedly trying to force her into the trap. Meanwhile, the four corners were stationed with the mutated terracotta corpses with their palms deadly aimed towards her. Once they finished adjusting their positions, she would become the sacrificial object at the intersection of the four beads.
Meng Fuyao had nowhere to go. Out of the blue, she jumped upwards.
She was only halfway through the jump when she slanted her body and reached out to a branch of the coral tree in the corner of the wall. She swung to the other side, and with a kick, the gold and silver pots flew towards the group of "hedgehogs" and the mutated corpses. Some of them were scattered further away, smashing against the walls.
Those black objects subconsciously avoided the pots, and their movements made the mutated terracotta corpses close their palms slowly.
Meng Fuyao heaved a sigh of relief and leaned against the wall, her back covered with cold sweat.
A thunderous sound rang in her ears.
The wall suddenly disappeared, and Meng Fuyao could not help but fall back. The same fishy odor wafted towards her again, and she saw those black "hedgehogs" suddenly appearing before her, their pungent saliva almost dripping on her forehead. The closest one to her raised its sharp and bloody claws to attack and was about to land on her eyelids.
Meng Fuyao's heart sank. She was going to die!
Almost instantaneously, a black figure spun before her like a tornado and a pair of steel-like hands grabbed her shoulders, pulling her to safe ground. Meng Fuyao instinctively wanted to use her dagger to stab the figure, but its voice sounded, "It's me!"
It was Zhan Beiye.
Meng Fuyao instantly relaxed but almost dropped down again. Zhan Beiye caught her in time and hollered, "Be careful!"
Clutching on to him and without a clear vision, Meng Fuyao shouted, "Where have you been?"
"I was always here," replied Zhan Beiye as he waved his sword, the gleam of its blade flashing by like strokes of lightning. "I encountered the same situation."
It was at that moment that Meng Fuyao realized that she was in the corner of a tomb. Zhan Beiye was in front of her, and Ji Yu and the remaining soldiers were present as well. There was the mural she saw, shattered pots on the floor and the strange block objects. She was still in the same tomb with the same creatures, but under closer scrutinization, she found out that there were less funerary objects and there were no terracotta warriors in the four corners. It was obvious that it was a different batch.
She thought for a moment and asked, "The walls were flipped over, or are they mobile?"
"Yes," Zhan Beiye said as he stabbed one of the black objects to death. "We were separated once we stepped into the tomb. The black fog was an illusion to hide the shifting of the walls. There are probably three rooms in here, including one main tomb and two side rooms. The one you were in is a side room."
Meng Fuyao's knife silently sliced past a creature, causing blood to splatter. She asked, "How do you know that this is the main tomb?"
Zhan Beiye nodded his head towards a spot and said, "Look at that."
There was a small door covered by the pond. The door had paintings on it too, though of a very different style. It incorporated drawing methods of ethnic minorities, using clean strokes and light colors. The painting depicted a man with pale-green clothing standing on a boat, his hands to his back while admiring the scenery. The strokes were few, but it created a very magnificent and celestial aura of the man.
Meng Fuyao looked at the painting and promptly remembered that this was what felt abnormal when she was in the passageway. This painting appeared in the lowest corner of the mural in the passageway, and the difference in the style of the painting had aroused her curiosity. Looking back, he must be the owner of the tomb.
However, this man looked like he was of the Han ethnicity. Why would the Gun Tribe tomb bury a Han as their ancestor?
There was no time for her to think in depth. Meng Fuyao remarked, "The path is over there, right? How do we get there?"
"According to rumors, the Gun Tribe tombs normally had another tomb under a tomb. The bones are all kept in the depths of the hollow mountain, so there must be another pathway below this tomb, though I don't know whether it is wet or dry," Zhan Beiye frowned as he looked at the floor and replied. "There are too many of these objects. What's more important is that the booby trap will be activated soon."
Meng Fuyao then discovered that as more black objects were killed, more blood oozed out and gradually filled up the small pits on the ground. Once a pit was filled up, the blood would flow to the next one. More than half of the pits were already filled up.
"What a wicked method… " Meng Fuyao sucked in a deep breath. It was intentionally putting them in a tough position. In order to survive, they had to kill these black objects but doing so could cause blood to flow and trigger the trap. They were forced to a dead end.
Burning them could probably work, but their lighters were already snatched away by the bats. There were not even enough lighters for them to last through the remaining journey, much less create a big fire.
No one dared to use thunder crash bombs either. There was no guarantee that the architecture might collapse or they might accidentally trigger another trap.
The owner had been arranging two paths right from the start - one for people of their clan to pass through safely and another filled with layers of traps for intruders.
Seasoned tomb raiders who entered would not drink the seemingly dangerous alcohol, but if there were any exceptions, those who entered would have to face this trap, triggered by the blood of the objects.
Meng Fuyao smiled bitterly and said, "It would be good if we were all 'one spot killers' of the Central Plains. One stab seals the throat, and only one drop of blood flows out."
"It is of no use," Zhan Beiye said without any hesitation. "These things are like sacks of blood. Wherever you stab, a pool of blood will splatter. They are meant for this purpose."
"Why is there no black fog?" Meng Fuyao spotted an anomaly and queried. "Doesn't the fog appear wherever these things are?"
"Ji Yu crushed the remaining tortoise shell into powder and scattered them around this room," said Zhan Beiye. "His tortoiseshell is a treasure specially brought back from E Ocean, Luosha Island in Fufeng. It is like no other and is exceptionally good at fending evil spirits. What a pity that it's all used."
"I'll pay," answered Meng Fuyao. "I will get Yao Xun to find one as soon as possible."
Zhan Beiye did not reply. He killed another two creatures and looked at the pits that were about to be filled up, the gleaming blood flowing and sputtering as if it was alive. He promptly said, "Fuyao, later I'll carry you and try to cross over the trap. It's faster this way… "
"Don't even think about it," Meng Fuyao cut off his words. "Do you take me for a pig? If we could cross this, we would have done it long ago. You're carrying me over because you want to use your back as a shield and then sacrifice your life for me? Forget about it."
Zhan Beiye frowned and said, "Why do you suspect so much?"
Meng Fuyao smirked and was about to retort him when there was a low cry behind them.
At the same time, a few soldiers started to scream.
Meng Fuyao and Zhan Beiye looked back at the same time - the Dark Wind Horses would never make a commotion out of nothing so what had happened?
What they saw, stopped them in their tracks.
Amongst the soldiers, one of them suddenly hunched and whimpered in great pain. He gradually crouched down and handfuls of hair started to fall. The clothes started to rip apart bit by bit as well, the black cloth resembling butterflies hovering in the air. Right after, his skin started to crack apart, revealing his bright red flesh.