It was only when all six petals were lit up that the central mechanism would be activated. Xiao Lou’s inference was indeed correct. Where was the secret mechanism in the medicine house?
Yu Hanjiang, Lu Jiuchuan and Old Mo stepped forward to grab three corners of the medicine hut and turn it. They thought that after all six colored charms were lit, the medicine house would continue to turn. But…
The three of them exhausted their strength given by the milk and still couldn’t turn the medicine hut.
Yu Hanjiang looked up. “Is the mechanism not in the medicine hut?”
However, apart from the medicine hut in the middle of the room, the floor didn’t show any hidden mechanisms. They also carefully checked all six walls and there was no mechanism. Xiao Lou frowned and looked around.
The Eternal Flame Lamp? He walked over and tried to turn the lights on the six walls. They couldn’t be turned or moved. The Eternal Flame Lamp was fixed in its place, so it shouldn’t be a mechanism. It wasn’t the surrounding walls, the medicine hut, the Eternal Flame Lamp, the ground… where would the mechanism be?
Xiao Lou suddenly looked up. The ceiling! The room had the ground, walls and medicine hut eliminated so only the roof was left. Who would’ve thought that the mechanism of the underground tomb would be on the ceiling?
Xiao Lou instructed, “Pay attention to the masks on the ceiling.”
The masks were colorful and had all types of weird patterns on them. The numerous masks covered the entire ceiling. Xiao Lou couldn’t see clearly so he sent a look of help to Yu Hanjiang…
Yu Hanjiang understood in seconds. He immediately held Xiao Lou and flew up with the light footwork card.
From this short distance, Xiao Lou found that some of the masks corresponded to the six paths of reincarnation. He tried to remove the black mask corresponding to the hell realm path. The place that the mask covered was a stone brick with the corresponding charm painted on it.
Xiao Lou quickly removed six masks of different colors and exposed six stone bricks. He moved the positions of the stone bricks so that they corresponded with the six walls.
There was a loud bang in everyone’s ears. The six-walled room shook violently like an earthquake was occurring. The medicine hut in the center of the room suddenly sank, revealing a deep slide. Yu Hanjiang hugged Xiao Lou and landed back on the ground. The two of them came to the medicine hut together and looked down.
The slide had no visible end and it was uncertain where it went. Still, this was certain to be the exit of the petal shaped labyrinth they had encountered.
Xiao Lou held down the voice headset and told Gui Yuanzhang how to crack the mechanism. “Senior, the mechanism is on the ceiling. If you remove the masks with the six colors then six stone bricks with charms will appear. Adjust the position to correspond with the six paths of reincarnations and the medicine hut will be activated.”
Gui Yuanzhang’s voice was soon heard in his ear. “There is another secret room below the medicine hut. Enter and see?”
Xiao Lou agreed. “Keep in touch.”
Both teams headed into the depths of the labyrinth using the slide.
A while later, a man and a woman came out of the door to the path of the demi-god realm and walked into the six paths of reincarnation room. They wore black tights that were easy to move in and had silver-white metal masks on their faces. Their faces couldn’t be seen clearly but their eyes were sharp and cold. The medicine hut had sunken into the ground and revealed an exit. The two people exchanged looks.
The man spoke in a cold voice. “It seems they have found the exit of this room.”
The woman frowned, her voice revealing a trace of discomfort. “The exit is actually beneath the medicine hut. We split up and entered different paths to block them, but our timing with them was staggered every time and we became injured. If we knew this, it would’ve been better to wait in the room of six reincarnations.”
The man looked at her calmly. “Why so anxious? This time, we don’t necessarily have to kill Lu Jiuchuan. Our task is to follow and find out the details of his team. We don’t know how many people are in his team right now and we might not necessarily be successful if we make a move.”
The woman thought about it and nodded. “Yes.”
Then she looked around and fixed her eyes on the door to the hell realm path. “Where is she? Why hasn’t she come out after so long?”
“She probably died in the hell realm path.” The man walked to the front of the medicine hut, looked down at the slide and picked up his walkie-talkie. “Everyone, listen to my order. There is a path beneath the medicine hut in the center of the six paths of reincarnation room. Continue to track them and pay attention not to be found by them.”
“Yes.” A few voices were heard in his ears before the man and his companion jumped down the slide.
A long corridor paved with stone appeared in front of them. The sound of their footsteps was clear with every step they took. Yu Hanjiang held the Night Pearl and led the way. Xiao Lou, Lu Jiuchuan and Old Mo followed closely. Tang Ci and Liu Qiao were still thumb-sized and stayed in their pockets.
Xiao Lou paid attention to the murals on the wall as he walked.
The first picture was about a baby being born. This baby should be of distinguished status because people held a grand blessing event for the birth. The second picture was of the child growing up and wearing colorful dresses with beautiful braids. It was a girl.
Later, it told the story of her marriage. She wore a red wedding dress and a phoenix crown. There was a mighty guard of honor and the wedding banquet was very lively. The entire wedding mural was five meters long.
The characters in the murals were so vivid that they quickly understood the contents of the three paintings. Strangely, the murals came to an abrupt end after the candle-lit night in the bridal chamber. Liu Qiao couldn’t help wondering, “What happened to her after the marriage? Logically, if the murals represent the life experience of the owner of the ancient tomb, it should be painted until the owner’s death. It doesn’t make sense to only paint half of it, right?”
Xiao Lou looked at the murals and fell into contemplation. The murals used a large amount of red that resembled blood stains, revealing a trace of strangeness in this dark passage. He asked Ye Qi through Heart has a Tacit Exchange of Romantic Feelings, “Xiao Ye, what is happening on your side?”
Ye Qi answered, “There are some murals on the wall. It is about the life of a woman, from her birth to her marriage…”
“What about after her marriage?”
Ye Qi paused in a slightly confused manner. “There is nothing after her marriage. The walls after it are empty.”
Xiao Lou heard this and the strange feeling in his heart grew stronger. He softly told Yu Hanjiang, “The theme of this week is the headless general’s tomb. I’m afraid that the owner of this tomb isn’t a simple general.”
Yu Hanjiang stopped in front of the last mural. “Did this woman…”
Xiao Lou nodded. “She probably died after getting married.”
Liu Qiao was right. If the tomb used the murals to record the life of the tomb owner then it was unreasonable to record the murals of this woman only to stop at the marriage. If a normal woman was buried, they must be images of her heirs and some important traces of her later life.
—Unless she died shortly after marriage and there was nothing to record.
The group exchanged looks and continued to move forward. The deeper the passage, the narrower and colder it became.
Xiao Lou asked Old Mo, “Which direction is the compass showing?”
Old Mo answered, “East the entire time.”
It was a straight passage without any forks or bends and Old Mo could clearly identify the direction according to the compass. It wasn’t known how much time had passed before Xiao Lou noticed a stone door in front of him. There was a strange turntable on the door marked with the symbols for gold, wood, water, fire and earth.
Xiao Lou adjusted the turntable according to the law of the five elements so it became wood, fire, earth, gold and water.
The next moment, the stone door opened smoothly in front of everyone.
Simultaneously, Ye Qi sent him a message. “Professor Xiao, we saw a five elements turntable. The mechanism is very simple. The door was opened by Senior Gui and there is a coffin in a room!”
Xiao Lou looked up and saw a coffin in the room. It was a sarcophagus with unintelligible characters carved on the stone like strange spells.
The entire room was brightly lit and the Eternal Flame Lamp in the corner had been burning for many years. The light might be on but the temperature of this room was very low. The cold made everyone shiver. The even stranger thing was the large amount of blood on the sarcophagus.
Lu Jiuchuan raised an eyebrow. “There is so much blood on the sarcophagus? Has someone else entered this room before us?”
Xiao Lou answered, “The blood has been here for some years. It has oxidized and solidified from the air so it appears red-black. It should be left over from hundreds of years ago. It isn’t that someone came to this room. It is that something bad happened during the placement of this sarcophagus.”
People who weren’t afraid of corpses naturally weren’t afraid of blood.
Xiao Lou stepped forward to examine the blood around the sarcophagus. He soon came to a conclusion. “The blood is leaking out from inside the coffin.”
Everyone heard this and sucked in a breath. Who or what was in the coffin? How could there be so much blood seeping out?!
Xiao Lou’s face was a bit pale as he took a step back and looked at the sarcophagus in front of him. “I suspect that the sarcophagus contains the woman from the mural. She was still alive when placed in the coffin.”
That was why she struggled so much that blood leaked from inside the coffin.
Everyone felt cold. Putting a living person in a coffin and burying her underground. She would experience fear, pain and hunger until… the final despair. Who had really experienced the feeling of waiting to die?
Xiao Lou took a deep breath, turned around and told his teammates, “This ancient tomb should be a living tomb. The coffin on Ye Qi’s side probably also has a woman buried alive. A master buried these women alive and created the six paths of reincarnation rooms. This is probably… a priest’s ceremony?”
Sure enough, Ye Qi’s voice entered his ear again. “There is blood on the sarcophagus!”
Xiao Lou’s speculation was confirmed. There were two women buried alive in this tomb on the east and west sides. In order to exit from this ancient tomb labyrinth, they needed to find the main tomb, know the identity of the tomb owner and find the meaning behind this priest’s ceremony.
Xiao Lou suggested, “Let’s go.”
Just then, the sarcophagus shook violently. The sharp and piercing sound of nails sliding across the surface of the stone entered their ears. The originally solidified dark blood on the sarcophagus turned bright red like it had just started flowing out.
Lu Jiuchuan leaned back and exclaimed, “Sudden movement of the corpse?!”
Proofreader: Paranoid Kitten & Fictional Reality