Returning to the Mass Burial Site
Lu Jiuchuan escorted the wild man out of the tree house and said, “Which one is the closest path to the mass burial site? Help show us the way.”
A hint of panic flashed in the wild man’s eyes. “What are you going to do at the mass burial site?” His eyes were clearly saying, ‘Do you want to kill me and throw my body at the mass burial site?’
Lu Jiuchuan smiled and patted his shoulder. “Don’t worry. We have no hatred with you and won’t kill you. Just lead the way.”
Tang Ci took the initiative to take out a piece of silver from his pocket and handed it over. “This is a reward.”
The wild man looked at the two people suspiciously. He really didn’t understand the origin of these two people. They came out of nowhere to step on the traps he had laid, tied him up and threatened him in order to ask many strange questions. Now they let him lead the way to the mass burial site and took the initiative to give him silver?
The wild man muttered under his breath before reluctantly taking a few steps forward. He said, “There are two ways to the mass burial site. One is the path from the front of the mountain and the other is at the cliff at the back of the mountain. Which one do you want to take?”
Tang Ci looked at him doubtfully. “The cliff is so high. Is there a way to go up?”
The wild man explained, “There is a vine you can use to climb up but it is very dangerous. I have lived here for more than 10 years. I once chased a wild boar to the back mountain and found there was a long hanging vine there. I used the vine to climb directly to the top of the mountain.”
Lu Jiuchuan nodded. “Show us both paths.”
The wild man took them to the front of the mountain first.
At the end of the forest, there was a small path that led directly to the top of the mountain. The path was winding but fortunately, it was relatively flat. There were many footprints left by those passing through. This should be the path that the residents of the town usually took to go to the mass burial site.
The other path was relatively hidden. They bypassed the forest and came to the back of the mountain. This happened to be at the bottom of the cliff. It was a large area with tall, low or strangely shaped rocks.
The cliff was soaring into the clouds and it was difficult to see the top from where they were standing at the bottom. Their view was blocked by a thick white fog.
It was as the wild man said. There was indeed a vine hanging down from the top of the cliff. Last night, they had stood at the edge of the cliff. It was late at night and it was too dark. None of them noticed the presence of this vine.
Lu Jiuchuan and Tang Ci looked at each other. Tang Ci temporarily tied the wild man to a tree and said, “Thanks. We will climb up and take a look. Then we’ll come down later and release you.”
It wasn’t that he wanted to make things difficult for this stranger but he was afraid that if he let the other person go, it would be troublesome if he attracted the hunters. Lu Jiuchuan simply lowered his hand in a sharp manner and knocked the wild man unconscious.
He grabbed the vine and pulled it hard. Then he told Tang Ci, “I will climb up. You wait here for me to teleport you there.”
Tang Ci said, “I will go up with you.”
Lu Jiuchuan shook his head. “Climbing along the vine is too dangerous. Besides, there are many sharp stones on this cliff. How bad will it be if you stumble and get injured?”
Tang Ci wanted to argue but Lu Jiuchuan smiled and stopped him with a gesture. “Xiao Tang, you watch the hunter here. Use the voice headset to communicate if there is a problem.”
Tang Ci had no choice but to give up. He instructed, “Then you should be careful.”
The cliff was at least three thousand meters high and wasn’t easy to climb. However, Lu Jiuchuan had loved the sport of ‘rock climbing’ since he was a child and he was very interested in the cliff in front of him. In fact, he could ride the vermilion bird directly up. The reason why he climbed it himself was to verify whether he could successfully reach the top of the mountain along this vine.
If so, it meant that someone had deliberately placed this vine to escape.
Lu Jiuchuan quickly used the end of the vine to tie a ring around his waist. His hands grasped the vine and his long legs were placed against the cliff as he climbed quickly. He was extremely agile. Tang Ci looked up and found that he had climbed dozens of meters in the blink of an eye.
Tang Ci pressed down on the earpiece. “What if someone cuts off the vine at the top of the mountain while you’re climbing up?”
Lu Jiuchuan smiled. “Then I will ride the vermilion bird to escape or simply return to the Peach Blossom Spring. Don’t worry, I have a few thoughts in my mind.”
Tang Ci looked up at this man’s back. Soon, the back became a small black dot in his field of view.
Gradually, Lu Jiuchuan’s figure was obscured by the white fog and disappeared. However, there were quite a few debris that fell down from where Lu Jiuchuan stepped.
It wasn’t known how much time passed before Lu Jiuchuan’s voice came from the earpiece. “I have reached the top of the mountain. The situation isn’t quite right.”
Tang Ci’s heart tensed and he hurriedly said, “Withdraw first if it is dangerous.”
Yu Hanjiang also asked in the voice channel, “Are you surrounded by zombies? If there are too many zombies, withdraw and we will figure out what to do.”
Lu Jiuchuan shook his head. “Rather than saying there are too many, it would be more accurate to say there are no zombies at all.”
The group was stunned when they heard this. Xiao Lou took the lead in reacting. “They went back to the mass burial site? Or is it that this secret room will only have a crisis at night?”
Lu Jiuchuan answered, “It might be that there will be an accident at night. I am currently at the mass burial site. There are rotting corpses all around me. These things haven’t changed. I don’t see the gravestones from last night.”
He placed Li Qingzhao’s mark nearby. “Wait five minutes and I’ll pull you over.”
After five minutes, a teleportation prompt appeared in front of everyone’s eyes. Xiao Lou said to his teammates, “You should stay at the inn first. Hanjiang and I will go to the mass burial site. After checking the clues, Chief Shao will use the other Li Qingzhao card to pull the two of us back.”
Shao Qingge nodded. “I understand. You should be careful.”
Their vision flashed and Xiao Lou, Yu Hanjiang and Tang Ci were instantly teleported to the top of the mountain.
Xiao Lou fixed his eyes on the scene in front of him. It was as Brother Jiu said. There were really no traces of zombies here. There were quite a few decomposing corpses scattered on the ground. Some of the bodies had been eaten by birds and dogs to an unbearable extent and the stench of decomposing corpses was all around them.
The mass burial site during the day wasn’t much better than last night’s zombie swarm. The only benefit was that these things wouldn’t take the initiative to attack them.
Tang Ci covered his mouth and nose with his sleeve. “This is the real appearance of the mass burial site, right? The one we entered last night was another instance?”
Yu Hanjiang said, “It seems that this secret room alternates between day and night. Everything is normal during the day and at night, the zombies will crawl out of the mass burial site. The town will also become a ghost town… challengers are forced to teleport to a survival instance.”
Xiao Lou said, “It is much better than I thought. If there are no zombies, it is more convenient for us to investigate and collect evidence.”
Xiao Lou looked at the corpses on the ground and was at ease.
There were no rubber gloves in the ancient world so he used scissors to cut Yu Hanjiang’s white silk and sew them into two pairs of white gloves. Lu Jiuchuan laughed from the side. “Professor Xiao doesn’t only make a warm furnace and umbrellas but you can also sew?”
Xiao Lou felt helpless. “I am forced by circumstance.”
He put on the gloves, lifted the hem of his clothing and walked quickly through the mass burial site, looking for his target.
He was looking for the wedding procession from three years ago. These people were all dressed in red clothing and were easier to find. There weren’t many red-clad corpses at the mass burial site so the dozens of red-clad bodies gathered together were very eye-catching.
Yu Hanjiang pointed not far away. “Over there.”
The four of them walked quickly and found the dozens of red-clad corpses thrown together like garbage. Among them was one wearing a phoenix crown and in full wedding attire. It should be Zhao Zean, the bride of the Zhao family.
Xiao Lou crouched down and looked at the surface of the corpse.
“Judging from the decomposition of the body and the appearance of the corpse spots, the time of death was three years ago. As for the cause of death, I’ll have to check it in detail.” He motioned to Yu Hanjiang to help turn the body over. He examined it carefully and said, “There are no marks of a sharp weapon stabbing the body and no signs of poisoning. She isn’t likely to be strangled…”
A group of people went to the mass burial site in the middle of the night as if they had lost their souls. The event itself was strange.
Now the body was found but the cause of death couldn’t be judged. This made Xiao Lou feel very puzzled.
He frowned and said, “The body was left in the mass burial site and exposed to the wind and sun for three years. They were gnawed on by beasts and the evidence has been damaged to the point of almost destruction… but judging from the expressions of some of the corpses whose faces were well preserved, most of the deceased look horrified. It is as if they had seen something that terrified them before they died.”
Lu Jiuchuan interjected, “Were they scared to death?”
Xiao Lou carefully analyzed it. “Once people are strongly stimulated, the sympathetic nerves will produce a stress response and the body will release a large amount of adrenaline, resulting in a sudden acceleration of the heartbeat, arrhythmias and blood pressure. Theoretically, it is possible for people to be scared to death but usually people who are scared to death have underlying cardiovascular diseases. It is hard for healthy people with normal hearts to be scared to death. Once they are extremely afraid, they will faint at most.”
Yu Hanjiang nodded in agreement. “So many people were scared to death at the same time and there were many young people among them.”
Lu Jiuchuan wondered, “Then what was the cause of death?”
Xiao Lou looked at the corpse on the ground and suddenly remembered a key clue in his mind—the origin of the mass burial site.
The famine of 20 years ago caused many people in the town to starve to death. The bodies were discarded haphazardly on the mountain, forming a large burial site.
If the murderer killed people at the mass burial site out of a ‘sense of revenge’, would he let these people starve to death?
Xiao Lou thought of this and spoke softly, “Hanjiang, help me. I want to dissect the best preserved corpse to see if I can find the cause of death.”
Lu Jiuchuan, “……”
Dissecting a corpse at a mass burial site—Xiao Lou’s courage was really big enough.
Yu Hanjiang was used to Xiao Lou’s actions. He put on Xiao Lou’s handmade gloves and calmly carried a female corpse to the ground next to him. This corpse was the same person chatting with people in the town last night. Xiao Lou was very familiar with the pair of red embroidered shoes she was wearing.
She was covered by other corpses so she wasn’t eaten by wild beasts. She was the best preserved.
Xiao Lou took out a dagger and quickly cut open the abdomen.
The blood of the three year old corpse had long dried up. Xiao Lou skillfully cut through the skin and opened her internal organs. Sure enough, the stomach was empty without any residual digestion.
Yu Hanjiang also sensed that something was wrong. Most corpses had digestive residues in their stomach after an autopsy. It was because normal people ate every day and the stomach emptied itself after a long time. If the deceased ate some food before death, it was possible to find undigested food in the stomach after death.
Once a person died, their gastrointestinal tract stopped moving.
In other words, as long as the person died after eating, the food in the stomach wouldn’t have time to fully digest and residue would definitely be found in the stomach of the corpse. In some poisoning deaths, evidence could be found from the stomach residues.
However, this corpse had nothing in the stomach and the duodenum was also empty.
It was like she hadn’t eaten in days?
In order to be certain, Xiao Lou found another relatively well-preserved corpse for autopsy and the result was still the same.
He looked at Yu Hanjiang and said firmly, “I know the cause of their deaths. These people should’ve been led to the mass burial site by the murderer who controlled them through some method. Then they starved to death. Panic and hunger caused such expressions to appear on their faces and their corpses are generally thin.”
Yu Hanjiang nodded. “It seems that the famine from 20 years ago is indeed a problem. The murderer deliberately led so many people to the mass burial site to starve to death. It was obviously in retaliation. Could it be that they had a relative who starved to death 20 years earlier?”
Lu Jiuchuan sighed helplessly. “This is too difficult to check, right? 20 years ago, so many people starved to death and thousands of corpses were piled up in the mass burial site. If the descendant ran back to get revenge, how should we find them?”
Proofreader: Paranoid Kitten & Fictional Reality