In order to find the main tomb, Luo Jian’s group of three began to blindly walk around in the huge tomb without realizing it. To avoid getting lost, they would leave marks in some hidden places for every period of time they had walked, such as knife carvings of crosses on corners of the wall.
Sometimes, small sounds would reverberate through the tomb tunnels. Luo Jian and Duan Li could hear them because their senses were very sensitive, but Feng YuLan did not notice them. When he asked what kind of sounds Luo Jian heard, Luo Jian replied, “It’s like the vibrating sound when some mechanism starts up.”
It was very dark in the tomb. The altar lamp that Feng YuLan had was accidentally left behind, so Luo Jian took out a flashlight to lead the way in front. They went through several vaults for funeral accompaniments, all of which were tomb vaults. There were two hidden doors in each tomb, and when opened, one was the entrance while the other led to the next tomb. But after passing through several consecutive tomb vaults, Luo Jian found the cross mark he had engraved about ten minutes ago in a familiar corner of the wall.
“We’re going around in circles again,” Luo Jian said to Duan Li and Feng YuLan, and he asked Duan Li, “How did you take us out of that long and dark passageway that seemed impossible to get out of?”
“That was an ancient array. Even if I explained it, you wouldn’t understand the specific principles behind it, but I had learned some skills related to it. Additionally, that array was very easy to escape from, so it could be resolved,” Duan Li indicated in this way.
Therefore, Luo Jian thought about it carefully and asked again, “What about now? Are we trapped in another array?”
Duan Li did not reply as he moved around the tomb. Through the hidden doors, he walked around the six tomb vaults. The six vaults were almost identical, each with three coffins and painted carvings on the walls. After circling around the vaults, he returned to the starting point. Unlike before, the narrow passageway that they had been trapped in had disappeared.
“It’s true that we are in another array. It seems that there are many arrays in this tomb.”
“Then can you crack it?”
“No,” Duan Li replied, “The array is made up of many installations with the same elements. For example, the array in ancient times was made up of hundreds of soldiers. The array used people as elements to form itself. If the enemy was surrounded by the array, they would all be wiped out. Similarly, we are also trapped in such an array. Unless we can find a breakthrough point and destroy it, we will be trapped here forever.”
“Array or whatever…… sounds like a magic field.” Feng YuLan listened to Duan Li explain the origins of the array, but it was obvious that Ah Lan was not interested in it. He also followed Duan Li around the tomb and looked at the mural on the wall for a long time. He casually said, “Speaking of which, this picture looks like a magic field.”
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
Qlat ktja Ct Ojc rjlv, Oeb Aljc jirb yfmjwf lcafgfrafv lc atf vfqlmalbc bc atf kjii. Lf pewqfv bnfg jcv rajgfv ja atf wegji klat Mfcu TeOjc. Ktf lwjuf bc atf kjii kjr wfrrlis vgjkc. Pa rffwfv atja la kjr afiilcu j rabgs jcv bmmjrlbcjiis tjv rbwfatlcu gfijafv ab atf jggjs lc la. Ktf atgff qfbqif kfgf fzagfwfis lcagluefv ys atlr vfqlmalbc. Ktfs yfujc ab uefrr atf wfjclcu bo atf wegji bcf joafg jcbatfg.
“This seems to be a story about a monster. Let me sum it up.” All three of them had guessed similar narratives with few differences, so Luo Jian sorted out their ideas and began to tell the story depicted by the murals from the beginning to the end.
“The first picture appears to depict a scene in which many people die of hunger.” Luo Jian stroked the mural on the wall with his hand. In accordance with the order of the pictures, the first picture showed a scene with many skinny people falling to the ground one after another. The meaning the picture tried to express was also obvious. These people were thin like bamboo poles although they were drawn abstractly.
“The second picture shows an abandoned baby.” Luo Jian went to the next image. It was a child still in infancy with a very abstract forest painted next to it. The mural was a little fuzzily drawn, but it could still be seen clearly.
“The third picture shows the abandoned baby and a…… well, a beast?”
“The beast was not very well drawn. It has a wolf’s body, but it looks like it has a ghost for its head,” Feng YuLan began to evaluate.
“Let’s treat it like the painting is of an abandoned baby and a ghost.” Luo Jian pointed to another mural: “It seems that the ghost picked up the abandoned baby and raised him as his own child, so the next mural depicts a man in animal skin.”
“But this man’s face was also drawn to have the terrifying appearance of a ghost.” Feng YuLan once again put forward a brief explanation: “Could it be that the ghost occupied the body of the abandoned baby, so it grew up to become a ghost with a human body?”
“That is a possibility,” Duan Li chimed in eventually, “Both of you, think about it: what kind of people would carve these murals?”
“Probably the people of ancient times,” Luo Jian and Feng YuLan voiced out at the same time. This was a very ancient tomb. The only people who were willing to carve murals in the tomb were the ancients. As for which dynasty it was from, they did not need to analyze this at the moment.
After that, Duan Li laughed. Although his mask was on and his smile could not be seen, his tone suggested the hints of a smile: “The technology of the ancients is not as developed as modern times. For things they couldn’t understand, they would think that it’s monsters and ghosts. In fact, this story is very simple. It’s the story of an abandoned baby being raised by wolves. What would the child be like if they were raised by wild beasts?”
“The child wouldn’t speak.” Luo Jian put forward the first characteristic, thought it over, and said, “Maybe the child would learn to howl like a wolf.”
“It wouldn’t walk like ordinary people. Like a beast, the child would be on all fours and agile.” Feng YuLan also added, “Maybe the child would have fangs. When killing prey, the child would definitely bite the neck with his mouth.”
Duan Li said, “Both of you are able to conceptualize all these things, but in the eyes of the ancients, it may have been a more difficult thing to understand. They would only think that this man was very vicious, and they would think that he was just like a ghost. Therefore, they have drawn him to have the terrifying appearance of a ghost.”
“After that, disaster struck, and because of his hunger, the ghost began to eat people.” Duan Li naturally pointed to the next mural, which depicted a ghost biting a man’s neck.
“People naturally felt scared, so they began to hunt down this ghost.” The next mural showed a lot of people surrounding the ghost.
“The people succeeded in catching the ghost. They tied him to a stake and piled firewood around him to burn him to death.”
“And then…” Duan Li seemed to feel puzzled, too, because there were no murals after this one. The last picture only showed the ghost tied to a stake and someone around him taking up a torch. But there was no follow-up mural to show whether the ghost had been burned or not.
In addition to the story told by the murals, there were only those circular arrays, which were similar to the set up of a magic field. Although Feng YuLan said that they looked like a magic field, he thought it also looked like a totem or something like that.
“The story of the mural did not have a proper beginning or ending, and…” Luo Jian thought of yet another possibility, and he said, “Isn’t this the story of the owner of the tomb? Could it be that the tomb was built for the ghost?”
“But didn’t the note given by the secret chamber say that they believed in some kind of God? How could a savage raised by a wolf be enshrined as a God?” Ah Lan frowned and could not understand. However, he was very interested in the array formation in the mural. He took out his grimoire and a pen from somewhere. With several strokes, he copied the array formation according to the mural.
“Since when were you so good at drawing?” Luo Jian immediately noticed this scene and indicated his disbelief. He remembered that the things Ah Lan drew in their childhood was very crooked. He was the kind of person who would try to draw a square and end up with a circle.
Ah Lan waved his grimoire. “It’s not that I have great skills. It’s this book of mine that has great skills.”
After Ah Lan said that, Luo Jian and Duan Li turned their heads at the same time and eyed Ah Lan with very profound looks.
Ah Lan had a baffled expression on his face, but he did not care and continued to copy the array. The three men walked around the six tomb vaults continuously. Then, they found that the decorations and murals of each chamber were almost the same. Although there were some deviations in detail, there was not much of a difference, and no matter how many times they had circled around the tomb vaults, they could not walk out of this strange array.
“What else did we not consider?” Luo Jian did not believe that there was no way out. He began to think about the common points of the six vaults. However, even when his brain malfunctioned, he could not figure out what he did not consider. He gave up, turned to Duan Li, and asked, “How did you bring us into this place previously? Is it through any door?”
Duan Li pointed to the hidden door in the tomb vault and said, “This is the door. After coming out of the dark passageway, we came to this tomb vault. But when we tried to backtrack to that pathway, what appeared was not the passageway that we saw before, but another tomb vault.”
Luo Jian was a little puzzled: “You mean you found a hidden door in that narrow passageway, opened the door, and entered this tomb vault. But when you wanted to go back to that place, when you opened the door again, it did not lead to the original passageway but led to another tomb vault that was identical to this tomb vault.”
“It feels like the tomb is constantly shifting.” Ah Lan was still staring at the tomb vault’s array formation. After circling around six similar tombs consecutively, he returned to the original tomb vault where he started and found something strange.
“Ah Jian, the array formation is different now.” Feng YuLan suddenly reached out and pointed to the array formation on the mural.
“It’s different from what I copied.” Feng YuLan took out his grimoire and took out the page onto which he had copied the array formation. Luo Jian went to have a closer look and immediately found the differences. Although the two array formations were very similar, if one looked carefully, one would find that the patterns on the mural had changed.
“Wait, there’s something wrong with it!” It seemed that Luo Jian thought of the way to solve it. He immediately opened his eyes wide and looked at the array formation on the wall. The circular array formation was engraved. A sharp tool was used to carve into the wall, forming grooves on the wall. The depressions were also very deep. Luo Jian pressed his hand to it and found that his fingers could fully extend into those dents.
It may have been a coincidence, but the patterns depicted in the array formation allowed Luo Jian to put all five fingers into five small round holes. At this point, Luo Jian hesitated a little, but since he was in for a penny, in for a pound, he continued to place all five of his fingers into the round holes. After that, he clenched his hand tightly and tried to shift the holes to the left, but the array formation remained still.
Therefore, Luo Jian changed to the other direction and turned it to the right. This time, he succeeded. The array formation made one and a half turns. At that moment, the pattern of the array formation was completely restored to the pattern of the array formation that Feng YuLan had copied originally!
After that, the three people, Luo Jian, Duan Li and Feng YuLan, seemed to feel the sound of a mechanism vibrating under their feet at the same time.