Chapter 3 Strange Thing (Part 2)

This shape was so neat that it could never be formed naturally. But how was it possible for someone to do such a thing and get the crops to wither into this shape overnight?

“There’s a huge thing buried underground in this area,” the child said. “What you see is its shadow on the ground.”

Ma Pingchuan climbed down the tree and mounted his horse again, his expression very ugly. First, he was a little regretful of his negligence in not discovering the mystery of the shape earlier. Second, the child’s statement still left him somewhat skeptical.

What did it mean? A huge thing was buried underground and its shadow was in the shape of a scorpion. Why did the “shadow” cause the crops in the field to die? What was the huge thing underground? Was it actually a giant scorpion monster?

How was that possible? But if such huge scorpions were buried in the ground, there was nothing you could do but run.

The child rode all the way down the mountain while saying to Ma Pingchuan, “Your burial mound was built on top of an ancient tomb. The dead area you see is the area of the underground palace of that ancient tomb. The tomb is about forty meters deep. The underground palace was built into a very strange scorpion shape, but I don’t know why.” The child paused and then said, “The crops here died because when the tomb was built, a kind of mechanism was set up inside. Recently, a grave robber entered the tomb and set it off. The poisonous gas flowed out in large quantities and dissipated, killing all the crops on the surface overnight.”

“Kid, how do you know these things?” Ma Pingchuan asked. “Do you have eyes that can see through things?”

The child glanced at him and said indifferently, “Because I’m the grave robber.”

Ma Pingchuan frowned and pulled his horse to a halt, his men following suit one right after another. The child’s horse looked around and also came to a stop. The child turned to Ma Pingchuan, who asked, “What did you just say? Kid, do you know the consequences of speaking such nonsense? This is the Ma family’s ancestral grave. Are you telling me that you dug up my ancestral grave and set off the mechanism, not only insulting my ancestors but also poisoning all my crops?”

“I’m not talking nonsense,” the child said. “Besides, I’m not done speaking. I’ll tell you where the coffins from your ancestral graves have gone.”

Ma Pingchuan nodded, his hand already on the pistol at his waist, “Fine, so where did they go? Are they with this scorpion?”

“Eaten,” the child said. “The tomb below has eaten all of the coffins from your ancestral graves.”

“Eaten?” Ma Pingchuan thought it very strange that he was having a serious conversation with a teenager, and he even felt overwhelmed by the child’s aura. The strangest thing was that when he heard what the child said, he actually believed it a bit. He squeezed the gun in his hand, wanting to regain the initiative, “Why do you say ‘eaten’? Is this tomb alive?”

The child shook his head, “I don’t know.”

“You don’t know?”

“I know where you can find the coffins, but I don’t know why they were eaten by the large underground tomb,” the child said. “If you dig here now, you will find that all coffins are affixed to the outside wall of the scorpion-shaped tomb below, as if attracted by something down there.”

The child was very calm, but this extraordinary calm made Ma Pingchuan even more uncomfortable.

If you saw a person who looked weak but wasn’t afraid of you at all, you’d better be careful, because pretending to be unafraid wasn’t something that could be faked. Real fear comes from the incomparable strength inside one’s heart. People like Ma Pingchuan were used to using power to oppress people, but they didn’t have much confidence in themselves.

After the child finished speaking, he looked at Ma Pingchuan, “I have one thing that I feel I need to let you know. In a few months, there will be absolutely no grass in this area for tens of miles and it won’t be able to recover for decades. All the people in this area will not die pleasantly, and there is a dense population here. As one of the area’s leaders, you can still do something. Maybe things won’t be as I said.”

“How?” Ma Pingchuan asked. “Kid, since you came to me to say these things, there must be a reason. If you don’t make things clear…”

“I have several friends who are still trapped in the underground tomb,” the child said. “I saw your coffins in the ancient tomb and know that your Ma family is prominent here. You were disturbed by the fate of the coffins, so I wanted to let you know. At the same time, I also hope you can help me do two things. First, prepare me seven days’ worth of dry food, a short knife weighing six kilograms, a bag of lanterns, oil, and charcoal powder. I will go down to save my friends and find a way to seal off several of the tomb openings. Second, please dig up the edge of this dead crop field, take a five-foot-long bamboo pole from the wet mud, pour lime into it, and hammer it into the mud, leaving only a finger’s length exposed. The denser the better.”

“Why do you want to do this?”

“I have a limited skill set, and the thing below is too fierce and must be trapped. I can dispatch it here,” the child said. “It wasn’t easy for me to escape from there and talk to you about this. My friends are trapped down there, and their life and death are uncertain. But we started this whole thing, so I will definitely solve it. If I don’t come back to you in seven days, please send this letter back to my hometown. “

The child took out a letter from his pocket and handed it to Ma Pingchuan while saying, “If I don’t come out in seven days, please keep your children and grandchildren away from this place.”

Ma Pingchuan looked at the cover of the letter and saw that the recipient written on there was the Zhang family in the northeast. He frowned and said, “Kid, whose tomb is it? Why is it so fierce? If it’s the grave of my ancestors, it seems inappropriate for me to help outsiders.”

“Your family’s prosperity has nothing to do with this evil cave,” the child said. “It was probably only a coincidence that your family’s burial mound was built here. The owner of the tomb below isn’t clear, but the fact that the tomb is shaped like this shows that it must not be an ordinary person.”

Ma Pingchuan thought for a moment, his mind turning to other things. If it wasn’t his ancestral grave and the tomb was built on such a large scale, then there must be a lot of treasure in it. If he just sat by and watched this kid take it, wouldn’t he be a fool three times over?

“I’ve said too much today, don’t ask any more questions,” the child said. “If you can help me, give me a definite answer.”

That night, Ma Pingchuan prepared what the child wanted. The kid took the steamed buns and disappeared into the night. According to the child’s instructions, he organized the villagers to go to the surrounding areas the next day to buy long bamboo poles and lime, and then surrounded the whole area.

Ma Pingchuan’s idea was to wait for the child to finish his business and then capture him and force him to take Ma Pingchuan’s own people into the tomb, or simply threaten him into handing over all the stolen property. Anyway, the tomb was in his territory.

But Ma Pingchuan never saw the child again.

The strange thing didn’t end here, however. Whether it was Ma Pingchuan’s lust for profit or his curiosity about the underground tomb, half a month later, he ordered the whole burial mound to be dug up and the underground tomb uncovered to see what it looked like.

Even though a huge deep pit was dug in the ground, the so-called tomb wasn’t found. Only a black iron scorpion over six and a half meters long was dug up. Moreover, after they dug under the scorpion, the soil collapsed frequently. This alarmed all parties who came to look at it, and when Ma Pingchuan saw that things could no longer continue, he ordered the soil to be backfilled.

When Ma Pingchuan remembered the letter many years later, he sent someone to the address on the child’s letter and paid a visit. He found that the address written on the letter was a huge mansion, which was empty. The local people said that the Zhang family was well-known in the area and kept a low profile. But they didn’t know why they suddenly lost power and disappeared some time ago.

No one knew where exactly the child went. Was there really a scorpion-shaped underground palace under the Ma family’s ancestral grave?

Ma Pingchuan speculated that the child’s surname was Zhang, and if he survived, he must be a great person.

<Chapter 2> <Table of Contents><Chapter 4>


Updated 12/4/2021

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