After so many years, I no longer expected anything from anyone, because for whatever reason, they would eventually leave in the end. I especially didn’t like those that brought forth a lot of emotions and then left. I liked my friends because they were all consistently self-reliant. They didn’t need anything from me, and I didn’t need anything from them. Everyone’s reason for doing things came from their firm hearts.
I sat close to where the tea and rice were being prepared, and Fatty drew several pictures on the ground with a tree branch: “After you left, I tried to use a small-scale explosion to blow up the mountain. But after only two or three places were blown up, the whole mountain unexpectedly became loose and cracked. The whole area collapsed, revealing a big hole. The bottom was full of water that was waist deep. I led the team down and we started walking. There was an underground river below, and the channel in which the river was located in went up and down. We continued walking in the water, and found that three sections of the river were exposed to the ground above through cracks in the mountain. The rays of sunlight coming in were as thin as razors, but everything else was underground. When we came to the end, the channel became narrow and dried up, and the man-made wells began to appear overhead. When we heard shouting and gunshots from above, we climbed up, but saw stone slates blocking the bottom of the well. So, we blew them up one by one, and that’s when I saw you.”
The explosions had traveled through the well shaft and made a terrible roar, which had scared us half to death.
I was lost in thought as I looked at the route Fatty had drawn.
In the place where Fatty had entered the underground waterway, there had been a bloody battle between the Eastern Xia and Mongolian people, indicating that the mountain was very important to the Eastern Xia people. Now, it had been proven that there was an underground water vein there, which ran all the way to this forest full of ancient wells. Fatty said that the water veins extended even further underground.
This place was far from the Heavenly Palace, but there were plenty of water sources in Changbai Mountain’s hinterland, so there was no need to transport rainwater from here. This vein had to lead somewhere underground, where the key to Eastern Xia lay. Plus, there were so many human-faced birds inhabiting the forest here, which made it obvious that it was connected to their underground habitat.
I called everyone to sort out their equipment and count their ammo, and then I went to look for the doctor to get my hand checked out. The doctor said that it was only fractured, not broken, and gave me a splint and told me not to put stress on it. I put it on, looked at Wang Meng who was far in the distance, and then said to Fatty, “We have to keep going. What’s the air like below?”
“There won’t be any air problems if there’s running water, but in the area below the wellhead, the waterway is so narrow that it’s impossible to go any further unless you dive.”
I nodded. We only had three sets of diving equipment outside and didn’t bring them in. Fatty and I were the only people who had diving experience here, and there was also a man who specialized in waterways. He had taken after his father, who fished corpses out of the Yellow River. He was in his twenties, had long hair, was pale, slender, and taller than 1.9 meters. If he was boneless, he would look like a white snake when he swam in the water, which was why his nickname was Suzhen (1).
Fatty used the satellite phone to call outside the mountain, and asked the rest of the troops outside to bring in all the supplies. I also took the opportunity to get some support.
That night, we continued retreating for several kilometers in order to consolidate our camps. Fatty’s people who had stayed behind to guard the camp joined us the next day. Xiao Hua decided to split from us, and moved by land to see what else he could find.
As we waited for the diving equipment to arrive, the valley was already very busy. Suzhen and I checked the equipment, while a group of people returned to the forest again to find the wellheads.
The ground was full of bird bones after all the corpses had been eaten by the centipedes, and there were a lot of centipedes hiding under the bones. We adjusted our watches, went down to the channel where Fatty had come out of the bottom of the well, and landed waist-deep in the underground river. The fallen porcelain tiles were scattered all over the bottom of the river. I looked around with my flashlight, but the water was clear and there weren’t any impurities at all. I looked ahead and saw that we could only go forward by staying hunched over. Luckily, the river’s current was very slow. After walking for more than thirty meters, we came to the place where Fatty had said we would need to dive through. The waterway extended downward and was completely submerged.
<Chapter 20> <Table of Contents><Chapter 22-24>
(1) Suzhen was Madam White Snake’s alias. Here’s the refresher on the story if you need it. FYI, another name for white snake is Baishe (白蛇) and NPSS starts referring to this guy as such starting next chapter.
Totally random, but I’m VERY slowly working my way through fixing Vol 7 and remember when Xiuxiu told Wu Xie she saw a video of him and Wen-Jin crawling around on the ground? I bet it was those fucking snakes from Sand Sea Vol 4!!!! (ʘ言ʘ) I’m shook
Anways, Tiffany’s extras for you:
2 thoughts on “Chapter 21 Fatty’s Efforts”
Oh my word I never would’ve thought of that! The Hei Feizi were around for a looong time then. ಠ_ಠ
Oh my, i guess you are right. They were crawling so the posibility is high. I just still puzzled over how did they knew how Wu Xie would looks like two decade before, beside the one crawling, they are so many Wu Xie human face that also prepared much early