Desperate, I wanted to pull my head out like crazy—my face was arguably much smaller than Fatty’s, so there shouldn’t have been any problems—but at this time, I couldn’t figure out where exactly my head was stuck. After shouting, the glow stick fell out of my mouth again and hit the face below. The black face rushed towards me without an ounce of hesitation, but at this time, a hand reached around my neck and stretched inside the stone monster’s mouth. The hand lifted my chin as someone grabbed my collar and pulled me out.
I fell to the ground but immediately got up to look into the stone monster’s mouth. I saw half a face looking at me coldly from inside that dark hole. The glow stick, which had been pushed out by this face, rolled out of the stone monster’s mouth and landed on the ground outside.
Then, the face quickly shrank back into the darkness.
I patted my chest to make my heart beat at a more comfortable rhythm and then turned to see that Poker-Face was the one who had pulled me out. Fatty, who was standing next to him, thought that I was messing around, “Is this the grassland version of ‘Roman Holiday’?”(1)
“Fuck off! There’s something underground!” I yelled. If I had a knife in my hand, I probably wouldn’t have been so afraid. But I only had one face, so all I could use to fight back was my tongue and saliva. It was enough to scare me to death.
“You’ve seen the world. What exactly could be underground to scare you like this?” Fatty continued to doubt. “You’re such a brat. Is this your revenge for me flirting with you earlier?”
The reason why I had been so afraid was because that face had suddenly appeared and I was completely unprepared. All I had was that stupid glow stick in my mouth.
Fatty still didn’t believe it at all and stretched his fingers out to the stone monster’s mouth like he wanted to put his head in again. But Poker-Face immediately gestured at him, silently telling him to keep away from the stone lantern. That was when Fatty finally understood.
Poker-Face and I explained that it was a corpse. It had begun to rot and the vitreous fluid in its eyes was already cloudy.
If the corpse had climbed up that twenty-meter pipe, then its torso must have been shattered into meaty lumps. Or, it had no torso at all and was pushed up by something similar to a neck. Whatever the case, it was terrifying to imagine.
I had a faint hunch that our theory was correct and the ground under our feet was probably full of dead people. It seemed that anything buried on this grassland became evil.
“If what you said is true, then we have to catch it,” Fatty said. “Instead of going into the underground palace and encountering this kind of thing, you might as well use your constitution to catch one, Mr. Naïve. That way, we’ll be prepared and know what we’re dealing with.”
“How am I supposed to catch it?” I asked.
“Come now, all you have to do is repeat what you just did. But pull your head out a little slower this time. When you draw it out, we’ll grab it from both sides and hold it down. Then you’ll know what it is.”
I immediately became furious. Like I’d ever dare stick my head in again!
While we were talking, Poker-Face raised the threaded steel pipe he was carrying, inserted it directly into the stone monster’s mouth, folded it in half with one hand, and then twisted the other end directly into the monster’s mouth. In this way, the threaded steel pipe was stuck in the stone monster’s mouth, forming an iron fence that would block anything from getting out.
As I breathed a sigh of relief, I heard Fatty say that he wanted to dig. “Digging is fine,” I said. “But our weapons aren’t sophisticated enough, mainly because Little Brother doesn’t have a knife. Maybe we can update our weapons before proceeding.”
Fatty thought for a while and then looked at the steel pipe in his hand. “It’s true that we’re really short of weapons this time,” he muttered. I glanced at Poker-Face, wanting to know what his thoughts were, but at this time, I found that he was looking at the other side of the hill. Then, he suddenly dragged me and Fatty to lie down in the grass behind the stone lantern, which was just big enough to block us.
I was surprised and followed his gaze, only to see a group of people appear on one side of the hill. There were about three or four of them, and they were all looking around. Then, they began to communicate on their walkie-talkies.
“It’s one of Old Jin’s teams,” Fatty said after taking a quick look. “Well, let’s go persuade them. Let’s persuade them to go back.”
How exactly are we supposed to persuade a bunch of desperadoes to go back? I asked myself. But after giving it some thought, I said, “Let’s just knock them out, tie them up, and have Old Jin send someone here to drag them back.”
Fatty nodded. “I see three, maybe four. We’ll creep up on them from the shadow of the hillside. Little Brother gets two. You and I get one each. This is it; we’re officially starting to save people.”
I nodded and was just about to move, but at this time, Poker-Face held the both of us down. Then, we saw those three or four people start waving their hands, much like a parking lot attendant directing people to reverse their cars. Right after that, a line of jeeps came up from the shady side of the hill. We counted them and found that there were at least two Cruisers and four Jeep Grand Cherokees.
Then we saw even more people coming up from behind the vehicles. After counting them, I found that there were at least seventeen or eighteen people.
We all looked at each other. “Didn’t Old Jin say that there were only about forty teams?” Fatty asked.
“Maybe some teams have twenty people,” I said. “Or some teams merged.”
“Isn’t that cheating?” Fatty asked. “How are we supposed to save them now? Maybe there are more than a hundred people in these teams, and the three of us will only be able to perform a crosstalk and return unsuccessfully.”
“We can only save those who want to be saved.” I was no longer worried about it.
I poked my head out again and took another look. I had already locked on the person who seemed to be their leader, so I picked up the binoculars and carefully observed that person.
I recognized him with just one glance and turned back to Fatty and said, “It’s over.”
“Don’t worry, there’s a solution for everything,” Fatty said. “Is your Wu family here or something?”
“No, you don’t know this person,” I said. After hesitating a bit, I added, “This man is an old enemy of my Uncle Three. He’s an extremely weird person. If Jin Wantang was even willing to invite this person, then it’s definitely an act of betrayal.”
Fatty didn’t know who this man was, so he was very confused. I had a very deep memory of this man, but I hadn’t seen him since I was eighteen years old. I didn’t know why I was meeting him again in this kind of place.
After thinking about it, I eventually said, “I want to run. I don’t want to save this man. It’s best if he dies.”
With that said, I came up with a plan. I would hide in the grass, crawl to the shadow of the other side of the hill, and then squat in the shadows until there was a chance of escape. But as soon as I turned my head and started to lay down on my stomach again, I saw that there was something more than six or seven steps away from us.
It was squatting there and looking at us.
<Chapter 34><Table of Contents><Chapter 36>
(1) “Roman Holiday” is a 1935 movie where a princess (Audrey Hepburn) sneaks out to go visit Rome. She meets an American reporter and spends the day with him. They visit the Mouth of Truth, where the reporter tricks her into thinking that his hand has been bitten off.
3 thoughts on “Chapter 35 Roman Holiday”
thank you for the chapter! 😊 really curious on who he doesn’t want to save
Wu Xie: …so all I could use to fight back was my tongue and saliva.
Me: what are you trying to do? Hit them silly with battle of frech kiss?
Thank you for the chapters, Bear-san!
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“You might as well use your constitution to catch one”… i always think the took this like a joke but in fact they take it very seriously and it is even a weapon that they are learning to use in their favor 🤣🤣