At my current age, I always seemed to have some inauspicious instincts.
I sat down next to the footprints and carefully examined the details I had noticed just now. I once again confirmed that when Xiao Hua took these steps, he weighed so much that the dust spread out from each step more than usual. In this way, a circle of dust marks similar to ripples appeared on the edge of his footprints.
Xiao Hua wasn’t good at carrying weight. First of all, it definitely wasn’t the weight from equipment because he was used to traveling lightly. I intuitively felt that he was carrying someone on his back, so the first person who came to mind was obviously Black Glasses.
If they were partners and Xiao Hua had to carry someone on his back in order to do something, then the person should be Black Glasses. But the question was: why was Black Glasses on Xiao Hua’s back? The theories I came up with by following this line of thinking were a bit ominous.
Fatty patted me, “Even though Xiao Hua isn’t good at carrying weight, it doesn’t mean that he can’t do it. Don’t worry.”
He knew how I could detect footprints, so he probably knew what I was doing.
“If Xiao Hua doesn’t want Little Brother to enter the world’s second most valuable tomb, then he definitely won’t leave us any effective clues. If we keep wandering around here like this, I’m afraid we won’t be able to do anything.” I took a deep breath and continued, “With his brain, he won’t necessarily leave traces behind for us to draw inferences from, so it’s possible that these footprints are irrelevant.”
“If they aren’t important, then would Xiao Hua leave them here? Is he really that kind of a person?” Fatty asked.
I pouted. Yes, that’s right. If he left traces behind, then it probably meant that he didn’t have time to take care of them.
“You’re looking for a secret passage now, but to be honest, the things that happened in this place are completely illogical. So, these dancing footprints probably have nothing to do with the secret passage at all.”
I gave a wry smile and sighed. It was true that I had been thinking that there was a connection between dancing and the secret passage, but there were just too many threads to this matter. I was used to gathering all of the threads in one direction, because based on my past experiences, strange things happening in one place were always connected. And at some point, all of the details would form a whole, enabling you to start seeing who the creator was.
The creator’s thoughts formed an extremely concentrated and meticulous plan that ultimately gave rise to a lot of scattered details. When we first entered the mausoleum and saw these details, it was actually the beginning of us competing against the creator.
This time, there were numerous instances where I thought that I had found a pattern and could do some in-depth reasoning, but every time I reached this point, there would always be a lot of isolated details that made my previous reasoning seem a bit problematic.
“What if they really do matter?” I still didn’t give up.
“If we follow your line of thinking, then it may be a problem of weight and Xiao Hua’s weight wasn’t enough to dance here,” Fatty said. “Maybe a heavier weight is needed to activate the mechanism or something.”
If that was the case, then Black Glasses must’ve been the one below since he was better at bearing weight.
But looking back, all of these speculations were groundless and I felt ridiculous.
I lay down directly on the steps, but they weren’t that big so I had to hug my shoulders while lying down.
To be honest, I started to let my mind wander at this time. After thinking about it, I suddenly turned over, sat up, and asked Poker-Face, “I used to be so intelligent when we went to tombs in the past, so why do I seem so dumb now?” Even in the beginning, I wasn’t as helpless as I was now. I couldn’t even come up with any theories at the moment. In a physical sense, as long as I could reason, I would instinctively realize that all of these things were groundless.
I could form a logical connection between the things that had happened here, but I instinctively knew that I was wrong. This made me feel more anxious than all of those times in the past where I just made wild guesses. Was it possible to create such a dilemma just by not knowing the background culture?
Fatty looked at me, then at Poker-Face, and stopped talking. At this time, I suddenly felt like something was wrong.
What secrets are you two hiding?
I looked at Fatty and made an expression as if to say, “What else are you going to do?”
Fatty said to me, “Mr. Naïve, you were taught by your Uncle Three since you were young. Plus, the things in your grandpa’s notes all trained you to go in that direction. As a result, you thought that you were a newcomer when you went to those tombs back then, but in fact, you knew a lot more than others. Have you ever thought about how many years and lives your Uncle Three and the whole Nine Gates—including the Zhang family—devoted to that problem before you solved it?”
When I looked at him, he pulled out a cigarette and lit it, “This was the situation your grandfather and the others encountered when they first came into contact with that mystery. Now, this is our first time encountering a new mystery completely naked.”
“You mean, I used to be a rich second-generation and now I’m starting a new business from scratch?”
“You’re a second-generation mystery,” Fatty said. “There will be a single, unified explanation for whatever happened here. I believe you can feel it, but we haven’t found the main clue yet.”
I looked at Fatty and made one of our unique gestures at him: Don’t pretend. He gestured back at me before saying earnestly, “Mr. Naïve, let’s go over it again. There must be some key piece of information missing, and it must have been missing from the very beginning.”
I nodded, suddenly realizing that I was anxious, but I had probably been like this for a while now. So, I took a deep breath and thought back to the start of all of this.
In the beginning, Jin Wantang came to us.