The atmosphere was very solemn as I pinched my brow and tried to recall everything. Even though it wasn’t that long ago, the memory was a little fuzzy. I couldn’t help but wonder if my memory was deteriorating.
In fact, the whole process could be divided into three stages. In the first stage, we realized that this incident was a simple rescue mission. Not only was Jin Wantang’s goal very big and dangerous this time, but Poker-Face thought that it might involve the Zhang family’s restricted area. So, we started a rescue mission.
The end of the first stage was in that small grove where we found that a bunch of people in Jin Wantang’s team had died. But the way they had died was very strange. It seemed as if they had arrived at this small grove alive, buried themselves alive, and then died. But after they died, their bodies changed.
This mutation was very strange since they all sat around in a circle at a so-called banquet and used the wine cups and tableware they had brought out from this Corpse Country banquet. Then, the host of this banquet turned out to be a ceramic figurine.
In other words, this whole scene seemed to indicate that these people were controlled by the ceramic figurine after they died. It was almost like they were continuing the banquet.
Moreover, there was a strange stone in these corpses’ stomachs that was called “Shigong’s mole”.
I already knew that this stone’s function was to absorb the scent of human flesh since such a scent was usually very weak. And once the smell of human flesh was absorbed into this stone, it would then become highly concentrated.
Based on this, I also knew that I had a very fragrant scent, but I didn’t know if I should feel happy about it.
That small grove was also the first time I saw something that seemed to have either fins or two faces on the side of its head. But I was the only one who could see it.
What I could basically infer from this first stage was that the moving corpses and ceramic figurine were the work of a kind of strange figure that only I could see with my peripheral vision.
At this point, things were actually very simple. In other words, these invisible things—I didn’t know what they were, so let’s just call them ghosts for the time being—liked playing with corpses and ceramic figurines and setting them up like they were enjoying a banquet. If we take that theory one step further, it was possible to believe that when these corpses entered the grove and buried themselves alive, they were already possessed.
This theory had no basis, but it could help fill in a big gap and enable us to simulate what had happened during that period of time.
First of all, we didn’t see the peripheral vision monsters in the Corpse Country banquet’s underground palace.
But on the night we discovered the horse burial pit, we saw them driving things that appeared to be horse spirits. So, that kind of monster should exist on the grassland, especially in the area between the small grove and the Sea of Black Lights.
This brings up a very interesting idea.
When Old Bing and his team came out of the Corpse Country banquet with the things they had stolen and passed through the grassland, they were discovered by the monsters on the grassland. These monsters took control of them, ordered them to come to the grove, and then made them bury themselves alive—or at least go underground.
After they were dug up again, the monsters set them up like they were participating in a banquet.
Maybe it went like this:
Under the grove, there was an underground passage that led back to the Corpse Country banquet’s underground palace. Those monsters roamed the grasslands, looking for people carrying funerary objects. Once they found them, they would control them and order them to come to the grove. After the people went underground, the monsters would carry them back to the underground palace and arrange them at the banquet.
But there was an accident in the middle of this process—we dug up the bodies during the day. This seemed to cause a program error in which the monsters still arranged the bodies into a banquet setting.
If that were the case, then the monster’s IQ was pretty low.
I touched my chin. I felt that my logic was reasonable, but there were still many problematic points considering how many other strange things we had encountered after entering the grassland.
But these strange things belonged to the second stage because they were completely different from the previous things.
Fatty suddenly spoke up at this time, “I would like to add that when we were walking on the grassland, you took that Shigong’s mole with you. Is this the reason why we were bewitched so many times?”
I nodded. That might be the case. Maybe the monsters recognized both Shigong’s mole and that fragment of the ceramic figurine’s face.
Fatty continued, “I would like to also add that it’s not the peripheral vision monsters that transported the corpses underground but those black people. Think about it. When we fell into that underground tunnel, those black people were the ones driving the corpses inside. We were in such a hurry when we fell down and it was too dark down there, so we thought that those bodies were moving by themselves. But maybe it was those black people who were moving them.”
We also didn’t know whether they were messing around with the satellite phones on the grassland. Was there something out there with the power to control a living person? If so, it was definitely teasing us.
So, there were two kinds of monsters: one was the monster I could see with my peripheral vision and the other was the black people underground. Was the former responsible for things aboveground while the latter was responsible for underground transportation?
This was what made me the most uncomfortable, because neither of these two monsters could be explained. What were they? Was the thing underground really a zombie and the thing aboveground a ghost? Were there two things trying to eat one corpse?
When I thought of this, I suddenly shivered.
Then, I had an idea.
Two things trying to eat one corpse was ridiculous.
But was it possible that what I saw out of the corner of my eye and the black people underground weren’t two kinds of monsters but the same thing?
Maybe they manifested differently in different places, just like in “Journey to the West”. In the novel, ghosts were invisible, but you could see them clearly when you reached the underworld.
Although I still didn’t know what these things were, I suddenly had a long-lost feeling of empowerment. So, do they transport the corpses back to protect the funerary objects?
No, that can’t be it. I rubbed my face and then stated my conclusion, “Fatty, the world’s second most valuable tomb is a cover. All the grave robbers who come to steal will be killed in the end and then they’ll be transported back by these things through the underground passage. But did you see the bodies? No, we didn’t see the bodies here at all. So where exactly did those bodies go?”
“Where do you think they went?” Fatty asked me.
“They went to feed the dragon vein,” I said. “In other words, the Five Mountain Dragon Gods use corpses to create dragon veins. They attract grave robbers here and then feed them to the dragon veins. That’s the overall situation.”
“But weren’t there some burnt ones outside?”
“Those are people who know what’s going on. They don’t want their bodies to be fed to the dragon vein so they burn themselves,” I said.
Fatty looked at me, “Are you serious?”
“Then let me tell you a little bug in your theory, see if you can circle back around.” Fatty spit. “If the bodies are transported back, then why was Jin Wantang able to dig up Guotang Feng’s body? Did they forget to deliver the food that time?”
After thinking about it, I remembered one of my earliest doubts.
I felt that Jin Wantang’s story was all nonsense, but I didn’t think that he was someone who could set up such a scheme. So, he probably wasn’t the one who came up with this idea.
There had to be another person who created this story and used Jin Wantang to attract so many people to the grassland to feed this dragon vein. But for what purpose?
If this dragon vein matured, what would happen?
I looked at Poker-Face and found that he still hadn’t moved. At this time, I suddenly felt cold all over. Xiao Hua wouldn’t let Poker-Face enter the world’s second most valuable tomb and this was the Zhang family’s forbidden area. What would happen if Poker-Face died inside and was fed to this dragon vein?
Was this all a scheme to kill those in the Zhang family, or was it just a case of the Zhang family making up for a deficient and the dragon vein would change as soon as they entered?
Also, who was behind this? Was my reasoning even correct?