While I was thinking, Poker-Face tapped his flashlight twice to tell me to come over. I glanced at him and found that he must have discovered a clue.
“Have you found the trick?” I asked as I walked over to him. When he nodded, I asked, “How?”
Poker-Face used his flashlight to illuminate a nearby dancing girl figurine’s foot, which was poised in the middle of a dance move. Then, he pointed to another dancing girl figurine.
These figurines all had Shen Qianjue’s mark on them. When I followed the flashlight and looked at the seventh one, I realized that these figurines’ dance steps had a continuous flow to them.
This was a kind of dance.
I tried to imitate these dancers’ footwork and found that their movements were very precise. Although I didn’t know what kind of dance it was, it had to be a fusion of at least two or three kinds of ethnic dances.
Poker-Face used his fingers to tap the floor hard a few times and then asked me to listen. I put my ear to the ground, but I couldn’t hear anything at first. I kept listening until I became so absorbed that I was almost in a trance-like state. That was when I finally heard the sound of a ball moving under the floor every time he knocked.
It was extremely slight—like the flick of a fingernail—but it went on for a very long time.
“Eighteen Bridge Lotus Frame,” he said to me.
I touched my face. I had heard some of the old men in the industry talk about this before. It was an extremely sensitive mechanism that would start to rotate as long as the stone slab or secret door where it was located vibrated slightly. You could make the gold beads fall by tapping out a pattern, and every time you tapped, one gold bead would drop.
But the whole lotus frame was always rotating, so the gold beads would fall in different positions. As a result, the rhythm of your tapping had to be very accurate.
As long as all eighteen gold beads fell into different positions according to the correct rhythm, then the mechanism below would be activated. It would then hook the mechanism’s counterweight and open the secret door or release the trap.
If your rhythm was wrong, then the gold beads would circle back around after the lotus frame slowly stopped rotating. This way, the mechanism could still be used continuously.
This kind of thing was essentially just a folk trick; in other words, it was a mechanism used to do magic tricks. It was basically the exam question carpenters faced when they entered the imperial palace. It was rarely used in real projects, mainly because gold beads had to be used. This was because gold beads were heavy and corrosion resistant.
This mechanism was very sensitive, so logically speaking, dancing anywhere in this underground palace could activate it.
I looked at the dancers and immediately understood why Shen Qianjue and the others had failed while Xiao Hua had succeeded. Xiao Hua had studied dance. The order of the dancers here was very chaotic, but Xiao Hua sang opera. He knew the logic of going from one move to the next, as well as the ancient intention behind it. As a result, he knew the correct sequence to these dancing figurines.
But Shen Qianjue and the others didn’t know, so they marked all of the dancing figurines according to their own understanding. And that wasn’t even mentioning the fact that Old Bing had taken some of the figurines away, so even their order might not have been correct.
Shen Qianjue’s partner could force herself to move even with the wrong dance steps since she was so strong, but Shen Qianjue couldn’t do a lot of the moves because of the mistakes in her logic. This in turn led to very sloppy dance steps.
Xiao Hua had stepped down very hard in order to determine the rhythm, which created the illusion that he was carrying someone on his back. Well, I at least hoped so.
At most, there were only eighteen gold balls on the Eighteen Bridge Lotus Frame, so only eighteen dance moves were needed. But compared to Shen Qianjue, my dancing abilities were so abysmal that they were probably netherworldly. I rubbed my face and said to Fatty, “Fatty, have you done any research on folk dancing? I feel like you’re usually watching dance videos when you’re scrolling on your phone.”
Fatty, who was lying on the ground, grinned at me and said in an extremely bored tone, “Forget about it. The three of us know jack shit about dancing. We just have to go out, get the equipment, and blow it up.”
But before he had finished speaking, Poker-Face moved the flashlight away from the dancing girl figurines, pointed it towards the ground, and suddenly tapped on the ground with his fingers eighteen times.
That sense of rhythm sounded just like a drum melody. Plus, he was tapping the ground so hard that I knew I’d probably vomit blood if he hit me.
At this time, I suddenly heard a series of clanging sounds coming from under my feet—it appeared the mechanism had finally activated. As the clanging sound continued for another minute, it began to move more than ten meters away to the stairs in front of us. Then, we saw that the lower steps turned over to reveal a huge entrance.
This method works too? I looked at Poker-Face but he didn’t look at me.
When we went up, Poker-Face illuminated the entrance with his flashlight. We saw a staircase made of black stone leading straight underground.
Fatty didn’t even stand up and just looked at it from the side with a little despair on his face. In the past, he always used to be the first to jump up and look, but now he was obviously really tired.
The black stone stairs were flat and exquisitely made, which was a stark contrast to the stone slabs outside. I sighed in my heart, the entrance to the world’s second most valuable tomb has finally appeared.
I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow after work so there might not be an update. You know how it goes, keeping you all in suspense is what gives me life ╮(︶▽︶)╭ Hahaha just kidding, I’m not that mean. Til next time dears~