Chapter 40 Can’t Go Up or Down

They continued moving forward, but I was surprised to find that they split into two teams during the subsequent journey. Xiao Hua, Black Glasses, and their team continued to move forward while their second team was responsible for setting up outposts.

Some of Xiao Hua’s men were waiting aboveground, so Xiao Hua said that if he found any chance to reach the surface, he would use any means necessary to leave this world below the mountain, even if it was in the middle of the journey. Then, he would use his GPS to notify the team on the surface. After that, a large reserve team would gather from all over the country and enter from the middle entrance instead of entering through the world’s second most valuable tomb.

This was also Xiao Hua’s backup plan since he knew from the very beginning that there would be a shortage of supplies in the middle of this adventure.

I looked at the light above my head. It was already starting to fade, which meant that the sun was going down.

This was the spot. This was where Xiao Hua had to get out by any means necessary.

But it had been a long time since Xiao Hua had entered and they hadn’t received any GPS signals. This either meant that there wasn’t a way aboveground or an accident had occurred.

As they waited outside, they received a satellite call from Black Glasses, just like we did. They also thought it was amazing, but they didn’t have my natural awareness of strange things. That call immediately prompted them to enter the depths of the dragon vein to support Xiao Hua.

So, they set out immediately and traveled the whole way. But after going so far, almost everyone began to have visions of being suspended in the air. They quickly reached the spot below, but by that time—with the exception of the Mongolian woman—everyone’s mental fortitude had collapsed.

They all had the skills to climb, so everyone was determined to return to the surface from here. And just like us, they all began to climb up.

The first five hours of climbing were fine, but after they stopped to rest for the first time, they also discovered that it seemed as if they weren’t any closer to the sunlight even though they had climbed for so long.

At this time, a very strange thing happened between them.

The Mongolian girl was essentially the only one to discover it while the others didn’t notice at all, which was also the weirdest part of it.

I need to take some time to explain this weirdness.

First of all, when they took a break from climbing for the first time, the Mongolian girl drew a group portrait of all the team members. It was a sketch of about seven people hanging on the cliff, and each person’s name was accurately marked below the sketch. Based on this, we could rule out any possibility that there were more than seven people in this team.

There were four similar group sketches behind this first sketch, but if you looked carefully from the second one on, you would find that there were now eight people in the group portrait.

If there wasn’t a final record in the notebook, I would have simply thought that someone was missing from the last sketch. But in the last passage, the Mongolian girl suddenly discovered the problem herself and wrote a few words in her notes.

“I think there seems to be one more person in our team. I’m fully aware of this person and know everything about him, but I can’t find him in my previous sketches nor can I find him in the photos we took along the way. It’s as if he joined us after we climbed the cliff, but how is that possible? Where did he come from? Did he come out of the stone crevices in the cliff?”

“I asked the others, but no one else found it odd. I was the only one who found it odd.”

“I keep feeling like this person wasn’t in our team before we climbed the cliff, and the feeling is only increasing. I feel like I didn’t know him at all before our team climbed up. He definitely wasn’t in the team, but now I’m very familiar with him. Why is this happening? When did he appear?”

“I remember that there’s a type of bee that can mix in with other species of bees. It secretes a hormone that makes the other bees think it’s the same species as them and then it feeds on them. It kills the original queen bee, replaces the queen, and begins to destroy the whole bee colony little by little from the inside out.”

“I told Old Liu that I thought this person wasn’t a member of our team, but he just made fun of me. Before we took a break today, I saw this person secretly giving me a vicious look.”

After this sentence, there was a sketch of an extremely inconspicuous man—the resentment on his face could almost be felt through the pages—along with the words: bee man.

I touched my chin. The Mongolian woman’s writing style was very clear. In fact, most people wouldn’t understand it, but she enabled me to understand it very simply.

I looked at the crevices in the nearby stone. I had thought that the climb here was a vertical “ghost hitting the wall” at most, but I didn’t expect it to be so bizarre.

As I flipped through the rest of the notebook, I didn’t see any more notes. The rest of the pages were all blank, as if the Mongolian woman had stopped writing from that night on. The last bit of information was that sketch of a strange man with an average face.

<Chapter 39><Table of Contents><Chapter 41>

3 thoughts on “Chapter 40 Can’t Go Up or Down

  1. That’s so interesting that she had some immunity to whatever was happening. I really came to like her through her writings though, so sad that she’s gone now. I guess they didn’t pass through the Zhang shrine like Wu Xie and the others? I’m surprised they weren’t used to dismantle it ahead of the Iron Triangle’s arrival.

    Liked by 1 person

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