In order to try and get to the exit where that tiny sliver of light was shining through, Xiao Hua’s group had divided into two teams and climbed up the cliff from two different directions. All of the members in one of the teams had died, and Xiao Hua had also encountered the same situation as them—one extra person somehow appeared in the team without anyone noticing.
They had been trapped on the cliff for more than a week. They continued climbing up during those first three days, but they never managed to reach the top. Based on how long they had been climbing, the height of this cliff definitely exceeded the height of a normal cliff. They had also spent two days trying to climb back to the ground, but as long as they tried that, some people in their team would end up dying. It seemed as if this cliff was forcing them to climb to the top, and in the end, they had to stop.
“Could it be some kind of vertical ‘ghost hitting a wall’?” I asked him.
He shook his head and then tilted it back to look up before saying to me, “If that were the case, we’d keep passing by the same rocks on this cliff. But we could clearly see the changes in the rock strata at different heights as we continued climbing. We weren’t going around in circles, so it’s obvious that this cliff is just that high.”
“So if this cliff is really high, have we still not reached the top yet?”
Xiao Hua, who was still looking at the pitch-black area above his head, nodded at me.
“But if it’s so high, we shouldn’t be able to see any sunlight from below,” I argued.
“This will only work if it’s truly sunlight up there,” Xiao Hua said. “But I think the light above us isn’t sunlight.”
Xiao Hua believed that there was an opening at the top because the sky burial corpses had fallen down, but this light may not necessarily be sunlight.
For people in the dark, this light was like a deadly trap.
“If it’s not the sun, then is it an anglerfish?”
Anglerfish were a kind of deep-sea fish that had a lamp in front of its head. They would hunt by using the light from this lamp to attract and lure small fish that were swimming in the deep sea. Was it possible that the light above was a trap used by monsters to lure us in?
“I don’t know what it is. I only know that the only way to go down now is to jump. Otherwise, you’ll either die on the way down or be trapped here.”
As he silently looked at the darkness under his feet, I noticed that his eyes were calm and there were no signs of fanaticism; he would never jump down in a fit of madness. I was certain that whatever evil thing was in this abyss would also have a headache when facing such a person.
“I don’t believe the dragon vein would trap me in this place since it was the one who invited me here,” I said, and then proceeded to explain why I thought so.
He leaned back against the cliff wall and sighed, “I wasn’t invited, and neither was Black Glasses.”
“Well, maybe I can go down.”
Xiao Hua looked at me but didn’t answer. After a while, he said, “I need to rest for a bit. Can you do two things for me?”
When I looked at him, I couldn’t tell that he was tired at all. It appeared that even though I was a very perceptive person, I couldn’t tell what his real condition was.
Once I nodded, he continued, “Please help me ask Little Brother some questions. He should at least disclose some clues about the bronze door. He’s the only one among us who has been in there. I don’t know why he can’t say it, but I need these answers. Otherwise, we’ll be stuck acting passively like this.”
I didn’t promise him immediately, but he continued anyways, “There’s a problem with my team. Help me figure out what it is.”
“What’s the problem?”
Xiao Hua looked at me and shook his head before saying, “I don’t know; I just think there’s something wrong.”
He handed me a copy of their team manual. I wanted to keep asking questions, but he suddenly said to me again, “Thank you for coming to save me.”
After that, I saw him fall asleep in almost a second.
His face was buried in his long hair and it was only at this time that I saw a wave of exhaustion seem to spread out from his whole body.
At this moment, a flashlight suddenly flashed from below. I knew right away that Fatty was calling me down. I didn’t know if something unexpected had happened while he was examining the body, but the flashlight seemed frantic so he was obviously hoping that I could hurry down and help him.
But Xiao Hua couldn’t sleep here alone, so I used my flashlight to signal the people down below to come up. Not long after, a short man came up. He and I looked at each other. I didn’t know why, but I suddenly felt very uneasy, so I told him to go down again and signaled for Poker-Face to come up.
Poker-Face looked at me and then looked at Xiao Hua. He signaled me to go down and conveyed that he would keep an eye on Xiao Hua.
Author’s note: I’ve been traveling on business recently and the traffic situation in Beijing is too complicated. These three or four chapters were all updated in a hurry, which caused some problems with the writing. You may feel a little confused when reading them, but these issues will be resolved when they’re published.