Chapter 68 Melee

I was a little shocked, but then I immediately realized that someone must have lifted up the slate overhead. At that time, I thought it was Uncle Three or A Ning since there was no one else in the tomb with us, but when I looked up, I saw a burly, scaled sea monkey. Its back was bowed and it was looking down at me from above. I peeked out of the corner of my eye and saw that its shoulder was bloody and there was a spear sticking out of it. I sighed in my heart—it looked like the saying about enemies inevitably crossing paths really was fucking true. This thing was really obsessed with me.

I didn’t expect that such a dramatic thing would happen to me so I was at a total loss for a moment. But at this time, I suddenly felt someone tugging on my pants. I looked down and saw that it was Poker-Face. He was motioning for me to go down quickly. I glanced back at the sea monkey’s huge body and immediately knew what Poker-Face was trying to do so I hurriedly crawled back down. The tunnel below me was sloped and cramped so Poker-Face and I were already squished together, which made it very hard to move. But now that I was in a hurry, it was even harder to move, which meant that I was half a beat slower than before. I only managed to crawl a few steps forward before the sea monkey suddenly made a rumbling sound and thrust its head down into the tunnel. When I saw that sea monkey’s sinister face coming straight towards me, I was so scared that my feet slipped and my butt ended up slamming against the tunnel wall.

Although my butt was sore, I took this opportunity to slide down the tunnel, telling myself that the heavens had blessed me since I could escape quickly like this. The sea monkey was so large that it definitely wouldn’t be able to get in no matter how hard it tried so I could finally take a moment to calm my racing heart.

I thought it was a beautiful miracle at the time, but I forgot that the heavens didn’t obey human desires—I had only slid down half a meter when I suddenly found Fatty blocking the way below. He was crawling wildly up the tunnel while shouting, “Go up! Go up! That bitch is here again!”

I was shocked when I heard it and immediately looked behind him, only to see that a large mass of hair was crawling around the last bend in the tunnel. I cursed in my heart, sure enough, blessings never come in pairs but misfortune never comes alone. Anything that can go wrong will go wrong. I hurriedly threw my lighter to Fatty so that he could defend himself and then looked up to see what was going on above. But right as I moved my neck, I suddenly felt a sharp pain in my shoulder. I turned my head and saw that the sea monkey’s shoulders were too wide to fit into the tunnel but its neck was still very flexible and could stretch pretty far. I hadn’t been paying attention to it just now and ended up getting bit on my right shoulder.

I knew I was in trouble now. It had bitten me in such a way that its fangs had sunk deep into my flesh to the point that I almost fainted from the pain, but its teeth didn’t pierce through my bones or muscles at all. I was just about to put up a struggle when it suddenly yanked me hard and dragged me out of the tunnel.

I dangled in the air, hanging from the sea monkey’s teeth—it didn’t seem like it wanted to kill me right away, but I knew that it could tear my shoulder in two as long as it jerked its head. Even though I was absolutely terrified at this time, I knew I had to resist. As I frantically looked around, I suddenly saw the spear sticking out of the sea monkey’s shoulder and gave it a hard kick. This time, I managed to hit it just right so it became embedded even deeper. The sea monkey suddenly howled and threw me aside.

I used all of my strength to try and soften my landing as I rolled on the ground about seven or eight times, but when I tried to stand up again, I found that my right hand was completely useless. The sea monkey flew into a rage at the pain, roared a few times, and then rushed towards me again. But this time, it went straight for my neck as if it wanted to rip my throat out.

It came so fast that it was impossible to dodge and I had no other choice but to block it with my arm. Although this was like a praying mantis trying to stop a car, I knew that if I didn’t at least try to defend myself, I would probably lose my head. But at this time, Fatty suddenly came from behind and grabbed the sea monkey’s legs, causing it to trip and faceplant. The two fell to the ground at the same time and rolled into a ball of tangled limbs. Fatty was very agile and tried to climb onto its back like Wu Song fighting the tiger(1), but the sea monkey was so strong that Fatty couldn’t hold it down at all and ended up getting kicked away.

When I saw that Fatty couldn’t overpower it, I knew that things were about to take a bad turn. And sure enough, the sea monkey bared its fangs at Fatty, turned around, and then rushed back towards me. Why are you fucking targeting me?! I cried in my heart. I hurriedly reached for the speargun hanging around my waist but then I remembered that I had thrown it away when I was climbing up the rock wall earlier so that I could escape more smoothly. It had probably been crushed into a fried dough twist by now.

But there was no time to regret it as the sea monkey arrived in front of me in the next second. Thinking it was going to bite my neck and rip my head off, I simply closed my eyes and waited for death, but to my surprise, it seemed like it wanted me to suffer. It angrily stomped on my stomach with one foot, almost breaking my spine in the process. I spat out a mouthful of blood and almost passed out from the pain, but the sea monkey didn’t stop there—it lifted its foot and moved to step on my chest, but as soon as it did, there was a loud bang. I didn’t know what was going on, but I saw it get knocked away and roll end over end several times.

I turned my head and saw Fatty walking over like a vengeful god, a giant bronze mirror in his hands that was still vibrating from the impact. I looked at him, completely speechless. It seemed that this mirror was the assault weapon that caused the loud noise just now. Fatty’s hands were really blackened—if that sea monkey had actually been a human being, such an assault would have definitely killed him. I secretly told myself that if we made it out of here alive, I definitely shouldn’t offend him in the future.

Fatty was in such a fit of rage at this time that he had already rushed over to the sea monkey and backhanded it with the mirror again before it even had the chance to get up. There came the same loud “bang” noise from before as the sea monkey’s face was crushed and its body was sent rolling several meters away. But unfortunately, this sea monkey was very strong so the mirror didn’t actually cause much damage to its body. But now it knew how powerful Fatty was so it didn’t dare rush over again. Instead, it ran for a nearby pillar, climbed up it, and then roared at Fatty from above.

By this point, I had already realized that this was the room where Poker-Face had said the model of the heavenly palace was. The most direct piece of evidence was the four huge shadow paintings on the four walls of the room. I didn’t have time to carefully check to see whether the contents of these paintings were in line with his description, but I was certain that the scene here hadn’t changed at all in the twenty years since they had left. But to my surprise, this room actually wasn’t as big as he had said it was. The only thing I would call majestic was the golden nanmu pillars on the side that were so wide, three people holding hands wouldn’t be able to wrap their arms around them. Everything else could only be regarded as luxurious at best.

Fatty, after winning the first round, became arrogant and started taunting the sea monkey, “Fuck you! I’ve killed so many zombies over the years that I’ve lost count. In front of me, you’re just a half-baked monkey pretending to be strong. How dare you not take this fat master seriously!” He tried to throw the mirror up to hit the sea monkey, but it weighed too much for him to lift up past his waist. Fatty had used all of his strength when making those two blows just now, but he couldn’t lift the mirror this time and just ended up staggering under its weight.

The sea monkey was very cunning. When it saw that Fatty couldn’t exert his strength, it suddenly leaped down from the pillar and threw Fatty to the ground. Fatty didn’t have time to react and ended up getting crushed by its weight, unable to push it away. As a result, he couldn’t avoid the harsh slap the sea monkey directed at his face, its claws ripping off a layer of skin in the process. Fatty had never been treated like this before, so his eyes suddenly became red and he gave an animalistic roar before biting the sea monkey on the face. It shrieked in pain and then leaped away.

I saw that a large chunk of the sea monkey’s scales had been torn off of its face and blood was dripping down from the fresh wound. It looked much more sinister now, but it was also confused by Fatty’s attack and started to act more cautious. It stood and observed us from a distance as if trying to find Fatty’s weak point. Fatty was also forcing himself to hang in there, but I could see that he was breathing hard and his physical strength was exhausted.

The two sides faced each other for a few minutes but the sea monkey was an animal, after all. It couldn’t concentrate the way a human could so its attention started to wander. It yawned, turned its head, and started to look around. That was when it caught sight of Poker-Face—he had his teeth clenched as he tried to move the slate back over the entrance to the grave robbers’ tunnel. The slate was so heavy that it was difficult for a single person to lift on their own so he could only drag it inch by inch. The sea monkey saw that Poker-Face was alone and immediately rushed towards him with a loud roar, its bloodlust rekindled.

I was surprised—I didn’t expect this thing to act so human and go after the weak instead of the strong. “Be careful!!” I hurriedly shouted at Poker-Face.

He had already noticed the incoming attack from behind and quickly dropped the slate to roll to the side and avoid the blow. When the sea monkey saw that its paw didn’t make contact, it immediately jumped in for another attack but I wasn’t very worried. I knew that Poker-Face had the skills to deal with this thing. With the sea monkey following close behind, Poker-Face ran a few steps towards a nearby golden nanmu pillar, jumped up, used one foot to kick off of it, spun in midair, and then pressed his knees down on the sea monkey’s shoulders. The force of the impact caused the sea monkey’s body to bend, almost bringing it to its knees. Not knowing what kind of kung fu this was, I immediately became curious.

The sea monkey was so strong that it hardly looked affected by this move, but Poker-Face wasn’t done yet. Instead of jumping down immediately, he tightened his legs around the creature’s head and then twisted his waist hard. There was the sound of a crisp click and then the sea monkey’s head twisted a hundred and eighty degrees and fell to the floor.

This series of movements was all done within a second, an instant kill. Fatty and I both had our mouths hanging open in shock and could feel a phantom pain in our necks as if we had pulled a muscle. I suddenly recalled the head of that blood corpse from the Seven Star Lu Palace and decided that Poker-Face must have used this method to take care of it. I couldn’t help but sigh pityingly. This method was so cruel that even I felt a bit sorry for the sea monkey.

After Poker-Face climbed off the corpse, he immediately rushed back to finish moving the slab over the tunnel entrance. I could already see that a clump of hair was emerging from the tunnel so I hurriedly called Fatty over to help. Fatty used our original method and burned the clump of hair with the lighter before working together with Poker-Face to put the blue granite stone back into place. The Forbidden Woman was unwilling to give up and beat against the slab several times, trying to push it away. Fatty was afraid that she would succeed so he sat down on the slab, crushing it with his weight.

The sound of the Forbidden Woman beating against the slab lasted for ten minutes, but with Fatty sitting on top of it, it was even more difficult to lift now. As the thing below finally calmed down, Fatty simply swore and then lay his exhausted body down on the floor to rest.

Seeing that the danger had passed, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. By this point, I finally had feeling in my right hand again and could do some small movements. When I saw Poker-Face go to the southeast corner of the room, I quickly followed him. The mirror had been removed and there was indeed a dark hole in the wall. It was only half as tall as a person and looked very deep. There was no telling where it led to. 

<Chapter 67><Table of Contents><Chapter 69>


TN Notes:

(1) Wu Song was a heroic outlaw of Liangshan Marsh in the classic novel “The Water Margin”. His exploits include killing a tiger with his bare hands. Summary of the story here.


5 thoughts on “Chapter 68 Melee

  1. That was *very* exciting. (Wu Xie really does miss no opportunity to talk up how awesome his friends are, and how flimsy and clumsy he is, doesn’t he?)

    Liked by 1 person

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