The World’s Evil Beasts (Part 1)
“Be careful. Don’t just carelessly touch things!” Boss whacked my hand reaching for the stone door. “What are you going to do if there are hidden weapons or traps on the door?”
I pulled my hand back: “What is there around us besides doors, though? How are we supposed to know where to go if we don’t try opening them?”
Turned out we went down the misfortunate, dark path. Firstly, it was so hidden that not even their own people could enter; we didn’t see anyone after an hour of exploration. I’d think we were in a sewer if I didn’t know we were on an island due to how long the path stretched. Secondly, it was so damn dark that Boss could barely see where she was walking, and I could barely see her face. If this place doesn’t turn out to be fishy, I’ll call myself Groundhog!
Quietly, Boss opined, “It’s going to be tough to find clues when it’s almost pitch-black down here. If we start a fire, we might give off our location, however. Since we haven’t come across anyone, there’s a chance that patrols have been replaced with hidden sentries.”
There were sixteen stone doors around us, at least, each of which were rather far; we’d require more than hours if we were to explore each option one by one. I did use my own means of hearing where air blew fastest to conclude that heading downwards would be the right choice. Boss’ mention of traps shouldn’t be disregarded, nonetheless. Though I couldn’t hear any mechanisms at work, I wouldn’t be able to hear squat if the doors were smeared with poison.
“We can only go door knocking. I’ll start from that end. If there were no traps or poison, I’ll open the door,” Boss stated.
“I’ll see if there are alternatives paths, then.”
Once Boss left, I went back to the correct door. Through enhancing my vision, I could see the door as if the sun was shining on it. I slipped true qi from my hand onto the door to project the view on the other side into my mind.
God damn, you have a lot of space behind this door. Tell me you’re innocent again.
Luo Ming must’ve been nurturing soldiers and putting his big plan in motion in shadows for years. While there are plenty of places he could’ve done business, I was positive Whale God Island was one of them. Where else would he stash all the weapons he robbed and precious materials? Why would he take the risk of having someone smuggle a batch to him every time he failed once? That’s insane.
As Wugfengdeng also pointed inside, Second must be inside. I thought I heard Second cry for me before, having said that. Was it just my imagination?
The door didn’t have any traps installed or poison spread on it. If there was a trap, it was the door itself. I deliberated how to proceed prior to pushing the door open. “Boss, I found an entrance.”
“Where?” Boss came back. “Oh, it does seem to be an entrance… Why didn’t I notice it when I looked before?”
“I found it just now!”
Boss brought her eyelids close together as she eyed me but nodded in the end. I had this feeling that Boss didn’t mind the fishy things I did so much ever since she came to.
The further in we went, the narrower and more winding the path became. As we gradually descended the declining path, the temperature climbed to the point that the walls could burn hands. When we stepped into the first lighted location in a while, we had reached the end of the passage.
Over a hundred lanterns were left on. On the other side of the area, the reflection of blades acted as light boosters for the candles.
“What is… this place?” Boss uttered.
The stone door I pushed open didn’t need any traps or poison because it weighed tonnes already. The design of the passage was designed for very specific people. The fact that there were numerous scrapes on the ground by the door informed us that nobody from the smithing department was aware of the path behind the door they couldn’t move. In the scenario they did, they must’ve concluded it was an abandoned passage. We, therefore, could confidently say that this was Luo Ming’s secret chamber. There was no need for him to hide his entry if people thought it was abandoned, and he was the only one capable of opening the door. This conclusion also pointed out that Luo Ming didn’t sequester in Sword Spirit House but spent the majority of his time here. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be a bookshelf, futon and Buddha’s seat in the form of a lotus flower behind the night lights. Besides, who else would have the right to access this area?
“This… is most probably Luo Ming’s secret chamber.”
Boss probably reached the same conclusion as I did in the same time I spent analysing the room.
I studied the bookshelf for clues that could explain Luo Ming behaviour, while Boss purely wanted to brush up on her knowledge of Divine Realm martial artists. Disappointingly, there were only literacy texts. Howbeit, one particular book caught my attention – Six Evil Beasts Chronicles.