Look What I Found (Tears)
I rushed to pull the door back. Alas, the door didn’t have a handle, not to mention it was a heavy stone one… As a result, I tripped and stumbled inside. And, of course, it just had to be the first door of all doors…
Who would want to watch Jiang Chen bury his beloved?! I wanted treasures! I had a debt to pay off!
Fine, let’s see what your beloved is! Let’s see if it’s worth a million silver taels!
The room behind the door was unexpectedly narrow and small. I’d say it could compare to Liu Shan Men’s doghouse. It was virtually empty, too.
I rolled to my feet with the support of my hands. “Hah, you think a mere door can obstruct m-, whoa! Ow!”
As I rubbed my head, I looked at the big box that dropped onto my head.
… Are you three years old?! Are you a brat who just started sleeping on his own?! How childish do you have to be to be pulling the object-above-a-door prank?!
In my fit of anger, I flipped the box over and back to check it out. Whatever it was made of, it was damn heavy. The text on it read, “He who is struck by this upon entering is of anserine stupidity.”
In small font beneath the word, it said, “He who does not know the word “anserine” is an insult to the intelligence of pigs.
… Okay… Okay, I’ll let you win for now.
I angrily opened the box. The interior text read, “It is rude to look.”
It is rude to look? It is rude to look?! So this box was there just to smash me on the head?!
I was extremely close to smashing the box on the ground, but the graceful gentleman in me urged me to place it on the sole long-square stone shelf.
I picked up a torch to survey the room, and there really wasn’t anything besides the shelf. I moved the torch up close to the platform for a closer look, where I spotted a small square slot in it. The text in the slot’s base read, “Insert box here.”
So the box is the key to operate the mechanism?
Once I finished slotting the box in, a muffled sound started coming from the platform until there was a small opening in the side of it. Once the lock came undone, the platform became just a thin stone slab that I could lift off to see below.
At the bottom was a stone coffin and more text carved onto the lid. The text read, “You truly are a gentleman. Most people would throw away the box in retaliation to the insult. This box’s materials are special. Once you open the box, if it bumps into anything, it is very responsive to altering shape, which would render it impossible to operate the mechanism. The fact that you are reading this now proves you are a truly magnanimous man.”
I… feel bad now.
The only reason I didn’t smash the box was because I didn’t see anything else in the room. Maybe the box was worth a coin or two.
“You are a true gentleman who can be trusted. This place is the resting place of Daxia’s Tianfeng imperial family.”
Ah? Wasn’t Tianfeng Clan the relatives of the previous’ dynasty’s Empress? How did they suddenly become the imperial family itself? I suppose that explains the murky aura in here, as well as the expensive coffins and doors. Since it’s the imperial family’s tomb, it, no, it still doesn’t explain the extreme opulence. I don’t know if even Emperor Yuansheng would embellish his tomb with such valuables.
“This one’s late wife is the imperial family’s Princess. This one’s eternal regret is that he could not be by her side to take care of her after his abrupt departure. Please help him put his late wife to rest. You shall be handsomely rewarded as appreciation.”
The person in the coffin is Jiang Chen’s late wife?! So his “beloved” is his wife?! I hope every generation of your family is dead broke! I thought your “beloved” was some ancient treasure! You want me to put your wife to rest after all the crap you put me through?! You claim you’re from the same generation as my grandmaster, yet you don’t bury your wife after marrying her?! Embarrassing! You make men look bad!
I was furious, yet I started thinking back on the skeleton praying in the well-lit room.
… Even if I’m willing to lay her to rest, where am I going to find a hole big enough for the coffin, not to mention my lack of tools?
“All required tools can be found beside the stone platform,” was carved onto the stone along with considerate directions to the coffin. Its exact location to bury her was described in immense detail. The man was asking for a favour, yet he even fussed over the fengshui.
I begrudgingly picked up the tools that I was too familiar with – shovel, hoe, axe… Every time I shovelled, I cursed Jiang Chen. Every time I swung the hoe, I cursed his mom. I ended up cursing eighteen generations of his family twice before I dug as deep as he requested.
Uh… How do I bury her when the coffin is so heavy?
Clang! I lost my grip on the shovel when I hit something so solid that my hand went numb.
… Jiang Chen, don’t tell me you deliberately buried a rock down at this specific spot. I’m done! This is as far as I’m digging!
Strangely, the solid object was as flat as a board. Unable to resist my curiosity, I scraped aside the mud with the shovel. As soon as I identified it was a stone slab, I saw more damn text!
“You are a man who can trust others. Burying this one’s late wife is an unwarranted request that you could have ignored. Greed is a normal part of being human. If someone with malicious intent pried open the coffin for valuables, the poison arrow inside would take their life. Their death is only but well deserved.
… I just forgot there were usually things buried with the dead…
The fact that you are reading this indicates you are a man of your word with a magnanimous heart, the sort of man this one seeks. Being able to come this far proves that you are a man of great intellect and courage.
I never wanted to come here! You kidnapped me! Also, I only ended up here because I accidentally opened the wrong door!
“However, there is no shortage of smart and strong people who are actually nefarious in nature. The heart of man has never been easy to read. This one’s master lost everything precisely due to mistrusting the wrong person. This one set up three locks to test visitors’ characters.
“The first tested trait is sincerity. While one who is willing to obtain martial arts secrets possesses wisdom and big ambitions, he is not the one this one seeks. This is the only room with valuables to be taken. The other two rooms are traps that will cost the seeker’s life. He who enters them will rot along with this cavern, and no pity will be offered.”
… Are you three years old?! Are you?! Why does someone deserve to die just because they’re not willing to bury your wife?! Who would leave empty handed after all the crap they had to endure to get here? What are you even angry about?! If I didn’t happen to be the first person here, god knows how many people you’d kill!
“The second tested trait is tolerance. To see the stone slab after the insults is proof you have a big heart. The third test trait is trustworthiness. He who cannot dig deep is not one who keeps his word. You are reading this now because you have a sincere heart and strong will. This one can trust this place to you.”
I discovered that, at the end of the carving, there was a movable door in the centre of the stone slab.
Finally found it!