Chapter 603: Secret Tunnel Leading to a Grave
Lu Siya thought about it in depth and said, “True. Leprosy Village and the gangs have regarded each other with animosity for decades. The fire in the village is getting worse, and it’s not easy for them to work together without enmity. Without Broken Sword Ye Xiaoyue guarding them, both sides might end up fighting.
“Let’s figure things out first and see just who this A’Ji is before we make our decision!”
The two of them went into the dark tunnel.
At the end of the tunnel was a 3D maze that looked like it was soaked in ink.
While Dragon City was still on Earth, it had developed air-raid shelters, shelters, and underground transportation tunnels. Over the half a century after, the lair citizens dug around these places day and night and connected them together, so the whole thing could make even the pests living underground feel disoriented.
Scattered on the walls around them were words left from the time when the city was still on Earth. At times, emergency lights flickered on like ghost eyes. At other times, stone walls that were dug out randomly and were full of cracks got in their way.
Occasionally, a few deformed vermin with two heads and three tails crawled out of the cracks, but they did not dare to provoke the two superhumans. Soon, they slithered away.
On the way, the duo ran into at least eight forks.
Fortunately, Meng Chao had put Red Radiance Jade powder on A’Ji’s shoulder; otherwise, even if more than one hundred people had come, they would get trapped in the confusing maze.
But even if they could sense the fluctuations from the Red Radiance Jade powder, they still needed to climb up and down and take a lot of turns.
In the end, they reached a dead end.
Aside from the road they took to come, the area ahead, to their sides, and above as well as below were just black walls. There were no signs of anyone ever digging through these places.
The fluctuations released from the Red Radiance Jade cut off here. It was as if A’Ji disappeared by some form of miracle once he came here.
“That’s strange. What I sensed should be correct.” Lu Siya frowned a little. “A’Ji had to have come here, but there’s not a single hole around us. Even if he turned into smoke, he couldn’t run anywhere.”
“I can sense it too. I can feel the energy released from the Red Radiance Jade powder.” Meng Chao observed his surroundings with a pensive look. “Big Sis Ya, do you know the specific coordinates of our location right now?”
Lu Siya was a mine explorer.
As an expert who had to often stay in underground ley lines for half a month or more, she had to search for mineral veins and exits in caves that were interconnected like a maze. Her spatial orientation was definitely much better than that of an ordinary person.
No matter how complicated a man-made maze was, it could never compare to a natural karst cave that stretched for hundreds of kilometers.
Hence, Lu Siya remembered the path they took, and based on it, she casually drew a 3D map and pointed out their current location.
“We might have been wandering around in the underground for a long time, but we aren’t that far away from Mutual Gold Coliseum. We’re at most four hundred meters away from it. So, we’re… here.”
Lu Siya pointed at a spot on the 3D map. “But we’re really deep underground. We’re more than two hundred meters down.”
Meng Chao had examined the map of the lair before.
Mutual Gold Coliseum was located at the most prosperous part of the lair, so he remembered the terrain and important facilities around it like the back of his hand.
Hence, he could tell immediately. “Huh? Then, aren’t we directly under Golden Tooth’s headquarters?”
Lu Siya was slightly stunned. When Meng Chao mentioned this, she noticed this fact as well. “That’s right. We’re right underneath Golden Tooth. Is this… a coincidence?”
“Afraid not.”A thought popped up in Meng Chao’s head. “Su Lun mentioned that ever since his mother died, there were no longer great pharmacists who could create secret drugs for Jin Wanhao based on his injuries and help him keep his injuries in check. Jin Wanhao’s condition plummeted, and his personality became stranger by the day. Aside from really important situations, he seldom appeared in public.
“During his seventieth birthday last year, his injuries flared up right in front of the important guests from the other gangs. He started coughing up blood and showed a really weak side.
“From then on, he became really sensitive, hot-tempered, and eccentric. He built a large lab with really advanced facilities and almost fully automatic machines right under Golden Tooth’s headquarters with Su Lun’s mother to get treatment and cultivate.
“Once Jin Wanhao realized that he’s near his death bed, he appeared even less. He shut himself in the underground lab and strengthened its defenses as well as locked it up, turning it into an airtight chamber. The place could be said to have been turned into his grave.
“Among all the higher management and middle management of Golden Tooth, Red Brows Su Lun was the only one who had special favor from him. He could sometimes appear at the perimeter of the lab and help him convey his orders, deliver him news, give him resources, and other things.
“Even the senior members like Song Jinbo couldn’t see Jin Wanhao whenever they wanted, even though they had been with him for decades.
“And even Su Lun couldn’t open the last door that led straight into the lab and see Saber Jin Wanhao’s haggard, dying face. He could only use a special piece of equipment to talk to Jin Wanhao through a wall.
“Jin Wanhao told Su Lun that the last door that led to the lab would only open from within or by itself once it sensed that his heartbeat, breathing, and brain waves all fell to zero and he died. These were the only two ways it would open.
“Perhaps this was the only way for this warlord to feel safe. After all, he had killed many people and made many enemies.
“At that time, Su Lun has already joined the monster civilization and decided to help the Vortex destroy the lair. Since Jin Wanhao handed his authority to him and stayed underground, this fit his plans, and he was ecstatic. He naturally had no reason to stop Jin Wanhao from doing this.
“So, he only pretended to try and convince Jin Wanhao against it before turning around and forgetting about the heavily injured and slightly insane Underground Emperor.
“In any case, the underground lab was filled with food and cultivation resources of the highest grade. It would be enough for Jin Wanhao to last a long time. The fully automatic medical facilities would also monitor his physiological parameters at all times so that Su Lun could understand his condition.
“Based on the changes of his physiological parameters, Jin Wanhao entered a coma a few months ago, and his current condition is even worse than that of a comatose patient. Before long, he will suffer multiple organ failure and die.
“After Song Jinbo and the other Golden Tooth gang members learned about this, they rushed to the entrance of the underground lab to take a look. There was indeed a really sturdy door there. Aside from using high-purity crystal bombs that weighed a few tons and blasting the alloy door as well as the buildings around it to high heavens, it would be really difficult to open it. So, we’re under Jin Wanhao’s ‘grave’, right? Isn’t this too strange?”
“Meng Chao, take a look at this.”
While Lu Siya was listening to him, she searched around and she seemed to have discovered something. She beckoned Meng Chao over.
Meng Chao bent his back and crawled over to take a look, only to discover that Lu Siya found a speck of Red Radiance Jade powder stuck on a black wall.
Lu Siya placed her hands on the stones around the Red Radiance Jade powder and said, “This thing… seems to be empty.” She sounded uncertain, though.
Meng Chao exercised his fingers and started feeling around the stones.
Since he was a harvester, his fingers were very sensitive. He could sense the slight bumps on a surface with the slight touch.
Even if it would be difficult to find those bumps through a microscope, he would still be able to sense them.
“This is… a crack. There’s one more… There are four cracks in total. It’s like a door frame. This isn’t a slab of stone, but a hidden door!”
Meng Chao tried pushing the stone, but it did not budge.
He tried pushing from the sides so that it would spin. He even tried sucking it out in an attempt to pull the stone out.
The stone still did not move. It was as if it had blended together with the wall around it.
“No. There must be a very sophisticated mechanism inside. Aside from a machine master who is very skilled in this area, no one else could open this door,” Meng Chao said gloomily.
“Let me try.” Lu Siya placed her hands on the stone again.
Spirit tattoos spread out of her palm lines and crawled into the invisible cracks around the hidden door.
Soon, the stone quietly turned into a black pile of gravel. It flowed out like flowing mud and revealed a new tunnel.
Meng Chao scratched his head.
He had momentarily forgotten that Lu Siya was an expert at controlling rocks.
When they faced a mechanism based on stones, they did not need to know how to open it or the structure of the mechanism. They could use the simplest method of it all and break the whole thing with brute force.
Meng Chao peeked in and cast a glance at the tunnel behind the door.
He smelled a rotten stench. There was also the smell of blood.
He was reminded of a torture room that had been used for decades or a jail that had taken the lives of hundreds of innnocents.
Meng Chao gave an unwitting shudder.
He accidentally touched Lu Siya’s arm, and he found that she was also covered in goosebumps.
A sense of danger made both of them take a step back. They looked at each other and tensed up their muscles.
“If my guess is correct, this tunnel should lead straight to Saber Jin Wanhao’s underground lab, which is also where he is buried,” Meng Chao mumbled. “If the Underground Emperor sensed that he didn’t have long to live anymore and wanted to rest in peace without being disturbed in his meticulously created grave, why would there be a secret tunnel that leads to the outside world? Why is it here?
“And who is A’Ji? Why does he know the secret tunnel that leads straight to Saber Jin Wanhao’s grave and has the method to open it?”
“I’m curious about that too,” Lu Siya said airily. “But I have a rather immature suggestion. We shouldn’t go forward anymore and go back. We should look for Phantom Bear Xiong Wei and Broken Sword Ye Xiaoyue, bring with us a few hundred gang members, and come back. That should be safer. What do you think?”
When the cold wind from the end of the secret tunnel blew at him, Meng Chao felt his bones stinging, as if they were pierced by needles.
He nodded and curled up together with Lu Siya. They slowly retreated from the dark secret tunnel.
At that moment, a piercing scream suddenly came from the end of the tunnel.
Meng Chao’s expression changed.
“It’s A’Ji’s voice!”