The Tale Of The Ghost Eyes Chapter 49 Nonliving

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The copper coin bit into my fingers as we walked the path towards the tomb. I rolled it over and over in my hand, digging it beneath my fingernails and twisting the dull pain into a sense of relief in my head. Master Liu led our party down the dark corridor. He maintained a slow pace, following his headlamp as it bobbed in step. Zhou Tong came next and was in front of me. I watched his feet as he went along carefully. He'd pause and point out any loose surface or slippery foot hole.

Master Ge walked behind me in a worried silence.

The initial stab of fear had faded as we began walking. After five or so minutes it was replaced by a low roar of apprehension.

The path we followed was inlaid with green stone slabs like the one we'd seen before. The wall on my left was lined with rusty candlesticks that had long since lost their candles.

Roughly one hundred meters along, we came to a fork in the road. A large green stone stood to the left like a locked door. A similar one stood to the right, yet it hosted a spider web of cracks from a dent near the top. The path between them showed the remains of a similar stone slab.

Master Liu shone his light through the hole. "Some one broke in." He said, "The stone doors aren't thick it seems. Someone has been here."

Zhou Tong stepped in to inspect the door. "It might be the entrance of the tomb. Let me take the lead."

"Are you familiar with the layout?" Master Liu asked

Zhou Tong shook his head, "No, I've never seen anything like this."

Looking at the doors to my left and right, I asked, " There are two doors. Which one should we take?" My voice shook more than I meant it to.

Master Liu knelt down to me, "Are you scared?"

I shook my head, squeezing the copper coin and said, "I feel better."

My brain did that memory lane trick and a flash of Xiao Chun's mother filled my mind. "I've seen worse." I told him.

Zhou Tong touched the stone doors with the tips of his fingers. He pulled his hands back and snapped, the sound echoing down the corridor. "These can't be guarding the tomb! They're too thin someone could break right through." He gestured to the crumbled center door. "If I'm right, there might be a hidden switch somewhere."

Zhou Tong stepped to the door on the right and began to inspect it. His hands flittered over the grooves and characters. He must have found something because he voiced a low "aha" and pulled a brush from the pocket of his wet suit. After a moment of scratching at a groove and removing a deep trove of dust with a loud blow, Zhou Tong stepped back. Where he'd been cleaning, we now saw a round depiction of eight trigrams.

Two grooves sunk in a pair of adjacent trigrams.

"We need a key." Zhou Tong said.

"It seems that whoever built this tomb knew Taoism." Master Liu said.

The three men inspected the door and spoke in low voices for the next few minutes. Five minutes turned to ten and I found myself pacing behind them. Ten minutes turned to twenty and I was itching to dash past them into the unknown tomb. I ground my teeth together and walked to where Master Liu and Master Ge were pointed at something on the opposite stone slab. "G.o.dfather, can we go in yet?"

Master Liu looked down his nose at me and smiled, "Xiao Yong, the more we can learn from this door, the more prepared we'll be. You don't just rush into ancient tombs!"

"But," I started.

"That would be foolish." Master Liu said in a falsetto, drawing out 'lish' so it danced around the cave.

I scowled at him and went to study the other door where Zhou Tong was crouched. I didn't find anything, only another series of trigrams.

Zhou Tong tapped a finger on his chin and said after a moment, "Okay, let's go." He stood up, knees cracking as he did so. "We should go through the broken door first. If someone's already gone that way, it might be safer."

Zhou Tong led us to the crumbled remains of the center door. He stepped high with his long legs and crossed the threshold. Master Liu hoisted me over and then stepped through himself. After a moment, Master Ge joined us, his headlamp bopping up and down.

Master Liu drew in a short quick breath from beside me. "What happened?" I asked.

He raised an old hand and pointed to the wall on the inside of the broken door. There, adhered to the wall was a paper amulet.

Zhou Tong and Master Ge walked slowly towards it. Master Liu pulled it off the wall and blew away the dust, saying, "It's a soul suppressing amulet of Taoism."

Master Liu turned his flashlight from the amulet in his hand down the corridor. The long path of inlaid green stones disappeared into the darkness. I saw more candlesticks on the left wall too, but they were different somehow. Moving towards the one nearest, I saw the bottom of the candlestick taper into the carved face of a snarling wolf.

"Whoa," I said and moved to the next one. "This one's a bear!" I told the men behind me.

Master Ge moved to the next one down the hall, "These look like the masks of a Saman wizard. Each one is different!" He sounded ecstatic. "Look! The outside represents Taoism, but they're used for witchcraft. Fascinating!"

"Is it possible that the owner learned both Taoism and witchcraft?" Zhou Tong asked, examining the fanged mouth of a snake.

Master Ge replied, "It is possible." Master Liu was nodding as well.

We continued down the corridor, Master Ge inspecting the candlesticks as we went. After a few minutes we reached a pair of uncomplicated copper doors. One of them was open.

Master Liu motioned for us to get behind him. We went inside single file, Master Ge coming in last. Sitting before us, was a ma.s.sive room. The walls around us spread out to encompa.s.s the huge tomb and the ceiling disappeared in darkness. Master Liu's flashlight moved slowly around the walls and fell onto a secluded balcony opposite of the door we'd entered.

A large chair decorated with various feral animals sat in the center of the balcony. Behind it, on the wall was another large depiction of the eight trigrams.

Aiming my own headlight, I found that we were in the center of a semicircle of copper lamps. Each stood about my height, but they were all bent in different positions. "Did someone arrange these?" I almost asked, but decided to stay quiet.

A small wood stove sat isolated in the center of the room. The sides and door were adorned with strange carvings. A pile of wood ash had grown below it.

Master Liu looked to Master Ge and broke the silence with a fierce whisper, "This is an alchemy room!"

"A Necromancer's." Master Ge added quietly.

Zhou Tong asked, "Alchemy? Like, for making elixirs and potions?"

Master Liu nodded, still whispering, "Yes. Whoever's been here is using the darkness to supply anima for some kind of concoction!"

My headlamp glided over the floor at our feet. "G.o.dfather?" I started, "There're paper amulets all around us. Is that good?"

He looked at me blankly for a moment, clearly thinking about something else. I watched my words sink in and he looked to the floor, the lamps, and the stove. There were little yellow amulets on everything.

He bent down and touched one. "Soul suppressing..." He muttered. "Why would they need so many soul suppressing amulets in an alchemy room?"

"They're soul suppressing paper amulets," Master Ge told me, "They can't harm you."

Zhou Tong asked, "So what are they doing?"

The old men shook their heads as one. Master Liu looked around and said, "The ones on the stove and balcony look old." He s.h.i.+ned his light onto the stove. The amulets there did indeed look faded and somehow dimmer. He went on, "But those on the poles and door are new."

He thought for a moment, "Maybe several people have come here, powerful Taoists perhaps. These amulets could be used to suppress the darkness, even inhibit the spirits of the tomb…"

Zhou Tong walked over to and around the stove. "What do you think they were doing with such a small stove? Unless they were cold down here." He uttered a short sarcastic laugh.

Master Liu said, "I'm sure there's a reason."

A thought struck me like lightning, "G.o.dfather, you said these amulets could suppress the darkness, right? Are they doing that right now?"

He looked at me. His eyebrows came together like two old caterpillars. "No, I don't sense any anima. They're used up, just paper. Why?"

My eyes opened wide. "Then what's suppressing the darkness?" I asked.

His smile surprised me, the laugh was a bit over the top though. "Don't worry." He chided, "Can't you feel it in the air? This room is stale. I don't think our vicious spirit has been here in a long time. We probably went the wrong way at the fork."

The air in my chest whooshed out in a sigh of relief.

Feeling significantly safer, our party spent the next hour investigating the alchemy room. We didn't find anything spectacular, but Master Ge spent a lot of time marveling at the carved seat.

Zhou Tong spoke up after a while, "Well this seems like a dead end. Shall we go back and try another door?"

Master Liu nodded and said, "Indeed. Let's go back."

We left the alchemy room one by one and returned to the crumbled stone door.

Zhou Tong lifted his leg to climb out when Master Liu said suddenly, "Wait a moment!"

Zhou Tong froze with one leg raised, saying "Ope! What is it, what's wrong?"

Pointing at a small neat pile of stones on the ground, Master Liu asked, "Did we move those when we pa.s.sed through?"

Four heads shook. Zhou Tong lowered his leg and drew a knife from his wetsuit pocket. Master Liu and Master Ge took out yellow paper amulets, holding them loosely in curled hands. I held my copper coin tightly in my right hand, the small compa.s.s in my left.

"What is it?" I asked Master Liu.

"Something has been here." He whispered.

"Something that isn't alive."

The Tale Of The Ghost Eyes Chapter 49 Nonliving

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The Tale Of The Ghost Eyes Chapter 49 Nonliving summary

You're reading The Tale Of The Ghost Eyes Chapter 49 Nonliving. This novel has been translated by Updating. Author: 骑马钓鱼 already has 226 views.

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