Wife Doting Addiction：My Abducted Tsundere Husband - Chapter 168
Chapter 168: The Strange Catacomb
After an hour, the soldiers reconnoitering the area ahead returned to report to Xiao Lie.
The traces of General Nangong leading the soldiers up the mountain had disappeared.
Xiao Lie knitted his brows faintly while asking, “Have you searched the surroundings?” That soldier’s complexion was a little pale as he replied solemnly, “Yes, these few subordinates have looked around the surroundings, but not a single trace could be found.
There were no signs of fighting either!” How could a few thousand people suddenly disappear? Su Jiu went forward to ask, “Why aren’t we moving?” Xiao Lie issued an order for the troops to rest for approximately an hour.
To prevent chaos from ensuing, he did not pass down the information that the general’s army had disappeared without a trace.
Instead, he only brought Su Jiu with him to search ahead.
Because Nangong Shu had brought 2,000 soldiers up the mountain on horseback, the signs of the dried grass having been trodden upon was very obvious.
Sure enough, however, these traces had completely disappeared right before the slope ahead.
The withered grass grew upright, and the mountain stones were haphazardly strewn around the ground, as though no one had passed through before.
Su Jiu also found this strange, and her eyes were filled with confusion.
Why did this happen? She bent down and grabbed a piece of stone, before stating in bewilderment, “Xiao Lie, the stones around the area seemed to have been shifted before.
She raised her head and glanced at the upslope ahead.
“It appears as though they rolled down from the mountain top!” Because of the Coiling Dragon Ridge’s long history, no one would usually ascend the mountain, and most of the stones would have a dense layer of moss growing on them.
But right then, the original layer of moss on these stones was disturbed, and it was evident that this was not where they used to sit.
Xiao Lie swiftly shifted a relatively big piece of rock.
Underneath it was soil, and there wasn’t anything out of the ordinary.
It was indeed very strange! Continue reading on MYB0XN0 V E L.
COM “First, let’s not spread the news that the traces of the army have disappeared.
Why don’t we continue walking on and see if we discover anything?” Xiao Lie said.
Su Jiu nodded her head.
“Alright!” The two of them returned to the group.
Everyone else was sitting on the ground to rest, and when Chang Huan saw them return, he poured a cup of water for Su Jiu.
Luo Sheng stole a glance at Xiao Lie and Su Jiu.
He appeared to be in deep contemplation as a glint flashed past his eyes.
After a short period, the group slowly trod deeper into the mountain.
After walking for two hours, the sky gradually became dark.
Ah Shu suddenly walked forward and exclaimed urgently, “Chief, Luo Sheng is gone!” Su Jiu frowned and asked coldly, “How did he disappear?” Ah Shu replied, “Just now, he told the soldier next to him that he was going to relieve himself.
But he has already been gone for the time it takes to brew a cup of tea and has yet to return!” Hu Dapao turned his head abruptly.
Sure enough, Luo Sheng’s shadow was no longer behind him, and he clenched his teeth hatefully.
“That craven and cowardly descendant of a mouse! I will catch him back here at once!” “Ah Shu, you should go together with Dapao.
You must bring him back!” Su Jiu said sternly.
“Yes!” The two of them acknowledged and immediately went to search in the direction the group had come from.
The sky dimmed considerably, and the shadows of the trees gave off unsettling vibes.
The two of them rushed off, and after walking a short distance, they heard someone crying for help.
Hu Dapao and Ah Shu exchanged a glance, before sprinting in the direction of the voice swiftly.
When they saw the scene before them, the two of them immediately celebrated in joy! Luo Sheng had fallen off a mountain slope, and his entire being was suspended mid-air.
At that moment, he was gripping on to a vine and trying his hardest to propel himself up.
His face was pale with fright, and when he spotted the two of them, he immediately yelled, “General Hu, please rescue me! General Hu, I’m about to drop down!” Luo Sheng had indeed planned to escape.
In his heart, he harbored an immense fear towards the Coiling Dragon Ridge and was never willing to ascend the mountain.
Once he had ascended the mountain, so many strange occurrences had taken place that he became increasingly fearful.
Hence, he had decided to use relieving himself as an excuse to separate from the group, intending to flee down the mountain.
However, he was afraid that Xiao Lie would dispatch others to capture him and bring him back and did not dare to follow their original route.
Instead, he took a side path.
The sky was getting dark, causing the mountain’s visibility to become poorer.
His feet had lost its footing, and he was now stepping on the air, on the verge of slipping off.
He seemed to have lost his soul in his fright and no longer cared if he was exposed.
He desperately screamed out loud for help.
Hu Dapao and Ah Shu squatted beside him.
They looked at him coldly as they sneered, “Isn’t this General Luo? Weren’t you going to relieve yourself? Why are you hanging out here?” Luo Sheng turned his pupils and said, “This general was indeed going to relieve himself.
But I couldn’t see the path clearly because the sky was dark.
I implore you to rescue this general and pull me up, General Huo!” Hu Dapao turned his head and looked at him, before sniggering, “General Luo, it seems like you have walked quite a distance just to pee!” “It was dark, so I couldn’t see the path! This general… This general can’t hold on any longer! General Hu, please pull me up first!” Luo Sheng grasped the vine tightly.
The veins on his temple were blue and jutting out, while his lips were purple.
Only then did Hu Dapao stretch his hand out.
He and Ah Shu each grabbed one hand, before forcefully tugging Luo Sheng up.
If he dropped down and broke his arms and legs, it would be very cumbersome for them.
Luo Sheng fell face down while panting.
His shock had yet to subside.
Ah Shu walked over and stomped on his hand.
Luo Sheng instantly cried out in agony while sitting upright and wailing.
“Don’t you mess with me! This old one is very clear about what you were planning to do! If this happens again, I will send you directly to meet King Hades! Understood?” Under the dim and gloomy night sky, Ah Shu’s complexion was ice-cold and extremely frightening.
Luo Sheng bobbed his head, as though he was mincing garlic.
“I won’t do it again in the future.
Never!” Hu Dapao said strictly, “General Luo, we are already halfway up the mountain, and you won’t be able to leave alone.
Even if you didn’t fall off the cliff, you would still be devoured by wild beasts.
Thus, you should just give up on the idea of fleeing the mountain.
If you want to live, you must follow the group.
Do you understand?” “Yes! Yes! This general doesn’t dare to do this again.
May General Hu spare my life!” Luo Sheng knelt on the ground in fright while prostrating.
Hu Dapao and Ah Shu lifted Luo Sheng and went off briskly to catch up with the group.
As the sky was already dark, Xiao Lie issued an order for everyone to stop and set up camp.
Nangong Bi sat on a piece of rock, staring at the night view of Coiling Dragon Ridge in a trance.
They had already been on the mountain for two days, but other than finding traces of the army passing by, they had no other hints on their whereabouts.
Where on earth was her older brother? Hu Dapao walked over and said, “They discovered a river and are now boiling some soup.
Go over and drink some to warm your body up!” Nangong Bi nodded her head, and just as she was about to stand up, she cried out in pain and sat back down again.
“What’s the matter?” Hu Dapao immediately knelt in concern.
“I might have broken my leg…” Nangong Bi muttered softly.
“Let me take a look!” Hu Dapao did not hesitate to rest Nangong Bi’s legs on his thigh.
He removed her shoes and socks, and under the soft glow of the bonfire quite a distance away, he could only see that the girl’s delicate legs were swollen and inflamed with blisters.
They had most likely formed the day before, and after walking on the mountainous road for a whole day, a few of the blisters had already burst, causing them to ooze blood.
A girl’s legs should not be exposed for anyone to see.
In the darkness, the edges of Nangong Bi’s ears reddened, and she struggled to get off.
“Don’t worry, I can still walk.
Don’t tell Su Jiu!” Hu Dapao held her foot tightly to prevent her from moving.
He frowned while saying, “How are you going to walk like this? If it gets worse, it will fester!” “Then what should we do?” Nangong Bi stared helplessly at Hu Dapao, beginning to get scared.
“Can you endure the pain? I want to pop all the blisters and apply some medication.
” Hu Dapao’s handsome face wrinkled as he stared tenderly at the girl.
“Yes, I can!” Nangong Bi immediately nodded her head.
Hu Dapao retrieved a dagger and some medicine for wounds.
He also ripped out some cloth from his clothes to help her bandage it.
“If it hurts, you can bite my shoulder!” Hu Dapao said.
Nangong Bi nodded her head slightly.
Not hesitating any longer, Hu Dapao held the girl’s small and dainty foot in his palm, before carefully using the edge of the blade to pop the blisters one by one.
Nangong Bi knitted her brows and gritted her teeth tightly.
However, she resolutely shut her mouth and remained quiet.
On the other hand, a thin layer of sweat appeared on Hu Dapao’s forehead, and the hand that held the girl’s foot began to tremble uncontrollably.
After popping them, he used clean water to wash the wound, before applying the medication and bandaging it.
With swift movements, Hu Dapao finished it in one go.
Very soon, both legs were bandaged.
Although the girl’s face was ghastly pale, she remained calm throughout.
This noble lady, who had never suffered once in her life, was growing and maturing rapidly in the face of difficulties.
After helping her put on her socks and shoes, Hu Dapao heaved a sigh of relief.
He raised his head and stared profoundly at the girl.
“I’ll carry you tomorrow!” “No, I don’t want you to!” Nangong Bi shook her head.
When she ascended the mountain, she had already made it clear that she did not want to be a burden to anyone.
If Hu Dapao carried her, Su Jiu and the rest would find out that she had injured her leg.
Furthermore, everyone was exhausted, not to mention Hu Dapao’s wound had just healed.
How could he carry someone up the mountain? The girl’s determination caused his heart to ache.
A wisp of bitterness surged in Hu Dapao’s chest, and he could not help but stroke her cheeks gently as he said, “You don’t have to force yourself, you still have me! Even though we are not fated to be husband and wife, I’m still your fiancé on paper at the very least.
I am responsible for you, so you can rely on me.
” The man’s face was firm and robust.
Nangong Bi’s heart shook, and her eyes reddened as she gently nodded her head.
“Wait here, I will get you some soup.
” Hu Dapao smiled and got up to head towards the bonfire where the soup was brewing.
Nangong Bi’s chest felt warm as she stared at the man’s magnificent and towering silhouette from the back.
Her face that had been caressed by the man also seemed to heat up.
Su Jiu sat down and adjusted her leg wrappings again while Xiao Lie brought some water to her.
The two of them sketched out the route they had taken in the past two days on the ground, as well as a map of the Coiling Dragon Ridge, before discussing their next step.
The traces of Nangong Shu and his soldiers had already disappeared, and they now had to make guesses on their own.
Ah Shu and Chang Huan were in the middle of helping the soldiers light up the fire and cook their meals.
At a distance not far from there, several soldiers were busy gathering firewood.
There weren’t any tree branches, so they had to resort to cutting off withered vines with a knife to use as kindling instead.
One of the soldiers suddenly picked up a black object the size of a chicken egg.
Confused, he asked his companion, “What is this?” The person beside the soldier casually glimpsed at it.
“It must be a stone.
Just toss it away!” “Okay!” That person responded and casually flung the ‘stone’ away.
A “bang” sounded and that ‘stone’ exploded, causing sparks to fly in all four directions.
Everyone was stunned and turned their heads over in unison.
Su Jiu’s expression changed, and she felt the ground beneath her tremble.
Before she could open her mouth to speak, she heard someone shout in panic.
“Avalanche!” Everyone looked up subconsciously and saw the thick blanket of snow on the mountain peak flow downwards like a raging tide.
At that moment, the wind howled, the ground shook, and the mountain moved, as though it was about to engulf and destroy the entire Coiling Dragon Ridge.
Everyone widened their eyes in alarm.
Their legs turned to jelly, and they seemed to have forgotten to flee.
Not only was there an avalanche, but there was also an earthquake! Su Jiu shrieked in a loud voice, “Run!” Everyone dispersed with a great hullabaloo.
However, it was impossible to move as the ground beneath them shook violently.
Suddenly, a gigantic crevasse formed in between the mountain rocks, and countless soldiers fell inside with a shriek.
In an instant, they disappeared without a trace.
At that time, chaos ensued on the mountain, and hollers and pitiful screams were heard everywhere.
Chang Huan and Ah Shu’s expressions were riddled with distress as they sprinted in the direction of Su Jiu.
As Xiao Lie and Su Jiu were inches apart, he extended his arm to grab Su Jiu’s hand.
However, he could only watch on as her figure swayed, before slipping into that crack between the rockery.
At the same time, the ground beneath his foot sank, and he too slipped inside.
Rumbles sounded at the peak of the mountain, and the surrounding rocks rolled down continuously.
More and more cracks surfaced, and the soldiers were swallowed with a scream, one by one disappearing without a trace.
Hu Dapao tossed the soup bowl in his hand and abruptly turned around before dashing to Nangong Bi.
The snow cascaded down like a waterfall.
The girl’s petrified eyes stared at him, and soon after, the ground beneath her sank and swallowed her entire being.
Hu Dapao widened his eyes in horror, unable to do anything.
He could only feel the ground beneath him turn into a void, and he instantly plummeted downwards.
Before the shock could even pass, the snow had completely buried everything in a blink of an eye.
The earthquake had already ceased, and the peace was restored on the mountain that night.
It was as though nothing had ever happened, and nobody had passed by.
… Su Jiu felt like she had been unconscious for a long time, to the point that her entire body began to ache.
She slowly opened her eyes, only to see the dark sky.
The yellowish glow of a lantern shined on her body, the cold halos of light swaying in the wind.
Su Jiu stood up and massaged her throbbing head.
She realized that she was in the Ji Manor’s courtyard as she gaped at the window in front of her.
The yellowish glow of the lantern light was coming from inside.
It was Ji Yuxian’s study room.
There were vague shadows inside, as well as the muffled whispering sounds.
It seemed as though people were conversing inside.
She walked forward slowly and pushed the door open.
She stepped onto the soft rug, before walking inside.
The light from the lantern was bright, and a fragrance permeated the air.
Behind the massive table, Ji Yuxian’s clothes were in disarray as he kissed Lan Zhihui, who was in his embrace.
Su Jiu stood frozen in place.
Her head throbbed and pulsated, almost as though it was about to split open.
The woman turned her head around shyly, and suddenly she was Miss Su.
She picked up the brush on the table and started to write.
The man was dressed in an enchanting and exorbitant red robe.
He was exceedingly handsome, and his long phoenix eyes were brimming with tenderness.
He wrapped one hand around the woman’s waist, while his other hand clenched hers.
He smiled warmly and praised, “My wife’s calligraphy is getting better and better!” The woman in his embrace was bashful, and she grasped the brush in her hands with great dignity as she continued writing.
The man’s eyes were passionate, and his long fingers propped the woman’s chin to kiss her.
The woman lifted her head slightly and suddenly caught sight of Su Jiu.
She instantly grinned and said mockingly, “Husband, that fake wife of yours is here!” Ji Yuxian squinted and peered over.
His handsome face instantly turned cold as he asked with indifference, “Who allowed you to come in?” Su Jiu retreated in fright.
The woman jumped out of Ji Yuxian arms and pointed her slim fingers at her while sneering, “Husband, I don’t like her! I don’t want to see her again! Go and kill her!” “Alright!” The man smiled dotingly, his voice carrying a seductive tone.
He retrieved the sword on the wooden rack and sauntered towards her.
Su Jiu stared at him, dazed.
Her legs remained fixed in place as her chest started to pound.
The man walked up to her and handed the sword over while saying apathetically, “At the very least, we were once husband and wife.
I had originally gifted this sword to you, and you should just use it to take your own life!” Su Jiu took the sword with trembling hands.
When she raised her head, the man had already turned around, only flashing his lofty and cold back to her.
A stabbing pain gnawed at her head, as though it had been smashed open by a hammer.
Her chest was hurting, and her entire body was plagued with agony.
It felt as though there was no longer anything worth caring about in the world, and only death could relieve such torment.
Picking up the sword, she plunged it into her chest.
Suddenly, a bell resonated, ringing with much clarity.
It was like a gust of cool wind, blowing away the thick fog above her head, gradually allowing her to sober up.
Su Jiu opened her eyes abruptly and instantly froze.
The scene before her eyes had already faded.
There was no Ji Yuxian, no Miss Su, and no Ji Manor.
What remained was the soft glow emanating from the lantern.
The space around her was cold and quiet.
She appeared to be standing along a stone corridor.
Altar lamps were hung along the stone wall 30 meters apart, emitting a dim glow.
The lanterns seemed to have been burning for a long time.
Su Jiu was still holding a dagger, which was millimeters away from plunging into her chest.
Alarmed, she loosened her grip, causing the dagger to land on the ground with a thud.
The beaded bracelet that Xiao Lie had gifted to her shook, and the golden bell rang once again.
Su Jiu took a deep breath, and her consciousness returned after a while.
Her last memory was that of the avalanche and earthquake right before they set off from camp.
She had fallen into a crevasse in the mountain, and subsequently, everything became pitch black when she lost consciousness.
Where was this place? What about the others? The back of Su Jiu’s head hurt considerably, and she must have hit it as she fell.
Everything above her was cloaked in darkness.
Su Jiu used her feet to push against the stone wall and stood up.
She realized that the ceiling above her was made out of soil and mountain rocks, indicating that she was underground.
Su Jiu jumped down and tried to shout, “Chang Huan! Dapao!” “Ah Shu!” “Nangong Bi? Xiao Lie!” At a glance, there seemed to be no end to the corridor, and she received no response.
Su Jiu touched the stone wall and found a thick layer of fine dust on it.
It must have been this way for many years.
Who had dug out such a corridor, and did it have anything to do with the legends of the Coiling Dragon Ridge? And where were the rest of the people who had dropped in with her? Su Jiu ambled along the corridor aimlessly.
She was unsure of the time, and she estimated that she had been walking around for the time it would take to brew one cup of tea.
A straight path remained in front of her, and its dimness did not allow her to see the end.
When she turned her head back, she could not see the start either.
Where on earth was this place? Su Jiu’s steps slowed as she suddenly heard a shout of pain.
That voice sounded like it belonged to Hu Dapao! The sound seemed to have traveled from behind the wall.
Surprised, Su Jiu immediately knocked on the stone wall while shouting, “Dapao? Is it you?” On the other side, the other party continued to struggle.
He seemed to be stuck in a nightmare, unable to pluck himself out of it.
“Dapao! Dapao!” Su Jiu pounded the stone wall forcefully, but the sturdy wall refused to budge.
Su Jiu suddenly recalled that she too had a strange dream a while ago, and had almost killed herself.
Was Hu Dapao experiencing the same situation? She widened her eyes and chimed the bell on her wrists with all her might while shouting, “Dapao! It’s a dream, an illusion! Hurry and wake up!” Very soon, not a sound came from the other side, and the corridor was plunged into deadly silence once again.
“Dapao?” Su Jiu hollered.
As usual, the person did not reply.
Su Jiu closed her eyes and leaned against the stone wall, dispirited.
Behind the stone wall, Hu Dapao opened his eyes.
The illusion had disappeared, and Nangong Bi had disappeared with it.
The girl’s hateful eyes from the dream continued to sway in front of his eyes.
He caught his breath and cleared his mind, before observing the environment around him.
The light from the lanterns was dim, and the corridor was endless.
Where was this place? How about Nangong Bi? Where was Chief and the rest? He seemed to have heard the sound of a bell ringing a while back.
It was his Chief! Hu Dapao shouted, “Chief? Is that you? Where are you now?” The sound echoed, and no one replied.
After some time, Su Jiu rose.
She couldn’t wait here indefinitely.
She needed to find an exit, and she needed to find the others! Clarity and resolution were restored in the girl’s eyes.
She stood up and looked left and right, before making her choice to move off to the right.
She dashed at high speed, almost flying as she threw herself forward, as though she was competing with this never-ending path.
As she ran, the golden bell in her hand rang, producing crisp and clear notes.
Suddenly, a low voice sounded at her ears.
“Ah Jiu?” It was Xiao Lie’s voice! Su Jiu stopped in her steps abruptly and responded urgently, “It’s me! Xiao Lie, where are you?” At the wall, the man’s eager voice continued to sound, “Ah Jiu? Is it you?” “Ah Jiu? I heard the bell! Where are you?” “Xiao Lie!” However, no matter how many times Su Jiu responded, Xiao Lie did not seem to hear her and only continued to ask after her in succession.
Su Jiu seemed to recognize that this wall had some sort of contraption that only allowed sound to travel one-way.
The sound might travel from this side, or it may switch to the other side after a while.
However, it did not allow both sides to hear each other at the same time.
F*ck! This was f*cking irritating! Despite that, however, the bell on her wrist did not seem to be limited by the contraption and could be heard by everyone.
When she realized this, Su Jiu hastily waved her wrist again.
Sure enough, the other side became quiet.
Soon, Xiao Lie’s steady voice traveled over, and he appeared to have also figured out the secret behind the wall.
“Ah Jiu, I heard the sound of the bell! I know you are on the opposite side.
How are you?” Su Jiu remembered what Xiao Lie had told her before, and immediately shook her wrist once.
Ringing it once meant that she was safe.
“That’s good!” Xiao Lie continued to speak, “Listen to me, we are currently located in a catacomb.
The passage to the tombs was constructed like a maze that seems to encompass the entire mountain.
Right now, you can hear my voice, so follow in the direction of my voice.
Once we meet, then we can go and search for other people! If you can hear my voice, ring the golden bell once.
If you encounter any danger or unforeseen circumstances, ring it twice! Do you understand?” When Su Jiu heard Xiao Lie’s words, she was slightly shocked.
A catacomb? So this place was a catacomb! This catacomb spanned across the entire mountain.
With its immense size, it was no wonder that a few thousand people could disappear without a trace.
What shocked her, even more, was whose tomb this could be.
According to what she knew, the graves of the royal family of Daliang were not located in Mount Hala.
“Su Jiu?” When Xiao Lie did not hear Su Jiu’s response from the other side, he asked another question urgently.
Su Jiu immediately rang the bell once.
“I heard it, Ah Jiu.
Take a look at the lamps on the wall, they are shaped like a mermaid.
The mermaids are holding a shield on one side, so let’s move in the direction of the shield together.
” Xiao Lie instructed.
Su Jiu immediately took a look at the altar lamp, and sure enough, the mermaid was only holding a shield in one hand.
On both sides of the wall, all the shields were pointing in the same direction.
They had no way to figure out their bearings inside the catacombs, and they had no idea which way the other person was facing.
Hence, they were unable to differentiate between left and right, and this was the only feasible method.
Su Jiu walked forward in the direction the shields pointed towards.
After walking a short distance, she heard Xiao Lie call out, “Ah Jiu?” Su Jiu rang the bell again.
Xiao Lie’s method was working.
The two of them were parallel to each other, and the shields were pointing in the same direction.
Since this was so, they walked at a faster pace, searching for a junction where they could meet.
Every once in a while, Xiao Lie would call out Su Jiu’s name, and Su Jiu would use her bell to respond.
Fortunately, Su Jiu was able to hear Xiao Lie’s voice the entire time.
In the catacombs, it was impossible to differentiate between night and day.
Su Jiu felt that she had walked quite a distance, and although an hour had passed, she was still stuck in the catacomb’s straight passage.
Suddenly, Xiao said from the other side, “Ah Jiu, I’m about to make a turn; a right turn.
” Su Jiu was shocked.
Her side of the corridor was still straight! She rang her bell twice.
However, the man’s voice did not travel over from the other side.
In the beginning, Su Jiu assumed that Xiao Lie was contemplating, but after failing to hear his voice after a long period, she understood that she was no longer able to hear Xiao Lie’s voice.
Maybe, Xiao Lie had already made the turn, and maybe, the contraption in the wall had switched.
She was no longer able to hear him.
In other words, the only person she could communicate with was no longer contactable.
And the road in front of her did not seem to have an end! She had already been walking for an hour.
How long did this road stretch? How big was this catacomb? And were they going to be trapped here until they died? Even if they weren’t killed by the trap, they would still starve to death! She had only brought a single water pouch with her.
Su Jiu shook it once and realized that it was only half-filled.
This meant that once she finished this little bit of water, and if she still failed to find an exit or other people, she would die of dehydration right here! The owner of this tomb was exceptionally cruel! Even if you weren’t a tomb robber, as long as you ascended the mountain, you could forget about coming out alive! The endless passage and the dim lighting would cause one to crumble into despair.
Su Jiu rapped the wall forcefully.
Having no other ideas, she could only continue walking on.
After trodding on for an unknown amount of time, the sound of footsteps suddenly resonated in front of her.
Su Jiu jerked her head up, and her eyes were instantly filled with overwhelming joy.
She watched as a person’s silhouette emerged.
The man appeared in the passage, looked left and right, and when he saw Su Jiu, his dark eyes trembled as he rushed over.
“Xiao Lie…” Su Jiu widened her eyes.
Because she was too emotional, her voice was so hoarse that she could not articulate her words.
In a blink of an eye, Su Jiu was pulled tightly into the man’s embrace.
The amount of strength he used was considerable, as though he wanted to bury her into his body.
“Ah Jiu! Ah Jiu!” Xiao Lie haphazardly caressed her body, seemingly trying to confirm whether she truly existed before him.
Su Jiu’s throat was choked up, and she found it difficult to speak.
She could only nod her head continuously.
The man’s breathing was heavy and seemed to carry the weight of someone who had just received a new lease of life.
He leaned back and used both hands to cup her face.
His long eyes looked intensely at her, before using all his energy to plant a kiss on her brows.
Su Jiu’s mind blanked out, and she forgot to struggle.
Her breathing became ragged.
The man’s cool and thin lips planted a kiss on her face, puckering her soft and supple skin as he relished her temperature.
After a long time, he brought her into his embrace again, and his usually steady voice started to shake.
“Ah Jiu!” After a pause, both of them had calmed down.
Su Jiu asked, “Did you see anyone else?” Xiao Lie shook his head.
The moment I woke up, I found myself in the catacomb.
I heard the sound of your bell, and I only saw you!” He had been so blessed, for the first person he found was Su Jiu.
Additionally, she was safe and sound.
The two of them sat right where they were.
After resting for a while, they got up once again to search for other people.
During the earthquake and the avalanche, everyone had scattered, which resulted in them landing in different areas.
She and Xiao Lie were close by, so they landed in areas that were closely located.
“This should be the tomb of King Wu from the previous dynasty.
He was the king of a regional state, and the area he reigned over was Northern Xinjiang,” Xiao Lie analyzed.
The Daliang dynasty had already been established for 200 years.
The previous dynasty also had a history spanning 500 years, and this King Wu reigned during the early years of the dynasty.
Hence, this catacomb had already existed for five to six hundred years.
“In the past, the people who disappeared on the mountain must have dropped into the catacomb.
Nangong Shu and the Naye soldiers should be here as well, but I’m not sure how they’re faring right now.
” Su Jiu nodded her head.
“And Zhao Xiong as well.
Back then, the thing exploded when that soldier tossed it away and was dropped by Zhao Xiong.
He and his men must have fallen into a nearby area in this catacomb, but I’m not sure where they are right now.
” It was the explosion of the secret weapon that had triggered the avalanche.
At the same time, it must have activated some sort of contraption within the catacombs, causing all of them to drop in.
“As long as they are still alive, we will find them!” Xiao Lie grasped Su Jiu’s hand.
His eyes were full of determination, its depth as bottomless as a well.
Su Jiu nodded her head.
“Yes!” The two of them drank some water and rose to continue walking forward.
The discovery of their companion must have renewed their hope, and as the two of them continued walking onward, their hearts were slightly more relaxed.
Soon, they reached the junction that Xiao Lie had turned from.
The two of them turned at the intersection and continued walking straight.
Sure enough, another intersection appeared after 30 meters, and they turned left.
The corridors were all the same.
After walking a short stretch, Su Jiu would ring the golden bell on her wrists.
If anyone heard it, they might raise their voices.
“There seem to be people up ahead!” Xiao Lie suddenly said.
Su Jiu raised her head and looked over.
Sure enough, the figure of someone sitting ahead emerged.
The lantern light was dim, and it was unclear what he was wearing, but he remained motionless as he leaned against the wall.
“Who’s there?” Su Jiu shouted.
Her voice echoed, but there was no response.
Was he dead? Su Jiu and Xiao Lie exchanged a glance, before walking over briskly.
Once they neared, their footsteps inevitably slowed down.
When they saw the figure of the person sitting there, their gaze became complicated.
It was indeed a dead person, and it appeared as though he had been dead for a long time.
The only thing that remained was a white skeleton with some hair.
From the looks of his attire, he appeared to be someone from the previous dynasty.
The clothes on his body were already torn and weathered, and as they moved, the wind produced by their movements caused the clothes to crumble into dust on the ground.
Xiao Lie furrowed his brows and knelt in front of the decayed body.
Su Jiu asked, “What’s the matter?” Xiao Lie questioned, “How did he die?” Su Jiu froze and took a closer look at the person.
There were no wounds on his body, and his bones were not broken in any way.
He still had a water pouch and some dry rations on his body, even though they had already undergone petrification.
But with sufficient food and water, what was the cause of his death? The two of them were extremely bewildered.
Without wrecking their brains to consider the man’s cause of death, the two of them continued walking and passed by the skeleton.
They made a left turn ahead, and once they turned the corner, they saw countless corpses of the Qiang Army.
They appeared to have been dead for two days.
Sure enough, the Qiang Army was in this catacomb, so Nangong Shu was here as well! Su Jiu could not help but celebrate.
She was getting closer to finding the rest! Suddenly, the sound of swords clashing rang in her ears.
Su Jiu and Xiao Lie’s eyes narrowed, and they rushed in the direction of the noise.
After a turn, a few shadows appeared in the passage of the catacomb.
Cries of pain and screams of agony melted into one.
Several Naye soldiers had surrounded Ah Shu to launch an attack.
At the side, Luo Sheng was shaking as he knelt on the ground, hugging his head as though he had been scared silly.
“Ah Shu!” Su Jiu’s voice was full of happiness as she leaped forward.
At the same time, Xiao Lie unsheathed his sword and slashed it towards the Naye soldiers! Half of the Qiang soldiers had already been slaughtered by Ah Shu, and they had been here fighting and retreating.
When he saw Xiao Lie and Su Jiu join in the fight, they ceased their assault and hastily fled.
Su Jiu and Xiao Lie immediately leaped up and chased after them.
Meanwhile, Ah Shu dragged Luo Sheng behind him and followed them.
One by one, the Qiang soldiers ran, following the meandering of the corridor.
In their panic, they did not pay attention to their bearings.
An open area suddenly appeared up ahead, but it turned out that they had entered a stone room instead.
The stone room was lit up by numerous lanterns that hung on the wall, and it was much brighter than the corridors in the catacomb.
It appeared as though this place had been prepared as a resting area for the construction workers who dug out the catacomb.
Numerous bottles littered the room, as well as some food rations that had been petrified a long time ago.
Apart from these, there were also two dried corpses inside.
The flesh on their limbs had dried up and clung tightly to the bones.
Only their stomachs were bulging.
Those Qiang soldiers entered, and a few dozen men suddenly packed into the secret room.
Some of them retreated in alarm, inadvertently stepping onto the corpse’s abdomen.
A ‘pop’ erupted, and the abdomen instantly exploded, causing a swarm of colorful striped moths to fly out noisily.
Those Qiang soldiers instantly froze in place.
They had already circled this maze for several days.
Everywhere was filled with a deathly ambiance, but how could there be living things? Those beautiful mouths danced and fluttered midair, and were extraordinarily gorgeous.
Afterward, they landed on the mouths of the Qiang soldiers.
Once the Qiang soldiers opened their mouth to cry out in shock, they swiftly flew in.
When Su Jiu and the rest rushed over, they stopped outside the secret room and saw the strange scene unfold before them.
After a short while, those soldiers who had ingested the moths suddenly collapsed onto the ground, hugging their stomachs and shrieking in pain.
Only a few people were left standing, and they were at a loss when they saw the soldiers who had collapsed.
They were so overwhelmed with fear that they did not even seem to care about Su Jiu and the rest, who were standing outside the stone room.
There were still a few moths fluttering in the air, and they slowly flew out of the stone room, seemingly searching for a place to land on.
Xiao Lie’s complexion changed, and when he saw a moth flying over, he swiftly brought Su Jiu into his arms and planted a kiss on her lips.
Sure enough, those moths only landed on the mouths of people.
They circled Su Jiu and Xiao Lie for a while, before flying elsewhere.
They appeared to flutter around more urgently, increasing their speed.
Ah Shu used his hands to seal his mouth, but he saw Luo Sheng, who had been tossed aside, suddenly stand up and clap his hands excitedly while laughing out loud.
“Butterfly!” “What a beautiful butterfly!” It was unknown what frightening event this fellow had seen.
He had been shocked to the point of insanity! Ah Shu glared at him viciously, before running over and covering his mouth with his other hand.
When he realized that he was about to struggle, he gave him a mighty kick.
Luo Sheng sat on his bottom and stared at Ah Shu pitifully as tears streamed down his face.
Since his mouth was covered, he could only shout in a muffled voice, “Dad, don’t hit your child!” Ah Shu rolled his eyes, and he muttered some swear words in his mouth before turning his head.
When the Qiang soldiers saw that covering their mouths was effective, they immediately plastered their hands on their mouths.
Su Jiu’s lips had been sealed by Xiao Lie.
Her large eyes turned as she threw a side glance at the interior of the stone room.
She instantly widened her eyes.
The Qiang soldiers who had collapsed were all rolling everywhere on the ground.
Their eyes were protruding out, and their mouths were foaming.
The pain they were wrought with was intense, and they forcefully scratched their chest continuously.
Even when it drew blood and exposed flesh, they did not stop.
Their screams made one shudder.
Their stomachs, however, continued to extend and bulge.
Their clothes ripped apart, and the skin on their stomach became thinner and thinner.
One could vaguely see something squirming inside.
A living Qiang soldier stood amongst a group of large bellied men and began to shake uncontrollably.
The sword in his hand fell in his carelessness and landed onto the stomach of one of the men on the ground.
The skin of the stomach was pierced, and countless black insects surged out.
Wherever these bugs touch, they would strip the bones clean, and in the blink of an eye, all the skin and flesh had been devoured.
Very soon, a skeleton appeared on the ground.
The person who dropped the sword was so petrified that he plonked onto the ground.
Those insects crawled over to him quickly and soon smothered his entire face.
He stood up and furiously swept the bugs off his face while howling.
The people around watched in horror as his head was devoured by the bugs, only leaving behind a skull.
His body, however, continued to shake haphazardly.
This bizarre sight shocked every single person there.
Meanwhile, those moths which were fluttering in the air failed to find somewhere to land.
The colors on their bodies gradually faded, and eventually turned greyish-white.
They then fell onto the ground, already dead.
Su Jiu watched in astonishment as she saw those insects attack the living Qiang soldiers.
The few of them wanted to run out, but their legs buckled, and they were tripped by the bodies on the ground.
In an instant, the bugs covered their entire body, leaving behind skeletons.
Shrieks echoed in the room, causing one’s hair to stand on its end.
Strangely, those bugs only attacked people with intact bodies and did not devour those dead Qiang soldiers who had bulging stomachs.
Xiao Lie brought Su Jiu to retreat quickly.
He had originally planned to capture a Qiang soldier to interrogate him on Nangong Shu’s whereabouts, but at this point, it was simply impossible.
He immediately retreated with Su Jiu.
Ah Shu was also frightened out of his wits.
He hastily dragged Luo Sheng along to flee for their lives.