Otherworldly Merchant - Chapter 607
“Who’s there?” I looked around.
Senior Shu pulled himself together. “From the Yang energy I sensed in the air, that person isn’t powerful. I don’t think they came here with evil intentions. I guess they were tourists who accidentally trespassed our campsite.”
Senior Shu headed to our campsite, and all of a sudden, he disappeared. As the sky was too dark, I didn’t know what had just happened. I worriedly walked forward.
And, I experienced the same thing. I slid down just as Senior Shu had done!
It took me a few seconds to reach the bottom. I hurriedly turned on the flashlight. I recognized we were trapped in a pit someone had dug. The pit covered several square meters. I saw Senior Shu standing near me.
“Luckily, they didn’t set any spikes here. Otherwise, we would have become human hedgehogs.”
Senior Shu wiped the cold sweat off his face. Then, he took the flashlight from me and shone it on the space above. I lifted my head and followed the light. This pit was four or five meters deep. However, when we came here to camp, there was no pit!
I was a little shaken and cursed, “Who the heck did this? They have dug such a deep pit without leaving any traces!”
It wasn’t too strange for someone to dig such a deep hole on plain land. However, we were on the mountain, where the soil underneath was all basalt!
Senior Shu said, “It should be the native people here. They’re probably angry because we’ve trespassed in their forbidden area. However, I don’t think they mean harm. Otherwise, we would have been dead by now.”
Then, he found a spot to sleep.
The walls of this hole were strangely smooth, which had made it impossible to climb up.
I couldn’t be as calm as him. Shivering inside, I watched the hole above. When Senior Shu had already fallen asleep, I felt the cold wind continuously blowing from above. Gradually, my scalp went numb.
I didn’t know how much time had passed, but my eyes slowly closed at some moment.
Then, a fox cry echoed above my head. This time, I heard it loud and clear. That thing was right above my head. I wanted to see what it was, but it never appeared within my vision.
Around half an hour later, the cry disappeared. I checked my phone. It was 4:00 AM. Thinking that there shouldn’t be anything foul coming again, I relaxed and slept right away.
I didn’t know how long I had slept before I heard rapid footsteps above my head. I didn’t sleep deep enough, so I woke up as soon as I heard the noise. Senior Shu was awake. He was sitting cross-legged next to me.
Seeing that I had woken up, he pointed upward. “Here they come!”
Indeed, when the footsteps stopped, we heard people yelling and cursing above our heads. They were speaking some minor ethnic language that I didn’t understand. Soon, a rope was dropped to us. When I was about to climb up, Senior Shu stopped me.
“Wait here. I’m going first to see the situation.”
Then, he grabbed the rope and slowly climbed up. Not long after he went up, I saw the rope drop down again. It meant that I could go up.
I grabbed the rope and climbed up. Finally, I saw who had come to rescue us. There was a group of people surrounding us. They all held pipe guns or bows, and they wore colorful garments. Some even had beautiful feathers on their heads. At first glance, I knew they were some minor ethnic hunters.
They looked angry, and they stared at us as though they had a deep grudge against us. I couldn’t stand this unknowing hostility. I talked first. “Why did you dig this pit to trap us?”
“You two came here to rob the tombs. We were already kind enough not to kill you!” One of the hunters spoke in broken Mandarin.
Rob the tombs? We didn’t rob any tomb!
As soon as I was about to explain, Senior Shu pushed me aside and went to the hunters. He said in a stern voice, “We came here yesterday. We’re looking for the legendary Undead Grass. We haven’t robbed any graves here, nor do we want to.”
Then, he opened our tents in front of them. After showing them the defensive magic tools, he said, “Brothers, you made a mistake. You see our tools here? These aren’t things that tomb robbers use, wouldn’t you say so?”
The leader of the hunter team looked hesitant. After a while, one of them talked to him in their language. The leader then made a cold face. “Recently, our ancestor’s tombs have been robbed. Moreover, every time, the robbers make a noise that sounds like a fox cry! Yesterday, our Dazhu waited here the whole night. He heard the fox cry from this place. What else do you have to say?”
“Hold on, you said a fox cry? Does it sound like a woman crying?”
It was the sound I had heard when I had come to this mountain. Moreover, last night I heard it right above the pit! I didn’t know what it was, but now, I understood that it wanted to blame the crime on me and Senior Shu!
I explained what I had experienced since we had come to the mountain to the head hunter. After listening to me, he lowered his voice and discussed with the other hunters. In the end, he nodded. “I trust you for now, but you have to prove that you didn’t do such things.”
Then, he waved at his peers. The other hunters threw Senior Shu into the trapping pit.
He gave me an evil smile. “Before we get the tomb robbers, we need a hostage.”
I nodded reluctantly, thinking that Senior Shu and I were lucky that we had encountered relatively gentle Yunnan people. If this had happened in Tibet, they would have shot us as though we were just hopping rabbits.
“I am Baji, a local hunter. These are my brothers.”
After making the deal that I would help them find the real culprits, Baji showed me the friendly and hospitable faces of the minor ethnic people. He roasted the boar he had just hunted to treat me. While gnawing on the juicy boar leg, I listened to the strange stories that had happened here recently.
These hunters were all from the Achang Tribe. For generations, they had lived in this area. They hunted to feed their families, and when the old people in their tribe died, they were buried on Mount Horse Saddle. They said that by doing so, it would guarantee their later descendants’ lives.
A few days ago, when Baji came to the mountain with his peers, they found that the grave of one of their ancestors was unearthed. Although they were angry, they thought it was just an accident. They fixed the grave and left.
After that day, the graves in the mountain were robbed from time to time. The strong men of the tribe pledged their hearts that they had to make things right for their ancestors. They split up and took shifts to watch the mountain throughout the days and nights. Soon, they recognized that when they heard the fox cry, a tomb was robbed. That was why they had misunderstood us last night.
After listening to Baji, I asked skeptically, “You mean, you’ve been watching for quite a long time and you haven’t found anything suspicious yet?”
Baji stuttered. “We saw two robbers digging the tombs. At that time, we were confident that we had outnumbered them, so we all rushed toward them. Unexpectedly, they moved so fast. Moreover, no weapons could harm them. They seem to be some sort of robot! We let them escape in the end…”
When he said that, Baji blushed. To them, it seemed to be an embarrassment that they had let their enemy run away.
I wanted to comfort Baji but then, I recalled the two freaks that had forced us to move away from the mountain peak. I asked, “The two tomb robbers you met, one wore white clothes and the other wore black clothes, right?”
“How did you know that?” All the men jerked up from their seats after I said that.
From their abrupt reaction, I knew I was right. I didn’t say anything further but quickly pulled Baji to the mountain peak.
He hesitated at first, but he then waved his hands and asked some people with guns to stay by the pit to watch Senior Shu.
Around half an hour later, we arrived at the place where Senior Shu and I had seen the two freaks last night. Strangely, there was a hole right where they had stood.
“Damn! I must kill them!” Baji was stunned when he saw that.
I followed him and saw a tomb under that hole. The coffin was pried open, which revealed an unrecognizable corpse inside.
We joined hands to fix the grave.
Baji looked at me with red eyes. “This is my grandmother’s tomb. She was afraid that her tomb would be raided afterward, so she didn’t want a tombstone. But now…”
Before I could provide him comfort, he got on his knees and begged me to help them. I was bewildered at this moment. I was a suspect in the previous moment, and now they’d made me their savior.
“From the soil around my grandmother’s tomb, I can tell that it was dug early this morning. You and that old man were in the trap at that time. Of course, I don’t suspect you anymore. Please, I know that you’re not an ordinary person. Please help us!”