My Daoist Life - 36
Big Rat’s Backdoor
However, not even a few steps later, Huang Shulang ran out of breath: “I ca-can’t run any further. Even if I am killed, I’m too tired to move any further.”
Huang Shulang directly sat down into the ground, and no matter how many kicks I used, he wasn’t willing to get up. By now I had already determined the future direction of Huang Shulang’s training, but for now, far off water can’t solve near thirst. I sat down somewhat vexedly, I couldn’t really abandon this disciple.
“Damned fatty, you should lose weight. If we’re able to find the exit point of the big rat, then perhaps we might be able to find a shortcut out of this cave. ‘Twas very dangerous inside this cave. Didn’t the archaeology team have so many people, yet not even a single living person came out. We have come treasure hunting, it’s not going to come to our deaths. If we are able to find a safe exit point, then even if we’re not able to find any treasure, we would still be able to leave intact. If you want to die here, then you can just stay here not moving. The rat in this place is so big, then you tell me wouldn’t it also possibly have a python?” I knew that Huang Shulang’s greatest fear was snakes, therefore I deliberately said it like that. Who knew that even after I finished speaking, still…..
Huang Shulang sprung up from the ground: “Master, can you give me something to eat? As long as I eat, I will be able to run.”
“Don’t be anxious, wait until we catch that rat, I will roast that rat’s meat for you.” I promptly held on to my backpack with both hands.
This time Huang Shulang unexpectedly wasn’t in the mood to snatch my snacks. Upon hearing of the rat’s meat, and having barely eaten since morning, he said: “Don’t talk to me about rat meat, when I hear about rat meat, I feel like puking.”
I didn’t understand why Huang Shulang was so sensitive about rat meat, but I too was disinclined to ask for reason. What is most important at the moment is to chase after that rat, and seek out a path. Having been surviving in this cave up till now, that rat must definitely have a means of survival.
“Walk, walk. First find that rat, then talk.” I dragged Huang Shulang to walk.
Black Bean had been pursuing it nonstop for over a quarter of an hour. I was able to hear his continuous barking. Black Bean was very intelligent, he knew that by barking, he could guide the way for Huang Shulang and I to follow. However, very quickly Huang Shulang and I discovered that the guidance of the sound was not at all reliable. Because, soon after walking, we ran into a fork in the path. In the cave, when one makes a little sound, the sound would echo for a long time. Although Black Bean was using his barking sound to give directions, we didn’t have any way to find the correct path. Because, these paths were extending in all directions. There was a time, when we were able to hear Black Bean’s barking coming from two paths.
Huang Shulang and I stopped at a fork. Having seen in television, these kind of caves often had traps. If we were not careful, then it could take our little lives right here. We were here to treasure hunt, not to kill ourselves. How could I, as a soon to be century-spanning Daoist with such bright prospects, throw away my life in this kind of dark cave?
“Miserable, miserable. We can’t walk out. The terrain here is so complex. I have absolutely forgotten where we came from.” Huang Shulang said with a sullen face.
“What is there to be anxious about? We can’t find Black Bean, but Black Bean can definitely find us.” I said.
I shouted loudly: “Black Bean, come back quickly!”
My voice kept reverberating in the cave. However, even after a while, there was no trace of Black Bean. Only occasionally, one could hear Black Bean’s voice still echoing out as before.
“You see, you see, Black Bean’s voice is getting farther and farther away. He might also not remember the paths he walked past, maybe even some paths have been trodden repeatedly. As the matter stands, there is no way to find a way out.” Huang Shulang said gloomily.
“Cut the crap, didn’t you run out of breath after running, why did Black Bean and us got separated?” I reproached Huang Shulang.
Huang Shulang also felt wronged: “I really couldn’t walk any more. You want me to run so fast, how can I run like that? It was you who brought me along here, if I lose my life, I will blame you.”
“When did I want someone to become my disciple? Someone brazen-faced and shameless wanted to become my disciple, yet now he has gone back on his word, whether belatedly somewhat?” I said looking very gloomy.
At the time the two of us were quarrelling, Black Bean came running and began rubbing his head against my leg.
“Black Bean, you are an upright dog. Compared to some people, you are much stronger.” I deliberately mocked Huang Shulang.
Huang Shulang was feeling somewhat embarrassed, in his argument with me a moment ago, he had spoken somewhat excessively.
I was still angry at Huang Shulang. Who said that a person of cultivation couldn’t be angry? People of cultivation must be even more narrow-minded than an average person. Who made me, not even a 10 year old, a Daoist?
Huang Shulang had thick skin and tried to speak well of me, with the intent of making me laugh. He was worried that I would abandon him here, and therefore, he was very rational and didn’t want to offend me.
“Black Bean, you found that rat’s point of exit? Lead us there.” I said.
Black Bean hopped and jumped around first, then quickly started running.
“Damned fatty, this time you must keep up. If you are unable to keep up, then you can remain here alone.” I warned loudly.
“Ai ai, I know.” Fatty’s demeanor was unusually good. Even though it got somewhat strenuous while walking, Huang Shulang persevered. However, what made me baffled was that the path taken by Black Bean didn’t circle towards the outside, seemingly continuing to walk towards an even more central place.
Following after Black Bean, Huang Shulang and I had already passed through several crossings. At this time, the residual vestiges on the ground were getting more and more distinct.
“These places are perhaps the places where the people of the archaeology department once were.” I silently thought in my heart.
There were also some remnant ceramic fragments on the ground. Upon careful inspection, I unexpectedly found some bullet shells inside them. The key above it, used by soldiers returning to the village for hanging the bullet shells, was exactly one and the same.
Huang Shulang was a thoughtless fellow, upon seeing the bullet shells, his eyes began shining, and very quickly he picked them up and put them into his pocket. Looking at him, I only thought of kicking him with both legs. This time he had unexpectedly even picked bullet shells. What was the worst of all was that he actually picked them all up, leaving not even one for me.
I used the flashlight to look, but didn’t see any other bullet shells, also there wasn’t really anything else of value. However, I suddenly discovered that there was some scarlet coloured thing on the wall. Approaching closer to look, only to discover that this aforementioned thing that I had just discovered was bloodstains. Actually what kind of a bitter event had occurred here, were these bloodstains from those people of the archaeology team who had remained here?
Black Bean barked out again twice, seemingly urging Huang Shulang and I to get a move on.
“Walk!” I shouted at Huang Shulang who was contentedly toying with the bullet shells.
Huang Shulang quickly followed, the bullet shells making melodious collision noises in his bag.
I frowned, cannot lose face fighting with my disciple over bullet shells. Moreover, Fatty has been very cautious towards me since the beginning.
“Hou!” Black Bean suddenly let out a roar. My hair stood completely erect all of a sudden. Clearly, he had discovered something that made him feel danger.
“Walk quickly!” I also had some premonitions. An extremely strong sense of crisis was making me feel scared.
Black Bean didn’t insist, quickly caught up, however the noises behind quickly became louder. It was as if a train was passing through a tunnel, roaring and rumbling.
Black Bean ran up to the front, not because he feared death, but rather because he had to guide us.
“I-I am too tired to move further.” Huang Shulang said puffing and blowing.
“I am not scaring you, but there is a big fellow that is coming from behind chasing after us. It’s very fierce. Black Bean has never bumped into anything that made him feel fear, but with this thing, Black Bean is already feeling threatened. If you don’t fear death, you can wait here for it. In any case, you are so fat, perhaps after eating you, it might feel full, and I would remain safe.” I could only scare Huang Shulang.
Huang Shulang’s instincts then erupted, all of a sudden, his thick fat contained immense energy. Unexpectedly, in a short while, he actually surpassed me.
“Bastard!” I promptly chased after.
Black Bean led us to a stone chamber, which was quite spacious. Although the years had washed away its former glory, from the looks of the outlines, one could see that originally, this place was not ordinary. In the middle of the stone chamber, there was a coffin.
Black Bean shouted at the coffin a few times. Then using only his two forelegs, put them on the top of the coffin and kept trying to push.
“Won’t do. Don’t tell me that big rat is hiding in that coffin?” Huang Shulang mumbled.
“Who knows? We won’t know until we push it open to look.” I said.