Chapter 17: Life and Death
“Did you clearly see what it was?” Pang Bo asked as he was trying to understand where the danger was coming from. He was normally playful but when it was crucial he was always steadfast.
“I didn’t see anything, I only felt a terrifying aura covering my whole body and the bronze bell suddenly rang.” Thereafter Wang Zi Wen’s body was covered in the golden glow but he was still reeling in fear.
Hearing these words, the people who had found any Buddha artifacts from Da Lei Yin temple gripped their Buddha artifacts tightly. These objects had proven their value, it was certainly something that was once used by a god!
The broken bronze bell stopped shaking and the melodious sounds of the bell gradually faded. The golden glow shrouding Wang Zi Wen also faded away as the lights returned to the bronze bell.
“Let’s go, we have to hurry and leave this ruins!” Ye Fan held his bronze lamp which was emitting divine splendour and pressed on towards the large altar.
The group followed closely behind, this vast ruins definitely had something frightening and every second that passed was perilous.
“ Aaahh…” Screams once again rang out as a male student near the edges of the ruin fell to the ground. There was a finger sized hole on the centre of his forehead and blood was gurgling out. This was the same cause of death! He had died with regret as his eyes were wide open, an expression of terror etched onto his face.
The group was terror-stricken as another classmate had suddenly died. They could only watch and were helpless not even knowing who are what had taken his life.
Parting forever is easier said than done especially when one personally experiences it. The group felt incredibly bitter and the deceased did not even have a chance to utter their last words before passing away. This way of dying was far too abrupt and hard to accept. Several female students were at the point of breakdown and cried bitterly, no one had ever encountered such circumstances before.
Everyone continued forward, there was no stopping as they rushed towards the large altar. Finally escaping from the ruins, two lives had already been lost and would never return.
After running a distance from the ruins and looking back, the undulating track of jagged rocks looked blurry under the night sky and seemed like vicious demons, making their hearts palpitate.
The group did not have the time to catch a breath before three screams sounded out together. Two male students and one female student fell one by one to the ground, similarly having a finger sized hole leaking blood on their forehead. This scene was simply shocking!
Fresh blood dyed the floor and three classmates had suddenly died as their expressions were locked in terror.
In a short period of time five people had already lost their lives and while they were feeling heavy hearted, their whole bodies felt cold and their scalps tingled as they were also frightened that they would be the next one.
“Wu, Wu…….” A female student broke down and cried loudly: “All the people who died didn’t have artifacts on them. That unknown devil is nearby and I don’t have any artifacts on me. I’m going to die sooner or later……”
It was a fact that the five people who died had not found any artifacts and Wang Zi Wen who was also attacked had a Buddhist artifact that protected him.
“Please, somebody help us……” Those who did not manage to find any artifacts were panicky as they pitifully pleaded at the ones who did have artifacts to save them. Under these life or death circumstances, who would be willing to sacrifice their own life saving Buddhist artifact for others?
Some people did not bother to stop or even respond and hurried towards the large altar. Although friendship was valuable, when faced with life and death many people chose to be cold and prioritized self preservation.
The relationships between people and the choice between self preservation and care for others, this was the first time this was tested.
“Please, somebody…… save me……” The girl who broke down earlier ran as she cried, like a lily under the rain, anxious and very distressed, both her shoes were gone but she was oblivious as her heart was filled with fear.
Ye Fan shouted: “The Buddhist artifacts found within the temple can be shared with others.”
Pang Bo had always supported Ye Fan in his decisions and also shouted loudly: “That’s right, two to three of us can share a single Buddhist artifact found within the temple.”
Many people looked over but looked hesitant, someone then said: “What if these damaged artifacts aren’t that effective? What if they can only protect one person? Wouldn’t that put the owner of the artifact at risk of dying?”
Once these words fell everyone started to waver and there were even two people who picked up their pace and did not bother looking back.
“Ye Fan…… thank you……” The female student who had lost her shoes came stumbling over with a face full of tears, her face held endless gratitude and combined with her tears made one feel compassionate.
Trembling she reached out her right hand towards the bronze lamp and just when she was an inch away her expression turned rigid and thereafter her eyes turned dull as she fell heavily to the ground.
The change in circumstance happened so abruptly, Ye Fan helplessly watched as her eyes dulled and that delicate and charming face streaked with tears was locked in a smile of gratitude making it especially heart wrenching.
Ye Fan really wanted to lift her up but only reached forwards a bit before pulling back. This female student had been pierced from the back of her head and not her forehead, her black hair was dyed in blood, just one more step but she had died in front of Ye Fan’s eyes.
The smile that was set on her face pierced into Ye Fan as he slowly backed away, leaving the corpse that was gradually getting colder.
“What is that thing?” This was the question in everyone’s minds.
Death was so close and people became even more terrified. Three to four people very quickly surrounded Ye Fan and Pang Bo wanting to hold onto the bronze lamp or plaque. Their actions were very forceful as though they wanted the artifact for themselves.
“What are you guys doing?” Pang Bo asked as his eyes widened loudly shouting: “We are here to save you by sharing the artifacts! We are not giving away our bronze plaque or lamp and sacrificing our own lives!”
With his burly physique and giant head his stare was very imposing and the few people immediately stopped what they were doing and gingerly held onto the plaque and lamp.
There was no time to delay or pause as the group continued to run forward. People were showing emotions of greed as their eyes were burning, they wanted to steal the Buddhist artifact for themselves. The people who owned damaged Buddhist artifacts were very wary and regretted sharing the artifacts.
“We all came from the same place, and have studied together for four years. Don’t let your decisions of today become your life’s regret!” Ye Fan shouted and was more convincing than Pang Bo causing several people to finally behave.
At this moment, Liu Yun Zhi who was ahead had electricity burst forth from his body, the snakes of electricity covered his body and he looked like a thunder god who descended onto this realm!
The electricity was dense and glaring as it thickly shrouded his body and illuminated the surrounding area. The electricity was being released from his damaged Vajra.
Liu Yun Zhi seemed to be wearing an armour of lightning and he was exuding an aura of matchless strength. Electricity was covering his body making him seem like a war god of thunder.
“I was just attacked by that unknown thing.” He only said one sentence and kept quiet after. His steely eyes looked at Ye Fan but when he saw the bronze lamp he quickly looked away.
A while later the snakes of electricity of Liu Yun Zhi’s body gradually dissipated and the Vajra in his hand became dull once more.
An artifact previously used by the gods!
The power that was contained within the Vajra was visible for all to see and they were stunned.
On the route forward everyone was silently contemplating and as they finally arrived at the large altar, there were no other deaths and this allowed them to sigh in relief.
The five coloured stone altar still had the enormous giant corpses there and the bronze coffin was also lying there in silence. The scene was nonetheless awe-inspiring.
Coming before the altar, everyone was shocked to see the five coloured stone altar enveloped in a hazy glow. Little dots of light were gathering from the surroundings and coalesced together before being absorbed into the stone base.
The glow that veiled the sky gradually melted away and it was clear that the large altar was absorbing the mysterious energy.
Everybody was stunned at first but their faces lit up as they recognised what was happening. The large altar was shining just as it had on Mount Tai and it was a sign that it would possibly open the ancient route among the stars. The energy supplied to fuel this opening did not come from jade or stone tablets but rather the hazy glow.
As the hazy glow in the sky continued to diminish, the super typhoon continued to wreak havoc and the entire ground was shuddering.
As the glow continued to dim, everybody climbed onto the large altar and nervously looked on.
The frightening existence in the darkness was like a shadow in everyone’s hearts. Although it had not appeared again, as long as they remained here it would remain a threat and everyone wanted to leave Mars this instant.
For the next thirty minutes, the dim glow continued to shrink as it originally covered about one thousand metres in area and gradually reduced to two hundred metres. It seemed as though the glow was being concentrated at the ground as the mysterious energy continued to be absorbed by the five coloured stone altar.
Pang Bo lowered his voice and whispered to Ye Fan: “Liu Yun Zhi has been glancing at us several times, he is a scheming person and we should be wary of him.” Although he was burly, he was not stupid and had felt the ill intentions.
“Don’t worry, I know!” Ye Fan turned and looked at Liu Yun Zhi with a gentle smile.
Liu Yun Zhi was very cool and gave a friendly nod, nothing seemed to be unusual. At his side were two people, one of which had been sheltered by Ye Fan as he held onto the bronze lamp to arrive safely at the altar.
This made Pang Bo feel indignant as he softly said: “That ungrateful bastard, back in university he stuck around Liu Yun Zhi and only previously did he come to us to preserve his life. He actually has the cheek to go back and stick to Liu Yun Zhi.”
Another fifteen minutes had passed and the hazy glow now barely covered the large altar. One could feel the terrifying pressure coming from the super typhoon.
“Wu……Wu……” The wind sounded like wailing ghosts as sand and rock beat upon the glow resounding in thunder-like sounds. It could be seen that some sand was getting in and the glow was clearly much weaker and could disappear at any time.
The group was worried as they continued to back away, anyone who fell from the altar would have been swept to the sky by the typhoon.
At this moment the ungrateful male student that Pang Bo mentioned slowly inched his way over and suddenly made a grab for the bronze lamp in Ye Fan’s hand while his other hand forcefully pushed towards Ye Fan hoping to steal his lamp and shove him out of the five coloured stone altar.