Chapter 23: Within the Coffin
In the darkness there were people crying and also people trembling. Once they closed their eyes images of pierced foreheads, blood and brain matter splattering would fly through their minds like an endless nightmare. It was a ghost that stuck to their hearts.
It was hard to forget the images of their classmates who had died so tragically, their blood splattered countenance and that look of despair in their open eyes. The faces of these young adults kept appearing before their eyes, they had been classmates for four years and thirteen of them had died on the same day.
Although they were temporarily safe now, many people were unable to find peace and some were even more frightened as they recalled the gruesome deaths of their classmates and the ferocious crocodiles. These images constantly played through their minds and was something they would remember for the rest of their lives.
It was pitch black within the bronze coffin, there were female students crying and male students sighing. Although they had escaped, their future was unknown and one could only imagine what lies ahead.
Nine dragons pulling a bronze coffin, what was on the other side? Where was paradise? They had yet to see the light but already seen endless suffering. Were they really on the ancient route that the gods once took? The place where all the gods resided, what kind of place could it be?
It was a long time before the chatter within the bronze coffin finally died down. Based on the timing regulations on Earth, it was already late in the evening and everyone was tired in both soul and body and had all fallen into a deep sleep.
Many people continued to be nervous and frightened in their dreams as they held their Buddha artifacts tightly. They wanted to find something to lean and rely on.
It was a torturous night, many people had difficulty sleeping peacefully and often awoke in fright from the nightmares they had. Some girls even awoke to find themselves crying, they were not weak but the events they had been through were far too terrifying. If something was only a story no matter how terrifying or gruesome it was it would still only be a story. However having personally experienced such horrors, the effects were apparent.
A group of people who had lived their peaceful lives within the city had suddenly gone through a tumultuous series of tragic events that were more and more shocking. Personally witnessing a demon from legends, their classmates corpses being eaten and the people by their side dying one by one. How could one remain unafraid?
Even Pang Bo who was such a carefree person could not fall asleep easily. His heart was not flustered but the actions of the surrounding people kept jolting him awake. Ye Fan was in a similar situation as him, finding difficulty sleeping as the people beside him were either talking or crying in their sleep.
Only five to six hours had passed and a large majority of them had already woken up. After another two hours everyone’s hearts finally settled and became peaceful. At this moment, the bronze coffin was in transit towards an unknown destination in the universe and each person was wondering on the realities of the situation they were in.
The bronze coffin was very stable and there was not even the slightest of vibrations making it seem as though it had already stopped within a star system. Was there still another stop? It was well within the realm of possibility that they were trapped in the bronze coffin to endlessly float in the deep dark reaches of space.
“What sort of place do you think we will arrive at?”
After all the crying and venting of frustrations, even the weaker willed female students could not help wondering.
“Will we reach the land where the gods reside?”
The ancient route among the stars was created by their ancestors and in that far away place there may really be gods. Who knew what kind of mysterious world they would end up in.
“Do gods really exist? We’ve already seen nine dragons pulling a bronze coffin, the Great Lei Yin Temple from legends and finally the crocodile ancestor that always seemed like a myth. I don’t think that there is any reason left to refute the existence of gods. Even so, I find it hard to accept such a reality and based on my current hypothesis I believe that gods may just be a different race and may have even once among us on Earth.”
As modern men, almost none of them believed in god but under the current circumstances they had no choice but to face it. Hearing this line of reasoning from Wang Zi Wen made it much easier for them to accept.
“It could be possible that the gods aren’t strangers to us. They could be humans that managed to progress themselves to a point. They could have been a person of renown that we know from the ancient past.”
“Whether it be through progress or being from a special race, we cannot deny that gods exist and it was clear that our ancestors had long been communicating with them.”
The five coloured altars on Jade Emperor’s Peak were constructions of their ancestors and in ages past in the era of the three monarchs, five emperor and twelve kings. They had already climbed to the Jade Emperor’s peak to perform Fengshan sacrifice and this explained many things.
“It could be possible that those gods were our ancestors……”
The three emperors, five kings were god-like ancient characters and in legend they were akin to gods. It could be imagined that performing the Fengshan sacrifice on Mount Tai was not a simple ceremony and there were many possibilities.
They could have been calling out to certain alien life forms within the universe or transmitting some message through the desolate universe.
It was also possible that they could ascend to the heavens and leave the constraints of the Earth, ancient mother earth was far too small for them and made them feel trapped. They had climbed to the peak of Mount Tai to escape Earth and enter into the vast and limitless space.
Or could it be that Earth was just an inn, those special existences or gods could have a short rest here in their long and limitless lives.
What happened in the ancient past? Nobody could know for sure. There were only “Maybes” and only one thing was certain, their ancestors had opened the portal and explored the depths of space.
“Why aren’t you talking?”
The fire within the bronze lamp had extinguished and within the confines of the bronze coffin it was pitch black. Everyone was huddled closely together. There was someone beside Ye Fan who was leaning against the wall of the coffin but had yet to utter a single word and this drew his attention.
“What’s wrong? Still angry over me beating you up earlier?” Pang Bo was very displeased and coldly said: “You almost pushed Ye Fan off the large altar killing him, beating you up is already your gain. Even throwing you into the midst of the crocodiles would not be too much.”
“Hey, wake up. Talk.” One person by his side nudged him.
What happened was unexpected. Not only did the person not respond, his hand fell lifelessly to the floor with a “Plonk!”
“What’s the matter with you?!” The person who nudged him was shocked and started to hastily back away.
At this moment everyone started to feel that something was weird. Even if a person was in a deep sleep, having his hand fall to the ground in such a manner would likely wake the person up. However, the person was still motionless and silently laid against the wall like a wooden block.
“Wake up! Quick, wake up!” Pang Bo went forward and shook him trying to wake him up. Seeing this was not working, he started to slap his face around but suddenly he shouted in an alarmed voice: “His skin is so cold! And his body seems stiff!”
Hearing this, everyone once again had their hairs stand on end. From their head to their toes every part of their body was filled with a bad premonition.
Ye Fan also felt that the situation was dire and lifted his hand to place under the nostrils of the student. His expression changed as he said: “Dead, he is no longer breathing.”
“What?!” Everybody started to shout out.
A person who was living well and good had suddenly died? Not long before he had been talking in his sleep and was in the throes of his nightmares but he was now dead without any rhyme or reason. This was certainly baffling.
The bronze coffin was once again filled with tension and fear as the group let out deep breaths and their bodies started to feel colder. This was too sudden and having no explanation everyone was tightly holding on to their Buddha artifacts.
“Light up your cell phones. Let’s see exactly how he died.” Ye Fan said while lifting the cell phone within his hand trying to use the faint illumination from the phone to discern what had happened.
It was a deathly white face with large eyes protruding outwards. His mouth was slightly ajar and a streak blood could be seen to have flowed out from his mouth.
“He’s really dead……..” The group became even more flustered and scared. A sudden death made them feel their backs cover with cold sweat. There could possibly be something frightening within this bronze coffin.
A few of the more courageous students began to meticulously check his body looking for the cause of death.
“Look over here at his neck!”
There was a purple bruise on his neck, it seemed that he had been strangled by somebody and the purple bruise was a shocking sight.
“Ghost…… There is a ghost within the bronze coffin!” A female student was filled with fear and started to tremble as she said so.
Hearing these words, many people felt their scalps start to numb and the purple bruise with the hand imprints really seemed as though an evil spirit had strangled him to death.
This was especially believable when everyone considered that they were within a coffin and in the centre there was actually a coffin that seemed like the portal to the netherworld. This made many people fearful as they inadvertently started to back away.
Ye Fan frowned as he touched the throat of the corpse and found that the adam’s apple on the neck had been crushed. It was soft there and only the skin was whole and in one piece. Drops of blood stained Ye Fan’s hands as he looked like a bewitching devil, making one’s heart go cold.
“It wasn’t a ghost that did this! It was a human who killed him!” At this moment Liu Yun Zhi had a very solemn look as he coldly swept his gaze towards Ye Fan.
Pang Bo saw his gaze sweep towards Ye Fan and stared him in the eye: “What are you trying to say?”
“From the wound, it is clear that he was strangled to death. Who could possibly strangle him without any sound being emitted?” Liu Yun Zhi’s countenance was very cold and he stared at Ye Fan at Pang Bo saying: “Only those close to him and have exceptional arm strength would be able to do so!”
When these words were said, it was clear who they were directed at. Ye Fan was close to the victim and had an extraordinary physique, he also had great arm strength and this was known by everyone.
“You are talking nonsense!” Pang Bo was incensed and lifted his bronze plaque wanting to swing it.
Liu Yun Zhi coldly laughed and looked at him: “You want to help someone silence me by committing murder?”
Ye Fan restrained Pang Bo from going forward.
“That’s right! It’s Ye Fan! He killed him!” The female student who had always stood by Liu Yun Zhi’s side and helped him countless times began to scream in alarm as she said: “It must be Ye Fan! He must have been filled with hatred from almost being thrown off the altar and this is his revenge!
Hearing these words, the others began to think of the events that had transpired earlier and several people began to step away.
“That’s right! It’s Ye Fan! He killed our fellow classmate!” Li Chang Qing displayed extreme anger as he said: “It could be that he has an accomplice by his side as well!”
Pang Bo was filled with the impulse to rush over and beat them up.
Liu Yun Zhi lifted the Vajra within his hand and immediately a metallic ringing could be heard as a dim light was emitted.
Everyone was shocked, most of the Buddha artifacts in their hands had become dull and were unable to release any splendour but the Vajra within Liu Yun Zhi’s hands actually still had divine energy. This was certainly out of anyone’s expectations.
“Ye Fan, you are too cruel. Although he was wrong initially you should not have taken revenge in such a manner!” Liu Yun Zhi held his Vajra as he slowly walked closer.
“If I said that I didn’t kill anyone, would you guys believe it?” Ye Fan’s gaze swept past the group.
“I would naturally believe!” Pang Bo was the first to stand up.
“I also believe!” Zhang Zi Ling also walked forward.
Ye Fan then looked at the rest of the group and said: “The rest of you don’t believe me?” Thereafter his eyes rested on Li Xiao Man.