Chapter 27: The Forbidden Ancient Desolate Land
In the boundless cosmos and vast universe, many scientists postulated that Earth was the only place with life.
After several decades, people began to become curious and started to fire space probes in search of other lifeforms. It was with great pity that within deep space, in the unfathomable cosmos, it seemed like a deserted cemetery in quiet isolation. An eternal coldness and darkness that simply had no signs of life.
The universe was simply too vast and had no end. With the currently technology of modern man, the spaces probes that were released could escape our galaxy but even if it continued travelling for millions of years it would be difficult to reach the other side of the stars.
It was possible that today would be the day where the history of star exploration would be rewritten. There were humans who had travelled to the other side of the stars, travelling past past tens to hundreds of light years experiencing the limits of human travel.
If this piece of information was transmitted to the people on earth, no one would believe and nobody would be cheering and celebrating.
Nine dragon corpses pulling a bronze coffin had reached the other side of the stars and entered into the star cluster where the Big Dipper was located!
It was at this moment that Ye Fan finally awoke, his palm had finally left the small coffin that was covered in rust and several hundred ancient words had been engraved within his heart. Abstruse and difficult to comprehend, as though they could never be erased, the divine chants had finally stopped.
The simplicity of the Great Dao; to cherish words like gold and everything will come to an end. Prospering till decline, a perception that passing away is nothing out of the ordinary.
Ye Fan was in a daze as he muttered to himself: “ It is the way of heaven to take from what is in excess in order to make good what is in deficit…..”
“Ye Fan are you alright?” Pang Bo asked in concern.
During this period the bronze coffin was violently trembling and everyone felt as though the sky and ground had inverted, this had happened before and they knew that the nine dragons and coffin were finally reaching its final destination.
At this moment, the engravings on the wall of the bronze coffin gave off a hazy light that seemed to remove all force of impact and the large coffin finally stabilized.
Finally there was a loud trembling noise as the cover of the bronze coffin shifted and landed heavily by the side. The bronze coffin then toppled onto the ground.
“I can see the light!”
“It’s a familiar world filled with light!”
Many people within the bronze coffin could no longer keep it in and began to loudly shout, what was before them was no longer the twilight of Mars and the floor covered in blood. Fresh air wafted over with the smell of mud, grass and flowers. The natural fragrance permeated the air and it was a world filled with light and life outside.
Everybody stood up and ran out of the bronze coffin, what laid in front of their eyes was a scene of magnificence and beauty.
At this moment they were standing on the peak of a mountain that could be considered to be of average height while looking at the scenery ahead.
Far into the distance the undulating peaks of mountains could be seen that were filled with verdant and lush greenery. Near the mountain top there were rocks and various strong and upright ancient trees together, there were fantastic oddities of every description*. Old vines that had the thickness of a bucket that were coiling around like a curling dragon. A field of green grass that was sparse with fragrant wild flowers, brimming with vitality and vigor.
[Idiom: grotesquely shaped*]
Compared to the deathly loneliness and darkness on Mars, this place was simply paradise.
“This feels amazing, we’ve finally managed to get out of all that darkness and desolation and arrived at a beautiful piece of sacred land.”
“Finally we don’t have to be nervous or worried anymore!”
Many people were cheering and some people even shed tears of joy. After experiencing the struggles of life and death they had finally reached a natural world filled with life and vigor.
“Kissing the sunlight and telling oneself to go on living a good life……” Even the enchanting and charming Lin Jia was moved to this extent.
Pang Bo stood at the peak of the mountain and loudly shouted: “We’ve finally seen the sun again! Although it wasn’t the one we previously had, I still want to declare that I’ve received a new lease on life!”
Suddenly, the bronze coffin behind the group gave off a metallic sound, affecting their nerves causing them to nervously look back.
A large portion of the nine dragon corpse’s bodies were hanging off the cliff and the bronze coffin was similarly not far away. At this moment the nine dragon bodies were sliding off the cliff and the bronze coffin was being pulled along.
“Rumble Rumble Rumble”
The nine dragon corpses and the bronze coffin were causing rumbling noises as they slid off the mountain peak and finally speedily fell off the cliff.
Everyone had their bodies covered in cold sweat. The other side of the mountain top was actually a sheer cliff and if they had not rushed out when the lid fell off earlier, the outcome would have been disastrous.
The nine large dragon corpses and the bronze coffin had fallen off the sheer cliff and after a long time there was no sound of any object hitting the ground. This made the group feel bewildered as they looked at each other.
At this point the bronze coffin was no longer blocking their line of view and they could clearly see the scenery on the other side.
“Are we standing on top of a super huge volcano’s crater?” Many people had expressions of confusion.
Looking down from the sheer cliff there seemed to be a bottomless pit.
“It isn’t a volcano, there can’t possibly be such a thick volcano.”
After careful inspection one could see that there were nine mountains that were joined together which formed a huge ravine in the centre. Based on logic this should have been a vast valley whose bottom could be seen because the nine mountains were only average in height.
However, looking down it was a dark bottomless pit as though it were linked to the Yellow Springs route in hell, unfathomably deep.
The ravine formed by the nine mountains seemed to be endless, the nine dragon corpses and bronze coffin had fallen but there was no sound of falling, as though they were trapped to fall forever.
“How deep is this? This is simply unimaginable!”
“What place is this? How could there possibly be such a deep abyss……”
Everybody was befuddled and felt that this world was not as simple and tranquil as it seemed.
Ye Fan looked closely at their surroundings and said: “Have you guys discovered that there aren’t any five coloured stone altars here. It seems as though we had just fallen from the sky to land here and not entered through a portal.”
Listening to him, everyone felt surprise as they noticed that there really was no five coloured stone altar. The wide mountain top did not collapse because of the bronze coffin nor was there a huge crater, only a few large fissures emanated outwards.
If they had really fallen from the sky to smash onto the ground, the impact could only be imagined but the mountain seemed to have barely any scars from the impact. The situation was definitely abnormal.
“There aren’t any five coloured altars? Then why did we appear here? Could it be that we actually fell out of the universe and got stranded here?” This joke was not funny and nobody was laughing. They all looked at their surroundings as they fell into deep thought.
“There is half a stone tablet there!” at this moment Zhang Zi Ling suddenly shouted.
There was a pile of rubble on the mountain top with a few sparse ancient trees which had several thick vines that seemed to be covering a half broken stone tablet. It could be clearly seen that the stone tablet had been polished by humans.
The group hastily walked over as they pulled away the thick vines and brushed away the fallen leaves and branches and felt a sense of ancientness. The stone tablet had three ancient words carved onto it and the strokes were heavy and firm, forceful like dragons, giving off a feeling of agelessness. No one knew how long this tablet had been here.
“What’s written on it?” Many people did not recognise the words.
Ye Fan studied closely but was unable to give a definite answer saying: “It seems to say “Ancient Forbidden Desolate””
“Ancient Forbidden Desolate, what’s the meaning of that? It doesn’t seem coherent.” No one could understand what the words meant.
“This is a broken stone tablet, the lower portion should also contain some words. With part of it broken off there’s no way for us to know what was carved.” Pango Bo pulled away the vines and looked through the wild grass seeing many stone pieces that seemed to have been disintegrated by lightning.
“Those three ancient words should be the name of this abyss or mountain.” Zhou Yi had a face full of contemplation as he said: “The words and phrases that can be linked with “Forbidden” aren’t that many, it’s likely that the last word at the back is “Land”.”
“If we connect those words together doesn’t that spell out “ Forbidden Ancient Desolate Land”?” A student connected the four words and after reading it out immediately his face drained of colour and the others frowned.
This name made it difficult for anyone to think of any good connotations, many people began to feel worried again.
“The surrounding area of the abyss likely isn’t any sacred or pure ground……” Somebody voiced out.
It was not just a place that was not a sacred or pure ground, if it was as what was described on the stone tablet, this area was unlikely to be a kind and merciful land.
“Have you guys noticed, there aren’t any birds or animals here. It’s way too quiet!” Wang Zi Wen was more attentive and noticed that something was amiss.
“It really seems that way!” Everybody started to nod.
This place had flowers, grass, vines and trees. It looked to be full of life on the surface but upon closer inspection it seemed that the surrounding area seemed to be void of any animals! This was very weird! Such a big mountain range and there were no sounds of birds or animals and not a bug to be seen. There was just deathly silence!
There were no cicadas on the ancient trees, no grasshoppers in the grass or birds in the sky. There was only silence.
Pang Bo was optimistic as he said: “Whatever the case, this place has verdant and lush vegetation. This kind of environment is suitable enough for us to go on living. This place also has inscriptions, I believe that there must be people. I don’t believe that such a beautiful world could be one filled only with death and desolation.”
“Who says there aren’t any animals. Who says that there aren’t any birds in the sky. You guys look……” Ye Fan made a new discovery at this point and pointed his fingers at the sky far away.
In the sky far away, there seemed to be an eagle circling the sky. It seemed exceptional as its body was actually covered in gold and although it was far away it gave off the feeling of magnificence as though it were cast from gold and its entire body was giving off a golden glint.
At this moment, the golden eagle flew slightly closer towards the area they were in and became more apparent before suddenly diving into a piece of forest. Thereafter it reappeared with its catch firmly secured within its claws as it flew away to the distant peak of another mountain.
“I…… I didn’t see wrongly, did I?!” Seeing this image even Pang Bo who was usually rowdy stuttered.
The rest also seemed petrified like statues as they could not believe what they saw.
“Why do I feel that…… what that golden coloured eagle caught within its claws…… seemed to be an enormous elephant?!” Li Chang Qing also stuttered and felt that his mouth was dry.
“It isn’t just a feeling, it’s reality!” Wang Zi Wen immediately continued where he left off and said: “Able to actually catch such an enormous elephant, this is simply unbelievable!” One can only imagine how big that golden eagle really is……” Having said this he became tongue tied as well.
It was clear that the group had mistaken the size of the eagle because of the distance. That eagle was clearly an enormously large exotic bird of prey!
Ye Fan looked into the distance and said: “There can’t possibly be such a huge eagle. It’s enormous body was covered in gold and gave off a golden glow, just like the golden winged Roc of legends!”
Hearing this, the people became petrified.