The ancient cave on Zhanyan Peak that had remained hidden for an unknown number of years was suddenly thrust back into the mortal world a few months ago. The mural that depicted the primary style of The Faulty Punch and the Wen family’s secret recipe of strong poison attracted the Wen Bucao’s attention and also alarmed the Luo family at Crow Ridge. The Wen, Miao and Luo family were originally descended from the same ancestor and each of the three party was acquainted with one another. This was especially true for the few master practitioners who were the heads of the family and it was not difficult to recognize each other’s unique skills.
The three families had their own inherited ancestral teachings with the ultimate goal of finding the original ancestor Grand Master Tuo Xie who had vanished under mysterious circumstances over two thousand years ago. With the reappearance of the cave new clues relating to the ancestor had resurfaced, and regardless of whether it was Wen Bucao of Nine Peaks Mountain or Si Buliao 1 of Crow Ridge, both treated this matter with all seriousness and brought their own contingent of people to investigate at Mount Emei.
Similar to what had happened to the Wen family, around three months ago the two heads of the family at Crow Ridge brought along a group of skilled practitioners from the clan and guided their refined corpses to Mount Emei. After that, they disappeared with no further news of their whereabouts or situation. The master practitioners that remained in the Luo family had prohibited Little Chili Pepper to go look for the missing heads of the family so she used the excuse of pursuing the two thieves to come to Mount Emei. Though it was important for her to recover her stolen items, her primary goal had been to reach Zhanyan Peak all along.
Little Chili Pepper, nicknamed Mumu, was plainspoken and straightforward. She told the full truth according to the incidents that she was aware of. She had also just entered the mountain around the same time as Wen Leyang and Wen Xiaoyi.
Wen Leyang listened attentively her until she had finished telling her side of the story. He then told her of how the heads of the Wen family had also rushed to Zhanyan Peak more than four months ago.
Mumu learned that the few heads of the Wen family too entered the mountain around the same time and had also brought along a group of master practitioners. Suddenly, her eyes widened involuntarily as she thought of a terrifying possibility.
The undead toddler had walked several meters away from the group and was squatting on the ground, moving its head back and forth as it examined the ground in detail.
Wen Xiaoyi, who had been following Ah Dan, tilted her head sideways with a puzzled expression and tried to see what the baby corpse was looking at on the ground.
Wen Leyang understood what Little Chili Pepper was thinking about and he shook his head hurriedly as he asked her, “If you can please tell the truth, the affair of seeking for Grand Master Tuo Xie’s whereabouts, how important is it for your family?”
Little Chili Pepper looked at him in puzzlement for a moment then suddenly burst out laughing with her white teeth and red lips forming a striking contrast. That testament which was left by the Grand Master more than two thousand years ago had been passed down through so many generations that it has now become a vague and insubstantial mission.
Now that new clues had appeared, regardless of which family it was, they would still continue the investigation. It was highly unlikely that both families would fight to the death over this mission. Also, based on Grand Elder Wen’s experience and cunning, if he had encountered the people from the Luo family, he would most likely have cheerfully cooperated with them to explore the cave together.
Those who had been able to pass the Major Examination of the Decade can’t be that shortsighted as well. If they were to examine the situation carefully, it did not matter which head of family it was, they would not simply muddle through and heedlessly throw away their lives and the lives of their subordinates in a meaningless fight.
As Wen Leyang and Mumu were discussing the situation, Ah Dan suddenly turned around and babbled at them from not too far away. Its body swayed clumsily and without warning, it sprang up three meters into the air! It put all its weight into its little bottom and rammed with full force into the ground. Wen Xiaoyi exclaimed once in shocked horror reached her hands out to hold it when she remembered that the little plump boy was actually a reanimated corpse and immediately retracted her little hands.
Ah Dan moaned and groaned continuously as it picked itself up, and bowed his head to look at the soil underneath its body. He then sprang up at a different location and slammed his little bottom hard against the ground again.
Mumu’s expression was astonished at first but it quickly turned grave. Her graceful posture shook once as she grabbed Wen Xiaoyi to pull her away. She then faced them and said, “Ah Dan has made some discoveries, try not to disturb him.”
The undead toddler stumbled around and changed its location constantly. In just a few moments it had already rammed the ground with its bottom countless times. Sometimes it would jump a few feet high before its bottom hit the ground and at other times it would jump a few meters up into the air.
“Ah Dan is a reanimated child’s corpse and he can sense the spirits of those who have died wrongfully. Buried under the ground here are those who have been tragically killed! The higher he jumps, the deeper these bodies are buried under the ground.” Little Chili Pepper explained to Wen Leyang and Wen Xiaoyi in a low voice, as her expression became more and more alarmed. The technique of using a child’s corpse to look for buried remains is a secret technique passed down from within the Luo family. Specifically, the more frequently the child’s corpse hit the ground, the higher the number of dead bodies buried in the area. Ah Dan had been performing jump after jump and the surface he had been covering is growing bigger and bigger. Although this flat area of the mountain is not that big, the entire place is almost fully covered by its marks.
Finally, Ah Dan stopped. The felt cap on his head and the sunglasses on his face had unknowingly fallen off earlier and its body was covered with a thick layer of dirt. The surface of the ground was full of pockmarks and Mumu frowned as she walked over and pointed to the shallowest mark, “We should start digging here!”
Though they did not have any conventional tools with them, Wen Leyang’s hands were like a pair of steel talons and he immediately started digging into the ground. The moment his hands came into contact with the soil, even for a Wen Bucao like him who had no experience with corpse guiding techniques, he could sense that something was not right. The mountain ground is supposed to be frozen hard during the winter yet the soil over here felt loose and soft to the touch. One could not tell just by looking at it, but it was as if the whole ground had been recently overturned.
A few moments later, Wen Xiaoyi suddenly screamed in fear and hid behind Wen Leyang.
The slightly decayed crown of a head slowly emerged from the ground!
Wen Leyang and Mumu looked at each other as he switched directions – he no longer dug horizontally but began to dig vertically into the ground next to the corpses’ side.
The body had been buried in the soil in an upright position, like a carrot. The expression of the deceased appeared ferocious, the eyes and mouth were opened in rage and the inside of its mouth looked to be stuffed full of soil. Its ten fingers were twisted unnaturally around its thighs. Wen Leyang’s expression turned ashen as he suppressed the burning rage within his heart, he gritted his teeth and growled in a low voice, “It’s… the Fourth Elder Brother!”
Even though the dead body had started to decay, his facial features were still recognizable as the Wen family’s disciple who was ranked the fourth elder in seniority amongst Wen Leyang’s group of fellow disciples. Wen Leyang and the other disciples were on friendly terms and though the Fourth Elder Brother’s Art of Poison was not extraordinary, he was vigilant and dealt with things in a sophisticated manner. He was usually sent to run errands for the village and spent most of his time outside.
Wen Leyang gently lifted Fourth Elder Brother’s little finger, there was a smear of faint Blue Poison swept across the digit. Wen Four, upon encountering the enemy, had a pinch of poison in his hand but had not managed to use it against the enemy before he was overcome.
Mumu’s facial expression was not pleasant either. She chose another indentation left by Ah Dan and began to dig without a care for her delicate fingers. Wen Leyang placed the body of Fourth Elder Brother gently on the ground and went over to help her. Not long afterward, Wen Leyang exhaled once again in sorrow, they had found another Wen disciple’s body. It had been buried upright, just like Wen Four’s body, and the manner of his death was exceptionally ruthless.
The three of them looked at each other silently. They suppressed the terror in their hearts as they spread out without saying a single word and started digging at the marks left behind by Ah Dan. Soon, more and more remains were uncovered and laid out on the ground. They dug from mid-afternoon until the moon had risen to the middle of the night sky, only then did they finish uncovering all the remains from the area.