Zu An put away the Taie Sword.
“Big Manman, this victory was only possible because of you.”
“My black flames wouldnt have reached it if you didnt draw its attention.” Pei Mianman frowned as she looked at the corpse with some uncertainty.
“Whats up with this monster, though Why cant my black flames injure it”
Her black flames were strong enough to reduce even steel to ashes.
Why were they utterly ineffective against the monster, which was made of flesh and blood
“This taotie does seem a little strange.
My Poisonous Prick was also ineffective against it.” Zu An didnt understand why this dagger, which always guaranteed a kill, hadnt worked.
“Taotie You know what this thing is” Pei Mianman asked with curiosity.
Ive seen some written recordings of it…” Zu An told her about the things he remembered.
Pei Mianman was utterly astonished.
“Why have I never heard of it before Where did you read all this from”
Zu An laughed and said, “The world is full of unknowns.
There are many things you havent seen or heard of before.”
Pei Mianman wasnt too surprised when she heard this.
“This place is just too weird.
Lets look for an exit first.”
Zu An nodded.
But this thick fog is everywhere, so we have to be careful.
Lets not run into more of those taotie monsters.”
A chorus of infant wails sounded as soon as he said this.
What the hell Zu An could not believe his ears.
The two of them shivered, and couldnt help but look in the direction the noise had come from.
They saw several figures ambling out of the mist.
What else could they be but more taoties
Zu An wanted to smack his own mouth. Damn my stupid mouth! They showed up as soon as he mentioned them… it was almost as if he had commanded them into existence!
What if I say that Ill become unrivaled under the heavens and have a billion wives Will that happen as well
Despite his self-mockery, he acted decisively, without hesitation.
He pulled Pei Mianmans arm and said, “Run!”
It wasnt too hard for the two of them to deal with a single taotie, but they were definitely outmatched when faced against so many of them at once.
Seeing the two of them turning tail, the newly-arrived taotie horde screeched and chased after them.
However, they suddenly stopped as they noticed the taotie corpse on the ground.
They surrounded the corpse and began to consume it.
The massive corpse was quickly devoured, and even the blood that had splattered on the ground was cleaned up.
Zu An ran frantically, with Pei Mianman close behind him.
He didnt dare linger, even though he saw what those taotie were doing out of the corner of his eye.
After running for who knew how long, they suddenly came upon a gate, standing right in front of them.
The gate was magnificent, towering twenty to thirty meters high, guarded by many massive stone pillars which stood in front of it.
Standing in front of the gate and looking up at it, both Zu An and Pei Mianman felt small and insignificant.
The gate seemed to emanate a great pressure.
Unfortunately, the gate was tightly shut, and there was no way it could be opened through human strength alone.
“Ah!” Pei Mianman suddenly cried out in alarm.
Zu An jumped in fright.
He whipped around, thinking that she had been ambushed by a taotie or some other monster, but he didnt see anyone around her.
“Whats wrong” He walked over and asked, his voice filled with concern.
“Over there…” Pei Mianman quickly pointed to the side.
Zu An looked in the direction she was pointing, and saw a skeleton kneeling by a set of stairs.
This skeleton was large and majestic.
Even though it was kneeling on one leg, it still gave off a mysterious and imposing power.
“Is that another one of the victims from the past” Pei Mianman asked, recalling the bones that had accumulated within the giant pit that they had just left behind.
“I dont think so.” Zu An shook his head.
He pointed at the white bones and said, “Look at that long spear in its hands一it looks like a mighty warrior.
I think whoever this was was a valiant warrior, when they were still alive.
Its stance seems natural, and there arent any visible wounds.
It probably chose to guard this place willingly.
I wonder if they were buried here, or if they died a natural death while guarding this place and slowly turned to bones.”
“Theres… theres more over there!” Pei Mianman cried out in alarm, pointing at the pillars in front of the gate.
Zu An walked over to take a look.
He felt a chill run down his spine.
He thought that the lower section of the pillars were just engraved with decorative designs, but when he got closer, he noticed that every single pillar was built on a set of white bones.
He counted them.
There were fifteen skeletons in total, and it seemed that even more of them were buried underground.
“The one who built this place was definitely quite cruel.” Pei Mianman walked over to Zu Ans side, her body trembling visibly.
Even though she usually walked around with a flirtatious smile, she was a decisive and ruthless person.
However, after experiencing that pit of death and seeing these structures built atop piles of bones, she too had begun to grow afraid.
Zu An said in a low voice, “Perhaps this is part of their culture and customs.
I know of an ancient country that offered up living people as sacrifices.
To them, it was a means of expressing their deepest sincerity and adoration to the heavens.”
He had watched the documentaryYinxu: Ruins of Yinshang, so he obviously knew that the people of Yinshang offered up human sacrifices.
This dungeon was also calledYinxu.
Even though he didnt know if they were one and the same, he was sure that there was some connection between the two.
“But these are all innocent people! Which one of them would be willing to be offered as a sacrifice to the heavens” Pei Mianman looked at the bones below the pillars and the stone gate, feeling compassion stirring within her.
Zu An said, “They were probably all prisoners of war.
In those times, being taken captive only guaranteed that there would be a miserable fate awaiting you.”
Pei Mianman bit her lip.
“Lets look for a different way out.
I dont feel comfortable being here.”
Zu An grunted in agreement.
This place was indeed rather strange and ominous.
The two of them walked over to the side to begin their search, but Pei Mianman suddenly stopped.
She pulled him back and said, “Be careful!”
Zu An froze.
Only now did he realize that just ahead of them was the edge of a cliff.
Beyond that cliff was a bottomless abyss, waiting silently like a slumbering beast.
Neither of them wanted to look down into it a second longer than they had to.
Pei Mianman threw a rock down, but they didnt hear it hit the bottom.
That scared both of them.
It either meant that the abyss was so deep that no echo could escape it, or that there were spatial cracks or other strange phenomena below.
Regardless of which one it was, falling down didnt seem like a sensible choice.
The two of them quickly moved to search in the opposite direction.
A while later, they were disappointed to find that the path also ended in a cliff, beyond which was the same endless abyss.
They finally understood that the path they had taken while running from the taoties was most likely a floating bridge.
Because they were surrounded by dense fog, though, they hadnt been able to see their surroundings clearly.
The two of them were immediately thankful that neither of them tripped or fell while being pursued by those taoties.
If they had fallen off a cliff like the one that confronted them now, they would not have been lucky enough to escape again.
Pei Mianman was puzzled.
“If it really is bottomless, then what is under the place that we came from What is beneath those large stone gates Theres no way everything is just floating in midair, right”
“Floating” Zu Ans voice grew serious.
“Thats not entirely impossible.
After all, this dungeon was within a meteorite.
Who knows, we might still be inside that ancient stele.
The spatial laws inside it may be entirely different from the outside world.
“Who wouldve thought that we would be trapped here after finally escaping from Mosquito Daoist… The only thing I want to know right now is how to get out,” he complained.
Oddly enough, Pei Mianman had a smile on her face.
“I think this place has been pretty good so far.”
She did not want to face the headache of having to explain things to Chuyan, or whatever complaints and annoyances her own clan might raise.
If she could live in this world with Zu An, just the two of them, it didnt sound all that bad.
A faint chorus of screeches drifted over from a distance away, causing her expression to change.
She remembered those taoties and the white bones, and her thoughts of staying here were immediately dispelled.
“Well return to that gate first!” Zu An said, running back to it with Pei Mianman.
If they kept going forward, they might run straight into the pursuing taotie.
If they returned to those stone gates and found a way to get through it, they might somehow be able to make it through this disaster.
Even if they didnt manage to find a way inside, the two of them could still defend themselves without the danger of being surrounded.
Pei Mianman had also read the pros and cons of the situation, so she didnt hesitate.
The two of them quickly returned to the stone gate and began to search for a way to open those doors.
They didnt notice the spark of red light that flickered within the eye sockets of the skeleton kneeling by the stairs.