Chapter 1 - Shocking Discovery
As Wu Jia scurried away from Shao Xian’s group, she could not help but feel anxious, afraid of being targeted by Sai Gao. With regards to Shao Xian, she felt a mixture of pity and disgust, as she could not help but feel bad for her, and yet was repulsed by the path she had chosen. Wu Jia’s hurrying away came to a sudden halt when she noticed someone approaching her.
The man approaching her turned out to shockingly resemble a dwarf, particularly due to his unattractive appearance consisting of a short stature, small eyes, a large nose, and a large mouth that was cracked wide open. Wu Jia stared at the man in consternation, and he continued to make his way towards her.
“Can… Can I help you?” Wu Jia looked at the man, whose clothes were filthy and unkempt. His hair formed one large clump coated by a film of semi-transparent liquid. A putrid smell was emitted as he came closer, causing many bystanders to pull back in disgust.
“I… I have no bad intentions…” Chen Quan begged as he noticed that Wu Jia was about to run away. He had chosen to seek help from Wu Jia, who seemed like a kindhearted person. What he did not account for was that his appearance did not help his case at all.
‘Is he… a disabled person?’ Wu Jia noticed that Chen Quan’s arm was hanging at an odd angle from his shoulders, and his face was unusually pale.
“That’s all I have…” Wu Jia took out a twenty yuan bill. If she had not been traveling alone, she would have been more generous, but she knew that an excessive display of generosity was never a good idea in such circumstances.
“I… I don’t want money…” Chen Quan smiled bitterly, understanding that Wu Jia had interpreted his intentions wrongly.
“What do you want then…?” Wu Jia grew even warier, and she immediately looked around for people she could seek assistance from if Chen Quan was to show signs of aggression.
“I’d like to make a call. It’s urgent.” Chen Quan pleaded.
“Yes. I just want to make a call. You can even make the call for me and put the speakers on if you’re worried about your phone,” Chen Quan added.
“Alright then… Could you tell me the number?” Wu Jia said hesitantly, finding herself unable to refuse the request.
“Yes, the number is…” Chen Quan bowed down slightly in Wu Jia’s direction to show his gratitude and went to the point.
While Wu Jia complied, she was ready to immediately hang up the phone if the number would be flagged as suspicious by the software she had installed.
Just as Wu Jia composed the final digit of the number, she froze in place — Li Yiming’s name appeared on her screen.
“What?” Both Wu Jia and Chen Quan exclaimed in unison.
“Hello? Wu Jia?” Li Yiming’s voice was heard as the call went through.
“Mr. Li! It’s me!” Chen Quan yelled.
“Chen Quan? What are you doing with Wu Jia?”
* * *
“It’s him?” Tian Yan said when she saw Chen Quan. The latter’s showing up made her even more perplexed, as she wondered who Wu Jia’s “accomplices” could possibly be.
“Do you know him? He works for Li Yiming,” Ying Mei asked. She remembered seeing his face once but did not have much information on his background.
“This person once slipped under Li Huaibei’s radar.”
“What? Does he have some kind of special talent?” Ying Mei said, baffled by the fact.
“He’s a normal person.” Tian Yan said with a grave countenance. What she did not tell Ying Mei was that Chen Quan was involved with the stone tablets, which meant that it was a clue leading to a Recorder: Fu Bo.
“They’re calling Li Yiming…” Ying Mei said as she looked at her tracking device.
“Be careful. The people she was with still haven’t left.” Tian Yan said as she turned around with an ominous feeling in her chest.
* * *
“Did something happen to Wu Jia?” Fang Shui’er asked as Li Yiming remained silent after hanging up the call.
“It’s Chen Quan. I need to make a trip to Mount Mu.” After pondering with his eyes closed, Li Yiming suddenly jumped up from his sofa.
Ever since parting ways with Li Yiming, Chen Quan had been obsessed with finding the whereabouts of the stone tablets he had lost, despite the promise Li Yiming had made to him. Through rigorous investigation and arduous labour, Chen Quan had learned that the stone slates had originated from Mount Mu.
Chen Quan had tried to contact Li Yiming, but the latter was busy studying what Aunt Wu had left behind. And so, he decided to explore the mysteries of the mountain himself. Even though he was not a guardian, owing to his wealth of knowledge, he discovered a hidden cavern. As he made his way into the cave that led him deeper underground, he started to get cold feet when he still could not see the bottom after descending for more than five thousand meters. Upon further inspection, the traces of excavation were a clear indication that the cave was not naturally formed.
However, Chen Quan persisted after reminding himself of his dream that he has had since his childhood — he was not about to give up when he was so close to discovering the truth buried within history he had searched for during all those years. He gritted his teeth and continued down, not stopping for another three thousand meters. Then, as the tunnel widened, his way was blocked by giant stone gates. Despite having already witnessed many horrifying things during his years spent as a gravedigger, Chen Quan was terrified at the sight of such a ghastly monument shrouded by black fog, the path leading to it covered with white bones.
Just as Chen Quan hesitated about approaching the structure, two creatures suddenly leaped out of the darkness. Despite being well-prepared and immediately using his escape technique, Chen Quan barely managed to make it out alive, and still, he suffered several fractured ribs and a broken hand.
After returning to the base of the mountain, Chen Quen found himself in a predicament. Being injured and with no money on him, he had to figure out a way to contact Li Yiming. It was at that point that he set eyes on Wu Jia, in the hopes that she would be kind enough to lend a helping hand.
“You’re going to Mount Mu? Alone? Should I get a ticket for you?” Fang Shui’er asked as she picked up the phone.
“There’s no time for that.” Li Yiming opened his eyes and vanished with a flash of purple light. Then, several flashes were seen above the tea house, until the last one reaching several tens of thousands of meters away. Li Yiming appeared above the clouds, standing in midair with Bai Ze in her beast form alongside him.
“Mount Mu… I hope you made a mistake.” Li Yiming tapped on Bai Ze’s back, and she made off into the distance, flapping her giant wings with Li Yiming riding on her back.