At this time, outside Shiwu Mountain, He Zhu ran down from the mountain in horror. There were miners and servants crying and fleeing everywhere, and the mine elevator platform was frantically transporting batches of escaped personnel.
But the platform was so slow that many people couldn’t wait for it to arrive. Out of desperation, they used their hands and feet to climb up the rock wall and out of the mine like a gecko. Upon exiting the mine, they sprinted for their lives.
Because of the violent shaking of Shiwu Mountain, a massive mudslide occurred on the mountain! As the huge stones rolled down from the mountain, they accumulated pieces of debris and mud. It rolled down like a giant snowball, growing larger as each second passed. It emitted a booming groan, quaking the earth as it rushed down the mountain!
He Zhu trembled with fear. Even as a cultivator, he was helpless in the face of such danger. While he dashed towards the platform, he saw someone climb up. He stretched out his hand and pulled the person up, and hurriedly asked, “Have you seen my brothers?”
The person immediately dashed towards the exit without thanking He Zhu. As he continued to rescue more people, He Zhu hopelessly asked the same question, “Have you seen my brothers?”
He Zhu wasn’t well-known in the Hidden Sword Court to begin with, so who’d expect these miners to know who his brothers were? Even if he said their names, these people wouldn’t know either, they were scared senseless.
He Zhu pulled up a dozen people and asked them one by one, but no one answered him. They all turned and ran away. The only one who reacted quickly shook his head towards He Zhu, and then ran away frantically.
At this moment, the platform rose to the top once more, but there was a sharp whistling noise coming from below the platform. After a while, two swords broke through the surface of the platform. The swords flew into the air and in a frenzy, they cut the platform up into pieces while it groaned and creaked. The platform shook for a second, then it fell into the darkness below.
This spelled trouble for some of the miners who were climbing up the mine. The rocky wall was already a difficult and painful surface for them to grip onto. As the platform crashed down, some of the debris hit the miners, causing them to lose their grip and slip. Alas, the miners screamed and fell into the darkness.
The free-falling miners connected with some of the other miners who were climbing, causing them to slip and fall as well.
He Zhu stared down the mine with fear in his eyes. He saw two dark figures climb up the mine with great agility, all the while dodging the falling debris and miners with ease. They dashed up the opening.
The two figures leaped out of the mine. He Zhu focused his eyes on them, and exclaimed with joy, “Brother Su! Brother Tian! You’re safe! Where’s Brother Chengfeng?”
Su You and Tianjun shared a dark expression and looked at each other. They then lowered their hands and shook their heads mournfully.
He Zhu asked, shocked, “You guys couldn’t get him out?”
Su You replied bitterly, “He went into the deepest part of the mine to look for the spirit crystal.”
He Zhu was angry, “Then why didn’t you guys go look for him there?”
Su You said angrily, "Are you crazy? Do you know how dangerous it is down there? We couldn’t get there in time to find him, the passage was already blocked off. We had no choice but to escape with everyone else. We were lucky enough to get out of the mine!”
Tianjun said, “Don’t get mad now, Brother Chengfeng has luck on his side. He’ll be fine.”
He Zhu refused to look at them, he was still angry. He believed that regardless of how dangerous the situation, one should never abandon their comrades. It would be unforgivable to do that.
Suyou grabbed He Zhu’s arm and said, “No time to mope now, let’s go!”
Tianjun looked up and around him, and said fearfully, “We have to go, or we’ll be buried alive!”
He Zhu insisted angrily, “I’m not leaving! If you wanna go, then go! I’m looking for Brother Chengfeng!”
Su You shot back, “Is he your father or something? If you look for him, you’d be dead! And if the three of us die here, what do you think will happen to Hidden Sword Court?”
The last sentence shook He Zhu, and he fell silent. Amidst the rumbling and screams around them, he asked softly, “Brother, is there no hope for Hidden Sword Court?”
Su You sighed, exasperated, “There’s always hope, now let’s go!”
The two of them dragged He Zhu and sprinted towards the exit. There were still many miners trying to crawl out of the mine.
In a moment of life and death, the selfish nature of humans is revealed. As someone nearly climbed out of the hole, someone below grabbed onto his leg to use it as support.
But if one person did this, everyone else below will immediately follow suit. The ones below grabbed the leg of the person directly above them. The person at the entrance of the mine could not sustain such so much weight, and alas, with a petrified scream, he fell back into the mine. Everyone else who grabbed the legs of the miners above them fell too, as a result of the unbalanced distribution of force.
For a while, a sustained cacophony of bone-chilling screams could be heard from the mine!
Before long, the avalanche of mud and dirt rolled down Shiwu Mountain like a rampaging wave. It quickly filled the mines everywhere, and the screams were abruptly silenced. The mud acted like a thick carpet, completely flattening and filling the entire mining site.
Countless lives were gone in an instant, swallowed by the mine. All that’s left were barren land and an eerie, deathly silence.
Chengfeng and Yuehan fearfully looked at the scene in front of them. Densely packed rats were staring them down with their dreadful eyes, paralyzing them with fear.
"Master… what, what, what shall we do?" Yuehan clutched Chengfeng's arm tightly.
Chengfeng took a step back in horror. But the rats seem to smell their fear, for they inched towards Chengfeng and Yuehan. There was a sudden squeak in the cave, and a black wave surged towards the pair. Chengfeng’s hair all over his body stood up!
This was definitely way scarier than a pond full of man-eating piranhas!
Chengfeng laughed nervously. Even if he had six legs, he wouldn’t be able to fight off nor escape the horde of rats. Even Su You and Tianjun who possessed magical weapons, couldn’t help but shiver when they talked about the rats. Their only advice for him was to turn around and outrun the rats.
But… where could he run to?
Could it be that today would be his last day alive?
Chengfeng thought painfully. Yuehan too struggled with the question: whether to reveal their true identities to protect themselves. After all, their lives were more important than their identities.
As the pair struggled with their thoughts, the pack of rats suddenly turned their heads towards the other side of the cave. Expressions of fear and tension appeared on the rats’ faces. The rats exhaled in unison, and then retreated in all directions like a low tide.
Chengfeng and Yuehan were dumbfounded, they couldn't believe their eyes. There wasn’t a single rat in the cave anymore!
“What, what happened?” Yuehan asked, trembling.
Chengfeng thought for a while, and his face fell, “Whatever scared them away has to be something worse than rats…”
As he said this, a sound came from the other side of the cave. A dull, low knocking sound. The sound grew louder as it approached them!