Uncle Chen “stared” at Chengfeng. The old man’s gray eyes were motionless, and his drooping eyelids remained unblinking. He mocked, “No wonder Hidden Sword Court is going to the dogs, their newest disciple is an idiot after all! If I found the treasure, why am I still here? Do you think I really enjoy living here with the rats?”
Chengfeng countered with another question, “So what’s the treasure?”
Uncle Chen roared with laughter, “Guess it won’t hurt to tell you. It’s the Hidden Sword Court’s first and most legendary weapon: the Heaven Splitter Sword!”
“The Heaven Splitter Sword? Isn’t that sword with Grand Senior Brother?” Chengfeng was shocked.
“Grand Senior Brother? Since when is there such a person in Hidden Sword Court?” Uncle Chen was puzzled, but suddenly broke into a fit of laughter. “You mean the incompetent kid from the Heavenly Thirteen Swords? He’s a Grand Senior Brother now? What a joke!”
Chengfeng continued, “Both the Court Master’s ring and Heaven Splitter Sword are with Grand Senior Brother at Hidden Sword Court. You said you’re looking for the sword, unless…”
Uncle Chen roared with laughter, as if he just heard the funniest joke of his life. He laughed so hard that even his head of white hair shook violently.
“The sword is with him? If the sword were in his hands, and yet the other courts still laid their hands on Hidden Sword Court, then he is the biggest, most spineless turd on Earth!”
Uncle Chen had to force himself from laughing. He paused, and then said with a sneer, “He may not be the most skilled, but he isn’t the dumbest. That so-called Heaven Splitter Sword he wields is fake!”
Chengfeng was confused and shocked. “Fake? Uncle Chen, how would you know it’s fake?”
“The Heaven Splitter Sword is the first of the five great swords in the world. It has the power to slice up worlds and heavens. Even powerless individuals who wield it can use it to cut through steel like it’s mud. Although the kid from the Heavenly Thirteen Swords isn’t that good at cultivation, if he really wielded the Heaven Splitter Sword, he wouldn’t fear the other three courts! Even if he couldn’t defeat them, he’d at least be able to stand his ground!”
“Only idiots like you would fall for such a simple lie!”
If Su You and the others heard these words, they would be offended. But Chengfeng was relatively new to the scene, so he wasn’t as passionate as the others. “So how do you know that the sword would be underneath Shiwu Mountain?”
“When the Court Master went missing, he was last seen here. After much investigation and countless testimonies from witnesses, when the Court Master entered the cave, he brought the sword with him! And he never left the cave, so the sword is definitely somewhere here in this cave!”
“That’s why I’ve been here in this cave for so many years, looking for the sword everywhere!”
As Uncle Chen finished, he sighed a long breath. He “looked” at Chengfeng and said, “The both of you kids… since you guys landed here, maybe it’s fated. Follow me,”
And with that, he grabbed his cane, and walked into the cave.
Chengfeng and Yuehan looked at each other, and Yuehan whispered, "Master... I think something isn’t right.”
Chengfeng nodded and whispered back, “We’ll play by ear!”
As the pair whispered to one another, the old man piped up, “You think you’re very clever! If I really wanted to hurt the both of you, you guys wouldn’t even be alive now! All those whispers are as loud as thunder to my ears!”
Chengfeng and Yuehan looked at one another again. Yuehan secretly spat her tongue out and made a signal with her hand to tell Chengfeng that they follow the old man. Chengfeng nodded in agreement. They both trailed cautiously behind Uncle Chen.
As the pair followed Uncle Chen, Chengfeng noticed the countless rat holes in the cave walls. “Uncle Chen, how did you sustain yourself in the cave for so long? Did you eat rats or?”
Uncle Chen snorted, “Yep, these rats are cunning and agile, they aren’t easy to catch! Furthermore, their flesh and blood smells like death, an absolute garbage of a meal!”
Chengfeng forced a laugh. “No wonder they’re so afraid of you. You’ve eaten so many of their siblings.”
Uncle Chen laughed in response, but there was a pain to it, as if indicating an indescribable suffering. “For fifty years, fifty years I’ve eaten these rats. I’m sure I’ve eaten well over eight thousand of them. Of course they’d be terrified of me!”
As they exited the cave and entered another tunnel, Chengfeng noticed the walls had moss growing all over them. Among the moss were spirit crystals, and they were huge. Upon closer inspection, the smallest crystal was about the size of a finger, and the largest one was as huge as a corn.
This greatly excited Chengfeng as he wanted to collect these crystals. He began to ready himself to mine the crystals.
But he suddenly remembered what Su You told him, the bigger crystals are located in the deeper sections of Shiwu Mountain, but no one dared to go down to the deeper sections. Everyone who went too deep… was never seen again.
Chengfeng looked over to Uncle Chen’s back, and he began to suspect something’s amiss.
Suspicion of this kind is like a seed dropped in the fertile soil in spring. As long as the opportunity is given, it will thrive rapidly.
Chengfeng followed Uncle Chen through the stone path, and soon found themselves in another large stone cave. The spirit crystals in this cave weren’t densely packed, but they were scattered throughout the cave. Each of them were about the size of a knuckle, which was the biggest Chengfeng had ever seen. It was even nicer than the ones he saw before.
In the middle of the cave, there was a massive tree with low hanging branches. The tree was filled with red fruits. Behind the tree was a pool of cerulean water, illuminated by a blue light. The waters were still, it resembled a sapphire.
Uncle Chen walked towards the tree and leaned against its trunk to rest. “You guys will be of great help for me to look for the sword. After that, I can get us out of here!”
“What if we can’t find the sword?” Chengfeng asked cautiously.
“Then the both of you can accompany me! It’s not so bad. Plus, one’s a boy, and the other’s a girl, surely that’ll make the days here a little less boring!” Uncle Chen said with a guffaw, leaning against the tree.
Chengfeng’s heart sank. He thought, ‘This is a trap! For fifty years, this old man couldn’t find the sword, what makes him think that the both of us can find it immediately?’
Chengfeng fell silent, trying to comprehend the situation. Yuehan stared at the fruits on the tree. She stretched her hand out and picked one off. She asked, “Uncle Chen, is this edible?”
Yuehan wiped the fruit with her sleeves. As she was about to take a bite, Chengfeng quickly grabbed her hand to stop her. He shook his head, without uttering a word.
Yuehan was confused by Chengfeng’s actions. She wrote on Chengfeng’s palm, ‘What’s wrong?’
Chengfeng replied by writing on Yuehan’s palm, ‘Don’t eat it. There were so many fruits on the tree, if the fruits were truly edible, the tree would’ve been picked clean ages ago. Something’s wrong!’
Yuehan’s eyes grew wide. She looked over towards Uncle Chen, and Chengfeng nodded. Chengfeng brought Yuehan towards the side of the tree. He wrote on her palm, ‘When Uncle Chen entered the cave, he immediately made his way towards the tree. He just sat there, unmoving. This isn’t right. I noticed something over there, do you see it?’
Yuehan’s eyes followed Chengfeng’s finger, which pointed towards a cave entrance behind the tree. In that cave… was a massive pile of bones!