Yuehan was shocked at the sight of the pile of white bones. Her eyes grew wide and she quickly made a gesture. Chengfeng held her hand down and wrote something on her palm, ‘The minute things go south, you run over there!’
Chengfeng pointed a figure towards the direction they came from.
Yuehan nodded. She trembled as she wrote on Chengfeng’s palm, ‘What about you?’
Chengfeng waved a hand and motioned for her not to worry.
Suddenly, Uncle Chen piped up, “Are you not gonna eat the fruit?”
Chengfeng squeezed the fruit in his hand. He noticed that the fruit’s top red layer was thin. With just a little force, juice and puree flowed from the fruit, its sweet aroma filling the air.
“It tastes a little weird.” Chengfeng forced a laugh.
Uncle Chen chuckled, “It is. But you’ll get used to it, it has a lot of juice and smells sweet,”
Chengfeng casually inquired, “How do you usually quench your thirst?”
“The juice from the fruit is enough to quench my thirst. With just one, I don’t have to worry about water for half of the day!”
“The pool looks really clear. Any fish in it?”
Uncle Chen kept quiet this time. After a while, he slowly stood up, and “looked” towards Chengfeng. He sighed, “Do you know how the elders of the Hidden Sword Court met their demise?”
Chengfeng pulled Yuehan behind him, slowly turning towards the entrance which they came from. “Please enlighten us.”
Uncle Chen sighed, “It was all because of my curiosity. I insisted on investigating the disappearance but I didn’t expect the other three courts to conspire against us. We fell right into it, and alas, I was the only surviving member of the eight great chiefs!”
Uncle Chen raised his stick and pointed towards Chengfeng. “This taught me something. There are times when you have to play dumb, so just play dumb. It’s best not to ask questions sometimes. Or else… you wouldn’t live very long!”
Chengfeng’s heart raced. He feigned ignorance, “I’m sorry I don’t understand.”
Uncle Chen roared with laughter. “Of all times to play dumb, and you choose to act like an idiot now! If there are more idiots like you at Hidden Sword Court, that’ll be swell!”
Chengfeng and Yuehan slowly inched closer towards the entrance. “Uncle Chen, you’ll have to explain explicitly.”
Uncle Chen snorted angrily. He gripped his stick and sneered icily, “How’d you notice?”
The sentence meant that the facade was over. Chengfeng tensed up and shot back, “Those who entered here by mistake, did you kill them?”
Uncle Chen chuckled. “True, and false.”
Chengfeng stared Uncle Chen down, who was slightly crouched. He looked like a panther that’s ready to pounce, focusing his energy and strength for a purpose.
Because he knew, if this was a fight to the death, this would be the most terrifying enemy he has ever encountered!
Chengfeng asked, “What do you mean?”
Uncle Chen chuckled, “They’re dead, but not really!”
Yuehan shot back, “We don’t get it!”
Uncle Chen laughed, but it made him all the more creepy and terrifying. “They’ve all become one with my body! No exceptions! Now, they live with me!” As he spoke, he raised his arm, and all the light in the cave shone on him. The air felt eerie.
Chengfeng’s mind raced, looking to decipher the old man’s words. His eyes grew wide at the morbid realization. “You ate them?”
Uncle Chen was slightly surprised. “Looks like you’re smarter than I thought!”
Uncle Chen leaned forward and a wicked smile stretched across his face. “I’ve eaten enough rats to make me sick. With you two little kids right at my door, you’d make a pleasant meal for me to feast on!”
Chengfeng countered, “We can help you look for the sword. Spare us, and we’ll look for the sword for you. No strings attached!”
Uncle Chen roared with laughter, but there was frustration and resentment to it. “I’ve walked everywhere under this mountain. Every inch, every cave, for fifty years! Everyone else before you failed, so what makes you think you can find it?”
Chengfeng hurriedly asked, "So, you tricked those people into eating the fruit? This fruit is poisonous, isn’t it!”
“Well, you guys are indeed different. Correct, the fruit is poisonous! I’m sure your hands and the rest of your body are itching by now,”
Yuehan spat, “You bastard! My master knew something was amiss with you. We didn’t eat the fruit!”
Uncle Chen’s expression shifted. “Oh? How smart of you! But, so what? Just a little struggle for me. After all, a chase makes the prize a little more worthwhile.”
Chengfeng smiled knowingly and pulled the bone spur from behind him. It’s time to show the Li family’s special spearmanship technique: Full Moon Spear Technique!
“You call yourself an elder of the Hidden Sword Court, and you say you’ve spent fifty years here to look for the Heaven Splitter Sword! But to me, you’re just a blind, spineless bastard who spends his last days lying and deceiving in this cave!”
Uncle Chen exploded with rage, his face a map of anger and hatred. “You seek death? I have been, and always will be an elder of the Hidden Sword Court, second to the Court Master, senior to everyone else! My cultivation and skills outrank everyone else! You upstarts dare belittle me?”
“Oh? If you’re so skilled, why trick us to eat the fruit to begin with?”
Uncle Chen smiled slyly. He raised a hand, and in his palm rested a ball of green light, which rotated and vibrated on the spot. It looked especially dazzling among the surrounding blue light. “Child, you don’t seem to comprehend the gravity of the situation. Today will be the day of your deaths!”
Chengfeng taunted, “Shut it old man! You’ve bragged enough. The truth is that your cultivation skills are long past your prime. You know it yourself, that you’re nearing your death. That’s why you refuse to go out, you’re afraid of the outside world. You’d rather rot away in your little underground paradise!”
Chengfeng sent his words flying like knives to the old man’s esteem. He carefully aimed for each of Uncle Chen’s insecurities, and like knives, he cut the old man’s heart up into pieces, utterly exposing him for the monster he is. Uncle Chen’s face contorted greatly.
Chengfeng continued, “You’re both blind and heartless. You’d never see the outside world again, the same way your heart can never empathize with the outside world! You’re just a walking corpse, riddled with sin and evil!”