Translator:Nyoi-Bo StudioEditor:Nyoi-Bo Studio
“At the back of Shurangama Mantra was Half Mosha Scripture,” Wang Taiming carried on saying. “Most of the scriptures had been lost, and the materials in the Cultural Relics Bureau were incomplete! However, both Tian Dongmin and myself knew that, at the bottom of the lotus pond, we would be able to find the printed versions of part of the scriptures. That was why we drew out a portion of the water from the pond!”
“Please, it is not getting any earlier.” Zhao Yu impatiently urged. “Tell me quickly, what clues were found?”
“At the end, following the hints from the treasure map,” Tian Dongmin replied immediately. “We also found three other words: “Jade Stone Slope!”
“Jade Stone Slope?” Zhao Yu frowned and asked. “What does it mean?”
“Mapping the possibilities, we felt that it should be The General Ridge,” Tian Dongmin said. “There was a valley at both the southern and northern foothills of The General Ridge. I reckoned that the piece of ancient jade would reside in a special place within The General Ridge. However, it was not documented in the ancient history books.”
“But” Wang Taiming added, “All of us knew that the southern foothills of The General Ridge was named Deer Tail. Thus, it was presumed that the piece of ancient jade was referring to the the Jade Stone Slope in The General Ridge.”
“Oh That was helpful to narrow the scope of search.” Zhao Yu’s eyes lit up and he quickly asked, “What about the third one? What was written on the third one?”
This time, Wang Taiming came straight to the point, “Millenium pine tree! It was found on a stone tablet of the museum, lacking Fu Ye Longevity scripture.”
“Millennium pine tree?” Zhao Yu rolled his eyes and said, “It meant that we just needed to find the Millennium pine tree from southern foothills in The General Ridge, But All of you do not look like you had found the Gold Buddha. If the Gold Buddha was found, how could your lives be spared?”
“Yes! The Millennium pine tree saved us all!” Tian Dongmin emotionally said. “They searched the whole of The General Ridge and the northern foothills, yet they could not find this Millennium pine tree. We suspected that this Millennium pine tree could have been cut down or withered away, as it was nowhere to be found!”
“That is true!” Zhao Yu shared the same feeling. “The pine tree was already a thousand years old during the Ming dynasty. The chance of it surviving till this day is very low!”
“The Taoist priest spared no expense to search for the Millennium pine tree. They hacked into the website of the Lin Ye branch to retrieve the full list of locations where tall Millennium pine trees grew. It was a pity that the Lin Ye branch was not meticulous enough in the records to display these details.”
“Oh, because no pine tree was found, the treasures could not be found either!” Zhao Yu continued asking, “What happened next? Were there more clues?”
Wang Taiming replied, “There were a total of six clues found on the piece of ancient jade. The first three clues were: The General Ridge, Jade Stone Slope, and Millennium pine tree. We could not find the scripture associated with the fourth clue. The scripture failed to be handed down to the next generation, and is unlikely to be found within the near future!” He added, “But, we found the last two clues. They were: the Crescent Moon pit and the Raindrop Stone.”
“Oh?” Upon hearing this, Miao Ying could not help but frown. She did not expect that there would be such a long list of clues. This would mean that finding the treasures would be challenging.
Zhao Yu shook his head and said, “That sounds so challenging! The Crescent Moon pit could be a very deep pit. If they hid the treasures into this deep pit, covered by the Raindrop Stone, which was right beside the Millennium pine tree, could the pit be covered up, after hundreds of years?”
“We thought so, too,” Tian Dongmin replied. “But Qiu Cheng is such a smart person. He would certainly find a safer place to keep the treasures than to bury them in the deep pit.”
“For a few days, the Taoist priest and his men searched the whole valley in the mountain,” Wang Taiming replied. “They could not find a place that matched the clues: Millennium pine tree, Crescent Moon pit, and Raindrop Stone. That was why they planned to visit the southern foothills tomorrow! No one expected that such a tragic event would happen this morning! We were surprised to see so many corpses!”
“Oh yes,” Miao Ying prompted, “What exactly happened this morning? That explosion”
Tian Dongmin sighed and said, “The Taoist priest was a very cautious man. No matter what he did, he would always have a backup plan! Because of the fact that explosives might be needed to cut into a mountain or crush stones, the Taoist priest and his men were loaded with explosives!”
“Every evening when they were pitching their tents, they would bury a bag of explosives under a rock within the vicinity of the campsite, just in case of emergencies. This morning, while we were still half asleep, we heard that the campsite was surrounded by the police!”
“At that moment, we believed that we would both be safe! Because of the sudden appearance of the police, and the Tomb robbers were all sleeping soundly. The police could have easily subdued the Tomb robbers.”
“At the very beginning, the police operation went smoothly, as they were equipped with guns. The police surrounded the Tomb robbers successfully. At that crucial moment, both of us were being watched by a Tomb robber in a tent. The tent was pitched near the river bank that was quite a distance away from the police, thus, we were unable to rush out and call for help.”
“Moments later, the police started shouting to the Tomb robbers, asking them raise their hands above their heads and bend over on the ground. Right after those commands were issued, we heard a loud explosion! It was followed by an exchange of gunfire between the two parties.”
“Unfortunately, the explosion caught the police by surprise!” Tian Dongmin said, with a dejected look on his face. “When we stepped out of our tent, what we saw was tragic. The whole police force present was wiped out!”
“Just when the two of us thought that we would be killed soon, the both of you appeared and saved us, in such a dangerous situation. It was really really”
Hearing this, Zhao Yu felt gloomy once more. This meant that Fu Jianxing and his men likely perished at the hands of the enemies. Although Zhao Yu disliked Fu Jianxing, hearing the news of the latter’s death made him felt uneasy. After all, Fu Jianxing was such an outstanding detective. To perish at the hands of the enemies was a waste!
“Regarding the Taoist priest” Miao Ying asked another question. “Do the both of you have any idea where he came from, and what is his name?”
“It was Dong Peizhuo, who engaged the Taoist priest. So we do not have any idea what is his name,” Tian Dongmin replied. “However, Dong Peizhuo mentioned that the hometown of this Taoist priest is Qinshan, and that this priest even made a name for himself there. This meant that he should be quite well-known.”
“That is right!” Wang Taiming added. “Not only did the Taoist priest speak with our native Qinshan accent, but also the rest of the men!”
At this point in time, the four of them spotted their tent in the distance. Miao Ying immediately took out Zhao Yu’s mobile phone in an attempt to call the headquarters for help. Zhao Yu was still bogged down by the many questions on his mind.
Through the explanations made by the two old experts, Zhao Yu finally understood the whole story of the Tomb murder case. But somehow, he felt as if something was left out!
He had a feeling that, on top of the treasures and Tomb robbers, he would still be able to find more clues to the case from the conversation made by the two old experts! In particular, there was something vaguely familiar about the Taoist priest. He felt like he might have met him before. In this story could there be anything else
As Zhao Yu was thinking hard, the mobile phone in Miao Ying’s hands rang.
There was something special about the ringtone. It was not a ringtone from a call, nor a SMS ringtone or WeChat ringtone…
“Gosh!” Zhao Yu shouted, “It is the ringtone of a walkie talkie!”
It turned out that the mobile phones issued by the police station were equipped with the walkie talkie function. In places with poor reception, the mobile phone could be used as a walkie talkie within a short range. And the ringtone from Zhao Yu’s mobile phone indicated that someone was using the walkie talkie function to call out to them.
“Hey!” Zhao Yu eyes lit up, and said, “Does this mean that Fu Jianxing is still alive?”
Miao Ying hurriedly pressed down on the button to answer the call. A low gloomy voice was heard.
“Hello, hello the line is through? Ha ha ha ha”
The four of them were shocked to find that the voice coming from the walkie talkie was the voice of the Taoist priest!