Chapter 8 – Stone Bead
Tie Zhu was pale as he got up and looked around. He found that he was in a small natural cave. The sunlight peered in through the entrance of the cave, revealing a floor covered with the bones of birds and animals.
On the wall behind him was a black hole the size of a fist. He couldn’t tell how deep this little hole was, but on closer inspection one mystery was solved. The pulling force that sucked him into the cave earlier came from this hole. The animals that those scattered bones had belonged to were sucked in just like he had been.
The suction from the hole must be spontaneous. The moment he appeared in front of this cave during his fall, the mysterious hole pulled him in and saved his life. Tie Zhu, enduring the agony of his right arm, was about to walk out of the cave when the bones on the ground suddenly started moving toward the hole. He quickly rolled to the corner of the cave without a moment’s delay as he felt the wind behind him.
The unimaginable sucking force suddenly came from the little hole. All the bones rattled as they flew toward the hole. Some of the bigger bones were stuck on the wall blocking, the little hole.
At that moment, a bird was sucked in as it flew by the cave’s entrance. It whizzed through the air until it splattered against the cave wall.
After about an hour, the force stopped pulling. Wang Lin stared in horror at the corpse of the recently deceased bird. He didn’t move his body at all, only sat still, while calculating the time.
Half an hour later, the suction started again. This repeated several times. Wang Lin had grasped the timing of the strange suctioning hole. It would start sucking every 30 minutes for a duration of 60 minutes.
Taking advantage of the time gap between suctions, Wang Lin painfully crept towards the cave entrance. As he looked below, he couldn’t help but reveal a bitter smile. Below him was a jungle, and the barely visible ground was covered with rocks. The cliff was very steep, there was no way for him to climb down with his broken arm. The distance from the ground measured more than a few dozen meters. If he tried to jump down, it would definitely be the end.
The bag filled with food was left at the top of the mountain with no way for him to retrieve it. Right now food was the most important problem he needed to solve. As he was pondering, he suddenly remembered the suction time and rushed back to the corner of the cave.
Time in the outside world seemed to pass by quickly. Wang Lin could feel his body grow weaker and weaker. He had no feeling in his arm, it was completely numb. He smiled bitter as he said to himself, “Being stuck here means a slow death, but jumping down would be instant death.”
He looked at the bloody corpse of the bird that was sucked in earlier. With a bit of hesitation, he walked over, picked it up, and reluctantly took a bite. The taste was appalling. He exhaled as the raw meat in his mouth flooded his senses, but then continued to eat it.
He barely chewed the meat, opting to just swallow it nearly whole. Tie Zhu felt warmth enter his stomach as it churned. He ate the bird quickly in big bites, then he stood up and took a deep breath to keep himself from puking it all out.
He tossed the remains of the bird to the side and sat down against the cave wall. His mind wandered, one moment thinking about his parents, one moment thinking of his fourth uncle, one moment thinking about the mocking faces of his relatives, and one moment he even thought about the cold eyes of the middle aged man in black from the Heng Yue Sect.
In a trance, Wang Lin looked at the half eaten bird corpse. Without batting an eye, he picked up the corpse for a closer inspection. He saw that within the bird’s corpse there was a red bead the size of a baby’s first. He was very surprised as he took it out of the carcass.
Why was there a bead in this bird’s body? Wang Lin’s heart was pounding as he thought of a book the teacher in his village had once shown him. Some animals live to be much older, and that something called a dantian will form within their body.
If one were to eat a dantian, their life would be prolonged, and their strength would increase. Even limbs that had been cut off would grow back.
When he saw that description, he didn’t believe it, and secretly scoffed at it, but now he couldn’t help but to believe in myths and legends a little more after meeting immortals.
Wang Lin’s heart was pounding hard enough to fly out of his chest. If this bead was really the dantian described in the book, then eating it would not only heal his injuries quickly, but it would also make it easy to leave this place. Even passing the test to join the Heng Yue Sect should be possible, at least he would be able to pass the perseverance test.
But the bead was very hard. It didn’t seem edible. He used some of the ragged cloth on his body to wipe it clean, restoring its original color.
A gray bead, with five clouds carved on it, was revealed. It looked very old. Wang Lin was very disappointed, unwilling to give up, he gave the bead a bite, then silently laughed at himself. “Tie Zhu, you are too delusional. How could some random bird that just happened to fly by have a dantian?”
Wang Lin sighed. It was already dark outside. He felt weary and fell asleep with the bead by his side and animal bones covering the floor.
Since it is fall right now, the temperature dropped very quickly, especially in the mountain area. The cold air entered Wang Lin’s body. He curled up, and the night passed by quickly.
The next morning, sunlight peered in from the outside of the cave as the sun rose. A few drops of sparkling dew secreted from the bead by Wang Lin’s side. As the dew gathered, it dripped on to the bones nearby.
After a while, Wang Lin woked up. Not only was his arm still swollen, its condition seemed to have gotten worse. Wang Lin sat on the floor, feeling very depressed.
Wang Lin muttered to himself, “Am I going to be stuck here my whole life?” He slowly turned his head and noticed the dew that accumulated on the bones. Since he was thirsty, he carefully picked up a few bones and licked the dew off them.
The sweetness of the dew was quite good. He couldn’t tell if he was imagining it, but his whole body felt warm and comfortable after drinking some.
Especially the injury on his arm. There was feeling of comfort and itching as the swelling lessened. Wang Lin rubbed his eyes, and closely looked at his arm. The swelling had indeed gone down. He quickly looked at the bones around him but wasn’t able to find any more with dew on them.
At that moment, he suddenly noticed the bead and saw drops of dew on it. He remembered that all the bones that had dew on them were next to the bead. He gently picked up the bead, with his heart pounding, and rolled the bead on his arm to evenly spreading out the dew.
Waves of cool and refreshing feelings came from the arm. Wang Lin stared at his arm without batting an eye. After a while his eyes lit up. The swelling from the arm had gone down. He tried waving his arm. While there was still some pain, it wasn’t a big deal.
“This stone bead must be a treasure!” Wang Lin was pleasantly surprised.