Chapter 1187 - Cave 13
When the last CIA agent standing in the office succumbed to Xia Lei’s bullet, the gunshots and explosions began to ring amongst the dense jungle. Giovanna and the others had brought the Relief Society soldiers to the battlefield in time to execute a pincer movement with the Chinese Zodiac Battle Team against the Boko Haram armed group and Special Forces. Despite being severely outnumbered, their weapons were incredible. Added with the benefit of all Chinese Zodiac Battle Team members being powerful warriors, their shortcomings could essentially be neglected. Plus, most of the Boko Haram armed members weren’t trained well. They were not even able to defeat the Relief Society’s veteran soldiers, let alone the Chinese Zodiac Battle Team.
Frankly, after finishing off the Apache armed helicopter and Chinook transport aircraft, Xia Lei wasn’t all too worried that the battle would head towards an undesirable direction.
Xia Lei left the office block and drove a forklift over to the mining zone.
The back gate of the factory area was directly opposite of the mining zone, where Cave 13 was situated.
Yet, the back gate was locked and obstructed by heavy cement blocks.
When the forklift was about fifty metres away from the back gate, the stationed Special Force soldiers dashed out of the guard’s station and attempted to stop the vehicle. Before anything could roll out of their throats, two bullets had whistled by and split their skulls apart.
Xia Lei kept his Viper pistol away and floored the pedal. He lowered the hopper, knocked over the roadblocks and gate before making his way to the mining site.
Soon enough, Cave 13 came into sight. It was an unassuming and regular-looking cave. Weirdly, there were no Special Force soldiers or CIA agents stationed to guard its entrance.
Admittedly, this was rather unexpected. After all, it seemed natural for them to place guards around the entrance but there was none.
Xia Lei stopped the forklift and ventured into Cave 13. For safety’s sake, he brought down the Gust assault rifle resting on his shoulder. This was an environment where the Viper pistol would be in a disadvantage.
The tunnel was eerily quiet even with its lit walls.
Xia Lei softened his steps along the metal tracks.
The tunnel was long and winding, declining by the slightest bit as Xia Lei progressed further. It seemed to stretch on forever without a foreseeable end.
Before Xia Lei had reached the four-hundred-metre depth mark, the air underground was beginning to turn extremely humid. Drops of water were beginning to drop onto his crown in alternate intervals. The end was now close but there still was no enemy to be seen. As he walked, Xia Lei brought out his satellite phone. There seemed to be no signal in here.
Abruptly, a violent explosion was heard.
The heat began rushing upwards from the bottom and the tracks rocked wildly. It felt like the walls were going to collapse!
Rocks began to fall from the top, forcing Xia Lei to stop and dodge its assault. The soundwaves were quick to disperse and the tunnel was returned to its original tranquillity, save for the pitter patter of water. Pausing for a moment, Xia Lei then began to move again. After pacing through another fifty metres, he took a turn and the end of the tunnel could now be seen.
From the memories extracted from Wu Keyong, there was supposed to be a black meteorite-like boulder at the end of the tunnel. However, it was now removed to reveal a round-shaped entrance.
The explosion earlier was definitely to remove it but the people behind its destruction was nowhere to be found at the end of the tunnel. The scenery beyond the hole on the rocky wall was too dark, there was no way to see what was going on inside. Xia Lei tried to use his X-ray vision to peer into it but, oddly, his efforts were futile. It felt like his eyes were being consumed by a mass of unknown darkness till nothing was left.
“What exactly is this place?” Xia Lei was dumbfounded.
Wu Keyong had knocked off a rare metal sample off the spherical black boulder, yet the other party had decided to blast it apart. There was no similar mineral around to be found either. The meteorite-looking boulder just seemed like an obstacle used to block off the path deliberately.
If it wasn’t the rare metal and was merely an obstruction instead, would the Americans have spent so much effort trying to take over Alliance Mining?
The safest thing to do now was to turn around immediately and bring the Chinese Zodiac Battle Team, the female knights and the Relief Society veteran soldiers away from this damned place. But after a brief moment of hesitation, Xia Lei decided to continue his journey to the end of this tunnel.
Reaching the bottom, Xia Lei stopped and extended an arm to touch the spherical black boulder. As soon as he initiated contact, an otherworldly feeling coursed through his heart. Inexplicably, his mind was filled with images of the six faceless warrior statues. A surprising thought was manifested- ‘Could this be the statue’s material?”
Sadly, there was no way to confirm his suspicion.
Xia Lei went through the round opening.
The insides of the new-made tunnel were comparatively smooth. The polishing marks along the wall were really obvious too. This was certainly not a natural tunnel.
A new question popped into his mind. Who could’ve opened up a tunnel at five hundred metres below ground?
No one could give him an answer.
The darkness inside the tunnel was suffocating. There was not even the slightest hint of light. After a certain distance, the illumination at the entrance could not reach this depth. Even Xia Lei was facing some difficulties with his vision abilities. He noticed something else too. There was an odd energy field in this place that affected his vision to at least half of its original capabilities.
Under dire circumstances, Xia Lei was forced to bend a glow stick and borrow its illumination to continue the journey.
This was a dangerous decision but the man was left with no choice.
Soon, he reached the end of the round tunnel. In front of him was a massive underground space that looked rather triangular in shape, almost like the pyramid discovered in Jerusalem but without the shocking skulls and crystal skull. The other difference was that the triangular bottom was not a bed of rocks but a square pool of water. The water surface was as still as a mirror.
Xia Lei’s position was at the half-way mark of the wall, which was at least fifty metres in height away from the water body. From this distance and the constant interruption by the energy field, Xia Lei could not see what was happening underwater.
He moved his gaze towards the centre of the pool where there was what seemed to be an altar that Xia Lei couldn’t quite catch clearly. He raised his arm and threw the glow stick down. The stick rolled a few times and finally landed in the middle of the square pool. It sank but stopped after a slight distance.
It was a hexagonal stone platform submerged in water.
At that moment, a woman was lying in the middle of the stone platform. Her skin was as pale as jade and her hair was jet black. Her ethereal beauty was something that could not be described with words. However, Xia Lei could only feel fear because of her presence. The woman lying atop the underwater platform was none other than Zhu Xuanyue. It was Isitabu, the Goddess of Suicides that came from another ‘corn kernel’.
Trembles were heard coming from beneath the water surface and the pool began to ripple. Soon, waves were raised.
In the midst of the deafening noises, the submerged platform began to rise slowly bit by bit. Zhu Xuanyue was rising to the surface along with it. The things that appeared in sequence was first her protruding breasts, face, abdomen and then her wonderful legs. She was stark naked, completely exposed to the outside world with the illumination of the glow stick. She was flawless. If one were to nitpick, the only thing they could complain about was how she had taken more to Gu Kewen’s features- A hairy crotch region.
The platform rose to the surface but the tremors showed no signs of stopping. The six corners of the platform opened to allow six metal columns to emerge from below, little by little.
The six metal cylinders stilled and opened. Six bright beams pierced through the darkness and dashed for the pyramid’s peak.
It was then that Xia Lei realized every stone brick lining the pyramid’s wall was black ore!
If the black ores were the rare metal, this was certainly a rare metal mine with considerable reserves!
“Had Zhu Xuanyue reached a deal with the Americans? If she did, it’s going to be a tricky situation.” Xia Lei thought to himself darkly.
Confirming that the woman below was indeed Zhu Xuanyue, Xia Lei began to back away.
Frankly, he was curious about what Zhu Xuanyue was doing here. But between curiosity and survival, he had chosen the latter without hesitation. There was at least one year and more till the prehistoric Chosen One’s deadline. Though chances were low, Xia Lei was still not deprived of an opportunity to turn his fate around. However, he needed to be alive for that!
Just as Xia Lei stepped away and was about to leave, a masculine voice broke the silence inside the underground pyramid.
“You’ve already made it this far. Are you not going to stay for the answers you yearn for?” It was Kestin’s voice. “I’ve always thought that you were a brave man, you know? Your decision is a little disappointing.”
Xia Lei halted in his tracks and returned to the edge of the tunnel’s exit. He stretched his torso out and titled his chin downwards, finally noticing Kestin with his inseparable sidekicks, Charlotte and Eva.
Kestin tilted his head upwards to meet Xia Lei’s gaze. The smile on his face was both confident and beautiful. “Xia Lei, don’t you find it odd? Don’t you wish to understand everything that’s going on?”
“You have the answers?” Xia Lei probed.
“How is she?”
“She’s doing well,” answered Kestin.
“What is she trying to pull now?”
Kestin continued to smile. “How about you stay a little longer and ask her yourself? I’m sure there’s plenty you wish to talk to her about. Don’t you think you owe her an explanation on your bombing of the AE Research Centre with the B2 plane?”
Xia Lei stared at the hexagonal platform. Zhu Xuanyue’s eyes were still tightly shut with no signs of awakening. Under the pristine light of the six beams, her body was completely exposed. It was at this moment, that his eyes finally caught the metal container on the platform. Xia Lei was shocked. Weren’t those the alloy containers that Zhu Xuanyue used to store the energy liquid extracted from the six faceless warrior statues?!
The B2 bomber plane had dealt some severe damages to the AE Research Centre. The facility was literally trampled over and over again! Yet, the important figures and items were not destroyed at all!
There was no use mulling over the past now.
“Xia Lei, do you know?” Kestin’s tone was a mocking one. “It wasn’t easy to lure you here. I had to prepare a vast crowd of Delta Force soldiers, Navy SEALs and the Boko Haram armed group to entertain you and your team. I spared the Chinese employees just to have them tell you where they found the rare metal. For the sake of meeting you, I’ve even deliberately dismissed the guards at the cave’s entrance. Say, why am I so kind to you?”
So this had been a trap from the beginning!
Xia Lei quickly grabbed his pistol, lowered its muzzle and pulled the trigger at Kestin.