Chapter 1: Grave of Yi Yun
In this day of age, Yi Yun deeply understood the fact that life isn’t easy, but never once did it occur to him that he would die in his prime..
This morning, Yi Yun had gone mountain climbing with two good friends. Among them was a pretty babe, so this was naturally a splendid event.
Young people tend to like thrills; Yi Yun was no exception. Being a goody two-shoes and climbing mountain paths already cleared by others was meaningless: they chose an isolated barren mountain.
Reaching the halfway mark on the mountain, they discovered a cave.
The babe that came with them spontaneously got excited, and insisted on entering. However, the moment they entered something unexpected happened.
Yi Yun found a rectangular purple crystal in the cave; it looked like a crystal card from a science-fiction movie. As soon as he discovered, and, out of curiosity, touched the purple crystal, the walls started to rumble and the cave collapsed!
It was hard to describe what emotions were going through Yi Yun as he saw several tons of rock smashing downwards. If one had to use a phrase to describe it, it’d be, “Only when dying does one truly know what dying is.”
He was still young, healthy and good-looking. And he was still a virgin…
His was supposed to have a tremendously bright life ahead of him, but it was all about to disappear.
The sadness and hopelessness from knowing this was stifling.
The boulders did not smash into Yi Yun, but had instead sealed off the exit.
The situation of being buried alive in such a tight space in the mountains, without food, water, and with limited air made it crystal clear to Yi Yun that this place would probably be his grave.
Yi Yun stared blankly at the thick mountain wall. Under his phone’s flashlight illumination, that thick rock wall resembled the faces of devils. It was cold to the touch and the coldness seeped into Yi Yun’s heart bit by bit, weighing it down.
He didn’t have the slightest clue where his climbing partners disappeared to. They were all grouped closely upon entering the cave. Yet once the cave collapsed, the two of them who should have been trapped with him, had mysteriously…disappeared.
It was as if they had never entered together with Yi Yun. Yi Yun still remembered clearly that half a minute before the cave collapsed, he had heard behind him the babe that was with them say how she was afraid that there would be snakes in the cave.
How could two breathing people just disappear suddenly?
How did a perfectly good cave just collapse?
It really was a hopeless situation here in the cave. There was no signal on his phone, and the fate of his two friends was uncertain. Yi Yun didn’t want to sit idly by while waiting for death. He even thought about digging a way out–if the blockage was small, there would be a glimmer of hope by digging.
When a person confronts Death, he can exhibit extremely strong motivation and fighting spirit; everything, even something with the tiniest sliver of hope, would be tested.
Yi Yun acted immediately, but digging with his bare hands wouldn’t do. He had not brought any tools, like a dagger, with him. But, at this moment, Yi Yun had a stroke of brilliance, he remembered the crystal card.
It looked like a small shovel, so, although it was small, and didn’t have a handle, digging with it was much better than digging with his bare hands.
Turning his head to the mysterious crystal card, Yi Yun suddenly had a thought; upon careful recollection, the cave had collapsed the moment he touched that card.
How could it be this coincidental?
And the biggest mystery was that both his friends had vanished into thin air.
A series of inexplicable phenomena combined together filled Yi Yun’s head with questions, that is, could everything that happened today be due to this crystal card?
He looked at the purple crystal card, it was slightly bulging. On an extremely stable piece of rock, it sat there nicely, while emitting a faint glow.
Yi Yun hesitated for a moment before switching off his phone’s flashlight. He realized that despite the pitch black darkness of the cave, he could still see by the purple card’s faint glow.
In this moment he understood that this crystal card wasn’t made of amethyst because crystals do not glow. However, in the natural world, there are some minerals that were able glow due to traces of radioactive elements.
But in his current situation Yi Yun couldn’t care less about the possibility of radioactivity harming his body and picked up the purple crystal card to examine it. If the collapse was due to this crystal card, could it possibly be his ticket to survival?
Yi Yun knew that there wasn’t much hope, but at Death’s door, he had to try everything as a last resort.
The crystal card was cool to the touch, with a coldness that seemed to meander through the blood vessels in his arm, all the way to his heart. The card itself was purple throughout and slightly larger than an adult’s hand, but no thicker than one’s palm. On one side of the card, there appeared to be mysterious engravings. They seemed unnatural, as if carved by human hand..
Who could have carved it? Could these engravings be some ancient symbol, or a mysterious language?
Or could it be extraterrestrial, something from the stars?
With such strange happenings, Yi Yun’s brain started filling with questions. He was sure the cave collapse had something to do with the crystal card. There was no earthquake, how could the cave just suddenly collapse?
With the crystal card in hand, Yi Yun realized that the crystal card’s edges were as sharp as a blade, this ignited hope within him; he could conserve energy by digging with this.
Yi Yun stopped hesitating, and with the crystal card in hand, walked towards the rock wall of unknown thickness.
Gripping the edge of the crystal card with both his hands, he shoved it down with strength, and something inconceivable happened. The originally firm and stout rock was sliced apart like tofu by this palm-sized crystal card. Yi Yun, who had used too much strength on the rock that showed no resistance, hit his head onto the wall.
Yi Yun was dumbfounded, he couldn’t care less that he had scraped his forehead while he stared blankly at the purple crystal card in his hand. After the initial shock passed he experienced jubilation.
This was pretty much a light saber from a science fiction movie.
At this moment, he didn’t have the mood to examine how this card could be that sharp, but focused on digging his way out.
Grabbing the crystal card firmly with both hands, Yi Yun started digging a hole like a mole. The crystal card moved without resistance, and could even easily cut through granite.
Yi Yun felt excited, he had picked up a treasure!
If he could make it out alive, this card could change his life, and it could even have alien technology embedded within it!
Yi Yun didn’t know how long he had been digging, and wasn’t sure if it was an illusion, but whenever he felt exhausted, the crystal card in his hands would emit a coolness, rejuvenating a tiny bit of strength within him, allowing him to continue digging without rest.
It was not possible to know the time in the cave, but Yi Yun was motivated by his thirst for survival to keep moving forward without rest.
His cell phone was already out of battery, and he had totally lost his sense of time, three days? Five days? Seven days?
Yi Yun didn’t realize that even without a single morsel of food or water, he had miraculously not died; it was as if the crystal card’s energy had prolonged his life.
If he were to look back at the path he had dug, Yi Yun would have discovered how long it was, but Yi Yun did not pay attention to that as his sight was already blurred.
Unable to see clearly ahead, unable to see the rock, he could only feel the crystal card emitting a refreshing coolness in his hands.
He was slowly losing his senses, but kept digging with perseverance and tenacity. Finally, at a certain moment, he realized a glimmer in front of his eyes, as if he had seen a light passing through a crack in the soil, illuminating his face.
Just like when a pail of water was splashed on an unconscious person, Yi Yun was suddenly wide awake!
Yi Yun had never ever appreciated that light could be so beautiful; he couldn’t control his tears as all the energy he previously lost flooded back into his body. He gritted his teeth and dug crazily.
Yi Yun was blinded by the bright rays that shone down on him, as he struggled to keep his eyes open.
He had managed to climb out!
Yi Yun wanted to shout out loud for without experiencing the darkness, or knowing how to appreciate the light or knowing what Death is about, it was hard to understand the sanguinity of life.
Yi Yun laid on the ground, taking huge gasps of air, as he looked at the blue skies and white clouds, he had never felt that the blue sky was any prettier.
Although his body was extremely tired, hungry and thirsty, Yi Yun didn’t rest for long as he gritted his teeth and got up, trying to contact his two friends.
Yi Yun may have escaped Death, but he didn’t know what had happened to his friends.
But…his cell phone was out of battery.
Yi Yun glanced around, hoping to see signs of life, but with just a glance, Yi Yun was dumbfounded.
How…How could this be?
Yi Yun clearly remembered that while climbing a mountain, he was buried alive in a cave, and climbed out of the mountainside alone.
But, Yi Yun was located in a vast expanse, and although there were mountains around, the distance to them would have ran a horse to its death; Yi Yun could not believe he had dug such a long tunnel.
Surrounding him were several mounds, and a wooden stick stuck out on each mound. On the wooden sticks were gruff words of an unknown origin written using charcoal…
Could this be a…graveyard?
Yi Yun was dumbfounded, how did he appear among so many tombstones?! Having escaped Death once, Yi Yun’s mental strength was now much stronger, so although he was faced with an illogical situation, he could still calm down and examine the tombstones carefully.
These tombstones totally didn’t look like they came from a modern cemetery. In a modern city’s cemetery, all of the tombstones were either made of marble or granite and ordered neatly.
But the tombstone in front of him…even a rural tombstone would be much better than this.
Yi Yun suddenly discovered something, as he lowered his head to take a look, the “tunnel” he had just climbed out was still there, and was situated in front of a mound. And by the side of the mound, a wooden plank was used as a tombstone.
On the wooden plank were weird words, but for some unknown reason, Yi Yun had a spark in his mind, and could read all the words.
It wrote–”Beloved brother, Grave of Yi Yun”.
And on the side wrote five words–”Elder Sister Jiang Xiaorou”.
Yi Yun was totally stupefied, he had clearly been buried alive in a cave on a barren mountain, but now he had dug his way out of a tomb, and it was even his!
What sort of worldly joke is this!
Also the words were not Chinese, nor were they English, how did he know all these weird words?
This must be a dream, right…
Yes, it must be a dream. This dream sure feels real…as if…Yi Yun looked at his surroundings, and felt diffident, it’s too real!
He pinched himself hard, and the result was…pain.
Another pinch, it still hurt!
“It’s not a dream?” “This shit really isn’t a dream?”
Yi Yun felt lost, could someone tell him what was happening?
Yi Yun was cursing in his heart.
Could he have already died when he was buried alive in the cave, and when he dug himself out, all the digging was just an illusion before his death?
But…the two words “beloved brother”, what did it mean? He didn’t have an elder sister. If a person had to be pointed out, it was someone who lived in another city whom he had infrequent interactions, nor did he meet his cousin much, why would she erect a tombstone for him!
If the tombstone’s “Yi Yun” was someone else with the same first and last name as himself, it was still impossible. How could such a coincidence happen, climbing out of a grave of someone with the same first and last name “Yi Yun”?
Yi Yun felt extremely confused. At this moment, he looked on in a daze as a girl dressed in rags while carrying a basket walked towards him along a tiny village path…