We went on, looking for a way out of the snow valley, and finally found a place to climb that was hidden by the snow. I sc.r.a.ped the snow off with a mountain pick bit by bit, looking for a foothold on the rock and climbing up. We rested on the rock wall that night, and it wasn't until noon the next day that we climbed the thirty-meter-high cliff.
We continued to move forward with difficulty. I followed Poker-Face, and at dusk, we might not have walked more than twenty kilometers, but we found traces of snowmelt around. Poker-Face listened with his ears, touched the ground bit by bit, and finally found the gap buried by the snow.
After dark, the temperature dropped much lower than expected. We entered the gap and came to the hot spring where we had rested before. We made a fire to keep warm and boiled some soup.
I had no appet.i.te and I didn't want to eat anything, and Poker-Face didn't seem to want to eat anything either. After taking a break at the crevice, we continued to walk in. By this time, I already knew exactly where Poker-Face was going. He was heading towards the bronze door. That place had completely overturned my world view and I wholeheartedly didn't want to see it again.
But it was obvious that Poker-Face's destination was there. From this gap, all the way to the inside, we would soon reach that place, and could bypa.s.s the entire Genting Palace of Heaven.
I thought about those human-faced birds, and I didn't know what kind of situation it was now. That night, I had a dream that Poker-Face and I said goodbye to each other before we arrived at the bronze door. Then he went in and left me alone at the door. As soon as I looked back, countless human-faced birds were staring at me, which startled me awake. When I woke up, I saw Poker-Face wasn't sleeping, but sorting out all his things.
When I asked him what he was doing, he said, “I'm looking at what you can use and I'll leave it with you. You may need it on your way back."
“What about you?” I was surprised.
“It doesn't matter here even if I'm as bare as a newborn, I'm already very close to my destination.” He said, “You don't need to go in again. It's too dangerous.”
I was surprised to see that Poker-Face took out two ghost seals from his pack. He weighed them and handed one to me.
“Since you're here, I think you should know something.” He said, “Take this ghost seal back, I only need one.”
“Where did you get this other one?”
“Granny Huo gave it to me.” Poker-Face said, “You weren't aware at the time.”
“What is this thing for?” I went straight to the point. I no longer had any interest in knowing what was going on behind this.
Poker-Face said: “To open the door.”
When I took the ghost seal, he said, “When you bring this thing to the bronze door, it will open. Ten years from now, if you still remember me, you can take this thing and open the door. You might see me inside."
“What exactly is behind that door?” I asked him. “Why are you going in?”
“I can't tell you where it is.” Poker-Face said. “I can only tell you one thing. Many years ago, I found that what you called The Mystic Nine had a secret. In the Zhang family's ancestral practice, retention had always been the biggest goal. The whole development process of the Zhang family hoped that in any troubled times, the family could survive and thus retain the ma.s.s burial of the Zhang family's ancient building. Judging from the information I received, only the patriarch could know the huge secret and the Zhang family had known this secret since the very beginning. It has been running throughout China's long history. No one knows what it is. We only know that the secret itself exists, and that it has a key time node. This node has now arrived. After the Zhang family's last hope was dashed, I found the Mystic Nine at that time, hoping to use their strength to help the Zhang family and jointly undertake this obligation, so that the secret wouldn't be discovered. But none of them kept their promise.
“The core of the secret I want to protect is behind this bronze door and guarding it will take time. I will enter the bronze door for ten years and wait for the next successor."
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“Why did none of them keep their promise?”
I remembered when Poker-Face disappeared in front of me when he crawled inside on our last visit. Did he start something at that time to create a later path?
I stayed there for three days in utter despair until the snowstorm slowly subsided.
There's nothing to say about the journey back.
I finally went back to Hangzhou, and while I was walking beside the West Lake, it began to drizzle. I recalled everything I had experienced before and thought about everyone's ending, suddenly feeling very tired.
I didn't know why, but my tears began to flow down, and I went back to my shop as if it were the old days when nothing ever happened.
I thought that after I had finished all this, there would still be something left. I didn't think that there would be nothing.
But I realized that I couldn't stop. I had to go on, because there was still another ten years left.
TN Note: h.e.l.lo you beautiful people!!! Hope you've enjoyed the reading so far, lord knows it's been a roller coaster lol. So as far as I can tell, there's one more chapter to the main story, then about 30-ish extra chapters (I think. I had trouble finding them on the official Daomu Biji website but they're def in the Amazon version) and 2 postscripts. I'm just going to keep the numbers going for posterity's sake but figured I'd give you all a heads up in case you cared.
*** You are reading on https://webnovelonline.com ***