107 Jumping into the River to Escape
After walking out of the Guardian Palace and through a long corridor, Jiang Chen saw the Supreme Underground Palace.
It was indeed worth being called 'Supreme.' In this underground world, a majestic palace filled almost all of the space in front of Jiang Chen. There was only a little room left around it.
The gate was the only entrance through which they could enter the space, but no one had the nerve to move, since the palace was emitting a spooky blue light.
The Soul Leading Palace had been illuminated by the Universal Darkfire Lamp, while the light of this Supreme Underground Palace came from each brick and tile that created it, as if the palace were a living creature and the flowing light were its breath.
Jiang Chen picked a pebble up and threw it at the palace. Among the blue light, a white light similar to an arc of electricity appeared. It smashed the pebble. The others were forced to step back out of surprise.
Then Meng Hao, Fang Ping, and the others looked over to Jiang Chen. Although they didn't even know what had happened, they thought Jiang Chen must have a solution.
He did. Jiang Chen opened the book and started to read in the language of the Era of the Hero.
Soon, they saw the blue light disappearing. Although the palace was still glowing, it didn't look so intimidating anymore.
Jiang Chen threw another pebble at it. It hit the gate of the palace. Nothing happened.
"Knowledge is power," Fang Ping exclaimed.
"As expected, after all, he's a disciple of the Natural Law School."
"And he's a senior disciple. The Natural Law School is worth its fame in the top ten sects and schools."
"If we had listened to him earlier, these things wouldn't have happened at all."
Fang Ping's companions began to admire Jiang Chen.
They pushed the gate of the palace open and went in carefully.
All of them were struck dumb when they saw what was in there, except Jiang Chen, who seemed to have prepared himself for this scene.
There was nothing but hundreds of stone coffins in the underground palace. They were placed on the ground in a careful order.
Along with the darkness and the spooky blue light, they couldn't help but tremble with fear.
Jiang Chen was the first to come to himself. He saw that all of these coffins looked heavy, and each one was unique. The writing on the coffins was in characters from the Era of the Hero.
"All the kings of the Vermillion Bird State are buried here," Jiang Chen said.
Then it occurred to some of them that the dead kings must have had many precious grave goods buried with them.
A man walked towards the stone coffin closest to him and tried to lift the coffin lid, but no matter how hard he tried, the coffin lid didn't move a bit.
"Was the lid welded to the coffin?" the man complained.
"These stone coffins have seals. If you lift simply using force, only those in the Reaching Heaven State will be strong enough to get it open, but there will be terrible consequences," Jiang Chen said.
"Are you able to open it?" Wen Xin asked without thinking too much.
Jiang Chen walked towards that coffin and pressed his hands on the lid. He closed his eyes slightly and shook his head after a good while. "In my state, it will take a long time to crack the seal. It's better for me to instruct someone in the Mental Wander or Reaching Heaven State."
Chu Luo was the most reluctant to accept it. "Will we miss out on this treasure just because our state is too low?"
"This isn't the thorniest matter," Jiang Chen said.
The others were nervous. They were holding their breath to prepare for what Jiang Chen was going to say.
"According to the book, the exit is in one of the stone coffins," Jiang Chen told the others helplessly and forced himself to smile.
"No!" the others exclaimed. It was obvious they couldn't open the coffin and the exit was in one of the coffins. They were at an impasse.
It could have been fatal for them.
"Jiang Chen, you just mentioned it would take you a long time to open the coffin. How long would that be?" Wen Xin said.
"A couple of years," Jiang Chen said.
A desperate answer!
Fang Ping and the others flopped down on the ground, as if they had been drained of energy.
Even Meng Hao, who had a good temper, cursed. Of course, he didn't aim at Jiang Chen.
Wen Xin was still thinking about the Soul Eating Spell, so at this moment, she was observing Chu Luo and the other three female disciples' reactions.
Except for Chu Luo, the other three had accepted the spell willingly because Jiang Chen could lead them out, but then Jiang Chen had let them down. Would they complain or be angry with him?
However, Wen Xin didn't see any signs of that. Despite their sadness and disappointment, they didn't complain a word about Jiang Chen.
Suddenly, something occurred to Wen Xin. She said, "Jiang Chen, you mentioned that the architect had arranged an escape route for himself. It wouldn't have been such a risky way. If this were the only way out, the architect wouldn't have been able to open the coffin, either. He couldn't have been skilled at seals and in the Reaching Heaven State at the same time."
"What do you mean?" Jiang Chen was surprised. Wen Xin's analysis made sense.
"What does the book say about the stone coffins?" Wen Xin asked.
"It says dead kings will become the patron saints of the Vermillion Bird State to ensure the country's prosperity. Each king… Wait!"
While talking, an idea suddenly flashed into his mind. He said, "They didn't wait until a king's death to start the manufacturing of a stone coffin, since it took a long time to make them. It was impossible to predict when a king would die. If a king died suddenly, they wouldn't have enough time to make the coffin, so usually they would have one or two prepared in advance."
Wen Xin followed his train of thought and said delightfully, "There's no corpse in a vacant coffin, so there won't be any grave goods, which means it's not sealed!"
The others also understood what they were talking about. They felt hopeful again and stood up one by one.
"Hurry up. Try to open each of them, and try hard. If any is able to be opened, it's the exit!" Jiang Chen said.
So they acted separately, dashing to the coffins and trying to lift the lids.
Soon, Meng Hao shouted. "Here. It's here!" The others all crowded over. They saw a small opening between the lid and the coffin.
They looked at each other and everyone was beaming.
They pushed the lid away and saw nothing there.
Jiang Chen reached his hand inside and felt everywhere. Soon, he found a button and pressed it, then the bottom of the coffin slid downward.
Jiang Chen threw a torch down and found there was a narrow cave leading downwards. He could vaguely hear the sound of water.
He leaned down and saw there was a river beside the cave.
He was about to order everyone to jump down when Fang Ping said, "Jiang Chen, we don't have to rush now that we've found the exit. We can take some time to look for the treasure!"
Jiang Chen was persuaded. He didn't know where the subterranean river flew to. There wouldn't be any problem for them to leave where they were, but it would hardly be possible for them to travel from the river back to the imperial mausoleum again.
The entrance had been blocked. If they left at this moment, it would be difficult to get another chance.
"I agree," Wen Xin said.
But when Jiang Chen was about to take action, they heard an uproar coming from outside. There were hasty footsteps and cries. It sounded like there were dozens of men.
Jiang Chen released his holy awareness and found that there were members of the four groups. Behind them were numerous demons.
"All right! Now we have to leave. The demons have been attracted here."
Jiang Chen smiled bitterly and shouted to the outside, "Guys, the exit is here. Hurry up if you want to survive!"
Then he jumped down with the others.
"Jiang Chen, don't we have a boat?"
"Swim, swim with the current. We're all in the Gathering Yuan State. I don't think we'll drown."
"Will there by monsters in the water?"
"No idea. But we do have a lot above us."
They jumped down one after another, and the demons also followed.
No one hesitated anymore. They all jumped into the river to escape.