Zu An smiled.
He held Pei Mianmans soft hand and said, “Shes been a great help to me, not just in this dungeon, but outside as well.”
Pei Mianman stiffened.
She hadnt expected him to suddenly hold her hand.
Now that the danger had passed, however, she was able to let herself relax a little.
She closed her hand over his and leaned against his shoulder, her cheeks blushing beautifully.
Mi Li was completely speechless when she saw the two of them embracing so intimately.
What the hell did she do to deserve this She had no desire to watch this disgusting and adulterous couple engage in such a public display of affection!
You have successfully trolled Mi Li for 333 Rage points!
She decided to go back into the Taie Sword so that she wouldnt have to witness any more of this.
Zu An knew that he had truly angered her when he saw the Rage points she had contributed.
However, there was nothing else he could do! There was no way he could just refuse Big Manmans affection! Im sure big sis empress will get used to it eventually.
If Mi Li had known what he was thinking, she might really have exploded from anger.
Pei Mianman said, “Ah Zu, are we going down”
She actually enjoyed this rare moment of warmth.
She didnt want to ruin this moment of intimacy and dive straight into dangers unknown.
Zu An nodded.
Its not just to find the way out.
There might be a huge opportunity down there as well…”
He roughly explained what hed learned from Mi Li.
At the same time, he thought to himself that this was probably one of the Twelve Unknowable Regions.
A secret manual was hidden here! If he could obtain it, it could unlock a new function in the Keyboard system.
Pei Mianman wasnt all that interested in any huge opportunities, but she knew that hanging around this area wasnt going to solve their problems.
It would be better to find a way out first, then take the time to enjoy their relationship.
The two reached an agreement, and headed down the stairs.
When they passed the large cauldron, they noticed that the malicious spirits had already disappeared.
Of the crocodile and the taotie, only two sets of bones remained.
Zu An noticed two special bones with rings of ancient patterns on them.
They even flickered with electricity.
He recalled that these were the two horns on the Taoties head.
Things that could release electricity were definitely extraordinary goods, so he gathered them and put them away.
He instinctively turned around towards the remains of the giant taotie.
Its two horns were even larger, so they should be even more precious.
He moved to pick them up, but when he stepped on the stairs, the strange melody began to play again, and the surrounding air became colder.
The flames on the walls flickered as well.
Zu An immediately pulled back his foot.
What kind of joke was this He didnt want to summon those malicious spirits again! He didnt have any more sacrifices to give!
Despite his regret, he had no choice but to give those two horns up.
The two of them each removed a torch from the wall, then they headed down the dark tunnel.
The stairs werent perfectly straight, but rather wound their way down, as though spiraling around a single pillar.
The images of many Shang warriors were engraved into the walls along the way, along with depictions of dragons, taoties, lightning, birds, beasts, and other decorative patterns.
Zu An wasnt an expert in this field, and could only rely on his knowledge from that one documentary.
He wanted to ask Mi Li for help, but Mi Li seemed really angry this time around, and didnt respond to any of his questions.
As for Pei Mianman, although she seemed to have experienced something magical earlier, that ability seemed to have disappeared, and there wasnt much she could say about those carvings.
A while later, the two of them finally reached the bottom of the stairs.
A grand and ancient-looking boulevard extended out before them, paved with countless massive slabs that had been laid out in an orderly fashion.
The amount of manpower and resources needed to construct such a thing would have been staggering.
The two of them continued onward with torches in hand.
As they made their way further along, Pei Mianman suddenly cried out in alarm and shrank into Zu Ans embrace.
Zu An followed her gaze, and noticed that there were deep pits on both sides of the boulevard.
These pits werent as large as the one they had fallen into, but both of them were similarly filled with white bones.
Zu An patted Pei Mianmans hand to comfort her, then walked over to the edge of one of the pits to have a look.
This pit was only a few meters deep, and did not seem to be able to trap anyone.
However, he was worried that there might be something in the pit, or that there might be some of those strange snakes hidden within the white bones, so he didnt risk going in yet.
Instead, he picked up a small rock and threw it in.
Seeing that none of the dangers that hed envisioned were present, he continued on with his investigation.
“Ah Zu, come back up already!” Pei Mianman was clearly unwilling to head down herself, and she was worried that something might happen to Zu An down there.
Zu An looked around for a while before jumping back out.
“These are probably the pits where the sacrifices were placed.
Theyre different from the pit outside.
These bones seem stronger, more nourished than those poor fellows outside.”
“You mentioned before that this might very well be Yinshangs Imperial Tomb.
The quality of the sacrifices here will surely be higher than those outside,” Pei Mianman observed.
“Thats right.” Zu An had a similar conclusion.
“Whats strange is that those white skeletons outside werent really damaged, yet the bones here are scattered all over the place.”
The skulls of the skeletons here had been separated from the rest of the remains.
It was impossible to figure out which skull belonged to which.
“Captive enemy peoples or warriors were decapitated before being sacrificed, to ensure the highest-quality offerings,” Pei Mianman suddenly said.
Zu An looked at her with shock. How the hell did she know that
Pei Mianman also covered her mouth in alarm after saying those words.
It took her a few moments to calm down again.
“I have no idea what is going on either… I subconsciously blurted that out.
Do you think I was possessed”
She was extremely worried.
Now that there was really something going on between Zu An and herself, she was hopeful for the future.
She didnt want anything bad to happen to her now.
Zu An said seriously, “I dont think youre being possessed.
Im guessing that you have some sort of connection to this place.
You dont need to be scared.
Its not necessarily a bad thing.”
He recalled what Mi Li had said earlier. Who knows, maybe this dungeon really does need the both of us to be here.
His comforting words helped to put Pei Mianman a little more at ease.
However, a thin film of fear still clung to her, and she didnt feel as confident and bold as she usually did.
The two of them continued onward, noticing similar pits appearing one after another as they kept on walking.
The remains inside these pits had all been decapitated as well.
All in all, there were well over a thousand skeletons.
Even though there werent as many as in the pit outside, these were all remains of the nobility or of strong warriors, so they were of much higher quality.
Zu An could feel Pei Mianman trembling slightly.
Zu An held her hand and began to move faster.
He wanted to leave this place as quickly as possible.
Soon, though, he had no choice but to stop.
No matter how daring he was, the scene in front of him still made his scalp tingle with dread.
There was a sacrificial pit in front of him.
This pit was smaller than all of the other ones, but the things inside were extremely unusual.
There were seventeen infants inside.
They werent bones, but looked like real babies.
Not only were their bodies pitch-black, but there were all sorts of strange patterns on their skin as well.
If not for the fact that he didnt sense them breathing, he wouldve thought that they were alive!
“How can they be so cruel They didnt even spare the infants…” Pei Mianman bit her lip, her voice quivering with fear and anger.
Zu Ans voice was gloomy.
“In that dream of mine, there was a country called Thailand.
In ancient Thailand, there was a general called Kun Ping who conquered a city.
The leader of the city offered his daughter to Kun Ping as a gift, whom Kun Ping eventually married.
He even stayed in the city until his wife became pregnant.
However, the relationship between Kun Ping and the leader soured, and the leader asked his daughter to kill Kun Ping by poisoning his meal.
When Kun Ping learned of this plan, he killed his wife as revenge.
After his wife died, Kun Ping ripped open his wifes stomach and pulled out her unborn child, then brought it to a temple.
He lit a fire, and then he wrapped up the upper half of the infants body in cloth covered in scriptures.
He placed it on top of the fire and roasted it until the infants corpse dried and shriveled up.
Kun Ping chanted scriptures throughout the entire process.
When the ceremony was over, the infant had become a soul that could communicate with him.
Kun Ping called itGuman Tong.
He brought it with him into battle, and was victorious every time.”
Zu An paused for a moment.
He looked at the scene in front of him and said, “These infants seem quite similar to thatGuman Tong.
I never expected the people of Yinshang to be so ruthless.”
As soon as he had spoken, the infant corpses, whose eyes had been closed all the while, suddenly opened them.
Their eyes flickered with red light, and they slowly began to crawl out of the pit towards the two of them.
The Kuman Thong (or Kuman Nee if the spirit is a female child) is a household divinity in Thailand folk religion, believed to bring good luck and fortune to the homeowner if properly revered.
It has its roots in necromancy and black magic, where an unborn fetus would be surgically removed, roasted in a ceremony, then covered in gold leaf.
Similar practices can be found in the neighboring countries of Laos and Cambodia.