Hu asks Professor Chen if there are a lot of foreign tomb raiders and Professor Chen replies that there are a lot. Especially before the Communist victory. Xinjiang tombs are a prime target because the natural conditions of these locations are awful and deserted. Many historical relics were ruined and destroyed.
As an archaeologist, they’re always battling against tomb raiders. Archaeologists are excavators, researchers, and protectors, whereas tomb raiders are thieves, destroyers, and profiteers. Professor Chen really hates them.
Fatso snidely comments about hearing no difference between the two.
As they continue traveling, they reach an area where their compasses are going haywire and their watches stopped working. Shirley brings this up to Hu and he wonders what’s going on.
They come to a stop and An Li Man tells them that they’ve left the range of the Zidu subterranean river. They won’t be able to find any traces of it anymore. He tells them not to go forward anymore because he really won’t be able to find the way back.
Shirley takes out her notebook and starts to get excited as she pieces together everything that’s happened to them. The notebook says in the depths of the desert night, they lost sight of the Zidu subterranean river. In the vast land of death, two enormous magnetic mountains stood opposite the afterglow of the setting sun. After going through a valley that was like a huge entryway, a city that the legends talked about appeared before our eyes.
When Shirley finishes, Hu concludes that the reason all their stuff is going crazy is because they’re near the magnetic mountains. So now their focus is on finding the mountains as that’s the entryway to Jingjue kingdom.
But then suddenly Ye Xi Xin faints. They find out she’s burning up with a fever. Chu Jian goes and gets some medicine for her. At this point, Sa Di Peng admits to knowing Ye Xi Xin was sick but didn’t say anything. After some water, Ye Xi Xin regains consciousness. She continues to insist that she’ll be fine after she gets some rest.
Hu asks her once more if she’s okay. Then he has Sa Di Peng look after her as he asks the professors and Shirley to go discuss something off to the side.
They settle down in a circle and Hu lays out everything in front of them: the problem with their compasses and watches is because they’re near the magnetic mountains and according to the notebook, if they find the magnetic mountains, it will be the entrance way into Jingjue kingdom. But the problem is, even though they’re so close, first off they don’t know where the magnetic mountain is and secondly, even after they find the mountains, they don’t know the distance between the entrance way and the actual city. Finally, the water they have is enough to get back to the well at Gumo Prince’s tomb but definitely not enough to continue forward.
Basically, he’s presenting them with two options: continue the dangerous path to Jingjue kingdom or go back to Gumo Prince’s tomb. They have to make a choice but also take into consideration Ye Xi Xin’s condition. If they continue going forward, she could die.
He’s laid out all the options for them and wants to hear all their opinions. Each and every one of their opinions is very important.
Professor Chen is the first one to speak. He’s been searching for Jingjue kingdom all his life and with them being so close to it right now, he’s very reluctant to give up. As long as he can get a glimpse of the city, even if he ends up dying there, it would all be worth it. But he’s the one who’s responsible for this expedition and is to be held accountable for all their lives. So he agrees to head back.
Professor Hao disagrees. He’s followed Professor Chen for over 20 years and knows how much blood, sweat, and tears he’s put into researching Jingjue kingdom and preparing for this journey. He says they must not give up.
Chu Jian speaks up and says he also agrees to go back. Professor Hao scolds him and says he’s no student of his if he wants to go back. Professor Chen tells him that they must listen to everyone’s opinion. Chu Jian continues and says that he doesn’t want to give up but he’s really worried something bad will happen to Ye Xi Xin if they continue.
Ye Xi Xin and Sa Di Peng suddenly join their group. The two tells everyone they also want to see Jingjue kingdom. Ye Xi Xin tells them not to worry about her. She’ll just rest for a few days after they’ve found Jingjue kingdom.
Shirley says everyone was already prepared for the worst when they started this journey. Their main goal was to find Jingjue kingdom and no matter what she’s determined to continue going forward.
Fatso then asks Hu what’s his opinion was. Hu tells them honestly that at first he just wanted to make some money. But after going through everything, he’s learned a lot and he too, wants to see Jingjue kingdom. So if they turn back now, he might regret it for the rest of his life. On the other hand though, if they go back now, it’s not going to be 100% safe.
Hu then asks for An Li Man’s opinion and An Li Man says he’ll leave the decision up to God. He gets down on his knees and starts praying again. Then he takes out the medallion coin around his neck. If it’s heads, they’ll continue forward. If it’s tails, they’ll go back. Then he gives it to Professor Chen to toss into the air but Professor Chen seems reluctant to do it and tries to talk An Li Man out of it. Hu steps in and says he’ll be the one to toss it. He flips it into the air and it lands on its side.
Everyone is confused now. Does this mean that God hasn’t decided? An Li Man says God has his own ways. Fatso makes a snide remark about this being the Black Desert and even God doesn’t want to be here.
From Ye Xi Xin’s vantage point of looking at the coin, she sees the magnetic mountain. Shirley quickly checks it against her notebook and confirms that the characteristics matches that of in the notebook.
Ye Xi Xin reassures everyone that she can make it and Sa Di Peng says he’ll take care of her. After that, everyone quickly gets ready to head towards the mountains.
The team reaches the mountains by midnight. Hu checks up on Ye Xi Xin’s condition. She’s still burning up and is getting really thirsty. They must find a water source soon otherwise Ye Xi Xin’s life will be in danger.
As they continue walking, they reach a point where the camels start freaking out and refuse to move. Shirley guesses that there must be something up ahead that’s spooking the. She hands Hu a flare and tells him they’ll go check it out.
Hu throws the flare and they see a person up ahead. An Li Man calls out to them but they get no response. Fatso fires a few warning shots near the person but they don’t even flinch. They start to wonder if he’s dead.
Hu and Shirley decide to go ahead and check it out while Fatso and Chu Jian stays behind to protect everyone. The two gets close enough to the body to poke at it with Hu’s shovel. The guy is dead but it hasn’t been for long and the color of his corpse is strange too.
They find another body near them and only checks it out after throwing another flare to light up the area. Two more corpses are found.
Fatso and Chu Jian joins them and Hu has them go check out the weapons left behind but to not touch the corpses.
Hu goes back to the first one and picks up his rifle. It’s soviet made. He checks the bullet casing and finds that a few shots were fired. He then calls An Li Man over. He asks him to look at the corpses to see if these were the foreigners he brought into the desert previously. An Li Man nods after taking a look at their faces. He also confirms there were four of them so that’s all of them.
Hu tells An Li Man to go back and take care of his camels. They need to move on quickly. Then he calls the professors over.
Both Shirley and Hu finds this situation really weird. They have no idea how the foreigners died and the cause of death. It could be because they were outnumbered or the enemy was more powerful. Either way, it’s best for them not to think about it and to quickly get away from this area. Hu instructs for them to take the weapons and bag of explosives with them.
After checking up on Professor Chen and Ye Xi Xin, he has Fatso lead them ahead first while him and Shirley would help An Li Man with the camels.
Professor Hao glances at the corpse and sees the canteen. He shakes it and finds there’s water in it. Hu notices this and tells him not to move. Professor Hao ignores him and tells him the water can help Ye Xi Xin. Hu is shouting at him to not touch the corpse now.
All of a sudden a black and red snake comes hissing out of the corpse’s clothes. It sees Professor Hao and lurches at him. Hu moves quickly and chops the snake’s body in half with his shovel while Professor Hao quickly moves backwards.
Just when they thought they were safe, the head half of the snake lurches and sinks its teeth into Professor Hao’s neck. He tries to pull it out but it’s too late, the poison is quickly spreading through his body and he falls back.
I don’t really like Fatso but I live for his snide comments lol.
That Professor Hao…I’ve noticed all he is is book smart. He kind of lacks social cues and common sense. He reminds me of those types of people that are just all up in their books all the time with no real understanding of the real world.
We getting to close to the end now~ two more weeks!