Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Qiu Dao and Wang Jin fought from the cave wall to the cart, hitting it with a thud, fist to fist and then back to the cave wall. Wang Jin grabbed Qiu Dao’s collar, and pinned him against the wall.
Liu Junjie and the others still had the same look as they continued to lean against the cave wall and continue to rest. Lan Yu listened to the muffled sound of fists and kicks, but was a bit alarmed, so he poked Lu RanKong with his finger and asked, “The fight is a bit violent. Do you want to pull them away from each other?”
Liu Junjie added from the other side, “Brother Qiao, Brother Bao, don’t worry, last time they also used a shovel to fight each other. They may look very fierce, but both sides have a sense of understanding.”
“Understanding? Not me, I’m going to hammer this dog to death today!” Wang Jin roared and raised his fist.
Qiu Dao also roared, “Hammer?! You son of a bitch have the ability to collapse this mine!”
Lu RanKong suddenly laughed at this point, but when Lan Yu coldly looked over, he put away his laugh again.
Wang Jin slammed a heavy fist, Qiu Dao’s head deflected, the fist blasted straight into the cave wall with a muffled sound.
“He saw that Qiu Dao could dodge before he used his strength.” Liu Junjie saw Lan Yu stare at them without blinking, so he quickly explained.
Qiu Dao saw Wang Jin’s face redden and raised his fist, quickly shouting, “Liu Junjie, fuck you! Shut up!”
Another fist fell on the wall of the cave with a heavy sound, and Qiu Dao wretchedly crouched down, while dodging and begging for mercy, “Grandfather! Ancestor! I was wrong! Forgive me. If you keep on smashing, the cave will collapse.”
No sooner had he said that than Lan Yu heard a rustling sound and his foot was touched by something. He looked down and saw that it was a small rolling stone. Lan Yu kicked the small stone with his foot and looked up in confusion. Then, he felt the whole cave start to shake and a lot of sand and gravel started to fall.
Before he had time to ask, he heard Lu RanKong suddenly shout, “Not good! The cave is going to collapse!”
There was a rumbling sound from everywhere in the cave, sand and gravel began to fall overhead, and the thick wooden beams supporting the top were shaking and making frightening sounds of breaking wood, ready to collapse.
Wang Jin, still holding Qiu Dao’s collar in one hand and his fist in the other, saw the scene and opened his mouth in shock and muttered, “I collapsed the cave.”
Lan Yu stood still as a steam lamp fell from the cave wall and rolled to his feet with a thunk.
“Brother Bao, Brother Qiao, what should we do? The cave is going to collapse…” Liu Junjie asked Lan Yu and Lu RanKong in panic as the three held their heads in their hands.
“Everyone go under the digger!” Lu RanKong shouted, pulling Lan Yu beside him and rushed in the direction of the dredge.
Lan Yu was pulled by him and stumbled, hurriedly blocking his head with his hands and bending down to follow.
The two mining machines were at the two ends, the others were closer to the one on the left, and Chen Zheng had already swooped under the machine, Qiu Dao also dragged the still dumb Wang Jin under it.
Lan Yu was running but was suddenly dragged back by Lu RanKong. He stumbled back half a step and a big stone smashed in front of him. The two didn’t drag, directly leaping over the stone to continue forward. Just as the sound of wood completely breaking was heard overhead, they made a leap and swooped under the belly of the digger on the right.
After a few loud noises, the roof of the cave collapsed, the sound of rocks rolling down and the sound of the dredge being hit echoed. Lan Yu threw himself on the ground, his face buried in the crook of his arm, and listened to the commotion around him, feeling like the end was near.
Someone beside him moved slightly, so he subconsciously reached over and was held tightly by a dry hand.
“Don’t be afraid, this digging machine is very strong. It can withstand several thousand pounds of weight and won’t collapse.” It was Lu RanKong’s voice.
As soon as his words fell, the mining machine overhead made a creaking sound with the load, and the steel belly of the machine sank down hard.
“AAAH!…” Both of them screamed at the same time.
It was a good thing that the dredge finally stabilized and came to a close stop a few inches from their heads and didn’t continue to fall down. After waiting with bated breath for a few moments, the two finally let out a long sigh.
“Are you okay?” Lu RanKong took Lan Yu’s hand and squeezed it.
Lan Yu shook his head, and after realizing that it was now dark and he couldn’t see his movements, he gave a low muffled sound.
Lu RanKong continued to ask in the darkness, “Where are the others? Say something…”
“Pft, pft, pft, I’m fine.” Liu Junjie’s voice came through the stone crack, still spitting mud from his mouth.
“Lin Lin and I are fine.”
“Wang Jin and I are safe too.”
“Chen Zheng is safe…”
Everyone present reported their safety.
The rocks continued to roll down, and it took another interval before they stopped, and the mine gradually quieted down.
In the darkness, Liu Junjie’s voice was tinged with sobs, “Finally safe! God bless, we survived in the end!”
Qiao Fei also shuddered, “I thought I was dead, but I never thought I’d be alive.”
Lu RanKong found a flashlight near the mine car and tried to push the switch. Fortunately, the flashlight wasn’t broken, and a bright light cut through the darkness. Lan Yu lifted his head and looked out from under the belly of the dredge with the light, only to see a circle of boulders all around; all ways out were blocked.
Lu RanKong saw a small open space to the left of the digger, so he moved his body and slowly climbed out. He squatted down again and pulled Lan Yu out.
Lu RanKong carried the flashlight and surveyed the surroundings. The direction of collapse was the most serious, filled with boulders, blocked tight. He went up and pushed, but the rocks didn’t move at all.
Lan Yu looked at the boulders, his heart chilled, and fell back to the bottom from the joy of surviving the disaster.
“Do you have a light over there? Find a flashlight and see if you can get out.” Lu RanKong said to the others.
After a rustle, someone said, “Brother Bao, we found the flashlight.”
“What about your side?”
“Not good, it’s blocked by rocks and they’re all hundreds and thousands of pounds of boulders.”
Lu RanKong was silent then said, “Then let’s all rest, save our strength and wait for the prison to get us out.” After that, he sat down with his back against the pile of boulders, patted the open space beside him and said to Lan Yu, “Don’t stand there, come sit down.”
“Did the whole mine collapse, or just the Alpha cave?” Lin Lin asked.
Qiao Fei replied, “I don’t know, and I don’t know if the prison will come and dig us out.”
“Don’t worry, the prison will definitely save us, it’s hundreds of prisoners. The key is how long it will take to get out, and hopefully we won’t die of thirst and starvation.” Liu Junjie sighed anxiously.
Lin Lin reassured him, “There is air. As long as there is air circulation, it will last for a few days.”
Lan Yu sat down next to Lu RanKong and didn’t say a word. Although he didn’t make a sound, Lu RanKong still whispered comfortingly, “Don’t panic, it’s okay.”
“I’m not panicking…” Lan Yu said calmly, and secretly grabbed his own pants leg.
The two of them sat in silence for a while, and Lan Yu raised his hand to rub his nose. The dust in the air made his nose a little itchy, so he rubbed it a few times, inhaled again, and suddenly smelled a strange odor. It was like the smell of both rotting fish and shrimp, but also like the ashes of burning grass stalks after the aftermath. There were only wisps of it interspersed with the smell of earth and dust, not very easy to catch.
He twitched his nose and sniffed around, and then moved closer to Lu RanKong for a few sniffs.
“What are you doing? At a time like this, do you care if people smell like sweat?” Lu RanKong asked, puzzled.
Lan Yu ignored him, continued to look for the smell in the air, stood up and walked to the next few large stones. He got close and smelled them, and the smell was emanating from this earth.
This pile of stones fell from the top of the cave and looked nothing special, except that the soil stained on it was different from everywhere else. There were a few small places that looked very wet, showing a black color.
The cave was always dry, so how could there be wet dirt?
“Li BaoZi, come and see what this is.”
Lu RanKong walked over to Lan Yu, went to look at the pile of rocks, stared at the black dirt on it, and frowned.
“Do you smell that? This dirt smells strange, and the color is different from the other dirt.” Lan Yu said.
Lu RanKong reached out his index finger and was about to touch the dirt.
Lan Yu stopped his hand in the air and said sternly, “You should know what it is before you touch it, in case there are corrosive substances that will rot your fingers. Then you have to wipe it on your nose and smell it, right? Can’t you just get closer to smell it? Even if there are no corrosive substances in it, it’s still dirty.”
“I know, I know.” Lu RanKong withdrew his finger and bent down to smell it.
Lan Yu blocked him again, “Don’t get too close…”
“Strange…” Lu RanKong huffed his nose, his brow furrowed tighter, and his expression stiffened.
Several other people heard the movement over here and stopped talking, holding their breath and listening with their ears sideways.
“Brother Bao, is there something with this earth?” Liu Junjie asked.
Lu RanKong looked up at Lan Yu and said with a sullen face, “There’s etching oil on here.”
“Yes, the kind you’re thinking of, etching oil.” He affirmed, his face showing a sternness unlike ever before.
Lan Yu said with a shocked face, “There’s actually… Are you sure?”
Lu RanKong nodded slowly.
Although Lan Yu had never heard of etching oil, he couldn’t be ignorant enough to ask, and combined with the current scene and Lu RanKong’s expression, he understood that at this time he only needed to show shock.
——This was the instinct of being a movie emperor.
“Etching oil? The kind of oil that can erode away stones?” Liu Junjie asked for him.
Lu RanKong didn’t hide it and answered, “Yes…”
He guessed that the others didn’t know, so he explained, “There is a kind of interstellar beast on the planet called the Eroded Stone Beast, whose blood and secretions are highly corrosive. Looking at the diluted liquid on the stone—”
Lan Yu knocked away his finger that reached for the stone without hesitation.
“It can corrode the top of this part of cave.” Lu RanKong then finished.
Lin Lin asked, “But how can there be etching oil here?”
Lu RanKong said after a moment of silence, “Someone should have put it here on purpose.”
“Deliberately… But… but who would put that on the roof of the cave? Is it a prank?” Qiao Fei was asking the others, “Which one of you just smeared it on?”
“Neither did I. I’ve never even heard of this stuff.”
“Are you sick? Would you harm yourself?”
“Wuwu…” Behind the stone, Wang Jin, who had been silent, suddenly cried, covering his face, his tall and robust body trembling along with him, “Wuwu, so it wasn’t me who made it collapse.”
Qiu Dao took him into his arms and said comfortingly, “How could it be you who collapsed it? It was someone who put etching oil on the roof of the cave, so it had nothing to do with you.”
“Wuwu, I’m scared to death.” Wang Jin hammered a heavy punch at his shoulder and leaned his head up again.
Lu RanKong spoke from the other side, “This is watered down etching oil, so according to the concentration and the change in the stone, it wasn’t put here today.”
“Not today? Then when?” Liu Junjie asked.
The cave quieted down, and Wang Jin stopped sniffling and raised his head from Qiu Dao’s shoulder, with a few teardrops hanging from his beard.
Lu RanKong stretched out his foot to poke the stone again, and was kicked away by Lan Yu from the air. He deflected the embarrassment by making a move to bend his leg and retracted his foot, saying, “It was yesterday…”
“Yesterday…” Everyone fell into their memories again.
Lan Yu asked coldly, “What were you all doing yesterday when Li BaoZi was being smoked by me?”
Lu RanKong gave him a look.
“We were all talking.” Lin Lin replied.
Lan Yu asked, “Which people were talking? Did anyone leave in the middle? How long did they leave, and who was left here?”
“None of the four of us left the view of the others, and it’s impossible to smear any etching oil here.” Liu Junjie said.
Lin Lin added, “Me, Qiao Fei and Liu Junjie were talking, and Chen Zheng was sitting next to us. You, Brother Bao, Brother Qiu and Wang left in the middle. Brother Qiu left for more than forty minutes, and you two left for less than half an hour. At that time, all four of us were waiting for you and didn’t move.”
Qiu Dao turned his head to look at Wang Jin after hearing this, with a hint of pride hidden on his face. Yesterday they were in and out of the cave together, and no one stayed alone. Since he couldn’t find out anything useful, Lan Yu also stopped asking.
“It must be the people in the other cells who want to harm us.” Lin Lin said indignantly, “They want to smash us to death inside.”
Lu RanKong said, “It’s true that someone wants to kill us, but it doesn’t have to be someone from another cell. The prison won’t necessarily come to save us, and even if they do, it’s not certain when we’ll get out. We have to find a way to save ourselves.” He took a few steps deeper into the mine, moved a stone, looked at the light for a while, and said, “The back is not blocked, we can go to the back.”
Lan Yu walked up and looked at it, and could see through the crack in the stone that the back was indeed empty.
“Let’s move…” Lu RanKong put down the light and started to move the stone.
Lan Yu also rolled up his sleeves and followed along.
“Brother Qiao, Brother Bao, what are you doing?” Someone on the other side of the cave asked.
Lu RanKong replied, “We aren’t blocked here, so let’s go to the back and see if we can find a way.”
Qiu Dao said, “There are a few forks in the road, but we can’t go far before we reach the end.”
Lu RanKong threw away the stone in his hand and said loudly, “Just because you can’t find it doesn’t mean there isn’t one. You just wait in peace, as soon as Brother Bao gets out, he will lead the men to plow you out from this end.”
“Then Brother Bao, Brother Qiao, you two be careful.”
After moving rocks for a while and finally clearing a gap, the two men turned sideways and carefully squeezed through. This section of the mine hadn’t collapsed and was still intact, except for some debris scattered on the ground.
After Lan Yu followed Lu RanKong for a while, he turned his head and said, “Let’s take this opportunity to check out that little hole and see where it leads.”
“Is it to see if we can exit through the hole?” Lan Yu asked.
“Of course to check if we can get out, but if we can’t, we have to find out anyway.” Lu RanKong said.
Lan Yu saw that he didn’t seem anxious about the situation, so he asked, “If we really can’t get out, then we are stuck here?”
“What are you thinking?” Lu RanKong glanced at him, “Even if the others treat us as prisoners, and it doesn’t matter whether we get out or not, do you think that the warden can afford to take the responsibility? I tell you, once he knows, he will be so anxious that he will send the whole prison to dig us up.”
Lan Yu asked suspiciously, “Really?”
Lu RanKong said, “Trust me, it’s going to be fine, I just scared them. Of course, it’s best if we can find a way out.”
Soon, the two arrived at the small hole they found yesterday. The dark hole was revealed when they removed the iron cart that was in the way, and before they got close, they felt a cool breeze.
Lu RanKong looked around, picked up a piece of thick rope, and tied the light to his back. He said to Lan Yu and went into the hole, “It’s narrow inside, you can only climb, I’ll go in first, you follow me.”
Lan Yu didn’t care about getting dirty now, and followed closely.
The cave looked like a natural formation, with no signs of the use of tools, and the wind gusting in from the front, carrying the cold, damp air. Lu RanKong climbed in front of him with the light on his back, carefully checking the terrain as he climbed. He was tall but athletic, while Lan Yu was smaller than him and climbed with greater effort than him.
“What are you, a lizard spirit?” Lan Yu complained, “Can you climb more slowly?”
“I’m already very slow, always stopping to wait for you.” Lu RanKong slowed down a bit more.
As he climbed, Lan Yu laughed again.
“What are you laughing at?” Lu RanKong stopped, turned his head strangely, and reached out to pull his shirt down.
Lan Yu saw his movement and said, “You think I’m looking at your ass?”
“Then what are you laughing at?”
Lan Yu pointed his chin at the reflection on the cave wall and said, “I’m laughing at the fact that you’re carrying a light and your shadow looks like a turtle.”
Lu RanKong looked at his own shadow and paused, but said nothing more, turning his head and continuing to crawl forward.
Lan Yu hurried to follow. Crawling, his eyes unconsciously fell on the buttocks of the person in front of him. He didn’t even pay attention to Lu RanKong’s buttocks before, but after he just mentioned it, his eyes were uncontrollable, always staring at that place.
Lu RanKong’s buttocks had a good shape, moving, the lines could be seen smoothly, the shape was also very full. In Lan Yu’s filming time, he had seen many outstanding Alphas, but none of their bodies could compare to his. If he wore tight pants and walked on the beach, he would definitely attract a lot of people’s attention.
Lan Yu crawled as thoughts like that filled his mindt, not noticing that the person in front of him had stopped and he almost hit him head on. Then his head was held by a finger and slowly pushed away, and he met Lu RanKong’s eyes full of understanding.
Lu RanKong said indifferently, “You still say you haven’t looked? Your eyes are almost glued to it.”
Lan Yu was speechless for a while, Lu RanKong withdrew the finger on his forehead, and nodded at him in the air, then turned his head and continued to crawl ahead. When he turned around, he grunted and laughed, looking a bit smug.