Thanks to the Editor for pointing out issues
My Castle, My Castellan – Chapter 20 – The Plan In The Underground Tunnel
“The city lord, how come you’re here? The Magic Cave is unbelievably dangerous. If anything happens to you, then Will is going to become a sinner of the Toss City. Master Bruce, why didn’t you convince our city lord?” While Will was leading the crowd, he asked sentimentally. Since his city lord personally checked the danger beforehand, and all for their safety, how could he not be touched?
“Will, since you’re safe now, why didn’t you send a magic signal?” Bruce asked seriously. This time, the crowd all came when there’s a danger, all because the magic signal was interrupted.
“Master Bruce, the president of Abraham Chamber of Commerce was bitten by the Magic Monster and had lost one arm, he’s now in a coma. Aside from Abraham, no one can send the magic signal.” Will answered heavily, and McQueen could feel the fear in his voice, he thought that Magic Monster must be gigantic.
“Abraham has one of his arms broken?” Bruce was surprised. From his tone, it seems that Bruce had a very good relationship with Abraham.
“We have just suffered from an attack from a super Magic Monster – the Fire Snake Tiger. And Abraham had to sacrifice since he needed to protect the goods. Now, he’s receiving treatment in the tribe, but we’re running out of medication and he’s having a fever on-and-off.” Bruce told the group what they had encountered.
From the moment they entered the Magic Cave, they had already been attacked by the super Magic Monster, the Fire Snake Tiger, and they’d also been attacked many times on the way. There was a particularly dangerous incident, they saw a wind-based Magic Monster, the Cloud Leopard. They even had to sacrifice about five thousand soldiers to drive away from the Cloud Leopard and to restore the safety of the Northern and Southern camps.
When Will brought his soldiers to the magic cave by following the instructions, the number of soldiers had already decreased from 30,000 to less than 20,000. There was an even heavier casualty of the caravan, since they lost 8 trucks of goods.
“At that time, the dwarf tribes were not willing to meet us, but they also showed us the relics of Master Rex. Then, the tribe let us stay in this cave, though still quite reluctant. You should know that the tribe refused to deal with us. We could only squeeze in this cave, and try our luck by looking for some food outside. As the smell of blood had attracted a lot of magic monsters, there’s been an increasing number of casualties.”
“By the way, how did the city lord and you all enter the Magic Cave? And how did you reach this deep part of the cave?” After Will reported what he had experienced, he asked McQueen.
“We’ve used the blood awakening potion, which triggered the blood of the great Arathi in the body of the city lord. The divine nature in the blood was suppressing the Magic Monsters in the cave, and that’s why we managed to find you safely.” Bruce replied.
“The blood awakening potion? Isn’t this too risky? Master Bruce, if the awakening wasn’t successful, then would the city lord…” Will frowned. From his words, one could feel that he’s protecting McQueen, making McQueen have even more goosebumps. This man couldn’t be interested in McQueen, could he?
During their conversation, a team of soldiers was approaching. When they saw McQueen, they all got on their knees, “my city lord!” They all looked a bit miserable, and none of them was in good shape. However, once they saw McQueen, everyone was so excited, as if they were seeing him for the last time. Some were even crying.
“You all have worked really hard, please get up.” McQueen waved his hands elegantly, as if he’s in full control of his identity – 30% of dignity and 70% of gentleness. In this world, only strong people could win people’s respect, and there’s still a strict hierarchy in this regard. After observing for a few days, McQueen understood this principle a bit more. The lord can be friendly to his people, but when determination is required, he must not hesitate. For example, when he was surrounded by the bees, he had to be strong and let people witness his dignity (in fact, he’s just too pissed off and couldn’t think of anything else).
“City Lord, we’ve been following you.” The soldiers exclaimed, and they were reaching the deep part of the cave, their cheerful sounds made McQueen happy.
“You are all my people in the Toss City, and you’re all under me, McQueen. As the leader of a city, this is what I’m supposed to do.” McQueen’s voice was deep and steady. Sometimes, one could even get addicted to pretending. “Will, bring everything together, I’ll lead you all home.”
“Home?” Will was shocked, and said miserably, “the city lord, we still have unfinished business. The tribe wouldn’t trade with us, and our men will have sacrificed for nothing. There were in total 14,382 men, including the principal and the deputy battalion commanders of the Northern Camp, Yanu and Ilita. I really cannot live with their sacrifices.”
“City Lord, we’ll die for our mission!” The soldiers all shouted with determination.
“Um… why wouldn’t these dwarves trade with us? We’re just getting what we want, isn’t it? Do they really have everything already? Don’t they need something to trade with?” McQueen murmured himself, then asked the group. Even though he wanted to tell them that the Toss City no longer has money shortages, and there’re a few hundreds of Toss City with the city lord, McQueen held it back and decided to observe some more before the next step.
“It’s the damn rule about opening the door. The tribe wants to deal with us, provided that we can answer ten questions marked on their stone gate. God, I’ve read those questions and I can reassure you that aside from the words, I didn’t understand anything. Not only me, but no one could answer among the 15,000 men left.” Will frowned and hit his forehead, as he hated himself for not being intelligent enough.
McQueen silently wiped the sweat on his head. What sort of rules is it with the dwarves? Isn’t it the same as the decryption in a game? Who invented this stupid rule anyway?
“Since it can’t be solved, what are you waiting for?” McQueen wanted to try persuading these people again. Since there’s a time limit for his blood awakening, he had to act fast and avoid wasting time.
“We’re not only waiting, but we have a plan.” There’s a flash of light in Will’s eyes.
Bruce asked, “what plan?”
“We are digging an underground tunnel. From here to the east, we plan to dig to the outside of the Magic Cave, so we can safely enter and exit the tribe. And we’ll be able to answer their ten questions one day.” Will couldn’t help but speak loudly, he’s very proud of his plan.
“An underground tunnel plan?” McQueen was thrilled. Will is such a talented guy! He’s got such a wise plan, and apparently, he should be trained even more in the future. “This is such a good idea; it’ll solve many of our issues. It will even rewrite the history of the Magic Cave.”
“But we don’t have enough food. The 15,000 men eat and drink too much. Almost all the flowers in the cave have been eaten by us. There’re too many magic monsters outside the cave, making it impossible to hunt. I’m afraid half of the people are still starving now.” Will’s pride lasted for less than three seconds, and he had to unveil the ugly truth, “right now, leader Percy from the Northern Camp has been sitting in front of the stone gate all day long to figure out the answers of those questions. He’s getting skinnier each day.”
“Has he solved any?”
“Ugh, until now, not even one has been solved.”
McQueen shed a few drops of sweat, and felt hopeless, “it seems that the only solution now is to solve those ten questions. Let’s not spend our time talking anymore. Will, lead us to the stone gate, I want to see what questions they have. If none of us can solve them, then we’ll use some violent means.”
The slope of the cave was very small, then it got wider when they went deeper. On the way, when McQueen saw the soldiers, he immediately greeted them loudly, making them very pleased. Not long after, they arrived in a wide part of the cave. As seen from this part, someone has been digging a new tunnel. Soldiers who were transporting the bricks were all in a hurry, and when they greeted McQueen, most of them were running a bit.
“Where is this tunnel leading to? How deep will it be?” McQueen grabbed a female soldier transporting bricks and asked gently, showing a charismatic smile.
The female soldier was wearing an armor made in cloth, revealing her full figure, and she had pimples all over her face. When she’s pulled by McQueen, she felt both shy and excited. She flushed and stuttered, “um…the city lord…we’re transporting them to an abandoned mine of the tribe, and we’ve only dug 30 miles of the tunnel.”
When McQueen smiled and left, the female was so excited that she felt like being in love. She held her face full of acne, and screamed to another female soldier, “my god, the city lord just talked to me. I’m so excited, it’s incredible. Lily, please pinch me and check if I’m dreaming. The city lord is just too handsome, his sexy nose, his wide ears…and his bright eyes, oh, especially his two front teeth…how cute…”
The stone gate was located even deeper in the cave, it’s about three feet tall and two feet wide. It’s full of ancient carvings. In front of the gate, there’s an oil lamp. A giant man with a beard was sitting in front of it, frowning and into his deep thoughts.
“Is this the stone gate with questions?” McQueen stepped forward and saw the messy words on the gate. He didn’t understand one word of it, and they were not any kind of text that McQueen understood before (he has always understood only Chinese anyway…), so messy that they looked just like some random spells.
“Oh, you are…the city lord!” The giant man was surprised when he saw McQueen. He hurriedly got up and want to salute, but accidentally leaned to another side. He must have sat for too long and his legs became numb.
“Percy, don’t be too excited.” Will hurriedly supported Percy. Although he’s tall, he’s quite skinny.
“The city lord, is that you? Am I just having bad eyesight?” Percy struggled in Will’s arms to bow to McQueen, and asked while trembling, “the city lord, how come you’re here?”
What a good guy, see how respectful he is. McQueen felt relieved and replied gently, “Commander Percy, there’s no need to be polite. I really couldn’t stop worrying, and I had to lead some people here to see if we could rescue you.”
“The city lord has such a kind heart. I’m afraid that I don’t deserve your kindness. I can only worship my brothers who have sacrificed, yet I can’t finish their mission.” Percy wanted to bow again, but Will instantly pulled him. He’s probably too weak to even bow right now.
Bruce said to himself in his mind, “obviously, we persuaded you to come. How come you made it sound like you’d made the initiative? It’s unfair.”
And McQueen replied in his mind, “if one is too kind, he cannot achieve anything big. When you’re shameless, you can win everything.”
“Tell me, what are these questions about? The light is too dim, I can’t read them clearly.” McQueen said with a calm look, as if he meant that. The fact is, he didn’t even know one word of it.
“Right, the city lord. These questions are very weird. I am not a very well-educated man, and I can only read them to you word by word. But I wouldn’t know how to explain them to you. The first question is…”