Chapter 646: Stairway of the Sun!
Translator: Translation Nation Editor: Translation Nation
After a series of inspections, Sheyan found traces of the fire dyke having been set aflame recently! This indicated that the remnants of Ndipaya aborigines remained devout until today, wishing their sun deity would bless them with a final ray of hope.
However......a faint speculation was currently brewing in Sheyan's heart. If his conjecture wasn't wrong, this could likely be a dead loop. The more of such ceremonial rites were conducted, the more perilous the situation of the Ndipaya tribe would become.
Even though Sheyan was burning with impatience and constantly urged Mbenga to search for the 'Stairway of the Sun', Mbenga instead shook his head relentlessly. He gazed into skies above, as though signaling that the time wasn't ripe yet. Moreover, it seemed like they still had to wait for a very long time.
Since there was nothing he could do, Sheyan explored the environment before huddling into a corner to take shelter from the wind, before falling into deep sleep.
Sheyan slept rather soundly, but during the middle of the night, he was abruptly startled awake by a peculiar sound. Quietly, he climbed up and glanced over.
Unbeknownst when, Mbenga didn't sleep at all but had actually triggered a hidden mechanism. Sheyan beheld a concealed stone room that was heaped with bulks of firewood.
Right now, Mbenga was continuously transporting bulks of firewood towards that massive bonfire dyke. Placing them above the stone mainstay of the dyke, he was preparing to ignite them.
Astounded by what he was seeing, Sheyan was about to stop him! Instead, Mbenga's movement was mysteriously rapid.
Instantly after, a raging inferno blazed up from the firewood. The massive bonfire dyke had probably already been infused with flammable substances like grease, thereby presently fuelling this tremendously grand bonfire of unrivaled brilliance!
Mbenga turned towards Sheyan with a countenance of righteous vehemence, along with a hint of rampant zealotry. Stammering, he proclaimed.
"Fl...flames of th..the holy altar....m-m..messenger of f-f-fire! Dawn of the....Stair of the Sun...harvest...ta..talent. Guarba appears....thereafter....mi...mine, revenge!"
Mbenga's speech was inarticulate and disjointed, but its undying meaning was unquestionable; chopping straight to the nail and slicing the iron! An incisive fieriness radiated from both his eyes, as steam spiraled from his face like the tongue of a feral beast.
At this moment, Sheyan's heart subconsciously flushed with an acute boiling sensation. Observing the time now, it was already 5 plus in the wee hours of the morning. In at most another hour, the sky would brighten. Right now, Sheyan no longer spoke much but merely released a long sigh, before passing over all his remaining rum to Mbenga.
Laughing heartily while drinking the delicious rum, Mbenga continued recalling fragments of memories in his drunken reverie. Concurrently, he briefed Sheyan on various matters that he should pay attention to.
Gradually, the blazing inferno extinguished. The marble white color of the dawn sky surfaced from the east, heralding a contamination of red clouds along the horizon.
Sheyan spied with his keen eyesight, the numerously packed cavern exits of the opposite mountain range; appearing like a discarded beehive. From those exits, he noticed an unceasing stream of humans climbing down, descending into the city of ruins beneath. Clearly, those were the remaining Ndipaya Kingdom Guardians. Possibly, once the 'holy flames' were ignited, they had to make their way here.
When the rays of the sun once again beamed down onto the earth, Mbenga escorted Sheyan towards a rear stage of the massive bonfire dyke.
Following that, he knelt and worshipped piously, before an enormous coiled serpent statue at the center of the stage. Sheyan didn't dare to be too careless and followed Mbenga by crawling over.
Finally, when they both stepped onto the stage, Sheyan abruptly felt his feet sinking slightly; evidently, he had triggered a certain mechanism.
All of a sudden, simultaneously from the right and left of the stage, two ginormous statues slithered up. These two statues were additionally magnificent and lofty, and though they were similarly serpent-headed with a human's body, they grew two heads instead of one!
Amongst them, a large eyeball sprouted out from the left shoulder of one of the statue. That eyeball claimed the same effects of focusing the sunlight, unleashing an incomparably domineering cauterizing beam; blasting rocks aside as it blazed in from afar. A charred stench assailed their nostrils, as Sheyan sprawled devoutly on the ground and observed the beam carving towards them.
Frighteningly appalled by this scene, Sheyan attempted to scramble and evade. Instead, Mbenga forcibly pulled him back and pressed him to the ground. Naturally, it wouldn't be difficult for Sheyan to wrestle himself free. Yet a notion flashed past his mind as he discarded any attempt.
"Since Mbenga hasn't eliminated his nemesis, the one called 'Guarba', he definitely isn't suicidal!"
As such, Sheyan held his breath and remained motionless.
That focused sunlight of unmatched fieriness whizzed in, instantly scalding an unexplainable heat across Sheyan's naked skin. Painful abrasions formed by scattering fragments of crushed rocks.
Yet right before that sunlight beam could devastate them, it arched and halted onto that coiled serpent statue before them. The place where the sunlight converged, was shockingly the left pupil of this coiled serpent statue! If Sheyan had darted towards the statue, he would've been lacerated by the sunlight beam!
Soon after, the other statue followed the same recipe. Its mirror-like eyeball focused a sunlight beam over. However, while Sheyan naively believed he would be unharmed in his kneeling spot, Mbenga suddenly pulled him and left with large strides.....understanding that this mechanism had truly grasped the state of a human's heart, tears of cold sweat trickled down Sheyan's back.
That coiled serpent statue remained unscathed even when two sunlight beams were converging onto it.
All of a sudden, Sheyan felt the ground faintly tremoring.
Within a split second, the entire stage was submerging downwards!
The same sensation as riding an elevator.
Upon reaching its bottommost destination, Mbenga pushed Sheyan off but remained on the stone stage. Widening his thick lips at Sheyan, he bade his farewells with a straightforward and honest smile. Then, the stage once again ascended.
As it turns out, Mbenga had already briefed Sheyan earlier. He would remain behind for his deathmatch with Guarba, and win some time for Sheyan at the same time. Of course, he also explained the specifics of harvesting the 'Stairway of the Sun' to Sheyan, and naturally calmly departed at this moment.
As he observed Mbenga's departing figure, emotions welled up in Sheyan's heart. It could very well be the last time seeing this simple, guileless, honest, tall and sturdy African chap.
After all, humans aren't like the trees and grass, who can remain heartlessly emotionless? What more, they had both trodden on this path of life and death, and Sheyan couldn't repress the intensified pangs of melancholy in his heart.
Nevertheless, he shrugged his head and immediately tossed this notion of out his mind. In a hundred li journey, ninety li was merely the halfway point. The closer he got to the 'Stairway of the Sun', the more dangerous it would be! If Sheyan allowed himself to be distracted, he would meet with an inevitable tragic fate where even his bones would not be spared.
Sheyan scanned his surroundings first. The place appeared like a naturally formed cavern. Even so, it wasn't very dusky and the cavern ceiling was exceedingly towering, at least 7-8 meters in height.
Speckles of basin sized cavities could be seen above, where slivers of sunlight infiltrated these cavities. Still, the winds outside could not pervade through. Hence, the temperature was minimally 7-8 degrees hotter than outside.
The clammy cavern walls exuded droplets of water beads, bringing about a rather moist and humid environment. Vegetation sprouted alongside all corners of the cave, possessing emerald shade flat leaves alongside tiny white flowers.
Following Mbenga's guidance, Sheyan trudged forward and after making a left turn along the cavern walls, he instantly beheld that place.
The place hailed by the Ndipaya Tribe, no, the former ancient Ndipaya Kingdom as a sacred ground!!
The place of the legends that hides the secret of immortality!
The Sun Altar!
At this moment, Sheyan didn't advance forward. Instead, he looked around first. As expected, he discovered a faint layer of copper-green powder sprinkled at a corner of this cave. The sprinkled powder looked awfully unremarkable but stretched over a vast area.
With a flick of his wrist, an IMCO cigarette lighter appeared in his hand. After igniting it, Sheyan flung it onto the layer of powder. Instantly, the powder erupted with sparks; rather analogous to the sparks of gunpowder. Nonetheless, after igniting, the powder didn't emit any queer or unusual smell. Only, it seemed that the combustion of powder radiated out mysteriously high temperature, tarnishing Sheyan's metallic lighter with melted traces.
The Sun Altar didn't occupy an exceptionally vast area. At most, it was equivalent to a conference room of 60 - 70 square meters. For some unknown reason, the cave was particularly clean. An approximate table sized hole had been drilled through the top of this cavern ceiling, allowing the sunlight to effortlessly illuminate through.
This place obviously suited the growth of vegetation. Large quantities of unknown green plants crept around the place, alongside tiny blooming red flowers. In the middle of the altar, a circular flower terrace had been established.
The flowers growing on that flower terrace was clearly Sheyan's ultimate goal - the 'Stairway of the Sun'.
Those flowers resembled vine vegetation lie honeysuckles and grapes, branching out thousands upon thousands. In spite of that, only a primary stem supported them.
The leaf blades of the 'Stairway of the Sun' were broad and thin, even revealing a distinct translucency under the cascading sunlight. The leaves were brightly multicolored like flowers, but its flower bloomed between the nodes of the plant; between the leaves and the stalk. Just like osmanthus flowers, they were minute, dull and unappealing to the eyes. Nevertheless, an unparalleled exuberance of vitality flowed within them.
This circular flower terrace was 7-8 square meters in size. To his horror, the principal laying bricks of this flower terrace were astoundingly ash-gray human skulls!
They all appeared with widened mouths, impressing a sensation of fanatically wailing in distress. Occasionally, liquid condensation from the flower terrace would flow into the mouths of the arranged human skulls, before dripping down.
Such a wicked portrait appearing in this clean, tranquil, warm and comforting cave, indeed released a ghastly contradiction to anyone's senses.
Amidst the bright, beautiful and fragrant scenery, Sheyan felt an indescribable sensation of evil.
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