Immortal - Book 1: Chapter 2
Dragon Gate Gorge
Three days later at the Zhong residence, in a hall at the rear of the compound, old man Zhong watched his eight excited sons as he stood with a cane that had a dragon head handle.
“Is everything taken care of?” asked old man Zhong.
“Yes, father.” they nodded excitedly.
“Everything in the household has already been planned and will be carried out in an orderly fashion. Don’t worry father.” said Zhong Tian.
“Un,” old man Zhong nodded and a flash of joy could be seen in his eyes. He look at his seven sons who had reached the pinnacle of Hou Tian once more and nodded in satisfaction.
He lightly tapped the floor of the hall with his dragon cane in a rhythm.
With surprise, his sons watched as the floor split open in two and slid apart to reveal a passageway with stairs that went into the ground.
They watched with astonishment, even Zhong Tian, who had been serving by his father’s side, had his eyes wide open in shock. How many more secrets did their father have?
“Let’s go,” old man Zhong led in the front as he slowly walked down the stairs.
His sons looked at each other but none of them decided to ask any questions.
As they walked deeper, the passage grew larger until they entered a great hall, a huge hall underground.
On the wall, there was an ornamental carved wolf head. Old man Zhong gently turned the wolf head which closed the original opening they had entered from.
His sons were in awe of the hall. The hall was massive and very, very long. At the side of the hallway, there was an enormous passageway that seemed to stretch forever. Along the walls there were lights, one after another, that illuminated the way. At the side of the passageway, there was a huge metal cabin?
The entire passageway was filled with iron bars, two of which stretched off long into the distance.
In front of the metal cabin stood about a dozen people, who bowed deeply when they saw old man Zhong. It was obvious that old man Zhong had already arranged for this beforehand.
He looked at the metal cabin and gave a deep sigh, what is this? A train from his previous life, the most primitive steam train.
Zhong San did not have the knowledge to recreate the technologies from the memories of his previous life, but he still knew how the most primitive steam trains operated. By burning coal to create high pressure steam which would in turn move pistons in an engine.
In these last fifty years, he searched for many skilled craftsmen. After spending almost twenty years, they finally developed a steam engine. With these craftsman and his recollections, they were able to finally recreate the most primitive train.
But Zhong San never publicly revealed this invention. It was better if only he knew about it.
Therefore, he built a railroad track underground.
Old man Zhong had a great amount of wealth, a lot of money, and so had no qualms about splurging on such a project.
Even a rabbit has three burrows, then what about old man Zhong?
“Let’s go in.” old man Zhong led everyone into the train car. The eyes of his eight sons were full of surprise. What exactly was this? Weren’t they going to the Dragon Gate tournament?
After the door was closed, old man Zhong told the men outside, “Let’s begin.”
“Yes sir,” the dozen people outside answered straightaway.
Sitting inside the luxurious cabin, his sons suddenly felt the metal cabin had begun to move.
And from the front, they could hear the loud sound of something roaring.
~HongLongLong~ ~HongLongLong~ …………………….
The steam train, deep underground, began to quickly move towards old man Zhong’s destination.
The minds of his sons were full of questions as they watched the lights quickly pass by them one after another through the glass windows. This was how they knew that this metal cabin was moving very quickly.
They were staring at each other in amazement and finally all directed their gazes at old man Zhong.
Old man Zhong, at that very moment, held the dragon cane as he sat with both eyes closed and seemed to be resting. Thus none of his sons disturbed him and buried their questions in the depth of their minds.
Three days, for an entire three days, the train traveled for three days. His eight sons knew by now that they were very far from home.
For three days, the train continued in loudly roar. At first the sons were surprised by the racket but had gradually grown accustomed to the noise.
On the third day, the train slowly came to a stop.
Still underground and still within a large hall, old man Zhong led everyone off the train and through a similar passageway to go above ground into another familiar hall.
“This is at the foot of Heng Mountain, this villa is my personal property. Rest for two days. I want you all to be at your best. After these two days, we will go to Dragon Gate Gorge and enter the tournament.” said old man Zhong.
“Yes,” everyone replied.
They then walked out of the hall and with their own eyes confirmed that it was indeed a large villa. There was a multitude of servants who all bowed to old man Zhong as he passed by. After he gave his instructions, his sons were taken by a housekeeper to their own guest rooms.
After he sent his sons away, old man Zhong walked into a small courtyard. This was where his own living quarter was located. As he gently pushed the door open, he saw his freshly cleaned room.
There was a large bed inside with some luxurious cabinets. On the wall, in front of the bed, hung a framed painting.
The paper of the painting was very old, so naturally, the painting had existed for a long time.
He slowly walked to the painting and examined it very carefully.
The painting was of a woman, extremely beautiful with bright eyes that shone like stars, white teeth, shining black hair, and very good figure. She wore a red fur robe and held a very pretty flower with one hand to her nose. She had a faint smile as she smelled the fragrance of the flower. Her smile was so dazzling that it made the world around her lose color.
A complex feeling flashed in old man Zhong’s eyes as he looked at this gorgeous woman.
“Bao Er, have you forgotten me? Why haven’t you come back by now?” Old man Zhong’s face filled with a bit of sorrow and a bit of heartache.
After quietly standing in front of the painting for two hours, old man Zhong finally sighed, shook his head and sat down on the bed.
He set the dragon cane besides the bed and tried to calm himself down. He crossed his legs and started to meditate. The Dragon Gate Tournament was fast approaching and he had to be in the best condition to welcome it.
Two days later, outside the villa, old man Zhong led the way and followed by his eight adopted sons.
The direction they were heading was the big mountain range north of the villa. It was very rugged, with no trail at all. If they weren’t martial arts masters, they wouldn’t have been able to climb the mountains. Along the way, there were poisonous grasses and bugs everywhere. If it were not because of old man Zhong’s decades of experience, they probably would have gotten infected.
The eight adopted sons all became tense as they saw their surroundings.
The youngest son, Zhong Shi Jiu, had been holding the dragon cane this whole time. Everyone, except the eldest, Zhong Tian, had reached the top of Hou Tian, so they could easily keep up in the rugged terrain. Only Zhong Tian was slower, but old man Zhong would patiently slow down to wait for him.
At night, they would find a place to rest and recover their energy. Only Zhong Tian was keeping guard; watching all directions ready to ward off any wild animals and poisonous bugs.
Zhong Tian had a somewhat straightforward personality, even though he was the eldest but his progress in training wasn’t the fastest. He only reached the eighth rank of Hou Tian. Zhong Tian wasn’t holding any expectations either; he had come merely to see the legendary Dragon Gate Tournament.
He certainly could not let old man Zhong keeping watch for the night, as for the other 7 sons, Zhong Tian always felt that they were very snobbish. They only respected him when they were children, moreover, only when it was in front of their father. But Zhong Tian was a simple and gentle man, he didn’t mind it too much, their abilities were way above his anyway.
It’s strenuous to walk such a great distance through the mountains. Even though there weren’t any wild animals, they had encountered poisonous bugs, grasses, and miasma. But every time, old man Zhong would come up with the appropriate herbal medicines to deal with it. Therefore, their journey was frightening but without any real danger.
After seeing all the medicines that their father brought, it was not difficult for his sons to imagine that their father had passed through here many times before and was very familiar with the area.
Five days later, they finally climbed over the last of the many mountains and reached the edge of a valley.
At that moment, there were other people coming here from different directions. They didn’t recognize most of them. But, there was one group of six people whom they could recognize with just a glance.
One of the four great families of Da Kun, the Zhao family?
“That’s the master of the Zhao family?” Everyone was obviously stunned.
The leader was a man clad in white robe and looked like he was in his 40s or 50s. But all the sons knew that he was the master of the Zhao family. He was about the same age as old man Zhong. His young appearance was the result of his training, having reached the realm of Xian Tian.
“Zhong Shan?” the master of the Zhao family recognized old man Zhong with his dragon cane right away and a flash of disbelief appeared in his eyes.
“It really is a small world, Master Zhao. How have you been?” old man Zhong gently smiled.
Behind Master Zhao, there were five men of the Zhao family who all had a look of disdain at old man Zhong’s sons. Yet when they turned their attention to old man Zhong, they still regarded him with some respect. After all, the legend of old man Zhong in Da Kun was known by all, even the great houses that had existed for over a thousand years were impressed by him.
Old man Zhong was a legendary figure, even though he came from an unknown background, but his contributions were worthy of praise. But for all of these adopted sons, they only benefitted from their father’s accomplishments at best.
“Haha, I didn’t expect that you knew of this place. You’re truly not a simple man.” Master Zhao spoke to Zhong Shan with squinted eyes.
“I’m only bringing some of the next generation to experience it. As for Master Zhao, which Immortal School are you preparing to enter?” old man Zhong asked.
“Enter an Immortal School? Haha, you and I are the same age; I’m already eighty years old. Even if I had family members inside a school, they wouldn’t let me enter. This time, I am merely bringing the next generation that have some potential to try out our luck.” Master Zhao chuckled while shaking his head.
“Is that so, then I wish Master Zhao good luck.” said Zhong Shan.
“Un, same here. I also wish that someone from your family can enter a school.” Master Zhao narrowed his eyes at the adopted sons.
“Un” old man Zhong nodded.
“Farewell,” said Master Zhao.
“See you at the Dragon Gate Tournament.” nodded Zhong Shan.
Afterwards, Master Zhao naturally went ahead first.
Zhong Shan, with a very serious visage, stood at the edge of the valley watching the Zhao family enter the valley. He narrowed his eyes as he pondered for a while.
“Let’s go in.” old man Zhong, with the dragon cane in hand, told his sons.
“Yes.” they nodded in reply.
They slowly followed old man Zhong with many other groups of people as they all entered the valley.