Chapter 3: Door to Hell
Translated by me, edited by Kai.
This goldfinger ability (1) is really easy to use, but there still exists a major problem. The only way to effectively collect scales is by finding a pristine environment with little to no pollution. This is exactly where the problem lies, especially in China. There are many places with pristine environments and some of these places haven’t even seen development much less pollution and contamination. But these locations are either in areas that are hard to reach or are too dangerous.
With Jiang Hai’s current abilities he: one – doesn’t want to become a savage, and two – he doesn’t want to get involved in some weird conflict with the locals. So with much thought and advice from outside sources, he felt that it would be a wise decision to buy a piece of land outside of China. Leaving the country is completely fine and all, but where the heck does he get the money from?
Using his dragon’s blood to irrigate flowers can be very effective. From his experience, a pot of flower sold to some southerner can easily earn him 300,000 yuan (2), but that’s at the cost of 3 scale pieces. If he wants to immigrate, then he couldn’t even think about it without at least several tens of millions of yuan. 100 pots of flowers can roughly be worth 30,000,000 yuan, but that means he needs to wait at least 2 years. Furthermore, how can he level up with these conditions?
He definitely does not have the patience to wait that long. Luckily, in the final fragments of the dragon’s memories, he noticed the existence of a treasure vault: the ancestral dragon’s cavern. There appears to be lots of shiny jewels hoarded there and from the looks of things; they appear to be extremely valuable.
As such, Jiang Hai, determinedly sold two flower pots for a total of 600,000 yuan. He set aside 400,000 to pay of Qi Li’s loan as well as a divorce application. He had called Qi Li, but was rejected by the assistant, so, without further ado, jumped aboard a plane and headed towards Qinghai.
After arriving at Qinghai, the location of the cavern was not hard to locate given the rough location in his memory. If memory serves, it is one of China’s most dangerous places according to legend. The Door to Hell.
The Door to Hell, commonly known as valley of death, is located in the Kunlun mountain range at the Qing – Tibetan border. This area contains perfect conditions for pastures, but it is incomparable with conditions in inner mongolia. To be honest, no one wants to herd their livestock in this area because this place is just too evil.
A long time ago, there used to be many people who entered this valley for one reason or another. But after they enter, they all have the same ending. No one ever came out. Even though the government has conducted research in the area, their result was not too satisfactory as they only came up with three dangers. One, this area contains a huge magnetic field underground making all electronics including compasses useless. Secondly, due to a combination of a strong magnetic field and a lack of tall vegetation, people tend to become lightning rods, effectively making them living lightning magnets.
However, the most frightening is the third reason. This area is covered in hidden rivers and swamps. Once you fall in, no matter who or what you are, you’re pretty much guaranteed to die making this area a natural zone of death (3).
If it wasn’t for that fact that Jiang Hai can breathe underwater, then he wouldn’t even consider coming here. After reaching here, don’t mention guides, once people hear he’s headed to the Door of Hell, nobody is willing to even rent him a car. Therefore, he can only slowly walk there. Even with a body which has reached human limits, it still took two full days before he reached the stone tablet that marked the bounds of the valley of death.
After hiking another five kilometers in, it is already 5pm. Although right now it is bright with the sun high in the sky, if this was Harbin, then there would be signs of the sun setting. China covers multiple time zones, from GMT +5:30 to GMT +8:30, but the state only recognizes one time setting, Beijing Time, GMT +8. At around this time, anyone who has some knowledge about camping would know that it is about time to set up camp.
There exists many steps in setting up a textbook campsite: find a dry and flat location, place and secure the tent, and finally light a large enough bonfire to last the whole night. If the location you’re at is full of bugs, some bug repellent or incense could also be handy. As for camp food, it mainly consists of dried rations and most asian’s favorite food, instant noodles.
Camp security is another serious matter even in the valley of death, especially stuff like warning bells. Even somewhere like the valley of death where it is considered to be a dead place, there still are various creatures that may be dangerous. Places like the valley of death are a scavenger’s heaven due to all the electrocuted corpses, so caution is a must. Another point of precaution in the wild is against other humans. Human nature is somewhat better in an urban environment, but out in the woods you never know what they will do. Specifically, no one should be stupid enough to believe everyone you meet is a kind old man.
Thankfully, this night passed without any incident. As soon as the sun rose, everything was packed and ready to go. After 2 full days of hiking, Jiang Hai finally reached his destination in accordance to the dragon’s memories. In front of him is a piece of wetland, but it is definitely not as peaceful as it looks and no one knows how deep it goes.
“Ah, Fk it!” After a deep breath and some encouragement, Jiang Hai prepared his special gear and jumped into the wetland. The moment he entered the wetland, his body almost stopped listening to his commands and began to rapidly sink.
Wetlands and water are pretty much the same. Heavy objects that enter will sink, objects with buoyancy can float, and humans can use their hands and feet to swim. The only difference is the existence of soil particles in wetlands which highly restricts movement. With his very expensive breathing apparatus (4) which can filter out mud, Jiang Hai quickly sank.
Several hours later, Jiang Hai began to feel the mud around himself start to loosen. He knows that this is the start of the underground river system. Sure enough, an hour later, his body suddenly accelerated and sank into a rather still looking pool of water.
By turning on his waterproof flashlight, he was prepared for a special underwater world with all kinds of marine animals and such. Sadly, what awaited him was a clean and clear river system where you can see straight to the river bed. The river bed was filled with all kinds of bones, some from animals others from humans. Some sort of worm like bug is slithering around, making Jiang Hai feel disgusted, and forcing him to quickly follow the path, provided by the dragon pearl, downstream.
1. This is talking about his cheat blood ability, if anyone is confused
2. Okay, we’re confused about this as well, the raw says 一盆花，…，卖了三十万. There is no way a ‘pot’ of flowers is worth 300,000 yuan (44,948 USD)… unless he sold drugs? :O
3. 生命禁区 – there has got to be a better translation than ‘zone of death’ that flows with the sentence
4. He can only breathe in pure water, so mud doesn’t count due to being part water part soil