Chapter 3: The Bronze Mountain
Translator: Mike Editor: Chrissy
The bronze tablet had a trembling trill. It was a sound that hinted the vicissitudes of its age.
Chu Feng put down the block of stone he had been holding in his hand. Without a doubt, it was indeed a bronze tablet, although Chu Feng found it difficult to believe. This was an antiquity entirely made of bronze, so its creation would've certainly been nothing like a walk in the park.
If this discovery were to be known to the public, it would certainly create quite a stir, sending shockwaves throughout the country.
The engravings on it carried evidence of old age as well. Its primitive simplicity was nevertheless mythical and captivating, though no one would ever know when these characters had been etched here to leave an inconspicuous mark on history.
"Why would anyone bury it in the Kunlun Mountains?"
Chu Feng kept beating the bronze tablet. It rung with a consistent trembling trill, but unfortunately for Chu Feng, his lack of knowledge in archaeology meant that the ringing was of little use for him to come up with any valuable conclusions.
"Maybe in the long run of history, there was probably a time when societies were flourishing during the Bronze Age," he muttered this piece of conjecture to himself.
He had never believed in superstitions. Although the Kunlun Mountains carried many mythical overtones, and he had just somehow managed to prove one of those with his discovery, he still couldn't believe in the words of those farfetched legends and fables.
Chu Feng believed that even if Hsi Wang Mu had once existed in history, she would have only been the leader of some powerful tribes in the ancient times, and here, the place where he stood on, would be no more than a collection of ruins from its time.
"A violent earthquake led to anomalies in the mountains' magnetic field, which had then caused the electric discharge of the clouds. This, coupled with the gigantic bronze slabs exposed on the mountain top... will this explain the frequent thunderstorms around the area?"
Chu Feng started to feel more and more certain about this explanation.
He was very keen on digging out this slab of bronze tablet before he could scrutinize its every detail; however, the fact that almost half of it had been firmly buried underground had certainly deprived him of his intent. Besides, he had no tools in hand either, further complicating the matter.
Having lingered about the place for a few more moments, Chu Feng started his uphill progression once again.
The gaping fissures in the mountain were broad and open. The bottomless depth of each fissure very much resembled a sinister gate to hell. It was an abyss, dismal and dilapidated.
There were not many paths along the way. The mountains reared up on each side were steep and stony. Clambering up became a task that seemed less and less possible.
Walking alone on the grand steepness of the mountains was a taxing task for certain, yet it came with great gratification nonetheless. To feel the sense of dominance and potency when surveying the limit of the mountains that had stretched into the vault of heaven, it was truly an awe-inspiring moment.
Clambering up the mountain barehanded for an extra mile, especially during the aftermath of an earthquake, wasn't an easy task to follow. It could also be deadly when rocks broke loose and tumbled down from above.
There was a pile of sand and rocks right ahead on the path, forming a natural barrier to block the road.
Chu Feng sensed something rather eccentric in the distance. He seemed startled and surprised, scurrying towards the site then climbing over the pile to confirm his suspicion.
"It looks like bronze green!"
From a distance, he saw a hint of rusty green on the edge of a precipice, and as he was getting closer and closer, he realized it was not just a trace, but instead a large sheet of rusty green.
At last, he came near the site of his suspicion, and there, he caught a good view of the menacing green patch.
"It really is!"
This was a sight even more astonishing than the bronze tablet he found earlier.
After an immense bulk of precipice had snapped off from its attachment, the site of detachment, where the steepest slope of the mountain was near, revealed a long-covered truth.
There were many green rusty patches on the precipice. They looked antiquated yet mythical. This was an architecture formed solely with bronze. It had stayed hidden for thousands of years until the broken cliff revealed its buried veneer.
The three bronze houses were silent and antique. They had been built near the precipice. Some parts were buried underground, but the majority still stayed erected on the surface.
The houses bore an antiquated characteristic. Its magnificent fa?ade was laden with history.
Shocked by what he had discovered, Chu Feng could no longer stay at peace.
This was a sensational discovery. Any ancient bronze artifacts of such immensity would be historical, let alone an organized terrace of bronze architects.
During which era had these been built? And by whom?
According to his conjectures, this place must have been riddled with many resplendent civilizations that formed during the Bronze Age, centuries before the recorded history.
Chu Feng was both shocked and surprised, but he was also troubled by a string of unease and bewilderment.
The Simuwu Cauldron was honoured as the largest ancient bronze artifact in history, but clearly, it would not even stand a chance against the bronze tablet, let alone these houses.
Undoubtedly, the establishment of these houses would have a much more stringent demand on its craftsmanship.
The bronze houses were built by casting liquid bronze together. The end product looked solemn and mystical.
If this were to be discovered by the public, it would certainly be treated as a gem of ancient bronze artifacts. Its sheer size alone would be subversive enough to challenge the establishment of archaeology.
Chu Feng had always been a cool and composed man, but today, he could steady himself no longer. Discovering a historical remains of this kind in the mountains on the Land of the Great West would certainly send anyone into a state of consternation and amazement.
He tried to push open one of the many bronze doors. As he pushed it open, a slightly piercing noise sounded as metals chafed with one another.
Chu Feng did not immediately enter. He lingered for a while as the room ventilated. He then entered with each of his steps handled with great care. The inside was rather quiet, as if it had been completely cut off from the outside world. Still, the silence in the room was more eerie than tranquil.
The room was empty, fitted with nothing.
The other two bronze houses were also in a similar shape. The inside was totally void. No furniture could be seen or found.
Even after a deliberate search, nothing could be dug out.
Chu Feng withdrew himself from the houses. He felt even more baffled than before. Were these architectures built to serve as a residence? Or were they merely for the use of fete ceremonies?
This must have been a truly unnecessary and extravagant investment at that age!
According to historical records, the Simuwu Cauldron that was casted during the Yin and Shang Dynasty took all three hundred craftsmen's arduous collaboration to make one.
In a time like that, how great of a difficulty it was to cast three bronze houses like these ones.
Chu Feng paused there for a long time before he made a move uphill again. At last, he was near the peak of the mountain after hours of clambering. He was all sweaty and moist.
He was a very fit man. It was just this sheer altitude of the mountain that expedited his level of exhaust.
Gawking afar into the distance at an altitude near the peak, it was all grand vista. Chu Feng felt dwarfed by the sheer scale of the undulating mountains raised from the expansive land.
The altitude here had already been way above the snow line, but no accumulation of snow had ever been found. What stroke Chu Feng as odd was the fact that vegetation had never ceased its verdant growth along the way.
"Signs of lightning strike!"
Chu Feng found some scorching marks on the earth. A huge area of vegetation had also been reduced to ashes.
Besides, many rocks had been torn apart, displaying a woeful sight of the aftermath of a thunderstorm.
This further confirmed his suspicion that the blue fogs appeared a few days earlier; the one glittered with rays of blinding lights was the product of a thunderstorm. This place had clearly been riddled with them.
The road ahead was not easy to pass through. Giant boulders formed an impenetrable barrier fencing off any visitors. Chu Feng had to make a detour around the other side of the mountain.
However, as he was trying to reach the other side of the mountain, his body suddenly stiffened in shock while his pupils constricted in panic. This was the first time he ever felt so aghast; it wasn't even comparable to when he discovered the bronze houses.
Landslides had flushed off a thick layer of soil and rocks. But at the site where landslides had taken their toll, there was an appearance of something lustrous, something metallic.
"A bronze mountain!"
After a large area of earth had been peeled off from the mountain, the sight that had been exposed was truly astonishing to behold.
Not even in anyone's wildest dreams would they imagine that the peak of the mountain was, in fact, composed of bronze, and it had been well-hidden underground.
This was not a small area. Stretching for almost two hundred meters down from the peak of the mountain, the whole section was made of the same composition.
It was almost unthinkable to learn that the whole mountain might in fact be made of bronze. In spite of its rocky slopes and sandy ground, it was the core underneath where the real scene actually lay! By the power of nature, the unthinkable was made possible.
Chu Feng was dumbstruck. This was only one amongst the many mountains of Kunlun, and its bronze composition subverted his mind, challenging both his senses and perception that had formed for a long time.
He had never believed the words of those outlandish hearsays, treating all the so-called legends and fables as some whimsical tales.
But what presented before him could not be more accurately classified other than being supernatural. It was impossible to explain with the law of nature.
The truth of the bronze mountain was exposed after the lightning stroke.
Everything that had happened here was really meant to shock the world.
Chu Feng proceeded uphill along the bronze mountain trail but paused as he found out that the path had gradually developed into a bold cliff almost vertical to the ground. It was too steep to continue on.
At the same time, he scented a delicate fragrance, carried over by leeward.
The ground he was standing on was full of a cold, bronze-colored material which had seemingly prevented any growth of vegetation. The land was barren and empty.
Chu Feng looked up to search for the actual source of the fragrance.
And there it was, a plant growing on the bronze cliff!
It grew almost at the peak of the mountain. Chu Feng retreated a few steps in an attempt to find some other pathways to climb up. He wanted to come closer to the plant for a better observation.
It wasn't long before he could clearly see the plant. It still wasn't the peak, but it provided a good angle.
It was a shabby-looking bush, glossy and green. It measured more than three feet tall, taking root on the bronze cliff. It had a bud that looked ready to burst.
Chu Feng believed his eyes had not deceived him. There were no soil nor sands, but only bronze and copper. It stuck its roots firmly onto the bronze matter.
This was something he could have never imagined.
He moved to another angle and decided on a place easier for him to climb up. He got even closer to the plant. He could see much clearer. It was truly a bush that had taken root on the bronze ground!