Chapter 21 Poker-face Appears

I don’t know how long I stayed in that place, just standing there and looking at this figure.

What’s going on? Didn’t he say it would take ten years? Why did he come out?

Was he deceiving me after all? Or does this mean that there was another change?

And he came here. Is this place really the key to everything, so as soon as he came out of the bronze door, he came here?

When I went around to the front of this figure, my sluggish doubts turned into anger and frustration. This was because I found that this wasn’t a person sitting here but a stone statue.

A black jacket had been neatly draped over the stone statue, and a snow cap had been placed on its head, which made it look exactly like a real person.

My anger was directed at whoever pulled this prank and put the jacket on the stone statue, but I couldn’t help but wonder why this figure was so similar to Little Brother.

I got closer and saw the stone statue’s real face. It was a simple statue carved from Himalayan rock. It was very crude and lacking in details, but the overall figure really did look similar to Little Brother’s. I subconsciously looked at the hands and fingers of the statue but found that the carving wasn’t detailed enough to show the fingers.

I looked around and found that this jacket was very valuable. It wasn’t easy for travelers to get to this place, and it was impossible for anyone to take two sets of clothing with him and then leave one behind for a practical joke. This jacket had to have an owner, and if he wanted to go down the mountain, then he’d definitely have to come back here and pick it up.

But there was no one else in the area. I circled around a few times before coming to stand in front of the stone statue to get a closer look at it.

This kind of feeling was very strange. There were very few images of Little Brother around me. Except for some blurred images in a few photos, there was nothing left from the time I had spent with him.

In the hustle and bustle of things, you could only have true friends when your life was meaningless. Otherwise, it was a question of whether the friends you made during significant events would still exist after the significance disappeared.

I lit a cigarette and looked at the unfinished stone statue, thinking that I must ask Old Lama what it was. But I soon found that the statue wasn’t without details, they just stopped halfway.

The degree of detail on all of the carved parts was completely different, with the most detailed part being the face. It must have been done first.

I could see the expression of the stone figure and the sculptor’s intention from all of the details on this face, and found that it really was Little Brother.

Little Brother’s face was actually quite unique. He wasn’t the sort of person who would get lost in a crowd. But I didn’t care about that, what I cared about was the expression on this face.

I found that it was crying.

I took a few steps back, feeling even more creeped out. I found that the whole statue presented a shocking scene—Little Brother sitting on a stone with his head down, crying.

Little Brother never showed any obvious expressions. Not to mention crying, I never even saw him express the slightest ounce of pain.

I looked at the stone statue, finished smoking all of my cigarettes, and decided to take the jacket off of the statue and ask Old Lama about it directly. But as soon as my hand grabbed the jacket’s surface and squeezed, I found that something was wrong. My hand was covered in dust.

I continued to unfasten the zipper and buttons carefully and found that this wasn’t a black jacket at all. The original color couldn’t be verified—it was probably white or red— but it became black because it was too dirty and old.

The jacket must have been draped over the statue for a long time. Based on the material, it was made of nylon composite, but the style was very new and shouldn’t be older than three years. That is to say, this garment was worn by someone who put it on the stone statue within the past three years, but this person didn’t take it back later, and no one seemed to have found it during this period.

When I asked Old Lama about it later, he told me that the lamas were only active in a small area and that many areas of the temple might never be visited by them. Only those who had built the place had been there.

In other words, it was impossible to verify who carved this stone figure and who put the snowsuit jacket on it. Old Lama helped me ask some people, but nothing came of it because almost all of the lamas said that they hadn’t been to the courtyard since they entered the temple.

I believed in the lamas’ honesty because the ones who came to this place were very devout. Their curiosity had been overcome in their early cultivation so they all lived in a very simple environment without any desires. They didn’t need to go anywhere, and even if a place was only separated by a door, they wouldn’t push it aside and have a look.

In that case, the stone statue was probably sculpted sometime during the Deren Lama’s era, but almost all of the lamas who had been alive during that time had already passed away. Based on the facts, the person wearing the jacket couldn’t be verified.

I tried to imagine it in my head. When did Little Brother secretly cry in this courtyard?

He must have been seen crying and was secretly carved, and the jacket was put on the statue sometime in the last three years.

There must be a lot of stories there that I don’t know about. Maybe the days when Little Brother lived here weren’t as peaceful as I had originally thought.

I returned to my room and asked my guy to go through the information quickly. I wanted to find any records about “crying”. Meanwhile, I carefully examined the jacket in the room, trying to find any information about its owner. I knew that as long as there was a breakthrough, I could shed this cocoon and find decisive clues.

This was a Columbia-brand jacket, an American brand founded in 1938 whose sales volume was very large. There were shops with this brand almost all over the world so it seemed impossible to start from there. Plus, the original color couldn’t be verified at all. All I knew was that the size of this jacket was XL. It was likely that a man wore this size, or maybe a stronger woman, but the possibility of the latter was much smaller than the former.

It wouldn’t belong to one of the locals either, because those who would wear such professional snowsuits were basically from scientific research teams. The probability of the owner being someone ordinary was very small.

I felt through all of the pockets and found some coins in one, which turned out to be foreign coins. I didn’t know much about foreign coins, but I assumed this meant that it was a foreigner’s jacket. In another pocket, I found a receipt for a restaurant. I couldn’t guarantee that it was a restaurant in Motuo, but it was surely somewhere in Tibet.

In the inner pocket of the jacket, I found a piece of paper wrapped in a waterproof bag.

This paper was completely sealed in the bag, and when I took it out, I found a series of words written in German on it, followed by a series of numbers: 02200059.

I sucked in a surprised breath and immediately asked my guy to go down the mountain to find someone to translate the German. But on the other hand, I was in a bit of a hurry. I remembered the German tourists and immediately asked some of the lamas to go to the place where they were resting and ask them for help.

Several of the lamas knew some German pronunciation, and the German interpreter also helped translate it, so I learned that the words written on the note were:

Dear Mr. Zhang, I have opened the old box you gave me and understand what you mean. I’ve deduced the whole course of events of the world changing, which you had told me about. I understand that the situation you were worried about is already happening.

I apologize for what I said before, and I hope that your people’s methods will continue to be effective for some time, as this is not a problem that our generation can solve. I will try my best to persuade my friends to leave their real hope in the future ten years from now. I hope you can remember us at that time.

The next arrangement for opening the box is 02200059. It should be the last one. We’re running out of time, so I’m eager to see you or your colleagues as soon as possible. If you see this note, please write a letter to my original address and I will be there immediately.

No matter who sees this note, please put it back in its original position. We hope to transmit this information to a very important person.

The signature was blank, but a strange emblem composed of German letters was drawn there instead.

<Chapter 20><Table of Contents><Chapter 22>


Updated 12/11/2021


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