Chapter 35 Everyone Has Disappeared

I ran to the courtyard where the head lama’s room was located and saw that the young lama who usually waited at the door was also missing. I pushed the door open and went in, only to find that it was dark inside. I fumbled for the lampstand and then looked around the entire room.

There was no one. The lamas were gone.

I suddenly began to tremble as I thought of many things from the past. I seemed to have experienced such scenes several times before.

Every time something like this happened before, something big usually followed. I patted my head and told myself to get back to Fatty, hoping and praying that he was still there.

When I saw Fatty standing next to the statue of Little Brother, I almost burst into tears.

The heavens had eyes. After being unlucky so many times and for so many years, God finally showed his hand and didn’t leave me completely alone for once.

If even Fatty disappeared and I became all alone again, I felt that even if I didn’t go crazy, the feeling of utter despair would definitely make me do a lot of unreasonable things.

Fatty was a little surprised when he saw me enter the door out of breath. “Are you in trouble again?” He asked. “You don’t look like you successfully completed the task.”

What exactly am I supposed to look like when I succeed? I asked myself. Should I rush in singing “The Internationale”? (1)

“I didn’t get into trouble, but it’s not good news,” I said to Fatty. “So many things…I don’t know how to tell you. Be quiet first and let me touch you to see if you’re really here.”

Fatty was puzzled, “What are you rambling on about?”

As we entered the room and Fatty closed the door, I gradually recovered. Seeing that the lama was still obediently lying on the ground, I wondered how Fatty was safe and sound. Were these prisoners picking who they were going to revolt against, or did I just have a look that screamed “easy to escape from”?

Fatty asked me again, but I was still a little confused and didn’t know where to start. After hesitating for a long time, I eventually said to him, “They’re all gone.”

“Gone? Gone where?”

“I don’t know. I didn’t see anybody anywhere. Even the lamas are gone. Did they go for a late-night snack?” I tried to learn from Fatty’s previous style and made a wisecrack.

Fatty frowned and made a “sss” sound before saying, “You said you’ve improved, but where? You used to scream a few times before, but now you can’t even speak. Let me tell you, this kind of dangerous humor is especially high-level. Now there are human skin masks everywhere, so we can’t mess around, especially if you weren’t like this before. If you suddenly act like this, I’ll think something’s off. If I hadn’t lived and nearly died with you for so many years to the point that I know your tone so well, I might have thought that you had been replaced again.”

Seeing that Fatty was very serious and that there was some truth in what he said, I nodded.

“Now,” Fatty said, “what late-night snack and what is going on? Don’t ramble, just explain it to me clearly.”

I took a deep breath and remained silent for a minute before telling Fatty everything I had just seen, including all the suspicious details.

Fatty didn’t believe me when I finished and said, “Impossible. According to what you’re saying, only the three of us are left in this temple.”

“At least in the areas I passed by, there really wasn’t anyone left,” I said to him. “I even called out a few times, but no one answered. It’s also very strange that all the lights and charcoal stoves are out. If they had been violently kidnapped or some unexpected situation had occurred, they wouldn’t have been considerate enough to do that. It almost seems like they evacuated very calmly.”

Fatty scratched his head and said, “I don’t think it’s strange. After all, it’s not the first time this kind of thing has happened after you’ve gotten mixed up in it. But the premise relies on whether you read the situation right or not. You were blindly looking around in the dark after all. Or, you simply saw the dark door, didn’t dare to go in, and smoked a cigarette instead before coming back here.”

“You fucking think I’m Zhu Bajie (2), this kind of lazy thief,” I said angrily.

“Mr. Naïve, I’ll forgive you if you tell the truth,” Fatty said.

I didn’t have time to joke around with him like this and said, “If you don’t believe me, go and see for yourself. I’m not afraid now, I just think it’s really weird. Every time things don’t go the way I think they will, which makes me feel particularly frustrated.”

“Fine,” Fatty said. “I believe you. But I’ll be quite devastated if you tell me like that. In any case, stay here and watch the lama while I go and see if I can find anything you missed.”

“Don’t go,” I said to him. “If you go take a look and don’t fucking come back, there’s no telling where I’ll find you. It’s too fucking miserable for me to stay here alone with this lama. I don’t want to deal with this asshole.”

“What should we do then?” Fatty asked. “Forget it and go get a late-night snack as well?”

As a matter of fact, that’s not a bad idea, I said to myself. I thought for a moment and then said, “Let’s go outside the temple now and have a look around. We’ll take this guy with us and make up a plan depending on the situation. If there’s really no one in the temple, we’ll go down the mountain for a late-night snack and call for more people to come up tomorrow morning.”

After Fatty nodded in agreement, I put the lama on Fatty’s back and then we stealthily headed out. First, I took him to see the place where Zhang Haike and Zhang Haixing played with me before. Then, I took him to the room where the Germans stayed. Our last stop was the head lama’s courtyard. After circling around, Fatty’s face slowly began to change and he said darkly, “Fuck, it’s really true.”

This time, we visited all the other places in the temple where people often moved. We were trying to find the fourth living person besides us, but we didn’t even see a flicker of candlelight anywhere.

In the end, we walked to the front of the temple gate. Fatty pushed it open, looked down at the snow on the ground, turned, and then shook his head at me. “Mr. Naïve, did you do a lot of wicked things in your last life?”

When I asked him what was going on, Fatty said, “See for yourself.” As he spoke, he stood aside and showed me the gate.

<Chapter 34><Table of Contents><Chapter 36>


TN Notes:

(1) A left-wing anthem. It has been a standard of the socialist movement since the late 19th century. Link here.

(2) Character from Journey to the West with pig-like characteristics and armed with a muckrake


I felt like this exchange was kind of confusing but basically Fatty doesn’t believe Wu Xie and thought he was too afraid of the dark to go in and check out the room where the Zhang family and Germans were having their showdown. He also chastised Wu Xie for making that joke about the late-night snack because it was out of character for him and with everyone running around in skin masks, not really the best time to be doing that. I also love how Wu Xie was mad that their lama prisoner didn’t do anything to Fatty. It’s just you, little cinnamon roll, your face screams that you’re easy to take advantage of lol.

Updated 12/18/2021

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