A closer look revealed that it was not Little Brother at all, but the lama who had just tried to kill us.
I can’t describe what the lama looked like in words. He was thickly covered in insects that I had never seen before. In addition to the beetles and mosquito-like bugs we had just encountered, there were also several kinds of colorful insects. It looked like his whole body was being eaten by them.
Fatty and I went up, but because we had no clothes, we took the bamboo plaque and basket that were in the room and smacked the insects from the lama. After the beating, I found that the man had been bitten beyond recognition. His body was covered in wounds and there seemed to be bugs burrowed under his skin—the bulging lumps looked like broad beans—and he was still twitching.
Fatty and I dragged the lama back before Fatty rushed forward and tried to close the door and window again. But it was too late. The lama hit the door so hard that the frame was almost falling apart and the door couldn’t be closed at all.
The mosquito-like insects swarmed into the room from outside and I dragged the lama to the corner. Fatty beat the bugs back with a bamboo basket and said, “Mr. Naïve, it seems that we both have to die here. This isn’t a fucking lama temple but a fucking bug hole. Before I die, I just want to say that the most worthy thing in my life was knowing a friend like you.”
Just as I wanted to tell him not to give up, the lama was suddenly pulling at me and pointing to a corner of the room, motioning me to look over there.
Following the direction of his fingers, I saw many bamboo baskets and wooden boxes lying in a corner of the room. All of the wooden boxes were sealed with very old iron locks, but the baskets were very light. I went up and looked at the gaps in the baskets. It wasn’t a particularly tight weave, but it was still more than enough to block the big bugs. It just seemed that Fatty might have a tough time fitting into these baskets, but I couldn’t think much about it at the moment.
I shouted at Fatty, and when he turned to look at me, I pointed at the basket. He understood what I was trying to say but shook his head.
I was furious and told myself that he was a hypocrite before I started scolding him, “If you want to live, hide in these baskets.”
“Are you going to chop me up and put me in there?” Fatty shot back.
“You shouldn’t underestimate the size of these baskets,” I argued. “Many people have the illusion that something won’t fit them, but people are very flexible as long as they shrink properly.”
Fatty cursed, “Bah, this basket isn’t even enough for me to use as a condom!”
I knew I couldn’t keep arguing with him, so I slapped the bugs away and dragged him straight to the basket, forcing him to put his foot in. Unable to stop me, he was forced to crouch down when I gave him half a push. Suddenly, his face lit up and he said, “Ah, it seems that I can really get in.”
“Your dick isn’t as big as you think,” I said. “But it can only fit your lower body. I’ll have to put you in two baskets.” I picked up another basket, put it over Fatty’s head, and pressed it down hard like I was making a meat ball. Then I immediately went to find other baskets.
There were a lot of baskets here so I chose two good ones and put the lama in one and myself in another. Since I was much thinner than Fatty, I went in very easily.
The basket blocked the bugs’ attacks, but many had already latched onto me and were biting.
I carefully pulled the bugs off one by one with my hand and saw through the basket’s cracks that Fatty’s bamboo basket was shaking. I knew he was doing the same thing.
Soon, I couldn’t see the situation outside because countless insects were crawling on the basket in a dense cluster. I could hear the sound of their barbed and hairy feet rubbing against the bamboo strips on the basket. It was terrifying.
“It’s not too late,” Fatty suddenly said. “It’s safe for the time being. Let’s see if we can get out.”
“The threshold here is very high,” I said to him. “Tibetan temples all have high thresholds so we definitely can’t get out like this. Why don’t we take the bottom of the baskets apart and go out? We can try to hold onto it so that even if bugs come in from the bottom, we can trample them to death quickly.”
I tried to tear the bottom of the bamboo basket apart, but it was no good. Not only was the basket very tough, but I wasn’t wearing a coat in such a cold place so my whole body was frozen stiff and I couldn’t use my full strength. I could only dig little by little and finally managed to dig out two holes under the bamboo basket that would allow me to extend my feet.
There was no time to trim the broken bamboo spikes in the hole. I put my feet through and moved forward bit by bit. This method was feasible, but the sharp bamboo at the mouth of the hole kept scratching my ankles and soon scarred them. Although it was like this, I couldn’t do anything about it and moved forward bit by bit. I didn’t know if Fatty was following, but I didn’t bother asking how he was until I moved to the door. When I heard his voice, I found that he was already outside the door.
Fatty’s behavior was certainly much more reckless than mine, but he had tough skin and wasn’t afraid of insect bites. I jumped hard, landed over the threshold, and came into the courtyard.
“Are we going to leave that lama?” Fatty asked me.
“Let’s save our lives first,” I said. “We don’t have the time to take care of him now.”
The two of us moved bit by bit through the courtyard and finally made it to the gate and into the corridor, but all the bugs had followed us and didn’t mean to leave at all. “It looks like it’s not so easy to ditch them,” Fatty said. “It’s impossible for us to move down the mountain like this.”
“Nothing is impossible in this situation,” I argued. “Even if we go up a mountain or down to the sea, we have to move forward like this.”
Fatty had no choice but to keep going while cursing the whole way.
The next part was very boring. I didn’t know how long I walked, stopped, rested, and walked like this. I only felt that my knees were weak, my back was aching, and my muscles were strained. With the help of some memories and landscape features occasionally seen through the baskets’ cracks, we kept moving towards the temple gate. It wasn’t until dusk when we finally jumped out of the gate. There was still a long way to go down the mountain road and I was already exhausted. The bamboo basket couldn’t keep me warm, and all of my skin was blue from the cold. In addition, this way of moving forward was quite exhausting and we hadn’t had any water or rice all day. I knew that if we went on like this, we would freeze and starve to death even if we weren’t bitten to death by the bugs.
As I walked to the edge of the stairs, I was wondering if I could roll all the way down, but I didn’t know if I could survive it. After all, the only protection we had was the bamboo baskets. But if we rolled down, as long as we were well protected, being bruised was better than killing ourselves and freezing to death.
At this time, I found that the bugs began to leave my bamboo basket one by one, and soon, there were only a few left. Even the ones that had been chasing behind us were no longer following.
I looked at Fatty through the gap in my bamboo basket and saw that it was true, so I quickly pushed the bamboo basket off of my head. Fatty’s basket was completely devoid of bugs. All of the bugs flew back to the temple and rushed through the gate as if their range of activities only occurred inside and they would never set foot outside the temple gate.
I pulled the bamboo basket off of Fatty’s head and found that he had become delirious with cold. When I patted him on the face and pulled him out of the bamboo basket, he asked dazedly, “Hey, have we gone to heaven yet?”
“Maybe our body temperatures are too low and those bugs can’t feel us anymore,” I said to him.
Fatty shivered. “Not only them; I can’t even feel myself.”
We huddled together, gritted our teeth, rubbed our bodies incessantly, and then walked slowly down the mountain against the subzero wind. My experiences over the past few years had given me sufficient physical and mental exercise; otherwise, I would never have been able to walk this road.
When we finally arrived at the bar at the foot of the mountain, our skin was almost frostbitten, but I was still very clear-headed, which surprised me. After I entered the room, I didn’t dare rush directly to the warmest place, as I was afraid that a sudden change in temperature would cause my blood vessels to burst.
We stood on the porch, waiting for a tingling sensation to return to our skin before we dared to enter. I went directly up to the warm stove, but the warm current rushing over my face didn’t make me groggy like before. Instead, it made all of my muscles tremble and twitch and my skin start to ache fiercely.
At this time, I was glad there wasn’t any snow when we went down the mountain.
The waiter standing off to one side was stunned to see us like this. Fatty and I sat down, but before we could speak, Fatty fainted on my seat cushion and nearly knocked over the stove when he fell down. I was able to hold him up for a moment before my vision went black and then I knew nothing.
<Chapter 39><Table of Contents><Chapter 41>
2 thoughts on “Chapter 40 Misunderstanding”
Fatty “….Before I die, I just want to say that the most worthy thing in my life was knowing a friend like you.” Awww
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