Chapter 55 Go Back

When I called Fatty to look, he glared and said, “Huh? They’re going back. What are they going back for?”

“Is someone chasing them?” I asked. Fatty took out his binoculars, looked at them, and shook his head. “It’s just the two of them. They’re in such a hurry that it almost looks like they’re running away, but there’s nothing behind them.”

“Let me see!” I grabbed the binoculars and saw that something was wrong. “They’re taking their clothes off.”

“Taking their clothes off? Both of them?” Fatty asked.

As the two of them ran, they took off their clothes one by one. I was feeling surprised while Fatty was becoming even more anxious, “Come on, come on, come on! Let me see how the old woman looks!”

I pushed him away and adjusted the focus of the binoculars to see the ice under their feet.

There was nothing unusual on top of the ice and the distance was too far for the binoculars to see what was under the ice. Fatty took his gun out and fired a few shots but eventually shook his head. Not only was the distance too far for sniping, but the accuracy of the shots fired from this position was already very poor.

As we watched them run all the way to the center of the icy lake, they stripped down to their underwear and ran around naked. I was puzzled but didn’t see anything coming after them. What on earth were these two people doing? Did they suddenly catch fire in the middle of their journey?

“Do you want to go and take a look?” Fatty asked, “Seems crazy, right?”

“We can’t catch up with them now unless they run in our direction,” I replied. “And they’re stripped down like that, without any burdens. We’re dressed like mastodons and can only roll over there.”

“If we don’t go, we won’t be able to see anything since we’re too far away.”

“What the hell do you want to see?” I scooped up a handful of snow and patted him on the face before pulling out a walkie-talkie and calling Zhang Haixing and Feng.

I called for a long time without getting a response, but I could see the two of them dancing in the middle of the lake, waving their hands and feet and slapping themselves.

“I see,” Fatty said. “This is snow madness.”

“What’s that?”

“They say you’ll go crazy if you stare at the snow too much.”

“I think you’re crazy,” I said to him. “What kind of joke are you making at this time? Start walking, we still have to go and see.”

As Fatty and I ran to the icy lake again, I was feeling depressed and uneasy. I didn’t know what had happened to them, but if I had been tougher at that time, maybe that stupid girl would have listened to me. If something really happened to them now, I didn’t know what I would be feeling. Would it be pleasure at their suffering or guilt?

Fortunately, while we ran all the way over there, those two had been beating themselves in the center of the lake and hadn’t continued to move anywhere else.

It took us half an hour to reach them, during which time we slipped and fell countless times. By the time we arrived, I almost felt dead myself.

At that time, Zhang Haixing was only wearing a bra and underwear and Feng was almost naked. The two of them were already lying on the ice exhausted and still trying to smack themselves. Fatty took off his jacket and covered Zhang Haixing while I covered Feng with my jacket. Then we lifted the two of them up and heard Zhang Haixing saying in Cantonese, “It’s burning, it’s burning!”

Her skin was blue from the cold but there weren’t any signs of burns. We couldn’t even understand what Feng was saying in German.

“Where does it burn?” Fatty asked, “Is it burning or feverish? I think the latter is more likely.”

I ignored him and looked into Zhang Haixing’s eyes. That was when I realized that she was hallucinating.

As the ruler of the Hallucination Victims Alliance, I knew that Zhang Haixing may not be able to hear my voice at this stage because she must not have been conscious when the hallucination occurred. One cannot simply use reason to resist hallucinations.

I looked in the direction they had run from and said to Fatty, “They seemed to have been hit. Use the binoculars to look at the other side of the lake and see what’s there.”

Fatty did as I said but shook his head. “No, I can’t see anything. I’ll have to go over and take a look.”

I told him no. It was ok for two people to carry two people, but if Fatty got caught, how could I carry him? Besides, if he wanted to take off his clothes, I wouldn’t even be able to hold on to such a greasy lump of meat.

As the two of us dragged Zhang Haixing and Feng to a part of the shore far away from the lake, I said to myself, well, today’s long journey was a waste of time. We put up a tent and injected both of them with sedatives and antidotes, unsure if it would work.

The two of them were exhausted but finally fell into a deep sleep after tossing and turning for a while. Fatty was also exhausted and said to me, “So far, all of my predictions have been correct. If Comrade Dafen was over two meters tall, I really would’ve had to cut him into two pieces before I could carry him back. Oh God, I’m exhausted. This foreigner is at least a hundred and eight kilograms of muscle. Next time, I’ll carry the old woman and you carry the bastard.”

Zhang Haixing’s body wasn’t like that of an ordinary girl. Although she was thin, her muscles were very obvious and her back wasn’t as warm and fragrant as one would expect.

I lit a cigarette. Smoking at high altitudes was more likely to hurt the lungs but I didn’t really care as I slowly inhaled the nicotine and said to Fatty, “Next time, we have to be tougher or we’ll always pay for these stupid mistakes. If they die, it’ll be over and then what can we do?”

Fatty put his gun on his knee, looked outside the tent, and said, “Just think about the old woman’s temper. Little Brother said in his notes that there’s something in the lake here and it’s even more troublesome when it’s dark. It’s still early right now, so we’ll see if we can wake them up. We must reach the canyon on the other side of the lake today.”

I looked at the two sleeping people. I knew what effect sedatives had and figured they wouldn’t wake up for a while but Fatty was right. “It’s impossible for us to expect them to walk by themselves,” I said to him. “We’ll have to make a sled and drag them the whole way.”

But this place was a snow field with black stones buried underneath so there weren’t any materials to make a sled. “We’ll have to make a litter from that deer,” Fatty said. “I saw on an exploration program that you can do it with animal bones.”

Fatty was exhausted and suffering from altitude sickness so I asked him to guard those two people while I went to the frozen deer carcass by the lake’s edge.

I looked around to make sure that the huge shadow wasn’t nearby and then started hitting the lake with a small hammer, trying to dig out the dead deer.

When we were on Changbai Mountain, I had knocked on a thousand-year-old glacier, so the ice here was much easier to handle. Soon, I broke a large piece from the lake’s surface, revealing the deer ribs inside.

I continued to pry out seven or eight of them with an ice awl, but when the body was fully revealed, I suddenly realized that this wasn’t a deer.

I cleaned the ice off, retreated a few steps, and couldn’t help but gasp.

I found that the body under the ice was a creature I had never seen before. It looked like an animal, but I saw countless copper scales on it the size of coins. The part that was exposed from the ice seemed to be only a small part of its body.

I took a puff of my cigarette and called Fatty to come over and take a look. He didn’t want to move at all, but I called him so much that he sighed and came over. When he looked at the place I had dug up, he was shocked.

“What’s this? Have you seen it before?”

Fatty squatted down and circled around the thing before saying, “Mr. Naïve, this is a big pile of leopards.”

<Chapter 54><Table of Contents><Chapter 56>


Updated 1/3/2022


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