Chapter 56 Lama Temple

I squatted down and saw Fatty pry apart some of the pieces of ice before he pulled out a tuft of animal fur from the inside.

“This is a snow leopard. There are at least four of them here. They were frozen into one piece but there are also some deer carcass fragments here,” Fatty said.

“How did this happen to four snow leopards? They’re wild animals, so what ate them?” I asked. “Are there beasts here more ferocious than leopards?”

“Bears hunt leopards, but these leopards were all killed by rifles. If you look at the size of them, they were probably the beasts guarding the lake. The villagers here raise them and let them move around the lake to protect it from outsiders. The guns that shot these leopards were very powerful. Apart from rifles, grenades may have been used.”

“How can you tell?”

“The bones are blown outwards from the wounds and the whole slab of meat has been smashed,” Fatty said. “The bodies aren’t fresh, either. Despite it being so cold here, the meat’s gone bad. I’m afraid they’ve been dead for some time.” Fatty looked around before continuing, “Shit, someone came here before us. First, there were a lot of people; second, they were very well-equipped. They must have killed the guards as soon as they came here.”

He looked in the direction of the tent and canyon again before saying, “Oh no, do you think something happened to Kangbaluo?”

An image popped into my head of the innocent local people being invaded by foreign powers, slaughtered because of the difference in weapons and equipment. My heart trembled as I looked at Fatty, “No matter who it is, the way they handle obstacles is very brutal and violent. Let’s hurry up.”

We tied the bones and tents together to make a sled, wrapped Zhang Haixing and Feng in sleeping bags, and dragged them all the way along the lakeshore.

It wasn’t as difficult as we thought, but it wasn’t easy either. It took us twice as long to get to the canyon across the lake because we kept having to take breaks along the way.

The lake was frozen, but the river leading to the canyon still appeared to be flowing because we could see the water surging under the icy layer. The fast current was revealed in some places where the ice was broken, indicating that the ice here was unstable.

We tread carefully on the icy surface, sometimes going so slow that we crept forward. But this cautiousness allowed us to see the wonders under the ice.

Under a particular section of ice, we saw a row of wooden fences, the fronts of which were covered in at least twenty or thirty human corpses. We broke open the ice and saw that the corpses soaked in the current had all decomposed. They weren’t putrefied but were covered in rotted blisters.

We could see from the hair that all of them were foreigners. The water had soaked through some of their equipment and almost all of them were naked.

Fatty pulled up a rifle and a clip of grenades, pinned them to his body, and then picked up the bullets one by one.

“Well, it seems that Comrade Dafen’s comrades-in-arms once came in by themselves but decided to join with the Zhang family when they failed. This group should be those Germans’ allies.”

“They’re not wearing any clothes, either. It seems like they fell into a trap by taking the shortcut over the lake’s surface,” I said. “These people must have found this place and killed the snow leopards by the lake, but something happened on their way across the ice. They all died and the bodies fell into the water and were dragged here by the current.”

I figured there may be more than the ones we saw here. Some of them might even be dead on the lake, frozen there.

Fatty was extremely happy while picking up the foreign equipment and didn’t show any signs of compassion at all. “How long do you think these people have been dead here?” I asked him.

“I don’t know, but there may be survivors. We don’t know how many of them came.”

“Foreigners won’t leave their companions’ bodies behind,” I said to him. “Looking at these dead people’s appearances, I figure there weren’t many survivors. If there were any, they were in danger.”

We moved on and soon passed by the places Poker-face had mentioned in his notes, eventually reaching the area below the suspended lama temple.

The two bastards still hadn’t woken up yet. Fatty climbed up, carefully pushed the entrance open, and found that the whole building was so quiet that there wasn’t any sound at all.

Fatty and I took great pains to carry the two comatose people up. By this time, the sun was setting and white clouds were sticking to the edges of the snowy mountains, forming a cloud of mist.

We stopped in a relatively closed-off room in the lama temple and lit a charcoal stove to warm up. The room was covered with felt blankets to help keep the temperature from escaping, but when I checked some of them, I found that the dust was so thick, it was caked on.

“The lamas here aren’t very hygienic.” Fatty took off his shoes as he warmed up, the foul smell from his feet hitting me directly in the face. “The ground here is covered in dust, but the snowy mountain air is so clean that there’s not supposed to be a lot of dust. How many incense burners do they have to light every day for there to be this much dust?”

It was normal for there to be dust in a lama temple, but the thickness and surface traces of the dust here showed that it had fallen for a long time without having been cleaned.

Was this temple abandoned?

I let Fatty rest first as I went all the way up and saw the King Yama Riding the Dead blanket that Poker-face had mentioned in his notes. The door and stairs leading to the upper floor were just behind the blanket but the door was sealed tight.

The wooden door was very dark, as if it had been scorched by a lot of smoke. I tried to open it, knowing that it was where the strange woman had climbed to, but found that the door was locked. There appeared to be a very large wooden pole set behind the door.

I thrust my dagger in, lifted the wooden pole with a burst of strength, pushed the door open, and smelled a particularly unpleasant scent of spices.

Behind the door was a particularly spacious corridor with doors on both sides that somewhat resembled the layout of a hotel.

I went to one of them and tried to open it but found that the wooden bolt behind it was so heavy and bulky that it couldn’t be picked open with my dagger. I had no choice but to retrace my steps. When I returned to Fatty, I found that Zhang Haixing was awake. She seemed to have come back to her senses and was drinking some water.

I thought about how much face to give her when I talked to her. Should I saunter over and say “You see what happens when you don’t listen to me, you stupid idiot”, or should I pretend to be particularly open-minded and comfort her by saying “I also have a bad temper. We don’t need to mention this matter anymore. How are you doing?”?

If I went with the latter, she may have a favorable opinion of me, but I didn’t want to hook up with this tigress. After thinking about it, I decided that it was better to choose the first one.

So, I sneered and walked over while saying to her, “You woke up. You’re so stupid. I told you to listen to me, but you didn’t. Now look at you. We’ve seen you naked—”

<Chapter 55><Table of Contents><Chapter 57>


Updated 1/3/2022

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