The house was very warm, and people could wake up calmly here even in such severe cold weather. There was no exhaustion to be found after a cold, dark night.
The little lama knew that Zhang Qiling hadn’t finished his homework yet. Like usual, he saw him get up early in the morning and go to stand in front of the stone that was in the yard, working on it aimlessly.
Teacher said that the final shape of this stone would be what Zhang Qiling wanted. Zhang Qiling needed to know who he was, and he also needed to understand the concept of “wanting”.
The little lama found it very strange that Zhang Qiling was different from others. Other people were born with desires and motivations about what they needed and wanted to do, but this person named Zhang Qiling seemed to be innately unable to understand these two things. If you didn’t take the initiative to talk to him, he could stare into space for a whole day.
His senior brothers all said that Zhang Qiling was like a postman who didn’t know his destination because someone had forgotten to tell him. But the little lama didn’t think so.
The little lama thought that if the postman didn’t know his destination, he would be anxious like an ant on a hot pot because he had the desire to deliver things successfully.
Zhang Qiling was just like a Buddha. If he wasn’t needed by heaven or earth, he would just be there, not even having the desire to think.
But Teacher said that Zhang Qiling wasn’t Buddha.
If you were born with desires and got rid of them, then you were Buddha. If you were born with no desires, then you were a stone.
Zhang Qiling needed to find his “desires”, so Teacher had him work on the stone in the yard. If he had any “desires”, the stone would have a meaningful shape.
It had been over a year, and the stone was getting smaller and smaller, but it didn’t have any particular shape.
As a result, Zhang Qiling still couldn’t go and see that woman.
That woman had spent a much longer time in the temple than Zhang Qiling. It was said that she had been excavated from under the icy layer of Tibetan flowers. The woman hadn’t fallen there or been trapped to death, but was buried in that frozen tomb.
You could only find a field of Tibetan flowers in Namcha Barwa, because it was the only shady mountain pit. There were many dark shadows in the ice layer. It was said to be a tomb of some tribe, but only the lamas from this temple knew of its existence.
He was sixteen years old this year and had been told the secret on his birthday, but he never went to see it.
You could only reach that place every year by going to the mountain in July and trekking for a month. Those dark shadows were deeply buried in the ice, and the Teachers only went in once every ten years. He didn’t know what they were doing, but only the wisest Teacher was qualified to know the route to that place.
Ten years ago, the Teacher who went in brought back a frozen body. The little lama had only been six years old at that time, but he clearly remembered what the woman looked like. He heard the Teachers discussing amongst themselves how the woman wasn’t dead, but she also wasn’t alive either.
She had been placed in a room. All the little lama knew was that she was beautiful, with very white skin that was so unlike Tibetan people’s skin.
She had been respectfully carried into the room on felt. She had remained motionless during the whole process, and almost appeared to be sleeping.
No one had been to that room ever since.
It wasn’t until nine years later that Zhang Qiling came to this temple, and described the woman’s appearance.
But the Teachers wouldn’t let him see that woman.
One of the Teachers said something that made Zhang Qiling stay here for a year, “You are like a stone. It makes no difference whether you see her or not.”
“Since you’re here looking for this woman called Baima, then you should have some desires. Why haven’t you carved anything up to now?” The little lama asked Zhang Qiling who was taking a lunch break after morning class.
In the courtyard, Zhang Qiling sat on a relatively large stone among the shavings he had cut, not answering the little lama.
The little lama was already used to this kind of reaction and continued, “When you initially had the idea to come here, that was when you started having desires. How can Teacher say you’re a stone? I really don’t understand him.”
Zhang Qiling looked at him, still noncommittal. He took a bite of the tsampa (1), put the things aside, and wrapped them carefully before continuing to work on the stone.
As the little lama kept watching him, a Tibetan in a blue robe came and stood behind him. This person was a craftsman hired by the temple, and the blue robe craftsmen were considered the best.
Their family had passed their skills down to the ninth generation, and the craftsmanship was as good as ever. The craftsman patted the little lama on the shoulder and told him not to disturb Zhang Qiling.
“He walked here aimlessly and then suddenly said the name.” The craftsman told the little lama. “He didn’t even know that it was a name.”
“Why are you here at the temple again? Is there something broken here? Or did another stone fall from the mountain?”
The craftsman said softly, “Teacher asked me to come and restore the beams and stove behind the house.”
The craftsman looked at Zhang Qiling. The little lama understood, but was still a little puzzled, “Did Teacher finally admit that he does have desires?”
He looked at the strange and irregular shape Zhang Qiling had carved. This shape seemed to be indistinguishable from how it was when he had first started a year ago.
The craftsman pointed to the ground. Under the noon sun, the little lama saw the strange stone’s shadow, which turned out to be in the shape of a person, just like how Zhang Qiling had been sitting on the stone before.
He must have been looking at his shadow every day during his lunch break, and then began working on the stone according to his shadow.
The little lama smiled, genuinely happy for Zhang Qiling.
“How are you doing with your cultivation of Buddhism?” The craftsman seemed to be a little emotional as he asked the little lama.
The little lama chuckled and didn’t respond. The craftsman continued, “Many people say that girls are heartless at first, so no one can hurt them. As a result, the devil sent boys out. When the handsome boys chased after the girls, the girls started to have hearts, and that was when everything in the world could hurt them. So, if we give a person a heart, maybe we make it easier to hurt them.”
That night, Zhang Qiling was taken into the room that had been closed for ten years and saw his mother.
For him, everything at that time seemed to happen so quickly that he was unable to comprehend what was going on.
Baima didn’t fully wake up. When the effect of the Tibetan Sea Flowers wore off, she had only three days to live. But she had waited too long for those three days.
Zhang Qiling didn’t get any information from her.
He didn’t even get to hear his own mother calling for him, not even for a moment.
He also didn’t feel the connection to the world that other people said mothers would bring to their children.
The only thing he could feel was that his mother slowly began to breathe. Her pale face only recovered a slight red color, and then turned to nothing in an instant.
Everything happened all too quickly.
Did Baima know this would happen?
As promised, she woke up from a long sleep. She had lost any opportunity to open her eyes, but she knew that when the lamas decided to wake her up, her son would be by her side.
It must have been a flesh and blood child who knew the joys, anger, and sorrows of the world. She could feel her son’s warmth, his breath, and his heartbeat. He had really come.
She had exhausted all measures and only won these three days for herself. Although it wasn’t enough—it would never be enough—she wanted to see all the fragments and moments of her child’s growth.
But three days— three silent days— with only the sound of their heartbeats and breathing were all she had.
Zhang Qiling took hold of his mother’s hand. He didn’t know why he did it, but he felt like everything was happening too fast. He was holding on to the last trace of himself in the world, the last thing that he was willing to think about.
No one else entered the room, and not a sound could be heard.
Three days of silence.
“You can’t be a stone; otherwise, your mother can’t feel your presence.” Teacher said this to him a year ago. “You have to learn to think and miss. The first and last thing your mother will give you will be your heart, which those people have hidden.”
Three days later, Zhang Qiling was in front of the stone. He habitually picked up the chisel and began to carve the stone.
Before, he didn’t know why he had been carving this stone.
After a few tries, he looked at the chisel in his hand, and suddenly realized what he was doing. Almost at the same time, an unstoppable pain surged up in his heart.
In the heavy snow, he sat down and curled up into a ball.
<Tibetan Sea Flower 2 Trial Reading><Table of Contents><Remembrance—Zhang Qiling>
(1) A Tibetan and Himalayan staple foodstuff, particularly prominent in the central part of the region. Wiki link
Tiffany’s notes: Tears, tears, everywhere. ‧º·(˚ ˃̣̣̥⌓˂̣̣̥ )‧º·˚ That was the origin of the crying Poker-face statue in Tibetan Sea Flowers. The author said that Poker-face’s mother was a Tibetan doctor. Poker-face loved her and he eventually buried her in the form of sky-burial.
Merebear’s notes: Damn son, I wasn’t expecting to get punched in the feels like that (ಥ﹏ಥ)
Translated by: Tiffany X
Edited by: merebear226
12 thoughts on “Tibetan Sea Flower: Three Days Of Silence”
(´༎ຶོρ༎ຶོ`) I’m not crying, YOU’RE crying!
( T_T)＼(T_T )
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D: D: D: Oh, damn. Author 3 can write entire books that miss the point entirely and then in one shot destroy my whole heart. And then the craftsman made the statue of Zhang Qiling crying because that was him, wholly realized at last. Oof. That’s . . . a lot.
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One thing I couldn’t understand, though, is why Poker Face’s mother was out in Tibet and why she died so early. Since Poker Face is considered to have very pure Zhang blood, his mother would also have had to been a pure-blooded Zhang with the special blood. Why would she be out in the middle of nowhere by herself, so far from Changbai Mountain, and not be able to live long enough to see her son after he grew up?
I think it goes back to the Sand Sea story about the 3000 year old baby. They basically stole Poker-face from his mom and I guess she thought this was the only way to “see” him?? I’m sure someone else knows more, I’m terrible at remembering stuff lol
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Ooh, so was the mom exiled out to the middle of nowhere so that she couldn’t give away Poker Face’s true identity (as a normal baby, not some immortal 3000 year old baby)? I guess the drama messed that up then, since they made it seem like Poker Face’s dad met the mom when she was already in Tibet, and it looked like she was some local, not a displaced/exiled northerner from the Zhang clan.
The author didn’t say whether Poker-face’s mom was from the Zhang family. He only said she was a doctor in Tibet.
It was very likely that his father met her in Tibet and fell in love or something. But yeah, somehow Poker-face had Qiling blood. 🤔
His mom was probably dying and had to rely on Tibetan flowers and three days were all she had.
Poker-face’s background was still very mysterious even though we have now known some bits and pieces. 😭😂
Hmm, that does line up with the drama version, which I think should be considered canon since I believe the author directly supervised and produced it(?). It also does line up with the whole “the Zhang family stole someone’s baby and passed it off as a 3000-year old baby” thing. Since the mom would be an ‘outsider’ not connected to the clan, it would be easier to steal her baby and pass it off as an ancient immortal baby. If a couple in the main Zhang family were expecting a child, and suddenly they lost their baby, while an “ancient” baby appeared at the same time, I think it would be pretty obvious what happened, no? But this creates a plot hole, since Poker Face would only be half Zhang by blood unless the mom is coincidentally a very pure-blooded Zhang who happened to somehow end up in Tibet all by herself without anyone else knowing her identity. If only having a Zhang dad is enough to make you a pure-blooded Zhang with the special blood, I think Fo Ye would like to have a word, haha.
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If you search Story of Zhang Qiling – Lost Tomb Reboot/ Reunion: The Sound of the Providence at youtube you can find the information about Zhang Qiling. Profile photo of poster is a watermelon slice 😊.
Hopefully i can start to read translation after my exam 😥. I waited for the translation for 5 years and when i can finally read the book, tons of papers and exam rushed to me 😂🤦.
Found it! It’s here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7iaSfu_SIs
Interesting insight, though some of those clips were actually from the completely different franchise “Candle in the Tomb” 😂. And I thought the blood came from the snakes, not the “God of Death” she referred to. 🤔
Anyways, good luck on your exams and papers! I know you’ll do great 😊😘 And this can be a nice treat after you’re done 😊
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Thank you 🥰🥰
Got a fatal punch to the feel
When Wu Xie found the statue, i thought the tear is just someone interpretation of poker face ambient, because he often just stared silently at the sky
But he was curl into the ball, he was the one that carve the sculpture, he is crying. Finally realize his own emotion, but it a sad feeling
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It was such a heart breaking chapter. A mother who not only was separated from her child but also chosen as a sacrifice and she could only hold her last breath to feel the presence of her child for the last time.
A child who has neither seen any love nor been allowed to express his feeling, also was compared to a stone just because he didn’t show it. He finally was able to see someone who is somewhat alive only because of his love for him, and at least could only receive these last breaths of love that was for him. As soon as he felts this love, he lost it and that’s why Xiao Ge didn’t want to lose his two friends especially Wu Xie.
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