It was pitch black inside the gap, so I pointed the gun muzzle upwards and shot the tracer bullets into the darkness. In the subsequent flash, I saw countless stone towers and piles of stones that were covered in tiny decorative patterns.
“What is this place?” I turned back and shot at the door, killing one of the human-faced birds that flew in, but more kept coming.
Black Glasses grabbed my neck, pushed me down behind a pile of stones, and revealed a detonator in his hand. He threw it out and it exploded in mid-air.
The loud roar created a very strange sound effect in the bronze door, and it was as if I could see the sound waves moving across the whole area. All the patterns on the stones lit up, and as the phosphorescence shone across the whole cave wall, I could see that all of the walls were covered in delicate patterns.
After the sound waves, there were light lines that went all the way to the depths of the earth.
As blood rained down from the sky, Black Glasses shouted, “Stand up!” He and I stood up together and kept shooting towards the door, killing the monkeys that crawled out of the bloody bird carcasses that had been blown up.
Is this what it’s like inside the door? As I looked around, the phosphorescence flashed as if it were talking to me.
“What is this place?” I asked as I involuntarily stopped shooting.
“See for yourself!” Black Glasses shouted.
I looked at the cave walls covered in patterns and noticed that there were a bunch of stone people embedded in them. These people were naked, and their skin was exactly the same as the stone here. There were thousands of them curled up in the fetal position in pits on the cave walls, and I could see an umbilical cord leading from their stomachs to the stone here.
At almost the exact same time, I saw those strange lines more clearly and realized that they were countless numbers.
These stone people were of varying sizes. Some were babies, some were teenagers, and some were adults, but all of them had Poker-Face’s face.
They weren’t moving at all, and were just lying there quietly.
Each one was marked with a number, which may have been written with a dye made from the insects here. I couldn’t calculate how many there were, because I didn’t know how deep the cave went, but as far as I could tell, the whole mountain here was full of these stone people.
“Wang Zanghai wrote that he came down the chains, saw the giant bronze door standing at the bottom of the mountain crater, and the thousands of stone people inside. The stone is like a womb, and the umbilical cords connecting these people to the stone eliminates any ruthless desires or calculating hearts. Each is marked with a number. It goes on and on, and is seemingly endless.” Black Glasses said.
“Little Brother is a fucking stone person?”
Black Glasses finally killed a monkey, picked up a piece of stone from the rubble on the ground, and threw it to me. It was shaped like a human hand.
“Every once in a while, these people turn back into stone. Each stone pile here is a Zhang Qiling. After one gets broken, another one will grow in ten years.”
“Nonsense.” I was cold all over as I looked at the piles of stone. The Zhang Qiling I knew was one of them? “I’m dreaming, I have to wake up quickly.”
Black Glasses looked at me: “He’s just stone, just like any other piece here.”
“I’m dreaming.” I looked at Black Glasses. “Fuck, let me wake up quickly!”
The real and illusory feelings were in constant chaos, and I felt sick to my stomach as the Black Glasses in front of me went in and out of focus.
He looked at me: “If some people can’t come back in time, they’ll become a statue. And for those that do come back here, the part of their memory that they cherish—”
I pointed my gun at Black Glasses. “Stop it.”
“You won’t shoot.” Black Glasses looked at me. “Even if you think you’re dreaming, you won’t shoot me.”
I put down my gun and looked around. In the dim light, these people appeared like mushrooms on the rock walls. What the hell was this place?
In ten years, what about the next Poker-Face? I used my flashlight to look closer at the stone people, but a figure suddenly flashed behind Black Glasses and a knife stuck out of his chest.
I jolted awake, rolled over, and sat up.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!” There was a wild cry from someone beside me. I turned around and was surprised to see Fatty and Baishe.
“You’re like a zombie.” Fatty wiped the tea he had spilled all over his chest when I scared him just now. I quickly looked around, and found that the charcoal fire around me was very steady and warm, and I was covered in Fatty’s clothes.
I was covered in a cold sweat as I turned around twice, looking for Black Glasses. When I didn’t see any sign of him, I felt relieved.
“You finally made it down. How long have I been asleep?” As I moved around, I found that a warm bag had been placed on me.
“We don’t know. When we found you, you were already in a coma.” Baishe said. “You’ve been moving around in a low temperature environment and may have been too excited to know that your metabolism stopped. Wu Xie, you’ve really disappointed me. What happened just now?”
“Madam White is right, and really knows everything. We’re totally invincible with Madam White on our side.” Fatty said. “Even this fat man has to admire Madam White for a week.”
Fatty was all about respect and seniority, so Baishe’s habit may have been too much for him.
Baishe ignored him and said, “All men are created equal. Calling each other by titles makes me feel bad.”
I looked at the bronze door in the distance. “Where’s Xiao Hua?”
“I can’t contact him here, but don’t worry. He and the others are strong.”
I told myself I wasn’t worried about that. Time was running out and he was the one that had the ghost seal.
“Do you know how that thing opens the door?” Fatty handed me a cigarette and motioned for me to chew it.
I looked in the direction of the bronze door as I chewed the cigarette to pieces. “Damn it, it’s all sweaty.”
“I kept the last pack close to my body to protect it. It’s what you’d call a fat man’s fragrance. You used to vomit when you chewed it before, but now you’ve really matured.” Fatty shined a flashlight in the direction I was looking, revealing the luster of the looming bronze. It truly was too big to miss.
I spit out the cigarette and retched twice. Fatty winked at me and motioned for me to follow him.
“What did you find?”
“When you were having your nightmare and shouting ‘Don’t! Don’t’!’, I looked around here again and found something strange.” As he said this, he walked to the bronze door.
<Chapter 38> <Table of Contents><Chapter 40>
Wu Xie’s always got some fucked up dreams lol. Here’s Tiffany’s little baby extra (because she was slaving over the mess I made of yesterday’s chapters lol):