In the end, Fatty and Poker-Face took the lead. As it turned out, we were just easily scared because of what had happened before we got here. Fifteen minutes after they had gone down, they signaled that it was safe. If Poker-Face said it was safe, then it was absolutely safe, so we went down the rope.
There was a complete ancient pagoda (1) inside the earthen mound. The interior was well preserved because all of the tiles and wooden structures were covered in a layer of bronze. There were only a few small clusters of fungi in several places, indicating that the humidity still leaked in. The whole ancient pagoda was made of wood, which was only covered in a layer of varnish. It was almost oxidized now, so the old wood color was showing through. We dropped down to the top floor of the ancient pagoda, where there was a small room with three statues enshrined inside. I didn’t know what material the statues were made of, but it had to be organic since the statues were covered in mushrooms. Fatty said that they might be decayed human remains, but we couldn’t tell by their shapes.
Poker-Face jumped on the crossbeam and sealed the entrance we had just come through, plunging the area into darkness. As we all turned on our flashlights, we could smell sulfur in the air. I wondered if the bottom of the tower ran deep underground and connected with the crevices deep in the earth. Was this smell the earth’s gas rising up from deep in the rock stratum?
There was a layer of moss-like things on the floor that were dark green and slippery, but they wouldn’t pose any danger since we could see them with our flashlights.
As I looked around carefully, my flashlight swept past the layer of moss-like things and illuminated a plaque hanging on one of the pagoda’s horizontal beams. The gold paint on it was peeling off and the words “Qingyang Calamity” were written on it.
Everyone else in the group was puzzled, but I was secretly elated. I finally knew something they didn’t. I was a little surprised to find that everyone observed it for a while, but no one was asking any questions.
Upon seeing that they were about to go down, I coughed and said loudly, “Wonderful! Oh wise brothers, please take a look at this plaque. This ‘Qingyang Calamity’ is one of the Jin Tong Sect’s three calamities that mark the end of times. It’s part of their basic teachings. They divided the end of the world into three phases: the Qingyang Calamity, the Hongyang Calamity, and the Baiyang Calamity. The first phase started with Fuxi and lasted for one thousand eight hundred and eighty-six years before it ended during the Zhou Dynasty. This was called the Qingyang Calamity.” (2)
Chinese people often said that any event that occurred on the ninth would be chaotic, and this started with the Qingyang Calamity. At that time, they determined that there would be nine calamities, which were called the “Dragon-Han Water Calamities”. A flood was sent out every nine years, and according to the basic doctrines, this was in line with the Ghost Mother’s nature. In my opinion, this was merely something that was compiled from Chinese mythology and some Indian scriptures.
But based on this, the three rotten statues probably represented the lamp-bearing Buddha, Fuxi, and the Golden Mother of Jade Lake (3).
These were the Three Gods of Salvation that the Jin Tong Sect believed would save them during the Qingyang Calamity. Although in today’s time, they would be more like the Avengers. But back then, Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism weren’t separated, and ordinary people didn’t understand.
I did a rough analysis and figured that the main structure of this pagoda was divided into three levels. The level below us should be the Hongyang Calamity with three of its own salvation gods, and at the very bottom should be the Baiyang Calamity.
I was hoping that everyone would give me approving looks, but they completely ignored me and walked down the decaying stairs very carefully.
The structure of the second floor was very strange. It was much higher than the top floor we were just on, and actually looked to be twice as high. Fatty went down and searched unscrupulously. The plaque on this floor was in the same position as the other one, but it was too high for me to see clearly. When I shined my flashlight at it, I initially thought that I was right, but after I looked, I saw that the words weren’t “Hongyang Calamity”.
Rather, it was three words: “Qian Dashu Calamity”.
“What you’ve said is wrong,” Fatty said. “Let me tell you. This next floor isn’t Hongyang Calamity, either.”
At this time, I saw that Black Glasses’ face wasn’t quite right. I looked him in the eye and realized that he also knew what these three words meant.
Qian Dashu was a unit of measurement in ancient China. In essence, it was an incomparably large unit of measurement that was approximately 10524291 (long scale) and 1075 (mid-scale). (4)
With me being a college graduate and Black Glasses being a returnee, we beat the other two in this field.
Here’s a list of China’s measurement system, which might make it clearer (5):
10524291 (long scale) 1075 (mid-scale): Qian Dashu [“千大数”, thousands of large numbers, quattuorvigintillion]
10524288 (long scale) 1072 (mid-scale): Dashu [“大数”, large numbers, trevigintillion]
10262144 (long scale) 1068 (mid-scale): Wuliang [“无量”, immeasurable, one hundred unvigintillion]
10131072 (long scale) 1064 (mid-scale): Bukesiyi [“不可思议”, unfathomable, ten vigintillion]
1065536 (long scale) 1060 (mid-scale): Nayuta [“那由他”, myriad, novemdecillion]
1032768 (long scale) 1056 (mid-scale): Asengi [“阿僧祇”, incalculable, one hundred septendecillion]
1016384 (long scale) 1052 (mid-scale): Henghe Sha [“恒河沙”, Sands of the Ganges River, ten sexdecillion]
108192 (long scale) 1048 (mid-scale): Ji [“极”, extreme, quindecillion]
104096 (long scale) 1044 (mid-scale): Zai [“载”, to carry, one hundred tredecillion]
102048 (long scale) 1040 (mid-scale): Zheng [“正”, positive, ten duodecillion]
101024 (long scale) 1036 (mid-scale): Jian [“涧”, mountain stream, undecillion]
10512 (long scale) 1032 (mid-scale): Gou [“沟”, ditch, one hundred nonillion]
10256 (long scale) 1028 (mid-scale): Rang [“穰”, abundant, ten octillion]
10128 (long scale) 1024 (mid-scale): Zi [“秭”, billion, septillion]
1067 (long scale) 1023 (mid-scale): Qian Gai [“千垓”, thousand boundaries, one hundred sextillion]
1066 (long scale) 1022 (mid-scale): Bai Gai [“百垓”, hundred boundaries, ten sextillion]
1065 (long scale) 1021 (mid-scale): Shi Gai [“十垓”, ten boundaries, sextillion]
1064 (long scale) 1020 (mid-scale): Gai [“垓”, boundary, one hundred quintillion]
1035 (long scale) 1019 (mid-scale): Qian Jing [“千京”, thousands, ten quintillion]
1034 (long scale) 1018 (mid-scale): Bai Jing (E) [“百京（E)”, hundreds, quintillion]
1033 (long scale) 1017 (mid-scale): Shi Jing [“十京”, tens, one hundred quadrillion]
1032 (long scale) 1016 (mid-scale): Jing [“京”, large numbers, ten quadrillion]
1019 (long scale) 1015 (mid-scale): Qianzhao (P) [“千兆 (P)”, quadrillion]
1018 (long scale) 1014 (mid-scale): Bai Zhao [“百兆”, one hundred trillion]
1017 (long scale) 1013 (mid-scale): Shi Zhao [“十兆”, ten trillion]
1016 (long scale) 1012 (mid-scale): Zhao [“兆”, trillion]
1011: Qianyi [“千亿”, one hundred billion]
1010: Baiyi [“百亿”, ten billion]
109: Shiyi (G) [“十亿 (G)”, one billion]
108: Yi [“亿”, one hundred million]
107: Qianwan [“千万”, ten million]
106: Baiwan (M) [“百万 (M)”, one million]
105: Shiwan [“十万”, one hundred thousand]
104: Wan [“万”, ten thousand]
103: Qian (K) [“千 (K)”, one thousand]
102: Bai [“百”, one hundred]
101: Shi [“十”, ten]
100: Yi [“一”, one]
10-1: Fen (d) [“分 (d)”, one tenth]
10-2: Li (c) [“厘 (c)”, one hundredth]
10-3: Hao (m) [“毫 (m)”, one thousandth]
10-4: Si [“丝”, silk/thread/trace/iota, ten thousandth]
10-5: Hu [“忽”, neglect/overlook/ignore/suddenly, one hundred thousandth]
10-6: Wei (μ) [“微 (μ)”, one millionth]
10-7: Xian [“纤”, minute/delicate/fine, ten millionth]
10-8: Sha [“沙”, sand/powder/granule, one hundred millionth]
10-9: Chen (n) [“尘 (n)”, dust/dirt/earth, one billionth]
10-10: Ai [“埃”, dust/dirt/angstrom, ten billionth]
10-11: Miao [“渺”, vast/distant and distinct/tiny or insignificant, one hundred billionth]
10-12: Mo (p) [“漠 (p)”, desert/unconcerned, one trillionth]
10-13: Mohu [“模糊”, vague/distinct/fuzzy, ten trillionth]
10-14: Qunxun [“逡巡”, to draw back/to hesitate, one hundred trillionth]
10-15: Xuyu [“须臾”, in an instant, quadrillionth]
10-16: Shunxi [“瞬息”, in an instant/twinkling/ephemeral, ten quadrillionth]
10-17: Tanzhi [“弹指”, a snap of the fingers/short moment/in a flash, one hundred quadrillionth]
10-18: Chana (a) [“刹那 (a)”, brevity/in an instant, quintillionth]
10-19: Liu de [“六德”, Six Virtues, ten quintillion]
10-20: Xukong [“虚空”, void/hollow/empty, one hundred quintillionth]
10-21: Qingjing (z) [“清净 (z)”, peaceful/quiet/tranquil/purified of defiling illusions (Buddhism), sextillionth]
10-24: Niepan Jijing [“涅槃寂静”, Nirvana’s Tranquility, septillionth]
In ancient China, the smallest unit was called Nirvana’s Tranquility, while Qian Dashu represented a huge number. If this floor wasn’t Hongyang Calamity, then was it a Dashu Calamity?
If this was the case, then each floor of the pagoda represented a calamity that was arranged in ancient Chinese units of measurement.
Black Glasses and I immediately went to the next floor, which was one level higher than the previous floor. The plaque said: “Dashu Hong Calamity” (6).
Black Glasses and I looked at each other. Based on this arrangement, how many floors does this tower have? I wondered to myself.
If this was the case, then this setting illustrated the infinite expansion of the three traditional calamity phases. In other words, the people who built this pagoda believed that there were still thousands of calamities that took place in the world before the earliest Qingyang Calamity. And they listed every calamity floor by floor here.
<Chapter 190><Table of Contents><Chapter 192>
(1) I’ve been using “tower” the past few chapters, but the character “塔” can mean pagoda/tower/minaret. Since a pagoda is technically a tiered tower with multiple eaves, I’m not going to go back and change it, but just wanted to warn you that I’m using pagoda and tower interchangeably. A few pics of what some might look like:
(2) This whole paragraph is based on the “Three Suns Doctrine” which is basically a doctrine talking about the end of the world. It’s found in some Chinese salvationist religions and schools of Confucianism. A higher being divides the end of time into 3 stages, each of which is governed by a different Buddha sent by the Mother to save humanity: the “Green Sun” (qingyang) governed by Dīpankara Buddha (aka lamp-bearing Buddha), the “Red Sun” (hongyang) by Gautama Buddha, and the current “White Sun” (baiyang) by Maitreya. Fuxi is a legendary Chinese emperor (trad. 2852-2738 BC) and mythical creator of fishing, trapping, and writing.
(3) Basically a fancy name for “Queen of the West”. I think it’s her goddess name or something. Info here.
(4) I left the pinyin “Qian Dashu” because “Thousand large numbers” sounds stupid in this context lol. Characters are “千大数”. The large and mid-scale thing is basically different naming systems for integral powers of ten which use some of the same terms for different magnitudes. Example: “one billion” means one thousand millions in the short scale, while it means one million millions in the long scale. Info on the scales thing here.
(5) The whole thing is basically China’s system of using Chinese characters to represent numbers. Kind of like spelling out numbers in English (e.g., “one thousand nine hundred forty-five”). There are characters representing the numbers zero through nine, and other characters representing larger numbers such as tens, hundreds, thousands and so on. Wiki link to better explain it is here (we’re in the “large numbers” part of the article). Baidu says the system can also be called “Ganges Sand”, because it’s a Buddhist expression used to indicate an incalculably large number. I think the author copied/pasted the list of numbers from the Baidu article here. I’m not really sure how to transcribe it in English, so after the “mid-scale” part, I put the pinyin, Chinese character, direct English translation of the Chinese character, and then what I think the actual number is in English based on this. Those single letters in the parentheses on some of them are SI prefixes symbols (you know, like how “K” means thousand). Hope that helps.
(6) Again, “Dashu” (大数) means “large number”. Hong (宏) means “great/magnificent/macro (computing)/macro-“. I don’t know what number that’s supposed to be though.
Jesus fucking Christ. After spending 5+ hours on this stupid chapter, I need a drink lol. I’m still not even happy with it (Tiffany, I’m sorry in advance). Yvette has a chapter of “A Thousand Faces” but I think my brain is melted after working all day and then dealing with these chapters. I will try to post it in the morning if I have the will to even look at DMBJ lol
12 thoughts on “Chapter 191”
Feel free to take a break since you published a few chapters while I’m still working on one 47 minute episode of Psych Hunter recap for a few days now. I’m pretty sure recaps are easier than translation from the source material and you still manage to get it done.
I don’t know, I still feel like recaps would be hard 🤔 But maybe that’s just me 😂 I always get bogged down with the details so I feel like trying to recap things would be a nightmare. I’d end up including everything like “but it’s so important 🥺” 😂
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I do have the benefit of screenshots though so I don’t have to explain everything. I also get English subs so I’m not translating.
Ahhh good point. You’ve got me beat there 😂
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Sheesh, they’re going to get down to the center of the Earth… Weird chapter, I understand your need of a break…
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Right? I wasn’t impressed with this turn of events 😂. I just sat there muttering the whole time like “the spy stuff wasn’t as hard as this crap! 😡 Stupid author 😤” 😂😂😂
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You have earned your drink!! Good LORD
😂 Cheers to that!
🤯 this chapter makes me dizzy, no wonder you spend so much time for.
With all the pit of unsolved mystery and the literal pit here, we really on the journey to the certer of the word like shion2021 said.
Thank you for the hard work
The previous version of the story was interesting enough (I also expecting Fatty to appear heroically in the story.) I still can’t get over that. I’m afraid they have to spend several chapters crossing endless maze of pagoda floors with solving equation.
For change the mood, a few simple analyzes.
_This is like when the teacher gives the first part of the equation, tell you to guess the solution yourself and you don’t need to know, now let’s move to the next part.
_Or maybe he wants to express the true meaning of restart, like a computer that reboot itself when has a problem
_Or it is all Wu Xie’s nightmare. 😄 (Regardless, I’m tankful to author for this story as well)
Thank you Merebear for your hard work.
I suck at math, this chapter was my worst nightmare
Wait a second, my brain is still hurting from the weird 180 the author did with the story… so who exactly is with them now?? Bai Haotian doesn’t seem to be here anymore and I’m not even sure if Baishe and Kan Jian came down with the rest in the first version but at least Liu Sang got mentioned (as a meercat) so where is he?
I thought I was safe since the story is at least “completed” but I ended up being more confused than after the usual cliffhangers ._. which parts of the first version are even still relevant for this part now, I’m so confused ;A;