I was very familiar with this sentence. Uncle Three—or someone else—left it for me at the bottom of Warehouse Eleven.
The so-called Thunder City was said to be the place where Lei Zu (1) lived. Lei Zu was also known by two other names: the “Heavenly Lord of Universal Transformation Whose Voice of Thunder Resonates from the Origin of the Nine Heavens” and the “Perfect King of Universal Transformation Whose Voice of Thunder Resonates with the Origin of the Nine Heavens”.
In Taoism, Chen Wenyu—the governor of Leizhou in the Tang Dynasty—was regarded as Lei Zu in later generations. Chen Wenyu was the child of a hunter from a tribe of ethnic minorities that had gathered at the edge of the South Sea during the Sui Dynasty. The hunter’s name was Chen You. One day, he found a huge egg among a cluster of thorns. When a thunderstorm broke out, the egg cracked opened to reveal Chen Wenyu inside. Later, Chen Wenyu became the governor of Leizhou. He then went on to become an immortal in his later years. He was the only recorded Lei Zu in history.
Lei Zu was said to be the top-ranked god among those in the Thunder Department (2). It was also said in Chinese mythology that he was an extremely accurate “slayer” god.
The map in the South Sea King’s tomb indicated that the thunder contained some information that pointed to Thunder City’s location, but I didn’t think the Thunder City there was the real Thunder City in the traditional sense. The people at that time probably got information from the thunder and thought that the place this map pointed to was Lei Zu’s immortal city.
In Taoism, thunder was the key to becoming immortal, so the alchemists all thought that it was an immortal land. Believing it to be a shortcut to becoming immortal, they flocked to it.
Coincidentally, the names Chen Wen-Jin and Chen Wenyu were very similar. And when Uncle Three was listening to thunder in the mountains, Chen Wen-Jin was among those in his group. For me, it was impossible to solve the mystery of Yang Daguang’s family’s origin of thunder, whether Chen Wen-Jin was related to the legendary Chen Wenyu, or whether it was all just coincidence.
But if we simply took it at face value, then the information appearing in the thunder may not have anything to do with the myth at all. It was a little too far-fetched for future generations to insist on associating Thunder City with a myth.
Uncle Three’s so-called “alleviating all regrets” had nothing to do with Slayer God Lei Zu.
On the surveillance monitor, the sorceress’s daughter’s mouth formed ten sentences in total. In fact, the amount of information was very sufficient, and Black Glasses only had trouble figuring out one sentence.
I’ll write the information contained in these nine sentences below:
1. Going to Thunder City can alleviate all regrets.
2. Your mother is waiting for you there.
3. The people who go to Thunder City are actually chosen by heaven. It’s not a spontaneous idea, you just don’t realize it.
4. Only those who have huge regrets can feel the thunder’s message.
5. The people who come back from Thunder City aren’t humans, but immortals.
6. Immortals aren’t gods, but other things.
7. These things are produced by people who go to Thunder City, hoping that the dead will be revived.
8. Immortals can’t leave Thunder City or they’ll harm people.
9. Your mother wanted to take that thing back to Thunder City, but it didn’t leave.
I touched my chin. According to this, the thing wasn’t a ghost or a monster, but an “immortal thing”.
If the immortal thing wasn’t actually an immortal, then what was it?
According to these words, the sorceress’s daughter and the sorceress herself went to Thunder City in this way.
So, the story should be like this: the ancient female corpse found in Liaobian must’ve been to Thunder City and brought back an immortal from there.
This woman must’ve had a huge regret. Then, one day, she suddenly received a signal from above and went to Thunder City. But she didn’t go of her own volition; it was more like something was secretly influencing her. That regret must’ve been a lost relative. So, the woman alleviated all of her regrets in Thunder City and recalled her lost loved one. But according to the chumaxian, what was recalled wasn’t a person, but an immortal thing.
She wasn’t supposed to take this immortal thing out of Thunder City, but things like this happen in this world and she eventually brought it out of Thunder City. After that, the immortal thing began to harm people and the woman also died in the end. Maybe too many strange things had happened before her death, so she sealed her face with a bronze mirror. (I made this up.)
At the same time, the immortal thing must’ve also been buried with this woman. It was trapped on her corpse, where it remained invisible and unseen.
Time passed and then the loggers found the female corpse. When they were stealing the funerary objects from her body, the immortal thing started to influence them. As a result, they looked for the sorceress. The chumaxian told the sorceress about the immortal thing, and then the sorceress killed all the loggers and cast spells, intending to set up the fish-corpse array and send the immortal thing back to a certain place.
The sorceress and chumaxian forced out the immortal thing, and when it latched onto the sorceress’s back, she brought it to the rooftop. Then, the sorceress was instantly burned to a crisp by “some kind of lightning” and the whole building caught fire.
But the immortal didn’t return, the plan failed, and the sorceress’s sacrifice was wasted.
This is the general truth of the whole story, but there are some details that are still unclear. I could write this story with terrifying words because it really is creepy, but I figure it’s not necessary since it’s just a record.
But there was a lingering question: why did the chumaxian also let the sorceress’s daughter go to Thunder City?
Here, I have a theory. First of all, was there really a chumaxian?
Based on my knowledge, many of these sorceresses were just feng shui masters with considerable knowledge. So, this sorceress didn’t need a chumaxian. She could infer the situation of Thunder City and the immortal thing from the female corpse’s situation and also make the fish-corpse array and send the immortal thing back.
So, there was no chumaxian.
Then what exactly was the chumaxian that came back to the sorceress’s daughter?
Could it be that immortal thing?
Did it make the sorceress’s daughter directly flick her eyes back and forth like that so that it could look at people? Was the consciousness that twisted her limbs the same “thing” that came out of Thunder City?
If so, then did it kill the sorceress’s daughter? In other words, it had been on the girl’s body and Black Glasses’ arrival suddenly motivated it to kill her.
This theory was later verified by Black Glasses, because after returning from the Northeast, he started to notice that something was riding on the back of his neck. That thing was a strange power that prevented him from looking up. Not only could he only look at his own feet, but his eyes began to rapidly deteriorate.
That immortal thing had finally come after him.
“But,” Xie Yuchen said, “this time, it encountered a hard bone to swallow.”
How did Black Glasses avoid the same end as the sorceress and the sorceress’s daughter? How did he fight against this non-human, non-ghost thing and finally win? That’s a story for another time; a story that’s related to a tall “living immortal”. It’s not convenient to discuss more here, but the final result was that the immortal thing suddenly disappeared and no one knew where it went.
Let’s return to the jungles of Myanmar.
Black Glasses got rid of the so-called “immortal thing” and later thought that it was just a rare eye disease. Then, he met a woman who couldn’t speak in Mute Village. After doing some calculations, he found that the woman’s age matched that of the little girl he had saved from the fire.
He saw that there was a strange thing behind the woman that looked like the thing he saw when he was doing the Chuma ritual with the sorceress’s daughter.
This brought back his memories.
Long time no see, he thought to himself as he looked at that thing that was entangled around the girl’s throat. Black Glasses smiled, it’s time for a showdown.
<Chapter 8><Table of Contents><Chapter 10>
(1) Lei Zu is the highest ranked thunder god in Pure Taoist Religion according to this site. Lei Zu (雷祖) can mean “Thunder Patriarch” or “Thunder Ancestor”. Fun fact: Lei Zu has a 3rd eye, which can see all things in the world and is in charge of yin and yang, good and evil, the Thunder Department, five elements, descendants, etc.
(2) Lei Bu (雷部), or Thunder Department/Agency is a fourteen-member department that Lei Zu oversees. They deal with the functions of thunder, from providing rain to announcing fortune or misfortune, and even to conferring life or death after the inspection and evaluation of people.
2 thoughts on “Chapter 9”
“That’s a story for another time….It’s not convenient to discuss more here” aaagh NPSS strikes again! He gives answers with one hand and takes away with the other!
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Author likes to dig holes 🕳 😑 just when you think that there was in fact a plan all along he just goes “nope, I’ll come back once I’ve figured out how to untangle the plot this time” and instead throws you down another hole to distract you 😅