It was at this time that Ah Tou felt the full weight of her affection for Liang Yanyan. When the other woman first showed up, she felt that Liang Yanyan was completely incomprehensible. But when the two of them were shocked by Long Immortal’s ending, Ah Tou felt that the other woman was the same as her.
She didn’t make too many outrageous evaluations about life, but unlike the distant Black Glasses and Boss Xie, she and Liang Yanyan were definitely in the same world.
After taking a while to calm down, Liang Yanyan continued watching the rest of the tapes. One of the tapes documented Long Immortal’s funeral. Long Immortal had to be buried according to local custom, but it turned out that not many people came to see him. The whole village had been living off of him, but only a few people attended his funeral in the end.
This reminded Ah Tou of Long Immortal’s last words. She felt that once he lost the ability to save people and became able to kill others instead, he must have experienced too many terrible things in the last few years of his life.
Maybe others thought that his abilities hadn’t transformed and he had been killing people intentionally, but something like that could never be done by a kind soul like him. Only an evil person would make people immediately understand that they should respect him more because he had the power to kill them.
But after examining the people who had been attending the funeral, Ah Tou cried out in surprise and pressed the pause button. She pointed to one of them and said, “This is the person I drew at Boss Xie’s house.”
Liang Yanyan took a look at the screen and saw that the person was standing amongst the crowd. He wasn’t tall at all—not even close to two meters—so why was he so tall at Xie Yuchen’s house?
Ah Tou was also confused. That person was looking at the camera expressionlessly and appeared somewhat dull.
The next tape was about Pan Boda’s study on those stones. His research was actually very interesting. Pan Boda had determined that these stones weren’t diamonds, but śarīras (1).
There was actually a difference between cremated ashes and śarīras. A lot of Chinese travelers in Thailand thought that they had bought the cremated ashes of a monk but these ashes were merely the monk’s fingernails. While cremated ashes referred to an entire body after death, a śarīra was a magical crystal formed after cremation.
In fact, it was extremely hard to acquire an actual śarīra and no one actually knew what it was. It was only known that śarīras were naturally acquired by monks during their lifetime because they cultivated their virtues of precepts and wisdom.
People who had become Buddhas or had great enlightenment would cultivate śarīra inside their bodies. As a result, Pan Boda believed that Long Immortal had become a Buddha.
He wanted to break this stone apart but he couldn’t find a method that worked. The stone was extremely hard and he ended up cutting his hand on it. Ah Tou had a photographic memory, so as she watched several of the subsequent tapes, she immediately found that Pan Boda’s hand never healed.
In the end, Pan Boda’s wound deteriorated rapidly. They couldn’t determine the cause, but it almost seemed as if he had been cursed. He also sought help from other village sorceresses, but he still couldn’t be treated.
Ah Tou could tell from Pan Boda’s posture and the extremely poor condition of his body that he was dying. She instinctively felt that the look in his eyes had also changed.
Something’s going on.
Sure enough, in the next tape, Pan Boda explained that his body was badly infected and even if his hand were to be amputated, he might not recover from it. He couldn’t live without his hands because he worked as a surgeon, so he wanted to cut open his brain and put the stone that had been taken out of Long Immortal’s brain into his own brain.
If Long Immortal was right, maybe he could regain the healing power and heal himself.
But he had no way to operate on himself and he didn’t have any assistants who could help him, so he had to find another way.
After Pan Boda finished talking and moved out of the camera frame, Ah Tou saw a person already lying on an operating table behind him. The person was in a deep coma. He wasn’t some random person, but the villager who had attended Long Immortal’s funeral. He was the two-meter-tall ghost that she had drawn at Xie Yuchen’s house.
Pan Boda was going to put the stone into this man’s brain and make this person a long immortal who could heal him.
<Chapter 41><Table of Contents><Chapter 43>
(1) A pearl or crystal-like bead-shaped object found among the cremated ashes of Buddhist spiritual masters. Info here.
One thought on “Chapter 42”
It’s all coming full circle at last!