Chapter 29 Demon Monk

I had actually heard of this dish before, but I didn’t know the specific details. I had only heard Uncle Three say that there was a dish called “Wanshi Meat” (1). First of all, it could only be eaten after it was buried in the ground for a long time. As a result, only one generation could eat it after several generations had passed. Not only was it extremely delicious, but it was also very good for the body and could treat some diseases, which was amazing. Secondly, you would know just by hearing the name that it was a meat dish.

While Shen Qianjue was hiding by the food box, her partner was engaging in a chaotic fight with Old Bing and his team.

Her partner was extremely flexible and lightweight, so from Shen Qianjue’s point of view, it almost appeared as if she were floating. Old Bing and his team had been flipped around several times, but there were still of few of them that had some skills.

Shen Qianjue couldn’t open the food box by herself, so she pointed her flashlight at her partner and started to run over to her. But in the chaos, she ended up tripping and falling flat on her back. At this time, she saw a statue hanging directly above the food box.

The statue was attached to the top of the underground palace and looked to be carved from one giant piece of wood. It was about as tall as two people, and the surface was now cracked and blackened. It was obviously a Tibetan Buddhist statue, but the Buddha’s head looked very realistic. It must have been carved in the image of a certain senior monk. This Buddha statue overlooked the entire banquet area.

Beside the Buddha statue, there were bas-reliefs of seven or eight nude maidens that had been carved around the statue’s dome. They appeared to be offering flowers to the Buddha statue.

This wooden Buddha statue was definitely done in the artistic style of Tibetan Buddhism, but Shen Qianjue felt extremely uncomfortable whenever she looked at its expression. The Buddha statue’s face was just like a real person, so its expression looked very realistic. When looking at the banquet below, the Buddha statue’s eyes weren’t calm and desireless, but actually looked very sinister.

Based on how this Buddha statue was positioned in regards to the food box, it was obvious that the food box belonged to it. Moreover, this statue must’ve been the host of the banquet. But with the way the statue was overlooking the whole banquet, Shen Qianjue didn’t believe that the special Wanshi Liuxia dish was its only food item. In fact, it almost seemed as if the whole banquet was its food.

This whole situation was enough to make people feel very uncomfortable.

Shen Qianjue believed that this Buddha statue was the statue of the person who had built this underground palace. But a monk being served by naked women and setting up such a luxurious banquet in the underground palace was very perverted.

She asked me to believe her story and said that she had both expertise and authority in this field.

So, this lotus-shaped underground palace was built by a monk. Naked women…flowers…demon monk…Yuan Dynasty….. I took a deep breath. Is it him? Why is the world’s second most valuable tomb related to him?

But if it really did have something to do with him, then everything we had encountered along the way could finally be explained.

Fatty had obviously come to the same conclusion as me and opened his mouth to ask a question, but I stopped him and told him to wait until Shen Qianjue was finished. I was afraid that if we interrupted her, the satellite would leave again before we finished hearing the whole story.

What Shen Qianjue said after that was relatively simple. Her partner finally rushed to her side, led her out of the tight encirclement, and took advantage of the darkness to leave the underground palace.

Old Bing and his team chased them out, so they hid on a hillside. It’s worth noting that Old Bing and his team finally turned on their flashlights at this time, almost as they didn’t need them when they were in the tomb before.

Old Bing and his men searched for Shen Qianjue and her partner very persistently, but the two girls cleverly used the terrain to hide from them. In the end, the group of men were finally forced to give up the search. When Old Bing and his team gathered together again, the two girls actually weren’t that far from them. That was the last time they eavesdropped on the group of men and it was also the time when they decided to leave the grassland.

It’s not necessary to record the whole dialogue, but I got the gist of it with a few key phrases.

First, Old Bing asked the others in his team, “You all saw it, right?”

“Yes, we saw it,” everyone replied. “We saw it after eating that thing.”

“Are you willing to go?” Old Bing asked them.

Some of the people hesitated, but others nodded, “We’re going!”

One person suddenly spoke up, “There aren’t enough people. How can we all get there?”

“Find someone and go together,” Old Bing said.

One man seemed to be relatively timid and asked, “What if we can’t come back?”

“When we get there, we’ll try to find a way. Someone had to come back to write that paragraph, so we’ll definitely make it back,” Old Bing said.

Everyone remained silent.

“There are still a lot of people missing,” one person said very calmly. “The number of people is very important.”

“It’s a pity those two women ran away.” Old Bing said. “Tomorrow, we’ll broadcast the news about the underground palace here. When people come and eat that thing, someone will surely have the same idea as us.”

After that, they discussed some information, which seemed to have something to do with where they were going.

It was too difficult for Shen Qianjue and her partner to hear clearly, but Shen Qianjue did catch what sounded like “Galabu”. She thought that it was the name of the place they were headed to.

The explanation of Galabu in Mongolian mythology was so complicated that Shen Qianjue couldn’t explain it to us clearly, but my attention was focused on the logic that after eat “that thing”, you could see “it” and decide whether you wanted to go somewhere. I glanced at Fatty, who pointed to a mole on his neck as if to ask whether it was Shigong’s mole.

Would you see something after eating Shigong’s mole? Was it “Galabu”? But what the hell was that?

I asked Shen Qianjue one last question: According to her friend, when would the poison kill Old Bing and his team?

Shen Qianjue told me that it should’ve been within two days, but that couldn’t be right. Old Bing’s corpse had been found in the first grove—I’ll just call it Past Life Forest (2)—which would take at least two weeks to get back to if they were coming from the Sea of Black Lights Valley. Old Bing and his team wouldn’t have been able to arrive at the grove if they were poisoned. In other words, the day after they started heading to the grove, they would have all been dead. So how exactly did they complete the subsequent journey?

Of course, there were enough strange things going on here without taking this one incident into consideration.

We thanked Shen Qianjue and agreed not to contact her unless absolutely necessary. Things on the grassland were very strange, and now that they had left, they should at least be able to go with peace of mind.

Before hanging up, Shen Qianjue suddenly hesitated as if she wanted to say something. But she didn’t end up saying it in the end.

I hung up the phone as our horses continued moving forward. I glanced at Poker-Face and felt my heart settle a little when I saw that his gaze was fixed firmly in the distance. He didn’t refute or add anything to the information we had just heard, which showed that he either noticed it long ago or wasn’t worried about it. But he had just told me to mentally prepare myself, so I couldn’t help but feel a little worried. I didn’t even know what he had been referring to.

Was it possible that one day, in the future, we’d have to swallow Shigong’s mole in order to truly understand what Old Bing and his team had been talking about?

I was just about to ask him when Fatty suddenly said, “Mr. Naïve, if this place has something to do with that monster, then we have to come up with a long-term plan.”

I nodded. There was only one monk in the Yuan Dynasty who would dare use naked women to offer flowers to a statue. If this place really was related to him, then it wasn’t surprising that the atmosphere seemed so sinister. He was a Xixia native (3) who became a disciple of Basiba (4), a national teacher of the Yuan Dynasty. He was the first demon monk in Chinese history, and one of the royal feng shui masters of the Yuan Dynasty.

<Chapter 28><Table of Contents><Chapter 30>

****

TN Notes:

(1) Per Tiffany: “Wanshi” means “tens of thousands of generations”

(2) Wu Xie called it “Past Life” because that was where Old Jin discovered the bones of his “past life”.

(3) Western Xia dynasty (1038-1227) of Tangut people occupying modern Ningxia and parts of Gansu and Shaanxi. They were overthrown by Mongols.

(4) I wasn’t getting results in English, but when I put the characters (八思巴) into google, Drogön Chogyal Phagpa pops up. That guy was one of the Five Sakya patriarchs, the first Imperial Preceptor of the Yuan dynasty, and vice-ruler of Tibet. He lived from 1235-1280 (the Yuan Dynasty was from 1279–1368).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s