At this time, my mind was completely chaotic as I looked at the valley in front of me and recalled all of the weak moments I had experienced before.
To be honest, I wasn’t the kind of person who always had a solution to everything. In fact, there were many times in the past where I had felt powerless. But perseverance was my strength. The flood of fate—which I remembered very clearly even now—hadn’t been erased just by living a comfortable life.
But the sense of powerlessness I felt at this time was very special. In our previous adventures, we had rarely faced such strange unknowns.
Had we really been possessed? And after being possessed, did we unknowingly continue moving forward for two days and kept using the radio to call Shen Qianjue and her partner back to the grassland? This reminded me of those stories you’d hear about “evil places”, which were certain areas that seemed to be sentient. They would constantly lure people to visit and then kill those who entered.
Of course, I used to think that these stories were just pure fiction, but this grassland was giving me the same feeling.
At this time, I didn’t know what to do or who to turn to for help.
I was debating on whether I should keep moving forward or not, but Poker-Face suddenly rode forward without an ounce of hesitation. Fatty’s face was pale as he and I exchanged a look.
“Little Brother isn’t afraid. It’s alright as long as Little Brother isn’t afraid,” Fatty said.
I went up and asked Poker-Face what he thought. He looked at the area in front of us and said, “If we go back, we’ll die.”
I immediately understood. There was no point in thinking too much at this time. We had to leave the grassland first before we talked about what to do since the situation might get better once we got away from it.
The grassland valley’s terrain was slightly different from that of the grassland itself. From here, we could see hills in the distance and trees starting to appear sporadically. They stood on the hills in clusters of seven or eight. Every time we rode to the top of these hills, it became more and more obvious that we were entering a more mountainous area.
The horses were panting for breath, so we dismounted in order to let them and the dog rest for a bit. When we looked ahead, the first thing we saw were a bunch of hills. The trees were becoming more and more lush and the words “small forest” could no longer be used to describe it. This was a forested area on the grassland that could be classified as a vast primitive forest. And off in the distance, we could see a snow line appear at the edge of our field of vision.
This seemed to indicate that behind the hill, there was a very high mountain range that had snow on its peak that never melted.
I didn’t see a name for this mountain on the GPS, which meant that it had to be a nameless snowy mountain.
The river valley only contained sporadic pools of water, which dotted the grassland all the way up into the hills. The furthest part of the valley seemed to stretch deep into the forest.
When I looked at that forest, I felt a chill in my heart. The trees were exactly the same as the ones I had seen before. I didn’t know what was in this forest or what was buried underneath, but if that huge underground banquet palace was in these woods, then it must’ve been built along the mountain. It appeared we’d have to take a look at the feng shui here.
The pools of water probably came from snowmelt that flowed down from the mountains. They were all connected underground, but there wasn’t enough water for them to appear aboveground. That was why there were only small pools in this valley. It was easy to imagine a big river flowing quietly in this place when there was enough snow.
I continued examining the topography and figured that there were about six or seven similar-sized river valleys stationed along the road to the snow-capped mountains.
Maybe this was why it was called the Sea of Black Lights.
As we continued looking at our surroundings, we saw a lot of small, colorful flowers growing between the mountains. It was very beautiful.
The source of a river was generally called “the dragon’s mouth”(1), and since there were a lot of valleys here, that meant that there were multiple dragon mouths. This feng shui was actually very complicated, but the superficial knowledge I had learned wasn’t enough to make any clear judgements on it. But based on how there were only a few pools of water—which looked like a dragon vomiting blood—this dragon was obviously very sick.
But what did the words “black” and “light” mean here? They obviously had opposite meanings, but they essentially gave people the impression that the valley was shrouded in darkness to such an extent that even lights couldn’t illuminate it.
“Something is obviously pressing on this dragon vein,” Fatty said. “It cut off the water’s qi and caused the river in this valley to turn into spit.”
“Are you talking about the underground lotus palace?” I asked him. I couldn’t help but think that it was impossible.
“Of course it’s not that little underground palace,” Fatty replied. “You need a huge thing to crush a whole dragon vein. It must be in that snow-capped mountain.”
He started drawing a picture on the ground, “Suppose this is our present valley and there’s an underground palace beside it, which is in the shape of a lotus flower. I guess the feng shui array here is called “water’s qi produces a lotus”. In every river valley, there will be a small underground palace with burial pits or pits full of grave goods. It represents a lotus flower, each of which converges along the final water vein that leads to the huge thing in the snow-capped mountain. That thing is the lotus flowers’ root system.”
I looked into the distance and realized that Fatty was right. Even though what he had just said should be pure nonsense, there must’ve been a behemoth in the mountain that was crushing the whole dragon vein.
Fatty continued, “Wait and see. I’m sure that I’m right this time. I’ll even call you ‘Dad’ when that happens. Care to take that bet?”
I suddenly realized that he was sleepy and delirious. We needed to hurry and find a safe place to recover our strength before we headed deep into the Sea of Black Lights.
When we re-entered the river valley, the air was fresh. We were used to seeing the flat grassland, so now that we had entered the hilly area, the landscape was more complicated and our moods were a little calmer. We stopped beside a random pool and the dog immediately fell asleep again. Even the horses couldn’t stand any longer.
The bags under both mine and Fatty’s eyes were so big that we could practically touch them. As soon as I realized that the situation wasn’t good, I proposed that we rest here. It was still early, but neither the horses nor the dog could walk anymore. Plus, Fatty and I had actually endured for too long. We were almost in a deranged state and would soon get sick if this kept up.
We decided to set up camp at the mouth of the valley. I had originally planned on having a detailed discussion before going to bed since I didn’t know what would happen after night fell, but I fell asleep before I knew it.
I didn’t wake up until I had physically slept for at least twenty hours.(2) I looked around in a daze and saw Poker-Face leaning by the horses, keeping watch for us. I moved and suddenly found that there was a rope tied to my leg. When I pulled on it, I saw that the other end was tied to a threaded steel pipe that was deeply embedded in the ground.
I got up and stretched a bit before turning to see that Fatty had the same setup on his side. He was still sleeping like a log.
My mind was very stable at this time, but when I got up and washed my face at the edge of the pool, the sense of crisis began to return. As it turned out, people who were too tired would deceive themselves.
When I checked our surroundings and didn’t see any changes, I breathed a sigh of relief. Luckily, this was still the same place where we had set up camp yesterday.
When I came back, Poker-Face was already asleep and Fatty still hadn’t woken up yet.
It was late by the time we all woke up and set off again, but we couldn’t push it off any longer. After venturing further into the valley, it was some time after midnight when we saw a stone tablet lying at the bottom of a pool (Fatty had actually seen it when he was peeing).
The stone tablet was as tall as three horses, made of white marble, and engraved with Mongolian characters. There also appeared to be countless marks randomly engraved on the side.
It was the mark of the Zhang family, which indicated that this was the boundary of a dangerous area. And the place up ahead was the area where the Zhang family felt that there was the most danger. We wanted to enter without any hesitation, but Ping Lian and the horses suddenly refused to move. Instead, they just stared at the darkness up ahead.
I followed their line of sight and saw what appeared to be a group of people sitting in a circle in the dark. This seemed to be the same situation we had encountered in that first grove.
<Chapter 31><Table of Contents><Chapter 33>
(1) 龙口涎水 directly translates as “dragon mouth saliva”, but that sounds stupid and the pinyin won’t work here, so you get “dragon’s mouth”. Just imagine that a river is dragon drool I guess.
(2) I know that sounds weird, but he means his internal clock woke him up after 20 “normal” hours, not “time warp” hours.
5 thoughts on “Chapter 32 Nameless Snowy Mountain”
If the Zhang say it is a dangerous place…
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Then every non-Zhang would die…
I know 0 mandarin so I can’t say anything about “Black Sea of Light” or “Sea of Black Lights”… “Sea of Black Lights” sounds fun with a white shirt though 🙂
Hahaha I was thinking the same thing. Dance party!
thank you for the chapter! 😊 this story seems like it might be the best one yet (to me), given how interesting it is already
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