Chapter 62

I went back to that huge dark spot. I didn’t know if my guess was correct, but if it was, then the thing that I was seeing in front of me was what my grandfather saw deep in that Mount Mang cave.

But what about the huge mark on the ground?

Did the Five Mountain Dragon Gods pass by outside the coffin I was in earlier?

The ancient Chinese gods didn’t really have a likeness, and most of them only had an abstract state. Take, for example, the black rock band. After the ancients saw it, they called it a dragon and named it the “Five Mountain Dragon Gods” (of course, the full name was much longer). After that, the name of this god began to represent a higher power and all of the offered sacrifices were just sacrifices in name only.

It was much later when idol worship began to prevail, and many statues of ancient gods began to appear. But this was basically caused by competition with foreign religions.

Based on all of the information I had, this power didn’t have a form, so this mark couldn’t be the trace of a giant snake or a dragon god. But I still didn’t know what it was. Maybe…was it possible that the qi in the dragon vein had passed through this underground palace?

I used my peripheral vision to take a look at it. I was afraid I’d end up seeing a dragon—if that actually happened, it probably meant that I was completely schizophrenic—but I was relieved to find nothing at all.

After moving around like this, the poison in my body began to attack again, so I lay down and dug out more of that Chinese medicine to eat. My throat started to burn since there was too much sugar, but I knew that I wouldn’t die.

I fell asleep again, and when I woke up this time, I felt much better. I moved my shoulders and found that the pain I always felt in my deltoid muscles had disappeared. This made it abundantly clear that the poison made one lethargic and uninhibited.

I cleaned myself up and then wrapped band-aids around my remaining fingernails to keep them in place. After that, I found a bronze wine vessel with half a pot of wine in it and immersed my clothes in it to clean them.

The wine smell was overwhelming for a while, but I ignored it as I wrung my clothes out and hung them up to dry. Then, I tore off a cotton cloth bag, immersed it in the wine, and lit it. This makeshift alcohol stove not only warmed me up but also provided some lighting.

Now I could start looking around the “snake” trail for more of Poker-Face and Fatty’s marks.

Fatty’s footprints were easy to recognize, so even though I couldn’t see more of his marks, I could still tell which way he went. Sure enough, he really did go to the front of that dark spot before his footprints disappeared.

There was no logical explanation for this unless something lifted him to the ceiling. I looked up, but there was nothing there. I even looked out of the corner of my eye but still didn’t see anything.

I couldn’t find Poker-Face’s footprints, but that wasn’t surprising since he had the skills to move around without leaving a trace.

I sat in front of the dark spot and tried to imagine the situation they had encountered. At this time, I suddenly smacked myself, got up, and went back to the coffin to see the big hole in the outer coffin’s mural.

It was so obvious! The two of them couldn’t go into the dark spot, so they must have gone into the outer coffin. No matter what the footprints seemed to indicate, the logic wouldn’t fail.

My clothes were almost dry by this time, so I put them back on and warmed my body in front of the makeshift alcohol stove. After checking my flashlight and Kukri, I went over to the hole in the outer coffin to take a look. Sure enough, Poker-Face’s mark was engraved on the side of a brick.

But how did Fatty teleport from there to here?

I stared blankly for a moment but then it hit me. That giant, dragon-like mark was formed by something dragging Fatty.

Fatty must’ve fled to the dark spot but was dragged here directly.

I couldn’t help feeling amused and slightly worried. So if Poker-Face didn’t leave any footprints, did that mean he was riding on it?

When I pointed my flashlight into the hole, I could see that it was very narrow inside and the wood and brick structures intersected. The outer coffin’s wall was too thick to see what was at the center of it.

After climbing in about three or four meters, I saw five of Poker-Face’s marks.

The first three meant:

Fatty was caught.
This is that thing’s nest.
Highly toxic.

The last two marks, however, left me confused for a moment.

I didn’t know these last two marks, but they seemed easy enough to understand. I figured they must have been newly created.

The first mark was five black strips with dragon horns on the heads.

Was this warning me about the Five Mountain Dragon Gods? Sure enough, he had also discovered this.

The second mark was the Chinese character for door(1).

What did this mean?

The first three marks and these two marks were engraved in different positions. If I wasn’t certain that I was the only one in this underground palace, I would’ve thought they were marks for two different people.

The first three marks were made very clearly. Fatty must have been bitten and dragged into the outer coffin, so Poker-Face gave chase and left me a mark. The giant corpse was also very poisonous, which I had already learned.

There was also that last mark that told me to hide my scent. I figured that I was now enveloped in the smell of wine and dead things, so I should be ok.

I kept crawling inside and soon saw a lot of tiny teeth embedded everywhere on the wooden frame. They must have gotten stuck when that giant corpse came out earlier. When I found a space that was a little wider, I stopped to take a break and looked back at the entrance.

I swept my flashlight over, just wanting to confirm the path behind me in order to reassure myself. But at this time, I suddenly saw Ping Lian’s “skinless” dog head appear. I didn’t know who put it in the hole I had just crawled through, but it was an extremely frightening sight in the flashlight’s glow.

<Chapter 61><Table of Contents><Chapter 63>


TN Notes:

(1) 门 (can also mean gate).


4 thoughts on “Chapter 62

  1. Great. Things weren’t bad enough, I suppose. Now we’re back to a long narrow tunnel in a tomb… leading to some “gate”. This deja-vu not only creeps me out, but scares me so. Is there another book after this one? Are we going to go beyond the Bronze Door this time? Will Xiaoge go back there AGAIN? How long was it since last time? Please don’t tell me time flew by and it’s already 10 years after Changbai Mountain!!! Freaking out over there !!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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