There was no simple way for us to understand the cultural system formed by the combination of Bonism and many foreign religions. It was difficult to standardize it for every region, every period, and every key religious figure, especially the primitive Bon religion which had a history of nearly eight thousand years.
This was the ultimate collision of primitive beliefs and culture, which created a cultural system so vast that it couldn’t even be verified.
I took out my cell phone—it was almost dead, but I could charge it using the electricity generated by shaking the z-shaped handle of my flashlight—and then took a picture of the relief sculpture.
I was especially grateful to this relief sculpture for enabling me to finally feel relieved. The fact that it was here meant that neither the designer nor the tomb owner wanted to hide anything. Indeed, we had come to a place that couldn’t be explored deeply at all.
After bypassing the spirit screen, we continued moving forward. There were ceramic figurines on both sides of the tunnel and various small niches full of human bones began to appear on the walls. But the most amazing thing was that there were clothes fragments on these things, which all had ancient Mongolian writing on them.
If you looked closely, you could see that many of these corpses were unusual and came from various ethnic groups. There was a large number of them, but I could tell at a glance that many of them were zombies that had decayed into bones. Some were simply zombies that had been stuck in a niche when they were in a half-transformed state while others weren’t even human. These last ones only looked like humans, but I didn’t know what they were.
“What are these things? Are they the scraps from the food that was used as material for sacrifices?” Fatty asked. “Is this an ancient supermarket where you can get fresh human meat?”
I shook my head and pointed my flashlight forward, but I couldn’t see the end of the tunnel at all. There seemed to be tens of thousands of corpses here, each one covered in those scraps of cloth with the writing on it. I couldn’t help but take a deep breath. This kind of setup was obviously very similar to a museum. Not only did each of the ceramic figurines and bones in the wall have a name and history, but they were even arranged according to their size and rank.
I assumed that these corpses had all been dug up from various places. And based on the clothing, they were bestowed the status of gods to act as the head god’s companions and protectors since they had inhuman features. It really wasn’t easy to collect tens of thousands of human bodies, so I could tell by looking at the bones that they had made up the numbers by using baboons.
It seemed that someone was helping the tomb owner fully realize the companion system of the ancient gods in the Bon religion. To put it bluntly, someone drew a picture of himself becoming a Buddha, and then people began to use various techniques to make this picture a reality.
“We’ve all seen the black people and some of the god’s companions on that relief sculpture, so does this mean that the Bon gods are real?” Fatty asked me. “You said that there are five earth dragon gods here, but does this Bon religion really have anything to do with our ancient feng shui gods?”
Of course it was related. One of the most important texts in the Bon religion was called “A Hundred Thousand Dragon Scriptures”. We lived on a continent, so our ancestors’ earliest forms of worship were actually related. Whether it was Taoism or Bonism, the whole system basically stemmed from the foot of the Kunlun Mountains, which was our ancestor dragon.
It was said that dragons were a kind of creature that didn’t exist in reality outside of the zodiac, but my grandfather said that they did exist and they had a certain breath of life to them. But what we could see was actually the black rock bands in the veins of the earth.
It was just that this relationship could no longer be verified.
I didn’t know what those strange black people we saw along the way were or what the three-faced giant corpse was, but there were so many strange corpses collected here that they had to be connected somehow. It almost felt like these various zombies were made in response to this fictional head god, but truthfully, when comparing these things with the relief sculpture, they just looked similar rather than godlike.
“Then this ancient god…does it also exist? Will it pop out like the previous ones?”
I sighed. I didn’t know and we shouldn’t speculate on how the original Bon system would achieve this. Our imaginations definitely weren’t good enough.
Primitive religion was closer to the essence of religion, but that was the essence at the beginning of the Stone Age. I couldn’t guess what people were thinking at that time, so I didn’t know what would happen in the future.
But that Qilin—
I glanced at Poker-Face, who had stopped in front of us. There was a big ceramic figurine blocking the middle of the tunnel. At first glance, it looked like it had King Yama’s face, but when we walked over, we saw that it was actually covered in human skin and had a Qilin tattooed on it.
This companion god was clearly no ordinary companion god considering how it was bigger and placed in the middle of the tunnel like this. It looked more like an official with King Yama’s identity.
There was no doubt. This was the skin from a Zhang family member.
Even in this system, the Zhang family were still a rare breed set apart from the others.
Poker-Face went up behind the ceramic figurine, where I saw a black knife hanging on its back. He took the black knife, pulled it out of its sheath, and examined it. It turned out to be a black Tibetan knife. He discarded his broken knife and stuck the Tibetan knife on the belt at his lower back.
It was obvious to see that he had finally found some peace of mind.
At this time, he touched the human skin on the ceramic figurine. I didn’t know if he had done something to it or if it had just oxidized, but I saw that Qilin tattoo begin to fade from the skin.