My logic was very simple. It was very important for me to understand what I was dealing with.
Was it looking at me with its eyes, smelling me with its nose, or listening to me with its ears? Basically, how did it know that I was falling asleep?
Also, was it really an “it”?
I had considerable experience with this kind of thing. Grandpa’s notes often mentioned a need to rely on your own experiences, but when it came to the actual process, it was easy for people to forget the things they had previously learned and fall into a fearful state.
The zombies I had encountered before weren’t like this because they were more of a dead thing with conditioned reflexes. The thing currently in front of me, however, seemed to have a strange, evil nature. According to my grandpa’s theory, the situation I was facing wasn’t consistent with my past experiences, so I needed to think in reverse.
What happened here? Was it really a zombie?
You might say that this thing in front of me was extremely intelligent, but that actually wasn’t the case. In fact, its behavior had a certain pattern to it that wasn’t all that complicated—it just wouldn’t let me continue climbing up. It had an extremely oppressive presence, which it seemed to be using to deliberately cause me to have a mental breakdown and jump from here. But you couldn’t say that it didn’t have any intelligence at all, because it didn’t attack me like a beast or make me have a violent hallucination. Instead, it used a kind of depressing method.
If everything that happened here was an attempt to lure me to jump off the cliff, then I wouldn’t find it so strange. After all, I had experienced some evil things before, and this kind of strange thing would happen in some places. Plus, the evil presence here had a tendency to make people try their best to commit suicide. There were many parasites in the natural environment that would make the people they parasitized have strong suicidal thoughts. Those who witnessed such behavior would think that the people were possessed by evil spirits.
But I wasn’t allowed to climb up any more, which didn’t fit in line with this behavior. As I was thinking, I looked up at the void overhead, which was actually where the censer was hanging.
In fact, what would we do if we were able to climb to the top? Was there a hole for us to get out of here? Or maybe there was some kind of force that wouldn’t let us out? It was also possible that there was something in the censer that I wasn’t allowed to see, so this power sent a zombie down to stall us. If so, this Mr. Power was quite weak and powerless since it seemed like he didn’t have many methods at his disposal.
Following that line of thinking, if these zombies weren’t intelligent and were just dead things—which was in line with my past experiences—then what enabled them to have behavioral patterns?
To be honest, if I thought about it this way, I couldn’t help but think that the thing in front of me was actually more like a paranormal phenomenon, or—
I exhaled a big mouthful of smoke and said to myself, or there’s something inside these zombies that’s alive and intelligent.
But this intelligence was limited. It was just like those snakes in the Snake Marsh’s ancient city that were more intelligent than I had originally thought. Or maybe it was similar to getting close to the nest of a large animal out in nature. Take bears for example. If there were cubs in the nest, the mother bear would stop you from far away.
When I thought of this, that strange sense of disharmony I kept feeling in my heart weakened a little bit.
The next step was to try.
Ok, I said to myself. I went over and sat down in front of Jin Xingsan without saying anything. It looked at me as if it were waiting for me to speak.
If there really was something alive in this thing, then there were several ways that it could tell that I was falling asleep. After all, animals’ senses were much stronger than humans’ senses. Infrared rays, heat, hearing, and smell were all senses that could detect such a thing. I knew for a fact that there were some bats that could accurately sense whether animals were asleep or not.
Smoking would affect my smell, but ordinary cigarette smoke would hardly cover up any changes in the hormone levels in my body. If I wanted to forcibly cover up my smell, I may need more cigarettes.
When I touched my pack of cigarettes, however, I suddenly remembered the past and couldn’t bring myself to do it.
“Little Master Three, what are you planning?” Jin Xingsan asked me. “You’ve been smiling there for a while. What are you so happy about?”
I calmed my mind, patted him, and realized that my expression must have looked like Tang Bohu when he was fantasizing on the roof in the movie “Flirting Scholar”.(1)
“Help me ask the people in your team,” I said to him. “I want a bottle of cologne.”
“What’s going on? You still need such a thing at a time like this?”
“The smell of sweat is too strong and is making me uncomfortable,” I said to him. Someone behind him immediately threw a bottle of cologne to me, which I caught in midair. I looked behind Jin Xingsan but couldn’t figure out who had thrown it.
“Is this why you were smiling for so long?”
“I thought of something happy,” I said while patting it again. “You smell pretty strongly, too. Here, have some.”
I sprayed a lot of cologne directly on him. Jin Xingsan was obviously greatly discomforted by this and stepped back.
I went back over to Fatty, had him block me from view so Jin Xingsan couldn’t see my actions, and then immediately started spraying the cologne on myself. The smell was really pungent, so after spraying a lot on myself, I felt as if my nose was completely blocked. Then, I immediately lay down and tried to go to sleep.
But just as I was on the brink of sleep, Jin Xingsan came over and nudged me awake while saying, “You can’t sleep now, Little Master Three. I heard something moving around.”
I got up, the anger in my heart from falling asleep and then quickly being woken up going straight to my head.
But at the same time, I also understood that it wasn’t detecting me through smell.
After that, I turned on my cell phone, played a clip of a speaker’s low, static, thrumming sound, put it over my heart, and tried to continue sleeping.
But it still wasn’t working.
Jin Xingsan came over again and woke me up once more. I was starting to feel uneasy in my heart, but I didn’t interrupt its nonsense and just let it finish before persuading it to leave. My body was feeling kind of weak now.
In the eyes of those who hadn’t been bewitched, this was a situation where that thing was coming over as soon as I was sleepy and making a high-frequency papapapa sound beside me, which would wake me up. This was obviously a hunting method used by a group of predators to consume a large prey’s physical strength. They would constantly interfere with the large prey’s rest until it was finally exhausted.
I sat up and patted my face. Is it heat? I figured that was the most unlikely thing since I was hiding behind Fatty, whose body heat should be masking my own. If Jin Xingsan could detect heat from his position, then he should only be able to see a mass of white light. Was there some other sensory ability I didn’t know about?
Most of my knowledge came from what I knew of the animal world. I didn’t have a systematic memory, so now I was racking my brain without coming up with anything
“Pheromones,” Fatty suddenly whispered to me from the side.
When I looked at him, he continued, “People must secrete hormones when they sleep. That kind of thing is so precise that you can’t cover it up.”
I narrowed my eyes. It made sense. So did that mean that there were black-haired snakes in these corpses? It was true that this thing behaved a bit like those hei feizi.(2)
But I had never met a black-haired snake with the hallucinogenic ability we had been experiencing here.
Forget it, we’re in such a desperate situation that we should just keep trying everything. But even if it is pheromones, how does it work? If it can sense the hormones I secrete when I sleep…then my movements are more obvious. And if it really senses me like this, then it can find me wherever I hide.
But there was a way.
I could completely wrap myself up in some way and hold my breath. Of course, like this, I couldn’t monitor whether this idea was effective by falling asleep, so I could only take the risk and just leave directly. If I ended up being discovered, then I could just kill this one.
I took a deep breath. My exhaustion was making me turn to extreme measures and I wanted this to end quickly, so I gave Fatty a look, silently telling him to get ready to do it.
Fatty was also very tired and kept closing and opening his eyes as he tried to rest just now. After repeating this over and over again for a while, his eyes looked a little dark. “You’d better be sure,” his eyes seemed to be saying to me.
I nodded and then began whispering my plans to him.
<Chapter 63><Table of Contents><Chapter 65>
(1) The “Flirting Scholar” is a 1993 Stephen Chow movie. Info here. The main character is based on Tang Bohu (1470-1523), a Ming painter and poet, one of the four great southern talents of the Ming.
(2) If you don’t remember, the term “hei feizi” first appeared in Sand Sea Part 4 Chapter 201 when those black snakes crawled down people’s throats and took over their bodies (I’m still traumatized by that one chapter). Hei feizi just means something like “black flying thing”.
7 thoughts on “Chapter 64 Separation”
Getting tired, I hope he won’t make any irreparable mistakes…
Thank you for the chapter Bear-san and team~
Did the author finally back from Hiatus? If not, then, how many chapter we have left, Bear-san?
I think he’s still on break. We have about 18 chapters left
Oh my GOD I forgot about those snake things 🤮🤮🤮
I’ve…I’ve caught up. I never thought this day would come, but it did, and now I have nothing to read. I’ve wanted to comment more than once, but it always felt weird being so far behind. Now, I’m here. Hello, y’all!
Thank you, Merebear, for all your efforts! As an editor, I’ve been impressed and delighted with everything you’ve done for your followers.
Now I guess I have to go do my actual job instead of slacking off in the Pits.
Congratulations! 🥳🥳 That’s quite the achievement getting through everything (including my long ass footnotes, rage fests, and whining in the post-chapter notes 😂)
On the downside, now you have to wait for me to get my act together and get chapters out instead of binging them 😂
Lol! Your footnotes and rants are one of my favorite parts! It adds a little more fun, wondering what your thoughts will be of the chapter. It’s also fun knowing a little about your life, so you’re not some flat digital entity!