We paid a lot of money for Jin Wantang’s ashes to be taken back to Beijing by special car.
After that, we had the helicopter circle around the meadow outside, but we didn’t see the monster. The meadow here was full of grass and there were also a lot of holes in the ground, which looked to be rabbit holes. Finding that monster amid all of that was like looking for a needle in a haystack.
Fatty asked me what we should do, but I just sighed and shook my head while saying that it couldn’t be helped.
Xiao Hua said that in the plan the Mystic Nine came up with before, several families had to be present in order for it to succeed. The Hong family’s situation was currently unknown and the Qi family had become like this. It was all a huge mess. But Xiao Hua was still in a predicament, so I could only take it one step at a time. And most importantly, I didn’t know what Qi Yu was now or even if he was alive or dead. If an ordinary person had received those burns, they would soon die from an infection.
But knowing how vengeful he was and how he had shown extremely strong killing intent as he charged at Xiuxiu, if he didn’t die and we allowed this thing to lurk around us, someone would definitely end up dying.
After explaining this to Xiuxiu, she arranged for someone to come and continue looking while we flew back to the camp. The atmosphere in the helicopter was particularly bad.
After getting out of the helicopter, I had someone inspect it. I didn’t know when this thing had entered Jin Wantang’s body bag, but I figured it had planned ahead and might have been on the helicopter long before us.
But after searching the helicopter, nothing was found. At this time, it was sunset again and the team was preparing to lower the mules and equipment down into the cave. But the situation down there was unclear, so I told them to wait until we went down first before making a decision.
I carefully shaved, trimmed my fingernails, and took a half-bath with some boiled water. Once that was done, I put on a new set of equipment filled with rations, walked up to the hole again, and lowered the rope. At this time, the second helicopter arrived. I looked up at it and sighed; this one was bigger than the first one.
Damn, Xiao Hua, you have another one?
Six plastic cages were brought out of the helicopter, and when I saw them, I found that they belonged to the Wu family. Wen Binghui carefully opened the cages and six black dogs slowly walked out.
Brother Xiao Man became enlightened a few years ago and was fond of life on earth as he grew older, so he made great achievements in breeding. These six dogs were his immediate children. There were three males and three females, all of whom were three years old. When I glanced at Fatty and saw him make an OK gesture to take credit for it, I knew that he and Xiuxiu had discussed it.
Our breeding facility called this generation of dogs “San Man”. It was normally hard to give dogs names since they bred too quickly, but Brother Xiao Man had a special status and was a noble dog among dogs, so each of his children had its own name.
His sixth child looked very similar to him. The first one was called San Man Fo, the second one was called San Man Yue, the third one was called San Man Ban, the fourth one was called San Man Pi, the fifth one was called San Man Gou, and the sixth one was called San Man Hei.(1)
Although they were all named after the Mystic Nine, the third child was very talented and clever, so it was the boss. They also had their own nicknames, so San Man Ban was called Brother Gan Shan.(2)
When Brother Gan Shan caught sight of me, he immediately ran over with his tail wagging. Like Brother Xiao Man, he also didn’t have a very serious, business-like expression. I scratched his fur as all the other dogs followed him over. “Do you remember what happened to Ping Lian?” I reminded Fatty. “Jiang Siwang said that they didn’t dare bring any small animals here.”
“Mr. Naïve,” Fatty said, “you’re dealing with the hei feizi. Are you sure you don’t want to bring a dog along? If you don’t, you might die. But if you do bring your dogs with you, you and your dogs may have a chance of surviving.”
I thought about it and realized that I really was being unreasonable. People’s lives were at stake, so any method available should be used. Back then, the Wu family’s dogs were trained to deal with the hei feizi and a lot had died.
If we were in a movie, Fatty would probably say, “This is war.”
I rubbed Brother Gan Shan’s face and said to him, “Can you be smart? Don’t make me have to save you.”
Brother Gan Shan was very clever, and he immediately turned to the other dogs and barked at them as if to say: Did you hear that?
The dogs needed to adapt to the environment, so we needed to go down first.
Fatty and Xiuxiu both brought their equipment over. When I saw that Xiuxiu was going down as well, I wanted to make some remarks out of habit, but I didn’t say anything in the end.
The three of us quickly descended into the hole and passed by the censer.
This was almost like the dividing line between reality and hell. As soon as I passed it, all the beautiful things above—the sunshine, the rain and the dew, and even the grass—disappeared from my mind in an instant and the depressing feeling from before returned within a few minutes.
We turned on our flashlights, which were so bright that they practically illuminated the cliff like daylight.
Fatty and I were both surprised by the intensity of the light, but we quickly swept the beams over the cliff face. There really were a lot of crevices here. I wondered if the reason why we didn’t notice them when we climbed up before was because that snake had made us see dark shadows.
There were a lot of corpses in these crevices, many of which had turned to white bones. When I glanced at Xiuxiu, who was being very well-behaved, she also looked at me as if to say, “If you’re calling the shots, I’ll listen to you.”
We found a big crevice and swung over to it.
It was wide enough to allow us to enter sideways one by one, so Fatty took a look inside. It was bottomless.
He climbed in first and shouted, “Mr. Naïve, there’s a secret chamber.”
“No wait, isn’t there an idiom that says ‘another secret’ something?”(3)
I decided not to pay any attention to him, but I was relieved that he was acting more normal now. I climbed in myself and found that the crevice went in for about six or seven meters before it gradually became wider. But there was no flat ground to stand on, so I still had to put my feet on both sides of the wall.
I saw that the crevice walls here were full of rock paintings and there were bones under our feet.
The bones were a mixture of human, animal, and snake bones, which were in scattered piles, but the rock paintings on both sides were well preserved.
When we turned on our flashlights again, we saw that the crevice was very deep. We didn’t know where it led to, but the rock paintings that stretched into the darkness had pairs of animals, snakes, and wooden clubs at regular intervals. The lines were very simple and had been painted on using ground yellow stone that had been mixed with water. There was one pattern in particular that I didn’t quite understand, so I stopped for a moment and thought about it. It appeared to be a rock painting depicting sacrificial offerings.
A group of people were delivering offerings, which appeared to be humans.
“Don’t go in,” I said to Fatty.
He nodded in agreement. The cave system here was completely connected, so it was definitely very complicated. It would be easy to get lost if you went in too deep. We had just barely entered a crevice, so it would really be impossible to find them if we searched like this.
When we withdrew, the three of us remained silent for a while. Xiuxiu was the one who eventually broke the silence, “Should we consider what I said? Let’s keep moving forward. They must be in front of us.”
I felt uneasy, but I couldn’t think of a better way, so I said to her, “Let’s wait for the dogs.”
We stayed on the cliff as Brother Gan Shan was soon lowered down. No matter how amazing the dog was, it was difficult for it to function vertically on a cliff. As I tied Brother Gan Shan to my chest, he latched onto me, trembling.
I petted him and then had him smell Poker-Face’s T-shirt, which Fatty happened to be carrying in his backpack. Now that Brother Gan Shan knew his mission, I began climbing the rock wall, letting him smell the T-shirt and the rock wall in turn.
I won’t bother describing the process here, but both Xiuxiu and Fatty remained in place, waiting for me. I was extremely patient and let Brother Gan Shan sniff around and around, but since I knew the last place where Poker-Face had been, I kept encouraging Brother Gan Shan towards that area.
When I came to a very narrow crevice, Brother Gan Shan finally started barking. I put him into the crevice, and he was finally able to recover his composure now that his feet were on solid ground. He barked into the crevice and looked back at me again and again.
I tried hard to get in, but found that this fucking crevice was too small for normal people to get into. Both Poker-Face and Xiao Hua could do bone contraction, but I couldn’t. At this time, Xiuxiu swung to my side. She was petite enough to go in, so she gave me a look and said, “I’ll go in and check it out.”
I shook my head. “Never act separately. Come on, Fatty, kick me in.”
Fatty came over, looked into the gap, and said to me, “This gap isn’t quite right. Don’t you think the stones inside look like human teeth?”
<Chapter 73><Table of Contents><Chapter 75>
(1) Just FYI: The San in “San Man” means three, Gou means dog, and Hei means black. I always translate Wu Xie’s Grandpa’s nickname as “Old Dog Wu” but it could be “Wu Lao Gou”. But with the puppy’s name, San Man Dog sounds stupid so I kept the pinyin.
(2) Gan Shan can mean something like “overtake mountains”.
(3) Per Tiffany: There is a Chinese idiom “別有洞天”, which means “Another secret world”, but Fatty remembered the idiom wrong and said “別有洞房 / another secret chamber”, so that’s why Wu Xie immediately ignored him.
6 thoughts on “Chapter 74 Dog and Cave”
So happy Brother Xiao Man finally had puppies. 🥰
And where is Lieutenant Zhang?! I know the Zhangs aren’t supposed to come here, but since everyone’s coming anyway, and he had such a special connection to the Mystic Nine, it seems like he should be here. 😢
I wish the author would write an adventure with Wu Xie and Brother Xiao Man. I’m sure it would be hilarious.
I always hope Lieutenant Zhang will show up but the author just seems to like putting him in the dramas randomly instead of the stories 😭
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You already have links to next chapters, can’t wait……
Sorry, it’ll still just be 1 a day. I did that as a motivator to keep me going since we’re so close to the end lol.
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Thank you for the chapter Bear-san and team!
To add to the note of why Fatty called it “another secret chamber”. By changing that last word, it has the double meaning of “secret chamber” and “consummation of newly weds”. So basically, Pangzi was back to his dirty joking.
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