I glanced at Fatty, who spread his hands out and said, “I didn’t do anything.”
“Get your gun out,” I said to him.
Everyone started to pull their guns out of their backpacks. Some of them were trained and acted very quickly, but they obviously weren’t as skilled as me and Fatty.
Once the bullets were loaded, we squatted close to Ming Er Nagqu and watched her slowly dance as she opened the box and took out the crown.
Brother Gan Shan and the other dogs were all at a loss because they didn’t know what these silly humans were doing.(1) I made a gesture telling them to stay alert and to attack at will in addition to giving a warning bark.
But after thinking about it, I felt that this was wrong, so I went over, kicked Ming Er Nagqu to the ground, and snatched the crown from her. If she put this on and we used her as bait, I wouldn’t know what to tell her family.
Xiuxiu’s satellite phone was still playing the incantation, and it was becoming clearer and clearer by the minute. Xiuxiu and I looked at each other. It had to be because the phone emitting the signal was approaching us, but who—or what—was holding the satellite phone? Was it Black Glasses or something else?
I motioned to Xiuxiu to turn the satellite phone off, so she quickly pulled the battery out.
Quiet was instantly restored to our surroundings, and all of us held our breath. I went to lift the crown up and saw that Ming Er Nagqu was getting up slowly while staring straight at the crown.
Without the evil background chanting, her actions seemed very embarrassing now. I moved to confront her, but she rushed to grab the phoenix crown, so I threw it directly to Fatty.
She turned her head violently to follow it, but I hit her on the back of the head with the butt of my gun, knocking her out.
Everyone else relaxed a little, but I waved my hand and pointed to the crown in Fatty’s hand, silently telling him to throw it away.
Fatty didn’t understand what I meant and made a gesture, thinking that I would let him keep it, so I anxiously said to him, “Throw it away.”
Fatty thought for a moment and then threw the crown towards the hot spring. Almost at the same time, all the dogs looked in the direction of the hot spring. I also stood up to look at it and saw that bubbles began to appear in all of the hot springs.
Then, we all felt a slight vibration under our feet. Everyone immediately pointed their guns at the ground, but we obviously couldn’t see anything.
Fatty shined his flashlight into the crevice of the stones beneath our feet and I immediately saw a “liquid” that looked like colored glaze flowing under the stones.
One could argue that it was a kind of mollusk or a stream, but it was huge and flowing quickly under the rocks beneath our feet.
Brother Gan Shan appeared very anxious and was shaking all over as he quickly climbed to a high spot, but he still tried his best to restrain himself and suppress the other dogs so as to prevent them from losing control.
In about half a minute’s time, the thing passed and all the bubbles in the hot springs disappeared. I looked at the crevice beneath our feet again and found that there was water in it. As it turned out, all of the water in the hot springs was connected under the rocks here.
That thing was swimming under the water just now.
After waiting for a while, everyone finally dared to move again and Fatty asked me, “What was that?”
I shook my head, put my hand into the crevice, and touched the water. Recalling what I saw just now, I suddenly felt that the huge thing wasn’t a single entity but a cluster of countless tiny things.
Did this mean that the wooden club god wasn’t a single entity but a cluster of things?
Just as I was thinking this, Xiuxiu turned on the satellite phone again. Everyone’s expressions immediately changed, but Xiuxiu staggered the frequency modulation a little bit so that only white noise could be heard instead of specific words.
“I’m going to follow that thing,” she said. “Binghui, you’re in charge.”
We could already hear the white noise gradually starting to fade, so Xiuxiu simply put her bag on her back and rushed out without waiting to hear our opinions on the matter. I turned to Wen Binghui and said, “Those who can keep up will follow; those who can’t keep up will move forward according to the original plan.”
Wen Binghui said anxiously, “Little Master Three, Sister Xiu, don’t separate!”
But Xiuxiu had already given chase. I asked Fatty to leave three dogs here to guard and then took Brother Gan Shan and two other dogs to chase after Xiuxiu.
I had only taken a few steps when I found that everyone was moving to catch up. Even the mules were urged on until they were practically flying, Ming Er Nagqu slung across one of their backs.
Xiuxiu went to the hot spring, fished out the crown, threw it directly to Wen Binghui, and then moved on. Fatty and I followed close behind her. Although I didn’t approve of this radical behavior, I had to agree with her approach.
Based on the situation just now, the satellite phone should be in that thing’s body, so we might be able to figure out something by following the strength of the signal.
The team was spread out in a long line that stretched on for a kilometer, but we didn’t lose anyone because the signal sometimes stopped moving and Xiuxiu didn’t dare press on. Most of the time, we didn’t know where it was or if it was in our range of sight.
After chasing it for about four hours, something I didn’t expect to see suddenly appeared in front of us—trees.
When we got closer, we found that there were not only bare stones in this rocky area, but also many fallen leaves and soil that formed from decayed vegetation. The trees behind the ones we initially saw became denser and denser, and all of them appeared to be pine trees or trees you would find near the snow line.
Fatty walked over and was very surprised to find that all of the trees here were actually alive.
I looked up and found that there was a crevice at the top of this area which seemed to lead to the outside, but it was very high up.
“The sunlight shouldn’t be able to penetrate this far down; you’d only see a sliver at most,” Fatty said.
It should be night now, and since it was only during the daytime that we could tell what was going on here, Xiuxiu fired a signal flare into the depths of this narrow forest.
An ancient, three-story building with flying eaves suddenly appeared out of the darkness in front of us, but we couldn’t tell how old it was since it was completely covered in fallen leaves.
Fatty and I looked at each other, completely surprised. The signal of the satellite phone in Xiuxiu’s hand was very strong, meaning that the strange thing should be in front of us, probably in this building.
(1) I used silly, but the term “yaoezi” (幺蛾子) is actually slang from Northern China. It’s used when you want to express that something is a “strange/wicked/bad idea.” This article has an interesting exposé on it.
Oh ho, 1 more chapter you guys. My cliffhanger senses are tingling~~~ (When I asked Tiffany a few weeks ago if it was as bad as Tibetan Sea Flower, she didn’t seem to think so but we’re all probably numb to it by now lol. Just…prepare yourselves)