Chapter 2 Hexagonal Bell

I leaned over to take a look, unable to tear my eyes away. Then I grabbed him by the ear and pulled him closer so that I could examine it closely. As soon as I did, I couldn’t help but gasp. The earring was square-shaped and only the size of the tip of my pinky finger. Others might have thought it came from a pair of cheap earrings from a roadside stand, but after taking a closer look, I found that it was actually a hexagonal bell.

Other than its small size, its shape and color were somewhat similar to the bells I had seen in the corpse cave and underwater tomb. The pattern on this one, however, seemed to be slightly different.

I immediately sobered up and asked him, “Where did you get this thing?”

His face twisted in pain from my tight grip and he said furiously, “Y-y-you’ve drunk too much! You know I-I-I hate it when people touch my ears. If you g-g-grab me again, I’ll get angry!”

As soon as I heard this, I realized that I really had drunk too much so I quickly let go.

He rubbed his red ear and said with a grimace, “Shit, can’t you be more gentle? You don’t have to get so excited whenever you see something good. Oh, my poor ear.”

I was no longer in the mood to argue with him and simply said, “Hurry up and tell me. What’s the deal with this thing? Where did you find it?”

He smiled and said smugly, “You haven’t seen anything like it before, have you? I bet you’re super jealous. I picked it up off of a zombie in the sacrificial pit. What do you think? High-quality green and black bronze wares are far different from those fakes you sell.”

The more I listened, the more confused I became, “Zombie? Didn’t you say you just dug up some kitchen utensils? Why is there suddenly a zombie?”

Lao Yang thought that I was envious of him and became more and more arrogant. “The zombie was wrapped in rattan rope like a cocoon,” he said to me. “I dug it up when I was digging up other spots in the crater. It was probably someone with a relatively high status who was offered up as a human sacrifice. Th-th-the zombie was wearing this thing on its ear. I liked the way it looked so I took it. But why are you so tense? D-d-does this thing have a history or something? Is it worth anything?”

My mind was a jumbled mess as all kinds of thoughts started popping up one right after another. I frowned while thinking to myself, what the hell is that place? If this bell appeared there, does that mean that the stone crater he mentioned has something to do with what I’ve experienced before?

Lao Yang finally realized that something was wrong and asked me, “What’s wrong? Why is your face scrunched up like that? You don’t have to act like this just because I found something good. If you really like it, I’ll give it to you.”

“No,” I said to him, “to tell you the truth, your earring is no ordinary thing. Although I don’t know its origin, I’ve seen something like it in other places. This is what happened—”

I quickly told him about the Seven Star Lu Palace and the undersea tomb, focusing mainly on the bells. As he listened with a blank expression, his face turned pale and then took on a green tinge.

After a long time, he sighed and said, “Fuck me. I thought my three years in prison would be enough for me to brag for the rest of my life. But compared to what you’ve gone through, that’s nothing. If you got caught doing these things, you’d definitely be put in front of a firing squad.”

When I saw how he was looking at me with an envious expression on his face, I immediately said, “What’s there to compare? If I had known that grave robbing was like this, I wouldn’t have gone to those places even on pain of death.” I pointed to his ear and added, “But your bell is weird. This type of bell is normally pretty dangerous since it can bewitch people’s minds as long as it makes a noise. How can you wear it and not be affected?”

“It’s not as dangerous as you think. Here, I’ll take it off and show it to you!” With that said, he took the earring off and handed it to me.

As soon I looked at the earring under the light and smelled it, I knew right away what was going on—it had been filled with rosin to prevent it from ringing. I turned it over and carefully examined it from all sides. The more I looked at it, the more I felt that it was similar to the ones I had seen in those ancient tombs.

Lao Yang saw how carefully I was examining it and thought that I liked it, so after putting the earring back on, he said to me, “If you really like it, there are still a lot of untouched zombies in that place. I marked its location so we can go and take a look. Who knows, there might be other treasures there.” After saying this, he looked around, lowered his voice, and said in a mysterious tone, “To tell you the truth, brother, my situation isn’t looking too good right now. I’m planning on going back there in a few days.”

Thinking he was joking, I replied, “Forget it. I don’t want to go to jail with you. You’d better not think about it either. These days, it’s better to live a stable and peaceful life!”

Lao Yang leaned closer to me and whispered solemnly, “D-don’t say that. Think about it. You have a family to s-s-support you no matter what you do but I’ve already wasted three years and have nothing. I-I can’t just sit around and do nothing. I’ve got to come up with some imprudent ideas!”

When I saw how serious he was and that he didn’t seem to be joking, I immediately swore, “Shit, keep dreaming. It looks like those three years in prison were all in vain. Let me tell you something. If you get out and commit another crime, you’ll wind up in prison again. But this will be your second offense so the punishment will be more severe. If you’re not careful, you may even get the death penalty.”

“If I’m really that unlucky, there’s nothing I can do about it,” Lao Yang said. “I don’t have a choice either; my situation is desperate right now. But I’ve already thought things through. I’ll stay in Hangzhou for a while first, and then I’ll head to the Qinling Mountains. But I somehow have to get more than a hundred thousand yuan before I leave. That’s mainly why I came to you. I was hoping you’d come with me, brother, and give me some tips on how to sell the goods we find.”

I looked at his gloomy expression and said angrily, “What do you mean you have no choice? You’re just short of money. Tell me how much you need and I’ll lend it to you with a five percent discount on the fixed interest rate the Bank of China is charging.”

Lao Yang gave me a shove before saying contemptuously, “Forget it. I don’t know how much money you have but it should be easy for you to scrounge up a hundred thousand. Hell, you might even be able to get an additional eighty thousand. But do you have more than that? Really, why are you pretending to be rich?”

I cursed, “If you’re looking down on a hundred and eighty thousand yuan, what the fuck are you planning on doing? Are you trying to hook up with a celebrity or something? Do you have nothing better to do? You just got out but now you’re already scheming. Grow up already.”

Lao Yang didn’t like hearing this and waved his hand with a curse, “What I want to do is none of your business. If you don’t have any money, then you don’t have any money, but don’t lecture me! You know what? Forget it. We finally got to meet again, and whether you help me or not isn’t important. Let’s stop talking about these depressing things.” Then he poured me a drink.

I was already a little drunk, so when I saw that he was looking down on me, I immediately became furious, “Listen here, Lao Yang. Don’t fucking underestimate me. I’ve saved up some spare money over the past few years. Tell me the truth, how much money do you really need? I’ll give it to you right away!”

He looked at me with a serious expression on his face—it seemed that the alcohol had finally caught up to him—stood up, raised four fingers, and waved them in front of my face. “I need this much. If you can get me this much money, I’ll let you ride me like an ox.”

“Four hundred thousand?” I asked. Generally speaking, it wasn’t a large sum. Although it seemed like a lot, it really wasn’t. “No problem. I’ll get it right away. I have it at home!”

But to my surprise, he shook his head and said, “Add another zero!”

“Four million?!” I felt my jaw drop and my body suddenly became cold. “God damn, color me impressed. What the hell are you planning on doing with so much money?”

Lao Yang sighed and said, “Don’t ask so many questions. In short, I need that much money. Do you think you can scrounge that much up?”

Four million wasn’t a small sum of money. Although it was said that a broken porcelain ware could be sold at auctions for tens of millions, that was mostly just hype. In truth, the purchasing power of the market was limited. The items dug up from tombs were only the first link in the chain when it came to selling cultural relics, and the profit wasn’t very high. You might be secretly happy if you earned a hundred thousand but I honestly didn’t have four million on hand.

Lao Yang saw my slack expression and knew that I was intimidated. He filled my glass with more alcohol and said, “I knew it. You can’t do it, right? If I only needed four hundred thousand, would I really need to come to you?”

“Don’t jump to conclusions,” I replied. “I’ll get the money for you. There are quite a few rich people in this business so I should be able to get the amount you need. But first, you have to tell me what you need so much money for.”

Lao Yang tilted his head and clicked his tongue before asking, “How much can you get and who are you going to get it from? What, do you have some friends that I don’t know about? No one among your friends has that much money. Besides, I can’t tell you what you want to know. But with four million yuan, I can solve this life-or-death problem I’m facing.”

I had to admit that he was right—Lao Yang was the one who had introduced me to many of my friends, and few of them could lend me any money. Moreover, if I asked my old man, the miser just might kill me. It seemed that this situation was more difficult than I had initially thought.

Lao Yang patted me and said in a matter-of-fact tone, “Old Wu, let’s stop talking about borrowing money and focus on other ways. Our best option is for you to suffer a little and accompany your brother to that place. It’s not like it’s your first time anyways so don’t worry so much. If you think about it, it’s not a big deal. This really can’t be called grave robbing. We’ll just go to the burial pit and you can pick and choose which items are valuable for me. It’s just like picking up seashells at the ocean; there’s nothing illegal about it. Think of it as you going on a nice trip. There are beautiful mountains and rivers there, as well as curvy mountain girls. You haven’t met anyone yet, right? Go there and take a look. Maybe you can marry a Dai(1) girl and bring her back home.”

I was in no mood to listen to his nonsense and just shook my head, “That’s easy for you to say. Do you really think there are relics in that place that are worth four million yuan? If you want that much money with one job, you have to find something from the Han Dynasty.(2) But those tombs have already been dug up long ago. It sounds like this trip is going to be a waste of time and money.”

“Oh, so you think I’m stupid and haven’t thought of this?” Lao Yang asked patiently. “Let me tell you. I don’t plan on going back to the sacrificial pit this time. When I was with my cousin last time, he told me that there was probably a large imperial mausoleum near the sacrificial pit. This time, I’m aiming for that. Aren’t you good at feng shui? Let’s go and take a look. I think you’ll definitely be able to find it!”

I didn’t want to keep talking about it, so all I said was, “Go find someone else. I don’t want to go to any ancient tombs.”

Lao Yang gave me a shove, “Old Wu, you’re not being very brotherly. Think about how good a deal this is. First, you get to help me. Second, you get to investigate the matter involving your Uncle Three. There’s some connection between this matter and your Uncle Three. Even if you don’t come for my sake, why don’t you go and take a look for your own sake?”

What he said reminded me of the earring, and I couldn’t help but feel uncomfortable again. But he was right—the incident involving Uncle Three’s disappearance was confusing and there were few clues. Moreover, this kind of bell had appeared in both the Temple of Seeds’ corpse cave and the underwater tomb, which meant that it had to be important. If I didn’t seize this opportunity, there was a chance it would be even more difficult to discover anything.

But after thinking about my previous two experiences, my legs started to feel a little weak and I felt scared in my heart. That, coupled with all the hard work we would have to do climbing a mountain, had me feeling really reluctant to go.

I hesitated for a few minutes, thought it over again, and realized that if I didn’t go, with my character, there was a chance I would really come to regret it in the future. Plus, it was rare for Lao Yang to beg me like this. If I refused him again, it wouldn’t be easy to meet each other in the future. It would be better to agree first and look at the situation once we got there. If it was really impossible, I could always just change my mind and back out.

According to “Ba-Zi”, those of us who had Taiji in our lives were immensely curious when it came to things we didn’t know about.(3) As a result, even though I found myself giving in to Lao Yang’s request, I immediately felt calm in my heart.

Now that my mind was made up, I said to Lao Yang, “Well, when you put it like that, brother, I guess I’ll go with you. But you have to give me this earring first. I’ll go and see what dynasty it’s from and whether it’s valuable or not. If it’s not worth anything, then that means that this place isn’t worth visiting and you’ll have to come up with another plan.”

As soon as Lao Yang heard that I was willing to help him, he became overjoyed and nodded, “Ok, whatever you say! You can have it!”

“But let me warn you,” I said in a stern voice. “After we get there, you have to listen to everything I say. Even if you need to fart, you have to let me know first. Do you understand?”

This guy had already stopped listening and was lost in thoughts of the Qinling Mountains. He poured me more alcohol and started buttering me up by saying, “Of course, of course. As long as you can scrounge up four million, I’ll consider you my second father. Not only will I obey you when you tell me not to fart, but I’ll also eat it if you want me to!”

While drunk off of the alcohol, we went ahead and planned everything out. Then we started talking about women, showed off in front of each other, and drank until midnight, at which point we crawled under the table and passed out.

Over the next month, we both had things to deal with. All of the equipment that had been bought before I went to Shandong last time ended up buried there so we had to buy the equipment again. I wrote Lao Yang a list based on my previous two experiences and asked him to take care of it.

After that, I took advantage of my contacts and got some army medicine. When I went to Shandong before, the weight of our water bottles was too heavy, which consumed too much unnecessary physical strength. There were many mountains and streams in the Qinling Mountains so we didn’t need to bring too much water, but it was still necessary to prepare some medicines to treat diarrhea. Our city stomachs definitely wouldn’t be able to adapt to the natural water in the mountain streams.

Once I was done giving out my instructions, I flew to Jinan first and went to Yingxiongshan Market to find Lao Hai and show him Fatty’s fish-eye stone.

When Lao Hai saw what I had brought, his happy smile turned a little awkward, “Sir, I sell antiques here. You should take this to a jewelry store and let them appraise it for you.”

“This fish-eye stone is also an antique,” I said to him. “It’s at least four or five hundred years old.”

Still smiling, he said, “I also know that what you’ve brought is definitely good. This pearl would be considered a treasure if it had been set in a hairpin or sewn onto a hat, but how am I supposed to sell it when it’s an uncut stone? People won’t believe you when you say it’s an antique. How about this—I’ll get you a jade hairpin, we’ll set this pearl in it, and then we’ll see if it can be sold. I’ll go ahead and give you a deposit first and you can leave this thing with me. Anyone who knows anything about goods will naturally pay a good price for it.”

He was so sincere and I didn’t have time to haggle over this matter with him so I decided to do as he said. I took his deposit of two hundred and fifty thousand yuan and flew back to Hangzhou in disappointment. Next, I took the earring that Lao Yang gave me and went to ask a friend of my grandfather’s where the bell earring had come from and whether it was worth the long, torturous journey to Shaanxi.

This grandpa’s surname was Qi, and he was part of the first generation of antique dealers in Hangzhou. He was now regarded as a master of Chinese studies and held the position of visiting professor at several universities. He specialized in ethnic minorities and had done a considerable amount of research on them. When I presented the bell to him, I could tell right away that all of his attention became focused on it and the hand with which he held it started to tremble a little bit.

After Grandpa Qi took the bell, he examined it for three hours. Then he flipped through about six or seven books as thick as a brick and raised his head. I was on the brink of sleep waiting for him to say something when he suddenly looked at me and sighed, “I’m so ashamed. I’ve been studying ethnic minorities for so long but I’ve never seen anything like this before. Young Xie, please tell me where you got this thing.”

I didn’t dare go into too much detail in front of an elder so I made up a random story using some of the key points Lao Yang had told me. But when I saw how his eyes lit up, I couldn’t shake the feeling that this thing wasn’t as simple as I had originally thought. “Grandpa, what’s going on? Is there something wrong with this thing?” I asked him.

Grandpa Qi sighed again and said that according to his research, the craftsmanship of this bell could be traced back to the period between the Xia and Western Zhou Dynasties.(4) The pattern on it— called the double-bodied human-faced snake—probably came from an ancient country called the “She Kingdom”, which existed somewhere between what is now the Shaanxi and Hubei provinces. But this country suddenly disappeared two thousand years ago.

The history of this country was limited, with only bits and pieces of information appearing in many ancient records. It seemed that it went through a period of sudden prosperity in the early Western Zhou Dynasty but then it suddenly disappeared in the middle of the Western Zhou Dynasty. In just a matter of ten to twenty years, it seemed to have quickly disappeared into the primitive forests.

The She Kingdom existed in many myths and legends. There were even a lot of records of it in the “Classic of Mountains and Seas”, but it was referred to in those records as the “Serpent Kingdom outside of Sichuan”. This was probably because the word for “serpent” was pronounced the same as “she”.(5) This kingdom regarded the double-bodied human-faced snake as a god so many of their decorations had a pattern of a snake with two bodies on them.

Nowadays, most people who studied the history of this country believed that this She Kingdom was descended from a country that had split from the mysterious ancient kingdom of Huaxu.(6) Its origin possibly dated back to the period of matriarchal societies,(7) and it was said to have adopted the double-bodied human-faced snake as its totem. This was mainly because the ancient kingdom of Huaxu had a legend about Fuxi,(8) who was said to have the body of a snake and the face of a human.

Because these materials were all from ancient books and unearthed documents, this country’s existence had always been controversial in academic circles. While this bell may not be known in the antique market, it was an invaluable treasure to some people who specialized in this subject.

I couldn’t help but feel worried as soon as I heard that this thing was so obscure. If that were the case, then even if we could find the ancient tomb and bring other things out, there was a chance we wouldn’t get a high price for them. If so, then I was afraid the trip would be a huge waste of time, money, and effort.

Grandpa Qi looked at my expression and asked me what was wrong. I knew that he was an old businessman so I told him about my situation.

The old man thought about it for a moment and then scolded me. He then patted me on the shoulder and said that if I wanted to sell this thing, he could help me find a good buyer. It definitely wouldn’t be difficult to get four million yuan but I couldn’t tell anyone else about this matter.

After listening to him, I immediately had a general idea of what was going on. Shit, I thought to myself, this old codger seems to be engaged in the underworld business. He’s probably still doing those pre-liberation business deals in private. But I was so relieved that he was willing to act as an intermediary that I just nodded and thanked him.

When I left, I took a lot of information about the She Kingdom with me. I flipped through the materials while sitting in a taxi and saw that there were a lot of pictures of murals, some of which were very strange. They showed a large number of people kneeling in front of a tree and praying to it. There were several notes on the margins stating that this was the most important sacrificial rite in the She Kingdom—offering up sacrifices to a “Serpent God Tree”. Legend had it that this tree could satisfy any request as long as you offered it blood. In essence, it was a kind of wishing tree.

I found that the shape of this tree was very similar to the picture Lao Yang had drawn for me back at the restaurant. Did that mean that the bronze tree he had dug up was the She Kingdom’s totem, the Serpent God Tree?

A bunch of the murals had patterns of human-faced snakes on them, which made it obvious that this was the most important feature of the She Kingdom. I thought back to those bells we had found in the Temple of Seeds’ corpse cave and the underwater tomb, but I couldn’t remember whether they had double-bodied human-faced snake patterns on them or not. Based on their appearance, however, the bells in these three places must have come from the same source, which meant that this mysterious She Kingdom may be the key.

Two days later, on a long-distance sleeper bus to Xi’an, Lao Yang and I were sitting on two beds adjacent to each other, eating melon seeds and chatting away.

I had originally planned on flying directly to Xi’an, but I didn’t have Uncle Three’s skills at getting a large bag of contraband past airport security so I had to take a bus instead. In the end, I had no other choice but to take a privately contracted bus.

In order to save on transit fees, the bus periodically got on and off the freeway and wound its way through mountain valleys. The trip was boring so Lao Yang and I just talked at random. I told him that there might be a Han tomb in that place or a Tang tomb in this place. Lao Yang was so eager that he said he wished he could get off the bus halfway and start digging.

While we were chatting, Lao Yang asked me if we should go to other places besides the crater he had visited three years ago. It wasn’t easy to enter the mountains, so if there was the opportunity to bring more goods out, we definitely shouldn’t waste it. It would be even better if we could find other tombs nearby.

I had actually planned to do this from the start. The surrounding area likely fell within the scope of the ancient serpent kingdom, so there should be some other relics in addition to the sacrificial pit and the nearby ancient tomb. If we could just find one or two tombs and take some items with us, it would help me with what I was looking for. I was thinking this in my heart but I didn’t say it aloud. Instead, I said jokingly, “Don’t be greedy. You probably don’t even remember the fucking way back. I’m ready to see what you’ll do if you can’t find the sacrificial pit.”

Lao Yang smiled at me mischievously and said that he had left a mark there long ago, but I just laughed at him, “It’s been three years. What kind of mark would still be there after three years in the deep mountains?”

He burst out laughing and said, “Just you wait and see. Not only will my mark last for three years, but it’ll still be there after thirty years!”

I didn’t understand what he was talking about so I just chose to ignore him. After chatting for a while longer, I became drowsy and fell asleep.

When we arrived in Xi’an, we spent the night in a small guest house and ate the local pickled vegetables, fried rice, and hibiscus soup for dinner. Then we strolled around the night market until after midnight. Lao Yang remembered how good the fried rice tasted earlier and kicked up a fuss until I agreed to go to a night food stall with him. We found a random stall by the side of the road, sat down, ordered two bottles of beer, and drank while we ate. At this time, I wasn’t worried about being cautious with my words since I was convinced that the people here wouldn’t be able to understand our southern dialect. As a result, we talked freely about our planned grave-robbing adventure tomorrow. But as we were chatting away, I suddenly heard an old man sitting nearby say, “Are you two planning on doing business in some local products?”

<Chapter 1><Table of Contents><Chapter 3>


TN Notes:

(1) The Dai people refers to several Tai-speaking ethnic groups living in the Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture and the Dehong Dai and Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture of China’s Yunnan Province. The Dai people form one of the 56 ethnic groups officially recognized by the People’s Republic of China. Info here.

(2) He’s specifically talking about the Han dynasty from 206 BC-220 AD. It refers to the Western Han and Eastern Han.

(3)Ba-Zi” (also known as the “Four Pillars of Destiny”) is a fortune-telling technique that uses your birth year, month, day, and hour to tell your fate. People who have “Taiji” (also called “Taiji Nobleman”) in their Ba-Zi calculation charts are said to be intelligent, righteous, responsible, have a strong character, refuse to do things half-heartedly, and enjoy learning literary, history, philosophy, metaphysics, and religious subjects. I went off of this.

(4) Xia Dynasty was from 2070-1600 BC and Western Zhou Dynasty was from 1027-771 BC, so a period of about 573 years.

(5) Pinyin for “She” in She Kingdom is shè (厍). Pinyin for serpent/snake is shé (蛇). Sound the same but have different characters.

(6) The Huaxu Kingdom was said to have existed in the former Yangshao-Dadiwan culture period 6,584-6,374 years ago. It was a matriarchal nation established by the female leader Huaxu (the supposed mother of Nüwa and Fuxi) in ancient times. It’s often seen as a utopian society or dreamland because the Yellow Emperor was said to have seen it in a dream. According to him, Huaxu “was a natural place, where people had no cravings and did not die prematurely. They did not think about clinging to life, nor did think about the fear of death. (Ideas about) beauty and ugliness did not grow in their hearts. Mountains and valleys did not cause them to stop walking, and they lived happily.” Info taken from here and link to Baidu here.

(7) Per Tiffany: Historians believed that people in China adopted a matriarchal system 10,000 years ago, and it was gradually replaced by a patriarchal system about 5,500 years ago.

(8) Fuxi (or Fu Hsi) is a legendary Chinese emperor (trad. 2852-2738 BC). He and his sister/wife Nüwa are credited with creating humanity and the invention of music, hunting, fishing, domestication, and cooking. Fuxi and Nüwa are said to be creatures that have human faces and snake bodies:


I’m ’bout ready to throw in the towel lol. I already dislike this book and now these chapters will be the death of me. No wonder the licensed version split the chapter up. Needless to say, the updates are going to be slower since these are all so long but know that I am totally working on them bit by bit. Sidenote, did I ever mention that all of Vol 1 is now in pdf/epub format? If not, well now you know (⌒▽⌒)☆


30 thoughts on “Chapter 2 Hexagonal Bell

  1. Thank you for volume 1 PDF
    And ohhhh so you don’t like this book. I must admit the first time I read it I didn’t love it, but I just read it again and I practically devoured it! I was so happy because if I liked the licenced version that much yours would be awesome! Episodes are long tough. But I think they will get shorter ( at least in the licenced version it was so) take all the time you need but please please don’t throw the towel 🙏🙏🙏
    BTW love your notes as always


    1. hahaha actually Qinling Mountain and the God Tree is the part I like most in DMBJ. The creepiest story. I heard a statement that this story is the “childhood nightmare of our generation”😂 especially the rotten face of Lao Yang’s mother (hope this is not a spoiler…..)


    2. 😘 Haha I think I just don’t like it because Fatty isn’t there (I also REALLY don’t like Lao Yang 😤). I’m curious to see how much the licensed version left out since it seemed like they gutted the Xisha tomb stuff. Hopefully they put more effort into this one 🤔

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I checked and found RMB 4 million was really a large sum of money back in 2003. The average annual salary of Shanghai citizens that year were RMB 22,000. So here Wu Xie does not mean “Do you think you’re a celebrity or something? “, what he said is “you are going to (use these money to) hook up a (young and beautiful) celebrity or something? lol


  3. Go there and take a look. Maybe you can marry a Dai(1) girl and bring her back home.”

    I can tell from here that not all Lao Yang said was the truth. Most of the Dai girls live in Yunnan, the southernmost part of China. The place they are going is Shaanxi province in central China. The straight-line distance between these two provinces is 1500 kilometers! How can they find a Dai girl in Shaanxi !? Poor Wu Xie……

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The true identity of this Grandpa Qi is also interesting. He is a good friend of Old Dog Wu, traffic antiques and share the same surname with Qi Tie Zui of the Nine Gates……btw, he seems to have a close relationship with Wu Xie because the original text here “Young Xie, please tell me where you got this thing” is “Xiao Xie, tell grandpa where you got this thing”

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I just found like Panjiayuan Market (Pan‘s Garden Market, where Pangzi lives), Yingxiongshan Market (Hero Mountain Market) in Jinan is a place that exists in the real world. It sells artsworks as well as pets.

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  6. I totally understand! Slower updates are better than no updates at all! Take your time! I love reading the chapters knowing that there will also be awesome footnotes about names, phrases, places, and mythologies at the end. You’re so awesome! 😘


  7. The length of these chapters is equal to three or maybe more chapters. There is no hurry we will wait. Thank you for the hard works.💕


    1. 😘 That’s exactly what I’ve been telling myself just to get through it 😂. I’ve even started getting up earlier before work and doing a little bit at a time just because I know I won’t have the will to do anything when I clock out for the day 😂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I can relate, sometimes I’m so tired that I can’t even cook. 😅 Please take care of yourself.
        I hope you have more rest so that it does not affect your health.and we can wait.
        You did a great job, despite your work and personal life. The amount of effort you put into this work has created this great quality and I am grateful to you. ( ^◡^)っ ♡


  8. Thank you so much for all of this – especially the footnotes giving context.

    (That said, if you need to take a break or drop this one, everybody’s going to understand. Take care of yourself, yeah?)


    1. Thank you! I may whine an annoying amount but mama didn’t raise no quitter 😂. It would probably be in everyone’s best interests to just skip my annoying post-chapter notes until we can get to the Heavenly Palace stuff 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Never! I live for the post-chapter notes! TN is life! 😆

        Seriously though your notes make everything at LEAST twice as good as just reading the translations alone. Easily four times as good though. 😎👍♥️😄


      2. No, I didn’t and won’t skip any of your comment. Your notes along with the translation make us feel close to this universe and motivate us to comment. I think it’s prohibited without your comment in more than two chapter. (Or one) 😄


  9. Adding my voice to the chorus of thanks! I was reading this going “omg the amount of stuff merebear must have had to look up 😱😱😱😱”…hopefully for your sake the chapters get shorter. I also didn’t really like this book, I’m hoping I prefer it this time around when I know more about the overall story as well!


  10. Thank you for the chapters that you do not want to do. We feel for you and commiserate at how long they are. My eyes kept wondering around while reading this chapter.. 🤷‍♀️

    Thinking it feels off become the Triad is not there together. We need fatty to try and steal everything and the kitchen sink and Our sweet babe to make us feel hot and bothered whie he goes MIA every second chapter.


  11. Hi – I hope this isn’t a bother, but do you happen to remember what were the characters used for the “Serpent Kingdom outside of Sichuan”?

    Was it 巴国 | Ba Country or 蛇巴国 | Snake Ba Country by any chance?

    (I’m writing a meta, and I’m trying to track down the references Wu Xie uses.)

    Thanks for any help.


        1. Your support was there in spirit, and much appreciated! ˆ_ˆ

          (Oh help, I’m tracking down hei feizi now. This is gonna be so baaaad. Coffee. Time for more coffee.)


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