Chapter 35 Out of Control

On our way here, Master Liang had told us that Boss Wang was an uncultured guy. He had been living on the streets ever since he was a kid, so he wasn’t very educated. The only thing he could show off was the book “The Record of Strange Treasures”, which he had inherited from his ancestors.(1) For such a person to suddenly understand and even give several examples when I explained the subconscious to him just now meant that he knew a little bit about psychology.

I thought it was a little strange at first, but I didn’t pay much attention to it since I figured it was just a coincidence.

After all, Boss Wang might’ve had noble aspirations to become a literate member of the underworld, so he took time to study up on psychology while swindling people. But based on how ruthless and violent he was, this was highly unlikely.

When I thought of this, I involuntarily glanced at Boss Wang. A strange sense of foreboding came over me and I suddenly felt afraid—this person in front of me…was he not Boss Wang?

When I glanced at him, I saw that he was pondering over the theory I suggested just now. He was so lost in thought that he didn’t notice that I was looking at him strangely, so I took the opportunity to carefully examine his expression, his clothes, and all the details about him.

So far, I didn’t have much of an impression of Boss Wang. First, he didn’t talk much, and second, his actions didn’t really stand out. Before climbing up the bronze tree, I had only met him once or twice so I didn’t have much to go on in order to determine whether he was the real Boss Wang or not.

But when I looked at him just now, I felt as if I had discovered a problem, although I wasn’t a hundred percent certain.

In order to prove my theory, I suddenly pretended to see something and waved my hand in front of him while whispering, “Boss Wang!”

He immediately turned his head and asked, “What?”

“Don’t move!” I gestured at him not to move and then carefully walked over.

He looked at me nervously, and then, thinking that there was something on his shoulder, glanced out of the corner of his eye. I walked up to him, ran my hand over his chest, sighed to myself, and then stepped back without doing anything.

Utterly confused now, he asked me softly, “What are you doing? Did something happen?”

At this time, I was feeling pretty confident in my assessment so I looked at him and said, “I think your clothes are very strange. Where did you buy them?”

Boss Wang looked at me as if I had gone crazy and then burst out laughing. “Are you messing with me? Why are you suddenly asking such a question?”

“I’m not messing around,” I said to him. “Boss Wang, a few months ago, I went grave robbing for the first time. My uncle asked me to do some shopping, and at that time, I also wanted to buy this brand of mountaineering clothes that you’re wearing. But I didn’t buy them in the end. Do you know why? Because the two pockets on the chest look big but are actually fake. They’re just used for decoration. At that time, I thought that it was better to have more pockets so I bought another style.”

Boss Wang’s expression changed as he touched the two pockets on his chest.

I clapped my hands and said softly, “That’s why I was a little surprised. Where exactly did you pull that glow stick and cigarette out from, eh, Boss Wang?” Then a thought suddenly flashed through my mind and I blurted out, “Or—is it better to call you Lao Yang?”

Boss Wang gawked at me for a long time before he suddenly burst out laughing again. Then, his fat body suddenly began to shrink and contract, just like a deflated balloon, and his face changed little by little until it morphed into Lao Yang’s face. That was when I knew that I had guessed right.

When the transformation was complete, he stretched himself with a sigh and said to me, “Wu Xie, you haven’t changed at all. Ever since we were fucking kids, you’re the only one who’s been able to deceive me. I rarely ever tried to deceive you, but the one time I actually try, you immediately catch on.”

I looked at him coldly and said, “Cut the crap. What kind of game are you trying to play?”

He gave a wry smile and waved his hand. “Let me explain, let me explain. Man, I knew it wouldn’t be easy to trick you.”

Seeing that I remained silent, he continued speaking, “My goal wasn’t to deceive you, but this was the only way that would work. Although it pained me to do so, you’ll know after hearing my explanation that I had a reason for doing all of this.”

Having seen him control his appearance with such ease, I suddenly realized that his use of this ability was far beyond anything I could imagine. That meant that he must know everything that was going on, and his reason for coming here definitely wasn’t money-related like he had initially told me. Since he had this ability, money shouldn’t be a problem for him at all.

Plus, with this ability, it could be argued that he was practically invincible. What other goals did he fail to achieve that spurred him to come to this hellish place? Was there some kind of drawback to this ability?

Well, in any case, I was certain of one thing now—from the moment he first came to me, I fell into a deliberate trap. In other words, he had been lying from the start and I fell for it hook, line, and sinker. This damned bastard. If I could control this power, I’d definitely turn him into a pig.

Lao Yang saw the change in my expression and knew that although I looked calm on the surface, my heart was filled with a burning rage. Not knowing how to calm my anger, he just looked at me in confusion.

After a long pause, he suddenly sighed, as if he had figured something out. Then, he took out a photo from his pocket and said, “Look at this and I’ll explain it to you.”

I took it and shined the flashlight on it—it was a photo of his mother, whose hair had gone gray probably from overworking herself. It seemed that she had suffered a lot during those three years Lao Yang was in prison. His mother had not only been beautiful when she was young, but she was also very kind to us. We all called her “Pretty Aunt”. My father and I would even visit her several times a year.

Not understanding why he took out this photo, I asked him, “What are you trying to say?”

He sighed and smiled sadly, “Didn’t I say I needed money? Actually, I lied to you. I came here for my mother. When I got out of prison, I found that she was gone.”

I looked at him suspiciously, frowned, and asked, “Your mother… passed away?”

He nodded silently and looked at his hands before saying, “The day after I got out of prison, I couldn’t wait to get home and surprise my mother. But when I rushed home and opened the door, I smelled a foul odor. My mother was slumped over her sewing machine, completely motionless. I thought she had a heart attack, so I ran over to help her, but when I lifted her up, do you know what I fucking saw?!”

Lao Yang closed his eyes and groaned in pain, “Her face…was already stuck to the sewing machine. When I pulled her up, her whole face tore off… Oh God—”

I didn’t know his mother had passed away, nor did I know how to react after hearing the news. All I did was stand there and look at him blankly. Lao Yang was a very filial son, so I knew he would never use his mother to make such a joke.

He rubbed his forehead and continued, “After I buried her, I stayed alone in that empty house, not knowing what to do and not daring to sleep. As soon as I lay down and closed my eyes, I’d see my mother’s face stuck to that sewing machine. I stayed like that for nine days, to the point I was so hungry that I thought I could starve to death if I wanted to. But at this time, I suddenly smelled a delicious aroma coming from the kitchen, as if someone were cooking. I went over to take a look and saw my mother standing there. When she saw me coming, she said, “Wait a minute. It’ll be ready soon.”

As soon as I heard this, I realized what was going on.

Lao Yang continued, “At first, I thought I missed my mother so much that I had gone crazy and was hallucinating. But later, I gradually realized that something was wrong—it wasn’t a hallucination. Not only me, but even the vegetable seller saw my mother. It was only at that time that I realized my mother had really come back. She was exactly the same as before, and even the food she cooked tasted the same.

“Someone else might have thought they’d seen a ghost, but I didn’t. Instead, I started to think about what was going on. That was when I gradually began to realize that everything around me was somehow wrong, although I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I didn’t discover what it was until one night, when I was watching TV, there was a sudden power outage. My house was the only one in the whole neighborhood that still had power. All the appliances stayed on without electricity, even those that weren’t plugged in.

“I didn’t know what was going on, but not long after, I received a letter from my cousin telling me that he was in a similar situation. At that time, I immediately understood that it was all related to the bronze tree.

“I read a lot of books about the tree and learned that it was probably the wish-granting Serpent God Tree that the ancients spoke of. My so-called abilities may have come from this bronze tree. I was very happy at first, thinking that I had struck it rich, but when I studied this ability and began to control it, something went wrong.

“If you can’t get rid of all distracting thoughts once you set your mind on using this ability, all sorts of things will get mixed up together and turn into something disturbing. One day, when I woke up, I saw my mother sitting at her sewing machine with her back to me. As soon as I saw her sitting there, I immediately became frightened and crept over. Do you know what I saw? Oh God, my mother’s face…”

Lao Yang made several aborted movements with his hands but couldn’t go on. In the end, he just sighed several times and remained silent.

I felt a chill in my heart. I couldn’t imagine how terrible that scene must’ve been at that time.

Lao Yang conjured a cigarette out of thin air and put it in his mouth; it immediately lit up without having to use a lighter. He took a hard drag and then said to me, “Since that time, I realized just how horrifying this power can be. But I’m not willing to give it up. I really want my mother to come back. That’s why I needed to find someone to come here, someone who knew my mother and had a clean subconscious. And that person is you. Plus, I need to somehow get rid of my own abilities.”

I didn’t expect this to be his reason for coming here. “But,” I said to him, “this kind of thing sounds like it goes against the laws of nature. The dead can’t come back to life.”

“Old Wu,” he said to me, “I’m not very greedy. I just need three years. As long as I can live with my mother for another three years, I’ll be satisfied. You used to come to my house a lot. You wouldn’t want to let my mother die alone like that, would you?”

I sighed, telling myself that I wouldn’t dare go back to his house if his mother really was resurrected. I didn’t know who put this bronze tree here, but I never expected it to have such a monstrous power. Could a person who was materialized using this power even be considered a human being?

After thinking about it for a long time, I shook my head and said, “I can’t do it. Lao Yang, your mother is dead. She’s already returned to the earth. Just… just let her go. Don’t drag her back.”

Lao Yang smiled, “It’s too late, Old Wu. You don’t understand. It doesn’t matter whether you want to help me or not. That’s why I didn’t tell you my real reason for coming here. But now, I think my goal has finally been achieved.”

I didn’t understand what he was talking about and asked, “What do you mean?”

He raised his hand and said, “Go ahead and experiment first. See if you can materialize something.”

I didn’t know what he was planning, but I looked down at my hands and imagined that I was holding a rock. But after trying to materialize my thoughts for a long time, my hands were still empty. There was no doubt about it—this ability was difficult to use. It was practically impossible for ordinary people to control their subconscious.

Lao Yang’s tone became a little smug, “You see? This kind of power doesn’t manifest when you try to use it intentionally. Otherwise, a roast duck would’ve come flying up to me when I was hungry just now. This power only appears under certain circumstances, so it’s very difficult to use. You can only guide it, Old Wu, not use it at will. Even if you’re trained, it’s still very difficult. Say, for example, you wanted a TV to appear here. Such a complicated thing wouldn’t appear no matter how hard you tried.”

I looked at him. “You mean, this ability is passive? It needs a psychological conduit to work?”

He nodded. “Yes. For example, what I said to you just now could have already guided your thoughts into creating what I needed. Hundreds of kilometers away from us, a person has probably materialized in my home.”

I stared at him, frozen in shock, before saying, “Bullshit. Do you really think I’d fucking believe all this?”

Lao Yang shook his head, but before he could say anything, the bronze tree and amber corpse cocoon suddenly shook. We both slipped and almost fell, but were able to grab onto the bronze chains in time. I leaned over and looked down, only to see something moving in the abyss below us, as if it were crawling up. Every time it moved, the whole bronze tree would vibrate, and even the surrounding mountain seemed like it was shaking. The tremors were so intense that it became difficult to stand.

As I gripped the bronze chain tightly, I suddenly remembered something and turned to Lao Yang, “By the way, were you the one making those strange clicking sounds earlier?”

Lao Yang, who was also curiously looking down at the abyss, nodded and said, “Yeah, I used that noise to lead you down into the cluster of roots. Then I knocked out that Boss Wang guy who was standing guard outside. That radio interference was also me. I didn’t want you to hear the sounds of us fighting.”

I frowned, “Then what’s causing these vibrations?!”

Lao Yang’s expression also changed, “I don’t know, but… Old Wu, what was your first impression of this bronze tree?”

When I heard him say this, I suddenly shuddered. “I thought… that it led straight down to hell…” After saying this, I immediately looked down and added, “No way. You’re not saying that the thing down there is…”

Lao Yang gave me a fierce kick and shouted, “Idiot, don’t think about it!”

The words had barely left his mouth when a huge eye suddenly appeared in the darkness below, its purple pupil a thin vertical slit similar to a cat’s eye.

<Chapter 34><Table of Contents><Chapter 36>


TN Notes:

(1) Also mentioned back in Chapter 16.  


My face when we find out the REAL reason Wu Xie was able to tell it wasn’t Boss Wang (shame on you licensed version)

Look at our smart little cinnamon roll go (๑˃ᴗ˂)ﻭ


6 thoughts on “Chapter 35 Out of Control

  1. Everything makes so much sense now! I reread licensed version and everything was so out of the blue. I still can’t understand why they did that to us international readers. It’s madness!


  2. So glad everything’s getting cleared up at last. And hopefully we have more explanation for why this ability doesn’t seem to stick with him….or does it? 🤨


  3. Oh wow, he worked it out by remembering a tiny detail of clothing manufacture from months ago? What an ADD King. (Thanks so much for this – this scene makes so much more sense than the licensed version.)

    Also, thanks for the explanation of his name.


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