As the giant eye below rapidly approached us, the surroundings became chaotic and the whole bronze tree shook violently. I couldn’t see clearly what the thing climbing up was, but based on its speed, I knew we’d have to fight it in less than ten minutes.
Lao Yang’s face turned green at the sight of it and he started complaining, “What kind of fucking thoughts are in that head of yours?”
“I swear to God, this is the first time I’ve seen this kind of thing!” I shouted indignantly. “If I’m not telling the truth, the heavens can strike me down right now!”
When he saw how serious I was, he froze and said, “That’s impossible. If it’s not you, then who is it?”
But there was no time to ponder over the question. I told him to stop talking nonsense and figure out a plan—it was already uncomfortable having that eye stare at us like this.
“Don’t worry too much,” he said. “It’s just an eye. What’s it gonna do, blink us to death? We’ll just wait for it to come up and then I’ll kick it blind.”
But before the words had even left his mouth, an octopus-sized tentacle suddenly rose up from below and hit the amber cocoon. We swung around like trapeze artists in flight before slamming into the bronze wall. The amber cocoon shattered into pieces, along with the corpse inside of it. As the amber fragments fell, they looked like flowers scattered by the Heavenly Maiden.(1)
The two of us managed to cling to the bronze chains at the last minute, but we were spinning around so much that we immediately became dizzy. “This has gone too far!” I shouted at Lao Yang. “Can’t you change it? Materialize a cannon so that we can blow this thing up!”
Lao Yang cursed, “What the hell are you talking about?! Do you really think it’s that easy? Run!”
Without saying another word, we both started climbing up the bronze chains, but we didn’t get very far—our hands suddenly slipped and we began to lose strength. I remembered the slimy fungi that covered the tree roots up above and felt my heart clench in fear. We’re screwed. Are we really going to die here?
At this time, Lao Yang raised his hand and I suddenly felt that slippery feeling beneath my fingers disappear. He climbed up like a monkey and then turned and pulled me up as well, but I didn’t have a tight grip on his hand and almost fell. “If you have this kind of skill, wouldn’t it be better to make a ladder?” I complained.
“Keep your opinions to yourself!” He snapped back at me.
The two of us clenched our teeth and climbed back into the outer coffin chamber. The fog had dissipated by this point, so I wanted to take the opportunity to look at those relief sculptures from before, but Lao Yang told me to forget about it, we didn’t have time. As he started pulling me towards the wall to keep climbing, the tentacle from before suddenly shot out of the coffin well like lightning and flung the huge stone coffin lid into the air. The force of the blow was so powerful that even the iron-like tree roots were smashed to pieces. As the whole bronze tree shook violently once more, roots, rotten bark, and dust went flying around. The sudden eruption also sent a large cluster of roots flying out like bullets. They smashed into the plank boardwalk, sweeping away a relatively large section of it. The two of us were lying on a slippery tree root one second and then got thrown out of the outer coffin chamber the next second, landing on the sacrificial altar with a painful thud.
After the tentacle escaped the confines of the bronze tree, it didn’t seem to want to go back in—it rolled around wildly and even dented two of the surrounding bronze statues. After Lao Yang and I ducked and dodged it a few times with difficulty, Lao Yang pointed to the plank boardwalk and said that we should go down quickly; otherwise, we’d die if we stayed up here.
At this time, I suddenly remembered that Lao Yang had knocked out Boss Wang and left him outside. Although the older man was a certifiable bastard, he wasn’t necessarily evil. We couldn’t just leave him here. I quickly turned and tried to look for him, but I didn’t see him anywhere. Did one of those flying tree roots knock him down to the ground?
The nearby tree roots had all been uprooted and destroyed, leaving only those that stretched under the sacrificial altar. When Lao Yang saw me looking around, he gave me a hard kick and then pointed to the sky. I looked up and saw that the huge stone coffin lid from before was now falling right towards us. As we quickly rushed to escape it, Lao Yang rolled over and grabbed the backpack that was hanging on the nearby roots. Then, the two of us jumped onto the climbing rope Boss Wang and I had originally used to come over here.
As soon as we grabbed the rope, the stone coffin lid came crashing down onto the sacrificial altar, smashing into pieces with a deafening sound. The rope we were holding onto with our lives shook like a piano string and almost broke, barely able to withstand our combined weight.
I glanced back and saw that the tree root our climbing rope had been wrapped around, along with the banyan tree roots wrapped around the coffin, had been torn to pieces and were barely hanging on. Not only could those few remnants not withstand our weight, but the pickaxe gradually began to slide off the root it was wrapped around—it clearly wasn’t going to last much longer.
I became more and more uneasy and quickly turned to tell Lao Yang to climb faster; otherwise, we’d end up like Old Tai! When Lao Yang heard this, he slapped me so hard that my ears started ringing.
“What the fuck?!” I shouted at him. “Are you fucking addicted to hitting me now?”
“So what if I hit you?” Lao Yang shouted back. “Keep your thoughts in check and don’t think about it—”
“Think about what?” I yelled in confusion.
But before I finished speaking, a loud bang suddenly came from behind us. When we looked back, the whole outer coffin chamber suddenly bulged and cracked, and a giant black snake poked its head out. What we had thought was a tentacle just now actually turned out to be that snake’s tail. But as I looked at this snake, I found that it was very odd—it had one eye, its scales were very small, and it looked more like a giant bug.
After the one-eyed serpent slithered out, its huge eye immediately focused on us. Lao Yang, seeing that the situation was bad, quickly pulled the long-handled hunting knife from my belt and cut the climbing rope with a fierce swing. Once the rope broke, we swung through the air like Tarzan and crashed into the plank boardwalk on the other side. I had experience this time, so I knew to roll once I landed in order to absorb the impact.
After Lao Yang landed, he pulled the short rifle from where it was strapped to the side of his backpack, aimed it at the giant snake’s eye, and fired. The bullet pierced a big hole in the snake’s eye, causing it to curl up into a ball from the pain. As its tail swept past, it took out a whole section of the plank boardwalk above us.
Lao Yang dodged the flying pieces of wood, grabbed my arm, and started pulling me down, continuously firing at the snake as he went. I knew this gun could only hold five bullets at a time, but Lao Yang kept firing without stopping to reload, the bullets practically flying out like a stream of water.
Unfortunately, this gun’s caliber was still too small and the snake had learned to be wary after getting shot just now—it stayed curled in on itself, protecting its eye with its body. As a result, all the bullets ended up hitting its tail, but its scales were as hard as armor so the bullets were basically useless against it.
When I saw this, I told Lao Yang to hurry up and run. We rushed all the way to the hole in the plank boardwalk, but just as I was about to start climbing the rock wall, Lao Yang suddenly grabbed me and said, “You think we have time for that?” Then he grabbed me and jumped down to the plank boardwalk below. As soon as we landed, we heard a loud crack—the boards were unable to withstand the impact and immediately broke into a dozen pieces. We fell through the planks, smashed through another level, and landed on the platform at the very bottom of the plank boardwalk.
My landing this time was very bad, so my mouth and nose ended up covered in blood. Lao Yang pulled me to my feet and said, “Looks like my calculations were too optimistic. Are you ok?”
My head felt so dizzy that I didn’t how to respond, but that giant black snake was already slithering down the bronze tree like lightning. “We can’t beat it in a fight and we can’t escape it,” Lao Yang said. “Let’s hide in one of those caves down below.”
I looked down, but there wasn’t any more plank boardwalk left. The only thing I could see was that small cave where we had stopped to rest earlier. There were many such caves densely packed together here, so we should be able to find one easily. Plus, that snake was so big that it shouldn’t be able to fit into most of them. This way, we’d be able to avoid it for a while as we tried to come up with a plan.
Lao Yang pulled me down the cliff and climbed into the nearest cave, which was less than one meter in diameter. But before we had time to crawl deeper, the eye of that giant snake suddenly appeared at the entrance. It stared at us for a second and then slammed into the cave’s entrance, trying to get in.
Lao Yang shot at it several times, trying to push it back, but the bullets only managed to shatter a few of the scales on its head. Once again, the gun didn’t have any effect at all.
The black snake tried to squeeze its way into the cave several more times, but its head was as big as a liberation truck so it couldn’t get in. Seeing that it was useless, it suddenly rammed its head into the cave entrance, sending rocks flying all around. We quickly retreated deeper into the cave so as not to be crushed by the falling rocks.
The black snake became enraged when it saw us retreating further inside the cave and rammed the entrance again. The whole cave shook as the sound of cracking rock filled the air, stretching all the way from the mouth of the cave to the ceiling above our heads.
The basalt here was already very unstable due to the excessive excavation of the underground river, but now that there was such a strong collision, the delicate balance between the inner rock layers was destroyed, and a chain reaction occurred—a bunch of hairline cracks appeared in the rock and started spreading. As one such crack suddenly appeared above our heads, Lao Yang pulled me deeper into the cave. Still in shock, I only managed to move a few steps when I suddenly heard a loud crashing sound. Then, my vision was filled with nothing but dirt and dust as rubble fell in all directions—a cave-in had occurred somewhere close by.
I instinctively curled into a ball and put my arms over my head as rocks rained down from above, hitting my body and back more than a dozen times. In the midst of all that chaos, Lao Yang suddenly grabbed me and dragged me over to his side. Then, we heard a loud noise as a rock as big as a desk fell from above and completely blocked the cave’s entrance.
Now, not only could the black snake not get in, but we couldn’t see it either. It still didn’t give up, though. In fact, it continued ramming into the cave entrance more than a dozen times in a row. Rocks kept falling down from above and even the surrounding walls were beginning to crack.
“We can’t go on like this,” Lao Yang suddenly said. “I’m afraid this thing won’t stop until it kills us. If it rams into the cliff a few more times, the whole damn mountain just might collapse.”
I turned my head and saw that we had already retreated to the innermost part of the cave. There was nowhere else to retreat to. If any more cave-ins occurred, not even a Daluo Immortal(2) would be able to save us.
At this point, we were in a dire situation—even if we had explosives, it wasn’t like we could use them in such a small space. As I watched the cracks in the surrounding rock expand bit by bit, I couldn’t help but feel panicked.
Then, one of the cracks suddenly burst as a section of the rock wall became overwhelmed from the strain and collapsed. We squeezed in close to the nearby walls, just barely managing to avoid the collapse. Once the dust settled, we saw that another cave had actually appeared behind the collapsed rubble.
I immediately felt overjoyed and thought to myself, the heavens didn’t forget me after all! This collapsed wall was probably a partition between the two caves, so now that it was broken, a stone corridor appeared in between them.
I quickly turned to Lao Yang and told him to follow me inside, but Lao Yang suddenly stopped in front of me and said, “You can’t go in there!”
<Chapter 35><Table of Contents><Chapter 37>
(1) The term “Heavenly Maiden Scattering Flowers” (could also be translated as “Goddess Scattering Flowers”) comes from a story in Chapter 6 of the Vimalakirti Sutra. It’s said that a celestial goddess scattered flowers to test the disciples of the Bodhisattva Shravaka. If I understood it right, the flowers would stick to them if they still had worldly attachments but would fall off if they didn’t. Here’s another article explaining it.
(2) Reminder: Daluo Immortals are like the top-tier immortals in the cultivation realms in ancient myths and legends. Immortals in this sense are people with extraordinary abilities who are omniscient, omnipotent, transcendent, and immortal.
33 pages, 4 chapters to go…. We can do it! Almost free! ｡ﾟ･ (>﹏<) ･ﾟ｡ (Based on these chapter lengths, though, prolly gonna wrap it up next week)
7 thoughts on “Chapter 36 Collapse”
😭 Your translations are so beautiful! We truly missed out on so much with the official translations! 😭😭😭 Bless you! 🤧
Aww thank you, you’re too nice. I actually wasn’t happy with some of the wording but I was tired of looking at it so I just posted it 😅
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We’re getting there! No worries and take your time!
It seems Wuxie can’t escape from snakes 😅 and Lao Yang can’t help but hit Wuxie 😅😅
Who are we kidding? What would DMBJ be without snakes? 😂
Gaaaaah this whole upcoming section is so creepy! I can’t believe the difference with the official version, I’m so excited to read the end now, but also so cross at what was left out! Thank you!
I’d say the tone this chapter is definitely a bit different from the licensed version now that we’ve got some of those missing pieces. It might just be me but it seems to flow a little better and make more sense (at least on how Wu Xie’s deducing stuff)
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thank you for the chapter 🙏🏼