Chapter 38 Traveling Notes

Fatty took the phone and looked at the picture, “There’s a bit of a resemblance.”

Because of the existence of human skin masks, I had strictly trained myself and even learned photography in order to better understand human facial features. So, I could tell at a glance that this girl’s and the master’s facial features were very similar, which meant that they must be related.

As for what their exact relationship was, I didn’t have a clue. She may be the master’s niece, illegitimate daughter, or some distant relative.

“So, you think this is a cover-up?” Fatty asked.

I nodded. This was either a murder committed to silence those involved, or there was some kind of emotional dispute. For example, the master’s wife used this sect to create a supernatural event where the evil god exacted revenge, killing her husband and his illegitimate daughter, and so on.

Actually, there were some men here who had families on both sides of the border.

“These are all just guesses, not concrete theories. You need to think carefully. You’ve been so careful for so long. Don’t make a rash decision and ruin the whole thing,” Fatty said. I nodded; this was indeed just a guess on my part. If I could go to the other side of the border, I just needed to look at the scene to know if my guess was right. But the problem was that I couldn’t pass through right now.

But I was ninety percent sure that I was right, especially given how confident I was when it came to recognizing faces. This kindergarten teacher and that master had to be related by blood, which was too coincidental when thinking about the whole “evil god incident”.

I called Beijing and relayed my guesses to Xiao Hua’s underlings. They said that they would find a way to check with the relevant people.

Once that was done, I called Agui again and asked him to visit the master’s house. After about five minutes, Agui sent me a text saying that the master’s family was leaving to go to the ancient temple in Vietnam to make atonements.

I thought that they were planning to run away, so I said to Fatty, “Find out if there’s another huckster of this cult nearby, and tell them that I want to participate in the Guan Luo Yin ritual. Tell them that I want to go down and meet the true body of this scaled Buddha. But before the ceremony begins, I need Little Brother to sneak up to the altar and change the incense.”

“Then we pretend to eat the food and drink the tea like normal,” Fatty added.

We came up with a plan and went to meet the master the next morning. Logically speaking, when this master received the news, he should have planned on putting on a big show. That was why I kept feeling like he was too attentive as soon as I saw him.

Poker-Face and I exchanged a glance as the three of us played to our strengths to gain a thorough understanding of the surrounding terrain. I also determined that the incense they used was available in the local area, so if there was any medicine on them, then they had been soaked in advance.

We exchanged pleasantries for a while before making an appointment for the three of us to officially participate in a Guan Luo Yin ritual the next day. This time, it seemed like Poker-Face was able to participate.

This inconsistent behavior had me feeling a little puzzled, but it ultimately didn’t matter.

That night, Poker-Face climbed over the wall to change out the incense. When morning came, I asked someone to send it to Beijing for testing.

After dinner the next day, we arrived at the master’s house as scheduled. That was when Fatty suddenly pointed out a flaw in our plan—if the master also needed that medicine to hypnotize himself, what should we do?

I said that it was the master’s own problem. In any case, he probably never would have thought that we would replace things in the middle of the night without anyone noticing.

Since the three of us were in the master’s house, we ate and drank like normal, but it was all basically for show since we went to the bathroom to spit out the things we ingested. When it was almost midnight, preparations for the ceremony began. The master drew a spell, covered our eyes with a red cloth, and began chanting something.

This time, my mind was very clear and I retained my awareness. No matter what hints he tried to give me, my four senses remained sensitive to the changes in the surrounding environment.

After about half an hour, the three of us still couldn’t see anything, and the master started to panic.

Knowing that he was feeling a little anxious, I started making things up.

I told him that I was at a farmer’s market, but it was an ancient farmer’s market. There were many people buying food, and some were buying fireworks and paper dolls.

The master gradually relaxed, so I continued to make things up, saying that I saw a man who looked like an official waiting for me. He was holding a sign with my name in his hand.

The master seemed a little confused by this—it appeared this kind of scene rarely happened—but he still said, “Look at his eyes. Are they vertical or are they the same as ours?”

“He’s blindfolded,” I said. “His hair is white and standing up.” I started making things up like crazy.

The master was even more baffled now. He thought for a moment before saying, “Maybe the Buddha specially arranged to pick you up. What did he say to you?”

“He said he was going to my Yuanchen Palace.”

“Then follow him.”

“I see my Yuanchen Palace,” I continued. “It’s a big house full of books. It looks like a study. After going in, I see an altar—wait, why is the Buddha statue on the altar facing away from me?”

“Is it the Buddha?” The master asked.

“I think so. It has scales all over its body.”

“Can you see what the offerings are?”

“It’s a pile of tortoise shells, and there are many land deeds there, all written on yellow paper.” I wasn’t sure how I was able to do such a good job making all this up.

The master went to check on Fatty and Poker-Face’s progress, but they weren’t as good at making things up as I was, so they said that they still couldn’t see anything.

“It seems that the Buddha only wants to talk to you,” the master said to me. “These tortoise shells are used for divination, and the land deeds are the wages that the Buddha promised you. It seems that the Buddha is very optimistic about you. As long as you apologize to the Buddha, it will make you a dharma protector.”(1)

I pretended to be surprised, “Dharma protector? Do I deserve such a position when I’m so lacking?”

“That doesn’t matter. I work in the tobacco and alcohol industry, yet the Buddha still gave me a position anyways. You, however, are very extraordinary. The Buddha wants you to be a dharma protector and continue to carry this sect forward.” The master continued, “To tell you the truth, you have to agree now no matter what. If you don’t give the Buddha face, the Buddha will take away your predestined lifespan.”

“Then I will definitely agree,” I said. “But after I do, I’ll become a dharma protector. Do I have to practice asceticism?”

“Look around your Yuanchen Palace. As long as you eat anything you see, the Buddha’s dharma power will be given to you,” the master said. “After that, you will have dharma power. Dharma protectors are at a higher level than us masters, but you should think it over. To be a dharma protector, you have to exchange property with Buddha. He gave you the yellow papers in his hand, but those are the land deeds of the underworld. In exchange for them, you’ll have to donate your house in the mortal world to the Buddha. Are you willing?”

“Then where will I live?”

“After becoming a dharma protector, you can go to the underworld soon. After you donate, the Buddha will come and pick you up. Your house in the underworld is much larger than your house in the mortal world, so you don’t have to stay in the mortal world for too long.”

“What’s the difference between this and the Buddha taking my predestined lifespan right now?”

“Of course there’s a difference. You die after having your predestined lifespan taken away, but if you’re taken to the underworld, then you can come and go freely between the yin and yang realms.”

I pretended to hesitate, but in my heart, I was absolutely horrified. As it turned out, they were blatantly cheating others out of their homes. It seemed that when we arrived at Agui’s village, we were already being targeted. They must have thought that I was a rich foreigner or something.

“But I’m actually very poor. I still owe a lot of online debts in Hangzhou, and my house is long gone,” I said.

“Do your parents have a house?” The master suddenly asked. “What belongs to you in the future can also be contributed in advance.”

If I was really drugged at this time, I thought to myself, I might really believe everything I saw in this hallucination.

The master continued trying to entice me, “The Buddha is waiting for your response. You should hurry up and thank it; otherwise, it will get angry.”

“Thank you, Buddha. But I have one more question. Can the Buddha help me answer it?” I asked the master.

“Of course,” the master replied. “Since you’re so sincere, it’s only natural that the Buddha will help you.”

“I want to know,” I said, “if the believers have already given you their houses, why should they die? Is it because you’re worried that they’ll come to their senses one day and report you?”

The room was deathly silent.

<Chapter 37><Table of Contents><Chapter 39>



TN Notes:

(1) A dharma protector, or dharmapāla, is usually known as a type of wrathful god in Buddhism. They are also known as the Defenders of the Justice, or the Guardians of the Law. They protect Buddha’s teachings and are a protector of Buddhist law. Temple donors can also be referred to as dharma protectors.    


Me reading about this cult basically tricking and murdering people for money:

Pic added 1/31/2023 (fan translation courtesy of me)


4 thoughts on “Chapter 38 Traveling Notes

  1. They are so confident, It worrisome but at the same time so enjoyable to see them playing like this.
    The meme was so funny and perfect.
    Let’s imagine an angry Wu Xie or Fatty saying this meme.
    The Zhangs
    The Wangs
    The audacity of these cons


  2. Ohhh. So nothing mystical at all! I love Wuxie tricking the master! I sort of remember Uncle Two case with the snails!

    Thank you for the chapter


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