This situation was actually very interesting. According to the feng shui books, if someone’s belly button looked like a copper coin, then that meant that their ancestors were buried in this place. This kind of thing was called a Rolling Copper Coin Array.(1) But if the monkeys’ belly buttons looked like copper coins, then that would mean that their ancestors were buried under the Fei Kun Temple.
So, this might actually be the tomb of the monkey king.
“No, no,” Fatty said. “This should be a monkey demon’s tomb. Otherwise, Little Brother wouldn’t be suppressing it.”
I figured Poker-Face had no control over where the temples were built in the end, but if a tomb had been specially built for a monkey, then that meant that the monkey had obviously done something extraordinary. And whatever extraordinary thing it was, it had been bad. Otherwise, it wouldn’t need to be suppressed by the Fei Kun Balu temple.
However, it wasn’t difficult to make inquiries about it. After we went down the mountain, we found a restaurant in the village. While eating beef hotpot, we asked the owner’s grandfather about it. The owner was seventy years old, and his grandfather was over ninety. He sat barefoot in the yard and spoke to us in the local dialect, saying that a monkey appeared here during the time of the last emperor. The locals called it Kaishan Hongbei.(2)
After this monkey became the monkey king, strange things started to happen frequently. The first thing of note was that this monkey was extremely clever. There was originally a clear distinction between humans and monkeys, so there were few conflicts between the two. The people at that time were more murderous, so they would shoot any monkeys that messed with them. As a result, the monkeys were very wary of people. But Kaishan Hongbei’s IQ was much higher than that of ordinary monkeys, so while all the other groups of monkeys around it died out almost within a month, its group of monkeys expanded at an unprecedented rate. At the same time, it also began to attack villages frequently and launched sneak attacks on children and young animals. The people at that time had to go out in groups; otherwise, they’d definitely be attacked by monkeys. If they were careless, they would even be killed by the monkeys. Under Kaishan Hongbei’s leadership, these monkeys even learned to set up ambushes at the top of cliffs. Whenever people passed by below, the monkeys would throw heavy stones down and crush the person to death.
Some people once witnessed Kaishan Hongbei massacring young monkeys like a human, but they didn’t know what the reason was. A few feng shui masters said that this monkey might possess the energy of an immortal, but now it had become more demon-like. All the young monkeys it had killed were male, so it had probably been worried that it would be forcefully ousted by other monkeys once it became an old monkey king. Killing all the young male monkeys was simply a precautionary measure.
The second thing of note was that this monkey was very cruel and vengeful. In fact, it went far beyond the normal levels that this species usually displayed. If it failed to kill a person, not only would it immediately become furious and kill all the young monkeys in the group indiscriminately, but it would also follow that person home at night, looking for opportunities to launch a sneak attack. If the person was very vigilant, it would place rotting animal carcasses and feces on the windows of the house for several months and dig up the bodies of newly buried infectious patients, rip them apart, and throw the body parts at the enemy’s home.
Therefore, any methods such as setting up traps or trying to ambush this monkey were all completely useless. It seemed to know everything and could successfully avoid all ambushes.
Of course, humans were the spirit of all things.(3) After a long time, the monkey disaster here attracted the attention of the government. At that time, all the Qiongzhou(4) government offices were equipped with muskets, so they sent troops up into the mountains to solve the monkey problem. The local hunters had assembled several times before, but they all gave up because the monkeys fled into the mountains. This time, however, the government was decisive—anyone who killed a monkey would get six silver coins, and whoever killed Kaishan Hongbei would get thirty.
This completely aroused the humans’ bloodlust and led to a month-long campaign to encircle and suppress the monkeys. By the end of it, Kaishan Hongbei’s monkeys were wiped out, and even all the other monkey groups scattered around the area were killed. Kaishan Hongbei and a group of family members were eventually trapped and surrounded on a cliff by musket-wielding hunters. It hid in a cave on the cliff and persisted for ten days before finally succumbing to thirst and jumping off the cliff. After the body was cut open, they found that it had been eating the young monkeys to satisfy its hunger over the last few days.
At first, the matter was considered closed, but after a few days, the bodies of those monkeys that were piled up in the government office suddenly began to show abnormal changes and grow black hairs. The local official knew that the situation wasn’t good, so he immediately invited a feng shui master to come and take a look. The feng shui master didn’t look at anything when he arrived, but instead went directly to see Kaishan Hongbei’s corpse. Upon seeing that the body had doubled in size, the fangs in its mouth had elongated, and the many black hairs on its body were like steel needles, the feng shui master said that these monkeys had begun to transform and needed to be burned immediately. Once that was done, they needed to choose a good place to bury the ashes and then build a special temple over it.
So, that was how this Fei Kun Balu temple came into existence. In fact, the principle was very simple: Kaishan Hongbei would have transformed into a zombie in a hundred days, probably because its ancestors died in a special place in the mountains where the feng shui was very strange.
This was purely coincidental, but it made Kaishan Hongbei very different from other monkeys. After dominating the region in life, the ferocity brought to that place after death caused the body to start changing, so it had to be buried in a good place to offset the negative energy.
And the Fei Kun Balu temple was built because the people were worried that monkeys similar to Kaishan Hongbei would appear among its surviving descendants and bring disaster to the region again.
But then again, the monkeys here were indeed fiercer and stronger than those in other places. It seemed that because their ancestors were buried on both a fierce dragon and an auspicious dragon, they had an obscure presence, but they were all extraordinary.
When we got in the truck and prepared to start our return journey, Poker-Face suddenly knocked on the window in warning. I looked in the direction he was pointing and saw that a group of monkeys were gathered in the trees up ahead. Their leader seemed to be the one that attacked us earlier. As soon as the truck started moving, we saw the group of monkeys also start moving through the forest. Based on the direction they were running, they seemed to be following us.
<Chapter 45><Table of Contents><Chapter 47>
(1) Think NPSS made this up because I wasn’t finding anything.
(2) Kaishan Hongbei (开山红背) can be directly translated as Red-Backed Mountain Splitter. FYI, China’s last emperor was Aisin-Gioro Puyi and his “reign” was from 1908-1912 (he was only 2 years old in 1908).
(3) It’s a Chinese idiom which basically means that humans are the most spiritual (aka noblest and wisest) of all species in the world.
(4) Qiongzhou is the historic name for Hainan Island.
2 thoughts on “Chapter 46 Traveling Notes”
I hope nothing bad happens. They have Poker Face
What a terrible monkey! I didn’t mind monkeys before DMBJ but now I’m afraid of them too
It’s a relief they didn’t go to that tomb. I think the encounter of these three with that monkey zombie would be more terrifying than the story the old man told them.