I used my flashlight to shine left and right, but I couldn’t tell where I came from or where I was going.
I took a few deep breaths before taking off my jacket and carefully examining my upper body, trying to find the marks that would show me the route I took and any other information I could glean from these hints.
My body didn’t have any thick, raised scars since my nails had to work very hard just to leave any marks. They would damage the epidermal tissue to some extent, but many words could no longer be read clearly, and only some repeated reminders could be seen clearly.
For example: the limbs of ancient corpses must be collected.
This should mean collecting the traces of bronze found in the ancient corpses. I didn’t know what these corpses were or why they were in these mountain crevices, but they had obviously consumed a lot of medicines containing bronze before they died.
I thought of the immortality pill back then, in which a dormant red corpse-eater was encased in bronze powder. After taking the pill, the corpse-eater would burrow into the human brain to hibernate and secrete a substance that would make the person sleep for a long time. As long as the person wore the jade burial armor, the corpse-eater king would think that it was still buried among the bronze and remain dormant, continuing to secret this substance. The person’s skin would also slowly start to peel off in a process that would last for about two thousand years until the corpse-eater king died. At that time, when the jade burial armor was removed, the person would revive and enjoy the effects of longevity.
If the jade burial armor was removed before the two thousand years were up, the corpse-eater king would wake up and produce a toxin that would cause drastic changes in the corpse and turn it into a blood corpse. Some people would turn into things like sea monkeys while others—because of some mid-process reaction—may turn into things like the Forbidden Woman.
The long-faced monsters here looked exactly like blood corpses, so I figured that they were blood corpses that had become completely dry and brittle. They were so old that they immediately turned to dust without the protection of the jade burial armor.
In other words, these ancient corpses may be zombies from the Neolithic Age or the early Xia and Zhou periods of human civilization.(1)
That was so long ago…so blood corpses could die as well?
I used my hands to poke through the dust where the ancient corpse’s head had been, but I didn’t see the corpse-eater’s body. I did, however, see something that looked similar to a fossilized egg sac, which was more like the transparent corpse-eater I saw before.(2)
I looked to the left and thought to myself, alright, let’s take a gamble. If that’s the way back, I can save that person. If not, I can find Poker-Face. I’ll just have to play it by ear.
I started climbing towards the crevice on the left, which was so narrow that I could only pass through it sideways bit by bit, just like that mountain crevice I saw before.
After entering, I found that I had actually lost a lot of weight so I could move relatively smoothly in these crevices.
After climbing a few steps, I discovered another ancient body at the bottom of the crevice. Just like the one before, it was sitting at the bottom of the crevice in a meditative pose, completely stuck.
This was a cultivation pose, and I suddenly realized that this was an ancient Chinese alchemist. These people were the first to invent the theory of immortality. It wasn’t surprising that the Kunlun Mountains were considered the mountain of Taoist immortals, and people really cultivated in them.
But seeing how deep underground this place was, we modern people underestimated the ancients’ determination too much.
I wanted to break off the ancient corpse’s head and take it with me for its bronze protection, but I really couldn’t bend over in this place. I also didn’t dare take off my shoes and use my toes to grab it for fear that if I accidentally dropped my shoes, they’d fall to the bottom of the crevice and I wouldn’t be able to pull them back up.
So, I had no other choice but to move on. So many days had passed and I didn’t know when I had left the herdsman or if he had already died of thirst by now.
For this reason, I looked at the ancient corpse again to check and see if it was the herdsman who had died of dehydration. Then I began to wonder what I had been eating for so many days. And what about drinking? Had I been drinking my urine to stay hydrated?
After squeezing my way through the crevice for about twenty minutes and making it about thirty meters inside, I found a fork in the path.
I knew that I would have definitely left a mark at the fork, so I looked around carefully. Sure enough, I had made a mark here. This was the way back.
I took a deep breath and climbed towards the crevice on the right. As soon as I entered it, I saw the following words engraved on the wall: This path is very long. Stick to it.
I sucked in a breath and looked at my handwriting. Damn, so considerate.
I continued climbing further inside and saw that every thirty meters or so, I had left bits of text behind on the walls here.
In addition to some words of encouragement, I also saw a wealth of information.
One of them made me stop and look at it carefully.
“All along the bottom of the crevice, there are many places where alchemists were cultivating. They probably date back around 3,000-2,000 BC. If you touch the alchemists, you can escape the heavenly gift’s control, but be careful of spies. There is a spy among us.”
There were quotation marks around “us”, but I knew what it meant. In other words, sometimes when I was being affected by the heavenly gift, I would be misled by my memory to do the opposite thing.
So, I wouldn’t regain my self-awareness every time.
“I have taken foolproof measures, but I can’t write them down. If you think about it, you’ll naturally understand what they are.” Then he wrote after that: “This place is very long and narrow. I don’t know how deep it is. It extends in all directions, but it has a single name called Danxi.(3) Take the sutra with you. I hope you can get out as soon as possible.”
“Also, if you hear something that sounds like a train, remember to run.”
Train? I looked at the words, feeling confused. Is there a train here?
<Chapter 21><Table of Contents><Chapter 23>
(1) Neolithic Age was about 7000–1700 BC. Xia Dynasty was about 2070 and 1600 BC. Zhou Dynasty was about 1046-256 BC.
(2) I don’t know what this is referencing.
(3) Can mean something like “pill creek”. Dan (丹) can mean the pills used for cultivating immortality and Xi (溪) can mean creek/rivulet.
4 thoughts on “Chapter 22 Adventure That Can Be Interrupted At Any Time”
This is nerve wrecking! My heart is beating so fast!
I appreciate the longevity pill explanation.
Thank you so much for the chapter
I don’t know why, but I’m here imagining that in an imaginary beautiful future, Wu Xie and Xiao Ge who have lost their memory find each other and romantically remember each other.😅
(2) – Transparent/translucent version of the shibie – the infamous corpse beetles/bugs that keeps popping up.
Right, I was just blanking on when he saw a transparent version before 😅