Chapter 26 Herdsman

I looked at this herdsman, who looked at me weakly before saying, “Don’t worry, I’ll tell you everything. But too many things have happened, and I’ve told them too many times. You need to be a little patient and understanding. I’m more broken than you.”

“As a local herder—” I felt something was wrong after listening to him speak, but he immediately finished my sentence, “My Chinese is a bit too modern, isn’t it? I’m a mountain man, so my grammar should have more dialect attributes. Although I have an accent, my current way of speaking is no different from modern Chinese in terms of words and expressions, right?”

The words I was about to say suddenly got caught in my throat.

“You say that every time,” he continued. “We learn our Chinese from highly educated teachers, who teach us modern Chinese. It’s not the kind learned from haggling with Han people in the market. Times have long since changed. Other than our accents, which can’t be taught, we’ve received the same basic education as you in all aspects.”

I narrowed my eyes in suspicion, trying to ascertain whether his annoyance was real or not. But just as I was about to speak, he immediately added, “You want me to start with how we met, right? In this way, you can judge whether you can trust me from my first narrative or not. If you can trust me, then you’ll be able to accept the rest of my narrative in a less stressful state of mind, right? This is the most efficient way.”

That was exactly what I wanted to say, but I didn’t expect him to take the words right out of my mouth. In just one breath, I was immediately pushed back.

“Let’s get straight to the process, and don’t interrupt. I’ll explain the matter to you simply and quickly according to your preferences,” the herdsman said. “Ok?”

I nodded. He could predict what I was going to say so skillfully, which showed that he really knew me well.

“Well, let me start by telling you how we became acquainted. It’s actually very simple. I didn’t meet you underground. I found you above, that is, on the mountain aboveground,” the herdsman said. “I’m a Kazakh tribesman,(1) and I’m forty-three years old. When I was herding sheep outside, I saw you crawl out of a mountain crevice. You were dying, so I took you back to my tent, where you spent three days recuperating. This place is so remote that it takes the postman three days just to get here. You said you couldn’t wait, so you asked me to take you back to the crevice where I found you. You even gave me a lot of emeralds.” He took an emerald out of his pocket and showed it to me. I felt my own pockets and found that, sure enough, all the emeralds I remembered stuffing into my pockets before had disappeared and ended up with him.

“You wouldn’t let me enter the crevice, but you did ask me to help you find someone who could help you. But I thought that you were a miner and I also felt uneasy leaving you like that—plus, I thought that if I followed you in, I could get something more—so I followed you in.”

“That’s it?” I asked while leveling him with a look. But he completely ignored me and pointed to the cave wall, “You told me at that time that you could lose your memory at any time, and I might be like you, so we had to leave traces of our memories everywhere. You seemed like you were trying to break through an extremely difficult area, which was this place here. I don’t know what you went through before, but all you remembered at that time was that you had to get through here. We tried many different ways, which is how I ended up getting hurt. You tried to save me, but then we got lost and trapped here.”

“How far is it from here to that crevice that reaches the surface?” I asked, wanting to hear some good news.

“It’s very far. We can’t go back,” the herdsman replied. “It took us ten days to get here. Remember, you were trapped in a small crevice in the rock stratum first, but then you managed to figure out how the layout of these crevices worked. You climbed through them for three days until you made it outside the mountain, and then you took a short rest and went in again. We climbed deep into these crevices for ten days, losing our way and our memories many times throughout the journey. With the gaps in our memories, it’s impossible to find the way back.”

I rubbed my face and said, “I wouldn’t just leave you with this little bit of information. Is there anything else? I mean, is there any useful information?”

“All the useful information is on the cave walls. If you look carefully, it’s full of your paintings. You told me that you deduced what happened using the traces left along the way.”

I paused before immediately turning around to look at the cave wall. Sure enough, there was a picture I had painted on the cave wall.

Not only was I very familiar with my own painting style, but the method used here was very exquisite—nearby rocks of varying colors had been ground into powder, made into different colored pastes, and then spread on the wall bit by bit until the patterns took shape.

I was very good at painting and had prepared a lot of colors, so the pictures were very clear and could even be considered gorgeous. I saw that Xiao Hua, Poker-Face, Black Glasses, and that ancient god that looked like a wooden club had all been painted on the wall.

It only took me one glance to understand it. This deduction that the previous me had left for the current me showed an extremely thrilling scene.

I stood frozen in front of the picture, staring at these three men who, without me, seemed to be fighting an extremely dangerous battle full of sacrifice and redemption.

<Chapter 25><Table of Contents><Chapter 27>


TN Notes:

(1) The Kazakhs are an ethnic group in China. They are the descendants of the ancient Turkic Kipchak tribes and the medieval Mongolic tribes, and generally classified as Turco-Mongol cultural group. More info here.


So humble, Wu Xie. I’m sure your rock finger paintings are absolutely LOVELY lol

13 thoughts on “Chapter 26 Herdsman

  1. The paintings from his private notes are gorgeous, so I will believe this one is gorgeous too! Though certainly Wuxie is not humble at all 😂

    So he got out and in again! I’m dying to know what happened in those memory lost days, but I guess this is another way for NPSS to not tell us what is happening.


    1. Sniff sniff….if it was possible Wuxie would take the Stonewall with his paintings to an Art museum. So everyone would know how great he is. Nearly going to die in a critical situation but he made color pulver and so on. Even when he was affected by the haevenly gift xD Ah i can`t be serious. I believe something is really messing with his brain and i believe the herdsman is already dead and he is talking with his corpse believing and seeing things that aren`t there. And yes the something must be the havenly gift. I am so curios what is real and what is not.


      1. Lol lol lol. I think he had to take his time and make beautiful colors because if it wasn’t a masterpiece he would doubt it was his work 🤣


  2. I want to see his painting of these three people.
    So if he was trying to get out of the gaps for 3 days and spent 13 days with this person, then his words are in line with time his watch was showing. The herdsman’s words seem true, but I can’t trust him, I keep remembering the writing that said there was a spy among them.
    Thank you for the chapter.


    1. Wait, if what he said is true, then he must not have seen or known Black Glasses. So how he know that he is a ruthless person? In this case, either they encountered him and Black Glasses have done something bad, or he is not the person he says, then all or part of his words are lies.


        1. Another possibility. Anything could happen with this books. I’m trying not to guess much and just enjoy the journey….
          Who I’m trying to fool? At this point my brain refuses to make logical theories, I’m really a mess

          Liked by 1 person

  3. 😂😂😂

    So humble.

    Lol I like how the author kind of skipped over a lot this time. I have no doubt we’ll hear about it from the others later in the story, so I’m okay with skipping the part about him losing his memory over and over again. Since he has his memory NOW it must mean we’re about to move forward with the story.

    Happy New Year everyone! I’m excited to continue our adventures into 2023 with you all! ❤️😊❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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