Chapter 33 Sea Lily

First of all, sea lilies were an animal, not a plant. I used this particular name because sea lily fossils could clearly explain that the way those soft black things traveled underground wasn’t by moving stones like I originally thought, but by preparing countless tube-like cavities underground in advance.

I still didn’t know whether these tube-like cavities were a part of the creature itself or a nest that had been formed by its secretions, but it was just like the many mysteries surrounding the beginning of life—for many ancient fossils that had been discovered, it was actually difficult to determine which ones had belonged to living creatures and which ones did not.

These tube-like cavities were first formed in the crevices. There were countless connecting crevices among the rubble inside the mountain. These crevices were all very different—some were very wide and some were small—but the things that traveled in the tube-like cavities could change their size to easily move through them.

After it swallowed me up, it dragged me into one of these tube-like cavities, but I wasn’t like it so I suffered a lot of superficial injuries in the process. Then, when it passed through a particularly narrow tube-like cavity, I ended up being squeezed out of its body because I couldn’t fit.

That narrow space was a part of my memories that I managed to retain. At the time, I thought it might be a way for that creature to store food, but now it was nothing more than speculation.

One of the characteristics of sea lilies was that all parts of the stalk-like structure located close to the ground had a “flower”. That flower was actually a huge structure that would open up. It was a bit like a predator’s claw, but also very similar to a beautiful flower.(1)

The same was true of this thing. Near the ground, under the rubble, there was actually a huge “flower” that would open up. At all the locations where this flower opened, sacrificial altars had been placed. In other words, the ancients set up a place of sacrifice right where this creature’s mouth would be.

The places where Xiao Hua danced, where I danced, and where Black Glasses danced were all like this.

In the record I made for myself, my speculations were very detailed. There was a kind of god in the Bon religion called “Tuzhu”. In some of the extremely primitive Tuzhu totems, the flowers resembled lilies but weren’t actually lilies. Instead, they seemed to be the thing I saw here.

Tuzhu was the underground flower god. This term had been transliterated many times in ancient words, so the original meaning was no longer known.

I also speculated that this lily-like thing may have been built by the ancients. It was probably some kind of primitive altar that was connected to these tube-like cavities so that when the blood sacrifices were made, the fat, internal organs, and pieces of flesh could quickly slide down the tube-like cavities and attract those soft-bodied things.

This made the whole underground structure here look like a giant sea lily.

In this structure, there were many corpse-eater-like bugs living in the various crevices between the tube-like cavities and the rocks, almost like a parasite.

After I was dragged into that crevice, I woke up and started to save myself. The process of saving myself was actually very simple, and I found that the passage I was dragged through was still accessible.

I immediately started climbing back through it, but I didn’t expect my journey to be so complicated. After climbing for a while, I found that there were too many forks in the path, and I realized that I had come in much deeper than I expected. Then, I eventually came across a strange little gateway.

It was a small, man-made gateway made of grey earthen tiles and bricks that had been built at a fork in this tube-like cavity.

I immediately realized that this kind of cavity had been here for so long that later generations discovered it many times. In many fairy tales, there was a common theme where alchemists would enter the mountains and follow the caves deep underground in search of treasures. They would also fix up their own caves and put up some small decorations. There were many caves deep at the bottom of mountains, so there would be many Taoist statues and altars from every era.

In that kind of place, you would also see a lot of cremation urns, which were used by the alchemists of special sects.

Since the cave’s structure was extremely stable as long as there wasn’t an earthquake, even those religious remains dating back more than five thousand years would still be relatively well-preserved.

Therefore, ancient people must have entered and lived in this passage long ago.

This gave me a lot of confidence because it meant that I could use my own logic to figure out which caves the ancients used to enter and exit this place.

I entered the small gateway and found that there was a small space behind it, which held a lot of very old idol statues.

The statues were all things that the immortals of that era talked about. When I saw the altar, I felt chills all over my body, because these things had basically never been discovered before. This was some intermediate religious state that had never been recorded since the primitive religions of the pre-Bon era.

As I looked at the statues, I noticed that there was one made of clay that looked like a stick.

<Chapter 32><Table of Contents><Chapter 34>


TN Note:

(1) The stalk-like structure (or tube-like cavity) can also be referred to as a lumen (the inside space of a tubular structure, such as an artery or intestine). I’d say this stalk-like structure he’s talking about is this alien-looking thingy I circled in white and the flowers are the feeding arms on the right:

6 thoughts on “Chapter 33 Sea Lily

  1. Oh wow, sounds like he wrote that sutra himself? Somehow? Does he only know that language by ear or something?

    “As I looked at the statues, I noticed that there was one made of clay that looked like a stick.”

    Beeeeeets that this statue has sometimes been also described like a carpet-beater and has appeared at significant Zhang/Kangbaluo sites…..?

    And – thanks for all the updates!


  2. He has no pain at his back were the hand was ? And he carries the herdsman on his back- on this fresh wound…and he has no pain? I am really worried about you Wuxie. I knew you could do this with pain…but when you doesn`t feel the pain…after cutting it out with a fuck….stone.

    I am still not convinced of the herdsman!

    Thancks for translating


  3. Well. That makes it no less creepy. But at least me now have a better idea of what we’re up against. Though how it survived this long is beyond me.


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