Chapter 34 Wooden Club God

Now I could finally confirm that the strange idols I saw in the Heavenly Palace on the Clouds and in Kangbaluo were the same as the one here.(1)

But this idol was from a time immemorial, long before the study of immortals ever came about. It seemed to belong to an extremely ancient religion from the late tribal or early civilization periods of human history, when the two eras intersected.

What exactly was this thing? I didn’t know, and there was no way to research it.

But there was no doubt in my mind that all the civilizations that explored deep in the mountains—from King Wannu to Kangbaluo in the depths of the snow-capped mountains to here—believed in this god.

They must have seen the miracle of this kind of god while conducting cave explorations deep underground.

But what was this thing? I didn’t have time to figure it out when I was getting dragged underground, so even I didn’t know whether the thing that dragged me down was this kind of thing or not. According to the ancient mural we saw before, if you wanted to fight against the things in the abyss-like crevices, you needed to pour hot oil on them.(2)

In that mural, this thing appeared to be very huge.

For me, the appearance of this thing here gave off a feeling like I was returning to the beginning; it was a kind of reincarnation and also a kind of revelation. I had a vague feeling that I seemed to be getting closer to the answer, the answer of what lay behind the huge bronze door at the bottom of the Heavenly Palace on the Clouds.

In this narrow crevice, in addition to the idol statues, there were also traces of sacrifices. It could be seen that in these traces, there were already traces of the alchemists’ rituals for studying immortality. This showed that those who worshipped immortals here in those days were already people who appeared in history, such as Xu Fu, Sangtian Wu, and Xianmen Zigao.(3)

During these people’s times, everyone knew what these gods really were. In later generations, however, these gods gradually took on human-like appearances, became human, and even had human background stories and desires.

It wasn’t mere coincidence that three civilizations in different eras all worshipped this kind of god. There must be some logical explanation to it, but I didn’t know what it was yet.

I continued to look for a way out as I traveled through the crevice, making sure to leave marks along the way. I already knew that Fatty and Xiuxiu wouldn’t be able to dig through the rock layers above in such a short amount of time, so I had to do something.

The crevice was very narrow, which made it extremely difficult to move through. I didn’t know why the ancients tortured themselves back then, but they kept moving forward. After I climbed for about ten hours, I saw the second small gateway.(4)

And right next to that small gate was where I discovered the first ancient alchemist corpse.

A small line of extremely inconspicuous text had been carved on the gate’s bricks.

“This goes to Jade Lake. There are thirty-four thousand gates. It’s immeasurably deep. Go under the Nine Springs to Ming Spring, where all the springs are gathered into a lake.”(5)

These sentences were written in Western Bronze Script, which was the early state of Chinese bronze inscriptions. Preceded by oracle bone inscriptions, it was one of the earliest scripts in the Chinese family of scripts.(6) The characters were the same as those engraved on bronzewares in the Western Zhou Dynasty.

The meaning of these sentences was very simple, but it still left me stunned. This was the first time I had seen such a statement.

First of all, it said that this small gateway was located on the path to Jade Lake, the place where the immortals lived. From here, there were thirty-four thousand similar gates. The place where Jade Lake was located was so deep that it was under the Nine Springs.

The Nine Springs was actually a deep underground spring in ancient legends that was said to go deep into the underworld. When I studied the Zhang family, I found that they had come to the conclusion that the Nine Springs were nine underground rivers or springs, and these nine rivers or springs were all located at different depths. The Yellow Springs we were familiar with (also called Yellow Springs Country) was located at the third underground river, which was called Yellow Springs.

Legend had it that someone went there and discovered that the place was inhabited.

The so-called Ming Springs was the last of the Nine Springs. I always thought it was made up by later generations to fit in line with the character for “nine” in Nine Springs, because in the bronze inscriptions era, that character actually had a lot of different meanings.

But here, the character for Ming in Ming Springs was 溟. In the bronze inscriptions, however, the character for Ming was 冥. These two characters meant the same thing back during the oracle bone inscriptions era, but the “Ming” engraved on the brick was not written like a bronze inscription; instead, it was more like an oracle bone inscription.

In other words, Jade Lake was formed from the deepest springs in the ground. There was no water under Jade Lake. The so-called immortal abode in the Kunlun Mountains was actually in the deepest part of the earth. When the earliest alchemists cultivated here, they believed that the land of immortals was below the underworld.

It was the complete opposite of what we originally thought; it wasn’t at the top of the mountain but at the very bottom.

I thought about it for a while, but my attention was still focused on that thirty-four thousand number. It definitely had to be wrong, but that still meant that the ancients thought that this crevice was very deep.

They were usually very honest, so this depth must be beyond anything I could imagine. I had to make sure I didn’t go in the wrong direction. Since this text was carved here, I couldn’t go through this gate. Instead, I’d have to go in the opposite direction; otherwise, I’d find myself on a never-ending path.

Just as I was hesitating in front of the gate, I suddenly heard a rhythmic sound like a train coming from the rock beneath my feet.

I immediately realized that it was the sound of water, and it seemed to be a special intermittent fountain. The sound, which was like anguished wailing, really was similar to a train. Not only did it immediately make my mood fall, but now everything seemed cold and meaningless.


Author’s Daily Message:

The stories mentioned in this chapter are related to “Heavenly Palace on the Clouds”, “Tibetan Sea Flower”, and “Wu Xie’s Private Notes”.

<Chapter 33><Table of Contents><Chapter 35>


TN Notes:

(1) Refresher: the Heavenly Palace idol was the spiral statue in Chapter 14 of “Palace of Doom” and the one in Kangbaluo was the wooden club-like statue mentioned towards the end of Chapter 19 of “Tibetan Sea Flower”.

(2) The mural he’s talking about is the last one from Chapter 34 of “Wu Xie’s Private Notes” (I think). He also mentions this mural in Chapter 73 of “Ten Thousand Mountains”.

(3) Xu Fu (3rd century BC) was a Qin dynasty court necromancer. Sangtian Wu isn’t so much a name as more like a title since “wu” (巫) means witch/wizard/shaman. Per Seph: they were shamans from the Sangtian area during China’s Spring and Autumn period. The famous instance involved one who made a prophecy for Duke Jing of Jin (story here). No English results for Xianmen Zigao, but said to be an alchemist who lived in seclusion. This said he was a follower of Zou Yan (305 BC to 240 BC), a Chinese philosopher and spiritual writer best known as the representative thinker of the Yin and Yang School during the Hundred Schools of Thought era in Chinese philosophy.

(4) Just to note: the author keeps using various terms to refer to these but he seems to be favoring “gates” so I’ll be using gateway/gate interchangeably. When I put the characters into google images, the same results keep popping up so whatev. Could be something as wide as the left or as narrow as the right:

(5) Reminder, Jade Lake is the Queen of the West’s abode. The Nine Springs (九泉) is a term for the underworld of Chinese mythology. There are said to be 9 springs and the Ming Springs is the lowest level. The 9 springs are as follows: Feng Springs (酆泉), Ya Springs (衙泉), Huang Springs [aka Yellow Springs and also another term for the underworld] (黄泉), Han Springs (寒泉), Yin Springs (阴泉), You Springs (幽泉), Xia Springs (下泉), Ku Springs (苦泉), and Ming Springs (溟泉).

(6) Chinese bronze inscriptions, aka bronze script or bronzeware script, are writing in a variety of Chinese scripts on ritual bronzes from the Shang dynasty (2nd millennium BC) to the Zhou dynasty (11th–3rd century BC) and even later. Oracle bone script is an ancient form of Chinese characters that were engraved on oracle bones—animal bones or turtle plastrons used in pyromantic divination. Oracle bone script was used in the late 2nd millennium BC, and is the earliest known form of Chinese writing.


My New Year’s resolution was to try to work on cursing less and this chapter tossed it right out the window hahaha. Sorry about the whole Ming/Yellow Springs parts. Seph and I tried our best til Tiffany can get around to it.


19 thoughts on “Chapter 34 Wooden Club God

  1. You did wonderfully. Sorry about the resolution…😅 Mine was to start sleeping earlier so I could wake up earlier. It’s not going super well so far.😅😅😅

    I’m loving all these tie-ins to previous adventures! And yes! He needs to go back and check out what’s behind The Bronze Door. It’s definitely not too late! But maybe he and Fatty will become Immortals first so they can accompany Xiao-Ge for the rest of his life. ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always wanted them to die together in an adventure (not this one pretty please but in a never to be written one) but I like your idea best! The three of them living forever happily!


      1. I bet on $ with Fatty’s image that if Wu Xie gets there and finds the answer, he won’t explain to us. If Xiao Ge and Fatty don’t stop him before he reach there. 😄

        Liked by 1 person

  2. 4) It was weird but the actual word used for the ‘gates’, was “door”. Which could mean anything from actual gateway to a doorway. I can double check the wording, but *sometimes*, the inconsistency might be the translation app and not the author. But npss is known to keep changing his mind too, so…. XD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I hate that character so much 😂 they should just have one for door and one for gate. I did use the dictionary and it had the characters combined as like “Buddhist temple front gateway” so I just rolled with it.


  3. Thank you and Seph for your hard work! I think you are doing great!
    I’m excited about the bronze door reference! And I love that he seems to tie somethings with his previous works. Are we getting close to get some answers? I won’t let my hopes up but I can’t help being hopeful


  4. If the meaning of that sentence is that they reach the source of all rivers, then, like what Wu XIe said, it may be assumed that he finally going to see the source of all the hardships they have suffered so far.
    It feels like the author just wanted to connect all the secrets of previous stories with these explanations to save the trouble.
    There was a lot of information and you did a great job. Thank you Merebear,Seph and Tiffany. 💕


  5. Thanks for the chapter as always. I feel really glad NPSS is trying to tie the clues up little by little. Canʼt wait when Wu Xie could finally tell the meaning behind all these mysteries. And perhaps Iʼm hoping a little too much that he wonʼt abandon these three books again, although he does need his rest from time to time. Argh, just when would they all reunite again! Love the clues dropped by NPSS about whatʼs behind the Bronze Gate. You can finish this pit author, I know you can do it!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Merebear and Seph, I feel for you translating this chapter! Thank you so much for your hard work!

    The fact that he’s dropping all these links to other books makes me even more suspicious he’s just going to randomly decide he’s explained enough and stop 😬


  7. “It was a very clear message that was completely different from what Uncle Three or Poker-Face had left me before. In fact, it was an extremely detailed message almost like a detailed diary.”

    I have a theory about what this message is!

    First off, I’m assuming that the Time Raiders movie is the story that Wu Xie told in the “Queen of the West’s Ghost Banquet” sidestory – the one he made with clues for Xiaoge, in case he came down the mountain with amnesia and there was no-one to remind him.

    Wu Xie talks in this current sequence about ways to leave clues for himself when there’s an external force making him forget things. Well… back in the Sand Sea era he knew a *lot* of stuff from the snake venom, including from very ancient times, which he doesn’t really mention in later stories. It’s possible he’s already been hit by amnesia issues whenever he gets too close to the truth. Also possible he’s been leaving textual clues in his journals and the Time Raiders movie for himself, as well as Xiaoge.

    I’m also assuming that Xingchou and the Dark Goddess from the “Moving Forward in the Flowery Night” sidestory are what we’re dealing with here – I don’t have a clear link with the Wooden Club God, but the dark, enclosed spaces in the mountains, the extreme sacrifice, the appearance of lost things that people are unwilling to give up (eg. Pangzi sees Yun Cai) are really reminiscent of the things we met in “Flowery Night”. Xingchou is an attendant male god to a greater female goddess, yeah?

    Time Raiders changed the original Tamutuo set-up from, “King Mu of Zhou came for a visit or possibly a war, then went home and played around from the secret of immortality” to, “King Xiang was basically the attendant king to a greater female ruler.” It also changed the Queen of the West’s immortality spell from eating a shibie pill to melding her substance with plant life – a biological hybridisation experiment.

    And. The big issue wasn’t that people were waking up immortal. It was that they were going to create a world-wide biological catastrophe after they woke up.

    (I don’t know if this was deliberate foreshadowing when Xu Lei wrote Time Raiders, or if he’s maybe picking it up as a plot thread.)

    But my theory is that the Big Thing Wu Xie is trying to remind himself is that Xingchou and the Dark Goddess are about to create a biological catastrophe…

    (Maybe we’ll find out soon 0_0)


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