Chen Pi Ah Si was ranked fourth in the Mystic Nine. His main occupation was likely banditry, while grave robbing may have only been one of his means of earning a living. He had been active in Guangxi for a long time, his shop acting as a link between the Mystic Nine and the Myanmar and Yunnan regions. There were many tombs from short-lived dynasties in Guangxi. For example, in ancient times, there was the Changsheng Kingdom in Guangyuan, and the Gouding Kingdom near Myanmar. (1) The coffins from the Gouding Kingdom, which were a special kind of bronze drum, were considered very valuable for a while, so Chen Pi Ah Si spent that time looking for them to sell.
The bronze drums in the region were quickly plundered, which spurred most of the local grave robbers in Guangxi to begin going abroad to look for them. The border was even more chaotic back then, so extremely strong manpower was needed. At that time, if they were confronted with outside forces, they would immediately open fire, which would inevitably lead to death.
Most of the guns used by everyone were turtle shell pistols,(2) which could fire rapidly and were easy to carry. For people like Chen Pi Ah Si, who were very skilled, this gun would become even more powerful, because he’d already be right in front of his opponent before ordinary gunmen even had the chance to react. And when he fired his gun directly, he would be less than ten meters away from you, so the gun would be extremely powerful.
But at that time, there were still many foreign rifles that had been left over from the long-term war with Japan, such as the Type 38 rifle.(3) Not only were the local bandits and armed forces very skilled at using these rifles, but this kind of gun couldn’t be beat merely with good skills. In the jungle, if someone was seen from a long distance away, they’d be shot even before they heard the sound of gunfire, no matter how skilled in martial arts they were.
The bullets were so powerful that as long as they hit the target’s torso, that person would basically die immediately.
So, if it weren’t for being completely ostracized, Chen Pi Ah Si would have never gone to Guangxi. After the founding of the People’s Republic, there was no place for a man of his character, so he could only move somewhere that was more suitable to make his murderous livelihood.
In that vast jungle, there was no telling how many things Chen Pi Ah Si experienced. But there were definitely countless ancient tombs of ancient countries hidden in the strange and mysterious primitive jungles of Southeast Asia. Most of these ancient countries were formed by mystical ethnic groups that had died out over time. Their rituals contained many types of sorcery, and the objects that had been unearthed were also very strange. Most of them looked so sinister that it added a bit of a ghostly air to his storytelling.
Naturally, Chen Pi Ah Si’s character was absolutely staunch and sinister, and he was always extremely hostile. But when Ba Ye saw him again in Changsha, he was like a completely different person. The Chen Pi Ah Si who came back from Guangxi showed an indescribable sense of obscurity, trembled in fear, and was even afraid to look people in the eye.
Chen Pi Ah Si came to find Ba Ye himself. Although they were familiar with each other, they had conflicting personalities so they usually didn’t interact. Ba Ye would feel unlucky just hearing about him on a normal day, so when Chen Pi Ah Si came to find him directly, he felt very uneasy. He didn’t even need to do any calculations to know that this kind of person coming to find him definitely didn’t mean anything good.
The two sat down. Ba Ye naturally didn’t want to offend him, so he asked, “Master Si, why did you come back to Changsha? You seem to be worried about something.”
Chen Pi Ah Si thought about it before trying to speak, “When I was in Guangxi, I encountered something that can’t be explained.”
“In our line of work, there are many unexplainable things. Why do you care so much? Over the years, I’m sure you’ve encountered hundreds if not thousands of strange things.”
“No, no, this thing is different.” Chen Pi Ah Si suddenly seemed to recall something, because his whole body immediately tensed up before he continued, “This matter…it’s really strange, extremely strange. It’s different from what you often hear. I came to you because I’m desperate.”
Well, those who come to me are usually desperate, Ba Ye thought to himself, but I never would’ve expected you, Chen Pi Ah Si, to be desperate.
Ba Ye looked at Chen Pi Ah Si’s appearance—he would usually be disgusted by anyone who had become like this—but he was all too familiar with Chen Pi Ah Si’s background. If even Chen Pi Ah Si felt that this thing couldn’t be explained, how outrageous was it?
Did he want to take this job? Ba Ye hesitated for a moment, because it seemed like it would definitely be difficult to handle.
He decided to do a calculation at this time, but no one knew what the resulting hexagram was. All they knew was that after he finished doing the calculation, he suddenly looked at Chen Pi Ah Si for a long time before saying, “That strange thing you mentioned, what is it? And why did you come to me for help?”
<Chapter 54><Table of Contents><Chapter 56>
(1) There’s like nothing extensive in English on these two kingdoms. The Changsheng Kingdom was founded by Zhuang rebel, Nong Quanfu, and appears to have lasted only about a year (1038 – 1039). Changsheng (长生) means “long life” so it could possibly be translated as the “Kingdom of Immortals”. The Gouding Kingdom was a monarchical state that lasted approximately 400 years, from 111 BC to 316 AD.
(2) According to this, turtle shell pistols (王八盒子) are the nickname for the Type 14 pistols that were captured from the Imperial Japanese Army during WWII.
(3) The Type 38 rifle is a bolt-action service rifle that was used by the Empire of Japan predominantly during the Second Sino-Japanese War and WWII. The design was adopted by the Imperial Japanese Army in 1905 (the 38th year of the Meiji period, hence “Type 38”).
“Notes in Rain Village” pdf/epub have been updated. Looks like the manga pics are trickling in every few days so I’ll wait til the end to put the rest in (last one I have goes with chapter 41). There is a very good chance I won’t be able to update tomorrow so just FYI.
6 thoughts on “Chapter 55 Strange Thing That Cannot Be Explained”
Wait – are we about to get a Chen Pi-Ba-ye roadtrip?
Colour me intrigued…
I’m not sure I’m happy to see Chen Pi back… But I really missed Ba Ye. Anyway I wish NPSS Keeps it short because I’m dying to know what happens to Wuxie and Black Glasses… And Fatty and Poker Face and Xiao Hua 😅
Thank you for the chapter!
LikeLiked by 1 person
Guangxi wasn’t where Chen Pi Ah Si found Xiao Ge. If I’m not mistaken, then maybe we will learn about the event that Xiao Ge experienced at that time.
Thank you for the pdf, manga and this chapter.💕
I’m back! Did a Joy-Of-Missing-Out social media challenge that involved moving the app icons on my phone far from the front page and now my brain forgets their existence; cause out-of-sight-out-of-mind is how my brain likes to roll. 🧠😅 But wow! Chen Pi and Ba Ye? Maybe the Zhangs will have to get involved to save him? 😁😁😁
You’re alive! 🥳 I was getting worried after not seeing your comments for a while 😂 But at least now you can binge a few chapters instead of waiting on me haha
LikeLiked by 1 person
Yeah I just caught up. Although Chen Pi is still Chen Pi, he seems to have grown a little, not killing people right away and all that.