"Well, hurry up then! Tell me what's the answer to the mystery!" urged Dali.
"There’s a monument in the temple!" I repeated.
"Fucking hell, you’re not going to repeat this sentence for the rest of your life, are you?" he quipped.
I patiently explained to him that the code actually wasn’t complicated at all. The reason why the criminals hadn’t managed to decipher it even after three years was due to the missing key which would provide the corresponding decryption to the code. And this key was the monument in the temple!
After circling the entire temple, I discovered that there were signs of a monument that once stood in one corner of the courtyard but it was now gone.
Boss Jia must have hidden the relics there ten years ago and wrote a code according to the inscription on the monument in the courtyard. But during the seven years he was imprisoned, the stone tablet was removed so the code became nonsensical gibberish that riddled his subordinates for three years.
"Your analysis is reasonable, but how are we going to find this monument?" asked Dali.
"This temple must have been recorded in the local county records. We’ll borrow it from the county government tomorrow," I said.
"But we’re supposed to head back to school tomorrow,” remarked Dali. “Are you still planning to stay on? What about accommodations?"
"Aren't you my assistant?” I chuckled. “Why don’t you think of something?!"
Dali met with the factory manager to explain that we were held back by an important matter and wanted to stay on for a few more days. Our mentor agreed at once.
Early the next day, we packed a day's worth of food and headed to the county administration office, ready to go through ten years worth of county records.
After perusing all morning, I finally came across an old picture of the temple and shook a sleepy Dali to wake him up. "Go get me a magnifying glass!"
As soon as Dali came back, I meticulously examined the photo, my enhanced vision enabling me to read the words on the inscription, albeit with some difficulty.
"Thus I have heard. At one time the Buddha dwelt at Sravasti, in the Jeta Grove, in the Benefactor’s Garden of Orphans and the Solitary..."
I looked up and declared, "It’s the Diamond Sutra!"
"Dude, you’re amazing!” cried Dali. “You came to that conclusion after reading just a few words!"
I shrugged, "Isn't the Diamond Sutra common knowledge? Go and get me one right now!"
Dali soon returned with the Diamond Sutra which I immediately flipped through. Completely engrossed in my work, I accidentally underlined a sentence in the book. Because the inscription on the monument had twelve words in every line, I sectioned the entire passage with every twelfth word.
"You’ll have to pay for the book if you damage it!" reminded Dali.
"It doesn't matter, I'll pay!" I replied without lifting my head.
"But this book looks like an antique," he retorted.
After I did that, I went back to the code. The number in front referred to the chapter number and the words in each row and column corresponded to the sequence of the Earthly Branches. Finally, I came up with four words: "Under the Bodhi Tree!"
I closed the book and declared, "Let’s go dig for treasure!"
I rushed out of the library, followed by an impatient Dali. “Dude, don’t you want your stuff?!" he yelled.
However, his words fell on deaf ears as I ran up the mountain like a madman, searching every nook and cranny on the grounds around the temple. The bodhi tree was actually a deciduous tree. When Xuan Zang traveled to learn the scriptures, he brought back some seeds from India so many temples had bodhi trees.
I was rather disappointed coming up with nothing after I searched all over.
"What does a bodhi tree look like? Does it bear fruit?" asked Dali.
"It's a bit like a banyan tree but with triangular leaves..." I explained.
As soon as the words left my lips, my gaze traveled in one direction and fell upon a huge bodhi tree at the top of the hill. I dashed over, swift as the wind, unable to hold back my excitement. In this entire forest, this was the only bodhi tree I had seen!
I dug with my hands, having forgotten to bring any tools. Dali threw a few broken tiles at me. "Don't use your hands!” he yelled. “You’ll break your fingernails and hurt yourself!"
"Dig!" I urged.
After digging around the tree for some time, Dali suddenly shouted, "Dude, I found a chest!"
When I looked over, there was a box made out of camphor wood in the soil. It took both of us to lift it up. When we opened it, what we saw were the historical relics covered in dust, but whenever I looked back upon that memory, all I remember was dazzling treasure.
Inside the chest were the relics lost in the 116 case. The thrill of finding them rendered me speechless. Dali picked up the jade burial suit and cried, "Oh my God! This is a jade burial suit that’s said to keep a corpse in perfect condition for a thousand years. It’s inlaid with gold! We’re rich dude!"
"These relics belong to the country,” I said, deflating his delirious dreams. “Be careful not to break them. If you do, you’ll end up in jail."
Dali placed it back into the box disappointedly. "After all this trouble, the government gets to swoop in and take all the treasure?"
"Of course,” I laughed. “These relics belong to our country, but the credit is ours!"
I immediately phoned Xiaotao and asked her to send officers to retrieve the relics. Upon hearing this, she laughed, "That’s amazing! How did you manage to solve such a huge case during your internship? How am I supposed to thank you for your contribution?"
"I don't have any requirements but I don’t mind if you express your gratitude via vulgar methods!" I joked.
"You've learned to be naughty, haven’t you!” teased Xiaotao. “I'll contact the SWAT team and send three armored vehicles to transport the relics. By the way, I’m sorry to say that what’s waiting for you isn’t a celebration dinner!"
I recognized the implication in her words. "What is it? Another case?" I asked.
"It's not a big deal, but it’s best you join the investigation because it affects the fragile hearts of thousands of young girls."
"Is it a murder involving a South Korean oppa?" I snorted.
"Close guess. It’s actually a Chinese oppa–Yi Xi,” said Xiaotao. “You must have heard of him!"
In this day and age, perhaps only savages living in the mountains didn’t know of that name. Yi Xi was a hottie with a pretty face that had exploded onto the entertainment scene in the past few years. He had tens of millions of fans and the streets were filled with billboards featuring the man.
Never in my wildest dreams had I imagined that this superstar would be involved in a murder case, and I was the one to exonerate him!Previous Chapter Next Chapter