When Zen Master Baimei discovered that we wanted to stay and help, he sighed. “That thing isn’t the Night Dragon Bait but a Xiezhi horn. It’s strong enough to kill all of us. You two really want to stay? Please consider things carefully.”
I answered resolutely, “There is no need to consider. We said we'll stay so that means we’ll stay.”
Zen Master Baimei nodded. “Merciful Buddha, people were born with a kind heart. As long as you don’t forget your heart, Buddha will protect you!”
Then, Zen Master Baimei brought us back to the trail that led to the village.
It was strange that when we had wanted to get out, we couldn’t find the way. But now that we thought about returning to the village, we immediately saw the path.
I was really worried and asked Zen Master Baimei, “Those villagers that disappeared into thin air, are they in danger? Will they become like the man we just encountered?”
Zen Master Baimei shook his head. “I’m not sure, but we must watch out.”
The dog spirit’s power was not to be underestimated. If we were careless, we would all be doomed!
After we descended the mountain, we saw that the thick mist had shrouded the entire village. However, the folks there didn’t recognize the threat.
Fortunately, since they hadn’t recognized the threat, the wild dog spirit wouldn’t kill them. It also gave us time to think of a solution to rescue them.
“There’s only one solution that will work to defeat the wild dog spirit. We must use the villagers’ beliefs!” said Chuyi.
If all the villagers had the same beliefs and hated that wild dog spirit, the trap the spirit had set up would not work.
I looked pensive and nodded. “What should we do?”
Chuyi said, “We should perform a play for the villagers.”
I didn’t have a clue and looked at Chuyi. “What play should we show them? [Sun Wukong Defeats the White Bone Spirit Thrice]? Or perhaps [Zhuge Liang Captures Meng Huo Seven Times]?”
Chuyi smiled, which was rare. He told us his plan in a low voice.
After I listened to his plan, I thought it wasn’t really reliable.
“Will this plan work?” I asked weakly.
Chuyi comforted me, “Don’t worry. Under normal circumstances, our play won’t be able to earn their trust. But in this special situation, the villagers’ minds are all confused. They will definitely believe us.”
Although I still had my doubts, I followed Chuyi’s plan.
I went to the mountain and disguised myself, trying to look as pitiful as possible. Then, I stumbled and ran down the Wild Dog Mountain Ridge. I rushed into the village and purposely fell at the villagers’ feet. “Help! Help me!”
The villagers immediately noticed me and surrounded me. “Who are you? Why are you here?”
I understood that the wild dog spirit had successfully brainwashed them. They had forgotten about me already. “In the mountain… Th-there’s a wild dog spirit. I almost died but managed to escape!”
The villagers were frightened. “What wild dog spirit? How could our village have a wild dog spirit?”
I told them, “It’s true. I’m not lying. I-I was almost eaten. Oh right, I saw many people there. They were both young and old. The wild dog spirit was eating them! I don’t know if they are the folks from this village!”
The folks then turned tense. They hurried to check on the people in the town. Shortly after, someone screamed. “Old Hu? Where is he? I don’t see him!”
“Where’s Ergou’s family? Mrs. Ergou, have you seen your husband?”
“No, I haven’t. My father and mother-in-law aren’t home, either. I thought they went out for a walk.”
I had successfully stirred up the air. Everybody now knew that people were missing.
Shortly after, Li Mazi stumbled and ran to the village. He had come from the Wild Dog Mountain Ridge. “Guys, please help! Help me!”
The villagers pulled Li Mazi up and asked him, “What’s happened?”
“I-I was walking on the street and I saw a wild dog eating people. I hurried over there to beat it but it attacked me! I’m lucky that I could run to this village. Or-or else, I think that wild dog spirit would have eaten me already!”
The folks here had already believed me. Now with Li Mazi’s story, they trusted us even more.
When the folks heard about the wild dog spirit, they were frightened and discussed what they should do.
I comforted them, “There’s no need to be tense. When that dog spirit was chasing after me, two experts had come and fought against it. I think they will save us!”
Li Mazi said that the two experts had saved him as well. Otherwise, at this moment, he would have been in that wild dog spirit’s stomach.
While we were ranting, someone chanted “Merciful Buddha.” Then, Chuyi and Zen Master Baimei descended the mountain.
One was a Daoist priest while the other was a monk, so they both had aloof auras. As soon as they appeared, the villagers were overwhelmed.
Li Mazi and I almost jumped at the same time and screamed, “Masters, please save us!”
When the folks realized that these two were the experts who had fought against the wild dog spirit, they were excited. They surrounded Chuyi and Zen Master Baimei. They all begged them to save everybody here. Right at this moment, every villager believed in the existence of the wild dog spirit. No one had a bit of doubt. I exhaled in relief.
Zen Master Baimei said, “That wild dog spirit is powerful. When I passed by this mountain, I felt some monstrous energy. I came to check and indeed, a monster was wreaking havoc here! However, it’s unfortunate that it possesses a treasure. The two of us aren’t able to deal with it. Sigh, it managed to run away.”
The villagers exchanged looks and begged Zen Master Baimei to vanquish the wild dog spirit.
Zen Master Baimei said, “A monk should be merciful. Saving a life creates more merit than building a seven-floor pagoda.”
Then, he counted on his fingers and said, “There’s a reason that the wild dog spirit has created calamity here. You have claimed its treasure. That’s why it left the mountain. You have to think carefully. Have you unearthed anything strange these days?”
Chuyi had told me that although the villagers were brainwashed, they would remember something if we prompted them.
It was in order to figure out the origin of the Xiezhi horn.
Chuyi suspected that the wild dog spirit had grown a horn.
In ancient China, a dog growing a horn was thought to be impossible. But if some dog could actually grow a horn, it was the sign of a great calamity that happened once in a hundred years!
During the period of Emperor Wen of Han, there was a dog that grew a horn and became a spirit. Within one month, more than fifty people were reported missing in the city. Eventually, the officials had to mobilize an army and several hundred Daoist masters to subdue that dog spirit. This event was written in “The Book of Han.”
The wild dog’s horn was also known as Xiezhi horn. The Xiezhi was a one-horned beast.
Although people said the Xiezhi horn wasn’t as precious as the Night Dragon Bait, frankly speaking, it came from the same family. There was a chance it could have some good effect on Chu Chu’s illness.
If we obtained the Xiezhi horn, it was also good for Li Mazi!
The villagers discussed amongst themselves boisterously. They exchanged looks then said that no one had unearthed anything strange. They hadn’t even gone to the fields to work for several days in a row.
Zen Master Baimei pretended to count on his fingers then walked toward Uncle Zhong, whom we had visited before. “You are Uncle Zhong, right? Several days ago, you unearthed something that looks like a horn.”
Since Zen Master Baimei could ‘divine’ Uncle Zhong’s name, his reputation became even more credible to the folks.
Uncle Zhong stammered because he was worried and nervous. “Did I dig some animal horn?”
“Right, you think about it carefully. You will remember.”
All the villagers now trusted Zen Master Baimei. They started to yell. “Uncle Zhong, did you dig up some horn? This matter is related to everybody’s life in this village!”
Since all the villagers were putting pressure on Uncle Zhong, the old man squatted and clutched his head to think.
It seemed he had pushed himself too much. Uncle Zhong burst out crazily. He ground his teeth and green veins bulge on his face.
Zen Master Baimei timely grabbed his chin, which prevented him from biting his tongue off in an attempt to commit suicide!
It seemed Uncle Zhong was going to remember soon. The wild dog spirit wanted to kill him to shut him up!Previous Chapter Next Chapter