Senior Shu slowly counted. The black corpse seemed to recognize our intention. He smirked and then rushed toward us. Senior Shu panicked and screamed, “Three!”
Immediately, we turned around and rolled down the slope. At the same time, an explosion sounded that shook my eardrums. It left me with buzzing ears for quite a long time.
Having rolled down a couple of dozen meters, I was finally able to pull to a full stop. I turned to look in the direction of the black corpse. I was stunned to see that it was now a sea of fire.
“We're lucky that you pulled my arm. The taming master installed dynamite into that black corpse!” Senior Shu pointed at the gorge where we were standing on and spoke with fright. “If there wasn’t a slope behind us, we would have been dead today!”
I was bewildered, but soon, I knew the situation wasn’t as simple as it appeared. If that taming master decided to denote the black corpse from his hideout in the dark, it meant he must be around. He didn’t want us to spot him.
“I’m sure he’s around, but we can’t and shouldn’t chase after him!”
Senior Shu read my mind.
He also regretted it. “Anyway, this place is the border between China and Myanmar. If we move further, I’m afraid we will get ourselves in trouble.”
Myanmar had countless taming masters, and most of them lived in the depths of the mountain ranges on the border between the two countries. Senior Shu’s worries were necessary. However, I was unwilling to give up just yet. On the way back, I felt depressed.
“Don’t be down. I’m sure the taming master will come to us within three days.” Senior Shu comforted me.
“Are you his father? How do you know?” I was somewhat mad.
Senior Shu burst out laughing and slapped the back of my head. “We’re here and we’re blocking his way to fortune. Of course, he would be even more worried than us!”
I had to admit that Senior Shu always had a clearer picture of the situation than me. After listening to his theory, I felt at ease. On the way back, we heard people screaming from the trapping pit. Senior Shu and I exchanged looks and the memory came back to us. Baji and his hunters were still down there!
We had come to save them, but the tamed corpses distracted us. We had completely forgotten about them. Fortunately, the tamed corpses had just forced them to jump into the pit. Besides some minor injuries, Baji and his team were all right.
“What happened?” Baji asked as soon as he was rescued. It seemed he knew that he was bewitched earlier.
I didn’t waste time. Pointing at the white fox carcass, I told him about the situation, including the explosion caused by the black corpse. In the end, I told them not to go to the mountain to do night watches anymore.
No matter what, the taming master now wanted to take revenge on myself and Senior Shu. Before we got into the final battle, we had to ensure that the graves on the mountain wouldn’t be robbed again.
Baji didn’t leave. He asked, “Is there anything we could help with?”
The other people around us also expressed their ideas. I didn’t understand what they were saying. However, from their high spirits, it wasn’t hard to guess that they wanted to fight shoulder by shoulder with us.
“Baji, you being safe and sound is the best support you can give us.”
I was touched and looked at those honest Achang people. “You know, the difference between our two professions is as big as the valley between these mountains. You don’t know our job. I’m sorry, but you can’t help us.”
Baji looked lost. However, he soon accepted this fact. They lingered for a while then descended the mountain.
After seeing Baji’s team off, I asked Senior Shu, “What should we do next?”
Senior Shu put on a stern face and gave me a faint answer. “Wait!”
“But isn’t it a meaningless thing to do right now?”
I was speechless. How could we just wait? We should prepare something, right?
Senior Shu shook his head. “We can’t prepare for this. When the taming master comes, he will watch us for a while before showing up. He will choose the best chance to attack. Compared to wasting our minds to prepare, it’s better to rest and recover our strength for the next battle.”
In this kind of situation, Senior Shu had never missed the mark. I tried my best to calm down and returned to the hotel. Although Senior Shu said that we didn’t need to prepare anything, he had adhered a few talismans to our windows. While putting up the talismans, he said miserably, “If my life-bound rat was still alive, we wouldn't have been in such a passive situation…”
I became emotional. “After this case, I’m sure we can find the Undead Grass to save the rat, grandpa!”
Except for those talismans, we didn’t arrange anything else. However, we kept our life-protecting weapons within reach so that we could grab them at any time.
I had used up the power of the Sirius Whip while dealing with the white corpse, and it wouldn’t recover within a short time. I decided to put the Sirius Whip in my bag, the Emei Piercer on the nightstand, and the Yin and Yang Umbrella next to me. I even put a few talismans into my pockets. After preparing everything, I laid down and slept.
I had slept through the night and nothing strange had happened. When I woke up, Senior Shu was still sleeping. I woke him up for a simple breakfast, then we went to the most famous attraction in Tengchong, Heshun Ancient Town.
The Heshun Ancient Town was built in the Ming Dynasty. At that time, the imperial court had sent the army regiments here to base, which also allowed the soldiers in the Central Plains to marry and settle down in this area. After almost one thousand years of progress and accumulation, this place had become a nationwide famous ancient town. Not only was it famous for the beautiful ancient towers, but the most interesting feature of the town was the diversity of people living here. The inner part of Heshun Ancient Town was built in genuine Han style, and many structures reflected the special features of ancient Chinese architecture. It was worthy of the title of “cultural sacred place.”
While wandering around the place, I felt the spirit of the men from the Central Plains leaving their hometowns to this border area to protect their country. This strong patriotic sentiment along with the nostalgia made every brick and tile of the path underneath our feet full of love for the motherland.
“If I can live until I’m of old age, I will buy a house here,” said Senior Shu.
“Aren’t you still alive and kicking? Why would you say something like that all of a sudden?”
“You will know later. There are some things you can avoid, and there are also some things you cannot.” Senior Shu patted my shoulder and smiled fondly.
I didn’t feel comfortable when he acted like that. People said that fifty-year-old men could see the heavens’ decision. Senior Shu was older than fifty years already. Did he foresee something that he was not telling me?
I decided to ask him. However, he didn’t say anything, and I had to give up that thought.
In the afternoon, we went to the martyrs’ cemetery. This place mainly commemorated the Kuomintang’s soldiers who had sacrificed their lives during the war against the Japanese. It was also the first city to be recovered during the Chinese War of Resistance.
The Kuomintang’s soldiers had cooperated with the local people and fought bloody battles for almost four months before they finally wiped out the Japanese army to take the victory.
Tengchong was the gateway to Southwest China. Getting Tengchong was of great importance to the country. Looking at the historical photos that depicted the bony bodies of the soldiers, I felt their bold, patriotic spirit. They had persistently protected their motherland against the invaders. Thinking about a piece of news I had read that insulted the soldiers, I felt somewhat lost.
In fact, during a peaceful time, soldiers had more difficulties to deal with than in times of war. People nowadays thought that the army had become a burden to the country!
For three days in a row, Senior Shu and I traveled around Tengchong. After we had visited all the famous attractions, we hadn’t seen the taming master yet. I became restless. “Senior Shu, can we think of a way to lure him out?”
“Be patient. I have a feeling that he will take action tonight.”
Senior Shu stroked his mustache. If he didn’t have a serious expression, I would have thought that he was just joking!Previous Chapter Next Chapter