Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Zhang Lisheng’s answer lit up Guo Caiying’s eyes right away. She pondered and began to mutter as thoughts flashed across her mind, “Tiantai Mountain, the Ancient Goddess Nuwa, the collapse of the world barrier, Tiantai Mountain … ‘In ancient times, Gonggong the water god fought with the fire god Zhurong for the throne, but Gonggong was defeated. He smashed his head on Buzhou Mountain, the pillar supporting the heaven, and caused the sky pillars to collapse, the nine provinces to crumble, the heaven to tilt to the northwest, the ground to sink to the southeast, the floods to rage everywhere and the fire to spread. At that time, the Ancient Goddess Nuwa traveled around the four seas and trekked across mountains to refine 36,501 pieces of the Tiantai Mountain’s five-colored god stone using the sun god’s fire to patch the sky to save the human beings. She even cut off a divine turtle’s four legs to make it into four pillars to support the sky. She had carried out innumerable good deeds’. Lisheng, you’ve found the empirical evidence showing that the collapse of the Heavens and Earth in ancient mythology is actually the collapse of the world’s barriers, right? Otherwise, why would you come to the Amazon to find Tiantai Mountain at this time?”
The girl stared straight at the young man’s face when she was asking the last question.
“You can even memorize the allusion to the ‘Universal World Scripture’ without missing a word? Wow, it’s just as the saying goes, ‘a scholar who has been away for three days must be looked at with new eyes,’ Senior Sister,” Zhang Lisheng was stunned for a while before bursting into a chuckle, “But your imagination is just too rich. That’s right, I’ve also inferred before that the fire god Zhurong represents a certain Atlantis ruler in ancient times while the water god Gonggong represents Tattdu, the once brilliant civilization that had successfully invaded the Earth and polluted the universe. According to Mayan legend, they once had a nuclear war, which might have led to the collapse of the world’s fences. However, there are many unexplainable things in these speculations. Now, it seems that the truth has long been lost in time, so it’s impossible for it to resurface. How can there possibly be any solid evidence? What we can do now is to find plausible and fragmented useful clues from legends and use them cleverly.”
Guo Caiying thought for a while and nodded, agreeing to the young man’s words. Even so, she still asked, “You’re right, but why did you come to Tatetutu to find Tiantai Mountain then?”
After hesitating for a while and unable to fabricate any lie at all, Zhang Lisheng looked at the girl’s unwavering gaze and sighed before saying, “I was in Tatetutu a few years ago and accidentally bought a jelly-like colored stone from a pedlar. In the end, it turned out to be the five-color god stone used by the Ancient Goddess Nuwa to patch the sky. At that time, the pedlar told me that the stone emerged from a sudden emerging door leading to an island that had strange stones, rivers, and carved wooden houses. In the legend, even if Tiantai Mountain is carried by a divine turtle in the sea, it’s also an island and mountain…”
“How do you know that the stone is the five-colored god stone, Lisheng?” Before waiting for the young man to finish his words, Guo Caiying suddenly seemed to remember something as her eyes widened. Once again, she asked.
Zhang Lisheng stiffened and silenced for a moment before speaking with a bitter smile, “Senior Sister, why do you have so many questions?”
“The reason I have so many questions is that you have too many secrets, Lisheng. When I think about it carefully, you seem to be present all the time during many major events, and you’d always have some kind of connection with the major forces…”
While Guo Caiying was speaking, she saw Zhang Lisheng continued to maintain his silence, so her eyes gradually dimmed. Her voice started to tremble as she continued, “Fine, everyone has secrets, so it’s okay if you want to keep yours. It’s enough for me as long as I know that your target is the Tiantai Mountain. Rest assured, I will do my best to help you find it. Let us discuss what to do. Well first of all, I think … ”
Looking back at Guo Caiying’s dispirited eyes, the young man somehow felt that his chest starting to get stuffy. Without warning, he said, “At that time, when the world barriers collapsed, I used that stone to patch the Wizard Li World’s world’s gate to stop the fence from crumbling. It’s because of this that I’m 80% sure that the stone must be the five-colored god stone refined by Ancient Goddess Nuwa. The Wizard Li World is also the Shrimp World No. 2. I’ve conquered the civilization there and became the only god in that world. I’ve also renamed it with my own theonym. This is my biggest secret. The reason I lied to you is not that I don’t trust you, but… but… Sh*t, I don’t even know why am I telling you all this? Oh, f*ck! I really don’t why am I telling you all this…”
Before his incoherent words could finish, Guo Caiying, who suddenly burst into tears with laughter, stood up abruptly and kissed the young man’s lips. Then, a sudden and inexplicable bout of passion between a man and a woman that followed a matter of course started to take place…
After their passionate moment ended, a naked Zhang Lisheng looked at the girl, who was still flushed and was staring at himself with watery eyes in his embrace and absent-mindedly muttered with a wry smile, “Have we gone crazy too because the world is crazy now? How can things develop into this out of the blue…”
“Why couldn’t it develop into this? If it hadn’t been for the fact that you hadn’t taken any initiative and that you had a blonde girlfriend with sexy body figure, things would have developed to become like this when we were in Stanford,” Guo Caiying drew circles on the young man’s chest with her finger in disagreement and interrupted him, “The princess from the Earth’s red empire with a demon from a foreign world… Even if we’re not a match made in heaven, we’re quite equal in status already…”
After the girl had cracked a joke, she lifted herself up and kissed Zhang Lisheng’s cheek before whispering solemnly in his ears, “I love you, Lisheng. Perhaps I’ve already fallen in love with you since I first saw you. I know that if we were to think about it carefully, we have 1000 or even 10,000 reasons why we can’t be together, but I still love you, unconditionally and uncontrollably…”
In the face of Guo Caiying’s confession, Zhang Lisheng, who had returned to his senses, was rendered speechless. After staying silent for a long time, he kissed the girl’s forehead gently and fell asleep in the arms of the exhausted girl.
It was already twilight when they woke up. After recovering their energy, Guo Caiying immediately regained her senses at the same time. She looked at her watch and jumped up from Zhang Lisheng’s arms to dress in haste while saying hurriedly, “Dinner is about to start soon. I’ve been here for too long, so I must go to the restaurant right away. I’ve pondered about it just now, Lisheng. You’re now a lot taller than before, your hair is long, and you even have a beard now. Those who knew you before will no longer recognize you. I’ll purposely talk about the jungle exploration with the indigenous guides in the restaurant, and you can find an opportunity to talk. Just say that you’re the second generation of Chinese American who grew up in China before ten years old. Er… well, just say that you’re from the University of Pennsylvania. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources of Pennsylvania University ranks pretty high in the world, but the school is not well known. There is a lot of overlap between natural resources science and your favorite biology, so you can just say that you’re a natural resources science doctor there. Just add a few years to your age. Urgh… why is your skin so good? Can’t you change it to become rougher a little? Just say that you’re 37 years old, and you have been obsessed with the treasure trove of natural resources in the Amazon after graduating from your doctorate at the age of 30…”
“Alright, I’m also good at lying, so I can adjust accordingly with the circumstance. Then again, why should I mix with you guys?” Looking at Guo Caiying’s panic look, Zhang Lisheng asked with a chuckle, “Also, is my change really that huge? Didn’t you manage to recognize me at one glance, anyway?”
“A bigger number of people can get the job done faster, especially when it comes to finding things. Besides, those Taoist priests, monks, mullahs, and your comrades from the same Gate of Witchcraft have always used them to find needles in the haystack to collect all sorts of strange treasures. It’s definitely more efficient than doing it alone,” The girl got dressed and straightened her collar. “and we still have a lot to discuss, don’t we? Doing things sneakily would eventually be found out so we might as well mingle together blatantly. As for your second question, well, I can recognize you even if you turn into ashes. The fact that I can recognize you doesn’t mean that everybody else can. Alright, my dear Lisheng, I’ll see you later!”
After saying so, the girl hastily kissed Zhang Lisheng on the lips and ran out of the room swiftly.
Watching the girl leaving and remembering the absurd sweetness just now, the young man’s eyes gradually glazed over as he murmured to himself, “This is really crazy, my matter with Trish has not yet been forgiven by Tina, yet now… Ah, I’m really going crazy! Why am I being so impulsive? What kind of god is this…”
The matter between a man and a woman had always been impulsive and inconceivable. After reproaching himself for a while, Zhang Lisheng, who was getting more and more headaches, could only resign to his fate, so he stopped thinking about it. After putting on his clothes neatly, he walked along the corridor and came to the enormous restaurant of Golden Brick Hotel that could accommodate thousands of people.
His eyes glanced at the restaurant that was divided into three sections—elegant western style, Tatetutu’s tropical native style, and Chinese style carved with dragon and phoenix. He saw Guo Caiying, who was having dinner with a group of Chinese bureaucrats and local indigenous people on a large table by the window, so he pretended to walk over unintentionally.
He sat not far away and listened to the girl’s conversation, looking for a suitable time to intervene while casually telling the indigenous waitress wearing a straw skirt who exuded an exotic kind of aura in English, “Thank goodness it’s finally getting warm again in the hotel. I don’t have to eat too spicy now.”
While he was speaking, he flipped through the menu handed by the waitress and made his choice, “This black pepper rib-eye steak, medium-rare.”
“I’m sorry, sir. The rib-eye steak will have to be paid before it’s cooked. The price is a bar of gold for an ounce of steak,” The young waitress said with a smile.
An ounce was about 28 grams, and the weight of steak was about 500 grams at most. This excessively high price made Zhang Lisheng stunned, but soon, he immediately understood that it was impossible to develop animal husbandry on a large scale in a primitive jungle like the Amazon unless it was deforested.
In the past, when everything was normal, the developed animal husbandry industry in the western world was enough to ensure that frozen beef was supplied globally at a low price, and there was no exception in Tatetutu. However, such a thing had now become a luxury, and the cost of steaks in large hotels had naturally changed to become ridiculously high.
Although the young man understood the situation, his eyes still lit up as he grumbled aloud, “Hey Miss Waitress, this price is just too absurd! Besides, who in the world will carry gold all the time to pay the bill?”