Translator:Nyoi-Bo StudioEditor:Nyoi-Bo Studio
As they arrived at an empty space that had no tall trees, Miao Ying stopped everyone to observe briefly. When she saw that there was no danger, she quickly let everyone pass through the place.
“Alright, let’s continue!” Waiting till they got into the thick forest, Miao Ying then told the two old men, “Tell us about what happened after that!”
“Two misters,” Zhao Yu urged, “We are in such a critical situation, can the two of you please just pick the important parts, okay? We need to cut down on the sensational parts, okay?”
“Go away!” Miao Ying threw a death glare at Zhao Yu and told the old men, “Ignore him, tell me everything that you know, every single detail!”
“Alright, alright!” Professor Tian Dongmin continued, “From then on, the three of us built a secret working chamber, specifically to research the whereabouts of the Golden Buddha treasure! We thought that the ancient jade that Qiu Cheng left for his descendants couldn’t be found! To reveal the answer of the treasure, we had to start from the other piece of ancient jade that had the map!”
“On the note that he left before he died, it mentioned that one of the ancient jades was to be buried with Qiu Cheng, so he brought it into his tomb!” Wang Taiming added, “We searched all over, but we didn’t find anyone that unearthed Qiu Cheng’s tomb! So, our main target was to find Qiu Cheng’s tomb. If we could find the treasure map on Qiu Cheng, the day where we could find the Golden Buddha statues was not far away!”
“But obviously, you guys didn’t manage to find them!” Zhao Yu took a cue.
“Yes!” Tian Dongmin admitted, “At first, we were rather conceited, because we thought that we have dealt with ancient tombs and relics for so many years. Plus, Qiu Cheng was buried locally in Qinshan. We thought that it wouldn’t be difficult to find!
“But in actual fact, for twenty years, we have almost been to every corner of Yunyang, but we didn’t manage to find anything! In the end, we guessed, it was either that Qiu Cheng’s tomb was already excavated in the ancient times, hence, it was nowhere to be found, or he buried himself in a place that was hard to find!”
“If it was the first, that meant that we are not meant to meet the Golden Buddha statues!”
“But… If it was the latter?”
“Obviously, it was the latter!” Zhao Yu took the cue again.
“Lao Wang and I are better,” Tian Dongmin did not bother with Zhao Yu but continued, “The most anxious one was Dong Peizhuo! He is much older than the two of us. These few years, his health condition is getting worse, and he has been through a few surgeries, and he has difficulty with his legs, too! Dong Lao knew that if he didn’t manage to find any more clues, he wouldn’t be able to complete our long cherished dream, which is to use the Golden Buddha statues as a comfort to Section Chief Fan Peng’s soul in paradise!”
“Dong Lao is a very stubborn person. For many years, he had been keeping Section Chief Fan in his mind! It was his faith that kept him going until now!”
“So, one day during the beginning of this year, Dong Lao made a shocking move!” Tian Dongmin said in distress, “He went on a long journey and found a person through his connections! The person is called, Taoist Priest!”
Zhao Yu and Miao Ying exchanged glances. So, this was how the taoist priest come about!
“Yes!” Tian Dongmin continued, “Back then, the both of us didn’t know, but Dong Lao must have known! The Taoist priest was actually a grave robber that was highly skilled! But Dong Lao told us that he was a Fengshui Master who could help us to find Qiu Cheng’s tomb!”
“But, the Taoist priest was truly amazing. He and his group only spent five months to find the tomb that we were looking for for twenty years! But, although they found the yarn of the grave, we couldn’t confirm that it was Prefect Qiu Cheng’s tomb. They had to dig a hole through the grave, and it only could be confirmed once they found the inscription on a stone tablet!”
“Sigh!” Tian Dongmin shook his head and sighed, “Dong Lao’s intention was to confirm that the tomb that the Taoist priest found was Prefect Qiu Cheng’s tomb, and then he would pay them a large sum of money for them to back out!”
“Then, we would report to the Cultural Relics Bureau and use a standard way to excavate the tomb. Until the ancient jade that had the carvings of treasure map was unearthed, we could go through a legal way, yet research about the hidden spot of the Golden Buddha statues secretly!”
“Who knows, that was only one-sided! That Taoist priest is a demon!” Tian Dongmin said angrily, “Not knowing what ways the person used, he already knew about our ultimate goal for excavating the prefect’s tomb! He even knew about what happened to us back in the caves!”
“Nonsense!” Zhao Yu couldn’t help but tease, “Those are grave robbers, you know! He only needed to think to realise that there was something funny about you guys! Think about it, three old experts from the Cultural Relics Bureau that asked for help from grave robbers. Either the three of you are crazy, or there must be something fishy about this!”
“Now that I think about it, that’s true. But back then, we couldn’t think much!” Tian Dongmin continued, “On the day the robber’s pathway was dug through, the three of us lied to our families, saying that we were going out for an inspection, but actually we went there!”
“To be able to certify personally, Dong Lao followed the Taoist priest into the tomb. But we never expected that, after he entered, he would never come out anymore! When the two of us saw that Dong Lao did not come out, and wanted to ask about the situation, those grave robbers held us captive!”
“One of the robbers told us that, when Dong Lao confirmed that it was the correct tomb, he wanted to close the deal with Taoist priest at the original agreed price! But the Taoist priest broke the deal and took away the jade that had the treasure map from Qiu Cheng’s coffin!”
“Dong Lao realised that he was conned and fought with him on the spot. In the end, the person called Taoist priest… Killed him!”
“Until then, when we realised! Taoist priest and his gang were all brutal grave robbers who already knew that we wanted to look for the Golden Buddha statues! We heard that Dong Lao died and were both scared. We thought the two of us couldn’t escape! But the map on the ancient jade was complicated and the Taoist priest couldn’t resolve it. Hence, he kept the two of us alive and told us to help them find the Golden Buddha treasure!”
“Oh… I see,” Zhao Yu nodded. He never guessed that that was how the story went.
“Then…” Miao Ying asked curiously, “What was written on the ancient jade?”
“It’s Buddhist scripture!” Tian Dongmin was tired and Wang Taiming continued the story, “Sigh! We had no choice but to help them resolve it! The treasure map on the ancient jade was not any map, but rather, words and numbers that are related to Buddhist scriptures!”
“Then, we finally managed to analyse it. There were many names of Buddhist scriptures written on it, and beneath every name, there was a number. These numbers showed which chapter of which Buddhist scripture it was from, and which words!”
“For instance, the first one, we had to find three related words from Shurangama Mantra, but we searched on the internet and realised that the three words were meaningless. Then, after a few searches, we found out the problem. The Buddhist scripture in Qinshan and central plains were different. The words in the scriptures were slightly different. So we had to find the Buddhist scripture information within Qinshan itself.”
“So, the very first place you thought of was the literature information centre in Cultural Relics Bureau,” Zhao Yu said. “Then, Taoist priest and his gang stole the information! Then, you all went through the trouble to pump out the water in the ancient lotus pond of the Golden Buddha Temple, and even took action in the museum?”
“Mm…” Wang Taiming looked at Zhao Yu with his eyes wide open and said in shock, “You knew all this? It seems that you are really a policemen!”
“Nonsense!” Zhao Yu urged. “Hurry up, so what was actually written on the treasure map?”
“According to the ancient books, we finally found some hints, such as the Shurangama Mantra, we found with the information that we got later and got three words, The General Ridge!”
Wang Taiming seemed to be frightened by Zhao Yu, stuttering as he spoke, “In the end, they looked according to an ancient Qinshan map and found a place in the mountain area! Coincidentally, it was where we found the corpse back then!”
Then, Zhao Yu’s heart beat faster, and he quickly asked, “Hurry up, what happened after? In the end… What else?”