Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
“The experts that were here of course gave different explanations. They believed that that was just an analogy of the phenomenon and that over time, the myth came to take root.”
Fangzheng found it rather fascinating. If it were anyone else, they would definitely not believe in the legend, but Fangzheng was different. He had a System and a demon king by his side. He even had divine powers. Therefore, he held some belief in such folklore. As he walked, he relished in the story and asked, “Anything else? By the way, those experts did say that it was an analogy to the phenomenon. Does that mean that the Ganfanpen is like a basin?”
Tan Juguo laughed. “I have no idea what it looks like exactly either. Legend has it that the lake inside is like a basin, with small basins inside bigger basins, with numerous basins stacked upon one another. As for how many basins there are, no one knows. Legend says there’s a total of 81 basins. However, that’s just a legend.”
Fangzheng asked in puzzlement, “Patron Tan, I can believe it if people from the past had no idea how many lakes there are in Ganfanpen, but in this day and age? With modern technology, ignoring satellites, shouldn’t UAVs be able to fly in to take a look?”
“I know what you are getting at. The batch of experts that came back then brought equipment far more sophisticated than what you mentioned, but it was all useless. Apparently, all their equipment stopped working once they entered. UAVs that flew in were lost, some crashing to the ground. Even on satellite images, there was only white fog, so what could be seen? For years, many investigative teams visited Ganfanpen, but no team ever entered, saw everything clearly, and made it out alive. Those that managed to exit didn’t go deep before they retreated. By the way, I also heard from those experts that our Ganfanpen is even considered one of the unsolved mysteries of our country. Unfortunately, the place is just too dangerous, so it isn’t open to the public. If it had been developed into a tourist location, our village would have enjoyed good times a long time ago…” Tan Juguo shook his head with a sigh. It was unknown if he was sighing over the unsolved mystery of Ganfanpen or over the fact that it hadn’t become a tourist attraction, preventing the village from rubbing off of some of its glory.
Fangzheng said in astonishment, “Has someone died in Ganfanpen before?”
“Not just one, many.” Tan Juguo smoked his pipe and sighed. “That place is too dangerous. Those that died early on were herb or ginseng pickers. Later, its infamy spread, and various adventurous and scientific teams came. Batch after batch, they entered with none of them returning. Eh… Why are you asking me this? I’m telling you, don’t you dare go!” Tan Juguo suddenly snapped to his senses as he tapped his smoke pipe and said sternly.
Fangzheng chuckled dryly. “This Penniless Monk was only asking out of curiosity.”
“That’s good.” Tan Juguo nodded.
Fangzheng persisted by asking, “But really no one came out?”
Tan Juguo thought for a moment before shaking his head. “Not really. Rumors say that a young lady who didn’t know the horrors of Ganfanpen entered it to pick mushrooms. Then…”
“What happened?” Fangzheng asked.
Tan Juguo said with a bitter smile, “She traveled across Ganfanpen, and when she eventually came out and learned that she had stepped into the Valley of Death, she was so frightened out of her wits that she didn’t leave the house for days.”
Fangzheng was surprised. Such a thing could happen? Was Ganfanpen sometimes less effective?
Tan Juguo continued. “There were some who said that when they entered, they could see stone gates in a formation. They made it sound real, but from my point of view, it was likely a hoax.”
At that moment, Wang Yougui interrupted. “I’ve heard of this as well. I even mentioned it to those experts, but unfortunately, none of them believed me.”
On the way, Fangzheng heard many stories regarding Ganfanpen, and without realizing it, they soon entered deep into the Tongtian mountain range.
Although the Tongtian mountain range was a primeval mountain filled with vegetation, it was ultimately close to human civilization. Due to hints of human activity, it lacked the unique air of a primeval forest.
However, when they passed the periphery of the Tongtian mountain range and entered deep inside, they began seeing towering trees which had circumferences that were as wide as the arm span of two people. The trees went straight into the clouds, and the ground was covered in thick leaves. The ground seemed soft and was of varying depths. It made walking rather tiring. Furthermore, there were hidden pits. If one wasn’t rich in experience, it was very easy to fall in. Moreover, such ancient forest mountains had all sorts of wild beasts. The typical person wouldn’t dare step in.
Thankfully, One Finger Village visited Mt. Tongtian’s peak every year, so the villagers were rather familiar with the route. Not only were they familiar with it, even the beasts along the path were familiar with it. It was rare for them to encounter beasts and even if they did, the beasts would run far away when they heard human voices. Even if there were the occasional curious ones who came close to take a look, they would scamper away when they saw the huge white wolf that was the size of a calf.
If one had to say that since Lone Wolf had once been an alpha wolf, his strength at that time came from the numbers of the pack of wolves he commandeered, the present Lone Wolf could defeat all adversaries with nothing but his own strength. The fellow was getting stronger by the day, already having the strength of a bear. He had tough skin and hard bones while his fangs could easily shatter rock. If he were to rush into the jungle, he would be a monster and practically invincible!
Of course, this was a scene the villagers would not get to see. All they saw was Lone Wolf running into the woods. No one knew what he did, but no one cared either.
They had set off very early in the morning but only arrived at the peak of Mt. Tongtian at ten a.m. Sitting at the peak, Fangzheng felt like he was one step closer to the sky. As he looked into the distance, he felt great overlooking all the tiny mountains.
Fangzheng enjoyed such a feeling. He narrowed his eyes and took a deep breath. Then, he prepared to let out a long cry, to voice out all the things he held in to completely let himself loose.
However before Fangzheng could shout, he heard a cacophony beside him. Turning his head, he saw that the villagers were all shouting. It was as though they were shouting out all the displeasures they had held in them for the past year, letting it go with the wind.
“Master, what are they shouting about?” Red Boy couldn’t understand what was on their minds. What was so great about shouting on this tiny mountain? If one wanted to shout, they should do it at a mountain tens of thousands of meters tall… He originally wanted to ask Fangzheng precisely that, but on second thought, he realized that there was a high chance of him being taught a lesson. Therefore, he only asked half the question.
Fangzheng said, “The Double Yang Festival is when we are deep in autumn and the air is fresh. By scaling to a high height, one can see far, and one’s vision broadens. It makes one feel good, and the breath one takes in has the coolness of autumn. Do you not get that refreshing feeling? With such a feeling, who can’t help but shout?”
Red Boy cocked his head and thought. Following Fangzheng’s instructions, he took a deep breath. Indeed, the cold air entered his lungs, and he felt a lot more spirited. He looked far out. There were faint clouds in the distance, making him feel heroic. He could not help but shout along with the crowd. And his voice was like a cannon blast, so it gave the villagers beside him a shock!