ObligatoryTLNote: Stepping out from the shadow of the manhua we embark on a journey filled with weird and confusing wuxia terminology. I will try and be consistent, but i can’t promise anything beyond my meagre abilities. So, let’s work through this together and hope it all works out in the end. Anyways, enjoy.
Wang Lin’s face had turned pale, clenching his fists, he stood up and looked around to discover that he was in a small natural cave, sunlight was illuminating the cave’s mouth and the whole cave was strewn with the bones of birds and animals.
On the wall behind him, there is a black hole the size of a fist, it was pitch-dark and he couldn’t see how deep it was, tried to analyse it but he could only get to a vague answer, apparently, the suction force was originating from this hole and the bones of birds that were lying on the ground were probably those which were killed by the suction force.
The suction ought to occur at irregular intervals, at the exact time that he was falling, the suction force emerged which probably saved his life. Wang Lin fighting the pain in his right arm and was about to walk to the black hole, when suddenly the bones on the ground started rushing toward the back of the cave, even though there was no sign of any wind, seeing this Wang Lin hurriedly rolled to the side.
At this point, an unimaginably powerful suction force emerged from the black hole in the wall, the bird bones lying on the ground crashed and creaked as they were constantly being sucked into the black hole, some larger bones remained stuck on the wall plugging up the hole.
Nevertheless, the suction didn’t lose it’s force, a bird from outside the cave was sucked into the cave and with great speed hit the wall, causing snapping sound leaving blood to splatter everywhere.
After about an hour, the suction disappeared, Wang Lin was horrified looking at the bird corpses that lay strewn on the ground, he didn’t move one bit, just sat in his place quietly making a mental note of the passage of time.
After half an hour, the suction started again, and so on and so forth it repeated a few times, Wang Lin had by then grasped the pattern, the strange suction appeared with 30 minute intervals lasting a duration of 60 minutes.
While the suction force was gone, Wang Lin reluctantly moved to the cave mouth to look down, looking down he could not help but give a wry smile as he could see the forest below along with the myriad rock formations on the ground and the steepness of the cliff, considering his injured arm climbing up was impossible. The Cliff is about dozens of metres from the ground, and jumping down is akin to suicide.
Although he had brought along food packets, but he had taken them out to eat on the top of the hill, now food was the only problem that he had to tackle at the moment, Wang Lin pondered a little and calculating the suction time, quickly returned and sat down in a corner of the cave.
Time flew by, and soon it was getting dark Wang Lin could clearly feel his body weakening. He couldn’t feel his arm as it had gone completely numb. Pondering a while, smiled wryly to himself: “I am stuck here in this dead end, no other way than to jump off the cliff, sigh.”
He saw not far from his position some badly mutilated bodies of a few birds. Hesitatingly, clenching his teeth he picked it up and put it in his mouth, he caught a whiff of an pungent odour like that of urine, Wang Lin sighed loudly. [TLNote: Offtopic but, Man vs Wild, Ladies and Gentleman] However, without stopping he continued stuffing his mouth with the raw meat,
barely stopping to chew, choosing to swallow directly. His stomach turned with intermittent surges of warmth. He wolfed down half of the birds very quickly, immediately felt sick and nauseated. Wang Lin quickly stood up, took a deep breath, and tried to push down the nausea.
Shoving the left-over bird corpses to the side, Wang Lin sat down against the wall. A whirlwind of thoughts in his head, he thought about his parents, thought about his fourth uncle, thought about all the mocking relatives, thought about the merciless eyes of the Heng Yue Sect’s black clad middle-aged man,
feeling dizzy when suddenly his eye caught something besides the half-eaten corpses of the birds, without batting an eyelid, he grabbed it to take a closer look, and saw a red bead the size of a baby’s fist, in the bird’s corpse. Wang Lin took out the red bead, was greatly surprised,
as he wondered how could there be a bead in the bird’s body? His heartbeat grew faster, he remembered his teacher in the village one showing a book on myths called Shanhai Jing and according to it, many animals after reaching a certain age, are able to use neidan to form within their body, something called bǎobèi. [TLNote: bǎobèi literally translates to treasured object, but i left it in pinyin, because it will be used many times later] [TLNote2: Neidan translates to inner alchemy, I would watch and see how the author deals with this to decide upon an alternate translation, keep in mind that due to technicalities I might be interpreting wrongly, in that case, I would make a remark on it later]
If anybody eats this bǎobèi, then they can achieve great strength, longevity and can even regrow amputated limbs.
When he saw the description, he could not believe but laugh inwardly, but after having met an immortal, he could not help but believe that perhaps the myths and legends in Shanhai Jing had some truth in them.
Wang Lin could feel his heart racing, if this is really the neidan bead described in the Shanhai Jing, he would not only be able to heal his injuries, it would make getting out of here a lot easier, even getting into an immortal sect would not pose a problem, atleast would make him eligible to pass the stamina test.
The bead felt stiff and inedible, he frowned and cleaned it with his clothes restoring it’s original colour.
It is a grey stone bead, portrayed upon it are five white clouds, after some time, Wang Lin feels greatly disappointed as he unwillingly has to give up on his efforts in trying to bite it with his teeth, finally touching the bead with a wry smile, said softly: “Tie Zhu, stop wishing up pipe dreams, how can there be such coincidence in this world that a bird which literally fell to death infront of you, would have Neidan.”
Sighing, he looked to see that it was already dark outside, we a deep weariness, he gradually fell asleep in a corner, placing the stone bead near the bones.
It was the fall season, and the earth becomes cool very quickly, especially in the mountains, the constant influx of cold into Wang Lin’s body caused him to hug himself wishing the night time to pass by fast.
The next morning, the sunlight from the Sun rise, gently seeped in from the outside, illuminating the cave, with glistening dew being excreted from the stone bead lying to the side of Wang Lin, flowing slowly into the bird bones.
A moment later, Wang Lin woke up, his swollen arm instead of improving had gotten worse, Wang Lin sitting on the floor was feeling depressed.
“Am I going to be stuck here for my whole life?” He muttered when his eyes suddenly caught sight of dew on the bird bones lying to his side, feeling thirsty he gently picked up the bone and licked it clean of the dew accumulating on it.
The dew was sweet to drink, and he didn’t know if it was an illusion or not, but after drinking the dew his body felt very warm and comfortable.
Especially his arm injury, there was a burst of slight tingling and the swelling was reduced slightly, Wang Lin rubbed his eyes to look carefully and found that the arm’s swelling had disappeared quite a bit. He concentrated and tried to find other bones, but couldn’t find any other bones with dew on top.
Pondering slightly, it suddenly occurred to him and he looked to his side to find the stone bead, focusing slightly he could see dew drops forming on it, recalling that the bone he had picked up was the one that was next to the stone bead. He gently picked up the stone bead, his heart was beating fast, and without hesitation cleaned up the area where the swelling was and directly applied the stone bead’s dew on the swelling.
A slightly cool feeling came from the arm, Wang Lin blinking his eyes in surprise, stared at his arm for a while to see that miraculously the swelling had disappeared, he tried moving his arm around to find that although it still caused a bit pain, but it was no big deal.
“This stone bead certainly must be bǎobèi!” Wang Lin exclaimed in surprise.