Chapter 62 – The Divine Statue Faces Away, Sighing Over the Masses

An hour later.

Su Yi and Guo Bing arrived at the unmarked mass graves at the foot of Mother Ghost Ridge.

They were greeted by the sight of overgrown grass, scattered headstones, and crows perched on distant leafless trees.
From time to time, the birds let out raucous, unpleasant cries. 

Although it was still early in the morning, this scenery was enough to make someone panic.

The uniformed young woman and her entourage had clearly been waiting for quite some time. When they saw Su Yi and Guo Bing stroll leisurely toward them, the girl snorted in cold displeasure.
“You’re finally here!”

She then jumped from her horse and ordered, “Have two people stay behind to look after the horses.
Uncle Yong and the others are to accompany me into the mountains.”

“Yes, Ma’am!” The attendants quickly got to work.

“Guo Bing, lead the way,” ordered the girl.

Guo Bing hurriedly obeyed.
When Su Yi saw this, he went after him.
“I’ll go with you.”

He’d agreed to ensure Guo Bing’s safe return, so he naturally wouldn’t let Guo Bing take the lead by himself.

“Who’d’ve thought a stubborn guy like you still had a bit of a conscience?” The girl in military uniform mocked.

Su Yi simply ignored her; he wouldn’t lower himself by losing his temper at an unreasonable little girl, a child who’d obviously been spoiled from a young age. 

The girl thought about it, then ordered, “Uncle Yong, you go up front too.
Don’t let Guo Bing face any danger.”

The grey-robed middle-aged man she called Uncle Yong immediately did as he was told.
Soon, he and Su Yi both flanked Guo Bing, one on each side.

Guo Bing was shocked and flattered.
He thanked them both repeatedly.

But Su Yi inwardly shook his head. This is a type of protection, but it’s also a type of surveillance.
There’s nothing praiseworthy about it.

The group proceeded, venturing further into the unmarked graveyard.

They passed numerous long-abandoned, overgrown graves.
They spotted many dried bones, scattered joss paper, used incense, and broken candles amidst the underbrush.

The further they went, the deeper the grass and the thicker the mist.
Aside from the occasional call of a crow, it was incomparably desolate and silent.

Guo Bing held his hunting knife, cutting a path through the grass and brambles.
He forged ahead with confidence; this was familiar territory for him.

“Sir, what is it you want to do in Mother Ghost Ridge?” Guo Bing suddenly asked.

The girl in military uniform instantly pricked up her ears.

“First, tell me: does Mother Ghost Ridge have any particularly strange or eerie places?” asked Su Yi.

Guo Bing thought about it, then said, “Mother Ghost Ridge has always been prone to haunting.
If you’re looking for particularly strange or eerie places, there are actually several of them.

“One is the temple halfway up the mountain in the white pine forest.
It’s been abandoned and in disrepair for a long time.
Inside is a statue of a god, but it faces away from the doorway, and its head has long since gone missing.”

The girl couldn’t help but ask, “The statue is facing away from the gates? Are you sure someone didn’t move it on purpose?” 

“Why turn away from the world? Because you sigh over the masses’ unwillingness to see the light.
If you ask me, this statue must be of Buddhist origins.”

Guo Bing was briefly stunned.
Then, he said admiringly, “You’re definitely well read, sir.
Far more so than ordinary folk like me.”

The armored girl snorted from further back, seemingly in disdain.

Su Yi turned a deaf ear to this, then asked, “Aside from its strange statue, is there anything else strange or creepy about the temple?”

Guo Bing said, “Yes.
Quite a bit, too.
They say that at night, you can hear chanting from within the abandoned temple.
Some say that it’s the sound of ghosts conversing among themselves.
All I know for sure is that if you spend the night at the temple, you absolutely cannot extinguish your campfire.
Otherwise, the ghosts hidden in the darkness will emerge to devour you.
Similar incidents have occurred numerous times in the past.”

“Ordinary ghosts can’t hurt us.” The armored young woman’s proud, confident voice drifted over from behind them.
She’d obviously been listening in.

“What about the rest of Mother Ghost Ridge?” asked Su Yi.

Guo Bing really was the medicine-picker best acquainted with Mother Ghost Ridge.
He went on to explain its situation and layout in detail.

But there were only three places that Su Yi took special note of.

The first was a “peach orchard” west of Mother Ghost Ridge.
It was shrouded in miasma year round.
Anyone who entered, regardless of whether they were human or animal, never found their way back out.

Another was a place called “The Mountain Ghost’s Path.” It was on the other side of the mountain.
The winding road was shrouded in blood-colored fog.
Anyone who stepped into it was subject to ghosts attacking in a mad frenzy.

The last was the building standing at the peak of Mother Ghost Ridge.
It was nothing but ruins, but rumor had it that long ago, it had been a temple to the City God.
At night, fluorescent jade will-o-the-wisps appeared there.
Any living person foolish enough to draw near would burn right down to their bones.

Those three places aside, there were several other danger zones in Mother Ghost Ridge.

But the way Su Yi saw it, the “Six-Severings Yin Corpse” was sure to haunt one of those three!

So long as he picked the right spot, it wouldn’t be hard to find the inauspicious spirit vein, the Six Yin Grass, or the Extreme Yang Flowers, either.

“Guo Bing, first lead us to that peach orchard!” The armored girl suddenly spoke up.
She’d heard his description too, and she’d made up her mind.

Guo Bing trembled.
“Miss, that’s a perilous place….”

“No need to say anymore,” she said, cutting him off.
“Just lead the way.
We guarantee your safety.”

Guo Bing sighed, then turned to Su Yi.
“What do you think, sir?”

“No harm in going there first,” said Su Yi lightly.
He was already starting to suspect that he and the girl had a common objective.

But natural treasures were ownerless objects, and finding them was a matter of fate.
If, when the time came, it came down to a struggle, he wouldn’t be polite.

When she heard this, the girl’s willowy eyebrows knit together. 

The guard beside her lowered his voice and said, “Young Miss, there’s no need to worry.
If he interferes with our operation, we can just kill him.”

“Mm.” She grunted but said nothing more.

By now, they’d already passed through the unmarked graves.
Guo Bing led them down a rough trail and toward Mother Ghost Ridge.

After arriving, the clear skies suddenly dimmed.
Everything was shrouded in dense, dark clouds, creating a catch of darkness.

Mountain winds blew past, rustling the trees and grasses.
A suffocating presence started to permeate the air.

“Sinister yin mists are rising throughout the mountain, and vicious energies are spreading.
This really is the type of place most likely to give rise to malevolent ghosts,” said Su Yi, as if lost in thought.

One look at the mountains, and he picked up some clues.

“Everyone, be careful.
We’ve already entered the mountains, and it’s highly likely that we’ll encounter unpredictable dangers along the way,” said Guo Bing.
He took out a protective talisman and hung it from his neck, his expression serious and alert as could be.

“Everyone, have your weapons at the ready.
Don’t get complacent.
If we encounter danger, remember to protect the young miss right away,” said the grey-clad Uncle Yong solemnly.

“Yes, sir!” The guards immediately took action.

The girl in military uniform drew her sword too, only to see Su Yi just standing there, holding nothing but a bamboo staff, as if none of this had anything to do with him.

Despite herself, she was stunned.
A moment later, she snorted, suddenly eager to encounter a ghost or two and see Su Yi scared out of his wits. 

“Elder Guo, hold this bamboo talisman in your hand.
It will protect you.” Su Yi took out a seven-inch piece of bamboo and handed it to Guo Bing.

Guo Bing was surprised, but although he wondered what use a trinket like that could possibly be, he still hurriedly accepted it.
“Thank you, Sir!”

Uncle Yong watched this play out, and when he saw the bamboo talisman, he couldn’t help but stare.

Although he couldn’t see what specifically was inscribed on it, he could tell at a glance that it was made of Bluejade Spirit Bamboo!

Never mind that his staff is made of Bluejade Spirit Bamboo.
He just casually gave a talisman of such precious materials to a mere medicine-picker.
I’m afraid this Su kid isn’t simple. Uncle Yong’s brow furrowed slightly.

Back in the city, Wen Jueyuan had introduced Su Yi simply as their Wen Family’s live-in son-in-law, someone of little importance.

But looking at him now, it seemed things weren’t that simple.

Shortly after, Uncle Yong set those thoughts aside.
His status and cultivation were enough to guarantee that nothing would go wrong with this expedition.

As they forged their way ahead, the cloud cover became denser and denser.
It was the middle of the day, but it seemed as if they’d plunged into endless darkness.

Furthermore, the mountain mists obscured their field of view, forcing them to slow their pace.

Suddenly, a piercingly cold wind swept past.
Guo Bing shuddered, and his expression shifted.
“This is bad! A ghost has locked onto us! Hurry and retreat; we can’t proceed any further!”

But it was then that Uncle Yong snorted coldly, drew the saber he had strapped to his back, and leaped forward.


A dazzling streak of red saber light shot into the mist, followed by an agonized wail.

The shriek only lasted an instant before coming to an abrupt halt.

“It was nothing but a low-class yin soul.
It wasn’t even sentient; no need to panic.
Guo Bing, you can continue leading the way.” The grey-robed Uncle Yong walked back, his expression calm.
Murderous intent lingered around him.

Guo Bing sighed, feeling much more at ease.
He clasped his fist and said, “With an expert like you here, I don’t feel the least bit afraid.”

Another peak Qi Accumulation Realm martial artist.
This level of cultivation is practically unheard of in Guangling City, yet here he is, acting as a mere bodyguard.
I’m afraid this girl’s status is no lower than that Zhang Yuanxing guy from the prefectural capital, thought Su Yi.

Cultivation at the peak of the Qi Accumulation Realm put you near the top of the Great Zhou’s martial artists, just beneath Inner Furnace Realm Grandmasters!

The group continued forging ahead, without any more unexpected incidents.

They had Guo Bing to thank for this.
Without his understanding of the area, they would undoubtedly have encountered numerous dangers. 

Mother Ghost Ridge was just a single mountain, but it was huge, covering tens of miles.
Its rocks were jagged, and its vegetation flourishing, with dense underbrush. 

Add that to the dark clouds and dense mists, and the group’s speed slowed significantly. 

A full two hours passed before they finally reached the mountain’s halfway point.

“Sir, look over there! The run-down temple I told you about is there, deep in the pine forest.” Guo Bing pointed into the distance. 

The group looked over, only to see a lush forest of white pines.
They were barely discernible through the mists, but there was no way to see into their depths. 

“If it’s already dark by the time we head back, we can always spend the night at the run-down temple.” Guo Bing said this and was just about to proceed when a barely discernible, fiery glow lit up the distant white pine forest. 

“Hm?” Su Yi and Uncle Yong, both positioned at the front of the group, noticed this at almost the same time.

Jaspaaar's Thoughts

This chapter includes describes a pretty specific subset of Boddhisatva statue.
It was really confusing, honestly, and I’m still a bit confused.
I think I got it? At the very least, I did my best. 

The specific phrase Su Yi and the title use (“Why turn your back on the world? Because you sigh over the masses’ unwillingness to see the light”) is a reference to a specific statue and the mythology around it.
I found exact matches for the quote, as well as articles about it by doing a little googling.
Here’s the temple and the actual statue.

But the statue described in the novel is a bit different.
The real statue is described as sitting in “in reverse” but that doesn’t mean it’s facing away from the door; that means its in the south, facing north, which is not the usual orientation.
It’s a relief carved into the back wall of a temple, so you couldn’t move it without destroying it or moving the whole wall.
There’s no way you could just rotate it. 

The story here is, however, clearly described as facing away from the door, hence my initial confusion.
I’m not sure if this is a mistake on the author’s part or if he’s deliberately playing with the mythology here.
Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and assume the latter, shall we? 

I don’t have time or energy to translate the whole legend behind the original statue (I spent too much time on this bit already), but here it is in a nutshell: a young man is going down the wrong path in pursuit of wealth/women/power, and an old woman tries to help him mend the error of her ways, but this just makes him angry.
He kicks her out, but then it turns out that she was really the Goddess Guanyin….
He later gets struck by lightning and dies, which would have been preventable if only he’d just listened.

Guanyin is upset and frustrated by this.
The idea is that, for all the Boddhisatva’s power, she cannot make someone mend their ways if they’re not willing to listen.
So it’s a story about people not knowing what’s good for them and stubbornly refusing help. 

On a different note, you can read more about the City God here. 

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