The search on Bullhead Mountain ended after three weeks. The outcome was regrettable. A bright 24-year-old young man was dead. The main cause was lack of water, in other words, he had died of thirst.
According to the two rescuers, it was dark at the time when they found him and he was able to speak clearly. Afterward, he fainted and was sent to the hospital as soon as possible. Alas, he died on the way to the hospital and could not be rescued.
This matter has had a great impact on Ji Yuan’s company and Bullhead Mountain. But it was Ji Yuan’s family and relatives who would suffered the most.
It’s just that Ji Yuan couldn’t see all this.
He was in an incomparable amount of pain……
His body can’t move……
This was what Ji Yuan felt when he woke up.
His brain was confused, his mind was muddled. The only thoughts were the intense, needle-like pain happening all over his body.
He couldn’t move. His mouth couldn’t speak. His eyes couldn’t see. Even the feeling of the outside world was very vague, yet he could only feel the increasingly intense pain.
Ji Yuan didn’t know how long it had been, but the intense pain had finally subsided.
After the ordeal, Ji Yuan’s whole body was paralyzed on the ground like a puddle of mud. After relaxing for a while, he felt something was wrong.
The touch under the body was hard, cold and relatively flat. It felt like he wasn’t lying in the bed at all, but on the floor. The temperature was quite low, and there was a slight breeze blowing from time to time, causing him to shiver.
But he could only shiver, as he found himself still motionless, unable to open his eyes. This felt a bit like the legendary “sleep paralysis,” but it was also different, as he didn’t feel any special pressure on his body.
After recovering the ease of thinking and the feeling of the body, Ji Yuan was in a state of panic.
He definitely was not at home nor in the hospital, as there was no sound around, except for some buzzing of insects and the occasional chirps, and there was a faint smell of mold.
This made Ji Yuan wonder if he’s lying on some wild road or even worse.
Maybe he was kidnapped by someone, drugged and dumped in a desolate warehouse.
Though for the past few days, there had been no sounds of cars or people, just constant silence.
Over time, Ji Yuan noticed that his hearing became sharper, and that the buzzing and birdsong at different levels became extremely clear.
Sometimes, if Ji Yuan was not affected by the anxieties and distractions in his heart, he could accurately feel where the sound of the insects and birds came from and even the distance between them.
Although this sudden, supernatural sense of hearing was very magical, Ji Yuan was getting more and more flustered and irritable.
He didn’t know how long it had been, but he felt like it had been a long, long time. During this period, no one had appeared, not even a kidnapper (even if there was one).
With his body paralyzed and his eyes forced shut. This feeling was more terrifying than being locked in a small, dark room. In order not to be driven crazy, Ji Yuan can only keep thinking about what happened.
Skipping the time of his coma, his last memory was of the two people he met by the creek, where he heard their scream as he had fainted.
The two said they’ve been looking for the missing person for more than half a month. So from their uniforms, maybe they’re the search and rescue team members, but why was he here instead of in the hospital?
What happened in the middle? Or was there something wrong with the two search and rescue team members themselves?
These problems could only be thought and guessed, and then be put elsewhere.
Even before that, the most important thing that can’t be ignored was that weird game of go. Without that game, none of this would have happened.
If Ji Yuan was an atheist before this, then presently he had clearly changed his mind.
Whether it was the disappearance of the camp after he left the woods, or the words of the two search-and-rescue crew members, as well as the changes of his body in a short period of time, he personally experienced all these. The first two may have been faked, but he could felt the physical changes.
In other words, in the eyes of the outsider, Ji Yuan had been missing for more than half a month, even though he only felt a few minutes had passed.
This reminds Ji Yuan of a story he heard from his grandfather when he was a child:
(Legend had it that in ancient times, one day, a woodcutter went up the mountains to cut firewood, and met two elderly men playing Go in the mountains.
The woodcutter put the firewood and the ax beside the tree, stood aside and watched the two elderly men play Go for a while. One of the elderly men laughed and broke half a peach for him to quench his thirst.
After half a day, the elderly man suddenly turned to the woodcutter and said, “It is time for you to go home.”
The woodcutter, realized that it was getting late, so he reached out for his ax and firewoods, only to realize that the dry firewood was long gone and that the ax’s handle rotted, leaving a rusted blade.
The astonished woodcutters hurried home along the familiar yet unfamiliar mountain path. The appearance of the village had changed a lot, and that many of the familiar faces were difficult to be found.
The woodcutter asked around, he realized that he had been in the mountains for 60 years. His family thought that he died at the mouth of the beast, his parents and elders had long since passed away……)
This story was one of Ji Yuan’s favorite stories when he was a child, with the elderly men were rumored to be the two immortals. The birthplace of the famous Lanke Mountain was based on this legend.
The location of Ji Yuan’s camping trip with his colleagues was not at Lanke Mountain but at Bullhead Mountain, but the ancient trees, go pieces and rusty axes he saw mirrored the legend of Lanke’s game of Go.
In that case, it’s not difficult to explain why Ji Yuan felt only a short period of time had passed, but more than half a month had passed in the outside world.
His luck was better than the woodcutter but also worse than the woodcutter. The good thing was that he came out soon. He had only been missing for less than a month. It wouldn’t had impact his life too much. The worst thing was that there’s no immortal to give him any panacea, which was equivalent to not eating or drinking for more than half a month. If he didn’t die directly, god bless him.
At this moment, Ji Yuan doesn’t know that his original self has already died.
But even then, it didn’t take long for Ji Yuan to be shrouded by loneliness, trepidation and irritability. Even if he forced himself to think, his depression was getting worse and worse.
No one spoke, no footsteps, no one come……
A long time had passed. There was still no one, no one……
With growing anxiety, Ji Yuan had lost the concept of time, wondering whether it had been an hour or a day. He can no longer be calm down.
It’s no wonder that some Western prisons have dark rooms as a serious punishment for their prisoners, which was a serious amounts of psychological damage.
Ji Yuan currently no longer worry about who had kidnapped him, but wished that the kidnappers would come soon, even if they curse or kick him.
Still no one, no one came!!
‘Somebody come quickly!!Someone comes! Anybody!’
He shouted in his heart so many times. What he was afraid of the most was that there would be no criminals. He was immobilize in the wilderness alone, no one came beside beasts, snakes, and insects……
A dried up mushroom currently addicted to translating novels. Totally not on caffeine!