The next day, Master Mao brought a new jade clasp, Lou Ming took it and fastened it on his hand. He looked at the new jade clasp, thought for a while and said, “Master Mao, do you have any thoughts about the bronze sword?”
“That bronze sword does have a problem.” Said Master Mao, “There’s a totem on the hilt which contains a very strange energy.”
“Strange energy?” Lou Ming thought of the information faxed to him by the National Academy of Sciences, which also stated that a strange energy was detected.
“It’s not a spiritual power, but it’s also not an evil spirit.” Master Mao said, “I can’t be sure for now, but what I’m certain is that this sword shouldn’t be a general’s sword.”
“It’s not?” Lou Ming was a little surprised.
“Although it’s still uncertain, but it must be related to Xuan Men*.” Master Mao said, “I mentioned it before, many sects have lost their inheritance, it’s very possible this sword is one of them.” [T/N: it can be translated as Dark / Mysterious Gate]
“You mean… this is the sword of a Celestial Master?” Lou Ming understood what Master Mao meant, he asked in astonishment, “But, why is a Celestial Master’s sword inside a general’s coffin?”
“This has to wait until the Nanling Archaeological Team’s research reaches a conclusion. After we have a certain understanding of the tomb owner, then it would be more accurate to extrapolate.” Master Mao said, “However… there are two possibilities.”
“First, this general was also a Celestial Master. There’s a secret technique in ancient books: through a certain medium, Celestial Masters can call forth Yin troops from the Underworld to fight. This bronze sword is likely to be the medium for calling the Yin soldiers.” Master Mao speculated. [T/N: Yin as in yin and yang, Yin represents death]
“Calling soldiers from the Underworld? Is it really possible?” Lou Ming was obviously shocked by this hypothesis.
“It is indeed possible to use soldiers from the Underworld, as long as a Celestial Master has enough cultivation. When the Celestial Master come across an especially malevolent demon, they can use a *local city god’s Yin troops for assistance. But each time they use this kind of technique, they can only call one or two soldiers at most, and it also consumes a lot of spiritual energy. The ancient books recorded this mystical technique of using millions of Yin troops have been lost, so it can only be regarded as a legend at this point.” Master Mao explained, “As for whether it’s really possible to use this technique or not in ancient times, we’re unable to determine this.” [T/N: (from Wikipedia) is a tutelary deity or deities in Chinese folk religion who is believed to protect the people and the affairs of the particular village, town or city of great dimension, and the corresponding afterlife location.]
“Then, what about the other possibility?” Lou Ming continued asking.
“The other possibility is also very high, it’s that the general was an altered corpse.” Master Mao said.
“That’s what we call zombies [T/N: jiang shi, Chinese zombies]. I saw the topographic map around the cemetery, it’s a good place to raise corpses.” Master Mao explained, “The owner of the tomb was a general in the Warring States Period, so he must have fought and murdered countless numbers of people during his lifetime. This kind of person with a heavy aura of death, if he was buried in a place with thick Yin energy, it would be easy to change him into a zombie. It’s even easier with this kind of place that’s good for raising corpses.”
“But there was only a pile of bones inside when the coffin was opened, ah.” Lou Ming said, “If it was a zombie, then the cemetery wouldn’t be dug out so smoothly.”
“That’s why this sword appeared there.” Master Mao said.
“You mean…” Lou Ming reacted quickly, “This general was likely a zombie a long time ago, then a Celestial Master entered the cemetery and sealed the zombie with the bronze sword?”
“These are the two most probable outcomes.” Master Mao said, “The excavation hasn’t been completed yet, and the tomb owner’s identity hasn’t been verified. This situation has to wait for the information to be sent over, so I will go back to the Metaphysics HQ to find some old friends and study it together.”
Lou Ming nodded, indicating he understood, however, when thinking about the feeling of familiarity he felt with the bronze sword, Lou Ming couldn’t help but ask again, “Master Mao, I felt a sense of familiarity when I got close to the sword, I can even feel the joy that passed through from the sword to me.”
“If it’s really one of those two possibilities, do you think… this general was my past life?” Lou Ming asked.
Master Mao suddenly paused sipping his cup of tea, he looked at Lou Ming and said hesitatingly, “No one knows one’s own past life, the so-called samsara is a new life, a rebirth, no matter if this general was your past life or not, there’s no relationship with who you are now. You are two completely different people.”
Lou Ming nodded thoughtfully and didn’t pursue more questions. He knew what Master Mao was worried about, and he also knew why he said that.
In fact, Master Mao’s worries were completely unnecessary. When he was young, Lou Ming didn’t understand why he was different from others, why he was born with this suffocating evil spirit and couldn’t come into contact with others, and why he was imprisoned in this small courtyard, therefore, he became extremely obsessed with the source of his evil spirit. He always felt if everything in this world has a cause and effect, then if he got the effect, he must look for the cause.
But the present Lou Ming wasn’t so persistent anymore, no matter what kind of cause created the current result, even if his past life did something to deserve the wrath of Heaven and Earth. Since he did it himself, then he should be the one to bear the responsibility. He was purely curious and simply wanted to know the reason, he wouldn’t dig into the problem to the extremes like before.
My translation isn’t that good, so please just try to understand the basic story line with me ^^;