Author: Chai Jidan
Translator: chiangyushien, Renkun26
Instead of living like this, it was really better to die in a hurry. After Chen Youzai suffered countless days of torture, he finally saw the truth. He was no longer hopeful in finding the silver coin. This delay would result in suffering a lifetime of hardship and having regrets as well in the end.
It’s over! Chen Youzai said to himself. He slowly closed his eyes. He stretched his tongue between his upper and lower gums and made a firm biting action.
Unfortunately, Chen Youzai used just a little force, only to shrink back. His desire to seek survival made his gums tremble. He still did not have so much motivation to directly end his own life. His natural, instinctual fear to die made him once again cower.
Several days have passed by and the weather seemingly became more and more parched and hot. Chen Youzai felt his face became more and more wrinkled. Once, he touched his face while sleeping and felt it was wrinkled and ragged.
Could it be because of the recent exposure to the scorching sun? Or has the original owner of this face relied on their face to gain the title of “the most handsome man?”
Chen Youzai now has one desire. He wants to take a look at this face. He understood his time was running out, so at the very least, he wanted to know if it was worth it or not! Here, water did not exist, let alone a mirror. They usually chew on thrown-away soft grass roots to absorb the moisture. Furthermore, there was very little time to pass water. Sometimes, even if there was urine to pass, it was so pitiful. It would just dry up in less than a second.
One day, because of Chen Youzai’s waning physical strength, he was unable to endure and fainted three times. He had to be beaten each time to gain his consciousness back. This place was just like a mountain of flames. It was reckoned that even the most long-cherished wish could not be completely realized. With such a thought, Chen Youzai’s hand trembled. He held a stone not far from him and then smashed his head with it.
(「火焰山」huǒ yàn shān – figuratively, an insurmountable obstacle.)
Because of inadequate strength, that piece of stone was like just being deliberately placed on top of his forehead, and soon rolled off. Now, Chen Youzai did not even have the strength to commit suicide by biting off his tongue. In despair, he closed his eyes. He felt a burst of sharp pain come through his body, yet could not open his heavy eyelids.
Fight, this time you must put up a fight. Don’t bring me back to life. I don’t want to live again.
By the end of the day, his expectations failed to materialize. Chen Youzai still prayed for him to wake up and his strength to greatly increase. He jumped up and found himself, from head to toe, brimming with vigor. He touched his body again, huh? It doesn’t hurt. How come it doesn’t hurt at all? Chen Youzai did not realize that seven days has passed by already. He was simply astonished because of the changes he underwent.
Furthermore, what made him even more baffled was, although he was still in this place, the other people were already gone. After pondering for a long time, Chen Youzai just then arrived at a conclusion, he must be in the last radiance of the setting sun!
(「回光返照」huí guāng fǎn zhào – figuratively, dying flash of lucidity or activity, prior to demise)
He heard Mama Chen say that a day before a person’s death, he would experience the last radiance of the setting sun. All of the sickness in his body would naturally disappear at that time. He would not feel pain anymore. Chen Youzai’s maternal grandfather was once like that. He was undoubtedly paralyzed. At the last radiance of the setting sun, he stood up and walked a few steps.
Realizing this, Chen Youzai’s corners of the mouth raised to form a wry smile. Forget about it, this kind of outcome can also be considered as something awfully good. Isn’t it that you want to kill yourself earlier? Today, Yama, the King of Hell, beckoned and saved you the trouble.