The monk stopped talking, just looked at Su Bai with a smile as if he hadn’t heard that.
"Please don’t be mad. I’m an observer."
Su Bai shrugged to indicate that he was not asking for trouble; but the wounds were too obvious to be ignored, and the Buddha beads around the monk’s wrist were a real eye-catcher. Besides, maybe it was because of his capability improvement, Su Bai’s attitude towards many things had changed; it may be a little overstated to say that he had become fearless with such a strong power, but it was somehow so true— just like cops were less frightened when facing thieves or robbers than ordinary people.
"I’m leaving." The monk didn’t want to waste any more time with Su Bai. What was more, the monk had valued Su Bai more than the others from the beginning, which Su Bai had noticed. Apparently, the monk was not sure about Su Bai’s capability.
"Then I’m calling the police." Su Bai took out his cellphone and waved it to the monk.
"Amitabh," The monk said. Then he got into the van and soon took off.
Su Bai yawned. He didn’t call the police, though the kid was killed by the monk’s Buddha beads. These three bodies carried a strange, trembling sense that somehow proved the monk’s words. If the bodies were not handled properly or lost in such an isolated place, there would be terrible consequences.
Of course, the most important reason was that Su Bai was here for pleasure, not for business. He would use some free time before the next story world began. And that was his plan.
The monk had left in his car; if he kept driving along this road, sooner or later, Su Bai would catch up with him since there was no branches— one main road was difficult enough to build, and it was meaningless to build a traffic network in such an untraversed region.
Su Bai went back to the restaurant. Lan was not here, probably in the restroom, but her boyfriend was here, and he was leaning close to Nikki and even secretly touching Nikki’s legs! Nikki just kept eating as if nothing was going on; but the blush on her cheeks gave away that something was going on and she was aware.
That was interesting.
Su Bai suddenly felt that he was right to take these people out for a trip. He had been living by himself for so long that he needed something new for his life; at least, traveling with other people would make him look less lonely. Although he had to admit that these college student were shallow and childish, their chatting sounded so lively.
Inside the Audi, Lucky was still sleeping. Su Bai opened the door and felt Lucky’s hair; it was bathing in the sunlight, and its hair was warm and smooth. Lucky opened its eyes, looked at Su Bai, then turned its head away and went back to sleep.
Just then, the others finished their lunch and were ready to hit the road. They were still over three hundred kilometers away from their destination; judging by the road’s condition, at best, they would arrive in Jiuzhaigou Valley at six or seven o’clock this night.
Lan and her boyfriend was still riding in the same car. His name was Li Yu; Su Bai heard that from Nikki during their chat. Maybe Liu Gang, Sun Lin and Grace didn’t notice, but Su Bai could tell from Nikki’s tone that she was ready to steal her "best" friend’s boyfriend. Poor Sun Lin had been trying to impress Nikki all the way, but he had no idea that someone else had been fondling his beloved girl during lunch.
Su Bai lit up a cigarette as they got back onto the road. The scenery was becoming better and better with all those gorgeous mountains. He felt good driving along this road, despite the poor road condition. Suddenly, Zoige Grassland came into Su Bai’s mind. He had been there when he was very young. There were luxurious grass and brushes, herds of cattle and sheep… There was a photo of him with his mother kept in his home— his mother was putting him onto a yak and his father had taken the picture.
He didn’t ask his fellows whether they were going to visit Zoige Grassland. After dropping them in Jiuzhaigou Valley, he would go visit it by himself, even if he’d have to pay for their air tickets back to Chengdu.
The temperature dropped dramatically when it was afternoon, but the people in the car got more and more excited as the scenery became more and more amazing. The sky became clearer and cloudless, mountains were no longer barren but lush. It was like traveling in a painting. Rugged places were left behind. In one more hour, they would be in Jiuzhaigou Valley.
Nikki suddenly pointed to somewhere by the road: "Look! What’s that place with colorful flags?"
Sun Lin immediately got excited and explained: "That’s the site for celestial burial. The locals will leave the bodies there after some special process, and the hawks will eat them."
"Sounds so romantic." Nikki was in a good mood; even such a horrible idea couldn’t scare her.
"I think it’s creepy," Liu Gang said.
"Yeah, that’s scary." Grace agreed.
"You guys are shallow! Just think about it! You won’t be buried in dirt or burn into ashes after you died; these free elves will take you into the air! You’ll be flying! How romantic!" Nikki was drunk in her imagination.
Su Bai flicked his cigarette outside the window. "Celestial burials are expansive. Usually it cost tens of thousands of yuan, which is a considerable income for local Tibetans and Mongolians. But for most people, they would have to work hard throughout their lives, just in order to become a feast for the hawks"
"What? That’s a fortune!" Liu Gang was surprised.
"All that money for inviting the hawks to eat me? I’ll pass." Grace said.
Nikki was pouting because Su Bai destroyed her romantic dream again, but she didn’t say anything. At first, she was a little impressed by Su Bai because she was told that he was from a rich family. But now, seeing him driving a rented car, she began to believe that he was just pretending to be rich. She was more attracted to those real rich kids like Li Yu.
Suddenly, the BMW pulled over. Lan and Li Yu got off to take some photos.
Su Bai had to pull over as well. Nikki immediately got off and Sun Lin followed her.
"Liu Gang, how about some photos over there?" Grace asked her boyfriend.
Liu Gang seemed to be less affectionate, but hadn’t made up his mind to break up with Grace. After all, Grace was somehow attractive. So he just nodded. "Let’s join them. I’ll take some good photos of you."
Grace nodded, satisfied.
Nothing could trouble a loving couple for long.
Everyone else was out except for Su Bai. Lucky woke up, sat on Su Bai’s laps and watched the celestial burial site outside the window.
Seeing that those youngsters were about to go there and take photos, Su Bai had to get off, put Lucky on the hood and yelled at them:
"Hey, don’t go over there! No photo or video are allowed ‘cause that’s against the laws! That’s not a scenic spot!"
"It’s nothing. If anyone gets in our way, I’ll just buy him off." Li Yu said jeeringly. The others nodded and agreed. In their opinions, Tibetans were poor and could be easily bought off.
Su Bai just let them be. In fact, where there were people, there were losers and rich people in the same time. The Tibetans living along the highway couldn’t be utterly destitute; as for those who could afford a celestial burial, they must be even richer.
However, before Li Yu and the others could get in, a dozen of Tibetans came to them from the other side of the road. Some of them went to the BMW, the others went to Su Bai’s Audi.
A person in the front threw a piece of rag onto BMW’s hood and said in mandarin with a strong local accent:
"Just cleaned your car for you. Three hundred bucks."
Li Yu was stunned; Nikki, Grace and Lan were all scared when looking at those Tibetans in their ethnic clothes. Apparently, people who had nothing to do with Tibetans in their daily lives had all become subconsciously terrified due to the conflicts among ethnic groups and the relative news these years.
A Tibetan with dark skin and red cheeks went to Su Bai and also threw a piece of rag onto the hood.
…that rag fell onto Lucky who was enjoying the view of that celestial burial site, and the black cat was totally covered up!
 Zoige Grassland: A special area at the eastern edge of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, also known as Song-pan Plateau. Famous for its beautiful natural scenery.
 Red cheeks: People living in highlands tend to have red cheeks because their skin becomes thinner and their capillaries dilate due to the unique climate.