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Friday, February 16, 2024

F³ Deep Dive 52

             This kickstarted a deep dive. She moved to her computer as I tried to keep up with my phone. Mei hadn’t been kidding. Lee had taught her about everything in the shop, and she had done even more research on items on her own because she thought the stories might help her make sales. And she had done more than digitize the inventory and sales records of the shop. She had gone so far as to digitize all of Lee’s old books, allowing her to read through them while he kept the originals for sale.

            She recited passages in Manadarin and Cantonese back to me, telling me all about the Jade Girl and Golden Boy folk tales.

            “You know—” she began.

            “I thought it was Yunu,” I interrupted.

            “It is. I was saying you know. As in you know how—”

            “Right, sorry. Go on.”

            “You know, I wonder why she has a name, at all.”

            I shrugged. “A spirit or some other celestial entity. Tons of things have names in Eastern mythology.”

            She nodded. “That’s true, but what if that’s not the case, here. Yunu is described as the Jade Girl and there’s the Golden Boy. What if they were human to begin with?”

            “Yeah, we kind of went over that.”

            “I know, but that was some kind of guardian spirit, but what if it’s more mundane, like, I don’t know, kings wanting their things.”

            Something clicked for me. “Wait, are you talking like Egyptian pharaohs? They get buried with all their earthly possessions, including servants?”

            Mei’s eyes lit up. “Yeah, like that! They’re servants, turned into statues so the kings can have their servants in heaven or something.”

            “So how do we bring them back? If they’re supposed to serve the person in the afterlife, there must be a way for them to carryover or something.”

            We both frowned, looking at our screens.

            “Funeral traditions,” I said, suddenly.

            “What?”

            “You said it. They watch over the graves and are supposed to serve or otherwise be buried with the person to help in the afterlife. So we go back to Chinese funeral traditions to see if there’s a connection.”

            “Oh! All right. Oh, there’s a ton of stuff on funeral traditions, though.”

            “I’ll get us takeout from upstairs,” I said.

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