Author: 梦溪石 / Meng Xi Shi
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
The mood of Dong Zhi was actually similar to his. The two of them were relatively speechless, and it took a long time for them to recover.
“Is this painting an auction item?” Liu Qingbo asked calmly.
Dong Zhi flipped through the auction catalog. “It’s not in the auction catalog.”
Liu Qingbo said without hesitation, “Find the owner of the painting and buy it!”
As long as the bid was high enough, he didn’t believe that there wasn’t anything in the world that couldn’t be bought.
Dong Zhi: “We don’t know the seller’s situation yet. Let’s inquire about it first. There will be an auction in the afternoon. Don’t worry.”
Liu Qingbo read the introduction next to the painting again and confirmed that the owner of the collection was not written on it.
He found the security personnel patrolling on the floor to ask, but the other party didn’t know either.
Dong Zhi grabbed him. “Don’t be impatient. It’s not good to let others see that we care too much about this painting. Someone might know.”
For example, the young lady who entertained them just now.
Although the other party was only responsible for the hospitality of guests, she must have had a certain understanding of this exhibition, so it was suitable to ask her questions first.
Dong Zhi smiled and said, “Lao Liu, here’s your chance to perform.”
Liu Qingbo: “…Why me?”
Dong Zhi looked innocent. “You look more rich and handsome than me!”
Liu Qingbo would never admit that he was flattered by this sentence, so he said reluctantly, “I’m here for work under the Special Administration Bureau.”
Dong Zhi buttered him up without hesitation. “That’s right. There’s no doubt about your ideological enlightenment as you’re the top in our class!”
Liu Qingbo went valiantly but came back with a bad face in less than ten minutes.
“No way, you can’t even handle such a trivial matter?” Dong Zhi felt incredulous.
Liu Qingbo rolled his eyes. “That woman is too difficult to talk to.”
Dong Zhi asked, “What did she say?”
Liu Qingbo said in an annoyed tone, “I asked her who the owner of this painting is. She said that anything that’s not signed is something that the owner doesn’t want to disclose, and she couldn’t disclose it. I just said that if she told me, I would invite her to dinner and give her two thousand dollars. Who knew this woman would pull down her face and give me a scowl?”
Dong Zhi smacked his forehead. “If you say that how would anyone tell you anything!”
Liu Qingbo sneered: “I say this woman is too hypocritical. When she heard I was going to invite her to dinner, she obviously smiled. I was just trying to show her that I’m wealthy, not that I’m promiscuous!”
Dong Zhi sighed. “If you hadn’t invited her to dinner, it might’ve been better. She thought you were trying to pursue her. Who knew you just wanted to make a deal with her. Although love is a deal, it also has a romantic element. Some people can equate romance with money, but others are unwilling to compromise. Let me try!”
Liu Qingbo was taken aback. “Who told you this stuff?”
Dong Zhi waved his hand, with a gesture that looked ethereal, and then brushed his clothes, “Dong-Tchaikovsky*-Zhi.”
*Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was a Russian composer of the Romantic Period. He wrote some of the most popular concert and theatrical music in the current classical repertoire, including the ballets Swan Lake and The Nutcracker, the 1812 Overture, his First Piano Concerto, Violin Concerto, the Romeo and Juliet Overture-Fantasy, several symphonies, and the opera Eugene Onegin. || The context here is that Dong Zhi is making the joke, basically saying let me, the master of romanticism (by referencing Tchaikovsky) work my magic.
Liu Qingbo: ……
He originally thought that Dong Zhi would fail, but he didn’t expect the other party to come back soon, with a spring breeze on his face.
Dong Zhi smiled and said, “It’s a veteran of this place, one of the top two people. The owner of this painting is one of the organizers of this event, Xiang Mu.”
Liu Qingbo was in disbelief. “What did you say to move her?”
Dong Zhi patted him. “Thanks to your support, I said that you have never chased a girl and you regretted what you did until your stomach was blue, so you asked me to go over and apologize. I also booked a place at a nearby Michelin three-star restaurant for you two. Please be sure to go.”
Liu Qingbo: …
He simply had the urge to unscrew the head of the person in front of him and kick it like a ball.
Dong Zhi smiled at him. “Calm down, calm down. Think of it as a sacrifice of your appearance for our country. Don’t you suddenly feel proud when you think about it like this?”
Liu Qingbo bit his cheek and smiled. “Not at all!”
Dong Zhi broke it down for him. “If I’d gone first, there wouldn’t be a need to do it a second time. Since you went first, I could only make up for it on your behalf. Alright, let’s not worry about this kind of trivial matter. All in all, Xiang Mu, as the organizer, should also be present at the reception later. Let’s find him first and set up a meeting with him to see if we can buy this painting directly from him. If we can, great. If not, we’ll have to reassess then.”
Liu Qingbo gave him a sideways glance. “I don’t want to eat with that woman. You can do it yourself!”
Dong Zhi said, “Alright how about this? You go to order and pay, and then I’ll call you halfway to get you out of there early…”
With such a discovery, neither of them had the mind to watch the exhibition again, so they walked around at will. They stayed there until noon. The tourists who came to see the exhibition for free gradually left, while Dong Zhi and those who had paid the deposit were invited upstairs to the cocktail party.
The food at the cocktail party was excellent, and there were a lot of good wines. This was a glamorous social occasion. Many people’s minds weren’t on eating. They gathered in groups of three to five as they chatted and laughed. Dong Zhi and Liu Qingbo separated to look for signs of Xiang Mu. Dong Zhi soon saw a middle-aged man surrounded by several men and women, who looked a lot like the Xiang Mu he searched for on the internet.
He walked over with a wine glass nonchalantly, pretending to be attracted by the content of their conversation and stopping to listen.
A few people were talking about the recent antique market situation and future prospects, which went way over his head. Dong Zhi got bored just listening to their chatter, but they wouldn’t leave, so he could only continue to listen with a thick face.
Suddenly, Xiang Mu suddenly said, “Sir, you just entered this circle, right?”
Dong Zhi blinked and realized that the other party was talking to him, so he smiled and said, “Yes, but in fact, I am just a fan of art and calligraphy. I have heard of Mr. Xiang’s name for a long time and found that you were holding an exhibition here today, so I had to rush over and see it for myself so I could learn your teachings!”
Xiang Mu also smiled. He had read countless people, and he could see at a glance that the other party wasn’t part of the antique circle, but he didn’t call him out on it.
“What’s your name?”
“Dong, Dong Zhi.”
“Mr. Dong, the visitor is a guest. I wonder what it is that you wish to inquire?”
Dong Zhi smiled and said, “To be honest, it’s not me who likes art and calligraphy, but actually my grandfather. However, he’s too old to move around, so he could only let me run errands in his place. After I came here today, I saw a painting that was very much in line with that old man’s taste. I heard that the owner of that painting is you, so I took the liberty to come over and ask if you would be willing to give up your love?”
Xiang Mu raised his eyebrows. He thought that the other party was a business rival who came to inquire about news, but he didn’t expect that he actually wanted to buy a painting.
“Which one are you talking about?”
Dong Zhi: “‘The Travel Map of Shaohua’.”
The painting must not have made much impression on Xiang Mu, or it may be that he had too much in his collection, as it took him quite a while to remember it. Then he shook his head.
“Sorry, I won’t sell that painting.”
Dong Zhi’s heart sank. The last thing he wanted to hear was such an answer.
“May I know the reason? If it is a matter of money, I believe that, in the end, I can give a satisfactory figure to Mr. Xiang.”
Using the identity of the Special Administration Bureau would only be a last resort. Now that so many things had happened recently, Dong Zhi had become more cautious. He wasn’t sure if there were traces of enemies hidden among ordinary people and he didn’t want to scare the snake as a possible consequence and lose the game.
Xiang Mu smiled apologetically. “It’s not about money. That painting is a relic passed down from my wife’s family, so I don’t want to sell it.”
He was obviously not interested in continuing the conversation with Dong Zhi, as after he replied, he turned around and walked away, but his expression suddenly changed from calmness to surprise.
No longer interacting with Dong Zhi, Xiang Mu enthusiastically walked over and greeted a person who had come in from the other end.
“Master Chen, it’s been a long time since I saw you. I was waiting for you!”
When Dong Zhi saw who it was, he almost couldn’t control his facial expression and almost laughed out loud on the spot.
Who else but it was none other than Chen Guoliang who Liu Qingbo had been “longing for”.
This Master Chen was still dressed in a black jacket with an extraordinary style. With an assistant bodyguard by his side, he magnanimously made his entrance. From a glance, his posture looked as if he was the protagonist of a novel, which attracted a lot of attention.
After Chen Guoliang was let go, he didn’t have the face to stay in Lucheng for long. He wanted to go back to Hong Kong, and he wouldn’t come back to the mainland for a few years.
Coincidentally, at that moment, he received an invitation to attend a cocktail party and auction to lecture distinguished guests about feng shui metaphysics. It also came with a private commission and a high appearance fee. Chen Guoliang’s conscience was moved, and he felt that it was a blessing from God to give him this chance to make money. He had no reason to doubt this, and it wasn’t too late to eat one last meal before he left, so he decided to come.
He didn’t think that the enemy’s path was so narrow and that the world would be so coincidental.
His smile completely froze when he saw the person next to Xiang Mu.
Seeing Liu Qingbo coming from the other end again, his smile could no longer be maintained, and he collapsed instantly.
Liu Qingbo also chuckled. “Master Chen, what a coincidence. Truly a coincidence that we meet again. This must be fate at work for us to meet thousands of miles away!”
Chen Guoliang reluctantly pulled out a smile that he thought was very calm and took the initiative to stretch out his hand. “It turns out to be Mr. Liu and Mr. Dong. Indeed, how fateful this is!”
‘A truly evil fate,’ he added in his heart.
Liu Qingbo looked at him with a smile for a long time, and when Chen Guoliang looked uneasy, he finally stretched out his hand.
Chen Guoliang breathed a sigh of relief, hurriedly held his hand and shook it twice, and greeted Dong Zhi enthusiastically.
Xiang Mu was surprised. “It turns out that Master Chen knows these two gentlemen?”
“I know, I know!” Chen Guoliang’s face twitched, revealing the half-truths and half-lies. “With these two masters here, why bother to invite me. Honestly!”
Xiang Muguo was really surprised. He knew Chen Guoliang’s reputation in Hong Kong. Last time he went to Hong Kong on business, he got to know this Master Chen thanks to the introduction of a rich man named Li. This time, he was invited to come over for a feng shui lecture. Secondly, more importantly, he encountered a difficult problem that Chen Guoliang urgently needed to solve.
“This meeting must be destiny. Three masters, I have prepared a VIP room for you. Why don’t you come inside, and we can have a detailed discussion? The lecture hasn’t started yet, and I happen to have a little personal question I want to ask the three of you.”
He may have felt he had embarrassed Dong Zhi before, so he added, “If Mr. Dong wants that painting, in fact, it’s not that I can’t give it away.”
Dong Zhi said, “You don’t have to give it away. As long as you give us a price, we’ll try our best to raise the funds.”
Xiang Mu smiled. “I am not short of money.”
The implication was that he didn’t need to make money by selling paintings. Thinking about most of the collections in the exhibition hall, Dong Zhi became speechless.
Xiang Mu led them into the VIP reception room. It was much more gorgeous than outside, and there were many more personal decorations. Dong Zhi guessed that this place, including the exhibition hall downstairs, should be his property.
It was no wonder why he didn’t put a price on that painting. For a wealthy man like Xiang Mu, even if the paintings were sold for hundreds of millions, it would just be another number added to his property.
However, his problems were often unsolvable by money. Therefore, ordinary people look at many rich people and laugh at them. After they became prosperous, many would pray to Buddha or God, but as a result, they would worship the wrong door and encounter too many gods. In fact, it was because they asked for too much and it was often too complicated. The method was no longer suitable for them, and the gods were too elusive, and it was impossible to give them a quick solution. In the end, they could only turn to so-called experts and masters. If they encountered someone like Chen Guoliang, they would be fooled at most, but for those that stumbled upon Songen or Yamamoto, it was most likely they wouldn’t be able to save their own lives.
Xiang Mu didn’t have the habit of disclosing his private affairs to strangers. He waited for Chen Guoliang to introduce Dong Zhi and Liu Qingbo’s origin, but it seemed that Chen Guoliang behaved quite cramped. He would look at Dong Zhi from time to time, as if he was waiting for him to issue orders.
The other party’s abnormality made Xiang Mu feel even more confused. He originally thought that even if Dong Zhi and Liu Qingbo were a bit capable, it was only Chen Guoliang’s modesty, but now this didn’t seem to be the case.
“Master Chen, would you like to introduce me?” He finally broke the awkward atmosphere.
“The title master is truly unworthy. These two are the real masters and experts. Uh, Mr. Dong and Mr. Liu, I have already introduced them just now. Let’s focus on them today. I’ll just listen on the side!”
Chen Guoliang’s complexion twitched slightly. He didn’t dare reveal the identity of Dong Zhi. He wanted to prevent any trouble and didn’t want to make the other party unhappy. He could only hope that they would spare him the humiliation of exposing himself in front of Xiang Mu.
As soon as the voice fell, Liu Qingbo showed him a smirk, which made Chen Guoliang shudder in fear. His heart was divided between being exposed or not, and he was entangled and uneasy that it felt like he was wandering on the edge of death.
Compared to Liu Qingbo, Dong Zhi still gave Chen Guoliang a little face, or rather, he had no intention of teasing Chen Guoliang now.
“My name is Dong Zhi. This is Liu Qingbo. We have our own practices, but it’s not the same as Master Chen’s way. If you have any problems, Mr. Xiang, you can tell us. Let’s discuss it in detail together.”
Hearing him call him Master Chen, Chen Guoliang breathed a sigh of relief. In addition to being grateful, he quickly followed up. “Yes, tell them. Mr. Dong and Mr. Liu must have a way!”
As soon as he finished speaking, Liu Qingbo glanced at him again, which stunned Chen Guoliang. Could it be that these two people didn’t intend to show their true identity, but he had inadvertently exposed them? He couldn’t help but become more nervous.
In fact, with his reputation among the rich and powerful of Hong Kong, he wouldn’t have fallen so far. It was just that last time, he was shell-shocked by how Dong Zhi and Liu Qingbo had subdued the demonic energy, and he later received several days of ideological education. It was truly eye-opening and awe-inspiring that it led him to be more respectful and also fear the profession. It was the last thing on his list to see Dong Zhi again, yet who knew that the enemy’s path would be so narrow? When he ran to Shencheng, they also followed him here.
When Chen Guoliang returned to Hong Kong, he would change the name of his feng shui master and, going forward, would keep a low profile so as to not run into experts like them. He really couldn’t eat and walk away*.
*(吃不了兜着走) Metaphor referring to ignoring the situation and causing trouble or adverse consequences and you have to bear it yourself. || It’s basically saying, he can’t escape the consequences of his previous action (being a fraud) because he has once again run into Dong Zhi and Liu Qingbo.
Xiang Mu greeted them with a few pleasantries, then talked about calligraphy, paintings, and writings, down to the feng shui furnishings in the room here. He refused to get to the point. Dong Zhi knew that such a successful businessman was usually suspicious. If he didn’t disperse his doubts, it was estimated the other party wouldn’t be able to communicate at all with them, so he said, “Mr. Xiang, my friend here is a descendant of Liu Yongjia, a well-known swordsmaster of the Republic of China. Maybe you have heard of him. On the other hand, I am a named disciple of the Hezao Sect. I studied under Taoist Master Fang Yangfang. I also have another master, but he’s not a member of the Hezao Sect, so I won’t mention him.”
Chen Guoliang said hurriedly, “In the past, the Hezao Sect was on par and ranked third among Mount Longhu and Mount Maoshan, but in modern times they’ve been much lower-key. I have seen these two slay demons with my very own eyes, and I have great respect for them in my heart!”
Compared with Dong Zhi and Liu Qingbo, whom he had just met for the first time, Xiang Mu was, of course, more inclined to believe in Chen Guoliang, who had already had a great reputation in Hong Kong.
Dong Zhi didn’t expect that they would have to rely on Chen Guoliang to prove their identity in turn and felt the situation was quite ridiculous.
Sure enough, Xiang Mu suddenly became a lot more solemn when he heard this introduction.
“Just now, I have eyes but failed to see Mount Taishan*. I didn’t expect to bump into such great people by mistake. I’m very sorry!” Xiang Mu apologized to them.
*(有眼不识泰山) Metaphor for having eyes too narrow thus failing to recognize someone of excellent skill/status.
Liu Qingbo became impatient. “Mr. Xiang, let’s get to your situation.”
Xiang Mu smiled bitterly. “In fact, this matter is really weird, and it has something to do with my wife.”
It had been almost five years since Xiang Mu’s wife passed away. They also had a daughter who was now studying abroad. It stood to reason that Xiang Mu had a good appearance and was wealthy. As a middle-aged and widowed man with no son, there were no problems with women clamoring for him, but Xiang Mu was an exception. He had a good relationship with his wife, and he hadn’t remarried in the past five years, despite the persuasion of his friends.
His wife had a bracelet that was passed down from her mother’s family. After her death, Xiang Mu kept this bracelet and was prepared to give it to his daughter when she got married, but the problem lay in this bracelet.
Starting about a year ago, Xiang Mu began to frequently have a recurring dream. In the dream, he was reunited with his late wife. His wife was still in the prime of her appearance. Xiang Mu was naturally extremely happy. After a long parting, the old relationship was rekindled. The whispering between the two quickly turned into a love affair. When he woke up, the pillow was still cold, and the whereabouts of his wife were gone. He was quite saddened by it. However, after that, Xiang Mu began to meet his wife in his dreams again, and every time it would end with a spring dream. Over time, Xiang Mu stumbled upon the jade bracelet he kept in the bedroom safe. It seemed that it had become smoother and more lustrous.
“This bracelet was originally worn by my wife for decades during her lifetime. She never took it off. I originally wanted to put it in the bank with other things, but every time I saw the bracelet, I couldn’t help but look at it and think about it. I can’t help leaving it so far away from me, so I put it in the bedroom.”
Having said that, there was a trace of an unspeakable expression on Xiang Mu’s face. “I’m not afraid of your jokes, telling you this. I’m not old in age and I usually exercise. I’m a man with normal needs, but I haven’t had this kind of dream before. I once doubted if there were any physical or psychological problems, but the test results were all normal. It was no wonder that my dreams were so beautiful. I seemed to have returned to the days I spent with my wife when I was young. As time goes by, it’s inevitable that I will be indulgent.”
All the people present were men, and they were not ordinary people. Not only did no one express the meaning of ridicule, but they all nodded in understanding. Xiang Mu was encouraged, relaxed a little, and continued.
Despite that, having a spring dream so often, no matter how healthy or strong Xiang Mu was, it was inevitable that it would take a mental toll. What was even more strange was that later, he occasionally had an extended version of the dream. After his wife said she was happy with him, she began to cry silently. No matter what he asked, she would refuse to speak and kept crying until Xiang Mu woke up.
Since then, Xiang Mu’s night had basically been trapped in such a dream, unable to extricate himself.
“You keep leaving the bracelet in the bedroom?” Liu Qingbo couldn’t help asking.
Xiang Mu: “Yes.”
Liu Qingbo frowned. “So many things have happened. Why don’t you throw away the bracelet or destroy it? Are you waiting to be sucked dry?”
This was so straightforward that it made Xiang Mu a little embarrassed.
“In fact, since my wife passed away, I have always missed her very much, and for this reason, I have never remarried…”
He didn’t go on, but the implication was already obvious.
Xiang Mu meant that he enjoyed his spring dreams and didn’t mention that the object in his spring dreams was his wife. On the one hand, he could see his dead lover in his dream, and on the other hand, he could relive his youth with his lover. He couldn’t help but indulge in it, knowing that something was wrong, but he couldn’t bear to leave.
Liu Qingbo rolled his eyes. As soon as he heard this, he knew that Xiang Mu was not willing to destroy the bracelet or stay away from it. The other party had to go around in a big circle looking for things that could be solved simply.
Dong Zhi asked bluntly, “Mr. Xiang, there must be a problem with your bracelet, but we can’t give you an answer before we see the real thing. I want to ask you first, how do you want us to help you?”
Xiang Mu pondered for a moment, and said, “I want to know, is my wife’s soul trapped in that bracelet to support my dreams?”
Dong Zhi: “What if it is?”
Xiang Mu hesitated, and he hadn’t figured out what to do.
Dong Zhi said, “Even if it is really your wife’s soul, it’s not good for you or her to go on like this. She is sucking your essence night by night, nourishing her ghostly bodily and, overtime, she won’t be willing to be trapped in the bracelet and perhaps she may even possess your body!”
Xiang Mu laughed. “This is impossible. She was very kind during her lifetime!”
Liu Qingbo said, “There is nothing impossible. After a person dies, everything will disappear. If she misses the world and refuses to die, her temperament will definitely change. If she is really dedicated to your sake, how can she be willing to suck your energy every night?”
Chen Guoliang also said, “Mr. Xiang, people cannot come back from the dead. Humans have human ways and ghosts have their own. The three realms and six paths* has their own rules. If those rules are broken, you may also delay your wife’s end.”
*Reference to Samsara. The three realms refer to the realm of desire, the realm of form, and the realm of immateriality, while the six paths are typically divided into three higher realms (good) and three lower realms (evil). You can read my Kinky Thoughts for more details on this, but it’s basically a belief in what happens after one dies and goes through reincarnation/rebirth.
Xiang Mu sighed. “Can you do this? After the auction, I will take you to my house first to see the bracelet. If you can, please help persuade my wife so that she can go to reincarnation with peace of mind as soon as possible!”
Dong Zhi and Liu Qingbo looked at each other. The purpose of their trip was the painting, so naturally they had to help Xiang Mu solve his troubles first.
“Then I’ll have to trouble you!” Xiang Mu was very grateful.
Three Realms and Six Paths.
The three realms referred to:
- The Realm of Desire: From hell to heaven, there’s a mixture of good and evil and men and women live together, tainted by desire
- The Realm of Form: From the first to the fourth meditation heaven, there is no female form and thus no desire are tainted, and everything is incarnated by pure colors
- The Realm of Immateriality: From the heavens to the void, there is but colorless emptiness.
The six paths refer to Samsara. Each path (realms) is split into 3 higher realms (representing good, fortunate) and 3 lower realms (representing evil, unfortunate). Below is a description of each realm courtesy of Wikipedia:
- Gods realm: the gods (devas) is the most pleasure-filled among the six realms, and typically subdivided into twenty six sub-realms. A rebirth in this heavenly realm is believed to be from very good karma accumulation. A Deva does not need to work, and is able to enjoy in the heavenly realm all pleasures found on earth. However, the pleasures of this realm lead to attachment (Upādāna), lack of spiritual pursuits and therefore no nirvana. The vast majority of Buddhist lay people, states Kevin Trainor, have historically pursued Buddhist rituals and practices motivated with rebirth into Deva realm. The Deva realm in Buddhist practice in southeast and east Asia, states Keown, include gods found in Hindu traditions such as Indra and Brahma, and concepts in Hindu cosmology such as Mount Meru.
- Human realm: called the manuṣya realm. Buddhism asserts that one is reborn in this realm with vastly different physical endowments and moral natures because of a being’s past karma. A rebirth in this realm is considered as fortunate because it offers an opportunity to attain nirvana and end the Saṃsāra cycle.
- Demi-god realm (Asura): the demi-gods (asuras) is the third realm of existence in Buddhism. Asura are notable for their anger and some supernatural powers. They fight with the Devas (gods), or trouble the Manusya (humans) through illnesses and natural disasters. They accumulate karma, and are reborn. Demi-god is sometimes ranked as one of the evil realms as there are stories of them fighting against the Gods.
- Animal realm: is state of existence of a being as an animal (tiryag). This realm is traditionally thought to be similar to a hellish realm, because animals are believed in Buddhist texts to be driven by impulse and instinct, they prey on each other and suffer. Some Buddhist texts assert that plants belong to this realm, with primitive consciousness.
- Hungry ghost realm: hungry ghosts and other restless spirits (preta) are rebirths caused by karma of excessive craving and attachments. They do not have a body, are invisible and constitute only “subtle matter” of a being. Buddhist texts describe them as beings who are extremely thirsty and hungry, very small mouths but very large stomachs. Buddhist traditions in Asia attempt to care for them on ritual days every year, by leaving food and drinks in open, to feed any hungry ghosts nearby. When their bad karma demerit runs out, these beings are reborn into another realm. According to McClelland, this realm is the mildest of the three evil realms. According to Yangsi Rinpoche, in contrast, the suffering of the beings born in the realm of the hungry ghosts is far more intense than those born in the animal realm.
- Hell realm: beings in hell (naraka) enter this realm for evil karma such as theft, lying, adultery and others. The texts vary in their details, but typically describe numerous hellish regions each with different forms of intense suffering, such as eight extremely hot hellish realms, eight extremely cold, being partially eaten alive, beating and other forms of torture in proportion to the evil karma accumulated. These beings are reborn in another realm after their evil karma has run its course, they die, and they get another chance. This realm is not similar to afterlife hell in Christianity, states Damien Keown, because in Buddhism there is no realm of final damnation and existence in this realm is also a temporary state.