The thing which people feared the most in the Gobi Desert was the lack of water for miles. Once the supplies of fresh water which they brought along were exhausted, they would undoubtedly die of thirst. But after the snowstorm, one could pick up snow at a bend of the body. This alleviated their main worry. Although they were unable to ride, they did not need to bear the hardship of having yellow sand being blown into their faces. They travelled towards the west, and could see that Chen Dahai’s footprints were becoming more evident. Later, his footprints were uncovered by snow, and were obviously left after the snowstorm had died down.
Che Erku muttered, “This evil bandit is quite capable, he survived despite being trapped in a huge snowstorm.” Su Lu’ke suddenly cried out, “Eh, there are another person’s footprints!” Pointing to the footprints, he said, “This person made each step in that bandit’s footprints, if one wasn’t observant enough he wouldn’t have spotted it.” Everyone looked carefully, and saw that every footprint consisted of two layers, one deeper and the other shallower.
Everyone started speculating, unable to comprehend the significance of this observation. Luo Tuo suddenly said, “Don’t tell me it’s a demon?” This was what everyone wanted to say but didn’t. As soon as the words had left his mouth, everyone could not help but shiver.
The party steeled their nerves and continued travelling west. The deep snow hindered them and made their progress slow. That night, they camped in the snow. They swept aside the snow and dug pits in the ground. Wrapped in wool carpets, they lay in the pits, and did not know coldness at all.