Chapter 52 The Meaning of the Name Zhang Qiling

I realized what was going on after reading a few lines, because I saw two key words: chosen as.

This person was chosen as “Zhang Qiling” at the age of nineteen. I paused, realizing that Zhang Qiling wasn’t a simple name, but a title.

However, this title obviously became this person’s name, just like what happened with Genghis Khan—he was originally named Temüjin.

“Damn it!” Fatty said. “Then this Zhang Qiling is an official title!”

“Qiling, if seen by itself, is indeed a word with other meanings. It means to remove the dead and transport the coffin to be interred. The Zhang family was a family of tomb robbers, so this Zhang Qiling may just be another name for a very important position,” I said.

“If the coffin was transported to be buried, then it shouldn’t be the work of grave robbers, but the work of a funeral procession. The post of Zhang Qiling may be the person who’s in charge of the funerals at the Zhang family’s ancient building.”

I nodded. This was a great discovery, and judging from the size of the coffin, Zhang Qiling was indeed a very important position. That was why this place was so luxurious and huge.

We looked into the coffin. Since the bones inside were exposed to the air outside, many parts had turned to powder. There was still some cotton wadding inside, which Fatty set aside so that we could see the sacrificial objects in the coffin.

They turned out to be under the body. The quilt the body lay on looked very neat, with only one corner turned over. We put the corpse’s broken bones aside, lifted the decaying quilt, and saw a dozen sacrificial objects neatly arranged there. There were various kinds of jade pendants, two pieces of leather products that had rotted beyond recognition, and various other things. We saw the traces of where things had been placed in three other spots, but they had already been taken away.

“It really was a tomb robbery,” I said as I picked up a string of beeswax bracelets. The gold-rimmed beeswax was old and blackened. As soon as I looked at it, I knew that it was from Tibet and was worth a fortune. “But why only take some of it? This string of old beeswax is at least worth a state-of-the-art SUV!”

Fatty took it, looked at it, and then put it directly on his wrist, “Some people have no appreciation for valuable goods!” He gave it a kiss and said, “Ah lovely, leave your grievances! Those people don’t know what’s good. This fat master won’t hurt you.”

“Can you be any more disgusting?” I asked.

I picked out another agate necklace from the neat pile of sacrificial objects. Every three agates in the necklace were separated by an old coral, which was also something from Tibet. It seemed that this Zhang Qiling had exchanged gifts with some people from there before, since these were all quite valuable gifts at that time.

As usual, Fatty took it from me. “Depending on the quantity and quality of agate on it, this string of beads is also quite valuable,” I said to him. “As you can see, these corals are inscribed in Tibetan, which indicates that the beads probably have a history. So, the actual value may be even higher! If these things weren’t taken away, what did they take?”

“As I said, there must not have been many people who knew the value of these goods like our buddies. Or, the value of the three things they took was much higher than these things, and they could eat for a few lifetimes by taking them.” Fatty said.

I looked at the marks left on the quilt by the three sacrificial objects that had been taken away. Two of them, I noticed, were from two rings.

One was big and the other one was small. The big one was the size of a dish, while the small one was like an ashtray. Fatty compared the two, “Is it jade?”

I shook my head, “I don’t know, but a jade ring definitely isn’t that valuable unless it’s of extremely good color. This was especially true at the time when Ghost and his people came here. Since there was too much ancient jade in the market at that time, the price of jade may have only been one ten-thousandth of what it is now. So, if we infer from money alone, I think it shouldn’t be ancient jade, but something very valuable at that time.”

“Other than a jade ring, what else could it be?” Fatty asked. “Was it porcelain?”

I sighed and looked at the long mark of the third missing object. Fatty, like me, looked at it and suddenly said, “Mr. Naïve, do you think this long indention looks familiar?”

I touched my chin, thinking that he was right and it did look familiar. But I couldn’t really figure out what it was.

“What do you think it looks like?” I asked him after staring for half a day.

He seemed to have an idea, but couldn’t quite grasp the details. He gave an “Uhhhhhh…” for a long time before he suddenly snapped his fingers. I looked up and saw him comparing the marks. Then he said, “Sword! It looks like a sword! The black-gold ancient sword!”

I also thought about it, the image of that unlucky soldier’s mysterious figure incessantly popping into my head. Slowly, I began to sweat.

“Indeed, it’s a black-gold ancient sword. Its length and width are quite similar,” I said. “Shit! Was this stuff mass-produced? Does the entire Zhang household have one?”

In my mind, I saw a large row of Poker-Faces marching out with black-gold ancient swords—it was really terrifying but powerful enough.

“Impossible. There would never be so many black-gold ancient swords. If there had been such forging technology in ancient times, China would’ve conquered the world long ago,” Fatty said. “Little Brother’s sword was very fine and perfectly forged. As I mentioned before, it’s hard to lift even with both hands. This kind of blade must’ve been forged by the greatest sword maker in ancient times. Not to mention the difficulty of getting the materials, the blade had to be forged perfectly and it had to be very heavy. It definitely wasn’t a traditional process. Success would only be possible after attempting it hundreds of times. So, there are probably no more than three black-gold ancient swords on the market.”

After I calmed down, I suddenly thought of a possibility and said to Fatty, “Suppose, at that time, Ghost and his team entered the Zhang family’s ancient building—we can basically rule out the possibility of small grave robbers or other experts entering here, because it requires too much information. Small organizations can’t do it. So, the theft of the things in this coffin was basically because of Ghost and his team.”

In other words, it was this group of people who took away the two ring-like objects and the black-gold ancient sword.

In the end, many people in Ghost’s team died because the ancient building’s “fumigation” mechanism was activated. But the items must have been taken out.

So, was the black-gold ancient sword that appeared in Uncle Three’s store at that time (which was later sold to Poker-Face) the same one that was stolen from here?

I had a strong hunch that this had to be the case; otherwise, it didn’t make sense.

Then, why did the sword brought out of the ancient building by the archaeological team/funeral procession fall into Uncle Three’s hands? And why did they enter the building, open the coffin, and only take out the black-gold ancient sword and two mysterious rings? What were the two mysterious rings?

It seemed that many things had been started before I ever received the “Huanghsa Chicken-Eye” text message from Uncle Three, but I just hadn’t realized it. The game had already turned white-hot.

“Look at this.” As I was thinking, Fatty called me back to my senses. I walked over to where he was squatting by the open coffin lid and pointing to the genealogical tree carved on the inside.

At the center of this genealogical tree was the inscribed name of the coffin owner: Zhang Ruitong.

A generation with the ‘Rui’ name? I asked myself. There was a man named Zhang Ruishan just now, so is this guy from the same generation as him? (1) 

The two words “Zhang Qiling” on the side were one size smaller, and if you weren’t looking carefully, you’d think Zhang Ruitong and Zhang Qiling were husband and wife.

This Zhang Ruitong had six children, two of whom had offspring. Fatty pointed to one of them and said, “Look at this name.”

I saw that one of Zhang Ruitong’s two grandchildren was named Zhang Qishan.

Zhang Da Fo Ye.

I scratched my head and smiled with interest. Hot damn, I finally found some real evidence.

<Chapter 51> <Table of Contents><Chapter 53>


TN Notes:

(1) Tiffany says: “Some Chinese people have the custom of naming kids from the same generation with the same characters in them. It’s called generation names. They may be the first or second character in a given name. The example in this book would be: 张“瑞”山,张“瑞”桐


Updated 4/4/2021


One thought on “Chapter 52 The Meaning of the Name Zhang Qiling

  1. Честно, мурашки побежали, когда увидела имена “Цишань и Да Фо Е”… вот тебе и начало истории… надо перечитать и снова поглядеть “Таинственную девятку”.


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