Chapter 1.7 Heaven and Earth (Extra)*

*(TN note: Chapter title was 乾坤 (pinyin: qian kun) which are 2 of the Eight Trigrams. Qian= heaven (male principle) and kun= earth (female principle). Best way to think of it is yin and yang).


I still remember the atmosphere in the ancestral hall after Biao Gong said that sentence. The overhead lamp’s wattage wasn’t enough, the light of the fire was dark, there was wind outside, and everyone wore a very stiff expression. I couldn’t say what it was, but I realized that the atmosphere wasn’t quite right.

In principle, someone would definitely jump out at this time and say something like “No, this is an outrageous idea” and so on and so forth. After all, it was always something you’d see in TV dramas. At this time, however, there was no voice of opposition and it took a long time before someone finally said, “Who’s going to open it?”

This was followed by another uproar. Uncle Three sneered, “My eldest brother is in charge so of course we’ll do it.”

As soon as this remark was made, I knew immediately why the atmosphere was strange and I couldn’t help but tense up.

The Wu family’s ancestral estate had been divided down through the ages, but it was basically just a name only. My father’s family was also just a name. At most, he could be regarded as a clan leader with a reputation and a voting right. Even so, there was a lot of idle gossip. Just now when Uncle Three said that the coffin might be something hidden by our ancestors, the first thing that probably came to everyone’s mind here was: maybe a patriarch from previous generations buried some artifacts in his ancestral grave that couldn’t be disposed of at that time.

The era when grave robberies were rampant was different from present times. Back then, the technology was limited and the channels weren’t as smooth as they were now. As a result, many of the things that came out at that time but were too hot to sell were all good items that must be very valuable. As it turned out, the people here were unexpectedly greedy.

But this was our ancestral tomb and we couldn’t be presumptuous, so the atmosphere was a little strange. But Uncle Three’s sentence was enough to stir up the pot and it seemed that this matter was beyond my father’s control.

Sure enough, before Uncle Three finished speaking, someone jumped up, “Why? If that happens, we won’t have any share in the ancestral tomb!”

Uncle Three gave the man a look, “Shit, Cao Er Daozi, you fucking took your mother’s surname. When did you change it back? Is it your turn to talk bullshit?” His voice had just faded when another voice cried out, “This is a matter for the Wu family. Everyone surnamed Wu has a part in it!”

Uncle Three spit in contempt, not even bothering to look at him, “There are a lot of people surnamed Wu! I’m telling you, we three brothers have to open this coffin! You have no say in this, but if you want to complain, go blame your grandfather for running too slowly when he was reincarnated!”(1)

“Fuck you! I’ll beat you to death!” The man immediately cursed him, dropped his cup of tea, and stood up, wanting to come over. Uncle Three was a tough character and almost cracked the table with a bang when he stood up and shouted, “Fucking try it!”

Uncle Three’s voice was fierce, and coupled with his reputation here, all the people who hung out with him stood up at once. While the other side had more people, those who followed the guy who had just cursed also stood up. There was a lot of abuse flying back and forth at this time. The two people who had been toasting each other just now had immediately started to oppose each other. As long as someone started a small fight, it was possible that things would escalate.

My father had a wooden expression on his face; he couldn’t handle the present situation at all. When he saw everything unfolding, he couldn’t help but clap his hand to his forehead and sigh. Just as these people were about to fight, Biao Gong suddenly stood up and kicked the heating stove a few steps forward. Flaming coals suddenly flew out and rushed into the crowd, pushing everyone back a few steps. He then took his bamboo crutch and gave the table a hard whap, “You pair of thieves have turned against each other?”

“Biao Gong! This Wu Sanxing…” one of them cried out. But before he had finished speaking, Biao Gong gave another whap, the sound so loud that everyone immediately drew back. Then he said to us, “This is the ancestral coffin of the Wu family! Even if you really open it and find something, you have to bury it again untouched. No one better get any ideas! As usual, the eldest son and grandson will open the coffin to examine the bones. Everyone else will withdraw!” As he finished speaking, he swung like he was ready to hit someone.

He was from the older generation, so no one dared offend him—those who were beaten could only admit that they were unlucky. The group of people all rushed to the door of the ancestral hall. Uncle Three tried to sneak his way back in but was beaten out with a few good whacks. Only me, my father, and a few old men were left in the ancestral hall.

Biao Gong was so angry that he had to sit down to catch his breath after he had finished driving the others out. My father hurriedly gave him some space. On one side, our relative who everyone called Aizi Tai Gong (2)—I didn’t know his level of seniority—urged him, “Is it worth it, is it worth it? At such an old age, do you want to piss yourself off?”

“No, it’s not worth it!” My father said, and then continued “Take it easy, easy.”

Biao Gong slowly calmed down before he stood up and looked outside. Then he sat back down and softly whispered to my father, “A Qiong, I’ll settle this for you. Let’s say it up front: if there’s anything good in this coffin, you have to split it with us!”

<Extra 1.6> <Table of Contents><Extra 1.8>


TN Notes:

(1) Basically saying that guy’s grandpa has less seniority than Wu Xie’s grandpa since he was born later

(2) Short great-grandfather


Updated 11/21/2021

2 thoughts on “Chapter 1.7 Heaven and Earth (Extra)*

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s