Uncle Three’s face changed slightly as Uncle Two rubbed his temples and said, “Why did Cao Er Daozi want this useless patriarch position? Why did the snails in the coffin not die after a hundred years? Also, why could the centenarian recall a story he heard sixty years ago so smoothly? I still have a lot of things to think about.”
I was a little puzzled as I listened to Uncle Two’s tone change, but then I saw him squinting at Uncle Three, “Some people always think that their brains are better than others, but they don’t realize that the second child is always a little better than the third. Don’t you think so, Third Brother?”
I immediately saw Uncle Three break out in a cold sweat. His face darkened and he didn’t speak as Uncle Two unexpectedly exerted a very strange pressure.
After a long silence, Uncle Two said, “I have a guess here. I don’t know whether it’s right or not. Just listen to it.”
After a pause, he said, “When opening the ancestral grave, a greedy descendant found an extra coffin there. Sensitive by nature, he immediately realized that the coffin might be an artifact hidden by his ancestors. But surrounded by his own people, he couldn’t rob it openly, and he knew that once the coffin was opened, these things would be distributed to others. This descendant had a brave nature and never gave way to others. In that short span of ten minutes, he came up with a solution: he asked two close associates to take the nameless old coffin from the woodshed behind the ancestral hall and exchange it with the coffin from the ancestral grave while they were on the mountain road between the graveyard and the village where there were no street lamps.
“In order to prevent the pallbearers from discovering the change in coffin weight, his men dug up a large amount of wet mud from the stream and poured it into the coffin. But with such a tight schedule, they made a mistake. They poured too much water in and the snails that were hibernating in the mud were dumped in as well. The snails were disturbed and woke up from hibernation. And because it was dark when the coffin was raised, everyone couldn’t see it clearly so no one noticed at the ancestral hall that the coffin didn’t come from the ancestral grave.
“He originally thought that the plan was flawless, but he didn’t expect strange things to happen afterwards. Then he heard that we were going to ask Xu A Qin about the past. He knew that the coffin from the ancestral grave was actually hiding artifacts. Xu A Qin would surely tell us if he knew about this, and we would have discovered that the coffin was replaced. So, he rushed to Xu A Qin’s house overnight and bought the old man with money, asking him to read a prepared manuscript. With that old man’s memory, I bet it wasn’t easy to remember so many things. As a result, he finally had no choice but to let one of his buddies pretend to be Xu A Qin. It’s a pity that the make-up was too old and looked really uncomfortable.
“Even so, the truth was still hidden. He didn’t know that there was another person in the same generation—Cao Er Daozi—who had a very similar temperament. Cao Er Daozi recognized that there must be treasures in the coffin, but Wu Xie and our elder brother, as well as the three old men, went to open the coffin and ended up saying it was a coffin full of snails. How could he believe it? Cao Er Daozi believed that this must be the collusion between Biao Gong and our elder brother and his heart was filled with resentment. On one hand, he wanted to find the coffin; on the other hand, he wanted to kill and get his revenge. As a result, there were so many incidents just to hide this big case.
“Plus, I was confused by the things in the genealogical record, so I made a wrong judgment. As a result, some things were ignored.
“But this shrewd descendant made a big mistake in the end, which made me realize immediately that there was still fraud in this matter!”
After saying all of that, Uncle Two sighed and asked, “Third Brother, is most of what I said right?”
After a long silence, Uncle Three sighed, “I thought I really hid it from you this time. Where was the flaw?”
“Your speed. Your two buddies appeared too fast. Unless they had wings, they definitely wouldn’t arrive half a day after I set up the scheme. This shows that the two of them must have been nearby,” Uncle Two said.
Uncle Three grinned. I glared at him and asked, “Did you really do such a wicked thing? What’s in the coffin?”
Uncle Three’s smile turned bitter, “Well, if there was something, I wouldn’t be so depressed. I’ve been busy for nothing. The whole coffin was full of rotten wood shavings. I had to run around all night to set up a scheme for all this junk. I’ve received my retribution, so you don’t have to scold me.”
“Really, I admit it. Why would I lie to you?” Uncle Three scolded.
I was surprised and asked Uncle Two, “This isn’t right either. Why bury an empty coffin in the ancestral grave?”
Uncle Two received a text message and said, “Of course it wouldn’t be empty. The coffin was so heavy, I figure it must’ve had a false bottom. That was when the Qing dynasty was in turmoil so I think there should be gold bars in it.” As he said this, Uncle Two showed me the text message, which was from my father. He wasn’t coming back until the first seven days of Biao Gong’s funeral ceremony in the village were over.
The text contained a picture of the thatched cottage behind the ancestral hall. The old coffin inside had been smashed open. There really was a gap between the coffin boards and pieces of gold nuggets were scattered all over the floor. Uncle Three snatched the phone and his eyes became fierce as he shouted at me, “Go back!”
Uncle Two took his phone back and sighed while saying to himself, “We can finally enjoy the New Year.”(1)
<Extra 1.29> <Table of Contents><Extra 1.31>
(1) Chinese New Year is usually sometime b/t between Jan 21 and Feb 20 since it’s determined by the lunar calendar. Think it lasts 7 days. Also called the Spring Festival.
Did anybody else just fall in love with Uncle Two? He played Uncle Three like a fiddle hahahaha. I’m guessing this is that incident Wu Xie mentioned in one of the previous books (Vol 8 maybe?) where Uncle Two outwitted Uncle Three.
8 thoughts on “Chapter 1.30 Secret (Extra)”
haha yeah wish Uncle Two would join on a tomb adventure in the future
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Uncle Two needs more screen time, heh. This extra story really changed my view of him. I also wonder how Wu Xie’s father can be kept so apart from the family business when he’s the oldest son…
Quite enjoyed this, btw! I didn’t know what to expect from the extra story, but it turned out to be pretty interesting (and so creepy at parts, which is always good in my books!)
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Right?! I wasn’t all that impressed with him when he first showed up but this extra showed a whole new side. And I think his dad is low-key in the business. Like he is, but he’s not (because of grandpa Wu’s plan). I think they all grew up learning the business and then he went off to college to maintain the image that he’s a ‘respectable citizen’ to throw the evil people off their game.
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Ay ya!! At the beginning if WuXie insisted to look at the thatched cottage behind the ancestral hall Biao Gong wouldn’t died, poor guy.
After all the tale of Uncle three craftiness and temperament, Uncle two outwited him like that is so satisfying..
The last sentence Er Shu said is we can finally have a good Chinese New Year time. Because Wu Xie was still in Changsha and we know that he was in his shop in Hangzhou at the beginning of the Chinese New Year on February 1, 2003.
Contrary to Er Shu’s wishes, just several days later, maybe as soon as they went back, Jin Wantang came to Hangzhou with his tomb map, and our whole story (chaos) began😂. Anyway, thank you!!! this is the new year special I like most (when everyone was young and alive oh Panzi 😭）
Thanks, it’s fixed now
The buddy pretending to be Xu A Qin may be Da Kui. I think Sanshu trusts him, because whenever there is an emergency case, whether it is Changsha Maoshajing or Shandong Lu Palace, Sanshu takes Da Kui with him. Dakui will die half a month later in Seven Star Lu Palace.