Chapter 47

The practice of eating ancient corpses to cover up one’s vital energy could currently be attributed to mere superstition—at least, there wasn’t anything to support it theoretically—but it was said that grave robbers back in the day really believed in it. In fact, the survival rate of Shigou Diao grave robbers was much higher than that of ordinary treasure hunters.

Out of those in the Mystic Nine who could be verified as having been a member of Shigou Diao, there was no doubt that Chen Pi Ah Si should be one of them. He specialized in robbing fierce tombs and wasn’t the type to be deterred by such behavior. The controversial one, however, was Huo Xiangu. There were many people who believed that this was just a rumor spread to discredit her.

Many people believed that smearing a woman’s reputation would do more harm to her than it would to a man. This came from the stereotype that women were bound to be easily hurt by rumors. But Huo Xiangu didn’t care about this rumor and never paid attention to it, so there wasn’t any information to prove whether it was true or not.

After liberation happened and life became better, the number of Shigou Diao members became less and less and tomb-robbing gradually decreased. At that time, a rumor began to spread among the Shigou Diao members.

This rumor was about “living flesh”, which was an occurrence where you felt as if your flesh was alive and out of your control. After you fell asleep or lost consciousness, you would experience a situation similar to sleepwalking. But you would also have a very strange expression on your face.

In fact, sleepwalking itself wasn’t scary, but it definitely was if you unconsciously made some strange expression while you were doing it.

Say, for example, after falling asleep, a man’s wife notices him sit up in the middle of the night and make a strange expression. This expression looks very vivid, almost like the little man’s expression on a Wangzai milk can.(1)

The cartoon character looks cute, but if a real person were to do this in the middle of the night, it would definitely be terrifying.

This phenomenon had been studied by many intelligent people who eventually came to the conclusion that the flesh was alive.

In other words, these people’s flesh seemed to have become another creature.

This conclusion was definitely inaccurate, but the emergence of such a disease spurred the Shigou Diao members to gather. Through communication, these old desperadoes not only hoped to find what caused this disease, but also to see if there was a cure for it. But after operating for so many years, the gap between people had become very large and several groups throughout the whole country were dealing with this matter. For some high-ranking people, the Health Bureau contacted experts from all across the country for consultations, but the local people could only find their own solutions.

In the end, the rules they set were nothing more than the ones our family followed. The most important thing was that they had to be cremated and no one could watch.

Among these various organizations, there was one that my grandfather joined. They created some code words and secret hand signs, including the gestures that Xiao Hua and Jin Wantang had shown me before. But don’t get me wrong, it didn’t mean that they also ate human flesh.

In the second generation of the Mystic Nine, there was a man named Qi Yu who was the only Shigou Diao member among his peers.

The reason for this is unknown, but it was said that Qi Yu was very proficient in a number of skills, so no one knew whether he was merely experimenting or not. After Qi Yu took that pill in the Xisha undersea tomb, his body’s special physique seemed to show signs of a successful experiment at first.

Although it failed in the end, Qi Yu’s efforts led future experiments to focus in a certain direction.

The Shigou Diao organization immediately ushered in a disaster, but these old dogs were very cunning and instantly disappeared among the masses without a trace. The only sign they left was that kind of gesture.

But that gesture was also based on a special rule, which changed every year based on the special arrangement of the Twelve Sovereign Hexagrams.(2) They continued to search for a way to cure themselves, but they remained completely hidden while doing it. And the most amazing thing was that no one could seem to find them after they hid.

It seemed that eating ancient corpses really did give them a special buff. These people’s disappearance wasn’t a true disappearance, it was just that they had become extremely difficult to notice.

First, I want to explain that there’s no theoretical basis for this; it’s almost all just superstition.

But this strange bodily sensation was indeed very obvious, so my grandpa was able to figure out that only those who were in Shigou Diao could be contacted by Shigou Diao. These people were the real “living dead” and the real invisible power.

In many schemes after liberation, people who were in Shigou Diao played a key role. It was a little overrated to say that Shigou Diao was an organization since it was actually just a group of old grave robbers. In order to connect with this organization, you needed to know the right gestures at that time.

Of course, in later years, some people joined them who weren’t in Shigou Diao. No one knew what the Shigou Diao organization was like after the Mystic Nine declined, but their basic functions still existed, the most important of which was passing on messages.

They had a very amazing service that involved many missing people. As long as it was related to the Mystic Nine, if you believed that someone wasn’t dead but you couldn’t find them no matter what you tried, then you could try to find a Shigou Diao member and give them a letter to bring to the missing person.

After that, you would almost certainly receive a reply from the missing person. For the Mystic Nine, missing often just meant that you had become a Shigou Diao and were hiding.

The relationship between Xiao Hua and this organization started when he deliberately contacted a member of Shigou Diao and sent a letter to Xie Lianhuan at that time.

<Chapter 46><Table of Contents><Chapter 48>


TN Notes:

(1) Here’s a pic:

(2) From the “Book of Changes” (aka “The I Ching”). More info on the Twelve Sovereign Hexagrams here.


Yvette got the subs for the 2021 The Written World 817 Rice Music Festival. Link is here for anyone interested. It’s like 3 hours long so give her lots of love for slaving over that bad boy. I would’ve just given up lol.


7 thoughts on “Chapter 47

  1. Wait, who is Xie Lianhuan again? I forgotten…
    Thank you for the chapters Bear-san and team! And thanks for the subs, Yvette! 😘


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