50 years ago, Changsha Dart Summit.
Four grave robbers were squatting on a mound, all of them silent as they stared at the Luoyang shovel(1) on the ground.
The shovel head was holding the old soil that had just been brought out of the ground. Strangely enough, this soil was constantly seeping a bright red liquid, as if it had just been dipped in blood.
“This is a big problem,” Lao Yantou said as he knocked his tobacco out onto the ground. “There’s a blood corpse down below. We’re all going to die down there if we aren’t careful.”
“Are we going down or not? Just give us a one-word answer—yes or no. There’s no need to be so longwinded!” A young man with only one eye said. “If your old legs make it too inconvenient for you, just don’t go down. My brother and I will go instead. Whatever it is, we’ll just shoot it.”
Instead of getting angry, Lao Yantou just laughed and said to the bearded man next to him, “Your son is quite impulsive and arrogant. You have to educate him more. Otherwise, something might happen. In this business, just having a box-gun doesn’t mean you’re set.”
The bearded man glared at the young man, “You son of a bitch, why are you talking to the old man like that? You were still fucking eating shit in your mother’s belly when the old man was robbing graves.”
“Why am I…wrong? Didn’t senior grave robbers use to say that blood corpses are a good thing? There must be a lot of treasure below. If we don’t go down, we’ll definitely regret it.”
“You dare talk back to me?!” The bearded man raised his hand to hit him, but Lao Yantou blocked it with his pipe.
“Don’t beat him. He’s not so different from how you were when you were younger. This is what we call ‘the lower beam will be crooked if the upper beam isn’t straight’!”
When the one-eyed boy saw that his father was being scolded, he lowered his head and started to snicker. Lao Yantou coughed and then hit the one-eyed boy upside the head with a stick, “What are you laughing at? When it comes to blood corpses, anything can happen. Last time, your uncle dug up this kind of thing in Luoyang and has been crazy ever since. Nobody knows what happened to him. Later, I’ll go down first and then you follow behind me. Er Yazi(2), you grab the tuhaozi(3) and bring up the rear. San Yazi you’ll stay here. If all four of us go down at once and something happens, we won’t be able to escape quickly. You’ll hold onto one end of the tuhaozi’s rope and pull things out as soon as we give a shout.”
The youngest boy was unconvinced, “I don’t want to! You’re playing favorites! I’ll tell mom about this!”
Lao Yantou laughed, “Look, look. San Yazi is still such a brat. Stop making trouble and wait here. I’ll find you a golden knife later.”
“I don’t want you to find it. I want to find it myself.”
The one-eyed youth immediately became angry and grabbed his brother’s ears, “You bastard, are you looking for trouble? Are you trying to make me mad on purpose?!”
The youngest boy seemed to have been beaten a lot and often. When he saw that his big brother was really angry, he became too scared to say anything. He looked straight at his father for help, but his father unexpectedly went to put their equipment in order. His brother seemed pleased with this and added, “Why are you such a disappointment? The old man won’t help you this time. If you try and raise a fuss again, I’ll fuck you up!”
Lao Yantou smacked him on the shoulder and shouted, “Boys, let’s get our equipment!” With that said, he started shoveling dirt like a whirlwind.
Half an hour later, a grave robbers’ tunnel with no end in sight had been dug. Except for his brother who came up from time to time for air, the youngest boy couldn’t even hear any sounds coming from the hole. He became impatient and shouted into the hole, “Grandpa, did you dig through?”
After a few seconds, a faint voice came from further inside, “We don’t…know. You… stay there and secure… the rope!”
It was his brother’s voice. Then, he heard Lao Yantou cough, “Be quiet…listen! There’s movement!”
Then, there was dead silence.
The young boy was too scared to speak, knowing that there must be something wrong below. At this time, he suddenly heard a creepy gege sound coming from the hole, almost like the croaking of a toad.
Then, his elder brother shouted from below, “San Yazi, pull!”
Not one to hesitate, he yanked on the tuhaozi’s rope and pulled. But he had only pulled it a little bit when something suddenly seemed to grab the rope from below. The opposing force even started pulling the rope towards the grave robbers’ tunnel. The young boy never thought that this kind of thing would happen so he was almost pulled into the hole as well. He used his quick wits to immediately tie the rope around his waist and then leaned his whole body backwards until his back was almost at a thirty-degree angle to the ground. This was a trick he used when he was playing tug-of-war with the other boys in the village. With all of his weight on the rope, even a mule couldn’t beat him.
Sure enough, in this way, he was able to hold his own against the thing in the hole. Both sides continued to struggle, but neither could gain the upper hand. After more than ten seconds of this stalemate, he heard a gunshot come from the tunnel and then his father shouted, “San Yazi, run!!!”
He felt the rope loosen and then the tuhaozi popped out of the hole with a whoosh. There seemed to be something hanging on it, but the young boy didn’t have the time to look at it now. He knew that something must have happened below, so he grabbed the tuhaozi and turned to run.
He didn’t dare stop until he was more than a few miles away. When he held the tuhaozi out in his arms to take a look at it, he suddenly cried out in fright. As it turned out, a bloody severed hand was hooked onto the tuhaozi. He recognized that hand and couldn’t help but start crying. It was clearly his brother’s hand. Even if he wasn’t dead, it seemed that his brother had been crippled.
When he thought of this, he couldn’t help but clench his teeth. He wanted to go back and save his father and brother. But as soon as he looked back, he saw a blood-red thing crouching behind him and looking right at him.
The young boy wasn’t a complete fool. He had followed his father to many tombs before and had seen a lot of strange things. He knew that anything could happen underground. The most important thing was to not make a fuss and to be pragmatic. You had to know that no matter how dangerous a ghost was, it wasn’t more powerful than a living person. Whether it was a heixiong or baixiong(4), it had to abide by the laws of physics. If a bullet hit and destroyed it, then there was nothing to be afraid of.
With that in mind, he calmed his racing heart and started backing away. He pulled the box-gun from his waistband and got ready to fire a few shots in quick succession. As long as there was any movement from that blood-red thing, he would shower it in a rain of bullets.
But he didn’t expect that thing to suddenly stand up at this time. When the young boy took a closer look, he felt his scalp go numb and his stomach churn. This was clearly a person who had been skinned! He was covered in blood as if he had squeezed himself out of his skin. But it was truly a miracle that such a person could still walk around in that condition. Was this the true face of a blood corpse?
As he was thinking, the blood corpse suddenly leaned forward and rushed towards him. The young boy was immediately face-to-face with it, the smell of that face dripping with blood and its noxious scent assaulting his nose. The young boy took advantage of the situation and fell backward while firing a volley of bullets into that thing’s chest at close range. The distance was so close that all of the bullets packed a big punch, causing that thing’s blood to fly everywhere. As it took several steps backward, the young boy felt a flash of triumph. He once again pointed his gun at that thing’s head and pulled the trigger, but then he heard a click.
The gun was jammed!
His great-uncle had dug up this old box-gun from a warlord’s tomb back in the day. It hadn’t been used in many years, but unfortunately, he had been running around with his father over the past few years and didn’t have time to maintain it. There were very few opportunities to shoot at ordinary times, so who would have expected it to jam now?
But the young boy wouldn’t give up so easily. When he saw that the gun wasn’t working well, he immediately pulled his arm back and threw the gun at the blood corpse with all of his strength. Regardless of whether he missed or not, he turned his head and ran away. This time, he didn’t even dare to look back. He saw a big tree in front of him and immediately started running towards it, thinking that the blood-red thing wouldn’t be able to climb trees. But at this time, he suddenly tripped and fell. His whole face smashed up against a stump and his nose and mouth were filled with blood.
The young boy slapped the ground hard, feeling fierce anger in his heart. Why the fuck was he so unlucky?!
At this time, he heard the sound of the wind behind him and knew that King Yama(5) had come to collect him. I’m going to die, so be it, he thought harshly. He remained lying on the ground, not bothering to get up.
But in an unexpected turn of events, the blood corpse stepped on him as if it hadn’t seen him at all, its bloody footprints immediately leaving marks on his back. The blood corpse was surprisingly heavy, and as soon as it put its weight down, the young boy felt a tickle in his throat, as though all of the bile in his stomach was about to come up. Moreover, the place on his back that was stepped on immediately became itchy and his eyes became hazy. He quickly realized that he might have been poisoned, and the toxicity was very high. In a daze, he saw that his brother’s severed hand, which was lying not too far away, actually seemed to be holding something.
He blinked hard, took a closer look, and discovered that it was an ancient piece of silk. Whatever brother was so desperate to bring out definitely isn’t ordinary, he thought to himself. And now I don’t even know what happened to them. In any case, I have to take good care of this so that even if I really die, they can find it whenever they find my body. That way, brother’s hand won’t have been severed for nothing and I won’t have died in vain.
As he thought this, he struggled to crawl over to his brother’s severed hand. When he finally reached it, he forcibly opened his brother’s clenched fist, took the piece of silk out, and then stuffed it into his sleeve.
At this time, there was a buzzing sound in his ears, it felt like his eyes were covered in a layer of gauze, and his hands and feet began to feel cold. Based on his previous experiences, the crotch of his pants must be covered in urine and feces right now. After all, people who died from corpse poisoning suffered very ugly deaths. What he hoped for the most right now was that the girl in the next village over wouldn’t see him like this.
His muddled thoughts were running wild and his brain had stopped listening to him, but at this time, he began to vaguely hear the strange gege sound he had heard in the grave robbers’ tunnel earlier.
He vaguely felt that something was wrong. After fighting with the blood corpse for so long, he hadn’t heard it make that noise, so why was it making it again now? Could it be…that thing he saw just now wasn’t a blood corpse? But then what did he see?
It was a pity that he could hardly think at this time. He raised his head out of reflex and saw a huge, strange face leaning down and looking at him. Those two pupilless eyes were completely empty and didn’t have a spark of life in them at all.
<Table of Contents><Chapter 2>
(1) Luoyang shovel= one of the most important tools in Chinese archeology. You take it, shove it in the ground, and then pull it up and look to see if you have found something. While the shovel is pulled out of the ground, a cylinder of soil gets attached to the inner surface of the shovel head and is lifted out as well. By analyzing the structure, color, density and contents of the soil, archaeologists can assess soil conditions and determine if there is an ancient tomb underground. Can look like this:
(2) This is referring to One-Eye. Er Yazi just means something like “second child”. San Yazi is “third child”, aka One-Eye’s brother.
(3) Tuhaozi literally translates to “soil mouse”. It’s a kind of sharp digging tool, but its role isn’t to dig but to transport the soil out. There are generally ropes at both ends but some ropes are just tied at one end. As the people inside the hole dig, the people outside pull the dug up soil outside.
(4) Hei=black, bai=white, xiong=vicious, sinister, ominous, terrible, etc. Heixiong and baixiong are terms from “Ghost Blows Out the Light” (aka “Candle in the Tomb”). I think they’re a type of fierce zombie that grows black or white hair when they encounter the air outside of the tomb. (I’m going off this).
(5) King Yama is the king of hell (think along the lines of Hades).
To all the newcomers, welcome! You’re better off reading the licensed version (and supporting the author) lol. To all the OGs, welcome back, I’ve missed you (I know, I know, it’s only been like a week or 2 but whatev). I’m up to about chapter 21 of fixing “Tibetan Sea Flower” and I’m just not feeling it so I figured I’d start on Vol 1. I might do an alternate thing where I fix a few posts 1 day, upload a Vol 1 chapter another day. It’s honestly just going to be what I feel like (also, I forgot how long these chapters were so that will be a factor as well. I got spoiled with the 4 minute ones the author’s been doing lately lol). Just a gentle reminder that this is the online version from our dmbj.org website so it’s not in any way, shape, or form the published one (mama doesn’t wanna get sued.)
10 thoughts on “Chapter 1 Blood Corpse”
Aaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!! I am flailing with excitement that you have started these!!! Thank you!!!!
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I feel blessed to be here and looking forward to your good translation. Thank you for translating this version of the book. 💗
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Missed reading your translations…..thanks
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First of all, I would just like to say that your translations of DMBJ have literally been getting me through this year. I love them SO MUCH and I am constantly inspired by them. ^_^ so thank you SO MUCH for everything you do! Second of all, you have no idea how loud I squeaked when I saw you were translating these. 😀 I’ve been wanting to do a reread of the main novels for a little while now, so the timing was PERFECT. I have bought and read the official English translations and while they’re… fine… your translations are a far more enjoyable read for me and I LOVE all your footnotes, too. ^_^ So, THANK YOU AGAIN and I really look forward to these new translations! 😀
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Thank you for your hardwork merebear!!! i’m looking forward for these volume><!! Hope i can read another volume from the start. To be honest, reading this book is always give me a goosebumps!! i've read this volume 9,10, and restart already(sorry if my grammar is too fucking strange, english language is pretty difficult since i'm from Indonesia). Good luck^^
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So excited to have you working on these. I can’t wait for all the extra details and your narrative notes!!! And memes!!! 😆😆😆
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Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you!! I really wanted to read vol.1 for a long time!
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i’m looking forward to this!!1 thank you very much! more love to you and co!
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I bought the novels on Amazon, always a joy to help the author but I am stoked that you are translating as well. Looking forward to reading..
Thank you 🙏🏼
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Thank you for all the daomubiji translations you do! It’s awesome seeing your go at book 1! I’ve read the English print, and the first book in chinese, and its interesting seeing the raws translated this way. I don’t remember totally, but I think some paragraphs and small bits were cut out of the English print so it’s cool to see it closer in some bits to what I remember reading in chinese. And just in general, thank you so much for the amazing work with all the later books you did!