I took a closer look at the shadow, just in time to see it lower its head. When it lifted it up again, the head had become very huge, almost wider than its shoulders. This kind of fear can’t be expressed in words. I felt my scalp tingle and I started shouting uncontrollably, “There’s a ghost!”
Everyone immediately turned to look at me. I couldn’t stop shouting as I pointed at the shadow and turned my head to look at it. Almost at the same time, I saw the owner of the shadow—it was a monster with a huge head that was holding a strange weapon in its hand! In the semi-darkness, that giant, deformed head was much more terrifying than any monster you can imagine. Then, Poker-Face picked up his miner’s lamp and held it up high so that we could get a clear view of the monster’s true face. It was like…it was like a person had put a big crock over his head… Shit, this fucker.
My extreme fear immediately turned into extreme anger. As it turned out, this monster was just a person with a big crock over his head! He had a flashlight in his hand and was striking a pose like an Egyptian. There were also two holes in the crock through which two shifty eyes were glaring at us.
The scene was very awkward for a while. It was unclear whether this guy was an enemy or a friend, but at the same time, we were so shocked by his appearance that our brains didn’t even have time to react. Finally, Pan Zi started cursing and reached for his gun, “Shit, I’ll fucking shoot you!”
The guy saw that we were angry and cried out, “Oh my God!” as he rushed straight to the passage we had just come through. Pan Zi didn’t hesitate at all and raised his gun and pulled the trigger. With a single shot, the crock covering the man’s head shattered, leaving only a broken ring around his neck.
The man cursed as he ran, “You’re fucking courting death! Just wait and see how I’ll deal with you when I come back, you fuckers!” As if the soles of his feet were covered in oil, he quickly disappeared down the passage.
Poker-Face watched him go and said, “Not good. We can’t let him reach our grave robbers’ tunnel. If he touches that coffin, we’re all done for!” After he said this, he took the black-gold ancient sword(1) from his bag and rushed into the darkness, not even bothering to take a miner’s lamp with him.
Pan Zi wanted to chase after him to help, but Uncle Three pulled him back and said, “There’s not a damn thing you can do to help him. Go and check out those two ear chambers and see where that guy came from.”
I hurriedly walked over to the ear chamber on the right and saw that a grave robbers’ tunnel had been dug in the stone wall. There was a candle burning in the corner that was emitting a faint green light. Oh, I thought to myself, it turns out that guy is a mojin.(2) I saw a bag laying on the ground, which seemed to belong to him. I opened it and found some tools, a few batteries, and a sketch of this ancient tomb. Although it looked like a bunch of scribbles, I could tell at a glance that the squares drawn on the paper represented the seven coffins in the other room. A lot of words were scribbled in the margins, all in different handwriting. It seemed as if several people had written them while discussing something here. There was a big question mark beside the sketch, along with the words: Seven Star Deceptive Coffins.
I couldn’t help but tense up. I felt as if I had seen the phrase “Seven Star Deceptive Coffins” somewhere before. I thought about it and remembered that it was mentioned in my grandfather’s notebook. Out of these “Seven Star Deceptive Coffins”, only one was real. The other coffins all had mechanisms or extremely strange tricks inside of them, which must be extremely dangerous. In short, if you opened the wrong one, the mechanism or spell inside the deceptive coffin would be triggered. Based on what happened to that foreigner we found earlier, he was probably unaware of this and thought that there was treasure inside every coffin. As a result, he opened the wrong one and was dragged into the coffin before he even knew what happened. His partner probably saw him get killed and escaped the tomb chamber in a panic. He then dug another grave robbers’ tunnel in the passage and fled in terror.
When I reached the end of my analysis, I felt that it made a lot of sense. I gripped the map in my hand and went to talk with my Uncle Three, but when I came out, I found that only a single miner’s lamp was left in the tomb chamber. This particular lamp had been in the water with us in the corpse cave so its light kept flickering on and off. It wasn’t very useful now, but I could tell right away that my Uncle Three, Da Kui, and Pan Zi were gone.
I went to the other ear chamber to take a look but didn’t see any sign of them. I picked up the miner’s lamp and shouted, “Uncle Three!!”
It stood to reason that they wouldn’t ditch me here and leave me all alone. I initially suspected that something might have happened to them, but I didn’t hear any sounds of fighting just now. Plus, with Pan Zi and the others’ skills, no matter what monsters they encountered, they would still be able to yell out a warning!
Other than the echo of my own shouts, no reply came at all. The dark tomb chamber, seven cold coffins, and unfamiliar corpse of a foreigner immediately forced me back to reality. I suddenly remembered that I was not, in fact, a professional grave robber. I couldn’t stay in this tomb chamber alone. Even if there wasn’t a monster, my imagination was enough to scare me to death!
I shouted again, hoping that someone would answer me soon, but everything around me remained silent. At this time, the miner’s lamp in my hand suddenly flickered like it was about to go out. I broke out in a cold sweat and my thoughts became chaotic.
If it had been quiet the whole time, then I might have been able to gradually calm myself down, but unfortunately, I suddenly heard the click of a stone coffin lid at this time. I didn’t know which of the seven coffin lids it came from, but I suddenly felt dizzy and my heart felt like it was going to beat out of my throat. I retreated to the wall. At this time, something suddenly flashed in my peripheral vision. I turned my head to look and saw that the candle in the right ear chamber had gone out.
I sighed while thinking to myself, I didn’t take anything from you. Why did you blow out the candle?
Then I glanced back at the coffins and saw that the ancient corpse in the previously opened coffin had actually sat up. The foreigner’s body was also brought up with it, making it look like the two bodies had sat up together. On the bright side, they didn’t turn their heads to look back at me.
Not daring to look anymore, I closed my eyes and moved cautiously against the wall with trembling legs. Then I fled to the ear chamber and leaped inside like a cat.
My grandfather wrote various techniques in his notes on how to bolster courage. For example, if you couldn’t see it, then it didn’t happen. I also thought this way. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to think when I saw that thousand-year-old corpse sitting up like that.
I put my miner’s lamp in the corner in an attempt to keep the light from reaching outside the room and then desperately rummaged through the bag left by that fat guy to see what else was inside. After feeling around for a long time, I pulled out a few compressed biscuits and some other pieces of paper that were densely covered in drawings and text. It seemed that he was carrying all the important things with him.
Since the only light was in the ear chamber with me, the tomb chamber outside was pitch black. I didn’t know what the corpse was doing, but if it was just sitting up and lying back down, exercising its abdominal muscles, then I wasn’t afraid. But the problem was that the corpse could be coming over here right now for all I knew, which was a terrifying thought.
At this time, a gust of wind blew in from the grave robbers’ tunnel and I immediately had a flash of inspiration. That’s right, I thought to myself, this tunnel must lead to the outside. Or it will lead to other places. No matter where it leads, it’s better than here! I carved a mark beside the tunnel opening so that Uncle Three would know that I went this way if he came back and saw it. Then I picked up the miner’s lamp, packed up that fatty’s bag, put it on my back, and crawled into the tunnel.
As I crawled, I recalled the knowledge my grandfather had instilled in me when I was a child: ancient tunnels were circular while modern ones were square; Qin Dynasty tombs were buried in the mountains while Han Dynasty ones were in the slopes; when it came to sex, nine strokes shallow and one deep was better—wait, none of this was fucking helpful right now. I shook my head, realizing that most of my knowledge was useless in my current situation. I looked at the grave robbers’ tunnel, which looked both round and square at the same time. I didn’t know when exactly it had been dug.
As I was pondering over everything, I wondered if that guy with the crock over his head had dug this tunnel himself. But if he had, then he would’ve triggered the mechanism when he hit the tomb bricks. And even if he was a master, he would’ve at least made some noise. But we had hardly noticed when he came in so this tunnel must have been here for a long time. In other words, this tunnel was either dug by another group or it had been dug a long time ago. I figured this guy either came down using someone else’s tunnel or his tunnel intersected with this one.
Sure enough, after crawling for a while, a fork in the tunnel appeared. I could see that the two tunnels had been made using completely different techniques, which meant that two different groups must have dug them. I figured that either one would lead to the outside so it didn’t matter which one I picked. I drew another mark next to the tunnel I chose so that Uncle Three could find me and then continued crawling.
At this point, I was already looking forward to a breath of fresh air and the sight of bright moonlight. It would be even better if I came out of the tunnel and saw a fire burning. People would see me and come over to help, pulling me up out of the tunnel and putting me in a tent. I would then eat some dry food, have a good night’s sleep, and then Uncle Three and the others would find me and we would go home together.
I was really fed up right now. Grave robbing? Who gives a shit? Others might encounter a single baixiong or heixiong throughout their whole lives, yet the first time I go grave robbing, there are zombies everywhere I go! I felt like I couldn’t even catch my breath. This was way too hard. Now that I thought about it, it would be best if the person aboveground was a woman who would give me a shoulder massage or something.
I was so motivated by this thought that I sped up my crawling and soon saw firelight in front of me. Feeling overjoyed—this was the dark before the dawn—I used all my limbs to rush forward and thrust my head out. I really wanted to take a deep breath, but when I looked, my face immediately went blank.
The greater the hope, the greater the disappointment. It was just another tomb passage in front of me, which was very similar to the one we had passed when we first came here. It appeared this tomb was more complicated than we originally thought.
I couldn’t help but curse as I swept my miner’s lamp around the area. But when I took a closer look at this passage, I was a little dumbfounded. Huh? Isn’t this the same tomb passage I walked through before? As it turned out, this grave robbers’ tunnel was connected to the one on the other side.
We had originally thought that someone had dug this tunnel in order to escape, but now I was at a total loss. I just couldn’t seem to figure out why someone had dug this tunnel.
<Chapter 10><Table of Contents><Chapter 12>
(1) Chapter 6 mentioned it was pure black but it’s actually black and gold (it’s the author’s debut work so expect some inconsistencies).
(2) Mojin is another term for grave robber. I believe it’s more for the northern school of grave robbing (the superstitious ones). Fun fact: this series started out as a fanfiction for “Ghost Blows Out the Light” (aka “Candle in the Tomb”). When mojin go in a tomb, they have to put a candle in the southwest corner with the understanding that if a ghost blows out the candle, they have to put everything back and leave. The fact that the candle is green means that shit is probably going to hit the fan.
Happy New Year’s Eve guys! (or New Year depending on your side of the world). I’m trying to get my best friend to fall into the DMBJ pit but she’s a stubborn one so we’ll see how my nefarious plot goes ψ(｀∇´)ψ Wish me luck lol
12 thoughts on “Chapter 11 Seven Star Room”
LOL! Best of luck to you! I know you can do it! 😆
I made her read Chapter 1 so we’ll see if she gets pulled in 😂
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Hoping your plotting succeeded 🤭
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Happy new year merebear!! Honestly, I literally spent all of this year reading along with your DMBJ translations on my lunch breaks, so thank you for helping to preserve my mental health in 2021 as well as 2020! Good luck with your friend – is showing her multiple pictures of Z1L not sufficient to reel her in???? 😆
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😂 I should try. I know I’d definitely get sucked in 😂
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Happy new year Merebear!.. thank you for the translations.. 2021 was my DMBJ year.. 🙏
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Just shower her with pics of cinnamon roll Wu Xie and video collages of the Wushanju Beauties! She’ll be stuck here with the rest of us in no time! 😆👍
😂 That’s tough. There are so many options to choose from. Who knows, I might get distracted myself 😂
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I think its everyone tradition to disappear when Wu Xie is distracted.
I wish you success in your mission.😄
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Coming in late to comment but wishing everyone a super belated New Year, may this year be all that you want and or need it to be. 🙌
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Thank you for translating this chapter, it made me laugh a few times.
Thank you so much for these translations, i’m always so surprised that the author is a lot more free than his TV show writers counterparts (I’ve watched the show before starting the books)