Chapter 13 02200059

I cried out and reflexively drew my hand back. Touching some unknown thing in the dark was the most terrifying feeling. But the moment I touched that hand, I knew that its owner must have died because the chilly and bloated skin didn’t have a hint of vitality at all.

I suddenly remembered that I was still carrying a few fire sticks on me so I quickly lit one. By the light of its flame, I could see a corpse lying there with a big stomach wound. There were a lot of corpse-eaters hanging around the wound, each one the size of my palm and all a bluish-green color. From time to time, some smaller corpse-eaters would crawl out of the corpse’s mouth and empty eye sockets.

I felt sick to my stomach. This man appeared to have been dead for about a week or so and was probably a victim from the previous grave-robbing team. Could he have died here after finding that trap like I did? When I thought of this, I immediately began searching for the battery using the small flame that was about to go out. I finally found the battery, put it in the miner’s lamp, and turned it on again, breathing a sigh of relief when the lamp actually came on. The guy who sold it to me said that the lamp could withstand a drop of more than three meters. It seemed that he really didn’t lie to me!

With the lamp working now, I was finally able to take a look around. This place was empty and built in a very crude manner. It was a square cellar surrounded by walls made of irregular-shaped stones. There were a lot of vent-like holes in the walls, but they were dark so I couldn’t see where they led to. From time to time, a cool breeze would flow through these holes.

I immediately turned and checked the body. It belonged to a middle-aged man who was about forty years old. His abdomen had been torn open in what appeared to be a fatal wound and he was wearing camouflage clothes. I could also see that his pockets were bulging. I pulled a wallet out of one of the pockets and found some money in it, along with a ticket stub from a train station. I continued to search him and found an embossed stamp on his belt buckle with the following line of numbers on it: 02200059. Other than that, there was nothing else that could prove his identity.

I put his wallet in my pocket, planning on researching it later when I got out of this place.

The architectural style here was very similar to ancient tombs of the Western Zhou Dynasty, and this room in particular looked a bit like a temporary escape route. I thought it unlikely that someone would build a tomb on top of someone else’s grave, so maybe this was the escape route the craftsmen who built the tomb had left for themselves!

In ancient times, especially during the Warring States Period, taking part in a project to build a noble’s tomb was tantamount to death. You would either be poisoned or buried alive with the corpses. But the wisdom of the working people couldn’t be ignored. Most craftsmen would make a secret passage for themselves so that they could escape. I swept my miner’s lamp around the area and saw that there was indeed a very narrow door on one side of the wall, but the door was set pretty high up from the ground. There was a wooden ladder below it, but it was completely rotten. I estimated the height but knew that it was impossible for me to jump that high. As I stared at it, I suddenly saw a face poke out of the passage.

When I saw this face, I couldn’t help feeling overjoyed and shouted, “Pan Zi! It’s me!”

Pan Zi was startled when he saw me, but instead of showing a happy expression, it almost seemed like he saw something horrible because he almost fell out of the passage.

Just as I was wondering what his strange behavior was about, Pan Zi suddenly pulled out his gun and pointed the muzzle straight at me. I looked at him and knew that it wasn’t good. Don’t tell me… is Pan Zi mistaking me for a zombie?! I really am going to suffer an unjust death this time!

I immediately shouted at him, “It’s me, Pan Zi! What the fuck are you doing?!”

Pan Zi acted like he didn’t hear me at all and pulled the trigger. There was a loud noise—the gunshot was strangely loud in this room—and then the bullet whizzed past my ear, hitting something behind me. A bubbly, fishy-smelling substance splashed the back of my head. I quickly turned around and saw several big bluish-green corpse-eaters clinging to the wall, many of which were leaning towards me in a threatening manner. A few had even climbed to the ceiling and were only a dozen centimeters away from my head.

I was just about to take a few steps back in order to increase the distance between me and those bugs, but two on the wall suddenly launched themselves at me as though they had used springboards. They were in front of my face in an instant, but at that time, there were two loud sounds and two bullets flew over my head. The two bugs exploded in the air—really exploded—and then my face was covered in their bodily fluids. At this time, I heard Pan Zi shout, “I’m running out of bullets! Why the fuck are you standing there like an idiot? Hurry up and run over here!”

I felt much more at ease with Pan Zi backing me up and immediately turned and ran. I heard him fire another shot and figured that another bug had exploded in the air, but I had already reached the base of the wall at this time. Pan Zi stretched out his hand for me to grab, which I was able to do after I jumped up. Fortunately, the rock wall here was very rough so my feet had purchase. As Pan Zi pulled me up, I was able to reach the top in one attempt, but before I could steady myself, he suddenly stuck his gun between my legs and fired another shot. The shell casing flew out and hit my crotch, causing me to scream and almost faint from the pain. “You fucker!” I cursed at him. “Are you trying to castrate me?!”

Pan Zi also started cursing, “Shit, if it’s a choice between your dick and your life, your life is obviously more important!”

At this time, I suddenly realized that the miner’s lamp was no longer in my hand. I looked back and found that it had fallen below. The source of light was now completely surrounded by corpse-eaters of all sizes, which caused the nearby area to be painted a faint green color. I had no idea where they had all come from.

“How many bullets do you have left?” I asked Pan Zi.

He felt his pockets and pulled out a single bullet with a bitter smile on his face, “The Glory Bullet.”(1) The words were barely out of his mouth before a corpse-eater jumped into the stone passage and made a clicking sound at us.

Pan Zi was definitely a soldier to the end and had no problem adapting to any sudden changes. He immediately adjusted his grip on the gun so that he was holding the barrel and then used the wooden butt as a hammer to knock the bug flat and then kick it down. But this wasn’t a long-term solution at all. More bugs were climbing up, and even though we kicked and knocked as many of them down as we could, a few of them still managed to climb onto us and ripped our flesh with their barbed claws.

“Let’s run,” I said to Pan Zi. “There’s nothing we can do to stop so many of them.”

“Where are we supposed to go?” Pan Zi asked.

I pointed to the passage behind us and said, “There must be an exit at the end of this tunnel. Just look at it. It was definitely used by ancient tomb builders to escape. As long as we run along this, we can definitely get out.”

Pan Zi cursed, “Bullshit! I swear, you nerds always think that everything written in books is right. Let me tell you something. I’ve been all over this tunnel and it’s basically a maze. The fact that I finally got to this place is nothing short of a miracle. If we go back in there, there’s no telling how long we’ll be wandering around!”

I was surprised and wondered if I had guessed wrong, but there was no time to think about it in this situation. Seeing that there were more and more bugs closing in, I shouted at him, “It’s better than feeding the bugs here!”

At this time, there was a sudden rumbling sound and someone else fell from the trapdoor above. The man squished some of the bugs upon landing, the sudden impact enough to scare the rest away for a bit. He stood up and started cursing, “Damn, my ass hurts. What kind of door is this? Why would it open from below?” He took out a flashlight and swept it around the room before shouting, “Shit! What the hell?! Why are there so many bugs?!”

Pan Zi and I looked at him and realized that it was the mojin who had scared us in the main tomb chamber before. Indeed, for enemies, the road was narrow.(2)

Those corpse-eaters were quickly starting to swarm again but this guy was also quite tough. He used his flashlight like a hammer and knocked the bugs away one at a time, but it was useless. In seconds, his back was covered in bugs and he screamed like a pig at the slaughter. He immediately reached behind him to try and tear them off.

At this time, Pan Zi suddenly took out all the fire sticks in his breast pocket, lit them, and jumped down before I could stop him.

He rolled across the ground and sprang to his feet right next to the guy. The corpse-eaters were afraid of fire and leaped away from the two of them, but fire sticks weren’t long-term ignition tools. Moreover, his series of movements just now had diminished the flames.

“Do you have any more?!” Pan Zi shouted at me.

I felt my breast pocket and found that I still had a few left so I decided to take action. Shit, I thought to myself, let’s go for broke. I jumped down like Pan Zi, but unfortunately, I wasn’t skilled enough and just ended up falling flat on my face. The fire sticks flew out of my hand and landed in a pile of corpse-eaters.

“God damn it,” Pan Zi cursed, “you’re killing me here!”

I quickly got up and ran over to them. The corpse-eaters were afraid of catching fire and didn’t dare pounce on us at the moment, but as the flames became darker and darker, their encirclement became smaller and smaller. I couldn’t help but gulp and think to myself, it looks like we’re done for.

<Chapter 12><Table of Contents><Chapter 14>


TN Notes:

(1) Term used by Chinese soldiers in the Vietnam War for mini grenades they would use at the last moment to kill as many enemies as possible. To them, committing suicide was better than surrendering in shame because they would be tortured/suffer horrible deaths at the hands of the enemy. In this case, it’s basically leaving a bullet for yourself so you don’t have to suffer a horrible death at the hands of corpse-eaters. Here’s an excerpt from a book and here’s the baidu link with a pic.

(2) It’s an idiom meaning that rivals will inevitably cross paths.


♡ ~(‘▽^人) There he is! Our precious, bumbling cinnamon roll

4 thoughts on “Chapter 13 02200059

  1. (^∇^)Yeah
    And bugs…which are better than snakes??? Maybe we should take a poll…
    And the numbers!!! I just finished rewatching LOST so seeing these numbers show up here for the first time makes me feel like “4 8 15 16 23 42” and “the numbers are cursed!” 😆 Or something. Definitely gonna pay more attention to the numbers this second time around.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love LOST watched the first episode on Prime a few weeks ago. Nostalgia much..sigh..

      Right there with you with the creepy crawlies\!! I would rather bugs than snakes. But neither would be oh so much better for my scream factor. 😣


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