Chapter 37 Weather Change

I followed her into the ship’s cabin, which was filled with so many piles of things that there was hardly any room to place my feet. It seemed that they had prepared everything in a hurry since all of the equipment had been thrown by the entrance at random. I looked around as I walked, noting that it was mainly large-scale instruments, food, ropes, and diving equipment, most of which were oxygen tanks.

We passed through the pile of goods and arrived at the rear of the cabin, which was connected to the engine room. There were several pallet beds scattered here and there that were covered with blankets that had been blackened with motor oil. On one of the beds sat a shiny-faced middle-aged man who was a little fat and balding. When he saw me come in, he stood up nervously and shook hands with me while saying, “Nice to meet you, nice to meet you. My surname is Zhang.”

I didn’t have a good first impression of him but I still shook his hand out of courtesy. I was surprised to find that his grip was very powerful, which made me think that he had done manual labor before.

Miss Ning introduced to us, “Mr. Zhang is a consultant specially invited by our company. He’s an expert who specializes in the study of underground palaces of the Ming Dynasty. This time, he’s mainly responsible for analyzing this undersea tomb.”

I didn’t have much interest in the world of orthodox archaeology so I hadn’t heard of his name, but when I saw the pleased look on his face, I had no choice but to say, “I’ve been looking forward to meeting you.”

The bald man waved his hand exaggeratedly and said, “I don’t deserve to be called an expert. I’m just doing research like everyone else. It’s just that I was lucky and happened to publish several papers. They’re just small achievements, nothing worth mentioning.”

I had never seen anyone talk like this before and didn’t know how to respond so all I said was, “You’re too modest.”

He readily accepted this bit of flattery and shook my hand even more vigorously while asking me, “May I ask what role Mr. Wu was invited here for? With all due respect, it seems that your subject of study is relatively obscure. Or maybe I’m just ignorant. I don’t recall ever seeing Mr. Wu’s name in any archaeological magazines.”

I didn’t know whether it was intentional or not, but these words came off sounding very condescending. I was the type of person who got irritated easily so I almost went off as soon as I heard them. But then I remembered that I had only just boarded the boat and the environment was still unfamiliar so I suppressed my anger and said curtly, “I specialize in excavating soil.”

My tone was already bordering on rude but he didn’t seem to notice it at all and continued talking, “Oh, are you an architect? No wonder. As it turns out, we’re not in the same circle but we can still be considered half peers. You build houses for the living while I study houses for the dead. We still have something in common.”

When I heard this, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. What he was saying was absolute nonsense, but he said it so seriously that I could tell he truly believed it. I quickly interrupted him, “I’m not an architect, I’m an excavator. If you want to study houses of the dead, I have to dig them up first.”

I regretted saying this as soon as the words left my mouth. I still hadn’t told them whether I would go down into the tomb myself or not. Plus, we didn’t know what the current situation down there was like. There was no way I would come to a decision until I had actually seen what we were up against. After thinking about it, I added, “But whether we dig or not at that time will depend on the situation. If the situation doesn’t allow for it, you won’t be able to dig even if you want to.”

He didn’t seem to notice the implication of my words and just kept trying to hand me his business card while saying that the more friends you had, the more paths were open to you. He also said that if I was ever in the north in the future, I could ask him for help. We had met less than two minutes ago but he was already acting like we had been friends for more than ten years. I figured that if we continued to chat, we’d end up becoming sworn brothers so I quickly changed the subject and asked the woman about the area where the incident occurred.

She was quite capable and experienced so I had a general idea of the situation after she laid it all out for me.

As it turned out, Uncle Three wasn’t able to determine the specific location of the undersea tomb at that time. He was only able to find four possible areas and went to search them one by one. He must have found the location among them but the last report from the missing ship was relatively brief and didn’t mention which area they finally found it in. As a result, we had to search them one by one.

Their plan was to start from Fairy Reef, which was the closest, and then go to Yongxing Island to resupply before heading to the other three areas near Qilianyu, with a stopover of less than half an hour at each one. As for the search itself, Xisha’s seawater was so clear that when the light was good, you could even see down to depths of thirty meters. Moreover, the sea currents were normal so the sand lying on top of the seabed didn’t move much. This meant that the grave robbers’ tunnel Uncle Three and his men made a few days ago should still be there.

The boat captain was also very familiar with those waters. While everything below the water’s surface looked the same to us laymen, in his eyes, the seabed in each area had its own characteristics. As long as there were some topographic changes at the bottom of the sea, he would be able to notice it.

While I was talking with that woman, I found that she had a great deal of confidence that Uncle Three and the others had survived. I didn’t know where this blind confidence came from, but I was also hoping that she was right and that Uncle Three was safe in the undersea tomb.

That Bald Zhang looked at me and the woman having a pleasant conversation without him and returned to his bed to sleep, probably a little upset at being ignored. When I thought of this middle-aged man with a temperament like that of a child, I couldn’t help but smile. Indeed, there was no fool like an old fool.(1) I didn’t know whether we would be able to get along with each other or not.

Just as I was thinking this, the boat suddenly shuddered as the captain weighed anchor and set sail. The boat’s rocking became more violent, but since it was an old boat, it not only rocked from side to side but also in an irregular back-and-forth motion. It was just like being in a cradle. I was exhausted from traveling for more than ten hours and suddenly found myself yawning as the tiredness finally hit me. The woman was very sensible and told me to get some rest. I was so tired that I didn’t hesitate and just went to lie down on one of the beds, falling asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.

When I woke up, the boat was already out in the middle of the sea. I looked out through the window and found that the weather had changed while I was sleeping. The whole sea seemed to have turned a dark green color, the sun had disappeared behind large dark clouds, and the light shining through the gaps in the clouds had formed a huge golden print in the sky.(2) Golden flecks were also scattered across the sea’s surface, the two scenes above and below complementing each other to create a magnificent sight.

But the beautiful picture didn’t last long. Those dark clouds soon merged together and blocked all of the sunlight, the sea below suddenly turned a terrifying black, and the waves rolled up and rocked the boat even worse than before. When we sank into the troughs of the waves, the seawater on both sides looked like it was going to swallow us whole. It was a terrifying sight.

I saw the crew running around nervously on deck and tightening the rope nets that kept our supplies secured. Although everyone was rushing around, there was no fear on the captain’s face.

I was used to living in the city so I only felt excited when I saw this scene. I wanted to go up on deck and help out, but after I went up, I realized that it wasn’t what I thought it would be like at all. In this situation, you needed to be able to stand firm on deck, not just be quick to react. You had to be very familiar with the waves and the boat and know when the boat would tilt or dip so that you could be prepared in advance. I obviously didn’t have such a high level of skill and ended up clinging to a protruding iron ring after attempting to take a few steps.

At this time, a few crew members seemed to see something in the distance and began shouting. I couldn’t understand the Minnan dialect so I looked to where they were pointing and saw a vague shape behind the rising waves to the left of the boat.

I couldn’t see clearly because of the distance but I thought that it might be a boat. The woman had come up behind me at this time so I asked her what the crew was shouting about.

Her hair was wet and getting tossed around by the wind. After listening carefully for a moment, she said, “They seem to see a boat.”

The captain came up to us and said in broken Mandarin, “There seems to be a boat over there that’s had an accident. According to the laws of the sea, we have to go and take a look.”

Of course, there was nothing wrong with this so the woman nodded in agreement. The captain quickly issued a series of orders to his men in the local dialect and the boat immediately veered left.

The sea in the middle of a storm was like rolling hills, and every wave was a mountain. Our boat rushed up the crest of the waves and then broke through them, the people on board getting soaked to the bone every time. I didn’t know how many times we got soaked, but I had never felt so excited before and wanted to shout in exuberance.

We broke through over a dozen waves in a row before finally seeing the outline of that thing more clearly.

But as soon as we did, I heard the captain give a horrified shout and then several of the crew members started to panic. I hurriedly asked the woman what happened. After listening for a moment, her expression suddenly changed and she grabbed my hand before saying, “Whatever you do, don’t look back. It’s a ghost ship!”

<Chapter 36><Table of Contents><Chapter 38>     


TN Notes:

(1) Basically used to say that a foolish old person is especially foolish because they should’ve learned from experience and shouldn’t be acting or making mistakes like a young person would.

(2) Print in this sense is printmaking, the process of creating artworks by printing on paper, fabric, wood, metal, or other surfaces. Prints are created by transferring ink from a matrix to a sheet of paper or other material using a variety of techniques. Info here.


Spoilers for any newbs reading this so skip on past because I need to gush to the OG readers. I should’ve probably mentioned ages ago that there are spoilers galore everywhere on the site but meh, ain’t nobody got time for that. Read at your own discretion.


*Ahem* omg you guys. Poker-face is such a troll and I LOVE IT. Look at him just being a total creeper around Wu Xie like “Hey, why don’t you come visit me up north sometime. I’ll help you out *wink wink*.” And then he gets mad and pouts when Wu Xie ignores him to talk to A Ning. The drama part of this is so great because Wu Xie looks SO uncomfortable as Poker-Face in disguise is practically throwing himself at him. This is the dmbj we live for ԅ(≖‿≖ԅ). Get Poker-Face an Academy Award for Best Actor. The man deserves it. And how did he know Wu Xie’s an architect? Because he STALKED him (haha just kidding. I’ll calm down now).


15 thoughts on “Chapter 37 Weather Change

  1. Wait, Poker Face can actually speak in sentences other than monosyllabic ones? Paragraphs, even? What the heck! Where is all this talkativeness when he is being himself instead of “Consultant Zhang” hahaha. Did he go to the same Zhang spy school as Zhang Haiyan?

    Now that I think about it, we’ve already seen Poker Face, Zhang Haiyan and Zhang Haike being trolls/undercover spies for the Zhang family. Now I want to see Zhang Rishan messing with people in disguise. I bet he’d give Zhang Haiyan a run for his money with how sassy he already is IRL hahaha


    1. 😂 I know, right? He seems so out of character. Almost makes you wonder where he learned to act like that.

      I feel like Zhang Rishan doesn’t need to mess with people in disguise since he’s such a gremlin anyways 😂 The man casually set fire to an embassy after all 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sure Zhang qiling would be the death of mine soon just wondering when and where the hell did he learn this acting skills 🤣this is completely different person where’s that talkative come from lol if I haven’t watch the series I’m completely dumb here 😂


  2. Poker Face! The Master of Disguise! And yes, he deserves an award for his performance. Except for those truly hurt feelings when Wu Xie ignored him for Ning. 😜


  3. Oh my God, I nearly fell off my chair reading this, I had no idea Xiaoge could talk so much! Or behave like this! It’s mesmerising!


  4. Someone feels betrayed by Wu Xie and decided to take a nap.🤭 I like the drama’s part of their meeting on the ship as well.
    We need more of Xiao Ge to go undercover, in that case we would have had the opportunity to see more of his interaction with Wu Xie and Fatty, and I think that would have been better for our hearts.😄


  5. Ohhhh I totally had forgotten about this meeting! It’s delicious! I’m loving undercover Xiao Ge!
    Reading for the second (third) time is better than first time! Specially with your translation

    Now I’m wondering if I must watch the dramas?


  6. Ok, so gushing like a school gal here. Poker Face we love you even more, you ‘could be stalker you’. Looking after you baby are you? All we need now is Fatty to complete the picture. 🤭

    thank you for the chapter 🙏🏼


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