Corpse wax was a substance that usually formed when a corpse was immersed in water for a long time or buried in wet soil with a sufficient moisture content. The so-called wax came from the thickening and hardening of fat and minerals in the body.
I tracked the footprints all the way to the corner of the room, where they went behind a big blue-and-white Yunlong porcelain jar. I felt my heart skip a bit.
People said that King Yama was easy to negotiate with but smaller demons were more difficult to deal with. Was it possible that there was an underage zombie here? I turned to Fatty and said, “Look, these footprints are the only ones that go in one direction and then stop. Maybe…”
But before I could finish speaking, Fatty motioned for me to stop talking. I turned my head and saw the big porcelain jar suddenly start shaking by itself.
“That thing is hiding behind it,” Fatty said softly.
Bald Zhang had already taken off half of his equipment but hadn’t gotten to his belt yet. When he heard what we were talking about, he simply left it on, picked up his oxygen tank, and walked over before asking Fatty, “What is it?”
Fatty gave him an irritated look before saying, “Zombie.”
He froze, “Zongzi? Like the festival snack from Jiaxing?”(1)
Fatty shook his head and ignored him. “Are you sure?” I asked Fatty. “I’ve never seen such a small zombie before.”
“I’m not sure,” Fatty said, “but whether it’s a zombie or not, we still have to go and take a look. Otherwise, it’s a disaster waiting to happen. Plus, I won’t feel comfortable robbing this tomb if I don’t know what’s there.” As he spoke, he picked up the speargun in his hand and motioned for me to move. I shook my head, I’m not going over there.
Fatty sighed and called Bald Zhang over. This was the first time Bald Zhang had entered a tomb so he was feeling very excited. He immediately walked over, copied Fatty’s movements, and took a position opposite so that they could do a pincer movement as they approached the big blue-and-white porcelain jar.
Although I was afraid, I knew I couldn’t be too timid in front of a woman so I put up a front and followed behind Bald Zhang while watching everything carefully.
We walked very slowly, for fear that something would suddenly jump out at us. Fatty first took a look with his flashlight but the big porcelain jar was too big to see anything behind it. He then poked it with the speargun, looking so similar to how I used to look when I was trying to catch weasels as a kid that I couldn’t help but find it amusing. He poked it five or six times, listening very carefully for any signs of movement, but it seemed that there was nothing behind it. Feeling more courageous now, he walked closer and took a look. He clicked his tongue and cursed, “Shit, there’s only an empty wooden box here. I was nervous for nothing.”
We all moved closer and saw that it was an infant coffin the size of a violin case with two phoenixes engraved on it. Although the coffin lid had been opened and shoved to one side, the white bottom inside was still well-preserved. But the body wasn’t in there. It wasn’t surprising that Fatty thought it was just a regular box. “This isn’t a box,” I said to him, “it’s a coffin.”
Fatty didn’t believe it at first, but then it seemed to dawn on him. “So you’re saying that this is the little zombie’s coffin?” He asked.
I nodded and took a closer look at it. There were several holes in the coffin from which black traces could be seen leading to the ground, as if some kind of liquid had flowed out of these holes. I seemed to have read about something similar in my grandpa’s notes.
Fatty carefully looked inside and all around the coffin with his flashlight before sighing regretfully, “Based on the specifications of this coffin, I know there must be a lot of treasures on this child, but unfortunately, I don’t know where the body went. Otherwise, I’d have squeezed a few pearls out of it.”
I nodded. When it came to children who had died or were buried with the dead, there were always many things in their coffins and adorning their bodies. In particular, priceless pearls were put into their stomachs to prevent the bodies from decaying.
We all looked around to see where the body had gone but didn’t even find a trace after turning the place upside down. It seemed that those grave robbers might have taken it with them.
Fatty was reluctant to give up and wanted to turn the coffin over but I thought that it was inappropriate so I quickly grabbed him and said, “This coffin is different from other coffins. It definitely wasn’t made to just put a dead person in there. It’s best not to touch it.”
Fatty laughed, “The body’s gone but you’re still afraid of offending it. What, are you worried that the coffin will jump up and bite me?”
A Ning suddenly spoke up at this time, “Our purpose here isn’t to rob grave goods but to quickly get to the main tomb chamber. Stop wasting time so that we can get this done quickly.”
Fatty knew that he was in the wrong so he had no choice but to listen to us. We went back to sort out our diving equipment first, but when Fatty put on his backpack, he suddenly looked at me. His mouth moved like he wanted to say something but he was too embarrassed to say it. I sighed, “If you have something to say, just fucking say it. What’s wrong?”
“Do you think the little zombie climbed into the big porcelain jar?” Fatty asked.
I looked at the big porcelain jar and felt my heart thump. It was possible.
Fatty blushed a little and said, “I just heard a sound coming from the jar. It seemed to be coming from inside of it. I thought maybe I had misheard. After all, the zombie isn’t a mouse, so how could it crawl into the jar by itself? But I’m just expressing my thoughts. It doesn’t mean what I said is true.”
Knowing that he was still thinking about the treasures on the corpse, I got ready to start scolding him, but at this time, the big porcelain jar suddenly fell to the ground with a clatter. I froze. How is that possible? Is what he said right?
All four of us didn’t say a word and just nervously looked at the jar. It spun around in place a few times before suddenly rolling towards us with a loud rumbling sound.
<Chapter 47><Table of Contents><Chapter 49>
(1) Fatty does say “zongzi” (remember, zongzi is the grave-robbing code word for zombies even though it really means “rice dumplings” in Chinese) but it sounds kind of similar to zombie so we’re just gonna act like Bald Zhang misheard him even though he didn’t. Bald Zhang isn’t supposed to be familiar with grave-robbing lingo so he doesn’t know that “zongzi” (aka “rice dumpling”) is a code word for zombie. That’s why he ended up asking if Fatty was talking about Jiaxing Wufangzhai Zongzi, which is a time-honored brand of zongzi (stuffed glutinous rice dumplings) that’s based in Jiaxing, Zhejiang province. Wufangzhai was founded in 1921. Here’s an article.
2 thoughts on “Chapter 48 Large Porcelain Jar”
“King Yama was easy to negotiate”? true, but the only problem is that he has to learn their language first, like Zhang Haixing who with a few simple Gegegegeg was able to convince King Yama to choose Wu Xie as his friend. And I think our mischievous professor Zhang just made fun of Fatty.
thank you for the chapter 🙏🏼