He got up, walked to the stone door leading to the corridor, touched the door frame, and said, “This is indeed a mechanism, and one that’s so simple it can only deceive children. That’s why your Uncle Three didn’t think of it twenty years ago and only figured it out now.”
Fatty looked at him and realized that he already knew what was going on. “Little Brother,” he said, “if you know what this thing is, just say it quickly. There’s no need to keep us in suspense. I’m fucking dying of curiosity!”
“I’ll give you an example,” Poker-Face said. “You’ll understand as soon as you hear it. Say there’s a two-story building with a room on each floor. When you leave the room on the second floor and walk out into the corridor, I’ll build another floor under the first floor. So when you come back to the room, the second floor has now become the third floor and the first floor has become the second floor.”
This was actually a bad example so Fatty had a confused expression on his face as he listened. Then, he held up two fingers and started trying to figure it out, “One-two, two-one, one-two-one…Shit! What one, two, three? The more you talk, the more confused I get!”
I immediately understood that the elevator Uncle Three had mentioned was referring to this. It seemed that when he solved the riddle, the first thing that came to mind was this word. I sighed, feeling a little shocked in my heart. Although it was unexpected, I couldn’t deny that it made sense. Besides, such a simple design could only be regarded as a trick to deceive children.
I noticed that Fatty still didn’t really understand it so I explained it to him again. When he finally understood it, he suddenly lost interest and said, “I see, it’s so fucking simple. I thought there was a bigger mystery here but that’s all it was.”
I was ashamed of myself. I had studied architecture back in school and this mechanism definitely fell within the scope of it but I hadn’t noticed it at all. I should probably review when I had the time. It seemed that everything here had to be looked at with a simple mindset instead of using complicated reasoning.
Poker-Face’s expression still looked tense. Once he was done carefully checking the door frame, he went over to look at the pool of water in the middle of the room. Based on his behavior, it seemed like there was something he couldn’t quite figure out. “What’s the matter?” I asked him. “Is there a problem?”
He nodded, “There’s a big contradiction between your uncle’s story and what we’ve experienced. Have you noticed?”
I looked at him doubtfully. In fact, I also thought that there were some inconsistencies in my uncle’s story but I couldn’t figure out what they were. “Your Uncle Three was lying in this room and didn’t go out into the corridor at all,” Poker-Face explained. “No matter how the rooms rose and fell, he should have still been in the same room, so how could the interior have changed?”
I thought about it and suddenly realized that he was right. “Besides,” he added, “the ear chambers in ancient tombs have always been symmetrical. It’s impossible for there to only be one room. Logically speaking, there should be another room opposite us.”
We walked out into the corridor and swept our flashlights around the area but there was only a white jade wall across the way, with no sign of a door. Poker-Face put his ear to the wall, pressed his two long fingers firmly against the brick seams, and felt along them bit by bit. After doing this for more than ten minutes, he came back over to us and shook his head. It looked like the brick wall was real.
Fatty, who had been waiting impatiently, suddenly yawned and said, “Don’t worry about the ear chamber. The main thing is that we haven’t found the fucking exit. Even if we know what happened, we’ll still die.”
What Fatty said made a lot of sense. I sighed, wondering how Uncle Three was able to escape a second time. What method did he use? He didn’t have diving equipment when he came out the second time so did he swim out of the ancient tomb while holding his breath?
There had to be something among all the events this old fox experienced that he didn’t tell me about. Ah, Uncle Three, Uncle Three. If only you knew that all that “unimportant” crap you decided not to talk about was going to get your nephew killed more than ten meters below the sea.
Fatty and Poker-Face were both silent, as if they were considering the whole situation. I also tried to think of a way out of our current predicament. In fact, there were several ways for us to get out of this ancient tomb. The first was to return to the original room we were in, which was obviously impossible unless our lung capacity suddenly became like that of dolphins. The second was to find a secret passage, which the craftsmen who built these kinds of places usually left for themselves. In a tomb on land, this was an easy method to get twice the result with half the effort, but in an undersea tomb, I was afraid it was too unrealistic. After all, undersea tombs were usually built on a ship that was then sunk to the bottom of the sea. Even if such a passage was made, it would lead straight to the sea. Water truly was the most convenient medium for isolating yin and yang.
The third way—and the dumbest one—was to just dig our way out directly. I looked up at the ceiling, saw nothing but a bunch of bricks, and couldn’t help but sigh. It seemed that even if we could dig our way out, it would be a huge project.
Using the most basic architectural principles, I tried to figure out how the tomb was designed and what might be above the ceiling.
The one thing I was certain of was that the bricks alone couldn’t form an airtight structure so there had to be some white clay spread along the brick seams. There should also be some wooden planks over the bricks that were coated in several layers of sealing wax to create an airtight, waterproof layer. And to finish it off, another layer of white clay would be spread on top.
Once I thought up to this point, I suddenly had a flash of inspiration and a bold plan started to form in my mind. “In fact, we have nothing to be afraid of,” I told them excitedly. “I figure we’re only a little more than ten meters away from the surface. In order to accommodate the elevator mechanism, this tomb chamber must have been built very high, which means that the top of the tomb won’t be too far away from the seabed. If we can’t find another way, we can dig our way up. The water above the tomb isn’t very deep so if we do it at low tide, I think there’s still a chance to get out as long as the sand above doesn’t collapse.”
Fatty waved his hand and said lazily, “We didn’t bring any tools when we came in and there’s a solid layer of stone bricks to get through. What should we dig with? Our hands?”
“You don’t understand,” I argued. “Most of the bricks used in shipwreck tombs are hollow so they can easily be broken. As long as we can find some metal objects and hit the bricks hard a few times, we can definitely make a hole.”
When Fatty heard this, his whole body vibrated with excitement, “Hey—this method sounds like it might work! Let’s just forget about robbing this damn tomb. We’ll find some tools and get out of here. This tomb is so big that I’m sure there must be some bronze wares in the main tomb chamber.”
That was just how the human mind worked. When we thought that we were about to die, we didn’t want to do anything, but once we knew that there was still a glimmer of hope, we would mobilize all of our brainpower into seeing it through.
My mind was also spinning fast and I suddenly had an idea of how to create this hole. I studied architecture in college so I was all too familiar with this kind of thing. After carefully considering everything, it seemed that all of the conditions were suitable. As long as this hole could be created in that short window of time during low tide, then it was possible to get out of here!
At this time, Poker-Face spoke up, “There’s still a long time before the tide recedes. I don’t know if the air here can last until then. It all depends on God’s will.”
Fatty immediately jumped up and said, “Shit, it doesn’t matter whether the tide is low or not! Let’s find some tools and dig a path first. We can talk about the rest later. It’s too depressing to suffocate to death. I’d rather find a zombie and be happily gnawed to death!”
I was going to tell him that if we dug through when the tide wasn’t low, then the water above our heads would be at least 2 meters deep and would immediately rush in. Not to mention getting out, the whole tomb would be completely filled in only a few minutes. But I saw how excited he was and decided it was best not to crush his hope.
The three of us cheered up, gathered up our things, and headed for the corridor. But as soon as we walked out of the stone door, all three of us froze at the same time. Fatty cursed, “This place is so fucking weird.”
In front of us, where there had originally been nothing but a brick wall, was a door that had suddenly appeared. I pointed my flashlight towards it and found that there was a huge golden nanmu coffin inside.
<Chapter 51><Table of Contents><Chapter 53>
Did you guys know Wu Xie studied architecture in college? lol
12 thoughts on “Chapter 52 Continue to Solve the Mystery”
Wu Xie “studied architecture”
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I’ve been curious for quite a while. The official translations stopped calling him Poker-face at one point (book 2 I thiiink.) Was that just them? Cause in all your translations its always Poker-face and Im curious if thats fan preference or has the author always called him Poker-face?
Thanks for translating the first books (I havent read your versions yet been to busy for re-reads but Im looking forward to it soon!) and for the new story translations (two of my favourite characters, Xuao Hua and Black Glasses! Yay!)
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Oh, just saw your comment, yes I knew he did 😁 forget where he mentions it, shows or books/side stories, think he did more than once and possibly in both, lol… tis cool! Its the photography I didnt realize he really did study while under the … I forget the name.. G Gen…!
He mentioned it twice in this chapter alone 😂 I think his alias was Guan Gen if I’m remembering correctly (too lazy to actually look it up 🤭)
Don’t know if someone has mentioned this before, I saw online that Sanshu said this name means keep chastity. So literally, Guan means close or stop and Gen means…well, in this name, dick……I think this is a portrayal of Wu Xie’s mentality when Zhang Qiling was away 😂
I think it’s just them because I have the raws of all 5 volumes copied into a doc and “Poker-Face” (aka menyouping) is mentioned 826 times. The official version also liked to used Poker-Face instead of “Little Brother” (aka Xiaoge, mentioned128 times). I don’t think Wu Xie has ever actually called him that to his face, unlike how the official version portrays it.
Yes, Wu Xie always call Xiaoge in front of Zhang Qiling, and Menyouping/Pocker Face in his own mind😂 In my opinion, this is because Xiaoge is a way we can use in office to call any young colleagues usually under 30 or even 40, like a sign of amity. I actually called the IT colleague Xiaoge or Xiao Xia when I served at my ex employer. Xia is his surname. The Xiao means young, the same meaning as the Xiao in Xiaoge or Xiao in Xiao Hua. However, Menyouping is just a nickname kind like call among best friends, especially when you think this name means someone never talk at all….. So when you really call someone menyouping, if you are not his good friend, in my eyes, that bascially means you dont like him…..
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Yayyyyy another chapter! Thank you!
I’m like Fatty, I need Wuxie to personally explain the mechanism to me 😅
He studied architecture but I think it changed to the architecture of tombs.😄
😳 I was hoping there would be more details that the official translation skipped. I’m trying to wrap my mind around which part is the elevator, the rooms, or the corridor? And how are they rotating? Up and down? Left and right? In a circle like a ferris wheel????😵💫 My brain doesn’t think in 3D. 😞
thank you for the chapter 🙏🏼
So our Wu Xie studied Architecture.. huh.. go figure 🤷♀️
He study architecture and just end up as tomb robber 🤣🤣🤣