Since we had already guessed that the tomb had a two-tier structure, I didn’t find it odd that there was suddenly a door here. I figured that when we were talking just now, this room had also shifted either up or down. Although I didn’t know what the tomb owner’s intention was by having such a design, I wasn’t going to panic again.
But that coffin inside the chamber was really shocking. Golden nanmu was considered the highest-quality material for coffin-making. For thousands of years, the size of the coffin depended on the size of the wood. The coffin in front of us was huge—it seemed that the nanmu logs used to make the coffin were almost as thick as the thirty-two golden nanmu trunks that were used to make the giant pillars in the Changling Mausoleum.(1) This thing was probably worth more than a piece of silver the size of a person.
But how could such a valuable coffin be placed in an ear chamber? It was so odd. If such a valuable coffin was put here like this, then the coffin in the main tomb chamber had to at least be made out of gold.
This tomb had me feeling more and more confused. It was like the owner wasn’t following any rules at all—not only did he disrupt all the feng shui positions here, but he also set up extremely clever traps everywhere that didn’t take lives. I didn’t know what he was trying to do.
At the sight of such a coffin, it was inevitable that grave robbers’ fingers would start to itch, especially with one as magnificent as this. There were bound to be many good things inside of it. When I saw that Fatty couldn’t seem to take his eyes off of it, I laughed and said, “What, did you see the coffin and forget our dire situation? Why don’t you go ahead and take a few things from it first?”
I was mocking him, but who would have expected that he didn’t seem to notice and said quite seriously, “This Fat Master is very level-headed. Our main task right now is to find some tools to break through the top of this fucking tomb so don’t get distracted. But when we get the tools, we can still come back and take a few things!”
Feeling amused at how confident he sounded, I said to him, “Who knows if this door will still be here when you come back. Maybe it’ll change again.”
It turned out that Fatty still had the desire to take the treasure after all, so when he heard this, he realized that it made a lot of sense. He started to have second thoughts about what to do first, but at this time, Poker-Face suddenly waved to us and whispered, “Stop talking.”
We didn’t know what was going on, but we quickly shut up when we saw how serious his expression was. He pulled out the speargun and said softly, “This is no ordinary coffin. It’s a corpse incubator.”
I didn’t understand what he was talking about and looked at him questioningly, but he didn’t bother explaining and just walked into the ear chamber where the coffin was. Fatty wanted to maintain his image of a conscious and moral person, but when he saw Poker-Face go up to the coffin without ceremony, he immediately recovered his immoral nature and quickly followed.
I looked around at the dark corridor—it was too scary to stay outside alone so I ran in after them without delay.
This room was exactly the same as the one we had just come from. Two giant snakes had also been painted on the ceiling and there was a pool of water in the middle of the room, but there wasn’t any porcelain. The only thing we could see was that huge coffin lying three feet away from the wall.
Poker-Face took out a knife, inserted it directly into the coffin seam, and slowly started to move it as if he were looking for something. Fatty thought he was going to open the coffin and shouted, “Slow down, slow down! Look at you, Little Brother. You’re usually so well-behaved, so how come you saw this coffin and suddenly started acting as if you were tired of living?” As he spoke, he took out a candle and ran over to the corner to light it.
I swore angrily when I saw this, “Shit, we have so little air in here and now you’re wanting to light candles? Do you want to kill us all?”
Fatty replied grumpily, “How much air can a single candle use up? If it’s such a big deal to you, I’ll breathe less.” As he spoke, he flicked on the windproof lighter in his hand. But as soon as the flame appeared, it suddenly illuminated something in the corner. Fatty was usually pretty brave, but when he saw this thing, he was so scared that he fell flat on his butt. When I saw him fall to the ground, I quickly pointed my flashlight in that direction and involuntarily took a step back in fright.
There was a shriveled dead cat crouched in the corner. It was extremely big, but it was already in a mummified state. Its two eyes were staring straight at Fatty, most of its skin had fallen off, and its mouth was hanging open, showing off a row of sharp fangs. Just looking at it was making me feel very uncomfortable.
Ever since I was a child, the thing I was most afraid of was dead cats. This was because when my family caught feral cats stealing fish, they would hang them from a tree and let them rot. But since I was a child, I didn’t know what the things hanging in the tree were. As a result, when I was playing under the tree one day, one of the dead cats’ necks snapped and its rotten head suddenly fell into my hands. When I saw those sharp fangs and empty eye sockets, I was so scared that I peed my pants and didn’t recover for several days.
Fatty, seeing that it was nothing more than a dead cat in front of him, let out a curse, kicked it away, and then lit the candle. As he started walking back towards the coffin, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong. It was unlucky to have a dead cat in a tomb so why was a cat corpse in this tomb chamber? Was the tomb owner not worried that the dead cat might cause other corpses in the tomb to turn into zombies?
But there were so many illogical things going on with this place that I vaguely felt as if the owner of this tomb was deliberately doing things against the rules. In fact, it was almost like everything was done in reverse—if something shouldn’t be placed in a tomb, then he put it in anyways. If this continued, I didn’t know what would happen when we finally reached the main tomb chamber.
At this time, Poker-Face found the coffin’s skillfully hidden lock. He took a small box from his pocket, picked out two hooks from it, slid them into the coffin seam, and started fiddling with them. After a short moment, there was a click indicating that the lock had given way. Then, the entire coffin lid shot up and streams of black liquid started gushing out. It looked absolutely disgusting, but Fatty didn’t care. He simply pushed the coffin lid open some more and looked inside before suddenly shouting in fright, “Damn, there are so many zombies inside!”
<Chapter 52><Table of Contents><Chapter 54>
(1) Changling Tomb is the tomb of Zhu Di, the third emperor of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), and Empress Xu. Zhu Di was the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty to build a tomb. The main ceremonial hall has 60 large columns of precious nanmu wood, each one made out of a single tree trunk and 12.6 meters (~40 ft) high. The four innermost columns are up to 1.12 meters (~3.5 ft) in diameter. Info here.
3 thoughts on “Chapter 53 Opening the Coffin”
Poor kitties, they were so cruel.
Those tree trunks are impressive!
I know the corpse footprints were supposed to be from a child, but is it possible it was actually the cat? Maybe?
I have goosebumps to go with that charred kitty!! uggggggggggh 🥴
thank you for the chapter 🙏🏼