Chapter 54 One Person

As soon as the coffin lid was opened, a fishy odor immediately hit me in the face. I moved closer and saw that the coffin was full of a black liquid, the surface of which was covered with a steamy mist that was coiling in the air. I could vaguely see a bunch of intertwined limbs below, but I couldn’t tell how many bodies were in there. They were all covered in wax and stuck together to form a huge mass of dead flesh, but I easily counted twelve hands alone. Needless to say, the scene was quite disgusting.

Poker-Face frowned when he saw it, but his expression relaxed and he lowered the speargun in his hand. Based on his change in attitude, I figured this thing shouldn’t be too dangerous. I couldn’t help but wonder what he had been so nervous about just now.

There were several round, dark golden nails placed every few centimeters up and down the coffin in neat rows, but since they were underwater, it was impossible to tell whether they were pure gold or just gold-plated. I could also see a strange thing under this mass of dead flesh. Fatty slowly swept his flashlight over it inch by inch, looking at what appeared to be a piece of slate with words carved on it. Jade and ivory objects had been placed between the corpses’ body parts and in their hands. They looked very valuable and easy to carry.

Fatty looked like he was itching to take them but the corpse mass was too disgusting. No matter how reckless he was, he didn’t dare stick his hand into the layer of human fat inside the coffin just to take something. He pondered over it for a long time but couldn’t come up with a solution and had to give up in the end. He then turned his attention to examine the corpses inside and shook his head, “This is too fucking inhuman. And I was starting to think that this tomb owner was a Taoist monk. But how could he possibly attain enlightenment parading such vile things around like this? He deserves to be robbed by us.”

I still didn’t understand the situation, but when I saw what was inside this coffin, I felt that my nerves wouldn’t be able to endure it so I didn’t dare look at it a second time. “This should be a joint interment, but why is this coffin so disgusting?” I asked.

Fatty laughed, “Young comrade, are you an idiot? Have you ever seen the bodies in a joint interment put together like a fried dough twist? These people were obviously buried alive. They were probably piled up together, drugged, and then ended up drowning when water was poured into the coffin. This is called a corpse incubator coffin.”

When I heard him talk about the fried dough twist, my throat suddenly felt itchy. I was already very hungry, but the sight of this mass of dead flesh overlapped with an image of a giant fried dough twist and I felt like I was going to throw up. But based on what he had said, he seemed to know what this kind of thing was. I took a moment to compose myself and then asked for the details.

Fatty, seeing that I didn’t understand, immediately started showing off, “What, you don’t even know this? You’re like a child without a mother. It’s a long story. Let’s see…I was among the lofty peaks of Changbai Mountain—”

Realizing that he was starting his bullshit again, I quickly said, “I don’t give a damn about that. We don’t have time for your nonsense. What does a corpse incubator have to do with Changbai Mountain? If you don’t know, then don’t bother saying anything!”

People like Fatty couldn’t stand being be provoked. The muscles in his neck tensed up and he said, “Who says I don’t know? I just wanted to give you the big picture. But if you don’t want to hear it, then forget about it. This thing is called a corpse incubator coffin, and it’s based on feng shui knowledge. It’s generally used in mountain tombs. If you have two places in the tomb that, according to feng shui, are suitable for placing the main coffin, you can’t just pick one. This is because a lot of spiritual energy will be concentrated at the other spot, which can attract demonic things. So, a corpse incubator coffin is placed in the empty spot, and blood relatives of the tomb owner are buried in it. This arrangement is considered a joint interment. This coffin has to be exactly the same as the one in the main tomb chamber. In feng shui, this process is called ‘nourishing qi’. Do you understand?”

Fatty said all of this in one breath, as if he was reciting a memorized text. I only understood about half of it, but I still found myself stunned, “So all of these people here are—”

Fatty slapped his thigh, “That’s why I said that! This man may have stuffed his whole fucking family into this coffin. It’s too inhuman!”

“How could that be?!” I shouted. “Feng shui principles are normally followed for the sake of future generations. But if the whole family is buried together, what’s the point of adhering to them?!”

Fatty saw that I was taking this seriously and said, “You can’t believe everything you’re told. Those rich people aren’t so stupid. He must have found several poor nephews from a branch family to be buried with him. These kinds of things are common in Ming Dynasty tombs. I’ve seen a lot of them but I’ve never seen such a big one before.”

When I looked at this pile of dead bodies and thought about what happened when they were buried, I couldn’t help but feel deeply moved. Grandpa had once told me that the human heart was the most unpredictable thing in the world. Because of something with little to no factual basis, all of these people’s lives were taken away as if they were nothing but dirt.

But now that the coffin lid had been opened, Fatty probably wouldn’t give up on the treasure so easily. He scratched his head and said, “Look at these pitiful people. I think we should go next door and get some jars to scoop out the liquid. It’s bad luck to leave stagnant water in a coffin.”

Knowing what he wanted to do, I said to him, “Look at your thieving face! I know that you’re gunning for these grave goods but can’t you take it easy? There will be plenty of things for you to take when we get to the main tomb chamber.”

Fatty’s face turned red and he cursed, “Fuck you! Do you really think I’m such a person?”

I was too lazy to argue with him, so all I said was, “We don’t have the time or the luxury to deal with this right now. If we delay any longer, we won’t be able to get out and will suffocate to death. We won’t have coffins and no one will come and pity us.”

After I mentioned this, we immediately became nervous again. Fatty didn’t say a word and just went to search around the ear chamber first. Unfortunately, other than the cat corpse, there was nothing to use.

Poker-Face had been staring blankly at the pile of corpses for a long time, but then he suddenly sucked in a sharp breath as if he had seen something.

This person was usually very calm, so when he became nervous, something bad was about to happen. That was why his reaction had me feeling startled enough to quickly raise my speargun, ready to attack.

But he just stood there frowning and staring at the coffin silently for five minutes before turning to us and saying, “There’s actually only one person in this coffin—” 

<Chapter 53><Table of Contents><Chapter 55>

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