Chapter 56 Untitled

I touched the back of my neck, only now realizing that it was the place where the arrows had hit me before. Those four iron hooks might not have killed me, but they still scraped off a few pieces of flesh where they had been embedded in my skin. Now that I was dripping with sweat, the wounds were getting irritated and actually started to itch a bit.

Moreover, the other places where I had been hit by the arrows were also starting to itch faintly, but the itch was tolerable. I didn’t have time to pay attention to these subtle changes in my body, so after rubbing it a few times, I continued studying the strange tomb chamber.

I knew a little bit about aristocratic tombs, but I wasn’t familiar with the structure of commoners’ tombs from the Ming Dynasty so I didn’t know what the differences between the two were. As a result, I could only try and compare what was in front of me with what I knew.

Based on my knowledge, I was currently in the tomb’s left side hall while the right side hall was opposite me. The left and right side halls should be symmetrical to each other, and there should be a coffin bed made of white marble in each of them. The top of these coffin beds should be lined with gold tiles (or clay tiles that had been polished to a mirror-like shine) and there would be a rectangular hole in the center that was filled with loess.(1) This hole was called the “golden well” but there was no sign of it here. All I could see was the big pool of water.

This was just one of the strange things I could see. The other was the door separating these two side halls. It probably led to the rear hall where the coffin should be, but why was the coffin in this side hall instead? Moreover, why was it in the shape of a washbasin? This kind of circular coffin design was made during the Warring States Period and wouldn’t have been available during the Ming Dynasty.

Speaking of the Warring States Period, I was reminded of the snake-eyebrow copper fish that we had taken from the Seven Star Lu Palace. Not only had this fish been found in both places, but now there was a coffin that was only made during the Warring States Period. Was it a coincidence?

I was so confused that I decided not to think about it anymore.

By this point, I had already circled around the pool and returned to the door, where I saw the big porcelain jar that I tried to use as a murder weapon just now. An idea suddenly popped into my head and I picked it up and started examining the paintings on it.

This jar had come from a different ear chamber but the single pattern depicted on it couldn’t convey any useful information. All I could see was a man dressed in Ming Dynasty attire standing on a mountain and looking at a construction site below. He was accompanied by several people wearing official court robes. They seemed to be conducting an inspection of the construction site.

Based on the patterns on these porcelain wares, I figured that the owner of this tomb probably wasn’t an emperor or a nobleman but a craftsman or an architect. Only this kind of person would have the ability and knowledge to design and build such a strange tomb. Even if those other people could come up with this idea, they wouldn’t be able to build it.

Moreover, there weren’t many talented craftsmen in the early Ming Dynasty. Based on the scale of this tomb, the person must have been someone of prominence with a high-ranking position. He not only had to be qualified to carry out such a huge project like the Ming Palace, but he also needed to have a strong understanding of feng shui and be a master of creating ingenious mechanisms. It actually wasn’t difficult to guess who it was.

I only had to think for a few seconds before a name immediately popped into my head—Wang Zanghai.

This man was said to have extraordinary abilities and his achievements in feng shui were unparalleled. Because of this, he was appointed to directly take part in the design of the entire Ming Palace complex. He also designed several big Chinese cities. At that time, one word from him was enough to make several cities disappear completely. I also learned from ancient texts that he had written a book on feng shui, which was said to be so profound that it was almost like getting a glimpse of heaven’s secrets. Unfortunately, his descendants only copied a few books, all of which had been lost over time.

In addition, it was said that Shen Wansan’s underwater tomb at the bottom of Yinzibang in Zhouzhuang was designed by him.(2) Such a person was more than capable of building this kind of tomb for himself.

I felt that my guess was very reasonable, now I just needed a little bit of written information to prove whether I was right or not. Unfortunately, the owner of this tomb seemed to be illiterate and didn’t leave any inscriptions behind.

At this time, a few splashing sounds suddenly came from the pool. I was so startled that my thoughts broke off and I immediately pointed my flashlight towards the water. All I could see were bubbles of various sizes appearing on the water’s surface at irregular intervals, as if something was moving in this bottomless pool.

Panicked, I raised my speargun and stared at those bubbles apprehensively. But at this time, a glistening white thing suddenly flew out of the water, landed on the ground, and then rolled towards the wall, gasping for breath. I got a closer look at it and was overjoyed—it was Fatty! He had stripped to his waist, revealing a belly as big as a drum. As he panted for breath, he saw me and waved his hand, “Shit—I—almost—suff—suffocated to death!”

I was just about to ask him what happened when another person suddenly came out of the water right by my feet—it was Poker-Face. When he climbed out of the water, I saw that he was also half-naked but that black Qilin tattoo was nowhere to be seen. It was obvious that he didn’t have to expend as much effort as Fatty did. He raised his head and took a deep breath, but when he saw me, he immediately asked, “Is this the left or the right?”

When I said the left, he breathed a sigh of relief and suddenly sat down, clutching his wrist. I saw that there was a black scratch on it and I suddenly had a bad feeling.

Fatty lay there gasping for a long time before he finally managed to recover. As he clutched his stomach and panted, I asked them how they got here. He spat to the side and said, “Don’t ask. Fortunately, you didn’t have to see it. It scared me to death. We were damn lucky that there was a hole under that piece of slate in the bottom of the coffin that led here. Otherwise, we would have died in that place.”

I was confused, “What was so terrifying?”

“Shit, I can’t even describe it,” Fatty said to me. “In short, there was some fucking thing in the belly of that six-body corpse cluster.”

<Chapter 55><Table of Contents><Chapter 57>


TN Notes:

(1) Loess is yellow sandy soil typical of north China.

(2) Mentioned in Chapter 31. He was a wealthy businessman. Zhouzhuang is an ancient city on the water that’s a very popular tourist spot.


Sorry about yesterday, had to take care of logistical stuff. HeiHua Russian adventure has been taken out of the Misc tab and now has it’s own home here (still in the extras tab though). I think I fixed all the links but lemme know if you notice a broken one, I’ll try to fix it ASAP. It also has its own page on novel updates if you all subscribe/receive updates that way. Link is here. I will try to work on HeiHua chapters 19 and 20 tomorrow but this has been a supremely shitty week at work so we’ll see if I can rally my motivation. The thought of more feng shui crap brings tears to my eyes lol

6 thoughts on “Chapter 56 Untitled

  1. I missed here. Sorry it was not a good week for me either. I went to take care of my sister who was sick but I got sick myself. You did a great job, take care of yourself.


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