After coming out of the cold stone room, the six people in Xiao Lou’s group and the six people in Gui Yuanzhang’s group continued to walk deeper into the labyrinth. There was a gust of wind through the corridor paved with stone slabs that made everyone get goosebumps. In the quiet corridor, there was only the sound of breathing and footsteps.
Old Mo was holding the compass to check. Their route was still heading eastward but it wasn’t due east. It was around 10 degrees offset from the east.
They walked some distance before Old Mo stopped. He looked around and opened his mouth. “How big is this ancient tomb? We’ve been walking for 10 minutes since we came out of the stone room but we still haven’t found anything.”
Xiao Lou also felt puzzled. He looked at the plan drawn by Old Mo. After leaving the six realms of reincarnation room, they walked in a straight line. 500 meters passed and they found the first sarcophagus. Next was another straight line and there was no fork in the road.
He pressed down on the headset to ask about the situation on the opposite side. “Senior Gui, have you found anything over there?”
Gui Yuanzhang replied. “No, it is a straight corridor. There are no murals on the walls and no mechanisms.”
Xiao Lou asked again, “What about the direction? It still hasn’t changed?”
Gui Yuanzhang looked down at the compass in his hand. “Yes, it is just like before.”
Xiao Lou felt helpless. “Keep going and stay in touch.”
They walked forward for another few minutes before finding that the walls were once again covered in colorful murals.
Yu Hanjiang held up the Night Pearl for illumination. Xiao Lou walked over to observe carefully. The contents of the murals still depicted the period from infancy to adulthood. It was just that this time, there was no scene of the marriage. Judging from the clothes and hair, the protagonist of the mural seemed to be a man.
The clue of the totem had been found in the mural before. Xiao Lou observed the murals more carefully this time. The man’s black hair was tied in a bun on top of his head with a simple elegant wooden hairpin and he had a jade pendant on his waist in the shape of a crescent moon. The last mural looked like the scene of him joining the army? The man wore the armor of an ancient soldier.
Xiao Lou was stunned. “It isn’t a woman this time.”
It had previously been speculated that the owner of the tomb had married many young girls from different tribes to sacrifice them and bury them alive in the ancient tomb… now the appearance of a man in the murals showed that this speculation was wrong.
After reading the murals, a stone door appeared in front of them. There was a simple Taichi diagram that would open the mechanism as long as the pattern was restored. As Xiao Lou speculated, there was a sarcophagus in the stone room and the blood oozing from the gaps in the sarcophagus had already solidified and blackened.
Would there be resentment again that would make them fall into a hallucination? The group took a step back and stared warily at the sarcophagus. However, one minute passed and nothing happened.
Xiao Lou told them, “Open it and see.”
Yu Hanjiang pulled out his dagger and split open the lid of the sarcophagus. There was a white skeleton inside the coffin that was wearing armor. The metal armor had long since oxidized and blackened due to age. He held a jade pendant in his hand that was the same as in the mural. There was the mark of a crescent moon on it.
Xiao Lou leaned over to look closely at the bones and analyzed, “It is an adult male and the age should be around 25 years old. There were signs of a fierce struggle before his death. All of the bones in his hands were broken.”
Yu Hanjiang frowned as he looked at the white bones in the coffin. “There was a bride in the sarcophagus just now. It seems that it is a soldier this time?”
Xiao Lou temporarily didn’t understand. He asked Gui Yuanzhang in a low voice. “Senior, what did you find over there?”
Gui Yuanzhang had just entered the stone room. Chu Huaying opened the coffin and found a skeleton lying inside. There was a necklace around the neck bones of the skeleton. The pendant was a bit like a wolf’s tooth and there was a strange totem painted on it.
Gui Yuanzhang answered, “A corpse and a totem necklace were found. The clothes should be coarse cloth.”
Xiao Lou told him, “Look at the pelvis of the corpse. Is the upper part peach shaped or oval? For the angle of the pelvis at the very bottom, is the angle around 70 degrees acute or greater than 90 degrees obtuse?”
Chu Huaying was right next to the coffin. She heard this and answered, “It is peach shaped and the angle is acute.”
It seemed to be a man again.
In a case where the corpse had decomposed to bones, the key to distinguish between a male and female was the pelvis. The female pelvis was oval and the angle of the pubic symphysis at the bottom was 100 degrees or more, facilitating the birth of children. Males didn’t need to give birth so the angle of the pelvis below was sharp and pointed.
Xiao Lou told the others about his conclusion. “The newly discovered bones in the rooms on both sides are male. We seem to have a soldier here and you should have a scholar?”
Ye Qi added, “The murals we just saw seem to be the scene of a scholar growing up.”
Everyone exchanged glances.
The underground tomb was full of strange things. The brides were the first ones discovered, it was thought that the owner of the tomb had deliberately married some young girls to bury them alive. Since the owner of the tomb was a general, perhaps he was a lustful man. Before he died, he wanted to drag some women to hell with him. Maybe he paid attention to ‘enjoying women without lifting a finger’.
Now it seemed this wasn’t the case. The bodies of two men were found in the next stone rooms. Judging from the jade pendant and necklace left on them, they still belonged to different tribes. The only thing in common was that the people buried alive were very young.
So what was this ceremony?
Xiao Lou was temporarily unable to come to a conclusion. “Continue looking first. We have to find all the sarcophagi.”
After leaving the stone room the group walked a bit further. A corner appeared at the corridor ahead, at an angle of around 135 degrees to the corridor.
Xiao Lou stopped at the corner and ordered, “Old Mo, check the direction.”
Old Mo held the compass carefully. “Based on the compass pointer, this direction… it should be due north.”
The direction suddenly changed and everyone couldn’t help being more cautious.
Along the way, murals appeared on the walls on both sides of the passage. This time, the main characters of the murals were two small children. The two of them were playing with each other, looking lively and cute.
There was only one pair of murals. Then another stone door appeared.
Xiao Lou pushed open the stone door gently. It actually opened without a mechanism.
Inside the room was still a sarcophagus. Yu Hanjiang didn’t need Xiao Lou’s reminder. He directly used his blade to split open the lid of the sarcophagus.
The scene inside the coffin made everyone feel numb.
They saw two cute children in the coffin. They looked only seven or eight years old and were a boy and a girl. The girl was dressed in bright red with her hair in two small braids. The boy was wearing white and his hair was tied up. The skin of the two children wasn’t rotten. They looked… alive!
Two vivid-looking children suddenly appeared in the coffin in the tomb. Lu Jiuchuan couldn’t help taking a step back.
At the same time, Ye Qi’s voice was heard in Xiao Lou’s ears. He was obviously frightened and his voice trembled slightly. “Professor Xiao, there are two children in the coffin. One is male and the other is female!”
The next moment, the boy and girl suddenly opened their eyes, two lines of bloody tears dripping from them. The two children cried and their crying made the people listening to them sad. They stood up and stretched out their arms as if asking Xiao Lou to hold them.
Yu Hanjiang held up his sword and placed Xiao Lou behind him.
Lu Jiuchuan saw the two children moving toward them and felt numb. “This room is just like a ghost horror movie! How can the children in the coffin still move? Is it another illusion?”
Xiao Lou took a deep breath. “Everyone, close your eyes. Don’t look and don’t listen.”
Everyone did so immediately. A moment later, the strange crying of the children really disappeared. Xiao Lou opened his eyes and saw that the two children were still quietly lying in the coffin. They hadn’t moved at all.
He said, “This is the live sacrifice of a virgin boy and girl.”
Ye Qi heard this and his eyes widened. “I heard a saying that many powerful officials in ancient times will find some young boys and girls to bury alive with them when they die. It is like bringing servants to wait on them in the afterlife.”
Xiao Lou explained. “The ancients believe that even mortals have immortal energy in their bodies. In particular, that virgin boys and girls have spiritual roots inside their bodies. Their immortal karma and energy are stronger than the average person. Thus, the ancients liked to use virgin boys and girls to be buried with themselves to help them become immortals after death.”
He looked at the two lovely children in front of him. He couldn’t help clenching his fists and spoke in a low voice. “Once the bodies rot after death, their immortal energy will leak out. In order to not let the immortal energy in the bodies of these children leak, they will force a lot of mercury into the body of the children when they are still alive. This way, their bodies will remain the same and they will look like they are still alive.”
“……” Lu Jiuchuan sucked in a breath. “In other words, they grabbed living boys and girls and poured mercury into their bodies? How did they do that?”
“I have read some information. They usually poured the mercury into the child’s mouth. They also created holes in the top of the head, the back and the soles of the feet, through which they slowly poured in mercury. After the mercury entered the body, the children didn’t die immediately. The mercury flowed all over their body and they slowly suffered to death. Mercury has a strong antiseptic effect and the corpse will remain fresh for a long time.” Xiao Lou couldn’t help his voice trembling. It was the first time he had seen such a cruel burial system.
“F*k!” Lu Jiuchuan couldn’t help cursing. “These beasts, they slowly tortured children to death and they still want to f*king become immortal? They are so evil that they should go to the 18 hells!”
“It seems that these two children look like living people because they are filled with mercury.” Yu Hanjiang had his three views refreshed about some of the feudal society’s burial systems. It was really ignorant and cruel.
Xiao Lou’s words were transmitted to Gui Yuanzhang’s team of six through the voice headset.
Qu Wanyue looked at the two children in the coffin and clenched her fists. “Is this tomb owner really doing this for the so-called immortality? He buried so many people alive for himself?”
Gui Yuanzhang told them, “There is a saying that if living people die for them, not only can it help them become immortal but those who died will also serve as their servants in another world.”
He glanced at the two children in the cold sarcophagus and said in a deep voice, “We have found two beautiful young brides, two strong young men and two pairs of boys and girls. According to this logic, after death, the tomb owner will have a wife, a concubine, servants and boys and girls to help him cultivate immortality. This can be called very satisfactory.”
Such a person wanted to become an immortal? He should go to hell and accept the 18 types of torture!
Gui Yuanzhang leaned over and took off two charms from the chests of the two children.
At the same time, Xiao Lou also found the amulets on the children.
He leaned down to take off the charms. “It is said that the virgin boys and girls used for burial shouldn’t just keep their physical bodies intact. Their souls also need to be confined to the tomb, to be loyal to the tomb owner and never reincarnate. These charms should be a way to suppress the souls of the children.”
Did the children’s pained cries just now come from their sealed souls?
No one knew what to say.
Xiao Lou took off the charms. He didn’t know if this was a type of relief for the children.
Proofreader: Fictional Reality & Paranoid Kitten