Agarwood like Crumbs (沉香如屑) Novel Translations

Chapter 9: The Girl Inside the Tomb

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YanDan was agitated and quickly took a couple steps back, “Turns out it was you…”

The candle was lit, and Tang Zhou sat up, looking at her, “Come here.”

YanDan shook her head pitifully, “Please don’t be angry, I swear to god I didn’t mean to use you as a cushion.”

Tang Zhou kept looking at her, “Come here.”

“I’m wrong, I’m wrong, it’s all my fault, please don’t lock me into the gourd…”

Tang Zhou sighed, saying tiredly, “When you poked me, you pressed on my acupuncture point, and now I can’t get up, so you need to help me.”

YanDan felt relieved, “Why didn’t you say that earlier?”

Tang Zhou sighed again, “Who taught you to be smart? It’s on my back… two inches to the right, a little bit more to the left, and use your energy and press that point.” YanDan did exactly what she was told to, and then stood to the side obediently.

Tang Zhou stood up and brushed the dust off his body, “If you were always this obedient, there wouldn’t be a need for the jade gourd.”

YanDan couldn’t resist asking, “Then when are you going to release me?”

Before he answered, they heard Ling XuZi’s voice, “Tang Zhou, are you alright?”

Tang Zhou walked over, raising his voice, “This is also part of the tomb, the stone is very slippery, so be careful when you come down.”

YanDan was interrupted, so she was annoyed and asked again, “When do you plan on letting me go?”

Tang Zhou replied, “I’ve already done my best.”

That was a smart reply. Although he didn’t force her into the jade gourd, his answer meant that he wouldn’t let her go and once they get back to QingShi town she might still be refined into a pill.

YanDan couldn’t do anything but try to comfort herself, telling herself that there was still time for her to escape.

After a little bit of kungfu, Ling XuZi managed to get down the slippery tunnel with Zhai Shang and one of the Wu brothers right behind him.

Zhai Shang’s face was an ugly shade, “This tunnel is really slippery, and getting back up there won’t be easy.”

Ling XuZi reasoned, “This cemetery is very smartly created, so there must be another exit.”

When they walked into the tomb, there were 8 people but in an instant, there were only 5 people left.

Ling XuZi said solemnly, “There are a lot of traps in this tomb, especially since it’s so dark, there will probably be enemies spying on us. We need to be careful, and not turn on each other, or else nobody can escape from here.”

Zhai Shang immediately replied, “Alright.”

Everyone pushed the door to the tomb and behind the door, they saw the same tomb.

In the center of the tomb, there was a coffin. The lid had been moved, and there was a pair of hands sticking straight up from the coffin, as if trying to hold something.

The youngest Wu took a step back, his teeth chattering, “it’s a zombie, it’s a zombie!”

Ling XuZi took a step forward, and sighed in relief, “It’s not a zombie, it’s just the corpse of the empress.”

“Then why is her hand raised like that?!”

Tang Zhou raised the candle a little closer, saying deeply, “She was forced into the coffin, and died from suffocation, so she was trying to open the coffin.”

Zhai Shang walked in front of the coffin, his eyes lighting up, “There’s so many treasures here!”

When the youngest Wu heard “treasures”, he immediately charged forward, and leaned forward to grab a piece. He was holding a handful of Dongzhu’s, glowing faintly with each being the size of his thumb. His fingers trembled and accidentally squeezed one of them. Suddenly, it squirted a jet of black ink at his face. He tried to rub it off, and rolled around on the ground, but then stopped moving after a bit.

Tang Zhou took out his sword, pointing it to Zhai Shang, “Who are you?”

Ling XuZi was shocked, “Tang Zhou, what are you doing?!”

“He’s not Zhai Shang anymore.” Tang Zhou looked at Zhai Shang’s hands, the fingers long and soft, no calluses at all, not the hands of someone who has practiced with the sword for many years.

The man smiled softly, “The one who sent me will punish me. Where can you go now?” The candles in the tomb suddenly went out and the surroundings were plunged into darkness. Tang Zhou’s sword flicked, defending himself, before relighting the candles again.

The moment the candle was lit, the sudden light pierced everyone’s eyes. YanDan felt something cold pass by her, hearing the person say, “turns out we’re the same…” and then the voice died away.

YanDan kept wondering what “turns out we’re the same” meant.

They finally found Zhai Shang’s corpse lying down behind the tomb’s stone door. There was a little scar between his two eyebrows and his face was calm, as if he didn’t feel any pain or suffering at all.

Tang Zhou watched for a while, but heard Ling XuZi start crying. Then, it turned into hysterical laughing, as if he went mad.

YanDan said quietly, “He went crazy.”

Ling XuZi’s brother who came to this place also went crazy, and Tang Zhou and YanDan might experience the same thing happening to them.

There was suddenly a feeling of despair.

There’s a powerful enemy hiding in the dark, and there’s no way of knowing if that person will morph into someone. There were many malicious feelings in this tomb and the only feeling left was despair.

Tang Zhou turned to look at her, “Are you scared?”

YanDan smiled slightly, “I know who the person is. He’s not human, a demon, and definitely not a devil. He won’t actually kill us, only test us.”

As soon as her voice died down, there was a person’s shadow standing in the tomb. The person was tall, had sleek black hair, both plump and graceful, but had an ugly face. When he spoke, he could make others forget about his appearance, and only remember his prosperous demeanor, “It’s true I won’t make a move, and if the two of you live long enough, we will definitely meet in the future.”

After he finished speaking, his body turned into vapor and whisked out of the tomb. Tang Zhou immediately chased after him, but after a while, he couldn’t even see the person at all.

Tang Zhou couldn’t help asking, “How did you know he didn’t want to kill us?”

YanDan looked at him, “If he wanted to make a move, he had lots of opportunities. But then again, he still might’ve had bad intentions. Do you know who the Lord of the Gods is? That’s him.” After that, she paused a little before continuing, “His behavior is sometimes good, sometimes evil. Sometimes he will kill people without any remorse, and other times he would have a good heart. If his mood today was bad, then there would still be more traps.”

Tang Zhou smiled bitterly, “I never knew there were these types of people in this world.” He remembered that Ling XuZi was still in the tomb, and was about to look back, but YanDan said, “It’s better to find the exit first, and then bring the lunatic along. It’ll be easier that way.”

Tang Zhou nodded, “It would be easier.”

The two of them walked deeper and deeper into the tomb, and soon came to the stone gate at the end of the cemetery.

Tang Zhou pressed his palm on the stone gate and without using much strength, it suddenly opened, and the two of them were pushed in. The gate closed by itself with a creak.

In front of them was no longer an ordinary tomb, the tomb as gorgeous as a royal palace.

The floor was covered with a turquoise glaze, and the walls had many pearls embedded in them. The faint pearly light and colored glaze were gorgeous and luxurious, but ghostly at the same time.

YanDan pointed forward, “Maybe there’s an exit over there.”

Tang Zhou nodded, and wrapped his hand around the scabbard of his sword, walking forward steadily. He stopped suddenly and stared at the door, “There’s someone here.”

After YanDan heard that, she immediately walked forward and said in surprise, “There really is someone there.”

In the shadow of the door, there sat a girl wearing purple clothes. Her face was pale and her eyelashes trembled slightly. Hearing the noise, she slowly opened her eyes, her eyes fixing on the two strangers. 

Why is this girl all by herself in the tomb?

YanDan stepped back a step, smiling slightly, “Miss, how come you’re at a place like this?”

The girl looked at them, didn’t move, and opened her mouth slightly but no sound came out.

YanDan tried to use simpler words, “Were you kidnapped and then brought here? Can you not speak, are you a mute?”

The girl nodded and then shook her head.

YanDan asked confusedly, “If you’re not a mute, then why aren’t you speaking?”

Tang Zhou glanced at her, “Her mute acupuncture point was pressed.”

YanDan moved to the side, talking to the girl, “Master never taught me the acupuncture path, but Tang Zhou is both knowledgeable and talented, so he probably knows how to do it.” Tang Zhou bluntly pushed her forward, “Just do what I say.”

YanDan was confused, “Why?”

Tang Zhou’s expression turned cold, “Are you going to do it or not?”

YanDan stepped forward, and listened to Tang Zhou’s command, “3 inches above the waist, then go to the right… you’re currently moving to the left…” YanDan finally managed to push the pressure point, and the girl’s cheeks turned pink, still afraid to open her eyes. YanDan smiled, “Don’t be afraid.” She did everything softly and warmly, and if it was changed to Tang Zhou, then the young girl would probably be so scared she would kill herself onspot. 

The girl stood up, her feet a little unsteady, and bowed, “Thank you for saving me. May I know your names?” She looked up at Tang Zhou, and blushed again.

Tang Zhou’s personality seemed to change in that instant, and he replied warmly, “My name is Tang Zhou. May I know your name?”

The girl’s face was still red, and she replied softly, “My surname is Tao, my name is Ziqi.”

YanDan thought for a while, and remembered that one of the Nine Stars name was Ziqi, but it was strange for her to have the unusual surname of Tao, her parents must have been very weird.

The girl walked in front of Tang Zhou, and every now and then would say a couple of sentences. YanDan walked five steps away, hoping that Tang Zhou would find her as an eyesore now and then let her go, so she continued inching away. But after a while, she heard Tang Zhou turn around and say, “What are you doing?”

YanDan smiled a little and she put on a face of innocence, “I’ve been walking for a long time and my feet are tired.”

Tang Zhou looked at her coldly, “Stop playing around.” Then he turned around to face the girl, “Her body’s fit enough for her to kill a tiger. If you’re tired, then just tell us and we can take a rest.”

YanDan smiled, “Just look at you complimenting me.” Turning around, she bit her teeth angrily, Tang Zhou that bastard, how could he dare to say something like that to her! No matter how strong a woman is, how could she be happy to hear “she’s strong enough to fight a tiger to death”? 

She pouted, angry but was too afraid to say something, so she could only stare at the wall. Behind her, Ziqi was talking about the story of her kidnapping. An extremely ugly yet still handsome man brought her here. YanDan thought it must have been the Lord of the Gods. Thinking of this, she didn’t pay attention and she was dragged forward, falling to the ground. Of course Tang Zhou moved forward, and the distance between them was more than 5 steps, so she was pulled forward.

Tang Zhou heard the commotion, and walked towards her, knitting his eyebrows, “What are you doing?”

YanDan fumbled around the ground for a moment, and felt something round, and held it up, “I tripped over this.”

Ziqi saw what was in her hand, and shouted in shock, immediately retreating back. YanDan saw something white, and realised that she was holding a bone in her hand.

The girl kept retreating, and then tripped over a long rib bone, her face starchy white. She was so scared she couldn’t even say anything. Tang Zhou walked forward to help her, and YanDan immediately was dragged forward by any invisible force, and shouted angrily, “Tang Zhou you bastard! Stop it!”

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