Chapter 9: The Thirtieth person within the Bronze Coffin
“How could there be…… One additional person!”
“Who…… Who is it?”
The voice of the person who raised the question in everyone’s hearts was trembling.
Everyone switched their phones to maximum brightness as they used the light to scrutinise the people beside them. Everyone was worried they would see someone they did not recognise.
People began to gather together with the people they were familiar with and threw furtive glances all around them.
Everyone finally realised that there was indeed one additional person in the corner of the coffin.
“You…… Who are you?”
“Are you a human or are you a ghost?”
Being trapped in the mysterious bronze coffin anything could happen and the people were growing restless knowing that an unfamiliar person was with them.
A heavy cough came from the dark corner and the black figure said in a low and hoarse voice: “Ghost……Ghost……”
The hoarse voice reverberated within the bronze coffin. At this moment everyone felt their goose bumps once again stand up and the atmosphere seemed much colder.
Everyone felt as though they had been submerged in ice, a few female students started screaming and crying and some even fell limply to the ground.
“”Ghost……Place……”* The voice was very weak and it could be felt that the black figure was very tired as he tried to stand up.
[T/N* The author uses a play on words when the chinese words for ghost and place are combined together they carry the meaning of ‘Damned Place’]
“This really is a…… damned place, are we really in the bronze coffin?” The black figure in the corner slowly got up and spoke in a confused tone. His voice was gradually gaining strength.
Seeing that the tall black figure in the corner had stood up many people inadvertently started to back away.
The black figure moved towards them while saying: “It’s me, Pang Bo.”
“Stop right there! Don’t move!” Everyone had their handphones facing the front, using the dim lighting to get a clearer picture.
Ye Fan broke off from the group and gingerly walked forward saying: “Are you really Pang Bo?”
“Can’t even recognise me from my voice?” The dim lighting from a phone illuminated a familiar silhouette. Pang Bo had big eyes, thick bushy brows and was well built.
Pang Bo was one of Ye Fan’s best friends in university and was actually unable to attend the gathering due to some personal matters. Now that he had suddenly appeared anyone would have been left suspicious .
“I don’t believe you, Pang Bo never came to the gathering, who are you?” Someone in the back of the group chimed.
Someone who wasn’t supposed to be around was now standing together with them in the bronze coffin, this made a few people feel their scalps tingle.
“Naturally I’m Pang Bo, does anyone have water? I’m so thirsty right now.” The black figure continued to advance towards them.
“Stop right there!” Everyone still found it hard to believe.
Pang Bo could only stop and start to speak about events that had happened in university to prove his identity.
“I believe that he is Pang Bo.” Ye Fan said in a firm voice and walked briskly towards Pang Bo’s side, the two people had not met in a long time and under the current circumstances, they gave each other a bear hug.
“Initially because of some family matters I was unable to make it for the gathering however I heard that you guys were heading to Mount Tai and since I had already settled my family matters I decided to rush over……”
Pang Bo took a water bottle from Ye Fan and “Gulp, Gulp, Gulp” drank many big mouthfuls before continuing with his story on how he entered the bronze coffin as well.
Everyone had already started climbing by the time he reached and he had decided to take a cable car to the top.
He was considered relatively lucky, when the nine dragon corpses and bronze coffin had crashed into Mount Tai he had just reached the Jade Emperor Peak. He did not follow the crowd and run down the mountain but rather hugged a large tree until the tremors stopped and was not hurt.
Thereafter he saw from afar that Ye Fan and the other classmates were falling into the giant crater and rushed over. That was when he saw the ancient characters floating in the air and suddenly felt immobile. The bronze coffin then started to tremble and he was brought inside together with the rest of them.
Pang Bo was not on the large altar when he was brought into the bronze coffin and had fainted upon being transported in.
Only after a series of explanations did the students eventually believe him and start to calm down again.
“We must find a way to save ourselves, it is impossible to remain completely calm within this coffin and i’ve got a bad feeling……” Li Xiao Man said palely, her beautiful visage looking towards the dark areas of the bronze coffin. Compared to the other female students, Li Xiao Man and Lin Jia had fared much better.
Hearing this, several people felt a chill up their spines.
“Guys let’s stick together and not split up.” Zhou Yi said constructively.
Everyone huddled together and used the dim light from their phones to move together while analysing the situation. Sticking to one side of the coffin and moving they saw that the bronze engravings could be seen inside as well; there was a picture of a nine headed phoenix as well as a giant ferocious beast whose body was covered with long hard bristles roaring at the sky.
A rusty and oxidized bronze sculpture resembled a ferocious and primitive beast from the wilderness. It exuded a gluttonous aura seemingly able to devour everything, it’s figure was big and it’s face was savage looking. The sculpture was extremely lifelike and made one feel fear.
Following the inner wall of the bronze coffin, people saw that there were also people engraved, these people looked like ancient ancestors or even ancient gods. Thereafter the group discovered a bizarre picture that was dotted with stars seemingly depicting the universe.
The bronze coffin was 20 metres in length and 8 metres in width and the group had only explored one corner of the coffin. They did not continue exploring as people felt that there was something else within the coffin.
All the handphones were raised and as the group slowly progressed forward they could make out a rectangular shaped object in the centre of the bronze coffin.
When it was obvious that the object was neither a corpse nor a living thing, the group approached slowly after calming down.
“A coffin within a coffin! There’s actually another bronze coffin here!” Upon seeing the object clearly several people gasped.
In the very centre was another bronze coffin that was about 4 metres in length and 2 metres in width, ancient yet simplistic in design with engravings on it that seemed to be extremely weathered with time. It was daunting to imagine what could be in that coffin.
“It isn’t a coffin within a coffin, this is the real coffin that holds the corpse. The outer bronze coffin is just the outer layer and together with the inner one they are a set. The outer coffin could be seen as a decorative piece to cover the inner coffin.” Pang bo said to the few who did not understand what they were seeing.
Hearing that there could actually be a real corpse within the inner coffin,”shuffle shuffle shuffle” several people backtracked as their hearts were filled with trepidation.
What sort of person could be put away into such a mysterious coffin? Everyone was filled with fear and alarm.
In the past they had known that set coffins were usually done for tombs of pharaohs or emperors of old but those seemed insignificant when compared to the bronze coffins.
Who had ever seen a 20 metre bronze coffin set? Who had ever witnessed a giant coffin falling from the sky? Who had ever seen nine dragons pulling a coffin? This led people to wonder what sort of personage was buried within and if it was only one person.