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Candle in the Tomb (鬼吹灯之精绝古城): Episode 18 Recap

Hu and Shirley safely cross the river and stand before the gate observing it. The stone gate is propped open with large rocks. It shows traces of being bombed with explosives and getting lifted by a crowbar. Shirley wonders if it has something to do with the owner of the notebook. It is a likely possibility since the traces left behind seem to be decades old. There could’ve also been others that were here before them too.

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Judging from how thick the gate is and how deep underground it is, the possibility of this being the entrance to the Jingjue Queen’s tomb is very high.

Hu shares his worries that everything has been going too smoothly. It’s possible that more than one group has been here, so why hasn’t there been any records of it?

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Shirley understands his worries but no matter what, she is determined to go see the Jingjue Queen’s tomb.

They decide to go back and discuss this with Professor Chen.

Professor Chen is on the same wavelength as Shirley. He has to go see the tomb for himself to see if it has been wrecked or raided. Also, it’s been Professor Hao’s lifelong dream to see the tomb so he has to do it for him too. The other students agree.

Since they’re all determined to go, Hu tells them he’ll go in first to take a look. If there’s no problems then everyone else can come in. If he doesn’t come out in four to five hours, they shouldn’t enter and should just leave without him.

Fatso argues to go with him to watch his back but Hu refuses and tells him he needs to stay and lead them to safety if something happnes to him. Shirley ends this tragic speech by saying she’ll go with him. She will not allow him to go to the tomb by himself no matter what. Hu agrees to this. Shirley gets Chu Jian’s rifle and the two cross the river once again.

They go through the entrance and walk along the narrow corridor for quite a long time. Hu notes that tombs in the central plains don’t have such long passageways. Though if there were any traps, the people that have come before them might have already set them off so there will be traces of them.

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As they’re going along the passageway, Shirley asks Hu if he’s a tomb raider. He stops and says it’s not possible and asks why she’s asking. She tells him that she’s just guessing since he’s so familiar with metal positioning and ancient tombs. Hu explains that this is a skill that’s been passed down in his family. His grandfather was a famous Feng Shui master in their village. His father was in the army and didn’t learn anything so it was passed down to him. Eventually it became a hobby.

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Shirley looks amused by his explanation but accepts it nonetheless. They continue on.

Fatso is sitting at the edge of the river, checking his bullets when he notices something in the waters. When he reaches for it, Sa Di Peng approaches him and asks if he really thinks of them as being childish. Why does he feel like he’s a kindergarden teacher when around them? Fatso laughs and says that was a joke for Hu and not to take it so seriously. Then he notices Ye Xi Xin’s flashlight is out of batteries and gives her a spare.

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Fatso tells Professor Chen and Chu Jian if they need anything, just to let him know.

Hu and Shirley reach the end of the passageway where the path breaks off. She guesses that after the Jingjue Queen was buried, the Jingjue people must have destroyed the parts that connected it to her tomb so that she can rest in peace. Hu thinks this is great and thinks they should turn back but Shirley wants to know how far down this cave goes. She lights a flare and tosses it down.

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The light reveals heaps and mountains of gold, silver, and treasures all around.

There’s a rope ladder nearby, probably used by the previous explorers to get down. Shirley wants to go down and check it out but it’s better to go back and get their own since this one looks really old.

Hu stops Shirley and wonders why none of the previous explorers took any of the treasures when there’s so much down there. Best case scenario they could’ve been explorers; worst case scenario they really were thieves who came to China to steal. Thieves never leave empty handed.

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Shirley is guessing that Hu is hinting there might be some sort of trap or beast down there. Hu brings up what An Li Man said about the curse of the of the Black Desert. No matter who it is, if someone dares to take anything from here, they will be buried with it forever in the Black Desert.

Shirley doesn’t think this will be a problem for them. They’re archaeologists. They definitely won’t take anything. The one she’s most worried about is Fatso.

Hu takes offense to this and swears on his life that if he tells Fatso not to take anything, his friend definitely won’t take anything. Shirley points out how angry he gets when she talks about Fatso. Then without waiting for his reply, turns around and heads back. Hu follows her.

Fatso picks up the gold coin from the water and excitedly pockets it.

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Professor Chen is starting to get worried since Hu and Shirley haven’t come back yet. He tells Fatso to go look for them and Fatso agrees. Before he crosses the river though, he asks if it’s possible that the Queen’s treasures are buried underneath the river. Professor Chen says it’s possible and asks if he found anything. Fatso laughs and says he didn’t then sets off.

Just as he’s crossed the river Hu and Shirley appear. Fatso tells him he has something to tell him but then looks at Shirley. Shirley excuses herself to let them talk. Once she’s out of earshot, Fatso shows Hu the gold coin he found. Hu barely reacts to it.

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Fatso asks him about what he found inside and if there were any treasures. Hu says there’s a lot. But the more important thing is that Shirley is suspecting them of being tomb raiders. Hu tells Fatso about what happened inside. Fatso is still adamant that as an American, she’s no better than them and continues to accuse her of being a spy. Hu just tells him to think of others positively and joins back the group.

After Shirley has told the professor what they saw down there, Professor Chen is eager to go down and see it for himself. They set off immediately after hearing the news.

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One by one they go down the ladder to where all the treasures are. Fatso is dazzled by all the treasures around him. When Sa Di Peng comes down, he takes him aside and asks him to take a picture for him. Sa Di Peng says he’s only supposed to take pictures for recording purposes. He can’t break that rule.

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Professor Chen tells him it’s okay and to just take one picture for Fatso. Sa Di Peng does so and when he turns around, Fatso puts a pearl necklace into his pocket. Professor Chen catches him red handed and demands what he’s doing. Fatso tries to play dumb.

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Shirley looks at Hu and Hu looks slightly embarrassed. He immediately goes to scold Fatso but Fatso keeps denying it saying he didn’t want to take it. Professor Chen repeats himself that everything here is historical and it belongs to the state and tells him to put it back.

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Fatso puts it back and Professor Chen asks if there’s anymore in his pockets. Fatso says there isn’t and checks his pockets but he comes across the gold coin from the river. Judging from his guilty face, Professor Chen assumes he has more and tells him to take it out and put it back. After Fatso has put the gold coin down too, Professor Chen tells him about being tempted by the treasures when he first started getting into archaeology but with time he got used to it and it wasn’t tempting anymore. Then he closes this issue by saying no one is to say anything about this incident anymore. Hu thanks Professor Chen and everyone else for their tolerance.

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There’s a light up ahead and they decide to head towards it.

An even bigger cave opens up. It’s the Devil’s Cave from legends. The Jingjue people were known as Devil’s Cave Dwellers because they guard a cave that’s like a bottomless abyss. Shirley throws a flare down to see where it ends but it just keeps falling and falling until it disappears. This is probably the connection to the imaginary dimension.

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Shirley thinks there’s something above them so she tells Hu to hold on to her while she leans back over the edge to take a look. She sees a large rock pillar up there and something else on top of it. There’s a path that goes along the wall that leads them up and they carefully go on it.

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As they get closer, they can see a large log tied up there. Hu tells them it’s probably Kunlun holy wood. It’s the best, top quality material for coffins. It would never within when not in soil, without water, or sunlight. What’s miraculous about this wood is that the body put inside of it won’t decay for tens of thousands of years. So it’s extremely likely that the Jingjue Queen is inside that wood.

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Shirley has a flashback of her recurring dreams of walking up to the log. She continues forward and the rest carefully follow her.

They’re getting closer now and Professor Chen spots something on top of the wood. He’s so transfixed that he almost falls over the edge. Fatso thinks it’s a giant taro. But it is likely the corpse flower (Titan Arum) of the legends. Professor Chen can’t believe it actually exists.

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Next Episode: 19 →

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