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Candle in the Tomb (鬼吹灯之精绝古城): Episode 20 Recap

Hu suggests the possibility that one of them isn’t human. Fatso is confused. Then what could they be? God? Or the Devil?

Hu suggests another possibility: could one of the people have been rubbed off over time?

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That isn’t a possibility. Shirley observes the drawing more closely. It’s been perfectly preserved with no signs of any wear and tear. The picture clearly shows there being four people and one of the four people opens the stone casket. Fatso decides to have him and Hu give it a try opening up the casket.

Just then Professor Chen is screaming about there being monsters in the cave and running around like a crazy man. Fatso grabs him. He and Hu are struggling to hold the professor and calm him down.

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Ye Xi Xin suddenly wakes up heaving with her eyes open in fright. Shirley runs to her and tries to figure out what’s wrong but then the next thing they know, Ye Xi Xin stills and dies in Fatso’s arms. Fatso blames Shirley for all this.

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Professor Chen starts acting up again. He’s screaming nonsense as he pushes open the stone casket. Hu and Fatso grab him and set him down off to the sit. He continues to mutter about there being monsters around them. Professor Chen has pretty much lost all strands of sanity.

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Shirley tries to comfort Professor Chen while Fatso pulls Hu off to the side to talk. The prophecy came true. They’re four people now and Professor Chen was the one who opened the casket.

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There’s a smaller box inside the first one with two more drawings that could be another prophecy. Of the four people, one of them is the devil. Fatso doesn’t believe him. Hu takes him to one end and shows him the first picture. It has four people but one of them has eyes and teeth like a snake. It’s similar to the stone statue pillar in the divine palace. On the other side, there are two drawings side-by-side which symbolizes two outcomes: The first one is of one of the four people open the box and the devil appears. It attacks and kills the other three. The second option shows the devil with it’s body and head torn apart. The other three open the box and a path appears before them.

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After hearing the prophecy, Fatso is quick to single out Shirley as the devil. Hu tries to calm him down, saying that any one of them could be the devil and that they need to think this through carefully. Fatso doesn’t care since they could die any minute now. He tells Hu to test him if he wants.

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Fatso then says some phrase that originated from Chairman Mao. From this, Hu comes up with a solution to this issue. Since the devil most likely originated from the Jingjue Kingdom, there’s no way it experienced the Cultural Revolution nor gone through the recent political education. So they will use this point to test the devil. The two of them start reciting some soldier tribute poem.

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Shirley interrupts and scolds them for fooling around. The two pull out a black donkey’s hoof and rope from Hu’s bag and approach Shirley with it. Hu tells Shirley to bite the hoof, and then give it to Professor Chen to take a bite. Shirley knows the hoof is supposed to ward off evil and thinks they’re crazy. She refuses.

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Hu tells her about the prophecy. If she continues to refuse, then there must be something wrong with her. Shirley ducks out of their reach and grabs the rifle to arm herself against them. She thinks just because she suspected them of being tomb raiders, they want to kill her now.

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Both Hu and Fatso have their guns pointed at Shirley too. Hu asks her what her relation is to the Jingjue Queen. Why do they look exactly the same?! Hu tells them what he saw when he opened the coffin. Shirley counters that it’s his hallucinations. How is she supposed to explain what he sees.

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Hu finally snaps and demands to know how does she know so much about tomb raiding and it’s jargon when she’s an American. Fatso has had enough and is about to throw the donkey’s hoof at her when Shirley tells them to wait. She then pulls out her necklace and throws it to them. It’s the Mojin amulet. A real one. Gold Tooth previously lied to them and gave them the fake ones.

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Shirley explains that her maternal grandfather was also a tomb raider; that’s where she got all her knowledge from.

Professor Chen chooses this time to act up again. Fatso goes to grab him and has trouble sticking the hoof in his mouth. He calls Hu over to help him and Shirley warns them not to do anything. Hu doesn’t listen so Shirley fires a warning shot into the air.

Fatso tells Hu to shoot her but Hu hits him instead. He then tells Shirley to look after Professor Chen while he goes back to the stone casket. The previous drawings on the inner box are gone. Fatso goes to take a look and confirms he sees nothing too. Hu finally understands what’s going on.

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Everything that was going on before was just a hallucination. The shot from Shirley woke him up. Same as when he was on the bridge – it was Fatso’s gunshot that woke him up.

This must have been caused by the corpse flower. When it blooms, it’s control reach expands. Hu realizes the Red Spider Lily flower was also a hallucination created by the corpse flower. It’s motive was to create conflict and for them to kill each other. This way, the secret of the Jingjue Queen wouldn’t be exposed.

The owner of the notebook probably saw his comrades killing each other and went insane, just like Professor Chen.

Hu apologizes to Shirley for their previous behavior and rudeness. She brushes it off and they go to see what’s inside the box. Hu opens it and reveals a book inside. It’s filled with drawings that talks about the secrets of the Devil’s Cave people. Shirley reads and deciphers it for them.

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It talks about the Devil’s cave in Mt Zhagelama that everyone wants to know what’s inside. They invited a priest and built a jade eye in hopes of being able to see what’s in the bottomless cave. This doesn’t work and instead, attracts many weird snakes that ended up killing many people and animals. In the end, these two sages that were favored by God, lead the warriors in the tribe to eliminate all the snakes. From then on, the sages considered the cave as a cave of disaster.

After all this, a prophet was born into the tribe. He was able to predict major events which will happen a thousand years later but it’s only restricted to the area around Mt. Zhagelama.

Professor Chen approaches them then and tells them not to read the contents at the back. He grabs the book from Shirley, tears out the last page and stuffs it into his mouth. Fatso attempts to hold him still while Hu wrestles the book out of the professor’s hands and pry the page out of his mouth. When he does, he sees that the page is empty. Shirley checks the end of the book and tells them there was nothing drawn on the last page anyways.

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She continues reading.

The prophet prophesied that 800 years after his death, Mt Zhagelama will have another tribe. The Queen of Jingjue had eyes which could see through the ghost cave. She used the jade eye to summon evil spirits and used this power to conquer the surrounding tribes. These violent acts of the kingdom angered God, so God handed this mountain and the surrounding regions to the devil. The desert swallowed up all the cities.

Hu is in disbelief. What they’re reading coincides with everything Shirley has been telling them about the Ancient City of Jingjue.

There will be four survivors who come here after the mountain was torn apart. One of them is actually a descendant of the prophet’s tribe. The prophet will show his descendant the escape route. However, they must be careful not to drop the manuscript on the ground. If it drops on the ground, it will trigger the beginnings of a sandstorm. The sandstorm will once again bury the Ancient City of Jingjue and Mt. Zhagelama, rendering it buried until the end of time.

Out of all of them, Shirley has the highest possibility of being the descendant since she had dreams of places she’s never been to before. She and Hu go over to the corpses and examine it for any clues that would lead them to an exit. They’re unable to find anything.

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Professor Chen suddenly screams “Don’t think of ever leaving this place” and breaks out of Fatso’s hold. He runs to attack Shirley and causes the manuscript to slip out of her bag. Hu and Fatso move to kick it to keep it in the air but in the end, Professor Chen is the one who catches it. He happily drops it and jumps on it, stomping it to the ground. The cave starts rumbling and three paths open to them as it slowly collapses in.

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Shirley turns around to take a look at the corpse of the prophet. Due to the rumbling it has fallen over but it’s fingers now point to one of the paths. They decide to go on that one.

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Hu tries to grab Professor Chen but he refuses to leave so he knocks him out. The three of them quickly squeeze through the path and make it outside, into the sandstorm.

Hu spots An Li Man running away with his camels in tow. He shoots his gun to get the other’s attention. An Li Man stops for them to catch up. They tie Professor Chen’s body to camels before getting on the camels themselves and running forward.

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Eventually they stop and attempt to dig through the sand for cover but it’s useless. Hu sees the brute of the storm approaching and ends up fainting.

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Next Episode: 21 → 

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