Dao Mu Bi Ji - The Lost Tomb - Grave Robbers' Chronicles novel english summary
Grave Robbers' Chronicles

Daomu Biji Novel – Book 1 Summary

Table of Contents | Daomu Biji Universe

Book 1: 七星鲁王宫
The Seven-Star Palace Of Lu Shang Wang

Fifty years ago, a group of four including Wu Lao Gou, his brother, father and grandfather raided a tomb located at Biao Zi mountain in Changsha. Wu Lao Gou’s brother dug up a silk script that originated from the Warring States Period. Tragedy took place as Wu Lao Gou’s brother came into contact with a crimson corpse-eating bug and got turned into a zombie-like creature, forcing Wu Lao Gou’s father and grandfather to set off a dynamite in defence. On his escape, Wu Lao Gou encountered a bloody mummy, shot it down and went unconscious. That day, he was the only survivor.

Wu Lao Gou went on to have three sons. Out of the three, only Wu San Xing – the third brother – inherited the tomb robbing business. Wu Er Bai – the second brother – neither got along with this shady line of work nor kept himself fully out of it. Wu Yi Qiong – the big brother and also Wu Xie’s father – however, was never into tomb robbing.

In present day, a strange old man nicknamed Golden Tooth brought a photocopy of a silk script to Wu Xie’s antique shop at Hangzhou to seek his valuation. The man left the shop but forgot to take the photocopy with him. At this point, Third Uncle (Wu San Xing) called Wu Xie to inform him that an exquisite antique just came in and asked if he would want to see it. Wu Xie drove over, and as he was entering Third Uncle’s shop, he encountered an unfamiliar young man carrying an ancient-looking saber with a black sheath. It turned out that the valuable item that Third Uncle mentioned was the same saber – but he had given it to the young man prior to Wu Xie’s arrival. Thereafter, Wu Xie showed the silk script photocopy to Third Uncle and learnt that this was a map pointing to a tomb belonging to the Xi Zhou (Western Zhou) era.

A few days later, a group of five including Wu Xie, Third Uncle, Pan Zi, Da Kui and Men You Ping headed to the tomb. Pan Zi was Third Uncle’s trusted right-hand man while Da Kui was one of Third Uncle’s many underlings. Men You Ping, on the other hand, was a complete stranger who got introduced to Third Uncle through another party. It was said that Men You Ping was a most mysterious yet exceptionally skilled tomb robber. No one knew where he came from or why he engaged himself in this business. He carried a quiet, aloof aura – the complete opposite of Wu Xie’s – and Wu Xie did not have much liking for him when they first met, hence giving him the nickname “Men You Ping¹”.

¹ 闷油瓶 [Men You Ping] is lit. translated as “Tightly Closed Oil Bottle”. Contextually, it could be understood as “the guy who does not like to talk”, which basically shows Wu Xie’s initial disdain toward Men You Ping’s unfriendly nature. This name is later used throughout the entire novel. It should be noted that only Wu Xie is aware of this name, and this is how he refers to Men You Ping in his mind but not verbally. In spoken communication, Wu Xie and other characters typically refer to Men You Ping as Xiao Ge (Little Big Brother) or sometimes Zhang Qiling.

While trying to reach Guazi Temple in Shandong, they passed by a river cave and encountered some corpse-eating bugs. The bugs’ bodies were connected with hexagonal bronze bells that could cause drowsiness in people. Besides, these bugs were found to symbiose with centipedes – a symbiosis likely initiated by humans. The group tried to leave the cave but met with an ancient mummy, thus Men You Ping jumped in to rescue them. They then discovered that Men You Ping’s blood had the ability to repel bugs and subdue mummies.

Some time later, the group finally entered the Xi Zhou tomb. This tomb had two layers of wall that trapped acid in between in order to prevent tomb robbers, so Men You Ping used his unusually long fingers to pry off a few bricks. They then sucked all the acid into a crater, eventually enabling them to dig a small hole to enter. The first room had a coffin that belonged to a scary-looking mummy. Because Pan Zi tried to steal some items, the trap was set off, awakening the mummy. Men You Ping bowed down to the mummy and used a strange ancient language to communicate with it, allowing them to pass through the room.

Going further, they found a room containing seven coffins arranged in the shape of the Big Dipper. One coffin was real and the other six were fake, containing traps and hidden doors. The group then crossed paths with Pangzi, a tomb robber from Beijing who came here in pursuit of whatever loot he could find. In one of the coffins, a foreigner was found dead on top of another mummy. On the belt of the dead foreigner, Wu Xie found a mysterious number that read “02200059”. The mummy later rose from its coffin, but Wu Xie managed to escape.

The group then figured out the structure of this tomb: the upper floor stationed the blood mummy that guarded the place, while the lower floor lead to the Hydra Tree¹, where the real coffin was actually located.

² 九头蛇柏 [Jiu Tou She Bai], lit. translated as “Nine Head Snake Tree”, is a fictional cypress tree with snake-like vines.

Below the Hydra Tree lay two corpses, one female and one male, dressed in ancient costumes. Wu Xie accidentally fell atop the corpses and swallowed a piece of Kylin Blood Clot. He obtained a locked ancient jade box and found a key in the female corpse’s mouth.

The group then entered the center of the Hydra Tree and found the tomb owner’s coffin. They opened the coffin to find a man wearing a jade armour, and strangely enough, he was still breathing. At this moment, Men You Ping appeared, carrying the head of a blood mummy. The group saw that Men You Ping’s upper half carried a large Kylin tattoo.

He began telling a story that a long time ago, an unknown person put on this armour and lay here, waiting for the right moment to take off the armour so he could live forever. The Iron Mask Man knew about this secret of immortality and revealed it to Lu Shang Wang in the hope that he could take advantage of Lu Shang Wang’s army to excavate this tomb. Upon entering the tomb, Lu Shang Wang snatched the armour from its original owner, turning the owner into a blood mummy while Lu Shang Wang himself put on the armour. However, Lu Shang Wang had his armour taken away by The Iron Mask Man in the end. The man lying in the coffin at this moment was in fact the Iron Mask Man. The blood mummy decapitated by Men You Ping was the original owner of the armour, but no one knew where Lu Shang Wang had disappeared to.

After the group removed the jade armour and was preparing to exit the tomb, a crimson corpse-eating bug flew out from the blood mummy. It turned out that the crimson one was a queen bug that could kill anyone it came into contact with. Da Kui accidentally touched it and was immediately turned into another blood mummy, and thousands of bugs came out from all directions. The group was forced to climb up the Hydra Tree to escape. Da Kui (who was now a a bloody mummy) caught Wu Xie, but for some unknown reasons, he was not harmed.

Amid the chaos, Men You Ping disappeared. The remaining four climbed out of the tomb, then poured gasoline over the tree and burnt all the corpse-eating bugs. Pan Zi was seriously injured and was sent to hospital, while Pangzi bid them goodbye to return to Beijing.

Arriving at the hospital, Wu Xie showed the jade box to Third Uncle. The box needed a password to open. Wu Xie was reminded of the mysterious “02200059” on the foreigner’s belt and tried the numer on the box, successfully unlocking it. Inside, they found a copper fish with snake-like eyebrows. Third Uncle then told Wu Xie that the silk script taken from Lu Shang Wang’s tomb had been replaced with a fake one by Men You Ping.

[End of Book 1]

Daomu Biji (The Lost Tomb / Grave Robbers' Chronicles) Novel English Summary - Masterpost
Daomu Biji Novel – Book 2 Summary
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Zhang Angelaine
Zhang Angelaine
1 year ago

Unknowingly I happened to see this unusual title Lost Tomb I and thought it may be another Indiana Jones. But I continued watching the whole series and subsequently stumbled on 老九门. Thereon it never stop, all of the others and the last I’ve seen is Ultimate Note, two times. 盗墓笔记真的很吸引人. Different series have different casting is quite a setback. But it is also good to see different castings doing their best. Every story is good, thrilling, funny, and sad. I will never get tired following these series again and again. Thank you 南派三叔,加油!

1 year ago

Hello, where can i find the translation version of v1 until 5? I cannot find it anywhere 😭

1 year ago

Thank you so much for the summary.

Is it Emperor of Mu Zhou the original owner of the jade armor???

Thank you.

1 year ago

Hello there, thank you for the summary, it was indeed a lot of changes in the drama and I kinda lost after few episodes. So I decide to find the novel version. Your summary really helpful but do you know where to find the translated version of the full novel? Thank you

1 year ago

Wow, Volume 1 sounds exciting. Thank you for the summary! I think I remember starting episode one of the first drama, but never got into it.

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