Xie Chi knew that the old man had absolutely no way to live.
He might be far from Xie Xinglan when it came to strength but this didn’t mean he had the strength of a chicken. His body had been transformed by the heavens and improved through many battles.
However, the old man wasn’t dead. The moment he fell, a wonderful scene took place.
In the pool of blood, the snow and ice under the old man melted and a solid ice layer was exposed. The ice layer was 20 centimeters thick but it instantly melted into a pool of blood. It wasn’t soil or river water beneath the ice. Rather… it was the blood pool hell.
The old man said that the positions of the eight cold hells and eight hot hells were fixed. The positions of the blood pool hell and knife mountain hell changed randomly. Now the blood pool hell was randomly below the floor where he was on.
Countless fireflies flew from the old man to Xie Chi. A warm current rushed through Xie Chi’s body, dispelling the chill in his limbs. At the same time, the old man’s became more and more transparent. It was like he would be directly blown away if the cold wind became a bit stronger.
Xie Chi understood that he had ‘eaten’ the old man and gained his energy.
The ice layer under the old man melted into a huge human shape in the blink of an eye. The ice split into pieces and the old man fell down with a ‘plop’ into the blood pool, splashing a huge amount of blood.
Xie Chi squatted on the edge of the ice and looked down. There was scarlet in front of him.
Suddenly, there were footsteps from the blood pool hell. Xie Chi waited silently. The old man said there were two or three people on each layer of hell. It wasn’t surprising that there were people in the blood pool hell. If he was lucky, he might be able to see actors he knew.
Less than a minute later, two strange men appeared in Xie Chi’s vision.
The two people glanced at the old man struggling in the blood pool and calling for help. Then they looked up at Xie Chi and smiled. “Little guy, this old thief has been cheated by you. We will accept him as a meal.”
Hearing the word ‘meal’, Xie Chi instantly understood. If you lost in a fight with inmates on the same floor, a large amount of energy would be absorbed and you would immediately fall to the next floor. Then you would be exploited again until a certain level was willing to accept him.
Once the old man fell to nowhere and was exploited, the only thing that greeted him was death.
Xie Chi gazed at the two of them with a frown. “Do you have a good relationship?”
“Tsk, that’s not it. I want to eat him too.” One of the men shrugged and glanced at his companion. “The problem is that we are around the same strength. It isn’t cost-effective for us to fight against each other so we just stepped back. In any case, this is the blood pool hell. It isn’t hot or cold and it doesn’t consume that much energy.”
The other person was too lazy to speak.
Xie Chi nodded.
“You’re new here, right? You are so adaptable. You actually dare to talk to us. Your mental quality is okay. Do you want to go up to the next level? You killed your cellmate and you’re qualified to go up. It just depends on whether those in the next level are willing to accept you.”
“Thank you.” Xie Chi lazily waved to those below him.
“Thanks for what? It is a mutual benefit.” The man pointed to the ‘food’ still struggling in the blood pool. “You sent us food. Isn’t it courtesy for me to give you a message? If you encounter me later then remember to show mercy.”
The man laughed warmly and Xie Chi gave a tacit smile.
“You are a real man.” The man was very happy.
After chatting a few more words, Xie Chi stood up. He blinked away the fake smile and his face became expressionless. The moment they stopped communicating, the hole where the old man fell was sealed off. Snow fell and soon covered the blood. There was no trace of the old man’s existence. Only Xie Chi was left on the huge ice field. The sky was high, the snow-capped mountains towered and everything was quiet.
A hole suddenly appeared in the sky above Xie Chi’s head and a strong rope fell down to his feet. The upper level should be the seventh of the hot hells. The climate was certainly better than the eighth layer of the cold hell. Even so, Xie Chi stood in place and had no intention of climbing up.
Half a minute later, there were curses from the hole above his head. “A newcomer? Don’t come up! It is the seventh layer of the hot hells and life isn’t easy! We lowered the rope because it is the rule. If we don’t lower it then we will lose energy. However, I will tell you frankly. If you dare to climb up the rope then I will cut it immediately. So I advise you to be sensible!”
Xie Chi smiled up at them.
“God… you’re insane.” The voice from the hole weakened.
Half a minute later, the sky was sealed. Xie Chi was left alone.
[Ah, I would go crazy if I had to stay in a place like this. The loneliness is terrible.]
Xie Chi wasn’t affected at all. He was used to it and even felt comfortable.
“Brother, are you alone?” Xie Chi spoke in his heart. Then he smiled and lowered his head. His brother was so good that he must’ve killed his cellmate.
Xie Chi stared at the moon in the sky and realized that this was the first time he was experiencing something called ‘missing a person’. Xie Xinglan wasn’t only his boyfriend. He was the brother who had accompanied Xie Chi for many years and never left for a moment.
Xie Chi was too lazy to be sentimental. He lowered his head and kept busy.
It was similar to fighting monsters. Before the old man fell to the floor below, everything on his body dropped. Xie Chi still remembered the old man’s mention of the kappa painting. The old man might’ve had this thing on his body.
Xie Chi searched through it while organizing his thoughts. The almost certain thing was that this was a symbolic thriller movie. No wonder why the app called it an alternative ghost movie. Everything here looked complicated but it was actually easy to understand.
Inmates were equivalent to people with the most interests involved. The common ones in real life were colleagues and classmates. There was competition but it wouldn’t necessarily kill them. Generally speaking, if resources were sufficient then the competitive nature was weak. If resources were scarce then it was strong. The greater the survival pressure, the more unscrupulous people would be.
The two people in the blood pool hell were evenly matched and didn’t want to fight. The survival pressure wasn’t big so a relationship was acceptable. He and the old man had bad luck. The survival pressure overwhelmed everything and their emotions were squeezed out. Things sounded complicated but they were actually simple. Just live. The old man had no choice and Xie Chi also had no choice. There was nothing to be ashamed about.
Bad money expelled good money. At the bottom, he could only be the bad money. Survival was above everything else. He couldn’t talk about anything if he was dead. There was hope in living and that he could be reunited with his brother.
The video clip of ‘Chainsaw Horror’ playing was in fact a reminder from hell to the new prisoners. It stated silently that the relationship between inmates was like the relationship between the blind person and the mute person.
They could cooperate but there were many difficulties such as difficult self-conditions (blindness and muteness), huge survival pressure (chainsaw) and distrust between strangers. This made cooperation almost impossible. The end of the clip also hinted to him at what he should do when he was desperate: kill the competitor.
If the competitors ceased to exist then the competitive relationship ceased to exist. It should fundamentally solve all intrigues. When there were people, there would be disputes. If there were no people then it was okay. He was safe now.
Xie Chi chuckled, his eyes cold.
He squeezed into the old man’s living space and was able to survive. At the same time, the people in the upper level opened a window for him due to the rule of rewarding the winner. It was just that going up or not didn’t depend on him. It depended on the living environment of the upper level and the selfishness of the people living there.
According to the information given, he would stay in this shabby place for half a month. At present, there were two ways for him to change his living environment in advance. One was to get permission from the upper level and be pulled to the slightly more comfortable upper level.
However, if he wanted to keep going up then he had to squeeze out new people. It was because the old man once said that a maximum of three people could stay on one floor. The rules were clear. He won against the old man and he had the opportunity to climb up. The old man was pushed down to the last level by him.
The next level, the blood pool hell had the two men plus the old man. There were already three people and the number was full. If there were inmates who ate inmates then there must be floors like his where he was alone. There were also floors like the blood pool hell with three people.
Some places were very crowded while others had vacancies. Therefore, if he went up and encountered a floor with three people, he would have to squeeze out one person.
A network was very important at this time. If he was lucky and he happened to know people in the upper floors then there was no need for intrigue. They could cooperate to eliminate dissent and climb up together. It wasn’t a struggle between strangers.
However, he obviously didn’t have that right now. He was unlucky and didn’t know those above or below him. They were unwilling to lend a hand and he was unwilling to trust these strangers. Both sides avoided each other and communication was impossible.
So for this half a month, the road to climb up was completely blocked. There was only the spider silk ladder left but he had no clues. Of course, it didn’t matter if he couldn’t find it. After he ‘ate’ the old man, he inherited most of the old man’s energy. He could survive the cold for 15 days.
It was just that the situation wasn’t optimistic. Xie Chi estimated that if he consumed a lot of energy, his body would become as transparent and weak as when he first entered here. What if after 15 days, he had bad luck and entered the eighth layer of the hot hells in such a bad state?
This was the worst case scenario but he had to consider it and prepare early. He was used to relying on his brother. This was a habit. If his brother wasn’t present, he could live well until his brother found him. Or… he found his brother first.
This possibility made Xie Chi’s heart jump.
Xie Chi looked relaxed for a while. His eyebrows were raised and his mouth was slightly curved up in a smile. Maybe he would find his brother first and stab him. Xie Chi imagined it for a few seconds and the depression in his heart was swept away.
He was now committed to the crime of eating. It was impossible for him to return to the world after finishing his sentence. Therefore, he had only one way to live. Entering the world of paradise. He had driven himself to a dead end but apart from the dead end, all other roads were artificially blocked. He could only walk this way into the darkness.
Xie Chi touched the back of his neck. There was a mark but he couldn’t see his own. He could only see others.
It was just a number. The number 42 was written on the old man’s neck. The old man said this mark was a clue to the spider silk ladder but Xie Chi felt it was more like the new number of the prisoner after changing floors.
The identity didn’t matter. The old man wanted to know it so eagerly that he exposed his fragile neck to Xie Chi. This showed that knowing his own mark could gain a lot of benefits. The point was to get benefits. So if he met someone later, he had to find a way to figure out his own number. Of course, he couldn’t be hasty. Everything was on the premise of being alive.
Xie Chi found a painting on the old man’s belt.