[How many levels is Xie Chi on?]
[My enthusiasm for the new movie emperor is now transferred to Xie Chi. Dreamy.]
[Xie Chi is smarter than Shen Yi. Dad Shen Yi can fight but Xie Chi’s mind is ridiculous. Is this still a person?]
[I thought Jiang Shuo would have the operation of a bigshot… why is he so inconspicuous now?]
[There is no harm without comparison?]
[You guys are funny. So what about taking the lead? If the movie emperor wants to kill Xie Chi ahead of time then won’t Xie Chi be trampled on the ground? In the face of absolute strength, wisdom is useless.]
[Yes, does Xie Chi have any red items? This group of brain-damaged people. Is this a place where intelligence alone can win? Without strength, he can only talk loudly.]
[Where did this group that kneels and licks the movie emperor come from? You can’t stand up, right?]
[Can you not say it in such an ugly manner? This is a fact.]
[A fact? Just fu*king watch. You aren’t Xie Chi himself and don’t know the facts.]
[I know clearer than you.]
[Are you blind? It is a fact that Xie Chi is ahead.]
[A ‘temporary’ lead thank you.]
[Don’t make noise. You’re so annoying. Can’t you be quiet??]
Xie Chi didn’t know about the noisy barrage. He took the two people back to the hall, found a table seat, took out his tarot cards again and placed them one by one on the big table. Since he was the next one to die, it wasn’t safe for him to return to the room. Thus, he temporarily chose to stay in the hall where there were no signs of lightning strikes.
Ren Ze looked at Xie Chi who played silently with the tarot. He felt more and more like Nuwa (creator of humans in Chinese mythology) was eccentric when she used clay to make people. His own brains were probably smashed by her onto the ground.
There was no one in the hall. Once Xie Chi finished setting up, he waved to the two waiting people. “Come and see.”
Ren Ze hurriedly stretched out his head while Ye Xiaoxiao stood behind Xie Chi.
Xie Chi told them, “At this moment, it is almost certain there are only the major arcana cards in the instance. In other words, 22 cards.”
Ren Ze and Ye Xiaoxiao had no objections to this. The progress was now at this stage and the plot was still a bit vague. There definitely weren’t 56 minor arcana cards or in terms of plot complexity, it would take at least a dozen nights to make the story clear.
Xie Chi pointed to the over 10 cards furthest from him. “These ones have already appeared.”
They were neatly arranged cards. First was the Star and the Moon. Then the Wheel of Fortune and the Tower. After that was the Fool, the Magician, The High Priestess, the Empress, the Emperor, the Hierophant, the Lovers, the Hermit and the Hanged Man.
Up to now, there had been 13 major arcana cards that have appeared in the instance and only 9 major arcana cards hadn’t appeared.
Xie Chi pointed to the nine in front of him. “These nine are left. They are the Chariot, Strength, Justice, Death, Temperance, the Devil, the Sun, Judgment and the World.”
“It can be seen that abstract words account for the majority while those that have appeared are basically the non-abstract words.”
Ren Ze and Ye Xiaoxiao smiled and nodded. Xie Chi sorting it out like this was very clear. Xie Chi sat down and divided the nine in front of him into several categories. “Come and see.”
Ren Ze and Ye Xiaoxiao immediately focused.
“The meaning of the Strength, Justice and Temperance Cards aren’t much different from their names. The Chariot represents willpower. These four cards are grouped into one category and they are all abstract positive qualities.”
“Death and the Devil belong together.”
“There are three remaining. The Sun, Judgment and the World. The Sun is a celestial card and seems to be removed from the instance at the moment, but it might not necessarily stay like that. The Judgment and the World are too abstract to discuss for the time being.”
Xie Chi cleared his thoughts and Ren Ze suddenly had inspiration. “Death, the Devil and the Tower are a bit similar! They are all relatively negative cards! Is it possible that there are other forms of cards that haven’t appeared yet?!”
Just reverse the possibilities from the known tarot cards and it could indeed give them a lot of clues. Xie Chi clasped his hands together and looked up, nodding his head in recognition.
Ye Xiaoxiao hesitated. “Can the four abstract ones be ruled out? At present, there is no shadow of them at all.”
“I don’t know.” Xie Chi answered simply this time. He paused and frowned. “However, I counted the tarot. I think this instance has a comprehensive pattern and we should have all the clues. Some of the remaining ones are too obvious and some are too abstract. They don’t seem like they can be drawn out any further. The fact that we are standing still means we have ignored the key clues.”
Ye Xiaoxiao nodded.
Xie Chi frowned, he obviously had a headache. He lowered his eyes, rubbing the thumbs of both hands together. That feeling came again. It was like he ignored a very important clue which could be fatal. After a quick exchange with Xie Xinglan, the feeling became even worse.
He forced himself to put his blocked thoughts aside and raised his head. “One more thing. The strength of the tarot witch should increase with time. The most likely reason is the death of the actors.”
“Are you saying that the actors’ deaths amounts to a sacrifice?” Ye Xiaoxiao had seen many horror movies with similar themes and she immediately thought of a word. “So the death of an actor will increase the power of the tarot witch?”
Ren Ze was also quite aware of this. In many horror movies, the growth system of ghosts and monsters was a variation of sacrifice. In Blood Demon that Shen Yi filmed, every time the blood demon stole a body to replace their own, their power would grow a little bit. This belonged to this category.
Xie Chi nodded and continued, “Xie Qiuying’s death method is strange. It isn’t the lightning from the Tower. Perhaps it was the Death card or the Devil card but the most likely possibility is that she killed herself.”
“Like in the Werewolf killing game?” Ren Ze had fun with this game in the real world and was a member of a club. He couldn’t help feeling like it was incredible. “Do you think she committed suicide? Doesn’t she hurt cutting herself like that? Or can she not feel it because the body belongs to someone else?”
“I don’t know.” Xie Chi replied without hesitation. Now wasn’t the time to talk nonsense.
Ren Ze suddenly knew what he was puzzled about. “In fact, I am very curious. Is Xie Qiuying one of the witch’s clones or was Xie Qiuying a cannon fodder from the beginning and the witch invaded her body?”
The two of them were completely different systems. Figuring it out exactly would help them understand the witch’s methods at a deeper level.
Xie Chi answered, “I don’t know.”
Ren Ze was about to be disappointed when Xie Chi paused for a few seconds and added, “However, I am inclined to the first one.”
“According to the number of actors corresponding to the tarot cards, it is right to count the actors as ‘10.’ If it is 11 then it proves the extra isn’t an actor but one of the witch’s clones from the beginning. There was originally no cannon fodder called Xie Qiuying.”
“She can control her consciousness to wander around in an avatar. It is uncertain if she can possess others.”
Ren Ze wondered, “In this case, won’t her actions be tantamount to suicide? Isn’t it painful? Won’t she have a loss of strength due to suicide?”
“That’s what I can’t figure out,” Xie Chi answered.
Xie Chi put the question aside. He supported his chin with one hand and fell into thought. Then he raised his head. “Follow me.”
“Where are we going?”
Xie Chi went up the stairs. “There is one point I took for granted and it needs to be confirmed.”
“Do you have a new idea?”
Xie Chi didn’t answer. Ren Ze knew this was a default agreement. He instead relaxed from his tight state and followed Ye Xiaoxiao.
Meanwhile, Gu Yu was hiding in the closet with the door tightly closed. He listened to the movement outside the closet, his heart beating quickly. He was nervous and quietly held his weapon as he prepared to be found at any time.
Jiang Shuo had other things to do and sent him to sneak into the strange maid’s room to see if there were any useful clues. As a result, he didn’t even have time to search when the maid came back.
Damn. Gu Yu cursed and hid in the closet. Looking up, he found some strange numbers engraved on the back of the closet door. They were Arabic numbers written from 1 to 10. 9 was enclosed in a carved circle.
Gu Yu was shocked. Could this be a clue? He was going to think carefully when the phone screen lit up. Gu Yu was startled and realized that Jiang Shuo had sent him a message. He quickly opened the message interface.
Jiang Shuo: Did you discover anything?
Gu Yu’s eyes clung to the crack of the door. Through the tiny gap, he observed the maid and found that she was sitting in front of a vintage bronze mirror and slowly combing her long black hair. He sighed in relief and lowered his head to reply: There is no time to see. She came back.
Jiang Shuo: How long after you entered did she come back?
Gu Yu hadn’t expected Jiang Shuo to ask this question: She came back almost immediately.
Gu Yu suddenly realized something.
Yes, he had a hiding item and didn’t reveal his whereabouts. He wouldn’t be so unlucky that he happened to meet her coming back. This time, it took a while before Jiang Shuo’s message came: There was a watcher. Did you meet anyone along the way?
Gu Yu’s heart jumped and he hurriedly replied: No, I opened a hiding item but it became invalid after I entered the room.
Jiang Shuo: What did you see in the room? Is there anything like eyes or a mirror where someone can spy from?
Gu Yu felt suffocated. He became sober and immediately replied: Crow! It is the crow!
As he came in, there was a crow staring at him evilly from the window. Then it immediately flew away and within dozens of seconds, the maid returned! Gu Yu immediately thought of something more terrifying and his heart beat wildly as he typed: I have been exposed.
Since it was the crow who informed the maid, the maid in the room clearly knew he was in the closet now…
Jiang Shuo also seemed to realize that things weren’t good: I’ll go to you.
Gu Yu turned his head and met a pair of black eyes that looked like crow’s eyes. The dark eyes stared through the gap in the closet door at him. Gu Yu held his weapon in an instant and was about to break open the closet to go out. However, the door was held down first and he couldn’t shake it despite using all his strength.
There was a squeak as the old closet door was opened by someone outside. Gu Yu felt cold as he met the smiling face of the strange maid. Gu Yu turned over and left the closet but was grabbed on the shoulder by the maid and dragged back. He was just ordinary and his body was unstable, so he immediately fell back. He was pressed to the ground and unable to move.
The maid opened her mouth at him. In her scarlet mouth, there was clearly a slender and flat tongue stirring! Gu Yu was shocked. She wasn’t unable to speak at all! He immediately remembered that she never opened her mouth. She might’ve been writing and gesturing at everyone but she never really opened her mouth!
She was pretending!
The order of death was wrong! Otherwise, how could she kill him! Even if Xie Chi escaped the death crisis and the order of death was shifted back, the next one should be Ye Xiaoxiao. He was later in the order!
The slippery tongue lowered and licked his face.
The male cannon fodder stood by the door, staring at Xie Chi’s group attentively and timidly. Xie Chi leaned against the upper railing, his head aching even more as he lowered his head and said nothing.
No, it was really wrong.
Ren Ze was also completely confused. He turned around and looked at the male cannon fodder behind him. “Xie Chi, his character isn’t right for the Hermit…”
He didn’t fit any of the Hermit qualities such as solitude, thoughtfulness, tranquility and heeding the inner callings of the heart. He was just an ordinary male high school student with no memorable parts except for his age.
Ren Ze felt terrible when thinking about it. If Xie Chi hadn’t confirmed it personally, they would’ve taken it for granted. The result was really unexpected. If the tarot cards really corresponded to the actors, the male cannon fodder in front of them definitely wasn’t the Hermit. Ren Ze could even rule out the possibility that this person was disguising his true character. It was because there was no motive.
There might be actors with other identities among the official actors but it was absolutely impossible for the gray named cannon fodder. It was because official actors selected the movie themselves and entered the instance for their own purpose. Meanwhile, the gray named cannon fodder was forced by the app into a random instance. Would an actor who spent a lot of points to create another identity be treated like this?
Xie Chi opened his eyes sharply, his expression gloomy. “It’s bad.”
Ren Ze was shocked. If it could make Xie Chi say this then it must be a major problem. He immediately said anxiously, “What’s the matter?”
Xie Chi glanced at the male cannon fodder, expression completely darkened. “We guessed irresponsibly. He might be a blank card.”
Ye Xiaoxiao heard this and her face turned white. Yes, besides the major and minor arcana, there were sometimes… blank cards in the tarot deck.
Drawing a blank card meant ‘life will lead you in an unexpected direction.’ There was a blank space in front of them that the tarot couldn’t predict. Everything was possible but it was mostly unexpected, not what they planned.
If the actor’s personality corresponded to the person cards in the tarot, there was a possibility—perhaps there had never been the Hermit card among them. It was because none of the actors had a personality that represented the Hermit.
Moreover, there was the order of death and it was impossible for it to be chaotic. Tarot cards had their own order and could absolutely never be chaotic. It couldn’t be messed up but… it was still possible to miss one and this wouldn’t affect the order of death.
The tarot cards were: The Fool, the Magician, the High Priestess, the Empress, the Emperor, the Hierophant, the Lovers and the Hanged Man…
Liang Wen, Xie Chi, Ye Xiaoxiao, Liang Zhen, Jiang Shuo, Ren Ze, the couple and Gu Yu.
Losing the Hermit card didn’t affect the death order of the actors. There was just one less corresponding actor and the male cannon fodder was out of the queue. The Hermit card was missing and there might be… a blank card.
It seemed ridiculous to use the actors’ personality to correspond to the tarot cards. After all, the actors registered by themselves and weren’t selected by the app. Thinking deeply, if the actor’s personality wasn’t compatible with the tarot card, the app could add another… character setting to the movie which could be one sentence. For example, it was assumed that Liang Wen was a fool and Ye Xiaoxiao was a kind person.
It was just that some of the characteristics of the actors who participated happened to correspond to the tarot card. Thus, the app directly saved this step and made the instance look natural.
Xie Chi finally knew where the problem was. He bid farewell to the bewildered male cannon fodder and started to go downstairs.
Ye Xiaoxiao hesitated to speak. “Xie Chi… in the end, what is he…”
Xie Chi looked calm and certain. “He probably isn’t the Hermit but a blank card. It is because he happens to be a student, a young man just becoming an adult.”
“Once he grows up, he can become any tarot card. He might be the Emperor card with leadership ability, the Hierophant card with enlightenment that is focused on the soul or a soft person who only obeys. He might even change his gender to become a benevolent Empress or an introverted and kind High Priestess.”
Ren Ze was full of disbelief and his heart jumped.
“The blank card represents change and infinite possibilities.”
Xie Chi turned his head and glanced at the cannon fodder standing upstairs looking at them. He thought for a moment and seemed to gain insight into something, causing him to sneer. “He might be ‘forced’ to take any actor’s identity card.”
“He is a variable in the death order.”
“This is also part of the hidden rules.”
Ren Ze froze for a moment and his expression became ugly. “Let’s say that the witch wants to kill me but due to the death order, she must first deal with the other actors in front of me. In fact, there is no need for such a troublesome thing. She can use the rules that are favorable to her to let the blank card take away my identity card, letting me become a blank card. This way, I won’t be in the death order and can be killed by her. As for the male cannon fodder, he inherited my identity card and my death order. He will completely replace me to continue playing the game…”
“So this game looks like 11 people on the surface but in fact, there are only eight identity cards and one blank card… 11 people. Adding the couple, nine have identity cards. One person is the witch’s extra body and the other is a blank card who can take away an actor’s identity, but it isn’t of his own initiative. The decision is in the hands of the witch.”
Xie Chi whispered softly.
Ren Ze became frightened the more he thought about it. If this was the case, the consequences could be imagined. An actor who shouldn’t die according to the order of death suddenly died. Actors would definitely question the death order and it would be the second time.
Xie Qiuying’s death almost succeeded in causing confusion. If another actor died unexpectedly outside the death order once again, who could firmly believe that… the death order was correct? Moreover, actors who thought they wouldn’t die due to the death order would underestimate the enemy and unknowingly relax. As a result, they might die unexpectedly and ruin themselves. Actors who thought they were going to die would indulge in sorrow and fear, unable to concentrate on the game.
In any case, the situation caused by the two confusions would be completely beneficial to the witch. In addition… the witch could rely on this method to skip people who couldn’t be dealt with temporarily, such as Jiang Shuo. She could directly kill the actors who made great discoveries and pose a great threat to her, strangling the danger in the cradle. It was killing countless birds with one stone.
Ye Xiaoxiao’s hand tightly held the stair railing.
Xie Chi frowned in an absent-minded manner. No, the previous problem hadn’t been solved. He still didn’t remember what he had forgotten but he had a feeling that he was very close.
“Xie Chi, what should we… what should we do?” Ye Xiaoxiao was at a loss. Such a cunning opponent made her completely unable to adapt. She felt that the difficulty of this red movie exceeded her expectations.
Xie Chi once again dragged over a chair and sat in front of the Wheel of Fortune, appeasing her in a warm voice. “It doesn’t matter. Knowing there is a blank card might be a good thing for us.”
He smiled meaningfully.
Ren Ze was puzzled. His mind was never on the same channel as Xie Chi.
Xie Chi simply said, “Let’s wait. Once there are actors who die out of the death order, we can be sure that there are blank cards. This is the first step.”
“Second, once they die, it is likely that they have made a major discovery that gave birth to the witch’s idea of killing. We only need to backtrack from their death so we can know what the major discovery is.”
“Third.” Xie Chi suddenly smiled mysteriously. “Maybe at that time, we can explore why there is the Hermit card missing.”