The room had no windows and was so dark he couldn’t see his fingers in front of him. Xie Xinglan could barely see the room with the faint red light emitted by the Blood Demon Sword.
The furnishings in the room were no different from the other rooms where actors lived, except that the furniture was older, the eaves were covered with thick cobwebs and the ground had a thick layer of dust. He stepped on it and a clear footprint was easily left.
There was an open suitcase in a corner of the room but everything inside had become moldy. Clothes that were hung to dry were like air-dried bacon on the hangers and there was half-eaten rotten food on the bedside table. Someone had lived here briefly.
In addition, there was a gray lamp on the closet in the room. The lamp looked a bit like a telephone. It was long, thin and dark blue all over without a wick inside.
Jiang Shuo and Gu Yu’s voices were clearly audible, as if they were just outside the door. Xie Xinglan’s expression was tense. “Are you sure it is safe here?”
“You can rest assured that they definitely can’t come in.”
Xie Xinglan suddenly heard human language. The crow in his pocket shriveled a bit. At the same time, the only lamp in the room lit up with a warm beige light. The light gradually brightened. The corner Xie Xinglan was in lit up while his surroundings became darker.
There was a sudden shadow at his feet. Xie Xinglan looked up and in the light, the crow turned into an old man in a gray robe. The old man was a bit weird. His teeth were white and complete but his face was wrinkled like toilet paper. His body was dry and withered like he was going to die. Based on the teeth, the old man should be very young but externally, he was a fake old man.
“I am the hermit.” The old man was in a state of urgency. He was afraid of any delays and immediately explained. “It is absolutely safe in here for six hours. This is one of the rules of the game for players. It is a reward for you finding the Hermit card. Here, you can take a break and regain your strength.”
Xie Chi was about to sigh with relief only to frown again.
“I don’t have to worry. Does that mean the people outside can’t get in?”
The hermit was surprised, He hadn’t expected this question and nodded at Xie Chi’s eagerly questioning eyes. Xie Chi’s expression changed. “What about items?”
The hermit was dazed. “I… I don’t know.”
Xie Chi somehow felt something in his heart at the hermit’s unsure answer. Ever since unlocking his talent, he had greatly increased the importance of his sixth sense.
Xie Chi calculated it. Jiang Shuo had used the skin on his face, the armor on his body and the crossbow. He had indeed used all his items. Finally, he entered Xie Chi’s body through another means and it should be a talent. It seemed that Jiang Shuo had exhausted all his cards but Jiang Shuo’s crossbow was at least a red item. Was the effect really just endless strength increasing arrows?
Xie Chi remembered that before Shen Yi died, there was a huge bloody hole in his abdomen. The wound was small, deep and penetrated from front to back. It was clearly an arrow wound. However, he had fought Jiang Shuo just now and Jiang Shuo’s crossbow only shot endless arrows. These arrows might be powerful but they weren’t enough to kill him. They only interfered with him and caused him a certain degree of injury. It couldn’t even kill him, let alone seriously injure Shen Yi.
Jiang Shuo also had a trick up his sleeve.
Xie Chi’s brow furrowed and he clenched his hands. Then he opened his mouth. “Can I ask you questions and you answer them? This is faster.”
The hermit was aware of the severity of the situation and nodded easily.
Xie Chi asked, “Are you a player from the last tarot game?”
The hermit’s eyes flashed with shock. He obviously hadn’t expected Xie Chi to know so much information at this point. He was secretly delighted and nodded. “Yes.”
“What about the witch? What is going on with this game?”
The hermit rummaged through his robe and carefully took out a piece of dirty parchment, handing it to Xie Chi. Xie Chi glanced at it. The top of the parchment read: Tarot Reincarnation Method.
There were small, densely packed together words written on it. For the next two or three minutes, Xie Chi read the parchment while the hermit explained what he knew. The difference from Xie Chi’s guess wasn’t too big.
Around three or four hundred years ago, there was a terrible tarot witch who was sealed here by other witches. She was isolated from the world and could never get out. She wanted revenge but could only watch as she grew older to no avail. She was unwilling to disappear and devoted herself to studying witchcraft. The heavens lived up to people’s expectations. She finally took part in the ancient and lost tarot magic, the tarot reincarnation method.
The tarot reincarnation method was the game they were now joining. As the name suggested, it could help people reincarnate, extend life and gain eternal life through the tarot. The tarot reincarnation method required people with eight personality traits. There were nine people in total. They were the Fool, the Magician, the High Priestess, the Empress, the Emperor, the Hierophant, the Lovers and the Hanged Man of the tarot cards.
The effective time of the tarot reincarnation method was seven nights, or 42 hours. In this period, the tarot witch had to kill them one by one with the help of other cards, sacrificing them to the heavens and earth in order. This way, she would gain the power of reincarnation.
However, there was no free lunch in the world. There were many restrictions on the tarot reincarnation method.
First, the tarot witch must be dying. Then in the process of the game, the witch’s power would be limited by the game and would fall to the bottom. This made it difficult for her to kill the sacrifices. She had to rely on the tarot cards to truly join this desperate game and win.
Secondly, the tarot witch had to tell the sacrifices some of the rules they should know according to the tarot reincarnation law. This way, they could truly join the game and have an opportunity to turn defeat into victory.
It was bound to be difficult if one wanted to go against the sky and live forever. The risk one took was how much one could gain. It was only when fighting that there was hope and an opportunity for reincarnation.
This was the true meaning of the tarot’s method of reincarnation. The witch had to stand up despite her weakness and risk being killed by the sacrifices.
The tarot reincarnation method was essentially a game. The witch had a high chance of reincarnating but the sacrifices weren’t without options. The tarot game wasn’t just the way for the witch to reincarnate. It was also the way for the sacrifices to save themselves.
The tarot reincarnation method had endless sacrifices. The sacrifices could escape the game using their ingenuity, they could let the witch’s reincarnation fail or they could even seize the power of the witch’s reincarnation to become the next tarot witch or wizard.
This was clearly recorded in the tarot reincarnation method and were true possibilities. It was just that it was evil so it naturally favored the witch. It was difficult for the sacrifices to survive.
On the witch’s side, the order of killing the sacrifices shouldn’t be chaotic. If every sacrifice could be killed in perfect order, the witch would be more powerful after reincarnating. If the order was wrong or not all sacrifices were killed during the game, the probability of the witch’s reincarnation failing was greater. After reincarnating, her power would be greatly weakened.
Previously, Xie Chi had seen the beautiful maid wiping the golden photo frames. The various women in the photo frames were actually the tarot witch herself. They were the first seven or eight of her successful reincarnations.
Her beauty or ugliness reflected her reincarnation and performance in the game. The more beautiful she was, the more it indicated that she had offered the sacrifices to the heavens and earth in the right order.
In the last game, the witch’s appearance was extraordinary. The hermit said it was the only time she had successfully killed all sacrifices in the right order of death within the allocated time.
Therefore, the witch they were encountering now was the most powerful witch since she had started reincarnating. She could even kill the sacrifices by herself without relying on the power of the tarot cards.
Most of the time, good and bad were interdependent and changed with each other, but this obviously wasn’t the case with the tarot witch’s reincarnation. She was strong in the last game and became stronger in the next game. So the way for the witch to reincarnate was also a way for her power to grow and to become more beautiful. She became more and more beautiful and more and more strong until it had developed to her current self.
The hermit explained that the real sacrifice was nine people, i.e. eight cards. The blank card wasn’t among the sacrifices. The witch could use the blank card to confuse the sacrifices so they didn’t touch onto the real game rules so easily.
In the last tarot game, there were nine sacrifices and a blank card while the number of players was 11. The number of players wasn’t limited so it could be nine sacrifices and any number of blank cards. These were all means of covering the rules but the core was always nine sacrifices.
As for the hermit, he was the last player to die in the last tarot game. He was the Hanged Man. In each game, apart from the players who escaped smoothly, the last of the dead players would become the hermit and the guide for the next game.
The position the hermit reached before their death would determine the starting point of the player in the next game who found them. The progress the hermit made before was the starting point for the next player.
This was also a process of inheritance. As generations of games passed, if players found the hermit then their progress would keep increasing and the threat to the witch would keep growing. Therefore, the witch was actually walking on a tightrope. Greater power meant greater danger. Obtaining something always came at a price.
In addition, humans were smart enough to cooperate. They definitely didn’t fight alone.
The hermit said that the parchment that recorded the inner story of the tarot reincarnation method was taken from the witch with great effort and was solemnly handed to him by the last hermit. He had hoped he could escape smoothly but he died in the game.
He looked old but his actual age was 29 years old. He failed and during the witch’s reincarnation, his vitality was stolen. In the blink of an eye, he changed from a young man to an old man who would die soon.
After saying all of this, the hermit glanced at the parchment in Xie Chi’s hand and solemnly instructed, “I gave you this parchment and you must keep it safe.”
Xie Chi looked at him and pursed his lips. Then he took a lighter out of his pocket and burned a corner of the parchment paper.
“What are you doing?!” The hermit was shocked and furious. He rushed to stop Xie Chi but Xie Chi hid the parchment behind him and backed away until it was burned cleanly to a pile of ashes. Then he spread his empty hands full of ashes toward the hermit in front of him.
“How could you do this?!” The hermit’s eyes were red. He stared at the ashes and desperately asked, “This is the hope of future players! It was obtained by the last hermit who tried his best! Do you know how important it is?”
Xie Chi calmly answered, “I only know that I can’t keep it in case Jiang Shuo has a chance to find out about the tarot reincarnation method.”
“How can you be so selfish? Do you want to ruin future generations for your own sake?” The hermit rushed forward and grabbed Xie Chi by the collar. It was just that he was very old and had little strength.
Xie Chi’s wound was touched and he groaned. He grabbed this person’s wrist and wondered, “What is it for?”
“Do you think that once I become a hermit, I will pass it onto the next generation to make them believe and help them move forward? Since your mission is complete, you will soon dissipate.”
“You know this yet you still did it!” The hermit gritted his teeth, full of anger.
“Yes, I know.” Xie Chi sneered coldly. “However, I also know that I won’t die. I won’t become the hermit.”
The hermit was choked up and couldn’t speak for a while. He was the best player of the last game or else he wouldn’t have been the last to die. Even so, he couldn’t say these words when facing the hermit who guided him.
In addition, the man in front of him was facing a tarot witch stronger than the one he had faced. This person was chased, almost killed and fled in embarrassment with heavy injuries and a gloomy future, yet he vowed he wouldn’t die.
The hermit’s mood was complicated.
“If I can end the tarot witch, what is the use of keeping this parchment to hurt me?”
The hermit was silent. Could he believe in this person? However, what other choice did he have? The parchment paper had been destroyed and there was only one way left. Moreover, he always felt that miracles should belong to the young man in front of him who was calm, courageous, thoughtful and capable of executing things. He had fallen countless times but he never really fell. Apart from himself, no one else seemed able to defeat him.
If this person knew about the hermit and found him on the third day, what else was impossible? Why shouldn’t the hermit believe him?
The hermit was silent for half a second before finally sighing softly. “You win. I hope you can do it or you will be an eternal sinner.”