Xiao Lou’s group of five left the boundaries of Liuxi Village. There was a double forked road in front of them. The left side headed to a dark mountain while the right side had a dense forest. From time to time, wolves would howl from the mountains. Xiao Lou asked, “Which way should we go?”
Yu Hanjiang frowned and looked at the dark mountain. “Go to the forest.” He started walking while whispering, “Everyone should prepare their control cards. Once a beast gets close, first set them in place with the Balance.”
Balance was a team restricted card and each team could only bring one. However, the five of them hadn’t signed a contract. Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang were one team, Ye Qi and Shao Qingge were another time and Liu Qiao was alone. They could use three balance cards, each one lasting 5 minutes. They could run away no matter how many beasts there were.
Moreover, Ye Qi’s guitar could be used for a wide-area control. The teleport card, flying card and acceleration shoes could help teammates escape quickly. If necessary, Xiao Lou could use Tao Yuanming to transmit the group to another space. If this wasn’t possible, Yu Hanjiang had two guns. It wasn’t difficult to shoot and kill several beasts with Group Leader Yu’s shooting skills.
It was their abilities that allowed them to dare venture into the forest outside the village.
The five people moved forward together. Liu Qiao helped explore the path with the help of trees. Ye Qi and Shao Qingge walked in front, Xiao Lou was in the middle and Yu Hanjiang in the rear.
After walking into the forest, Liu Qiao suddenly stopped and said, “There are thick and tall trees ahead with many strange vines. My view is blocked by the trees and I can’t see clearly. Do you want to go deeper or stop here?”
Yu Hanjiang suddenly shouted, “Be careful of the tree!”
Xiao Lou looked back alertly only to see a dark green body, almost the same colour as the leaves. The poisonous snake suddenly launched from the branch and bit at Liu Qiao’s leg with a wide-open mouth! Fortunately, Liu Qiao reacted fast enough when she heard Yu Hanjiang’s voice and immediately flew down from the tree.
The poisonous snake hit empty air. It opened its mouth and spat a red liquid at the group. Its tongue was thin and long, dark eyes staring at the crowd as its mouth issued a hissing sound. It seemed to be extremely dissatisfied with the people disturbing its sleep.
Yu Hanjiang exclaimed, “Quickly move back!”
The faces of the people changed and they immediately followed Yu Hanjiang in taking a few steps back.
Xiao Lou asked, “Are the snakes poisonous?”
Yu Hanjiang said, “This is a green mamba snake that is used to living on trees. Its venom contains neurotoxins and if bitten, the fatality rate is very high.”
Liu Qiao’s face was slightly white. If it wasn’t for Group Leader Yu’s warning, she would’ve been bitten by the poisonous snake. In this village with no medicine, being bitten by the snake would lead to a fatal result.
She looked at the snake with lingering fear. Just then, everyone heard a large number of hissing sounds. The village chief looked back and suddenly hid behind Yu Hanjiang in a scared manner. “Ahh… there are a lot of snakes!”
Everyone saw countless green snakes suddenly appear on the trees around them. The snakes seemed to have been called by the snake king. They all spat out liquid as they slowly crawled on the trees, their bodies twined around the branches, surrounding the group in an instant.
Yu Hanjiang said, “It is likely that we’ve entered the habitat of the poisonous snakes. Quickly withdraw!”
Xiao Lou was frightened. He had only seen snakes in the zoo and this was his first time seeing so many poisonous snakes in the wild. Yu Hanjiang grabbed Xiao Lou with one hand and pulled the village chief with the other, turning on the acceleration shoes and running.
Liu Qiao couldn’t go up the tree. Ye Qi took out his teleportation card and happily found that the skill had been upgraded. Previously, he could only bring one person with the card and now he could bring two. Ye Qi said, “Liu Qiao, Chief Shao, I’ll take you. Come to me!”
The two people quickly stood on the left and right sides of Ye Qi. ye Qi activated the skill and followed Yu Hanjiang.
The people ran for several minutes through the dark forest. Yu Hanjiang only stopped when they left the area of tall trees. Xiao Lou took a deep breath and stood breathlessly next to the village chief.
It was terrible. If they didn’t have excellent means of escaping then breaking into the snake’s habitat would only be a dead end.
Ye Qi stopped nearby with Shao Qingge and Liu Qiao and gasped. “I-I was scared to death! I have never seen so many snakes in my life!”
Yu Hanjiang spoke calmly. “The wild is much more dangerous than I thought.”
The village chief finally managed to breathe. He patted his chest and gasped for air. “I have long said that the wild is dangerous. You didn’t believe it!”
Shao Qingge was always smiling but his expression was currently very serious. He didn’t speak, proving that he was a bit afraid.
Liu Qiao looked at Yu Hanjiang and whispered, “Thank you.”
Yu Hanjiang replied, “There is no need for thanks. You were talking and I heard a sound behind you. Then I found the snake coiled on the tree, pretending to be a leaf.”
Liu Qiao frowned. “It isn’t safe among the trees. It seems that we can no longer go in the forest.”
Xiao Lou thought about it and suggested, “Shall we go into the mountains?”
The wolves’ howls had come from the mountain so they had gone into the forest. However, the forest was full of poisonous snakes and perhaps other beasts.
Yu Hanjiang spoke decisively. “Then we will go to the mountains. The wolves are afraid of fire. We will find an open space and each person will hold a torch.”
The group turned and headed into the mountains.
Just after entering the mountain, I heard the rustling sound of something crawling on the ground. Then a woman’s legs became two metres high and she jumped seven or eight metres at a time. Xiao Lou exclaimed, “It is the two who left with the gem!”
The woman apparently saw them too. She jumped over and said, “Why are you here?”
The crawling man only stopped. His body blended into the ground as he revealed only his head and asked, “You were driven out of the village?” It was a strange image, as if only his head was on the ground.
The village chief was white with fear. “H-He has no body, only a head!”
Xiao Lou looked at him and smiled. “Village chief, don’t be afraid. This is just a camouflage.”
The man wondered, “Village chief? You are with the village chief?”
Xiao Lou explained, “We received the gem but there are many people in the village who didn’t get one. We were worried about being robbed and temporarily left the village. As for the village chief… he was plotted against and driven out by Grandma Sun. He can provide us with a lot of information.”
The pair glanced at each other. “Do you really have the gems?”
Yu Hanjiang, who was in charge of keeping the gems, took out the green gem and showed it to them.
The two people sighed with relief. The woman gritted her teeth and complained, “We have been hiding in the mountain for a day. There are many wild wolves and tigers in the mountain. If it wasn’t for my long legs, I would’ve become food in the stomach of these beasts!”
The man’s face was white. “We found the two challengers who were thrown out of the village on the first day. They had been eaten clean by the beasts and only their bones are left…”
Xiao Lou looked at Yu Hanjiang and the latter whispered, “Go into the mountains.”
The woman stared. “Are you crazy? We couldn’t stay in the mountains and hid around it. We advise you not to go inside. Just hide around here!”
Xiao Lou understood Group Leader Yu’s meaning and helped explain. “The wolves are afraid of fire and we can ignite one.”
The woman was stunned. “Did you draw something like the Lighter card?”
Xiao Lou didn’t directly say that he had drawn Bai Juyi. He just smiled. “In any case, we have a way to light the fire. If you want, you can go with us. It is more convenient to drive away the beasts if there are more people.”
The man and woman looked at him and the man on the ground nodded.
Ye Qi couldn’t help saying, “Big brother, can you change your body back to talk? I can’t adapt to seeing only a head.”
The man said, “Okay.”
He changed back. Even his head was gone and only a mass of soil could be seen moving on the ground.
Xiao Lou suggested, “Let’s go.”
The ground and zombie-like jumping woman followed. Her legs were two metres high, like two pillars. This skill card didn’t lose to Liu Qiao flight card.
The group of people entered the mountain and saw a big tree.
The wolves’ howls became clearer and there was the roar of many beasts. The timid village chief was shaking and holding his head. He wasn’t able to walk if it wasn’t for Ye Qi pulling him.
Xiao Lou turned and waked together with Yu Hanjiang. He quickly summoned Bai Juyi to light the fire. Before the man and woman could react, they saw a cluster of flames appear out of nowhere. The woman was surprised and said, “Your card is very interesting. It is very easy to use in the wild.”
Yu Hanjiang found a wooden stick. He lit the torch and handed it to Liu Qiao. “Little Liu, look at the tree to see if there are any snakes. Hold the torch and be careful.”
Liu Qiao nodded and flew to the tree with the torch. She stepped on the branches and scanned it carefully. “There is nothing in this tree, only a nest of eggs at the top of the tree.” She took down the eggs and continued, “If someone is hungry then we can eat it as a snack.”
Yu Hanjiang, “This tree can shelter us from the rain. Let’s use it as a base.”
Xiao Lou agreed. “Yes, this tree is thick enough that we can sleep by the tree at night.”
Ye Qi, Shao Qingge and Shao Qingge immediately started to act. They gathered dry wood and placed it aside for use. Each of them also lit a torch to avoid being approached by beasts or snakes.
The frightened village chief couldn’t understand the words of these people. Then once he saw the fire, his face relaxed slightly. He took the torch from Ye Qi and sat by the tree in silence. Ye Qi was worried that the village chief would cry out with fright. He played the flute and let the village chief sleep directly.
Everyone sat around the charcoal fire and didn’t sleep.
They were intended to cook the eggs to eat when there was the sudden sound of footsteps.
Yu Hanjiang was alert and pricked his ears. “There are four people.”
Xiao Lou was startled and lowered his voice. “Is it Old Qi’s group of four?”
Liu Qiao immediately went up the tree and used the help of the height to look. “Yes, it is them.”
A moment later, the four people followed the light of the fire and came to the open space. They saw everyone around the fire and were quite surprised. “Old Han, you are quite comfortable!” “Lighting a fire to scare away wild animals is good.”
Old Han was Yu Hanjiang’s pseudonym. These four people were the staff of the design company.
Xiao Lou smiled and greeted them. “Come and sit.”
The four people came and were wary of the unknown man and woman. Xiao Lou told them, “Don’t worry. These people have found a gem and can clear the instance. There is no competition between us.”
Yu Hanjiang suggested softly, “In order to eliminate any wariness, everyone should take out the gems to confirm it.”
The group glanced around at each other and no one dared to take it out.
Yu Hanjiang took the lead to show his own gem and Shao Qingge and Liu Qiao followed.
Old Qi followed closely and Xiao Wu of the young couple also took a box from his pocket. The woman who jumped like a zombie saw everyone take it out and also opened her hands in confirmation.
“A golden-green cat’s eye, moonstone cat’s eye, Hetian jade cat’s eye, quartz cat’s eye, alexandrite cat’s eye, tourmaline cat’s eye…” Shao Qingge spoke the varieties of chrysoberyl in turn.
“Do you know jade very well?” The curly haired woman asked curiously.
“There are people in my family who do business.” Shao Qingge smiled and touched his chin. “These gems all have a very good colour and the cat’s eye in the middle is slim and bright. Every gem is valuable and a bracelet consisting of seven of them is worth hundreds of thousands at the very last. I am talking about the price in yuan. Converted to gold, it should be tens of millions.”
Everyone’s eyes lit up when they heard this and they couldn’t wait to take the gem out of the secret room for money.
Ye Qi asked curiously, “There are six here so there is one left?”
Shao Qingge replied, “The last one should be a red chrysoberyl…”
He just finished talking when the cat’s eye in everyone’s hands suddenly disappeared.
Everyone looked at their empty palms and collectively couldn’t reach to what was going on. Then they saw Yu Hanjiang shoot out like a sharp arrow, a fruit knife directly touching the throat of a person not far away. “Return the stones to everyone.”
The person wearing a silver mask spoke calmly. “Don’t be excited. One gem alone can clear the instance. I’m not foolish enough to steal your gems and offend all of you.”
Through his mask, he glanced at the group sitting around the fire and spread out his palms. The man’s right hand contained the six gems just confirmed while his left hand showed the red cat’s eye stone he got. He looked at Xiao Lou and smiled. “The last one is here with me.
Xiao Lou nodded. “I saw you at the edge of the pond. Your ‘air-grabbing’ skill is really good.”
The man smiled. “Well, I borrowed everyone’s gems and will immediately return it to you.”
The group was relieved to realize that he had no malice.
The man said, “Who has a thread? Or something like a wire?”
Everyone said no. Then Liu Qiao questioned, “You want to string the seven gems into a bracelet?”
The man nodded but unfortunately, no one had a wire. Xiao Lou looked at the curly haired woman and smiled. “Can I trouble you to pull out a hair so we can try stringing them together?”
The woman immediately pulled out a long hair and gave it to the masked man. The masked man strung the hair through the holes in the seven gems.
Ye Qi whispered, “Is it true that collecting seven gems can summon a dragon?”
The moment the seven gems were strung together, a prompt appeared on all the floating boxes at the scene.
[In the 4 of Spades secret room, Liuxi Village, the challengers have connected seven gems and triggered the hidden reward. After clearing the instance, an extra chrysoberyl stone will be awarded. If the instance is perfectly cleared and the evaluation is S-grade, each team will be awarded a chrysoberyl bracelet and the plot card of Liuxi Village.]
According to Shao Qingge, one bracelet was worth hundreds of thousands of yuan. Wouldn’t they make a fortune if they sold it in a main city?
The faces of the group were filled with surprise. They didn’t expect that the most correct way to clear the instance was for all the challengers hiding out of the village with the gem to restore the bracelet of Sun Yueqing who died 35 years ago.
Xiao Lou looked at the masked man. “You have known this for a long time?”
The other person came and sat down next to him. “I have played a lot of games and wanted to see what happened when I collected all the items.”
Ye Qi, “……”
This was really a method in the game!
The masked man returned the gems and said, “I heard your plan of action and want to join.”
Old Qi’s team and Xiao Lou’s team had reached a tacit understanding. The man and woman team had been hiding outside the village from the beginning and didn’t know the situation. They looked at each other in a puzzled manner and asked, “What plan?”
Xiao Lou patiently explained. “On the fifth day, Liuxi Village will hold its annual Autumn Harvest Festival. Grandma Sun and Grandma Qin want to join forces to slaughter the villagers. We have decided to save the villagers and perhaps we can get an S-grade evaluation.”
Shao Qingge smiled at them. “The two of you escaped from the village in advance but this is actually a mistake. Now that you met Old Han and Brother Xiao, you can lie down and win.”
The couple looked at each other and their eyes were full of excitement.
They hadn’t even thought of a perfect clearance. They just came out here and could lie down to win? This was great luck!
‘It is really comfortable to lie down and win’ though Shao Qingge, who had been lying down the whole time.
If this team and Xiao Lou and Group Leader Yu’s team could enter the main city, they would probably be the wealthiest challengers.
In 3 of Spades, Financial Crisis, Shao Qingge manipulated the stock market to make millions. In 4 of Spades, Liuxi Village, they collected seven chrysoberyls and triggered the hidden reward. They could gain a lot of money from selling the bracelet. After going to the main city, wouldn’t they be super rich and could directly buy a big house?
The good life seemed to be beckoning to them from ahead.