In the evening, Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang went to knock on the door of Room 507. Mo Xuemin opened the door and smiled when he saw them. “It’s you again!” he was impressed by the two men who had stared at each other for a minute in front of him.
Yu Hanjiang directly asked, “Old Mo, have you found a team?”
Mo Xuemin sighed. “No, there are relatively few new people in recent days and the forum recruitment posts aren’t very reliable. I think it really isn’t possible and will spend this World Weekly alone.”
Xiao Lou looked at him. “Consider joining our team. We are just missing a person.”
Mo Xuemin looked suspiciously at the two men and touched his nose. “Join you? To be honest, you are all new and didn’t know about the World Weekly at all. I have to clear the instance and go back… it isn’t very good to join a team of new people.” He spoke vaguely but his actual meaning was that he couldn’t rely on a group of new people.
However, Yu Hanjiang’s words let Old Mo change his mind.
He stated quietly, “My name is Yu Hanjiang and this is Xiao Lou. Our team set the world record for 3 and 4 of Hearst. In 4 of Spades, we got a perfect clearance with an S-grade evaluation.”
Mo Xuemin stared like he saw a great beast. Sometimes, people didn’t need to talk nonsense. Grades were the best proof.
Xiao Lou glanced at the always straightforward Group Leader Yu and added with a smile, “Group Leader Yu is a criminal police officer and I am an associate professor of a forensics department. This is the key to our ability to break the world record of the Hearts rooms. We are both very good at the suspense-type secret rooms. Our team might be new but everyone is very strong. Old Mo, you have a better understanding of the World Weekly. Are you willing to come with us and be a guide?”
Mo Xuemin was worried for a moment. A new team was very prone to problems, such as infighting during a life or death crisis, causing the team to fall apart. Most new teams temporarily formed couldn’t stand the test and would disband.
However, the two men in front of him were masters who broke the world record!
A criminal police officer and a forensics professor could be called an ace combination in the Hearts secret room. A perfect clearance in Liuxi Village showed that the new team they led wasn’t weak. This team would become stronger and stronger if they united and experienced going through several secret rooms together.
If he joined now, it was equivalent to buying a potential stock during the rising period. The risks were high but the benefits were greater. Rather than going to the forum to find unreliable teams that were recruiting, try and break the world record.
Thinking up to here, Mo Xuemin immediately nodded. “Ye. In any case, I don’t have a team and can go with you! How many people are there in the team now?”
Yu Hanjiang looked around at the open corridor. “This isn’t the right place to talk. Old Mo, let’s go downstairs.”
Mo Xuemin followed the two people to Room 311. Ye Qi gently knocked on the door. It was ‘three long and two short’ knocks. Ye Qi soon opened the door and Mo Xuemin saw there were five people in the room.
Xiao Lou smiled and introduced him. “This is Mo Xuemin. Old Mo is the oldest senior in the team. Let’s greet everyone.”
The man with maroon hair in a short ponytail was the most handsome one apart from Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang. His eyes narrowed as he held out his hand with a smile. “Old Mo, I’m Shao Qingge. I run a fund company in the real world. I am responsible for the finances of the team.”
Mo Xuemin immediately shook his hand. “Hello Chief Shao!”
Beside him was a young man with very white skin. He was 170cm tall and didn’t seem completely grown yet. However, there was a touch of aura in his eyes and his smile was very cute. He spoke enthusiastically, “Uncle Mo, my name is Ye Qi. I’m 20 years old and a study of a music university. You can call me Little Ye later.”
Immediately after him was a thin girl with an indifferent expression. She extended a pale hand and said, “Hello Uncle Mo, my name is Liu Qiao. I’m 18 years old and a first year study in the Traditional Chinese medicine department of a medical university.”
He had seen these three people the night before and there were two strange faces. The man was tall and big, with a height of 185 centimetres. He had obvious muscles on his arms and his smile was simple and honest. He scratched his head and said, “Hello Old Mo, my name is Long Sen. I am a racewalking coach at a sports school in reality.”
The woman next to him had very curly hair that went down to her shoulders. “My name is Qu Wanyue, Long Sen’s fiancee. My profession is a dance teacher.”
Mo Xuemin greeted everyone in turn.
The team’s professional configuration was enough to make him feel shocked. A criminal police officer, a forensics profession, a fund company owner, a musical teenager, a Chinese medicine girl, a dance teacher and a racewalking coach. Along with him, who was a space designer, it covered most types of secret rooms.
In the Hearts secret room, there was a police officer and forensics professor. They didn’t need to be afraid of not finding the murderer. There was a great possibility that so many people could work together to clear the instance. There was also Professor Xiao and Chief Shao in the Clubs secret room. In the physical confrontation Spades secret room, there was police officer Yu Hanjiang and Long Sen, a physically fit racewalking coach…
He was enlightened and looked a bit surprised. Wasn’t this a bit too strong? Xiao Lou took out the contract book. “Old Mo, our contract book rose to the advanced level but it requires at least eight people to be activated. Please sign here.”
Mo Xuemin didn’t hesitate to take the feather pen and signed his name.
Looking at the pages filled with various handwriting, Mo Xuemin’s heart beat violently. He didn’t expect that after his previous team was destroyed, he would be able to find an elite team so soon! Old Mo held back his excitement and looked at Xiao Lou. “Professor Xiao, I don’t know if you have heard about an elite team in the Card World who reached J of Hearts?”
Xiao Lou nodded. “I heard the president of the Distant Guild say that they once organized an elite team to clear the SS rooms. As a result, the group was destroyed in J of Hearts and never came back.”
Mo Xuemin nodded solemnly. “The configuration of that team was very similar to yours. There was a reasoning writer, a doctor, a physical school coach, dance teacher, singer etc. The team brought talents from all walks of life together… unfortunately, they didn’t last. Many people say that the later secret rooms are too difficult. Such a team can’t pass then other teams definitely wouldn’t be able to pass them. What does Professor Xiao think about this?”
Xiao Lou laughed. “For the reason behind their demise, I personally think there were internal problems. Mr Gui said there were 15 people in the team. So many people aren’t easy to manage. As long as there are cracks in the team, it is enough to destroy a levee a thousand miles away.”
Facing Xiao Lou’s calm eyes, Mo Xuemin couldn’t help nodding and firmly clenched his fists. “I think so as well! I think that if it is really at the difficulty that humans can’t pass, the gatekeeper at the beginning shouldn’t tell us that we can leave after clearing the SS level rooms. They should just say ‘Welcome to the Card World and start your new life.’ Why give us the hope to leave?”
Yu Hanjiang nodded. “There is no secret room that can’t be cleared. It is just that the challengers have insufficient strength. For the elite team, everyone might be very strong individually but the combination isn’t necessarily strong.”
Xiao Lou glanced at Group Leader Yu in agreement. “Yes. Sometimes it is the 1+1 is greater than 2 effect while sometimes is it less than 2. The team will only drag each other down.”
He smiled and looked around, making eye contact with everyone for one second. “We now have eight people. I hope that together, we will be greater than eight and not less than eight. Since we have decided to form a team, from now on I will establish the team rules.”
He took out the contract book and turned to the first page. In addition to the original 1-6 rules of the contract, number seven onwards was vacant and could be supplemented by the owner of the contract.
Xiao Lou picked up the feather pen and added three things to the seventh spot:
Going home is a common wish.
All members of the contract must pledge to follow orders, to unite, support each other and to trust each other. In the future, we will walk through countless roads of thorns. No matter what, we shouldn’t forget the significance of a ‘teammate.’
Those who betray the team will be immediately kicked out of the contract book once discovered and responsibility would be pursued to the end.
Xiao Lou showed it to everyone in turn and asked, “Do you have any opinions on the additional rules?”
The people said that had no opinion. A team needed the minimum of unity. If they didn’t trust each other then wouldn’t they have to prevent teammates from stabbing them in the back in a life and death crisis? It was best to set strict rules from the start.
Mo Xuemin didn’t expect the mild-looking Professor Xiao to be so rational and calm in this critical moment. It was only when the contract had such a captain that the members who signed the contract book could really trust the team.
Xiao Lou put away the contract book and smiled at Yu Hanjiang. “Group Leader Yu is a police officer and often carries out dangerous tasks. He is very good at commanding and leading the team. In the Spades and Hearts room, everyone will listen to Group Leader Yu’s command.”
The others nodded immediately.
Yu Hanjiang went on to say, “Professor Xiao specializes in mechanism puzzles. In the Diamonds secret room, don’t touch anything and listen to Professor Xiao’s arrangements. In addition, Old Mo is a designer and is sensitive to space. If we encounter a large maze then the task of finding a way out will be left to Old Mo.”
Xiao Lou continued, “In the Clubs room, everyone needs to cooperate. Remember to believe in your teammates. Now, please pull out your card packs. We need to calculate everyone’s combat capabilities.”
The group looked at each other and Shao Qingge took the lead to pull out his card pack. In any case, he didn’t have many good cards. There was the strange ATM cash machine that was good to use. He could summon an ATM machine anytime in the secret room world to withdraw money anytime and anywhere.
Ye Qi had two instrument cards, the guitar and flute. Both were control cards through music. The teleport card could take two teammates and teleport 50 metres at a time. The eavesdropping card allowed him to throw out three bugs at a time.
Liu Qiao’s Twin card copied others, her flying card allowed her to float in the air and Little Red Riding Hood and Poison Queen controlled and attacked.
The Long Sen and Qu Wanyue husband and wife had two chameleon and long jump cards. The former allowed them to fuse with the environment and disguise themselves. The latter allowed them to jump eight metres at a time and the terrain and duration were unlimited. They were good survival cards and weren’t lacking to Ye Qi’s teleportation card.
Old Mo’s cards made everyone very surprised. He took out four special A-grade cards in a row.
[Rotate Time and Space]: Can make any space within 100 metres turn 180 degrees instantaneously.
[Colour Elements]: Can dye any designated space with 500 metres into seven colours: red, orange, yellow, green, blue or purple.
[Model Room]: Draw a model room on a design drawing and generate a sample room 100 times larger in a designated area, so that the enemy can enter your sample room to enjoy your work.
[Solid Wood Flooring]: A solid wood floor with a length of 100 metres and a width of 5 metres can be laid on any terrain and it is very strong. For example, build a wooden bridge on the river or walk in the air between two tall buildings.
Old Mo smiled with embarrassment. “I haven’t received an S-grade score and only drew A-grade cards. However, their usage is very good. I relied on the Rotate Time and Space card to escape the hunter’s pursuit in last week’s World Weekly.”
Xiao Lou told him, “They are very good to use.”
Yu Hanjiang took out a laptop and quickly wrote down everyone’s cards.
In addition to these cards, there were the fixed reward cards such as Materials Supply Package, Universal Travel Ticket, Nine Palaces Grid, Four-way Arrow, Night Pearl etc.
There were some team-limited cards such as a large-scale Human Bone Medicine Jar. A team could only bring one and the excess could be sold.
Finally, Xiao Lou showed his character cards and Yu Hanjiang his weapon cards, making everyone’s eyes widen.
Mo Xuemin looked at Yu Hanjiang with excitement. “Group Leader Yu actually drew a limited weapon! If you sell these weapons then you can definitely sell them at sky-high prices. In particular, this sniper gun is priceless in the market. Many challengers in the forum are looking to purchase it…”
Yu Hanjiang stated, “I won’t sell it. It is for my own use.”
Old Mo nodded. “Yes, as a police officer you can certainly use a gun. This gun is much stronger than sword-type weapons.
Xiao Lou smiled. “So far, Group Leader Yu’s weapons haven’t been used.”
Mo Xuemin was stunned. He thought that this person was so strong without weapons. If he used weapons in the future, wouldn’t Group Leader Yu be like a god killing gods, Buddha killing Buddha?
Yu Hanjiang showed the results to Xiao Lou. Xiao Lou felt there were no problems and put the laptop on the table. “Everyone should look at it to become familiar with our team’s existing cards.”
Everyone put their heads together to look carefully while Yu Hanjiang spoke softly, “We have two days to prepare. After entering the secret rooms, call each other by pseudonyms and don’t leak too much information. Call me Old Han.”
Xiao Lou said, “I can be Xiao Ge or Xiao Xiao. Just call me Yunxiao.”
Shao Qingge stated, “Call me Teacher Shao.”
Ye Qi was called ‘Little Ye’, Mo Xuemin was called ‘Old Mo’, Liu Qiao was called ‘Little Liu’ Long Sen was called ‘Mutou (slow-witted/wood) and Qu Wanyue was called ‘Yue Yue.’ Everyone became familiar with each other’s pseudonyms and talked until very late. They were full of energy when they went to bed.
It was getting closer and closer to the World Weekly.
On Friday, the beauty from the Distant Guild found the New World Hotel and knocked on Xiao Lou’s door. “Professor Xiao, Officer Yu, have you thought about it? The World Weekly is about to begin. Why don’t you join our Distant Guild? The president will take the two of you personally through the World Weekly.”
Xiao Lou smiled and declined. “Sorry, we don’t want to join any association for the time being. We’ll talk about it after the World Weekly is over.”
The beauty shrugged. “Well, there are no grudges. I wish you all the best.”
Saturday, 00:00 a.m.
All the challengers felt dizzy and were forced to enter a dark space.
A prompt also appeared on their floating boxes.
[Welcome to the World Weekly secret room: Endless Sea]
[Your secret room number is Room 0783. The number of challengers in the secret room is 500.]
[World Weekly’s Mission Requirements: Survive seven days at sea.]
Xiao Lou’s eyes narrowed. He was surrounded by darkness and nothing could be seen, but Xiao Lou soon calmed down. According to the rules of the contract, he and his teammates must come to the same room. There was no need to worry. They would meet soon.