The time in the City of the Moon was 14:00 on Tuesday.
Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang directly drew 8 of Diamonds to open the next level and their teammates were very supportive of this decision. In any case, the Diamonds level was usually a mechanism maze and the time spent wasn’t as long as Hearts or Spades. It usually took less than an hour to complete.
In the previous Diamonds room, Xiao Lou cleared it in a few minutes to break the record. Yu Hanjiang was very confident in Xiao Lou’s ability to crack the mechanisms. Moreover, this time there was Old Mo who had a sense of space and cards suitable for a maze. They shouldn’t fail the A-grade maze.
There was Professor Xiao and Old Mo. Everyone was ready to lie down and win.
Once the card was drawn, a familiar red vortex appeared in the middle of the 8 of DIamonds card. Then everyone’s floating boxes started to count down.
10 seconds later, darkness appeared in front of them.
At the same time, the group was transferred to a familiar yet strange world.
The reason it was familiar was because it was the world of 8 of Hearts that they had just left. The streets, buildings and outfits of the people were very similar to the world of Beacon in Troubled Times. It was the style of the Qi state.
They actually came back to ancient times?!
It was strange because the street was full of lanterns, countless large red lanterns that shone and dazzled them.
They were wondering about the situation when several lines appeared on the floating boxes in front of them.
[Welcome to 8 of Diamonds: Shangyuan Lantern Festival.]
[The first month of the lunar year, it is the first month of the lunar calendar. People from ancient times also call this night ‘Heaven.’ Therefore, on the 15th day of the first month of the lunar year, there is the Lantern Festival also known as the Shangyuan Festival.]
[Today is the Shangyuan Festival on the 15th of the first lunar month. Since ancient times, there has been a custom of ‘watching lanterns’ on the night of the Shangyuan Festival. The 5 kilometers long street in the capital of the Qi state is full of lanterns. Young men and women like to go to the Lantern Festival on this day. Perhaps, if you look back, you can see your favourite person on the other side of the lantern.]
[The 8 of Hearts secret room is a ‘Lantern Festival Labyrinth.’ Please look for the hidden lantern mechanisms and hang the obtained lantern props on the lantern tree beside the stone bridge. The more lanterns you get, the higher the clearance score.]
[The Lantern Festival will continue until the zishi time (24:00 in the morning) and you can explore until the end of the festival.]
Everyone was dumbfounded after reading the prompts.
The ancient Shangyuan Lantern Festival? This was the modern Lantern Festival!
Ye Qi looked down at his Fragrant Sky House’s outfit and wanted to take it off on the spot. He pulled at the complicated skirt and couldn’t help exclaiming, “I thought this outfit would never be worn again yet I have to wear it in the very next room!”
Shao Qingge looked at Ye Qi wearing female clothing and waved his fan with a smile. “You look pretty in this outfit. You are worthy of being the top draw of the Fragrant Sky House.”
Ye Qi knew this person was joking and rolled his eyes, ignoring it.
He looked around and discovered his teammates weren’t present. Ye Qi couldn’t help wondering, “What about the others. In addition… this lantern market, why do I feel like something is weird, as if something is wrong?”
Shao Qingge stated, “It isn’t like a normal lantern festival. There are many forks and it should be a maze.”
Ye Qi was stunned for a moment before reacting quickly, “Yes, most lantern festivals are filled with lanterns for tourists to appreciate but from my perspective… I have seen five streets. The streets criss-cross and are all covered with lanterns. There are so many pedestrians that it is easy to get lost.”
Shao Qingge nodded. “It isn’t surprising that the Diamonds secret room would be turned into a maze. The key is the location of the mechanism.”
Ye Qi frowned as he looked around and found no mechanisms. He looked back at the prompt and couldn’t help wondering. Looking for the lantern mechanisms? There were thousands of lanterns that were similar in shape. What were the characteristics of the mechanisms? Wasn’t the hint too vague?”
Ye Qi couldn’t understand it and asked, “What lanterns do you think are the mechanisms?”
Shao Qingge smiled and waved his fan. “Guessing this puzzle isn’t for me. If I was the only one clearing the world, I would buy all the lanterns on this street and take them apart one by one.”
Ye Qi, “……”
A local tyrant’s thought process was incomprehensible.
Ye Qi thought about the prompts just now and his eyes lit up. “Let’s meet with our teammates first. Don’t we have to hang the lanterns on the lantern tree beside the stone bridge? We should take a look at this lantern tree.”
He hurried forward. However, he was wearing female clothing and accidentally stepped on the hem of his dress, almost falling into dog poo.
Shao Qingge supported him with a small smile and whispered, “Slow down, you are Girl Ye now. Don’t be in a hurry.”
Ye Qi’s ears were red. “Female clothes are so annoying. Once I go back, I will burn this card!”
The people passing by couldn’t help whispering, “That girl is so beautiful. Her eyes are bright.”
“That man is also very handsome.”
“They must’ve come to the lantern festival together.”
Ye Qi didn’t hear. He was still in a rush to sort out his dress.
Shao Qingge had a slight smile on his face as he covered Ye Qi’s red face with his fan and helped him walk through the lantern market.
Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou were also dressed in the outfits from 8 of Hearts.
Yu Hanjiang froze for a moment after seeing Xiao Lou in the long dress beside him and he wondered, “Why is it the ancient world again?”
Xiao Lou immediately responded, “Are 8 of Hearts and 8 of Diamonds linked?”
Yu Hanjiang looked at the long street ahead and nodded, “The architectural style and outfits of the pedestrians are indeed very similar to the Daqi that we have experienced. We were transported to a lantern festival in Daqi?”
“It seems that A of Diamonds took the background setting directly from Hearts and made a lantern maze out of it.”
Yu Hanjiang looked up thoughtfully at the lanterns nearby. “Let’s find a lantern mechanism. Do you want to find it among these lanterns hanging on both sides of the street?”
All the red lanterns hanging on this street were made of traditional gauze. The warm candlelight shone through the red gauze to make the street bright. The people coming and going all had a festive red light over their faces. Some children rode on their fathers’ backs with delicate lanterns in their hands while some young men gave lanterns to their beloved girls.
The ancient lantern festival was very lively but Yu Hanjiang observed for a long time and couldn’t find any mechanisms.
These lanterns looked exactly the same and there were hundreds of them on the street. How could they find the mechanisms?
He was in a fog of confusion when Xiao Lou suddenly opened his mouth. “The theme of this secret room is probably the lantern riddle.”
Yu Hanjiang turned to him. “Lantern riddle?”
Xiao Lou explained, “In ancient times, the Shangyuan Lantern Festival often held some ‘guess the lantern riddle’ activities. Some vendors will hang the lanterns they made and the riddles would take the forms of patterns, poems, words etc. Tourists can guess the riddle. If they guess the riddle correctly, they can win the lantern. The boss will hand out the lantern and it is a good sign.”
Yu Hanjiang suddenly realized. “I’ve heard of this tradition.”
Xiao Lou looked at the surroundings closely. “This is a maze of lanterns. The roads are criss-crossing and are very complicated. The one we are standing on is the main road. The lanterns on this road are all round gauze lanterns with the same shape and no patterns on them. These red lanterns are just decorations. The red lantern mechanisms should be in the other forked roads. Most likely, they are palace lanterns made of paper.
He glanced back at Yu Hanjiang and spoke seriously, “The rectangular palace lanterns made of paper can be drawn and written on, making it convenient for writing riddles. LEt’s meet our teammates first and then find the lantern riddles.
Yu Hanjiang, “…”
Yu Hanjiang always had a headache when encountering the Diamonds secret room.
Looking at the dense red lanterns and the bustling crowd, he hadn’t known where to start.
Now he listened to Xiao Lou’s explanation and immediately understood.
He recalled his experience with Xiao Lou in 3 of Diamonds and 4 of Diamonds. He was still examining the question while Professor Xiao had already given the answer. In any case, in the Diamonds maze, it was always right to follow Xiao Lou.
Facing Xiao Lou’s clear eyes, Yu Hanjiang replied immediately, “Okay, everything is up to you.”
“Then we will go to the lantern tree first. My guess is that Ye Qi and the others will go to the lantern tree to meet with us.”
Yu Hanjiang nodded and walked along with Xiao Lou.
On the way, court officials recognized them and greeted them with a smile. “Hello Yu daren, are you going to the lantern festival with your wife?”
Yu Hanjiang replied calmly, “Yes, I’m accompanying my wife.”
Xiao Lou smiled cooperatively and nodded politely at the other party. This person’s question confirmed their speculation. 8 of Diamonds and 8 of Hearts were linked. They shared the same background and setting.
In fact, the effect of putting the lantern festival in the real world was the same. Obviously, the keeper of Diamonds was lazy and directly took the Hearts sister’s setting to make the maze.
This place was so crowded that Xiao Lou was almost knocked down by a child. Yu Hanjiang immediately hugged Xiao Lou by the waist and supported him gently while whispering, “Don’t go too far away.”
Xiao Lou’s heart jumped. He pretended to be calm as he was protected by Yu Hanjiang and walked forward.
This lantern market was too big…
As they moved forward along the main road, Xiao Lou saw at least eight roads that forked out. Each forked road was also covered with lanterns. The crowds coming and going would seriously affect their judgment about direction. In the lantern maze that was filled with people, it was really easy to get lost.
Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang walked straight forward, looking for the location of the lantern tree.
The lantern tree wasn’t difficult to find. Once the main road came to an end, they passed a stone bridge and saw an ancient tree that was 10 meters high in the distance. It was covered with red wishes and lanterns.
There weren’t many people around the big tree. Xiao Lou quickly glanced at the crowd and saw Ye Qi in a red dress and Shao Qingge dressed as a rich, noble son.
Moments later, Long Sen, Qu Wanyue, Old Mo and Liu Qiao also arrived here.
Everyone had climbed all the way to 8 of Diamonds and knew to look at the prompts when entering the secret room carefully. The prompt pointed out the ‘lantern tree’ as a key place so they would naturally come here to meet their teammates.
None of the teammates wandered around and the gathering speed was very fast.
The eight people arrived and Xiao Lou immediately called everyone to the side.
He found a place with no one and whispered, “Check your card pack to see which cards work.”
Everyone checked. Liu Qiao took the lead to say, “My Light as a Swallow can be used. The invisibility cloak and Twin card have failed. My fairy tale cards such as Poison Queen and Little Red Riding Hood can’t be used.”
Long Sen added, “Soccer and badminton can’t be used. Chameleon is useless. I can only use Long Jump!”
Old Mo couldn’t smile. “I can only use the Perspective Converter card.”
Xiao Lou glanced at Yu Hanjiang, who said, “All the modern, high-tech cards have been banned.”
It seemed this ban also included Mr Tang’s S-grade tool card that he just gave them, Aerial Camera.
Ye Qi stated, “My teleportation card can still be used but it is only the first skill. In other words, I can only teleport myself. I can’t teleport 200 kg or other people.”
Xiao Lou checked Li Qingzhao’s skills. “Previously, the flying pigeon could carry objects but this time it is banned. Stray Into the Depths of the Lotus Flowers is also banned.”
Ye Qi was surprised. “Isn’t Stray Into the Depths of the Lotus Flowers a maze skill? You can return to a specific location marked in the mark. Why is it banned in the Diamonds maze?”
Everyone was confused about the rule of banning cards in this Diamonds room. Wasn’t A of Diamonds very willful? What did she want to ban? Some cards that could be used in the Hearts ancient world were somehow unusable here?
Xiao Lou thought carefully for a moment and quickly found the rules. He analyzed, “This maze, strictly speaking, isn’t a pure mechanism maze but a lantern riddle maze. The thing we need to do within a limited time is to solve as many riddles as possible and hang the lantern props obtained on this tree. It is a mini-game of collecting maze props.”
Hearing Xiao Lou’s words, everyone couldn’t help looking at the big tree not far away.
There was a lantern hanging on the tree and the hint was quite obvious. Later, the collected lanterns would be hung up. As Xiao Lou concluded, this was indeed a maze props collection game.
Xiao Lou continued, “If Ye Qi can move 200 kilograms with the teleportation, we can solve dozens of riddles, put the lanterns together and let Ye Qi move them all. This is probably why all the skills to move things are banned.”
Ye Qi suddenly realized. “Is this why Li Qingzhao’s location marking skill is banned? If it can be used, we can directly mark this tree as the target point and easily teleport here after solving a riddle!”
Xiao Lou nodded. “Tao Yuanming’s Remember Peach Blossom Spring is also banned for the same reason. It is forbidden for us to mark a point directly and use group teleport under the tree to hang up a lantern. However, displacement skills aren’t forbidden. Can you think of anything?”
Liu Qiao thought carefully. Her Light as a Swallow could be used. She could use the light footwork to leap between buildings. There was also Long Sen’s Long Jump and Ye Qi’s Teleport… her eyes lit up. “Is it to let us move quickly in a relay?”
Xiao Lou looked at her with appreciation. “Yes, from the perspective of the keeper who banned the cards, this secret room requires up to divide the labor. Those who are good at solving puzzles should look for lantern riddles in the lantern market. Solve it as soon as possible, pass it to your teammate. If you have a displacement card, move through the crowd at the fastest speed, take the lantern out of the lantern market and hang it on this tree. This means there are three links in this secret room. Understanding the riddle, the relay race and hanging the lantern.”
Yu Hanjiang heard this and finally understood the difficulty of the room.
The lantern market would close at zishi time. Would 50 lanterns get an S-grade score or was it 100 lanterns? No one knew the scoring rules and they could only solve as many riddles as possible.
The current time was around 21 o’clock and there were three hours until the lantern festival closed.
If they wanted to bring the lanterns out of the bustling crowd, displacement skills were necessary. Time was limited so Yu Hanjiang simply said, “Xiao Lou, you arrange it and we will act as soon as possible.”
Xiao Lou wasn’t polite. He glanced at his teammates and quickly divided them into groups. “Old Mo and Xiao Liu. Old Mo is more familiar with the maze route and will use Light as a Swallow to pass the lanterns. Liu Qiao is responsible for solving the riddles.”
The two of them nodded and Liu Qiao handed the card to Old Mo immediately.
Xiao Lou followed up with, “Long Sen and Teacher Qu are in a team. Teacher Qu will look for the lantern riddles while Long Sen is responsible for taking away the lanterns.”
Xiao Lou didn’t want to dismantle this couple tea. Qu Wanyue was smart and Long Sen could run fast. The two people had no comments on this arrangement.
Xiao Lou looked at Shao Qingge and Ye Qi. “The two of you are in a team. Ye Qi will solve the riddles while I have to trouble Chief Shao to run the errands.”
Shao Qingge laughed. “No problem.”
The last two people were naturally in a team and their teammates seemed accustomed to them being in the same group.
Yu Hanjiang consciously said, “I’ll run the errands.”
Xiao Lou took the acceleration shoes out of his card pack and handed it over. “This card is for you.”
Once the teams were divided, Xiao Lou went on to say, “Now everyone will enter the lantern market. Split up and first figure out the road distribution of the lantern market. Remember to mark the roads you have travelled with a Four-way Arrow. Old Mo, if you encounter a complicated road then use Perspective Converter to look at it. After 15 minutes, we will go back to the big tree and meet.”
Everyone nodded and entered the lantern market quickly.
Seeing Xiao Lou calmly directing and arranging the actions, Yu Hanjiang couldn’t help thinking that with such a clever partner beside him, he didn’t have to worry about the Diamond mazes in the future. He could continue to lie down and win.
TL: This room has many riddles and many of them the author doesn’t explain, probably because she considers it obvious. However, as a person who doesn’t speak Chinese and also needing to translate it into English, it can be hard to properly convey some of them. I have done my best but I won’t blame you if you feel confused with some riddles.