Originally, Yu Hanjiang had decided to rush to Qingshui Town the next day, but then he investigated more and found that the relationships and backgrounds of these people were more complicated than he had thought. He was worried that Xiao Ye and Old Mo wouldn’t be able to cope so he set off early to provide support.
This small town was remote but data showed that it had excellent scenery, good air quality and pleasant weather throughout the year, making it a very suitable place for the elderly. It was a wise decision for Uncle Zhong to choose to return here. Not only could he enjoy retirement in his old age, but he could also hide in this small town and no one would come to trouble him.
It was already dark when Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou arrived and there were few pedestrians on the street. The nightlife of the small town wasn’t as rich as that of big cities so the ‘Tianya Club’ located in the heart of the small town was particularly eye-catching. The three-storey building was surrounded by colorful neon lights that were flashing in a brilliant manner.
Before the two of them arrived, they got in touch with Ye Qi. They went to the hotel to pick up Ye Qi and Old Mo and then set off for the ‘Tianya Club’.
Ye Qi sat in the back seat of the car and said, “I went to the club with Old Mo last night. The cloak was in a cooldown state so we couldn’t sneak in. We pretended to be outsiders and went to the door to ask about the identity of this place. The security guard at the door said it was a membership-based entertainment club. People have to be introduced by an acquaintance and could only enter with a membership card. Normal people aren’t allowed to enter.”
Old Mo added, “The management of this club is very strict. The security knows all of the customers so strangers can’t get in. However, I found a lot of luxury cars parked in the parking lot of the club and I saw He Rong driving back here at 3 o’clock in the morning. The club is closed during the day. It opens at 6 p.m. and goes until 8 a.m. of the next day.”
Yu Hanjiang understood the situation. He looked down at the time on his watch and gave out decisive orders. “It is 10:30 p.m. Xiao Lou and I will go explore first. Once the card skills are refreshed at midnight, Xiao Ye and Old Mo will go in again.”
Ye Qi was worried. “The clubhouse looks mysterious. If there is danger inside and the duration of the invisibility cloak ends, what will you do if you can’t escape? Do you want to set up a teleportation point in advance?”
Xiao Lou felt that Ye Qi’s concern was very reasonable so he took out the Tao Yuanming card. “I will open the entrance of the Peach Blossom Spring in the car. Later, if there is danger and we can’t get out then we will transfer directly through this.”
This was double insurance. The invisibility cloak had 30 minutes of invisibility and no one else could see them at all. If they couldn’t find an exit within 30 minutes or if it was too late to escape, they would go directly back to the Peach Blossom Spring. The entrance was in the car and it was safe if the car was parked in the distance.
Ye Qi and Old Mo put down their worries and sat in the car with peace of mind.
Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou came near the clubhouse. The two of them hid in a dark corner and waited until a private car drove to the door of the clubhouse and the doorman went down to help open the door. Yu Hanjiang whispered in Xiao Lou’s ear, “Let’s go. Follow them.”
Xiao Lou tacitly nodded and took out the Invisibility Cloak card. He was about to put it on when Yu Hanjiang said, “No one knows what is going on inside the clubhouse. If it is a maze again, we might get separated. To be on the safe side, I will take you so we don’t separate.”
Then he simply reached out and gently grabbed Xiao Lou’s wrist. Xiao Lou felt that this wrist was hot but it wasn’t easy to pull his hand back. He saw Yu Hanjiang putting on the cloak and disappearing in front of him and knew it wasn’t time to worry about this. He immediately activated the cloak.
Yu Hanjiang also wrapped the cloak around where they were holding hands so no one could find them at all. Xiao Lou couldn’t see Yu Hanjiang but the clear touch on his wrist told him that Yu Hanjiang was right beside him. This made him feel at ease.
The two of them arrived at the door of the clubhouse just as a big boss came down from the car. The boss was tall and he wore a suit with a shiny emerald ring on his finger that looked expensive. The receptionist at the door greeted him with a smile.
Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou followed him, flashing into the club the moment the door was opened. The interior of the club was luxurious. The crystal chandelier in the lobby shone with a diamond-like luster and there was an elevator in the middle. The lobby manager saw the guest and moved forward. “Mr Yu, welcome. The room you booked has been kept for you.”
Mr Yu smiled. “Thank you. Is Xiao Ping here today?”
“Yes, I’ve already asked her to prepare. Please come with me.”
He followed the manager to a private room. Yu Hanjiang followed behind them with Xiao Lou.
The boss walked into the VIP-8 room on the 1st floor. The room was very spacious with a sofa, coffee table and king-sized bed. In the attached bathroom, there was a luxurious bathtub that could easily accommodate two adults. A young and beautiful woman was waiting for him in the room. The two of them should be very familiar with each other. The woman wasn’t shy at all. She took the initiative to welcome Boss Yu into the bathroom and asked with a smile, “Mr Yu, is it the milk bath, essential oils bath or medicinal bath today?”
Boss Yu gently pressed a hand against his forehead. “I’ve been tired recently. Let’s make it a medicinal bath.”
The woman turned to get the medicine and Boss Yu started to undress. Yu Hanjiang wasn’t interested in watching a big man taking a bath so he turned to take Xiao Lou away. As a result, the two of them had just walked out of the bathroom when strange sounds were heard from the room.
Xiao Lou looked back incredulously and the scene in front of him made him blush.
The medicinal bath hadn’t started when Boss Yu hugged the woman impatiently and rolled into the bathtub. Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang hadn’t expected to directly watch a live show. Both of them were embarrassed and quickly sneaked out.
Xiao Lou took a deep breath and stabilized his heartbeat. He ignored the scene he just saw and spoke through the heart channel, “This club is indeed not simple. It is nominally for getting massages but in fact…”
He was too embarrassed to continue.
Yu Hanjiang was very calm and spoke indifferently, “I guessed it. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have such a mysteriously and secretive VIP membership system for a simple bathing place.”
Xiao Lou coughed lightly and changed the subject. “Does this ‘Tianya Club’ have a direct link with the organ trafficking organization?”
“Let’s check it out.”
The two of them left the room and returned to the hallway. The soundproofing effect of the door was excellent. They couldn’t hear what was going on inside from the corridor. Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou started to explore the club.
They walked around and found that this club was like a labyrinth. All of the corridors were decorated exactly the same. There were bright crystal lights on the ceiling and the floor was covered with marble tiles. The wide corridor had VIP rooms on both sides and the winding corridors meant it was easy to get lost.
Xiao Lou was good at puzzles but his sense of direction wasn’t very strong. After walking in a circle, he couldn’t tell where he was and everywhere looked exactly the same. Yu Hanjiang also started to have a headache. “A of Diamonds didn’t indicate that this was a maze instance. It seems the ‘Tianya Club’ was arranged this way originally and there might be some secrets hidden here.”
Xiao Lou helplessly suggested, “We should call Old Mo. I can’t tell any direction in this maze and it doesn’t feel like a simple ‘回’ structure.”
Yu Hanjiang estimated the time of the invisibility cloak and spoke decisively, “Let’s go back. Once it is 12 o’clock, we will come back with Old Mo.”
The two men exited the club through the Peach Blossom Spring and returned to the car. Ye Qi saw them suddenly appear in the car and his eyes widened. “What happened? You came straight back?”
Xiao Lou told him, “We encountered a maze and couldn’t find the way.”
Yu Hanjiang told them, “We will go back after midnight. We only have 30 minutes. Old Mo, try to get a good feel of the rooms inside the club.”
Mo Xuemin nodded earnestly. “I will try my best.”
Yu Hanjiang added, “After putting on the cloak, we can’t see each other and it is easy to get separated. Old Mo will take Ye Qi with him while being connected to Xiao Lou through Heart has a Tacit Exchange of Romantic Feelings. Once you get to a corner, point out a direction to Xiao Lou. He will take me.”
In this way, they wouldn’t get separated even if they were invisible. The moment the card skills were reset at midnight, the connection between Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang was removed and he established a connection with Old Mo instead. The four of them put on their cloaks again and returned to the club.
After passing the familiar lobby, everyone entered the first corridor. Old Mo took the lead while holding Ye Qi. Xiao Lou followed with Yu Hanjiang. At the corner, he heard Old Mo say in his mind, “Left.”
Xiao Lou led Yu Hanjiang to the left. They walked to the fork in the road and continued to follow Old Mo’s instructions, walking to the left.
As he walked, Old Mo remembered the room numbers and corridor positions in his head. After walking around, he found that this place was much more complicated than the labyrinth in Antai Garden. Antai Garden was divided into ‘丁’ junctions while this labyrinth was divided into ‘十’ intersections.
Ye Qi quickly became dizzy and didn’t dare to speak. He could only obediently follow Old Mo. The thing that made everyone more puzzled was that they didn’t see anyone inside the ‘Tianya Club’! The guests should all be in the rooms. It could be imagined what was going on inside the rooms but the corridors were empty and quiet. It was like walking through a suffocatingly empty city.
After walking for more than 10 minutes in the empty corridors like this, Xiao Lou couldn’t help it anymore. He asked in his mind, “Old Mo, what is the situation of this maze? Why does it seem like there is no end and we are just going around in circles?”
Old Mo took a deep breath before answering, “If my judgment is correct, this should be a maze of the ‘田’ type. There are four ‘田’ characters on this floor alone and the four ‘田’ characters formed a ‘回’ corridor structure.
To facilitate everyone’s understanding, Old Mo stopped at a bathroom. He wet his fingers and quickly drew a floor plan on the hand washing stand.
There were four ‘田’ characters on the top, bottom, left and right but a clear space was formed in the middle and the four corners.
Xiao Lou looked at the map drawn with water on the table and couldn’t help feeling surprised. “The 田 is the place we walked just now? I remember that each corridor is around the same length. The ‘口’ in the middle is the elevator and the lobby of the club. Then what are the blank areas in the four corners?”
“Xiao Ye and I observed this building from a high altitude yesterday. Its appearance is a standard cubic structure so the ‘口’ areas in the four corners will never be empty.” Old Mo paused and speculated, “I suspect the ‘田’ are just for guests. Once people come to the end of the corridor, it is easy to think the road is a dead end. Yet in fact, there are probably many secret doors in this club.”
Old Mo used water droplets to mark a few places where the hidden doors might exist.
This club was very skillfully designed. The corridors with the ‘田’ structure formed a large number of corridors in the club. Even if the police came to investigate, the corridors ultimately resulted in dead ends so no one would think there were hidden doors leading to more areas.
It was thanks to the presence of Old Mo that they knew. Fortunately, he looked down and observed the entire shape of the building in advance. Only then did he infer the secret inside the club. The first time Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang entered the club, they hadn’t seen the existence of these hidden doors.
Yu Hanjiang turned his head to look at the end of the corridor. The inside of the club was decorated luxuriously and the walls in the corridor had many mirrors hung. This would magnify the current scene visually. For example, a mirror placed at the end of the original 50 meters long corridor would make people feel that it was as long as 100 meters.
Yu Hanjiang whispered, “Is there a problem with this mirror?”
Old Mo agreed. “I also think that it isn’t a wall behind the mirror. There might be a secret space.”
Yu Hanjiang simply said, “Let’s take a look.”
The four of them quickly walked to the mirror. The mirror didn’t look special. It was just a common full-length mirror with an ivory-white frame covered in delicate carvings. Yu Hanjiang reached out to push it but the mirror didn’t move.
Xiao Lou wondered, “Is it not the mirror?”
Old Mo suggested, “Try it again. There are three corridors at the junction of ‘田’ and ‘口’, all of them with mirrors. There should be secrets behind at least one mirror.”
The four of them conducted a thorough investigation of the mirrors at the end of the corridors.
They didn’t find anything wrong with all the mirrors on the first floor and there also wasn’t anything on the second floor. After seeing that there were only five minutes left for the invisibility cloak and they still hadn’t investigated the third floor, Old Mo felt a bit guilty. “Perhaps I thought incorrectly?”
Yu Hanjiang told him, “We will keep looking. It doesn’t matter if we don’t find it. In any case, we can retreat through the Peach Blossom Spring. We will retreat the moment the duration of the invisibility cloak ends.”
The four of them hurried up to check the third floor. There were mirrors at the end of all corridors. When he reached the mirror in the east corner, Xiao Lou suddenly stopped and spoke gently, “This mirror isn’t quite right.”
On the upper left corner of the mirror, a small piece of paint on the ivory frame had fallen off.
If it was a good quality mirror then the cleaner wouldn’t wipe the paint off the frame when cleaning the mirror. It was only if the edge of the mirror hit the wall that the paint would easily fall off. If this was a door, then the corner where the paint fell off would be right next to the wall after opening it.
Xiao Lou reached out and pressed a corner of the mirror. The mirror was still unresponsive but a LCD screen with the numbers 1-9 appeared on the mirror. Yu Hanjiang thought carefully. “This is He Rong’s club and his birthday is 1224. Will the password be his birthday?”
The only person who could be linked to the club at the moment was the boss He Rong.
Ye Qi was worried. “What should we do if it is wrong?”
Yu Hanjiang answered, “If the police is called or the secret door is locked then we can directly retreat.”
Ye Qi let go of his worries. “That’s right. It isn’t a big deal to retreat. Group Leader Yu, you try it.”
Xiao Lou interrupted them. “The password shouldn’t be 1224. So far, the mazes we have encountered haven’t been as simple as the person’s birthday. It might have to be analyzed from the terrain.”
Old Mo thought carefully. “Is the password related to the structure of the maze?”
Xiao Lou speculated, “Four ‘田’ form a blank area and the character ‘田’ has five strokes. 4 and 5 should be in the password. We have also checked and there are a total of 72 mirrors in the club. I think the password is more likely to be 4572?” (http://www.strokeorder.info/mandarin.php?q=%E7%94%B0)
He had just finished speaking when Yu Hanjiang directly entered the result. Ye Qi’s eyes widened. Group Leader Yu didn’t even hesitate. Did he believe in Professor Xiao so much? As it turned out, Xiao Lou’s speculation was indeed correct.
After entering the password obtained from the terrain analysis, the mirror really rotated 90 degrees in front of everyone! A dark, narrow passageway appeared behind the mirror. Before everyone had time to see what was hidden in the passage, an ear-piercing alarm rang out. There were 30 seconds left on the cloak while the sirens alarmed the security guards in the club. There was the sound of hurried footsteps throughout the building.
Ye Qi was nervous. “This is bad. They will call the police! We should get out of here quickly!”
Yu Hanjiang whispered in Xiao Lou’s ear, “Wait for me and only teleport in the last three seconds.”
Then the man flashed like a gust of wind into the secret passage. Xiao Lou saw the light of the Night Pearl in the secret passage before it immediately disappeared. Countless footsteps were heard from downstairs and getting closer to them!
Xiao Lou’s heart almost stopped beating when he saw Yu Hanjiang move alone with the Night Pearl. The security guards arrived in the corridor on the third floor. The moment the effect of the invisibility cloak was over, they would be caught.
The last 10 seconds of the countdown…
Xiao Lou counted silently in his heart. The moment he counted to 3, he decisively activated the teleportation! The four people instantly teleported back to the Peach Blossom Spring and the cloak became invalid almost immediately. They glanced at each other with slightly nervous expressions.
Ye Qi sighed with relief. “I was scared to death. So dangerous!”
Yu Hanjiang stood under the peach blossom trees, his face pale.
Xiao Lou looked at his expression and hurried forward. “Did you see anything just now?”
Yu Hanjiang nodded and answered in a low voice, “Many guns. There were all types of guns.”
The three people, “……”
Yu Hanjiang declared solemnly, “Behind the secret door of the ‘Tianya Club’, there is actually a huge arsenal of weapons. We have reached the core of this organization. When I investigated Cheng Shaofeng, I was shot. It was the people of this organization who wanted to kill Cheng Shaofeng to shut his mouth!”
Proofreader: Fictional Reality & Paranoid Kitten