The Voice Headset was a very useful team communication device.
In normal times, everyone could speak without interfering with each other. It was only when a finger was pressed to the headset that their voice would be transmitted to the whole team. The two teams had split up and there was no need to frequently communicate with each other unless there was an emergency.
After splitting up, Xiao Lou’s group of six took the path on the left.
Tang Ci was in a wheelchair and had limited mobility. Liu Qiao wanted to help him push the wheelchair but before her hand could touch it, Tang Ci calmly refused. “It’s fine. My wheelchair is electric and I can move by myself.”
Lu Jiuchuan chuckled when he heard this and glanced at Liu Qiao. “Little girl, don’t worry, this wheelchair was made by him and there are control buttons on the armrests. It can move in a straight line and turn. It is almost as good as an intelligent robot. Of course, there is no way if we encounter stairs or steps. The wheelchair can’t go down them, so you can help at that time.”
Liu Qiao retracted her hand and nodded. “I have a light footwork card here. If Mr Tang needs it then you can use it to move up the stairs.”
Tang Ci looked at her, expression still indifferent but his eyes slightly softened. “I’m sorry about your sister’s matter. The Intelligence Bureau can no longer find news of her and you should be clear about what that means. Don’t think too much. First clear the World Weekly and the S-grade secret rooms.”
Liu Qiao lowered her head and remained silent, hands clenched into fists by her side.
Lu Jiuchuan wondered, “Sister?”
Yu Hanjiang glanced at him. Lu Jiuchuan immediately understood and didn’t ask again.
Just then, a set of stairs going down appeared ahead of them. It was impossible to see the end using the Night Pearl and it wasn’t known where the stairs led. The deep black hole was like a beast with its mouth open, wanting to swallow everyone.
Old Mo wondered, “Stairs going downward? Is this a 3D labyrinth…”
A flat labyrinth was much simpler than a 3D one. In a 3D maze, they not only had to pay attention to the change in direction but also the intersection of space. It wasn’t known how many floors this labyrinth had. There was only this path in front of them. Everyone exchanged looks before Yu Hanjiang declared decisively, “Go and see.”
At the same time, Teacher Gui’s voice was heard from their headsets. “There are stairs on our side leading deeper underground.”
Xiao Lou replied, “It is the same for us. Senior, be careful.”
They exchanged information and the 12 people headed slowly down their respective staircases.
The stairs were very narrow and each layer only fit half the size of an adult foot. It wasn’t known where the water on the bricks came from but it was very slippery to step on. Of course, it was inconvenient for Tang Ci’s wheelchair to move on such stairs. Liu Qiao wanted to hand over the Light as a Swallow card to Tang Ci but he refused again. “You have good intentions but you can keep it for your own self-defense. I have a way.”
They saw him summon two mechanical ants around 20 centimeters long. They were too big compared to normal ants but their appearance was very lifelike. The ants’ two antennas had two cameras that sent back the surrounding scenery they saw to Tang Ci. It was very convenient when exploring the way.
Under Tang Ci’s command, the two mechanical ants quickly climbed down the stairs. Then an iron cable flew from the armrest of Tang Ci’s wheelchair. The front end of the barbed wire was firmly stuck into the stone bricks of the wall. The wheelchair seemed to have found a track and followed the wire, sliding down the stairs faster than Liu Qiao’s light footwork card could have.
Liu Qiao stared after him in a daze. Xiao Lou, Yu Hanjiang and Old Mo also exchanged looks.
Lu Jiuchuan’s eyes darkened and his voice was a bit hoarse. “I’ve never seen his wheelchair have so many functions. Xiao Tang, he… must’ve made a lot of preparations to go to the S-grade secret room with us.”
Naturally, he had endured more pain than anyone could imagine. This complex wheelchair couldn’t have been developed successfully in a day or two. Nobody knew how many times he fell and got cuts and bruises in the course of the experiments.
Tang Ci spent half a year in the factory where he studied machinery. To avoid his identity being exposed, he rarely communicated with the outside world. After losing his legs, he didn’t give up on himself and rarely showed sadness. He relied on the technology of intelligent robots from reality to study hard and made such a smart wheelchair with his own hands.
The strength of this man really made Xiao Lou feel admiration and distress. Even if Tang Ci had lost his legs and was in a wheelchair, he had never been weak. He didn’t need the protection of his teammates. He could protect himself.
Lu Jiuchuan took a deep breath, suppressing the stinging pain coming from his heart as he quickly followed.
Yu Hanjiang, Xiao Lou and the others also walked down the stairs quickly. Liu Qiao and Old Mo were at the end. She handed the cloth attached to her sky lantern card to Old Mo and whispered, “Uncle Mo, you can draw the picture of the map directly on this with your fingers.”
She wanted to help even a little bit.
Mo Xuemin was reminded of his daughter who was only a few years younger than Liu Qiao. He patted the girl on the shoulder with a smile and said, “Okay, give me this in the future. It makes it more convenient for me to draw pictures at any time.”
Tang Ci’s wheelchair touched flat ground. His mechanical ants had explored the path in front of him and gave him feedback. There were no touching or stepping mechanisms found and after 10 metres, a relatively wide platform appeared. This was why Tang Ci dared to directly hook the wire to the wall to let his wheelchair slide down.
Currently, Tang Ci and his mechanical ants were on the platform. There was a door on each side of the platform. There were also Eternal Flame Lamps on either side of the doors, but they weren’t lit. The beeswax hadn’t burned out so it wasn’t known why the lights went out.
Xiao Lou used the light of the Night Pearl and soon saw the pattern on the door. It was similar to the stone door that was the entrance of the ancient tomb. The scene portrayed was that of ancient priests as well as a man and woman dancing. Xiao Lou used the depiction of their movements to analyze the opening method of the mechanism.
“Turn the lamp on the left clockwise twice and the one on the right counterclockwise once.”
Yu Hanjiang and Lu Jiuchuan quickly acted to open the first stone door.
This was a closed stone room that was around 4 square meters in size. The entire room was empty but a compass was hung on the wall. Tang Ci had his mechanical ants enter to explore. After confirming that there were no mechanisms for traps, Xiao Lou walked in and examined the compass carefully.
There were many charm-like things on the compass. If he ignored the messy patterns, he could clearly see the signs for east, south, west and north. Xiao Lou opened his mouth. “It is the ancient version of a compass.”
Old Mo was excited. “Great, there is a compass so we can accurately pinpoint our underground location. This will make it more convenient for me to draw a map of the maze and it will be hard to get lost.”
Xiao Lou took down the compass. The strange thing was that when he moved the compass left and right in his hand, the pointer didn’t move.
Yu Hanjiang was puzzled. “Is it broken?”
Xiao Lou thought about it for a moment. “Open the opposite stone door.”
Everyone returned to the platform and Xiao Lou continued to analyze the opening method of the mechanism based on the pattern on the door, opening it like the other. The stone room contained a wooden box that was unlocked.
They opened it and found some damaged clothes and a bronze mirror. Xiao Lou picked up the bronze mirror and as a result, his reflection in the mirror was strangely distorted. It looked like a ghost, shocking him.
In a dark secret room, he suddenly saw his face that was distorted and deformed. This really caused a chill to go down his spine. Yu Hanjiang immediately grabbed his shoulder lightly while his other hand took the mirror. He looked at himself in the mirror. His appearance was also distorted and deformed.
Lu Jiuchuan came over and asked, “Is this a magic mirror for revealing demons?”
Yu Hanjiang frowned at his brother. “What do you mean by that? Are you implying that Xiao Lou and I are monsters?”
Lu Jiuchuan laughed. “I’m just adjusting the atmosphere or else it will feel really strange.”
Xiao Lou, “……”
Previously, he thought that Brother Jiu was handsome and gentlemanly. Then after coming into contact with him, he found that this brother had a completely different personality from Yu Hanjiang. Yu Hanjiang never joked around. He looked serious and indifferent but he was actually very good at taking care of others. Meanwhile, Lu Jiuchuan liked to joke and tease. No matter what troubles he encountered, he had a very relaxed appearance even when his arm was cut by a knife.
The only thing they had in common was probably the blood in their bones. Neither of them were afraid of death and were obsessed with their identified goals.
Xiao Lou took the bronze mirror from Yu Hanjiang, looked at his strange looking self in the mirror and said seriously, “This should be… the yin yang mirror.”
Proofreader: Paranoid Kitten & Fictional Reality