Xiao Lou’s words made the other five people feel puzzled and they all leaned over to look at this mirror.
It was the first time Yu Hanjiang had heard the term ‘yin yang mirror’. He carefully examined the bronze mirror in Xiao Lou’s hand and soon discovered the reason for his distorted appearance in the mirror. It was because the bronze mirror had flipped his features.
This effect was a bit like the fun mirrors in an amusement park. In principle, it would use the refraction of light and the unevenness of the mirror surface to cause the image in the mirror to be distorted and deformed to a certain extent.
Xiao Lou explained, “According to legend, there are two sides to the yin yang mirror. The yin side is for death and the yang side is for life. There is also a saying that the yin yang mirror is able to show ghosts from the underworld… However, the mirror we found doesn’t seem to have the ability to see ghosts from the underworld like it does in xianxia novels. It just reverses the projected image.”
“Show me.” Tang Ci extended his hand and Xiao Lou gave him the bronze mirror. Tang Ci didn’t look at his face in the mirror. Instead, he was checking closely to see if there were any hidden mechanisms in the mirror. Soon, Tang Ci discovered that there was an interlayer in the middle of this bronze mirror but it couldn’t be opened, like it was fixed in place. He frowned before glancing at Xiao Lou. “Where is the compass?”
Xiao Lou handed him the compass they had just found in the other room.
Tang Ci held the yin yang mirror with one hand, flipped it to the back and gently placed the compass on the bronze mirror. To everyone’s surprise, the originally frozen pointer on the compass started to spin quickly the moment it touched the yin yang mirror. The pointer spun several times before finally stabilizing. Based on the position of the compass, the downward stairs should be in the east.
Old Mo wondered, “Is this yin yang mirror used to activate the compass?”
Tang Ci returned the mirror and compass to Xiao Lou. “The manufacturing principle of ancient compasses is based on attraction to the earth’s magnetic field, which is the same as modern compasses. This yin yang mirror has a mirror on one side while the other side looks like ancient bronze. In fact, the material isn’t pure copper. I found that this bronze mirror contains magnets. It is because there are some magnets in the materials of my wheelchair that reacted when I approached the mirror.”
Lu Jiuchuan thoughtfully touched his chin. “In other words, the magnets in the bronze mirror can be used to activate the compass and restore its function. The things found in these two secret rooms are tools to help us get out of the labyrinth?”
Xiao Lou thought about the mechanisms of these two rooms. Just like the stone door they used to enter the labyrinth, both doors were opened by judging the direction of the man and woman dancing in the sacrificial image and turning the Eternal Flame Lamps according to this.
They had gone through so many Diamonds secret rooms previously and the mechanisms were always different. Now the opening method of the entrance was exactly the same as the method for these two small rooms. It was impossible for the keeper to be so lazy and set up three of the same mechanisms in a row. The only explanation was that they hadn’t really entered the labyrinth yet.
The section of road they had just walked was only the entrance to the labyrinth, the ‘warm-up’ area leading to the underground labyrinth. The compass and yin yang mirror also had no direct relation with the owner of the tomb. They were just the tools that the keeper gave them.
Xiao Lou thought up to here and said, “Brother Jiu is right. What we have just walked through should just be the entrance to the labyrinth and these are tools given to the players by the boss when playing escape rooms. The compass and yin yang mirror that we picked up should be of great use in the next part.”
Xiao Lou handed the compass to Old Mo while he held the mirror himself.
Lu Jiuchuan was already starting to have a headache and he couldn’t help rubbing his temples. “F*k, we’ve walked for so long and opened three doors, but it is just a f*king prelude?”
Tang Ci glanced at him, seemingly used to his rough swearing. Tang Ci said calmly, “According to the statistics from the Intelligence Bureau, the World Weekly Diamonds-type secret rooms are different from ordinary ones. Ordinary Diamonds secret rooms can be escaped in a few hours but the World Weekly ones are notoriously time-consuming. Some teams couldn’t find the exit in a few days and starved to death inside the labyrinth.”
Old Mo heard this and his face paled while he clenched his fists. Under the light of the Night Pearl, Old Mo’s face paled rapidly. Liu Qiao was the closest one to him and found that he didn’t look right. She hurriedly asked with concern, “Uncle Mo, what’s wrong?”
Old Mo’s voice was hoarse. “My previous team was wiped out in the World Weekly Diamonds secret room and I was the only one left…”
Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang also remembered this. The first time they teamed up with Old Mo, he had mentioned his previous team. His team was an unremarkable one among the challenger teams. None of them had gotten high scores for clearing the secret rooms. They had no S-grade cards and their strength was average. So in the Diamonds World Weekly, a team of 10 was wiped out and Old Mo was the only one left.
In order to survive, Old Mo started an ‘intermediary’ business in the main city. He introduced hotels and rented houses to new challengers. He also joined a design company as a decorations designer for local residents. After meeting Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang, he regained the confidence to clear the secret rooms and entered Xiao Lou’s team.
Xiao Lou walked up to Old Mo. “Old Mo, if I remember correctly, you said that it was a rotating labyrinth?”
Mo Xuemin nodded calmly. “I have a deep impression of that World Weekly. Every time the maze would rotate 90 degrees, the challengers would become dizzy and find it hard to locate the exit. Some people stepped on mechanisms and were shot to death by arrows. Others encountered hunters and were killed…”
Hunters! There had never been hunters in the fixed Diamonds secret room but the World Weekly secret room that Old Mo experienced did have hunters appear. This was the key reason for the heavy casualties of their team that week.
Tang Ci said calmly, “Old Mo’s Rotating Labyrinth is a Diamonds World Weekly secret room from over a month ago. The challenger’s death rate was calculated by the Intelligence Bureau at over 30%. The background of the World Weekly was a labyrinth competition. Many challengers were forced to enter so there were hunters mixed in and doing assassinations in the labyrinth.”
Lu Jiuchuan frowned. “As far as I know, it isn’t as easy for a hunter to enter the Diamonds secret room as it is to enter Spades. Diamonds is a closed labyrinth unlike Spades’ open world. This time, the World Weekly is an underground labyrinth. If they want to enter, they need to open the mechanisms themselves.”
Tang Ci told him, “We have done the statistics. The probability of hunters appearing in the Diamonds World Weekly is around 2%. This means that out of 100 teams, only two teams will be unlucky enough to encounter hunters. Will we be one of the unlucky teams?”
Lu Jiuchuan gave a helpless, bitter smile. “My identity has been exposed. If they insist on chasing me… perhaps they will track my location and follow me to this underground labyrinth.”
They searched for so long and only got the yin yang mirror and the compass. At present, it wasn’t clear how big this underground tomb was or how many dangerous mechanisms were inside…
The more frightening thing was that there might be hunters who would come out from behind and stab them at a critical moment. It seemed that this World Weekly was unprecedentedly dangerous.
In the absence of hunter interference, Xiao Lou could crack all the puzzles, Teacher Gui knew history and archaeology, Tang Ci was familiar with all types of machinery and Old Mo was a labyrinth guide with a strong sense of direction. Their team would definitely be one of the best among the challengers. This time, all the teams were ranked together and it was impossible for them to fall into the last 20% and be eliminated.
However, that wasn’t necessarily the case once there were hunters. Xiao Lou couldn’t help feeling nervous. He pressed on the voice headset and asked, “Senior Gui, how is your side?”
Teacher Gui’s voice soon rang in everyone’s ears. “I found two small rooms. The solution to the mechanism is the same as the stone door at the beginning. Inside the secret room is a compass and a mirror.”
Xiao Lou wondered, “What color is the back of the mirror?”
Gui Yuanzhang answered, “There were white totem patterns painted on the bronze.”
Xiao Lou flipped over the bronze mirror in his hand. The bronze was painted with black patterns. This was the yin yang mirror. The yang side was white and the yin side was black. White was for life and black was for death.
This time, the yin yang mirror of the labyrinth should be divided into two. Xiao Lou got the black yin mirror and Teacher Gui got the white yang mirror. In other words, the side that Teacher Gui went to was probably life while Xiao Lou and the others were heading to death.
Mo Xuemin heard up to here and quickly reacted. “Based on the tools that Teacher Gui got, from the moment we went down, this labyrinth is likely to have a symmetrical structure. The mechanisms we will encounter here will be very similar to theirs. However, it isn’t known which way leads to the exit of the labyrinth or if the labyrinth will rotate after opening a certain mechanism.”
Xiao Lou was currently holding the yin bronze mirror that symbolized the ‘death door’ but it was as Old Mo said. Perhaps the labyrinth would rotate after they touched a certain mechanism. Or perhaps their life and death paths would actually cross inside the labyrinth.
The door to life wasn’t necessarily the exit of the labyrinth.
Xiao Lou thought for a moment before telling Gui Yuanzhang, “Senior, we will continue to act in teams. It is currently impossible to judge if the path of life or death is correct. In addition, we must be careful. We can’t rule out the possibility of encountering hunters in this World Weekly.”
Gui Yuanzhang softly replied, “Okay.”
Xiao Lou asked, “Is the compass activated? What is the direction in which you are going down the stairs?”
“It has been activated. This side is to the west.”
All their card skills had refreshed at midnight. To be on the safe side, Xiao Lou decided to place the Peach Blossom Spring here. If they encountered unsolvable troubles, they could at least return to the Peach Blossom Spring for temporary refuge. The Peach Blossom Spring lasted for three hours and the entire team would be safe for the next three hours.
Xiao Lou called out Tao Yuanming. It took 10 seconds to cast it and the entrance of the Peach Blossom Spring was set on the platform between the two small secret rooms.
Lu Jiuchuan looked at the ancient man in front of him and asked curiously, “What type of card is this? Is it a skill to pull me under peach blossom springs?”
Xiao Lou said, “Yes, it is a summoning card that calls Tao Yuanming.”
Lu Jiuchuan gave Xiao Lou a strange look. “You can summon ancient people?”
Yu Hanjiang answered casually, “Xiao Lou can summon many ancient people such as Su Shi, Liu Yong, Li Qingzhao, Qin Guan, Tao Yuanming, Lu Yu and even Di Renjie to help look for clues. However, the previous secret rooms were relatively smooth and Di Renjie never came out.”
Lu Jiuchuan, “……”
He was silent for a moment before giving Xiao Lou a thumbs up. “Great.”
Xiao Lou wondered, “What about Brother Jiu’s cards? I haven’t seen them yet.”
Lu Jiuchuan laughed. “I can summon the vermillion bird. It might be an ancient beast god but it can’t be active in this type of labyrinth. It needs a wide space to play. There are also some… cheetahs, lions and other beasts.”
Yu Hanjiang raised an eyebrow. “So all your cards are summoning beasts?”
Lu Jiuchuan helplessly touched his forehead. “Yes, if necessary, I can ride on a lion to run away.”
Tang Ci calmly brought the topic back on track. “We should move on now that we’ve got the compass.”
Everyone adjusted their attitude and followed Old Mo to continue down the stairs. The compass was handed over to Old Mo since his sense of direction was the best, so he took the lead. Yu Hanjiang was next to protect him, followed by Xiao Lou, Lu Jiuchuan, Tang Ci and Liu Qiao.
The stairs extended all the way down and there were no changes for the next period of time. In front of them were endlessly rotating stairs and everyone felt a bit uneasy. The dark passage and the endless downward spiral made it feel like they were being guided to the depths of hell.
They walked for five minutes before Ye Qi finally couldn’t help it. He pressed a finger to his voice headset and complained to all his teammates, “Why are these stairs so endless? We keep going down and it is all the same. Surely we haven’t really run into a ghost wall?”
Proofreader: Fictional Reality & Paranoid Kitten