There were many forks in this corridor heading to the north. Once everyone came to the first fork, Xiao Lou left a blue mark and walked to the right, Yu Hanjiang left a red mark and walked to the left while Lu Jiuchuan and Old Mo continued to move forward. They also split up at the fork in the road ahead, leaving black and white arrow marks respectively.
Soon, Xiao Lou came to the exit and found the blue mark he had left behind. Then he saw Yu Hanjiang coming from another exit.
Xiao Lou was stunned. “Is it a circular path again?”
Yu Hanjiang nodded. “My side had no other forks in the road. It felt like a circle going around. The corridor wasn’t straight, there was a strange arc.”
As they were talking, Old Mo and Lu Jiuchuan also returned to the original point at the intersection ahead.
The four people looked at each other.
Liu Qiao suddenly opened her mouth. “We are in the upper labyrinth and the six realms of reincarnation room just now had a petal-like structure. Then will this labyrinth have a structure similar to the green leaves, rhizomes, branches and other structures?”
Liu Qiao’s words awakened them. There were petals so it was normal for her to think of green leaves and branches.
Looking back on the forked road just now, the curve really did look like a ‘leaf.’ After turning into the fork, it didn’t take long to return to their original point. It was like drawing a circle around the outer edge of the blade.
Old Mo looked at the map on the cloth and said, “It should be green leaves. I have been staring at the compass just now and the pointer is constantly changing, indicating that the direction of the corridor isn’t fixed. If my guess isn’t wrong, the remaining labyrinth is like a big tree, with many branches and leaf-like networks. As for the position of the exit, we can only check it slowly.”
One forked path was a leaf then where was the exit?
All the corridors had the same width and it was impossible to distinguish the main stem, the branches and the leaves…
The difficulty of this labyrinth was beyond Old Mo’s imagination. He was a bit dizzy and he couldn’t help saying softly, “This World Weekly is too difficult. My guess is that the elimination rate this time is more than 20%. In the six realms of reincarnation room alone, there must be countless challengers who can’t pass through the mechanisms in the 18 hells.”
Xiao Lou smiled bitterly. “No matter how difficult, at least the other teams don’t have a limited time and can explore slowly. They can walk through the large labyrinth for five or six days and find the right way out. Meanwhile, we are different.”
The hunters had pitted them too much and the labyrinth would soon collapse. The originally difficult secret room had the difficulty increased by several times. As long as the other challengers were daring enough and weren’t afraid of bones, ghosts and resentful spirits, they could explore slowly and think of it as a stimulating tomb robbery game.
However, Xiao Lou’s team were moving for their lives! If they couldn’t find the exit as soon as possible, they would be buried alive. Where was this a normal Diamonds secret room? The hunters had turned it into a survival secret room!
Xiao Lou wanted to send everyone back to the Peach Blossom Spring but the spring was at the entrance of the labyrinth. After returning, everyone could only enter through the six realms of reincarnation room from the beginning and then go down to the -2 floor.
However, the -2 floor had been blown up and they couldn’t get in at all. The only way out was to hope to find the exit in the numerous branches and leaf-like paths of the labyrinth in front of them.
There were so many forks. Usually, they could be checked one by one… but now the situation was urgent. Time didn’t allow them to test them one by one.
The labyrinth’s shaking was getting worse. The four of them had taken separate forks in the path just now and soon returned to the origin. There must be many more time-consuming ‘circling’ paths in the remaining forked roads.
If they continued to circle back and forth in the labyrinth, they would be like a few small insects climbing a big tree, walking along the branches and leaves, dizzy and unable to find the exit at all.
Xiao Lou took a deep breath and made a bold decision. “Everyone, stop. We must carefully analyze the current clues to see if we can infer the correct path in the labyrinth.”
The team members heard this and tacitly stopped.
If someone else was saying this, they might not believe it. However, it came from Xiao Lou’s mouth and they were involuntarily convinced. In any case, time was limited. Rather than running everywhere to find the exit, it was better to calm down and analyze the clues carefully.
Gui Yuanzhang’s team also stopped. He asked in a low voice, “Do you want to analyze the lower level of the tomb?”
Xiao Lou answered. “That’s right. Old Mo, show me the labyrinth plan that you drew.”
Mo Xuemin handed the cloth to Xiao Lou.
The teammates gathered together. This labyrinth had two floors. In order to distinguish, Old Mo drew two pictures on the cloth. For the upper floor, there was a petal-shaped labyrinth in the east and west, with the six petals representing the six realms of reincarnation. The stamen in the middle was the main room covered with charms and this was also the entrance to the lower level.
On the lower floor, Xiao Lou and Gui Yuanzhang had split up so Old Mo drew two lines.
One was Xiao Lou and their action route. After finding the first sarcophagus, they first moved around 30 degrees southeast. This was followed by the second sarcophagus and then moving north to find the third one.
As for Gui Yuanzhang’s group, they first moved 45 degrees to the northwest and found a second sarcophagus. Then they continued to move to the northwest. There was an obtuse angle of about 135 degrees between the two roads and this was confirmed by Senior Gui at the time.
Xiao Lou confirmed it again. “Senior, you walked in one direction on the -2 floor and the angle between the two corridors of the second and third room was around 135 degrees, right?”
Gui Yuanzhang answered, “Yes, I used the compass pointer to measure the angle.”
The direction of the compass definitely wouldn’t be wrong.
Xiao Lou took a closer look at the images drawn by Old Mo and tried to connect the six sarcophagi into a line in his mind.
Then he was surprised to find that all the sarcophagus chambers were connected. The design was very similar to the shape of a ‘skimming spoon’ and the last chamber pointed due north, just like the tip of the skimming spoon—
The Alpha Ursae Majoris, directly facing the North Star.
Xiao Lou’s eyes lit up and he spoke with certainty. “I understand. The stone rooms on the bottom floor where the living are buried alive are connected together like the seven stars of the Big Dipper! The true symbolism of the coffins in this underground tomb should be the legendary—Qixing Gongyue!” (A tomb group consisting of nine burial mounds arranged in the form of the seven stars of the Big Dipper.)
The team members heard this and were in a state of shock.
According to legend, the tombs had three burial mounds on the left and three on the right. There was also one in the middle that seemed to be held up by the six tombs. This symbolized the dignity and status of the tomb owner.
The Qixing Gongyue had a total of seven tombs, all connected, which was the pattern of the seven stars in the Big Dipper.
Based on their positions, the three burial chambers that Xiao Lou and the others discovered in the east should be the alpha, beta and gamma Ursae Majoris while the three discovered by Gui Yuanzhang in the west were the epsilon, zeta and eta Ursae Majoris.
The thing that was missing was the middle star of the Big Dipper.
Xiao Lou carefully recalled the position of the delta Ursae Majoris and drew an intersection on Old Mo’s map.
Old Mo was worthy of having a background in design. His map drawings were very accurate and he even used the scale that common engineering drawings needed to follow. He marked the scale: 1 cm = 10 meters on the map, which meant that 1 cm on the map was actually 10 meters in the tomb. Old Mo had been measuring the distance with his footsteps the whole way so the images he drew using the multiples calculation couldn’t be wrong.
Xiao Lou pointed out the delta Ursae Majoris of the Big Dipper on the map according to the order of the seven stars. Then he converted it using the side lengths and angles of the triangle. He was a science major and calculating this type of trigonometric distance math problems that even middle school students could do were easy for him.
Soon, he calculated the exact location of the delta Ursae Majoris.
From the alpha star, the exit of the stairs in the last chamber they had just been in, walk around 30 meters due north and then 300 meters due west to reach the delta star.
For Senior Gui, the exit of the last tomb was the eta star so they could reach the delta star by walking 300 meters due south and then 300 meters due east.
The two teams were now on both sides of the labyrinth. There were many forked roads and the dense leaf-like structure seemed like a headache. Yet in reality, they just had to set the direction of the compass and they could find the most correct path.
The position of the delta star was the intersection of the two teams i.e. the exit of the Qixing Gongyue labyrinth!
Xiao Lou spoke quickly on the voice channel. “Senior Gui, watch the compass and walk 300 meters to the south and then 300 meters to the east. We will meet you at the location of the delta star!”
The team members were confused but everyone had the same thought in their hearts:
‘Listen to Xiao Lou. It was better than moving like a headless fly in the labyrinth.’
The labyrinth was shaking like it was going to collapse and everyone was inevitably nervous. The more critical the situation, the more it tested their trust in each other.
Gui Yuanzhang didn’t have much contact with Xiao Lou but he had a very good impression of this young man. He had heard of Qixing Gongyue, this type of tomb in legends. In addition, Xiao Lou had the map of the tomb and it proved that the arrangement of the lower floor was the seven stars of the Big Dipper. Then it was extremely likely that the exit of the labyrinth was the ‘missing’ delta star in the middle.
Gui Yuanzhang looked at the forked road head of him and decisively ordered, “Go according to Xiao Lou’s words. Let’s keep up!”
Proofreader: Paranoid Kitten & Fictional Reality