Lu Jiuchuan and Tang Ci exchanged looks when they heard this.
Tang Ci frowned slightly. “A clone? Did you see him?”
Yu Hanjiang answered, “Long Sen and I have seen him. His appearance is exactly the same as Xiao Lou. This is why we wanted to notify you as soon as possible. The cloning technology of this world can copy people at will and we must be on guard against it.”
Lu Jiuchuan cursed. “The keepers are really enjoying tormenting us. It seems that things are more complicated than I thought.”
Xiao Lou wondered, “Brother Jiu, do you have any clues?”
Lu Jiuchuan turned to sit on the sofa. He took off his military hat and placed it next to him while saying, “I was ordered to carry out a special mission but strangely, Tang Ci and I have forgotten the details of the mission. We only know that Tang Ci suffered a leg injury during that mission. Moreover, all the officers of my Arrow Corps don’t remember the special task we were going to perform either.”
This time, it was Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou’s turn to exchange looks.
Yu Hanjiang walked up to him and sat down. “I remember that half a year ago, before you left, you told me that the military department asked you to carry out a special mission. Since the military task was confidential, you didn’t tell me the contents of the task.”
Lu Jiuchuan nodded. “Yes, this memory is also in my mind. It proves that we did meet each other half a year ago. I just can’t remember the details of the mission.”
Xiao Lou was puzzled. “That’s strange. Can there be collective amnesia?”
Tang Ci shook his head. “I’m afraid it isn’t as simple as amnesia. We remember many things that happened in the past six months, including which galaxies our warships stayed in and where we replenished supplies. I even remember what everyone ate for their three meals during the space flight. It is more like specific memories were suddenly erased.”
He paused before describing it. “For example, there is a blackboard full of mathematical formulas and problem solving steps. We can see all the formulas but the key information to solve the problem has been erased from the blackboard.”
Selective memory loss? What exactly was the memory they lost?
Xiao Lou looked at Yu Hanjiang and the other person was also full of doubts. Xiao Lou suggested, “Since it is a task assigned by the military, can you find some clues from there?”
Lu Jiuchuan shrugged helplessly. “After coming back to Capital Star, Tang Ci and I went to the military headquarters. Several generals didn’t mention anything about the mission. General Lin also expressed his kind condolences to us, saying they received news that the Arrow Corps had been attacked by alien beings in the Hilt No Man’s Land and suffered heavy casualties.”
Tang Ci added, “Even stranger is that the report sent by Brother Jiu to the military is indeed the same. The Arrow Corps was attacked by alien creatures and fought fiercely for 24 hours with heavy casualties, requesting for support.”
Lu Jiuchuan frowned. “I just have no impression of this. When we woke up, we were already on the way back. No one can remember what happened during that time.”
Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou fell silent.
How could a person suddenly lose part of their memories? Furthermore it was even stranger that everyone collectively lost their memories. It was like this secret mission was never assigned and it was just Lu Jiuchuan’s illusion.
Lu Jiuchuan himself felt it was a bit strange, as if receiving this mission was just a dream.
Xiao Lou opened his mouth. “It seems that your lost memory is probably an important clue related to the mystery of this secret room.”
Yu Hanjiang also agreed with this point and said in a low voice, “The current point of concern is, who is the senior officer who issued the task to Brother Jiu? Secondly, when you passed through the Hilt No Man’s Land you sent a report to military headquarters, saying you were attacked by alien creatures. What happened at that time?”
As long as these two points were clearly discovered, the mystery could be solved.
Lu Jiuchuan stated, “I think we need to go to the Hilt No Man’s Land again.”
He stood up, turned on his communicator and a map of the universe appeared on the blue holographic screen in front of him, including an area marked in red labelled Hilt No Man’s Land.
Tang Ci rolled over in his wheelchair. “Hilt No Man’s Land is located near the Clock Constellation in the south. It is very far from us and humans haven’t completely explored this star field yet. It is unreasonable for us to run to such a remote place in a warship for no reason. For the report to the military department, it might’ve been sent using Brother Jiu’s communicator and identity verification but he has no memory of this. It isn’t certain if the report was really sent by him or not.”
The secret room this time was much harder than the 10th level. In the 10th level, at least everyone gathered together within a day. Yu Hanjiang also encountered a corpse dismemberment case at the beginning and had a definite investigation target.
But this time there was no death and the direction of the investigation was very vague. There was a lot of information and it wasn’t known what was the truth or a lie.
Xiao Lou took a deep breath. “The first thing we have to do now is to find all our teammates. I have confirmed there is a copy of me and he might hurt the others. They don’t know that he isn’t me, this is too dangerous. I am even more worried that this person is a hunter. Then the consequences will be really unimaginable…”
The other three were grim-faced when they heard this.
If Xiao Lou’s clone was a hunter then it would be easy for him to kill Ye Qi and Liu Qiao who trusted Xiao Lou blindly. This was what Xiao Lou was most afraid of. He clenched his fists, “Xiao Ye, Chief Shao, Senior Gui, Sister Huaying, Old Mo and Liu Qiao. Do you know their whereabouts?”
Lu Jiuchuan shook his head. “I have no memories of them. This means we haven’t intersected for the time being.”
Yu Hanjiang wondered, “Are they doing another task line?”
Xiao Lou speculated, “Chief Shao’s setting of a ‘rich man’ shouldn’t change. After all, our team’s funds are in his hands. His card balance contains billions of gold coins. The conversion of gold coins and star coins is 1:1. We can check well-known wealthy businessmen in the federation and see if anyone matches him.”
“Let me check it.” Tang Ci opened his communicator and quickly entered some information.
Invading various websites to check information was his strength. He could even get the address of the person he wanted to check.
In all the dense data, Tang Ci quickly locked onto Shao Qingge.
“I’ve found him. The boss of the Noah Medical Technology Company is called Shao Qingge.” Tang Ci scanned Shao Qingge’s personal information and paused on the column of personal relationships. “Shao Yeqi? Is it the Ye Qi that we know?”
“What?” Xiao Lou leaned over toward the screen. “How is Ye Qi’s surname Shao?”
Tang Ci answered with a blank expression, “Based on the information, Shao Yeqi is Shao Qingge’s adopted son.”
So Ye Qi was going to call Shao Qingge ‘Father’?
Xiao Lou didn’t know if he should laugh or cry. The keepers really had bad taste. Every time there was a plot in the secret room, they would bully Ye Qi. First he was a girl in a brothel, then a 7 year old child. Now he had to call Shao Qingge by ‘Father’. Xiao Ye must be very depressed.
Yu Hanjiang stated, “No matter what, at least we know their identities. Then the next step will be easier.”
Xiao Lou nodded. “Yes. Mr Tang, see if you can find Shao Qingge’s personal contact information and tell him about the clones as soon as possible. By the way, what about Old Mo, Xiao Liu, Sister Huaying and Senior Gui?”
Tang Ci called out the holographic keyboard and tapped on it.
Xiao Lou didn’t understand what was entered but a string of characters swiped across the screen. Finally, Tang Ci stopped his hands and turned back to Xiao Lou. “I can’t find them.”
Lu Jiuchuan froze. “Even you can’t find them? Did something happen to them as soon as they entered the secret room?”
Xiao Lou hurriedly opened the contract book and was relieved when he saw the 12 names still on it. “They are still in the contract book, proving they are alive. It is just that Mr Tang can’t find anything.”
Tang Ci explained, “I hacked into the federation’s identity information database and didn’t find their information, indicating that they aren’t in the official identity system records. Which could mean they are from black households. For example, they might be star thieves wandering around or stray children abandoned at birth and not adopted by orphanages. Or perhaps they were set up as an alien race?”
Xiao Lou, “……”
This wasn’t as good as the 10th level, although back then they were a combination of the old, weak, disabled and pregnant, at least it was easy to find each other.
Yu Hanjiang also felt helpless when he heard the result. He looked at Lu Jiuchuan, “At present, I, Xiao Lou, you, Mr Tang, Long Sen, Qu Wanyue, Chief Shao and Xiao Ye are all in the empire. The key plot of this secret room will surely take place in this country. Xiao Liu, Old Mo, Senior Gui and Chu Huaying are likely to be collecting clues elsewhere.”
Xiao Lou also calmed down. “Yes, the four of them aren’t part of the main story line and shouldn’t be in too much danger for the time being. If we follow the plot, we will definitely meet them.”
Lu Jiuchuan interjected, “I remember, the crown prince’s birthday is in three days, right?”
Yu Hanjiang said, “Yes. On the birthday, the clone will attend the banquet in place of Xiao Lou. Cards are banned within the palace. This is why I brought Xiao Lou out this time. In addition to meeting with you, I wanted to see if cards could be used outside.”
Tang Ci summoned his mechanical spider. “They can be used here.”
Xiao Lou suddenly had an idea. “We just can’t use cards in the palace. It didn’t say that the effect of the cards would be invalid. It is better to borrow the Thumbelina card from Brother Jiu to make me smaller and bring me back to the palace in your pocket. The transformation lasts up to 24 hours. If I am still in a shrunken state after entering the palace, it means the card effect that has been used will continue to be effective inside the palace.”
Last time, Liu Qiao had given Lu Jiuchuan a copy of the Thumbelina card that Chief Shao had made. This way, Lu Jiuchuan could make Tang Ci smaller. Due to Tang Ci’s mobility problems, this card was still in Lu Jiuchuan’s temporary custody.
Unexpectedly, it came in handy now.
Yu Hanjiang heard this and felt that Xiao Lou’s idea was good. The key point had been grasped. Although they couldn’t activate cards within the palace, that didn’t necessarily mean that the card effect itself would be invalid.
If this speculation was true, he could use the Thumbelina card on Xiao Lou on the day of the birthday banquet outside the palace and then take the thumb sized Xiao Lou with him to the banquet scene.
He also wanted to see what the clone wanted to do.
Proofreader: Paranoid Kitten & Fictional Reality