Ye Qi suddenly thought of a more terrible result. He looked at Xiao Lou and said, “Professor Xiao, if the merpeople are studying clones as you said and they grew the cells from Brother Jiu and Mr Tang to adults in such a short period of time, can’t they copy Liu Qiao, Senior Gui and Old Mo too?!”
Xiao Lou also thought about this and his expression became uglier. “You are right. After all, Xiao Liu, Old Mo and Senior Gui are among the merpeople and it isn’t difficult to take their cells to make clones.”
Tang Ci wondered, “Who in our team hasn’t been copied?”
Yu Hanjiang opened his mouth, “My memories since childhood were very clear. Apart from going to the military academy at the age of 18, I haven’t left Capital Star or been to the hospital for an examination. In theory, they shouldn’t have been able to get my cells.”
Lu Jiuchuan said, “There is also Huaying. She grew up as a star thief and has been wandering around the universe on the Dark Night starship. She hasn’t landed on any human planet which makes it difficult to clone her.”
Xiao Lou continued, “Long Sen and Qu Wanyue grew up on Capital Star. Their parents are very ordinary people not related to the Noah Ark’s plan. They shouldn’t be cloned either.”
Shao Qingge joked, “Our team has 12 members and only four haven’t been cloned. The remaining eight might be pirated copies. So this secret room is actually a game that is fighting against piracy?”
At this time, Chief Shao still had the leisure to joke. Everyone believed that this was definitely the genuine Chief Shao.
Xiao Lou opened the contract book and reconfirmed the names of his teammates. He sighed with relief. “Fortunately, all 12 names are on the contract book. At least everyone is alive, regardless of whether they are cloned or not.”
Yu Hanjiang frowned. “Long Sen and Qu Wanyue are temporarily safe. Huaying is the leader of the star thieves and nothing should happen to her. I am worried about Liu Qiao, Senior Gui and Old Mo. Liu Qiao has lost consciousness so we have to check Senior Gui as soon as possible and develop the next plan.”
Lu Jiuchuan thought about it. “By the way, hunters can find our information but they can’t know what we talked about in private. The only way to make Old Gui believe us is to tell a secret that only we know but can’t be found from any channels.”
Lu Jiuchuan and Tang Ci exchanged looks and soon reached a tacit understanding.
Tang Ci came to Shao Qingge’s side and softly told Chief Shao, “One time when we were trapped in a labyrinth, Senior Gui told Brother Jiu and me that he was a calligrapher in name but he actually privately liked traditional Chinese painting. In the third grade of primary school, his brush painting was sold online and he earned 400 yuan. This was the first income of his life. He drew a plum orchid, bamboo and chrysanthemum in the ink style.”
Shao Qingge used the Heart has a Tacit Exchange of Romantic Feelings channel to talk to Senior Gui, “Senior Gui, Tang Ci told me that your painting from the third grade of primary school sold for 300 yuan. Do you remember what you painted at the time?”
Gui Yuanzhang’s low voice was heard in his mind. “It is 400 yuan. I painted a plum orchid, bamboo and chrysanthemum.”
Shao Qingge nodded to Tang Ci. “It is right.”
Tang Ci sighed with relief. “He is the real one. Even his parents don’t know about this.”
Gui Yuanzhang wondered, “Is Tang Ci next to you? Then who did I see today?”
Shao Qingge explained, “The Brother Jiu, Tang Ci, Xiao Lou, Shao Qingge and Ye Qi that you have seen are all clones grown from cells. Senior Gui, didn’t you notice that something was wrong?”
Gui Yuanzhang thought carefully. “Professor Xiao said at the beginning that his card pack had been stolen. Chief Shao and Ye Qi couldn’t use it either. Meanwhile, Lu Jiuchuan and Tang Ci are lying unconscious in the treatment room. Xiao Lou explained that the S-grade secret room is very difficult and it must be the arrangement of the keepers.”
Shao Qingge frowned and relayed Senior Gui’s words to Xiao Lou.
Xiao Lou felt helpless. “This clone is very clever. We had a teammate who was unconscious for several days in the 10th level. He used the keeper’s arrangement to explain that the card pack was stolen and some teammates are unconscious. It is really easy to believe.”
In the 10th level, Shao Qingge was unconscious and only woke up on the third day. There were also some secret rooms in which a certain type of card was forbidden. If all of this was understood as the plot deliberately set by the keepers in order to increase the difficulty, what reason did the team members have to suspect it when they didn’t know about the existence of clones?
They just had to not reveal too much and the Liu Qiao trio would soon follow their rhythm and trust them.
Xiao Lou opened his mouth. “Ask Senior Gui what they have been doing these days.”
Shao Qingge asked in his mind, “Senior, what have you been doing since you entered the secret room? Apart from Brother Jiu and Tang Ci who are unconscious, are there any abnormalities about Xiao Lou, Shao Qingge and Ye Qi?”
Gui Yuanzhang answered, “There is nothing unusual on the surface. Everyone has been investigating the human bones in the shipwreck. Xiao Lou used his forensic knowledge to speculate that there were eight men and two women. The time of death was 20 years ago and the cause of death was drowning. Since the ship was a military ship and the pattern on it wasn’t the emblem of the Azure Empire, we came to the conclusion that the ship came from another nation. We are now investigating that clue.”
Shao Qingge looked at Xiao Lou in a complicated manner. “Your clone knows forensic anatomy. No wonder why Liu Qiao’s group trusted that Xiao Lou so much.”
Xiao Lou, “……”
Imagine a person who was 99% similar to Xiao Lou in appearance, voice, expression and action. When investigating the case, he could quickly analyze the characteristics of the human bones and cause of death as before. He could even speculate on the origin of the shipwreck…
He said that his card pack had been stolen. Would his teammates still doubt it?
Yu Hanjiang was keenly aware of something that was wrong. “This Xiao Lou might not necessarily understand forensic anatomy. It is more likely that he knew the people on the shipwreck and knew how they died. He can naturally tell their gender, cause of death, time of death and the origin of the shipwreck. He can also make Liu Qiao trust his ability to investigate cases and mistakenly believe he is Xiao Lou.”
Xiao Lou suddenly reacted. “20 years ago, the Gu raising plan killed most of the cloned children. Those who survived were the elites. We haven’t seen the 4th Xiao Lou. Maybe someone took him out of the palace and fled to Azure Planet? They had an accident in the sea and everyone else died, while the clone survived?”
Shao Qingge added, “Humans are afraid of water but bugs aren’t afraid of water. The clones have the bug genes in their bodies and perhaps they also inherited this advantage? They can still breathe under water like a fish.”
This sentence shocked Xiao Lou. “So the three clones of Shao Qingge, Ye Qi and I can stay at the bottom of the sea?”
Yu Hanjiang carefully elaborated on his thoughts. “Suppose that someone in the military secretly took the 4th Xiao Lou out of the palace and fled to Azure Planet with the clones of Shao Qingge and Ye Qi. Their starship accidentally came here and encountered the whirlpool. The starship fell into the deep sea and everyone drowned. Only Xiao Lou, Shao Qingge and Ye Qi with the bug genes survived.”
Xiao Lou added, “These people took away the information related to the clones when they fled. The shipwreck allowed the bug-gene-altered clones to obtain the information of the Noah’s Ark plan and continue their research in the deep sea?”
If this speculation was correct then the current clues could be connected.
The sunken ship and human bones encountered in the deep sea were the remains of the scientists of the Locke Empire and some of the military officers who fled with the clones. Those who fled the empire in haste were probably aware of the madness of the emperor’s plans and that he would surely kill them. Thus, they ran away with a few clones and all the information…
As a result, all the humans died due to the whirlpool and only the three genetically modified clones survived.
At that time, Xiao Lou, Shao Qingge and Ye Qi were theoretically five years old with the IQ of babies. The merpeople might’ve fancied the cloning data they brought and were very interested in the plan, so they raised the three clones to adulthood. Otherwise, how could three outsiders live in the deep sea territory of the merpeople?
Xiao Lou looked at Shao Qingge. “Ask Senior Gui about their identity within the merpeople.”
Shao Qingge immediately asked, “Senior Gui, what are the identities assigned to all the teammates you have met?”
Gui Yuanzhang answered, “Xiao Lou is the prince of the merpeople while Liu Qiao is the mermaid princess and his sister. Shao Qingge and Ye Qi are Xiao Lou’s friends. Lu Jiuchuan and Tang Ci are humans saved by Xiao Lou when he went out six months ago. Old Mo is the architect of the merpeople and I am the elder of the merpeople.”
Shao Qingge listened while simultaneously relaying it to his teammates.
At the end, Lu Jiuchuan couldn’t help saying, “So it was the Xiao Lou clone who saved us from the bug planet?”
Tang Ci nodded. “He has lived among the merpeople for more than 20 years and perhaps he has learned the merpeople’s song that disturbs the mind. At the same time, he has the bug genes in his body. He can understand the language of the bugs and talk to the bug queen?”
At that time, the bug queen was furious and vowed to bury all the members of Lu Jiuchuan’s corps. How could she let them go unless someone had communicated with her and eliminated her anger?
He knew the merpeople’s song, the human language and the bug language…
Xiao Lou helplessly held his forehead. “This clone is much better than me.”
This clone was much more powerful than the original. Wasn’t this what the emperor wanted to see most? According to the principle of survival of the fittest, this Xiao Lou was the best person to inherit the throne. His body wouldn’t be injured and even his internal organs could be repaired automatically. He wasn’t afraid of water and walked flat in the deep sea. He could sing the merpeople’s song and confuse people’s minds. He also had a high IQ.
Ye Qi couldn’t help complaining, “This clone simply took the cool sci-fi protagonist’s text. Let alone inheriting the throne of the Locke Empire, he can also inherit the throne of the merpeople. In addition, he can destroy the Azure Empire and make friends with the bugs. Unifying the stars isn’t a dream.”
Shao Qingge smiled and touched his nose. “Unfortunately, the one who took the male lead’s script is our enemy, a hunter.”
This was too depressing!
How could the real Xiao Lou compete with the hunter who took the main lead script?
Xiao Lou couldn’t swim, let alone go into the deep sea. He would drown within five minutes. He had no ability to heal his body. Minor injuries would hurt and serious injuries would kill him.
Xiao Lou felt helpless. “If we want to solve this Xiao Lou hiding among the merpeople, we have to find out who within the merpeople is helping him forge his identity. How could he become a prince of the merpeople when he is a clone?”
Ye Qi curiously said, “Does he have a tail? If he doesn’t have a tail, wouldn’t he be exposed?”
Shao Qingge simply asked Senior Gui. “Senior, have you seen Xiao Lou, Shao Qingge and Ye Qi with tails?”
“The merpeople have long evolved legs to walk. In the merpeople palace, they can walk on legs like normal humans. However, once they go out to the sea, they grow the iconic tail of the merpeople. They can swim up to 200 kilometers an hour in the sea.”
It was faster than a sports car!
Shao Qingge looked at everyone with complicated eyes. “Senior Gui said that they have tails.”
Ye Qi got a chill and he couldn’t help reaching back to touch his tailbone… cough, it was hard for him to imagine what it was like to grow a fish tail. He would rather see the clone merman Ye Qi.
Tang Ci mused, “There is a tail? In other words, these clones are likely to be version 2.0?”
Proofreader: Paranoid Ktten & Fictional Reality