Yu Hanjiang’s question made ‘Liu Qiao’ speechless. In the past two days, the eight ‘teammates’ in front of her had cooperated so well that she mistakenly thought everyone really believed her. Yet in the end, she was told that this was all acting?
They just used her to save the real Liu Qiao?!
She really didn’t know how to answer the question Xiao Lou asked about the library but she would reveal the truth if she said she didn’t know. She cleverly muddled through it but ended up falling into Xiao Lou’s language trap!
Liu Qiao clenched her fists hard and stared fiercely at Xiao Lou. “I have been following you for the past few days. How did you inform everyone that I am a fake?”
Xiao Lou answered calmly, “I only needed to make eye contact with Hanjiang and wrote a few words on his hand for him to understand. As for the others, don’t you remember how we acted separately at noon yesterday?”
Liu Qiao remembered the scene at lunch yesterday and her face suddenly turned white.
Ye Qi smiled and reminded her, “Group Leader Yu took me and Chief Shao to hunt hares and told us the truth on the way. Professor Xiao took Brother Jiu and Mr Tang to catch fish and told them. After that, everyone separated when you went to the hospital to test the DNA. Mr Tang was able to tell the truth to Uncle Mo and Senior Gui. Didn’t you pay attention to these details?”
“……” She was really too careless.
Lu Jiuchuan said, “Xiao Lou deliberately told you that Chu Huaying wanted to meet us in order to let you relax your vigilance and think we all fell into your trap. In fact, I was the one disguised as Huaying. You fell into our trap instead.”
Tang Ci glanced at him. “I hadn’t expected Brother Jiu to dress up as a woman. I had to hold back from laughing at that time.”
Lu Jiuchuan placed an arm around Tang Ci’s shoulder. “I’ll take that as a compliment.”
Xiao Lou looked at the fake Liu Qiao. “You have been following us but some of us have disappeared from your vision at different times. You don’t know Huaying’s whereabouts and there is no need for you to know our next plan.”
He glanced at Yu Hanjiang, who immediately took the card pack from Liu Qiao’s pocket. At the same time, he pulled out a gun and aimed it at the fake Liu Qiao’s head.
The girl’s mouth raised in a sneer. “Do you think I’m afraid of that?”
Yu Hanjiang told her, “You’re not afraid of guns.”
The next moment, he took out the Alcohol card obtained in 8 of Spades and poured a large amount of alcohol on Liu Qiao’s body. She was tied up by the white silk and couldn’t move. Her entire body was almost instantly soaked by the alcohol. This was followed by Yu Hanjiang pulling the trigger and using the sparks to ignite the alcohol!
She heard the man’s low voice in her ear. “However, you are afraid of fire.”
Liu Qiao, “……”
The moment the flames moved across her body, Liu Qiao’s mouth issued a harsh scream.
This sound echoed through the confined space of the Peach Blossom Spring. Xiao Lou’s heart tightened and he turned to look at the Liu Qiao soaked in blue liquid next to him. She was pale as she watched the clone being swept up by the flames.
It wasn’t a great experience to see someone who looked exactly the same as oneself burning to death.
Nevertheless, Liu Qiao looked calm.
Xiao Lou walked to Liu Qiao and explained softly, “Xiao Liu, she is a hunter and must be dealt with as soon as possible. Otherwise, she will unite with the other hunters and kill us instead. Moreover, she has a way to communicate with the 5th Xiao Lou among the merpeople.”
Liu Qiao nodded. “I understand.”
Showing mercy to the enemy was to be cruel to oneself. The clones had the bug genes and any wounds could instantly recover. The only way to handle them was with fire.
In the midst of the fire, the girl screamed and struggled at first but she soon became a pile of ash.
Yu Hanjiang looked back at Gui Yuanzhang. “How much time is left for Li Qingzhao’s mark placed by you?”
Gui Yuanzhang replied, “Two minutes.”
In fact, during the time when Yu Hanjiang, Xiao Lou and the fake Liu Qiao entered the laboratory on the right, Gui Yuanzhang had moved as fast as possible to another fork in the road and released Li Qingzhao’s mark.
They had two Li Qingzhao cards. Old Mo and Gui Yuanzhang each took one.
Old Mo placed the mark to bring everyone to the deep sea. Then Xiao Lou used the Peach Blossom Spring to bring everyone back to the deserted island and the mark Gui Yuanzhang placed would send them back to the deep sea. This whole process didn’t take much time. The key to doing this was to get rid of the Liu Qiao clone and smoothly pass the card pack back to the real Liu Qiao.
Li Qingzhao’s mark only allowed teleportation five minutes after it was placed. They would have to wait another two minutes.
Liu Qiao glanced at the black ash on the ground before looking back at Xiao Lou. She asked seriously, “Professor Xiao, how did you know I was hidden in the clone laboratory?”
Xiao Lou took out the Witch card and handed it to Liu Qiao. “You used the antidote?”
Liu Qiao’s eyes lit up. “Yes.”
Xiao Lou smiled and patted Xiao Liu on the shoulder. “I said that you have always been very cautious. How can you make this type of low-level mistake? If I remember correctly, the 5th Xiao Lou suddenly came and gave you snacks when I was connected to you. At that time, you had doubts about him. How could you eat the snacks he gave?”
Old Mo suddenly realized. “Yes! After we saved the fake Liu Qiao, she said that she ate the snacks given by Xiao Lou and fell unconscious. Professor Xiao, did you doubt her after she said this?”
Xiao Lou nodded. “Yes. Therefore, I asked Group Leader Yu to try and test her understanding of the instances. I didn’t expect the hunters to know so much about all the instances we have experienced.”
Yu Hanjiang had asked Liu Qiao many questions about the instances but in fact, they were just all probing questions.
The reality-related question asked by Xiao Lou was the key. The fake Liu Qiao would be mentally relaxed after answering Yu Hanjiang’s questions correctly. Xiao Lou took advantage of this and gave her a language trap.
The cooperation between the two of them was flawless.
Ye Qi asked curiously, “Since Liu Qiao didn’t eat the snacks that Xiao Lou sent, why did she suddenly faint?”
Liu Qiao said, “I ate them.”
Ye Qi’s eyes widened. “Eh?”
Liu Qiao calmly explained, “At that time, Professor Xiao and I were connected and the clone used the card shielding to interrupt Heart has a Tacit Exchange of Romantic Feelings. I received a system notification that the cards were blocked. I thought that since this card doesn’t belong to our team, it must belong to a hunter.”
Ye Qi agreed. “Yes, the natives of the Card World don’t use cards. Those who have cards can only be challengers or hunters.”
Liu Qiao let out a sound of agreement before saying, “I was sure that Professor Xiao, who used Heart has a Tacit Exchange of Romantic Feelings to connect with me, was the real one. Then the one in front of me had to be the hunter. Since he opened such a powerful shielding card to interrupt Heart has a Tacit Exchange of Romantic Feelings, he must want to use me to do something. Perhaps I have a clone as well. After he controls me, he will use my clone to confuse you.”
She could think so much at a moment of life or death. This was the calm Liu Qiao that everyone was familiar with.
Xiao Lou looked at her gently. “That’s why you pretended to eat the snacks the man gave you?”
Liu Qiao nodded. “I thought that Xiao Lou wouldn’t directly kill me because once I die, my name will disappear from the contract book. Then if another Liu Qiao appears in front of you, all of you will immediately know she is false. He should knock me unconscious and lock me up. I won’t wake up for a long time and he will use the clone to trick you.”
Liu Qiao’s face was slightly pale as she thought of the danger of that time. She gently clenched her fist to keep herself calm and said, “I thought of a risky method, which is to use the Witch card.”
“The Witch can produce a poison and an antidote. I am used to taking out the poison and antidote every time I enter an instance and bringing it with me so that I’m not too late at the critical moment. This habit helped me. He blocked the card skills but I already had the two drugs in my hand and could take them directly. I took the poison before eating the snacks, followed by the antidote.”
Ye Qi scratched his head. “I remember in the werewolf game, the witch can’t poison or save herself?”
Liu Qiao told him, “This S-grade card doesn’t restrict the targets.”
Yu Hanjiang took out the Witch card from his pocket and handed it to Liu Qiao. Sure enough, the two skills were already in the gray ‘cooldown’ state. This was an instance limited card and could only be used once in each instance. The witch only had two pills.
The card description said: The witch can produce a poison and an antidote. These two drugs can only be taken at night. Feeding the poisonous pill to the designated target will cause the target to die at dawn. Giving the antidote to a target can make a target who died at night immune to the death effect. They will revive at dawn and all negative states are removed.”
These two pills could only be used at night, which was consistent with the werewolf instance. The difference was that the S-grade Witch card’s poison and antidote weren’t limited in the scope of use. They could poison the enemy, poison teammates or even poison themselves.
Liu Qiao said, “I took the poison before eating the snacks he brought. After that, I ate the antidote. In this way, even if I eat the snacks and faint at night, the Witch’s antidote will come into play at dawn and I will recover instantly.”
The team members were in shock.
If there was a problem with one of these links, wouldn’t Liu Qiao poison herself to death?
Ye Qi gave a shocked thumbs up. “Poisoning yourself to save yourself. You can actually play like this. It is amazing!”
In the original werewolf instance, Liu Qiao was the witch. After clearing the level, everyone chose the S-grade Witch card and gave it to Liu Qiao. She thoroughly studied the usage of this S-grade card so she could use this method of self-poisoning and self-healing to avoid the control of the clone.
The clone thought she was unconscious but didn’t know that Liu Qiao would immediately wake up at dawn due to the witch’s antidote. Xiao Lou had always emphasized the flexible use of cards. Liu Qiao was truly a student and fan of Professor Xiao. She learned how to use the cards very well.
Xiao Lou asked, “Were you in the cloning laboratory when you woke up?”
Liu Qiao nodded. “There aren’t many places to hide in the palace. Besides, I am still the princess. It will be hard to explain if I am found. He must have hidden the fake Liu Qiao in a place where you can easily find her and hid me in a secret room. When I woke up, I was soaking in a container filled with blue liquid, surrounded by Professor Xiao, Chief Shao, Xiao Ye, Brother Jiu and Mr Tang… I didn’t dare go out because I was afraid there would be surveillance in the laboratory. Thus, I kept lying in the nutrient solution and pretended to be asleep.”
Calculating it carefully, she had woken up at dawn and the group didn’t rescue her until after midnight. Liu Qiao had soaked in the nutrient solution for 17 hours and was really calm enough to pretend to be sleeping.
Ye Qi heard up to here and finally realized something. “So Professor Xiao has long discovered there was a problem with the Witch card? That’s why Group Leader Yu deliberately took away the Witch card when the card pack was returned to the fake Liu Qiao, lest she perceived that the skills were on cooldown and suspected something?”
Yu Hanjiang said, “Xiao Lou has always been careful. Meanwhile, the clone Xiao Lou was careless. He knocked Liu Qiao unconscious but didn’t check her card pack. He just placed the card pack on the clone Liu Qiao. This was his biggest mistake.”
Xiao Lou felt helpless. “There is no other way. This secret room has too many clones. There are a lot of details to analyze when judging if our teammates are real or false or it will be easy to get caught. In particular, the hunters know everything about our previous instances.”
Yu Hanjiang added, “The 5th Xiao Lou is very smart. He probably wanted to hide the real Liu Qiao and let us believe in the fake Liu Qiao. Then once we enter the palace and find the real Liu Qiao, we will naturally have the preconception that the Liu Qiao in the nutrient solution is false. Then we are likely to kill Liu Qiao.”
Liu Qiao had blue liquid all over her when climbing out of the nutrient solution. She did look more like a clone.
If they believed in the Liu Qiao beside them, they would indeed believe that the one in the laboratory was fake. Yet in fact, the one in the laboratory was real!
Ye Qi was frightened. “He didn’t kill Liu Qiao because he was afraid the name on the contract book would be gone and we would be alerted. Therefore, he wanted to borrow our hands to make us kill our real teammate?”
Everyone heard this and got goosebumps.
If Professor Xiao wasn’t careful enough to distinguish the fake; if Liu Qiao wasn’t careful enough to poison and heal herself to wake up from her unconscious state… once they accidentally fell into the trap, it was really possible they would kill the true Liu Qiao without knowing. This scene was really terrible when thinking about it. If the ending was like this, everyone would feel guilty for a lifetime!
Now that the cause and effect was finally clear, everyone started sweating at the false alarm.
Gui Yuanzhang reminded them, “It is time for the teleportation of Li Qingzhao’s mark.”
Xiao Lou glanced at his teammates. “From now on, the nine of us will act together. Let’s go.”
There was a bright flash of light in the Peach Blossom Spring and the nine people disappeared without a trace.
At the same time, they appeared at a fork in the deep sea labyrinth.
Xiao Lou didn’t directly look for the 5th clone. He was certain that since the room on the right was the cloning laboratory, the one on the left must be full of traps. It would be a dead end if they entered.
In addition, the clone Xiao Lou and Liu Qiao’s plan to lure everyone into the trap room had failed. The clone Xiao Lou would definitely think of other ways to deal with everyone.
Xiao Lou ordered softly, “Quickly find the elder of the merpeople. Old Mo, please lead the way.”
Old Mo nodded and turned toward the other side of the labyrinth.
Partially proofread: Paranoid Kitten