Late at night was the most active time for the merpeople.
Some merpeople had gone out to sea to hunt while many others were walking through the palace. Fortunately, Old Mo and Gui Yuanzhang had already figured out the structure of the labyrinth. The group used the help of various displacement cards to move quickly through the palace. They avoided the guards patrolling the palace in a thrilling manner.
Under the leadership of Old Mo, everyone took a shortcut and soon arrived at the place where the elders of the merpeople lived.
Kareen Ger was an elder of the merpeople who was nearly 100 years old. He had golden curls and eyes as blue as the sky.
The moment they opened the door, everyone found that he was sitting on a shell-like sofa, his eyes so wide that his eyeballs were about to fall out. Yu Hanjiang saw this scene and noticed that something was wrong. He rushed over to check the elder’s pulse. Then he turned back to his teammates. “He is dead. It also just happened.”
Gui Yuanzhang frowned. “Was he killed by the 5th Xiao Lou?”
Xiao Lou walked over and quickly inspected the corpse. “He was strangled and there are obvious bruises. It should be that someone around him suddenly moved behind him. He was too defenseless and died in shock.”
The group had speculated that the elder called Kareen Ger liked to do genetic experiments. He had bred many deep-sea fish that were edible for the merpeople.
Xiao Lou looked around and found there was a laboratory next to the living room where many strange little fish and shrimp were raised. If he hadn’t died, they still wouldn’t be sure if he was involved in the cloning program. Now that he was dead, their speculation had naturally been confirmed.
Liu Qiao said, “This elder has always been low-key among the merpeople. It is just that we respect him very much because he raised many delicious fish and shrimp as food for us.”
Yu Hanjiang crossed his arms over his chest as he analyzed the crime scene. “20 years ago, the elder accidentally passed by the starship Egret and found that many people had died in the starship, but some of them survived in the deep sea environment. At that time, the clones had no human consciousness. Some of them might’ve still been in the petri dish. Therefore, the curious elder brought them back secretly and continued the research based on the Noah’s Ark project.”
Xiao Lou said, “He developed another version of the clone. Using the basis of the original clone, he integrated the genes of the merpeople. It could be said that the self-aware Xiao Lou, Shao Qingge and Ye Qi who are in the merpeople’s palace are all versions 2.0.”
Lu Jiuchuan couldn’t help cursing. “In the end, the Xiao Lou 2.0 version killed the one who raised him?”
Shao Qingge narrowed his eyes. “The hunters have always been inhuman. There must be a problem with the cooperation between the fake Liu Qiao and the fake Xiao Lou. He noticed that the plan failed and killed Kareen Ger, the only insider.”
The cloning project was clearly a secret research and there weren’t many people who knew about it. Now that the researcher was dead, there was no evidence. No one could explain the real origin of the merpeople’s prince, Xiao Lou. This was a brilliant move to destroy evidence.
Obviously, this 2.0 version of Xiao Lou in the palace was much smarter than the clone Liu Qiao that had been with everyone.
Liu Qiao suddenly thought of something and immediately turned around. “This is bad! Let’s run!”
Xiao Lou also thought of this. The group turned around in unison to leave the elder’s residence. As a result, they had just taken a step out of the door when they saw the white-dressed ‘Xiao Lou’ standing in front of them. Beside him was the king of the merpeople as well as hundreds of merpeople guards, all armed.
This posture of ‘catching thieves’ was really magnificent.
At almost the moment that the fake Xiao Lou appeared, the real Xiao Lou, Yu Hanjiang, Liu Qiao, Tang Ci, Shao Qingge and Ye Qi had immediately hidden themselves with the invisibility cloaks. Only Liu Qiao, Gui Yuanzhang and Old Mo remained in view.
The fake Xiao Lou looked around before he smiled at Liu Qiao. “Sister, what are you doing with Elder Gui and Mr Mo at Elder Kareen’s residence?”
Liu Qiao looked at him coldly and didn’t reply.
Xiao Lou spoke to the guard beside him. “Go inside and take a look.”
“Yes, Your Highness.” The two guards entered the elder’s room before soon coming out again, their voices trembling with horror. “Your Highness, Your Highness, Elder Kareen has been killed!”
“What?” Xiao Lou was stunned and hurried inside with the guards.
After a few seconds, he returned to the place where he had just been and pointed to Liu Qiao in disbelief. “Elder Kareen watched you growing up and can be considered half your teacher. You actually did such a terrible thing!”
The king, who was close to 100 years old, looked at Liu Qiao suspiciously. “Why did you kill Elder Kareen?”
Liu Qiao looked calm. “Father, I didn’t kill him.”
Xiao Lou frowned. “Do you still want to argue? The princess also has the right to inherit the throne. I know you have been very dissatisfied with me but you shouldn’t kill Elder Kareen! Liu Qiao, you have disappointed me too much!”
“……” Liu Qiao was speechless. She really wanted to give the hunter in front of her a five star praise. This performance was comparable to a movie emperor. He could switch freely between a moderate version, a serious version and a villain. Why be a hunter? Wasn’t it good to go into the entertainment industry?
‘Xiao Lou’ put on a sad expression. “Somebody, grab them for me!”
Currently, ‘Xiao Lou’ was the prince and the surrounding guards naturally had to listen to him.
The group of guards gathered and pointed sharp weapons at Liu Qiao.
Liu Qiao didn’t resist and just stood in place, looking at the gray-haired old man in front of her. “Father, do you remember when Elder Kareen told you that Xiao Lou was your son? Did you never doubt his identity?”
The king thought about it. “He said that Xiao Lou is my illegitimate son living outside. I asked him to do genetic testing and Xiao Lou has the silver-white tail that signifies the purest lineage. It definitely isn’t wrong.”
Just then, the clones of Shao Qingge and Ye Qi appeared.
They were friends of Prince Xiao Lou. The three clones had grown up together.
‘Shao Qingge’ took the initiative to testify. “The princess killed Elder Kareen because he found the prince living outside and brought him back. She has been holding a grudge all these years.”
‘Ye Qi’ agreed. “She has always been unhappy seeing this brother that suddenly emerged. Now she killed Elder Kareen and would definitely try to kill the prince next. His Highness has always treated her as a sister but she has a wolf’s ambition!”
‘Shao Qingge’ narrowed his eyes. “Your Majesty, the first rule of our merpeople prohibits us from killing each other. These three people have committed a big taboo and must be dealt with according to our laws!”
The real Shao Qingge and Ye Qi, “……”
Seeing people who looked exactly like them acting in front of them wasn’t something that ordinary people could experience. Ye Qi really wanted to vomit. ‘Please don’t make your expression so vivid, okay?’
He was really unaccustomed to seeing his face acting so much. Meanwhile, the clone Shao Qingge could emulate some of Chief Shao’s charms. He squinted his eyes and gave a smile that wasn’t a smile. At first glance, they were quite similar.
‘Xiao Lou’ glanced at the surrounding guards. “Why are you still hesitating? Grab them!”
Just then, everyone heard a gentle voice. “Hold on.”
This voice was exactly the same as that of Prince Xiao Lou…
They all looked back and saw another Xiao Lou walking out of Elder Kareen’s residence. He was as handsome as Prince Xiao Lou in front of them. There was no smile on his face. His eyes were clear and calm as he stared straight at ‘Xiao Lou’ in front of him.
Xiao Lou and Xiao Lou faced each other.
The guards, “???”
What was going on? There were two identical princes?
Number 5 raised an eyebrow. “Liu Qiao, where did you find someone who looks like me? Do you want to kill Elder Kareen, kill me, let this person replace me and then let him give the throne to you? Your calculations are really clever.”
Xiao Lou smiled at him. “Is this enough? Clone.”
“What are you talking about?”
Xiao Lou walked in front of the king. “Father, I am the real prince. As for these three…” He glanced at Xiao Lou, Shao Qingge and Ye Qi. “They are all clones developed by Elder Kareen using the Noah’s Ark project.”
The moment he finished speaking, the real Shao Qingge and Ye Qi came to his side.
The surrounding guards were stunned.
The king was horrified. “What is this? Why do they all look the same?”
Xiao Lou looked at Number 5 in front of him. “Merpeople with pure blood will have a silver tail, right?”
Number 5 answered casually, “Everyone knows this.”
Xiao Lou smiled. “Then let’s see whose tail is silver and who is the real prince.”
Number 5 was taken aback. This Xiao Lou’s tail was clearly blue. The clone Liu Qiao had reported it to him a long time ago. How could Xiao Lou openly compare the lineage of the merpeople? Wasn’t this seeking death?
Could it be…
Just then, he saw Xiao Lou suddenly jump up and swim flexibly to the vast sea above the palace.
A beautiful silver tail moved behind him. The tail was 2.5 meters long and each scale on it flashed with a soft and shining luster. It was a dazzling silver and was like a light lighting up the deep sea. This was the symbol of the purest lineage respected by the merpeople for generations!
The king couldn’t believe it. “T-This is the real prince?”
The number 5 Xiao Lou’s face was white as he stood in the palace.
Xiao Lou quickly swam around the palace before returning to his original spot. He changed back to slender legs and moved toward the king. The smile on his face was still gentle as he gave an order, “Grab these three imposters!”
The guards hadn’t reacted when his eight teammates moved.
Liu Qiao’s hands flashed and she used the Thumbelina card. Before the number 5 Xiao Lou could react, he had shrunk to the size of a thumb and was placed in a bottle!
Lu Jiuchuan also had a copy of the Thumbelina card in his hand and he used it on the fake Shao Qingge in the same way. As for the fake Ye Qi, he was controlled by the real Ye Qi. Ye Qi blew the flute and the soft melody rang out. The other person immediately fell asleep. Then Yu Hanjiang moved like lightning and used a hand knife to directly knock out the fake Ye Qi!
The guards were stunned… what should they do? Was it okay to just watch?
Xiao Lou explained seriously, “Father, these people sneaked into the palace to disturb us merpeople. Liu Qiao will explain the specific situation to you later…”
The king was at a loss and was invited back to the palace by Xiao Lou and the others.
The moment the door closed, Liu Qiao started to patiently explain the whole thing to the king. Of course, the matter of the challengers and hunters were deliberately omitted by her. She only said that those three imposters were outsiders who mixed into the merpeople population to make trouble. Elder Kareen was their accomplice.
The king was soon persuaded by the facts.
Meanwhile Xiao Lou and the others took the three hunters to the side hall.
The number 5 Xiao Lou locked in the bottle had a cold face. He didn’t expect that the plot didn’t go according to his arrangement. Instead, there was a strange reversal!
He gritted his teeth. “Why didn’t my card shielding work?”
Xiao Lou looked at the clone in the bottle and calmly said, “Your card is too threatening to us. If you open the card shielding and the merpeople transformation fails, causing us to change back to ordinary humans, wouldn’t we instantly die in the deep sea?”
The 5th Xiao Lou suddenly reacted. “So…”
Old Mo said, “I have the Nightmare card in my hand that can mark a person in advance, letting that person lose all their skills at night. You found us and deliberately showed us the wrong way. We followed you in order to mark you with the Nightmare card, not because we were hooked. This means that you will completely lose your skills tonight.”
The 5th Xiao Lou, “……”
No wonder his card failed when he wanted to open the shield.
This group of people was really calculating and planned everything really well.
Was there still a need to ask about the tail? It was definitely Old Mo’s dye card!
Xiao Lou seriously added, “By the way, Old Mo’ dye card created a silver formula that is 95% white pigment, 4% black and 1% blue. Naturally, my tail was dyed with this. The silver tail represents the pure blood of the merpeople. We took advantage of this setting. We can also use the false to confuse the real.”
The 5th Xiao Lou, “………”
Why were these people more like the villains?
Proofreader: Paranoid Kitten & Fictional Reality