Chapter 513 – Clearance Condition
Yu Hanjiang guessed that the murderer of the lake drowning case was likely Zhou Xiaoyun but he couldn’t determine the way to clear the secret room this time.
The previous four-in-one secret room at the 10th level asked them to find the main culprit of the organ smuggling case while the Q secret room required Xiao Lou as the crown prince to successfully inherit the throne and clean up all the clones.
For this level, they hadn’t been assigned any special identity in Qingfeng Town. They were just insignificant passersby and didn’t have to complete any plot missions. Was it a pass if they guessed the murderer? Or did all the murderers have to be arrested and the truth made public?
Xiao Lou had such doubts in his heart as he looked at Yu Hanjiang. “Will we directly pass the instance by guessing the murderers? In addition, where are Chief Shao, Xiao Ye, Brother Jiu and the others now?”
Shao Qingge and Ye Qi had left clues in the grave while Brother Jiu left letters and the drone card to let Xiao Lou know they had traveled to a different timeline. However, was the world where they lived a parallel space that didn’t interfere with each other or did they really go back 3 and 20 years and became ‘history’?
If it was the latter, they would’ve either left the secret room now or they should’ve been reunited with Xiao Lou in this timeline.
Yu Hanjiang thought for a moment. “Judging from the information left by Chief Shao, he and Ye Qi should’ve left the secret room. They couldn’t have waited 20 years in the secret room to join us again. Therefore, it is likely that the clearance conditions of the three teams in this secret room aren’t the same.”
In the past, it was all based on whether the team met the criteria to pass the instance. This time, the 12 of them were divided into three teams and they went to a different time and space. Assuming that the condition to clearing the instance was to ‘catch the murderer’, Shao Qingge and Ye Qi should’ve arrested the young murderer 20 years ago and it would be impossible for the murderer to kill someone 20 years later. It would be even more impossible for Brother Jiu and Xiao Lou to arrest the murderer.
Therefore, either Chief Shao and the others were directly sent back or the three separated teams had different clearance conditions.
Xiao Lou said, “We’ll talk about how to pass the instance specifically after leaving this labyrinth.”
The existence of the Peach Blossom Spring was only three hours and everyone was quite tired from fighting with their wits and courage against the hunters in the ghost town. Xiao Lou had Old Mo take out the lazy sofa and everyone took turns to sit and rest on it while discussing the next countermeasures.
Yu Hanjiang said, “According to the rotation rule of the labyrinth, it takes 12 hours i.e. a full 24 hours to turn back to the original position. It has been over one hour and we can hide in the Peach Blossom Spring for three hours. After going out of the Peach Blossom Spring, we will have to stay here for 20 hours before we can leave the labyrinth.”
In other words, they could hide for a maximum of four hours. The rest of the time, they had to continue to fight against the hunters with their wits.
Old Mo had a headache. “It is difficult to deal with the hunters in the labyrinth. I have a complete map of the labyrinth in my hand but the periphery of the labyrinth is constantly rotating and the path changes dynamically. It is likely that we will be dizzy ourselves before the hunters are dizzy…”
Xiao Lou agreed. “That’s right. In this secret room, the hunters never appear during the day and always stay in the ghost town labyrinth at night. They should know more about the terrain and the rotation of the labyrinth than we do. Once we go out later, we will have to find a way to rely on Li Qingzhao’s mark to teleport multiple times and get rid of their pursuit.”
He paused and looked at Qu Wanyue. “Li Qingzhao’s mark can be modified up to five times in the labyrinth. We have two Li Qingzhao cards so that is 10 times. We have used it once so we still have nine opportunities to modify the mark.”
Qu Wanyue nodded. “Professor Xiao, you mean to continue to ‘lead the tiger away from the mountain’? Have one teammate lead away most of the hunters and have another person secretly modify the teleportation mark to teleport teammates? By doing this repeatedly, we can teleport multiple times in the labyrinth and the hunters can’t lock onto our position?”
Xiao Lou replied, “This is the only way. The strength of the hunters is still unclear and we are the ones who will suffer if we face them head-on.”
The practice of teleporting around did make it difficult for the hunters to lock onto their position but the risk was quite large if they failed.
Yu Hanjiang asked Liu Qiao, “Xiao Liu, what are the strengths of the three people you just met?”
Liu Qiao recalled what happened just now and answered seriously, “There is a woman who should be a close up assassin. She was holding a sharp knife in her hand and was extremely fast. I turned her into an ugly duckling to escape her assassination attempt in a thrilling way. The other two are male and I didn’t see them clearly.”
“One of them is a middle-aged uncle who can drop a net from any position in the air and summon a tornado that destroys all buildings. The younger one has a floating crystal ball in his hand. The white crystal ball can illuminate all invisible targets within range while the black crystal ball should be a killing card. This person is hidden in the darkness and is very scary. He might have other crystal balls in his hand.”
“By the way, there were some strange water ghosts in the pond at that time. I guess it is a hunter playing tricks.”
Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou looked at each other, secretly startled.
The strength of the hunters they encountered in this secret room couldn’t be underestimated. There was the woman who used her hair as a weapon, the girl with the umbrella, the female assassin, the giant net, the crystal ball, the water ghost and the one who trapped them with red cloth in the new house and shot a dense rain of arrows…
There were already more than six known hunters and there might be some who were lurking in the darkness and hadn’t done anything yet. The six of them were at a disadvantage when it came to numbers.
In addition, the hunters knew their cards but they didn’t know the opponent’s cards.
Xiao Lou was puzzled. “Chief Shao and Brother Jiu didn’t mention any hunters in the clues they left behind. This proves they didn’t encounter any hunters in the past. Let’s say for example that the number of elite hunters placed by the keepers in each secret room is equal to the number of challengers. Is it possible that there are 12 hunters in this secret room and all of them are in the ghost town at night?!”
The team members couldn’t help gasping when they heard this.
Assuming that Xiao Lou hadn’t split up the team and everyone entered the ghost town together, they would be facing a 12 V 12 situation. The strength of the hunters was top-notch so a duel with an equal number of people was considered fair.
However, Xiao Lou split up the team into three for safety reasons. The two other teams were sent to different timelines. Those teammates were very strong and found clues to help Xiao Lou’s group solve the case smoothly but after the six teammates left the original timeline, the hunters were then left for Xiao Lou’s group of six to solve.
The team’s approach was beneficial for finding the clues and solving the cases but it was very disadvantageous for survival.
If the number of hunters and challengers was equal, it meant there were 12 hunters and all of them were in the ghost town. Xiao Lou’s group could hide in the Peach Blossom Spring for a while but no one knew what would happen when they went out.
The team members were nervous. 6 against 12 sounded like there was no chance of winning at all.
The number of hunters encountered by Brother Jiu in J of Clubs was large but the quality wasn’t very high. This time, each hunter had super powerful cards and the number was likely double theirs. The hunters also knew their information like identity and available cards…
This was a nightmare survival difficulty!
Yu Hanjiang quickly calmed down and spoke in a low voice, “Different situations call for different actions. All we have to do is get out of the ghost town labyrinth alive. There is no need to fight hard. We will do as Xiao Lou said and avoid them.”
They couldn’t beat the hunters head-on but couldn’t they always run?
Xiao Lou lowered his head and thought about it for a moment. “In this way, Xiao Liu will take one Li Qingzhao card and Qu Wanyue will take the other. The Long Qu couple will act together, Xiao Liu and Old Mo will go together and I will be with Hanjiang. Once the time comes, we will go separately.”
He looked at Qu Wanyue and instructed seriously, “For your group, you can use the Chameleon card and blend in with the environment. Xiao Liu said there is someone on the other side who can use a crystal ball to illuminate invisible targets but your Chameleon card isn’t invisibility. It changes the color of your body to adapt to the surrounding environment. This should be more difficult to detect. You can try to move close to the ground or the wall. Don’t make a sound and modify Li Qingzhao’s mark according to my instructions. Once I say ‘1’, open the teleportation and pull us over.”
Qu Wanyue and Long Sen simply nodded. “Understood.”
Their ability to fight head-on was average but their ability to escape was top-notch. As early as the original Liuxi Village, they had both escaped from the village overnight and relied on the Chameleon and zombie jumping cards to escape all night in the mountain forest where wild beasts were all around them.
Now that the task of escaping and marking was handed over to them, both of them were confident that they could complete it.
Xiao Lou looked at Liu Qiao with concern. “Xiao Liu, your Elsa’s large-scale freezing skill is on cooldown?”
Liu Qiao nodded. “Just now, I used Elsa’s skill to freeze the pond and escape.”
In other words, there was a hunter with excellent ability in water who could summon water monsters.
Xiao Lou instructed her, “You must pay attention to safety when acting with Old Mo. Old Mo doesn’t have the light footwork card so you need to turn Old Mo into the size of a thumb and take him with you. Old Mo will keep an eye on the rotation of the labyrinth. Once it is almost time, directly find a place near the exit and set a mark for everyone to come over. Xiao Liu, you have strong life-saving cards. I believe you can protect yourself if you use them flexibly.”
Liu Qiao’s heart was warm when she saw Xiao Lou’s trusting eyes and she nodded vigorously. “Don’t worry, Professor Xiao. I will definitely complete the task!”
Liu Qiao had several transformation cards in her hand. The Ugly Duckling could be used flexibly and the duckling couldn’t be attacked or attack someone during the transformation. If she transformed the enemy, the enemy would lose their attack power. If she transformed herself, it was equivalent to putting herself in an invincible state of ‘unable to be attacked’.
This was also the reason why Xiao Lou was at ease to let Liu Qiao take the guide, Old Mo, to act together.
In this group of six people, Liu Qiao’s self-protection ability was actually the strongest.
She had Little Red Riding Hood that could be used as a stand-in to take damage, the witch’s antidote to save her life, the ugly duckling to transform the other person or herself and the poison queen’s apple that could poison the designated target…
Meanwhile, Old Mo had the marble bricks, the space rotation, the dyeing card etc. If the two of them cooperated, escaping shouldn’t be a problem.
Liu Qiao said with worry, “Professor Xiao, your compass has already been used and the invisibility cloak can only last 30 minutes. You and Group Leader Yu will be in the most danger…”
Xiao Lou smiled. “Don’t worry. The two of us will be targets to lead away a large number of hunters so it is convenient for you to modify the marks.” He looked back at Yu Hanjiang with eyes full of trust. “Besides, there is Group Leader Yu. It won’t be so easy if these hunters want to kill us.”
Yu Hanjiang hummed in agreement before suddenly saying, “There is one more thing.”
His teammates all looked at him. His expression was serious as he emphasized clearly, “Don’t forget that as a last resort, there is also the Resurrection card among our team-limited cards.”
Proofreader: Paranoid Kitten & Fictional Reality