Chapter 548 – Card Labyrinth
Shao Qingge found himself in a strange space. There was no one around. He touched his card pack in his pocket and tried to connect to Ye Qi using Heart has a Tacit Exchange of Romantic Feelings, but Ye Qi never responded.
He frowned and looked around.
The ceiling above him was pure white. There was a spotlight with a soft light every two meters. The ground under his feet was black marble and was as clean as a mirror, reflecting his figure.
The walls on the left and right were covered with playing cards, each of which was the same size as real playing cards. The common black background pattern was all facing up.
At the end of the corridor was a white wall that blocked the way.
Shao Qingge soon realized that this was likely to be a ‘card labyrinth’.
Just then, a notification appeared on the floating box in front of him.
[Welcome to the third link of the relay mission, the Card Labyrinth.]
[Please find the correct exit within one hour or the relay mission will be judged to be unsuccessful.]
The third link of the relay mission? Since it was the third link, there must be a first and second link before this. He couldn’t contact Ye Qi, indicating that Ye Qi wasn’t in the same world as him. Perhaps Xiao Ye had been assigned to the first or second link and had completed the task.
The key to a relay race was that if any link went wrong, everyone would lose.
How many teammates would there be in this vast labyrinth?
Shao Qingge was looking down and pondering on it when the four cards on the surrounding wall suddenly flipped over and emitted a soft light. They were the K of Hearts, K of Spades, K of Diamonds and K of Clubs.
He was stunned before staring thoughtfully at the four cards.
Could it be a mechanism?
As if to answer his doubts, a supplementary note soon popped up on his floating box. “In the Card Labyrinth, you need to collect a total of 54 playing cards in one hour. Only one card can be collected from each corridor and each taken card will open a corresponding labyrinth passage. Different suits might have different rewards or penalties. Please choose carefully.”
Shao Qingge read the notification carefully. In other words, the door at the end of this corridor that was closed should have four forks. He had to take away one of the K of Spades, K of Hearts, K of Diamonds or K of Clubs from the wall and he would open the corresponding fork. After getting to the next road, he would take another card and continue to open the road…
He could only take one at a time so it meant that only one fork in the road could be opened at a time.
All the labyrinths they encountered before had clear paths. This time, the labyrinth seemed to be full of fog. All paths needed to be opened by collecting cards. The four suits corresponded to four roads. If they made a mistake, they would have to turn around again. The difficulty simply couldn’t be compared to the previous labyrinths!
The countdown had already appeared in the floating box. Shao Qingge took a deep breath before stepping forward and taking the K of Diamonds.
He didn’t dare take Spades or Clubs. He was afraid that if he opened the Spades or Clubs road, he would experience a crisis of survival.
This was a labyrinth so it was more reliable to take the Diamonds card first. His slender fingers removed K of Diamonds from the wall and the door at the end of the corridor really did open, revealing a passage.
Shao Qingge didn’t hesitate to enter the passage.
The appearance of this passage was the same as before except that the cards on the wall had changed to 7 of Diamonds, 8 of Diamonds, 9 of Diamonds and 10 of Diamonds. Shao Qingge was worried that the number of points on the cards would be related to the difficulty so he first chose the smallest number, 7 of Diamonds.
Sure enough, another door opened at the end of the path and Shao Qingge continued to walk forward.
He had just walked through the door when his feet suddenly felt empty and he fell down rapidly!
The weightlessness of the fall made Shao Qingge’s heart tighten.
The vertical passage was like an elevator shaft without light and it was impossible to see clearly under his feet. Wouldn’t he be finished if there was a rain of arrows or knives? Even if there was no mechanism under his feet, falling from such a terrible height would be enough to smash him into ground meat.
In just a few seconds, Shao Qingge’s brain spun quickly. He had no light footwork cards and the teleportation card could only teleport horizontally. The other cards such as Thousand Gold Coin Throw, Rich and Willful, the stock curve, ATM, etc were really useless at this time.
Shao Qingge didn’t hesitate to use the Bug King transformation.
Otherwise, it would be too unjust to fall to death.
In the darkness, the man’s eyes turned blood red. The changes in his body made him feel at ease. Shao Qingge quickly reached out a hand and his sharp nails were aimed at the wall.
To his surprise, his nails actually broke the moment they touched the wall!
The bug king’s nails could easily pierce through steel but this wall was made of some unknown material. It was hard and smooth and his nails couldn’t exert themselves on such a wall at all. Was this telling him that the walls of this card labyrinth couldn’t be destroyed by any means?
Shao Qingge withdrew his hand and the broken nails grew back at a speed visible to the naked eye.
The fall was still happening. In any case, he couldn’t die so Shao Qingge calmly observed his surroundings.
The bugs had enhanced night vision so he found that this vertical dark passage had many doors around it. Due to the speed of the fall, he couldn’t count the specific number of doors but he could judge that the card labyrinth encountered this time was a very large 3D labyrinth, like a tower made of playing cards.
He had just thought this when his feet touched the cold floor. Shao Qingge landed steadily on the ground.
Fortunately, he became the bug king or he would definitely be turned into a meat pie after falling from such a high place.
Shao Qingge landed on the ground and saw the door in front of him slowly opening. He took a deep breath and entered the door.
The dazzling light made Shao Qingge squint slightly. He took a few steps and found a corridor of cards that was exactly the same as before. Just then, there was the sound of something falling behind him and very light footsteps. Shao Qingge immediately turned back and met a pair of familiar eyes.
It was Gui Yuanzhang.
Senior Gui was wearing a Tang suit. His hair might be gray but he looked very energetic. He was stunned for a moment when he found Shao Qingge. Then he soon calmed down and asked, “Chief Shao, which stock has risen better recently?”
This was the code agreed upon before entering the secret room.
Shao Qingge smiled. “180376521, this stock can be followed. Senior, do you like to drink tea? I have a good bamboo leaf green tea at home. let’s have a drink later.”
Gui Yuanzhang answered, “I prefer West Lake Longjing Tea.”
Shao Qingge, “……”
This underground party-like approach to code words was a bit embarrassing but there was no harm in being careful. At the very least, he could be sure that the Old Gui in front of him was undoubtedly the real one.
Shao Qingge stepped forward. “Senior Gui, you’re also doing the third link of the relay mission? We’ve been divided into the same group.”
Gui Yuanzhang nodded. “Yes, the notification said so. The other people are probably in the first or second links. We were assigned to the third link. I just don’t know if there are any other teammates.”
Shao Qingge sighed. “This labyrinth is very difficult. If only Old Mo or Professor Xiao were here.”
Gui Yuanzhang wasn’t very good at labyrinths either. He took out a playing card and said, “I took the 7 of Diamonds and suddenly fell down.”
“I also fell down here after grabbing the 7 of Diamonds.”
Gui Yuanzhang frowned and thought about it. “In other words, each card represents a passage and there are a total of 54 passages in the labyrinth. Each passage will be randomly selected. There are collectible playing cards. Take the corresponding card and then you can find the corresponding passage?” He paused and looked back at Shao Qingge. “This mission requires us to collect 54 playing cards. Should we act separately or do it together?”
Collecting it separately would be more efficient but there were also problems. If they were separated, it would be more difficult to meet up again in such a large 3D labyrinth. There might also be potential dangers.
Shao Qingge answered, “Let’s act together. We can take care of each other if there is danger.”
Old Gui glanced at the time [59:12] displayed on the countdown. There were still 59 minutes. if they took an average of 1 minute to collect a card, they would be able to collect 54 cards. They just didn’t know where the exit was. He nodded. “Okay, let’s hurry up.”
The two of them entered the passage with the walls of playing cards.
The cards in this passage were 3 of Clubs, 3 of Diamonds, 3 of Spades and 3 of Hearts.
Shao Qingge wondered about something. Why did some passages have the same suit but different numbers while others had the same numbers and different suits? Was there any difference between the two of them?
He looked at Old Gui. “Continue to take Diamonds?”
Old Gui also agreed. “Yes, first collect the cards of the same suit. It is easier to remember.”
At present, Shao Qingge had a K of Diamonds and 7 of Diamonds while Old Gui took the 7 of Diamonds at the beginning. The set of 54 cards required for the mission couldn’t be repeated so the card taken by Old Gui wouldn’t be counted in the collection number.
Shao Qingge stepped forward and took the 3 of Diamonds from the wall.
Sure enough, another door opened at the end of the corridor. Shao Qingge walked over and found a section of stairs curving upward to the left.
These stairs were very long, as if there was no end. It wasn’t known how high it went.
Shao Qingge analyzed it while walking. “I took K of Diamonds at the beginning. Then when I got 7 of Diamonds, I suddenly fell. Now we took 3 of Diamonds and have to go up. It seems that the number of the playing card doesn’t represent the height.”
Gui Yuanzhang nodded. “Assuming that this labyrinth is a tall building, it will be too simple if we take the 2 of Diamonds and drop to the second floor or 3 of Diamonds to the third floor. The cards must be scattered randomly on different floors but unfortunately, we can’t see the pattern yet.”
The two of them weren’t in a hurry. After all, there were 54 cards and they had only taken three cards. It was normal that they couldn’t see the pattern.
The spiral staircase was very long. In order to save time, Gui Yuanzhang simply took out his brush. “It is too slow to climb like this. Just fly.” He used the brush to simulate an air current, forming a whirlwind under his feet. Immediately after that, he hovered in the air like he was stepping on a magic broom and flew up with Shao Qingge.
Half a minute later, the spiral staircase finally came to an end and a door appeared in front of them.
The two of them entered the passage and saw four cards: 2 of Diamonds, 6 of Diamonds, 4 of Diamonds and 8 of Diamonds.
At present, they already had the K, 7 and 3. Shao Qingge took the 2 of Diamonds and continued to move forward. The revolving stairs appeared again but this time it headed to the right. The number of steps was obviously much fewer and it took less than five seconds to reach the next passage.
The next passage had 8 of Diamonds: 8 of Clubs: 8 of Spades and 8 of Hearts.
Shao Qingge took down 8 of Diamonds and a door appeared at the end of the passage. The two of them continued to move forward when they stepped on air instead of the ground. Gui Yuanzhang and Shao Qingge fell down at the same time!
Shao Qingge had a headache. “What is the situation with going up and down?”
Old Gui had the brush and Shao Qingge had turned into the bug king. They weren’t afraid of falling to their deaths. It was just that they climbed up a long flight of stairs for a while only to suddenly fall down again. The two of them had only collected five cards and they were already confused by this labyrinth.
Gui Yuanzhang said with a calm face, “We have to draw a map.”
Shao Qingge said solemnly, “My sense of direction isn’t very good and I don’t remember the path that twisted and turned just now. I only know that after taking the 7 of Diamonds and 8 of Diamonds cards, we suddenly fell down.”
The two people looked at each other.
They couldn’t even understand a flat labyrinth and now they were placed in a 3D labyrinth. Wasn’t this a joke?
Shao Qingge had a headache and pressed down on his temples. “Let’s go ahead and take a look.”
The two of them pushed open the door and walked into the passage of 8 of Diamonds. The moment they entered, they saw a man sitting on the ground. He was holding a white cloth the size of a handkerchief in his left hand while his right index finger was writing and drawing on it. He looked serious and deep in thought.
The corners of Shao Qingge’s mouth twitched. “Old Mo, you’re also here!”
It was the first time that Old Mo heard a strong… surprise in Chief Shao’s tone when calling him.
Proofreader: Paranoid Kitten & Fictional Reality