Chapter 551 – Gathering
Old Mo once again looked down at the map he had drawn.
Diamonds, Hearts, Clubs, Spades… the 13 rooms in each area had a complete structural map and the cards displayed on the walls of each room were marked. There were four suits and a total of 54 rooms. There was indeed no joker card.
Shao Qingge looked thoughtfully at the white cloth. “Could it be that the big and small joker cards won’t appear on the wall and we need to find it ourselves?”
Gui Yuanzhang shook his head. “If this is the case, it is impossible for us to complete the task. Every wall is covered with playing cards. There are 54 rooms with the cards. There are so many cards, right? If we search through them one by one, we might not even be able to find it in 10 hours, let alone one hour.”
They were discussing it when Gui Yuanzhang suddenly pointed to the four areas on the white cloth. “have you found that the A room of all suits is located in the middle?”
Take the Diamonds map as an example, the A room was indeed in the middle.
Old Mo clearly remembered that at the time, he found the A of Diamonds in the two rooms of J and 10. After removing the card, a door appeared at the end of the corridor. They walked through the door and directly appeared in the A room.
Due to this, it was inferred that the A, J and 10 rooms were on the same level.
Now looking at the Hearts, Spades and Clubs area, the surrounding rooms were arranged in a disorderly manner. The only common point was: the A room of all four suits was in the middle of the corresponding graphic.
Old Mo quickly realized something. He spread out the white cloth and carefully looked at the pictures from left to right. Then he said excitedly, “I understand. The A card represents the keepers and the two jokers are the most powerful creator gods in the Card World. The four A rooms and the two jokers rooms aren’t on the same plane as the rest!”
Shao Qingge was curious. “At that time, we went to the J of Diamonds and 10 of Diamonds and could go directly to the A room. If it isn’t on the same plane, we should’ve gone up or down stairs or fallen, right?”
Old Mo explained, “Due to this, I thought the A room was on the same floor. In fact, we might not have gone up or down stairs or through parallel corridors but after getting the A of Diamonds card, we directly entered the A of Diamonds room. This is more like a teleportation point in the game.”
Shao Qingge suddenly realized it.
For example, 6 and K were on the same floor. After getting the K card in room 6, they passed through a horizontal corridor and could enter the K room. It was like two rooms on the same floor.
However, for the A rooms of all suits, they didn’t go through any corridors or stairs. They were directly teleported like Xiao Lou’s Peach Blossom Spring. Just because they teleported from one position to another didn’t mean the two positions were in the same space!
Old Mo continued, “At that time, we found the cards 2 of Diamonds, J of Diamonds, 8 of Diamonds and 10 of Diamonds in the A of Diamonds room. Do you see a pattern?”
Shao Qingge looked at the picture. “The cards on the wall of the A secret room are precisely the four vertices of the diamond shape?”
Old Mo nodded vigorously. “That’s right. Spades, Clubs and Hearts also follow the same rule. The top, bottom, left and right vertices will appear on the wall of the A secret room. If you draw the corresponding cards, you will go back to the rooms at the four vertices. In my opinion, the A rooms are more like a separate space above the other card rooms.”
In order to facilitate the understanding of his teammates, Old Mo redrew the 3D figure on the white cloth. “Take the Diamonds area for example. The whole labyrinth is similar to a ‘tower’ on the ground. The small rooms of 2-K are on the same plane i.e. the bottom of the tower. The A rooms aren’t on the same plane as the 2-K cards and are likely to be the middle of the tower. The rooms of the two jokers aren’t on the same plane as 2-K and are likely to be the spire of the tower!”
Shao Qingge’s high school geometry was pretty good. He saw the 3D image drawn by Old Mo and quickly understood. “In other words, the 2-K rooms extend to the A rooms while the A rooms further extend inward to the room of the two jokers?!”
Gui Yuanzhang also felt that Old Mo’s analysis was reliable. He combined it with the rules of the Card World and said in a deep voice, “It makes sense. The four As represent the four keepers and the two jokers have a higher rank than them. The ‘house’ where they live naturally wouldn’t be on the same plane.”
Old Mo put away the white cloth and stood up. “After finding the four As, it should activate the passage leading to the two jokers!”
Shao Qingge also stood up. “Perhaps we will find a new mechanism when returning to the ‘A small rooms’ of the four suits?”
The three of them looked at each other. The countdown in the floating box had reached the last minute.
Time was too tight. It was impossible to move through the four A small rooms in one minute. Old Mo glanced at the four cards of 5 of Hearts, 5 of Diamonds, 5 of Spades and 5 of Clubs on the current wall and took a deep breath. He quickly instructed, “We will split up and move! Chief Shao, move through the Hearts and Clubs room in the order of 5, 3, 8, 7, 9, A and 4 of Hearts and 6, 9, 2, 3 and A of Clubs. The order can’t be wrong.”
From the Hearts area to the Clubs area, they had to go through the ‘transmission station with four suits on the wall’. The path picked by Old Mo was the fastest path to reach A of Hearts and then A of Clubs!
Shao Qingge had transformed into the bug king and had first class climbing and jumping abilities. He could move along the stairs in a few seconds and save a lot of time. Meanwhile, the brush in Senior Gui’s hands could help Old Mo float in the air. They would split into two groups to each go through two A small rooms but time was still very tight.
Old Mo instructed, “After arriving at the A rooms, unlock the newly emerged mechanism!”
Shao Qingge looked cautious. “I will remember. Let’s go.”
The three of them nodded at each other and immediately dispersed. Shao Qingge took off the 5 of Hearts on the wall and went to the Hearts area. Old Mo and Gui Yuanzhang went in the direction of the A small room in the Spades area.
The countdown had reached 50 seconds when Shao Qingge came to the Hearts area.
He took the card keys at the fastest speed in the order that Old Mo mentioned. He ran quickly when he encountered a flat corridor and jumped directly on the handrails when he encountered stairs going up or down. Shao Qingge flew the entire way at the fastest speed and came to the A of Hearts room when there was 30 seconds left.
On the wall, there was a golden key in addition to the four original cards.
This should be the mechanism that led to the room of the two jokers!
Shao Qingge took down the key but nothing happened. He took down 4 of Hearts according to the order in his memory and moved to the Clubs area.
At the same time, Old Mo and Gui Yuanzhang came to the A room in the Spades area and found a key with silver light.
The countdown reached 18 seconds. Shao Qingge came to the A of Clubs room and picked up the silver key.
There were 15 seconds left. Old Mo and Gui Yuanzhang arrived at the last A of Diamonds room and picked up the golden key.
The moment when all four keys were picked, a light suddenly appeared in front of their eyes!
The keys in their hands spiraled up. The golden and silver lights intertwined and fused. After the two beams of light completely merged, the closed wall in the A small room had a crack appear.
The crack got bigger and bigger until a corridor leading to the depths of the labyrinth slowly appeared in front of everyone.
There were 10 seconds left!
The three of them sprinted into the corridor without hesitation like they were doing a 100m race.
The moment when the countdown reached 5 seconds, they saw a blank wall with the big and little joker placed in the middle. Shao Qingge took down the little joker while Gui Yuanzhang reached for the big joker.
[Congratulations to Shao Qingge, Mo Xuemin and Gui Yuanzhang for successfully clearing the card labyrinth in 59 minutes and 55 seconds.]
[The relay mission is completed. Please wait for the transfer.]
The backs of the three people were covered with sweat as they looked at the notifications in the floating box. This labyrinth was the most complex labyrinth they had ever encountered. Not only was it a 3D structure with complex paths but it also had a large number of teleportation points. If it wasn’t for Old Mo’s timely analysis of the 4 A small rooms and the room of the two jokers, they really would’ve failed the mission and died in the card labyrinth.
Shao Qingge couldn’t help sighing with relief. He inwardly thought that once they returned to the real world, he should take out a sum of money as investment and let Old Mo personally design and build a labyrinth-like building that specialized in the small rooms battle royale. There might be many customers.
On the other side, Old Mo let out a long breath. Chief Shao’s sense of direction was very poor. If he got the order wrong then he wouldn’t be able to reach the A room. However, Old Mo believed that Shao Qingge had always been reliable at critical moments. Facts proved that the strategy of splitting up just now was correct. Chief Shao might have a poor sense of direction but his memory was excellent.
5, 4, 3, 2, 1…
A countdown suddenly popped up in their eyes. It was probably the so-called ‘waiting for teleportation’.
The moment when the number reached 1, the vision of the three people darkened. Then it was followed by a dazzling light.
Shao Qingge covered his eyes with the back of his hands. Then once he got used to this type of light, he squinted and found there were many familiar faces all around them!
Ye Qi, Lu Jiuchuan, Yu Hanjiang, Long Sen, Qu Wanyue, Chu Huaying, Liu Qiao, Tang Ci and Xiao Lou…
The teammates saw each other and surprise appeared in their eyes.
The surrounding environment was very similar to the personal space except for the fact that the card wall was shattered, leaving only the big and small joker cards. The voices of the keepers weren’t heard so Xiao Lou took the initiative to say, “It seems that the relay mission has been completed and we are together again. Are you all okay?”
The group said they were fine.
Then everyone’s eyes focused on Xiao Lou’s forehead with the… bloody hole.
What is wrong with you, Professor Xiao?!
Yu Hanjiang’s expression darkened. He walked quickly to Xiao Lou and grabbed him by the wrist. “What’s wrong with your forehead?”
Xiao Lou coughed lightly and simply explained, “A hunter shot me…”
The surrounding teammates sucked in a breath.
Yu Hanjiang’s expression became extremely ugly when he heard these words. The fists by his side clenched hard and the veins on the back of his hand burst out, eager to tear the hunter into pieces.
Yu Hanjiang took a deep breath, calmed himself down and asked in a hoarse voice, “Your wound hasn’t been treated at all. Will it be infected?”
Xiao Lou faced these familiar deep eyes and his heart warmed. He softly reassured Yu Hanjiang, “It’s fine. I took the Witch’s antidote.”
Liu Qiao abruptly stood up. “The Witch’s antidote is only valid for one day. The bullet is still in Professor Xiao’s head. Once it becomes dark, Professor Xiao will die!”
Xiao Lou looked at Liu Qiao helplessly. “It isn’t as serious as you said. Don’t we still have Chief Shao and Xiao Ye?”
Yu Hanjiang immediately looked at the Shao Ye duo, “The bug king?”
Ye Qi had a bitter expression.”I used it previously and the skill is on cooldown.”
Shao Qingge told them, “I just transformed into the bug king for an hour. The current transformation state isn’t over and I can help Xiao Lou heal his injuries. It is just that the bugs can only heal the wound. They can’t take out the bullet. After all, the bugs can’t move things out of the body. Once the wound is healed, the bullet will be sealed in the brain. Isn’t this very dangerous?”
Ye Qi thought about it before coming up with an idea. “Why don’t we operate on Professor Xiao to remove the bullet while letting the bugs heal his wound. There is the blessing of the antidote and Professor Xiao can’t die during the day. We just need to take out the bullet before it is dark and let the bugs repair the brain tissue. Isn’t this good?”
Xiao Lou looked at Ye Qi and praised him. “This method is good.”
Unfortunately, no one in the team could do brain surgery…
Everyone looked at each other in a concerned manner. The current time seemed to be daylight and Xiao Lou was alive and well, but the bloody hole in his forehead was a bit scary. What if it suddenly turned dark? Wouldn’t Xiao Lou die immediately?
Tang Ci thought about it before speaking. “My company has developed a smart AI robot that can do surgery and my healing robot card is based on this principle. It is just that I don’t understand medical knowledge and there must be a professional surgeon to operate it in order to do basic surgery. Now there is Chief Shao’s bugs to repair the wound. Perhaps… I can try.”
Tang Ci’s implication was that Xiao Lou had taken the antidote and couldn’t die for a day. Even if the robot cut the wrong blood vessel or tissue, there was no need to worry about Xiao Lou dying on the operating table. They just needed to take out the bullet and the rest could be handed over to Chief Shao.
The team members all stared at Xiao Lou in a worried manner.
Xiao Lou himself looked relaxed as he smiled at Tang Ci. “I have taken the antidote and won’t die during the day. Let’s seize this time to do it.”
Yu Hanjiang frowned with worry. “Are you sure this method is feasible?”
Xiao Lou gently patted the back of his hand. “Don’t worry. The Card World isn’t like reality. Just take the bullet out and have the bugs heal the wound. It will be fine. Once the bullet is taken out, I won’t even have a trace of injury left on my head.”
This was true in theory but Yu Hanjiang still couldn’t help worrying.
Xiao Lou lay flat on a bed. Tang Ci took out the healing robot while the familiar bugs appeared on Chief Shao’s fingers. Yu Hanjiang sat beside the bed and gripped Xiao Lou’s hand gently.
Xiao Lou was aware of the familiar body temperature coming from his hand and opened his eyes to look at Yu Hanjiang and Lu Jiuchuan in a worried manner. “How did you and Brother Jiu get the bloodstains on your clothes?”
Yu Hanjiang whispered in reply, “It’s nothing. Just a slight skin trauma.”
Lu Jiuchuan explained, “The two of us were on a pre-mission and had to survive in the wild. Those are just scratches on the skin. Don’t worry, this is a very common thing for us. It is more important to take out your bullet first.”
Tang Ci said, “Professor Xiao, I will give you the anesthesia now. The robot will inject anesthesia so close your eyes.”
In the real world, a person who never studied medicine was operating a smart robot to open up Xiao Lou’s brain. Xiao Lou would’ve felt that this was the biggest joke!
Now he obediently closed his eyes.
He believed in his teammates.
Liu Qiao, Ye Qi and the others stood nervously around the bed. Yu Hanjiang held Xiao Lou’s hand while Tang Ci and Shao Qingge cooperated with the operation. Tang Ci didn’t understand medicine but the screen of the AI healing robot showed the image taken by the probe. He soon found the location of the bullet and had the robot take out the bullet.
Shao Qingge assisted in repairing the blood vessels and tissues that were damaged in the process.
In just a few minutes, the bloody hole on Xiao Lou’s forehead disappeared.
Ye Qi couldn’t help sighing. “The Card World is so magical. I don’t dare think about this in reality!”
The moment he finished speaking, a strange mechanical sound entered his ears.
Sunny and feminine—the two voices mixed together and echoed in the confined space. “Congratulations to Xiao Lou’s team on completing the relay mission. The Card World is so interesting. Do you still insist on leaving?”
It was the voice of the two jokers that they heard previously.
At this time, Xiao Lou had woken up. He sat up and said, “Of course, our original intention has never changed.”
The two voices said, “If you were hit by this bullet in your so-called real world, you would’ve died a long time ago.”
Xiao Lou smiled. “If it was the real world, I wouldn’t have been hit by this bullet at all.”
The team members secretly praised Xiao Lou’s rebuttal.
In the real world, everyone was busy with a happy life. Who would meet a hunter who shot at them indiscriminately? Who would see a corpse yesterday, be trapped in a labyrinth today and have to run for their lives the day after tomorrow?
Wasn’t it nice to live a quiet life? Everyone was already tired of this thrilling journey.
Besides, there were so many relatives waiting for them.
Lu Jiuchuan raised an eyebrow. “You said you would let us go back after completing the two jokers secret room. Aren’t you going to keep your promise?”
The two jokers said, “The rules of the Card World have never changed. You can indeed go back after passing through the two jokers room. However, you haven’t cleared it yet. You have only completed the four links of the relay mission. There is still the final challenge for everyone to complete.”
The group asked in unison, “What challenge?”
The two jokers declared, “Live to the end.”
The moment these words were uttered, a white light flashed in everyone’s eyes and it was followed by a loss of consciousness.
Proofreader: Paranoid Kitten & Fictional Reality