Chapter 561 – The Nightmare Room
Xiao Lou opened his eyes and found himself in a dim corridor with a mirror at the end of the corridor. He struggled to get up and took two steps forward. Then he clearly saw the person in the mirror.
The man’s face was as pale as paper. His lips were dry and cracked several times. His hair was disheveled like weeds and his clothes were so stained with yellow sand that the original color could hardly be distinguished. There was a large bloodstain on his chest.
Xiao Lou would’ve hardly recognized his messed up self if it wasn’t for the fact that the person in the mirror also walked at the same time as Xiao Lou walked.
Xiao Lou lightly touched his bleeding chest. The wound seemed to be healing but the cold feeling of the blade cutting through his body was still clearly engraved in his memory.
The scene of Liu Qiao stabbing his heart with a knife flashed in his mind again.
He absolutely didn’t believe that Liu Qiao would kill him. There must be something wrong…
Xiao Lou didn’t have time to think about it when he heard a familiar mechanical voice in his ears.
[Welcome to the Nightmare Room.]
[This is your last chance. Once you are eliminated in the Nightmare Room, you will be completely obliterated.]
This voice was heard when entering the two jokers’ secret room. One was mild and clear while the other was deep and cold. The two voices formed a peculiar reverberation. They were the voices of the rulers of the card world, the two jokers.
This was the Nightmare Room. Did this mean he died in the two jokers secret room?
He was suddenly attacked by Liu Qiao and didn’t have time to react at all. Therefore, he didn’t have time to activate the team-limited resurrection card. Liu Qiao’s knife killed him in one blow. It was inevitable that he was sent to the Nightmare Room.
Early on, the keepers told him that challengers who failed to clear a level would enter the Nightmare Room. This was several times more difficult than the normal secret rooms and very few people could survive the Nightmare Room.
Ye Qi was originally eliminated from 3 of Spades and survived for seven days in the Nightmare Room by eating leaves. Brother Jiu, Tang Ci, Chu Huaying and Senior Gui were eliminated in J of Clubs and entered the Nightmare Room. They were seriously injured and Tang Ci even lost both legs there.
This time, it was the Nightmare Room of the two jokers. The difficulty would be even higher than what his teammates encountered. It wasn’t known if he could survive. Xiao Lou clenched his fists hard and quickly regained his composure. No matter what he encounters, he must first remain calm.
At this moment, the mirror reflecting Xiao Lou’s shadow at the end of the corridor suddenly turned 180 degrees, revealing a door.
The inside of the door was pitch black but this was the only way to go right now. It was the way to the Nightmare Room.
Xiao Lou didn’t hesitate and stepped inside.
There was a creaking sound of an iron door and the sound was particularly harsh in the dark environment.
Xiao Lou’s Night Pearl had been invalidated after he used it before. Now he had only one lighting card left on him. It was the lantern that he originally obtained from the Shangyuan Lantern Festival instance.
The lantern could light up an area of 100 square meters but it would go out after the candle was burned up.
One candle could burn all night. Xiao Lou didn’t hesitate and directly took out the lantern. He had to know his current environment in order to find a way to escape.
Yet the moment he took out the lantern to illuminate the surroundings, Xiao Lou suddenly froze.
This was a closed room. Xiao Lou stood in the center of the room and there were four doors around him. Each door had a mirror. The moment the lantern lit up, the images in the mirrors were presented clearly to him.
The mirror directly in front of him contained his mother. The woman was smiling and her gentle eyes were watching him.
Xiao Lou hurriedly turned and looked behind him.
The mirror behind him contained his father, who looked stern and stared at him intently.
His left and right sides contained his cousins who loved to cling to him since childhood.
There was a lively and cheerful girl with a bright smile on her face. She looked at him with admiration like a little fangirl. There was his introverted and shy cousin who looked worried. Her cheeks were a bit red when looking at him.
The appearance and demeanor of these people were too real. It was as if they had really appeared in front of him.
Xiao Lou saw his familiar relatives in the mirrors and his heart trembled slightly. He stepped forward with the lantern and pushed open the door where his mother appeared in the mirror.
The next moment, he entered a corridor that stretched out almost endlessly.
There were countless doors in the corridor and each door had a mirror. Every time Xiao Lou took a step forward, the mirror next to him would show some scenes like a movie. The woman in the scene was either gently smiling, had a sad face or was frowning as she thought about things. There were all types of vivid expressions like Xiao Lou was really seeing his mother.
Xiao Lou might’ve rarely mentioned his family since entering the Card World but he always had them buried deep in his heart. His family was the reason he insisted on returning to the real world. His parents worked hard to raise him and he didn’t have time to fulfill his filial piety. He couldn’t let these white-haired people send away his black-haired self.
Now seeing his kind and familiar mother in the mirror and thinking of the woman in the real world who cried bitterly because of her son’s car accident, Xiao Lou’s heart ached.
However, he clearly knew that these were illusions in front of him. He couldn’t indulge in the illusions of the mirrors.
He held the lantern and forced himself to ignore the illusions in the mirrors as he walked forward quickly.
The moment he walked to the corner, the expressions of his ‘mother’ in all the mirrors changed abruptly. The vivid expressions gradually distorted and the originally gentle eyes became cold and fierce. They stared at Xiao Lou like poisonous snakes as she reached out from the mirror to grab Xiao Lou’s neck.
Xiao Lou took a deep breath and hurriedly activated the Gale shoes, running forward quickly.
However, more and more women attacked him with his mother’s face. They were like the clones made in batches in the interstellar world. Xiao Lou felt numb as he fled. Thanks to the help of the Galeshoes, he barely shook off these beings. He found with difficulty a fork in the road ahead and he pushed open a door.
To make matters worse, countless ‘fathers’ appeared throughout the corridor.
Just like before, his father’s expression was either serious or dignified. There were few smiles. Then the moment they saw Xiao Lou, all the people in the mirrors became cold and sharp like emotionless machines.
They stepped out of the mirrors and frantically attacked Xiao Lou!
Xiao Lou didn’t have too many attack cards in hand and he already consumed too many cards before. He could only use all his strength to escape.
This entire labyrinth was full of mirrors and it was impossible to distinguish the direction at all.
Xiao Lou wore the acceleration shoes and sprinted at a fast speed to avoid their attacks. The people behind him increased more and more. In addition to his parents and cousins that he had seen before, there were his grandfathers, grandmothers, colleagues, students, classmates and teachers…
Almost all the faces he remembered were vividly recreated in this mirror labyrinth.
All those he was familiar with attacked him with expressionless faces. Imagine if one day, your parents, siblings and close friends started to attack you en masse, each one staring at you coldly and wanting to kill you…
Such a scene could easily make people emotionally broken.
However, Xiao Lou didn’t collapse.
He might be frantically running for his life but he still maintained his last shred of reason.
He memorized the path as he ran.
The paths in the mirror labyrinth were all one-way corners and there were no forks in the road. Moreover, the turns aren’t common 90 degree right angle turns. The angle between the two roads was more like an obtuse angle of around 135 degrees.
From the corridor where he first met the mirror images of his mother to the time when he saw the mirror images of his mother again, he went around in a large circle and turned eight corners.
The figure formed by 8 obtuse angles of 135 degrees…
Looking down at it from a high altitude, it should be a labyrinth similar to the Qimen Dunjia. The terrain of the entire labyrinth was like an eight trigrams array. (ancient form of divination. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qimen_Dunjia)
The mirrors projected his memory and the people in his memory attacked him to torture his spirit. The eight trigrams labyrinth confused his judgment of direction and as he continued to move, he would circle the labyrinth and be unable to escape no matter how he moved.
Then once he was emotionally broke, he would die at the hands of one of his dearest people.
The difficulty of the Nightmare Room truly didn’t give people a way to live!
If Xiao Lou hadn’t always remained calm and quickly judged the terrain of the labyrinth, he definitely wouldn’t have been able to escape this labyrinth.
Xiao Lou immediately used a card. It was the invisibility cloak.
This card had accompanied him through many secret rooms. Now due to the rule of the two jokers secret room, it would be invalidated the moment it was used. Still, there was no way. He had to use the time given by the cloak to find the exit of the labyrinth as soon as possible.
After becoming invisible, those who pursued him immediately lose their targets. The lantern was covered by Xiao Lou’s cloak and darkness returned to the surrounding area.
Xiao Lou continued to explore the way forward using his memory.
He remembered that when he took Liu Qiao and Ye Qi to the hospital, he was walking north when he saw the reflection of his grandmother in the corridor. In this labyrinth, he saw his grandmother in the corridor at the fifth corner. If the background of the Nightmare Room and normal rooms were the same, the direction represented by the fifth corridor must be due north.
In the eight doors of the Dunjia algorithm, the eight doors included the three positive doors of open, rest and life, the three negative doors of death, hurt and fear and the two neutral doors of scenery and delusion. Xiao Lou had studied the Qimen Dunjia calculations when playing escape rooms. He clearly remembered that the life door belonged to the earth element of the five elements and it was located in the Gen Palace in the northeast. After the beginning of spring, all things recovered and were born so it was named the Life Door.
The fifth corridor was due north. North was up, south was down, west was left and east was right. The road close to the right side of the fifth corridor was the northeast direction representing the Life Door.
Xiao Lou relied on his memory and took advantage of the invisibility time to quickly arrive at the corridor representing the northeast direction.
There were many mirrors in the corridor. Xiao Lou counted the number of mirrors and found the middle mirror pointing to the northeast. He no longer hesitated as he stepped forward and pushed with force.
Sure enough, the mirror was pushed open.
His analysis was correct!
Xiao Lou was overjoyed and hurriedly walked into the path behind the mirror.
There was still darkness in front of him. He wore a cloak and walked a dozen steps. Suddenly, a soft light appeared in the corridor ahead. It was exactly the same as the light of a lantern. Xiao Lou walked toward the light and saw a familiar face the moment he walked around the corner.
It was Yu Hanjiang!
He was holding a black submachine gun in his hand. His body was covered with blood and his eyes were bloodshot. The aura around him was fierce and he was like a devil who returned from hell!
Xiao Lou instantly recognized that this was Yu Hanjiang himself but he feared that Yu Hanjiang would mistakenly think he was an illusion and attack him. Xiao Lou didn’t remove the invisibility cloak and took advantage of the invisibility time to walk to Yu Hanjiang’s side.
Yu Hanjiang was alert and found a gust of wind blowing next to him. He had just raised his gun when he heard a familiar voice in his ear. “Hanjiang, it’s me.”
Complicated emotions surged in Yu Hanjiang’s bloodshot eyes and the finger holding the trigger trembled slightly.
Xiao Lou reached out, covered the back of his hand and said softly, “I am Xiao Lou.”
The temperature coming from the back of his hand was slightly cool and gradually calmed Yu Hanjiang’s mind that was on the verge of manic. He might not be able to see the other person but the simple physical contact, familiar body temperature and touch made Yu Hanjiang instantly sure that the person next to him was Xiao Lou.
Yu Hanjiang squeezed the other person’s hand and asked in a low voice, “Why are you in the Nightmare Room?”
Xiao Lou smiled bitterly. “We were both eliminated.”
Yu Hanjiang’s expression was extremely ugly. “Is it because my disease wasn’t cured and I infected you?”
Xiao Lou was frightened. It seemed that Yu Hanjiang had a high fever at the time and didn’t know what happened. He subconsciously thought that he was seriously ill and infected Xiao Lou.
Xiao Lou shook his head and replied softly, “It was Liu Qiao who did it.”
Yu Hanjiang raised an eyebrow with surprise. “What are you talking about? Liu Qiao?”
“Yes, Liu Qiao killed me and then she killed you, who I was carrying in my pocket after transforming you into a small size. You had a high fever that didn’t go away”
Yu Hanjiang, “……”
Xiao Lou explained, “This matter is very strange. I don’t believe that Xiao Liu will suddenly change her personality and kill us. It is very likely that she was a hunter. I clearly remember that she and Ye Qi disappeared into the labyrinth at the same time. I asked their location and Ye Qi replied immediately but Liu Qiao only replied after a few seconds. I think an accident might’ve happened during that short period of time.”
Yu Hanjiang hadn’t known what happened in the labyrinth. Now he listened to Xiao Lou’s words and his frown became deeper.
Xiao Lou paused before calmly saying, “No matter what, we have to find a way to survive the Nightmare Room. It is only in this way that we can return to the side of our teammates. The thing I’m worried about is that the hunter who replaced Liu Qiao will continue to kill others. Liu Qiao herself might also be in danger.”
Yu Hanjiang simply nodded. “Yes, let’s leave the Nightmare room first.”
TL: The Qimen Dunjia divination is a bit complicated. I will link the source I used for this chapter but you can also google it if you want to read up on it more.
Partially proofread: Fictional Reality