Chapter 575 – Secrets of the Card World
The first time Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang entered the Nightmare Room, they were in a labyrinth of mirrors.
The labyrinth had eight corners and nine mirrors on both sides of each corridor. The mirrors were full of their relatives but those relatives were like killing machines without emotions. Xiao Lou was chased by his relatives and had a psychological shadow.
Fortunately, he was calm enough to analyze that the structure of the labyrinth was the eight trigrams array of the Qimen Dunjia.
Now the mirror labyrinth was mentioned again and Yu Hanjiang couldn’t help recalling when he was chased by his parents. He frowned and wondered, “Are you sure the exit is in the mirror labyrinth?”
Xiao Lou answered, “I can’t be 100% sure. I’m just speculating.”
Lu Jiuchuan simply said, “No matter what your speculation, it is better to have a direction than to wander around aimlessly. Time is limited. We should go to the location of the mirror labyrinth first and you can explain it on the way.”
The other two agreed with the decision.
Chu Huaying asked, “Does Professor Xiao remember the location of the labyrinth?”
Xiao Lou said, “We walked through the door in the northeast direction when I came out of the labyrinth with Hanjiang and we moved away from the labyrinth. If we want to go back, we should head southwest. Fortunately, the half of the sky with the moon has the North Star to determine the direction.”
He found the North Star carefully and determined the southwest direction. “This side.”
The three people immediately followed him.
Lu Jiuchuan took a few steps before asking, “How did you come up with the idea that the exit is in the mirror labyrinth?”
Xiao Lou opened his mouth. “After the challengers are eliminated, they must choose whether to die completely or join the hunters and kill in exchange for survival time. According to the previous elimination rate of the secret rooms, the elimination rate of the World Weekly rooms alone is 80% and many people are killed in the novice levels. In the end, the number of people who choose to be hunters will be several times the number of challengers. Just by looking at the number of people, this isn’t fair at all.”
Xiao Lou stared up at the sky that was split in half with a moon and a sun. “However, looking at the current sky, the sun and moon are shining at the same time. The day represented by the sun isn’t completely swallowed up by the moon representing the night. This means that even if the two jokers are in different camps, they won’t let the little joker completely suppress the big joker.”
He paused for a moment and calculated a number. “Suppose that there are 80 million challengers in the Card Room. 20 million chose to die completely, 50 million became hunters and 10 million became challengers. This is such a terrible numbers gap and the challengers should’ve collapsed long ago. However, there are challengers still living well in the main cities and can even reach the two jokers secret room like us.”
Yu Hanjiang quickly understood his meaning. “In other words, no matter how strong the hunters are, the little king will have some rules to restrain them. No matter how small the number of challengers, the big king will leave a way for them to survive?”
Xiao Lou nodded. “This is the check and balance. Otherwise, the balance of the Card World will completely fall to a certain camp. If my guess is correct, we might’ve already seen the big and little jokers in the main city.”
Lu Jiuchuan was slightly stunned. “We’ve seen them? When?”
Xiao Lou asked him, “Do you remember the twin brothers wearing masks? The older brother opened a bar in the City of the Sun while the younger brother appeared in Liuxi Village.”
Yu Hanjiang was enlightened. “These two brothers behaved strangely. They wore masks similar to the hunters on their faces so we suspected they were related to the Hunter’s League. Then after a long investigation, we found nothing. The only thing we found was that there seemed to be contradictions between the two brothers. We sneaked into the bar and happened to see the older brother locking up the younger brother.”
Xiao Lou continued, “The older brother is White Fox on the forum and his real name is Bai Jinyu. He has been encouraging challengers to work hard to clear the instances and return to the original world. The whereabouts of the younger brother are mysterious and no information could be found. The even stranger thing was that the older brother opened the bar half a year ago but we met the younger brother two months ago in Liuxi Village, the novice secret room. Assuming that the two brothers became involved in the Card World through an accident, it is impossible for the older brother to go to the main city six months ago while the younger brother was in the novice village two months ago.”
Lu Jiuchuan frowned and thought about it for a moment before hitting his thigh. “You mean, this pair of brothers might be the incarnations of big and small jokers in the Card World?”
“If so, all the strange things can be explained.” Xiao Lou paused and looked at the strange sky while carefully analyzing it. “The sun and moon shine together. It is half day and half night. Contradictions coexist.”
“The older brother wears the mask of a hunter but has been helping the challengers. After the concert stampede, he gathered the captains of many challenger teams and encouraged them to continue to persevere and pass the secret rooms.”
“The younger brother is the leader of the hunters and can naturally ignore the time difference to enter and exit any secret room at will. His whereabouts are mysterious and no information can be found. Perhaps when he first went to Liuxi Village, it was a ‘private visit’ to observe us.”
Yu Hanjiang wondered, “Because we broke the world record and was noticed by him?”
“It is possible. A challenger who breaks the world record will naturally grow into someone with the strength to clear the instance in later stages. He was probably curious so he went to Liuxi Village to take a look. I remember that he directly took away the gem we worked so hard to obtain but Mr Tang couldn’t find any card related to ‘fetching items through the air’ at all.”
Chu Huaying listened to Xiao Lou’s speculation. The more she heard, the more she felt it made sense.
She frowned and said, “It is impossible to be unable to find out the origin of the younger brother through Mr Tang’s means. It indicates there is something wrong with the origin of this person. The older brother opened a bar in the City of the Sun. He had the White Fox registration ID on the challenger forum but he didn’t leave any team related messages. Without a team, how did he get all the helpful information to challenge the low level secret rooms?”
The mysterious twin brothers behaved strangely and everyone had been wondering about their position. Helping the challengers or helping the hunters? Now hearing Xiao Lou’s explanation, the three team members felt enlightened.
The older brother was helping the challengers while the younger brother was helping the hunters!
The twins were the incarnations of the two jokers. Their team actually met them in the main cities but didn’t realize it.
It wasn’t known if it was because Xiao Lou’s reasoning was correct but a gust of wind suddenly blew from the distance. The moon and sun in the sky were blocked by dark clouds at the same time. Fortunately, the dark clouds quickly dissipated. Xiao Lou continued to head south-west while saying softly, “In the same way, it can be inferred that the four keepers are actually divided into two camps.”
Yu Hanjiang closely followed his thoughts. “The red Hearts and Diamonds are inclined to the big joker while the black Spades and Clubs are inclined to the little joker?”
Lu Jiuchuan thought about it and nodded. “It seems to be the case. The worlds of Hearts and Diamonds are orderly, especially Hearts. The murderers might be terrifying but they still abide by the basic rule of ‘killing to survive’ and can’t act recklessly. Meanwhile, we play the role of police officers to catch the criminals. In the Diamonds labyrinth, we just need to crack the labyrinth and we can find an exit.”
Chu Huaying followed up. “On the contrary, Spades and Clubs don’t have rules at all. If you lose the challenge game in Clubs, you will die. Meanwhile, the Spade survival mode is full of pits. These two types of secret rooms are also the areas where hunters appear in large numbers. We encountered 10 times the number of hunters in J of Clubs!”
The four keepers and two jokers were divided into two camps. Hearts, Diamonds and the big joker stood on one side while Spades, Clubs and the little king stood on the other side. In the same way, all the playing cards in the deck were divided between red and black.
The challengers’ camp on the red side obeyed the rules of the human world and the final reward was to return to the human world.
The black hunter camp was a place where the strong survived. There was no need to pay attention to the rules and there was no punishment for killing people. They could do whatever was necessary to survive so the final reward was immortality in the Card World.
The hunter mystery that puzzled them for so long could be explained in this way.
Lu Jiuchuan gave Xiao Lou a thumbs up and expressed his great admiration. “It is worthy of Professor Xiao. You can actually deduce the core secret of the Card World. The sun and moon shining together originally represents this!”
Chu Huaying wondered, “Is your speculation about the exit of the Nightmare Room being in the mirror labyrinth also based on this reasoning?”
Xiao Lou nodded. “This is my guess. A large number of our relatives might appear in the mirror labyrinth to attack us but isn’t our initial obsession to return to the real world related to our relatives?”
Yu Hanjiang agreed. “Yes, this is a double edged sword and is in line with the contradictory characteristics of the big and little jokers. Our loved ones will attack us but our intention to leave the Card World is for our loved ones. Therefore, the exit must be in the mirror labyrinth. We need to kill these illusions of our loved ones with our own hands and escape the labyrinth in order to get the real ‘rebirth’!”
Xiao Lou concluded, “The real exit of the Nightmare Room is likely to be the Death Door, not the Life Door.”
Without destruction, there was no construction.
To die and then to live.