Xiao Lou’s mood was complicated after watching Li Mo and Cheng Mu’s plot card. He didn’t know what to say as he held his breath and put the two plot cards back in the card pack. Yu Hanjiang also didn’t speak and the personal space suddenly became very quiet.
Moments later, A of Hearts broke the silence. “According to the old rules, you can rest after clearing the Hearts secret room. The rest time given to you is still eight hours. You can now bathe and sleep. At 8 o’clock in the morning, the alarm clock will wake you up on time. Then go to the card wall to draw the next card. I won’t accompany you. Goodbye.”
Xiao Lou nodded at her. “Okay, goodbye.”
A of Hearts disappeared and Xiao Lou glanced at Yu Hanjiang. “Group Leader Yu, rest for a while.”
They might’ve slept on the train these days but they had been thinking about the case and didn’t sleep well. The kindest keeper, A of Hearts had given them a simple bathroom and two single beds. Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou took a bath and lay down on the beds.
Xiao Lou remembered the plot cards and couldn’t sleep. Yu Hanjiang also couldn’t sleep so the two of them simply chatted.
Yu Hanjiang said, “The Hearts and Spades rooms are like two separate worlds.”
Xiao Lou soon understood what he meant. “Group Leader Yu means that the Hearts room has strict rules. The murderer might break the laws but they will be arrested and sentence. However, in the Spades secret room, the challengers can freely massacre the free people to clear the instance?”
Yu Hanjiang nodded and whispered. “Of the four keepers, Hearts is the most principled. Maple Forest High School’s murderer, Zhang Qing was finally sentenced to death and on the train, the two killers were arrested. In comparison, 3 of Spades had a free person kill challengers while challengers massacred the indigenous people. One challenger even directly released the zombie virus in the square.”
Xiao Lou carefully pondered on it for a moment. “Perhaps A of Hearts is in charge of an orderly world where people will abide by morality, regulations and live a normal life. Meanwhile, A of Spades is in charge of apocalyptic worlds like Zombie Town and Financial Crisis. In that environment, people will naturally defy the shackles of morality, law and social rules in order to survive, exposing the dark side of human nature.”
The murders in the Hearts room might be bloody but the final result always gave people hope and warmth. The Spades world was very dark and people could do anything to survive. Killing here wouldn’t be punished. The rules of the two types of secret rooms were completely different.
Yu Hanjiang frowned. “It seems that the City of the Sun and the City of the Moon might also be an orderly world. The tour group and female group are from the City of the Sun while the City of the Moon is holding a concert. The two main cities of the free people should be a normal life.”
Xiao Lou speculated, “If the challengers go to the main cities and find that the world is beautiful, they will gradually be integrated into the world and not want to go back? For example, they can’t afford a house in reality but here they can buy a big villa after making money in the Clubs room. In reality, they can’t find a partner but here they are married and have children. Will their will to return gradually dissipate and they will lose motivation to leave the Card World?”
Yu Hanjiang nodded, his expression also a bit ugly. “Then after the challengers go to the main city, they don’t continue to break through. They are used to life here and don’t want to take risks.”
Once the challenger’s will was lost, their belief in ‘going back’ would become less intense. Clearing the SS-grade secret rooms was no longer important to them. The keepers stated that if they wanted to go back, they had to clear the SS-grade difficulty room. They didn’t say that all challengers had to go to the top-grade secret rooms.
Xiao Lou had a headache. “If this is the case, I can understand why no one cleared it to the end out of more than 80 million challengers.”
Yu Hanjiang was silent for a moment before firmly stating, “Rest assured, we must go back. Regardless if this world is good or bad, it is as unreal as a dream. If we are assimilated here for a long time, perhaps we will gradually lose our humanity.”
“That’s right.” Xiao Lou smiled. “Also, there is no need to be too pessimistic. The main city will definitely have a lot of people like us who are determined to go back. Those who can clear the fourth level aren’t weak and we might be able to find some more powerful partners.”
“I hope so,” Yu Hanjiang’s low voice rang out. “Rest first and then we will go to Diamonds.”
The outside of the personal space completely turned to night. Sleepiness came and Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang soon fell asleep. It was a night without dreams.
The alarm clock woke them up at 8 o’clock on time. The two people quickly washed up and walked to the card wall. They pulled out the next card, 4 of Diamonds. There was the familiar vertigo and they opened their eyes in a strange space.
It was a closed chamber with an area of around four square metes. The floors were covered with a white patterned marble and there was a stone table directly in front of them. The table contained a balance and next to it was a delicate wooden box.
The next moment, a prompt appeared on the suspension boxes of the two people.
[Welcome Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang to the 3 of DIamonds secret room, Balanced World.
Please unlock the mechanisms of the secret room, find the exit and escape within 30 minutes. It will be a failure if the time limit is exceeded.
The chamber doesn’t contain any hidden mechanisms and there is only one exit for the secret room. I wish the two of you good luck.]
Once the prompt appeared, a clock showed up above their heads. The time was currently pointing to 8 o’clock in the morning and the second hand started to tick. There was a red mark at 8:30, meaning they would fail if they didn’t leave the secret room by 8:30.
The mechanisms secret room was the room that Yu Hanjiang was worst at. He looked at the clock and followed Xiao Lou. “Is the mechanism in this room the balance on the table?”
Xiao Lou moved first and opened the delicate wooden box. He saw some fingernail-sized silver metal weights. They were labelled 1g, 2g, 3g, 4g, 5g, 6g, 7g and 8g.
Xiao Lou measured them with his hand and the weight was different. He smiled and said, “Balanced World, the mechanisms are controlled by gravity. The moment the required weight was put on, the door to the room should open.”
He looked down at the number on the weights. “From 1g to 8g, there are a total of eight weights. If we put 2 and 3 while putting 1 and 4 on the other side, it will add up to 5g… but I don’t think it will be that simple. It is more likely that we have to use all eight weights and make the weights on both sides of the balance exactly equal. This is the correct situation.”
Yu Hanjiang might by a physical person but he still knew how to use a balance.
The balance in physics was similar to the most primitive scale. Once the balance was in a completely horizontal position, it proved that the weight on both sides was equal. All the weights would add up to the weight of the object.
As Professor Xiao said, the secret room had eight weights and all eight had to be used. Otherwise, it was too easy to put 2+3 on one side and 1+4 on the other side. Placing eight weights that ranged from 1g to 8g, how to make it completely balanced?
Yu Hanjiang’s mind quickly calculated it but before he could finish, Xiao Lou stepped forward and seriously put the 2g, 4g, 5g and 7g weights on the left and the 1g, 3g, 6g and 8g weights on the right.
The sum of the weights on the left side of the balance was 18g and the sum of the weights on the right side was 18 grams.
1+8, 2+7, 3+6 and 4+5 added up to 9g. Four on one side meant it had to add up to 18g. Or he could put 1, 2, 3,5, 7 on one side and 4, 6, 8 on the other side and it would be 18g. There were many solutions to this question. As long as the balance of the weight on both sides was the same, this gravity mechanism could easily be unlocked.
The first mechanism was so simple and it was probably to allow the challengers to understand the principle of ‘balance.’ There was a slight wobble before the balance was perfectly balanced. The pointer aimed at the middle red part of the scale and the stone wall in front of the table opened up enough to let them pass side by side.
Xiao Lou’s lit up. “It is complete.”
Yu Hanjiang, “……”
Once again, Professor Xiao had given the answer while he was still examining the question. Yu Hanjiang decided to give up on thinking. In any case, he had already laid down to win once in a Diamonds room. Today, continuing to lie down to win was good.
After leaving the first chamber, a stone wall was raised in front of the two men and a straight channel appeared on the left and right sides respectively.
Xiao Lou first went to the left and saw a four square metres secret room. There was a balance on the table but this time, the chips in the box weren’t weights marked with grams but cubes with Chinese characters.
They were 5cm × 5cm × 5cm cubes with 12 Chinese characters written on them.
Xiang, sha, tian, fei, man, lang, zhe, ting, yuan, gu, tao and fang.
Yu Hanjiang felt that these characters were familiar and should be able to form a poem. Xiao Lou quickly thought about it and said, “The 12 characters combined just happen to form four words.”
He took the characters from the wooden box, rearranged them and sorted out the four words.
Xiang fei yuan, zheng gu tian, lang tao sha and man ting fang.
Yu Hanjiang looked at them and wondered, “What is the relationship between these characters and weight? These character cubes are the same size and their weight should be around the same?”
Xiao Lou thought carefully, picking up the complicated ‘zhe (鹧) character and the simple ‘tian (天)’ character. He weighted them respectively and said, “The gap is very small but the complicated character is definitely heavier than the simple character. The weight should be related to the number of strokes.”
He verified it by picking up ‘he (和) and ‘tian (天)’ to compare. The former was significantly heavier than the latter. Xiao Lou confirmed his idea and pointed to the table. “Group Leader Yu, can I trouble you to count the strokes of these six characters while I will count the remaining six.”
Yu Hanjiang nodded and quickly wrote on the palm of his hand. As he wrote, he said, “Zhe (鹧) has 16 strokes, ‘gu (鸪)’ has 10 strokes, ‘tian (天) has 4 strokes, ‘lang (浪)’ has 10 strokes, ‘tao (淘)’ has 11 strokes and ‘sha (沙)’ has 7.”
Xiao Lou said, “Zhe gu tian adds up to 30 strokes, lang tao sha is 28 strokes, xiang fei yuan is 27 strokes, man ting fang is 29 strokes. 30 and 27 together, 28 and 29 together, the left and right sides happen to be 57. Let’s try it.”
The two people quickly put the 30 strokes ‘zhe gu tian’ and the 27 strokes ‘xiang fei yuan’ on the left side of the balance and the 28 strokes ‘lang tao sha’ and the 29 strokes ‘man ting fang’ on the right side.
Sure enough, there was a moment of swinging before the pointer of the balance pointed to the middle, proving that the two people had analyzed it correctly.
Yu Hanjiang gave Xiao Lou a thumbs up in his heart.
This question wasn’t too difficult. First, put the disordered characters into words and then analyze the strokes of the words, allowing them to find a balance point. The strokes of the four words should add up to 30, 29, 28 and 27. The combination of 30 and 27 and 29 and 28 made it completely equal on both sides.
The mechanisms of the 4 of Diamonds room were about balance. Since the theme of the challenge was ‘balanced world’, they could unlock the mechanism as long as they found this balance.
The mechanism of the room on the left side was unlocked but the wall in front of them didn’t change. There was just a rumbling sound like the wall had rotated somewhere.
Xiaolou and Yu Hanjiang quickly turned back.
They went half-way and saw a stone door appearing on the wall that had just been blocked. However, the door was still closed. Xiao Lou talked while walking, “The door should open once we release the mechanism on the right side.”
Yu Hanjiang nodded and quickly followed him.
The two men quickly walked to the end of the right corridor. It was a small room of four square metres and it also had a table with a balance and box on the table. Rather than numbers or characters, the box contained several strange graphic figures.
Xiao Lou picked up these geometric figures and examined them carefully. “A square, diamond, triangle… there are only two edge lengths, 5cm and 10cm. Assuming that the 5cm segment weighs 5g and the 10 cm segment weights 10g, we just need to line up the segments on the scale to make up the same number.”
Yu Hanjiang also felt this was particularly simple. He quickly cooperated with Professor Xiao to convert several graphic segments.
The rectangle was 10cm long and 5cm wide. The weight could be converted to 10+5+10+5 = 30g.
The diamond and square had four sides 5cm long and the weight was converted to 20g.
The two equilateral triangles had three sides 5cm long and the weight was 15g.
Xiao Lou put the rectangle and square on the left side of the balance and the diamond and two equilateral triangles on the right side. The weights on the left and right sides were 50g and the pointed of the balance pointed precisely at the middle
There was the sound of the wall opening and Xiao Lou smiled. “It was successful.”
Yu Hanjiang continued to follow behind Xiao Lou… it was really comfortable to lie down and win.
The two turned back to the corridor. The door in the corridor had really opened. Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang glanced at each other and entered the door. The moment they walked in, the stone door behind them suddenly closed. The two men were trapped in a closed chamber.
Xiao Lou quickly looked around. This room was spacious and was around 20 square metres. The ground and surrounding walls were the same white patterned marble brick. Unlike other rooms which had the table and balance, this room was empty and there were no tools or mechanisms.
The moment the two men entered the room, two huge circular stones around 2 metres in diameter suddenly rose from the ground. One stone was red and the other blue, with scales similar to the balance on them.
Xiao Lou went to the stones to carefully observe. Yu Hanjiang followed and said, “It seems that if we want to leave this room, we can only rely on these two big stones. The scale on them should also be about weight?”
Xiao Lou nodded. “This room is called Balanced World. The previous three mechanisms were encountered were all about balance. First, there were the numbers. Second, there were the Chinese characters and third, there were the geometric figures. The four one… there is nothing. Are we meant to stand on it?”
Yu Hanjiang stated, “Try it.”
He walked over to stand on the blue stone. The pointer at his feet immediately spun and eventually stopped at 75kg. Xiao Lou also moved to stand on the red stone and the pointer at his feet was fixed to 65kg.
The four walls didn’t respond and the room was so quiet that a needle dropping would be audible. The two people glanced at each other.
Xiao Lou spoke helplessly. “We aren’t the same weight and the door won’t open.”
Yu Hanjiang looked over and asked, “Professor Xiao, are you only 65kg? This is a bit thin for a height of 1.8 metres. You should eat more later.”
Xiao Lou laughed. “I don’t get fat when I eat, it is probably a physical problem.” Yu Hanjiang was very strong. He was 1.8 metres tall and 75kg. He wasn’t fat or thin, he was muscular.
Yu Hanjiang looked at the scale under his feet and frowned. “I am heavier than you and there is nothing else in the room. Or… should I take off my clothes for you to wear?”
Xiao Lou shook his head. “The weight of your clothes won’t reach 10kg. It shouldn’t be this way. If a man and a woman enter this chamber, the weight gap will be even greater. There would be no way to balance this electronic scale just based on weight and clothing.”
In the empty room, there were no tools apart from the challengers. How to balance the scales? Xiao Lou touched his chin and fell into thought.