Chapter 381 - Time
For the mechanism of the hell of the tree of knives, Tang Ci had tested it just now with mechanical ants and drones. No matter whether it was the ants crawling on the ground or the drones flying in the air, they could see with their own eyes that the iron tree would immediately release a vine-like iron rope at a speed that couldn’t be distinguished with the naked eye. It would entangle around their prey and hang it upside down from the tree.
The hunter hanging at the top of the tree must’ve been too careless. She directly entered the sensing range of the iron tree and was killed in seconds.
Xiao Lou proposed to use the invisibility cloak because it could hide their bodies and the sounds they made. This card had been repeatedly used in the other secret rooms. After wearing it, they would become invisible and the sound of their footsteps would disappear...
The only thing that didn’t go away was touch.
They could still bump into each other while wearing the invisibility cloak. This proved that the cloak made them disappear from vision and hearing but they still existed. If they stepped on the floor with the cloak then it would trigger the pressing mechanism on the floor.
Therefore, the invisibility cloak and light footwork skill must be used at the same time.
Xiao Lou glanced at Yu Hanjiang. “Put on the invisibility cloak and then use the Light as a Swallow card to fly over. It is like a mass of air passing in front of the iron tree, so it shouldn’t trigger the sensing mechanism.”
Tang Ci felt this statement was reasonable so he summoned a drone again. “We will experiment with my drone. Let it wear the invisibility cloak and see if it can pass.”
The invisibility cloak was a bonus card for 3 of Hearts. Almost everyone had one and it lasted for 30 minutes. If necessary, two people could share one. Currently, Tang Ci and Liu Qiao were in the pockets of their teammates. If their teammates wore the invisibility cloak then they would also be invisible.
Tang Ci didn’t need to use his invisibility cloak so he put it on the drone to do experiments. He controlled the drone and flew it around the iron tree. Tang Ci could sense the location of the drone but the drone couldn’t be seen.
Moments later, the drone returned. Tang Ci took off the invisibility cloak and nodded at Xiao Lou. “Professor Xiao is right. The mechanism relies on vision, sound and stepping for an all-round sensor. It is only when we put on the invisibility cloak and fly past that it won’t trigger the attack of this big iron tree.”
How to fly over? Yu Hanjiang had Light as a Swallow and could move with Xiao Lou. Liu Qiao also had Light as a Swallow and this could be used by Old Mo. In any case, she was in Old Mo’s pocket and would be safe if Old Mo was safe.
Yu Hanjiang glanced at his brother. “Brother, do you have a flying card?”
Lu Jiuchuan nodded and summoned the vermilion bird directly. They saw a large burning bird suddenly spread out its wings in the air. Its entire body was covered with gorgeous red feathers and it made the eyes of the team members widen.
Xiao Lou observed it. “This is a divine beast? The ability is very powerful, right?”
Lu Jiuchuan answered, “The vermilion bird’s divine fire can create a wide range of flames that can burn down an entire forest.”
Xiao Lou couldn’t help thinking of something. Brother Jiu had such a strong fire attack card. If he had entered the bugs secret room then he could’ve directly set fire to the bugs and easily passed the instance. However, the A-grade secret rooms were all customized according to the team and Lu Jiuchuan’s experience definitely wouldn’t be a bug infection.
The body of the vermilion bird was five meters long and three meters wide. Fortunately, the hell of the tree of knives was a relatively wide space and it could fly through it. If it met a narrow passage like the scissors formation just now, the vermilion bird wouldn’t have been able to get through.
However, could the invisibility cloak cover the vermilion bird?
Xiao Lou was about to ask when Lu Jiuchuan explained, “The vermilion bird might be big but it has already recognized its owner. Its fate is connected to me and it will be affected by me. If I am invisible then it will be invisible.”
Yu Hanjiang glanced at his brother’s arm. “If you are injured, will it also be injured?”
Lu Jiuchuan gently touched its wings and laughed. “Yes, fortunately my wound has been wrapped up so it can still fly.”
Now everyone had the tools to pass so Xiao Lou’s method could naturally be implemented.
Yu Hanjiang held Xiao Lou’s waist. The two of them activated the invisibility cloak at the same time and flew past directly with the Light as a Swallow card.
Old Mo used Liu Qiao’s card and Lu Jiuchuan rode the vermilion bird. In a flash, the six people left the range of the iron tree. They looked back but the iron tree behind them didn’t move. It couldn’t see, hear or feel them so it couldn’t be helped.
Xiao Lou sighed with relief. “Let’s move on.”
The body of the hunter hanging from the iron tree made everyone a bit uneasy. As Xiao Lou walked, he spoke to Ye Qi through Heart has a Tacit Exchange of Romantic Feelings. “On your side, have you found any traces of hunters?”
“No. We’ve had a smooth journey. It was full of melodious Sanskrit sounds and there are many pictures of Bodhisattvas on the walls.”
At this point, Ye Qi’s group of six had entered a very strange room. The area of the room was around the size of a classroom in high school. On the four walls, there were four colorful and lifelike murals. They were yellow, white, red and green.
Ye Qi didn’t understand Buddhism but it could be seen that the four murals on the wall should be Bodhisattvas. Sure enough, Gui Yuanzhang said, “These four are the four great Bodhisattvas in Buddhism.”
He looked at the first wall and explained to his teammates. “The one wearing the earthy yellow clothing and riding an old elephant is Samantabhadra. The background of this painting is Mount Emei, the temple of Samantabhadra who symbolizes worthiness.”
“The one dressed in red and holding the staff in his hand is Kṣitigarbha. Mount Jiuhua is the background and it represents vows.”
“The one dressed in white and holding the jade vase is Guanyin, representing compassion and the background is Mount Potala.”
“The one wearing green clothes and riding a green-faced lion is Manjushri, representing wisdom. The background is Mount Wutai.”
Wisdom, compassion, vows, worthiness. They were the four great Bodhisattvas of Buddhism. In addition to the lifelike figures, the four murals also had exquisite and detailed mountains and rivers in the background. It was almost comparable to the paintings in museums.
Ye Qi praised it. “This is painted very well. The color is bright and the details are exquisite. Then what are the positions of these four Bodhisattvas and how do we open the mechanism in this room?”
Under the doubtful gaze of the group, the murals in front of them suddenly split open, turning into countless hand-sized pieces. Then the pieces flew apart and the murals on the four walls became disorganized.
Chu Huaying raised an eyebrow. “This seems to be a jigsaw puzzle mechanism. Do we have to remember the four pictures just now?”
Her teammates, “......”
They had only been in the room for a few seconds. How could they remember it?!
The expressions of the group were ugly. Ye Qi scratched his head and said, “We don’t necessarily have to remember the original picture to put together the jigsaw puzzle. Cough, in any case, the pieces are irregular. The edges have to match up and the colors of the clothing are relatively easy to find. Shall we... try it first?”
Gui Yuanzhang thought for a moment. “In this way, I’ll be responsible for the puzzle of Manjushri. Huaying will be responsible for Samantabhadra, Chief Shao and Xiao Ye will be responsible for Kṣitigarbha and Mr Long and Miss Qu will be responsible for Guanyin. You should first look for the clothes and hair when doing the jigsaw puzzle since they are easier to put together. Then focus on the rivers and mountains in the background. Hurry.”
The moment he spoke, the notification ‘Countdown 30:00’ appeared above everyone’s head.
They had to complete four walls of jigsaw puzzles in 30 minutes! Ye Qi often played jigsaw puzzles as a child but there was no time limit and there was the original picture for reference. Now the original picture was broken directly and time was limited. Everyone was a bit nervous when they saw the countdown and they quickly went to the wall.
Soon, Ye Qi found that Teacher Gui had left the simpler two pictures to them. For the two murals of Kṣitigarbha and Guanyin, the former was in red and the latter wore white. The clothing pieces were very easy to find. After putting the clothes together, the figure’s outline was clearer. Then according to the pieces of the edge, they looked for adjacent pieces for each fragment. They roughly worked out the picture.
Meanwhile, the murals that Gui Yuanzhang and Chu Huaying were in charge of were very difficult. First, the clothing had several colors. Secondly, Samantabhadra and Manjusri also had mounts, not to mention a complicated background.
However, the speed of Gui Yuanzhang and Chu Huaying wasn’t slower than the other two groups. In particular, Chu Huaying’s slender fingers quickly picked up the pieces and put them together. After only 10 minutes, she had already pieced together 50% of the mural. Ye Qi admired her and quickened his pace.
Once there was 10 minutes left on the countdown, Gui Yuanzhang took the lead in completing the puzzle of Manjusri. Once there was 8 minutes left, Chu Huaying finished the puzzle of Samantabhadra.
At the same time, the Shao Ye and Long Qu combinations completed the puzzles of Kṣitigarbha and Guanyin. Everyone was shocked. Qu Wanyue couldn’t help saying in an ashamed manner, “Our combination isn’t as fast as Senior Gui and Sister Ying alone.”
Chu Huaying said, “I have the ability to never forget something. Once I see a picture then I can instantly remember it. Old Gui is already familiar with Bodhisattvas and it is natural for him to put it together easily. There is no need to blame yourselves. You finished it within the time limit.”
She seemed indifferent but she didn’t speak in a condescending manner.
In the beginning, Qu Wanyue didn’t dare get too close to the legendary female killer. Now after hearing Chu Huaying’s words, her sense of distance narrowed slightly. She looked at Gui Yuanzhang and said, “Senior Gui is right. The first level is the 18 arhats and the second level is the four great Bodhisattvas. Next there is the higher level Buddha?”
Long Sen scratched his head. “Will there be a Buddha?”
Ye Qi said, “No matter how difficult the mechanisms, at least there is no danger. Professor Xiao just told me that while passing the hell of the tree of knives, the iron tree was full of corpses and a hunter’s corpse was found.”
They just met a time limited puzzle and everyone had been very nervous. Ye Qi didn’t have time to pass the message onto his teammates.
Gui Yuanzhang heard this and his expression changed slightly. “A hunter?”
Ye Qi described what had been passed through the Heart has a Tacit Exchange of Romantic Feelings. “Yes, the branches and leaves of the iron tree were all sharp knives. The hunter entered the hell of the tree of knives and was accidentally killed by the iron tree. Her body is still hanging from it.”
Chu Huaying clenched her left first tightly and her right hand drew the spider dagger from her card pack. “It seems that the hunters have entered the labyrinth. We have to be careful.”
Shao Qingge wondered, “Where did they come from? How could a hunter get in front of Xiao Lou’s group?”
Gui Yuanzhang was silent for a moment before coming to a conclusion. “Six realms of reincarnation, six paths... what if the time flow rate is different?”
This conclusion made the group look at each other.
Ye Qi shook off the goose bumps. “A day in Heaven is a year on earth. That’s what they say in xianxia novels. We are now walking on the path of the gods’ realm. 30 minutes here might not necessarily be 30 minutes in the hell realm path... is that what you mean?”
Gui Yuanzhang nodded solemnly. “The hunter walked in front of Xiao Lou’s group either from another entrance or they were directly transported from the other reincarnation paths. The time for the hell realm path should be faster than the other reincarnation paths. The length of imprisonment of the 18 hells is calculated as 10,000 years. The keeper can’t really let them stay for 10,000 years so time will be compressed.”
Meanwhile, Xiao Lou’s stomach suddenly grumbled. He had eaten before entering the labyrinth. It seemed like it had only been an hour since he entered the labyrinth. Why was he hungry all of a sudden? He was embarrassed to tell his teammates that he was hungry but hiding it wasn’t something Xiao Lou would do. Every feeling in the secret room was a message. Even if it was simple hunger, maybe it would represent something else?
Xiao Lou thought of this and stopped, asking, “Do you feel hungry and tired?”
Lu Jiuchuan also stopped and rubbed his stomach. “I’m really hungry. I just had a big meal before entering the secret room. What is going on?”
Old Mo scratched his head. “I also feel very tired. Is it because we’ve been moving forward and passing through several mechanisms in a row?”
Xiao Lou carefully thought about it and made a guess. “The reason should be the acceleration of time. We feel that we’ve only been in the hell realm for an hour but in fact, the time flow in this passage is very fast. According to the current level of hunger, it should’ve been a day.”
He was busy in the hospital and he often forgot to eat. He would only be this hungry if he went a whole day without eating.
Tang Ci agreed with Xiao Lou’s inference. “The speed of time in the secret room is controlled by the keeper but this is the first time I’ve encountered time flowing differently in different regions of the same secret room. It seems that this hell path really isn’t easy.”
Yu Hanjiang made a quick decision. “Let’s stop and eat something to replenish our physical energy.”
Otherwise, it would be hard if they met hunters while hungry.
In 3 of Spades, Financial Crisis, everyone got the card to give them a package of supplies. They could use it once a day to receive milk, mineral water, instant noodles, chocolate and other basic foods. It wouldn’t fill an adult man’s stomach but it was better than nothing.
The group sat down, took out their supplies and ate quickly.
After Tang Ci and Liu Qiao became smaller, their appetite had also decreased because their stomachs were smaller. Lu Jiuchuan looked at the thumb-sized Tang Ci in his pocket and broke the chocolate in his hand into a small piece the size of a sesame seed. He raised it to Tang Ci’s mouth with his fingertip and smiled. “Is it enough?”
Tang Ci, “......”
Tang Ci opened his mouth in an expressionless manner and ate the sesame seed-sized chocolate on Lu Jiuchuan’s finger. Then he really became full and couldn’t help letting out a burp.
Lu Jiuchuan had to laugh. “How about you become smaller like this every day in the future? It is so easy to feed you, hahaha.”
Tang Ci, “......”
He ignored this person and climbed back into the pocket to rest.
Xiao Lou smiled and gave half his instant noodles to Yu Hanjiang. As a result, Yu Hanjiang took the initiative to hand the milk to Xiao Lou. “You drink this. I’ll just drink some water.”
Food was limited. Xiao Lou’s physical exertion wasn’t serious. Meanwhile, Yu Hanjiang cut at the tongues with a knife and flew with the light footwork skill. Yu Hanjiang was more than 185 cm in height and his body was much stronger than Xiao Lou’s body. He naturally ate more than Xiao Lou.
In this situation, Xiao Lou was too embarrassed to take the food handed to him. However, he saw Yu Hanjiang’s gentle gaze and couldn’t refuse. Xiao Lou simply put the two bottles of milk back in the card for the time being. “Keep it first. If we become hungry later then we can cushion our stomachs.”
Yu Hanjiang didn’t oppose it. They had to pass through 18 hells with this time flow. Forget being killed by the hells. It would be funny if they didn’t starve to death.
Yu Hanjiang got up and pulled Xiao Lou. “Since the time flow has been compressed, we should go as fast as possible. We’ve only passed through the third hell.”
The team members had no objections and followed him.
Proofreader: Fictional Reality & Paranoid Kitten
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