Chapter 40 - Character Maze (End)
From their personal space to enter the 3 of Diamonds room and then perfectly clearing the instance back to their personal room, the time was incredibly short.
Yu Hanjiang didn’t even have time to read the question before Xiao Lou unlocked the mechanism. It was Yu Hanjiang’s first time experiencing ‘lying down to win’ and he was in a complicated mood. After returning to the personal space, there was still a trace of confusion in his eyes.
Xiao Lou saw Group Leader Yu’s confused expression and suddenly felt... such a cold Group Leader Yu seemed more realistic and a bit... cute?
Xiao Lou immediately drove away this absurd idea and asked with a smile, “Group Leader Yu, did you find the rule for the last question?”
Yu Hanjiang coughed lightly. He didn’t want to admit it but he didn’t want to lie. Therefore, he looked at Xiao Lou and bluntly said, “I just finished reading the question and didn’t have time to think.”
Xiao Lou, “......”
Should he be blamed for moving so fast that he didn’t even give Group Leader Yu time to think?
Xiao Lou had to explain carefully, “For this question, think of the number as a graphic and count the number of circles present in the number graphic. 6 and 9 have one circle, 8 has two circles, 17896 has four circles, 24568 has three circles, 88888 has ten circles so the answer is 4310.”
Yu Hanjiang, “...”
A kindergarten child could do this question but he didn’t even see it, causing him to feel that his IQ had been insulted.
Xiao Lou saw the man’s stiff expression and smiled lightly. “Don’t mind it. I have done this question once before and once encountering it again, it is very simple. For people who don’t normally touch numerical logic problems, it is normal to not think of the answer.”
Xiao Lou’s comfort made Yu Hanjiang feel a lot better. His academic performance wasn’t really good and his mathematics performance was particularly bad. He had a headache whenever he saw numbers. Still, he didn’t feel he was stupid. His intelligence was in other places.
It was good to lie down and win.
Yu Hanjiang thought that in future Diamonds rooms, he would simply give up thinking and follow Xiao Lou.
For today’s 2 of Diamonds secret room, if it wasn’t for the time going around the maze and if all the question had been placed together, Xiao Lou might’ve perfectly cleared it in around two minutes.
Xiao Lou’s performance in the Diamonds room was too strong.
Yu Hanjiang admired his academic partner.
Just then, a cute loli voice was heard. “The two of you, please don’t ignore my existence. I have been waiting for you to greet me!”
Xiao Lou turned back and saw a little girl wearing a pink cake skirt sitting on the sofa, her short legs swinging in the air. He smiled and spoke in a gentle voice, “Hello, A of Diamonds.”
The little girl said, “Xiao Lou, you have refreshed the record of the Diamonds room again. I was thinking, what type of mechanism maze will you find difficult?”
Xiao Lou replied modestly, “I am just good at numbers and Chinese characters. I might not necessarily be good at other types.”
The little girl cocked her head to think. “It is only when the Diamonds room reaches B-grade that the secret room will be a comprehensive labyrinth. The C-grade rooms have a fixed theme, which as numerical and character types. It is very simple for you.”
Xiao Lou said, “I happened to do many of these types of questions.”
A of Diamonds smiled. “You are doing very well. Please receive the reward.”
The original 2 of Diamonds secret room had a treasure chest in each of the holes dug in the four walls. Once the password lock was opened, the card in the treasure chest could be directly retrieved. However, the mechanisms in the 3 of Hearts room was a character board on the wall and the two people didn’t find any cards in the second room.
The reward would be given after leaving the secret room and during the settlement stage. Xiao Lou skillfully opened the card pack and found a new card.
[Book Card: Modern Chinese Dictionary]
Description: Unlock the three characters checkerboard mechanism in the 3 o Diamonds room and the fixed reward can be obtained after clearing the instance.
Effect: The Card World’s dictionary isn’t for you to check the pinyin and radicals of Chinese characters. You can use it to retrieve some useful information. After all, people sometimes forget things easily. With this dictionary, you can turn back to what you have forgotten.
Note: This tool book is very popular and can be held in one hand.
Xiao Lou activated the card and a thick dictionary did appear in his hand.
He opened it and saw that the paper used was delicate and the writing was clear, or a colour version.
Dictionary Retrieval Catalog:
Keepers... Page 01
Secret rooms... Page 05
Living Creatures... Page 51
Characters... Page 66
Cards... Page 100
Teammates... Page 201
Xiao Lou’s eyes brightened. This dictionary was a bit like a game’s illustrated handbook. The second rooms and characters that the players had experienced would appear here and all those who hadn’t been encountered would have the ‘??’ mark.
He turned to the secret rooms section and saw ‘2 of Hearts: Rose Funeral’ and ‘3 of Hearts: Bloody Maple Leaf’. The images and text were graphic and lush, presumably describing the way they cleared the instance. The secret rooms they hadn’t played were all blank pages.
He turned to ‘Living Creatures’ and the only thing recorded were ‘beginner zombies’ and ‘zombie boss.’
Characters were divided into ‘fixed characters’ and ‘free people.’ Ying Xiaoya and Zhang Qing had photos, their height, weight and other information recorded in a very complete manner. Zhao Sen and Xie Xinghe were currently ‘free people’ and the information on them was also very comprehensive. There were many blank pages behind them, proving there would be more free people in the future.
The ‘cards’ section contained a brief introduction of all the cards currently owned by Xiao Lou.
Yu Hanjiang saw up to here and couldn’t help commenting, “This is the encyclopedia of the Card World?”
Xiao Lou nodded. “Yes, we can always consult it for information. Moreover, as my team member, your information is entered into my book and I can see all the cards you are carrying.”
“My book also has your card information. This book might have no fighting power but it is quite practical.”
There would be more and more secret rooms and it was likely they would forget some of the less commonly used cards. Thanks to the book, they could always check the cards of their teammates. This was very convenient and made thinking of a way to clear the instance easier.
A of Diamonds asked, “Do you like this fixed reward?”
Xiao Lou nodded. “Yes.”
A of Diamonds spoke seriously, “Don’t look at is as just a C-grade card. I can responsibly tell you that it is the one with the highest retention rate in the Card World, the most frequently used C-grade card.”
She took out a dedicated advertising attitude and Xiao Lou smiled. “Thank you, we like it.”
A of Diamonds was happy. “It is a perfect clearance so you have a drawing card opportunity.”
This time Xiao Lou gave the opportunity to Group Leader Yu. They couldn’t always let him draw cards, especially when he drew strange cards like Tao Yuanming and Di Renjie.
Yu Hanjiang wasn’t polite and reached for a card.
He seemed to have a good relationship with equipment since the card was another piece of equipment.
[Equipment Card: Light Feather Coat]
Description: After a perfect clearance and when there is a S score, there is a low probability of obtaining it from the limited card pool.
This is a piece of clothing made of special materials. It is warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It is light on the body and can form a protective layers of feathers on the body, automatically making you immune to one fatal injury. Wearing it is equivalent to one more life.
This card was very useful. The dangers in the Card World were unpredictable and this card allowed them to be immune to one injury, saving their lives at a key moment. Yu Hanjiang thought about it and handed the card to Xiao Lou. “You take it.”
Xiao Lou waved his hand. “No, you have previously given me a pair of shoes. You keep this.”
Yu Hanjiang spoke softly, “Give it to you. In a future life or death moment, if I’m not around then it can protect you and let you live.” Yu Hanjiang was probably aware that this statement was like a crow’s mouth and changed his words. “Just in case, you keep it first. You will be able to use it the best.”
Xiao Lou smiled helplessly and temporarily put the card away. “Okay, I’ll take it first.”
A of Diamonds looked at Xiao Lou curiously and then Yu Hanjiang a moment later. “Did you know each other previously?”
Xiao Lou turned back. “How come you are suddenly asking?”
A of Diamonds explained, “I have seen many partners. After clearing an instance and returning to the personal space, they don’t chat and feel like strangers. Some directly complain and quarrel with each other. The two of you have a tacit understanding and from the end of the instance clearance to the present, you haven’t stopped talking to each other. You are like old friends who have known each other for a long time.”
In fact, in the real world, they could only be regarded as ‘acquaintances.’ They might’ve added each other on WeChat but they rarely contacted each other. Instead, in the Card World, they had experienced the tragedy of Maple Forest High School together, eating instant noodles, sleeping in corridors, going through windows and unlocking doors. Their relationship suddenly became close.
Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang looked at each other with a bit of warmth in their eyes.
Yes, to outsiders, they were already old friends. It was their great luck to meet such tacit friends in this world.
Xiao Lou glanced at A of Diamonds. “Is there rest time for the Diamonds’ secret room?”
A of Diamonds wondered, “Didn’t you just sleep for 8 hours on Hearts side? You just woke up and cleared the instance in only a few minutes. I don’t think you need to rest.” She spoke and waved her hand, causing a row of playing cards to float in front of them. “The time is almost up. Please take the next card.”
Xiao Lou turned back and asked Group Leader Yu. “Go to Spades?”
Just as Yu Hanjiang had a psychological shadow regarding the maths problems in the Diamonds room, Xiao Lou also had a psychological shadow regarding the zombies in the Spades room.
In fact, they could continue to go to 4 of Diamonds but... the combination of work and rest was the best choice. In case 4 of Hearts was a very brain-burning murder case, they could use 4 of Diamonds to transition and adjust.
The order of Hearts, Diamonds, Spades and Clubs was the most comfortable.
Yu Hanjiang stated, “Go to Spades. Once we complete the third level, we will start from 4 of Hearts.”
Xiao Lou had no opinion and watched Group Leader Yu draw the 3 of Spades card.
There was a moment of dizziness and the two people appeared in a new world at the same time.
[Welcome to the 3 of Spades secret room, Financial Crisis.]
This secret room is a Spades and Clubs linked room. Once entering the secret room, all the previous gold coins of the challengers will be frozen but you will receive an additional 100,000 gold coins as an initial reward. Please thank Clubs for the friendship sponsorship and please go to the card bank to withdraw the money directly. Once you leave the Spades secret room, you can take out any gold coins remaining in your hands.
Gold coins are the only currency in circulation in the 3 of Spades secret room.
This is a small, laid-back city where no one knows that a financial crisis is about to break out.
Instance clearance conditions: At 8 o’clock tomorrow morning, after the stocks plunge and the financial crisis breaks out, last seven days in the city with the gold coins in your hand and the instance will automatically be cleared at the end of seven days. The secret room doesn’t have a perfect clearance and living is your only goal.
Note: All strange characters in the city might be free people.
They could also be challengers like you.
Xiao Lou read the prompts in the floating box and then brightness was restored to his field of view. He turned his head and happened to look into a pair of deep eyes.
This time, the Spades room didn’t separate them and the two people entered the secret room by each other’s side.
They were standing on a long street, not far from the ‘Card Bank’s self-help machine’ and there were two or three people in the queue.
Xiao Lou had a headache. “Is this secret room an economic war? We only have 200,000 initial funds and we have to calculate how to spend the money in our hands. According to the prices of the Card... using 200,000 is only buy instant noodles, can we live for seven days?”
He really didn’t want to eat instant noodles anymore.
Yu Hanjiang frowned and looked at the people lining up in the distance to withdraw money. He said, “The most difficult thing about 3 of Spades perhaps isn’t the problem of money but... after the financial crisis breaks out, there might be chaos in the city.”
Xiao Lou reacted quickly. “Yes! This world has free people!”
A of Hearts said just yesterday that the actions of free people weren’t subject to the jurisdiction of the keepers.
In the Hearts room, characters like Ying Xiaoya and Xie Xinghe seemed to be under the actions of a script and the general direction wouldn’t change. However, in the world of free people, these people had their own will. If they had no money and were hungry, they would fight, beat up others or steal. The entire city would become a mess and the survival of the challengers would be greatly threatened.
Moreover, there were other challengers as well as a large number of free people.
It was possible that challengers would grab gold coins from each other.
Xiao Lou took a deep breath. “Let’s withdraw the money first and use the money to find a place to live. Then we will go to the supermarket in the evening to sweep up goods.”
Yu Hanjiang nodded. “We can only stay in the cheapest place. The prices of hotels are high and it will be even more terrible after the financial crisis.”
Xiao Lou nodded and the two people headed to the self-help cash machine.
This cash machine didn’t need to insert a card. It directly scanned their fingerprints and their fingerprints had been entered into the card banking system by A of Clubs. Xiao Lou pressed his fingerprints to the sensor and found that his account balance was 108,000. The 8,000 was his previous money but the ‘available balance’ was only 100,000 and the money previously earned had been frozen.
He took out 100,000 and Yu Hanjiang also took out 100,000, leaving Xiao Lou with 200,000 to manage.
Just then, Yu Hanjiang found a boy wearing a hood and ripped jeans in the crow. He looked around 20 years old and like a university student. The boy obviously looked out of place as he looked around. After seeing Yu Hanjiang, he immediately shifted his gaze and pretended to look at the distant scenery.
Yu Hanjiang whispered in Xiao Lou’s ears, “There is a challenger wearing a hat over there.”
Xiao Lou smiled slightly. “The one wearing a shirt behind him is also a challenger.”
Yu Hanjiang’s angle meant he couldn’t see the person behind the boy. He heard this and turned to look from Xiao Lou’s position.
He saw a tall, slender and handsome man with maroon hair tied up in a short ponytail. His shirt had two buttons undone, revealing some skin, and his hands were in his pockets. He had a laid-back attitude of ‘I’m just walking’ in stark contrast to the boy in front of him.
The man had a pair of highly recognizable eyes. The narrow and long phoenix eyes, the single-lidded eyelids and the clear smile. However, once those eyes narrowed, they were like a lurking beast, revealing a trace of unfathomable danger.
There was a strange sense of familiarity.
Yu Hanjiang searched his memories and soon remembered. “...The one we met in the Clubs room?”
Xiao Lou nodded. “It should be him. The No. 5 player who opened with psychological warfare and directly went all-in.”
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