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Chapter 474 – Strange Town
The moment Qu Wanyue finished speaking, a chill went down the back of her teammates.
In the dark night, they saw a bride going to get married. As a result, the bridal procession actually disappeared. This secret room was likely to have a supernatural theme. There were strange phenomena everywhere, from the mass burial site at the beginning to the vanished bride in the small town. These phenomena were difficult to explain with common sense.
Xiao Lou quickly calmed down. He pressed against the earpiece and said, “First find out the path of the labyrinth.”
Old Mo picked up the half drawn map. “The area of this labyrinth is too large. The part we just walked through is probably less than one-tenth of the size.”
Xiao Lou thought about it carefully. “Do you remember the conversation between the two young ladies just now? They said that the young lady would get married at Yinshi… Yinshi is between 3-5 a.m. It means it will soon be dawn.”
Yu Hanjiang simply said, “We should hurry. If the people in town are really ghosts then the town after dawn must be different from the town at night.”
Old Mo led the way in front and the others followed behind. They headed in the other direction.
The paths of the small town were all curved. It was a bit like the petal-shaped labyrinth encountered in the ancient tomb. No matter where they went, they would return to the lake in the middle of the town. There were complex connections between each curved path. Even if there was Old Mo, everyone became dizzy after walking for minutes and they couldn’t distinguish the southeast from the northwest.
They constantly turned in circles, one circle after another…
The forks in the town were marked by their arrows of various colors. Old Mo drew the map while having a headache. He couldn’t help complaining, “This labyrinth is too complicated. All the roads resemble circles and one circle is linked to another. I can no longer tell which way we took when we came.”
After being reminded by Old Mo, everyone suddenly found that they couldn’t find where they entered.
No matter where they went, the end point of the lake was in the middle of the town. There were all the forks around the lake and no one could go out… were they trapped in the town?
Xiao Lou thought of the bridal procession that had just disappeared and his heart turned cold. “This Qingfeng Town is likely to be an illusion and we are trapped in it. Fortunately, Brother Jiu is outside the town. If we really can’t find the exit, we can have Brother Jiu pull us to the Peach Blossom Spring.”
Everyone was relieved at having the retreat of the Peach Blossom Spring and continued to explore the town.
There weren’t many pedestrians in the town late at night and all roads were unobstructed. This provided great convenience for everyone. Old Mo took everyone around and there were more and more paths on the map he drew.
They walked around the town for an unknown amount of time. Then Lu Jiuchuan’s voice was heard in Yu Hanjiang’s mind. “It is almost dawn. Aren’t you coming out yet?”
Yu Hanjiang froze and looked up at the sky.
The moon hung high in the night sky, surrounded by darkness. There were no signs that it was about to be dawn. He frowned and asked, “Brother, is it dawn where you are outside the town?”
Lu Jiuchuan answered, “There is light in the east but the sun hasn’t fully come out yet. It should be around 6 o’clock in the morning.”
Yu Hanjiang turned back to Xiao Lou. “How long have we been in this town?”
“Around two hours. The Peach Blossom Spring lasts for three hours. I think we can go out before it disappears.” Xiao Lou also sensed that something was wrong when he heard this. He followed Yu Hanjiang’s gaze toward the sky and said thoughtfully, “According to the time, the young lady was married in Yinshi. Now it should be Chenshi. Why hasn’t the sky brightened yet?”
“Yes… supposedly, we’ve been here for around two hours and it should be time for dawn.” Long Sen scratched his head and looked at Yu Hanjiang doubtfully. He found that the other person looked very serious, his brow slightly wrinkled. He seemed to be thinking about something.
After a moment of silence, Yu Hanjiang said softly, “Brother Jiu said it is already dawn outside. The night town we entered is probably another world.”
Qu Wanyue was stunned and blurted out, “A ghost town?”
Xiao Lou realized that something wasn’t right and immediately said, “Go!”
Yu Hanjiang called Lu Jiuchuan through Heart has a Tacit Exchange of Romantic Feelings and had him open the teleportation. Lu Jiuchuan’s invitation to enter the Peach Blossom Spring appeared in front of everyone’s eyes and they pressed the agree button. The scene in front of them flashed and they reappeared under the familiar peach blossom trees.
Lu Jiuchuan looked at the pale faces of the five people and walked over in a worried manner. “What is the situation? I heard Hanjiang say that you were trapped in a labyrinth?”
Ye Qi was also curious. “In addition, a ghost bride? Ghost baby?”
Shao Qingge gently rubbed his temples. “So this time it is a terror escape? Zombies who can’t be controlled and Ah Piaos whose whereabouts are unknown? This is interspersed with hunters who want our lives?”
Ye Qi looked at him. “What are Ah Piaos?”
Shao Qingge smiled lightly and patted the young man’s shoulder, patiently explaining, “It means ghosts. Usually, ghosts like to float behind people so they are respectfully called ‘Ah Piao’. Don’t you know this?”
Ye Qi got goosebumps.”I haven’t seen it before!”
Xiao Lou’s mind was a bit confused so he straightened out his thoughts before speaking. “The thing that is certain now is that the town at night is a ghost town frozen in time. It is impossible to go in and out. Old Mo, first show the map of the labyrinth that you drew.”
Old Mo took out the handkerchief, which was the card that Liu Qiao had given him in the past. He could draw an image directly on it with his fingers and it was very convenient to carry. It could be seen that there were densely drawn circles on it. The middle contained a large circle with the words ‘lake’ and ‘Intoxicated Moon Pavilion’ written on it.
Ye Qi looked dizzy. “Is this labyrinth a ring game? Circles are connected one after another?”
Gui Yuanzhang approached and examined the map carefully. “What road did you enter from? Based on the map, it seems to be a closed labyrinth with no exit?”
Xiao Lou said, “I also found it strange. When we entered the town and found the lake, we left an arrow mark on the original road. Then after walking around, we couldn’t find where the mark was at all. The roads were circular and we couldn’t get out.”
Lu Jiuchuan’s brow furrowed. “There is no entry or exit? There is no way to go back?!”
Tang Ci said solemnly, “Fortunately, Group Leader Yu had the seven of us stay outside. If the whole team entered the labyrinth, we would probably be trapped in the ghost town now.”
Ye Qi’s face turned pale. “If we are trapped in the ghost town and can’t get out, will we starve to death and become ghosts like them?”
The group was frightened when they heard this.
If it wasn’t for Xiao Lou having Lu Jiuchuan open the Peach Blossom Spring and Yu Hanjiang being cautious enough to have only five people explore the town while the others stayed outside…
If they had been careless and everyone went in together, it would really be a dead end and there would be no way to return!
This was the first big pit that the keepers left for them.
Old Mo looked at the map. “Have you ever heard of the honeycomb labyrinth?”
The others were at a loss but Xiao Lou quickly responded, “I heard that it is one of the most complex types of labyrinth in the world and is often used in various labyrinth challenge competitions. The principle of the honeycomb labyrinth is made according to the hive of a bee. There are countless forks in the road and as long as you take the wrong fork, it is extremely difficult to turn back.”
Old Mo nodded and pointed to the map. “Professor Xiao, the layout of the labyrinth in this town is very similar to a variant of the honeycomb labyrinth. However, a honeycomb labyrinth is composed of countless hexagons connected together while here it is a countless number of circles. It is similar in difficulty but it is visually more likely to make people dizzy.”
Xiao Lou suggested, “Let’s go out of the Peach Blossom Spring first. I want to see what the town is like during the day.”
Before leaving the Peach Blossom Spring, Yu Hanjiang said, “This is an ancient background and we are wearing shirts, jeans and sneakers. If we need to investigate clues during the day, we will be treated as strange by the people of the town.”
Shao Qingge smiled. “This isn’t a problem. Do you remember the clothing cards we received from 8 of Hearts?”
The Hearts sister had always been ‘considerate’. Everyone thought they wouldn’t use this set of ‘cosplay’ costumes when they received the clothing cards. They didn’t expect to be hit in the face so quickly. Now it was a secret room with an ancient background and they needed to wear ancient clothing.
Ye Qi’s face was red. “Do I have to wear that female outfit again?”
The group looked at each other with an expression that said ‘Or else?’
Xiao Lou pretended to calmly change into female clothing and became the ‘wife’ of Yu Hanjiang like in 8 of Hearts. Their clothes were still the same couple’s clothing.
Lu Jiuchuan saw his brother and Xiao Lou’s couple outfit and praised it. “It is good. You are quite matched.”
Xiao Lou’s ears were slightly red. He ignored the deep meaning of the words and asked, “Brother Jiu, I remember that you also experienced an ancient secret room once. Did you get a clothing card reward?”
Lu Jiuchuan smiled and touched his nose. “For the ancient room we went to at that time, I was a general, Huaying was a warrior of Jianghu, Tang Ci was a teacher and Old Gui was the emperor.”
Gui Yuanzhang said lightly, “I have clothing for private visits and also a set of casual clothes.”
Lu Jiuchuan said, “Then put it on.”
The group directly took out their clothing cards and changed to ancient clothing in the blink of an eye. Ye Qi wanted to cough up blood. His red dress was the most gorgeous. After all, he had played the top girl of Fragrant Sky House in 8 of Hearts…
Lu Jiuchuan couldn’t help laughing when he saw Xiao Ye, who was wearing a red dress and had all these jewels in his hair. “What is with your dress? Surely you’re not a…”
Tang Ci coughed softly and interrupted Brother Jiu’s joke.
Ye Qi’s teeth itched with hatred. “I will change my clothes after entering the town!”
Shao Qingge smiled and adjusted the crooked hairpin on Ye Qi’s head. “Xiao Lou, how do you want to arrange the groups? The 12 of us have different clothes. We can’t just rush in all together if there are people in the town during the day. The locals will see that we don’t look right immediately.”
Xiao Lou looked at Yu Hanjiang, who said lightly, “Xiao Lou and I will play husband and wife while the Long Qu couple will follow us. The four of us are tourists passing through here.” The clothing of a lord, wife, bodyguard and maid meant it wasn’t easy to arouse suspicion.
Xiao Lou continued, “Old Mo and Xiao Liu will be a master and apprentice. You are wandering pharmacists and come to the area to collect medicine.”
Yu Hanjiang said, “Huaying and Senior Gui will be in the same group. You are a mobile group and can move freely.”
Chu Huaying and Senior Gui’s personal abilities were very strong and they could take advantage of people’s lack of attention to act alone and investigate clues.
There was no need to talk about the remaining four. Shao Qingge took the initiative to speak. “I am a rich man and I took Miss Ye with me.” He leaned over with a chuckle when he saw Ye Qi’s blush. “Enter the town and I will first buy you a set of clothes you like. You can change out of this vulgar red dress.”
Ye Qi was happy. “I want to change into men’s clothing!”
Lu Jiuchuan said, “Tang Ci and I will stay behind. If something happens in the town, I will use the other Peach Blossom Spring card to forcibly pull you out.”
The town at night was a ghost town. They had to be on guard.
Shao Qingge gave the copied Tao Yuanming card to Lu Jiuchuan. Yu Hanjiang and Lu Jiuchuan’s Heart has a Tacit Exchange of Romantic Feelings could last for another 20 hours. After encountering danger, it wasn’t too late for Lu Jiuchuan to open the Peach Blossom Spring.
Everyone came to an agreement and walked out of the Peach Blossom Spring in groups.
Yu Hanjiang, Xiao Lou, Long Sen and Qu Wanyue took the lead in entering the town.
It was indeed bright outside and the red morning glow appeared in the eastern sky. The quiet town was awakened. The air seemed exceptionally fresh after the rainstorm and they could still smell the faint aroma of grass.
The moment Xiao Lou and his group entered the town, they saw a woodcutter holding a tool. He seemed to be preparing to go to the mountain to cut firewood.
The old man was slightly stunned when he saw them but he didn’t take the initiative to talk to them. He just continued to move forward.
Yu Hanjiang stepped forward and stopped in front of him, speaking politely, “Uncle, I am passing through this place with my wife. I want to find a place to stay. May I ask if there is an inn in the town?”
The old man replied, “There is an inn. You can see it by walking all the way west along the main road.”
Yu Hanjiang nodded. “Thank you, Uncle.”
The four of them walked into the town. It was still early and there weren’t many people on the street. Still, they could see some stall vendors already preparing breakfast. The smell of meat buns wafted through the air. The town full of fresh vitality was completely different from the quiet and strange town at night. It really looked like two different worlds.
Xiao Lou walked to the center of the town according to his memory. Sure enough, he saw a lake.
The willow trees were reflected on the lake. The breeze blew and the clear water of the lake was sparkling. The scenery was a hundred times more beautiful than it was at night.
Xiao Lou remembered that walking along the lake to the right and taking the third fork in the road would allow them to find the house where the bride was married at night. He looked at Yu Hanjiang and they silently walked toward the bride’s house.
They were approaching the door when a gust of wind blew. The leaves that had fallen to the ground were suddenly swept up by the wind, making a noise. The atmosphere became gloomy for no reason.
Yu Hanjiang stopped and looked at this deserted street.
The whole street was empty.
Xiao Lou gave Qu Wanyue a look. Qu Wanyue and Long Sen took advantage of no one being around to quickly sneak into the house using the Chameleon cards.
A moment later, the two of them returned. Long Sen said calmly, “Professor Xiao, this house has been abandoned for a long time. There is no one in it but…”
Xiao Lou asked, “What is it?”
Qu Wanyue gritted her teeth. “There is a row of memorial tablets.”
Partially proofread: Paranoid Kitten