The Gods didn’t let down persevering people. After searching for clues for more than a week, they finally learned the specific time the circus would open, as well as the coordinates of the entrance.
This actually had nothing to do with the information they’d worked so hard to collect. One morning, Dong Zheng found a poster taped directly to the door of their apartment. It was tackled to the door as if the person who’d done it was afraid they wouldn’t see.
Dong Zheng pulled the poster off and took it back to the castle. He thought of the time when the clown had mailed Victor to his apartment in the novice area and realized that the clown must have also sent this poster.
A magician’s face was painted colorfully in the middle of the poster. A white rabbit laid on his hat while various animals surrounded him. The characters “Hell Circus” were written in bold prints on ⅓ of the poster. The specific time of the tour was marked in the lower right corner.
7:30 in the evening on March 14; it was only four days away.
However, everyone had long been prepared to go to the circus and so they weren’t in a hurry. After consulting with Xia Qiongyun, they decided to take her with them.
If one were to disregard the true purpose of getting back Cui Zuojing’s feelings, Hell Circus was actually a very rare opportunity for pilgrims. Its existence was much like the Labyrinth of Time, the Library of Chaos, or the Loss of Revival; they were all relatively independent of the Pure White Realm. Pilgrims who were able to successfully obtain tickets would be able to enter the clown’s shop after the circus performance and exchange the tickets for rare, difficult-to-find items.
Four days had passed since the last Blood Night, and Dong Zheng managed to successfully bring the relationship between them one step closer. After confirming that Cui Zuojing really didn’t hate him, he consciously no longer tolerated him as before. His kiss was no longer simply a quick touch but a real, passionate entanglement.
Although Cui Zuojing sometimes expressed protests, it had always been up to him—more precisely, it was up to his own feelings and thoughts.
Although Cui Zuojing hadn’t taken the initiative to show Dong Zheng a feeling of liking until now, Dong Zheng’s hugs and kisses always gave him the feeling of being cared for.
He came to the Pure White Realm twice. The first time, he was young and didn’t understand a lot of things. Henry, Fu Zhe, Victor and his other elders looked after him and taught him how to properly guard his life. As time passed, he who had awakened his slayer’s ability gradually became stronger, and no one cared for him as meticulously as before. By then, everyone knew that he had the ability to take care of himself.
This was especially true after he came back for the second time. He had always provided advice to the Wonton Insurgency. In this way, the teenager who was trained in the past had become a mentor to others, teaching them how to survive in the Pure White Realm.
So much so that Cui Zuojing almost forgot what it felt like to be taken care of.
But Dong Zheng didn’t think so.
Why couldn’t the strong be held in the palm of your hands and be loved?
Because he was strong, he won’t get hurt, won’t feel pain, won’t be tired?
Everyone was eager to draw warmth from others, and Cui Zuojing was no exception.
He had shouldered too many missions. The fate of his former teammates laid heavily on his shoulders. Every decision and every move he made was related to not only his life and death alone, but others as well.
He was tense for too long, and Dong Zheng, at this moment, held a red heart in front of him and asked him if he wanted it.
Cui Zuojing had to admit that he was greedy for the warmth of being loved.
If it were not for his acquiescence, how could Dong Zheng have stood a chance?
On March 14, the Wonton Insurgency was ready to go to the coordinates marked on the poster.
There were three coordinates, and they looked for them one by one. The first one was in an office building. They went up to the eighth floor, stood at the position pointed by the coordinates, and fell into contemplation as they found themselves standing in front of a toilet stall.
There was a poster that was exactly the same as the one they got on the stall’s door; the direction was very obvious.
This was the men’s toilet so Wang Que and Xia Qiongyun waited outside by the door. Dong Linhai stared at the toilet, and a question mark slowly appeared on his head.
Dong Zheng once again confirmed that their current coordinates were indeed the ones listed on the poster.
Meanwhile, Lin Hangzhi looked around for the entrance.
As the only person who’d been to the circus in person, Cui Zuojing had some understanding of the clown’s evil humor, and said helplessly, “Don’t look for it. I believe what you see is the entrance.”
Dong Linhai said, “What? Could it be that we have to squeeze into the toilet?”
Everyone unanimously opposed this idea, and they went to the next coordinate location.
Lin Hangzhi fell into deep thought in front of a burning fireplace. Dong Linhai raised his hand and asked, “Do we have to go and buy some Floo Powder?” (1)
Xia Qiongyun, who rarely joked, said, “But it’s hard to say whether the Floo Network will work for this.”
Dong Zheng took a deep breath and was about to tell them to try it, when suddenly he heard the door of the living room being opened.
The owner was back!
The owners of this home were pilgrims like them, and if they were discovered, the consequences would be disastrous.
“Go!” Dong Zheng made a decision immediately. The six people jumped out from the open window one by one and hid under the window sill with bent waists. Finally, just as Cui Zuojing jumped out, the owner of the house walked into the living room.
He saw the strange poster on the fireplace at a glance.
It hadn’t been there when he left.
“Hell Circus? Where is this place?”
“I don’t know.” His companion was also puzzled and reached out and tore off the poster.
Victor lightly jumped onto the window sill and openly looked inside. The moment the man tore off the poster and held it in his hand, the flames in the fireplace suddenly stopped emitting scorching heat. Within moments, the three people standing there had disappeared.
The fire went out.
“Well, it seems that someone has already used this entrance.” Victor jumped into Cui Zuojing’s arms, stretched out a long, lazy waist on the young boy’s shoulders, and flicked his tail. “One more coordinate. I hope it’s an easy place, or else you really have to drill the toilet.”
It was impossible to drill a toilet, it was impossible to drill a toilet in this life.
So when they saw that the coordinates of the third entrance was a surveillance camera in a hardware store, they resolutely decided that that was it!
“Are you ready?” Cui Zuojing asked. “After you enter, you’ll need to get an admission ticket individually. Everyone would separate. When you try to get the ticket, do your best. But don’t force yourself; your own safety is the most important thing.
Everyone nodded. Cui Zuojing tore off the brand new poster on the mottled wall.
The camera in the corner of the ceiling lit up with a red light, and the lens of the original black hole suddenly brightened, reflecting the people below.
Everything went black.
Six people disappeared in the hardware store out of thin air. The boss behind the counter yawned lazily. Seeing that the bunch of people who had just entered had disappeared, he thought he hadn’t noticed their departure and didn’t take it to heart.
The sound of water dripping from the ceiling gradually became clear, and his consciousness slowly returned. Cui Zuojing quietly opened his eyes.
He was lying on the floor of a small room, the concrete floor exuding a bone-to-soul coldness, and the dim chandelier above his head illuminated the whole room.
The place that was leaking wasn’t far away, and icy cold water dripped onto his arm. Cui Zuojing stood up and quickly checked the various functions of his body.
The room only had a simple camp bed, and a wooden table with a bottle of mineral water and a radio on it. The walls were mottled, and the room was inlaid with an iron door similar to a prison door. The room was small and didn’t have many things; everything could be seen with a glance.
After confirming that nothing else was hidden in the corner, Cui Zuojing walked to the table and turned on the radio.
A short stabbing sound came, followed by a low, adult male voice that echoed in the small room. Although it was a little distorted, Cui Zuojing recognized at once that it was the clown’s voice.
“Welcome to Hell Circus. I am the clown, the referee in this competition.”
“In your shirt pocket, there is a card. In the arena, you can eliminate other people in any way to get your opponent’s card, or you can find the secret letters hidden in the arena to upgrade your card. Three days later, the survivor in each arena will focus on using the cards in their hands to compete, and the top three will get an admission ticket.”
“The circus performance will officially begin three days later. Those who can’t get an admission ticket will be expelled.”
“The most exciting performance ever does not come free.” The voice paused, and then he said again, “The draw for this competition arena is [Factory]. Good luck.”
The tape turned to the end, and the sound stopped abruptly. Cui Zuojing rewinded the tape and listened to it again and again.
The way to get tickets was different from when he’d first come, but after so many years, it was normal for the circus to make some innovations.
Cui Zuojing touched his shirt pocket, and really pulled out a card from it. The back of the card was printed with a big grass flower, and the front was a small goldfish with bubbles.
Cui Zuojing: ?
What was this? The Adventures of Little Carp?
After Cui Zuojing amused himself, he took the bottle of water on the table. Although he didn’t know what other people’s cards looked like, his intuition told him that his card might be the most garbage in the series of cards.
Since he needed to fight with cards in the end, he had to get promoted or grab a few during these three days.
Cui Zuojing tried to call Dong Zheng through the prisoner link, but his voice was like a rock sinking into the sea. It seemed that the circus, which was independent of the Pure White Realm, regarded him as a participant. Or, the circus won’t allow him to use Dong Zheng or the convenience of the prisoner space that Dong Zheng could give him.
In this case, Uncle also needed to get an admission ticket.
Cui Zuojing thought this and no longer wasted time in the room. He opened the rusty iron door.
A long corridor stretched out in front of him, and Cui Zuojing began walking all the way to the end. His Tang sword was with Dong Zheng, and he was now unarmed.
However, with the ability of Slayer, everything could become an excellent weapon to him.
As he got closer to the exit, the appearance of the factory building gradually appeared in front of him. The moment Cui Zuojing stepped out of the corridor, the corridor behind him disappeared, blocked by a wall that completely cut off any possibility of turning back.
It had been a long time since he broke through a box alone…
Cui Zuojing stretched his wrists and quickly observed the surrounding environment. He was in a large factory building, with dozens of conveyor belts loudly rumbling and rolling, carrying thousands of parts from one place to another.
Cui Zuojing took a closer look and found that it was something like screws, nuts, and small steel plates, and could not figure out what they were originally for.
The factory building was at least ten meters high, with the ceiling supported by a steel frame with entangled wires hanging from it. A row of large windows opens at a height of four meters, and the glaring sunlight streamed in, brightening everything.
Cui Zuojing smoothly grabbed a few screws and put them in his pocket.
(1) Floo Powder — In Harry Potter, Floo Powder is a glittery magical powder used by witches and wizards to travel through or communicate via the Floo Network, which connected the fireplaces of nearly every wizarding household and building.