A piece of paper floated out of the pipe, carrying a series of helpless ellipsis painted with red makeup.
[Take it easy when you come. I still have a leader above me. It won’t be good for you to create too big of a wave.]
“Leader?” Cui Zuojing tilted his head, and suddenly remembered that there was indeed such a person.
“He doesn’t listen to your words?” Cui Zuojing put the folded paper into his pocket, not caring. “In the entire Pure White Realm, even the Queen is hesitant to mess with you.”
“Ha, this little brat can really talk,” the brown bear, who was wearing sunglasses, a suit, and leather shoes, held a tea cup and pretended to complain. “Am I so useless in his eyes?”
“He has always been like this, you know that.” The clown sat across from the brown bear. His smiley makeup had yet to be removed, and his rather strong and bulky body was squeezed into a chair, which looked as if it would collapse under him at any moment. As usual, he pinched a teacup that was too delicate for him between thick radish-like fingers, but didn’t drink any of it. “Don’t mind the child.”
“Child? He was a child when he first came to me, but now it’s been nearly ten years. Why is he still a child?” The brown bear snorted coldly. “Can children do whatever they want?”
The clown smiled helplessly. It was obvious that not everyone liked Cui Zuojing, especially the group leader, who he’d managed to upset more than once.
The leader was still complaining angrily, “What does he mean to bring me a new member? The circus is not a shelter. Don’t we have enough trouble on our side?! The doctor gave us so many, there’s already no place to put these monsters! Now, I have to open up a few more arenas. That crazy woman is getting more and more greedy, why should I provide her with so many boxes?! I’m afraid that one day we’ll be full to bursting.”
The team leader paused, obviously not as angry as he pretended. He held the teacup and listened carefully to the subtle sounds in the air. Suddenly, he asked, “Which arenas are being used for the eliminations?”
The clown said, “Factory, Space, Forest, Desert, Town, Glacier, Ruins, Nature World, these eight are being used.”
“What?! Why did you use Space?!” The brown bear suddenly threw the cup down, and his hair puffed out. “If you don’t want people to get the admission ticket, just say so! Why let them go and die?!”
“Don’t worry, I have propriety.” The clown was exceptionally calm. He pressed his palms down, indicating for the leader not to worry. “The more dangerous the situation, the more we can clearly determine their strength, isn’t this so? Also….there’s still her. There’s no need to worry.”
Besides, he also wanted to see the measure of the man who’d managed to summon Cui Zuojing and become his master by means of the blood contract.
The brown bear worriedly said, “What if she runs out again? Last time I went in to catch her, it took me a lot of effort.”
The clown said, “She’s not aggressive. If she runs out, then just let her run out. Besides…it would make for a pleasant surprise.”
The brown bear was silent for a moment. “Is your confidence in that child so much that you would openly support him? If he doesn’t succeed in the end, wouldn’t that exhaustingly crazy woman kill you?”
“I don’t care anymore.” The clown let out a small smile. “He is my last hope. If the Master of Time, the Master of Space, and the Master of Body can’t bring down the Queen, then the world would really be over.”
The brown bear wanted to protest again.
“Okay, don’t worry about it anymore. I have propriety.” The clown stood up and walked over to the brown bear’s chair. He leaned over and stretched out his hands to the little child sitting out of view behind the brown bear.
The child looked to be only two to three years old, with slightly curly chestnut hair. He was a fat baby with a plump face and little hands. He opened his arms and allowed the clown to hold him. As he laid on the clown’s extremely broad shoulder, he said in a milky, childish voice, “Then it’s good that you’re well aware of the situation.”
“Don’t worry. No matter what happens, I will bear the consequences alone.” Still holding him, the clown walked backstage. “Since you took the risk to take me in when I was at my most desperate, I originally planned to stop caring for those things and use my remaining life to repay you. But now, it seems that if the Queen isn’t brought down, everything will be destroyed sooner or later.”
The clown still clearly remembered that day, when he wasn’t yet a clown. When the Red Queen shouted “Cut off her head,” he’d rushed toward the woman called Anna, his silver moon scimitar at the ready. But a young man with a nine-tail whip blocked him, the snake wrapped around his arm opening its mouth to reveal sharp fangs. He was only blocked for a mere moment, but it was enough for the sound of a sharp blade piercing through a human body to come from behind him.
The blonde haired and blue-eyed woman smiled gracefully, and pulled out the dagger that had been plunged into the Red Queen’s heart.
Glory had descended upon her, and the control of the world was automatically transferred the moment the Red Queen fell. She was crowned as the new queen.
Stepping on the body of the Red Queen, the woman who was once a pilgrim threw away the dagger, wiped the blood from her face, and looked up at him with triumphant arrogance in her eyes. She smiled at the clown. “Do you want to submit to me?”
He gave her a knife.
This was followed by a three-month-long hunt. He may be the Red Queen’s strongest slayer, but even he wouldn’t be able to survive an entire assassination army. He escaped from the palace into the Corridor of Memory and passed through the Arrows of Renaissance. He finally fell on a rainy night, covered in blood and tattered clothes, dying in a deserted alley on the side of the street.
“I seem to have picked up an incredible thing,” the passing youth muttered to himself as he rolled up his sleeves and dragged the clown like a corpse back to the circus.
A strange doctor covered in bandages treated the clown’s wounds. From his mouth, the clown learned that he came to the Hell Circus that had existed in the Pure White Realm for hundreds of years, and the young man who’d rescued him was the mysterious, never-seen-before circus leader, the only leader in hundreds of years.
When his injuries were almost recovered, the young man found him and said, “They are still pursuing you outside. You may stay, but you can’t exist under your previous name and appearance. Of course, if you want to leave, I won’t stop you either.”
He clearly knew that the person he’d picked up was a remnant member of the Red Queen’s party and the number one fugitive on the new queen’s most wanted list, but he still gave the clown a chance to stay.
The clown chose to stay. His former master had fallen from her altar, and the new queen had forcibly changed the rules of the realm. It was a mess, and he no longer wanted to wade into those muddy waters.
Just stay quiet until you die.
He painted thick paint on his face, drew exaggerated expressions, wore red and black suits and large clown costumes, performed funny shows, and became a clown in the circus.
He’d deeply buried his history as the Red Queen’s most invincible slayer and her best blade.
—Or so the clown thought.
But the things happening in the Pure White Realm constantly shook him.
And then one day, he ran into a young man who also possessed the power of slayer, a youth with barely any knife skills.
He was brave and determined, and never gave up hope even in the most difficult moments.
The fire that had never been completely extinguished in his heart rekindled again. He became the Afternoon Tea Party’s hidden helper, and now he was helping them to overthrow the tyranny of a woman named Anna who had become the current Queen.
Although there were many twists and turns, that hope never died.
During these two decades, the group leader, who had acquiesced to his behavior, had also grown from a young man into the child in his arms.
This was the secret to the leader’s immortality for hundreds of years. When his body ages to a certain level, he will start to grow in reverse until he becomes a baby before he grows up again, and so on.
They slowly walked away. The brown bear’s huge body stiffened for a moment, and a suspicious whine came from its mouth. Unable to understand why it was sitting, the bear shook the sunglasses off of its head and walked away on all four.
Dong Zheng fumbled around as he used his kernel to explore all the prison cells.
The number announced in the broadcast was now S000005, with the announcements coming every half an hour. From a hallway window, he saw the terrifying mountain of a creature and realized that this was probably an S creature, one of those single digit prisoners that the broadcast was counting down one by one.
It had eyes all over its body, the eyelids hard as scales. It was 100 meters tall, and on its body hung multiple broken chains and iron hooks. Dong Zheng only took a quick look and immediately hid away from the monster’s vision.
This strange freak-like creature directly challenged his perceptions of aliens and monsters. The things that appeared in science fiction and horror films were, at best, little dolls compared to this thing. The moment he saw the thing, Dong Zheng had only one thought in his mindーThis was probably a mini version of the legendary god in the SCP universe, the “Scarlet King.” (1)
Dong Zheng quickened his pace and hurried to the end of the hallway. Most of the remaining S-numbered prisoners were probably similarly terrible creatures.
Until now, the number had only reached 05. According to custom, the higher the number, the more important, or rather the more dangerous, it was.
These dangerous creatures were completely locked away in their cells, but today, during this so-called “jailbreaking” activity, with all prison personnel evacuated, the monsters were released as planned.
Dong Zheng frowned. He had a general hypothesis regarding the whole story, which was that the prisoners who were allowed to escape from this prison were meant to become prey for these special prisoners.
The so-called jailbreak was actually the prison administrator creating a slaughterhouse for these creatures.
For a prison, this area was too large and too unusual, and the criminals who could enter this place were all extremely vicious. Even if they became food for monsters, their deaths wouldn’t generate any sort of pity.
In this way, the prison was indeed a good hunting ground.
In this case, how to find the secret letter and upgrade his identification card? It wouldn’t be easy to find a good place to hide out these three days and wait until the end of the elimination round.
Dong Zheng ridiculed silently and leaned over to pull out the fiery painted envelope from the flower pot in the corner, finally obtaining his first secret letter.
Screams came from the lower floor, while more screams came from the open space outside. At this time, all of the “preys” had not yet realized that they had become prey and were still immersed in fighting each other or trying to attack the S numbered monsters. Only the pilgrims all hurried to hide as best they could.
The surveillance camera became Dong Zheng’s ubiquitous eyes. He avoided those who came from different directions, and by himself, continued to look for the girl’s room as secretly as possible.
Xixi: Welcome to the new website! It looks mostly the same as the older one, only a little bit nicer. The website is still in progress. I’ll have to reformat some older posts and relink some broken links so feel free to use the blogger website to navigate older posts if need be. I’ll probably keep the blogger site up for a few more weeks before I shut it down.
(1) Scarlet King — an elder god from the SCP Foundation multiverse who seeks to destroy all creation. Here’s a link to an interesting short history of the Scarlet King.
As usual, this image doesn’t belong to me.