None of them had the same arena as Dong Linhai so there was no way to know what had happened to him. However, they still had a total of five people and one cat, and they all managed to successfully obtain admission tickets. This ratio was already very good.
To be able to get to this point, no pilgrim would ignore the reminder of the box. Before eight o’clock, everyone was already sitting around the long table in the living room, waiting to see what would happen next.
Despite having been with Dong Zheng for two and a half days, He Xiufang still failed to get a good spot in the card elimination round. Dong Zheng had only met the other two people who’d come with him from the space arena once. All of them had exhausted expressions on their faces. The short rest clearly had little effect on their tortured physical and mental state.
Cui Zuojing sat next to Dong Zheng. He looked around and found an acquaintance in the corner on the other side of the long table. It was Mr. Kuroko, who he’d taken for a fat sheep but who’d stolen most of his identification cards in the end.
Kuroko obviously also saw Cui Zuojing. The young man and the few people around him seemed to have their own auras, and it wasn’t easy to look at them, especially the white cat on the table. They were very conspicuous among this group of pilgrims.
The moment Cui Zuojing looked towards him, Kuroko lowered his head, tried to reduce his sense of existence, and silently hid himself among the crowd.
Perceiving Cui Zuojing’s gaze, Dong Zheng also turned to look over there. “What’s the matter?”
“That person came out of the same arena as me.” Cui Zuojing retracted his gaze. “After all, he got so many secret letters. It’s not bad for him to also get an admission ticket.”
Dong Zheng saw that the young man was about to stick his head in the ground like an ostrich. He didn’t need to think about what the man had experienced with Cui Zuojing. He couldn’t help but want to laugh. After counting a total of 25 pilgrims, he asked in a low voice, “You didn’t come in through the trials, did you?”
“I had some troubles on the last day, so the clown brought me here directly, not letting me take someone else’s place.” Cui Zuojing swept his gaze around. “So there should be eight arenas in total.”
Several members of the Wonton Insurgency team sat together and whispered their experiences. Victor entered the forest arena. As a cat, he was simply blessed with a unique advantage. It was already difficult enough for humans to catch a cat focused on running away on a flat terrain, much less in a forest.
And there was his hidden trump card, which was that he had the power of the Servant of Body.
He adopted a guerrilla strategy. Instead of confronting people head-on, he simply snatched and searched for secret letters, constantly harassing people and wandering around before hiding in his secret base set up on a high branch. Finally, he succeeded in becoming the number one, completely standing out on top in the card game of the forest arena.
Wang Que entered the ruins arena. In the ancient city-state full of religion and mysticism, every pilgrim was troubled by curses. These curses were either good or bad, and they updated every three hours, adding countless variables.
The city-state was extremely large. Due to the curses, all the pilgrims had to gather in several temples when it became dark in order to avoid being harmed by unknown existence in the darkness.
This gave them a chance to meet each other and compete. Throughout the elimination round, many people focused on the seemingly weak and harmless Wang Que, but even up to the very end, no one really succeeded.
No one could have imagined that a little girl could control so many disgusting bugs. When countless ants, centipedes, scorpions, nematodes and earthworms emerged from the damp, dark cracks and soil, even the most ferocious pilgrim couldn’t stand it. All of them could only retreat back in succession, never daring to provoke Wang Que again.
In this way, except for a few negative curses that caused her a short period of trouble, Wang Que smoothly went all the way to the end.
And Xia Qiongyun stood out in the “Natural World”, which was the junction of various planes and was a gathering place for people or creatures from various worlds. At the same time, there were different kinds of magic, from spirits to the arcane to technology to the metaphysics and so on. The box was different in that the pilgrims needed to complete tasks from the NPCs in order to be rewarded with secret letters.
Xia Qiongyun relied on her stable strength and mysterious ability to get the top three without any suspense.
The clock on the wall slowly turned, and the minute hand finally pointed to the twelve o’clock position. The mechanical crow on the telescopic frame popped out of the small window, making a dozen hoarse calls.
Everyone looked over when the door of the mansion was suddenly pushed open from the outside. A brawny man in a black suit walked in. He was nearly two meters tall, and his exaggerated muscles bulged under his clothes. His smiling lips were smeared with red paint that stretched all the way up to the base of his ears. His eyes were painted with blue four-point stars, and the small piece of skin on his neck that wasn’t covered by his collars was a darker wheat color.
This was the first time Dong Zheng saw the clown, this “old friend” whom Cui Zuojing had mentioned about many times. Just like everyone else, he stared unblinkingly at the clown striding in and looked at him from head to toe.
He was very aware of the position that the clown occupied in Cui Zuojing’s return to the Pure White Realm. It could be said that if there was no clown, then he and Cui Zuojing would have never met.
He looked strong and dangerous.
Everyone was tense, except for Cui Zuojing and Victor. Cui Zuojing reached out, pulled Victor into his arms, and rubbed the top of his hairy head.
“Everyone, I am the clown in charge of this selection. First of all, congratulations to you for completing the test of the circus and successfully walking here.” The clown stood in the middle of the hall, facing the long table. With one hand on his chest, he gave everyone a bow. The pilgrims sitting on the ground returned with a gentleman’s salute. When they raised their heads, that funny and terrifyingly exaggerated smile rushed into everyone’s eyes.
“We have prepared a sumptuous dinner for you. After the meal, you can choose your own room on the second floor to rest. Tomorrow morning, I will lead everyone into the Hell’s Circus.”
The clown looked around for a while, his gaze passing over everyone’s expressions and finally stopping on Dong Zheng. He looked at Dong Zheng meaningfully and saw that the other party was still calm. His body tensed and his eyes narrowed imperceptibly.
Did she run out?
“Well, that’s it. Take a good rest tonight. I wish you all a pleasant meal.”
Leaving the last sentence, the clown took out a piece of red cloth from his suit pocket and flicked it lightly. The red cloth flew up, covering his figure. When it fell down, the figure in the black suit was gone.
This was almost magical, and even Dong Zheng couldn’t see how he had disappeared.
Whispers immediately sounded from the table. Wang Que wowed a little, and whispered to Xia Qiongyun, “That looked so cool.”
The smell of food floated from the kitchen not far away. Most of these people hadn’t been able to eat much in the arenas. Now that they had an opportunity to eat a full meal, they couldn’t help but look over there. It was uncleared who suggested, “Let’s get the food.”
This suggestion received unanimous approval from everyone, and they all stood up and went to the kitchen. .
There were dozens of plates of exquisite food on the dining table. Many people couldn’t help but start eating while carrying their plates. After taking enough for themselves, the pilgrims sat down and began to firmly eat.
Even Cui Zuojing, who’d taken the clown for a small stove, was hungry. The last time he ate was 13 to 14 hours ago. He was so hungry that his stomach felt as if it was digesting itself. The two girls, Wang Que and Xia Qiongyun, both of whom had always been gentle, also only cared about eating. For a long time, there was only the sound of everyone chewing and swallowing frantically.
There was a special box of opened cat cans on the stove. It was self-evident who prepared it. Victor squatted at Cui Zuojing’s feet and ate slowly. The cat’s hunting ability was very powerful, and the forest was filled with all kinds of birds and small animals. As long as he passed the hurdle of eating raw meat, he would never be hungry.
It wasn’t wise to overeat after prolonged hunger. Dong Zheng controlled himself and stopped eating the moment his hunger disappeared. He secretly observed the pilgrims around the table and happily filled Cui Zuojing’s cup with water.
After a while, Cui Zuojing licked his lips and put down his chopsticks. He patted his chest and let out a very quiet hiccup. Seeing that Victor had licked the tin can clean, he figured they’d finished eating and winked at Wang Que and Xia Qiongyun.
The four people and one cat stood up tacitly. They didn’t stay in the hall, and went back to the second floor.
They had a short meeting in Cui Zuojing and Dong Zheng’s bedroom. Sitting on the bed, they talked about their experiences and harvests in detail.
In the end, Dong Zheng said, “Although everyone had successfully won in their respective arenas, we haven’t entered the circus yet and so we can’t be complacent.”
Xia Qiongyun nodded, and Cui Zuojing said, “This mansion isn’t very safe, so everyone will rest in groups tonight. Que’er and Xiao Xia will stay together.”
“Okay.” Wang Que looked at Victor. “But what about Uncle?”
Victor was a cat, making it very inconvenient for him to open doors. It would be best for him to share with other people. Since his white cat’s body had the soul of an adult male, it would be inappropriate for him to follow Wang Que and Xia Qiongyun.
Cui Zuojing immediately said, “Uncle will of course sleep with me.”
Dong Zheng immediately looked over. Although his ability to control his expressions had always been excellent, Cui Zuojing could feel that Dong Zheng didn’t seem to be too happy.
Cui Zuojing glanced at him, hugged Victor in his arms, and pretended not to see anything. “It’s decided. Uncle and I sleep together.”
Looking at the cat between them, Wang Que’s lips twitched fiercely. She lowered her head and tried to resist the untimely impulse of her mouth wanting to rise wildly.
What kind of jealous fairy plot is this?!
Xia Qiongyun didn’t know anything. She felt that the atmosphere suddenly became a little strange, but she couldn’t tell what went wrong, so she could only observe silently.
Victor smiled and said, “You two should stay in the same room as usual. Just find a box for me to sleep, and I won’t disturb you.”
Dong Zheng only hummed and didn’t say anything. Now that the room arrangement was confirmed and the time was getting late, everyone was very tired. Wang Que and Xia Qiongyun went back to their room.
After turning off the lights early and going to bed early, Cui Zuojing laid next to Dong Zheng. There was only one comforter to cover two people and so they had to sleep closely together. Fortunately, Cui Zuojing and Dong Zheng were used to sleeping together without any psychological burden.
Victor lay directly in the pile of clothes in the closet. As a cat, this was his favorite soft, warm and enclosed environment.
The mansion’s soundproofing was very good. The pilgrims all went back to their rooms to rest and everything was extremely quiet. For a while, the only sound in Cui Zuojing’s ears was the sound of Dong Zheng’s steady breathing, giving him an indescribable sense of stability. He fell asleep.
When the penetrating chill quietly came, Cui Zuojing’s eyes snapped open.
It was dark in the bedroom. He wasn’t sleeping honestly, and one leg was thrown over Dong Zheng. Their surroundings were still dark, but something seemed to be approaching.
Dong Zheng’s breathing was still steady and long. When Cui Zuojing silently opened his eyes, his whole body was already tensed, ready to respond at any time.
At this moment, his hand under the quilt was gently held.