IWOL Chapter 191: Three-Digit Password

“The source of infection?” Cui Zuojing blinked. “If what you say is true and I am infected, then why haven’t I noticed anything wrong?”

Victor immediately used the power of the “Servant of Body” as soon as the Clown’s voice fell. After examining Cui Zuojing’s body, he shook his head, having found nothing unusual.

“The infection I spoke of is not pathological. It is a meme. It initially attached itself to Dong Zheng’s body and spread through eye contact. Anyone who is in contact with him for more than five seconds will become infected and will become a new source of infection.”

“A meme?” Cui Zuojing was surprised. He frowned, and then immediately relaxed. “Yet, you still allowed Dong Zheng to enter the Space Box. You must have your own considerations. But what is so special about his body? Or, do you need him to do something?”

The Clown was silent for a moment. “Aren’t you afraid that I would harm him?”

“With my current relationship with Dong Zheng, harming him is harming me, unless you don’t want me to live. It just so happens that I trust you.” Cui Zuojing shrugged. “Are you sure that thing is not a cognitohazard?”

“From its current performance, yes, it would only leave a copy of itself in the memory of the infected. This is to ensure that no matter what happens, it wouldn’t die. The existence of this copy wouldn’t have any negative impact on the infected.”

“It doesn’t sound too good…” Cui Zuojing murmured. “You deliberately let Dong Zheng come into contact with this meme. What is your plan?”

“A mere attempt.” The Clown lowered his voice. “I think I might have found a way to deal with Kether.”

In fact, the fundamental reason why Cui Zuojing and his old team failed their pilgrimage that year was because the Afternoon Tea Party couldn’t solve the problem of Kether. Because of this, all of their actions were known by the Queen.

Although they could destroy the server unit guarded by Administrator 03, since Kether is a supercomputer, her server wasn’t contained to just one servor.

They had tried their best, but they were ultimately helpless. As long as they were in the Pure White Realm, they would be unable to get rid of Kether.

“So you found Dong Zheng, who is a mentally capable person?” Cui Zuojing understood the Clown’s thoughts and he couldn’t help but remember the various scenes in Dong Zheng’s kernel. He suddenly felt that destroying Kether may not be just wishful thinking after all.

Fu Zhe probably had a similar idea, so he’d been trying his best to help Dong Zheng train his ability.

Cui Zuojing said most sincerely, “I have to say that you have a really good eye for picking people. If you really want to deal with Kether, he may be the most suitable candidate.”

Lights suddenly gathered in the center of the stage. The music shifted into a cheerful and exaggerated style. Under the audience’s screams and cheers, five brown bears walked on their hind legs on colored balls rolled out from backstage. They travelled a circle around the stage and finally lined up in the center to dance an adorably cute dance.

Cui Zuojing had been too focused on talking to the Clown and hadn’t noticed that the performance was about to begin.

“Don’t you need to go down?”

The Clown said, “It’s not my turn to perform yet.”

A magician dressed in a tuxedo and a top hat walked out from behind the curtain, holding a cane. He bowed deeply to the audience and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Hell’s Circus. Here is the nightmare of the world, a gambler’s paradise. As long as you have enough chips, any wishes can be satisfied!”

The screams reached a climax, and Cui Zuojing had to raise his hands to cover his ears as he watched the magician finish his opening remarks.

“As you all know, for every tour, the circus will prepare a different opening show, and today, what we will present for everyone is an unparalleled and wonderful escape show!”

Colorful staff dressed in exaggerated costumes came from behind the curtain. A series of props were brought out, including a huge three-meter-high transparent jug, a square coffin, an oil barrel with an exaggerated “Boom!” written on it, a cross standing on a pile of straw… and countless chains and brass locks.

“Let us welcome the performers tonight! What kind of wonderful performance will these brave challengers bring us? Let’s wait and see!”

With a big wave of the magician’s hand, a pigeon flew out from his sleeve. At the same time, people began to appear out of thin air on the originally empty props!

Their hands and feet were chained and their whole body confined, trapped in the props. Cui Zuojing looked closely and clenched his teeth in a hiss. The “performers” were the pilgrims still trapped in the mansion.

Dong Zheng was locked in the transparent jar, his eyes closed tightly and his hands locked behind him. He seemed to have no idea what was going on. Wang Que was dressed in the costume of a medieval witch and tied to the torture frame. Xia Qiongyun was placed in the coffin with the lid closed, nailed shut with steel nails. And Mr. Kuroko, whom Cui Zuojing was familiar with, sat in the barrel of oil.

“You guys really know how to play…” Cui Zuojing murmured.

The Clown smiled. “Since they want to enter my store, how can I let them do so without extracting a price?”

The audience began to throw flowers and strips of colored cloth on the stage. The brown bears danced and hopped. In the background, the leader was sitting on a baby booster seat, next to the doctor in bandages.

He waved his hand and motioned for the magician to start.

Water poured into the glass jar, the pile of straw was ignited with fire, and concrete began to fill the big pit, burying the coffin. The lone line of lead was ignited and began to burn toward the barrel of oil. Within two minutes, it would reach the barrel and the barrel would detonate.

The escape show had 23 different scenes. Amidst frenetic screams, the circus began its performance on stage.

***********

Dong Zheng couldn’t remember how many doors he’d opened or how many deformed human bodies he’d seen. Finally, he reached the end of the corridor.

He was numbed with fright. When he expressionlessly reached the bottom of the stairs, he found that the mansion was full of people.

Hearing the sounds of him coming downstairs, all the people sitting around the long table looked at him.

At the table was a woman with long, straight black hair who could easily crawl on the wall, a human caterpillar without limbs, a woman with butterfly wings dressed in a kimono, a girl with eight legs exposed under a billowing skirt, a graceful mermaid with a dirty fishtail, a two-headed man dressed in a black suit, a slender giant close to three meters tall, a group of dwarfs….All of the deformed actors that Dong Zheng had seen in the corridor was gathered here.

Dong Zheng paused, and under their gaze, he descended the last few steps.

His fists were aching, and the faces of the actors who’d pretended to scare him before were also aching.

Even if 10,000 ghosts were dancing disco in front of him now, Dong Zheng would not have any reaction.

A little girl with a twisted body smiled at him. She patted the empty seat beside her, and the mouth on the back of her head made a sweet voice, “Please sit down.”

Dong Zheng sat down beside her. There was a moment of silence, and he said, “How can I leave?”

“Why are you so anxious?” The mermaid smiled and said, “Doesn’t the guest like our performance?”

If he liked it, he would simply be a demon. Dong Zheng didn’t say what was in his heart. After he left the corridor, he could no longer hear other people’s voices. This hall shouldn’t be part of the overlapping space. He calmly observed his surroundings and asked, “Where is this place?”

Until now, the kernel was telling him that this wasn’t an illusion. But he had no other way to explain away what he’d seen and heard along the way.

No one answered him. The deformed people were focused on doing their own thing. The twisted girl tapped the table with her index finger, as if waiting for something.

From the kitchen came the sound of the lid being opened, and a pale young man came out carrying a bowl. He had only one arm, and the long sleeve on his left arm was hanging empty.

There was the scent of fresh blood on his body.

After putting the steaming bowl in front of Dong Zheng, the young man smiled and whispered next to his ear, “The guest is hungry. I’ve prepared some food for you to cushion your stomach.”

Dong Zheng glanced at him and found that from this angle, the young man’s eyebrows were a bit like Cui Zuojing.

“Us too!” cried the dwarfs.

“Don’t worry. There’s enough for everyone.” The young man returned to the kitchen and carried out a bowl of soup with one arm for everyone. Dong Zheng frowned and stared at the thick soup made with unknown ingredients. It smelled very fragrant but he had no idea what was in it at all.

But the others had already started.

By the time the bowl of soup in front of the deformed people was empty, Dong Zheng still hadn’t even touched his gradually cooling soup. The young man, who had been paying attention to him, came over and knelt beside him. He raised his head and asked softly, “Guest, is the taste unsatisfactory?”

Dong Zheng didn’t answer. He lowered his eyes to the young man with only one arm. Suddenly, he discovered the young man looked more and more like Cui Zuojing.

An uncontrollable nausea rose up in his throat.

“It’s my dereliction of duty. Next time, I will make myself into a taste that the guest would like.” The young man bowed and grabbed his chest with one arm. His eyes were shivering with feverish excitement, shaking unbearably. “Letting the guest eat me and becoming one with you is my greatest happiness, ah…Just thinking about it makes it hard to bear!”

Dong Zheng was now certain what was in the bowl of soup.

He didn’t look at the young man again and said coldly, “Putting on someone’s face, you will only make me feel sick.”

There is no panic, no anticipation, no fear, and no nausea. There was nothing.

Dong Zheng’s reaction undoubtedly poured cold water on the young man and he fell silent for a moment. He straightened up and stared at the man who would no longer give him even a single glance. He suppressed his crazy expression and laughed.

“What?…How boring.” The young man got up with a lack of interest. The fracture of his shoulder began to squirm and quickly grew a new arm. Holding the mouthful of untouched soup, he turned back to the kitchen.

Others didn’t seem to think there was any problem with eating their companion. The butterfly girl sitting opposite Dong Zheng suddenly said, “Many years ago, I went to a village where people were suffering from a non-contagious disease. In the middle and late stages of the illness, they would become infected into an irrational living dead and attack other normal people. They could observe other people to judge whether these people were also sick, but they could not observe themselves nor communicate what they’d seen. Once they inferred that they were infected, in order to prevent themselves from harming others in the later stages of the disease, these infected people would choose to commit suicide.”

“Everyone could only kill themselves. Even if they knew that the other people would get sick, they still couldn’t do it. Just like that, time passed day by day. No one died the first five days. It wasn’t until the sixth day that there came a shot.”

Dong Zheng was confused. He thought that the Butterfly Girl hadn’t finished speaking, so he waited for her to continue, but the Butterfly Girl picked up the tea cup and stopped talking.

Next, the mermaid said to the two-headed man, “Do you know when the leader’s birthday is?”

“I know!” A dwarf answered first, “It’s January 3, 6, 9, and April 3, 7, and August 1, 6, and September 1, 5, 9. It’s one of these five days!”

“I know the month of the leader’s birthday,” the head with the top hat on the two-headed man said.

The female head with heavy makeup said, “I only know the number.”

The male head replied, “If even I don’t know the leader’s birthday, then you definitely don’t know it.”

The female head snorted. “Originally, I didn’t know it, but since you said you knew it, then I also know it.”

The man narrowed his eyes and said, “Then I know it too.”

Dong Zheng:”………..?”

A question mark slowly appeared on his head.

This group’s sudden performance had bewildered him. Suddenly, the caterpillar without limbs, who was smoking the cigarette the multi-legged woman was holding out to him, faintly spit out a smoke ring and told Dong Zheng, “Want to leave? As long as you unlock the door, you can go out. But you have to move faster, time is running out.”

Dong Zheng got up and walked to the door. There was indeed an old-fashioned combination lock on the double door of the mansion, totaling three digits.

“We’ve already given you the password,” The twisted girl reminded Dong Zheng with the mouth on the back of her head. “There is only one chance to open the door. You must think about it before you enter the password, otherwise, you really will die.”

 


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crimson
crimson
3 years ago

Thank you for the chapters~

Whoa, the intensity suddenly ramped up! O.O So the clown did have a plan for Murphy. I hope our team will all get out safely in time >.< The puzzle on Dong Zheng’s side seems so insensible though. I can’t wait to see how it’ll be solved. Cui Zuojing is so close to getting his emotions back~

LspellsLogic
LspellsLogic
3 years ago

Ah so they weren’t talking nonsense after all, lol.

Situations like these, I’d be so confused and I would forget wtf they said then I will slowly and silently accept my fate.

weiwei
weiwei
1 year ago

is domingo the consciousness that was supposed to deal with kether?