Back to the small bar.
Cui Zuojing saw the glass bottle on top of the cabinet at a glance. Compared to the other recent bottles, the colorful lights within had dimmed significantly.
“I have tried my best to preserve it, but it is your own thing after all, and it will automatically return to you. You should have felt it too. Now these are the only things left at my side.” The clown took the bottle down and put it on the bar top.
“Yes.” Cui Zuojing touched the glass bottle lightly. The streaks of lights inside were very sensitive. They eagerly pressed against his finger through the glass, wanting to return to where they belonged.
Now that the performance was over, the audiences were leaving, and their muted conversations could be faintly heard. Dong Zheng and the others should be inside the shop now, selecting their rewards.
After a year, his feelings were finally coming back.
Cui Zuojing still clearly remembered how he’d felt when he first returned to the Pure White Realm, like the pain of having his body stuck in time, the loneliness he’d experienced with Victor, the obsession with vengeance, and his lack of regards for other matters.
He picked up the bottle but didn’t rush to open it. He simply held it in his palm and said, “By the way, do you know any way to release the blood contract?”
“After you were forced to sign the blood contract, I immediately went to inquire about it, but it turned out to be the same as what I knew from Her Majesty. Only the library could do it,” the clown said. “If you want to release the blood contract, you must go to the library to find the library administrator.”
Cui Zuojing nodded. The prisoner contract was one of the most fundamental laws of the Pure White Realm. It would naturally be impossible to undo it so easily. But now that he knew the library had a way, they would have to plan a trip.
As Cui Zuojing was thinking this, he suddenly felt something brushed against the top of his head. The touch was rather strange. He raised his hand and pressed down on the spot, but there was nothing there.
Then, he soon realized that it was probably Dong Zheng touching Arabidopsis in his kernel.
The clown stepped aside to take off his costume and put on a black suit. There were countless deep scars on his back, placed there when he was escaping the pursuit of the new queen.
The colorful lights knocked against the bottle, wanting to come out. Cui Zuojing took a deep breath and placed his fingers on the bottle stopper. But he didn’t use any force.
Whether things begin or end, matters will be settled in the next moment.
The clown saw his nervousness. “Do you want to drink something?”
“Give me something from the bar.”
The clown turned around and grabbed a bottle of vodka from the cabinet. Just then, a loud noise came from outside.
Cui Zuojing and the clown both looked in the direction of the sound. This small bar was the clown’s private area and could lead directly to the outside of the circus.
There was another loud noise, accompanied by the crisp sound of wood being broken, as if someone was destroying something outside.
Who would cause trouble with the circus?
“I’ll go out and have a look.” The clown’s eyes narrowed. He walked out from behind the bar, took off the crescent moon double-bladed scimitar hanging on the wall, bowed his waist, and his figure soon disappeared from behind the curtain.
With the clown here, Cui Zuojing didn’t have to worry at all. He leaned forward and sniffed the mouth of the bottle. The smell of strong alcohol drifted up to him.
“Uncle will definitely like this,” Cui Zuojing said, then he looked up and took a big mouthful from the bottle.
For a moment, his entire mouth and esophagus burned with fire, echoing with a fiery pain. Cui Zuojing put the bottle of alcohol down heavily and violently pulled the cork on the glass bottle.
Colorful streams of lights flew out and shot straight into his eyebrows, just like when they were forcibly taken away.
In an instant, emotions stronger than alcohol poured into his heart, nearly burning him.
The glass bottle slipped from his hand, rolled over the bar, and fell onto the wooden floor.
Dong Zheng raised his head.
The prisoner link between him and Cui Zuojing was just unilaterally and forcibly severed.
Right now, he could perceive Cui Zuojing’s approximate location, but he couldn’t know his specific situation.
“What kind of props does Brother Dong want?” Wang Que asked. She was focused on the dazzling array of goods on the shelves, which contained more items than any prop stores she’d visited before.
After the performance was over, they had met up with the other pilgrims, and the magician took them to the clown’s shop. According to the rules, anyone who received an admission ticket would be able to choose a reward from the shop.
This was why so many pilgrims kept an eye out for the circus’ movements and were so eager to gain an admission ticket.
The clown’s shop was full of good things.
Who would miss this rare opportunity?
The store looked very ordinary. It was in a backstage area of the circus and was blocked off by red cloth. Many animal heads and dark decorations hung on the walls. The room had rows of shelves with remarkable treasures placed within, and if someone wanted to take them away, that person would need to solve the puzzle in the compartment first.
“I’ll choose a hand weapon.” Dong Zheng suppressed his anxiety and acted as if there was nothing wrong. “Compared with you, my life-saving means are still a bit lacking.”
“Yes.” Wang Que, Dong Linhai, and Xia Qiongyun could directly use their abilities in battle. However, although Dong Zheng could perform mental attacks, if his opponent wasn’t a intelligent creature, he would lack the ability to protect himself.
“There are so many good things. It’s a pity that we can only choose one.” Wang Que picked up a fan that could be used as a weapon. After taking a closer look, she unwillingly put it back down.
Xia Qiongyun said, “It is because there’s only one chance and that’s why people cherish it so much. Because of this, they wouldn’t choose randomly.”
Three people, one cat, and other pilgrims slowly looked through the shelves. A dwarf ran over and found Victor, who was pulling on the silver bell on the third shelf. “Are you Mr. Victor? Mr. Clown said that he had already helped you select a reward. Is it convenient for you to come with me now?”
“The clown had already helped me choose?” Victor jumped off the shelf, somewhat curious about what it would be. With his current cat body, there weren’t many things that would be of use to him. In fact, he’d been choosing a prop that might be useful for Dong Linhai instead.
Dong Zheng said, “Uncle, you can go first. We’ll do this ourselves.”
Victor thought that there shouldn’t be any trouble and so he flicked his tail. “Okay, I’ll see you later.”
After wandering around the shop and taking a look at all the products, Dong Zheng finally returned to a certain shelf and stood in front of a compartment containing a large piece of metal.
According to the small introduction card next to it, this was something that a circus member had accidentally discovered in a crater. It didn’t belong to any known metal, but it contained excellent properties. It was very suitable to be used as raw material for forging a weapon.
None of those ready-made weapons were suitable for him. Perhaps he could create one from this metal?
The irregularly shaped metal exuded a quiet silvery white light. It was about the size of an outdoor air conditioner unit. And because there were already too many good things in the store, most pilgrims opted for props that were effective and could be used directly. As a result, they rarely looked at raw materials, and so it was only Dong Zheng who was in this area that contained material such as metal, woods, and various liquids.
Dong Zheng came back again and finally made up his mind—this was it.
He pressed his palm on the compartment, and a small hidden drawer popped out from it. The drawer contained eight metal balls that looked exactly the same. The door of the drawer was recessed with a circular slot, which was obviously there for him to put one of the balls in.
There were no hints.
Dong Zheng picked up the eight balls and observed them one by one, paying particular attention to the quality. He soon discovered that they were all exactly the same regardless of appearance or weight, and it was impossible to separate them.
What to do?
Since no hints were given, Dong Zheng guessed that he was supposed to select the ball that was different. But which one was different?
As Dong Zheng mulled it over, he rolled the walnut sized balls heavily on his palms, so that they collided with each other, emitting a clear, crisp sound.
The quality was the same, the shape was the same, the appearance was the same, but the sound seemed different.
Sometimes epiphanies only took a moment. Dong Zheng put the metal balls on the shelf and spun them with a constant force, just like spinning a top when he was a child.
As eight balls spun together. Dong Zheng observed their rotation until he got the desired result.
The density of metal balls were different. In order to create the appearance of similarity in size and mass, the ball with a higher density would have to be hollow. If the outer radius was the same, then the inner radius of the ball with a higher density would also be greater, thus creating a larger inertia. E=1/2Jω^ 2. If the same amount of torque was applied to the balls, the angular acceleration of the ball with the higher density would be relatively small and so the ball would rotate slower when compared to the rest.
Dong Zheng successfully picked the metal ball with a density different from the others and pushed it into the slot.
With a click, the exhibition lights in the compartment went out, indicating that he could take the thing away.
Dong Zheng stretched his hand in, tried to move the large piece of metal, and found that its mass was lighter than he’d initially thought.
Materials with low density but great durability and strength were most suitable for creating weapons. Such weapons would be light and difficult to damage.
Dong Zheng was holding onto the piece of metal the size of an outdoor air conditioning unit and was wondering if he would have to carry it when he felt someone pulling the hem of his shirt.
He lowered his head and saw that one of the dwarfs he’d seen in the mansion had come to him at some point in time. The dwarf pointed to the metal in his arms and said, “Is the guest sure he wants to choose this product?”
The dwarf said, “Please follow me. This piece is just a sample. You can put it back down first and someone will help you get it later. Mr. Clown had the real product stored in the warehouse. Please follow me to take a look at it.”
This piece…was just a sample?
Dong Zheng was a little surprised. If such a large piece was just a sample, how big was the real thing?
He put the metal back in the compartment and followed the dwarf.
In the pure white void, the black railroad tracks lay not too far away, becoming the only color in this space. However, the endless train was nowhere to be seen. A year ago, the clown had stood here and greeted Cui Zuojing, who’d smuggled back in.
The large, red drapes dropped back down, and the clown took two steps forward, attentive to even the slightest noise in this silence.
A whip shot out toward the side of his neck. The clown raised his arm, and the scimitar clinging to the outside of his arm easily blocked the attack. Sparks flew as metal clashed against metal.
A young man in black combat uniform descended from the sky and landed in front of the clown.
A snake stuck its head out from the young man’s neckline and hissed out a scarlet, forked tongue at the clown. Tang Ji gently flicked his nine-section whip, and it made a snapping sound.
“It’d been a long time.” Tang Ji smiled a greeting at the clown, but his smile did not enter his eyes, which couldn’t hide his bloodthirsty madness.
Even though many years had passed, Tang Ji still remembered that day that Her Royal Highness had stabbed a sharp dagger into the heart of the old woman who could only shout “Off with his head!” As the Red Queen’s confidant, the clown escaped alone from the pursuit of an entire assassination squad.
After climbing out from hell with festering hands and feet and eventually becoming close friends with Her Royal Highness, he thought that he was strong enough to confront the clown. But in the end, he couldn’t even survive ten rounds and nearly die under that double bladed scimitar.