IWOL Chapter 49: Secret Base

Lin Hangzhi took advantage of the doll’s preoccupation with the fast-moving Allen and Dong Linhai, who would pelt her with stones from time to time. He sneaked up behind her and jumped, then he grabbed the small white zipper and pulled it all the way down.

The entire combination lock panel was displayed in front of him. Before the doll could turn around and slap him away, Lin Hangzhi took the time to look at it. On the display screen were six dimmed out 8-shaped squares.

“Six digits!”

There are nine rows and nine columns, one to nine. Dong Zheng’s first thought was Sudoku, but there were no vacancies in the puzzle, and there were repeated numbers in the rows and columns. He put this idea aside for the time being, and considered other possibilities.

Did the way the numbers were arranged mean anything? Perhaps, the specific number of combinations counted as a numerical series? Read in reverse order or in a roundabout way?

Dong Zheng tried all the possibilities he could think of, but failed to find any useful information, and finally had to go back to the original idea.

Normal Sudoku would have vacancies and the numbers wouldn’t repeat. But, what if the Sudoku was filled in incorrectly?

There were repeated numbers in the first, second, fourth, fifth, sixth and ninth houses, which added up to exactly six houses total, corresponding to the six-digit code.

If the 8 in the lower right corner of the first house was changed to 3, its corresponding house and rank would all be in accordance with the rules of Sudoku. If the 5 in the middle of the second house was changed to 9, and the third house was correct… If one looked at it like this, one would only need to change six numbers to correct the Sudoku.

Dong Zheng frowned slightly, thinking as fast as he could, using his nails to create marks on the manual.

The wrong numbers were 8 5 7 4 3 1 and the corrected numbers were 3 9 5 8 5 6. The correct passcode should be either one of these.

But which one?

There were hints provided in the manual.

Over yonder, the battle with the doll was like chickens flying and dogs jumping, all chaotic. The doll was not the least bit tired, but the people were exhausted. Dong Linhai and Allen, both of whom had been attracting the grunt of the attacks, were moving significantly slower.

Meanwhile, Lin Hangzhi, who’d used his ability earlier to deal with the skeleton model, had yet to escape his bad luck. He tripped over a stone and fell flat on his face. At this moment, he was climbing up in daze from the ground.

“Hangzhi, try 857431!”

Hearing Dong Zheng’s voice, Lin Hangzhi immediately shook his head to clear it. He checked the timing of the doll’s bending, jumped onto her back and entered the passcode.

The moment all six digits were entered, the combination lock issued an “incorrect” prompt. The doll suddenly jerked around with a roar and reached behind her in an attempt to pull Lin Hangzhi off her back!

Lin Hangzhi was almost thrown off by the doll. He screamed and shouted, “Wrong, wrong!”

“Then 395856!”

Lin Hangzhi was being shaken so much that he almost vomited. He held on tightly to the doll’s braid to stabilize himself and entered the passcode with shaking hands, all the while the doll was trying to shake him off. At this moment, the doll’s hand finally pounding into his back.

This heavy blow almost made Lin Hangzhi spit out a mouthful of blood. His grip loosened and just as he was about to fall off the doll’s back, he managed to successfully pressed the last 6.

There was a soft click, indicating that the password was correct. The battery cover popped open, but Lin Hangzhi could no longer hold on. He rolled off the doll’s back and onto the ground. As he was about to scramble away, he saw a huge foot come slamming down on top of his head!

“Brother Lin!”

“Watch out!”

But it was already too late to dodge. Lin Hangzhi threw up his hands in front of him, closed his eyes, and waited for the pain.

But the expected heavy blow did not come. Lin Hangzhi heard Allen shouting and tentatively opened his eyes. A boy stood in front of him, gripping Dong Zheng’s knife in his hand, and cut off the doll’s entire plastic foot as easily as slicing through tofu.

Lin Hangzhi’s pupils dilated sharply. He’d seen Dong Linhai’s attack on the doll earlier. His harsh blow had only left a scratch on the doll, while Cui Zuojing seemed to have cut through her entire foot without much effort at all!

He had joined the team late and didn’t know Cui Zuojing’s ability like Allen and Dong Linhai. As a result, he was utterly shocked. Lin Hangzhi looked at Dong Zheng, who was standing at the side of the path and watching the situation here, and a thought flashed through his mind: How did Dong Zheng, who had only passed through three boxes, managed to gain such a powerful prisoner?

The doll felt no pain, but she was completely furious with Cui Zuojing. Her mutilated foot caused her to stagger as little, and she ended up hitting a tree as she swiped with her hand, trying to crush the intruder who dared to harm her.

Cui Zuojing easily evaded her, moving even easier than Allen, who had the ability of speed. He seemed to know how the doll was going to attack and could dodge every of her attacks with the smallest movements possible.

Finally, Allen could rest. Dong Linhai took the opportunity to grab the doll’s skirt, climbed onto her back, and pulled out the two huge batteries.

All of a sudden, the doll seemed to have lost its life and the arm that was about to slap down stopped in mid-air. It stood still, motionless. A few seconds later, it crashed to the ground and it’s blue, lifeless stared up at the moon in the night sky.

The doll’s skirt had flipped up, becoming slightly disheveled and revealing her lower body.

Unlike ordinary Western dolls, this doll had nothing between the legs. Three inches below her navel, a compartment slowly opened and inside was a key. The entire arrangement seemed to be giving off a strong hint.

At present, the five men and the male cat all showed subtle expressions.

After a long time, Allen, who was still gasping for breath, asked, “Who’s going to get the key?”

Lin Hangzhi grimaced. “Not me.”

Dong Linhai lowered his head and concentrated on patting off the dirt on his body. “I’m still a child. Why show this to a minor?”

Cui Zuojing snorted disdainfully. “Come now. Don’t try to act young.”

Victor looked up at Dong Zheng. “Meow.”

Dong Zheng: “……………………”

In the end, the arduous task naturally fell to Dong Zheng. He sighed, walked over, and took the key out from the small door.

The task interface immediately changed: [Collect Keys 5/5]

This line of words faded and became [Enter Paradise]

Dong Zheng put away the key and said, “That’s the last key. My task now is to enter paradise. It means the same as your task to find the eye of paradise.”

Allen said, “I guess it’s in the front cabin.”

Lin Hangzhi pressed several places on his chest to make sure that his ribs and internal organs were intact. Relieved, he picked up Victor, who had been pacing at his feet, and accepted the healing effect of Victor’s purification ability.

“Let’s go and take a look.”

The small wooden house was not too far ahead. Although the area wasn’t big, there was a flat, open space next to it so everyone scattered around to investigate.

The house had no windows and the door seemed to be tightly closed. Cui Zuojing tried to push it open, but he didn’t really expect that the door would immediately open with a creak.

Everyone promptly looked over at him. Cui Zuojing frowned and walked into the room. The layout inside was very simple. It was empty with only a small, cellar-like door on the floor that was thrown open.

Allen and Lin Hangzhi’s task interface immediately changed from [Find the Eye of Paradise] to [Enter Paradise], just like Dong Zheng. Even Dong Linhai’s task interface, which had been silent, was updated accordingly.

“That is the Eye of Paradise? Why is it different from what I imagined?” Lin Hangzhi scratched his head.

Allen echoed, “It’s not like what I thought. At least, there must be an eye. What about the eye?”

Dong Zhen approached the cellar and looked inside. The bottom was pitched black, so dark that he couldn’t see what was inside. However, his instinct told him that entering heaven meant going into the cellar.

Dong Linhai asked, “Go down right now?”

“Wait. We haven’t figured out the last page on the booklet yet.” Dong Zheng walked out of the wooden house. He discovered the grid for the game hopscotch behind the house and asked, “If we follow the instructions in the booklet, will we get something?”

Dong Linhai said, “But how do we use it? Play hopscotch and with wooden people?”

“Let’s try it, just in case it really is something.” Dong Linhai casually found a small stone nearby. He’d never played this kind of girl’s game before and didn’t know what to do. He asked, “Who wants to play?”

As a kindergarten teacher, Allen had experience with taking children to play games every day. He said, “I know the rules, but it’s safer to let the more dexterous people play hopscotch.”

Several gazes landed on Cui Zuojing, who was currently the smallest and most dexterous, aside from Victor.

“……” The corners of Cui Zuojing’s lips twitched, and he helplessly said, “Fine, I’ll do it. I happened to play this with my sister when I was a child. I remembered how to do it.”

He stood at the starting point and tossed a stone into the square marked with 1. After jumping back and forth, he finally bent over to pick up the stone with one hand before jumping back to the starting point.

“Okay, you guys stop looking at me. Go look for other clues. I’ll finish in a bit.”

So, everyone went to search for clues. Only Dong Zheng stayed behind, studying the information on the third page of the booklet for clues.

After a period of time, Dong Zheng couldn’t resist raising his eyes to look. Cui Zuojing was jumping very lightly. He was wearing the most common black sportswear and, as he jumped, his shirt opened to reveal the pale T of his collarbones, undoubtedly revealing the youth’s unique sense of attractiveness.

Dong Zheng had to admit to himself that when Cui Zuojing stopped ridiculing and spoke seriously and earnestly, he was a person with the kind of appearance and temperament that would attract attention at a glance.

Cui Zuojing jumped eight squares in one breath, and finally reached out for the stone thrown backward into the ninth square. This last square was given a special name, called “Heaven”.

Back at the starting point, Cui Zuojing sighed for a long time, remembering the time when he was a little child and he played with his sister. His mood became more considerably relaxed.

A piece of paper slowly fell from the air and landed in the “Heaven” square.

Dong Zheng picked it up and saw that there was a line written in English on it: [We are best friends with each other. You may be afar, but we will never be apart.]

Next to the words was something that looked like a dial with twelve short lines that formed a circle. The line at the 12 o’clock position was bolded, and there was a small N written on it.

Dong Zheng and Cui Zuojing looked at each other. He clearly saw that the youth had an idea, but in the end, Cui Zuojing just smiled. “Don’t look at me. Don’t forget, I shouldn’t help. But this level of puzzle…you can say that it is very simple?”

Dong Zheng declined to comment. At this time, on the other side of the house, Allen shouted, “A frame suddenly appeared here!”

Cui Zuojing went over to look and there was indeed a frame beside Allen’s feet. It was a box drawn in white chalk with WE written in the middle.

Dong Zheng asked, “Was it there before?”

“No, I looked but didn’t see it. It just appeared all of a sudden.” Allen leaned over to look at the note in Dong Zheng’s hand. “Another decryption? It’s a little interesting.”

——————————
Xixi: Ahem…the doll is huge so 3 inches below the navel is just the lower abdomen.

By the way, kudos to Myu for guessing correctly. I’m impressed.

 


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myu
myu
3 years ago

xixi noticed me! (*≧∀≦)
"this doll had nothing between the legs"
w-was it supposed to have something there?

Xixi
Xixi
3 years ago

LOL. My sentiments exactly. I did a double take, rechecked the translation, then went on a googling spree trying to figure out exactly what that meant. Needless to say, Google probably thought I have some weird kinks now.

Dreamer
Dreamer
2 years ago

N?WE? Is it directions like north, east, south, west? Coordinates?

If that western doll they fought is linked with the identity of Agatha’s friend… Then is that doll… What had become of her?

Completely unrelated but the whole scenario and battle against that doll reminded me of a section in Alice: Madness Returns. In the game, you fight huge girl dolls. These dolls are tough monsters. As you fight these dolls to kill them, they shield themselves by covering their chest with their arms. As you whittle away their health, the clothes of the doll is removed. In the game, these girl doll monsters represents the poor children who are being manipulated and were being forced to prostitution by the villain boss. And in the game, these monster dolls come out from a door imbedded in a much larger stationary doll. This door is located below the navel area (yep, the actual groin part).

So it got me thinking… Agatha may have possibly gone through some traumatizing experiences aside from th

Dreamer
Dreamer
2 years ago

Aside from the bullying in forms of being isolated, ostracized, verbal bullying, physical bullying, and etc.

Had to make another comment because the first one reached its character limit ahahaha

Qi Qi
Qi Qi
2 years ago

… Maybe I’m not good at riddles. Like Dong Zheng, I’m declining to comment what Cui Zuojing casually said! x.x

Ketkai
Ketkai
2 years ago

Hahahahaha
‘The battle with the doll was like chickens flying and dogs jumping, all chaotic.’
And when it was finally mc’s turn. And when he played hopscotch with his 16 year old body

They’re all so cuteee

Neo
Neo
1 year ago

Heh, the puzzle was… fine I guess but the logic to solve it was very weird. The puzzle is my hobby, why didn’t the author let other people come up with puzzles and then try to solve them? Instead of both creating the puzzle and coming up with the answer themselves. Ahhhh it was just a small detail but why am I so upset QwQ

thatonecat
thatonecat
1 year ago

Smartest and most correct thing to do would be asking Lin Haozing between which of the first two numbers was the correct one. The backlash would be tiny.