editors: apricot & juurensha
The narrow corridor was silent.
Behind them was the six-sided mirror room with the silver ammonia-leaf butterflies, and in front of them at the other end of the corridor was a dim white light.
Wu Jin let out a long sigh of relief.
People always yearned for light––compared to sniping blindly in the dark, it was always better to have some light than no light.
The two of them stood at the door to the next room and found the first clue card without incident:
“You have fascinating eyes.”
Wu Jin lowered his head to think and was taken by surprise when Caesar patted him on the shoulder, “Isn’t this talking about our Little Witch?!”
Wu Jin stared at him with rounded eyes: “……”
Caesar nodded. “See, just like that.”
Wu Jin let out a pitiful squeak. He even began to wonder if Zoe had deliberately split them up into smaller groups so that he could get rid of Caesar…
He took a deep breath and watched as Caesar slowly opened the door.
The lighting in this room was concentrated on the other three walls, and the light source was orange and dim. The floor of the room under their feet was covered in soft, brick-red soil, and they were surrounded by a dense row of trees––based on the support database that Wu Jin had memorized, these characteristics were clearly associated with a rainforest environment.
Compared with the simple and basic mirrors in the previous instance, it was obvious that more attention had been paid to the design of the room in this one.
Wu Jin narrowed his eyes slightly. He could even hear the low chirping of insects carried on the damp breeze––fortunately, there was no sound of butterfly wings fluttering.
He gestured to Caesar, and the two of them raised their guns vigilantly, ready to withdraw through the door at any time, but nothing happened even though they waited for a long time.
The ‘door’ that signaled the completion of this instance was obviously in one of the other three directions.
“Could it be a freebie instance?” Caesar was doubtful, “Generally, there are safe zones in competitions––”
Wu Jin shook his head. “A safe zone wouldn’t be designed like this. The program group would generally… save money wherever they can. There are 297 people left.”
On their watch, it showed that a third of the contestants had been eliminated in the short time it took for them to finish a single instance. The difficulty level of this round was obviously much, much higher than the first elimination match.
Caesar looked away from his watch and stared straight ahead, “Little Witch, how could there be an owl there…”
Wu Jin looked up and saw that Caesar was looking in the direction of one of the doors. Among the green foliage, it seemed that there was really a tawny owl perched in the tree––
He stilled abruptly.
The owl’s eyes were uneven, dark and penetrating, and seemed to flicker with a faint blue light. Other than those two eyes, there were countless other similar pairs of eyes everywhere…
“It’s not an owl.” Wu Jin felt his scalp go numb as he quickly said, “They’re eyespots.”
Wu Jin explained, “Mimicry. A moth’s wing pattern––might contain eyespots, which simulate the eyes of an animal and are used to scare off predators.” He paused slightly, “It’s not an owl. There are moths lying on the door, a lot of them.”
“Fuck.” Caesar showed a disgusted expression and hoisted up his gun, “Little Witch, get out of the way. Your brother will show you an exceptional gun technique…”
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
Qe Alc gertfv ab rabq tlw, “Qjla––”
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Qe Alc mtbxfv. Pa rffwfv atja batfg atjc ifaalcu boo j rtba, tf gfjiis vlvc’a tjnf jcs batfg jiafgcjalnfr.
Jjfrjg kjr rjalrolfv jr tf tfiv eq tlr uec. Ktf akb bo atfw tlv atfwrfinfr lc atf ugjrr, jcv bcis atf wehhif bo atf rclqfg gloif ragfamtfv bea––
The expressions on their faces changed abruptly after the gunshot rang out.
––They had originally believed that it was a brown door, but it was actually bright orange. The dazzling light was like a blazing sun as it burst out of the searchlight set over the door, making the entire rainforest scene glow like an overexposed photograph.
As for the brown coat on the door––
Wu Jin felt like there was a churning storm inside his stomach as countless yellow-brown moths were startled by the sound of gunfire behind them and rose up in the air, only to return to their original positions in the next second.
The wing of the moth that had been hit was slightly charred and blackened. It fluttered its wings several times before tenaciously flying back into place.
Very soon, the door was blocked up once again.
Caesar was so stunned his mouth dropped open. “… Is this some type of specially researched, extreme steel, bulletproof, armored moth? What are they all lying there for?!”
It took Wu Jin a long time before he could move his lips. “Towards the light. They’re lying there because there’s light.”
Crosson Show’s director studio.
There was an uproar on the live broadcast platform the moment the moths appeared, and the scrolling comments were seriously polarized.
––”Ahhhh can you please move the camera elsewhere!! I just finished eating ahhhh!! I’m begging you, please just focus on filming Little Witch!! This old aunt can’t bear it ahh!!”
––” What?! I just saw a dozen cartoon hamsters flying up into the air?! How cute! What are you guys talking about?”
Ying Xiangxiang coughed lightly and spoke into the mic, “Friends in the audience who see cartoon patterns should have adjusted their viewing mode to children’s mode. Alright, let’s talk about this instance. It’s very hard to guess that the original species of these mutated moths on the screen is the yellow-spotted emperor moth. Their genetic modifications were only done a few decades ago.”
“After scientists injected the modified genes, the brown spots on their wings expanded into large eyespots, and their senses and reaction time became very slow––however, their defenses were significantly improved. Like just now, it was very difficult for Caesar’s standard 12.7mm bullet to cause enough damage to break through their defenses.”
Blood Pigeon nodded. “There’s no doubt that this is an S-level instance, because they don’t have any armor piercing weapons––fortunately, it is a low-risk S-level instance where in the worst case scenario, the contestants simply won’t be able to pass through any of the three doors and won’t suffer any substantial damage from the mutated yellow-spotted emperor moths.”
“As for the correct method to clear the instance––” Blood Pigeon looked down at the map. “They should return to their original room and then move three coordinate points along the X-axis, two points along the Y-axis, and then come back after obtaining the anti-tank rifle… if they remember the way. Believe me, the defense of this yellow-spotted emperor moth is definitely not something that they can break through with just their existing equipment. This is the only way to pass this instance…”
On the screen, Wu Jin, who had been pondering for a long time, finally said, “Big brother Caesar, can you snipe the lamp?”
Caesar was surprised, “What?”
“The moths are drawn to light. There are three lights over the three doors. Will they leave if the lights are out?” Wu Jin explained quickly.
Within the live broadcast room, Blood Pigeon paused. At the same time, the program producer who was behind the scenes also choked on water and told off the little director next to him, “Who designed this instance?!”
The little director felt wronged, “You ordered this, and you said to use the most cost-effective way to get the moths on the door, so we didn’t buy any biological glue…”
“What will we do if he snipes the light?! Is this really an S-level instance? Ah?!”
The little director blinked, “In fact, it’s alright. We also thought of this at first, but this kind of moth is very slow to react. Once they’re used to lying somewhere, they’ll…”
On the screen, Caesar blatantly opened fire.
The moths on the door were startled and flew up into the air, revealing the light that they had previously been crowding around and covered up. Then, the second shot sniped accurately at the ceiling lamp––the protective glass exploded, and the light flashed twice but remained functional.
“You snipe.” Wu Jin swiftly set up his gun. At this time, he planned to give Caesar some support.
The assault rifle with less firepower quickly scattered shots against the door, startling the moths again––with Wu Jin’s assistance, Caesar focused all of his attention on sniping out the light.
Four shots. The light on top of the exit to the left could no longer hold up and flickered out.
The room once again lost its source of light and suddenly turned dark again––Wu Jin’s small curls fluffed up as he stared wide-eyed at the blocked exit.
The moths didn’t move.
Caesar set down his gun and finally couldn’t help bursting out and swearing, “Fuck me, they’re really motherf*cking slow to respond. These things just lie there regardless of whether there’s light or not––”
Wu Jin’s small curls drooped, and he only spoke again after a long delay, “It’s not the same.”
Wu Jin spoke seriously, “As long as there are new sources of light, they’ll fly over. Big brother Caesar, let’s snipe another door.”
At this time, out of the three exits, the ceiling lamp over the left side had been shot out but was still covered by the yellow-spotted emperor moths. Caesar picked another direction and shot at the door opposite them. The moths were startled into the air, exposing the intact ceiling lamp––
On the left side, one or two of the moths seemed to have sensed something and flew towards the light source, but most of them simply shifted slightly before settling back in. A few moments later, the ceiling lamp opposite them was covered with moths once again.
Caesar finally figured it out, “A single ceiling lamp isn’t enough. This thing won’t react unless there’s light everywhere.”
Wu Jin nodded and put the gun away. “Let’s go back and find some light.”
Caesar was confused as he retreated with Wu Jin. At the other end of the dark corridor, the door leading to the silver ammonia withered leaf butterfly was still open.
“Little Witch, are we going to––”
Caesar was surprised to discover that Wu Jin had picked up the life-saving capsule of the silver ammonia withered leaf king butterfly.
Wu Jin weighed it up in his hand twice. The round sphere was like a poké ball from a certain cartoon animation in his previous world. As a special life-saving capsule for pets, it could be unscrewed without a password and would open up after being pulled a few times.
Wu Jin calmly shared his plans with Caesar.
It was obvious that Caesar was already in a stupor.
He may not only need a brain, but also a translator to go along with it.
“That’s really possible?!” Caesar asked stupidly.
Wu Jin nodded. “If it doesn’t work, we’ll just put the king butterfly back.”
He took a deep breath. Caesar set up his gun to the side and signaled that he was ready.
Wu Jin pulled out a netted bag that they’d obtained from the supplies box from his backpack and wrapped it around the life-saving capsule, then quickly unscrewed the capsule––
The silver ammonia butterfly that had originally been lying quietly on the mirrors felt the aura of their king butterfly again and flew up at full speed.
“Run!” Wu Jin held the net that contained the king butterfly that was still dazed from coming out of the capsule and rushed towards the other end of the corridor.
Caesar ran faster than he did, and in the moment that they arrived back in the rainforest room, he didn’t hesitate to shoot and drive away the moths lying on the ceiling lamp opposite of them––
Wu Jin rushed all the way in until he was less than 10 meters away from the ceiling lamp, then tossed the king butterfly the rest of the distance away with all his strength:
“Let’s go, Butterfree!”
Caesar: “??? What?!”
His eyes widened with amazement in the very next moment.
After throwing the king butterfly, Wu Jin fell prostrate on the ground, rolling twice before falling into the ditch.
The ceiling lamp that was no longer blocked lit up brightly, and then––
The silver ammonia withered leaf butterflies flew in from the corridor like a swarm of small, flying mirrors.
The single beam of light from the ceiling lamp was divided into numerous tiny rays of light that landed in the jungle and amidst the shadow of the trees. When they moved their wings, the dark rainforest suddenly bloomed with strong vitality.
The light and the mirror shards finally came together in this instant.
On the opposite door, the yellow-spotted emperor moths that had scattered briefly due to surprise flew to the spots of light on the grass. The moths that were still clinging to the ceiling lamp stared at the king butterfly, and even before the king butterfly could react, the silver ammonia butterflies in the air became both frightened and angry. In order to guard their king butterfly and ensure its escape, they weren’t afraid of these moths whose bodies were three times larger and stronger than theirs.
For a while, the chaos near the ceiling lamp made it seem like a battlefield filled with brilliant intertwining lights.
More and more moths woke up from their previous stupor and flew towards the brightly shining ceiling lamp. The exit to the left that had previously only been seen when they had sniped at the lamp slowly revealed itself––
Instance clearance conditions had been reached.
A supplies box appeared in the center of the room.
The door opened up slowly.
In the Crosson Show’s live broadcast studio, Ying Xiangxiang, who had originally been helping Blood Pigeon speak couldn’t say a single word.
It took a long time before she opened her mouth and sighed emotionally, “Although it was achieved by finding a loophole in the rules––it has to be said that this was a very beautiful break out.”
The scrolling comments were all filled with the same thing, leaving a single sentence floating at the top:
“Little Witch! Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!”
Juurensha: So smart Little Witch!!!
xiin: still giggling over the ‘putting a brain on Caesar’ bit~ heehee