editors: apricot & juurensha
At present, 10 people were still alive.
The sacrificial fire had eliminated all the trainees except those in the instance. The remaining 10 contestants were getting ready in the preparation area. Wei Yan was to his left, and Wen Lin and Caesar were to his right. Two people from Jingyi Entertainment were across from him, along with two from Dolma Entertainment, one from Azure People’s Entertainment, as well as the charred Thin Fire with burnt hair from Silver Thread Roll.
Inside the arena, two cards were suspended in the air––the instance was divided into two. The High Priestess and The Hermit.
Almost all the contestants looked lost, but Wu Jin breathed a sigh of relief.
It was exactly as he’d guessed.
He quickly opened up the team communication channel, “The card spread represents the fate of the sacrifice. The 10th instance is determined by the nine burned major arcana. In the final battle–cards will appear in the same order that they were burned in the sacrificial fire. If I’m not wrong, the first round is the two cards from the past, the second round is ‘finding, sheltering, and crowning’, the third round is ‘future’, and the fourth round is ‘sincerity, bonds, and fears’. The final round is the unveiling of destiny.”
“Also, the instance elimination rate doesn’t stack up. As long as they’re not killed by other players, anyone will have a chance to reach ‘destiny’.”
Caesar spoke, “How do you play this?”
Wu Jin lowered his voice, “Clear the instance as quickly as possible, and exchange your ‘World’ card for our destiny.”
The preparation zone slowly descended. The instance finally began.
Wu Jin pulled out his gun and rushed over to The High Priestess instance, followed by Wei Yan.
The High Priestess and The Hermit. Pick one of the two.
Almost all the contestants were watching to see what happened next. Seeing that Wu Jin had made a choice, Thin Fire, who was deeply aware of Wu Jin’s intellectual power, was the first to follow suit, followed by Jingyi Entertainment, Dolma who’d been let off by Wu Jin, as well as Wei Yan––
Just before Wu Jin entered the instance, Wei Yan opened fire. Wu Jin dodged to the side, but was preempted by Wei Yan who seized the opportunity to step into The High Priestess card instance.
R-Code Entertainment’s problem solving method was simple and crude. As long as they were the first to go in, they would be able to obtain the first chance.
Wu Jin’s eyes shifted, and he let out a breath of relief, “Go to The Hermit card.”
Wen Lin smiled.
The High Priestess was the distant past, while the Hermit was the near past––the instance clearance time would certainly be shorter than The High Priestess instance.
Ten minutes later, White Moonlight came out of the instance, and three cards appeared at the entrance of The High Priestess instance where a chaotic brawl was still taking place. Justice, The Moon, and The Chariot.
Wu Jin, “Choose the ‘crowning’ instance, head to The Chariot––careful!”
A sniper bullet came flying over. Wei Yan had been the first to pass the sacrificial instance on his own, chasing closely after White Moonlight’s footsteps.
On their wrist watches, there were still 8 surviving players. This was quite different from Wei Yan’s usual style of killing all the contestants.
Wu Jin’s eyes contracted slightly. At this time, he’d finally realized what Wei Yan was doing.
If this was an exam––testing the contestants’ understanding of the card spread, then Wei Yan only had one strategy, which was to copy all of White Moonlight’s answers.
“Enter the instance!” Wu Jin ordered.
The chariot and lions all reappeared. Wu Jin was about to climb onto the chariot, but Wen Lin stopped him, “I’ll go.”
Wu Jin paused and looked towards Wen Lin.
The White Moonlight support player nodded and smiled slightly, “Don’t worry.”
Wu Jin finally bumped shoulders with him and said nothing, gratitude clear in his eyes.
Caesar obviously didn’t understand the situation. He was blocked by Wu Jin, “Prepare to go to the next one.”
Behind them, Wen Lin maneuvered the chariot to block Wei Yan. This human-shaped weapon didn’t have enough time to defend and didn’t know the rules. He was harassed and attacked a few times by the black and white lions.
Ten minutes later, the ‘crowning’ instance was finished.
Wu Jin: “Go!”
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.
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Wen Lin’s profile image dimmed.
Wu Jin was faster to shed his emotions than Caesar was, “Go to The Hanged Man card to pick something up. After it’s passed, between sincerity, bonds, and fears––go to sincerity, The Hierophant card.”
Wei Yan had been held back by Wen Lin, and had ended up stranded in The Hanged Man instance. Wu Jin and Caesar had experience with The Hierophant card and finished the instance in 3 minutes.
The moment they came out of the instance, the platform finally rose up––the card that symbolized their final ‘destiny’ hung suspended mid-air, and the two of them finally breathed a sigh of relief.
5 people survived.
Wu Jin, Caesar, Wei Yan, Ming Yao, and Thin Fire.
Beneath the platform, Wei Yan was still fighting through the Death card, and the other two were split between The Hierophant and The Hanged Man instances.
Caesar took out his long-cherished ‘World’ card and held it in his hand.
Wu Jin whispered, “Ready?”
Caesar nodded. Compared to half an hour ago, any order that Wu Jin gave––even if he was ordered to rush back into the instance now, would be complied with unconditionally.
He stood shoulder to shoulder with Wu Jin, his expression finally relaxed as he looked at the card in his hand, “Our Little Witch is amazing! Should we change it now while nobody else is out?”
Wu Jin shook his head. “This card will change the fate of all players. Don’t change it now.”
Caesar was shocked, “Then when should it be changed?”
Wu Jin took a deep breath. “When you’re certain that you can eliminate everyone. Wait.”
Wei Yan walked out expressionlessly from the Death card instance and exchanged fire with Caesar who was outside. His gaze stilled slightly, and he looked up at the elevated platform.
Caesar was standing on guard outside the instance, but Wu Jin was standing on the elevated platform.
He held a card in his hand and locked gazes with Wei Yan from the distance.
Wei Yan didn’t hesitate to set up his big sniper rifle. Between Wu Jin and Caesar, he didn’t even need brains to know that Wu Jin was the commander. With Caesar’s line of gunfire chasing him from behind, Wei Yan stepped straight towards the elevated platform––
Wu Jin looked down, and finally put down the card he held in his hand.
In the Crosson Show director’s studio, Ying Xiangxiang’s eyes opened wide. “He’s going to insert the World card now? But––wait a minute!”
The instance spun and shifted.
Thorns spread out and grew from the ground. Flames roared up towards the sky, and gallows dropped down from above.
Blood Pigeon: “… It’s The Hanged Man.”
Wu Jin didn’t hesitate at all as he swiftly shot at Wei Yan.
His goal was not to hit Wei Yan. The bullet lit up the elevated platform due to its rapid friction––the entire platform had been covered in brambles, and the thorny vines that the Crosson Show had increased the flammability for quickly caught fire, burning on the elevated platform and turning what was originally a safe zone into a human purgatory!
White Moonlight had sacrificed Wen Lin and taken the lead ahead of Wei Yan in clearing instances for only one thing––
In order to set up a scene with The Hanged Man, force Wei Yan onto the elevated platform, then ignite a fire with the brambles and launch an indiscriminate attack.
Ying Xiangxiang stilled slightly, “However, there’s not just Wei Yan… Little Witch is still on the platform.”
Blood Pigeon looked at the card information in his hand, “The Hanged Man card signifies dedication and self-sacrifice.”
In the arena, Caesar gritted his teeth and finally nodded towards Wu Jin on the platform.
Wei Yan didn’t have time to prevent himself from being affected by the burning brambles, but compared to finding a safe area––Wu Jin was closer to him.
There was already nowhere to retreat, so he would exchange a life for a life.
When the double barreled shotgun went off, Caesar paused, and the last two words he wanted to say caught in his throat.
Wu Jin was eliminated, and there were 4 players left.
Wei Yan was eliminated in the fire. 3 players left.
Caesar didn’t say a word as he picked up his gun, bypassing the wildfire, and walking to the top of the elevated platform.
The World card was inserted into the card slot.
Thin Fire, who was still struggling to pass The Hanged Man instance, was eliminated by a shot from Caesar.
Ming Yao dodged quickly behind shelter, but the scene in the instance was undergoing a transformation.
The door to victory opened up, and angels frolicked in the clouds. There was a stretch of boundless fertile land beneath their feet––
The bunker disappeared.
Caesar lifted up his gun for the last time.
Caesar’s watch flashed.
Inside the life-saving capsule.
The hot temperature from the flames disappeared by itself, and the anaesthetic gas suppressed his senses. Wu Jin soon sank into sleep.
The scene from 40 minutes ago flashed back in his mind just before he fell into dreamland.
At the entrance to instance number 10.
The hymn echoed in the dome, and the sacrificial fires burned.
Wu Jin saw the shadow cast over the corner of the wall and quietly dove away with his gun.
The burnt ashes, charred, mottled walls, and mounds of dirt cut off his sense of smell, and his eyes were reddened from the smoke. All his eyes could see were demonic, ferocious flames, and he had no way to see the enemy behind the wall clearly. The echoing, swirling hymn and the crackling sound of burning, as well as the heartbeat from one wall away drifted past his ears––
The presence was extremely familiar.
Wu Jin stilled abruptly.
His eyes flew open in surprise, his heart rate calming as he suddenly began to rejoice.
On the other side of the wall, Wei Shi’s gaze moved, and his right hand rubbed against the handle of his gun.
Wu Jin stared at the shadow for a long time. Seeing that the big boss was motionless, he couldn’t help but clatter forward to sound out the situation.
In a place where the cameras couldn’t reach, Wu Jin’s shadows overlapped with the man who blended in with the light of the flames.
From the edge of the wall, half a head slowly protruded out, followed by a smooth forehead that was revealed by the pushed back curls, then goggles that were of the same style as those of big boss.
Wei Shi gestured for the rabbit who was trying to observe him secretly to jump out.
The half-exposed head swished back. Wu Jin looked left and right and checked the camera positioning. He was finally reassured and leapt out from behind the wall––
The fire was burning fiercely. He was clearly supposed to feel uncomfortably hot, but he instead felt incredibly warm when he saw him.
Wei Shi looked down.
There were several wounds on the youth’s body. His elbow was red and swollen, obviously knocked against something somehow. There was uncleaned debris mixed in amidst the scratched skin, and the small round face was grey and pitiful. He clutched silently at his gun, like a rabbit who’d been plucked out of the garbage can.
But the rabbit’s smile was happy and even a little silly.
The man tossed over a bottle of spray for injuries. His words were concise and to the point. “Shoot.”
Wu Jin froze, “Wh, what? Big brother…”
Wei Shi had really come over to give him points. The number of survivors had reached the target line, and it was enough for him to be promoted to B.
He tossed down the spray and stroked a hand over Wu Jin’s head, showing no reluctance at all as he turned to leave.
Wei Shi’s back was exposed to Wu Jin’s line of fire. Based on Wu Jin’s ability with guns––he would be able to hit him even if he had his eyes closed.
However, in the next moment, Wu Jin tossed his gun down with a clatter.
Wei Shi turned around. The little rabbit kit stubbornly refused to make a move, not wanting the points that were sent to his door, and even looked aggrieved.
The man raised his eyebrows. The originally cold and hard lines of his mouth loosened slightly as he helplessly walked back.
Behind him, the sacrificial fire had already filled up the entire corridor. It seemed that there were only seconds before it would swallow everything. Beneath the dome, the hymn that had been on repeat for a long time finally changed. Behind it, the fire of sacrifice had filled the entire corridor, as if only a few dozen seconds were needed for it to swallow everything. Under the dome, the long-overplayed praises finally changed.
“It charges up to the sky, and then it goes down.”
“That’s why the world was made.”
The figures and shadows overlapped again.
Wei Shi effortlessly raised Wu Jin’s right hand and pressed a small and easy handgun into his palm. The strong, aggressive aura trapped Wu Jin into a corner, and the youth couldn’t help looking up, his breathing turning rapid fast from tension.
The man’s gaze swept over his slightly parted lips, and his voice was a little hoarse. He suddenly bent his legs and pressed against Wu Jin’s knee without any warning.
The rough palm held Wu Jin, turning the muzzle of the gun towards him before the youth could respond.
Wu Jin’s pupils contracted, and he subconsciously let go. “Don’t––”
The life-saving capsule popped out.
On Wu Jin’s wrist watch, the original kill count of 8 increased to 9.
10 people remained.
The sacrificial fires were surging forward with overwhelming force. A card that hadn’t been redeemed was ejected and dropped beside the life-saving capsule.
The stones and scaffolding cracked and fell, and the final part of the hymn began––
“Under my guidance, miracles have evolved. I, with triple wisdom, am known as the thrice-greatest. I am Hermes.”
“I will give you the glory of the whole world.”
Outside the entrance, the Knight of Swords card which hadn’t entered the final sacrifice was burned to ashes in the fire.
The knight was willing to be burned by the sacrificial fire, not for the sake of the unheard-of God, but for the one and only King of Swords that he’d pledged loyalty to.
Burn my body, for the sake of crowning you.
Juurensha: …brb, I just have so many feels from that.