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We’ve Moved! If you notice any missing, empty, or incorrect chapters, please leave a comment below, and we’ll fix it as soon as possible. Regular updates will resume on June 10th. Thank you for your patience!
We’ve Moved! If you notice any missing, empty, or incorrect chapters, please leave a comment below, and we’ll fix it as soon as possible. Regular updates will resume on June 10th. Thank you for your patience!

Cataclysm Card Emperor :- Chapter 17: Mechanical Clown

Chapter 17: Mechanical Clown

Ji Xun quickly observed his surroundings. This was a mechanically styled chamber.

In addition to their own cage, there were two other iron cages.

Each iron cage contained two people.

In one of the cages were familiar faces: the bald captain of the Blackwater Mercenaries who had previously escaped, and one of his subordinates.

The other cage held two strangers, an older man, and a younger man, both dressed in black suits.

They weren’t even wearing gas masks, making it easy to see the arrogance on the young man’s face and the humility in the elder’s demeanor.

Chu Jiu recognized the two men and whispered, “The fourth young master of the Cao family from Innocent City.”

“Oh?”

Ji Xun raised an eyebrow and murmured to himself, “It seems that these two guys triggered the hidden plot in the Interdimensional Space earlier.”

Unlike the confused and panicked mercenaries, the master and servant clearly came prepared, appearing calm and even expectant.

Moreover, they were not seen along the way, indicating they arrived through some special means.

Therefore, it wasn’t hard to deduce that these two were the culprits behind the sudden increase in difficulty of the Interdimensional Space.

Seeing Ji Xun and Chu Jiu appear, the two mercenaries were also shocked: these two guys actually survived?

The same surprise appeared in the eyes of the Cao family’s Fourth Young Master. The fact that two others had survived this difficult space was already astonishing, and now there were two more.

But after a quick glance, they lost interest. Their focus wasn’t on people but on something else.

It looked like they were about to play some game.

With everyone assembled, the game began.

At this moment, the sound of gears grinding caught the attention of the six people.

An opening suddenly appeared in the center of the iron plate between the three cages, and a rusty mechanical clown rose from the bottom.

The clown had a funny red nose, a hat, and a curved smile.

The red and blue paint was faded, full of rust, showing marks of time and age.

“A clown.”

Ji Xun felt a strange sense of familiarity when he saw the strange mechanical clown.

It had been here for many, many years, waiting in loneliness for someone to arrive.

It was like looking in a mirror; Ji Xun felt a sense of empathy for that loneliness.

The clown’s feet were springs, making it wobble bizarrely.

While everyone was examining the strange mechanical clown, it suddenly came to life and said with a terrifying laugh, “Welcome to the ‘Clown’s Terrifying Feast.’ The next game is the final challenge, and if you pass it, you can leave alive.”

Its mechanical voice was full of bizarre sarcasm.

Hearing they could leave, the six in the cages had varied expressions.

No one thought the last challenge would be simple.

At this moment, the Fourth Young Master of the Cao family seemed eager to confirm something and asked, “I want to know, is the ‘Catastrophe Source’ here?”

He had prepared for so long just for that thing, and now that he was about to leave without seeing it, he naturally had to ask.

Hearing this, Ji Xun and Chu Jiu also looked over.

The young master spoke very cryptically.

If it wasn’t for the documents Ji Xun and Chu Jiu had read earlier, they wouldn’t even know that the “Catastrophe Source” referred to.

Ji Xun clearly remembered a passage in the documents: “On May 3, 1141 Imperial Calendar, the ‘S-class Catastrophe Source’ was unsealed, and research began.”

The source of the entire bunker disaster was indeed that “Catastrophe Source.”

What was more unexpected was that the mechanical clown actually responded, “Of course. The final person to pass will naturally get the Epic Source Card.”

The clown explicitly stated what the Catastrophe Source was.

Ji Xun wasn’t surprised there was a final challenge, but the clown seemed to be an intelligent NPC?

So, it seemed that no monster needed to be killed for the final boss.

However, he instinctively felt that this challenge would be harder.

The clown’s expression held an inexplicable malevolence and sarcasm as it spoke, “However, only those who survive are qualified to know the truth ~”

Hearing this, the Fourth Young Master of the Cao family showed a playful expression, clearly expecting this result.

Ji Xun didn’t know what an “Epic Source Card” was.

The two mercenaries seemed equally clueless, their faces blank.

But Chu Jiu apparently knew, and she murmured in shock, “It actually exists.”

Not knowing what a Source Card was, Ji Xun wasn’t particularly interested in it for the time being.

He carefully studied the layout before him.

The three iron cages formed a triangle shape. At the same time the clown appeared, rows of iron spikes emerged from above.

The iron cages were completely locked; there was no possibility of forced escape.

In other words, if the spikes fell, the six people in the cages would die.

The final challenge wouldn’t be easy.

As soon as the mechanical clown finished speaking, a platform began to rise inside the three iron cages, each holding a colorful, toy-like revolver.

The creepy voice of the clown sounded again.

“The final game is called the Wheel of Fate.”

“Please listen carefully to the game rules.”

“1. The revolver before you contains one bullet. This is the only way to leave the space; you must fire to leave; 2. You can only fire one shot at each other, then switch turns until someone dies, and the survivor leaves. 3. The iron spikes above you will descend one meter every fifteen seconds, which means if you don’t decide within a minute, you’ll all be skewered.”

“Please adhere to the game rules, or you will all die.”

“Alright, the game starts now!”

Only by killing your teammate can you leave alive?

Indeed, the final challenge was the hardest one.

Ji Xun pondered the rules carefully, his eyes showing a distant look.

This challenge tested human nature.

Just as the mechanical clown finished speaking, the bald mercenary in one of the cages swiftly snatched the revolver.

Instinct told him that holding the initiative was the best move in this situation.

In the other two cages, neither Ji Xun and Chu Jiu nor the master and servant of the Cao family moved.

It was clear they sensed the challenge wasn’t as straightforward as it appeared.

They were all waiting.

Waiting to find another solution.

Another point was that they were waiting for the bald duo to test the game rules first.

However, shortly after the clown announced the game start, a deafening crashing sound came from above as the iron spikes rapidly descended, reminding everyone to hurry up or face their doom.

Faced with the threat of death, cold sweat covered the bald mercenary’s forehead.

Holding the revolver, he ultimately couldn’t overcome the fear of death in his heart, and shouted, “Brother, sorry!”

With that, he decisively pulled the trigger.

“Click.”

A crisp sound was heard, causing the mercenary across to quiver violently.

But no bullet was fired.

It was a blank shot!

But it wasn’t over yet.

The bald mercenary, after firing the first blank shot, his eyes flashed with ruthlessness, and he decisively tried to fire a second shot.

Witnessing this internal strife, Ji Xun watched with keen interest.

He had already seen the bald man’s ruthlessness and cunning before. His caged companion was clearly shocked that his life-and-death brother would try to kill him.

But no matter how hard the bald man tried, the trigger wouldn’t budge.

Then, the colorful revolver disappeared from his hand and reappeared on the platform.

The mercenary in the opposite cage grabbed it immediately, his eyes cold and resolute. Since you fired first, don’t blame me now!

Without hesitation, he pointed the revolver at the bald man and pulled the trigger.

“Click.”

Fate seemed to enjoy playing tricks, another blank shot.

The revolver switched hands again.

The bald mercenary, hearing the shot, felt as though his soul trembled.

Realizing he wasn’t dead, he was overjoyed and quickly grabbed the revolver again.

Racing against death, he gave his teammate no chance to react and decisively pulled the trigger a second time.

This time, “Bang!” The muzzle flashed, and the mercenary across fell.

The bald man’s pupils dilated rapidly, his breathing ragged. After a moment’s daze, a look of post-survival ecstasy appeared on his face.

The sheer joy of escaping death made him laugh hysterically, “Hahaha.”

At this moment, a twisted light gate appeared over the opposite corpse, giving the bald man a way out.

“I can finally escape this damn place!”

The bald man was elated.

Ever since entering the Interdimensional Space, he’d been under the constant shadow of death – and now it was over.

But human nature being what it is.

Without the mortal threat, he began thinking of other things.

The mechanical clown had mentioned the “Catastrophe Source” and “Source Card.”

Evidence suggested this Interdimensional Space hid some great treasure.

With greed rising in his heart, he felt it would be a shame to leave empty-handed.

In his moment of hesitation, he heard a cold, disdainful voice mocking, “What, you want to stay?”

The Fourth Young Master of the Cao family saw through him and coldly warned, “If you delay one more second, I assure you, the Cao family will wipe out your Blackwater Mercenaries in Innocent City!”

“”

The words cut deeper than any revolver, causing the bald man’s eyelid to twitch in fear.

He instantly understood the weight of the “Cao family.”

This young master was the “behind-the-scenes boss” who had hired his Blackwater Mercenaries.

Although he didn’t know this man’s identity before, seeing the reverence their leader showed him, he knew it could only be the Cao family from the Governor’s Mansion in the upper city.

If the young master died, there was nothing to fear.

But one would survive out of the master and servant duo.

Even if he got any treasure or rewards, he wouldn’t live to enjoy them.

Sailing with the wind, the bald man quickly made his decision and sheepishly said, “Young Master, I didn’t mean that. I just wanted to ask if you—”

The Fourth Young Master interrupted, “Scram!”

“Yes.”

The bald mercenary tried to ingratiate himself but, hearing this, could only smile weakly and leave.

He walked to the twisted light gate and disappeared.

Killing a teammate could indeed get you out.

The remaining four people witnessed the mercenaries’ deadly game and understood that following the rules could save their lives.

But without much time to think, another loud crash signaled that the iron spikes had descended further.

Thirty seconds remained; inaction would result in everyone dying.

Ji Xun stood rather calmly, curious about what the master and servant would choose.

Chu Jiu didn’t move either, seemingly deep in thought.

The master and servant showed no signs of action.

Everyone assumed there was another way to pass this challenge.

Several seconds later, the Fourth Young Master finally picked up the revolver and inspected it.

The gun seemed fine, but something felt off.

The elder made no move to snatch it, standing silently.

The young master didn’t fire either, scrutinizing things and casting thoughtful glances at the mechanical clown.

After a few more moments, the iron spikes again descended.

Finally, the elder couldn’t stand it and urged, “Young Master, quickly fire the gun. We can try again next time if it fails.”

The iron spikes were like a countdown to death, urging the four to decide quickly.

As a servant of the Cao family, he was prepared to die.

Was this the only way?

The Fourth Young Master knew it was likely the wrong approach, but had no other choice.

As the elder suggested, if it didn’t work, they could come back again.

They had almost figured out the Interdimensional Space; they could ponder it further outside.

With this thought, the Fourth Young Master made his decision and decisively pulled the trigger.

“Click!”

A blank shot.

The game rules stipulated one shot at the other.

This time, the elder took the revolver.

Ji Xun and Chu Jiu watched to see if he would betray his master.

Surprisingly, the elder didn’t aim at his master but at his own head and fired.

“Click,” another blank shot.

The elder placed the weapon back on the platform and urged, “Young Master, quickly fire.”

Suicide?

Seeing this, Ji Xun and Chu Jiu’s expressions turned solemn.

Whether born of foolish loyalty or something else, such dedication was worthy of respect.

With the elder making this choice, the young master was sure to survive.

Thus, the rules were followed.

His loyal servant’s sacrifice didn’t faze the young master, who took the revolver and pulled the trigger.

“Bang!”

The bullet fired from the gun.

A bloody hole appeared in the elder’s forehead, and he fell.

The twisted light gate appeared over the corpse.

Though the Fourth Young Master watched emotionlessly, he didn’t choose to leave immediately but turned to Ji Xun and Chu Jiu’s cage.

Now, it was their turn.

We’ve Moved! If you notice any missing, empty, or incorrect chapters, please leave a comment below, and we’ll fix it as soon as possible. Regular updates will resume on June 10th. Thank you for your patience!
Cataclysm Card Emperor

Cataclysm Card Emperor

Apocalypse Card Emperor, CCE, 灾变卡皇
Score 10
Status: Ongoing Type: Author: , Native Language: Chinese
“Doctor, it seems there’s something wrong with my emotions.” “There’s a clown in the West City Circus who can make everyone laugh. I think he can help you.” “But doctor… I am that clown.” “…” This is a fantasy world after a major catastrophe, where countless ancient dungeons lie buried beneath the fog-shrouded earth. In these dungeons, there are traps, monsters, and other-dimensional spaces, as well as ancient godly taboos and countless treasure legends left over from the old days. Disasters, steam, curse runes, ancient relics, a sequence of poker cards with extraordinary magic. Remnants of the old world, ancient relic shelters, poker monk associations, witch associations, fire thieves, the wall of the world… In the shadowy corners of the world, a treasure hunter wearing a clown mask walks alone in the darkness. He is Joker Ji Xun, the Cataclysm Card Emperor!

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