Midnight Ten Chapter 34

Chapter 34: Runic Script

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The crowd walked over and stood together with Tang Lin in front of the “Twilight of the Gods,” hesitating on how to approach this discovery.

With a melancholic expression, Melancholic center-parted hair suggested, “If the ship’s deck is like the fingernails of the dead… then we can just scrape off the painting and sprinkle it on the missing part of the ship’s deck?”

Cui Zhan responded, “This amount of painting is not even enough for bird food.”

Tan Hua added, “Perhaps there are other clues hidden behind the painting.”

Monk chimed in, “It’s also possible that with one cut of the painting, we’ll encounter a demon or monster more difficult to deal with than the ice giant…”

You have some ideas, I have some ideas. In a short time, there was no way to reach a consensus. Tang Lin’s knife had already come down on the painting.


The blade scraped against the golden painting, making a crisp sound. Now there was no need for discussion; everyone’s attention was focused on the “golden hand” being scraped.

After a few repeated scrapes, the golden painting remained intact. However, a deeper cut extended beyond the golden area, reaching the normal skin tone of the wrist, causing some fragments of the skin-tone painting to fall off.

However, after the skin-tone painting fell off the wrist, what was revealed wasn’t the canvas underneath but tiny specks of gold, making it look as if the wrist had been sprinkled with gold powder.

The crowd exchanged glances, realizing instantly—it wasn’t that the painter had added extra gold painting to the hand; instead, the painter had forgotten to paint the hand in the normal skin tone. Thus, the true pattern covered beneath was exposed!

“What are you all standing around for?” Fan Peiyang took out a knife first, giving everyone a glance. “Help out.”

Strawberry Sweet Doughnuts, He Lu, Zhou Yunhui, Cui Zhan: “…”

“Boss, I’m here!” Zheng Luozhu suddenly pounced onto the oil painting, starting to scrape off the painting from other parts with bold strokes.

—When President Fan gave the order, what kind of reaction should be given was demonstrated by the seasoned lackey Zheng Luozhu himself.

Although everyone was not pleased with Fan Peiyang’s attitude, they all joined in. In no time, they collectively scraped the entire “Twilight of the Gods” clean.

Sure enough, underneath the painting, there was another one.

A very familiar golden chest was placed in a very familiar position, on a very familiar carpet. Of course, at this moment, the carpet, adorned by Zhou Yunhui, looked completely different from the elegant atmosphere depicted in the painting.

“What does this mean? The ship’s deck is inside the chest?” Everyone turned around involuntarily. The golden chest still remained open, but the gold rings and parchment inside had all been taken out, leaving it empty.

Guan Lan pondered for a moment and said, “Choose one out of three. a. There’s another chest inside the chest; b. Remove the chest door and use it as a ship’s deck; c. There’s a hidden compartment under the carpet.”

“I choose a.”

“I choose b.”

“I choose c.”

The thirteen people exchanged glances.

“Let’s go with it.”

Each person worked diligently in their chosen area. In less than two minutes, the chest was turned upside down, yielding nothing. The chest door, no matter how abused, didn’t come off. The carpet was completely cut open and set aside, revealing the marble floor underneath.

Fan Peiyang tapped the handle of the knife on the floor, producing two hollow sounds.

Everyone’s spirits lifted, without the need for more words; they understood each other immediately. They crouched down together to pry open the marble slab.


The marble slab was lifted, revealing the hidden compartment underneath, and within it lay the white ship’s deck peacefully.

The ship’s deck fit onto the sculpture, and the Naglfar ship was finally complete. Suddenly, waves emerged beneath the ship, bringing with them a sparkling golden eagle crest.

“Finally, we made it!” Whole Wheat exclaimed with the relief of a student finishing an exam.

He Lu reached out and took the eagle crest, asking for everyone’s opinion, “Should I put it on?”

Several people spoke up simultaneously, “Go ahead, quickly.”

Even their tone and expressions were identical, all full of frustration. They didn’t want to look at that thing for another second.

He Lu walked over and carefully placed the eagle crest on Odin’s head. The moment the crown was worn, a sacred golden light emanated from Odin, and he began to move slightly to the left, making way for the next section of the carriage door.

The sculpture stopped, but the door didn’t open. As everyone puzzled over this, words slowly appeared on the white door panel: Bring back your wisdom.

The thirteen people: “…”

The puzzle was already challenging, and just before they “submitted their answers,” they had to endure open mockery.

“Wait a moment,” Tan Hua suddenly had an inspiration. He glanced at the words on the door and then at Odin, who had already moved aside. “Wisdom… it’s the Fountain of Wisdom!”

Experiencing the excitement of deciphering for the first time, Tan Hua couldn’t contain his enthusiasm. Even his explanation had a rhythmic flow as he eagerly shared, “Underneath one of the roots of the World Tree lies a mysterious spring containing all wisdom. Odin wanted to take a sip of the spring water and bring ‘wisdom’ back to the realm of the gods. However, the giant Mimir, guarding the spring, refused to provide water unless Odin paid a corresponding price…”

Mnk couldn’t wait and asked, “What’s the price?”

Tan Hua replied, “His right eye.”

Cui Zhan furrowed his brows, “Thirteen eyes, that’s quite a hefty cost for opening a door.”

Tan Hua clarified, “… You’re overthinking it. They want Odin’s right eye, not ours.”

With that said, he walked over to the Odin sculpture nearby. Odin sat on the throne, wearing the eagle crest, adorned with gold rings on his wrist, holding the Spear of Destiny in his hand. His eyes were sharp and divine.

“From the beginning, I felt something was off,” Tan Hua muttered, reaching out towards the Odin sculpture. “Now I know, it’s the eyes. In Norse mythology, Odin’s image should be one-eyed…”

His finger touched Odin’s right eye, and he pressed down forcefully.

The eye made a “click” sound as it sank in.

“Hey, you finally figured something right.” Bald Head ruffled his head.

The previously somewhat unruly short hair instantly turned into Albeit Einstein-like disarray hairstyle.

The writing on the door panel slowly disappeared.

Everyone held their breath in anticipation.

Four new frames emerged.


:Victory is in sight. Please enter the correct password.

“…” Everyone felt like resorting to violence to break down the door.

Zhou Yunhui, physically and mentally exhausted, crouched down. “Is there no end to this? One password after another. Is this a level or a bank vault under a bank?”

The hopes of Strawberry Sweet Doughnuts were all pinned on Tan Hua.

Monk said, “Victory is in sight.”

Whole Wheat added, “Think carefully, what could the password be?”

Melancholic center-parted hair hesitated, “Just like before, divergent thinking, quickly.”

Eyes grew increasingly intense, and expectations became more fervent.

Guan Lan and Air Sniper didn’t say anything, but silence spoke volumes.

Tan Hua grabbed his head with both hands; his mind was already exploding with information. However, there were no hints on the door’s password. It was unclear whether it was numbers or letters, and he had no idea which piece of data to connect with.

Suddenly, Tan Hua felt a tap on his shoulder. He turned around.

Tang Lin glanced casually into the distance at the World Tree sculpture that hadn’t played a significant role from the beginning to the end.

Tan Hua’s eyes suddenly lit up, feeling like the world had just brightened. “That’s it!”

Everything begins and ends with the World Tree.

Tan Hua couldn’t contain himself any longer, “I know I hung on the tree, a full nine days and nights—it felt so long. I gazed down from the tree, and I saw the runic inscriptions shining…”

“Hey,” Monk waved his hand in front of his teammate’s eyes, “What kind of mystical incantation are you reciting?”

“In ‘Edda,’ Odin’s self-narration,” Tan Hua excitedly looked at his companions, “He gained wisdom but desired knowledge, so he hung upside down on the World Tree as a sacrifice. For nine days and nights, without eating or drinking, he finally obtained the runic inscriptions. The password must be runic!”

Monk turned around and exchanged a glance with Whole Wheat and Melancholic center-parted hair.

The latter two had no desire to speak anymore.

The necessary condition for triggering his own brainpower: Tang Lin’s reminder.

Was there still someone unaware of this?

“As for how to obtain the password,” Tan Hua gazed at the World Tree, “if I’m not mistaken, hanging someone upside down will reveal it.”

VIP: “…”

The three team leaders: “…”

Strawberry Sweet Doughnuts “…”

Who would be the “Odin” for this sacrificial act was a question open to interpretation.

Two minutes later.

“Once you’ve chosen, pull it out. The one remaining belongs to me.” Cui Zhan held a pack of cigarettes, exactly thirteen, with the body of each cigarette nestled in his palm, leaving only the filter exposed. They all looked identical.

However, everyone knew that one of them was a half cigarette, aptly named the “Spear of Destiny.” Whoever drew it would be Odin, adding an interesting twist to the ritual.

“Others enter with weapons, medicine, and tools, and you bring cigarettes. Impressive,” Zhou Yunhui went first, picked one that caught his eye, and pulled it out. It was a complete cigarette.

In this challenge level, participants were not allowed to bring bags, whether containing weapons, food, or medical supplies. If you wanted to bring something, it had to fit in your pockets. Given this, it was unclear why Team Leader Cui Zhan insisted on carrying two packs of cigarettes with him.

Tang Lin came up next, and likewise, he drew a complete cigarette.

Fan Peiyang, the same.

Nan Ge, the same.

Zheng Luozhu…

Alright, no need to draw for the rest.

Holding the half-cigarette, Zheng Luozhu looked at it for a moment, then raised his arm and threw it to the ground with a “plop.”

Out of thirteen choices, why did he have to get this one at such a crucial moment?

Zhou Yunhui patted his shoulder. “Go on, Odin.”

Strawberry Sweet Doughnuts bid him farewell with a joyful gaze.

Nan Ge unfastened the belt of her windbreaker and handed it to Zheng Luozhu. “Remember to give it back.”

Zheng Luozhu felt a pang of heartache; even his teammates were so ruthless. Sensing his sorrow, Nan Ge paused for a moment and lifted her clear eyes. “Handsome, remember to give it back.”

Zheng Luozhu: “… Okay!”

Step by step, he walked to the World Tree. Zheng Luozhu climbed onto the sculpture, tying one end of the belt around his ankle and the other securely to the highest branch.

Worried that the sculpture might not be sturdy enough, he hesitated for a long time. In the end, he gave up the idea of a stylish leap and opted for a more cautious approach. He first held onto a branch, then let go to allow his upper body to drop.

At the moment when his body was perpendicular to the ground, the base of the World Tree sculpture slowly opened a gap about the width of a palm.

As Zheng Luozhu swayed along with the movement of the sculpture, still in the inverted world, he managed to see clearly within the crack, “It’s a pen and a password—”

The people around the World Tree immediately stepped forward and retrieved the items.

A reed pen with a tip dipped in golden powder and a sheepskin parchment inscribed with four ancient characters.

The thirteen individuals returned to the door once again.

Zheng Luozhu moved his ankle to regain flexibility, preparing for potential new dangers on the other side of the door.

The others fell silent, and there was a familiar tension in the air.

Tan Hua glanced at their team leader.

Guan Lan nodded.

Tan Hua gripped the reed pen and carefully drew the four runic characters into the password box on the door.

The final stroke was completed.

The four ancient characters glowed, and the door finally opened!

Everyone breathed a sigh of relief, feeling utterly exhausted after an ordeal that resembled a mental test.

However, they couldn’t truly relax just yet.

The new carriage presented before them appeared to be a standard subway car, yet at a glance, it seemed to have no end.


“Please proceed forward.”

Puzzled, everyone proceeded cautiously, walking through one empty carriage after another.

VIP walked at the rear of the group. From the moment they entered the new carriage, Fan Peiyang had been silent, deep in thought.

Tang Lin had Zheng Luozhu and Nan Ge walk ahead while he approached Fan Peiyang, asking, “What’s wrong?”

Fan Peiyang whispered, “Something’s off.”

Tang Lin inquired, “Where?”

Fan Peiyang explained, “The entire challenge level. The platform and the first carriage were designed for us to fight against each other, with the sole purpose of selection. But the last carriage had no selection rules, and there were no restrictions on personnel moving to the next carriage. It’s clear they were guiding us toward ‘cooperation.’ In the same level, there are two completely opposite directions, which doesn’t make sense.”

Tang Lin had been focused on solving puzzles and hadn’t considered the challenge level from a broader perspective like Fan Peiyang.

“However,” Fan Peiyang lowered his voice even more, “if this is to produce talents, it makes sense.”

Tang Lin paused.

It aligned with the principles of producing talents: filtering out mediocre individuals, retaining the exceptional ones, and fostering synergy among the outstanding talents to form a team.

His pause caused the main group in front to stop as well.

However, the halt up ahead had nothing to do with their discussion.

They had reached the end.

It was the first carriage of the entire subway, and there sat a man, as if he had been waiting for a long time.

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