Su Jin’s heart started pounding wildly in fear. He had left his psychokinesis on just his own teammates, so to sense it here as a human flapped about lifelessly in the wind made his heart nearly stop.
He dashed over and breathed a sigh of relief when he arrived at the spear. A skeleton was hanging from that spear with the tip of the spear pierced through its head. The rest of the body wasn’t secured to the spear, so the strong desert winds made it flap noisily.
“How strange.” Su Jin looked more closely at the skeleton, then gasped. He realized that this skeleton had been alive not too long ago and it probably belonged to someone from the Moon in the Blue Skies.
The team was only left with its team leader, Cai Dexiang, and one last male team member. The unique thing about this team member was that he wasn’t even 1.6 meters tall, but his head was really large for his height. Su Jin could imagine that this short and slightly disproportionate looking skeleton probably belonged to that particular team member. Also, that team member had been holding onto a spear.
“We’ve gone separate ways for barely a day and you’ve been reduced to a skeleton,” said Su Jin with a sigh. He decided to take the skeleton off the spear to bury it properly, since he was also a fellow owner in this Challenge.
But his eyes widened when he touched the skeleton. Besides finding dried blood on it, he realized that there was a bite mark too.
He immediately connected the dots. This man had his flesh chewed off him. Someone had eaten all the meat and left only the bones behind.
“Who? Who did this?” Su Jin’s heart started pounding wildly again. He had sensed his psychokinesis nearby just now, which meant that one of his own teammates had passed by not too long ago. Did that mean that an Original Sin had possessed his team mate and made him eat this man from Team Moon in the Blue Skies?
Su Jin dared not think any further. He took the skeleton down, then dug a hole in the sand and buried the body. He had done the same thing for Chen Xin’er, since there was nowhere else in this vast desert to bury their bodies.
Doing this didn’t take him too long, so once he was done, he continued walking in the same direction and could sense that a tiny bit of psychokinesis was still nearby.
After walking for a bit more, his eyes lit up because he could sense his psychokinesis even more clearly now. He followed his senses and finally came to someone sprawled in the sand. This person’s back was facing Su Jin and Su Jin couldn’t tell who it was.
“Is that Chu Yi? Or Yang Mo?” Su Jin realized it was a man, so it had to be either one of them.
“Don’t come any closer!” The man suddenly shouted at Su Jin as Su Jin came nearer to him.
“Yang Mo!” Su Jin recognized that voice as Yang Mo’s.
“Don’t come any nearer…don’t…don’t come any closer, go away!” yelled Yang Mo hysterically.
Su Jin was puzzled and felt that there was something wrong with Yang Mo. Yang Mo seemed to be rubbing sand all over himself, which was a very strange thing to do.
But he wanted to be cautious, so instead of walking towards Yang Mo’s back, he switched directions so that he could see Yang Mo from the front and see what on earth Yang Mo was doing.
“Yang Mo, what’s wrong? You can tell me what’s happened,” said Su Jin as he moved slowly so that he wouldn’t frighten Yang Mo. But when he finally reached a position where he could see Yang Mo from the front, he got a terrible shock.
Yang Mo’s hands were covered in blood and mush, his mouth torn on both sides and his face stained with blood as he continued to vomit more blood and mush out. He had a horrified and despairing look on his face as he continued to use his hands to pull things out from his mouth. He didn’t seem to care that his hand was too big for his mouth and continued to claw at the insides of his throat.
Su Jin was too stunned to speak. Yang Mo realized that Su Jin was standing in front of him and started crying nonstop. His cries sounded hoarse and unclear, so he sounded terrifying as well.
“Boss…go away! Leave! Just leave!” Yang Mo was crying and he couldn’t talk properly with his mouth like that, but Su Jin could sense the despair in his voice.
Of course, Su Jin wasn’t really going to just leave Yang Mo alone. He took a few steps forward cautiously and said gently, “Yang Mo, no matter what happens, I’ll be here for you. You don’t have to be afraid, I’m here with you.”
“Just…just leave!!” Yang Mo saw Su Jin approaching him and swung his arm violently to wave Su Jin away. An eyeball went flying out as well. That was one of the things he had vomited out earlier.
“Yang Mo, calm down! You know you can trust me! We’re teammates, fellow team members of Team Boning Knife, remember? No matter what problems you’ve run into, we’ll be by your side,” said Su Jin gently as he quickly stopped going any nearer to Yang Mo, afraid that Yang Mo might do something more drastic.
But Yang Mo shook his head repeatedly and cried miserably as he pointed to himself. “Boss, I…I ate that guy…I’ve swallowed his flesh, his internal organs…everything is in my stomach now…I’m not a human anymore! I’m a demon! I’m a demon!!”
Yang Mo suddenly stood up and Su Jin could see, even from a distance, that Yang Mo’s belly was very large, as if he were pregnant. Su Jin could imagine that Yang Mo’s belly was so huge because he had eaten that entire man not too long ago.
Just then, Yang Mo suddenly pulled a sharp knife out and put it against his neck. He wailed, “Boss, I’m so sorry…I’m so sorry!”
Su Jin panicked and yelled out, “Yang Mo, don’t do anything foolish! Please, I beg you! Please! Don’t do it!”
Su Jin was trembling all over, afraid that Yang Mo would suddenly break down and kill himself as he tried to talk Yang Mo out of this, “This has nothing to do with you! It’s the Original Sin’s fault! This is not who you are and you weren’t yourself! So it’s not your fault!”
But Yang Mo continued to shake his head as tears continued to flow down his cheeks and drip down his chin. He had a crazed look in his eyes, because realization of what he had done was enough to drive anybody mad.
“It was Gluttony…Boss, I really didn’t mean to! I really didn’t mean to!” Yang Mo was suffering from a mental breakdown as scenes of how he had eaten the other man alive kept flashing in his mind.
He had torn the other man’s flesh apart, swallowing everything, including his heart, his liver and even gobbled down his brain.
He remembered everything. Every rip, every bite and even the taste of the flesh and how it went down his throat. How that man had screamed and pleaded for mercy before finally breathing his last. Yang Mo could remember everything vividly and it kept replaying in his head.
These scenes had driven him completely mad. He simply couldn’t accept the fact that he had done such a thing. Gluttony had purposely allowed him to watch himself do this, so that he would believe that he was guilty of this act and go through a mental breakdown.
“Yang Mo, listen to me! It’s all Gluttony’s fault! He’s an Original Sin and his aim is to kill us all! If you do this, you would have fallen into his trap and that’s not what you want, right? Right?” urged Su Jin as he prayed hard that Yang Mo would calm down.
Suddenly, Yang Mo had an eerie smile on his face that lasted only one second before he suddenly let out a mighty roar.
“Air of an Overlord!” Su Jin immediately activated this skill in hope of using this one second to save Yang Mo.
An invisible wave swept towards Yang Mo, but before it could reach Yang Mo, he had already stabbed the knife deep into his own throat.
"NO!" Su Jin roared as he dashed towards Yang Mo in an instant to stop the knife from going in any further.
Blood gushed out of Yang Mo’s neck as he convulsed. He tried to speak but it was impossible for him to speak clearly since there was a hole in his throat.
Su Jin took out some leaves from the Tree of Life to get Yang Mo to eat them, but he couldn’t swallow anything anymore, so that method wasn’t going to work. Su Jin had never felt so helpless before. He had no idea what to do at all.
Yang Mo grabbed hold of Su Jin’s hand and tried to push Su Jin aside even though he didn’t have much strength left. He was very worried and uneasy, so when he saw that Su Jin wasn’t budging, he started trying to move aside instead.
Su Jin knew Yang Mo wanted to tell him something, so he connected his psychokinesis with Yang Mo’s consciousness.
“Boss, run! That monster is still here!”
“I will chase him off! I will definitely chase him away! You believe in me, don’t you? I’ll get rid of him!” Su Jin held onto Yang Mo as tears started streaming down his face as well.
Yang Mo no longer had any energy left in him to move. His throat wound was too serious, so he collapsed weakly onto the sand again, convulsing from time to time. But after hearing Su Jin assure him, his expression looked like he was at peace again.
Su Jin used his sleeve to wipe away the bloodstains on Yang Mo’s face. He knew that he couldn’t save Yang Mo anymore. Yang Mo wasn’t only hurt physically but mentally as well. Even if Yang Mo survived the Challenge, he would continue to live in this nightmare.
All of a sudden, Yang Mo’s expression became threatening as he bared his teeth and lunged for Su Jin, but Su Jin glared back at Yang Mo and sent his psychokinesis into Yang Mo’s consciousness again.
“Gluttony! I will not acknowledge your existence! I’m going to banish you right now!” The threatening look on Yang Mo’s face faded and he looked at peace again. Su Jin had his own understanding of sin, so he was able to drive Gluttony away easily. As long as he denied their existence, he could chase any of them away.
He held onto Yang Mo’s lifeless body as tears flowed down his cheeks. He couldn’t help but blame himself. He knew that if they hadn’t gone separate ways, the group might have suffered even greater casualties. But he was upset that he hadn’t been there when Yang Mo needed help.
Was this what a Level A Challenge was like? What could he do to get everyone through this?
He had never felt more lost and helpless before. It seemed like no matter what choice he made, it would send his own companions to their deaths. He simply couldn’t see how he could possibly survive this Challenge. Besides his tears, the only thing he could see was darkness, as if this was a dead end that was completely void of any hope.
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