Su Jin told everyone about what happened to Yang Mo. Chu Yi and Kano Mai were both very upset to hear about it, but Chu Yi was definitely more upset. He came from the same universe as Yang Mo and they actually lived in the same city. They enjoyed teasing each other all the time, but they had become really good friends. Now that Yang Mo was gone, Chu Yi felt really depressed.
Su Jin patted Chu Yi on the shoulder. Nobody could say for sure if they would survive a Handbook Challenge, after all. He might be the next one to die for all anybody knew.
Regardless of how upset they were, they had to continue their journey. Chu Yi took over carrying Ning Meng on his back since Su Jin’s shoulder was still healing from how Chu Yi’s arm had pierced through his flesh earlier. Kano Mai was a girl, so Chu Yi naturally took up this responsibility.
“As far as I can tell, all the Original Sins can only possess a body once. After it’s been driven out, it either can’t possess another, or it will take some time before it can do that again,” Su Jin analyzed the situation after telling them everything he had gone through earlier.
But Kano Mai shook her head and said, “That doesn’t sound correct. Weren’t you initially possessed by Pride, then Pride moved to Chen Xin’er’s body? That’s twice, isn’t it?”
After hearing her question, Su Jin explained, “I don’t think Pride’s possession of my body counts. I detected its existence and knew who it was, and since I have psychokinesis, it wasn’t able to take over my body by force. It was able to use me only because I agreed to it, in hope of finding out more about it.”
Su Jin hadn’t really been possessed by Pride. It was more accurate to say that Su Jin had given up control of his body to Pride, made use of that time to search for more clues, then took back control of his body.
“You little bastard!” Cai Dexiang suddenly yelled at Su Jin angrily and grabbed hold of Su Jin’s throat. “I can’t believe you did such a thing! How clever do you think you are? You actually wanted to test the Original Sins?! Xin’er died because of this stupid pride of yours!”
Cai Dexiang proceeded to punch Su Jin in the face. Chu Yi immediately held Cai Dexiang back and said, “Mr. Cai, can you please calm down? Even if Boss hadn’t done that, Pride would have gone looking for Chen Xin’er as well. She probably wouldn’t have survived either.”
“That’s bullshit! He knows how to drive Original Sins out! If he weren’t so full of himself and did such a thing to Pride, he could have saved Xin’er!” Cai Dexiang continued to roar furiously with bloodshot eyes. If Chu Yi didn’t hold him back, he was definitely going to punch Su Jin a few more times.
Su Jin wiped away the blood on his lips. Cai Dexiang had punched him very hard, but Su Jin did not have any reason to retaliate. It was true that he was too complacent and too arrogant. If he hadn’t approached the situation with a plan to test out his hypotheses, Chen Xin’er might really have survived and Pride would not have gotten what it wanted.
“I’m sorry,” Su Jin apologized.
But Kano Mai walked over and asked him, “Why are you apologizing?”
“I was the one…”
“Is this really your fault? We’re in a Handbook Challenge and your responsibility in our team is to try to find out as much as you can about each Challenge. If you already knew that Chen Xin’er would die as a result of your actions and went ahead with it anyway, then I would agree that you should feel bad about that.”
“But you didn’t know that this would happen. It’s impossible to have foretold the consequences. You’re not some god. Everything that we do results in some consequences and not everything we do turns out well. Are we supposed to take responsibility for everything then?” Kano Mai looked like she was talking to Su Jin, but her words were also targeted at Cai Dexiang.
Su Jin remained silent, but a few moments later, Cai Dexiang walked towards him. Cai Dexiang was still clearly upset, but he still lowered his head and said quietly, “I’m sorry. I was too rash earlier.”
“No, don’t say that. I should have taken greater care to consider all areas before taking any actions.” Su Jin still felt bad anyway. His decisions had resulted in Chen Xin’er’s death after all.
By Su Jin’s calculations, even if the other two members of Team Shadow of Thor were still alive, that meant that only a total of seven of them were still alive. At least half the owners in this Challenge were dead and not even a day had passed yet.
As the sun began to set, the warm desert winds grew extremely cold. They dared not rest at all, in case they ended up freezing to death on the spot.
“I’ve heard that the temperature difference between day and night in a desert is huge, but this…this is insane.” Chu Yi could feel Ning Meng shivering nonstop on his back and couldn’t wrap his head around this situation. This desert was at least 40 degrees Celsius in the day, but now, it was more like minus 40 degrees.
“Don’t be scared, I’m going to help you to deal with the cold,” said Chu Yi to Ning Meng as he sent some of his internal energy into her body. She immediately felt a warmth flow through her body.
“It’s so nice to have Spirit Power. I would love to activate my Spirit Power too,” said Ning Meng enviously. Three out of five of them here turned out to be veterans and they weren’t affected by the freezing temperatures at all. If she and Kano Mai had been stuck in the desert without any of them, they’d probably end up freezing to death.
Kano Mai had a coat made from Cai Dexiang’s orange beam of light. It was great as an armor and worked well against extreme temperatures as well.
The five of them continued to walk on until the sun came up again. They could see a majestic temple in the distance, but even though they could see it, it didn’t mean that the temple was actually very close to them.
“Wait up! Wait up!!” someone called out from behind.
Everyone was on high alert as they watched a man approach them with another person on his back. It was the two remaining members of Team Shadow of Thor. The one being carried was Long Zhenglei, because he had lost consciousness.
“What’s happened to your team leader?” asked Su Jin.
The other team member was at a loss as he said, “I don’t know either. He warned me not to wake him up and told me to look for the rest of you, then suddenly fell into unconsciousness.”
A thought struck Su Jin and he placed a palm against Long Zhenglei’s forehead to send his psychokinesis in. He immediately noticed something very wrong. There were two consciousnesses in Long Zhenglei’s mind.
“The Original Sin, Sloth, is inside him!” Long Zhenglei had been possessed by the Original Sin but somehow knocked himself out so the Original Sin couldn’t control his body.
“Are you saying he’s been possessed by an Original Sin?” asked Cai Dexiang.
Su Jin nodded and said, “I’m not sure how Mr. Long managed to put himself into such a deep sleep. He’s lost all consciousness, so the Original Sin is unable to move his body.”
“Is your team leader a veteran?” asked Kano Mai.
The team member nodded and said, “That’s right. He’s the only veteran on the team.”
“In that case, I could try helping your team leader to drive that Original Sin out of his body, but it might be risky,” Su Jin said to the team member.
“It’s even more dangerous for him to keep sleeping like this, if you ask me. Before losing consciousness, he told me to find you guys and go with anything you guys decide on,” said the team member with a worried look on his face.
Su Jin couldn’t help but admire Long Zhenglei for making such quick and firm decisions. After being possessed by an Original Sin, Long Zhenglei had given such clear instructions on what to do before sending himself to sleep as quickly as possible. He must have been extremely calm despite the circumstances.
Since Long Zhenglei had given such instructions, Su Jin went ahead with his plan. He sent his psychokinesis into the deep side of Long Zhenglei’s consciousness and saw a shocking sight.
A gigantic cage stood right at the back of Long Zhenglei’s mind and Long Zhenglei himself was in that cage. But he was inside with another monstrous creature as well.
That monster was all black and held Long Zhenglei in its hand as it continued to torture Long Zhenglei. This was Long Zhenglei’s consciousness, so his body wouldn’t suffer any harm. But if his consciousness died, then the rest of him would die too.
“You foolish thing! How dare you trap me inside here! Such insolence!” The monster seemed to be having loads of fun as he flung Long Zhenglei high into the air, then sent Long Zhenglei flying with a slap, making Long Zhenglei crash against the metal grilles of the cage. But before Long Zhenglei hit the floor, the monster would catch him and fling him in a different direction.
“Damn it! So, this is an Original Sin? I can’t believe it’s so powerful,” thought Long Zhenglei as he grit his teeth and tried to endure the torture. He knew that if he couldn’t get through this, he was as good as dead.
At this rate, Long Zhenglei was definitely going to get killed by Sloth, so Su Jin didn’t waste any time and came to the cage.
“Oh? Who are you?” Sloth looked down at Su Jin and stopped tossing Long Zhenglei around. He was surprised that someone else could enter Long Zhenglei’s consciousness.
“Mr. Su?!” Long Zhenglei was on the verge of passing out, but when he saw that Su Jin was here, he was so shocked that his eyes nearly flew out of their sockets.
“Original Sin Sloth! I do not acknowledge your existence, so I am going to banish you right now!” declared Su Jin in a loud voice after he had pressed his palms against the cage grilles.
“Banishing me?! Who do you think you…” Before Sloth could finish speaking, its body became more and more distorted before disappearing from the cage altogether.
“Mr. Long, are you able to leave this place yourself?” asked Su Jin. He didn’t know how to open this cage at all, so if Long Zhenglei didn’t know how to get out either, he might get stuck here forever.
“Don’t worry, I’ll be fine!” Long Zhenglei nodded.
“Great! I’ll get out of here now,” said Su Jin before withdrawing himself from Long Zhenglei’s consciousness. When he opened his eyes, he could see the black smoke pouring out of Long Zhenglei’s nose, mouth and ears.
“Move aside, everyone!” yelled Su Jin. Sloth was about to solidify into its original form, so anybody too close to it was in danger of getting killed on the spot.
Su Jin held onto Long Zhenglei and waited for all the black smoke to leave his body. Once everything was out, he immediately retreated, passed Long Zhenglei to his team mate, then retrieved the Demon Lord’s Longbow.
Sloth’s original form was a mountain of meat. Its black body was covered in sores and its facial features were all squished together. It looked seriously gross.
Long Zhenglei had also regained consciousness by this time. He was very weak as he uttered hoarsely, “Run, everybody! If you go too close to it, bad things will happen!”
“Bad things? What bad things?” asked Chu Yi.
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