“Run!” Long Zhenglei had a terrified expression on his face as he hurried his team mate along. Everybody else quickly started moving as well.
“And you think you’d be able to run in time?” Sloth’s tiny face was covered with disdain as it let out a black mist that swiftly caught up with everyone.
Su Jin and Chu Yi were the fastest runners, followed by Cai Dexiang, since all three were veterans. Long Zhenglei was badly hurt, so he was slowed down a lot because of that.
“That black mist is a problem, right? What happens if it gets to us?” Su Jin yelled at Long Zhenglei.
“Once you’re covered by it, you’d become very lethargic and unwilling to move at all. Even if Sloth bashes you up, you wouldn’t even think of fighting back.” Long Zhenglei shuddered at this thought. He had been thrashed so badly by Sloth while they were in the cage together precisely because he couldn’t do anything as long as he was within close proximity of Sloth.
The black mist was gaining speed and Su Jin figured that while he and Chu Yi would be able to outrun it, the rest might not.
Su Jin suddenly stopped in his tracks and nobody knew what he was trying to do. He grabbed hold of Cai Dexiang, causing Cai Dexiang to pale in horror and wonder if Su Jin was hoping to bring someone down with him because he figured he was doomed.
“I’m sorry, Mr. Cai,” Su Jin apologized to Cai Dexiang first.
“Are you seriously gonna…how have I even offended you?” Cai Dexiang looked terrified but Su Jin’s next course of action stunned him.
Su Jin gripped Cai Dexiang firmly, then flung him out like a shotput ball. Cai Dexiang ended up covering way more distance this way than if he had run on his own.
“I’ve misunderstood him!” Cai Dexiang instantly felt guilty for the way he had judged Su Jin earlier. Su Jin was actually trying to save him.
Su Jin didn’t stop there. He grabbed hold of Long Zhenglei and his team mate, then flung them towards where Cai Dexiang was as well.
“Chu Yi! Come over here!”
“Coming!” Chu Yi didn’t know what Su Jin wanted to do, but he trusted Su Jin with all his heart.
“You’re in charge of catching Ning Meng and Mai!” Su Jin got Ning Meng off Chu Yi’s back, then flung Chu Yi out too.
Chu Yi was trained in martial arts, so he was able to adjust himself midair to ensure a proper landing. The four men looked like shooting stars from the way Su Jin had flung them.
“Don’t worry, Chu Yi will definitely catch both of you,” said Su Jin to Ning Meng and Kano Mai. He proceeded to fling both girls towards Chu Yi.
Meanwhile, Cai Dexiang had already landed. But before he could get up, the next two landed on him and he realized what was going on. Damn it, he thought. Su Jin was using him as a soft landing for everyone else!
Cai Dexiang wasn’t too happy about having two other people land on him, but Su Jin honestly wasn’t trying to pick on him or anything like that. Cai Dexiang was the meatiest one among them, so he was the most suitable for this role.
Chu Yi landed neatly on top of the other three and bounced up immediately, then held his arms out in a taijiquan stance. Ning Meng and Kano Mai came flying towards him one after another, and he caught them in a way that reduced the impact sufficiently for both of them to land safely.
After Su Jin had flung the other six far away from himself, there wasn’t enough time for himself to escape the black mist. It covered him instantly and made him lethargic instantly. Ennui overwhelmed him and his brain started sending signals to the rest of his body to just lie down and sleep.
He couldn’t help but yawn while Sloth reached out for him. Kano Mai could see what was happening and quickly fired a beam of light towards Su Jin in hope of dragging him over to where they were.
But once the end of the light was engulfed by the black mist, it also lost any energy it carried and fizzled out by itself. Even non-living things were affected by this black mist.
“Come on, guys! Think of something!!” said Kano Mai to the rest in an anxious voice.
Chu Yi was about to run back towards Su Jin but Long Zhenglei stopped him in time. “Don’t do that! Anyone covered by that black mist is going to die because it’s almost impossible to use Spirit Power. Any Spirit Power moves at less than 0.1 times the usual speed, so if you rush over like that, you’d only end up becoming another victim of Sloth’s.”
“What do we do then?” Chu Yi’s eyes bulged from his anxiety.
Cai Dexiang had finally managed to peel himself off the ground after three men had landed on him. He looked at Su Jin covered by the black mist and felt that he had to do something to save Su Jin. He had escaped this fate because of what Su Jin had done after all.
“Since we can’t beat it with speed, let’s beat it with strength! If all three of us veterans use our Spirit Powers on that black mist, I don’t think that black mist will hold up for long!” said Cai Dexiang.
“That sounds like a plan! When I trapped myself within my own consciousness, I felt like it was possible to break through that black mist, but I couldn’t do it alone,” said Long Zhenglei with a nod. He agreed that Cai Dexiang’s plan could work.
Meanwhile, Su Jin was slowly losing consciousness. His Psychokinetic Spirit Power turned out to be useless against it and he had nearly lost all his ability to think now.
“I understand why…Long Zhenglei ended up getting thrown about so easily just now…” thought Su Jin with a bitter smile. His vision was dimming and his knees were giving way. He stumbled about and looked like he might collapse anytime.
Sloth stared down at Su Jin with disdain. His strength came not only from humanly desires, but also from God. One might possibly abstain from the other desires, but his was definitely something everybody needed. One could keep away from almost everything else, but their bodies needed rest when it was tired.
Other desires were a way to prolong one’s life, but resting was as essential to life as breathing was. No living thing could escape the need to rest, unless that living thing had somehow transcended that stage and became a higher being of sorts.
Just when Sloth was feeling all smug and pleased with itself, it suddenly felt something amiss. Three waves of supernatural power had invaded its territory.
“These lowly worms!” Sloth was extremely displeased, but the black mist it controlled could only go so far. The source of these three supernatural powers was outside its scope, so there was nothing it could do.
Chu Yi’s Spirit Power was internal energy, so it could be domineering and invincible, and it could also be as devastating as the ocean waves. He used his Spirit Power to bombard the black mist in the most violent and forceful way possible alongside Long Zhenglei and Cai Dexiang’s Spirit Powers. The black mist began to move and distort from the attack.
“There’s a gap here!” Chu Yi’s eyes lit up. Cai Dexiang’s Spirit Power could morph into any shape, so he turned it into a little car that could carry the Spirit Power of the other two and drove it into the black mist to look for Su Jin.
Sloth was very unhappy about this situation but it couldn’t move very quickly either. The black mist was unable to catch hold of the three supernatural powers, so there really wasn’t much else it could do. It was clear that these humans had found a way to counterattack.
“Forget it, I’ve done everything I was supposed to anyway,” mumbled Sloth to itself. It retracted all the black mist, then its body dissipated into the air. Nobody expected this to happen at all.
Su Jin started gasping for air as he regained his senses and his ability to think again. That was a close call – he felt that Sloth didn’t need to do anything but allow the black mist to eventually cause his entire body to shut down. It wouldn’t be long before his heart stopped beating and his brain completely stopped functioning.
“Boss, are you alright?!” Chu Yi was happy to see that Su Jin was still alive.
Su Jin nodded, then turned to Cai Dexiang and Long Zhenglei and said, “Thank you so much, both of you.”
“You don’t have to be so formal with us. If not for you, I would have been dead by now,” said Long Zhenglei with a smile. If Su Jin hadn’t driven Sloth out of his mind in time, he would definitely have perished in his sleep.
“Yeah, whatever,” grunted Cai Dexiang.
Sloth had left, so all seven deadly sins had already appeared. Su Jin told Long Zheng Lei that his two remaining team members were dead.
A look of sadness and resignation flashed in Long Zhenglei’s eyes. This was a Handbook Challenge, after all. Death was always lurking round the corner and even veterans weren’t confident of surviving any Challenge.
The group rested for a while, then continued walking towards the temple in the distance. They were very careful on their way there and the four veterans took turns to be on the lookout for any dangers.
Half a day later, they finally arrived in front of the temple.
To their dismay, arriving at the temple did not end the Challenge. In other words, they still had to enter the temple itself.
The temple was huge and looked like it was fashioned out of a mountain. When they stood in front of the temple, they realized that they couldn’t see the top of it. The group was standing outside the temple gates and the ring-shaped handles of the gate were more than ten meters above their heads. This temple was built for giants or something.
Su Jin sent a beam of psychokinesis out to check out the gate. The moment his psychokinesis hit the gate, there was a loud boom as the gates opened by themselves.
“Did my Spirit Power cause that to happen?” Su Jin pondered this possibility for a while. This thing probably worked that way. Once Spirit Power touched it, it would open up by itself, so ordinary owners would not be able to open it.
They walked into the temple grounds and the first thing that greeted them was darkness. But a glimmer of light soon appeared and they saw as a sun started rising and stopping above them.
“What the hell?!” Chu Yi cursed. Everyone else was equally surprised by what they could see in front of them. The inside of the temple was actually a tropical rainforest.
“Is this an entire ecosystem on its own?” muttered Kano Mai to herself. This temple was incredibly huge. Besides the wall they had just passed through, they couldn’t see where this forest ended at all. All they could see was lush greenery and birds in the air that none of them could name.
“What do we do next? Go through the forest?” asked Chu Yi as he scratched his head.
“That’s the only thing we can do. I don’t think we have any other choice,” said Cai Dexiang with a sigh. This rainforest definitely carried great dangers, and it was probably going to be as bad as getting possessed by an Original Sin. Also, the Original Sins were probably going to attack them while they were going through this forest.
ROAAAARRR! Just then, the sound of an animal roaring filled the air. Everyone looked at where the sound had come from and saw a huge beast walk out.
“Is that…a tiger? Or a hippo?” The other Shadow of Thor team member stuttered as he watched this giant creature with the head of a lion and the body of a hippo emerge from the forest, roaring angrily at them.
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