White smoke came out from the gigantic beast’s nostrils. It seemed extremely interested in the tiny things in front of it, perhaps because they looked like food to it.
“Why don’t we do a little test?” Chu Yi started stretching his legs.
Su Jin nodded slightly. “Great idea. I’ll leave it to you!”
“No problem!” Chu Yi’s eyes were filled with excitement. It was impossible to see such a large creature in the real world, and even if you did, you wouldn’t be allowed to fight it like this.
Chu Yi bent his body forward, then straightened up to send himself flying towards the creature. He was as quick as lightning, but the creature was not slow either. It raised its giant claws and swiped them at Chu Yi.
Chu Yi raised a fist to meet with its claws and when the two collided, it was the creature that howled in pain as Chu Yi’s punch easily overpowered its attack.
“You’re a strong one, eh?” remarked Chu Yi. He ran swiftly to the side of the creature and jumped onto its back before the creature could turn around in time.
Doong doong doong!
Chu Yi punched the creature viciously in the back and the creature roared in agony. It couldn’t do anything about Chu Yi since he was on its back, so it moved about violently in hope of shaking Chu Yi off, but Chu Yi’s legs seemed to be deeply rooted in the creature and didn’t budge at all.
After some time, the creature ran out of energy and collapsed weakly onto the ground. Chu Yi didn’t intend to kill it, so he jumped off the creature’s back and stood in front of it as he said, “Boss, it’s just a large cat! We don’t have to be afraid of it!”
“Watch out!” everyone exclaimed as they saw the huge creature approach Chu Yi from behind.
Chu Yi narrowed his eyes and his body tensed up as he got ready to fight again, but to his surprise, the creature did not attack him. Instead, it nudged his back with its head adorably.
“Wait, did Chu Yi just…tame it?” Su Jin could hardly believe his eyes. But the creature’s behavior couldn’t be more obvious. It had been tamed after getting thrashed by Chu Yi.
Everyone was equally amused, while Chu Yi felt very proud of himself. He said to them, “Let’s use this fellow as a mode of transportation then! I think that should work pretty well!”
“I agree!” Long Zhenglei nodded. He was still recovering from his injuries while Ning Meng was still unable to see, so having something else to transport them through this forest would save them a lot of energy.
Chu Yi turned to pat the creature’s head, then said sternly, “Listen up. These people here are all my friends, so be good and let everyone ride on your back. I’ll set you free after that, okay?”
Roarr! The creature was clearly highly intelligent and was able to understand everything that Chu Yi said to it. It lay down obediently on the ground so that everyone could get onto its back easily.
Everyone quickly hopped onto the creature’s back. Its hippo-like body was wide and good for sitting, so sitting on its back felt like sitting on a huge leather carpet of sorts.
Chu Yi took his place on top of the creature’s head and took on the role of leading the creature. But he didn’t really need to lead the creature, since they didn’t actually know where they were going and had to just plough through the forest.
As the creature continued advancing through the forest, everyone was quickly relieved that they had found this animal to ride on. The rainforest was filled with all sorts of animals, and none of them dared to come too close to this gigantic creature they were on.
Also, the rainforest was filled with huge and random holes, slopes, swamps and other difficult terrain. This creature was used to traversing such ground and was able to walk through the forest without much problem.
Time slowly ticked by and they had soon spent nearly an entire day in the rainforest. Strangely enough, they hadn’t been attacked at all.
After some time, the giant creature refused to walk any further. No matter how hard Chu Yi tried to coax it or urge it, the creature seemed very afraid of the road ahead. This probably had something to do with the seven Original Sins, so even a gigantic creature like this one felt too afraid to take another step forward.
Since the creature refused to move, Chu Yi had no choice but to let the creature go back to where it belonged. The seven of them continued trudging through the forest themselves and came to a stop again before long.
They were shocked by what had appeared before them. It was a city made from gold!
This was truly a city of gold and sparkled brightly in the light. As they walked towards it, Su Jin kept his eye on the ground. Chu Yi asked curiously, “Boss, what are you looking at?”
“I’m looking at the ground. I want to know what divides the rainforest from this city of gold,” replied Su Jin.
Chu Yi scratched his head in confusion, while Long Zhenglei chimed in, “Mr. Su is a careful person indeed. We don’t know where this city of gold came from, so it’s better to make such observations.”
“Hey, can you clever people speak a little more directly?” Chu Yi was very annoyed by these vague answers. It was easier to ask him to fight than to use his brains.
Su Jin explained, “There’s a possibility that this city of gold was built by humans. If that’s the case, then it should be clearly separated from the rest of the rainforest. But if this city of gold is formed naturally, then there might be a gradual change from forest to city along the way.”
“The city might be man made or formed naturally? What’s the difference?” Chu Yi still didn’t get it.
“What Mr. Su means is that there might be something in this city of gold that can turn everything it touches into gold. If that’s the case, then it would be dangerous for us to enter it.” Long Zhenglei understood what Su Jin was driving at. Team Shadow of Thor had nobody to be the brains of the team, so Long Zhenglei was in charge of gathering information and analyzing the Challenges.
In fact, Long Zhenglei and Su Jin were very similar in that they were both their team’s leader as well as analyst.
Su Jin nodded. This was exactly what he was worried about. Nothing in a Handbook Challenge should be taken at face value or assumed to work the same way as things did in the real world. Being cautious definitely increased one’s chances of surviving.
He quickly found the boundary between the city and the forest and breathed a sigh of relief. The border was drawn very clearly. The golden roads and the forest floor did not meld into one another, so it didn’t look like the city was going to turn anything into gold.
“Looks like it’s safe, but it’s best that everyone remains cautious,” Su Jin said to the rest.
They entered the city and were on high alert as they carefully made their way through. Just then, a swishing sound came from behind them.
“Watch out!” Su Jin warned the rest. He had used up a lot of his psychokinesis, but the leaves of the Tree of Life were good for replenishing his Spirit Power and he still had more than half left. He sent his psychokinesis out to see what was coming after them and was surprised by what he detected.
“Boss, what’s wrong?” asked Chu Yi when he saw the strange expression on Su Jin’s face.
“A group of small animals are headed towards us,” said Su Jin.
“Small animals?” Everyone stared at Su Jin, while Su Jin used his chin to indicate where the animals were coming from.
One moment later, a random horde of animals came rushing at them from the other end of the street. A knot of toads came first, followed by rats, then a tangle of snakes. The strangest part was that all these animals were made from pure gold, rushing down the street like a golden wave.
“AHH!” Kano Mai screamed and jumped onto Su Jin’s back, which shocked Su Jin. He didn’t expect the usually calm and unafraid Kano Mai to be scared of these things.
“AHHH!” Someone else screamed and jumped onto Cai Dexiang’s back, except that this person turned out to be Chu Yi.
Everyone stared at Chu Yi weirdly. Chu Yi had dared to beat that huge creature they rode on so fiercely, but now, he was afraid of these tiny things?
Chu Yi was pale in the face and even his voice was trembling, “It’s…I can’t help it! I’m not afraid of anything except snakes! I was bitten by one before as a child and I didn’t dare to learn any martial arts moves associated with snakes either!”
“SNAKES?! AHH!” Ning Meng was confused at first because she couldn’t see anything, but once Chu Yi mentioned snakes, she jumped onto Su Jin in her fright. Su Jin now looked like a patty stuck in between two buns.
Cai Dexiang wished he could tear Chu Yi off his back. Why did he get the guy when Su Jin got the two girls? How unfair!
“You don’t have to be so scared. Those animals aren’t coming for us,” said Su Jin exasperatedly. These animals were small and harmless, so he didn’t see why they were so afraid.
“Jin, since they’re not coming for us, why are you walking towards them?” Kano Mai was even more terrified now.
Everyone else had the same question on their minds. Regardless of whether those small animals were a threat to them or not, they felt that it was better to stay far away from them. But Su Jin was walking towards them instead.
“Have all of you been scared silly? Open your Handbooks and take a look. I think these little things might be useful to us, so I want to get my hands on some of them.” Su Jin rubbed his palms together and walked towards the horde of small animals with both Kano Mai and Ning Meng on him since he was strong enough to carry them both without any issue.
Long Zhenglei’s eyes lit up. “You’re right! Snakes are mentioned twice in the introduction to this Challenge, and both rats and toads were mentioned too.”
Kano Mai opened her Handbook to take a look and saw that snakes had indeed been mentioned twice. “Rats, toads and snakes shall be your food; you shall struggle in the snake pit.”
“Bro, can you get off my back? I don’t care if you can’t help, but don’t get in my way, will you?” Cai Dexiang glared at Chu Yi after pulling him off his back. He would rather go catch some rats than to let Chu Yi cling to him like that.
Su Jin got Kano Mai and Ning Meng to get off him as well. The two ladies and Chu Yi stood to one side while the rest went to catch some of the animals.
Chu Yi made a face. He had caught disdainful glances from the other guys before they left. “What, can’t a man be afraid of snakes? I’m sure you guys have something you’re afraid of too! Humph!”
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