Level A Challenge "All Have Sinned" Completed perfectly: 3000 points
Guiding Object: Divine Comedy
Number of Surviving Team Members: 3 - 300 points
Degree of Challenge Participation: A+ - 1000 points
Completed mission to kill main enemies Pride and Wrath: 2000 points
Points Received: 6300
Total Points: 8320
Despite the high points he had received this time, Su Jin did not feel happy at all. Fourteen owners had been part of this Challenge, including four veterans, yet only three of them had survived. The other two veterans had perished at the last round before the end and he had lost two of his own team members as well. Handbook Challenges were truly a cruel place.
"Completed perfectly?" Su Jin was a little surprised by that. He had heard about getting a perfect score for Challenges, but the man who had given Su Jin the Finger of Anubis had told him that it was hard to get a perfect score even for a Level B Challenge. Yet, Su Jin had actually managed to get a perfect score for a Level A Challenge.
"Then again, this Challenge seems to have been perfect for me," thought Su Jin. When he was at Anubis' mausoleum, he had understood how these original sins only existed if he acknowledged their existence, which already made him the perfect nemesis for the seven sins. His psychokinesis had also allowed him to be completely unaffected by an attack made by a creature of light. If he still couldn't survive the Challenge despite having all these advantages, he might as well ram his own head against a wall and die.
A book with an intricately designed leather cover appeared in his Handbook. The words "Divine Comedy" were written on the cover, which made Su Jin feel emotional. Ning Meng was the one who had told him that the introductory words to the Challenge had come partially from this text after all.
He retrieved Black Fire from his Handbook. He had taken it back from Ning Meng after she had passed on. Ning Meng had been holding it tightly until the moment she died, because this was pretty much the only weapon she had against her enemies. She had only gone through three Challenges, so it wasn't surprising that she didn't have anything else on hand.
Unfortunately, Black Fire had failed to protect her. When it was time to go, nobody could stand in death's way. The only thing Su Jin could do now was to look at Black Fire and remember Ning Meng fondly.
He let out a long sigh, then moved on to the team's Hell Domain. Chu Yi was already sitting inside and staring blankly into space. He didn't even notice Su Jin walk in.
"Chu Yi," Su Jin called out to him softly. He could see the sadness written all over Chu Yi's face and wasn't sure how to console him, so he just walked over to pat Chu Yi on the shoulder.
"I'm fine, Boss. I…I was already mentally prepared for such a thing to happen. That's how the Hell's Handbook universe works, isn't it?" said Chu Yi with a sad smile on his face. He was young and couldn't hide his emotions, so even though he understood the reality of the Handbook's universe, he was still grieved by the loss of his team mates.
"Just like you said, that's how this universe works. Both of us have to get used to it." Su Jin sat down next to Chu Yi. It was so hard to accept how someone who was alive just a day ago was gone forever after just one Challenge.
"Sister Mai hasn't come out yet. Do you think she's okay?" Chu Yi looked at the portal door to the space they were in with a worried look on his face. He had already lost two teammates and he didn't want to lose a third one.
Immediately after Chu Yi said those words, Kano Mai emerged from the portal door. Her Personal Hell Domain had restored her completely. That was the magical part about this place. As long as you were still breathing when you were teleported back to your Personal Hell Domain, you would be healed of all injuries and cured of all illnesses.
"Are you alright?" asked Su Jin.
Kano Mai was pale but she still managed to squeeze a smile out as she nodded at Su Jin and Chu Yi.
Chu Yi knew that Kano Mai was feeling down because they had lost two teammates. He consoled Kano Mai, "We've already done our best. This…this is something that we couldn't have avoided."
"I know. Life goes on, right? I know that." Kano Mai nodded slightly as her smile faded.
And as if they could read each other's minds, The three of them did not mention Ning Meng or Yang Mo again. They hoped that they could move on from this tragic episode so that it wouldn't affect them in future Challenges.
Su Jn exchanged his points for the High Level Body Strengthening Elixir. 8000 points was more than enough for that. The elixir was a reddish liquid that looked like blood, but it was much more viscous than blood.
Without thinking, he gulped the entire bottle down. He didn't feel anything at first, but his face began to contort shortly after that. He felt like every cell in his body was rebelling against him.
His entire body began to convulse against his will. If the first two elixirs felt like it was changing his hardware, then this one felt like it was just destroying him completely by force.
It pained Chu Yi and Kano Mai to see how much Su Jin was suffering, but they couldn't help him at all. But they weren't worried that Su Jin's life would be in any danger, since he just had to endure the pain for a while and it would be over.
Su Jin ended up writhing on the floor like a piece of plasticine, twisting and turning from the pain. The High Level Body Strengthening Elixir turned out to be a lot more potent than he had imagined. Instead of just strengthening what he already had, the elixir seemed to be reconstructing his body.
Time ticked by slowly for Su Jin as he felt as though every part in his body was exchanging places with one another. Sometimes he felt like his brain had switched places with his butt, then sometimes he felt like his eyes were now on his heel. He was so confused.
After a long time, everything finally stopped. "Restore my body!" wailed Su Jin. Thankfully, body restoration was possible within the Team Hell Domain. Otherwise, he wasn't sure if he would be able to even get back to his own Personal Hell Domain.
Once his body was restored, he slowly got up from the floor. The torture he went through earlier still made him feel uncomfortable and he still had a little trouble walking.
"How are you feeling?" asked Kano Mai.
Su Jin hit his head gently to help him think more clearly, then rubbed his belly as he said, "I'm hungry!"
Kano Mai and Chu Yi were stunned for a moment before they both burst out laughing. Kano Mai rolled her eyes and said, "I can't believe you can feel hunger while you're in this place!"
Su Jin laughed. "I think it's strange too. But it's not really a grumbling in my stomach, it's more like…I don't know how to explain it either. It's as if all the cells in my body are clamouring for food." Su Jin scratched his head because this feeling was really hard to describe. But he was sure that he was actually feeling hungry.
"By the way, I've got something for you guys to see," said Su Jin as he took out the copy of Divine Comedy he had received and showed it to the other two.
Kano Mai couldn't help but shudder when she saw it. Her eyes widened as though she couldn't believe her own eyes.
"Can I…can I have it?" asked Kano Mai in a somewhat agitated voice.
Su Jin held it out to her without hesitation and said, "Even though this thing promises to send you back here if your life is in danger, you'd better be careful when you re-enter the world of the Original Sins. I got stuck when I went to Anubis' Mausoleum, and my Guiding Object refused to get me out of there."
He was still a little traumatized by that experience. He had been forced to go through this journey of atonement and the Guiding Object had not sent him out even though he was going through so much pain. He wondered if he would end up being trapped in there forever if he didn't gain enlightenment. That would have been as good as dying.
Kano Mai didn't expect Su Jin to just give the book to her. This was a Guiding Object to a Level A Challenge after all, so she asked, "Jin, are you sure you want to give this to me just like that? Do you know what this item represents?"
"Huh? I mean, if you need it, you can have it. Oh, Chu Yi, you don't mind, do you?" Su Jin realized he had forgotten to ask Chu Yi for his opinion.
Chu Yi looked like he didn't care for it at all and even said hatefully, "I wouldn't want that thing. I never want to go back there." He had a saddened expression on his face after saying that.
Kano Mai was touched that the two of them trusted her so much, but then again, this was nothing compared to how hard the both of them had worked to get the fruit of the Tree of Life just to revive her and Yang Mo.
"The difference between a Guiding Object from a Level A Challenge and from other levels is that if you return to a Level A Challenge, there's a high chance you will be able to activate your Spirit Power." Neither had asked her why she wanted it so much, but she decided to tell them anyway. They trusted her, so she felt that she ought to be honest with them too.
Their faces lit up when they heard what she said. Chu Yi said excitedly, "That's great! If you could activate your Spirit Power, then we'd stand a higher chance of getting through Challenges in the future."
"He's right!" Su Jin nodded excitedly as well. If Kano Mai had Spirit Power, then she would be better able to protect herself as well as contribute more to the team.
She herself was the happiest among them. Having Spirit Power was something that all owners wanted because that would help them in surviving the Challenges a lot more easily.
"Boss! Look at this!" Chu Yi suddenly exclaimed as he pointed to the emblem of Team Boning Knife that was carved into the pedestal where they placed their Handbooks. The emblem used to be a bronze color, but now it was gold in color.
"That means that our team has leveled up. Jin, you should be able to see this reflected in the team's Handbook," explained Kano Mai to the other two.
Su Jin opened the team's Handbook and saw that she was right. The information about the team stated that they were now a Level C team.
"Wow, we've gained so many experience points from a Level A Challenge…" Su Jin knew that a team could level up eventually, but he thought that it would take more Challenges before it happened. He didn't expect just one Level A Challenge to be enough to help them reach the next level.
"In general, a Level A Challenge wouldn't be enough either, but we managed to complete it perfectly, so the number of experience points we gained from that is much higher than normal," explained Kano Mai.
Su Jin nodded. The team had lost a lot over the course of this Challenge, but they had also gained plenty in terms of rewards. But if given a choice, Su Jin would rather that all his team members were alive and well than get all these rewards.
"If there's nothing else, I'll be off first. I want to complete this as soon as possible!" Kano Mai seemed to be more concerned with the Guiding Object in her hand and couldn't wait to get back into that world.
"Sure. But be careful!" Su Jin nodded.
Kano Mai immediately returned to her Personal Hell Domain, leaving Su Jin and Chu Yi behind in the Team Hell Domain.
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