After he returned to the house, Su Jin’s uneasiness about Ye Yun grew stronger. He tried calling Ye Yun again, and even though the call got through, she never picked up the phone.
“This girl really makes me worry.” Su Jin sighed. As per Ye Yun’s last message, he was supposed to head to Z Province to look for her on Cloud Mountain in three months’ time, but he decided to go there earlier instead.
He bought a ticket and told Kano Mai where he was going. But when she heard what he was going to do, she decided to go with him.
“Mai, you really don’t have to be part of this. The people looking for Ye Yun are really difficult to deal with.” He didn’t want to drag Kano Mai into this mess. If that syndicate found out that she was an owner too, they might target her as well.
“I don’t have a choice. We’re team mates and my team leader is so infatuated with this girl,” teased Kano Mai. She ignored Su Jin’s attempts at convincing her and bought a ticket online as well.
Su Jin looked exasperated, but he felt a warmth inside his heart. Ever since he formed a team, he felt like he wasn’t so lonely and helpless in his journey as a Handbook owner anymore.
Their trip to Z Province caught the attention of the special police, so Lv Jincheng and Han Mengyao were sent to follow them, since their current mission was to keep a close eye on Su Jin.
In B City, Situ Jin sat tiredly in his office. Over the past month, he had used his understanding of owners and the resources that the government had to confirm the identities of several owners. His aim was to bring to justice those owners who used their superpowers to break the law and bring disorder to the country.
Of course, Situ Jin was not the sort who just acted without thinking. He had done meticulous planning and would only attack if he was more than 70% confident of defeating the owner.
Even so, his new mission to filter out the bad eggs ran into unexpected problems from time to time. Owners were people beyond human imagination to begin with, and some owners had hidden the true extent of their superpowers very well.
“That was almost the end of me.” Situ Jin looked down at the wound in his abdomen. The wound went right through his abdomen and many of his internal organs were damaged in the process. If he had not exchanged his points for very powerful healing substances, he would probably have died by now.
“I…I’m really still too weak to do this. Even though I have the entire country’s resources at my fingertips, it’s not enough to deal with an owner.” Situ Jin had a frightening look in his eyes as stared at his Handbook. Most other owners dreaded the start of a Challenge, but Situ Jin looked forward to it.
Just then, his phone started ringing. He frowned when he saw the number. It was Yang Tianzheng from S City’s special police. Why was he calling now?
Situ Jin picked up the call and the first thing he heard was Yang Tianzheng’s hearty laughter. “Situ! I’m sorry for calling you at this hour, but I wanted to ask you about Su Jin. You know, the young fellow you asked me to keep tabs on the last time.”
“Oh?” A smile spread across Situ Jin’s face.
After arriving at Z Province, Su Jin and Kano Mai did not stop to take a rest and switched to a bus to reach Cloud Mountain. Cloud Mountain was the highest mountain in Z Province and its peak was hidden in the clouds. It snowed all year round and was a popular tourist destination.
The two of them looked like they were here on a free and easy mountain climbing trip, but they didn’t take any of the normal routes that everyone took. They took an entire week to comb every hiding place they could find on the mountain, but there was no sign of Ye Yun anywhere.
“Are we just too early?” Su Jin sighed. Ye Yun did tell him to come only in three months’ time, and it seemed like she wasn’t going to appear anytime before that.
But Su Jin wasn’t going back to S City now either. Z Province was a pleasant place with fresh air and beautiful scenery. More importantly, he could avoid all the crazy things happening in S City.
The syndicate of robbers, the special police and even Situ Jin’s Department of Supernatural Affairs, were all people who made things very difficult for him. Hiding away in Cloud Mountain for the time being wasn’t a bad idea. In any case, he could start a Challenge anywhere in the world.
Meanwhile, Lv Jincheng and Han Mengyao were completely bewildered. Initially, they managed to keep up with Su Jin and Kano Mai. But after a while, they had to give up tailing them because these two took trails that were impossible for ordinary people like themselves to climb. They were now even more certain that Su Jin was one of those superhumans that their mentor told them about.
After Su Jin and Kano Mai came down from the mountain, he went sightseeing and enjoying local delicacies every day with the beautiful Kano Mai, which made Lv Jincheng and Han Mengyao wonder if these two were actually just a pair of lovebirds here on a simple holiday.
Day after day went by and Lv Jincheng was the first to give up. He had many things to attend to back in S City and nothing seemed to be happening, so he left Han Mengyao behind and returned to S City by himself.
Shortly after Lv Jincheng left, Kano Mai said to Su Jin, “One has left.”
“Uh huh. But we still have on more on our tail,” said Su Jin with a laugh. They had detected their two stalkers from their very first day in Z Province. But they were merely ordinary people and Su Jin had no reason to stay away from them, so he just kept an eye on them and continued to do whatever he wanted.
“Do you need me to get rid of the girl?” Kano Mai spoke very ruthlessly at times, because besides her own friends, people she didn’t know, like Han Mengyao, was no different from the grass on the road to her. She had spent a long time going through cruel Handbook Challenges that often taught her not to trust others and not to grow too attached to other humans. Anybody who went through such experiences often enough would end up looking at life this way.
“Forget it, just let her be. She doesn’t affect us anyway,” said Su Jin as he glanced at Han Mengyao hiding in the distance from the corner of his eye. This girl really had to learn how to conceal herself better.
When almost an entire month had passed, Su Jin paid Hell’s Bar another visit. The middle aged man was already waiting for him and approached Su Jin the minute he saw him.
“You’re here! I’ve got information for you!” said the man with a wide smile.
Su Jin immediately burst out laughing. “And what would you do if I say I don’t want it anymore?”
“You…don’t want it anymore?” The man’s eyes widened and he nearly lost his temper. Then again, if Su Jin had managed to get the information he wanted from another source already, there was no reason why Su Jin would want information from him now.
“You got information on the person you wanted?” asked the man in a sulky voice.
Su Jin shook his head. “I didn’t, but judging from your expression, I’ve gotten most of the information that I wanted.”
“What do you mean?” The man was confused now. How had his expression given Su Jin any information?
Su Jin sighed and explained, “You said that you managed to get hold of information, which means that there’s information about her within Hell’s Bar. In other words, she’s definitely a Handbook owner. Right?”
The man stared blankly at Su Jin for a moment, then slapped his own forehead and complained loudly, “That’s not the way things are supposed to work! If everyone’s like you, how am I going to do any business in the future?”
Su Jin laughed and said, “I’m just kidding. I’m still interested in more detailed information, so please tell me what you know.”
The man looked warily at Su Jin and still looked uneasy. “Young man, let’s talk terms first before I tell you anything, okay?”
Su Jin chuckled. His joke had clearly shaken the man’s confidence, so he nodded and said, “Sure. What’s your price?”
“It took me quite a bit of effort to get information on this lass, so two Tree of Life leaves or information on Team Boning Knife, the team I told you about the last time.”
“Team Boning Knife? I do have a bit of information but I don’t have details. I can tell you what I know, and you can decide if that’s enough for an exchange.” Nobody knew Team Boning Knife better than Su Jin, after all.
The man’s eyes lit up and he rubbed his palms together. “I can’t believe you actually managed to gather information about that team! Not bad! You’ve seen members from their team?”
“We went through one Challenge together before,” said Su Jin rather flippantly. “They’re now a three member, Level C team. Two members are male, one member is female, and they’re all veterans.”
“That’s it. We don’t know each other well, so that’s all the information I have.”
“What are their names?” The man refused to give up.
Su Jin shook his head. “I’m not sure. I was a newbie and they were already kind enough to help me through the Challenge, and they didn’t tell me their real names. What do you think? Is that enough information for you?”
The man didn’t hesitate and smiled as he said, “Of course it’s enough. Any information on a team that can complete a Level A Challenge with a perfect score is valuable, no matter how little.”
“So, tell me what information you’ve gathered.”
“Right. This Ye Yun you asked me to investigate is a Handbook owner, and she’s a pretty formidable one too. According to the owner who provided me with this information, if Ye Yun is still alive, she should have completed at least 30 Challenges already.”
“Oh my god!” Su Jin gasped. He had guessed that Ye Yun was probably an owner and after the recent incidents, he was actually very certain that she was one, but he didn’t expect her to have survived so many.
“Take a look at this.” The man showed Su Jin a photo of a beautiful young lady standing on top of a mountain of dead bodies with a billhook in hand, her brownish hair flying in the wind.
“Is she a veteran?” The lady in the photo was definitely Ye Yun, but it was so hard to connect this frightening photo to the playful Ye Yun he knew.
The man nodded and said, “Since she’s survived more than 30 Challenges, she must be a veteran. Also, I’ve confirmed that this lass is a target of that syndicate of robbers we were talking about the last time, and apparently she’s on the list of owners that must be killed.”
Su Jin’s eyelid twitched and he shook his head in dismay. He had guessed that the syndicate was targeting her, but to be on a list of people who must be killed…he really wondered what on Earth she did to offend these people so badly. Also, he felt that he had to salute her the next time he saw her, because she was truly amazing for surviving so many Challenges.
He had many more questions, but it was already almost time for the next Challenge. So, he left the bar, contacted Chu Yi, and started their next Challenge.
“Challenge started: Zombie Frenzy!”
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