Ju Xinlan was still being so ridiculous even at this juncture. Kano Mai scoffed loudly in disbelief. The fact that Su Jin didn’t just kill her on the spot was already an act of goodwill. And now, she even wanted to take a vote?
To Kano Mai’s surprise, Su Jin actually nodded and said, “You want us to vote? Fine. I’ll let you guys vote.”
Ju Xinlan was stunned by his response because she had only said that out of desperation and she didn’t expect him to agree either. But since he had agreed, that was better for her. She knew how to convince everyone to stand on her side.
“Are you serious?” Ju Xinlan gulped her saliva down in excitement.
Su Jin nodded quietly. Kano Mai stared at Su Jin in disbelief and opened her mouth to speak, but he shook his head at her and said, “I said I’d give her the chance.”
Kano Mai glared at him angrily, but she respected him as the team leader of Team Boning Knife and went with any decision he made.
Ju Xinlan said excitedly, “Everyone, listen to me. I admit that what I did was wrong, but now…I’m really trying to consider everyone’s safety. Professor Charlemagne, how many vehicles are good to fly here?”
“Only two helicopters can be used. But even if you combine the remaining fuel in the other helicopters, it’s only enough for one helicopter,“the professor replied.
Ju Xinlan nodded excitedly again and after sorting out the information in her head, she said, “As all of you can see, a helicopter doesn’t have a lot of space. It’s already hard enough to squeeze everyone into one and now, this guy! This guy wants to bring on board a human who’s slowly but surely turning into a zombie! If something happens while we’re in the air, we can’t possibly do anything inside this tiny helicopter. Do you guys really want to die together with him?”
The newbies fell silent after hearing what Ju Xinlan said and they had shifty glances because Ju Xinlan’s words had clearly hit home. Chu Yi was going to turn into a zombie anytime now and there was no way to fight him in a tiny helicopter in midair. Bringing Chu Yi along would result in their own death.
Su Jin had a sullen look on his face as he asked, “Are you done?”
“One last word. Friends, I think everyone already knows how terrifying this Challenge is and how difficult it is to survive. But no matter how difficult it is, we’ve got to try! And now, the chance to survive is right in front of you. I’ll leave you to decide which side you’re on,” said Ju Xinlan as she stared straight into everyone’s eyes. She knew all the newbies were struggling inside to make a decision.
But Ju Xinlan believed that she was a clever woman who understood human nature well. And what were humans like? Most humans avoided anything that might kill them because they had a strong survival instinct. It might sound cowardly, but that was precisely why mankind had been able to reach their current level of development.
Su Jin glanced at all of them coldly, then said, “All right then. We can start voting now. Between this woman and Chu Yi, we will only take one of them. Those who choose her, raise your hands!”
The first person to raise her hand was Ju Xinlan. She looked at the rest and Zhang Lei was the first one to waver as he slowly raised his hand. He said apologetically to Su Jin, “Mr. Su, I’m really sorry. I really, really want to survive this. It’s too dangerous to bring Mr. Chu along.”
Su Jin didn’t say anything. After that, Shen Hongjiang raised his hand and looked apologetically at Su Jin as well. Ju Xinlan was very proud of herself. So what if Su Jin were an old timer? He still lost to her after all.
But Ju Xinlan’s heart quickly sank. She had been so sure that Chen Duo would raise her hand, but Chen Duo did not. She stared at Chen Duo and said, “Chen Duo, are you certain you’d rather travel with a zombie?”
Chen Duo bit her lip and said, “I’m sorry but Mr. Chu saved my life before, so…I’ve decided to go with this side instead.”
Her words surprised Su Jin and Kano Mai as well. This young lady was a grateful person even at this juncture, which was something that most people would not be able to do, especially in a life and death situation.
Su Jin grinned. “That’s three versus three. I guess you won’t be allowed to board after all.”
Ju Xinlan nearly blew up when she thought of something. “You said that everyone gets to vote so…Professor Charlemagne gets a say as well. If he allows Chu Yi to board, then I will accept my fate.”
Su Jin raised his eyebrow slightly, while Ju Xinlan started trying to convince the professor to stand on her side. “Prof, the future of mankind and the world rests on your shoulders! It’s not worth taking such a risk. I’m sure you understand that.”
The old man nodded slightly and said to Su Jin, “I hope you can understand. I will not allow Mr. Chu on board.”
“Why, you!” Kano Mai raised her voice, “Don’t you remember who got you out of the library?”
The professor went red in the face but Su Jin said, “Prof, just like she said, everyone gets to cast a vote. In that case, I believe Chu Yi should have the right to vote as well, so our votes are still split evenly.”
“No! He doesn’t have the right to vote! He’s…he’s already become a zombie! Only the humans get to vote!” yelled Ju Xinlan through gritted teeth.
The professor was very apologetic as he said to Su Jin, “I’m really sorry, Mr. Su. But if you insist on allowing Mr. Chu to fly with us, I will have no choice but to refuse to pilot the vehicle. As the only one who knows how to do that, I believe you ought to respect my choice.”
Su Jin scoffed and he glanced at everyone on Ju Xinlan’s side with a sinister smile. “I’m going to give all of you one last chance, so you can still change your mind now. Tell me - are you really going to stick to your first decision?”
The three newbies were silent, and they all eventually nodded in agreement that Chu Yi should not be allowed to board.
Su Jin sighed and waved his hand to motion to them that they could leave. Since Chu Yi was not allowed to board, he wasn’t going with them either. Kano Mai chose to do the same thing as him. Su Jin looked at Chen Duo and said, “Miss Chen, if you trust me, stay here and I will guarantee your safety even after they’ve left.”
She nodded without hesitation. “I’ll have to trouble you guys to take care of me then.”
Su Jin nodded at her with a smile. The three newbies quickly boarded the helicopter while Su Jin spoke privately to the professor. “Prof, it’s too bad that we can’t continue on this journey together, but since we did rescue you from the library, could you at least tell me the exact location of the Safe Zone?”
The professor felt bad for refusing to let Chu Yi board earlier, so he quickly agreed to answer Su Jin’s question. He found a map on another helicopter and marked out the exact location of the Safe Zone.
“Mr. Su, I…have a great responsibility to fulfil, so I hope you can understand,” said the old man with a guilty look on his face.
Su Jin smiled faintly and shook the professor’s hand. “I hope your journey ahead is smooth.”
“You too.” The professor sighed, then glanced casually at Su Jin’s pocket.
Su Jin laughed and returned the ‘vaccine’ in his pocket to the professor, which relieved the old man. He was still wondering how he could convince Su Jin to return this to him.
“What a hypocrite.” Ju Xinlan scoffed inside the helicopter as she watched Su Jin and the professor talk. To her, that was the ultimate display of hypocrisy. Su Jin clearly hated them so much, yet he still cooperated with the professor as if the future of mankind was more important than his own life.
The helicopter took flight in no time. Ju Xinlan suddenly started yelling at Su Jin from the helicopter, “You hypocrite! You stupid hypocrite! You can wait to die here with all that hypocrisy! HA! Aren’t you angry? Aren’t you soooo angry? But you can’t do anything about that! The last man standing turns out to be me! HA! I, Ju Xinlan, is the ultimate winner!”
“She’s a real nutcase.” Su Jin shook his head disdainfully. This woman had clearly gone mad.
After the helicopter had left, Kano Mai glared at Su Jin furiously and said in a frustrated voice, “Why did you agree to her suggestion? Why did you allow everyone to vote like that? This is a Handbook Challenge and the only aim is to survive! On top of that, she’s caused this horrible thing to happen to Chu Yi and you let her off?! WHY?”
Su Jin was a little intimidated by Kano Mai’s angry yelling and said, “Don’t be so angry. I have my own plans. You know I’m never the good guy for nothing.”
Chen Duo smiled and said, “Miss Kano, don’t be angry with Mr. Su anymore. Actually…I figured that Mr. Su had some plans of his own already.”
“Oh?” Su Jin was surprised to hear this. He looked at her curiously and asked, “Why don’t you tell me about what you think?”
She nodded and said, “This is all guesswork, so please don’t be offended if I’ve guessed it wrong.”
“Nah, it’s fine. Just speak freely.” He nodded at her.
“If my guess is right, Mr. Su is using them like a minesweeper. You’re just using them to test the waters,” explained Chen Duo.
Su Jin’s smile widened and he nodded to tell Chen Duo to continue. After receiving affirmation, she went on, “Before this, Mr. Chu and Miss Kano explained to me that this whole thing is a Challenge, and to look at it simply, it’s like a stage in a game. Once we complete all the missions in this stage, we would also have completed the stage.”
“Continuing with this analogy, you could see Professor Charlemagne as an NPC of this stage, and he’s an NPC with a quest. I haven’t played a lot of such games before, but I know that such NPCs can either lead you to other side quests or trigger other events. If I’m not wrong, Mr. Su thinks that the professor will trigger an event that may be very difficult to deal with and could possibly affect whether we get through this game stage or not. That’s why you wanted them to leave with the professor, because then we could avoid going through whatever event he would trigger.”
Su Jin gave her a pleased nod and said with a smile, “Miss Chen, you’re a really smart young lady. You’ve nailed it. Ju Xinlan is an evil woman who’s done this to my companion, so there’s no way I’m going to just let her off like that. Since I would prefer her dead, I might as well make full use of her before she dies.”
“Poor Mr. Zhang and Mr. Shen, though.” Chen Duo smiled sadly.
Su Jin shook his head. “I gave them the chance to choose our team, but they failed to seize the chance. When they turned their backs on Chu Yi in hope of surviving this ordeal, they didn’t realize they were actually turning their backs on their own lives.”
But Kano Mai was still very unhappy. “If I were you, I would have killed Ju Xinlan with my own hands to avenge Chu Yi. She’s the one who landed him in this state after all!”
Su Jin quickly tried to calm her down. “No, no, if my guess is right…there’s still hope for Chu Yi yet.”
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