All the members of Team Boning Knife could hardly believe their ears. It was Chu Yi who had told them about this cult, and it was obvious that Chu Yi really disliked this group of people. It was true that someone from the cult had tried to invite him to join them, but he had turned them down.
“That’s impossible. Chu Yi turned down the last person who invited him to join them. Why would he end up joining them after that?” Kano Mai was the first one to raise her doubts. She and Su Jin knew Chu Yi the best. This young man was not the type who would go around killing the innocent for no reason, and he would certainly not kill innocent people for the sake of power.
Su Jin shook his head at Kano Mai and said, “Since something like this photo has happened, then there is a possibility that he has really joined them, but I’m very certain that it wasn’t out of his own free will. He must be facing certain difficult circumstances, or…” Su Jin looked toward Han Linmei.
Han Linmei nodded slightly and explained, “I agree. The Resistance Army has spoken to Mr. Chu before and all of us have a very good impression of him too. And that is also why we started to do a more thorough investigation on why this could be happening to him. Mr. Su, could I check with you if Mr. Chu has actually already died?”
Su Jin’s eyes widened a little. He nodded and said, “Yes. He died in our last Challenge.”
“That makes sense then.” Han Linmei sighed sadly and went on, “Mr. Su, do you know why we consider that evil group of people a cult?”
Su Jin paused to think, then asked hesitantly, “You mean… that cult has the power to revive the dead?”
“Mr. Su, you are a very clever person indeed. To put it simply, the cult uses feats that are impossible for ordinary people to attract believers. And the most impossible feat of all is reviving the dead.
“But the cult’s way of reviving the dead isn’t true revival. From the intelligence that we have gathered, the cult seems to trap the person’s soul and enslaves it.
“The cult would first use all sorts of methods to get a piece of DNA from the owner. It could be hair, nails or even dead skin.
“After getting such an item, the cult would set up a magic circle. Once that owner dies in a Challenge, the magic circle will be activated immediately. Those who have been revived by this method will only listen to the orders given to them by the cult. They will become killing machines for the cult and the cult calls them Holy Warriors,” explained Han Linmei patiently.
Su Jin and his team nodded. That would explain perfectly why Chu Yi was behaving so strangely, going on a killing spree even. At this juncture, Situ Jin raised a question, “But the Handbook said that it was going to revive any owners who died in the last Challenge without exception. Are you saying that the cult is so powerful that even the Handbook is unable to go against their wishes and they had priority to revive Chu Yi?”
Su Jin shook his head. “I don’t think that’s what happened. When I set off the bomb on the outside of the train, it created a hole in the long river of time, which caused time within the Handbook and outside of the Handbook to flow at the same rate. Chu Yi died before this occurred, which gave the cult enough time to revive Chu Yi first. By the time the bomb went off and the Handbook decided to revive any owners who perished in their last Challenge, Chu Yi had already been revived. Since he wasn’t dead anymore at that point in time, the Handbook didn’t have to revive him.”
Everyone nodded again. Su Jin looked at Xiang Nan with a puzzled look on his face. “Mr. Xiang, you came looking for us because…?”
“Because we would like you to go get rid of some demons for us. I don’t suppose you’d like to watch this cult control Chu Yi in this manner, do you?” Xiang Nan smiled as he sat down next to Su Jin. “I was thinking, if we kill Chu Yi, the Handbook might compensate us somehow and revive Chu Yi properly.”
Su Jin fell into deep thought. Xiang Nan was a very good strategist too, except that he was a much more cunning and ruthless one. In order to protect his team, he was willing to scheme against other owners, which was something that Su Jin really didn’t like him for.
But after going through more Challenges, Su Jin began to slowly understand why Xiang Nan made such decisions. Even though he was still unable to bring himself to sacrifice the lives of other owners to keep his own, he knew that when it came to Challenges, nobody was obliged to pay the consequences of your own foolishness. Each owner had to face the consequences of their own actions. If you were so dumb that you were made use of without realizing it yourself and died as a result, then nobody would feel bad for you.
It sounded cruel, but this was really the law of the jungle, the survival of the fittest. The civilized world despised this and sought to rise above such values, but in the world of the Handbook Challenges, this was the rule that everyone lived by. Xiang Nan was one of the strategists who understood this the best, which was why Su Jin was pretty sure that Xiang Nan stood to benefit from all of this. Otherwise, Xiang Nan wouldn’t care about some other owner out there.
“Mr. Xiang, we’re not strangers to each other and I don’t think we need to beat around the bush. You seem very concerned about this matter. Are you… getting something out of this?” Su Jin asked Xiang Nang. They were on good enough terms for him to ask such a direct question.
Xiang Nan had a sad smile on his face, but given his usual personality and methods, it wasn’t surprising that Su Jin would think of him this way. “I’ll be honest with you. I’m only doing this for Brother Yu’s sake.”
“Brother Yu?” Su Jin was surprised. Yu Guangde died a long time ago. How could this matter have anything to do with him?
“The previous team leader was from the same universe as myself, and he was actually the previous head of the Resistance Army,” said Han Linmei.
Su Jin felt his mind was about to explode. Yu Guangde was actually from the same universe as Chu Yi and was even the head of the Resistance Army before he died. If that was true, then it would make sense for Xiang Nan to be so invested in Chu Yi’s matter.
“Chu Yi is pretty formidable, but I wouldn’t think he’s someone that’s too hard for your army to subdue,” said Su Jin.
Han Linmei had a saddened smile on her face. “You’re probably going to laugh at us, but the Resistance Army is… really unable to do anything about Mr. Chu. The cult has paid a high price to make Mr. Chu even stronger than before, so his close range combat skills are insane. We don’t have many members to begin with and we’ve already sent everyone who is skilled in close range combat, but we still couldn’t do anything about him.
“We checked through our past conversations with Mr. Chu and noticed that he mentioned before that the team leader of Team Boning Knife was better than him in this particular aspect.”
Su Jin’s eyes widened. Chu Yi had spoken way too highly of him. His physical body was indeed very strong and with the help of his Stellar Streams Heavy Armor, he had even been able to survive an attack by a demigod. But when it came to close range combat, Chu Yi was definitely no weaker than him. In fact, Chu Yi could possibly be even better at it.
“Mr. Su, we’re willing to provide the resources for you to come to our universe and kill Mr. Chu for us.” Han Linmei bowed deeply toward Su Jin.
Su Jin sighed heavily. “Like you said, Chu Yi has been made stronger by the cult, so even if you send me to fight him, I might not be a match for him now. You’re asking for a lot.”
“He’s your teammate after all, so you need to take responsibility for him. Besides, thanks to the fight between the Resistance Army and the cult, the chances of an owner dying in Linmei’s universe is as high as dying in a Challenge now and they really don’t have anybody capable of doing this. Zhang Shuhan is our best fighter, but he’s nowhere as skilled as Chu Yi.” Xiang Nan sighed too, but he really hoped to protect the universe that his late team leader once belonged to.
Su Jin looked at his other team members and Kano Mai was the first to nod. “We have a way to revive Chu Yi anyway, but we’ve got to kill this puppet Chu Yi first before we can do that, so… we don’t actually have a choice.”
“I’m fine with it, but I can’t go. You know I’m always busy.” Situ Jin gave his support but he couldn’t go along with Su Jin.
“I agree and if you need help, I can go with you,” said Wu Chen without hesitation.
“I think besides Mr. Su, the rest…” Han Linmei was in a difficult position. She meant for Su Jin to come by himself in the first place because it was the Resistance Army who was sponsoring this whole thing. Moving one owner from one universe to another already cost a lot, never mind two owners.
Su Jin smiled and said to his teammates, “I’ll go by myself. The rest of you can help me to investigate if what we did on the Train of the Supernatural had any impact on the Handbook.”
Wu Chen nodded. He was best at gathering information, after all. Han Linmei let out a sigh of relief. If Wu Chen insisted, then she might have no choice but to allow him to come along.
Su Jin became curious about this ability to travel across universes. “As far as I know, travelling between universes seems to be something very difficult to do. How are you going to get me into your universe?”
Han Linmei nodded and said, “Mr. Su, do you know about a group of owners who go around robbing other owners of their resources?”
Su Jin’s eyes widened. Of course he knew about those robbers, especially since Ye Yun was now being held hostage by Shen Wu. Han Linmei didn’t need to go on. Since she mentioned them, it meant that she was going to use the same method as these robbers.
“I heard that group of robbers have some rare item that allows owners to move from one universe to another,” said Su Jin in a low voice.
Han Linmei nodded. “That’s right. We’re going to borrow this item.”
“You can borrow it?” Su Jin was surprised.
Han Linmei had a sad smile on her face as she said, “We’re borrowing it, but it’s not for free. In fact, we need to pay a very high price for it. The Resistance Army can only afford to pay for one person.”
Su Jin nodded, then asked another question, “How am I going to come back then? You’re not just going to leave me inside your universe, right?”
“No, no, we’re not. The robbers always get to go and come back, so you’ll definitely get to come back,” explained Han Linmei hurriedly.
“Alright then. When do we go? Now?” said Su Jin as he got up from his chair. He was in a good state to engage in battle, so setting off now was a good choice.
Han Linmei was delighted by Su Jin’s proactiveness and nodded vigorously. “Yes, we can go right now. I’m so glad you’re able to go with us so quickly. I’ll… I’ll be counting on you then, Mr. Su.”
Su Jin nodded, then said to Kano Mai, “I think you’d better stay inside the bar for a while more. I’m afraid that the real world isn’t safe.”
“You don’t have to worry about me,” said Kano Mai as she nodded.
Su Jin then gave Wu Chen one of his Keys to Immortality with a smile. “I promised you this the last time.”
Wu Chen stared at the item in his hand for a second before realizing what it was and looked back at Su Jin with a huge grin on his face. Su Jin didn’t wait for Wu Chen to thank him and left with Han Linmei.
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