Shi Teng tread very carefully and didn’t dare to even breathe too loudly. Kano Mai held onto her Soul Whisperer and stood on guard to make sure that she could shoot at anything that might try to attack Shi Teng as quickly as possible.
A minute passed and Shi Teng was almost at the other end of the bridge. But the fear that had built up in his heart all this time had also reached its peak and he was clearly beginning to walk faster than before, which was only a natural human reaction in such situations. When humans faced something that terrified them, some people were able to remain calm. But when humans were going to finally get out of a terrifying situation, few were able to continue remaining calm. And clearly, Shi Teng wasn’t one of those.
But because he had started walking faster than before, his footsteps became heavier and louder as well. Just then, Kano Mai suddenly shuddered as she seemed to have spotted something.
“Shi Teng, run! Don’t look back!” Kano Mai yelled at Shi Teng.
Shi Teng could sense that something was approaching him as well, so once he heard Kano Mai tell him to run, he started running immediately. Kano Mai fired the Soul Whisperer once he started running.
Whoosh! A snake-like monster rose from the dark waters and was headed towards Shi Teng. But Kano Mai was already prepared for this and fired targeted bullets at the monster in quick succession, and every bullet hit the monster.
But despite her accuracy, all the bullets managed to do was to force the monster to shift slightly off course. It was still making its way towards Shi Teng.
BOOM! The monster crashed against the bridge and the three of them couldn’t see Shi Teng anymore. They didn’t know if he was dead or alive.
“Damn it!” Su Jin cursed inwardly. He took the Demon Lord’s Eye out from his Handbook and activated its skill, Discernment of the Demon Lord.
As Su Jin was holding the Demon Lord’s Eye in his hand, nobody noticed that a black mist was rising from his hand and had entered Su Jin’s body through his pores.
He shuddered all over and felt like his vision was blurry. He felt like a million ants had just crawled into his body. But this sensation disappeared as quickly as it came, and he felt fine after one second. Kano Mai and Tan Xin’s attention were focused on the bridge, so they didn’t notice what was happening to Su Jin.
“Haha…” Su Jin exhaled quietly. The physical sensation he felt earlier was gone, but the feeling in his heart was still there and it made his hair stand on end.
“Damn it,” he thought, “it’s really like what I expected. Then again, there’s nothing to be surprised about. He’s a Demon Lord after all, so it’s only natural for him to use such tactics.” He just knew that the Demon Lord from the Fengxi Town challenge hadn’t been sincere in making a deal with him right from the start. He had managed to snag some benefits for himself, but the amount of risk involved was tremendous as well.
“HAHA! It’s begun! It’s finally begun!” Somewhere in a lonely courtyard located deep among the crevasses of time and space, a pair of eyelids covered in veins were stretched over a pair of empty eye sockets. The empty eye sockets trembled slightly, and its demonic mouth seemed to laugh maniacally as it roared mightily.
But back inside the Temple of the Origin of Heaven, Su Jin had no time to think about the feeling in his heart now. He quickly flipped open his Handbook and found the results of using the Demon Lord’s Eye skill.
“A Tiger Water Dragon1 is a creature born out of the waters. It is naturally vicious with a strong will to live. Special characteristics: It can live without food for a thousand years and a little food can keep it alive for a thousand years. As long as it eats just a little, it will definitely live for the next millennia. It is often kept as a pet by powerful beings to guard their residence or their ancestral graves. Weakness: The tiger stripes on its stomach. Any attack to that part will result in certain death.”
The information in the Handbook was actually quite detailed. Su Jin was surprised that it actually stated the monster’s weak spot so specifically.
“Mai, are you able to see tiger stripes on that monster’s belly?” Su Jin asked Kano Mai.
A purple light flashed in Kano Mai’s eyes as she focused on the monster in the water and nodded immediately. “Yup! The stripes are obvious and covers a fairly large area.”
“Shoot the monster there!” said Su Jin.
Kano Mai used her hand to smack her Soul Whisperer without hesitation and the purple gun changed colors again. This time, it turned green and looked like it was made from emeralds.
Bang! A green light shot out and hit the Tiger Water Dragon accurately in the stomach where its tiger stripes were. And just like the description in the Handbook, the Tiger Water Dragon immediately stiffened up after it had been hit in the stomach and stopped moving altogether.
“Cover me!” Su Jin leaped onto the bridge. It had only been about ten seconds or so since Shi Teng had been attacked, so if he was lucky, he might still be alive.
Su Jin ran very quickly and made a lot of noise on the bridge, so several Tiger Water Dragons emerged from the water under the bridge. But immediately after they emerged from the water, the same number of green bullets were fired from Kano Mai’s gun.
All the Tiger Water Dragons that had been charging towards Su Jin were annihilated by those green bullets after the bullets hit them in the stomach. They fell right back into the water where they came from lifelessly. Meanwhile, Su Jin had already jumped over the one that died on the bridge, but he still couldn’t see Shi Teng anywhere at all.
“Did he fall into the water?” Su Jin sighed. If Shi Teng fell into the water, then he was definitely dead.
“Save… save me …” Just then, Shi Teng’s weak voice resounded from behind him.
Su Jin blinked a few times in surprise before turning to look for where Shi Teng’s voice was coming from. He eventually found Shi Teng inside the dead Tiger Water Dragon’s mouth. The bottom half of Shi Teng’s body was inside the monster’s mouth while his top half was squashed to the side, and he looked really miserable.
Su Jin used the Demon Lord’s Boning Knife to cut the Tiger Water Dragon’s mouth open and pulled Shi Teng out from there. His injuries were a lot less than Su Jin had imagined. Shi Teng only had a few minor cuts from the monster’s sharp teeth and was injured anywhere else.
“Mai, Tan Xin, come over!” Su Jin shouted to the girls on the other side once he had helped Shi Teng to the end of the bridge. Now that they knew the weak point of these monsters, the monsters no longer posed such a big threat to the four of them now. Besides, Kano Mai was such a sharpshooter, so these monsters weren’t dangerous anymore.
After Kano Mai and Tan Xin made it to the other side, the four of them were reunited. Kano Mai smiled at Su Jin and asked, “How did you know that the monster’s weakness was its stomach?”
“I used one of my skills.” Su Jin didn’t answer Kano Mai in detail and continued to check if Shi Teng was injured anywhere else. But Shi Teng had been really lucky. The Tiger Water Dragon had brought its jaws down on his body, but he hadn’t been badly hurt at all.
“Why didn’t you shoot at it?” asked Su Jin.
Shi Teng was still traumatized by what happened, so he stammered as he replied, “I… I was… too frightened!”
Su Jin laughed quietly at Shi Teng, but Shi Teng’s experience also taught him that if one didn’t have enough training and experience, having a weapon did not necessarily keep you safe in times of danger either.
After taking a short rest, the four of them walked out of the dark corridor and found that they had also walked out of the front hall. The sky outside was getting darker and darker, and they also noticed that the area around the temple was also shrouded in darkness.
A wide and empty pavement led from the back of the front hall to the main hall of the temple. Compared to the front hall, the main hall was even bigger and grander. The place was so brightly lit, it was as if there was a mini sun within the main hall.
The four of them walked down the pavement to the main hall without any problems at all. But the smoother the journey, the more uneasy Su Jin felt.
When they entered the main hall, their breath was taken away by what they saw inside.
Statues that were as large as the general and demon in the front hall filled the entire main hall. The black and white statues stood in groups like rolling hills, with one side representing the light and the other side representing the dark as they seemed to be engaged in a great battle between good and evil.
“Look over there!” Kano Mai pointed to the other side of the main hall. A statue was seated with a longsword in its hand as if it was the king of the gods. It looked down on the black and white statues as if these fighting statues were no more than playthings to it.
“I’m not sure if you guys think the same way, but… I feel that the “deepest part of the temple” thing has something to do with that particular statue,” said Su Jin as he glanced at his three companions.
The other three nodded without hesitation. That statue seemed so much like the king of the gods, so it reminded them of the mission they had to complete. But at the same time, this gigantic hall of giant statues also made all of them shudder in fear.
“It’s not going to be a problem. If this entire hall of statues were to come to life, I don’t think this challenge would have been merely a Level C challenge.” Kano Mai seemed to be able to tell what everybody was worried about.
Su Jin nodded as well. Fengxi Town had been a Level B challenge and it hadn’t looked this crazy. So, it was impossible for a Level C challenge to turn out the way all of them were afraid it would.
“It doesn’t matter, we’d better go in first. There’s no point standing out here. Besides, the challenge is forcing us to keep moving ahead.” Su Jin turned around and saw that the pavement they had walked through just moments ago had already been completely engulfed by darkness.
The four of them started walking into the main hall carefully when Tan Xin suddenly let out a yelp. A white light flashed beneath her feet, and she disappeared after that.
“Stop!” shouted Su Jin immediately. Tan Xin had been just behind him. He turned and looked around but couldn’t find anything wrong. Kano Mai and Shi Teng looked equally confused by what just happened. They had been behind Tan Xin just now and didn’t notice anything amiss about the place either.
“Help… help!” The sound of someone crying for help came from the entrance to the main hall. They thought it was Tan Xin, but when they turned around, they realized the person standing at the entrance was actually the man in gold rimmed spectacles.
The man looked a complete mess. His neatly combed hair looked more like a bird’s nest now and his sleeves had blood splattered on them.
He started running towards the three of them and as he came closer, there was a creak from under his foot, after which a white light suddenly shone from beneath Shi Teng, and he also disappeared right after that.
“Crap! Are we triggering some sort of mechanism?” Su Jin muttered under his breath before yelling at the man approaching them, “Stop right there! Don’t come any nearer!”
The man stared back at Su Jin in confusion while Su Jin continued to instruct Kano Mai, “Mai, if he dares to move a single inch, shoot him dead.”
“Got it. I’m more than happy to do that for you.” Kano Mai immediately aimed her Soul Whisperer at the man.
The man gulped and trembled all over before waving his arms about desperately. “Don’t do that! Aren’t we… aren’t we supposed to be on the same team? I’ll come with you guys! Please don’t leave me here!”
Su Jin and Kano Mai’s brows were both furrowed slightly. They weren’t too bothered by this man in front of them. They were now very bothered by the hidden traps within this huge hall and were worried about where Tan Xin and Shi Teng had gone.
The ‘dragon’ here is actually referring to a Chinese mythical creature: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jiaolong ↩️
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