Su Jin didn’t intend to kill Tan Xin, so he only stabbed her hard enough to incapacitate her. She clenched her teeth and shoved him aside, then held onto her bleeding left arm and moved further away from him.
“Are you crazy?! Why did you do that?!” shrieked Tan Xin furiously.
Su Jin got up as well, wiped away the blood on his knife and said frostily, “The pill that Mai ate was the real deal, while you merely got an ordinary mint.”
Tan Xin blinked in surprise. Her furious expression slowly turned into a wary look as she asked Su Jin, “When did you notice?”
“I wouldn’t really say I noticed anything, but I made some deductions after Chen Jing appeared. I wasn’t sure which one of you was the snitch and I wasn’t even sure if there was even a snitch in the first place. But if there really was one, I figured that you were more likely to be it, so I decided to test my hypothesis out. If you passed my test, then I’d shift my attention to Shi Teng,” Su Jin explained slowly.
Tan Xin scoffed and sat back down on the floor. She raised her arms in surrender and said, “Fine, you win! But could you spare my life? I’m just a newbie after all. Now that you know I’m the snitch, I’m no longer a threat to you guys.”
Su Jin and Kano Mai exchanged glances. Kano Mai hesitated for a moment, but she nodded after seeing how pathetic Tan Xin looked. Tan Xin was right after all – she was dangerous only when they didn’t know she was the snitch. Now that her identity had been exposed, she was no longer dangerous.
“If this is indeed the deepest part that the Handbook mentioned, then we just need to get in and we’ll complete the Challenge. Miss Tan, I’ll need you to take the first step.” Su Jin was no saint. Since she was the one who tried to plot against them, she had to face the consequences of doing so.
“You want me to take the first step? But if that leads to my death, I’d die!” Tan Xin yelled back at Su Jin when she realized the possible dangers ahead.
“Don’t worry, I’m 80% confident that this will be just fine,” said Su Jin.
“What about the remaining 20%?!” Tan Xin wasn’t going to agree so readily. The statue’s heart didn’t look particularly safe to her.
“Miss Tan, I highly doubt your chances of successfully turning on us were anywhere near 80% when you chose to start on that mission after entering this Challenge. So, what are you afraid of now?” said Su Jin quietly.
Tan Xin took two steps back and made sure she was far, far away from the three of them, then started screaming at them, “Dream on! You’re just sending me to my death! You’re nothing but a hypocrite after all! So much for saying that you were going to help us newbies! You wanted to use us as stepping stones in the first place, didn’t you?!”
Then she started yelling at Shi Teng, “Brother Shi, if I end up dying, I’m afraid you won’t survive either. You’d end up dead sooner or later too!!”
But Shi Teng didn’t believe a thing she said. He sneered, “You were the one who betrayed us and you’re trying to act like you’re a victim now? Seriously, do you have to yell this loudly?”
Shi Teng’s last sentence made Su Jin realize something. He narrowed his eyes and said to Tan Xin, “I’m really impressed. It’s hard to find a bold yet meticulous newbie like you. You’re purposely trying to stall for time by arguing with us here and you’re yelling this loudly because you’re trying to attract the attention of your fellow comrade, aren’t you?”
“What fellow comrade? I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Tan Xin continued feigning ignorance as she tried to stall for more time.
“You’ve been giving us trouble time and again, so you can’t blame us for getting nasty. Mai, send her off with a pile of bullets.” Su Jin was really furious now. If he didn’t have to, he really didn’t want to hurt Tan Xin. None of them were in the Handbook’s world by choice, so he could sympathize with other owners and was willing to spare them. But Tan Xin refused to give up on her mission and persisted in going against them. He couldn’t let her live anymore.
Kano Mai aimed her Soul Whisperer at Tan Xin and pulled the trigger. The gun started spewing bullets at her, but a figure came flying out of nowhere and stood in front of Tan Xin. The bullets hit this figure, only to send rock fragments flying in all directions.
“You’re finally here. It’s hard to call you an ally when you behave like this, you know?” Cold sweat dripped down Tan Xin’s forehead, but a smile slowly crept over her face.
“I’m so sorry! But hey, I’ve come just in time, haven’t I?” Chen Jing walked out from the shadows. His smile was sinister and frightening, and dozens of statues followed behind him.
Su Jin and the rest felt their hearts sink. Su Jin quietly said to Kano Mai, “Let’s run for it. This area is very narrow and we’ll lose if we try to fight. We just need to complete the Challenge.”
Kano Mai nodded as unnoticeably as she could. They weren’t very far from the statue’s heart, but they were still unsure about whether it was really where they were supposed to go. If it turned out to be a dangerous place, the three of them were dead meat.
“We don’t have a choice. If we don’t give it a shot, we’d die here too,” said Su Jin. Chen Jing had placed statues everywhere, so there was nowhere else for them to run. The only way out of this was through the hole they made in the lung lobe that led straight to the heart.
Of course, they could try fighting Chen Jing. But Su Jin didn’t think that was a good idea at all. Kano Mai was best at being a sniper from afar and poor at close range battles. He himself only had the skills that came with his weapons, neither of which were very useful for close range battles. Both of them were at a disadvantage because they were trapped in a small space.
“Let’s go!” whispered Su Jin as he instantly activated the Attack of the Demon Lord from his Boning Knife, while Kano Mai coordinated perfectly by activating another mode on her Soul Whisperer. The gun shot out pink projectiles which burst open with a loud bang, filling the air with pink smoke.
When Shi Teng saw that both Su Jin and Kano Mai started running for it, he started running too. Thick arteries connected the lungs to the Heavenly Statue’s heart and these arteries were so thick that it would need at least two or three people to join hands and surround it, so it wasn’t difficult for three of them to run down these arteries.
Meanwhile, Chen Jing and the statues had emerged from the pink smoke. One of the statues carried Tan Xin on its back, but her weight didn’t affect its running speed at all.
“I’m going to see how far the three of you can run!” Chen Jing cackled before letting out an ear piercing shriek.
“Damn it!” Su Jin turned around to look and felt his hair all stand on end. More than ten of those statues with Chen Jing had longbows and arrows, and they were all ready to shoot now.
The arteries were wide enough for them to run on, but not wide enough for them to dodge an oncoming rain of arrows. They would have to take the arrows head on.
“I’ve got this.” Kano Mai suddenly stopped, switched her Soul Whisperer to green mode and pulled the trigger just as the statues released their bows and sent their arrows flying. Her bullets flew out and hit every single arrow, breaking them midair.
WOONG! Just then, hundreds of silver needles suddenly came flying towards them. These needles didn’t come from the statues nor from Chen Jing. These came from Tan Xin.
“You’re not a newbie!” Su Jin roared as he pulled both Shi Teng and Kano Mai behind him and used himself to shield them from the rain of silver needles.
Ding! Ding! Dang! Dang! The silver needles clanged loudly as they hit Su Jin’s body. Su Jin allowed himself to be a human shield for the other two because he had his Ultra Light Mecha Armor on.
Unfortunately, while the Armor could protect his upper half, it didn’t cover his legs. More than a dozen needles punctured his legs, making them look like two cactuses.
“You’re right! I’m not a newbie!” Tan Xin smiled gleefully, then shouted to Chen Jing, “My Thunderstorm Tears needs time to recharge, so use your statues to kill them!”
“Your wish is my command!” Chen Jing tapped the air lightly with his finger and a dozen statues instantly charged towards Su Jin and the rest.
Su Jin’s legs were numb and he couldn’t move at all. A statue with a long sword swung it towards him, so Su Jin held up his Boning Knife, ready to use his knife to fight the statue head on.
But just then, he felt his entire body move backwards. Shi Teng had wrapped his arms around Su Jin and turned around.
In doing so, Su Jin avoided getting slashed by that statue, but Shi Teng wasn’t so lucky. The statue’s long sword sliced through the air horizontally and chopped Shi Teng’s body in half at the waist.
Shi Teng looked like he was in excruciating pain as his lower half collapsed miserably onto the ground while his upper body flew out. Su Jin instinctively grabbed hold of Shi Teng’s hand and pulled his upper body into his arms.
“Shi Teng!” Su Jin tried to call his name, but all he got was Shi Teng’s ugly expression as his facial features became contorted from the pain.
“Secret skill, Soul Whisperer Rain!” Kano Mai suddenly gave a shout and her Soul Whisperer turned transparent before shooting scores of multicolored bullets. The bullets rained down on the statues and they were unable to move any further.
“Hurry! If he can get to his Personal Hell Domain in time, he’ll live!” Kano Mai yelled at Su Jin.
Su Jin pulled as many silver needles out of his legs as he could, then endured the numbing pain as he carried Shi Teng towards the heart of the statue.
Chen Jing and Tan Xin didn’t expect Kano Mai to still have a powerful skill like that up her sleeve. This move of hers had increased the distance between them and the other three they were chasing.
“You can’t get away!” screeched Chen Jing as he suddenly grabbed his ears with both hands and tore the skin off his face to reveal the face of an evil monster.
He then blew out black air from his mouth, which started howling like vengeful spirits. The black air flew swiftly towards the other three and caught up with them in the blink of an eye.
At the same time, Tan Xin’s Thunderstorm Tears was ready to go again. She raised a jade tube and aimed it at the three as she sat atop a statue and smiled wickedly.
When Su Jin saw what was happening, he immediately passed Shi Teng to Kano Mai and yelled, “Just keep running! Don’t turn back!”
Kano Mai didn’t ask any questions and trusted him like she always did. She took Shi Teng’s upper body from him and ran with all her might towards the statue’s heart while Su Jin retrieved the Demon Lord’s Longbow from his Handbook.
“Farewell, you two!” Su Jin activated the Roar of the Demon Lord and aimed it at the other two.
When they were trapped in the lung lobe, he had considered using this skill to kill off Chen Jing and Tan Xin, but it was too difficult to kill them back there. Now, both parties were stuck on these arteries. This made it perfect for using this particular skill on them.
As Su Jin drew his bow back, Chen Jing and Tan Xin immediately sensed danger. They could tell that Su Jin was probably using his trump card on them, so they quickly unleashed their best attack on him.
On one side, there were statues, the vengeful spirits and silver needles.
On the other side, there was Su Jin with his longbow.
He let go of the arrow and sent an arrow of sparkles roaring down the huge artery of the Heavenly Statue!
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