Episode 383

Collecting Points
1 week ago
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In most cases, owners would not leave the safe zone immediately after the Challenge started, because doing that threw owners into danger right away sometimes. But there were also times like these, where leaving a little earlier could give owners a chance to gather some information and make plans before danger struck.

In short, it was two sides of the same coin. If one was willing to take some risks, they would get the chance to gain more. But in order to gain more, one had to take higher risks too.

Su Jin had information about that temple, but he did not head there immediately and went westward instead. The temple was in the east, and it was probably a rest stop for owners. Of course, anybody who really thought they could escape the demons by hiding in the temple was definitely doomed.

As for leaving the town before the demons arrived, any owner with enough experience would know never to do that. The Handbook always set a boundary for each Challenge, so if any owner tried to cross that boundary, the Handbook would get rid of them before any monsters in the Challenge could get to them.

The temple could not guarantee that the owners inside would be able to avoid all dangers, but that would definitely be of help to owners, so Su Jin guessed that the demons would be entering the town and heading away from the temple, and that’s why he had headed west. He wanted to be in the demons’ way, because he was rather curious about them.

The Night Parade of a Hundred Demons was an old myth from China and India, which was later made popular by the Japanese, who wrote many stories about this parade and turned it into a theme for many manga series and games. But this town looked like a typical Chinese small town from the past. Would the demons be of the Chinese variety, or the Japanese variety, or both?

The sky continued to darken, and when all the residents of the town had left, the restaurant was no longer a safe zone. The leaders of the three teams had already decided on what to do, but instead of leaving the restaurant, all 15 of them gathered on the roof so that they could observe the town from a vantage point.

At the same time, clouds of black mist billowed through the west side of the town and covered everything, as if it was about to swallow the entire town. It was stressful and terrifying to watch.

Su Jin was waiting on the roof of a small house, and when he saw the black mist, he said quietly, “They’re here.”

The three teams at the restaurant noticed the mist too. Liu Bowen said to the other two leaders, “We’re going with the plan we discussed just now, right?

“Of course. We’re all going together. The first wave of demons shouldn’t be too powerful, so it’ll probably be the only time we get to accumulate any extra points,” the leader of Team Sunday said to the rest.

“Alright!” the group responded before running rapidly toward the west of the town.

Since the three teams were chosen by the Handbook to be part of a Level A Challenge, they were definitely fairly good fighters. They knew they were no match for the stronger demons, but they could probably kill some Rank C and Rank D demons. Moreover, the reward for killing these demons was simply too good to pass up. Killing the lousiest one, a Rank D demon, would already give them 500 points. A Rank C demon came with 1,000 points. That was as good as the points they would get from completing a full Challenge.

The three teams each had their own strategist, and after a discussion, the three strategists decided that all 15 of them would move together at all times. They were going to work as one team. Once they made an attack, they had to kill that demon. Once they were done with that demon, they had to move on. And if they found themselves in a fight with a demon that was too hard to fight, they were to retreat immediately.

That arrangement would maximise the group’s chances of staying alive, so it was a pretty good plan.

When the three teams arrived in the west of the town, some of the black mist had already gone further into the town. Su Jin was still sitting on the rooftop and observing the black mist, but the black mist was as thick as ink and he couldn’t see what was inside at all.

“The black mist is meant to block one’s view?” murmured Su Jin. A silver light flickered in his eyes as his psychokinesis went into the black mist and he could see what was going on. He had a surprised look on his face as he muttered, “It’s a Level A Challenge, alright.”

Meanwhile, the black mist that was right in front suddenly shook. The black mist faded and a few monsters appeared in the middle of the street. The strategist of Team Blazing Sun took one look at them and said, “Tofu monk, drowning lady, flying head, daolao demon!”

“You know them all?” asked Liu Bowen curiously.

The strategist replied, “Yep. I’m very interested in the folklore of various countries about these supernatural beings, so I’ve read a lot about them before. These four creatures are a mix of Chinese and Japanese demons!”

“Give us more specific details,” said the leader of Team Blazing Sun.

The strategist nodded, then pointed to one of them and said, “That’s the tofu monk. You see that piece of tofu in his hand? According to legend, if you knock that piece of tofu out of his hand, he’ll go berserk and hunt you down.”

“Is it very formidable?” asked another person.

“Nope, not at all. Based on the Japanese folklore where it’s from, it’s probably no more powerful than an ordinary human. But I don’t know if being in a Challenge changes anything.” The strategist went on to point at another creature and said, “That’s the drowning lady. According to Japanese folklore, you might run into her at a hot spring. She’s usually an extremely beautiful woman, but when she gets up from the water, you’ll realize she’s nothing but bones from her neck down.”

“The flying head is also from Japan, and it’s literally a head that flies. The last one is the daolao demon from China, and it’s probably the most dangerous of the four. It can spew poisonous air, and anyone hit by it will die after one day, then turn into a daolao demon.”

“That’s like the Chinese version of a zombie,” remarked another person. The description did sound like a zombie, except that the victim was going to take an entire day to turn into a monster.

“Kill the tofu monk first, then drowning lady, then flying head, then daolao demon! If we can’t handle them quickly, we must retreat!” said the leader of Team Blazing Sun to the rest.

Everyone nodded in agreement and charged at the tofu monk. All 15 of them were veterans, but they chose to use their weapons to fight first instead of using their Spirit Power. That was a good move, because it was stupid to use up their Spirit Power early on when they weren’t sure what they might face next.

Su Jin remained on the rooftop and did not move. The first batch of four demons were all Rank D demons, so even ordinary owners with sufficiently decent weapons would kill them easily, never mind this group of old-timers. Su Jin didn’t have to help them either.

And just as he had expected, the tofu monk was killed almost instantly by the group. To the surprise of the group, everyone who participated in the killing of the tofu monk got 50 points. A new counter even appeared in their Handbooks to reflect their additional points in real time.

The results made everyone giddy with excitement. It had been so easy for 15 of them to kill a Rank D demon, so they figured that they would be able to kill even a Rank B demon if they worked together. They would earn so many points that way.

Motivated by the prospect of gaining a huge number of points, they quickly dealt with the drowning lady, the flying head, and the daolao demon. It took them less than three minutes to kill all four demons, and most importantly, they did not have to use their Spirit Power to kill the demons.

Liu Bowen licked his lips and felt that something didn’t seem quite right. It was impossible to gain points this easily from a Level A Challenge, so there must be danger nearby, but… perhaps he could kill a few more Rank D demons before danger arrived? Killing these demons was merely a matter of minutes, after all.

After the four demons were slain, another cloud of black mist faded to reveal eight new creatures. The strategist from before immediately spouted their names, “Cat demon, hinoenma, the 1 am woman, hitodama, child demon, sleep demon, fetus demon!”

Immediately after the strategist named them, the demons came charging at them before he could provide more details about them.

“Kill them all!” yelled Liu Bowen. There was no time to think. They had to quickly kill the demons coming at them first.

The 15 of them put together made a very strong team, so even though they faced twice the number of demons this time, they were killed off fairly quickly.

“Not bad, but how many waves will you guys be able to handle?” murmured Su Jin.

Liu Bowen panted for a moment and was pleased to see that he now had a good 6,000 points. But before he had time to celebrate, another cloud of black mist had turned into more demons. This time… there were 16 of them!

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