The study had been locked, but this wasn’t a problem for Su Jin. He grabbed hold of the door handle, then exerted some force, pulling the entire handle, lock and all, right out of the door.
“Exactly how strong is your body now? I can’t believe you just did that!” Yu Guangde was shocked at how easy it had been for Su Jin to pull the handle out so cleanly and quietly. Also, his fingers had carried both their weight above the door just now. Yu Guangde had survived many Challenges and seen all sorts of owners, but he had never come across anybody as strong as Su Jin was.
Su Jin just grinned without answering his question and they headed towards the village chief’s bedroom. They hid outside the door and Su Jin put his ear against the wall to hear if anything was happening inside the room. Su Jin’s hearing was now so powerful that he could hear slight noises even through a wall.
A few moments later, Su Jin nodded slightly. He could hear even breathing coming from inside, which meant that the person inside had fallen asleep. Su Jin proceeded to replay his feat of removing the bedroom’s door handle and lock mechanism.
After they crept into the bedroom, they immediately realized why their powers had been sealed off. The bedroom was covered entirely with talismans, including the walls and the furniture.
“Good heavens. This man must have done something really terrible, that’s why he’s so afraid of evil spirits coming to haunt him,” thought Su Jin. He glanced at Yu Guangde and noticed that Yu Guangde had the same judgmental look in his eyes.
They exchanged glances and immediately tiptoed over to the village chief’s bed and started trying to search for the chronicle.
All of a sudden, the entire bedroom lit up. They two of them froze for one second, then quickly retreated from the bed and stood on both sides of the village chief. The village chief was now sitting upright with a book in his hand.
“How dare you do such a thing! I’ve already been so kind as to allow all of you to stay in the village and now, you’re actually trying to rob my house?” The village chief glared frostily at the other two in the room.
“Uh…if I said we got lost and walked into the wrong room, would you believe me?” Su Jin grinned sheepishly.
“What do you think?!” The village chief moved like a flash of lightning as he pounced towards Yu Guangde.
Neither Yu Guangde nor Su Jin expected the village chief to be this formidable. Yu Guangde wasn’t able to use his Spirit Power and was no match for the village chief, so the village chief sent him flying with a palm to his chest before Yu Guangde could even dodge.
Su Jin leaped over and caught Yu Guangde with one hand, hoping to absorb some of the impact on Yu Guangde’s body. But a sharp pain in his wrist made him realize that not only was he unable to completely cushion the impact, but his own wrist had also gotten hurt as a result.
“He’s so strong!” Su Jin was stunned. The village chief was ridiculously strong. Even Su Jin wasn’t as physically strong as him.
The village chief soon made a pounce for them again. He was very skinny but moved quickly and viciously. Su Jin’s wrist was injured, but he had a weapon on hand. After he retrieved the Boning Knife earlier on the hill, he never put it back into the Handbook, so it was now at his waist.
The Boning Knife was especially sharp, so even though it didn’t contain any Spirit Power, waving the sharp blade around was enough to keep the village chief at arm’s length.
Yu Guangde was bleeding from the mouth as he said to Su Jin, “We’ve got to shift this fight outside!”
Su Jin nodded. He picked up Yu Guangde and ran for it. The village chief’s house had sealed off all their powers, which made the situation very disadvantageous to them. They had to bring this fight all the way beyond the fence.
But the village chief wasn’t going to let them run out of his bedroom so easily. He stomped a foot on his bed and a long sword flew out from his headboard. He grabbed hold of the handle and thrust it towards Su Jin’s back.
Su Jin sensed the sword coming for him and knew he was in danger, but it was too late to dodge the attack, so he had no choice but to swing his boning knife down on the sword. The force from the blades colliding into one another caused Su Jin and Yu Guangde to fly away from the sword. But that also basically sent them flying right out of the village chief’s bedroom.
Once they landed, Su Jin and Yu Guangde didn’t pause to catch their breath and continued running. Su Jin exerted force in his legs and jumped more than ten meters into the air and smashed right through the fence of the village chief’s house.
After they ran out of the front yard, both of them were able to use Spirit Power, so Yu Guangde gave a low shout, “Activating Spirit Power!”
A red glow shot out from his body and his hair flew wildly in the wind. A red beam of light shot out from his red dagger, turning the short blade into a long sword.
“Don’t kill him! I think he’s linked to the story behind this Challenge!” Su Jin instructed Yu Guangde.
“But if we don’t kill him, how are we going to get the chronicle? Once we’re in his house, our powers are sealed and we’ll be no match for him.” Yu Guangde felt that they would be able to kill the village chief with their powers combined, but it could be hard to try and keep the village chief under control. The village chief was even stronger than Su Jin after all.
“You just need to stall him. We’ve got one more on the team, remember?” said Su Jin with a laugh.
Yu Guangde was confused for a moment, then broke into a smile. “Stalling him won’t be too difficult!”
By the time they finished exchanging these words, the village chief had caught up with them. His first target was Yu Guangde, since he concluded that Yu Guangde was the weaker one after he was sent flying with a palm attack earlier.
But Yu Guangde now had the assistance of Spirit Power. He thrust his red sword into the air several times and the tiny red sparkles quickly transformed into a ferocious tiger that pushed the village chief onto the ground.
“Scram!” The village chief wasn’t afraid of the tiger at all. He gave a low shout, grabbed the tiger with both hands and literally tore the tiger apart with his bare hands.
“Is that how powerful one’s body can get in this universe?” Su Jin could hardly believe his eyes. He had heard of people tearing ghosts and spirits apart before, but this was the first time he was seeing someone rip an animal into two like that.
“Don’t just stand there and watch! Come and help me out!” Yu Guangde was shocked by the village chief’s incredible strength as well. Trying to stall for time while minimizing injury was harder than killing the man.
Su Jin didn’t say anything, but a black object with a golden glow quickly appeared in his hand, followed by a string of bullets.
But the village chief was really a force to be reckoned with. Su Jin’s shooting skills were top notch after his training with Kano Mai, but the village chief could dodge every single bullet. His reaction time was unbelievably fast.
Of course, Su Jin didn’t intend to use Black Fire to kill the village chief. He was just using it to keep the man occupied.
A few moments later, a figure hopped out from the village chief’s house. Kano Mai had gone into the house to look for the chronicle while Su Jin and Yu Guangde were stalling for time. She quickly gave them a hand signal and disappeared into the distance.
“Let’s go!” Su Jin saw that Kano Mai had gotten what they needed, so he called out to Yu Guangde to quickly leave this place. Both of them coordinated their actions perfectly as Su Jin shot a stream of bullets and flung Rumor out at the same time while Yu Guangde swept a swathe of Spirit Power sparkles at the Village Chief.
The village chief was powerful, but even he couldn’t get through such an aggressive attack. Su Jin and Yu Guangde quickly seized the chance to escape. The village chief didn’t run after them even after he dodged their attacks. Instead, he frowned and suddenly realized something was wrong, so he ran back to his bedroom immediately but the village chronicle was already gone.
After all three of them got away safely, Su Jin exhaled deeply. “Gosh! I didn’t expect the village chief to be this formidable!”
“It’s not really surprising, actually. Such formidable characters often turn up in Challenges. But…everything seems to have turned out easier than we expected,” remarked Yu Guangde puzzledly. The three of them had come fully prepared that at least one of them might end up dead.
Kano Mai laughed and said, “Maybe we got lucky! But never mind that now, we’d better get back to the ancestral hall asap!”
When they returned to the ancestral hall, they saw that Xiang Nan was sitting outside the hall with a cup of water in his hand. He breathed a long sigh of relief when he saw the three of them and gave them a tired smile.
“Why are you sitting out here?” asked Yu Guangde.
“I was waiting for you guys to come back! How did it go? Did you find the village chronicle?” asked Xiang Nan as he got up.
Kano Mai waved the book in her hand in response.
Just then, they heard a commotion coming from afar. Su Jin turned to look and saw that all the lights in the houses were on and there were many people headed for the ancestral hall with fire torches in hand.
“The village chief has gathered the villagers together and I think they’re coming for us! Go back into the ancestral hall and lock the doors!” said Su Jin to the other three.
They quickly ran into the hall and pushed anything they could find against the door to keep it shut. They had the village chronicle on hand now, so it was time to unravel the mystery of Clear Pond Village. But they needed some time to do so.
When Su Jin walked further into the hall, he noticed that Yang Mo had a disturbed look on his face. Yang Mo’s lips twitched several times as if he was going to tell Su Jin something but shut up when he saw Xiang Nan and walked to the other side of the hall. The autistic newbie was still shivering in his corner.
Su Jin found Yang Mo’s behavior rather strange. He turned to look at the other corner where the three newbies were lying motionless. Initially, Su Jin didn’t think much of it. But he soon realized something was amiss and approached the three newbies, only to find that all three of them were already dead.
“What…how did this happen?!” Su Jin couldn’t believe his eyes. He checked the three of them carefully and discovered that all of them looked like they had been drowned. There was water dribbling out from their mouths.
Su Jin turned back to look at Yang Mo and Xiang Nan. Yang Mo immediately avoided Su Jin’s gaze and refused to look at him, so Su Jin looked at Xiang Nan instead. He took a deep breath and asked, “Mr. Xiang, what happened here?”
Xiang Nan looked emotionlessly at the three dead newbies and shrugged. “The evil spirit killed them. I’m sure you could tell.”
“The evil spirit uses water as a medium to kill humans, of course I know that. But how did that still happen to them?” questioned Su Jin frostily. Since everyone here already knew that the water was the problem, there was no reason why these three newbies would die this way.
“I got them to drink the water. All three of them were idiots…even until the last one dropped dead, none of them realized what the problem was,” said Xiang Nan with a chuckle.
Su Jin marched towards Xiang Nan, then suddenly punched him in the face and sent him flying. Yu Guangde caught Xiang Nan and gave his team mate a questioning look.
“Why did you do that?” asked Yu Guangde. He couldn’t understand why Xiang Nan would do such a thing.
Xiang Nan wiped the blood off his lips and he could feel that his teeth were a little loose. But Su Jin had already held himself back. Otherwise, he was definitely going to lose more than just a few teeth.
“Why? If I said it was to ensure your safety, would you believe me?” said Xiang Nan quietly.
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