“Congratulations, you have activated your own Spirit Power! Your Spirit Power type is Psychokinesis!” Blackie’s voice resounded in Su Jin’s ears. Su Jin was stunned for a moment because he simply couldn’t figure out what he did to activate his Spirit Power.
He also noticed something else. A number floated on the top right hand corner of his line of sight and it was at 100. As he took the time to figure out what was happening, the number dropped to 99. At the same time, the world around him went back to normal again, so he continued being dragged backwards by Kano Mai’s Soul Whisperer.
“That’s…my Spirit Power?” Su Jin realized what that number represented. The number showed how much Spirit Power he had left to use.
“Come back!” thought Su Jin and the silver glow around the baby evil spirit carried the baby evil spirit back to Su Jin. The baby evil spirit thrashed around desperately but simply couldn’t get out of this silver glow.
“We need to hurry back, we don’t have much time.” Su Jin didn’t have time to explain things to Kano Mai now. He could see the number dropping at a rapid pace and he was going to run out of Spirit Power in less than five minutes at this rate.
Su Jin practically flew down the hill, especially since going down was easier than going up. His entire body seemed to have turned into nothing but a silver beam of light as he left Kano Mai trailing far behind him.
Kano Mai was also rather puzzled by this sudden surge in speed. Su Jin’s physical body was very strong and he could definitely run very quickly, but he had never been fast enough to leave her so far behind. Also, that faint silver glow around his body seemed exceptionally bright in the dark night.
Su Jin ran full speed ahead and managed to get back to the hall before he completely ran out of Spirit Power.
The hall was a complete mess. The autistic newbie’s head had been severed from his body and Tian Lili was bleeding from every orifice.
Yang Mo had lost his legs from his knees downwards and one arm had gone missing too. Xiang Nan was no better. He had a huge hole in his stomach, so his intestines had spilled out and he was lying on the floor and barely breathing.
At the same time, Zhang Shuhan had actually regained consciousness. It was probably because Su Jin had fished the baby evil spirit out of the pond. Zhang Shuhan and Yu Guangde were the best close combat fighters of their group, so they worked together with the village chief to trap her in a corner. But they looked like they were exhausted and Yu Guangde had run out of Spirit Power too.
“Aren’t you looking for your child? I brought him here!” yelled Su Jin as he ran to where they were fighting and thrust the baby at the woman.
The woman immediately stopped unleashing her attacks and a foul smelling black gas slowly filled the air, which made Su Jin knit his brows. But after the gas had cleared, the woman no longer looked like some half eaten corpse. Instead, she had transformed into a sweet and gentle looking woman.
The woman reached her arms out to take the baby from Su Jin and started crying once she held the baby in her arms. When her tears fell on the baby, the baby stopped struggling and looked curiously at the woman instead.
As more tears fell on the baby, the baby transformed too. The goat horns on his head crumbled into nothing but white powder and the filth on his body disappeared. It only took a few seconds for this evil spirit to look more like the cherubim painted on the walls of ancient Catholic churches.
A voice rang inside everyone’s ears, “Rubble Village Challenge completed!”
Everyone breathed a big sigh of relief. Su Jin shook his head as he scanned the ancestral hall. This Level B Challenge had resulted in the deaths of all the newbies and most of the old timers were badly injured.
Meanwhile, the woman stood in the middle of the hall, rocking her baby and singing gently. She was singing in a language that none of them understood, but it sounded so soothing to the ears.
“Hasn’t the Challenge ended? Why aren’t we returning to our Personal Hell Domains?” Su Jin was puzzled because he thought that they would be whisked off to their own Hell Domains once the Challenge was completed.
“Don’t worry about it! The Challenge has indeed come to an end, but it has to complete its story. During this time, any injuries an owner is suffering from will no longer do any harm to the owner,” explained Yu Guangde as he walked over.
Su Jin looked around and noticed that it was true that Yang Mo and Xiang Nan no longer looked like they were in pain even though one had lost three limbs and the other had a huge hole in his abdomen.
“We’ve been able to complete this Challenge successfully thanks to you, Mr. Su.” Yu Guangde stuck a hand out towards Su Jin.
Su Jin shook Yu Guangde’s hand and they smiled at one another. “Brother Yu, you’re too modest. Without the help of your small team, there’s no way I could have survived either.”
“Well, well, well! We’ve all helped each other in one way or another. If we ever run into each other again in a Challenge, Team Wind and Rain is willing to form an alliance with Team Boning Knife,” said Yu Guangde with a hearty laugh.
Su Jin was happy to hear these words and replied, “I hope we get another chance to work together!” Then he noticed Xiang Nan looking straight at him and frowned.
Yu Guangde noticed this as well and said, “Mr. Su, I really admire your insistence on sticking to your moral boundaries, but…when it comes to these Challenges, as long as it’s for the sake of one’s own survival, no way of doing things is really the right one or the wrong one. Xiang Nan has a different set of values from you, but…he did all that for the sake of our team, after all.”
“There is nothing wrong with ensuring the survival of the best people on the team in order to increase the survival rate of the larger group. I might not have the right to criticize anybody for the decisions they make, but I still don’t agree with doing something like that.” The Challenge had ended but Su Jin was still unable to agree with Xiang Nan’s actions.
Yu Guangde sighed but didn’t comment further. He walked towards Yang Mo and said, “You’re not bad and this skill of yours helped to protect us for quite a while. Would you like to join Team Wind and Rain?”
Yang Mo was stunned by this sudden offer, then he laughed sadly and said, “Brother Yu, I’ve already consumed all the Spirit Power in my battery, so I won’t be able to execute this skill again. Are you sure you still want me in your team?”
Yu Guangde wasn’t sure of what to say now. It was true that he approached Yang Mo precisely because Yang Mo had a useful defense skill. But this skill required Spirit Power and Yang Mo didn’t have any left. This put Yu Guangde in an awkward situation since Yang Mo didn’t have anything else to offer that would make him good enough to join the team.
Su Jin overheard their conversation and walked over. He pulled his Handbook out and said, “Brother Yu, if you don’t mind, let me have Mr. Yang then! Your team is already very formidable, so why don’t you give my new little team a chance to gather some members?”
“You’d like to have him? Sure! I’ll be happy to work with any of you in the future anyway,” said Yu Guangde with a laugh and walked away.
Yang Mo looked at Su Jin and asked hesitantly, “Are you serious about letting me join your team?”
“Stop saying all these useless things. You won’t get a chance once the Handbook throws us out of here. Put your hand here.” Su Jin held his Handbook out in front of Yang Mo.
Yang Mo followed Su Jin’s instructions and put his remaining hand on Su Jin’s Handbook.
A black mist rose immediately from the Handbook, engulfed Yang Mo’s fingers and took the shape of a demonic hand. Su Jin cut his finger and let one drop of his blood fall onto the demonic hand.
The demonic hand instantly shattered and turned into little bits of mist that went into Yang Mo’s arm and settled into the shape of a boning knife.
“All right! From now on, you’re a member of Team Boning Knife.” Su Jin smiled at Yang Mo. Even though Yang Mo hadn’t proved to be very powerful in any way, he had contributed everything he could without question, including consuming everything in his Spirit Power battery. Su Jin didn’t want to heartlessly make use of him and leave him in the lurch after that, so he asked Yang Mo to join the team to compensate him for his sacrifice.
At the same time, the events of this story were coming to a close. The village chief was now repenting as he knelt before the woman and her child and started recounting exactly what happened back then.
Back in 1959, a snowstorm hit and this woman had come to Rubble Village with many others in hope of finding some food. At that time, the woman had trouble even ensuring her own survival, much less feeding another child, so she left her child with the village chief along with all her money, hoping that the village chief could take care of her child during these hard times. Once the snowstorm was over and things got better, she would return for the child.
The village chief accepted the money and the child and agreed to take care of the child. But the village chief was a young man back then, so after he got a large sum of money from the woman, he went to buy some alcohol to celebrate his good fortune.
But because the village chief eventually blacked out from drinking too much and nobody knew about the baby in the house, the baby had already frozen to death by the time he woke up.
In his panic, he threw the baby’s body into that pond behind the hill. He was afraid that the woman might come back soon after to look for her child, so he left Rubble Village that same year and only returned more than a decade later, thinking that everything had probably blown over.
But when he returned, he realized that none of this had blown over at all. Later on, he changed the name of the village to Clear Pond Village in hope that the luck that came with this new name would keep the baby’s evil spirit in the pond at bay, but it didn’t work at all.
Most of Su Jin’s guesses had turned out to be correct. Everyone sighed as they looked at the village chief kneeling in the middle of the hall. The village chief used to be a good person, or at least he had enough kindness in his heart to agree to take care of a baby he didn’t know. There was a famine everywhere else back then and food was extremely precious, so taking in a baby was undoubtedly a heroic act.
Unfortunately, his negligence turned into a tragedy. Not only did he cause the death of a baby, but he had also brought disaster upon this village. When he came back 16 years later, he did think about how he could make amends, but it was already too late for that.
The woman stretched her hand out towards the village chief and he stretched his hand out towards hers as tears streamed down his face. The moment their hands touched, the village chief’s incredibly strong body instantly crumbled and turned into a heap of dust within seconds.
The woman did not forgive him and punished him for his evil deeds in the end. After that, everything went dark and all the owners were sent out of the Challenge. The Challenge had officially come to an end.
After the owners were sent away, something happened to the ancestral hall. The heap of dust on the floor came to life and became the village chief again, like it was a tape on rewind mode. The baby turned back into an evil spirit and returned to the pond behind the hill, while the woman also reverted to a half eaten corpse and hid behind the statue again.
Everything went back to what it looked like when the Challenge started. They awaited the next cycle and waited for the next batch of Handbook owners to come their way.
But Su Jin and the other owners had no idea this had happened. They had all returned to their Personal Hell Domains.
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