Yang Mo felt a lot more relieved to hear Su Jin’s assuring words. He looked at Su Jin and Kano Mai a little awkwardly, hesitated for some time, then said, “Actually, I know that it’s really hard for someone as useless as myself to survive these Challenges and I’m already prepared to perish pretty soon. But…but…if you guys are okay with it, I really hope you’d help me when you can. I know…I know it’s very unreasonable of me to make such a request, but I promise to contribute everything I can to the team! I promise!”
“What are you talking about?!” Su Jin raised an eyebrow and said quietly to Yang Mo, “Of course we’ll help you out. That’s what a team is for, isn’t it?”
Yang Mo blinked in surprise. Kano Mai nodded at him with a smile as well, which meant she agreed with what Su Jin just said. Yang Mo’s eyes instantly reddened and he couldn’t help but start crying.
Ever since he became a Handbook owner, he had been living in terror every single day. He had been lucky to get hold of a Spirit Power battery and his Challenges thus far hadn’t been too difficult. Being lucky had enabled him to survive thus far, but his luck had failed to reduce the terror he felt. But now, he felt like he didn’t feel so scared anymore.
It was hard enough to walk through life alone, let alone a road that was filled with difficulty and threatened to kill him at every turn. Perhaps what he really needed as a Handbook owner was just companions on this same journey as him.
“Thank you…thank you so much both of you!” Yang Mo wiped his tears away and smiled at the two in front of him. This was the first time he had given anybody a genuine smile since he was chosen to be an owner of the handbook.
Su Jin and Kano Mai smiled back. Yang Mo said, “I believe one day, we’ll be able to get out of this universe! Let’s work hard to reach that goal!”
The other two nodded gravely in agreement, then continued with looking through the menu for any suitable items. Kano Mai had a lot of experience in this area and she was the team member with the most number of Challenges under her belt.
Su Jin also felt that Kano Mai was hiding some secrets. But there was nothing strange about that. Every person had their fair share of secrets. Every person had something that they didn’t want others to know. He himself was hiding his deal with the Demon Lord too.
Kano Mai started giving Yang Mo her opinion on what to choose. All of them felt that even though Yang Mo had gone through several Challenges already, he had barely made it through each time, so he had gained very few points at the end and most of the items he had exchanged for so far weren’t very useful to him.
After listening to Kano Mai and Su Jin’s opinions, Yang Mo eventually chose items that were vital for keeping one alive. Su Jin’s plan was to make him the healer character of the team. He would be able to protect himself well and render medical aid to the rest of the team to keep them going.
Yang Mo didn’t object to this decision. He was now willing to do anything for the team, or rather, he had tied his own life to the team.
“With the addition of Yang Mo, we’ll have three people on the team. But he might not be part of the same universe as us, so how do we communicate with one another?” asked Su Jin. Handbook owners could be sent into a Challenge from different parallel universes, so Yang Mo did not necessarily come from the same universe as himself and Kano Mai.
Kano Mai said with a smile, “You don’t have to worry about that. Your Handbook can communicate between universes like a phone. After the team levels up in the future, you could even unlock access to features that will allow us to travel between universes.”
“Oh wow, we can do that?” Su Jin didn’t expect the Handbook to allow owners from different universes to travel across universes.
Su Jin suddenly smacked his forehead with his hand, then gave Yang Mo two phone numbers. One was his own phone number while the other number belonged to Chu Yi. Su Jin hadn’t forgotten his buddy from his very first Challenge.
“This is my number, while this belongs to a guy named Chu Yi. We went through our first Challenge together but unfortunately, we belong to two universes. Try these two numbers when you get back. If my number doesn’t work, you could try his number,” Su Jin said to Yang Mo.
Yang Mo took note of both numbers and nodded. “Don’t worry about it! I do hope we’re from the same universe!”
After that, they returned to their own Hell Domains. Su Jin glanced at the High Level Body Strengthening Elixir he had earmarked before leaving and figured that he would need to either go through another two Challenges or kill a Special Character and complete a Special Mission in order to get enough points for it.
Once he returned to his own Hell Domain, he exchanged points for some training time. If he wanted to survive the next Challenge, he had to keep training himself up and become stronger.
By the time Su Jin returned to the real world, Kano Mai was already waiting for him. Also, his Handbook had this red glow around it.
He opened up his Handbook to find that there was a call request from Yang Mo. He accepted the request and the Handbook turned into a tablet of sorts as it started a video conference with Yang Mo.
“Su Jin, I’ve got a piece of good news and a piece of bad news. Which do you want to hear first?” said Yang Mo.
“Bad news first!”
“I tried your number but I got an old lady. I…don’t think that’s your grandma, right?” asked Yang Mo with an awkward laugh.
Su Jin shook his head. He had been carrying his phone all this time, so the one who picked up the call was certainly no relative of his. In short, Yang Mo was from a different universe.
“That’s the bad news, huh. What’s the good news then?”
“I tried the other number and got someone named Chu Yi!” said Yang Mo.
Su Jin wasn’t expecting this. He just wanted Yang Mo to give the number a shot but didn’t have high hopes of the number getting through. He didn’t expect Yang Mo and Chu Yi to actually belong to the same universe.
“In fact, I didn’t just get in contact with him, but I also got him to come over. Bro, say hello to our team leader!” Yang Mo moved aside and another young man’s face appeared instead.
“Brother Su, it’s really you!! I thought this fellow was lying to me!” Chu Yi had a curious look on his face as he continued speaking without letting Su Jin respond, “So, other parallel universes really exist! I thought you had just forgotten all about me…sorry for thinking that way!”
Su Jin was equally excited to meet Chu Yi again. “I didn’t expect you to be from the same universe as Yang Mo either. How have you been?”
“I’m still coping! I’ve gone through three Challenges, but I barely make it through each time. I think I’m going to die sooner or later.” Chu Yi looked rather deflated as he thought about the Challenges he had gone through. He probably had a really tough time.
Su Jin consoled him, “It’s the same for me. The Handbook Challenges were designed to be extremely dangerous, after all. But don’t give up hope!”
“By the way, Brother Su, Yang Mo tells me you guys have your own little team. Can I join?” asked Chu Yi with a hopeful look on his face.
Su Jin didn’t have an answer to this question. He turned to Kano Mai for an answer, since she seemed to be the most experienced member in the team with answers to almost any random question about the Handbook.
“That’s not a problem. You can authorize Yang Mo temporarily, then send your blood over via the Handbook and it’ll work,” said Kano Mai with a nod.
Su Jin followed her instructions to authorize Yang Mo temporarily. The Mark of a Leader immediately appeared on Yang Mo’s Handbook.
“Put your hand here.” Yang Mo had been through this before, so he started giving Chu Yi instructions.
Chu Yi placed his hand on Yang Mo’s Handbook and a black mist emerged from the Handbook to form a demonic hand around his.
Su Jin let a drop of blood fall onto his Handbook and it went right through to the other side. It leaped out from Yang Mo’s Handbook and onto Chu Yi’s hand.
The demonic hand shattered upon contact with the drop of blood and turned back into a black mist that travelled up Chu Yi’s arm, forming the team’s logo in an instant.
“All right! Team Boning Knife welcomes you to the team!” Su Jin smiled brightly. Chu Yi had been great to work with, so Su Jin was happy to have him on the team.
“Woah! That’s a really cool tattoo!” Chu Yi admired the artwork on his arm and gave a pleased nod.
“Chu Yi, did you gain anything from the last few Challenges?” asked Su Jin casually.
Chu Yi nodded vigorously and said in a secretive tone, “Becoming a Handbook owner might be one of the worst things that’s ever happened to me, but it’s also fulfilled a wish of mine!”
“A wish of yours?”
“Yep! This!” Chu Yi flipped his hand and a piece of paper floated above it.
Kano Mai and Yang Mo were confused but Su Jin’s eyes instantly lit up as he asked in disbelief, “You…you’ve got Spirit Power?!”
“SPIRIT POWER?!” It was Kano Mai and Yang Mo’s turn to exclaim in shock. They couldn’t believe they had run into another person with Spirit Power after just three Challenges.
“That’s right! But I prefer to call it internal energy. I enrolled myself into a martial arts academy because I’d seen this sort of thing in movies, and I naively believed that I could get internal energy if I trained hard enough. I was really disappointed when I found out that everything was just special effects,” rambled Chu Yi.
“That’s not being naïve. That’s just dumb,” remarked Yang Mo in a snarky voice.
“I was just naïve.”
“If you say so.”
While the two younger ones were bickering in their universe, Kano Mai had a really shocked look in her eyes. A brand new team had two veterans on the team. That sounded insane to her.
“What’s wrong?” asked Su Jin when he saw that Kano Mai was in a daze.
She shook her head and laughed. “Team Leader-sama, I think our team’s future is getting brighter and brighter.”
“Oh? Is it because the team has a charismatic and formidable leader?” asked Su Jin shamelessly with a laugh.
“I guess so!” Kano Mai indulged him and nodded with a laugh.
Just then, Su Jin’s phone suddenly started ringing. When he saw who was calling, his expression fell but he picked it up anyway.
“MY DEAR COUSIN! Where the HELL have you been?!”
That was…Ye Yun yelling into the phone.
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