Chapter 73 - Fairy Tales of Horror

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Su Jin sat in Ye Yun’s room and watched as she packed her things. He sighed and asked, “Are you seriously going to run away from home?”

“Yeah!” Ye Yun nodded gravely. But as he watched her pack suitcase after suitcase, he started to wonder if she could even make it out of this estate.

“Do you know where you’re going? Since you want to run away from home, surely you’ve got a destination in mind, right?” said Su Jin lazily. He was always able to relax and be himself in front of Ye Yun, which was probably one of the reasons why he liked her so much.

Ye Yun paused to think, then shook her head. “Nope. I’m just going to leave first and I’ll think about that later. Don’t you dare tell my parents, or I’ll kill you.”

Su Jin sighed. He simply couldn’t figure out what was going on in this girl’s mind. He leaned back in his chair and said, “So why did you bother telling me?”

“I’m afraid that if nobody knows about it, nobody will be able to find me when the time comes,” said Ye Yun as if this was a normal thing to do.

Su Jin nearly fell off his chair. There were times when he really couldn’t keep up with her thought process at all. He sighed and said, “So…when would be a good time for me to tell your parents?”

“I’ll call you!” After she finished packing everything into suitcases, she stuffed everything under the bed and just slung a backpack over her shoulders.

“If you didn’t intend to bring all this stuff along, why did you pack them?”

“Shouldn’t one pack your own room from time to time?”

“No, that’s not the sort of packing I’m talking about,” said Su Jin as he smacked his forehead. “Look, your parents and your cousin are going to go absolutely bonkers once they realize you’re gone. Doing this is as good as seeking death!”

“I don’t care anymore. I ought to challenge myself sometimes anyway. In any case, as long as I don’t tell you to do so, you are not to tell my parents about where I’ve gone.” Ye Yun opened the window and hopped onto the windowsill.

“Do you really have to go out by this way? Your parents aren’t even home – why don’t you just walk out of the main door?” asked Su Jin.

She replied, “No, Uncle Yu is downstairs and he’ll try to stop me.” After saying that, she jumped down. But he wasn’t worried about her since she was so good at this. Jumping out from the second floor wasn’t going to kill her.

After she left, he got a message from her. The content of the message was to warn him: Mr. Su Jin, you’d better remember what I said just now!

He typed back: You didn’t even tell me where you’re going, so there’s no point in me telling your parents anything.

She replied: Oh silly me! You’re right! I’m so smart! Well, that’s that. Bye, cousin!

He looked out of the window to see Ye Yun squirrel out of her own home like a little fox, disappearing within seconds. He wanted to ask her to stay, but it was probably pointless to do so. This girl was very unpredictable, so even if she agreed to stay for the time being, she would eventually find some other way to leave.

And if she left without telling anybody anything, it would be impossible to locate her. If she wasn’t willing to tell anybody where she was, she might not even pick up his calls. At least she was still willing to stay in touch with him now.

Once Ye Yun had completely disappeared out of sight, Su Jin went back downstairs. He spotted Uncle Yu and said, “Uncle Yu, I need to inform you about something.”

“What is it?” asked Uncle Yu as he smiled politely at Su Jin. Su Jin was supposedly the cousin of the young mistress of the house, so he treated Su Jin with the same respect.

“Oh, well…Ye Yun has run away from home.” Su Jin was afraid of giving Uncle Yu a heart attack, so he tried to speak as gently as he could, hoping it would give Uncle Yu sufficient time to take it in.

“What did you say?” Uncle Yu was still smiling and didn’t seem to have heard Su Jin the first time, but before Su Jin could repeat himself, the smile on Uncle Yu’s face disappeared.

Su Jin could hear that Uncle Yu’s breathing had quickened and he quickly pulled a chair over for the older man to sit on before trying to calm him down. “Uncle Yu, relax, relax. She’s left home, but she hasn’t been kidnapped or anything like that. Ye Yun’s a tough cookie, you know that. Just pretend that she’s gone on holiday, okay?”

“Mr….Mr. Su, please, this is…this is not a joke. I…no, I need to call Mr. and Mrs. Ye right now.” Uncle Yu wobbled as he tried to get up again.

Su Jin helped to steady him and said, “Uncle Yu, there’s no point in telling her parents now. They won’t be able to do anything about it now. Please don’t get so agitated. I will talk to them about it, so don’t worry.”

Uncle Yu was quite trusting of Su Jin since his employers trusted this young man a lot, so Uncle Yu eventually decided to listen to Su Jin.

“In that case…in that case, I’ll count on you to take care of Miss Ye.” Uncle Yu seemed to have misunderstood Su Jin and thought that Ye Yun had gone to stay with Su Jin.

Su Jin felt really awkward but there was no point in trying to explain anything now, so he just went with it. Then again, he didn’t think a misunderstanding like that was necessarily a bad thing either.

Unfortunately, over the next three weeks, Su Jin never got another message from Ye Yun and she didn’t pick up any of his calls either, which made him feel very uneasy. But his fourth Challenge was almost due. He had to get through this Challenge before he could have the time and energy to look for her.

Su Jin contacted Yang Mo and Chu Yi via his Handbook, then he and Kano Mai sat in his house and flipped their Handbooks open together.

“I heard that Snow White has escaped and Little Red Riding Hood is worried about the Big Bad Wolf

I heard that the Mad Hatter likes Alice and the ugly duckling will turn into a swan

I heard that Peter Pan never grows up and Jack has a magic harp

I heard there’s a candy house in the forest and that Cinderella has lost her favorite glass slippers

Only the wise river water knows that Snow White left the castle because she wanted to go out and have fun

Little Red Riding Hood wears a large red cloak that stops herself from becoming a wolf

There’s always a rainbow colored river that winds through the town of fairytales

It’s filled with the willfulness of magic yet it bends when it comes to love

The never-ending stream of water sprays water in all directions, then flows down straight like a screen

Time is like water

Making every Once Upon a Time eventually reach the point of Happily Ever After

I heard that Sleeping Beauty has been buried and the Little Mermaid is looking towards the golden palace

I heard Apollo became a three-legged crow and a sabretooth tiger runs through the fields

I heard Pinocchio always lies and Rumpelstiltskin has a chest filled with jewels

I heard a tree of life grows along the cliff and the red shoes keep dancing tirelessly

Only the wise river knows that Sleeping Beauty wanted to escape from her suffering

The Little Mermaid turned sunshine into her eyeshadow and leaped into the embrace of bubbles

There’s always a rainbow colored river that winds through the town of fairytales

It’s filled with the willfulness of magic yet it bends when it comes to love

The never-ending stream of water sprays water in all directions, then flows down straight like a screen

Time is like water

Making every Once Upon a Time eventually reach the point of Happily Ever After

There’s always a surreal looking river that winds through the town of fairytales

It separates ideals from reality then meets again at the river mouth

The never-ending stream of water sprays water in all directions, then flows down straight like a screen

Time is like water

Making every Once Upon a Time eventually reach the point of Happily Ever After

And everything becomes strange again…”1(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ap0huJwyT7g)]

A melodious voice started singing in Su Jin’s head. He had heard this song before. It was a song written by a few people and strung many famous fairytales together. But he couldn’t think of how this song was connected to a Handbook Challenge.

He opened his eyes and saw that besides his three team mates, there were five others. The total number of people involved in this Challenge was nine people.

He didn’t bother saying anything and flipped his Handbook open immediately. Besides the lyrics of the song he heard earlier, the difficulty level and missions of the Challenge were listed.

Fairytales of Horror

Difficulty Level: C

Mission 1: Find the treasure within the fairytales! Mission is considered complete upon finding three treasures. Finding five treasures will earn you an additional 1,000 points, finding seven treasures will earn you an additional 2,000 points

There were no other missions to choose from this time, but the main mission was already a lot to deal with. You could also say that the main mission did give owners a choice as well. On top of that, the mission didn’t seem as difficult as Su Jin thought it would be. He thought that this one Level C mission might be as difficult as a Level B mission.

Then again, it wasn’t really that strange actually. It only took three items to complete the mission and obtaining more items came with such a huge reward. In other words, as long as one didn’t insist on getting more than three items, it was likely that the main mission could be completed pretty easily.

“Okay everyone! Are there any newbies here?” asked a fairly energetic woman in a loud voice. She looked like she was in her thirties, wore a tracksuit and carried a long item wrapped in cloth on her back. It looked like a long sword of sorts.

Everyone looked at each other and surprisingly, not a single person raised their hand. In short, all nine owners of this Level C Challenge were old timers.

This clearly surprised everybody else too. Kano Mai had a puzzled look on her face as she whispered to Su Jin, “Something’s not right. In general, every Challenge would include newbies, unless it’s a Team Challenge. But you have to make a special application for that.”

Su Jin wasn’t too bothered by this matter, so he whispered back, “I think it’s fine. Perhaps…this rarely happens, but it doesn’t mean it never happens, right?”

Kano Mai had no answer to that. Meanwhile, Chu Yi walked over and gave each other a big hug after grinning at one another.

“Brother Su, I just knew we’d meet again,” said Chu Yi with a smile.

Su Jin smiled back and patted Chu Yi’s shoulder. “That’s right! I didn’t expect it to be so hard to meet you again, but I’m glad it all worked out.”

The woman in a tracksuit spoke up again, “Since everyone’s an old timer, then that’s great. My next question: is any of you a veteran?”

Everyone immediately perked up at this question. They looked at one another with a hopeful look in their eyes, as if they were hoping that there were veterans among them.

“We’re veterans, but we haven’t gone through a lot of Challenges yet,” said Su Jin as he patted Chu Yi’s shoulder. He felt that the presence of veterans would probably keep everyone calm and less nervous.

And just as he had expected, everyone immediately had excited looks on their faces when they realized that there was not one but two veterans among them. After all, veterans were highly prized in a Challenge. If there was a veteran around, everyone’s chances of survival would increase significantly.

  1. This is a real song: Town of Fairytales by Chen Yi Fa’er, apparently based off the US TV series Once Upon a Time [YouTube ↩️

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