Xu Songde pounded his chest, transforming his barely 1.7 meter tall body into a 3 meter tall giant in seconds. His body gave off a little steam, as if the rain was falling onto boiling hot steel. The only problem was that the steam wasn’t because of the rain. The light barrier was still keeping the rain out.1
The man in the windbreaker pulled out a metallic item that was as large as his palm. He came near the wooden soldiers, then moved backwards as quickly as possible. Immediately after he moved away, the wooden soldiers were blasted to pieces and lay in parts all over the ground.
Xu Songde was now charging towards the other man. He was now as tall as a giant, so one step of his was equivalent to several steps of an ordinary human. Each step he took was powerful and stirred up gusts of wind.
The man in the windbreaker immediately smashed two tiny glass bottles and stuffed two strips that resembled chewing gum into his mouth. But instead of fighting Xu Songde head on, he turned and ran off.
Xu Songde was strong and capable of causing a lot of damage, but he wasn’t very nimble at this size. It was very hard to corner the other man within the boundary of the light barrier.
“You’re just a cockroach who just keeps trying to escape! So, you think I’ve run out of ideas?” Xu Songde roared furiously before he suddenly stopped running and stabbed his own stomach with his vajra. His stomach started to shake violently immediately after he did that.
The man in the windbreaker felt threatened by Xu Songde’s actions, so he pressed a hand on his Handbook and a transparent glass ball appeared in his hand.
“Time to die!” bellowed Xu Songde as he pulled the vajra out from his stomach. The entire vajra was covered in fresh blood, outlining every engraving on it clearly. A second later, a dazzling flash of light shone out from the vajra and swept through the air.
The light from the vajra was almost as bright as the sun. It filled the entire area within the light barrier and even looked like it might break the light barrier. But even though the light barrier managed to stay intact, it meant that the man in the windbreaker was going to die, since the light barrier also cut off any escape route for himself.
Xu Songde looked rather exhausted after launching this attack, but the wound on his stomach had already healed up completely even though only mere seconds had passed. This terrifying ability to heal so quickly made Xu Songde almost impossible to kill.
But Xu Songde was stunned by what he saw next. A large bubble was floating within the light barrier and the man in the windbreaker was standing inside that bubble, completely unscathed. The incredible force unleashed by the vajra had actually been unable to break a mere bubble.
Once the man in a windbreaker was sure that Xu Songde had completed his attack, he jumped out of the bubble confidently and looked at his watch before saying to Xu Songde, “The green powder I released into the air earlier is made from a combination of animal poisons. The toxins in this composite powder will move along the bloodstream and attack the victim’s heart directly. Given how much you moved about earlier, I think it’s about time.”
Xu Songde was stunned for a moment before he started observing himself. He suddenly realized that his heart was beating faster than usual and it was only increasing in speed.
“But we’re in an enclosed space. If I’ve been poisoned, you must have been poisoned too! Are you insane? Are you seriously going to perish with me?!” Xu Songde started feeling afraid now. He was strong and had the ability to recover extremely quickly from external injuries, but he wasn’t immune to poisons. Toxins were still able to kill him.
The man in the windbreaker shook his head and showed Xu Songde the chewing gum in his mouth, then continued chewing on it as he said, “One can always…take the antidote first.”
Xu Songde could feel his entire body trembling uncontrollably. This trembling infuriated him. He saw himself as a god and didn’t think that a god should be afraid of anything. He told himself that he wasn’t afraid. He was just angry. He still had a chance. As long as he killed that other man and snatched away the antidote, he would live.
With that in mind, Xu Songde leaped up from the ground like a missile, shooting himself towards the man in a windbreaker to engage in one last fight. But the man in a windbreaker didn’t seem worried and didn’t even dodge.
“Yup! Time’s up!” said the man in a windbreaker as he looked at his watch.
Xu Songde suddenly felt his heart pound wildly at an erratic rate. His body curled up from the pain midair and crashed heavily to the ground.
“Spectacles’ poison is really amazing! And it’s very reliable,” murmured the man in a windbreaker as he gave a pleased nod.
Xu Songde writhed in pain on the ground. He grabbed hold of the man in a windbreaker’s foot and pleaded desperately, “I beg you, please, please, let me off! Give me a chance! I…I promise to turn over a new leaf! I promise! Give me…give me the antidote!”
The man in a windbreaker stared down coldly at Xu Songde. The aloofness in his eyes turned into pure rage as he roared, “You want a chance? When those 31 women pleaded with you to give them a chance, did you give them a chance? DID YOU?!”
He yelled so loudly that all the veins on his forehead were bulging. He grabbed hold of Xu Songde’s thick neck and bellowed, “Go! To! Hell!”
Xu Songde’s eyes slowly faded as his wildly pounding heart finally stopped beating. A powerful Handbook owner who had survived seven Challenges lost his life atop a secluded overhead bridge on this rainy night.
The man in the windbreaker let go of Xu Songde’s head. The paint on his face still looked like it was freshly painted. He said to his watch, “10.31pm. Target 1 confirmed dead.”
He then plonked himself down on the ground. He had won this battle purely because he had the right resources to counter Xu Songde’s attacks. If he had to fight Xu Songde without those resources, he would have lost the battle even if there were ten of him.
“Thankfully, I’ve got plenty of resources on hand. And as I continue my hunt for more of such owners…I’m sure I’ll only become more powerful.” He picked up the vajra in Xu Songde’s hand and reaffirmed his self-confidence.
A few moments later, the light barrier vanished. He took his phone out to make a call, and when the other side picked up, he said, “Grandmaster, someone has made a report about an incident on an overhead bridge along the outskirts of the southern district. Could you send some people over to check it out?”
“Sure! But Mr. Situ, where are you? We haven’t seen you in days!” said the person on the other line.
“I’m looking for some people. Some…people who can’t seem to behave themselves.” A smile spread across his lips as he hung up and disappeared into the darkness once more.
Su Jin spent another 200 points to gain access to Hell’s Bar and called his other team mates to join him and Kano Mai as well. When Su Jin and Kano Mai got to their team’s designated table, they found the middle aged man who exchanged the Finger of Anubis for a leaf from the Tree of Life waiting for them.
“OH! You’re finally here! I’ve been waiting for you all this time!” The man immediately brightened up at the sight of Su Jin.
Su Jin and Kano Mai felt their hair stand on end. If a man in his forties suddenly started smiling at you like he was infatuated with you, anybody would feel creeped out.
“Er…hello, sir. Is…anything the matter?” Su Jin forced himself to smile.
The man nodded and threw an arm around Su Jin’s shoulder before saying enthusiastically, “Bro, do you have anymore of those leaves? Name your price, I’m taking them all!”
“All? No, I can’t give them all to you. My team needs these leaves too. If you want just one or two, I don’t mind, but not all of them.” Su Jin shook his head immediately. The leaves from the Tree of Life were the only things his team had that could give them additional energy. They would certainly be useful in some Challenge in the future.
The man was disappointed, but he quickly piped up, “Well, name your price anyway. As long as it’s reasonable, we can strike another deal.”
“I just want anything that can restore soul power or anything that will help me to get something like that.” Su Jin’s request was very simple. His first mission was to restore Kano Mai and Yang Mo’s soul power.
The man looked at Su Jin puzzledly and asked quietly, “Have you already used the Finger of Anubis?”
“Yes, and I did get a drop of the Blood of the Heart’s Soul. But that’s not enough,” said Su Jin with a nod. He had two team mates who needed this stuff, so one drop wasn’t going to be enough. Besides, he didn’t know if this one drop was enough to restore one’s soul power fully either.
The man looked surprised and he looked Su Jin up and down curiously before exclaiming, “Not bad! Not bad at all! I thought you might fail! Back when I completed the mission, Anubis had come back to life.”
“I was rather lucky, alright.” Su Jin didn’t want to elaborate.
The man nodded and said, “Alright then, I will try to get you what you want. I have some connections in this bar, so you can remove your notice from the noticeboard. There aren’t a lot of items that can help in the aspect of soul power and they’re usually rather rare. Most people will not be willing to sell it to you.”
Su Jin did think that there was some truth in what the man said. Nearly half a month had passed but this man was the only one who had come forward with anything.
“I think it’s fine to leave it there. Who knows if something else comes along?” Su Jin did believe that such items were probably really hard to come by, but he didn’t want to remove the notice either. He wasn’t going to give up that option for as long as there was still a chance, no matter how small.
The man just shook his head and walked away since he failed to convince Su Jin to remove his notice. Actually, he was worried that someone might come forward and strike a deal with Su Jin, thereby causing him to lose a chance to get more leaves from the Tree of Life.
Shortly after the man left their table, the other three arrived at the bar. Since everyone was here, Su Jin placed his Handbook on the table and said, “I managed to get one drop of the Blood of the Heart’s Soul, so it’s time for us to discuss who gets to use it first. Mai or Yang Mo?”
Everyone fell silent. This was something that affected a person’s life, so nobody had the courage to make a decision.
In the end, the first one to break the silence turned out to be Kano Mai. “Yang Mo is the medic of the team and he’s more vital to the team. Let Yang Mo have it first.”
“Wha-?” Yang Mo looked up with a start and shook his head to refuse the offer.
But Su Jin nodded and said, “We’ll go with that then. Yang Mo, this drop of the Blood of the Heart’s Soul is yours.”
Yang Mo looked gratefully at Kano Mai, then accepted the drop from Su Jin. He didn’t waste anytime and consumed the drop immediately.
But a few moments later, there was a faint look of disappointment in his eyes. He said to the rest, “This drop does carry a lot of soul power and I feel like my soul has become a lot stronger than before. But…but it’s still missing a little something. I can’t really explain it but it’s missing just that bit.”
Yang Mo’s words made everyone rather disappointed too. But there was no time to waste. They quickly returned to their own universes to get ready for their next Challenge.
Two weeks later, Su Jin and Kano Mai stood side by side. They took out their Handbooks and contacted the rest of their team. Their first Challenge as a team of five was about to begin!
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