Hell’s Handbook - Chapter 302
302: Death Like A Shadow
“I’m not going to waste my saliva on you – since you’d prefer to die, I’ll grant your wish!” Situ Jin was not some gentle guy. He gripped his dagger and dashed toward the leader before using his left leg to kick his opponent.
The leader was very good at fighting as well and did not immediately engage Situ Jin in a fight. His feet did not leave the ground as he slid aside and dodged Situ Jin’s scope of attack.
“Not bad.” Situ Jin couldn’t help but compliment the man. If the man had tried to fight back, then his kick would turn into many other sorts of attacks. If the man had moved back and his feet had left the ground, Situ Jin would have made a different attack that could kill him.
The leader had chosen to slide in an unusual way. His feet had not left the ground, but his heels were a pivot. His upper body did not move, but his lower body moved on the heel, as though he were a calligraphy brush moving on paper.
This move cut off any chance of Situ Jin making another move smoothly after his first one, and he had no choice but to adjust his stance, then launch another attack. This leader was definitely a martial artist. That’s why he was able to ignore the death of the other two guys and was brave enough to fight Situ Jin one on one.
Situ Jin’s center of gravity had shifted because he was kicking with one leg, but he was very experienced and quickly moved himself forward so that the leader wouldn’t be able to launch an attack while his balance was off. He then spun around and came toward the leader again.
The leader seemed surprised that Situ Jin was moving so quickly. He put his arms in front of his chest to protect his vital organs. If Situ Jin were attacking him with his bare hands, he could protect himself for the time being. But Situ Jin had a knife.
Immediately after he got close enough, his dagger was like a cat’s claws as he pulled it out from his sleeve and stabbed it into his opponent’s chest.
The leader’s eyes widened and looked like he was going to fight back, so Situ Jin wrapped his arm around his back and the knife went further into the man’s chest.
The leader had a pained look on his face, but one of his hands reached for Situ Jin and gently stroked his cheek. This action made Situ Jin shudder. He… seemed to have gotten something wrong somewhere.
“Why is his gaze so… so gentle?” Situ Jin was confused. The look in the leader’s eyes was not wicked at all. In fact, they seemed full of love.
“No wait, something’s not right!” Situ Jin felt like the scene before him was flickering. His instinct told him that something was wrong, but he couldn’t put his finger on it.
“No, that can’t be true! It can’t be!” An overwhelming sense of horror welled up in Situ Jin’s heart as he seemed to realize what might have happened, but he refused to confirm his guess.
He turned to look at Bo Ya and the other two owners, but when he looked a little harder, the three of them turned into flashes of light and disappeared without a trace.
At the same time, the leader of those five owners had transformed into Bo Ya. Her chest was covered entirely in blood, and that was caused by the dagger in his hands.
“Jin, please… wake up!” Bo Ya’s expression was filled with grief and her eyes filled with helplessness. Then… she slowly closed her eyes.
Situ Jin was too stunned to do anything. He felt like his soul had been sucked out of him. He withdrew the arm that he had used to hold her in disbelief, but when she was about to hit the ground as a result, he scrambled to catch her.
“How did this happen? How… this can’t be true…this can’t be true…” Huge tears rolled down Situ Jin’s cheeks and splashed onto the ground.
His instinct had told him earlier on that this was the truth. There were no other owners and all of that had merely been his imagination. If two groups of owners had really come to kill them, then why would that leader just allow him to kill those two other owners? They were from two different teams, but those two owners represented points as well. The leader could have killed them himself to gain those two points.
The whole situation actually didn’t make sense, and it was filled with loopholes, but Situ Jin did not notice early enough. The leader he had been attacking was actually Bo Ya, which was why he did not choose to save his companions and kept backing away from Situ Jin when he launched his attack.
“AHHHH!” Situ Jin’s screams of agony echoed through the forest. Next to him lay the bug that had become nothing but a dry shell. But the inside of the bug was still emanating wisps of black mist, which had been influencing Situ Jin’s mind all this time.
Meanwhile, Ye Yun and Kano Mai were no longer travelling alone. They found three more owners, and they had the same opinion – they must never fight each other, and they had to help one another to survive these three days.
Out of the three, two of them were Europeans and the last one was Japanese. That surprised Kano Mai. She didn’t expect to run into a fellow countryman.
“Ogawa Hideko… it’s really rare for me to run into a fellow Japanese.” Kano Mai felt like this name seemed very familiar to her.
“Perhaps it’s because you’re based in China. I always run into Japanese in Challenges. The strongest member on our team is called Miyamoto Tooru and his prowess is extraordinary. If we find him, we’ll definitely be safe.” Ogawa Hideko was a Japanese woman in her thirties who spoke to everyone with a big smile on her face. But her smile seemed a little fake to the rest of the group.
“Miyamoto Tooru?” Kano Mai was taken aback. She told herself that it could just be someone with the same name, but she decided to check with Ogawa Hideko. “Hideko, this Miyamoto Tooru… was he a grandmaster in martial arts before he became an owner?”
“Oh? You know Tooru-kun?” Ogawa Hideko looked surprised.
Kano Mai was even more shocked. She didn’t expect Miyamoto Tooru to have become an owner. The Miyamoto family must have done something to obtain a Handbook for him and saved him in the process.
But what surprised Kano Mai was Miyamoto Tooru’s capabilities. Without any extra help from the Handbook, Miyamoto Tooru was definitely the strongest among the 36 owners on this island. He was a grandmaster, after all, so even Ye Yun was no match for him. The difference between master and grandmaster level wasn’t just the word “grand.”
Ye Yun noticed the perturbed look on Kano Mai’s face, so she pulled her aside and asked, “Sister Mai, what’s wrong? You look a little disturbed.”
Kano Mai didn’t feel the need to hide this from Ye Yun, so she told her all about what happened when Su Jin went to Japan with her and what transpired between Su Jin and Miyamoto Tooru.
“So, in other words… Miyamoto Tooru not only did not die, but he also became an owner, and because of the way this Challenge is set up, he could be the most formidable of the 36 owners here?” asked Ye Yun after she finished listening to Kano Mai.
Kano Mai nodded. “That’s right. And given how he has a feud with Jin and myself, if we run into each other, he will definitely try to take revenge and nobody will be able to stop him.”
Ye Yun was a martial artist too. She was from a well-to-do family who had the money to find her good teachers, plus she liked martial arts and was talented in this aspect. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have been at master level before becoming an owner. She knew how terrifying a grandmaster could be.
“You don’t have to be too worried either. We’re on the Island of Mistakes, and it can be hard even for a grandmaster to stay alive. If he gets stuck in some meme of sorts, we might not even run into each other,” Ye Yun consoled Kano Mai. Just then, Ogawa Hideko suddenly called out to them.
“Everyone, watch out! The trap we laid earlier has been triggered, so something’s coming toward us!” Before she could finish her sentence, everyone could hear a rustling noise. Something was indeed coming near them.
In a different part of the Island of Mistakes, Miyamoto Tooru was covered in rotting flesh. After he had walked into this swamp, he felt like he had been possessed by a demon. Numerous dead bodies of monsters and other strange creatures were all around him and they stank terribly, but his body refused to stop moving and kept heading for the deeper part of the swamp.
“Arghhhhh… arghhhh!” Miyamoto Tooru clenched his teeth tightly. He tried to take back control of his body, but all his attempts were futile.
The swamp was full of mud, so if he walked too far in, he might not be able to walk out again. But none of this was up to him. He watched as creatures walked past him mindlessly like a bunch of puppets, then exploded about five or six meters from where he was right now. Their flesh and blood would spray everywhere and land all over him.
“Stop! Stop!!” roared Miyamoto Tooru. The insects in the swamp bit him and feasted on the parts that were rotting, which almost drove him insane.
He didn’t know how long he had been walking for. There were several moments when he would feel a heat rise from within him and threaten to explode, but he managed to use his willpower to keep it from doing so.
The mud of the swamp had reached his thighs, but it couldn’t stop him from moving forward. Some parts looked impossible to pass, but the mud would suddenly move in opposing directions and open a path for him.
“What’s going on?” Miyamoto Tooru felt fear in his heart. He soon realized that there were suddenly more creatures around him now. These creatures resembled humans.
One of them looked like an empty piece of armor that didn’t have anything living inside it anymore. One was a strange person tied up in bandages with a lot of strange symbols on them. Another was a skeleton with some rotting flesh on it, but with an eagle’s head. There were many more similar creatures.
“These are all human-like creatures!” Miyamoto Tooru was a clever man and quickly realized there was a commonality across all of them – they were all more or less shaped like humans.
And just when he was still trying to figure out the situation, every creature in the swamp stopped moving. So did he. All the creatures in the swamp had entered the swamp from different directions and were now surrounding something.
He squinted and saw that in the centermost part of the swamp stood a skeleton holding a sword that glowed as red as blood.
“The winner shall be my slave!”
The blood red color of the blade suddenly grew bright, and all the creatures, including Miyamoto Tooru, were no longer being controlled by another force. They immediately started trying to kill each other. All of them knew that only one of them would be allowed to live.