The fact that all the children were crying and wailing the exact same words really shocked Su Jin. All the children here had met with the same predicament – their parents had been murdered.
This country had always been fairly safe, so even the police would have found it hard to find so many children orphaned because both parents had been killed all at the same time.
Su Jin was really puzzled now. Where did Ye Yun find all these children? Why did she want to hide them here? Why was it safe here? What did “safe” even mean? Were the people who killed their parents after these kids as well?
Many questions popped up in his mind, but he wasn’t going to get any answers until he got to see Ye Yun. But it also seemed like he was going to have to wait another three months before he got to see her again.
“I’m afraid this place might not be very safe anymore either. If you guys are okay with it, you can come and live with me instead,” said Su Jin to the children. He noticed that the place where Ye Yun had fought those men in the video was actually not too far from where they were standing right now, so he didn’t think this place was really that safe.
But the eldest boy shook his head and said, “It’s alright, Sister Ye told us that this place is definitely safe. She told us not to go anywhere until she comes back.”
Su Jin nodded. Since Ye Yun had already made such an arrangement and the children insisted on listening to her, then there was no point in forcing them to come along with him.
“Do you guys need anything? Food? Clothes? I can help to buy stuff for you,” offered Su Jin.
Xiaoyin shook her head and said, “Thank you, Brother Su, but we don’t need anything. We just need you to bring Sister Ye back safely!”
“Don’t worry! I promise to bring your Sister Ye back!” said Su Jin solemnly as he patted Xiaoyin’s head.
After that, Su Jin left the orphanage. Immediately after he left, two men in black hoodies appeared. They looked in Su Jin’s direction to make sure he had left, then walked towards the orphanage. But just when they got close, they seemed to have hit an invisible wall and couldn’t take a single step further.
“Damn it, we’re still not able to get in!” one of them cursed angrily.
“It’s an Earth Level Formation after all, so anybody with ill intentions will not be able to enter. Let’s just wait for a while more. Once Boss and the rest succeed, they’ll find a way to get through this thing,” said the other man in a sinister voice. The two then turned and disappeared into the darkness again.
Of course, Su Jin had no idea what happened after he left. Once he returned to his own house, he gave Tang Ning a call and told her that Ye Yun called to say that she had gone on a holiday and that her family didn’t have to worry about her.
Tang Ning was annoyed with Su Jin and blamed him for not doing a good job of watching her. Su Jin had no choice but to just let her rant at him. At the same time, Tang Ning knew that there was no way anybody could stop that cousin of hers from doing whatever she set her mind on, so even though she berated Su Jin, she didn’t actually blame him for what happened.
Su Jin was very worried about Ye Yun, but there was nothing he could do about it, so he left it aside for the time being.
He called Kano Mai over, then contacted Yang Mo, Chu Yi and Ning Meng via the Handbook. Ning Meng was unfortunately all by herself in a third parallel universe and hadn’t been lucky enough to share the same universe as any of them.
“Everyone, I’m going to activate our Hell’s Bar access, so get ready to enter the Bar!” Su Jin gave his team mates a heads up, then paid the fees via the Handbook. A black tunnel immediately appeared in front of him and Kano Mai. They exchanged glances, then walked into the tunnel.
In the other two universes, Yang Mo, Chu Yi and Ning Meng also selected Hell’s Bar inside their own Handbooks. A similar black tunnel appeared and they walked in too.
Once they reached the end of the tunnel, they found themselves in an actual bar. The layout and décor looked like it had been heavily influenced by the bars in old cowboy movies.
The lighting was a little dim, which was to be expected, since the name of the bar had the word “hell” in it. The size of the place was surprising huge. Owners of all ethnicities sat around the numerous tables, discussing matters in low voices or cheering and drinking.
“It’s…seriously a bar.” Su Jin thought that it might have been an euphemism for something else. He didn’t expect it to seriously be a drinking hole.
Just then, a gorgeous looking man approached them. He was wearing a typical bartender’s uniform and bowed slightly towards Su Jin and Kano Mai.
“Mr. Su, Miss Kano, Team Boning Knife’s table is over there, please follow me.” The man had very delicate features and spoke equally gently, but his eyes did not seem to contain any human emotion at all and looked more like a talking doll. He was actually very creepy.
“You know who we are?” asked Su Jin as he followed behind the bartender.
The bartender replied with a smile, “Of course. Your team’s information was sent to me immediately after Team Boning Knife was given access to Hell’s Bar. You could say that I was created for Team Boning Knife.”
Su Jin and Kano Mai got it now. Hell’s Handbook had created this bartender specially for the team. He was probably another AI robot like Blackie.
“Is your look fixed?” asked Su Jin curiously. He felt that this bartender looked like the most handsome an East Asian man could possibly be. He was gorgeous, yet still looked manly, unlike many of those new and young celebrities on TV who looked too effeminate for Su Jin.
The bartender shook his head and said, “My look is randomly generated. If you don’t like this look, I can change it anytime. Like this!”
He smiled faintly as his body seemed to liquefy for a moment, then solidified again into an equally gorgeous woman.
“Eh…” Su Jin didn’t expect the bartender to suddenly start demonstrating his abilities.
“Not to your liking? What about this?” The bartender thought that Su Jin stunned expression meant that he didn’t like this look, so the bartender started the process again, but this time, he turned into a muscular man.
“Eh…!” Su Jin was even more stunned. This bartender had clearly misunderstood his reaction!
“Still no? Is it a race problem?” The bartender tried to think of what else could be the issue and changed himself once more. This time, he turned into a minotaur.
In fact, he now looked so much like the Bull Demon King in one of the Journey to the West1 live action adaptations Su Jin had watched. The bartender’s smile looked even creepier now.
“The first one was fine!” Su Jin didn’t dare to make anymore facial expressions without explanation and quickly asked the bartender to revert to his first look. At the rate the bartender was going, who knew what else he was going to become?
The bartender nodded and went back to his first look. By this time, they had reached an empty round table.
The symbol of Team Boning Knife was clearly inscribed on the table, since this was the table that the Handbook had prepared for their team.
“This table is Team Boning Knife’s table. Please wait here, your other team mates have arrived, so I need to welcome them as well.” The bartender pulled out two chairs for Su Jin and Kano Mai, then left them alone.
A few minutes later, Chu Yi, Yang Mo and Ning Meng were all led to this table by the bartender. Ning Meng was practically staring holes into the bartender’s head. If the bartender weren’t an AI robot, he would have run far, far away from the way Ning Meng stared at him.
“Boss!” Yang Mo waved at Su Jin. Chu Yi and Ning Meng also liked calling Su Jin “Boss” now, which was fine by Su Jin. It was just a form of address, so he didn’t really care.
“Are all the people here owners?” Chu Yi looked around curiously at the huge bar. There were nearly a hundred tables. If each table represented one team, that meant that there were nearly a hundred complete teams at the moment. The Handbook had enslaved so many people across the various universes.
“That’s right. Besides the bartenders like myself who have been created by Hell’s Handbook, everybody else is an owner. Anyone with team access will have their own table, while anyone with personal access will not get their own table. They would normally be found around the bar counter instead,” explained the bartender.
Su Jin looked over and saw many people by themselves standing around the bar counter. But while they were alone, they were not to be underestimated. You needed to survive 20 Challenges in order to gain access to the Bar, so they were clearly very formidable characters. Su Jin had only survived four and had nearly died each time. He wasn’t even sure if he could really survive 20.
“I’d like to ask around for some information. How do I do that?” Su Jin asked the bartender.
“There are two ways. One is to ask via the Handbook and the boss will name his price depending on what information you need. I wouldn’t recommend it because even though his information would be accurate, it usually costs way too much.”
“The second way would be to ask other owners for information. Even though you can’t pay for the information in points, you can exchange items for information. The only problem is that you can’t verify the veracity of the information. But it’s definitely a lot cheaper than asking the boss,” explained the bartender.
“The boss?” Su Jin’s team was very curious about this person.
The bartender pointed to a bald man wiping down the wine glasses at the bar counter as he spoke to the owner standing in front of him.
“He’s also one of the Handbook’s creations?” asked Ning Meng curiously. It was hard to blame her for asking this question – the bald man’s mannerisms and gaze was completely different from the AI bartenders.
The bartender shook his head. “I do not know. The boss is at a much higher level than myself, so I am not allowed to know anything about him.”
“I’ll go over and talk to him myself then!” Su Jin got up and walked towards the bar counter.
He found himself a seat and said to the boss, “I’m here to ask for some information.”
“Everyone who approaches this bar counter is here to ask for information. But we’ve got a rule here: you have to buy a drink before you’re allowed to ask. Since you’re new, your first drink’s on the house!” The boss glanced at Su Jin, then placed a glass containing an amber colored liquid in front of Su Jin.
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