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Si Ma Xin knew that the disappearance of the snake’s presence was not due to it being subjugated by Su Ming. It got sealed within Han Mountain Bell, just like how it had been previously sealed. Yet even though he knew about it, he became hesitant, and soon,that hesitance turned into cold detachment.

‘Planting the Berserker Seed is the most important thing at the moment!

‘The snake is in Su Ming’s hands now. I might not have had much contact with him, but I can tell that he’s a decisive person. He won’t drag things out and hesitate to take action. If he can’t subjugate the snake, then he’ll definitely think of ways to kill it!

‘If that’s the case, since you’re going to die either way… you might as well help me before you die. At least your death will be worthwhile then.’

Si Ma Xin suppressed the pain of losing the snake and a determined look appeared in his eyes.

‘It’s a pity the snake still hasn’t grown up… Forget it!’

Si Ma Xin lifted his right hand abruptly and slammed it against his chest.

The cloth covering his chest instantly turned into shreds and disappeared, revealing a round blood-red picture on his chest. That blood-red picture looked like the sun, but if anyone took a closer look, they would see that there was a faint shadow of the rod insect within.

‘It’s a pity about that snake, but there’s only a thin Barren Thread within it, it won’t be able to return to its roots and become a Barren. It’s just a strange creature created by many Barren Threads from another Barren Treasure. This is just my guess, but perhaps the Barren Threads don’t even exist.

‘If I give up on this creature, the chances of me planting a Berserker Seed within Su Ming will be higher. This… is worth it!’

Si Ma Xin’s eyes sparkled, and once his right hand patted his chest, he quickly trailed his finger in the outlines of the round blood-red picture.

As his finger trailed through the picture, cold air seeped out of his skin from the spots his finger passed by. Si Ma Xin’s expression remained passive and detached. Soon, once his finger reached the end and arrived at where he started, the blood red picture on his chest instantly started moving and eventually broke off from his skin.

That blood-red circle was like a layer of skin. As it was slowly falling off his chest, many sticky threads could be seen connecting Si Ma Xin’s skin to the picture. The sticky threads looked so repulsive that people would hurl just by looking at them, but Si Ma Xin’s expression still remained passive and did not change.

As the blood-red circle separated from his body, the threads were gradually cut off. When the circle eventually floated up before Si Ma Xin, all the threads had been cut off.

A strange light appeared within Si Ma Xin’s eyes and he bit his tongue to cough out blood. It fell on the blood-red circle that looked like skin and was quickly absorbed into it.

‘Before Bai Su does what I want her to do, I must first create an emptiness within Su Ming’s heart. Only by doing so will she have a higher chance of success!

‘That snake will become the emptiness in his heart that will form the connection between me and Su Ming!

‘The more you want to control the snake, the stronger that connection will be! Once he tries to control the snake and it dies, then he’ll sink in deeper. The more he feels disappointed and regretful, the higher my chances will be to plant the hook!’

Si Ma Xin’s lips twisted into a dark smile and he lifted his right hand once again to tap the center of his brows.

"Great Art of Heartless Berserker Seed!"

There was an indescribably ghastly tone in his voice as his words left his lips. The skin-like red circle before him instantly started burning.

As it burned, the vague shadow of the rod insect in the red circle started trembling furiously and sounded as if it was letting out silent screams of pain.

At the same time, in Su Ming’s cave abode located on the ninth summit, the dispirited rod insect’s body suddenly twisted within Han Mountain Bell. The insect, which was lying at death’s gate, let out shrill, pained cries. As it cried out, the cruelty and viciousness in its eyes wavered, and the loyalty hidden within the depths of that cruelty became a look of one who’s lost.

White mist left the insect’s body. There was no heat coming from that white mist, yet as it spread out, the rod insect’s body started burning!

"So this is your Master..? Because he did not want you to be subjugated by me, he would rather kill you cruelly…"

Su Ming’s voice echoed within Han Mountain Bell and seeped into the rod insect’s soul.

That insect possessed a high amount of intelligence and could understand Su Ming’s words. The cruel light in its eyes grew dim and the hidden loyalty also became tainted by a thick veil of bewilderment.

It was as if no matter how much intelligence it possessed, it just did not understand why its own Master would want it dead…

"He wants you dead because you were captured by me. I don’t know how long you’ve been with Si Ma Xin, but this must be the first time you were captured by someone. Even if I release you and you’re captured the second or the third time, and even if the person who captured you isn’t me, there is only one ending for you!

"And here you are, so loyal to a Master like this. It’s hilarious, but at the same time, I pity you!"

Every single one of Su Ming’s words echoed within Han Mountain Bell like thunder and struck the rod insect’s heart, making the cruelty in its eyes shatter completely, revealing the loyalty hidden underneath it. However, that loyalty was now tainted by bewilderment and also grief.

Su Ming was watching all of it with his expression of cool detachment. However, his heart was shaken. He did not think the insect’s intelligence would be so high. By the looks of it, it could even be said that its intelligence did not lose to Xiao Hong.

However, since Xiao Hong was a fire ape, it was born with human-like intelligence. Yet the insect already possessed such a high amount of intelligence even though it was so tiny. It just went to show just how extraordinary this creature was.

Su Ming’s eyes sparkled. When the rod insect was clearly feeling shaken as its body was being burnt and its life force was quickly diminishing, Su Ming suddenly asked in a low growl, "Your former Master wants to kill you. Are you still going to remain loyal to him?!"

His voice was like rumbling thunder. As it echoed in Han Mountain Bell, Su Ming’s divine sense, which had surrounded the insect, immediately spotted a crack in the insect’s mental defenses.

The moment the crack appeared, the stone coins gathered outside Su Ming’s body all jolted simultaneously and shattered into dust. They scattered out, and a large amount of spiritual aura surged out from the shattered stones. It rushed into the opened path in Su Ming’s body like a wave and once they circulated through the path once, they gathered in his head, allowing him to muster up an even stronger divine sense.

When his divine sense rushed into Han Mountain Bell and fell upon the insect, it charged into the crack in its soul with a force strong enough to split apart bamboo and stormed straight into its soul.

The instant he entered the insect’s soul, Su Ming’s divine sense noticed a gigantic, floating red picture of a circle inside the insect’s clouded mental world.

That thing was like human skin, or perhaps more accurately, it was human skin with the picture of a circle drawn on it.

At that moment, it was floating in midair, burning. Su Ming could see the shadow of the rod snake within the red circle. It trembled, but did not resist. It stayed inside instead and simply allowed the skin to burn and render it weaker.

In the span of a few breaths, most of the human skin turned into ashes and there was only a small segment left. By the looks of it, with just another few more breaths, it would completely disappear.

Once the human skin completely disappeared, the rod snake’s shadow inside would also disappear, and the strange insect would die.

"Si Ma Xin, you truly are wicked…"

Su Ming might have predicted this, but when he saw it happening with his own eyes, he still found himself gaining new knowledge of Si Ma Xin’s ruthlessness.

If he was Si Ma Xin and the rod insect was exchanged with Xiao Hong, he knew that he would not be able to do this.

Su Ming did not hesitate. He gathered up that powerful divine sense within the insect’s soul and crashed it into the burning human skin. The moment it touched the human skin, Su Ming’s heart suddenly trembled, and he felt that something was off.

At that moment, a dim light started blinking on his physical body’s chest, which remained sitting in his cave abode. The source of the flickering dim light came from the mysterious black stone hanging on his neck.

As the light flickered, Su Ming’s divine sense trembled within the insect’s soul.

‘Even if he has to kill his own pet, that Si Ma Xin is still plotting against me… Even though I don’t know what he’s planning, it’s definitely nothing good.’

When Su Ming’s divine sense faltered, another portion of the small segment left of the human skin burned away. By then, there was only a small part left.

The rod snake had become incredibly weak and looked like its soul was about to shatter and scatter at any moment. Yet it seemed like it had lost all will to fight. It simply lay within the skin and waited for its death.

There were only two paths lying before Su Ming right now. Either he would choose to save the rod insect and get caught in Si Ma Xin’s trap, or he would give up on the insect.

He was plotting against Si Ma Xin, and Si Ma Xin was also plotting against him. The two of them did not know of the other person’s goals and all the remaining moves they had. Yet they were using this rod insect as a medium and were fighting against each other in a form that was different from a true, physical brawl!

Su Ming only hesitated for a moment before he made his decision.

He did not bother about Si Ma Xin’s unknown plot against him and covered what little remained of the human skin with his divine sense before breaking through the fire and into the shadow of the rod insect that seemed to have lost all will to fight and had given into despair.

"Even if Si Ma Xin wants to use your death and force me into a trap, this is my experiment. Even if you have to die, you cannot die in his hands!"

The moment Su Ming’s divine sense rushed in, the rod insect shuddered.

"He doesn’t want you, but I do!"

A mighty voice travelled out from within Su Ming’s divine sense and rushed into the rod insect’s soul. Its soul immediately started trembling, and the shadow in the human skin lifted its head. The dark light within its eyes seemed to have become different.

"He doesn’t want you, but I do…"

That sentence echoed within the highly intelligent rod insect’s soul and made that something within its eyes gradually replace the dull look.

With barely any form of resistance from the rod insect, Su Ming’s divine sense left a deep Brand on its soul.

When he left the Brand on its soul, the human skin had already burned to ashes. Yet the very moment before it was completely burnt to ashes, the shadow within the skin vanished.

Right then, the human skin before the sitting Si Ma Xin on the first summit was also completely burnt to ashes. Yet his expression drastically changed and he stood up, as if he wanted to rush out of the first summit, but he stopped himself and clenched his fists. His expression turned incredibly dark, as if there was an anger within him strong enough to burn the heavens.

‘How could it not be dead?!’

He suddenly understood Su Ming’s plans. He wanted to use Si Ma Xin and subjugate the strange snake through him!

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