Jiang Chen and the other Zombie Progenitors stopped.
They gazed intently at the crystal in Gu Li’s hands, their eyes glinting with greedy light.
Finally, Gu Li rose, gaze fixed intently ahead. He didn’t let his guard down in the slightest.
The crystal in his hands was long, thin, and pale purple. It glittered translucently as if emanating dazzling light from within.
However, the crystal wasn’t especially durable. So long as he used just a bit of force….
It would snap in half.
“Do you still want to kill me?” asked Gu Li mockingly.
Jiangchen had been just about to raise his leg when he heard Gu Li’s rebuke. “Stay where you are. Don’t move! Do you want to watch me snap it?”
Jiangchen lowered his leg and gulped, staring greedily at the crystal.
“Brother Gu Li, didn’t you say you only knew its location? Why do you have the crystal?”
“Did you really think I’d be stupid enough to trust you with everything?” Gu Li laughed contemptuously. The spiritual power in his hands had yet to disippate. “I know full well what kind of people you are. Working with you is no different from dealing with the devil; without some sort of back-up plan, I might die without even knowing what killed me.”
“Brother Gu Li, what are you….” said Jiangchen. He prepared to take a step forward. The instant he saw this, Gu Li knit his brows.
“Stay where are!” he roared. "Don’t move."
The Zombie Progenitors smiled derisively, but nevertheless froze. Their hungry gaze had yet to leave the crystal. They longed for it desperately, but now it was in Gu Li’s hands. If he broke it...
All they could do now was try and keep him calm.
“Want to kill me? Feh,” spat Gu Li hatefully. The zombie didn’t dare show any signs of displeasure.
“Brother Gu Li, if the crystal has already fallen into your hands, shouldn’t you keep your promise and give it to us? In return, we can complete the mission you gave us earlier,” sneered Houqing.
In response, Gu Li narrowed his eyes and squeezed the crystal. “Want it?”
“Do you think I’m three years old?” Gu Li’s expression shifted. “Right now, this is a treasure capable of preserving my life. If I give it to you, won’t you just up and kill me?”
“Gu Li, you’re saying….”
“That’s enough. Shut up,” said Gu Li, his expression suddenly cold.
“I know that you desperately long to use this crystal to recover the divine power you once had as a primordial savage beast,” he said with a short, “but your behavior just now deeply displeased me.”
“Gu Li, don’t go too far. Weren’t you the one who betrayed us earlier?” shouted Hanba furiously.
His hands suddenly tightened around the crystal. Jiangchen’s heart clenched. He turned and slapped Hanba.
After striking her, Jiangchen bowed as low as he could and said, “Gu Li, Boss, what do we need to do in exchange for the crystal?”
In response, Gu Li nodded in satisfaction. “Not bad. You see the situation clearly. You’re not as brainless as that ugly woman.”
A cold light flashed through Hanba’s eyes, but Jiangchen turned and glared at her furiously. Although they were all Zombie Progenitors and had all come from the primordial savage beast Denglong…..
Jiangchen was still the highest-ranked of the bunch.
Hanba dared not defy him. She could only grit her teeth and lower her head.
“Not bad, not bad, I’m quite pleased,” said Gu Li. He had already recovered from his former nervousness.
He nodded calmly, then said, “It’s simple. If you want it, go and complete the same mission as planned. Naturally, once it’s complete, I’ll hand over the cyrstal.”
“How can we trust you?” frowned Jiangchen.
“Do you think you have any other choice?” laughed Gu Li coldly.
“However,” said Gu Li, “I am absolutely not the type to break a promise. I can even swear by my heart demons that, so long as you successfully accomplish your mission, I’ll give you this very crystal.”
A streak of purple light flashed by,
The oath to his heart demons had been completed.
“How about it? Does that work for you?”
Jiangchen’s eyes flashed. His gaze had been fixed upon the crystal this whole time.
After a long pause, he nodded to Gu Li. “Alright, it’s settled.”
With that, he turned to look at the other zombies. “Let’s go.”
“Jiangchen, are sure Gu Li isn’t playing another trick on us?” said Houqing shortly after they left. Then he frowned. “I simply can’t picture that guy being so kind.”
“He swore by his heart demons. With that sort of deterrent, he wouldn’t dare deceive us,” said Jiangchen simply. “If we finish the mission, even if he doesn’t want to give it to us, he’ll be compelled to do so.”
“That’s good, then,” said Houqing with a sigh of relief.
“Don’t any of you think something’s strange?” said Yinggou. His arms were uncovered, his brow deeply knit.
“Beast God Soul Crystals are relics from ancient times. They’re so rare, it would be difficult to obtain one even in the higher realms. Even East Monarch Taiyi, someone with astonishingly good luck, used an entire life’s worth of good fortune to get his hands on one. With that alone, he obtained the power of a primordial divine beast, and became the supreme ruler of the Yao Realm. How could a little brat like Gu Li get his hands on such an item?”
“Some people are just that lucky,” said Jiangchen. “No need to get suspicious.”
“But didn’t any of you notice that the power contained within the crystal didn’t seem especially strong?” Yinggou frowned. “Think about it carefully. It’s the crystallized soul of a Beast God. Even if it’s just a hundred-millionth of the original soul, it shouldn’t contain so little energy.”
”I thought the same thing,” said Hanba, who’d been slapped earlier.
Jiangchen was silent.
If he thought it over carefully, it’s true that the waves of power emanating from the crystal were awfully small. Even so, he had undoubtedly sensed the power of a Beast God.
“Don’t overthink it,” said Jiangchen. “Either way, we need to get our hands on that crystal. If Gu Li deceived us, we’ll just kill him and vent our frustrations. At most, we’re letting him live a few days longer, that’s all.”
Gu Li followed the Zombies Progenitors’ departure with his eyes until they’d completely disappeared from view. Then, without any hesitation at all, he turned in the opposite direction and scurried away.
He ran for an hour before pausing to look at the crystal he carried, his breathing ragged.
Before long, he smiled wantonly. “What a bunch of dumbasses. It’s nothing but a purple crystal I infused with Beast God energy, but they really believed it was a Beast God Soul Crystal.”
Earlier, he’d been in extreme peril. This was the solution he’d thought of as a last resort.
He’d just gambled on whether or not they’d mistake this crystal for the real thing.
If he lost, he’d inevitably die. If he succeeded, he’d earn a lot. Fortunately for him, those guys wanted the crystal so desperately, they hadn’t noticed anything.
“Go on and risk your lives for me,” he said. “When you’re done, I’ll be perfectly happy to give you this crystal.”
He laughed contemptuously and returned the crystal to his pocket, then narrowed his eyes and looked into the sky.
“Seems like I ought to go add some fuel to the fire.”