113 Piercer's Poison
After bursting through the door, the usually calm and collected Jie Pa called out as he took in the scene before him.
"What are you doing?!" He rushed in and quickly pushed Nie Zun away. Following that, Nie Zun spit out a mouthful of blood! A few drops landed on my face, but I did not have any energy to wipe it off as I collapsed on the bed!
"Jie, take a look at her," Nie Zun struggled to say.
Jie Pa's eyes were full of worry. "You really don’t fear death huh!"
Letting go of Nie Zun, he walked over and touched my split symbol to feel the MF. His gaze was inscrutable.
He let go of me and used his fingers to form a seal. Turning around, he aimed it at Piercer on the floor!
As Piercer was hit by the seal, it glowed with a bright violet light!
"Ah—!" Not able to withstand the stabbing pain in my brain, I called out in agony.
"Huh… another one trying to subdue me… do you have a death wish?"
A voice appeared in my head!
I opened my eyes wide.
"I'll be back for you."
I heard that woman's voice in the back of my head again.
I sat up screaming, covering both ears with my hands!
At the same time, the bright light emanating from Piercer instantly vanished! The stabbing chill was also gone in an instant!
"Okay now?" Jie Pa turned to look at me. I panted heavily, and put down my hands only when I was sure the pain in my head was entirely gone.
I looked at Jie Pa weakly. "Jie Pa, what… what's this?"
I was unsure of how to broach the subject.
Jie Pa looked guilty. "It's my fault. I didn't suspect Zou An and his wife at the time, and I thought a living weapon would be able to help you in some way. I didn't expect things to turn out this way. Nie Zun told me about what happened, and it seems that there is another body of consciousness attached to Piercer that is full of resentment. It should be her who was trying to devour your consciousness, and I've used a sealing technique to temporarily suppress her."
"What does it mean by temporarily." Nie Zun looked pretty much alright now, and he stood up as he wiped the corner of his mouth.
Jie Pa's eyes darkened. "I'm not able to seal her forever, because it's a living weapon. When living weapons are created, the soul within it is forever incarcerated, but it is also free."
"Why did you still give it to her if you knew about this." It was the first time Nie Zun spoke to Jie Pa with such reproach.
Jie Pa lowered his head slightly. "I knew that living weapons have souls in them, but I didn't know that the body of consciousness in Piercer was different from the other living weapons. It's my fault, I harmed Miss Ah Shen."
I lifted myself on the bed. "Don't say that. You're not at fault. Who'd expect such a thing? Zou An and Ah Wen are not bad people either, and there's no way they could've anticipated that the user wasn't able to control the living weapon."
Nie Zun sighed. "Is there any way to solve this."
Jie Pa looked serious as he adjusted his glasses. "There are only four living weapons in the entire Split Zone, and Piercer is a peculiar one. To be honest, I didn't hear of any curse related to Piercer, but if both Gaoqin Jiuye and Zou An say so, it might probably be true. At this moment, we know too little about Piercer, and I'm afraid I don't have a solution for this. The best option for us might be to find the previous owner of Piercer."
"As far as I know, Ta Lai's lover, Bian Ying, might know a thing or two about it. According to Gaoqin Jiuye, Piercer was commissioned by the legendary Satan Cang Ming, who wanted Zou An and Ah Wen to create a weapon for him. But before Piercer could reach him, it brought misfortune to Bian Ying. So, could Bian Ying have wielded Piercer?" I deduced.
Jie Pa nodded. "I've heard of Cang Ming, and I know he got Zou An and Ah Wen to create Piercer for him. I knew Piercer was a powerful weapon, but I haven't heard of anything regarding Bian Ying. Where can we find Bian Ying though?"
I met Nie Zun's eyes. "Seems like this calls for a trip to the Northern District so we can unravel everything. These questions can only be solved by finding the soul splitters."
"Have you decided then, Miss Ah Shen?"
I shook my head. "No, I haven't settled matters in the Western District yet. And with my current abilities, before I can find any soul splitters, I'll probably be dead once I step foot into the Northern District. We need to get to the bottom of this experiment and defeat Du Yue first."
"What about Piercer? You can no longer wield it easily with MF." Jie Pa picked up Piercer and handed it to me. I took Piercer in my hands, touching the body of the whip.
"Apart from Bian Ying, there should be someone else who knows more about Piercer."
Jie Pa's eyes brightened. "You're referring to Zou An?"
I nodded. "That's right. Zou An parted with Ta Lai previously, and Ta Lai went back to the Northern District with Du Yue. Zou An is still an ordinary resident, so he should be in one of the other three districts. Jie Pa, get your intelligence network to find out where Zou An is."
Jie Pa nodded quickly. "Understood. Also, Miss Ah Shen, I have some things to report."
"Mm, go ahead."
Pushing up his glasses, Jie Pa continued, "We've looked into the experimental grounds, and there's nothing else to find except for the abandoned corpses. However, from the look of the bodies, I'm quite sure they haven't succeeded in their experiment, or at least, not yet in the Western District."
I frowned. "Is there any way to find out what the goal of their experiment is?"
"I've looked into that, and it's likely they are trying to find a body."
As if interested in this, Nie Zun interrupted, "Body?"
Nodding, Jie Pa explained, "That's right. They're looking for a body, or rather, a body of consciousness. They might be looking for someone who's perfectly suitable as a breeding vessel for those leeches."
"I'll explain it this way. The leeches are created by merging the souls of animals and insects captured from the real world by soul snatcher Rong Jin, together with a type of drug only found in the Split Zone. Blood taken from bodies of consciousness devoured by the leeches would be able to affect the regeneration abilities of another body of consciousness, to the point that it can cause permanent damage. However, the leeches don't survive for long since they are essentially a mixture of insect souls and drugs, and they cannot reproduce.
"It's also difficult to create these leeches. This is why they are looking for a perfectly suitable body that can merge with the leeches, and reproduce them thereafter."
"What're the criteria for such a body of consciousness?" I asked hastily.
Jie Pa shook his head. "That's what I'm still unsure of, since the information we have isn't much. From what has been happening thus far, we can deduce that they're looking for the consciousness of a child."
"Laurel?" I asked in shock.
Jie Pa nodded grimly. "We can assume so, but they might not be sure of this either. Younger bodies of consciousness are rare finds in the Split Zone. They might be attempting to merge these bodies with the leeches since it's easier to manipulate and alter the MF of younger persons. If Li Wen was one of the subjects, they might have tested it on soul splitters too, since the eventual aim of the experiment is targeted at soul splitters.
"This might also be the reason why Huan Qing tried to make others think Mi Fu was a soul splitter. He might have sensed some danger, but without knowing what the target was, he tried to blindly protect Mi Fu in such a way."
"Looking at things, they should have already taken many children for this?" I asked with knitted brows.
"That might be the case, and they might be looking for Miss Laurel and Miss Mi Fu right now. Miss Mi Fu has always been under the protection of the Southern District, but we have no way of knowing how negotiations between Si Luo and Du Yue went. What we can be sure of though, is that it's likely they haven't been able to find Miss Laurel."
"Just where did Laurel go…" I felt immense guilt as I thought about Laurel, since I could not protect her well.
"There's no need to worry, Miss Ah Shen. I trust my intelligence network back here in the Western District. The leader, Chou Yu, has a great team, and I'm sure they'd be able to find Laurel. Du Yue might have also been making use of an opportunity to look for Laurel by making a trip to the Western District."
I nodded. "Oh, Jie Pa, do you know of any method that can kill soul splitters?"
Jie Pa laughed bitterly. "Miss Ah Shen, I haven't seen a soul splitter before this either, and I wouldn't be aware of what you don't know. But, it should be safe for us to hazard a guess that soul splitters cannot be killed by inserting splitting keys into their split symbols, and such an act can only bring us back to the real world. Because of this, Du Yue is sparing no effort to find a way to cause direct damage to soul splitters."
I said angrily, "Who is she to make use of ordinary residents' lives for this experiment just to kill her rival in love?"
"This is definitely cruel. But regarding the bodies of consciousness in the Split Zone and why this place exists, there are definitely secrets unbeknownst to us, and this is where we can start unraveling it."
Nie Zun added, "I agree with Jie Pa. The mystery of the Split Zone is definitely linked to these recent events, and we might be able to uncover some secrets."
"Oh, also, how did everyone react to my decision?" I asked, looking at Jie Pa uneasily.
Jie Pa smiled. "You have nothing to worry about, Miss Ah Shen. They've spread the word to the residents of the Western District, and everyone is supportive. They hope you'd be able to help them find a method to return to the real world."
Nie Zun nodded. "No matter how good it is here, it's still weird and foreign to humans. Humans depend on the warmth of our family, friends, and lovers, so most of them would choose to go back; it's just that they might have been too cowardly to admit this before."
The warmth from family and friends…
I stole a glance at Nie Zun's distant eyes.