116 The Secret behind Split Symbols
We finally saw Huan Qing and party as we arrived in front of the Academy.
Mi Fu was dressed in her usual pink, and following closely behind her were the sunny athlete, Ku Fei, and handsome Huan Qing.
"Look at you, you've recovered well," I spoke as we were within earshot of the three.
For the first time, I saw some emotion pass in Huan Qing's amber eyes, and he smiled. "I'll have to thank you for saving me the last time."
"No need to be so polite. I didn't really do anything, much less save you." I laughed.
Ku Fei reddened. "That, on that, Ah Shen, I misunderstood you previously. Lord Huan Qing told me everything after he regained consciousness, and I, I've been feeling really guilty about it. I even abandoned all of you…"
"No biggie, it's understandable that you'd misunderstand in that kind of situation," Nie Zun said. He seemed to like Ku Fei a lot.
I glanced at Mi Fu, and our eyes met coincidentally as she was also trying to steal a glance at me. Seeing me look at her, she quickly averted her gaze.
This little girl, she's quite stubborn, but her nature… Thinking about what she did previously though, she seemed to be rather wicked.
"Weren't you kidnapped?" I teased her. Mi Fu blushed in embarrassment, and her rosy cheeks showed that she was indignant.
Seeing Mi Fu angry, Ku Fei quickly continued, "Ah Shen, Du Yue did take her away. But it was to bring her to meet Lord Si Luo. That horrible woman Du Yue has already left."
I thought to myself, Does this mean Mi Fu isn't a perfectly suitable body of consciousness for their experiment?
"I'll be frank with you. We're here today to seek help from you." Huan Qing spoke, looking slightly worn out.
"Go ahead." Though I looked calm on the surface, I had my suspicions about this. I just could not wrap my head around why they would be here in the Western District at this time. Furthermore, the usually haughty Huan Qing is asking me for help.
Things are getting rather complicated these days…
"It's like this." Huan Qing looked around him to ensure there was no one else around before he continued.
"What I'm about to tell you is the Southern District's greatest secret." Huan Qing had an extremely serious expression.
Be quick about it… Doesn't it mean you trust me if you came here looking for me… Why the long story…
"Li Shen, our District Commander, Si Luo is weakening." Huan Qing looked pained as he said this, almost as if he could not bear to reveal the truth.
I said calmly, "I know that."
Huan Qing was slightly surprised. "You know?"
I nodded. "Rong Jin already told us."
"Rong Jin was here in the Western District, and he already went back with Gaoqin Jiuye," I explained to Huan Qing.
Huan Qing sighed after thinking for a while. "I don't know how Rong Jin said it, but let me just explain it again in detail. Right now, Si Luo's life force is slowly weakening. We don't know what's causing it and we can't find a way to save him either. I'm in as much agony as Gaoqin Jiuye and Rong Jin over this, it's just that the two of them are way too inflexible about this."
I felt a little grieved. This aloof gentleman who always seemed to be so proud and distant now looked so forlorn because of this. Everyone seemed to have been dragged into this conspiracy, and it looks like there is no escape.
"What are his symptoms?" Nie Zun asked an important question.
"It's not his MF that's weakening, it's his body. Just like a real body, he actually started to fall ill and weaken."
I pondered for a moment. Addressing Huan Qing, I asked, "Since you initially didn't know Rong Jin told me about it, why did you come all the way here to say this?"
Huan Qing looked at me. "Like I said, I need your help on something. This is something you need to know before I can seek your help."
Before I could speak, Mi Fu rudely interrupted, "No need to waste so much time talking to her. I don't need anyone's protection. Huan Qing, don't beg her!"
I smirked, "Little girl, just be quiet for a moment. I can tell that whatever request Huan Qing has, it definitely has something to do with you. Since he came all the way here just for you, do you need any further explanation? Whatever Huan Qing does, it's all for you. Are you still going to continue being such a spoilt brat?"
Mi Fu's rosy cheeks turned redder in embarrassment, but she bit her lip and did not continue. Sensing that I might get angry, Ku Fei quickly said, "Ah Shen, please don't fault Mi Fu for this. She's not a bad person, though she can be a little stubborn…"
I rolled my eyes. Fine, she's not a bad person!
Huan Qing spoke abruptly, "Is it okay if we speak in private?"
I looked at Nie Zun to get his agreement, and nodded at Huan Qing.
"Actually, it's not Nie Zun I wanted to avoid. It's Mi Fu and Ku Fei." Huan Qing's gaze was on Mi Fu, who was now more than a hundred meters away from us.
"Apart from Si Luo's condition, I also heard about you and Mi Fu. I heard her brother saved your life once."
Huan Qing looked stunned. "Rong Jin told you about me too?"
I met his eyes squarely. "No, he didn't go into detail on that. Huan Qing, don't mind me asking this question, but I hope I can get an answer. According to Rong Jin, Mi Fu's older brother was a soul splitter. So how did he die while saving you? This means soul splitters can die too right?"
Huan Qing looked pained. "Usually, soul splitters don’t die, unless they want to."
I frowned in confusion. "I don't get it."
Huan Qing sighed, as if he was powerless about this. "I just don't know where to start explaining these things."
"You're referring to the fact that Si Luo is a soul splitter?"
"Just what did Rong Jin say?" Huan Qing looked like he was about to flip out.
I shrugged. "He didn't say anything else, just that Si Luo is a soul splitter, and Mi Fu's older brother was a soul splitter who died while saving you."
Huan Qing's fists clenched as I spoke.
"Alright." As if compromising suddenly, Huan Qing sighed again. "Since you know this too, it's not difficult for me to talk about my request. As you know, Si Luo is a soul splitter. All soul splitters have a matching split symbol with someone else. The one who has a matching split symbol with Si Luo is Mi Fu."
What?? Mi Fu's soul splitter is Si Luo, Si Luo is Mi Fu's soul splitter??
"So, Si Luo's weakening life force will affect Mi Fu?" I asked in confusion.
Huan Qing shook his head gravely. "No. It's because of Mi Fu that Si Luo has symptoms of a weakening life force."
"Could you explain this more plainly…" I muttered.
"Do you remember when you first arrived in the Split Zone? New arrivals don't have split symbols on them, and they'll even glow, identifying them as somebody different from those who are already here. The split symbol needs some time to form, and only after that will the glow fade. Split symbols do not appear on their own either. They are actually carved by the soul splitters who brought you here."
These words were like bombs, exploding loudly in my ears.
Does this mean that we're all here because of soul splitters? These split symbols and splitting keys were all created by them? No, if the split symbols were carved by them, why would they leave a splitting key? Wouldn't this be like digging themselves into a hole?
"I know you definitely have your questions, and I can't say much either. What I can tell you is that, split symbols are carved onto us by the soul splitters, and once a split symbol forms, it is equivalent to a contract with the Split Zone. This contract encompasses you, your soul splitter, and the Split Zone. The contract is a simple one. The Split Zone provides you and the soul splitter with split symbols, which contain MF and power. At the same time, the Split Zone gifts you with a splitting key, and that's to give you a chance to return."
This time, I heard it clearly, and I realized what such a contract might really mean. I felt dispirited, but I still had to ask my questions. I had to know if my suspicions were right.
"So, when the soul splitters give us our split symbols, a split symbol will also appear on them. Once the split symbol appears, there would be MF. Does this mean that they captured us because they want the power from the split symbols?" I tried my best to keep my voice from trembling.
Huan Qing looked pained. "That's exactly right."
I took a deep breath to steady myself, but I felt like I was already losing focus on Huan Qing's voice.
"To the soul splitters, MF is equivalent to having a super power in the real world. The only way to obtain this power is to get a split symbol. In the Split Zone, the split symbol is an ancient curse. Those who obtain it are able to obtain great power. However, all split symbols come in pairs, and they can restrict each other. Soul splitters have found a perfect way to obtain such power without the restriction, that is, to capture souls from the real world and apply the curse on themselves and the soul who was brought to the Split Zone. This way, both of them obtain the power.
"As the split symbol is a curse in itself, that power doesn't come for free. Since you are not originally from the Split Zone, when the split symbol forms, a splitting key will form at the same time. Put simply, the splitting key is a way for you to go back to reality by inserting it into the matching split symbol to end the curse."