119 Splitting Up
"You know me really well huh…"
A voice floated past our heads!
I snapped my head up in surprise, only to see Jiao S hanging upside down from a tree branch near us, looking at me with her glassy, friendly eyes.
Huan Qing's brows knitted slightly. "I placed an illusion around us to prevent passers-by from listening in. Jiao S, even if your MF is high, you shouldn't have been able to break it if you didn't know any illusion techniques. But you've actually managed to approach us without me noticing. How did you do it?"
Jiao S cracked her neck, and her black hair fell across her face as she moved, this looked…
"I don't know about illusions, but that doesn't mean others don't know about them too."
After Jiao S's explanation, I knew immediately what I would be seeing.
As expected, a white figure flew past me. It moved towards Nie Zun, who was looking in our direction.
"My pet, I've missed you so much!"
Guan Nie's whiny voice floated past my ear.
My lips started twitching. I felt like throwing up as I watched that figure in white launch itself into Nie Zun's arms.
Huan Qing did not seem to care about this, and looked at Guan Nie's figure. "Seems like the title of top illusionist would no longer be mine if I were in the Eastern District."
Jiao S jumped down, walking towards me. She actually started consoling Huan Qing, "Your technique isn't bad, and you are definitely worthy of being called the top illusionist. It's just that even I don't know how powerful Guan Nie is."
Huan Qing asked with raised brows, "Since you're here, you've probably heard everything. What's your aim?"
Jiao S looked at me with her pitch-black eyes. "My aim is simply to go with you to find a way to save Si Luo."
Huan Qing was dumbstruck.
A slight smile formed on my lips, and I met her eyes with a knowing gaze. Jiao S said in her hoarse voice, "Huan Qing, I know that you, Gaoqin Jiuye and Rong Jin don't like me, and you guys don't like it when I approach Si Luo. But there's something you all know, that I love Si Luo, and I'll never hurt him."
Huan Qing kept his eyes on her. "That's exactly right. It's because you're always like this that Si Luo has to hide from you, and this is why we hate you so."
Jiao S shook her head stiffly. "No, this isn't why you guys hate me. Deep in your hearts, Si Luo is a god-like figure who is just and composed, his emotions always remain stable and there's nothing that can affect that nobility of his. The only time you've seen him do something out of the ordinary, that was all because of me. You guys are jealous, and you can't let go of it because you guys don't understand it."
Huan Qing's gaze changed. "Yes. Jiao S, Si Luo will always be noble. How could you stain him and interfere with his life like that?"
Jiao S gave a cruel smile. "He needs to be alive before I can even interfere in that! You're always protecting him, ostracizing me, getting him to leave me, but isn't he still going to die? You, Gaoqin Jiuye, Rong Jin - the three of you are the ones who shouldn't be beside him, and not me, Jiao S!"
Huan Qing was stunned, and his eyes darkened.
For some reason I could not really bear to see Huan Qing like this, so I shot a look at Jiao S.
Jiao S caught my gaze, and although she probably had other things to say, she did not continue.
"You're truly willing to work with me in finding a new body of consciousness to save Si Luo?" Huan Qing asked with slight hesitation.
Jiao S looked at Mi Fu, and looked at me, before saying, "Si Luo will never sacrifice Mi Fu. Gaoqin Jiuye and Rong Jin are just plain stupid. Even if they took Mi Fu, they're too naïve to think that they can force Si Luo in engraving a split symbol onto Mi Fu. Si Luo will never do anything he doesn't want to, when has that ever changed. I'll go with you to find a new body of consciousness, but I don't know what Si Luo is thinking. I wasn't able to see him, but I suspect he might not even accept any new bodies of consciousness."
Huan Qing sighed. "I don't know what he's thinking these days. Sometimes, I don't even know where he is."
"How long can your illusion against Gaoqin Jiuye and Rong Jin last?" Jiao S suddenly asked.
Huan Qing pondered for a moment. "With that complex illusion, they should be trapped for about twenty days. But I don't know about Gaoqin Jiuye's abilities, so a conservative guess would be fifteen days. Fifteen days will include the time they'll need to break the illusion and to find out that I've brought Mi Fu to the Western District. To be on the safer side, we should assume they'll be able to reach the Western District in fifteen days."
Jiao S's eyes shone. "How much more time does Si Luo have?"
Huan Qing said glumly, "Three months, at most."
Jiao S bit her lip. "Although I'm not that familiar with Gaoqin Jiuye, I know very well that in the Split Zone, Si Luo is the only one who can stop him. I don't like him, and both of us don't know the depth of his abilities nor the value of his MF. He's definitely not an easy opponent."
Huan Qing nodded slowly. "This is what I'm worried about. To be frank, he definitely has skills. It's not just anyone who can wield and control 'Shen Qi', and there's not many of those in the Split Zone. Furthermore, in all the years that Gaoqin Jiuye has been here, even I haven't seen him activate his split symbol."
What? Gaoqin Jiuye hasn't activated his split symbol for those abilities??
Just by looking at his ability to manipulate air currents, he's probably more powerful than Jiao S, right? Was this the reason behind Jiao S's initial friendliness and eventual antagonism towards him?
I've always known that he was mysterious and powerful, but I didn't expect for Jiao S and Huan Qing to have such an assessment of him.
How about Rong Jin… From what I know, there's only one such person who can capture souls like that… Huan Qing and Jiao S have never seen him in the flesh either…
Did I confidently agree to help Huan Qing earlier… I agreed to go against these two monsters just to protect that stubborn little girl…
How I wish for amnesia to hit me now!
As if sensing that my thoughts were flying all over the place, Jiao S smiled at me.
"It's okay, I'll come up with a perfect plan for this."
This was not to put Huan Qing at ease, it was to put me at ease.
"So," Jiao S continued, "if there was anyone who could stop Gaoqin Jiuye, that would be Si Luo. Huan Qing, you really don't know where Si Luo is now?"
Huan Qing met Jiao S's eyes squarely. "I really don't know."
Jiao S frowned slightly. "It seems like he's avoiding us on purpose. I might be right, that he doesn't wish to sacrifice Mi Fu, and he probably doesn't even want to accept new bodies of consciousness. He's prepared to die."
Jiao S bit her lips hard, and there was a hopelessness in those empty eyes of hers. "Si Luo, why didn't you tell me and bring me with you to meet death? Tough luck, don't even think about dying without my permission!"
I felt beads of cold sweat forming above my brows.
I almost forgot her swagger after not seeing this little devil for a while. I liked her more and more by the second, even though she always had this weird, stiff look.
But talking about weird, which one of us isn't weird here?
"Then that's decided," Jiao S said resolutely. "Ah Shen, you go look for Si Luo, hopefully before Gaoqin Jiuye and Rong Jin escape. Think of a way to get him to convince Gaoqin Jiuye and Rong Jin to give up on looking for Mi Fu. Huan Qing and I will look for a way to save Si Luo."
I hastily asked, "Where would the both of you find it? You guys aren't soul splitters either, so how'd you help him capture new bodies of consciousness?"
Huan Qing answered, "I can't capture them, but I know someone in the Northern District who can. I'm going to look for my soul splitter."
"Can't you take me with you to the Northern District?" I asked.
Huan Qing's eyes shone. "Li Shen, since I've promised you, I'll definitely take you there. The Northern District is not a place that ordinary people can go to. If I didn't have an agreement with my soul splitter, I'd be no exception. If I succeed in bringing Jiao S to the Northern District this time, it'll also be proof of my ability to do so, right?"
Jiao S continued, "That's right, Li Shen. Go look for Si Luo. Though I haven't been able to find him, you might be able to. I'll share with you what I know, and you can go with Nie Zun to look for him. For the time being, I'll send my people to protect the Western District as well. Huan Qing, you can leave Mi Fu here in the Western District, so that Li Shen and my people can protect her."
Huan Qing nodded after a few seconds of hesitation.
I thought for a moment, and said to Huan Qing, "Since I've already agreed to help you, please trust me, and trust Jiao S too. Though time is tight, this is no simple task. I'd suggest all of you rest up in the Western District for tonight, and also discuss the details of your plan before setting off tomorrow."
Jiao S nodded in agreement. "Huan Qing, you and Mi Fu traveled all the way here without resting. Mi Fu doesn't have a split symbol, and even if you had helped, she'd be tired as well. You guys rest for today, and if you trust us, just leave the rest to Li Shen and I."
Huan Qing looked at Jiao S, then at me, and back at Jiao S again. Finally, he said, "Since I've chosen to work with the both of you, I trust you. I owe you one for this, and I'll definitely return the favor in time."
He glanced at the group who were still waiting. "I'll take Mi Fu and rest up. The both of you can work out a plan, and we'll split up tomorrow."
I nodded. "Go ahead. I'll get someone to prepare your accommodation and to stand guard."