129 The Curse of the Split Symbol
"What're you thinking about?"
I have been daydreaming on the rooftop of the Residence building for a while now, and my thoughts were interrupted by Huan Qing, who walked over to be beside me.
I looked up at him in a daze, shaking my head.
He sat on the floor beside me, not afraid of dirtying his white suit at all.
"Li Shen, thank you. If you didn't try your best in stopping Gaoqin Jiuye, who knows if it's still possible for Mi Fu to live this happily here in the Split Zone." It was rare to hear Huan Qing thank someone.
I gazed into the distance. "Is she happy now?"
Huan Qing was silent.
I let out a sigh. "Huan Qing, there's no need to thank me. Everything she has now is all thanks to you. Even if she doesn't like it, even if she isn't happy, you won't be able to change that. She'll be able to live well as long as she is wherever her heart wants her to be. As for you, you'll have to think about whether you want her to merely be alive, or to live a happy life."
Huan Qing gave a wry smile. "When life gets difficult, wanting a happy life will merely be an unreachable dream."
"You and Jiao S really weren't able to find any way to save Si Luo?" I looked at him.
He didn't meet my eyes, but simply looked into space as he replied, "No."
"Oh, how's your… situation? Everything alright?" He asked suddenly.
I wanted to say 'Not bad', 'Pretty good' or 'Nothing much'.
But why couldn't I say so?
A whole week had already passed since the day Gaoqin Jiuye and Rong Jin attacked the Western District in their attempt to take Mi Fu. However, that moment when I activated my split symbol still lingered in my mind.
As one activates their split symbol, they'd be placed under a curse.
I believed that, and I did not activate it because I did not want to experience that curse either.
Until that day, when I saw Gaoqin Jiuye charging towards Nie Zun with Shen Qi in hand and a killing intent that seemed inextinguishable, I had no other choice but to do it.
After activating my split symbol, I received power, and also a curse.
That curse was able to destroy me.
How long has it been since I've seen her?
No, I should be saying, have I seen her before?
People around me used to mock me.
"What a weirdo!"
"Stay away from her."
"I heard she's a loony."
Where were you in all those lonely years?
Through all these days and nights, I opened my eyes and closed them, again and again.
My head was filled with thoughts of her.
She turned into a devil, and she was stepping through blood.
She called out to me gently, "Shen'er."
Everyone stopped in their tracks when I let out the scream that day, but nobody could see her.
She was something only I could see.
She was the curse, the curse I received after activating my split symbol.
I've previously thought of many possibilities of how the curse would manifest itself, but I never would have expected that she would materialize and appear right in front of my eyes.
She was the curse placed upon me by my split symbol.
It was actually her.
I always knew that even though she was a devil, she was a devil which belonged only to me.
On the day of that battle, she stopped Gaoqin Jiuye's attack on Nie Zun. It was a beautiful scene where blood splattered dazzlingly. It might even be the most beautiful battle the Split Zone had witnessed, an attack that not even Shen Qi could parry. But I couldn't remember a single thing.
I simply fell apart when I saw her.
I didn't know that bodies of consciousness could fall apart in the Split Zone.
I only knew the results from the battle.
She stopped Gaoqin Jiuye's attack on Nie Zun, following which, Si Luo miraculously woke up.
Since Si Luo was awake, taking our lives were no longer Gaoqin Jiuye and Rong Jin's priority.
With their unwavering loyalty, they once again went back to Si Luo's side.
Loyalty is just like shackles that cannot be broken.
Guan Nie was abandoned.
Gaoqin Jiuye might have been aware that Guan Nie's injuries were not fatal, but I could tell that his choice made Guan Nie hate him once again.
The depth of hatred can only commensurate with the intensity of love.
To the others, I might have been the one who stopped Gaoqin Jiuye, since they could not see her.
To the others, I was the one who went berserk and turned into a monster.
It was like I went insane.
But, she isn't me. That is something only I know.
Though she helped finish what I started, I cannot accept her just because of this.
She brought me years of loneliness when I was alive.
I will never forget that pain she brought me by taking my love away.
I'm already dead, with my consciousness stuck in this godforsaken place. Why can't she just let me off already?
You, why don't you just let me off?
Don't even dream of me being able to accept you merely because of this bit of power you're able to provide.
On that day, I passed out shortly after activating my split symbol.
The circumstances were amusing when I awoke.
Si Luo's condition miraculously improved, and he finally ordered Gaoqin Jiuye and Rong Jin to stop attacking Mi Fu and I. Mi Fu and Ku Fei were then finally able to come out of hiding.
Instead of leaving immediately, Si Luo, with his two cruel subordinates, stayed in the Western District. Together with Mi Fu and Ku Fei, they waited for me to regain consciousness.
He even used a special technique to summon Huan Qing and Jiao S, who were at that point still searching for a method to save him.
As Huan Qing and Jiao S did not succeed, they were initially in disbelief when they saw Si Luo's much improved condition.
I thought I was dreaming when I didn't see her as I woke up.
When she reappeared, she was squatting on the floor, drawing circles.
Her profile looked beautiful. Her red dress was identical to mine, and it flared out onto the floor, hiding those pretty ankles of hers.
Her bright red hair was also identical to mine. It was long and fell over her shoulders naturally. She was a beauty.
As I walked towards her, she looked up slowly, giving me a charming smile.
I was being stared at by myself.
Her smile was gentle and warm, and her profound eyes made it look like I was looking into a deep lake.
She asked, "How are you?"
How should I answer?
Mm, I'm good.
Without you, I'm good.
From then on, I didn't know how I should answer such a question. I didn't know how to answer Huan Qing, who asked the exact same question as she did.
Eventually, I decided to answer, "I'm great."
Huan Qing did not seem to read too much into this reply of mine.
He simply said, "They said you activated your split symbol during that battle, and that you were a little weird after that."
I shrugged. "I've always been weird, you just need to get used to it."
Though I answered this way, I thought to myself, I was weird?
Hah, seems like as long as she's around, I'd be labeled 'weird'?
"No." Huan Qing looked me in the eye with a serious expression. "You know what I mean. Do you want to consider telling me about the punishment you received after activating your split symbol?"
I laughed. "Huan Qing, curiosity killed the cat."
Huan Qing did not lighten up even after I laughed. He continued looking serious.
He sighed. "Anyway, as someone who hopes to use that power in battle from activating my split symbol, I know very well that the punishment is not an easy one to bear. Even though I didn't witness the fight that day, or your reaction after activating it, I can fully understand.
"Li Shen, no matter what the punishment is, it's definitely something unimaginably painful."
Huan Qing reached a conclusion regarding the effect of the activated split symbol.
My dear Huan Qing, that isn't unimaginably painful.
Pain can be felt. But what she brought me was destruction, of me losing all feelings towards this world.
How could I let her out?
How could I, how could I, how could I let her out in this place where I could escape and finally be independent?
I then smiled at Huan Qing. "I'm not in pain. She's the one in pain. I'll let her regret ever coming to this place which belongs only to me.
"Also, Huan Qing, how could you understand my pain? Who are you to understand it?"
My lips twisted into a cruel smile.
Through his gaze, Huan Qing was trying to tell me that he understood, so that I wouldn't be so helpless. However, he looked surprised upon hearing what I said.
"Who… who is she?" Huan Qing asked carefully.
I smiled gently. "A devil, a monster."
Huan Qing frowned slightly, as if he did not know what to say.
"Huan Qing." I looked down, a smile still on my lips.
"The punishment you received upon activating your split symbol might not be an unbearable one.
"But when I activated it, I didn't receive a punishment. I received destruction…"
I looked up gently at him.
On that day of battle, Guan Nie was worried for Gaoqin Jiuye. After settling Mi Fu and Ku Fei, he rushed to the scene.
Because of his choice, he had to once again witness Gaoqin Jiuye choose Si Luo over him.
Jie Pa got even busier after that day repairing the damage to the area because of the battle.
After Jiao S and Huan Qing returned, Jiao S also stayed in the Western District, waiting for me to regain my consciousness. She might have been worried about me, or maybe it was because she could finally see Si Luo.
It was as if everything came to a temporary stop, as if everyone was temporarily saved.
Except for me.
Not only did I summon a monster, I also destroyed what tied Nie Zun and I together.