136 Reopening Old Wounds?
With hands on ears, I squatted slowly as I continued mumbling. Gaoqin Jiuye stepped in front of me, pulling me up in a huff!
"Come on, Li Shen, if you have the guts to slap me, you shouldn't be crying here now! Slap me again if you dare. In the Split Zone, apart from you, I swear there won't be anyone else who dared hit my face!" He pulled me up, forcing me not to cover my ears.
Looking at his frenzied face, I slowly calmed down.
Suppressing the pain in my heart, I told myself, Li Shen, you have to be strong. You were living well even without Nie Zun in a previous life. It has just been a year of sticking together. Even if this suddenly disappeared, you'll get used to it. You have to be strong.
Li Shen, you can't cry. She's back now, are you going to continue being that cowardly? You can't let her have opportunities to take control of your body and do whatever she wanted to anymore.
Li Shen, didn't you decide to be strong and not let her get her way? You're not letting the soul splitters get their way and you're not letting the Split Zone get its way!
I forcefully suppressed my emotions. I took a deep breath and slowly looked up, trying my best to look at Gaoqin Jiuye with steady eyes. "Do you want to return the slap? If you don't do it now, there won't be any more chances in future!"
Gaoqin Jiuye looked visibly relaxed as I said this. It was as if he would be willing to look at this icy face of mine as long as I was not that weak, cowardly cry-baby.
He smirked. "I'm really generous. I'll treat this slap as a gift for you."
I brushed my red hair back, and my gaze turned cold. "Since you're not returning the slap, let's talk about something serious."
Gaoqin Jiuye straightened up and looked at me with a cold smile. "That's really some identity disorder there, changing in just a second."
I raised my brows. "Thank you for the compliment."
Though my heart was hurting, who else would save me if I don't save myself?
"What did you want to discuss?" Gaoqin Jiuye shrugged.
I stared at him. "Two things. First, if I remember correctly, you know Zou An. Jie Pa's men couldn't find him, and I want you to help me find him. Second, I want to save my friends. If there are things you know about Du Yue, I hope you can share them with me. Since you can't stop me from doing these things, why not just help me out."
Gaoqin Jiuye's eyes darkened. "Oh? Why should I help you?"
I smiled casually. "Of course, there would be conditions. Though I've been daydreaming a lot the past few days, and I don't quite remember what happened after the fight that day, I do remember some things.
"If I'm right, even you guys don't know why Si Luo's condition miraculously improved after I activated my split symbol, and you've witnessed it too, that he's been recovering well these few days he's here. Though none of us know why, I'm sure you're also suspecting that this has something to do with the Western District.
"I might not be able to promise that I can find a way to save Si Luo, but I can at least promise to keep him safe. As for you, you don't have to do anything but tell me a little more about Du Yue and Zou An, and also don't interfere in what I do."
"Si Luo's condition has improved, but how would I know if his condition will not deteriorate? Unless you can promise me that you'll hand Mi Fu over right away if there're any changes to his condition!" Gaoqin Jiuye's eyes shone.
I could never agree to this, but I had to at this moment.
To Gaoqin Jiuye, I might not be someone who goes back on my word, but it's just too bad that women are like villains, we're unpredictable.
I pretended to nod in a serious fashion. "Okay, I trust Jiao S and Huan Qing, and I trust in my own abilities. If anything goes wrong, I'll not stop you from looking for Mi Fu. That okay with you?"
Suspicion hung in Gaoqin Jiuye's eyes, but after seeming to consider that Si Luo was fine these few days, he probably thought this was not a bad deal.
He then asked, "You're looking for Zou An because of Piercer?"
I took Piercer in my hand to let him have a look. "Have you noticed that the original purple skin is slowly turning red, as if it absorbs the blood from every battle? I can't wield Piercer very well now since I couldn't control it, but it's difficult for me to save my friends if I didn't have a living weapon with me. I need to find him to look for a way to solve this issue."
Gaoqin Jiuye looked at Piercer. "So it's really because of Piercer. I've told you before, that this isn't a weapon you can use. I asked you to return it to Zou An, but you just didn't listen."
"Yes, I should've suspected you when you told me about Piercer's story when we were in that crack in space. You seemed to be familiar with soul splitters and Cang Ming, and you could even rival him. I should've guessed that you were a soul splitter then."
I smirked. "But there's no use saying all this now. Since I've used it, I'm not giving up. It's difficult for the owner if the weapon doesn't listen. I must find a way to subdue it."
"It might not be as easy as you think it is." Gaoqin Jiuye looked at me.
"I know that, that's why I'm looking for you. Since you could save Zou An and his wife from Cang Ming, if there's anybody in the Split Zone who knows his whereabouts, it would be you. Also, from what you said about the living weapons, you seem to know some things about Piercer too. You can either tell me how to solve this problem, or tell me how to find Zou An."
Gaoqin Jiuye shook his head. "I don't understand Piercer that well, I just know that it was created with the full skin of a soul belonging to a female. I happened to witness the scene when Piercer had an outburst, so I know how much damage it can cause. Apart from that, I don't know how to solve this problem of yours.
"As for Zou An, I can definitely find him. But you need to be sure about this, since both of you aren't on friendly terms. He thinks that you caused Ah Wen's death even though I've looked into it and explained it to him, and he still hates you. Do you think you'll be able to find an answer even if you look for him?"
"This is the question that's been bugging me." I shrugged.
Gaoqin Jiuye looked like he suddenly thought of something, and he said, "Oh right, weren't you able to control Piercer very well on that day when you activated your split symbol? To be honest, I haven't seen anyone who's able to forcefully suppress Piercer and make her cause such great damage.
"Though Piercer was still dormant on that day, it was the most powerful it could be in a dormant stage. I'll have to admit you were a strong rival on that day, so I thought that you had a talent in manipulating MF after you activated your split symbol, and that you had subdued Piercer. Why are you still troubled by this?
"Also, you were rather unusual after you activated your split symbol. It was you, but it wasn't like you at the same time. Why was it so?"
I recalled what Jiao S said to me on the rooftop, so I just smiled at Gaoqin Jiuye. "I heard that after I activated my split symbol on that day, you acted like you were wildly impressed by me?"
Surprisingly, the usually conceited Gaoqin Jiuye did not argue, but simply shrugged and nodded. "Yes, you looked extraordinary that day, like a war goddess. Even I couldn't help but admire you."
My heart ached, and my gaze turned sharp. "No need for you to worry about these things, and there's no need for you to wonder about the reasons behind my wanting to look for Zou An. Since you've already agreed, you just need to get him here."
My tone changed because I felt distressed.
Extraordinary, war goddess?
This wasn't a description of me, because I know she took control of my body on that day!
So, the person who impressed Gaoqin Jiuye was her, not me, Li Shen!
"Your mood swings are crazy. Or is this an after-effect of activating your split symbol?"
"Many others have asked this, and I'm not interested in answering any of you. If you've agreed in helping me look for Zou An, I'll move on to my second point."
Gaoqin Jiuye smirked. "Go ahead."
I gave him a half-hearted smile. "I want to talk about your old lover, Du Yue. Are you sure you can tell me about her?"
Gaoqin Jiuye's gaze tightened. "Who said she was an old lover?"
I waved a hand. "Save it, Gaoqin Jiuye. Are you soul splitters trying to act all innocent? You look different every time someone mentions Du Yue. I'm not stupid, and any woman who could move you in such a way would definitely have some sort of connection to you. It's not that I'm trying to pry into your affairs, but two of my friends are held hostage by her, and they might currently be treated cruelly as experimental subjects. Laurel also disappeared because of her experiment, so I naturally would be looking for someone like you, who has some sort of relation to her, to try and learn more. I hope you understand."
I even blinked at him as I said, "I know, love is something that's difficult to look back on. But since you've already agreed, just endure for a while and reopen those wounds, please?"
Gaoqin Jiuye's dark eyes turned bright all of a sudden. "It's really not like what you think. But I've never liked to explain things. Let me just tell you more about Du Yue, to prove that you think too highly of yourself if you really thought you can see through others."