170 The Trio of Death and Sorrow
Bian Ying smiled in response. "The Split Zone is different from the real world that you know. Soul splitters are the living things here in the Split Zone, like how humans beings are in the real world. Soul splitters are bodies of consciousness that are able to make use of their mental abilities, and things like disagreements and fights occur among them too. Because of that, there are also different factions among the soul splitters.
"All of you have already seen how the factions are separated when you first arrived in the Northern District - by those three huge gates. There are three major factions among the soul splitters right now; Heaven splitters, Ghost splitters, and Exit splitters.
"These three groups do not get along with one another. They've found a way to obtain power, and that is to create a three-way split symbol contract. For soul splitters, they need to find an individual whose strength is on a different level from theirs, so they've found heirs from your world. They're able to capture these heirs to the Split Zone under certain favorable circumstances. A splitting key will then be given to the heir as a means of undoing the contract once the split symbol is engraved on both the soul splitter and the heir.
"I'm sure the both of you are wondering why soul splitters can activate their split symbol. Actually, this isn't something they're able to control since they don't have a splitting key. When a split symbol is engraved, both the heir and the soul splitter obtain power at the same time. When heirs activate their split symbol and gain access to greater power, the split symbols on their soul splitters will automatically be activated at the same time, providing their soul splitters with greater power.
"When heirs insert their splitting key into the split symbol of their soul splitter, they are effectively sealing it. Once they do that, they can then leave the Split Zone, and their soul splitter will lose the power gained. If a new heir can't be found in a certain period of time after losing that power, the soul splitter will die.
"This is why there's this class divide between heirs and soul splitters. But for us, Li Shen, we are neither soul splitters nor heirs."
Bian Ying smiled at me at this point.
My hands started curling up into fists.
"I say that because soul splitters capture the consciousness of their heirs. In your world, that would be called capturing your souls. To people with double identity disorder, we can look at it like we have two independent sets of consciousness."
It was hard to keep my emotions in check. "What did you just say?"
Bian Ying kept her eyes on me as she continued, "As individuals with double identity disorder, we have two independent sets of consciousness. Soul splitters cannot capture two bodies of consciousness at the same time, and the split symbol contract cannot be made with a fourth party."
I felt like there was a ticking time bomb placed in my heart that continuously went tic-tic-tic, and in the next few seconds when it goes off, I would have nowhere to run since I was already tightly bound to it.
"So it's not accurate when you say Gaoqin Jiuye is your soul splitter, because it wasn't him who forcefully captured you."
"Then why does he have the same split symbol in the same place as I do?" I asked with a trembling voice.
Bian Ying sighed. "Actually, I'm not very sure about what the situation is between you and Gaoqin Jiuye. I would be able to give an answer if it was somebody else, but you're just like me and we're different from the other types of existence found here. Let me first tell you about myself.
"I don't know what happened that caused me to arrive here in the Split Zone, but as someone with double identity disorder, there was no way for me to survive if I had no power. Ta Lai tried engraving a split symbol on me to protect me, but since I had in me two sets of consciousness, and split symbol contracts cannot be made with a fourth party, he was unsuccessful. Because of that, he sought Cang Ming's help.
"He looked for Cang Ming because Cang Ming was the only person in the Split Zone who had great MF even when he did not establish any split symbol contract."
"What?" Jiao S and I asked in shock.
Bian Ying answered us calmly, "Like what I said earlier, soul splitters are an ordinary type of existence here which depend on MF to survive. Everything is created with MF, and they capture heirs to obtain greater MF through split symbol contracts. If they do not establish any contract, they will never die. But once they establish a contract, they might face death if they aren't able to find another heir if the previous one successfully undid it. So they'd literally have to bet their life on it if they decide to establish a split symbol contract.
"As time passed, more and more soul splitters did this since more of them were gaining greater powers, and you'd be bullied if you were a weakling.
"Before long, almost all soul splitters in the Split Zone had established split symbol contracts, except Cang Ming. He's like what you'd call a prodigy in the real world. Blessed with great MF from a young age, he didn't need to establish any split symbol contract."
My brows furrowed as I heard 'from a young age'. Soul splitters grow up like we do?
Thinking about it, that might be the case. Didn't I see the teenage Gaoqin Jiuye when I looked into Si Luo's heart?
But if they could grow older, why couldn't they die?
"Ta Lai looked for him because he did not have any split symbol engraved. The Cang Ming of the past was bold and someone with no inhibitions. Though he was also presumptuous, he wasn't cruel or ruthless. Not only was he good friends with Ta Lai, because he was blessed with such great MF, he also used it to develop a lot of ways that could heal others when their MF received damage. He used his own MF to save others. At that time, he agreed to Ta Lai's request without a second thought.
"He discussed this in great depth with Ta Lai, and he finally found a solution; to 'combine the consciousness'."
At this point, Bian Ying gripped the edges of her white blouse tightly. It looked like what she was about to tell me was what caused her the most agony.
"Since the split symbol contract can only be made with three parties, Ta Lai chose to establish it with the main personality in my soul - that's the current me. As the split symbol was being engraved, they forcefully lured my other personality out and combined that consciousness with Cang Ming, engraving a split symbol on him."
"Why can't the split symbol be engraved on both your personalities at the same time, but it can be engraved on you and Cang Ming at the same time?" I asked.
"Because even though the personalities are independent of each other, they are still me. They are independent sets of consciousness which can combine whenever they want to, so the split symbol contract cannot be established on someone with double identity disorder. The only way to go about it is to lure the fourth party out.
"Ta Lai, Cang Ming and I ended up having the same set of split symbols. Since Cang Ming is a soul splitter, he should have an heir with a corresponding split symbol, who is actually supposed to be my other personality. But because of what we did, my other personality disappeared as she was absorbed by Cang Ming, and this caused a drastic change in him.
"From then on, Cang Ming became a totally different person. Sometimes he was nice, sometimes he wasn't, but most of the time, he was cruel and violent. He was absolutely merciless wherever he went, always leaving a trail of blood behind him. After a while, he gained the nickname 'Satan Cang Ming'. As for me, I was then able to live together with Ta Lai in the Split Zone because of his help, and I'm usually by Cang Ming's side because he's less bloodthirsty whenever I'm with him.
"But the good times didn't last. When Cang Ming wanted a living weapon, he got Zou An and his wife to create Piercer for him. The soul trapped in Piercer was still very demonic when it was newly-created, so it tried to devour me when I was delivering it to him. If it was Cang Ming, it would only have caused damage to his MF, but because the other half of my personality was gone, I wasn't able to withstand the living weapon, and my consciousness was devoured by it.
"To save me, Cang Ming tried to force my other personality out of him, but it wasn't successful. He eventually dragged half of my personality out of Piercer, but half of it is still with Piercer. So, the current me doesn't even have a proper consciousness."
I was a little confused at all of this. I interrupted her to ask, "You mean that you were surviving with your main personality after your other personality was combined with Cang Ming, but since it was devoured by Piercer and only half of it could be saved, does this mean that your consciousness is split into three now? One, that is you, one in Piercer, and one in Cang Ming?"
She laughed at how I described it. "That's right, it's exactly like this. Half of me is in Piercer, while the other personality of mine is in Cang Ming. An incomplete body of consciousness cannot survive here, but Cang Ming found a solution to it. As long as I'm within five hundred meters of him, this broken body of consciousness in me will be able to survive in the Split Zone since it can sense the presence of my other personality in Cang Ming."
Five hundred meters… My heart sank, wondering if this was all fated to be.
"But because I'm an incomplete body of consciousness, my presence caused a greater change in Cang Ming due to the side effects of my consciousness interacting with my other personality that's in him. As time passed, he began to attempt to possess me like I was an item, and he wanted the love I had for Ta Lai. He became more and more overbearing, not allowing me to see Ta Lai, and eventually not allowing me to leave him at all, eventually turning into what he is today.
"As for Ta Lai, he had lost me and he had been trying ways and means to take me away and rekindle the love between us. But there's nothing he can do about this. If he is adamant about wanting to see me, Cang Ming will leave me, and if Cang Ming leaves me, I'll no longer be able to survive. Though the distance of five hundred meters is not a binding restriction, my body will start deteriorating if I'm more than five hundred meters away from him.
"Because of this, Cang Ming, originally a Heaven splitter, took me away from the Gate of Heaven and brought us here to the Gate of Ghost, while Ta Lai continued being a Heaven splitter."