236 The High Priest
Nie Zun glanced at me. "Are you an idiot? If it could bring us out, why can't it fly out on its own? Would it still be locked up like this?"
I scratched my head. "But those two ladies talked about luring the fire phoenix over, so that would mean that it still had some freedom to roam, isn't it? Those ladies wouldn't have said that if it really was trapped somewhere. Why can't the two phoenixes meet then?"
Bing'er looked anxious as its eyes shone brightly at what I just said.
It seemed to be anxious because it wasn't able to explain what exactly happened.
Nie Zun asked something which stunned me, "Were you human before?"
I turned to him in surprise, and little did I expect that Bing'er would actually answer him so quickly.
I looked at Bing'er again. Though this wasn't the first time that a body of consciousness turned into something that wasn't human, I've only seen them turn into horrific monsters. I couldn't believe that somebody could actually turn into such a beautiful phoenix.
"You, you, you, how did you know it was a human?" I stuttered as I asked Nie Zun.
He answered calmly, "There are no phoenixes in the real world, it's simply an auspicious representation in the form of a bird. No matter how weird the Split Zone is, there's no way something can exist here if it doesn't even exist in the real world. Weren't those monsters all bodies of consciousness originally? Some of them might have been merged using a technique similar to Rong Jin's as well.
"From the looks of it, the ice phoenix wouldn't have appeared here without rhyme or reason. This is why I deduced that it could have been human before. Put simply, it is also a body of consciousness. Except that it turned into a creature, and we don't know the reason behind that yet.
"Li Shen, nothing exists in this world without a reason. Everything that exists has a purpose. Do you know that?"
He didn't sound like he was criticizing me. Instead, he sounded a little helpless when he said that.
I wondered if my ears were fooling me.
But that was not important at this very moment. The point was that I have not heard him analyze things in such a calm and rational manner in such a long time.
Why did I not cherish the moments in the past when he used to do this?
I only realized his importance and how irreplaceable he was when I lost him.
I missed this intelligent and rational side of him so much.
I stopped myself from going forth and hugging him as I said, "What you said made sense. But why did it become like this…"
In an attempt to lighten the atmosphere, I went ahead and asked a question I knew Nie Zun wouldn't be able to answer.
Nie Zun resumed his one-sided conversation with Bing'er. "Was that fire phoenix a human too?"
"Did the both of you become like this because of Du Yue?"
Bing'er did not give an affirmative response.
Nie Zun was not surprised at this, and he actually looked like he had already anticipated the answer. "Then, is it Huai Du who did this to the both of you?"
I didn't know why he mentioned Huai Du all of a sudden. But what surprised me more was Bing'er's affirmative response this time.
"What's happening?" I asked Nie Zun hastily.
Nie Zun ignored me as he let me stew in anxiety. He continued talking to Bing'er unhurriedly.
"Is there a way to save you and that fire phoenix?"
"Chirp…" Though Bing'er answered positively, it called out so softly as if it was not confident of the possibility of success.
"Great. There's no need to worry as long as there's a way to do so. Follow us from now on, and protect us whenever needed. We'll look into this, and we'll try to save your little friend while we save ours."
Nie Zun sounded a lot gentler as he said this. I even felt that he sounded rather adorable when he said 'your little friend'. (Passerby A: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder… Me: That's none of your business.)
I was still immersed in Nie Zun's voice when he pulled me back behind that large pillar. He slapped an arm across my throat to prevent me from making any sound.
He said softly, "Someone's here."
Bing'er reacted very quickly as it turned and flew towards the ceiling.
The two robed ladies appeared again, this time with another woman in front of them. That woman was dressed in a sequined top and a mini skirt with her mid-riff exposed.
I looked at that woman's slender legs and that tiny waist. What a pair of…
I froze when I saw her face.
There was no need for Nie Zun to stop me from moving, because I was stock-still.
I was literally rooted to the ground.
That woman who looked enchantingly beautiful with a face full of make-up was none other than Song Lu.
Is this really Song Lu?
How can it be Song Lu?
My mind was in a mess.
Song Lu had been missing for a while now, and she was the very person I was trying so hard to find. But I wasn't able to go forth and hug her even when she's right in front of me.
Wasn't she taken away by Li Wen? Why is she in Du Yue's Palace of Cold Blood?
"High Priest, this is the ice phoenix. As you know, it has been with owner for a long time, and it has always been very tame. But it's being naughty now and it refuses to go back under that curtain. We had no choice but to report this to the high priest in the hopes that you would be able to make a decision on this matter. If we leave it be, it may just fly out the door someday. Both meimei and I will be as good as dead if that happens."
I didn't expect that serious jiejie to actually be able to talk about this so casually.
A cunning light shone through Song Lu's eyes. That light complemented that enchanting outfit and perfect body of hers, drawing others to her like moths to a bright flame.
Her lips turned up in an angle, and though she spoke seductively, that killing intent was apparent in her voice. "You mean to say that this treasure is now acting like a spoilt child who's refusing to listen? And, since owner loves it so much, the both of you can't use force on it. But you're afraid it might fly away, and you don't really know what to do about this, so in the end, the both of you have decided to push that responsibility to me?"
Though her words were not friendly, they were not threatening either.
The jiejie dropped to the ground on her knees. "The High Priest is wise, there's nothing that escapes you. It's not that meimei and I were lazing around, we just went to take a short break. I hope my lord will forgive us for our sins."
Song Lu is the High Priest?
Is she working for Du Yue now?
Could she have been brainwashed by Du Yue during that experiment?
But wasn't she taken away by Li Wen previously? If Li Wen's aim was to take her to Du Yue, why did she have to stop us at that time?
Or did Li Wen use Song Lu as a bargaining chip in exchange for something from Du Yue?
I suddenly felt angry about this.
Song Lu had been through so much, and it was all because of me.
Instead of addressing the jiejie, Song Lu turned to the meimei who was still standing. "You're not anxious, are you? Seems like you got some guts there."
The meimei smiled with upturned eyes. "If the High Priest can see through us that quickly, there's no need for further apologies. We'll do whatever the High Priest wishes."
Song Lu blinked and leaned in close to the meimei. "I'm guessing that you're trying to differentiate yourself from her, are you? Tsk, tsk, sisters you are. You seem to be too ambitious for your own good. You should go through some torture."
The meimei's smile seemed to freeze at this, but she continued stubbornly, "Please don't tease us like this, High Priest. Jiejie and I depend on no one but each other, so there's no way I would step all over her to differentiate myself. Isn't that right, jiejie?"
The meimei looked at the kneeling jiejie with a sincere gaze.
The jiejie seemed to have been momentarily distracted as she said, "Oh yes, that's right, High Priest. Though this meimei of mine might have some tiny tricks up her sleeve, she's not a bad person. We've been relying on each other in this Palace of Cold Blood for so long, and I'm sure that wasn't what she meant."
Song Lu folded her arms in front of her chest, as if she was enjoying a show. "That's up to you then, if you choose to believe her. I'm not getting involved in this. Haha, but if you really get killed by her one day, just remember that there was a high priest who reminded you of that possibility."
The jiejie looked resolute, even after all that Song Lu had said. "I'll remember the teachings of the High Priest, but I believe in meimei."
Seeing her being adamant, Song Lu shrugged as she walked over to that silk gauze curtain.
"So this little one is being naughty now." Song Lu smiled as she walked, her boots clicking against the floor as she moved with those beautiful and slender legs.