I grew tired from running around, so I returned to my room to sleep. I arranged for Laurel to live on the floor below mine. I lived on the 13th floor of the Westside Residence, and Nie Zun lived next door to me.
When a person lives in this place for a long time, they often forget that they’re actually just an intangible soul, and they live like any ordinary person would. This place was about the size of a small city, and it was split into four districts—the Eastside, Westside, Southside, and Northside.
The Northside was Blondie’s turf, and it included the split zone’s center, the large hall that I first arrived at. As the head of Split Zone No.13, Blondie lived there, taking care of all the administrative business.
Each district has its own residential building, thirty stories tall, extending across the district. Every room was the same size, sufficient for one person to live in. Everyone here, aside from Blondie, lived in the same type of room, regardless of status.
Life was very simple.
Every district had its own jurisdiction system too. Aside from the expansive residential building, each district also had a school and marketplace building.
There were only these three buildings in each of the districts.
Life here was rather dreary for most, so they could freely decide to enroll in school, either as a student or a teacher. Some people continually spent their time at school, learning many things, waiting for the day that they’d meet their soul splitter. When they returned to the physical world, their accumulated knowledge would be useful, and they wouldn’t have just wasted all their time.
Personally, I felt their concerns were unnecessary. The passage of time here was different from the world we came from. While I didn’t know the exact conversion, no one here died from old age. So, time must pass by much slower in this world than that one, and that meant we’d be unlikely to see our physical bodies die.
This place seemed like it would exist eternally.
Aside from going to school to learn, people here could go to the market to sell and buy things. The selling and purchasing of goods was more of a bartering system, as there was no currency here. If you needed something, you asked for it, and if the seller liked you, they’d give that thing to you. Or maybe you’d help them with something in exchange for the goods.
The items in the marketplace were all provided by the blond man. If one wanted to operate a business in the market, they could apply to their district commander. The district commander would relay the request to the leader, and if he approved, he would distribute goods to be sold.
Though our appearances were formed by our consciousness, we were unable to produce something from nothing.
Most people who used the market were those who had certain items they really liked. Others only occasionally visited out of boredom.
While each district here had its own administrative system, you weren’t allowed to kill in this world. And because we did not die in this world, loneliness grew to become our biggest enemies.
Just think about it for a moment. When you truly have an unlimited time to do anything, perhaps you’ll find that you don’t know what you should do. Everything ends up being the same. When everything is eternal and endless, things seem to lose all value. This is true of time as well.
But then, I awoke the next morning to panicked pacing downstairs, and then startling screams broke through the peace of the Westside.
I quickly grabbed my bow and arrow and opened the door.
Nie Zun was also exiting his room. His black hair was messy, and a pair of bewitching dark eyes swept over the ar
Following his gaze, I saw that a lot of people were rushing downstairs.
Seeing me exit my room, several people fearfully called out, “Commander, the 12th floor! The 12th floor! Something bad’s happened!”
No one seemed to be able to spit out a complete sentence, so I waved them away and ran downstairs, my bow on my back. Nie Zun followed behind me.
On the 12th floor, the corridor was jam packed.
Most of the people living in Westside had ordinary appearances, so I just tried to shove my way through the crowd. When they saw me, many moved to let me pass.
I finally made my way through, but the scene I saw before me caused me to stop in my tracks.
A bone chilling feeling crept up from the bottom of my feet to the top of my head.
The door to the room was opened. The furnishings inside looked just the same as every other room’s.
The only difference was that in the center of the room, there was a long and slender metal pole.
It was very long, extending from the ground up to the ceiling.
The pole had pierced trough a female body.
Young Laurel’s body was skewered onto the pole, traveling from her bottom, up and out the top of her head, into the ceiling.
Her body was covered in blood, and the room was covered in bloodstains.
Because the pole had stabbed through the top of her head, Laurel was nearly beyond recognition. There was a faintly discernible mark on her neck, a small butterfly symbol that would have once glowed dimly. It was no longer lit because there was now a key inserted into it.
That meant that someone had both tortured the girl and then killed her with a splitting key. That’s why she’d died in such a tragic manner.
The bloodstains around the room were likely from the killer, after they burst apart. There was no way to identify them now.
Under my administration, it had been a long time since anyone had died such a wretched and bloody death.
My eyes couldn’t move, fixed on the sight in front of me. Laurel’s hair was no longer soft and beautiful, but was now matted with blood. Her big, opened eyes were covered in blood, creating an unsightly image.
An anger that I’d never felt before suddenly surged through me.
This was Westside, the Westside that had always been opposed to murder. Who would suddenly do such a hair-raising thing? Or had someone encouraged this activity?
Cruelty was, after all, the only delight to be had in the split zone.
People here were too lonely. I realized, not long after my arrival here, that this pace was also very cruel.
The abilities that our bodies can make use of in this world rely on our mental force (MF). That means that our mental force can be turned into physical strength.
For example, someone with 20 MF who used 10 of their levels to create a superhuman appearance, would have 10 levels remaining. If you wanted to have superhuman powers, like being able to jump 5 or 6 meters at a time, you would have to utilize more levels. If jumping 5 meters required 2 MF, when you jumped, you’d drop 2 levels, which would replenish when you landed.
This applies in a similar fashion when people fight. One’s strength is dependent on the amount of levels they have to transform.
When trying to determine someone’s strength, you cannot look at their appearance. Rather, you had to consider their willpower and their mental force.
People can choose to live ordinary lives here, and they can even eat. But you can also do nothing, if you’d please. Because our bodies here are formed from our consciousness, whatever you can think up goes. If you don’t want to do anything you could very well lay in bed all day, and you still wouldn’t die.
But the feeling of pain still exists.
That’s why there are always people, who’ve grown too lonely, who decide to harm others for their own amusement.
This was a world where the strong preyed on the weak.
It was much crueler than the world of the living that we came from.
The only thing that was impossible here was to use your mind force to create things from thin air. Our mind force could only be used to enhance ourselves.
Items could only be bartered for in the market, and these items were provided solely by the blond man.
For the reason that this world is so merciless, it was split into four districts, led by commanders with high mental forces.
The Northside was a bit different from the other districts, as it was ruled by Blondie, who kept some mysterious people there. But the remaining three districts had their own sets of characteristics too.
The Southside was governed by a man named Si Luo. While I’d been here for more than a year, I’d yet to see him. The Southside was home mostly to people with an MF of 20 or lower, a very vulnerable group of people. For that reason, the Southside rarely had any murders or battles. They were all alike, weak.
But they say that, leaving Blondie out of the equation, Si Luo had the highest MF in the split zone, at 77.
An MF of 77 was not only rare, he was the only one to have that one of that level.
That’s why, even though the residents of his district were weak, people from other districts wouldn’t easily encroach on them. For that reason, the Southside had also become known as the Promise Land. It was forever safe, and life there was simple and calm.
Contrary to that, Sly S’s Eastside reeked of blood and murder, and was filled with violence and people out to plunder.
Those who lived in Eastside had higher than average mind forces. Any random person there would have an MF between 30 and 40.
Ordinarily, a person’s MF was between 10 and 20, which meant that Eastside was full of pretty strong people.
And so, the feeble had no way of surviving in the Eastside.
Sly S always had the appearance of a girl in a school uniform. She was a strange one, and her authoritative measures were as different from ours as black to white. She permitted an entirely destructive kind of lifestyle.
The remaining district, which was under my care, Westside, was the most half-baked of them all.
I was like a drink that people could never finish, halfway empty, sloshing around.
I don’t know what Blondie was thinking when he decided, half a year ago, to make me the commander of Westside. My MF was only 52.
While it was a relatively high value, it couldn’t even begin to compare to Sly S or Si Luo’s.
Sly S had an MF of 69, second only to Si Luo in the split zone. And me? I had a measly 52.
Nie Zun arrived here at the same time as me, and he was also present when Blondie greeted me at the center. He’d arrived just an hour before me. When he first arrived, his MF was already 67, much higher than mine. It was very well known in the split zone, but he rarely exerted his mind force for anything. And since he didn’t seem skilled in fighting, Blondie didn’t give him a job. On that point, I could understand.
But even You Ji’s MF of 51 was just barely less than mine.
Though there weren’t many with a high mind force, at the least, there were enough people with one around 60. I really couldn’t understand why I was made commander of Westside.
So, I’d always remained rather carefree. I didn’t concern myself too much with the happenings in Westside, leaving You Ji to take care of it in my stead.
You Ji had drawn up the rules for Westside, and under her governing, Westside was a considerably calm place. Even if it wasn’t the haven that Southside was.
Most of the people who came to Westside were like me, not too heavily invested in things, just muddling along here.
There were still a number of violent acts here, but I was blind to them. It was always You Ji who took care of it.
We couldn’t just randomly ask others to reveal their split symbols for us to see, and we couldn’t use force to pressure others just to find our soul splitter either. Blondie wouldn’t allow for such a thing.
Hence the purpose of a district commander, to lay down the rules and regulate the inhabitants of their district.
But I was completely useless. I’d been a commander for half a year, yet I didn’t even know all the rules about Westside, because I left everything to be handled by You Ji and Nie Zun.
But now, in front of my eyes, there was a once beautiful young girl who’d just been waiting to return home. After her cruel death, I decided that I couldn’t continue on in such an apathetic and idle manner.
Perhaps it was my attitude of paying no heed to things and of giving up on life that led to Laurel’s tragedy.
Sometimes, we feel that being weak isn’t a big deal, because as long as you aren’t bullied, you can go on living a feeble life forever. But one day, you’ll come to realize that weakness isn’t yours alone. When you are weak, you will bring harm to those you care about.
Because you are weak, you will be unable to protect those who are important to you.
Nobody wants to force themselves to become powerful, but there will always be someone you want to protect. And then, all we can do is force ourselves to change.
Because, whether you are weak or strong, it doesn’t only affect only you.
I looked at Laurel’s small corpse, my hand tightly clenching onto my bow. My nails dug into my skin, and as fresh drops of blood appeared, my skin began to quickly regenerate.