Chapter 408 - Impartial
“Their… their bodies have been taken over?” Zhao Meng looked suspiciously at the sinister-looking players, that was when he understood the hate behind their glare.
Unsure of it himself, but once Zhao Meng understood that there was something wrong with the players - he felt happy. He had the mischievous feeling of happiness when it was at the expense of someone's else. Before hearing that statement from Liu Gan, Zhao Meng wanted to beat these ungrateful players up. However, once he knew about the soul seizing capsules, it was the best retribution. To strengthen the body, but lose their soul in the process. It was ironic. These players must have felt despair and regret inside the capsule.
“Their current reaction matches my speculation. Seems like there was a conspiracy behind the creation of the Beginner Village. It has been planned for a long time. They were probably waiting for someone like me - a strong player. Now is their chance to execute their plan,” Liu Gan stood up from the chair.
“Beginner Village’s conspiracy plan?” Zhao Meng raised his eyebrow at that term. This was the first time he heard of this, so he was wondering how this laboratory can tie up with the village?
“Whether you want to or not, you will enter the reward capsule!” one brave player challenged Liu Gan. These players have changed from their former selves; they stood upright with chests out and had stern expressions with a malicious look in their eyes.
“Lord Liu, what are these people now?” Zhao Meng shivered from a cold chill that went down his spine. He was afraid and glad at the same time. He was afraid because he couldn't understand what was going on; he was glad because he had listened to Liu Gan’s advice to not enter the capsule. If he didn't listen, then he would've met the same fate as the players who entered into the capsule.
“Look at their standing posture and have you noticed their tone? I think they have been trained in the military,” Liu Gan walked up to Zhao Meng.
“Soldiers?” Zhao Meng and Jiang JinYuan were more confused.
“I am only speculating, that might not be the exact truth. The original players with us, their souls are no longer in their bodies. After the injection, their body was injected with the souls of soldiers. However, the body and soul needs time to synchronize, before the soldiers soul can control the body completely,”
“I refused to enter the capsule. So the current situation has changed, they are forced to act. If I don't enter the capsule, they can't accomplish their mission. They need my body to host one of their important fellow soldiers. Their only option is to pin me down inside the capsule,” Liu Gan explained to Zhao Meng.
“Then… the original souls… the ones with us. What happened to them?” Zhao Meng asked Liu Gan.
“The original souls are forced aside to the backseat, with the new souls taking up reins of the body. The original souls could only watch their bodies being manipulated. There is nothing the original souls can do since the new souls are stronger.
“Eventually, they will become marginalized. The original souls would be pushed further aside and into the dark abyss. The original soul would shrink or be consumed as nutrition for the new souls. Once their soul is gone, all their memories will be erased. In the end, the body will become host to a new identity,” Liu Gan continued to explain to his companions.
Everything that was happening to the players, was something that had been done to Jiang JinYuan’s body. In the underwater laboratory, Su Nina explained in detail to Liu Gan about the process of soul-seizing. The earliest symptom of soul replacement is when the body bleeds from the nose. That was how Liu Gan noticed something was wrong.
As for the drug that diffused into the air, it was made to help the new soul synchronize to the body faster. That was why everyone had short-term amnesia earlier. Even a fragmented soul remaining in Jiang JinYuan’s body was awakened; that moment when Jiang JinYuan forgot who and where he was.
From the moment Liu Gan had stepped into the laboratory, he didn’t breathe in the air. All he had to do was wet his skin and his [Dermal Respiration] ability would activate. From time to time, Liu Gan would touch his ring to use the Dimensional Storage Space and take out some water to wet his skin. He only needed several droplets to convert into clean pure oxygen.
The gaseous drug diffused in the air was very dispersed. However, NaNa was able to detect the abnormality. It warned Liu Gan earlier when it pulled him aside. Since Liu Gan didn’t need to breathe in the air, it wasn’t a concern for him. As for his companions, he can only observe their reactions from breathing in the air. After all, they didn’t have any alternative method of breathing to turn to. All these clues would help Liu Gan figure out the true purpose behind these three trials.
“Hurry up and enter into the reward capsule to receive your reward! Don’t force us to hold you down!” The same player amongst the group started shouting aggressively. By now their faces were livid with pale blue color. The new soul was trying to take over the body as fast as it could, but the body wasn’t cooperating. They glared at Liu Gan with hostility.
“Lord Liu, they are soldiers of which military? The alien army? Why do they want to take over our bodies?” Jiang JinYuan was having a hard time believing it. His current shell was taken over by his soul; it was a given that he didn’t want to lose his body again.
Soul-seizing wasn’t too much of a shock factor for Jiang JinYuan. Zhao Meng always had a different view of life; he couldn’t believe things like souls that he read in wuxia novels can apply to him.
“If I didn’t guess wrong, they are Zhan Nan Shan’s companions. The Second Elder should be hiding in a certain area just watching from behind the scenes. My second guess would be that he is the mainframe that keeps assigning us these trials,” Liu Gan continued.
“Second Elder Zhan Nan Shan?” Jiang JinYuan and Zhao Meng thought it was strange. How could the laboratory be connected with the village and Zhan Nan Shan? They had only heard good things about Zhan Nan Shan in the village. On top of that, Zhan Nan Shan selflessly gave up the village to Liu Gan. So it was hard to imagine Zhan Nan Shan as the culprit behind this conspiracy!
“This is one of those times when you have to connect several issues together to find the truth. I’ve always suspected Zhan Nan Shan for his reasons behind the creation of the village. It was even more suspicious when he handed over the village without any qualms or requests. To top it off, he purposely gave me the map that led us to the laboratory. This was part of his ploy to get me to go through the trials. Now, I understand the full situation,” Liu Gan answered Jiang Jin Yuan and Zhao Meng.
“Brother Liu, you are very intelligent. I underestimated you again,” Zhan Nan Shan’s voice traveled through the intercom. It seemed it was indeed him from the very beginning, acting as the mainframe was just a way to hide his presence.
“Second Elder, your true intentions were really well hidden. However, I didn’t underestimate your intelligence and ambitions at all,” Liu Gan replied.