Chapter 111: Soulless
Upon returning to the cave, Su Chen tossed the Ferocious Race soldier he had been carrying onto the ground.
The Ferocious Race soldiers originally being held captive by him didn’t react much initially, but after seeing who the new captive was, they were stunned.
“Soulless! He’s a Soulless?”
“Soulless?” Su Chen’s eyebrows jumped up. “So he’s a Soulless? No wonder my Fata Morgana was completely useless against him.”
Like the Bone Diviners, the Soulless were also produced by the Divine Shrine.
However, Soulless were not meant to deal with humans but rather, the Spirit Race.
Because of their innately weak consciousness, the Ferocious Race were at a huge disadvantage when trying to defend themselves against consciousness attacks. As such, the Ferocious Race feared the consciousness-enslaving Spirit Race the most.
The Ferocious Race had fought against the Spirit Race only once across all of history, but that was enough to make the Ferocious Race never dare not provoke the Spirit Race again.
During that battle, the Ferocious Race had sent out three hundred thousand troops, while the Spirit Race had only sent out three thousand soldiers.
However, these three thousand Spirit Race soldiers had etched their images into the nightmares of countless Ferocious Race soldiers. When the waves of Ferocious Race soldiers had surged forth, they had suddenly begun turning on each other and killing their own comrades. This battle had really been a calamity for them.
Afterwards, the Ferocious Race personally withdrew from the conflict, conceding the Wanlai Caves to the Spirit Race. Fortunately for them, the Spirit Race was only really interested in researching and experimenting, so their requirements for territory were quite low. This was the only reason why the Ferocious Race had been able to survive.
After that, the Ferocious Race feared the Spirit Race more than any other race even to this day, and they were also the greatest source of research subjects for the Spirit Race.
The Ferocious Race had tried as hard as they could to come up with a way to deal with the Spirit Race.
The Soulless were conceptualized under these kinds of circumstances.
Based on the information available to Su Chen, the Soulless were a special kind of Ferocious Race individual who had lost their autonomy. They could clearly sense the world around them, but all of these sensations were bland and tasteless and wouldn’t affect their mood or actions. Their souls had been extinguished, and they lacked the ability to think or make their own decisions. They had nothing other than a basic instinctive ability to fight.
In other words, these people basically had no souls. It was precisely because they had no souls that they couldn’t be controlled via their consciousnesses. They were essentially the same as a bunch of walking corpses.
This was also why the Ferocious Race youth hadn’t uttered a single word when fighting with Su Chen.
He couldn’t even speak. At most, all he could do was instinctively howl.
Soulless were pretty hard to come by. Merciless methods were needed to strip a person of their will, and once a person became a Soulless, their strength would be forever locked in place and couldn’t improve.
For this reason, an actual Soulless was hard to find. They were usually selected from a small group of death row criminals who were quite powerful. Even so, the chance of failure was quite high — the success rate was only one out of every ten tries.
As such, Soulless were never found on their own. They were often paired up with VIPs to serve as their bodyguards, especially to guard against consciousness-type assaulters. Soulless had a unique ability, which was that they could divert the effects of a consciousness assault onto themselves. As such, the intended target couldn’t be controlled.
The Soulless before his eyes was probably that general’s consciousness protector, but for some reason he hadn’t been near the general at that point in time, which was why the general had fallen under Su Chen’s influence for a short period of time.
The general’s later reawakening may also have been due to the Soulless — he had most likely run over immediately after discovering that the general had fallen under someone’s influence.
The Soulless were exceptionally good at pursuing targets who had powerful consciousnesses. To them, these individuals were like a bright fire illuminated against the dark night sky, so Su Chen’s concealment methods were totally useless against him. It was also this same reason that he hadn’t notified any of the other Ferocious Race individuals.
Now, this Soulless had fallen under Su Chen’s possession. The Ferocious Race’s anatomy included two hearts, so he would survive even though one of them had been pierced through by Su Chen. Without its own consciousness, it could only stare intently at Su Chen, still focused on killing him. However, there was no point for him to fight against Su Chen’s restrictions; all it did was pique Su Chen’s interest.
“Soulless…… How interesting. I have studied many different people, but never a target that has lost its own consciousness. This will be my first experiment that specifically targets the consciousness,” Su Chen said with some excitement. He was immediately able to identify the Soulless’s usefulness to him — it would greatly improve his understanding of the consciousness.
“However, before that it seems like I need to research healing a Ferocious Race individual who has lost a heart back to peak health,” Su Chen added on.
A Ferocious Race individual who had lost a heart was much weaker physically; if Su Chen wanted to increase the amount of time he could spend on this hard-earned research subject, he needed to think of a way to increase the target’s physical durability.
“I need to develop some techniques for the Ferocious Race to grow stronger? Is this a joke? But it seems like I don’t have any other choice,” Su Chen muttered as he made his decision.
Without Iron Cliff by his side, it was quite inconvenient for him to do many things at the same time, and the urgency of searching for the Heavenly Might Army made it impossible for Su Chen to spend too much time immersed in his research. He could only forcefully suppress the thirst in his heart for more knowledge temporarily.
After staunching the Soulless’s bleeding, Su Chen tossed him to the side, then began to look over the materials and papers he had managed to gather.
The Ferocious Race’s information system was simple and trivial. They were always a step slower than the Heavenly Might Army, so most of the time they only heard about what the Heavenly Might Army had done after they arrived. Su Chen needed to use these signs to determine where the Heavenly Might Army was going to go next.
“They pillaged ten or so cities and only focused on grabbing Origin Stones...... Anyone who could keep the Heavenly Might Army alive until now is definitely a talented leader. The commander of the Heavenly Might Army definitely wouldn’t do this for no reason, so he must have a plan in mind. But where are they going next?” Su Chen muttered to himself.
If he wanted to know what the Heavenly Might Army was planning, he also needed to figure out what their goal was.
Their end goal was very easy to guess — naturally, it was to return to Long Sang Country, but actually achieving this goal was much more complicated.
The path back to the Flowing Golden Fort wasn’t the only way back to Long Sang Country from the Ferocious Race’s territory; apart from the Harvey Plains, which was the simplest path, there were at least three more one could take. They could go through the sea and cut through the Violent Wind Gorge and Death Sea City, eventually reaching the marshes of the Sea Race’s territory. They could then traverse the Wanlai Caves and go through the Spirit Race’s territory, around the Western Rosy Bay, pass through the Shadow Wind Marsh, then finally pass through the Beast Race border into Raging Wind Country. Or, they could traverse the Limestone Mountain Range and pass through the Beast Race’s territory to reach Cloud Rising Country.
Every route was fraught with peril.
Since the Heavenly Might Army was focusing on gathering Origin Stones, they were most likely choosing the sea route. Only large boats that could resist the wind and waves and ward off the Demonic Beasts in the waters would require so many Origin Stones.
The benefits of choosing this path was that the Sea Race and humans had the least amount of conflict, and they could be persuaded to leave them in peace. However, the dangers in the sea region weren’t any less than that of the dangers in the Beast Race territory, as all kinds of powerful Demonic Beasts roamed the seas and heavily suppressed the Sea Race; there was good reason why the Sea Race suffered the most out of all the five major races.
There was another important reason as well, which was that the Ferocious Race lacked boats.
They lacked boats that could traverse the large seas.
Without boats, how could they cross such a large body of water?
So were they deploying troops just to distract the enemy? Or were there other motives behind the scenes? Or were they really planning on taking the risk and cutting down some wood to make boats, and then floating across the sea?
Su Chen fell deep into thought.