The former territory of the demon race was now occupied by blood zombies. Gu Li sat atop what was once demon the commander-in-chief’s throne, enjoying the pitch-dark palace’s tranquility.
Stomp stomp stomp.
Suddenly, the sound of footsteps echoed throughout the palace. Gu Li arched his eyebrows in surprise then lifted his hand. Immediately, the bonfire in the center of the room burst into purple flames.
The firelight illuminated the pitch-dark room. Its purple light glow made the palace seem even eerier.
“Lord Gu Li.”
It was Jiangchen. He stopped before the bonfire and bowed deeply. Gu Li nodded indifferently and raised his right hand. Jiangchen soon felt a wave of spiritual power surround and bear down on him.
“It’s the middle of the night. What do you want?”
“Lord Gu Li, actually, I’m here because……”
Jiangchen wanted to speak, yet paused, his internal conflict immediately apparent. He hesitated and in the end, didn’t finish his sentence.
A smirk tugged at Gu Li’s lips. He looked down at Jiangchen and said, “if you have something to say, just say it.”
“Your subordinate just wanted to re-confirm: if I help you claim the Three Realms, you’ll give me your Beast God Soul Crystal?” After a long pause, Jiangchen finally managed to say it.
In truth, even before coming here, he’d agonized over whether or not to talk to Gu Li countless times already. Gu Li’s temperament was difficult for others to fathom. Who knew? Asking about the crystal might very well infuriate him.
But he truly had no other choice.
Hanba and Houqing were still off searching for Yinggou’s soul and had yet to return. If Yinggou’s soul had truly dispersed, he had no hope of returning to his former pinnacle, not even if he swallowed up Hanba and Houqing.
The only thing that could fix him was Gu Li’s Beast God Soul Crystal.
If he could get his hands on it, he still had a chance.
That was the only reason he was willing to thicken his face and ask Gu Li about it directly.
“The Soul Crystal.” Gu Li spat the words out, then crossed his legs. He rubbed his hands together but said nothing.
His wordless silence was unbearably oppressive, especially combined with the palace’s purple glow. Jiangchen’s heart sunk further and further.
After a moment’s struggle, he decided to back down. “I’ve overstepped my bounds,” he said. “I’ll leave you alone.”
However, just as he was about to leave, Gu Li laughed. “Jiangchen, what are you saying? Just now, I was thinking about something else and got a little lost in thought, that’s all.”
“Jiangchen, you were mistaken about something,” said Gu Li with a tight smile. “I don’t want to take over the Three Realms. I don’t care about this minuscule patch of land at all. All I want is Ye Zichen’s life.”
“I understand. Then, so long as I kill him, the Soul Crystal…..”
“I’ll naturally offer it to you without reservations,” said Gu Li without hesitation. “You don’t need to worry about the Beast God Soul Crystal. I already swore on my inner demons. I will absolutely give it to you, if only to protect myself. Do you really think I’d dare break such an oath? Or that I’d dare defy Heaven’s will?
“I misspoke,” said Jiangchen. He hurriedly cupped his hands in respect.
“No harm done. I know how important the soul crystal is to you. For now, I’ll protect the crystal. Once Ye Zichen is dead, I’ll definitely give it to you.”
“Thank you so much, Lord Gu Li. However, there’s still something I’d like to ask you.”
“Say it,” said Gu Li with a flip of his hand.
“That Beast God Soul Crystal…. It is real, isn’t it?”
The moment Jiangchen risked asking this question, Gu Li’s eyes narrowed into slits.
“Brother Jiangchen, you doubt me? If you think it’s fake, why don’t I just…..”
Gu Li’s gaze was like a venomous snake’s. Jiangchen’s pupils constricted in fear; he dared not risk repeating his question.
“I don’t dare, please don’t break it.”
“I’m just kidding,” laughed Gu Li. “I already said it, didn’t I? I know how important the crystal is to you. I’ll be sure to take good care of it. Alright then, if there’s nothing else, let’s call it a night.”
“Understood.” Jiangchen cupped his hands then left the hall. Once he was gone, an illusory figure appeared within the purple flames.
“He’s somewhat suspicious.”
“Of course he’s suspicious. If he weren’t, well, all I could say was that he’s stupid,” snorted Gu Li. “It’s not easy to obtain a Beast God Soul Crystal. What are the odds of finding one in a barren, resource-deprived place like the Lower Three Realms? For one to fall into my hands…. How could he not be suspicious? Even so, he has no choice but to gamble that it’s the real thing.“
“Yinggou is dead. A third of his soul is gone. He was originally a primordial savage beast formed by the High Father himself. The Beast God is the only one capable of restoring him to his former glory.
Gu Li smiled and cocked his head to the side. “So all he can do now is risk it.”
“But when you give it to him and he finds out it’s fake, won’t he try and get revenge?”
“Let him,” Gu Li sneered. “Once Ye Zichen is dead, I’ll absorb his portion of Heaven’s will. Jiangchen’s soul is incomplete. What can he do against me? Right now, only Ye Zichen and Black Dragon are capable of threatening me. I don’t know what, but Black Dragon seems to have had some sort of lucky encounter. His strength has increased to an astonishing degree. Furthermore, he still has Su Yiyun. However, he’s too suspicious by nature. What I said to him earlier will undoubtedly create a rift between them!”
“As for that Ye ZIchen, he has far too many helpers. If Jiangchen can kill some of them, that would be a huge help.”
Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh.
As he rushed along the cobblestone path, Jiangchen’s expression was grave.
That soul crystal might very well be a fake.
He didn’t know why, but that was the sense he got from Gu Li’s words. Even so, just as Gu Li predicted, he had no choice but to gamble on its authenticity.
It was too late to turn back. All he could do was steel himself and keep moving forward.
When he reached his room, the lights were on inside.
He pushed open the door and entered.
“Elder Brother.” Hanba and Houqing stood within. They turned and greeted him respectfully.
Jiangchen had expected this. He sighed. Despite himself, he couldn’t resist asking, “How about it? Did you find him?
“If we hadn’t, would we have come back?” laughed Hanba.
“Oh?” Jiangchen asked coolly, his heart heavy. Before long, his eyes widened as he reached out and grabbed Hanba’s shoulder. “What did you just say?”
In his excitement, he’d lost control of his strength; he’d accidentally split open her shoulder.
As Hanba’s face twisted in pain, Jiangchen relaxed his grip. Ignoring her wounds, he pressed on. “What did you just say? Did you find his soul?”
“That’s right, we found it. It’s intact and undamaged,” said Hanba, her smile forced.
“Then hurry up and give it to me.” Jiangchen’s was overcome with excitement and impatience. They really found it! And it was still in good condition!
“Elder Brother, look!” It took some work but Hanba managed to turn over her hand. Yinggou’s soul rested in her palm.
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