The soul was intact and undamaged. It glittered in Hanba’s hands. Its transparent body contained no impurities whatsoever. As he gazed at it, Jiangchen’s gaze intensified.
Breathing rapidly, he reached out and accepted the soul.
“When we first found the soul, we were surprised too. It was hidden in a cave not far from the battlefield. The moment we laid eyes on it, it flew towards us of its own volition, as if it had been waiting for us to find it.”
Houqing smiled at the soul. Inwardly, he felt as if a huge weight had been lifted from his shoulders.
Although all four of them were called “Zombie Progenitors,” the other three knew full well that Jiangchen far surpassed them.
Houqing, Yinggou, and Hanba were at most vessels for his soul.
If he had the chance, he would devour their souls and return to his former glory as the legendary savage beast Denglong.
Although he was inwardly distressed, there was nothing he could do about it.
“Wonderful, absolutely wonderful,” Jiangchen nodded, then carefully lifted the soul up.
So long as this soul remained, he was still fully complete. Gu Li could never have imagined that, when Yinggou used the Rakshasa’s Sea of Blood, his soul would remain intact.
It would be best if the soul crystal were real, otherwise….
Houqing, after noting that Jiangchen was in a good mood, decided to speak up. “Elder brother, we’ve already delivered the soul, so Hanba and I will take our leave. Her arms require medical attention.”
“Alright. Go on, then.”
After obtaining the soul, Jiangchen was completely fixated on it. He didn’t even glance at the other two Zombie Progenitors.
They bowed and left the room. As they reached the door, Jiangchen said, “I’ll be in seclusion for the next few days as I fuse with this soul. You absolutely must not let anyone disturb me, especially not Gu Li. Got it?”
They tightly shut the door as Jiangchen stared greedily at the wisp soul in his hands.
“Nuwa, just you wait!”
With that, he opened his mouth wide and tossed the soul into his gaping maw.
After closing the door, Hanba could no longer bear the pain; she started softly whimpering.
Jiangchen had practically crushed her shoulder to bits. Her nerves had been burning with heart-rending agony this whole time. Even so, she hadn’t dared complain in front of Jiangchen.
Houqing glanced at her indifferently. “Hurry home and treat your wounds.”
“I know.” She stubbornly endured the pain, her gaze still fixed on Jiangchen’s room. “Why did we have to give him the soul?”
“Didn’t you give it to him yourself?” Houqing laughed
Hanba bit her lip but said nothing. It’s not that she wanted to give it to him. Rather, she dared not keep it from him.
“I know what you’re thinking. I would have done the same thing in your shoes,” Houqing smiled calmly. “From the outside, it seems we’re all equals, but we all know full well who’s really in charge. Jiangchen is the main body. None of us dare defy him.”
“But…… now that he has Yinggou’s soul, what will become of us?”
Hearing this, Houqing froze despite himself. He looked up to the brilliantly lit moon and sighed. “Who knows?
“If he really wanted to reclaim our souls, would we let him? Or not?” Hanba had no idea what to do. She suddenly regretted returning Yinggou’s soul to Jiangchen.
In the past, they could keep each other’s power in check.
But once Jiangchen absorbed Yinggou’s soul, even if she and Houqing fought together, they’d stand no chance against him at all.
“For now, it's impossible to know for sure.”
Houqing’s expression darkened. “Actually,” he said, “my desires are simple: so long as the Yellow Emperor dies, who cares if Jiangchen takes my soul?”
Hanba couldn’t help but sigh.
Suddenly, the look in Houqing’s eyes shifted. He pursed his lips and snorted, “enough. There’s no need to worry about all that. Calm down, then go treat your wounds. We can’t know for sure whether or not Jianghcen will try and take our souls. For now, there’s no need to borrow trouble.”
“That’s true enough,” said Hanba. She nodded and turned to leave.
Shortly before arriving at her residence, she froze. She’d suddenly sensed someone following her.
“Who are you?” she shouted, expression grave. Before long, Houqing walked out of the darkness.
“Why are you following me?
“Aren’t you injured? I was afraid you’d run into danger so I decided to protect you in secret,” said Houqing with a smile.
“Sorry for the trouble,” said Hanba. She felt something was off but nodded nonetheless. “But I’m safe already; you’d best hurry back.”
“How could I? I’d best see you safely back to your room.”
“What exactly are you up to?” Hanba’s said, suddenly on edge. “You’re acting strange.”
“Of course I’m acting strange. I followed you this time because… I want your life.”
As he spoke, he drew closer and closer and closer to her. His broad smile was unchanged.
“Houqing!” Hanba cried out and retreated.
Houqing merely laughed in response. “What are you doing? You’ve realized it too: Jiangchen is inevitably coming for our souls. Instead of giving him your soul, why not offer it to me? I’ve always been kind to you.”
“Houqing, don’t even think about it,” Hanba said, voice low. She knit her brows instinctively. Under normal circumstances, she had nothing to fear from Houqing. Now, though, both her shoulders were shattered.
Her skills depended on her physical power. If she couldn’t use her arms, her strength was useless.
“If you want to blame someone, blame Jiangchen. If he hadn’t broken your arms, I likely would never have even considered going this,” said Houqing, his expression sinister. He pushed her further and further back. Hanba had no time to think; she turned and ran in the opposite direction.
“Want to run?” Houqing sneered. He kept on walking, his gait unhurried.
There was no escape.
When she saw there was nowhere to run, Hanba’s heart froze. She turned around, only to see Houqing approaching leisurely.
“Houqing, don’t be irrational. If you don’t want to give him your soul, we could work together.”
“Work together? If I swallow your soul, I won’t simply add your strength to mine. Rather, my strength will increase many times over. You… ought to understand that too, right?”
“Shut up. Giving me your soul isn’t really so bad.”
With that, he attacked.
An hour passed…..
“Is obediently offering me your soul really so bad?”
Hanba was sprawled on the ground. Houqing looked down at her, then reached out and placed her on his shoulders. He turned to look at Jiangchen’s room, his gaze frosty.
“How could I possibly let Jiangchen take my soul? This is my life: I’m in control of it!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter