Chapter 559: Not Completely Dead…
The god corpses slaughtered all of the Pan Family clansmen in no time at all.
Once the six god corpses that went to pursue Pan Tong and the Pan Family elders returned, Qin Lie’s group discovered scorch marks and black scraps of cloth around and sticking out of their mouths.
“It seems that not even Pan Tong could avoid being devoured by the god corpses after getting burned,” Du Xiangyang said as he began to relax. He took pleasure in the Pan Family’s misfortune. “The Pan Family rushed here to try and use the remains of the ancient elites as fuel for a meteoric rise to power. They probably didn’t expect the core experts of their family to be slaughtered to the last man in just a couple of minutes.”
All of them knew that this one battle would utterly ruin the Copper rank force that the Pan Family was.
Even if Xue Moyan, Luo Chen, or Du Xiangyang didn’t seek vengeance, the Pan Family had lost so many of their expert martial practitioners. They would be torn to shreds by nearby forces and devoured.
Fighting between forces had always been bitter and bloody. One without the protection of experts couldn’t hope to defend against the attacks of others.
Upon returning to the desolate island, Song Tingyu, Du Xiangyang, Xue Moyan, Xie Jingxuan, and Luo Chen leaped from the god corpse that had carried them here. Even Gao Yu, having stored the body of the Evil God within himself upon being saved, dropped down from the god corpse with the others. All of them landed in the sand with a loud bang and then sat down on the beach once more.
Gao Yu wordlessly took out an emerald pill that looked like a brain. He sat down, swallowed it, and began regulating his breathing.
The eight god corpses resembled eight small mountains. They towered above the group, a brilliant golden sheen coming from them due to the splendid sunlight.
Qin Lie descended from the god corpse that had carried him and studied everyone’s accusing gazes. He couldn’t help but laugh bitterly.
“Er… two days ago, I happened to experience a breakthrough,” he explained awkwardly. “I focused all of my attention on it… That’s why I didn’t realize what was happening to all of you.”
A few days ago, in a valley on another desolate island, Qin Lie waited for the Demon Sealing Tombstone to refine the metal, earth, and water spirits and produce droplets of essence. As he waited, he kept using spirit stones and soul crystals to try and gather his strength.
As expected, he ended up breaking through to the next realm.
As he broke through to the late stage of the Netherpassage Realm, all of his energy, his soul consciousness and spirit energy, became chaotic. He couldn’t spare even the slightest bit of his attention for anything else.
Upon finishing his breakthrough, Qin Lie immediately noticed that the eight heads, which had been scattered around the valley, had flown into the air on their own.
The heads had shot away from the valley toward the sea in front of the island and dove into eight whirlpools raging in the water.
Qin Lie had followed them and was surprised to find that the eight headless god corpses, which Celestial Artifact Sect and Ten Thousand Beast Mountain were supposed to have imprisoned, stood at the bottom of that region of the sea.
The eight heads floated to their respective bodies, each fitting themselves to a neck. Although it was in the process of refining the metal, earth, and water spirits, the Demon Sealing Tombstone emerged from Qin Lie’s spatial ring of its own accord.
The tombstone moved to float high above the heads of the eight god corpses.
After positioning itself, numerous dazzling chains of godly light shot from the surface of the tombstone and entered the space between every single god corpse’s eyebrows, instantly forming a miraculous connection.
At nearly the same exact time, a prismatic halo of light shot from the surface of the Demon Sealing Tombstone and enveloped Qin Lie.
This halo of colorful light forced a memory into his soul consciousness, allowing him to instantly master some kind of ancient divine language.
As a result, he discovered that he only needed to touch the Demon Sealing Tombstone and give orders in that language. If he did, the god corpses would execute those orders to the fullest extent of their abilities.
The god corpses obeyed the commands of the Demon Sealing Tombstone. This meant that, through the Demon Sealing Tombstone, Qin Lie could indirectly control the god corpses and use them for his own purposes.
“God corpses this, god corpses that,” Du Xiangyang said as he stared at the eight intimidating god corpses glowing with golden light. He wore a look of confusion, eyes wide open. “Isn’t a god corpse already dead? How can they understand what you say?”
“Without consciousnesses, they shouldn’t be able to understand words or make sense of intent… right?” Xie Jingxuan said.
The very idea perplexed her.
“Who said that the god corpses had completely perished?” Qin Lie replied.
“They’re called god corpses, Qin Lie. God corpses!” Song Tingyu exclaimed. “Only the bodies of those who have perished would be called corpses, don’t you agree?”
“Without their heads, they can be called god corpses. However, when their heads and bodies join together to become one entity, they can no longer be considered a dead body devoid of consciousness,” Qin Lie said, narrowed eyes gleaming brightly. “They still possess simple consciousness and soul fragments. They haven’t completely perished yet.”
“They’re… not completely dead…?”
This revelation shocked everyone.
Everyone except Gao Yu.
“It’s probably the same situation as the Evil God’s,” he suddenly exclaimed. “Whenever the Evil God’s soul perishes, instead of dissipating, it becomes numerous wisps of imperishable thoughts that scatter throughout the world.”
Everyone turned to look at Gao Yu, surprise evident on their faces.
With a stoic expression on his pale face, he wiped lingering traces of blood from the corner of his mouth and said, “The souls of almost all beings that reach the Imperishable Realm and beyond don’t dissipate naturally. Even if their bodies die and their souls go silent, they may still remain scattered across the world as thought fragments.”
“It would seem that Gao Yu understands this very well.” Qin Lie smiled.
Gao Yu’s injuries swiftly stabilized after he swallowed that pill. His spirit energy reserves, which were low, also replenished at a rapid rate. This made everyone inwardly click their tongues in wonder.
All of them figured that the pill he consumed must’ve been extraordinary. They had no other way to explain his quick recovery.
“Even if a martial practitioner’s body were to die and have their soul extinguished, as long as they reached the Imperishable Realm, they can’t truly be considered dead,” Gao Yu continued, an icy expression on his face. “Unless someone uses a secret art to refine and wipe away all traces of their soul, they will never truly be killed.”
“Are you saying that the soul of a martial practitioner at the Imperishable Realm or above must be refined with the power of thunder and lightning to completely wipe out their memories, experiences, and thought fragments?” Song Tingyu asked in surprise. “Like the souls at the thunder lagoon?”
“No, nothing so troublesome.” Gao Yu shook his head. “The thunder lagoon was specifically intended for the refinement of Pure Soul Springs. The thunder and lightning of the thunder lagoon was gentle and only suited for tempering a soul. In order to destroy a soul, you would only need to blast it with the most violent power of thunder for an instant, reducing it to nothing.”
“So what exactly are the Evil God and the god corpses?” Song Tingyu questioned further.
“The Evil God and the god corpses… their bodies were probably formed after their imperishable souls self-destructed.” Gao Yu paused for a moment before continuing, “Even if this were considered the death of one’s soul, it cannot be considered a true death. In the future, under the right circumstances, these remnant souls that perish on their own accord have the chance to reconstitute and be reborn in nirvana.”
“A soul can be reborn even after self-destructing?” Xie Jingxuan was also shocked.
“Not every soul! Only an imperishable soul!” Gao Yu impatiently corrected her. “Only beings who reach or have surpassed the Imperishable Realm can choose to self-destruct in the face of a powerful enemy they aren’t able to resist. It allows them to avoid complete annihilation.”
His words stunned everyone into silence.
“Gao Yu is correct.” Qin Lie smiled calmly, then added, “These eight god corpses may have been beheaded, but they couldn’t be considered completely dead. They used the method that Gao Yu explained to make their souls self-destruct and scatter through every corner of the world. Soul fragments subconsciously return to their body if they are close to it. Over the course of many years, if enough return, the body will regain a semblance of simple consciousness and a weak soul aura.”
“Many remnant soul thoughts get absorbed and refined by martial practitioners that happen upon them, whether they do so by coincidence or good fortune,” Gao Yu continued. “These remnant souls would no longer be able to return to the body.”
“Remnant souls of Imperishable Realm beings or stronger randomly roam this world,” Qin Lie said solemnly. “After being worn down over long periods of time, they become incredibly faint, almost indistinguishable to the point where even peak experts aren’t able to sense them. Some remnant souls that endure the ravages of time might only have hints of memories inside of them. They end up with these memories when they aimlessly wander into special places. More importantly, people can obtain remnant souls by accident.”
“By accident?” Du Xiangyang asked, a strange light appearing in his eyes.
“You’ve probably heard of martial practitioners that reached the most difficult, critical points in their cultivation, such as breaking through to the next realm, and suddenly had flashes of inspiration, right?” Qin Lie asked. “They would seem to have abruptly understood the laws of the world, almost as if a god had explained a miraculous spirit art to them.”
Du Xiangyang wasn’t alone. A thoughtful expression appeared on everyone’s face, all of whom began nodding soon afterward.
“There are many examples of that. Three hundred years ago, there was a senior of Heavenly Sword Mountain that had been stuck in the Fragmentation Realm for many years. One day, while he was cultivating at the peak of a mountain, he felt a sudden rush of inspiration and learned an amazing sword art. That sword art is known as the ‘Nine Suns Flaming Sword Art.’ The sword art I cultivate is a variation of it.”
Du Xiangyang recounted this tale in wonder.
“It is said that, ten thousand years ago, a person named the ‘Nine Suns Heavenly Monarch’ used a spirit art called ‘Nine Suns Daylight.’ The Nine Suns Heavenly Monarch perished a long time ago, of course, but Nine Suns Daylight and the Nine Suns Flaming Sword Art are extremely similar to each other. Maybe…”
“Similar records exist within Illusory Demon Sect as well,” Xue Moyan exclaimed softly. “Seven hundred years ago, an Illusory Demon Sect disciple with extremely low talent experienced a fiendish rebound while cultivating. Everyone thought that he had become an invalid as a result. However, when he awoke from the ordeal, he actually learned some kind of dark demonic secret arts. From then on, he seemed to have transformed into an entirely different person. He became extremely intelligent, his cultivation of Illusory Demon Sect’s spirit arts progressed by leaps and bounds, and he became the most dazzling genius in all of Illusory Demon Sect’s history in one go. Could it be that…”
“He may very well have coincidentally absorbed the soul fragment and memory of an Imperishable Realm expert!” Qin Lie said gravely.
“Does that mean the Evil God and the god corpses have yet to completely die?” Luo Chen asked in amazement.
“Some of the bodies of ancient elites from the Land of Buried Gods are in the same situation as them. Their souls haven’t completely dissipated,” Qin Lie said with a nod. “I can confirm that the Blood Progenitor and the Voodoo Progenitor have not died completely.”
Even more shock leaped to everyone’s faces.
“You’ve obtained the body of the Evil God, Gao Yu. Are you going to refine and absorb his inheritance to empower yourself… or are you going to seek out his remnant souls and regather his soul?” Qin Lie suddenly asked.
“What are you planning to do with the Blood Progenitor’s body?” Gao Yu retorted.
Qin Lie paused for a moment, then coughed dryly and smiled. He no longer pursued his question.
“Qin Lie, you…?” Xue Moyan exclaimed in complete surprise. “The Blood Progenitor may not be completely dead, but you… you’re going to…? Qin Lie, he’s the progenitor of Blood Fiend Sect!”
“I will assume that he is completely dead,” Qin Lie said calmly.