Book 7: The Extreme North
Chapter 41.3: Ice Jade Empress Scorpion
“Pu—” Huo Yuhao fell to the ground atop the thick snow. He wasn’t able to crawl back up no matter what the Skydream Iceworm said.
The excessive overdrawing of his physical strength had caused him to enter a state of extreme tiredness. Fortunately, the surrounding temperature had increased considerably once he’d reached the outer areas of the Extreme North. At the very least, it had become a bit easier for him to hydrate himself by eating snow.
“I can’t do this anymore, Brother Skydream. I just can’t run anymore. I have to rest. If I don’t eat any longer, I’m going to die.” Huo Yuhao muttered inwardly.
Huo Yuhao gasped for air as he lay atop the snow, which caused bursts of white mist to unceasingly emerge from his mouth. His vision had become blurry, and waves of dizziness were assaulting him. Currently, he was weak to the point that he wasn’t even able to activate his Spiritual Detection. The only thing he wanted to do right now was sleep. He’d never felt like this before, even during the most difficult moments of his training in Shrek Academy.
The Skydream Iceworm replied, “Let’s do it here then. I just did a quick search. It’s relatively quiet for around a hundred miles around us. As such, there shouldn’t be any soul beasts roaming about. However, Yuhao, you can’t rest yet; your true test is coming now.”
“Ah? You still want to test me? Just let me die.” After his last conversation with the Skydream Iceworm, their relationship had evidently improved by a significant amount. At the very least, Huo Yuhao had less misgivings when he conversed with the Skydream Iceworm.
The Skydream Iceworm replied, “Are you sure you don’t want to take this test?”
“What test?” Huo Yuhao asked, speechless.
The Skydream Iceworm smiled mysteriously. “Why did we come to the Extreme North in the first place?”
“To awaken my martial soul! What, are you saying that you want to take care of the Ice Empress right now?” Huo Yuhao finally came back to his senses. However, he really didn’t have any strength left. Just attempting to sit up took half of the little energy he had left, thus he chose to lie back down.
The Skydream Iceworm replied, “Right. I’m going to use my shedded skin to trap the Ice Empress’ body, then use my spiritual power to create a spiritual prison that’ll trap her temporarily. However, even though my spiritual power is my origin energy, I won’t be able to maintain it for too long. The Ice Empress’s so strong that I can’t truly trap her for long.”
Curious, Huo Yuhao asked, “What’s a spiritual prison?”
The Skydream Iceworm replied, “It’s a skill that’s activated by spiritual power. After I gave up my body in order to fuse with you, the origin of my spiritual power became independent from my body, allowing me to use a few skills. Unfortunately, my spiritual brand fused even further with you after I left your body. As such, I won’t be able to do this again. As of now, I can truly only be your subordinate. You need to prepare yourself as well, as there’s a prerequisite for the Ice Empress to fuse with you and become your martial soul—she has to do it of her own accord. However, even if she willingly agrees, you’ll still have to withstand an enormous amount of pressure. It won’t be as easy as it was when I fused with you in the Great Star Dou Forest. At that point in time, I was fully drained of my energy. All I had left was my spiritual origin. Contrary to myself, she’s a true three hundred thousand year soul beast; her cultivation is even at the 399,000 year rank. You definitely won’t be able to absorb such a terrifying amount of power by yourself. As such, I’ll have to seal her energy up in order to make sure that you won’t explode. However, this will still come as an enormous shock to your body. Thus, you’ll have to persevere no matter what. If you don’t, all three of us are screwed. Do you understand?”
Huo Yuhao nodded. “I understand. But… will the Ice Empress really agree?”
The Skydream Iceworm smiled mysteriously. “Even though we’ve lived for so many years, we’re actually more afraid of death than you humans. After all, is anyone truly willing to give up an extremely long life? No matter how much she looks down on me and how unwilling she is, preserving her own life is still more important! The reason that I created a situation like this was to force her; besides, those descendants of hers won’t even be able to find us. Just watch me. You just need to lie down and stay still.”
Huo Yuhao’s eyes slowly lit up, while a strong golden light flickered within them. Immediately afterwards, he felt the mind-numbing cold. Even though it wasn’t as intense as the freezing cold parts of the Extreme North, he shivered instinctively, and his body curled up subconsciously. The Skydream Iceworm had evidetly taken his shedded skin away.
A ball of golden light emerged from in between Huo Yuhao’s brows, then slowly rose into the air. It was only a golden dot when it emerged, but it gradually expanded as it rose. In the blink of an eye, it had become a disk of light with a one meter diameter.
The light that the golden disc had suddenly began to become illusory. If you were to look directly at it, your gaze would be sucked into a seemingly bottomless abyss.
A light flashed, and a figure emerged from the golden disc. The instant it appeared, the golden light in the air disappeared. A fist-sized ball of golden light surged out from Huo Yuhao’s forehead and proceeded to float in midair. The trapped figure within was the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion.
Currently, she’d already been trapped by the Skydream Iceworm’s shedded skin. No matter how hard she struggled, she couldn’t get free. After all, the Skydream Iceworm’s shedded skin was the crystallisation of his million years of cultivation. Even though his energy—which he’d accumulated after many years—had been continuously sucked out by the powerful soul beasts of the Great Star Dou Forest to the point where he’d almost dried up, he’d deliberately nourished his body with his energy during the extraction process. If it hadn’t been for his durable body, he would’ve died god knows how many times already.
After choosing to give up his body in order to fuse with Huo Yuhao, the Skydream Iceworm’s shedded skin had become an extremely valuable treasure. Even with the Ice Empress’s terrifying level of energy and soul power, she had still been unable to break free from it. Its durability could be seen from this. Only, Huo Yuhao’s current cultivation was far too weak to control it, thus only the Skydream Iceworm himself could do so. However, the drain on his spiritual origin would be extremely large whenever he used it, and as such, he could only use it at extremely important moments.
“Ice Empress, stop resisting. You’ve already tried so many times, you should know that it’s useless by now.” The Skydream Iceworm said in its distinctively lazy voice.
The Ice Empress replied coldly, “What do you want?”
The Skydream Iceworm gently said, “I only want to stay with my beloved forever.”
“This is your way of showing me your love?” After thinking it over for an entire day or so, the Ice Empress had already come to the understanding that she’d been duped. At that time, if she hadn’t been so close to the Skydream Iceworm, his plans would definitely have failed. Unfortunately, there was no use in her crying over spoiled milk. She’d already fallen into the Skydream Iceworm’s hands, and she wasn’t able to escape from this strange power. An existence like the Ice Empress, someone who had lived for almost four hundred thousand years, naturally wouldn’t give up easily. Thus, she could only rely on her other abilities to escape from this strange power that she couldn’t seem to resist.
The Skydream Iceworm smiled slightly. “Don’t be so impatient, listen to me.”
The Ice Empress replied coldly, “What did you say? You said that you loved me? If you really love me, then why haven’t you released your true body? I’ve already fallen into your trap, so what do you have to be afraid of?”
The Skydream Iceworm sighed. “I’m naturally not afraid of you, it’s just that there’s no way for me to let you see my true body! My true body no longer exists. Haven’t you realised that you’ve been looking at my spiritual origin all this time, not a virtual body? After ruling over your domain for so long, you’ve lost your cautiousness. If you hadn’t, I definitely wouldn’t have succeeded so easily.”
The Ice Empress was stunned. Astonished, she replied, “What? You only have your spiritual origin? So your body…” At that moment, she finally noticed Huo Yuhao, who was lying on the ground. Because of the cold, Huo Yuhao’s face had already turned somewhat pallid. Fortunately, his resistance to the cold had increased by a large amount after his journey to the core regions of the Extreme North.
“You couldn’t be referring to this human, right? Even though you’ve trapped me, I can easily tell how insignificant he is, just by using my eyes. Is he your puppet?”
“No, no, of course that’s not the case. He’s my host, or rather, he’s my master. The current me is a soul ring that belongs to him; you should know about the soul rings that these humans have. On the other hand, I’m the continent’s first ever intelligent soul ring.”
The Ice Empress cried out involuntarily, “What? You’ve actually become a human’s soul ring? How can this be?! Even though you’re a piece of trash, you’ve still lived for this long. How could a human’s fragile body withstand your enormous energy?!”
The Skydream Iceworm smiled bitterly. “Don’t bring that up. My tragedy began with you. At that point in time, you were so persistent on eating me… there was no way that I wouldn’t run away! I still needed a body to continue loving you, thus I drifted along the ocean and reached an area down south…”
The Skydream Iceworm used the most miserable voice he could muster as he recounted his experiences from the past hundred thousand years. Huo Yuhao had already heard his story, but the Skydream Iceworm used a much more sorrowful tone as he explained it to the Ice Empress. Moreover, he described himself with a much more miserable tone, describing how he’d been ‘beaten up till he was a mass of bruises’, and how ‘death would have been preferable to living’.
“...You know how terrifying limits are to us. You also know that no soul beast has lived longer than me. Even though I’m only a piece of trash in your heart, I’m still an old piece of trash who’s lived long enough. My energy’s foundation had been drained, and I was about to reach my next limit soon. However, I’ve already lived for this long—I naturally didn’t want to die! I believe that you feel the same as I do. I can sense that your limit will arrive within a hundred years. Because of that, you’re extremely worried.”
“You and me, we both don’t want to die. We’ve already lived this long; how could we be willing to simply turn into pile of dust? As such, I’ve found the best way to get past this.”
The Skydream Iceworm’s story finally aroused the interest of the Ice Jade Empress Scorpion. She subconsciously asked, “How?”
The Skydream Iceworm replied in a low voice, “By creating God.”
“Creating God?” The Ice Empress was stunned. She immediately became even more curious. “What do you mean by creating God?”
The Skydream Iceworm replied in a low voice, “My beloved, let me ask you this: Which race on this continent has the highest potential of all?”
After becoming ensnared in the Skydream Iceworm’s words, the Ice Empress subconsciously followed his train of thought. “Are you referring to humans?”
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