Others would fear that this body would break its spine from the current arching posture.
“Crack!” Next was a burst of cracking sounds. However, it wasn’t the eerie breaking of bones, it sounded like they were loosening by the joints.
After a wave of loosening clicks like the frying of beans, the body that was lying on the ground actually started crawling.
Ye Xiaoxiao almost screamed after seeing this dead body suddenly start to crawl. The more timid crowd would definitely be scared out of their minds.
This wasn’t a corpse monster but a type of resurrection! The dead disciple from the abyss actually came back to life. His eyes opened and looked just like a living person.
Xiaoxiao admitted: “This is a little scary.” Even though she had heard stories about the withered, this was her first time seeing the transformation process.
“Did it actually come back to life?” She asked Li Qiye next to her, not daring to believe this scene.
“Look at his eyes.” He answered: “This will tell you the answer. The eyes are the windows to the soul, a reflection of the mind.”
With this reminder, Xiaoxiao carefully looked at this withered’s eyes. In the beginning, she failed to notice anything, but it was only a matter of time before the incongruent signs were made clear.
Its pupils were different; a leafy-green shade was combined with a dry yellow resulting in a strange scene. More importantly, one would find that these eyes were like ashes with no signs of vitality, as if there was no hope or life.
“Is it still dead?” Ye Xiaoxiao felt that although this disciple had turned into a withered, it still didn’t look like a living person.
“That would depend on how you define life and death.” Li Qiye smiled and elaborated: “For the disciple himself, he’s definitely dead. However, the new withered is alive. Even though its eyes are void of any life, the longer it roots itself in this body, it will be able to light up the body’s vitality and the eyes will be filled with life again.”
He added: “Look, don’t you see a little bit of life and hope there right now?”
Xiaoxiao glanced over again. Sure enough, behind the ashen eyes was a sliver of life. This spark of vitality seemed insignificant, like a small tree in the middle of a desert. However, it was able to light up the eyes and brought about hope.
At this time, the withered was sitting on the ground and seemed to be both confused and curious. It looked around everywhere as if it was it had just come to this world.
Li Qiye told Xiaoxiao: “It’s beginning to change.”
At this time, a sizzling voice came about. The withered’s body began to turn into wood at certain body parts. Perhaps it was a process to grow.
For example, bark seemed to be growing in several locations on its arms. At the same time, branches forked out of the muscles. It was quite bizarre to see a tree grow from a living being. Some would feel creeped out by this strange, parasitic process.
Ye Xiaoxiao had to ask: “Could it be that those who die at the Divine Tree Ridge turn into these withered?”
“You can put it that way. If it isn’t a very dangerous location, then one will only turn into withered after death. However, if it is indeed a dangerous place, then this might not necessarily be the case. For example, if you are slightly injured and your blood drips onto a seed, then this seed will begin a hunt as if it was your shadow. It could dig into your forehead at any moment and turn you into a withered.
“In the even more perilous places deeper in the ridge, these seeds could attempt to transform you even if your body is perfectly fine and quite strong. At a particular level, they could steal your body at any given time.” He finished with a grin on his face.
“Forcibly drill into the forehead?” She felt a tingling sensation on the back of her neck.
He quipped: “Oh? Are you scared now? It’s not too late to run back home if you are.”
“Hmph, stop using your dog eyes to look down on others, who says I’m afraid?!” She immediately glared at him: “I’m not afraid of the heaven or the earth!”
Li Qiye laughed. His appearance truly infuriated her, prompting a barrage of punches.
She stopped a bit after and turned to look at the confused withered: “Just what is this seed? Why does it take over people’s bodies?”
Li Qiye explained: “There are many different theories about these seeds. Of course, the specifics aren’t important. The crux of the issue is that it wishes to reproduce and survive from generation to generation.”
“Reproduce? Isn’t this incredibly simple? It can grow just like trees, doesn’t that count too? Don’t trees use seeds to pass on their progeny?”
He smiled and explained: “That’s not the same. A tree is still only a tree in the end. In a stricter sense, it can’t be considered a creature. At the very least, it can’t have intelligence like us. These seeds want to have their own minds and become a race, they don’t want to be mere plants scattered all over the world!”
She inquired again: “A race? Aren’t trees capable of becoming a race as well? After cultivating, they could become different branches of the demon race.”
Li Qiye shook his head: “That would still be different. Their origin doomed them from becoming something like the demon race, so they need to become a new race completely! Their start was only an experiment, a type of change. Yes, these seeds are all part of a single experiment.”
“Just what the heck are they then? They couldn’t come out of nowhere, what is their true source?” She was full of curiosity.
He smiled and winked: “I’m afraid no one can answer this question. Of course, as for your origin, maybe I will take you to solve its mystery.”
She glared at him and asked with suspicion: “You’re not plotting against me, are you?”
Despite her words, she wasn’t vigilant or cautious towards him since she didn’t feel that he would harm her.
“Why do you keep on thinking this? If I wanted to plot against you, I would have married you and, at that time, wouldn’t I be able to do whatever I want as your husband?” He revealed a sinister and implicating expression.
“Pervert, go die!” She gritted her teeth and shouted: “I’ll cripple you completely!”
Li Qiye laughed after seeing her fierce appearance.
At this time, the withered got up. He seemed that he still wasn’t used to this body, so he staggered and fell to the ground. However, he crawled up again.
He looked just like a toddler learning how to walk for the first time while tumbling about. However, he was learning very fast. It didn’t take long before he adapted to their body. Even though his walking motion was still tilted and unnatural like a puppet, his pace gradually grew steady.
The duo was following right after this withered as he headed for the village at the base of the mountain.
Xiaoxiao curiously asked: “Why is it going to that village?”
Li Qiye slowly explained: “What is necessary in order to become a race? In addition to breeding, it also needs a group with their own home and civilization just like us. Otherwise, how could they become an intelligent race? The lack of civilization makes them no different from beasts!”
While looking at the clumsy withered, she asked: “Can they reproduce?”
“It isn’t that easy to become a race. What are they right now? Only the dead, really. Do you think the dead can become a real race? This is fundamentally impossible, but they still have a chance.”