Others would fear that this body would break its spine from the current arching posture.
“Crack!” Next was a burst of sounds. However, it wasn’t the eerie breaking of bones but it looked 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 after a loud bang.
Ye Xiaoxiao almost shouted after seeing this dead body suddenly crawling. The more timid crowd would definitely be scared out of their mind.
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.
“This is a little scary.” Xiaoxiao admitted. Even though she has heard stories about the withereds, this was her first time seeing the transformation process.
“Is it really living again?” 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 of 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 incongruence signs were clear.
Its pupils were different with a forest color, like the green of a leaf combined with a dried yellow resulting in a strange scene. More importantly, one would find that these eyes were like the ashes with no sign of vitality as if there was no hope or life there.
“Is it still dead?” Ye Xiaoxiao felt that although this disciple has 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 said: “For the disciple himself, he’s definitely dead. However, the new withered is alive. Even though its eyes are void of any life, as it take roots longer in this body, it will be able to light up the body’s vitality and the eyes will be fill with life again.”
He added: “Look, don’t you see a little bit of life and hope there now?”
Xiaoxiao glanced over again. Sure enough, behind the ashen eyes was a sliver of life. This little vitality seemed to insignificant like a small tree in the desert. However, it was able to light the eyes up and brought about hope.
At this time, the withered sat on the ground and seemed to be both confused and curious. It looked around everywhere as if it was its first time to this world.
“It’s beginning to change.” Li Qiye told Xiaoxiao.
At this time, a sizzling voice came about. The withered’s body began to change into wood at certain parts or it was a new growing process.
For example, barks seemed to be growing in several locations on its arms. At the same time, branches forked out of the muscles there. It was quite bizarre to see parasitic tree growing from a living being. Some would feel creeped out by this strange, parasitic process.
“Could it be that those who die at the Divine Tree Ridge would turn into these withereds?” Ye Xiaoxiao had to ask.
“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 fall down on a seed, then this seed will begin a hunt as if it was your shadow and could dig into your forehead at any moment and turn you into a withered.”
“In the even more perilous place deeper in the ridge, at a particular level, even if your body is perfectly fine and you are quite strong, these seeds could still try and steal your body at any given time.” He smiled and finished.
“Forcibly drill into the forehead?” She felt a tingling sensation on the back of her neck.
“Oh? Are you scared now? It’s not too late to run back home if you are.” He quipped.
“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 and his appearance really 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 body?”
He explained: “There are many different theories about these seeds. Of course, the specific isn’t important. The crux of the issue is that it wishes to reproduce and pass on for generation to generation.”
“Reproduce? Isn’t this too easy? It can grow just like trees then, doesn’t that count too? Don’t trees use seeds to pass on their progeny as well?”
“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. On the other hand, these seeds want to have their own mind and become a race, not just mere plants scattering all over the world!” He smiled and said.
She inquired again: “A race? Aren’t trees capable of becoming a race as well? After cultivation, they could become different branches of the demon race.”
Li Qiye shook his head: “Still 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.”
“You’re not plotting against me, are you?” She glared at him and said with suspicion.
Despite her words, she had no vigilance or real caution against 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, as your husband, i can do whatever I want?” He revealed a sinister and implicating expression.
“Pervert, go die!” She gritted her teeth and shouted: “Or I’ll cripple you completely!”
Li Qiye laughed after seeing her fierce appearance.
At this time, the withered got up. It seemed that he still wasn’t used to this body so he staggered and fell to the ground. Alas, he crawled up again.
He looked just like a toddler learning how to walk for the first time while tumbling. However, he was learning very fast. It didn’t take long before it adapted to this body. Even though its walking motion was still tilted and unnatural just like a puppet, it could walk steadily at an increasing pace.
The duo was following right after as this withered headed for the village at the base of the mountain.
“Why is it going to that village?” Xiaoxiao asked curiously again.
“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 without these things? The lack of civilization makes them no different from beasts!” Li Qiye slowly explained.
“Can they reproduce?” She asked while looking at the clumsy withered.
“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.”