Chapter 49 - Choice
“You…” Li Yiming had a strange feeling when he saw his clone. When Li Yiming stared into his eyes, he was reminded of the same terror he felt when he saw Xiang Liu in its complete form back in Shangbei.
“Why are you so surprised? Don’t you know who I am?”
“You’re… you’re what remains from the soul of the staff!” Li Yiming could tell due to the connection that existed between himself and the clone.
“I’m the soul? I’m part of you…” The clone said with a broad smile.
“You’ve been in that tablet the entire time?” Li Yiming asked, knowing that every single fragment from the staff was put into a different object.
“No, no, no. I’ve been with you the entire time.” The clone smiled and a rock came flying to his side.
“That rock!” Li Yiming frowned upon recognizing the stone he has had since birth, which he later gifted to Ji Xiaoqin. ‘So he’s been with me this entire time…’
“I used to live in it. Now I’m in there.” The clone pointed at Li Yiming again, and the latter felt a burning sensation on his palm. The small metallic sphere he had used so long as a weapon suddenly flew out of his hand and levitated into the air.
“I see…” Li Yiming finally understood why he was never able to achieve full control over the small metallic sphere.
“Yes, that’s your body…” The clone said as he pointed at Li Yiming’s chest. “…and that’s mine.” He then pointed at the metallic ball.
“My name used to be known throughout the Heavens and Hell…”
“That’s a thing of the past.” Li Yiming interrupted. He had an ominous feeling about meeting his clone.
“A thing of our past.”
“Did you come to me just to say that?”
“Come to you? No, you came to me.” The clone said as he shook his head.
“I came to you?” Li Yiming frowned.
“The thing is, I’ve been wanting to see you this entire time, but as long as you exist, I’m not allowed to exist in this world. I have no influence whatsoever on you. I’m here only because you wanted to see me.”
“That’s impossible. I’ve never wanted to see you,” Li Yiming refuted.
“Stop denying it. I know you wanted to see me. I know you crave power. I know that you’re angry, and you know that you haven’t reached your full potential… I…” The clone said as he leaned forward.
Although it was just a simple gesture, Li Yiming felt an enormous pressure, as if he was standing in front of a crumbling mountain.
“You’re the reason why my emotions are gone?”
“There are three immortal souls and seven mortal forms in every living creature. You only have two souls and six forms. Why do you expect to be complete?”
“Why was this not a problem before?”
“Before that, even your body was incomplete, so you had to deal with that first.” The clone laughed and returned to his original position, and Li Yiming was instantly alleviated from the pressure.
“How can I recover then?” Li Yiming kept his guard up.
“We need to become one.”
“The two of us?”
“What’s going to happen to you?”
“Me? Well, I’ve made my decision a long time ago. This is only a continuation of it.” The clone suddenly took on a serious expression.
“Then it’s fine. I’m good for now.” Li Yiming squinted. He was not willing to take such a big risk on an impulse, especially when his soul was involved.
“Good for now? Great! You’ve gotten used to the new you, then.”
“The new me?”
The clone moved his arm and a giant screen appeared behind him. It showed surveillance footage of Li Yiming at the sauna center. With every blow, there would be a gruesome explosion of blood and flesh. Li Yiming frowned as he witnessed the scene, as it was much more repulsive when he did not derive a twisted pleasure from committing the act.
“These aren’t people from domains. They’re living beings…” The clone said.
“They deserve to die.”
“Oh? Then what about today?” Instead of arguing, the clone waved his hand again, a scene of Li Yiming breaking into Yunding Tower was shown.
“Most of these people are just obeying orders. Some of them are even newly-awakened guardians who used to be ordinary people.”
“They’re a threat to my friends…” Li Yiming frowned. He knew very well that it was a poor justification for his behavior, yet he could not resist the urge to spill blood when the opportunity was presented to him.
“Threat to your friends? Ahahahaha… Let me see. Seven years ago, you’ve been hit by a motorcycle on your way home. The driver fled the scene in a hurry and hurt himself instead. What did you do? You called the police and put the man on an ambulance, not saying a word about him hitting you. Then you went home and applied medicine onto yourself. What happened to your benevolence?”
“Remember when one of your elderly neighbors started badmouthing your mother after a dispute? You still kept your respect around her. What happened to your forgiveness?”
“Or one year ago, when Ji Xiaoqin betrayed you. You chose to forgive and move on instead of revenge. What happened to that part of you?”
Li Yiming was shocked to hear his clone recount his past and slowly grew furious. He grew angry at his own weakness, at his own innocence. If he was to live through the same situations again, the driver who hit him would be in prison, the woman who shamed his mother would be dead, and Ji Xiaoqin…
‘Ji Xiaoqin…’ Li Yiming came to a sudden halt. Li Yiming realized just how foreign his rage and contempt for human life was. Or rather, how foreign his past seemed to him, as he had a feeling he was listening to tales about someone else’s life rather than his own.
“How are you feeling?”
“I’ll decide my own fate. This has nothing to do with you.” Li Yiming’s tone gradually went cold.
“I’ll let you have a look at this then.” The clone turned around and touched the giant screen, the footage then switched to another scene.
It was a scene of a woman standing above a sea of flames, her hair billowing as the wind blew on her face. In front of her laid a mountain of weapons of all sorts, spears, swords, knives...
“Liu Meng!” Li Yiming instantly recognized the love of his life, despite the small changes in her appearance.
The weapons around Liu Meng suddenly began spinning in the air, forming a tornado of blades. From the apparition emerged a beam of iridescent light that shot toward Liu Meng’s back. She let out a long howl before closing her fiery wings to parry the attack. As soon as her wings collided with the beam of light, Liu Meng reached out with her hand. However, a shadow emerged in front of her and attacked her with a spear before she could do anything more.
Liu Meng pulled back her hand and clasped the tip of the weapon, only for her skin to instantly be charred. She clenched her teeth and pushed forward, but the beam of light now pierced through her wings and made for her neck. Just as she barely dodged the ray of light, her chest was suddenly pierced by a sword.
Liu Meng’s expression froze as she was wounded fatally, only to let out a smile of relief before being fully engulfed by the tornado of blades.