Beastmaster of the Ages

Chapter 1945: Another Kind of Survival

"Don't celebrate too soon, voidheart worm. You've already died at the hands of my brother once. You might have some spunk, but you're weak. You won't be able to get revenge at all, and you’ll suffer an agonizing death! The most you can do is annoy me a bit. Only useless weaklings like you can be so shameless. After all, your bloodline is only a mediocre one compared to many others across this vast universe," Qingyu said, much to the voidheart worm's surprise. It didn't think that the despairing and terrified girl from before who was still slowly bleeding out could actually deliver those words with confidence and pride.

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"You're asking for death, you skank!" The thing the voidheart worm was most proud of was its status. Since it had hatched, it was aware that it was a being that parasitized 'people'. As far as it was concerned, humans and specters were the real bugs, so it couldn't tolerate any insult along those lines.

"Come on, then! Kill me if you dare! I bet you don't even have the balls to crush my head!" Qingyu said with a smirk.

"Skreeee!" The voidheart worm opened its eyes wide and raged, "You're right! I never planned to kill you from the start. In fact, you're a much better host for me, given your talent! Once my soul parasite enters you and I control your body with my child spawns, everything you have will become mine! That’s what Li Tianming deserves for destroying my body! I'll just take over his sister's!"

The angered words sounded fitting, coming from a lifeform of its intelligence. While cosmic wildbeasts were often considered apex lifeforms, they only had a bestia, that is, a beast soul, rather than a tripartite soul comprised of vita, terra, and caelum. As a result, their intelligence usually suffered, as was apparent from how easy it was for Qingyu to get it to reveal its true goals. Naturally, Yin Chen also relayed that to Lingfeng and Tianming.

That means it was never going to trade my life with my brother's in the first place. So how did it even come up with the ruse? Given its intelligence, that shouldn't even occur to it, Qingyu thought. The voidheart worm had shown enough wits to get two things out of Qingyu: its release back to Skywolf Frost and her body for later parasitization. It had even been able to get away with the scheme. Though she was still filled with doubts, all Qingyu could do was calm down."You alone? How would you even be able to take over my body? If you're so powerful, you’d be able to take over my brother. He's far more of a genius than I am, haha...." She feigned casual disdain for the voidheart worm.

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As expected, it confidently revealed, "What would you know, dumb lass? I put soulusurper bugs that I birthed into the ultimate face-nourishing pill I gave you. You see that lump on your arm? That's the soul path my little bugs built! Once we reach the lair of the Void God, my bestia will be able to enter your consciousness through the soul path and infest your vita! Though it won’t be a perfect fusion, as your own vita will still exist as my host, there's nothing you can do about it! I can control your body with child spawns, while all you can do is watch as I do the things you would never do with your body! You’ll suffer until your final end! Let's see if you still dare to act so arrogantly!"

It had mentioned an imperfect fusion, which implied that perfect fusion probably meant consuming the vita of another and perhaps even replacing the other two parts of their soul to control their body. However, the voidheart worm didn't have a terra or a caelum. A bestia wasn't the same as vita, either, so a perfect infiltration wasn't possible. Even so, voidheart worms seemed to have their own unique traits that helped usurp their hosts. 

The voidheart worm had used its soul parasite to infest Yu Ziqian's soul before using child spawns to infest his body, basically achieving complete usurpation. Perhaps after it infested Qingyu, it would still be able to cultivate with her body. That also meant that Yu Ziqian could still be conscious and technically alive, yet unable to do or say a single thing. Not to mention, the voidheart worm probably hadn’t mutilated his body too much in order to ensure its peak functionality. After all, what good was a host if they were ruined?

On the other hand, it probably had to resort to soul parasitism due to its body being destroyed. If it could simply reform its body, that might not even be necessary. That meant that its physical body was properly dead, otherwise it wouldn't bother choosing between Yu Ziqian and Qingyu's bodies as hosts. Either that, or it had a preference for female bodies, which lined up with its own sex as well.

At the end of the day, Qingyu had still managed to clear her doubts about the situation by fishing information out of the beast. Killing her would be against the voidheart worm's plans, which gave her and the rest quite a lot of room to act. They wouldn't have to worry too much about her safety.

"Soul path? You're just making things up at this point. Feng is stronger than me, and you also fed him pills. Why didn't something like this grow on him?" she said, her tone doubtful.

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"Him? How would I know how a monster like him works? Even pills that he ingests orally end up ground to dust. He was my first target, but I only ended up wasting a lot of soulusurper bugs on him! But never fear—I led him into Skywolf Frost because I want to get back at him for that! I’ll make you watch them suffer the consequences! Hahaha!" The voidheart worm continued thoughtlessly mouthing off.

Hearing that, Qingyu had even more questions. If it was really that simple-minded, how had Tianming fallen for its scheme and ended up being tricked into coming to Skywolf Frost?

She pondered that to no end before an ancient voice rang out from the voidheart worm. "Enough, lass. Don't bother getting more information from this bug. The plan was mine from the moment you took the pills inside the Sky Palace Formation."

The voice was completely foreign to Qingyu. How could two voices come from the same individual? "Who are you?"

"The portable grandpa," said the other.

While Qingyu didn't know Yu Ziqian all that well, she had learned from Tianming and Lingfeng that Yu Ziqian was accompanied by the remnant soul of a top expert of the cosmic aether. The remnant soul had probably survived inside some divine artifact, similar to an artifact soul.

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"The Ultimate Pill God?" Qingyu asked.

Tianming and Lingfeng were also hearing the conversation in real time. Never would they have guessed that the Ultimate Pill God would plot against them! Yu Ziqian had even thought that meeting the portable grandpa had been a fortunate karmic encounter.

"That's right. However, that's not all I am. While I'm not from Skywolf, I used to be a member of the Voidsky Organization while I still lived. Naturally, I chose to help my own people."

"I see...." Qingyu's mood dampened. "Ultimate Pill God, I finally figured out what you want. Yu Ziqian is someone who has his own thoughts, so he wouldn't let himself become your puppet. However, the voidheart worm is much simpler and easier to manipulate. If it takes over my body and listens to what you tell it to do, that’s no different from you controlling my body! It's almost like you’d come back to life! Sure, you can do some things that you can't as a soul, but there's no changing the fact that you're already dead. You're just lying to yourself if you think controlling someone else will bring you back."

The Ultimate Pill God laughed after hearing that explanation. "You're smarter than you look, for you to be able to think that far. You're mostly right, save for one point. To someone who should’ve died, yet somehow lived on by mistake, living on without any future is nothing but ultimate suffering. I’ve endured such suffering for far too long.

"Gan Gangan had too many thoughts of his own. He wasn't good enough for me to live through him. I tried really hard to forge him into another me so that I’d have an easier entry point, but I eventually realized that it wouldn't work. Additionally, I found geniuses like your brother and Feng on this star and wanted to become them far too much. However, there's no perfect technique for possession. After repeated failures, I chose you. At the very least, you have nine bane-rings and a lifebound beast.

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"You children with bright futures would never understand! Even if I'm only living vicariously through your body, it's still a dream come true. This is no simple self-deception! The bestia of the voidheart worm can usurp the souls of others, which means that I can keep living a full life and exploring what the world has to offer! It’s the only ray of light in my dark, endless life of undeath."

His frustration had been building for far too long. He said all that for the benefit of both Qingyu and Yu Ziqian, since he could still perceive what was happening. "While my disciple wasn't an obedient one, I cherish him nonetheless. That's why I’ll let him go after switching to your body. In a way, your sacrifice will save a life. That's a lot of good karma." The Ultimate Pill God laughed out loud, completely unworried that the voidheart worm could hear him, too. The gap between their intellects was too wide, allowing him to suppress it as he infested Qingyu’s soul together with it. Gradually, his intelligence would overcome the voidheart worm's for good.

Qingyu knew the reason he was explaining it all to them. The frustration he felt was a heavy burden, and unloading all of it to others was a way to cope. With how burnt out his soul was, there were few things other than Qingyu's shaking and fearful voice that would bring him enjoyment. It was also a final resolution between him and Yu Ziqian.

Right after that, the voidheart worm finally passed through the Sanctvoid Guard Formation and entered Skywolf Frost proper. Lingfeng came through a few moments later and spotted her. She was surrounded by more than thirty million specters, and he found himself encircled! While the specters there weren't that powerful, they were at least constelliers and above.

"Farewell!" The voidheart worm vanished into the crowd as the specters charged toward Lingfeng.

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