The soldiers gathered around Zhou Yicheng quietly, the unconscious man looking as good as gone. Within a short time, he had gotten much skinnier – his cheekbones were protruding, and his cheeks had sunken. He seemed to be losing flesh and blood rapidly, his pulse weakening.
More pus seeped from his body at a faster rate. It was not just the tiny holes made by the thorns that leaked. It seemed that every pore on his body was leaking pus. He looked as if he was decaying as pus pooled under his body. It gave out a stench, not unlike that of a decomposed corpse.
The atmosphere was depressing. Some of the soldiers had tears in their eyes.
There was a big number of people around Zhou Yicheng, so Huang Jiahui watched from afar, her eyes flitting to the door from time to time. The man’s only hope of survival now was Luo Yuan. She could only pray that he’d be in time.
A while later, heavy footsteps came from outside along with the sound of a big object being dragged on the ground.
Everyone looked delighted.
Luo Yuan appeared at the door, a large canine-looking beast about 4 meters long in his hands.
The creature looked like it weighed a ton, yet Luo Yuan held it like it weighed nothing. It did not even look injured. Judging by the air puffing from its nostrils, it was still very much alive.
“Find a room and move him there. Unless you want him to die,” Luo Yuan said as soon as he came in, looking at the soldiers.
The soldiers stood up in excitement. “You can save our Commander?”
Soldiers were the most stubborn people in the world, especially these die-hard veterans. If Luo Yuan had not been evolved or displayed his abilities to the soldiers, it would have taken a while to persuade them. Now though, they all trusted him at his word.
“I can’t guarantee anything, but there might be a chance,” Luo Yuan said. He dared not promise them anything. Life absorbing properties were useful, but they could only strengthen the defense of one’s body, not heal venom. It would all still depend on Zhou Yicheng.
“As long as there’s hope, we trust you,” a soldier said quickly.
After cleaning up a little, the soldiers moved Zhou Yicheng into one of the many rooms of the outpost.
“Everyone out,” Luo Yuan ordered as he entered the room, carrying the beast. He tossed it on the floor, and the creature jerked instinctively but remained unconscious.
The soldiers left after feeling the slight quake of the floor.
Luo Yuan did not close the door. One look at Zhou Yicheng was enough to know that the man was at the threshold of death. His skin was blotchy with blood spots. It looked like it was about to melt off.
Without delay, he stabbed his Zhanmadao into the beast’s neck, pressing its head.
The agony woke the beast up as it growled angrily, subconsciously trying to turn over, only to realize that it had lost all feeling below its neck.
Its roar turned into a wail, the sound stopping altogether when Luo Yuan knocked it unconscious using his Will.
There was silence once more as the beast spasmed.
Luo Yuan pulled Zhou Yicheng’s stiff fingers apart to make him hold the blade’s handle. The rest would be up to the man himself.
Meanwhile, Luo Yuan sat in a meditating position and considered the inspiration he’d had when he’d been hunting just now.
He was extremely familiar with the Zhanmadao by now. He could feel its every inch in his mind clearly and sense every tiny crack on it even with his eyes closed.
Touching the sword gave him the illusion of touching his skin.
One could say that he was far more familiar with the Zhanmadao than with his body.
He could control most of his muscles, but he was still hopeless at manipulating the functions of his internal organs and the flow of his blood, even more so at controlling his hormone secretion and the growth of his cells.
Of course, he could forcefully use his Will to affect the function of his internal organs slightly, but that would take a long time and would not help him in mastering his power. It would be just like a deaf person using a hearing aid – they may hear sounds, but they were still deaf.
Luo Yuan had not noticed it earlier. Maybe it was due to him being a swordsman, but the system’s knowledge on that subject was messy. It was not until he had held the Zhanmadao and felt like it was connected to his soul that he had gotten the idea.
If he could master an inanimate object like the Zhanmadao, there was no reason why he could not do the same with his body, which was a part of him.
Moreover, he realized that his mastery of his body increased with each Will level-up, but it was still passive, depending only on his Will rising.
His capabilities had long exceeded the period where he could grow by working out himself. It was difficult enough increasing by even one AP, and the APs resulting from leveling up were insufficient to distribute as each attribute had its importance – Will was naturally the last thing in Luo Yuan’s mind.
He was aware that it was because of the immersion of his Will that he could connect so well with the Zhanmadao. If he proactively immersed himself in his Will, would he get similar results on his body and speed up his mastery of it?
All these were mere hypotheses that needed to be tested.
His eyes seemed to shine brighter as his attention was entirely focused on his body.
His dense, web-like muscular fibers, hard yet complex bone structure, gushing blood and all sorts of organs pulsed to form an intricate system. Although he had seen this once before when he had tried to manipulate his heartbeat by attempting to use the Earth Stomp, he still was out of breath as he watched it this time.
His organs were magnified more than ten times before his eyes, but the magnification did not stop there. Bending his body to his Will, the magnification increased until he could see even the tiniest of blood vessels.
That was the limit of the magnification. The depletion of his senses was much faster than usual as well.
Luo Yuan remained in that state, scanning his whole body inch by inch with his Will. The depletion of his Will was as rapid as if he was fighting.
He was not alarmed by it. Though Will was something mysterious, it was still a kind of force that would deplete as you use it. At the moment, if he were to gather his Will on the blade, it could probably last between thirty minutes to an hour if it was not used to cut or slash. The duration could be even longer in a vacuum, without the interruption of air particles.
If it was exhausted, it meant his Will had to be working on something else. He did not know what exactly, but he was sure it would be effective.
He tried his hardest to maintain the calmness in his heart, setting out on a journey of self-discovery.
Now that he had gotten a good look at it, he realized that he had a lot of bruises on his body. Some of his blood vessels had blood clots while old injuries had not healed properly. This was the effect of unbalanced attributes, the consequence of overexertion.
While these were all minor issues, if he did nothing about them, they could turn out to be a great hindrance to his capabilities.