Feigning. Feizhen’s Coincidental Appearance.
“I know you can hear me,” River Monster asserted in an exceedingly high-pitched voice whilst staring at Shen Yiren.
Shen Yiren was fully aware that River Monster was taking a gamble since the latter didn’t have any means of being a hundred percent sure the former was pretending to be in a coma when Poison King couldn’t. The only reason River Monster would challenge Poison King’s judgement was to test the waters.
Shen Yiren was also aware that River Monster was holding her breath and resisting a blink in order to survey the former’s breathing, pulse and even skin for a reaction. Anything suspicious would justify River Monster pulling Shen Yiren up by the hair, disfigure her and force her awake. No matter how precious Shen Yiren was to their plan, she was also a volatile factor.
The only movement from Shen Yiren came from her skin, and that was only because River Monster touched her. River Monster wanted to torment Shen Yiren, but what fun was there in torturing someone if they didn’t react? Nevertheless, River Monster simpered and taunted, “Keep acting. It makes no difference to me. The day I’m ready will be the day you become my docile slave that will torture her beloved man without batting an eye.”
River Monster’s method for creating loyal puppets was a mystery even to her allies; however, they all knew she was adroit at torture. Though Shen Yiren was adamant she wouldn’t leak a word regardless of how much she was tortured, she didn’t know anything about River Monster’s Soul Stealing Puppet, meaning Shen Yiren couldn’t be so confident once she was prisoner to River Monster’s will.
Shen Yiren hinged her hopes on being able to catch River Monster off guard and score a swift win if the circumstances called for it, though it was a last resort due to intelligence gathering being her priority.
Damn, Feizhen, where are you when I need you?
“This is the woman who has every jerk head over heels for her? I’m even better than she is, yet they don’t fawn over me. How depraved!” River Monster wanted to pinch blood out of Shen Yiren, but if she left a bruise on the latter and someone saw it, she’d be in for it. River Monster grabbed Shen Yiren’s neck, ticking off the latter.
River Monster’s Soul Stealing Puppet style requires her to invoke fear in her target first then bring them under control using herbs. Lastly, she needs to transfuse her will into her target and overthrow their rule. The style is on the border of Heart Realm’s most advanced styles but didn’t hack it as one of the most advanced due to how diabolic it was, clashing with Heart Realm’s principles due to it being a destructive technique.
Strengthening one’s mind to force one’s way through someone else’s mind was an exceptional skill. Nevertheless, it wasn’t just coarse but also daring. Forcing one’s way into someone’s mind to wrest control from them would irrevocably damage their mind. An authentic Heart Realm adept would find a way in without harming their target. Owing to the difference, River Monster’s Soul Stealing Puppet would be considered a martial arts style, technically speaking.
Soul Stealing Puppet first step was the simplest since one’s imagination was the only thing limiting how they could shake up their target, and their courage was the only thing limiting even someone without any combat skills from intimidating someone.
Learning to spot the moment the target was vulnerable to apply the poison usually took between one to three years. Using poison to subdue someone instead of outright killing them wasn’t something you could master via visceral learning for you needed to dose precisely and learn to handle them in different contexts. For instance, someone who doesn’t know martial arts and someone proficient in martial arts would require different implementation as well as different dosages.
Even astute people would require two to three decades to learn how to install their will into someone else’s mind, making the third step the most difficult. After all, it took time to obtain data from killing people. Hence, River Monster only had a fifty percent success rate when creating puppets, not that she didn’t mind messing up and paralysing Shen Yiren for life. On the contrary, she’d be laughing hysterically if she put Shen Yiren in that pitiful state.
Having said all that, the reverse was true in this scenario because Shen Yiren was in a coma. Until River Monster could somehow terrorise Shen Yiren, she couldn’t administer her poison, let alone arrogate Shen Yiren’s mind. Trying to invade someone’s mind while they haven’t been weakened is akin to besieging a city on your own, while the city has a refreshed, might army waiting for a challenger. Unlike in physical fights, one error would cost the invader their life.
Luckily for River Monster and unluckily for Shen Yiren, the former had experience making puppets out of unconscious people. All River Monster had to do was stimulate the target’s body enough and combine it with her special incense to lead the target into a nightmare. Fear-induced nightmares produced the same effect as distress evoked in person. In other words, once the nightmare gave the target a fright, River Monster could administer the poison. The bad news was that aforementioned nightmare would usually be slitting the target’s wrist, shaving off their ear or other physical, bloody forms of torture. Shen Yiren couldn’t even be bruised, so those methods were off the menu.
Thanks to her persistent brainstorming, River Monster’s ingenious gave birth to the idea of surprise attacking Shen Yiren, prompting the latter to have a nightmare of someone exerting their dreadful will on her.
“Damn it! My hands and jaws are getting tired, yet this wench hasn’t responded whatsoever!”
I’m also tired of you putting your hands on me and polluting my ears! I know you’re trying to humiliate me before you kick my mind out. I’d love to ram my fists into your face repeatedly right about now.
Both women hated each other as both women lost an arm because of the other. Shen Yiren wasn’t the type to let people walk all over her. In this case, nevertheless, she had no choice but to swallow the bitter and focus on keeping her blood and qi flow from circulating too fast.
With her incense almost done burning, the tired River Monster snapped, “Damn it! I don’t have enough yang qi to drag this wench into a nightmare even if was given ten days.”
I’m glad to get a break since feigning also exhausts me. Why does she want to pick a fight with me? Ming Feizhen said he’d be back in the afternoon, yet it’s already night time. I’m so bored… Hurry back already. Getting to give him a punch or two could help kill some time, hehe.
“If I can’t do anything about you as a woman, I’ll get a man to work on you!”
Ming Feizhen happened to walk through the door with his flattering disguise on at the right time: “Your subject is back, Ma’am River Monster.”
Uh, why is Boss Shen’s clothing a mess? There are only two ladies here, so…
River Monster eyed Ming Feizhen and then tugged up a corner of her lips: “Perfect timing. Come over, Zhong Ning.”
Why do I feel like Boss is yelling at me not to approach her?
“Go and grope her!”