Chapter 2: Vol1 Ch2: Remnant soul
In the wilderness, quite a few animal corpses had appeared around the vicinity of a rotting dead human body, turning this place into a sort of small graveyard.
If you had some sort of ‘spiritual eye' ability, you'd be able to see a mosaic-like mass wandering aimlessly around this area. The mass could faintly be seen to be humanoid, with tiny white mist flowing and being absorbed from the corpses around, turning it more solid.
A flock of black crows flew in from afar, apparently attracted to the carrion below as they began to peck the corpses.
The faint humanoid mass stopped wandering and stared closely at these crows. His still-chaotic thoughts understood that after a while more, these creatures would also die, and then he would be able to absorb more white mist.
The faint humanoid mass instinctively knew that the white mist was very crucial, so he silently waited for these life forms to die.
Unsurprisingly, not too long after pecking and consuming the rotten flesh, the crows suddenly cawed painfully and collapsed.
But even after waiting for a while, the humanoid mass couldn't sense any white mist coming out from the crows' bodies, instead, he felt a sort of connection forming with them as the crows once again stood back up and continued to peck at the carrion.
The faint humanoid figure was now a lot more solid, slowly manifesting Wang Yuan's original appearance, while his consciousness also became a lot clearer.
For example, he remembered that his name was Wang Yuan; why he was here; what sort of state he was in; and was even capable of thinking normally.
"My current state, by common sense, should be that of a ghost" Wang Yuan easily accepted the fact that he had died and turned into a ghost. Because even though he could remember a lot of things, he had also lost a lot of other things, it wasn't simply just his ‘life' that he lost.
For example, his current self could calmly watch these crows peck and eat his own dead body without any normal physical or psychological reactions like feeling nauseous or irritated. If it was his normal self before his death, he would have ran away at the sight of so many rotting dead bodies.
His consciousness was currently connected to a total of 13 other faint consciousnesses, constantly transmitting a sort of ‘cool' aura to him, it was thanks to these cool auras that Wang Yuan woke up in the first place.
These 13 faint consciousnesses were the 13 crows that were currently pecking at his corpse. Their feathers were starting to fall out while a black fluff was slowly growing back, even their bodies seemed to have grown larger.
The germs that killed Wang Yuan didn't kill these crows, instead, it caused them to mutate and also connected their consciousness to Wang Yuan for some reason.
Through their connection, Wang Yuan could send his thoughts to these crows, but only the simplest of thoughts. For example, ‘fly to that rock'. A complex command like ‘dance' wouldn't do anything, as these crows didn't understand the concept of dancing.
But Wang Yuan wasn't in a hurry, he remembered from the few animal documentaries and textbooks that he read that the most intelligent type of bird wasn't the parrot that could imitate human speech, but rather the crow. Short stories such as the ‘Crow drinking water' that he learnt at a young age already reflected the complexity of a crow's thoughts; while they were a lot smaller than a dog, the total mental capacity of a crow wasn't at all lacking compared to that of a common house dog.
After a short while of training, these mutated crows would surely be able to understand and follow more of his commands, and more importantly, Wang Yuan was able to learn what the crows could see and hear through their thoughts.
"The most pressing matter right now is to gather more food" Wang Yuan was extremely somber, he could feel that his soul was currently wrapped inside a layer of white mist that protected him, but the white mist was also constantly being depleted, so once it was completely gone, his soul would become exposed.
He didn't know what would happen if his soul became exposed, but from his instinctive sense of urgency, he knew that letting his soul become exposed wasn't a good thing.
The problem that he was facing right now was that this part of the wilderness had more or less become a dead zone. Aside from the 13 crows and micro-organisms, there were no other living lifeforms. The decayed animal corpses around here shouldn't be able to supply him with too much more white mist, and once that ran out, it was very possible for Wang Yuan to simply disappear.
"Fortunately, I'm not like the ghosts and wraiths described in folklore that disappear under the sunlight, thanks to the white mist, I can stay for a while under the sun. Of course, it could also be that the sunlight of this other world is different from the one I'm used to" Wang Yuan consoled himself as he looked at the setting sun on the West that dyed the sky red.
"Because of that, the current most important goal is to move and find large numbers of lifeforms to gather more white mist, and not just me, these crows will also need more food" the cool aura that the crows were transmitting to him was even more crucial than the white mist, because the white mist could only protect his soul, while these cool auras were reinforcing his soul. Of course, the amount of aura that these crows could supply him daily was also limited.
As Wang Yuan continued to check himself again and again, he slowly understood his current capabilities. He was currently nothing but a soul, so he had no sense of sight, hearing or feeling, instead replaced by a sort of spherical boundary around himself. The limit of the spherical boundary was about 3 meters, inside which he could clearly ‘see' and ‘hear' everything, but if he touched a solid object, the range of his cognition would greatly decrease.
For example, his senses could only penetrate 10 centimeters into the ground below, and even that range was because the ground had cracks and gaps for him to go through; when Wang Yuan tried to penetrate a rock, his field of recognition was reduced to a mere 1 centimeter.
Furthermore, Wang Yuan's maximum movement speed that he could achieve was about the same as a normal person's walking pace. His ability to act on his surroundings came exclusively from an interference force that came directly from his soul; this interference force could be understood as basically telekinesis, but it was currently extremely weak. Besides using it to move around, the most he could do with it was to rattle a few leaves, the range of which was the same as his range of cognition.
"What a pitiful state" Wang Yuan was clear, his current state was nothing but the results of his own stupidity, and such a lesson was best only learnt once: "What was the saying? What doesn't destroy me will only make me stronger"
After an unknown period of time, Wang Yuan glanced at the scattered bones on the ground to see that the crows' mutation had finished, each of them became two to three sizes bigger, their jet black feathers fully regrown, their beaks and claws all gave off a cold gleam that seemed to indicate their extreme sharpness.
"Let us go, find a place where more lifeforms gather" the remnant soul slowly floated away as the 13 crows followed. With a gust of autumn wind, the tall grass slightly shifted and somewhat hid the bare white bones away, perhaps in one or two years, these bones would have become nutrients for even more grass to grow.
At that point, no one would know what had transpired here, and the journey of Wang Yuan's remnant soul had only just begun.