Su Ming had just woken up and could not process too much in his head at the moment. When he heard the words ‘disciple niece’, he could not help but be stunned.
"Very pretty. She’s a woman."
His second senior brother smiled gently and nodded.
"Er… What’s her name?"
Su Ming remembered Tian Xie Zi’s status and an odd expression appeared on his face.
Second senior brother scratched his head. After thinking about it deeply for a while, he eventually sighed and said, "She’s called… Hmm? What’s her name again..? Youngest junior brother, I was just paying attention to the lass beside her and I already forgot her name."
Su Ming looked at his seemingly absentminded second senior brother, then a warmth that stemmed from within him spread through his entire body. He might have just woken up, but he could still remember clearly that when he entered that strange state and sat on the platform, his second senior brother had not been there.
Yet right now, his second senior brother was sitting behind him. Su Ming could not imagine just how long he had been sitting. This was a silent show of care, a warmth that made Su Ming feel touched.
He stood up and instinctively lifted his head to look at the top of the ninth summit. With just a glance, he could see that there was a person walking into the distance slowly. That figure was gradually hidden away by the ice mountain, causing Su Ming to be unable to see him any longer.
However, while it may have been just one glance, but that aged back was familiar to Su Ming’s eyes.
"Thank you, second senior brother."
Su Ming averted his gaze and looked at his second senior brother. He did not even know his name, but in his heart, the title of ‘second senior brother’ was already deeply embedded within him.
"We’re brothers, there’s no need for thanks between us. Besides, I didn’t do anything, I only planted some flowers on your platform."
Second senior brother smiled and stretched lazily.
"I’m going to sleep. I haven’t slept for the past few days. Youngest junior brother, remember to ask for me."
As he spoke, second senior brother winked. There seemed to be a rare and slight hint of red on his cheeks, as if he was a little embarrassed of himself, reminding Su Ming of this so many times.
"Oh, that’s right. The method you used to clear your mind is the State of Creating Pictures. If that’s the case, you’ll need to immerse yourself in that realm for a long period of time. When you drew in the air just now, you used the power stored within your body. Gathering your power to draw is not good…
"That’s called convergence through spreading out your power. You mustn’t use it too often. You can’t use it to calm your heart, so it’s not suitable for your to train your mind. Look at my flowers. When did I ever use my power to make them grow..? Do it naturally, only then can you clear your mind.
Second senior brother let out a fake cough and advised him again, "How about this? Your third senior brother is familiar with the layout of Freezing Sky Clan. Have him bring you to the school’s Artifact Storage Hall. I remember there are some canvases that belong to Freezing Sky Clan stored there. It may lean slightly on the more expensive side, but you can go to Master and have him give you the Clan Master’s plate, then you won’t even have to spend a single coin."
When a smile appeared on Su Ming’s face, his second senior brother turned around and walked towards the mountain trail on the other side of the platform. He traveled with a natural grace, his hair flying behind his back from the wind, and he gradually disappeared from Su Ming’s sight.
As he watched his second senior brother leave, the warmth in Su Ming’s heart spread through his entire body. He looked at the mountain rocks on the ninth summit, then at his surroundings. Slowly, a faint sense of home slowly appeared in his heart.
Perhaps as time passed by, this feeling would grow stronger and deeper until he completely blended with the people here and would treat this place as his second home.
Once Su Ming meditated for another day in his cave abode, he managed to stabilize the power of the middle stage of the Transcendence Realm within him by noon and he walked out once again.
Su Ming did not quite understand the increase of his level of cultivation this time. He was confused, but he still knew that the main key for his increase in level was due to him training his mind.
‘Training the mind, a state where you clear your mind to understand your own form of Creation…’
Su Ming touched his face, right on the spot that was now hidden, but belonged to the additional blood moon that manifested beside the Mountain Mark.
The blood moon was located in a rather strange position. It was placed within Su Ming’s right eye itself!
‘The blood moon in the right eye…’
Su Ming took a deep breath and his expression gradually became calm. He walked down the mountain trail, and before long, a cave abode appeared before him.
Before he even got closer, he could already smell the fragrance of alcohol and hear snoring coming from within. Those snores rumbled like thunder. When he stood outside the cave abode, Su Ming paused for a moment. He was really only here to see just what was the living thing his second senior brother had talked about.
It was a little difficult for him to understand, but now that he was here and was looking at his third senior brother’s cave abode, Su Ming decided to bend his body down and walk through the door.
The moment he entered, the snoring reached a deafening volume, reverberating through the cave. Hu Zi lay not too far away, a long line of drool hanging off the corner of his mouth. There was an intoxicated look on his face, as if he was doing something that made him happy in his dreams.
Lying by his side was a person covered in plants. His right hand was captured by the unconscious Hu Zi. There were fewer plants covering his face, and Su Ming could see the pain on his face. That person also had his eyes closed, as if he was deep in his dreams and doing something that he did not like.
His body would even occasionally convulse a few times.
This was the first time Su Ming entered Hu Zi’s cave abode. When he saw the person covered in plants, he was stunned, but did not think too much about it. He simply thought it was a unique feature in Hu Zi’s practice.
When he saw that his third senior brother was still deep in his sleep, Su Ming sat down cross-legged by his side. He did not bother Hu Zi, but chose to sit down and wait.
Time trickled by, and after several hours, when the sky outside gradually darkened and dusk was about to arrive, Hu Zi’s snores reached their loudest volume, and at that very instant, they were cut off abruptly.
He opened his eyes and rubbed them, then wiped away the drool at the corner of his lips. Only then did he see Su Ming sitting not too far from him.
"Haha… You’re here…" Hu Zi laughed foolishly and ruffled his own hair before grabbing a pot of wine by his side and taking a big mouthful again.
"That was a good sleep. You brat, who gave you the right to disobey me?" Hu Zi put down his wine pot and looked at the person made of plants, slapping him. "Why are you still sleeping? Wake up!"
With that one slap, the person made of plants shuddered and opened his eyes. The first thing that entered his eyes was Hu Zi, who had suddenly put his head right before his face and was looking at him ferociously.
Once he saw Hu Zi, the person visibly shuddered, and a look of anger and fear appeared on his face.
"Hmph, so? How does it feel like sleeping with your Grandpa Hu?"
There was a prideful look on Hu Zi’s face. He pulled his head back and slapped the person covered in plants with his right hand once again.
When Hu Zi moved away, the person covered in plants immediately saw Su Ming sitting by the side, looking at him calmly. The moment he saw Su Ming, a conflicted look appeared in his eyes. The range of emotions within that conflicted look could be interpreted as resignation, regret, sentiment, and misery.
"Third senior brother, who is this?"
Su Ming looked at the person covered in plants calmly. When he saw the conflicted look in his eyes, he was surprised.
"Hmm? Don’t you know? Oh, that’s right. You were trying to reach an epiphany. This person is called Zi Che, and he’s very powerful. When you were within yourself, he wanted to harm you, but he was unlucky. He shouldn’t have crushed my gourd, much less stepped on second senior brother’s plants. He was tied up by second senior brother in the end and he said he was giving him to us."
Hu Zi let out a boisterous laugh and that prideful look on his face became even more prominent. He got up and gave a vicious slap to Zi Che’s head once again, and that slap caused a bang in the air.
Zi Che was already used to Hu Zi’s slaps, yet when he was slapped right before Su Ming, the anger in his heart grew stronger. To him, if that terrifying Hands of Creation were not there, then Su Ming and Hu Zi would have to look up to him, but now…
"Oh?" Su Ming’s expression remained passive. "He must be the ‘living thing’ second senior brother spoke about," he said unhurriedly.
"Ah, so second senior brother told you about him? That’s right, he’s that ‘living thing’, but youngest junior brother, don’t you dare snatch him from me. I’m not done playing with him yet. Once I take him into my dreams a few more times, I’ll toss him to you. You jerk, how dare you break my gourd?!"
Hu Zi glared at Zi Che and lifted his hand to slap him once again.
"Third senior brother, wait. I want to ask him a few questions."
Su Ming stood up, walked towards Zi Che, and stood before him as he looked at the person completely covered in plants lying in front of him.
Zi Che glared at Su Ming coldly and disdain gradually appeared in his eyes. He might have been captured and humiliated by Hu Zi, but as a powerful Berserker, he had his own pride. In his eyes, Su Ming was clearly the weakest among all, just as weak as an ant. Even if an elephant was captured, it would never cave against an ant.
Su Ming crouched down and looked at Zi Che as he stated calmly, "By right, I just came to Freezing Sky Clan, so there shouldn’t be anyone paying attention to me. As for the reason why you came to the ninth summit to find me… it’s because of Si Ma Xin, yes?"
Zi Che’s gaze remained cold and disdainful, as if he did not hear Su Ming’s words.
"Third senior brother, just how much of his power was sealed by second senior brother?" Su Ming’s expression remained passive as he asked softly.
"It’s completely sealed. Once we’re done toying with him, we can just ask second senior brother to release some of his power. It’ll be more fun this way."
Hu Zi rubbed his hands and excitement appeared in his eyes, as if he had experienced this before.
Once he heard Hu Zi’s words, Zi Che’s expression clearly changed, but he gritted his teeth and forced himself to remain calm. However, from the occasional glances he threw towards Hu Zi, Su Ming could tell that he was afraid of him.
However, he was clearly not afraid of Su Ming.
"This is such a rare material, I can’t waste it now…"
Su Ming looked at Zi Che and smiled. That smile was very faint, so faint that it seemed like a light breeze, and it made him look completely harmless.
Yet when the words fell into Zi Che’s ears, it made his heart tremble. For some unknown reason, the word ‘material’ suddenly made Su Ming’s faint smile seem much more vicious and terrifying than Hu Zi.
Su Ming’s smile made Zi Che feel a chill traveling down his spine. This was a completely different feeling than the one he got when confronting Hu Zi. To him, while Hu Zi’s actions might not be completely predictable, but they were still predictable enough for him to know what he would do. He might be afraid of him, but his fears were only towards the viciousness in his dreams. In truth, he still largely looked down on Hu Zi.
Yet Su Ming gave him a completely different feeling. He could not grasp just what he intended to do, and as the word ‘material’ continued echoing in his head, he became increasingly more horrified.