Tian Lan Meng fell silent for a moment before she asked softly, "What do you mean by opening your eyes?"
Su Ming looked at the woman before him and lifted his right hand suddenly. With a wave, the air from his fingertips swept past the mountain rock lying by his side, and as ice shards flew into the air, a blooming flower appeared on the iced river underneath the rock.
Anyone who saw that flower could feel the overflowing vigor coming from it. In fact, they would find themselves hard-pressed to discern whether it was carved on the iced river, or whether the flower had been growing on the ice since the beginning.
"Copy it," Su Ming said calmly lowering his hand.
A sparkle appeared in Tian Lan Meng’s eyes. She turned her gaze towards the flower on the iced river and pointed a finger at it. She drew a few strokes through the air, and another ice flower appeared on the ice river.
The two flowers looked completely the same and it was difficult to find any difference between them, whether it was their spirit or form.
"Do you understand now?"
Su Ming looked towards Tian Lan Meng.
The long haired woman frowned, and after a moment, she shook her head.
Su Ming lifted his right hand once again. This time he did something simple. He pointed towards the mountain rock by his side and jabbed a small hole in that mountain rock. Several cracks appeared on the edges of the hole, spreading outwards.
Su Ming’s voice still remained calm.
Tian Lan Meng looked at the small hole on the mountain rock that appeared once Su Ming lifted his finger and fell silent for a long time. When she eventually lifted her head to look at Su Ming, a complicated expression appeared in her eyes.
"You are always copying," Su Ming said slowly, lifting his head, "because you think that the spirit is Dao. You search for something abstruse, that’s why you can copy many things, because you think that as you search for it, you will find your Dao eventually.
"I don’t know what is the Dao you speak… but from what you said just now, I can understand that while the Dao is an abstruse concept, it exists. It exists within the world, perhaps all the plants, trees, flowers, and stones have a Dao within them.
"What I seek isn’t a Dao, but to have my mind acting as my aspiration, to have my spirit as my realm, and when I open my eyes, I will draw out my heart’s desires… This is the reason why I can draw, but you can only copy."
Tian Lan Meng remained silent. After a long while, she looked at Su Ming with an even more complicated gaze.
"If all the people in the world are drunk and you are the only one sober, then it means that all the people in the world are awake, and you are asleep…" Tian Lan Meng mumbled. She suddenly understood why the people in the ninth summit had all those weird eccentricities that normal people would not understand.
"Similarly, I drew out what existed in my heart with this one stroke, and that is my own stroke. You, however, only copied it. There are some things you can copy, and there are some that you cannot."
Su Ming stood up and flipped over the wooden slip he held in his hands, revealing its back.
"I came here and answered your questions because I wanted to ask something. But now, it seems that I don’t have to ask you. You… don’t understand."
Su Ming sighed softly and turned around to leave.
At the same time he turned around, a vast and mighty presence suddenly rose behind him. Tian Lan Meng slowly stood up and a tenacious look appeared within her eyes as she looked at Su Ming.
"I cannot see the picture behind the wooden slip, but I can feel it. If you want to know where the wooden slip came from, I can tell you, but I want to know what exactly you mean by the things I cannot copy!"
"Do you truly want to know?"
Su Ming’s footsteps faltered. He did not turn his head back but asked calmly.
"If you can help me answer my question, then I’ll give you the golden stone coin, the God of Berserkers Transformation, and Freezing Sky Sword!"
As Tian Lan Meng spoke, she lifted her right hand and waved it towards him. The three boxes instantly charged towards Su Ming and fell by his side.
Tian Lan Meng’s expression returned to state of passiveness before she spoke flatly, "If you can only say it but cannot do it, then I won’t trouble you. You can take the wooden slip and leave, but in return, you have to promise me something, and you cannot refuse it."
Su Ming fell silent for a moment before he turned around and waved his hand. The three boxes were instantly taken, and as he looked at Tian Lan Meng, he lifted his right hand and slashed at the mountain rock by his side abruptly with one finger.
The mountain rock trembled, and a faint mark appeared on it. That mark looked like a line and a slash, a sorrowful feeling spreading out from within it.
Tian Lan Meng did not speak. She only gave it a look before lifting her hand and pointing towards it. A copied stroke that was the same in spirit and form as Su Ming’s slash appeared on the mountain rock.
Su Ming moved his right hand once again. This time, he drew out ten strokes continuously. Each stroke seemed the same but were in truth completely different from each other. As they fell on the mountain rock, the rock rumbled.
Tian Lan Meng’s expression was calm. Almost at the same moment Su Ming made those slashes, she copied him, and when his ten strokes fell on the rock, ten copied strikes that were the exact same as his own appeared beside them.
Su Ming pushed off the ground with his right foot and rose into the air. In midair, he closed his eyes and lifted his right hand before starting to draw on the seventh summit.
10, 100, 1,000… As Su Ming’s right hand drew, the entire seventh summit started trembling, and long marks appeared on the surface of the mountain. Those long marks were all caused by Su Ming.
All of them seemed the same but were in reality entirely different from each other.
Tian Lan Meng too rose into the air and lifted her right hand by Su Ming’s side. She started copying all of them, and even though each stroke was different, she still achieved the same results as she copied them.
As one of them drew and the other copied, the entire seventh summit trembled. The rumbling sounds made all the disciples within the mountain feel their hearts shake and they lifted their heads to look upwards.
At that moment, an old woman dressed in white robes looked at Su Ming and Tian Lan Meng with sparkling eyes from the seventh summit.
Su Ming did not stop even after he finished drawing those 1,000 strokes. He simply continued on drawing calmly. This was nothing difficult for him. The number of strokes he made on a regular basis far surpassed the number he had now. He was simply drawing as he pleased and was using the mountain as his drawing board as he drew 1,000, 3,000, 5,000, 7,000 strokes…
All those strokes contained a different presence, and gradually, it made Tian Lan Meng’s speed in copying them slow down. She began to slowly show signs that she could not catch up to Su Ming, because she was copying, and Su Ming was creating on his own.
One of them was drawing what he thought in his heart, and the other was merely copying it.
Time passed by, but even as Su Ming continued to close in on his 10,000th stroke, he still had not stopped. It was as if he was completely immersed in creating a picture, and it seemed like he was drawing out the world on the seventh summit with each stroke.
The many female disciples on the seventh summit began to experience a change in their expressions as the mountain trembled and as they watched the strange competition between Su Ming and Tian Lan Meng in the sky.
Bai Su stood at the top of the mountain and looked at Su Ming standing in the air before sucking in a deep breath. She suddenly realized that this Su Ming seemed to be slightly different from the abhorrent man in her memories.
When Su Ming was somewhere around his 13,000th stroke, Tian Lan Meng could no longer catch up. Sweat had started forming on her forehead. Her speed had started to slow down because those 10,000 something strokes that were completely different from each other had already become very difficult for her to copy for they had different feelings coming from within them.
Yet she still gritted her teeth and persevered in copying all those strokes, though her speed was also becoming increasingly slower. When she copied out the 15,000th stroke, Su Ming had already drawn his 20,000th stroke by her side.
The 20,000 different strokes made Tian Lan Meng turn pale. Her actions gradually slowed down until she eventually came to a halt. When she looked at Su Ming, she bit her bottom lip.
Su Ming still had his eyes closed and continued drawing. At the instant he made his 23,000th stroke, he opened his eyes and drew that last line across the sky.
The very instant he made that slash, the sky roared and a large crack appeared in the air for a brief moment. It might have only been for a brief moment, but it was precisely because it only appeared briefly, that once it appeared, it immediately disappeared without a trace!
"Can you copy that?"
Su Ming stood in midair and looked at Tian Lan Meng.
Tian Lan Meng trembled. As she looked at the final stroke, she found herself rendered speechless.
After a long while, Tian Lan Meng said in a hoarse voice, "This isn’t Si Ma Xin’s slash!"
"It isn’t. This is mine," Su Ming said softly, then turned around and walked away.
He disappeared into the distance and just his voice floated through the air and landed into Tian Lan Meng’s ears."Your request is definitely for us to work together during Sky Mist Shaman Hunt. If it is something related to the things you gave me, then I will work with you."
The old woman in white on the seventh summit watched Su Ming leave, then lifted her head to look at the sky. A brilliant light appeared in her eyes.
"Picture Creation…" she mumbled, then looked towards the ninth summit.
"It was not long since this child entered the ninth summit, and yet he has already reached this level of understanding… However, is the word Creation truly the underlying meaning lying within the Berserker Tribe… Uncle master Tian Xie Zi, due to his epiphany, your eldest disciple is forced into isolation and cannot leave.
"Due to his epiphany, your second disciple split into two different personalities…
"Due to his epiphany, your third disciple has two different realities: his dreams and what is in the real world…
"These three people have succeeded, but have also failed… perhaps they will once again succeed someday, but it is only a mere possibility… Right now, your fourth disciple is about to arrive at that state. What sort of change will happen to him..?
"You went through four changes of heart and could not go through the fifth… but even if you eventually make it through, there will be more waiting for you. If you are already caught in this state, then can your disciples do it? Creation is difficult…"
The old woman shook her head and a complicated look appeared on her face.
"Meng Er is the most powerful among all those within the same generation in the Great Frozen Plains. For the training of her state of mind, I let her understand the Daos of the other worlds. This method is stable, but it is unrelated to the Berserkers…"
As the old woman mumbled with mixed feelings in her heart, Tian Xie Zi was sitting in his cave at the top of the ninth summit. At that moment, his face was twisted with mixed expressions that showed pain and struggle. His robes would sometimes be white, sometimes black, occasionally red, and at times green, but most of the time, they would stay purple.