As the word ‘Master’ spilled out of his mouth, Tian Xie Zi turned around. His expression might still have been dark, but there was a smile curling up at the corner of his lips.
"You went through a lot," Tian Xie Zi said softly, praise evident in his eyes.
Su Ming sucked in a deep breath. He had originally thought that it would take years before he found his Master again, or even worse, perhaps he would never be able to see him again. He did not expect that Tian Xie Zi would appear outside Lizard Shaman Tribe.
Su Ming touched the wound on his chest and shook his head.
"Go, do what you should do. I’ll wait for you, then… let’s go home together."
Tian Xie Zi looked at Su Ming, and the praise in his eyes grew stronger.
Su Ming fell silent for a moment, then wrapped his fist in his hand and bowed towards Tian Xie Zi. Without stopping, he charged towards the Lizard Shaman Tribe behind his Master.
Tian Xie Zi looked at Su Ming’s back and an eager look appeared on his face.
"My fourth disciple, what will you choose…?" he mumbled.
As Su Ming ran forward, a big village appeared before him. Large amounts of wood had been used to build a fence around the village, and bubbling laughter could be heard coming from within. Those voices belonged to the elderly, the children, the women, and the fighting men, Shamans.
That sound made Su Ming slow down. He looked at the village, and even though he was still a bit of a distance away, he could feel the happiness that was shared by the tribe members within the village.
"If I was captured by the old Shaman, then that laughter might have even increased when he returned to the village…"
Su Ming sighed. He did not know whether what he was about to do next was correct, but he understood that he had paid the price for a moment of weakness in a world where only the strong survived.
He walked towards the village silently. The moment he was only thousands of feet away from the village, a piercing whistle pierced the air.
That sound worked as an alarm. The moment it reverberated through the village, four people shot out from within. Right when those four people saw Su Ming, their expressions immediately changed.
Su Ming was not unfamiliar with these four people. They were the few who had survived his strongest attack because they were saved by the old Shaman!
The instant he saw those four people, killing intent rose in Su Ming’s eyes. He leaped up and the small virescent sword at the center of his brows shone before shooting out in a green arc, flying as quickly as lightning. Then the moment the four people closed in, a bell chime suddenly echoed from within Su Ming’s body.
That bell chime was like a funeral bell. When the rippling sound spread out, a green light flashed in the sky. The small sword penetrated through one of the people’s chest with a speed of lightning, bringing with it fresh blood and screams of devastation. The curtains for the massacre were lifted.
After a moment, four corpses lay on the ground before the village. There was blood on Su Ming’s body as he walked calmly forward. The instant the deathly silence fell within the village, the small virescent sword cut down the village’s gate.
A loud bang cut the air and the gate instantly shattered. It shattered into countless shards and tumbled to the ground. With a great cloud of dust shooting up into the sky from the destroyed gate, Su Ming walked into the village.
The moment he entered, five people charged towards him and fought against him amidst the flying dust.
Rumbling sounds continued echoing in the air. Su Ming did not stop in the slightest. The moment he was engaged with his enemies, black fog surrounded him and the Divine General Armor materialized on his body. It blocked his enemies’ attacks. At the same time, green light shone and thunder spread out. When Su Ming walked away from the dust that had rose up because of the destruction of the village gate, five corpses lay behind him.
Almost the moment the five people died and Su Ming walked into the village, nearly one hundred arrows sliced through the air towards him, but they froze a few feet away from him and exploded into smithereens.
These arrows were not shot by Shamans but from the normal tribe members within the village. The normal tribe members glared at Su Ming with bloodshot eyes filled with hatred. Even if their arrows were destroyed, more of them whisked through the air once again.
Su Ming saw not only hatred in their eyes, but also a determination that said they would not stop unless they died.
At that moment, a low growl rang through the air, and a man walked out from one of the tents in the village. That man was half-naked, and with a stomp on the ground, he leaped towards Su Ming. Soon, a dozen more Shamans stormed towards him from various corners of the village.
Su Ming closed his eyes in silence. With his right hand lifted, he drew a line. That line was like the might of heaven itself. The instant he finished drawing the line, the man in the lead shuddered and his body was instantly torn to shreds. His head flew into the air.
The remaining people all let out shrill, pained screams the moment Su Ming finished drawing the line with his eyes closed. They fell from the sky, and once their bodies crashed onto the ground, they breathed their last and died.
Su Ming opened his eyes and swept his gaze through the village. This was not a big village. There were many tents, and there were hundreds of men and women staring at him darkly. Their eyes were filled with burning hatred, and those gazes made Su Ming’s heart hurt.
Those gazes belonged to the elderly, the children, and the women…
There were some who were still shooting arrows at him even though they knew it was impossible. Those arrows kept getting destroyed, but that still did not stop them.
Su Ming walked calmly forward and spread his divine sense around the entire tribe. Once he scanned the area, he lifted his right hand, and the small virescent sword charged out with a whistle towards some tents. It shot through them and brought back blood on its blade.
All the places which the sword went to were where the Shamans lay. However, those people were unconscious due to heavy injuries and could not get out.
When the small virescent sword returned to Su Ming’s side, there were no longer any warriors left in the entire Lizard Shaman Tribe. The remaining hundreds of people were all normal tribe members.
Yet even though they were normal people, the hate filled gazes and arrows exuded a frenzied rage of Su Ming.
Sobbing sounds came from within the village. They contained the weeping of the women, the fear of the children, and most of all, the tears that fell soundlessly from the eyes of the people who they stood on the ground covered by the corpses of their dead Shamans.
Su Ming stared at these people quietly. He understood the hate within these people’s eyes. However, if he did not come here in this manner but was instead captured back by the old Shaman, stepped on, and turned into a Shaman Puppet, none of them would have shown any pity to him. They would instead have been cheering with cruel excitement.
This was the sorrow of a person who did not belong in a battle between two different populations.
He could either not enter the fight, or… shoulder the burden brought by this sorrow.
The arrows that flew towards him did not stop, especially those from a certain boy. His eyes were red and his left hand had already been cut by the bow string. Blood flowed down his hand, but he did not seem to know pain. He gritted his teeth and drew his bow again and again to shoot, even though he knew that his arrows could not injure the enemy he wanted to kill.
Su Ming’s eyes finally fell on the boy.
He looked at him and walked closer. When the boy saw Su Ming walking towards him, he let out a loud roar and charged forward with his bow and arrows. There was a look on his face that said he was prepared to die; it held a madness that said even if he died, he still had to go up and bite his enemy.
Yet after he rushed up, he could not help but stop under Su Ming’s gaze. There was an authority within that gaze that made the boy unable to control his own body. He could only stop before him.
Tears fell from his eyes. Within those tears were madness and hate…
Su Ming looked at the boy, then lifted his right hand to wipe away the tears on his face.
"It… shouldn’t have been this way…" Su Ming said softly. "I saved you. I killed that snake… There was no hate between us…"
The boy glared at Su Ming, and the hate in his eyes turned into loathing.
"Why did you tell them..? Was it just because I am from the Berserker Tribe and you are from the Shaman Tribe..?" Su Ming looked at the boy and wiped away the tears from a corner of his eye.
"For that one show of mercy, I paid a very huge price… This is my mistake, and I must remember this mistake.
"You are the same, because you were also wrong," Su Ming stated calmly.
The boy shuddered and a lost look appeared in his eyes. More tears fell down his cheeks, and Su Ming saw a hint of regret in his eyes.
"It shouldn’t have been this way…"
Su Ming looked at the boy and turned around to walk towards the destroyed village gate. Once he walked out, he heard a wretched scream from the boy behind him.
Within that scream were hatred, madness, and deep regret…
Su Ming did not turn his head back. He walked out of the village, into the forest, then back to Tian Xie Zi’s side.
"Master, let’s go home…" Su Ming’s voice was filled with fatigue.
"I thought you chose to come back here because you wanted to destroy the village." Tian Xie Zi looked at Su Ming calmly.
Su Ming was silent for a moment. He did not look at Tian Xie Zi but chose to look in the direction of where Sky Mist Barrier was located and spoke in an exhausted voice, "I felt your presence on him."
"I was the one who woke him up. This is the Shaman Tribe. They have a deep seated hatred with us Berserkers. If you still don’t understand, you will have to pay the price with your life during Sky Mist Battle," Tian Xie Zi said, his eyes closed.
Su Ming was silent.
"Killing the Split Dawn alone and beheading him is worthy of praise!
"Not panicking while getting attacked by dozens of Shamans in the forest and killing them one by one after you calmed down is worthy of praise!
"Running into people who are more powerful than you and using your strongest attack to rip apart the sky, then not staying in battle and escaping because you knew your limits is worthy of praise!
"Knowing not to blindly escape using brute force, then turning back to fight after accessing the situation and not being afraid of the people more powerful than you is worthy of praise!
"Working together with Bai Chang Zai’s Divine Clone and reaching an epiphany towards your first Style is worthy of huge praise!
"However, showing kindness and sparing the boy the first time was a mistake!
"And yet after knowing all these and returning to the place, you still chose to spare the boy. That is… a huge mistake! As your Master, I will right your wrong!"
Tian Xie Zi turned around and started walking towards the Shaman Tribe.
"Master!" Su Ming looked at Tian Xie Zi. He might appear exhausted, but his eyes were calm. "This is my Creation…"
Tian Xie Zi’s footsteps faltered.