The sun continued with its usual routine of rising and setting, night was still graced with the presence of the moon, and the freezing wind still blew as usual. There was no differences whatsoever, no changes.
Even if someone had isolated themselves to train for five days, their power would not have increased by much. To almost everyone, these five days were practically the same as the other days in a year.
The seventh summit’s Tian Lan Meng sat on a big rock near the top of the mountain. Wind lifted her hair. To her, these five days were just one meditation session.
Zi Yan and Han Cang Zi had their own things to do. These five days passed by quickly for them and nothing had changed.
The fourth summit’s Han Fei Zi was in isolation and was making the final preparations for Sky Mist Shaman Hunt. With her Master’s help, she was already near Awakening and would reach that Realm within a few days.
The first summit’s Si Ma Xin still sat in his cave abode as he usually did. Occasionally, when he woke up, his eyes would be cold and dark. There was nothing different about him.
Most of the people were as such, and it was the same for the ninth summit. Hu Zi remained drunk and did his usual things during those five days. He would drink, dream, and snore like war drums. Happily waking up and happily falling asleep again.
Su Ming’s second senior brother continued planting flowers during day and floating around like an apparition during night. These five days passed by very quickly to him.
To the eldest senior brother, these five days passed by like the blink of an eye. Within the silence of isolation, if he did not pay even the slightest amount of attention to his surroundings, it would not be just five days that had passed by.
However, there were a handful of people to whom these days passed like years.
Zi Che was one of them. During the first day, he was very calm, but this calmness had turned into doubt after three days had gone by. It was already three days since he saw Su Ming.
More importantly, he could not feel any presence from the cave. It was as if Su Ming was no longer there.
That feeling became clearer when the fourth day arrived. He had a vague feeling that something was not right. Su Ming rarely isolated him. Even if he was meditating, he would occasionally walk out and stand on the platform to look at the horizon.
Yet four days had already passed by and Su Ming had not appeared. This made Zi Che think that there was something off.
Especially since Zi Che was not the only one waiting for Su Ming outside his cave during these five days; there was also… Bai Su!
She had already waited there for several days, not leaving. If it was not for Zi Che stopping her, she would have entered Su Ming’s cave a long time ago.
During the fifth night, Zi Che sat outside and frowned as he looked at Su Ming’s cave with his heart filled with uncertainty, but he did not dare enter the cave.
As Zi Che remained hesitant, a voice that made him feel resigned fell into his ears.
"Just how long are you going to stand in my way? I want to see Su Ming!"
That was from Bai Su. She was dressed in purple and was sitting right in front of Zi Che with determination showing through her wild beauty.
"Su Ming, it’s already been five days and you still refuse to see me? Is seeing my face really that shocking to you?!
"Even if you don’t see me, are you going to stay in your cave forever?!
"Unless I die, then I won’t give up!"
The dark cave was quiet, like always. Not a hint of sound reached them from within. This silence made Bai Su’s determination grow stronger.
Zi Che did not even bother talking to Bai Su anymore. To him, this girl was unreasonable and her constant badgering was annoying.
Bai Su felt bitter. She had naturally seen Zi Che’s expression and knew that her constant badgering had caused him to hate her, but… she had to do this.
At that moment, a freezing wind whistled by and lifted a large amount of snow to blow against their faces. When the wind passed, the area returned to silence, neither Zi Che nor Bai Su notice that a person had walked into the cave with the wind and sat down inside.
Tian Xie Zi also walked back to the top of the ninth summit. He chose to reenter isolation and the color of his clothes slowly changed.
Tian Xie Zi and Su Ming’s return went unnoticed by Hu Zi. He continued snoring in his sleep. His second senior brother floated in the air like an apparition, lifting his head a moment before resuming his search for his other self that represented destruction.
A gentle gaze came from within the ice where the eldest senior brother had isolated himself before he closed his eyes once again, and that gaze disappeared without a trace.
Su Ming sat down in the cave, and the dark cave gave off such a feeling of familiarity it reminded him of home. He took a deep breath and looked at his surroundings. To the others, these five ordinary days might have passed by quickly, but Su Ming, he had gone through an earth-shattering change, an experience that a normal person would rarely have to go through, and a life threatening crisis.
To Su Ming, those five days had been like five years, even longer…
Within those five days, he saw Master’s junior brother, witnessed the shocking fight, although that fight had become a blur in his mind and he could no longer remember it clearly.
Five days ago, he saw the old xun maker and played a song. He gained an epiphany and an understanding towards the change of heart, which led to him making his own decision.
In those five days, he went to the land of the Shamans, saw his Master’s incredible power, saw the Spirit Medium, saw the strange Split Dawn, and also the gigantic sacred beast that was about 10,000 feet in size - the Golden Roc!
In those five days, he killed one of the Split Dawn and went through a series of pursuits for his life.
In those five days, he completed the first Style of his Picture Creation and heard his very own God of Berserkers Song.
In those five days, he went through… a complete transformation!
‘Battle, destroy, forget…’
Su Ming lifted his head in the darkness and looked at the world outside his cave. There seemed to be a girl’s figure in the gentle moonlight.
‘Among the three methods to deal with the changes of heart… the easiest would be to destroy it! Kill her and everything will end. The hardest would be to forget. Forget Bai Ling, and Bai Su won’t be able to affect me.
‘As for fighting… It won’t solve my problems.’ Bai Su’s voice from beyond the cave reached Su Ming’s ears. Her voice was very clear in the silent night.
‘These are Master’s methods, not mine…’
Su Ming’s eyes were calm as he looked at the moonlight beyond the cave.
"The change of heart is triggered by a person or event. A person can choose to destroy, fight, or forget… These three methods are all a form of escapism… Since it had already existed since the beginning, then I might as well let it continue existing… I’ll face it head on," Su Ming mumbled under his breath.
"If a person’s heart can change due to persistently holding onto something, then why can’t that persistence grant me peace?"
Su Ming closed his eyes, and after a moment, he slowly opened them. He brought out his drawing board and flipped it to its front. Ever since he drew that piece on the front, he had never looked at it. The drawing board was empty, but in his eyes, his own body had appeared on the drawing board, and his foot, which he wanted to lift up, was tangled by grass.
A smile appeared on his face. He looked at the grass, then slowly lifted his head.
"Zi Che, let her come in."
Zi Che had sunken into a state of hesitation and doubt outside the cave. He had a feeling that something was off in Su Ming’s cave. Just as his ears rang with Bai Su’s constant badgering, Su Ming’s words suddenly floated out of the cave.
As his voice left the cave, Zi Che’s heart trembled and the mixed feelings within his heart immediately disappeared without a trace. He got up, bowed towards the cave, and obeyed.
A glint appeared in Bai Su’s eyes. With one single move, she walked past Zi Che and immediately stormed towards the cave. He followed behind her and the two of them entered Su Ming’s cave.
Due to the darkness outside, the cave was tossed into an even darker shade of black. Once they entered, they could only see a faint outline of Su Ming’s body. Anything beyond where he sat was practically impossible to see clearly.
Yet even so, when Zi Che entered the cave and saw Su Ming, he still felt his heart rumbling when he saw Su Ming’s gaze. That gaze seemed the same as it did five days ago, but Zi Che felt a new, powerful pressure. He could tell that the Su Ming before him was completely different from the him five days ago!
He could not tell what was different, but this pressure was similar to that when Zi Che was facing Su Ming’s second senior brother, and even similar to that when Zi Che stood before his own Master.
If the Su Ming five days ago still had a sort of naivety to him, then the him now no longer had that naivety. This was a gaze that belonged to a ferocious beast that walked out of death’s door after going through a series of hardships.
Zi Che felt his heart tremble and he quickly lowered his head to bow towards Su Ming.
"Greetings… Master." Zi Che’s breathing quickened slightly. His heart pounded against his chest and that intimidating feeling became stronger.
‘Just what had happened to him during these five days..?’
Zi Che did not dare lift his head. Shock rose in his heart, along with bafflement.
Zi Che was not the only one who felt this way, Bai Su was the same. The moment she saw Su Ming’s gaze, she was shocked. She could not help but slow down her originally overbearing walk and eventually come to a stop.
"I, Bai Su… greet… greet uncle master Su…"
Bai Su’s heart raced against her chest. Su Ming’s calm gaze made a dazed look appear in her eyes for an instant. It was as if the person sitting over there was not Su Ming, but Si Ma Xin, Tian Lan Meng, or perhaps not even the both of them, but people who were as strong as her father.
That gaze seemed to contain a power that could attract a person’s mind and make even the angriest people calm down.
Su Ming looked at Bai Su, at that face that was the exact same as Bai Ling’s, and nodded.
"From tomorrow onwards, you can come here and I’ll teach you how to draw… Zi Che won’t stop you anymore."
Bai Su’s mind was in turmoil. She lifted her head and stared at Su Ming blankly. She could not understand why he suddenly changed his mind.
"However, I have a request," he stated flatly.
Bai Su’s breathing froze and a wary look appeared on her face. The impression of Su Ming within her mind was extremely bad, and if it was not for Si Ma Xin, she would not have approached him.
Bai Su had already been dubious when Su Ming suddenly agreed to it, so when she heardhim talking about a request, her eyes gradually grew cold.
"Say it. As long as I can do it, I will."
"When you come to see me, wear a long white robe. Don’t let your hair down and tie it up with a red string made of straw. Leave two small braids by your ears, and have all your remaining hair tied behind your head.
"Put some glittering crystals on your forehead. Then when the light from the snow on the ground will reflect off the crystals, they will shine with a piercing light.
"When you smile, show your canines."
Bai Su frowned.
"Since you want to turn into the person in my memories, then dress yourself this way," Su Ming told her slowly and closed his eyes.
Bai Su was silent for a while before she let out a cold snort and left.