Su Ming wrestled himself out of Hu Zi’s grasp, then looked at the livid man and found himself speechless.
"They went too far this time! I won’t tolerate it!" Hu Zi shouted out, lifting his hands along with his voice.
"Fourth, what’s with that expression of yours?"
It was a feat that Hu Zi could still see the odd expression on Su Ming’s face when he was so angry and ask curiously.
"Uh… No… It’s nothing."
Su Ming let out a few fake coughs. He had a feeling that now was not a good time to talk about the things he wanted with Hu Zi. Just as he was about to find a chance to leave as quickly as possible, Hu Zi’s furious roar reverberated through the cave once again.
"They’re humiliating me! This is a blatant challenge thrown in my face, isn’t that right, youngest junior brother?! Isn’t it horrible that they did something like this? Isn’t it heartless? Isn’t it without honor? Isn’t it utterly shameless?!"
Hu Zi began pacing in his cave, and his messy hair made him look like a maniac as he continued shouting.
"They’re horrible! It’s a complete waste for me to have gone over to take care of their Rune in the past! They’re heartless! I repaired their previous Rune multiple times in the past, you know! They’re seriously without honor, how could they not tell me that they changed their Rune?!"
"Third senior brother… I still have some things to do, I’m just… going to go now…" Su Ming quickly took a few steps back in an attempt to leave the place.
"Youngest junior brother, don’t go…" Hu Zi ran forward and blocked Su Ming’s path. He was burning with rage, but underneath that rage was excitement.
"Youngest junior brother, you have to be my judge. Say, I haven’t been here for long, but did you know? That seventh summit has already changed their Mountain Protection Rune six times!
"Six times, this is the seventh time! Aren’t they just bullies? Every single time they change it, the new one is much more complex than the last. I have to mull over it long and hard before I find the way to break through it!
"Especially this time, they just went overboard. They went way overboard! I used a total of ten days to calculate and find the equations for it! It’s been ten days since I went out to peek at someone else! Ten days!"
Su Ming let out a wry smile. He was just about to speak when an excited expression lying underneath Hu Zi’s rage replaced the look of fury.
"But!" Hu Zi waved his arm and his bloodshot eyes were filled with brilliant light. "I still broke it. What’s a Mountain Protection Rune before me? I’m the smartest person around! Youngest junior brother, look!" Hu Zi dragged Su Ming to the carved ground and pointed at the dazzling pictures covering it.
"Solving a Rune is easy. What is hard is how I’m supposed to make the Rune open up for me without it being noticed. Look, this line is me!"
Hu Zi grew increasingly more excited as he continued speaking. He took up his knife and drew a zigzagging line on the ground. That line twisted often as it went towards the deepest parts, never touching any of the other carved pictures. It was as if a path had been opened up out of thin air.
"Tonight, I’m going to let that seventh summit know that their Grandpa Hu… has come back!" Hu Zi patted his chest and laughed loudly.
A glint appeared in Su Ming’s eyes and he crouched down to inspect the pictures on the ground. After a long while, he lifted his head with a smile on his face to look at the pleased Hu Zi.
"Third senior brother, you’re indeed the smartest."
Once Hu Zi heard it, he became even more pleased with himself and slapped Su Ming’s shoulders hard.
"You’re my bosom buddy, youngest junior brother, there’s no doubt about that. Tonight, I’ll bring you out to broaden your view of the world. I know a few good places on the seventh summit. I never told anyone about them before, you know. I even gritted my teeth and didn’t tell Master when he came to me in flowery robes.
"I’ve decided. How about I bring you to see Tian Lan Meng?" Hu Zi was talking excitedly when he saw Su Ming’s eyes on the pictures on the ground again. He blinked and fell silent.
"Third senior brother, would the same effects appear if I carved these Runes on armor..?" Su Ming asked in a mumble, a brilliant light shining in his eyes as he stared at the Runes on the ground.
He had come to Hu Zi for this to begin with. That thought had originally been indistinct, originating from when he had seen Hu Zi create the ice that could show reflections of the seventh summit. He had once mumbled something that Zi Che couldn’t hear—he planned to make his next creation sturdier.
This gave Su Ming an inspiration and an incredibly bold thought formed in his heart. This thought might be ridiculous, but Su Ming could not give up on the temptation of success.
That was why he had thought of coming to talk to Hu Zi. Now, when he saw the pictures on the ground, that thought became clearer in his mind.
"Carve it on armor?" Hu Zi was stunned and scratched his head. He mulled over it for a long while before he shook his head. "No can do. There aren’t any materials for it. Besides…" Hu Zi frowned and left his sentence hanging midway as he sank into deep thought.
"Third senior brother." Su Ming stood up and shifted his gaze from the pictures on the ground to Hu Zi. "I need some pictures of Mountain Protection Runes just like these from the simple ones to the complex ones. I’ll have to trouble you for that."
Hu Zi was still frowning. When he heard it, he nodded and patted his chest, saying, "Sure. I’ll get it done in a few days. But youngest junior brother, it might be a bit difficult for you to do this. There aren’t any materials to do so. Besides, Mountain Protection Runes change all the time, they aren’t immobile objects… Even if you manage to carve it down, they won’t change anymore."
Su Ming smiled softly before he wrapped his fist in his palm towards Hu Zi and walked out of his cave, leaving his third senior brother in a state of confusion.
Hu Zi thought for a little while longer inside his cave and still found that the thing Su Ming asked for was incredibly difficult to achieve, but since it was his youngest junior brother’s request, he would definitely pour out his heart and soul to finish it.
Yet when his gaze fell on the pictures on the ground, his eyes immediately started shining. He no longer thought about how Su Ming was going to carve the Runes on his armor, but instead rubbed his hands together excitedly.
"I’ll let that seventh summit know that I’ve come back tonight! They went too far this time! They’re just heartless!"
Hu Zi picked up his wine gourd and took a big swig, then started imagining what he would be doing that night before he started giggling in a silly manner.
Su Ming left Hu Zi’s cave and continued working on the idea that made his heart pound in excitement. The more he thought about it, the more he thought that it was plausible.
‘I might need to use extremely precise fine control to do this…’
A glint appeared in Su Ming’s eyes, and he suddenly stopped walking. His eyes were trained on Bai Su standing on the mountain path in the distance with a pleased look on her face.
"Su Ming, I finished my drawing!"
Bai Su had been waiting there for a long time. When she finally saw Su Ming, she immediately pointed to the ice rock beside her and spoke in a melodious voice.
Su Ming turned his gaze over and saw the picture of him on the ice rock having been altered. It was smeared to the point that it was a hideous mess. There was a giant shell on his back. Bai Su had also copied that picture on the ice rock by the side. She had drawn a turtle with its neck stretched out.
That turtle looked lifelike, especially its eyes. They even resembled Su Ming’s own eyes somewhat.
Su Ming’s expression remained passive and he walked over to take a closer look before nodding.
"Not bad. Continue." Once he finished speaking, he calmly walked past Bai Su and left.
Bai Su was momentarily stunned. Su Ming’s calmness made her fly into a rage once again and she ran up to him once more.
"Hey, I drew you!"
"I know." Su Ming did not even slow down. He simply continued walking forward, up the stairs.
"Don’t you think it’s alike?!" Bai Su continued pestering him.
"No," Su Ming replied flatly.
"If it’s not alike, then why did you say it wasn’t bad? I think it’s very like you." Bai Su jogged towards Su Ming and struggled to keep up with him.
"That’s why I told you to continue drawing."
Su Ming returned to the platform outside his cave. Just as he was about to return to his cave, Bai Su’s livid voice came from behind him.
"Su Ming, what’s the meaning of this? I already dressed myself up as per your request and you agreed to teach me how to draw, but the day has gone by and you taught me nothing." Bai Su stood on the platform and glared at Su Ming.
Su Ming turned around and looked at Bai Su. "Your don’t act like her."
"How so?" Bai Su immediately asked.
"Your expression. She’s not as noisy as you are," Su Ming said coldly.
Bai Su stared at him, then closed her eyes after a moment. When she opened them again, she turned her back towards Su Ming. She looked at the sky in the distance and lifted her hand to tie up her hair once again before tearing her collar and dragging out the fur over there so that she looked as if she had a ball of soft fur wrapped around her neck.
Once she was done, she lowered her head and tore away a large portion of her long dress. When the dress was torn to shreds and they flew into the wind, the skin-tight long trousers underneath it were revealed, along with the fur boots on her feet.
After that, she turned around and pursed her lips while looking at Su Ming. The disgust in her eyes was no longer there, replaced by a gentle look. The two braids in front of her shoulders moved as she turned around, and it led to the a few locks floating before her eyes.
A wild and untamed feeling seeped out of Bai Su’s expressions, her clothes, and her appearance. As snow was brought down by the wind, some of it landed on her hair.
Yet it could not hide the gentleness lying underneath her wild gaze. Her eyes dazed Su Ming once again.
The snowstorm grew bigger, and when it blew between her and Su Ming, everything seemingly turned silent. Only snow remained falling from the sky and only they remained staring into each other’s eyes.
"Su Ming, you’re back… do you remember me..?" Her gentle voice echoed in the surroundings, as if it had fused with the snow; it silenced Su Ming.
A smile appeared on Bai Su’s face. That smile was very pure, beautiful, happy. When she looked at Su Ming, her laughter rang like silver bells. She took a step back and her whole body left the platform. Without the power of Awakening and anything to support her feet, she fell rapidly down the canyons of the ninth summit.
"Su Ming, you’re back… but I… left…"
Bai Su continued falling, and a wild glare appeared in her eyes. She did not want to take defeat lying down, she wanted to take the risk! As she fell, she kept her eyes trained on the platform of the ninth summit that was growing further away until she fell on something soft and wind lifted her up, allowing the speed of her falling body to gradually slow down. A pleased expression appeared on Bai Su’s face once again.
"I won the first day!"
Su Ming turned around silently and walked to his cave abode. The moment he turn though, he mumbled softly, "She’s also similar to you when she was being unreasonable…"