This was the first time Bai Su saw this Su Ming.
He terrified her.
She suddenly felt that she did not understand the person before her. Before this day, she never knew that when this man was burning with silent anger, such a powerful murderous aura would come from him.
Su Ming was no longer a boy, no longer a rash child who would do things recklessly. He had learned how to be calm and got used to being cool-headed. He might be angry, but besides the killing intent in his right eye, he did not let anything else show. Instead, he lifted his right hand and tapped a finger against the center of Zi Che’s brows.
With that one tap, Zi Che instantly started trembling. Su Ming crouched down, brought out some medicinal pills, and placed them into Zi Che’s mouth. He picked him up and raised him to a sitting position. He placed his right hand on Zi Che’s jugular notch, and the moment the power of Awakening surged into his body, Zi Che trembled even more violently. He coughed out another mouthful of blood, and it was still filled with those black, squirming bugs.
Su Ming frowned. He noticed that once his power surged into Zi Che’s body, it immediately turned into thousands upon thousands of threads that disappeared into all parts of Zi Che’s body. It was as if his power was swallowed.
This was something normal and to be expected, and it was what Su Ming had wanted to do. He wanted to use his power of the Awakening Realm along with the medicinal pills Zi Che swallowed to nourish Zi Che’s body. Only then would he be able to wake him up as quickly as possible and begin healing him, though he would only be able to cure him a little.
Yet now, even though Su Ming’s power was continuously disappearing into Zi Che’s body, the man wasn’t getting better. In fact, he grew worse. He had a single thread of life left previously, and now that thread was rapidly disappearing.
Once it completely disappeared, Zi Che would definitely die.
Su Ming let out a cold snort. The killing intent in his right eye grew stronger. He might have never treated Zi Che as one of the ninth summit, but ever since Zi Che came to the ninth summit, besides the disobedience at the start, he had always listened to Su Ming’s orders.
Over the past months, Su Ming had found no reason to complain about Zi Che. More importantly, Zi Che had gradually begun to refer to Su Ming as ‘Master’ instead of ‘uncle master’ entirely of his own will. Su Ming had not asked him to do it.
Deep in his heart, Su Ming had always thought his eldest senior brother could hurt Zi Che as much as he wanted to. His second senior brother could do it too, and it was the same for his third senior brother. Of course, it was the same for his Master. However, besides these people, if anyone else harmed his follower, then they would need to pay for it.
With a cold harrumph, the green sword mark at the center of Su Ming’s brows flashed, and instantly, his divine sense spread out to gather on Zi Che’s body. After it scanned it, it surged inside and began looking in detail through each and every inch of the body.
After a moment, a sharp look appeared in Su Ming’s eyes. He could clearly sense a cocoon like thing in Zi Che’s stomach with his divine sense. That thing was about the size of a fist, but there seemed to be an endless space within it for black bugs were incessantly crawled out of it.
These bugs stayed inside Zi Che’s body and continuously absorbed his life force to strengthen themselves. That act was incredibly vicious and cruel.
Su Ming lifted his right hand from Zi Che’s jugular notch and drew a slash across Zi Che’s robes covering his chest, then pressed his palm on his abdomen. Once he did so, he fused the power of Awakening with his divine sense and swept it across the cocoon like thing in Zi Che’s stomach.
Zi Che lay with eyes closed, unconscious, but right then he let out a piercing scream. As he screamed, Su Ming’s right hand turned into a claw and pierced his abdomen. Once the fingers sank into his flesh, Su Ming seized the cocoon and yanked it out, forcefully bringing it out of Zi Che’s body.
The instant the cocoon was brought out, Zi Che’s eyes flew open, revealing an extremely exhausted look in his eyes. At the same time, Su Ming pressed his left hand against the wound on Zi Che’s abdomen. The power of Awakening surged in with Su Ming’s command to clear up the body, and caused the wound to quickly close up and numerous black bugs to crawl out of Zi Che’s eyes, nose, ears, and mouth. They struggled for a moment before falling to the ground, lifeless.
A hint of red gradually appeared on Zi Che’s face, and his life force slowly stopped fading away. He panted harshly and sat down cross-legged to meditate, slowly showing signs of recovery. However, there were still wisps of black mist surrounding the black arrow that was protruding from his right leg. That black mist would occasionally gather up to turn into ghosts that howled without sound.
Su Ming pulled his left hand back and was about to draw that black arrow out, but he stopped himself. He stared at the arrow and frowned. He had a feeling that the arrow was not something that he could take out easily.
"The arrow of the Black Arrow Berserker… The ones who are shot will find their life force continuously disappearing, as if they were poisoned… Without the proper method, if you pull out the arrow, Zi Che will die in his weakened state…" Bai Su’s said in a weak voice from nearby.
Su Ming remained silent for a moment before he averted his gaze from Zi Che’s body to look at the cocoon he held in his right hand. That cocoon was entirely black and looked like a stone. When Su Ming brought it out of Zi Che’s body, it had been soft to touch, but when it was exposed to wind, it hardened up rapidly.
There was a crack on its corner, and black bugs were crawling out of it. However, that crack was quickly closing up. The bugs that had crawled out all fell to the ground under the cold wind.
Su Ming stared at the cocoon in his hand and a light of curiosity alighted in his eyes.
"This isn’t something from Freezing Sky Clan…" a weak voice laden with fear said from the direction before Su Ming.
When he lifted his head, he saw Bai Su walking onto the platform with a hesitant look on her face.
"All the things in Freezing Sky Clan can withstand the cold, but this thing hardens up once it’s exposed to cold wind. It doesn’t belong to Freezing Sky Clan," Bai Su stated softly.
Su Ming did not speak. He lowered his head and continued looking at the cocoon in his hand. A frown gradually formed on his brows. His eyes seemed calm, but no one could know the storm raging in his heart when he saw the bugs Zi Che vomited out and when he held the cocoon in his hand.
Bai Su hesitated for a moment before continuing, "Even in the Great Tribe of Freezing Sky, it’s rather impossible for something like this to appear, because the climate is not suitable for these things to survive… See, they’re already dead. The cocoon in your hands will also die before long…"
"What’s the relationship between Northern Frontier Tribe and the Great Tribe of Freezing Sky?" Su Ming slowly asked.
"There are four branches under the Great Tribe of Freezing Sky. Northern Frontier is one of them. As for Zhuo Ge… I’ve heard of him before. He’s not a disciple of Freezing Sky Clan but is the son of Zhuo Ya, Northern Frontier Tribe’s Chief of War…."
Bai Su hesitated for moment, but still chose to tell what she knew in the end. However, there was one thing that she did not tell Su Ming after her hesitation. Zhuo Ge… was someone who was closely acquainted with Si Ma Xin.
"What does Black Arrow Berserker mean?"
As Su Ming asked, he averted his gaze from the cocoon in his hand and turned to look at Zi Che’s, who still remained sitting cross-legged, right leg.
The ghosts formed from the black mist around the arrow were floating around hideously.
"The Berserkers in Northern Frontier Tribe train in ways that are largely different from what we do here in Freezing Sky Clan. They refine their blood, but don’t Awaken, neither do they sacrifice their bones. They choose instead to walk down the path of training which stimulates the power of the blood in their veins, turning their bodies invincible.
"This cultivation method is unique to Northern Frontier Tribe and they seldom share it with outsiders. When Northern Frontier Tribe surrendered to the Great Tribe of Freezing Sky, they also gained the Great Tribe of Freezing Sky’s respect. That’s why they could retain that unique cultivation method of theirs.
"Black Arrow is just one of their titles. They are divided into Blue, Black, Green, and Purple. Black Arrow Berserkers are around the same level as a Berserker in the Bone Sacrifice Realm… Besides the cultivation method which Northern Frontier Tribe keeps secret to themselves, they also keep the method they use to create their arrows a secret.
"Their arrows can only be shot by the tribe members who practice their secret cultivation method. They have the power to absorb life and cannot be drawn out lightly. The black mist on it has to be refined, and then enough life force has to be offered for it to be possible to take the arrow out," Bai Su explained softly, telling almost everything she knew in detail.
Su Ming stared at the arrow in Zi Che’s right leg and the murderous aura in his right eye became stronger.
"What is that black mist?" he asked calmly.
"A Phantom… This is the name Northern Frontier Tribe gave it. Every single year, the Berserkers who have become adults will be sent to a secret place in the Northern Frontier to search for their own Phantom.
"Once the person finds it, the arrow he or she shoots out will have the power of the Phantom. The more people the person kills, the stronger the Phantom will become. Eventually, the Phantom’s power will reach a shocking level.
"The Great Tribe of Freezing Sky suffered quite a lot before they subdued this tribe in the past and named it Northern Frontier.
Su Ming was silent for a moment before looking at Bai Su. The knowledge she possessed of these things shocked him. "What was the name of the tribe before Freezing Sky subdued it?"
"Phantom Dais…" Bai Su answered in a low voice. Once she finished speaking, she hesitated and cast a glance at Su Ming. "Perhaps… I can try getting rid of the Phantom Aura on the arrow…"
Su Ming looked towards her.
"My… My power may not be great, but I’ve always liked reading ancient scrolls since I was young. I know a lot of things other people don’t know… I also learned a lot of Arts from some strange tribes from my father…" Bai Su said softly.
She did not tell Su Ming that her father had done everything he could to get all sorts of valuable ancient scrolls and Arts that could be casted without relying on the caster’s level of cultivation to foster this one and only interest of hers because of what had happened to her when she was young.
"How confident are you?" Su Ming asked calmly.
Bai Su hesitated for a moment before she answered softly, "Three tenths… two tenths… maybe even less…"
"If you fail, then Zi Che will die?" Su Ming asked after a moment of silence.
Bai Su did not speak for some time. After a long while, she nodded her head with a grim look on her face.