"Not bad, Su Ming…" Jing Cheng Rong mumbled.
‘I originally wanted to provoke him through words so that he could endure through the wind a little longer. After all, the wind blowing against us is definitely uncommon due to Frozen Sky’s speed. It’s wind that is excellent for body refinement…
‘And only one person can obtain the chance of body refinement over here at the tip of the sword. It’s only because of Bai Cang Zai that I’m allowing this person to train here.
‘But… I didn’t expect that this person’s comprehensive abilities had reached such a level! He actually managed to reach this state through his epiphany!’
Jing Cheng Rong’s eyes sparkled as he looked at Su Ming.
‘I told him to think of himself as the wind, and by doing so, he could sense the power of wind when both gusts of wind run into each other. By doing so, he could refine his body by using wind to refine wind… but his epiphany had allowed him to surpass that state. He made it so that wind would pass through his body, and then… even if he ran into wind, there is no wind. If the person is there, but at the same time not…’
Jing Cheng Rong was stunned for a moment, then his gaze as he looked at Su Ming became strange.
Su Ming sat there for a long time before he opened his eyes. The moment he did so, a calm look settled within them.
"Senior Jing, this wind is a little too weak. Could you open up the tear a little more?"
Jing Cheng Rong let out a harrumph, but he did not call Su Ming a useless piece of trash anymore. Instead, he lifted his right hand and pointed in the direction before Su Ming. Immediately, the tear widened up a little more, causing the wind blowing in to become stronger.
The instant the wind blew against Su Ming, he closed his eyes, and all the pores in his body opened up. In his head, he imagined his body to have turned into the blood mist. Within him were numerous fine gaps that allowed the wind to pass through. It was as if he did not exist.
It was as if his pores could breathe, and when the wind blew against him, it would be sucked into his pores in a bizarre fashion. Then, it would be rapidly exchanged with something else within his body before being released from the pores on his back.
However, this method of breathing could not replace Su Ming’s true breathing. Even with this, he still felt as if he was about to suffocate. In fact, when he was exchanging the air within his body, a sharp pain that grew increasingly stronger came about.
Nonetheless, this method could indeed allow him to achieve and maintain a higher speed that surpassed that of when he took off all the extra weight on him, even as wind blew strongly against his face. In fact, it could even lengthen the duration of the time he could stay in that state.
Time passed by. When the second night arrived, Su Ming opened his eyes and took a few steps back swiftly. He took a few large breaths of air, and the color of his face gradually returned to normal. He had repeated this particular action several times during the day.
Jing Cheng Rong still did not speak. He was instead sizing up Su Ming with a strange glint in his eyes and observing the act of Su Ming using his pores to breathe.
"From what I know, there are some creatures in the world that do not need to use their mouths or noses to breathe. They use their skin to replace their mouths and noses… If I didn’t know that you were a Berserker and you didn’t occasionally look like you were about to suffocate, I would definitely think you were one of those creatures taken up human form." Jing Cheng Rong spoke with a strange tone in his voice.
He fell into contemplative silence for a while before he commented languidly, "That method of yours is different from the idea I gave you previously. But judging by your looks, you can’t stay in that condition for too long. It’s still… not perfect."
"But my speed has indeed increased by a huge margin compared to last time, and I can even last a much longer time than before. I’m already satisfied with this result.
"As for searching for an even better method… I’ll need to survive through the battle before I have the right to try and gain an epiphany for that." Su Ming remained silent for a moment before he said softly.
Jing Cheng Rong did not seem to agree with him, but once he looked as if he had just thought of something, he did not offer any retorts. He simply turned his words into a sigh.
"Perhaps you’re right. Only when you survive will you have a chance. Train on your own. I’m a little tired now…" He shook his head and closed his eyes to start meditating in silence.
The sky during night was filled with stars, but Su Ming did not have the time to look at them. After a moment of rest, he took in a deep breath, then he went to the spot where the wind was coming from at the tip of the sword. Once he sat down, he started refining his body with the method not even Jing Cheng Rong himself understood fully.
In truth, Su Ming himself did not really understand the method either. He simply used the inspiration he gained from the part of the blood mist that had not disappeared immediately. This method may look as if it was not difficult, but controlling all his pores to breathe in required fine control, and it was something difficult for any ordinary person to do.
Even Su Ming himself had to continuously try before he gradually found a pattern to it, only then could he slowly start with the refinement that was completely different from training his body by adding on extra weight.
‘I can’t give up on the training of adding extra weight to myself. Other people’s words are not necessarily completely true. Besides, this battle might last for several years. The level of devastation would be unbelievable. Surviving… is the most important thing!’
A determined look appeared in Su Ming’s eyes and he closed his eyes.
Night slowly went away. When the third morning came and the morning sun peeked its head out of the horizon, Su Ming saw a different sunrise in the sky.
The sunrise was so magnificent that it attracted his attention. After a long while, he closed his eyes and immersed himself in refining his body. Night arrived once more, and when the third night went away to welcome another new day, Su Ming stood up and went to Jing Cheng Rong, who still had his eyes closed, looking as if he was deep in sleep.
The moment Su Ming walked towards him, the old man opened his eyes.
"Senior Jing, thank you for your guidance." Su Ming wrapped his fist in his palm and bowed towards him with gratitude shining in his eyes.
"Don’t thank me now. If you can survive through the battle, you can thank me then."
Su Ming was already a little used to the way Jing Cheng Rong spoke. When he heard the old man’s words, he simply smiled and brought out the wooden slip Tian Xie Zi gave him before he handed it over to the old man respectfully.
Jing Cheng Rong took the wooden slip and cast it a glance. Then a frown appeared between his brows.
"Senior, I would like leave at this place," Su Ming requested calmly.
"You can leave at any time you want with senior Tian Xie Zi’s plate, but there’s still a little over a day before we reach Sky Mist City. If you leave now, you will need to head to Sky Mist City yourself." Jing Cheng Rong lifted his head and gave Su Ming a look. "If it isn’t really important, I’d suggest that you don’t do it."
"This is really important to me." Su Ming looked at the old man.
"I’ll give you seven days. With your speed, you’ll be able to reach Sky Mist City by then. You can get the city’s approximate location by sensing the brand on your life force left on the sword.
"If you don’t return after seven days, I will punish you as according to how we punish deserters!" Jing Cheng Rong waved his arm and threw the wooden slip back to Su Ming before he closed his eyes once again and no longer paid any attention to him.
Yet when he waved his arm just now, a spot on the protective light screen behind him started to distort. Clearly, that was the exit he temporarily opened for Su Ming.
Su Ming caught the wooden slip and wrapped his fist in his palm before bowing towards the old man. He turned around and cast a look at Zi Che, who was watching him at the edge of the sword from the crowd. Su Ming smiled and nodded at him with encouragement in his eyes.
Zi Che was silent as he looked at Su Ming, then he gave him a nod as well.
Tian Lan Meng remained sitting at the edge of the sword with her back turned towards Su Ming. Her hair cascaded down her shoulders, and she seemed to be looking at the sky, immersed in her thoughts.
Su Ming averted his gaze, and right under the people’s curious gazes, he charged towards the temporary door behind the old man. In a flash, he passed through that distorting light screen.
The instant Su Ming left the screen of light, a deafening roar reverberated in the air. That roar persisted as Frozen Sky charged past him into the distance. When Su Ming turned his head back, he could only see a black dot disappearing into the distance.
Disappearing along with it was that loud rumble he had heard just now.
Silence gradually returned to the vast sky. Su Ming stood alone in the air as he looked in the distance. He only averted his gaze after a long while and took a step towards the ground.
Due to the ice hoops on him exploding some time ago, the instant he took that step, his speed immediately reached an astonishing level. As he charged forward, he felt a strong blast of wind crashing onto his body, and the moment that blast of wind closed in on him, Su Ming activated that breathing method he came up with through his own understanding.
In a flash, he disappeared without a trace.
That speed had already reached a state that would startle all those who saw him. After a moment, at the top of a mountain in a mountain range on the land of the Berserkers, a gust of wind charged through the air. Distortions appeared in the air as well, and Su Ming stood on top of the mountain looking as if he was a series of afterimages overlapping with each other.
His face was pale. Once he appeared, he took a few deep breaths in succession, and only then did he gradually start to recover, but his eyes were bright, and his heart pounded rapidly against his chest.
"I’m much faster than before… and I could even last an hour in this state!"
A smile appeared on Su Ming’s face, and he waited till his Qi calmed down before he lowered his head to look down the mountain range. Not too far away, he saw a small Berserker tribal village that was surrounded by a forest.
Chimney smoke rose from the tribe in the morning. He could even hear the faint sounds of children playing. As he stood on the mountain, Su Ming saw the people within the small tribe working on starting a new day.
This was the second time Su Ming came to the tribe. His gaze fell on a normal looking house within the tribe.
He walked down the mountain and towards the tribe.
Su Ming arrived without a sound. With his current level of cultivation, he could step into the small tribe without letting any of its people notice him. When he appeared within the tribe and stood right outside that ordinary house, he heard a song played by a xun coming from within the house.
That song was filled with a serene tone that made those who heard it feel peace within themselves.
Su Ming stood there and closed his eyes to immerse himself in the song. After a long while, the notes slowly disappeared, and an old, raspy voice came from the house.
"I am Su Ming, and I would like to request an audience with you, Senior." Su Ming opened his eyes, and they were calm. He wrapped his fist in his palm and bowed.
"Come in. I’ve already finished repairing your xun."
Su Ming lifted the flaps to the house respectfully. The instant he stepped into the house, he saw that everything was the same as before. In fact, the old man had not even changed the position of where he was sitting. It was as if the old xun maker had not gotten up in those days. As he turned his eyes towards Su Ming, there was a kind smile on his face.
His eyes… were empty.