If he had to choose, even if he would one day come to know that this item left behind by his ancestors in his tribe for generations was an incredible treasure, he would still not regret his decision… As long as more of his people could survive through this disaster, then there would come a day where the children in his tribe would grow up, and the adults of the tribe would have a chance to see themselves grow white hair.
If he could do this, then he could give up on everything. To him, this was the biggest meaning in his life ever since he became Patriarch!
At the same time he felt that ecstasy in his heart, the old man also felt uneasy. This was the first time he ever saw Su Ming being unable to control his own emotions. When he seized that item, the old man had a misconception that if he retracted his hand, he would definitely bring about a massive storm of killing intent on himself.
The old man took a few steps back and wrapped his fist in his palm before bowing towards Su Ming. As Su Ming observed his tribe’s sacred item, the old man spoke respectfully.
"It doesn’t matter whether you will help the weak White Bull Tribe, this item will belong to you… but on behalf of the three hundred seventy-nine people in the tribe, I beg for you to have compassion on us and help us this once…"
As he moved back, this old man, this Patriarch of White Bull Tribe, this person, who was not very attractive, had a sharp mouth and the cheeks of a monkey, knelt down before Su Ming.
He was the Patriarch of White Bull Tribe, he had his pride, he was a Medial Shaman, he had his own dignity… In truth, if his tribe did not exist, even if he died, he would die standing. He would not kneel easily.
Yet at that moment, for his own tribe, for the familiar faces there, for the young voices calling him ‘Grandpa patriarch’, for the young adults he watched grow up in the tribe, he knelt down.
He would never forget how his people treated him kindly when he was young even though he was ugly. He would also never forget himself having a crush on the most beautiful girl in the tribe when he was a young man.
Even less so could he forget the previous Patriarch appointing him as the Patriarch the moment of his death. That kindly gaze and hopeful eyes, all of these things were his warmth. They were the most important things in his life.
For his tribe, it did not matter whether he had to kneel and beg, did not matter whether he had offer up his tribe’s sacred item, did not matter whether he had to come under question for his actions by his entire tribe. In fact, he could already imagine that when his people discovered that their sacred item was gone and that the ‘sacred item’ placed in the tribe right at that moment was a counterfeit he made, they would probably hate and hold a grudge against him for the rest of their lives.
However, he chose to bear through all this! To silently bear through everything, all for the sake of… the continuity of his tribe.
Su Ming was his only hope.
Su Ming’s gaze slowly moved from White Bull Tribe’s sacred item in his hand to the Patriarch of White Bull Tribe kneeling over there. The intelligence the old man showed was something gained by him through time. His resolution was a part of his personality.
Su Ming might not know all that he had done for his tribe, but he could still somewhat tell some of the things he did.
"I am your only hope?" After a long while, Su Ming spoke slowly. Even if the old man was a Shaman and Su Ming himself came from the Berserkers, even if both of their races were at war, but the old man’s actions reminded Su Ming of his elder…
The old man kneeling on the ground nodded lightly.
Su Ming was silent for a moment before he asked, "What if I wasn’t here?"
"I would choose to merge with Black Crane Tribe, even if the price would be huge… In fact, I can already imagine that Black Crane Tribe will search for the strongest Shaman in this area - Madam Ji. Honestly, if Madam Ji really came looking for trouble, I would still have a way for her to stop…"
The old man lifted his head and looked at Su Ming. His wrinkles and that monkey face made him radiate with wisdom and age at that moment. There was also a deeply rooted fatigue showing on him.
"If those two tribe members of yours cannot find a tribe that will find them to be an asset or manage to find any powerful Shamans who are willing to help you migrate from this place, what will you do?" Su Ming asked calmly.
The old man remained silent, and after a long moment, a smile appeared on his face and he said softly, "This will be our tribe’s fate, then. If that’s the case, I will stay here with my people and watch the Calamity of the Eastern Wastelands come upon us. As we head to our destruction, we will sing our ancient folk songs, dance the dances passed down in our tribe. Death isn’t really that terrifying."
Su Ming looked at the old man, and respect gradually appeared on his face. This was a person who deserved his respect. Even if he was a Shaman, when he said those things, Su Ming could not feel any hint of deception in his words.
If he did not truly have those thoughts, even if he said those words, it would be difficult to convince anyone.
"Bring your tribe members here on the eve of the Month of Spirits." Su Ming closed his eyes, then when he reopened them, he spoke with a flat tone before turning around to the sealed mountain range. A wave of ripples spread through the now empty looking place, and he disappeared.
The old man from White Bull Tribe watched Su Ming leave and gratitude appeared on his face. He stood up, wrapped his fist in his hand, and bowed down deeply towards the place before he left with hope.
Su Ming walked out of the air into the sealed mountain range. He held White Bull Tribe’s sacred item in his hands and sat down cross-legged beside the black wooden club. As he dipped his head down to look at the item in his hand, an excited look appeared on his face.
"I didn’t expect to meet this thing again here… Just… what is it..?" Su Ming took a deep breath. The thing in his hand was a round stone plate.
The stone plate looked very normal. Besides some rather fine carvings on it, there seemed to be nothing else strange about it. There was only a fragment the size of a fingernail embedded at the center of the bowl. The fragment’s color was quite different from the stone bowl, which was why it looked quite distinct.
What made Su Ming lose his control before the old man from White Bull Tribe was that embedded fragment in the stone fragment. This fragment the size of a fingernail was entirely black and was letting out rays of dark light!
That item gave Su Ming the exact same feeling as the strange stone fragment hanging off his neck. However, compared to Su Ming’s stone fragment, this was much smaller.
This was the only item that could make Su Ming lose his cool. When he seized it, the old man had discovered some clues about him, but these things were nothing compared to him obtaining the item.
Su Ming stared at the fragment, and his face was occasionally filled with confusion, and at other times nostalgia. The memories of the things that happened in Dark Mountain surfaced in his mind subconsciously.
From the moment he obtained the black stone fragment, to the moment he deceived the statue of the God of Berserkers causing him to be able to practice the Ways of the Berserkers, to the moment Dark Mountain was destroyed, to the moment he obtained the inheritance of the Wind and Lightning Berserkers…
The black stone fragment changed everything about him.
Su Ming was caught in a daze for a long time as he looked at the stone plate. When the sun set in the sky, he sighed with a complicated look on his face. Those memories made him want to sigh for the first time.
He calmed his mind down and brought out the black stone hanging on his neck. The instant he placed it in the stone plate, the fragment there immediately shone with a brilliant dark light. At the same time, Su Ming’s stone fragment also shone strongly with that dark light, as if they were reflecting off each other.
Soon after, something made Su Ming suck in a sharp breath. The carvings on the stone plate with the fragment embedded inside started shining with a white light, then those carvings started spinning as if they had come alive in Su Ming’s eyes.
However, once they spun around three times, their light instantly turned dim. Cracks immediately appeared on the plate and the plate looked as if it was about to shatter. A glint appeared in Su Ming’s eyes. He put away his own stone fragment, and only then did he manage to prevent this stone plate from shattering completely.
‘This stone is embedded in the stone plate, but I wonder what sort of mystery lies within the plate itself. Next time, when the Patriarch of White Bull Tribe comes, I’ll have to ask him.’ Su Ming stroked the bottom of his chin. He quelled the excitement in his heart and put the stone plate away into his storage bag.
‘World of Nine Yin… An ancient ruin, huh? The Nine Abyss Flower can increase the chances of success when I go through the life and death disaster as I try to breakthrough into the Berserker Soul Realm. I’ve never heard about it before, but the old man didn’t seem like he was lying.
‘The Curse actually came from there as well, and it’s controlled by the Shamans. If that’s the case, then there should be some ancient treasure in the World of Nine Yin, such as…’ Su Ming lowered his head and looked at the red ring on his finger. He did not have time to examine this thing up till now.
‘The Berserkers are also thinking of ways to enter, huh? Perhaps I’ll be able to see some familiar faces there, along with those from the Shaman Tribe…’
When he thought of the Shamans, Su Ming felt a slight headache pounding in his head. The chaos Hong Luo caused made him not know what to say if he ran into Wan Qiu and the others.
He thought about it for a moment, then shook his head and no longer thought about this troublesome thing. He knew that he could not go to the glacier in the Dead Sea for the time being, and the fusion of the Lightning Crystal of Inheritance would not be complete within a short time as well.
As he waited for the people from White Bull Tribe coming over, Su Ming decided to examine the Curse. At the same time, he also went on to stabilize his control over the three styles of Wind Separation that he’d gained from the inheritance of the Wind Berserker.
Also, he had to examine that black wooden club which he had snatched after going through that incredible danger to see whether there were any other uses to it.
Besides these, his Nascent Soul in his clone was also heavily injured. He would need to pay a lot of attention to nurse it back to health. However, the power of the world in this place was thick. Even if he did not have any Spirit medicine, he could still lighten the injuries he sustained slowly.
Most of the month passed by in the blink of an eye. During those twenty-odd days, the injuries the clone sustained recovered slightly. Su Ming’s Nascent Soul was no longer in a constant state of scattering away. It might still be rather weak, but it regained its liveliness.
As for the black wooden club, while Su Ming could not find a way to put it away into a storage bag, he found out that not only could he change the item’s weight at will, he could also change its size. Once he shrank it down, he could bring it with him.
There was also the matter with that red ring. There was a power contained within it that made Su Ming rather enthralled as he examined it. The power of the Curse was incredibly great, causing Su Ming to still be unable to make heads or tails of it in the midst of his confusion. However, every single time his mind was immersed in that ring, he would be caught in a daze.
During one morning, Su Ming emerged from his immersion in that ring. There was still a dazed look on his face, and he only snapped out of it after a long moment.
"The power of the Curse…" he mumbled softly. Suddenly, his expression changed, and he lifted his head to look at the spot outside the seal.
After a moment, the voice of the old man from White Bull Tribe traveled forth faintly from the area outside.
"Sir Soul Catcher, I, the Patriarch of White Bull Tribe, would like to meet you. I brought the tribe members with the Soul Catcher’s constitution here."
Su Ming stood up and waved his arm. Immediately, the small snake flew towards him and disappeared on him. At the same time, the Poison Corpse turned into a ray of black light and Su Ming put him away into his storage bag. His Nascent Soul instantly flew out from his clone, and once it crawled into his jugular notch, he put away Ji Yun Hai along with the black beetles that returned to slumber once again. Only then did he lift his right hand and point forward at a moderate speed.
Immediately, ripples appeared in the air before him, and a gap formed up. The old man from White Bull Tribe brought a boy and a girl, both of whom looked nervous, and walked over.