At that moment, he was the same as the old man in white robes. There were no differences between them.
This process lasted for a very long time. A year, two years, three years… ten years, thirty years, fifty years… a hundred years… perhaps even longer.
Su Ming did not die anymore. He had only died twice. After dying twice and reviving subsequently, he continued moving forward to search for the moaning sound of the horn as he devoured an endless amount of white fog in this endless world.
His strength turned him even more apathetic. The vacant look on his face was gone, and he was no longer exhausted, only calm. However, that calmness did not mean that his heart was calm, it was simply an expression of his apathy.
He did not know just how many undying souls he had absorbed. He did not linger at any spot in that endless passage of time and only continued to move forward, continued devouring other souls. Su Ming had even devoured more than nine existences like that red-haired man.
Every single time he devoured an undying soul like this, Su Ming would become stronger. The act of pressing downwards and seizing the air had practically become a natural instinct by this point.
One day, right before Su Ming, he saw a gigantic mountain that towered into the clouds. There was a gigantic statue of a dragon snake sitting around that mountain. That dragon snake’s head was right below the peak of the sky, and it looked as if it was overlooking the ground.
The moaning sounds of the horn traveled forth languidly from the mountain and from within the statue before spreading outwards to the entire area. The instant he saw the statue and the mountain, Su Ming sensed a powerful force within his apathetic heart summoning him.
"Undying warrior souls… come back…" An ancient voice echoed in Su Ming’s mind. There was a hint of age and time in that voice, and when it fell into his heart, it made him lurch.
With an apathetic look in his eyes, he moved slowly forward, and when he was under the mountain, he leaped up before landing on the gigantic dragon snake’s body.
There was something guiding him in his heart, calling out to him to choose a scale on the dragon snake’s body and sit there to wait for the other Undying warrior souls to return…
Su Ming moved forward on the dragon snake’s huge scales. When he looked forward, he found that the scales on the dragon snake’s body were closely packed together and there were about hundreds upon thousands of them. Su Ming sat down on one of them and stared forward with a blank look on his face.
It was as if this was where he belonged. It was as if this was the end of his journey. The moaning sounds of the horn in the sky became clearer, and that sound gradually made him lethargic. His eyes gradually closed up, and an indescribable fatigue gradually submerged him like a flood.
But the instant he almost completely shut his eyes, he dipped his head down and saw through the corner of his eyes a string of words hastily carved down—obviously left behind by a finger—on a scale not too far away, right below him...
"I am Su Ming…"
These were the four words left behind on the scale…
The instant he saw those four words, the pupils within his apathetic eyes shrank. He was clearly taken aback, and the four words seemed to have been enlarged several times as they flashed in his head with loud, booming noises.
He stood up and stared fixedly at the string of letters. His breathing quickened and a huge storm raged in his heart. At the moment he saw those words, an incredibly familiar feeling shot up within him, as if… he was the one who had carved those four words on the scale!
The instant Su Ming’s mind and soul were shaken, suddenly, that ancient voice that resounded in the air previously echoed between the sky and earth once again.
"Undying warrior souls… come back…"
When the voice reverberated in the air, an incredibly strong suction force immediately appeared on the scale under Su Ming’s feet. He had no possible way of fighting against that suction force. It was as if the source of his incredible strength came from this statue, and if it could give him power, then it could also take it back whenever it wanted.
As that suction force erupted forth, Su Ming’s body faded away in an instant. A large amount of white fog spread out madly from his body and was rapidly absorbed by the scale under his feet.
A sense of weakness filled Su Ming’s entire mind and soul. His vision blurred, but the instant his vision faded and his body weakened, a thunderous roar resounded in his head, as if a bolt of lightning had just flashed past his head, causing him to remember everything right at that moment!
He remembered what this place was, remembered why he came here, remembered his own identity, remembered the small snake, remembered the Candle Dragon, and remembered everything that had happened.
He also remembered the Candle Dragon’s Curse and its words.
"If you fall and become corrupted, then I will devour the snake and resurrect myself successfully. If you wake up, then I will willingly let myself be devoured by my kind, and will bless its new life!!"
"I will not fall and become corrupted, I won’t! I’m not an Undying warrior soul, I am… Su Ming!"
Su Ming lifted his head and roared. His legs had already disappeared, and a large part of his body was rapidly turning invisible. The instant he was about to be completely absorbed into the dragon snake’s scale, he lowered his head swiftly and used what remained of his right index finger along with all his remaining strength to write down a string of words on the scale!
"This is the Candle Dragon’s Undying and Imperishable…" The string of words were written beneath "I am Su Ming", and were hastily scribbled down the instant Su Ming’s body disappeared.
The instant he finished writing those words and had just spelled out half of the word for ‘World’, his right hand turned into fog, along with his entire body. At that moment, he had turned completely into white fog and was absorbed into the scale.
Su Ming died and vanished.
With his death, the peace in the mountain was restored. The statue of the dragon snake continued staying on the mountain like a dead object, still and unmoving.
However, if anyone walked on the hundreds of thousands of scales on its body and looked carefully, they would find that there were over one hundred thousand scales that were covered… in the same handwriting…
"I am Su Ming…"
"I am Su Ming…"
"I am Su Ming. This is the Candle Dragon…"
"Undying and Imperishable World…"
"I am Su Ming, I have to wake up, I cannot fall and lose myself…"
"I am Su Ming. The small snake is in danger, and only when I wake up can I save it…"
"I am Su Ming from the Berserker Tribe…"
"I am Su Ming. Sky and earth, ice and fire…"
"I am Su Ming. Don’t devour the undying souls. Absolutely do not devour them…"
"If I devour even a single one of them, then I won’t be able to…"
Words like these covered more than one hundred thousand scales, and most of them were just covered in four words - I am Su Ming. There were only some that had two lines of words, and if someone looked carefully at each of these scales, they would find that the time when the two lines were carved onto the scale was different, and it was the same for all the scales with two lines…
All of these were left behind by Su Ming! He did not just die twice; that was just what he retained in his memories at that moment. In truth, he had already arrived at this mountain and this statue numerous times…
Each time he came here, right at the final moment before his body turned into white fog and he was about to be absorbed by the scales, he would remember everything. He had no way to resist this, and could only use this clumsy and foolish method to tell his next incarnation what this place was, what his mission was, what he wanted to do, and that he absolutely could not fall and lose himself!
This was a really, really foolish method. It was also a sad and pitiful method. Yet similarly, Su Ming’s tenacity and resolution could be seen from the words that covered more than one hundred thousand of the dragon snake’s scales, along with his persistence… and madness!
This was the Candle Dragon’s… Undying and Imperishable World!
There was no strong sunlight in this vast world. While there was always light filling the area for all eternity, it was neither bright nor dull. White wisps of fog floated out of the white ground and gradually turned into illusory figures.
There was one figure whose eyes were filled with a vacant gray shade when he opened his eyes. That figure was Su Ming…
Time passed by, and he followed the swarm of undying souls towards the sound of the horn. Gradually, after dying several times, he would become the strongest among all the undying souls.
With each step he took, he would continuously devour other souls to become stronger, a powerful warrior. He would obtain a great power, like mastering the skill of pressing downward and seizing the air, like making other objects speed up or slow down, like freezing an object in its place while having another move, or other battle abilities like this. He would use these skills to walk through the world and enjoy the comfortable feeling that came after devouring the undying souls and becoming stronger.
He also went through having his eyes fill with a gray color before that gray hue faded away and a spark returned to his eyes. He would remember his name, but eventually, he would become apathetic and calm, and then, he would once again arrive at the place where the sound of the horn called out to him.
He would come to a spot on the statue around the mountain, and the instant his body disappeared, he would remember everything, then he would leave behind a string of words for his next incarnation that would come to this place, a string of words that symbolized his unwillingness to give up and a spirit that would never give into despair…
Perhaps his next incarnation would not be able to see those words, because there were simply too many scales there…
Nonetheless, this was hope. This was his final hope, and the only way he could think of… He did not want to fall and lose himself. He wanted to fight back!
Time passed by, and as Su Ming died and was reborn, then arrived at the statue time and again before leaving behind his words, almost every single one of the hundreds of thousands of scales on the dragon snake’s body had his words scribbled on them.
Most of them had two lines carved down, and there were some that had three lines of words carved down. Only a few of them had four lines, and less than thirty of them had five lines…
"I am Su Ming…"
"This is the dead Candle Dragon’s Undying and Imperishable World…"
"The small snake is in danger, and only when I wake up can I save it…"
"Understand the concept behind sky and earth, and ice and fire, find the binary opposite that belongs to you. This is the only way to leave this place…"
"Don’t devour the undying souls. Don’t devour even a single one of them… Absolutely, do not devour even a single one of them…"