The fog in the Candle Dragon’s burial ground at the foot of the mountain was no longer around. When he looked over, he could not find the Candle Dragon’s gigantic body either.
The memories of all the things that he went through since he stepped into the place surfaced in his mind. The murderous fog, the fight in the Candle Dragon’s body, the incarnations in the Undying and Imperishable World, and the change that happened to him during the blessing and the test.
All of this was now like a faraway dream to him and did not seem real. After all, his soul had been in the Undying and Imperishable World for far too long.
Even if he had woken up from the dream, it would still be difficult for him to recover from it for some time.
In a while, Su Ming averted his gaze. The small snake was sitting on his shoulders and also looking at the Candle Dragon’s burial ground. A reluctance to part gradually appeared in its eyes. To it, this was the place where his kin stayed. This was the place that gave it new life. This was also the sacred place that had turned it into a Candle Dragon.
Su Ming went off. He took a step forward and walked towards the sky, moving towards the direction where Shaman City lay in his memories.
He might have spread his divine sense outwards earlier, but the area had not been wide; he had only manage to the area around him. If he wanted to know just how long it had been, then he had a feeling that Shaman City was the place where he could find his answer.
His clouded memories gradually became clear as he regained his senses. Those memories felt incredibly distant to Su Ming, but he still flew in the sky slowly according to them.
During his journey, he did not run into any Shamans, but the land he saw was greatly different from what he remembered.
He remained silent during the trip. Several days later, when he arrived in Shaman City, he saw the ruins on the ground - Shaman City’s ruins. The wreckage of the city scattered all over the ground made him even more quiet.
Su Ming stood above the ruins and looked at the ground. After a long while, he slowly descended and landed on the ground before walking into the ruins.
As he walked in, an absent-minded look gradually appeared on his face. An illusion seemed to rise before his eyes. Wherever he went to, he would see the glory of the city in the past. However, right at the moment those days of glory took form in his eyes, all of it would turn into the desolate wreckage before him.
"Just what happened?" Su Ming mumbled. He stopped moving in the ruins, and his gaze fell on a collapsed house. This was the inn he had stayed in long ago.
He stopped here for a moment, then continued onward. Gradually, he walked through the streets of the past, walked through the palace where he’d obtained the protection from the Spirits of Nine Yin. However, when he arrived there, he did not see that palace. It was as if the palace had been taken away by someone and vanished into thin air. That spot was now empty.
Su Ming lifted his head. He did not see the gigantic stone pillar that shot into the clouds, and could naturally not see that gigantic head that was hoisted up by the stone pillar. He could only see a gigantic hole in the sky, and there were numerous dried branches around that hole, serving as a seal for it.
When Su Ming arrived at the center of the ruins, which was the square that hosted the treasure gambling event, his pupils shrank.
He saw a gigantic pit on the ground there, and that pit was in the shape of a pentagon. It took up a spot of about several tens of thousands of feet.
When he stood at the edge of the pit, a grim look appeared on Su Ming’s face. He crouched down and grabbed some soil by the edge of the pit. The remnants of the power from some Spells could be felt from within.
"This is a Rune!" Su Ming lifted his head. Right above the pit was the hole in the sky!
Su Ming frowned. As he immersed himself in his thoughts, he suddenly lifted his right hand and pointed behind him. That action seemed incredibly offhanded, but it would give people the feeling as if it had gone through a countless amount of evolutions. That one point also seemed to contain time itself. It seemed simple, but in truth, the moment he pointed outwards, a deep crack appeared in the air in the direction he pointed.
It was as if even space itself could not withstand the power of that point. A thunderous rumble reverberated in the air. Su Ming did not turn his head back, simply continuing to look at the pit before him, still immersed in his thoughts.
However, as the rumbling sound echoed in the air, a semi-transparent figure took form in the empty space behind him. That figure exploded and turned into a wave of air that tumbled backwards and only disappeared once it was sent back several thousands of feet.
Almost the instant that semi-transparent figure died, nearly a hundred of those figures appeared in the air around Su Ming. These figures instantly stopped moving forward and waited near him. They floated without moving, and their gazes as they looked at Su Ming were filled with wariness.
After a long while, Su Ming chose not to continue thinking of the use of that Rune. Most of his knowledge regarding Runes came from his third senior brother, Hu Zi, as well as the Immortals’ Runes which Hong Luo had left for him.
He could vaguely tell that one of the uses of this Rune was for Relocation, but he couldn’t figure out any other uses it might have.
He stood up and swept his gaze across all the semi-transparent figures around him. The instant his gaze landed on those figures, they shivered and instinctively moved back. To them, Su Ming’s gaze felt like it had physical substance and could pierce through their bodies.
Just as Su Ming was about to avert his gaze, something suddenly caught his attention, and he fixed his stare on a figure standing to the side.
That figure seemed like a young male teenager. He was not tall, and was in a semi-transparent and indistinct state. Su Ming looked at him and was momentarily taken aback. He lifted his right hand and seized at the air in the boy’s direction. Immediately, that figure was dragged towards Su Ming against his will.
The figure floated before Su Ming, panic evident on the boy’s face. He looked as if he wanted to struggle and screamed soundlessly.
Su Ming looked at him. He might be indistinct, but when Su Ming observed him from a close proximity, he could still somewhat make out his facial features. As he observed that figure, a complicated look gradually appeared on Su Ming’s face.
"Ahu…" After a long moment of thought, Su Ming finally remembered who this person was. He was one of the two children who had come with him into the World of Nine Yin.
‘Just what happened here?’ Su Ming let go of his hand, and Ahu hastily retreated in panic. Su Ming looked at him fleeing and slowly closed his eyes.
He slowly spread his divine sense around the area. At that moment, he no longer thought about the necessity for his Nascent Divinity to nurse itself back to health. He wanted to know what other changes had occurred in the World of Nine Yin.
Once he spread his divine sense out, he saw that there were several tens of thousands of semi-transparent figures like Ahu all over Shaman City. These figures hid themselves within the ruins and lingered about in a daze. They could not be seen with the naked eye, and could only be detected with divine sense.
When Su Ming expanded his divine sense further ahead, he saw that practically every single place in the vast land outside the ruins of Shaman City had become different. After a long while, he opened his eyes.
He turned around and looked in a direction in the distance. Over there, he discovered a valley, and within that valley, he found some Shamans. Su Ming also detected a group of living creatures with huge wings on their backs flying swiftly towards the valley. There were hundreds of them, and all of them had murderous auras that burned the skies as they roared!
‘It’s a pity my Nascent Divinity still needs several months of nursing before I can completely spread my divine sense. Even if I send it out now, it’s difficult for me to search in detail. Once my Nascent Divinity has nursed itself back to health, then I’ll activate my divine sense again to search for my Poison Corpse, my puppet, and my crimson dragon with the connection I have with them. I won’t let that old man in black go either. As long as he is still in the World of Nine Yin, then I’ll definitely have a way to find him!
‘But I didn’t expect that there would still be Shamans in that valley. Perhaps I’ll be able to find my answers over there.’
Su Ming turned into a long arc and charged towards the sky, rushing straight towards that valley.
Due to the disappearance of the tenth moon in the sky, the Shamans who had been staying in the valley within the one million lis around the ruins of Shaman City had been living in a constant state of anxiety. Most of them were nervous because they did not know whether there would be new changes in the World of Nine Yin.
In a remote corner in the valley, the old man in black who has letting off a rotten stench shuddered. He slowly lowered his mangled right hand down from the center of his brows.
With a bitter look, he let out a long sigh.
During that instant, no one besides him had discovered a wave of divine sense sweeping past the area. If he had not been on constant alert and cast a Secret Art despite his injuries during the instant that divine sense filled the area to completely wipe off his presence and existence and avoid being discovered, he would definitely have been noticed.
‘Destiny should be heading here…’ The old man in black brought out a small black bottle from his bosom, and after a moment of hesitation, put it away again. He did not open that bottle.
‘I still lack three medicinal herbs to make this medicinal core. If I eat it now, then I’ll only have a tenth of chance to break the Curse. If I fail, then I’ll lose my intelligence, and it’ll be no different from dying…
‘But with my Secret Art and based on what I could tell from the ripples in his divine sense just now, he shouldn’t be able to find me. If that’s the case, as long as I hide myself well, I should be able to avoid this encounter.’
The old man in black hesitated for a moment before he got up and retreated into his cave to sit down and circulate all his power to continue the activation of that Secret Art.
‘If it wasn’t because of this Curse, then I would have gone to him without even there being a need for him to come find me… As long as I have three more years, then I’ll be able to raise the possibility of breaking the Curse with this medicinal pill to a fifth!’ The old man in black shook his head and forced down the anxiety in his heart before immersing himself in meditation.
Almost the moment the old man began meditating, black clouds rushed towards the valley where the Shamans were. Within those black clouds were hundreds of murderous looking strange creatures with black wings!
They rapidly closed in on the valley and piercing shrieks filled the air. The expressions of all the Shamans who heard those shrieks instantly changed, and fear along with hatred filled their faces.
The appearance of those black clouds too immediately caused the Shamans in the valley to be on high alert. Most of the Shamans shrank back into their cave abodes, and all of them stared at those black clouds in the sky with anxiety.
Nan Gong Hen stood on a stone platform in the valley. Behind him were a dozen something people in ragged clothing. All of them were glaring at the sky.
"Sir, we’ve already made arrangements for our people to go into hiding. The protection Rune has also been activated to its full potential!"
"The Fiend Bow is completely drawn and ready to show its might at any moment!"
"The tunnel for the aura of death in the Spirit Medium’s altar is activated. With what we have accumulated, we can release the power of the aura of death twice!"
"The tribesmen who are sacrificing their lives have also made preparations. They’re willing to use their lives to continue keeping the protection Rune in operation!"
"It’s been fifteen years…" Nan Gong Hen listened to the people behind him and looked at the strange creatures in the black clouds in the sky charging towards the valley swiftly and mumbled under his breath.
"It’s been fifteen years since Shaman City was destroyed. We still have no news about reinforcements from the world outside. Fifteen years ago, we had nearly ten thousand people in the valley, and now, after all these continuous battles, we have less than a thousand of our people left…" he said bitterly.
"How many times does it make that the Sacred Bats have launched a hunt on us? We’ll fight, even if we die!"