When their feet landed on the ground, the ground shook. Every single one of these five statues contained a power similar to the sixth palace’s Ze Long Shen. As they took that step forward, a mighty pressure that felt like the seas were overturned and mountains were toppled over instantly rushed towards Su Ming.
His body suddenly froze. Under that pressure, he had a feeling as if his entire body was going to be crushed into smithereens. Once he coughed out a mouthful of blood, he formed a seal with his right hand and pointed forward. Immediately, bell chimes reverberated in the air and spread out. Han Mountain Bell instantaneously appeared right in between Su Ming and the five powerful statues!
As Su Ming changed the seals in his right hand, Han Mountain Bell grew larger, and when a loud roar rose up and reverberated through the nine heavens, the Nine-Headed Dragon appeared as an illusion in the air above the seventh palace!
At that moment, many of the heads belonging to the nine-headed beast roared and charged towards the five powerful Spirits of Nine Yin.
However, each and every single one of these five Spirits of Nine Yin possessed power equivalent to an End Shaman. The level of their strength was simply unimaginable, and right at the moment the Nine-Headed Dragon appeared, an old spirit walked out of the seventh palace.
That old spirit wore a green robe, and while he looked like a block of dried up wood, he was not tall. In fact, his physique was not that much different compared to Su Ming. He looked incredibly tiny as he stood there, but despite his tiny stature, his gaze gave others a false impression. He looked at Su Ming coldly, and the instant he took a step forward, Su Ming had a feeling as if the earth was shaking and the mountains were trembling. It was as if the world had become dull when the old man appeared.
Su Ming sucked in a deep breath, then lifted his right hand into the air with his palm facing downwards and the back of his hand facing upwards. His left hand was also lifted up, but his palm was facing upwards, and the back of his hand was facing downwards!
"My palms symbolize my past, and the back of my hands represent my future…
"The fusion of the past and present will happen when these two hands come into contact, and the power when the past and future fuse together will bloom.
"I call the power where I fuse the past and future together as… Destiny," Su Ming mumbled.
As he spoke, his left and right hands connected with each other! His body immediately started trembling, and veins popped up on his face. His long hair danced wildly in the air, and an illusory shadow appeared behind him.
The illusory shadow was that of a baby that did not cry nor wail. His eyes were dark and gray, and he looked as if he was dead!
That baby seemed to be looking at the sky as he remained still and unmoving. If anyone took a closer look, they would be able to see that there was resentment burning on his dull face, and it was aimed towards the world!
Almost at the instant that baby appeared, the air before Su Ming distorted, and a purple figure manifested right in front of him. The face of this man with purple hair was filled with grief, as if he contained an endless amount of sorrow within him. He looked at the sky and seemed as if he was mumbling, but no one could hear what he was saying clearly.
"The Fusion of Destiny: First Fusion!"
The instant Su Ming said those words, the man with purple hair before him and the baby with the dull eyes behind him immediately charged towards him and fused into his body. Right at the moment they fused into him, Su Ming’s body turned into a gigantic vortex. It began rotating with booming sounds, and all those standing around could not see what was happening within.
However, that rotation did not last for a very long time. Almost the moment the Nine-Headed Dragon began its mad attack while roaring and the green-robed old spirit from the seventh palace walked forth, the vortex suddenly fell apart, spreading in all directions rapidly like a violent gust of wind sweeping through the land.
When the vortex dissipated from midair, a boy with a sickly pale face along with half a head of purple hair and the other half in white appeared right before all the Spirits of Nine Yin!
That boy was only about eight or nine years old. Not only was his face completely void of blood, even his skin had a grayish hue that gave off a dreary air. He had his head lifted to look at the sky, and at that moment, he slowly lowered it to look at the old spirit who had walked out of the seventh palace. Their gazes met.
The old man’s feet came to an abrupt halt, and a powerful sense of danger swiftly rose in his heart. He could even sense a feeling of time and age from this person’s gaze!
"Only fifteen breaths…" Su Ming, who had turned into a young boy, mumbled. This time, when he turned into Destiny, he could clearly sense his time limit. It was different from when he was in the Undying and Imperishable World, when he executed the fusion outside, he would only have the span of fifteen breaths in this form.
A glint appeared in his eyes. Without a single bit of hesitation, he took a step towards the old spirit from the seventh palace. In the process of taking that one step, while his body looked as if he was still rooted to his original spot, the old spirit that had walked out of the seventh palace lifted his right hand and pushed forward swiftly.
Booming sounds reverberated through the place, and distortions appeared in the air before the old man. Su Ming walked forth without stopping. As he moved towards the old man, he lifted his right hand and seized the air. Immediately, a ray of purple light manifested in his right hand, and then, he pointed towards the old man.
The ray of purple light immediately charged towards the old man. A grim expression appeared on the old man’s face, and just when he was about to execute a divine ability to resist that purple light, Su Ming lifted his left hand and swung it in the air.
Immediately, the old man froze, and as if time had turned back on him, he took a step back against his will. The divine ability he was about to cast was also interrupted and cut off. His right hand started moving until he had it lifted up in the air, just like he had held it moments ago. Shock and disbelief appeared in his eyes. He could only watch the ray of purple light close in on him, and when that light enveloped his entire body, a loud bang traveled through the air.
As that bang echoed in the sky, the old man coughed out blood. His body tumbled backwards, but before he could move much further down, Su Ming lifted his right hand and seized the air. Immediately, the direction the old spirit’s feet and body were moving changed once again. He took a few steps forward and returned to the spot before he suffered the attack from the ray of purple light.
In fact, even that ray of purple light that had crashed into the old spirit’s body moved out from within him, and the scene just then repeated itself. Booming sounds rang out in the air once more.
The process continued repeating itself, and in a short instant, the old spirit had already gone through thirteen cycles of falling backwards and moving forward, as well as thirteen cycles of being attacked and the ray of light flowing out of his body to attack him again. Only when Su Ming walked past him and out of the seventh palace to arrive at the eighth palace did the old spirit’s body stop suffering from the barrage of attacks caused by the endless loop between the past and the future.
However, once the cycle stopped, thirteen loud bangs erupted from his body, and a ray of purple light surged into the sky while illuminating the entire area. Once those thirteen bangs ended, the old spirit coughed out a huge mouthful of blood, and as he staggered, he whipped his head around. With a pale face, he looked towards Su Ming in shock!
He could tell clearly, if it was not because this person did not harbor strong killing intent, then if he had to bear through the barrage of attacks caused by the loop between the past and the future a little longer, he would have died!
This sort of attack, this sort of divine ability, and this sort of unbelievable change caused fear to instinctively rise in the old spirit’s heart towards Su Ming.
He was not the only one afraid, the other five Spirits of Nine Yin were all the same!
At that moment, Su Ming was not Su Ming. He was… Destiny!
Seven breaths had gone by since Destiny appeared till the moment he walked into the eighth palace. When the eighth breath was over, Su Ming arrived in the eighth palace. There were only three statues in the eighth palace, and at that moment, those three were rapidly recovering. In the blink of an eye, they had already awakened.
At the same time, a cold harrumph came from the eighth palace itself. A foot also took a step outside. The owner of that foot was still largely hidden in the darkness of the palace, and as he moved forward, his figure was gradually revealed.
However, all of this started rapidly changing the moment Su Ming stepped into the eighth palace. As he, with half his hair purple and the other half white, walked forward, the three statues that had already awakened and opened their eyes immediately closed them. Their recovered bodies started turning to stone from their heads, and when Su Ming walked past them, the three powerful statues had fallen asleep once again, as if time had reversed around them.
The cold harrumph that came from the eighth palace also became weaker from the initial strength it had. The one step its owner had taken was also moving backwards slowly, but Su Ming could see that the leg was trembling, as if the owner of that leg was doing his absolute best to struggle against that force!
Nonetheless, as Su Ming continued moving forward, the struggle turned into powerlessness in the end, and that leg retreated back into the palace without appearing again…
Su Ming moved past the eighth palace, and right before him was the mountain that sealed his crimson dragon. At the top of the mountain was the final palace that kept his crimson dragon captive!
The ninth palace in this area!
Su Ming walked past the eighth palace and stepped on the mountain. Right at the instant he stood outside the ninth palace, an illusion surrounded his body. Destiny’s body gradually grew up, and in an instant, he regained his original appearance. The boy who was about eight or nine years old was gone.
The color of his hair also returned to normal. However, his face still looked slightly pale. Blood trickled down the corners of his mouth. Clearly, casting the divine ability in the world outside to turn himself into Destiny was also incredibly demanding on Su Ming.
"You… are the fourth outsider over the countless years… who has managed to force his way through the eight palaces and arrive at this place!"
An ancient voice traveled forth from within the ninth palace. The door to the palace opened slowly, causing Su Ming to be able to see the skeleton impaled to the ground right in the middle of the eight statues, along with the picture of the crimson dragon under that skeleton.
The person who said those words was no one else but the skeleton who was impaled to the ground. At that moment, the skeleton lifted his head slowly and looked towards Su Ming!
At the instant he lifted his head and the moment Su Ming saw the skeleton, he immediately recognized that the skeleton’s head was the exact same as the head that was hoisted up by that stone pillar in Shaman City all those years ago!
"That divine ability of yours just now is very strong… If you could last in that form for more than the time taken for an incense stick to burn, then you could come and go as you please in our territory, and no one would be able to stop you… Even I would have to pay a huge price to stop you…
"But clearly, you can’t." The skeleton looked at Su Ming, and there was infinite wisdom shining in his eyes. There was also an ancient glint that lasted through an unknown amount of years within his gaze.
"As the fourth person who managed to force his way through to this place over the long history we have, you have earned our respect… Go. This soul formed from Earthen Aura is very useful to my people. We won’t give it to you."
Su Ming remained. He did not speak, but he did lift his right hand slowly. There was a strand of hair on his finger, and at that moment, it was showing signs of burning.
A mighty pressure that had surpassed Su Ming’s by an immeasurable level was slowly spreading out from that strand of hair on his finger. The strength of that pressure instantly covered the entire area, causing the expressions of all the Spirits of Nine Yin to immediately change!
It also made a powerful light appear within the eyes of the skeleton in the palace.
"This presence… This is the presence of the God of Berserkers, Lie Shan Xiu!"
Lie Shan Xiu: Pronounced /lɪɛ/, not /lʌɪ/.