Over there, he saw a stone monument. The stone monument stood high and erect. From the distance, it looked like the peak of the mountain. There were a large amount of words carved on that monument, and at the foot of it was an old man, sitting there with his legs crossed.
The old man’s clothes were tattered and shabby. His hair was messy and spilled all over his shoulders. His face could not be seen clearly, because he had his head lowered as if he was meditating.
"Millions of years ago, the God of Berserkers, Lie Shan Xiu had developed the land of the Berserkers and created his own cultivation methods and skills to give to the world, and had thus brought the Berserkers to greatness, had thus built the Great Yu Dynasty, and had made all races and tribes bow down to worship him. All the leaders of these races and tribes had to be acknowledged by the God of Berserkers ere they could taketh their position… Then, to search for his own Plane Timeline, he left our world, leaving behind his legacy among us...
"There wast a man who made a name for himself. His family name was Chi Shan, and he introduced himself as Po. He gained an epiphany from the God of Berserkers’ will in Great Yu Dynasty and hath receiveth one half of the legacy, yet not the other… He was known as the second God of Berserkers, Chi Shan Po!
"The Immortals and Evil Immortals found it that they were unable to accept this, and a great calamity fell on us again. The will of Morning Dao itself joined in, causing our land to be torn to pieces. Chi Shan Po was torn limb to limb and was buried in the five continents…"
An ancient voice reverberated through the mountain. Su Ming stood before the old man, who still had his head lowered, and listened to his slow voice.
As the old man spoke, the words on the stone monument behind him started disappearing slowly. The words seemed clear at first glance, but when Su Ming took a closer look, he found that they were actually indistinct, and he had no idea what was written up there.
At that moment, he was already certain that his decision to come to Eternal Li Mountain was correct. He still remembered that he had heard the word ‘Eternal’ from the Berserker corpse in the Candle Dragon’s body. It might only have managed to say one word, but when Su Ming heard about Eternal Li Mountain, he had begun having suspicions.
"Ten thousands years later, I was born in the Eastern Wastelands. Twas writ in mine destiny that I could receive the God of Berserkers’ will, and after much trials and hardships, I arrived in Great Yu. I saw him, heard his voice, sensed his will, but… I didst not receive the half of the second God of Berserkers’ legacy. I might call myself the third God of Berserkers, but I know that I lack what it doth take to become God… I searched for the signs of mine ancestors and died in the World of Nine Yin…
"I thought I could awaken on this day, but alas, I could not…" That ancient voice gradually faded away. At that moment, the old man sitting under the stone monument lifted his head slowly.
His was a very average looking face. However, the signs of time and his old appearance gave others the impression that time was flowing from him, and that he had gone through many things in his life.
"I knew that I would be able to see thee." The old man looked at Su Ming and spoke calmly.
Su Ming stared at the old man before him. He did not speak.
"It was simply a matter of whether thou wouldst be captured here or whether thou wouldst come on thy own. If’t be true thou wast brought back hither captive, then thou art not worthy of receiving the cultivation method of mine people, the Berserkers, for thou lacketh the power to make thy statue of the God of Berserkers!
"It is better for thee to stay hither and become a Berserker soul, then sink and lose thyself forever.
"If’t be true that thou can arrive on thy own, then thou shalt receive mine inheritance…" the old man said slowly, and a Berserker Mark gradually appeared on his face. That Mark was at the center of his brows, and it looked like a burning moon!
"After my will scatters hence, return mine soul to Great Yu. When mine soul returns home, I wilt become the catalyst for those in the Berserker Soul Realm to breakthrough and reach a new Realm…
"After the Berserker Soul Realm, our blood wilt change. The cultivation for our blood, bones, and souls is done, and everything from the outermost parts of our body to the innermost of our souls is perfect. From hence, we shalt cultivate our bodies no more, but our Life Matrices!
"We must break our Life Matrices and tread on the path to find what is lacking in our lives. This is called Life Privation!
"We must learn of what we lack in ourselves like we know of the regrets the world possesses and like we understand the changes in the world. This is Life Palace!
"When we have the Life Palace in our hands, then we wilt receive endless glory. We wilt be able to use the power of the World Plane, and this is called the World of Life!
"Life Matrix, Life Privation, Life Palace, World of Life , these are all after the Berserker Soul Realm, and it is the path of Life Cultivation that belongs to us Berserkers. If we step onto this path..." The old man looked at Su Ming. His words spread out and his voice echoed in the air. However, Su Ming simply continued standing there, only listening and not speaking.
"I lacked fire in my life, hence I absorbed all manner of fire in my path of Life Cultivation. Yet… in the end, to mine shock, I discovered that the fire I lacked was not of Yang properties, but the flames possessing extreme Yin properties…
"These flames only exist in the moon, hence I worshiped the moon and called myself a Berserker walking down the path of Fire Cultivation!
"But alas, I could not understand the fire of the moon, and neither could I sense the flames that bring about brightness. Mine will was split into two, Yin and Yang. One of them was the Fire Berserker, and the other the God of Berserkers, just as the sky hath night and day. All that was left was my anguish, and I asked the blue sky why it cried…
"I received an innumerable amount of serendipities in mine life, but in the end, I died in the Enchanted Vessel belonging to Sacred Yin. I had been sad, I had grieved, I had felt bitterness, I had been overcome by greed…" the old mumbled as he looked at Su Ming, and his words were filled with endless regrets.
Most of the words on the stone monument behind him had disappeared, and soon, there would be no words left.
"I am the third God of Berserkers, Li Shan Huo. Before mine death, I looked at the sky, and mine eyes remained gazing at it even as I closed mine eyes… If thou art one of the descendants of mine race, then doth not forget mine path… The stone monument behind mine body is the legacy of the first God of Berserkers, yet… it ends at the third…"
When the old man finished speaking, the final line of words on the stone monument behind him turned indistinct and finally disappeared. At that moment, the entire stone monument was empty.
As the words on the stone monument completely disappeared, the face of the old man who had been looking at Su Ming while mumbling began rotting away, and gradually, he crumbled before Su Ming’s eyes.
A gentle breeze swept past at that moment and blew away the old man’s ashes. It brought them along and floated into the distance. The only things that couldn’t be blown away by that gust of wind were three round pearls that remained on the ground where the old man sat. These three pearls were dark, but there was an indefinable mysteriousness about them. They looked as if they could devour light, and were incredibly striking.
The old man had already died a long time ago. What remained of him was perhaps a wisp of his soul or a hint of his will. It might even be another sort of existence, but no matter what, the fact that he had died a long time ago remained.
That was why Su Ming did not speak. He had been able to see since a long time ago that his reflection did not exist in the old man’s pupils, even if he was looking at him.
Right at that moment, he understood. What the old man saw was something left behind since an unknown amount of years ago, not Su Ming himself.
Su Ming did not understand this whole concept of gaining consciousness. However, the instant he stood on the mountain and saw the old man, he had only been able to see the three pearls that were left on the ground.
The old man had been an illusion. He was a semi-transparent entity floating above the three pearls, as if he was just an illusory shadow that persisted through time. The only thing he wanted to do was to say those words and pass down the legacy of the God of Berserkers…
At the same time the old man disappeared and the words on the stone monument vanished, the Sacred Bats in the numerous ravines on the ground at the foot of the mountain started shuddering. Gradually, their bodies began degenerating. They started shrinking, and their human forms eventually turned into those of bats. They flew in the sky in circles, and it looked as if they had covered the entire sky. They shrieked, and after a long while, they slowly returned to the ravines on the ground in large crowds, disappearing without a trace.
As they left, the mountain where Su Ming was started trembling and began to sink down slowly. By the looks of it, it wanted to return to the depths of the ground, to the state it was before it rose all those years ago.
Su Ming stood on the mountain, experiencing the mountain sinking down. He closed his eyes.
He might not have obtained the answers he wanted despite having come here, but somewhere in the depths of his mind, he felt as if he had still obtained some form of an answer.
‘After the Berserker Soul Realm is Life Matrix, Life Privation, Life Palace, and World of Life. This is known as the path of Life Cultivation…’
Su Ming lifted his right hand and waved his arm, sweeping up the three pearls on the ground and that stone monument. Once he put them into his storage bag, he opened his eyes and cast a glance at the spot where the old man disappeared, then turned around and walked towards the sky.
After he left, the mountain sank down while rumbling, eventually disappearing from the land. The ravines on the ground closed up once again, and gradually, not a single crack could be found on the ground.
Su Ming stood in midair with a rather befuddled look on his face. He only snapped out of his daze after a long while.
He had seen the words and the illusion left behind by the third God of Berserkers before he died. Perhaps the Berserker in the Candle Dragon’s body had also heard these words before, but why would he appear in the Candle Dragon’s body? Why did he not take away those three pearls belonging to the third God of Berserkers? This was a mystery, and Su Ming could not figure out the answer.
‘The first God of Berserkers’ legacy will end at the third… This might be the reason why the words on the stone monument disappeared. So he will only pass his legacy up to the third..?’
Su Ming turned around and headed towards the direction of the Fated Kin’s valley. As he walked in midair, the heaviness he felt in his heart could be seen from his footsteps.
"It will end at the third…" Su Ming mumbled. He could already somewhat imagine a huge and tall figure bringing the people under his command to move towards the sky as he stood in the air above Great Yu Dynasty, before the land of the Berserkers was torn into five continents. Before he left, he turned his head back and cast a glance at the land.
‘It will end at the third!
‘When Lie Shan Xiu obtained the power of the first God of Berserkers, his so called Great Yu Dynasty and his people were no longer important. He brought the Berserkers to glory, left behind the God of Berserkers Song for his descendants as a song of praise, but it was impossible for him to protect the Berserkers forever.
‘Leaving behind his legacy up to the third God of Berserkers was already his final show of reluctance to part with us. If there is someone who can surpass him among the next two God of Berserkers, then his legacy would continue, but if no one could surpass him, then the Berserkers… would no longer be of his concern.’
Clarity gradually appeared in Su Ming’s eyes as he came to a sudden realization - the first God of Berserkers might never return to the Berserkers.
Su Ming shook his head and disappeared into the darkness.
Right at that moment, the Land of South Morning located outside the World of Nine Yin was going through a great disaster that could alarm the skies. This catastrophe could not be hidden away, and over the years, all the Cultivators in the entire continent had learned about it.
The Catastrophe of the Eastern Wastelands!
This disaster should have fallen on their heads a few years ago, but the Shamans and Berserkers had done everything they could to push it back, yet now, no matter what they did, they could not stop this catastrophe’s arrival.
The seawaters raged to the east of South Morning and huge waves surged into the sky. A large amount of seawater had already drowned out a small part of the land of the Shamans. Numerous mountains had already sunk into the sea as that seawater that surged into the sky came upon them. A large amount of lives lost everything in this catastrophe.
The numerous ferocious beasts in the seawater and the giants that had half their heads exposed above the sea walked onto the land belonging to the Shamans as the seawater flooded the place. They started moving forward.
The seawater roared endlessly. If anyone stood at the edge of the continent, right behind the land of the Shamans that had been submerged, and looked ahead, they would be able to see that there was a gigantic, black shadow not too far away. That shadow seemed so big that it seemed to have no end, and it was a gigantic continent, a continent that was known as the Eastern Wastelands!
It was finally here!
What awaited South Morning was a fate that was much worse than seawater spreading to the land, and in fact, the fate of having their land submerged in seawater could not even be compared to this, their true catastrophe… the clash of two continents!
One among the two would definitely crumble and shatter!
1. Life Matrix: 命格 (ming4 ge2), officially translated as birth chart/natal horoscope. It basically means the alignment of stars during your birth, which will affect your future. There are sayings that whatever little thing you do can change your future too, though, so your destiny isn’t set in stone.
Now then, I chose to translate it as Life Matrix because I thought that birth chart/natal horoscope gave off the feeling that it only affected you when you were born, which really didn’t sound that impactful to me, that is why I chose Life.
The reason why I chose Matrix was because it gave off a feeling that while something has taken shape (your predetermined destiny and your life, in this case), it can still be developed/changed. Chart and horoscope sounded as if they were set in stone, which wasn’t really suitable in this novel.
Life Privation: 命缺 (ming4 que4), a term in Fengshui. Usually those Fengshui masters say "Oh, the water/earth/wind/fire/metal element is missing from your life and it’s going to affect you yada yada yada, you should do this, and this, and this to balance your life and then you will something something", and then they sell you gemstones for you to wear so that you’ll compensate for the element you’re missing in your life.
Life Palace: 命宮 (ming4 gong1), the term specially used in a fortune telling style among the Hans called Purple Star Astrology/Zi Wei Dou Shu (紫微斗數). The official translation for this term is Self Palace/Ming Palace. There are twelve palaces in total. It’s named Self Palace because this palace/star governs your abilities, talents, how you conduct yourself, your will, your emotions. Basically, it is your ‘Self’. But here, the Berserkers don’t really just look at themselves. They’re understanding how the entire world and themselves work too, hence Life Palace.
World of Life: 命界 (ming4 jie4). This is made up. But since it concerns World Planes, it naturally became World of Life to me.