"Because after you started following me, you were able to wake up fifteen years ago!" Su Ming’s expression was as flat as ever, and he spoke languidly as he stared at the small black humanoid.
Fifteen years ago, with the small black humanoid’s aid, Su Ming had been able to sense the items in the Crimson Stones. He had been rather uncertain of it in the past, but due to his low level of cultivation at that time, he had been unable to see through it.
This had lasted until fifteen years later. When Su Ming walked out of the Undying and Imperishable World, he had obtained the Candle Dragon’s blessing, and his level of cultivation had increased exponentially after that. Some time later, he chose to examine the small black humanoid again, and during that time, he had discovered some clues.
There might still be wisps of aura of death remaining in the small humanoid’s body, but that aura was used to hide the extra wisp of life within!
It knew how to hide the presence of life that had appeared within it. When Su Ming remembered the scene fifteen years ago, he was an eight out of ten confident that this small black humanoid had been asleep when he first obtained it, and perhaps it was due to the stimulation of the Crimson Stones that it had woken up back then!
If it had been awake much earlier, it would not have allowed itself to be put on auction!
With just a brief analysis, Su Ming could guess that even though the small humanoid had woken up, when Su Ming was turned into stone in the Candle Dragon’s body, it could not escape. When he was released from his petrification, his power had increased exponentially, and the black humanoid must have lost its courage to escape after making a swift judgment.
Perhaps it had originally been searching for a chance, but that chance never appeared.
In the face of Su Ming’s calm words, the small black humanoid fell silent, but Su Ming had ample patience. He sat down cross-legged in his spot and did not say another word.
After a moment, a glint appeared in the small black humanoid’s eyes as he looked towards Su Ming.
"Perhaps we can make a deal… Do you want to leave this place? And by that, I mean… Yin Death’s Region!"
"Your third finger." There was not a single change of emotion on Su Ming’s face when he spoke unhurriedly.
The small black humanoid hesitated for a moment before it lifted its right hand in the mountain stone. A complicated array of emotions flickered through its face before they eventually settled on firm resolution. It opened its mouth and bit through its third finger. Once it spit it out, it held it in its hand, then after casting some unknown divine ability, it swung its arm outward, and the third finger instantly flew out of the mountain stone to fall before Su Ming.
The instant Su Ming lifted his right hand and seized that finger, it immediately turned into a layer of black fog with a bang. An eerie, large mouth appeared within the fog and snapped its jaws towards Su Ming’s right hand.
Su Ming remained as composed as ever. He did not even bother dodging it and simply allowed the black fog turned mouth to devour his hand. Yet the moment the mouth touched his hand, it immediately withered away until it looked like an old man’s arm. It was as if his flesh and blood had instantly sunk into his bones.
The black fog was immediately ricocheted off by a powerful rebounding force and exploded with a bang. Su Ming seized the air with his right hand, and the exploded black fog tumbled towards him to gather in his hand. It then turned into a black finger.
At the same time, Su Ming’s arm returned to normal, and the withered flesh recovered to its original state.
With the black finger in hand, Su Ming cast a glance in the direction before him.
Shock appeared on the small black humanoid’s face. It stared at Su Ming’s right hand blankly, and a dumbfounded expression gradually appeared in its eyes.
"You… This is the Curse! You actually managed to master the Candle Dragon’s Curse?! This is…"
"Ever since I obtained the Candle Dragon’s blessing, I discovered the life force you were hiding away. You might have been able to monitor my words and actions after I left the Candle Dragon’s body, but that was because I allowed you to see them," Su Ming said blandly, picking up the third finger.
Without waiting for the small black humanoid to continue speaking, he waved his left arm, and immediately, the transparent mountain rock was surrounded by golden light. Once it was enveloped by golden light, Su Ming put it away into his storage bag.
With the small black humanoid’s third finger in hand, Su Ming no longer bothered himself with that small humanoid. He walked towards the medicinal cauldron and placed the black finger inside according to the method to create the Welcoming of Deities in his memories. Once he did so, he sat down cross-legged beside the cauldron and pressed a palm on it to begin the creation of the pill.
‘According to the procedures, I will need 997 days to refine the Welcoming of Deities, and there will be two days where Heavenly Judgment will appear. If I make it through them, then the days of creation for the pill will reach a full 999 days, and it will turn into the Welcoming of Deities!’ Su Ming looked at the medicinal cauldron before him and gradually closed his eyes.
Time passed by without his knowledge. Days trickled away. In this frozen world at the bottom of the sea, there was only eternal silence. There was not a single thing bothering him, no change between the moon and sun in the sky. There was only limitless darkness around him.
Su Ming would occasionally wake up and feed some black liquid to the small snake as well as reward the turtle that always dropped by to wait after bringing some items over.
Perhaps it was because Su Ming had been here for a long time and perhaps it was because of the black liquid, but the hate the turtle had towards him in the beginning was clearly gone. In fact, it would even occasionally put on a look of flattery so that it could obtain that black liquid.
Two years passed by quietly, just like that. If Su Ming added the year that had gone by previously, then he would have been in this frozen world for three years.
The Welcoming of Deities was not yet complete.
Days went by without a single change. When the Welcoming of Deities entered its 998th day of refinement, Heavenly Judgment did not arrive, though perhaps it was because this place was isolated from the world.
When the 999th day arrived, booming sounds came from the medicinal cauldron before Su Ming. Numerous mumbling sounds also spread out from within it.
At the instant Su Ming opened his eyes, the medicinal cauldron’s lid flew off and a strange ray of light instantly shot out. Su Ming’s eyes sparkled, and he warped to the layer of ice right above the cave abode’s ceiling. He then took a step forward, lifted his right hand, and went on to catch the incoming strange ray of light.
The strange ray of light tried to dodge, but after Su Ming let out a cold harrumph, a wave of ripples appeared in the air in the cave abode. Those ripples spread out and seemed to freeze up the air, causing the light to freeze for a moment as well.
The instant it froze, Su Ming caught it with his right hand. Right when he touched that light, it faded away, and a purplish red medicinal pill appeared in his hand!
A human face that was the exact same as Su Ming’s emerged on the medicinal pill, and it was staring at Su Ming while growling.
"The Welcoming of Deities has the power to destroy the sky and earth. It can turn into millions of things. It can contain wills and minds within, and it can also absorb all the spirits in the world and make them descend on it so that it can be used for creation!
"Devour the pill, and you can turn into the soul which you had absorbed. You can make the winds and clouds flow backwards, and can even shake the heavens!"
This was the description of the effects of the medicinal pill Su Ming had obtained when he initially received the method to create the Welcoming of Deities.
The meaning of the description had been rather unclear to him in the past, but now, Su Ming could see the true use of the medicinal pill clearly! It was just as it was described. This Welcoming of Deities had two uses, it could be used internally and externally! Its internal function was that it could contain his Nascent Divinity and change into various forms, just like a clone!
As for its external function, it could sense the souls in this world and forcefully absorb them. Su Ming could swallow that pill afterwards and turn into that soul. Then, with his will, he could bring out the power of the soul, and the strength of that power would depend on the soul that the pill had absorbed!
If it had absorbed the remnants of the Candle Dragon’s soul… Su Ming held onto the one and only Welcoming of Deities he had created and looked at it while light flickered in his eyes.
‘Transformations that are based on the spirits it absorbed…’
As Su Ming fell into his thoughts, a gleam appeared in his eyes, and the Immortal’s Nascent Divinity came out of his body to charge straight towards the Welcoming of Deities. In an instant, it fused into the pill, and the Welcoming of Deities flew out of Su Ming’s hand. Dim light shone in midair, and the pill gradually turned into a teenage boy.
That boy was Su Ming from the past.
‘I still need to search for the remnants of souls from powerful spirits. It’s a pity that I didn’t have this pill when I met the Candle Dragon, or else… If I had placed the Candle Dragon’s soul in the pill and swallowed it, then according to its effects, I could turn into a Candle Dragon…’
Su Ming’s eyes shone brilliantly and his heart raced against his chest.
‘But I wonder, is it possible that the descriptions for this pill were exaggerated…?’
Su Ming cast a glance at his past self, then with a single thought, dim light immediately started shining around the boy. His Nascent Divinity returned to his body, and as that dim light gathered together, it turned into the medicinal pill once more. Su Ming put it away into his storage bag, then lifted his head to look at the darkness outside the layer of ice.
‘It’s been almost four years now. I’ve also increased the amount of Berserker Bones in my body during this time. Now almost a seventh of all my bones have turned into Berserker Bones!
‘The time has come for me to leave. The clash between South Morning and the Eastern Wastelands should have ended…’
The ninth summit appeared in Su Ming’s head. After a long while, he closed his eyes. When he reopened them, he started clearing up the cave abode he had stayed in for nearly four years. He put away the medicinal cauldron and the Poison Corpse, as well as the Celestial Maiden and Ahu’s souls, while the small snake lay sprawled across his shoulders.
Su Ming arrived at the entrance of the cave abode and went to the ice mountain, then looked at the gate. Just as he was about to leave, a low roar suddenly traveled from outside the layer of ice.
When Su Ming turned his head over to look, a faint smile appeared at the corners of his lips. The turtle was rushing towards him from the black seawater. It had a giant object in its mouth. That thing was hundreds of feet in size and could not be seen clearly. It brought that thing to the layer of ice, and once it saw Su Ming, the turtle immediately let its jaws fall slack and looked at him with eager and expectant eyes. It even used it claws to push the thing it had dragged over closer.
Su Ming looked at the turtle and turned around with a smile. He pressed his right hand against the layer of ice, and as rumbling sounds reverberated in the air, the turtle blinked. The layer of freezing ice that had separated them over these four years shattered, and Su Ming walked out.
The turtle did not put on the ferocious expression it had in the past. Instead, its face grew even more expectant. It even took a few steps forward to approach Su Ming.
Su Ming did not dodge and simply allowed the turtle to get closer. He looked at this creature, and his smile reached his eyes. He did not look at the thing it dragged over, but instead brought out the small bottle containing the black liquid and poured eight drops from it.
"I’ll give you eight drops. I don’t have much left now. I still have to keep some for my snake… I’ll be leaving this place today. I wonder if the gate can still last long enough to bring me here again…"
Su Ming lifted his right hand and patted the turtle’s head. That creature moved back slightly, but when it cast a glance at the eight drops of black liquid again, it allowed Su Ming to pat its head.
"I’ll be leaving now."
Su Ming looked at the turtle and averted his gaze. Just as he was about to leave, the turtle stuck out its tongue and swallowed all eight drops of that black liquid into its mouth right under the small snake’s jealous gaze. An intoxicated look appeared on its face. When it saw that Su Ming wanted to leave, it quickly used its claw and pushed the thing it dragged back several times.
Su Ming instinctively looked over. It was still a broken item, and it looked like the remaining part of a tablet’s corner from a palace that had shattered. Shattered ice filled the surface of that tablet, and there were even some faded words on it.
Su Ming crouched down and wiped away the ice on that broken tablet to look at the rather faded words carved on it. Yet the instant he saw those words, he shuddered and a bang went off in his head. A dazed look appeared on his face.
"Great Yu Sky Palace…"
These four words were carved on that broken tablet!