Zong Ze lifted his right hand, and a jade slip immediately appeared on his palm. He flung it towards Su Ming, and the jade slip turned into a long arc that instantly appeared before Su Ming. Once he caught it in his hands, he looked at it carefully.
It was a simple map, and where South Morning originally was were three smaller continents. Each of them was separated by the Dead Sea. They might be called continents, but were really just slightly larger islands.
Around the area near Eastern Wastelands was an endless amount of islands. There was also quite a number of them located at the edge of continent as well. One of them was an island that was several times the size of Southern Swamp. The words ‘Scour Sieve’ were written on top of it.
"It’s difficult for me to leave this land, so I can’t go with you. I can only… give you a bow as a plea for you to do this and as a sign of gratitude for this matter." Zong Ze looked at Su Ming, and the complicated look in his eyes gradually turned to a regretful one as he wrapped his fist in the palm and bowed towards Su Ming.
"Sir Zong Ze, please tell me, did my eldest senior brother come to the land of the Shamans in the past?" Su Ming averted his gaze from the jade slip and looked at Zong Ze before he suddenly threw this question out of the blue.
"The Young Lord came to Autumn Sea Tribe before the calamity, but he didn’t go to the God of Shamans Temple. Instead… when the calamity fell on our heads, he went to Eastern Wastelands…" Zong Ze said deeply.
Su Ming frowned.
"From what I know, the Young Lord went to Eastern Wastelands because of his Master, who went there many years ago and never returned. It seems like something had happened there." Zong Ze fell silent for a moment, but in the end, he still said those words.
He knew about the relationship between Nine Li’s Young Lord and Su Ming. He couldn’t hide this from him.
Su Ming lifted his head swiftly and looked towards Zong Ze.
"Please tell me in detail, senior Zong Ze."
"I didn’t learn the details because the Shamans and Berserkers were at war at that time, but from what I understand, senior Tian Xie Zi passed through the Dead Sea alone and went to Eastern Wastelands. It seems like he wanted to try and prevent this calamity, but… he never returned. But the date of the calamity falling on us had indeed been pushed back considerably.
"I remember that the Young Lord stood on a mountain for the entire night before he went to Eastern Wastelands. He held a broken wooden plate in his hands, and his face was filled with sorrow…" Zong Ze looked at Su Ming and spoke softly.
A shudder ran through Su Ming’s body, and a bang instantly went off in his head. He could tell that Zong Ze was not lying, and there was no need for him to lie about this either. A picture appeared in his head.
In that picture, he saw the waves in the vast sea surging into the sky. On a mountain towering into the clouds, he saw his eldest senior brother standing silently, looking at the roaring Dead Sea as it came rushing forth from the distance and at the gigantic Eastern Wastelands charging forward to this place from far, far away. His face was filled with sorrow, and in his hands he held a wooden plate. On that wooden plate were three words - Tian Xie Zi!
There were cracks on that wooden plate, and it looked as if it were about to shatter at any moment…
As the seawater roared and Eastern Wastelands crashed into the continent, by his lonesome, eldest senior brother stepped into the air, and with his sorrow, he flew towards Eastern Wastelands!
"Master! Eldest senior brother!" Su Ming turned his head around and looked towards the direction where Eastern Wastelands laid. A crazed killing intent burned in his eyes.
He did not want to think about this too much. He was afraid that the more he thought about it, the more answers he would get, and the more he would feel that he had lost.
He suddenly understood what Zi Yan had meant when she said that his second senior brother had left the ninth summit and never returned. He had been slightly puzzled when he first heard it, because his second senior brother loved the ninth summit. The ninth summit was his home, and unless something as serious as the world collapsing happened, he would definitely not leave it!
But he still left, and… he never returned. Su Ming had originally been wondering where he went, but now, he was absolutely certain that his second senior brother… had gone to Eastern Wastelands!
He went to search for his Master!
His eldest senior brother also left for the same reason, to search for their Master. Perhaps he had even gone off to search for his second junior brother as well!
"What about Hu Zi…? Is he still in the ninth summit…?" Su Ming mumbled under his breath.
He suddenly had a great urge to return to the ninth summit. He wanted to see whether Hu Zi was still around, then he would go to Eastern Wastelands. Over there, he would search for his eldest senior brother and his second senior brother’s traces, and he would find them. Then, they would look for their Master together!
Zong Ze looked at Su Ming. This young man who had given him three different kinds of feelings during the three times they had met reminded him of the Young Lord of Nine Li. He remembered the person who had left for Eastern Wastelands, and also remembered his very own Autumn Sea Tribe, now dispersed. Most of his tribe members were scattered as well. Then he remembered his few remaining years of life, and remembered how great and awe-inspiring he had been when he was younger.
Gradually, Zong Ze turned around and left with a melancholic expression.
The sky slowly darkened. Waves upon waves of water crashed onto the surface of the sea, creating splashing sounds. Su Ming sat on a mountain and looked towards the darkness in the distance without a single word.
At some point in time, Fang Cang Lan walked out from the darkness and approached him from behind. She looked at Su Ming gently, but did not speak, simply sat down next to him.
The seawater created rushing sounds. The world was covered in darkness. There were no words, no exchange of gazes between the two people. Fang Cang Lan simply stayed beside Su Ming quietly on the mountain throughout the entire night.
When light started shining through the gray clouds in the sky, Su Ming, who had immersed himself in his many thoughts, with the ninth summit constantly appearing in his mind, closed his eyes.
"Thank you," he whispered softly.
Fang Cang Lan did not speak. She simply looked in the distance. It might still be dim, but the sky was still much brighter than complete darkness. She shook her head.
"If you don’t want to stay on Southern Swamp Island, you can leave with Zi Yan to the Fated Kin’s island. She knows where it is." Su Ming opened his eyes and looked at the woman who had stayed with him for the entire night. He looked at her side profile; her face was breathtakingly beautiful.
"You don’t need to worry about me. My level of cultivation might not be high, but I’ve prepared a lot of backup plans, and they’re all laid out in great detail. I won’t run into any dangers that I can’t solve.
"But you, though… That Scour Sieve Island…" Fang Cang Lan turned her head around, and she fixed her beautiful eyes on Su Ming.
"I know that Yun Lai had been refining an Enchanted Treasure. He needed my divine ability to be able to activate it fully. The origin of this treasure is unknown, but if you bring it over here…" Fang Cang Lan immediately said, and Su Ming could see the concern as well as worry clearly on her face.
"I won’t need it. Since it needs your divine ability to be activated fully, then you can also use it."
"But…" Anxiety rushed through Fang Cang Lan’s system, and just as she was about to continue, a smile appeared on Su Ming’s lips. It was very faint, but there was a wave of confidence contained within.
"The twenty years of memories you saw were only fragments. You didn’t see everything." He looked at her and the smile stayed on his lips.
Fang Cang Lan was taken aback, but she quickly remembered how Yun Lai had been completely unable to fight back against Su Ming despite his strength. That sort of power had already surpassed Fang Cang Lan’s understanding.
"You… What is your level of cultivation now?" Fang Cang Lan remained silent for a while before she asked softly.
"Bone Sacrifice." Su Ming looked towards her.
"That’s impossible…" Fang Cang Lan eyes went wide. A dark light shone in them, and as she lifted her right hand, the jade skull appeared on her palm. Once she pressed her hand against it, she lifted her left hand and held Su Ming’s hand, then closed her eyes.
Su Ming did not shake her off. After a moment, Fang Cang Lan trembled, and her eyes flew open.
"The Candle Dragon’s blessing… Sacrificing all the bones in your body…" she mumbled, then looked at Su Ming with disbelieving eyes.
Su Ming did not speak. He simply nodded.
Fang Cang Lan only recovered from her shock after some time. She looked at him, and her eyes shone increasingly brighter, but she seemed slightly hesitant. She bit her lip, and after a moment, a grim expression appeared on her face and she spoke softly.
"Su Ming, do you remember when we first met? At that time, after you left my brother’s place, I… saw your memories."
Su Ming remained calm. How could he have forgotten about this? That had been the first time he began suspecting his own identity, and all of this was due to Fang Cang Lan’s compassion as well as her muttering those words that he could not understand back then.
"Destiny, huh…?"he said lightly.
"You… already know?" The pity that had appeared in her eyes all those years ago gradually surfaced once again as she asked softly.
"I saw you living through fifty years of your life in a void… I also saw you chained up, up till the moment of your death…" After keeping that secret for twenty odd years in her heart, Fang Cang Lan finally told Su Ming about it.
"I saw them calling you Destiny… I saw you dying hundreds of times… I also saw a place called Dark Mountain. But when I wanted to continue looking, a power from another world destroyed my ability.
"That power was too strong, and there was no way I could hope to fight back against it. I could feel the power trying to destroy it, because I saw something I shouldn’t have.
"But for some unknown reason, when that power wanted to wipe out my existence, it disappeared…" Fang Cang Lan muttered. Still holding Su Ming’s hand, she closed her eyes once more.
The instant she did so, a bang went off in Su Ming’s head, and flowing pictures appeared in his mind. Those pictures were everything that Fang Cang Lan had seen in the past.
"Over these twenty years, my level of cultivation rose incredibly quickly, and the main reason for it was because of that power that tried to destroy me when I was reading through your memories. I slowly discovered that it did not disappear, but remained within me…
"I want to help you. I want to let you know just what you lost, and just how many of your true memories have been changed or sealed. That’s why I’ve been training so diligently to fuse with that power… I want to practice this unique divine ability of mine until I reach perfection. I always believed that someday, I would definitely be able to help you.
"If you trust me, then let me try looking one more time… into your past memories…"
Fang Cang Lan’s mutters echoed in Su Ming’s ears. In silence, he gradually relaxed his mind, and under Fang Cang Lan’s guidance, they both began going back to the past that had returned to the passage of time.
Right before Su Ming’s eyes, the void appeared, the him that was shackled by chains, the gigantic head, the person sitting on top of the head, as well as that one sentence…
"You… truly disappoint me…"
He did not know how much time had passed, but at some point, Su Ming’s eyes flew open, and Fang Cang Lan shuddered before him. A mouthful of blood spilled out of her mouth.
Su Ming stretched out his left hand and dragged her behind himself before lifting his right hand and throwing a punch towards the spot where she had sat moments ago without any hesitation.
That one punch immediately caused the air to begin distorting, and a cold harrumph that seemed to come from a place far away abruptly traveled forth!