Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
There were only three pieces of land remaining of the old continent of South Morning besides the islands scattered here and there. These three pieces of land might seem desolate, but they were the only three regions that remained in a more complete state as South Morning suffered through the effects of the Catastrophe of the Eastern Wastelands.
Three incredibly huge protection Runes covered each of these three huge pieces of land. From the distance, it was not exactly accurate to call them that thought, because they were not connected together to form a single continent. Instead, they were spread out in a triangle, and black seawater roared between them.
Perhaps it would be more accurate to describe them as islands.
Su Ming stood on the Dead Sea as clouds tumbled in the sky. There was a rather complicated look on his face as he looked at the sea beneath his feet. Vaguely, he could see a shadow in the depths below…
The shadow looked like a dragon’s head. That spot was… where Sky Mist Barrier was located in the past, but it was now submerged under the sea. If the terrain itself had not been incredibly highly elevated since the beginning and the mountain ranges where the wall was built upon had not existed, Sky Mist’s dragon head would no longer be seen after it was submerged.
Twenty something years ago, Su Ming fought against the Shamans here in a great war as a member of the Berserker Tribe. Over here, he had refined his will. Over here, he became a Divine General of Bone Sacrifice, and also in this very same place, he was forced to escape into the land of the Shamans.
Now, this place had changed. Everything had changed, be it the place itself or the people. It would make a person sigh if he tried to search for the faint traces of the past.
Compared to the complicated feelings and the sentimental thoughts in Su Ming’s heart, the bald crane behind him was looking around while having all sorts of thoughts in its mind. It was trying to search for a way to leave Su Ming with everything it had. It was incredibly terrified of the man, and it told itself that if it could not find a way to escape, it might never see the light of day again.
‘I’m a valiant and wise crane with a high status. How could this little Berserker brat speak to me so rudely? Hur hur.’ As all sorts of thoughts ran through the bald crane’s mind, it saw Su Ming turning his head around, and was immediately terrified. It quickly put on a look of flattery, and even flapped
its wings a few times like a little chick.
Once it noticed that Su Ming was not looking at it but into the distance, it started grumbling in its heart.
‘I must think of a way to escape as soon as possible. It’d be great to have my freedom again. With my divine abilities, I can have as many concubines as I want, as many lackeys as I want. Ah… it’s a pity about Mo Luo. I wasted a lot of effort making him believe in me in the past.’
Su Ming did not bother with the bald crane’s thoughts, but only looked at the vast sea underneath, moving his eyes away only after a long time had passed. His gaze gradually calmed down. As he moved forward, he turned into a long arc and walked forth. The bald crane hesitated for a moment, until Su Ming’s cold harrumph reached its ears.
It made the bald crane tremble, and even though it was absolutely unwilling to, it still put on a look of happiness on its face.
"Sir, please wait for me. Look, I don’t have a lot of feathers left, I can’t fly too quickly. Why don’t I… wait for you here?"
Su Ming did not continue paying any sort of attention to it. He might think that there were some mysteries surrounding this black crane, but as of then, his desire to return to the ninth summit was too strong, that was why he did not bother himself too much with the bird.
Besides, there was no sort of grudge between him and the black crane. With how Su Ming was, he would not make things too hard for the crane. If it wanted to leave, he would not stop it.
When the crane saw that Su Ming was ignoring it and was flying further away, it widened its eyes and started backing away slowly, wondering in its head whether he had decided to be kind and stopped paying attention to it.
‘Something’s wrong!’ The bald crane froze for a moment, then after flapping its wings a few times, it lifted its claws and scratched the spots on its body that were without feathers.
‘He’s testing me. If I truly ran away, he’ll have a reason to teach me a lesson. Aaahhh, what a sly person, this Su Ming. I won’t fall into your trap. Hur hur, the more you act this way, the less I should escape. I’m a smart crane, did you think you can actually make me fall for your little schemes, you little Berserker brat!’
The bald crane immediately flapped its wings and quickly chased after him. As it flew, it continued feeling smug about itself for not falling into Su Ming’s ‘scheme’.
The colors of the three protection screens of
of light on the three big islands of South Morning were different. The one at the center was black and looked dull. It was as if there was an endless layer of black smoke surrounding the entire land. It let out an eerie presence, causing people to feel a chilling air spreading out before they even got closer to the place.
The big island located several tens of thousands of lis away to the left was surrounded by golden light. That light spilled out in all directions and could be seen from the distance. The final big island was located to the right of the black island. That place was filled with blue light, and as it flowed, it looked as if there were ripples spreading out into the world.
Su Ming flew past the Sky Mist Barrier and looked at the vast surface of the sea and the world in the distance. In his hands he held a jade slip, and the locations for the three great islands of South Morning were marked clearly on the map.
However, since the three islands were eternally sealed off, it was rare to find anyone coming out. That was why it was difficult to determine just which faction of power that existed in South Morning since the past owned these three islands.
However, Zong Ze had his own assumptions, and he had made some marks on the map based on them.
According to his guesses, the big island shining with golden light should belong to Western Sea Clan, who had activated the power of its clan when the calamity arrived so that they could stand against the disaster.
Judging by the place where the land was torn, the golden island was indeed where Western Sea Clan was once located.
Zong Ze had been unable to make any sort of guesses regarding the black island. He could only theorize that the island shrouded in blue light was controlled by Freezing Sky Clan based on some of the hints he obtained.
Su Ming fell into a moment of silence while holding the jade slip. As his eyes flickered, he charged towards the blue island, and he continued flying across the surface of the sea for the next few days.
The bald crane followed behind him. The two of them turned into two rays of long arcs, and they did not see another living soul besides the endless sea and the occasional ferocious beasts that would pop out of the Dead Sea around them.
It did not matter whether it was day or night. Besides the roars of the seawater, not much sound could be heard from anything else, causing the region to almost fall into deathly silence.
Eventually, Su Ming saw a hint of blue light in the world before him.
before him. The light gradually grew stronger as he got closer. Soon, a large piece of land appeared before him. Rays of blue light that seemed like flowing water flashed in a globe around the land. The screen of light was rather thick, and it looked as if it was about a thousand feet in breadth!
The thousand feet breadth cut off everything from outside, causing this huge island to be isolated from the world. Right at the moment Su Ming closed in on the protective screen of light, a vast and mighty pressure spread towards him slowly. Su Ming stood there and cast his gaze at the screen of light, but he could not see through it.
This was a powerful defense that could resist the Catastrophe of the Eastern Wastelands. It looked as if it was a thousand feet thick, but it was definitely not just that. The strength and resilience of the screen of light made a light crease appear between Su Ming’s brows once he saw it.
He stood beyond the screen of light and lifted his right hand slowly, but right at that moment, the bald crane behind him blinked and quickly flapped its wings.
"Don’t, sir. I have a method for us to enter the place. I promise you, it’ll definitely work, and the people inside won’t notice us. This sort of thing is too easy for me," the bald crane said smugly next to Su Ming. When he looked towards it, the bald crane immediately puffed out its chest and even slapped its chest several times with its beak.
"Sir, just watch me!"
As it spoke, it immediately flew towards the light screen with everything it had. Lifting its claw, it pressed it against the screen, and its body immediately turned invisible. Soon after, it slowly started shining with blue light, as if it was about to fuse together with the Rune.
Su Ming focused his attention on the bird, and was rather surprised. He did not expect that the bald crane would have this sort of ability, but as he continued watching, an odd expression gradually appeared on his face.
Because right then, as the bald crane started shining with blue light all over its body, its appearance slowly changed and it gained a human form. By the looks of it, it had turned into an old man.
The old man stood outside the Rune, and a thick wave of aura of death spread out from his body. That wave of death surrounded him, causing him to look incredibly weird.
He closed his eyes, and when he reopened them, a hint of ancientness as well as somberness could be seen in his eyes. When Su Ming saw the bald crane taking up human form, his heart trembled. That gaze trembled. That gaze gave even him an indescribable feeling.
However, that feeling disappeared the next instant, because the dignified and solemn old man that was the bald crane started changed its expression rapidly and put on a look of flattery. There was also a hint of smugness contained within, which completely destroyed his mighty and serious temperament. It made Su Ming shake his head as he chuckled wryly.
"You puny little Rune, do you see who I am? I was the one who placed you here. Now open up for me!"
As the bald crane mumbled, he stretched his right claw now turned into the old man’s right hand towards the Rune. Immediately, the thousand feet thick screen of light before Su Ming opened up a crack without making a single sound. That crack stretched right down to the inner parts of the Rune, revealing the land it protected inside.
An odd expression settled on Su Ming’s face. He could tell that the bald crane had become one with the Rune with its great transformation powers, then, after casting some unknown method, had turned into the old man, who might possibly be the person who had made the Rune in the past.
With this method, it had deceived the Rune, causing it to open up a path for them.
Su Ming’s eyes sparkled. He cast a glance at the old man who was really the produce of the bald crane’s transformations, then walked forward slowly. Almost the moment he closed in on the path the screen of light had opened up, he disappeared and warped a thousand feet away, appearing inside the protected zone within the Rune.
When he was gone, the bald crane rolled its eyes, and the crack on the Rune immediately closed up, causing Su Ming to be instantly encased within, which also meant that the two of them were now separated by the Rune.
"Ha ha, how dare you try to scheme against me, you little Berserker brat? How dare you test me? In the end, you fell into my trap! From now on, go on ahead and be trapped inside that Rune! I’ll be living my life of freedom!"
The bald crane laughed smugly, and with a single swing of its body, it turned back into the seven-colored peacock. Clearly, it loved this particular appearance, and while feeling pleased with itself, it flapped its wings. But just as it was about to leave…
An aloof voice suddenly came from beside the bald crane’s ears, causing it to be momentarily stunned, and a shudder crept up its spine. It immediately turned its head back and looked at the spot in the Rune where Su Ming had previously disappeared, only to find him still standing nearby while looking over coldly.