more so, his longing.
He knew that if Heaven Gate's Bai Su had not harbored special feelings for the ninth summit and loved his missing youngest junior brother, he would be in an even worse trouble.
He also knew that Bai Su only had very little influence in Heaven Gate. Even if her father had a lot of power in Heaven Gate in the past, but the thing that had happened during these past few years had caused him to be badly injured, causing his power and influence to fall greatly as well.
Hu Zi would never forget that sight. It was something that was largely connected to a person called Si Ma Xin, who had walked out of Freezing Sky Cave when the glacier turned into an ocean. It was something that no one expected, not even Bai Su's father!
Si Ma Xin had become incredibly powerful when he walked out of the glacier, and from then onwards, he became one of the powerful warriors within Heaven Gate. His existence was also the reason why the ninth summit was in such a difficult situation.
As Hu Zi cried, he touched his back and started mumbling in a voice that only he could hear.
"Master, I'm at my limit… Eldest senior brother and second senior brother went to Eastern Wastelands… Youngest junior brother, where are you…? Did you know? Our home is almost gone… Do you still remember the ninth summit's principles…?
"Kill those who have harmed even a single plant of ninth summit.
"Kill those who have harmed even a single follower of ninth summit.
"Kill all the Berserkers of the tribe of the person who harmed even a single disciple of the ninth summit."
As he spoke, more tears fell from his eyes, and his heart clenched in pain.
"These are the ninth summit's principles… but our summit is no longer here, are we… even considered a part of it anymore…?" Hu Zi continued crying. On that lonely mountain, the sobs of a man echoed in the air.
Men do not cry easily, because their cries sounded horrid to the ears, because their sobs symbolize weakness, but… when they reach their limit, their cries become filled with their despair towards life.
Those sobs filled with despair would no longer be unpleasant, but would be filled with grief...
Hu Zi wept silently, until a sigh came from behind him, along with a gentle, familiar voice.
"Hu Zi, don't cry…"
When that voice spoke, a hand landed on Hu Zi's shoulder. The hand that represented warmth caused him to lurch forward, and when he turned his head around while shivers wrecked his body, he saw a face that for long had only existed in his memories.
"Youngest… junior brother…" Hu Zi looked at Su Ming with a dumbfounded expression, and his mind went blank. He could not tell whether this was reality or just a figment of his imagination. As he trembled, he slowly lifted his hand and pressed his palm on the hand Su Ming had placed on his shoulder, then grabbed it tightly. When he was certain that the hand was truly there, Hu Zi suddenly began shouting at Su Ming.
"You're only back now?!
"Only the peak of the ninth summit remains, did you know that?! Eldest senior brother went to search for Master in Eastern Wastelands because we didn't know whether he was still alive! And while we were waiting in anxiety, second senior brother left for Eastern Wastelands because he was worried!
"I wanted to go as well, but he wouldn't let me. He asked me to protect the ninth summit! He asked me to stay here and wait for you so that you'd know the ninth summit is still here and that our home is still around!" As Hu Zi roared, tears fell from his eyes.
"It's been twenty years! Twenty years! You've been missing for twenty years, and you're only back now?! Do you still remember that the ninth summit is your home?! Do you have any idea just how often Master sighed and looked towards the land of the Shamans?! Do you have any idea how dejected he looked when he did that?!
"Do you know why eldest senior brother came out of isolation earlier and went to the land of the Shamans?! He didn't go for the Shamans, he went to search for you!
"Did you know about these?! Did you?!
"Did you know that second senior brother took care of your cave abode and rearranged it so that it looked as if you never left? The plants and herbs he planted on your platform are still around. At that time, when he planted these flowers, he had even turned around and said to me while smiling that these flowers could protect you so that you could train at ease on this platform!
"Because he knew that you loved sitting there and exercising your breathing! Did you know about all these?!" Hu Zi stood up in agitation and shouted at Su Ming without stop, just like how a man who had suppressed his burdens for a long time would explode when he finally saw his family.
Su Ming remained silent, and his face was filled with grief. He looked at Hu Zi, listened to his furious cries silently, and he continued listening until Hu Zi, at some point in his rant, went up to hug him.
"Youngest junior brother, I missed you… Eldest senior brother also missed
also missed you, and so did second senior brother. Master looked so much older before he left, you know? I know that he went to the land of the Shamans to look for you…
"But he didn't manage to find you. Youngest junior brother, just where did you go? Why are you back only now…?" Hu Zi wept as he hugged Su Ming. His voice became softer with each word, and in the end, only one sentence was left echoing in the air.
"How could you come back only now…?"
"Third senior brother, I'm back…" Su Ming hugged Hu Zi and spoke softly. Tears fell down his eyes, too.
Hu Zi's voice became weaker with each passing moment, and eventually, his whole body sagged against Su Ming's. He was too tired, both in body and mind. He had been protecting the ninth summit alone without sleeping and drinking, enduring the loneliness quietly and silently. At this moment, the instant he saw Su Ming, he relaxed. Just like that, he closed his eyes while in his embrace, and gradually, the snores Su Ming was so familiar with rang through the air.
He held Hu Zi in his arms, and even when his senior brother's snores grew so loud that they sounded like thunder roaring, not a hint of impatience could be found on Su Ming. His lips curled up into a smile. This was his senior brother, a brother who would do everything for Su Ming without regard for his own safety, and also a brother whom Su Ming could give up everything for!
He was a little simple, but he was not foolish. He had some unique hobbies, but he was a sincere person. He had a horrible temper, but he was a person who would stand before his junior brother to defend him!
Because he always believed that he was the senior brother and he had to protect his junior brother!
Similarly, he would also stand behind his second senior brother, because he believed that his second senior brother would do the same thing and defend him, and that was also the truth. This… was the ninth summit.
"Senior brother, I'm back… You don't have to defend the ninth summit alone now. I will make all the people who harbor ill will towards the ninth summit to only have time to worry about themselves from now on!" A hint of killing intent appeared in Su Ming's eyes, and that killing intent was much stronger than when he was in Scour Sieve Island!
After all, he had done everything in Scour Sieve Island for someone else, but over here, he was doing this for his Master, his senior brothers, for his own home!
"I will let everyone know about the principles of the ninth summit," Su ninth summit," Su Ming stated calmly, then carried Hu Zi back to their Master's cave abode. He placed his senior brother on the ground, lifted his right hand and pointed at the center of his brows, sending out a warm wave of aura into his body. That aura would provide him with nourishment so that his fatigue over the years could be relieved.
He was too tired. He had not slept like this for far too long. Right then, as dreams visited his sleep, he started drooling at the corner of his lips. There was even a smile on his face, and it looked as if he had encountered something happy in his dreams.
Su Ming looked at Hu Zi quietly, at the signs of age on his face, and what appeared before his eyes was the honest figure in his memories, along with this very same figure taking him along to peek at their second senior brother while they hid behind a big rock.
"I'm not bragging here, youngest junior brother, if we talk about intelligence, is there anyone else who is smarter than me on this mountain? None!" The words Hu Zi had said in the past and the smug expression he had when he said them appeared in Su Ming's head.
"Let me tell you, eldest senior brother is always in isolation… Our second senior brother is the most interesting out of the lot. He always thinks someone is stealing his plants…"
"Be quiet. Don't make a sound. I'll take you to the seventh summit tonight. We'll go see those girls today. Let me tell you, youngest junior brother, you have to be smart. When I tell you to run, you have to be quick and get going!"
"Damn you all, how dare you bully my junior brother?! I'll bring you into my Dreams!"
"Youngest junior brother, look, quick! Master is wearing flowery robes today…"
Su Ming looked at Hu Zi, and the memories surfaced in his mind. At that moment, Hu Zi rolled over, looking as if he thought that sleeping on his stomach would be more comfortable. The moment he changed positions, Su Ming's gaze immediately zoomed in on his back, and he saw dried specks of blood on the robes covering his back.
He moved next to Hu Zi and lifted the robes covering his back. Then, on Hu Zi's back, he saw wounds with their flesh turned inside out. Those… were wounds left behind by flogging!
They were packed closely to each other. Some of them had formed scabs, but there were even more who had already turned into brown scars. When Su Ming saw all of them, the cave abode immediately turned cold, and an indescribably chilling killing intent appeared in his eyes!