"Su Ming, I am Heaven Gate’s third Lord. A huge, disastrous change happened to Heaven Gate during the calamity, and besides me, the only Lords who did not die from the disaster were the virtuous old woman and Bai Su’s father, whom you are familiar with. All the other Lords died...
"The source of the disaster is Si Ma Xin!
"I have no idea what sort of serendipity he obtained, but his Great Art of Heartless Berserker Seed has nearly reached completion. I can’t judge his level of cultivation either. It’s as if there’s no end to his power, and all of us from Heaven Gate are not his opponents…
"He has planted his vein in me and in some other people as well. We can only listen to him, and we can’t even determine how we live or die… The entire Heaven Gate is under his control.
"The cultivation method I practice is a little unique, and because of it, I can escape from his control for a short period of time, that’s why I managed to leave my words in this vase. The reason behind the ninth summit’s continued existence is not because of Si Ma Xin. I was the one who told him that if the ninth summit still remained, you would definitely be lured back.
"I had no choice but to do this, but no matter what, I helped your Master and all of you protect the ninth summit...
"If you didn’t have enough power, you wouldn’t be able to enter the vase either. If you can come in here, then it means that the me many years later has judged that you are up to this task…
"There are nine layers to Heaven Gate. Besides the first and the ninth layers, the other seven layers are inhabited by the other tribes around the area, but all of those tribes have become Si Ma Xin’s subordinates...
"If you kill Si Ma Xin, then we will… acknowledge the ninth summit as our esteemed sovereign!
"Leaving this vase is easy. You just need to say these five words in a chant - Nan, Na, Di, La, Hong, and you will be able to leave. When you do, please strike the passages of my Qi and make them scatter. Then, if you succeed, I will find a way to awaken, but if you fail, I will die, and at the very least, it will be a fate better than what I have to suffer now…"
The area around Su Ming was murky, and he could not see too clearly into the distance. He could only see wisps of fog manifesting and moving around him. If he looked at it for an extended period of time, he would be unable to help himself and his body would start spinning with the fog.
The voice of the old man in white echoed in Su Ming’s ears. That voice should have been sealed in this vase for a long time, and it was clear that the old man had prepared these words some time ago, just as he said.
In silence, Su Ming recalled seeing the red thread at the center of the old man’s brows. He also remembered Zi Che’s strange appearance and attitude, as well as the dozen something fine threads that had crawled out of the old woman’s bones.
All of these things were an enigma, causing Su Ming to begin doubting the old man’s words.
‘Should I believe him, or should I not…?’ Su Ming lifted his head, and a chilling glare appeared in his eyes.
‘I can choose to believe in what he said about Si Ma Xin, but I will not use the method he provided to leave this place. I will choose how I want to leave!’
As the bald crane was happily looting in the first layer, the old man in white held the vase in his hands in the sky with a slightly excited look on his face. Suddenly, he widened his eyes. Right before his eyes, fine cracks appeared on his vase, and muffled booming sounds also traveled into the air from within it.
The instant he was taken aback by the sight, the vase exploded abruptly. Loud, booming sounds stirred up a string of echoes that did not fade away even after a long time had passed. The moment the vase shattered, a hand shot out from within its remnants and seized the old man’s throat. With a gentle push, a huge force rammed itself into his body, scattering all the passages of Qi within him.
The old man coughed up a mouthful of blood, and as his body fell backwards, his world turned black. However, there was a hint of eagerness and excitement hidden deep down in his eyes. As his body fell downwards, that expression gradually faded away, which was why he did not notice a pair of greedy eyes with a similar look of eagerness and excitement shining within them flying towards him swiftly.
Most of the black fog in the sky had surged into the crack, and the booming sounds continued echoing in the air. There was only one person remaining before Su Ming, and that person was Zi Che...
He turned into red fog. As he charged towards Su Ming, his face would occasionally appear within the fog, showing a crazed expression as well as a pair of struggling eyes containing a hint of pain and madness.
"You are a member of the ninth summit…" Su Ming looked at Zi Che and mumbled softly. He could not kill Zi Che, not like how he killed the others, because it was just as he said, Zi Che belonged to the ninth summit!
Almost the moment he turned into red fog and closed in, a hint of grief appeared on Su Ming’s face. The air before him suddenly distorted, and the small snake flew out. Its expression was no longer dark and cold as it opened its mouth towards the incoming Zi Che, then calmly let out a howl.
The Candle Dragon’s gigantic shadow immediately manifested in the form of an illusion as it howled. The moment Zi Che closed in, it snapped its jaws around Zi Che, and it was as if a small part of the world was devoured when it closed its mouth. The red fog could not escape from it, and Zi Che was completely devoured by the small snake.
But that did not mean Zi Che had died. The world contained within the Candle Dragon’s body could keep him within, and he could wait in there… until the moment Su Ming killed Si Ma Xin arrived. The seal formed by the Berserker Seed in his body would also be broken by then.
Su Ming lifted his head and looked towards the black fog surging into the hole in the sky. In silence, he leaped up and charged straight up there. Then, as if he had fused together with the tumbling aura of death’s fog, he rushed into the hole and arrived in Heaven Gate’s second layer!
The instant he left Heaven Gate’s first layer, the bald crane who had been searching through the old man in white whose passages of Qi had been scattered and whose fate was unknown suddenly heard Su Ming’s cold and detached voice in its head, all while it was originally shivering in excitement as it searched for the things it believed to be treasures with its ‘professional’ methods.
"You can loot as you please, but since you can come in, then you must have a way to get out. Go out and take care of my senior brother, or else I will take away all the things you stole.
"If you do this properly, then I will consider allowing you to follow behind me and continue with your looting adventures."
When the bald crane heard the first half of Su Ming’s second sentence, it decided to disobey his orders while scoffing with disdain in its heart, but the moment it heard the second half of the sentence, it was momentarily stunned. Then, it started screaming shrilly. As it swept away all the remaining valuables in the place, it immediately crawled into the collapsed Rune while all the Heaven Gate’s disciples in the first layer burned with fury and murderous intent that seared the skies. Then, after casting some unknown skill, it disappeared without a trace.
‘No one can take away my treasures, no one! But if I continue staying by his side, I’ll get even more treasures…’
In the Land of South Morning, the bald crane’s body appeared in the air above the ninth summit. It lifted its claws and stroked its chin, then after it made some calculations, its eyes began shining brilliantly, and with excitement brimming through its body, it flew towards the ninth summit.
"Off to work! As long as I can have treasures, I will work!
"I’m a bird, I’m a crane, I’m a wise and outstanding crane, an honest and upright bird…" Perhaps it was too happy, but the bald crane began bellowing loudly and hoarsely at the top of its lungs as it flew to the ninth summit.
The instant Su Ming stepped into Heaven Gate’s second layer, he was immediately swept into a fight. He was surrounded by a plain of grass, and the earth’s fragrance traveled into his nose. It would make all those who smelled it to feel refreshed, but now…
Fights raged in this place, and the sounds of hooves clattering could be heard everywhere, crushing all the grass on the ground to pieces while causing the earth to tremble. There were… hordes of soldiers and horses in this place!
An innumerable amount of people were wearing black masks and hide armors while riding on ferocious beasts with the face of a dragon and the bodies of horses. These ferocious beasts ran like the wind, and even the weakest of the Berserkers sitting on them were already in the later stage of the Awakening Realm.
This was an army formed of thousands of people, and all of them were unleashing attacks and strikes on Su Ming on this plain of grass. The long spears and the sharp glints from the swords caused the land to be filled with the fires of war!
In the Land of South Morning, only Shepherd Tower Tribe were skilled in riding and were also the only ones who possessed this unique combat skill around Freezing Sky Clan, because they were the only tribe that was not built on the frozen plains!
The members of Shepherd Tower Tribe placed their focus on riding, and all of the power as well as divine abilities could only be activated after they fused with the warhorse under their bodies. Their strongest move was the full powered charge formed by several dozens of warhorses.
If they could form a charge of more than a hundred, then the power behind their attack would be incredibly astonishing, but if they could perform a charge of more than a thousand… then their strength could shake the earth! In fact, since these warhorses could leap into the sky, even if they had to fight in the sky, they could still launch the unique charge that belonged only to Shepherd Tower Tribe!
The thousands of Shepherd Tower tribe members were right beside Su Ming at that moment. Clearly, they had already received orders beforehand and were waiting for his arrival. If anyone took a closer look, they could be able to find faint, fine, red threads in the eyes of each Shepherd Tower tribe member, hidden away underneath their masks.
This was a plain of grass, but there was also a valley there. Around Su Ming was a mountain range shaped in the form of a ring, and there were multiple villages located on it. To Shepherd Tower Tribe, the meadow was their home, but since their warhorses could leap into the sky, the mountains could also become their home.
At that moment, there were around a thousand Shepherd Tower tribe members standing on the mountain range. These people wore red masks, and murderous aura as well as bloodlust could be found around them. There were three people standing before them.
Besides the old man standing in the middle, the other two people were incredibly big and tall men. The waves of ripples belonging to a Berserker in the initial stage of the Berserker Soul Realm could be found around these two men.
Compared to them, the old man in the middle did not seem to have a lot of ripples spreading out from his person, but judging from the respectful gazes on the two men’s faces and the position where they stood for battle, this old man was definitely not some ordinary person.
"Sir Si Ma has already given the order that any tribe who manages to take one limb from this person… will regain their freedom… We from Shepherd Tower Tribe have been reduced to nothing, becoming a people who cannot even control our own fates. Fight… Let our tribe members fight. So what if we die? As long as we can take one of his limbs, we… will all be free!"
The old man mumbled, and with a complicated look on his face, he looked towards the battlefield in the valley. With a wave of his arm, he charged forth. At that moment, he no longer cared about his own status, the only thing he wanted to do was to fight for his tribe’s freedom!
The two men by his side followed silently, and right behind them were the thousand blood riders. They lifted their spears high into the sky, and like a layer of red fog, they charged into the mountain range!
Within the villages further down the distance, children could be found hugging their mothers, the elderly watching in silence. Their faces lacked any sort of emotion, and no matter whether it was the women, the children, or even the newly born, fine red threads could be found dancing in a strange and enchanting fashion in their eyes.
The babies’ cries echoed in the air, because the red threads’ movements in their eyes caused them pain, but they could not take them out. They could only cry endlessly, and Shepherd Tower Tribe… was already used to this sort of life.