It looked as if it had just been dyed in blood, causing the entire world to look as if it had turned into a sea of blood.
There were thousands of men standing in it. These people had their heads lifted towards the sky and were all looking at Su Ming quietly. Standing at the center of them was an old man with a face full of wrinkles. The sea of blood rumbled and churned among the crowd.
They were looking at Su Ming, and Su Ming was also looking at them.
"The brat Si Ma planted Berserker Threads in all of us. He said that if we take one of your arms, we will regain our freedom." The old man in the sea of blood was dressed in a long blood-red robe. He looked at Su Ming and spoke with a hoarse voice, but his voice was clear, and it traveled through the entire area.
Su Ming was silent. He did not speak.
"But why should we do this? We have already been humiliated to this extent, and we no longer have a future. If we can only regain our freedom through that brat Si Ma’s will, then… we would rather not have this freedom!
"Right now, the only thing we can control is our own will. We have obtained the right to control our own deaths!" The old man in blood-red robes started laughing loudly, and there was an ancient air within his laughter.
"Lad, remember the name of our tribe, Blood Absconsion Tribe, and take our legacy with you. If you kill Si Ma Xin, then help us find our descendants in the world outside!
"There are definitely some members of our tribe living out there. Our tribe members have the mark of a drop of blood in-between their brows, and that mark will remain forever in that spot!" As the old man spoke, a crimson red drop of blood appeared at the center of his brows. He was not the only one who had it either, that mark appeared on all the others in the sea of blood as well.
"We have no children here, neither do we have any women, because if they stayed, then they would not be the only ones who had to suffer. We, too, would have to suffer… I do not want our newly born members to have that Berserker Thread planted in them. I do not want our women to look at the red threads in their husbands’ eyes. I do not want our warriors to suffer the fate of being unable to protect their own wives, and having to watch their wives suffer this unimaginable darkness…
"Lad, receive our legacy. I am Xue Lun Hai. Let me, let all of us Blood Absconsion tribe members grant you a serendipity, and help you… kill Si Ma Xin!"
As the voice of the old man in blood-red robes echoed in the air, he sat down within the sea of blood. All the other Blood Absconsion tribe members also sat down with him. None of them refused doing so. The fearlessness towards death could be seen in all of their eyes, along with their deeply rooted hatred towards Si Ma Xin.
When all of them sat down, Su Ming saw all of the people in Blood Absconsion Tribe melting and fusing together with the sea of blood.
The old man was the last one to melt. Before he melted, he said the last words of his life.
The instant he said those words, the old man’s body melted and became a part of the sea of blood. At the same time, that sea of blood started raging, and as waves surged into the sky, the sea exploded, turning into blood rain that rushed towards the sky from the ground, straight towards Su Ming!
Not a hint of danger could be detected from that blood rain. Instead, it gave off an air of a determined, indomitable will. When it closed in on Su Ming, it turned into a large, blood-red ball that surrounded him within it.
When the entire sea of blood rose up from the ground and came towards him, it turned into a blood-red ball in the sky that pounded like a beating heart!
That heart came from Blood Absconsion Tribe. It came from the tribe that had been planted with Berserker Threads, who could no longer control their own lives, but could control their own deaths!
Su Ming sat down and began meditating in the ball of blood. Grief appeared on his face, and his heart was shaken to the core. This shock came from the Elder of Shepherd Tower Tribe’s sacrifice, from the entire Blood Absconsion Tribe’s resolution.
This was them fighting against their own fate. They were just like the Fated Kin. Perhaps more accurately speaking, the Fated Kin were not a race. Every single person could become a part of the Fated Kin, as long as they longed to control their own fate, and as long as they took the first step to scream out their unwillingness to bow down to fate!
Each and every single person has their own lives, and every one could become a Fated Kin!
Su Ming’s head became clear. He had gained a deeper understanding towards fate.
"What… is Life? It is vitality, because it is a form of inheritance we receive when we are born.
"It is also fate, because if we don’t have fate in this inheritance of life, our Lives will be incomplete…
"Life. Vitality. Fate. We are born with Life, but we have to wrestle our own fate from other people’s hands in the future to control it ourselves…
"The word Life involves people and the heavens, and fate is what separates humans from the heavens… Does it mean that we have to bow down to heaven before we can be whole and obtain Life to become humans ?" Su Ming mumbled within the ball of blood, and at that moment, he opened his eyes.
"If Life means that we have to subjugate ourselves to the heavens before we can call ourselves humans, then the opposite can happen as well, we can still say that we have Life when the heavens bow down to us!"
Su Ming closed his eyes. The moment he did so, the fragment formed by the power of the one World, which was given to him through the Candle Dragon’s blessing and had always existed within his body in his mind, suddenly shuddered.
...Even though it had never showed anything strange beforehand.
The edges started to look as if they were melting, and a small piece of that fragment fused into Su Ming’s body. The moment that happened, the ball of blood around Su Ming’s body shrank in an instant and covered his entire body.
Waves of life force and the power of the world started spreading out of the ball of blood. It also contained a force of struggling and fighting against fate, and all of these were fusing into Su Ming’s body.
This was what the old man from Blood Absconsion Tribe had meant by the serendipity of his tribe!
This ball of blood was formed by the essence of the entire tribe. It was the conglomeration of the entire tribe’s fate, and they were giving all of it to Su Ming. The instant the power of the ball of blood surged into his body, his blood, flesh, and bones immediately started absorbing it rapidly.
He needed the power provided by this sort of essence, contained within the struggle against fate, within their will, because this power was the source that would continue strengthening all the Berserker Bones in his body!
At that moment, Su Ming’s mind was immersed in trying to understand the meaning of Life. As his understanding towards it continued growing and as he started absorbing pieces from the fragment of that one World… a hint of Life Cultivation started spreading out from his body!
As the ball of blood continued spreading rapidly, loud banging sounds traveled out from Su Ming’s body. Great power filled it, and while he originally had a seventh of all his bones turned into Berserker Bones, under the legacy given to him by Blood Absconsion Tribe, the number of Berserker Bones in his body started increasing slowly!
"After the Berserker Soul Realm, our blood wilt change. The cultivation for our blood, bones, and souls is done, and everything from the outermost parts of our body to the innermost of our souls is perfect. From hence, we shalt cultivate our bodies no more, but our Life Matrices!
"We must break our Life Matrices and tread on the path to find what is lacking in our lives. This is called Life Privation!
"We must learn of what we lack in ourselves like we know of the regrets the world possesses and as if we understand the changes in the world. This is Life Palace!
"When we have the Life Palace in our hands, then we wilt receive endless glory. We wilt be able to use the power of the World Plane, and this is called the World of Life!
"Life Matrix, Life Privation, Life Palace, World of Life1, these are all after the Berserker Soul Realm, and it is the path of Life Cultivation that belongs to us Berserkers!"
When Su Ming came to understand the meaning of Life, the third God of Berserkers’ ancient voice appeared in his head.
‘If I step on the path to the cultivation of Life, then from then onwards I will cultivate my own Life! The first stage of Life Cultivation is Life Matrix, but what is Life Matrix…?’
Su Ming still had his eyes closed, and continued sitting inside the ball of blood. As the ball continued shrinking, a large amount of essence fused into his body to become one with his Berserker Bones, gradually causing his cultivation base to continue increasing and turning eight tenths of his flesh, blood and bones into that of a true Berserker.
‘Life Matrix… What is Life Matrix…?’
An endless amount of voices appeared in Su Ming’s head, repeating that same question. He might be as powerful as a Berserker in the later stage of the Berserker Soul Realm, but, in truth, his current level of cultivation was only that of a Berserker in the Bone Sacrifice Realm!
However, he was turning all his flesh, blood, tendons, and bones into that of a true Berserker, heading towards becoming the strongest Berserker in the Bone Sacrifice Realm that was unparalleled in the world! Yet even so, he still had not arrived at the stage where he could walk the path of Life Cultivation, because he still did not have his own statue of the God of Berserkers!
At that moment, he had a strong hunch that when the day came when he eventually came to understand what was a Life Matrix and reached the Berserker Soul Realm, then a great path would be revealed before him, a path that outsiders had spent their entire life trying to understand, but still were unable to figure out!
This path was the path to Life Cultivation!
As Su Ming continued immersing himself in his thoughts trying to understand the meaning of Life, the ball of blood around him continued shrinking rapidly. After a moment, it completely disappeared. All of it had fused into Su Ming’s body.
A red flush appeared on Su Ming’s cheeks. For the first time since he entered Heaven Gate… no aura of death spread out from his body. Even if it only lasted for several breaths before the aura of death started surrounding him once again, once Su Ming noticed what was happening during those few breaths, his eyes immediately flew open.
‘If I can prolong this span of a few breaths and make it last endlessly, then… perhaps I can find a way to leave what people call Yin’s Death Region!’
The moment Su Ming opened his eyes, his power erupted from within his body explosively, and during that instant, the third layer started trembling violently, and ripples started churning through the entire area with Su Ming acting as their center.
Almost eight tenths of all the flesh, blood, tendons, and bones in his body had turned into that which belonged to a true Berserker, and Su Ming was no longer far away from the great completion that belonged solely to him!
‘I wonder what sort of level I will reach… If I can reach great completion for turning all my bones into Berserker Bones, succeed in breaking through into the Berserker Soul Realm, and understand what Life Matrix is…’
A glint appeared in Su Ming’s eyes, and when he lifted his right hand, he pushed his hand against the sky that was filled with ripples as if he was supporting it.
The sky in the third layer started trembling violently, and the layers of ripples started rotating, becoming faster with each passing second. As if they contained the power to tear through the sky, as they continued rotating, the sky was ripped apart, turning into a vortex that led to the fourth layer!
Su Ming lifted his head, and a presence that was different from when he first stepped into Heaven Gate appeared around him. That presence contained a desire towards Life Cultivation. It was a hint of the power of Life Cultivation which he had gained after his epiphany!
There was also a much stronger presence within him that was revealed with every single action he took once an eight tenths of his body were turned to that of a true Berserker!
‘It doesn’t matter what I will manage to achieve first, but understanding what is Life Matrix or arriving in the Berserker Soul Realm will allow my combat abilities to increase by leaps and bounds!’
Su Ming took a step forward, and as a boom echoed in the air, he walked into the vortex leading to the fourth layer.
The flames fueling his desire to kill Si Ma Xin had never been extinguished, and the determination to kill him never weakened. When Su Ming stepped into the fourth layer, that killing intent within him only grew stronger!
1. Life vs life: Life = vitality + fate, by the way, and life is just a state of being alive. Just making this clear.
2. A case of completely lost in translation: Let’s look at the word 命, we’ll do a breakdown of the original text here, what’s up there is me trying to make some sense in English context.
Here it goes.
The word 命 is broken down into 人, 一, and 叩. If you look at it, the word 人 is right on top, 一 is in the middle, and 叩 is at the bottom.
人 means people, 一 means one, or a line, and 叩 means to bow down.
Here is the original text translation.
The word Life has the letter human located right above, and in the middle is a line, separating the heavens and mortals. The letter right underneath means to bow… Does it mean that if we bow to heaven, only then can we obtain Life and live as humans? If Life means that we have to bow to heaven before we can become humans, then Life can also be the heavens bowing down to us humans!
Hopefully this helps make more sense.