The vortex crashed into the invisible power causing time to reverse and created a violent bang. The chain crumbled in an instant, the hundred sword shadows completely vanished, and Beiling took two steps backwards, but in the midst of time reversing, he forced himself to move forward!
At the instant he did so, Su Ming lifted his left hand from the center of Hu Zi’s brows and turned around. Then, for the first time, he looked at Beiling face to face. Behind him, Hu Zi had closed his eyes and fallen asleep. His chest rose and fell, still alive, a mark similar to the word ‘Life’ at the center of his brows.
That mark sparkled at the same rhythm as Hu Zi’s breathing.
Su Ming looked at Beiling, with a complicated emotion hidden within his eyes. In truth, right at the moment he woke up, he had already seen this figure that once existed only in his memories.
They were exactly the same… If he had to say that there was a difference between them, then the Bei Ling in his memories was a young teenager, and the person standing before him right then had the marks of time on his body. He might not look ancient, but there was an extreme arrogance and coldness about him.
If Su Ming had been his previous self from many years ago, then he would definitely be incredibly excited and worked up the moment he saw Beiling, but now, after going through the striking resemblance between Bai Su and Bai Ling, then experiencing the matter between Si Ma Xin and the corpse on the altar located on the continent in that galaxy, and once he learned of many other secrets, he was no longer excited. There were only mixed feelings within him.
Beiling did not know him.
Su Ming expected this since a long time ago. He looked at Beiling, and the man looked at him. At the moment their gazes met each other, Beiling felt his heart tremble. He had a sudden feeling that even though the person before him was an unfamiliar sight, but his gaze gave him an incredibly familiar feeling, and that sense of familiarity caused him to be momentarily stunned.
"Bei Ling, it’s been a long time," said Su Ming calmly.
A glint appeared in Beiling’s eyes. He stared at him.
"You know me?"
"Is your name spelled B-E-I, space, L-I-N-G?" Su Ming asked slowly. There was no way out of this, he had to take responsibility for what this person did.
"There’s no space in-between!" Beiling said coldly. The ship in the distance closed in slowly, and the woman standing at the bow of the ship stared at Su Ming with a dumbfounded look in her eyes. Gradually, disbelief appeared on her face, and her breathing quickened.
"You too, Chen Xin, it’s been a long time." Su Ming moved his gaze away from Beiling and looked towards the woman as he spoke softly.
"You… You are…" Chenxin widened her eyes and looked at Su Ming. Beiling saw the disbelief in her eyes, and it caused him to look closely into his opponent’s eyes.
"It doesn’t matter who I am. Bei Ling, let’s fight!"
A sharp glare shone in Su Ming’s eyes, covering the complicated look in his eyes. When he looked towards Beiling, he lifted his right hand and swung it to the side.
"This time, I will not fight for myself. I will fight… because you injured my senior brother!"
Beiling fell silent. A chilling glare appeared swiftly in his eyes, and with a solemn expression, he lifted his right hand and seized something behind his head. He looked as if he had seized at air, but in truth, he had grabbed onto something that no one else could see.
Then, as if a sword was slowly being pulled out from behind his back, the chilling glare in his eyes shone, and he lifted his right foot to take a step towards Su Ming.
At the instant he took that step, an anxious look appeared on Chenxin’s face. She immediately flew out from the ship, and her voice rang in the air.
Beiling did not turn his head back, and with a low growl, he cut off Chenxin’s words. Then, with an extreme speed, he closed the gap between him and Su Ming until there was less than a hundred feet left between them. A red glare suddenly appeared in the air above his right hand, and a red longsword turned into a burning long arc as he let go of it before charging towards Su Ming like a shooting star.
At the same time, Beiling began forming seals with his hands and pointed towards the sky. Immediately, the clouds in the sky tumbled about and the Aquatic Dragons that had trapped the old man in white let out a roar together, leaving the old man to charge towards Beiling before turning into a robe with embroidered pythons  above his head!
That python robe danced in the air as if there was someone invisible wearing it, and it swung its sleeve at Su Ming.
But that was not enough to show just how powerful Beiling was. He pressed his left hand to the ground, and the seawater beneath them immediately started churning, turning into a huge face. That face was exactly the same as Beiling’s and was made entirely of seawater. At that moment, it opened its mouth wide and rose swiftly from the depths of the sea to rush towards Su Ming.
Su Ming looked at the sword charging towards him. Behind him was Hu Zi, and right behind that divine ability before him was his companion from Dark Mountain, the companion existing in his memories. Su Ming would not forget his memories about Dark Mountain, and neither would he forget Hu Zi’s camaraderie.
"I don’t owe you anything…" he mumbled. In the face of the sword coming straight towards him, he closed his eyes.
At the instant he closed his eyes, the red sword glare closed in on him and stabbed his chest, right where his heart was. That sword was brimming with killing intent, and it was a sword that moved to kill Su Ming!
A bang rang in the air and spread through the entire area. Su Ming took a step back. A small portion of the sword in the long arc had pierced into his chest but could no longer plunge itself deeper into him, as if his body possessed incomparable durability, and this sword alone could not hope to pierce through him!
"With this sword… the debt of you teaching me the bow and arrow is over…"
Su Ming opened his eyes and lifted his right hand to press against the sword in his chest. Once he held it, he squeezed it tightly, and golden light swiftly shone on his entire body. That golden light came from every inch of his flesh and blood, originating from every single piece of his bone. There was a snapping sound once Su Ming squeezed down on the red sword, and it started shattering inch by inch before turning into a large amount of broken fragments that scattered into the sea.
Almost the instant Su Ming crushed the sword, the invisible person wearing the python robe closed in on him, and as the robe waved its sleeve, the illusions of the nine Aquatic Dragons manifested to open their mouths wide towards Su Ming. At the moment they snapped their jaws shut, they wrapped their bodies around him, and as they pulled their bodies tighter around him, a great force aiming to tear him limb from limb appeared!
Su Ming did not move. Yet no matter how much the Aquatic Dragons roared, they could only make his face turn slightly pale. His body still remained standing with his back straight on the ground. He was not torn apart.
"With this strike… our friendship since we were children is over…" Su Ming lowered his head and whispered softly. At the instant these words fell from his lips, the golden light spreading out of his body swiftly exploded.
When he lifted his right hand, wherever the golden light went, shrill screams of pain would come from the nine Aquatic Dragons. Banging sounds reverberated in the air, and the dragons shattered simultaneously. As their broken bodies fell down, they turned into pieces of cloth with embroidered pythons.
Su Ming’s words fell into Beiling’s ears, but not a single change of emotion could be detected on his face. Instead, his expression turned even more aloof. At that moment, the third divine ability he had executed, the huge face formed of seawater, closed in, and with a loud rumble it completely enveloped Su Ming and the entire ninth summit within.
Anyone looking from the distance would no longer see the ninth summit. They would only see a gigantic head. That head was tens of thousands of feet tall as it stood erect on the surface of the sea. Within it was the ninth summit!
"With this seawater, you drowned our memories in Dark Mountain. Bei Ling, from now on, you are Beiling… I, Su Ming, have never owed you anything. I have never owed you anything in the past, and now, I still do not owe you anything… You’ve injured my senior brother. Now, I will make you pay!"
The instant Su Ming’s voice traveled out from the pillar of seawater, a loud rumble that shook the sky and earth swiftly rose into the air, and violent ripples came from within. As those ripples spread out and the rumbling sounds roared in the air, the pillar swiftly collapsed. The seawater formed a ring and started shooting outwards in all directions, like a wave of impact.
At that same moment, a blurry figure shot out and closed in on Beiling. It pointed towards him, a presence that belonged to Life Cultivation swiftly surrounding Su Ming’s fingertip.
This presence of Life Cultivation was a power that could shake souls, and crush Life Matrices. The reason behind Life Cultivation’s great power was precisely because it could allow the cultivator to rattle another’s Life Matrix, to alter his own fate, to turn the universe upside down, and even to overturn the divine force that created all lives!
Su Ming had possessed a hint of presence belonging to Life Cultivation earlier, but that presence had been dull and lifeless due to his confusion, chaotic due to his uncertainty. Even so, that presence had been incredibly astonishing.
Yet now, even though he still had yet to obtain his full answer, Su Ming had a sort of understanding in his heart. He might be unable to use words to describe that understanding, but he could still sense its presence.
That was a comprehension towards the word - Life!
It was precisely because of this that the presence of Life Cultivation coming from Su Ming’s body could make Beiling become visibly moved, and shock to appear on his cold face. He could clearly sense it. His soul started shaking because of that finger!
"This finger is your punishment for stepping on the ninth summit!"
Beiling did not have time to hesitate. In haste, he quickly retreated, and as he lifted his right hand, all the pores in his body opened up, and wisps of sword aura burst out to swiftly stand against Su Ming’s incoming finger.
A loud bang echoed in the air. Beiling coughed up a mouthful of blood and staggered several hundreds of feet back. A sharp wave of pain filled every single nook and cranny of his body, and the large amount of sword aura that had spread out from his body crumbled and shattered nonstop.
A tiny wound appeared on the pad of Su Ming’s finger. Fresh blood flowed, but he did not stop. With large strides, he walked towards Beiling.
As Su Ming closed in, he swung his arm and clenched his right hand into a fist before hurling it straight towards Beiling through the air. When he delivered that punch, the golden light on his entire body seemed to have gathered on his fist, and from the distance, Su Ming’s right fist looked like a golden sun. Illuminating the entire area, it rushed towards his opponent.
Beiling did not have time to wipe the blood from his mouth. His pride would never allow him to accept this sort of defeat… especially losing against Su Ming. This made him lift his right hand to swiftly press against the top of his skull. His entire body started trembling, and right before Su Ming’s eyes, a sword manifested itself in Beiling’s body. That sword was within him and only about the size of his palm. At the moment Beiling struck the top of his skull, the sword flew out.
1. Beiling, without any space in between: Just a reminder, Bei Ling → North Icicle, and Beiling → North Hill. Both pronounced as bei3 ling2.
Here is the original version of the title and the exchange between Su Ming and Beiling, for those who would like to know. The original only really makes sense and works if you can read the Chinese version.
Su Ming: Does the Bei in your name mean north, and the Ling in your name mean icicle?
Beiling: That Ling means hill!
2. Robe with embroidered pythons/python robe: Is actually supposed to be called Mang Robe. They are worn by Qing Dynasty officials. Some sources say they are also worn by Ming Dynasty officials, and some say otherwise. The patterns are little different. Mang Robe was scrapped because I feel like it’s just an abuse of pinyin in this case.