Is it important…? How could it not be important? Those were his most beautiful memories. That was his Dark Mountain… Those were memories left behind on nostalgia filled books, their yellowed pages lifted by a gentle, quiet breeze…
"No, it’s not important." Su Ming closed his eyes. When he reopened them after a long while, he felt a little tired. That tiredness did not come from his body, but from his soul.
It was like all lamps had been blown out in a buried city. When he extended his hand out, he would not be touching darkness, but would be touching the unfamiliar sights he could not see. He would also be looking at the sun that belonged to someone else, the faces that belonged to someone else, and the dozen something years of his childhood that belonged to someone else…
The memories after he left Dark Mountain surfaced in his head. In the end, they turned into a huge ball of tangled threads that no one could see through, figure out, or unravel.
The fatigue that sprouted in Su Ming’s heart grew deeper as time passed, and when it filled his entire core, it turned into a hint of lonely desolation.
Wind blew past the surface of the sea. The crystalline sparkles on the waves were the result of light coming from the darkening clouds in the sky. That light came from the setting sun beyond the clouds, and it was a charming sight to look upon. In the midst of it all, Su Ming looked as if he was drifting in a sea of memories, as he wrapped his arms tightly around a wooden raft called loneliness, but no matter what, he could not get out of this sea, and he could not bring himself to let go...
He stood there, and as his hair was lifted by the wind, it looked as if the strands were dancing to a tune called life. The wind that blew through the gaps between his hair brought with it a sound, and it turned into the saddest song of a xun in the passage of time.
When Beiling and Chenxin left, Bai Su woke up from the illusion. The instant her world became clear once again, she saw Su Ming standing and looking at the sea and sky.
It was quiet all around them. The old man in white and all the others who had chosen to stand to the left moments ago were all silent.
The fatigue in Su Ming’s heart was like a quiet song. It spread out, causing everyone to be immersed in that silence, and no one was willing to make any sound to break it.
However… no one had any idea… who had managed to hear the coda to this song singing about Dark Mountain…
It had been a long time since Su Ming cried, but at that moment, tears gradually flowed down his eyes, yet he did not know about them. It was as if he had already forgotten about their existence.
Those tears were transparent, but when they trickled down his cheeks, they looked as if they had been dyed by his loneliness, causing them to gain a bitter, astringent taste when they reached his lips.
Perhaps everyone’s tears are tasteless when they initially flow out, tasting just like the drops of rain that fell from the clouds. Then, as everyone lives through their lives, their tears gradually change, gaining the color of their cheeks, and they would slowly turn bitter.
At some unknown point of time, Bai Su arrived beside Su Ming. Her face was a little pale when she looked at him. She lifted her hand gently and wet her fingertips with his tears.
"Thank you," Su Ming whispered softly. The warmth of those fingertips that touched his face made him open his eyes.
The light from the sunset seeping through the clouds was crimson red. It scattered on the surface of the sea, giving it a brilliant glow while giving the water a muddy look so that they could no longer peer into the sea… This scene was incredibly beautiful. The slender Su Ming, the beautiful Bai Su, the wind lifting their hairs together, and also… the heads of the giants that popped up to the surface of the sea all around them.
However, the roars from the Dead Sea Giants ruined this beautiful scene and broke the silent atmosphere. Their low growls and howls had not disappeared due to Beiling’s departure.
Almost the instant the Dead Sea Giants started roaring, Su Ming lifted his hand and seized the air in the direction of the sky gently, but instead of the sky, the sea was the one that moved. The seawater started rotating with loud booming sounds, turning into an incomparably huge whirlpool. As it spun with loud booming sounds, the Dead Sea Giants within struggled, but in the end, even their roars were drowned out by the sound of waves.
Gradually, the people’s gazes became filled with great respect as they looked at Su Ming. There was also a hint of fear within their eyes. Because the whirlpool in the sea was spinning faster with each passing moment, and eventually, under that extreme speed, the wind that was stirred up and the water that was swept into the whirlpool, all turned into blades that could sever bones and cut through flesh and blood!
The shrill screams of pain and the giants’ struggles as they tried to escape were all useless under the whirlpool’s spinning. They could only turn into a pool of fresh, red blood, and also pieces of flesh that were ripped off from their bones.
Eventually… not a single intact Dead Sea Giant could be found on the surface of the sea. When all of them were reduced to crushed bones that filled the red ocean, Su Ming slowly furled his right hand together.
At the instant he clenched his fist, drops of blood floated up from the rotating sea. They gathered together to merge into a gigantic ball before Su Ming.
Once it formed, the seawater returned to its original color. The souls of the near hundred Dead Sea Giants flashed in the ball of blood that floated before Su Ming. Occasionally, they would let out shrill cries that could only be sensed with the mind.
The ball of blood looked as if it was boiling. As it continued gathering together, it began contracting and slowly shrinking. Eventually, it turned into an object that looked like a fingernail shining with a strangely enchanting shade of red as it floated towards Su Ming.
He lifted his head swiftly. The loneliness in his eyes and the forlornness on his face were hidden in the depths of his heart. What was shown was his usual composure. He lifted his right hand swiftly, and when he swiped his index finger past that condensed blood, it looked as if it got glued to it. It was as if his fingertip had turned into a pen, and he started making stroke after stroke in midair…
Su Ming did not know how many strokes he drew in the end, but eventually, a complex runic symbol floated before him. It shone with a bloody glow and exuded an abundant amount of life force. That was the accumulation of all the lives of the Dead Sea Giants.
Seizing Life. The word ‘seize’ alone could already mean everything!
Su Ming did not know how to tamper with lives, but while he had not completely understood the concept because he had woken up halfway through fumbling about as he continued trying to gain an epiphany through that black wooden block, he still had managed to touch the surface of a passage he had not known in the past.
Everyone had different lives! That was the matrix guiding their lives. It was the most brilliant light within a living being. Not everyone could see it, but if it was extinguished, then that life would be forfeit. If that light was changed, then the fate of that life would show a transformation of a degree that could turn the world upside down!
This was part of the Principles of Life!
In Su Ming’s head, Hu Zi’s smiling face appeared, along with his simple and honest expression, and also the figure that had stood like a mountain in defence to the end.
‘I might have a faint inkling of what Life is, but I still don’t know what Life truly means… I cannot tamper with the Principles of Life, and I can’t revive the dead… But since my blood and hair can give life to Si Ma Xin’s puppet, and since my life is such a mysterious existence in Yin Death Region, then with my Life, I can use other life forces and blood as a lead to let my senior brother… recover!’
Su Ming mumbled in his heart. The runic symbol he drew had been the only thing that had appeared in his head during the entire process of trying to gain an epiphany from that black wooden block, and that symbol had appeared right at the instant before he woke up!
It had appeared when Su Ming gained his epiphany, and when it appeared, he had a vague sense of familiarity towards it. This familiarity made him feel as if the runic symbol was he himself!
This was the mark that was formed from his Principles of Life. Su Ming could sense it was not complete, but even so, it still contained his Life.
Once he drew that runic symbol, the clouds in the sky looked as if they had frozen up and no longer moved. The sea was also mysteriously void of waves. It was as if they had just gained life, and now, they did not dare to show themselves.
An incredibly powerful presence of Life Cultivation spread out from Su Ming’s body at that instant. It spread out through the entire area, and right when it surged into the clouds, the thick coverage in the sky faded a little. Gradually, it thinned out greatly, causing the light from the setting sun to shine down even stronger on the spot where Su Ming sat, compared to the other areas around him.
Bai Su stared at him with a dumbfounded expression as his hair gradually gained an ancient color…
It was grayish white, a boundless expanse of snow.
Su Ming continued drawing line after line, and when he drew his final line, he bit the tip of his tongue to cough up a mouthful of blood. It spilled on the blood-red runic symbol, causing it to instantly possess a spirited air. When Su Ming lifted his right hand, he dragged it along the symbol, which was shining with a piercing light, and took a step towards where Hu Zi lay on the ground.
With a step, Su Ming arrived before him. He tapped swiftly on the center of Hu Zi’s brows, with the blood red runic symbol and his own vitality on his right index finger.
At the instant he did so, a large number of hair on Su Ming’s head swiftly turned white, right from their roots!
Hu Zi shuddered, and the runic symbol was left on the center of his brows. As it shone, it looked as if it had Branded itself on the man’s body and soul.
A bloody red shade shone at the center of Hu Zi’s brows, then started spreading. When it reached his chest, the hideous gash there was wiped away. The red hue then continued flowing through him, and when it spread to his entire body, the bloody mess that was Hu Zi’s arms was repaired to its original state.
Snores tumbled out of Hu Zi’s mouth, sounding like thunder claps that shook the sky and earth…
Hu Zi’s life had not been cut short. He had simply suffered a grave injury that was difficult to cure and so he had lost all his life force. This sort of restoration was much simpler compared to stealing life from the heavens itself, but it was definitely not something a normal person could do. Only those who walked down the path of Life Cultivation could completely restore the lives of people with such injuries!
Su Ming did not have the ability to change Hu Zi’s Principles of Life, but he could use his own Principles of Life to provide nourishment for his third senior brother so that he could wake up!
Yet no matter what, Su Ming had not truly stepped into the path of Life Cultivation. He was only lingering about at the door to this path, hence he had to pay an incredible price to cure Hu Zi.
However, even if he had to pay an even greater price than this, Su Ming would not have hesitated for even a single moment, because… this was Hu Zi. This was his third senior brother!
Once Su Ming heard Hu Zi’s snores, a faint smile appeared on his pale face. At that moment, as the clouds in the sky continued thinning away, a ray of golden-red light shone down through a gap. That light fell on Su Ming’s body and illuminated his hair.
It was a mixture of black and white now, and also had an ancientness to it that made it look as if it was gray though it was actually not. The light made it look as if Su Ming was a lone flame which had no home to return to. Or perhaps, it was just unable to find its way there...