When Hu Zi was safe, still deep asleep though, he chose to leave. Along with him, he brought the bald crane that had quietly turned back into itself from the Aquatic Dragon.
Departure is also a form of longing, which is not strictly limited to being between men and women. There are many times when longing is born due to the friendship between brothers.
The ninth summit stood tall above the surface of the sea. At the top of the mountain, a presence that belonged to Life Cultivation filled a gigantic stone monument. It was something Su Ming left decided to leave behind so it would be an eternal presence that would protect the ninth summit.
He was the one who erected that stone monument, and he was also the one who carved the words on it. There were not many, merely a few lines.
"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 the entire tribe of the person who harmed even a single disciple of the ninth summit!"
These three lines exuded a great killing intent, as well as a powerful and intimidating air that filled the entire sky and earth in the area. Perhaps this alone would not be enough to intimidate the truly powerful warriors, but the hint of Su Ming’s presence belonging to Life Cultivation contained in those three lines of words were enough to terrify even those who had attained great completion in the Berserker Soul Realm!
It was enough to shock even the Immortals!
Those words meant that there was someone in the ninth summit who had managed to arrive at the door leading to the path of Life cultivation. It meant that this person was one of the incredible people who had managed to truly breakthrough the limits in the Berserkers’ cultivation method after the God of Berserkers had died!
More importantly, those words meant that whoever did things mentioned in them would have to face a terrifying enemy who will exact a burning vengeance that would not wane for as long as he lived!
This was a blatant threat, and exactly what Su Ming was feeling. Moreover, he had not just left behind his aura and words on that mountain rock. There was also a drop his blood on it!
It could lend life to Si Ma Xin. It could let Hu Zi recover. It contained his will, and once it erupted, it could bring out the power of one strike from Su Ming at his full power!
Because Su Ming’s Principles of Life were gathered in that drop of blood!
That drop of blood was imprinted on the stone monument, but the control over it was in Hu Zi’s hands. With it around, Su Ming would be able to notice if the ninth summit ran into a disaster that was too difficult for them to face.
On the day he left, Bai Su stood at the top of the mountain and watched quietly as his figure gradually disappeared from her sight. She liked Su Ming. She had not known about it in the past, but her feelings had only become more deeply engraved in her bones after they parted ways.
However… everything had changed. The mirages created by the reflections on the lake were no longer of the moon or the blossoming flowers...
As a member of the Bai family, Bai Su had inherited the Principles of Life that belonged to the river in the sky. She might not have practiced that strange Art in the black wooden block, but she had heard many things about it, which was why she knew that all members in the Bai family were bound to be alone for life. This was already set in stone.
Perhaps it was possible to change their fate, and perhaps… it was not possible.
If they tried persisting against their fate, the names that were etched into the Bai family records would die, and their corpses would turn into bloody proofs of the Bai family’s Life of being part of the river of the sky. The water in the river comes from the sky, and in its loneliness, it would eventually return to the sky as well.
Those with this Life are bound to be like the flowing water in the river.
Especially for those… with the Life of the stone falling into the river. They would only have a short period of happiness, and would only reflect the colors of the water under the sun for an equally brief moment before they were gone the next instant.
Su Ming’s departure caused the ninth summit to sink into silence. The protective screen of light around the island appeared once again and continued protecting the those within it.
Su Ming had no idea who was the one who created this screen of light. He had asked the old man in white before, but he did not know the answer either. He only knew that on the day the disaster arrived and the instant Heaven Gate rose into the sky, disappearing, this screen of light had appeared suddenly right at the moment all the people thought that their deaths were imminent.
No one knew why it had appeared. Neither had anyone seen… who it was who laid it down.
In the midst of the tranquility, the people who had been humiliated by Beiling’s oppression returned to the ninth summit and found place there. Su Ming did not chase them away, but instead gave them a home.
He was also a person without a home, so why should he make things hard for people bearing the same plight…?
Su Ming left. He walked out of the screen of light and cast his eyes towards the east. That was where Eastern Wastelands was located.
As he stood above the Dead Sea, not a single soul could be detected around him. Only the waves from the sea and the moaning winds were his companions, and the loneliness buried in the depths of his heart increased.
He flew forward quietly, heading into the distance, towards Eastern Wastelands.
The Dead Sea beneath him covered all land. There were several places Su Ming was familiar with that were now buried deep in the depths of the sea, just like this spot… Han Mountain City was buried under the water here, as well as the Chains of Han Mountain.
A day later, Su Ming stopped calmly in midair. He had not met anyone on his way to this place. It was as if the entire world had died and he was the only one left on this planet.
Only the wind and the waves were his companions.
Su Ming looked at the Dead Sea beneath him. In his memories, Han Mountain City laid in this area, but he knew that Han Mountain could not be found presently in the depths of the sea.
The destruction of the continent was like a mirror being shattered. The distance between the broken pieces of land also differed. The location in his memories was only a recollection, the real place could be anywhere, just not here.
If he wanted to search for the place now, then he would have to dive deep into the bottom of the sea and search for it slowly in all directions.
All along the way, the bald crane had noticed the dispirited air looming around Su Ming. It did not bother him. Instead, as they flew, its eyes would wander around, occasionally looking towards the sea and everything around it, attracted by everything that shined.
Three days passed by before they knew it. Su Ming did not travel too quickly. As he walked in midair, the scenes in his memories slowly, but surely, started fading, replaced by what he saw now. In time, there were hardly anything left of the past.
At one point, he saw a small island on the Dead Sea.
They were already incredibly far away from Freezing Sky Clan. Judging by their current location, they should be close to the border separating the Berserkers and Shamans in South Morning all those years ago.
That island was a lonely existence on the Dead Sea. No screens of light offered any sort of protection, neither were there any other defenses. If no one looked closely during the dark night, they would not be able to notice it.
That island was simply too small…
Su Ming had seen some of these islands along the way, and none of them contained any signs of life. Dead silence filled them.
Even if there were any creatures, they had only been alive in the past, and were now just skeletons scattered around the grounds.
Su Ming averted his gaze from the island and took a large step forward, turning into a long arc. The bald crane followed behind him, and at the instant the man and crane were about to fly past the island, Su Ming’s body came to an abrupt halt. He whipped his head around, and when he looked downwards again, he was momentarily stunned.
A dim light from a fire sparkled like a star in the sky in the midst of the darkness on the island, and it was not just one ball of light. There were about a dozen of them.
Joyful laughter could be heard traveling faintly into the air at that moment, and those sounds spread through the area, mixing with the crashing of the waves.
Su Ming could remember clearly that there had been no light when he looked towards the island just now. He did not think that any Berserker tribe would be able to survive in this sort of island over the past few years on the Dead Sea without any sort of protection.
This… should not be possible!
A glint appeared in Su Ming’s eyes. He cast his divine sense outward and covered the island, but what he saw within his divine sense was emptiness. There was not a single soul there.
But everything his eyes saw seemed so real.
In silence, Su Ming charged towards the island. The bald crane fluttered by the side and cast a sideways glance towards the place before following him while mumbling under its breath.
After a moment, Su Ming landed on the ground. The sea breeze filled the air, bringing with it the stench of the sea. Besides the dim light, everything else was shrouded in a layer of darkness. With a calm expression, Su Ming strode towards the place with the fire.
The island was tiny. Before long, he distinctly saw the light burning in the distance. Clear sounds of laughter rang by his ears, along with the sounds of children playing.
Su Ming continued walking, until he saw… a tribe before him.
He shuddered. This was a small tribe, and there was a simple fence built around it. Bonfires were burning brilliantly within it, and there were male and female Berserkers dancing and singing.
Children were playing tag by the bonfires, and their bell-like laughter flew clearly in the air.
Nursery rhymes could even be heard tumbling out of the mouths of these children as they continued chasing each other, and their young voices filled the entire tribe. They blended together with the joyful looks of the adults occasionally turning their heads to look at their children, causing the nursery rhymes to give Su Ming an indefinable feeling in his chest as they fell into his ears.
"A flower in blossom for a thousand years, watches the world change alone as time passes. She watches with a smile for a thousand years, to find that her beloved is already beside her… "
As those naive voices sounded… the moaning sounds of a xun also came from a beast skin tent in the tribe. The xun’s tune was filled with sadness, but harmonized perfectly with these singing, causing Su Ming to stop walking and just stand outside the tribe quietly. He listened, only listened.
He was familiar with this tribe. How could he not be?!
He came to this place twice in the past. The first time, he had come with his Master, Tian Xie Zi, and the second time, he came alone. This… was his third time!
Su Ming had originally forgotten this place. A small tribe like this would not be able to survive through the disaster, yet now, on this island, in this dark night, in this place where his divine sense found nothing but his eyes saw light burning… Su Ming returned.
"A flower in blossom for a thousand years. She watches with a smile for a thousand years…" he mumbled. This was the tribe where the old xun maker lived!
Su Ming moved quietly into the tribe. The children playing tag did not seem to see him. As they laughed, they ran towards him, and… phased right through his body as they continued playing.
The people gathered around the bonfire also did not seem to see Su Ming. It was as if they did not exist in the same world as he did…
At times, prosperity did not mean living in luxury, but a bustle of activity. In the middle of this bustling atmosphere, Su Ming’s loneliness was an emptiness that could not be hidden by the light and smoke around him, no matter how hard they tried.
Su Ming moved through the crowd. As he looked at the happy, smiling faces, and listened to the adorable voices around him, he arrived quietly outside the tent from which the sad song of the xun was coming. After a moment of silence, he lifted the tent flap.
1. A flower in blossom for a thousand years, watches the world change alone as time passes. She watches with a smile for a thousand years, to find that her beloved is already beside her: Is an excerpt from a poem, and here is the meaning.
Line 1: A woman waits for her beloved,
Line 2: But he does not appear.
Line 3: O, how naive is she!
Line 4: She has been waiting for so long, only to find he was right beside her all along.
There is another meaning to this excerpt, but this is the meaning I subscribe to, the other one is just too sad. Look, I’m a sap, okay?
(Translation of the meaning was done entirely by me, that’s why the structure was done entirely by me, that’s why you see a very much failed attempt at a poem)