But how could a person in his hometown yearn for his home? Su Ming did not know. He only knew that on the first night he returned to Dark Mountain, he still missed this place as he looked at the moon.
He saw the elder. He saw Lei Chen. He saw all the people in his memories, and Su Ming's heart gradually calmed down. All the grass and trees in this place were so incredibly familiar to him. Everything here had etched themselves into his heart, and he could never forget them in his life.
Bei Ling was still as cold as ever to him. Chen Xin still held a degree of care towards him, shown by how he could still not find a single speck of dust in his house.
Perhaps it was love, but it might also have nothing to do with love. Chen Xin might have liked him before, yet perhaps she liked Bei Ling even more.
In his memories, Wu La, the girl who was not incredibly beautiful, had fallen into his arms as she mumbled Mo Su's name under her breath before she died. When she did so, her beauty had surpassed everything else, and it was deeply ingrained in Su Ming's heart, causing him to be unable to forget her.
When he saw Wu La's disdain once again, he could only feel warmth in his heart, and nothing else.
Lei Chen's hearty laughter and the oath he swore let Su Ming feel a heartfelt warmth between brothers. All of these things made him absolutely refuse to believe that these were fake.
The elder's kindness and his warm embrace made Su Ming willing to believe that he had just had a dream the previous night, a dream that had nothing to do with love, but brought with it blood, a dream spanning a lengthy passage of time. A cruel dream.
Perhaps now, he had woken up from his dream.
Su Ming sat outside his house and lifted his head to look at the moon in the sky. The dinner he had in Lei Chen's house had reminded him of many, many things…
There were a few lamps lit in the tribe at night. It was quiet all around him. There was… no wind this night.
Mournful notes from the xun drifted through the night. This was a song played by a member of Su Ming's tribe. It was a song he could not never forget.
"Perhaps it is not just three days. Perhaps by tomorrow, I will find that everything that happened to me was just a dream. Perhaps… I can continue staying in Dark Mountain," Su Ming mumbled. Lei Chen was not with him. During the night, he had been scolded by his mother and was forced to stay home. He even had to pretend that he was asleep.
Su Ming looked at the moon in the sky quietly and listened to the song of the xun, just like… a person who did not know he was a mere guest in his own dream.
He was suddenly struck by a strong urge to go and see Bai Ling, who might not even know him at this point!
When he thought about her, a sharp stab of pain struck his heart. That broken promise which had lasted for eternity after he left. When he turned his head back, he could only hear a sigh; they could no longer see each other.
Su Ming stood up and walked towards the gate of the tribe, but the moment he reached it and was just about to walk through, his footsteps came to a halt, because a person had just stepped out of the darkness before him.
"Who are you?!" a ghastly voice asked. It came from the person who gradually walked out of the shadows to stand under the moonlight. He was, naturally, Shan Hen!
A dark, cold look appeared in his eyes when he looked at Su Ming. When he spoke, a ripple of power appeared faintly on his right hand, making it look as if it was about to gather together into a blade.
"You're not Su Ming. You can lie to the others, but you can't lie to me. The gaze Su Ming uses when he looks at me is different from yours." Shan Hen glared at Su Ming as he spoke with a dark voice.
Su Ming looked at him quietly. This was the senior in his tribe whom he had killed with his own hands in his memories.
"I am Su Ming," Su Ming said softly and walked forward. Shan Hen's expression changed and he lifted his right hand swiftly, but the moment he did so, Su Ming had already walked past him with light footsteps. Shan Hen's entire body trembled. He could not even put down his right hand. During that instant, the moment Su Ming walked past him with a speed so fast his eyes could not catch, he felt a wave of ripples so great that he almost suffocated.
Those ripples were incredibly faint and only spread out to five feet. He was the only one who could sense them, but to him, the strength of that Qi was so strong that it surpassed all Berserkers he had ever met, and even those in the Awakening Realm!
He had a strong feeling that with just a single thought, this person could destroy him, could even wipe out the entire tribe and the entire land!
In his shock, Shan Hen became drenched in sweat. After a long while, he turned his head around slowly, but he could no longer see the teenager.
Su Ming walked on the path to the mountain. His footsteps were unhurried as he moved in the middle of night. With a single step at a time, he walked towards Bai Ling's tribe.
He came to a stop at some point of time. Hesitating for a moment, he looked at Dark Mountain standing tall during the night, and suddenly lifted his right hand before placing it by his mouth. He blew a clear whistle.
Its sound echoed in the air and gradually disappeared into the darkness. Su Ming walked quietly. An hour later, a fire-red shadow suddenly shot out from the forest in the distance.
Along with that figure was a series of happy screeches ringing in the air. The fire-red shadow… was Xiao Hong!
It charged forth and soon appeared before Su Ming with an excited look on its face. Once it jumped and danced merrily around him several times, it sat down squarely on his shoulders and grabbed Su Ming's hair with its paws, playing with it nonstop.
"Xiao Hong…" Su Ming looked at the little monkey on his shoulders and simply allowed it to play with his hair. He lifted his hand and gently patted the little animal with a sentimental and complicated smile on his lips.
"We meet again…"
Xiao Hong let out a few screeches, looking as if it was saying that they had indeed met again, then glared at Su Ming before gesticulating frantically with its hands, showing off its anger, as if it was grumbling to him that he had not come to see him for a very long time.
Eventually, Xiao Hong showed him three fingers. Su Ming knew the meaning - three days. Or perhaps it was three months, or three years, thirty years, or even longer…
Xiao Hong itself was the only one who knew just how long it had been.
As he stroked the fur on Xiao Hong's body, Su Ming strode forward and turned into a long arc that charged towards Bai Ling's tribe. Before long, the gigantic fence that belonged to Dark Dragon Tribe appeared before him.
There were also erect long spears placed on the fence, the tribe's defenses.
Su Ming looked at Dark Dragon Tribe and walked towards it. His arrival went unnoticed by all. When he eventually stepped into the tribe, he spread his divine sense outwards in search of the figure in his memories that always made his heart clench in pain.
He found Bai Ling's house. She had already fallen asleep on this dark night. Her beautiful face was peaceful, and it was a look that was rather different compared to the wild beauty she possessed when she was awake.
Su Ming stood quietly by her bed and looked at this beautiful girl, the faint smile on the corners of her lips. She seemed to be dreaming about something happy.
Su Ming's heart ached greatly. The scenes in his memories rose before his eyes, in the space between him and Bai Ling. Their meeting during the night of the blood moon, them walking around in circles during the snowy night, their low whispers as they told each other their stories, and in the end, their snow-covered hair...
Those memories continued playing until Su Ming saw the promise he did not keep. All of these things turned into a wave of grief that filled his heart. He looked at Bai Ling blankly, at the girl who had branded the image of herself deeply in his heart. This girl was his first love.
"Ling Er… I'm back…" Su Ming whispered softly. With a gentle look in his eyes, he lifted his hand to softly touch her cheek. His actions were incredibly light, but the instant his hand almost touched her cheek, her eyes flew open.
Bai Ling looked at Su Ming quietly, but the wildness in her eyes was a light that he would never forget.
Su Ming's hand froze for a moment, but only a moment. Then, without any hesitation, he touched her cheek. Her face was rather cold, but incredibly soft. It made his gaze turn even gentler.
Bai Ling did not move away. Instead, her eyes went wider and she looked at him completely stunned.
When Su Ming eventually lifted his hand, the gentle look in his eyes still remained. He cast a deep look at Bai Ling and stood up, turning his head away. Just as he was about to leave…
"Who… are you…?" Bai Ling's frightened and delicate voice came from behind him.
Su Ming walked towards the door of her house. The moment he touched Bai Ling, the chill on her cheeks had made him understand many things in the midst of his anguish.
This was not real. This… was an illusion. This was the serendipity the old xun maker had mentioned. This was an illusory world created based on Su Ming's memories.
This... was a Void Space …
Because in this sweltering season, Bai Ling's face was cold, and that cold came from Su Ming's memories, from the last sensation he remembered of her when they were on the snowing plains. All of this… was fake.
This three day long serendipity was so that Su Ming could understand the existence of fate in the world in his memories…
"You could choose not to believe it, you could think that the Dark Mountain in your memories is fake. As long as you attack and kill all the people you are familiar with here: your elder, Lei Chen, Bei Ling, Wu La, Chen Xin, Bai Ling, and all the rest of them, you'll be able to know the truth!
"When you attack, you will naturally see the face they will show when you kill them with your own hands. At that time, you will be able to tell whether all of this is real or fake. At that moment, you can also overturn Dark Mountain and forget everything about it. From then on, you will no longer have any ties binding you, and there will no longer be anything that will affect your heart.
"Then, in the future, if anyone tries to use Dark Mountain as a set up to make you do something, it will no longer matter.
"As long as you take action… everything will be turned to dust. Then, you will be as if you were truly awake. You will crush the world you believe is unreal, along with the person who is manipulating your fate behind all of this, as if you have truly woken up.
"If you believe, then you must have the determination to bear with the series of difficulties, the sorrows and farewells you will have to say when Dark Mountain appears before you again…"
It did not matter what he chose, he would still be able to arrive at a brief period of completion. During it, Su Ming would be able to take half of the final step required to move from the Bone Sacrifice Realm into the Berserker Soul Realm.
Because this state of completion could turn into a resolve that would make Su Ming no longer be caught in a state of confusion in which he stepped into the Berserker Soul Realm, and the possibility of his success would increase.
"Why… do I feel like you are so familiar to me…?" Bai Ling's voice reached Su Ming's ears, and behind him, she had already sat up to look at him blankly. "Don't go…" she said softly and walked over from her bed, then leaned gently into his back.
Starlight shone through her house and scattered into her abode in a dim, nebulous light. It fused together with the moonlight, and Su Ming could not tell which belonged to the stars, and which belonged to the moon. He could not tell what was a dream, and what was reality. He could not tell what made him happy, what made him sad, and what exactly he yearned for. And he could even less differentiate just which of them was crying.
It was as if they had promised each other a fleeting love, but they could not take with them this state of being together once one of them woke up. This sort of attachment… would only travel further and further away… It would have been better… had they not met at all.
1. Void Space: First mentioned in chapter 214, when Tian Xie Zi isolated a dimension to talk to Su Ming before they went to Freezing Sky Clan.