Even if he did not leave, he should still treasure the serendipity the old xun maker had given to him, because this three-day-long serendipity could help him fight against the great disaster he was about to face in the near future.
He should destroy the beauty of this fictitious world, kill all of these possibly created characters—including his family, his friends, his love, and everyone else—to obtain a resolve to give up everything so that he could become strong and fight against fate. He would be remolded once he destroyed everything, and would obtain the cold callousness that belongs to the strong!
This was the true meaning behind the three-day-long serendipity. It was also something the silent old xun maker wished Su Ming could do!
He would have to cut away his emotions and his memories. He would have to be unbothered by his past and his future, then remodel himself by replacing all his memories. He would have to turn cold and merciless to complete this incredibly important metamorphosis!
This metamorphosis was the great completion of the Bone Sacrifice Realm. It was a transition for him to become a powerful Berserker in the Berserker Soul Realm. This… was his serendipity!
As Su Ming came to understand this, his mind gradually cleared up; he had managed to guess the old xun maker's way of helping him. He also had a vague feeling that if he walked down the path the old xun maker laid out for him and destroyed everything so that he could remodel his life, then it would mean that he would have seized the control over his own fate. The moment he started rebuilding himself, the state of completion he gained in his heart would also affect his soul.
Then, as his soul gained completion… at the moment he built his life, he would be able to create his very own statue of the God of Berserkers!
It also meant that when he walked out of this world, he would no longer be in the Bone Sacrifice Realm. He would rise to become a powerful Berserker in the Berserker Soul Realm amid this strange power and this serendipity that might have been brought forth by the old xun maker paying a heavy price!
After that, he the would have to face that great disaster in his life!
The old xun maker had laid out a path for him. Su Ming might not know who he was, but he could tell that the old man bore no ill-will towards him…
But this serendipity and gift… was something Su Ming could not accept.
Because the price for it was the complete annihilation of everything in this world. Could he kill Bai Ling, who was hugging him from the back? Could he end his elder's life while he was asleep? Could he murder Chen Xin, just so that he could gain completion…?
Could he kill Lei Chen, kill his parents, and destroy everything that was Dark Mountain Tribe?
"I can't…" Su Ming smiled brokenly. He could feel Bai Ling's warmth coming from behind him. He could not do it.
Time trickled by. Su Ming stood there, and Bai Ling continued staying with her arms wrapped around him. The darkness in the sky gradually went away, replaced by a faint veil of light.
During the whole night, the two people just stood. They did not speak to each other. Bai Ling had her head buried in Su Ming's back, and for some unknown reason, the heartbeat she felt against her cheek made her cry tears of love.
They might be from a longing desire between lovers, but she could not wipe them away. They stained Su Ming's clothes.
When morning arrived, Su Ming chose to leave. Bai Ling lay down on her bed quietly, looking as if she had fallen asleep, but the tears at the corners of her eyes remained. One fell to her pillow and disappeared.
That single tear contained an endless amount of recollections, an endless amount of longing, and an endless amount of sighs. Perhaps even Bai Ling could not count them anymore.
Su Ming left Dark Dragon Tribe when it was already morning. He moved quietly through the forest and looked at the rays of sunlight turning into light beams that shone on the ground. The leaves from the trees fell as he moved past them. Xiao Hong seemed to have sensed the complicated feelings within Su Ming's heart, as it sat on his shoulders and did not make a sound.
This was the first day.
There were still two days left for Su Ming to make his choice.
He had originally wanted to go to Wind Stream Tribe, but had lost that desire by now. He looked at Dark Mountain basking under the sun, yet he did not have the thought to go and see the Fire Berserkers' ruins. A feeling of fatigue filled his entire being.
He chose to go home.
He went back to Dark Mountain Tribe, back to his own home.
In the morning, Dark Mountain Tribe was like a world where everything had just risen from slumber. His tribe members went about their individual tasks in the midst of chimney smoke rising into the air, and the children looked as if they would never know exhaustion. They looked forward to each new day, to playing with their friends.
Su Ming came back. He looked at the familiar tribe and sat down quietly outside his house. He looked at the blue sky and the white clouds, looked at the sunlight shining down on the ground, and looked at all the things that existed in his memories about his tribe.
He wanted to engrave everything deeply into his mind once again, to carve this scene into his heart and soul.
"Must I destroy everything here to control my own fate…?" Su Ming whispered to himself softly.
'This sort of destruction might perhaps truly allow me to control my own fate, because a cold and callous heart cannot contain even a single shred of tenderness. If there is no more love, then no matter what else other people do, they would be unable to find a place to stay in my heart.
'But…' Su Ming looked at the children running around in the empty space before him and closed his eyes.
'Are they also fake…?'
The sky gradually darkened. Dusk left, and moonlight shone on the ground. Su Ming continued sitting there, watching everything within his tribe. He did not think, merely looked at the sun rising and setting.
He knew that when the sun rose again, he would welcome the last day he could be here in Dark Mountain.
He had no idea when he would be able to come back. Perhaps never.
Su Ming closed his eyes. The song of the xun echoed in his ears, as it sang in the tribe. The night… went by.
The sky was no longer clear when the next morning arrived. There were dark clouds up ahead, and it started drizzling, but Su Ming did not think about anything on his last day in this place. He smiled and stayed by the elder's side, chatting with him, happily went to help grandpa Nan Song sort out the herbal storage, and even played with the children as if he was one himself. He told them stories, and the occasional bell like laughter tumbling out of their mouths turned into the most pleasing sound in the tribe.
He play-fought against Lei Chen while laughing, just as he did all those years ago, when he was ignorant about the world outside. In fact, he was just like a teenager that did not need to think. He had his friends, his family, and he was happy, without a single care in the world.
Wu La might still be incredibly disdainful towards Su Ming, but he faced her with a smile and without a single complaint. He helped the girl with her tasks, and that smile on his face caught even Wu La by surprise. Her cold exterior gradually warmed up.
And as if Su Ming did not know the meaning of fatigue, he acted extremely politely and courteously towards Bei Ling on his final day, all while thinking of the help Bei Ling had given him during his childhood and his kindness for teaching him the bow. Even the cold Bei Ling gave him a complicated nod after a moment of silence, and the both of them started firing their arrows side by side, just as they had done many years ago.
As for Chen Xin, she smiled happily as she sat by the side, watching the two men who had walked into her heart. She would occasionally walk up to hand them water, her laughter ringing in the air.
All the people in the tribe could sense something different about Su Ming on this day. During it, he busied himself from morning till dusk, and straight down to midnight.
The smile on his face remained as a constant presence… but as night fell and moonlight scattered on the ground, the reluctance to part behind his smile was left unseen.
When night came, Su Ming's smile turned into one of pain. He looked at the lights in the tribe gradually extinguishing, one by one, looked at the bustle of activity in the tribe falling into silence, and felt sharp stab of pain in his heart.
"Is it time…?" Su Ming mumbled. He knew that when the sun rose again, he… would disappear from this beautiful world.
The pain on his face slowly morphed into a faint smile. He had to smile, he wanted to smile. Even if he was about to leave, these three days had already made him incredibly content.
As he smiled, Su Ming did not look at the moonlight, and neither did he look at the darkness and the tribe around him. Instead, he pushed open the door to his house and walked in before lying down on his small bed. He looked at the familiar sights around him, and with a smile on his face, he slowly closed his eyes.
"Sleep. Perhaps when I wake up, I will still be here…" he whispered softly.
In the end, he did not choose to walk down the path the old xun maker had pointed out for him, even if he would have been able to arrive at the Berserker Soul Realm if he did it, and even if he would be able to obtain the power to fight against the disaster that would soon come.
Even so, he… still chose to walk down his own path.
All that people said was real or false, might not truly be real or false.
The reflection of the moon and flowers in the lake was also the moon and the flowers themselves!
He could create a new life if he destroyed everything, but it did not mean that he could not create a new life if he kept everything here intact and turned them all into the most beautiful moments in the deepest parts of his memories. He could make his heart not turn cold, make his love never fade, and he could still build a new life!
'My fate is my own. I will choose it myself. If I say it is real, then in my heart… it is real.' Su Ming closed his eyes, and gradually, he fell asleep.
'Goodbye… my dear Dark Mountain…
'Goodbye… my dear family…
'My friends… my love, everything in my childhood… you will forever remain in my heart. You will forever be the warmth in the deepest parts of my heart… Farewell…'
This was the sleep he had never been able to find after he left Dark Mountain and even when he was on the ninth summit. This feeling was a scent in his memories…
Since Su Ming fell asleep, he did not hear a sigh echoing faintly in the air. That sigh contained a tone within it that would make people feel unclear as to what it meant, and they would be unable to tell just what it was.
The world was gradually shrouded in fog. It... slowly faded into nothing.
When Su Ming opened his eyes once again, the first thing he heard was the sound of the sea, the first thing he smelled was the stench from the sea, and the first thing he saw… was the lonely island. There was no Dark Mountain, no tribe, and not a single soul around him.
The only living creature that could be found lying there was the bald crane that was opening its eyes blearily.
Su Ming stood there for a long, long time until he closed his eyes again. After a moment, he reopened them slowly.
'The dream has ended.' Su Ming could still see the things that had happened during those three days. A wave of sadness weaved itself into his bearing, and it was one of grief from the soul and pain of longing for home.
It was a bitterness that wind could not blow away. This was the beautiful moment he chose.
Su Ming sighed. He wrapped his fist in his palm and bowed deeply and respectfully towards the island under his feet. He was bowing towards the old xun maker, thanking him for the three day long serendipity.
Once he bowed, he lifted his head and took a step forward. He seized the bald crane, turned into a long arc, and charged into the sky.
The island slowly vanished behind him. Only a sad song from a xun could be heard echoing in the air, as if it was sending Su Ming off, and it remained until he left into the distance.