The power of the world here was not dense and could not compare to the density in the courtyard where Su Ming had stayed previously. Obviously, the double-storey building that had tempted Su Ming incredibly was even further out of its reach.
However, this place was quiet, and it was also close to the double-storey building. In fact, if he stood outside the house and lifted his head to look, he would be able to vaguely see the indistinct shadow of the building residing at the upper middle section of the mountain.
Su Ming surveyed his surroundings, and he was somewhat satisfied with the place. Qian Chen originally wanted to send someone to clean up, but Su Ming stopped him. He preferred the area to be preserved in its original state, because that would make it look even more secluded.
Qian Chen continued following Su Ming around with a brilliant smile even after the sun had set, asking him about his well-being, and even whether he needed servant girls. Even when Su Ming declined, Qian Chen still continued smiling. Only when Su Ming showed hints of tiredness on his face when dusk arrived did Qian Chen bid his farewell by wrapping his fist in his palm before he left.
Qian Chen's thoughts and feelings as he left shall not be mentioned for the moment. Once dusk was over and the sky slowly darkened, Su Ming no longer remained in his room. Instead, he sat outside while leaning against the wall to his house, looking at the sky.
It was winter at the moment. The weeds all around were covered in white snow. In fact, there were a few flecks of snow floating down from the sky. A snowflake fell down before Su Ming's eyes, and he lifted his hand to catch it. It chilled his palm as it melted.
'If snowflakes exist to melt on the ground, then can this be considered the snowflakes' fate…?'
By then, six-tenths of Su Ming's cultivation base had been restored, but there was still quite some distance before he could fully recover. By his predictions, unless he went to the double-storey building, he would need at least ten years before he could return to the peak of his form, and it didn't matter if he trained here or even in the courtyard in the Outer Sect.
After all, while recovery might have been quick when he tried to heal in the beginning, but the progress would become increasingly harder as he went further down the road. The speed for the final four-tenths of his cultivation base would not be something that the previous six could even hope to compare.
'I must go to that double-storey building…' A glint appeared in Su Ming's eyes. When he straightened his hand, a strand of white hair took form on his palm.
There was a knot on that strand of hair. Su Ming placed his right hand on the knot and let his eyelids fall slightly before he started quietly trying to find the sensation contained within the knot, as his father had taught him.
Time passed, and it was soon completely dark outside. More snow fell from the sky. It collected into piles, causing the path ahead to no longer be entirely covered in darkness. It was instead broken up by the snow.
Su Ming continued leaning against his house while sitting outside. The long, white strand of hair remained between his fingers, letting out a faint fragrance. As he continued holding onto it in the dark, he felt as if he could even touch the fragrance.
The night passed without a single word uttered… Su Ming sat by himself the whole time, immersed in the feeling Ugly Little Thing's father had mentioned as he searched for the quintessence within the grass knot records.
Su Ming was not aiming for a Curse, neither was he blessing anyone. He was instead trying to aim for the control over someone's mind. When more knots were created on this strand of hair, he would turn it into a doll, and with its power, he would control the old woman's mind.
Control over someone's mind would make that person a puppet-like existence. By doing so, Su Ming would be able to enter the double-storey building without anyone noticing and practice his cultivation there for a long period of time.
He had also thought about using his power to attack, but his cultivation base was not fully recovered at this point. Because of that, there were far too many things that were an inconvenience to him. Besides, he was also thinking of using the building to help him reach the Berserker Soul Realm, and he needed a person to protect him.
If he could control the old woman, then he would be able to get everything he wanted in one go!
When morning arrived, Su Ming's eyes flew open, and a hint of understanding shone in them. Without any hesitation, he tied another knot on that strand of hair!
At that moment, there were two knots!
At the instant the second knot appeared, the old woman, who was sitting on the balcony in the double-storey building, shivered abruptly. She swiftly opened her eyes. Surprise and bewilderment appeared on her face, and she quickly spread her divine sense into the area, with a grave expression.
However, no matter how much she investigated her surroundings, she found no clues or traces whatsoever. It was as if everything just moments ago had never happened, but she did indeed sense a chill just now. It was as if someone had used a needle to poke her. It was not incredibly painful, but it did indeed give her a feeling that someone had used a needle to pierce into her soul.
The old woman frowned. After a moment of careful thought, she started searching through her entire body, but found nothing unusual. Full of uncertainty, she put it away for now.
Winter always seems longer than any other season. During that month Su Ming was expelled from the Outer Sect, snow would occasionally fall, and it would come heavier each time. On this day, the snow that filled the sky made it seem like a huge pit had appeared high above. The sky was crying, but it did not seem to want anyone seeing its tears that was why it turned them into snow, which seemed incredibly soft and gentle.
However… once the snow accumulated to a certain degree, it could crush mountains, could freeze all things in the world, and could even… destroy all manner of living!
Snow floated down and covered the sky as well as the earth, coated Su Ming's house, and even gathered up into a thick pile where he sat to meditate.
Su Ming continued holding onto the white strand of hair. During this month, he did not try recovering his cultivation base, but instead immersed himself in trying to understand the feeling, as well as the making, of the grass knot records. There were now six knots on the strand of hair!
Su Ming did not leave behind too much of his will within those six knots. He only left his understanding, and when he touched them with his hand, he felt as if he was touching his own thoughts.
Qian Chen would occasionally come over. The hospitality he showed made it seem as that Su Ming was his senior brother, and he himself was the junior brother or just a junior.
He came on this day once again. There were a dozen something laborers with respectful faces behind him. Under Qian Chen's instructions, those people immediately started clearing up the snow.
Su Ming closed his eyes and did not pay too much attention to them. If this Qian Chen continued being so sensible, then perhaps Su Ming would give him a serendipitous event in the future. He would lay down the path for him, but it would depend on how this person would understand what Su Ming had given him and how he would walk down it himself.
On the third day after the month had passed since Su Ming came to this place, hesitation appeared on his face. He looked at the white strand of hair in his hand. There were still only six knots on it. He had originally wanted to tie the seventh knot right at that moment, but he was not confident in it.
He looked at the strand quietly. During the past month, he had immersed himself in trying to gain an epiphany about the grass knot records, and the sensation he gained from the knots along with his understanding had increased a lot.
Su Ming had tied the previous six knots based on his understanding. Yet now, he had a vague feeling that he needed to add his will into the seventh knot, and the addition of his will into the seventh knot would cause it to become a key!
The importance of this knot lay in the fact that if Su Ming failed, the strand of hair would turn into dust, but if he succeeded, then with his will in the hair, he would be able to take his first step towards success!
'I only have one strand of hair. If I fail, I'll have to make other preparations…'
Su Ming's eyes shone. His hands started moving, and he tied the seventh knot!
When he did so, a shudder traveled through his entire body, and he forced himself to repeat one single thought in his mind.
'I'm your master. My will is your will, and you must obey all of my words!'
Su Ming continued repeating these words in his head and turned them into a will. Then, as if he was writing on a piece of paper, he wrote those words in the knot on the strand of hair.
However, fusing his will into the strand of hair was not easy for Su Ming. After all, he was still a beginner in making the grass knot records. He was not like Ugly Little Thing's father, who had naturally discovered the quintessence of these knots due to his talent.
More importantly, since Ugly Little Thing's father was a mortal and the dolls he created were also for mortals, though he did feel tired after making several dolls, he did not need to use up too much energy or worry about suffering repercussions.
However, that was not the case for Su Ming. This white strand of hair belonged to the old woman, and she had extraordinary power. The amount of power he had to spend as well as the repercussions he had to suffer were naturally much greater, since he wanted to use this Art to control a powerful warrior.
Even Su Ming found two trails of blood falling from his eyes in the form of tears, as his body trembled. His ears, too, soon started bleeding.
His breathing froze during that instant…
When a dozen something breaths passed, Su Ming let out a long breath. His eyes were bright when he wiped away the blood from his eyes and ears. He lowered his head and looked the seventh knot on the white strand of hair, and a faint smile appeared on his lips.
'This Art is indeed frightening. If I can understand it completely… then I'll be able kill someone without them noticing it, and controlling them will not be a problem. It's a pity that the backlash is also incredibly great, though…' Su Ming closed his eyes.
Almost at the instant he formed that seventh knot, the old woman, who was meditating in the double-storey building, started trembling viciously. She coughed up a mouthful of blood, and her face turned livid with rage. When she opened her eyes, she stood up swiftly and sent her divine sense outward, but still gained nothing.
Her face turned dark. During that instant a moment ago, she had faintly heard a voice. It seemed to be saying something in her mind, but when she tried to listen closely, she could not make out the words. However, she had a strong hunch that the words spoken by that voice were using a unique method to carve themselves into her soul.
'A mere child's play. Since you refuse to appear before me, then let's have a battle of Arts. I'd like to see whether that strange Art of yours or my Soul Catching Lotus Art is stronger!'
The old woman smiled coldly and walked towards the first floor to arrive beside the statue of the woman sitting on a lotus. Once the old woman cast a glance at it, she sat down cross-legged, and immediately, the eyes of the statue started shining with a brilliant light, as if she had woken up, and that light covered the old woman.
'The next time you come, I'll fight you!'
The old woman closed her eyes as if she was about to face a powerful enemy.