In that battle, the one who killed that cultivator from Hidden Dragon Sect was not Hong Luo, but the terrifying halberd that had appeared in the sky. Its appearance had put all the Immortals of the entire South Morning in fear and awe, causing them to find their breathing still during that instant.
That halberd was the Berserker's Sacred Vessel in the Land of South Morning!
Ever since Su Ming came to Eastern Wastelands and learned about Evil Spirit Sect, there had always been a question lingering in his heart. At that moment, he understood.
Yet once he understood this matter, he remembered Di Tian. The man's clone had been completely unbothered by the Berserkers' Sacred Vessel, but he had not chosen to destroy it, and it was clear that there was something about that halberd that made him wary.
However, that Ji An from Evil Spirit Sect actually had the ability to change the law governing the arrival of the Berserkers' Sacred Vessel in Eastern Wastelands. The strength of that ability might be even greater than what was required to destroy it, and the difficulty of doing so might also be even greater than destroying it.
But the Sacred Vessel was still around. Once Su Ming thought of Di Tian's actions and linked them to this matter, he suddenly had a strong hunch that there must be some sort of secret contained within the Berserkers' Sacred Vessel, which was why the Immortals did not dare to destroy it...
'That Ji An sure is bold. He actually had the guts to turn the Sacred Vessel's arrival once every fifty years into a trial for the successor disciples in Evil Sect, so only the ones worthy would survive…'
When Su Ming opened his eyes, he had understood many things. He also remembered that the title of Celestial Maiden was not limited to one person, but was a title shared among many!
This group of people existed in each Sect, and their duty was to help their people who descended to the land, covering the Berserkers' sky so that they could hide away their presences, but, clearly, the Celestial Maiden's use in Evil Sect was not such.
Su Ming cast Bao Qiu a glance before he asked slowly, "How confident are you in living through this?"
"I was originally certain that seven times out of ten I'd live… After all, I won't be the only one resisting the Berserkers' Disaster. There are quite a large number of people in the sect who will be fighting against it, and as long as I can withstand one blow from it, I will be able to make it… Besides, I would have a clone serving as my scapegoat. I wanted to use the its death and the injuries I would suffer to live through this disaster.
"But now… my chances have dropped to three out of ten." Bao Qiu remained composed, as if she was not talking about her own death.
Su Ming fell into a moment of pensive silence before he cast Bao Qiu a glance, and then he smiled.
"You can just ask for my help if you want it. There's no need to beat around the bush."
Bao Qiu's face turned slightly red, but it quickly faded away. She did not speak, because she did indeed require his help, or else, she would be wiped away, and similarly, Su Ming would no longer be able to train in peace.
This thought had begun bubbling in her head a few months ago, when she first discovered just how terrifying Su Ming was, and since she was not trying to harm him, she did not go against the restrictions placed on her soul.
She had restored her original, beautiful appearance before she came here to lay the groundwork for the things she just said as well…
"Three months later, I will help you once during the Berserkers' Disaster. Treat it as a compensation for keeping your soul in custody, using your place to train, and using up your medicinal cores. After that, you and I will no longer owe each other anything." Su Ming closed his eyes.
A hint of joy appeared on Bao Qiu's face. Once she got up, she wrapped her fist in her palm and bowed towards Su Ming before leaving the first floor of the building to return to the ground floor. She sat down cross-legged there, and as unknown thoughts ran in her head, she closed her eyes and started meditating after some time.
Su Ming's training did not stop because of this. He already had an idea of how he would help Bao Qiu, and he also wanted to use this chance to see whether his guess was correct.
'If my guess is correct, then I will have to ask her about it later…' Su Ming no longer thought about this and placed all his attention on restoring his cultivation base.
All his flesh, blood, and bones had turned into those belonging to a true Berserker, and his cultivation base had also returned to the pinnacle of his previous power all those years ago. As time passed and as his cultivation started recovering bit by bit, he gradually discovered that besides his flesh, blood, and bones, the extra two-tenths of his cultivation base had been absorbed by his brain...
Perhaps more accurately speaking, the thing that had absorbed those two-tenths of power was his soul!
Once Su Ming discovered this phenomenon, his heart trembled. He had a faint feeling that once his lost cultivation base was fully recovered, the increase of those last two-tenths would become the key in him successfully reaching the Berserker Soul Realm!
All of this made him think about the xun song that had echoed in his ears before he fell unconscious after his battle with Di Tian…
One month, two months…
Two months later, as Su Ming's cultivation base recovered and slowly increased, his soul gradually fell into a state as if he was asleep. He was immersed in a feeling he could not describe.
It was as if he was being nourished…
When another twenty something days passed and there were only three days left before the Berserkers' Disaster arrived, Bao Qiu slowly walked up to the first floor of the building and appeared before Su Ming.
She looked quite calm and did not have the pale look born of despair of someone who only had three days left. She cast Su Ming a glance and sat down before him quietly. She, who had resumed her appearance of a young woman, had a sacred beauty about her. She looked at the sky beyond the building quietly and waited for Su Ming to wake up.
Even after associating with him for most of the year, she still felt that there was a layer of mystery surrounding this boy before her. At that moment, she turned her eye away from the window, and her gaze fell on his body once again.
As she continued watching him, she suddenly found that this Chen Su seemed to be a little different than before.
He seemed… to have grown a little.
He no longer looked as if he was just twelve or thirteen years old, but appeared to be about fourteen or fifteen. When he closed his eyes, there was still a hint of youthfulness to his face, but she would never forget the ancient look in his eyes that made her feel as if she was looking at time itself when he shifted his gaze to her. There was a hint of grief contained within that ancient look, and when the sun began setting, it would show faintly and indistinctly in the red glow of dusk.
'Just what sort of secrets does he carry…? Just who is he? He's definitely not Chen Su. What is his name? Where did he come from…? He's powerful, so he shouldn't be some random nobody… What sort of person would be able to injure him so badly…?' These sort of questions had been rising nonstop in Bao Qiu's heart during most of the past year.
She started becoming curious about this boy.
It was especially so when the black shade in his hair started gradually fading away to show faint traces of white and purple.
The mixed shades in his hair did not give him an unkempt look, but instead gave him a dangerous air, causing it to be possible for others to look past the boy's physical age, and then, they would be able to see a young man's pragmatism and hardened will.
Bao Qiu propped up her chin on her hand and continued watching him just like that, as if she had forgotten about her imminent death three days later. When the last rays of light faded away outside, darkness arrived, then it went away and daylight came once again. Even then, Su Ming continued meditating, and Bao Qiu continued watching him.
When noon went by and dusk shone through the window once again, landing on both their bodies, Su Ming opened his eyes.
At the instant he did so, he saw Bao Qiu looking at him fixedly. He saw the red rays of the setting sun shining on her face, bringing to light an unparalleled sight.
The woman in the scene had a head filled with black hair, and she wore a pink dress. She had her chin resting on her hands, and her eyelashes were incredibly long… Her eyes sparkled as she looked at him.
Even the fine hairs of her face could be seen under the rays of the setting sun. Her gradually reddening skin was hidden under the sunlight, and no one could see it clearly.
"I'm looking at you because of the Brand you left in my soul. It'll make me subconsciously attracted to you, and I will feel a sense of cordiality towards you.
"Once the Brand goes away, all of these will no longer appear, and everything will return to normal. Don't misunderstand." Bao Qiu did not avoid Su Ming's gaze. She looked at him and spoke as calmly as she possibly could.
Su Ming smiled faintly and did not speak.
"It's your problem if you misunderstand, though. It has nothing to do with me. I hope you'll keep to your promise, and once your cultivation base is fully restored, you will return me my freedom!" Bao Qiu's heart raced, but she kept a straight face and made sure she spoke without emotion. However, even when the red glow of the setting sun moved away, her face was still rather red.
"Honestly, I quite like your current appearance. You look much better like this than as an old woman," Su Ming said with a smile. There was no underlying meaning contained within his words. He was merely stating the truth.
But when it fell into Bao Qiu's ears, the meaning of his words became slightly different.
She glared at him, but the cordiality within her soul and the inability to resist him made her expression turn gentle. She still did not move her gaze away and continued looking straight into his eyes.
Time continued flowing just like this. When darkness arrived in the world outside and midnight crept up on them to announce the near arrival of the third day, Su Ming started feeling a little awkward.
He might have gone through many things, but he had never met a woman like Bao Qiu who would stare at him so intently, and it was not just for a moment. She was staring at him for an incredibly long time…
With a dry cough, Su Ming decided to close his eyes and continue meditating.
Soon, midnight arrived, and the instant it was about to leave, Bao Qiu averted her gaze and looked towards the dark sky outside the window.
At that moment, there were a dozen something other people from Evil Spirit Sect who were also looking at the sky. They were all sitting quietly in their houses and staring up ahead.
Right then, within the everlasting black smoke at the top of Evil Spirit Mountain was a middle-aged man sitting inside a gloomy temple that worshipped a few indistinct statues. The man wore a long blue robe, and he was the strongest warrior within Evil Spirit Sect - the Grand Sect Elder, Shen Dong!
That black smoke came from him, and it was a symbol of his power, which was the equivalent of a Berserker who had reached great completion in the Berserker Soul Realm, the Immortals' Ascendant Stage!
"Fifty years… How quick…"
His voice was hoarse. As he spoke in an unhurried tone, he lifted his head and looked at the sky. At that moment, a powerful cultivation base that could only belong to those in Ascendant erupted from his body!
At the same time, all the dozen something people in Evil Spirit Sect, including Bao Qiu, started releasing their presence from their locations, and those were the presences of all the Immortals who had descended to this place!
The Berserkers who had changed their blood inheritance also released the ripples of their power, perhaps in fear, in silence, in arrogance, or in grief, causing the presences of all the outsiders in Evil Spirit Sect to surge into the sky during that instant!