Chapter 111: Waking Up to Unfamiliar Sights
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Arc Two: The World of Wind and Cold
Rain tumbled down from the sky and hit on the big tree leaves, creating lashing sounds. A large amount of raindrops accumulated on the leaves and slid down along the veins on the leaves, forming a tiny stream that fell from the tip of the leaves.
This was a rainforest. The ground was filled with mud, and as rain fell on it, swamps were formed. The sky was dark. Only the occasional lightning lit up everything in the world for an instant.
The thunder roared and tumbled forward, echoing in the night before disappearing quietly.
In the deeper part of the forest was a mountain range that was hidden in the night. The mountains there were not tall, and could not compare with Dark Mountain. They were not tall, but they were many.
At that moment, lightning sliced through the sky and brightened up the earth. On one of the middle mountains, a person was lying on the ground.
This person had been in this deserted place for a few days. There was no clue to how he had appeared there, wearing a torn beast skin shirt and looking incredibly pathetic.
The person lying there unmoving was a young man that looked to be in his twenties. He had a clean and handsome face, but there was a scar marring it.
His eyes were closed, and there were many wounds on his body. These injuries had already turned white, and no blood was flowing out.
The rain continued falling for a few days before letting up. The sky became clear and the dark clouds dispersed. The land welcomed the sun.
It was now summer. Once the rain passed, mist gradually rose up on the land. There was also an incredible heat that seemed to want to burn everything alive.
That young man that lay on the mountain did not move. He seemed as if he was dead.
A few days more passed again. There were some bald vultures circling in the sky. The eyes of these bald vultures were cold. As they flew in the sky, they had their eyes fixed on the person lying on the mountain. They circled above as if hesitating.
Finally, one of the bald vultures lost its patience. It dove down towards the young man's body, flapping its wings as it circled above the young man before landing on his chest. The vulture used its sharp beak to poke at the prey it had been eyeing for the past few days.
It watched its prey's face as it continued poking and eating his flesh. Gradually, it relaxed. In its eyes, this was definitely a dead person.
Soon, the remaining bald vultures in the sky dove down and landed on the young man's body without a sound and with cold eyes. Yet the moment they landed, the young man suddenly opened his eyes and grabbed the first bald vulture that had landed on his chest with his right hand. Shocked, the other bald vultures wanted to fly up, but their bodies seemed stuck on the young man's body; they could not fly.
The young man brought the bald vulture to his mouth and bit into its neck, drinking its blood. The blood, which tasted foul, flowed down his throat and into his body, making a sharp stab of pain develop in his body, which had gone numb due to hunger.
Yet that pain allowed a hint of warmth to finally appear in his entire body.
Very soon, the bald vulture stopped struggling, having lost all of its blood. The young man took a deep breath and placed the bald vulture in his hands by the side. He grabbed another one that could not fly away from his body and leisurely drank its blood. It was not until all the seven bald vultures stuck to his body had died that a hint of red finally appeared on the young man's face.
He lay there and looked at the sky. It was very blue. The sun was blazing hot. His eyes were filled with uncertainty. He was Su Ming.
He had already woken up a few days ago in the rain. Upon waking up, he could still hear the fragile voice calling out to him in his dreams. The voice that called him "brother" accompanied him even as he woke up.
When his mind clear from sleep, he felt sharp pain bursting out from his entire body. He had no strength left, not even to lift his hands.
He could only lie on the ground and feel the raindrops falling on his body. The rain fell on the wounds all over his body, and he soon grew numb amid the pain. It was not just his body that became numb, his heart too, grew numb.
Over the past few days, he laid on the ground as his mind was thrown into extreme confusion and bewilderment. He remembered a vortex appearing in the air above Dark Mountain due to that one palm strike from the person in the starry sky. When he was sucked into the void, he saw the elder getting sucked in as well with his eyes closed. He had no idea whether the elder was dead or alive.
He didn't know what that vortex was, nor why it had appeared, just as he didn't know where he was. Yet as he looked at the blazing sun in the sky and the unfamiliar mountains by his side, he had a vague feeling that he was no longer at Dark Mountain.
He didn't want to believe that the elder had passed away, but he also knew that the elder's injuries were much worse than his. The final sight where the elder had lain unmoving with his eyes closed made Su Ming not want to think. There was pain in his heart, one of losing the closest person to him.
'The elder won't die...'
Su Ming closed his eyes. The grief on his face was gradually hidden away.
Ever since he was young, he had lived under the protection of the elder. He had never left the tribe for a long period of time alone. So now, surrounded by unfamiliar sights, Su Ming felt lonely, but he knew that he had to become stronger.
When he opened his eyes once again, there was no longer any sadness in them. It was hidden deep within his heart. No one could find any hint of sadness on him. His eyes were calm, so calm that they were cold.
He struggled to sit up. Under the blazing sun, he sat down cross-legged and closed his eyes, silently circulating his Qi around his body. Yet the moment his Qi started moving, sharp pain stabbed him, making him lurch forward, but he gritted his teeth and did not make a sound.
Su Ming knew that his body had sustained incredibly deep internal injuries after forcefully breaking through and increasing his power, going through that long chain of battles, and being heavily wounded in the last battle. These internal injuries had now all surfaced.
'All 243 blood veins of the Blood Solidification Realm are still here, but before I recover, I can't use all of them...'
Su Ming panted harshly. He clenched his right fist and lifted it up. A sharp pain rose in his body, but there were no changes whatsoever on his face. He had already learned to bear with the pain.
'I should be able to use the power of 100 blood veins, which is around the peak of the fifth level of the Blood Solidification Realm. But these injuries will only become more serious with time passage. I'll just grow weaker until the day I die.'
Su Ming was silent and continued circulating the Qi in his body amid the sharp pain. Gradually, the sky darkened. When the moon appeared, Su Ming lifted his head and looked at it. Threads of moonlight fell down and surrounded him before they blended into his body, nourishing him.
The night passed by quickly. When the morning sun lit up the earth, it dissipated the slight hint of cold brought by the night and replaced it once again with blazing heat. Su Ming opened his eyes and let out a shaky breath.
The color on his face was much better than the previous day, but he still felt weak. He frowned, and after checking his body, he sighed.
'If I had not mastered fine control and used the moonlight to heal myself, then after going through those events, I wouldn't have even been able to use the power of 100 blood veins. Even so, I can only use the power of 98 blood veins now.
'I have to think of a way to get rid of these internal injuries. I need enough medicinal pills to cure myself.'
Su Ming fell into momentary silence, touching his bosom to look for his items. He had been sucked into the vortex earlier and had no idea whether the few items he kept away in his bosom were still around.
He had a broken bag, the little bone Shan Hen held onto before he died, and the beast bone given to him by the tribe leader before they parted ways so that he could tell whether the tribe was safe.
Besides these, there was also a xun made of bone, a broken shard of Dark Mountain's statue of the God of Berserkers, and a bottle that was slightly cracked but not broken, containing two drops of Berserker Blood.
As he looked at these items, Su Ming held up the shard from Dark Mountain Tribe's statue of the God of Berserkers. This was the shard that had cut his face when the statue exploded, leaving a scar.
Su Ming looked at it and closed his eyes. After a long while, he placed all the items into the broken bag. There might be some problems with the bag, but it was his only choice right now.
Once he finished packing up, Su Ming stood up and rubbed the center of his brows with his right hand. There was a contemplative look on his face. He had to rely on himself for everything now. This meant that he had to be careful and not make even the slightest mistake.
'This place is unfamiliar to me. With my current condition, before my power completely recovers, I can't leave this rainforest. These woods are dense, so I might find some of the herbs I need.'
A flash passed through Su Ming's eyes as he thought. He slowly climbed down the mountain with his weakened body. For a few days, he searched the entire forest and the mountains carefully, staying on constant alert.
'The elder... is not here.'
After those few days, Su Ming sat by a river on one of the mountains, a hand pressing onto his chest. It hurt there, causing him to be unable to hide the grief on his face.
After a while, Su Ming used indifference and calmness to bury his sorrows. He washed himself in the river and looked at his face reflected in the water. That face no longer held the tenderness of a boy at sixteen years of age, but now had faint signs of age.
'Just how many years did I stay in that vortex..?'
Su Ming touched the scar left by Dark Mountain's statue of the God of Berserkers and quietly washed his body clean. He put on his clothes and tied his hair in a bundle before sitting down by the river and looking at the sky without making a sound.
'Why did the elder's face change after the person in black robes brought out the plate? Who are the "we" mentioned by the person in black robes..?
'Bi Tu might be dead, but from the words of the person in black robes, this battle was started due to someone else...
'The big flag that flew out of the elder's body at the final moments of the battle turned into the starry sky. That person in black robes said that it was the sky from another world, what did he mean by "another world"..?
'The elder asked me to remember that sky, could my birthplace be...'
A complicated look appeared on Su Ming's face as he thought. The deepest image left behind by the changed sky was the person formed by the starlight. Who was that middle-aged man that looked somewhat similar to Su Ming?
An answer formed in his heart, but he could not be certain of it.
'Is he... my father..?'
As those questions rose up one after another, Su Ming could feel that a great veil of mystery fell upon what had happened that day, and on his own person. It covered everything in his sights, and he could not see clearly.
'Also, where am I? How far am I from Dark Mountain..?
'Bai Ling... I still remember the promise... but I can't fulfill it now.'
Su Ming closed his eyes.
'Xiao Hong, are you alright..?'
As dusk arrived and the sky gradually darkened, Su Ming left the river and went into the forest. His back seemed lonely and desolate as he staggered onward.