Chapter 2: Su Ming
Translator: Mogumoguchan/Zenobys Editor: - -
Mountains; Lush, green mountains.
These mountains formed a chain that seemed to span endlessly across earth, resembling the back of a dragon lying down. The mountain range covered the vast plains. There were numerous types of plants in the mountains and within them, even more sounds of birds as well as beasts.
There were five tall protrusions which formed five mountaintops. They looked like a human's hand raised with the fingers pointed skyward, as if they wanted to catch the sky. In the middle of one of the peaks was a big hollowed-out rock, and a young man was hiding in the shade that it provided. By his side was a woven basket filled with medicinal herbs which surrounded the area with a pleasant and therapeutic scent.
The young man had a handsome face, but he was on the leaner side, making him look frail at first glance. He wore a shirt made of beast skin and around his neck he wore a white fang in the shape of a crescent moon. His messy hair was held together by a string of straw.
He sat there with a scroll made from dozens of beast skins in his hands. He read it with fervor and would occasionally shake his head in disagreement to the words written in the scroll.
"Since the creation of the world and of man, the Berserker Tribe has existed and it still exists to this date...The people who hold the Berserker's Power are known as Berserkers. They can fly in the skies, move mountains and turn the tides in the sea...Those who have the Berserker Mark can read the future and obtain the power of the sun, moon, and stars..." As the young man read this, he sighed.
"Yet without the Berserker Body, it is impossible to become a practitioner of Berserker Arts... Berserker... Berserker... Su Ming, it is your fate that you can only pick herbs and become a common healer in the tribe. Becoming a practitioner who practices the Ways of the Berserker is an impossible dream for you." The young man mocked himself and put down the scroll. He then gazed into the distance and allowed his mind to wander.
He had read the scroll countless of times. He might not be able to memorize the contents backwards, but he still knew it like the back of his hand.
"The sky is round and the earth is flat as though it had no end, no boundaries..." As Su Ming read out the text in soft murmurs, he began imagining the world depicted in the scroll. Gradually, the sky darkened, and dark clouds started to form in the sky.
The surrounding wind also made it more humid. As it blew past the trees and leaves, it created a rustling sound.
When Su Ming saw the dark clouds in the sky, he was momentarily stunned.
"Elder's predictions are coming true! The Dark Dragon's Saliva can truly be found today!" Su Ming's eyes grew bright and he stood up quickly, gathering the scroll into his bosom. He grabbed the basket with his left hand and slung it on his back. Then, with a lithe movement, he grabbed onto a rope and climbed towards the top of the mountain.
The young man's frail body charged forth explosively with a tenacious force. He moved just like an ape. With just a few jumps, he already managed to cover dozens of feet in distance.
The dark clouds in the skies arrived like waves and roared as they came. It was like the wrath of the gods had been brought down upon the mountain range. The dark clouds covered the skies completely as though they connected the heavens and earth. They covered the land in darkness and the clouds approached the mountain range quickly.
Su Ming climbed even faster. Just as the dark clouds spread out over the mountains, he reached a place a few dozen feet away from the mountaintop. An oddly shaped rock was there. However, while it may seem odd, it still looked like it was naturally formed. The center of the rock was hollow and there were numerous holes about the size of fists scattered around the other parts of its surface. It was as if the King of Pythons had entrenched itself in the mountain range.
Underneath the mysterious rock was a stone shaped like a terrifying looking fang. It was odd because it was a mountain protrusion, making it look like it hung in the air. It was very difficult to climb onto that stone unless one could fly.
Su Ming took hold of the rope in his left hand, and with his right hand he took out a small bottle from the basket. He held it between his teeth and slowly nudged forward in the opposite direction of the mysterious, fang-shaped rock. He moved until the rope he held onto was so taut that it inclined towards his direction, then grabbed onto the walls of the mountain and pressed his body against it. He lifted his head skyward and looked at the dark clouds in the sky. His eyes shone and his body was still.
After some time, the clouds covered the sky entirely and thunder roared. The sound was so great he thought he might have gone deaf. Wind started blowing mercilessly, as if it was trying to throw the mountain range off the ground. Su Ming's knuckle had already turned white from holding onto the mountain in the typhoon, but he remained unmoving. Strength shone from his eyes as he continued looking at the sky.
The typhoon grew even stronger. The plants in the mountain range swayed around helplessly in the wind. The sound of the wind was akin to the roars of a huge beast. It made the numerous broken branches and dead leaves fly in the air, causing the entire place to be filled with branches and leaves dancing madly in the air.
Some bigger branches and even small beasts were lifted by the typhoon and subsequently tossed away. Their cries of agony were silenced by the sound of the wind.
Su Ming was not going to persist much further in the typhoon. The sky was completely covered by dark clouds. With the sounds of thunder, huge droplets of rain poured down from the sky. At that moment, it was as if the world was covered by a gigantic curtain of water.
The rain persisted and grew heavier with each passing moment, but Su Ming held onto the drenched rope tightly and kept his body firmly against the wall of the mountain. He did nothing to avoid being drenched by the rain and remained still as ever. His eyes were fixed on the mysterious rock above the fang-shaped stone.
An unknown amount of time passed and the rain continued growing heavier. The world was surrounded by rain and fog. Under the rain's cleansing, the fang-shaped rock Su Ming was staring at began secreting a black liquid.
The black liquid merged with the rainwater and formed a stream that flowed downwards.
When Su Ming saw this, his eyes were filled with excitement yet he remained stationary until the secretion of the black liquid gradually slowed down and finally turned into an impressive golden color. Su Ming narrowed his eyes and with no hesitation, he released his grip on the mountain wall. As he slid down, he took out the bottle in his mouth with his right hand.
The rope in his left hand was already positioned diagonally to begin with. When he let go of the mountain wall, his entire body swung with the force of the rope at a frightening speed towards the fang-shaped rock.
Su Ming arrived next to the seemingly floating fang-shaped rock with the help of the rope just as the next blast of thunder crackled over his head. This was due to the rope's great level of inclination and the accuracy of his position. With his left hand, he held onto the rope and with his right he held the bottle. He quickly placed the bottle underneath the fang-shaped rock as he approached it. In the brief moment that the rope reached the peak of its swing and began its journey back, he managed to fill up half the bottle with the golden liquid.
However, at that very moment, he heard a piercing cry. Black centipede like creatures about the size of four or five arms crawled out from the many holes on the mysterious rock, pouncing ferociously onto Su Ming, who was still dangling in midair.
Su Ming was not even the least bit surprised. The moment the centipede like creatures appeared, he let go of his hold on the rope and allowed his body to fall at a terrifying speed, avoiding their attack.
"Xiao Hong!" Su Ming was falling in midair quickly and his body stiffened as he felt the typhoon cutting fiercely into his body like sharp blades. Even if he avoided those creatures, he would still turn into mincemeat if he fell on the ground.
But he was not afraid. A red shadow rushed forward from the cliff by the side towards Su Ming's falling body on a length of rope. It grabbed onto Su Ming once it reached him. The red shadow was a red, small monkey. It was grinning and its eyes were filled with vigor.
The man and his monkey fell on a cliff somewhere further down the mountain along with the rope. It was the very same cliff where Su Ming was reading just moments ago. Su Ming's eyes were finally filled with nervousness and he immediately put away the small bottle he was holding in his hands.
"Xiao Hong, we have to run! I took too much Dark Dragon's Saliva this time! Huh, what's that in your hand?" As Su Ming spoke, he saw a small piece of black stone in the monkey's paws.
The monkey's gaze immediately grew sharp and it hid its paws behind its back, hissing at Su Ming. Su Ming did not bother and immediately walked a few steps forward before jumping and grabbing onto a length of rope as he did so. He fell downwards quickly with the monkey.
Behind them, screeching sounds filled the skies and the black centipede like creatures gave chase as they sped down the walls of the mountain. They were like numerous black lines falling down the walls to relentlessly chase after the duo.
The little red monkey hissed at Su Ming and it moved about constantly on his body. Occasionally, it would turn back to look at the centipede like creatures giving chase, with a gaze filled with terror and anger.
"It's not like it's the first time we're running away. Those Dark Dragons won't go down the mountain anyway, so stop pretending. Same rules, I'll give you half of the Dark Dragon's Saliva." Although Su Ming was fleeing at impressive speeds, there was a lazy quality to his voice. Once he spoke, the monkey immediately smiled, making it obvious it was just pretending.
The man and the monkey were familiar with the mountain range. For some unknown reason, the Dark Dragons would not travel into certain places but would rather go around them. Hence, while Su Ming and his monkey were not as quick as the Dark Dragons, they would choose to jump downwards at times and grab onto a rope in their way. After doing so a few times, they managed to escape from the top of the mountain and they disappeared into the forest.
As expected, the Dark Dragons did not venture out of the mountains. After a few cries of rage, they returned to the top of the mountain begrudgingly.
The dark clouds left as quickly as they came. After a few hours, the mountain range returned to normal as the dark clouds left to venture further down.
Su Ming and the monkey made their way towards the borders of the forest. By then, it was already night time. There were dim balls of fire in the distance, all of them belonging to Su Ming's tribe.
"I already gave you your share, and you still want more?" Su Ming was still entirely drenched as he came out of the forest, but he did not mind it at the slightest. Instead, he smiled faintly as he watched the monkey following him with hopeful eyes.
This monkey was very intelligent. Su Ming found it by pure accident three years ago when he ventured into the mountains. They even had a bit of a scuffle in the beginning but in the end, they became best friends.
The monkey blinked and scratched its face, revealing the tiniest bit of hesitation. But it quickly handed Su Ming the black stone he held onto earlier and let out a few screeches, conveying his intention to trade the stone with Dark Dragon's Saliva.
"Fine, I'll let you have some more, but I don't want that stupid stone. You can keep it." Su Ming smiled and took out the small bottle from the basket before handing it to the monkey.
The monkey quickly took it and drank a mouthful. Once it did so, total bliss appeared on its face. The monkey even swayed a little and let out a burp. It threw the black stones along with the small bottle back to Su Ming and wobbled back into the forest.
Su Ming looked at the small, half empty bottle and smiled faintly. Putting it back into the basket, he then turned his attention towards the black stone.
Allow me to make some explanations.
Why was the title of the novel changed?
After some discussion with the author, it was decided that Beseech the Devil did not encapsulate the essence of the novel. That was why we decided to change the name of the novel to the Pursuit of the Truth, which was provided and approved by the author himself.
Why did I opt to use the word Berserker for ?
's closest translation would be barbarian or savage, however, these words do not fully encapsulate the meaning of the idea behind the characters using. The main reason is because these people are highly civilized, and the words do not do them justice.
Why didn't I just retain the pinyin for the word then, which is Man? That's because I wanted to give all of you a word that can give you the impact of the power of the practicing immediately and make you go "Hey, that's dope", not gradually associating the power ofto a new word - Man.
Hence, I chose the word Berserker, because they were a tribe of powerful Berserkers who fought ferociously. It was also explained to me by the author that was used to refer to a tribe in China, and also refers to mighty power. Hence I decided to use the word Berserker, because they were a tribe of people who were powerful, who in reality fought in a trance like state, and are civilized (somewhat), which I believed encapsulated the meaning of the word.
On another note, this is in regards to many of the other names in the novel.
I am aware that there has been a translation of Beseech the Devil from chapter 1 to chapter 120. I could have just taken the names used in PiggyBottle's translated work, yet more than anything, I am terrified of being accused of piracy. That was why I avoided reading PiggyBottle's work so that I would not end up stealing other people's hard work.
I am sure that some of you read PiggyBottle's work before and will compare this with Piggy's. I am also sure that many of you will feel offended because I might have changed a lot of things. I am saying might because I still have not touched what Piggy translated because, as I said before, I do not want to steal what belongs to Piggy's, whether consciously or unconsciously.
All I can say is, I am sorry, and please bear with me.