Chapter 43: Teachings
Translator: Mogumoguchan/Zenobys Editor: - -
On the third day of Su Ming's return to the tribe, a group of people led by the elder gathered at the center of the settlement. It was the same place they used for the Berserker's Awakening ceremony. The elder still wore clothes made of sackcloth and his white hair was still decorated by a huge number of tiny braids. He seemed to be in high spirits as he looked at Bei Ling, Lei Chen, Su Ming and another girl who was of the same age as Su Ming.
The girl's name was Wu La. She was one of the people who were found to possess a Berserker Body during the Awakening. A few months had passed since then and she had now arrived at the peak of the second level of the Blood Solidification Realm. It seemed that it was just a matter of time before she would manifest the 11th blood vein and become a Berserker at the third level of the Blood Solidification Realm.
There were two people standing beside the elder. One of them was the Head of the Guards, who also happened to be Bei Ling's father. His strong body made him look like an iron tower but there was a gentleness within his piercing gaze.
The other person was the cold and stoic chief of the hunters, Shan Hen. He looked even more vicious while wearing beast skin. He was never the talkative sort but most of the Berserkers in the tribe respected him. Besides, his hunting team was given the important task of protecting the tribe and providing food so, his status was incredibly high within the tribe.
"Our tribe is small and we cannot compare with Wind Stream Tribe. That is why we have to offer tributes to them once every few years to show our acknowledgment of them as our leader. I usually don't go but this year, I must. Besides us, Dark Dragon Tribe, Black Mountain Tribe and the other small tribes located further ahead will all gather at Wind Stream Tribe."
"As such, this trip will also be a test for all of you. It is your task to stand out among your peers and not embarrass our tribe. It is up to all of you to do this."
"We only chose you lot to come with us because you are all the future leaders of Dark Mountain Tribe. This trip will serve as an experience that will help you in the future."
"Among all of you, Bei Ling has come with us to Wind Stream Tribe twice. He knows some of the details of the trip. You can ask him if you want," the elder spoke slowly. His voice echoed hoarsely in the air around them.
Bei Ling consented to the elder's request in a low voice. His gaze fell upon Lei Chen, then on the girl called Wu La and finally on Su Ming, who was standing by the side. He frowned.
"Elder, will this trip be like the previous two times? Will there be... a test?" Bei Ling hesitated for a moment as he asked the elder respectfully. When the elder nodded, a sharp glint appeared in Bei Ling's eyes and he pointed at Su Ming.
"Elder, I believe Su Ming shouldn't join us. He's not a Berserker. Even if he joins us, he won't be of any use or of any help to us. We should leave his spot for another tribe member."
The moment Bei Ling spoke, Lei Chen's eyes were immediately filled with displeasure. He took a few steps forward and yelled at Bei Ling.
"He can't go just because he's not a Berserker?! Bei Ling, what's the meaning of this?!"
The girl called Wu La retained her composure as she looked at Su Ming, who remained silent. There was disdain in her eyes but she did not join the argument.
"Elder, we can only bring four from the younger generation within the tribe every time we join the worship. For the previous tests, I was the only one from Dark Mountain Tribe who was listed as one of the top 50 younger warriorBerserkers. Lei Chen's joining us this year so, perhaps he can also get a place. Even Wu La, despite not having reached a high level in her training yet has activated nine glows from the statue of the God of Berserkers during her Awakening. Perhaps she can get into the top 100."
"Such a result is much better than the previous years. If there's one more person who can get into the top 100, isn't that even better? Su Ming is just wasting space," Bei Ling spoke calmly, refusing to even look at Lei Chen, who was glaring at him in anger.
"Su Ming will not join the test. I'm bringing him along for another purpose," the elder spoke slowly.
Bei Ling wanted to continue speaking but the Head of the Guards, who was then standing behind the elder glared at him sternly. It made Bei Ling swallow whatever words he was about to say. Bei Ling had always been afraid of his father, ever since he was young.
"Alright, we don't have much time. Let's go." The elder raised his right hand and motioned at the clear sky. Thunder roared instantly and spread to all corners of the earth. The white clouds in the sky started turning dark.
At the same time, a Berserker Mark formed by numerous blood veins appeared clearly on the elder's face. It was a python. Once the Berserker Mark appeared, the dark clouds in the sky fluctuated as if they were moved by a pair of invisible hands. They gathered together in the blink of an eye and turned abruptly into a gigantic and ferocious black python that was about 100 feet long!
The sight shocked both Lei Chen and Wu La. They stood there, stunned. As for Bei Ling, he was barely able to maintain his calm. He was forcing himself to remain cool.
Su Ming stood by the side and looked at the gigantic black python. He took a deep breath and a longing look appeared in his eyes.
The Head of the Guards, who was standing behind the elder looked at the gigantic python with a hint of respect. A fanatic look also briefly flashed across Shan Hen's eyes as he looked at the giant python.
Although the python was transfigured from clouds, the scales on its body could be seen clearly. Its body's strong presence came crashing on them. The python swung its head. Its red eyes were filled with a vicious glare but the glare gradually disappeared and was replaced by a gentle look. It descended from the skies and lowered its head as it laid beside the elder submissively.
The elder lifted his feet and climbed up the python. He stood on its head.
Bei Ling was the first to take a leap and step on the giant python's back. Once he sat down cross-legged, Lei Chen and Wu La also jumped onto the python. Su Ming hesitated for a moment before he also leapt onto its back. Just as he was about to take a few steps back and sit beside Lei Chen, the elder's voice traveled into his ears.
"Su Ming, come to my side!" There was a severe tone in the elder's voice, which made Su Ming walk anxiously towards the elder. The moment he sat down, he saw the elder glaring at him.
"Elder... I was wrong... I did something really terrible..." Su Ming immediately whispered.
The elder ignored him. He waited instead for the Head of the Guards and Shan Hen to get onto the dark python. Then, he waved his right hand and the dark python immediately roared at the sky and flew into the clouds.
The tribe beneath them rapidly shrank before their eyes until it was just a small dot as the dark python continued climbing up into the sky. The winds blew past furiously like roaring thunder. It turned Su Ming's face pale.
It was the same for Lei Chen and the others. However, the Head of the Guards and the chief of the hunters stood at the middle and on the tail of the python respectively, protecting them.
As for Su Ming, his breathing became rapid under the assault of the fierce wind but soon after, a gentle power surrounded him. It was the might from the elder. It helped Su Ming bear through the discomfort of his first time in the sky.
"So, now you know you did wrong? Pray tell, what did you do wrong? It was that La Su from Dark Dragon Tribe who borrowed 5,000 stone coins from you and pawned off his spear, wasn't it?" There may have been winds bellowing around them but the elder's voice still made its way into Su Ming's ears clearly. With the might of the elder's Qi around them, no one else on the dark python could hear them besides themselves.
"Um..." Su Ming felt really awkward. When he returned to the tribe, he had eagerly gone to the elder to tell him about his exploits. Yet when the elder heard of his tale, his mood darkened and he scolded Su Ming. He even took the long spear away. This caused Su Ming to continuously sigh gloomily in his own house, unable to understand where he went wrong.
"Elder, I'm sorry... I shouldn't have taken Si Kong's Berserker Vessel, I shouldn't have been greedy..." Su Ming said carefully as he continued observing the elder's mood anxiously.
"I shouldn't have made him write the blood vow either. Ah... elder, I'm really sorry." Su Ming looked at the elder with wide eyes.
"Oh? Are these your only mistakes? Is there nothing else? Think again. Think carefully about where you did wrong," the elder spoke slowly as he gave Su Ming a look
Su Ming was stunned and unconsciously scratched his head. He thought about the elder's words carefully. There seemed to be an underlying meaning to it. Besides the wrongs he listed, did he commit any other mistakes?
Su Ming frowned and thought carefully. Suddenly, a cold glint appeared briefly in his eyes and he lifted his head swiftly.
"Elder, I understand. I should have killed him and gotten rid of his body before taking his Berserker Vessel!"
When he heard Su Ming's words, the elder's pupils very clearly shrank and he stared at Su Ming in surprised. It did not appear like he was looking at the youth before him but he was looking and thinking about something that Su Ming did not seem to understand.
"Oh? Why do you think you made a mistake there? Why should you have killed him?" The elder looked at Su Ming and asked gently.
"Because he was going to kill me. Elder, you didn't know about this but he really wanted to kill me. If I wasn't careful, you wouldn't be seeing me anymore. But... but I couldn't bring myself to do it. I thought if I really killed him, I would bring about serious trouble to the tribe..." Su Ming explained softly after a moment of hesitation. As he recalled what happened a few days ago, fear still lingered in his heart.
"You're right... Su Ming, you must remember this. When you meet someone who wants to kill you, you must get rid of the danger!" The elder closed his eyes. After a long while, he opened them slowly and looked at Su Ming kindly.
"But that is not the mistake I'm talking about. Think, what else did you not consider? Killing people is easy but how can you guarantee your own safety after you have killed someone? If you are in danger, how do you find a way to survive in hopeless situation?" The elder looked at Su Ming and asked softly.
Su Ming scratched his head. He displayed exceptional abilities and judgments but in the end, he was still a teenager. His head was still slightly muddled by the elder's words but he was even more bewildered.
"Think carefully. Don't give me an answer just yet. Once you have understood it, you can tell me. You must learn how to think and reflect on your actions." The elder closed his eyes.
These sort of things happened multiple times when Su Ming was growing up. The elder would often do this.; The elder's teachings played a critical role in Su Ming's growth.
Su Ming sank into deep thought as he recalled everything that happened that day. From the moment he was ambushed by the long spear to Si Kong's pursuit, right up till the end...
Time passed by slowly. After a while, an hour passed by. When they were still less than halfway from Wind Stream Tribe, a strong wind blew from afar, causing the dark python to shake all of a sudden. The people on top of the python also jerked along with its movements. As Su Ming's body jolted due to the sudden movement, a thought flashed in his head like lightning.
"Elder... I know now..." As Su Ming mumbled, a sheen of cold sweat formed on his back.