Chapter 100: Kill Them!
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
The recklessness within him that belonged to a teenager was now dampened. Besides assisting the elder with the Blood Moon Fire Berserker Art, he had also given thought and weighed the consequences of chasing down the people from Black Mountain Tribe and killing them.
He had deduced that the tribe leader was heavily wounded and had lost his will to fight. The other three people with him were the same. However, that tribe leader was not any normal Berserker. Besides being Bi Tu's trusted aide and possessing incredible power, his intelligence was also a reason why he managed to become tribe leader.
Nan Song may be able to scare them away for a while, but that man might be able to snap back soon. When that time came, the tribe leader of Black Mountain Tribe would have two choices. One, he could wait for reinforcements and give chase once more, or two, he could not wait for reinforcements, but choose to recover his Qi before pursuing them again.
'From his actions after Bi Su died, he'll choose the second option!'
A brilliant flash flickered in his eyes. As he moved forward, he would check all traces around him occasionally. The messy footprints and broken twigs might throw other people off track, but for Su Ming, who made trips into the forest regularly since he was young, these tracks provided all the information he needed to tell where the four people from Black Mountain Tribe went.
The footprints on the snow may be messy, but most of them were pointed towards Su Ming's direction. Only some traveled into the forest before him. The depths of the tracks also provided him a lot of information.
'Shan Hen... leaked the information of our whereabouts which allowed Black Mountain Tribe to set the trap, but he also joined in the fight against Black Mountain Tribe. The injuries on his body didn't seem fake... In fact, to make it seem like he was one of us, the injuries he sustained during his fight with the tribe leader of Black Mountain Tribe were also real.
'That is the only way he could deceive Grandpa Nan Song, but that person suffered a direct hit from Grandpa Nan Song, he should be barely hanging on as well.
'But Shan Hen, why did you betray Dark Mountain Tribe..?'
Hatred and pain appeared in Su Ming's eyes. He could not understand why Shan Hen would turn traitor.
Su Ming still remembered the things Shan Hen had done for the tribe, of how he gave his food to the elderly folk in the tribe, and how he hunted beast fangs in the forest due to a word from the young La Sus. As the children cheered in joy, he would still maintain a cold and indifferent face, but the kindness in his eyes could not be hidden away.
Su Ming could not understand why and for what reason such a person would betray Dark Mountain Tribe and its tribe members.
'Perhaps he was also conflicted, and he struggled. He killed a lot of people from Black Mountain Tribe on the way here. He even made Bei Ling and the Head of the Guards leave with the tribe earlier. But what is he thinking..?'
Su Ming clenched his fists tightly.
'Still, these cannot amend his crime for betraying us. He... must pay the price of being a traitor!'
His eyes were freezing cold. He hated Black Mountain Tribe, but now, he hated the traitor Shan Hen even more!
Su Ming moved like a ghost as he continued chasing after his targets with the tracks on the ground. With each breath he took, he became even faster. From the footprints on the ground and the marks around him, Su Ming was certain that the four people from Black Mountain Tribe were not far away.
Their footprints sank deeper as he continued on as well, which was a sign that the injuries sustained by these four people became worse.
'They'll look for a safe place to recover...'
Su Ming stopped and lowered his head. He stared at the melted snow caused by a drop of blood in the middle of a footprint in the snow and pressed against it. A cold smirk appeared on his lips.
'The blood hasn't frozen... They're right in front!'
Su Ming got up and was about to chase after them when he faltered. Sadness appeared on his otherwise stoic face.
Not too far away, he saw a member of his tribe who had chosen to stay back so that he would not drag down the tribe's pace. That tribe member of his was dead. He lay there curled up, and his body was stiff.
Su Ming took a few steps forward and looked at the familiar face before him. The tribe member still had his eyes open, not closing them before the end. If his body had not fallen, then before his death, he must have been looking at where the tribe left, praying to the gods to protect his tribe so that they could arrive safely at Wind Stream.
This was the first deceased tribe member Su Ming encountered once he returned to the forest. He knew that this would not be the last. During their migration, many tribe members chose to stay on this path. They did not want their injuries to affect the tribe's speed.
"The tribe will be safe..." Su Ming whispered. He looked at the tribe member's eyes and covered them with his right hand gently. The grief and sadness on his face was already hidden away. He stood up with an intense killing intent and dashed onward.
Su Ming moved at a speed that was difficult for the eyes to see. Anyone looking would only see a blood red arc moving around in a curved line and rushing while twisting into various shapes.
That blood red arc came from the light of the blood red moon in Su Ming's eyes. It was formed by the reflection of the full moon in the sky! As he moved forward, threads of moonlight descended from the sky and wrapped around him, turning into circles of moonlight. They formed into numerous threads that trailed behind Su Ming as he ran, making it seem like he was wearing a cloak made of moonlight.
Time passed by, and after the time it takes for half an incense stick to burn¹, Su Ming saw the tribe leader of Black Mountain Tribe sitting cross-legged on a snow patch with lots of dried branches around him nearly a thousand feet away from him. His other three tribe members surrounded him and focused on recovering quickly with their eyes closed.
They stopped just now when their tribe leader told them to as his mood continued changing. He glared in the direction where Wind Stream Tribe was located, and anger appeared on his face.
He had just realized that Nan Song was just pretending to be mysteriously unaffected, just like an ill person miraculously getting better. In truth, if they had just persevered for a little longer and did not run away as pathetically as they had done, they could have turned the tide and destroyed Dark Mountain Tribe!
He was angry, but he also hated himself for being afraid. Still, he was a cautious man. Although he understood it, he still chose to sit down and heal his wounds first. By his predictions, even with their fastest speed, Dark Mountain Tribe would only arrive at Wind Stream by tomorrow morning. If all four of them pursued them with all their might, they would catch up to them in two hours.
He was also certain that the four of them would not encounter any dangers. In his experience, prey only knew how to run for their lives.
He did not think that there would be anyone in Dark Mountain Tribe who would turn back and chase after them. The entire Dark Mountain Tribe only cared about migration at this point!
Yet when the four of them sat down for less than the time required for half an incense stick to burn, a cold gust appeared, and the snow on the ground fell on them lifted by the wind. At the same moment, a red light appeared in the forest not too far away from them, approaching them at an unimaginable speed. They did not even have time to react to it. Only the tribe leader of Black Mountain Tribe managed to open his eyes on time upong sensing that presence.
He only saw a flash of red light appearing for a brief moment. A sharp and mournful cry came by his ear, and the tribe member on his side lost his head whilr still sitting down cross-legged. His blood shot into the sky like a spring.
A presence that made the tribe leader's skin crawl and his hairs rise appeared abruptly. His expression changed, and he stood up, shock and disbelief clear in his eyes. The other two people stood up swiftly, terrified, as they surveyed their surroundings.
"Who is it!"
"Who is it? I already saw you! Come out!"
The two people immediately shouted, shaking. What had happened just now was too quick. They did not even have time to open their eyes, and they already heard the pained screams. When they eventually opened their eyes, they saw the beheaded neck of their tribe member spraying out blood.
An indescribable terror crashed into them like a tidal wave. The roots of that terror was not only in the death of their comrade, but also the fear of the unknown.
They did not see even the shadow of a person around them. There was only dead silence surrounding them, not even a single sound could be heard.
The tribe leader's face was pale. He cast his eyes around the dark forest continuously, and his fear grew. It was as if a terrifying beast was hiding within the dark forest, and it had its eyes fixed on them.
The tribe leader gritted his teeth. He did not dare to take risks with the unknown. Besides, the red glare he saw just now before it disappeared gave him the impression that they were not dealing with a person, but some sort of red snake.
The moment the command was given, his other two tribe members quickly got closer to him. The three of them gradually fell back after taking a few steps backward, then immediately broke off into a run and swiftly retreated.
They did not notice that Su Ming was crouching down in the bushes. The shadow of the blood red moon wavered in his eyes. In his hands, he held a bloody head, one which still had its eyes closed.
'Death is not terrifying. The thing that is terrifying is the moment before death. My people experienced this fear on their way to Wind Stream Tribe. They were tortured by this fear... Now, I'll let you experience it.'
Su Ming's expression was calm. Besides this goal, he also wanted his tribe members to be completely safe. Once the three of them ran away, he disappeared with a swift move.
The tribe leader's heart pounded against his chest. He was gravely wounded. Although he was at the eighth level of the Blood Solidification Realm, with his current condition, he could only use half of his power and couldn't reach his full strength. The two tribe members by his side were only around the sixth level of the Blood Solidification Realm. They were pretty much useless in terms of providing protection to him.
That feeling grew especially so during that instant when he saw the red light flashing by. The danger he felt made his heart race. He no longer had any thoughts to chase after the crowd from Dark Mountain Tribe. He had to flee and meet up with the reinforcements from Black Mountain.
As they ran, the two people by his side were filled with alarm. Their fear towards the unknown made them lose all will to fight. They only had one thought - to run.
Yet at that moment, an odd piercing screech suddenly came from their backs. That screech sounded sad and shrill, making their hearts, which were already strung up with anxiety and fear, jolt.
When the weird cry echoed behind them, a blood red arc closed in on them so quickly and suddenly that the three of them only saw a red flash and the numerous threads of moonlight behind that red glow. After a while, one of the people from Black Mountain Tribe let out a scream of pain, and his head left his body, falling to the ground with blood gushing out.
¹More in-depth ancient Chinese time measurement system.
There are 12 months in a year, 5 weeks in a month, 6 days a week, 12 hours per day (and 1 hour of the ancient Chinese hour system is 2 hours in the modern clock), 4 quarters in an hour, each quarter is equivalent to 3 cups of tea, 1 cup of tea is equal to 2 incense sticks, 1 incense stick is divided to 5 parts, 1 part is equal to 6 snaps of fingers, 1 snap of a finger is equal to 10 instances, 1 instance is equal to 1 second.
In modern standards, there are now 8 quarters to an hour, and each quarter is equivalent to 15 minutes.
I could have just converted to the modern time measurement system, just like I did with hours, but seconds and minutes did not exist back then, and it'll be weird if I added that.
Anyway, when ancient Chinese literature speak about 1 incense stick or 1 cup of tea, they're actually talking about 1 quarter, which is about 15 minutes. I'm using 'about', because the time taken for each incense stick to burn down is different, same with the time taken to drink tea.
ANYWAY, half an incense stick is about 7 minutes and 30 seconds.
Oh, source of this measurement: Tieba Baidu, not Wikipedia.