Chapter 102: Why?!
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Su Ming used the tribe leader as a guide to help him locate the reinforcements from Black Mountain Tribe, then right before their eyes, he cruelly killed their tribe leader and beheaded him. He made sure to exaggerate his movements, and with that strange look of his under the full moon, his advantage over Black Mountain Tribe reached its peak in an instant.
Su Ming had to do it. He was already incredibly tired. Even if he had the nourishment provided by the moon, he still had to spare strength to kill Shan Hen. He hated that traitor who had escaped into the forest after being injured.
Thus, he had to take into account how to complete his mission with his remaining stamina and why he decided to use psychological warfare.
His actions when he killed the man that looked similar to the tribe leader of Black Mountain Tribe further added to his mysteriousness. The terror that came with the title of Fallen Berserker made all four of Black Mountain Tribe's members serving as reinforcements lose the will to fight when he charged towards them. They all chose to turn and flee from the place.
In truth, even without the man who looked similar to the tribe leader, Su Ming would have still used the same tactic of bringing fear to these people by attacking their mental states.
For the next few moments, in the small empty space in the forest, whistling sounds would come, followed by cries of despair an instant before death silenced them. After a long while, as silence gradually returned to the clearing, Su Ming walked out of the forest, dragging his body.
A few more wounds marred it. One of the injuries made by a knife seemed so deep it looked like it had reached his bones. Both it and the others slowly stopped bleeding under the moonlight, but Su Ming's face was as pale as the snow on the ground.
Behind him lay four corpses, their blood dyeing the snow red. They had paid the price for Black Mountain Tribe's invasion.
In truth, Black Mountain Tribe already regretted underestimating Dark Mountain Tribe's resistance and overestimating their own Elder's might.
It started from the time they had laid the trap in the forest. Yet because they were already too far down the road, had already fought to this state, without the Elder's command, they did not dare to withdraw. They could only continue committing one mistake after another.
Even so, there were still some Warriors from Black Mountain Tribe who were not dead, merely injured. They were stunned by their battle against Dark Mountain Tribe. So they did not continue chasing after the migrating tribe but neither did they return to Black Mountain Tribe. They chose instead to spread out and hide in the deeper parts of the forest, thinking of ways to use their injuries as an excuse to back out of the fight.
Dark Mountain Tribe's madness was carved deep into these people's bones.
Su Ming ran through the forest, panting harshly, as he searched for tracks on the ground. He was using the tracking skills he had acquired naturally when he was in the forest to now search for Shan Hen!
He had to find him to get the reason for his betrayal for Nan Song, all the people from Dark Mountain Tribe, and all those who he knew had died in the trap!
Thunderous roars still echoed in the sky. The battle in which the elder had sacrificed some of his life to hold back Black Mountain Tribe's Bi Tu was still ongoing.
He was doing everything that he could to ensure the tribe's safety.
Su Ming did not make a sound, but the determination and resolution in his eyes did not decrease in the slightest.
While quickly chasing Shan Hen down using the tracks the man had left behind, Su Ming saw multiple frozen bodies on the way. All these corpses belonged to the tribe members who had chosen to stay.
Sadness rose in his heart when looking at these people, but he also felt respect towards them.
He passed by the bodies of his deceased tribe members, and eventually, Su Ming stopped moving upon reaching a deeper part of the forest.
Before him was a big tree. Underneath it there was a man. His hands lay by his sides. In his right hand there was a xun made of bone. The blood staining the instrument had turned brown. It had even covered some of the holes.
Su Ming went closer and looked at Liu Di, who had already died. His corpse was rigid, and his dull eyes were directed at the sky. There was no way of knowing what he was looking at before he died. Perhaps he was just doing what was depicted in Dark Mountain Tribe's funeral song-asking who the was owner of the pair of eyes looking at him from the blue tinge in the sky, and who was the owner of the blinking star at night.
Su Ming slowly crouched down while looking at Liu Di. He picked up the xun made of bone and put it away in his bosom.
He could not forget the many nights when he was annoyed by the moaning sounds of the xun echoing in the otherwise quiet tribe. There were even times when he had wanted to look for this man and complain, but managed to stop himself before actually doing it.
Now... Su Ming closed his eyes. He badly wanted to hear a song played by the xun, but the owner of the instrument had passed away.
Su Ming left.
He left, bringing with him his speed and the countless moonlight threads floating behind him as he dashed through the forest. He continued chasing after Shan Hen, using the footprints he had left.
Shan Hen's footprints were erratic and messy. It was a sign which meant that the man was not only badly wounded, but his heart was also in disarray. That was why when fleeing, he had forgotten to cover his tracks.
Perhaps he did not even expect for there to be someone who would chase after him. If that weren't the case, then with his identity as the chief of the hunters in Dark Mountain Tribe, Shan Hen would have covered his tracks, because his familiarity with the forest was on par with Su Ming's.
The chase continued as time went by.
It was midnight. The full moon hung in the sky. The moon shone so brightly, its light dimmed out the glow of the stars around it. When it was almost certain that the thick fog could not cover the moon, Su Ming arrived at the ravine created by the elder to prevent their pursuers from Black Mountain Tribe from advancing. The screen of light was broken, and it had long since disappeared.
Su Ming saw Wu La here. She lay there quietly, her face almost smiling.
He went to where she was with light footsteps and looked at her. He looked at her pale and muddled face, and seemed to hear her last words before she died.
"... Are you Mo Su..?"
He stood by her corpse for a long while before raising his foot and walking past her in one swift motion.
Su Ming walked away and came to where he had killed Bi Su. Bi Su's corpse was no longer there. Someone had taken the body away.
As Su Ming ran through the place, the sights that fell into his eyes made him recall just how devastating the battle between the tribes had been. The memories were carved deep into his heart.
Then he arrived at a place that made his body jolt.
That place was still part of the forest. Right ahead, he saw torn limbs and pieces of flesh lying on the ground. Only the white strands of hair reminded him of those familiar old people.
This was the place where the elderly from the tribe had chosen to stay when the tribe had just left the trap. These old people were all dead. A lonely breeze blew through the land, lifting up the snow and the scattered white strands of hair on the ground.
They had asked for an item from the elder that would allow them to self-destruct. In their remaining moments, they had talked about their pasts, and when the pursuers from Black Mountain Tribe had arrived, they laughed fearlessly and turned into loud banging sounds.
Su Ming bowed towards the pool of blood before him. These normal old folk from the tribe were as deserving of respect as the Berserkers who had died in battle.
He lifted his feet and silently walked past that plain of snow.
On the way, he found five arrows belonging to the Head of the Guards. He placed them in the quiver, and as he continued chasing after Shan Hen, he arrived at the battlefield where they had had the largest number of deaths, where the battle between the tribes was at its most devastating point. It was the place where Black Mountain Tribe had laid the trap.
When he saw it, Su Ming's desire to kill Shan Hen became even stronger.
There were too many corpses on the ground, especially right before Su Ming. The dozens of bodies of the youths who had done nothing to contribute to the tribe in the past lay in front of him. The memory of them rushing out without looking back made Su Ming's heart clench, as if he was seeing it happen all over again.
He was following Shan Hen's footsteps. These footprints told Su Ming that everything he saw, Shan Hen saw as well while fleeing. In fact, his footprints were sunk deeper into the ground here, as if he had stopped for a time.
"Could Shan Hen... be going there..?" Su Ming mumbled.
A complicated look appeared on his face. Shan Hen was the chief of the hunters in the tribe since Su Ming was very young. He was, in fact, just like the Head of the Guards-they were both adults and powerful Warriors respected by the La Sus of the tribe.
The two men had different personalities, causing the Head of the Guards to be well-liked by the La Sus. Yet Shan Hen's aloof attitude also made them feel protected, even though they were afraid of him.
Perhaps he had to be aloof and indifferent. As the chief of the hunters and the hunting team, protecting Dark Mountain Tribe and providing enough food made him spend most of his time outside the tribe hunting wild beasts.
Shan Hen had stained his hands with too much blood. He might have been capable of smiling, but those smiles would only appear on his face when he hid himself in a dark corner as he watched the tribe members cheer loudly because there was enough food and no one had to die of starvation.
Most of the people in the tribe would not be able to see his smile.
Why would someone like this betray the tribe?
Su Ming walked by the trap's site without making a sound. He no longer looked at the footprints left on the ground. He could already guess where Shan Hen was.
Once he walked past the trap's place, Su Ming turned into a long red arc as he sped forward under the moon. Time passed by. Gradually, in the distance before his eyes, a faint outline appeared in the night.
That place was once filled with laughter, joy, and happiness. Every night, there would be bonfires lighting up the area. There would be tribe members dancing around it, and there would be La Sus playing at night.
That place held sixteen years of Su Ming's memories. Now, it was desolate. Broken. Ruined.
That was their tribe - Dark Mountain Tribe.
As Su Ming got closer under the moonlight, he saw a man crying on his knees in amid the snow and chaos on the ground, located at the center of the tribe void a giant gate.
The sounds of his weeping rand loud and clear in the silent night. Filled with grief and sadness, they echoed through the empty surroundings, causing Su Ming to falter in his footsteps.
'Is this sadness real..?'
He clenched his fists and firmly walked towards the man. Once he went past the broken gate and was only one thousand feet away from the crying man, Su Ming stopped.
He looked at the man's back, listened to his pain filled cries, and looked at his former home. His heart hurt as if he was being stabbed with a knife.