Chapter 171: Another Promise...
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Su Ming closed his eyes and calmed his emotions. He opened one of the embroidered boxes, and the moment the box was opened, a medicinal fragrance wafted into his nose. That fragrance was very light, but the moment he smelled it, he seemed to hear a song played by an unknown instrument.
The melody of the song lingered in the air and sounded very musical. It made those who heard it think that this melody could only be played by a flute made in heaven...
After a long while, Su Ming looked into the embroidered box and saw three herbs lying inside. These herbs looked odd. They looked like tree branches, but there were small little holes on them. The musical melody he heard was not an illusion, but was formed when wind blew past the many holes on the herb.
"Sky Flute Branch."
Su Ming lifted his right hand and slapped it on the herbs. Immediately, the three Sky Flute Branches, along with the embroidered box, disappeared from his hand as he put them away into his storage bag.
He looked towards the second box and his breathing grew heavier. Even though he knew that the map inside the box may not be complete, it was still a ray of hope.
He placed his hand slowly on the embroidered box, and just as he was about to open it...
"If you open that box, then you must cure Fang Mu."
A delicate voice appeared by Su Ming's side. An elegant, dim fragrance also came along with that voice.
That fragrance might have appeared after the medicinal fragrance brought by Sky Flute Branch, but the two gave people two distinctly different impressions. The medicinal fragrance was like oranges, and the other was like a dream.
Su Ming's expression remained passive, no changes could be seen on it. He had long since discovered Han Cang Zi's arrival and did not stop due to her words. He calmly opened the embroidered box and saw a folded beast skin inside.
A conflicted look appeared in Su Ming's eyes as he stared at the beast skin. All of a sudden, he lost the courage to look at it. He was afraid that what he would see would be different from what he knew. He was afraid that there would be... no Dark Mountain in the world!
Han Cang Zi walked softly to stand before the man in the mask and sat down cross-legged to quietly look at him. She saw the conflict that was clear in his eyes.
They did not speak. After remaining in silence for a while, Su Ming lifted the beast skin from the embroidered box and focused his attention on it once he unfolded it.
"Are you disappointed?" Han Cang Zi asked softly.
Her voice was very gentle, arousing an indescribable feeling within those who heard it. Her voice was just like her. She was a delicate beauty, but the strength in her heart far surpassed many men.
Su Ming looked at the map spread out before him-it was incredibly detailed. Not only did it include the topography of the area around Han Mountain, even the surrounding areas were drawn out in detail. From the map, it could be seen that the Land of South Morning was a vast territory.
However, while the map was detailed, it was not what Su Ming had wanted. He closed his eyes and fell silent. In truth, he himself knew that the map he wanted was not what a middle-sized tribe could provide. Yet his knowledge and expectations were two different matters.
At that moment, his heart was as conflicted as how his eyes looked just now. He wanted to see the map he yearned to see, but deep down he did not want to. This mixed feeling stemmed from the bewilderment he had buried deep within his heart.
"You can only look at the map. You cannot take it away."
A pitying look appeared in Han Cang Zi's gaze as she looked at Su Ming and spoke softly.
Su Ming opened his eyes. He did not look at Han Cang Zi, but looked at the sky that had darkened. He did not know that as of then, in Han Cang Zi's eyes, he looked lonely.
"You once said that if someday, I remember something, I can come to you," Su Ming mumbled.
"Yes," Han Cang Zi whispered back.
They fell into silence again. This time, the silence lasted for a tad longer. The moon appeared in the darkened sky, and glittering stars surrounded it.
The wind swept past the land and lifted Han Cang Zi's black hair. As her hair flew, it gave her another sort of beauty underneath the moonlight.
"What did you see?" Su Ming broke the silence and asked.
Han Cang Zi did not speak. She bit her lips instead and looked at Su Ming. There was an appealing light in her eyes. She looked at him for a long while before she came to a decision.
"Can... you promise me something..?
The moment the word 'promise' left her mouth and fell into Su Ming's ears, he felt shaken. This feeling could not be controlled by his calmness. It was a feeling that no matter how deeply he hid it and how hard he tried to bury it, it would still trigger his sadness because of certain things and certain words.
At that moment, that wound of his was torn and it turned into a sadness that flooded Su Ming's entire body and soul like a tidal wave. He looked as he usually was, but no one knew how his heart fared.
However, even though Han Cang Zi did not know, her instincts of a woman made her immediately notice that besides the loneliness she felt coming from Mo Su beside her, she also felt grief, one that she could not describe.
Han Cang Zi was momentarily stunned. She was an intelligent woman. Almost in an instant, she could guess that perhaps one of her words was the source of Mo Su's grief.
'Could it be 'promise'..?'
Han Cang Zi did not speak.
Su Ming felt a stab of pain in his heart. His body did not tremble, but that grief still emerged without control. That word held a special meaning to him.
There was once a girl who stood in the snow and smiled as she looked at him.
"If we continue walking in this snow, can we walk until our hair turns white..?"
There was once a girl who let him carry her on his back. Their hearts seemingly beat at the same pace, and the face buried in his back turned red.
"Can we walk in circles together..?"
There was once a girl who stood in the snow and bit her lips as she swept away the snow on his clothes with beautiful eyes that shone with a wild charm.
"Su Ming, this is a promise... I'll wait for you..."
That was a promise, and Su Ming was a person who did not fulfill that promise...
'It's almost been five years... Perhaps, it's more than five years...'
The pain in Su Ming's heart grew, along with bitterness.
There were a lot of types of grief in the world, perhaps his was not the deepest, but if the deepest grief was the separation between the living and the dead and the separation due to time, then Su Ming's wound was one where it was unknown whether the separation between the living and the dead and the separation of time existed. This was a pain stemmed from a wound that was coupled with bewilderment.
"I'm sorry..." Han Cang Zi bit her lips and spoke softly. She could not understand Su Ming's pain, but she could feel the grief he felt at the moment.
"What promise?" Su Ming's voice became hoarse.
He looked at Han Cang Zi standing before him and at the face that did not belong to the one he was familiar with, covered by the black strands of hair lifted by the wind. For a brief moment, he thought he saw Bai Ling.
They were from different periods of time, from different places, and different people, but they said the same word - promise!
"Help me kill Si Ma Xin. Kill him, and I will tell you everything I saw!" Han Cang Zi said softly. The moment she said Si Ma Xin's name, her breathing instantly quickened and she clenched her right hand instinctively.
"Who's Si Ma Xin?"
Those subtle movements did not escape Su Ming's eyes.
"He's revered as the one person with the highest amount of potential in the history of Freezing Sky Clan... He heard the roar from the soul of the second God of Berserkers during the Day of Eternal Creation and is known as one of the people with the highest chance to become the fourth God of Berserkers!
"He's my senior fellow-disciple... he's also the one who injured Fang Mu," Han Cang Zi lowered her head and whispered.
Su Ming looked at Han Cang Zi calmly. He did not speak.
"I know you must be dubious. With Si Ma Xin's identity and his power, why should he harm a child like Fang Mu..?"
Han Cang Zi lifted her head. Under the moon, though she might not be extraordinarily beautiful, but she could make people's hearts pound. However, Su Ming was not one of them.
Su Ming lifted his head and looked at the moon in the sky.
"Have you ever heard of the Great Art of Heartless Berserker Seed..? This Art was created by the second God of Berserkers, and Si Ma Xin is practicing it. Ever since the second God of Berserkers created this Art, no Berserker had ever been able to perfect this Art and could not use it to its full potential. They could not become Heartless, that's why they could not use it to their full potential.
"Once this Art is perfected, all the power from the Berserker Seeds the caster chose will be offered to him. The second God of Berserkers used this Art in other worlds and attained his status as a God of Berserkers.
"Si Ma Xin does indeed have shocking potential. He was originally a passionate person, so he approached this Art using another way - he could plant love in another person's heart. So he separated the Berserker Seed into Seed and love, because if he had no love, then he would be Heartless!
"The Elder once observed Fang Mu's potential when he was born and recognized him as the future hope of Tranquil East Tribe... and Si Ma Xin also came to Han Mountain City with Freezing Sky Clan to choose disciples...
"Fang Mu became his Berserker Seed, and he planted love in me," Han Cang Zi spoke calmly as if she was not talking about herself. Yet the calmer she presented herself, the more Su Ming could feel the hatred in her heart.
"Fang Mu isn't injured. He's Si Ma Xin's Berserker Seed. If you heal him, then you'll offend Si Ma Xin."
Su Ming remained silent and looked at Han Cang Zi. He did not fully believe in her words.
"If Fang Mu is the future of Tranquil East Tribe, then why didn't Tranquil East Tribe do anything when this happened?"
"How can we do anything? Even my brother, who's the tribe leader, doesn't know about this. He thinks that Fang Mu is injured by someone. The only ones who know about this in the entire Tranquil East Tribe are the Elder and me.
"He won't do anything about this. Even if my brother knows about this, he will choose to remain silent. Si Ma Xin has a lot of Berserker Seeds. Becoming his Berserker Seed and offering their power to help with the birth of the fourth God of Berserkers is seen as a glorious thing in the eyes of many people.
"I don't even know whether Fang Mu would treat this as a glory if he knew about the truth... but I... don't agree to this!" Han Cang Zi lifted her head and she looked at Su Ming with her beautiful eyes.
"Don't you think so?"
Su Ming did not reply.
"Not only do the Berserker Seeds think of this as a glorious thing, even those who were planted with love like me treat this as a glory. But we are no longer the Berserker Tribe led by the first or second God of Berserkers...
"This is a sick Berserker Tribe, a Berserker Tribe where everyone is asleep, a Berserker Tribe that treats sacrifice and slavery as something glorious! Han Fei Zi won't be able to escape from this fate either!" Han Cang Zi's words started coming out rapidly.
Su Ming looked at her. Her words made him think that there was something different about this woman.
"How can I trust you?" After a long while, Su Ming asked languidly.
Han Cang Zi fell silent for a moment and a red flush appeared on her face. She took a look at Su Ming before she gritted her teeth.