Chapter 20: Bei Ling
Translator: Mogumoguchan/Zenobys Editor: - -
The wind in the morning was cold and with the winter, it felt like there were blades cutting through his skin as it blew past him. In spite of that, with the bonfire burning amid the tribe, a gentle warmth surrounded the entire tribe as it expelled the cold.
The circulation of Qi within their bodies allowed Berserkers to resist the cold but as most of the members of the tribe were normal people, most of them chose not to venture out during winter.
Even if they did go out, they would wear thick hides to fend against the cold. During the winter, common healers in the tribe would also be at their busiest. They had to create vast amounts of medication to increase the tribe members' immunity against the cold.
The elder would also activate the Qi in his body during the coldest days of the season to help the entire tribe last through the cold.
Su Ming wore a beast skin shirt that covered his entire body and trudged through the snow towards the tribe as he listened to the crunchy sounds from the snow under his feet. Looking at the familiar sights in his tribe and at the tribe members greeting him with smiles, it warmed his heart. It seemed to chase away the frigid winter cold.
The houses in the tribe were mostly simple in design. They were fine during the other seasons but they could not provide shelter against the wind during winter. They had to cover the walls of the houses with a large amount of hides to prevent the cold from entering their houses.
Sometimes, the hides would not stick to the walls for a long period of time and would require regular maintenance. The tribe members themselves also needed to add wood to the fires in their houses regularly. Hence, winter was torture for most of the tribe members.
At the very least, the cold did not kill them but it was still troublesome.
Su Ming arrived at the building constantly guarded by a few members of the tribe. It was the herbal storage for Dark Mountain Tribe. The walls of the building outside were covered by thick layers of hide. There were also several bonfires burning around the building. They allowed him to feel a layer of heat as he rode on the tails of the cold wind when he went near.
Su Ming was familiar with the place. Every single time he returned after collecting herbs, he would deliver all the herbs he collected there. So, when the guards saw Su Ming, they smiled and did not stop him.
Su Ming smiled back and greeted them as he went through the fence. Just as he was about to open the door and enter, a happy voice called out from behind.
"Su Ming, when did you come back?"
It was a girl's voice. It was pleasant to the ears and sounded just like the ringing of 100 bells.
Su Ming stopped and turned around. When he saw her, his gaze softened. The owner of the voice was a slightly big girl. She was covered entirely in thick hide and her long hair was tied together with a grass string. There were two exquisitely made bone earrings hanging off her ears. Her skin was a little rough but it did not hide her beauty.
Her eyes were big like giant puddles of water but they were clear, showing off her innocence. There was happiness in her eyes as she walked briskly towards Su Ming.
"I came back yesterday." Su Ming smiled. She was the person who cleaned his house regularly when he was away - Chen Xin. Suddenly, Su Ming froze on as he looked behind her.
She was not alone. There was a young man in his late teens following her. The young man was big in build and he looked even sturdier than Lei Chen. He only wore a thin beast skin shirt in the winter. His hair was messy but not dirty. His sharp jaw line gave him a prideful air.
His eyes especially, looked like stars. It was as though something strange shone from within his eyes. He gave off an oppressive air and kept others on edge when they were around him. He was like a wild beast.
He stood there with a huge bow slung across his back. His gaze felt like arrows as he looked at Su Ming.
"Bei... Bei Ling..." Su Ming looked at the young man and spoke respectfully as a complicated look flitted through his eyes.
The young man before him was the strongest among their generation in the Dark Mountain Tribe. Even the elder mentioned that he could not hope to win against the talent that he had. Lei Chen was the only one who could somewhat compete against him after he Awakened.
As the strongest of the younger generation in the tribe, the speed of his training was incredibly fast. Su Ming once overheard the elder saying that he was the one who held the most promise to break through the Blood Solidification Realm and become one of the few to reach the legendary Transcendence Realm!
His name also was also known throughout the other tribes around them. Even Wind Stream Tribe had heard of him and they sent messengers to take him away to be trained in their tribe. Su Ming did not expect to see him.
His feelings towards Bei Ling were complicated because when he was young, Bei Ling had taken care of him like an older brother. Even his skills with the bow were taught by Bei Ling. Bei Ling was after all, the head of all the children in the tribe. His archery skills were no laughing matter.
However all of this changed when Chen Xin was 12 years old. Perhaps it was because Chen Xin and Su Ming were too close. Bei Ling started looking at Su Ming oddly and suspiciously. His looks became cold and distant later on. Bei Ling even chose to ignore him when they met.
It was not until much later when Su Ming learned that the tribe leader and Bei Ling's father had already made arrangements for Chen Xin and Bei Ling to be engaged...
Su Ming wanted to explain himself but his words were rewarded with a cold look. Eventually, he could only sigh regretfully and started distancing himself from Chen Xin.
He understood his own position. He knew that he was only a normal member of the tribe. He also knew that if it were not for the elder, he may not have even been accepted into the tribe.
Su Ming was an abandoned baby whom the elder adopted when he went out on a journey dozens of years ago. The members of the tribe were kind towards him but it did not change the fact that he did not belong.
"Why didn't you tell me you came back? I went to look for you a few times but you weren't there." Chen Xin scrunched up her nose and complained.
Su Ming touched his nose and avoided Chen Xin's gaze. He only treated Chen Xin as a sister and harbored no other feelings for her. He did not want Bei Ling, who had been kind towards him to continue misunderstanding.
"Bei Ling, when did you come back?" Su Ming looked towards Bei Ling, who exuded a powerful air. He could feel an endless amount of Qi coming from Bei Ling's body. The strength of his Qi was the strongest he had seen after the elder and the leaders in the tribe.
The fierce pride he felt from the other was also as strong as his Qi. It made Su Ming feel like suffocating just by standing before him.
"Yesterday." Bei Ling's gaze was as usual. It was cold and he spoke little like he wanted it done and over with quickly. He turned and looked towards Chen Xin standing by his side.
"Xin, didn't you want to collect some herbs for your mother? Let's go." As Bei Ling spoke, he held Chen Xin's hand and walked past Su Ming. Then he pushed the door to the herbal storage open and went in.
Chen Xin wanted to say something but after a brief moment of hesitation, she chose not to. Instead, she nodded at Su Ming and followed Bei Ling into the building.
Su Ming stood there silently. After a while, he sighed and went in as well.