Chapter 3: The Berserker's Awakening
Translator: Mogumoguchan/Zenobys Editor: - -
It was a normal stone that was the size of a baby's palm, and it had an uneven surface. Besides some naturally formed patterns forming the uneven surface on the stone, there was a small hole on the stone that seemed to be man-made so that it looked like an accessory.
Other than that, there was nothing else which looked out of place. In fact, it looked like any normal stone.
The only thing out of ordinary was the warmth it emitted when Su Ming held it. The warmth seemed to seep into his body and it was a very comfortable feeling.
"Hmm?" Su Ming looked closely at it. Yet even after he scrutinized the entire thing, he still could not find anything else odd about it.
"I remember the elder saying that this was once the Land of the Fire Berserker Tribe. If that's the case, then this thing might have some powers of fire. That's why it can keep people warm. Not bad." Su Ming took off the crescent fang on his neck and replaced it with the stone before wearing the necklace once again, letting it hang over the stone. When the stone touched his chest, he felt its warmth increase.
"Let's go home!" The young man then ran quickly towards the place with the balls of light. He did not notice it, but at that time, the stone hanging off his chest gave out a dim glow before disappearing.
As Su Ming neared his destination, the dim balls of light grew brighter before his eyes, and he saw a settlement surrounded by a wall made from giant wood.
The settlement was not big. It could only hold about a few hundred people in it, but in Su Ming's eyes, it was a place that made him feel at home. He could faintly hear cheerful sounds from within as he approached the settlement. From the cracks in the giant wooden wall, he could see a bonfire in the middle of the tribe. There were many tribesmen gathered around it and some of the women from the tribe were dancing around the bonfire.
The gate to the tribe was also built with giant wood. Usually, when it was open, it would be held up with several pieces of rope. Now, it was closed and there were some burly men standing on top wearing clothes made from beast skin. Their skin was rough and there were white bone necklaces hanging from their necks. They were terrifying to look at. They also wore earrings made of bone, and their overall appearance made them look intimidating as they surveyed the area. When they saw Su Ming running back, the men grinned.
"La Su, the elder has been looking for you the entire day, why are you out so late?"
"It was raining just now. Did you go out to steal the Dark Dragon's Saliva again?"
"The elder was looking for me? Throw down the rope, I had a pretty good haul this time!" Su Ming sped up, and when he was underneath the gate, he patted the basket on his back proudly as he shouted loudly.
A woven piece of rope was lowered down and Su Ming grabbed onto it, lithely climbing upwards. Within the span of a few breaths, he reached the top of the gate, smiling as he saw the tribesmen keeping watch. He then quickly walked down with the ladder propped by the side.
"Boy's an agile one for sure, and he's brave to boot. He already started climbing Dark Dragon Mountain alone many years ago. Looks like he's definitely going to become the tribe's common healer in the future."
"It's a pity that he doesn't have a Berserker Body, or else he would become a Berserk Healer just like the elder." The men sighed as they watched Su Ming leave.
As Su Ming entered the settlement and ran in between the wooden houses, those who saw him called him La Su in a kind manner.
La Su was not a name just for him, but also for all the children who did not go through the second Berserker's Awakening.
Su Ming ran quickly. Before long, he reached the middle part of tribe where he saw many of his tribesmen laughing and chatting around the bonfire when he was outside earlier.
A fire-resistant wooden fence surrounded the bonfire. Many slices of juicy meat were being roasted on the fire and they emitted a nice aroma.
When some of the girls in the tribe saw Su Ming approaching, they merely cast him a glance before turning away uninterested.
To the tribe, the clean and handsome Su Ming was built much more differently compared to the other tribesmen. Almost all of the tribesmen were bigger and more intimidating than he was.
He squeezed through the crowd, grabbed a slice of roasted meat and ate it as he ran forward.
Right in the center of the crowd was an old man wearing sackcloth instead of beast skin. The old man had his hair braided and looked frail. Nevertheless, his eyes shone with a charm that could steal a person's soul if they so much as looked into his eyes.
He appeared to be a man of status. He was surrounded by several tribesmen who were listening to him as he talked in a low voice. Their gazes towards him were respectful.
As he saw Su Ming running over, the old man smiled and gave him a nod, signaling Su Ming to sit by his side. He then continued speaking to the tribesmen.
When the tribesmen saw Su Ming, their faces also lifted up in smiles.
"Dark Mountain Tribe may be small, but at least we are the true descendants of Dark Mountain. The Elder from Wind Stream Tribe is celebrating his birthday. We must attend his birthday as a sign of respect since our tribe has maintained a good relationship with them since long ago." The old man spoke slowly.
"It's a pity that a few centuries ago, Dark Mountain Tribe was divided, and now, there are only three colonies of the tribe left. If that hadn't happened, Dark Mountain Tribe would be a medium sized tribe by now. We could have controlled all the land around the area, including Wind Stream Tribe. But now... ha." The one who spoke was a man of about 40 years old. He was the leader of Dark Mountain Tribe and was a burly man who was also shockingly powerful. There were nine fangs about the size of fingers hanging around his neck.
There was a Mark on his face that could barely be seen, which made him look even more terrifying, just like an evil spirit. The Mark was not clear, and it looked incomplete.
As Su Ming looked at the Mark, his eyes were filled with admiration. From the beast skin scroll, Su Ming knew that this was a Berserker Mark that had yet to be completely formed. There was no one in the tribe who had the ability to completely manifest the Berserker Mark and bring out its true powers.
Even his elder was only at the ninth level of the Blood Solidification Realm.
Yet even so, this had made his elder one of the strongest Berserkers among the tribes around Dark Mountain. The only other tribes who could compare were Black Mountain Tribe and Dark Dragon Tribe, who were once from the original Dark Mountain Tribe but split up later.
"There is no use mentioning what has happened in the past. Without a strong Berserker who has broken through his physical limitations, there is no way we can become a medium sized tribe. The cause of the original Dark Mountain Tribe's separation was due to the death of the ancestors in the original Dark Mountain tribe who Transcended."
"As much as I have trained until now, I still cannot break through the ninth level of blood solidification and reach the 10th level, much less the 11th level, which is known as the highest level. I cannot draw a completely manifested Berserker Mark and therefore, cannot Transcend ..." The old man in sackcloth sighed and spoke slowly.
"It's fine. You can leave now. Prepare the gifts, and tomorrow... Shan Hen, you are the leader of the hunters in the tribe so, you will lead the team." The old man stood up and looked towards a middle-aged man standing by the leader of Dark Mountain Tribe. After that, he turned and walked away.
The middle aged man looked calm. When he heard those words he immediately stood up straight and received the order.
Su Ming quickly followed his elder and left the area where the feast was held.
The old man did not speak on the way and just silently walked forward until the cheers gradually disappeared behind his back. He reached a house made of wood and grass. He then went inside.
The house was not big and the interior was simple. Once he entered the house, the old man sat down cross-legged at a corner. He looked at Su Ming as he came in.
"You went to hunt Dark Dragon's Saliva again?"
Su Ming respected his elder, who took care of him as he grew up. He placed his basket on the floor and took out a small bottle, which he then handed it to the old man.
"With your agility, the Dark Dragons cannot harm you. However, it's best if you don't go too often... That is the territory of Black Mountain Tribe and Dark Dragon Tribe after all. Dark Dragon's Saliva is useless to me. Use it to improve your own health." The old man looked kindly at Su Ming.
Su Ming nodded and put away the bottle. He had been drinking this liquid for many years and it was precisely because of it that he could obtain such an agile body.
It was also because his elder had been brewing all sorts of medicine for him for all those years. Even though he did not have the qualities to obtain the Berserker Body, he was still stronger than an average member of his tribe.
"There are still three days left before the time comes for all of you La Su to perform the Berserker Awakening. You're almost 16, right? You will need to worship the God of Berserkers," the old man spoke slowly as he looked at Su Ming.
"The statue of the God of Berserkers in Dark Mountain Tribe was passed down from the original Dark Mountain Tribe in the past. It may not be the main statue and cannot compare to the statues of medium sized tribes, but it is still very powerful compared to the tribes around us."
Su Ming was silent for a brief moment before nodding his head.
"Don't leave for the next few days. Rest and go with them to the Awakening three days later," The old man said this and closed his eyes slowly.
Su Ming stood for a while longer. Then, he took the basket and left quietly towards a wooden house not too far away - his house.
He could never forget the day when he surrounded the statue of the God of Berserkers with other children from the tribe for his very first Awakening. They were all just seven years old at that time.
Members of the Berserker Tribe had two initiating ceremonies throughout their lives - the Berserker Awakening. The first was when they were seven years old, and the second when they were 16.
At the same time, the elder would choose those who had Berserker Bodies using the power given by the statue of the God of Berserkers.
Su Ming let out a light sigh as he felt his chest filling up with bitterness. He wanted to become a Berserker and practice Berserker Arts. The scenes depicted in the beast skin scroll made him dream about it since he was young, but reality was harsh. When his seven-year old self worshiped the statue of the God of Berserker, he was told very clearly that he did not have a Berserker Body and could not practice Berserker Arts.
Berserk was the origin of all things in the universe. Only by being a Berserker could a person be able to stand above others and become truly strong!
From the scroll, Su Ming knew since young that there were many tribes of all sizes in the world. In each tribe, there were different statues of the God of Berserkers. It was the soul of the tribe and the key for their descendants to become one with Berserk.
They needed to reach an understanding with the statue of the God of Berserkers. If they felt it responding, then they would be able to obtain the right to inherit the skills to practice Berserker Arts. There was no need for anyone to teach them. They could just practice it on their own.
However, if they failed at seven and at 16 years old, then it meant that they could not change for the rest of their lives. Su Ming was struggling internally. When he could not see the possible outcome to this, he looked forward to it. Yet, when there was only three days left for his final enlightenment, he became afraid.
'This time... will it be possible...?'
Su Ming went back silently into his house and sat down, letting his mind wander.