Pursuit of the Truth

16 Elder


"Brother… Can you hear me…?" In his dreams, he heard that familiar, sad and lonely voice once more as it echoed in his head. The voice remained in his head for a long time. His unconscious body trembled lightly as if he was struggling.

"Brother, I’m waiting for you…"

As the calls grew stronger, Su Ming was jolted awake from his sleep. His gaze was unfocused as he stared at the wall before him and let his mind wander. His thoughts were interrupted by excited screeches. He turned his head and saw Xiao Hong pouncing on him happily. Then it started climbing all over his body.

Xiao Hong woke up much earlier. It was only in a state of unconsciousness before and was not heavily injured. Once it woke up it kept its gaze focused on Su Ming, waiting anxiously for him to wake up.

When Su Ming woke up, it was out of its mind with joy.

Su Ming smiled as he looked at the little monkey but his smile was laced with uncertainty. It was the second time that he had the dream…

He took a deep breath. Su Ming shook his head, forcing himself not to think about the strange dream anymore. He chose instead to look at the perfectly normal looking black stone hanging off his neck.

He touched the stone, and his eyes gradually became clear of doubt.

He already had first-hand experience of the changes the black stone brought upon him. The creation of Scattering Dust had increased his training speed by leaps and bounds. The red pill was also created by accident, allowing Su Ming to obtain complete control and gain the upper hand in a battle between life and death.

"I’ll still need to create more pills… I saw a door at that strange place but there were 15 small holes on the door. I did not have enough pills last time, that’s why I was hesitating. But now, I really want to know just what will happen to the door once I put in 15 Scattering Dusts…" Su Ming muttered lowly under his breath.

‘I’ll need to make more Scattering Blood. These pills… will be my trump card! Also, I’ll need to go back to the tribe… I haven’t gone back for quite some time. The elder has been stuck at the ninth level for many years as well. Perhaps Scattering Dust can help.’

Su Ming stood up and moved his limbs. Most of the fatigue in his body was gone by then.

He concentrated on making the pills again and continued with the refinement of the blood in his veins. There were some parts of his body that felt a bit sluggish as blood tried to circulate through them. It was not as smooth as before and Su Ming believed that it was a wound left behind when he tried to break through the first level of the Blood Solidification Realm. He would not be able to heal the wound within a short period of time.

Within the same month, Su Ming ventured out of the cave a few times. He also had the little monkey help him collect herbs.

Su Ming even went out specially to pick two of the red herbs required for Scattering Blood. He wanted to pick more but sensing danger, he decided not to be greedy.

Using the vast amounts of herbs he collected, Su Ming began refining his Qi and his blood while also using the herbs to create the medicinal pills he wanted the past month. The muffled sounds of pills being created echoed throughout the cave.

It was a month later and the sky was still dark with only faint traces of light. Su Ming gave the little monkey a few instructions and left the mountain alone. Then, he disappeared into the forest.

Su Ming, who had arrived at the second level of the Blood Solidification Realm, traveled quickly within the forest. He ran across the icy plains like a flash of light. Before noon, he had already left the forest and was outside the Dark Mountain Tribe settlement. As he looked at the settlement, a smile appeared across his face.

‘I haven’t been back for quite some time…’

Su Ming walked towards it. Everything was normal. Many children were playing around and some the tribe members were sparring against each other.

Su Ming’s return attracted some of the tribe members’ attention. He had been gone for a long time, after all. They came out and greeted him with smiles on their faces.

"Su Ming, you’re finally back! Where did you go?" Su Ming stroked a child’s head and just as he was about to leave to the elder’s house, an excited voice rang out from behind him.

He turned around and looked. The person who spoke was a big and well-built man, but he had a slight baby face. It was a clear sign that he was still young. That person was Lei Chen.

"What?" Su Ming glanced at Lei Chen and could feel that the Qi in his body had grown much stronger. The aura he felt from Lei Chen was actually quite similar to the Berserker he killed using Scattering Blood.

"You almost broke through the fourth level of the Blood Solidification Realm?" Su Ming asked, surprised.

Lei Chen grinned widely and walked up to Su Ming’s side to speak softly to him.

"I have a feeling I’ll reach the next level soon. Hehe, the elder said the Berserker Blood within my body is quite pure. If this continues, some day I will be able to reach the elder’s level." As Lei Chen spoke, his eyes shone with excitement. Soon after, he began to look at Su Ming carefully and he was stunned. Then, he widened his eyes in disbelief. Just as he was about to speak…

"Come to my place tonight, we’ll talk later. Let me go see the elder first." Su Ming knew what Lei Chen was about to say. He gave him a faint smile and went to the elder’s house.

As he watched Su Ming’s back, Lei Chen was speechless. He pulled at his hair in confusion and mumbled a few words, trying to piece things together. However in the end, he still could not understand it. He still remembered to go to Su Ming’s place later that night though.

As he approached the elder’s house, Su Ming slowed down. There were slight signs of anxiety and fear in his eyes. Su Ming respected the elder for taking care of him since he was young. To him, the elder was just like his grandfather and their relationship could not be described with words.

He did not want to lie to the elder but there were some things that he could not disclose like the piece of debris on his neck. Su Ming was not a child anymore. He could tell if the public knew about the piece of debris, it could very well mean the doom of the entire tribe, not just himself.

He could not speak of it.

Su Ming took a deep breath and stood in front of the elder’s house. He did not enter immediately. He could hear the faint traces of voices coming from the inside, like people were in a meeting.

He waited patiently until the door of the elder’s house opened and out came three men. These three men were all built like small hills. When they appeared, Su Ming felt a great pressure. Their presence even caused the Qi in his body to stir. He thought that he was about to be swept away by a typhoon.

Su Ming inhaled sharply and took a few steps back instinctively. The three men were the leaders of Dark Mountain Tribe. Before Su Ming Awakened, he had not been as badly affected. He could only vaguely feel that they were some of the best Berserkers besides the elder.

Now that Su Ming was a practitioner at the second level of the Blood Solidification Realm, the oppressive feeling was much stronger than before when he met the tribe leaders.

The Qi within the tribe leader of Dark Mountain Tribe was so great, he felt like it could shake heaven and earth. Combined with the vague Berserker Mark on his face, it only served to make him even more terrifying.

Su Ming also knew the two men beside the tribe leader. The man on his left was also a man in his 40s. There was a mark shaped like a scorpion on his face. The level of Qi within him was only slightly weaker than the tribe leader.

His arms were also very long and there was a big bow slung across his back. For some unknown reason, when Su Ming looked at the bow, he felt like he could hear the agonizing cries of its numerous victims. It caused him to feel a little wary of the man.

That man was the Head of the Guards of Dark Mountain Tribe!

The Head of the Guards was not a name, but a title given by its predecessor to the successor. There could only be one Head of the Guards in each tribe and it was a title given only to the strongest archers in the tribe.

The last person standing to the tribe leader’s right was a man in his 30s. His facial expressions were rather stiff. He was not a man who smiled and talked often. His eyes were usually narrowed into a slit and it was difficult to see the full view of his eyes.

He was the chief of the hunters in Dark Mountain Tribe and was responsible for all the hunts outside the tribe settlement. His name was Shan Hen!

These three people were considered to be the strongest in Dark Mountain Tribe besides the elder!

Su Ming took a deep breath and stepped aside as he bowed before them.

The tribe leader was frowning. It was apparent that the meeting with the elder did not end on good terms. When he walked out of the house, he did not even look at Su Ming. He just walked past him.

As for the Head of the Guards, he smiled at Su Ming when he saw him. Then, he nodded as a sign of acknowledgment to his presence before leaving with the tribe leader.

Shan Hen, the chief of the hunters also treated Su Ming as if he was invisible. He ignored him as he walked by.

After the three men left, there was a hint of dubiousness in Su Ming’s eyes. He felt uncertain about the Qi in his body. If Lei Chen could sense it, why did the three strongest Berserkers in the tribe not feel anything?

"I already concealed your Qi. Come in, why are you still standing outside?!" Just as Su Ming was still being troubled, the elder’s stern voice sounded from within the house.

Su Ming lowered his head and walked into the house.

"You finally decided to come back?" The elder still wore a sack cloth and had his hair tied in many small braids. His features still looked as old and weary as ever, but his eyes were vibrant with life. His tone of voice was grave and serious but the joy in his eyes could not be concealed.

Su Ming mumbled a few words. He still hung his head low, not really having the courage to speak.

"You grew a pair of balls, is that it? How could you leave the tribe and not return for so many months? Have you forgotten about me? Hmph, lift up your head. Let me take a look at you." There were hints of dissatisfaction in the elder’s voice.

Su Ming’s expression was anxious as he lifted his head and looked at the elder.


Before he could finish, the elder who was sitting with his legs crossed suddenly grabbed Su Ming sternly with his right hand. Su Ming stumbled forward a few steps as the elder pressed his right hand on his chest.

A soft and gentle power weaved itself into Su Ming’s body. Once it melded together with his blood, it immediately healed the wounds that Su Ming did not even realize he received. It also dissolved the dangers of Su Ming risking his health when he forcefully reached the second level of the Blood Solidification Realm and killed without stabilizing the Qi in his body.

When the elder retrieved his right hand from Su Ming’s chest, Su Ming trembled. He immediately took a spatula and opened up a gash on his arm. Instantly, black blood flowed out from the gash and there was even a stench in the air which came from the blood.

"You haven’t even stabilized the Qi in your body and you already ventured out to kill someone? You’ve really grown a pair, haven’t you?" As the elder observed Su Ming’s reaction, the praise in his eyes grew stronger. Nonetheless, he still spoke harshly towards. Yet even as he did so, he took out a dark green bottle and handed it to Su Ming.

When all the black blood flowed out from the gash, Su Ming’s body felt refreshed. Once he took the bottle and opened it, he touched the liquid in the bottle with his finger and spread it over his wound.

Translator’s Note:

Regarding titles:

1. For 蛮公,I’ve opted for the use of Elder, which is a title, and for 阿公, I’ve opted for elder, because it bore familiar and endearing connotations. In bigger civilizations such as kingdoms, 蛮公 is known as Court Diviner because they have positions within court and work for the Emperor, as you could tell in the prologue.

2. For tribe leader and chief of the hunters, these titles will be in small letters because the idea behind it is that we don’t call our mayors and chiefs in big caps either.

3. The Head of the Guards is in big caps because when the term first appeared, it was blatantly stated as a title. Think of it as a military title. That is why I chose to use big caps, because military titles are in big caps.

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