Chapter 1480: Persist with Determination, All So They Could Meet Again
One hundred thousand years…
Two hundred thousand years…
Three hundred thousand years…
One million years passed as Su Ming continued on quietly in the vast space that was the cycle of life and death formed by the vortex. He used all his cultivation base and turned it into his divine sense so he did not miss even a single corner. He searched through every spot carefully for everyone’s marks in their cycles of life and death.
Gradually, in his loneliness and isolation, Su Ming forgot how to speak or how to even produce sound. Deep exhaustion filled him, but it was not his body that was tired, because when he reached Boundless Dao Realm, it was difficult for his body to feel weakened. He was tired… in his heart.
He searched for everyone nonstop and was continuously disappointed, but he never gave up, because he knew… that once he let go, there would no longer be any hope.
He could only search and search. Even if the universe died and its life was extinguished, he still had to continue searching. That was his determination, his path.
During the first one million years, Su Ming walked through the vast universe in search of the marks. During the second million years, he still continued searching…
He walked past Harmonious Morus Albas and past multiple vortices that symbolized the cycles of life and death. When the fifth million years passed, the exhaustion in his heart turned into depression. When the sadness fused into the depths of his soul, after searching for five million years, he suddenly came to a stop in the vast universe.
It was the first time he stopped during the five million years. When he did so, he turned his head around and looked at the fog tumbling to the side. Within it, he saw a fragment. It was broken, and it drifted about in the fog for an unknown number of years.
When Su Ming notice the fragment, a brilliant sparkle suddenly appeared in his eyes. He brought his right hand up and did a seizing motion in the direction of the fog. With it, the tumbling fog was enveloped by a will that was greater than the universe. The fog instantly became still, as if it no longer dared to even move. The fragment inside swayed a little and charged to Su Ming before it gently landed on his palm.
As he stared at the fragment on his palm, a smile slowly made its way onto Su Ming’s lips, and it was full of joy. It was the first time he smiled in the five million years of continuous searching.
Su Ming’s voice was hoarse. He had been silent for five million years, and he felt as if he had forgotten how to speak, so his voice was hoarse and indistinct, like the murmurs of an old man who was in his twilight years.
Most of the fragment was made of stone. It was formed by a large amount of dust in the vast universe, which was why it could continue to exist in the vortex/ It was part of the dust.
However… among the great amount of dust in that fragment was a speck that contained a mark Su Ming was familiar with. It belonged to a girl called Ma Fei, whom Su Ming had met in Morning Dao Sect and who had served as his guide while he posed as Dao Kong. The mark in the fragment belonged to her.
That girl might not be the person he wanted to meet the most… but the appearance of her fragment gave an unimaginable boost of confidence to Su Ming, and it strengthened his resolve. He was finally sure that his path of searching for the others was correct, so no matter how much time passed and even if he had to search for countless millions of years, he would still resolutely continue on.
He would persist with determination so that they could meet again.
After gently holding the fragment in his palm for some time, Su Ming unfurled his fist, and the fragment disintegrated. The dust impurities were reduced to ash, and only Ma Fei’s mark floated above Su Ming’s palm like a broken soul fragment. Su Ming put it away like it was a precious treasure.
After a long while, Su Ming lifted his head, and a clear sparkle shone in his eyes, making them appear even more clear, just like how a child’s eyes would look like. He took a step forward and with resolve continued onward.
Time passed, and another one million years went by. Su Ming searched year by year, never holding back on turning all his cultivation base into divine sense to walk through the cycles of life and death in the vast universe…
Su Ming did not know what he was looking for, and perhaps he would have to do it for an eternity. Yet with the long span of life a cultivator in Boundless Dao Realm had, he simply continued searching, just like Xuan Zang had sat for countless years on the Feng Shui compass.
When fifty million years passed, Su Ming had practically become numb, and aura of death began appearing around him. That aura of death had not come because his life was about to come to an end, but because the loneliness and isolation he felt in the vast universe caused a deathly stillness to appear in his heart as he continued searching despite his fatigue.
But even if his heart had become still, it could not stop him from searching. Even if he no longer used his legs to move forward but sat on the Feng Shui compass… he could still not bury the hope to meet his loved ones again.
He searched, and searched, and continued searching.
When eighty million years went by, Su Ming found Ye Wang’s mark. Just like Ye Wang, his mark shone with a piercing light, and it was slightly blinding to the eyes. He was in the horn at the head of a ferocious beast in the vast universe.
That ferocious beast was lying sprawled before Su Ming while trembling. It had only sensed a hint of Su Ming’s presence, but it had nearly terrified it to death.
Su Ming stared at the horn on the creature’s head, then he lifted his right hand and pointed forward. When he pulled his finger back, Ye Wang’s soul fragment appeared on his palm.
He put away the soul fragment very carefully before closing his eyes to continue searching.
Time flowed as Su Ming continued searching. No one knew how many aeons had passed or how many times the eight butterflies in the vast universe had overlapped their wing.
When around two hundred and fifty million years passed, Su Ming shuddered while in the vast universe. His eyes flew open, and the brightest sparkle over the course of countless years since he began searching appeared in his eyes. That light was so strong that it instantly caused the vast universe to tremble and rumble. The eight butterflies shivered and did not dare to move even an inch.
An excitement that had never appeared on Su Ming’s face showed up. He slowly stood up, and when he took a step forward, his legs trembled. His eyes were fixed on a ball of fog, which had… a white flower.
That fog was like rain, and when inside it, the small white flower looked to be in the rain. It looked weak, but it had its own determination. It seemed like it was waiting for someone.
The flower had waited… for two hundred and fifty million something years. It waited for the ferryman who protected it from the rain when they were at the River of Forgetfulness all those years ago, and who eventually carried it to his boat.
Tears fell from Su Ming’s eyes, but a happy smile was on his face. He slowly approached the small white flower in the fog and gazed at it deeply. He opened his mouth as if he wanted to say something, but no sound came out.
Because he had already forgotten how to speak.
It was of no great concern to him, however, and he laughed happily. While his laughter was silent, the appearance of his smile seemed to have caused ripples to appear in the vast universe. When they spread out, Su Ming lifted his hand and tenderly raised the small white flower from the fog, cradling it in his hand.
Tears fell from the corners of his eyes and slid down his cheeks. One of them fell on the small white flower like a dewdrop, causing it to seem to extend its leaves. It seemed to be… smiling sweetly, so sweetly that Su Ming was caught in a daze.
One of the leaves touched Su Ming’s palm, and that gentle touch was just as beautiful as it was in his memories.
He stared at the small white flower on his palm, and his happy smile dyed the cycles of life and death in the vast universe in its color. He… had found Yu Xuan.
He gently put the small white flower into his world, then turned his feelings of cherishing her into something precious so that that feeling could stay with him, just like how the flower had quietly accompanied him all those years ago beside the River of Forgetfulness. It had stayed under the eaves beside a lonely figure in a straw cape while rain pouring around them.
The small white flower in the rain was a daylily, but there was no sadness about her. To Su Ming, she was part of his determination and what he cared for. She brought sunlight to his life, so he could collect mark after mark in the cycles of life and death in the vast universe.
Even though those marks did not contain the faces that had brought about Su Ming’s determination, the bits and pieces of their existences in his memories marked their roles in his life. Some of them had appeared in his life as guests and had then left into the distance. They might once have been his enemies, or strangers who moved past him after they brushed their shoulders against his, but Su Ming took their marks with him, treating them as valuable treasures. At that moment, he no longer held any hostility to any of those people.
He found Su Xuan Yi, Morning Dao Sect’s De Shun, all the people from the land of Berserkers, Divine Essence Star Ocean, his old friends from Arid Triad Expanse Cosmos, and the people who drove him to madness in Dark Dawn and Saint Defier.
As he continued on with the cycles of life and death in the vast universe, he found Change He, but what caused Su Ming’s gaze to linger was the mark of an unfamiliar woman beside him.
The woman leaning against his mark was his wife, who had passed away many years ago. As Su Ming watched her, he discovered that she had always been by his side… he had just never discovered her presence while he was alive.
Su Ming found more marks in time. As he walked through the cycles of life and death and the passage of time, he found his eldest senior brother…
His mark was not a speck of dust, but a fighting spirit. It was a vision, and it existed among a pride of beasts in the fog within the vast universe. It was the reason their fighting spirit was always at its peak.
To fight for eternity!
With the marks he found, with hope and determination, Su Ming walked through the fog, and when he left the area, the fog surrounded him. It seemed to be unwilling to let him leave. There was a murmur in the fog, as if it was trying to say something.
Su Ming stopped. He lowered his head and looked at the fog beside him. After a long, long while, his gaze focused, and deep love appeared in his eyes.
He found Fang Cang Lan. She was the fog… or rather, she found him through it.
He took the fog, which was Fang Cang Lan away with him.
The hope in his heart grew stronger, but even with that hope, Su Ming knew since the start that… when he brought the world back into existence, when he turned all the marks into Brands of life and made them return, on that day… he would only be able to watch everyone quietly from the side.
It was not a destiny that had been set in stone since his birth, but the price for his Dao. It was the path he chose, and it was different… from that of Old Man Extermination.