"... There are 379 direct descendants who will participate in the activation of the ancestral temple in different batches. Once they inherit our ancestor's glory, they will volatilize their blood that shows they are Dao Chen's descendants, and your power will rise once more.
"Make haste and return!" The old voice echoed in the air, but the crowd did not hear it. Only Su Ming and Xu Hui could hear it properly due to the link they shared between their souls at that moment.
Su Ming's eyes focused. He had seen the change in True Morning Dao World as spoken by the voice from the Sacred Constellation Robe with his Malicious Eye previously and could tell what was happening. Su Ming did not know the details of the break between the Immortals and Morning Dao Sect, which was why he could find no clues from what he saw, and when he could not find the cause for it, he could not imagine the reason behind why the Immortals would fight against True Morning Dao Sect. However, since they started a fight, they had to be confident in themselves.
Xu Hui's expression also changed, because at the same time she heard the old voice from Su Ming's Sacred Constellation Robe, a voice akin to a phoenix suddenly spoke in her soul.
That voice echoed in her heart and turned into a power that could avoid the link binding her soul with Su Ming's. Once it formed a faint wall separating her and Su Ming, it uttered words that only she could hear.
"Hui Er… This is the first time I use this method to send a message to you. Do not panic, and do not reveal any clues…"
This was from her sect, the voice transmission from Phoenix Sect. Based on the fact that it could form a barrier that separated the link binding her soul to Su Ming's, he should not be able to hear the message.
This was a force of power that Xu Hui had never known existed. She also did not know that her sect had the ability to create such a barrier!
This barrier was like a crack on a dam. In fact, with Xu Hui's intelligence, she could already imagine that this so-called seal and promise to unite Phoenix Sect and Morning Dao Sect through marriage was not so firm that it could not be torn. A screen could be placed over the seal, and if that was the case, there was naturally a huge flaw in it. However, this flaw was usually hidden very deeply, and it could only be found during crucial moments, thereby allowing them to break the seal and have Phoenix Sect leave Morning Dao Sect.
"Dao Kong is by your side. Don't let him see anything off about you… When you were sent to Morning Dao Sect to be his wife, I felt deeply unhappy, but I could do nothing about it.
"The only thing I could do for you is to fight for a promise for you. Now… this promise is no longer important. Phoenix Sect has decided to break off from Morning Dao Sect. All the seals will be broken, and from now onwards… you will be free, and Phoenix Sect will be free as well!
"But you must kill Dao Kong. Your level of cultivation is much higher than his. Look for a chance and kill this boy. Once you do, hurry back to True Morning Dao World…
"Remember this. The boy Dao Kong is incredibly important to Morning Dao Sect. I did not notice how important he was in the past, but when I thought about it during the past few years, there seems to be a profound significance to Morning Dao Sect's act in sending him into the Barren Lands of Divine Essence. I've only learned about this recently, but the one who ordered Dao Kong to be sent to the Barren Lands of Divine Essence… was the sleeping Kalpa Lord of True Morning Dao World!
"Your mission is to kill Dao Kong. I will help you break the seal once he dies."
Xu Hui's face was pale to begin with. Once she heard the voice in her soul, she staggered, and her face turned even paler when she looked over at her companion.
Su Ming narrowed his eyes. A brilliant light shone within them. Just like Xu Hui, a voice that only he could hear was echoing in his head at that moment.
This voice had similarly created a barrier that prevented Xu Hui from hearing the message.
"Kong Er, do not be in a hurry to come back. The voice you heard from the Sacred Constellation Robe just now was for Xu Hui, who followed you to the Barren Lands of Divine Essence.
"The woman's sect has harbored the intention to rebel since a long time ago, and the hilarious thing is, they thought Morning Dao Sect did not know about it.
"Be careful. You can decide on your own whether to kill her. The nine old Frail Darknesses have a treasure specifically tailored to target those from Phoenix Sect. If this woman is on your side, you can relax, but if she harbors any other intentions, you can just kill her.
"With your intelligence, I will leave the choice to you without worry. Remember, Kong Er, do not return within a short period of time."
The voices gradually faded away, and Su Ming looked towards Xu Hui. Their gazes met.
Xu Hui remained silent for a moment, then said softly, "My sect asked me… to kill you. They chose to break off from Morning Dao Sect. The Immortals are not the only ones who joined in the change within True Morning Dao World. Phoenix Sect is part of it as well. There must be other forces of power who have… also joined the rebellion." Xu Hui rubbed the center of her brows. There was a slightly haggard look on her pale face.
"You're still injured. You should rest," Su Ming said plainly. He sat down on the mountain rock and did not continue with the topic.
Xu Hui remained silent for a moment before she looked towards Su Ming.
"Are you going back?"
"It's still not time for us to go back." Su Ming shook his head.
"... When are you leaving?" Xu Hui closed his eyes. After some time, she opened them, and a resolute look appeared on her face.
"With your injuries, you will need another half a month before you can recover from most of them. At that time, I will leave," Su Ming answered her softly while he watched the sky in the distance.
"I will go with you," Xu Hui said calmly.
Su Ming remained silent. After a moment, he turned around and looked at her. A long time passed before he nodded.
Xu Hui's lips curled up into a faint smile, then she turned around to return to her house.
As if he had already forgotten about the battle waging in True Morning Dao Sect at that moment, Su Ming lived on the mountain that belonged to the Ninth Tribe in peace. He watched the sun rise and set, and by his side was good wine as well as Xu Hui's occasional company.
This sort of life passed by them like flowing water and was like a dream. It lasted from morning till dusk, then from night till dawn.
The two of them did not discuss anything related to True Morning Dao World, as if neither of them was willing to speak of it. Like that, half a month passed by slowly.
Flowers might not have bloomed and withered during this period of time, but the moon became full, then was reduced to only half of its full form. Half a month passed in just the snap of a finger. It could not be said that plenty of things had flourished and died, and neither could it be said that the stars had lost their brilliance. However… during this half a month, Su Ming forgot his frustrations and his confusion, as if he had returned to the mortal world.
Xu Hui's smiles had also increased throughout this half a month. It could be seen that she experienced the same things as Su Ming. The joy she felt during the past half a month was comparable to the happiness she had during the first half of her life.
However, happiness does not last forever. Joyous moments are always temporary, and all beautiful melodies are fated to end at some point since the moment they are started.
One day, it started drizzling in the sky above the Ninth Tribe. This was the first time Su Ming saw rain in this place. He did not want to use the Malicious Eye to see how this rain appeared, afraid that he would see too much and make rain lose its meaning.
When raindrops fell on the ground, they stirred up fog and dust. As these tumbled about, anyone who looked closely at it would feel that it was like a wave and have a sense as if they were surrounded by mountain fog. Anyone who saw it would at it quietly, and they would be unwilling to avert their gaze.
It was as if all the bitter and cold moments of life were subconsciously turned into merely grumbles in a book or a song that seemed to speak of something that happened many years ago as they watched the rain. The murmurs of the wind in the distance sounded as if someone was playing a xun, and it was strong enough to chase away the rain that filled the entirety of their field of vision.
Su Ming watched.
"Xu Hui." He turned his head around and looked at the woman who was packing their luggage in the house. Her hair spilled over her shoulders, giving her a gentle charm that made her look like a beautiful flower that had blossomed.
She turned her head around and looked at Su Ming.
"Sit there. Let me draw for you," he said faintly.
Xu Hui smiled light at him. She put down their luggage and did not even bother putting it back to her storage bag before walking over to Su Ming's side. She went to a mountain rock and sat down on it.
Behind her was the rain pouring down from the sky and the obscure land. Moaning wind blew past the strands of her hair, lifting up her dark locks that did not scatter away.
"You know how to draw?"
"I drew in the past." When Su Ming spoke, he patted his storage bag. A drawing board immediately appeared in his head. This drawing board was not the item he had obtained when he was in the land of Berserkers, but was something he had come by coincidentally when he was in Black Ink Planet.
"Oh? How are your skills?" Xu Hui smiled, then lowered her head to look at her clothes, straightening some of the wrinkles on them.
"I can't draw those with only a few moles, but I might be able to draw those with plenty of moles well. Don't change your expression, you'll affect me when I'm drawing you," Su Ming said with a frown on his face when he saw Xu Hui's expression stiffen.
"Su Ming, you're going overboard!" Xu Hui stood up swiftly with rage on her face. "Just where exactly do I have plenty of moles, huh?! If you don't tell me clearly today, I'll fight you to death!"
"Do you really want me to tell you?" Not a single change in expression could be detected on Su Ming's face.
"You-you!" Xu Hui sucked in a deep breath before she suddenly turned around and shouted at the foot of the mountain, where the members of Ninth Tribe were, "Dijiu Mo Sha, your senior brother wants to drink. Bring twenty pots of wine from the tribe over here."
Dijiu Mo Sha had been meditating at the foot of the mountain. When he heard those words, his expression did not change. He constantly heard these sort of words during the past half a month and knew that his senior brother would definitely back down once they were spoken. There was absolutely no need for him to bring any wine up to them.
"You have no moles on your body…" Su Ming laughed wryly.
Xu Hui glared at him before sitting down again. She straightened her robes, then looked over with a faint smile.
Su Ming picked up the drawing board and opened his mouth to say, "You don't have eight moles on your body,"
When he saw that Xu Hui's expression had changed again, he raised his right hand, tapped the puddle of water by the mountain rock with his finger, as if he was dipping his finger in ink. Then, he drew on the drawing board.
The paper was clear, just like how his heart was calm.
A dash of ink gradually stained the paper with colors that seemed like they came from another world through Su Ming's hand, as if it brought with it the happy moments that remained in his eyes. The paper could no longer return to how it was at the start, but it gained a beauty that it had never possessed before.
When you gain something, you lose something in return. This is the way of life.
If only life was as beautiful as it seemed at first sight… The situation at that moment was like those words. However, there were certain times when the beauty that was initially seen could not compare to the peace gained after years had accumulated in a person's life. It was like this paper. When nothing was drawn on it, it was empty and blank. Once colors were placed on it after a person drew on it, which one exactly was the one that was more beautiful?
Only the person drawing would know.
Only those who had experienced such things before would understand…
Su Ming continued drawing. In the picture was rain, land, sky, and also the figure of a woman. The beautiful moments in the past when he was still in Dark Mountain remained faintly in his head, but as years went by, as wind and clouds continued changing, they became like dust which would fall on the surface of water and not leave a single trace or stir up a single ripple. They would not ruin the drawing paper.
The wind from beyond the mountains filled his sleeves. A beautiful lady sat before him in the rain. No emotions were present on his face, and neither did they enter his heart. This was a change of heart.