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Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
On the vast sea, beside the ancient tree, the shades of green and blue seemed to be connected to the sky.
The waves glistened, seas of clouds tumbled. Where could one find the end of the world?
The ancient tree was old, and the shadows of people ancient. Who was younger before the passage of time?
Perhaps there was someone else who was even older than time itself.
It would be the young man standing beneath the tree with a warm smile while watching Su Ming approach.
When Su Ming saw the person under the tree and gradually drew closer to him, he felt as if he was moving step by step into the ancient aeon of the past. With each step, he would go through countless aeons and return to the past, to an unknown period of time long ago… The sky seemed to no longer move. Everything in the world had stopped, and it did so… because Su Ming and the person under the tree were destined to meet.
They were like night and day. They could not meet each other, but only catch a glimpse of each other’s shadow during dusk and dawn, yet even that glimpse was indistinct. Night could not see the noon, and daylight could not see midnight.
But perhaps there would come a day when night would meet day, and that moment would be just like when the young man under the tree met with Su Ming.
Soon, there were two people under the tree. Even though the air between the sky and sea did not move, the setting sun was still around. Its last rays shone on the sea, drawing out Su Ming and the young man’s shadows on water. They were long… very long…
While Su Ming watched the young man, the young man, too, watched Su Ming. At the moment their eyes met, Su Ming saw endless age and profundity in the young man’s gaze. There was also a hint of fatigue in that profundity that could not be dispelled.
That fatigue seemed to be the type that would only be possessed by someone who had lived for far too long. It was a natural fatigue. The young man did not want to hide it, and so he did not even try. It was there in his gaze, and his entire life was contained in that fatigue. If anyone understood it, they would understand the world, and if they did not understand it… they would not see him.
Those who fell into the latter category would be just like Yu Xuan at that moment. She could not see the young man under the tree. Elder Mo Sang was little different. He might appear as calm as ever, but his heart trembled greatly. He could not see the young man, but he could see two long shadows in the reflection of the tree on the surface of the sea.
The two shadows swayed as the waves glistened in the light. They would occasionally shatter and sometimes appear complete. It was as if the rise and fall of entire galaxies was contained between the shattering and completion of the shadows. They contained the rise and fall of all lives, as well as their paths.
It seemed like life was actually very simple, just a reflection on the surface of the sea. It was just a shadow that would sway along with the waves.
If anyone took a glance at the sea, they would only see normal shadows, but if they observed them closely, they would find that the ripples of the shadows signified a person’s entire life.
They also resembled the moment night and day met. It looked like they could not mix, just like how fire and water could not mix, but it also seemed like they could tolerate each other in a strange fashion, showing a destruction and a wholesomeness created when they crashed into each other in an unseen manner.
“Do you understand now?”
After a long while, the young man under the tree spoke gently without the smile leaving his face. There was not a hint of fierceness and forcefulness in his voice. It was gentle, as if he was a friend, a family member, or an elder.
Perhaps there were people who would answer his question that they did not understand, and there would perhaps be people who would tell him that they understood. However, the moment anyone said either of the two answers, they would place themselves in a disadvantage. In fact, if anyone compared the young man’s question to a divine ability, then at that moment, the person who answered would come under its effect.
If a person answered that they did not understand, their actions would be manipulated by the young man’s will. If the person answered that they understood, then similarly, in a manner that they would not notice, they would become one with the young man under the tree through his will.
One sentence. One divine ability. His killing intent never appeared, and it could not be noticed by anyone. Only the gentle smile could be seen, but in truth, this was the most unfamothable intent of all of Arid Triad Expanse Cosmos.
“What about you?”
After some time, a smile appeared on Su Ming’s face as well, and he spoke faintly. There was no reverence in his voice, and neither was there the tenderness he would have if he was the older one in the situation. He did not show some unnecessary respect that was expected from a younger person either. He spoke in a tone he would have when he spoke with an equal. His voice was faint, but his tone very sincere.
He also answered a question with a question. He did not answer whether he understood or not. However, because of this sort of answer, praise appeared in the eyes of the young man. He admired Su Ming for not running away but going along with his question. However, he did not end up being manipulated by his will. Instead, he answered his question with another question.
It was a simple question. Perhaps others would not be able to detect too much of a profound meaning behind it, but to the young man under the tree, this question was perhaps something only Su Ming could do and say under this situation.
It might seem ordinary, but it was most definitely anything but ordinary! It might seem like plenty of people could do this… but in truth, in this sort of situation, they would be led to giving up the initiative from their hands without their knowledge, which was what the young man under the tree had done intentionally.
The young man’s smile remained on his face as he stared at Su Ming. While smiling, he shook his head. His expression was gentle when he said faintly, “You don’t understand.”
Su Ming stared at the young man under the tree. He did not speak, but instead watched the light of the setting sun in the distance gradually become weaker. It seemed like the entire sun was about to be devoured by the sea. This scene was like a picture that touched the heart of anyone who saw it, and they would definitely watch it closely.
“When the sun sets, everything in the world becomes dark. You don’t understand the darkness at night, and you won’t understand why living beings would close their eyes in the dark as well.
“Neither will you understand why living beings open their eyes when the sun rises.
“That is why you will not understand the brilliance of the disaster. It is why… you are scared, but the more scared you are, the more you will want to see… your family, your friends, and everything beside you… never open their eyes in the darkness.”
The voice of the young man under the tree was gentle. If it was someone else around, they might not be able to quite understand what he had said, but Su Ming, who knew of the young man’s identity, could.
“Everything has already been predestined, just like how I was destined to come here and meet you.”
The young man under the tree cast a deep look at Su Ming. As his voice echoed in the air, he looked at the setting sun in the distance, and he found that most of it had already disappeared within the sea.
Su Ming smiled. He watched the young man before him. His smile was calm and as light as water.
“Perhaps we were destined to meet in this place, then our meeting is also destined to turn into a setting sun… If I chase after the setting sun… do you think it fall or never fall in my eyes?” When Su Ming said those words, the young man’s eyes became focused again.
“If it falls, is it because I wasn’t fast enough, or is it because this destined setting sun is bound to fall? If it doesn’t fall, then when I chase after it for some time… would this sun still be a setting sun… or would it become a rising sun that will appear the next day?
“Let’s put it in other words, while I chase after the sun, would the sky be black, or would it be white?” Su Ming asked four consecutive questions in one go, and the moment he said them, he made the young man’s eyes focus four times.
Each word in their exchange was exquisite. There was no killing intent contained in their speech, but it was a battle of wills that was like a question of their Daos.
“That is why it’s not that I don’t understand it, but it’s because you… don’t understand… The moment I saw this tree, I knew that when you believe you are you, you… are no longer you.
“When you believe you are no longer you, only then will you be you,” Su Ming said slowly while staring at the young man under the tree.
The young man under the tree fell silent. After a long while, he sighed softly.
“Your appearance is indeed beyond my expectations. I’ve been asleep for too long, so long that I forgot many things… Are you certain… that you want to work with it… to Possess me?”
The young man stared at Su Ming. His voice was as gentle as ever, but the smile on his face faded away.
Su Ming fell silent.
“The path you want to take is different from mine…” Su Ming said softly.
“There is no one same path, but as long as a path exists, then all paths will eventually fuse into one… to become Dao,” the young man said faintly.
“The world is heartless. It sent the disaster on us. Since the destruction of the world is something that is bound to happen, if you are me, you will do the same thing.”
The young man under the tree swung his arm. The sky above the capital planet of the Emperor of Abyss’ True World immediately darkened. Everything froze. A vortex that no one besides Su Ming and the young man could see appeared there.
The vortex rotated without a single sound. Bolts of lightning swam about it, intersecting and collide with each other. Every single time they collided, the sparks produced seemed to contain the laws of the world in them. As they rose and fell, it looked as if a huge flower born during an age where everything flourished had bloomed in the vortex.
Su Ming looked at each of the sparks in the vortex. When his gaze gathered on one of them, he saw the birth and destruction of each aeon. He saw the deaths of all lives, heard the indignant roars from the people of that time, and witnessed their resentment and anger towards the world. Each spark was an aeon!
“What you see is the despair that is almost identical in every aeon before the disaster fell on them. This is the heartless world. Only by completely destroying it would everything no longer need to go through the disaster.”
The young man’s voice showed no signs that he was worked up. It remained as calm and gentle as ever. Even if there was a sharp note in his words, his voice was still gentle and light. It would not make anyone think bad of him. Instead, they would listen to him carefully to figure out the true meaning behind his words.
“I have walked this path alone, but I cannot be alone in my path for too long. Are you… willing to walk down this path with me? Are you willing to walk down this path and Possess the world so that the disasters will no longer fall upon us, so that all manner of lives will no longer be destroyed by the world but can gain control over their own lives? This is the oath I swore under this tree in the past. It is my will that has never changed since I Possessed a part of Harmonious Morus Alba and turned this Expanse Cosmos into Arid Triad!
“I am Arid Triad! I am the master of this Expanse Cosmos. I am the ancestor of all living things with wills. If… you are willing to follow my footsteps, even if the disaster descends, I can make it so that True Morning Dao World will not perish!”
The young man under the tree stared at Su Ming. When he spoke, he lifted his head. An indescribably mighty pressure instantly spread out from his body. It made it seem like he was the master of the entire universe. It was as if with a flip of his palm, he could turn the sky dark. With a fling of his arm, he could make the stars and space itself move back and crumble.
Su Ming’s pupils shrank. The young man’s final words made him stare at the body Arid Triad sent down for a long, long time.
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