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Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
The fight using the Art of Time was a competition about who would last till the end and who would not end up being reduced to a skeleton in the passage of time. In this aspect, the Progenitor of Abyss Builders had the upper hand, because he had lived for a long, long time, and he could make tens of thousands of years reverse at once.
Su Ming might not be able to do that, but he did not cast the Art of Time at all. He only sat there quietly and stared at the galaxy. He watched the universe and simply allowed the Progenitor of Abyss Builders cast his Art.
He was like a tree. When wind blew against him, perhaps he would sway along with it, but in the end, it was just wind, and the tree would still be a tree. It would only sway for a moment, not for an eternity.
Once the autumn breeze blew through and the rosy rays of dawn arrive, the tree would still be standing. If one saw that it was moving, then it was moving. If one saw that it was not moving, then it was not moving.
There was once a person who said that the person’s heart would determine whether the tree they saw was moving or not. He said it because the main focus of the phrase landed on the person who looked at the tree itself, but to Su Ming, the thing that moved was his own heart… because he did not care about the heart of the person who watched the tree. His only concern was himself.
If his heart was not swayed, then all manner of lives in the world would not move, and if all things did not move, then the universe would not move… and then, all wills would not be swayed or transformed.
The person who watched the tree left with a smile, thinking that they had gained an epiphany, but the moment they turned around, that epiphany actually belonged to the tree. What came after karma? It was not truths and falsehoods, neither was it illusions and reality. Instead, it was this…
“When you learn who you are, you… are no longer you. When you no longer know who you are, you… will be you!”
If a person was not swayed, they would not understand, and it was precisely because they did not understand… that they would not need to understand. They would, instead, come to understand a certain state. It was just like the logic with the changes of the heart. Once they ended, Su Ming would always come to understand something he could not put into words.
‘When you look at the tree, the tree is also looking at you… When you are trying to understand Dao, Dao… is also trying to understand you. When you are you, you are not you. Only when you are not you, will you be you.’
A hint of a smile appeared on Su Ming’s face. It was very faint and barely discernible, just like the smiles that would appear when one thought they had come to see through the truth behind something.
Su Ming was in a battle of Arts without any use of intense divine abilities. The powerful light from the Progenitor of Abyss Builders surpassed everything.
If someone looked over, they would feel as if it suppressed the darkness that Su Ming represented, but after the time it takes for an incense stick to burn, the Progenitor of Abyss Builders opened his eyes, and a hint of exhaustion appeared in his gaze. There was also a hint of praise there, but it soon disappeared.
When he opened his eyes, the Progenitor of Abyss Builders spoke hoarsely. “I need a drop of your blood.”
Su Ming stood up. He did not say anything, but instead walked slowly forward. He moved past the spot where the Progenitor of Abyss Builders sat, then walked into the distance. He… did not reply.
When Su Ming left into the distance, blood trickled out of the corners of the Progenitor’s mouth. It fell on his robes and looked like it was about to seep into the past.
His Art of Time was so strong that it could instantly cause tens of thousands of years to move in reverse, but when he used it on Su Ming, he still lost. Even if Su Ming had never cast the Art of Time, the Progenitor still lost, fully and completely.
It was as if he had become the wind, or the person staring at the tree.
He had lost psychologically, but it was a loss that brought a smile appear to his face. It looked like for the first time ever, he did not care about Old Man Extermination’s task. He was smiling from the bottom of his heart.
Old Man Extermination was his benefactor. He wanted to repay his kindness, and the Abyss Builders had to repay his kindness, but he… was still the Progenitor of Abyss Builders. There were plenty of times when his status was ignored, but in his heart, it… was his greatest pride.
“You are the first to understand the true essence of the Abyss Builders’ inborn ability to control time,” the Progenitor of Abyss Builders said softly.
After a long while, he stood up. He did not turn his head around either before choosing to walk into the distance. He smiled while doing so.
His clothes were the first to be reduced to ashes. It was followed by his legs, then his upper body, and when his head as well as his soul were reduced to ashes, he passed away while walking into the distance.
All traces of his existence disappeared from that moment, and he died… due his own Art of Time!
It was very profound. Perhaps there were few who understood it, but it was a matter with divine abilities. It… was how Dao was.
When the Progenitor of Abyss Builders’ body disappeared, Old Man Extermination sighed softly while meditating on the hidden ancient ship beside the gap in space within the fourth Expanse Cosmos.
“I still underestimated him…” he murmured to himself. “The ability to control time is only born during the last aeon. That is what I have seen in the worlds of the four Harmonious Morus Albas I lived through. There has never been an exception, and it is the same for this Harmonious Morus Alba.
“It is just like how a person likes to remember the past when they are old. The Art of Time appeared because Harmonious Morus Alba no longer has a future and can only exist in the past. Hence, in actuality, its users are people created by Harmonious Morus Alba due to its natural instinct before it is destroyed.
“I have gathered together the blood of the races with this talent in the final aeons of the previous three Harmonious Morus Albas before they were destroyed. In this fourth Harmonious Morus Alba, I found Great Abyss Tribe, born on this butterfly, and as I researched countless races, I found the way to perfect fusion. I changed the Great Abyss Tribe and created the Abyss Builders, a race with the inborn ability from the culmination of four Harmonious Morus Albas.
“It is a beautiful race… a breathtaking race that will make others envious.
“Since their talent is too great, I couldn’t allow them to continue growing. I had to destroy them, because I only wanted the strongest one among them!
“You Ming was one of them, and Su Xuan Yi was also one of them. As for this Su Ming… he was not someone I paid attention to, but as chance would have it, he has already grown this much!
“He Possessed a True World’s will and became the strongest in this aeon, reaching the later stage of Avacaniyan Realm. But even so, I can still control him. He will be just like the lives in the other Harmonious Morus Albas. None of them were able to escape from their destinies.
“They cannot escape from becoming the sacrifice Xuan Zang needs. They are also a secret that has not been told between me and Xuan Zang,” Old Man Extermination mumbled, then lifted his head to look into the distant galaxy.
A ferocious expression suddenly appeared on Old Man Extermination’s face, causing his face to contort. A presence, which he seemed to be barely able to suppress, almost spread out from his body.
“He has actually managed to figure out the slightest bit of the essence of the Art of Time. This is something I pondered upon for a long time before I was able to figure it out… What gave him the right to gain such an epiphany?!
“There are four levels to the Art of Time. The first level is of the wind blowing against the tree. It can be seen as a simple reversal of time. The second level is of the tree viewer standing beside the tree when the wind blows against it. The person would stare at the tree being moved by the wind, and they would come to understand that the tree would not move when the heart is not swayed!
“The third level is of becoming the tree. Only when you’ve reached this level would you be able to truly be able to understand what the Art of Time means!
“I’ve only discovered an inkling of the fourth level, but during the instant just then, I clearly sensed… the signs of the fourth level.”
As Old Man Extermination’s expression twisted, a fierce glare gradually appeared in his eyes.
“Even if you are the strongest person I’ve seen in the four Harmonious Morus Albas I’ve lived through… you will still be unable to run from the destiny of becoming a sacrifice!
“You are bound to be a sacrifice, bound to be the stepping stone for me to take the final step to become the same existence as Xuan Zang… The time has not arrived yet. There are still four hundred something years. It will be soon though, very soon…”
The ferocious expression on Old Man Extermination’s face gradually faded away. He calmed down and cast a deep glance into the distance before he turned his head back to look at the gap leading to the Vast Expanse. His gaze penetrated space, and no one knew how far he looked into it. Vaguely, he seemed to be able to see a Feng Shui compass that made him tremble rushing over.
On the Feng Shui compass, he saw a young man with black hair and black robes, whose face was aloof and did not hold any expression. The young man had a string of pearls on his right wrist. Some of them shone with a dark light, alternating between flashes of brightness and darkness.
Fear appeared in Old Man Extermination’s eyes. His heart trembled. When he averted his gaze, he let out a long and deep sigh before closing his eyes.
Su Ming walked through the galaxy. He seemed to have already grown used to the booming sounds around him. He did not turn his head back, because he knew that the Progenitor of Abyss Builders had found his resting place. He had died in his own Art of Time.
Perhaps this sort of end was a formless release for the Progenitor of Abyss Builders, but only the Progenitor himself would know whether it was the answer he wanted. It was impossible for others to understand his heart after he had lived for tens of thousands of years.
Even Old Man Extermination could not do this.
The Progenitor had silently watched the race he brought up with his own hands be reduced to ruins under his own administrations. An innumerable number of his people had died. No one knew whether their shrill screams echoed in his head when he meditated.
Perhaps they did, because he was the Progenitor of Abyss Builders.
But perhaps they did not, because he was Old Man Extermination’s slave.
Su Ming walked quietly. His footsteps while walking through the galaxy were not quick, but every single time he took a step forward, the galaxy would change. He continued moving until he reached a cultivation planet.
When he looked at it, his left eye saw a cultivation planet filled with an abundance of life. There were countless cultivators practicing the ways of cultivation on it, along with numerous mortals living happily by themselves. There were lush green mountains, crystal clear waters, blue skies, oceans filled with life, as well as rising and falling mountain ranges. The cultivation planet was an existence that seemed to be operating under some form of law.
There was a boy staring back at Su Ming from a mountainside.
With his right eye, Su Ming saw a huge meatball exuding a foul stench. There were countless tentacles squirming about it. The mountain ranges on the cultivation planet were bone spikes, the ocean was a swamp on its back, and the rising and falling mountains were its ribs. As for the cultivators and mortals, they were… skeletons who no longer had any life and who had died an unknown number of years ago.
There was a bone spike sticking out diagonally from the center of the meatball’s brow. It was like a mountainside, and on it stood a boy staring back at Su Ming.
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