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This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
The elder left.
He hobbled away while age bore down on his shoulders. He slowly disappeared into the spring of the other riverbank until even his shadow could no longer see be seen. Then, Su Ming’s vision became blurry.
That blurriness was not because the figure was gradually leaving into the distance, but because of the tears in Su Ming’s eyes. They turned the world before his eyes into a blurry screen of rain. He could no longer see clearly.
Maybe because of that, his memories became sharper, and so did his hopes for the future. They were like the veins of an autumn leaf, and he wanted to count them clearly. He had to do it well.
In the blink of an eye, another ten years passed. Su Ming had already lived through ninety-something years in that world. His appearance became older, and more wrinkles showed up on his face. The ancient air exuding from his body could already be compared to the wooden house.
At that moment, he was an old man sitting under the eaves of an old wooden house while basking in the evening sun.
The four seasons changed one after another. Rain and ice appeared during different periods of time before Su Ming’s eyes. Autumn leaves and spring shoots danced about together. Heat and dying wood existed together.
The sun rose, then set. It never changed, as if there was some law in a person’s life and the world governing their course. Su Ming watched and felt signs of being close to waking up.
But the time for him to wake up had yet to arrive, and he could not do it just then. There were still people who hadn’t arrived, and he had not yet steered his boat enough times.
“The final thirty years…”
Su Ming lifted his old face. On one particular dawn while watching the unchanging lamp before him, he seemed to be able to see his own past in its light.
It seemed that he was destined to a life of loneliness. The difficulties he had to experience were also destined to continue without his knowledge.
When Su Ming looked into his past, he noticed that what he always wished to have was a luxury. It was destined that Dark Mountain would leave him, and it was the same for the ninth summit. His female companions, his brothers, and even Arid Triad Expanse Cosmos and Harmonious Morus Alba seemed to be destined… to leave him.
“I don’t believe in fate.”
Resolve appeared in Su Ming’s eyes. When it showed up in his old eyes, it could make all those who saw Su Ming to instantly forget his age. They would be attracted by his resolute gaze and would feel as if he was a student who had just walked out of his house to explore the world.
He wondered how many people had come to appreciate the short period of darkness before dawn and the final sparks of madness before daylight. Those were words that people often used to describe the moments before dawn arrived, but how many people would know what the darkest moments in the world before dawn were called?
Su Ming did not know their name before either. But he had watched the period of time before dawn for a long time, and he gradually came to an understanding.
The period of time before dawn was called the hour before daybreak.
Daybreak was known as a new beginning and the start of a new cycle of life and death in the world, but in Su Ming’s mind, since there were nine hours before daybreak and nine was a limit, the end it represented was perhaps of each day. During an era, it would probably mean the end of that era.
And it was precisely because of the symbolism of that number that daybreak meant the start of a cycle of life and death. At the same time, it gave Su Ming a feeling that it surpassed the meaning of the sun contained in the word… but had instead turned into the source of all darkness.
The hour before daybreak… symbolized the darkest moment in the world. There was no other moment in a day that was darker than that one, and it was just like the epiphany Su Ming had gained in the past. He was the darkness the night in the world could not dye black.
During the hour before daybreak, even the light before Su Ming looked incredibly weak. It was as if in the middle of the darkness in the world, it would struggle to shine, but gradually, it would lose its strength, until it was drowned out by the darkness.
Su Ming smiled, but his expression was full of anguish. As he watched the gradually weakening fire before him, he sighed softly.
‘I can extinguish this fire, but I can’t extinguish… the dawn that is about to arrive. It’s as if I still have to hand over the ownership of light to dawn in the end.’
Su Ming shook his head. At that moment, a huge mouth appeared in the darkness beside the fire and swallowed its light.
Before the light disappeared, Su Ming had seen a huge mouth appear from the darkness, and it had looked like a bird’s beak… When the fire was gone, a sound resembling a burp appeared, and a crane showed up before Su Ming’s eyes.
It was a bald crane with no feathers on its body. There was a sleazy look on its face. When it cautiously walked out of the darkness, it cast Su Ming a scornful look.
“You scared this mighty Grandpa Crane. So the person here is an old man? Your battle prowess is just a feather on my body, hmph. Dragon, come out now.”
The bald crane came to stand before Su Ming with a smug look. It stared at him with a sleazy look, then put on a threatening expression on its face.
Moments later, a huge dog staggered out from behind the bald crane. It stopped beside it and glared at Su Ming fiercely before letting out threatening whines.
The bald crane rolled its eyes, then instinctively lifted its claw to strike the dog’s head.
With a whine, the dog immediately lay down flat on the ground and covered its head with its paws, looking at the bald crane as if it had been severely wronged. It did not seem to understand why the bald crane still wanted to hit it.
“What were you doing just now?!” The bald crane glared at the dog.
“I-I was just scaring the old man…” the dog said with an expression that it had been wronged greatly.
“Idiot!” The bald crane lifted its claw while glaring at the dog as if it was about hit it again. The dog lifted its paws over its head helplessly, allowing the bald crane’s claw to hit its head again.
“If you want to scare someone, don’t whine. Look at me.” The bald crane had a stern look on its face, like a master reprimanding his student. With a sway, it turned into a huge black dog, then bared its teeth at Su Ming. It even intentionally drool from the corners of its lips. Its eyes were unfocused, causing others to think it was a mad dog when they saw it…
“You see? Do it this way.”
The black dog formed by the bald crane cast a smug look at the huge dog formed by the Abyss Dragon. Under its idolizing gaze, it turned into a bald crane again.
“Hey, old man, you have any silver on you? Or do you have any sparkling stones? I’m telling you, this Grandpa Crane hasn’t officially debuted yet. If you dare lie to me… Heh heh.”
The bald crane stared at Su Ming with its head held high. Once it finished speaking, it let out a fake cough. The dog next to it immediately glared at Su Ming, bared its teeth, and drooled. Its eyes were unfocused, as if it would pounce on Su Ming the moment the bald crane gave an order.
“No.” Su Ming looked at the bald crane, then at the Abyss Dragon, and a smile appeared on his face.
“Oh wow, you’re still smiling?” The bald crane immediately put on an enraged expression. It lifted its claw and pointed at Su Ming with a face that said I-am-seriously-very-strong-and-I-will-bully-you-even-if-you-are-an-old-man.
“Heh heh, oh well, this old man might not have anything valuable on him either way. Just treat it as me getting unlucky today… Huh?” As the bald crane spoke, it suddenly saw the boat Su Ming used to cross the River of Forgetfulness.
“That boat is pretty good. Say, old man, you can tell that we’re demons, right? You know about demons, right? We eat people, you know? But since you’re already old, I won’t make things hard for you. We’ll be taking this boat. Get us to the other side of the riverbank, and then you have to swim back yourself.” As the bald crane spoke, it stepped into the boat. It looked around, then put on a look as if the boat was barely up to its standards.
“We should be able to sell it for some money.”
As it mumbled under its breath, the Abyss Dragon rushed to the boat before it turned around and bared its teeth while drooling at Su Ming.
The smile on Su Ming’s lips grew brighter. He did not mind how the bald crane and Abyss Dragon acted. When he stood up, he slowly moved to the end of the boat, picked up the oars, and steered the boat to the other side of the River of Forgetfulness.
“Do you see it now? If you follow me, you will be able to fill your belly with food. It’s much better than you eating birds in the forest, right? Do you see it now? We’ve got ourselves money now, right? Heh heh.” The bald crane talked to the Abyss Dragon with a smug look at the bow of the boat.
The Abyss Dragon stared at the bald crane with an idolizing gaze and nodded repeatedly. Occasionally, it would turn around and bare its teeth while drooling to tell Su Ming that it was very fierce…
“Once we reach the other side of the river, I’ll take you around so that you can eat all sorts of spicy food, and then the name of the Dual Fiends will rise!”
The bald crane looked satisfied with its future success. It lifted its right claw, as it it was showing the Abyss Dragon the ways of the world, causing the Abyss Dragon to idolize the bald crane even more, but after hesitating for a while, the dog could not help but speak.
“Boss… I… I don’t like spicy stuff…”
The bald crane fell silent. Its enthusiasm seemed to have been broken at that instant, and it seemed to be angry because of it. It turned around slowly, glared at the innocent looking Abyss Dragon, then suddenly lifted its claw and hit the dog’s head without stop while shouting.
“Don’t like spicy stuff, you say!
“Just try not listening to my words, and see what I’ll do!
“I’m telling you—”
During the entire journey, the smile stayed on Su Ming’s face. The conversation between the bald crane and the Abyss Dragon echoed in the air above the River of Forgetfulness. When they reached the other side of the riverbank, the bald crane lifted its claw while gasping, then glared fiercely at the Abyss Dragon.
“Go and see whether there are any dangers in the area. We’re demons, get it? Demons, you know? As demons, we have to be constantly alert. We have to have a very high level of wariness, especially in foreign places. The first thing we have to do is to investigate the area.
“Only by doing so will we be able to live up to our status as demons, and when we run into those damned villagers who want to eat us, we can run away immediately.”
The bald crane’s grave and sincere words caused the Abyss Dragon to immediately nod. It immediately rushed forward, and once it stepped foot on the bank, it looked around with a wary look. It ran several circles before it returned to the bank and spoke happily to the bald crane on the boat.
“Boss, there are no villagers or enemies around, but there’s also no Da Hua…” After saying that, the Abyss Dragon sighed.
“Honestly, Da Hua is still very pretty. Its fur is very pretty, and I really like it…”
“Damn it, you’re a dragon, a DRAGON. Y-y-you… I honestly think Xiao Hua is sexier than Da Hua,” the bald crane said and coughed dryly.
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