Pursuit of the Truth Chapter 135
"It should be safe here," Su Ming mumbled and put away the black mask.
He closed his eyes and immersed himself in his meditation.
Several days passed by. With the help of a large number of South Asunder, the injuries in Su Ming's body were healed.
He fell into contemplative silence for half a day, then gave up on the idea to leave the place. Instead, he chose to stay in the trunk. The red meadow spread out into an area of 100 feet around him. Once it completely covered the place, Su Ming was hidden.
Time trickled by slowly. One month, two months, three months… Four months passed by. Su Ming did not venture too far from where he was. He took Mountain Spirit to increase his power within the tree trunk.
During these past few months, he often talked to He Feng and learned a lot of things. He also heard about He Feng's deeds in the past few years, things which made the man proud of himself.
The red meadow remained an area of 100 feet. He Feng may have told Su Ming that the meadow would increase its area once it absorbed enough flesh and blood, but he also told him that the meadow would absorb the controller's Qi rapidly once it was spread out. That frightening absorption rate was not something a normal person could endure, and the bigger the area, the more astounding the absorption rate would be. He Feng could not withstand it, that was why he rarely used it.
He also told Su Ming that the meadow that was transfigured from the beast skin originally stretched out to a circumference of ten li. Yet at that time, besides the Elder and a few other people in Han Mountain Tribe, no one else could withstand its Qi absorption rate. They would practically die in an instant because all their Qi was absorbed.
Even the Elder and the others could not use the red meadow for a long period of time. As time passed by, the red meadow formed from the beast skin started withering, and more people from Han Mountain Tribe gradually started to use it. However, as the area of the red meadow became smaller, its use was also reduced to merely defense and could not be used for anything else anymore.
That made Su Ming curious. He had already used the red meadow for a year without stopping once, but not once had he encountered the situation where the red meadow would absorb his Qi. Still, Su Ming was only curious about that in his heart. He did not ask He Feng.
Su Ming also learned about the origins of the red meadow formed from the beast skin. As expected, that thing was one of the items left behind by the ancestor of Han Mountain Tribe. But because few people could withstand the horrifying rate of absorption, it was slowly forgotten over time.
Su Ming also discovered something he did not understand through a series of seemingly thrown out questions. The illusion that appeared in his head during the instant he spread out the red meadow formed by the beast skin was never experienced by He Feng or by anyone else who had used the red meadow before him. It was the same for generations upon generations of people from Han Mountain Tribe. They were all like He Feng, otherwise it would be impossible for there to be no clues left behind.
'Either He Feng is hiding it from me, or I'm somehow connected to the red meadow formed by the beast skin.'
Su Ming could not understand the cause of it, and could only find two reasons as to why it had happened.
However, he remained cautious. He did not find creatures to expand the area of the meadow, but his interest towards the ancestor who had died in the canyon under Han Mountain City was piqued.
During these months, the blood veins in Su Ming's body increased by quite a large margin. The reasons for that were not only related to the dangers lurking outside, but also due to the increasingly more thick miasma in the deeper parts of the rainforest, which affected Su Ming's Qi circulation.
Due to the constant circulation, the blood veins in his body had increased to 370 something blood veins. He had gotten closer to reaching the 399 blood veins required for the eighth level of the Blood Solidification Realm.
Nonetheless, the effects of Mountain Spirit had become extremely weak. Based on Su Ming's analysis, the pill could at most help him increase around 20 something more blood veins before losing its effects completely.
The herbs in the medicinal cauldron formed from He Feng's body were growing healthily during these past few months, gradually fulfilling the requirement for him to use them for quenching. If it were not because he was lacking a beast bone and three more herbs, he could have already started seeking the miasma of corpses to begin creating the pill.
His life in the deeper parts of the rainforest was very quiet. Ever since Su Ming came to the Land of South Morning, he had spent most of his time alone and had gotten used to this feeling of loneliness.
He quietly trained inside the tree trunk, and another three months passed by. On this day, the blood veins in Su Ming's body increased to 398. He had his eyes closed and his body shone brilliantly with a blood-red light. The light was so bright it almost pierced through the big tree. If it were not due to the red meadow concealing Su Ming, those outside would have seen the light clearly.
It did not last long before the 399th blood vein manifested on Su Ming's body. The moment it appeared, a strong presence immediately erupted forth from Su Ming's body. When that presence appeared, Su Ming opened his eyes, and there was a calm look on his face.
He reached the eighth level of the Blood Solidification Realm.
"Four years…" Su Ming mumbled.
Four years had passed ever since he woke up in the Land of South Morning. He used four years to go from the seventh level of the Blood Solidification Realm to the eighth level. This speed was not fast, but most of the time had been spent for him to heal his wounds.
'Mountain Spirit lost its effects a month ago when the 397th blood vein manifested. During this month, I did not rely on Mountain Spirit and increased two more blood veins at a very slow speed, only then did I reach the eighth level of the Blood Solidification Realm…
'The path of self-cultivation is indeed difficult.'
There was a resolute look on his face as he sensed the strength of his Qi within his body.
'No matter what, there's a limit to how much the pills can offer me. I can't reach the peak with their help. It's also a good thing that Mountain Spirit lost its effects. From here on, I can avoid being too dependent on it!
'Besides, I have two more drops of Berserker Blood. These two drops of Blood should be able to increase my blood veins by a large amount once more! After that, I'll have to search for a place to perform the burning of blood!
'I wonder how many blood veins will I be able to increase once I perform the fifth burning of blood…'
Su Ming had first-hand experience of the overbearing might of the burning of blood. The last few times, his blood veins had increased by several fold, but at the same time, the level of difficulty and danger of the execution of the Art was also incredibly high.
Su Ming fell into a moment of pensive silence before he brought out a small bottle from his storage bag. He looked at the small bottle, and the cold in his eyes melted, exchanged for a gentleness and nostalgia.
The small bottle was personally given to him by the elder. There were two drops of Berserker Blood within that belonged to Jing Nan, the Elder of Wind Stream Tribe.
Su Ming held the bottle and closed his eyes. He could not help but remember the elder, his tribe, Lei Chen, Xiao Hong, and the petite figure who held his hand and smiled beautifully at him on the snowy land all those years ago.
"Su Ming, will we continue walking like this in the snow until our hair turns white..?"
Su Ming trembled. The scar on his face seemed to be suddenly filled with blood, and it became clearer. It did not fade away for a long time.
He opened his eyes, and there was dead stillness within. There was no longer any gentleness in his eyes, instead, the placid look had returned. Yet hidden within that collected gaze was a pain that no one could notice.
Su Ming lowered his head and uncorked the small bottle in his hand before tilting the bottle by his mouth. Only one drop of Berserker Blood fell down and melted in his mouth. Once again, he sensed the elder protecting him, afraid that he would drink all the Berserker Blood in an act of impulse. That was why he could only use one drop each time.
"Elder, I'm no longer as reckless as I was when I was young…" Su Ming mumbled. He circulated his Qi to absorb the strength of the one drop of Blood so that his blood veins could increase once again.
Days passed by. One month, two months… Very soon, three months passed by once again.
On one of the mornings three months later, Su Ming retrieved the red meadow under his feet and put away the two bones that had completed their task of serving as fertilizer for the herbs along with the medicinal cauldron. Once he was done, he walked out of the tree trunk.
He did not turn back as he walked farther into the distance. Every single time his feet landed, the mud on the ground would shudder, as if there was a pressure coming from Su Ming's body that caused the insects in the mud to run away from him.
One year and six months passed by, and Su Ming looked as if he had been reborn. When he was forced to run away to this place, he only had 200 something blood veins in his body. However, with the help of Mountain Spirit, his blood veins had increased to 399.
When Mountain Spirit had lost its effects, he completely absorbed the two drops of Berserker Blood in the past three months. As of now, his blood veins…
"He Feng, how far is the location where you hid the treasure?"
Every single step Su Ming took in the rainforest was about dozens of feet long. He wore a long blue robe, and as he walked, the strange insects on the ground avoided him. Some of the odd plants and creatures around him also did not dare approach him due to the pressure he exuded.
"Master, if you continue in this direction, then in half a month, you'll arrive at a cave abode of mine. But that place is well hidden. It'll be hard for people to find the place."
He Feng's voice echoed in his mind in a respectful tone. Besides respect, there was also shock and bafflement in his voice, as if he was surprised by the change in power within Su Ming.
Su Ming's expression remained indifferent. He did not say another word on the way and walked silently for a few days before eventually walking out of the deeper parts of the rainforest. As he walked out, the miasma also became thinner until it complete disappeared by the end.
He could see the mountain cave in which he had settled down to cure his wounds a few years ago.
Xuan Lun was not here. Han Fei Zi was also not here. The rainforest was very big, and there were multiple paths that could be used to exit the forest. Few people could completely monitor the forest. More importantly, once He Feng was assimilated into Su Ming's brand, Su Ming could also feel the brands that He Feng had previously left on Xuan Lun and Han Fei Zi. If the two of them got closer to him, he would notice them beforehand.
If He Feng had not listened to Han Fei Zi's words and plotted to use danger to Transcend, he would not have been chased down by Xuan Lun and fallen into this state.
Su Ming was about to walk out of the rainforest and head to the place where He Feng hid the treasure when his footsteps suddenly faltered. He thought for a moment before leaping up a big tree and sitting down cross-legged on the branch. He closed his eyes and spread out the branded area around him before starting to meditate.
He Feng could see what Su Ming was doing, and he could not understand it, but he did not bother him. He had been very careful during this past half a year, but he was still gradually beginning to be unable to guess what was on Su Ming's mind.
The sun rose and set, and days passed by. Su Ming continued sitting cross-legged, unmoving. It was as if he was waiting for something. He Feng became increasingly curious, and there were a few times where he was tempted to ask, but when he remembered Su Ming's morose attitude during this half a year, he withheld his question.
Half a month later, a voice traveled from a distance in the rainforest. Su Ming opened his eyes and a smile appeared on the corners of his lips.