Pursuit of the Truth Chapter 181
The Branding Art was only used to destroy the stone pillar. At other times, Su Ming would keep it in himself. He did not wait for night to fall, did not activate the Branding Art, even fine control was rarely used. He only used the power of all the blood veins he had at that point in his body.
After the few months of meditating in the isolation grounds of Han Mountain’s ancestor, Su Ming had discovered something unique that existed only within those who attained completion for the Blood Solidification Realm – if he did not want to, his blood veins would not appear on his skin.
During the first five sections, Su Ming only used the power of around 700 blood veins. He only used the full power of all 979 blood veins when he was walking on the sixth section of the Chain.
Su Ming knew he had to use some of his hidden techniques when he faced the seventh section of the Chain, or else, with just the power of the 979 blood veins, even if he managed to finish walking past the seventh section, the life force that was absorbed would affect his future plans.
‘My body will recover quicker under the moonlight… the same goes for my blood circulation. It’ll also produce more life force for me…’
Su Ming lifted his head and looked at the moon in the sky. Most of it was concealed by the clouds. The moon was not round, but in Su Ming’s eyes, the moon belonged solely to him.
Moonlight shone on the ground without form. Some of the light was reflected off the small drops of rain, forming brilliant colors that could not be seen by others. As the light blended into Su Ming’s body, he slowly rose up and walked towards the seventh section of the Chain.
"He started on the seventh section!"
"This section is incredibly dangerous. It’s far too easy falling to your death here. I also heard that a lot of people failed at this section!"
"It’s a pity… this person already wasted too much energy in the sixth section. The seventh section might be difficult for him."
Moonlight scattered on the ground at night. It might not be as bright as daylight, but the people could still see Su Ming walking towards the seventh section of the Chain. The crowd had already been watching for an entire morning, but they refused to go and rest even if it was night. Some of them even chose to go to places where there was no rain to sit down and watch as they talked amongst themselves.
The old woman might have been tired, but she continued standing on the summit of Lake of Colors Mountain with Yan Luan supporting her as she watched.
"The seventh section… the section of doom…" the old woman mumbled.
Yan Luan was silent. She did not speak, but simply looked onward.
At that moment, Su Ming did not realize that behind him, in a house on the second layer of Han Mountain, was Han Fei Zi, who had arrived some time ago. She had been standing there for a long time already, looking at Su Ming’s back, pondering about something.
Everyone on the mountain belonging to Tranquil East Tribe was watching.
The tribe leader of Tranquil East hesitated for a moment before he looked towards the Elder by his side. "Can he walk through the seventh section..?"
"You should ask Han Cang Zi about that," the Elder of Tranquil East said languidly with a calm expression on his old and aged face.
Han Cang Zi was silent for a moment before she spoke in a gentle but firm tone.
The silent crowd on Puqiang Tribe also started discussing amongst themselves in low tones when Su Ming moved.
"Perhaps we don’t even need to do anything anymore. Judging by his actions during the sixth section, he won’t be able to complete the seventh section!"
"Even if it’s me, walking through the sixth section wouldn’t have been so difficult. Looks like we overestimated this person."
"Best that he fails, or else we’ll have to continue waiting here, and I’ll have to waste my time."
The sounds of discussion were low, but the words were cold, just like the Berserker Art Puqiang practiced, they were filled with the implications of death.
Only the Elder of Puqiang Tribe and the man who looked like a mountain of flesh did not speak along with the others. These two people’s expressions were different. The Elder of Puqiang Tribe sat with narrowed eyes, not revealing his thoughts. As for the man who looked like a mountain of flesh, he was frowning.
"What are your thoughts?"
The Elder of Puqiang Tribe, the old man so dried up that he looked like a skeleton, cast a glance at the man beside him.
"There are three reasons as to why he destroyed the stone pillars. One, as a warning. Two, to be intimidating. Three, to cut off his own retreat, putting himself in a position where he must finish challenging the Chain.
"No one would do that, but he did… From these tiny details, we can tell that this person has a certain amount of confidence, but his confidence shouldn’t be too great, or else he wouldn’t need to cut off his own retreat.
"However, I think he can complete the seventh section," the man who looked like a mountain of flesh said slowly as a glint appeared in his eyes.
The rain at night was weak, but there was still the occasional thunder rumbling. Sometimes, lightning would flash in the sky and slice through the air, making the land bright for an instant.
At that moment, a bolt of lightning appeared, and in the short moment when the land was lit up, the crowd saw Su Ming taking his first step towards the seventh section of the Chain from the sixth stone pillar.
Yet the moment he took his first step, Su Ming lurched forward.
The others could not see it, but at that moment, the second his foot landed, Su Ming saw a person suddenly appear on the seventh section of the Chain.
A faint voice floated towards him and traveled into Su Ming’s ears, causing his heart, which was uninfluenced by virtually everything, to tremble the instant he heard the voice.
Su Ming immediately recognized the owner of the voice!
The moment he called out the name, the apparition no longer remained obscured, but instantly turned clear. Very soon, a person with an alien appearance, but with a pair of familiar eyes appeared before Su Ming!
There was a pained look on the person’s face. He stood there with a baffled expression. There were numerous wounds on his body, and Su Ming could see some black insects crawling in those wounds. That person looked incredibly old, and his right eye was blind. At that moment, that eye let out a fierce light, but his left eye was staring at Su Ming dumbly, with disbelief.
"Su Ming… is that really you..? This is… This is…"
The person trembled and the pained look on his face grew worse. It was as if the pain he suffered at that moment was unbearable. Su Ming even saw a circular mark at the center of his brows.
That mark was completely black. There was even black mist coming out from it, as if the mark had penetrated through his entire skull.
"This is impossible… It’s not you! You’re not you! Who are you?"
The person suddenly roared and glared at Su Ming. He took a huge step forward and charged towards Su Ming.
A strong presence suddenly erupted forth from Lei Chen’s body. When that presence appeared, Su Ming felt as if everything around him had frozen up. A mighty pressure fused with the aura of death pressed on him like a gigantic hand, causing his body to tremble.
"Lei Chen…" Su Ming mumbled.
His heart pounded and raced against his chest. He absolutely did not expect that something like this would appear on the seventh section of the Chain!
"This is fake. I’m challenging the Chains of Han Mountain, this is just an illusion formed in my heart…"
Su Ming’s mind was not muddled. It was the opposite. His mind was incredibly clear, but it was this lucidity that made his heart tremble.
"You! Who are you?" Lei Chen growled ferociously.
He was still closing in on Su Ming. A vicious presence crashed into Su Ming’s body when Lei Chen was not even 100 feet away from him. A killing intent fueled by madness also appeared in Lei Chen’s right eye.
"Lei Chen, I’m Su Ming…"
Su Ming was clearheaded, but the more lucid he was, the more terrified he became. He was not afraid of Lei Chen, nor of the heavens and earth, it was a fear that he could not describe!
"I am Su Ming… I am Su Ming…" he mumbled.
He looked at Lei Chen closing in on him viciously. He clenched his right hand and hurled his fist forward, but stopped abruptly when his fist was three inches away from his face.
He stopped because Su Ming uttered one sentence.
"You once asked whether we would change…"
Lei Chen trembled. His bloodshot eyes were filled with viciousness and the remnants of disbelief. There was even terror as he looked at Su Ming dumbly.
"That’s impossible… I buried you with my own hands… Is this an illusion..? Is this another one of those illusions that’re part of my training..?"
Lei Chen laughed brokenly and retracted his right fist before punching his own chest. A muffled boom reverberated through the air, and Lei Chen’s body dissipated instantly, turning into an indistinct blur once again that gradually disappeared from Su Ming’s eyes.
Su Ming’s breathing quickened. He had not experienced such a change when he had walked through the six sections of the Chains of Han Mountain, neither did he act this way under Puqiang’s delicate words. Yet now, he could barely control his own breathing. He panted harshly.
‘Is this an illusion or is it the truth?!
‘Is this my illusion… or Lei Chen’s illusion…
‘Is this my reality, or Lei Chen’s reality?! Lei Chen’s appearance has changed a lot, and he has become so powerful… Is this my imagination…?’
Su Ming trembled, as if he could not wake up from his nightmare.
At that moment, a shocking uproar broke out in Han Mountain City. That commotion made all the people sitting down stand up once again. Lake of Colors Tribe, Tranquil East Tribe, and even Puqiang Tribe were taken aback.
All of them clearly saw Su Ming walking forward on the seventh section of the Chain in the night. Yet his movements were completely different from before. It was as if he had forgotten that this was the Chains of Han Mountain, and he had forgotten that he was walking on a chain, not a smooth pavement.
At that moment, Su Ming looked as if he had lost his soul and his mind before these people’s eyes. Even if he was moving, he looked like a walking corpse. There was even once where he almost missed his footing.
This was definitely not something a person with a clear mind would do!
"This again?! I remember hearing from someone before that every challenger walking on the seventh section would become like this!
"Just what secret lies in the seventh section?!"
"It’s over. He didn’t slip when he almost missed his footing just now because the wind was small and the Chain wasn’t swaying too hard… Now… the wind is here!"
The discussions that rose like tidal waves stopped instantaneously due to the sudden appearance of the fierce wind. As the wind moaned in the air, the seventh section of the Chain started swaying furiously, and the speed at which it swung also increased.
At that moment, a bolt of lightning sliced through the air, causing the discussions that had halted to rise once again in a volume louder than before!
Because at the moment the bolt of lightning lit up the world, they saw clearly. On the Chain, Su Ming lifted his right foot stiffly, and… slipped!