Volume 23 –
The Samsara Of Life And Death
MW Chapter 1935
Seeing Lin Ming quietly looking at his wine cup, Jiang Baoyun couldn’t help but ask.
Lin Ming looked up. “Thank you…”
Jiang Baoyun was startled. He didn’t know what Lin Ming was thanking him for, but this was unimportant. He openly smiled and said, “It seems that I have hit it off with a new friend. Today, none of us will rest without being drunk!”
Jiang Lanjian also echoed this sentiment. He laughed, “Haha, no drunk no sleep!”
Jiang Baoyun looked at Lin Ming and suddenly said, “Truthfully speaking, you look like someone I knew once, so that was why I invited you here to drink wine.”
Lin Ming fell silent, not speaking too much.
“Friend, you’re quite the special one.” Jiang Baoyun was stunned. Normally, one would ask just which person they reminded him of, but this masked man only uttered a single ‘oh’.
Jiang Baoyun finished off his cup of wine. He recalled that time 130 years ago at the Seven Profound Valleys when he had fought Lin Ming in that unrivalled battle. In his life, that was his most unforgettable fight.
He sighed, saying, “You are indeed somewhat similar to my old friend, but you are actually different. You don’t seem as persevering as he was, but instead like an old man in the twilight of his life. But, that makes the weight on your back seem that much heavier…
“That old friend… I once tried to chase after his footsteps, but he kept running further and further away until I could no longer see him. Now, he should have already stepped onto the road towards the peak of martial arts, after all, that was his dream…”
“The peak of martial arts…” Lin Ming quietly said, somewhat at a loss. “What is the peak of martial arts?”
He asked Jiang Baoyun this question, but he also asked himself.
The truth was that in these past years, Lin Ming already had his doubts as to what the peak of martial arts was.
Countless peerless masters had searched for the peak of martial arts since ancient times.
For the peak of martial arts, Sheng Mei had done everything in her power, even giving up her body.
For the peak of martial arts, Divine Dream diligently strived and struggled.
For the peak of martial arts, the Good Fortune Saint Sovereign was willing to fuse with an abyssal without any hesitation…
But, just how far did they manage to go?
Not mentioning them, even the Asura Road Master or the creator of the Holy Scripture, the two of them… did they ever reach the peak of martial arts?
Jiang Baoyun said, “As to what that peak is, I don’t know. But I believe that when people see a group of mountains together, they call the top of the highest mountain the peak. If so, then my Sword Mountain is also the peak.”
Lin Ming shook his head, “Sword Mountain… is not enough.”
“Yes, it is not enough! When I mount the summit of Sword Mountain, I can overlook a country, but overlooking a country is far from enough. In this world there are endless mountain peaks. But, there must be a single mountain that is the highest. The higher a mountain peak, the more difficult it is for me. And to me, the most terrifying, the most horrifying thing is that I simply don’t know where this mountain is.”
Lin Ming calmly stared at this wine cup. Perhaps he already knew where this mountain was…
Between the three great universal divine tools, the roads of essence, energy, and divine, the Holy Scripture that cultivated the inner universe and the Heavenly Sutra that cultivated the outer universe. To fuse them together…
This was the highest peak?
Lin Ming wasn’t sure. But what he knew was that when Jiang Baoyun displayed his samsara sword arts, his dual swords weren’t anything at all when compared to the cultivation of essence, energy, divine, or the outer and inner universes.
Even if Jiang Baoyun had reached the limit of his road, that was only the heights of Sword Mountain.
“And will you keep searching?” Lin Ming suddenly asked Jiang Baoyun.
“Why wouldn’t I?” Jiang Baoyun laughed and filled his wine cup once more. “I will never stop searching. I know that my vision is limited and I might never be able to find it, but I will climb up as I did before, unendingly. I do not need to truly reach the highest peak in the world, but as I climb, I will be more than happy to simply see that peak above me!
“This is because when I climb to a new peak, my vision will expand further and I will be able to see where a higher peak lies. And when I climb up that new peak, I will find yet another higher one, and I will keep repeating this…”
“Is there any meaning to it?”
Lin Ming asked.
He knew how short a martial artist’s life was. If they took detour after detour, that would only make them waste away their youth.
“There is.” Jiang Baoyun solemnly nodded. He tossed back the wine in his cup. “Even if I have to climb without end in my life, even if I forever remain small and never see where the highest peak is, then at the very least… I will keep surpassing myself, I will keep defeating myself.”
At that moment, Lin Ming’s heart shook, as if something touched it.
Defeating himself… in life, a person’s greatest enemy was themselves.
Jiang Baoyun was doomed to never be able to step onto the peak of martial arts in his life, but, he still continued to seek it out, because every time he climbed a new mountain peak it would mean he had defeated his old self.
Sometimes, even if a person knew that what they were trying to do was impossible, they would still rush in without hesitation.
A moth to a flame – wasn’t this what it was?
Lin Ming was silent. He mulled over these new sentiments in his heart, not speaking.
He had once said that he was a moth willing to fly into the fire.
However, a human was not a moth.
For those who were willing to be moths that flew into the flames, the truth was that when they really did rush into that blazing inferno, they would still see a glimmer of hope within.
In the past, Lin Ming was also like this.
He said he would be a moth that flew into the flames, and he did do that, moreover, he even succeeded.
However, a real moth would not succeed.
For them to fly into a flame, what they faced was certain death.
When one truly saw no hope, when the flames burned brightly before them, how many people would still be willing to rush in?
“Let’s have another drink!”
Jiang Baoyun’s words broke Lin Ming’s reverie. Lin Ming drank another cup of wine.
Cup after cup, the thousand year fog flower wine was finished.
They changed to a new wine. Jar after jar, it was unknown how many jars they drank.
These three normally wouldn’t become drunk. But today, they did.
When a person was drunk, their thoughts would become muddled.
The lives of the people.
The common folk worked for their livelihoods, bustling about.
Nobles and officials engaged in intrigue and plotting for their countries and people.
Common martial artists fought in life and death slaughters to struggle for a higher boundary.
Empyreans and True Divinities schemed for their races and for the survival of their people…
Life was a battle, all muddled up together.
To savor the mellowness and spiciness of life, when the thoughts were truly muddled, perhaps that was when one could truly understand the mysteries…
This was the mood of wine, as well as the abstraction of life…
Lin Ming didn’t know how many jars of wine he drank. He only stopped when all three people were lying in a drunken daze on the ground, drifting off to sleep.
With this thought in mind, Lin Ming slept deeply.
It had been many years since he had rested like this.
He didn’t worry about humanity’s great calamity, he didn’t worry about being hunted by a True Divinity, and he didn’t worry about his fading fires of the soul.
A rare indulgence, a rare moment of muddled mindedness.
The awakening of a dream.
The night was deep.
Jiang Baoyun and Jiang Lanjian were still sleeping. The table was covered with messy bottles and cups of wine, and beside it were several empty wine jars.
Lin Ming looked at them for a while and then stood up.
And at this time, Jiang Baoyun also awoke.
Jiang Baoyun looked towards Lin Ming. Lin Ming nodded.
Lin Ming was silent for a moment before saying, “To another place…”
He had a premonition that this would be the last time he ever saw Jiang Baoyun.
Lin Ming continued, “And you?”
Jiang Baoyun smiled. “Me? I will be searching… for a higher mountain peak…”