Volume 23 –
The Samsara Of Life And Death
MW Chapter 1957
Sky Fortune Kingdom, Green Mulberry City –
Aged architecture, pedestrians of all kinds, sweet and savory candied fruits, fragrant teas…
This was a city that had been unchanged for a thousand years, a constant scene of peace and tranquility.
Today, Green Mulberry City welcomed several unusual strangers.
They were Lin Ming and his parents.
After a thousand and several hundred years, dozens of generations of people had already passed in Green Mulberry City.
No one recognized Lin Ming and no one recognized his parents, but they had still heard of Lin Ming’s legends.
This name would be passed down for several hundreds of thousands of years…
Lin Ming entered Green Mulberry City like common folk. They walked down new streets that had been renovated many times already, and these still familiar streets left Lin Ming’s parents filled with emotion.
They arrived at the Lin Family restaurant. This was a historical landmark that had been sealed away for over a thousand years, and was the true home of Lin Ming and his parents.
Because this building had been carefully maintained by others, it still remained completely intact.
However, after the glazed tiles withstood the wind and rain of over a thousand years, they were no longer bright.
The red lacquered columns and doors, even if washed and repainted several times, began to slowly turn mottled, revealing the flavor of passing years.
The front door opened. What greeted one’s sight was the lobby of the restaurant.
The marbled blue stone ground was old, but the cleaned furniture was exactly the same as in the past…
Lin Ming was able to recall the scene of him jumping about this lobby when he was a child.
All sorts of people would come to this restaurant. Some would be here to drink wine, some would be here to drink tea, some would come and tell stories, some would come and play cards, some would play the zither, some would play chess…
Lin Ming remembered many of those old regulars. When he ran through this lobby as a child, these people would give Lin Ming some candies to eat.
“Even through the years, it’s still the same…”
Lin Mu’s old eyes filled with tears. She traced the counter of the old tables as she recalled the past. Lin Fu used to stand here, wearing a loose gray cotton robe and a small felt hat. He would hold an abacus in his hands, recording numbers in the ledger as noises filled the air.
As for Lin Mu, she would help in the kitchen. After every dish was finished the waiter would bring it back and shout out with a voice full of charm, “The dish is ready!” Then, with a towel on his shoulder, the waiter would set down the dish, wiping clean the table and helping brew some tea.
Lin Mu, Lin Fu, as well as Lin Ming, the three of them lived in this restaurant.
This was their family home. The two old parents wished to pass the final years of their life here…
This restaurant was no longer open for business, but every day, Lin Mu would prepare food in the kitchen and Lin Ming would help at her side.
This three person family was happy and warm. But, Lin Mu still carried a single worry with her, and that was that Lin Ming remained unmarried…
Although Lin Ming could see the thoughts of his parents, he always kept his silence.
On this day, a visitor came to the Lin Family restaurant. A woman in a black dress looking just over 20 years old arrived. Her cultivation was unexpectedly at the late Divine Sea realm.
This woman was Situ Mingyue.
In the Sky Spill Continent, it was incredibly difficult for a martial artist to reach the late Divine Sea realm before a thousand years of age.
“Oh? You want to ascend?”
Lin Ming looked at Situ Mingyue with surprise. In truth, this was a reasonable desire. A martial artist who had climbed to the peak of the lower realms would not be satisfied with dwelling there. They would want to fly into the Divine Realm, seeing a broader world where they could freely spread their wings.
Situ Mingyue was well aware of Lin Ming’s identity. She wanted to consult with him before preparing to ascend.
However, Lin Ming shook his head, “You… cannot ascend.”
Situ Mingyue’s heart skipped a beat. She could sense in Lin Ming’s eyes a type of deep and sorrow-filled emotion, one that caused her heart to shrink.
“The Divine Realm…has changed. Moreover… this world was once sealed by a woman. With your strength, you cannot break through…”
Lin Ming sighed. Situ Mingyue was left puzzled.
The Divine Realm had changed? The world of the Sky Spill Planet was sealed?
She suddenly remembered. If Lin Ming decided to reincarnate on the Sky Spill Planet, was this involved with the so-called changing of the Divine Realm?
She didn’t know what it was but she could feel instinctually that this ‘change’ must have been some heaven-shaking calamity.
“What happened in the Divine Realm?” Situ Mingyue couldn’t help but ask.
“The invasion of an outside race.” Lin Ming succinctly replied. He looked up to the skies, as if his eyes could see through the starry space and into the Divine Realm. “Humanity… is on the brink of disaster…”
Situ Mingyue’s eyes widened. She thought that the great change that occurred in the Divine Realm might be some inner strife amongst humans, but she never imagined it would be because of the invasion of some alien race. And for humanity to already be in a precarious situation…
“If Senior has returned to the Sky Spill Planet from the Divine Realm, and has cultivated all over from a new rebirth, is this also related to that disaster?” Situ Mingyue asked. Lin Ming nodded.
“Sage Lin, your parents, they don’t seem to know of your identity. Have you never mentioned it?” Situ Mingyue asked again.
Lin Ming shook his head. “They don’t know nor does it matter. What they feel towards me is a connection that comes from the depths of their bloodline; it isn’t something that can be mistaken. I am their son and I cannot mention what I have experienced in life, otherwise I will have to tell them why I returned to the Sky Spill Planet, why my wives and Lin Xiaoge weren’t able to return, why I returned to being a baby…
“If my parents know the real situation of what is occurring, they will not be able to rest peacefully.”
Lin Ming quietly said. Situ Mingyue was left disappointed.
After a long period of silence, Situ Mingyue unwillingly asked, “Then… is there nothing that can be done?”
“I don’t know.” Lin Ming said. “I will return, perhaps in 10,000 years…”
10,000 years was the deadline that Lin Ming had set for himself.
To comprehend and fuse the Holy Scripture and Heavenly Sutra, to grow his inner world, to dual cultivate the universe of the body and the world, all of this couldn’t be done rapidly but required an extremely long period of time.
10,000 years was already far too little time.
He wanted to grasp as much time as he could to accomplish all that he could. Only like this could he return to the Divine Realm and have a chance to struggle with the saints and the even more terrifying Soul Emperor.
Hearing this, Situ Mingyue sucked in a deep breath, her expression a bit bitter and pained.
For a Divine Sea powerhouse, living to 10,000 years was their limit. Yet, this was a time period that Lin Ming casually tossed out. His words left her wallowing in despair.
If she was unable to surpass the Divine Sea realm, then by that time she would already be on the verge of death or she would have even become nothing more than bones.
Lin Ming could see Situ Mingyue’s thoughts. He said, “You can wander to travel. This lower realm dimension consists of more than the Sky Spill Planet. I can give you a spirit ship and a star chart so that you can visit other planets. Although you cannot ascend to the Divine Realm, freely wandering this world will still be helpful to you. At least, breaking through the Divine Sea won’t be difficult.”
Lin Ming casually said. But, Situ Mingyue still held unwillingness in her heart. She knew that if she couldn’t ascend to the Divine Realm and was only able to wander the lower realms, then no matter what she tried she wouldn’t be able to accomplish anything great. To barely surpass the Divine Sea realm would be her limit.
She bit her lips and looked at Lin Ming. Summoning every ounce of courage she had, she deeply bowed towards him, “Senior, I wonder if… you can take me as your apprentice?”
Lin Ming was stunned. He looked at her and slowly shook his head. “No. I have never taken in an apprentice and I have far too many matters I have yet to complete. I don’t wish to form any new karmic ties here.”
The destiny of a world, cause and effect, all of these were ephemeral and unpredictable things that Lin Ming didn’t want to be touched by. If he accepted an apprentice then he would have to take on the responsibility of a master.
Currently, Lin Ming didn’t have the time or energy to do all of this.
Listening to Lin Ming’s words, deep disappointment flashed in Situ Mingyue’s eyes.
In truth, she didn’t hold much hope that this was possible either. She was self-aware that even though her talent was at the peak of the lower realms, in Lin Ming’s eyes, it was probably nothing more than ordinary.
Even if Lin Ming accepted an apprentice, he would never accept her.
“I’m sorry for disturbing Senior.”
Situ Mingyue ruefully smiled. She deeply bowed towards Lin Ming once more and then turned to leave.
But at this time, faint footsteps sounded out from behind them. Lin Mu walked down the stairs and was immediately overjoyed to see Situ Mingyue. She called out, “Miss Situ? How come Miss Situ is here?”
When Lin Ming and his parents returned to Green Mulberry City to live in seclusion, this was information that not even many high-level figures of the four Divine Kingdoms were aware of. Lin Mu never thought that Situ Mingyue would actually find this place. This caused her to make some exciting associations.
Situ Mingyue hurriedly bowed as she saw Lin Mu. But by now, Lin Mu had already gently grasped Situ Mingyue’s hand and was pulling her down to sit, saying that she had to stay and eat a meal.
Situ Mingyue was helpless. She looked towards Lin Ming. Lin Ming hesitated for a moment and then slowly nodded.
Like this, the family dinner started.
Fresh and fragrant rice, six simple dishes, four pairs of chopsticks. Lin Fu even heated a pot of wine, pouring two cups to celebrate.
Although the old couple had returned to their past home and their mood was very good, they always held onto some regrets. This was from the monotony and loneliness brought about by such peaceful silence.
They hoped for quiet and peace even as they wished to see a lively family. Of course, if it was someone that could make their family lively, it also had to be someone that they liked and hoped to see…
Situ Mingyue was exactly such a person.
A simple meal, a simple happiness. Lin Mu constantly picked up dishes to place in Situ Mingyue’s bowl, her smile both gentle and kind.
“Eat some more. This is the sweet and sour fish that he loved to eat the most when he was a child. Only the sweet and sour fish of our hometown is the best. From Green Mulberry River, you need to fish up a big carp that is at least three jins heavy. Of course, it has to be fresh, and the ingredients also need to include the finest rock sugar…”
Lin Mu proudly said. Situ Mingyue knew that the ‘he’ Lin Mu spoke of referred to Lin Ming and also Lin An.
Lin Mu might not know that Lin An was Lin Ming, but what she knew was that the dishes they loved to eat were the exact same…
“Miss Situ, this is wine that I made myself. Here, try a little…”
Lin Fu laughed as he spoke.
Lin Ming saw the wonderful mood his parents were in. Although they had been happy these years, it had never been like today where they revealed smiles from the depths of their heart.
Lin Ming’s heart stirred. He let out a light sigh and came to a decision.
His lips moved as he sent out a true essence sound transmission. “Situ Mingyue, you and I can be master and apprentice for 100 years, but we will normally not refer to ourselves as master and apprentice. I only need you to accompany my parents, and I will teach you cultivation methods and give you a blessing of good fortune. After a hundred years pass, I will reincarnate and cultivate from nothing again, and as for you, that is when you and I part.”
As Situ Mingyue was eating, her chopsticks shook. She looked at Lin Ming, at a loss for words…