Chapter 1940 – Understanding Life and Death
Lin Ming didn’t walk the same path of cultivation.
In the past when Lin Ming was at the Revolving Core realm he had gone to the Holy Demon Continent and the Eternal Demon Abyss to adventure. Then, he returned to the Sky Spill Continent to strike down Xuan Wuji before making a trip to the four Divine Kingdoms. After absorbing all sorts of resources, he managed to break into Life Destruction.
That sort of cultivation method was the best possible given Lin Ming’s circumstances at the time.
But to the present Lin Ming, all of that was meaningless.
All the previous cultivation methods of his past weren’t of much value to Lin Ming currently.
Lin Ming’s only hope for revival was the Holy Scripture and Heavenly Sutra.
The Great Dao was boundless and limitless. According to Jiang Baoyun’s words, if there was a highest martial arts peak in this world then it would likely be the fusion of the Holy Scripture and Heavenly Sutra, as well as the triumvirate of essence, energy, and divine.
Lin Ming’s life source was ruined and conventional cultivation methods had no significance to him.
His only possible path out was to search the Holy Scripture and Heavenly Sutra for a turning point to reverse the Heavenly Dao.
However, he only had 20 some years left to live.
Day after day, year after year.
Training continued without sense of time. Soon, 15 years passed.
Lin Ming sat motionless in the stone cave.
His cultivation had paused at the Revolving Core realm and didn’t break into Life Destruction.
This was because he didn’t cultivate at all during these past 15 years. Rather, he was enlightening himself.
With his return to the mortal realm for so many years, he had seen the myriad changes and moods of mortality, and he used these feelings to become more aware of the Holy Scripture and Heavenly Sutra.
The Heavenly Sutra that cultivated the universe of the world was in essence the Heavenly Dao and nature itself.
In the past, Lin Ming’s understanding of the Heavenly Dao had been confined to perceiving each Law, where he was limited in the 33 Great Daos.
In truth, this was already an incredibly deep level of comprehension. Let alone the martial artists of the lower realms who couldn’t even walk down the road of a single Law to its extremes, even a supreme elder of the Divine Realm would often only cultivate a single Law to the peak in their entire life. They simply wouldn’t have the good fortune to come into contact with the 33 Great Daos.
But now, the Heavenly Sutra that Lin Ming was understanding was no longer just becoming enlightened on these things.
The Laws were a part of the Heavenly Dao, but they weren’t everything.
There was much, much more.
As Lin Ming walked through the world during these years, he had seen the samsara of the Heavenly Dao, he had seen birth and death; all of this was a part of the Heavenly Dao.
The Heavenly Dao was constant, but life was forever changing. Lin Ming now possessed a deeper understanding of the Heavenly Dao.
And these understandings were all fused into the Heavenly Sutra, causing the Heavenly Sutra to include many things that it didn’t before.
It had to be known that when the Asura Road Master created the Heavenly Sutra, he had used 3.3 billion years to do so. One life one Empyrean, one life one Divinity. The Heavenly Sutra could be called broad and profound, but if one wished to add to it, wanted to fuse their own feelings and understandings into it, wasn’t that easier said than done?
But Lin Ming was boldly doing all of this. He didn’t know if what he added was right or wrong, but what he did know was that what he added was most perfectly suited to himself.
After the Heavenly Sutra was the Holy Scripture.
To the current Lin Ming, the Holy Scripture was in truth more important.
This was because the Holy Scripture that cultivated the inner universe was in essence cultivating one’s existence, cultivating one’s life. In these years, Lin Ming’s understanding of life had become more deep than it was.
He slowly savored the taste of life. It savored not only his own life, but the life of others. Suffering children, a poor aunty who set up a stall, Zhu Yan whose heart was higher than the heavens but was eventually defeated by reality and even then didn’t give up, but decided to pursue a new goal in life. And even Jiang Baoyun, who desperately chased after his goals without any hesitation…
He had seen a hundred ways of life. Now that he looked through the Holy Scripture again, his mentality had become completely different from before.
The Holy Scripture that Lin Ming obtained was in truth extremely incomplete.
He hadn’t seen the pages of death from the Holy Scripture. When Sheng Mei had given Lin Ming the duplicate copy jade slip of the golden pages, their content had been that of the pages of life. Moreover, as a mere copy, there was inevitably wrong information in what was recorded.
As for the black book that was recorded in the Holy Scripture and was now in the Soul Emperor’s hands, Lin Ming hadn’t even seen it.
The pages of death from the Holy Scripture were even more mysterious. If Lin Ming wished to enlighten himself on the Holy Scripture like this, it was an impossible task. After all, Lin Ming hadn’t even lived for 200 years.
However, Lin Ming truly did become aware of some things.
Of course, the things he comprehended weren’t as deep and all-encompassing as what would be written in the pages of death. Still, as long as he could perceive things that were most suited to himself, that was more than enough.
This was because currently, Lin Ming was experiencing death!
He could watch as his own fires of life faded more and more with each passing day, and could feel death arriving closer with each moment. He could even clearly hear the footsteps of the grim reaper coming for him.
To understand life and death on the verge of oblivion, there was no situation that was more profound than now!
In fact, even the creator of the Holy Scripture didn’t manage to thoroughly comprehend death. The Art of Eternal Life that he established also had its flaws.
At the very least, the creator of the Holy Scripture didn’t manage to obtain immortality.
Perhaps, this might have been because the creator of the Holy Scripture hadn’t experienced the despair of witnessing his own fires of life dimming down with each day. That creator had never experienced what Lin Ming was feeling now…
To understand the Heavenly Dao and perceive life and death.
Lin Ming sat motionlessly in the cave.
Dust fell over his body.
Like this, three more years passed.
Lin Ming’s fires of life were now a candle in the wind, seeming as if it could be extinguished at any moment. However, Lin Ming’s face was like a rock sculpture, lacking any emotion at all.
His heart was calm to the extreme.
In this absolute silence, Lin Ming quietly comprehended the Holy Scripture’s pages of death.
He wanted to thoroughly understand death and then seek out life from death.
He had far too many matters left unfinished…
His life passed. Lin Ming’s eyes became increasingly cloudy with each day. His eyes were like the Soul Emperor’s eyes in the past. After opening them, the cataracts were so pronounced that he nearly lost his sight.
His mortal body remained as formidable as it was before. But because of his feeble soul, he lost control over his own body.
He could no longer move his lower legs…
Lin Ming was silent. He had been sitting cross-legged on the ground for all this time, and now he could no longer feel his calves.
This sort of feeling, or lack of feeling, slowly spread upwards.
As if he were being petrified over time.
From his calves, next was his thighs, his waist…
Currently, Lin Ming truly was like a statue. If his soul were to completely die away at this time then his life would have reached its end.
But his mortal body would remain behind, not rotting even after 100,000 years.
Gradually, Lin Ming lost all feeling in his chest. Even the movement of his arms slowed down.
Although his heart was still beating and blood was pumping through his veins, it wasn’t something controlled by Lin Ming at all.
Death had never been this close.
Still, he didn’t manage to find a way to live through comprehending the pages of death.
All of this was just far too difficult!
Even if Lin Ming’s foundation was solid to the limit, even if he had experienced the ups and downs of life, had seen the myriad states of humanity, had become thoroughly aware of his own life…
Even then, wanting to find a way to live from the threat of certain death was as difficult as ascending to the heavens!
“How hateful… if only I was given another hundred years to perceive, if only I could use the Magic Cube….”
Lin Ming was unwilling. He didn’t want to die through the depletion of his soul.
If he could use a divine instrument of the soul like the Magic Cube, then although it wouldn’t cause Lin Ming’s fires of life to blaze brightly once more, he could still use it to stabilize his spiritual sea and slow down the collapse of his inner world.
Lin Ming could feel that his days were numbered; he didn’t have much time left remaining. If things continued like this then he absolutely would not be able to find a turning point in his own fate.
However, he didn’t want to give up like before. He called upon the tiny bit of soul force left remaining within his body and poured it into his collapsed inner world where it would flutter towards the Magic Cube.
In Lin Ming’s fragmented inner universe that was filled with holes everywhere, the Magic Cube floated in space. This space was deathly still, with massive spatial cracks spreading out in all directions.
A tiny, imperceptible stream of soul fire flew out from the space crack and towards the Magic Cube. This was nearly all of the little bit of soul force that Lin Ming had left remaining.
This tiny trace of soul force was infused with the entirety of the feelings that Lin Ming had realized. He poured in his complete understandings of the Heavenly Dao samsara that mortals encountered. He added in everything he had learned about the samsara of life and death.
This was the fruit that resulted from Lin Ming’s last 20 years of cultivation.
The weak bit of soul fire fluttered towards the Magic Cube and then disappeared into it.
Like a tiny stream converging into a lake, there was no change at all.
The Magic Cube continued to revolve in that shattered space, spinning as it did before.
Lin Ming quietly waited. What he waited for was death, or perhaps a miracle.
His mind was as still as a placid like. Even though he could sense his source soul force weakening with every day, even when he couldn’t operate the Magic Cube, he still maintained his calm and quiet expression from beginning to end.
Lin Ming felt his heart tighten. If he were to fail here then that was the will of the heavens and the fate of those who live and die.
If he died here, then that would be a part of the Heavenly Dao samsara.
If humanity was on the decline and would eventually be annihilated by the saints and the spiritas, then this was simply the will of the heavens. In the long river of history, there had never been a race that was glorious until the end of time!
Time silently passed. Lin Ming’s heart reached an unprecedented state of clarity.
He recalled his life.
In his short several dozen years of life, he had experienced glory, had experienced despair, and had shown nothing but disdain for any rivals who dared to challenge him. In the end, he even made a saint True Divinity unable to remain calm. But in the end, he had come to such a result?
As Lin Ming recalled his life, he heard a light sound.
This impossibly weak sound seemed to be from his inner world sympathetically resonating with him. This caused Lin Ming’s nearly dried up spiritual sea to slowly tremble!
This was a never before seen degree of clarity!
He could see that in his inner world, the Magic Cube was lightly trembling!
This trembling was weak, but Lin Ming could immediately feel a warm and loving soul force. This soul force was connecting to his own spiritual sea, and was even related to the Magic Cube!
However, Lin Ming’s current soul force was far from enough to open the Magic Cube.
Thus, he was surprised to hear an elderly voice echo in his ears.
“Lin Ming… it’s been a while since we last saw each other…”
This sound was…
Lin Ming was stunned.
This was Empyrean Divine Mist!
In the past, Lin Ming entered the Asura Road and was forced into Tragic Death Valley by Tian Mingzi.
In Tragic Death Valley, he met Empyrean Divine Mist. Empyrean Divine Mist showed Lin Ming graciousness by teaching him.
Because Empyrean Divine Mist had been trapped there for so many years, he had consumed a great deal of his soul force and didn’t have much time left remaining. Thus, Lin Ming sealed his soul into the Magic Cube where he could rest deeply. Lin Ming hoped that there would be a day in the future when he could help Empyrean Divine Mist restore his vitality and remold his soul. Although Empyrean Divine Mist might not be restored to his situation from the past, Empyrean Divine Mist hoped he could still live out the rest of his natural lifespan.
After that, Lin Ming fell into a slaughter of life and death. Because of humanity’s great calamity and the fact that Empyrean Divine Mist had fallen asleep in the Magic Cube, he had never thought of a day when Empyrean Divine Mist would awaken…