Epilogue 2 – The Ant Exalt (Part 3/4)

On that day, a storm poured from the lightning clouds which covered the sky.

The little ant’s entire body was drenched by the icy cold storm as it was swept uncontrollably along the streams of water on the ground. At that instant, it was like the exhaustion and pain throughout its body had erupted, and it caused the little ant to sense death for the very first time.

It was even clearly aware that it was bound to die this time. However, it wasn’t willing to continue struggling. Its heart was completely deathly still as it waited for death to arrive.

It was at that moment which an icy cold voice that was filled with boundless arrogant rumbled through the storm. “Sages and gods? Nonsense! Even if all of you’ve exceeded the boundaries of the five elements and possess otherworldly ability, so long all as of you disregard the lives of all living beings, trample upon fairness, twist right and wrong, and neglect the difference between good and bad, then all of you must suffer the judgment of Samsara!”

That voice was extremely resolute and determined, and it was like the roar of a dragon as it surged through the world.

The little ant’s deathly still heart suddenly trembled incomprehensibly, and it couldn’t help but open its eyes. It saw a shocking scene that it would never be able to forget for eternity….

An extremely mighty figure stood high above in the sky like the pillar which kept the sky high up above, and that figure revealed an indescribable supreme bearing. It seemed like so long as he willed it, then the world wouldn’t be able to obstruct his footsteps and the Grand Dao could only bow before him!

However, countless gods of the entire world stood before that mighty figure!

Golden radiance rained down while the Dao rumbled. The gods which filled the sky seemed like they’d walked out from the legends itself, and they seemed like existences who were beyond this world. Every single one of them was extremely dignified and terrifying.

The tiny ant suddenly noticed that all the experts it had met in the past were so inferior and dimmed in comparison to them.

For example, someone like Qing Xiao’zi wasn’t even able to stand amongst them!

In the years that followed, the little ant would finally find out that the mighty man who appeared in the sky that day was the Third Netherworld Emperor who’d grasped the energy of Samsara!

The gods that had appeared that day were those responsible for the Third Netherworld Emperor’s death!

When that world shocking battle had erupted, the little ant wasn’t able to see anything or hear anything anymore. As the extremely terrifying force of the battle descended, it even wondered whether it would be affected and killed by the battle.

However, the little ant noticed that it was still alive after that world shocking battle went on for seven days and seven nights.

“I never expected that there would be an ant to send me off before I died. Little Fellow, live well. I’ll definitely drink with you until both of us drop if I have the chance to reincarnate.” A carefree and lighthearted voice resounded within the little ant’s heart, causing it to be stunned. It raised its head and looked towards the surroundings, but it only saw a blood red world that was covered in a scene of desolation.

Even though these words weren’t strong wine, they were even stronger than that. They burned the little ant to the point its blood boiled, and its spirits surged indescribably.

For the first time in its life, the little ant had been invited to drink by a mighty figure who was like a legend! Even if that invite was very difficult to be realized, but… the little ant remembered it, and it would never forget it.

Live well!I don’t just have to live well; I must live a life that’s even more dazzling than a shooting star!

The little ant stood amidst the scene of desolation here and gazed at the blood red sky while the resolve in its heart was never firmer.

However, passion and fervor could never overcome reality.

The little ant who had returned back to reality started once more on its distant and uncertain path, and it walked alone on its rough road ahead.

Coldness, ridicule, contempt, trampling, insult…. In the opinion of this tiny and lowly little ant, the path to seek the Dao was eternally filled with bumps and setbacks.

However, it refused to be struck down by them again, and its heart was unprecedentedly firm and determined.

Time flowed by.

After an unknown time passed, the little ant suddenly noticed that its body had aged. Every single stride it took wasn’t so firm and easy as it was before, and it had become heavy and unsteady.

Have I gotten old? The emotions which the little ant felt in its heart was indescribably complicated. It hadn’t lost to itself, yet it seemed to be on the verge of losing to time….

It didn’t linger too much on feeling sad about it, and it just continued forward in silence.

Even if it had gone old, and even if its vitality was slowly fading, it intended to die on its path of pursuing the Dao!

As for whether it could become as dazzling as a shooting star, the little ant’s heart had become very calm when facing such a thing. The path was before it, and it was searching incessantly without retreating. So, that was all that mattered.

At dusk one day, the extremely old little ant was finally unable to persist any longer, and it stopped and laid down by the side of an extremely verdant and small tree.

Its gaze shot towards the distant path ahead. There was no disappointment and frustration in his eyes, nor was there helplessness or regret. There was only calm in its eyes.

When it was young, it was completely ignorant like a blank piece of paper, and it left its nest without a shred of fear. It wasn’t willing to be ordinary and drag out its ignorable existence, and it wasn’t willing to just die off.

After that, it traveled constantly while overcoming all sorts of obstructions and tribulations, and it experienced the world and an endless amount of contempt and ridicule.

It walked in silence after every blow that was struck upon it, and while it was lonely, it wasn’t hesitant.

It knew what it wanted. It felt gratified by everything it experienced throughout its path because it was something which other ants were unable to understand.

Just like cultivation.

Even if the little ant hadn’t cultivated until now, it knew that cultivating existed, and it had never slacked off on its search!

“I would be willing to die at any time if I could grasp the Dao before that. I’ve experienced vicissitudes of life and the world. Even though I’ve never had the luck to cultivate, I have no regrets anymore.” The little ant muttered lightly. Even its voice was aged, and it carried a wise tone that could only be tempered through years of experience.

It had never lost hope after experiencing the entire world, so it had never disappointed the Grand Dao or itself!

“Little Ant, are you searching for the Grand Dao just like I am?” Suddenly, the small verdant tree spoke with a happy tone, and it seemed like it had found someone just like it.

“Yes.” The little ant gazed at the small verdant tree by its side and heart the small tree’s yearning and desire towards the path of cultivation within the small tree’s voice. In its daze, the little ant seemed to have seen itself from all those years ago, and it couldn’t help but say. “Yes, but I’m about to die of old age, and it’s impossible for me to go further. Little tree, you have to work hard. Time is merciless, so don’t lose time like I have.”

The small verdant tree spoke curiously. “Little ant, you seem to have experienced a lot. Can you tell me about it?”

The little ant smiled. “Of course.”

So, the little ant started recollecting and describing everything that it had experienced upon leaving its nest.

It didn’t exaggerate anything, but the small verdant tree’s heart shook as it listened to the little ant, and it wasn’t able to recover its calm for a very long time. How could it possibly imagine how rough and bumpy the path of an ant to seek the Dao would actually be?

When the sun was finally setting in the west, the world was dyed in a fiery orange color, and the little ant had finally finished describing its experience.

The small verdant tree fell silent for a long time before it said, “Little ant, even a myriad of hardships weren’t able to defeat you, so I believe that you’ll definitely be able to defeat time.”

It paused for a moment and continued. “Not to mention that while you’ve suffered all sorts of hardships all along the way, you’ve seen all sorts of sights as well. That’s a world that any other ant would have never been able to witness.

The little ant smiled proudly. “Of course. I’ve never regretted leaving my home, and I’ve never hated the pain and hardships I’ve experienced all along my path.”

The small verdant tree asked abruptly. “Little ant, do you have a name?”

The little ant was stunned, and then it shook its head after a long time passed. “I don’t.”

The small verdant tree stretched out a verdant branch of its and rubbed the little ant lightly as it said, “You’ve walked throughout your life without ever taking a step back, so why don’t you call yourself Walker?”

Walker?

The little ant seemed to be moved by this, and it nodded after a long time passed. “Alright, I like that name as well. Right, do you have a name?”

The small verdant tree said, “Call me Dark Parasol.”

Dark Parasol?

The little ant smiled. “That’s a nice name!”

The small verdant tree started smiling as well.

The little ant hadn’t noticed at all that while Dark Parasol’s verdant branch rubbed its body, strands of clear and glistening divine radiance were surging silently into its body, causing its originally aged and almost completely exhausted body to surge with abundant vitality.

“Walker, since you’re unable to find a path, then why don’t you create one of your own?” asked the small tree.

“Create my own Dao? That’s almost impossible. I don’t even know how to cultivate.” The little ant shook its head.

The small tree said, “I don’t know how to as well. However, I know where my path lies, and perhaps you can learn from me.”

The little ant was visibly moved. “You’ve laid eyes on your own path towards the Dao?”

The small tree said, “Yes, it’s hidden within my own body. See my trunk, branches, and leaves? All of them are branded with the marks of the Grand Dao, and I’ll truly be able to attain eternal life once I comprehend and grasp all of them.”

The little ant’s heart shook. It gazed carefully at the small tree’s branch and the leaves on it, and it really did notice numerous mysterious markings.

Those markings seemed to be ordinary. But when the little ant looked carefully, they seemed to be filled with an indescribable aura that was beyond profound.

In its gaze, the little ant seemed to have seen the marks of the ‘Dao’, and it sensed the aura of the Dao, causing it to be instantly dazed on the spot.

It forgot the heavens, the earth, itself, and even the passage of time. It lost all consciousness of hunger and cold, and it knew no exhaustion.

Summer left and winter came, and the seasons passed continuously.

A few hundred years passed by swiftly. The little ant was like a status that remained motionless on the spot, and its body was covered in a thick layer of dust.

The little ant hadn’t noticed that a few hundred years had passed yet it actually hadn’t died.

It hadn’t noticed that the small verdant tree by its side had matured into a tall, sturdy, and versant tree. Its leaves were a glistening dark green, and they flowed and were enshrouded with a mysterious aura.

Bang!

One day, violent rumbling suddenly resounded, and it jolted the little ant awake.

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