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The shrine hall was extremely s.p.a.cious inside, and aside from the throne, there was no other object within the place. Even the foundation pillars couldn’t be seen, making Jian Chen wonder just how the roof was being supported. Right in front of the throne was a single white robed figure whose back was facing them. There was no significant presence to be felt, it seemed as if he was already one with the world.
Jian Chen and Ming Dong walked forward until they stopped right before the center of the hall. Cupping their hands, they bowed down to the elder, “We greet the senior!”
“Ai….” A long exhale could be heard from the elder, but that one breath had a single feeling of emotion to it. Afterward, the man slowly turned around, allowing Jian Chen and Ming Dong to see his appearance. He was a middle aged man who looked to be around forty years old with a highly capable look to him.
The white robed man looked at Ming Dong with a strange gaze that seemed to be able to penetrate the fabrics of the world s.p.a.ce and see through time itself without any blemishes. After some time, the middle aged man sighed once more as his eyes moved from Ming Dong to the highest point of the heavens. “Five thousand years….after five thousand years….Yitian, I’ve finally found your descendant, I can at last achieve your final wishes…”
“Five thousand years!” Hearing that, Jian Chen and Ming Dong both looked on in shock. Could it be that this forty year old man was actually a five thousand year old eccentric? The words after that weren’t heard by the two.
“Ai…” As if remembering something from the past, the man let out another breath before smiling at Ming Dong, “Child, come here.”
Nervously, Ming Dong walked forward at a slow pace before saying, “Senior!”
Within the empty hand of the man, a dark green colored jade piece could be seen. The very moment Ming Dong saw the jade piece, his eyes were glued to it.
“My child, do you feel a strange sort of calling now, one that causes you to feel that you aren’t capable of thinking independently?” The man spoke to Ming Dong with a soft voice.
“Yes, senior!” Even now, Ming Dong’s eyes remained on the jade piece.
“This jade piece has remained in my possession for five thousand years and was given to me by your ancestor. This is the acc.u.mulation of his life’s work. He told me that one day, if I were to come across one of his descendants, then I should give them this jade piece. Now, I can finally accomplish the final wishes of my old friend.” The man’s voice grew emotional as he spoke. With a wave of his hand, the jade piece was surrounded by a strange glow of light before floating slowly to Ming Dong.
Seeing the floating jade piece, a strong sensation from within Ming Dong’s arm could be felt as he felt it suddenly reach out to grab at the jade piece. This control was then broken as he snapped out of it with confusion. Right now, he was feeling something that left him completely mystified.
Ming Dong continued to think for a moment in confusion before turning to look at the white robed man with in his voice doubt, “Senior, did this piece of jade truly belong to my ancestor? Who even was my ancestor? Is it possible that you’ve found the wrong person, I’ve never even heard about my ancestors before in my entire life.”
“Ai….” The middle aged man sighed once more with a grievance before he muttered, “Yitian, I didn’t think that after five thousand years, your descendants would have forgotten about you.” As if heartbroken, the middle aged man turned to look at Ming Dong, “My child, what is your name?”
“Senior, my name is Ming Dong!” Ming Dong replied.
“Ming Dong…Ming Dong, eh? A good name.” The man thought for a moment before saying, “My child, allow me to tell you just what the situation was like for your Ming family five thousand years ago.”
The man went deep into thought before tilting his head up toward the sky as if remembering something, “Five thousand years ago, your Ming family was an extremely influential clan. At that time, your Ming family had a single genius. By the age of thirty, he was able to make a breakthrough into the Earth Saint Master realm. He is your ancestor–Ming Yitian.”
“Your ancestor and I met by chance, but we quickly became good friends. Together, we formed a mercenary group and experienced many things together. We fought and killed together, fought in multiple battles, and even escaped from dangers together. Your ancestor and I quickly became good friends inseparable by even death.”
“A hundred years later, Ming Yitian and I both advanced to the Peak Heaven Saint Master realm. By this point, the both of us grew weary of the mercenary life and secluded ourselves from the mercenary world. We came to this old forest deep within the mountains and left ourselves to the elements to prepare for our ascension.”
“Ten years later, the two of us made breakthroughs to become Saint Rulers. With that, we toured the continent once more and explored many places while gaining many experiences. Another ten years pa.s.sed. Your ancestor and I both gained a huge amount of strength by that point, and so we decided to enter the Death Nest. Within the Death Nest, I was about to be hit by a curse, your ancestor Ming Yitian saved me. By sacrificing his body, he took the blow and saved my life.”
By this point, the man’s face turned serious as if trying to hide the grievous look on it. “The Death Nest is the most dangerous place within the Tian Yuan Continent. With our Saint Ruler level, we were unable to protect ourselves. The curse was far too strong, and even with Yitian’s strength, he was unable to resist the corrosion and died within 2 months.”
“After knowing that his death was near, he was perfectly happy to spend the last few days within the Ming family. What he didn’t think was that the moment he would return to the Ming family, everything had changed. The formerly glorious Ming family no longer existed. Thirty years before, they had been exterminated by our former enemies while the descendants of the Ming family had all been scattered without a single trace.”
“Because your ancestor and I both disa.s.sociated ourselves from the continent without keeping in touch with anyone, we had long since lost any information regarding the Ming family. So after their extermination, we had no idea where they might be.”
“This tragic conclusion caused your ancestor Ming Yitian to feel an extreme amount of grief. He didn’t think that within the final moments of his life, his own clan would come to a terrible end. Naturally, I had been at his side and knew what he was feeling. With all of this sorrow, it was enough for him to cry tears of blood.”
“After that, Ming Yitian and I began to search for the ones responsible for the destruction of the Ming family. Unfortunately, the two of us were not as strong as we used to be and were also just two people. Furthermore, we both had many enemies; after thirty years, everyone had already forgotten about the Ming family, causing clues to disappear. In a short two months, we were unable to chase down any clues, and there were no survivors that we could find to tell us anything.”
By now, the man’s face had a look of sorrow as he spoke sadly, “Two months after, because of the powerful curse, Ming Yitian departed from this world with regret. Before his death, he used his spirit to engrave all of his life experiences within this jade piece before entrusting it to me. He said that one day if I were to come across his future descendant, I was to hand over the jade piece; this was his final wish.”
“Yitian’s death caused me an endless amount of grief. He and I were friends beyond friends and brothers among brothers. He had even died for my sake, so when he gave me the jade piece, I embarked across the entire Tian Yuan Continent in order to search for the ones responsible for the death of his clan as well as the survivors. For three hundred long years, I painstakingly eliminated many people that might have been responsible, but there was still no news of the Ming family. To this day, this had been my biggest regret.”
With a long sigh, he looked back to Ming Dong, “But the heavens were kind. Who knew that after five thousand years, I would be able to come across one of the descendants of the Ming family? If Yitian were to know of this, then he would be able to rest content in death.”
After listening to the man’s tale, Ming Dong was speechless. The man’s words were shocking and dealt a great emotional blow that was quite hard to take in.
He had never thought that the Ming family would have such a glorious yet tragic story behind it.
Even Jian Chen who was by his side was shocked. What shocked him even more was the fact that this man was a Saint Ruler that was over five thousand years old. This caused Jian Chen to feel a great amount of respect for him.
The man walked up to Ming Dong and looked at him like a senior would to his junior. It was also similar to as if he were looking at his own descendant. His eyes were filled with a tender emotion that was far too complex to explain.
“My child, you must be here to partic.i.p.ate in the Gathering of the Mercenaries.” The man spoke to Ming Dong.
Ming Dong could only nod mutely, he had not yet recovered from his shock.
“Are your mother and father still alive?” The man asked.
“They are, my father and mother both live within a mountain village. My grandfather fell down a cliff and died while hunting.”
The man sighed in remorse before speaking, “After the Gathering of the Mercenaries is over, please allow me to follow you back to your family. I will look after them in Yitian’s place. There is no way I could allow myself to let the descendants of Yitian to live such bitter lives. As his brother, this is unforgivable, I owe him this much.”
“This one thanks the senior!” Ming Dong was overjoyed. With this man, an easygoing and fortuitous life for his family would be within his reach. After all, this man was a five thousand year old Saint Ruler and many Heaven Saint Masters would respect him as their lord. With this expert, the life of his family would be smooth going.
The sorrowful look on the man’s face slowly disappeared as he smiled, “My child, your ancestor and I were the best of friends, there is no need to call me senior. If you don’t mind, please call me uncle Tian.”
“Yes, uncle Tian!” Ming Dong cried out respectfully.
The man smile grew warmer as he said, “My child, your strength is still quite weak. For now, you should stay with me, I will exhaust all my strength so that I may be able to improve your strength. Whether or not the glorious era of the Ming family returns, that will depend on you. Do not disappoint your ancestor.”