The bell sound was clear and melodious, ringing through mountains and rivers!
Those were ripples formed from bell sounds, long and remote, containing the power of time, accumulating the glory of the ancient eras.
Upon hearing this long and drawn out bell sound, when he saw Huo Ling'er in her rough hemp garment, tears sliding down her face, Shi Hao's emotions were rising and falling greatly as well. He reached out his hand to help her wipe her tears.
Huo Ling'er's eyes were hazy from tears. She had a smile on her face, but also melancholy. Seeing an old friend again today felt like she was in a dream, but they were going to separate again so quickly after meeting.
The bell sounds already rang through the air, the mountains and rivers shaken by its noise. This was the hundred rivers converging into the sea, great battle of geniuses' starting sound. She knew that right now, all three thousand provinces were shaken.
"You will definitely return, right?" Huo Ling'er asked softly, her warm jade-like face continuously shedding tears. Her eyes were covered by brilliant watery mist.
"Will return, definitely will return!" Shi Hao said. They had just reunited, but the war bell sounded. This was reminding all who wished to take the Immortal Ancient path that the great battle was going to begin.
"Why are you leaving again?" The little wolf was unsatisfied. It raised its head to look at Huo Ling'er, and then it looked at Shi Hao. Then, it chewed on Shi Hao's trouser leg, saying, "Don't leave, Ling'er has been quite unhappy these past few years, always hoping you could appear alive."
Shi Hao's heart felt extremely weak, but his nose was turning sore as well. He looked at this previously lively and passionate young lady who had now become so quiet. Too much had changed.
Huo Ling'er lowered her head, stroking the little wolf's head, saying, "Little Wolf, what are you randomly spouting? The three thousand provinces genius gathering is about to start. This era is the last opportunity, so it is extremely important. Shi Hao has to go."
When she lowered her head to speak softly to Little Wolf, there were clearly sparkling tears sliding down her clothes, landing on the ground. Her voice was lightly trembling.
He felt a bit unwilling to part. Would they still meet again after parting like this? Who could tell. Once they separated here, it was unknown how many years it would be, what vicissitudes would pass. Many things could change during that amount of time.
Shi Hao opened his mouth, wanting to say something, but… what was he supposed to say? He truly wished to participate.
"You have to be careful. No matter what kind of competition, what kind of natural luck it is, it is not more important than safely returning alive. Don't take risks that are too great and take care of yourself." Huo Ling'er stopped him from saying anything and said these words.
Shi Hao silently nodded. He felt warm inside, but his nose and eyes were becoming more and more sore. Those calm words stirred up his emotions greatly.
He looked at Huo Ling'er in a daze, and then he looked at that monument, discovering he had become a bit stiff, not knowing what to say.
There was a girl who suffered alone, silently watching from the distance.
It was so true, without any bit of ulterior motives, without any impurities like a crystalline sea, sparkling and translucent, warm like jade. This was something simple that was to be treasured.
Shi Hao felt his heartstrings tremble lightly, a bit different from what he felt in the past. Apart from being moved emotionally, there was a reluctance to separate, as well as an even more unknown feeling.
He had acted brash, acted wild, always shouting noisily in the past, saying how he was going to carry beautiful fatties back to Stone Village.
This type of fearlessness was naturally because he had been influenced by the uncles of Stone Village.
He had previously fought great battles against 'female fatties', deciding to bring them back to Stone Village. He had even come into intimate contact with the fairy, the pearl of a clan, but it had never made his heart tremble so greatly.
He didn't know what the future would hold, but he truly cared right now. This type of feeling left him in a daze.
Perhaps this type of pure waiting, reminiscing without any impurity, silent recalling of the past, this type of completely selfless act, was true beauty, moving his heart.
Shi Hao's heart and mind were moving. This was a bit different from the past, not an attraction of appearance, not the haunting of one's desires, but a pure type of affection.
"How many fatties did you carry back to Stone Village?" Huo Ling'er raised her head, wiped the tears from the corners of her eyes and suddenly asked with a laugh.
"One, two, three…" Shi Hao put out his hand, seemingly carefully counting.
"That many?!" Huo Ling'er gently pinched his ears. Even though she was still shedding tears, there was a trace of her lively nature from the past.
"In the end, they all ran away. I still have to catch them." Shi Hao said, laughing loudly.
"No conscience." Little Wolf was unsatisfied, unexpectedly howling a few times, forcefully tearing at his trousers. This left Shi Hao stunned. Was this a wolf or mastiff?
"You… it's good as long as you are alive." Huo Ling'er said softly. Reuniting here made her feel that this world had become much brighter and more beautiful.
The Fire Mulberry Trees released scarlet radiance, illuminating this place with their auspicious and peaceful radiance, making one feel comfortably warm.
Huo Ling'er's smile was pure, her face carrying tears. This influenced Shi Hao greatly. He looked at her, at her large and intelligent eyes, only, there was always a watery mist clouding it all this time, as well as sparkling teardrops around the borders.
Shi Hao couldn't help but open up his arms to forcefully embrace Huo Ling'er. He softly said next to her ears, "Thank you!"
Huo Ling'er didn't say anything. This place was extremely peaceful, beside them an earthen tomb that buried a youth's battle clothes. At their feet was the gray Little Wolf. The two of them stood together, creating a tranquil scene.
This place was peaceful, quiet to the extent where the rustling of the Flame Silkworms chewing on mulberry leaves could be heard.
The great bell sounded again, resounding through the mountains and rivers.
It was clear that at this moment, all those who wished to take on the unmatched path in the higher realms, the young supreme beings who wished to rise to the glorious peak, raised their heads, fighting spirit surging within their bodies!
"You should leave." Huo Ling'er said softly.
This broke the silence. Shi Hao still had to leave in the end.
"There's no rush. This is just the selection of the 'Immortal Ancient' people. There is still time." Shi Hao said. He looked at those eyes, feeling the reluctance, worry, as well as hesitation and loss."
Indeed, Huo Ling'er was extremely worried, fearing that once Shi Hao left, he would never return.
It was hard to say what would happen exactly in the great battle of three thousand provinces, or who was going to rise up, who was going to win it all.
Since the endless years, countless experts had been buried within, some who wished to become 'number one', but still met misfortune, perishing in the process.
Even the ancient freaks that had previously seized the number one position, such as Three Crown King, and even Four Crown King, later on reappearing, but upon encountering terrifying opponents, ultimately died.
Now, the ones that were left behind, alive, frozen within icy caves for so many eras, were comparatively few in number, but they were the very best, the most powerful!
These types of freaks were definitely the most powerful since the ancient times, belonging to the most stunning category of individuals.
Shi Hao wasn't in a rush to leave. He accompanied Huo Ling'er, helping her open up a garden in front of the thatched cottage. They planted two small Fire Mulberry Trees, and then brought over a brilliant flower to plant beneath the tree.
"When you return, it might be many years from now… These two trees will probably have branches lush with leaves, the garden will be filled with brilliant flowers." Huo Ling'er said.
This separation would be many years. Based on the speculation of the most powerful figures of the ancient era, once one entered, the shortest would be one or two, the longest needing several hundred years or over a thousand years before one can come out.
This time was the last time the immortal flower would blossom. 'Immortal Ancient' will open one final time, so it might be different. No one could anticipate what would happen.
"I hope that you will be well, that when I come back to see you, you are still smiling as brilliantly." Shi Hao said.
He felt a bit disappointed and frustrated. They had just reunited, only saw each other, yet he had to tread on another path. There was a bit of fear in his heart.
He wasn't worried about himself.
He just hoped that when he returned, he could see Huo Ling'er again. The hardest thing to defeat in this world was the great changes of time. He feared that things would remain the same, but people would change the most.
"As long as you are okay." Huo Ling'er looked at him.
"Don't worry, I will always sing proudly as I walk down my path, going to reach the most glorious summit of this era! When I come back to see you, I'll have truly transcended."
Shi Hao was glowing with health and vigor. He looked towards the sky. This was ambition of a youth; he was going to ascend to the highest peak of divine dao, not fearing the Immortal, overlooking the heavens above and earth below, seeing through everything this world had to offer.
"Willow Deity, I am going to catch up to your footsteps, enter your world." He clenched his fists tightly, and then he turned around to Huo Ling'er. "Wait for me. When I return, I'll bring you with me to see the wonders of the world."
He was full of youthfulness, his eyes resplendent as he gazed into the distant sky. He was going to dominate all of his peers, become the most powerful.
"As time changes, the world becomes dazzling, many things will fade into nothingness. As long as you return alive, that is all that matters." Huo Ling'er said, her happy laugh carrying a trace of sadness.
"After you arrived in the higher realms…" Shi Hao asked her.
What used to be the princess of a country now wore rough garments, personally washing clothes by the river. This made his heart quite sore. What exactly happened during these past few years?
"This place isn't the lower realm in the end…" Huo Ling'er said.
When the emperor of a country from the lower realm came to the higher realms, in the face of heavenly deities and all types of experts, there was no way they would still be at the center, worshipped by others.
This was the same as starting over from the beginning, having their former glory cut down.
However, the father and daughter were still direct descendents of Fire Clan, establishing quite a respectable inheritance in the lower realm. As such, in the beginning, they were given generous treatment, granted an imperial manor and other things.
Only, after the hundreds of spiritual medicines were transplanted and gradually underwent changes, turning into holy medicines, things became complicated.
When more than ten holy medicines were grown together, who would not be moved? This was enough to make great sects' eyes red, developing greed. Many people had their eyes on them.
Fire Emperor was extremely decisive. He was a wise and farsighted person, directly offering the holy medicines and returning the manor to the higher realms' Fire Clan. He then brought Huo Ling'er with him, leaving the clan.
In the end, the father and daughter arrived in this place, living an extremely simple and ordinary lifestyle.
"The glory, splendor, wealth, and rank of this world, I've already obtained and experienced. This type of ordinary living, I am quite satisfied with. It is quite enriching." Huo Ling'er said.
Shi Hao nodded. Only after experiencing wealth would one feel that the normal world is what is more true. The most important part of an individual was their mentality.
"What about the Fire Emperor?" He asked.
"Father has left to travel the world. It has already been more than a year since he had returned." Huo Ling'er revealed a look of worry. She then looked towards Shi Hao and said, "You… definitely have to return."
"Fire Emperor is someone with great wisdom and knowledge, so nothing bad will happen to him. He will return." Shi Hao consoled. He then solemnly promised that he would rise to the glorious peak and then return.
He left behind lightning tribulation liquid, and then he had no choice but to go on his way.
"Goodbye, we will meet again!" Shi Hao turned around, walking with large steps into the distance.
Even when he was very far, when he turned around, he could still see that figure next to the Fire Mulberry Forest's borders, waving her hand, her eyes clouded with tears.
"How many years will this separation be? Will it be hundreds, or over a thousand years…" Shi Hao didn't know. His eyes had warm liquid, still unable to hold them back in the end, sliding down his cheeks.
"I promise that I will come back!" Shi Hao shouted loudly. He then rushed into the sky, disappearing into the ends of the world.