Cthulhu Gonfalon - Chapter 987
Sui Xiong grabbed hold of time.
He himself was unsure as to how he had done it, but Sui Xiong had indeed grabbed hold of time. He had grabbed on to it and held on hard before pulling at it with all his might. He tried to pull out time from the past to cover the destruction of the present.
This was something that had completely surpassed his expectations. Even Sui Xiong had not believed that this method would work. Nevertheless, he had to try, and he had to succeed. If not, there was no other way to save this destroyed world and no way to bring peace to his heart.
That would also mean that… he would not be able to live up to the sacrifices that his friends and followers had made on his behalf.
No, Sui Xiong had to succeed against all odds…
“Sui Xiong, you can do this!” He cheered himself on.
He then continued to expound on his strength.
The shapeless scroll was pulled hard by Sui Xiong, but it did not move an inch. The scroll remained intact like it had roots. No matter how hard Sui Xiong tried, he was unable to do anything physical to the scroll.
Sui Xiong knew that this was logical.
After all, the past was the past. Even if one harnessed the power of the entire world, it would still be unlikely that he or she would be able to return to or pull time to a certain time period that had already happened in the past.
However, Sui Xiong did not want to give up so easily. This world held too many of his values, his stakes, and his regrets. Sui Xiong’s friends, followers, people who had trusted him, gods who had sacrificed their lives and died for their beliefs, those who were in a deep slumber and held high hopes for the future, those who had burnt themselves to death and only had words written on the scroll for others to remember them by… All the things that everyone had been trying to protect could not be allowed to slip away so easily!
With an angry roar, Sui Xiong activated his strength again. He knew that all his efforts were futile, but he was damned if he did not try until he succeeded.
If he gave up hope and admitted defeat, that would be natural and an easy way out. However, Sui Xiong could not just give up like that. In the long days of the past, the followers that had believed in him had one by one been steadfast even while they burnt to their deaths. Even as they faded away, they had not faltered. How could Sui Xiong give up now?
“Move, move for me now!”
Sui Xiong used both his hands to grab onto the time scroll tightly. The power he unleashed was intense beyond imagination and incomparable to any other force in this world. He tore at the tight and rigid time period with almost manic energy. This amount of power was enough to shake up the entire Great Circulation or stabilize the Four Elements, allowing this chaotic world to regain order once again and create a brand new era.
Nevertheless, it was still unable to shake up time. The past was the past, and it was never to return again.
Both of Sui Xiong’s legs were pinned tightly to the Void. The area around his legs were all torn apart and yet remained secure due to Sui Xiong and was unable to fully split apart. Time twisted like a key in a lock and continuously wrapped around his legs, allowed him to stand even steadier than before. This was akin to how pillars would be nailed down as the foundation when building houses, standing steadily without moving an inch and giving Sui Xiong a source of infinite energy. His body had twisted into an arrow shape. Due to a large amount of exertion, every single one of his muscles was spasming and violently vibrating. He was concentrating every ounce of his power, unwilling to even spare an ounce. Sui Xiong stopped breathing, shut his eyes, and stopped every single organ that was not useful in the launching of his powers and turned off all senses that were irrelevant. All this was done just to squeeze out any amount of little power left over.
Even so, Sui Xiong was still unable to shake the time scroll. If he wanted to supersede time and use the past to cover the future, effectively ridding the world of its destruction, it was honestly impossible.
“Nothing… is… impossible!”
Sui Xiong mumbled to himself and clenched his teeth hard, causing fresh blood to seep out from between his teeth and gums. His entire mouth was red, and the blood flowed down the side of his cheek along with his saliva, wetting his crumpled clothes.
Due to his inability to withstand the intense level of power, Sui Xiong’s fingernails cracked one by one and fresh blood flowed from his fingers as well, staining his fingers and palms.
In a split second, his hands became slippery and he was unable to hold on any further. With this release, Sui Xiong lost control of his body and balance, flying up with the power he had used to tug at the time scroll. In the air, he tumbled several times and knocked all the breath out of his body. In the end, he lay like a dead dog with blood stains all over his clothes, just like a soldier that had been defeated in battle.
“What a joke! How could I fall!”
Sui Xiong used several seconds to regain consciousness. He wanted to immediately stand up. However, Sui Xiong soon realized that due to his overexertion before, his entire body’s muscles were shaking. His hands and legs were quivering like jelly. Sui Xiong found that he could not prop himself up and could only fall over again helplessly.
“Ah! I’m really useless! I simply drank a little wine, but now I can’t even stand up…”
Sui Xiong concentrated on rolling over and laying on his back with heavy and giant pants. He required some rest and had to wait until his energy was replenished before he could resume his efforts. From the old era’s destruction to the new era’s birth, it was a long drawn process. Sui Xiong had ample time to rest well before he concentrated his efforts again.
According to Lao Tzu, the wood that embraces each other is born at the end; the nine-story platform starts from tired soil, and the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. When Sui Xiong was taking his examinations, he had not understood this entire saying at all. However, now, it suddenly crept into his heart, and he suddenly understood its essence. Even when things were seemingly difficult, as long as one put in effort slowly day by day, one would be able to achieve one’s goal eventually. If Yu Gong was able to move mountains, what couldn’t the youthful Sui Xiong do!?
After resting for a long time, Sui Xiong eventually regained his energy. He got up and walked to where he was before, mindlessly scattering a few remaining shooting stars with his fingers before expanding his unique vision once again, searching for the time scroll.
The God of Virtue emerged once again from his tiny world and asked, “What exactly are you trying to do? It looks extremely tough on your part.”
“I want to pull the time period of the past to the present, in order to cover up the period of destruction of this world.”
“That’s impossible! The past and the future’s order will never change. Things that have already happened cannot simply just cease to exist.”
“You’re so bothersome! You stupid frog, just shut your mouth! Nothing is impossible! I’m going to prove that thought to you right now!”
Sui Xiong shouted out as he grabbed at the time scroll once again.
He once again expanded his energy and yet was still unable to move the time period that had already passed.
“Just give it up. Even for someone as strong as you, there will be things that are too difficult to achieve. One cannot dwell in the past. No matter how painful the past may be, we can only accept the present and work towards the future.”
“I don’t want to accept that this world has been destroyed!” Sui Xiong yelled manically. “Whatever this kind of future holds, I refuse to acknowledge it!”
With that, Sui Xiong summoned his energy once again. However, this time, due to a slip of his feet, he crashed to the ground once again. The God of Virtue glanced at Sui Xiong with a pained expression on his face. Watching as Sui Xiong went crazy trying to tear at time he could not see and trying to achieve things that were impossible, he sighed to himself in his heart.
The God of Virtue had already given up trying to talk Sui Xiong out of his mania and could only stand to the side and wait patiently. Impossible things would never come true. He waited for Sui Xiong to lose patience as he wanted to discuss a few matters regarding the new order. The mistakes of the past could not be repeated once again!
However, Sui Xiong did not give up. His clothes became shabby and torn, and Sui Xiong also sustained many injuries to the point where he could not even stand on his own two feet.
Even so, Sui Xiong refused to give up.
His breathing became heavy, and his vision became scattered. His footsteps were shallow, and his arms became weak. Sui Xiong still did not give up.
“Just give it up. If you continue this way, you will eventually die.” After a torturous period of time, the God of Virtue spoke up sadly as he saw that Sui Xiong was still stubbornly maintaining his efforts. “Those who had died and the gods who were burnt alive would definitely not want to watch you die in this manner…”
“I… will not… die… so easily…!”
Sui Xiong replied with a weary tone as his voice became weaker.
“You know deep down that this is impossible!” The God of Virtue became angered and grew to become a frog that was bigger than the size of a human. He picked up his cane and rapped hard at Sui Xiong’s head. “Time cannot be altered nor moved! It is impossible for you to try to use the time of the past to cover up the present!”
Sui Xiong ignored these useless attacks by the frog and turned around. A forced and weary smile that was even more painful to see as compared to crying appeared on his face
“Do… you know… that… evil gods… are also gods…” Sui Xiong spat out. “They… also accept… prayers…. They… also… answer to… everyone’s hopes…. That is what… a god is!”
“They are all… waiting for me… to return… I will not… let… them… down!”
“There are still things that even gods cannot do!” The God of Virtue’s deep voice became slightly choked up. “If it could be done, I would have tried this too long ago! Just because humans hope for it to be so doesn’t mean gods can answer their every prayer!”
Sui Xiong smiled. After a long period of panting, he replied, “I… am not the same… as you. I am… an evil god…. and evil gods do not… follow… order… or rules…”
“This is why… it is possible… for me…”
“You can’t succeed either! You’re about to be tired out to death!” The God of Virtue raged and picked up his cane, hitting Sui Xiong crazily. “You’ve already used up all your energy! You’ve tried your best! Stop wasting your energy! You can’t die just like that!”
“If I can’t… save this world… I’d rather… die here instead of living on!” Sui Xiong replied wearily, continuing to get up and hold on to the time scroll in front of him.
“How can you die! If you die, this world will be utterly devoid of hope!” The God of Virtue grabbed onto Sui Xiong’s arm and tried to physically stop him. “Give it up and just start a brand new era. There is nothing that lasts infinitely in this world. Eras of the past ceased to exist; that is why new eras appeared… Just start a new era! Create a new future for the unborn!”
“Do… not… worry… about… the… new era…” Sui Xiong waved his arm slightly and his intense power cast the God of Virtue aside easily. “Even if I die… there will still be a… new era…”
“I will convert… my body into… land…. My eyes will become… the moon and the sun… my blood will become…. rivers…. my breath will become… the wind and storms…” Sui Xiong panted heavily for a while and squeezed out a trembling smile. “A new era… will still appear!”
With that, he tugged once again at the time scroll.
Due to his numerous yanks, the previously shapeless time scroll was now stained with faint blood droplets. These bloodstains were messy and all over the place, documenting all his efforts and struggles.
As before, the time scroll did not move at all. It simply had more bloodstains added to it due to the new wounds appearing on Sui Xiong’s fingers. This time, the blood flow was extremely profuse, and it seeped into the depths of time.
In the final temple of the Void front, where the flame was burning intensively, Leon Igor, Void City patron saint who was about to burn to death, froze slightly. He saw that beyond time, a scene of a badly injured Sui Xiong was pulling at a time scroll with all his might. Although they both had not physically met before, he immediately recognized that this young man was Sui Xiong.
“Lord!? What happened to you? What are you doing?”
Sui Xiong froze and glanced instinctively to his left and right before shaking his head bitterly, laughing at himself. “I guess I’m really approaching death. I can’t believe I hallucinated that I heard Leon’s voice!”
Afterwards, he heard Leon’s voice once again.
“Lord! It’s me, Leon! I’m here! Can you hear me?”
This time, it was not a mere hallucination.
Due to Sui Xiong’s blood seeping into time, the past and the future had fused together. Sui Xiong and Leon could finally physically meet and connect.
As a god, Leon quickly understood what happened in the future as well as what Sui Xiong was trying to achieve.
“Lord… you…” Tears welled up in Leon’s eyes as he was almost burnt to death. “I’m sorry that I can’t be of much help.”
“Why not? You could help to cheer him on.” The God of Justice, Yorgaardman’s voice floated out. That was from his own time period and was spoken as he was being burnt alive himself.
“Lord, perhaps our strength is insufficient, but even a little help is surely better than none at all.”
“Lord, being able to fight alongside you till the end is my greatest honor!”
“I am the God of War! Something as great as fighting time could not be complete without my participation!”
“Although I am extremely weak, if I could be of any help…”
“Dying in the war against time is definitely better than being burnt to death, this is an end fit for a brave soldier!”
“Please give your commands.”
“I believe that all you do is just and fair, all the way till now…”
“I think it’s time for these hands, which have always been grabbing axes, to grab on to something more powerful now!”
“I can do more other than just indulging in pleasure. Now I’m a mid-level god, don’t underestimate me!”
“You helped me to resurrect in the past, now it’s my turn to give back to you!”
“As a hero myself, I applaud your fighting spirit and would be glad to join in this noble task of saving the world and contributing to your honor!”
One god after another spoke up and sent messages through their own time periods. The gathering of all these messages became like water forming a tiny river, echoing towards Sui Xiong through time. Every reply Sui Xiong gave and every conversation he held gave him a tiny ounce more of strength. His eyes shone and glowed again. The flame transcended all the time periods as well as the destroyed world, from the underground temple’s lobby to his eyes.
The flame began to burn once again as his fighting spirit and morale lifted. Furthermore, as the flame burned once again, shelters for those fleeing Void City, the Republic of Northwest, the Church of the Void Mask… even the eldest and original chasers… countless followers and supporters of Sui Xiong all felt the call at the point of time where the world was facing its doomsday. They began to pray and countless prayers were gathered together. Together with the flame sustained by the burning of the gods as well as Sui Xiong’s infinite efforts to use his blood as a bridge, they transcended time and from afar, swarmed to Sui Xiong.
The fire in Sui Xiong’s eyes grew bigger and bigger, illuminating the Four Elements, transcending the long river of time and reflecting out the fighting spirit in his heart, which was so strong and mighty that it was almost explosive.
Sui Xiong breathed in and out slowly. With every long breath, his aura grew a little. Previously, he had been extremely weary, but his body now regained its original strength and even superseded it, making him stronger than before. With one pull, he ripped away the rather distracting tattered clothes and revealed his lean yet strong body, which had been developed by his past period of labor. Scar after scar efficiently faded away and his weary body and muscles suddenly became healthy and transformed into a brand new, glorious one.
In the past, everyone had believed in him, trusted and loved him. Even with the flow of time, when these people had ceased to exist, this trust, this support, could still pass through time and provide support to his tired heart. Seeing as Sui Xiong had regained his strength all of a sudden and had become even stronger, with his whole body glowing, the worried God of Virtue was extremely shocked.
“What… what is happening? How did you manage to suddenly heal yourself?”
“Old frog, where do you think strength comes from?” Sui Xiong replied unhurriedly.
The old frog thought for a while before answering, “Where does strength come from? From what we eat as well as the magic we absorb?”
“Those answers are not incorrect. However, to me, there is only one main source of strength.” Sui Xiong replied in a voice that was soft yet full of confidence. “From my heart!”
“If my heart does not give up, my strength will not cease.”
“My previous weariness did not stem from my physical fatigue but rather, from my lack of heart. I had given up. When I gave up, everything came crashing down.”
“Yet, everyone else had not given up! On the other side of time, they were all still giving their all and fighting hard. If they all could fight on, what excuse did I have to give up? Am I right?”
The God of Virtue’s eyes lit up, and a smile appeared on his face. “Of course!”
“I will not let down these people who believed and trusted in me. I want to protect everyone, protect this world, protect everything that I believe in and love!” Sui Xiong smiled, and the flame in his eyes became even more magnificent. “I remember someone told me before, as a man, I have to protect others. I have to be strong. In protecting others, I have to find ways to turn the impossible into reality.
“Old frog, have you met a situation like this before?”
Before the God of Virtue could reply, Sui Xiong laughed out loud and once again pulled hard at the time scroll.
“To me, such a moment is now. It’s now!”
This time, he finally managed to achieve the impossible and tug successfully at the time on the scroll.
“There are many, many rules in this world. I myself do not like rules. I’ve broken many, and yet many others still exist.” His steps were now slow and heavy as his body was tensed up entirely due to the strain. His voice, however, was still full of strength. “So what do I do now? Of course, I will continue to break the unbroken rules!
“The rule that time cannot change? That the past cannot replace the present? Such annoying rules are meant to be broken!”
“I am an evil god, I have never followed order! On the contrary, since I’ve already spotted these tiresome and incorrect rules, it’s time for me to destroy and rid the world of them!”
His footsteps became bigger and bigger. The time scroll shook violently under Sui Xiong’s tireless tugs, and the time of the past slowly flowed out, covering the current present. The crumbling of the world snapped back like a flashback in a movie and was slowly reversed. Sui Xiong was full of energy at this moment. His chest was raised proudly and his heart was full to the point where it could light up the entire world. Following the countless bloodstains on the time scroll, he shouted out to the entire long river of time in glee.
“To all the people living in the past, are you willing to accept rules that make it hard to breathe, rules that oppress you? Are you willing to accept a life of pain, where you lose all hope of happiness? Are you willing to work hard and achieve your goals only to see it all go to waste due to a certain somebody’s wild heart and selfish ambitions?
“If you are not willing to do, then gather up your courage and raise your heads proudly. See the redness in the sky? That is my flag, that is my war cry, my call!
“Let’s change the world!”