Chapter 3604: Duality Academy

Despite the numerous mountains and rivers within a ten thousand miles radius, the central area of Duality consisted of nine mountains. This was the core in charge of the rest.

The largest among them was White Deer, tall enough to reach the heavens and looking like a pillar. It was covered with cultivation grottos and buildings then a layer of mist and fog.

Few had access to this area because it was reserved for teachers, the dean, and the retired high elders and ancestors.

No one knew how many caves and grottos there were here. Nonetheless, it has been home to numerous top masters since the academy’s founding.

The other peaks were bustling with excitement as well. For example, both Main Peak and Initiate Peak were usually packed.

Main Peak was the area where students and teachers came for learning and lectures. It was also quite large with numerous more than ten thousand buildings and several hundred battle stages. The sheer number of architectures was a good indicator of its size.

Initiate Peak served as a dormitory of sorts for the students. The majority of students were here or had stayed here before.

Moreover, friends and families could visit and spend the night. That’s why outsiders were a common sight.

Yang Ling was a first-year student but she had gotten familiar with the academy. Thus, she guided Li Qiye through the major peaks first - Initiate then Main.

Her social skills seemed more than adequate since students kept on greeting her. Of course, some also quietly talked about Li Qiye.

“He’s the guy who rode a boar here?” One girl smiled after being introduced by Yang Ling.

Yang Ling didn’t know how to answer after hearing this. The student body might not know who Li Qiye or the woodchopper of Myriad Beast Mountains was, but they have certainly heard of the boar rider.

“Did you bring your Lil’ Black and Lil’ Yellow too?” Yang Ling herself became curious. She thought that they were only regular animals.

“I didn’t bring them, they want to come along.” Li Qiye shrugged.

“You’ll have to keep an eye on them then, don’t let them run around. The seniors’ mounts are ferocious and they like eating wild animals. It’ll be problematic if Lil’ Black and Lil’ Yellow come to the wrong places and get eaten.” Yang Ling said with good intention.

Li Qiye became amused after hearing this. He chuckled and said: “What can I do in that case? They can only blame themselves for being blind and running amok.”

“Gao! Gao! Gao!” Barks came from behind. Lil’ Yellow seemed to have snuck along. It was clearly unhappy with Li Qiye’s comment but was smart enough to glare at Yang Ling instead.

It seemed to be disputing the fact regarding the mounts being able to eat them? Those mounts were nothing more than dinners in their eyes.

“Lil’ Yellow, you came too?” She naturally didn’t understand its glare and bent down to pat its neck. She warned: “You and Lil’ Black shouldn’t run around, I won’t be able to help you because some of my seniors’ mounts are even stronger than I am.”

Lil’ Yellow shook its body and got far away from Yang Ling, looking haughty and glaring at her again. It thought that this girl was being ridiculous. They were emperors of Myriad Beast Mountains. 

Provoking them meant being tired of living, let alone trying to eat them. If they were annoyed, they would eat every single mount in Duality Academy.

“Lil’ Yellow has a strong personality.” Yang Ling didn’t read the disdainful gaze correctly but she knew that the dog didn’t appreciate being touched.

“You heard her, don’t run around.” Li Qiye smiled and shook his head before telling Lil’ Yellow.

He wasn’t afraid of the two being eaten, just the opposite. These two might become hungry and sneak out to eat the mounts in the academy. That’s why he was warning them.

This went double for Lil’ Black. The boar looked lazy normally but in reality, it had more wicked thoughts compared to Lil’ Yellow.

Lil’ Yellow naturally didn’t dare to go against Li Qiye and had to nod its head.

“It can understand you?” Yang Ling smiled after seeing this: “It looks smarter than my mount.”

Lil’ Yellow became unhappy again, thinking that this dumb girl was wasting her breath. How could she compare a beast emperor to her crappy mount?

It was playing nice because of Li Qiye. Otherwise, it would have eaten Yang Ling for touching its neck earlier.

The group arrived on Main Peak. They could sense an atmosphere culminated from students training hard.

There were numerous battle stages with students training and fighting. Teachers were around to guide them.

Some focused on perfecting their merit laws and techniques. One sat alone on a boulder in the middle of a stream, absorbing worldly energies…

The more powerful students were challenging their friends for actual combat experience. There were more than a hundred stages there of varying levels.

The fights were meant for improvement and training, rarely to the death. Only mortal enemies would actually do so.

In front of the gate was a statue. It wasn’t especially large but everyone would feel insignificant when standing before it.

“This is a statue of Duality Master. Duality here stands for mud and cloud.” Yang Ling introduced. [1]

Of course, this statue was created by future descendants, not Duality Master himself.

At the base of the statue was a famous line. However, it wasn’t the domineering one that shocked the world - 80,000 Buddhas are nothing more than statues and the gods up in the firmaments are mere floating duckweeds.

The following characters were carved - Just a mortal I am, just one thought to become cloud and mud. [2]

That’s right, this phrase is the one most often said by him instead of the line chanted during the creation of Duality Academy.

No one knew the origin of this line so it probably originated from him. Because of this, people started calling him Cloud Mud or Duality Master.

Li Qiye stared at the statue and repeated the line. This moment lasted for a while as if nothing was more interesting to him than the statue.

Yang Ling noticed this and thought that Li Qiye had a strange expression. It was hard to pinpoint it on a particular emotion.

Though many came and saw this statue, they usually had a look of reverence while recalling his tales. This wasn’t the case here. There was no hint of admiration or remembrance.

1. The raw for Duality is cloud mud, which classically means two polar opposites or different statuses, low and high. Cloud is up high while mud is at the bottom. People would call superiors cloud and refer to themselves as mud to show humility/lower status. Duality has a similar meaning and sounds far better than Cloud Mud Master. If this was a nobody that would die in 10 chapters, I probably would have used Cloud Mud but it’s an important character so a cool name is necessary.

2. This is a tough line to translate because we have virtually zero context regarding his attitude. It can be interpreted in several ways. One interpretation is that cloud and mud here are substitutes for heaven and earth, or everything in existence. This is the arrogant interpretation, that he’s strong despite being a mortal. The humble interpretation is that cloud and mud here signify the earth, the mundane factors of being a mortal, that he’ll return to the earth and become one with it just like cloud and mud in the time of a single thought. A mortal’s lifespan is nothing compared to a cultivator, just one passing thought. From what we’ve seen, he’s domineering when he took over the holy ground so the first interpretation has narrative support. However, this line for me as a reader comes as being humble. All in all, I don’t have enough to make a definitive translation regarding the intent. I’ve consulted with other translators and this is the consensus. It’ll have to stay literal.

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