“Who is it?” Startled, Lu Yun jumped backward.
The young man looked roughly twenty-eight years old and was quite handsome. Adorned in luxurious furs, he didn’t look like someone from the mountains. Also, he moved like a wraith. Lu Yun had no idea when he’d showed up next to him.
“No need to worry, my friend. I’m Jiang Ba of the Yan Tribe, an old friend of Ning Village!” He reached out to clap Lu Yun on the shoulder.
Lu Yun wanted to shy away, but he discovered with great shock that he couldn’t avoid Jiang Ba’s hand! He could only remain put and permit him to pat Lu Yun as he would.
“Oh? My friend seems to have a treasure on you.” Jiang Ba’s eyebrow arched gently and he swiped a hand at Lu Yun’s embrace, bringing out the crystallized Bi Fang blood essence.
“You have quite the luck, my friend, this is Bi Fang blood essence! No wonder you’re able to set foot onto the great dao at your young age and become a cultivator.” Jiang Ba laughed heartily and returned the item.
This meant he wasn’t much interested in the blood essence, or he never would’ve returned it. Unbidden, a less-than-good first impression of this Jiang Ba rose in Lu Yun’s mind. But he says he’s from the Yan Tribe… is it that Yan Tribe??
“Hahaha, and I wondered who it was. So it’s Brother Jiang Ba from the Yan Tribe!” Ah Zhuang roared with laughter when he walked out of the village. “That’s right, it’s about time you came by if I count the days!”
Arms spread wide open, Ah Zhuang grabbed the other for a bear hug. A trace of hard-to-detect disdain flashed through Jiang Ba’s eyes, but he remained grinning merrily and hugged Ah Zhuang tightly.
“Brother Ah Zhuang is impressive alright, to kill a Bi Fang!” he praised joyously.
Ah Zhuang’s expression turned solemn and he lowered his voice, “Brother Jiang Ba is joking at my expense. How could I possibly kill a divine beast? Besides, why would there be Bi Fang along the outskirts of Qingqiu Mountain?”
The villagers didn’t know about the Bi Fang. Ah Zhuang had taken it elsewhere and the village chief and tribute spirit had taken care of it.
Ning Village was exceedingly weak, and their strongest member Ah Zhuang wasn’t a cultivator either. Once word spread about the Bi Fang corpse, it’d be a devastating blow to the tiny village.
“Eh? Ahahaha—right, right you are. My mistake,” chuckled Jiang Ba. “Ah yes, who might this friend be…? I didn’t see this young hero when I visited Ning Village last year.”
“This is Shan, full name Lie Shan! He’s a distant relative from Ah Mu’s maternal side, and came to us for shelter after his village suffered a disaster.”
“Oh?” Jiang Ba took a close look at Lu Yun. “Hahaha, Lie Shan, is it? Well met! I’m going to pay my respects to granduncle and see if I can change his mind. If he’s willing to return to the tribe, the villagers won’t have to spend their days in fear and suffering at Qingqiu Mountain.” He walked into the village with a broad smile.
Numerous exquisitely-made wagons trundled into the village from outside, filled with all sorts of grain, cloth, and metal tools. Ah Zhuang quickly called over the young men of the village to help put the items away.
When Lu Yun heard the introduction of “full name Lie Shan”, his heart spasmed painfully.
“‘Full name Lie Shan’, fuck me! Why didn’t I think about this earlier?” he grumbled softly. “Yan Tribe, Jiang Ba? Fuck me sideways man! What kind of era is this?!?!”
His joy of breaking through a great obstacle and returning to the path of cultivation was utterly obliterated by what had just happened. He really regretted randomly calling himself Lieshan!
Ah Zhuang had just turned him into the Lie Shan with a casual introduction. 
However, it wasn’t until now that he realized this tiny Ning Village was a branch of the Yan Tribe. Village Chief Jiang Ti was the younger brother of the tribe chief, and had taken a group of tribesmen with him after the two had a falling out. He left the tribe on the banks of Wei River and settled down at the foot of Qingqiu Mountain, whereupon he built Ning Village. The villagers were also of the Jiang branch; Ah Zhuang’s full name would be Jiang Zhuang.
After breaking away from the tribe, the village’s circumstances were extraordinarily difficult at first, particularly when winter arrived. When the cold winds blew and the beasts in the mountain hibernated or migrated, that lack of available food for Ning Village meant hunger was on the menu.
Thankfully, the Yan chief constantly thought of his younger brother. He sent a convoy of resources every winter to help the village survive the cold.
Jiang Ti was an exceedingly stubborn character. To accept these deliveries went beyond his character, but he had no choice if the village was to safely weather the season. However, receiving them for free crossed his bottom line, so he always prepared things in exchange. He’d collect a year’s worth of hunting and give it to his fellow tribesman as a form of barter.
Mount Qingqiu produced plentiful commodities such as animal pelts, animal bones, and other curious odds and ends. Those of the Yan Tribe naturally wouldn’t refuse this return gift, and so the tradition continued for several decades.
Every year, someone from the tribe also came to convince Jiang Ti to move back to Wei River. And indeed, his anger had abated a long time ago after all these years. However, he couldn’t find it within himself to set aside his pride; he wouldn’t go back if his brother didn’t personally come to request his return.
Given that the tribe chief and Jiang Ti were blood brothers, they shared the same temper and obstinacy. Likewise, the tribe chief couldn’t bear to be the first to blink, so the standoff continued for all these years.
“Hahahaha—there’s ale, fine ale!” Ah Zhuang smacked a seal off an earthen jug and sniffed appreciatively at the fragrant bouquet of alcohol. Hugging the jug to him, he swiftly vanished out of sight.
Lu Yun approached an enormous wagon at random, scanning the bags of linen piled up in its bed. Sneaking a peek down one of them, he glimpsed yellow millet.
“So millet already existed in this period of time?” Out of curiosity, Lu Yun grabbed a handful and brought them to his nose for a deep sniff. “Ah… of course, it’s wild. We can eat this, but there’s not much nutritional value to it.” He shook his head slightly.
“But these can be used as seeds. If planted in an appropriate location in the springtime, we’ll be able to cultivate real grain out of it.” Lu Yun stroked his chin. “Lie Shan… oh fuck, he’s known as the Divine Farmer and taught agriculture to the people. I haven’t really turned into him, have I?
“But Lie Shan was the chief of the Yan Tribe, I’m just an outsider. This should just be some crazy coincidence.”
An enormous aura exploded from the sky as a terrifying surge of monster spirit energy descended over Ning Village.
“How dare you!” Trying his best to convince his granduncle, Jiang Ba jumped up in fury when he sensed the surge. “The Jiangs of the Yan Tribe are here, what lowly monster dares stir up trouble?!”
Jiang Ba hovered in midair and stared fixedly at the enormous creature in front of him.
“The Jiangs of the Yan Tribe? Aren’t you something now!” sounded a gentle voice with a twang of perverse violence. A nine-tailed fox the size of a small mountain stood in the air. “How dare humans come to Qingqiu Mountain and enslave the descendants of Tushan? Do you want to die, or cease living?!”
1. Later generations believe Lie Shan to be the mythical Yan Emperor in Chinese mythology. A long debate has existed over whether or not the Yan Emperor was the same person as the previously introduced Shennong. An academic conference held in China in 2004 achieved general consensus that the Yan Emperor and Shennong were the same person. The Yan Tribe is where the legendary emperor originates from.
Lordy, this would be like if we transmigrated back to the past and said we're Zeus, but then find out our village is called Olympus and we can fling around thunderbolts...
And yes, the fox basically said, "Do you want to die, or do you want to die?"