Chapter 828: Only When I Become History Can I Write History

Jiang Ba and his tribesmen were all cultivators, having already set foot onto the connate great dao. They’d taken only ten days to travel from Wei River to Qingqiu Mountain.

The villagers, however, were ordinary mortals with frail bodies and their speed more than ten times slower than Jiang Ba’s. Thankfully, the Yan Tribe had been alerted ahead of time and sent their people out to welcome the delegation. They hewed a primitive dirt path through the wild forest, but it still took the villagers three entire months to reach the tribe’s camping grounds.

They made it just before the worst of winter arrived, running into many troubles and setbacks along the way. Danger visited them often, and many fell sick or were injured. It was only due to Ah Bao’s presence and Lu Yun’s medicines that no lives were lost.

Lu Yun didn’t stop identifying various herbs along the way, making useful discoveries often or labeling new poisons. After witnessing the marvel of his medicines, the Yan tribespeople wholeheartedly supported his actions. They even relaxed their pace so they could bring Lu Yun to patches filled with a variety of plant life.

But more often than not, when they saw Lie Shan foaming at the mouth from yet another poisonous plant, they felt a strange feeling arise in their heart.

……

The rippling waters of Wei River were close at hand, and the Yan Tribe lived along its shores.

“Hahaha my younger brother, I’m the winner in the end!” Hearty laughter traveled in from the distance to the ears of the villagers.

A middle-aged man without a single wrinkle creasing his face stepped out, wearing cotton clothes that bulged with muscles. He rushed over to Jiang Ti for a tight hug. The sight shocked the Ning villagers—this thirty-some year old man was their chief’s older brother?

“Hahaha, my dear brother, I’m still young, but you’ve gotten old! You’re so old now!” The Yan chief took another close look at the brother he hadn’t laid eyes on for several decades and laughed uproariously again.

“Hmph.” Jiang Ti snorted and refused to answer. However, the tribe chief didn’t find this lack of response awkward or irritating. He threw a friendly arm around Jiang Ti’s shoulders and welcomed the villagers into the tribe.

……

Bonfires sprang up when night fell, illuminating all of the campground. All sorts of delicious meat sizzled and dripped fat and oil onto the flames. The Yan Tribe was a large faction with roughly thirty thousand people, and on this night, they danced and sang by the bonfires to welcome the Ning villagers home.

Such were the banquets of a primitive society.

“The tribe’s chief is called Shennong?” Lu Yun’s eyes lit up when he heard the name.

“That’s right! The chiefs of the Yan Tribe are always called Shennong—that’s one of the most esteemed titles of humanity!” Jiang Ba took a seat next to Lu Yun, the two of them sitting by an enormous bonfire, and brought the young man up to speed about the tribe.

Lu Yun nodded slightly. “I see… then, are there any other human titles just as venerated as Shennong?”

“Yes, the chief of the Xiong Tribe by the banks of the Ji River is called Xuanyuan. The first Xuanyuan invented the wagons we use for transport! But… our Shennong discovered grains that we can eat and saved countless lives that way. So that definitely makes him better than Xuanyuan! [1]

“There’s also Youchao, Suiren, Cangjie… they’re all saints who have done a great deal for humanity, so they’re listed with Shennong and Xuanyuan!” Solemn respect appeared on Jiang Ba’s face when he recited these names. [2]

Lu Yun nodded slowly as well. It’s no exaggeration and completely befitting to label these people as saints.

“But there are two more saints that, though they’re not human, we show them the same respect as we do for those I listed earlier! They saved humanity from great peril during multiple disasters, and their names are Wahuang and Fuxi!” [1]

Jiang Ba tutted appreciatively. “Wahuang and Fuxi are both descendants of great connate gods, but they chose to look after humans in our darkest age so that we would survive and prosper in the great wilderness…”

Listening quietly to Jiang Ba’s stories, Lu Yun suddenly grasped something in this moment.

I want to record history and document all of these happenings that no one knows anything about so that later generations will learn of them. …but aren’t I in a span of unknown history right now?

Enlightenment hit him over the head, abruptly shifting his mentality.

No part of history is more real than a portion that I’ve lived through myself. To me, these times right now are in the past, and I’m living them again. Therefore, nothing I do will change history!

Spontaneous comprehension opened up his thoughts. A tiny ruin in the West Sea couldn’t have sent him to an unknown era of gods and mythology, to a time where he stood side-by-side with so many legendary figures. Only the Tome of Life and Death could’ve done so!

Since I’ve come here and coincidentally become the Lie Shan, let me imitate him and taste all of the plants beneath the heavens. Let me advocate the practice of agriculture and see what I can make of myself! Only when I become history can I write history!

Lu Yun’s soaring ambitions were thoroughly ignited, sweeping away the helpless and lost miasma around him.

“You seem to have changed, big brother Lieshan!” Ah Bao blinked her bright eyes at him. “I used to think you were so far away from me.”

“And now?” Lu Yun tousled her head smilingly.

“Hmm… you’re very, very close, like you’ve become more real.” Eyes curved into crescents, Ah Bao happily rubbed her face against Lu Yun’s collar, conveniently wiping off all her grease and food stains onto his clothes.

……

Several elders such as Shennong and Jiang Ti sat in the middle of the tribe.

“Let me tell you something, brother!” Shennong adopted a mysterious tone. “I discovered a mysterious grass recently that can help wounds recover faster! If people in the tribe are injured, we can muddle that grass and spread it over the wound. They’ll be good as new after a few days.

“It’s not as good as what the tribute spirit can do, but there’s so much of the grass lying around! You know as well as I do that the tribute spirit’s strength is limited and it can’t save ordinary tribespeople all the time…”

Finished with his grand reveal, Shennong looked smugly at Jiang Ti.

“Do you mean this kind of grass, big brother?” Jiang Ti reached into his pockets and brought out a pile of wood pieces.

Roughly a hundred in number, they were the size of a palm, light, and very sturdy. All sorts of plant depictions could be found in them; detailed descriptions of their characteristics, purpose, and usage methods were recorded next to the drawings.

Jiang Ti selected one of them and gave it to Shennong, promptly shocking his brother into complete silence.



1. Remember this guy, the great personage in the last tomb Lu Yun visited before he got blasted to kingdom come?

Xuanyuan is also known as the Yellow Emperor. Traditionally credited with numerous inventions and innovations, ranging from the Chinese calendar to an early form of football, the Yellow Emperor is regarded as the initiator of Chinese culture. He is said to have grown up by the banks of the Ji River.

2. The Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors were two groups of mythological rulers or deities in ancient northern China. The Three Sovereigns lived before The Five Emperors, who have been assigned dates in a period from circa 2852 BCE to 2070 BCE. 

Depending on the source, there are many variations of who classifies as the Three Sovereigns or the Five Emperors. There are at least six to seven known variations.

The following appear in different groupings of the Three Sovereigns: Fuxi (伏羲), Nüwa (女媧), Shennong (神農), Suiren (燧人), Zhurong (祝融), Gong Gong (共工), Heavenly Sovereign (天皇), Earthly Sovereign (地皇), Tai Sovereign (泰皇), Human Sovereign (人皇), and even the Yellow Emperor (黃帝).

The following appear in different groupings of the Five Emperors: Yellow Emperor (黃帝), Zhuanxu (顓頊), Emperor Ku (嚳), Emperor Yao (堯), Emperor Shun (舜), Shaohao (少昊), Taihao (太昊), and Yan Emperor (炎帝).

The Suiren taught people to drill wood for fire so people could easily migrate. The Youchao taught people to build houses out of wood, so that people could leave caves to expand into the plains. After the number of people grew, Shennong tried a variety of grasses to find suitable cereals to solve people's food problems. Cangjie is credited with the invention of the first writing system.


1. The legend of Four shi (四氏) is of those who took part in creating the world. The four members are Youchao-shi (有巢氏), Suiren-shi (燧人氏), Fuxi-shi (伏羲氏), and Shennong-shi (神農氏). The list sometimes extends to one more member being Nüwa-shi (女媧氏), making Five shi (五氏). Four of these five names appear in different lists of the Three Sovereigns. Shi (氏) means clan or family, so none of them are a single person in prehistoric times. Nuwa’s reverential name is Wahuang (媧皇).

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etvolare's Thoughts

My apologies for the nigh obnoxious amount of footnotes in this chapter. Basically, the author lifted wholesale from Chinese mythology and made verrrrry slight tweaks that are explained in the narrative. LY's basically time traveled to the time of the Greek gods, or the American founding fathers. Imagine if he casually called himself Abe Lincoln and people such as P.T. Barnum, Samuel Morse, and Henry Ward Beecher started showing up. "Wtf... oh shit" would definitely be on the menu.