Shennong’s breathing grew heavy as he looked at the small piece of wood. He then snatched the other pieces from his brother’s hand and peered at them closely. Meanwhile, the elders by the bonfire ceased conversing; judging from Shennong’s expression, something big was about to happen.
“Brother of mine!” Shennong jerked his head up. “Are these all… real? You must know that there are many poisonous grasses in the mountain. If we get any of them wrong, someone will die for it!”
“The poisonous plants and herbs recorded here were all personally tasted by the child called Lie Shan. He’s labeled which are poisonous and which aren’t. The one in your hand can be used in medicine, and these other ones are poisonous!
“It’s an amazing thing, really. These herbs or poisonous grasses result in a marvelous variety of different effects if they’re paired in different ways…” Jiang Ti waxed eloquent. “It was Lie Shan who cured me of my injuries with these herbs.”
Shennong shot to his feet. “Where’s Lie Shan? Have him come here… no, that’s not right. I’ll go see him!”
“I’ll take you to him!” A victorious smile spread across Jiang Ti’s face as he took his brother’s arm and guided him in Lu Yun’s direction.
Everyone rose to their feet when Shennong arrived. The chief held absolute power and status in the tribe and had to be accorded all due respect.
“Lie Shan greets the chief!” Slightly confused, Lu Yun looked at Jiang Ti standing next to Shennong.
“Did you write all these?” Shennong shoved the wooden pieces in front of Lu Yun.
“Well, yes…” he’d just started replying when the chief suddenly bent at the waist and bowed at Lu Yun.
“Lie Shan, you have done a great deed for all of humanity. Please receive my gratitude!”
Lu Yun almost jumped out of his skin and subconsciously dodged to the side. This was Shennong, the ancestor of all Chinese! He would never dare receive this kind of honor from the great ancestor!
However, a tremendous forcefield barreled out of Shennong and nailed Lu Yun to where he was standing, forcing him to accept three bows from the chief. Not only was he scared out of his wits, so were the tribespeople next to him.
“I now declare that when I am old and infirm, when I can no longer perform the duties of chief, Lie Shan will be the next Shennong and chief of the Yan Tribe!” shouted Shennong.
“This won’t do, chief!”
“The matter of succession is a very important one, it can’t be decided so rashly like this!”
“Please reconsider, chief!”
The tribe erupted in an uproar the moment Shennong’s announcement rang out. What had been a picture of harmony, of song and dance, immediately turned gravely tense. The air hummed with a tension, the kind found when swords were unsheathed and bows drawn.
Only those with great virtue and merit could occupy the position of tribal chief. Each generation of Shennong experienced ferocious competition before the final victor emerged. Never had one been decided beforehand!
Shennong’s decision violated custom, but he was a man of his word. He quelled the emotional undercurrents with a wave of his hand, and the altar at the center of the tribe flared with strong mental ripples. Those came from the tribe’s tribute spirit.
Everyone fell silent, but they no longer looked at Lu Yun and the Ning villagers with as much friendliness. Shennong didn’t care about that, he grabbed Lu Yun’s hand and left the scene in a hurry.
“Chief, I think we need to further discuss me becoming the next Shennong.” Lu Yun looked wryly at the fervent ancestor in front of him, reluctance rising from the bottom of his heart. Though he’d made peace with his mental hurdle and was content to stay here to witness history and even create certain aspects of it, it was another thing entirely to become history by stepping into the role of the next Shennong.
“No, this matter is thus decided. Don’t worry about the feelings of the tribe. They’ll come around and support you on their own after a while!” Shennong shook his head gravely. “What other thoughts do you have about the usage of herbs and poisonous plants?”
Lu Yun blinked, then slowly relayed what he understood of medicine and pill dao. He sketched a quick overview of the theory behind various herbs’ medicinal properties as well as any related concepts.
However, most of it was still too complicated for Shennong. Though, his eyes lit up when Lu Yun mentioned that brewing numerous precious herbs together would help with cultivation. Humanity’s greatest weakness was a natural-born fragility and insufficient development after birth!
Their rate of cultivation was many times slower than that of other races, even after setting foot onto the path of connate great dao. If there was something that could help with cultivation and increase their speed of breakthroughs, that would be a gift from the heavens!
“But the types of herbs and ingredients I recognize now are too few. The recipes I can deduce are limited to what I’ve already come up with. So I need more time to organize my findings and identify more plants!” Lu Yun thought for a moment. “But what’s more important than cultivation is to improve mankind’s physique… I’ve noticed that the various grains the tribe eats are all ones gathered from the wild. Yes, those are edible, but they just serve to stave off hunger.”
Though agriculture and the raising of livestock existed in this day and age, they did so in a very rudimentary form. What resulted from those pursuits was just enough to prevent starvation, and what grains humanity currently possessed couldn’t be considered actual provisions.
At the heart of things, the crux of the problem was that humans didn’t know how to adapt to the local terrain and grow what was suited to that area. They only knew to label the places where unhusked rice and millet grew, then come back the next year to harvest them when they grew again.
Lu Yun dug into his memories to share what he knew about agriculture and animal husbandry. But due to limited conditions, he couldn’t spark an agricultural revolution. He could only start from tiny details and work his way upward.
Lu Yun and Shennong’s conversation lasted three days and three nights. This period of time solidified Shennong’s desire to make Lie Shan his successor.
By now, Lu Yun had thrown away all thoughts of what his impact on history might be and spoke freely of his body tempering and breathing methods. As for the nascent spirit observation method—since that was a cultivation method under the immortal dao, it wasn’t possible to practice that here.
These two methods alone were a great delight to Shennong and the rest of the tribe. While they could practice the methods taught by the tribute spirits, those were ludicrously crude and simplistic compared to what Lie Shan showed them.
The entire tribe’s overall strength took a great leap forward in the span of only one winter season, while Ah Zhuang and the others also became cultivators as well.
“I’m at the peak of this level, making my strength on par with peak void realm!” Lu Yun sat by the banks of the Wei River and assessed his current cultivation level.
In this world dominated by a primitive great dao, the demarcation of cultivation realms was a very blurry affair. One of their realms was the equivalent of several realms in the modern day world of immortals.
“If I make one more breakthrough, I’ll be able to enter the next realm like I’ve become an immortal. I wonder if I’ll be able to sense where my replica is at that point.” When his thoughts traveled here, Lu Yun mustered all of the energy in his body and barreled toward the next cultivation realm.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Once again, I really like how the author's handled this reset. Yes he's gone to a new world and realized he's at the bottom of a totem pole, but it's not the usual rinse and repeat of tournaments and auctions.